Bubbles a magical experience as LPL Summer Reading winds down

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[July 24, 2017]  LINCOLN - Bubble Guru Geoff Akins asked his audience at the Lincoln Public Library on Thursday morning if they had ever played with bubbles, and every one, kids and adults, raised their hands. Chances are, though, that those who raised their hands did not create the size, shape, and effects with bubbles that Geoff Akins did.

Akins, aka the Bubble Wonder, was the final entertainment program of the summer reading program. He hails from Woodstock and travels the country giving over three hundred shows a year for libraries, schools and corporations.

Bubbles are special to him in two ways. He was a special education teacher in a former career. One day while trying to reach an autistic child who seemed completely closed off, he turned away in frustration and picked up a small bottle of bubble liquid. While he was blowing bubbles as a diversion, he noticed the autistic child focused, following the floating shiny bubbles with his gaze. This was the first chance that Geoff had to be invited into the closed off world of the child. This small moment made a difference in both their lives.

Geoff decided to take his life in another direction and the rest is history. “You never know when a moment will change your life,” he said.

The second way bubbles changed his life was when he was volunteering in orphanages in Viet Nam and Cambodia entertaining with his bubble act. He met a young woman from Canada who was volunteering, singing to the children. They connected and eventually married. The Akins now have two children and a third on the way.

Akins’ wife composed and performs the Bubble Wonders theme song “Everything is Possible.” And Geoff truly believes the theme of the song. How else to explain how a bubble reached into the inner world of an autistic child, and created a moment on the other side of the world when he met the love of his life.

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With bubble wands of various sizes, Geoff created a shower of bubbles, a bubble within a bubble, bubbles filled with fog that when burst filled the library with a white haze, and even enclosed some of his volunteers within giant bubbles. But the one thing he could not do was create a square bubble, try as he might. He even had square bubble wands. Nothing doing.

The teacher has never left him though. He taught his audience the word “persistence.” “If you want something enough, be persistent in attaining your goal,” he said to the young audience of summer readers.

Then he tried to create a square bubble one more time. He asked his young audience what was really important, and they shouted back “Persistence!”

There was some manipulation with lots of bubbles and lo and behold a square bubble floated in the air. He even filled it with white fog so it stood out.

Yes, you can accomplish anything.

The summer reading program at the Lincoln Public Library is almost over, but there are still many fascinating programs for kids of all ages. Check out the lineup on the Lincoln Public Library website www.lincolnpubliclibrary.org or contact Youth Services Librarian Melissa Oxborrow 217-732-5732.

[Curtis Fox]

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