Meet a Young Woman Whose Life is Anything but Ordinary

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Meet a Young Woman Whose Life is Anything but Ordinary

By Michelle Ochsner

Here in the Treasure Valley, children grow up not only dreaming about life, but they also capture the moment and experience it. Sara Henry is no exception. Raised on the race track by her parents, Steve and Cathy Henry, it’s no surprise that this beautiful young woman lives life in the fast lane.

The retired racecar driver and owner of Wild West Aircraft, Steve Henry, raced Outlaw Karts and Mini-Sprints on dirt with Sara as she grew up. Traveling all over the west, this father-daughter team often finished 1st and 2nd.  Steve not only was her toughest competitor, but he is also her greatest influence. “He is a very competitive and an AMAZING driver.”

At the age of four, Sara started riding dirt bikes. By the time she was eleven, her dad introduced her to Go-Kart racing. From then on that was all she wanted to do and her winning streak started in 1996 when she raced her first Go-Kart and won a street race in Warden, Washington. “I won and the trophy was a huge box of potatoes and onions.”

Her first Sprint Car Main Event win came in 2007 at the Bob and Tom Naylor Memorial at the Meridian Speedway, a proud moment for her that she happily shared with her father. Currently competing in the Legends Division, Sara drives the number 22 car for owner Darin Turpen with crew members Brian Walker, Bill Cullum, and Brent Collins. For nineteen years Sara has fulfilled her aspirations of racing always driving as her special number; 22. With five championships in Outlaw Karts and Mini-Sprints, there are still so many objectives for this gal to achieve and not solely at the Meridian Speed Way.

After learning that one isn’t able to make a living at racing in Idaho and not willing to move away, Sara began to contemplate other interests as a profession. She decided to go into business for herself. It’s always something she’s wanted to accomplish plus she never wanted to work for someone else.

At the age of twenty, interested in art and being creative, Sara decided she wanted to be a cosmetologist. “It fits with my creative, fast-paced personality and always changes so I don’t ever get bored. I lease my station so I have my own business within a business. I’m free to make my own schedule and go racing on the weekends. It’s perfect! Plus both racing and doing hair, I meet a lot of great people. They go together more than you would think.”

Just as good at doing hair as she is racing, Sara works as a professional stylist at Lavish Hair and Nail Salon in Meridian. For ten years she’s used her skills to create the perfect look for her clients. One of her many forte’s is transforming overworked, dry, damaged hair into beautiful healthy tresses. “I love being a girly girl and doing hair and fashion! It’s creative and fun for me. I also love helping my clients feel good and confident in themselves knowing their hair is beautiful. I also specialize in men’s haircuts. I have a lot of clients from the track.”

Accepting new clients, Sara can give you that popular cut everyone’s been raving about or if color is what you’re in need of, she is the person to ask for as this is her specialty. With up to date techniques she continues her education and is always in the loop.  “Ongoing education is very important to me and I work hard to stay current on the newest trends and techniques. Education is most important in this business.”

Cosmetologist by day, race car driver on her off time; this thrill-seeking woman is anything but faint-hearted. One day she’s dirt biking at Silver Creek Summit then the next she is off racing at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

Nevertheless, there’s more to Sara than high adrenaline adventures whose passion is not only for being on the track, she also has an inherent love for animals. So much that she attempted Vet Tech School and opened a business, Bird 22, selling Parrots to locals here in the Treasure Valley. “I built an Avery in a barn out back and had two types of birds. The room was temperature and humidity-controlled. I spent a lot of time keeping the birds happy.”

She sold the business after two years as it was a time commitment that took her away from the track. Today, she doesn’t have any Parrots. It’s just her and her racing buddy, Ferris, an Italian Greyhound. “I love Greyhounds! I love how sleek and fast they are and I think they are very artistic looking.”

Sara firmly believes that if you find something you love in life, you should go for it.  “Sometimes it doesn’t go the way you expected, but it was worth trying.”





Meridian Symphony Orchestra Bring Quality Entertainment for the Entire Family

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Meridian Symphony Orchestra Bring Quality Entertainment for the Entire Family

By Michelle Ochsner

From Ludwig van Beethoven to John Williams, composures along with orchestrated symphonies allow music to remain timeless in a world that takes time for granted. The pieces put together by conductors and the musicians who play enchanting tunes such as Vivaldi’s Concerto for Two Trumpets, capture your soul. The force of the sound encompasses the mind as imagination takes flight for a few short hours. Suspending time as we know it and transporting rational thought to a different locality.

Mesmerized by the performance one might imagine cartoon mice chasing cheese rolling around as they bump into the wall, whereas another is envisioning two lovers holding each other as they glide across the dance floor. That’s the beauty of these compositions, cognition is boundless.

When spectators attend a symphony the expectations are often high. For 23 years, the Meridian Symphony Orchestra has captivated audiences around the Meridian area with extraordinary performances. The orchestra provides quality entertainment for the entire family as they characterize elegance in the form of music with instrumentalists of all ages.

The ensemble of this symphony consists of 70 members each who volunteers their time all for the love of playing music. Every member of the orchestra utilizes their own time practicing, marketing, and performing without compensation. The dedication of this group is wondrous. When most people are winding down after a long day at the office, these musicians prepare for rehearsal. Long as their day has been, when the music starts energy erupts.

The orchestra openly welcomes Conductor and Artistic Director, Jim Ogle on the podium this season. After spending two decades with the Boise Philharmonic, he is currently the Interim Development Director at Boise State University promoting and fundraising for the university’s academic programs.

After taking some time off from conducting, Jim was ready for something different and joined the Meridian Symphony Orchestra contributing an aura of passion and excitement.

“The dedication and musicianship of this orchestra has enriched my life. I am proud to be part of this organization. They are nice people to be around and bring a lot of joy to me,” says Jim Ogle overcome with emotion. “It’s satisfying to have joined such a wonderful group of musicians and partner up with the Meridian Symphony Orchestra.”

The members of the orchestra hold the same admiration for their new conductor as he does for them. It’s obvious by the performances how perfect this collaboration really is.

“When Tom Phelps, a fellow musician, and friend, invited me to be the guest conductor for the Meridian Symphony Orchestra it felt like a love fest. In the fall of 2011, I called Tom for another guest opportunity and he offered me the job of Conductor,” says Ogle.

David Stolhand, Vice President and Senior Trust Officer at Bank of the Cascades, has served as Board President and Violinist since 2002 with the orchestra.  David is the orchestra’s go-to guy. Publicity and marketing events …..

The Meridian Symphony Orchestra is a non-profit organization that solely relies on contributions from the community. All donations and ticket sales directly go towards venue rentals and maintain community outreach programs such as the annual Young Artist Competition. Every year the orchestra invites young musicians from 4th through 12th grade to compete for two positions to play with the orchestra.

A partnership with Meridian Schools, the orchestra performs at Centennial

How to resolve conflict

Is your day spent in complete chaos and are you up to your elbows in, well, work? You plug away doing your job while being forced into acting like a complete nincompoop giving in to ridiculous demands when all you really want to say is, “are you kidding me, in your dreams,” or “no freaking way.” Daydreaming of how incredibly awesome it would be to spew these derogatory remarks all over one person to the next. Okay, not really. Hopefully your mother raised you better than that and if not, maybe yoga/meditation class to find your happy place?

Honestly, loss of empathy for others can make for a miserable life. If you lose the ability to connect with others, you lose the ability to deal with the inconsistencies that inevitably occur. Maintaining composure and recovering quickly after a conflict can benefit not only your state of mind, it can benefit your health.

Resolving conflict is a skill that most people fail to learn. Most of us use past experiences and use the fight or flight approach in the heat of battle. However, once you gain theses skill sets you will use them as a constructive tool, vastly improving your relationships not only at work but your personal life as well.

At first a person may have to revert to a childlike state and use the greatest gift given to humanity; the gift of pretend. That’s right, pretend you are happy. Sounds too simple does it not? Putting a smile on that face of yours has been proven to improve your mood and wellbeing. After you master the art of pretend, the real work begins.

Life is full of conflict, but we do have choices:

1)      Own our reactions, or throw a temper tantrum.

2)      State your emotions, or leave them guessing why you’re upset.

3)      Take accountability for your feelings, or play the blame game.

Rules of engagement:

1)      One person speaks at a time, and speak only for yourself. (I feel, I think, I believe)

2)      Avoid implying you know how others feel. (You feel, You think, You believe)

3)      Communicate what is really bothering you.

4)      When interactions are no longer productive, take a break.

As you are trying to sort out your differences with someone, it’s important to remember that you must confirm what you think heard before reacting and be accountable for your own actions. Also, take a moment to notice how you are about to react. Just a few seconds will grant you the self-control to put off judgments that you would not normally make.

Of course there’s always that split second when the little devil on your shoulder gets the best of you and before you know it, your auto reacting. It’s often not a good thing to auto react as it usually escalates the conflict.

Even if you are the greatest people person of all time, there are those days that will send you over the proverbial edge and you will use that potty mouth of yours. And it’s okay that you did so, apologize and move on. Just don’t make a habit out of it.