Friday, July 14, 2006


First the train ride followed by the zoo, McDonalds and the water park. We did it all!
Picture by Linda

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Family is coming!!

This will be a short post as there is a promising storm approaching and I will most likely loose my Starband connection.  

Tomorrow Dan and I are entertaining our grandboys from Salina.  We have quite a day planned.  First, will be the “World Famous Topeka Zoo” then McDonalds and finally, the North Topeka Water Park.  Anyone want to take bets on who will wear out first?

Saturday our Colorado family is coming in to join the Salina family here.  Our son is a project manager for a development firm so he has great organizational skills—something Dan and I seem to lack.   He has targeted our basement for a remodel next week and when he decides something is going to get done, step back.  He called me the other night and the plans are in place.  Kim & Marc have to go back Sunday so I am hoping we can have some fun too.

Not much blogging will get done this weekend and next week.  I will post pictures of the progress, though.  This should be fun!

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Small Towns

Dan and I grew up in the country, but attended high school in Chapman, a small town of around 1200. We shopped in Junction City a larger small town of 18,800. After we were married, we lived three years in Emporia, population 26,800. The rest of our married live we have enjoyed country living and shopping in metropolitan areas.

I really like small towns. It is always a joy to stop by the hardware store in Chapman. Even though we have been away for years, they still know us. There are usually town folk who have stopped by for a chat and there is a pleasant, easy going atmosphere. Overbrook is also a friendly town that we frequent often. When we travel, we like to visit small towns and eat at the local café.

We attended the Richmond Fair on the return trip home last weekend. Richmond is about 20 miles south of Ottawa, Kansas. As we approached, we first saw the RV Park sign. Yes, Richmond with a population of around 500 has a RV park. We pulled in trying to decide how much we would be willing to pay for a night with hookups. Dan said it would be $20 and I said $15. No sooner had we driven around the small area than the owner drove up in his pickup and said the charge was $10. Well, all right then!

We had time for a short nap before the parade started at 6:30 pm. We found our friends easily, and sat up our lawn chairs just as the American Legion with the flag appeared. It was a great parade—politicians, 4-H floats, cars, decorated bicycles and horses. Oh yes, and antique tractors—lots of them. An added bonus was you could see it twice because it went down the street, circled around the retirement facility and came back the same way.

After the parade, had sandwiches at the church booth, and viewed the open class and 4-H animal exhibits. It was at the evening show that Dan took my picture with Elvis. Only in a small town.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Bleeding Kansas

I am feeling a little uncomfortable writing about Bleeding Kansas.  There are so many knowledgeable historians and I am not one of them.  However, we are interested and learning.  We spent an hour listening to a National Park Ranger at Fort Scott tell the major role Kansas played in the Civil War and I will try to recount his facts.  He started his presentation with three items on a table, a gun, a ballot box, and a gavel.  His point being, Kansas experienced all three before becoming the 34th State.

Kansas was not yet a state when the Union and Confederate States were forming.  At the time, the assumption was southern states would be Confederate and the northern Union.  In 1854 Congress opened Kansas and Nebraska for settlement and let them decide by vote whether they would be slave or free.  There were many of both persuasions trying to influence the outcome.  The first vote had to be thrown out because of Missourians crossing the border to cast illegal ballots.  It was during this time that within five miles of our home Quantrill’s guerrillas raided a family residence and killed one man.  Of course, Lawrence, just 10 miles away, was the center of his wrath as was Miami County to the south.     It wasn’t only Missourians, Kansas had John Brown.    

Troops were brought back to Bourbon county and the Fort Scott area to patrol the Military Road running from the Kansas City area to Texas and helped quell the border violence.  There was still the political battle and at one time, there were two congresses meeting in the state, one free and one slave.  In the end, seven years after the territory was opened for settlement, January 29th, 1861, Kansas entered the Union as a free state.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Fort Scott National Historical Site

We were invited to a friend’s son’s wedding in Osawatomie, Kansas, on Friday evening. It was a perfect opportunity to load up the Trekker and do a little Kansas road trip. We spent Friday night in the parking lot of the motel where our friends were staying. The wedding was beautiful, the reception had a live band and afterward we sat around on lawn chairs just talking until 1:00 am. Glad we had our bed with us.

Saturday morning we ate breakfast with the group and then took off for Fort Scott National Historical Site near the city of Fort Scott. On the way, we stopped at the Mine Creek Battlefield museum. It is located on the actual site of the Civil War battle. We attended a program about this battle last February at the Clinton Historical Society meeting. It provided a good background to the actual site of the battle.

Fort Scott is beautifully preserved. Many of the buildings are original and the few they did have to rebuild were to exact specifications. A Park Ranger provided additional insight into the daily living of the time. The fort was constructed mainly by the soldiers stationed there from 1842-46 at a cost of $32,000, a low figure even at that time. The Nation was not ready to spend much money on the frontier army. Its purpose was to protect the Indian Nations from intrusion from settlers as the Kansas Oklahoma territory was set aside as Indian land at that time.

During the active years of the fort, it was the home of the 1st Dragoons, Co. A. These well-trained mounted soldiers were able to fight on horseback or on foot. They went into battle with three weapons: the Hall carbine, .52 caliber, the 1842 percussion pistol, .54 caliber and a saber. Their company was identified by the color of horse they rode with black being the color of Co. A at Fort Scott. The Dragoon name was later changed to Calvary probably to the disappointment of the proud soldiers at that time.

Fort Scott was sold at auction in 1853, well before the Civil War. Tomorrow, Bleeding Kansas.


Bleeding Kansas

I am feeling a little uncomfortable writing about Bleeding Kansas. There are so many knowledgeable historians and I am not one of them. However, we are interested and learning. We spent an hour listening to a National Park Ranger at Fort Scott tell the major role Kansas played in the Civil War and I will try to recount his facts. He started his presentation with three items on a table, a gun, a ballot box, and a gavel. His point being, Kansas experienced all three before becoming the 34th State.

Kansas was not yet a state when the Union and Confederate States were forming. At the time, the assumption was southern states would be Confederate and the northern Union. In 1854 Congress opened Kansas and Nebraska for settlement and let them decide by vote whether they would be slave or free. There were many of both persuasions trying to influence the outcome. The first vote had to be thrown out because of Missourians crossing the border to cast illegal ballots. It was during this time that within five miles of our home Quantrill’s guerrillas raided a family residence and killed one man. Of course, Lawrence, just 10 miles away, was the center of his wrath as was Miami County to the south. It wasn’t only Missourians, Kansas had John Brown.

Troops were brought back to Bourbon county and the Fort Scott area to patrol the Military Road running from the Kansas City area to Texas and helped quell the border violence. There was still the political battle and at one time, there were two congresses meeting in the state, one free and one slave. In the end, seven years after the territory was opened for settlement, January 29th, 1861, Kansas entered the Union as a free state.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Roadtrip weekend

I can’t write much right now because I have a couple of bushels of sweet corn that needs to be frozen. We have just returned from a two-day southeast Kansas road trip that ended with picking this corn in our friend’s field by Richmond. I will write more this evening. Just let me say, the weekend went all the way from a wedding to Civil War history to a small town parade and Elvis impersonator. Yes, quite a weekend—more later.

Note: It is now 10:45 pm. The corn is in the freezer (35 small bags), the van is clean and put away and there clothes in the washer. I am too tired tell about our trip tonight. I am anxious to write about it tomorrow night, though. Meanwhile, check me getting a scarf from Elvis!