File photo:  Senate Chamber in the Kansas Capitol (I couldn’t find a picture of the House Chamber.)

Next Saturday, June 18, I’ll be giving a reading from my book, Flyover People, in the Kansas House Chamber as part of the month-long celebration called Savor Kansas in honor of the state’s sesquicentennial.

And notable Kansan Don Lambert will portray Capitol muralist John Steuart Curry at the same event.

From the Emporia Gazette:

On June 18 at 10 a.m. there will be two speaking performances in the Capitol House of Representative Chamber that celebrate Kansas history and heritage, each with Emporia connections. Emporia’s Cheryl Unruh will be reading selected essays from her book, Flyover People, Life on the Ground in a Rectangular State. A native of Pawnee Rock, Cheryl’s gift for writing helps us “see” Kansas in new and subtle ways, including the value of home, family, neighbors and fellow Kansans both present and past. Her book is a collection of essays that have appeared in the Emporia Gazette since January 2003.

Actor, historian and native Kansan Don Lambert will portray John Steuart Curry, the Kansas born artist from rural Jefferson County who created the murals in the Kansas Capitol. Lambert bases his performance on research as well as friendships with Curry’s widow, son-in-law, brother and sister. William Allen White was a key member of Kansas Murals Commission that brought Curry back to Kansas in 1937 to paint the murals. By that time Curry had achieved national recognition as an American Regionalist. Most of his art depicted rural Kansas scenes of memories from his youth that were painted during the 1920’s and 1930’s.

Both performances are arranged by Savor Kansas, a Topeka based grass roots committee established to celebrate Kansas’ 150 years of statehood. There is no charge to the public and seating is limited. Attendees should plan to arrive at the Capitol building by 9:15 a.m. to allow time to clear security (east entrance). The House chamber is in the west wing, third level.


Book sales aren’t allowed in the Statehouse, but following the reading, I’ll be at SouthWind Gallery, 3074 SW 29th in Topeka, for a book-signing event for anyone interested.


  1. Oh, Cheryl, I wish I could be there and be proud of you in person! Unfortunately I’m at a baby shower and then the “knittin’ day” at the farmer’s market, but you will be fantastic!
    Don’t forget to look up and see the paintings on the ceiling–oh, I think you’ve already posted pictures of that. (and now I can say I know the FAMOUS Cheryl Unruh!)

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