When I first moved to Oklahoma from the other side of the Red River, I had some time on my hands. For the first time in a long time, I wasn’t going to an office every weekday, and I was sharing an apartment with three small children and two medium-size dogs while we looked for a house. It was winter; the dogs were house-trained but not all the small humans, and there was an ample supply of brutally cold wind and snow. Finding entertainment that took us out of cramped quarters but saved us from the cold was paramount. While I learned to drive in the snow, we visited every museum and indoor attraction in Edmond, Oklahoma City and Norman.
One of my favorite spots – then and now – is the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum. Any drive along I-44 feels incomplete if I don’t catch a glimpse of Buffalo Bill, and I never tire of standing in the shadow of James Earle Fraser’s “End of the Trail” sculpture; it’s a powerful experience. My lingering annoyed the kiddos when they were little, but I managed to win their forgiveness via repeat trips to the Chuck Wagon Festival (and Baskin-Robbins ice cream cakes).
This month, there’s something monumental beyond sculpture taking place at what many of us still like to call the Cowboy Hall. To mark the museum’s 50th year, composer Edward Knight has crafted an orchestral work inspired by Wilson Hurley’s massive “Windows to the West” series that graces the walls of the museum’s Sam Noble Special Event Center. M.J. Alexander takes us through the composer’s creative process that will bring these majestic landscapes into a new light through equally majestic musical interpretation.
While you might not describe it as monumental or majestic yet, Edmond has been rebuilding itself in a newer light as well, growing steadily and developing as a destination for residents and retailers alike. Heidi Rambo Centrella takes a closer look at the progress underway and fresh undertakings on the horizon.
If your personal development doesn’t include a fully functional mental calendar, here’s a nudge: Valentine’s Day is just around the corner. Sean Becker has rounded up some excellent date night ideas that are practically in your backyard. Not a V-Day believer? No worries; several of these destinations work for the other days of the month (or the year) too. Try any or all, and wherever you wind up, have a great time.