Friday, April 27, 2007

Following in parents footsteps

Yesterday was "Take Your Son or Daughter to Work Day." The talk radio show had children in the studio with their parents. I don't call in on talk radio. I don't have time between driving and mail delivery. I did think about it, though.

I grew up on a farm. My Dad was a upland crop farmer and had a feeder cattle operation. He was a very good farmer too. There aren't many awards for farmers, but my Dad and Mom earned one. In 1967 they were chosen Master Farmer and Master Homemaker by the Kansas Extension. They were one of five other couples chosen for the award. I remember how proud I was at the banquet honoring them at the Kansas State Fair. They worked hard and deserved it.

If I had a choice between helping Mom in the house or helping Dad outside, I was out the door. I drove grain to the elevator by age 14 and probably younger than that when I first drove the tractor for the hay baler.

We all knew my older brother would take over the farm. Even though Dan also grew up on a farm, he had an older brother in line to carry on that operation. So, that is how it is that we do not actively farm for a living.

As a young person it wasn't a matter of "going" to work with my parents. The work was right there and I spent a lot of time helping as did all farm kids. Often while riding in the truck to one field or another my dad and I would talk. It was during those conversations that I heard him say many times,

"You know, the job I would really like is to be a rural mail carrier."

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Old Lawrence Post Office

We were taken on a tour of the Lawrence Journal World news center last night. In its previous life it was the Lawrence Post Office. The structure was the first federal building erected in Lawrence in 1906. It was enlarged in 1930 and served the community until 1965.

A beautiful renovation was completed in 2001. I was reminded once again how significant a role the postal service played in communities through the years. The architecture, marble, hardwood, and high curved windows are found in many of old post offices built during the early 1900s.

We saw the many little nooks and walkways where the postal inspectors watched carriers and clerks to make sure mail was safe and secure. The staircase up to the main work room floor walk way was a large iron spiral staircase. It could be accessed from the main entrance so inspectors could come in and climb up to watch without detection.

There was a huge skylight in the middle of the building that had been covered up. It was completely renovated to its original size. It was still daylight while we toured that part of the building and the natural light filled the room.

Every part of the building is being used. Two original bank vaults are incorporated in the renovated building. They are closets. Also, thousands of square feet of maple wood flooring and Terrazzo have been refurbished.

It is well worth a stop at 645 New Hampshire if you are in Lawrence. Oh, and don't miss the Jayhawk painted like John Brown in the lobby.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Citizen Journalism Academy

Several weeks ago I was thinking about "news" and my application to the Citizen Journalism Academy in Lawrence. To my surprise and delight, I was accepted. Tonight was our first class.

The "Academy is sponsored by the Lawrence Journal World and the William Allen White School of Journalism. We listened to thought provoking speeches by Ann Brill, Dean of the WAW School and Ralph Gage, Chief Operating Officer of The World Company, as well as Lawrence Journal World, Channel 6 and KU School of Journalism dignitaries. News is a big business and requires people with talent and skills. The 20 class members have impressive writing experience; I must admit I felt a bit overwhelmed.

One of the speakers was David Ryan, a web developer for the paper. We were discussing blogs. My blog ended up being projected onto a large screen. Of course, with that came the U Tube video--of what else, the KSU Fight Song and Adam training to be a KSU football player; probably not the perfect environment for airing that media. I credit the room full of Kansas fans for letting the song play through two times.

I guess I've been "outed," but it seemed no one held it against me. This class is going to be fun.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

"This was a fun day"

Image Hosted by ImageShack.uswas repeated all around as we said our goodbyes today.

Friday night we traveled to Salina so we would be ready for Aaron's basketball game at 8:30 am. When first graders play basketball, they are all about having fun, which is refreshing.

After the game, we went over to the First Tee for a round of golf. It is a six hole, par 3 course for children and their nana's. Aaron is a good little golfer and Adam has potential. Aaron and I each had one really good drive and one good putt. Just enough to make us want to try again.

After golf, it was to Manhattan and the Kansas State University Spring game. Coach Prince has started a great tradition on the spring game day. He opens up the enclosed practice field for all kinds of football type games. The "kids" also had a little carnival outside. There was a BBQ contest and baseball game. By the time the game started at 6:00 pm, we were ready to sit down. The entire west side of the stadium was full as well as a sprinkling in the ends and east side.

It's late and I am tired but there is nothing better than being tired from having fun.