Lana Sewell Reed reflects on her life and career as “a kind of journey”.
“When I was in high school, I worked with a dentist in Henryetta,” she said. “And it was a good training ground for me to be comfortable with people, not to be gross.”
She then studied nursing at Bacone College School of Nursing in the late 1970s. As a registered nurse, she worked in hospitals and health care centers across Muskogee.
While working in the labor and delivery department at Muskogee Regional Medical Center, she started working at the Indian Capital Technology Center.
“The teacher who was teaching maternity moved away and they needed someone to teach midwifery nursing,” she said. “The director was my neighbor. She knew I had a past.”
She studied teaching at the University of Central Oklahoma.
“I feel so lucky to have had a great career,” she said. A door would open, there would be another opportunity for me to learn more skills, to grow as a person, to grow as a nurse, to grow as a teacher. I just liked to take opportunities when they presented themselves.”
Reed was also a licensed barber and operated the Planet Studio barber shop with her husband for a few years.
Even after his retirement, Reed’s journey is not over. She remains active at St. Paul’s United Methodist Church, where she plays handbells and helps prepare the sanctuary for worship and special seasons. She also helps fill backpacks with healthy snacks for schoolchildren in need.
She is active in the Muskogee Art Guild, where she says she found a talent for painting. She also does handicrafts, including sewing, embroidery and cutting.
at his church
Lana Reed finds creative outlets serving St. Paul United Methodist.
A main interest is the Chœur des Clochettes des Dames.
“Being in a bell choir is a learned skill,” she said. “You have to be able to use both hands, read the music, follow the music, share the bells with the people next to you, watch the conductor.”
She said it took her a few seasons to get comfortable with the bells.
“What I would do is I would bring the music home and I would have three or four wooden spoons – however many bells I played in that song – and I would put a piece of tape to label them, is it a C or D, C sharp. I would practice shaking the wooden spoons,” Reed said. other arrangements than ours. I would listen and watch what they do. All the ladies in the choir are good to help.”
Reed also helps with Arts in Worship, which helps prepare decorations for different services or seasons.
“It could be something as simple as the color of the cloth on the altar,” she said. “For Thanksgiving, we make a kind of cornucopia. We put up special curtains. At Christmas, we hang the greens and the candles. We do different things during Lent.”
She said she enjoyed being of service to others.
“It’s good to be with other people and see other people’s ideas,” she said.
Art puts it
in a happy place
Reed finds another outlet through art.
“During my working years, I didn’t have as much time to devote to art as I do now,” she said. “I was just sketching and got into ceramics a bit for a while. And I always stuck to my needlework and sewing.”
She recalled that after her brother died about 10 years ago, she searched for an outlet for her grief.
“I went to a painting class at the Guild and it kind of gave me life,” she said. “It started to feel whole again and started to bring happiness back.”
Reed said she mostly did acrylics, but was learning to do watercolors.
“I might paint every day for a while, then I can go a month without doing anything,” she says. “It kind of depends on what I do, how I feel.”
Much of Reed’s paintings are for friends or family. She painted a picture of her late mother and gave it to her father. She painted a friend’s dachshunds. She keeps a painting of her three dogs.
“I can’t give it away,” she said. “Those are mine.”
Reed enjoys creating a variety of handicrafts.
“I think it’s seeing him develop, touching him. ‘I did that,'” she said. “If I have time to sit somewhere, I just like to do something.”
She makes felt Christmas tree decorations that look like toy soldiers. She said she found a woman on Instagram who made them, bought the pattern “and got to work.”
“Each piece must be cut out of felt and sewn by hand,” she said. “Each piece is sewn by hand, like the shoulder pads. I just love doing all the details. I love doing the embroidery around the sleeves and the little touches here and there. Then you do the embroidery of the faces.”
She recently decoupaged to make plastic pumpkins and patterned napkins look like delicate Delftware.
“I made it to match the pattern on all my plates,” she said. “I start cutting the decoration from the napkin itself, then paint the decoration with Mod Podge (a water-based sealer) and let them set, then do layer after layer after layer to achieve a glow.”
HOW DID YOU COME TO BE A MUSKOGEE OKIE?
“My dad was in Bacone as Dean of Admissions. My sister had started law school. It just seemed like a good time to stay home and hang out with Bacone. In fact, we lived on the Bacone campus because they wanted their faculty as much as possible to live on campus.”
WHAT DO YOU LOVE MOST ABOUT MUSKOGEE?
“I love the diversity of Muskogee. I love that the population is diverse. I love that the focus on the arts in our city is diverse. We have the music. We have the graphic arts. The theater arts I think there are so many opportunities to get involved in things as a community, it’s how you get to know your city.
WHAT MAKES MUSKOGEE A BETTER PLACE TO LIVE?
“Every city has areas where it can improve, but I think if we as citizens think about the fact that we have a big city, and we make sure that our attitudes are one area that could improve. ‘improve, and I think everything in the city could improve.”
WHICH MUSKOGEE PERSON DO YOU ADMIRE THE MOST?
“There are so many people to look up to. I look up to Ineta Bebb. Ineta has those things I was talking about – about attitude, service, dedication. When she sees a need, if she sees a vacancy, she doesn’t think about it, she steps in. She quietly steps in and does it or finds a suitable person for it.”
WHAT IS THE MOST MEMORABLE THING THAT HAPPENS TO YOU AT MUSKOGEE?
“Meet my husband, have my kids, have my career. My career is here.”
WHAT DO YOU DO IN YOUR FREE TIME?
“Working with my plants. Petting my dogs. Being with my grandchildren, my husband.”
HOW WILL YOU SUMMARY MUSKOGEE IN 25 WORDS OR LESS?
“A destination to meet good people, to find lucrative and rewarding professional opportunities and to simply enjoy life through the use of our theaters and our art.”
MEET Lana Sewell Reed
AGE: 65 years old.
EDUCATION: Henryetta High School, 1975; Bacone College of Nursing, 1978; earned a teaching degree from the University of Central Oklahoma, 1991.
OCCUPATION: Retired from the infirmary.
FAMILY: Husband, Don Reed; three children, Rachael, Lauren, Aaron; two stepchildren, Todd (deceased) and Donna; three grandchildren.
CHURCH: St. Paul United Methodist.
HOBBIES: Music, art of various genres, crafts, tapestry, gardening, book clubs.