Monday, November 18, 2013


It seems so cut and dry.  A grocery store opening.  

In a small town, a grocery store opening is everything, it's about sustainability.  It's about a future.

A grocery store makes a town functional.

Morland is a town of about 150 people.

For a wholesale truck to stop, a store has to buy $10,000 worth of inventory a week.

This fact, plus utility costs, has made it almost impossible for small towns to have a store.  Morland found a way.

Due to a very determined Morland Community Foundation board and a supportive citizenry, a store that provides groceries in Morland is once again open after a eight year hiatus.  The Foundation purchased the building and refurbished it.
The corner brick building comes complete with awning, benches, good sidewalks, and a new furnace.
Buffed wooden floors and a restored tin-pressed metal ceiling promote the original look.   The counter is from the old store.  The new shelves weren't quite filled at the time of this picture but before the ribbon-cutting a truck came in and volunteers came to unload the truck and stock the shelves. 
A sunny sky and warm temperatures made for a perfect ribbon cutting day on November 16.  It seemed there were more than 100 people present to help celebrate, the majority of which were Morland citizens.  People came from throughout the county but also from Oakley, Scott City, Manhattan, and Topeka. This was definitely something to cheer about.  Rhonda Goddard did a great job as em cee.
Governor Sam Brownback took time from pheasant hunting to say a few words, to acknowledge the value of rural communities, and to cut the ribbon.
Skip Yowell, one of the founders of JanSport, moved back to an unincorporated burg in the county, St. Peter.  Just the fact that he is Graham County by Choice, when he could've lived anywhere, is quite a statement.  Here he talks about moving back.  

In the background, as she prefers to be, is Faye Minium.  Faye, Citizens State Bank president, is the indefatigable force behind this effort.

It was pretty cool that local business owners got to say a few words. Mike Frakes of PAC Leader Technology talked about the software his company sells that provides guidance and steering for ag equpiment, field computers, and more.

Mac Carpeli talked about the Morland MakerSpace Institute.  It's a rural community lab and incubator.
Dave Procter, director of the Rural Grocery Store Initiative, and his wife Sandy, came from Manhattan to help celebrate and to shop!
WenDee LaPlant, Kansas Sampler Foundation, Inman bought enough groceries to earn a spin on the wheel!  Diana Crouch, the wheel was lots of fun!

Larry Crouch from St. Peter handed out Morland Mercantile mugs.  Customers were made to feel pretty special.

Tessa and Sharon are glad to fill two of three new jobs the grocery store added  to Morland. 

And, a volunteer job, too.  Don is the bag boy and carried groceries out with a smile.

Mark Joslyn (on right), owner of Joslyn's Food Center in Hoxie, is ordering for Morland, thus making it possible to get around the volume minimum, which means making it possible for Morland to have a working store.  Store manager Ron Radcliffe (left) is up for the challenge to get this store off to a great start.

If as much effort is made to keep the store open as was to get it ready to open, Morland will have a successful store for years to come.   

If you're driving down U.S. 24, make it a point to stop and shop.  It'll help you "Get Kansas!" 

Hours are: Monday-Friday 7 a.m.-6:30 p.m.; Saturday 7 a.m.-2 p.m.
From a spot on the road, Kansas Explorer #2, Marci Penner

Monday, November 11, 2013

Community tributes to veterans

It seems that almost every town in Kansas has some kind of memorial to veterans, whether it be recently made or dates back to the Civil War.  Here are a few that we have found on our ERV trip.

Courthouse square, Iola

Courthouse square, Great Bend

Sac and Fox tribal offices, Reserve, Brown County

Avenue E and 26th, Wilson

Old parade ground, Fort Dodge

Fort Riley Cemetery

Ulysses Cemetery, E. 160

Tribune, N. K-27

Hoisington Cemetery (northeast corner of town, bordering K-4), 
African American folk art gravestone

Courthouse square, Holton

Prairie People's Park, Prairie Band of the 
Potawatomi Indian Reservation, Jackson County

Artwork memorial at Prairie People's Park Veteran's Memorial

Courthouse square, Mankato

Courthouse grounds, McPherson

City park, Parkerville, Morris County

City park, White City, Morris County

Woodland Cemetery, a National Cemetery for 
Civil War soldiers, Mound City, Linn County

Highland Cemetery (E. K-106), Minneapolis.  
GAR memorial in background.

Larned Cemetery, 1 mile west of Larned on K-156, 
then 1/2 mile south.

Larned Cemetery

Pocket park, 1st and Walnut, Hutchinson

Veterans Memorial Park, E. U.S. 40, Russell

Courthouse square, Scott City

Veterans Memorial, U.S. 54

Veterans display, Museum of the Great Plains, Leoti

Courthouse square, Yates Center

Civil War Memorial Arch leading in to 
Heritage Park, Junction City

When you see how communities honor their veterans it should help you "get Kansas."