February 17, 2013

The Preconceived Side of Kansas Everyone Should Ignore with GK Fralin



Most people don't have the advantage of being born and raised at the base of the Flint Hills within acres of the Big Blue River. Fishing, hiking, hunting, and historical buildings are just a few of the seldom considered recreations available. The scenery is poetic any season of the year. I like to say I grew up in the sticks--those sticks are mostly on varieties of trees such as cedar, ash, walnut, maple and oak. If you don't mind a finger prick or two, you may get permission to pick from bushes full of wild gooseberries. 
Many people mistakenly think of Kansas as boring, or behind the times. There's nothing boring about the state. That’s all a preconception.  

Community is a vital part of living. Farmers become a community in and of themselves from forty or more miles away. Towns are communities for sure--communities that love and depend on one another. In Blue Rapids and most Kansas towns, community is evident in their friendly and receptive nature for each other and visitors.

 In Blue Rapids, just south of the historic county seat of Marysville in Marshall County, there is a round square. Businesses are lined in the usual straight blocks, but the drive is around a park in the center with no stops as you mosey around the a circle. Their Christmas parade around the circle warms the heart with its old time appeal as the announcer narrates over a loud speaker, "There goes Howard Miller with a few of his grandchildren and great grandchildren stuffed into the trailer behind his garden tractor."
The Blue Rapids Public Library is the very first library west of the Mississippi River. The building went through renovations but is still the original stone library building built in 1875.
Four miles west, along US Hwy 77, is Waterville. The town of Waterville known for its historic Victorian homes beautifully kept yards and tree lined streets reward visitors as they pass through or stop to take in the beauty. There, the Weaver Hotel is still open for business. Drive south toward Manhattan, home of Kansas State Wildcats, or continue west down Kansas 9 for more scenery and cozy towns full of history.

People from all over love to visit the lakes and state recreation areas to be lazy after a week of hustle, or go skiing, parasailing, fishing, swimming and much more.  http://www.kdwpt.state.ks.us/news/State-Parks/Locations/
If you enjoy the theater, museums, concerts, sports, or touring, Kansas belongs on your vacation plans. Get off the interstate and find the real Kansas. Take in Abilene, Dodge City or the bigger cities full of recreation and culture such as Kansas City, Wichita, and Topeka, or small towns like Blue Rapids which plays heavily into the book I'm currently writing, 
Who Be Charlie B.
 
I live in Nebraska now, but I'm only a forty-five minute drive from home.
Kansas is beautiful country in the center of America. Visit it, write about it, but mostly slow down and take some time to walk through and find landscapes, old buildings, and people to photograph, paint, watch, converse with and talk to about their plans for the future. Their pioneer spirit remembers the way to survive and thrive through hardship and living their dream. Take a drink from a fresh spring at Alcove Springs.
As an author, my novel of short stories and poetry, The Search, is influenced by the people and places of my life. Living in the mid-section of the United States, Kansas is so very writable.
GK Fralin’s work is available at Amazon.com or Smashwords.com
And visit her great blog where she claims the right to say she ain’t from Kansas, because she is and professes her love for family and writing

(pictures provided by author)

6 comments:

Fran Orenstein said...

Thanks, GK for the great blog about Kansas. I'm one of those who thinks of KS as flat wheat fields, cattle, and some cities and towns sprinkled here and there. You make it a whole other place. One day, I'll visit my cousin in Topeka and the cousin in the OTHER Kansas City and I'll appreciate what you wrote.

Debby said...

Kansas is an amazing state. I lived there for one year when my father was stationed there.
debby236 at gmail dot com

Karen H in NC said...

Hi GK,

Thanks for a very informative blog. You have changed my perception of Kansas. Like most people who have never been there, I thought it was nothing but flat prairie, farm fields and live stock. I am pleased to say I learned a new thing or two today!
kareninnc at gmail dot com

Fiona McGier said...

Thanks for sharing your love for your home-state. I've driven through Kansas, but never stopped there. Ah, to someday be retired and able to visit every state!

Glenda_Fralin said...

I'm thrilled to see the comments about my commentary about Kansas. I love this part of the country and I've probably had preconceptions about places I haven't visited. I enjoy Annette's blog too. I get to read about places I haven't been.

William Kendall said...

Excellent post,GK!

I can't be certain if I've been in Kansas- my family travelled west several times in the States when I was a child, but I don't recall if that's one of the states we got to. I'd love to see it for myself.