Written by Dick Pryor on Tuesday January 19, 2010
Marian Opala is small in height, but not in stature. He has been a fixture at the state Capitol for more than forty years, as Supreme Court referee, staff lawyer, Administrator of the Courts, judge of the Industrial Court, and justice of the Oklahoma Supreme Court.
Anybody who has spent any time at the Capitol has probably met Justice Opala. He is charming and respectful, with an engaging wit, keen intellect and obvious love of the law. But to see him "only" as a judge or lawyer, misses the bigger story of Marian Opala.
Written by Dick Pryor on Friday June 5, 2009
Growing up in Oklahoma in the 1950's and 1960's, as I did, you saw and heard Wanda Jackson. I knew a little more about Wanda than most, since my mother, Nell, was a teacher at Capitol Junior High School in Oklahoma City while Wanda was a student there, and she told me about the young, musical dynamo who rocked south Oklahoma City, and then the nation. So, it was great fun to sit down with the rockabilly legend and talk about her music and life.
Her story is fascinating. Born in Maud, reared in California and Oklahoma, she won a talent contest and with it, a regular gig on KLPR radio in Oklahoma while still in junior high school. By 16 she had a recording contract and was touring with such stars as Johnny Cash, Buddy Holly, Carl Perkins and Elvis Presley. Elvis convinced her to stretch her vocal talents and mix in the new "rockabilly" sound with country. Wanda became a hit (she's called the female Elvis) and launched a style and sound that swept the country, and made her an international star. From country to rockabilly to rock "n" roll and to gospel, Wanda Jackson has released more than 50 albums worldwide and is seeing a resurgence in popularity, almost 60 years after her singing career began.