09 Jun THE KEY TO THE FUTURE
“MEMORIES ARE THE KEY NOT TO THE PAST,
BUT TO THE FUTURE.”
Corrie Ten Boom
What the typical Kansan is, is so difficult to explain. What is typical about Kansas? It is the fact that there is no typical. There are many who simply take for granted what we have in this state and go along with those who fly through on the interstate highways and have very little good to say.
Typically the New York reporter who drove through the Flint Hills and then wrote about how boring Kansas is took most of those who see the subtle beauty of the Flint Hills by surprise. But then what does a reporter who thinks millions of people crowded onto an island in the middle of buildings that defy reason as to how tall they can go? That rudeness and hustle and bustle are desirable traits?
The typical Kansan either is too busy working to get caught up in things that distract from what is around them or are fully aware as to how Kansas has been blessed. Kansan’s fight amongst themselves. One part of the state does not recognize that there is a lot of state left after you pass US 81. This sets up a classic political back and forth.
What is typical about Kansas is that it is a land of firsts. In the 1920’s there were 72 aircraft and related companies in Kansas. The Depression wiped most of them out. But that did not stop Kansans from looking to the sky. The first patent for a helicopter was issued to a pair of Kansans. And you can go to Goodland and see a full size replica of this first design.
The first commercially offered gasoline farm tractor was from a company in Sterling Kansas. The first self propelled combines to go on the harvest run were built in Hutchinson Kansas. The first one-way plow is credited to be invented in Kansas and you can see it in the Smithsonian Institute in Washington D.C..
The ideas and actions of Kansans fill history books but so much has slipped through the cracks that communities have forgotten some of their own people and happenings.
So this is why I wrote KANSAS ODDITIES. History Press has published my book and there are so many interesting stories about Kansas that it is not the definitive book. It scratches the surface. There are so many more stories to be told. If the sales of KANSAS ODDITIES is good enough it will allow more stories of our interesting past to be put down where they will not be lost to time.
I look forward to seeing many of my readers at the BUNKHOUSE AT WILDFIRE RANCH BED & BREAKFAST on June 23rd at 6pm for the official debut and book signing. We are doing a backyard concert with my friend singer Barry Ward. Bring a cover dish and a lawn chair. Kansas Oddities will be for sale and I will autograph your copy. Barry will have his new CD, COYOTES & CATTLE for sale. And Victoria Ward will have her new book MORE PLUM PIE available.
I will have my notebook handy in case you have a Kansas story to tell me.
As an added note KANSAS ODDITIES is available on Amazon, and at Barnes & Noble, Sam’s, and Costco. The sales to book stores and gift shops in Kansas is going on now by History Press, so a copy should be available at many locations and online if you cannot make it out here on the 23rd.
You find the Bunkhouse by going to Isabel at K-42 and 100th Ave. Go one mile west to Apex and turn south 3 miles to the dead end and make 2 right turns. From Medicine Lodge go north to the 99 Springs turn off. This is Resort Road. Go north 3 miles and Resort will curve into Goldenrod. Just 500 feet east of the curve turn and go north on Wildfire.
I saw a good story the other day about Kansas. Relatives of some Kansan’s were out for a visit. When the postcard was sent to friends back east it stated: “They have a really great service out here in Kansas. When a tornado is coming they run a big siren so everyone can come out and watch it.”
See you on June 23rd at 6PM.