Gilstrap’s Big Bucket

Gilstrap’s Big Bucket
Broken Arrow (Okla.) Daily Ledger
January 29, 2004

If you’ve driven by it at all, it’s probably had you scratching your head — or at least doing a double-take.

There aren’t many chiropractors with a gigantic chicken bucket on their signs.

And until a few months ago, Colonel Sanders’ smiling face could still be seen on the sign outside Dr. Russ Gilstrap’s Broken Arrow office near the intersection of Elm Place and Kenosha.

“It’s definitely something different and unique,” said Gilstrap. who moved into the former KFC restaurant in February 2003.

Gilstrap said he decided to leave the bucket on the sign because it’s such a longtime fixture.

“That bucket has been there for somewhere around 30 years,” he said. “Everybody knows where the old KFC is, but they don’t know where my office is.”

They do now.

“I don’t go anywhere where somebody doesn’t say, “Hey, you’re that KFC chiropractor.’”

The unique sign has drawn the attention of pranksters and the generally curious from near and far.

“Until we painted over the Colonel’s face we were getting about a phone call a day,” Gilstrap said with a grin. “People were wanting to know if they could order chicken with their adjustments, stuff like that.

“It was pretty funny.”

Gilstrap’s sign has earned him a bit of Internet infamy.

It earned the “Most Audacious Conversion” award, hands down, from a Web site called, which bills itself as “a chronicle of bad conversions and storefronts past.”

Liz Clayton’s site, which made its debut on Jan. 9, features about three dozen businesses, many of them restaurants, who have undergone bizarre or just plain lame conversions from one business to another.

One example is a restaurant called Chinese Hut near Clayton’s home in Toronto, Canada.

It’s obviously a former Pizza Hut owned by a restauranteur evidently more interested in cooking than in facade renovation.

Clayton saluted Chinese Hut for its “excellent reuse of the word “hut.’”

Businesses like Chinese Hut can be found in cities everywhere, said Clayton.

“You’ve seen them,” she said. “You look at them, you laugh. But I’ve never seen anything as blatantly silly (as Gilstrap’s sign).”

Clayton’s site was recently featured in “Yahoo! Picks,” a daily e-mail newsletter featuring interesting, irreverent and bizarre Web site.

Gilstrap Chiropractic was the first business photo submitted to Clayton since she put up the site.

“I live about a mile and a half from (Gilstrap’s clinic) and see it all the time,” said alert Internet surfer Lee Sanders, who submitted the photo (much to the dismay of a certain Daily Ledger writer beaten to the punch).

“I’ve seen the building change little by little, and I kept thinking surely they would take the bucket down,” Sanders said.

She added that she was “totally surprised” when her photo garnered such distinction from Clayton’s site.

Not everyone is taking in the light-hearted spirit in which Clayton intended.

Take Chinese Hut, for instance.

“They were like, ‘What do you mean? You come here, you get Chinese food.’ They didn’t have much of a sense of humor about it,” Clayton said.

“I’m not making fun of people. I’m making fun of the visual image you get.”

Gilstrap has no immediate plans to kick the bucket, so to speak.

He’s even planning a contest for the best suggestion on what to do with it.

“Our idea is to find something tasteful to put on the bucket and use it,” Gilstrap said. “But if we can’t come up with something tasteful, we’ll just get rid of it.”

The contest will coincide with the clinic’s Feb. 21 grand opening.

Gilstrap, who, along with his wife, Becky, live in Broken Arrow and are BAHS graduates, also operate a clinic in Sand Springs.

Gilstrap has operated a practice in BA since 1998, but that building, just around the corner on Elm Place, was sold, prompting his move into the former KFC.

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