Articles By: Joel Klaassen

Adventures in a mobile home

Last week when I wrote about the ?Ice Road Truckers? TV show I was going to segue into a little story about life in a mobile home in our early years of marriage. I didn?t have room, so it goes here.

When we lived in Lawrence in the late ?60s, early ?70s we didn?t feel we could afford to buy an $11,000 house so opted for a $5,300 mobile home, which many young couples did in those days.

Seemed like we always had problems with something. Plastic faucet handles would strip out, and then it took a pliers to open and close the faucets.

Ours had a kitchen in front and the bathroom and laundry were in the back. That made for a drain line from the kitchen sink that was about 50 feet long.

One weekend the kitchen sink plugged up and I thought I would take a garden hose and force out what was stopping it with water pressure. I unhooked the washer hose from the faucet in the back and ran the hose to the front and packed it in the drain with rags.

I then told Nancy to turn on the faucet full blast. The water was really coming fast for a while and then all of a sudden it sounded like it was raining.

Later I learned the drain was plugged because it was frozen solid. The only place the water could go was up through the drain vent and out on the roof.

 

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Reader tips sometimes make it in

I have many readers who often tell me about things they think is column material. And I appreciate their interest and input. Three tips I received this week deserve mention.

Glenn Goertz told me about an unusual lightning strike on a tree across from the middle school. I went and checked it out. Usually the tree is split apart when a bolt hits, but this baby bolt caused a thin strip of bark to be missing all of the way down one branch to the trunk to the ground.

Agnes Steinert of Hutchin?son called to tell me that our word puzzle didn?t match the answers this past week. Ooops.

And Jan Amstutz told me about a 6-year-old girl who was competing in a talent show in England that has Simon Cowell as one of the judges. She sang ?Somewhere Over the Rainbow,? which was really amazing. I?ll put a link to the video in my online version of ?Nonsense? this week.

If you have photos, we need them

We published a book of old photos contributed by our readers for the Hillsboro community in 2004. It was well received and we are now under way with a similar book for Marion to be released later this year. It takes about 300 photos to make a book like this. To date we have received many interesting photos from our Marion readers, but still need many more pre-1955 pictures to make a nice book of memories for long-time residents as well as those newer to the community.

We?re sure many photos exist in scrapbooks and boxes all around town and would be a treasure for years to come in hardcover book format for the Marion community.

Our own Dick Varenhorst is a history buff himself and is someone you may contact if you have photos to contribute.

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How about an online primary?

Kansas won?t be having a presidential primary this time However, there would be a credible way to find out what the voters are thinking without much expense at all.

I hereby propose that all Kansas newspapers with a Web site run a poll with a uniform slate of candidates. It won?t take long to find out who the frontrunners are. It could be coordinated by the Kansas Press Association.

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Here’s how to start a business

Thinking of starting a business? How about doing it this way. First, make sure it is something that will be obsolete rapidly (like a computer). Make new models all of the time.

Then make an operating system that runs on the computer (like Microsoft or Apple OS) that continually changes and generally works worse in many ways than the previous edition.

Then make software that runs on these systems that works the same way. As soon as it has most of the bugs out of it, reintroduce the software again with a version that doesn?t work as good.

And for lots of money, too.

Then, while you?re at it, discontinue the tech support for the earlier versions so the consumer is forced to buy the new stuff.

It?s beautiful. The consumer is at your mercy. They have committed to doing everything with a computer and there is no turning back.

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Relay pulls us together each year

Relay for Life is the hope that loved ones lost to cancer will never be forgotten, that those who are battling cancer will be supported and that one day cancer will be eliminated.

This annual event is one of many good causes that brings people from Marion County together and rotates between Marion and Hillsboro locations. It will be at the Tabor College track in Hillsboro beginning at 7 p.m. July 20 and ending at 7 a.m. July 21. If you haven?t experienced the relay there is still time to find a team or sponsor someone. For more information contact Ralph Kreutziger at 620-382-2215.

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Even my relatives are Fuller, too

If anyone says there?s nothing to do around here, you can tell them for me that they are wrong. Our calendar is full and seems to be getting getting even fuller. I even have relatives whose last name is Fuller

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Trick Pony in park was picturesque

  • The setting couldn?t have been more perfect than it was this past Saturday night for the Chingawassa Trick Pony concert in Marion?s Cen?tral Park.

    The weather was gorgeous?the winds were calm, the evening sky was pure blue and the stage was symmetrically framed by the trees.

    I think it was during the second song, ?Mama Burnt the Kitchen Down,? when the generator feeding the electricity to the stage burned up, creating an instant silence. Quick action by the crew backstage got it going again and the rest of the show went on without a hitch.

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Good times are only 10 miles away

With high gas prices these days, the perfect opportunity for fun and entertainment lies just a few miles away. You don?t need to drive to Mem?phis to get your Elvis fix. Chingawassa Days in Marion is featuring an Elvis Tribute contest Friday night. It?s an official contest, so the winner could qualify for the finals at Grace?land. Entrants from quite a few states are on tap.

This is just one of many nifty events planned for the weekend.

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Casino plan makes no sense

Is there more to read about casinos and the effect they have on communities in the news?including national news these days?or is it just because Kansas is going down that slippery road and I am more aware of the issue?

    From what I have read, the whole idea is flawed down to the paltry 22 percent take that the state is willing to take for putting so many people at risk.

    I really can?t believe, with so many casinos surrounding us now, that Wichita (which is where the casino will go) could become a destination casino.

    And without it being a destination, it will have to make a living off of locals. Then the money is shifted out of the local economy to the gaming interests.

    A lousy return on the hard-earned dollar, in my opinion.

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