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.

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