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Making the Old New

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As visitors venture into the antiquated feed store which now serves as Grady Hollar’s wood shop, their eyes flit from the corners to the walls, taking in the array of projects. As diverse as his own background, his business, Budro’s Wood Shop, hosts a cornucopia of wood types, which are transformed into products as small as cutting boards to massive tables.

Hollars takes pride in his craftsmanship, and the intricate details that take the plain to extraordinary.

It’s surprising, then, to realize he’s self-taught, having spent the first 17 years of his professional career as an industrial plumber. “I was a plumber all my life. My uncle, Kenny Robertson, was a plumber, and I was summer help. I became a father when I was 17, so I needed to get a job, quickly,” he shared.

With Robertson’s help, Hollars got his license, with most of his career being spent at a large company. While the pay was good and steady, he found himself using every day of vacation he was allotted annually. “I just wasn’t happy. It was towards the end of my time there that my wife said she wanted a blanket chest. I went to the store, bought a bunch of tools and went to work,” he recalled.

Having always had a knack for building, and a perfectionist’s attention to detail, Hollars was inspired to learn more. He utilized Google and YouTube to expand his skills and knowledge base.

With the entrepreneurial wheels spinning, Hollars planned how to recoup the cost of the wood working tools. “I started to make more things and would post them on Facebook to sell it,” he said. With renewed vigor, Hollars jumped into the wood working business with both feet. “It got to where I would come home from work, eat, and then I’d be in my shop until late at night. I was lucky that it was right beside my house, but that shop was tiny,” he shared.

When his plumber’s license came up for renewal, he let it lapse. “My wife was a little worried, but I thought we would be ok,” he said.

He named his new business Budro’s Wood Shop, a tip of the hat to Robinson. “My uncle was pretty ornery, and he called me Budro. I thought it was pretty catchy, and when I was deciding on a name, that’s what immediately came to mind,” he said.

A friend convinced him to start a business page, and that’s where he began to post photos of pieces he’d built as well as items he could. “If I saw someone was interested in a piece of furniture, I’d try to get an example of mine in front of them,” he said.

The strategy worked. The escalating number of sales necessitated a larger workspace. “I needed space. I couldn’t stain and finish stuff and still work because of the sawdust and stuff like that. I moved into an 1,100 square foot shop on the south side of town, but it was still too small, even though the guy let me have more of his shop than I had rented. I had a friend who found my current place for me, and it was perfect,” he said, referring to the old feed store.

The Evolution of Budro’s

Although it was the catalyst for his business, Hollars laughed when he stated he won’t be showing his wife’s blanket chest to anyone. “I went to Home Depot and bought the high-dollar wood they had, and I messed it up. It is sitting at the end of our bed, but I won’t show that piece off now,” he said. “I have always had an enthusiasm for creating, and I’ve always been mechanical. I wanted to keep going with it, so I started watching YouTube videos and got my inspiration there, and just kept going down the rabbit hole.”

At first, Hollars’ aspirations were simple. “I thought I was just going to make furniture with two-by-fours and stuff like that, because even that wood was expensive,” he laughed.

While prices vary with the type of wood used and the scope of the project, he’s sold items reaching into five figures. Many of those bigger projects utilize reclaimed wood from semi-trailers. “I started looking at the reclaimed stuff, and I thought there was no way I would ever buy it. I wondered who the people are that would buy that,” he said. “I had a guy order a table made from it. I built it, and then realized there was a big market for items made from that stuff. The wood I use for cutting boards can be four times as much per square foot and stuff that that. So yeah, it still hurts me a little bit when I have to order $1,000 worth of lumber and it comes in a bundle that I can carry in my arms.”

Reclaimed cargo wood typically finds new life as tables, counter tops, mantles, and anything else that needs to be especially sturdy. The hardwoods – including the popular knotty alder, maple, walnut, zebra wood, and purple heart – make eye-catching cutting boards and smaller, specialty items.

Old gym floors, fallen trees, ancient houses, and more all find new life and purpose in his Marlow shop.

“People will come into the shop and see the raw wood and the stacks of reclaimed cargo before I have done anything with it. They’ll typically say something along the lines of it coming a long way,” he said.

Read more in the July 2021 issue of Oklahoma Farm & Ranch.

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Holding the Ball

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By Brandon Baumgarten

Did you play basketball in high school? Did you ever notice how some teams would hold on to the ball for extended periods of time? The strategy is to eliminate as much time off the clock as possible and close out the quarter with the lead. Some teams do this. Other teams do it more frequently than others. It’s grueling to watch as a spectator as you watch the game evaporate as the team just holds possession of the ball. However, things are changing.

In fact, in Oregon, things are about to change when it comes to high school basketball. Their state just voted on adding a 35 second shot clock for the 2023-2024 season. No doubt, this move will increase the pace of the game and create more scoring opportunities.

The problem has become many people want to hold on to the ball too long without doing much with it. I could not help to think this week of how this scenario relates to our faith in God. It is one thing to have opportunity, but it is another thing to make the most of it.

There are many Christians who are holding the ball. God has literally changed them from the inside out, but instead of sharing that power and influence with others, we often don’t. We allow the clock to run down and limit our chances of scoring for God. Imagine if the empowered church of God not only felt changed, but lived changed too. Have you been keeping the life changing power of Jesus Christ to yourself? I’ve been there before. I don’t always share as much as I should, but I do know time is quickly ticking and the shot clock is counting down.

What we will do from here depends on our faith and action? Imagine if the disciples would have kept all their accounts of Jesus’s life to themselves, we would have never known what happened. Instead, they shared and chose to take what God had given them to the world. Will we choose to share the life changing power of the Gospel? Will we take our shot before our time expires?

The lights are on. The game is going. The world is watching. The clock is ticking. Warriors for Christ: The ball is in your court. May we choose to make the most of it!

“Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.” -James 4:14 (NIV)

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No Bake Reese Peanut Butter Chocolate Banana Cream Pie

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From Lacey Vilhauer of Laceys Pantry

Time: 25 minutes + 6 hours chill time

Serves: 10

Ingredients:

Crust:

2 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs

1/2 cup melted butter

Filling:

1/2 cup chocolate chips

1/4 cup cream

1/4 cup smooth peanut butter

1 cup half and half

1/4 cup granulated sugar

2 eggs

1 tbsp cornstarch

2 tbsp smooth peanut butter

1 tsp vanilla

2 bananas, sliced

whipped cream, extra banana, mini peanut butter cups and peanut butter for garnish

Crust:

Stir together graham crumbs and melted butter and press firmly into the bottom and up the sides of a 9 inch pie plate. Bake at 350 degrees F for 8-9 minutes, until it looks slightly dry. (This step is optional and just helps the crust to hold up better)

Filling:

In a medium bowl, combine chocolate chips, cream and peanut butter. Microwave on high in 20 second intervals, stirring each time, until melted. Pour into the bottom of the crust.

In a medium saucepan, whisk together half and half, sugar, eggs and cornstarch until smooth. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until thickened — this can take up to 10 or 15 minutes but don’t rush it.

When the filling has thickened, stir in peanut butter and vanilla until smooth. Stir in sliced bananas. Pour this mixture into crust over chocolate. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 6 hours or overnight until set. Top with sweetened whipped cream, sliced bananas, Reese’s peanut butter cups, and peanut butter drizzle as desired. (To drizzle peanut butter, simply heat in the microwave until it can be poured, then use a spoon or put in a decorating bag and drizzle over the pie).

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OCC Area II Commissioner Robert M. Priess Represents from One State Line to Another

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Commissioners for 2022 & 2023: Seated – Gary Crawley (Area V, 2022-2023 Chairman), Standing L-R – Robert Priess (Area II), Dan Herald (Area I, Secretary), Clay Forst (Area IV, Vice Chairman), Scotty Herriman (Area III), Trey Lam (OCC Executive Director)

By Bryan Painter

Where does your area include? From the Hard Red Winter Wheat fields along the Kansas line to the Red River border with Texas.

The Oklahoma Conservation Commission has five Area Commissioners and this claim only holds true for newly appointed Area II Commissioner Robert M. Priess. His area runs vertically north to south from one state line to the other.

Priess, who lives near Coyle, was nominated by Governor J. Kevin Stitt to the Oklahoma Conservation Commission to serve a 5-year term ending June 30, 2027.

Priess, a longtime Director for the Payne County Conservation District, began serving as the Area II Commissioner at the July 2022 Commission meeting.

As a producer, Priess purchased 320 acres of land at age 19 with the help of his parents. Later with his wife Sharon, he bought 80 more acres and they joined in a partnership with his parents farming and ranching more than 2,000 acres.

“We also operated a sale barn in Edmond and one in Guthrie,” he said. “I forward contracted feeder cattle for Prairie Livestock, Hopkinsville, Kentucky, and Crossroads Cattle Co., Austin, Texas.”

As their two children grew older, they hit the livestock show circuit and made many friends across the Midwest showing cattle.

“I was involved with the Oklahoma Club Calf Association serving on the board of directors for 20 years, 5 years as president and 5 years as executive director,” he said. “I have also served on the Payne County Conservation District for over 25 years, the last 10 as chairman of the board. We just paid off the building in Stillwater we built to house USDA and hope to now have funds to complete our outdoor classroom. We will use this classroom to educate young folks about conservation and how important it is to save our soil for the next generations to use.”

He also served on the founding board of the Coyle School Foundation and as president for 10 years.

“I am retired now from farming and ranching but remain active working as a contract auctioneer with Pickens Auctions,” he said. “We do about 100 auctions a year, some are charity auctions for churches, both the premium auctions for Payne County and Logan County Spring Livestock shows and other youth groups. I also have served as a board member on the Payne County Floodplain board 20-plus years.”

Priess emphasizes, “I think working with and educating young folks is very important. I could not have accomplished what I have without the help and support of my wife of 59 years, Sharon.”

Area II includes: Arbuckle; Cleveland County; Garvin; Kay County; Konawa; Lincoln County; Logan County; Love County; McClain County; Murray County; Noble County; Oklahoma County; Pawnee County; Payne County; Seminole County and Shawnee.     

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