Link to KansasPrairie.net

2/29/2004

BEARCAT WRESTLERS

Filed under: prairie musings, Ellsworth — Peg Britton @ 9:33 pm

“For your information we had two Bearcat wrestlers that placed at state. Matt Warta took 5th place and Simon Orozco took 2nd place. They are to be congratulated on their fine effort. Just to be able to say that one was a state qualifier is quite an honor and then placing at state is icing on the cake.

John and I were out there watching our Bearcats. The support from other Bearcat fans was sparce. That could have been due to the fact that KOOD televised the tournament live this year. The overall attendance appeared to be down.”

Melinda Svaty

CAMPERS DID VERY WELL

Filed under: prairie musings, family, political musings — Peg Britton @ 12:41 pm

The scouts came home about 10:30 this morning during a downpour, but managed to remain dry until then. They made some kind of a makeshift shelter and stayed warm throughout the night. Two of the campers stripped at the back door, as I imagine the rest of them did, and headed toward a hot shower. Good times were had by all. Tyler’s Dutch oven pizza was good, he said, and only slightly burned on the bottom.

“Welcome to Mooseport” calls. I’m out the door, but will be back to see some of the “Awards” tonight…and see if there are any news developments. Kansas and Oklahoma play this afternoon and I just hope KU figures things out. They just aren’t playing well.

Alan Dershowitz just made the most sensible statements on CNN I’ve heard regarding the gay/marriage/Constitutional issue. Catch it if you can. It’s worth a listen.

P.S. When we arrived at the Central Mall to see “Mooseport”, all three showings of the Passion were sold out and the line to get in the movie was 6 abreast going down to the main aisle of the mall. When we came out, the second show line was just the same.

NO ONE IS IN CHARGE IN HAITI

Filed under: political musings — Peg Britton @ 9:35 am

Jean-Bertrand Arristide has resigned and fled the country. No one is in charge. That’s one more thing to be thankful for this morning…only through an accident of birth do I and my family live here. Twenty thousand other Americans aren’t so lucky. Haiti is historically one of the most unstable countries in the world and socially unstable for reasons we can’t solve. It is tragic. It’s chaotic. And…we are involved.

2/28/2004

WILDERNESS CAMPING, CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT, GOSPEL OF JOHN, ETC.

Filed under: prairie musings, family, political musings, Ellsworth — Peg Britton @ 5:06 pm

This doesn’t seem like the best day to go wilderness camping but for those who love it, like the members of Boy Scout Troop #84, one day is very much like the next. They aren’t taking tents, but will build some kind of shelter to protect them from possible rain and cold weather tonight. I know the middle and youngest grandsons are taking a Dutch oven to bake pizza in a hole in the ground. They travel on their stomachs so they won’t be eating berries and roots on this trip. Rain might dampen their spirits a bit, but won’t ruin a night out on the prairie. Nothing can ruin that. I really like it that they hone their survival and camping skills from time to time.

Middle grandson plays in a substate basketball game in Holcomb on Tuesday. That’s like playing in Nevada. I don’t know who is going or if they have room for this grandma, but I’d like to see him play. It might be his last game of the season. Youngest grandson played several minutes in the junior varisty game last night in Russell, his last game of the season. Both the junior varsity and varsity teams lost to Russell. I was in Lincoln when I also wanted to be in Russell. I told the friends I was with last night that I am not planning anything during next year’s basketball season on Tuesday or Friday night. Period. Grandsons come first.

Eldest grandson who’s the responsible type with a cosmopolitan flair is taking his two younger brothers to Breckenridge for a few days of skiing during spring break. They are looking forward to that as they always have a good time together. Big brother is pretty cool.

I continue to be fascinated with Martha Stewart and what people have to say about her. Here is a very interesting article, if you interested. Martha Stewart’s Dirty Laundry by Aaron Hicklin.Trial Update. February 27, 2004, Opinion Granting Judgment of Acquittal on Count Nine.
Today, Judge Miriam Cedarbaum granted the motion for a judgment of acquittal with respect to securities fraud, the most serious of the charges against Martha Stewart.

Silverton Colorado has had 60 inches of snow over the past few days. I bet my “other son” Eddie is digging out as that is where he lives. He’s a survivor. I need to run him down and give him a call. I hope snow doesn’t come this way as Drew put our snow blower away today.

My niece, Andrea, called this afternoon and we talked for two hours discussing everything that came to mind. I enjoy my conversations with her most of all. It’s nice having a flat rate phone charge, as both of us do, so we can talk all we want and not worry about what it is costing. We plan our calls around Nicholas, her two year old precious, precocious son. I miss all of them enormously and having them living in Houston is too far away. She’s in her 28th week with a baby girl due in May. We talked about the gay/lesbian issues being restrictive just as the civil rights issues of a few years back…and the constitutional amendment being a negative thing rather than positive and liberating as are other amendments. We talked about the “Passion” and the gratuitous violence, the only F rated movie she’s seen listed in Houston. F being the worst. We also hit upon other Mel Gibson films and decided he had combined all the violence of all his other movies into this one…two hours of relentless violence ending in death. We’ll not go see it. I’ve never cared for any of Mel Gibson’s pictures. Gospel of John is good. You can agree with the subject matter without liking the movie.

Yesterday I received a summons for jury duty. I’ll go make an appearance. In all the years I’ve lived here, I’ve never made the cut for jury duty…called but never picked. Just once I’d like to serve. I could fairly weigh the facts as presented without letting my personal opinions enter into the decision, but those who make such evaluations would rather not risk that. They look for blank sheets of paper, people who don’t spend a lot of time reading newspapers, news journals or watch hard news. It’s always a challenge to find a jury of peers.

This afternoon, Tyler and I were doing some things toward the back of our house when he spotted our red fox ambling by in the back yard. She was limping and has an injured front left paw. We commiserated about her plight and that there was little we could do. She’s been around a long time.

Tomorrow I may go see “Welcome to Moosetown”…Gene Hackman is a fav of mine. It’s supposed to be a very funny movie. I like to be entertained with clever humor.

IT WAS A 1942 NIGHT

Filed under: prairie musings — Peg Britton @ 9:33 am

You have two opportunities left to go to Lincoln to enjoy three hours of entertainment directed at the early 40s placed in front of you at the Finch Theater. One tonight at 7:00, the other tomorrow at 2:00. You ought to try to make it. If you are as old as I am, it will cost $3.00, otherwise, being younger will cost $4.00.

Last night the doors opened at 6:00 and by 7:00, the theater was filled to near capacity. Theatergoers were greeted as they came in by Dan and Lynn Metz, dressed in 40s clothes, welcoming us to the theater. Large buckets of popcorn were $1.50 and other refreshments were priced the same way. I had both popcorn and Milk Duds, just like in the old days, and I will pay dearly for it. But…I relived every minute of it, all the newsreels and films were just as I remember. I loved every minute of it.

An usherette in full red regalia typical of the period seated some of the guests. Two young high school boys depicting servicemen in 40s uniforms were there with their girlfriends. A telegram read before the audience called them from the theater and into active duty.

There were three hours of uninterrupted films…all of the early 40s vintage. A documentary on Iwo Jima, a film on Hong Kong, Loony Toones, war bond news shorts, etc. All were films out of the Warner Brothers archives that hadn’t been shown in over 60 years…and none of the film broke as we were forewarned it might. It was all just as my friend Marilyn and I remembered it.

There were lots of old people in the theater, and like us, had arrived about 6:00 to be assured of getting a place to sit. That meant we were sitting there for four hours. When Casablanca ended and the theater lights went on, you could hear the groans all over the theater with people commenting on how stiff and sore they were…and ….”Gawd…my knees won’t unbend!”

I doubt if an opportunity like this will come around again, as it was only because of the projectionist’s connections that made it possible this time. Do make the effort to go see it, if you can. It is an unforgettable experience. The people in Lincoln who have worked so hard on this project are to be commended.

This is an evening Brit would have just loved, but his bad neck won’t allow him to sit that long. And the sound wasn’t the best…it was either very loud or very soft. He would have missed much of it. If you have parents or grandparents in their 70s, I’d say you need to gather them up and take them to Lincoln tonight. Go early and have barbecue at Extra Innings…and as one of the sides, order the pineapple walnut dessert.

This war period celebration in Lincoln extends for two months…now partially over. The Diary of Anne Frank literary discussions that are continuing during this 2 month celebration have been so successful they have had to break the large gathering down into smaller groups. There are many other things to see and do there. Stop in the Art Gallery and look at all the war posters from the Smithsonian. Lincoln is certainly caught up in all of this…and it’s worth a trip to participate.

It also reminded me that somewhere around here I have a key to an apartment in Casablanca.

2/27/2004

TAMMY KRUSE’S OXHIDE ARRANGEMENT PARAPHERNALIA STORE

Filed under: prairie musings, friends, Ellsworth — Peg Britton @ 2:05 pm

Tammy never gives up. She always lights upon a new idea, a better way of doing things. She’s had her store in three other locations and moving to the “main street” location has been a huge plus for her. People are noticing Oxhide as they pass by. The new location has shored up her business considerably.

I’m going to put her on my website because of its uniqueness when I have some time to finish what I’ve started, but first I wanted to mention that if you haven’t yet been in her store, you might want to do that. It’s has the “Tammy look” and is filled with interesting merchandise.

I noticed the ad she placed in the newspaper for Burt’s Bees products and, of course, had to lay in a supply. If you haven’t tried their earth friendly natural personal care products, you might want to do that. The lip balm is a winner and you’ll be likely to give up what you have once you try it.

She has some large candles on sale for half price so I bought a couple of those. I figure you can’t have enough candles on hand for a gift for someone. I use candles like I do soap…until the bitter end, then they go in the fireplace.

Purses don’t interest me as I jam everything into my saggy pockets and trudge onward, but she has American West leather handbags, which are very popular with a lot of women. She’s had an amazing run on them, she says, despite the fact they are expensive.

Laurie Donley has a display of Wild Rags that she makes…cowgirl handkerchiefs…on display. There is a world of silver jewelry, mostly sterling, semi-precious stones, Swarovski lead crystal, wall decorations, Sugar Shack candles, Geneva watches and lots of hand crafted items…bird feeders florals, pillows, upholstered chairs…and year round Christmas ornaments.

I asked where were the pickle relish, jellies and jams that she makes, and are delicious, and she actually did have a couple jars of relish. I suggested she put out a table covered with her homemade goodies…and maybe bake bread and rolls fresh daily so I could partake. I don’t think she’s going to bite at the last part of my suggestion but it was worth a try. Now to see if she can do her famous Bloomin’ Onions somewhere on site!

So, stop in and see Tammy and wish her well in her new location. She is the kind of local entrepreneur we want to have succeed as her store strengthens our town with its originality and uniqueness. It’s a draw. Buy something!

Oh…another good side of her move is this: the bakery lady, Donna Behrens, is moving her bakery into Tammy’s old store next door. That’s a good move. She’s working her way to a main street location too. She does a good business. Tammy swears by her cookies…said they can’t be beat.

SONICARE

Filed under: prairie musings — Peg Britton @ 11:53 am

Now, you have to realize I grew up in the depression and there are somethings I have trouble dealing with. One is soap. When I was a kid, the soap being either the homemade variety or on rare occasions the kind you buy, was laid out to dry for weeks before we used it. And by all means, you never let it get very wet…heaven forbid anyone should let it stand in water. And you used it until it was gone. GONE! I mean to the extent there wasn’t a trace left of it. So, you’ll understand that even though I have a house full of assorted size bars of lovely soap of one kind or another, at the ready, and each guest gets a new one, there are piles of little tiny unused pieces of soap that still must be dealt with. I’ll use them eventually. It will take two more lifetimes if I never buy another bar of soap, but I’m game for it. The rest, the family will inherit. It was a good feeling that I finally got to the end of one piece of Dove yesterday. All used up. My daddy would be smiling now.

So, it is not surprising that I used my electric tooth brush until it died the other day. It still worked so why get rid of it? I’m not quite so parsimonious with the free tooth brushes Kurt gives me or that I buy rather regularly. I have this thing about keeping my teeth since several dentists from my youth told my mother I’d have false teeth by the time I was 18. By dang, I was going to prove them wrong, and I have. Only my wisdom teeth went by the wayside and I have all the rest which I take care of with kid gloves and loving care….floss, brush, floss, brush, do the Listerine thing!

So, back to the dead electric tooth brush. I bought it in an outlet store north of Denver probably 12 or so years ago. Never did a thing to it except occasionally soak the brushes in Listerine. Never even replaced the battery. I got my money’s worth out of that thing, and I thought it was dang expensive at the time.

A friend of mine who knows of my interest in such things told me about a new electric tooth brush she bought recently. Now she too is very careful with her pennies and when she told me it was really very expensive, I thought …well, okay. If she can manage it, so can I. That was an understatement as I could have refueled a stealth bomber for what this thing cost. I’m not kidding. I almost fainted (for the first time ever) on the spot when I saw the price of it. But…let me tell you, it is one terrific tooth brush. And if I use it through the 2 year warranty period and it crashes, it will have cost me about 17 cents a day or a nickel or less every time I use it. If, however, it lasts as long as the last one, it will cost me about 3 cents a day or a penny every time I use it. I can afford that.

Anyway, it’s a Sonicare with bells and whistles and is an incredible “tooth brusher” machine.

AN EXPERIENCE YOU’LL NEVER FORGET

Filed under: prairie musings — Peg Britton @ 10:54 am

“An Experience You’ll Never Forget” is the way the Buster Keaton movie, The General, was advertised. It lived up to those expectations and more. It was one great evening and done so well.

The five piece Mont Alto Motion Picture Orchestra, formed in 1994 and based in Louisville Colorado, was a stand-alone program in itself and very professional. It was composed of trumpet, piano, clarinet, cello and violin and were all top-notch musicians. They had two hours of non-stop playing (although there was a brief intermission) and that kind of music isn’t easy or slow. They were very, very good. I was amused at how the violinist treated her music by laying it on the floor beside her when she was finished, several pages at a time…all connected into these long streams of paper. She had a huge pile of undulating manuscripts beside her when the movie ended.

The General was a great movie and brought lots of laughs from the audience…which was composed of a lot of people our age and older. There were a few children there but not as many as I expected. The ones sitting in front of us got a huge kick out of it and seemed utterly fascinated by it.

It brought back a lot of old memories, many lost temporarily by the everyday displacement of other things that needed a holding place. Buster Keaton, Brit and Dane reminded me, was a good friend of my dad. As were Harold Lloyd and another Kansas movie maker, Roscoe “Fatty” Arbuckle. I did remember, after they reminded me, that my parents stayed with Harold Lloyd on a trip they made to California. Now I remember where all those autographs of movie stars came from. My dad was the potentate of the Central States Shrine and met shriners everywhere. Many became life-long friends.That was the connection.

Anyway, it was a great evening. It was our Valentine’s gift from eldest son and wife. Very nice and thoughtful gesture.

The Kansas Silent Film Festival is tonight and tomorrow from 10:00 am to 9:30 pm in Topeka. It is free and open to the public. You can bet I would be there if I lived in Topeka, especially to see “Tarzan of the Apes” (1918), a 55 minute movie. Tarzan was one of my favorite guys in the early days. I thought if I could go live in that tree house with Tarzan that would be the living end. I still am fascinated with tree houses and live in modern day version of one now…and with a little stretch of the imagination that is what I designed it to be. Oh…did you ever notice that Tarzan and Jane slept in separate rooms in the treehouse?

Silent movies must have been incredibly difficult to make in those days, when you stop to think about it.

2/26/2004

GOVERNOR SEBELIUS’ QUOTE OF THE WEEK

Filed under: political musings — Peg Britton @ 12:52 pm

“Governors are universally frustrated that President Bush is threatening to veto the highway plan which would give Kansas $687 million more over the next six years. It’s a great jobs bill. It would help rebuild infrastructure across America.”… Governor Sebelius in an interview with the Associated Press, February 24.

TOM’S GREAT PLAINS RECIPE PAGE

Filed under: friends — Peg Britton @ 11:59 am

Take a look at Tom Isern’s recipe page. I think you’ll like it, his website (which has become one of my favorite’s) and his blog. He’s a plains person through and through. I hope I get to meet him some day.

Also, speaking of North Dakota, as I was in a previous blog, reminds me that you’ll want to read this.

DATING

Filed under: family — Peg Britton @ 11:43 am

Brit: Is this the night we go to the movie with Dane and Barb?
Me: Yes…and dinner.
Brit: Where are we having dinner?
Me: Martini’s.
Brit: I’ll get dressed up so I’ll look nice for you.
Me: You always look nice to me and you don’t need to dress up.
Brit: No. It’s a fancy place, I’ll wear a shirt and tie.
Me: It’s anything except fancy. It’s more like a cowboy bar. You don’t need to dress up. You’ll love the steaks.
Brit: But I want to.
Me: Okay. You’ll be the handsomest guy there.
Brit: Ally said she has some great filets. We need to go try them. The movie will probably only last a half hour. They were really short back then.
Me: Probably not long, but they have some other things to show. Maybe an hour.
Brit: Do you remember your first movie?
Me: Nope, not a clue.
Brit: I think I do. It was in Mapleton. We sat on benches and the screen was a sheet or something like that. It was a Tom Mix movie and very exciting. I think it was outside.
Me: I wonder why the screen didn’t blow away.
Brit: Don’t know. I don’t remember much except the galloping horses and the hard benches.
Me: I’m looking forward to tonight. It will be fun.
Brit: Me too. We haven’t gone out on a date for awhile. I think I’ll wait until afternoon to shower since you won’t let me move wood.
Me: No wood moving today! You’ll be worn out, your neck will hurt and you won’t last through the evening then we won’t have any fun. Anyway, the boys will move that pile of wood for you.
Brit: Since we’ve not lost the hang of dating, why don’t we go to the Midland tomorrow night.
Me: Can’t. I’m going to Lincoln with Linda, Marilyn and Julie to see Casablanca. Do you have anyone on your dance card for Saturday night?
Brit: Nope.
Me: Good. Saturday night it is. I’ll call Ally and make reservations.

GREAT PLAINS NOSTALGIA

Filed under: prairie musings, friends, Ellsworth — Peg Britton @ 11:16 am

If prodded, I could write volumes about the changes I’ve seen in this area in the “almost” past century. I’m not quite that old, but I started visiting my grandmother here in Ellsworth when I was an infant and stayed with her regularly after that until she became ill and later died. I recall some details of what Ellsworth was like and more of what I was told about it prior to that.

The other day Ken Robson was recalling the book stores that preceded his…Grant’s, Callie’s etc. and “the earliest that was across the street”, he said. It was before his time and he couldn’t recall the name. That was Harper Bower’s, I recalled with pride. Suffering a tad from anomia, I was rather pleased with myself for remembering Harper’s name. He was a close family friend and I remember going in his store often when I was very young. One particular thing I recall was that he gave me a book and a packet of canceled stamps to start a collection. The point of stamp collecting escaped me at the time, and actually still does, but I took great pride in my new present. His wife, Lois, made wonderful kolaches and I broke a tooth on one of her cherry kolaches where she missed removing a pit. I digress.

Anyway, that was back in the early 30s when Ellsworth was a Saturday night town. People came from far and wide to shop and visit. My grandmother would prepare me for presentation on Saturday night by taking me upstairs in her house, plopping me on a stool and curling my hair with some devise that hurt and burned. I hated it but understood it was part of the Saturday night ritual associated with downtown Ellsworth. I looked dang good on the streets downtown at age five. I was her pride and joy and my sister, who did not receive the same attention, never let me forget it.

At the turn of the century, the farm families that populated the area came to town on Saturday to do their shopping, get their supplies for the week and socialize. Many would eat and stay at my grandparents hotel, The Baker Hotel. The building was razed years ago but you can read about it on my website. It was on the corner east of the present Livery Stable Museum on south Douglas. It was a long journey for most farmers, traveling with horse and buggy, so many stayed overnight at one of the several hotels. My grandmother was famous for her food and the meals she served at the hotel…a family trait that seems to have survived the generations. Ellsworth was a bustling community destined for a great and secure future.

All of this brings me around in fast-forward fashion to thoughts about the grand exodus from the Great Plains, particularly the migration of farm families. It’s sad for me to follow this trend which seems inevitable and will continue, lockstep with the times.

There was a very interesting article in USA Today on Tuesday about North Dakota and what they have done to try to stem the tide of outward migration from their state. Like here in Ellsworth, rural Kansas and the Plains in general, the blame is often laid at the lack of jobs in an era of mechanized farming, once the backbone of our existence. But the story of North Dakota challenges the idea that economic troubles are the primary force driving young people from small towns that dot 500,000 square miles of plains in the Midwest…an area almost twice the size of Texas.

Interviews with young people in South Dakota and a review of Census and economic data reveal that lifestyle…the weather, the isolation, the landscape, the inability to find a date on Saturday night..may be be the key culprit behind depopulation of the Plains. It could explain why decades of effort to stem the loss have not succeeded. North Dakota’s youth are fleeing prosperity, NOT economic decline.

North Dakota has done everything right economically: create jobs, boost wages, educate its children, keep tax rates low. The state has even successfully developed high-tech businesses…lots of them. Still, the young leave.

Kansas has done much of that as well, but all the development aimed to help keep Kansans in Kansas is directed to the eastern part of the state, primarily Johnson County and Topeka. The drain from western Kansas continues and, unfortunately, will continue until only those towns with government infrastructure will remain. I blogged that recently.

That is not to say we should give up the fight as certainly we need to keep our combat boots on and continue to forge ahead as best we can. You just can’t convince me we are going to lure people here with housing. We aren’t going to attract “industry” as we once knew it. It’s all gone off-shore, in case you hadn’t noticed. And, as an example, I just can’t agree with people who imagine Ellsworth as a “prison” town, or are worried about lights in their bedroom at night from a security area when what we need to do is use every means possible to keep the people and jobs we have in this area. A prison expansion could be a very good thing and bring positive things to our county. There are ways to mask the concerns people have expressed. We have little else working for us right now…and that with some real effort at entrepreneurship is the direction we should follow. In my humble opinion. Anything to stem the tide of outward migration.

HOW CAN YOU LOSE 297,000 GALLONS OF WATER?

Filed under: Ellsworth — Peg Britton @ 9:12 am

It isn’t funny yet it really is. It’s pretty humorous to think that much water can just be misplaced. We’ve had water leaks over the years that resulted in floods in our yard and driveway but we certainly noticed it had been misplaced.

How can Paden’s Restaurant possibly use 297,000 gallons of water when they regularly use about 20,000 a month? There was no reported problem with the meter or register. The water just disappeared to the puzzlement of city officials and all concerned. Too bad we can’t turn the mystery into a tourist attraction. A barrage of imagery comes to mind at the possibilities….”Yes folks, please step right this way …you other people will just have to wait for the next guided tour that will start in five minutes…”

CONGRATULATIONS TO PAT SVATY AND JUDY TOMAN

Filed under: friends, Ellsworth — Peg Britton @ 9:03 am

Pat and Judy were named 2004 historians of the year by the Ellsworth County Historical Society. They were honored for their work that led to the 1873 jail being placed on the National Register of Historic Places. They do good work for us. Remember to thank them when they pass your way. And, when you pass by the old jail that has been restored as a ruin and the officers’ quarters in Kanopolis, think of all the long hours of work society members endure to make those things possible for us.

2/25/2004

BOB LONG SAW IT!

Filed under: prairie musings, friends, Ellsworth — Peg Britton @ 9:06 pm

A couple of weeks ago, Brit was having coffee at the Otta Shop, or whatever they call it now, and Bob Long mentioned that he had seen me on TV. He said it had to do with “Ellsworth”. A few days later Brit remembered to tell me. It just didn’t seem plausible to me since we’re supposed to have a premier showing at the PAC next month.

Even though it didn’t seem likely, I know Bob Long certainly would know a picture of me if he saw one. He’d know if he saw me on TV.

I’ve intended to stop by and ask him, since he mentioned he taped the segment, but I just haven’t gotten around to it. Today, as I was reminded of it, I wrote Jenna Stout at SHPTV as she’s doing the editing and would know. Here is what she said:

For our weekly news magazine show, “Kansas Spotlight” I used a portion of your interview about the Ellsworth Underground and a part of what Mark said for one of the stories. I did it as a “teaser” for “Our Town: A Day in Ellsworth County” to let the viewers aware that it was coming soon. I’m glad someone that way was able to catch it!

Jenna Stout
Producer/Director
Smoky Hills Public Television
jstout@shptv.org
1-800-337-4788 ext. 139
www.shptv.org

So, did anyone else see it? My legs are shaking about it….

YAY…460,794 HITS IN THE PAST 12 MONTHS

Filed under: prairie musings — Peg Britton @ 6:40 pm

I’ve had “that many” recorded hits to my website during the past 12 months, according to my website host. I’d sure like to peak over 1/2 mil some day, but I’m delighted and surprised at those numbers. I know at least a few of those people are learning good things about Ellsworth.

JESSE AND I HAVE MERGED ON THE CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT ISSUE

Filed under: political musings — Peg Britton @ 3:15 pm

There is no need for me to comment on what Jesse has written or not written concerning issues leading up to Bush’s suggestion for a Constitutional amendment regarding what consTitutes marriage between two people. I agree with Jesse and his approach to the subject.

I like it when we find such common ground…he, a young conservative and modernist, and me, a typical old liberal who’s been around the section a whole lot of times and a modernist (not to be confused with Roman Cathoic modernism) that leaves him in the dust (smile). Age and experience has something to do with that. Jesse’s mother just giggles when she thinks about our conversations. Jesse and I giggle too. That’s the way it should be….bridging the generations, sharing ideas, figuring out where we agree and why. Understanding our differences respectfully.

Jesse makes some very good points that I share. Opinions are developed to share and discuss and I agree that we should not meddle with our constitution for the reasons he stated. I also remember that not very long ago…it seems like not very long ago… this same issue was raised about interracial marriages. That is not a subject of much discussion now as thinking people realize that people who are in love, no matter of what race, and want to commit to one another have a right to marry.

My friend, Janis Gore, who supports gay marriage, describes it from a personal perspective on her blog dated February 18th. I recommend that you read it as well.

As the election approaches, the issues we should be discussing concern the loss of 3 million jobs, health care, education, the absence of WMD, the war in Iraq, Haiti, Social Security, etc.

THE GENERAL (1927)

Filed under: prairie musings — Peg Britton @ 2:43 pm

Tomorrow night, Brit and I are heading east for dinner and a movie with eldest son and wife. We’re going to Martini’s for steak (their steak is really great…in fact, I think everything there is very good) to the Stiefel to see The General with Buster Keaton. We’re really looking forward to this re-creation of an experience back in time.

ITHACA

Filed under: print news — Peg Britton @ 2:05 pm

When you set out on your journey to Ithaca,
pray that the road is long,
full of adventure, full of knowledge.
The Lestrygonians and the Cyclops,
the angry Poseidon — do not fear them:
You will never find such as these on your path,
if your thoughts remain lofty, if a fine
emotion touches your spirit and your body.
The Lestrygonians and the Cyclops,
the fierce Poseidon you will never encounter,
if you do not carry them within your soul,
if your soul does not set them up before you.

Pray that the road is long.
That the summer mornings are many, when,
with such pleasure, with such joy
you will enter ports seen for the first time;
stop at Phoenician markets,
and purchase fine merchandise,
mother-of-pearl and coral, amber and ebony,
and sensual perfumes of all kinds,
as many sensual perfumes as you can;
visit many Egyptian cities,
to learn and learn from scholars.

Always keep Ithaca in your mind.
To arrive there is your ultimate goal.
But do not hurry the voyage at all.
It is better to let it last for many years;
and to anchor at the island when you are old,
rich with all you have gained on the way,
not expecting that Ithaca will offer you riches.

Ithaca has given you the beautiful voyage.
Without her you would have never set out on the road.
She has nothing more to give you.

And if you find her poor, Ithaca has not deceived you.
Wise as you have become, with so much experience,
you must already have understood what Ithacas mean.

Constantine P. Cavafy (1911)
Cavafy, one of the most prominent Greek poets, was born on April 29, 1863 and died on the same date in 1933 in Alexandria (Egypt)

CELL PHONES CAN BE VERY USEFUL, CONVENIENT AND PLEASANT TO HAVE

Filed under: prairie musings — Peg Britton @ 1:47 pm

Cell phones have been the object of my scorn on several occasions primarily because they are so unreliable. Usually, the conversation I’m having with someone who is using one is interrupted many times with dead spots, disconnects, static etc. I find it frustrating talking into a dead phone. You get no forewarning when it’s going to die.

But, this morning was different. I had a most pleasant conversation with an attorney friend. We work on a board together and have for a couple of years, but we have not had many opportunities to chat on a one-to-one business or social basis. You know how meetings tend to be. This morning he called as he left his office in Barton County and we chatted until he neared Wichita. It was delightful. We shared many ideas about a lot of things and found a great deal of common ground. It was very enjoyable.

It is predicted that half the people in the world will be using cell phones within the next 10 years. I just heard that on the news. “Them’s” a whole lot of people. Maybe by then they will work better and I’ll join the masses. Now…to invent a way to attach it to my body so I am not forever looking for it. I think I’d like a stylish shoulder holster.

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