FlyoverPeople Daily News

News for October 2006


October 31, 2006  Tuesday


6 p.m. Doorbell rings. I'm sitting at my computer next to the door. Dave answers the door and hands out candy.

"That was a unicorn," he said, closing the door.

"There's no such thing as a unicorn."

He gave me a look.

"If you'd get away from your typewriter once in a while and see the real world, you'd know there are unicorns," he said.


I grabbed a piece of Laffy Taffy out of the candy bowl. Strawberry. Laffy Taffy has jokes on the wrappers...

Q: What is a witch's favorite subject?

A: Spelling.




One of the neighbor girls brought us two tiny ghost-shaped cakes with ghost-like frosting. Mmmm. And two orange jello popcorn balls.

Wow. Treats! Delivered! And I didn't even have to dress up.




Stockton car dealership

Here's another one of those drive-through garage/gas station buildings that I like so much: Waller Motor Co. in Stockton, Kansas.

Stockton (pop. 1,477) is along U.S. 24 is the county seat of Rooks County. When I was in sixth grade and memorizing Kansas counties and county seats, my thinking went this way: Rooks... castle (chess)... fortresses... stockades... Stockton.

It was lunchtime on that Sunday Dave and I visited and we were looking for food. While downtown taking these photos, I met a well-dressed couple walking home from church, I assume (the man was carrying a Bible), and they suggested a place. But that restaurant was packed, so we drove to the next town: Osborne.

In the county/county seat game, Osborne was easy as pie: Osborne is the county seat of Osborne County.

Speaking of pie, I had a piece of delicious chocolate meringue at the Circle Restaurant in Osborne. I don't forget county seats and I don't forget where I had a good piece of pie. (OK, those aren't big talents, but it's likely they're the only talents I have.)



On the Air


If all goes as planned, I should be on Kansas Public Radio Tuesday morning, most likely at 6:35 and 8:35 a.m. talking about Autumn Leaves.

Update: try 6:55 a.m. Not sure yet on the time for the 8:00 hour -

maybe 8:35, maybe 8:55.

Listen "live" (to the FM stream)

Kansas Public Radio

or listen later to the archived commentary.

October 30, 2006  Monday


Halloween at the Cross House
At the Cross House in Emporia, they're ready for Halloween with tombstones in the yard and bodies hanging from the trees.



I'm gonna do it this year - NaNoWriMo. I've thought about it the past two or three Novembers, but this year, yeah, it's going to happen.

National Novel Writing Month is held each November - something to give light and pizzazz to one of the dreariest months on the calendar.

What I produce won't "count" because I won't be writing fiction and their rules say fiction only. (They say: "It doesn't have to be good or publishable, but it has to be a novel.")

Novel writing is not my thing, so I'll just be using the collective energy of the more than 60,000 participants to write 50,000 words during the month of November. That's only 1,666 words per day. I'll be writing essays instead of a novel, but 3-4 essays a day.

Participants have fun with this. Many of the finished novels lack a coherent plot. (My attempt at a novel would for sure.) And many aim for quantity rather than quality. After all, you can always clean it up later and fashion the writing into something presentable.

So, is anyone with me on this? Come on, it'll be fun - and you'll have a book at the end of November. Yeah, baby!


October 29, 2006  Sunday


Check out the Flyover People Halloween e-cards!!

(The creepy guy is Sen. Preston Plumb's portrait which hangs in his spooky library at Plumb House. The Halloween decorators added the fake eyes which glowed in the beam of a flashlight.)


Plumb Place at Halloween


Plumb Place, the former home of one of Emporia's founders (Sen. Preston B. Plumb), is all decked out for the Haunted Emporia Flashlight Tour Friday evening.


Some of the Flyover People gang went on the Haunted Emporia Flashlight Tour Friday night. A couple even drove up from Wichita to have dinner with us and take the tour.

Actors from ESU portrayed the lives of long-gone Emporia residents.

Four spooky places in Emporia were set up for visitors.

At the eerily-decorated Plumb Place, the former Preston Plumb home, Mrs. Plumb came back from the dead to tell

Plumb Place actor
"Mrs. Preston Plumb"

about the life she shared (not always happily) with Sen. Plumb.

Mrs. Gillette, original owner of the William Allen White home, told her story. She may haunt the home as well as William Allen White's dog, Teddy.

White's daughter, Mary White, wasn't portrayed as a ghost, but she told the story of her death at age 17 when she was knocked off a horse by a tree branch.

At ESU's Memorial Union, stories were told of unexplained events. Inside the Granada Theatre, photographer S.C. Dixon told about the darkroom ghost that haunts that place, but Rocky Slaymaker had a favorable impression of a spirit in the place.

See Dave's photo of a staircase at the haunted Granada.



I woke up at 6 a.m. this morning, but it was actually 5 a.m., thanks to Central Standard Time.

It's just an hour this way or that, but people have strong feelings about the turning of the clocks forward and back, the changing of time.

Some folks grumble about resetting their clocks, some people have problems adjusting their schedules, others hate the darkness or the light coming an hour earlier, an hour later.

Unless you live in Hawaii or Arizona, the time change is a fact of life.

Death, taxes, Daylight Saving Time.



Speed school

After my maternal grandparents graduated from Ft. Hays in the early 1920s, Speed, Kansas was the first place they taught school.

While this school building, although closed, is was probably built in the 1960s, I'm wondering if this bell was part of the school building where they taught. I lifted up the vine and didn't see a plaque or any information about where the bell came from.


October 27, 2006  Friday

America's Need for Speed


Welcome to Speed sign

Hot Wheels gave the town a new Welcome to Speed sign. It says "Recognized by Hot Wheels as the Birthplace of America's Need for Speed." Mattel, Inc. also painted the Hot Wheels logo on Speed's water tower.


Speed was the place to be on August 6. Mattel Inc. chose this town of 37 people to host their "Need for Speed" Hot Wheels Festival.

OK, we drove through Speed, Kansas, earlier this month and I don't see how/where they could've put the 10,000 visitors to the community. Ten thousand people and no restaurants, restrooms, motels, parking lots.

But it was cool that a big company chose a pretty much non-existent town in Northwest Kansas to hold their rally.

For more on the event, read "Back on the Map" from the Topeka Capital-Journal.



vacant buildings - Speed Kansas
There are only five streets in Speed and about 37 people.


October 26, 2006  Thursday

It's October. It's chilly outside. Yellow leaves on the ground are soaked from the morning rain. The sky is without color.

The best thing about fall is pumpkin-laced foods. I'm still a little miffed that Baskin-Robbins abandoned Emporia several years ago and left us without Pumpkin Pie ice cream - something which made October and November tolerable for me.

So, now I must seek out other orange foods: pumpkin bread, pumpkin pie, pumpkin roll-ups.

I did buy three sugar cookies with orange-colored frosting from Reeble's the other day. Stopped in this morning for a refill. Nope, they were out. So, I bought a few chocolate chip cookies, which were 30 cents apiece. Frosted sugar cookies are 40 cents and gourmet cookies are 50 cents each. (In case you needed to know that.)



mystery courthouse

Phillips County Courthouse

Phillipsburg, Kansas


October 25, 2006  Wednesday


Tuesday's Flyover People column: From Cuba to Lebanon.




Albert Taylor Hall at ESU was about half-full last night for the great debate - the Lieutenant Governor's Forum - between Democrat Mark Parkinson (running mate with Kathleen Sebelius) and Republican Susan Wagle (Jim Barnett's running mate). It was a polite event - not a lot of drama.

My friend Ele and I didn't sit too close, but from a distance, when he smiled, Mark Parkinson sort of, just vaguely, reminded me of Steve Martin - and that's a good thing, I like Steve Martin.

Here are the websites for the candidates:

Gov. Kathleen Sebelius

Sen. Jim Barnett

Early voting has begun. You can vote at the courthouse now, or at your regular polling place on Tuesday, November 7.



old gas station in Kensington KS
An old gas station in Kensington, Kansas.




milo field - Smith County

A milo field in Smith County.

Out near the "Home on the Range" cabin were some

long-reaching milo fields.

This is neither here nor there, but... I used to have a corduroy jacket the color of ripe milo. I wore that jacket out. You know, every once in a while you find the perfect garment and that

jacket was one of them.


Smith County map


Home on Range sign


October 24, 2006  Tuesday

My cousin Laramie just sent me a link to a story in The Hutchinson

News about my Great Aunt Ella (see 10/21 entry).



Fort Zarah - historical marker

U.S. 56 roughly follows the Santa Fe Trail. For 1.5 miles east of Great Bend, the highway follows the actual Trail (according to a road sign.) Just east of town is a park with trees, grass and a few picnic tables - marking the location of Fort Zarah.

There used to be more trees when I was a younster and this seemed to be a dark and mysterious place - full of trouble and danger. Or perhaps my mind just attached this location to the spooky "parking" urban legends that my older cousin Mary told me.

(I saw my cousin Mary at Aunt Ella's funeral on Saturday and she says she doesn't remember some of the things that I say she told me. But, yes, I did learn about the birds and the bees from you, Mary. And I was very appreciative of the information.)

Anyway, the Santa Fe Trail is something we Pawnee Rockers have always been proud of - since we were custodians of "the famous lookout along the Santa Fe Trail" and all.

Here's more information on Fort Zarah, courtesy of Larry and Carolyn Mix of St. John. Check out their home page for loads of info on the rest of the Trail.




boat garage
Great Bend


October 23, 2006  Monday



Little River water tower

Saturday, on the way home from Great Bend, I drove through the

Rice County town of

Little River

(pop. 523).

Like Lehigh, it's one of those towns that's not set quite square on the Kansas grid.

If you

zoom in on

this map, you can see that the town is slightly off kilter.


Cheryl's Cafe - Little River
For a small place, Little River's downtown is fairly active. Not only is there Cheryl's Little River Cafe, but across the street is Fat Boyz, another restaurant.


The old Burke Grain and Livestock building

It's probably just the way the carved panels were divided into manageable chunks, but they have a space in the word livestock: live stock.

But anyway, now, of course, I wonder why they word "live" was added to stock in the first place - to distinguish the

live stock from the dead stock?



October 22, 2006  Sunday


Pawnee Rock  - The Rock

A trip out to Pawnee Rock isn't complete without circling The Rock. Here's a piece of The Rock, looking every bit as cold as the wind-scraped day it was. You know though, The Rock is seldom left alone. Even on this blustery day, two out-of-county cars were parked at the top of this State Historical Site.

When I visited with my dad in Great Bend yesterday afternoon, he pointed out that in the Summer 2006 issue of the Kansas History, a photo of the original Pawnee Rock monument is featured on the inside cover.


October 21, 2006  Saturday




My Great Aunt Ella Dirks died Wednesday. She was my grandmother's "little sister."

Ella was 102 and got around fairly well until about a year or two ago. And apparently her mind was clear till the end.

Most of my contact with Ella and Harv was at church when I was a youngster. We attended the Bergthal Mennonite Church three miles north of Pawnee Rock.

Family and friends gathered this morning at Bryant Funeral Home in Great Bend. Pastors Todd and Lynn Schlosser conducted the service. They have been ministers at the church for, I don't know, maybe 5-6 years now.

"It has been a joy to know Ella," the Rev. Lynn Schlosser said as she began the eulogy. "I found a note from another pastor and she wrote, 'Ella is unfailingly cheerful... .'"

"One visit stands out," Schlosser said, "the only time I wasn't able to get the daily smile. She cried and shared how much she missed Harvey and Homer and Leon." (Her husband and sons who preceded her in death.)


Aunt Ella was grandmother to my grade school classmate, Darla Dirks (now Clarke). Darla often sang to Ella in the nursing home and at the funeral she gave us, "Be Not Afraid."

I'd only seen Darla once since 8th grade - but I recognized her right away. It was so good to see her again.


From Great Bend, I drove in the funeral procession the 10 miles or so to the Mennonite Memorial Cemetery north of Pawnee Rock.

Yesterday was shorts weather, but on this 37-degree day, a 30-mph north wind whipped the canvas funeral tent. Mourners crowded in. Canvas panels on the north and west sides provided a bit of protection.


Mennonite Cemetery - burial


The burial service was brief: prayers, "dust to dust" and the hymn "God Be With You Till We Meet Again." We scurried to our cars and then gathered to share a meal in the basement of the nearby Mennonite Church.




So... I had lunch with cousins Mary, Brenda and Laramie Jr. I hadn't seen Laramie for 16 years.


Laramie and Michelle Unruh

Michelle and Laramie Unruh


Laramie and I have exchanged occasional e-mails the past year or two and it was a special treat to see him today and meet his lovely wife. (The word lovely just seems appropriate - Michelle is warm and cheerful and pretty.)


My brother (who was named after Harvey and Ella's son, Leon) has written a nice tribute to Aunt Ella.


October 20, 2006  Friday


Smith Center - old gas station
Smith Center, Kansas


October 19, 2006  Thursday


Yes, I know, it's 8 p.m. and I haven't posted anything yet today! My friend Flips (not her real name) can't sleep if I don't post something every day. She worries, thinking poor little Cheryl has taken ill. My friend Roger just naturally assumes that I've been abducted. Neither is true today - I've just been busy. By the way, Roger's birthday is on Saturday. If you're up at ESU tomorrow, stop by the Memorial Union Information desk and say "Happy Birthday, Roger!"

Gas has been pinging around this week... $2.07, $2.19, $2.15. On Monday, gas sold in Lawrence for $1.99.


While doing laundry, I hit the jackpot - three quarters left in Dave's jeans. Usually all I find are pennies and the occasional flash drive.

Oh happy day, The Gazette has changed their online format, so the Flyover People columns are now accessible - free of charge!

Here's this week's column: North by Northwest.


The elevator at Lebanon.

But ooh, look at the pretty blue sky.

Kansas is full of pretty blue skies.

Lebanon elevator



October 18, 2006  Wednesday



Now you can send Flyover People e-cards!

Send a Kansas rainbow, autumn leaves, sunflowers...





October 17, 2006  Tuesday


Janet Campbell, J. Schafer and Nick Haines

Kansas Public Radio's on-air fund drive, Fall Fanfare, is in progress this week. Raising money yesterday morning during "Morning Edition" are: Janet Campbell, KPR General Manager;

J. Schafer, KPR's News Director; and Nick Haines of KCPT in Kansas City.

The goal for yesterday's 3-hour "Morning Edition" session was $5,500 and we (we? I helped answer phones) raised about $7,000 during that time period.


You can listen online and pledge online.

Kansas Public Radio


October 16, 2006  Monday




American flag/monument at center of U.S.

One of the highlights of the trip - the geographical center of the United States (well, the 48 contiguous states.)

This place was marked before Alaska and Hawaii were admitted to the Union and besides, factoring them in would make the whole "center of the U.S." somewhat meaningless.

Kansas, Midway U.S.A. That's us.


The geographic center of the U.S. is a mile or so north and west of Lebanon, Kansas, in Smith County.


My understanding is that the actual center of the U.S. is nearby on private land, but this is where they put the marker.


monument with flag

In case you're wondering...

Latitude: 39 degrees, 50'

Longitude: 98 degrees, 35'

NE 1/4 - SE 1/4 - S 32 -T2S- R11 W


tiny chapel at the U.S. Geographic Center near Lebanon

A tiny chapel.



"Pray America"

Only four seats in this tiny chapel.

Inside, guests are encouraged to write their names, hometowns, and comments.

interior of chapel at geographic center of U.S.


Center of U.S. sign




inflatable shark - Wamego Tulip Festival

New, just for you, Dave's black-and-white gallery: casual images.

These are great pictures.
Dave recommends checking the "about this collection"
page for some background on the new gallery.


October 15, 2006  Sunday


1902 Mosely Folding Bathtub

In 1902, this Mosely folding bathtub sold for $28.

I'd never heard of a folding bathtub. When you want to bathe, you just lower it, fill it, use it, drain it, and fold it back up again. Pretty nifty.

We found this in the Jewell County Museum in Mankato.

To the left is Dave taking a photo of the 6-legged pig in a jar.


October 14, 2006  Saturday



Friday, October 27, 2006

The first annual flashlight tour of haunted Emporia with interactive phantom theatre.

A benefit for ESU Theatre scholarships, the Granada Theatre Alliance, Plumb Place and the White Historic Site.

Performances begin on the hour

at 6, 7, 8 and 9 p.m.

Begin at any of the following haunted sites:

William Allen White State Historic Site

ESU Memorial Union - Enter from Kellogg Circle

ESU Granada Theatre Alliance

Plumb Place, Inc.

Adults $8

College $6

Child over 5 and Senior Citizens $4

Group or family up to 5 people - $20

Tickets are available at ESU Memorial Union Information Center, the Sweet Granada, the Granada Coffee Company or the William Allen White State Historic Site Visitor Center.

Bring your own flashlight!!



Emporia Democratic HQ
a seasonal store in Emporia


October 13, 2006  Friday



The view from my driveway.


7:23 a.m.


Red in the morning, sailor take warning.



Ooooh, it's Friday the 13th!


A while back I mentioned discovering Unruh Fire, a fire truck-building company in Sedgwick. Well, I wrote to them to find out if they had a T-shirt that they would be willing to sell me.


Unruh Fire T-shirt


the front, the back


Unruh Fire t-shirt back




More from Mankato, the county seat of Jewell County....


The Young Men's Christian Association - turned public library.


Farmer's State Bank window - Mankato
Farmer's State Bank - Mankato


I've only gotten up to the Mankato pictures (I can't help myself, I'm posting them pretty much in chronological order).

Dave, however, has posted a shot from Cawker City: Cheryl and the Great Ball O'Twine.



October 12, 2006  Thursday


Jewell County Courthouse - Mankato
Jewell County Courthouse - Mankato


Republic County Courthouse
Republic County Courthouse - Belleville


October 11, 2006  Wednesday


Here's yesterday's Flyover People column about Nicodemus, Kansas.


Nicodemus Town Hall



garage/shop in Cuba

Now entering Cuba, Kansas.

This town has been well-documented by National Geographic photographer Jim Richardson. Cuba was featured in the

May 2004 issue. Richardson, a Belleville native, has been photographing Cuba for over 30 years.

I liked this building because it reminded me of my dad's shop (no longer standing) in Pawnee Rock. His building was a former gas station and had that drive-through triangle. And trees in front like this.


Cuba Cash store


October 10, 2006  Tuesday


Cheryl's Link of the Day:

The Gazette's webcam - downtown Emporia

This webcam is looking east (from Broadview Tower, I assume.) The first intersection is 6th and Commercial (K-99/US-50). The second intersection is 6th and Mechanic. Just beyond Mechanic Street, the large gray-white building on the right is William Lindsey White Civic Auditorium.

The elevator in the background is Bunge (pronounced BUN-gee).

They take in soybeans.



Last night, "Paper Moon" was on one of the movie channels. It's been a long time since I watched this film. At one point, when Addie and Moses were cruising around Central Kansas, it's as if they were name-dropping towns: Lucas, Sylvan Grove, Lincoln, Great Bend, Hoisington, Wilson.

This 1973 movie, shot in black and white, was filmed mostly in Kansas, and the scenery looks like Kansas. Tatum O'Neal, 10, won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress, the youngest person to win in a competitive category.



Back to the trip....


Haddam history
A rival town, also named Haddam.


Haddam- old building
in downtown Haddam


Haddam Cafe
Haddam Caf-e


October 9, 2006  Monday


The banks are closed; no mail today. Columbus Day.


sunrise 10-09-06



The view from my driveway.

07:15 a.m.




Marcon Pie Bakery - Washington, KS

Washington, Kansas is the "Pie Capital of Kansas." Unfortunately, MarCon Pies was closed last Saturday when we were there, or I'd have slipped in and bought a chocolate-something-or-other pie.

I liked their sign: Campground to the left; Office to the right.

Campground, office, campground, office...

Campground? A pie campground?

Reebles Grocery Stores in Emporia sell MarCon pies.


October 8, 2006  Sunday


Haddam Jail


Haddam Jail

Haddam, population 160, Washington County


From Marci Penner's Guidebook for Kansas Explorers:

"Haddam's 1901 election produced an all-woman city council along with a female mayor, city clerk, and police judge, even though women were not given the right to vote until 1912. One of the council's first acts was to commission building a limestone jail 'for the containment of Haddam's unruly men.'"

And yes, 1912 is correct. Kansas women had the right to vote eight years before the 19th Amendment was passed.

Washington State gave women the right to vote in 1910, California in 1911, and in 1912, Arizona, Kansas and Oregon passed similar legislation.





Ten years ago today, while crossing the street in front of his house in Pawnee Rock, my dad got hit by a pickup truck. The driver was blinded by the morning sun and Dad, perhaps, didn't look both ways well enough.

An ambulance hauled him to Great Bend. Dave got the call from Betty, came and told me at work and we headed west toward Great Bend, but prepared to turn south. At Canton, I found a payphone (didn't have a cell back then) and called the hospital. He was being flown by helicopter to Wichita. So, we turned South and beat the helicopter to Wesley.

Dad was unconscious, not responding. A head injury. I had a moment with him before they wheeled him into emergency surgery.

Then followed the long days of waiting for a sign of hope, of movement. He was in a coma. For 12 long days. Then his eyelids flickered. Then they opened. We saw those blue eyes again. But they didn't see me. He didn't know me for about another 2-3 weeks - long weeks of walking the halls in Wesley Medical Center.

I credit Betty, my stepmother, with praying him back to life. She dug in her heels and would not think a negative thought.

After a month at Wesley, he was transferred back to Great Bend. By December 14 he was home and walking and talking with nearly all of his memory back. There was still months of recovery ahead.

Last March, Dad celebrated his 80th birthday.


October 7, 2006  Saturday


Americus Days Parade

Bike-riding children in the Americus Days Parade.


While I was snapping shots of the WAW Childrens Book parade, Dave photographed the parade in Americus.








The Bubbleman

Ron Tibbetts, The Bubbleman, hoops a youngster this morning in Webb Lecture Hall at Emporia State University.

Yes, those are Santa Clauses on Tibbetts shirt. This is a man having fun.


face painting

A fourth-grader from Valley Center, Laramie Unruh

(well yes, she is related, I'm proud to say),

gets her face painted.

Laramie and 16 other kids from Valley Center climbed on a bus at 6:30 this morning to travel to Emporia.


About 500 kids from across the state of Kansas participated today. Events at ESU included face-painting, writing fan letters to authors, beading, looking at zoo animals, having temporary tattoos applied, being bubbled and having characatures drawn.


parade of book readers

Young readers parade from ESU campus down Commercial Street, enroute to W.L. White Civic Auditorium

for the awards ceremony.



kids from Holcomb
The readers of Holcomb, Kansas.


This was a noisy parade. Sure there were two bands - Emporia Middle School and Emporia High School, but most of the volume came from the kids: "We're from Fowler, couldn't be prouder, if you can't hear us, we'll yell a little louder."

I ran into Gazette reporter Scott Rochat along on the sidewalk. As the herd of kids marched down the block, the chatter and chants all blended together and faded a bit in the distance.

"Sounds like a bunch of starlings," I told Scott.

"Less likely to attract shotguns though," he said.

(Emporia has a long-standing feud with the annoying starlings. When clouds of these birds take over neighborhoods, sometimes the cops come out and fire off a few rounds -- which merely chases the birds to the next neighborhood.)

Emporia High's band played "Stars and Stripes Forever."

"I'll have that tune running through my head the rest of the day," Scott said. But a few minutes later, I heard him sing along with the band, "On Wisconsin, on Wisconsin," so maybe that song is stuck in his head now. I know Wisconsin is still on my mind.


dog watches parade
Everybody loves a parade - even the dog.


dog watching parade


October 6, 2006  Friday


Dodge City is the county seat of Ford County.

Does Ford County have like a Chevorlet Township?

Just wondering.



Hey, I'm on the air this morning at 6:35 and 8:35 a.m.

Listen Live:

Click here:

Kansas Public Radio


Or listen later to the archived commentary.

Read Along: Autumn in the Air



More from Washington, Kansas...


Using Marci Penner's Guidebook for Kansas Explorers, we easily found many of the sites and attractions in the town of Washington. It was like a scavenger hunt, tracking everything down.

Fun stuff, too.


Mayor of Munchkinland House

Washington, Kansas

Once upon a time, Charlie and Jessie Becker lived here. Charlie played the Mayor of Munchkinland in

The Wizard of Oz film.


Cutouts of Oz characters leaned against the house.


Munchkinland  playground - Washington

Munchkinland Playground - Washington City Park

With an Oz theme, this is a $90,000 community-built playground. Volunteers put in 14,000 hours.


playground tube

Cheryl slides down the Munchkinland plastic tube.



October 5, 2006  Thursday


Tune in to KPR-FM tomorrow (Friday) morning at 6:35 and/or 8:35 a.m and likely you'll hear me talking about fall and football and Friday nights.


Kansas Public Radio




Barnes (pop. 144) is in Washington County and has two, count 'em, two dining establishments: the Hometown Cafe and Our Daily Bread. We ate lunch at the cafe and bought scones and a cookie at the bakery.

Barnes is along Kansas Highway 9.


Barnes - old gas station, water tower

I like old gas stations, so gas stations may be a recurring theme on the Daily News.

Dave collects water towers.

You'll find his ever-increasing stash here.



Hometown Cafe

The Hometown Cafe in Barnes serves pan-fried chicken on Wednesdays. We were there on a Saturday, but we had a nice roast beef plate with mashed potatoes, gravy, carrots, rolls and tapioca pudding. $5.

This is a very clean place and Pat is a friendly waitress. "Usually there's five or six bachelors in here by now (11 a.m.), but they had to go to a funeral."


Barnes Merchantile
The Barnes Mercantile is in the 1895 Dearborn Opera House.



October 4, 2006  Wednesday

OK, I have like a kazillion pictures from this last weekend's adventure to north central and northwest Kansas. I'm just torn about how to post them.

I like chronological order. My nature says to post them in sequence- all the Waterville pictures, then all the Barnes photos, then Washington, etc.

But I may just put pictures up as they call to me.

So we may be bouncing around the state without rhyme or reason. Take a Dramamine pill if you become dizzy.



sign that says



I believe this sign was north of Manhattan on U.S. 24.




Waterville Public Library
Small towns usually still maintain a public library.


October 3, 2006   Tuesday


Cheryl's Link of the Day:

This is cool... Free Hugs


From the Associated Press:

Nickerson: Camel Escape Ends in Tragedy.



Washington County Courthouse, Washington, KS
Washington County Courthouse - Washington, Kansas


civil war weapon

On the courthouse lawn.

The plaque is pictured below.


plaque - Grand Army of the Republic 1861-1865


writing on top of weapon
I can't read the writing on top of this weapon. Is that Japanese?


It's Homesteading all over again. The City of Washington is offering free residential and business lots. Free! (Check out the Free Lot link on their website:

Washington is a town of about 1,200 people. I counted three floral shops, so they must be a cheerful and giving bunch of people.


free commercial lot sign
This lot is just south of the courthouse.



October 2, 2006   Monday


Main Street - Waterville

Downtown Waterville

Waterville (pop. 646) is in Marshall County and claims that it is the Stock Trailer Capital of Kansas. Apparently three businesses in town manufacture stock trailers.



Waterville Opera House
1903 Waterville Opera House - still in use.


The community is gathering $500,000 for the renovation of the Weaver Hotel. Weaver House - Waterville



October 1, 2006   Sunday

Boy, do we have a lot to share with you! Dave and I took a 2-day excursion into north central and northwestern Kansas.

I don't even know where to begin. There was so much good stuff to see and photograph out there. So in the weeks ahead, expect a lot of cool stuff.

We were westbound on US36 and I slammed on the brakes when I saw the sign to the "Home on the Range" cabin. For some reason, I was thinking this cabin was located near the Colorado border, so it hadn't even been in my plans for this trip.

What a treasure. This was one of the highlights of the weekend:


Log cabin in grassy area near creek

Here it is, folks, the log cabin where Dr. Brewster Higley penned the poem, "My Western Home." After set to music, it became the beloved "Home on the Range," which, as you all know, is the state song of Kansas.

This cabin is along Beaver Creek about 8 miles north and 1 mile west of the tiny town of Athol in Smith County.


plaque with lyrics to Home on the Range


The cabin is on private property, but visitors are welcome. It's a beautiful wooded spot in the country, just past several colorful milo fields and a family of wild turkeys.


This dog lives at the residence near the "Home on the Range" cabin.

What a sweet dog.

black and white dog


And, just for the record, it was 97 degrees this afternoon when we were in Mitchell County.

Gotta love it. (Well, you don't have to love it, but I did. Can you believe it -- nearly 100-degrees on October 1.)



Past News


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All Content Copyright 2004-2006 by Cheryl Unruh
Text: Cheryl Unruh

Photography: Cheryl Unruh

P.O. Box 1215, Emporia, Kansas 66801