Byron Dorgan

     Dear Santa.  I have a problem and it involves the whole state where I live.  Kansas is a great place to live and there are so many great people, but there is a problem.  As a whole those of us who are enthusiastic about our state seem to be slipping as the times get hard and as the ideas of how to make this place better seem to shift with the loud voices who want to tear things down.

     Those who live outside the state who have never been here, seem to hold the idea that we are part of the ‘unwashed masses’ who are not smart enough to look at a problem and solve it.  Now we know that this is not true because we have been the beginnings of so much that is great in the way the world lives today.

     You know that we feed the world with our farm and ranch products and the world comes to K-State to learn how to mill grain into the flour needed to bake a loaf of bread.  The first patent on a helicopter was taken out here in the Sunflower State at a time when we were also starting over 70 different aircraft and aircraft parts companies.

     We know that the whole world comes to Wichita in commercial aircraft every five years so we can train them and maintain high standards of safety around the world.  We know that the first fast food restaurant started in Wichita and we have hamburgers and pizza showing the world how it is done before anyone else did.  Also that the fast food industry puts a new restaurant in Wichita to see if it is a successful concept.

     We know that the ‘Cowboy’ would not have been known as this instead of Drovers and Cowpokes were it not for Kansas.  We know that the cowboy boot as we know it today was made in Kansas first and the cowboys wore them back to Texas and then over the whole world.

     You and I know that Kansas has always been full of dreamers and inventors who have made the world a better place to live.  And yet those who look at us as flyover people do not realize that many of the actors and musicians that set the standards for excellence came from Kansas.

      Santa I ask you to bring to the whole state the power to stop making insulting remarks about those who differ from others.  To stop and say “we can make this work, we always have”.  For our State Government Representatives who hold the trust of the electorate to start calculating budgets on real figures and not wild guesses on what they may be down the road.  That there are new ways of solving problems if we let the dreamers and inventors again tackle problems instead of those seeking office.

      Santa I ask that you bring back the realization that we still live in a great place to work and play.  I ask for the Kansas people to be infected with the Texas pride and spirit that we once had.

     And one last thing for me, (and you know I am not a sports nut), bring us a football program for Wichita State University.

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