honoring the Americans, pheasant hunting

(Frank) Today on Around Kansas we start by honoring the Americans who died during their service in World War I. Next – did you know that Kansas is the 3rd or 4th ranked pheasant hunting state in the nation…and that the best indicator of a good pheasant season is a good wheat crop. Then enjoy a poem from Ron Wilson and we’ll end with a funny look at politics!Closed Captioning Brought to you by Ag Promo Source. Together we grow. Learn more at agpromosource.com.

(Frank Chaffin) Good morning. I’m Frank. (Deb Goodrich) I’m still Deb. (Frank) And this is still Around Kansas. Hi. How are you this morning? (Deb) Election Day doesn’t change everything, does it? (Frank) No. (Deb) We survive. We go on. Whether we’re happy or not – we go on. You know the great thing about our bureaucracy in America, because there’s so much wrong with bureaucracy, but the great thing about it is, it makes the government slow to change. That’s part of what keeps it stable. What little stability we’ve got left, this is part of the reason why. It’s because things can’t be changed overnight. Folks, when you wake up this morning after Election Day just remember that that’s something you can be grateful for. No matter who is elected they only have so much power and they can’t change things overnight. It’s a gradual process and America is all about the process. Reason to be hopeful whatever, whether you’re thrilled with the outcome of the election or not, there’s always something to look forward to. (Frank) Yes. (Deb) Like the next election. (Frank) It’s November. November already. (Deb) No. I can’t believe it. (Frank) I know. It seemed like it was just first Friday in October and now it’s going to be first Friday in November and that’s going to be Veterans Day. That’s going to be and then Christmas. (Deb) Boom, boom, boom, the year is gone. That’s right. (Frank) You’re right. It’ll be spring before we know it. (Deb) I know. That’s right. Spring before we know it. Before the first snowflake flies it’s going to be spring. (Frank) It will be spring. (Deb) So much going on this week, of course, because Veterans Day is Friday. I wanted to point this out and I love reading the local papers. If you’ve got a local paper you want to send us out, I love reading them. The Holton Recorder from up in Holton has been running a series; this is absolutely excellent, on Purple Heart recipients. It’s just a wonderful series and the names of these people will go on a monument in the park there in Holton but I think you can go to their website. Maybe there’s a way that you can read all of these. If not, let us know when we’ll figure it out because it’s just a tremendous series. Also in honor of Veterans Day on Friday, our good friend, Jerry Thomas, renowned artist, just an amazing man and a good friend of ours will be at the State House on Friday making a big announcement about an art commission he has. He was commissioned to do pieces of art for Medal of Honor recipients. That’s going to be a huge deal and I lobbied for some of my favorite people in the four that were chosen but I think we get to find out Friday who that will be and we’ll follow up on the show with it. (Frank) Very good. (Deb) I know. It’s going to be a good time. Always a good time to go to the State House. (Deb) Okay, I just got back from Hollywood. No kidding, I got to go to Hollywood and this was a great time at another Veterans Connection. I was pitching a book idea, a movie idea from a book about a Korean War soldier. Really fascinating so I think we’re going to follow up in the next few weeks with a segment about the man who wrote this book and how I got to go to Hollywood and pitch the idea. Can’t make this stuff up, Frank. My life, you can’t make up my life. (Frank) She’s everywhere, she’s everywhere. (Deb) I need my own reality. So surreal life. Stay with us.

(Frank) Aren’t you happy, here we are again? Anyway, Veterans Day is coming up and there are a lot of veterans’ activities and I know you’ve got one that you need to tell us about. (Deb) Well, my dear friend, Jeanne Mithen marks the graves of the World War I dead at the Historic Topeka Cemetery and those markers, there’re bios of these men and one woman, are actually going up today. I believe they’ll be on display through the 21st so we’re going to take a look at some of these. They break your heart; they just break your heart. These are actually people who died during service. Some from the flu, some from combat and other situations. It’s just heartbreaking but it’s so important while we’re in the hundredth anniversary of World War I, especially relevant these days, it seems, the situation around the world. This is a really important one and hope you can get out to the Historic Topeka Cemetery and take a look. (Frank) That’s, if you don’t know for sure that’s at 10th and California. (Deb) Right. I-70 to California, then 10th to California. Right there. During the one-hundredth anniversary of the Great War, volunteer Jeanne Mithen has been honoring Topekans who died during their service by posting their photos and a short biography at their gravesites in Historic Topeka Cemetery. Most of these young men and one woman were not combat casualties, but as in most wars, sickness was the greatest enemy. It is proper that we take the time to recall them and their sacrifice. Most were first buried in France and later returned to America. Some, like Henry Walsh, were never returned, and a memorial bears his name. Also, Phillip Billard was a test pilot and when he died in a plane crash, his family buried his ashes in his grandmother’s garden in France. John Oscar Akerstrom died in 1918 from wounds sustained in one of the final battle of the Meuse-Argonne Offensive, just a dozen hours before the Armistice. Floyd Webster Bailey, born in Agra, Kansas, died in training in September of 1918 of complications from the Spanish influenza and resulting pneumonia at Camp Grant, Rockford, Illinois. Seaman Kenneth Lynde Barber, Foster Raymond Bradfield, William Henry Cummickel, Ralph Raymond Doidge, Robert Thomas Melton, and Virgil Eaton died during training of complications from the Spanish influenza. Frederick Joseph also died from Spanish influenza and rests in the Jewish Section without a headstone. Medical Corpsman Harold Rosen Olson died from cerebral spinal meningitis in France and Frank Asbury Pavey died of TB and measles at Camp Funston. Lyman Rice died from dysentery and pneumonia. Charles Erickson died from pneumonia and shrapnel poisoning sustained during the Meuse-Argonne Offensive. LeRoy Evans was killed in action on August 31st, 1918. Aurie Earnest Fager died from wounds as a result of machine gun fire in November 1918 at a Base Hospital near the town of Barricourt, France. William Klinge died of pneumonia while training in Texas, January 1919. Ernest Fred Moneypenny was accidentally shot in France. Fay Sarah Freidberg died from disease on December 30, 1918, of complications from the Spanish influenza and resulting pneumonia in Washington, DC while she was working with the Casualty Division of the Adjutant General’s Office, War Dept. On the Shawnee County Victory Highway Memorial, Fay is recorded as the only Shawnee County woman member of the Department of War to have died in the Great War in the Service of the United States. She is buried in the Jewish Section of Historic Topeka Cemetery. Jesse Gilliland died in October 1918, after being gassed and wounded during the opening stages of the Meuse Argonne Offensive. Fred Lloyd Jones died in August 1919, from pneumonia contracted on board ship during his return from his participation in the AEF offensives of the Western Front in France. Theodore Leslie McNeeley was killed in action on September 16, 1918, in a direct hit from a shell on the front line of the most advanced and exposed position being held by the 353rd Infantry during the St. Mihiel Offensive. Kenneth Sutherland was killed in action 17 July 1918 in the Alsace, France. William Swan died from wounds sustained in the Meuse-Argonne Offensive in October 1918. Albert Thompson Jr died during training in San Antonio in July, 1919, of cancer. He had already served one tour of duty in Europe. As we mark Veteran’s Day, November 11, let us recall their sacrifices, and those of their families, and the millions who died around the world in those dark years a century ago.

(Frank) Here we are again. This is Around Kansas, by the way, if you just tuned in. I’m Frank, she’s Deb. (Deb) And where have you been? (Frank) You know, we were just chatting. Kansas has a population of around three million people but there is a time of the year when, I don’t know, 100.000 people pour into the state and that’s going to be our next story. The pheasant hunt. (Deb) Isn’t that amazing? (Frank) Yes, it is amazing. (Deb) I was blown away when I saw that story you’re about to do Frank. I was just blown away. Even though I know, living in Oakley, number one, there are pheasants in the yard and I have never lived around pheasants. I mean, I’ve seen them, of course, but I’ve never lived with them. They cluck like chickens almost. You can hear them out in the fields or around the yard, clucking. There are a couple, don’t come shoot them in my yard, but there are a couple, I swear Frank, I don’t know how they get off the ground. In our yard they’re this fat. There’s been babies all season, all year long, out in the middle of the road and they’re just so- (Frank) Well, and also as a motorcycle rider, the thing is pheasants are a hazard out on those back roads because all of a sudden you see something out of the corner of your eye and you go, “Oh, don’t hit my windshield please”. (Deb) That’s just like the roadrunner, just zipping across there. They’re big enough to — it’s not like a hummingbird hitting the windshield, is it? (Frank) No, it’s not. They can knock you over. (Deb) Well, pheasant season, I think started for youths a few days ago and for the adults starts this weekend so it’s a timely story. (Frank) Yes. Considering we are the third or fourth ranked pheasant hunting state in the nation, it may seem strange that the colorful bird is not native to Kansas. Perhaps the most popular game bird according to Wildlife and Parks, the ring-necked pheasant was introduced in 1906. Three thousand birds were let go in 84 counties, and what a spectacle that must have been. One little boy, upon seeing his first pheasant in the wild, ran home to tell his mother he had seen a baby dragon. Pheasants quickly adapted and the first hunting season was opened in 1917. Pheasant season was inconsistent until 1982. The species are so entrenched that annual harvests range from more than 400, 000 to more than 800,000. Hunting is big business in Kansas and pheasant season draws anywhere from 110,000 to 150,000 hunters annually. Only the males are harvested, ensuring the population will remain strong. Wildlife and Parks monitors pheasant populations through four different surveys at various times of the year. Even rural mail carriers are asked to share their observations of the birds, and hunters themselves provide invaluable feedback. Each of these surveys provides range wide and regional “indices” to annual change and long-term trends. But the best indicator for a good pheasant season is a good wheat crop.

(Ron Wilson) One of the joys we have is a good ranch dog but those ranch dogs sometimes get into misadventures. This poem is entitled “Lost and Found”. I have a good dog. His name is Jake. Australian Shepherd is his make. He roams around our ranch with pride, and goes with me when I walk or ride. One day he went with me to chore as he’s done hundreds of times before. I went to the granary to get some feed and proceeded with my usual deeds. That night I put dog food in Jake’s bowl, but I didn’t see a single soul. I wasn’t worried about where he went; he was probably at grandma’s or chasing some scent. But the next day I didn’t see Jake at all, and he didn’t come when I yelled or called. By the third day I was really worried. Around to the neighbors we hurried. We called the shelter, put posts all around, but the results were the same, no Jake had been found. With a heavy heart I went to chore, when I heard a scratching inside the granary side door. I found Jake in the corner bin where unbeknownst to me that silly dog jumped in. Jake and I had a joyful reunion, and rejoined the family in happy communion. I’ve got to tell the neighbors but it’ll be kind of hard because the dog i was looking for was in my own backyard. Happy Trails.

(Frank) Just chuckling because we just got through with an election not that long ago and then you think, “Yeah, what’s funny about politics?” We’ve had a lot of great sayings and characters. (Deb) What’s not tragic is funny. You’ve got to laugh to keep from crying a lot of the times. I have been doing a lot of research on Boston Corbett, a resident crazy guy and I found this– (Frank) He shot Lincoln. Or not Lincoln. (Deb) He shot John Wilkes Booth. (Frank) He shot John Wilkes Booth. (Deb) He was a doorkeeper in the Statehouse and he was crazy, He held up the legislature at gunpoint and was committed to the asylum but there was this wonderful quote in the newspaper that said, (Deb) “Poor Boston Corbett.” He was with McDowell. He was with McClellan and Hooker and all these generals and he was in Andersonville prison camp, yet listening to the ravings of the Kansas legislature, sent him over the edge and the poor man was hopelessly crazed. I thought, “Man, that’s priceless.” Even though we both have good friends among the Kansas legislature who are not crazy but it’s like you get them under the dome and something happens doesn’t it Frank. It’s just- (Frank) It’s like rain, a little hat made out of tinfoil. (Deb) Exactly. (Frank) I mean, the dome is copper so I don’t know. Maybe they put tinfoil in it, I don’t know. (Deb) Maybe. Could go back to that that alien thing. We were talking about the abduction thing. Maybe that’s got something to do with it. (Frank) Could be. (Deb) Could be a landing thing up there. I don’t know. Portal. A portal. There we go. That’s how urban legends get started. Well, let’s take a look at some of the more pithy and not so. Actually, there’re sort of pessimistic comments, for the most part about politics. There’s an old joke about the oldest profession being prostitution. The punch line is that politics is the oldest profession because who do you think created the chaos from which God formed the world? Kansas has a long tradition of political participation. People moved to Kansas to vote–a unique story among the states. We have always enjoyed a higher than average voter turnout and have had a disproportionately high number of national candidates, like Alf Landon and Bob Dole. President Dwight D. Eisenhower, arguably among our most historically significant leaders, said the proudest thing he could say was that he was from Kansas. So, let us Kansans reflect upon politics–not just this year’s election, but also the nature of politics, unchanged since the beginning of time. John Kenneth Galbraith no doubt expressed the opinion of many folks when he commented, “Politics is the art of choosing between the disastrous and the unpalatable.” And another timely quote comes from Gore Vidal, “By the time a man gets to be presidential material, he’s been bought ten times over.” And even more depressing from Aesop, “We hang the petty thieves and appoint the great ones to public office.” Will Rogers has been the go-to pundit for decades and he never disappoints. “I don’t make jokes. I just watch the government and report the facts,” he said. He also came up with this little gem, “A fool and his money are soon elected.” Likewise, Mark Twain: Suppose you were an idiot, and suppose you were a member of Congress; but I repeat myself. I have always been a fan of Ambrose Bierce and the Devil’s Dictionary, which contains the following: Conservative, n: A statesman who is enamored of existing evils, as distinguished from the Liberal who wishes to replace them with others. President Lyndon Baines Johnson had a reputation for plain speech and he could not have said it plainer: “Being president is like being a jackass in a hailstorm. There’s nothing to do but to stand there and take it.” The UK’s Maggie Thatcher expressed my personal sentiments best when she said; “I am extraordinarily patient, provided I get my own way in the end.” Kin Hubbard said, “We would all like to vote for the best man, or woman, but he/she is never a candidate.” Whatever your feelings about the Presidential Election of 2016, remember, we’re all in this together, and let us remember the limits of power in that high office. In the immortal words of our Kansas neighbor, President Harry Truman, “All the president is, is a glorified public relations man who spends his time flattering, kissing, and kicking people to get them to do what they are supposed to do anyway.”

(Frank) Well, we have to go. I’m Frank. (Deb) I’m Deb. (Frank) 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 agpromosource.com.

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