Archive for April, 2011

A Presidential Election………………#237 (the 90’s)

April 29, 2011
The name is misspelled but still a headline

The name was misspelled but still a headline

The 1995 fall meeting and Vendor Exhibition for the Kansas Hospital Engineers Association was being held at the 10,000 sq. ft. Ramada Inn Conference Center on W. Crawford, in Salina Kansas.  Gary having represented District #4 which included Wichita on the Board of Directors and in addition served as  Treasurer for the KHEA for the past three years.   Larry Dunn the current Hospital Engineers Association president was supervising plant operation manager for the 760 bed HCA Wesley Medical Center on North Hillside in Wichita had been prevailing upon Gary  that he should submit his name for the upcoming Board of Directors presidential election.   Gary having no ambition to enter the contention for the presidency,  satisfied with his contribution of representing District 4 on the board of directors and serving as Treasurer, but Larry was persistent, Gary reluctantly giving into the prestigious engineers persuasion.   The names of  members placed in nomination were taken under advisement, the membership voting, descending the number down to two very contrasting constituents.  Gary with his small community rural hospital experience finding himself placed on the ballot, the other nominee was the Executive Vice President in charge of maintenance at the 353 bed Salina Regional Medical Center and like Larry wore a white shirt and tie to work and also was a Kansas representative to the national America Society Of Hospital Engineers (ASHE)  with a degree in engineering.

Salina Ramada Conference Center

Salina Ramada Conference Center

The time of reckoning was at hand,  a 150 plus number of representative members from the hospitals throughout the state of Kansas in attendance,  the two candidates  standing  before the group according their qualifications and  reason for seeking the office.  Gary beginning his electoral presentation very much aware that the majority of the membership were from small rural hospitals, acknowledging  he was a singular maintenance operative like many of them,  working in a small community hospital,  solely responsibility for all the mechanical, physical and ground keeping commitments,  logging and fulfilling all the regulatory compliant paperwork for the facility.  His qualification for KHEA president was his years of experience and prior 3 years of service as a representative of district 4 on the Board of Directors ,  his service as Treasurer of the organization and editor of the monthly KHEA newsletter,  but more important  he could identify and was  representative of their working environment.   The two nominees were asked to remove themselves to the Conference Center foyer while the voting took place.  The perspectives visiting with each other during the electoral process,  Gary acknowledging that this would be a defining moment for his ideological repertoire and future envisioned plans that he had conceived for the organization.  Upon returning inside to the convention hall it was announced he was the Kansas Hospital Engineers president-elect, Gary surmising in all probability it was the support of the small rural hospital delegates that championed his election.



Realizing with his new position came the commitment of responsible leadership in exercising  his posture as president including introducing innovating new programs to the Board.   While serving as treasurer he became aware of several thousands of dollar instilled by contributors and vendors to the KHEA’s financial account which steadily continued to grow serving no purpose but to accumulate interest.    Gary having given thought about the unheralded dedication of hospital  maintenance employees proposing to the Board  a scholarship program for the membership and including the immediate members of their family, the program would provide two $250.00  scholarship awards twice per year to further  their education.  The applicants required to submit a written essay  expanding on the statement,    “the meaning of education to me” or a suitable healthcare subject.  The  Board of Directors to select a winner and as a safeguard to remove any suspicion of favoritism on selection,  the submitting applicants name would be removed from each essay and known only to the President.    The enacted program was a total success and out of a sense of curiously Gary entered the competition submitted an essay,  sustaining from the vote by the board of directors,  discovering his essay winning.  Gary not accepting but  acceding his achievement to the  second place essay competitor, the daughter of Stan Murphy the maintenance supervisor at Nemaha Valley Community Hospital in Seneca.

During Gary’s tenure as president,  the Kansas Hospital Engineer Association determined that to be inline with the parent group,  their state affiliate,  the KHA  (Kansas Hospital Association),  it was suggested to project a name change from Hospital to Healthcare Engineers Association and expand the organization to include Nursing Facilities.    Gary disagreeing with the Board of Directors,  denoting that a nursing home maintenance program in many regards was different from that of an acute hospital,  pointing out that many Care Centers were not a equipped with the required medicinal and surgical resources that an acute hospital possessed,  requiring a higher degree of discipline.  His protest in vain,  losing his argument, the name change being enacted.


The propitious of his position enabling a presentation of other programs, foremost was  a union with the Michigan Hospital Association,  the only State  Healthcare Engineers Organization accredited by JCAHO  (the Joint Commission on Accreditation  of Healthcare Organization) .  It was an industry standard that a qualified membership and certification by JCAHO exempted a facility from  federal medicare inspection,  because  the “Joint Commission ” evaluation standards surpassed all federal regulations.  The Michigan Healthcare Association  with its comprehensive testing program and JCAHO recognition was able to certify a person as a State Certified Hospital Engineer.   The  Kansas Engineers the first to adopt Michigan’s program, but soon joined by the state of California and Wisconsin.   Gary’s vision of  providing the members of the KHEA with a state recognized hospital engineers certification program coming to fruition and giving him the opportunity to experience the ardent extensive written engineers test,   Gary now documented and recognized as Certified Hospital Engineer.


Inauguration Of Responsibility…….#236 (the 90’s)

April 24, 2011

A celebrated occasion that beholds the beginning of progressive events in a young mans life.   A commencement and inauguration of responsibility,  the family members no longer an exponent of parental supervision,  relinquishing their authority and decreed decision-making in their son’s behalf,  Robert Willson was graduating from high school.   The Chaparral High School event finding Robert’s parents,  sister, and grandparents all present for the occasion his Grandmother Willson flying from California to be present for the celebrated event.  Gary discovering the ceremony much like most graduations,  having attended his daughter Marlo’s in Oklahoma City,  but what really impressed him about this one was the closing song.   Gary never a musician to be impressed with lyrics,  but  the lyrics of   “A Irish Blessing”  a choral presentation would forever remain an  ardent part of his son’s graduation.   “May the road rise to meet you.   May the wind be ever at your back.   May the sunshine warm upon your face and the rains fall soft upon your fields and until we meet again.   May God hold you,  May God hold you ever in the palm of his hands. “

Celebrated Willson family

Robert and Grandma Willson

Graduation fulfilled,  Robert venturing in the 84 Chevrolet Blazer journeying westward,  his wayward travel  taking him to California.   His ambition, to visit his west coast family,  arriving at his Aunt Nancy’s and his grandmother’s residence in Columbia,  five miles north of Sonora.   All was not pretense,  the youth finding he was called upon to avail his cousin Sarah,  her husband Randy having injured his back in a work related incident.   With new carpet being installed in their residence,  Robert called upon to provide the muscle for moving furniture.   His journey was not without substance, taking time to explore the pacific coast,  the youth now proclaiming  “ surf’s up”,  a Kansas youth able to experience the realm of the wave driven pacific ocean,   a vast difference from the land-locked patronage of Kansas, viewing the world  thru the eyes of a young person fining responsibility.

Man of La Mancha set

The full-page ad in the Wichita Eagle Beacon certainly received Gary attention,  The Man of La Mancha was being presented at Century II.   What caught his engrossment was the production company having acquired the actual stage setting used for the Broadway production,  the paper displaying in full color the majesty of the set.   Gary knowledgeable of the musical,  especially its characterization of Don Quixote and having been well acquainted with the story and composers whom have written musical depictions.   Gary’s favorite, Richard Strauss,  having composed orchestrated tone poems about Don Quixote, Don Juan,  Ein Heldenleben ( a hero’s life),  Gary  admiring the suite from the opera Der Rosenkavalier and of course Strauss’s most recognizable theme,  “Also Sprach Zarathustra”,  better known to the American Public as the opening theme from the movie “A 2001 Space Odyssey”.     Gary asking his wife Jan if she would like to accompany him for the Saturday afternoon presentation,  but her knowledge and interest in the arts reflected her Murrow family upbringing in Kiowa,  a salt of the earth family, but rather lacking in recognition of the artistic expressions of the world.   His enthusiasm was building as He journeyed to Wichita’s Century II,  knowing that the Mitch Leigh’s musical composition would be an imminent presentation highlighted by the song  “The Impossible Dream” ,  its stature  a prominent display in the world of music.   Arrival at the Century II Concert Hall, an abundance in attendance,  Gary discovering that the only available seating was in the balcony.   As customary when  attending the symphony or concert performances his attire was always fitting for the occasion,  a suit or sport coat with tie.   Standing in line to acquire a balcony admission,  a lady with a young girl approached him,  asserting that they had an extra ticket in the orchestra section,  her husband unable to attend, asking Gary if would he be interested in purchasing it.   Gary inquired as to the price, the lady acknowledge she would accept the same amount as the $13.00  balcony admission.   Joining this newfound acquaintance and her daughter,  Gary was astonished to find himself in the season ticket holders reserved section,  seated 15 rows,  center stage from the performance,  miraculous seating for a musical dream about to come true.  With its conclusion, the performance of The  Man From LaMancha  exceeding all expectations.

The Orpheum Theatre before renovation

The Orpheum Theatre before renovation

Keeping abreast with other activities in Wichita,  Gary again noticing a presentation in the Wichita Paper,  a subject of interest aroused.  For many years vacant,  the Orpheum Theater at 200 N. Broadway was attempting a resurrection.   A Theatrical Enterprise was trying to raise money to revive its longevity,  the Wichita Community Theater and Center for the Arts actively involved in the project.   The paper announcing a musical production to be presented in the once prestigious but long abandoned structure,  a musical written by Wichita’s David and Kenneth Gale,  featuring local cast member,  entitled  “ Frankenstein The Musical“.   Gary taking notice to an highlighted addition to the newspaper announcement,  “Due to the ongoing construction, it is advised that you bring a coat as the building is without heat” ,  an intruding dissemination to put in the newspaper.   Arriving , Gary was impressed with the aged structure,  the theater built in 1922 an endowment of the past heritage of the city.   Entering the lobby was analogous to stepping back in time,  the cold building showing remnants of its historic past.  The presence of a once proud theater organ sitting in the foyer,  removed from its prominent stature inside,  the once snack amenities counter still in disrepair,  the building having a chilling effect in concert of keeping with the title of the present musical presentation.   The theaters spacious 1300 seating capacity,  a proud stage looking down on the lower level orchestra pit, the balconies with their ornamental statues showing their age,  the figurines still symbolizing the decor of a colorful past era.

The Orpheum Theatre

The Orpheum Theatre

       The musical was without orchestration, but utilizing a choral group with recorded effects,  the format not a matter of substance,  but a disquisition of the individual.   The audience receiving a critique pamphlet to be deposited upon leaving, Gary finding this first production somewhat lacking in structure,  but the rationale was warranted.  This first production  a journey’s start with endless possibilities, the attendance marking  support for a restoration of a once proud land mark and prominent icon of Wichita’s theater history.  The Journey home, Gary realizing he had attended the reincarnation of a living entity, a once proud theater destined for destruction brought back to life to live again.

A Denton Exclamation………..#235 (90’s)

April 20, 2011
Chaparral High School

Chaparral High School

It was Roberts senior year,  Gary trying to convince his son to drive the  82 Tercel wagon to school,  but Robert proclaiming he would rather ride the school bus to Chaparral than to be seen in the Toyota.  Gary having employed the 1984 Chevrolet Blazer for his daily commute to the Kiowa Hospital,  weighing a decision, absurdly relinquishing to his son’s desire.   Robert was meticulous in maintaining a prestige’s image,  always appropriately dressed,  a stature fitted for all occasion,  the Blazer providing a transportation means in keeping with his character.   Gary accepting the downside of the Tercel Wagon,   especially the lack of air condoning, the unit having failed the past year,  but having spent most of his life without an AC appliance in his Vehicle’s,  driving the 1950 Dodge pickup,  the Ford and Chevy Vans,  remembering transporting the band equipment in “Old Blue” his 1966 Ford Pickup across hundreds of miles of West Texas in the August heat.   The 60 mile round trip to Kiowa during the heated Kansas weather was  child play.

82 toyota SR-5 Wagon

82 toyota SR-5 Wagon

Robert taking pride in his acquired transport,  the blazer kept pristine in appearance,  installing a high-powered 300 watt subwoofers system in the rear, able to shatter the atmosphere with its reverberating projection as he traveled down the road.   Gary and Jan borrowing the vehicle on a Saturday morning to attend a Amway meeting in Wichita.   Descending upon the parking area of the meeting accommodation,  members of his group,  including his upline sponsors,  Earl Carra and Don Ransom were gathered awaiting their arrival..   Gary Switching on Roberts subwoofer system,  the resounding sound resonating off the buildings,  the Blazer Sport with its tape player presentation giving the Willson’s a booming and noticeable entrance.

Sandra having reached the age of auto mobility,  Gary again acquainting the five speed SR5 Toyota Wagon as the transport of learnable experience.   His youngest daughter not quite having the dexterity of her brother Robert,  but up front with the perseverance to master the shifting of the 5 speed manual transmission.   Dad starting her familiarity with a driving exercise on the dirt mile section roads east of Anthony,  explaining how one could downshift from 5th gear to 4th to slow the vehicle.   Sandra soon mastered the usage of the clutch and the shifting,  but on occasion because of the narrow proximity of the gear shift pattern,  she would shift from 4th gear, missing 3rd.  dropping the Toyota into 1st   gear,  Gary finding himself almost propelled thru the windshield with the sudden deceleration.   This event was more humorous than serious,  Sandra accomplishing her goal and obtaining her driver’s license without any difficulty. Unlike Robert,  she was convivial in accepting the Tercel Wagon as transportation.

1989 Olds

1989 Oldsmobile Cutlass

Gary discovering a requirement for another vehicle, Robert and the elder Willson journeying to Wichita in the Blazer,  once again acquainting East Kellogg and automobile row.   Gary in search of a reliable used vehicle that would transact his weekday 60 mile round trip from Anthony to Kansas.   Once again returning to the Davis Moore dealership where he had purchased Jan’s Dodge Shadow Convertible,  but this time at their East Kellogg Oldsmobile facility.  Gary not a person to dicker about specifics found what he was looking for on the sales lot,  the salesperson perplex that his sales pitch was not needed and within an hour Gary was returning to Kiowa in a 1989 blue Oldsmobile Cutlass.   Gary pleased at his selection,  the automobile heredity of the Willson’s fulfilled.   Jan with her Shadow Convertible,  Rob with the Chevrolet Blazer,  Sandra with the Toyota Tercel and Gary more than satisfied with the newly acquired Oldsmobile Cutlass.

An expectant Marlo and Garrett

An expectant Marlo and Garrett

Gary and Jan journeying to  Oklahoma City stopping at Gary’s daughter Marlo’s home, his daughter in an expectant manner .   The couple arriving at the residence finding a note on the door,  the written message  acknowledging they were expected,  but were called away to their recent acquired business opportunity with the address.   Their recent acquired enterprise a result of Marlo’s mother’s friend Jim marketing his business,  a graphic LWD  (logging while drilling) operation.   The endeavor evolving from oil companies and speculators engendering their menstruation’s from the drilling sites,  measuring the porosity,  resistivity and acoustic wave fronts of the drilling process.   Transferring the analysis to a paper graph  presentable for the oil rig roustabouts,  engineers and various enfolding invested constabulary for contemplation of the drilling progress.  Gary well aware of  Oklahoma’s oil rich endowment and its contribution to the state’s overall economy, and was ardent about his daughter and son-in-law’s new found opportunity.

Matlo's mother good friend Jim

Marlo’s mother good friend Jim

LWD Graph

LWD Graph

The new year welcoming  a new arrival to bless the heritage of the Denton’s and Willson’s on January 3 1995,  Allison Elaine Denton,  a 5 lb,  13 oz. arrived..   Gary an grandfather once again, luxuriating in the acknowledgment of his granddaughters arrival,  the aura of viability once again being proclaimed.  A brief Oklahoma City visit to acquaint the new born, noticing how enthusiastic a young Garrett celebrated the arrival of a baby sister,  Gary looking forward to Chris and Marlo visiting Anthony.

Gary and the new arrival

Grampa and Allison

Grandfather and Allison

The Dentons visiting Anthony

A Citation For Honesty………….#234 (the 90’s)

April 14, 2011
Gary's fahers Blazer

The Blazer

The time having derived,  Gary’s son Robert having attained the age of highway responsibility,  satisfying the  vision and  written examination requirements,  receiving a state issued learners permit to propel an automobile on the public access roadways, the youth excited with prospects.   Gary recalling when at that age, his father insistence that the 1940 Chevrolet Pickups non synchromesh transmission four speed be the vessel to acquire a driving expertise.   Gary’s Dad a Teamster by trade able to drive everything from a World War II  Army M-4 tank to a 500 series Caterpillar Road Scraper,  always emphasizing the use of the clutch as the most important exchange to extradite the performance of opportunity.   Gary insisting that Robert’s first driving experience would be in the red 5-speed manual shifting Toyota Tercel Wagon.   Robert having no difficulty with the shifting of gears,  acquiring an immediate dexterity after two driving  sequences.  His mentor then allowing his son the helm of the Chevrolet Blazer Sport,  also being a manual shift,   Robert finding a natural comfort behind the wheel of motorized transportation.

The endeavor was orthodontist appointment,  Rogers, Duncan & Dillehay at 1821 North Rock Road in Wichita,  an accomplish dental establishment renown for their expertise in frontal teeth alignment.    Robert fulfilling his scheduled sixth month check up,  wearing a correctional appliance retainer since 1993.  The Father and Son entering the Blazer,  only this time  Gary seated himself in the passenger’s seat,   imparting the driving to the newly acquired helmsman with the learners permit.  Dad having total confidence, sitting back, Robert nonchalantly starting the Blazer displaying a I’ve done this before deposition, ready to incur the 54 mile drive to Wichita.   Departing Anthony the hour-long journey consisted of rural highway 2 and 42 into Wichita,  the Blazer turning north on West St,, then east on West Kellogg the main thoroughfare through Wichita.   Gary keeping a watchful eye because of the Saturday Traffic and the many stop lights,  Robert progressing across town only running one questionable red light, his Dad impressed with his driving performance, the two arriving at Rogers, Duncan & Dillehay.   The appointment task completed, Dad opting for a change of drivers for the return,  Robert’s first long distance drive a success.

Arriving at Rogers, Duncan and Dillehay - Roberts first Wichita traffic driving experience

Arriving at Rogers, Duncan and Dillehay – Roberts first Wichita driving experience

The day at the Kiowa Hospital started like most,  Gary fulfilling his normal routine when approached by a fellow Apostolic Christian Church brother and close family friend, Huber Farney.   The Farney’s,  a Kansas wheat farming family under the craftsmanship of Huber’s son Tom having sections of acreage spreading across the state line into Oklahoma.  The elder Farney disclosing that Gary’s son Robert,  whom Tom had employed for a summer job had endured an accident with the Chevrolet Blazer.  The accident occurring near the Stateline on the Burlington Road,  Huber firmly emphasizing that Robert wasn’t injured.   Gary questioning Huber about the damage,  his elder friend hesitant about providing any information, only conveying that Gary needed to avail himself to the scene.   The weather not being congruous,  a very cogent thunderstorm blanketing Kiowa and the surrounding area,  Gary immediately giving notice to the hospital,  he was leaving to inquire about his son’s dilemma.

Tom Farney

Tom Farney

The wind-driven rain was coming down in torrents,  the lightning discharging from the towering cumulus, the thunder resonating with an earthshaking sound.  Gary arriving at the scene  finding he Blazer off the road, upright,  but the roof line was bent at an angle,  as if something had pulled the vertical post to one side  leaving the rest of the car intact.   It was apparent the car had been laid over on it side, sliding during its venture off the road before up-righting itself.   The left rear wheel having been literally ripped from the axle, but although bent at an angle, the rear window frame and glass remained intact.  Approaching his son who was seated in the inert vehicle,  the deluge of rain still persisting,  Gary joining him in the front seat.   Rob was shaken, almost to the point of tears, but holding his composure,  Gary assuring him that his only concern was that he wasn’t injured,  the damage to the car was of no immediate importance, circumstances happen.   The inevitable question having to be asked,  what happen?.  Robert slowly replying,  he didn’t really know,  it all happen so fast,  only that it started to rain and suddenly  the Blazer was sideways in the curve, then an impact and a silence,  the vehicle coming to rest.

Stateline cement marker and the curve.

Oklahoma – Kansas Stateline cement marker and the curve.

The thunderstorm continuing, the deluge continuing, the rain cascading from the sky,  Gary surveying the situation amidst the downpour,  noticing how close his son had come to hitting the cement pillar that marked the boundary between Oklahoma and Kansas,  thanking the Lord for what could have been a desolating experience.   Gary entreating on Huber to return to Kiowa to inform Keith Rathgeber at D & W Auto of the incident and ask him if he could retrieve the Blazer with his tow truck.    Gary visiting with his son  discovering that the Oklahoma Highway Patrol had been on the scene before his arrival,  writing Robert a citation for honesty,  asking him if he was wearing a seat belt and the young driver answering truthfully, no.

D & W - Kiowa

D & W  Body & Repair

The Blazer finding a new home for the next six weeks at D & W Body & Repair,  the extensive repairs a low priority on the shop’s schedule.   Scott Rathgeber giving assurance he could rend the top back to its normal position providing the window glass remained intact,  something Gary thought impossible.   The  torquing of the roof  post back to a vertical position  was a success,  a new left axle, wheel and  brakes fulfilling the remaining damaged parts and with touch-up paint,  a total cost of $1300 put the Blazer on the road,  Robert once again able to host his grandfather’s gift, the Blazer briefly down but not out.

Stay Off The High Ridges…….#233 (The 90’s)

April 10, 2011
Hospital Administrator Buck McKinney

Hospital Administrator Buck McKinney

Gary having reason to question the aptness of  hospital administrator Buck McKinney, espousing from past experience having worked  with remarkable administrative representatives as  Glen Piper, Jay Jolly and stanch businessman Steve Miller. Gary’s suspicion provoked by McKinney’s accession as Ambulance Director and after failing the State EMT Certification CPR Exam in Wichita,  Buck driving to Topeka to complain to the State EMS Director,  that the person in charge of the CPR testing was in error for failing a Hospital Administrator.   His status as Ambulance Director and  EMT was in name only,  never an active participant on a run and the Directors duties being  performed  the Director of Nursing the incomparable Sharon Ragan .    During the annual Ambulance State Certification Inspection,  the Surveyor finding the Kiowa ambulance lacking the required written protocols for the ambulance service.  Gary obtaining a precedent from Medicine Lodge,  meeting with Kevin White the Medicine Lodge Hospital Administrator and  Medicine Lodge Ambulance Director.    Medicine Lodge providing  their modus operandi as a template, Gary adapting them for a Type B Service in protocol form to fulfill the states compliance requirements for the Kiowa type B ambulance service, Buck expressing that because of his diligence the ambulance was in compliance.

Norma Jacobs Kiowa Clinic Business Manager

Norma Jacobs Kiowa Clinic Business Manager

Gary as a member of the Kansas Hospital Engineers Association was elected as one of six, to the Board of Directors of the KHEA representing South Central Kansas District 3 which included Wichita,  accepting the added responsibility as treasurer and editor of KHEA monthly newsletter.    The Kiowa Hospital an adherent member of the engineers parent organization, the Kansas Hospital Association),  never substantiated,  McKinney  blatantly boasted  that even though the hospital was a member, he had never attended or participated in any of the KHA seminars or professional presentations throughout the years of his hospital administrative position.  It was a given within the confines of the hospital when the subject of education arose, McKinney would espoused a MBA ,  although being forthright never actually declaring a degree,  just that he had completed the studies at the University of Minnesota by correspondence, his office walls barren of any declaration.  Gail Lindley the purchasing director goodheartedly mentioning that it was rumored  Norma Jacobs,  the Clinic Business Manager was probably responsible for fulfilling  the college studies for him. .

Ingresol Rand Vacuum System

Ingersoll Rand Vacuum System

It wasn’t a typical morning at the Hospital  but that was to be expected with the arrival of  Doctor Ransom and  a scheduled laparoscopic gallbladder surgery.    The surgery underway,  Gary going to the basement which domiciled the vacuum system that provided suction to the hospital  surgical outlets and to confirm the performance of the two Ingersoll Rand Vacuum Pumps.   Gary noticing that something didn’t sound right, the number-one pump motor’s RPM seemed slower than normal.   The motors diminishing  RPM  becoming a concern, its declination giving a presence of disquietude.   The alternating second pump’s Hg gauge registering correctly, (vacuum is measured in inches of mercury) but he could tell by the sound that motors didn’t sound right too.    Gary calling surgery giving word that there may be a problem developing with the vacuum system  and a possibility they may have to switch to the backup  portable pumps.   Sharon Ragan,  the surgery nurse giving notice to  Dr. Ransom but coming back saying  it was unacceptable,  he needed the higher  PSI of the main vacuum system.

Gary observing an unreal situation, with the number one motor’s rpm’s decline and now a question about number two,  It was decision time, on the phone to Humphrey Implement the only place in Kiowa that might have a motor, Gary explaining the situation to Roger Robinson, asking if he could check if they had  a 120/230 volt, 1320 RPM motor with a 5/8 inch shaft or a reasonable facsimile, Roger affirming they did and was on his way.  Gary began removing the now inoperable motor and its belt pulley,  Roger’s arriving with a replacement motor.   The  motor having been replaced none to soon as the remaining second  motor began a final failure slowing down mode,  placing a call upstairs that the problem was temporarily solved and the  system would remain online,  knowing that Doctor Ransom could now breathe with a sigh of release.   The question remaining, the reason for the motors failure,  the explanation coming from the city engineer,   during the night,  the town experienced  low voltage on a leg of the three-phase current for several hours, inflicting a  “brown out”,  a test meter determining that it was the   ‘run capacitors’  on the motors that were damaged running on the low voltage.       The electrical brown-out caused  a concern, Gary suggesting it would be nice if the city would notify the hospital when an overnight power failures occurred, but his request was never acknowledged.

Gary recalling an apropos  quote from a Louis L’Amour western novel expounded by his father,  “ride low in the saddle,  stay off the high ridges,  you’re riding in a dead man’s seat”,  the verse’s implication imparting a means for a person to cloak their ineptness.

True Aspect Of Unity………#232 (the 90’s)

April 6, 2011

Chaparral trumpeter

Gary always pondered the rhetorical posture, does the uniform make the man or the man makes the uniform,  questioning his sons appetency for a new trumpet,  Robert displaying pride in the acquisition and his participation with the Chaparral High School Band,  the family expending an exuberant auriferous amount for the unique trumpet to fulfill their son’s quest.   The elder Willson having spent his earlier years in the music profession,  discerning that his son was not a enliven musician,  differentiating between those who could accomplish the playing of music and those who instilled an over whelming amorousness euphoric desire  within..  Gary apprehending that most younger music instrumentalist were rapt in the arts basic structure,  having never witnessing his son projecting a vision of musical affection in the confines of the home or verbally according a musical endeavor.   Like most reaches in life,  there were two types of music visionaries,  those who impassioned an inner venerate for music and those who replicated it, extricating only the notes of presentation.   It was apparent, Rob’s ambition was an absolute perfection of reflecting the written score,  not inherent from within,  but a pensiveness of his desire to replicate its calling and ameliorate both the music and his stature.

Anthony vs Conway Springs

Anthony vs Conway Springs

The fall evening temperature having peaked at 60 degrees,  the stands beginning to fill for Chaparral Roadrunners football,  the elder Willson’s seated,   Gary an avid high school football fan, never missing a Roadrunner home game,  Robert also present as a member of the  High School band.  The contest between the Conway Springs Cardinals and the Roadrunners getting underway,  it was subtle but noticeable, the  wind having shifted,  no longer traversing from the southern direction of Oklahoma, but increasing in velocity out of the north and with it a marked descending change in the temperature.   Halftime at the football arena also found  an aura of change,  the once mild humid evening now in transition,  the temperature having dropped 30 degrees with the brisk north wind.  The engulfed assemblage of fans discovering they were not suitably attired for the abrupt change in the weather began a departure, the stands once filled with supporters were rapidly being vacated.   Gary noting the remnants of fans after the mass exit was sparse, it was apparent that most of  those remaining were loyal  family members of the football team and the insuperable band, he determining  sadly  the winner of game was the weather.

The Chaparral High School Band on parade in Hutchinson

Listen to the music

It was Band Day at the Kansas State Fair in Hutchinson, the Chaparral Band traversing by bus to march in the annual  parade,  one of many high school bands invited to compete in this astounding presentation.  Gary and Jan having digressed from their labors to be  present, lining North Main Street with a host of other parents and spectators.   Standing curbside, the ambiance of the marching bands passing in review, all in attendance experiencing a proud moment,  watching the schools and the uniformed youth on parade.  The approach of the Chaparral band Gary sensing a communion with each of the marching musicians, a chill of recognition, acknowledging land sharing their accomplishment.   The marching exposition coming to a conclusion, the statewide assembly of bands venturing to an admission free State Fair, the realm of the midway and carnival rides calling.   Gary visiting with his son about his return to Anthony,  asking if he would rather ride back with them, or remain with the band and return on the bus.  The question was a mute, questioning a teenager whether he would rather sit in the back seat of a car, or share a ride in a bus filled with excited teenagers.

Kansas State Fair

Red Skelton – an American Icon

The  State Fair was a annual event for Gary’s in-laws  Bud and Helen Murrow,  transporting their 35 ft. 5th wheel RV, taking advantage of the fairgrounds designated hook-up area and spend the most part of a week taking in the vast array of the fair.  The Murrow’s shelter convenience reverence was virtuous, the September weather always providing a variety from cool rain to summer heat, visiting family members according a place of refuge from the weather,  a way-stop from the continuous activity of the fair.  The highlight was always attending the grandstand concert appearance of  a nationally celebrated performers, to his astonishment in 1988 Gary succeeding in fulfilling a life-long longing the fair hosting an epitome of Americana, the one and only Red Skelton.

Two beauty’s

home grown

A State Fair funnel cake

A State Fair funnel cake

Hutchinson Kansas State Fair train

Hutchinson Kansas State Fair train

The state fair also provided another but  continuous star attraction,  the fairgrounds culinary exponents, upon arrival its presences experienced by  an overwhelming aroma adjacent to the Midway.   The bouquet of offerings included not only  blooming onions,  funnel cakes but  a paradise of international and culinary splendor resonating throughout and encompassing the ornamental sphere of the fairgrounds.   A given,  mounting the circular miniature train that traversed the total fairground arena,  enabling one to view the location of most of the commercial exhibits in the pavilion acreage.   This commerce display from the Kansas opportunist, hawking their boats, trailers, tractors and other merchandise and an organized presentation of entrepreneurship from the local merchants.  The agricultural building giving presentation to the competitive livestock,  awards being accorded to individuals and their entry’s,  row upon row of corporeal stock,  from poultry,  bovine,  lamb to swine,  a splendid exhibition with the youth of the rural farming community showcasing their beloved husbandry.   Another presentation,  the commodity building housing all the fruits of labor from the Arcadian individuals, the moms,  pops and grandmothers,  their jams and jelly’s,  the homemade condiments from the rural households of the planar plains of Kansas giving a presence to their ubiquity.   The pavilion of home-grown fruit and vegetables demonstrating an element of rural life, Gary recognizing the Kansas State Fair was an open opportunity for all to coalesce with the meaning of America,  the true aspect of unity,  a reservation of equanimity where like-minded people can assemble in concert.

A Celebrated Assemblage……#231 (the 90’s)

April 2, 2011

Darryl Starbird Exposition

The point of exaltation was Wichita,  Robert and his Dad projecting a designation in the Chevrolet Blazer to The Darryl StarBird Rod and Custom show featured in the exhibition hall of the Wichita Century II Center.   Both looking forward to the exhibition of outstanding products of the marauding outlandish endeavor that was once an American Idol,  the Hot-Rod.   Gary apropos to the Convention Center,  he and Robert entering the circular expansion and for some unknown reason Dad  misjudged the entrance, instead of the Darryl StarBird exposition entrance, they enter a pavilion and behold a Culinary Arts Exposition.   Row after row of tables laden with divergent culinary cuisine,  an extraordinary presentation of delicacies waiting to be sampled.   Gary noting the eleven o’clock hour,  deciding to preclude their later scheduled lunch, instead  the two gathering a paper plate,  proceeding to gaze with an earnest look but in reality ready to indulge in all the comestible diaphaneity.  Gary and Rob, once their appetency fulfilled, exiting the food pavilion,  acquiring the correct entrance to the Rod and Custom Show.

1940 Ford – the hot rod of choice

Peter Noone

The national touring Rod and Custom Show having been inaugurated in Wichita Kansas,  the Wichita Star Kustom Shop rolling out its first custom car in the late 50’s,  starting an explosion to acquaint the American Public with its proclamation.  Gary as a teenager,  working at the Mountain Blvd Signal Service Station pumping gas having a close association with those whom drove the infamous “raked 40 ford” and recalling his access to ride in the 57 Chevy purchased by Oakland’s Bruce’s Tire Company that won the Pike’s Peak Race,  was more adherent to the display of cars than his son,  but understanding Rob’s coalescence would come with age.   The StarBird presentation wasn’t only automotive,  but included a display of female beauty giving presence and the  vocal entertainment by Peter Noone  noted as Herman from the British Rock Group,  Herman’s Hermits.  The Rock Group having sold over 52 million records,  outselling the Beatles in 1965.  The father, son outings a memorable one, not so much because of Darryl Starbirds Rod and Custom Show or even the miscalculation discovering an outstanding lunch at the Culinary Exposition, but memorable in that father and son shared a time and place together.

Garrett enjoying Labor Day

Chris and Garrett getting a better view

Labor Day in Kiowa Kansas is always a premiere event,  the population of 1100 in the small rural community adjusting to receiving visiting patronage twice it size.   A ritual of a Free Bean feed put on by the chamber of commerce, but mainly administered by the members of the volunteer fire department, including Keith Rathgeber,  Billy Duvall,  Roger Robinson and the other members of the appreciative firefighters.   This annual meal consisting of beans stewed in 3 ft. high kettles, the simmering process starting the night before, served with added condiments of coleslaw, luncheon meat sandwiches and a table of enhancing homemade ice cream donated by the community.  The perpetuated rumor was that there was a palliative beverage additive to the beans,  but just a rumor.   The event sponsored booths displaying goods and works of art exhibited by mostly local entrepreneurs,  their craft wares being illustrated for barter,  but among the presenters were others traversing from as far away as Wichita to flourish their commodities.  Jan, in prior years displaying her ceramic intrepidity, her Stateline Crafts endeavor  having participated in the Labor Day event.   The event was not without a traveling carnival, snow cones, cotton candy,  a Ferris wheel, Merry-go-round and other rides providing the younger set with entertainment.   Chris, Marlo and Gary’s Grandson Garrett spending the weekend in Anthony with the elder Willson’s,  enjoying and making their presence known at the Kiowa Labor Day festivities.

Mud volley ball

Bob Hayes and Bob Cox – community minded people

The Labor day cake walk

The Labor day cake walk

Gary and others recognizing the person who shouldered most of the Labor Day Celebration responsibility,  Bob Hayes,  the owner of the local Gambles Hardware Store, providing organizational credence to the event.   Bob’s full-time service person Bill Duval assisting in the logistics for the numerous public address systems.   Community activities being programmed, an old fashioned tractor pull   with designated participants along its route,  mounting the sled to give it added weight as was done in a previous era.  An ongoing horseshoe contest,  mud-volleyball presentation and the infamous cake-walk,  the cakes being donated by the residence of Kiowa, Gary, his family and his daughter Marlo’s family participating in the events of the day,  a celebrated family assemblage.

Sandra and Garrett

Gary having been introduced to the Kiowa Kansas Labor Day event years earlier in 1974,  making the acquaintance of the then president of the Kiowa Chamber of Commerce, Judy Jantz,  who was frequenting an engagement of The Persuaders Band at Val’s Nitelite Club in Alva Oklahoma.,Judy visiting with Gary about contracting the band to fulfill an engagement for an upcoming Labor Day Celebration.  The presentation,  an evening dance to be held at the City Community Building,  The present day Community building  rebuilt by Gary’s father-in-law Bud Murrow and his  construction crew.  The Labor Day activity as always provided a memorable family event,