CHICKASHA, OKLAHOMA -- He claims to be the only man in town who has his own private elevator. "168-thousand square feet," is the kind of room Coy Bush has in his downtown building.
He restored one of two elevators in the building to its original, hand operated, status. Bush bought the Petroleum Building 20 years ago. He got a good deal on it from the federal government.
In addition to the elevators he fixed up the rest of the place too. He and his wife Gail have a nice apartment on the 2nd floor. There's a book store on the first floor. Almost all the retail space that's left is rented out, except for a big suite on the 5th floor.
Coy keeps that for himself for when he or one of his grandkids want to play. "I try to come up here as much as I can," he says. "I could rent it but then I'd have no place to put my junk."
He grew up poor but Bush did have his own BB gun. Now he has lots of bb guns, air rifles, pop guns, and clackers. Just over 450 at last count, some still in the box.
Along with all the toys comes a chest full of childhood memories from a different time in the annals of American youth. For instance, Coy once shot his brother with a BB gun while he was taking a bath. "He was taking a bath in an old tin bath tub," he recalls. "I shot him and he came up out of that bath and chased my down the street."
Rolling stock and round marbles, cars, clowns, whatever he has an eye for whatever he thinks his grandkids might like, it all ends up in his 5th floor playhouse. Bush says, "Rich guys gather money. I gather toys."
Coy even has a shooting gallery set up to test his arsenal. Trust him when he says he never misses. A visitor sets up a camera shot next to the intended target. Bush shoots the target just inches from the visitor's head. "You've got a lot of nerve to let me do that," he chuckles.
Visitors come up from time to time but Coy says the 5th floor isn't a museum. It's still a play room and the guy who visits most of all is the one who holds the key, the big kid in the old man's disguise. "The price of a toy doesn't mean anything," he argues, "if you can't play with it."