Saturday, September 22, 2007

The auction

The sale bill stated the auction started at 11:00 am. By the time we arrived at 1:30 pm, the parking lot was full. The owner was a middle-aged man who died unexpectedly. He was single at the time.

Dan and I seldom buy at auctions, but we enjoy the atmosphere. People eating lunch or a slice of pie occupy chairs for sale. Small groups chat, enjoying the day.

As we walk around, I hear the auctioneer in the distance, “you’re in,” “you’re out,” “you’re missing the boat on this one” and “this tractor is knee deep in rubber.” The chant is background music celebrating the end of a household. Possessions accumulated in a lifetime carted away by family, friends or strangers.

I checked out the cassette tapes up for sale, all country western. The furniture was western in design with wrought iron accessories. Obviously a bachelor’s household, very few dishes. Surprisingly, I counted three sets of silverware. Original artwork from local painters. Lots of outdoor furniture.

We left without buying. We paid our respects to his possessions and enjoyed a visit with his neighbors.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Ellsworth Cattle Drive

Ellsworth, Kansas, and nearby Ft. Ellsworth (later renamed Ft Harker) were established in 1864. Their mission was to help make the trails west safe from the Cheyenne Indians.

Naturally, Ellsworth was a rowdy town from the beginning. Soldiers, later railroad workers, and Texas cowboys converged on the streets looking for a good time. Saloons were numerous. Drinking, gambling and women often were a deadly mix.

Former cavalry man E.W. Kingsbury and Chauncey Whitney were elected sheriff during that time. US Marshals, Wild Bill Hickok and Jack Harvey often rode the streets. Read more details at the Cowboy’s web site.

On September 28th, 29th and 30th, Ellsworth is celebrating their history. The highlight is the Cattle Drive Parade featuring 140 trophy Texas longhorns at 2:30 pm, Saturday afternoon.

Saturday morning at 8:00 is a 5K run called “Running with the Bulls." Preceded by the Stock Tank Race at 9:30, the Cowtown parade is at 10:00. After the parade is a re-enactment of the “Shooting of Sheriff Whitney” at the Hodgden Museum. Check Peg’s Kansas Prairie for the complete three-day schedule.

The cattle drive is not an annaul event rather a fund raising effort by the community to finance the refurbishing of the historical turret building on main street. It is also an excellent opportunity to step into history for one weekend.

Hope to see ya there!

Monday, September 17, 2007

Westward Ho

Friday morning found us up and out of the house by 6:15 am. The reason, Dan’s colonoscopy. He flew through that procedure like a trouper and all is well. We ate a welcome (for him) breakfast at I Hop and were on I 70 west by 10:30 am.

Our destination is Monument to visit with our Colorado family. Our TOA (time of arrival) is always a topic when we see Topeka in our rear view mirror. There isn’t much variance. It is a eight hour drive.

I take a tote bag including magazines, an audio book, and newspapers. There is a cooler of cola, juice, and a jug of ice water. Picnic items include chips, yogurt and sandwich meat. We settle in for the drive prepared.

Eight hours in a vehicle seems like eternity to airline travelers. Not for us. Often the magazines aren’t opened. We visit and enjoy the sights along I 70. Yes, that includes Western Kansas and the ever-changing crops, clouds, and skylines. Sometimes we stop at Wilson for a bottle of Kansas wine. Quinter is half way and Grainfield, Kansas, is one and a half hour from the Colorado Welcome center at Burlington and a cup of coffee. We always stop at the TA truck center at Limon. Sometimes that includes a ice cream cone at the McDonalds across the street. We trade driving. During a lull in conversation, we slip in a short nap. We seldom turn on the radio.

The return trip is usually the same. It is then the lists are made, “Things To Do” this week, month and year. Often we eat less healthy, getting by with snacks and cookies sent by Drue.

We make this trip at least four times a year, often more. Despite all those hours in the car, Interstate 70, Dan and I are still friends.

Click here for video of our visit. Warning, lots of pictures of grandchildren.