Gary Good was surprised when he received the phone call and email from the Oklahoma Military Academy (alumni association) about an illustrious award he wasn’t expecting. The communication was to let him know that he had been chosen as one of OMA’s 2019 Distinguished Alumni Honorees.
Throughout his four years at OMA, Good’s life was all about music and sports. Upon entering his freshman year, he won starting spots on the wrestling and baseball team, as well as joining the award winning marching band. During that time, Good was able to create some powerful memories like two trips to Mardi Gras in New Orleans, where the OMA Marching Band won third place and performed at the opening of San Antonio’s HemisFair.
Part of what earned Good the award is his long-standing service to the community. Good has served on the boards of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and is (was) the longest serving member on the Oklahoma City Arts Commission with 34 years under his belt. He is also very passionate about a project he began in honor of his father when he passed away in 2003. “The Al Good Instruments for Kids Project,” places instruments in the hands and homes of children who otherwise could not afford them. So far, they have placed dozens of instruments including over 20 pianos in homes.
Good returned to Oklahoma City after graduating from OMA in the spring of 1968. He attended Central State College, the now University of Central Oklahoma, majoring in business with a minor in music. In 1971, he started Gary Good Entertainment, an entertainment agency that has produced shows with artists such as Natalie Cole, Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, Toby Keith, Vince Gill, Sheryl Crow, The Temptations, Three Dog Night and countless others. In the mid ‘80s, he made an addition to his company with a speakers bureau, renaming it Gary Good Entertainment & Speakers Bureau. He has booked lectures for notables such as Diane Keaton, Joan Rivers and Barry Switzer just to name a few.
After being in business in Oklahoma City for 35 years, Good fell in love with Guthrie, where he started multiple new ventures. Good purchased the old Pabst Milwaukee Building in Guthrie in 2006 which ultimately became the location he opened Gallery Grazioso. In addition, he purchased what was once an amphitheater and is now his home called Magnolia Moon, the building next door, now Magnolia Manor Boutique Hotel and began Guthrie Retreat. The Retreat also includes Suite Bettie Jean, a bed & breakfast he named after his mother located next door to the art gallery. The Magnolia Moon also serves as a wedding and music venue and special event space.
Good said that when he moved into the house and looked at the massive amphitheater, he realized it was too significant to keep to himself. With music flowing through Good’s familial roots, there was only one thing to do.
“[Due to the fact] I came from a music family, with my dad and mom both being in the music business, we decided to bring music back and started doing concerts in the amphitheater,” Good shared. “We’ve had over 70 concerts. As part of Guthrie Retreat, we do family reunions, corporate retreats and weddings here. We have our 50th wedding coming up.”
Good’s wife, Cristina, earned her Ph.D. from Oklahoma State University and is currently an adjunct professor there. Cristina has two children who are attending OSU and Gary has two grown daughters as well as two grandkids and 4 great grandkids. Both Gary and Cristina run Guthrie Retreat together.
“People tell you that you’ve got to think outside the box. I’ve never been in the box and have always thought just a little differently,” Good explained. “Look at the possibilities of a situation and really evaluate it, let your surroundings guide you, and use your own strengths.”
For more information on Gary Good Entertainment & Speaker’s Bureau, Gallery Grazioso or Guthrie Retreat, call 405-840-2020 or visit www.garygood.com, www.guthrieretreat.com or www.gallerygrazioso.com.