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july 2010 Vol. 1 Issue 1

Landscape Artist: Paul Walsh McSwain Theatre Welcomes the King Cruisin’ Main

PRSRT STD US POSTAGE PAID PERMIT NO 1541 OKLA CITY, OK


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IF YOU DON’T SEE WHAT YOU ARE LOOKING FOR ON OUR LOT, WE HAVE OUR OWN PRE-OWNED VEHICLE LOCATING SERVICE WITH HUNDREDS OF VEHICLE AVAILABLE. tHIS SERVICE UNIQUE ONLY TO aDA fORD. wE HAVE 15 LENDERS COMPETING FOR YOUR BUSINESS! LENDERS ON SITE FOR INSTANT APPROVALS! jUST SIGN AND DRIVE!

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*ODDS OF WINNING: 1:30,000 FOR 2009 AIRSTREAM TRAILER VALUED AT $52,000, FOR CAMPING PACKAGE 1:29,999. MUST BE 18 YEARS OF AGE OR OLDER WITH VALID DRIVER’S LICENSE. ONE PER FAMILY. EXPIRES 7/31/10. Rules: To participate, each participant acknowledges and agrees to the terms and conditions set forth below. NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. A purchase does not improve you change of winning. Open to individuals age 18 and older. Employees of business listed on this invitation, their agencies and subsidiaries and all of the above immediate family members are ineligible. Void where prohibited by law. You must be on the promotions mailing list to participate and win. We are not responsible for late or misdirected invitations. The winner is responsible for all federal, state and local taxes. In the event of print/mechanical errors or duplicate winning numbers distributed in error, the number match contest is void and no prizes will be awarded. In even an error voids contest, promotion will be re-mailed at a future date. Winners is responsible for all applicable fees. (1) Includes all Factory Incentives and Down Payment Assistance Voucher. (2) Limited Quantity available. Example for $129 a month payment: 2001 Kia Sephia, sale price $6,199, stock #5897a, $0 down, $129 per month for 60 months at 8.99% apr, with credit score of 769 or greater, WAC plus TT&L and dealer transfer service fee. All Sale subject to lender’s final approval. All vehicles subject to prior sale. (3) Net of Down payment assistance voucher. (4) Limited time 3.9% offer. Available on select pre-owned vehicles for up to 36 months with credit score of 769 or better, total financed not to exceed $12,500, WAC plus TT&L and dealer transfer fees, also in lieu of rebates and discounts for special APR. See Dealer for Details.

www.adahub.com • 3


contents

Publisher

july 2010

Advertising Director

Layers Media, Inc. www.layersmedia.com

Ad Designer

Guillermo Martinez

Photography

8 Mcswain Theatre Welcomes the King

Comments or Suggestions? info@adahub.com (580) 421-7874

5 Letter from the Publisher 11 Ada Marketplace 15 Recipes

12 Life in the Fast Lane: Eric Strickland

16 Out and About

14 Cruisin’ Main

18 Inspirations

• Simplified Nutrition • Lose, Gain, or Maintain • Fast Food for Smart People 4 • www.adahub.com

Luke Cypert

HUB

14

7 Landscape Artist: Paul Walsh

Josh Forrester Brock Parsons Bob Searl Mindy Wood

To advertise call David 235-5722 or 421-7874

8

12

David Elliott

Art Direction

Guest Writers

7

Michael Keith

A rticles and advertisements in the Hub do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the magazine or Twelve Media Group, Inc. Twelve Media Group, Inc. does not assume responsibility for statements made by advertisers or editorial contributors. The acceptance of advertising by Ada Hub does not constitute endorsement of the products, services or information. We do not knowingly present any product or service that is fraudulent or misleading in nature. Ada Hub assumes no responsibility for unsolicited materials.

A Publication of twelve media group, Inc. © Copyright 2010

the

Daily Shake 332-LOSE

231 E. Main • Ada, OK


letter

from the publisher

Welcome to the new Ada Hub! I’m Michael Keith, the new owner of the Ada Hub and I’m excited about all of the changes coming to the magazine! Some of the changes you will notice immediately... for intance, you probably just pulled this out of your mailbox! Yes, that’s right, we are now direct mailing roughly 8,000 copies a month. Our address list will include every home in Ada city limits, along with about 1,300 business addresses. Ada Hub articles will focus on featuring local artists, musicians, athletes, local businesses, and anyone else that will stop moving long enough to tell their story! Many of the Ada Hub advertisers will be offering coupons and other discounts to great services and/ or products. So keep your eyes peeled for some

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great specials! Also, keep watching for upcoming contests for a chance to win gift certificates from your favorite local businesses! Having spent most of my life in Ada, I have had the opportunity to meet some really great people, enjoy local restaurants, and shop local retailers. Now, we look forward to spotlighting some of these great Adans and businesses and hopefully meet you in the process!

Photo by Dejah Quinn

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August 4, 2010 M-F 8:00am-5:00pm

www.pontotoctech.edu (580) 310-2276 www.adahub.com • 5


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Dr. Ortega and staff welcome Dr. Stefan Iorga Pediatrician.

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www.abundantlifeada.com

Stefan Iorga, MD

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landscape artist

Paul walsh by: Josh Forrester

“When you’re an artist, creating is not something that you want to do; it is something that you have to do.” Paul Walsh is an artist, and he has to paint. “It’s like having a giant monkey on your back, and unless you create something tangible, that monkey will make you miserable.” Walsh, who is now in his midsixties, has carried this monkey for virtually his entire life. “I believe around the age of eight is when I knew that I was going to be a landscape artist,” said Walsh remembering his beginnings as an artist. And though he, and the world, has seen and experienced many changes over the years, Walsh’s passion for painting has remained constant. After graduating from high school, Walsh attended East Central University as an art major. After graduating from East Central, Walsh was drafted into the military during the Vietnam War. When the military released him, Walsh began to teach art classes in Southern Oklahoma, with the majority of his career transpiring within the Sulphur Public School system. After teaching in Sulphur for about thirty years, Walsh decided to retire and dedicate his life to painting. For the most part, Walsh creates

landscapes—more specifically, landscapes of Southern Oklahoma. “There is a certain subtle beauty that is all throughout Oklahoma’s landscapes, and I believe many people who live here fail to notice it because it has become so familiar to them.” One feature of Oklahoma’s landscape that Walsh is particularly fond of, for example, is the large, round hay bails that dot many of Oklahoma’s farms and fields. This is a feature that many Oklahomans tend to overlook, and because of their commonality, they fail to notice the beauty in their placement and in their shape. This is the area wherein Walsh’s artistic ability excels—to show others the beauty in ordinary things. This ability is apparent in every painting that Walsh creates. “I believe that every artist reflects the time and place in which he lives,” said Walsh when describing his style. “If I lived in New York, I would paint buildings and people, but I live in Southern Oklahoma, therefore, I paint cows and fields.” As simplistic and understated as this description is, Walsh’s capabilities are anything but. Walsh is a man who strives to be as understated as possible, but with this skill, people are sure to remember him as an extremely accomplished and endowed artist. ■


McSwain Theatre Welcomes

by: Mindy Wood

August 14th Ada’s McSwain Theatre will host one of the hottest Elvis tribute acts in the world, Travis LeDoyt. Bearing an uncanny resemblance to “the King of Rock and Roll,” LeDoyt has also mastered the voice and smooth moves that model Presley’s earliest performances and height of his career in the 1950’s. LeDoyt takes those who knew and love Elvis back in time and brings the music and energy of Elvis’ live show to a new generation who can’t help but move to the music. J. L. Stillwell, manager of the McSwain booked LeDoyt after she saw his act. “I’ve seen others but LeDoyt is an awesome entertainer. It’s an excellent show and the women were absolutely crazy about him,” she laughed. “We wanted to do something for the anniversary of Elvis’ death.” The ‘rockabilly’ movement has seen a surge in renewed popularity in recent years and Stillwell says it’s evident in Ada too. “We do have a lot of Elvis fans here. Elvis fans are everywhere and I don’t think he’ll ever be forgotten. There are a lot of young Elvis fans who have never been able to see him so that will be fun for them. It’s good music.” Bringing back memories for Elvis fans 8 • www.adahub.com

is something that LeDoyt enjoys most. “That’s the really nice thing about what I do, is being able to take people back and seeing people bring their families to share that experience.” As a natural entertainer, LeDoyt also enjoys all aspects of Elvis’ performances. “Elvis had a sense of humor and played around with the audience and I like to do that too.” LeDoyt grew up playing the piano and showed early signs of his future in entertainment. He mastered the piano and eventually guitar, writing songs as early as nine years old. His parents played Elvis music but it wasn’t until just after high school when he watched a documentary on Presley’s life and career that he really became interested. He went back to his high school music teacher and arranged to attend classes to strengthen his voice and music skills. When he performed at the last minute for the high school talent show, the crowd went wild and his career as a tribute artist was born. “People started asking me where I was playing next and I didn’t even have a band,” said LeDoyt. The crowds have been going wild ever since and LeDoyt sells out nearly every show to standing room only. He’s a hit in

the U.S. and internationally, performing in China, England, Scotland, Chile, and Canada. He’s opened for famous acts like B.B. King, Chuck Berry, Little Richard, Johnny Rivers, and more. Perhaps the greatest compliment LeDoyt has ever received however, came after he performed with Elvis’ former drummer, D.J. Fontana who said, “This is as close as you’re going to get to seeing an Elvis concert in the 50’s.” LeDoyt decided to focus on the earlier days of Elvis’ career, performing great hits like “Blue Suede Shoes,” “Hound Dog,” “Love Me Tender,” and “Don’t Be Cruel” but he does sing some songs from early the sixties as well. “The fifties were the height of his career when his hits came out and it’s what most people want to see. In the sixties he really wasn’t doing what he wanted to do and if you watch stage performances in the latter part of his career he really rushed through his songs because he was bored with it.” As to what LeDoyt wants to do, he loves his career as a tribute artist but continues to devote time to writing his own music. To see a clip of LeDoyt’s performances and to hear his own tunes, visit www. travisledoyt.com. For ticket information visit www.mcswaintheatre.com. ■


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Dr. Ortega and staff welcome Dr. Stefan Iorga Pediatrician and Nurse Practitioner John Dickinson More options to serve you even better.

www.abundantlifeada.com 520 N. Monte Vista • Suite A 580.272.0922 • 877.272.8999 580.272.0811 (Fax)

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www.adavisioninc.com www.adahub.com • 9


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Keep your loved one safe. Make sure someone is always there for your loved one.

Call lifeline at (580) 421-2414

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Dental services Crowns • Fillings Dentures and Partials Extractions • Root Canals Periodontal Treatment In Office Whitening Nitrous Sedation Pediatrics

bryan bratton, DDS 500 N Monte Vista St • Ada OK Phone: (580) 272-0222 adafamilydentistry@cableone.net Office Hours Mon - Thurs 8:00am - 5:00pm Fri 8:00am -1:00pm

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ada marketplace Ada Hub is direct mailed to 8,000 homes and businesses every month.

Abundant Life Family Medicine by: Mindy Wood Dr. Stefan Iorga, John Dickinson, Dr. Leandrita Ortega

If you miss the good old days when doctors cared enough to get to know you and your family, then Abundant Life Family Medicine Clinic might be just what the doctor ordered. Their approach to family medicine is reminiscent of a time when a family physician was like family and always there when you needed them. Dr. Leandrita Ortega wanted to offer that kind of personalized attention. She graduated from the University of New Mexico and during her training at In His Image Family Medicine Residency in Tulsa she realized the importance of addressing all aspects of health: physical, emotional and spiritual. With consistent medical evidence on the damaging effects of stress, depression, anxiety and other mental or emotional ailments, Dr. Ortega wanted to practice medicine in a way that allowed her to “treat the whole person” beyond the symptoms. “While we spend most of our time dealing with the physical complaints of our patients, we like to take the time to understand what’s going on with them emotionally and even spiritually,” said Dr. Ortega. That means spending more time with patients and offering more services in a modern technologically savvy office. A unique service they include is prayer. “At the end of the visit, we pray with them if they want us to do that. Patients who are open to prayer really like that and those who are not, are in no way imposed upon. I have plenty of patients who don’t want to talk about their spiritual lives and that’s ok.” Dr. Ortega recently expanded services for

patients to include same day services for acute illnesses like strep, flu, ear and sinus infections, and other urgent conditions. She added two more providers, Dr. Stefan Iorga (pronounced Yor-ga) a pediatrician and John Dickinson, a nurse practitioner. Dr. Ortega is pleased with how well both Iorga and Dickinson add to the overall care their patients have to come to expect. “Dr. Iorga really follows things through, especially if something isn’t immediately diagnosed, he will keep investigating until he is satisfied with the result. With John here it made it much easier for us to offer same day service for acute illness and he is an excellent fit into the practice. He’s been a nurse for seven years and while he worked at Valley View Hospital he was a house supervisor there over the nursing staff. I was very impressed with that, especially since he’s several years younger than I!” Dr. Iorga is Board Certified and practiced pediatrics at the Chickasaw Hospital and at the Konawa Clinic where he still works part time. John Dickinson graduated with a Masters in Science, specializing as a Family Nurse Practitioner, from OU Health and Science Center. With the professionalism and quality of modern day medicine and the time honored traditions of doctors who give personalized attention, Dr. Ortega and her medical staff provide their patients the best of both worlds. For more information, call 580-2720922 or visit www.abundantlifeada.com ■

For advertising information call David Elliott at 235-5722 or 421-7874

HUB

Old Fashioned Care with Modern Medicine

To find out how to have your business featured, call David at 235-5722 www.adahub.com • 11


e

n th e e i an lif t l s fa by:

er

est orr

ic

hF

Jos

Er

St ri ck la n d

It’s safe to say that Eric Strickland likes to modify vehicles—he’s

been doing it for almost twenty-five years. When he was eighteen, Strickland began showing mini-trucks, and at the age of twentytwo, he secured his first sponsorship. Since then, Strickland has gone through a few different types of vehicles and is now the proud owner of a very rare Nissan Skyline R33 GT-R. ►

12 • www.adahub.com


The Skyline GT-R is a Japanese “super-car,” and is an “import-only car that was never meant for general distribution in the United States.” When it comes to high-performance Japanese cars, the Skyline GT-R is definitely the king. It is, without a doubt, the most iconic of all the recent super-cars to come out of Japan. It has made several high-profile appearances in pop culture. Its presence in movies like The Fast and the Furious and videogames such as Gran Turismo and Forza, add to its iconic status… especially in the United States. Although the Skyline brand has been around for nearly sixty years, it wasn’t until the GT-R designation was added, that the Skyline brand became so iconic. Basically, the GT-R designation represented the addition of a twin-turbo, 2.6 liter six-cylinder engine, which is connected to a computer-controlled, four-wheel drive system, (which essentially means that the car was now faster and has impeccable control). Obviously, this comes in handy if you enjoy racing at high speeds. Strickland races the Skyline GT-R, from time to time, at a 1.8-mile, ten-turn track at the Hallett Motor

Racing Circuit in Hallett, Oklahoma. Unfortunately, he hasn’t made it out there as much as he’d like. “I’ve tried some drag racing, but for right now the clutch in the car is really weak, so I don’t want to go out there and beat on it more than I have to.” Also, at the moment, the car’s speed doesn’t quite reach its potential. “It still has the original Japanese computer in it right now, so it tops out at 180 kph or about 113 mph and does it in 3rd gear. I know other people with this car, who have about the same modifications but with aftermarket computers, who have reached a top speed of between 150 and 160 mph.” Even without reaching full speed, Strickland’s car is still a marvel to behold. Especially, when it comes to the ATESSA-ETS (Advanced Total Traction Engineering System for All-Terrain-Electronic Torque Split) computer-controlled four-wheel drive and the Super HICAS (High Capacity Actively Controlled Suspension) rear wheel steering system, which allows for very advanced vehicle control, especially in a 1995 automobile. Just as an example, Strickland recalled a time in which the four-wheel drive and rear wheel steering essentially

saved his caboose. Oddly enough, it happened off the racetrack. “I was coming off a clover-leaf and right at the bottom, right when the road starts to straighten out, there was a dip. I was going about sixty miles per hour and there was another vehicle that switched from the outside to the inside lane as I was trying to merge. As I was accelerating to merge, the car hit the dip and pitched sideways, and I thought to myself, ‘I’m either going to take out this vehicle, or fly into a ditch.” All I remember is hearing the back tires squall and feeling the nose shutter as the computer started applying torque to the front wheels and the car straightened itself out and accelerated away. The ATESSA and HICAS computers took care of everything. I’m pretty sure that’s the only thing that really saved my caboose.” By the end of July, he hopes to have his clutch changed out so that he can race more often. “Once I’m done with that, I’ll start hitting Hallett up some more, because anyone can drive straight. I’ll probably do a couple runs once the clutch breaks in just to see what [the car] does, but then I’ll be back to circuit racing like normal.” ■


main by: Brock Parsons

Gina Stowers

D

o you remember the days of cruisin’ around downtown Ada with your friends...just waiting for Friday night to roll around so you could cruise up and down Main Street? If not, you’re missing out on an exciting page in Ada’s history. Thankfully, there’s still an opportunity to create some great memories and for some, relive the good ole days The Ada Main Street program has organized an event that has something for just about everyone. On Friday, July 16th, from 6PM to 9PM, several participating Main Street businesses are staying open late and you’ll be traveling back to a time when Main Street was alive after dark for Cruising Main. There will be vintage cars, motorcycles, sales, giveaways at

14 • www.adahub.com

participating locations, and much more to come when it all starts. Prizes and participating locations are being added daily and will be announced soon. Cruising Main will kick into gear at the Main Street office at 114, S. Rennie, right beside the library. There you can find a “pit stop” for picking up snacks and beverages. The first 50 cars to appear will receive a goody bag, which will contain all sorts of promotional gift items and prizes. All persons of all ages are invited to come. Whether you are driving the family minivan or a fancy Corvette you still have the option to cruise downtown. Participants are encouraged to bring lawn chairs and should feel free to walk about watching the cars or visit the local businesses. There will also be a prize contest open to anyone who wishes to enter. At the Pit Stop, participants can pick up a card and fill in their contact information. From there, participants can stop by Ada businesses, shop around, and have their card punched or stamped. After 5 punches, the participant can drop it off at the Main Street Office to be entered

in a prize drawing. The idea for Cruising Main was not only to promote downtown Ada’s businesses, but also to once again make Main Street the exciting place to be on a Friday night. “Nostalgia,” according to the new Main Street director, Gina Stowers, is what led to this idea. She says, “Nostalgia is the word that keeps coming to mind,” when talking about the project. She hopes that this will be a social event for old faces to reunite and younger residents to see a flash of Main Street’s history, perhaps a mix of new and old. Businesses, not only ones in downtown, throughout Ada can benefit from this event, and both kids and adults will have something fun to do. Cruising Main will offer plenty of fun and entertainment, and it will be another step in making Main Street the center of excitement for the city. If you would like additional information about Cruising Main, or want to know more about what Main Street has to offer, you can visit their new Facebook page at facebook.com/ adamainstreet or contact their office at 580-436-1600. ■


recipes Provided by: Lisa Hector

PRESENTS

Vermicelli Pasta Salad 1 box of vermicella pasta, fully cooked 1 TBSP accent salt substitute 2 TBSP seasoned salt 3 TBSP lemon juice 4 TBSP extra virgin olive oil 1/2 cup of chopped celery 1 green bell pepper, chopped 1 (2.25 oz) can chopped black olives 1 cup mayonnaise Combine the cooked pasta, Accent, seasoned salt, lemon juice, and olive oil. Mix together ingredients and marinate pasta mixture at least 6 hours to overnight in refrigerator. Remove pasta when marinating is complete. Combine celery, bell pepper, and olives in the pasta mixture. Slowly add the mayonnaise and mix together all ingredients.

Travis LeDoyt

Young Elvis Impersonator

7:30 P.M. Saturday, August 14 Come hear all your Elvis favorites of the 50’s & 60’s. Travis LeDoyt is known around the world for his stunning resemblance of the King!

DON’T MISS Selah Christian music trio for all ages! 7 P.M. Saturday, July 10

Jae L. & Crossover Playing all your country favorites! 7:30 P.M. Saturday, July 17

Jae L. & Crossover McSwain Theatre’s Birthday Bash! 7:30 P.M. Saturday, August 7

All Tickets On Sale Now!

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To order tickets, visit www.McSwainTheatre.com or call the theatre box office at 580-332-8108

P R O P E R T I E S

Real Estate Magazine

Serve and enjoy! Provided by: Heather Chaffin

Grilled Ranch Chicken 4 - 6 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves 1 pkt Ranch soup mix 4 tbsp Olive oil *Ranch dressing (optional) Preheat grill on med high heat. Mix together Ranch mix & olive oil. Brush on chicken breast halves. Place chicken on grill. Grill 8 - 10 minutes on each side, or until cooked through & still moist. *You may brush with Ranch dressing before turning. Yield: 4 - 6 servings

Submit your favorite recipes to info@adahub.com

& P R O P E R T I E S

Real Estate Magazine

Ada City Hall Ada Municipal Airport Ada Nails Agri-Plex Aldridge Coffee Shop Apple Market Arvest Bank Barbara King Butler’s Convenience Store Byng Mini Mart Byng Shell Chamber of Commerce Chickasaw HR Bldg Chickasaw Trading Post Citizens Bank (12th St) Citizens Bank (Arlington) Citizens Bank (Cradduck) Delicias Elks Expressions First United Bank (12th St) First United Bank (Arlington) Heritage Bank Holiday Inn Express Huckeby’s J.D’s

Pick one up today! King’s Buffett La Fiesta Landmark Bank La Quinta Margaret Barton Mary Terry Maxwell McKee Microtel Nichol’s Dollar Saver Paradigm Perfect Blend Prarie Kitchen Premier Quality Inn Radio Shack Rib Crib Rinehart Stewart Propeties Sweeney Sweeney Gas Station Tri-County Twin Lakes RV Valero Station Valley View Hospital Vision Bank (Main St) www.adahub.com • 15


out and about

Photos submitted by Ada Chamber of Commerce

“Oh My Gravy” It’s a Pink Tie Affair

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1

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Commissioner Gary Starns

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Pam and John Martin

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Tom Runnells

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Donnie Woodell, Cord McCoy

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Erik Davis, Harland Stonecipher, Shirley Stonecipher, Brad Shields

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Chea Christian, Julie Hightower

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Jet McCoy, Victor Bolen

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Loretta and Chris Feiler

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Ann Miller

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inspirations My Dad’s by: Bob Searl

S

thirty minutes or so my twitching fingers grew quiet, and not long after that my attentive mind started to wander. I put my head on the table to rest. When I raised up and looked out the window my mouth fell open in shocked amazement. The box was down. Twitching all over now, I burst through the back door and sprinted to the sprung trap. I skidded to a stop beside the box, and slowly lifted it, looking underneath for a telltale patch of brown fur. But the box was empty. The wind must have blown it over, I thought. I reset the trap, then slunk back to the house and reset myself at the kitchen table. I lost interest in the whole affair after another wasted hour of fruitless watching, and went off to play something else. When my Dad came home from work that night he asked me how my rabbit trap worked. He listened as I told him the whole, sad story, and he was visibly moved by my disappointment. “Have you checked the trap lately,” he asked. When I told him I hadn’t looked at it since lunchtime, he said, “Well, lets go check it again. You never know…” It was dark outside, so Dad grabbed a flashlight and led me out the backdoor and into the yard. The beam of his flashlight threw a warm, yellow light on the box that rested flat on the ground. “Look at

ince I was part of the first generation of American children to grow up watching cartoons on television, it makes sense that I looked to my animated friends for ideas when I decided to trap a rabbit. Wile E. Coyote was the most technologically sophisticated person I knew (the lines between flesh and blood and pen and ink can get a little blurry for four yearolds), so I decided to use his design for a trap. One of the ways Mr. Coyote tried to catch the Road Runner was a simple four part trap: a large cardboard box, a string tied to a carrot on one end and a stick on the other. Prop the box up with the stick, center the carrot under the box, and you’re in business. I hoped a hungry bunny would scurry under the box, grab the carrot thus pulling the string that would pull the stick, and drop the box on the now trapped bunny. It was perfect in its simplicity. After breakfast on trapping day, Mom helped me gather the materials for my contraption, and I set the trap in the backyard in front of a large kitchen window through which I could see the whole yard. My fingers twitched as I took up my position at the kitchen table and peered out the window. My eyes darted back and forth, attentive to every detail in the yard. I saw birds, a couple of squirrels, but not a single rabbit. After

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that,” Dad said. “Do you suppose you caught something?” “Probably just the wind like before,” I muttered, hoping I was wrong. “You lift the box, Bobby, and I’ll keep the light on it. But lift it slowly. If you caught something you don’t want it to get away.” I noticed a bit of movement as I lifted the box. Something bumped it from the inside, and I saw a flash of white fur. “Is there something in there?” asked Dad. “What is it?” Dad reached under the box and pulled out a fat, white rabbit with pink eyes, nose, and ears. I squealed. Dad grinned. Mom said, “You can’t keep that thing in the house.” I named him Pinky. Several years passed before I figured out that Pinky had a little help getting caught. White bunnies with pink trim don’t grow wild in that part of the country. So what if I didn’t really catch a rabbit? I was captured by my father’s love. Forgive me if it is obvious, but he gave me more than a pet; Dad gave me his blessing. He blessed my imagination and effort. He blessed my creativity and initiative. But in the end, it was me that he blessed. Just me. One of the last things Dad said to me was, “You’ve been a good son.” The old guy could not help himself. Dad simply could not stop blessing me. ■

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