Archive for May, 2016

A New Road Of Expectations……………#204 (the 80’s)

May 10, 2016

Hospital District # 6 – The Anthony Hospital

Gary’s juncture with the Anthony Hospital was about to be accomplished having received a phone call to attend a scheduled morning interview with the hospital administrator  regarding his employment as a maintenance assistant.  Entering the administration office,  the secretary cordially acknowledging his arrival,  ushering him into the Administrator’s office.  Gary somewhat  surprised to find a younger person attired in a three-piece suit seated at a desk, raising, shaking hands and with a smile introducing himself as Jay Jolly, Hospital Administrator.    Seated in attendance were two other persons,  a diminutive elderly man whom Gary apprised as abutting 60 plus years of age,  the  other remaining person even more senior,  judging him to be in his seventies.  The Administrator introducing the younger of the two as Roy Stein  the maintenance facilitator,  the administrator asserting that Roy was present during the hospital’s  conception in 1967,  having participated in it construction,  returning later to preside in the maintenance department.  The introductions continuing, the eldest of the two introduced as Jim White, a retired mechanical and industrial  engineer who in the past had been charged with the supervision of the City of  Anthony’s maintenance, road and public utilities department,  the Administrator adding that he relied upon Jim as the Hospital Plant Consultant.   Jay acknowledging Gary’s application,  stating  with Roy’s concurrence he was turning the interview process over to Jim White and that Jim would afford the tour of the building.  Gary was somewhat apprehensive, expecting a sit-down interview with an administrator and maintenance supervisor,  instead acquiring an audience and inquisition by a retired City of Anthony engineer.

Hospital Administrator Jay Jolly

 

Acknowledged Past Anthony City Engineer Jim White

Gary’s trepidation was soon put to rest,  Jim White’s outward commodious personality setting Gary at ease.  The touring  excursion commencing with an introduction to the hospital’s equipment complex, a large basement  housing all the environmental, utility and clinical  systems.   The hospital structure itself,  a unique solid concrete cold-war era designed building,  the concrete roof and walls integrity designated as an emergency fall-out and storm shelter.  The building constructed with a maze like  underground 4 x 4 ft. enclosed lighted labyrinth tunneling system allowing  passage beneath the hospital corridors and access to all plumbing and electrical utilities.  Because of the tunnels 4 ft. height, access was accomplished with what we’re designated as scooters,  small wheeled platforms to literally scoot thru the passageways.  Jim introducing the physical plants industrial equipment in the basement, Gary having experienced boiler operation during his five-year tenure at the Kiowa school,  but never acquainting such a presence as the two behemoth natural gas/ diesel backup Superior High Pressure Steam Boilers.   Besides providing a heating exponent for the building, the boiler also provided steam used for autoclave sterilization  and laboratory sterilized water.  The basement complex also a station for the massive 100 ton Trane air conditioning compressor, its piping extending to the multiple bladed air circulating roof top condensers.  Another introduction, this time to  the impressive electric driven Ingersoll Rand vacuum pumps,  providing suction capabilities for surgery and in-room patient care.  Gary’s mechanical knowledge expanding as Jim explained the function of the various equipment, concluding with the  pumps for the multifarious zoned hydronic fan coil units that provided climate control for 48 bed acute hospital and adjoining Clinic.

The prerequisite walk-thru interview coming to a conclusion, a learning experience,  Gary having provided Jim with his logic based mechanical understanding of the physical plants integrated components,  emphasizing, with Roy Steins additional in-depth tutelage  he was thoroughly comfortable addressing the operation and maintenance of the equipment.  The interview concluding with Jim but before leaving it was conveyed to Gary his wasn’t the only applicant and interview that would be rendered.  Returning home, the inevitable waiting for the decision commenced, Gary earlier having informed school superintendent Glen Piper of his intended application endeavor asking if a two-week notice would be necessary not wanting to generate any difficulties, Glen’s reply was short and to the point, “don’t worry about it’.  The call he had been waiting for finally arriving,  requesting Gary to meet with the H.R. person the following Monday at 9:00 a.m. for employee orientation and physical.  Gary was no stranger to hospitals, the Kiowa ambulance having provided patient transfers to the major medical centers in Wichita, Enid and the smaller community hospitals, he was familiarity was with E.R. and the patient care portals of the institutions but  not the environmental service and plant functioning aspect.

Roy Stein

 With the new employee prerequisites fulfilled, Gary soon discovered his supervisor 64-year-old Roy Stein was a very quiet person, small in stature, soft-spoken, very direct never speaking more than a sentence.   A somewhat reclusive withdrawn person, having no interest in anybody’s  business,  his twenty years of hospital service finding a methodical dedication to his work and to a small farm that his father bequest to him and to his rumored mail-order bride Violet.   He accepted Gary’s presence not as a necessity or an expediency but as a acumen of the Administrator, something Gary understood and accepted.  It was soon realized with the hospital maintenance position came a responsibility similar to that of the ambulance service, the maintenance department  on-call 24 hours,  7 days a week.  Like an ambulance service, the on-call hospital responsibility was compensated,  a stipend $10 for weekday nights and $25 per Saturday and Sunday. The weekend call required a clock documented morning and afternoon walk-thru inspection required.  Roy in the past having singularly provided the on-call service, Gary sensing some displeasure from Roy when the Administrator suggested that Roy alternate his weekly on-call duties with his newly acquired maintenance assistant,  Roy having an aversion to the idea,  Gary concluding that his aversion was because of a  financial rationale.

Large XL liquid Oxygen tanks weighing 90 lbs

 Gary soon discovering that maintenance was an integral part of all departments, servicing the adjoining clinic and patient room clinical suction, oxygen, electric bed, patient call light controls, as well as fire alarm systems. The work-order request system was the primary means of communication with the facility departments,  the staff either by hand or deposit, submitting a time dated work request document in person or the maintenance office reception box,  Gary or Roy addressing  the work order.  The quota of clinical responsibility for nursing services was in addition to dietary, the business office and maintaining the plant equipment,  besides a twice a day monitoring  of the hospital oxygen supply with a replacement of the online XL stainless steel liquid oxygen containers if needed, plus the continuous room painting, floor stripping and waxing and  the upkeep on acres of ground which hosted the hospital and the emergency service ambulances.

Kansas Hospital Association member

As an active member of the KHA ( Kansas Hospital Association),  Jay Jolly regularly traveling to attend the organizations programs to keep abreast of  current industry innovations and changes in state regulatory statutes affecting district hospitals.  Gary was surprised when Jay approached him with literature from the KHEA  (Kansas Hospital Engineers Association),  an affiliate of the KHA,  questioning if he would be interested in becoming a member representing the hospital.  Gary surmising that his active participation as the newly appointed maintenance representative to the Safety Committee may have induced the attention of the administrator, Gary  having written and submitted the maintenance department’s  policies and procedures for the recently enacted Disaster Plan.  Jay disclosing, although Roy was an excellent maintenance man, with his humble placid disposition he  never contributed or initiated an opinion as a Department Head at any of the mandatory meetings, always in attendance but remaining quiet as an observer.  Gary was appreciative of his recognition and welcomed an opportunity to expand his horizon and educational contingency and likewise didn’t hesitate in accepting Jays offer to participate in the Kansas Hospital Engineers Association with it educational seminars, concluding there was more to the designation Hospital Engineer than just a title.

An Amiable Semblance……….#205 (the 80’s)

May 8, 2016

The Anthony House

Gary found there was something veiled about the three tiered monolith in Anthony and for some reason it gave him cause to stop, look and listen when entering.  It was a feeling that one gets when viewing a historical location or structure when its past over shadows it presence and that it’s trying to communicate with a silent voice.  It may have been the placard stone dated 1904 that gave rise to a sense of clairvoyance, one would question why those constructing a private residence in a small rural town would reference the construction date unless there was a meaningful reason.  Gary surmising, that with its manor enduring months of both prevailing hot and frigid air finding abdication with the temporal tide.  An essentia of solace emerged within its walls, it’s stately character no longer of the bourgeois,  but an edifice  a victim of the couturier and with it’s recent purchase a new chapter was inaugurated in its log book of history. With the introduction of a new family, the monotheistic residence exhibited ubiquity,  no longer standing solitary or as an unfrequented monument, its warmth giving station renewed and once again became an enlivened benchmark in the plebeian community.  The living residence at 602 N. Springfield attaining its generational mission, the newly established family having immersed themselves in its heritage.

The Anthony swimming pool.

It was a city sponsored endeavor and Robert was animated about participated,  a swimming team activity composed of elementary age student,  divided by age groups to compete with similar competition from adjoining towns.  Robert and Sandi having discovered the Anthony Pool’s daily availability,  a journey of 5 blocks north on N. Springfield Ave,  a convivial summertime excursion.   Robert’s team association requiring the discipline of structural authority, taken very serious by some,  but resolved as dalliance by others.   The competitive events taking place on weekends,  a host of parents and grandparents attending the community occurrence,  Robert doing exceeding well in his scheduled performances.   Jan first noticed the aggravation in the young boys eyes,  a slight swelling and redness prevailing,  the over-the-counter eye treatment finding little relief.   A visit to Dr. Bonds town office providing an answer,  Robert having an aversion caused by the chlorine in the water,  its aggravation being enhanced by his competitiveness exertion.   After completing two competitions, Robert having to concede to his medical condition,  his racing desires squelched,  but  normal pool activity was permissible.

Anthony Elementary School

Off to a new school

A commencement of the school year was upon the two students, an enrollment in Anthony Elementary,  Robert enlisting the sixth grade and Sandra abetting the fifth,  the school within walking distance on S. Springfield,  two blocks across Main.   Gary finding the two tier schooling application in Anthony and Harper a compliment to the insight and integrity of the Harper County Board of Education.  It’s two elementary schools,  The City of Harper and Anthony each having a K thru 8 grade and mutually sharing the 1971 constructed Chaparral  High School,  grades 9 thru 12.  The modern structure stationed on the highway,  halfway between the two communities.   The first day of school, Robert and Sandi expressing a slight indication of apprehension,  but understandable considering the circumstances, an inaugural day addressing an unfamiliar building,  a host of new teachers plus assembling with numerous unknown classmates.  The premier accomplished, the two young enrollees  established,  the  Byzantine path of education with its continuance  awaiting.

In the past, Jan and Gary having shared duties on the Kiowa ambulance, they were never on call at the same time and the situation was similar at the Anthony Hospital, Jan  working nights and Gary maintaining an eight hour day scheduled.  Jan having already established herself not hesitating to accept responsible, demonstrating a new source of assertiveness in the performance of her duties.   Gary’s realm of responsibility at work was beginning to advance,  Roy beginning to share his diagnosis ability and mechanical know-how,  the knowledge of the buildings idiosyncrasies,  to Roy it was automatic, a subconscious reflection consummated from twenty plus years of experience in its environment.  Gary soon discovering there were some assigned task that Roy didn’t mind relinquishing, the weekly transporting of a mobile mammogram machine, the Anthony and Harper Hospitals sharing in its use.  First thing on Thursday mornings Gary would back the Hospitals Suburban, attach the specially designed trailer, pull up to the ER entrance and load the electric driven mammogram machine in the trailer for the 10 mile journey to Harper, the Harper Hospital reciprocating every Monday morning with its return.  It was Roy’s quiet almost methodical way of going about remedying the problems submitted by the  hospital staff expecting an immediate response, but to Roy it was all mundane, prioritizing the problem, having seen it all before, his composer  impressing his assistant.   Gary’s observation of 65 year old Roy’s adroitness coming to the conclusion that knowledge alone would never trump experience.   With a home established, their employment secured, the family settling in finding an amiable semblance in their new Anthony surroundings.

Memories of Christmas Laudation…#206 (80’S)

May 6, 2016

Hmmm…..who is he trying to impress.          (Gary’s Grandson Garrett Denton)

The Christmas season having arrived,  the religious holiday steeped in tradition  with  Jan’s Family, her mom and dad, sister Gayle Robb & Husband Steve from Iola, Kiowa residing Lynne and Shawn Johnson, her  Aunt Esther & Uncle Charles Terry and the collective children of the Johnson, Willson, and Robb all customarily in attendance.  The location for the Christmas Eve Gift Exchange each year alternating between the  four Kiowa households, the occasional exception,  the Christmas Day dinner for the most part, the Murrow household retaining a predominance.

Sarah Johnson, Sandi, Robert, Jamie Johnson and the cookie house

Upon entering the Murrow residence thru the kitchen back door which was customary,  situated magnanimously on the breakfast nook table was  a traditional representation of Jan’s Mother‘s artistry,  a carefully constructed editable cookie house,  it presentation a focal point an outstanding delight for her Grandchildren.  in addition to the cookie house found the house an ornament of Yuletide decorations with the Christmas Tree in the living room.  The Christmas Eve’s family assembly able to partake from a bountiful filled table of variety of homemade candies,  cookies,  bowls and plates of delicious snacking comestibles.  With the evening hour for the gift exchange about to commence, a sound of bells echoed from outside the front door  and a voice could be heard, a boisterous proclamation,   “Ho Ho Ho…Merry Christmas.   Entering thru the door,  a portly,  white bearded  bespectacled man dressed in a booted large buckled red suit and cap,  a large cloth sack positioned over his shoulder.   The youngest of the children,  enthusiastically exclaiming his name,  Santa Claus!!!,  as he reached into his mystical bag,  distributing gifts to the excited youths.   Bud Murrow,  once again successfully providing the essential quantum Christmas character, fulfilling the tradition for a Murrow Family Christmas.

A greeting from Santa

Gary’s benefaction was his Apostolic Christian Church Sunday School class’s participation in the Christmas Service’s.   In concert with the church’s traditional beliefs,  the sunday school classes  presentation before the congregation was not a costumed pageantry or surrogate performance,  but a class gathering,  each young disciple heralding their voices in song and reciting either from scripture or an appropriate written Christmas accolade or poem in celebration of  the birth of Jesus.   With the completion of the Christmas service, the three classes assembled for a gift exchange,  the names previously drawn,  the colloquium and their families remaining to fellowship with an abundant supply of suppliant treats enthralled in the dining room.

Robert and Sandi – A very merry Christmas

 

Christmas Day at the Murrow residence,  a welcoming of Uncle Raymond Roth and Aunt Laverne the patriarch of the Roth family, with visits from the Guthrie’s and other long-standing friends. A myriad of activity in the kitchen,  the women busy addressing Christmas Dinner,  the men, their appetites boosted by the ambrosia of the dietary rewards absconding from kitchen.   The three seated areas for meal consumption,  the bench laden kitchen breakfast nook for the youngest,  a small table adjoining the dining room for the older children and Lynne and Shawn.  The Johnson’s the youngest parental family,  voicing their annual question,   “when can we sit at the big table with the rest of adults?” and the expansive dining room table set  to accomplished the seasoned adults.   The dinner prepared,  the recipients entering the kitchen,  its stature,  a host for a buffet style serving achievement.   The banquet celebration fulfilled,  the women, again attaining the kitchen to resolve the afflicted extent of the meals preparation.   The children finding activity outside or in the basement play area.   The men seeking retirement and solace in front of the television,  a football game providing the means to acquire a dozing state of dormancy,  another family holiday accomplished.

Garrett Christopher Denton a late Christmas gift

Garrett Christopher Denton a late Christmas gift

The first Christmas in Anthony was accomplished,  but a late Christmas present was yet to arrive,  the well packaged gift expected at anytime,  its delivery post, Oklahoma City.   The gift, a celebrated conception presented to the world on January 6, 1989,  the endowments appellation,  Garrett Christopher Denton,  a premier son born to Marlo and Chris and the transcendent Grandson of Gary and Marlo’s mother Kermece.  The event giving focus to the realization of heritage, Garrett’s introduction to the ambiance of life,  insuring a future of endearment for the inaugurated couple to adjoin in the future joys of his nurture,  a presence providing a common fulfilling ambition to sojourn together on a gifted guided life.

Gary and Roberts First Kiowa Christmas – Great Grandmother Martha and Grandmother Helen

Sequestering Vindictive Tirades….#207 (the 90’s)

May 4, 2016

Anthony Hospital Administrator Jay Jolly

The families first Anthony winter was in recession, the only adversity caused by the  below freezing temperature exhibited in their new residence was in the downstairs bathroom, Gary awakening in the morning discovering the results of  the  overnight single digit, no running water.   The first floor bathroom was not intrinsic to the original structure,  a later appendage added to the 1904 three-storied goliath.   To acquaint the addition to the downstairs level,  the floor required additional ground level height of 24 inches, therefore  generating a crawl space beneath the room.    The waste water disposal addressed the main sewer line beneath the surface,  but the incoming hot and cold water was supplied by  copper lines,  entering thru the wall of the outside basement door entrance.   Upon his first crawl space journey beneath the bathroom,  Gary discovered remnants from past heating endeavors,  two small old electric heaters,  the remains of electrified insulating tape, and other insulating attempts.  Gary wrapping the copper lines with an up-to-date insulation  and with the a faucet left dripping at night seemed to remedied the pipe freezing aggravation most of the time,  the exception being in extreme conditions when the temperature hovered around zero.  Gary being the early morning riser was always first to discover the downstairs bathrooms lack water when address his shaving and thus began a search to find the exact icing  spot.   Trial and error found the spot of blockage and a few minutes with a hair dryer aimed at the strategic point of the pipe would restore the flow in a few minutes.   It was where the copper line exited the basement thru the outside wall, not an absolution, but a resolution.

Gary was en route to Jay Jolly’s office,  the hospital administrator having summoned him, the maintenance personage pondering a reason for the audience, a myriad of possible scenario giving question.   Arriving, he was asked to be seated,  Jay inaugurated the conversation with a notice that he was changing the organizational structure of the maintenance and housekeeping / linen control departments.  He was removing the current maintenance and housekeeping department heads and instituting a singular position of Plant Service Manager to oversee the physical and environmental elements of the hospital,  responsible for the three departments.  Gary nodded his understanding,  but was a gasped at what ensued,  the administrator continued,  promulgating his aspiration that Gary fulfill the newly commissioned position.  Gary was awe spoken,  Jays pronouncement was totally  unexpected, speechless when asked if he would accept the position,  his only reply was to accept.

Jay proceeded to assert a list of  expectations,  compliance with the new regulations requiring MSDS records,  written policies and procedures and documentation for both Housekeeping and  Maintenance departments to include detailed logs for equipment inspections,  safety and an annual budget agenda incorporating plant utilities,  housekeeping supplies,  linen expenditures,  equipment replacement and repairs.   Gary listened to the administrators contemplation’s with gathering certainty,  owing to a significant perception,  his respect for Jay Jolly and his demonstrative confidence that Gary could accomplish the assignment.   The meeting concluding,  a monetary question never entering into Gary’s thought process until the administrator initiated the wage compensation,  acknowledging he had reviewed the compensatory amount that similar facilities conferred for the position, and would commensurate accordingly.   Gary exiting the office, finding his maintenance assistant salary having just doubled.

Jan at the nurses station – Anthony Hospital

Arriving home,  the news of his appointment bursting to be released,  his incitation rising as he revealed to Jan his meeting with Jay and his ascendancy to a new position.  When acknowledging his new compensatory wage,  expecting an enthusiastic congratulatory presence,  instead acrimony,  she went into a vindictive tirade.   Gary was totally taken aback, never in the fifteen years had he ever experienced this aspect of her personality.   Her reasoning was without logic, erupting into a dissertation on the audacity that his new hourly wage now exceeded hers and that of  embarking nurses. Gary immediate inclination was to abstain from the confrontation until a more phlegmatic disposition prevailed,  Jan’s perplexing response was now indelibly inscribed and her hidden clandestine cultivation forever exposed.

Frank Hodson

Gary experiencing Jan’s tirade prepared him for the inevitable ones at work having to confront his supervisor Roy and the Director of Housekeeping Ed about the Jays decision.  The encounter with Ed was the most difficult,  harboring a vindictive resentment of Gary similar to what he had heard at home,  Ed’s concerned was wasn’t so much about compensation but the loss of his supervisory position,  Gary assuring him a continuance of employment.  Another encounter from an unsuspecting source,  Frank Hodson, the Ambulance Director,  voicing a negative opinion of the change,  especially about Ed.   Franks objection was that Ed provided another function  as EMT on the ambulance service,  allowing him to take call during his hospital hours without any reservations,  his position as a supervisor not interrupting the housekeeping departments dispensation.  This would change with Ed’s new position as a scheduled staff member,  no longer endowed to leave his assigned tasks uncompleted upon returning from an ambulance run.   Gary’s quandary with Ed coming to resolution,  after three days,  Ed resigned his hospital employment.  Roy Stein presented a totally different circumstance,  his years of experience and knowledge of every nook and cranny of the building was invaluable.  Roy was elusive, his quiescence demeanor and non communicative disposition making it difficult to extract an assessment of his supposition about the abrupt developments.   Gary finally asking him to sit down and listen to what he had to say,  clarifying the only changes would be in Gary administering the required documentation,  relieving Roy of departmental representation  and the embody accountability to the Hospital Administration.   Gary, strongly emphasizing,  Roy would remain in a perfunctory maintenance position,  his salary remaining the same,  but with a new job description and new title, that of Hospital Engineer.

The atmosphere in hospital seemed somewhat different, the change in plant and environmental management was meant with congratulatory acknowledgement by most of the  hospital staff,  Gary sensing his management skills and capability in the new position would be on trial,  recalling an axiom apropos to his new position,  rank does not confer privilege or power,  it imposes responsibility.

A Kansas State Fair Experience….#208 (the 90’s)

May 2, 2016

Kansas State Fair – Hutchinson

The Buick was navigational correct, headed due north on highway 14 towards Kingman, then 10 mile east on US 54 and back north on state highway 17, the destination, Hutchinson and the Kansas State Fair.  For some unknown reason Gary suspecting that the earth’s magnetic field was misaligned in Hutch, having no difficulty driving to the Fair Grounds, but always getting his sense of direction turned around when leaving, having to rely on Jan to address highway 17 south.  The late Saturday morning journey finding the Kansas weather for the third week of September most cooperative, this time of year a smorgasborg of conditions, choose your day and your temperature, thankful for the passing of the summer’s sweltering heat.  On arrival,  Gary having no problems parking, the directing attendants on South Main St. and the parking area giving no options, you parked where directed.  Disembarking, everyone thankful for the open-air-shuttle ride to one of the entrance gates.   Once inside the family having no problems addressing the midway, just follow the flow.

North American Midway Entertainment

Lake Talbott

Robert and Sandi, 13 and 12 years of age were given their freedom to roam the midway, but unbeknownst to them, dad when not accompanying them was keeping a watchful eye from a distance.  Gary having been acquainted with midway concessionaires years earlier in Oklahoma City was well aware of the means employed for them to show a profit.  He did capitalize on the barkers mistake at the target dartboard, the rule is to allow a customer only three darts at a time, the participant having to place three darts in the 50 cent size circle.  The concessionaire mistakenly giving Gary six darts, the added number allowing him to better align his aim with success, chalking up three hits and one large stuffed animal.  There were many permanent mainstays on the 280 acres of the Hutchinson State Fairgrounds, over twenty buildings, many open year round to provide for a variety of activities.  The grounds includes a small botanical garden and lake for rowing which was formed from a sand pit dug during the construction of the Fairgrounds Grandstand in 1928.  Lake Talbott, named for Joe Talbott, a pioneer teamster on the Medicine Lodge and Sun City cattle trails, who was appointed the first Fair superintendent on its inaugural opening in 1934.  Talbot went on to live until 1954, passing at the age of 101.  Gary finding the history of the Kansas Fair visualized by the exhibits, discovering the changes made thru the years and little known events such as the fair grounds landscaping and original buildings were built using prison labor and a portion of the ground was used as an internment camp for WWII German POW’s.

Miniature train provides a restful tour

Ye Old Mill – built in 191

Inside Ye Ole Mill gloomy cave

The two rides that Gary enjoyed were both permanent fixtures at the Fairgrounds.  The first being the miniature train that circled the large enclosed encampment.  The echoing sound of its whistle not only delighting the younger generation, but penetrating the memories of the older adults too.  The enjoyable ride not only furnishing a restful sit, but making it possible for the riders to view exhibits at the far ends of the grounds, enabling a decision whether to venture the distance.  The other exhibited ride remains the Fair’s oldest concession constructed in 1915, ” Ye Olde Mill “,  a water way boat trip thru a darkened cave like tunnel, the posted sign from the past written in the vernacular of the past, proclaiming  “A gloomy cave of gleesome gladness”.  Gary finding North American Midway entertainment pretty much the same every year, but this year a popular new exhibit, a swinging replica of a boat able to provide seating for forty people.  Jan and Sandi beaming to board ship and experience its pendulum progression.  Robert and Dad deciding to forgo the boat ride, opting for what they considered a more harrowing experience, the two person Wild Mouse.  An invitation extended, but Jan and Sandi declining to venture aboard this rickety looking contraption.

A pendulum boat ride

A pendulum boat ride

Can’t resist a funnel Cake

Gary and Jan when asked what was the best part of attending the Kansas State Fair, the answer was always the same, “the food”.   No hamburgers, hot dogs or french fries, not when you have Bavarian Smoked Sausage, a Hungarian Rhapsody on a toasted bun, deep-fried Vidalia Blooming Onions, funnel cakes,  a bounty list of delightful diligence, an array of substances never found in a restaurant.  A close second for focused enjoyment was the Grandstand entertainment, performers demonstrating their talent in concert, but the original purpose for the gathering still the biggest attraction of them all, the displaying of over 33,000 exhibits by people from every walk of life.  The ranchers and their animals, farmer and produce, the homemaker with their canning, the commercial exhibitors with a walk thru of RV’s, trailers, farming equipment, home products and business opportunities, as cornucopia of human endeavor.  Gary realizing why so many like his father-in-law,  stay in their travel trailer, spending up to a week encamped at the Fairgrounds.

Grand Stand performance - The Oak Ridge Boys

Grandstand performance – The Oak Ridge Boys

A last look before leaving

Gary noticing the midway crowd beginning to thin, it was nearing show time at the grandstand, the popular Oak Ridge Boys performing.  The rural Kansas family having determined which Grandstand feature they would enjoy.  The entertainment chosen on a rotating family basis, everyone in agreement with this year’s selection decided by Jan, The Oak Ridge Boys.  Gary in previous years discovering not everyone agreed with some of his choices, opting for Red Skelton and even television impressionist Rich Little, but one couldn’t go wrong with a Country & Western entertainer, Bud Murrow’s favorite, fiddle playing Charlie Daniels and the Charlie Daniels Band.  The evening concert beginning, Gary discovering another new addition to the Grandstand, two large projection screens on either side of the stage enabling a closer view for those sitting in the upper sections.  With darkness prevailing, The Oak Ridge Boys presentation coming to a conclusion, a tired family filing out, once again participating as members of the flow only this time exiting the State Fair and with no shuttle ride provided to the parking areas, a slow but tedious walk, concluding a fast but tenacious day.