[SeMissourian.com] Fog/Mist ~ 52°F  
High: 72°F ~ Low: 48°F
Tuesday, Oct. 21, 2014
Last words of real people (12/29/12)
Saint Lawrence is one of the most celebrated Roman martyrs. A church deacon during the time Emperor Valerian was vigorously persecuting Christians, Lawrence also served as the keeper of the church's treasures. He was arrested and told that to save himself he must give the church treasures to the government. ...
Honoring Nell Dikeman (12/14/12)
At the first city commission meeting in December, the commissioners honored the Tribune's Nell Dikeman for her service to this community. After the mayor presented her with a key to the city and a certificate, the audience and the commission rose as one to honor this special lady who has given new meaning to the words service and dependability. She shared one of her favorite mottos, "The greatest ability is dependability."...
The Dirt Pile (12/08/12)
On May 3, 1947, Korczak Ziolkowski came to the Black Hills to create a monument of Crazy Horse at the invitation of Chief Henry Standing Bear. The idea was to create the world's largest mountain carving located in the Black Hills of South Dakota to honor the Dakota warrior, Crazy Horse. Work on this monument still continues today and I know what the workers on this project might think, are we ever going to get this finished?...
Thanksgiving calamity (11/30/12)
While visiting with a friend the other day, he asked me, "Did you have any calamities over the past Thanksgiving"? "Sure," I replied, "which one do you want to hear about?" All the family and relatives who were available gathered out at our home on Jayhawk Road. As the number was pushing 30, we thought it might be a little crowded for the house so we took advantage of the newly built shed to host the gathering...
Opening quail season (11/17/12)
The opening of this year's quail season was really different. We arrived at the happy hunting grounds west of Blue Mound, Kan. only to find three sets of cattle haulers already stationed where we planned to hunt. The neighbor had some cattle get out and he had driven down from LaCygne trying to figure out where they were. ...
The man cave stove (11/10/12)
Years ago I saw a movie titled "Home from the Hill" and one of the memorable scenes from the movie was the star sitting in a leather arm chair in front of a fireplace with his trusty dog by his side. After 31 years of living in a house with a fireplace, I'd grown accustomed to wood heat to warm up cool evenings and provide a break from the gas bill. Then with a move to the country, the new abode unfortunately had no fireplace...
The turkey hunt (11/03/12)
My youngest son had a story that made my hunting experiences sound good by comparison. It seems as though his friend, Aaron, was into his third season of hunting turkeys with no luck. Since he works in a bait shop in Manhattan, he gets to see a lot of hunters; and one guy who is particularly successful told him if he didn't get a bird by the last weekend of the season, to give him a call and he would take him out and help him get a turkey...
'It's Not My Department' (10/27/12)
Peter Glen starts his latest book, "It's Not My Department" by telling the following story about service: "Why is it so important to treat every customer like a millionaire? One reason is that you never know which customers might really be millionaires."...
The Armadillo -- Sequel (10/13/12)
Bruce Willis made a living out of "Die Hard" movies and all the follow up movies. Our experience with armadillo No. 2 could certainly be labeled in this category. Two weeks after we dispatched the first armadillo that was wreaking havoc with all the flowerbeds, sure enough, another one appeared on the scene. This one seemed to like the grubs in the yard better. We were trying to establish new grass at the house and his help in tilling the ground was not appreciated...
The old house (10/06/12)
For the first 10 years of my life we lived in a four room house, two and a half miles west of Blue Mound, Kan. The house had no running water or electricity. Then we moved across the road to the house where my grandmother had been living. The original house was plain and simple, but it worked. After we moved, my dad sold that house for $800, and the man who bought it moved it to Gas City, Kan...
Show your thanks -- don't preach (09/29/12)
In an article in Training Magazine, Jack Gordon tells about the Lesson of the Trench. He was working on a construction crew in North Carolina on an apartment complex when they discovered the basement to one of the complexes was seeping water due to insufficient tar on the foundation. So, in order to expose the foundation, someone had to dig a trench next to the wall, 7 feet deep, 14 feet long, and wide enough to work in...
Big trucks and the storm (09/15/12)
Every once in a while I hear someone complain about all the trucks on the road. After last week's storm, they may change their tune. Last Sunday morning I came to town to join the breakfast club, and as I came down National the lot at Westar was totally full of big white trucks. In the parking lot just outside of the utilities entrance there were more trucks. On the sidewalk to the east was an inventory of cross bars and brackets that were going to be used to repair the damage from the storm...
The armadillo -- part 2 (09/01/12)
For over three weeks a resident armadillo has wreaked havoc with plants around the house. After the rain we received last week, he decided the yard was now soft enough and began aerating the lawn in his search for grubs. The twenty plus dollar bag of grub killer that I spread on the yard and on the plants did not work...
The boat cover (08/18/12)
Going on a fishing trip is somewhat like playing Russian roulette. You know something's going to happen but you're never quite sure when or how. A couple of weeks ago we headed north for a fishing trip and for some cooler weather. Before I even hooked up the boat, I knew I needed to put the cover back on for the trip. ...
Grandma's fall (08/04/12)
A couple of weeks ago my 9-year-old grandson went to spend a few days with his grandmother in Satanta, Kan. While he was there she was putting some medicine in a cupboard in the bathroom and she pulled over a chair to reach a high shelf. He was in the other room when she lost her balance and attempted to stop her fall by grabbing an open cupboard door. The next thing, she landed on the floor, hitting her shoulder and her head...
Towing 101 (07/14/12)
Last week the old tractor (1952 Allis Chalmers) started coughing and sputtering so I took everything apart from the gas tank to the carburetor in hopes of improving the performance. I was in the process of taking the tractor and bush hog across Paint Creek when the tractor refused to run any more. ...
Tail end (07/07/12)
Editor's note: The following story is an excerpt from "The Wit & Wisdom of Abraham Lincoln ..." by James C. Humes. Lincoln once represented a client indicted for assault and battery. Lincoln argued that it was self-defense. Lincoln told the jury that his client was in the plight of a man who, in going along the highway with a pitchfork over his shoulder, was attacked by a fierce dog that ran out at him from a farmer's dooryard. ...
The tomato race (06/23/12)
Lately there's been a lot of excitement about the horses running in the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness and the Belmont Stakes with the possibility that one of them could win the Triple Crown. My horse race is of a more modest variety and revolves around Ron Wood and I racing to see who will have the first ripe tomato. ...
A hunt from the past (06/09/12)
One of the dilemmas of writing about my companions on hunting trips is before long one doesn't have any companions. People say things like, "I'll go, but you can't write about me." Last Saturday was one such trip which was prefaced by, "You better not." Fortunately I didn't promise since I knew there would probably be some good material available...
'This Hallowed Ground' (06/02/12)
By Betty McClure In peaceful slumber they all sleep, these Veterans, row on row With headstones placed symmetrically as one looks to an fro. No matter which direction or no matter where one stands These headstones stand straight in a row throughout this hallowed land...
Home on the range (05/26/12)
Heading to Lawrence, Kan., the other day, we stopped at Garnett and saw my son Lance and his oldest boy fixing fence behind his house. They have a 14 acre pasture that came with the house and they lease it out for grazing. Presently they have about seven heifers that were munching away contentedly on the fescue but one particular heifer named Almond kept testing the fences. Almond appeared to be an appropriate name because she seems to be a bit nutty...
'The land is sacred to us' (04/24/10)
Chief Seattle, delivered this speech in 1854 -- one year before a great treaty-making council between Indian tribes and the U.S. government. The government proposed that reservations be established and although several tribes opposed this, treaties were signed: each of the tribes was to select its favorite home valley as its reservation. Three months later, war broke out...
The importance of a dog's name (04/16/10)
There has been a lot of material written about how people are affected by names. Some psychologists have even gone so far as to tell us that children are handicapped by names which they find unattractive. I wonder what happens in a dog's world? My good friend, Charlie, had a litter mate out of the same bunch as my long-departed three-legged dog. ...
Coach Booth (04/03/10)
Dick Booth came from a family of nine boys and three sisters and passed on his 87th birthday. His eight brothers were deceased so were most of the people he had taught with for 40 years. Who wasn't missing were the people he touched during that time. They came from far and wide to pay their respects. Stories abounded about the man who coached and taught for 40 years and had recorded the third most number of football wins in Kansas history, but that wasn't why they came...
The Treadmill (03/13/10)
Recently my treadmill gave up. It said "dead sensor." It had been purchased some years ago in Kansas City and I attempted to find someone who could repair it. I called three numbers and all three were out of business. I asked my brother in Kansas City to see if he could find where I needed to go. He came up with a number along with his comment that he thought I was using the treadmill for a clothes rack, because every time he came down here there were clothes hanging on it...
Vacant apartment -- tenants wanted (03/06/10)
We often talk about things that come out of the blue as something that we didn't expect. In my case I came home to find a beautiful martin house on the deck with a short note from a friend explaining he made the martin house in his workshop and he wanted to give it to me. It not only was a two story work of art, freshly painted, but done in the Fort Scott Tiger colors of red and white. How much better can it get...
People first -- quitting time second (02/13/10)
The trip began innocently enough. Taking our first long distance outing in a used Winnebago, my wife was concerned that we have it completely checked before heading west to Colorado. The first evening we made Great Bend without incident, and visited some friends. ...
Old Jake (02/06/10)
At times you just know that things happen for a reason. Old dog Jake, the German shorthair, was heading for his 13th year. I knew somewhere in the near future he wouldn't be with me. I'd been out of town all of last week and as usual the neighbor boy just up the hill tended to the three dogs while I was away. ...
A Fort Scott legend speaks (01/09/10)
Gordon Lightfoot starts a popular song by saying, "The legend lives on." Legends live on in sports for many years and from generation to generation. People still talk about Babe Ruth pointing to a spot where he was going to hit a homerun. All of us have heard the George Gipp story which Knute Rockne so successfully used when he urged the fighting Irish to win one for the "Gipper"...
A toothy lesson in caution (12/26/09)
Last week both families were at the house along with their parents. We had been to the funeral home for a visitation and when we came back home, the noise level and excitement picked up. I walked into the living room to find the 5-year- old granddaughter chasing her five year old cousin around the table in the living room. ...
All we needed was commom sense (10/17/09)
With the weather cooling down, I thought it was a good time to share a previous article: Do you ever wonder what we did before we had wind chill indexes? As I watch TV and listen to the radio, all the weathermen and weatherwomen seem to be obsessed with giving us the wind chill somewhere in the Great Plains and warning us over and over that we shouldn't go outside. ...
In sync is better (09/26/09)
I wanted to watch the Oakland Raiders play the Kansas City Chiefs last Sunday but I didn't want to listen to the dufus announcer. It has been my practice in the past to turn off the sound, just leave the picture on the television, and listen to Mitch Holthus and Len Dawson call the ball game...
They sounds the same (09/19/09)
A short while ago, I kept the three Garnett grandchildren for a couple of days. The grandkids consist of a 14-year-old boy, a 10-year-old girl, and a 5-year-old grandson. They were helpful as we picked the garden and worked on a rock border around the house for the better part of one whole day...
Times have changed (09/12/09)
When both of my children and later the grandkids were little and we went fishing in ponds, I always asked them to give me the first couple or three casts before they descended on the water and started beating it to a froth and sending all of the fish to the bottom seeking cover. Times have changed...
Naked ladies (08/15/09)
They have various names: naked ladies, surprise lilies, and their proper name, Lycoris squamigera. What they do around August 1st, regardless of the weather or how much rain we have had, is peek through the ground. Within days, they have lovely pink flowers on top of a slender stalk, bringing a smile to all who see them. The best part of the picture is that they come up year after year...
Perception is everything (08/01/09)
I received the following e-mail from a friend: AGE CHECK Have you ever been guilty of looking at others your own age and thinking, "Surely I can't look that old?" Well. . . You'll love this one. My name is Alice, and I was sitting the in the waiting room for my first appointment with a new dentist. ...
Choices (07/18/09)
Last week I went to Bolivar to watch the granddaughters play softball, and then brought them back to Fort Scott on Friday. Their parents were coming over as soon as they got off work. time they go by the place they have wanted to stop. ...
Analogy of dogs and humans (07/03/09)
The following is an excerpt from the book "Old Dog" by Gene Weingarten and Michael S. Williamson. It is a nice analogy of dogs and humans as they age: In our dogs, we see ourselves. Dogs exhibit almost all of our emotions; if you think a dog cannot register envy or pity or pride or melancholia, you have never lived with one for any length of time. ...
Once a year is enough (06/27/09)
With Father's Day weekend coming up, my plans were to go to the farm and get a lot of much needed work out of the way. The way things turned out, Father's Day really turned into a special day. The first item of business was to deal with a tree that had fallen across the road that allows me to cross Paint Creek. ...
Local company makes headlines (06/20/09)
It is always good to see someone from Fort Scott do well. In an April 14th publication of the Southern Logging Times, one of the features was on Evergreen Wood Recycling with numerous quotes from Larry Simpson, a Fort Scott High School graduate from 1974. Simpson's parents are Carney and Estelle Simpson, who still reside here in Fort Scott...
Driving Miss Daisies (05/30/09)
For the past few years it has been a tradition that I take my aunt, now age 92 and graduate of the class of 1933, to the Blue Mound Alumni Banquet held on the Saturday of Memorial Day weekend. She also has a couple of dear friends we have included for the last two years as a package deal, and all of us travel to the reunion together. ...
Profound statements (04/25/09)
A good friend shared the following profound statements with me: "In my many years I have come to a conclusion that one useless man is a shame, two is a law firm and three or more is a congress." -- John Adams "Suppose you were an idiot . . . And suppose you were a member of Congress. But then I repeat myself."-- Mark Twain...
Turkey hunting proves not for the faint of heart (04/18/09)
I hadn't been turkey hunting for the last two years, but my oldest son was coming to the Redfield farm, so I told him I would get a license and join him. I dug out the old camouflage outfit and searched among my shotgun shells for the turkey loads, finding only one...
A good ol' evening (03/14/09)
All of us have seen what happens when a fish gets out of the water or a turtle gets turned on its back. That was my feeling as I stood before the Fort Scott Civic Symphony as the guest conductor during the Good Ol' Days back in 1985. After being reluctantly convinced that this would be a good thing to do, the doubts began to set in. ...
Free pup not such a bargain (02/21/09)
Thinking back over the different dogs I have owned, the acquisition of the German Shorthair came to mind. It started innocently enough as I was offered the chance to become the proud owner of the 7-month-old German Shorthair for free. What could go wrong? At that point, Murphy's Law took over; simply stated, "If anything can go wrong, it will."...
The stage not taken (02/07/09)
Just prior to Christmas, I had the opportunity to go see the Garnett grandchildren in a church program. The neat thing was that all three were going to be involved. The oldest boy was a drummer, so he played softly in the background as the children acted out a Jamaican Christmas story. The drama queen granddaughter had a speaking part as one of the islanders. The youngest grandson, age five, was to be Joseph, and had a prominent place on the stage along with Mary and the Baby Jesus...
A reflection on family (01/31/09)
With the holidays behind us and the cold winter days ahead, it seems like a good time to look back and remember highlights of time spent with family: Thirty-four people to feed is a large task. The two youngest children, ages 4 and5, apparently enjoyed feeding the dogs, and, at the last count, went through three cans of Ol' Roy Beef Jerky Strips at $4.95 a can. It was no wonder the dogs were excited when they saw them coming to the pen...
His mysterious ways (01/17/09)
A lady from Garden City shared the following true story with me. It seems that her brother was a cameraman for a television station in western Kansas. He received a call to do a story regarding a church and the preacher's wife in Scott City. The rest of the story goes like this:...
Laws for Leaders (01/10/09)
Louis B. Lundborg once printed a list of eight rules he affectionately called "Lundborg's Laws" that dealt with leadership in general. Law No. 1: MULTIPLY YOURSELF: Don't try to do everything yourself. Law No. 2: PICK WINNERS: Good people are tough to get, tough to manage, and tough to hang on to, but good people cost less because of their greater output...
Time and caring -- best Christmas gifts (12/27/08)
With the Christmas season in full swing, it is interesting to read all the articles that are coming out about how to cure depression, manage your time during Christmas, watch out for the Christmas blues.... It must surely be a problem with all the ink that has been devoted to helping you solve these problems...
Preparing for Thanksgiving visitors (12/06/08)
There's an old saying about having company that goes, "the more the merrier." If it is true, we should have a very merry Thanksgiving. As the Hedges clan was looking for someplace to gather, I volunteered the Horton Street address, and the snowball gathered momentum from that point onward. ...
Never underestimate hard work (11/29/08)
One of the things that is exciting to all of us, is to have been near greatness at some time in our life. This is why prominent figures are often besieged for autographs. The thrill of standing on the track at Wichita, Kan., watching Jim Ryan become the first high school athlete in history to run a mile under four minutes, is a special memory...
Cleanup on card table two (11/21/08)
A few weeks ago we had a neighborhood gathering that was held on a night it was trying to rain. We went ahead and moved it to the basement where we had a series of tables set up for food and dining. We even had a little table for the six children in attendance so they could enjoy one anothers company...
That's not me (11/15/08)
I received one of those calls today on my home phone where a no-nonsense voice said, "Call Michelle," and then gave me a toll free number plus the extension. Since I was going to be on the road, I wrote the number down and made the call from my cell phone. I started getting nervous while waiting because the recording kept stating that this was a debt recovery outfit, and "Your call is important to us and may be recorded."...
Love, Attention and Respect (10/04/08)
The following is an excerpt from Dr. James Dobson's book "Home with a Heart," a compilation of encouraging commentaries for today's families: I remember sitting in my car at a fast-food restaurant eating a hamburger and French fries, when I happened to look in the rearview mirror. ...
Recycling on another level (09/06/08)
In the interest of recycling, I am reusing an article that was published 18 years ago in June 1990: There is an old saying that the cobbler's children never have shoes. Today, it might be described a little differently. If you mail-order your shoes, you will probably go barefoot. ...
Getting slower (08/30/08)
Years ago, my oldest son and I were competing in the 10K race at the Good Ol' Days. About a mile from the finish, I told him I was going to go on ahead, and he needed to finish as best as he could. Before I left he said, "Dad, do you know what is going to happen?"...
Play day at the Linn County Fair (08/23/08)
A week ago, my youngest son and his wife went on a short trip. Their three daughters were left here in Fort Scott, and were shuttled back and forth between the grandparents. I had the girls, ages 14, 10, and 4, on Tuesday and Thursday. Thinking this was a good opportunity to see their Garnett cousins, ages 3, 9, and 5, we had a play day at their house. Things went so well, I announced we would all go to the Linn County Fair...
Nature's wonders appear in (08/16/08)
Looking at my backyard in early August, with the temperatures blistering hot, one of nature's wonders appears every year. More than 50 years ago, the former owners planted surprise lilies behind the house on Horton Street, and every year, regardless of how dry or hot it is, they manage to push their graceful stalks up through the ground and provide a summer treat of beauty. ...
Seeing through Grandma's eyes (08/02/08)
The author is unknown for the following bit of wisdom, which shows the insightfulness of children: Two small boys were discussing eye glasses. Wouldn't you hate to wear glasses?" one asked. "No," answered the other, "not if I could have the kind my grandma wears! My mother says she can always see when folks are tired or discouraged or sad. ...
No good deed goes unpunished (07/26/08)
There is an old saying that no good deed goes unpunished. Sometimes, even though you are trying to help someone, you have a tendency to foul it up. The neighbors behind me went on a trip to California. Around the time they were scheduled to come home, I thought it would be a nice thing to surprise them by mowing their lawn. ...
The impact of kindness (07/19/08)
The following story, demonstrating the impact an act of kindness can have, was sent to me by a friend: His name was Fleming, and he was a poor Scottish farmer. One day, while trying to make a living for his family, he heard a cry for help coming from a nearby bog. He dropped his tools and ran to the bog. There, mired to his waist in black muck, was a terrified boy, screaming and struggling to free himself. Farmer Fleming saved the lad from what could have been a slow and terrifying death...
Annual tomato war ends (07/12/08)
The great tomato war has ended with a whimper: My neighbor down the street and I always have a race to see who can harvest the first ripe tomato from our respective gardens. This year I got the jump on him and planted my tomatoes a little earlier than he did. When I informed him, he shook his head, knowing I had gotten off to a fast start...
Talking the talk (07/05/08)
The following was sent to me by a friend: An old gentleman decides to go on a hunting safari in Africa, taking his faithful, elderly Jack Russell dog, named Killer, along for the company. One day the old Jack Russell starts chasing rabbits and, before long, discovers that he is lost. Wandering about, he notices a leopard heading rapidly in his direction with the intention of having lunch...
Jake wages war against starlings (06/28/08)
Years ago I remember watching the Mutual of Omaha "Wild Kingdom" show on TV. In this particular program, a lion was crouched behind the log while the other lions of the pride were chasing the impalas, which jumped over the log. When the timing was just right, the lion, which had been crouched down, leaped into the air and brought the impala to the earth and completed his kill...
Donna's grandchild makes the day (05/31/08)
The following is a note from Donna Long: At our house, we have a small table located between two big easy chairs. This table pretty much holds all the essentials of life: reading glasses, pens and pencils, the telephone, favorite drinks, letters, bills, newspapers, and, most importantly, the remotes for the TV. This table is usually stacked pretty high with all this stuff, and it takes some doing to keep it all in place...
Four legged friends and the tales they share (05/24/08)
Sometimes things come full circle. The first English Setter I had several years ago had a big spot over one eye which resembled the proverbial "shiner" so that became his namesake. Over a period of 10 years or so, Shiner was involved in several calamities. ...
On taking risks (05/17/08)
In the book "No Excuses," written by Jay Rifenbary, each chapter begins with a relevant poem. The author is unknown for the following poem from the Introduction: To laugh is to risk appearing a fool. To weep is to risk appearing sentimental. To reach out for another is to risk...
Bird migration in the Midwest (05/10/08)
Tuesday's Kansas City Star carried an intriguing article with the headline: "New Clues to Bird Migration Mystery." It now appears that birds have a molecule that can detect magnetic energy the way eyes detect light and ears detect sound. Scientists now believe that it helps explain how they migrate such long distances...
The definition of motivation (05/03/08)
The Little Book of Olympic Inspiration is a collection of quotes and little know facts and stories of Olympic glory that offer encouragement and motivation. The following is titled "Determination:" If an Olympic medal was awarded for personal determination and ingenuity, It would have to go to Felix Carvajal, an athlete in the 1904 Games, Felix was a Cuban postman who decided that running his daily rounds had prepared him for the Olympic marathon race. ...
On growing older (04/19/08)
"Let Evening Come -- Reflections on Aging" by Mary C. Morrison considers the sources of strength and dignity that truly allow people to grow old gracefully and to retain a joy for life. The following is an excerpt from the 87-year-old author's book:...
Word wizardry (04/05/08)
The Washington Post has published the winning submissions to its yearly contest in which readers are asked to supply alternate meanings for common words. The also asked readers to take any word from the dictionary, alter it by adding, subtracting, or chainging one letter, and s upply a new definition...
Typhoid Mary (03/22/08)
In 1907 health officials showed up at the doorstep of one Mary Mallory. They took her to a doctor's office where they ran a series of tests. It had been determined that each family she had worked for as a cook, sickness soon followed. She earned the dubious distinction of being known as "Typhoid Mary."...
It's all about relationships (03/08/08)
In his book, "Rules of the Red Rubber Ball," Kevin Carroll talks about encouragers in our life: Sustaining your life's work cannot be done alone, and you must build relationships with people who have a genuine interest in you and appreciate your commitment. ...
Josie the dog has a close call (03/01/08)
The trust of a dog was put to the test a few weeks ago when Chana Marshall's dog Josie fell through the ice. It all started out innocently enough when Chana took the basset mix dog R.J. and his sister, Josie, out to her folks' farm at Devon to give them some exercise. ...
Road trip creates bonding experience (02/23/08)
It has been more than 50 years since my brother and sister and I have gone on a trip together. We recently had an occasion to escort my 91-year-old aunt to Wickenburg, Ariz. It proved to be a great time for all of us to get together and share memories and enjoy each other's company...
The importance of appreciation (02/10/08)
One of the greatest gifts that most of us ever receive is to know that someone truly appreciated something you have done or given to them. Growing up, my mom's grandmother always had a way of making us kids feel that whatever gift we had given her was so special. In her later years, we remembered her opening a drawer and there would be nightgowns that we had given her years earlier...
The things children say (02/02/08)
The following bits of humor and wisdom from children were shared with me by a good friend via e-mail. She was in the bathroom putting on her makeup, under the watchful eyes of her young granddaughter as she'd done many times before. After she applied her lipstick and started to leave, the little one said, "But Gramma, you forgot to kiss the toilet paper good-bye!"...
Stories to tell (01/27/08)
In 2003, Dave Isay, the founder of StoryCorps, began collecting the stories of everyday Americans with the idea that everyone has an important story to tell. The following interview of Cynthia Rahn is from a collection of stories, "Listening is an Act of Love":...
A tale of Drifter and Tripper (01/19/08)
Four and a half years ago, my oldest son and I each bought a pup from a litter of English setters in Cunningham, Kan. They were brothers; I named mine Drifter because of his tendency to run big while out in the field, and my son, Lance, named his Tripper because as a pup he always seemed to be underfoot in their household...
Looking beyond the 'dead' of winter (01/12/08)
Some people refer to this time of the year as the "dark time." After Jan. 1, spring seems months away as we head into the dead of winter. Perhaps it is only natural as we finish out the old year with the flurry of activity and excitement that begins with Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's and is followed by shorter days and colder weather with Valentine's Day still six weeks away...
One tough Ford (12/15/07)
Ford Motor Company likes to talk about their pickups being built "Ford Tough." Here in Bourbon County, many of us had the experience of knowing Martha Ford, who passed away last week at the age of 87. If ever there was a pioneer woman, she gave new meaning to the term, "Ford Tough."...
Teachers make a difference (12/08/07)
An example of the impact that teachers make is shared in "Mentors, Masters and Mrs. McGregor:" "I had been a high school dropout at the age of 17, and finally I decided to go back to school to finish my high school diploma. The following September, I found out that community college was free. So I thought, "I'll try it," because college had always been a dream, and I didn't think I'd ever, ever get there...
On the sounds of silence (12/01/07)
I was reading an article the other day in the newspaper titled, "The Sounds of Silence." The author was describing the need to wear a hearing aid, but like his grandpa, he soon discovered that the world's idle chatter is sometimes best left unheard. ...
Veterans Day observance (11/24/07)
The Veterans Day observance last Sunday at the Fort Scott National Cemetery drew a hardy crowd. With winds whipping out of the south at about 30 miles an hour, it made the 11 a.m. observance a bit on the cool side. With that amount of wind, the "Avenue of Flags" presented a striking picture as one headed to the cemetery...
Last remnants of summer disappearing (11/10/07)
It's time for my annual pangs of withdrawal. With the hard freeze predicted this week, this year's tomato crop becomes history. Last weekend I picked the few survivors; I savored each of the slices, trying to make the flavor last. This week found me harvesting the green tomatoes on the day prior to the predicted freeze. I carefully wrapped them in newspaper with the hope of them ripening slowly over the next few weeks...
Being ‘in the zone' (11/03/07)
Wayne Gretsky, the hockey great, once talked about being "in the zone." To him that meant he could see in his mind's eye where the puck was going, even before he hit it with his stick. My zone came a couple of weeks ago while hunting in North Dakota with both boys and an old college roommate. My old roommate and I are well into the Social Security age, ahead of the Baby Boomers by a few years, while my sons are still hard chargers...
Fathers and the empty nest (10/27/07)
The following, concerning fathers and the empty nest, is from "Home with a Heart" by Dr. James Dobson. "The movie ‘Father of the Bride' is hilarious. But it's also a touching tribute to the love of a father for his daughter. When George, the dad, sits across from his daughter at the dinner table and learns that she's engaged, he takes the news hard. ...
Hunting dog and hunter both slowing down (10/20/07)
Both my bird dog and I are in trouble. After an unsuccessful attempt to heal the injuries to my dog’s foreleg, I was referred to a group of veterinarians in Kansas City. They reviewed the X-rays and concluded he had torn the ligaments in his right front leg. The diagnosis was he wouldn’t be able to hunt and run hard like before...
On Lake Fort Scott (10/13/07)
Several years ago, I received a fishing leson from Roscoe Campbell. He volunteered to take me to Lake Fort Scott, where we would fish for crappie. Roscoe had an old metal boat that showed the wear and tear of a real fisherman. We launched the boat, and he proceeded to drive the boat with one hand and fish with the other. By the time the lesson was over, I had managed to catch only a couple of fish while he had a dozen...
Woodcutting adventure (07/21/07)
A few weekends ago, at the beginning of the flooding, the 12-year-old grandson and I went on a woodcutting adventure. His parents had bought another house in Garnett, and this one came equipped with a fireplace. Last summer, while helping grandpa, he got into wood splitting with the use of a maul. He decided we needed to get some wood, so he could split it and keep the familly warm next winter...
My kid's a superstar (07/14/07)
The following from "Home with a Heart" by Dr. James Dobson is titled "My Kid's a Superstar": We all feel good about the successes of our children, and well we should. Problems arise, however, when the pride of the family is riding on the shoulders of an immature child. Boys and girls should know that they're accepted simply because of their own unique worth...
Simple Pleasures (07/01/07)
The following advice on embracing life is from "Attitudes of Gratitude" by M. J. Ryan: When we meet a vibrant, joy-filled older person, he or she stands out as an exception. But we don't have to lose the happiness of youth. All we need to do is to tap into our sense of gratitude, for when we do, we are like Little children again, seeing the world for the first time...
Airline Humor (05/30/07)
Our thanks to Anne Emerson for sharing the following airline stories:...
Anglers reel in a rock (05/13/07)
A couple of the local anglers have been running trot lines at the power plant lake at LaCygne. I was listening with interest as they told about catching blue gill for baitfish, stringing the lines, and seeing what treasures show up on the end of the hooks. For two days straight they ran the lines in the rain...
If you'd like to read this, press 1 (05/06/07)
Carolyn Gregory shared the following piece titled, "School Answering Machine." This is the message that the Pacific Palisades High School staff voted to record on their school telephone answering machine. This came about because they implemented a policy requiring students and parents to be responsible for their children's absences and missing homework...
Children and chicken pox (04/22/07)
The following excerpt is from "Chicken Soup for the Grandparent's Soul." It was written by Susan Amerikaner and is titled, "Grandma and the Chicken Pox." "What children don't understand, they fill in the blanks." -- Shirley Muck My twin boys were only seven years old when their paternal grandmother announced she was getting remarried. ...
Weather belies global warming (04/15/07)
It's all Al Gore's fault. Since I have been hearing so much about global warming, I keep moving up my planting dates for the garden. Another less honorable reason is that I like to have ripe tomatoes ahead of my neighbor down the street. A week before the deep freeze hit, or what some people call "The Arctic Clipper" came in from the north, I bought eighteen tomato plants and planted them in the garden, knowing I was off to a good start. ...
Visiting family (04/08/07)
A couple of weeks ago, my aunt and her granddaughter came to visit. As part of that visitation, we made a trip to Bolivar to see my youngest son and his children, all girls, ranging in age from 12 to almost three. Since we arrived in the middle of the afternoon during their spring break, we had a good time visiting with my son while waiting for mom to return from work. ...
First fishing adventure this year (04/01/07)
The first fishing trip of the year is always an adventure. This year proved no exception. Having made several minor repairs to my 29-year-old boat, I was anxious to put it in the water. I headed out to Bourbon County State Lake (Elm Creek Lake for you old-timers), which had recently been restocked. ...
Dick Hedges
Fort Scott Community College