Jimmy Dean


Throughout our lives there is only one constant and that is change. We get into our comfort zones and something is bound to come along and knock you for a loop. This is why we need to keep our eyes up. It is the scene outside my windows here on the hill that inspires me and why I use the hills as part of my identity for these visits.

Change is something that we may look forward to or it may be sprung on us without warning. As we grow older it is the sudden changes that affect us the most. Like the phone call not long ago that another of my best friends had died before his time. My friend Carl Koster Jr. was a life long friend, boss, mentor, and advisor that his going ahead before me has been a sobering event in my life.

I started losing friends in my 40’s and those of you over age 50 are probably understanding what I am saying more than the young bucks reading this. Change can be painful.

There are also changes that you see coming that are full of mixed emotions. Such as the publishing of my new book. My love of history and the State of Kansas inspired me to use both as a way to deal with declining health issues. I cannot get out and work on a tractor anymore and the last auction I called hurt my back so bad that I cannot do that anymore. Taking stories that I have been told for years as an advocate for rural Kansas, I started doing research on things that have not made the main history books. And what I find is delightful. So I am now planning on book signings for KANSAS ODDITIES which is being published by History Press. This is going to be some change as I have not been able to get around the state like I used to and I look forward to seeing everyone in the next few months.

I am also faced with the prospect of leaving my beloved hilltop and move to a location which is more hemmed in. Close but not in town there is going to be major adjustments for me ahead.

I am hoping that the popularity of KANSAS ODDITIES that the publisher will be in the position of having to do a second printing and give the go ahead to start volume 2. My original manuscript had stories that would fill three books of the size that is coming out. I am also still collecting stories and building files that I hope that will someday be part of more books. Looks like there is enough material for a series. It will be up to the public as to whether this happens.

Over the years I have been building my library of books and manuscripts about the history of the Old West and Kansas. With the realities of my health and the fact that time stops for no one I am in a search for an archival library to leave my library and files to. Regular town libraries are not repositories of local history as they once were. The fact that a book is not checked out during a certain period leaves it vulnerable to the fifty cent for sale pile. My wish is that an archival library can be found that will hold the collection and make it available for researchers in the future to have easy access to. As one suggested, I have no funds to leave a new wing at a museum, I only have the material.

Change is something we cannot always plan for but we have to deal with. Hopefully with a smile, sometimes with a tear. I am astounded at the people who have no hope for the future and am dumbfounded that they believe they are so smart as to have everything figured out. Most times the most educated can be the dumbest among us.

Change can only be dealt with successfully by having faith that in the end the journey was worth it. My what a journey it has been. See you down the road with pen in hand.

1 Comment
  • Dennis Kyle
    Posted at 01:52h, 22 May

    Roger, I read all your stories, and love them. Kind of takes me out of Arizona for a bit and puts me back on the farm.