From the Editor (May edition)

The last in-state trip we took was to Beaver's Bend State Park in southeast Oklahoma. Our family had lots of fun fishing for trout. Sometimes the most amazing places to visit are closer than you think.

Dear Reader,

As I sit down to write this, it dawns on me that there is less than a month left in this school year.  The windows of our office are open on this beautiful spring day and the bird song calls to me as if to say “come outside and play!” It takes me back to those childhood summers of decades past and I start to plan.  What will this summer bring for our family?

As some of you may know, I’ll be leaving my full-time gig as the Sheerar Museum’s Director this summer. While I will surely miss the challenges and joys of running the local history museum, I’m looking forward to some free time with my family. A few summers ago, my mother and I talked about gathering the kids up for a few day trips to explore our beautiful state while Jefferson was busy with his nose to the grindstone. We took one trip but life got crazy and I just didn’t have time to plan, let alone embark, on another one.

Jefferson and I have taken our kids all over the country. At the ages of 14, 13, and 11, they’ve visited twenty-seven states. Yet there is much of our own beautiful state that they still haven’t seen and explored. We’ve been so determined to see the country that we haven’t taken the time to explore what’s around us.  I think many of us can easily fall into the trap of searching for things to see and do far away and not realizing there’s a whole world of wonder right in our own backyard.  That’s why I’m excited to introduce a new Entertainment feature written by the Visit Stillwater Team.  This month they begin with the concept of “Being a Tourist in Your Own Community” an idea I especially love as the soon-to-be former Director of the local history museum. I can’t tell you how many times I have met people throughout our city who said to me “I didn’t know we had a museum!” Well, we want to challenge our readers to get out into the community and see it like a tourist. This month, the Visit Stillwater team has some tips to get started with more coming in future issues.

As the school year comes to a close, our cover story is all about Stillwater Public Schools band program. Full disclosure, we have two kids in the program with the third joining next school year. It was their participation that brought to our attention the outstanding growth of this thriving program and their achievements of the past year. We are firm believers in the importance of music and the arts in education and our community can all be proud of what the Pioneer Brand program has accomplished and where it is headed.

We have some other new features this month as well as the return of some favorites. All put together, we have another great issue that showcases the people, places, and things that make living and playing in Stillwater great!