Thursday, May 24, 2012


     There is a right of passage that high school kids have had for generations.  Especially Seniors.  We have always called it hornery, hi jinks, pranks, pick your term and generation.
     My grandfather would push over outhouses when there was actually time off the farm to horse around with friends. They would also set back the outhouses so someone would fall in the hole.  In 1924 Grampa and friends set the principles car on his front porch.
       My dad was involved in hanging the playground merry go round on the top of the windmill on Main street Goddard.  They also would block mainstreet in Goddard with everything that could be drug into town and then put county snow fence across both ends.  As the Sheriff came to one end of the street the kids would be yelling and waving on the other.  When he came around that side they would hide on top of the lumber yard while another group was at the other end yelling and laughing.
     There was a long tradition around Goddard on Halloween.  Every farmer knew that if anything was left parked in a field, for several miles around, that he would have to go pick it up the next morning in town.  There was one old Studebaker wheat truck that had a trick to starting.  No one knew that my aunt knew the trick.  When that truck ended up on main a certain boy got the blame.  He never knew until 30 years after.
     In my time our principle drove a Volkswagon Bug.  It was turned sideways in its spot several times.  There was the time when a portable sign was hoisted up on the roof of the new high schools commons area entrance.
     The last week in school was a big water gun fight.  Those who were not real sharp got caught and got 3 days off.  Those who were a little slicker made it thru.  I never got caught but my brother did.
     It is hard for kids nowadays to be a little bit hornery.  A water gun would be a major offense that would draw national news attention and mark the kids for life.  There are no outhouses, windmills, and I bet the merry go round does not come off easy if there was something to hang it on.
     Last week Pratt High School had one of the best pranks I have heard of in years.  136 square bales of straw were piled in the entrances and blocking the streets.  They did their homework on this one.  They knew the routine of the police patrol, so after 12:30 they went to work and had it all done in 20 minutes.  Yes they were on camera.  No they did not show their faces.  But there is a pretty good idea who did it.
     The bad thing is if anyone owns up to owning the straw bales and they are deemed 'stolen' there could be bad things happen.  One thing I have noticed in the last few years is there is so much distruction with many pranks.  This one did not hurt a thing.
     In Cheney they used to haul round bales out in the country and set them on fire on the county roads.  I remember one Halloween when Main street was littered with tires and an outhouse (they burned it).  There was a used toilet behind the plumbing shop and it was set in the drive thru of the bank and the spray painted message on the lid was 'Night Deposits'.  They arrested the kid who was making the deposit.  The firefighters were always on duty on halloween in Cheney and the Chief who was also Chief of Police got real ticked off when the firefighters were egging the cars coming buy who were egging the station.
     The only ones in Pratt who should be mad is the citizens who would assume that the police would make rounds more often than 4 to 5 hours.  The prank was discovered by a maintainance man and 4:30.  Faces should be red down at the station.  Someone who really wanted to do something bad could have figured out the routine.  Really I thought predictable rounds went out with my generation.  Pratt is not that big, and this is May, come on.
     Lets hope that in years to come at reunions, the coffee shop, and the barber shop that this will be laughed about as good memories.  Not as a silly thing that ruined a bunch of good kids lives.


     THOU SHALT NOT COVET.  Do you recognize this?  If you do lets look at what is happening today in our state, nation, and world.  The commandment is often overlooked or applied incompletly as prohibiting the coveting of your neighbors wife.  Convieniently this is glossed over and the coveting has become a major component of politics and modern thought.
     Eduardo Saverin is a man who migrated (legally) from Brasil and became a naturalized citizen.  Taking advantage of our basic concept of freedom to achieve and excel, Eduardo became a Co-Founder of Facebook.  Like many from England and other countries who used to have oppressive taxing structures he left with his money and located where the taxing is more lienient.
     Some have demonized him as being un patriotic.  Hold it!  People are leaving California and New York and going to states that are more friendly to business people like Florida and Texas.  Are they unpatriotic?  Many major corporations have left the country for taxation, are they unpatriotic? 
     History has shown us that inovation and progress comes from individuals and not government mandates.  We now have the open hostility of political parties, individuals, and organizations that feel that what is won by one, should be taken and given to those who don't.
     Where does this come from?  "To those that have too those who need",  the Communist Manifesto, Carl Marks, and on and on.  We are being taught in schools, on TV and Radio, Newspapers, and even by our neighbors to hate those who are at the top of the income class and want to take away from them.  Yet many of those still want to achieve that status.
     Do many rich people not contribute to others?  Some do, some don't, it is still an individual choice.  There is a passage that also says that "to whom much is given, much will be expected".  I fail to see how myself or you are in charge of making this happen.
     When you hate someone for what ever reason you hurt yourself, your neighbor, and the whole concept of freedom.  When you covet whatever another has you harm yourself and society.
     Is there fairer ways to fund government and take care of those who cannot?  Yes there is.  Is there the will to make the changes that will do this?  Not in Washington.
     This is a country that grew through great difficulty and is still in the process.  This country is still the one that everyone wants to come to.  Even when they hate us.
     There is a personal choice that each of us has to make.  Will we live by our beliefs or have someone else provide them for you?  Will you take the basic fairness and comprehension that we are charged with as human beings?  Or let someone lure you to give up your freedom so they can be in a place of power over you and your thinking?
    One of the most respected peace leaders in history was asked one time about Christianity.  "I think that Christianity is a wonderful thing and I may consider being one, if I ever met a real one",- Ghandi.
     I cannot be considered one of that top level income people by any means.  I have a rich life but it is not monetary.  I hope to someday be able to earn more by my various interests including these Blogs.  Yet in every endevor you have to create your credibility, work at your craft, and learn everyday of your life.
     I do not covet the things that the top people in the income brackets have.  There are many things I would like to do in that position.  But I am not willing to sell my soul for them, or hate those who do.  I have many friends from the entire spectrum of society and find that people are people.  Some are better than others.  But I refuse to hate someone over what they possess.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012


     I had a rare chance to attend a small music festival sponsored by my friends 3 TRAILS WEST.  They are a cowboy band from the Kansas City Kansas area and really talented musicians.  I have never been to Lake Clinton which is south west of Lawrence.  Since I was outing a camper I had just bought, I took the senic route up US 50 highway to Strong City and then jumped north past our only national park the Z Bar Ranch to highway 56.
     I enjoy the state highways when I can take them rather than the interstates because you get to see such great country and all the small towns still hanging on.  And a few that haven't.  With a little more moisture this year everything was lush and green.
     I have not gotten to take part in music festivals for several years because of health problems.  I go and OD on the music.  I was really surprised to find out what a rich music culture the Northeast part of Kansas has.  And the quality of the talent is outstanding.  It is going to be an undertaking to get everyone listed with the Kansas Rural Entertainment Network that we are starting thru the Kansas Sampler.
     I are hoping to provide a list of entertainers that have been vetted so those buying talent have a base line of quality assurance.  In turn we also hope to list all venues and talent buyers for the artists.
     Of course the best part of festivals is the jamming that goes on in the campground.  On friday night it went until 3am for some.  By 8 am the music was starting again and went all day.  Everyone played out around 1 am Sunday morning.
     Going up there I knew only the 3 Trails West guys.  I came home with a whole new group of friends.  This is the flavor that our radio stations and the mainstream music industry totally loses and ignores.  People have wide and varied music tastes and talent.  In these settings you can enjoy what you really love and not what a corporation from Japan or the Netherlands dictates.  It was a sad day when Nashville sold out.
     It is a great thing that people can still get together in a family setting and play music all day and night and decide what they like.  Now I am setting my goal for the main event, yes, the Walnut Valley Festival in Winfield.
     Se ya at the Land Rush!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012


     In order that there be a degree of credibility in the diverse opinions I espouse, there needs to be a moment of correcting mistakes.  This means I have to plead to being human and making mistakes.  Luckily I have a good friend that is quick to point out my goofs and does it in a kind way.
     In at least two blogs recently I talked about a group that is conected to the KANSAS SAMPLER FOUNDATION.  I have called them the Kansas Travelers.  Why?  Brain fart.
     The proper name of the group of Kansas rural and small town enthusiasts is THE KANSAS EXPLORERS CLUB.  They are hoping their membership tops the 5000 mark this year.  It is not just a fun group to belong to, they put their money and time where their mouth is.  They even have their own greeting.
     How many times have you said to someone or heard it said, HOW DID YOU END UP IN KANSAS?  I have heard it too many times and have been guilty of it when I was young and knew everything.  The inferiority complex that Kansas residents has is almost as big as the Texas pride complex.
     It is so bad that the City of Wichita had a training session for cab drivers to try and get the first contact that visitors make to here is a good one.  Attitude is a large part of how happy you are and where you are.  It is amazing that people come to Kansas and see what we all take for granted, and are delighted.
     If you were to lay out the good vs. the bad in Kansas, the good will out weigh the bad everytime.  Especially if you have a good and upbeat attitude.  If you  are determined to be miserable that is fine.  Just keep it to yourself, the rest of us have lives to live.
     I am involved in a lot of things and the economic development and health of our state is a big part of it.  I am always amazed at how many of the people involved in tourism, economic development, and chambers of commerce, are returned Kansans or new Kansans.  They seem to see what the lifers miss.  And they have such enthusiaism for their new homes and communities.
     Many areas will let their heritage and assets slip away while another community down the road is fully celebrating theirs.  It is too easy to destroy a historic property and put up a metal shed if there is no vision.  There is a town in our region that will soon tear down a historic building because their is a lack of vision in the community to turn it into an asset.  When it comes down there will be something built there that will totally not fit into the town character.  Once the building is gone it is gone.
     So when I make a mistake I hope it will be recieved in the original intent.  Boy I feel better.  Confession is good for the soul.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012


This is a departure for me to do another Blog this close to my last, BUT.   
       I am always amazed at how a vocal minority can bully the American people.  And I am always disappointed when someone who should stand up and tell them to take their attitude and share it with people who care, don't.  Very seldom do I do a post and directly name who I am talking about.  I try to cover general topics that all either can share or ignore.  But I am going to name a group right now.
     The Reno County Kansas County Commission.  Traditionally most all counties start their meetings with a prayer offered by a local minister.  Very often it is rotated among the various churches in their areas.  But Reno County has knuckled under to a small vocal group of activists and will stop the practice.  They will let anyone say their own prayer silently.
     "If you will not stand and recognise me in front of man then I will not recognise you in front of my Father"  If you don't know who said this look it up.
     Many Constitutional scholars over the centuries have taken the simple logic of the First Amendment and interpret it as intended.  To avoid the creation or recognition of a state religion.  This comes from the colonies history with the Church of England.  It takes a drove of lawyers and adversaries of the Constitution to take it otherwise.
     This is a nation that still has the Ten Commandments on display in the chambers of the Supreme Court.  We still have IN GOD WE TRUST on our money.  We have the traditions of trusting to providence so many times in history when we should have been destroyed.
     It is fashionable to attack religion.  But other religions that are 'tolerated', have in their basic beliefs that they should enslave or kill the unbelievers.  We have even a Supreme Court Justice who has stated that Sharia Law should be tolerated in the US.
     I do not believe that the American people have become so decadent, have lost all beliefs and morals, that they will tolerate more attacks on our fundamental beliefs.
      I do not have the hubris to even presume the judgement that many people will face someday.  I am fearful enough for my own.  But it will be a sad day for so many people that learn the truth too late.
      We still send our young to war while old men and women send them.  The hope of the citizen and the mother and fathers, is that the cause be just, that the young are sacrificed in good cause.
      It may be the politically correct thing to do to step aside for a few bullying people.  But the electors of the Reno County Commission have been let down by those who are to represent them.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012


     Last weekend I attended a grand celebration of Kansas and Kansans in Liberal.  The KANSAS SAMPLER FESTIVAL is a unique happening in Kansas.  No other state has anything like it.  It is a grand showcase of the towns, communities, sites, talent, produce, and people.
     Without the final count I will estimate that 5000 or more people went thru the two days in Light Park.  The town of Liberal put its best foot forward to host the event.  I saw the city in a whole new light.  Before I have only passed thru on 54 highway on my way elsewhere.  And the east part of town is decieving since the first thing seen is the landfill and auto slavage yards.   (there are some cool old cars and trucks in those yards though).  Then you pass one of the major industries, the packing plant.
     What you find is a diverse cultural mix with many unique shops and resturants and a bustling business environment.  With the theme of the Yellow Brick Road they capitalize on the Wizard of Oz.  With Dorthy's House and a museum.  But they have a world class aircraft museum also.
     It was a perfect backdrop for showcasing everything Kansas.  The year of planning and work that requires a community that puts itself into action and not words. 
     Of course there would never have been a Kansas Sampler Foundation if it had not been for Marci Penner and her folks.  Also the work of Assistant Director Wendee LaPlant and a great board of directors.  The Sampler started on their farm near Inman providing a setting where the small communities of the state could show off and create interest.  It grew bigger than the farm and moves to a new location every two years.  This year and next is Liberal.
     It is a location full of positive energy and all the communities that exhibit are doing what it takes to build interest and visitation.  It is really something to see who is not setting on their laurels watching the town die.  It makes you wonder where the other towns were?  It does take effort to put your best foot forward whereas it only takes setting on your buns to watch your town die and lament the passing.
     There was a full house meeting of the Kansas Travelers.  A membership of people that has a hobby of daytripping and visiting these areas.  I have talked about them before.  Some are on quests.  At least 3 are taking pictures of every courthouse in the state.  Another has the goal of driving at least 25 unpaved miles in each county.  There have been quests to eat a steak in each county, visit stone bridges, support small post offices, eat chicken fried steaks, homade pies and much more.  They are looking at topping the 5000 member mark soon.
     I know, if you would like to support Kansas while enjoying yourselves, google the Kansas Sampler Foundation and join the Kansas Travelers.  Then meet me next year at the 20 foot pancake cooker for breakfast in Liberal the first weekend of May in 2013.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012


     Well it is time for one of my politcally incorrect moments.  The state of the nation and the world is a subject that many agree on but these are of the formerly called 'silent majority'.  We know things are in a mess and the frustrations that everyday people have are getting worse. 
     When it is statistically proven that the United States cannot balance the budget even if they wanted to, and they don't, it cannot be done.  To people who have to pay their bills and taxes the insanity is more than a distraction.  Our politicians on both sides have sold our childrens future out and we will leave a debtor nation to our grandkids to deal with.
     What is even worse is , we have dumbed down our public education so they will not be equiped to deal with it.  We have allowed the government of WE THE PEOPLE, to become WE THE GOVERNMENT KNOW WHAT IS BEST FOR YOU.  When we have Federal Judges, and this goes to the Supreme Court, are accepting Shira law.  And there is read into the Constitution authority that it does not grant to the Government as legal, it is a bad day for freedom.
      As a people the Muslim faithful are quickly becoming a majority worldwide.  Radical Muslims have attacked free countries, including ours for 20 years.  Yet it is not politically correct to single out Muslims from the Mid East for scrutiny.  Yet all our conversations online and transmited thru electronic means can be scrutinzed by a government agency that is so huge that Congress has no real control.
     It is amazing to me that many, who hold power in our government, would be classified as treasonous 50 years ago they now go about their business in the wide open.
     As I expected the planned launch of the protests on May Day have occured, and some were violent, and the reporting in the mainstream media has been limited.  The rallies that the Tea Party people have planned for this year are openly being infiltrated with members of the Wall Street Protests and the 99 percenters.  And when trouble breaks out, in a group that has had zero problems in the past, it will be protrayed as a dangerous movement.  We know this because they have told the plans to the world, it is no secret.
     What do everyday people do about all these things?  Well the most important thing is not to meet the violence with violence (although self defense is ok). Then vote.  It is still the most important right of a citizen.  Those who oppose the freedoms that were fought for and a high price has been paid by every generation, must be removed from authority. 
     This starts at the local level, then goes to the state, and finally the national.  If you think this is all you can do there is one more important thing.  PRAY.  This is One Nation Under God, if this is lost what are we then?