Saturday, December 28, 2013


                                                               Isoroku Yamamoto

        At one time it was recognized that the vast number of citizens were busy going about living their lives and basically were taken for granted by Washington.  It was called the silent majority.  Since the country was originally settled by people seeking religious freedom and the majority of those were Christian it has always been considered a nation founded on Judeo/Christian values.  The basis of society is founded on these principles and continues in large part today.
      Admiral Yamamoto recognized that the United States was a country that would have the amazing ability to rise above everyday differences and would unite in a common cause after being attacked by Japan.  Others in history have made the same mistake including radical Muslims and Osamma Bin Laden.
      The average American is happy to work day by day to support his family and live a quiet and moral lifestyle.  As time goes on it appears that the values that we live by may have been changing.  But I beg to differ.
      The interesting thing about what happened with the A&E Network and the Robinson family has raised the ire of many people who would not, ordinarily, voice their opinions.  However, the ire of the regular person was raised to a fever pitch during this incident for a number of reasons.  I would call it the perfect storm.
      The vast majority of Christians still live by the instruction of 'turn the other cheek'.  The American media has given full support to minority groups and causes and has been a part in the deterioration of the rights of everyday people.
     At the same time the government has gone off the deep end taking the country into looming bankruptcy and is in the process of destroying the health insurance industry.  We have a government that has become the contempt of our allies and the world.
      The right to speak is now weighed against whether the feelings of small vocal groups are insulted and yet the majority is insulted at every turn.  A state prohibits the marriage of gay couples and there is always a judge available to stop the will of the society at large.  Now a judge has held that Polygamy is Constitutional.
      The dismantling of the Constitution is on the forefront of many in power and they manage to find enough votes somehow to do it.  The Justice system has deteriorated into a system of laws.  The President, and his departments in his control, can violate the law and there is no one standing up and stopping them.
      The elites who call themselves Progressives manage to look down on the average person as being too stupid to make their own decisions.  From seat belts to open borders the country is being overrun and the average person is waiting for a politician who will actually stand up for the things he was elected for.
     The military now tells chaplains that they cannot speak of Christmas or Jesus Christ.  Soldiers are being brought up on charges for not vocally supporting the personal views of their superiors.
      Monuments that have stood since the 1950's are ordered torn down because there is a cross displayed.  Add to this more and more affronts to the average person and all it takes is some insignificant act by a network about the values of one of it's stars to galvanize people to action.
      What is the reason that hundreds of thousands of people are suddenly vocal about a TV show?  The accumulating frustrations, constant bullying, affronts to their beliefs, and personal insults.  The perfect storm.
     Will those who are the constant loud and outrageous be weighed against the overwhelming numbers who have just had enough?  The self righteous attitudes of the 'elite' may find themselves in not so great a company if the attacks on everything from Christmas to personal freedom continues.
     Those who read my column will remember that I warned about the NSA and the gathering of all electronic data before Mr. Snowden made it international news.  You can also go back to my feelings on the official watch list of the NSA on potential terrorists being Veterans, Tea Baggers, Constitutionalists, and 2nd Amendment people.
     Is the sleeping giant stirring?

Monday, December 23, 2013


                         BUT WE INSIST ON MAKING IT COMPLICATED.

     This time of year many people become better than their normal selves and give living a little extra shot.  This is good because there are so many who believe they are better than they are and act it.  There has to be some readjustment and a little grounding reset now and then.
      There are many friends that are planning get together with their families and friends and this is a good thing.  But there are many this time of year that have difficulty getting through the season for one reason or another.  Maybe it was their own fault or circumstances beyond their control.
     I am looking out at a winter scene that is picture postcard like.  As I do every time I look out of the window here on the hill, I am thankful for what we have that so many do not.  The geese are going by by the thousands and there are tracks in the snow of some critter.
      Circumstances have left me to be a bachelor and looking back at things in my life I just cannot help but wonder how things would be if I had made different choices.  The view back is pretty focused on mistakes and even right choices.  But to imagine what would have been and where I would be now is hard.  There is so much temptation for making regrets.
     It seems that modern culture has replaced 'others' with 'me'.  The only thing that seems to count in the world now is what is good for 'me'.  It has been instilled into our younger generation and we are paying a price for it.
     I hope that the sum of my life is not the 'Me's' but the 'other's'.  It is so easy to look back and grieve things that were lost or never been.  I miss so many friends and relatives that have passed on, many before their time.
     It is also hard to think about the 'what if' had I found the right partner.  Today's relationships don't leave very many good examples of the right one ever being found by many.
     It seems that intolerance is the vogue thing now and being a Christian is equated with backwardness and ignorance.  Yet truth is many times mistaken for meanness.  Maybe the fact that truth is so uncomfortable especially when you are wrong, might be the reason for declining numbers filling pews in our churches.
     As I see more and more people picking apart the Bible, Christianity, and people of faith it is clear that there has been a fundamental mistake being made in this culture that requires lengthy actions or justifications. Faith cannot be measured by scientific experiment or measurements. Belief in God, and his commandments, is that faith takes the mystery and  unknown and makes it the underlying foundations of our lives.  Those who have need to justify and inject vitriol and hate into the equation have foundations built on sand.
     It is easy to pick at things that make no difference and feel strongly about issues that have little importance.  Yet in other places just staying alive is the real issue of the day.
     Maybe we can all set back and reflect on the wonders we have and be grateful for friends, home and family. 

Sunday, December 15, 2013


                                AND SOUND PUBLIC POLICY IS NOT A
                                        PROTECTOR OF LIBERTY, BUT AN
                                                INSTRUMENT OF TYRANNY.
                                                        IT CONDEMNS THE CITIZENS
                                                               TO SERVITUDE.
                                                                                 Calvin Coolidge

     I came across a recommendation for a book.  I have not gotten it yet but soon will.  The title is rather direct and gets your attention.  As I read down the 13 points it makes it occurred to me that this would be a great test for yourself as a person as well as a community.
     As you may have gathered in the past I am a strong supporter of the rural and small town communities.  Living in the country my whole life I could not even imagine living in a large city.  Yet I see small communities within these larger cities that are mirror images of our small towns.  So let's take the test.  BE HONEST!


          Traveling around the country I see towns that are obviously on the grow and as many dying on the vine.  I have been around towns who deal with individuals that share many of these traits.  What about you?
     I see these basic principles as being applicable to you as an individual.  Try applying these statements to yourself.  Is there ways you can get involved to keep your community and yourself positive and an asset?
     Here at Christmas time what can you do to give your area a present of your attention and caring?  Let me give you a few ideas.

      Be informed.  If you don't know what is going on in your community try actually looking around and visiting with your neighbors and those elected to serve your area.
     If you have an idea that would improve your area, share it.  Then offer your time, talent, and treasure to bring about something positive.
      Learn the history of your area and the buildings that have survived.  What can you do to preserve it?
     Support what you have or you soon won't have it.
     Give credit for what is done right and work to change what is wrong or needs improving.
     If something needs preserving start now.  Time is no friend and once a building or historic site is gone it cannot be recovered.
     Ask someone that is new or visiting on their impressions and experiences.  Take the good gratefully and the bad graciously.  Newcomers can be a great influence on attitude and creativity.  Plus a new prospective and passionate workers.
     If you have a complaint or problem have a solution or a range of options.  Be part of a solution not a chonic critic.
     There are several things you can do to widen your awareness and look to a larger scale.  Do you have a Chamber of Commerce?  Do you have and Economic Development or tourism office?  Do you belong to any group that works for your community on a larger scale?
     In Kansas I always urge everyone that cares about rural and small town living to become a member of the KANSAS SAMPLER FOUNDATION.  Become a KANSAS EXPLORER.  This will put you and your community on the fast track for being aware about what a great place you live and work in.  I am always amazed that no other state has copied the work that Marci Penner, Milt Penner and his wife, and Wendy LePlatt have done over the years for Kansas.
     Get to know the person that represents you at the state capital and those in Washington.  They do make an effort to come to your town and hear your opinions.  Hint: Do not read to them from something, ask them where they stand.  Talk not lecture.
   By the way the books title is 13 WAYS TO KILL YOUR COMMUNITY by Doug Griffiths & Kelly Clemmer.
     And from the top of the hill, HAVE A MERRY CHRISTMAS AND HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013


                             WITHOUT CHANGING OUR THINKING
                                                       Albert Einstein

     This is for the knee jerkers on both sides of the issues.  With this severe turn in the weather that has put us in a deep freeze the Global Warming advocates will pull up for a while.  They always flourish when it is over 100 degrees and drougthy.  For a while the talking points that people and media take their subject matter from will find easier targets.  The word came in today that Antarctica has posted the coldest temperature in history less than 172 degrees Fahrenheit
     It is hard for them to remember that in the 1970's we were being scared by tales of Global Cooling, then Global Warming.  Of course the terminology now is changed to Climate Change.  The claims of gloom and doom are losing favor with real scientists that want to keep their credibility.
      The recent articles about complete ice melt in the world lost any credibility in the National Geographic that I ever had.  When reminded that the ice pack increased by one third last winter, it is dismissed by the reply "well the long term average is going down".  Nope, not true.
     We are told that the polar bear is in danger, yet from the 3500 in the 1970's are now around 25,000.  We are told CO2 is a pollutant yet plants thrive on CO2 and plants produce oxygen.  Since there are more trees in North America now than when it was discovered it must not be hurting.
     Then we are told the average temperature has risen a huge amount since 1900.  Nope, about a half a degree.
      A major university's climatologists don't buy into the popular myths yet that University has a department for Climate Change.
       The diversity of energy sources, efficiency, new technology, and 'green' technology are fine if they are developed with the right reasoning.  Using 'Green' as a device of power to force political change is wrong.
      The development of technology and the change of how things are done should be done for the reasons that we want to, not we have to.  Environmental groups who started out as concerned people who wanted to foster change have been taken over by radicals and it is a deliberate usage of money and power to force people off the land and increase the costs of doing business.  It is a not so subtle attempt to turn over authority to UN groups and move to the central planning that has caused every government that tried it to fall.  Those repeating the mistake will do the same.
     We should want to clean up what is not for the sake of being good stewards, not that the world will turn into a flaming fireball if we don't.  I like the concept of wind power and solar if it is feasible and cost effective.  I am amazed that the gas mileages now being bragged about were unattainable not long ago.
      I saw a picture of a dead eagle not long ago that a conservative group claimed was killed by a windmill.  Yet we have eagles here and more than 300 wind turbans and no body is finding dead birds under them.
      Everyone needs to quit HOLLERIN and decide to do things for the right reasons.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013


                         EVERYBODY ELSE.  I BELIEVE YOU HAVE TO
                                 BE BETTER THAN YOU EVER THOUGHT
                                          YOU COULD BE.
                                                         Ken Venturi

     There was a great event in Ellinwood Kansas celebrating the heritage of the community known as Little Germany.  It was done with great enthusiasm and participation by huge numbers of people.  Christmaskindlemarket was a re-establishment of traditions that had long been gone from the community.  Going back in history the Japanese Americans were interred in camps during World War II but the German population was too large for this type of discrimination.  However that did not make it easy for traditions to survive.
     Walter Winschell, the famous reporter from the time, singled out Ellinwood in his radio reporting as a German town where "the men gathered downtown for dominoes and drink beer."  Under these circumstances even my family did not pass down the German language to the next generation.
     Ellinwood has a spark plug that has been on a whirlwind to put the town on the map and feeling good about themselves again.  J. Basil Dannebohm was brought back to his hometown to serve as Chamber of Commerce Director.  A native of Ellinwood his career moved to Hutchinson, Wichita, Denver, and California.  Never one to be hesitant Basil has been charging ahead promoting a town that was always in his heart.
     Activities included 49 vendors along Main Street, special German Buffet at the Lone Wolf Cafe (oh it was tasty).  A visit by Father Christmas, tree lighting at the band shell as well as the VFW.  A living nativity, caroling down main street.
      A special note in Basil's statement to the crowd indicated that it is a wonderful thing that we live in a place that you can celebrate the true meaning of Christmas.  Music was provided by our old friend Marshall Allen Bailey.
      The City of Ellinwood is in transition just as every other rural community.  Businesses starting, being sold, hanging on, and prospering.  The positive changes could not be happening if there was not a core of people who says "why not" when faced with a decision.
      I will be back soon to go antiquing, visiting, and eating.  OOH have you heard about Ellinwood Sausage?

Saturday, November 30, 2013



                        LIVE AS IF YOU WERE TO DIE TOMORROW
                                LEARN AS IF TO LIVE FOREVER.
                                                Mahatma Gandhi

     Now that the Thanksgiving holiday is past I have time to reflect on the blessings that I have received.  It is no secret that many good things have been imparted to me in my life.  Even with the problems that come with life, I cannot but marvel at what is in my life.  Even through some health problems and trying to find what is causing a lot of pain, I have to be amazed at what comes into my life.
     At one point in my life I lost all my closest friends in a short period of time, mostly from Cancer.  I cannot say that I had a good outlook on the rest of my life at that point.  But as they say "when God closes a door he opens a window."
     To deal with the loss I started to write poetry for no other reason than to express the loss and make some sense of it.  With the life experiences that I brought to the verse it, of course, it turned into country and cowboy poetry.  And from that I turned back to the vocal music that I always loved.
      Through the fortunate grace of Ol' Mike Oatman I was invited to several of the Cowboy Poetry Gatherings.  While with Old Cowtown Museum I started singing more and discovered the Western Music Association.  And with the discovery of this group I gained a whole new set of friends.  The numbers keep growing and it amazes me the new friends that I have.
     And when you have a bad spell of health you find how good friends you have.  I was very afraid about going alone to the Western Music Association Convention and Awards in Albuquerque NM.  A ten and a half hour drive from home, plus everything held in the hotel complex and then the awards downtown at the KIMO Theater.
      I was on a walker by this time with a lot of pain.  Just as I about gave up I had two calls from my friends Jim Farrell and Jeff Davidson.  They decided to ride with me and help with the driving.  With the help of the WMA crew, Rick Huff and Marsha Short, a power chair was delivered to the hotel for my use.  With the whole place helping I had a great convention.  And a new level of appreciation of friends I had never foreseen a few years ago.  I did not even run over anyone.  I will save the controls caught on high in the men's room.  The staff at the Marriott was also outstanding and helpful.
     We had another scare with the weather and news people telling how bad the storms were down there.  They are not anymore accurate down there than here.  The one reporter had to drive a ways to find a snow bank big enough to stand in front of.
     We had a group of family and friends with us for Thanksgiving and it is a great privilege to have so many who mean so much.  It is also a time to pause and hope that those who spend this holiday season alone will have the comfort of new friends takeing them in and support them in bad times.
     Hopefully the source of my pain will be fixed soon.  I turn to think about the ranchers up in South Dakota.  A couple of WMA friends were up there for a fund raiser last weekend.  In the 'important' news cycle of the government shutting down, the tragedies up north have been basically swept under the rug.  But then it has always been up to us to take care of our own.  Let's get started on that.

Friday, November 15, 2013


                            MISERIES OF MANKIND ARE BROUGHT
                                  UPON THEM BY FALSE ESTIMATES THEY
                                          HAVE MADE OF THE VALUE
                                                     OF THINGS.
                                                              Benjamin Franklin

     By the time you are reading this I will either be at or coming from my annual visit that I refer to as looking into the window of Heaven.  It is not being there but experiencing a lot of what I expect it to be like.  Wonderful music with hundreds of artists and fans.  The sound and fellowship that we just don't have in huge numbers in our daily lives.
     I am referring to the Western Music Association 25th Convention, Showcase, and Awards in Albuquerque New Mexico.   You have heard the style of music here and there and it used to be on the radio in Wichita until KFDI (KFTI) AM 1070 changed format after the retirement of Johnny Western.
     Those of you who get their music only from radio or television have been denied the music that once was an important part of COUNTRY AND WESTERN.  Of course that was in the days of American owned and controlled music companies.  What passes today as your 'favorite' music is a narrow view from corporate offices that do not consider artist merit but just the 'comercial viability' of the artist and music.
      A WMA member in the UK heard a comment from a Disk Jockey one day that it was such a shame that Western Music had died.  Well he was soon corrected.  The Western Music industry with all its various genre' is still very much alive in today's world.  It celebrates the past of traditional cowboy, to the Silver Screen cowboy, the poetry of the cowboy, and the still growing world of the new west.
     I will be in a crowd that celebrates the work of Lloyd Nolan, to Johnny Cash, the song of the trail drive cowboys to Roy Rogers Jr., from Tin Pan Alley to Hollywood.  Music of the Sons of the Pioneers, Roy Rogers, Johnny Western, RW Hampton, Bing Crosby, Tex Ritter, Marty Robbins, Tim Spencer, Wesley Tuttle, Michael Martin Murphy, Rex Allen Jr. Red Steagall, Vaughn Monroe, all part of the Hall of Fame.
     Also with the artists of today Barry Ward, Diamond W Wranglers, Belinda Gail, Judy Coder, Fred Hargrove, Open Range, Trails and Rails, Gary Allegretto, Lynn Anderson, Bill Barwick, Les Buffam, Call of the West, Patty Clayton, Miss Devon Dawson (yes Jesse the Yodeling Cowgirl), Don Edwards, Juni Fisher, Kerry Grohmbacher, and many many more.
     What excites me most is the young people who are the future of the music, the Hanson Family, Kristyn Harris, Ball Family Singers, Chelsea Beck, Naomi Bristow, Mikki Daniel, Mathew Maccravy, and Austin O'Dell.  Every year we have some new you artists show up and blow our hats off.
     Where do you find this great music?  The best way is to go to the website for information on the artists and how to get there music.  You can attend one of the dozens of festivals all over the western half of the country.  For those of you lucky enough to have a radio station that plays our artists let them know you appreciate it.
     What can you do to be a part of this music?  The WESTERN MUSIC ASSOCIATION is a FAN as well as artist based organization.  You can be a part of the music industry you love and be on an equal footing with those performing it.

Monday, November 11, 2013


                             ELSE'S PLAN.  AND GUESS WHAT THEY
                                     HAVE PLANNED FOR YOU?
                                            NOT MUCH.
                                                                        Jim Rohn

     Since the Christmas buying season now seems to start before Halloween and even the decorations are going up in yards before Thanksgiving, I guess it is time for this story.  This assumes that you fall into the categories that all the big merchandisers hope you do.  You are ready to get out there and spend hard earned money to give away to people who expect it of you.
     Don't worry I am not going on the grump about gift giving.  Giving should be something that you want to do rather than an obligation.  Giving always is worth more when it hurts a bit. 
     Before you go out shopping take time to plan a bit.  Make sure that you have provided some support for your church and charitable organizations.  Then consider what and where you are going to buy your merchandise for everyone else.
     It irritates me that so many make the mindless Black Friday shopping binge.  Now they are making employees work on Thanksgiving so the major stores can be open and you can ruin your holiday and theirs to throw money at companies out of the state and country.
     Those of you that read my stories and do not get in a huff before I get my point across, know of my support for rural and small town business.  Local artists and craftsmen make a large amount of their living during the holiday season.  So let's stop and commit to day trips around the state and shop local for this season.  Also stop and buy your postage in the small Post Offices, and eat locally.
      If you don't know where to go or start, check out the KANSAS SAMPLER FOUNDATIONS guide for Kansas businesses, eateries, artists, and craftsmen. .  Also go to KANSAS MADE for their website of Kansas owned companies and products.  Also consider the gift of music.  We have wonderful artists with CD's for sale.  Let me give you a few names.  Most have websites but just Google the name and it will come up and order some great CD's
     Diamond W Wranglers, Jeff Davidson, Judy Coder, Ann Zimmerman, Zerf, Barry Ward, Fred Hargrove, Kelly Hunt, Cindy Novelo, Don Clark, Roger Ringer , Prairie Rose Rangers, Ron Wilson, and check the website for more artists.
    Now I am going to list some of my favorites:  ADRIANS BOUTIQUE - BUHLER, guys you cannot go wrong making a woman happy shopping here, check out the other stores and food in Buhler.  BRANDT'S MEATS - LUCAS, the best ring bologna I have found but get your order in before Dec 1.  THE REST OF LUCAS ART SHOPS.  While your in the neighborhood the smoked and cured meats at the grocery store in Wilson.  Those great Chech. recipes that I cannot pronounce.  While in Wilson eat at MADE FROM SCRATCH, the name says it all.
     THE ENTIRE TOWN OF LINDSBORG, DOWNTOWN ELLINWOOD, eat at the Wolf's Den.  DOWNTOWN WINFIELD, HENRY'S CANDY - DEXTER.  Stop at the barn right north of Dexter for some great gifts and your pumpkins.
     SAGE BRUSH GALLERY - MEDICINE LODGE.  THE GUN ROOM, - MEDICINE LODGE. Eat at Buster's Saloon in Sun City then go shop in Coldwater and Greensburg.  Eat at the LUMBER YARD in ZENDA.  Shop FAMILY FOODS IN SAWYER for the best home baked bread and rolls plus a deli case full of Troyer meats and cheeses.  They also have some of the best canned fruits and items.
     There is also great shopping in downtown NEWTON, MCPHERSON, HUTCHINSON, GREAT BEND, LIBERAL, AND COTTONWOOD FALLS.  When you eat a EMMA CHASE tell them Roger sent you.
     I can go on and on.  The point is if you are going to spend money and want to enjoy doing it, and staying home on the holiday, try rural Kansas.

Friday, November 8, 2013


                            THE MORE CORRUPT THE STATE,
                                     THE MORE NUMEROUS THE LAWS.

     You do not have to be of any particular political party, faction, or philosophy to not be aware at the hazardous condition of our Republic.  And yes we are a REPRESENTATIVE REPUBLIC not a Democracy.  If you have a problem with that you are showing your either lack of education in our history or a passion to promote your philosophy.
      Many of my readers mistake the fact that I am totally disgusted with the political warfare on the individual by assuming I am a champion for Republican politics.  (Note to those), reread each story two times before commenting.
     In my county if you want to vote you have to be registered as a Republican or you have no one to vote for.  The Democrats often don't even run a candidate.  Of course here in our conservative rural county the registration rate is about 95% Republican and 5% Democrat.  And actually the true position is about 60% Independent or Libertarian.
     Some of our elected boards have no such designation to party.  Perhaps that is better than the behind the scenes planning by both major parties on who has the power and who does not.  The use of political power, whether elected, appointed, or lobbyist, is eroding the individual liberties and responsibilities of all of us.
     Seems that the party in power loves the use of power until it is in the minority.  No one can see past their nose on most issues.  Thank God, and yes I mean God, for a set of individuals that had a healthy distrust of governments to craft a Constitution and Bill of Rights looking to the future for a group that would do away with both.
     I would put forth that anyone who want to run for office at any level take a pledge to remove ten laws, rules, or regulations for every new law proposed.  Any political leader that ever again says that " you will have to pass it before you know what is in it" will be thrown out of office and charged with treason.  It is the elected officials duty to know what is in a bill and not blindly follow the dictates of a self styled Cesar.
     This applies at the local to federal levels.  For example in Kansas, the group of regulations that govern Fire Districts and Fire Departments have been a individual clutter that was passed mostly in the 1950's and still is in effect today.  The cluster of regulations is as open to interpretation as there are numbers of lawyers and officials.
     The codification of the laws concerning fire, EMS, and public safety could be written in easy to read and interpret form.  Yet until some member of the emergency services is convicted and sent to prison for unwittingly violating, or not implementing, the regulations will anyone try to modernize them.
     There are out of date and nonsensical laws still on the books in many cities.  There are efforts from time to time to take them off the books but I am sure that it is still the law in Wichita that cattle have the Right of Way down Douglas Ave.  Even though the stockyards no longer exist and cattle drives have been replaced by trucks.
     Another law that was common and still on the books some places is the automobile must be proceeded by one half mile by a person with a lantern to warn oncoming horse traffic of its approach.
     When the tax code is so huge that it would take many kids wagons to carry the copy or a health care bill that is 26,000 pages long, (and that is without the 40,000 pages of regulations yet to be written), something has to stop.  Now all electronic conversations and transmissions is being held by the NSA for "security reasons" in the largest building in the world in Utah, it is time for something to stop.
     With all the lies being told by all parties is a power grab to convince you that it is better to let the government determine what you eat, read, say, drive, think, and hold a gun to your head if you do not comply, something has to change.
      If you think that last statement is too strong ask this.  Who has the ability to take your assets, freedom, family, and movement by threat of force and imprisonment?
      So those willing to run for office, stay in office, or support those such, pledge to remove ten laws or regulations for each new law you propose.

Sunday, November 3, 2013


                       IT IS OUR CHOICES, THAT SHOW WHAT WE
                                TRULY ARE, FAR MORE THAN OUR
                                                                J.K. Rowling

     I had the pleasure of being in Liberal Kansas the other day.  I had the opportunity to hang out with my friends the Diamond W Wranglers and Rex Allen Jr.  They were in town for a concert on the behalf of the United Way.  Also helping explore the development of more entertainment being brought to Western Kansas.
     The day of the show we all went to the Seward County Community College to talk with music students.  I was in the back keeping my mouth shut.  Jim Farrell, Steve Crawford, and Rex Allen Jr, were in the front and talking about the music business from each of their experiences.  Giving a reality lesson for those who will soon be edging into a world of great reward and horrible disappointment.  In other words the 'real world'.
     Rex Allen Jr. made a statement that I immediately wished I had been smart enough to recognize and say.  But I didn't.  I will put this into context.  In this music industry which is run by boards and people who have no idea what really makes the business work, the pursuit of youth is as rabid as, well, the dominance of youth in other business.
     We are in a society that worships youth and youth wants all the rewards without the process of earning them.  The wisdom of youth is only in movies and TV commercials.  In real life it is the constant reality of trying, falling down, and getting back up again that brings about experience and wisdom.
     There are some who learn incredibly fast. And who would not yearn for the ability to turn back and recapture some of the energy, and optimism of the young.  But it is the sum of our failures combined with successes that bring us to the position later of doing many things better and smarter than we used to.
     In the music business, especially Country Music, the statement that blew me away is this: "What if Frank Sinatra had been forced to leave music after age 40?"  The meaning is that the music industry takes the youngest talent and by the age of 40 they are put out of the spotlight as being the old talent.  Frank Sinatra did his best work after 40.  Rex Allen Jr.'s voice is as better now as it has ever been.  My voice is better now than when I was young.
     The corporate people that make the decisions are denying the fan base of the chance to hear truly great talent mature and define what their careers would be.  Will there be truly greats that last through time?  Or will there be flash in the pans who make the big score and retire before they truly develop into something that will last beyond their lifetime?
     I have been trying to define what is wrong with the entertainment industry for a long time.  How fortunate that a man that I would not have dreamed of being around would bring into focus what was in the back of my mind.  And with him saying that I was the student there with the rest.
     I was truly the lucky one for a couple of days in Liberal.  I rediscovered an artist that I had always admired as well as his dad who I was a true fan of.  So much is thrown out at the fan and the artist that even when you know better you forget so many things.
     As I sat in the back of the auditorium at the, concert, I saw something in an audience that is a hopeful change.  The age rages were much wider than shows we are used to doing.  A lot of the Western music crowd is grey haired.  The Liberal crowd was more mixed from young to old.  And with all the younger kids who normally have that I phone in their hands, there was not one kid running their thumbs texting or playing games.  They watched the whole show through and enjoyed it.  The crowd coming out afterwards would look at me, not ever seeing me before, and say "wasn't that a great show"?
     Yes, yes it was.
Soon I want to talk about Liberal Kansas, a town that I had always had a less than favorable opinion of.  Hint-ignore the front door as you come into town from the northeast.  There is a great town with a lot of heart down there.

Saturday, November 2, 2013


                                 HAS NEVER TRIED TO CONTACT US.

     The amount of programing out there in the cable and satellite world is truly mind boggling.  It is even more so when you have 500 channels available and nothing to watch.  I watch the 'wars' for your dollar all the time.  Thank goodness I cannot get COX because I would never use it because of the annoying commercials.  ANOYAYAYING
     I see all the hype of DIRECT TV and hear from their listeners about the horror stories of being their customer.  I have DISH and keep getting told about how cheap it is and how much choice I have.  Ya Right.
      I read that many viewers are boycotting their service for carrying the Al Jezzera Network.  There was a lot of talk about the network being sold by our former Vice President to the Qatar owned company.  It was reported he turned down a bid from Glenn Beck in favor of the Muslim owned buyer.
      Many were saying that all kinds of sanctions or consequences be taken for the carriers who picked them up.  That was not the right way to protest under our system.  However the viewers taking actions to take the network off the air is the right way of doing it.
      The carriers of programing are supposed to be smart operators and turn a legitimate profit.  That is why I am wondering how they can run such massive amounts of junk and limit quality networks.
      Since I have DISH I have repeatedly tried to get BLUE HIGHWAYS TV added to the family line up.  As yet it has not made it.  The new Family network has been buried into a bunch of infomerical sites that most people bypass.  What a shame that when there is a nugget of good clean programing it is put where it will have a hard time making it.
     Some of the reality TV is a silly relief from a lot of junk but seriously the format is being overdone.  (Pregnant and Dating) really!  I wrote a format for a reality TV program but could not get through the front door because it involved intelligent people.  I have other TV proposals but have not found that 'back door' that you need to find to get an airing of the concepts.
     It is evident that there is a lot out there that is just a distraction from things that really are important.  It is more important how the Kardashians are doing than how Washington is mortgaging our kids future and tearing down the Constitution.
      The airwaves were traditionally free to the people until technology figured out how a few people can control everything and charge you for it.  When was the last time you really ever saw or heard a truly local owned independent radio or TV station?
      Many are counting on you being too stupid to seek out the truth on many things.  It is up to you to prove them wrong.  It is also up to you to remove ALL the rulers on capital hill who know you are stupid.

Thursday, October 24, 2013


                        DO NOT GO WHERE THE PATH MAY LEAD;
                                 GO INSTEAD WHERE THERE IS NO PATH
                                           AND LEAVE A TRAIL.
                                                 Ralph Waldo Emerson

      Time is a paradox.  When we are enjoying something it seems to fly by.  When we aren't enjoying things it seems to drag by.  No matter what is going on in life the older you get the faster time goes and does not stop.
     Fall is showing it's self and I have been running around like I really have things to do.  There is an advantage to living on a hill, in a pasture, on open range.  I can take a minute to look out the window and see things that 95% of everyone else in the world does not.
     Every time I get in the truck I know that I will see deer, turkey, and dozens of other sights that those jammed into cities and towns don't.  The occasional coyote comes through the yard and all kinds of birds.  It is not long and the sounds of sand hill cranes, ducks, geese, and other migrating birds will be everywhere.  Maybe even a glimpse of the Whooping Cranes going by.  I saw 3 of them 4 years ago.
     It is hard to believe that things we see on TV really go on and that there is so much bad in the world.  So many will stay blissfully ignorant or just believe what they wish when it is not right outside their window.
     We are reminded of how much we take for granted every time we have guests who marvel at the sight of the night sky and are awed at the stars that they never get to see.  Many guests are wonderfully educated or do, or have done, interesting work.  Many live exotic lives in places I have only seen on TV or in a book.  Yet they marvel at what I see everyday.
     I am even more entertained by those 'other' Kansas people who come to our hills and cannot believe what they are seeing.  I delight in the comments that people make from many places, especially where 'southern hospitality' is at, about how friendly the Kansas people have been to them.
     In order to stay fully appreciative of what I am privileged to see I love to set with the dog on the deck, look down into the hills, and thank God for the place and time we have been given.  Then add a prayer for the United States that it not be lost by those who cannot see the blessings we have been granted.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013


                          SOMETIMES I WORRY ABOUT SUCCESS
                                             IN A MEDIOCRE WORLD.
                                                     Lily Tomlin

     I sometimes feel like I am tilting at windmills in the fact that I am in love with history.  I see the remnants of the worst mindset that ever occurred in this country everywhere.  Urban Renewal, this attitude of throwing away that which is old and unique is the worst thing that has happened to our communities.
     I see this manifest itself in large part by committees or elected boards who are charged with managing the areas that we live.  Whether public or private there is a group that has something to do with what is done with most everything.
      I have mixed emotions over the fact that they are going to save the water wheel at Rock Springs Ranch but I am unhappy about losing the old ranch house.  It makes me very sad that at some point the upkeep of the house was stopped.  Someone made that decision.  The 4-H camp is one of the shining diamonds of our state and it has effected many lives over the years and will continue to do so.  I am just sad that part of the reason it is called RANCH will be gone.
     Every year when I return from Albuquerque, NM from the Western Music Association convention, showcase, and awards, I stop at the historic Brown Hotel in Springer, NM for breakfast.  The hotel is a snapshot of history that you could still get a room or eat a home cooked meal.  I would be in early enough that the local guys would be there drinking coffee and telling story's.  Sad to say when my friend RW Hampton from Cimmaron, NM was here I was told the Brown shut down in September.
      Through many reasons we lose historic buildings and businesses every year here in Kansas, but it is the same all over.  In many cases it has been proven to be more cost effective to restore older buildings that to knock them down and put up architecturally bland buildings.
     It is more of an eye sore to me to see a metal building put up in the middle of unique older buildings than having a vacant lot.  One town just lost their old Opera house due to the fact that they have saved many buildings and could not raise anymore money for another project.  Another town is having two buildings torn down because they were sold on the Internet and the new owner let them literally rot.
     You can site instance after instance in your community where some thing unique has been lost.  Will you be the one that laments the passing or happy to see the old junker gone?
     One of the arguments that I get on saving old buildings is that "it is too expensive to bring them up to code".  Any community that has the desire to work with old buildings need to adopt the codes for historic structures.  They are out there.  Also every code that is used has the statement in the first pages of the book that there is discretion for the inspector or entity to give variances for common sense and innovative solutions for the spirit of the code.
     As a former inspector, who never had a complaint lodged against him, I am irritated with other inspectors who act like they are little Lord Fauntleroy's and never try to work out problems.  The point of codes is safety and good practice, not the ego of those in charge.  There is constant improvement of practices, techniques, and hardware.  Any code cannot be final word on what is allowed.
     The character of a community is reflected in what they save and value.  The economic health of rural areas and cities sometimes is the uniqueness that they preserve.

Friday, September 27, 2013


                           TO HARD WAYS."
                                             Louis L'Amour

     Before Buffalo Bill Cody there was Buffalo Bill (William) Mathewson.  Of Scottish descent, he was a friend and contemporary of Kit Carson.  He hunted, trapped,and traded across the plains and in 1853 created the Cow Creek Ranch near the Great Bend of the Arkansas River.  Always a quiet and modest man he became a legend in the eyes of the Indian and white man.
     Chief Satanta of the Kiowa tribe tried to take goods from the store without paying for them.  Satanta was an exceptionally tall Indian for the time and a perfect physical specimen.  Mathewson proceeded to give Satanta a tremendous thrashing and kicked him and his group from the store.  The incident made him famous among the plains Indian tribes and the Kiowa named him 'Sillpah Sinpahor' or ' Long Beard Dangerous Man'.
      The incident made lifelong friends of Satanta and Bill.  When the Kiowa went on the warpath Satanta rode hundreds of miles to warn him.  On June 20,21, & 22 Bill, and five employees held off a superior force of attackers.  As a wagon train approached on the Santa Fe Trail the Indians turned the attack on them.  The column was lightly armed.  The teamsters did not know that their load contained firearms and munitions.
     Bill armed himself to the teeth and in a scene from a John Wayne movie, single handily rode through the Indians and warned the wagon train informing them of their cargo.  Boxes of guns were opened and the group fended off the attacking Kiowas.
     Bill rode scout for General Blunts expedition and did much to bring the tribes together for the Little Arkansas Treaty.  This proceeded the great Medicine Lodge Peace Treaty.  Bill went out to villages which was hazardous work.  He made it a practice of sneaking up on the villages and just appear.
     In his lifetime Mathewson was responsible for returning no less than fifty four women and children captives.  He was involved in an incident from early Wichita that could have turned into a bloodbath had it not been for his clear thinking.  Little Rea Woodman was assumed to be kidnapped by a group of  "Pants" Indians, who were traveling from Wichita south.  Bill, Rea's father, and another man circled the Indian encampment on Cowskin Creek and rode in from the south.  The men were invited to stay and fish with the tribe.
     Feigning ignorance Bill asked if the Indian's had anything to trade.  They had this girl that had crawled into their tents and was found sleeping.  They were willing to trade her quickly.  The deal was struck for fifty cents and Rea's dad kicked in a pocket knife.
     Had the citizens committee not waited for this all to happen it could have been a massacre.  Here demonstrated Bills coolness and clear thinking.  later in life when Rea would misbehave her father would chide her saying "I sure miss that  pocket knife".
    William Mathewson was a very modest man and would not talk about his exploits or to newspaper reporters.  Buffalo Bill Cody acknowledged Mathewson as being the first Buffalo Bill.  Mathewson shot buffalo sending the meat back into Eastern Kansas in the 1860 drought saving many starving people.
     Bill was an early resident of Wichita he had one of the first log cabins built there.  It was put up under the direction of JR Mead who Bill was being supplied by while trading down in the nations.  His fourth and last house is still being lived in in Wichita.
     Mathewson and Cody had a tentative friendship.  Mathewson thought that Cody was a braggart.  There is a picture of them setting on the porch at Cowtown and the Sedgwick County Museums.
     Of all the plainsmen and colorful pioneers of the west Buffalo Bill Mathewson should be famous.  His exploits were worthy of movies and his life more interesting than fiction.  His great, great, great, granddaughter has written a children's book of his life that should now be on the stands.
     Also Mathewson's pasture was the site that many circus's would set up in and it was the first site of Joyland Park.

Friday, September 13, 2013



There is a mistake and my reference that I go to got back to me after I published the article on Rock Springs Ranch deciding to tear down the White House and Water Wheel.

It is not the 4-H Council who made the decision it is the 4-H FOUNDATION.  This is where to direct comments.

To save the history of Rock Springs Ranch contact the 4-H Foundation and if you want to join a group you can contact me at

Thursday, September 12, 2013


                          HUMAN STUPIDITY; AND I AM NOT SURE
                                    ABOUT THE UNIVERSE
                                                  Albert Einstein

     Normally it is government or some big company that you are expecting the worst from and expect a fight for some common sense.  Now it is the people who run our private groups that have always been the rock of tradition and pillars of doing good.
      My most productive education came from my days in 4-H.  I will regret to my dieing day that I did not stay on through high school instead of being tied up in other things.  And of my 4-H memories is the time I went to camp at Rock Springs Ranch.  The first thing I always think of is the old farm house with the working water wheel.  It is such a part of my experience that it cannot be cut from the memories.
     My folks lived six miles apart growing up but met at Rock Springs Ranch at camp 100 miles away.  Their memories are of the Water Wheel and that little white house that was the office.  But now through some infinite wisdom the Kansas 4-H Council has condemned the house and waterwheel.  Probably the only working water wheel in Kansas.  AGHHHHHH!!!!!!!
     Now I try to write my stories after my first emotions go away because I want the logic to be the centerpiece of my story and not the emotion.  But sometimes the emotion does not go away.
     I am sure that there is probably a lot of solid reasons why the preservation of this part of history is hard to save and maybe just not economical, but really?  I recall no explanation or opinions being sent out statewide to councils and clubs.
     Has the move to bringing more urban kids into the 4-H tradition altered the traditions?  I bet not one city 4-Her has ever seen a real waterwheel unless they go to a theme park.  Has Rock Springs Ranch gotten so sophisticated and glossy that camp is just another place people send their kids to to get rid of them for a while?  It has always been a place kids wanted to go and they were enriched in more ways than you can list.
     And how many parents that went with their kids have memories from going up to help run the place?  How many counselors have their summer experiences that last a lifetime?
     I hope that the 4-Her's of Kansas, their leaders, and those who used to stand next to the water wheel and cool themselves with that mist, get up and say NO!  We will not lose one more part of our history, and some committee should start figuring out how things should be done and not how they want them to be done.
     All the county councils in Kansas need to set their foot down and say no to the tradition that that little white house and water wheel represent.  We might as well go bulldoze our historic sites to build hiways or ugly steel buildings.  Oh Heck, we are already doing that!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013



                                     Mahatma Gandhi

                           AND KNOW THAT I AM WITH YOU ALWAYS;
                                   YES, ALWAYS TO THE END OF TIME
                                                       Jesus Christ

      I was on my way home from a visit to my clinic and my cell phone rang, a voice from out of the past said hello.  Cowboy Dan Boyd.  Now Dan is the last living circuit preacher and is on a mission that would not be an easy thing for many to do.  He is traveling by horse and wagon to every one of the lower forty eight states.  Along the way he is working on just about anything a poor person or family needs that crosses his path.
     He has patched porches, fixed windows, poured cement, fixed fence and any other handy man job he runs into.  All this is funded by donations.  He holds Cowboy Church Services along the way.  This was not what he envisioned for himself early in life but it is a calling he cannot turn away from. 
     My first memory of Cowboy Dan was at the Western Music Association Festival in Wichita.  One of our top artists was going through a round of cancer and had sold everything including his horse to support his family and fight the disease.  We were kicking around Dan's idea for a benefit concert to help.  This was not in the normal way of doing concerts, it would be going where the cowboys were and their environment, livestock auction barns.
     Well our friend beat the cancer and is one of the top artists in Western Music but Dan did not let that idea go to raise money for needy causes.  So with Victoria Ward they created the Auction Barn Concerts and did shows all over Kansas, Oklahoma, and Colorado.
     I did not know Dan's story of how he lost his wife and son in a car accident and his other son was left with injuries requiring over 80 surgeries.  For many years Dan was mad at God.  A kind lady made this statement that may not have been appreciated at the time but rings so true.  She said, "God will not give you more grief than you can handle".
      For many years he fought with his pain and disappointments but God blessed him with many talents.  Whether you would call it a calling, mission, or dream, Dan made his peace and opened his heart.  Which was also opened by doctors at age 58 for bypass surgery.  He started a Cowboy church not intending to preach but just facilitate.  And yet he was called to preach.
     Cowboy Dan has been on the road now with his team and tools and is determined to spread the love of God to all 48 lower states.  He was in North Carolina today waiting for mail to catch up.  Next stop is South Carolina.  He called wanting me to let people know that he is still on the road and needs support to continue on.
     To find Dan and his ministry go to Facebook and put in THE LAST CIRCUIT RIDING PREACHER.  You can Google for his website also.
e-mail Dan at
          PO BOX 444, BENTON, KS.  67017
HIS MISSION:  Sharing the love of Jesus in all lower 48 states helping country folk along the way.


Sunday, September 8, 2013


                        THOSE WHO ARE PROUD OF IT.
                                               Edith Sitwell

     The state that Detroit Michigan is in is typical of what 50 years of Progressive ideals can wrought with an economy and population.  Once 10th in size in the US it now is down to 750,000 residents.  A huge area of the once thriving city is now like Dresden or Hiroshima.  But a bomb did not do it.  It was warfare but not of a military nature.
     I had neighbors whose folks had left the area behind 30 years ago because of the crime, gangs, and the direction that it was going.  Homes can be bought for $1.00 and there are no takers.  The retirements of workers are in jeopardy because of the drastic drain on the budget it poses.
     Detroit is now in bankruptcy.  It is no longer up to citizens or elected officials to point the direction of the city.  It is now in the hands of a judge and lawyers.  Can we expect anything good from this?  I doubt it. 
     I had heard a plan that was proposed once and have not heard anything about it since.  I thought it was so simple it would work.  That is probably the reason it is not being discussed.
      So how would a writer from Kansas have a solution for the problems up there?  I guess just plain audacity, so I will expand on what I would do with Detroit if given the chance.
     Like all metropolitan areas Detroit went through huge expansion.  Even letting entire neighborhoods crumble there is cost with keeping it in the city limits.  The original idea was to take a half section or 320 acres of the ravaged neighborhoods and clear it all off, pull all utilities and return it to farmland and de-annex it.
     My proposal is to take many of the unemployed that are still willing to work, starting to clean and pallet brick and salvage building materials and put the salvage up for sale for cash money.  Turn as much back to farmland as can be cleaned up.
     The old factory buildings that have not been ravaged, or are salvageable, start indoor growing operations again taking residents willing to work and put t
hem to feeding themselves and the whole region.
     Those who would not work or are able bodied would be cut off of government programs that reward laziness.  Those who need help would get help but again with training of local unemployed people.  Training programs for a whole myriad of jobs from nurses, EMT's, construction, farming and what ever was needed be created.
      The strangle hold of the Unions would be rolled back, not to free up companies to run roughshod over labor but there has to be some common sense brought back.  Workers can be employed if they are affordable and willing to work.  We have heard too many stories of what 'rights' have been negotiated that make no sense at all.
     There will have  to be a building back of the police, fire, and EMS.  Then the gangs will have to be driven out of town.  Judges, prosecutors, and politicians will have to have the will to look the gangs in the eye and not blink.
     If all the programs that the government are turning on law abiding citizens to the criminals there could be a massive shift of law breakers from the city.  This also includes the Federal agencies taking illegal aliens and ship them back to their countries or prisons which ever is appropriate.
      Bring in the innovators who can turn a disaster into an asset.  Profit is not a dirty word bankruptcy is.  If there was an incentive like a labor pool that is affordable and facilities for new production the jobs will start flowing back from overseas.
      BUT then what does a broken down cowboy from the hills know?

Tuesday, September 3, 2013


                       WRITE IT.           Sir Winston Churchill

     Kansas has always enjoyed a very efficient and active historical society.  The museum in Topeka is a great place to go and learn the history of the state.  But something happened and I don't know what it is.  Have historians given way to bureaucracy or political correctness?  Or has poor judgement taken the place of serious management of the history?
     There is a glaring error that was caused by our KANSAS STATE HISTORICAL SOCIETY and it has my dander up. According to the KANSAS COWBOY Mr. Gary Kraisinger from Halstead showed a 2013 official Kansas Highway map to a gathering of the Kansas Chapter of the Great Western Trail and the International Chisholm Trail Associations joint meeting in Dodge City
     The new Kansas map eliminated the route of the Chisholm and Great Western Trails which has been included in the past.  The Santa Fe Trail was left in place.  Contacting the KDOT PR Manager for the Southwest Region this is the reply to the inquiry "historic sites and trails are placed on the map in consultation with the state historical society and any other appropriate entities".
     In essence the Kansas State Historical Society has decided that only recognized national historic trails should be put on the map and a major part of Kansas History was eliminated.  REALLY!  The major part of the history of Kansas and a foundation of a tourism industry is not deemed sufficient for the Historical Society to place it on our road maps?
     What has happened to the mission of the KANSAS STATE HISTORICAL SOCIETY?  I have had contact with those running the society in the past and found them to be good historians.  Not withstanding the cuts in budget they seem to have done a good job in the past. 
      I am very concerned about what would cause a major shift in the goals of the society.  I am also concerned that Tourism is not a part of the process.  I have had major concerns in years past that the promotion for our state has been directed to our own residents rather than to other states.  But, I thought the focus has been changing and we are inviting the world to visit one of the most interesting, diverse, and yes, scenic states in the country.
     Why did we just go to the largest equine gathering in Europe jointly with Oklahoma to promote our state and history?  We had one of our shining lights JUDY CODER singing and yodeling her heart out to potential tourists over there.  And we cannot keep the cattle trails on our highway map?
     It is time for everyone from the Governors office to the tourism associations to get on the same page and put some common sense back into the presentation of our state.

Sunday, September 1, 2013


                    IS A COUNTRY OF MADMEN
                                                  George Santayana

     I have often wondered what makes bureaucrats think.  When so much of history has been lost over time, you cherish what you do have and protect it fiercely.  But the case of the Kansas Department of Transportation (KDOT), who seems to live in a rarefied world, when given a task at hand it quite literally bulldozes its way without regard for people, property, or history.
     Kansas has been ranked as having the second best highways in the country and yet many travelers would never guess that.  We have had almost desperate need for highways in the western part of Kansas and there have been grand highway plans that should have been completed thirty years ago when the cost was half.
     Yet the highway fund has been the cash cow for several of the last governors including this one who campaigned that the fund would not be raided.  Given high hopes that the new director of KDOT, coming from the construction world, would put some logic and humanity back into an agency with a long history of just running through everything.
     Well the Topeka/KC mindset, that there is no Kansas west of US 81 highway, is still alive and well.  But a bright spot is that a section of US 50 Highway west of Dodge City is being widened into a four lane.  This is only fifty years over due.
    ACCEPT, there is one problem.  This is a stretch of the historic Santa Fe Trail and there is a rock formation called Point of Rocks.  It is an outcropping that was a landmark used by travelers.  This set of rocks is one of several carrying the name along the trail but the only one that may be bulldozed for the four lane highway project.
     Thank goodness there are people who care, and a man from Bucklin decided that running over a land mark that was there for the likes of Jed Smith, Josiah Gregg, or Robert Wright is not acceptable.  Or hundreds of mule skinners, ox carts, and freighting caravans.  And quoting The Cowboy "some unknown cowboy on his way to Ogahlala or Dakota Territory?  Or maybe just some brave that first saw the dust from Coronado's column off to the east".
     An archaeological report prepared in October 2012 found that the Point of Rocks was not eligible under Federal guidelines to be put on the Historic Register.  But you have to be conscious of the feel of history to appreciate the importance of this spot. 
     Those who have been charged with looking out for the interests of the citizens of the state, and those who travel through, need to held to a higher standard.  The one that can change it right now is the Office of the Governor. The legislature can change definitions but we have seen plenty of nothing from there.  The Director of the DOT can order policy changes.  But the fight must be by the people who feel that things like this need to be protected.  If  KDOT can build a highway through a swamp they can avoid destroying a part of our geological history that has been a landmark as long as the country has been inhabited.
     Those of us whom history is a living vital thing, place value on the ability to protect what would be lost by those who just don't care.  In a federal park or property and even may states it is illegal to pick up a rock and carry it away, let alone bulldoze it.  The rules of building a wind farm make any possible archaeological site protected and so does any other project.
       The value of history goes beyond a monetary mark.  It is the way that we base our future decisions.  I know that this is getting old but it is my favorite quote and one that I live by.  THOSE WHO IGNORE HISTORY ARE CONDEMNED TO RELIVE IT.  Our history is the foundation that we base our lives, country, and future on.

Friday, August 30, 2013


                               DESPERATE GOVERNMENTS WILL DO
                                        DESPERATE THINGS.

     There are watershed moments in everybodys life when you remember just where you were at and what you were doing when the event occurred.  Those who remember the announcement that Pearl Harbor was attacked, the day Kennedy was shot, the planes plunging into the Twin Towers.
     Much to the dismay of most of the American people I am afraid that we will have another of these very soon.  Do we learn nothing from history?  I do not want to be able to say I remembered the moment they announced the beginning of World War Three.
      It is not any secret that I am not a fan of our president and the policies that are dragging down a once shinning light to the world.  More and more even his supporters are realizing that the Change he was elected on is not the way our founding fathers envisioned.  They went to great lengths to keep what is happening today from taking place.
      Without the support of anyone in the world or in this country, except for those who want to see the US humbled, the administration seems determined to take us into a war, again, with no goal of winning.  Into a country where both sides are our enemies.
      Our sons and daughters will be drawn into a global conflict and sacrificed so a President can save face.  I am sorry Mr. President but your dignity was lost a long time ago.
      Limited strikes for short term is the justification and yet Russia is putting warships into the fray and allied with our major credit provider.  We will see the rise of a united Caliphate and not have any economy left to support those who will be put into harms way.
     Can a country stand for long that has a leader that will openly defy the law and create executive orders to bypass all that keeps us free and the true leader of the world?
     The legendary Paul Harvey continuously reminded us that the only way to lead is by example.  We the People cannot become the enforcer of the world.  Time and again it has been demonstrated that the United Nations is totally ineffectual in solving crisis let alone being a governing body for the world.  The true leaders of the world are in the background and pulling the strings.  As the old saying goes "show me the money".  The administration has become checker players in a chess game.
     So I hope that you will reflect on the moment when where you were at, when the Third world War began.  I hope we will be able to look back and thank God when it was over.  How do you think history will look back?

Friday, August 23, 2013


                             AND LOOK STUPID, THAN OPEN IT
                                       AND PROVE IT!
                                                          Cowboy Wisdom

     OK, it has happened again.  Some self appointed Bozo has pronounced that Kansas is number 50 out of 50 states for scenery.  I am sure if he ever has been in Kansas it was driving 85 MPH on I-70.  It was probably gloomy and mostly at night.  Otherwise this guy should be banned from driving and given a white cane.
     I once again was able to road trip to Manhattan Kansas for a battery charge from people who love this state, and life in general.  I started by not going the fast and direct route but going north from the Wildfire Ranch and driving through Stafford (one of my favorite towns) and on to Ellinwood.  I picked up my friend Basil who has just become Chamber of Commerce Director and head cheerleader for the town.  This is going to be another of my favorite towns because of the antique stores, restaurants, and the preservation of many historic buildings.
     Since we have been in one of the worst droughts in years it was so nice to see everything green, especially in August.  I am sure even the farmers who had their hay rained on were not that mad since there has actually been adequate to almost too much rain up there.
     The Smoky Hills were in rare form and so were the Flint Hills.  If anyone failed to enjoy the scenery on I-70 this day they are truly blind.  Kansas beauty is subtle.  You don't need a pile of rock going to 14,000 feet to have wonderful views.
     Then in Manhattan it was the first time I had been on the K-State campus since high school.  It is fantastic!  The Kansas mascot was everywhere,(the orange cones) and the traffic was awful.  Of course it was the weekend of students moving in for the fall semester.  Parties abounded.
     I discovered that Manhattan has a really great Zoo.  The Flint Hills Discovery Center needs to be experienced by everyone.  If you don't take your kids there you are derelict.  The movie on the Flint Hills is like nothing you have experienced.  And I mean experienced, you will just have to go to see what I mean.
     On the way home we had a great chicken dinner at the Brookville Hotel at Abilene.  Then we stopped at the Russell Stover store at the candy factory.  They are open on Sundays.  My blood sugar went up just looking. (I did only get the sugar free).  What candy store do you need a shopping cart for?  WOW!
     After a long weekend I was wearing down and thank goodness that the dime store in Stafford was open on Sunday afternoon so I could use the facilities and get a sugar free cherry limeade at the antique soda fountain.
     I returned home exhausted but full of the great scenery of Central Kansas.  Whoever that snob is that scoffed at the beauty of Kansas can stay in his concrete jungle and ogle the rats and trash that he so loves.  We can live quite nicely without him.