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A Cowboy’s Faith: Too busy to work

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.“We’re very busy and can’t get your telephone repaired for at least 19 days.”

That was the summed-up response from the telephone company when reporting there was no phone service.

Actually, the conversation lasted half an hour as the phone answerer didn’t seem to understand there really was a problem. The same question was asked numerous times, apparently being answered to deaf ears.

Then the conversation would be put “on hold” for a time such to wonder if he’d ever return. Eventually he did, more confused than even before.

“If the problem is in the house, there will be a charge,” the difficult-to-understand answerer repeated. Yet he’d been told several times before that the issue was in the underground line.

Finally, responding to request: “We’ll send a repairman out in 19 days, but we don’t know what time it’ll be. You must make sure you’re there when he arrives.”

That’s the main reason most households now only have cellphones, completely shutting off landline telephone service. This place is old fashioned in its ways and cellphone connection is even worse than the landline telephone.

Problem with landline service this time came about when the big bulldozer driver was pushing trees out in front yard. The highway department has been planning to expand the road for several years and is finally getting started. While there’s “some work” being done for a 10-mile stretch now, actual construction isn’t to begin until March, maybe.

A Cowboy’s Faith: Honest and true living

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.“Be honest and true to yourself, and honest and true about livestock.”

Upon passing of a former college professor-longtime friend, obituary of Dr. Robert Hines quoted his life’s philosophy.

Viewpoint hit home quite emphatically such to initiate reflections of many positive influences.

Spring semester 1970, Dr. Hines’ one-hour college credit livestock evaluation lab was first acquaintance. Friendship developed during class although not realizing how dedicated the professor was to his now recorded beliefs.

Depth of the world-renowned swine specialist and breeder’s standards are quite complex requiring contemplation to comprehend. First and foremost, Dr. Hines, often in complete respect called “Bob,” was honest. He said everything “like it was” to students, producers, customers, all he was in contact.

Purchasing seed stock from Dr. Hines, he pulled no punches in what the hogs were. During college days, the son, today’s ranch manager, lived at and worked in Dr. Hines personal hog operation. Knowledge gained shows decades later in mannerisms, honesty, truth, people relations and livestock management.

While judging all livestock species is promoted essential to improvement, there are many respected animal adjudicators. Closely associated with a number, none more conscientiously evaluated livestock than Dr. Hines’ honestly truly critiquing composition.

A champion livestock judger, and winning judging teams coach, Dr. Hines was not the early ’70s college days coach. Recognized by a hog show in his name, Dr. Hines’ principles carried through in his family and adored grandchildren.

Eat Well to Be Well: Eating your way to bladder health

Bladder health should be a top priority for all of us, ranking alongside heart, brain, and bone health. And one way to promote bladder health is by making smart food choices. From urinary incontinence to overactive bladder, your dietary choices are an important part and play a supporting role of fending off these quality-of-life issues. That’s because what you eat and drink directly affects your bladder and it’s functioning.

Get to know your bladder

Before discussing food and dietary changes helping manage bladder and urinary issues, let’s get to know your bladder better.

Every single day, all of us use our bladder multiple times. Located in the lower abdomen, the bladder is a hollow organ, much like a balloon, that stores urine. It is part of the urinary system, which also includes the kidneys, ureters, and urethra. Urine contains wastes and extra fluid left over after the body takes what it needs from what we eat and drink.

Over time, the bladder can change. The elastic bladder tissue may toughen and become less stretchy. A less stretchy bladder cannot hold as much urine as before and might make you go to the bathroom more often. The bladder wall and pelvic floor muscles may weaken, making it harder to empty the bladder fully and causing urine to leak.

Because bladder problems are common and can disrupt day-to-day activities, you may find yourself avoiding social situations or having a hard time completing tasks at home or at work.

Top dietary habits your bladder will love

To achieve and maintain good bladder health, a good start is by what you eat and drink. Adopt the following healthy bladder dietary habits to help avoid overactive bladder and urinary incontinence:

Stay well hydrated

Up to one third of the water we consume comes from food like fruits, veggies, and soup. So how much water do you need to drink each day? As a general rule of thumb, take your weight in pounds and divide it by two, and that’s the number of ounces of water you should consume daily. So if you weigh 160 pounds, you should aim to drink 80 ounces of water every day.

Why is staying hydrated important for urological health? Drinking sufficient water is essential for helping balance salts and sugars within the body and to flush out toxins and wastes through the urinary system. When dehydrated, the buildup of minerals can irritate the lining of your bladder and the concentration of wastes can lead to frequent and urgent urination or pelvic pain.

Help House opens Christmas store; sets hours for holiday shopping

Help House has set out the Christmas decorations complete with a few Christmas trees and lights. These will be out and available for shoppers to choose from until Thursday, Dec. 2, 2021.

The sign-up list for the Christmas shop began Monday, Nov. 15. Christmas shopping days have been set. Children’s shopping day will be 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Dec. 4.  Santa’s elves will be there to help kids shop for their parents or guardians. Wrapping and gift tags are available so the gifts are ready to be set under the tree.

Dec. 14-17 will be the opportunity for parents and guardians to shop for children 17 years old and younger, on the following Monday, grandparents will be allowed to shop for children 17 and younger.

Help House and other agencies work together to make the Christmas shopping go as far as we can. Participants will not be able to sign up for the shopping at multiple locations. Please respect this rule as we try to meet the needs of many here in Osage County.

Donations for the Christmas store are requested by Dec. 1.

All of us at Help House are thankful for our communities that we serve for your faithfulness in giving! We wish you a very merry Christmas, too!

A Cowboy’s Faith: Early risers do more

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.“Early to rise gives a person the opportunity to get a lot more done in a day.”

While the typical well known saying is different than that, the same meaning is still there.

Always being one going to bed early compared with many others and getting up early, that way changed in maturity. It’s easier to just stay in bed longer, despite going under covers at the same time.

Years gone by several highly successful farmers frequently commented about how little was accomplished by late risers. They were right when compared to their early-rising personal achievements.

More than once farmers would only agree to visiting for a feature story by getting to their place before light. They had work to do and didn’t feel like they could waste time talking with chores needing to be done.

Many college students will only take classes starting late morning or in the afternoon. Still they don’t get up until right before class because they didn’t get to bed before wee hours.

As a student decades gone by, there was a college class scheduled every morning at 7:30. Many seats were unfilled and latecomers would straggle in. Professors were often late, too, with excuse of traffic instead of honestly admitting slow getting out of bed.

Best time of the day is the morning, although many deny it especially those night owls. Sunrise gives light to new opportunities and a freshness to accomplish.

Studies prove the brain works more effectively and efficiently in the morning. Ambition is considerably higher early in the day, diminishing as the hours progress.

Eat Well to Be Well Recipe: Maple-Poached Pears

Simple and perfectly delicious, a fiber-rich stewed pear is one of the healthiest desserts you can serve after a meal

Before I talk about this fabulous recipe, let’s talk first about the simple pear itself.

Pears are one of the most underrated and overlooked fruits around. Maybe it’s because they lack the eye-catching colors of strawberries or watermelon and their flavor is more subtle compared to the distinctive taste of a kiwi or a papaya. And when it comes to popularity, pears are just … so-so. Pears don’t even rank in the top five favorite fruits of Americans, which by the way are bananas, apples, grapes, strawberries, and oranges, respectively.

But don’t let that stop you from trying out this recipe! A pear slowly cooked in rich maple syrup surrounded by cinnamon sticks is a decadent dessert showcasing this fruit’s blend of sophistication and sweetness that rivals a baked apple.

If it’s been awhile since you’ve eaten a pear, here’s your opportunity. From September through January (right now!) is when pears are at their peak. And when in season – watch out! An in-season ripe pear’s unique taste and texture range from succulent to buttery to a mellow sweetness – a true culinary delight.

Nutritionally, this humble fruit is top notch for several reasons:

Pears are an excellent source of fiber. A medium-sized pear provides 6 grams of fiber – the majority found in the skin – equal to about 21 percent of the recommended daily value. This makes pears one of the best sources of fiber of all fruits.

Pears are fat free and cholesterol free. By including more pears in your diet, you will replace higher fat foods helping lower your overall intake of fat and cholesterol. This may help reduce your risk of heart disease and some types of cancer.

Pears are sodium free, too. Eating more sodium free foods, like a pear, just makes sense since most Americans over-consume sodium.

Pears are a good source of vitamin C, phytonutrients, and antioxidants. A medium-sized pear provides about 7 mg or 8 percent of the daily value for the antioxidant vitamin C. Pears also naturally contain various phytonutrients and other antioxidants supporting good health. Choose pears with vibrantly colored skins of various pear varieties.

Not sure which variety of pear is best for cooking or how to store pears, here are tips you need to know:

  • Firmer varieties like Bosc and Anjou are best for cooking while Bartlett and Comice are best raw.
  • Keep pears out on the counter until they are ripe. Then store in the refrigerator.
  • To determine ripeness, gently press near the stem with your thumb; if it gives slightly, it’s ready.
  • Puree pears into smoothies, sauces, and dressing to add sweet flavor.

A Cowboy’s Faith: Fence posts are long-lived

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.“There sure are a lot of good corner and even line posts strung along the highway ditch.”

With powerlines being moved for new highway construction, the line poles and cross arms have been left behind.

Brings to mind five decades and longer ago how valuable those seemed at the time for use in ranch fences. Hopefully, neighbors and others will see their worth and put them to use this year.

Previously when wind and ice storms knocked poles down with power company replacement, they were grabbed for the ranch.

However that won’t be the case now as philosophy has changed with only steel posts used for fence construction.

However, it is interesting looking around the ranch and seeing how many power poles are still serving their purpose.

Back in the beginning almost anything was used in fence construction. With the original little ranch near tracks, old railroad ties were common. They were put into corral, pasture and hog pen fences, but seemed to be short-lived needing replaced within a decade.

Mom’s Uncle John was a partner in the garbage hog feeding operation for a number of years. He worked for the rural electric company with ample access to free worn out power cross arms.

They were used for making short lived fence and corner posts as well as fencing for hog pens.

Help House: Bells will be ringing in the season of giving in Osage County

Local Salvation Army donations help locally

Help House is the designated organization to distribute Salvation Army funds for emergency assistance of utilities and gas vouchers in the county. Eighty percent of that raised in Osage County comes back to us to be used for these needs.

There will be Salvation Army counter kettles placed in businesses in the different communities. Bell ringers will be at two grocery stores, one in Carbondale at Mid-Town Market, and in Osage City at Jerry’s Thriftway, 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Saturdays, beginning Nov. 27, and ending on the Saturday before Christmas, Dec 18.

Any person, group or organization that would like to volunteer for a one or two hour time slot (or take a full day), is asked to call Help House at 785-828-4888, and leave your name and number where you can be reached.

In years past one chain of stores allowed the counter kettles to be placed in each of their five stores in Osage County but three years ago declared they would no longer allow them. Those kettles provided more than $1,500 each year in collections from their stores alone. This reduced the total amount collected dramatically, which means much less is available in funds to be distributed monthly.

The Salvation Army takes the total we are able to raise, figures our 80 percent and then divides by 12 months and allows that for our monthly assistance budget.

As you can imagine with how families are struggling right now and going into winter, not having the funds to assist with electric, gas, propane, or wood for heating, or gas vouchers to get to job interviews or doctor appointments, the reduction in funds is a true hardship for many.

So when you see those red kettles, large or small, in Osage County, please share what you can. The Salvation Army envelopes that will be in the local newspaper will count towards our total – even if you write a check and mail it off, it will find its way back to our county. If you donate out of this county it stays there not here.

If you can help out by ringing those bells for an hour or two throughout the season, we need help there, too. If you would like to donate to the Help House utility fund directly, designate it as such and mail to Help House, PO Box 356, Lyndon KS 66451.

God bless and remember sharing and giving to others is the spirit of the season.

Thank you,
Help House

For more information, call Help House at 785-828-4888, see www.helphouse.online, or stop by at 131 W. 15th St., Lyndon, Kan.

A Cowboy’s Faith: Filly brings back romance

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.“There’s a weanling filly in the southwest lean-to stall and small adjacent walkout.”

It’s the first foal that’s been retained in a dozen years from the nearly 60 years’ Quarter Horse breeding operation.

After developing a 40-head broodmare band, an annual production sale for 25 years attracted buyers from throughout the country.

The business was somewhat financially successful, but mostly enjoyment of seeing new foals every spring. Then merchandizing them to those who became best friends and made the horses into outstanding achievers.

A true romance is the only completely accurate way to describe the horse breeding endeavors. Bred to be and promoted as such, they were “The Cowboy’s Kind.” Now years later, contacts are received regularly from those who have, want or are interested in the horses.

Most years, the foals sold for what then seemed high prices. At least the income made major impact on paying for the ranch.

Market demand declined not only locally but nationwide as foals sold for as much as 80 percent below previous times. Dream-come-true and thrill of producing and selling horses with six generations of ranch breeding became work. Previous gratification turned into an annual dread.

Numbers were reduced dramatically mostly by giving mares away, selling some as seed stock and marketing others inexpensively to whoever. With two handfuls of mares retained mostly all going back to the 1962-beginning, merchandizing babies was quite the burdensome ordeal.

Help House helps with Thanksgiving meals

Once again, Help House will be assisting people in need with a full Thanksgiving meal to be distributed November 17 and 18, 2021. Residents of Osage County who are registered with Help House will receive either a turkey or a chicken with all the fixings, based on family size. Registration began Oct. 1, and will continue until all slots are taken.

Help House is looking for assistance from the community in this endeavor. Anyone who would like to help as a family, church, or organization, can collect the following items or donate cash and Help House will be able to purchase items that may be short. Thanksgiving dinner items can include instant potatoes, stove top style dressing mix, dry packaged gravy mix, (either turkey or brown gravy), boxed macaroni and cheese mix, boxed Jell-O and  canned mixed fruit (to make a salad), canned corn and green beans, pie crust (ready-made), pie filling (any kind).

For more information about the Thanksgiving meal project, contact Help House at 785-828-4888 or email [email protected].

Coat Closet open for business

The Coat Closet is also open at Help House and is open to anyone living in Osage County. Coat recipients do not need to be registered with Help House to come and shop for coats for themselves and their family members. Help House has a good selection, and with cold weather on the way soon, all are encouraged to come and shop. No appointments are necessary.

A Cowboy’s Faith: Cattle business great life

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.“When one day determines the year’s income, many factors play into if there’ll be enough to pay all the bills.”

For years, the calf crop has been sold at auction during the first part of October. While many ranchers spread marketing out throughout the year, these calves come right off their mommas into the sale ring.

That has proven logistically the only way it can be done, considering feedstuff, facilities and labor requirements.

Top end heifers are retained as cowherd replacements while all other calves are sold at the same auction. As with any business, there is a learning curve and calves are handled somewhat differently than in earlier decades.

Today’s calves are given traditional vaccinations before turning onto Flint Hills pastures in the spring. Conscientious care is provided throughout the summer with treatment for any eye, feet, respiration, and other ailments that might arise. The calves receive no growth implants and no special concentrate beyond native grass.

Certain breed associations said opportunities to increase calf value with considerable added investment have been tried without positive return. However, giving additional vaccinations, in lay terms called preconditioning shots, prior to calf sale day have proven advantageous. It is a major time and labor ordeal to accomplish with definite added expense that does seem to pay dividends.

Roundup of calves from pastures in four counties is a major task requiring lots of help. Ideally it would all be done sale day, but that is just not physically possible. Rather, more than four days are needed to get everything corralled.

A Cowboy’s Faith: Electricity often unappreciated convenience

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.“It’s almost impossible to imagine what it would be like to not ever have electricity in a ranch home.”

Reminder of its importance became obvious when the power company shut off electricity three times in a week.

Poles and lines are being moved several feet for a highway expansion that’s been in planning stages for years.

It was midday when the lights went out and everything operated by electricity quit working. There was no warning in advance, but evidently some neighbors immediately called the power company.

Three big power trucks in the driveway with a long new pole made it fairly obvious what was up. Electricity was off about three hours the first time as everything seemed to come to a standstill.

When much of modern-day work is done on a computer, there’s immediate time off without power. Still, a certain fear is present wondering how much work will be lost if the computer comes back on.

Eat Well to Be Well Recipe: Rotisserie Chicken and White Bean Soup

There’s nothing like an Italian-inspired hearty and healthy chicken and white bean soup that soothes the soul!

Nothing says “comfort food” quite like a hot, steaming bowl of chicken soup. No matter the time of year, but especially when temps take a dip and the north wind blows, chicken soup with a side of crusty bread and a glass of wine always sounds good.

Chicken soup really does warm the heart and soul. And with just the right amount of soothing, mouth-watering appeal and taste, along with a healthy compliment of nourishing ingredients, here’s a chicken soup recipe that will be your comfort go-to food time and time again.

What’s especially nice is to use an already prepared store-bought rotisserie chicken offering incredible versatility, saving you precious time in preparing the chicken yourself. And no worries – a store-bought rotisserie chicken still provides a flavorful “homemade” chicken soup taste that’s come to life.

I used a rotisserie chicken with mild seasoning – both plain and lemon-pepper work well. If you like a richer flavor, be sure to add meat from the wings and some of the bones to the broth. Creamy white beans are used in place of traditional noodles, making this soup a protein-packed meal. Fresh sage provides a nice herby and savory vibe to the stock. Add in a few carrots and celery and you’ve got deliciousness waiting for you to experience how good it is.

This hearty, warming bowl of chicken soup is just steps away and is incredibly easy and fast to put together. Read on, I’ll walk you through it.

Hidden History: Doodlebug, the little train that touched ‘every person’s life’ in Melvern

Photo of the Doodlebug M.177, in 2011, at Los Angeles, Calif., by Jd from RR Picture Archives.Net.

When Leona Knight Shaffer was a young girl in Melvern, Kan., in the 1930s, her father, Edward, was employed by the Santa Fe Railroad as a section laborer. One of the rewards for her dad’s labors was a pass issued to him, his wife, and minor children.

For a long time whenever Edward or his family wanted to go anywhere on a train, they had to order a pass, but later passes were issued annually with the eligible names on the pass. With the passes, the family had the opportunity to travel wherever the passes were honored.  Most of the time the family rode on the local Doodlebug.

Doodlebug M.177 was a passenger train that was built in 1929 and designated by the number M.177. It ran from Emporia to Lawrence, 1930 to 1933 and  in 1936, Kansas City to Newton, in 1937, and Burlingame to Alma,  1941 to 1943.

The following is Leona’s account of Melvern’s “Doodlebug”, which “touched every person’s life” in Melvern, she said.

The little train, or “doodlebug,” as we called it, made a daily run through Melvern, between Emporia and Lawrence. This train was the only mode of transportation for most of the people in this small town, because of the majority of the men worked on the Santa Fe in some capacity, and most of them didn’t have automobiles.

The little train was pretty small, but we all thought it was “just right.” I can recall the train having an engine, coal car, baggage car, and the passenger car. At the back of the passenger car was a railing where people could stand if they wanted to. There was no need for a larger train. If a person were going anyplace very far, there was always more passenger trains that were available. Most of us were not going anyplace other than the little towns close by.

One thing on the little train that fascinated us smaller children was the fact that there was a real honest to goodness modern toilet at the end of the passenger car. None of us were used to such a modern convenience. All we had was a “path” to the outhouse behind the house. As soon as we got on the train and got our seats, one of us would have to go to the toilet. It was so nice to sit on a nice modern stool seat with some water in the bowl. We were used to just an old hole and it was a smelly place at that. We all took turns going to the restroom.

The wives of the Santa Fe employees got the most use of the doodlebug. On Saturday afternoons after payday, the women rode the little train over to Ottawa to do their shopping. Some bought their groceries, others got clothing or household items, others just went for the ride to get out of town for a while. This was a pretty good form of recreation. The ladies could catch up on all the gossip because most of them didn’t have a telephone. A few had radios, but lots of them did not even have electricity, and of course the wonderful invention of TV was unheard of. For many of the ladies, this was the only time that they met for conversation, and they thoroughly enjoyed it.

A Cowboy’s Faith: Bicentennial ride unique opportunity

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.“Certain things are an once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and must be taken advantage of or lost forever.”

That was definitely the case with the recent 200th anniversary Santa Fe Trail Ride.

While far different from the original trail two centuries ago, the ride offered a glimpse of days long gone.

Only 11 miles from Bushong to Council Grove, the celebration ride was on the abandoned railroad bed trail. The Santa Fe Trail was said to have been nearby.

Fifty horseback riders were given the unique privilege of participating in the reliving of history. Fastest riders covered the route in about three hours while slower horses took somewhat longer.

Most participants seemed pleased that the trail this time was no longer. However, it gave an appreciation for how stressful long hours in covered wagons and horseback were for early day settlers.

Despite the slow daily travel of yesteryear, those moving West were facing virtually the unknown. Although a trail was apparent, they were unassured of water, food and encampment availability.

Today’s modern bicycle and walking trail is quite well maintained and virtually incomparable to that of former centuries.

Flint Hills grasslands, limited cropland, some timbers and nearby natural water sources were relatively lush for the season. They did bring a heartening sense of closeness to Mother Nature.

Eat Well to Be Well: Could you be calcium deficient and not know it?

Calcium is the most abundant mineral found in the human body, with 99 percent stored in the bones and teeth, and is necessary for strong bone structure. The roles of calcium are critical for body functioning, but many adults, adolescents and children do not consume enough calcium-rich foods.

Many people may think that calcium is primarily needed during childhood when the body is rapidly growing. The belief is that once calcium has been deposited into the bones, it stays there forever, that once it is built, it is inert, like a rock. That is not true. The minerals of bones are in constant flux, with formation and dissolution taking place every minute of the day and night. In fact, almost the entire adult human skeleton is remodeled every 10 years.

Skipping consuming dairy foods due to believing calcium intake is not that important, will likely set you up for a calcium deficiency. Would you know the signs and symptoms if you are calcium deficient and more importantly, how to prevent it?

Signs of calcium deficiency

No matter what the cause of calcium deficiency may be (diet, medication, etc.), the symptoms remain similar. Individuals who need to be most concerned and aware of these symptoms are vegans, who consume no dairy foods, which are the biggest and best contributors of calcium. Vegans also need to be mindful of running the risk of being deficient of other nutrients, like vitamin B12, iron, and zinc.

Here are possible signs you may have a calcium deficiency:

  • Muscle aches and cramps, especially in the legs
  • Numbness and tingling in the hands, arms, legs, and feet
  • Dry skin
  • Severe premenstrual syndrome (PMS) symptoms

Anyone who has these symptoms or is high-risk for calcium deficiency should follow-up with their doctor. The longer calcium deficiency continues the higher chance for developing osteoporosis, severe dental problems of bone loss in the jaw, depression, chronic joint and muscle pain, and bone fractures.

On Windy Hill: Pondering promises broken and kept

Fulfilling old promises, a new Highway 31 is under construction adjacent to the old highway between Osage City and U.S. Highway 75. File photo.

Sitting at my desk, looking out over the windy hill on a warm fall day, the phone rang.

“Osage County News, this is Wayne.”

“Hello Wayne, this is Laura Kelly.”

Not every day does the Kansas governor call me, though it wasn’t exactly a surprise. The previous week, I had received an invitation to talk the governor for 15 minutes. Though a little puzzled about why Gov. Kelly would want to talk to me, I gladly accepted the invitation and considered it an honor. I had a few days to prepare, but I was still nervous about talking to possibly the most important person in Kansas.

Was there anything specific you wished to talk about? I asked.

Gov. Kelly listed some topics she could cover: Kansas’ agriculture industry, economic development progress, transportation, COVID-19, leaving it up to me which to talk about in 15 minutes. After first wasting minutes talking about the weather – a warm, windy fall day the governor said she was unable to go outside to see – I asked about her outreach to media, such as this interview with me. She explained she wants to communicate with Kansans as much as possible, and conversing with local media is one way to connect to people such as those who live in Osage County.

“Folks like you reach the eyes and ears of Kansans, and I appreciate your willingness to talk to me,” the governor said (to me!)

As a topic on the minds of many Osage County drivers, I steered our conversation to transportation and the currently under-construction state Highway 31. Osage County citizens have waited dozens of years for K-31 improvements, having been promised a new seven-mile stretch to Osage City several times in the last 15 years or so, only to have the road pulled out from under us due to sketchy politics.

Just last year, our area’s state Representative Blaine Finch assured me the highway was going to be built, and I told him I’d believe it when I saw the bulldozers. Now, the bulldozers have arrived and a complete new highway is well under construction. I finally believe it!

“Thank you, governor, for any part you had in finally getting this highway built,” I told her. She explained how the project finally came about, saying she knew about the broken promises made to Osage County and other parts of the state over the past years.

“I actually have been very well aware of the K-31 project,” the governor said, “because of Sen. Anthony Hensley.”

A Cowboy’s Faith: Native American mistreatment incomprehensible

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.“It was a well-done presentation about such a very terrible situation.”

Remarks similar to that were repeated by those leaving the Voices of the Wind People pageant at Council Grove. The outdoor historical drama was about the Kaw Indians, the Santa Fe Trail, and early day white settlers.

Appropriately performed in the Old Neosho Riverbed Amphitheater, many locals plus Kaw Indians from Oklahoma comprised the large cast. Evening presentations with live reenactments accompanied by elaborately developed technology including historical pictures, music and sound created eerie feelings.

Native Americans lived off the land for unknown centuries. Then America was “discovered” as intruders found what looked like wide open opportunities to prosperity.

Without regard for the natives, newcomers moved west to control what they considered free land for taking. Land which perhaps had existed since the beginning of time and cared for by inhabitants was stolen from its caretakers.

Peaceful Indians and their loving self-sufficient families all of a sudden were “bad people.” Settlers moved into the lands, mercilessly establishing trails, trading, implementing modern farming methods, and starting communities, declaring it was “their right.” Oh how terrible were this nation’s forefathers, still proclaimed “good guys” in certain stories.

There are records verifying the Kanzas (Native Americans) lived in Kansas in the late 1600s. A treaty arranged by the United States government in 1825 assigned the Kanzas to a reservation on “their own land.”

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