Wednesday, November 17, 2021

Great Bend in Isaac's Time


           Larned and Great Bend

It has been such a privilege for me to be able to share the story of our ancestors with the help of so many local people.  Already, I have spoken in connection with four libraries, a history museum, an art museum, a trail center museum, at Rotary Club, at a book club gathering, on a virtual book launch, and on public radio.  None of that would have been possible without the efforts of many other people.  Those efforts continue, with several programs already scheduled for 2022.  I have tried to reach out and thank everyone for their support, not only those who helped plan the programs but also those who attended.  At a library program in June, I recognized two people who were attending their third program!  I know of others who have attended at least 2 programs.

Each program I prepare is different, with emphasis shown to the various topics included in Prairie Bachelor, The Story of a Kansas Homesteader.  One of those attending her third program said, "I learn something new at each one."  On November 18th I am giving another program with a new power point and fresh topics.  The image at the top of this blog is included in the Great Bend Library program to be held at 6 p.m. November 18th.  

The image at left was taken at the Great Bend Library, with Prairie Bachelor eagerly awaiting the next reader to check it out.  Thank you to the library for featuring the book.

Speaking in Great Bend gives me the opportunity to share from the book a story about Isaac's trip with a neighbor.  The young man going to Great Bend to catch the train was entrusting Isaac with getting his team of 3 horses and his wagon back to the young man's homestead claim in Stafford County.

I am looking forward to a whole new program to share, with a new power point to accompany the information.  I am grateful for the generosity of so many people who have helped me share the story of Kansas in the late 1800s, and our state's importance to the most successful 3rd party movement in our nation's history.  It makes the decade I spent researching and writing Prairie Bachelor worth it.  My belief in the importance of sharing this story has been rewarded by comments from so many readers, both those who checked out Prairie Bachelor at a local library and those who bought the book.

Many have shared stories about their own ancestors who participated in the Populist Movement, or at least lived in that era.  Some have shared images that appear in the book.  One was pleased to discover the quote from Walt Whitman, her favorite poet, whose poem I used to introduce the story of a forgotten man.  

A Kansas City reporter in the 1920s wrote:  "Even historians don't understand Kansas.  I wonder sometimes if anybody except God understands Kansas and sometimes I think Kansas has even him fooled."  Quote from Craig Miner's Kansas.  That is why I wrote Prairie Bachelor for general readers rather than writing an academic text.  Kansas has an amazing history, and I wanted to share one important era that has become nearly forgotten except by academics.  It is my great pleasure to hear from those who fell in love with Isaac, or who learned more about the lives their ancestors lived, or who discover our State's significant past. I look forward to sharing with those at the Library, Isaac's trip to Great Bend almost a decade and a half ago, and I also look forward to the continued sharing of Kansas history with those who read the book and those who attend the programs!


1 comment:

The Blog Fodder said...

Getting the word out is so important and congratulations on doing it so well and often.