Roger Ringer – Author


Going back to when I decided that I was going to work on a book about little known stories of Kansas, I discovered that I announced the project in 2013. Wow! And I signed the contract for KANSAS ODDITIES just a year ago. Through a lot of blood sweat and tears the first boxes of books were just delivered to me today. What a journey. I just finished reading the first copy of the book yesterday. Through all of the writing, rewriting, editing, I still cringe when I find a mistake. But the few mistakes were in the first few stories and it is just minor mistakes. This drives me crazy but I hope you will overlook them.

By the time I finished the book I really enjoyed the stories. I await to see how you accept them. By the time this is published I will have gone through my first book signing and I will give you the results before this is finished. I am writing this because the next few weeks are really going to be hectic for me. Writing this column takes a little thought and I am jumping ahead and having this ready for publication so I only have to send it out.

One thing that makes me a bit sad is the stories that did not make it into this volume. Time will only tell if there will be more versions of KANSAS ODDITIES to come out in the future. This all depends on you.

Some of the stories that did not make it like Maude Frakes and her rock garden in Elk City, The mad bomber of Iola, the Topeka Hay Press Company, the Marriage Combine and it’s inventor who pursued building a helicopter, the Commander Tractor built in Harper, the true story of the Blue Albino Woman, and many many more.

Each day I find more stories of amazing people and things invented in Kansas. I find more reasons to admire the tenacity of Kansans and how the state has been first in so many things. I still an looking for lost things in barns, tree rows, fence lines, iron piles, and private collections.

After the grueling process of publishing this first book I am anxious to get started on the next. But you will be the ones who decide. If the publisher is happy and willing to keep on, I am too.

I am trying to also use the profile of this book to get people to look into places and at things differently. Ever hear of a Walterschied automobile? Is there a pull type Massey Harris combine setting in the weeds out there. Is there parts and pieces of tractors or old cars setting out there? There are so many things that I am looking to find surviving out there that has been forgotten. I am still looking for a Hockett tractor. I am still looking for a Colby Plowboy tractor. Is there a surviving Ferguson Automobile Thresher out there?

Have you seen or do you know of something that was invented or built in Kansas that I have not heard of? Do you know where there is a Commander four wheel drive tractor that was built in Harper? Is there some notorious or just plain interesting person that has achieved some great things from Kansas that you can give me information on? Do you have any information on IMCO implement manufacturing from Neodesha? How about the helicopter manufactured in Liberal?

Anything that is interesting about Kansas I am looking for?

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