Memorial Day: To a cousin I never knew

The war memorial at the Johnson County Courthouse has a name I know, but he’s someone I never met. It lists him with the fallen of World War II, but that isn’t quite right. He survived that war. As I was growing up, I was fascinated by the career and the family stories and photos ofContinue reading “Memorial Day: To a cousin I never knew”

Passing acquaintances in the campground

In many ways, campgrounds are a lot like small towns and rural areas. Everyone smiles and waves at everyone else. Whether walking, driving or sitting outside, we give every passing vehicle or person a friendly greeting.  Sometimes you can tell when one of your camping neighbors has friends or family visiting. These are the folksContinue reading “Passing acquaintances in the campground”

Yellowstone in 200 words and 40-ish photos

At the top of Vicki’s bucket list for travel in 2022 was Yellowstone National Park. We planned the summer around it, but made time for the Montana Dinosaur Trail, the Badlands and cousins in South Dakota and 10 days in Canada. But Yellowstone is clearly “WOW!” territory. The eruptions that formed the landscape are someContinue reading “Yellowstone in 200 words and 40-ish photos”

Wings Over Topeka: Visiting the Combat Air Museum

My first trip in an aircraft was while I was in college, on the way back from Harrison, Arkansas. A guy with what made me think of a Korean War helicopter from M*A*S*H was giving flights for $20. We went up a few hundred feet, circled around a bit, then landed. It was one ofContinue reading “Wings Over Topeka: Visiting the Combat Air Museum”

Roots: The church that faces north

The realization dawned slowly, then became clear as day. Vicki and I had attended Sunday services at a historic church in rural Kansas, east of Manhattan. As I was hunting for a good photo of the front of this stone structure, I was frustrated by the lighting. Then I understood why. The front was shaded,Continue reading “Roots: The church that faces north”

Twilight Zone: Breaking the Dawn

For most of my career, I worked the swing shift, starting somewhere between 2 p.m. and 5 p.m., and then working until midnight or much later. That often meant I was working at sunset, stuck inside a building. Often with no windows. Sunrise? What’s that? I knew it happened, but most days you couldn’t proveContinue reading “Twilight Zone: Breaking the Dawn”

What we found at the center of the nation

There is a destructive idea at the center of this great nation. I mean this literally. Absolutely literally. Vicki and I were visiting cousins in Belle Fourche, South Dakota. One of their community’s claims to fame is being the closest city to the geographic center of the United States. Since we already have a photoContinue reading “What we found at the center of the nation”

Labor Day: Life downstairs at an American mansion

Big houses are cool.  Downton Abbey we all know from TV.  Biltmore, when the Vanderbilts built more than anyone else in the United State at that time, was where I got up close (only inches away) from an original Albrecht Dürer woodcut! Sheridan, Wyoming, has its own version of the big house, right up onContinue reading “Labor Day: Life downstairs at an American mansion”