Bobcat,Phil Grecian

(Frank) Today on Around Kansas first up is the Bobcat – their look, their sound and where and how they live amongst us today. Next we’ll introduce you to Phil Grecian, a Kansan with a long and distinguished career in theatre. Then enjoy a poem from Ron Wilson and we’ll end with an update on the Museum of Also Rans in Norton’s First State Bank.Closed Captioning Brought to you by Ag Promo Source. Together we grow. Learn more at

(Frank Chaffin) Good morning it’s Wednesday. I’m Frank. (Deb Goodrich) I’m Deb. (Frank) And this is Around Kansas. The sun isn’t even up yet this time of the day. It’s dark out there. (Deb) I do have- (Frank) It’s cold out there. (Deb) – friends who record our show and I want to give a shout-out to some of them and remember we did the segment on Alan Bailey and Alan gives us a shout-out on his show on High Plains Public Radio, Western Swings and other things. We really appreciate that and that’s got lots of people recording the show. Like I said, there’s some people who are up and gone now. You know they’re already out feeding something, feeding the livestock and then there are others that won’t see the day for a couple more hours here so those people bless their hearts they record us or they watch us online. Isn’t that nice? (Frank) Yes. (Deb) We’ve got lots of views online, and on Facebook and YouTube and that’s pretty cool. (Frank) You know at home, my morning windows face east, and so it’s really fun because I see the sun, and its various places during the year and of course right now it’s over here, and then it kind of goes like this and then back again. (Deb) Isn’t that funny. (Frank) There are three particular windows where you can mark essentially– (Deb) The seasons. (Frank) – the seasons. (Deb) It is funny and Jake showed me a picture the other day, it was a really cool image that had been photo-shopped where this person had stood in the same place and took a picture of the sun every day, and then you get a year, and you put all those images together. It’s not an elliptical sort of; it was a kind of a figure eight that sort of got pulled out or something. (Frank) Oh yes, because right now it’s tilted this way from the sun because now it’s winter. (Deb) Mr. Science, right? (Frank) What was the name of that show that was on TV? (Deb) Mr. Science wasn’t that it? (Frank) Was it? (Deb) I don’t know that’s how much attention I paid. Yes, Mr. Science. (Frank) Mr. Wizard. (Deb) That’s right Mr. Wizard. (Frank) What are we talking about today? (Deb) This brand new year like I said, where has it gone already? It’s like man 2017, I haven’t even gotten used to putting the date down. I wasn’t even used to 2016 and it’s gone. (Frank) It’s gone. (Deb) We were picking up calendars. You know everybody’s picking up a new calendar, new daytimer or new planner or whatever and it’s like, “Oh man, I’m just struggling to catch up.” (Frank) The thing is, one thing is we’ve been on the air now what six years, seven years? (Deb) I don’t know I’ve been on the air three, three or four that we’ve been together Frank. (Frank) Yes, the thing is– my point is, we’re not out of stories yet about Kansas. (Deb) Isn’t that amazing. (Frank) So, this is going to be an exciting year. (Deb) We may be out of breath but we’re not out of stories. Stay with us we’ve got a great show.

(Frank) We weren’t gone long. We’re back again. (Deb) So, this next segment is about bobcats. Have you ever seen a bobcat in the wild? (Frank) Well, not in the wild but also in town. (Deb) Well, that would be sort of wild depending on which night it was, you know. (Frank) You could kind of recognize them because they are larger than most cats but they have this little short tail. (Deb) They have a little short tail and tufted ears. (Frank) And so you know when that’s a bobcat do not go pet it. (Deb) I’m telling you what…growing up in the country like I did of course we saw bobcats. You don’t see them that often doesn’t mean they’re not there but once you hear one I’m telling you I had one at daddy’s farm was out in the middle of nowhere, and I pull up one night, and stopped the car and I think Noelle was a baby. It’s her birthday. Happy birthday. So, I’m just sitting there in the dark fumbling with something before I get stuff out, and I hear something walking around the car and I hear it growl. I knew what it was, I had never really heard one before but I know by process of elimination I said, “It’s not a normal cat.” But you could hear it walking even though it was just a bobcat. They’re pretty interesting creatures. Let’s take a look. Much more common and quite a bit smaller than mountain lions, bobcats can still strike fear in the heart of the hiker or rancher who happens upon them. Their growl, their bark, their scream — well, it can make the hair stand up on the back of your neck. Bobcats get their name from their short or “bobbed” tail. They have long legs; toes with retractable claws, dark spotted reddish-brown fur on top and gray fur with black spots on their belly. They don’t dig their own dens but take advantage of what nature offers in brush piles, hollow logs, caves and in rock outcroppings. They hunt alone from dusk to dawn and rarely use the same daytime resting area. Studies in Kansas reveal that a male bobcat may hunt over an eight-mile territory, while females hunt over a much smaller ground. Bobcats mark their territories with urine and feces or scratching trees. In Kansas these territories are usually scrublands or woodlands. They mostly eat rabbits and hares, mice, birds and other small creatures, but can take down an injured or small deer. While the kitten is vulnerable, the adults have few predators other than man, though may be killed in territorial disputes with larger animals. In the wild, the bobcat can live up to 14 years. An adult might weigh anywhere from 15 to 30 pounds. So, is the bobcat the same thing as a lynx? While bobcats and lynxes are separate species, they do belong to the same genus, which, coincidentally, happens to be the Lynx genus. There are four different species belonging to this group — three of which share the family name: the Eurasian lynx, the Spanish or Iberian lynx and the Canadian lynx. The fourth member, the most common cat native to North America, is the previously mentioned bobcat. The Lynx genus, with its four species, has the largest range out of all the cats. The Eurasian lynx the most numerous and widespread of the four species can be found throughout Western Europe and Northern Asia, while the Spanish lynx the rarest of the four is found only in Spain and Portugal. The Canadian lynx lives primarily in Canada and a handful of northern U.S. states including Maine, Minnesota, Montana, Wyoming and Washington. So when Europeans came to North America, they encountered a cat a little different than the one they had known in the old country. The native peoples had many stories about the bobcat, and different tribes imbued the creature with different spiritual meaning. Bobcat is used as a clan animal in some Native American cultures. Tribes with Bobcat Clans include the Creek and the Chickasaw. In the Pawnee tribe, Bobcat is a more mythologically important character associated with the stars. Pawnee parents used to wrap their babies in bobcat furs to bring them celestial blessings.

(Frank) Back again. Here it is, midway through January. (Deb) I messaged Phil Grecian and I said, “Phil, we want to do a segment on Around Kansas about you.” and I said, “You know, the way all the talented people are conking off, we figured we better grab you quick.” He was so flattered too. (Frank) Yes, I’ve know Phil for many, many, many years so– (Deb) You know you can’t insult him, right? (Frank) In fact, we’re Facebook buddies and all of that. (Deb) Well he’s been around for a long time. Phil’s an amazing– really an amazing career and it’s funny because people like Phil, he’s around so you kind of take it for granted that he’s– you don’t expect to be bumping into genius every day, you know it but Phil has an amazing resume of things that he has accomplished. (Frank) One of the most favorite things that I like to see Phil do is when he does Mark Twain. (Deb) Oh, yes. (Frank) I mean, he has Mark Twain down. (Deb) That’s amazing. (Frank) And of course, I love Mark Twain anyway, and I love his humor and all that but now that Phil has aged a little bit he doesn’t have to paint on as many lines. Got you Phil. But anyway, he’s just amazing with that. (Deb) Aren’t you honored that we did this Phil? Let’s take a look. (Frank) To document Phil Grecian’s long and distinguished career in theatre would take reams of paper or hours of airtime. Yet, even if we did list his numerous accomplishments and his more than one hundred awards, it would not do him justice. His creativity, his spontaneity, the pure joy of being in his company cannot be conveyed in a mere couple of minutes. But we will try. Phil has been involved in more than 300 dramatic productions either as a producer, director, writer, designer or actor. He is often called upon to serve as an emcee or with KTWU’s fundraising activities. KTWU is the public TV station on Washburn’s campus where Phil served as an adjunct professor in the Mass Media Department for several years. As a published playwright, there have been more than 3,000 productions of his original works and stage adaptations throughout the nation. Among them, some of our most beloved stories, It’s a Wonderful Life, A Christmas Story, The Velveteen Rabbit, and A Christmas Carol, Phil has been entrusted to bring these classics to life on stage. Phil began performing professionally, says he, at age 4, performing magic tricks. By the time he was a teenager he helped found the Playhouse in the Park, later the Helen Hocker Theater. He left to attend KU and then returned to serve as the artistic director. Phil also founded IHS Productions in 1994. This company presents a touring production of his play, “In His Steps,” every 18 months, based upon the 1896 best-selling novel by Charles Sheldon. Phil has a long-running relationship with Dale Easton’s, “The Drunkard,” from painting sets to starring in and directing the popular play. His Mark Twain on Tour began during his tenure with the Creede, Colorado, Repertory Company in 1967. The one-man show continues to date, playing towns in Missouri, Kansas and Colorado. The performance currently touring is under the auspices of the Kansas Arts Commission. Amidst these pursuits and so many more, Phil has been lauded by his peers. Among the accolades heaped upon him are National Telly Awards, the local Arts Connect Award, and an Emmy for “Dracula, Theatre of the Mind,” a live televised radio-studio style production with KTWU, and which Phil wrote, co-produced, directed, and acted. He remains humble. Okay, maybe not humble, but certainly grateful for his career and proudest of his kids, one of whom, Alex, is a best-selling novelist. Phil was surprised to learn in one of Alex’s interviews that he was inspired by his dad. Phil said that if anything about his life had surprised him it was that he had been able to earn a living as a playwright. It isn’t easy, though Phil makes it seem so. Kudos, friend.

(Ron Wilson) One of the great organizations for farm and rural youth historically was the 4-H Club, which is now open to youth from any setting, city or rural. But this is my tribute to the 4-H Club. “Head, Heart, Hands and Health”. My voice began to quiver and my knees began to knock as I had to go forward to give my 4-H talk. I stared down at my paper, my throat just seemed to choke. I was too shy to stand up in front of all these folk but somehow the words came and my voice came back big as I told the club about how to show a market pig. It was a rough feeling for a kid I will allege but then we all stood to recite the 4-H pledge for head, heart, hands and health we took the vow to pursue a better life and make the best better somehow. My 4-H journey had begun. It took me far and wide thanks to friends and caring leaders who stood right by my side. I learned that I could give a talk and then we had good eating. I learned I could judge livestock and preside over a meeting. Those skills would serve me well as I progressed on through my life. I found a fellow 4-H-er when I met my lovely wife. Now our kids are members of the 4-H organization which makes them part of the third generation. The members still recite the pledge and stand in unison, and have recreation when the business part is done and I see the younger members who get up for their first talk with their voice all a quiver and their faces pale as chalk. Be assured that I will thank them and give them lots of praise for I know that they will learn and grow throughout their 4-H days. Happy Trails.

(Frank) Here we are again. (Deb) Were you invited to the inaugural, Frank? (Frank) Not this one, No. (Deb) Nor was I, but never fear, there is another ceremony and Frank earlier in the year, a few months ago, did a segment on The Also Ran Gallery in Norton. Well, their big moment is coming up. They apparently didn’t get invited to the inaugural either but they have their own inaugural party. So this Friday, from nine to three the First State Bank in Norton will have an open house and at 10:30 AM central standard time, they will have the official hanging of Hillary Clinton’s portrait in the gallery of Also Rans. They will be broadcasting; they have a TV set up in there, and they’ll be broadcasting the inaugural ceremonies, and they’ll have cookies and punch and all this good stuff and they’ll officially hang her portrait. But Lee Ann Shearer invites everybody to come out and join them as they hang her portrait up there. If you go back to our archives and look at the segment that Frank did, this museum is really–this must got to be on your bucket list because it’s just pretty, pretty cool. (Frank) Many years ago when Alf Landon owned WREN radio and I worked there, and I got to know Alf pretty well, he gave me a book once called The Also Rans. Of course, he was in it because he was one of the Also Rans who only carried one state and it wasn’t Kansas. Anyway, he used to, when we get around to political time, and we we’re selling political advertising, he would come in and visit the sales staff and say, “Now, you know these politicians are going to want to talk to me. So, you need to remember, I lost.” (Deb) Well, that book will figure in this next story. So, let’s take a look. It is a dubious honor, the first woman on a wall of losers. But in this, Hillary Clinton finds herself in some distinguished company. Tucked away in Norton’s First State Bank is the Museum of Also Rans, featuring portraits of the presidential losers. In the early 1960s, the town of Norton, Kansas was looking for a way to boost local tourism. Local businessman and president of the First State Bank, William Walter Rouse, came up with an idea to recreate a stagecoach station along the route of the 1859 Leavenworth and Pikes Peak Express Route that ran through town, known as Stage Coach Station 15. Rouse then commissioned a painting, to be placed in the bank lobby, of Horace Greeley, the most famous person to have stayed at the Norton station. Greeley was the owner and publisher of the New York Tribune, and on the losing ticket for president in 1872, defeated by the incumbent Ulysses S. Grant. Then he received a copy of the book, They Also Ran, by Irving Stone. It contained the biographies of those unsuccessful presidential candidates and it inspired Rouse to begin collecting their portraits. So each year, as the nation’s capital hosted the inaugural balls and parade, the person who failed to win the election was officially memorialized in the First State Bank of Norton, Kansas. The tradition continues, and this week Hillary Rodham Clinton will take her historic place among some quite distinguished losers. Cheers, Hillary.

(Frank) Well, that’s it. We’re done for the day. I’m Frank. (Deb) I’m Deb. (Frank) We’ll see you somewhere– (Deb and Frank) Around Kansas.

Closed Captioning Brought to you by Ag Promo Source. Together we grow. Learn more at

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