Shannon Evans, a carpenter by trade and a stock car racer aficionado, was born and raised in Nelsonville, Ohio. He spent his boyhood climbing trees and dreaming of steering "big rigs" across the country. Once he became a certified semi-truck driver, he traveled from city to city with his cargo in tow but realized it was not the dream he had imagined it to be.
Missing birthday parties and big events like picking up his son, Cris, from school when he broke his wrist, was not something he had anticipated. A life away from home was one he had not wished for, and Nelsonville was a long drive from any city. The small job market of a retired coal town was something he did anticipate, but Evans does his best to find carpentry jobs when the weather is suitable, as living in the country allows him to hear "the chipmunks chirping and the birds cheeping." Though his wife of 21 years was from "the big city" of Columbus, she adapted well to country life and was pleased at the friendliness of the local people. His love of driving vehicles morphed into building his own stock car and racing it all over southeast Ohio and the surrounding states, but his family has trouble sharing this love with him.
Cris, 16, is an artistic high school student who sees himself behind a computer for most of his life, as he studies video games and takes computer technology classes. Alyson, 13, loves animals and changes her dreams from week to week, varying from veterinarian to professional dirt bike racer." Her pink walls are dotted with photos of teen heartthrobs ripped from magazines. She knows that kids her age should be "outside for at least 60 minutes a day," but enjoys watching the television in her room while her brother plays video games on the other side of her wall.
Evans has trouble comparing his life filled with outdoors and manual labor to the life of computers and televisions his children lead. But every Saturday, the three look past their differences and head to Dow's Rollarena to enjoy their one common interest- rollerskating.
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