Oklahoman photographer Paul Hellstern took the photo on Monday afternoon at Briarwood Elementary School.
"The picture, to me, it represents depending on each other," "Big Dog" Jim Routon said in Tramel's article. "I needed that hug as much as that kid did. I needed to touch something tangible that was good coming out of that school."
Routon has been asked if the boy in the photo, Hezekiah, is his adopted son. How else could so much emotion flow from a 47-year-old white man to a 6-year-old black boy, Tramel wrote.
"We're Oklahomans," Routon is quoted as saying. "That Oklahoma spirit, that's what we do. We've been through the Dust Bowl, tornadoes, the bombing. That's what we do. Oklahomans are a different breed of cat."