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Stories of snakes and Spurs and cancer

by Jenni Carlson Modified: June 6, 2014 at 2:10 pm •  Published: June 6, 2014
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During the fog of the Thunder’s playoff run, one of our photographers Steve Gooch happened by my desk.

I don’t remember when it was. I don’t remember what I was doing, but I do remember Steve saying that he knew a guy who was an Oklahoman and a Spurs fan. The guy was also battling cancer. I told Steve that it sounded like a story that I might like to do.

But then somewhere amid all the games and the drives back and forth to San Antonio and the madness of the playoffs, my conversation with Steve slipped my mind.

(That tends to happen often during the playoffs. I blame the playoffs for a lot of my memory lapses during the spring.)

But then earlier this week, I was in the photo department looking for another photographer when Steve mentioned his friend the Spurs fan again. I had forgotten about our previous conversation, but as Steve talked, I knew the time was right to do this story.

The story of Conner Davey appeared earlier this week.

But I wanted to share two things:

1. Conner has quite a story that has nothing to do with his Spurs fandom, and it’s actually the reason that Steve knows him. Steve, in addition to being a darn good photographer, is a snake breeder. I have to admit, I don’t understand the appeal of handling big reptiles, but hey, whatever curls your hair.

Turns out, Conner is a snake breeder, too, and he started breeding before he was out of junior high.

His interest in snakes was such a big deal that we did a story about it a few years back when Conner was playing basketball at Washington. You can read that story here.

2. It never ceases to amaze me where great stories can come from. I really love the story about Conner being a Spurs fan from Oklahoma, but I never would’ve known about it if not for Steve. (And for Steve thinking to tell me about it again after the Thunder was eliminated.)

There are great stories everywhere. Everyone is walking around with knowledge of interesting people and inspiring stories in their lives. And anytime anyone thinks enough of me to share one of those stories with me, I consider it a gift. It’s an honor for me. It’s a privilege for me.

So, thank you to Steve and thank you to Conner. What an honor to hear your stories.

by Jenni Carlson
Columnist
Jenni Carlson, a sports columnist at The Oklahoman since 1999, came by her love of sports honestly. She grew up in a sports-loving family in Kansas. Her dad coached baseball and did color commentary on the radio for the high school football...
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