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December 11, 2020

          Juiced, roid – raged, hyped, and pumped are all words to describe the effects of using anabolic steroids. For better or worse, The Book of Bizarre Truths says steroids have invaded the worlds of professional and amateur sports, and even show business.

          Anabolic steroids (also called anabolic – androgenic steroids, or AAS) are a specific class of hormones that are related to the male hormone testosterone. Steroids have been used for thousands of years in traditional medicine to promote healing in diseases such as cancer and AIDS. French neurologist Charles – Edouard Brown – Sequard was one of the first physicians to report its healing properties after injecting himself with an extract of guinea pig testicles in 1889.

          In 1935 two German scientists applied for the first steroid – use patent and were offered the 1939 Nobel Prize for Chemistry, but the Nazi government forced them to decline the honor.

          Interest in steroids continued during World War II. Third Reich scientists experimented on concentration camp inmates to treat symptoms of chronic wasting as well as to test its effects on heightened aggression in German soldiers. Even Adolf Hitler was injected with steroids to treat his endless list of maladies.

          The first reference to steroid use for performance enhancement in sports dates back to a 1938 Strength and Health magazine letter to the editor, inquiring how steroids could improve performance in weightlifting and bodybuilding. During the 1940s, the Soviet Union and a number of Eastern Bloc countries built aggressive steroid programs designed to improve the performance of Olympic and amateur weight – lifters. The program was so successful that U.S. Olympic team physicians worked with American chemists to design Dianabol, which they administered to U.S. athletes.

          The use of steroids has become commonplace in baseball, football, cycling, track, golf, and cricket. In a 2006 survey, steroid use was measured in eighth-, tenth-, and twelfth – grade students. A little more than 2% of male high school seniors admitted to using steroids during the past year.

          Steroids can promote cell growth, protein synthesis from amino acids, increase appetite, bone strengthening, and stimulate bone marrow and production of red blood cells. Side effects include shrinking testicles, reduced sperm count, infertility, acne, high blood pressure, blood clotting, liver damage, headaches, aching joints, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, loss of sleep, severe mood swings, paranoia, panic attacks, depression, male pattern baldness, the cessation of menstruation in women, and an increased risk of prostate cancer.

          Many countries have banned the sale of anabolic steroids for nonmedical applications. They are legal in Mexico and Thailand. In the U.S., steroids are classified as a Schedule III controlled substance, making possession a federal crime, punishable by prison time.

          Thousands of black – market vendors are willing to sell more than 50 different varieties of steroids. They are sold through the mail, over the internet, in gyms, and at competitions. Many of these drugs are submedical or veterinary – grade steroids.

          Lyle Alzado, the colorful, record – setting defensive tackle for the LA Raiders, Cleveland Browns, and Denver Broncos, admitted to taking steroids to stay competitive but acknowledged their risks.

          “Ninety percent of the athletes I know are on the stuff. We’re not born to be 300 lbs. or jump 30 ft. But all the time I was taking steroids, I knew they were making me play better,” he said. “I became very violent on the field and off it. I did things only crazy people do. Now look at me. My hair’s gone, I wobble when I walk and have to hold on to someone for support and I have trouble remembering things. My last wish? That no one else ever dies this way.”

          In 2008, 61 – year – old Rambo star Sylvester Stallone paid $10,600 to settle a criminal drug possession charge for smuggling 48 vials of Human Growth Hormone (HGH) into the country. HCHC is popularly used for its anti – aging benefits.

          “Everyone over 40 years old would be wise to investigate it (HGH and testosterone use) because it increases the quality of your life,” says Stallone.

          “If you’re an actor in Hollywood and you’re over 40, you are doing HGH. Period,” said one Hollywood cosmetic surgeon. “Why wouldn’t you? It makes your skin look better, your hair, your fingernails. Everything.”

          Steroids are one more medicine that does much good and is abused by humanity for vanity and competitive dominance. It proves you just can’t fix stupid.

          Famous Okie information: The nation’s first parking meter was installed in Oklahoma City in 1935.

Keep Going on Your New Years Resolutions: Avoid people who complain a lot. It doesn’t matter how positive you are, negativity spreads and will impact your life.

Made me laugh: My boss said to me, “This is the third time you’ve been late to work this week. Do you know what that means?” “It’s Wednesday?”

See you on the bricks, soon! Stay safe.

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On The Bricks

December 4, 2020

          Nostradamus was born in December of 1503 in a small town in southern France according to The Book of Bizarre Truths. He became a successful apothecary and even created a pill that could supposedly protect against the plague.

          It is believed that at some time in the 1540s, Nostradamus began taking interest in the occult, particularly in ways to predict the future. His preferred method was scrying, or gazing into a bowl of water or a mirror and waiting for visions to appear.

          He published a highly successful almanac for the year 1550, which included some of his prophecies and predictions. The almanac was so successful that Nostradamus wrote more, perhaps even several a year, until his death in 1566.

          In addition to creating his almanacs, he began compiling his previously unpublished prophecies into a massive volume. Released in 1555, Les Propheties (The Prophecies) contained hundreds of quatrains (four – line poems). It became one of the most controversial and perplexing books ever written.

          Nostradamus worried some might see his prophecies as demonic, so he encoded them to obscure their true meanings. To do this, Nostradamus did everything from playing with the syntax of the quatrains to switching between French, Greek, Latin, and other languages. Over the years, it became a common practice in the aftermath of a major historical event for people to pull out a copy of his book to see if they could find a hidden reference in his quatrains. It is a practice that has continued to this day and only gets more and more common.

          Soon after the Twin Towers fell, an e-mail started making the rounds that claimed Nostradamus had predicted the events, quoting the following quatrain as proof:

          “In the City of God there will be a great thunder, Two Brothers torn apart by Chaos, While the fortress endures, The great leader will succumb, The third big war will begin when the big city is burning. -Nostradamus, 1654”

          Some thought Nostradamus is describing September 11, the Twin Towers (“Two Brothers”) falling, and the start of World War III. Pretty chilling, except Nostradamus never wrote it. It was nothing more than an Internet hoax that spread like wildfire.

          First, Nostradamus wrote quatrains, which have four lines. This one has five. Also, the date Nostradamus supposedly penned this, 1654, was almost 90 years after he died.

          Nostradamus might have been able to see the future, but there’s no mention of him being able to write from beyond the grave.

Famous Okie information: James Gordon “Bo” Gritz was born January 18, 1939 in Enid, Okla. He is a former United States Army Special Forces officer who served for 22 years, including in the Vietnam War. He was the most decorated Green Beret officer during Vietnam. His activities in retirement, notably attempted POW rescues in conjunction with the Vietnam War POW/MIA issue, have been controversial.

Keep going on New Years resolutions: Be brave and do something that scares you.

Made me laugh: Working in a mirror factory is something I can totally see myself doing.

See you on the bricks, soon! Stay safe. Prayers for all those affected by COVID.

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On The Bricks

November 29, 2020

Not too long ago we were thanking our veterans. Here is an Oklahoma veteran that we should all hear his story.

William James Crowe Jr. was a United States Navy admiral who served as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff under Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush, and as the ambassador to the United Kingdom under President Bill Clinton.

Crowe was born in Kentucky on Jan. 2, 1925. At the beginning of the Great Depression, Crowe’s father moved the family to Oklahoma City. In June 1946, Crowe completed a war – accelerated course of study and graduated with the Class of 1947 from the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland.

From 1954 to 1955, Crowe served as assistant to the naval aide of President Dwight D. Eisenhower. From 1956 to 1958, Crowe served as executive officer of the submarine USS Wahoo (SS-565). In 1958, he served as an aide to the Deputy Chief of Naval Operations. In 1960, Crowe took command of USS Trout, homeported in Charleston, S.C., and served as commanding officer until 1962. Crowe next earned a master’s degree in education at the Stanford Graduate School of Education, and then, turning down an invitation from Admiral Hyman G. Rickover to enter the Navy’s nuclear power program, earned a Master of Arts and a Doctor of Philosophy in Political Science at Princeton University. During the Vietnam War he was the senior adviser to the Vietnamese Riverine Force. In 1969, he took command of Submarine Division 31, homeported in San Diego.

A long string of assignments followed that included; Head of East Asia Pacific Branch, Politico – Military Division, Office of the Chief of Naval Operations; promoted to rear admiral and named Deputy Director, Strategic Plans, Policy, Nuclear Systems, and NSC Affairs Division, Office of the Chief of Naval Operations; Director of East Asia and Pacific Region, Office of the Secretary of Defense; Commander of the Middle East Force; promoted to vice admiral and named Deputy Chief of Naval Operations, Plans, Policy and Operations; promoted to admiral and named Commander in Chief, Allied Forces Southern Europe; named Commander in Chief, United States Naval Forces Europe; and named Commander in Chief, United States Pacific Command.

On July 10, 1985, Crowe was appointed by President Ronald Reagan to serve as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. He continued to serve as CJCS through the Bush administration until 1989, when he retired from active duty.

After he retired in October 1989, Crowe returned to the University of Oklahoma and William J. Crowe chair in geopolitics. President Clinton named Crowe chairman of the President’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board in 1993. In 1994, Clinton appointed Crowe the United States Ambassador to the United Kingdom, and he served in that capacity until 1997. Crowe taught a seminar class on national security at the United States Naval Academy from 2000 to 2007.

Crowe died on Oct. 18, 2007, at Bethesda Naval Hospital in Maryland at age 82 due to a heart condition. His funeral was held on Oct. 31, 2007, at the Naval Academy chapel; Bill Clinton spoke. Crowe was buried later that day in the United States Naval Academy Cemetery.

Think on it: We cannot change the cards we are dealt, just how we play the hand. ~Randy Pausch

Make me laugh: The problem with political jokes is that they get elected.

Remember those New Year’s resolutions: Go someplace you’ve never been. Step out of your comfort zone and do something daring for you. It’s good for the soul and forces you to learn new things.

Thank you to all who came downtown and shopped as part of the Shop Small Saturday on Nov. 28. We love you for supporting our local stores!

          See you on the bricks!

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November 20, 2020

          One crop, the potato, failed in Ireland from 1845 to 1851 and more than a million people starved to death tells The Book of Bizarre Truths. The reason the Great Famine took such a toll is because those who starved were the poor.

          For generations, the impoverished in Ireland survived by planting potatoes to feed their families. They had little else. Ireland’s wealthy landowners grew many crops, but these were shipped off and sold for profit.

          In Irish history, the Catholics and the Protestants didn’t get along, just as the Irish and the English didn’t. Back then, the wealthy landowners were mostly English Protestants, with the poor were Catholic peasants. The Irish peasants grew their food on small parcels of land they rented from the English.

          In the 16th century, the potato crossed the Atlantic from Peru, originally arriving in England and finally getting to Ireland in 1590. Spuds grew well in Ireland, even on the rocky, uneven plots of the peasants. They quickly became the peasants’ main food source. Potatoes require little labor to grow, and an acre could yield 12 tons of them, enough to feed a family of six for the entire year, with leftovers to feed the animals.

          Potatoes are loaded with vitamins, carbohydrates, and some protein. Add a little fish and buttermilk to the diet and the family could live quite happily. Potatoes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner fueled a population boom in Ireland. By the 19th century, three million people were living on the potato diet.

          In 1845 the blight turned Ireland’s potatoes into black, smelly, inedible lumps. Impoverished families had no options. Their pitiful savings were wiped out, and they fled to the workhouses, the only places they could get food and shelter in return for labor.

          When the potato crop failed again the next year, and every year through 1849, people began dying in earnest. They died from starvation, scurvy, and gangrene (caused by lack of vitamin C), typhus, dysentery, typhoid fever, and heart failure. Overwhelmed and underfund, the workhouses closed. People weakened by hunger, died of exposure after being evicted from their homes. A cholera epidemic spread during the last year of the blight, killing thousands more.

          The exact number who perished is unknown, but believed to be between one and two million. At least a million people left the country, many of them dying at sea.

          All during this time, there was food in Ireland, but it was consumed by the wealthy. The poor had nothing and were left to starve.

          When we look back in history, it makes us realize that the story of COVID, as a medical emergency, is not new.

FYI: In 2005, three and a half years after the company filed for bankruptcy, Polaroid chairman Jacques Nasser received $12.8 million for selling shares of the company. Meanwhile, 6,000 former employees each got $47 and lost their benefits.

Famous Okie information: Recently I have been watching the television series “Leverage” via Netflix DVD. I love the series (there were five seasons) and the actors are great. I like them so much that I pulled the cast up on Google and found out Christian Kane who plays Eliot Spencer, the tough guy, is an Okie. He was born in Texas in 1974, but moved to Norman, Okla., when in eighth grade. He attended the University of Oklahoma. Besides being in “Leverage” he was also in “Secondhand Lions,” one of my favorite movies.

Keep going on New Years resolutions: Pay off your credit card every month and if something is so expensive that you don’t think you’ll be able to, don’t buy it.

Made me laugh: The only place success comes before work is in the dictionary.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving.

See you on the bricks, soon! Stay safe.

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On The Bricks

November 13, 2020

          My personal Facebook has had everyone who is politically charged to preach their version of political rights and wrongs on “hide.” The other morning there were not many new posts on my page. It seems I have very opinionated friends, but certainly not with the same opinion.

          American politicians have always had dirty tricks. And Americans seem to fall for them. And then act surprised when they find out they have fallen for some politician’s lies.

          This months Oklahoma Humanities magazine had an interesting article about some of those nasty choices made in politics in the past.

          “In the 2000 Republican presidential primary, then – Governor George Bush of Texas was running against Senator John McCain of Arizona. McCain won the New Hampshire primary, and the race went to South Carolina where the Bush campaign knew they had to stop McCain. Using a tried and true strategy, the phony poll, opponents of McCain spread a complete falsehood. Phone calls to South Carolina Republican voters asked, “Would you be more or less likely to vote for John McCain … if you knew he had fathered an illegitimate black child?”

          “McCain and his wife Cindy had adopted a dark – skinned girl from Bangladesh in 1991 and that child, Bridget, was campaigning with them in South Carolina.

          “Confronted with attacks on their wives and children, candidates have a hard time defending themselves. McCain was distraught at this attack and his efforts to fight back only made his situation worse. He lost the South Carolina primary and the nomination.

          “McCain’s emotional reaction to an attack on his family was not unusual. In 1972, Senator Edmund Muskie was the frontrunner for the Democratic nomination to run against President Richard Nixon. While campaigning in New Hampshire, the editor of the all – important Manchester Union Leader received a letter from a New Hampshire citizen accusing Muskie of using the word “Canuck,” a derogatory term for French Canadians – a significant part of the New Hampshire electorate.

          “Muskie never did any such thing. The letter was later discovered to have been written by a White House aide to President Nixon, Kenneth Clawson. At the same time, the editor of the Manchester Union Leader insulted Muskie’s wife, calling her unladylike for drinking too much and telling jokes.

          “Muskie gave a press conference where he was furious and appeared to cry. Whether there were tears or a melted snowflake on his face, the damage was done. Muskie won New Hampshire, but by a much smaller percentage than was anticipated. The narrow victory devastated his candidacy, and he lost the Democratic nomination to George McGovern, who turned out to be the weak nominee Nixon preferred.”

          Such instances go on and on and have had devastating results for some candidates. Senator John Kerry served in Vietnam and was awarded a Purple Heart, a Bronze Star, and a Silver Star. In 2004, a campaign to sow doubt about Kerry’s war record began. The Navy conducted a review and found all medals were properly awarded, but the damage had been done. The big lie must sow doubt, and the closer the race, the more impact it can have.

          Be careful of the many lies being thrown at the public, from all parties, and try to not get involved in the foray.

          I know that personally, I hate when anyone demands I believe the same as they or the trash they are spewing. We should all be more honest, have more integrity, and think more independently.

          If not, then the saying, “I’m sorry I slapped you. You didn’t seem like you would ever stop talking (posting?) and I panicked” could come true. No, that wouldn’t be nice.

          And what new is happening in Guymon recently? Seems most of the events are being cancelled because of COVID again. It will be a good day when COVID retreats into the background. Then maybe we will start getting busy again and won’t have time to make fools of ourselves on Facebook. I hope it happens soon because I’m too old to look graceful as a fool.

          Stay healthy! See you on the bricks!

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On The Bricks

November 10, 2020

According to The Book of Bizarre Truth, our current marathon is descended from a legend about the most famous runner in ancient Greece, a soldier named Philippides. For much of the fifth century B.C., the Greeks were at odds with the neighboring Persian Empire. In 490 B.C., the mighty Persians, led by Darius I, attacked the Greeks at the city of Marathon. Despite being badly outnumbered, the Greeks managed to fend off the Persian troops.

After the victory, the legend holds, Philippides ran in full armor from Marathon to Athens – about 25 miles – to announce the good news. After several hours of running through the rugged Greek countryside, he arrived at the gates of Athens crying, “Rejoice, we conquer!” as Athenians rejoined.

Philippides then fell over dead. Despite a great deal of debate about the accuracy of this story, the legend still held such sway in the Greek popular mind that when the modern Olympic Games were revived in Athens in 1896, a long – distance running event known as a marathon was instituted.

In the first two Olympic Games, the Philippides distance was indeed used as the marathon distance. But things changed in 1908, when the Olympic Games were held in London. The British Olympic committee determined the marathon route would start at Windsor Castle and end at the royal box in front of London’s newly built Olympic Stadium, a distance of 26 miles, 385 yards.

The 26.2 somehow got ingrained in the sporting psyche. By the 1924 Olympics in Paris, this arbitrary distance became the standard for all marathons.

          Famous Okie information: Guthrie, Okla., has the nation’s only museum devoted to the collection of lighters. At the National Lighter Museum, nearly 20,000 lighters and “fire starters” are displayed.

Keep Going on Your New Years Resolutions: Strive to make your bed every morning. Making your bed helps you accomplish something first thing in the morning and thus starts your day with success.

Made me laugh: I think he’s one fry short of a Happy Meal.

You might want to sign up for the Gobbler Gallop that happens early on Thanksgiving morning, a run sponsored by the Texas County YMCA. All runners are welcome.

See you on the bricks, soon! Stay safe.

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November 5, 2020

David Green, born Nov. 13, 1941, in Emporia, Kan., is the founder of Hobby Lobby, a chain of arts and crafts stores.

After moving to Oklahoma, while a store manager with the variety store chain TG&Y, in 1970 Green took a $600 loan and started a home business in his garage assembling and selling miniature picture frames. The business, Greco Products, capitalized on a decorating fad of the time. By August 1972, the business had thrived to such an extent that Green and his wife were able to open a 300 square foot store in northwest Oklahoma City. In 1975, Green left his 13 – year career with TG&Y and opened a second Hobby Lobby location with 6,000 square feet of space.

Green is from a family of preachers and asserts that he has built his business squarely on biblical principles. Green is very supportive of Christian organizations, and is the largest individual donor to Evangelical causes in the United States. Green commits half of Hobby Lobby’s total pretax earnings to a portfolio of evangelical ministries and as of 2012, he has donated an estimated $500 million. 

Green lives in southwest Oklahoma City with his wife, Barbara. They have three children. The eldest son, Mart Green, is the founder and CEO of Mardel Christian and Education and Every Tribe EntertainmentSteve Green is president of Hobby Lobby, as well as founder and primary funder of the Museum of the Bible in Washington D.C. Daughter Darsee Lett is Creative Director for the Hobby Lobby stores.

Think about it: Everyone is born creative; everyone is given a box of crayons in kindergarten. Then when you hit puberty, they take the crayons away and replace them with dry, uninspiring books on algebra and history. Being suddenly hit years later with the creative bug is just a wee voice telling you, ‘I’d like my crayons back, please.’ ~Hugh MacLeod.

Made me laugh: My hobbies include eating and complaining that I’ve gained too much weight.

Keeping the New Year’s resolutions going: Walk to a coworker’s office instead of emailing them. We sit too much, and the Mayo Clinic says sitting can be as deadly as smoking and obesity.

Trunk or Treat in Guymon:  The City of Guymon and all their partners had a wonderful Trunk or Treat on Halloween. Sheila Martin says they took 3,000 pieces of candy, gave them all out, ran to the store for more and gave all that out, too. The handed out 1,148 free hot dogs and 1,280 bags of chips. Charles White’s team had premade 600 cotton candy and gave those out in the first hour. They continued making the cotton candy through the time the Trunk or Treat lasted. Good job, everyone!

Guymon Community Theatre: The have “12 Angry Jurors” playing Nov. 6, 7, 13, 14 at 7 pm; and Nov. 8, 15 at 2 pm. For more information call 580-338-0019. The theatre is located at 413 N. Main in Guymon.

See you on the bricks!

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November 2, 2020 Thompson

CAUTION: This email originated from outside of TCEC. Do not click links or open attachments unless you recognize the sender and know the content is safe.

James Myers Thompson was an American author and screenwriter, known for his hardboiled crime fiction. Thompson was born in AnadarkoOklahoma Territory, on Sept. 27, 1906, and began writing early. He published a few short pieces while still in his mid-teens. He was intelligent and well – read but had little interest in or inclination towards formal education.

Thompson wrote more than thirty novels, the majority of which were original paperback publications, published in the 1940s and 1950s. Despite some positive critical notice, he was little recognized in his lifetime.

His best regarded works include The Killer Inside MeSavage NightA Hell of a Woman and Pop. 1280

The writer R.V. Cassill has suggested that of all crime fiction, Thompson’s was the rawest and most harrowing; that neither Dashiell Hammett nor Raymond Chandler nor Horace McCoy, author of the bleak They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?, ever “wrote a book within miles of Thompson”. 

In the introduction to Now and on EarthStephen King says he most admires Thompson’s work because “The guy was over the top. The guy was absolutely over the top. Big Jim didn’t know the meaning of the word stop. …he let himself see everything, he let himself write it down, then he let himself publish it.”

Thompson was called a “Dimestore Dostoevsky” by writer Geoffrey O’Brien.

Thompson’s life was colorful. His novels were inspired by his experiences. Thompson’s father was sheriff of Caddo County, Okla. He ran for the state legislature in 1906 but was defeated. Soon after he left the sheriff’s office under a cloud of embezzlement rumors. The Thompson family moved to Texas. The theme of a once-prominent family overtaken by ill – fortune was featured in some of Thompson’s works.

In the early 1930s, Thompson worked as the head of the Oklahoma Federal Writers Project, one of several New Deal programs intended to provide work for Americans during the Great DepressionLouis L’Amour, among others, worked under Thompson’s direction in this project.

Thompson’s stories are about grifters, losers, sociopaths and psychopaths -some at the fringe of society, some at its heart, their first – person narratives revealing a deep understanding of the warped mind. There are few good guys in Thompson’s literature. Most of his characters are abusive or simply biding time until an opportunity presents itself, though many also have decent impulses.

Thompson died Apr. 7, 1977.

Author trivia: Herman Melville’s Moby Dick was inspired by a real event. In 1820, the Nantucket whaler Essex was repeatedly rammed by a large sperm whale and sank in the Pacific Ocean, leaving the 20 crewmembers adrift in three small whaleboats for 95 days. Only eight men survived.

Interesting trivia: Reading about yawning is enough to make many people yawn.

Quote: “Read, read, read. Read everything ;  trash, classics, good and bad, and see how they do it. Just like a carpenter who works as an apprentice and studies the master. Read! You’ll absorb it. Then write. If it’s good, you’ll find out. If it’s not, throw it out of the window.” ~William Faulkner

Don’t forget the public library if you’re wanting to find a book to read or to listen to.

See you on the bricks!

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November 2, 2020

          For several years Ben Helms has sold his handmade wood working items at the Guymon Farmers Market. The beautiful items (pens, knives, cutting boards, toy tops, and yoyos) have been a conversation piece for many a person while they shopped.

Helms, who professes to not be good at idle conversation, is more than willing to tell you about his wood working hobby, which is what he will be doing at the Golden Crown on Thur., Nov. 5, from 4 to 6 in the evening. He is taking his lathe, which he uses to make many of his items, and will be giving demonstrations on how that works for those who come by.

“I can turn anything from pens, bottle stoppers, salt and pepper shakers, to rolling pins on the lathe,” says Helms. “I enjoy the peace and change of pace woodworking gives me from my full – time job. It’s a time to be creative without any pressure. And any of the pieces offered for sale at the Golden Crown would make awesome and one – of – kind gifts for Christmas.”

Helms learned about working with wood in the shop with his father, Hue, who is the Industrial Arts professor at Oklahoma Panhandle State University. Raised in Goodwell, working in the shop with his father and gardening with his mother were part of his life. He and his wife, Olivia, and their four children keep up the traditions.

The wood worker graduate from OPSU in 2007 with a Bachelors of Science in Biology with a minor in Chemistry. He also attained his Associates in Fire Prevention and Applied Science. He is a full – time firefighter with the Guymon Fire Department.

Helms is busy right now getting gifts for the shelves and some of his customers made, but after the holiday season he plans to make several game boards (checkers, tic – tac – toe) to give to the Heritage Community for the residents and their guests to play.

Ben Helms is one of the five artists in the new Main Street Guymon program Bringing Creativity Downtown, which is sponsored by TCEC.

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October 29, 2020

          Pangaea is an evening celebrating the diversity of our community. It is a Main Street Guymon event typically taking place in October or November. Pangaea has been moved to March 9.

          Pangaea is a hypothetical supercontinent that included all current land masses, believed to have been in existence before the continents broke apart during the Triassic and Jurassic Periods. Guymon’s Pangaea is bringing all the continents back together for an evening.

          Each of the seven continents is represented by an area family who has roots in their continent.

          Africa this year is represented by Elizabeth Ogbanno from Nigeria. Ogbanno is a counselor at Panhandle Counseling and Health Center in Guymon.

          Asia has the family of Mang Lian, who came to Guymon from Myanmar (formerly known as Burma). Mang is pastor of the Seventh Day Adventist Church in Guymon.

          Australia / Oceania is being represented by Garrett Martinez, who farmed for a time in New Zealand.

          Europe has Liz McCulloch, a former citizen of Great Britain, and now an employee of Anchor D Bank.

          North America has Neptune Joseph, a Seaboard Foods employee, who is proud to have been born in Haiti.

          South / Central America is featuring Guatemala with Kyle Weber from TCEC who worked in Guatemala and a family from the same area.

          Antarctica, a continent that has 98% of its area covered by ice and only people living there that are in research stations, is represented by a family with special needs. The Pangaea Committee choses to use Antarctica to focus on a population in our community that is often overlooked. The Special Needs community is the name today used for those of us who have physical and / or mental disabilities. Members of the Special Needs community can have a life that is reflective of Antarctica, ie a hostile environment, lack of accessibility, and isolation. The family has not been chosen at this point.

          An interesting part of the evening is that with the introduction of each family and the country they represent, is the bringing out of a native food for everyone to taste. Chef Virgil Gibson is the cook for the evening.

          Tickets for the event are $30 per person, or $200 for a table of eight.