ThingsAbout Things of Kansas On this page you will find some fun segments of cool things in Kansas. These things can be books, music, businesses, or just things you might find in the state of Kansas. Enjoy as you look through many of great things you can find in our great State that deserve to be featured by Deb Goodrich-Bisel or Frank Chaffin…enjoy and feel free to share with  your friends.

Stories of the Underground 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.

Wreath Across America  WaKeeney and the other three state veterans cemeteries at Fort Dodge, Fort Riley, and Winfield, and our national cemeteries take part each year in the Wreaths Across America project.

The Nola Ochs Story
Nola’s diploma was presented by then governor, Kathleen Sebelius. This degree was a long time coming. After the death of her husband, Vernon.

New Year’s Tradition It is and I was looking at Christmas stories and was talking about the things between Christmas and New Year’s, and you’ve got Boxing Day in England and I think Canada, the day after Christmas, and they don’t know exactly where the term Boxing Day came from

 Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, Advertising Gimmick or Icon
Christmas when Rudolph comes on TV. This is about this advertising connection to Rudolph. I’m sure before you researched the story; you were familiar with the elements of the story. (Frank) Yes. I’m not going to get ahead

Gift Packing Ideas Ribbon transforms the lowliest, the most humble gift. You can put a ribbon on it. You put this old ribbon on it; she’s going to think you’ve got something more. So, ribbon is very important.

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 Classic Horror Film Carnival of Souls
Why bother? That’s exactly right. Why bother? We’ve got a really cool film and Frank and I both know a lot of people in the film industry and have been involved in a lot of entertainment topics or things over the years.

Tombstone Epitaphs
They always fascinate me. From the time I was a kid, I love visiting cemeteries and so how people choose to be remembered or how their family chooses to remember them. Those final words, that’s pretty important. What are you going to put on yours Frank?

 Many Uses for Buffalo Gourds You’re going to love seeing this gourd segment, I know. Back to the barnyard for another versatile plant lesson!

Tombstone Epitaphs
They always fascinate me. From the time I was a kid, I love visiting cemeteries and so how people choose to be remembered or how their family chooses to remember them. Those final words, that’s pretty important. What are you going to put on yours Frank?

The Mystery and History of Pumpkins
Hi, we’re back again. So, oh my. We really do have a lot of fun on this show, and we are so happy that you join us. Now again we’re going to put another plug in for where we are, and that is the Dillon House which is in Topeka right across from the State Capitol. I’m pointing that way.

screen-shot-2016-11-25-at-5-30-48-pmWestern Music Association Celebrates the Chisholm Trail
Joseph McCoy, an Illinois cattle buyer, came down the railroad line through Kansas after the civil war looking for a community to host the stockyards, where they could bring all those wild longhorns up from Texas to the railroad so they could go east to the cattle markets there.

Meet a 58-year-old Movie Star at the Topeka Zoo
Back again. The Topeka Zoo, which is known as the World-Famous Topeka Zoo. (Deb) Thanks to Gary Clarke. (Frank) Gary Clarke put it on there and it really kind of stuck. Gary still does a lot with zoo when he’s not off on safari somewhere. (Deb) What an amazing man, he’s just one of the best people on the planet.
 Council Grove’s Voices of the Wind People Pageant screen-shot-2016-11-25-at-4-48-01-pm
Hills, hills. Speaking of hills, of course the Flint Hills, one of the prettiest sections of Kansas, and this will be a great weekend to enjoy the Flint Hills down at Council Grove, which is one of my very favorite places in Kansas.

Is the Devil’s Claw Edible 
Hi, we’re back again. So, oh my. We really do have a lot of fun on this show, and we are so happy that you join us. Now again we’re going to put another plug in for where we are, and that is the Dillon House which is in Topeka right across from the State Capitol. I’m pointing that way.

The 64th Annual Eskridge Labor Day Rodeo
We’re going to the Flint Hills today. We gave you all the educational thing last week. I hope you took notes and were paying attention where not all of Kansas is the Flint Hills, but the gorgeous peaks of it is, and we’re going to a beautiful town in Flint Hills today, Eskridge.

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KS Music Hall of Fame Ballots
 Really cool people, really cool stuff, and as we’ve talked before, a lot of talent. So speaking of talent, the Kansas Music Hall of Fame ballots are up and available now for voting.

Screen Shot 2016-08-15 at 10.27.12 AMPaul Hutton’s Book about the Apache WarMy good friend Paul Hutton, who is an amazing historian, and if you’ve ever watched the History Channel at all, you have seen Paul because he’s on a lot, everything they do has to have him in it.

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Owls of Kansas
I just happen to have one right here. Barn owls are the most widely distributed of any of the owl species, as evidenced by the numerous screeches in the night and the poop in the sheds.

Screen Shot 2016-08-15 at 10.04.08 AMHow the Sunflower became the Kansas State Flower
Well, that’s very appropriate for the Sunflower State. Sunflowers, we, of course, call it the sunflower state because of all those folks and wagons rolling by.

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Puffballs may very well be the favorite mushroom of childhood. What kid walking through the pasture hasn’t stomped the brittle brown ball to watch the smoke puff out in one big whoosh? If the kid is really lucky, there is an entire fairy ring of puffballs for the stomping pleasure. Or, as some of my friends recall, they threw them at cows.

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Jim Brother’s Bronze Sculpture in Eudora
That was brilliant yes somebody should be put Frank in bronze, yes that’s [laughter] playing red light, green light. They could do a whole series if you. My friend Tom Ross does paintings; he did one of Willie Mays catching a ball. So it’s got four, so each one is in motion, you know like this, so yes.

Screen Shot 2016-07-09 at 12.56.06 PMMeet Kangaroo Rats from Western Kansas 
You’ll find out in the story. We’re talking about kangaroo rats. Pretty much Kansas you can divide it in half. They’re not in the east, but they’re the western half is almost a straight line up and down.

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2016 Friends of the Flint Hills Award
Well and you need to go through, and now the name escapes me, but there is a home there which is a three story home that was built out of natural limestone and all of that. And that in itself is interesting because of their cooling system in the home, because it’s built in such a way where during the summer the winds would come through,

Screen Shot 2016-05-23 at 10.46.21 PMKansas Connection to Cowboy Music and Poetry 
Let’s take a look. The Kansas connection to Cowboy Music and Poetry goes back to the beginning to the mid-19th century when cowboys began driving longhorn cattle from Texas to the Kansas railheads. Many of the old trail songs have their roots in Kansas.

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Ballet Midwest’s Sleeping Beauty 
Now, I get to do the story. Let’s take a look. Ballet Midwest presents two classical performances each year, one in the spring and Nutcracker during the Christmas season.

Screen Shot 2016-04-20 at 2.50.42 PMThe Founding of Yoder
Get your nanny from Yoder. Maybe Yoda was down there. I don’t know. Some kind of guru. That’s right. Let’s take a look at this wonderful community.

Screen Shot 2016-04-20 at 2.39.21 PMHow Barbed Wire Settled the West 
We’ve got rocks and then we’ve got the Point of Rocks. I know that I talked about that out at Cimarron. There’s just no end to the rocks we have and they’re really cool rocks. I was thinking actually driving over today, we should just do a rock of the week. If you’ve got a cool rock that we don’t know about

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Ever Changing Kansas Climate
Right. It’s not our meds kicking in and out. That’s not it. It’s just the cloud cover and driving poor Michael crazy. If you don’t like the weather in Kansas, just wait five minutes. It will change. There are two seasons in Kansas: winter and road construction.
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Kansas Capitol Renovations
We’ll find out. Let’s take a look. Do you remember the last time you were in the statehouse? High school? Kansas Day ten years ago? During the remodel? Maybe before the remodel? It’s time to go back. The multi-phase Kansas Statehouse restoration took 13 years and 300 million dollars.

Screen Shot 2016-03-14 at 5.09.07 PMSpring Burn 
Stay with us. In Kansas, it’s not the robin that is the messenger of spring, it’s the torch. I headed west along Highway 18, probably nearing Bennington, when a cloud of smoke began growing in the sky to the south. It was the first burn I had seen this season and I pulled over to take pictures.

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Fossils of Kansas 
It’s really an amazing story. So, as they’re pulling out these drawers in this incredible facility in Philadelphia, they’re all these little fossilized vertebrae, there’s just all kinds of things. And there are names. Theophilus Turner is the man who found the one out near Fort Wallace.

Screen Shot 2016-02-05 at 2.23.12 PM2016 Kansas Music Hall of Fame
In all genres of music. It’s just ongoing. And Bill brought a bunch of like-minded folks together to create the Kansas Music Hall of Fame. And the wonderful thing, I was at Bill’s memorial service at Liberty Hall and when all his children took to the stage to talk about his life.

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Lecompton Lecture Series
Yea, right. But I mean, think about it, because it’s nestled there kind of just off of the Kansas River. And you look at that and you go, OK well where would they have put the capitol?

Screen Shot 2016-01-22 at 2.53.04 PMKansas Statehood
Well, when I was back in Pennsylvania over New Year’s honoring General Meade, who won the battle of Gettysburg, and one of the reenactors at the celebration was Abraham Lincoln. And it’s really interesting because Lincoln.

Screen Shot 2016-01-22 at 2.32.23 PMLady Luck Ironworks
Good friends since childhood, Tyler Brown and Dan Atkisson combine their artistic skills and love of the western life into a unique business. Lady Luck Ironworks of Stockton was recently featured in Farm Bureau’s Kansas Living Magazine.

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Star Wars/ Civil War Kansas Connection
And that’s a phenomenon. It really is. And of course George Lucas expected it to be a flop. Everybody did and it’s just taken on a whole life of its own. And Star Wars has a really bizarre, there’s your bizarre again, bizarre carrying over…yea B-I.

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Bazaar Cattle Pens 
 It’s just amazing. You know we’re talking about Bazaar Cattle Fence along the Turnpike. And Michael Goehring, our handsome camera boy, we call him Hollywood because he’s so pretty. 

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Notorious Kansas Bank Heist
 Yes. Once more, I have gotten gifts in the mail. My good friend Rod Beemer has a book signing this Saturday, I think that’s Saturday the 19th at Books a Million in Salina from 1 to 3 p.m. This is a the perfect Christmas gift.

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Cairns on the Beach

And he kind of teamed up with a group from K-State. Anyway, I’m kind of getting ahead of things here, but that’s what the story is about next. Stan Herd and his rocks. Some people see a pile of rocks. Some people see grass and dirt. Some people see fields, just fields of corn or wheat.

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Adair Cabin 

That’s right. Now, we can go get cozy now. And so this actually, the next place that we’re going to talk about, the John Brown Cabin of Osawatomie is actually sitting in a park. 

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Teeter Rock 

Welcome back. You know one thing that we have a lot of in Kansas is rock. And we’ve got the Flint Hills, which couldn’t be cultivated because the flint rock is so close to the surface. We’ve got the land of post rock fences, because they didn’t have trees to make fences out of.

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Legacy of Gun Smoke

And we’re a real supporter of reading. God knows I was reading fairly young. Went through all the traditional stuff, you know Nancy Drew, the Hardy Boys, I loved all that. 

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Order of the Indian Wars

Order of the Indian Wars. And it sounds like it’s all about fighting, and there is a lot of that. There’s a lot of military history in it. But we get to go on some really cool trips. So, this past fall we were in New Mexico, down around Las Cruces? and did some great day trips with some experts on the Apache Wars and on Pancho Villa and on Billy the Kid.

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State House Ghost

And we’re back. And Frank’s got a great haunting story for you next from the Capitol building right across the street. As Frank has said, we’re here at the Dillon House and the Dillon House may have a few ghosts of its own. But we’re gonna talk some about the Capitol ghost.

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Ghost Towns of KS by Daniel Fitzgerald
Well, I found this book, this is a classic in Kansas, “Ghost Towns Around Kansas.” And it was written I think in the ’80s. And Dan Fitzgerald who did it had done research on all these towns. So, you know me, I love tying the history in. So this does a a great job of tying the history.

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150 Anniversary of the Stetson Hat
I was just gonna ask. Yea. I didn’t think so. But all the cowboys I know wear Stetsons. I did an informal poll, my friend Cowboy Culbertson up in Easton of course wears a Stetson. And I asked my buddy Frank Goodrich and Jim Gray and just all my buddies wear Stetsons. So, if it was good enough for John Wayne, by golly, it’s good enough for everybody else.

Screen Shot 2015-09-28 at 4.59.18 PMTumbleweeds
And actually because the song, My Happiness, of course was his mother’s favorite song. So, he recorded that as a birthday present for her. Well, the Presleys were poor and they didn’t have a record player. So, they went to a friend’s house that did have a record player. They played it, and of course, Elvis’ mother was just very, very grateful and they left. And they left the record. OK.
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Wren Radio
And, we’re back. Now, you know, we’ve talked about every now and then that I am with WREN,, which plays the oldies of the 50s, 60s and early 70s. And I’m a disc jockey there on the weekends. And the thing is, is what we have found out when we’ve been doing the show, is that there is a lot of talent from Kansas that is either a performer, or a composer.

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Praire Dogs
 OK, when I moved to Kansas, I had never seen a prairie dog until I moved to Kansas. So, all those great things that you associate with the West and moving west, I had not seen. And I have to tell you nothing has fascinated me more than the prairie dogs.

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You know Kansas…this year when I was out west they said they had, I think, as much rain in one month as they’d had in the years 2012, 2013. So, drought is a really big deal. And when the rain comes as farmers and ranchers well know.

Screen Shot 2015-09-13 at 3.46.46 PMKaw Point
 I got to, along with my friend Terry Hobbs, we co-hosted a bus tour for the Lewis and Clark Conference that was
in Kansas City this year. And the Lewis and Clark folks meet all over the nation, you know any of the Lewis and Clark sites.

Screen Shot 2015-08-31 at 3.53.09 PMArmadillos
 It’s an invasion. You know I have friends who believe it’s a conspiracy that somebody is behind it. And they’ve planted the armadillos here just to take over. And when I moved to Kansas 20 years ago, that’s when I guess, you first started seeing them, just over the Oklahoma border. Yea, just over. But now there are reports they’re all over the place.

Screen Shot 2015-08-31 at 3.39.18 PMGrit
Well, when I was a kid back in the Blue Ridge Mountains, we had a neighbor boy who sold Grit and newsboys all over the country carried the Grit magazine. So, back then, it was a tabloid. But I remember, I have great memories of reading Grit and it was sort of a newsy thing for rural America. Rural America’s newspaper, I guess you would put it.

Screen Shot 2015-08-31 at 2.56.07 PMAngus
Saint George’s Cemetery is off the beaten path. In fact, the directions tell you to get off I-70 at Exit 168 and drive south several miles until the road ends. The location makes it all the more surprising to find the massive limestone pyramid marking the grave of a Scotsman. The not so subtle hint to his significance is the statue of a Black Angus bull on top of the monument.
Coyotes Coyotes
The first coyote I saw in Kansas was February in the Cimarron Grasslands in the southwestern corner of the state. The sky was gray, nearly black, and the grass was like gold. The air was heavy with the scent of sage when the creature was loping through the waving grass, as if on cue, as if had just been added to this iconic Kansas landscape. There is hardly a place in Kansas where you won’t hear the plaintive, lonely call of the coyote.
Black Squirrel Black Squirrel
Squirrels. They may be entertaining and they may be a nuisance nesting in the eaves of your house. But in Marysville, the squirrel is revered, and even has its own festival. But these are not the ordinary brown or gray squirrels running through most of our yards. These squirrels are black, black as night, black as coal, black as the heart of the Wicked Witch herself. In 1972, the Governing Body of Marysville passed legislation protecting the black squirrel and making it the Official Town Mascot.
Silver Shoes Silver Shoes
In the original book by L. Frank Baum, Dorothy’s slippers were not ruby slippers, they were silver. But in the movie they thought that the ruby slippers would show up better. So they changed that. The silver shoes were representative…and I think Tom Avril may teach a class in this. It’s all about the economy at the time and they were talking about the silver standard and all kinds of stuff. So, there’s all kinds of political and economic references, that really who cares.
Picnic Trivia Part 5 picnic5
I have been chided again about another shirt that I have that looks like a picnic, that would go on the table. And speaking of picnic, we’re gonna take one more look at what happened with the behind the scenes of the filming of Picnic in 1955. It took place in like six different locations, six different towns actually in central Kansas-Hutchinson, Halstead, Salina, Newton.
Picnic Trivia Part 4 AK picnic 4
Anyway, we’re referring to the fact that I’ve been doing this series on the movie Picnic which was of course filmed in Kansas 60 years ago, had six Academy Awards, won two of ’em. And of course starred Kim Novak, it was her actual first starring role. Click above for more movie trivia.
AK locustLocust Year
 Well, I was walking through the Kansas Sampler Festival a couple of weeks ago, when this very nice gentleman had a display about cicadas. And you know, we talk about locust here and you know, the emergence of the locust every year. They’re not really locust. A locust is truly more like a grasshopper. I found out all this stuff lately. But this is cicada year, or locust year as we always called it in Kansas. Click here for more of the story.
Picnic Trivia Part 3 AK Picnic 3
Newton, Kansas, kind of claims the movie more. They have Fox Theatre in downtown Newton and they do show the movie there. It used to be you could go to the website and you could click on the Fox Theatre and then it would show you actual scenes from the movie Picnic. Click above for more trivia.
Kansas’ Hell on Wheels AK Hell on wheels
It’s a fantastic series and of course, the term “hell on wheels” came from where ever the end of the track was being laid while they were building the railroad. So, Hell on Wheels moved literally, as the railroad moved west. But so many of these sites were in Kansas of course, as they were building the railroad. Click above for more of the story.
Picnic Trivia Part 2 Picnic pt 2
 You know a lot of movies have been made in the state of Kansas. But one that I am particularly fond of is the movie Picnic. And it was filmed 60 years ago in May of 1955. And I had just moved to Topeka, when that movie was filmed. But I also found a whole lot of trivia about that movie. Click above for more movie trivia.
Medicine lodgemedicine lodge
Well, this is one of the anniversary years of the peace treaty. So, they are doing their pageant in September. Gosh, September is already, my calendar is getting so full.
Snakes in Kansas AK snakes in kansas
When New Englanders came to the Kansas Territory in the 1850s, what did they write home about? What was the one thing they had not expected while making their homes in this wild country. The bushwhackers from Missouri took a back seat to the daily occurrence of snakes. For New Englanders, the size and proliferation of the serpents was shocking and very scary.
“Picnic” Movie Trivia – Part 1 Picnic movie trivia pt1
Sixty years ago in May 1955, a movie called “Picnic” was filmed in the state of Kansas. And there are a couple reasons why, is because the fictitious town of Salinson was located here and the author of the original play on Broadway is William Inge, who of course, is a native Kansan. The movie was actually filmed in several different towns in the state of Kansas, in Sterling, Salina, Hutchinson, Halstead, Nickerson.
Morel Mushrooms AK morel mushrooms
Deb tells us about her passion to get out and hunt for Morel Mushrooms and then the most important part…how to cook them.
What’s our favorite TV show in Kansas? Why sure, it’s “Gunsmoke.” It was my favorite as a kid and still is. I love watching those reruns. That’s a heavy book, so I’m gonna put it down, but I am gonna talk about it a little bit more. That heavy volume was written by my friend Ben Costello, for the 50th anniversary of “Gunsmoke,” 1955 it hit the television screen and put Dodge City, Kansas, on the map.
Shunganunga BoulderShunganuga Boulder
Well anyway, there’s been somewhat of a rivalry between Topeka and Lawrence for well, since the beginning of the state. Well, here’s a story that happens to revolve around a rock, more so a boulder. It’s called the Shunganunga Boulder. Now geologists think that of course this boulder was brought south by the glaciers many thousands of years ago.
Double JeopardyDouble Jeopardy
You know what’s cooler than actually having authored a book? It’s being mentioned as a character in somebody else’s book. This is what happened to me. My good friend Esther Luttrell wrote these two books, “Yellow, Green, Blue and Dead,” and “Murder in Magenta,” obviously murder mysteries and I am a character. Or there is a character based on me, thinly disguised as Deb Goodman, radio talk show host.
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So mountain lions have been caught on tape, seen by people in Nemaha County, Atchison County, Republican County, Stafford County. So, pretty much, all over the state. And in every area surrounding Kansas- Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma and Colorado they’ve been real prevalent. Now, there was one that was actually wearing a collar that they could monitor…click to learn more!
Chisholm TrailScreen Shot 2015-03-26 at 1.39.04 PM
Come along boys and I’ll tell you tale, I’ll tell you of my troubles on the old Chisholm Trail. How many times has that song been sung throughout Kansas? The Chisholm Trail names for Jesse Chisholm who was a part Scottish, part Cherokee, trader, interpreter, guide, businessman and occasionally even a finder of lost or kidnapped children….click to learn more!
Loveland Acres Popcorn in ClydeScreen Shot 2015-03-26 at 1.26.04 PM
This morning we’re gonna talk about popcorn. But not your everyday run of the mill popcorn. But first a little bit of history on popcorn. It’s been around for about 4,000 years. In fact they found ears of corn in the so called, bat caves in Central America. Four thousand year old popcorn, and yes, it popped. Also in 1650 the Spanish found the Peruvian Indians…click to learn more!