“HISTORY IS A CYCILIC POEM WRITTEN BY TIME UPON THE MEMORIES OF MAN.”
Percy Bysshe Shelly
On January 29 Kansas became a state 162 years ago. A turbulent bloody time when the nation was in the throes of slavery and Kansas was right in the middle of it. Though long in coming the act of signing the bill by President Buchanan was the defining step for the Civil War to commence. John Brown had lit the fuse with the explosion happening at Fort Sumter. Though modern day elites scoff at a state that has not the mountains or sea shore Walt Whitman said that the plains are the true example of the American character.
Four and five generations ago my family came to Kansas and prospered. Thru hard times and plenty the families of my parents have left their mark on the land and my heart. It is only natural that I must write about Kansas and Kansans. Though other states make great claims the proof is in the quiet record of Kansas.
Kansas defies categorization. We have produced a president, an almost president, and possibly a presidential candidate. The land looked upon with fear by those raised in forest rich states did not recognize the underlying strength of the land. The thrift, work ethic, and imagination of the Kansas people quietly are the foundation of the country. We feed the world, put mankind flying over it, in uncounted ways many of the ideas and people of many vocations had their roots in our Kansas soil.
Once a year there are quiet celebrations that get little notice yet the nation and world should stop and take notice. Quietly, as we always have, we will smile and go on with our lives. It is said that the meek will inherit the earth. We have and you enjoy the fruits of the plains when you sit down and eat. Though Marx always claimed that it is ‘the people’ that should rule, Kansas has proved that it is a people of free thinking individuals that actually make a society and country prosper.
It is a shame that many cannot have the pride in Kansas as Texans do there. We have so many that do not recognise what Kansas has and is. So many look to other places for their pursuit of happiness. I find that there are no more enthusiastic supporters of Kansas as those who get here late with their eyes wide open. I wish that there were people that quit looking slack jawed at a new arrival and ask the question “How in the world did you come to Kansas?”
To those who arrive here and get that question I would advise borrowing the phrase used in Texas. ‘I got here as soon as I could!’