We should preserve past stories

As I get older, the more interest I have in what it was like in our geographical area before I was here and when I was too young to remember it.

I think it would be a good thing to hold some informal gatherings around the county to bring some of our seasoned citizens together to reminisce about what went on in the early days.

Virgil Litke stopped in one day and shed some light on the early days of the county fair. He described a contest held during the fair in the early ?30s while he was in high school. The contest was judged on the overall look of the horse and rider. He took third place and showed me the ribbon he won.

He motioned out the front door of the office and said there were at least 100 horses and contestants lined up on South Main.

I can imagine how impressive that might have looked.

?

Early in my printing career, during the ?60s, I became a member of the International Typographical Union while working at the KU Printing Service (which is no longer operating).

I can?t remember why I joined, but I think it was because they offered a traveler?s card that would allow me to walk into any union newspaper in the country and go to work.

My involvement didn?t last long because the printing service wasn?t unionized and the dues were 5 percent of my paycheck. But I did use the traveler?s card one weekend at the Topeka Capitol Journal. I went in for the night shift on Friday and Saturday.

The first night, my job was to typeset all the headlines that were to appear in the next day?s edition. It was a Ludlow typecasting machine, which I used every day at my regular job during the week.

After about four hours I was finished with all of the heads so I walked around trying to find somewhere else I could help. As I did this, the boss came up to me and asked what I thought I was doing. When I told him I was just trying to help, he said that wasn?t allowed. So I asked what was I supposed to do and he told me to walk around the rest of the night with a piece of paper in my hand and look like I was busy.

The second night, they called me into an office and asked me where I used to work. When I said I still had a job I was told I was bumping someone else?s overtime and not to come back again unless I wanted to quit my other job.

That was the end of my union work and membership in the ITU.

?

Why are young ants so confused? All of their uncles are ants.

?

Did you know college fishing is a sport? I just saw that ESPN has a show called, ?College Fishing.?

?

This past Saturday night, son Dan and I took in the races at Yakima Speedway. According to the announcer, it is the only half-mile asphalt track west of the Mississippi River.

Featured were the 360 sprint cars, but it was also vintage racing night. The amazing part was that the winner of the Vintage Midgets was a guy named Mel Anthony, who turned 87 years old this weekend.

He first raced in 1946 and retired in 1956, according to a Google search.

?

Maybe in 23 years I?ll come out of retirement and go back to the Cap Journal and see if I can set some headlines.

Written By
More from Joel Klaassen
Great night for basketball
This past weekend was a great week for me for watching basketball:...
Read More