The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

May 2, 2014

Pulling dad out of a hat

By Phyllis Zorn, Staff Writer
Enid News and Eagle

ENID, Okla. — Two Chisholm Elementary School students got a huge surprise Friday afternoon when a magician pulled an oversized nylon beaker on stage to see what was blocking it — and the “obstruction” turned out to be their father, just back from six and a half months in Iraq.

Magician Dan Luskey, who also serves as Bible history teacher at Chisholm, had done three magic tricks for Chisholm’s kindergarten, first-, second- and third-graders, when he asked for a couple of volunteers to help with the magic beaker trick.

He chose second-grader Grace Kohl and then said he needed a boy.

“Do you have a brother?” he asked Grace.

Grace pointed to kindergartner Austin Kohl. Luskey called them to the stage to put balloons into the magic beaker. But the balloons weren’t coming out on cue, so Luskey had to peek inside to see what was wrong.

“It seems to be blocked,” Luskey said before he lifted the nylon beaker up off the stage and revealed Lt. Col. Kevin Kohl, sitting there holding the balloons.

Grace and Austin initially stared at their father as if unable to believe what they saw right in front of them. Then they hugged their daddy.

Sara Dow’s third-grade class had emailed back and forth with Kohl during his deployment to Iraq.

Grace picked up her daddy’s cap and put it on her head, while Chisholm students asked Kohl questions, such as whether he’d been home very long.

Two students went to their classrooms to get posters students had made in honor of Kohl, and asked Dow if they could give the posters to him.

“Grace and Austin and I would like to know if we could skip the rest of school today,” Kohl told the children.

The joyful reaction of the other students told the Kohls they could.

“I got a lot of letters from some of you,” Kohl told the children. “Thank you for the letters.”