Gulfport potter mccabe coolidge continues to give back 4 gases in the atmosphere besides oxygen and nitrogen

The tanned knees sticking out of his shorts provide elbow rests for hands that are covered in clay, dry and a lighter color around his wrists but dark, thick and wet on the fingers he uses to draw the lump of clay up and out as the wheel spins.

Its divergent path is not unlike the clay that continually changes shape in his fingers. But the constant in his life, like the spinning wheel on which he works, has always been humanitarianism, most recently helping out Pinellas County Habitat for Humanity.

He makes functional, high-fired stoneware bowls, food-, dishwasher-, oven- and microwave-safe, to give as housewarming gifts to every member of every family that moves into a Habitat home in Pinellas. He started in March and has already made and given about 65 bowls to Habitat families.

Before using his hands to make beautiful pieces of clay, he used his hands to tap and pat the chest of his daughter, Robin, who was born with cystic fibrosis, a progressive, genetic disease that causes a thick buildup of mucus in the lungs that makes it hard to breathe. Gentle patting on the chest and back for 10 minutes four times a day — "percussion therapy" — helped clear Robin’s airways to make it easier for her to breathe in her short life.

By this time, he and his wife, Cathy, had two daughters, both severely handicapped. Robin was born in 1970 with cystic fibrosis. Molly was born a year later with cerebral palsy and mental retardation. They moved to North Carolina, where Coolidge attended Duke Divinity School and moonlighted as a marketing manager with a life insurance company.

But dance remained a bright spot in his life, and it was at a dance conference that he met his second wife, Karen. They moved back to North Carolina — "I love that state" — and, in 1995, bought an old Victorian house in Asheville for homeless people who were HIV positive. They formed a dance troupe and did improvisational dance workshops.

A few years later, they lived on a sailboat in Alameda, Calif., while Karen got her degree to be a Unitarian Universalist minister from the University of California, Berkeley. Coolidge worked at a day center for the homeless and took writing classes.

In 2006, they moved to Floyd, Va., which is near Roanoke. Karen continued her work with the church, but pottery took center stage in their lives. They opened a gallery-studio at a local arts center. They sold the pottery they both enjoyed making and taught classes in clay and creativity.

They continued their work to eradicate hunger. They raised money through the Empty Bowls Project, in which people paid $15 for a bowl of soup in a handmade ceramic bowl they got to keep. They donated the proceeds to the Backpack Project, in which they filled backpacks with food for kids to take home. They co-founded an organization called Plenty! to provide access to fresh, healthy food to poor families in Appalachia.

If treated early enough, the symptoms of the disease — fatigue, pain and joint and muscle aches — often go away. However, in Coolidge’s case, they didn’t, likely because his 2006 bite went undiagnosed for a year. His joint pain continues. He said he sometimes loses his cognitive ability. That’s because untreated or undertreated symptoms of the disease can make the bacteria associated with it go into hiding in different parts of the body only to reappear later, according to lymedisease.org, a nonprofit that advocates for education, research and treatment of tick-borne diseases.