As much as I had planned to keep up to date after we got back to decent internet service, it just didn’t happen amid all that was going on, so I’ll try to catch up.
Two weeks ago today, we pulled away from Rock Eddy Bluff and headed toward a bus rally in Ogallala, Nebraska. Since we were in the state anyway, we stopped to visit my sister Florence Marie at her home in Weeping Water, on the east side of the state. She had just come home from a trip to Hutchinson, KS to a class reunion at the school where she taught home ec and was librarian. Her son Jim Walter from Elkhart, IN came down to take her and I think both of them had a good time. We visited with both of them and Florence Marie’s daughter Kris and Gary Wissel and their son Matt, as well, but Florence Marie is the only one who got a picture.
Jim left Tuesday morning and we left a few hours later. We traveled across I-80 and really enjoyed the mostly flat, straight road after a month in the Ozarks!
Our gathering of Eagles was at Lake Ogallala, just below the dam for the bigger Lake McConaughey. We had a beautiful setting for a rally and Nebraska showed us a “warm” welcome. We had not yet (and haven’t even now) escaped the heat and humidity! Our tiny Flair was the smallest of the 15 coaches that attended. Three were Prevosts, two counting us were motorhomes and the rest were Eagle conversions. We’ve been around long enough that we usually know most of the people and buses that come to rallies, but this time we met new friends from California, Florida, Iowa and Texas in addition to the familiar faces.
In addition to several good restaurants and beautiful lakes, Ogallala has some unique attractions. I am always intrigued by historical homes and the Mansion on the Hill is definitely unique. It was built in 1887 by a widower who served as a cashier in the Bank of Ogallala, L. A. Brandhoefer, but apparently he never lived in the house. He sold it to a banker and the society pages of the local paper state that Brandhoefer and his new wife were frequent guests there.
The walls of the house, both exterior and interior, were solid brick. The rooms were pretty good sized. Each bedroom had a large closet, which was unique for the time. We lived in a house in northern Kansas that was built just a few years prior to this one and there was only one closet in the whole house! Another unusual feature was that the house had 2 bathrooms, but no running water. Not sure how they drained the tub and while it was better than an outhouse, I’ll take flush toilets every time!
The kitchen, especially by today’s standards, was pretty small and work surfaces were nearly non-existent. Several of us have had or currently still have Hoosier cabinets like this one and I remember a wood stove in our kitchen when I was a young child. I’m pretty sure Mother cooked on a more modern gas one, but the wood stove was a warm place on cold winter mornings.
Maybe it says something about our age, but we found ourselves saying “We had one of those” way too often as we went through the rooms on three floors of the house.
The Petrified Wood & Art Gallery was another one-of-a-kind exhibition. Twin brothers Harvey and Howard Kenfield started collecting Indian artifacts after they returned from the Korean war, followed by collecting petrified wood. Somewhere along the line they started building miniatures using finely cut petrified wood as shingles and other building materials.
In 2000, they donated their entire collection to the foundation that became the Keith County Community Foundation, stipulating that it stay in Ogallala. The current structure was originally a skating rink and dance hall and later a hardware store.
One of the twins (don’t ask me which, I couldn’t tell them apart!) showed us a piece of stone that bends. He said it is sandstone and it is the mica in it that allows movement. The only other one in existence, he said, is in South Dakota.
The Little Church of Keystone has a unique story, as well. Keystone today is a tiny community, but even in 1908 it was not big enough for two church buildings. A small group of teenage girls, supported by a local rancher’s wife, raised enough money to build a church. With a special dispensation from the pope, both the Catholic and Protestant congregations were allowed to use the same sanctuary.
Inside the sanctuary, there are two altars, one Catholic
and one Protestant.
In order to be able to accommodate the congregation for each separate service, some ingenious inventor came up with reversible pews.
The last regular services were held in 1949 but the Little Church is still available for weddings and other events.
Our friends Wilbur and Laura Bradbury in their purple Prevost came to the Landing after the rally at a more leisurely pace than we did, but we enjoyed having them while they visited Wilbur’s sister in Andover. They are always welcome, but for now, we’ll look forward to seeing them in Yuma.
I had an appointment with my cataract surgeon, Dr. Gangadhar, on Tuesday. For now, I will have surgery on my left eye on Friday Sept. 20. The right one will be scheduled at a later date.
One of my favorite things about coming back to the Landing is being here for grandchildren’s school activities. There’s only one granddaughter still in the Sedgwick school system. Jadelyn is a freshman in high school and more involved than Ben and Bailey together! On Tuesday afternoon we went to a volleyball match. I really like watching her serve. Then on Friday evening, we attended the high school football game. Jadelyn is on the dance team and they cheered alongside the cheerleaders. I think she enjoys what she does, don’t you?
At half time, the dance team did their routine and then the marching band came on the field. During concert season, Jadelyn plays bassoon and since it doesn’t usually work well marching, I expected to see her playing flute, her first instrument. I had a hard time finding her…playing bass drum! Next on her schedule is the fall school musical. This year they are doing “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown” and she will be playing Lucy. Believe me, we will be here to see that performance, even though it’s after we would normally leave for Arizona. We’re hoping there won’t be an early snow this year!