Friday, July 27, 2012


     In the mid 1990's I was recruited by the then director of Old Cowtown Museum in Wichita Kansas to portray saloon owner Fritz Schnitzler.  It is a position that was part time and low pay.  But Old Cowtown is a place that has a special place in my heart.  As a historian, and since it fits into the era that I am interested in, it was a wonderful opportunity to meet people from all over the world and tell the story of the West and the cattle towns.
     Cowtown was started back in the 1940's when many of the original buildings from the 1870 and 80's era were being lost.  On a tract of ,then considered waste land, along the Arkansas River, it is now the heart of the Museum District in Wichita.
     There is a group of passionate volunteers that have put in literally decades of service portraying life in that era.  There are many volunteers behind the scenes also to do the things that are not out in front of the public.  The maintaining of these old buildings and the replicas, is an ongoing and expensive process.
      There has always been a core group of employees and professional people that are necessary for the running of an accredited museum.  There has been many years of administrators come and go and the museum has had to deal with many issues over the years.
     In the last change of funding the City of Wichita took over the management/funding of the museum.  However, it is a lot more complicated than that statement.  The funding and organizations running and owning the museum is a very complicated thing.
      It seems that periodically the funding is cut and Cowtown has to adjust to the seeming drastic cuts that always seem to come its way.  It is a fact that many plans and programs have been started and many never finished there.  There have been missed opportunities and it always seems that not much is learned from the past.
      Myself and two other interpreter's for Cowtown went to the Western Heritage/Cowboy Hall of Fame one time representing Cowtown.  The curator at that time confided in us that there are seven major Western Museums in the country and they have a loose association with each other.  He stated "it is a shame that Wichita does not know what it has.  Cowtown should be the eighth part of this group because they have a world class museum".  I agree completely.
     The fact that Cowtown is not in the group with The Cowboy Hall of Fame, the Buffalo Bill Historical Center, the Autry Museum, and the Whitney is a testament to not knowing what you have or appreciating it.
     It is a fine line that Cowtown has to walk because the operating of an academic museum, a living museum, and a theme park, is a delicate one that always fuels difference of opinion.
      I do not make it back often, though Old Cowtown Museum has a place in my heart.  I am sad that the changes made out there have not been either finished or taken advantage of.  There is so much to do and the loss of $100,000 is not going to help preserve or keep up the job of it's mission.
     There is always going to be dedicated people that will try and keep things going out there.  It is a shame that they are so under appreciated.  of course ever since Wichita's beginnings they have strove to be a 'New York' on the plains.  Such thinking is still here today.  If those who cut and work against the museum were to ever set foot on the dirt streets and boardwalks and meet the thousands of visitors from all around the country and the world, maybe they would gain a new sense of appreciation.
      Some of my old colleagues are gone now but those who remain still love the museum even though they are not there now.  Lets hope a little creativity and appreciation is left in Wichta to build Old Cowtown Museum into a world class attraction

Friday, July 20, 2012


     I asked my bible instructor once if he thought that there was more evil in the world today than before.  His answer sticks with me today and I can never forget it.  "The amount of evil is the same today as the beginning". 
     We wonder why such bad things happen and as always there will be many who will try to place blame or find solutions.  Is it the times?  Or is it the nature of man to pursue evil?  These are questions that have been asked for eons.
     Can we be surprised at the happenings of today.  We cloak ourselves in the assumption that we are civilized.  Yet we are one minute away from chaos.  We use the superficial idea that we, somehow, are better than others.  When something bad happens we puff up our chest and say this cannot happen here.  We are civilized it is someone else that is not.
    In our area we have a rash of car thefts and burglaries.  It is a shock because this happens someplace else.  We are aghast that someone would walk into a movie about a comic book character and shoot fifty people.  What is happening?
     It is about being human.  There has always been insanity and insane acts.  Can we point to many causes?  Of course.  When a young person tunes out of the world to constantly text and cannot even have regular conversation with others.  When text spelling is invading documents and everyday lives.  When a violent game is more important than learning or helping some one out.  When groups and political figures use divisiveness as a way to promote their election and grab for power.  When fascination with the Internet substitutes for living and reasoning.  Can we be surprised?
     A wise man said if everyone would clean up their own backyard they would be too busy to meddle in others affairs.  Small vocal groups set the agenda and can force positions that have no place in common sense.
     When God is forced out of every institution and the everyday discourse of people, why should we be surprised?  Evil and Darkness is the alternative to Goodness and Light.  There is no middle ground.  As long as there is a rejection of what is positive the negative will prosper.
     The thing about the concept of sin is not so much about what we do but what we don't do.  As long as good people do nothing Evil and Darkness will have it's way.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012


          In the next few days we will see who is really taking seriously the pledge that is in every swearing in ceramony from Federal to Local.  TO SUPPORT AND DEFEND THE CONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED STATES.  It will have as much to do with party politics as the integrity of the constitution.  If those who serve go along with the treaty that is about to be signed they should all be prosecuted and removed from office.
      In the next few days Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will go to the UN and sign the ARMS TRADE TREATY.  There will be a lot of smoke and mirrors as to the international intent of the treaty, but the track record of the UN will use this as the chance to overturn our constitution. 
     Those who support the Second Amendment are well aware of this process.  President Bush refused to sign this treaty because it gives an international body jurisdiction and robs the constitution of its effect.  If you are still one of the many who refuse to look at facts you have seen the first steps to overturn the First Amendment in the health care bill.  Seems amazing to me that the very people who have the most to lose, the news media, are the largest proponents.
      When the International Treaty is signed and ratified the right that we have under the Constitution is supplanted by the terms of the treaty.  Those who so badly want to gain every right under the constitution are in fact setting themselves up to be denied the rights they so dearly want and expect.
     We have ourselves to blame we teach our childern in Public School a distorted version of history, government, and every other politically correct concept.  When honest discussion of everything from religion to ethics and historical fact are controlled by the courts and small activist groups we have citizens that fall for the popular line.
     There has been a segment on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno that has disturbed me for years.  'Jay Walking' is where Mr. Leno just talks to young people on the street and asks questions that are so basic, that there should be no one that does not know the answers.  The result is a display of ignorance that is rooted not only in the popular culture but from the schools themselves.  Ignorance is not funny.  It threatens our very Republic.
     Now this is going to raise the ire of the teachers that read this.  Those that follow the accepted texts and not make any attempt at telling the truth have nothing to be mad about.  Those who are not allowed to teach should be mad but not at me.  At a system and administrations that knukle under to union pressure and political correctness.
      I know many teachers and had many great ones.  I would not be doing today what I do without that inspiration and foundation.  So when the UN supplants our Constitution how will it be justified by our officials and how will the schools teach the fundamentals of freedom to our children?
     Will you hold officials elected and unelected to a higher standard?  Will you cower when Big Brother tells you to open your house without warrant to sieze your guns or you bibles. 
     Think is extreme?  Check with 1930's Italy, Germany, 1919 Russia, Venzuala, Cuba, and every other country that Hope and Change really happened.
     So it is time to Fish or Cut bait.  Will we live to see indiviual liberties destroyed, or will we stand up and hold accountable any and all who seek to destroy our Constitution?

Thursday, July 12, 2012


     You know that there is an awful lot in this world that would make things better if you took the time to 'think and question'.  We are all involved in many things and group think and loyalty is often demanded if you want to stay in the group.  It can be as informal as drinking coffee with the local liars club or as formal as the church you attend.
     God gave us a gift that is full of peril and many times I refer to it as a curse, but it is free will.  You have the ability to choose how you do the things in your life that you do.  But, you have to be responsible for those choices.
     There is nothing wrong with questioning the motive, content, or effect of anything.  Even if it makes others uncomfortable.  It is said that the human brain has only 10% of its potential used.  This is including all your functions and higher reasoning and learning capacity.  I feel sorry for groups that try to stop the hunt for knoledge and futhering the hunt for the mysteries of the universe.
     It is amazing at how much talent that has been given individuals and how little is used.  The groups who sit back and say "let God take control" often don't realize he gave us the capacity to explore the wonders of his creation.  By holding back the ability to question is stopping the will of what we are suppose to do in life.
     You do not have to find the cure for cancer, but someone is.  You may not be the next great artist but someone is.  There is a path that each must follow and the choices along the way determine if you use the talent or waste it.
     I am both amazed and dismayed by the world of information that todays technology has made available to us.  It both can create new paths for us or can cause pain and destruction.  It is too bad that there is not a reality check button like the spell check button on the computer.  This new world has allowed me to communicate on a regular basis with people I know and have never met.  When I started writing I was always dependent on wether an editorial board, publisher, or editor thought what I was doing was worth while.
      I can now put my two cents in and it is seen by any who care to take the time to read it.  It is great that now when I get a rejection notice I am not tempted to hang it on the wall and wonder 'what in the world do they want'?  I can simply delete it and start all over.  The compliments have out run the rejections by 99%.  Too bad that was not true when I was free lancing and trying to actually make something.  The actual income has not change but the satisfaction has.
     I cannot accept the standard "this is the way things are done" or "it has become tradition", or" this was decided too long ago to question".  You should not either. 
      If you do not think and question you are 'managed' by some interest group even if you do not know it.  If you would adapt the rules of writing to life I am sure things would change for the better.
      Oh yea, the rules, WHO, WHAT, WHEN, WHERE, AND WHY.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012


     I am sure that there are some that get very upset when I point out things that many leave unsaid.  Does this bother me?  NO WAY.  If you avoid the truth or discourse in a positive way I am sure you are not even reading my blogs and if you are you are just aggravating yourself.
    I hate political correctness, politics in general, and unprofessional conduct in any area.  I have been a long critic of how the US Government including the Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, and Homeland Security handle our resources and our emergency capabilities.
     This will also include the person who will not lift a finger to be self sufficient when there is a collapse in the normal way that things are done.  We are in a critical period where more people expect things provided for them by the government and are willing to give up their freedoms for conveinience.  The disaster in the East is an example.  With one million without electricity there is true hardship.  It is July and that means summer and summer temps.  People will die and suffer.
     Those who prepare for this become laughing stocks and subject to ridicule when things are going good.  They are also the ones that get along better than their neighbors when things go wrong.  There are those who take it to extremes but this is human nature.  Now there is TV shows to showcase the extremes.
     For a hundred years we have followed the sayings of Smokey the Bear and let Disney influence our perceptions of reality.  Our kids and even the parents think that animals have human characteristics and we are amazed when they turn on us and harm us.  We are allowing the wholesale destruction of our grazing lands for the sake of over populating horse and burro's.  Abuse and suffering of equine animals is at an all time high because the whole system has been disrupted by activists who perport to be humane.
     Lets talk about fire suppression.  The air tanker fleet that is a part of our battle for wildfire control is seriously aging, undersized, and partly grounded.  A large part of our fire units are private.  Such as the Prineville Hotshots.  The part that is so damaging, is that even when technology is developed there is a politcal process that it has to go thru.
     My sore spot is the Evergreen Aviation 747 air tanker that is absent from our fire resources.  Because of politics.  We have been fighting fire from the air with technology that has not changed in 75 years.  Evergreen has changed that.  But they are a large company and the government wants to do business with small companies.
     In the meantime we have lost 3 people from aircrews, one a National Guardsmen,  a very experience pilot but until the cause of the crash is determined the Air Guard units are grounded.
     The Evergreen 747 replaces up to 12 of the smaller airtankers.  This means that the effectivness is way up and the percentage risk is lessened.  One aircrew instead of 12. 
     The professionalism of the ground units and fire managers is unquestioned.  The efforts to support from all sectors is amazing, yet the politics overturns professionalism and inovation.  The result is more lives, forests, and property lost.  When are the politicians going to adopt a professional standard to do the right thing and not look at the electability or the grab for power by those with agendas?
     Until each elected official is held to a higher standard and we hold ourselves to a higher standard we are assured that the decline into mediocrity will continue and the greatest nation on earth will fall.