Melissa Jarboe, Hugh Beaumont

(Frank) Today on Around Kansas we’ll introduce you to Melissa Jarboe, whose selfless work with veterans honors her late husband’s last wishes. Then on a lighter note, it’s the story of Hugh Beaumont, a native of Lawrence, who played one of the most famous Dads in America, Ward Cleaver. Next enjoy a poem from Ron Wilson and we’ll end with the history behind the prayer: Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep.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) This is Around Kansas and the 1st of March. (Deb) I can’t believe it. (Frank) Oh my. Already. All last year we talked about, “Jeez, this year is going fast.” And here we are. (Deb) Yes. Still spinning. (Frank) Still spinning. Yes, it is. (Deb) Still speeding around and the whole–for some reason I get the bulletin boards from my childhood on my brain sometime. I guess because they made such a big impression. Now, I don’t even know if they have bulletin boards in school anymore. You had all those things with the illustrations that change with the seasons. Remember the ones from March? You had the March winds and in like a lamb and out like a lion. (Frank) The March Hare. (Deb) The March Hare and you had– (Frank) Ides of March– (Deb) You had all those beautiful little cut outs that they would, I guess, send from the–I don’t know who sent them, we didn’t have a Department of Education. Maybe we did. I don’t know. (Frank) Did you ever do March Basket Day? No. I’m just messing with you. That’s May. [Laughter] (Deb) I was going to say surely. (Frank) It’s March from “Mad as a Hare”; it’s the March Hare. Oh my. Okay. (Deb) March Basket. That’s– [Laughter] (Frank) Wouldn’t it be fun? Maybe we could start a tradition–let’s pick a day, and then on that day, you go out and pick flowers and put candy in a basket and deliver it to your friends. (Deb) There aren’t any flowers? It’s March, in Kansas. (Frank) Yes, there are flowers. (Deb) Unless they blew in from Nebraska or something. We don’t have any. (Frank) You got tulips coming up. (Deb) Tulips aren’t up for a while, Frank. (Frank) Mine are. Not yet but they will be. They are already showing. (Deb) You could to like my uncle Elmo used to do. He’d go get fake flowers and during the night he would stick them in his yard and then he would pretend he would leave so that his nosy neighbors like Alice Kravitz from Bewitched, she would run across the street and look to see why his flowers were up and her’s weren’t. Then he’d walk out and catch her in the yard. It was hilarious. Uncle Elmo was– (Frank) I think I will mess with my neighbors and do that. (Deb) There are so realistic now. Just one cold night just wait and go out and stick those up. (Frank) Wait until it snows. (Deb) Wait until it snows. That’s right. Have them popping up through the snow. Okay. Where were we? While you were putting together March Baskets, I was doing important stuff like ranking the presidents. Remember we did the segment on that. Well, we didn’t get to tell you how the rankings came out. Once again, Abraham Lincoln was ranked number one, which I totally don’t get as much as I admire Lincoln. I was a guest speaker out at Lincoln Days and we showed film and they do up Lincoln Days right. I still don’t see how he outranks Washington who actually founded the country, won the revolution, starts the country, sets these important parameters for the presidency. (Frank) Higher name identification, I guess. Better press. (Deb) Better press I guess, but not while he was alive. Lincoln had issues. Okay. Then we have rounding up the top five, Franklin D. Roosevelt, then Theodore Rex. We have- (Frank) TR. (Deb) – TR. Then number five, Dwight D. Eisenhower. Our own favorite son. (Frank) Our Kansan. (Deb) That’s right. Our Kansan. Go to and just check all that out. (Frank) Is your picture on there? (Deb) I doubt it. My name is somewhere but—[Laughs] (Frank) You’re one of many. (Deb) I’m one of 91. (Frank) 91? Oh well. Then I wouldn’t put your picture up there. (Deb) No. Not enough for me. (Frank) Unless they said, “These 90 and this one.” (Deb) [Laughs] True. Brian Lamb, are you listening? Yes, these 90 and this one. That was brilliant, Frank. (Frank) Thank you. (Deb) You blew it on the March Basket but that was brilliant. (Frank) Now I need a nap. Thank you very much. (Deb) We’ll be right back. (Frank) Do we have some stories? (Deb) We do. We got great stories. (Frank) Okay. (Deb) Stay with us.

(Frank) We’re back again. This is Around Kansas. Of course, it’s a show about people, places, and things that make Kansas a great place to live and work. Instead of traveling through, stop and see something. (Deb) Absolutely. Get off the highway. Just go take a look at things. If you need to know where to stop, we could tell you. We’re experts at telling people where to go, aren’t we Frank? (Frank) Of course. She’s been to all of them. (Deb) I’ve been to most of them, yes. I have been very blessed to know some wonderful people all over the state. Visit people; visit some cool places, some history that you just can’t make up. It’s interesting. One of the most interesting people and one of the people that I have to say I have been hugely blessed to know is Melissa Jarboe who is head of the Military Veterans Project. I have been fortunate to work with Melissa on some projects, the Ride 4 the Fallen. There’s just so much that Melissa does and she’s just one of the people that I admire and respect most in this world. Melissa is one of those people that circumstance created a really difficult situation for her and rather than sit around or be defeated by that or overcome by that, she has dedicated her life to making it better for other people. She’s just amazing. When we talk about spring coming and energy and all those positive things, that’s something that Melissa manifests tenfold. There’s just energy and positive nature and this “can do”, so I’m just so thrilled to share her with those of you that don’t know her already. In April 2011, SSG Jaime Jarboe was serving in the Zhari District of Afghanistan when he was fired upon by a sniper with an AK-47. The bullet penetrated SSG Jarboe’s spine, leaving him a quadriplegic and paralyzed from the chest down. SSG Jarboe never gave up the fight on the battlefield nor did his wife once they returned to American soil. Jamie and Melissa spent the next 11 months inside 7 different hospitals. Through it all, their love for country and fellow service members kept alive the dream of one day going home to Kansas and living happily ever after. In March 2012, doctors told Melissa that her husband was terminal and that she needed to place him in hospice care. Facing his final duty, Jaime told his wife never to forget he loved her and the girls, and, finally, to take care of his fellow soldiers. In the months preceding Jamie’s death, Melissa launched the Jamie Jarboe Foundation, now the Military Veterans Project, a Nonprofit, which honors and empowers Military Veterans. The foundation’s mission is funding the most promising research to find cures for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Traumatic Brain Injury to assist with suicide prevention. While that mission sounds noble, the reality is much more so. Melissa, in honoring her husband’s wishes, gives veterans and their families hope. She helps them navigate a daunting system, she listens, she acts, she cares. Melissa said, “Each day I choose to wake up, give thanks to God for creating such a man to show me what true selfless sacrifice is, what dedication to country meant and open my eyes to a world of caring for others.”

(Frank) You want to start this one? (Deb) I will. That’s nice of you to let me start this, Frank. I am lost for words. (Frank) Well, you know. (Deb) Anyway, let’s talk about some classic TV shows and, of course, still airs all over the world, maybe one of those shows that has never stopped airing all over the world and that’s Leave it to Beaver. They just were iconic parents. I don’t know any that had parents like them, it certainly didn’t match my household. (Frank) Well, you had Ozzie and Harriet. It was kind of that way. But really even when went to TV but both David and Ricky were a little bit older at that time and of course, Ricky was trying to be a rock star. In Leave it to Beaver, you had a couple of brothers that were some years apart. Of course, the Cleaver family was that iconic family of the ‘50s. Dad got home and the only thing is you look at it now and say, “He got home and he never took off his jacket and his tie.” (Deb) Well, he might put on a sweater sometimes and he would sit and read the newspaper and smoke that- (Frank) Smoke his pipe. (Deb) – beautiful pipe and he always just had words of wisdom. Who didn’t want a dad like that? (Frank) June always had her little string of pearls. (Deb) Her little pearls. Her hair was always done and she’d be washing and cooking and doing all these things and she looked like she just stepped out of fashion, yes, really. Didn’t match my reality at all. (Frank) No. Well, the thing is that was it. It was something to look at, to look up to maybe and say that’s a way a family can be happy. (Deb) Right. They were happy. They were encouraging of one another and, yes, a lot of positive qualities. What we’re going to talk about with this segment is the dad of that show, Hugh Beaumont. (Frank) He’s from Kansas. (Deb) We don’t make stuff up people. We don’t have to. That’s pretty amazing. I actually was blown away to find out he was from Kansas. (Frank) Why, I didn’t know it either till somebody did the research on the story. When I got that story, I thought, “Really? I had no idea.” (Deb) Really. I know. That’s exactly what I thought. Seriously? Another amazing Kansan. Let’s take a look. (Frank) He was the most famous dad in America and his character was the measuring stick for fathers for decades. The Cleaver household became the standard folks aspired to and remains a cultural icon. Even Rich Williams, guitarist in the band KANSAS, said he had a “Beaver Cleaver” upbringing, knowing that folks would understand the reference. On the now classic TV show, Leave it to Beaver, Ward and June Cleaver were the idealized suburban parents, Ward a white-collar professional and June, the pearl-wearing housewife. Their boys, Wally and Theodore, “the Beaver,” were the focus of the show, learning life lessons and always firmly guided by a wise dad. Beaumont was a perfect choice to portray that dad. The Lawrence Journal World reported that he was born in Lawrence in 1909, though other accounts say it was actually Eudora. Beaumont’s own father was a traveling salesman so the family moved often. Beaumont passed away while visiting his son in Munich in 1982. In addition to his acting career, Beaumont was an ordained Methodist minister. He once commented on his chosen professions that, “Sometimes my work as an actor presents a conflict with my ideals as a clergyman. I don’t believe in the old saying that the end justifies the means, and no money that I can earn as an actor can accomplish so much good that I would feel justified in violating my ideals to earn it . . . If the question ever arises in a serious way, of course I would have to give up my acting.” Ward Cleaver couldn’t have said it better.

(Ron Wilson) Another landmark of the Flint Hills are the deep ravines, the deep draws, and the stone, which might look simple to a bureaucrat sitting at a desk, but when it comes time to build fences, you need to call on somebody special. This poem is titled, Up Hill and Down, A Tribute to the Fencing Man. The government man sits at a desk and draws a simple line and says, “Here, where the property ends, a fence here would be fine.” But what seems so simple in the government domain doesn’t match the real world of the natural terrain. For when we need a fence built across this rugged land, we need a hard working expert. We need the Fencing Man. Yes; the Fencing Man is he who suffers the consequence when the Flint Hills are the place that’s required to build a fence. By contrast, in the flat-lands, building a fence can be a breeze, but out here in the Flint Hills, we can’t build a fence with ease. When that line cuts across the steepest of these hills, it creates a major challenge, which the Fencing Man fulfills. It’s one thing to build a fence where the land is flat and level, but it’s different on these hillsides with a 60-degree bevel. It’s a place where a pickup truck or four-wheeler can’t squeeze, so he drags a chainsaw out by hand to cut the brush and trees. Seems it’s the most inaccessible place we need the fences most, so he’s hiking up a side hill with a driver and T-post. Then, he’s sliding down the draw where the sides are very steep, and the ground is too darn rocky to drive the posts in very deep. So, while the government man draws a line across the aerial maps, the Fencing Man is on the ground with barbed wire and water gaps. It looks easy sitting in a room and drawing up a man-made plan but it ain’t easy in the Flint Hills, so we salute the Fencing Man. Happy Trails.

(Deb) Welcome back, folks. (Frank) This is Around Kansas. I’m Frank, she’s Deb, and you’re not. (Deb) Still Around Kansas. (Frank) Silly jokes. (Deb) Still Around Kansas. Haven’t been kicked out yet. (Frank) I know what the next story is but the thing is I don’t know if children still say a little prayer before they go to bed at night. (Deb) They better be. [Laughter] (Frank) They might, but that’s what this next story is about. This is a fascinating thing and I don’t want to get ahead of the game. (Deb) Well, it’s a really sweet story. This came to my attention through our friend Keith George and we did the segment on Keith several months ago. Keith is in the process of writing a book. He’s the one who’s been documenting Highway 83. Going up and down the road; but he is writing this book and he started researching this little prayer Now I lay me down to sleep. This is again the wonderful thing about Facebook. He is posting all this stuff on Facebook and I’m like, “Wow.” Like the Hugh Beaumont thing, I had no idea. That’s the fun of this show. We get to share all those aha moments with you guys because I didn’t know that. And it’s something– this maybe a whole theme for March–is things that appear really ordinary but when you start looking at them there’s something special. And this little prayer that so many people around the world are familiar with, and it’s not always been this way. And just like, Hugh Beaumont, who’s in your TV via the…in your living room via the TV all the time and you find out something special. (Frank) Yes. (Deb) Just take a couple of minutes to ask a few questions or learn something and it will enrich your life. (Frank) Yes, take a look. (Deb) It’s a common prayer that most of us have said before turning in at night. Keith George became curious about its origins and began investigating. Did you know the poem was derived from Psalms 4:8? Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray the lord my soul to keep. If I die before I wake, I pray the lord my soul to take. Keith was surprised to find that it did not start out as a poem but rather an essay credited to Joseph Addison in 1711. Originally he had adapted the Psalm to read, When I lay me down to sleep, I recommend myself to his care; when I awake, I my self up to his direction, Amen. Doesn’t quite have the same lilting language does it? So the essay evolved into the prayer but our familiar verse is only half the poem. Here are the remaining verses: Now I lay me down to sleep. I pray the lord my soul to keep. If I die before I wake, I pray the Lord my soul to take. If I should live for other days, I pray the lord to guide my ways. Father, unto thee I pray, Thou hast guarded me all day; safe I am while in thy sight, safely let me sleep tonight. Bless my friends, the whole world bless; Help me learn forgetfulness; Keep me ever in thy sight; So to all I say good night. In all, Keith has found 24 versions of the treasured verse, as it continues to evolve, rewritten by clergy and moms and dads, and probably even children, kneeling by their beds, as they take the words of the Psalm, just like Addison did, and make them their own.

(Frank) Oh gee, I was watching that last story, we are done. (Deb) Isn’t that sweet? Yes. (Frank) I’m Frank. (Deb) I’m Deb. (Frank) We’ll see you somewhere- (Deb & Frank) – Around Kansas.

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

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