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SOS Rhino : In the News : Archived News : February 2001 : Rhinoceros collection started after laste husband read book

Rhinoceros collection started after late husband read book

By Jessica DeLeon
Fort Worth Star-Telegram
February 4, 2001

NORTH RICHLAND HILLS - About 25 years ago, when Kathy Luppy and her now deceased husband, Chuck, worked as Amway salespeople, they picked up a book called Rhinoceros Success.

Her husband so liked the book's philosophy, which compared animals' traits to strategies people should take in life, the family adopted the rhino as its symbol. And Kathy Luppy, a teacher at North Ridge Elementary School, now boasts a curio cabinet and classroom filled with rhinos.

"The rhino was the one who kept his eyes on the road and charged forward and wasn't to graze on the grass like the cows," Luppy explained.

One would think it would be hard to find rhino-shaped objects, but Luppy always managed to find them on trips and gift shops. Friends and students also collected them for the family.

The Luppys found a rhino maraca in Cancun. A friend brought her a rhino candle from a New York City pawn shop. Another friend, who worked in a machine shop, collected metal shavings to form a rhino horn. A student bought her rhino bath beads.

"We have an Avon bottle, believe it or not," she said.

Plus, there's stuffed animals, a Christmas tree ornament with a rhino on a skateboard and one made out of papier-mache.

"It's just unbelievable, the different kinds," she said.

But it's more than just a collector's object. It's a symbol. At school, her class is referred to as "Luppy's Raging Rhinos" and have T-shirts and locker and desk name tags with the rhino on them. Her husband, before he died, made a pendant with a rhino for her and their children.

"They're just a magnificent creature," she said.



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