On The Bricks

November 2, 2020 Thompson

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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!

On The Bricks

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.

On The Bricks

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.

On The Bricks

October 27, 2020

          Rotarians polled their many members on what qualities they considered important in leadership. It is an interesting list and one that we could use until the day we died on ways to improve ourselves. They listed:

  • The ability to listen (and willingness to do so),
  • Understanding,
  • Good communication skills,
  • Transparency,
  • Consistency,
  • Authenticity,
  • Skills in empowering others,
  • Embrace of diversity,
  • High ethical standards,
  • Organizational skills,
  • Inclusiveness,
  • Selflessness,
  • Team development skills,
  • Enthusiasm,
  • Public speaking skills,
  • Confidence,
  • Fairness and firmness,
  • Honesty,
  • Attainable goal setting,
  • Motivational skills, and
  • An ability to inspire.

Those qualities are a description of the perfect boss. And the perfect employee. And the perfect spouse. And the perfect friend. They are qualities we should strive to have as a part of our personality.

          Another article in the same Rotarian magazine was written by Sheila Armstrong who said, “Bad manners can have real consequences. Etiquette is really being thoughtful about yourself and others.”

          She went on to explain how one person’s bad manners had a terrible consequence for her. “My father called to tell me that my mother was not feeling well. I lived in Austin, Texas, 100 miles away. I wanted to drive safely, but quickly. On a narrow two – lane road, a driver with road rage refused to let me pass for 30 minutes. When I finally reached my parents’ door, Daddy opened it up and said, ‘Sheila, darling, I am sorry, your mother died five minutes ago.’”

          To be a decent person, we need to be mature and realistic, knowing that what we do and say can have consequences for others. We should add “good manners” to the list.

          We need to not only aspire to be a better person, we need to try to teach our children these qualities, too. There are some other things we should teach them like how to write a letter, how to speak well on the phone, how to talk to an elder, how to sew on a button, how to genuinely apologize, how to hammer a nail, how to introduce yourself, how to notice the needs of others, how to scramble an egg, how to balance a checkbook, how to do laundry, how to fix something, how to plan a healthy meal, how to budget, how to ask questions to get to know someone better, how to read a map, how to wait and save for something, how to seek counsel from someone more experienced, how to select a thoughtful gift, how to admit a mistake, how to give someone the benefit of the doubt, how to dust, how to have good table manners, how to read a recipe, how to make a salad, how to clean the refrigerator, how to address and stamp an envelope, how to refill a stapler, and how to change a flat tire. Lot’s to keep parents and mentors busy teaching here!

          We have some Aggie Families as part of our Main Street program that are a family for an OPSU Aggie who is here, a long way from home. These might be some of the things our Aggie moms and dads have a chance to share. That’s fun. That’s good. Would you like to be an Aggie Family? If you want to know more about being a family for a student attending OPSU who is a long ways from their family, email Melyn at

          See you on the bricks!

On The Bricks

October 20, 2020

          The art world is a wild and crazy place, full of mammoth sculptures, beautiful oil paintings, and thought – provoking installations, explains a chapter in The Book of Bizarre Truths. In most of the world’s museums, the majority of the art on display is created by and about men.

          Manhattan is considered one of the most dynamic areas on the planet. This was especially true in the 1980s, an era of Reaganomics, cheap rent, AIDS, punk rock, and a boundary – breaking art scene. Performance artists were blurring the lines and causing a stir.

          One group causing a stir was founded in 1985 and called themselves the Guerilla Girls. The development of their all – female, politically charged posse was born out of the indignation they felt upon seeing an exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art called An International Survey of Painting and Sculpture. Only 13 of the 169 artists represented at the show were women, and all of the artists were white Europeans or white Americans.

          Some were outraged at this clear display of discrimination and this group of anonymous females swore they would “reinvent the F word: feminism.”

          The women knew they’d have to be smart bout bringing attention to the issue. Since the art world is rather small – and many of the Guerilla Girls were themselves artists – they decided to act anonymously. They figured getting shunned for their activism wouldn’t help get more female artists into galleries. The group wanted the public to focus on their message, not who they were as individuals.

          The term “guerilla” was a reference to guerrilla warfare. They solved the anonymity problem by wearing big, hairy gorilla masks in public. And they were in the public a lot. Sometimes they wore fishnet stockings and high heels.

          The group hung posters on city buses and in subway stations. The Guerilla Girl Website tells the story behind one of their most famous posters: “One Sunday morning we conducted a ‘weenie count’ at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, comparing the number of nude males to nude females in the artwork on display. The results were ‘revealing.’”

          The poster shows a classic sculpture of a nude woman but with a gorilla mask in place of her head. The headline read, “Do women have to be nude to get into the Met Museum?” Underneath is the explanation, “Less than 5% of the artists in the Modern Art sections are women, but 85% of the nudes are female.”

          Another poster, plastered around NYC’s fashionable SoHo neighborhood, listed the names of 20 local art galleries under the headline, “These galleries show no more than 10% women artists or none at all.”

          Although heavy – handed, the Guerilla Girls’ message was also a lot of fun, both for the women involved and for the public. By poking fun at the system that ignored or repressed them, they were able to take some of the power out of it. They also found that humor was a good way to get people involved.

          Whether you loved them or hated them, it was almost impossible to ignore the Guerilla Girls. Today their message continues to spread, extending beyond the Manhattan art scene. Guerilla Girl posters can be found worldwide, there are Guerilla Girl books, and the group continues to give lectures at museums and schools – even in some of the places they previously targeted.

Keep Going on Your New Years Resolutions: Write down one thing you’re grateful for every night. When you end the night with gratitude, you’ll feel better when you lay your head on your own on your pillow.

Support A Local Guymon Artist: On Oct. 31 from 10 am to 2 pm at the Urban Bru Kitchen, 118 NW 6th Street in Guymon, and watch Kari Jauregui do a watercolor painting in honor of Dia de los Muertus. The painting is then to be donated to the Alma Folklorica Dance Troupe, who will be at the benefit painting in masks and doing a few dances. All are welcome to come and view Juaregui’s work that is hanging at the Kitchen now.

          See you on the bricks soon!

On The Bricks

October 16, 2020

In the summer of 1921, on the boardwalk of Atlantic City, the Miss America pageant was born. According to the organization, “Miss America is more than a title, it’s a movement of empowering young women everywhere to dream big, to insist that their voices be heard and to inspire change in the world around them.”

Camille Schrier was crowned Miss America 2020 this month. Schrier, who gave a chemistry demonstration on hydrogen peroxide during the talent competition, was crowned by 2019 Miss America Nia Franklin from New York.The new Miss America told the crowd during introductions that she plans to get a doctor of pharmacy degree at VCU, in Richmond, Virginia. She has undergraduate degrees in biochemistry and systems biology from Virginia Tech.

Six Oklahoman women have been crowned Miss America.

Norma Des Cygne Smallwood was named Miss America in 1926, the first Native American to win the title. She was born May 12, 1909, and her hometown was Bristow, Okla. At the time she competed for Miss America, she wore her long chestnut hair in two braided buns, unlike the bobbed flapper style popular at the time. Her measurements (33-24-33) also contrasted with the flat – chested style preferred by flappers. The Tulsa World considered Smallwood’s win a victory against the flappers.

Though Smallwood had originally planned to return to Oklahoma College for Women after her year as Miss America, she instead accepted an offer to tour the United States on the Orpheum Circuit for $1,500 a week.

Smallwood married oilman, Thomas Gilcrease, on Sept. 3, 1928.  The marriage ended in divorce on May 2, 1934, and the father was awarded sole custody of their daughter. In 1936, Smallwood married George H. Bruce, president of Aladdin Petroleum Corporation. She died on May 8, 1966, in Wichita, Kan., aged 56.

Jayne Anne Jayroe was born on Oct. 30, 1946, in Clinton, Okla. She grew up in Sentinel and Laverne, Okla. As a student at Oklahoma City University, she entered the university’s pageant through her sorority, Alpha Chi Omega, and went on to win the Miss Oklahoma Pageant in 1966. At the age of 19, with no previous pageant experience, Jayroe was crowned Miss America 1967.

She worked as an anchor in TV news in Oklahoma City and Dallas – Fort Worth broadcast media markets for 16 years. She served Oklahoma Secretary of Tourism and Recreation  from 1999 until 2003.

She currently resides with her husband, Gerald Gamble, in Oklahoma City.

Susan Carol Powell, born Mar. 24, 1959, is a native of Elk City, Okla. She attended Oklahoma City University, where she studied vocal music and performed in summer stock at the Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma.

She won the 1980 Miss Oklahoma pageant and the 1981 Miss America crown. A coloratura soprano, she has performed in musical theater and on opera stages around the world. In 1993, Powell embarked on a new television career, becoming the co-host of Discovery Channel‘s Home Matters home and garden program in 1993. Powell also served as one of the judges for the Miss America pageant in 2007.

Shawntel Smith, born Sept. 16, 1971, was born in Muldrow, Okla. She attended Oklahoma City University and was crowned Miss America in 1996.

Jennifer Berry was born July 18, 1983, in Houston, Texas. She graduated from Jenks (Okla.) High School in 2001, and attended the University of Oklahoma with a major in elementary education.

Berry won Miss Oklahoma 2005.

Lauren Paige Nelson is from LawtonOkla., born Nov. 26, 1986. She attended MacArthur High School and graduated from the University of Central Oklahoma with a degree in public relations.

Nelson was Miss Teen Oklahoma 2004, and in this role, she performed at the 2005 Miss America pageant. A year later she won the Miss Oklahoma State Fair local title and competed in the Miss Oklahoma pageant on June 11, 2006. On the final night of competition, she was crowned Miss Oklahoma 2006, for which she received a $16,000 scholarship. At age nineteen, she was the youngest contestant to become Miss Oklahoma.

Nelson went on to represent Oklahoma in the Miss America 2007 pageant.

She was crowned Miss America 2007 and received a $50,000. She succeeded Jennifer Berry of Jenks, Okla., making this the second occurrence of consecutive state winners (Mississippi took the Miss America title in 1959 and 1960).

          Don’t miss the Chamber Banquet on Oct. 27. This year it is virtual! Contact the Chamber if you would like to order your meal from Urban Bru Kitchen which will be delivered to you during the noon hour that day while you watch the banquet awards presentations. If you would like a “ticket,” contact the Chamber of Commerce at 338-3376.

On The Bricks

October 14, 2020

          Loneliness is the absence of human connection and is twice as prevalent as diabetes in the United States according to an article in the August 2020 Rotarian magazine.

          “A 2018 Kaiser Family Foundation report found that 22 percent of American adults say they often or always feel lonely – that’s 55 million people, twice the number that are diagnosed with diabetes. Australia pegs its problems with loneliness at around 25 percent of its adult population. The United Kingdom has a similar figure.”

          The U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy said, “Loneliness is a subjective state. It’s not determined by the number of people around you, but by how you feel about the connections in your life.” You can be lonely if the people around you are not ones you feel you can fully be yourself.

          Organizations that are rooted in service (Rotary, Lions Club, etc.) “shifts our attention from ourselves, where it increasingly is focused when we feel lonely, to other people and in the context of positive interaction. Service affirms that we have value to add to the world. One of the consequences of loneliness when it’s long – lasting is that it can chip away at our self – esteem and lead us to start believing that the reason we’re lonely is that we’re not likable. Service can short circuit that.”

          Shared experience, shared mission, and the opportunity to understand each other more deeply create deeper connections. Murthy suggested in the work – place at each weekly staff meeting, one person can show pictures to share something about their lives. It takes about five minutes during the meeting, but can create an atmosphere where it was OK to share and it was OK to bring some part of yourself that was not work – related to the table.” He said this can go much further than happy hours and group picnics.

          It is not just your co – workers, family, and friends that make a difference as to how connected you feel. It is also the interactions you have with neighbors and community members and strangers. There is something powerful in receiving a smile from someone.

          Our social connections are as vital as food and water.

          “There is already a fair amount of stigma about loneliness that makes people feel that if they’re lonely, they’re socially deficient in some way. Not everyone who is lonely is broken. Nor do we need a new medication or medical device to solve the problem of loneliness. I think what we need is to re – center ourselves and refocus our lives on relationships.”

          Main Street Guymon has a motto, “Building relationships, one handshake at a time.”

          If you want some ideas on where you can be of service or where there are people with the same hobbies as yourself, come by the Main Street Guymon office and we can visit about it. I would love to. I enjoy visiting with people in a positive manner and finding ways they can fit into the community. It is a goal that takes action, but it is one that we should be able to achieve with some try and a smile.

          We have a program called Lunch Mob where the Main Street volunteer mobsters go to lunch together at one of our local member restaurants. We order our own meal, pay for our own meal, but we meet new people and have an hour of visiting with some of the greatest folks you’ve ever met. It is an awesome way to be social … most of us have to eat anyway! We would love for you to join us.

          And remember, if you had a hen who could count her own eggs, she would be a mathemachicken.


Keeping Clean Grant

Main Street Guymon has chosen to support their member retail businesses during the difficult time of COVID-19 with a Keeping Clean Grant.

Each business has had added costs in purchasing the disinfectant wipes and other cleaning supplies that they are using to keep their business safe. These costs can add up quickly, especially when traffic in the stores has decreased as much as 75% in some stores (as reported nationwide to Main Street America).

The first 20 businesses that turn in the simple application and receipts from SPC Office Products for cleaning supplies, will receive a reimbursement from Main Street Guymon for up to $100.

“This is an opportunity for the Main Street Board and Director to support those who have been supporting us and our programs,” says Main Street Business Development Committee Chairman Soila Medina. “We only wish we had more to help.”

The primary reason for the grant is to help the businesses financially, but it is also hoping some of our local businesses realize that purchasing from SPC is a good financial choice for them and supportive of our community. When we buy local, the sales tax dollars go into our local community that takes care of our streets, the ones we drive on, and the water system that sends water through our facet and flushes our toilets and takes care of our parks, city pool, and golf course. It is also part of the funding that has the fairgrounds, Girl Scout Hut, American Legion, Panhandle Services for Children office, Senior Citizen’s, and more leases of properties that they use, many of the leases being $1 a year.

“It’s just smart for us to be taking care of each other in any way we can,” adds Medina. “When our local retail businesses are healthy, it helps the entire community to be healthier.”

The grant is open to all Main Street Guymon retail business members and will stay open until the $2,000 has been expended. Each business member is limited to one grant. If you have questions about the program, email

On The Bricks

September 9, 2020

Oklahoma has a rich history in aviation.

Thomas and Paul Braniff, founders of Braniff International Airways, were both born in Kansas, Tom in Salina on Dec. 6, 1883, and Paul in Kansas City on Aug. 30, 1897. In 1900, the family moved to the new Oklahoma Territory. In 1928, they began to operate schedule air carrier flights between Oklahoma City and Tulsa. Both brother, pioneers in the aviation industry, died in 1954.

James “Jabby” Jabara was the first American jet ace. Born in Muskogee, Okla., on Oct. 10, 1923, he lived in Kansas where he enlisted as an aviation cadet at Fort Riley after graduating from high school. Jabara flew two tours of combat duty in Europe during World War II as a North American P-51 Mustang pilot, and scored 1.5 air victories against German aircraft.

Jabara flew his first jet aircraft in 1948, the USAF Lockheed F-80 Shooting Star before transitioning to the USAF North American F-86 Sabre. Jabara used this aircraft to shoot down multiple Soviet-built MiG-15 jets during the Korean War. He achieved his first confirmed air victory of the war on Apr. 3, 1951. A month later he was credited with his fifth and sixth victories, making him the first American jet ace in history. He eventually scored 15 victories, giving him the title of “triple ace”. Jabara was ranked as the second – highest-scoring U.S. ace of the Korean War. He received the Distinguished Service Cross, Silver Star, Distinguished Flying Cross, Air Medal, and the British Distinguished Flying Cross for his accomplishments in combat.

He flew the Lockheed F-104 Starfighter and later the Convair B-58 Hustler. In Nov. of 1966, while on leave from service in Vietnam, Colonel Jabara was traveling with his family to their new home when his daughter crashed the car she was driving, killing them both.

Wiley Post, 1898-1935, was the first pilot to fly solo around the world. He was born in Texas on Nov. 22, 1898, but his family moved to Oklahoma when he was five. He was an indifferent student who completed the sixth grade. By 1920, his family settled on a farm near Maysville, Okla.

Young Wiley’s first view of an aircraft in flight came in 1913 at the county fair in Lawton, Okla. The plane was a Curtiss – Wright “Pusher type“. He immediately enrolled in the Sweeney Automobile and Aviation School in Kansas City.

Post’s aviation career began at age 26 as a parachutist for a flying circus, Burrell Tibbs and His Texas Topnotch Fliers, and he became well known on the barnstorming circuit. On Oct. 1, 1926, an oil field accident cost him his left eye, and he used the settlement money to buy his first aircraft. Around this time, he met fellow Oklahoman Will Rogers when he flew Rogers to a rodeo, and the two became close friends. Post was the personal pilot of wealthy Oklahoma oilmen Powell Briscoe and F.C. Hall in 1930 when Hall bought a Lockheed Vega, one of the most famous record-breaking aircraft of the early 1930s. The oilman nicknamed it the Winnie Mae after his daughter, and Post achieved his first national prominence in it by winning the National Air Race Derby, from Los Angeles to Chicago. The fuselage was inscribed, “Los Angeles to Chicago 9 hrs. 8 min. 2 sec. August 27, 1930.”

On June 23, 1931, Post and the Australian navigator Harold Gatty, left Roosevelt Field on Long Island, New York, in the Winnie Mae with a flight plan that took them around the world. They arrived back on July 1, after traveling 15,474 miles in the record time of 8 days, 15 hours, and 51 minutes, in the first successful aerial circumnavigation by a single – engine monoplane.

The reception they received rivaled Charles Lindbergh‘s everywhere they went. They had lunch at the White House on July 6, rode in a ticker-tape parade the next day in New York City. After the flight, Post acquired the Winnie Mae from F.C. Hall, and he and Gatty published an account of their journey titled, Around the World in Eight Days, with an introduction by Will Rogers.

Post decided to attempt a solo flight around the world and to break his previous speed record. After improving his plane, in 1933, he repeated his flight around the world, this time using an auto – pilot and compass in place of his navigator and becoming the first to accomplish the feat alone. Fifty thousand people greeted him on his return on July 22 after 7 days, 18 hours, 49 minutes.

Post helped develop one of the first pressure suits and discovered the jet stream.

On Aug. 15, 1935, Post and American humorist Will Rogers were killed when Post’s aircraft crashed on takeoff from a lagoon near Point Barrow in the Territory of Alaska. Post is buried in Oklahoma City.

Major General Clarence Leonard Tinker was a career United States Army officer, the highest ranking Native – American officer and the first to reach that rank. He was born Nov. 21, 1887, near Pawhuska, Okla., in the Osage Nation. He was raised as an Osage and learned the language and culture from his parents and extended family.

In the fall of 1906, Tinker enrolled at Wentworth Military Academy in Missouri. He graduated in 1908 and was commissioned a third lieutenant in the Philippine Constabulary, serving until 1912.

Tinker began flying lessons. In 1922, he transferred to the Army Air Service.

Tinker commanded various pursuit and bomber units during the 1930s. He was steadily promoted, and on Oct. 1, 1940 became a brigadier general.

After the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Tinker was named Commander of the Seventh Air Force in Hawaii to reorganize the air defenses of the islands. He was promoted to major general, the first Native American in U.S. Army history to attain that rank.

In June 1942, in the midst of the Battle of Midway, General Tinker decided to lead a force of early model B-24s against the retreating Japanese navy. Near Midway Island, his plane was seen to go out of control and plunge into the sea. General Tinker and ten other crewmen perished. He was the first U.S. Army general officer to be killed in World War II. Tinker Air Force Base in Oklahoma City is named in his honor.

Some aviation tidbits about Guymon. The airport, where it is today, required a bridge across the draw there at what is today’s Thompson park and an earthen dam was the choice the city fathers chose. That dam sometimes held water and city residents enjoyed the lake … so our fabulous Thompson Park and Sunset Lake was really a sort of happenchance because of the airport.

There are many photos of the Flying Farmers that used to have a club at the Guymon Airport. They would have breakfasts and such and invite other clubs to come in. Looks like they had a good time!

Guymon has an excellent airport and if you haven’t seen it, go out there sometime. It’s great and Gregg Downing is interesting to talk to about planes and such.

On The Bricks

September 8, 2020

The weather recently has been a shocker. It was hot. Really hot. And then it got cold. And rainy. I love it, but I can’t believe how much it has rained and how the temperature has changed. But that’s nothing …

While a 100 – degree change in temperature in the same day is extremely rare, it has happened at least twice since meteorologists started keeping records. And both times it happened in Montana.

When the weather turns on a dime, it is usually because of a collision of weather fronts, the boundaries between huge masses of air with different densities, temperatures, and humidity levels. Montana seems to be ground zero in an on – going weather front war.

The biggest 24 – hour temperature swing on record occurred in Loman, Mont., on Jan. 14 and 15, 1972. The thermometer climbed from -54 degrees up to 49 degrees, a change of 103 degrees. This barely beat the previous record, set 190 miles away in Browning, Mont., on Jan. 23, 1916, when the temperature went from 44 degrees down to -56 degrees.

Montana owns the 12 – hour records, too. Temperatures in Fairfield, Mont., dropped 84 degrees between noon and midnight on Dec. 14, 1924. And on Jan. 11, 1980, the temperature in Great Falls, Mont., jumped 47 degrees in just seven minutes.

This happens because of chinook winds – warm, dry air masses caused by high mountain ranges. Chinooks form when moist, warm air from the Pacific Ocean encounter the Rocky Mountains along Montana’s western border. As an air mass climbs the western slopes of the mountain range, its moisture condenses rapidly, creating rain and snow.

The rapid condensation sets the stage for the chinook effect by warming the rising air mass. Then, as the air mass descends the other side of the mountain range, the higher air pressure at the lower altitude compresses it, making it even warmer. The result is an extreme warm front that can rise temperatures drastically in a short period of time.

Famous Okie information: The nation’s first “Yield” traffic sign was erected in Tulsa.

Just FYI: Mount Baker in Washington State is the world record holder for the most snowfall in one season. In the winter of 1998 – 99 the ski resort recorded 1,140 inches of snow.

More FYI: Plateau Station, Antarctica, a scientific station that operated from 1965 to 1969, is on average the coldest place on Earth. The average annual temperature there is -70 degrees F.

Keep going on New Years resolutions: Take some of your paychecks and put in savings or invest. Even a small amount can add up. Plan for the future. Be smart with your money.

Made me laugh: The first time I see a jogger smiling, I’ll consider it. ~Joan Rivers

See you on the bricks, soon! Stay safe.