I’ve always loved a good ghost story.
When I was a boy growing up, we would go on Scout camp outs, or have friends over and sleep out in the back yard under the summer stars. When I was older, we sometimes would have a camp out on vacation. And when I became a parent, we would do Scout camp outs (you’re never too old to be a Scout), or fishing trips.
But ghost stories always “livened” things up. Occasionally, what was supposed to be downright scary became downright funny.
On one Scout camp out (earlier version), a few of my fellow minicampers, armed with pocket knives for protection, sat around a fire at night and tried to outdo each other with the scariest story.
There were tales of headless spooks roaming the woods, bloody warriors looking for body parts lost in combat, drowning victims, hanged criminals and many others, whose mutilated forms were so aptly described by the storyteller that they best not be here.
Usually, the narrator would toss in a groan or moan for good measure. Sometimes, two or more would work together to add an element of surprise, such as tossing a stick or rock off in the distance when no one was looking to make a startling sound.
All in good scare; sometimes with funny results, especially if someone actually did react in terror.
I don’t scare easily these days. But I do still like a good story. That’s why reading what paranormal Tonya Hacker comes up with in her adventures catches my attention. As author of Paranormal Eyes, she details events and examines what has been reported to have occurred in and around Oklahoma, as well as elsewhere.
If you know of such an item, location, or sighting, she would love to know about it. Just give her a heads-up.
Read her Paranormal Eyes at KNOWIT/NEWSOK.COM/UNUSUAL-WEIRD-OKLAHOMA. And while you’re there, check out odd-but-true stories elsewhere in the country and around the world by clicking on the buttons directly below the title of the page.
It almost makes a fellow feel cheap, but I’m sure it certainly is something to look at.
A longtime colleague called the other day to chit-chat for a bit. As we have done for years, we wanted to get caught up on what’s been happening in each other’s life, and with our families.
We also wanted to send each other best wishes for the holiday season.
He was telling me about his family and mentioned that his daughter, another veteran journalist, had been working on a feature story about people who make a living putting up Christmas lights for others.
In particular, she told him, she had interviewed a guy who handled the decorative lights for a man who owned a major entertainment company in California. She told her dad the job paid well. Very well. Putting the lights on that one house brought a $50,000 contract.
I haven’t seen pictures, but I know without looking that’s a little more than I spent on my lights this year. OK, more than a little.
I’ve seen some pretty nice displays in my day. Big ones. Expensive ones. Just about anything Christmas-related you can think of, I’ve seen it.
My family likes to view the displays, those at individual homes, as well as the big municipal presentations, such as those in cities and towns throughout Oklahoma. Some of them are nothing short of incredible, from those you tune in to a spot on your radio dial to hear accompanying music, to those with live characters.
You can check on NewsOK and on wimgo.com for community displays to visit. They’re well worth visiting, in my opinion.
And there are even those who piggyback on a nearby display. I saw one recently where a house was awash in lights, from the rooftop all the way to the curb. Lots of blinking, twinkling lights, moving characters and music.
Next door, the house had a smaller display, but a sign in the front yard that caught my eye and added a little humor.
The sign, of good size and circled in bright lights, pointed to the big display and said: “Ditto.”
I visited a couple of call centers in the metro and began to see an awkward pattern of hairy men. EWWW. I finally drew up the confidence to ask one of them if I was going crazy or not and he informed me that I wasn’t. THANK GOD
So, he told me that he was participating in No Shave November. He could not give me a clear explanation on the purpose of the tradition but all he could say was that it supported a good cause and he wanted to take part.
I decided to do my own research and come to find out this is HUGE. There are many suspected origins as to the original purpose but millions of people; even celebrities participate in No Shave November annually.
I am highly intrigued in the subject so I thought it would be cool to share what I have learned. First off there are ladies that also participate by not shaving their legs or armpits for the WHOLE month of November; personally I couldn’t imagine.
Some sites state that November happens to be the busiest month of the year, so the no shaving tradition came about pretty much giving them the okay to be lazy. Some sites state that it is a tradition in which men don’t shave in order to raise awareness for men’s prostate health.
This specific purpose is said to have started out as Movember which joins the two words mustache and November. One of the other purposes was said to have started from philosopher Plato, who believed that in order for a man to be educated properly, he must imitate those who are highly educated, which were bearded men at that time.
Either way, I find this to be amazing and even went and liked the page on fb. For more information, simply Google No Shave November. FYI there are actual charities attached to this tradition so participation is definitely encouraged because just like the man I spoke with, we all love to support good causes.
It’s a great time to get out, get some exercise and help support groups and organizations that are making a difference in the lives of those who need assistance.
Fall’s generally cooler temperatures and fresh air can be ideal to walk, jog, ride, run, or row. There are many opportunities to do so while helping raise money for local charities.
* Saturday, Oct. 6, you can join in the Oklahoma Walk Now for Autism Speaks, set for the East Wharf Children’s Park at Lake Hefner.
* Saturday, Oct. 6, the Heels for Hope 5k Race/1 Mile Walk/25-Yard High Heel and Feather Boa Dash for the Heels for Hope Foundation. This event raises money for ovarian cancer research, treatment and education.
* Sunday, Oct. 7, the BooBoo Dash 5k and 1 Mile Fun Run at Regatta Park to benefit programs of Children’s Hospital volunteers.
* The Team Hope Walk/5k for HD at Lake Hefner’s Stars & Stripes Park to help raise money for research of Huntington’s Disease. This event is Oct. 14.
* The Susan G. Komen Oklahoma City Race for the Cure at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark, raising money for breast cancer research and assistance.
These are but a few of the many events related to health issues. But there are others relating to benefits such as pet adoptions.
Pick your favorites, as few or as many as you would like.
For a list of possibilities, check KNOWIT.NEWSOK.COM/CHARITY-OKLAHOMA, or go to WWW.WIMGO.COM and see what’s there.
You can help yourself and others at the same time.
You’ve most likely read or seen the plea, but unless you or anyone you know ever has needed blood, you may not understand the significance.
As someone who has been in that situation, I can tell you it’s extremely significant. It easily can be a matter of life or death.
“Someone needs blood every two seconds,” said Dr. John Armitage, president and CEO of the Oklahoma Blood Institute. “This constant need is why we are asking … residents to donate blood.”
Because there is no substitute for blood, the supply must constantly be renewed. There always is a need.
Maybe it’s because I have experience firsthand the need. Maybe it’s because I’ve known many others who have been through it. Or maybe it’s because I have worked closely with the institute and its staff for many years to see and hear about those times when a quantity of donated blood allowed someone to continue to live.
Whatever the reason, I do know, and I encourage everyone who can to consider donating. You can find information in news releases in any of the five “know it” communities about how and where you can do so. There are many opportunities through the year. Just check KNOWIT.NEWSOK.COM/EDMOND, KNOWIT.NEWSOK.COM/MIDWEST-CITY, KNOWIT.NEWSOK.COM/NORMAN, KNOWIT.NEWSOK.COM/OKLAHOMA-CITY, or KNOWIT.NEWSOK.COM/YUKON for local drives.
You also can find information by contacting the institute or any of its donor centers.
Although all blood types are needed, those with O-negative type blood are especially encouraged to donate. According to the American Association of Blood Banks (AABB), those with O-negative blood type make up only 9 percent of the national population. However, O-negative blood can be used in any emergency situation when a patient’s blood type has not yet been identified.
Oklahoma Blood Institute exclusively provides every drop of blood needed by patients at all hospitals in the metro-OKC area. Some 140 other medical facilities across the state also rely solely on OBI to provide life-saving blood for their patients.
Anyone, 16 years or older, can typically donate blood. Blood can be given every 56 days. To find out more or make an appointment to donate, call 877-340-8777, or visit WWW.OBI.ORG.
All 16-year-olds must weigh at least 125 and provide signed parental permission. All 17-year-olds must weigh at least 125 pounds, All 18-year-olds must weigh at least 110 pounds.
I call it “being curious.” Some call it “being snoopy.” But I’ve always been interested in what’s on everyone’s mind. After all, that’s what people in my business are supposed to do: find out what people want to know about and give them as much information as you possibly can.
Sometimes, it’s easy. You can start with weather. Especially in Oklahoma, the weather plays a big part in most everything, from business to pleasure, from life to death. Weather is a factor.
You always can talk politics. This is an election year and, no matter how hard you try, you can’t escape hearing or seeing someone voice an opinion on who is and who is not doing the right thing, who will or who will not win in the November general election, who ought to stay, who ought to go.
One of the most significant freedoms we have it the right to state our opinion, and the right to agree or disagree, whether you do or don’t want to hear it.
Now that the Thunder’s season has ended, there’s a break. Right? To a degree. There are still the Thunder players participating in the Olympics, which, by the way, is another topic that will be even bigger soon.
We’re just a few weeks away from the start of the new football season. The predictions and expectations already are there.
Money always is an important topic, from how to make it to how to spend it, or how to save it. Add to that the cost of anything, which always seems to being heading upward. Who has money, who needs money and how to help those who don’t have enough to adequately survive also get attention.
Vehicles have been popular topics since the first ones were invented. You can expect that to continue until we don’t use them anymore.
Health matters — yours or those of someone else, how to avoid them and how to treat them — are important and often discussed.
Items relating to the military, particularly in a state like Oklahoma where it has such a presence, affect many people.
You also will read, see, or hear about such topics as children, pets, religion, travel, recreation and cultural events.
Plenty, huh? And there are many more.
Each of the topics mentioned above is in at least one of our “know it” topics. It may be a story, it could be a photo, or it might be in a topic’s resource material. Then again, it might be in more than one, sometimes several.
That’s why they are there: To give you information. And you can contribute as well by sending news releases, notes of praise, or other tidbits to the online communities.
Visit HTTP://KNOWIT.NEWSOK.COM/ and look them over.
I love time off.
I know I’m not alone. I would also make a great multi millionaire. I know what I’m doing when it comes to lounging and spending money. I’m very good at it. If there was a professional league for relaxing and spending money, I would be in it. I would probably be an all star.
This leads me to the downside of this conversation. I loathe going back to work after time off. Its depressing. It starts the Sunday before going back to work on Monday after days off. I start thinking about work, what I need to get done, what has to be done by noon, and so on and so forth.
It usually causes me to not sleep very well Sunday night. My mind is reverting back to work mode. No more lazy days by the pool. No more dining out late. No more driving or flying to exotic or non exotic locations on a whim. No more sleeping in late.
I wonder if everyone feels the way I do, thats why so many people have terrible moods on Mondays. So many gloomy people.
Maybe we should move to a 4 day work week, Mondays become the last day of the weekend. Maybe that would work.
Probably not, we would just dread Tuesdays. Oh well, a boy can dream.
Happy Go Back To Work After A Long Holiday To You All!!!!!
My daughter was complaining yesterday about how hot it was in Midwest City. She apparently forgot how hot it was last summer, when you could boil an egg on the sidewalk every day of the summer.
She tells me that it just feels hotter this summer. I guess I can’t argue, I told her, the older you get, the more the heat affects you. At least from my perspective this is true, of course she is only 18, I tell her, when I was 18 I wasn’t bothered by the heat. This isn’t true of course, but she doesn’t know this.
Reminds me of the stories from my dad and grandpa, about walking through 6 miles of snow and ice to get to school, when a loaf of bread cost a nickel.
I guess each generation has their horror stories, I know this because when I told my daughters that when I was in school, when I wanted to find someone, I drove around until I found them. No cell phones. Their jaws dropped in amazement. The horror!
They asked me what I did as a child for entertainment. I told them I went outside and played. Again, shock and awe. They couldn’t believe kids actually went OUTSIDE to entertain themselves. True story.
So the next time my daughter tells me its too hot to go outside, I will tell her the story of when I used to walk half a mile to school, in the sun. Beads of sweat dripping off of my brow. Thinking how nice it would be to have a cell phone to call someone for a ride.
Only thing is, I had no idea what a cell phone was at the time.
She doesn’t need to know this.
I can see my dad and grandpa smiling now.
There is more to Oklahoma than just flat Prairie lands and oil fields. There is a whole treasure trove of hidden away gems nestled away in our very own state for travelers with a tank of gas in their vehicle to experience.
In information provided by the Oklahoma Tourism and Recreation Department, during 2010, domestic travelers spent a total of $6.2 billion in Oklahoma. Of that total, $4.5 billion (73.2 percent) was spent by out-of-state travelers, while $1.7 billion (26.8 percent) was attributable to Oklahoma residents travel in the state.
Sandy Pantlik, public relations coordinator for the tourism department’s Travel Promotion Division, said many times Oklahomans believe they have to leave the state to take a vacation, but if they decided to plan a getaway in their state, they might be surprised.
” … We hear from Oklahomans all the time who have taken a leisure trip in the state and are amazed by the variety and quality of attractions in their home state and Oklahoma’s natural beauty,” Pantlik said. ” … you can literally travel to high plains and mesas in the northwest to the cypress swamps in the southeast corner.”
Here is a trio of suggestions for those in the metro area seeking to stay in-state for their vacation getaway this summer.
Featuring: architecture, museums and restaurants
Why you should go: Bartlesville boasts Frank Lloyd Wright’s only completed skyscraper, the Price Tower, which houses lodging, restaurants and an art gallery.
The Bartlesville area has a variety of sites to visit, including the Phillips Petroleum Company Museum and Woolaroc Ranch, Museum and Wildlife Preserve, the latter of which features the roaming buffalo, fine art and was the former country retreat of oil man Frank Phillips.
Featuring: music, museums and restaurants
Why you should go: Oklahoma’s second largest city, Tulsa features a variety of different museums, including the Gilcrease and Philbrook museums.
Tulsa features a variety of cultural experiences such as the Tulsa Ballet, Tulsa Opera, Tulsa Symphony Orchestra and other programs of the Tulsa Performing Arts Center.
Various musical artists come through Tulsa to play a gig at Cain’s Ballroom or the BOK Center while the Blue Dome Entertainment District is home to a variety of hip spots, restaurants and live entertainment events.
Featuring: bed and breakfasts, camping, fishing and hiking
Why you should go: Sitting on 59,000 national acres, Wichita Mountains Wildlife and Refuge Center is home to free-range buffalo, longhorn cattle and deer. Recreational opportunities for travelers include mountain biking, rock climbing and 15 miles of campsites, fishing, hiking trails and picnic areas.
The Wichita Mountains Wildlife and Refuge Center features a visitors center with features exhibits of the Wichita Mountains, interactive displays, artwork, films and a bookstore.
Medicine Park is located right outside near the entrance to the Refuge Center. Medicine Park features lodging, bed and breakfasts, food and shopping for travelers to take advantage of.
There are numerous other areas, including attractions in all directions. For travel tips and pointers to have lots of fun and minimum funds, go to KNOWIT.NEWSOK.COM/TRAVEL-TIPS.
Noticing the other day that the one Thunder t-shirt stand in Midwest City has blossomed into three stands overnight. Impressive growth!
I guess if there is ever a time to sell Thunder merchandise on the street corner, now is the time. I haven’t stopped to look at the t-shirts yet, but I will say the ones that I can read from my car are pretty clever and colorful.
Someone told me that some of these stands are operating illegally due to NBA merchandising laws, but I say more power to them. Making people proud of their community team by selling a few t-shirts, nothing wrong with that.
I hope the Thunder continue to win and bring home a World Championship, that would be incredible. It’s amazing the power of a sports team to bring together a community. I wish that we could bottle that and use it year round, maybe do something crazy like eliminate homelessness or help cure poverty or crime.
I wonder how much money is being made by local stores and outlets on Thunder merchandise, I bet it is astronomical. I hope at least a small part of the proceeds are being put back into the community.
You know, do some good.