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May 6, 2012

REDNECK QUAKER: Ten-year-old harvests first bird

Ten-year-old Ethan Kelsheimer from Shepardsville is an outstanding young man.

After coming into this world, his odds of surviving were stacked against him with many ailments that kept him in Riley Hospital for more than two months. A few years later, he was run over by a truck, yet he has beat outstanding odds.

When Ethan and his dad’s eyes meet, you can see pure love generating for each other.

Ethan bought a turkey hunt on auction at the Blanford Sportsman Turkey Banquet and his Dad won three guns — a 308-caliber rifle, a 380-handgun and a 20-gauge Mossberg Jakes model shotgun. Now all they needed was a turkey and the hunt was on!

Gene (dad) grinned as he said Ethan was dressed in camo two days before the hunt, saying “Is it time to go yet?” He didn’t get much sleep the night before.

As the photo shows, the two mentor hunters, Mike and Jim, were elated with Ethan’s turkey of a lifetime.

Mike Domeika said to be ready at 5:30 a.m. and Ethan got there at 5:20. After arriving at the hunting spot, Ethan called his dad and said, “Don’t worry, I’m OK.”

In a calm exact voice, he said, “Two guys were calling and some deer came through, then a group of turkeys. There came the old gobbler up the hill toward me, so I knelt down behind a log and took good aim. I heard somebody saying, ‘Shoot!’ He said the gobbler went down and never got up.

While being cold and a little nervous, he placed the perfect shot on a gobbler with an 11-inch beard, two-inch spurs and weighing 22 pounds.

Gene expressed great gratitude to Mike and Jim. They have hearts of gold to mentor young folks.

Ethan’s dad took his first bird also, with it being 18 pounds with a 10-inch beard. Ethan said in a caring tone of voice, “It wasn’t near as big as his.” He didn’t want to hurt his dad’s feelings. Dad and lad, first birds of the same year, what an awesome memory.

Gene gave me words of faith when he related life’s experiences. He was nearly killed by a piece of heavy equipment and Ethan’s ailments along with financial troubles said a prayer one early morning before work. Standing in the front yard and only had two dollars in his pocket. His buddy bought his coffee that morning at the mini mart and Gene purchased a lottery ticket with his two dollars.

When he called home and told his wife he just won $15,000, she said don’t be joking at a time like this!

God does answer prayers and sometimes in mysterious ways. But this family is all healthy and Gene has a thriving business.

His only concern is how he can give back to his community to help others. He is a wealthy man and not from the dollar.

Life is good; their kindred souls will be forever.

Ethan promised to teach me how to fly-fish someday; he said he’s a pretty good fisherman.

Send stories and pictures to kwbayless@aol.com.

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