Monday, July 13, 2009

Buying stamps in Bison

The Kansas Explorers Club Happening took place in Wallace this past weekend. Part of the plan is to encourage people to enjoy the journey on the way to the Happening.

We had terrific Exploring stops in Lyons, Otis, Bison, LaCrosse, Ransom, Utica, and Russell Springs before getting to Sharon Springs. For now, let's just talk about Bison, population 229, and Otis, population 316, in Rush County.

I love it when the Kansas Sampler Foundation needs stamps at the same time that we're headed out on a road trip. We get to choose a small town post office to make a usually substantial purchase. Bison got the business this time. Maureen was a very friendly and engaging post master who was grateful for the business -- which makes it feel even better.

$108 later, we left the post office. Amount of revenue decides salary, hours, and even whether or not a post office gets a digital scale or the antique version. When the revenue declines too much, the post office is in danger of closing.

Post offices are often a hub in a small town and you sometime see signs like this.

The red-brick corner bank is next to the post office. They have historic pictures of Bison inside.

Look closely here against the leaves but you'll see iron cut-out street signs shaped like bison.

When have you last seen a First ME Church -- I mean, First Methodist Episcopal Church. This one was built in 1921. It was locked so we couldn't see the inside. Beautiful exterior.

The cool looking Peter Brack Memorial band shell is found in the Otis park. It was named after a Russian immigrant. At 3rd and Eagle is a decorative entrance found above the doors of the 1931 school. Could that be Carthalite?

Exploring Kansas is all about the journey. There is so much to see, so much to "get" about Kansas if we just open our eyes.

KE #2 Marci Penner

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