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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.

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.

Eat Well to Be Well Recipe: Salmon With Pomegranate Salsa

A sensory sensation bursting with zesty sweet and savory flavors everyone will love

There was a time in my life I would never have imagined eating fish regularly, especially salmon. Growing up on a Kansas farm, it was fields of wheat, oats, and soybeans that dominated alongside pastures overflowing with cattle peacefully grazing on big bluestem and switchgrass flourishing in the Flint Hills. Let’s just say, the meat department at my small town grocery store was filled with various cuts of beef, pork, and poultry without a fresh salmon in sight.

But thankfully many years ago, my taste buds were introduced to the savory appeal of perfectly baked or grilled, tender fresh salmon. And if you love salmon as much as I do now, this is a recipe you must try. This dish is a great option, especially if you’re looking for different ways to prepare this heart healthy fish, or unique toppings to serve it with. And yes, salmon is now a regular on my menu rotation, along with beef, pork, and poultry.

Salmon with pomegranate salsa is a “fit for a king” treat and a feast for your eyes. From the peachy color of the salmon, to the bright, ruby-red pomegranate seeds, to the vibrant green of fresh dill, it’s a refreshing and beautiful blend energizing all your senses.

Speaking of the “vibrant green of fresh dill,” be sure to choose bunches that are aromatic, bright green, and firm. Store fresh dill in the refrigerator wrapped in a paper towel for two to three days and just before you’re ready to use it, wash and dry it well.

And let’s not forget what a superior food both salmon and pomegranates are. Here’s a look at several key nutritional advantages each have to offer:


  • A powerhouse of high quality protein helping maintain muscle mass.
  • Abundant in omega-3 fatty acids promoting healthy joints and skin while reducing risk of heart disease.
  • An impressive source of selenium, a mineral important for cognitive function, a healthy immune system, and supporting thyroid health.

Pomegranate seeds:

  • High levels of antioxidants helping reduce inflammation.
  • Contains phytochemicals protecting against heart disease.
  • Has anti-tumor potential of preventing development and progression of prostate cancer.

If you’re ready to include more heart healthy eating, starting with an appealing, flavorful and ready-to-eat meal within 15-20 minutes (salmon takes almost no time to cook), let’s take a look at how to put together this exceptional recipe:

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.

Eat Well to Be Well: Follow sensible weight loss tips that actually work

Build long-term habits with practical lifestyle changes for weight loss success

It’s challenging to eat a healthy diet when living in a drive-thru, ultra-processed food world. Food temptations seem to be everywhere. And forget gimmicky, fad diets when trying to reach a healthier body weight. Just like buying a pair of shoes, there’s no one size fits all when it comes to weight loss.

The latest stats show that more than 70 percent of Americans are overweight to obese. This is especially troubling during the current SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. Several studies have shown a direct association of obesity as a major risk factor for developing more severe illness, hospitalization, and death if infected with this virus.

When it comes to weight loss, scientific evidence-based guidance is a more appropriate direction to follow. It’s well-documented that two major components for weight loss success are choosing healthier foods while reducing calories and increasing physical activity. Sounds easy, doesn’t it?  Not really. We’re human and sometimes our best laid-out plans may fail for various reasons.

But there’s a third component that is just as crucial as the first two. This third component often makes or breaks your success in not only meeting weight loss goals, but prevents you from slipping and gaining back weight you previously had lost.

What is this third component? It’s called behavior modification. Think of it as little tricks of the trade when it comes to weight loss.  Behavior modification boils down to focusing on healthy behaviors. If you lead with these behaviors, the weight loss will usually follow. By prioritizing this third component, you’ve armed yourself with essential weight loss tools,  getting focused as you start your journey in reaching a healthy body weight.

Below are various behavior modification tools; you can pick and choose which ones you need to work on the most:

Hidden History: Young Kansas invites young Americans to settle as agrarians

As Kansas emerged, first as a territory and then a state, early pioneers sought to create towns to entice additional settlers to desirous locations. The town of Young America, in what was later to become Osage County, was one of these locations. Built on the premise that the everyday farmer could find success in selling the produce from his small estate, Young America attempted to draw in settlers to its remote location in the interior of the United States.

The first settlement of the claim later to be known as Young America was by a middle-aged man named Carter B. Griffin. Griffin came with the flood of Missourians in 1854 intent on settling Kansas to make it a slave state. Griffin chose a plot of land on the edge of the Sac and Fox reservation, on what is now the northwestern part of Pomona Lake, to establish his claim.

Settlement by Euro-Americans within Indian reservations was prohibited for individuals without direct ties to the tribes, but Griffin utilized a nearby trail that led from the Indian agency to the Pottawatomie reservation to the northwest to trade with the tribes. The nearest neighbors, Fry McGee and his family, also pro-slavery Missourians, were north of Griffin’s claim by 10 miles, also along 110 Mile Creek.

Griffin’s location, like McGee’s, was partially wooded and offered a good location for hunting and fishing. To improve his claim, Griffin built a log cabin and dug a well. After a little more than a year, Griffin left his claim and returned to property he still held in Missouri.

In the spring of 1856, the Griffin claim was assumed by a Mississippian by the name of Smith, who built an additional three log cabins at the site for himself and a number of enslaved individuals he had brought with him. Smith used his labor force to break out 45 acres of prairie land. When the tide within the territory began shifting as 1856 wore on, Smith left, selling his human property in Missouri and returning to Mississippi.

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.

Eat Well to Be Well:Letting go of the ‘all or nothing’ approach to nutrition

An “all or nothing” mindset about nutrition may sabotage your health goals

We all have that friend who’s always making comments about their food intake such as, “I really shouldn’t be eating this,” or “I’ve been so good on my diet lately,” or maybe they might say, “I’ll get back on track Monday after my ‘cheat’ weekend.”

Comments like these are often a way for people to rationalize eating certain foods they deem as “bad” by saying how “good” they’ve been, vowing to get back on schedule soon. These same individuals often live by an “all or nothing” attitude in regards to dieting or losing weight. They will tell themselves they can never eat cake, candy, fried food, or any favorite foods again, hence a set-up for an all or nothing way of thinking.

Unfortunately, pledging to give up certain foods is problematic and unrealistic to follow. There is always going to be somebody’s birthday party where cake is served, or a festive holiday buffet decked out with sweets and treats tempting you away from your all or nothing eating plan. Do you have a plan on how to handle those situations?

However, all or nothing nutrition is a surefire plan for excessively obsessing over what you should be eating and how much, which rarely ends well. That’s because the “all or nothing” voice in your head will deceptively tell you “You’ve already had a piece of cake, so you might as well have the entire cake,” or “You’ve skipped breakfast and lunch, so go ahead and binge at dinner and all evening long.”

The good news is none of us need to follow an “all or nothing” mindset to succeed at meeting health goals. When common sense reigns and food restrictions are liberated allowing you freedom to eat what you want without judgment, all foods can be part of a healthy diet. Keep your focus on healthy eating the majority of time while permitting yourself a small and guilt-free indulgence on most days of the week, if not every day.

Hidden History: Fostoria musician goes to Nashville, becomes a country ‘Starr’

Burlingame area native Kenny Starr, center, sings with Loretta Lynn during a 1970s era performance. Photographer unknown.

Osage County has long been the home to a strong working class responsible for building the industry in the county. These hard workers and small-town life are the inspiration for the themes of many country music songs. Kenny Trebbe, Osage County native, used his blue-collar roots and his love of music to become a shining “Starr” of the Country Western scene.

Kenny Trebbe grew up in what had been the little mining community of Fostoria, two miles east of Burlingame. His father, William, was a coal miner, construction worker, and vegetable farmer before a back injury limited him to cutting wood for his family.

Kenny got his start in music in elementary school, singing 1950s rock and soul at local venues for nickels and dimes. Some of his first bands were Kenny and the Rebels and later Kenny and the Imperials. His songs were so well received that on one New Year’s Day, he made $13.

His parents, fans of Guy Lombardo’s big band style were not as interested in Kenny’s earliest choice of music but appreciated his switch to country music when he reached his teens. By that time, he had chosen the stage name of Kenny Starr – surname borrowed from a Texas cousin – and created the band Kenny Starr and the Country Showmen.

In 1971, a 17-year-old Kenny entered a talent contest sponsored by a Wichita Radio Station. Ninety-eight contestants participated, but Kenny’s rendition of Ray Price’s “I Won’t Mention It Again” stole the show. His performance caught the eye of Harry “Hap” Peebles, a local promoter. Peebles was able to get him an audience with Loretta Lynn and Conway Twitty, who were in town for a show. Kenny was then invited to perform with Lynn and Twitty in both Wichita and Kansas City. Loretta Lynn took a personal interest in the young singer and told him to look her up if he ever got to Nashville, and she would help him get started.

As soon as Kenny got home, he and his mother, Kathleen, prepared to leave immediately to pursue his dreams. A neighbor drove them to Nashville because the Trebbe’s car would not have made the trip, and the group arrived two days later, beating Loretta Lynn home.

Loretta Lynn, true to her word, helped establish Kenny in the country music business. Lynn gave him the opportunity to tour with her band the Coal Miners. When they weren’t touring, she let him live in her mansion. After four and a half years of learning his way in country music, Kenny struck out on his own.

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