When you get Leon Russell and Gilcrease Museum at the
same time, you get a great evening.
And when the invitation to the event includes a one-year
membership to a museum that is recognized around the world as a
leader in Western art, you get something pretty special.
The 400 or so at Saturday's Gilcrease Stampede, billed as "An
Evening With Leon Russell," seemed convinced.
The Stampede is the annual kickoff for the Gilcrease Posse, a
membership program for young professionals. This year's go-round
featured dinner catered by The Polo Grill, dancing to the music of
Souled Out, and, of course, Leon Russell.
The rock music legend earned ovation after ovation for a
75-minute set that hits from a career that has spanned more than
He was a hit.
So was Gilcrease.
Russell told the audience: "Gilcrease was the first museum I
ever went to as a child. It has a very special place in my heart,
and I appreciate being invited to perform here."
As a former Tulsan, he has many personal ties to the city.
He once owned the former Aaronson mansion, which is now the home
of Stampede committee member Valerie Craig and her husband, David.
They brought a brick from the wall that once surrounded the home
and asked Russell to autograph it.
He was delighted.
Event co-chairmen Janice and Bill Chevaillier and Ludi and
John Beasley thanked their committee and the sponsors.
That group included Arby's, Beasley and Company/Bryce Insurance,
Ford Brett, Oil and Gas Consultants International, Eller and
Detrick, Phil and Jana Frohlich, David Guthery and John Favell, The
Holmes Organization, Mysock & Chevaillier, Oklahoma Natural Gas
Co., Public Service Company of Oklahoma, Kip and Gail Richards,
Scurlock Permian/Koch Oil Co., Milann and Ray Siegfried, Stutsman &
Taylor, and Hilary and Scott Zarrow.
The committee members were Jenny and Jono Helmerich, Cathy and
Bill Kellough, Lucia and John O'Connor, Maricarolyn and Brett Swab,
Catherine and Eric Hughes, Brook and Stuart Hawley, Debbie Bayouth,
Angie and Brian Bovaird, Emily and John Cary, Valerie and David
Craig, Susan and Ken Crump, Laura Daniel, Alene and John Davis,
Nancy Davis, Steve and Ellen Edwards, Leslie and John Frates, Jan
and Chris Girouard, Pam and Mac Rosser, and Gay and Jeff Simmons.
Others seen in the crowd were Gilcrease President Milann
Siegfried, Brenda Davis, Gilcrease director Brooks Joyner, Nancy
and Jim Hicks, Connie Seay, Melissa and Robert Sartiin, Judy and
Brian Freese, Ken Busby, Michael Sudbury and Candy Butler.