The Daily Oklahoman from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma on May 21, 2008 · 78
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The Daily Oklahoman from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma · 78

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Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Issue Date:
Wednesday, May 21, 2008
Page:
78
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4 VI WEDNESDAY, MAY 21, 2008 THE0KLAH0MAN NEWSOK.COM myneighbors Community news by The Oklahoma Tibetan monks to give lectures Count Gregore lives on NORMAN The Gaden Shartse Tibetan monks will present a series of lectures May 27-31 at St. Stephens United Methodist Church, 1801 W Brooks St. The visit is part of the Gaden Shartse Cultural Foundation's Sacred Earth and Healing Arts of Tibet Tour. During their visit, the monks will create a Men-la, or Buddha of Medicine, sand mandala. The two-dimensional piece of art is created using powdered and dyed stone, sand, dust, flowers and charcoal. It will take 75 to 125 hours to complete the mandala. The monks will be working on the mandala from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. May 28-31 at the church. Everyone is welcome to watch and learn about the cultural meaning associated with the mandala. Once the mandala is complete, the monks will destroy it to represent the impermanence of all things. Lectures will be daily at 7 p.m. at the church. Topics will be: May 27 "World Peace Lecture," a discussion of the necessity of considering the unity of all religions. May 28 "Chenrezig Empowerment Ceremony," a presentation that will impart the benefits of compassion and protection and help the audience become more peaceful. May 29 a slide show about the monks' life in To learn more For more information, go to www. my space.com tibetanmonks innorman or www. gaden shartse.org. Tibet and India. May 30 "Medicine Buddha (Menla) Empowerment," a presentation about the embodiment of the power of healing. May 31 "Vajravidarin Healing Ritual," a three-stage ritual of purification. Suggested donation for each event is $15. The monks will be available for private healings, house and business blessings and astrological readings. For more information or to make an appointment, call Marial Martyn at 364-3115. The monks come from the Gaden Shartse Monastic College, originally founded in Tibet in the 15th century. The college, now located in Mundgod, Karnataka, India, offers an in-depth education in all aspects of Buddhist philosophy and practice. Proceeds from the group's visit to Norman will go toward equipping the new Gaden Shartse Charitable Hospital in India. Pioneer exposition set for Norman fairgrounds NORMAN The Cleveland County Fair Board will host its annual Oklahoma Pioneer Exposition June 6-7 at the Cleveland County Fairgrounds, 615 E Robinson St. Hours will be 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. June 6 and 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. June 7. Parking and admission will be free, and recreational vehicle hookups will be available. The event will feature live entertainment, including country singer Mikayla Lee of Tecumseh, tractor pulls, antique farm equipment, a parade, historical demonstrations, a children's play area and more. Vendor space is available. For more information, call 360-4721 or go to www.clevelandcountyfair.org. Shawnee mummy being loaned to Idabel museum for display Htl By Ann Kelley Staff Writer SHAWNEE Mabee-Gerrer Museum of Art officials were making final plans Monday to use a hearse to move a 2,300-year-old mummy to the Museum of the Red River in Idabel. "She's definitely the oldest person we've ever moved," said Kelly Carter, funeral director for the Conley-White Funeral Home in Idabel. "We'll treat her with the same level of high respect as any other deceased person we move that's our business," she said. The mummy is being loaned for free to the Idabel museum and will remain there until July, said Dalaynna Trim, curator of the Mabee-Gerrer. She is one of two female mummies collected during the world travels of the Rev. Gregory Gerrer, who after his ordination into the priesthood in 1900, was sent to Rome to study art. He later returned to Oklahoma, bringing his collection with him. By 1942, he had collected more than 1,600 pieces of art, Trim said. "She's definitely the oldest person we've ever moved." Funeral director Kelly Carter Trim said the Egyptian mummy is from the Ptolemaic Dynasty (400-300 B.C.). She said the hieroglyphics on her sarcophagus have not been translated so her name is unknown. The mummy has been loaned to another museum in the past. In 1998, she was part of a special exhibit at the San Diego Museum of Man, Trim For that trip, a moving crate was crafted especially for her by an art handling firm. That same crate was used to pack her for the more than three hour ride to Idabel. The museum also is sending plaster scarabs, a symbol of immortality, and ushabtis, which are figures placed with the deceased to aid them in the afterlife, Trim said. John Ferguson followed his star f5g By Ann DeFrange Staff Writer Count Gregore, an Oklahoma television icon, turned 50 years old this month, although he appears to be ageless. John Ferguson, his creator, is 80 and almost as immortal. Ferguson and the Count scared generations of children in Oklahoma in the past half-century. Ferguson describes himself growing up in Indiana as small, anemic, poor and a bad student. As a high school freshman, he was 5 feet tall and 90 pounds. But, "I was a dreamer," he says. His mother's movie magazines and some acting classes offered an "escape mechanism" and in the 1950s, he went to Hollywood. He worked at a gas station until he managed an interview with the prestigious William Morris talent agency. He was told he'd never make a leading man, and that television was pre-empting movies. But in Hollywood he met Billie, married her 53 years ago, and moved to Oklahoma. He sold men's clothing in a Tulsa store. Upstairs was the studio of KVOO radio where Ferguson fell in love with radio. He narrates his life story like a radio drama. He followed his star, he said, behind a touring dog act and upstairs to a microphone. He coincidentally auditioned at a station in Muskogee the day they fired their announcer. Then he moved to that company's television station. In 1955, after he had been in the business for only 18 months, he got a job at WKY Channel 4 in Oklahoma City, which had been in business only since 1949. He was staff announcer and ad salesman. The small-screen world was black and white and "everything was live, even commercials." Opportunities for creativity were ample, because there were no rules and no technology to rely on. He was one of the pioneers of the medium. His early contemporaries are a roll call of local broadcast history Wakefield Holley, Joe Jerkins, Bill Howard, Wally Kinnan, Hi Roberts, Johnny Shannon, Steve Powell, Bill Thrash, Ed Birchall. But he kept thinking: "I'm an actor. I want on that stage so badly." In the afternoons, Channel 4 ran a kids' space adventure show with a cast of one Danny Williams. Ferguson developed his own character. "It had to be villainous, evil." Inspired by Ming from the n ' l PHOTO PROVIDED BY JOHN FERGUSON John Ferguson as Count Gregore. PHOTO PROVIDED BY JOHN FERGUSON John Ferguson plays "Johnny Ringo" at Frontier City amusement park in 1958. "Buck Rogers" comic strip, he painted on a Van Dyke beard and mustache, shaped his eyebrows like V's, greased his hair to a point on his face and called himself the Duke of Nukedom. Williams added him to the script, which was more like a scenario, allowing the actors to spontaneously improvise. So, before "Star Trek," there was Bazark and Ubik. Sometimes one of them went to Earth and visited the circle 4 Ranch, setting for another kids' show. In May 1958, when Williams moved to radio, WKY-TV planned a show to follow "Saturday Night Wrestling." "Shock Theater" showed classic horror films with a live host, so Count Gregore came to life and stayed on local TV until 1988. Ferguson has appeared on every television station in Oklahoma City and made other appearances as Gregore. He and the Count frightened generations of children in Oklahoma, who had never played gory video games or seen sophisticated scare movies. He still uses his original cape. And he has the voice, a soft, but harsh whisper; the pointed eyebrows that bore into you and leave terror in your heart and a nostalgia for the good old days when scary was deliciously innocent. IH Ann DeFrange: 475-4126, adefrangeoklahoman.com PHOTO PROVIDED BY JOHN FERGUSON John Ferguson prepares for an appearance as an alien on the 3-D Danny Show. 2and Cleaning $64.95 PREMIER DEALER LENNOX Free Lennox high efficiency filter ($350 value) and up to $1000 Off Lennox Elite Series system Local, Statewide and National Moving as an Agent for ! . ' ...I E "5T fi: grm. m a. j Packing Services Apartments W)B Residential FREE ESTIMATES 1-800-327-5939 OOQB4 Q33 121 S. 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