Fort Leavenworth Fox Hunt, Jack Johnson

(Frank) Today on Around Kansas let’s start with the Fort Leavenworth Fox Hunt and see how it began in 1926. Then we’ll “meet” Jack Johnson, also known as “Topeka Jack”, who passed away in 1940 but recently received a headstone in Topeka’s Mount Auburn Cemetery. Then enjoy a poem from Ron Wilson and we’ll end with a trailer for a video about the Underground Railroad.Closed Captioning Brought to you by Ag Promo Source. Together we grow. Learn more at

(Frank Chaffin) Good morning. I’m Frank. (Deb Goodrich) I’m Deb. (Frank) And this is Around Kansas and we’re in a brand new year. (Deb) 2017. (Frank) Oh my, 2017. (Deb) That’s unreal. Just amazing how they just spin by, don’t they Frank? Just spin by. (Frank) Oh, my. Well and I don’t know why I just thought of this but I’ve been watching this National Geographic series called Mars and of course they show you really what’s going on for the Mars shot in 2016. Then they go to 2033 with the first crew that goes to Mars and all that and I’m not really sure where that goes except that I’m really hoping I’m still here in 2033 because that really is when they’re going to make that shot. (Deb) When you look at how the future was portrayed, a lot of people look at Star Trek, for example. The flip communication devices, the cell phone. And then we don’t have the teletransporter yet; the one that I’m really holding out for. I really hope that happens in my day. But all of those things — the scans — you remember when Bones would scan somebody and he’d just do a scan overall and now we have- (Kyle) Now, you can do that. (Deb) – you can do that, we have scans. So as you well know, and Michael knows because Michael is such a fan of classic films and TV shows, so much fiction found its way into the scientific community and I think they were feeding each other. (Frank) Well, you know Dick Tracy and his wrist radio. (Deb) Really? (Frank) It’s like well… (Deb) Its that new iPhone thing now, that’s just about exactly what it is. I love the CBS Sunday Morning. That I think might be my favorite TV show and I’m sorry I can’t think the man’s name. But one of the reporters did a beautiful episode on John Glenn’s passing and he met John Glenn at the White House at some reception a few years ago and John Glenn was a fan of his. And he’s like, “Okay. You’re going to meet John Glenn, don’t be stupid, don’t be stupid. Don’t say something stupid”. And Glenn talked about when John Glenn and Charles Lindbergh flew together in World War II and Lindbergh fell out of favor with the American public because he was anti-war. They saw him as a pro-Nazi. He tried to enlist to redeem himself. He wanted to fly into combat to redeem himself and the branches wouldn’t take him. But this reporter made this – what an incredible thing — here you have Lindbergh passed his glory and John Glenn before his glory and they are together and you go in the Space and Air Museum and there’s a Spirit of St. Louis and there’s John Glenn space capsule. What an incredible world, Frank. What an incredible world. (Frank) Who knows what’s ahead. (Deb) Who knows what’s ahead. Wonderful things are being discovered and are going to be discovered this year, Frank; this year, 2017. (Frank) I remember my sixth-grade teacher, which was a long time ago, Mr. Farbaugh… (Deb) Did they have chlorine then? (Frank) Well, but he told us toward the end of the year he said, “You know, here we are in 1959” and he said, “In your lifetime you’re going to see wondrous things that people haven’t even thought of yet”. (Deb) Haven’t even thought of. One of my favorite photographs, because everybody knows what a nut I am over Buffalo Bill Cody. One of my favorite photographs is Bill Cody looking at an airplane. And it’s like here is a boy who saw the first wagons come into the Kansas Territory, ferries, the Indian Wars, the Civil War, the first trains to cross the continent, and he lives to see an airplane; what change in his lifetime. Isn’t that incredible? (Frank) Yes. (Deb) Hey, we got a great show for you. Stay with us.

(Frank) Here we are again. Aren’t you so happy? (Deb) I know we are. We’re happy to be here and happy to have you with us, too. (Frank) Oh, my. Hey, I know what the next story is but before you talk about it a little bit, it has to do with a fox hunt. But are you familiar with the Fallowfield Hunt? (Deb) Nuh-uh. (Frank) You’re not. Okay. Well actually, an artist named Cecil Alden back in 1904 painted six different pictures of a fox hunt starting with the breakfast and then gathering, and then finally the capture of the fox and then the dinner afterwards. Anyway, I happen to have those prints. Ha-ha. (Deb) I’m so jealous. (Frank) Well the thing is, when Linda and I were antiquing we learned about the Fallowfield Hunt and at that time you could find a lot of Fallowfield Hunt things around. I mean like tea sets and they were all hand-painted with scenes from the Fallowfield Hunt. And I don’t know if you can still find them or not but it’s really an interesting thing. (Deb) Well, the hunt, and you’ll hear a little bit about that in the story, is like a culture all of its own. And of course, having grown up in Virginia where fox hunting was a big deal, whether it was the people in the nice riding suits or the hillbillies just following the hounds. My grandpa, I can remember him sitting out on the front porch and listening to the hounds run at night. It’s one of his favorite things after he quit hunting himself. But fox hunting and raccoon hunting it’s a tradition that goes back to the British Isles and that’s what the story we’ll talk about in a little bit. And of course, I think that the hunt at Leavenworth is one of the oldest and certainly thriving. I think it’s a pretty cool story. (Frank) Is that where you go out and sit in the woods with a gunnysack and a club? Oh no, that’s snipe, sorry. (Deb) No. Whole different story; whole different set. The Fort Leavenworth Hunt was organized in 1926 by the 10th Cavalry Regiment and disbanded during WWII. The pack of hounds was reconstituted in 1964 and two years later was recognized by the Masters of Fox Hounds Association. Military personnel and their families, as well as civilians, are subscribers to the Hunt. The Kennels are located on Fort Leavenworth. The Hunt enjoys the unique distinction of hunting on the post, covering land that marks the beginning of the Santa Fe Trail. This sport carries on the tradition of a sport, which has not changed much since it first came to us from England in 1650. The hunt country is on Fort Leavenworth and nearby in the vicinity of Easton. Twice a year the hunt moves to the wide-open expanses of the Flint Hills at the Mulvane Ranch. This is truly a unique hunting experience, hunting over 15,000 acres of native prairie grass. During hunt season hunters go out regularly, weather permitting. Because of weather, it is wise to check with a joint Master before each Hunt to make sure of time and place. During the off-season, they exercise and train the hounds, work on trails, and conduct fund raising endeavors. The object of the Fort Leavenworth Hunt is to pursue a fox or coyote with the hounds through hunt country, offering the subscribers of the hunt an opportunity to view this chase. The actual hunting is the work of the huntsman and staff. The subscribers and guests are observers. There are 25-35 hounds used in each hunt. The thrill is in the chase, watching the hounds work and hearing them give tongue, doing their job guided by the Huntsman and assisted by the Whippers-in. The Field Master leads the field of riders into a position to view the fox or coyote being pursued. The hunt’s intentions are only to chase. The hunt is designed to provide a safe and friendly atmosphere for any rider wishing to participate, offering both the novice and the accomplished ride a safe and exciting experience.

(Frank) And here we are again. (Deb) Talking about one of Frank’s favorite subjects, baseball. There’s just no end to the baseball stories, are there Frank? (Frank) Uh-huh. (Deb) And just like Kansas has a lot of musical and acting talent, we’ve got a lot of baseball talent. (Frank) A lot of baseball people. Yes. (Deb) Awful lot of baseball people. And I want to give a shout-out to our friend Doug Wright and Doug is, I don’t know, some potentate with the Shawnee County Baseball Hall of Fame which, it’s just Shawnee county but I’m telling you they got a pretty prestigious lineup in that Hall of Fame, it’s amazing when you look at it. But Doug provided the research for this story so we want to tell Doug how much we appreciate that. (Frank) In fact, I’m going to do a story on Topeka Jack and he was just recently honored finally after many years and I don’t want to get ahead of the story. But it is an interesting story. And yes you’re right; baseball for some reason in Kansas really is a big thing. When I was a kid they didn’t come scout me but the thing is the Chicago White Sox came to Kansas a lot to scout talent. And there were a lot of Topekans that got to go. And of course, we have people that have played in the World Series and everything else from the state of Kansas. And what we’ve done is some stories of that about Tinker or to Chance, to Evers. (Deb) Mickey Mantle, Mike Torrez. (Frank) Mickey Mantle, Mike Torrez. (Deb) Yes. Go to our website and you can look back through the archives and find some of those stories. (Frank) So anyway, I’m going to have a story about Topeka Jack. Here’s a great story. “Topeka Jack” Johnson passed away in 1940, and his grave in the capital city’s Mount Auburn Cemetery was unmarked for more than half a century, until just weeks ago. A well-known baseball player, manager and promoter decades prior to the integration of the major leagues, Johnson was also a prominent boxer. He later served on the Topeka police and fire departments. On the day his marker was dedicated, a celebration of his life was held at the Brown v. Board of Education National Historic Site with a special celebration of Johnson’s life. The headstone was provided by the Negro Leagues Baseball Grave Marker Project, a subsidiary of the Society of American Baseball Research. He founded and managed the Topeka Giants in 1906, taking them on a tour of Nebraska, Iowa, Illinois, Missouri and Kansas. He went on to play for and manage the Kansas City, Kansas, Giants in 1909 and 1911, and the Kansas City, Missouri, Royal Giants in 1910. During these years he worked with players like Tullie McAdoo, Bill Pettus, a young 18-year-old Bill Lindsay, Bingo DeMoss, and Hurley McNair. In 1917 Johnson managed “Jack Johnson’s Topeka Giants,” a team that played at least one game against the All Nations baseball club. The events honoring him were sponsored by the Negro Leagues Baseball Grave Marker Project, the Shawnee County Baseball Hall of Fame, and the Shawnee County Parks and Recreation Foundation. Negro Leagues Author Phil Dixon commented about the ceremonies, “I was very happy to see Johnson getting a bit of the recognition he earned. Back in the 1980’s I began writing about his accomplishments and researching his life. “Roosevelt Butler of KCK provided me with a photograph of Johnson managing the 1909 Kansas City Kansas Giants. That season Johnson led the Giants to 54 consecutive victories,” Phil continued. “Fred Langford, who lived in KCK was the first to tell me about Johnson’s boxing career and that “Topeka Jack” had fought World Champion Jack Johnson in Leavenworth, Kansas. Langford also played for the Kansas City Kansas Giants. Speaking of Langfords, “Topeka Jack” also fought Sam Langford in Topeka, Kansas. This information was first published in one of my books. There is much more to the story and I am glad to have played a role in keeping his history alive.”

(Ron Wilson) Cowboys love to train animals; sometimes the animals can train us. This poem is entitled Horse Training. On a hot summer morning, I walked out to train a young horse we were teaching to ride in the ring. The flies really buzzing in the hot morning sun, as I walked to the barn with my two little sons. One said, “Dad, you see those two horses right there, standing together like they were a pair. They get close together, and that’s how they graze, but their heads are facing in opposite ways. So the head of the one is by the tail of the other. Why do they do that?” he asked me and his brother. I said, You’re a mighty observant young man. And I’ll answer your question the best that I can. You see there’s lots of flies around this cow lot, they’re a natural pest that we’ve always got. The horse uses its tail to shoo off those flies, like I do with my hand if the need should arise. But the tail is too short to reach that horse’s head, so they’ve learned they can partner with another horse instead. They can stand close together, one’s head by the others tail. Then they can shoo the flies off each other without fail, so that’s why the horses stand together that way. Now go in the barn and get ‘em some hay. While the boys did their chores I stopped and I thought, There’s a message for me in that lesson I taught. If horses can learn to cooperate too, there is no limit to what we as people can do. There’s some things a person can’t do as just one, when we work together so much more can get done. If we partner together which is really my druthers, we’ll share the rewards as we serve each other. It’s a mutual benefit that we can treasure, if like all those horses we all stand together. It was time to begin that pony’s training lessons, but I looked at my kids and thanked God for my blessings. At supper that night my wife says to me, “How’d that training go for the new pony?” I said, It went well but not in the usual way. My kids and my horses taught me a lot today. Happy Trails.

(Frank) And here we are again. Here we are already, this is our first weekend of 2017. Can you imagine? (Deb) No. Nope. Don’t have my brain wrapped around it yet. Except for the to do list. I still have the to do list left over from 2016. It’s not done. (Frank) Well the fun thing is depending on what check writing program you use, at least it automatically puts 2017 on your checks. (Deb) Because I can’t keep up the dates to save my life. As everybody who knows me knows, I can’t keep up deadlines. And it’s not that I don’t know, it’s like I can’t remember like, “Okay. We’ve got to do this on Tuesday”. But then I can wake up Tuesday and not realize that today is Tuesday. I’m just challenged Frank, that’s just all there is to it. I’m just challenged. Just that little glitch. Fortunately, there are people out there doing good work who are not as challenged as I am, and we want to give a shout out to Richard Pitts. Beautiful documentary and we’ve been very involved in documentary work so I really appreciate that good work when I see it, On the Underground Railroad. And this is produced by the K-State, the Department of Education. I may not have that wording quite right but we’ll get it right on the screen. And I think you could download this for free. Free is good Frank. Free is really good. And when you get this kind of quality for free, this is a great country I’m telling you what, it really is. So this is a beautiful, beautiful documentary, happy to share this trailer with you. [MUSIC] (Brad Burenheide) To collect all these stories and provide that narrative of what the Underground Railroad is about, that’s something that needs to be done so that we can honor those people that did this great thing. And that’s a great benefit of the story, the fact that it shows that as human beings we’re capable of doing the right thing. (Michael Stubbs) It’s the point of recognizing a wrong and trying to right it. We’re human beings and we all have a sense of right and wrong and that sense of justice, and I think the Underground Railroad story is a story of justice. (Madge McDonald) It means a lot to me to know that my family was so involved and so dedicated to this. I ask children when they come in, do you know about the Underground Railroad? And I’m finding that most cases during Black History Month, they learn about the Underground Railroad and a lot of children are very interested in what I have and I think it’s something that children should be taught. (Brad) The struggle for freedom in the United States that our founding fathers and mothers articulated, it’s never over, and I think young people need to know how far we’ve come. (Richard Pitts) Whenever anything significant has happened, it always took a diverse group of people to make it happen. It never was just one race. And good examples leads to great behavior. Bad examples do the opposite.

(Frank) And so again, we’re in the 2017. I’m Frank. (Deb) I’m Deb. (Frank) And we’ll see you somewhere- (Frank and Deb) -Around Kansas.

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

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