Friday, May 10, 2013


     A question is asked "WHY RURAL", the answer is THERE ARE 60 MILLION OF US.  So why do we wring our hands at the decline of the small town and rural communities?  Because it is important!
     There are those who labor to improve the quality of life and preserve historic buildings.  And many who run mom and pop businesses putting their life into providing a service and a living.  Many provide jobs that are sorely needed.  Only to have their 'friends' and neighbors drive an hour or two to buy at the big discounters.  Never made sense to me to not give a small mark up so your hometown business can survive and spend fifty or a hundred dollars in gas to save ten bucks.
     As those who made the trip to the Kansas Sampler Festival in Liberal this year found out that Kansas is a diverse and wonderful place.  Yet were you there to see it?
     A friend of mine at Wellington put his heart and soul into creating a new festival there.  Because of a little rain (everyone should have been dancing in it) few showed up.  Several of the organizations that 'backed' the festival have pulled out and left him holding the bag for two thousand dollars.  Yet it was a beginning that could be a huge draw to the community someday.  Funny on the same days was the community garage sale days and they were packed.
     I travel to many rural communities in a years time and the diversity is so amazing.  And yet there are those who are content to let everything fall down around them in ruins and won't walk across the street to do anything fun.  Many of these 'grumps' are not satisfied with just ignoring things they have to be the chronic pains in the neck at the meetings or set on the boards and do their best to keep things stirred up.
     So where do you fit in?  This is a question you can answer honestly or ignore, but, if you really want to preserve what is good in your world you have to stop and decide if you are part of the problem or the answer?
     If you are interested in keeping the rural flavor tasty and not bitter you need to take a day trip and discover what is all around you.  Go to a small business and spend some money.  Go to a small post office and buy your next months stamps.  Go to the local festival and immerse yourself in the vast talent we have.  Take the two lane roads through the towns and quit whizzing through on the Interstates.
     You have one year now to plan to go to Wamego for the next KANSAS SAMPLER FESTIVAL, but you can find something going on this weekend just about anywhere.
     So I come back to the original question WHAT DO YOU SUPPORT?  Then WILL YOU SUPPORT IT?

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