Nugent continues sharing time and money

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  • Dennis Clay

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    Toby Nugent photo Ted Nugent (left) and Dennis Clay discuss outdoor topics in Ted’s dressing room before a concert at the Benton Franklin County Fair a few years ago.

  • Dennis Clay

  • 1

    Toby Nugent photo Ted Nugent (left) and Dennis Clay discuss outdoor topics in Ted’s dressing room before a concert at the Benton Franklin County Fair a few years ago.

Recently Eastern Washington newspapers published a story about Rock ‘N Roll Icon Ted Nugent helping replace a well-respected Republic police dog. The dog, assigned to Police Chief, Loren Culp, died last December.

Nugent heard of the loss and started a movement to find a new police dog for the Republic Police Department. He also donated an autographed guitar for a raffle to raise funds for the movement. This isn’t unusual for the artist, as he donates his time and possessions often for good causes across the country.

Of course, the center of attention isn’t the only person involved with good-meaning efforts in the Nugent household. Ted’s wife, Shemane, sons, Toby and Rocco, along with other family members are sure to be helping with this endeavor and others Ted endorses.

Here are a few of my dealings with Nugent. Ted was scheduled to appear at an outdoor show in Seattle in early 1992. Arrangements were made to have Ted call the Columbia Basin Herald at a certain time on a certain date.

Ted called and spent two hours talking about his life. Then he began sending 50 pages of history, stories and other items by fax. This was a great boost for a beginning outdoor writer.

The icon called my radio show a month later and we recorded a 3-minute piece about outdoor ethics. The show placed third the in the Society of Professional Journalists contest.

We ended up meeting face-to-face at the SHOT Show the following year. This has become a regular meeting, at least for a couple of minutes, whenever we are both at the show.

Many times, the Outdoor Channel will provide a chance for fans to meet Ted at the show. There is a booth for Ted and Shemane when this happens. Fans line up for a two-hour wait and don’t complain.

The late Chuck Buck indicated a desire to meet Ted at one show. When I called, Ted said to wait about 50 yards from the booth at a certain time, so Chuck could meet Ted on his way to his booth.

Garnet was positioned a bit to the side, so she could get a photo of the meeting. Ted walked toward the booth and noticed us. Then he noticed Garnet off to the side. He turned toward her and said, “Well high, Babe,” and gave her a hug in front of 3,000 or more people.

The Ted Nugent Kamp for Kids was established in 1990 as a 501c 3 organization. The goal: To get kids out of the malls, off the streets, away from drugs and crime, and into the woods. Children aged 8 to 15 are taught the basics of archery, air guns, fishing, trapping, sling shots, wildlife calling, outdoor survival and first aid, along with the history of man and beast coexisting. Some of the youth who attended the Kamp in the ‘90s have returned as mentors.

In 2000, Nugent opened for KISS at The Gorge. Garnet and I picked up Ted, Shemane and Rocco at the Hallmark Inn and drove him to the Boyd Mordhorst Shooting Range. There he greeted fans and signed autographs. A sheriff’s deputy swore Ted and I in as honorary deputies.

We then drove the group to The Gorge and attended the concert. We were invited backstage and Ted presented Garnet with the arrow he let fly at the end of the concert.

Anyone who was sworn in as a deputy was allowed to purchase a centennial sheriff’s badge during the Grant County Centennial. I ordered one for Ted and another for me. Ted called as soon as he received his.

“I’ll be hunting bear near Moclips in a couple of weeks,” he said. “Come over for lunch,” so we did and Ted paid.

Ted has donated hundreds of guitars for auctions to benefit wildlife. He has performed for military units across the country and participated in a USO tour of the Persian Gulf.

He says he has never taken illegal drugs or alcohol. I pressed him on this point during one of our interviews. “It’s true,” he said.

Our reporter-celebrity relationship has evolved over the years. If I send an e-mail, it is usually answered within the hour. Every so often, Ted will call and want to discuss an outdoor topic.

We agree on 99 percent of all topics and Ted Nugent is my friend.

My favorite Nugent quote came from an interview with a French journalist:

The journalist asked, “What do you think the last thought is in the head of a deer before you shoot it? Is it, “Are you my friend?” or maybe “Are you the one who killed my brother?”

Nugent replied, “They aren’t capable of that kind of thinking. All they care about is: What am I going to eat next? ... Can I run fast enough to get away? They are very much like the French in that.”

The interview ended promptly.

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