October 2017


JD SIMPSON by Don Steel

Recently I lost a friend and neighbor, and Mesta Park lost a long-time resident, JD Simpson.

JD and his beloved wife, Jackie, moved to 16th Street in 1950, and he remained here until his death on August 29th. Jackie carries on with grace and strength, in her ever stoic way, and continues to greet neighbors, mailmen, and children every day from her porch. It’s the same porch I met her and JD on when my children first rushed over there in 2007 as toddlers.

Over the years we became friends, and I will forever miss his bringing a chair over to my yard whenever any outdoor work was being done. He would sit and oversee the job while making comments here and there and just enjoying seeing the progress.

His death was the first that my children experienced of someone they loved and adored, and some of the younger ones on the 900 block of 16th Street still can’t grasp what it means for JD to be gone. His presence is deeply missed because he was a constant in all of our lives; a man who knew everyone’s name and all our comings and goings.

His life was one that I think we all hope to have and to emulate as we live out our lives in this neighborhood: loving the one you’ve chosen to spend your days with, working hard to support your family while raising little people that grow into adults with their own children and lives, and offering your time and energy to your community and city. Farewell to our JD. We will continue to love Jackie, sit on your porch, and hold your laugh and smile in our hearts.


by Jennifer Bowman

Thank you so much to everyone who attended the 22nd Annual Mesta Festa! We would especially like to thank our sponsors for their continued support. Thank you!



by Sarah Jordan and Katie Huskerson

Hello friends and neighbors! The weather is cooling off, Mesta Festa has come and gone, and it is time to start looking forward to the home tour. This year marks the 40th anniversary of the Mesta Park Holiday Home Tour on Saturday, December 2nd, 4 – 8pm and Sunday, December 3rd, 1- 5pm! Wow! How things have changed in our neighborhood over the past four decades! Although the tour has grown and changed with the neighborhood, we are anxious to show you the same things that we always hope to show you on the first weekend in December: commitment to our community, honor of historic preservation, love of urban living, and a festive kick-off to your holiday season. Without further ado, is a list of participating homes on the 40th Mesta Park Holiday Home Tour!

  • 805 NW 19th Street
    The Home of Keri and Reagan
  • 812 NW 19th Street
    The Home of Dr. Elizabeth Hooper
  • 931 NW 18th Street
    The Home of Matt Warren and Randy Smith
  • 714 NW 18th Street
    The Home of Christine and Garrett Colton
  • 610 NW 17th Street
    The Home of Brittney and Marshall Matlock
  • 801 NW 17th Street (Refreshments)
    The Home of LaWanda and Dr. Jim Pickens
  • Wilson Arts Integrated School (Open for tours and festivities)


by David Pettyjohn

For decades, the Henry Overholser Mansion served as the place for holiday parties and festivities. The home was adorned with decorations, and the rooms were filled with merriment and yuletide cheer. This year, those days return when Preservation Oklahoma presents A Designer Holiday at the Overholser Mansion.

Local designers from Interior Gilt, Winter House Interiors, A-Line Designs, and Calvert’s Plant Interiors have been selected to decorate rooms in the downstairs of the Overholser Mansion in their own unique style. The home will feature holiday trees and mantles reflecting styles from modern to traditional. Freedom Lawn Care will install holiday lights brightening the home’s exterior for neighbors and motorists. The home will be open for tours throughout the season during normal operating hours.

Of course, the holidays wouldn’t be complete without a dinner to kick off the event. For the first time in over a decade, a special preview dinner will take place in the mansion on Tuesday, November 28. The dinner will feature holiday music and a chance to meet with designers. Seating is very limited. Tickets are $150 each, and all proceeds will be used towards the upkeep and maintenance of the mansion.

In addition to the wonderful designers mentioned above, Preservation Oklahoma is seeking volunteers from Heritage Hills and Mesta Park to join in the festivities and decorate additional spaces. We have decorations available but would welcome more and a designer’s touch. The tentative date to decorate is Sunday, November 19.

For more information on the event or to volunteer, please contact Preservation Oklahoma at 405.525.5325 or


by Sarah Jordan

The home tour committee is seeking involvement for the weekend of the tour (December 1-3) as well as in the weeks leading up to the tour. If you are interested in lending a hand, we would love to have your help! Please contact Sarah Jordan and Katie Huskerson at for more info.


by Sarah Jordan

My friend Jennifer is a terrifically hard worker, a committed neighbor, and a constant helping hand; she never shies away from a project, and she never drops the ball. This was all very obvious at this year’s Mesta Festa. Heading up an event like Mesta Festa, especially so successfully, is no easy task. The list of details involved in hosting a festival for a few thousand of your closest friends is pretty daunting, and it’s easy to forget how much work is involved to pull it off. Jennifer put in hundreds of hours over many, many months so that our neighborhood could host such a unique, exciting, fun-filled event for our city, and she deserves a huge THANK YOU and round of applause from all of us. If you see Jennifer, go give her a hug and thank her for all that she does to contribute to our little neighborhood. Great job, Jennifer!