At 63, Dea Dietrick has reinvented herself, going back to college to get a degree and writing a book.

by Mike Lee, Staff Writer

At 58, Dea Dietrick found herself at a crossroads.
Gone was her husband of 27 years. With him went the money she was planning on funding her golden years.
She hadn’t gone to college after school, even though her dad told her she needed to get her teaching degree.
Employed at a church with a nominal salary, things looked dim.
So the absence of available options was almost a Godsend for Dietrick, who was just a few years shy of enrolling in Medicare, enrolled in college instead.
Fast forward five years and there’s a smile on Dietrick’s face. There’s also a college degree with distinction.
And her father would be proud not only that she’s teaching, but teaching others how to get the most out of themselves in life.
“I’m proud of this because it gives me authority to encourage others to go after their dreams and rise above their circumstances,” she said.
The decision to go back to school seemed like the best option to provide for herself in the future. Retirement wasn’t a port she would be pulling into anytime soon so she figured she needed to do what was best for the long haul.
She enrolled at Mid-American Christian University in May 2010. Working full-time, plus a side job, she carried a full course load each semester.
Five years later she graduated Summa Cum Laude with Distinction as one of the top five students in her class of 531.
It was actually Dietrick’s church job that helped her get to where she is today.
Working as a Biblical counselor, Dietrick’s title was campus administrator. Staff would refer people to Dietrick for counseling and she would get to the heart of what was wrong.
“It’s very fulfilling,” she said. “It’s where my passion is. I love working one-on-one with people.”
She was forced to put that passion to work to make a living.
“One day my attorney looked at me and told me she didn’t know if we would be able to recover any of the assets and it looked as though I needed to investigate how to earn more money and plan for a sustainable retirement,” Dietrick recalled of her divorce. “I reasoned that obtaining a degree as the only way possible to provide for myself. After investigating several local schools I found MACU to be conducive with my lifestyle.
“My thought was to work at the church during the day and open a counseling office at night. That plan has taken a slightly different form, but I am doing what I love and intended; using my degree and professional experience to serve others to experience life satisfaction and well-being.”
And Dietrick has a powerful story to tell. She reasons that if she can go to college at 58, reinvent herself and earn a degree in five years while working full-time then she has a few things to share about the value of hard work and determination.
“My ultimate goal is to help individuals understand their significance and use their passion to live a life of influential leadership and authentic satisfaction, bringing their ultimate best to their employer,” she said.
As founder of A Dynamic New You, LLC, a firm dedicated to helping individuals exercise their leadership capabilities, she adds a new dimension to her client’s personal wellbeing. Her forthcoming book, Charting Life with Intentionality, serves as a positive reminder that everyone has something significantly remarkable to share and is able to become an impactful influential leader.
Serving in the role of Counselor, Coach, Public Speaker, and a John Maxwell Certified Trainer, her experience blended with her wisdom introduce profound applicable concepts during coaching, Mastermind Groups and workshops.
She attends Crossings Community Church and is a member of Early Risers Toastmasters, American Business Women’s Association, the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber and is active in several smaller networking groups and volunteer opportunities.
Born and raised in Denver, Dietrick has lived abroad in Jakarta, Indonesia. It was a profound experience, one that resulted in the adoption of twin girls.
Each daughter now has two children.
“My feeling is you can’t let life get to the point where you just sit down and sigh,” she said. “I think what happens with older people, those who have given or put a lot into what they’re doing all their life – they don’t feel respected anymore. The culture is changing and they feel they should stop.”
Dietrick says she doesn’t feel old. She still wears platform heels and the occaional mini-skirt now and then.
“I think it’s important to invest in others, especially as seniors, because you have wisdom you can share with people who want to change and grow,” Dietrick said.

Danny Hill began taking celebrity photos when he was discharged from the Air Force and continued until 2010.

by Felicia Lucas

Danny Waldron Hill jokes that, “you can see a lot of movie stars – FREE – ALL AGES ADMITTED” when you visit his home at FOUNTAINBROOK ASSISTED LIVING CENTER IN Midwest City. The movie stars line the wall in a commons area at the Center, photos from an era of Hollywood past, many of them autographed.
A six generation Oklahoman, and CHICKASAW Nation Citizen (his grandmother was original enrollee Lizzie Columbus), Hill began taking celebrity photos when he was discharged from the Air Force in 1960, and continued until 2010 when his health and lifestyle changed with the passing of his wife and “sidekick” Mary Ella. He grew up in Southwest OKC, attending Columbus Elementary, Jackson Jr High and is a 1956 graduate of Grant High School.
Always having his camera near, Hill snapped photos of visiting celebrities while living and working for the Federal Government in the Dallas, TX area. “There seemed to always be a celebrity or two in the downtown area having lunch or performing at a concert. It was worth keeping my camera near me.” Often, he would capture a photo, develop it, frame it and wait patiently for many years to have the photo signed by the personality featured. At times, he would be invited back stage for a close up or two, as was the case with Debbie Reynolds. Johnny Cash once invited him on stage to share a collage of the famous singers’ many poses, and signed it in front of thousands of fans attending the concert that night.
Actors and Actresses alike enjoyed seeing photos of themselves from many years back, and would often try to purchase them – but to no avail – the photos were his private collection. Occasionally, he donates pictures from his collection to museums and restaurants featuring the particular star – most recently donating a shot of Mickey Mantle to the namesake’s restaurant in Bricktown, OKC.
His large collection expands many venues and decades and includes film stars such as Elizabeth Taylor, Gregory Peck, Kirk Douglas, Mitzi Gaynor, Sophia Loren, Cecely Tyson, Richard Rountree; musicians Mel Torme, Pat Boone, Roy Rogers, Hank Thompson, Charlie Pride, Andy Warhol, Sally Struthers, Carol Channing; athletes Dorothy Hamill and Hank Aaron; and various performers like Art Linklater, Jerry Lee Jones, Liberace, Herb Alpert, Adam West as BATMAN, Cesar Romero as the JOKER, Eartha Kitt as CATWOMAN and Clayton Moore as the LONE RANGER.
Active in pow-wows and other American native events, and also serving on the Chickasaw council in Dallas, his 5 decade photos of Native American Dancers have been shared at many pow-wows (gatherings of the native tribes) and displayed in libraries across the Dallas/Ft Worth area. His expertise allowed him the opportunity to share his love and passion for the camera by public speaking at conferences and teaching Camera/Photo classes at community colleges in the Irving, Grand Prairie and Arlington area, where he lived for 40 years.
Not limited to famous people, he snapped photos of animals, flowers, trains, and of course, family! It was anticipated and expected at family reunions to view “Uncle Dan’s” photos on a slide show projected on the side of a house or wall. With his family now extending into great, great nieces and nephews, his photos have become a part of the family’s history with pictures of loved ones that have passed away, or aged from toddlers into grandparents…
His return to Oklahoma was bittersweet in that it was after his wife’s passing. An often quiet man, (except for the boldness associated with a photographer), he was one of the first residents of FOUNTAINBROOK, and would have preferred sharing his “assisted living” experience with her, as together they could have shared the various outings and wonderful activities offered by the staff. Director Debbie Riddle has become “just like family” sharing in his new life and adventures, and allowing him to share his past loves of all things photography.


Carl Morrell, who served in World War II, celebrated his 100th birthday recently at Rambling Oaks Assisted Living Center.

by Mike Lee
Staff Writer

Carl Morrell has seen 17 presidents during his lifetime.
The average individual income has risen from $800 to more than $26,000 per year in that span.
One hundred years ago the zipper was invented.
Today, nearly 80 percent of Americans have the Internet in their home.
A lot has changed during the last century but the guy affectionately known to his family as “shorty” has taken it all in stride.
Carl Bertrand Morrell turned 100 recently at Rambling Oaks Assisted Living Center and he still has plenty of stories to tell.
He graduated from Valley Grove Elementary, then located in the Corbett farming community southeast of Lexington, and went on to graduate Lexington High School and then the University of Oklahoma.
In 1936, at the age of 20, he joined the New Deal’s Civilian Conservation Corps and worked with the Army Corps of Engineers in the Big Horn National Forest outside of Sheridan, Wyoming building the Sibley Lake Dam.
He earned $30 per month plus his room and board.
In 1937, he came back to Oklahoma and built on his brief encounter with field engineering by enrolling in the OU School of Engineering.
His education was interrupted in the spring of 1940 as he enlisted in the U.S. Army just months before America’s entry into World War II.
He served his country until 1946. He initially trained as a high speed radio operator in anticipation of assignment to a bomber crew in Europe.
But he was plucked to attend Officer’s Candidate School and earned a commission as a Second Lieutenant in the Army Signal Corps.
From there he commanded coastal radar units in Maine, Massachusetts and North Carolina until the war ended.
After his release he resumed his education, this time switching to the School of Business where he graduated in 1948 with a Bachelor’s in Accounting.
He then worked for Continental Oil and moved to Ponca City where he later worked for Conoco for 33 years before retiring in 1980.
After the death of his wife, Delma, in early 1985 Morrell returned to Norman. There he would marry his childhood friend, Agnes Waddle, the widow of his older brother.
Together they joined Immanuel Baptist Church where for eight years he volunteered to help the church manage its finances. He also taught a Senior Men’s Sunday School class until he was 89 and served as Sanctuary Greeter.
He was recently honored for his years of services in World War II by the Veterans of Foreign Wars.
“He is a really sweet man and has obviously made an impact on everyone here,” said Sales and Marketing Director Shana Sapp, who notes Rambling Oaks has three centenarians, one who is 103.

Carl B-day 3

Mike Kastl is a cancer survivor enjoying life with wife Elizabeth.

by Mike Lee
Staff Writer

It’s mid-morning and Mike Kastl is giving his granddaughter a bottle and trying his best to get her down for an 11 a.m. nap.
The 67-year-old could use a nap himself but he’s happy to oblige. In fact, he’s happy to do most anything these days after beating cancer.
When he’s not bouncing his grandbabies around the former ag teacher is spreading the word to other men about how important annual checkups are.
He believes to this day it is checkups that saved his life.
It was 2009 when Kastl and his wife both were hit with cancer diagnosis.
The PET scan of her bile duct came back red hot.
A trip to the Mayo Clinic in Houston followed, as did a life expectancy of three-to-five years.
“She only lasted two,” Kastl said.
It was during this time that Kastl found ProCure Proton Therapy Center for himself.
It was during an annual checkup that he learned his PSA score had doubled. It was a big enough jump to be referred to a urologist for a biopsy.
“They took it in two different places,” Kastl said. “One showed five percent cancer and the other showed 20 percent cancer.”
His options were radiation, surgery and then a new thing with protons.
“He kind of blew it off but I was taking notes,” Kastl said of the visit with his doctor. “When somebody says you’ve got the big C you start listening real close. I was online 24/7 looking at prostate cancer treatments.”
During his research he stumbled upon Robert J. Marckini’s book You can Beat Prostate Cancer: And You Don’t Need Surgery to Do It.
He read it and followed his sister’s urgings to contact the new ProCure Proton Therapy Center in Oklahoma City that was just being finished.
He began his first of 44 treatments in August of 2009 and holds the distinction of being ProCure’s first prostate patient.
“The quality of life is what makes ProCure, I think, much better,” he said. “My quality of life is better for having gone to ProCure. No side effects. I didn’t lose any hair. I was out working cattle.”
When he’s not watching Elmo videos he’s running cattle with his brother at his ranch in Stillwater.
And when he’s not doing that he’s telling other men about prostate cancer.
Other than skin cancer, prostate cancer is the most common cancer in American men. The American Cancer Society’s estimates for prostate cancer in the United States for 2015 are:
About 220,800 new cases of prostate cancer.
About 27,540 deaths from prostate cancer.
Prostate cancer occurs mainly in older men. About six cases in 10 are diagnosed in men aged 65 or older, and it is rare before age 40. The average age at the time of diagnosis is about 66.
Prostate cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in American men, behind only lung cancer. About one man in 38 will die of prostate cancer.
Prostate cancer can be a serious disease, but most men diagnosed with prostate cancer do not die from it. In fact, more than 2.9 million men in the United States who have been diagnosed with prostate cancer at some point are still alive today.
When discussing cancer survival statistics, doctors often use a number called the 5-year survival rate. The 5-year survival rate refers to the percentage of patients who live at least five years after their cancer is diagnosed. Of course, many of these people live much longer than five years (and many are cured).
Five-year relative survival rates assume that some men will die of other causes and compare the observed survival with that expected for men without prostate cancer. This is a better way to see the impact of the cancer on survival.
Proton therapy can precisely target your tumor, reducing damage to healthy tissue near the tumor and potentially allowing you to receive higher, more effective doses of radiation. Proton therapy not only effectively targets a tumor, but it can also be used in combination with chemotherapy, as a follow-up treatment to surgery, and in combination with standard X-ray radiation treatment.
Today, Kastl is remarried and has a new lease on life. And he enjoys all the extra time he has to spend with his grandkids.


Bill Howard’s imagination soars with one mystery and investigation after another. Juanita Howard has a new cookbook, “Grammy’s Favorite Recipes, a Seventy-Year Collection.”

by Vickie Jenkins

Bill Howard is a retired Oklahoma City businessman and former minister. Now, he is a published author of 3 mystery books, “ Rick Wade: Investigations,” “The Case for Sarah” and “A Time to Reap.” The unique thing about Bill is the fact that he began writing his first book in 2013 at the age of 83 and is almost finished with his 4th book.
“I have always felt like I needed to be busy, doing something or producing something,” Bill comments. “When I was young, I spent a lot of time reading. I remember my grandmother gave me my first book and it was a mystery. After that, it seems like that was the only kind of book I read. At first, it was the Hardy Boys and then the Nancy Drew series and as I got older, I advanced to the Perry Mason books. I didn’t have a lot of my own books, but there was a small school library and a small town library. I was only interested in mysteries.”
Asking Bill how he came about naming the main character in his first book, “Rick Wade,” he replied, “I have a friend with the name of Rick and a friend with the last name of Wade so I guess I had those names on my mind,” he replied. “A lot of the characters in the book are named after some of my friends.”
Bill does admit he gets writer’s block sometimes but it doesn’t last long and he is ready to go again. “The stories just come to me and then, it takes off. You have heard the saying, flying by the seat of your pants? I write by the seat of my pants,” he says with a laugh. “Where do you get your story ideas?” I ask. “I just pull them out of the air,” he says. “ I actually think I read so many books over the years, the stories just flow out.”
“After Bill writes his stories, I go through and edit his work,” Juanita says. “I’m good at words and she is excellent with punctuations,” Bill adds. Bill is not the only author in the family. Juanita has written a cookbook, “Grammy’s Favorite Recipes, A Seventy-Year Collection.” “I decided to write a cookbook since my kids were always asking for a recipe,” she said. “I gathered the recipes, put them in a book, sharing the recipes with others. “Are you planning on writing another cookbook?” I ask. ‘No, not now, I’m staying too busy,” she replies “I am enjoying spending time with my family.”
Bill’s hobbies include reading, writing and watching movies. Bill is also a fantastic artist. A modest man, Juanita holds he r cell phone, showing me some of his art work that is hanging in their house. “No painting lessons, just a few painting tips from one of his friends,” Juanita says.
“What inspires you every day?” I ask Bill. “Oh, it is definitely my faith and my beliefs and my religious connections. Juanita and I start every morning by reading God’s Word. I want to be the best Christian, husband and best father I can be.”
Asking Juanita, to describe Bill’s personality, she replies, “Bill is just wonderful and enjoys the simple life. He is very thoughtful and caring and always thinks before he speaks. He is definitely a problem solver and he gets things done.” How does Bill describe Juanita? “She is the most thoughtful, caring person I know. She is always looking out for the other person. She is involved in church activities and is always helping someone out. It seems like people are drawn to her. She is such a sweet person,” Bill replies.
Both Bill and Juanita agree that faith is the most important thing in their life. “I am a big believer in the fact that everything happens for a reason. We are both faithful and honest and we trust each other in everything,” Bill comments as he gives Juanita a little pat on the hand. “We live a simple life and a God-fearing life. We are both very happy,” Juanita adds.
Bill and Juanita Howard reside right outside of Shawnee, Oklahoma. Their blended family consists of eight children, sixteen grandchildren and thirteen great grandchildren. If you are interested in purchasing their books, please contact Vickie at hevn_writer@cox.net.

Dr. Kiersten Weber, a podiatrist with the Harold Hamm Diabetes Center, checks Elizabeth Hixon’s foot. Hixon, who has diabetic neuropathy, discovered a wound on her foot following a day of shopping. Even minor wounds like Hixon’s can become serious in patients with diabetes without proper care.

OU Experts urge awareness and proper foot care for those with diabetes

Most of the time, a simple bandage can heal a wound, but one Oklahoma woman discovered it would take a lot more to heal the wound on her foot, a problem concealed by the absence of pain.
It is an all too common story in the world of diabetes care and one that could lead to amputation if ignored. The experts at the Harold Hamm Diabetes Center at the University of Oklahoma know it well. With proper awareness and foot care, though, limbs and lives can be saved.
Elizabeth Hixon had no idea she had injured her foot on a recent trip to the store. She was focused on buying gifts. Hixon works year-round preparing presents to bring Christmas smiles to more than 60 orphans. It’s her way of honoring her kidney donor, a young, single mother of two children. On that day, though, another shopping trip for gifts ended with an unsettling discovery.
“I came home and took my sock off and my foot had blood on the bottom of it,” Hixon said.
The sock was soaked in blood, but she had felt no pain. Why? Hixon got her answer from Kiersten Weber, a podiatrist with the Harold Hamm Diabetes center.
“Unfortunately, it is very common. Elizabeth, having diabetes, also has neuropathy,” Weber said.
Neuropathy is nerve damage that can trigger numbness.
“When someone has lost that feeling, he or she may continue to walk and have no idea that an injury has happened,” Weber added.
People who have diabetes, like Hixon, are at increased risk for neuropathy. Combine that with reduced blood flow to the feet and they are also at greater risk of developing ulcers and infections that are difficult to heal.
“The complications that people experience can be devastating. In fact, the number one cause for hospital admissions for people with diabetes is foot deformities or foot infections. So I don’t think people realize how problematic a complication involving your feet can be in terms of your overall well-being when you have diabetes,” Weber said.
She also pointed out that these complications that occur in the feet are almost always preventable. In addition, early diagnosis and care is critical to protecting your foot, your leg and ultimately your life.
Weber said diabetes is the number one cause of lower extremity amputations.
To make matters worse, a lower extremity amputation puts the patient at risk for even more problems in the future.
“When somebody has an amputation, the risk of a second amputation within five years is 50 percent. The mortality rate in these patients also goes sky high as high, if not higher than some cancers,” Weber said.
Those facts did not escape Hixon, who had already seen what can happen when a wound gets out of control in someone with diabetes.
“I have a sister-in-law who is a diabetic and has lost a foot and a leg,” she said.
Hixon was determined to do all she could to help her foot heal and to avoid future injury.
Diabetes experts know proper foot care is critical for those living with diabetes. That includes checking one’s feet regularly for changes.
“Daily activities that I always try to stress, similar to brushing your teeth every day, include examining your feet. Every day, it’s important to look at your feet. I know that sounds simple, but especially when you’ve lost that feeling you have to use your other senses – your eyes and your hands – to examine your feet. You’re looking for sores, open wounds and any areas of discoloration,” Weber said.
Hixon now examines her feet religiously each and every day, keeping an eye out for any new calluses, bruises or cuts.
“You want to make sure you don’t get a toenail infected or something that would be a minor problem for anyone else, because it can be major for a diabetic,” she said.
Weber also fitted Hixon with custom-made shoes that aid healing and offer additional protection. She advises all patients with diabetes never to go barefoot.
Under Weber’s care, Hixon’s wound healed in just two weeks. Because of the nerve damage, though, the risk of another injury will always be there, and Hixon said she is not only taking all precautions, she urges others she knows with diabetes to do the same.
Meantime, she is back to shopping and wrapping hundreds of gifts, many purchased by her and some donated, that she and her husband will deliver in December to a home for orphans.

Photography and Text by Terry “Travels with Terry” Zinn  t4z@aol.com

Hotel Mousai is worlds away from the ordinary upscale all-inclusive resort. The high rise column of luxury accommodations, nestled on a juggle covered mountain side, is indeed a world away from expectations. In fact, lunching or cocktail imbibing or swimming in the roof top infinity pool (one of three in the Mousai complex) one can hardly believe they are not on the French Riviera, or at some exotic South East Asia retreat. Surprisingly, Hotel Mousai is only a moderate nonstop plane ride away to the destination popular Mexican resort of Puerto Vallarta. Puerto Vallarta is named as one of the friendliest Mexican towns.
The roof top pool at the all adult Mousai is accompanied by another infinity pool half way down the mountain side, where again, food and beverage and the uninterrupted vast exotic ocean side horizon embracing the soul. Down by the ocean is the sister accommodation of the Garza Blanca family friendly resort where again a pool with food and beverage service is accompanied by a modest white sand beach, complete with access to jet skis and kayaks.
Upon your greeting with a cool refreshing towel, and a cool beverage perhaps made of green tea and fruit, you are adorned with a ribbon bracelet which identifies you as an honored Hotel Mousai guest, and grants all-inclusive privilege throughout the compound. No tacky rubber or paper bracelet but a handmade braided ribbon, which is an example of the details that exist to accentuate a guest’s stay.
You may be assigned your personal butler, acting more like a second concierge than a room assistant, to guide you during your stay and perhaps accompany you to your high rise, ocean view room. Here be sure and detain your host to explain in detailed the plethora of digital light switches and other amenities. Here you will find your touch control switches to open and close two sets of panoramic curtains, the playing of a variety of music, in addition to several lighting configurations, including sedate illumination of onyx décor and a more conventional room temperature control. Of course a traditional TV remote is a welcomed companion to the super wide screen, complete with CNN and a few English stations, mounted on a wood and mirrored wall. The pristine maintenance of that wood and glass mosaic to the everyday accumulation of salt sea breezes and fingerprints is unimaginable. But such are the details you’ll witness.
Besides your room’s dual shower and dual sinks atop massive onyx bases, a Jacuzzi may adorn your balcony view, where you may also enjoy room service dining or an addictive retreat to a large welcoming hammock. Submerged in your gentle Jacuzzi you may forget that this is another infinity designed pool.
The complex offers several all-inclusive restaurants. A favorite is the morning terraced breakfast option off the main lobby, which converts to Oriental dining later on and of course offers beverages. While during the off season of summer you may dine at, Hiroshi, Blanca Blue, BocaDos STK, Aquazul and the Terrace without reservations, and let your whim be your guide. The attentive staff at this relatively new hotel have been hired for their friendliness and personal affinity for the guests, and maybe not so much for their previous hotel experience. A forward thinking hotel management philosophy.
The additional cost Spa is an over the top experience, offering several types of hydro therapy, a variety of creative massages (Ever had a Tequila wrap massage?), and salon complete with expert manicures and pedicures. Of course there is an upscale and extensive work out facility, with again that beautiful vista you come to expect.
With all of your resort needs filled at the complex, it may be hard to pull yourself away to take a tour of the town of Puerto Vallarta. If you have never visited before you will find the everyday seaside resort a touch of old Mexico mixed with touristy venues, and some good dining experiences. Your tour provided by the hotel may include a Tequila tasting with stops near the famous ocean side views of the movie location of Night of The Iguana, along with a brief stop at a quaint village called “Mouth of the Tomato.”
An added convenience is the frequent hotel shuttle trolley to take you up and down the mountain side to your various venues, or a golf cart can also be arranged. This is a detail appreciated by seniors and all who what an ease of access. All in all Hotel Mousai is fit for an out of this world contemporary James Bond experience, and/or for you requiring the best in exotic resorts. For more information and your reservations: http://www.hotelmousai.com/ or Goggle Hotel Mousai.

Mr. Terry Zinn – Travel Editor
Past President: International Food Wine and Travel Writers Association
www.new.seniornewsandliving.com – www.martinitravels.com

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How did you get to school when you were young?  Fountain Brook

“I drove a car to and from school at the age of 14.  We only had the one car so I would drive it home for lunch so my dad could have it and then, I would walk back to school which was a long walk.” Cecil Hewitt

“I walked to school in elementary.  I walked with some friends in junior high and in high school, I rode a trolley car.” Rosemary ‘Skip’ McDonald

“I lived way out in the country and I would have to walk across the land and cross creeks to get to school.  Sometimes, one of the teachers would pick me up and I would ride with her.” Helen Mayer

“In grade school, it was 2 blocks away and I walked.  In junior high, it was 7 blocks away and I walked.  In high school, I rode the bus.” Mickey Tyo

Barbara Charlet, International Market Development Coordinator, Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry (ODAFF), and renowned Oklahoma chef Kurt Fleischfresser were in Stuttgart, Germany for an in-store promotion at Feinkost Bohm. They are shown here in late September, demonstrating Oklahoma products.

A taste of Oklahoma made its way to the palates of shoppers in Germany during recent promotions in two cities.
The Southern United States Trade Association, which promotes the export of U.S. food and agricultural products, included Southern Okie’s line of fruit spreads, Suan’s line of Scotch Bonnet jellies and preserves and Pepper Creek Farms BBQ sauce in its mix for in-store promotions.
The first in-store promotion was held near the end of June at KaDeWe, a high-end upscale department store in Berlin. The latter was in late September to early October at Feinkost Bohm, a store with a deep history, located in the heart of Stuttgart.
Barbara Charlet, International Market Development Coordinator, Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry (ODAFF), and renowned Oklahoma chef Kurt Fleischfresser were in Stuttgart for the in-store promotion from Sept. 20-27.
“A buying team from Germany traveled to Oklahoma and Texas in January of this year for the purpose of identifying and selecting products for the two-week in-store promotions,” Charlet said. “In Germany it takes a buyer and an importer combination. So the importer, Claudia Beckord, and the buyer or the retailer, Alexander Frank with KaDeWe, came over in January.”
Oklahoma products such as Griffin Foods, for more than 15 years, and Clements peanut butter, for at least five years, have been staples in Germany at certain retailers, according to Charlet.
However, these in-store promotions marked the German debut for the products of Southern Okie, Suan’s and Pepper Creek Farms. That makes it even more important that shoppers are given the pleasure of sampling the products, according to Charlet.
As added support, Fleischfresser made the trip to participate in the promotions at Stuttgart.
That opened another opportunity.
“The store in Stuttgart offers food only,” Charlet said. “In addition to being high-end deli, high-end cheese, at one end of the store they have just a lovely restaurant and at the other end of the store is a sushi bar and they are both packed. Knowing that Kurt was going to come and lend a little support to this in-store promotion, they asked him if he would design a Southern menu. So he designed two of them, one for each week of the promotion.
“So the week that we were there he worked with the chefs at this restaurant so that they would know how to prepare it. It was a pork chop with a nice sauce on it and a pumpkin dessert with pecans on it. Then he worked with them at the end of the week so that they knew what to do with the second menu.”
Charlet said the ability to export internationally is important for various reasons.
It is important to those companies that already have their products on the shelves in other countries.
“It’s also important for those wanting to expand their business,” she said. “So for example, Suan’s is doing well here in the United States, but it just gives her another opportunity to showcase her product to see if she can get additional sales.
“That’s our bottom line is just trying to make something happen for these companies so that they have another stream of income.”
For more information about pursuing international markets for your food and agricultural products, please contact, Barbara Charlet at ODAFF, Barbara.charlet@ag.ok.gov or (405) 522-6192.


Date/ Day/ Location/ Time/ Registration #/ Instructor

Nov 4/ Wednesday/ Norman/ 9 am – 3:30 pm/ 691-4091/ Palinsky
Fowler Toyota – 4050 N. Interstate Dr.
Nov 5/ Thursday/ Okla. City/ 9:30 am – 4 pm/ 951-2277/ Edwards
Integris 3rd Age Center – 5100 N. Brookline, Suite100
Nov 7/ Saturday/ Chandler/ 9 am – 3:30 pm/ 258-5002/ Brase
First Methodist Church – 122 W. 10th
Nov 10/ Tuesday/ Midwest City/ 9 am – 3:30 pm/ 691-4091/ Palinsky
Rose St – 6191 Tinker Diagonal, room 102
Nov 10/ Tuesday/ Yukon/ 9 am – 3:30 pm/ 350-7680/ Edwards
Dale Robertson Center – 1200 Lakeshore Dr.
Nov 12/ Thursday/ Norman/ 9 am – 3:30 pm/ 440-8802/ Palinsky
Norman Regional Hospital – 901 N. Porter Ave.
Nov 13/ Friday/ Okla. City/ 9 am – 3:30 pm/ 752-3600 or 478-4587/ Reffner Mercy Hospital – 4300 W. Memorial Rd.
Nov 21/ Saturday/ Okla. City/ 9 am – 3:30 pm/ 486-1385/ Edwards
Epworth Vila Retirement – 14901 N. Penn.

The prices for the classes are: $15 for AARP members and $20 for Non-AARP. Call John Palinsky, zone coordinator for the Oklahoma City area at 405-691-4091 or send mail to: johnpalinsky@sbcglobal.net