Partly Nonsense

ORIGINALLY WRITTEN JOEL KLAASSEN
My Uncle Willard Unruh, 82, of North Newton, died March 9 from complications of a rare form of skin cancer.

I last saw him about three weeks before he died, and he spoke of another treatment that was available to him at a cost of $76,000. He thought the money could be used for better purposes and chose not to take it. He also said that dying was as natural as being born and didn’t know why so much is made of it.

Many may know of him by the column he wrote for the Mennonite Weekly Review. He always stood up for those less fortunate and the downtrodden. If something could be fixed, he would find a way to accomplish it and use the least amount of money and resources possible.

He lived and died in a practical manner and I admire him for that.

There is a fascinating and little-known book about Hillsboro’s Buller Manufacturing and the man behind it. It was written by Virgil Litke, grandson of Jacob W. Buller, the man who founded the company around the turn of the 20th century.

I was planning to just glance through it, but couldn’t put it down until I had read the entire book.

Buller was nationally known for the coupling devices he invented to hook implements, trailers and wagons to steam engines, gas tractors and tenders. He also invented and manufactured a washline tightener which is prabably obsolete now, plus he designed and made the first motorhome, which he used to exhibit his products all over the United States.

His saw frames, which were used to mount saws to cut logs, appeared in the Montgomery Ward catalog.

Some of his products are still made today by Prairie Products in Hillsboro’s Industrial Park.

Get this. I know someone who is a vegetarian, and she doesn’t even like or eat vegetables.

My Jayhawks made me proud again. The only thing that is so hard to understand is how they could be so good all year, take a two-game vacation and then be back in better form than before.

What is the longest trip for the shortest visit you have ever heard of?

I once worked with a woman at the Kansas University Printing Service in Lawrence whose mother lived in St. Louis. One time she drove to St. Louis to visit her mom for 15 minutes and then got in the car and came right back.

We questioned the sanity of this venture. Her reason: Some things just can’t be said over the telephone.

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