Since my grandsons are here for Nancy’s mom’s celebration of life service this past weekend, and I came down with pneumonia as well, I asked them if they would help their old grandpa write this column this week. Alex is first, and a sophomore at the University of Georgia, and Louis will write second; he is a senior at Grady High School in Atlanta. Thanks, boys.
Alex: Every time we’ve ever come to Hillsboro it seems everybody knew us somehow. Well, I guess I’ve always known that this is how. The information just flows one way through this, so forgive us for never quite knowing much about you. It seems appropriate, though, that we come full circle and come here to share our thoughts.
Most of the time I’ve ever spent here in Kansas has been in July or early August. We used to come for the fair every year, but you already knew that. The weather now in February feels far removed from then.
Of course, the wind hasn’t gone anywhere. When we were taking off from the airport in Atlanta the pilot came over the PA and announced the weather at the destination as they always do. “Winds 20 to 30 mph out of the north.” Atlanta would probably close for the week under those conditions.
Some of you have probably been reading this column for longer than my 20 years of life. Thanks for humoring Grandpa all that time.
On that note, Grandpa probably tells you a joke every week doesn’t he? Well, I don’t have any good jokes for you, unfortunately. I leave those to him.
As he’s mentioned, he’s come down with a pretty wicked case of pneumonia this week, but fret not, it hasn’t stripped him of his humor. In his position I’d probably be a real grump, and he has his moments, but I admire that he is still trying to tell jokes through the wheezing and groaning. If we know one thing about him, it’s that he’ll never lose his sense of humor.
Louis: Most people in Atlanta couldn’t even find Kansas on a map. Most of the time when I tell people I’m going to Kansas the response is, “Why?” People tend to think of Kansas as just a bunch of farms and corn. They’re not wrong.
However there is a lot more to Kansas once you get here. As a kid, coming to Kansas was like a whole different world, I went from ridiculous traffic, sky scrapers and too many people, to a nice quiet town in the middle of a bunch of farms, where the worst traffic is four people stopping at all four sides of a stop sign at the same time.
I feel very lucky with the experiences I’ve had here, not many of my friends can say they’ve driven a demolition derby car around a track, or taken control of a plane, or gone geocaching out in the middle of nowhere Kansas, or even stepped foot in Kansas for that matter.
Most people think there isn’t much going on in Kansas, but there really is. Hillsboro will always hold a special place in my heart. I don’t think I’ll ever forget the experiences I’ve had here and people I’ve met, so thank you to anyone reading this who has played a part in making this place so great.