“It’s been interesting here,” Gayle Miller says of living at the Country Club. And that’s saying something considering her life experiences prior to her move. “I moved here a year and a half ago from Oklahoma City not knowing a soul and all you have to do is sit down with somebody new and all is well.” Anyone who has had the pleasure of sitting down with Gayle knows she is witty, wise and so very welcoming. Growing up in McAlester and OKC, Gayle loved to visit the Tulsa area on occasion. “I’ve always enjoyed the green and the trees and what I considered mountains until I went to Colorado and realized they were just hills,” she notes.
She says that she has two secrets that she kept from her lifelong friends in OKC: One is that she was always drawn to the landscape and culture of Tulsa. The other is that she is a big OSU fan, which you just can’t share openly in the Sooner saturated community of OKC. “Moving here was the best decision I could have made,” shares Gayle. “It’s been great for me and my family and I’ve had so much support and help that I wouldn’t have gotten staying at home.”
Gayle worked her way through Oklahoma City University with a number of jobs as a fashion model for some major stores in town, including Balliet’s. “It was so fun wearing these gorgeous clothes at style shows and at lunches every Friday. And I worked in the store in the summers,” she remembers. In the classroom, Gayle earned a double major in Business and Journalism. “I always liked to write, and I could write forever on pretty much anything even if I didn’t know much about it. This was especially helpful on essay tests,” she says with a wink. When she joined the Women’s Department at The Oklahoman out of college, she had the opportunity to write on a number of topics. “We had to fill up two full pages every day and then the Sunday paper was a full section and we had to stay up Thursday evening until it was done. It was an interesting time.” She went on to write features for the respected news provider and also joined a writers group in OKC and her work was found favorable in many competitions.
While at the paper, Gayle met and married Barney Miller, and had two wonderful children. When the kids were old enough, she enrolled at UCO, earned a Masters in Education with a certification in Library Science and became a school librarian. “It sounds dull as anything, but I enjoyed it all. I wasn’t just a librarian, I was an administrator, a teacher, a counselor.” Gayle has a talent for making the ordinary exciting. “My assistant and I did a video where I dressed up as ‘Dewey Decimal’ with a hat and mustache and everything,” she shares.
With the schedule of an educator, she and Barney took advantage of opportunities to travel in the summer. One of her favorite trips was a six week trip, three weeks in England and three in Spain. “Of course, I attended a seminar entitled Libraries in England at Oxford while Barney went to one on economics,” she notes. In their travels, the Miller’s always made time for enjoying the arts. She even had the chance to soak in a performance in England of The King and I starring Yul Brynner! They enjoyed seeing art galleries and these days her Cottage walls are decorated with all kinds of paintings, many of which Barney would pick out and bring home. We love having Gayle at CCWH!