Mr. Sandman

Boy's bedroom catches attention of magazine

Wesley Chapman has the room of his dreams.

Just 11, he has everything he could hope for in a bedroom, plus the signature of a fine artist on his wall.

His addiction to dirt bikes and all-terrain vehicles started before he was able to grasp the handle bars. He's been riding for 10 years and driving for eight, his father David Chapman said as he described holding his son, younger than 1 year old then, for the first time on an ATV.

His mother, Sharyl Chapman, is a home improvement show fanatic. Inspired by programs on TLC, she decided Wesley's room needed a makeover. She suggested painting sand dunes -- Wesley's favorite turf to ride -- on the walls, but he wasn't so sure that was a good idea.

"Mine would have looked like he thought of when I said sand dunes," Sharyl said, laughing.

So she recruited an artist she knows well -- her mother.

"She came in at Thanksgiving and I said, 'I've got a project for you,'" Sharyl remembered.

Wesley was excited to have his room redecorated, but all he wanted was "a bigger bed and to have something besides white on the walls."

He got much more.

He got a room that he couldn't have dreamed up.

Wesley's grandmother, Holly Norman from Coolidge, Texas, spent four days in his room painting sky and sand. But she had a few assistants -- Wesley and some of his cousins from Oklahoma.

"They helped with the flat work," Holly said. "They were good for moral support, too."

She finished the mural with a detail of a boy on a Yamaha Blaster, a replica of a photo of Wesley riding, and her initials in the bottom corner of one wall.

David installed a closet organizer, and Sharyl had a comforter embroidered at Hems and Hers with block letters reading Yamaha. She got free boxes with ATVs on them from a shop in Grand Junction, and she transformed them into nightstands.

"The thing I like most is it's not a kid's room," Sharyl said. "He can grow up with it."

They took photos when the room came together, and submitted one to Dirt Wheels, a magazine to which Wesley subscribes. They received the May issue Thursday, and Wesley's room was in it.

The editors also printed a photo of Sharyl's license plate that reads, "2B ATVN."

The whole family enjoys riding, and they take trips nearly every other weekend when the weather is nice. The Chapmans own nine ATVs and bikes, and load several into the back of their camper and go to many surrounding states to find the best trails.

"It's a good family sport," Holly said, "but they try to go in safety-minded and environmentally minded."

Wesley recently bought a $650 used bike with his own money.

"I've been saving since I was 4," he said. "It was originally for a truck, but I can't get a truck for another five years."

The family has friends who ride, and they visit and are impressed by Wesley's walls.

"I think all the kids want it in their rooms," David said, "and all the dads do too."

Wesley's room reminds him of Rock Springs, Wyo., his favorite place to ride.

He likes to sit in his room and think about being out there on his vehicle. He lies in bed and gets ready to "dream of dunes."

The May edition of Dirt Wheels soon will be available at Safeway and City Market.

For more information about the magazine, visit www.dirtwheelsmag.com.

Michelle Perry can be reached at 824-7031 or mperry@craigdaily-press.com

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