The Baytown Sun from Baytown, Texas on August 26, 1987 · Page 17
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The Baytown Sun from Baytown, Texas · Page 17

Baytown, Texas
Issue Date:
Wednesday, August 26, 1987
Page 17
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Page 17 article text (OCR)

THE BAYTOWN SUN Wednesday, August 26, 19t7 SB Fourth book in works .:'.•' ' , ; : : :'"' • !'• ' ' '..••'. i ' • . •']'••••':. ' ' ' ' • I : Humorist serious about funny side of life ; ;MlpDLETOWN, 111. (AP) James Myers shakes a salad fork across the lunch table as if he is about to force-feed some solemn words of advice. He does, but the irony of the message makes him chuckle "Americans don't take their humor seriously enough," says Myers. "There would be a lot fewer divorces and business breakups if people could joke and realize how silly many of their concerns are." The 73-year-old Myers, of Springfield in winter and Middletown (a few miles west of Lincoln) in summer, makes a serious business of delivering prairie humor — whoppers, win- dies and jokes from about 1850 to 1950. The author of three books, Myers is wrapping up his fourth, a collection of tall tales to be titled "The Great American Liar." It has been in the works for two years. In the renowned words of writers, he says, "Every time I Fire helmet futuristic PITTSBURGH (AP) - The distinctive red helmet that firefighters have worn for a century and a hall won't yield easily to a futuristic hat that looks like a streamlined bowling ball with a windshield. Alex Bally, associate professor of design at Carnegie Mellon University, has learned that the hard way. He designed an award-winning fire helmet deemed worthy of display in New York City's Museum of Modern Art, But it appears few firefighters are warming up to it. "A lot of people have said, 'Oh no. I could never wear that." They have said it looks like a motorcycle helmet or an astronaut's helmet. People have even said it looks like a 'Star Wars' helmet," says James Byrnes, product line manager of Mine Safety Appliances Co. of Pittsburgh, which manufactures Bully's helmet. Bally. 48, completed his basic helmet design in 19W. It soon won the design world's triple crown. The Industrial Designers Society of America gave Bally its IDEA award for new equipment design and ID Magazine editors honored him in their annual design review in 1985. Last year. New York's Museum of Modern Art added the hat to its permanent design collection. Bally's sleek new helmet is approximately the same size and weight — about 45 ounces — as the traditional rimmed helmet whose basic design can be traced to 1828 and New York City volunteer fireman Henry Uratacap. Bally's helmet lacks a visor and has a lower center of gravity, which he says makes it fit better and fed lighter. Bally says fashion was a minor consideration. The traditional helmet becfed-up to meet new safety standards set in the 1970s, he says, "looked like a big umbrella on your head. It looked totally out of scale." Bally says his research borrowed from Greek war helmets, medieval jousting garb, even turtle and lobster shells. "Inspiration." he says, "comes after a lot of hard work." think 1 have it done, I find some other gem I can't leave out." And in the words of the editor: "It's too long already." Myers' first book was about Abraham Lincoln, a gifted storyteller and jokester. In 1963, along with his wife, Edith, and two other Springfield families, Myers restored the Abraham Lincoln Law Office building and formed a company to publish Lincoln works. They sold the building l'/ 2 years later, and Myers eventually took sole ownership of Lincoln-Herdon Press Inc., with a mission to publish "American humor that reveals American history." "Americans have brought the tall tale to an art form," says Myers. •. • ' [ •• . . As a boy, he was "pretty hu- jinorless" but was always inter- 'ested in Lincoln. The more he read about the 16th president, the more he realized what an integral part of his life humor was. Myers likes to tell the story of how Sen. Stephen Douglas and Lincoln were traveling in the same train during the famous Lincoln-Douglas debates. Douglas' wife wanted to chat with Lincoln and left her private car to walk to his coach seat She failed to notice his stovepipe hat on the seat beside him and sat on it. Shocked and tongue-tied with embarrassment, she squirmed and wiggled. He let her suffer a little, then said, "Mrs. Douglas, let me advise you. No matter how hard you try, that darned thing will never fit you." Myers laughs, though he has probably heard and told the story hundreds of times. His next book of humor will be about hunting and fishing — the real wealth of tall tales and jokes, he says. ARE YOU TIRED OF PAYING HIGH RATES ON HOSPITALIZATION INSURANCE? ^ GANDERS ON PARADE ROBERT E. LEE Booster Club will sponsor the 1M7 REL Ganders on Parade, spotlighting all G*Mter football learnt, at 7:30 p.m. S*pt. 1 In the REL auditorium. Ready to kick off the new year art from left, drum major Gylla Headley, Quenten Coryatt; head cheerleader Shannon Robbie; Donald Thompson and Brigadier company commander Stacl Knox. (Sun staff photo by Carrie Pryor) Give Us A Coll! CREEL A ASSOCIATES 713-426-3501 A|*ntt: Robert CrMl t Mwy Crul Prestige West Restaurant STEAK& SHRIMP SPECIAL ACCOMPANIED WITH OUR Prestige Spud Salad Bar WATCH FOR NEXT WEEK'S SPECIAL GOOD THRU 9-1 ^7 PRESTIGE WEST RESTAURANT 1007 N MAIN* BAYTOWN HOURS: MTHllToU F-SM II T« 11 CUBED SUMMV • MIXED DRINKS • CATERING 428-1558 • ORDERS :TOGO Enjoy * Gourm«! Sttltd Dlnn«r. Sc« Las Vpjaj Magic •nd Comedy Show*. D«nc< till 2«m. Have • fuelling M»9ki»n •( Your T«bl«. PUy Bl*ckj«ck or Hav« Your Forlun* Told by our Piychics. Attrologisii or Palm Rc*4«r*! Dinner & Show *25.00 For Reservations Ptaoe 526-244 2 ill Open to the PuWc 2215 S.W Freeway fl-Toro Dr. 424-1011 l« Ptftt Tt. ftUW. M«in 471-3SOS MEXICAN RESTAURANT Orders To Go Available ALL YOU CAN EAT!! BEEF or CHICKEN FAJITAS 4, turn • •rft* es NOTICE OF PUBLIC HEARING ON TAX INCREASE The City of Mont Belvieu will hold a public hearing on a proposal to increase total tax revenues from properties on the tax roll in 1986 by eight percent (8%). Your individual taxes may increase at a greater or lesser rate, or even decrease, depending on the change in the taxable value of your property in relation to the change hi taxable value of all other property. The public hearing will be held on Thursday, September 3, 1987, 7:00 p.m., at OtyNdl - 1111 Avenue A. FOR the proposal: Mike Nudman : 'VV^WM|. Ve^VW • . Hal Roach Yernon Kemp CarroU RiclNMrdson AGAINST the proposal: None ABSENT and not votings None)

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