They See Me Rollin'
Spring 2012 Issue | By Nicole Blanchard
Communiversity event scores student new wheels
Since last August, something wild has been prowling the streets of Pocatello. Many people have caught glimpses of the orange-and-black striped beast as it makes its way through the city streets, leaving both bewilderment and amusement in its wake.
Luckily this entity isn't an escaped animal - it's Idaho State University freshman Zach Entenman in his orange-and-black 1988 Lincoln Town Car, otherwise known as the Bengal Car.
Since winning the jazzed-up car in August at Pocatello's annual Welcome Back Orange and Black event, the 18-year-old music major has been turning quite a few heads with his unusual ride.
"I mostly get stares," said Entenman of the usual reactions to his vibrant vehicle. "One time I was driving out in the country and this van pulled up next to me. The people inside took pictures of my car."
The Lincoln Town Car was donated by Jim Rogers, owner of NBC News Channel 6, and the special Bengal paint job was donated by local dealership Cole Chevrolet.
Entenman was thrilled when his name was drawn at the Welcome Back event, which is organized by the CommUniversity Committee, a group of local business leaders and university officials dedicated to expanding the relationship between the university and community.
Though to some all the attention might seem like a perk, for Entenman one of the biggest benefits of winning the Bengal Car was the ability to transport his upright bass, which he plays in the Idaho State Civic Symphony.
"I can take it to rehearsals with very little effort," he said. "My family car was very small, there's no way my bass would fit in there. Transporting my bass in the Bengal Car is certainly a lot easier than carrying it."
The Bengal Car, Entenman's first vehicle, offers him much more than just an interesting ride. In addition to serving the function of instrument transport, the car has also made it possible for Entenman to easily return to his hometown of Meridian as he pleases.
"The car allows me to have a little more independence," said Entenman. "I can just get in my car and go."
The Bengal Car has added more than just a feeling of independence to Entenman's life. He said his Idaho State University school spirit received quite a boost as a result of winning the car and essentially becoming a travelling mascot.
"When I'm driving that car around Boise I'm kind of representing ISU," Entenman said. "That makes me feel good."
Former Alumni Director and CommUniversity Committee Co-Chair Valorie Watkins said that attitude plays right into the goal she and fellow organizers were hoping for: pride in Idaho State University and the Pocatello community.
"With the car giveaway we were hoping to get large numbers of students to come down to Welcome Back and see what Pocatello's all about," she said. "We're trying to strengthen the bond between ISU and Pocatello and make Pocatello a real college town."
Entenman is grateful for the opportunities he has had at ISU. "I was lucky to win because I would have had a much harder time at ISU without it," he explained.
Entenman's experience is one that Watkins said she hopes goes a long way toward improving both school and community spirit.
"I hope events like this make the entire campus understand and realize that there's a whole community here," Watkins said. "We're all one entity working for the betterment of ourselves and our community."