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?

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