jimmy helms

Jimmy Helms is the old philosopher of New Dubina, Texas. He’s also his rustic little town’s sheriff, mayor, dentist, postmaster, banker, cobbler, bartender, preacher, teacher, etc. As the 84-year-old retired Houston dentist makes the rounds at his 1857-1900-era settlement, Jimmy offers thoughts along the way. Let’s join his personal tour.

new dubina
new dubina hotel
Buildings on New Dubina’s back street (top) are anchored
on the west end by a bathhouse and on the east by a
hotel featuring an outside staircase (above) similar to the one
in the movie “Lonesome Dove.”

Jimmy’s thought about worrying: If you must worry, pick one hour in the day to worry as deeply as you can. Then put that worry out of your mind. That which you are worrying about probably will never happen.

milinery shop
New Dubina’s mercantile is packed with vintage clothing,
plus sewing notions and amusements such as a
gramophone and stereoscopes.

Jimmy’s thought about human frailty: Mankind’s greatest weakness is the belief in something for nothing.

jimmy with cernosek family photos
In the New Dubina one-room school (top), Jimmy displays
a vintage photo collage (above) honoring the Cernoch family
who sold their farm to Jimmy and his wife, Carol, in 1979.

Jimmy’s thought about humanity: Be on good terms with all people and be kind and gentle with yourself.

Jimmy reimagined a vintage hay barn as New Dubina’s town hall (top). From behind the handsome handcrafted wooden bar, Jimmy spins stories about movies and a music video shot there.

Jimmy’s thought about helping others: Giving of ourselves brings us happiness, freedom and peace of mind.

An unusual item in the general store on Main Street is a Folgers Coffee tin with a key to open it attached to the bottom. He characterizes taking care of New Dubina as a labor of love.

Jimmy’s thought about doing your best: It only takes 10% more effort to do a job correctly.

In the billiard parlor, the mannequins’ domino game never ends (top), while the cashier never takes his eyes off kegs of wine on the counter in the cafe.

Jimmy’s thought about wealth: Money without effort is seldom a benefit.

new dubina
Six authentic log cabins dating back to Texas in the 1850s reside in New Dubina. Jimmy learned the most efficient way to relocate the structures was to number the individual logs when each cabin was dismantled. That made restructuring straightforward. (Easy for Jimmy maybe!)

Jimmy’s thought about Monday mornings: God give me the will to go on and the strength will follow.

An old buggy silhouetted in the open passageway at the livery stable hints at Jimmy’s joy in his collection of 37 wagons (top). The queen of his rolling transport fleet (above) is the oldest stagecoach in Texas that ran the Fredericksburg-Mason-Llano route between 1879 and 1891.

Jimmy’s thought about personal achievement: We should each do our best realizing that there will always be someone better and someone worse.

Jimmy enjoys sharing the story of how his patient,  former President George W. Bush, was once called upon to attend a meeting while in his dentist’s chair. Mr. Bush borrowed a tie from Jimmy to wear to the meeting but sent his dentist two replacements, as well as the tie the president had borrowed. 

Jimmy’s thought about careers or jobs: One likes what they are good at, so make yourself good at something and you will like it.

Several more of Jimmy’s thoughts:

Our most important mission in life is to keep love alive for future generations.

To be remembered as an honest person is the ultimate achievement in life.

One never feels they have done enough for those they love.  

*  *  *

Thanks for the tour of New Dubina, Jimmy, plus your sage advice. By the way, have you thought of adding a newspaper office to complete your town? I noticed an empty lot next to the library that would be a perfect location for it.

Experience New Dubina from the viewpoint of a New York Times reporter:

Elaine Thomas
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