The Edmond Sun


February 4, 2014

Frederick oysters pack a punch

EDMOND — Robb Walsh is a Houston food writer who has written extensively about that City’s various food cultures. He has recently authored a book about oysters that is titled “Sex, Death, and Oysters, a Half Shell Lover’s World Tour.”  

In that work he details how oysters have been enjoyed by historical figures such as the Roman Emperor Nero, the French King Louis XIV and have been referenced in literature for centuries.   

Walsh writes of how oysters have been eaten in what is now the American gulf south region for thousands of years and plays an important role in the culinary and cultural traditions in the coastal areas of Louisiana, Maryland and Texas today.   

The author also takes us on a tour of oyster festivals that are held in England and Ireland and writes about the diverse people he encountered at those events who share a love of oysters.   

It is unfortunate that Walsh did not attend the oyster festival that is held in Frederick on an annual basis. For while that gathering may not be as large as the ones that Walsh wrote about, he would find a fondness for oysters there that is comparable to what he discovered at the festivals he attended.    

The Frederick event, which will be held on the afternoon of Feb. 22 this year, brings bus loads of people to Frederick, which is the county seat of Tillman County. From throughout Oklahoma and north Texas, people partake of raw and fried oysters, cole slaw and soft drinks.   

Walsh made several trips to New Orleans while doing research for his book and he details what is known as “Oysters Rockefeller” came into existence in Antoine’s Restaurant in that city in 1939 when a chef prepared a dish of fried oysters that were so rich that it was given the name of the wealthiest man in America at that time.  

While the fried oysters served at the Frederick event have not resulted in a dish for “Oysters Gates,” the taste and flavor has gained them a devoted following  of people who come to the festival every year to devour them. In addition to  a fondness for oysters, those attendees may have also developed an affection for the warm and courteous people of Frederick and Tillman County.

According to Haley Hoover of the Frederick Chamber of Commerce, the Frederick Oyster Fry and Festival grew out of a tradition started in the neighboring town of Manitou in 1952 when a resident of that community  brought a sack of oysters with him when he returned from a visit to the Texas gulf coast. He shared them with his friends and neighbors and at their urging, he purchased another sack of oysters the following year. It soon became an annual event, but it eventually grew too large for the small municipality of Manitou.

 In 1990, the festival was officially moved to Frederick. Attendance has grown every year since that time and the event now includes an all-day arts and craft show that features artists of various backgrounds from Oklahoma and Texas.

Robb Walsh has written extensively about the Hispanic culinary traditions that have been brought to the Houston area in recent years and he includes in his book  a recipe for “oyster nachos.” Many of the Hispanics who now reside in the Frederick area attend the festival and Spanish is now frequently heard at the gathering.

As Walsh’s title suggests, he documents how oysters have been considered an aphrodisiac throughout history, but he concludes that there is no scientific basis for that assertion. But the locals in Frederick who have watched couples leaving the event for more than two decades with smiling faces after consuming oysters may have reason to question Walsh’s conclusion in that regard.

William F. O’Brien is an Oklahoma City attorney.

Text Only
  • Film critic Turan produces book

    Kenneth Turan, who is the film critic for National Public Radio’s “Morning Edition,” has written a book “Not to be Missed, Fifty-Four Favorites from a Life Time of Film.” His list of movies span the gamut from the beginnings of filmmaking through the present day.
    There are some surprising omissions on his list. While he includes two films, “A Touch of Evil” and Chimes at Midnight” made by Orson Welles, and one, “The Third Man,” that Welles starred in but did not direct. He did not however, include “Citizen Kane,” that was the first movie Welles made, that is  often cited by both film critics and historians as a favorite film.

    July 28, 2014

  • Logan County’s disputed zone

    Watchers of “Star Trek” may recall the episode from the original series entitled, “Day of the Dove.” In this episode, Captain Kirk and his crew are forced by a series of circumstances into a confrontation with the Klingons. The conflict eventually resolves after Kirk realizes that the circumstances have been intentionally designed by an alien force which feeds off negative emotions, especially fear and anger. Kirk and his crew communicate this fact to the Klingons and the conflict subsides. No longer feeding upon confrontation, the alien force is weakened and successfully driven away.

    July 28, 2014

  • Russell leads in Sun poll

    Polling results of an unscientific poll at show that Steve Russell, GOP candidate for the 5th District congressional seat, is in the lead with 57 percent of the vote ahead of the Aug. 26 runoff election. Thirty readers participated in the online poll.

    July 28, 2014

  • Healthier and Wealthier? Not in Oklahoma

    Increased copays, decreased coverage, diminished health care access, reduced provider budgets and increased frustration are all the outcomes of the Legislature’s 2014 health care funding decisions. Unlike some years in the past when a languishing state economy forced legislators into making cuts, the undesirable outcomes this year could easily have been avoided.

    July 26, 2014

  • Medicaid reform a necessity

    Historically, education spending by the state of Oklahoma has been the largest budget item. This is no longer the case. In recent years, the state of Oklahoma spends more on Medicaid (operated by the Oklahoma Health Care Authority) than common education and higher education combined, according to the state’s Comprehensive Annual Financial Report.

    July 25, 2014

  • Remembering lessons from 1974

    This week marks the 40th anniversary of an important milestone in America’s constitutional history. On July 24, 1974, the Supreme Court voted 8-0 to order the Nixon White House to turn over audiotapes that would prove the president and his close aides were guilty of criminal violations. This ruling established with crystal clarity that the executive branch could not hide behind the shield of executive privilege to protect itself from the consequences of illegal behavior. It was a triumph for the continued vitality of our constitutional form of government.

    July 25, 2014

  • RedBlueAmerica: Is parenting being criminalized in America?

    Debra Harrell was arrested recently after the McDonald’s employee let her daughter spend the day playing in a nearby park while she worked her shift. The South Carolina woman says her daughter had a cell phone in case of danger, and critics say that children once were given the independence to spend a few unsupervised hours in a park.
    Is it a crime to parent “free-range” kids? Does Harrell deserve her problems? Joel Mathis and Ben Boychuk, the RedBlueAmerica columnists, debate the issue.

    July 24, 2014

  • Technology that will stimulate journalism’s future is now here

    To say technology has changed the newspaper media industry is understating the obvious. While much discussion focuses on how we read the news, technology is changing the way we report the news. The image of a reporter showing up to a scene with a pen and a pad is iconic but lost to the vestiges of time.
    I am asked frequently about the future of newspapers and, in particular, what does a successful future look like. For journalists, to be successful is to command multiple technologies and share news with readers in new and exciting ways.

    July 23, 2014

  • New Orleans features its own “Running of the Bulls”

    On July12, the streets of the Warehouse District of New Orleans were filled with thousands of young men who were seeking to avoid being hit with plastic bats wielded by women on roller skates as part of the annual “Running of the Bulls” that takes place in New Orleans.
    The event is based on the “Running of the Bulls” that occurs in Pamplona, Spain, that is  part of an annual occurrence in which a group of bulls rampage through the streets of Pamplona while men run from them to avoid being gored by their sharp horns. That event was introduced to the English-speaking world by Ernest Hemingway, who included scenes from it in his critically acclaimed 1926 novel “The Sun also Rises.”

    July 22, 2014

  • OTHER VIEW: Newsday: Lapses on deadly diseases demand explanation

    When we heard that the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had created a potentially lethal safety risk by improperly sending deadly pathogens — like anthrax — to other laboratories around the country, our first reaction was disbelief.

    July 22, 2014


If the Republican runoff for the 5th District congressional seat were today, which candidate would you vote for?

Patrice Douglas
Steve Russell
     View Results