Link to KansasPrairie.net

7/31/2011

OUR NEWEST FAMILY MEMBER…AMELIA MARIE…

Filed under: prairie musings, family — Peg Britton @ 9:16 am

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Amelia Marie was born at about 8:15pm on July 29. She weighed 7 lbs, 13 oz and measured in at 20 inches. She has a full head of thick black hair and, as you can see, big brown eyes. Mom is doing great, Amelia is doing great but dad, quite frankly, is a little giddy.

7/30/2011

BOULDER COLORADO FARMERS’ MARKET…

Filed under: prairie musings — Peg Britton @ 1:32 pm

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Photo by Drew Britton

IS RELIGION A FORCE FOR GOOD IN THE WORLD?

Filed under: political musings, religion — Peg Britton @ 1:23 pm

Who doesn’t love a good old-fashioned showdown between an atheist and a religious convert? The possibilities for awkward silences, blasphemy and overturned tables are endless, plus one of them used to be England’s prime minister.

On one side you had novelist and author Christopher Hitchens, a loudly, proudly self-avowed cancer-stricken writer whose brush with death has done nothing to disavow his long-held convictions that God is Not Great, as he titled his recent book.

On the other was former British PM Tony Blair, a recent Roman Catholic convert who became the latest straw man to go up against the erudite Hitchens in a debate over the existence of a divine being. The pair squared off in Toronto for a philosophical debate on the moral merits of religion.

The surprises? Mr. Hitchens, who lives in Washington, D.C. has had a Christmas tree as long as he’s been a father and observes Passover. He discovered his family’s Jewish roots late in life; his wife, Carol Blue, is also Jewish.

And Mr. Blair’s father, Leo, a retired law professor, is a militant atheist. The long-time politician also revealed in his recently released memoir, A Journey: My Political Life, that he has always been more interested in religion than politics.

For Mr. Blair, who converted to Catholicism after leaving office in 2007, religion plays the most central of roles, both personally and in his worldview.

This video/debate/documentary lasts just under two hours.   It’s worth every minute it takes to watch it and challenges your critical and creative thinking.  I encountered the documentary as I was almost finished with my third reading of God is Not Great by Christopher Hitchens.  There is a lot to learn and ponder here, no matter what your beliefs may be.

Click here for the full documentary (video): Is Religion a Force for Good in the World?

 

7/29/2011

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ALLY…

Filed under: prairie musings, Ally Britton — Peg Britton @ 10:58 pm

Happy ♪ ♫• *¨ *• .¸ ¸Birthday ♥ ¸¸. •*¨*•♫♪ To You…♪♫• *¨*•.¸¸Happy ♥ .•*¨* • ♫♪ Birthday ♪ to you ♫ •*¨*•.  Happy ♪ ♫• *¨ *• .¸ ¸Birthday ♥ ¸¸. •*¨*•♫♪ Dear Ally ♥ .•*¨* • ♫♪ Happy ♪ ♫• *¨ *• .¸ ¸Birthday ♥ ¸¸. •*¨*•♫♪ To You…

Wishing you the best birthday ever, Ally….and many, many more.

7/28/2011

FEEDING HUNGRY CHILDREN IN DICKINSON COUNTY KANSAS…

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

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Several years ago my friends, Patti O’Malley-Weingartner and her husband Steve Weingartner, started a program in the Abilene school district to feed hungry children.  Pitifully, there were a great many hungry children there as everywhere.  Through their donations, avid gardening to provide produce and the cooperation of others, Dickinson County has become the first self-sustaining program in the state to see that all hungry children are fed, including weekends.  It is a remarkable program and a priority with the Weingartners.  I think you’ll enjoy the full article below.  It does take a village to take care of our children.

Feeding the hungry children in Dickinson County: Taking it to the next level by Special to Reflector-ChronicleSteve Weingartner and Patti O’Malley Weingartner recently gifted funds to take a valuable county-wide program to its next level of sustainability. The local couple’s gift of $3,000 to the Community Foundation will establish an endowed fund for the Dickinson County Food 4 Kids Program.

In 2007, Steve Weingartner and Patti O’Malley Weingartner in partnership with the Community Foundation brought the Food 4 Kids Program to the Abilene school district. The next year, the 2008 Leadership Dickinson County Class expanded the service area of the program to include all Dickinson County public school districts.

Read more: Abilene Reflector-Chronicle - Feeding the hungry children in Dickinson County Taking it to the next level

CANCER: THE FORBIDDEN CURES

Filed under: political musings — Peg Britton @ 12:15 pm

20,000 people die of cancer every day.
That translates into 8 million deaths every year.
500,000 of those are Americans.
At the beginning of the last century, 1 out of every 20 people got cancer.
In 1940, it was 1 out of every 16.
By 1970, it was 1 out of 10.
In 2000, 1 out of 3 got cancer during the course of their life.
Over 1,000,000 Americans are diagnosed with a new cancer every year.
All these people plunge into a dark tunnel that will dramatically change their lives for years to come.

This documentary runs about 90 minutes, but you’ll not want to miss it. If you haven’t had cancer, someone close to you has experienced it. Maybe there are other options one should consider other than the three available ones…surgery, chemo and radiation. You’ll see some of the latest advances in alternative therapies. For you history buffs, this is a must have. For people looking for options outside of conventional medicine, this could save your life. It is very well done and well worth a watch. You can also google for additional information, comments, etc.

Cancer: the Forbidden Cures - Full Documentary from Jason Greenwood on Vimeo.

7/27/2011

MELISSA HARRIS-PERRY HOLDS CLASS…YOU CAN’T OWN PROPERTY IF YOU ARE PROPERTY…THINK ON IT…

Filed under: political musings — Peg Britton @ 5:12 pm

Professor Melissa Harris-Perry’s had a segment on the race gap in income last night on Rachel’s show. With the median white family now almost 20 times richer than the median black one, we’ve got a problem. MHP holding class:

As people of color become a proportionally bigger part of the American population, our national coffers will rely on them even more. We cannot pay off the national debt if households cannot pay off their personal debt, and if they are in debt, then you can’t cut enough to ever make it possible to fix our government’s debt problems, and particularly not if you refuse to tax that one group whose wealth is still tick, tick, ticking up.

As she explained last night, you’ll find the roots of the income gap in choices by our government. Slaves began their lives in America as property, so of course they couldn’t buy property and accumulate wealth. Later, federal programs to help people buy homes shut black and brown people out of desirable neighborhoods. That shut them out of building wealth, which grows over time. As anyone who has ever dragged around a burdensome student loan, the effects of having less grow, too.

Thanks for tuning in …

7/26/2011

COULD YOUR POST OFFICE CLOSE?

Filed under: prairie musings — Peg Britton @ 3:03 pm

From the WSJ:
By JENNIFER LEVITZ

While many communities are lamenting the possible loss of the local post office, businesses may see an opportunity.

A new alternative post-office model being introduced by the U.S. Postal Service could bring needed foot traffic to corner markets, gas stations and other merchants who have been hit by the economic downturn, Postmaster Patrick R. Donahoe said Tuesday.

Some 3,653 post offices are being reviewed for possible closure under the plan released Tuesday. See if your local post office is on the list.

As it released on Tuesday a list of 3,653 mostly small-town post offices that will be studied for possible closure, the postal service described a new strategy to hire local business to offer mailing services.

The agency hopes to begin opening as many as 2,500 “village” post offices by the fall. Essentially, the postal service would contract with small businesses in towns that are losing a post office, to offer mail services such as selling stamps and accepting packages. The arrangement would be convenient for consumers who may already be shopping in these places and would also bring more foot traffic to local merchants, Mr. Donahoe said.

“It’s a good opportunity for small businesses,” he said. “Many general stores are hanging on for dear life out there with the recession and a lot of other issues.”
Journal Community

Businesses that contract with the postal service can use the extra money to pay the rent, utility bills, and so on, he said. The postal service would also be looking at whether it could fold some stand-alone post offices into city halls or libraries, a move that is likely to cheer many small towns that have been pushing for such an alternative.

The financially struggling postal service, which faces a deficit of between $8 billion and $9 billion this year, is looking to close “low activity” post offices and is planning “significant changes in the way our customers interact with the post office,” Mr. Donahoe said.

See a list of post offices the U.S. Postal Service said it was closing starting at the end of 2010.

Another company poised to benefit: United Parcel Service Inc. The postal agency describes UPS as its biggest shipping competitor.

On Tuesday, UPS officials didn’t seem upset about the post office closings.

“Anytime a competitor pulls back access, it’s an opportunity,” Kurt Kuehn, the company’s chief financial officer, said in an earnings call. “Clearly, we will look at the gaps that are there.”

Write to Jennifer Levitz at jennifer.levitz@wsj.com
View video

HERE’S THE LIST FOR KANSAS…

THE TEEN SUICIDE EPIDEMIC IN MICHELE BACHMANN’S DISTRICT

Filed under: political musings, print news, LGBT — Peg Britton @ 2:48 pm

Nine teenagers have taken their own lives in Rep. Michele Bachmann’s district over the past two years, many of them after being bullied for their perceived homosexuality.

So far, Bachmann has remained silent on the issue.

Bachmann’s critics allege that her conservative views on LGBT rights and her opposition to anti-bullying legislation in public schools may have contributed to the mental health crisis in her district,To read the story in Mother Jones, click here.

If you or someone you know is in crisis and is considering suicide call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or the Trevor Project Lifeline for LGBT youth at 1-866-488-7386. The hotline is free, confidential, and runs 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. 

7/24/2011

HOOKED ON HASHING IN LANDSTUHL GERMANY…

Filed under: prairie musings — Peg Britton @ 9:07 am

“Hashing”…in case it is a new term to you, as it was to me until this morning … can be described as a “drinking club with a running problem.”

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The technical name is “The Hash House Harriers”…but it is abbreviated to HHH, H3, or referred to simply as Hashing.  Hashing is an international group of non-competitive running, social and drinking clubs. An event organized by a club is known as a Hash or Hash Run, with participants calling themselves Hashers or Hares and Hounds.

The Hash House Harriers has chapters called kennels. A chapter’s management is typically known as the MisManagement and consists of individuals with various duties and titles. There are more than 1,700 chapters spanning all seven continents. Most major cities are home to at least one chapter. Chapters typically contain between 20-100 members, usually mixed-sex, with some metropolitan area Hashes drawing more than 1,000 hashers to an event.

Hashing originated in December 1938 in Kuala Lumpur when a group of British colonial officers and expatriates began meeting on Monday evenings to run, in a fashion patterned after the traditional British Paper Chase or “Hare and Hounds”, to rid themselves of the excesses of the previous weekend.

After meeting for some months, they were informed by the Registrar of Societies that as a “group,” they would require a Constitution and an official name. A. S. Gispert suggested the name “Hash House Harriers” after the Selangor Club Annex, where the men were billeted, known as the “Hash House” for its notoriously monotonous food. Apart from the excitement of chasing the hare and finding the trail, harriers reaching the end of the trail would be rewarded with beer, ginger beer and cigarettes.

The Constitution of the Hash House Harriers is recorded on a club registration card dated 1950:

To promote physical fitness among our members
To get rid of weekend hangovers
To acquire a good thirst and to satisfy it in beer
To persuade the older members that they are not as old as they feel

Hashing died out during World War II after the invasion of Malaya, but was re-started after the war by most of the original group.

Hashing remained small until 1962, when Ian Cumming founded a chapter in Singapore. The idea then spread through the Far East, Europe, Australia, and New Zealand, and North America, booming in popularity during the mid-1970s.

At present, there are almost two thousand chapters in all parts of the world, with members distributing newsletters, directories, and magazines and organizing regional and world Hashing events. As of 2003, there are even two organized chapters operating in Antarctica.

Most chapters gather on a weekly or monthly basis, though some events occur sporadically, such as February 29th, Friday the 13th, or during a full moon.

At a Hash, one or more members (Hares) lay a trail, which is then followed by the remainder of the group (the Pack or Hounds). The trail often includes false trails, short cuts, dead ends, and splits. These features are designed to keep the pack together regardless of fitness level or running speed, as front-runners are forced to slow down to find the “true” trail, allowing stragglers to catch up.

Members often describe their group as “a drinking club with a running problem,” indicating that the social element of an event is as important, if not more so, than any athleticism involved. Beer remains an integral part of a Hash, though the balance between running and drinking differs between chapters, with some groups placing more focus on socializing and others on running.

Generally, Hash events are open to the public and require no reservation or membership, but some may require a small fee, referred to as hashcash, to cover the costs incurred, such as food or drink.

The end of a trail is an opportunity to socialize, have a drink and observe any traditions of the individual chapter.

In addition to regularly scheduled Hashes, a chapter may also organize other events or themed runs.

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A common special event is the Red Dress Run, and is held annually by individual chapters. According to hasher lore, a newcomer in San Diego was invited to a hash; unbeknownst to her it was a running group, and she attended the run in a red dress instead of running clothes. After being mocked for wearing such an outfit she ran the trail anyway. Other hashers began wearing red dresses as a joke and the tradition soon became an annual event that spread across the world. The point of the run is that all participants (both sexes) don red dresses of various sorts. The Red Dress Run is typically the largest event organized by a chapter in a given year, with attendance topping 2,000 in San Diego, and 600 in Washington, D.C.. The largest Red Dress Run event is currently in New Orleans, with approximately 8,000 officially registered participants for RDR 2010. It is estimated more than 10,000 people in red dresses were in the French Quarter for RDR 2010 but not all had registered.

Hash House Bikers (Bike hashes or Bashes) follow normal hashing traditions with the hare and pack riding bicycles.

River Hashes (Rashes or Splashes) also follow normal hashing traditions but are done on a river with kayaks, floats, etc. using toilet paper on branches, balloons tied to anchor rocks, etc. as trail markers.

Family hashes welcome children (sometimes called Hash House Horrors or Ankle Biters) with soft drinks replacing alcoholic beverages and drinking songs toned down appropriately (sometimes).

Hashing has not strayed far from its roots in Kuala Lumpur. The hares mark their trail with paper, chalk, sawdust, or colored flour, depending on the environment and weather.

Special marks may be used to indicate a false trail, a backtrack, a shortcut, or a turn. The most commonly used mark is a Check, indicating that hashers will have to search in any direction to find the continuation of the trail. Trails may contain a Beer Check, where the pack stops to consume beer, water, or snacks, allowing any stragglers to catch up to the group.

Trails may pass through any sort of terrain and hashers may run through back alleyways, residential areas, city streets, forests, swamps, or shopping malls and may climb fences, ford streams, explore storm drains or scale cliffs in their pursuit of the hare.

Hashers often carry horns or whistles to communicate with each other, in addition to verbal communication. Every Hash House employs its own set of marks and the names for these marks may vary widely, so newcomers or visitors will have the local markings explained to them before the run at a Chalk Talk.

There are two types of trails. Live Trails are laid by hares who are given a head start, while Dead Trails are pre-laid hours or days before the Hash begins. Live trails and dead trails are also known as Live Hare and Dead Hare trails, respectively. Live trails are closer to the original “Hare and Hound” tradition, with the intent of the pack being to catch the hare rather than making it to the end, and are more common in the United States, while the rest of the world tends toward dead trails.

The reason for the above, is that hashing was new to me until this morning when someone near and dear told me he spent the night hashing in the streets and back allyways of Landstuhl Germany.  He says he loved it and had a lot of fun participating.  It  involved a lot of people, three of whom he knew, running about 5 miles, with lots of detours and backtracking,  trying to catch the hare … with two beers consumed along the way.  He said it was the most fun he’d had in a long time and was looking forward to joining a hashing club in Cincy.  I can appreciate the appeal of the social aspects of hashing.  Oh to be young again!

Mostly taken from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Thanks for tuning in…

7/23/2011

SMALL-TOWN DOCTORS MADE IN SMALL KANSAS TOWN…

Filed under: print news — Peg Britton @ 11:09 am

from the New York Times
By A. G. SULZBERGER
Published: July 22, 2011

SALINA, Kan. — This state, so sparsely populated in parts that five counties have no doctors at all, has struggled for years to encourage young doctors to relocate to rural communities, where health problems are often exacerbated by a lack of even the most basic care.
Related

Times Topic: Medical Schools

On Friday, a new medical school campus opened here to provide a novel solution to the persistent problem: an inaugural class of eight aspiring doctors who will receive all their training in exactly the kind of small community where officials hope they will remain to practice medicine.

The new school, operated by the University of Kansas, is billed as the smallest in the nation to offer a full four-year medical education. More important, supporters say, the students will remain personally and professionally rooted in the agricultural center of the state — a three-hour drive from the university’s state-of-the-art medical and research facilities in Kansas City.

It will be a different experience, one that administrators say will better prepare students for the realities of a rural practice. Lectures on subjects like anatomy will be delivered via streaming video, lab work will be overseen by more practicing generalists and fewer academic specialists, and the problems of patients will tend more to the everyday than to the extraordinary.

And, the thinking goes, spouses picked up along the way are less likely to complain about moving to a small town.

“It just makes sense, and it’s great that it’s been put into practice,” said Alan Morgan, the president of the National Rural Health Association. “From a rural policy perspective, this is big news.”

Increasingly, medical schools across the country have been looking for ways to add to the ranks of physicians in rural areas. Some are using incentives like guaranteeing admission or forgiving loans to students who commit to practicing in small communities.

Others are recruiting students from rural areas and giving their applications preference, in the hope that they will return after graduating. And a number of schools encourage students to spend one year or more training in rural areas.

Kansas has tried each of these approaches in recent years, all of which are being used at the Salina campus. But with more than half the primary care physicians concentrated in the four largest counties, a vast majority of the state is considered medically underserved. And with many rural doctors near retirement age, the shortage could grow more acute.

The medical school program here, which is similar to a program at the Indiana University campus in Terre Haute, emerged as the top recommendation several years ago in a state report on the shortage of rural physicians.

It was supported by research suggesting that students who trained in urban areas faced hurdles in adjusting to the more bare-bones life of a country doctor, said Dr. Heidi Chumley, a senior associate dean at the University of Kansas.

“When they go off to the ritz and the glitz and pick up a spouse from the big city, it’s always hard to get them back to small-town America,” said Micheal Terry, president and chief executive of Salina Regional Health Center, which donated the three-story building being used by the school, as well as enough money to run it for a year. (The school cost $1.1 million to start and $1.1 million in reserve to operate it for the first year.)

Situated at the intersection of two highways, Salina, which has a population of nearly 50,000, serves a crucial role as a regional hub supporting surrounding rural communities; the hospital where the school is based receives patients who travel as many as four hours to get there.

University officials were relieved when one visitor from the Liaison Committee on Medical Education, an accrediting body whose approval was considered a major hurdle, remarked with surprise that the area was not just cornfields.

Barbara Barzansky, co-secretary of the accrediting agency, said there had been concerns about the size of the school: Salina is the smallest city in the country to host a full medical degree program. But she said the committee found the resources to be adequate.

“It’s an interesting model, and if the outcomes are good, it could be a stimulus for other schools to do it,” Ms. Barzansky said.

On Friday, the eight students met for the first time for orientation, sitting nervously alongside one another before breaking into enthusiastic chatter. Dr. William Cathcart-Rake, a longtime physician here who is the director of the school, said that while they were the first class of “something very, very special,” they should not think of themselves as experiments.

Though a couple of students said they would have preferred to attend at the campuses in Kansas City or Wichita — one plans to commute from there — the rest said the smaller school had been their first choice.

Most of them grew up in small towns themselves and have agreed, in exchange for free tuition and monthly stipends, to start their careers in rural areas.

They know the life of a rural physician is not easy. Patients tend to be older, poorer and often uninsured. The job generally pays less than lucrative specialties. And many rural doctors have so little support that they are essentially on call permanently.

But the students also spoke firsthand of the need for doctors — one recalled a half-hour drive to the city, relieved by four Advil and an ice pack, to see a doctor about his broken arm.

“I’m a small-town girl, and I always wanted to be back in a small town,” said Kayla Johnson, 23, who grew up west of here in Odin (population 101) and did not like the idea of living in a city to study medicine. “When I heard that the Salina program was starting, I was so excited.”

Dr. Robert Moser, who had a rural practice before becoming the secretary of the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, said he expected the number of students who go into primary care in rural areas to at least double each year.

And while the number is still small, he said, the impact on communities will be significant.

That would be the case in Jewell County, where the only two doctors have moved away, forcing the county to pay outside physicians to provide services a few days each month and to be on call for emergencies.

“It would be great to have a doctor full time here,” said Angela Murray, the administrator of the County Health Department. “Hopefully that will happen.”

7/22/2011

KANSAS OUTLAWS PRACTICE OF EVOLUTION…

Filed under: political musings, print news — Peg Britton @ 11:27 am

The Onion knows Kansas and Kansans very well.  Here is another very titillating take on the eccentricities of Kansas lawmakers…State Board of Education etal.
From the Onion

ZELMA FOR PRESIDENT !

Filed under: prairie musings, Jeffee Palmer — Peg Britton @ 10:23 am

From time to time, various friends allow me to re-print a post from their blogs, or they write one for kansasprairie when they are so inclined.  Today’s essay is by Jeffee Palmer, of Austin.  Since the subject of her article is one familiar to Austinites and visitors to Austin, I thought you’d enjoy reading it.  It’s also for my friends in Austin. Jeffee mentions “Leslie”, as well, and I’ve heard tales about Leslie from many of my friends who lived in Austin.  One can’t have passed through Austin without becoming aware of Leslie.  This is taken from Jeffee’s blog, Now and Thenadays.
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Jeffee Palmer:  Lawyer, historian, writer, mother,grandmother, native Texan, UT grad, and proud Austinite!
Zelma for President!!!
nowandthenadays | July 21, 2011 at 9:05 pm |

As many of you may recall, I’ve mentioned Bicycle Annie on several occasions in these pages.  She was a woman who, during the 50s, 60s, and 70s, could invariably be found along the Drag and other downtown Austin streets, be it on her bicycle or walking, sometimes with crutches, sometimes just pushing the bicycle.  Most Austinites and UT students of those decades remember her, some referring to her as the Indian Princess, others using the sobriquet, Bicycle Annie.  She seemed to eschew interaction with others (if not outright resent it) and, was, accordingly, left alone  with the mental issues we assumed upon her.

Last week, I was surprised to hear from Diane in Wichita Falls, a relative of Bicycle Annie’s who has been researching her life.  Through an exchange of emails, brought about after she discovered my blog entries, she shared with me what she has learned about this well-known, but unknown, woman who once roamed our streets and gained a place in our memories as a local legend.  More importantly, I hope we never forget that even the most unappealing homeless person was once part of family who, we can only hope, cared about them.

So, thanks to Diane, I have the opportunity to introduce you to Zelma O’Riley, a.k.a. Bicycle Annie, a.k.a,  the Indian Princess.  Zelma was from Durant, Oklahoma where her father, John O’Riley was a professor.  John and wife, Mary Catherine Harkins, had five other children including, Lester, Arlee, Zula, Lula, Ora, and Lela.  Mary Catherine was a full-blooded Choctaw Indian who actually came to Durant on the “Trail of Tears.”  The family was purportedly very wealthy, and raised their children quite traditionally.  Zelma, purportedly very intelligent,  moved to Fort Worth for a few years, and then finally to Austin to go to college at UT.   Here she started the publication “Up and Down the Drag” in 1941.

In an edition of “Up and Down” from November, 1947, she wrote, “It will take a woman to save America.”    She apparently saw herself as a potential savior of the country, and explained that her principal campaign plank was:  preparedness.  The advertisement read “Vote for Zelma O’Riley for First Woman President of the United States –  she is Irish, she is Indian and she will care for you.”    Important causes were important to the free-spirited Zelma.  As the true daughter of a strong Indian woman, one of her main cause was Native American rights.

To finance her publication, Zelma sold subscriptions and advertising along the Drag.  Her family believes that after she stopped publishing”Up and Down the Drag,” however, she continued to sell advertising once in a while to fund herself.  I’m wondering if maybe she was delusional and, at times, actually intended to publish it again, but never following through with it.

As Diane says, the stories about her being married to the man of her dreams and his death  causing her to go into a depression are not true. She was never married and never had any kids. The house in Hyde Park, also was not true, although the Blue Bonnet Courts where she appeared to have lived is at the northwestern corner of the subdivision.

Diane reports that Zelma visited Durant often throughout her life and visited her grandmother (Zelma’s niece) in Dallas often as well. Strangely enough, Diane’s uncle went to college in Austin and had many encounters with Zelma although he did not know at the time he was her great-nephew.  He only knew her as “Bicycle Annie” for years.  Additionally, there are rumors that she attended Law School at one point to better understand the judicial system so she could better “fight the power,” better.  The law school can not be verified, although it would not surprise Diane, who characterizes Zelma as a pioneer activist.

Apparently, the niece (Diane’s grandmother) knew Zelma suffered from some mental problems and tried to keep up with her, with not much success.  It was after her grandmother’s death when Diane found Zelma’s obituary and a few copies of “Up and Down the Drag” among her things, which sparked her interest in this unusual relative.  She will share those with me in the future (and I will share here!)

Zelma passed away April 30, 1991, and is buried in Durant in a Choctaw burial ground.

As I write this, I realize that this woman, albeit troubled and in her own way, as  unconventional as today’s Leslie, our local transvestite, is significant to me because she is so solidly a link to the Austin I knew and loved.   In sharing our memories of Bicycle Annie, she also links me to others who remember her so vividly.  While she could be a bit shocking and offputting, she made little marks in our psyche that tie us to a past in this city.  Also, the longer we live, the more we understand that – while she may have lived in a world of her own making that we couldn’t understand – it never made her less human, less deserving of our compassion and understanding.

Austin sends you prayers and remembrance, Zelma.  I hope you have found a place of rest and peace, Indian Princess.

Click here for a previous posting by Jeffee.

7/16/2011

CSB & T THERMOMETER REGISTERS 110…

Filed under: prairie musings, Ellsworth — Peg Britton @ 2:54 pm

The downtown bank thermometer in Ellsworth registers 110 degrees at 3:45 p.m.

WARREN BUFFETT HAD IT RIGHT…

Filed under: political musings — Peg Britton @ 2:51 pm

Warren Buffett had it right when he said he could resolve the deficit spending issue in five minutes. His recommendation is that we create a law that states that anytime the federal deficit exceeds 3.0% of GDP — all sitting congressmen are prohibited from ever running for re-election.

7/15/2011

LUCAS GARDEN OF EDEN SOLD TO KOHLER…IT’S A GOOD THING…

Filed under: prairie musings, Lucas — Peg Britton @ 4:46 pm

Hutch News.com
Garden of Eden near Lucas sold, to be restored
By Mike Corn - Special to The News

LUCAS - The iconic Garden of Eden here has been sold, but it’s a sale that will bring with it a massive restoration effort.

Once the restoration process is completed, the Kohler Foundation Inc., Kohler, Wis., plans to turn ownership over to a local nonprofit group.

The ownership change was announced this morning in a letter to Lucas chamber members from John Hachmeister, a director in Garden of Eden Inc., the group that purchased S.P. Dinsmoor’s 1906 concrete garden and limestone log cabin more than 20 years ago.

“This is the best transition anyone could hope for,” Hachmeister said in the letter. “Needed work that Garden of Eden Inc. could never afford to carry out will be done.”

When the work is done, Kohler will transfer ownership to a local nonprofit group, Friends of S.P. Dinsmoor’s Garden of Eden, he said. The group was formed by Hachmeister and Lucas artist Erika Nelson.

A town meeting on the sale and restoration will be at 5:30 p.m. Thursday at the Lucas Area Community Theater.

For additional information, click here….

7/12/2011

MARK YOUR CALENDARS….PARTICIPATE…

Filed under: prairie musings, Ellsworth — Peg Britton @ 9:50 am

July 2011:

16 Ellsworth County 4-H  Horse Show El-Kan Arena 3:00 pm

19-23 Ellsworth County Fair all day Recreation Center and/or El-Kan Arena, Consession stand, daily.

19-20 El-Kan Western Riders Rodeo. El-Kan Western Riders Rodeo Arena

19-20-21 Annual Mid-Kansas Indian Wars Rendezvous Sponsored by The Nicodemus Buffalo Soldier.  9am-5-pm, Ellsworth Recreation Grounds.

20  Ellsworth Cowtown Festival - Games, food, vendors, “Re-enactment, Shooting of Sheriff Whitney.

September 2011:

3 - 24: Kansas 150th Anniversary Cattle Drive

4 St. Ignatius Fiesta in Kanopolis

24:  Kansas Cattle Drive Celebrating Kansas 150th Anniversary. 400 Texas Longhorns up the Ellsworth/Cox Trail to the Union Pacific Rail Head. Food, fun and talented entertainment.

KIWANIS FUNDRAISER FOR VICTORY JUNCTION…

Filed under: prairie musings, Ellsworth — Peg Britton @ 9:35 am

Kiwanis Fundraiser for Victory Junction!

Sunday July 17th at Coach & Four Bowling Lanes/Gambino’s Pizza – SPECIAL HOURS – 11:00 AM – 9:00 PM

Gambino’s is contributing 50% of Italian Cheese stick sales to Victory Junction & Bowling - $2.00/game with $1.00 going to Victory Junction!

Victory Junction is a free camp for children and their families with certain illnesses.  They are staffed and medically equipped to treat 21 different illnesses.  To find more out about “Victory Junction” see their web site here. 

Kiwanis Clubs in Kansas are fundraising to build one of the cabin’s at the new site for the second camp to be built in Wyandotte County!

Hope to see everyone Sunday enjoying the “air conditioned” facility at Coach & Four!

Cynthia M. Bender
Administrative Assistant/
Secretary
Clubine and Rettele, Chtd
cindybender@cr-cpa.com
785.472..3915 – Ellsworth

7/11/2011

SCIENTISTS DISCOVER GONORRHEA “SUPERBUG”…

Filed under: political musings, print news — Peg Britton @ 8:51 pm

Scientists Discover Gonorrhea “Superbug”
Experts fret that the new strain could spark a global health epidemic.
By Stephen Spencer Davis | Posted Monday, Jul. 11, 2011, at 10:53 AM EDT

Some scary news on the STD front.

Scientists have discovered a “superbug” strain of gonorrhea in Japan that is resistant to all antibiotics currently used to fight the sexually transmitted disease, Reuters reports.

Researchers worry that the strain, called H041, could transform the easily treated infection into a global health threat, and say that it has already proven resistant to the only antibiotics that are still effective in treating gonorrhea.

One of the researcher’s who discovered the strain called it both “alarming” and “predictable.”

“Since antibiotics became the standard treatment for gonorrhea in the 1940s, this bacterium has shown a remarkable capacity to develop resistance mechanisms to all drugs introduced to control it,” said the researcher, Magnus Unemo.

If left untreated, gonorrhea can lead to ectopic pregnancy and infertility in women.

Unemo sees the strain’s discovery in Japan as part of a larger pattern. “Japan has historically been the place for the first emergence and subsequent global spread of different types of resistance in gonorrhea,” he said.

There were indications that gonorrhea could become a superbug last year, when reports emerged from Hong Kong, China, Australia, and other parts of Asia about the disease’s resistance to drugs.

The STD is one of the most common in the world and there are about 700,000 cases annually in the United States alone.

Unemo is slated to present details of his findings at a conference of the International Society for Sexually Transmitted Disease Research later Monday.

KANOPOLIS DRIVE-IN SCHEDULE FOR THIS WEEKEND…HARRY POTTER 7

Filed under: prairie musings, Kanopolis Musings — Peg Britton @ 7:44 pm

SUPPORT THE KANOPOLIS DRIVE-IN THEATER…

Kanopolis Drive-In Theatre

Open Thursday, Friday, Saturday & Sunday Nights.

Double Features on Fridays & Saturdays.
Gates open 8 – 9:45 pm!! Movie starts about 9:30 p.m.
www.kanopolisdrivein.com

Ticket Prices
$7 for ages 13 and up
$5 for ages 5-12
4 and under FREE
Here is the schedule for this weekend’s movies. We were lucky. We did not expect to get Harry Potter. Guess somebody is looking out for us!

Thursday July 14 -Zookeeper.

Friday/ Saturday July 15 and 16 -HARRY POTTER 7 AND ZOOKEEPER!

Sunday July 17 HARRY POTTER 7!

Thanks!

Josh Webb

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