The Ottumwa Courier

December 6, 2012

Santa's not just for kids

Wapello County adults discuss their Christmas wish lists

JEFF HUTTON
Courier editor

OTTUMWA — Dreams of Barbie dolls, stuffed animals and video games fill the heads of children at Christmas time.

But ask a few Ottumwa adults their holiday desires, and you’ll find a varied collection of Christmas wishes that would please many of us.

Like a lot of kids, Mark Eckman is a science-fiction fan.

The director of the Ottumwa Area Convention and Visitors Bureau would love a little something that could hang from his tree.

“Every year, for the past 15 years, my wish is to get either a ‘Star Wars’ or ‘Star Trek’ ornament,” he said.

Eckman said his love of the popular sci-fi TV show and movie franchises started when he was 10 years old when he watched reruns of “Star Trek.”

Subsequently, family members including his nephew and niece, have given him ornaments that now adorn his sci-fi-themed Christmas tree.

“It’s a small tree, but it’s getting fuller and fuller ... it’s kind of fun, kind of quirky.”

Wapello County Conservation Board Naturalist Annette Wittrock didn’t have any specific desires this holiday but said she wouldn’t mind some camping equipment.

“I have the tent; I just need the stuff to cook over the fire,” she said.

State Rep. Mary Gaskill, D-Ottumwa, said she’s not looking for just one gift this Christmas but something more like 10 — 10 new members to join the Ottumwa chapter of Toastmasters.

A member of the local chapter, Gaskill said Toastmasters “is a good leadership program; it helps in improving communication skills.

“I would love to see that happen.”

Ottumwa City Finance Director Bob Jay would love nothing more this Christmas than a brand new 2013 Electra Glide Ultra Classic Harley-Davidson motorcycle.

“I’ve always liked riding my bikes,” said Jay, who already owns a Harley-Davidson sportster.

But what are the chances Santa will heed Jay’s wish?

“It’s not likely,” he laughed.

But should Jay’s Christmas wish come true, he may need a place to park his new motorcycle.

He might want to check with Wapello County Sheriff Mark Miller, who hopes Santa will bring him a new garage.

“I have things scattered around; need to consolidate all the stuff in different sheds” into one new garage, he said.

Miller said he’s even got a spot picked out for Santa to deliver the structure. But should Kris Kringle turn him down on this request, Miller said he’d settle for the latest edition of “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives,” a book derived from the popular Food Network TV show.

Of course, a new garage would complement Teresa Keck’s Christmas wish.

“I just told my daughter I want a new 2013 white [Toyota] Prius,” said Keck, who works for River Hills Community Health.

“I would love to find that in my driveway with a big red bow,” she said.

But Keck won’t be too disappointed if Santa is unable to deliver a new car.

“I just want to stay healthy ... and I want my family to be happy,” she said.