Sad to see long-time friend pass

I am saddened to hear about the passing of my KU roommate Bob Dalke a few weeks ago on Feb. 18 at the age of 70.

He was always good for a laugh or two. He and I go way back to high school days as well.

On a Friday night around Christmas Break in ’66 at KU we hooked his MG Midget to my ’56 Chevy and pulled it home for repairs.

We got it all the way home and pulled in uptown to stop in at the Sportsman. When we made a U-turn around the big Christmas Tree in the center of town, one of the hitches on my bumper came loose.

When we were trying to hitch it back up, he said “Whoa!” I thought he said “Go!” and his car ended up riding up his leg about to his knee.

I finally looked back and saw what needed to be done and backed the car off his leg. We reminisced many times about that event.

I received a call from Eldon Funk this past Wednesday in response to my question last week about the happy hills and the big drop off road east of town plus emails from Dwight Flaming, Brian Stucky and Judy Unruh; and in person from Doug Bartel since he used to drive hay equipment over the happy hills.

Since Eldon used to live out near the happy hills, he said they were on 160th.

He also said that the big drop off was about two miles west of Marion and north of Highway 56, with a bridge at the bottom, but is no longer there because of the reservoir.

Flaming, Stucky and Unruh who have ties to Goessel said that the happy hills were on 160th from east to west from Diamond or K-15 to Falcon. Stucky also said they also referred to the hills as the “Seven Happys” as there were seven ups and downs. Those from the Goessel area did mention how dangerous it is to drive them. This is “Marion County.”

One said, “The Happy Hills are on 160th between Eagle and Falcon. If you go there be sure the roads are dry because no tow truck in Kansas Territory will come for you and you will need one. I don’t know how these hills got the name Happy but it is a very happy place. I know they have been called Happy for at least 75 years. On the south side of 160th are 60 acres of native grass of which 40 have never been plowed.

This is the condensed version of what I learned from these five people. It’s safe to say Happy Hills are on 160th. For safety you can think they are on 150th.

If you would like to help me support my journalism scholarship for seniors, in the Free Press distribution area, planning to go to a Kansas university, college, or vo-tech school and study journalism or a related field and haven’t already done so—go here to buy my twenty years of Partly Nonsense columns.

It is two volumes of more than 500 pages and you’ll find them in the online store under local flavor on the Free Press web site. If you don’t want to pay shipping, come to FP to buy.

Written By
More from Joel Klaassen
Some cost cuts come at a price
We see cost-cutting and money-stretching moves in almost every part of our...
Read More