Monday, September 5, 2016


                                                 Saint Teresa of Avila

     Now when I title this THE END that is to grab your attention.  I want the followers of my blog to become aware that I am making the move over to WORDPRESS and my blog and eventually a website and an e-commerce site will be developed.  This enables me to keep everyone upto date with all that is happening in my life beyond just my comments.
     I have written a book of country and cowboy poetry(COWBOYS, PLOWBOYS, AND COUNTRY FOLK) as well as have cut a CD of my Western Music (SONG OF WYOMING - REVISITED) that I am looking for an easy way to market.  Also there is the Western Music Association-Kansas CD KANSAS COWBOY.  As well as the book I am writing on Kansas History that I hope will be available in a year.  The more I research topics the more jump up.  Right now I have 50 stories in research about little known people, places, things, and happenings in Kansas History that you likely have not heard before, even when it happened in your own community.
      I am also looking at the possibility of publishing the collection of ROGER'S VIEW FROM THE HILLS from its beginning several years ago.  That is if there is any interest.
     Now to follow my postings directly you only have to go to in order to read ROGER'S VIEW FROM THE HILLS.  Now this is a new thing for me and I have had help getting things up and running so far.  I have postings at that site now.
     Up until this year BLOGGER has been a good site for my comments and I am always deeply honored to have you come up on the street or even tell my mom that you follow my columns.  As I always maintain, I am not trying to have everyone agree with me I only want you to think on the topic for yourself.  Thanks for all the support and understanding.
      I also want to express my deep thanks for all the papers that pick up my column and publish it.  Without the support of all of you the effort is just throwing dust in the wind.  I invite you to become a follower of the wordpress site so each posting comes directly to all of you.
     I hope all of you will continue to follow my column and share them with your friends.  Also if you read them in a publication let them know how much you like, or dislike, my views.  It lets them know you are really reading.
      So this in not really the end but a new beginning.  As the old saying goes "see ya in the funny papers", boy I wish I could draw too.


                                                           Brent Weeks

     Some people have surprising twists in their writing.  Some have surprises in just life in general.  Then there is being shocked and surprised as I was while researching a story for my book.
     The subject for this story is Doctor Don Coldsmith.  Don was a private practitioner in Emporia as well as a rancher.  He had a very interesting life and his experiences in World War II would have made a good book in itself.
      In the end Dr. Don was a writer and one of the most imaginative writers that I know.  Now I don't know a big group of writers but I do know what I like.  Not being a fiction reader it takes a very special story teller to get my attention and to call myself a fan.  Don was one of them.
     So what is so shocking?  Time and fate.  I met Dr. Coldsmith while taking a Tallgrass Writing Clinic that he had helped to found.  Along with Dr. Jim Hoy I was writing poetry at the time and had done a little free lance in the past and had ideas for some books.  So I signed up and went to Emporia State for the seminar.
      I was a bit older than the other participants and the world of computers and word processing was something I was avoiding like the plague.  During Don's segment one of these up and coming hip writers asked what he used to rough out his stories with?  The answer was expected to be whatever the latest electronic do dad was at the time.  When he said he used a number 2 pencil and a legal pad I almost jumped up and hugged him.  That is what I used, and getting the thought on paper was the important thing.  Typing and editing could be done later.  I was so happy.
     Don Coldsmith wrote a series of books about native Americans from their viewpoint.  His series, The Spanish Bit Series, was inspired one day as he crossed a creek on horseback in the Flint Hills and looked down and saw a bit of something sticking out of the bank.  Digging it out, it turned out to be a broken Spanish horse bit.  The finding of that one thing started him wondering how in the world it had found itself lost in the Flint Hills?  He imagined a person with a Spanish exploration group being lost and ending up living with the native tribes and introducing them to the horse.
     From the original character 'Heads Off', he built a whole series of books numbering around twenty four in the series.  If you read the series do your homework.  Start with number one and read in order because it will make so much more sense to the reader.  He has an amazing list of over forty books and other work.
     So I am working on his story for my book and realize that he died in 2009 at age 83.  This shocked me.  Time has flown by so fast that I cannot picture him at 83.  And this is 2016 and I am just taken back at how the time has slipped by.
     In today's world it is not easy to be shocked.  Seems that the world goes out of it's way to be shocking and we get used to it.  Just think of how our family members, that seem to be gone not that long, and how shocked they would be at how things have changed.  Maybe we all need to be shocked now and then.

Wednesday, August 31, 2016



     If you have been reading my stories long you will remember the rants I have been going off on about the governments empty promises about doing "everything possible" to fight the large fires in the West.  By pontificating in one speech after another various department heads and politicians have said that they "will hold nothing back and spare no expense" to stop the burning of the country.
     At the same time as this the largest and newest air firefighting technology set on a tarmac in Arizona where the 747 fire tankers set while the Evergreen Airline that owned and developed them were forced into bankruptcy.  Also grounding and diverting to non emergency status an experienced helicopter air tanker service in Idaho by putting too short a time to deliver contract proposals and by UPS delivering the paperwork just a little late.
     I have ranted several times as the government continued to lie and written letters to congressmen and anyone who should give two cents to save our forests and wild lands.  And all this showed no sign of moving anyone off the political platform.
     Well there is sign of life and hope.  I do not believe that any of my rantings had anything to do with it.  I am not the only old firefighter put to pasture that gets no attention to our opinions.  But there are those who do see that there is a need and has the means to pick up the pieces.
    Jim Wheeler, President of Global SuperTanker Services announce this spring that the FAA has awarded a supplemental type certification to the re-born 747 supertankers.  This is a huge obstacle to overcome.  When the original 747's were built with the new technology the prevailing attitude was that jets could not be useful as fire tankers.  This even after the DC-9's were flying in California.
     The systems have been worked over and transferred into 747-400 aircraft and testing has been taking place at Colorado Springs and Marana, AZ.  It has passed all the non emergency drills with plain water and is ready for dropping fire retardant.
     The 747-400 can drop 19,600 gallons of retardant at a time.  This is about 7 times the capacity of existing fire-tankers.  What is needed is contracts with Cal. Fire and the US Government to start bringing the big guns to the fire fronts.  The jets can be reloaded in 45 minutes and can fly from bases  over a thousand miles away.  The original plan was to base three 747's across the lower tier of states and three across the upper tier of states.  Word is being waited on as to where the planes could be stationed.
     SO HOW SHOULD I FEEL RIGHT NOW?  That is a good question.  I could be happy that my constant harping on the need for this plane to be put in service is coming to become reality.  But I will believe that when I see the first deployments.  I am not about to believe that I had anything to do with things changing, simple intelligence, need, and a company seeing opportunity is what will make this a reality.
     When I really see a concerted effort to save our wild lands and help our firefighters I will be happy.  But there are so many changes that need to take place that damage has been done, we will see if anything changes.
     In the mean time I will cross my fingers, say a prayer, and smile the first time I see a load dropped by the Global Supertanker.

Sunday, August 21, 2016



      Frank L. Baum wrote a children's book that made a definite mark on Kansas and Kansans.  The story did not really hit it's zenith until the 1939 movie production of THE WIZARD OF OZ.  Frank Baum never lived in Kansas and yet there are many who are green with envy that he had such an impact on our state history.  Many covet that for themselves.  Some becoming famous, others infamous, and many just lost to history.
      Baum wanted to write children's books similar to the Brothers Grimm and others but wanted to remove the blood and violence that fairy tales had.  Many years after the Wizard was in print there was a piece of scholarship by a school teacher that presents the case that the story is actually an Allegory.  Since then there are many who have jumped on the case explaining what Baum really meant with his characters and story line.
      Given all the coincidental evidence it could be easy to assume that the possibility exists.  OR, maybe they over think it.  It would be so interesting what Frank Baum would have said to all this.
      Now for those who don't know what an Allegory is here is a definition:  A story or poem that can be interpreted to reveal a hidden meaning, typically a moral or political one.
      At the time the original book was written was during a time when there was an agricultural revolt on the prairie and populism was on fire in Kansas.  Populism has always been a part of the political scene in Kansas.  Around 1900 when this book was written William Jennings Brian had made his famous speech on the silver standard over the gold standard.
      The characters and case put forth that this book was a case for populism is not difficult to believe considering the time and the circumstances.  But maybe all this scholarship is just over thinking things a bit too much.  It is very similar to the news media when they start on a narrative and keep bending the facts and circumstances to conform to their preconceived narrative.
     Looking and listening to the media today it is not too hard to fall into the trap of taking the convenient directed story.  It is so easy, when a story is so invested in by those who push it, to overlook the facts and the narrative that does not follow the sensational or original intention of the story.
     The characters of the Wizard of OZ, in the allegory, are Dorthy as the American Public, the Scarecrow as the farmer, the Tin man as American Labor.  In the original story the Ruby slippers that Dorthy wore were actually silver.  Ruby was better for the color movie version.  This all gets so symbolic that you will have to do your own homework.  There are ton's of stories out there by scholars and pundits that have an explanation of what the story really means.  It is too much to lay out in this story.
     But applying the allegory to today's happenings and politic, it is not hard to see a lot of media and analysts that are over-thinking and misdirecting what we are to believe.
     But can you imagine what Frank Baum could do with the election and world condition today if he was writing in that form.  Actually I figure he has long turned over in his grave along with our founding fathers.

Friday, August 12, 2016


                                                      Benjamin Franklin

     This is a title that generally sends the teachers I know into defensive mode and I am sure to get some flack for my opinion.  To give a caveat, I have friends that teach or were teachers.  I have had some great teachers.  I have had some really bad teachers.  Mostly what I find when I start on a position like this it is most likely when I hit too close to home that the most comment comes flying by my ear.  But that won't stop me, you have to remember that I despise the 'politically correct'.  And I have taken an oath to and believe the provisions of the Constitution.  That quaint document that so many are ready to shred to further their own agendas.  So here goes.
     I quote from respected teacher, professor, and film maker Ken Spurgeon.  "I come into contact with 500 new people every semester.  One out of 30 students might have heard of Quantrill's raid.  These stories are just not getting to the people of Kansas."  Ken is a Wichita native with a Masters in History that makes his living as a teacher, recently at Cowley County Community College and at a local high school.  Ken makes films about Civil War History and most especially films about Kansas History.
     Starting long before this column I have written from time to time warning about the Common Core Curriculum even before it was called that.  In the 1990's there was a movement to start rewriting history.  I discuss this with legislators and they pass off the responsibility to the State School Board with the statement that standards are rewritten every seven years and by the time we would introduce and pass a bill to change standards the new ones would be in effect and then it would start all over again.
     The result is not only history but other subjects that are rewritten to the standard popular politically correct standards.  Thus it means that students enters college not knowing about Quantrill, Amellia Earhart, Abrahm Burnett, Major Joel Elliott, Sidi Wirt Spreckles, Buffalo Jones, Buffalo Bill Mathewson, Sydney Toller, Maude Stevens Wagner, and on and on.  This because the importance of Kansas History is only required in seventh grade, American History in Junior year, and Government as a senior.
     As one 7th grade math teacher told me that students at the fourth grade level are not equipped for the common core curriculum that deals in concepts and need practical everyday math.  It also makes the parent unable to help the kid with homework.  The Union is more interested in pay and conditions for teachers and the actual education is by a teacher that must either abide by the system or go rogue and actually teach something useful.
     There is more being paid attention to what is not fed to the kids and which bathroom they are going to use.  Is it a mystery as to why the top ACT scores have been home-schooled?
     Most of the teachers I know are willing to actually help their students and yet are frustrated and even threatened if they deviate from the dictated curriculum.  
     Thank goodness the madness of the legislature has settled for a while and what is going to happen on funding.  The money that was spent on lawyers and lawsuits can go into education again.  And I bet that after the next session of the legislature there will still be people dissatisfied and it may just start all over again.  In the meantime more kids go into college or the work force not equipped for either.
     Isn't it time to stop using the schools to indoctrinate a philosophy?  Is it not time to just teach knowledge again and not use the lesson as a platform to create duplicated drones?
     Don't you want to raise people who can discuss issues and create solutions rather than yell, scream, and call names if they disagree with you?  
     The statement that "it takes a village to raise a child" may have been a great philosophy when the society wore animal robes, warred on their neighbors, and efforts were all on survival.  Today it takes individuals who can critically think, separate from the group think, and yet can pull together groups and work in teams.  The last thing the world needs are more Yes people.  We need creativity, abstract thought, and a root in values.
     To do otherwise is willful ignorance. 

Monday, August 8, 2016


                                   American Cattlemen
                                      borrowed from Milo E. Yield

     My readers give me a kick.  I can get all tied up in what is happening and there will be someone from out of no where compliment me on my stories.  Not everyone agrees with me but would it not be a boring world if they did?  I have stated many times that if the reader thinks, after reading my opinion, that is my goal.
     It is not hard to get worked up over all the arrogance and obviously superior attitudes that are used by the news media, the political parties, and people who just make things up and put on line to stir the pot.  It seems that the sense of humor of the land has been lost.  But then look at what passes as a comedian today.
     I am declaring here and now that I am an old fogy.  I do not have to reach a certain age to love the comedians that I grew up with and they did not have to be nasty and vulgar.  They could make you laugh at yourself and not make you mad.  They could create such ridiculous stories that you laughed until you hurt.  I enjoy the clips of the old routines that are posted online.  The only contemporary comedian that I can enjoy today is a Redneck and a Puppeteer.
     It is virtually impossible to poke fun at something today without some group deciding that it is 'hate speech', and want to pass laws to prosecute you.  Like they never heard of the Constitution.
     It is difficult to crack a joke now because it blows over the head of who you tell it to.  Used to be that a joke was recognizable.  But of course now all the jokes run for office.
     I am forever grateful for all the papers that recognize what and why I write my column.  And I promise you Aunt Gladys that I will try to not make every column about politics.  Of course others may be getting tired of hearing about my book.  Oh well I am safe in the knowledge that it is hard to please everyone but simple to tic everyone off.
     I hope you will join me as a member of PETA-PEOPLE EATING TASTY ANIMALS.

Friday, August 5, 2016


                                        Red Green

     Well it is a potpourri of things this week to distract your attention to the guy behind the curtain.  One guy is being scolded by all who is against him for being not fit to become the new Potus.  And yet those who scream the most and think this guy would be the worst president are the same people that think the current Potus would be great.  Huh.
     Let's see, according to the insurance people locally the health insurance rates are going up around 45% at the first of the year.  OK.
     Then people who could not afford to buy insurance still can't but are being fined for not doing so.  Hum.
     The other candidate wants an apology from her opponent to apologize to a man shaking a pocket Constitution who's faith believes that the Koran supersedes the Constitution.  I am still waiting on her to apologize for getting an ambassador and three other Americans killed.  Then lying about it and calling the families liars.  Well isn't that special.
     A guy I know had a job that he loved and it had the benefits he wanted and it was not a bad paying job for a rural area.  Somehow he started hurting and they found a compression fracture of a disc.  No problem the fix is a fifteen minute procedure.  Making the appointment ready for the fix and HOLD IT!  The insurance company says it is an experimental procedure you can't do it!  But it has been standard treatment for 25 years.  Under every other circumstance they cover it.  But not now. By the way he doesn't have that job anymore. Short story, I remember the promise that there would be no committees to override the doctors.  NOT Now.
     A friend of mine has been fighting cancer for at least a decade.  Three times it went into remission and the last time the doctor told him "boy you just made it under the line, two months more and we could not start this treatment.  Where did I hear NO DEATH PANELS?  Oh yeh, Potus said it.  By the way there is no trace of the cancer now.  Isn't he lucky?
     The Democrats are delighted, the Republicans have killed their party.  We are told that the candidate has been cleared by the FBI, the same FBI that shot Lavoy Fincum and his truck with a woman and child on board on their way to a meeting with the county sheriff. The same FBI who gave up on DB Cooper, and will now investigate whatever the distracting thing is.
     An airplane just happens to unload $450,000,000 in cash in Iran on the same day that hostages are released in Switzerland.  But that is just a coincidence.  The Iranians have fired four rockets in the last months when it violates the treaty.  But their just feisty.
     At least the mudslinging is over for a week or two before things heat up again here.
      What a Wonderful World. I just can't get that song out of my mind!

Monday, August 1, 2016


                                                     Walter Savage Lander

     If there is one thing I am learning while researching my new book, is the type of information that is available and not available out there.  I noticed a two word headline in a newspaper that I was looking at for another story when this headline caught my interest FORMER KANSAS GIRL BECOMES TURKISH PRINCESS.  WOW! Now this is one that comes totally from right field!  The more I read about her the more interesting the story becomes.
     It is said that you 'can't keep em down on the farm', but a Turkish Princess?  More and more as I dig into the story I find that this former Garden City farm girl made the society pages for years with her antics and exploits.  Many papers ran full page illustrated articles on the adventures that she got herself into.
     So far I find four different husbands and several near husbands including a Brazilian Count.  And the story keeps getting better, or worse depending on your point of view.  She ends up on the fringes of the Fatty Arbuckle murder case, one of the first major Hollywood scandals.
     Her show business career seems to put her in the spotlight of many men and after her first marriage ended because he did not have enough money to keep her in the lifestyle she wanted, millionaires were on her greatest hits list.
     Her marriage to the son of a multi millionaire sugar importer's son from San Francisco, put her into the lifestyle she desired and she had one daughter by this marriage.  Just before divorcing this one he died in an automobile wreck and she got most of the estate.  The daughter would later get a trust of over two million dollars which she would have slip through her fingers as she went on to be in Hollywood movies.
     After divorcing the Turkish Prince she lived in Reno Nevada to get the residency requirement to divorce.  As she was waiting it out US Army Air Corp pilots would fly over the ranch she stayed at and wiggle their wings.  Catching her attention she married one of the younger pilots.
     Now what is the point of this?  After her fourth marriage there is no longer any mention of her in the newspapers.  Apparently she ended up living in El Paso, Texas.  Later on her daughter, married to a wealthy industrialist, and was living in Fort Worth.  The only thing I find is the fact that this woman spent thirteen years in a hospital in Fort Worth and died there.
     The time between the society page and her death is about forty years.  For all her exploits and world travel.  All her society celebrity and the talk of the nation, there is now nothing.
     It strikes me odd.  It is said that everyone wants their fifteen minutes of fame.  Sometimes those who get it are not famous but infamous.  And in the end what they have achieved is an odd article in an old paper that someone like me will find.  Yet I think it is appropriate for this time we live in.
     For all the politics and power grabbing people, self serving for a bit of time, what is there to show for it?
     I cannot help but have the passage come to mind, "what profits a man to gain the whole world and lose his immortal soul?"  And as I go on another "they look and do not see, and listen and do not hear."

Sunday, July 24, 2016


                                                             John Buford

     It is always said that the next election is the most important in our life.  It always seems that it is a convenient attempt to jar people from their indifference and vote.  Yet it is more than a right to vote, it is an obligation.  Yet even those who have enough honor left to walk in, hold their nose, and cast the vote forget that the choice is meant to be an informed vote.
     Well looking back on previous votes the plea to the fear of losing our country has become a possibility.  How is a serious citizen suppose to make an informed vote when the lies and accusations come so fast and heavy the truth is the biggest casualty?
     Disgusted is the best definition that I can produce when trying to make sense out of today's politic.  The historian in me fears the fact that the USA has made it just about as long as any government has lasted in history before falling.  And the falling is due mostly to a societies own hubris and greed.
     Sometimes I think that when we die before peace and mercy prevail there will be relatives who died to keep our country free will come up and slap our face before we receive our fate.  Grand parents will come up and show disgust with us for not taking to our raising.  We were all raised better and the sense of hoping that those who have gone beyond will look back at us with pride.
     Never have I seen such hatred and impolite behavior from people as I have during this election cycle.  I am sickened every time I watch TV and it extends to the mail and the so called news sites on line.  It has gotten to the point that it is impossible to sort out what news site is legitimate and those who are deliberately creating lies just to stir up the hatred of people.
     It amazes me as to what people that I know to be decent people believe and support.  This is on all sides not just one.  I am so happy not to be voting for the candidates in another district because of the needless mudslinging and facts that seem to be pulled from thin air.  If I was in that district I would seriously look at the Prohibition candidate.  At least you pretty well know what the platform is there.  But then again a good stiff drink maybe the only way to tolerate what is going on.
     Sometimes when I get mad at those who think that the American people are so stupid that they have to be herded like sheep.  And then I see the sheep lining up and wonder if they don't have something going on there?
     Many times I have complained that I have not been able to vote for my candidate since Ronald Reagan.  And here I am again.
     When I go in and make my choice I have to decide whether to vote for a proven criminal enterprise or an unproven criminal enterprise.  There is only one thing that I can do.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016


                                                               Edmunde Burke

     Without resorting to the point of being called a conspiracy freak, there have been some things that can only be explained by the existence of some.  In many ways the only way something makes sense is if there is a conspiracy behind it.  Also I want to stress that many conspiracy theories are only a disbelief in what is being presented as fact that is merely designed to manipulate what our perception of reality is.
     This has taken many years of thought which at times confuses myself.  Simple common sense sometimes dictates that there is more than meets the eye in many things.  It is like a magic act, even though you know that the magic is slight of hand and illusion it gives the impression of being real and truly magical.  And what one of us does not want to believe in the actual existence of magic.
     There is an illusion that politics and politicians are the actual ones who hold power and yet we know that by their own demonstrations and pronouncements most are so stupid they could not pour water out of a boot without instructions on the heel.  Without feeding into the theories of Illuminati, Tri Lateral Commissions, and other entities I will try to explain how I perceive many things that have happened or are happening.
     There has been a slow and evolving set of principles that are offsetting the original principles that this nation was founded on.  Some groups have set out a list of goals such as the Communist plan that is frighteningly close to being on track.  And yet I believe there is something that sets behind the scenes that use the openly advocating groups that use them for a specific purpose.
      It seems that there is a thought process that cuts to bare bone principles excluding things such as religion, morality, humanistic principles, and individualism.  That taking the barest hardcore set of facts a behind the scenes policy is put forth in some manor that influences what is happening in our world.
     In the early stages of this theory, back in the 1970's, my first thought was connected to the energy crisis.  At that time the popular and official thought was that we were on a fast decline in oil and gas resources.  The importation of billions of gallons of Mideastern oil gave the push to the panic and rapid rise of energy prices.  Yet many of us in the country knew that oil wells had been found and plugged that slowed the domestic supply of oil for years.  People I knew in the actual business of working the oil fields would tell me that it was mostly defining the edges of larger pools that the drillers were putting down holes for.  When a well was actually produces it was more as a pay the bills and prove the amount kind of production.
     When prices came up many of the old boom fields from the 20's and 30's were all re-drilled and still pumping oil today.  It struck me that if I were put into the place of looking 50 and 100 years down the road some of what was going on would make sense.
     When you have a finite amount of oil it makes sense to over develop regions and use up the oil from others and give yourself time to let technology solve short and long term problems.  This also ended up feeding money into societies that created war and conflict and allowed an ideology that has been around for centuries to actually be able to spread its idea of a world order.
     It has been demonstrated by George Soros as being behind the destruction of several countries economies.  And he is now behind many organizations that work to control policy in our country.  It also is seen by the fact that one of the country's most admired investors is more of a reason that the Keystone Pipeline has not been allowed to be built.  Since he owns the majority of the BN&SF railroad it would cut revenues of transporting the oil by rail drastically.  The environmental protest is a nice publicity touch.
     Though I have the impressions that there is more to what is going on I believe that those who do get the blame are not really the ones responsible.  As in several of the text on the subjects of power, a relative few use the 'useful idiots' to sell and implement ideologies that on the surface make sense but in reality are a means of directing the real goals.
     All the 'talking heads' should drone on as thinking people should be looking behind the curtain.  In the course of nudging the direction that a few want to go it is always easier to appeal to an emotional level of others.  Reasoning as to what is really behind the events of the world would shock a majority if they ever realized what they were being played for.
     I doubt that many will actually understand what I am saying because I don't either.  It is impressions and a bit of logic that has been driving my opinions.  They still are forming and I don't like what I am seeing.
      It is said that the road to hell is wide and paved.  Some seem to speed down it as though the ride will be fun.  It is the crash at the end that will bring home the reality.  Going up the rough trail has more the attraction as I see it.  The results are better even though they are hard.  And do not think that I am under the impression that I have lived a wholesome and benevolent life, I haven't.  Don't believe that I am under the impression that I have some righteousness, I don't.  I struggle as much or more as many.  I still am wrong on many things and struggle with a lot.  I have been given a unique opportunity to express my opinion, flawed as it may be.  It astonishes many.
     So there you have it.  It is hard to expound on a lifetime of impressions and not look like a fool.  Maybe this will cause someone to look past the curtain and think.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016


                                                                      Pierre Corneille

     Sadness just seems to be a part of everyday life anymore.  With the senselessness of what is happening in the news it is not hard to have sadness become mixed with anger and despair.  Stepping back and evaluating all the good has to become a part of each of our daily routines just to keep our prospective and sanity.
     As I age the loss of close friends and relatives weighs heavily and has become a part of everyday life.  Seeing things that I keep as mementos serves more than one purpose.  Gladness and sadness have to become balanced or we lose our focus on what is ahead and how we have been blessed.
     Now and then something hits from out of the blue that you never saw coming and it can shake you to the bone.  These are the moments that faith and trust are really put to the test.  Sometimes the sadness comes in a form that we can not be prepared for.  And so it came last week.
     My family has known a family for many years because of the community and the church we attend.  It was not one of those things where we go over for a visit or do things together it was just the common everyday awareness of who they are.
     We saw their children born and being raised but still our ties were not of the closeness of across the street neighbors.  They were just good people living their lives.  One of the two sons that entered the seminary happened to come to our place for a wienie roast with a group of young people in the Totus Tuus group.  This is our version of the summer bible school.
     The young man was just in the seminary and a happy and nice young man who had made a momentous decision with his life.  Working with the young people was a delight and I poked fun at him telling his companions how I remember him being carried by his mom in a car seat in the tractor as she worked ground.  This is not unusual for farm folks, but it got a laugh from his fellow instructors.
     That is why it was so sad that when the news came out that he had drowned saving another's life it hit as so sad. There was so much potential and joy that the world has lost.  Parents lost a son, siblings lost a brother, others lost a friend, and we all lost a great example of love and sacrifice.
     As I write this his body has not been recovered.  As you read it, hopefully, his funeral will be over.  As a member of the church we have the memory and example of what we hope all our young people called to a vocation will be.
     We do not live in that community anymore, it seems that one hours drive separates us from many friends and acquaintances.  We never lose the connection however, and the sadness.

Friday, July 1, 2016


                                                          Ray Bradbury
     The library has been a repository of our knowledge waiting for anyone curious enough to make the effort to educate and entertain oneself.  Yet what has happened to our public libraries?  Many communities fail to realize that it is more than the story hour that keeps the kids entertained now and then.  It has become access for those who apply for jobs who have no computer access.  It has become a way to build the resume that is needed to go after more than a burger flipping job for many.  It is a cool place of refuge for some who swelter in the heat of non air conditioned homes, giving them something to profit by while they get through the worst time of day.
     But what has been the real reason that libraries exist is the repository of history and knowledge at very little cost.  But has this vital function been lost?  I am afraid that with the advance of 'library science' the true purposes have been lost in favor of the contemporary uses that look so much better than repositories of a communities past.
     Museums are not always set up or even considered to provide facilities for study.  So the library fills this void.  Museums give visual preservation of history, libraries hold the text.  Books are looked at by many as old fashioned and the new popular services seem to have taken the forefront.  This is a tragedy.
     Simple economics put libraries at risk because the priorities for funding are not at the top of priority of most cities.  Books are expensive.  And there is now a standard set that if a book is not checked out within a certain period of time, it is sold.  I have a problem with this as a blanket policy.
     Fiction and other books that have an entertainment value is fine to put such a standard on, but history is not.  Books that cost $29 and up are taken off the shelf and sold for fifty cents.  Many extensive history volumes are in sets and very expensive.  Money is always a problem.  Space for many is critical, but I have a problem with the loss of many texts that should be a part of permanent collections.
     Quite a few years ago a high school had inherited the set of annuals that tracked the class histories of that school.  In the fervor of converting space for other uses the entire set was thrown out.  Not offered to a public library or even offered for sale.
     I just brought home four sacks of books that were eliminated from our local library.  I was relieved that it was not any critical books that should have been kept.  But they did fit into my library.  In the course of doing research for my book I have been buying used books like crazy.  Normally I never flat out name names but, in this circumstance it is to make my point.  Also this is what has brought my ire to write on this particular subject.
     I received a used book by a respected historian.  Many of his books are not available anymore and some are just out of my budget.  Normally I do not try to buy collectible books for an investment I am looking for information.  However, this volume is now one of my prized possession because of the following:  The book is a first edition number 357 of the first one thousand copies and is autographed such:   BEST WISHES TO THE IOLA PUBLIC LIBRARY FROM LESLIE LINNVILLE.
     There should be the appreciation by an institution for the gift of such a volume and being it is a history book of the region, should be part of a permanent collection.  Education does not end at the door of the classroom.  Education only begins there.  The availability of information is a serious responsibility of an institution such as a library.
     I personally have a problem and there are several others I know that have the same problem.  We have libraries or collections that we do not want to see boxed into beer flats and sold for a dollar apiece at our estate auction.  We need an archival library that will value and be responsible curators of the knowledge we have collected.  And this needs to be available for researchers and writers.  But we cannot find an institution that we can count on conserving and preserving for others.
     Many times a community can be reflected in the importance and care of their library.  Many small towns have the desire to have a nice library but cannot afford it.  It is the lucky few that take such a serious responsibility to provide an experience and be a repository of the community information, attitude, and literacy.
     Many think that pioneers and frontiersman were illiterate and had no education.  It is noted by several serious authors that at the cow camp there may be a man that could only sign with an X and the next a graduate of Harvard.  Reading material was the most prized items of the early years of this country.  When limited to weight and size the volumes that were carried along down the trail were of the best quality.
     In early settlements one of the early things organized were reading groups and book clubs.  Many a small settlement had a proud collection of books in their library that may only number a dozen or two.  But they were proud and had quality.  Newspapers were passed around until everyone had its use and then you find them in or on walls as wall paper or insulation.  Unpacking old trunks and boxes is more fun when the items are wrapped in news print of the time.
     If there is a challenge that I would put forth to all libraries and communities, make a part of the collection a permanent collection.  At some point the information will be invaluable.  It is not the value of a history item that it must see a minimum number of check outs.  It is the value of the information contained and not lost for that one time it is needed.
     In this new age of electronic whiz bang devices and short term capacity to hold attention there is still a place that should be a priority to hold the information of our past as our most valuable possession.


                                                  A mothers advice

     The quote I heard from a very successful man, who became a success in spite of his birth, circumstances, and hardships.  I did not catch his name but I will, and I will buy his book.  He is so inspirational in what he has overcome and where he is at today that his story should be required reading.
     I am also writing this to come out after we have celebrated our nations independence so the superfluous partying is over and serious thought needs to be taking place.  As a society we have been led by those who would impose their will and ideology on the nation.  Without a rebirth of individual thinking and independent study, our nation which has come at so high a price, can be lost.  This while many cheer on the loss.
     I just finished the book of an early day pioneer who moved through Missouri, Kansas, and then made the first run into Oklahoma.  Even in the early days when life was hard and the weak were soon weeded out, there were people who came along to take advantage of the goodwill and charity of others, and believed that they should be given half of whatever another had.  He describes giving the man the means to plant a crop and food to get through the winter, and then finding that the man did not do anything about planting the crop.  The family ate the food provided them leaving others with their debt and moving on.  Those people you do not read about in history for doing anything noteworthy.
     The term American Dream is a 20th Century term and does not reflect on the original reason that people came here.  It has more to do with having 'things' rather than doing things that matter.  So what is the American Dream of your children?  Have you talked or gotten any sense of what the 'dream' is for them?
     The original 'dream' seems to have been forced out of popular culture.  Doing what feels good is more important than doing what is right.  All through time the parents have wanted a better world for their children and grandchildren than what they had.  This has slid into having a bigger house, more money, massive debt, and following what groups want you to follow.
     I am an American.  I do not hyphenate what kind of American.  My ancestry comes from German, Scottish, English, and possibly more.  So I do not hyphenate myself and do not understand why others do.  Those who promote this have a goal of sowing division.  Going to the socialist handbook their definition of many that support these goals of division are "useful idiots".
     So the fireworks have been blown off, food has been packed away, and it is time to go back to whatever it is that you do.  After this are you grateful for what we have?  Do you appreciate what has been done by others who have come before you?  Are you willing to do the time to study as to what you believe and put it into practice?  After this, are you proud to be an American?
     So many times in the past this Republic would have fallen without the apparent support of the great I AM.  Have we gone down the wrong path at times?  Yes.  Will we make mistakes again?  Yes.  But will we ever humble ourselves again and begin to recognize what is good and evil?  I don't know.  But if you think that someone else will do it for you I believe I know the answer.

Sunday, June 26, 2016


                                                             Abraham Lincoln

     I once knew a man that was proud of being ignorant.  He had decided that education past what he had was a sign of being uppity and if you used a word that was larger than eight letters or gave the sound of being learned, he would become hostile.  It was not that he was stupid he just took the position that being too well versed in things more than what he was interested in was irritating to him.  He had a lot of talent and what he did do he was very well versed.  It was taking the skepticism of educated people to a radical extreme.
     I spent a lot of time in classes and seminars and though I was never burdened by a degree it has put me in the disadvantage in some areas.  It has also freed me to think for myself and conduct my education along lines that make sense to me.  Too many times I have witnessed the walling up of knowledge into hard and fast boundaries and to disagree with the accepted theory was as a personal attack.
     Freedom to think and have differing views is what makes this country work.  The system that was put into place has done a pretty good job for building a great nation.  Yet, little by little in numerous ways we are now at the point where to have a different opinion opens you to personal attack both physical and verbal.
     With the knowing or unwitting actions we are on a course where liberty is something that may be studied in the future (likely in secret) after it is long gone.  And of course it makes perfect sense to those who pay no price for what they enjoy, and those who feel that it is owed to them.
     For some reason people have been educated, led, influenced, that there are costs for being able to live your life as you see fit.  The media and self appointed experts keep the herd moving and promote the line determined by those who would be the power.
     It is interesting to me how the 'experts' are forecasting doom and gloom over England voting to leave the European Union.  The sky is falling is the cry from every major outlet.  And yet I am sure the same was said about an upstart United States who decided to not be governed by a government outside their country by bureaucrats that answer to no one. 
      Wonder where England came up with the idea to handle their own government?  Maybe 240 years ago?  Could be.
     What is sure is that it will take two years to fully affect the process of leaving the EU.  The jobs and businesses have not changed any.  Imports and exports have not changed.  Those who play the markets will make a killing selling short and then catching the rising markets again.
     And do not forget those who blame our presidential race for the event.  REALLY?  Who was it said do not let a good disaster be wasted?  We will finally be through this time of mud and slander in November.  It is going to be along trip.
     The quote that I started this essay with by Lincoln was also the line that my mother's history teacher had warned her class about so many times that she remembers it to this day.  It has been my position also.
     Looking ahead to November and then 2020.  Yuk!

Monday, June 20, 2016


                                                             Laura Ingalls Wilder

     I set here with books, downloaded copies, notes, and an ever increasing mountain of paper building on three sides of me like storm clouds in the southwest.  It could end up coming down in a big splash and whatever form of organization I have will be just another mess.
     So I am now sorting and throwing away things that are three years old under everything else I have been collecting for the research on my book.  Since this is a great diversion from the insanity that our politicians and news media clutter our brains with, this project has been very fun and educational.  It also keeps me from ranting to the reader on and on about the insanity that passes for intelligence in the world today.
     Research is a slow process, especially on the type of subject matter I have chosen.  When your topics are obscure and not well known there is very little out there on them.  I have had some wonderful people who have responded quickly on my inquiries.  And there are some who never answer an e-mail at all.
     Of course it is time consuming when you have to stop and read everything in the piles to make sure that it is really information or just trash.  Sometimes it is hard to tell, but it is amazing the little unexpected clues to a subject pop up when you least expect it.
     I found a brochure that a local lady included in piles of clippings on the anniversary celebration of Carey Nation.  It reminded me that a teacher who was a guest not long ago told me that Carey had been dropped from the history curriculum that she had in school to teach. 
     This just redoubles my effort to discover as many stories as I can.  When you cannot even be confident that the mainline sources for teaching history are dropping major figures, how bad is the rest  being lost?
     I have now devised a plan to get organized and be more efficient with my work.  This will really blow the mind of those who are amazed that I can even build a sentence and get it published.  And soon as I get this plan working then I will venture down the steps to my office and try to repeat the feat.  WOW!  Talk about getting organized.  You should see the mountains down there.  I just don't get up and down stairs very well anymore.
     Now that I am on story 122, when I get really organized and start actually returning phone calls I may make the goal of 500 in a year, or two, or three, well lets leave that open.  Hopefully when this is done there is still a right of free speech and an economy that will have a few people left that have the extra income and interest to buy the book.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016


                                                        Charles Spurgeon

     Waking up to the news that a horrible mass shooting has occurred in Florida is not the way I like to start a day.  I may not agree with the lifestyle that others choose to live but no one deserves to be murdered for it.  And as bad as the tragedy is the worst is only about to start.  That is because those who believe in not wasting a good disaster for political purposes are about to start the unseemly process of self appointing themselves to attack whoever they are opposed to.
     It sickens me that the news media as the events are unfolding begin going crazy over officials saying that they believe there is a link to terror on the shooters behalf.  The number one concern for the news is why they are saying this?  How utterly predictable and disgusting. 
     It is not the major concern about the reports being politically correct, it is the loss of life.  Quit turning the focus of the story to the narrative that you want to fit it in.  There is a reason that reporters are pushed back blocks from the scene.  Sometimes I wonder what the public information officer on the scene did to warrant being put in to deal with the questions of these people?
     It was a sure thing that immediately someone would start howling about guns.  Bernie believes that machine guns are sold at Wal-Mart.  And he is running for president?  Any number of stupid statements are made and the display of ignorance is a contest.
     I have never figured out why the first thing anyone wants to do after something like this is to go after the Constitution and the freedoms that we have.  Those who are first to go after our rights are the ones who stand the most to lose.  It has never made sense to me.
     There is a problem in this country with the recognizing that when someone tells you that they are at war with you, you are at war.  Whether you want it or not.  There is much hand wringing over whether the authorities missed something.  Well they did, because the fundamentals of dealing with warring factions has been taken out of the play book.  All of the facts come together after the fact.
     There are two indisputable facts from the shooter in Orlando.  He was Muslim and not an NRA member.  What are the first two things that will be put into the debate?  Muslims are not at war with us and it is the NRA's fault.
     When the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor there was no question that we were at war.  When the Marines were sent into Tripoli there was no question that we were at war.  When the declarations of a group say that they are at war and kill Christians, blow themselves up, and declare war on the United States we are at war.
     When will politics be put aside, the enemy identified, and the country unifies to destroy those who swear to kill or enslave us?  When Admiral Yamamoto was congratulated on his great victory over the US his remark was "I believe we have awakened a sleeping giant."  
     What will awaken the sleeping giant now?  He seems to be drunk or high on chaos.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016


                                                                         Trina Paulas

     As I write this the first combines are cutting wheat along the Kansas and Oklahoma border.  Normally this time of year I have to fight the crazy urge to buy or find a combine and plunge headlong into a season that I grew up with.  For a large part of my life, regardless of what I was doing at the time for a living, I never thought I would not be on a tractor or combine for the rest of my life.
     My how times change.  I wrote a poem once about a good friend of mine that we called 'Big Daddy' as he labored to get up into his combine for his last harvest.  I watched the pain and struggle both physically and emotionally as he knew he would never see this piece of land again from the seat of a combine or tractor.  Now as I would be doing the same thing trying to climb into a machine it would be the same.  But now the machines are even bigger and more complicated.
     It is a long way from the 403 International combine I ran for years or my uncles 95 and 4400 John Deere.  I made my way over to a friends farm last year to get pictures of his new Case/IH combine with a 45 foot header.  Yes a long ways from my 18 footer I used to run.  Now they are using 60 foot headers on some machines.
     Even though there is still a harvest madness today the trucks are tandems and tractor trailer rigs and not the antique pulled from the shed with a pickup tag wired on and sometimes no tail lights.  Things have changed and I have found that I am not keeping up as well with things as I used to.  When I was active as an auctioneer I stayed current on values, I had to it was my business.  And yet when I went to my aunts auction I thought she was taking a blood bath because of the prices.  To me the tractors and equipment were nearly new and prices are higher than that, so I thought.  It had not occurred to me that even though everything was like new, that is the way my uncle always had things, they were twenty years old.  I am simply out of date.
     This year there is no urge to go find a combine except to photograph.  But the madness of harvest is still here.  Those who are on the roads need to be patient and understand that this is the time that farmers are setting the wage for the years labors.  It will not hurt one bit if you take a little precaution and give the machines and trucks a little lea way on the road.  There is no reason to take a chance of injury or dying for a faster speed.  And put that phone away, it is not that important to talk or text.  These machines are bigger than you and you will not come out very good.

Friday, June 3, 2016


                                                             Richard Cecil

     I have mentioned more than once that I am in the process of writing a book on little known things about Kansas.  At this point I am about 20% done with the stories but have a long way to go.  In this book I am listing things that are not well known or even unknown to most because it just never made the main line history books.  This process has been a real eye opener for someone who loves Kansas.
     At times it can get frustrating because there is so little online and I have been running librarians and museum researchers crazy with my requests.  I am also getting book poor ordering books and items pertaining to the subjects that I am coming up with.  And oh how interesting the stories are when I finally build the story.  And the way I find some subjects is really out of the clear blue not when you expect it.  Then digging up the facts becomes an adventure.
     There are many unexpected things I do find out about what some may believe, even the State Historical Society and maybe even the Smithsonian.  There may even be some families that are startled with what they believe.  Sometimes they are wrong.
     Kansans are really exceptional people when it comes to ideas and inventions.  Many believed that they would become millionaires and even many newspapers predicted this.  Only to have someone or something steal their thunder.  Sometimes even patenting ownership of a design is not enough to keep from having the ideas stolen.  Many have committed all of their energies, time, and money (and that of investors), and have lost it all.  Even some marriages, prestige, and reputation.  Sometimes even their lives.  The history of the wild west is our history.  Some leave without a trace and some with only a headstone or slight depression in the ground where they lay.
     There may have even been an air crash that did not happen the way it was reported, or where.  I have found one invention that is claimed to have been invented by three different people and yet find a picture that precedes all three of these.  As I go on with the research it may be that I will stir up some questions or irritate some people.  Which is nothing new for me, this could be fun.  It could also be heart breaking.
     What is certain is that history is much more interesting than the way it is taught many times.  That is what is heart breaking.  Had I not been fortunate enough to have two great history teachers and avoided the academic restrictions of a degree and established assumptions, I may have not had this great experience.  And as one who loves to read it has been great.
     I am hoping that at the end when this finally goes to a publisher that it is not one of those things that set on the shelf and gather dust.  The book is not how your normal book is written or laid out.  Each subject gets one page for it's story.  Sometimes it is hard to even find enough for that requirement.  And there will be stories that deserve a whole book written about it all by itself.  But none will be dry as a text book or academic essay.
     I have also made some really nice connections with a lot of people.  Many are surprised that someone is really interested in the story long forgotten by most but the family.  Sometimes even the family does not know the whole story.  But I have made some peoples day by giving them a call out of the blue and showing interest in getting the whole story.  And also the people that I ask questions of about their community and they had no idea that something happened there.
     One thing it does do is keep me from thinking about aches and pains and from listening to the incessant jabberings about politics.  I am about belly full of that.

Tuesday, May 31, 2016


                                                                           Noel Coward

     Coming through the Memorial Day Weekend it might be that since we were busy here on the hill with visitors that I am a bit tired.  It does not take much to wear me out anymore.  What I would give for a little bit of that 20's vim an vigor, (not what I would have called it then).  It seems that popular culture is very draining on the spirit of those who still believe in the greatness of our country and the goodness of our people.  We have so many visitors who tell us how friendly the Kansas people are and it makes me wonder, are other places just not that way anymore?
     Of course the television would drag anyone's spirit down if the programming is really taken seriously.  Just when you think the vast wasteland cannot get worse then it does.  At least this time of year when executives thinks everyone is waiting in lines at airports that programming can be thrown on the garbage heap, that they would run the old movies that celebrate the people that we are supposed to be memorializing on Memorial Weekend.
     Then the news of so many who have lost their lives by drowning and accidents on a weekend that is supposed to be reflective and enjoyable can bring down the spirit.  And of course there are still those who just have to commit crimes as though there is nothing that is worth honoring anymore such as their own lives and others.
     On many levels the news of a historic cemetery near Cheney Lake is just the nail in the coffin as to the values that have been spread to today's generations.  For anything that is fun I just never have been able to see, even when I was sowing wild oats, how it is fun to destroy tombstones.  And as a historian it offends me at a deep level.
     I have tried several times to try and get legislation to look at some legal protections for burial sites and abandoned cemeteries.  It would not have stopped the vandalism of this weekend but it would put more legal bite into the penalties when the delinquents are ever found.
     There are too many abandoned cemeteries and small burial sites that are unattended that have no protection by law.  If there is no entity or group or even individuals to take care of burial places a land owner can pull up the stones and farm right over the spot if no one has been buried there in fifteen years.
     Maybe I am just tired or the fact that from the very top of our government throughout the culture there seems to be no honor or sense of what others have provided for us.  And by forgetting such our children and theirs are in danger of losing what we have had and what so many gave their lives for.  Much lip service is given when the camera is rolling, but the reality is that to point out that what we as a society have stood for is soon to be given away by the wholesale telling of lies and by deceit.
     Any institution or any undertaking that has the hand of man in it will never be perfect.  Yet that perfection is something to be worked for and aspired to.  As bright and cheerful as I would like to be after such an important holiday I am hoping that a little rest and the effort by others will return us down the path that was chosen for us in 1776.

Thursday, May 26, 2016


                                                Ludwig von Beethoven

    The day that I am writing this is an anniversary that many will not realize or even think about.  It is the day that the man that has the most influence on the music in my life died.  In 1933 the Singing Brakeman Jimmy Rodgers died at the Taft Hotel in New York City where he worked on his last album.  There was no slow down in Jimmy and against the advice of doctors when he was unable to work on the railroad anymore took his music to the people.
     Jimmy was born in Meridian Mississippi on September 8, 1897.  His father had been a gandy dancer for the railroad and Jimmy followed into the rail profession as a brakeman.  He would strum his guitar and sing to pass the time.  He ended up writing and recording iconic songs that are still being recorded and performed today by artists in all genre.
     I spent many hours growing up listening to Dad playing his collection of Jimmy Rodgers records while he did paperwork.  And there was many a time I would put the records on myself.  This in a time that Rock and Roll was the rage of my classmates.  In my first car I think I had a KLEO sticker in the window but on my second (an International Scout) it was a KFDI sticker and I was a member of the Country Club.  Blasi's Vickers station where I worked as a senior had the forms there and the KFDI salesman was in all the time.
     I still have that whole set of Jimmy Rodgers albums hoping someday to have a good turn table again.  I do have a full set of cassettes also.  I have to root my love of music back to those songs of Jimmy Rodgers.  The fact that I had the best music instructors in Kansas in High School and College just built on the love of music.
     In the mean time I have been wonderfully privileged to know the great musicians in Western Music and call many of them friends.  I have also been privileged to have taken the stage with many of them and recorded a CD with one of the best producers in the recording business Jim Farrell.
     When the Country Music Hall of Fame was created the first three inducted were Jimmy Rodgers, Fred Rose (publisher and writer), and Hank Williams.  Very few who are in traditional Country Music, Western Music, or acoustical music can deny the foundation that was set by Jimmy Rodgers.
     What is a shame now is that many of the artists of today who have that foundation, love of the music, and drive are not allowed to prosper because the music business has been taken over by conglomerates who only have enough imagination to follow a formula.  Then another set of conglomerates only give air time to the few who follow the rules.  Only in the electronic age that we are in can a true fan go find the music that they love and are able to stream it, download it, or even be old fashioned and get the CD of it.
     So the day is filled with thoughts of the original 'Father of Country Music' Jimmy Rodgers.  I may have to find that old cassette player today.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016


                                                                John Barrymore

      I have more than once let it be known that I hoped that Wichita State University would bring in Jerry Kill to develop a new football program.  I knew Jerry's granddad, dad, and watched him grow up.  Jerry grew up in the Cheney community and watching him move through the ranks from High School football coach, to division 2 colleges, to division one.  He is admired by friends and competitors as a first rate person and coach and when health problems started to plague him on the field, the whole country was anxious about him.
     Jerry is the kind of coach that every parent hopes that their kids would have sometime in their athletic careers.  It is not stepping to far to say that the Cheney community has busted their buttons watching Jerry grow and be successful.  I don't think you would find anyone in the area that would not consider Jerry as a favorite son.
     It was with a great deal of happiness when the announcement came out that Kansas State has hired Jerry to come back home to be Assistant Athletic Director.  With the fact that so many of our rural kids leave for opportunities elsewhere it is with no small amount of pride and happiness when one has the opportunity to come home and excel.
     It is a sad fact that the 'coach' is unable to stand on the field and run the show.  But it is a sure thing that he can stand behind the scenes and effect policy and support both the school and the athletes.  This also shows that even with difficulties there are still things that one can do and be effective, and contribute to the field of endeavor that one is engaged in.
     I am not a big jock and athletics do not occupy my thoughts and time except in the context that they should.  I like to see our state teams do well.  I like to see our state universities turn out thoughtful and educated students.  I am always happy when K-State is winning.  I also like to see everyone else be competitive.
     We all win as a state and a community when we are able to have one of our best able to come home and do what they do best.  Though I still hope WSU will be able to build a new football program I have to say WELCOME HOME JERRY!!!!!

Saturday, May 14, 2016


                                                                              Albert Camus

     It does not take a genius to recognize the biblical passage about what is bad is good, what is right is wrong, so on (not a strict quote).  Some of our politicians, elites, and those who would just use their positions to subvert what we stand for, have brought this country to the point that no one can count on us to do the right thing anymore.
     The pendulum always swings from one extreme to another and through out history it seems that no civilization can hold itself to a standard that would give stability to last the long haul.  Every civilization has brought itself down only to build back up and do it all over again.
     We have allowed the loudest voices to dictate that one individual on the extreme edge can demand rights that are denied to the majority.  At what point does the 'do it all my way' progress into an extreme reaction from the other side.  In this I am not referring to politics.  I am referring to simple human decency.
     It seems that living ones life as you wish has now gone beyond the point of freedom.  It is now that you have to let me live this way, approve of it, like it, or I will crush you.  The point of radicalism will push to the point that those who don't live your way, don't like it, and don't approve of it. will push back.  Many times there is a push back that also goes too far.
     There is so much corruption, treachery, lasciviousness, and conflict today that there will be a point that will turn things around and probably cause an equal swing in the other direction.  What will be the tipping point?  What will be the Arch Duke Ferdinand moment?  Who knows?
     But it may be something that has started out as a distraction for many things that will galvanize people to set down their feet and say no!  I have an opinion (big surprise) on what that might be. 
      Regardless of the opinion of the courts, the media, political parties, various 'rights' groups, the moment may be here.  When the person who is one sex identifies with the other and people are forced to tolerate them in their bathrooms and showers, political correctness will cease.
     There is a big uproar going on right now.  It will be not only the redneck but most men that will not take any man walking in on their daughter, mom, sister, aunt, granddaughter, or any other girl to shower or use the restroom with them.  In the few instances where it has been tried the women themselves react and will not allow it.  There is a point of complete idiocy and maybe those who advocate the 'right' will find that people will start seeing through the real agendas that are using all this 'victim hood' as simply a means to bring down a decent society.
      Those who scream and demand the loudest for their rights are quick to deny anyone else theirs.  Try to have a conversation and debate with one of these and it goes to name calling, screaming, and yelling immediately.  When there is a lack of tolerance to talk about an issue there is no tolerance at all.
     What has happened to the attitude of 'treat others as you would be treated'?

Friday, May 6, 2016


                                                        Abraham Lincoln

     I made a detour coming home the other day.  I decided to swing north and have dinner at the Harvest Cafe in Inman.  I made an appointment to get into the Inman Museum to do some research for my book.  This gave me the chance to do several things I like to do, eat at small town cafes, go to successful small towns, and dig into history at the local museum.
     I was delighted to get into the Harvest Cafe on Thursday which is German Mennonite Buffet day.  I had zwieback, veronica, rope sausage, and a piece of coconut cream pie that had been baked just a couple hours before.  You could tell it is a favorite day for the area also judging by all the people in there.  Since I love toy tractors and trucks they have a great collection going all the way around the walls close to the ceiling.  It was really special when I walked into the place and the first person I saw said "Hello Roger Ringer".  How much fun is it to walk into a place you have never been before and have someone there who knows you?
     Inman has a really great history and is known as 'Custom Cutter Capital of the World'.  This was a major part of my being there.  There were several local residents that invented and built their own self propelled forage harvesters back in the 1940's and 50's.  I was doing research for my book there and found that not only is Inman an impressive community but it has an impressive museum.  Ralph Vogel showed us an impressive collection that is displayed nicely in what had been an old International tractor dealership.  The building that they thought was huge is housing a huge collection that fills it to overflowing.  They have grown to fill the triangle lot with great exhibits, a school house, farmstead, ,train depot, Stan herd mural, and more.  Open only on Sunday afternoons I would encourage you to get a group together, either senior or student, and make an appointment to have a personal tour.
     I would have stopped by the Kansas Sampler Center three miles south and one and a half east except that Marci Penner was in Winfield setting up for the Kansas Sampler Festival.  But I was running out of energy and only had time to stop and say hi to Vickie Adrian at Adrian's Boutique in Buhler and pick up a mothers day gift for mom.
     I do not get to make these road trips very often anymore and it was a great day, except for my usual experience at an antique store I have been trying to find open for years now.  It looks like a really great antique shop from the outside.  I just cannot get inside.  So my pet rant is to all antique shops in all the small towns I go to OPEN FOR BUSINESS!  This is not the only one I have tried to get into over the years.
     I will avoid my second pet peave while making road trips (public restrooms).  But I would rather visit these small towns than a large city any time.
     I am stealing Marci Penner's label that I am Rural by Choice.  Living on a hill is something that I love.  Rural people and rural areas are where I am comfortable.  Just experiencing the outpouring of support from the whole state and region after our fire down here just reinforces this.