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George Young: A Grateful Spirit

Conversation



To Many Oklahoma Citians, He’s Pastor George Young. To the rest of the community and state, the name George Young is synonymous with nonprofit service and leadership. During our recent exchange at a local restaurant (and every conversation leading up to it), we knew it would only be a matter of minutes before Young was recognized by a fellow volunteer from one board or another.

Young’s passion for endeavors that strengthen the community by helping youth to succeed may stem from his being eighth of nine children. As the recently retired pastor of Oklahoma City’s Holy Temple Baptist Church turns his sights toward a larger ministry of public service, his reflections on his own upbringing speak volumes about leadership by example.

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

What’s your hometown? Memphis, Tennessee.

How long have you been married to your wife, Thelma? 28 years. She’s originally from Alabama, but we met in Oklahoma City at church.

Where did you go to college? Lambuth University in Memphis.

Do you come from a large family? I’m the eighth of nine children.

Wow! You were practically the baby. I was the baby for a long time. I’m still mad at my little brother about that.

What do you value most in your friends? Honesty.

What do you think they value in you? Honesty.

Do you have a favorite hole-in-the-wall in Oklahoma City? Yes. VZD’s. They know my name.

What do you wish you’d never sold or given away? My old basketball trophies. After so many moves, they lost importance. I should have left them at my mom’s.

How long ago did you enter the ministry? About 30 years ago.

What do you think you’d be doing today if you hadn’t taken that path? I’d be the head basketball coach at a major college.

How much time did you spend on the hardwood? I played all through junior high, high school and some college.

Position? Point guard.

What did basketball teach you about life? It truly takes a team to accomplish anything.

What should people learn to do? Be kinder.

What’s the best decision you ever made? Marrying Thelma.

Who are your real-life heroes? My mother and father.

What did you learn from your parents? The importance of getting an education. A strong work ethic. To walk with pride and conduct yourself with humility.

Is there anything you won’t eat? Boiled okra.

What’s overrated? Power.

What’s less important now than it used to be? What I feel people think of me.

What’s more important now? What I think about myself.

What kind of penmanship do you have? It’s pretty good.

What do you count among your greatest achievements? The relationships I have with people. Not just a number of friends, but having real connections and mutual respect with people.

What are the odds you’ll pick the fastest drive-thru lane at the bank? About a 75 percent probability.

What do you bring to a crowded room? A smile.

When they make a movie about your life, who should play the role of Pastor George Young? Don Cheadle.

Were your parents or teachers wrong about anything? I wouldn’t say they were “wrong” about anything, but I don’t think they really knew what a big world this really is.

What do you believe that most people don’t? Humility is powerful.

What do you hope people will never assume about you? That my thinking is limited to the context in which they may know me. For example, if someone knows me as a pastor, I wouldn’t want them to assume that I think a certain way – my thinking is broader than that.

Do you collect anything? Yes. I love to collect foreign stamps and African-American history stamps. I also love collecting foreign currency.

Are you early, late or on time? Probably a couple of minutes late, but I’ll call if I’m running late.

Is there anything you’d change about your childhood? I’ve loved to read since I was a child. I would dedicate myself to reading even more. I truly believe the one key to life is to be able to read, to understand what you read and to enjoy reading. More than anything else, it’s a ticket to anywhere.

What are you most grateful for? My parents. When I look at it now, it’s incredible what they tried to teach us and give us. They instilled in us to do better. It was an expectation, but never forced or coerced.

What message would you put inside a fortune cookie? “You will encounter more obstacles in life. Fight on!”

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Calendar

November 2019

Whether it’s a pair of deer in the woods of Oklahoma, or the delicate points of a snowflake in Wisconsin, Maud photographer Sarah Rodefeld is patient and steady as she aims her lens. ...

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Chisholm Trail Heritage Center
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200 Bass Pro Dr.
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Sponsor: Bass Pro Shops
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October 4-December 29, 2019 Misunderstood! features poems and artworks ranging from 1894 to 2017. As these works demonstrate, Native artists and writers have grappled with the same...

Cost: Free!

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Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art
555 Elm Ave.
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Sponsor: Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art
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Cost: Free

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Cabela's
1200 W. Memorial Rd.
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Sponsor: Cabela's
Telephone: (405) 546-3500
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OIS is hosting a Trivia Night on Sunday, November 17, 2019.  This will be held at the Will Rogers Theatre located at 4322 N. Western Avenue in Oklahoma City.  Tickets are $75/person and...

Cost: $75.00

Where:
Will Rogers Theatre
4322 N. Western Ave.
OKC, OK  73118
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Sponsor: Oklahoma Interviewing Services
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Professional instruction in the art of improvisation. Though some experience with improvisation is beneficial, all skill levels are welcome, no prerequisite classes.  Though sketch comedy...

Cost: $175 for the full term

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The Paramount Room
701 W. Sheridan Ave
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
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Sponsor: The Space OKC
Telephone: 405-887-3327
Contact Name: AL Caveny
Website »

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A legendary roster of Grammy® Award winners. A visionary director and a Tony Award®-winning design team. One of the world’s most beloved characters. Turn them loose on stage and what...

Cost: $27-$87

Where:
Civic Center Music Hall
201 N Walker Ave
OKC, OK  73102
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Sponsor: OKC Broadway
Telephone: 405-594-8300
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Nominated for 8 Tony Awards A DOLL'S HOUSE, PART 2 flashes forward 15 years form Henrik Ibsen's 1879 portrait of marriage as a women's prison, and my, how things have - and...

Cost: 40.00

Where:
Civic Center Music Hall
201 N Walker Ave
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Sponsor: Oklahoma City Rep
Telephone: 405-594-8300
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A legendary roster of Grammy® Award winners. A visionary director and a Tony Award®-winning design team. One of the world’s most beloved characters. Turn them loose on stage and what...

Cost: Varies

Where:
Civic Center Music Hall
201 N Walker Ave
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Sponsor: OKC Broadway
Telephone: 405-594-8300
Website »

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October 4-December 29, 2019 Misunderstood! features poems and artworks ranging from 1894 to 2017. As these works demonstrate, Native artists and writers have grappled with the same...

Cost: Free!

Where:
Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art
555 Elm Ave.
Norman, OK  73019
View map »


Sponsor: Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art
Website »

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Santa’s Wonderland is the ultimate free family Christmas event. The magic returns to Bass Pro Shops and Oklahoma City-area families are invited to enjoy this enchanting Christmas village...

Cost: Free

Where:
Bass Pro Shops
200 Bass Pro Dr.
Oklahoma City, OK  73104
View map »


Sponsor: Bass Pro Shops
Telephone: (405) 218-5200

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Whether it’s a pair of deer in the woods of Oklahoma, or the delicate points of a snowflake in Wisconsin, Maud photographer Sarah Rodefeld is patient and steady as she aims her lens. ...

Cost: $4-$6

Where:
Chisholm Trail Heritage Center
1000 Chisholm Trail Parkway
Duncan, OK  73533
View map »


Sponsor: Chisholm Trail Heritage Center
Telephone: 580.252.6692
Contact Name: Toni Hopper
Website »

More information

Santa’s Wonderland is the ultimate free family Christmas event returning to Cabela’s this holiday season. Oklahoma City-area families are invited to enjoy this enchanting Christmas...

Cost: Free

Where:
Cabela's
1200 W. Memorial Rd.
Oklahoma City, OK  73114
View map »


Sponsor: Cabela's
Telephone: (405) 546-3500
Website »

More information

“My Love Affair with the Brain” is a documentary that covers the brain, the passion of scientific discovery, the creation of modern neuroscience, Albert Einstein, women in science, and...

Cost: 0

Where:
StoneCreek of Edmond
17701 N Western
Edmond, OK  73012
View map »


Sponsor: VillagesOKC
Telephone: 405-990-6637
Contact Name: VillagesOKC
Website »

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Professional instruction in the art of improvisation. Though some experience with improvisation is beneficial, all skill levels are welcome, no prerequisite classes.  Though sketch comedy...

Cost: $175 for the full term

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The Paramount Room
701 W. Sheridan Ave
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Sponsor: The Space OKC
Telephone: 405-887-3327
Contact Name: AL Caveny
Website »

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The University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma’s Concert Band will hold their fall concert, “Marching Songs,” Nov. 18 at 7:30 p.m. in Chickasha High School Auditorium. The...

Cost: Free

Where:
Chickasha High School
900 W. Choctaw Ave.
Chickasha, OK  73018
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Sponsor: USAO Music Department
Telephone: 405-410-9331
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October 4-December 29, 2019 Misunderstood! features poems and artworks ranging from 1894 to 2017. As these works demonstrate, Native artists and writers have grappled with the same...

Cost: Free!

Where:
Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art
555 Elm Ave.
Norman, OK  73019
View map »


Sponsor: Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art
Website »

More information

Santa’s Wonderland is the ultimate free family Christmas event. The magic returns to Bass Pro Shops and Oklahoma City-area families are invited to enjoy this enchanting Christmas village...

Cost: Free

Where:
Bass Pro Shops
200 Bass Pro Dr.
Oklahoma City, OK  73104
View map »


Sponsor: Bass Pro Shops
Telephone: (405) 218-5200

More information

Whether it’s a pair of deer in the woods of Oklahoma, or the delicate points of a snowflake in Wisconsin, Maud photographer Sarah Rodefeld is patient and steady as she aims her lens. ...

Cost: $4-$6

Where:
Chisholm Trail Heritage Center
1000 Chisholm Trail Parkway
Duncan, OK  73533
View map »


Sponsor: Chisholm Trail Heritage Center
Telephone: 580.252.6692
Contact Name: Toni Hopper
Website »

More information

Santa’s Wonderland is the ultimate free family Christmas event returning to Cabela’s this holiday season. Oklahoma City-area families are invited to enjoy this enchanting Christmas...

Cost: Free

Where:
Cabela's
1200 W. Memorial Rd.
Oklahoma City, OK  73114
View map »


Sponsor: Cabela's
Telephone: (405) 546-3500
Website »

More information

Professional instruction in the art of improvisation. Though some experience with improvisation is beneficial, all skill levels are welcome, no prerequisite classes.  Though sketch comedy...

Cost: $175 for the full term

Where:
The Paramount Room
701 W. Sheridan Ave
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Sponsor: The Space OKC
Telephone: 405-887-3327
Contact Name: AL Caveny
Website »

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Santa’s Wonderland is the ultimate free family Christmas event. The magic returns to Bass Pro Shops and Oklahoma City-area families are invited to enjoy this enchanting Christmas village...

Cost: Free

Where:
Bass Pro Shops
200 Bass Pro Dr.
Oklahoma City, OK  73104
View map »


Sponsor: Bass Pro Shops
Telephone: (405) 218-5200

More information

October 4-December 29, 2019 Misunderstood! features poems and artworks ranging from 1894 to 2017. As these works demonstrate, Native artists and writers have grappled with the same...

Cost: Free!

Where:
Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art
555 Elm Ave.
Norman, OK  73019
View map »


Sponsor: Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art
Website »

More information

Whether it’s a pair of deer in the woods of Oklahoma, or the delicate points of a snowflake in Wisconsin, Maud photographer Sarah Rodefeld is patient and steady as she aims her lens. ...

Cost: $4-$6

Where:
Chisholm Trail Heritage Center
1000 Chisholm Trail Parkway
Duncan, OK  73533
View map »


Sponsor: Chisholm Trail Heritage Center
Telephone: 580.252.6692
Contact Name: Toni Hopper
Website »

More information

Santa’s Wonderland is the ultimate free family Christmas event returning to Cabela’s this holiday season. Oklahoma City-area families are invited to enjoy this enchanting Christmas...

Cost: Free

Where:
Cabela's
1200 W. Memorial Rd.
Oklahoma City, OK  73114
View map »


Sponsor: Cabela's
Telephone: (405) 546-3500
Website »

More information

Professional instruction in the art of improvisation. Though some experience with improvisation is beneficial, all skill levels are welcome, no prerequisite classes.  Though sketch comedy...

Cost: $175 for the full term

Where:
The Paramount Room
701 W. Sheridan Ave
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Sponsor: The Space OKC
Telephone: 405-887-3327
Contact Name: AL Caveny
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Whether it’s a pair of deer in the woods of Oklahoma, or the delicate points of a snowflake in Wisconsin, Maud photographer Sarah Rodefeld is patient and steady as she aims her lens. ...

Cost: $4-$6

Where:
Chisholm Trail Heritage Center
1000 Chisholm Trail Parkway
Duncan, OK  73533
View map »


Sponsor: Chisholm Trail Heritage Center
Telephone: 580.252.6692
Contact Name: Toni Hopper
Website »

More information

Santa’s Wonderland is the ultimate free family Christmas event. The magic returns to Bass Pro Shops and Oklahoma City-area families are invited to enjoy this enchanting Christmas village...

Cost: Free

Where:
Bass Pro Shops
200 Bass Pro Dr.
Oklahoma City, OK  73104
View map »


Sponsor: Bass Pro Shops
Telephone: (405) 218-5200

More information

October 4-December 29, 2019 Misunderstood! features poems and artworks ranging from 1894 to 2017. As these works demonstrate, Native artists and writers have grappled with the same...

Cost: Free!

Where:
Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art
555 Elm Ave.
Norman, OK  73019
View map »


Sponsor: Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art
Website »

More information

Santa’s Wonderland is the ultimate free family Christmas event returning to Cabela’s this holiday season. Oklahoma City-area families are invited to enjoy this enchanting Christmas...

Cost: Free

Where:
Cabela's
1200 W. Memorial Rd.
Oklahoma City, OK  73114
View map »


Sponsor: Cabela's
Telephone: (405) 546-3500
Website »

More information

Professional instruction in the art of improvisation. Though some experience with improvisation is beneficial, all skill levels are welcome, no prerequisite classes.  Though sketch comedy...

Cost: $175 for the full term

Where:
The Paramount Room
701 W. Sheridan Ave
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Sponsor: The Space OKC
Telephone: 405-887-3327
Contact Name: AL Caveny
Website »

More information

Nominated for 8 Tony Awards A DOLL'S HOUSE, PART 2 flashes forward 15 years form Henrik Ibsen's 1879 portrait of marriage as a women's prison, and my, how things have - and...

Cost: 40.00

Where:
Civic Center Music Hall
201 N Walker Ave
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Sponsor: Oklahoma City Rep
Telephone: 405-594-8300
Website »

More information

Get in the holiday spirit with M-PACT’S Winter Wonderland. This award-winning pop-jazz vocal a cappella group has been called the “Cirque du Soleil of Song.” Their vocal...

Cost: $10-15

Where:
University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma
1727 W. Alabama Ave.
Chickasha, OK  73018
View map »


Sponsor: University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma
Telephone: 405-574-1310
Contact Name: Katie Davis

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Whether it’s a pair of deer in the woods of Oklahoma, or the delicate points of a snowflake in Wisconsin, Maud photographer Sarah Rodefeld is patient and steady as she aims her lens. ...

Cost: $4-$6

Where:
Chisholm Trail Heritage Center
1000 Chisholm Trail Parkway
Duncan, OK  73533
View map »


Sponsor: Chisholm Trail Heritage Center
Telephone: 580.252.6692
Contact Name: Toni Hopper
Website »

More information

October 4-December 29, 2019 Misunderstood! features poems and artworks ranging from 1894 to 2017. As these works demonstrate, Native artists and writers have grappled with the same...

Cost: Free!

Where:
Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art
555 Elm Ave.
Norman, OK  73019
View map »


Sponsor: Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art
Website »

More information

Santa’s Wonderland is the ultimate free family Christmas event. The magic returns to Bass Pro Shops and Oklahoma City-area families are invited to enjoy this enchanting Christmas village...

Cost: Free

Where:
Bass Pro Shops
200 Bass Pro Dr.
Oklahoma City, OK  73104
View map »


Sponsor: Bass Pro Shops
Telephone: (405) 218-5200

More information

Santa’s Wonderland is the ultimate free family Christmas event returning to Cabela’s this holiday season. Oklahoma City-area families are invited to enjoy this enchanting Christmas...

Cost: Free

Where:
Cabela's
1200 W. Memorial Rd.
Oklahoma City, OK  73114
View map »


Sponsor: Cabela's
Telephone: (405) 546-3500
Website »

More information

Eat, drink and give thanks for good friends! Start a new Friendsgiving tradition with us! Let the Melting Pot be your host this Friendsgiving as you relax with your friends and you enjoy a...

Cost: 29.95

Where:
The Melting Pot
4 E Sheridan Ave
Oklahoma City, OK  73104
View map »


Sponsor: The Melting Pot
Telephone: 405-235-1000
Contact Name: Donna Jackson
Website »

More information

Thrills, laughs, and excitement are on full display in this incredible Cirque program that transports audiences back to the timeless adventure of the big top circus ring. This production, set to...

Cost: Varying

Where:
McKnight Center Performance Hall
419 S. Monroe
Stillwater, OK  74074
View map »

More information

Nominated for 8 Tony Awards A DOLL'S HOUSE, PART 2 flashes forward 15 years form Henrik Ibsen's 1879 portrait of marriage as a women's prison, and my, how things have - and...

Cost: 40.00

Where:
Civic Center Music Hall
201 N Walker Ave
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Sponsor: Oklahoma City Rep
Telephone: 405-594-8300
Website »

More information

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Cost: 10-35

Where:
Elsie C. Brackett Theatre
563 Elm Ave.
, OK  73019
View map »


Sponsor: OU University Theatre
Telephone: (405) 325-4101
Contact Name: Sandra Bent
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

October 4-December 29, 2019 Misunderstood! features poems and artworks ranging from 1894 to 2017. As these works demonstrate, Native artists and writers have grappled with the same...

Cost: Free!

Where:
Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art
555 Elm Ave.
Norman, OK  73019
View map »


Sponsor: Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art
Website »

More information

Whether it’s a pair of deer in the woods of Oklahoma, or the delicate points of a snowflake in Wisconsin, Maud photographer Sarah Rodefeld is patient and steady as she aims her lens. ...

Cost: $4-$6

Where:
Chisholm Trail Heritage Center
1000 Chisholm Trail Parkway
Duncan, OK  73533
View map »


Sponsor: Chisholm Trail Heritage Center
Telephone: 580.252.6692
Contact Name: Toni Hopper
Website »

More information

Santa’s Wonderland is the ultimate free family Christmas event. The magic returns to Bass Pro Shops and Oklahoma City-area families are invited to enjoy this enchanting Christmas village...

Cost: Free

Where:
Bass Pro Shops
200 Bass Pro Dr.
Oklahoma City, OK  73104
View map »


Sponsor: Bass Pro Shops
Telephone: (405) 218-5200

More information

Santa’s Wonderland is the ultimate free family Christmas event returning to Cabela’s this holiday season. Oklahoma City-area families are invited to enjoy this enchanting Christmas...

Cost: Free

Where:
Cabela's
1200 W. Memorial Rd.
Oklahoma City, OK  73114
View map »


Sponsor: Cabela's
Telephone: (405) 546-3500
Website »

More information

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Cost: FREE

Where:
Engel & Völkers
1138 N Robinson Ave
Oklahoma City, OK  73103
View map »


Sponsor: Britta Thrift
Telephone: 405-881-5000
Contact Name: Britta Thrift
Website »

More information

Eat, drink and give thanks for good friends! Start a new Friendsgiving tradition with us! Let the Melting Pot be your host this Friendsgiving as you relax with your friends and you enjoy a...

Cost: 29.95

Where:
The Melting Pot
4 E Sheridan Ave
Oklahoma City, OK  73104
View map »


Sponsor: The Melting Pot
Telephone: 405-235-1000
Contact Name: Donna Jackson
Website »

More information

America’s largest interactive comedy murder mystery dinner show is now playing at the Skirvin Hilton Hotel. At The Dinner Detective, you’ll tackle a challenging crime while you...

Cost: $59.95

Where:
The Skirvin Hilton
1 Park Ave
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Sponsor: The Dinner Detective
Telephone: 866.496.0535
Website »

More information

We're poppin' champagne on the patio this Saturday and raffling off a bottle of Perrier-Jouet valued at $300! Come pre-party with us and DJ Catherine Ouellette from 6pm-10pm -...

Cost: Free

Where:
Sheraton Oklahoma City Downtown Hotel
1, N Broadway Ave
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »

More information

Thrills, laughs, and excitement are on full display in this incredible Cirque program that transports audiences back to the timeless adventure of the big top circus ring. This production, set to...

Cost: Varying

Where:
McKnight Center Performance Hall
419 S. Monroe
Stillwater, OK  74074
View map »

More information

Nominated for 8 Tony Awards A DOLL'S HOUSE, PART 2 flashes forward 15 years form Henrik Ibsen's 1879 portrait of marriage as a women's prison, and my, how things have - and...

Cost: 40.00

Where:
Civic Center Music Hall
201 N Walker Ave
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Sponsor: Oklahoma City Rep
Telephone: 405-594-8300
Website »

More information

Show More...
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