Monday, September 28, 2015


                                Alphonse Karr

     Did you hear that big sigh of relief Sunday afternoon around 4:30.  Well if you did that was the big WHEW that ends the 2015 Medicine Lodge Peace Treaty Pageant.  Mark it on the calendar four years from now for the next one.  On Monday morning, after I am sure is a late wake up, Kay Kuhn (executive director) will be busy making notes and starting on the next one.
      The numbers are not in but for a community to take on an event, that is known worldwide, is an undertaking that the original founders may not have considered.  It is an event that focuses people, who may not always see eye to eye, to work on a common project that is a huge heritage for the area.
      Visitors from all over the United States, and the world, come to see the story of the 300 years of history here in the Gypsum Hills.  The number of events requires workers and organizers that come together from a wide range of volunteers.  Many friends and family come home to play a part.  The amount of behind the scenes things that have to be done is astounding.
      When you literally double the population of the county for three days there are hundreds of details that have to come together.  Safety is one.  The Sheriff, Medicine Lodge PD, and outside agencies come together to make sure things run smooth.  Lines trying to park for the Pageant itself can back up over a mile in each direction on US 160 highway.  You have to get everyone into the parking as well as keep the regular traffic moving on the state highway.
     We made it this year without a major auto accident and we are grateful for this.  All the EMS crews were on duty as well as the Life Flight Helicopter crew in case of medical emergencies.  Even with the added precautions against accidents there was a larger number of people brought into the Emergency room.  There were patients transported to Pratt by EMS as well as a helicopter transport to Wichita, and a ground transport to Wichita all on Saturday alone.  Everything went smoothly because of preplanning and team work.
     Barber County Fire Dist. and Medicine Lodge Fire were on duty and were not needed for anything major.  Over all it was a great event.
     If you came and did not do everything don't feel bad.  There was so much going on it was impossible to do it all.  There was a great parade all three days, night shows, new shops open, food vendors, helicopter rides, art showings, our own Navy Seal free falling into the football game and the Sat. parade.  The Stockade and Carey Nation house had activities and author book signings, plus lots of things for kids to do.  The Kansas State Ranch Rodeo Championship and trade show on Friday and Sat. night.
     At one time it was stated that it takes 5000 people to be involved with everything that goes on during this weekend.  In a county of 4500 you can see how much organization and volunteerism it takes.  With 28 pieces of rolling stock for the pageant alone plus the teams and saddle horses, a lot has to be practiced for a long time before this all comes together.
     Thanks to a great lady from the Mid American All Indian Center we have a permanent Pow Wow that takes place every year now at the City park.  Thanks to a lot of volunteer work and a grant of $75,000 from an un-named donor there is a new permanent Pow Wow facility.  The crowds were great at the Indian Village and the Pow Wow this year.
     The Longhorn cattle that is in the pageant is driven from Bucklin Kansas starting a week ahead.  Gypsum Hill Trail Rides at the Gant-Larson Ranch played host to the TV program BEST OF AMERICA BY HORSE BACK from the RFD Channel.  Look for the pageant and trail riding on TV later on RFD Channel.  Western music star, Hall of Fame member, and real cowboy, RW Hampton was the announcer for the Ranch Rodeo and performed several times.  It was great for him to be back to see all his old friends here and his family had a great time.
     There were so many small unnoticed acts of kindness that took place all over everyone was at their best.  A lot of us are older and more restricted than we like to admit and there was always someone close by to jump in and help everyone that started to get in a little over their head and needed assistance.
     Every group in town was involved in either breakfasts, concessions, and providing overflow camping.  One pastors kids come from California for every pageant to make the donuts for the breakfast that the church sponsors.  Almost every home in town had visitors staying with them and all accommodations were full.  As well as the hotels and motels in neighboring communities.
     I do not think I am stepping over my bounds to speak for everyone involved to say a big THANK YOU to all the visitors and everyone that is involved.

Thursday, September 17, 2015


                                                              Mason Cooley

      The fact that I have never been married can result in many feelings that can include lonely.  But there are many forms of lonely and this country is having a crisis where the individual is being pushed to conform to the  politically correct or be ostracized and isolated.  But to be an individual can also be isolating from people who are in general agreement with your positions but do not like the way you speak or write them.
     The norm now is to be worried about standing for what you really believe.  As a rule I have had a great experience putting my opinions and observations into print.  I have also received my share of flack from those opposed as well as those who are supporters.
     We get news today from so many sources that it is hard to determine which is legitimate and what is deliberately masquerading as reality.  I see so much hate that comes from people who listen or read out of context bites.  When I put my opinions out I try to research as much as I can and I have made some mistakes.  I am human, what did you expect?  I will continue to make mistakes.  But I will still try to give you a thoughtful view from where I set.  Which has the backdrop of these wonderful hills and makes it difficult to believe that the things are happening in the world that are.
     I will not compare myself to any great person in history but there has to be someone that will raise their voice as Dietrich Bonheoffer did in Nazi Germany.  We have become so desensitized to evil from the incredible exposure of fiction that we do not distinguish between evil and good.  This time there will be no excuse of not knowing what is happening.
      But when I put forth an observation I risk even offending my friends.  What will be labeled 'hate speech' is beyond my control.  I suggest that whomever you believe to be a total clown and despicable that you listen to everything in context and with a desire to discern right from wrong, good from evil.
     If this leaves me or you lonely I guess that is just the way it is.  Loneliness can be in a crowd or by yourself.  So be it.
     We kill the unborn and stand by and tolerate the selling of the parts for a huge profit.  We see video after video where Planned Parenthood officials make jokes about the dead, or not just dead yet, infants.  And our tax money is used to support them without our consent.  We see the people doing it regarding it with total indifference.  Yet we are ridiculed when we do point it out and demand it be stopped.
      We watch people being beheaded, burnt, drowned, blown up, all in the name of a religion from the 8th century and do nothing about it.  Even when they promise to bring it to our own shores.  And we allow a government totally out of control bring these people here to settle in the name of being humane.  Yet a Christian family cannot seek refuge here and a well known personality who has some values is ridiculed for, and is willing, to meet these refugees and walk them across our border.
     300 cities in the US refuse to cooperate or enforce immigration laws and as a result we have murders from illegal's who come back after being deported time and again.  Also the worst gangs of the inner cities are swelling in size from the members coming from across the border.
     Universities allow no discourse of anything that goes against the official speak that they promote.  They give students 'rights' to be free from free expression.  Students are loaded with wrong, vial, and tainted information, loaded with debt and turned loose to find out in the real world it takes knowledge, effort, curiosity, and information to make it.
     God is banned from everything then when evil happens there is much wailing and gnashing of teeth and yet no one invites God back in.  Standing for principles is bashed because of the life that was lead before being saved.  God forgives but men don't.
     So if you insist on speaking the truth as you understand it be the lone voice in the wilderness.  It is not so bad out here.
     Groups that have demanded recognition of our country are speaking for and advocating the killing of cops.  And the start of a race war, yet go untouched.  And to oppose them is considered racist.
      Is it so bad to want a president, congress, and supreme court that recognizes the Constitution and return this country to greatness?  Is it so bad to desire candidates that do not scoff at the law and rules as applying to someone else and not them?  Is it so bad to want the thought of attacking our country and our people to be made so frightening that war is not a choice?
     Sometimes the old Roy Orbison song (Only the Lonely) hits pretty close to home.

Friday, September 11, 2015


                                              George Washington

     I write this on September 11, 2015, I do not know when I will post it or when you will see it.  This date is one of those dates, that they say you will always know where you were at and what you were doing when the news happened.
      I remember that the day the space shuttle blew up I was in an attorneys office making a report on a case that I worked on for him when I was a private detective.  He told me that it blew up and it did not really hit me it was so unbelievable.  I thought it was a bad joke, but he was serious.
     I was watching the Today Show when the first attack on the World Trade Center took place.  I spent much of the day watching the reports and footage of that scene.
     On 9-11-2001 I was watching the Today Show and the report came on that something had hit one of the towers at the World Trade Center.  Knowing that the New York Fire Department would be moving a lot of men and equipment I could imagine what kind of effort would be involved in fighting the fire and rescuing survivors.  I was glued to the TV as the scene kept getting worse and worse.
     When the second jet liner hit the other tower it took a second to realize, that this was not only real but an attack on our country.  Soon the Pentagon and then another plane went down in a farm field.  Pulling from my training as a firefighter and investigator I was imagining this happening all over the country.  And it was supposed to.  Somehow, someone through the grace of God, ordered all flights to put down where ever they were and stop the threat. 
     On this one day we became as one people like after December 7, 1941 facing a common enemy and coming together.  And since then, WHAT HAPPENED?
     We have allowed our outrage and sense of who we are and what we stand for to be killed and diverted to fragmented groups desperately trying to hold on to the greatness of the United States.  And those who want to change what we are and destroy us.  Every divisive tactic has been used and the sad part is that it has all been written as to what and how to do it.  And those doing it said that they were doing it.  And so it is as if what is known to be wrong is right, what is good is bad, what is evil is good.
     I constantly see images of the towers with the label "how did we get from this too today?"  I don't know.
     I want to write about light hearted subjects and laugh at our foibles and irony's.  On this day I cannot.
      As I watched the bodies fall and the haunting sound that they made hitting the ground.  As I watch all the firefighters, police, and EMS personnel heading to the scene I was in a horror show.  And I do not like horror films, but myself and the rest of us were trapped in a living horror show.  When the buildings fell I yelled "NO, THE FIREFIGHTERS ARE STILL IN THERE!!!"
     Active, retired, or former once you are a firefighter you are part of a brotherhood that you cannot leave.  And I witnessed the loss of 343 of my brothers who I never met.  You may not understand it, you cannot.  Believe in coincidences?  I don't, but, my street address at that time was on 343rd Street.  Some things will stay with you whether there is any connection or not.  That is one.
     In retrospective we went from a nation who was held together by the knowledge that we were being attacked for our way of life.  Until today we have allowed ourselves to become a fragmented people quickly losing the Republic.  As the forefather told us "here you have a free Republic, if you can keep it."
     My hope is that the great majority that spends its days building and tolerating those who would tear it down has had enough.  That the good, decent, freedom loving, and God fearing people will stand and say THAT IS ENOUGH!  And go back to building a free nation to leave to our grand children.  And to those who try to destroy us, go back to your evil master and report defeat.

Friday, September 4, 2015


                                                    Ronald Reagan

     There are disturbing things happening now and most people here do not know how to make a difference.  There is a lot of lip service paid to politics and individual initiative.  Honesty, bravery, loyalty, and things that used to be qualities that were strived for are made to be wrong headed.  Going to church on Sunday is deemed to be good enough and the principles there are left in the pews and lives are spent pursuing other gods.
     The most many people have to do with the police is being shot by radar and getting a ticket or making a joke about the cops and donut shops.  Yet they are our friends and neighbors. 
     Unlike Baltimore if there is a problem you don't call a Black Panther for protection you call 911 and expect prompt response by someone in uniform to come to your aid.  And now these people are targets.
      I come from the Fire & EMS service as a background as well as the rural roots that I love.  I had a delivery person ask me a while back if we were afraid to live so far out in the middle of nowhere.  I had a weird look and asked her what is there to be afraid of?
     We have an excellent Sheriff's department and great EMS, a fire service that puts out more fire with homebuilt trucks (instead of expensive equipment), and we can and would defend ourselves.  What is there to be worried about?
      One of the hot topics in the Fire and EMS service now is wearing bullet proof vests.  The changes on the street have gone wild past what I dealt with when I was on the street.  Back then we were considered the good guys.
      It is still a question as to what makes someone run towards danger when everyone else is running away.  That question will never be answered.  Even as officers are being gunned down all over the country.  As first responders are having to watch their backs as well as the fire or patients in front of them.
     It has been observed that we are only 20 minutes away from anarchy.  Without the presence of those who serve our society would break down as Ferguson and Baltimore.  Yet there are those who advocate this and most important there are those who are so cozy that they support the politics and politicians that allow our society to disintegrate.
     We have been given a society that freedoms are something taken for granted.  We cannot anymore.  For standing for your faith and beliefs you can be jailed, scorned, attacked, and lose your job.  If you put a comment on Facebook criticizing the president or anything else that is not the darling cause of the moment, you will pay a price.
     One boy who wants to be a girl can make all the girls in a high school put up with him in their locker rooms and bathrooms.  This will be allowed because simple decency has been removed from the schools and to go against simple scientific fact will allow lawyers a field day.
     I will leave the results of this to your imagination if it had taken place when I was in school.  But I am a dinosaur.
     I want to admonish every decent person to watch the backs of our police and first responders.  When they are down they are in grave danger and you are in grave danger.  At some point to have to do more than step over the body like the people in the convenience store in New York did.  Call for backup before you continue to shoot pictures with your I phone.
     There is a line from a favorite movie of mine from one of my favorite actors.  It has to do with the edge that a gunfighter needed to face an opponent.  "You have to be willing".  What that means is the edge is realizing that you may take a bullet but you are willing to win.  You have to be willing to put it all on the line to make sure that evil does not win.  It may demand that you put yourself into harms way to assist another.  You have to be willing.
      To the Officers, Military, Fire, EMS I offer this from a popular TV show from years ago.  From the Sergeant after the briefing to his people.  HEY, HEY, HEY, LETS BE CAREFUL OUT THERE!  To the rest of us, keep your eyes open and lets keep them safe.