Sunday, April 28, 2013


     With the recent discovery of clots in my lungs and one leg there has been a decided change in my life.  Now we know what has been making me tired and draggy and short of breath, there is more time devoted to resting.  Some would not believe that there was any way I could rest any more than I did.  Oh well!
      This time gives my mind a freedom to run wild which has been a problem anyway.  Ask my friends that put on KANSAS-HOME ON THE RANGE.  One of my ideas which became an obsession.
      With the news of the passing of George Jones I reflect what an influence he was on my music.  It is so sad to lose those hero's that have always been there.  It means that we are all getting older.
      I received an e-mail from my friend Evelyn Neier which pointed out one thing I did not know about George.  Evelyn wrote "George Jones and Tammy Wynette probably sang the only song with Mullinville Kansas in the lyrics..."we're not the jet set.  There's no Riviera in Festus, Missouri. and you won't find Onassis in Mullinville Kansas....."  Wow I did not know that.  It is good to know that Mullinville has a song lyric to go along with their sculptures and round barn.  How many can say the same.
     I did make it to Wellington to the Chisholm Trail Wild West Festival on Saturday for a while.  Where were all of you?  What a great event with a small crowd.  The evening show was well attended.  Hope they keep doing the festival from now on.  It does take some public support.
     This coming weekend I am going to make at least one day at the KANSAS SAMPLER FESTIVAL in Liberal, KS this year.  If you want to see a showcase of everything interesting in Kansas you need to go.  Marci Penner, Wendee LaPlant and a whole host of workers put on the most fun festival of the year.  It is on Saturday and Sunday May 4 & 5.  Hey you can catch a great Cinco De Mayo parade on the 5th and there is a fantastic Italian restaurant in the rail road depot building there.  I have it on good authority that the Kansas Sampler shirts and outerwear have a new look this year.
      Could not make the annual convention of the Kansas Bed and Breakfast Association this weekend.  If you like to explore Kansas go to their website and find the closest member to where you want to go.  It beats a motel by a mile.
     I am upset with a Kansas corporation.  Alco, headquartered in Abilene, is moving to Texas.  The move is partly because of no corporate or personal taxes.  The governor is working to try and make Kansas a job magnet in a similar way.  It is sometimes tough to understand what Topeka is doing but in the end I hope it will be worth it.  I think the big problem with Alco is too many MBA's and no one in positions that have actually worked the floor in a store.  This company used to be Duckwalls.  Which the Duckwall stores were closed and left a hole in many small Kansas towns.  I think that Alco needs to quit trying to be Dollar General and changing to get more food stamp business and become full members of their communities again.
      And speaking of Duckwalls, the Stafford store set empty in the middle of main street and the community took the bull by the horn and created their own Stafford Mercantile.  They also installed an antique soda fountain.  It is the jewel of main street in a town that takes survival seriously. (I hate it that they cannot save the old opera house).
      Well enough of my meanderings.  I hear that Basil had a great bake off in Meade this weekend, maybe we need to do one too.  Darn I cannot eat cake and pie anymore.  Oh well!

Sunday, April 21, 2013


    I woke up recently and thought I was having an asthma attack.  It is a condition I carry from the Fire Department.  After taking a treatment I made the  night in good shape.  I was not feeling real good so went to the clinic to just have things checked out.
     We have a rotating doctor that comes to our local hospital to give ours a little break.  She did something that never happened down here before and put me in a wheel chair.  They did tests and to cut it short I found myself in the back of our ambulance running hot to the Kansas Heart Hospital.  I am not used to being on that side of the cot and I can say that gurneys have not gotten any more comfortable.
     Turns out I have blood clots in all 5 parts of my lungs and behind my right knee.  There has been an ongoing effort by all involved to tell me how close I came to not doing any more blogs.
     When you are in the ICU you soon shuck your priorities down to the most basic level.  Of all thing things I hold in esteem I did not appreciate the fact that going to the restroom, by yourself, is the ultimate in freedom.  I do believe that the invention of the bed pan is that of a sadist.  The view out the window of the gas service reminds me of prison, if I were ever there.
     The simple pleasure of a simple meal not designed by a 'dietician' is  another thing that we take for granted.  I do know now how the kids in school feel about food.
      I do know that I was just plain spoiled by the nurses and staff of the Kansas Heart Hospital.  There was a great level of care and service that I will always be grateful for.  I am not recommending that air bed, it tried to throw me out several times.
     I do think that those who make the buying decisions at the hospital spend a week sleeping in the beds and setting on the chairs.  I think things would soon be upgraded.
     It is amazing how things can change in a moment and we are reminded that we are not in charge but do have limited control as to how we recover from these things. 
     I do not like the split tail gown.  It is a fact that your dignity is left at the door but the people make the fact such a non issue that it is easier to concentrate on getting well and not how you look.
      I am overwhelmed with the numbers of well wishes and prayers sent my way.  I was not aware as how many friends I have out there.
     I want to thank everyone at the Medicine Lodge Clinic and Hospital, Barber County EMS, the Kansas Heart Hospital, and the closest pizza place that I threatened to order in while I was there.
      I am afraid it will be a while before I am on stage again but I am still working on new things in western music and running the family B&B.  This will give me time to work out the OH YOU COWGIRL TOUR to come to a historic theater near you soon.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013




     For the first time a new festival is shaping up for Wellington Kansas and I am going to be a part of it as well as the KANSAS WESTERN MUSIC ASSOCIATION.  This will be the WMA-KS State Showcase.  There will be lot of things going on and it is all family friendly.  You might even learn something.
     On Friday at 5pm the Chuckwagons will be setting up getting ready for a competition on Saturday.  At 8 there is a quick draw competition.  And at 7 there is a Cowboy Poetry contest, music, rope and gun spinning and tricks.
     On Saturday morning the Chuckwagons start cooking for their competition at 8am.  At 10am 19th century children's games will be conducted by the Wellington FFA.  All the western vendors, arts & crafts booths will also open.
     At 11am the fast draw contest begins and at noon the chuckwagon meals are served.  Western music begins and continues through the afternoon by the members of the Western Music Association. 
      The extra special event Saturday evening in the Wellington High School Gym is THE WEST IS WILD AS EVER.  The WWE is a special combination of the DIAMOND W WRANGLERS, JUDY CODER, AND 3 TRAILS WEST.  This exciting show of super talented musicians will please everyone from 3 to 103.  This new road show was debuted in Emporia and the show is going on the road.
     Performers for the stage events include:  Diamond W Wranglers, Judy Coder, 3 Trails West, Jeff Davidson, Ron's Cowboy Poetry (Ron Wilson), Ed LeValley & the Slate Creek Drovers, Brad Doc Hamilton, Prairie Rose Rangers, Roger Ringer & Peggy Coleman, and Ashton Burel.
     Like I said it is family friendly costing $3 for a button.  $10 for the Chuckwagon meal, and $10 for the grand finale the WEST IS WILD AS EVER.
      You know that no endeavor like this just happens and there is a great committee that has been working for a year planning this.  This is another example of what makes rural Kansas so fun.  Backing the whole event is sponsored by the WESTERN MUSIC ASSOCIATION - KANSAS, AMERICAN AG CREDIT, PRAIRIELAND PARTNERS JOHN DEERE, AND IMPACT BANK.
     The greatest sponsors will be you coming out, having fun, and making this a special Kansas event.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013


                                                       Mark Twain

     I thinks I smell the frustration of a reporter who is out of touch with the boundless diversity of the Kansas people.  And also on the other side of a political fence that people sit on but very seldom cross over to work on problems together.  It is very easy to talk across the fence.
     The problems that the State of Kansas finds it's self in goes to a lot of things including Governors who raid one budget to prop up the image that the whole budget is sound.  Working agenda's with special interest groups that have no interest in the whole concept of government, just their narrow views.
     I am not thrilled with the actions of the Governor and the legislators but I do not believe the state is dead because of them.  I blame education interests in the large metropolitan areas for lusting after the revenues of the Hugoton gas fields to fund the whole state.  I blame the teachers unions for protecting substandard teachers and wanting money thrown at problems rather than celebrating the dedicated teachers who do a great job.  I blame departments who are more worried about holding onto what they have rather than how to be efficient.
     I blame the DOT for spending 4 times the amount of time to design and build projects through swamps and taking out businesses for roads that should have been done 30 years ago.
      I blame party bickering over things that don't matter over things that continue to make the state a better place to live and work.  I blame companies that started and grew to greatness for leaving workers and the state for a place to sail the CEO's yacht and to states who were smart enough to lower their taxes.  I blame those in this state that did not lower taxes to keep these companies.  I blame the governments that offered so many incentives over the years only to have them spent and moved away.
     I blame those who have put road blocks to the exceptional Kansans who still are innovative yet find they are enabled to create elsewhere.  I blame the introduction of learning programs that move the student from exceptional to average because we cannot hurt the feelings of those who are not up to learning.  I blame pulling down from the top to dictate how and what is learned.
     I blame those who believe that it is preferable to be known as the abortion capital of America to those who would celebrate and support those who cannot speak for themselves.
     I blame left wing Democrats and top heavy Republicans who views everything in their own light rather than trying to do what is right.  It is hard to do what is right when you cannot even agree on what right is.  I have found that talking works better than shouting.
      I still see boards and committees that have a Urban Renewal mentality and that saving historic things is not a priority.  Yet there are Kansans that are out there working for our heritage.
     I see towns and cities that celebrate what they stand for.  I see individuals working for good.  I see organizations that celebrate Kansas and promote and support those who make this a great state to live in.
     I see younger people moving back and others coming to Kansas because of what we are.  We only need to get the people to quit asking how they got stuck in Kansas and see Kansas through their eyes.
     Kansas has people like Marci Penner and the thousands of others that promote and support the positives of Kansas.  The leaders in countless businesses that make this state their address and provide jobs and opportunities.  We have world class artists and entertainers that add richness to a lifestyle that ranges from the symphonies like Wichita, Kansas City, Hutchinson, Children's theaters, music from Ann Zimmerman to Zerf.  Groups such as the Diamond W Wranglers that take what is Kansas to Germany, New York, and the Great Wall of China.
     We have institutions that have the highest numbers of Rhodes Scholars and athletics and students that place us in the ranks of the elite.  Even if the media from the coasts ignore it.
     Without Kansas the cowboy would still be known as drovers.  We still feed the world with the most efficient farmers and ranchers in the world.  When the world wants to see how it is done they still come to Kansas.  When aviation wants training or innovation they come to Kansas.
     Yes I think we have problems but I think we have people that are up to the problems.  Thank goodness that a newspaper has no say as to whether we are up to the challenge.
     I do believe the rumors of Kansas death are greatly exagerated