TREE + LEAF

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Tree and Leaf Vs. Collected Thread Bowling Night

Adventures, PLAZA DISTRICTLamboComment

     A few months back, our neighbor Heather over at Collected Thread, suggested we do some sort of T+L/CT bowling extravaganza. After weeks of planning around everyone's schedules, the biggest bowling battle of the century went down on Monday night at the very stylish Dust Bowl. Lindsey's Ladies vs. Dusty's Chump Squad. Nobody really sat down and tallied up final scores, but we all know how it went down. Boys rule, girls drool. Seriously though, everyone had a great time, good drinks, great footwear, and no matter how many bridges were burned, egos bruised, and insults uttered, we're all still one crazy family. Thank you Dusty and Lindsey for being such great bosses and taking your employees out on a super hot date. If you ever want to do it again you know where to find all of us...........

The dude abides. Our dude, Hildebrand, abiding by bowling's #1 rule, slurp down a White Russian before anyone even shows up.

The dude abides. Our dude, Hildebrand, abiding by bowling's #1 rule, slurp down a White Russian before anyone even shows up.

First things first. EVERYONE PUT ON THEIR BOWLING SHOES!

First things first. EVERYONE PUT ON THEIR BOWLING SHOES!

None of us were cool enough to bring a personal bowling ball, so we all played house ball.

None of us were cool enough to bring a personal bowling ball, so we all played house ball.

Silva was locked and loaded.

Silva was locked and loaded.

Lindsey not only has two 15lb kids, but she also has two 15lb balls!

Lindsey not only has two 15lb kids, but she also has two 15lb balls!

Chump Squad captain getting the team bev'd up.

Chump Squad captain getting the team bev'd up.

Let the games begin!

Let the games begin!

Lindsey, you throw like a girl.

Lindsey, you throw like a girl.

Paigey had a little Lambo, his beard was tough as wool.

Paigey had a little Lambo, his beard was tough as wool.

Dusty trying to pound some brewski before his turn. CHUGGGGGGGGGGGGGG.

Dusty trying to pound some brewski before his turn. CHUGGGGGGGGGGGGGG.

Moody models.

Moody models.

Who's cuter? The Collected Thread gals.........

Who's cuter? The Collected Thread gals.........

Or Tree and Leaf's charming chumps?

Or Tree and Leaf's charming chumps?

"Hey Silva, bet you can't get a strike."

"Hey Silva, bet you can't get a strike."

X'd up. Dreams do come true.

X'd up. Dreams do come true.

Brief intermission in between games so Lindsey can inhale a chicken sandwich real quick. Kristen just enjoying the view.

Brief intermission in between games so Lindsey can inhale a chicken sandwich real quick. Kristen just enjoying the view.

Touching balls for good luck.

Touching balls for good luck.

That form is what got Dusty a turkey on the last frame.

That form is what got Dusty a turkey on the last frame.

Chumps are champs!

Chumps are champs!

The fam.

The fam.

     Thank you Lindsey and Dusty for showing us a great time! We all had a blast, and we appreciate everything you guys do for us and the community. Well I know I do, I guess I can't speak for everyone else........

#SaveGatewood

Dusty GilpinComment

I'm often not politically outspoken. I do my best to keep my mouth shut because I'm not really educated on a lot of the issues. I do however do my best to display my moral and civic beliefs. Some can be seen printed on our shirts and others in the community outreach methods our store tries to practice. Kristen and I do our best to spend our money nobly and help out where we can. One of the avenues for our volunteer efforts and financial assistance is under threat of closure.

Gatewood elementary is a small school just north of our store in the Plaza District. For the last three years, I've had the opportunity to help with a group called the 'Reading Buddies' to assist students with their reading assignments. I even got to dress up as a mad scientist and judge the science fair last year. We've made a lot of friends over the years that are staff, parents, volunteers, and neighbors of this little elementary. Gatewood has been the beneficiary of a lot of Plaza love over the years, because the Plaza is a community, not a shopping district. Our neighborhood schools are just as important as our bars and restaurants, our retail shops, and our businesses. When cultivating a community, you must think long term. We must look at the Plaza and think, "What will be the best for this neighborhood in 10 years. How can we make this sustainable?" Often, we must push against ideas and actions that could hurt or threaten what could keep this neighborhood vibrant, diverse, and sustainable.

My wife, Kristen (Vails) Gilpin, has been involved in the Plaza since 2008. From 2008-2015 she was the executive director of the neighborhood. In a nutshell, her job was to be the liaison between business owners, property owners, neighbors, and schools. One of her greatest convictions was making sure the Plaza was actively involved in the surrounding elementary schools; Gatewood, Eugene Fields, and Hawthorne. She wanted to make sure that our neighborhood didn't drive away existing neighbors and offered the local schools assistance however possible.

Since she is more eloquent and educated than myself, I'd like to share with you a letter she wrote last night about the potential closure of Gatewood Elementary.

Family, neighbors, business owners, school staff, and students meet to show their disapproval of potentially closing Gatewood Elementary on Tuesday, March 29th, 2017.

Family, neighbors, business owners, school staff, and students meet to show their disapproval of potentially closing Gatewood Elementary on Tuesday, March 29th, 2017.

"I have been involved with Gatewood Elementary as a community volunteer through my former role with the Plaza District as Executive Director. From the very beginning, the school has been the heart of the neighborhood, and the progress of the Plaza District goes hand in hand with the progress of the school. There is no way one can thrive long term without the other. My husband (a Plaza business owner) goes to Gatewood at 7:30am every Tuesday and Thursday as a reading and math buddy to Gatewood Elementary students. We both have a huge heart for this school and neighborhood.

It is extremely short-sighted to not consider the increasing number of young families who have moved into the neighborhood with plans to send their kids to Gatewood. Several couples have been investing their time and energy into the school before they have even had kids in anticipation for raising their families here. We were just about to reach that tipping point, and the ripple effect of this consolidation will be felt for years to come.

This is not just about the young families. The families who have always been sending their kids and grandkids to this school are at risk. Closing Gatewood will leave affluent families the options to move or send their kids to charter/private school; the families without these means will be left to be shuffled to a different school with a vastly different culture and learning atmosphere. Eugene Field Elementary is an amazing school. Serving on both CABs, I was shocked at the wide differences between two schools on opposite sides of 16th. They are wonderfully unique schools each in their own ways, but consolidating students will be a strain on both sides.

I am not a parent, but with the help of so many in the community I helped to raise a neighborhood. It is absolutely heartbreaking to imagine all the growth, time, energy and financial investment which has gone into this place, will be severed by such a decision, especially when that decision is being made so swiftly. I can’t imagine what actual parents are feeling.

I understand OKCPS is in a terrible predicament, but the solution is not to consolidate these schools. I cannot stress enough the traumatic implications this closing will have on the families, neighborhood health, and economic vitality. It is also a horrible injustice that the public funds used to fund the MAPS gym, and the private funds invested in the KaBOOM playground, track and landscape improvements will have been wasted on facilities and amenities that will be unused and eventually in disrepair. With the climate of school funding, you cannot expect the public to trust any plans for these facilities to be maintained or adapted for reuse properly.

I plead with you to oppose this consolidation. At the very least, please allow more time for continued community feedback to explore other options. This proposal was brought so swiftly and with such high implications. I stand with the many families, teachers, staff, neighbors, business owners, property owners and the Plaza District Association and Uptown 23rd in asking for your opposition to this consolidation."

 - Kristen Vails Gilpin

 

Along with Kristen's letter, the Plaza District Association has also released it's disapproval of the potential Gatewood Elementary closure. Here it is in it's entirety.

I cannot stress enough how important it is to volunteer at local public schools. Kristen and I do not have children of our own, but helping out at Gatewood is super rewarding for both us and the students involved. Please feel free to voice your concerns and or support for Gatewood by reaching out to board members and representatives:

OKCPS Board Members

lhardin@okcps.org
jsellis@okcps.org
rehammack@okcps.org
ccjacobs@okcps.org
rrveales@okcps.org
gtorres@okcps.org
rlmillican@okcps.org
plewis@okcps.org

State Reps in the Metro

Jason.Dunnington@okhouse.gov
Forrest.Bennett@okhouse.gov
George.Young@okhouse.gov
Jason.Lowe@okhouse.gov
Shane.Stone@okhouse.gov

The Pacific Northwest

Dusty GilpinComment

Wooo weeee! The Chump Squad held down the shop for a week and let me tour some places I'd never been and visit friends I haven't seen in a while. Kristen and I took off to Portland, Seattle, and Vancouver Island. We ate a lot of great food, met a lot of nice dogs, and walked a ton; here are some highlights from our trip.

One of my best friends from high school, Alex Speers, is currently living in Portland while working on his degree in naturopathic medicine. Al, Mal, and Hank (their dog) were excellent hosts. He took us to Multnomah Falls, the Pittock Mansion, and basically chauffeured us around to visit all the spots and take in all the views. 

One of my best friends from high school, Alex Speers, is currently living in Portland while working on his degree in naturopathic medicine. Al, Mal, and Hank (their dog) were excellent hosts. He took us to Multnomah Falls, the Pittock Mansion, and basically chauffeured us around to visit all the spots and take in all the views. 

The skies parted for us while we were in town, so Mt. Hood, Mt. Washington, and Mt. Jefferson were all visible. 

The skies parted for us while we were in town, so Mt. Hood, Mt. Washington, and Mt. Jefferson were all visible. 

We checked out all the little boutiques and breweries (Rougue/Breakside) in the Pearl District and had lunch at a great little food truck park in Hawthorne. We got to check out art at Upper Playground and see the insanity at Powell's Books. We browsed Compound Gallery and Index, which were cool for me to see even though I can't afford anything in either of those stores. The visit was brief, but our tour had just started. Now onto Seattle!

We checked out all the little boutiques and breweries (Rougue/Breakside) in the Pearl District and had lunch at a great little food truck park in Hawthorne. We got to check out art at Upper Playground and see the insanity at Powell's Books. We browsed Compound Gallery and Index, which were cool for me to see even though I can't afford anything in either of those stores. The visit was brief, but our tour had just started. Now onto Seattle!

We took the train from Portland to Seattle. I love trains, so I had a blast. The scenery was great and it's nice to be able to read or draw while puttering down the rail. First stop was the Fish Market where we promptly had a basket of fish and chips at Lowell's. The view was great and the food was excellent. As we were walking down the street, I saw this huge Stephen Powers mural! I was overjoyed as he is one of my favorite artists. Kristen always puts up with me wanting to check out every mural along the way...

We took the train from Portland to Seattle. I love trains, so I had a blast. The scenery was great and it's nice to be able to read or draw while puttering down the rail. First stop was the Fish Market where we promptly had a basket of fish and chips at Lowell's. The view was great and the food was excellent. As we were walking down the street, I saw this huge Stephen Powers mural! I was overjoyed as he is one of my favorite artists. Kristen always puts up with me wanting to check out every mural along the way...

We then wandered through Olympic Sculpture Park. The views couldn't be any better!

We then wandered through Olympic Sculpture Park. The views couldn't be any better!

We stayed with our friend, Dustin Akers! Many of you know Dustin as he was an active Okie urbanite for the last few years. He moved to Seattle to help with the Light Rail system in Lynnwood. It was great getting to visit him and Duffie, and we are very thankful for his hospitality.

We stayed with our friend, Dustin Akers! Many of you know Dustin as he was an active Okie urbanite for the last few years. He moved to Seattle to help with the Light Rail system in Lynnwood. It was great getting to visit him and Duffie, and we are very thankful for his hospitality.

I hit up LEAN while I was in town. He's a friend of the shop and has painted with us in OKC a few times. He quickly found us a spot to paint and although I didn't have more than an hour or two to hang out, I got to meet some really great writers and checkout a lot of cool work. Nice meeting KSRA and Blink, they were both very welcoming. Scroll through the photos below to see some of the work. The warehouse we painted was covered with great art, I'm beating myself up over not taking more photos!

Other notable points of our Seattle tour: Jive Time Records, Dusty Strings Music Shop, Royale Grinders Subs, Fremont Brewery, and Art Primo.

We had to hit the high seas and head to our next stop: Vancouver Island! We boarded the Clipper and took a 3 hour tour to Victoria.

We had to hit the high seas and head to our next stop: Vancouver Island! We boarded the Clipper and took a 3 hour tour to Victoria.

Once the boat docked, we walked to the nearest place to eat. Red Fish Blue Fish was a great little shipping container restaurant on the dock. Hot fish and chips and some cod tacos will do the belly good. Victoria is beautiful, we killed time before hopping on a bus to Courtenay, BC, by watching boats dock and seaplanes take off. About as scenic harbor as it gets.

Once the boat docked, we walked to the nearest place to eat. Red Fish Blue Fish was a great little shipping container restaurant on the dock. Hot fish and chips and some cod tacos will do the belly good. Victoria is beautiful, we killed time before hopping on a bus to Courtenay, BC, by watching boats dock and seaplanes take off. About as scenic harbor as it gets.

We made it to Courtenay, BC to stay with our friends Nic and Krista. Nic and Krista lived in Gatewood just north of our store a year ago. They are from Calgary, but were in OKC on business and have since moved to Vancouver Island. What is that Krista is cutting? Oh! It's the Herba Terra bars of soap that we carry in our store!

We made it to Courtenay, BC to stay with our friends Nic and Krista. Nic and Krista lived in Gatewood just north of our store a year ago. They are from Calgary, but were in OKC on business and have since moved to Vancouver Island. What is that Krista is cutting? Oh! It's the Herba Terra bars of soap that we carry in our store!

HerbaTerra.png
Nic was a great tour guide. He took us to Tim Horton's, CostCo, Ricky's, Clomox, Cumberland, mountain biking, and then to Nymph Falls. We hiked a little and it was stunningly beautiful. Everything was green in this little rain forrest. Hank and Walter (the dogs) were also very welcoming. It was good having these guys around to take the edge off missing dogs of our own.

Nic was a great tour guide. He took us to Tim Horton's, CostCo, Ricky's, Clomox, Cumberland, mountain biking, and then to Nymph Falls. We hiked a little and it was stunningly beautiful. Everything was green in this little rain forrest. Hank and Walter (the dogs) were also very welcoming. It was good having these guys around to take the edge off missing dogs of our own.

Everything was beautiful. The trip was amazing. We have so many people to thank for helping us get out of town for a little bit. All our hosts were wonderful, and we are very gracious you gave us your time and place to crash. Big thank you to anyone that took care of our dogs while we were away, and thanks again to my guys for holding down the shop.

Everything was beautiful. The trip was amazing. We have so many people to thank for helping us get out of town for a little bit. All our hosts were wonderful, and we are very gracious you gave us your time and place to crash. Big thank you to anyone that took care of our dogs while we were away, and thanks again to my guys for holding down the shop.

I borrowed a GoPro and took a bunch of little 1 minute videos while we were walking around. I smashed them all together. It's not edited well by any means, nor is there much cinematic value, but it basically serves as a SnapChat-memory blur of the whole trip: