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Category Archives: Faith

A Cowboy’s Faith: Trees provide cooling shade

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.“I know which shade tree I want.”

A horseshow parent made that comment while unfolding three lawn chairs under the biggest tree around the arena. Soon chairs were placed under every one of the nine trees on the show grounds.

Actually it is one of a few if not the only arena with such convenient shade for show spectators. However, trees in parking areas anywhere near an arena are first to have trucks and trailers parked beside them. Often exhibitors arrive at a show early in order to get their favorite shaded parking location.

When the show gets underway, and the sun is bearing down between events, horseback riders are found under shade trees. Fortunately a number of eastern and central Kansas horse event arenas do have some trees for shade nearby.

Still many arenas have been constructed in fields far from trees and have no shade. That’s why many modern day exhibitors have portable tents and trailer awnings quickly setup on arrival at show grounds.

Shade from trees really does make a big difference in the outside temperature. Thermometers have proven it can be more than 30 degrees cooler under a shade tree than out in the sun.

Obviously that’s the case or people wouldn’t be so anxious to find the first tree they can for the shade. All one has to do is be out in the sun, go under a shade tree and immediately feel cooler.

From your closet to the Prom Closet

The 2021 Prom Closet was held in Burlingame and featured more than 75 dresses. Dress donations are welcomed for the next prom store in 2022. Courtesy photo.

Help House welcomes dresses for next year’s prom store

Help House’s Prom Closet was a success for about 20 girls who went home with free prom dresses. Due to the benefit the event provides local prom goers, Help House has tentatively scheduled another Prom Closet for February 2022.

The prom store works with donations of women’s and girls’ dresses, especially those suitable for prom or formal celebrations. Perhaps someone moving out and going to college might find they have prom dresses they don’t plan to wear again hanging in the closet? Help House would welcome them to add to the collection for the Prom Shop next year. They must be clean with no stains and in good shape.

For more information, contact Help House at 785-828-4888.

A Cowboy’s Faith: Striving for returned health

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.“If you don’t have your health you don’t have anything.”

The prominent saying goes in one ear and out the other for many.

However, anybody who has had a major health setback knows how precious every second is.

Money buys mansions, big cars, delicacy, land and more, but it cannot guarantee health. Those with high financial assets often want more and more and because of their wealth can readily acquire more.

Still, all of that net worth despite continually amazing medical discoveries will not always save a life.

Several longtime acquaintances have been stricken with physical complications in recent years.

Thanks to attentive action with proper treatment and effective medicine most feel as having been cured. Yet, others who initially anticipated recovery have been unable to conquer incomprehensible setbacks and been taken to the Great Beyond.

Saturday night calls to five friends who have faced severe physical challenges were pleasantly answered with optimistic responses. While each situation was different there was a definite semblance.

One day everything seemed perfect as possible but without warning in an instant their world turned completely the opposite. Each was hospitalized some even unconscious with the bleakest diagnosis possible.

Family and friends were notified with tender bedside handholding and stroking while everybody there and beyond partook in solace prayer.

A Cowboy’s Faith: Round-robin showing all livestock

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.“To be the round-robin showmanship champion is the most significant accomplishment at the county fair.”

With most local fairs now ended, exhibitors, spectators and families reflect memories of the good, bad, indifferent times experienced.

Of course, there’s wide variation in opinion of what’s the most important aspect of fair accomplishments. There are some who insist: “Everything about the fair is fun, win, lose or draw.”

Yet, the majority has to admit success in a specific division is their highlight to remain lifetime memories.

Horse exhibitors, of course, always want to show the champion. Same is true for steers, hogs, lambs, and goats. Seamstresses hope to have the best sewing exhibit. Photographers want to show the top picture, and style review participants desire to be most fashionable. The list goes on for exhibitors of entries in every fair book category.

The round-robin livestock showmanship division receives mixed opinions from exhibitors, parents and fair officials. Clarifying, round-robin showmanship has semblance, not that much different from round-robin sports contests, and the like.

However, in this fair competition, winners in their respective specie showmanship division come together showing all species of livestock. They have their own exhibit, first showing it, and then show the other specie winners’ entries. The one exhibitor garnering most points showing all species of livestock is crowned the champion.

To be round-robin showmanship winner is considered the most prestigious fair accomplishment to some. Yet, others downplay the competition insisting an exhibitor only needs to be the best at showing their own specie entry. What difference does it make about the others?

A Cowboy’s Faith: Ranch life becomes golden

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.“Would you like to dance?”

First day on campus at collegiate 4-H meeting in basement of Extension building, tall thin farm girl shyly consented: “Okay.”

Two country kids meeting for the first time, conversation was limited, yet sufficient to find out her name was “Margaret.”

By the first of the next week, that “Margaret gal” kept coming to mind: “Wonder what her last name is?”

Grocery store carryout-wannabe cowboy’s call to a former classmate provided name to look up a number in the student directory.

Surprised, the phone answerer even remembered the hat-wearing-hick who couldn’t dance to the beat and likely stepped on toes.

However, “Margaret Mary” had a “toothache” and couldn’t accept the request for a date.

Never short on persistence, the wannabe tried again days later and was shocked by consent to a supper evening out.

With similar interests in everything country and agriculture, dating continued to meeting each other’s parents. He really didn’t know much about farming and she didn’t know anything about riding horses. Regardless, next Christmas at her farm home, family gathered around, engagement ring hidden, through several package openings was life-together proposal.

With completion of wannabe’s sophomore year, the two became one that following summer. Solemnized by family and friends overflowing church, “I do’s” best reflected in the “Just Married” carriage down the main drag.

Whippersnappers with little more than a penny together, overnight honeymoon to the Cowboy Hall of Fame. Only one day because he had to be on campus for judging team work Monday morning.

Local school supplies collections help students prepare for new year

Help House has reported that school supply donations were overwhelming in a very good way this year. Collection boxes had been placed in several churches throughout Osage County along with some businesses.

“We have never ever had so much donated before,” said Raylene Quaney, Help House volunteer. “We really felt the best way to share would be to distribute to all of the schools in the county instead of just our clients benefiting as we have done in the past.”

Becky and Craig Lohmeyer-Siljenberg at Osage Produce show some of the school supplies donated by their customers.

At one of the collection sites, Osage Garden and Produce, owners Craig and Becky Lohmeyer-Siljenberg accepted donations from their customers as part of their “give back” program. Customers dropped off school supplies or left a cash donation, and the Siljenbergs added to that as a gift from their business.

Through the school supply donation program, Help House also was able to provide supplies for students in preschool through eighth grade all around Osage County.

A Cowboy’s Faith: Wind is best cool down

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.“I have to get my fan set up here by the trailer so I can be a little cooler today.”

Comment was made by the nice lady helping her granddaughter get a beautiful Palomino gelding ready to show.

Sure enough, within a minute an 18-inch box fan plugged into a nearby electrical outlet was blowing warm air around.

Lawn chairs next to it were soon occupied with show spectators seemingly more relaxed with the manmade circulation.

It contrasted many modern-day horseshow exhibitors who have big trailers with generator or electric-powered air conditioners.

“Oh, it sure is hot” has recently been the most frequent conversation piece. Right after that comes: “Keep cool. Make sure to stay hydrated. Those horses need lots of water on days like this, too.”

Sharply different from nearly everyone else, heat hasn’t ever been a personal concern. However, when fall comes and temperature dips a bit, long johns go on with sometimes four or more clothing layers.

A Cowboy’s Faith: Cowgirl learns about business

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.“Would you like to buy some snacks?”

The little cowgirl seated below a colored hand scribed poster “Snacks” under a makeshift tent asked horseback riders going by. While there were quite a few passing the young entrepreneur’s horseshow business venture, there was no business.

Now truth be known it’d been four hours since the bowl of oatmeal breakfast at the ranch, so snacks sounded good.

Always short of cash and certain the cute retailer couldn’t take a credit card, there was an instant payment dilemma. Then it occurred that a $10 bill had been hidden behind the driver’s license in the billfold for such “emergencies.”

Instant smile came over the cowgirl’s face when she saw a potential customer headed her direction. “What do you have?” Grin broadened pointing to a scribbled list on an ice chest with the food and drink offerings

“You have corn dogs? Are they hot? How much?” With a nod, the waiter reached into another small insulated satchel: “Warm. A dollar,” she answered.

“Okay, let’s have one.” Pulling greenback out of the snap shirt pocket quickly had that girl’s brain calculating.

Opening a small red plastic money bag, she sorted out three one-dollar bills and started counting quarters. Obviously, ten dollars was bigger amount than she’d thought about making change for on purchases.

“Oh, three one-dollar bills change will be fine now. You just put the rest on a credit tab and it’ll be used within the next day.”

A Cowboy’s Faith: Horseshow bikers bring memories

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.“When there’s not a horse to ride, a bicycle is the next best thing.”

A dozen horses were tied to trailers, but moms and dads wouldn’t let little ones on yet. So they were riding their bicycles lickety-cut up-and-down the rough dirt road.

There was a handful riding 7:30 in the morning upon arrival at the horseshow arena. Cowgirls and cowboys from a 10-year-old down to a little cowboy who come to find out later was two years old.

A couple of the bigger young horseshow enthusiasts were riding maybe 24-inch bicycles. One little cowgirl had what must have been a 16-incher with training wheels. Most amazing was the little fellow, big cowboy hat, no pedals. Just bare feet prodding his tiny bicycle-of-sorts forward, keeping up with the older riders.

The sight brought uncontrollable smile with so much young enthusiasm having such fun. All before the real horseshow action began, when each would be horseback mounted, touting their already quite skilled abilities.

Reminder came of 60 plus years ago when a wannabe cowboy didn’t have a horse despite continued pleading with parents. Neighbor kids had bicycles and offered the wannabe opportunity to ride sometimes, but he wasn’t too coordinated at balancing.

Mom and Dad finally gave into ordering a bicycle, which came in the day wannabe was visiting country cousins. They had a bay gelding called Sandy, which the wannabe took every opportunity to ride but never enough.

It was dark when parents brought the new bike to the country. Mom had selected the fancy 26-inch, with passenger seat, basket, horn, lights, handlebar streamers; the works.

A Cowboy’s Faith: Entertainment for all ages

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.“They just don’t make television shows like they used to.”

Actually, with modern technical devices, not that that many hours are spent watching television as a half century ago. Plus, there are so many other activities families are involved in they don’t relax together during the evening.

Yet, nearly every home has a TV nowadays. Some a handful or more, one in every room, maybe even two, little, big and giant screens.

It is difficult if not impossible for today’s children even young adults to realize what it’d be like without television. To have a television was almost an oddity back in the 1950s.

Common opinion was that only those who were well off owned a television. Uncle Don was a railroad engineer and had one of the first televisions in the community.

Of course, those who had television were required to have a tall antenna outside in order to get reception. Locally there was just one station with only black and white shows. Still, the TV would often blink off or have so much static that viewing was impossible.

Regardless, television always had programs on to watch that everybody in the family could understand and enjoy. Today, some homes can get dozens of stations on their television, and still claim there’s nothing to watch. That’s inaccurate because there are plenty of programs, just not the ones people care anything about or comprehend.

A Cowboy’s Faith: Reprieving historical tree’s demise

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.“It must have been a hundred years old, by the diameter, but it’s impossible to count the growth rings.”

The tree cutter made that estimation after downing the giant mulberry tree just a few feet outside the back door.

Removing such a long lived historical piece of ranch history was sentimentally saddening. It had been there much longer than the present ranch residents who’ve seen it continue thriving half-a-century.

Oh the true stories that tree would have told if could have remembered them and talked about each one.

Before the present ranch home was constructed near the already old tree there’d been a chicken house beside it. Hogs and rodents inhabited that structure in ample numbers at certain times as well.

For years, the tree was quite the fruit bearer. Mulberries are fun to pick and eat while even better yet when made into a pie. However, those yummy fruits sure do make a mess dropping onto anything around at their ripest maturity.

Neither a forestry major nor studier of tree growth, evidently certain mulberry trees quit bearing fruit in old age. At least that tree hadn’t produced mulberries for a long time; such its years of prolific yield were almost forgotten.

Wind and bolts of lightning damaged the tree sometimes through the decades so it was quite rotted in places. When blowing storms came the tree shook all over creating rancher fright. At any time the weakened tree could have come crashing on the nearby home or indoor arena.

A Cowboy’s Faith: Best supper at home

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.“In most cases the world would be much better off if everybody would eat their meals at home.”

That’s in preference to the seemingly increasingly popular enjoyment of “going out to eat.” Now this is speaking from experience, because there aren’t too many people who’ve spent more youthful days “eating out.”

One thing certain the kid never was hungry growing up. First off being son of grocery store operators, there was always plenty to eat, apple, grapes, candy bar, wiener, whatever.

Secondly, Mom, who’d once owned a café, always made sure her carryout boy never went anywhere on an empty stomach. Often there was an evening activity to attend and Mom would grab a dollar bill from the cash register. “Go get your supper” at the café.

Well, everybody whatever age has usually liked the idea of picking out restaurant food from the menu. More often than not, the grocery store boy’s supper was at the Hays Tavern, or Café as sometimes known. Today completely restored, that’s the apparently world-renowned Hays House.

Hamburgers were a quarter, cheeseburgers 30 cents; French fries another quarter, and iced tea a dime. Typically splurging for the “richer” burger, supper with tax, seems it was 3-percent those days, cost a total of 67 cents. That left change in the kid’s jeans pocket, which generally wasn’t returned to Mom.

A Cowboy’s Faith: Another driver crashes fence

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.“A vehicle has gone through your pasture fence and the wires are down so livestock can get out.”

It was the sheriff’s dispatcher just after daylight informing of what this time was already known. Minutes before looking out the window, three law enforcement vehicles with patriotic flashing lights were at the north corner. There was a fourth vehicle with yellow caution lights blinking.

Fairly certain of what had occurred, decision was made to drive up the road to find out more details. Upon arrival, only one county sheriff car was still at the scene. That lawman was busy measuring tire marks and whatever else from one side of the road to the other.

Obviously the other two counties’ sheriff offices decided to let the remaining officer do the paperwork. That caution-vehicle must have also concluded its service was no longer needed.

Through the broken fence to the southwest 150-yards in the brome field was a white economy car, frontend bashed in.

Slowly driving past commenting out the window, the working lawman was queried: “Another fatality this time?”

Congenial as likely possible for a dedicated deputy: “No the driver was disillusioned, didn’t know where he was.” Further details on the reckless motorist aren’t known but fortunately evidently he wasn’t injured.

Such incidences are actually common as there’ve been similar situations a handful of times in the past half century. Two major highways intersect on the three-county-line.

Drivers from the east are going too fast, half asleep, or not paying attention. They run the stop sign, cross the other north south highway, through the fence, and out into the pasture.

A Cowboy’s Faith: Weather has own mind

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.“It really is dry.” “Sure is wet.” “It’d be good if the rain would stop.” “Sure be nice to get some of that rain.”

Those comments were all heard within just a few minutes of each other last Friday morning.

Conversations all depended on location sometimes just a few miles down the road and others from the state’s borders.

While areas pleaded for raindrops out of all the crashing thunder, lightning, fierce winds, very little came from the sky. Meanwhile with identical weather predictions, neighboring counties were being warned about flash flooding.

Weather forecasters are certainly the most popular airwaves stars. Well at least the best known, anticipated, listened to, talked about. When right they’re patted on the back, but more often remarks aren’t very nice because predictions are frequently wrong.

Credit given when due, the forecasters are just human doing the very best they can. Despite all historical records and technical modern-day devices, only the Supreme Power knows what the weather’s going to be. And He keeps changing his mind all of the time

One thing for certain: “It always has rained.” Sometimes too late, sometimes too early, but in all of history moisture has arrived at some time.

Interesting how dry winter and spring were with prayers for moisture to fill ponds, get creeks running, and make plants grow. Then some received the rainfall, while many were still quite shy.

A Cowboy’s Faith: Ornery Shorty was talented

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.“Best known as Shorty, or Short, grinning ornery Marven Brabb towered above most with diverse abilities.”

Last week Shorty, a New Year’s Day baby in 1928, passed away at 93 years of age. Until a few months ago, Shorty had continued daily care of his straight Hereford cow herd. Time had taken toll, but Shorty with walking canes remained himself, jovial, mischievous, knowing, heartfelt concerned.

Then serious health incapacitated Shorty, forcing him off his beloved farm into a care home. For a while, Shorty would visit briefly when called, but lost interest in what was happening “back home.”

His cattle were dispersed and then machinery, a large assortment of tools and household were sold at auction. Uncertain if Shorty was even aware, but difficult time for friends watching his life’s toil going under the gavel.

It must be 45 years since first meeting Shorty, who enjoyed off farm work for the lumberyard. Anything needing built or repaired; he had the ability and always seemed eager to do the task.

At a purebred Hereford sale, Shorty with his big smile bought a top bull. Sadly the ring man who he’d done a number of jobs for didn’t even know his name. It’d always just been “Shorty,” but Marven Brabb was never forgotten after that.

The old barn had two grain bins, milk cow stanchions, three workhorse stalls and a lean-to. Shorty renovated them into nine riding horse stalls with his uniquely-designed two-by-six gates inside Dutch doors.

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