Five of Tulsa’s esteemed longtime citizens share the trials, tribulations and triumphs that have shaped their lives — and shaped Tulsa.
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Elected to the Oklahoma House of Representatives (1981-88) and to the Oklahoma Senate (1989-2004); an author of the historic education reform bill and art in public places act
Important influence: Henry Bellmon — his common sense, his ability to communicate complex issues simply and clearly and his advocacy for equal rights for women.
Best advice she ever received: Be invisible your freshman year in the legislature; just learn the halls. The best advice in childhood was from Edie Dubose, who taught me to ride and take care of horses: When you fall off, get right back on again.
Toughest time in life: Losing a 6-month-old child to peritonitis.
Fullest time in life: Living in Iran for seven years, where our sons were raised.
Biggest mistake: I don’t think I was as good a communicator as I could have been in the legislature when I was trying to get more done for education reform and children in poverty.
Just between us: It’s tough representing Tulsa in the legislature.
What’s special about Tulsa: The spirit of Tulsa. The volunteer possibilities and history. The populace wants to help and wants to make progress.
Advice for young people: We don’t do anything alone as well as we do in concert with other people.
What she’s proudest of: My three incredible sons and daughters-in-law. Professionally, my legislative life and getting public higher education in Tulsa (the University Center at Tulsa, which became Rogers University and is now Oklahoma State University-Tulsa).
Favorite place in Tulsa: The nexus in downtown Tulsa of the Mayo Hotel, Central Library and courts — that little spot of diversity and flow of people.