Celebrity Pancake Feed, Banner Creek Science Center

(Frank) Today Around Kansas starts at the Celebrity Pancake Feed, the annual fundraiser for the Combat Air Museum – where newly painted nose art honoring the Patriot Guard was unveiled. Then we take a look at the Banner Creek Science Center and Observatory in Holton. Next enjoy a poem from Ron Wilson and we’ll end with the history of Fort Scott National Cemetery.Closed Captioning Brought to you by Ag Promo Source. Together we grow. Learn more at agpromosource.com.

(Frank) Well, it’s early Wednesday morning at least on TV. I’m Frank. (Deb): I’m (Deb). (Frank) And this is Around Kansas. And you can watch us online too. So, what time it is then? (Deb) It doesn’t matter. (Frank) Yes, it doesn’t matter. (Deb) It’s five o’clock somewhere. (Frank) Yes. (Deb) AM or PM. (Frank) Yes, that’s true. (Deb) That’s right. (Frank): Good grief, we’re getting close to the end of May already. (Deb) Can you believe it, Memorial Weekend coming up? It’s like I just celebrated New Year’s. (Frank) [laughs] (Deb) Where has the time gone? (Frank) I know. It seems like it, good grief. (Deb) It’s been crazy. (Frank) Crazy, yes [laughs]. So, [chuckles] here we go. We were messing around with that song. I thought we might turn today’s show into a music video, but then thought better of it. (Deb) Since I can’t sing, am I right? (Frank) [Laughs] (Deb) We threw that one out the window. (Frank) So, anyway, we won’t do any of those songs. (Deb) Thank goodness. (Frank): [laughs] (Deb): So, I got to tell you Frank when we were at the Kansas Sampler Festival, I forgot to mention this last week, the folks, I think Saturday was a record day at the festival, over 6,000 people. (Frank) Wow. (Deb) And they all wanted to know where you were Frank. (Frank: [laughs] (Deb) Every single one of them came by the booth and said, Where is (Frank)? (Frank) Well, I was entertaining a whole lot of family from Texas and Pennsylvania for a graduation party. So sorry. (Deb) You’re excused. But, we had a lot of folks who came by the booth that watched the show and that was a lot of fun. And so, yes, they asked about you. And we appreciate everyone who was watching and everybody coming by the booth to say, Hello, and then the people that you meet online. We have a great Facebook page. And Karla Hall helps us keep that updated. Shout-out to Karla. And I perused some of the sites on Facebook, looking for photographs to post up at the top. Man, there are some talented people. So, I kind of met them online and they came by the booth to say, Hello. So, we got to meet in person and that was really nice. Trent Burk was one of them, a very talented young man and Larry. I’m so sorry, Larry. I can’t think of your last name. Was it Pacy or Pavy? He does, oh my goodness beautiful photographs. So, it was really nice to meet you guys in person. Larry and his wife, it was really nice. So, Sampler went off great. Of course, next year is coming up, the last one. (Frank) I know. That’s too bad. (Deb) It is too bad. (Frank) Marcy’s has done a tremendous job. (Deb) Tremendous job. (Frank) And really has promoted Kansas. (Deb) So, one lady came by the booth and was visiting her son who lives in Kansas. She lives in Florida. She said, I am blown away by the things this State has to offer. I’m thinking of moving here. (Frank) Wow. (Deb) There you go. There you go. (Frank) Well. (Deb) So Marcy does a great job obviously with the festival, Wendy, everybody. I have to give a shout-out to the folks in Winfield itself. Dr. Jake and I got there hauling the stagecoach from Oakley. So, we had to deal with the cops and everybody, all the local people getting that thing in after hours and just all kinds of stuff. They were amazing. And keeping the park clean and picking up and making everybody welcome. That park is beautiful. It’s an island. So, it’s got just this beautiful little stream around it. And the folks in Winfield really went all out, did a great job. (Frank) Wow. (Deb) Yes. It was really nice, really nice. We look forward to next year. Make sure you come. (Frank) We’ll be back.

(Frank) And we’re back again. (Deb) So, Celebrity Pancake Feed at the Combat Air Museum. I got to flip pancakes next to Vice Commander Chris Turner, a great guy from the 190th. And it was just a fantastic time. I love the Combat Air Museum. I loved seeing all the veterans come through. It was just wonderful. And I just loved spending time with all those great folks. So, that’s their big fundraiser every year. So go out and support that. But afterwards there was a big salute to not only the 190th Air Refueling Wing that goes out all over the world, folks. They aren’t just sitting here in our backyard with the planes apart. They do stuff all over the world. But, also to the Patriot Guard and– (Frank) [clears throat] After the Iraq war, when they all returned home and they flew in formation into Forbes Field, I mean I still see that today in my mind and get chills. (Deb) [sighs] They’re an amazing group. (Frank) Yes. (Deb) And this is an amazing story. The Celebrity Pancake Feed at the Combat Air Museum had folks waiting in line a long time to help support the mission of this incredible museum. But this year, there was even more to look forward to. Once everyone was fed folks moved outside and congregated next to the KC-135 Stratotanker flown by the 190th Air Refueling Wing of the Kansas Air National Guard. Brown paper covered part of the nose and lots of folks on motorcycles lined up alongside. The brown paper covered the newly painted nose art honoring the Patriot Guard, the motorcycle riders who were organized to form a shield between families and protesters at military funerals, and later expanded to include fallen police officers as well. Vietnam veteran Terry Houck, who founded the Patriot Guard with his wife, Carol, told the crowd that he had been angered by the protests at funerals but the sign that read, Thank God for Dead Soldiers, was too much. No family in the midst of laying their loved one to rest should be subjected to that spectacle, he thought, and others agreed, and the Patriot Guard was born. From their website: The Patriot Guard Riders is a diverse amalgamation of riders from across the nation. We have one thing in common besides motorcycles. We have an unwavering respect for those who risk their very lives for America’s freedom and security including Fallen Military Heroes, First Responders and honorably discharged Veterans. If you share this respect, please join us. We don’t care what you ride or if you ride, what your political views are, or whether you’re a hawk or a dove. It is not a requirement that you be a veteran. It doesn’t matter where you’re from or what your income is; you don’t even have to ride. The only prerequisite is Respect. Our main mission is to attend the funeral services of fallen American heroes as invited guests of the family. Col. Jarrod Frantz, wing commander, told the assembly, the artwork honors those who rose up to serve something greater than themselves and to fight for those who fought for them. The artwork was primarily the work of190th Senior Airman Skylar Caldwell who talked about iconic nose art images familiar to most of us, the Flying Tigers or the Memphis Belle. The words PATRIOT GUARD were emblazoned over the image of figures standing with American flags and the phrase, Standing guard for our fallen heroes. It was cool, in the 50s, with threatening, heavy skies. I counted many friends among those gathered. I counted it an honor to flip pancakes beside the 190th’s vice commander, Col. Chris Turner. Col. Frantz and Chief Master Sergeant Von Burns were at the other end of the line serving sausage. These guys make me so proud that they represent Kansas to the world. We could not ask for better. God bless the Patriot Guard in their selfless, volunteer mission, and kudos for being honored on the nose of a plane that does good work around the globe.

(Frank) And we’re back again. I’m sorry, but when you got a song in your head and you just can’t get rid of it [laughs]. (Deb) [sings] Crazy. (Frank) Today it’s [sings] Crazy. (Deb) [sings] Crazy. The word of the day is crazy children. (Frank) And we apologize for that [laughs]. (Deb):We’re nuts. That’s it, bottom line. (Frank) Oh my– (Deb) Okay. So when I found out you’re going to do this story Frank, on the Banner Creek Observatory Science Center, my friend Brenda Karl-Wilson works up there. And she messaged me that they’ve got a couple of workshops coming up in July, one on Archaeology with our good friend Virginia Wulfkuhle and Geology with Linda Pickett and in August, two more, Chemistry and Physics, which obviously don’t turn me on. But, in August, they will have a meteor shower viewing. And my friend Brenda is just amazing. She does some incredible stuff, a wonderful astronomer but so creative, and does some amazing things. So, I think you can check out the website and it’s a great story, Frank. People are going to be blown away. (Frank) Did you say Virginia Wolf? (Deb) Wulfkuhle. (Frank) Okay. Because, Who’s afraid of Virginia Wolf? (Deb) Nobody is afraid of Virginia Wulfkuhle. She’s wonderful. (Frank) Okay. (Deb) She’s a sweet lady. (Frank) It’s an observatory. Listen to this. Banner Creek Science Center & Observatory was previously known as the Elk Creek Observatory, EOC. The ECO was founded in 2000, and became the only high school-owned observatory in the world. It was originally built with grant funds from the Christa McAuliffe Grant Foundation, named after teacher Christa McAuliffe, who died in the 1986 Challenger shuttle disaster. The grant request was written by Karen and Mike Ford. The original grant funded a 14-inch telescope, robotic mount, fiberglass dome, and a CCD camera. USD 336 also assisted with the funding for the building, which was designed and built by Bob Phillips’ woodworking class. The observatory construction was completed in late October 2000 and dedicated by Dr. Bruce Twarog, KU Astronomy Professor, in November 2000. Students learned how to do CCD imaging and how to use the images for research. In the summer of 2003, students got a larger telescope. In May 2003, Mike Ford presented a program to the Holton High School Alumni about the observatory. After the presentation, several alums expressed interest in the project. Alumnus Bill Zirger had asked what would be the ultimate to work with and how much would it cost. A list of equipment was put together with the cost, around $150,000. Bill and fellow alumnus Dennis Blossom talked to another alum, Senator Pat Roberts, about getting this funded for the school district. In December 2003, Senator Roberts called and talked to Coach Brooks Barta to congratulate him on winning the State 4A Football Championship and told him to pass the word that he had put in an appropriation for the observatory in the 2003 budget. When Congress approved the budget, the newly equipped observatory was a reality. The appropriated funds would be provided through the Department of Education’s Technology Initiative Program. As of November 2004, a new dome was installed, the new robotic mount, new Dell computers, software, a new large format camera from Santa Barbara Instruments Group, and a new portable, 30-foot diameter Starlab planetarium! The telescope itself is an RC Optical Systems 20-inch reflector, which had been used at Kitt Peak National Observatory in Arizona. With the kind assistance of Gary Hug of the Northeast Kansas Amateur Astronomers League and Holton High School Advanced Space Science students, the observatory was up and running in late December 2004. A re-dedication was held in March 2005. Visit their website to arrange visits and take advantage of their observation nights.

(Ron) Today the American Angus Association is the largest breed association in the United States. And people may not know that that breed originated in the British Isles, but then was brought all the way to Kansas. This poem is entitled Birth of a Breed. It was on the 17th of May way back in 1873, the Kansas’ welcomed in some cattle that would change beef history near the town of Victoria. Out on the Kansas plains a man named George Grant wanted to boost his cattle gains. To improve the native bloodlines and reduce the needed calls, on that day George Grant brought in four Aberdeen Angus bulls. Can you imagine the sight when those beefy cattle arrived where nothing but short horns or rangy long horns had survived? It must have been a funny scene that the neighbors thought contrary when those black-hided cattle arrived out on the Kansas prairie. But, when those calves were born, then the farmers’ opinion moved because the influence of those bulls made the cattle much improved. The Angus breed developed and grew for all to see. The Angus Breed Association was formed in 1883. The American Angus Auxiliary was formed in 1952 supporting youth showing in scholarship and all the good they do. So, like when George Grant brought those bulls here in that way, Angus bulls still bring improvement in cattle herds today. And since the hungry people of the world have protein as a need, we are thankful for this emigration of the Angus breed. Happy Trails.

(Deb) Welcome back, folks. (Frank) [laughs] (Deb) It’s been a great experience for me sharing all the national cemeteries with you this month that are in Kansas and obviously some beautiful places and very appropriate to visit sometime this month or anytime. (Frank) Well, Memorial Day is coming up too. So, it will be a great time. (Deb) Memorial Day is coming up. It’ll be a great time, most of the cemeteries will be decorated and a lot of them will have people there to answer questions or help you find folks. WaKeeney is a State Veteran Cemetery. And that’s really neat, in fact, Dr. Jake and his Calvary crew will be doing the color guard there for their ceremonies. So, even though the national cemeteries are really wonderful, most of the cemeteries will have some kind of veterans’ service. They have the local VFW, American Legion and somebody comes out and does something. So, find out what’s going on in your neighborhood and go out and support those, because these guys work awfully hard that weekend to get around to do all those services. (Frank) So, she’s going to talk to you about Fort Scott. (Deb) Fort Scott National Cemetery is located on the eastern outskirts of the city of Fort Scott. Fort Scott is located midway between Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, and Fort Gibson, Oklahoma, on the route historically known as the Military Road. Fort Scott was established in 1842 and named for Lieutenant General Winfield Scott, then, General-in-Chief of the U.S. Army. The fort’s primary purpose was to maintain a three-way peace among Native American tribes forcibly relocated from Florida and the East, local tribes, and incoming white settlers. Troops guarded caravans on the Santa Fe Trail and patrolled the vast frontier territory. During the 1840s, the Army established a cemetery on the west side of town to accommodate the burial of soldiers who died while stationed at the Fort Scott garrison. In 1861, town officers and citizens of Fort Scott purchased approximately four acres southeast of the old post for use as a community burying ground. Since the cemetery was controlled by the Presbyterian Church, it was known as the Presbyterian Graveyard. After the start of the Civil War, the new cemetery was used for the interment of soldiers stationed at Fort Scott. When Congress approved the creation of national cemeteries in 1862, the cemetery became one of 14 national cemeteries to be designated or established as such that year. On Nov. 15, 1862, the Presbyterian Graveyard and an adjoining tract owned by the Town Company were designated as Fort Scott National Cemetery. After the war’s end in 1865, the remains of those buried in the old military cemetery, as well as other soldiers buried in the vicinity, in Missouri and Kansas, were re-interred at Fort Scott National Cemetery. Following the close of the Indian Wars and resettlement of Native Americans, the Army closed or consolidated many of its small military outposts in the West. As a result, between 1885 and 1907, the federal government vacated numerous military post cemeteries, such as Fort Lincoln, Kansas, and re-interred the remains at Fort Scott National Cemetery. Eugene Fitch Ware, a noted Kansas poet, is buried in Grave 1 in the heart-shaped section of the cemetery. Ware was a Connecticut native who moved to Ft. Scott at the age of 26 in 1867 and spent the remainder of his life in Kansas. Ware served in the 7th Iowa Cavalry during the Civil War and was based at Ft. Scott. After the war, he entered the bar and practiced law at Ft. Scott and became active in Kansas politics. Ware achieved fame as a poet writing under the pseudonym, Ironquill. He was a prolific poet and some of his most famous works include “The Washerwoman’s Song” and “John Brown.” A large native sandstone boulder marks Ware’s grave. The natural beauty of this boulder impressed Ware and one of his final requests was that it be used as his grave marker. Also interred at Fort Scott National Cemetery are the remains of 16 Native American soldiers–all privates in the Indian Regiments of the Union Army who served as invaluable scouts. Fort Scott National Cemetery was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1999.

(Deb) Goodbye to me. (Frank) [sings] Crazy [laughs]. (Deb) Crazy. It’s been crazy. (Frank) I’m Frank. (Deb) I’m Deb. (Frank) And we’ll see you somewhere (Both) Around Kansas.

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

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