(Frank) Today Around Kansas starts with Hedge Apples, the bright green fruit of the Osage Orange tree and its importance in Kansas as a shelter belt. Next we take a look at the life of Kenneth Adams, a native Kansan, and the last member of the renowned Taos Society of Artists. then enjoy a poem from Ron Wilson and we’ll end with a story about elk at Ft. Riley.Closed Captioning Brought to you by the Kansas Soybean Commission. The Soybean Checkoff, Progress Powered by Kansas Farmers.
(Frank) Well good morning, it’s early in the morning of course, on Wednesday, so it must be…(Deb) Must be Around Kansas on Wednesday morning. (Frank) I’m Frank. (Deb) And I’m Deb. Good to see y’all this morning. (Frank) And as you can see we still don’t have coffee. Somebody is gonna bring us coffee one of these days. (Deb) Actually mine is under the chair. I didn’t bring Frank any, but I’ve got mine under the chair.(Frank) Hmmm, OK. (Deb) I know, I tried to sneak it in, sneak it past you. (Frank) Of course, today you can see the beautiful fireplace behind us. And of course it’s in the Dillon House which is across from the State Capitol here in Topeka. And we do the show from there because they’re so gracious to let us move around in here. We’ve done it from the stairway, and we’ve done it from a dining room. I mean, we talked about we’re getting close to Halloween, so we need to do one in the basement. (Deb) Oh man, or in the attic or something cool. (Frank) Yea. (Deb) There’s gotta be some ghost stories here at the Dillon House. We’re gonna do some ghost stories next week. So, make sure you join us next Wednesday morning. (Frank) Won’t that be fun? (Deb) It will be fun. It’s gonna be a lot of fun. So, I’ve been on the road a lot Frank. (Frank) Yes, you have. Where have you been? You’ve been west? (Deb) You know what, in the last couple of months I think I have traveled nearly 10,000 miles. (Frank) In Kansas? (Deb) Well, a lot of that was in Kansas. (Frank) Well, some of it. (Deb) Some of it went past. But yea, a lot of it was in Kansas, back and forth, back and forth. This weekend is, I think it’s the Fall Festival is what they call it in McCracken. And you were just saying, you’ve never been to McCracken. (Frank) Well isn’t it McCracken that thing that comes out and grabs you? Oh no… (Deb) I think that’s just a Kraken. (Frank) OK, so you’re in McCracken. (Deb) A McCracken would be like a Scottish Kraken or something like that. (Frank) Oh OK, here we go. (Deb) There with the Mc on the front. (Frank) No really, I have no idea. And sorry McCracken people, but I do not know where it is. (Deb) It’s, see this is a learning opportunity; it’s southwest of Hays and it’s just a wonderful little community. It’s a very small community and a lot of the folks, like my good friend Rose Diehl, you remember Rose? (Frank) Uh huh. (Deb) OK Rose grew up in McCracken. (Frank) Really? (Deb) Yes and her brother Tim Lewis is a really good friend through the history world and has been for a long time. So Rose and her husband Les have let me use their place there in McCracken traveling back and forth. And she had me come out and speak to their library group. She’s on the board of the library there. Huge crowd, huge crowd. Course it was me and a potato bar. (Frank) A what? (Deb) Potato bar. So, it was an extra inducement. (Frank) What’s a potato bar? (Deb) A baked potato bar, it was like five bucks if you got a loaded potato or whatever. It was awesome. It was such a great group of folks. They’ve got a wonderful community. So anytime that community gets together and does something, the participation is amazing. I mean it really is. Such a great group of people. And a lot of people like Rose who has moved away, they’ve gone back and they have a home there and so, course her Mom’s still there and they’ve still got family and everything. But they keep the town alive. (Frank) McCracken. (Deb) I’m gonna invite Frank out. Frank and the potato bar that would be great. (Frank) We’ll be back.
(Frank) And we’re back. McCracken. (Deb) McCracken. (Frank) Well now you know, we’re in the fall of course, and when I was growing up, I grew up in Newton, Kansas. And of course, there was a lot of going out into the fields and all of that during fall. And in Kansas to break the wind they planted a lot of trees, hedge trees. (Deb) Right. (Frank) Well the thing is they have these things called hedge balls. And you know there are a lot of rumors about the uses of them. People would put them in their basements to keep the bugs out. Now whether that is true or not, I don’t know. But people would do that. But the thing is, is they always said, cause we would like to throw ’em at each other and all that, which was not a good thing. Of course our parents would say, Well you don’t want to get hit by one cause it will leave a mark and it won’t go away. And so anyway… (Deb) Well my first, honestly they’re not that common back home where I grew up in the Blue Ridge Mountains. So my sister and I, I was working for the newspaper and we’re driving through looking at some abandoned house and the hedge row had grown over this drive, and it was kind of creepy actually. And it was the fall of the year, and so the hedge apples, and I went, What are these things? We load up the back seat with them. And as we’re driving back down the road; we had visions of aliens coming out of ’em or something. So, we stop in Poplar Camp, Virginia, it’s right on the New River and this guy we knew ran a service station, Tony. So imagine Ernest T. Bass, this is what Tony was like. So, we go in and say, “Tony, what are these things?” He said, “They’re hedge apples.” And I said, “What do you do with them?” “You throw ’em at folks in Ivanhoe.” And Ivanhoe is where we picked ’em up. So, somehow these little hedge apples, he says yeah, he says a friend of mine threw one, remember Bill and knocked him plum out on Halloween. And I was like, OK. So, he got out and demonstrated throwing the hedge apples, just as this carload of tourists was driving up from Florida. And they just kept on driving. They just kept going. So, you’re right, the most common use for hedge apples may be pretty violent actually. Let’s take a look. Driving through Kansas in the fall there is almost nowhere in the state that bright green fruits of the Osage Orange aren’t littering the ground. Gathered by many folks to repel spiders and other insects, they are also used for autumn decorations. While Osage Orange may have once spanned the breadth of eastern North America, in pre-Columbian times it was limited to the Red River basin of Texas, Oklahoma, and Arkansas. In the 1800’s, they were planted as a living fence, or hedge, along the boundaries of farms. The sharp-thorned hedges were pruned to promote bushy growth. The criteria for a good hedge made with the Osage Orange Tree was, “Horse high, bull strong and hog tight.” The invention of barbed wire in the 1880’s led to lesser use of the hedge, except as fence posts, until President Franklin Roosevelt’s “Great Plains Shelterbelt” WPA project in the 1930s. It was an ambitious plan to modify weather and prevent soil erosion in the Great Plains states. By 1942, more than 30,000 shelterbelts containing 220 million trees that stretched for more than 18,000 miles were planted. When dried, the wood has the highest BTU content of any commonly available North American wood, and burns long and hot. The heavy, close-grained yellow-orange wood is very dense and is prized for tool handles, fence posts, and other applications requiring a wood that withstands rot. American Indians valued the wood for making bows. Some reports from the early 19th century indicate that a good Osage bow was worth a horse and a blanket.
(Frank) And we’re back again. So, now you know about elk, hedge balls and all kinds of stuff. Well, really that’s what we do on Around Kansas, if you live here and you really haven’t been around Kansas a lot we want to kind of educate you and maybe excite you… (Deb) Exactly. (Frank) …to go exploring and go traveling. Here recently a friend of mine was inducted into the Topeka High Wall of Fame. She lives in Canada now, but she is an author. She happens to also be married to an author, the guy who wrote the English Patient. And the thing is, on her way into Topeka to receive the award, she stopped in Hiawatha and she’d never been to the Davis Memorial there. The Davis Monument. (Deb) Obviously being a grave nut, one of my favorite places. (Frank) And at a reception we had for her, she talked about how magnificent it was and how it showed the various stages of Davis and his wife and the whole thing. She was just fascinated by it. And the fact that it was so very life like. Of course, I think we’ve done a story on the Davis Monument. We might do it again. (Deb) Sure. (Frank) Because what she particularly noticed there was that they were so precisely carved because they were done in Italy. But that last one of him alone was not because what had happened is he had run out of money. And so, he did the best he could with the money left over. But you see the various stages. Anyway, we got off on that. But the thing is, is Kansas really has so many interesting people. (Deb) Incredibly talented. (Frank) Places and things and that’s what makes this exciting for us to do this. And talking about people, this next story I must admit, is about someone that I really didn’t know about. And he is a renowned artist who grew up in Kansas, went to New York and then to Taos, New Mexico. And so anyway, let’s take a look. (Frank) In 1926 Kenneth Adams became the last member elected to the renowned Taos Society of Artists. The group disbanded in 1927, leaving Adams to pass the baton to the second generation of Taos artists. Adams, a native of Topeka, Kansas, made his way just after World War I to New York where he pursued his studies at the Art Students League. He met and studied with Andrew Dasburg at Woodstock, New York, through the Art Students’ League’s summer program and a friendship and artistic kinship developed between them. By 1924, Dasburg had moved to Santa Fe and Adams joined him in the region, which was to become synonymous with his work. Through Dasburg, Adams made contact with Walter Ufer in Taos. He then moved to Taos and began his association with the Taos Society of Artists. From a stylistic point of view, Adams painted in the same conservative, fundamentally representational vein as did the other Taos artists of the mid-20s, but he did not follow their inclination toward the picturesque or the sentimental. Adams was interested in probing the soul of his subjects, especially Hispanic men and women, through portraiture. His landscapes interpreted the land instead of merely remolding it. Adams’ interest in painting nudes and florals, an interest which was to continue far beyond his Taos years, reveal his modernist leanings. This less traditional work marks him as a pivotal figure between the founders of the Taos Society and the second generation of northern New Mexico artists, who were largely sympathetic with the art movements then current in New York and in Europe. After 1940, Adams increasingly associated himself with Albuquerque rather than with Taos. He was a faculty member at both the University of New Mexico and Sandia School, now Sandia Prep. At the end of his life, Adams received the recognition which he enjoys today. He was elected an Academician of the National Academy of Design in 1961. Several years later, he retired from the university faculty and was honored in 1964 with a large-scale retrospective of his work at UNM.
(Ron) Modern society has become very removed from agriculture. Some modern consumers think their food just comes from the store and don’t make the connection to the farmers and ranchers who are the original source of that production. Someone came up with the phrase I like, “If you eat, you are involved in agriculture.” This is a poem I wrote titled, “Give Thanks,
Three Times a Day.” Each one of us should be thankful all day long, for the blessing our good Lord has brought along. But I’m especially thankful when I take my meal time seat, for the farmers and ranchers who bring us food to eat. Our farmers work hard to produce a crop, with yields that they will try to top. We’re blessed as we sit down to eat, that farmers grow corn, soybeans and wheat. When we want a healthy drink as smooth as silk, dairy farmers give us good fresh milk. Livestock producers are another winner, providing healthy protein for breakfast, lunch and dinner. They help make lots of food that’s great, like steaks, burgers and bacon on our plate. So, at mealtime I bow my head for grace, while the thought
of food puts a smile on my face. For all the good food they bring our way. If you eat, you can thank a farmer or a rancher today. Happy Trails.
(Deb) So,welcome back folks, and I love viewing wildlife as you go around Kansas. And in far western Kansas, just outside of Atwood, Jeff and Alice Hill used to live out there and I think they’ve moved south to be with their grandkids now. But on their ranch which borders on Colorado, Jeff told me was the only natural elk herd in Kansas. So, you know the elk used to be everywhere. You know when Lewis and Clark came through, heck everything, you couldn’t walk without bumping into a bear or an elk or bison or something. And of course the thousands of settlers that came through kind of took care of that, but there are, when I was researching this story, a lot of elk in Kansas now. (Frank) Well, there’s a lot of conservation going on. (Deb) Right. (Frank) Because the buffalo herds have come back. Of course deer are, we need to import some wolves or something. Sorry hunters. (Deb) Bambi is the most dangerous animal, is it like 10,000 car accidents a year or something? Just in Kansas? (Frank) You have a one in five chance of hitting deer, a one in five chance. (Deb) That’s crazy. I mean it’s crazy. (Frank) So when you’re going down the two lane road especially if you have trees on either side that’s when you start watching the tree line, cause they come out and they run from one tree line to the others. Anyway, be very careful. (Deb) Well, so far the elk/car accidents haven’t escalated to that. (Frank) There aren’t many trees out there. (Deb) There aren’t many trees. That’s right. No place for them to hide. (Frank) That’s why elk are out there. (Deb) And they’re so doggone big. You know, they’re almost twice as big maybe as the deer would be. Something like that. Yea, they’re pretty big animals. They’re pretty big animals. I was up at Will Cokeley’s farm up in Delia, he raises elk. And it was amazing. You know Will is a football player and a big macho guy and he has hunting up on his place. And it’s funny because the elk that he breeds recognize him as the alpha male. It’s hilarious. And so he would go up and raise his arms and they would, they’d back down, the bull elks. And like man, this was a whole nother circle of wild life. I mean it was really interesting. (Frank) Yea, see how interesting Kansas is? (Deb) There’s just no end to it. No end to the great stories. (Frank) I mean we have grey squirrels in the eastern part of the state, red squirrels here and then we have deer and they have elk out there and it’s just all kinds of stuff. (Deb) Black squirrels in Marysville. (Frank) Yea, yea. (Deb) Yea, go back and archive that story. And you know if there’s stories, if you’ve got something unusual that you want to share with us, or make us aware of, let us know. You can find us on Facebook. You can find our emails there. Share our Facebook stories. You know we’ve got a You Tube channel. Did you know that? (Frank) Yes. (Deb) We’ve got a You Tube channel. So, you can go to You Tube, I’m not sure exactly how it works, but you can go to You Tube and find our stories and feel free to share them. That’s what it’s all about. We want to get those great things out there. Send them to your friends. We’ve got friends, I might have talked about this one day, watching in Europe and different places. And when I was in New Mexico a couple of weeks ago, visiting with a lot of friends and they’re taking about, how can I watch our show? Online. Is this a great country or what? (Frank) Yea. (Deb) Stay tuned. When the Plains Tribes ruled the Prairies, bison were not the only big game populating the grasslands. Elk were common in pre-settlement Kansas, but were extirpated at the turn of the century, meaning they were not extinct but no longer native to the area. However, a small herd was maintained at the Maxwell Wildlife Area near McPherson. The 2,200-acre enclosure is operated as a refuge and also features bison. In 1981, elk from Maxwell were released at the Cimarron National Grassland, and that herd was free ranging. To keep that herd from growing too big and causing crop damage, a limited resident-only season was opened in 1987. Later in the 1980s, elk were captured at Maxwell and released on the Ft. Riley Military Reservation. That herd is also free ranging, and a season was established for the fort in 1990. Today, elk are primarily hunted on and around Ft. Riley, but individual elk or small herds may be found at other locations around the state, and hunting is permitted everywhere except a portion of Morton County, see Elk Management Unit maps. About 900 applications are received for the 20 or so permits allotted each year, and they are divided among military personnel and Kansas residents. There are more than 50 breeders in the state, many of whom offer some kind of hunting on their property.
(Frank) Oh I think we just have way too much fun. So, anyway… (Deb) Glad you can join us for it too. We love having you with us. So share the word. Pass the word. (Frank) I’m Frank. (Deb) I’m Deb. (Frank) And we’ll see you somewhere… (Both) Around Kansas.
Closed Captioning Brought to you by the Kansas Soybean Commission. The Soybean Checkoff, Progress Powered by Kansas Farmers.