Tag Archives: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

Clay Lidgett

August 5, 2016 by
Photography by Bill Sitzmann

When Clay Lidgett was about 5 years old, he was already dressing up in Ghostbusters outfits. While other kids pretended to be Michelangelo from the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles or He-Man, Lidgett wanted to be Egon Spengler.

Like most childhood obsessions, his passion faded over time. He grew up, took on responsibility, and Ghostbusters fell to the wayside. Until just over a year ago. That’s when Lidgett stumbled upon a website devoted to all things Ghostbusters: cartoons, games, discussion forums, and yes, information on how to build your very own proton pack.

“I found out it was actually possible to build one of these myself. I didn’t know of the entire Ghostbusters community out there,” he says.

Lidgett set out to build the famous contraption designed to hold negatively charged ectoplasmic entities (i.e., ghosts). Over the course of one year, from March 2015 to 2016, Lidgett devoted five to six hours a week to soldering, gluing, screwing, and fitting together the roughly 100 pieces required to make an authentic Ghostbusters proton pack.

“There is an extremely vast amount of detailed information that is available. All of the exact measurements that you need, the exact part numbers, everything that you need is on the internet.”

ClayLidgett2His labor of love and rekindled passion for Ghostbusters coincided with announcements that a new Ghostbusters film would be released in 2016: “I started this before I knew the new movie was coming out. It was complete coincidence.”

His wife was supportive of his project, though their two children were the most excited. Lidgett actually purchased a proton pack for his children just like the one he had when he was a kid. This Halloween, he plans to create elaborate costumes with his children.

But when it comes to building another proton pack, Lidgett says, “No more packs…well, at least not as of right now.” He found a person who sells pieces for an exact replica of the original proton pack at 40 percent scale, and he has considered making them for his children.

Because of the support he received and the community he found in the process, Lidgett is quick to offer support to anyone else interested in creating their own proton pack or organizing to celebrate their love of Ghostbusters.

“I have been in contact with a lot of people who have been very, very helpful throughout the process. All of them have been very cool, very generous with their time,” he says.

In particular, Lidgett struck up a friendship with another fan from Michigan who helped guide him through the tedious construction process. Once Lidgett finished his outfit—he didn’t just build a proton pack; he also crafted his very own costume, complete with exact replica boots and a jumper with his name on the patch—the friend sent him a pin to celebrate his accomplishment and commemorate the late Harold Ramis, the actor who originally played Egon Spengler in Ghostbusters.

Come Halloween, Lidgett will be gearing up. His proton pack illuminates with flashing lights and hums like a radioactive generator. The pack also features a hidden speaker controlled by his proton gun. It blasts the Ghostbusters theme song, a warning to potential nefarious spirits: “I ain’t afraid of no ghost.”

Visit gbfans.com for more information. Omaha Magazine

Jesse Wilson

July 27, 2015 by
Photography by Bill Sitzmann

This article appears in 2015 August Her Family.

Four-year old Jesse Wilson is like most boys his age. He loves Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and McDonald’s French fries. But one thing sets him apart.

In his short life, he has undergone 20 surgeries to help correct the birth defect hypospadias. It means that his urethra is in the wrong spot. Normally, this type of defect is fixed through surgery, but Jesse’s case is rare.

Jesse’s skin heals too quickly, subsequently undoing the work of each surgery. “If he didn’t heal in a way that he does, it would have been fixed a really long time ago,” says his mother, Jill Wilson.

In the year Jesse was 2, he had surgery once a month. It’s hard to imagine. “He has been a champion. He bounces back so quickly and he handles it. He’ll just sit there and let the doctors do their thing,” Wilson says.

They have strong support from family and friends. “My mom has never missed a surgery. She’s always there.” Wilson is thankful for the prayers from her mom’s friends on Jesse’s behalf. “I love hearing that and I appreciate every single one of them.”

He was also born eight weeks early, so he spent some time in the neonatal intensive care unit at Methodist Women’s Hospital in Omaha.

He has had two full reconstructive surgeries. Out of 20 surgeries, the majority of them were an attempt to correct his hypospadias, while others were for different issues. “A lot of them were just attempts to keep his urethra open,” she says.

“Luckily, the nurses and doctors at Children’s Hospital are phenomenal. Everybody has made him feel really comfortable.”

They are continuing the search for a solution and are in Texas this month for a surgery with one of the nation’s pioneering pediatric urologists, Dr. Warren Snodgrass of the Forest Park Medical Center. Snodgrass is responsible for creating a new method for hypospadias repair that has become the most widely used operation for this condition.

“The doctor said that he’s never had a child that has scarred the way that Jesse does, and so he’s hoping that when he does the surgery, he won’t. But there are no promises,” Wilson says. They will travel with his dad, James Wilson. Jocelyn, 20-months-old, will stay home with grandma.

Jesse has a favorite stuffed giraffe he takes with him to the hospital each surgery. Gradually, his giraffe was joined by an army of bears that he earned one by one from the hospital after each surgery. “He has an extensive collection and those were always his favorite to cuddle with after he got out.”

Meanwhile, Jesse, the continual fighter, is singing his way through the days. “He always sings. He loves ‘The Wheels on the Bus.’ Anything he hears, he repeats and he sings it,” Wilson says.


Turtle Power

October 21, 2014 by
Photography by Sarah Lemke

As fall arrives in Omaha there is much to get excited about. Pumpkin patches and haunted houses open for a screaming good time and, of course, costumes must be planned.

Though there are costume shops as far as the eye can see, they can be quite pricey. Even supermarkets can ask a little too much for a piece of fabric and a mask, just so that your child can have the same outfit as 10 of his or her classmates.

In light of this predicament and the recent debut of the new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie, here is a DIY that is sure to impress.

Tools to become a ninja:

  • Two paint brushes, small and large
  • Black and green acrylic paint (acrylic is easiest to fix mistakes with because it dries quickly and it’s opaque)
  • One can of a medium-tone green spray paint
  • One blue felt square (we created Leonardo. Feel free to substitute other color).
  • One aluminum-roasting pan (some have rounded edges. We opted for grooved).
  • One adult cardboard shirt form
  • One piece of thick brown ribbon or old leather belt
  • Velcro and green felt strips

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