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Great and Powerful Oz blossom

Great and Powerful Oz Blossom was inspired by someone very special and dear to me. My friend Susie T appeared at exactly the right place and the right time in my life, I just didn’t realize it until later. Susie is the mother of one of my good friends at work, Katie Archer, and recommend me to be a trustee for Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence. More on that in a moment.


Susie is a force of nature. She is a wonderful mom, grandmother and friend. She is one of those people who after you meet them for the first time seem to pop up everywhere. Even though she lives in Elk City, and I don’t see her as often as I would like when I do see her at OFE meetings or Leadership Oklahoma events she is one of the people that I most enjoy seeing and talking to.


Susie has many interests and talents and give generously of herself to causes and organizations in her community and in our state. One of the things that she loves is gardening and flowers. She also loves bright colors like teal, so I have attempted to capture that bit of her in this piece. 


So, what’s with the name? While all of the pieces for 50/50 and those who have inspired them are significant this one is truly special. As another friend Dr. Bob Blackburn likes to do I will now. Inject the dots.


During a dark time, probably the darkest time in my life, Susie brought me into the Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence community. It was there that I met another wonderful friend, OFE Exective Director Emily Stratton. It was thorny friendship with Emily that I was invited to visit the Rotary Club of Oklahoma City which I am so honored to be a member of. After that first visit Emily took me back to her office and asked why I hadn’t done Leadership Oklahoma yet. Without a good answer from me she insisted that I apply again and on that second application after applying several years earlier I got in. It was during that wonderful year that I made so many incredible and amazing friends. One of those friends was Cindy Mitas Friedemann who is the reason that I began making art seriously. I will share more of that story when I post the piece inspired by Cindy but without Susie, my great and powerful Oz behind the curtain who knows where I would be or what I would be doing today. Susie is a wonderful friend, and I am so very grateful for her friendship, all that she has done for me and the wonderful artful life that I enjoy today because of her one simple act of kindness all those years ago.

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