Ojai resident creates calendar celebrating 12 role models
A former chief of security for the Dalai Lama.
A holistic energy healer.
A baker, chef and actor.
An outdoor guide trainer.
A Metropolitan Transit District driver.
The former mayor of Ojai.
A cell phone store manager.
What can such a disparate group of men possibly have in common?
All live in the Ojai area, and they are friends of Karen Banfield, who has featured them in the brand new “Good Guys Calendar 2022, A Celebration of Men Living Heart-Centered Lives.”
“I focused on men because the news has been full of negative role models, and I believe having role models is essential. These men have touched many lives in small unnoticed ways, bringing compassion that made me smile and just as often brought me to tears,” said Ms. Banfield, an Ojai resident since 2009.
She will share photos and stories about the creation of the calendar at 1 p.m. Dec. 18 at the Ojai Library, 111 E. Ojai Ave.
Admission to the Ojai event is free. For more information, call Ron Solorzano, regional librarian, at 805-218-9146.
“I selected these men whose lives are motivated by service, kindness and bringing good will to the world,” said Ms. Banfield, a therapist who specializes in emotional healing, intuitive readings and creative empowerment.
She told the News-Press she wanted to “make people laugh, smile and forget their troubles during the pandemic.”
To do that, she interviewed 12 people with careers varying from a sculptor to a bus driver.
Diverse backgrounds indeed!
Dargyal Jamyang (Mr. February). the former chief of security for the Dalai Lama, crossed the Himalayas when he was 16, escaping the Chinese who were slaughtering Tibetan people. When he was 17, he returned to care for his sick mother, was captured and imprisoned for four years and was regularly tortured.
Brian Berman (Mr. April) creates sculptures that instill a calming serenity. His search for unity began as a child watching a newsreel of the British liberating a World War II concentration camp.
Relating to his background growing up in a tough neighborhood, Anthony Nicholson (Mr. August), the MTD busdriver, works with emotionally troubled kids.
Ken Clench, (Mr. November) the groundskeeper, enjoys woodworking, especially replacing worn steps for seniors or making cabinets or other useful items for friends.
One of Ms. Banfield’s major reasons for creating the calendar was her work as a therapist whose clients are primarily women telling her stories about being preyed upon by men.
“For my own mental health, I needed to change focus and how I was looking at men. I know all these men personally and what wonderful people they are,” she said. “When I asked them about participating in the calendar, they were humble, excited and avoidant. They said, ‘I am not worthy.’
Anthony Nicholson agreed to do it if part of the proceeds went to prevent sex trafficking.”
Ms. Banfield is thrilled that the calendar, which is 8½ by 11 inches and costs $20, was quickly picked up by The Good News Network, a global online newspaper with millions of readers whose goal is to publish positive and uplifting news.
“The calendar has international appeal because it’s much more than a place to record appointments. It is a way to feel good about life and the people in it,” said Ms. Banfield. “Partial proceeds fund a safe house for sex-trafficked children unless it is purchased at the Ojai Valley Athletic Club, where 100% of the proceeds go to Robert Evans (Mr. July) to help with his ongoing struggle with cancer.”
Other purchase locations in Ojai are Pixies General Store, the Ojai Valley Museum, Poppies Art and Gifts or online at www.karenbanfield.me.
“I also tried selling it from my home, which is in a sweet little neighborhood. I put out a copy of the calendar on a bulletin board in my front yard with information on how to buy it,” said Ms. Banfield. “The next morning the calendar was gone, and the bulletin board was broken. Rather than being upset, I was delighted because the hoodlums took information about the role models and how to be good men. Maybe they will learn something from it.”