Ol’ Nevah and I decided to make our 53rd anniversary an “historic” one. No, we didn’t do anything historic ourselves, but we did spend most of the day either looking at or eating in historic places.
We drove 90 miles to Abilene, Kan., with two purposes. One wuz to visit the burial site, museum and library of Kansas’ only U.S. president, Dwight D. Eisenhower, and his wife Mamie. The second wuz to eat a fried chicken meal at the historic old Brookville Hotel in Abilene.
It ended up that we “sorta” got to eat at the Brookville Hotel because it wuz closed to the public, but wuz hosting a tour group from Topeka for lunch. I could see people eating inside, so I went in and asked it we could eat, too. The friendly hostess politely told us “no” because a private party wuz in progress, but said she would have the kitchen folks fix us a boxed chicken dinner to go if we wanted it.
We said that would be fine and so we took the boxed dinner to the Eisenhower Museum grounds, found us a shady picnic table, and enjoyed our box lunch of fried chicken, mashed potatoes and gravy, creamed corn, a special cole slaw, hot biscuits and jelly. Couldn’t have asked for anything finer.
After eating, we paid our solemn respects to the former President and First Lady, bought a few mementos in the gift shop and then spent 2 1/2 hours winding our way through the Eisenhower Museum. We could have easily spent twice the time and still not taken in everything.
By then it wuz near closing time, so we hurried across the grounds to the Eisenhower Library and, much to my pleasant surprise, the lobby featured another “Famous Man from Abilene” — Marlin Fitzwater, former press secretary for President Reagan and President George H. W. Bush.
It so happens that Marlin Fitzwater and I were students together more than 50 years ago at our alma mater Bea Wilder U. Marlin and I were never close friends, but we took many journalism classes together and I remember how hard he worked to make ends meet by serving as a “news stringer” for several Kansas newspapers. That was back in ancient times before faxes, e-mails and texts when the stringer had to type his story and then transcribe it over the phone to a news person at the newspaper.
We didn’t get to spend much time in the library before the staff shooed us out and closed up. Perhaps we’ll go back another time.
We headed home via the back byways and ended up in historic Council Grove and ate supper at the historic Trail Days cafe — operated out of an old stone house built back in the Santa Fe Trail era. The eccentric couple who own the place have done a wonderful job of retro-fitting with historic furniture, pictures and books. Plus, they love to talk about the history of the home and its former owners. The cafe wuz rated 4 1/2 stars by some rating outfit and I’d say the food we had measured up to that high standard.
I planted my fall garden and food plots for the chickens one evening last week and we got a nice 1/2-inch shower that evening. So the green beans, radishes and lettuce in the raised gardens — plus the excess seed from those three veggies, plus some swiss chard, kale, and turnips in the food plots should emerge within days.
My new Colorado friend, ol’ Sawyer Bord, is coming here for a one-day fishing expedition the end of the month. I’ll bet we have fun and probably will catch some fish. I’ll probably even get a few new stories for this column.
I went to a farm bill listening and learning meeting hosted by my congressman at noon today. Probably 40 concerned citizens attended and I put my two-cents worth into the discussion. I’ll be surprised if my suggestion for the new farm bill is even considered, but at least I did my duty as a citizen to speak up.
On a Friday afternoon, a balding, white-haired, bowlegged old cowboy limped into a dealership that sold fancy pickups and horse trailers. He wuz accompanied by a gorgeous cowgirl less than half his age.
He told the dealer that he wanted to buy the most expensive pickup and stock trailer on the market for his new girlfriend. The dealer couldn’t believe his good luck and, after looking online for a few minutes, said he found the truck and trailer, but they weren’t on the lot. He could get them there by Monday.
The old rancher said that would be fine and proceeded to write a check on the north side of $100,000 for the truck and trailer. “I know you need to make sure the check is good, so you can check with my bank on Monday to make sure the check is good,” the rancher noted. That wuz satisfactory for the dealer.
On Monday morning the dealer called the aging cowboy and angrily said, “Sir. I just called your bank. Your check is no good. You’ve got no money in your account.”
“I know,” said the old rancher happily. “But let me tell you about my weekend.”
Now for a closing political limerick.
O’Bannon was a White House advisor,
Whose advice spewer forth like a geyser.
But, he overstepped his bounds
On the White House grounds.
Now he’s a former advisor —but wiser.
Have a good ‘un