Ed Murray, News 9
OKLAHOMA CITY -- Chances are if you've ever shopped or had a booth at "An Affair of the Heart," you knew Gayle Dyer. She was one of eight original owners, and her death has left many with heavy hearts.
"It's a big loss to the organization and to the people that have come to An Affair of the Heart," said Steve Harris, one of the co-founder's sons.
Dyer and seven other craft shop owners got together 26 years ago to create the show, each putting up $500. Little did they know that they would create one of the largest and most unique market places in the nation.
Harris said Gayle Dyer became the face of the event.
"She's the cheerleader. There's never a bad day. She would look at this, the snow coming in and all that, as just another opportunity to show what the show could do," said Harris.
Dyer died of a heart attack during surgery for cancer. Her death came just three days before the 26th run of the event she loved.
"We're in show mode and everybody's kind of got a gotta get it done attitude but we are grieving the loss of Gayle and she will be missed a lot," said Harris.
Dyer was going to have a booth herself at this year's An Affair of the Heart at the Cox Pavilion to sell her book "Dancing in the Bird Bath." The book is an inspirational story of her life and her faith.
Dyer said through good and bad she was blessed and she grew. It was a philosophy she shared with News 9 in October 2010 when discussing the 25th anniversary of An Affair of the Heart.
"What's the saying? When you're having fun, time flies," said Dyer. "It was like birthing a child. You love it. You nurture it and look what it has turned into."
Gayle Dyer's legacy will live on through this annual event and through the life she lived.
As she says in her book's introduction "May my story help others to experience the peace of God's presence and teach you to live in the now like a bird in the air. And every once in a while, maybe when your life seems the darkest, take your shoes off, laugh like nobody is watching, and dance in a bird bath."
An Affair of the Heart is February 11-13. It's open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday and Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is $6 and is good for all three days.