A recent trip to Topeka gave this reporter an opportunity to do something he hadn’t done since the eighth grade: tour the grand old State Capitol. Having arrived early for an appointment, and seeing few other folks around, I used the opportunity to walk around the ornate hallways of this great old building.

First I read several historical displays describing how the building developed as the project progressed-as did controversy about its alleged extravagance. Then I inspected the murals that grace the second floor, and admit I’m still captivated by the depiction of anti-slave activist John Brown taking his radical stand in his “Bleeding Kansas.” Finally, I quietly inspected the statues of four great Kansans that seem to guard the second- floor rotunda: native limestone images of Dwight D. Eisenhower, Amelia Earhart, William Allen White and the great former Gov. Capper.

I can’t say my little one-man tour was life changing, but it did leave me feeling introspective as I shuffled to my appointment. What a great heritage we have. What a great state. -DR

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