Written by Bob woelk Tuesday, 07 December 2010 15:35My wife has a thing about cemeteries. Wherever we travel, she searches out historic burial places. And, because I have a thing about my wife, I follow along. At first, somewhat reluctantly. But, I have to admit, traipsing around among the deceased is addicting. Cemeteries are, after all, very popular places. Think about it. People are always…wait for it…dying to get in.
Bad puns aside, I am becoming more and more of a history buff. And there is no place where history seems more alive than among the dead. Wife Kathy and I have wandered through memorial parks both foreign and domestic.
Between the two of us, we have visited the graves of the rich and famous—Jonathan Swift, William Shakespeare, Edgar Allen Poe, John F. Kennedy...
Written by Bob Woelk Tuesday, 12 October 2010 14:59A crazy thing happened on last weekend’s road to the state tennis tournament.
Last year in October, I wrote a tribute to the game of tennis and the girls I coach at Hillsboro High School. Most of them were juniors, and we had just wrapped up a tough regional tournament that ended our season short of the goal of competing at the Class 3-2-1A state level. I mentioned the hope that we would do better in 2010. Well, we have.
Last weekend we qualified the doubles team of Becky Faber and Emma Heyen, both seniors, for the state tournament that starts this Friday at Wichita Collegiate by placing fifth at regionals.
As was the case last year, our regional tournament was chock full of talent. Besides Collegiate, last year’s state champs...
Written by Bob Woelk Tuesday, 07 September 2010 13:39I’ve never been much of a fan of global positioning systems (GPS). Two years ago, my wife and I were directed to an open field in the middle of a rainstorm while trying to find a motel in North Carolina. The woman at the front desk said, “Oh, yeah. Lots of people run into that problem. It’s wrong in the system.”
Then, this year, my daughter followed her new navigation system down a road with a bridge out and was advised to take a 12-mile detour away from a main highway only to find the motel she was seeking just off the interstate.
During the ensuing rerouting, she hit a pothole and ruined a brand new tire. All in all, she lost an hour and $75 on her trip back to college in Virginia.
I have heard others discuss the...
Written by Bob woelk Tuesday, 10 August 2010 15:43As a teacher, part of my job is to critique the work of my students in an effort to make them better writers. Occasionally, my criticism will rankle a pupil to the point where he or she will feel compelled to “strike back” at me in the form of a letter. It is nearly always anonymous, often sarcastic and generally takes the form of a personal assault. I received just such a letter last month.
My first reaction to the missive, which listed Kenny Rogers as the author and displayed 500 E. Grand (the high school) as the return address, was to become defensive and angry.
Since I assumed the note was not actually from Kenny (how cool would that be, especially since he is too old to have been one of my students?), I could have easily...
Written by Bob Woelk Tuesday, 13 July 2010 17:39For the few days leading up to a planned trip to England, Wales and Ireland, my wife and I had been paying really close attention to the Weather Channel. After all, the last time we took such a trip to Europe two years ago, a rogue thunderstorm over Dallas airspace cost us a day in Paris. We did not want history to repeat itself.
As it turned out, despite an itinerary that routed us this time through Chicago, weather nearly ruined our first day once again.
As we arrived at our friendly Mid-Continent airport in Wichita more than 90 minutes ahead of our scheduled boarding time, a member of our group who had arrived extra early emerged from the terminal building to inform us our flight had been pushed back a whopping five...
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