Thursday, September 11, 2008

Great audience, Guitars, and Saltwater Taffy

WenDee and I had lots of fun doing a power point on Kansas at the Wichita library yesterday. About a dozen Kansas Explorer Club members were among the audience of 100+. We showed pictures of the 24 finalists of our first three 8 Wonders contests. It seems that people just can't get enough of hearing about Kansas. Once they are primed they love to tell you stories about their trips around the state and ask for ideas on places to go. One lady had come to a program I had done years earlier and she remembered the phrase, "Explorers like to pay full price." That's right! Shop local, we say! Feel good about spending money in small towns!

Explorers Rita and Dean Pressnall were in attendance. Tomorrow Dean and his son Brian are heading out to rural northeast Kansas to go exploring. They'll make stops in Atchison and Leavenworth but also in Troy, White Cloud, the ghost town of Doniphan and more. I hope they stop in Robinson to buy some items at the community-owned grocery store and in Denton to buy stamps at the most nostalgic post office in the state.

Jamie Frazier Tracy, a friend of KSF assistant director WenDee LaPlant, was also at the program. Afterwards we walked across the street to her place of employement -- the Wichita-Sedgwick County Historical Museum in the majestic 1892 limestone former city hall. What a beautiful building! We met the new museum director, Eric Cale, and Jamie also showed us the new and very cool electric guitar display! Hope you get to see it! WenDee is going to post pictures and hours for the museum.

We stopped at the Sedgwick County Extension Office to present Bob Neier with the Fromme-Birney Round Barn beveled masonite poster. The round barn near Mullinville was one of the top 8 Wonders of Kansas Architecture. Guess where he's going to put the poster first? In the hallway of the Bucklin Nursing Home. Why's that? That's where Mrs. Fromme and also Bob's dad now reside. That kind of reasoning is what I love about Kansas.

We went to the state fair for a bit today. Fun to see people like Sally Fuller who has been there every minute promoting Liberal as a place to visit. We saw Jennifer Mueller urging people to vote for the Blue Sky sculpture for the 8 Wonders of Kansas Art. Dennis Katzenmeier was all dressed up in his cowboy duds promoting Ellsworth, the National Drovers Hall of Fame, and Kansas Cattletowns. After we got some biscuits and gravy and huge cinnamon roll from the Wheatland Cafe (Hudson) booth we bumped into Clara Kilbourn and Sandra Melbourn from the Hutchinson News. We sat down beside them and before I could blink Clara had dived into my B&G and deemed it terrific! And it was. We got a little rowdy but it was fun. When they got their notepads out we knew it was time to leave. We saw Clara later at the pig races. We couldn't leave the fair without a Pronto Pup and now I'm sitting in my office back at the barn and I can't stop eating the saltwater taffy that you just have to buy at the fair. I only have one left. I'll finally stop.

A post from Marci Penner, KE #2

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