- ABOUT US
Megan Rossman, Associate Editor
Photo by JOHN JERNIGAN
Best of the Best
By Megan Rossman
May 31, 2012
Since I’ve been working at Oklahoma Today, it has been my pleasure to read, find and assign photos for, and edit loads of good stories. Below are a few that stand out in my memory from the last few years. You can find these in PDF format on the Oklahoma Today online archives.
The Weather Issue (May/June 2005) - Okay, so it’s a whole issue, but I love everything about it. Some people thought it was scary, but Oklahoma Today kept it real, embracing the state’s weather for better or worse. An article by Chad Love breaks down Oklahoma weather, season by season, explaining the region-specific reasons for summer heat and twisters. Plus, there’s a storm portfolio and a ton of other weather-related tidbits.
“Winged Glory” (July/August 2005) - After this story was published, a reader wrote in to tell us that it was the best story she had ever read. I can’t recall higher praise for a story in the magazine. This overview of migratory birds in Oklahoma by Chad Love manages to be as poetic as it is educational. Illustrations by George Miksch Sutton and lots of photos make it pretty to look at.
“Pest in Show” (September/October 2006) - If you’ve never read anything by Gordon Grice, it’s about time. Try this informative and highly entertaining essay he wrote for Oklahoma Today about the venomous harvester ant with the painful bite. Added bonus: Beautiful illustrations by Norman artist Debby Kaspari. If you like that, pick up Deadly Kingdom: The Book of Dangerous Animals, written by Grice, who is a native of Guymon.
“Locust Pocus” (January/February 2007) - “For those of us who fully comprehend the breath-stealing essence of Oklahoma in August, those cicada-locusts comprise a significant sound.” If you’re among those that fully comprehend that sound, Mary Logan Wolf’s eloquent essay will resonate.
“Beautiful Minds: 46 Greatest Thinkers in Oklahoma History” (September/October 2007) – I remember this story being a little bit of a nightmare to put together. The process of finding forty-six decent photos of people, many deceased and not often photographed while living, was an undertaking. I’m sure the writing, factchecking, and editing process was no piece of cake, either. The end result, however, was worth the trouble. The black and white full-page photo of forensic anthropologist Clyde Snow remains a favorite of mine, and I often re-read the entries, which cover a range of notable Oklahomans, from civil rights activist Clara Luper to Tulsa philanthropist and oil titan George Kaiser.
“Full Circle” and “High Pie” (September/October 2010) – These stories both are about the best pizza places in Oklahoma. If you feel like I feel, that’s all you need to know.
“Warrior in Two Worlds” (May/June 2011) - I was given the task of factchecking this story, a tedious duty I did not seek but nonetheless performed. I read one biography and large portions of two more books and called then-Fort Sill Museum director and curator Towana Spivey (I wrote a story about Towana for our upcoming issue, check it out!) at least fifteen times and emailed him just as many to verify names, dates, and every bit of minutia imaginable. It turned out to be probably the most interesting bit of factchecking I ever did. Born near Lawton and buried at Fort Sill, Parker spent many years generally being a fearsome warrior throughout Comancheria before his band, the Quahadi, were forced by sickness and famine to surrender at Fort Sill in 1875. He spent the next three decades as a statesman and advocate for his people. The paintings by Nocona Burgess, great-great grandson of Quanah Parker, and historic photos set a vivid frame for Jim Logan’s wonderful story, his first for Oklahoma Today.