Casper’s Own Justin ‘Nordic Thunder’ Howard Shares Awesome Flashback Pic
Casper has changed a lot over the years. A lot of businesses have come and gone since the pandemic hit, but there have been a fair share of places that closed long before COVID-19 was ever a thing and one such place was the infamous Tokyo Massage.
The Tokyo Massage parlor closed (shut down?), after an investigation of alleged prostitution and illegal immigration shed light on the business, which had long been rumored to provide more than massages.
Casper's own Justin "Nordic Thunder" Howard recently shared a photo to his Facebook page of himself in front of the famed establishment from way back in 2001.
I got a chance to talk to Howard about the photo. He stated:
I graduated from NCHS in 2001. A local photographer (who is still here in Casper) named Bruce Nichols took my senior photos that year. We had gone up to the mountain and shot some really nice photos around the water falls and that area. We were wrapping up and he asked me “is there anywhere else you would like to have photos taken?”
I told him yes there was and that I wanted to go out in front of Tokyo Massage to have one taken. My Mom (Pam Howard) was with us and Bruce looked at my mom and asked her if it was OK, to which my Mom said it was.
So we drove out to Tokyo and hopped out of the car. Bruce was anxious to take the photo quickly and get out of there. A woman came to the door and asked us to leave, but we still managed to get the shot!
I didn’t use that photo in the yearbook, but it made its rounds around school. I printed an 8 x 10 of it and gave it to Lance Madzey (former NCTV instructor) and he hung it in his office where it stayed for nearly 20 years.Growing up in Casper I had heard so many stories about the legendary Tokyo Massage and just had to get that photo taken. I’m glad I did as I got to document a piece of weird history from our town. And I’m a weird guy. And now I’m sharing this weird story and it’s all so weirdly cool.
If Howard's moniker (Nordic Thunder), sounds familiar, it's because he's the 2011 U.S. Air Guitar Champion, 2012 Air Guitar World Champion and as of this year, he was recently crowned Champion of Champions among all the previous air guitar world champions. That's a hell of a title right there. He also starred in a totally awesome Dr. Pepper commercial (see below).
Check out this video of Justin performing in Finland for the Air Guitar World Championship.
That video is proof to his level of commitment (and skill) to his chosen craft! I will say, that host/announcer seems like he has a problem with Americans. I was not a fan of that guy.
Check out the video below to "see" Justin's signature air guitars. Trust me... you'll be glad you did!