Serving Barber County Since 1991


KWIBS - From  November 28, 2022 - By Kevin Noland

We are officially into the holiday season!
Last week, as I was building this week’s paper, (it’s very confusing living in the future), I stumbled across an article written by Harold Pease, Ph.D. Dr. Pease is an expert on the United States Constitution. He has dedicated his career to studying the writings of the Founding Fathers and applying that knowledge to current events. He taught history and political science from this perspective for over 30 years.
I frequently read his columns and asked for permission to share this one because I thought it so perfectly explained our country.
I’m certainly not trying to start an argument, but I have said for years, “We’re not a Democracy. We are a Republic.” That confuses so many people, but our Founding Fathers thought this process through. It’s not something that only applies in 1776, but it is a timeless application for us to this day. I hope you enjoy this article and please send your hate mail to him.
Sorry Dems, Founders
Actually Rejected Democracy
By Harold Pease, Ph.D.
Democrats never use the word republic to describe our political system and Republicans rarely use it, both preferring to use the word democracy. Consequently most people ignorantly refer to our political system as a democracy and have to be reminded that this word is not in the Declaration of Independence, U.S. Constitution, Bill of Rights, or any other document given to us by our Founding Fathers. Our Pledge of Allegiance to the flag identifies our form of government as a republic. In the 2022 midterms the Democrat’s principle campaign slogan was saving democracy which is the antithesis of our republic. Why would we save that which our Founders clearly rejected?
Benjamin Franklin wrote in 1759, “Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote.” A republic has seven major components necessary for liberty listed below. Necessary to democracy is majority rules.
First, the importance of majority rules is recognized but limited. Is the majority always right? No! Mother made this point when her teenager asked to smoke marijuana on the basis that everyone was doing it. She asked, “If everyone jumped off a bridge would you?” The Electoral College and Bill of Rights are based upon the recognition that the majority is not always right.
Second, minority rights (less than 50%) are protected FROM the majority in a republic. In Franklin’s analogy the lamb had the right to exist even if the majority, the wolves, disagreed. A lynch mob is a democracy, everyone votes but the one being hanged. Even if caught in the act of a crime the accused is entitled to the presumption of innocence: protection of law, a judge, jury, witnesses for his defense, and a lawyer to argue his innocence; all necessary in a republic, even expensive. Then, if found guilty, hanged. Because democracy only considers majority rules it is much less expensive and decidedly faster. A rope tossed over a tree limb will do.
Third, a republic is based upon natural inalienable rights from God; first acknowledged in the Declaration of Independence. This document asserted to the world that we acknowledge that humans have rights from a source higher than mere man. A reference to deity is mentioned five times. If there is no God there can be no inalienable rights coming from Him and we are left with man as God. What man is good enough?
Fourth, a republic emphasizes individual differences, democracy absolute equality. We are not equal, even from the womb, and never will be if equality means sameness. An infant with a cleft pallet may need three operations to look normal. Some come out of the womb with a laptop, others with a basketball, and the real tough deliveries are from those bringing their golf clubs. One of my first great insights in life was that everyone was better at everything than I. A second, was that life is not fair and never will be. A third, free men are not equal and equal men are not free. Genetics makes one fat, another bald, and gives yet another terminal cancer in his youth.
Nor is monetary equality possible. Should I bestow my students each with a million dollars in exchange for everything they now own, shave their heads, and give them identical uniforms, to approximate sameness as much as possible, with the only requirement that they return in five years with some ledger of net worth. Would they be the same in what was left of the million? No! Work ethic and talent differ. Why does government try so hard to do that which is impossible? A republic looks upon our differences as assets ultimately benefiting everyone as was the invention of the automobile or computer. This is decidedly not the base of democracy.
Fifth, limited government is also a major aspect of a republic. Centralized government is good so long as it remembers that when it oversteps its bounds it becomes the greatest threat to liberty as it pulls decision-making power away from the individual. Excessive government, as the cause of the American Revolution, must never be forgotten. The Constitution as created, handcuffed the government from dominating our lives, thus the powers of the federal government were listed (Article I, Section 8). The Founders understood that the more government at the top the less at the bottom and that was the essence of freedom.
Sixth, a republic has frequent elections with options. Frequent elections happen in some socialist countries, so this alone does not ensure liberty. In fact, it may be somewhat deceiving as it fosters the notion that we choose, thus deserve, our elected officers. It also assumes that the people are correctly informed, which assumes a free press and equal access to ALL information. The part of the phrase “with options” is the part that ensures liberty. Elections under socialism provided choices but often no options as all participants are from the same party or ideology.
Seventh, in a republic exists a healthy fear of the emotion of the masses and of its potential to destabilize natural law upon which real freedom is based, as for example the notion that another’s wealth belongs to them through excessive taxation. Such destroys freedom as it had in Athens and Rome. We need a caring, sensitive, compassionate government but emotion must not be allowed to overwhelm reason and time-tested natural law constants. Aristotle taught that the poor will always envy the rich and that the rich will always have contempt for the poor. A republic will not allow the poor to destroy the rich in their quest for the wealth of the rich, but does incentivize the poor to increase their wealth thus becoming the middle class, which, in time, become the largest body.
As explained, democracy does not protect liberty and in time could become its enemy. In Ben Franklin’s analogy it would have allowed the wolves to have eaten the lamb simply because the lamb had been outvoted. No wonder our Founders rejected democracy in favor of a republic, something we too are obliged to do today to protect our liberty.
Have a great week!
 

KWIBS - From  November 21, 2022 - By Kevin Noland

I love this time of year and appreciate, so much, the efforts that our area school teachers put into getting us letters from students on “How to Cook a Turkey.”
This year was probably the funniest list I’ve ever read.
WARNING: The Gyp Hill Premiere and it’s owners are not responsible if you follow any of these recipes. For those that do, your wait time at the ER may be longer than expected!
This was one of my favorites:
“Preheat the oven to 20 degrees. Stuff the turkey with ham, syrup, and mashed potatoes. Dress the turkey with potatoes. Cook the turkey for 3 minutes. For best results, serve the turkey with a plate, legs, and hands to hold it.
- Kimber”
Well, Kimber, since we are sharing recipes, here’s mine:
Set the alarm for 6 a.m. and make sure your wife gets up. Have her put the turkey in the roaster pan and put seasoning on it.
Have her wake you up no later than 11 a.m. to carve it up. Invite people over to your house who are good at making stuffing, pies, mashed potatoes and anything else you might like. Have them bring it by noon!
Turn on the football game and wait for the rest of the food, I mean people, to get here and then stuff yourself with it. Be done first, so you don’t lose your recliner chair in front of the TV. Send home all those who are not watching the football game, or if the weather is nice, send them outside.
By this time, you should be feeling sleepy and you need a nap. When you wake up, it’s time to eat again and watch more football!
Happy Thanksgiving, Kimber, and Happy Thanksgiving to you all!

KWIBS - From  November 14, 2022 - By Kevin Noland

Back to our regularly scheduled programming. Raise your hand if you are glad to have your TV, newspaper and internet feeds free of political advertisements!
So, it’s not every day that someone comes into your office and asks if they can look around, take pictures and ask a few questions about your newspaper.
That’s what happened to me Wednesday. I was working on the paper and Jeremiah Ariaz stopped by. Ariaz is originally from Great Bend, KS. He’s now an Associate Professor at the Louisana State University.
Ariaz is traveling Kansas photo-documenting newspapers for a future project. Since I was all dressed up in a suit and tie, I let him take my photo in front of the office. Wait, that didn’t happen. I was wearing a concert T-shirt and my camo work pants. He instead really wanted photos of some of our old type set and our archives room. He also took some photos of the front of the building and was making his way towards Harper County. He’s been zigzagging around the state for about 2 years and showed me some of his photos. It was really cool!
My apologies for not having more election coverage and Veterans’ Day photos. Ronda and I were both out of town on Friday in different states and had to wrap things up quickly to get to our different destinations. It’s one of only a few times in our lives we’ve been apart. She probably needed a break from me!
Thank you to all of our veterans! I still think fondly of all of our area vets, past and present. My son Nick served his country from 2016-2020 in Okinawa attached to the Marine Air Wing 172 (MWSS-172). He was Green Side Navy working as an RP3 (Religious Program Specialist Petty Officer 3rd Class).
He took the entire week off since it was the Marine Corps birthday and Veterans Day! Well deserved!
Have a great week!

KWIBS - From  November 7, 2022 - By Kevin Noland

President Biden (Grandpa Joe), had some interesting gaffes these past few weeks as his handlers seem to be losing control over him. You don’t believe me?
We’ve all seen the videos of him wandering around shaking hands with people who aren’t there. We watched him crash a bicycle. We watched him call out for Representative Jackie Walorski, several times at an event. She had passed away in a car accident almost two months ago.
This past week must have been rapid fire gaffe mode for President Biden as he claims inflation is high due to Iraq war and said his son died in Iraq. In fact, Beau Biden, a military lawyer in the Delaware Army National Guard, served for a year in Iraq. He returned home in 2009 and died of brain cancer in the United States in 2015.
Biden, as he wished a happy birthday to Vice President Kamala Harris last Monday, called her a "great president." He later called Harris the "highest ranking black Indian, with Indian background, woman, in American history to be Vice President." That same day, Biden botched United Kingdom Prime Minister Rishi Sunak's name. One day prior, “NowThis” posted an interview with the president where he falsely described his executive order on college debt forgiveness as a bill that "passed by a vote or two."
And if you like an incoherent president, how about we throw in a Senator who just had a serious stroke.
Folks, I’m not making fun of signs of dementia and/or stroke. I’ve watched family members suffer through these diseases. The difference was, they weren’t trying to run the country and create policy for us as citizens. Our family didn’t encourage them to either.
We are in serious trouble when we sweep these problems under the rug just to maintain power.
Happy Voting!

KWIBS - From  October 24, 2022 - By Kevin Noland

The on again, off again, and back on again purchase of Twitter by Billionaire Elon Musk has been quite entertaining.
This week employees at Twitter started circulating an open letter protesting Elon Musk’s plan to fire as much as 75% of the company’s workforce, as the deadline for him to complete his $44 billion acquisition of the company looms.
That’s not that many people. Twitter only has about 7,500 employees and from the sounds of things, most of them work in sweat pants from their living room couches.
This is such a “I don’t care” story, that I just have to bring it up. If Elon has $44 billion to buy Twitter, then he can do whatever he wants with the company. Will several thousands be looking for work? Yep. That’s how restructuring works.
In their letter, employees “demand” things like:
“Respect: We demand leadership to respect the platform and the workers who maintain it by committing to preserving the current headcount.”
I guess that means, even if there’s too many people doing nothing for the company in Elon’s evaluation.
Safety: We demand that leadership does not discriminate against workers on the basis of their race, gender, disability, sexual orientation, or political beliefs. We also demand safety for workers on visas, who will be forced to leave the country they work in if they are laid off.
Protection: We demand Elon Musk explicitly commit to preserve our benefits, those both listed in the merger agreement and not (e.g. remote work). We demand leadership to establish and ensure fair severance policies for all workers before and after any change in ownership.
Dignity: We demand transparent, prompt and thoughtful communication around our working conditions. We demand to be treated with dignity, and to not be treated as mere pawns in a game played by billionaires.
Sincerely,
Twitter workers”
Ronda and I are no where near billionaires, but we are business owners who have had many employees who have made “demands.” As you can imagine, there are other jobs you may be able to find that fit your “demands.”
As a “Tweep” (what workers at Twitter refer to themselves), you may find out Elon is a great guy to work for and weeding out bad employees and replacing them with good ones will make for a great working environment.
If not, then quit (or get off your couch and put on some pants).
I’m going to start referring to us here at the paper as “Premies” and I demand you keep reading KWIBS!
Please....

KWIBS - From  October 31, 2022 - By Kevin Noland

I have a lot of friends who consider themselves “Democrats.” These friends actually share many of the same values that I share, so was it a big shock to them to hear that Tulsi Gabbard said farewell to the Democratic Party?
“Well, she was always a Republican,” one friend said.
For 20 years?
In her own words:
"I can no longer remain in today's Democratic party," she said on an episode of her podcast. "It's now under the complete control of an elitist cabal of warmongers, driven by cowardly wokeness..."
Gabbard additionally accused the party of "stoking anti-white racism," being contemptuous toward religion and police and driving the country closer to nuclear war.
I’ve always liked Gabbard and I had a dream team for 2020 by putting her and Trump on a ticket together. That’s right, a republican and a democrat! God forgive me!
I wouldn’t have that same vision today. She has declared herself an independent, which is really what I consider myself, but I have a new dream team for 2024: Mike Pompeo and Tulsi Gabbard. I’ve met Pompeo on two occassions in my office.
How cool does that sound?
Pompeo: A master of foreign policy as Secretary of State, a law degree from Harvard, a graduate from the United States Military Academy, CIA Director, a U.S. House of Representatives member and a Kansan on top of that!
Gabbard: A member of Congress, Samoan-American, a 2020 presidential candidate, an Army Military Police Platoon Leader and veteran who was stationed in Kuwait (still serving her country).
I could go on and on, or you can vote Biden-Harris. Biden: doesn’t have a clue where he is and Harris is a cackling wind bag of do-nothing. Send hate mail to: myvote@2024.com.
 

KWIBS - From  October 17, 2022 - By Kevin Noland

Spontaneous.
That’s what we are. Ronda and I either do months of planning before leaving home, or we are spontaneous to the point we don’t know exactly where we are going or what we are doing, but we always manage to do this with Nix and Wendy White from San Diego, CA.
You all know Nix: FrogX Jump Team Owner, former MLHS Class of 1988 turned Special Operator/ Navy SEAL (retired). Well, we’ve been pencilling off every weekend in October to go see them in San Diego. Last week, it looked like we were flying out on Friday and then I finally got a response from Nix, “Hey, won’t be in California. I’m jumping into an event in Fort Worth, TX. CALL ME!”
So I did. It was 11:27 p.m. on Wednesday. He apologized. You have to remember, he really has no idea when these last minute jobs will pop up and he has to jump a flight to... jump out of a flight.
I was like, “Hey, no worries, we’ll just drive to Fort Worth!” So, we locked up early, loaded up and headed south not knowing what or where we were going.
On the way down, I got us a hotel and Nix sent us a map of the landing zone and it was in the middle of the Stockyards. I thought it was odd, but rolled with it. We got there and found Wendy in a parking lot. They were driving longhorns down the street and there was a big PBR event. Nix was jumping in for the Texas Rattlers with their flag. They ended up winning.
Right on time, he landed 25 feet from us, walked over and gave us a hug and our weekend of spontaneity began!
Saturday evening, I was wearing my “Texas Rattler’s” team shirt and a cowboy limped over to the bar and said I needed a new shirt. Turns out, his team, sponsored by Bad Boy Mowers, came in second. His manager joined us for drinks and in Nix’s weird way, he discovered they knew some of the same people out in California that own a resturaunt. The limping cowboy texted us after he got to his room and said he was not coming back down with my new shirt, but the manager swears he’s sending them to Nix and I’m sure Nix will send them to me!
To say we had a “large time” in Texas was an understatement. These trips are always the funnest and make the best memories. I was even fortunate enough to have a late lunch with my cousins and see my Aunt Millie on the way home.
Be spontaneous every once in a while. You’ll thank me.
Have a great week!

At the Stockyards, Ft. Worth, TX with with the Whites!

KWIBS - From  October 10, 2022 - By Kevin Noland

Thanks to cell phones and the internet, you can’t have a productive day on your birthday!
Seriously though, it was great getting all the birthday wishes last week. Bree and I have birthdays one day apart; her’s on the 3rd and mine on the 4th.
My first “happy birthday” came at 6:50 a.m. Obviously, this isn’t someone who knows me very well. I’m not a morning person and he did not start my day out happy, especially since I got called out on two bonds the night before and got home late. Just another 30 minutes of sleep would have been a great gift, but NO.... lol
It’s all good. No matter how under the radar I tried to stay, I got many special birthday wishes and I am so thankful to everyone who reached out.
Thank the good Lord I’m not a big cake eater. Those candles would have had to be lit outside with a fire extinguisher on hand. Besides, we’re in a burn ban.
I’m guilty of the same thing. The first thing I do every morning is check to see who’s birthday I’m about to miss.... Kidding... I usually try and send my friends birthday greetings too. Here are some funny ones if you need something other than “Happy Birthday _______!”
I believe you forgot my birthday present last year, so now I'm returning the favor. Happy Birthday!
A wise man once said, "Forget about your past - you cannot change it." I'd like to add: "Forget about your present - I didn't get you one."
You might be prehistoric, but at least you're not extinct!
Congratulations, you've finally reached the wonder years... wonder where your car is parked? Wonder where you left your phone? Wonder where your glasses are? Wonder what day it is?
Have a great week!

KWIBS - From  September 26, 2022 - By Kevin Noland

While checking pastures last week, I really paid attention to the grass in the pasture where my friend Flint winters his cattle on our north east side. It looks terrible, but on my way to town I passed his home and there were nearly 100 round bales all ready and neatly in a row.
It reminded me of the story of the Aesop Fable, “The Ant and the Grasshopper.” Flint is definately the Ant, but more humble, if I might say. I looked the fable up and found a modern version that made me chuckle from the “Daily News” in Greensburg, IN.
“This one is a little different; two different versions, two different morals. Here’s the old version: The ant works hard in the withering heat and rain all summer long, building his house and laying up supplies for the winter. The grasshopper thinks the ant is a fool and laughs and dances and plays the summer away. Come winter, the ant is warm and well fed. The grasshopper has no food or shelter, so he dies out in the cold. The moral of the old story: Be responsible for yourself! Modern version: The ant works hard in the withering heat and the rain all summer long, building his house and laying up supplies for the winter. The grasshopper thinks the ant is a fool and laughs and dances and plays the summer away. Come winter, the shivering grasshopper calls a press conference and demands to know why the ant should be allowed to be warm and well fed while he is cold and starving. CBS, NBC, PBS, CNN, and ABC show up to provide pictures of the shivering grasshopper next to a video of the ant in his comfortable home with a table filled with food. The insect kingdom is stunned by the sharp contrast. How can this be, that in an ant community of such wealth, this poor grasshopper is allowed to suffer so? Kermit the Frog appears on Oprah with the grasshopper and everybody cries when they sing, ‘It’s Not Easy Being Green ...’
“A group called ‘Occupy the Anthill’ stages a demonstration in front of the ant’s house where the news stations film the Reverend Al Sharpton and a group of grasshoppers kneeling down to pray for the grasshopper while he damns the ants. He later appears on MSNBC to complain that rich ants do not care about those insects less fortunate. Former President Obama condemns the ants and blames Donald Trump, President Bush 43, President Bush 41, President Reagan, Christopher Columbus, and the Pope for the grasshopper’s plight. Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer exclaim in an interview on The View that the ants had gotten rich off the backs of the poor grasshoppers, and both call for an immediate tax hike on ants to make them pay their fair share. Finally, the EEOC drafts the Economic Equity & Anti-Grasshopper Act retroactive to the beginning of the summer. The ant is fined and, having nothing left to pay his retroactive taxes, his home is confiscated by the Government Grasshopper Czar and given to the grasshopper. The story ends as we see the grasshopper and his free-loading grasshopper friends finishing up the last bits of the ant’s food while the government-owned ant house he is in, which, as you’ll recall, just happens to be the ant’s old home, the house crumbles around them because the grasshoppers don’t maintain it. The ant has disappeared in the snow, never to be seen again. The grasshopper is found dead from starvation, and the house, now abandoned, is taken over by a gang of spiders who terrorize the once prosperous and peaceful ant neighborhood. The moral of the modern version of the story: Be careful how you vote in 2022.”
Actually, I think this is a pretty clever adaptation of the classic ant and grasshopper story.
Interestingly enough, the original story is from Aesop’s Fables and it’s really quite an ancient tale, at least the first version. Aesop lived from approximately 620 to 564 BC. He is described as a storyteller who lived around the same time as Aristotle, Herodotus, and Plutarch. Not much is known about his life, but his fables remain popular even today, some 2,500 years after they were written.
Here’s what Wikipedia has to say about the fable: “The story has been used to teach the virtues of hard work and the perils of improvidence. Some versions state a moral at the end along the lines of ‘Idleness brings want,’ ‘To work today is to eat tomorrow,’ ‘Beware of winter before it comes.’”
Although there have been some interpretations of the fable that suggest that the ant is being selfish, however, “…the point of view in most retellings of the fable is supportive of the ant.” But since the 18th century the grasshopper “has been seen as [a] type of artist and the question of [his] place…in society has also been included” in various interpretations of the fable. Now, we’re on our way to something approaching the second version of the fable!
Is the ant just being greedy and selfish? That’s a spin that has been put on this ancient fable about the role of the arts in society. Remember, the grasshopper “dances and plays the summer away.” And if the arts have a place in society, shouldn’t society provide the basic necessities to the artist so he can continue to dance and play, (play, in this fable has to do with playing music on a fiddle, not just playing as a child would.) This is an even closer interpretation to the second version of the fable written above.
Needless to say, the more liberal interpretation of the ancient fable probably isn’t what Aesop intended. I can’t imagine Aesop suggesting a tax on the ants for redistribution to indolent grasshoppers.

KWIBS - From  September 19, 2022 - By Kevin Noland

Let the fury of hate mail against gun owners begin. Oh, for the irony though....
Progressive Congresswoman Karen Bass, who is also running for mayor of Los Angeles, announced that her home was burglarized during the evening hours on Friday, September 9th.
“Cash, electronics and other valuables were not. It’s unnerving and, unfortunately, it’s something that far too many Angelenos have faced.”
According to other reports, based off the statement Bass made, it sounds like the thief new Bass and/or Bass knew the thief since only her two firearms were stolen, which she claims were “safely and securely stored.” (As reported by Law Enforcement Today).
In addition to that, another odd thing about the announcement of her house being burglarized is that the Democrat politician is a supporter of Fidel Castro and is a gun owner.
History shows that Bass has voted against every major legislation supporting gun rights and gun ownership. Below is a rundown of Bass’ voting record on Second Amendment rights:
Bass supports restricting gun purchase and possession;
She supported the Project Vote Smart (PVS) survey question on gun restrictions, which summarizes candidates stances on gun issues and whether or not they support restrictions on purchases and possession of guns;
Bass supports banning large-capacity ammunition and she co-sponsored the Large Capacity Ammunition Feeding Device Act;
She was a proponent of amending the Brandy Handgun Violence Prevention Act, which included details like prohibiting the transfer or possession of a large capacity ammunition feeding device; and
She wanted to repeal the “stand-your-ground-laws and she co-sponsored a Resolution on Gun Violence, which in a congressional summary indicated that the bill urged Congress to enact legislation based on the President’s recommendations to reduce gun violence as well as push states to repeal enacted stand-your-ground-laws and condemn gun violence.
So she thinks the rules should only apply to us common folk, not the elite and people often say dumb things in the heated passion of political debate.
And in the new era of gun control regulations, inflaming emotions rather than engaging in a rational discussion has become all too common.
Have a great week and keep those guns locked away.
 

KWIBS - From  September 12, 2022 - By Kevin Noland

So, you’ve probably noticed one of the most entertaining sections of the newspaper is the dispatch news. All credit to Kristine Landwehr. She works hard and gives you a chance to catch up on the latest happenings in Barber County. These dispatch calls remind me of the days that Charles DeGeer used to do the news.
I’ve been in law enforcement with bonding and bounty hunting since 2004. I love some of the excuses I get for either not showing up for court, or why I should just take their word for it, that it was a misunderstanding. Some are just overly honest and some lie through their teeth. Which made me laugh when I read this story:
One night four college students were out partying late at night and didn’t study for the test which was scheduled for the next day. In the morning, they thought of a plan.
They made themselves look dirty with grease and dirt.
Then they went to the Dean and said they had gone out to a wedding last night and on their way back the tire of their car burst and they had to push the car all the way back. So they were in no condition to take the test.
The Dean thought for a minute and said they can have the re-test after 3 days. They thanked him and said they will be ready by that time.
On the third day, they appeared before the Dean. The Dean said that as this was a Special Condition Test, all four were required to sit in separate classrooms for the test. They all agreed as they had prepared well in the last 3 days.
The Test consisted of only 2 questions with the total of 100 Points:
1) Your Name? __________ (1 Point)
2) Which tire burst? __________ (99 Points)
Options – (a) Front Left (b) Front Right (c) Back Left (d) Back Right.
 

KWIBS - From  September 5, 2022 - By Kevin Noland

Folks, the threat from China is real. They have waged a war against the U.S. in trade in infiltration of our businesses, transportation of goods, interference in our government and now this....
Man solves three Rubik's cubes while juggling in under 3 1/2 minutes.
Aug. 29 (UPI) -- A Chinese puzzle enthusiast broke a Guinness World Record by solving three Rubik's cubes in 3 minutes and 29.29 seconds while juggling the puzzles.
Guinness World Records announced Li Zhihao broke the record for fastest time to solve three rotating puzzle cubes while juggling during an attempt in Xiamen, Fujian.
Li solved the three puzzles while juggling in 3 minutes and 29.29 seconds.
Li previously earned Guinness World Records titles for most rotating puzzle cubes solved whilst suspended upside down, 195; most rotating puzzle cubes solved using one hand while suspended upside down, 104; fastest time to solve a rotating puzzle cube by a team of two, 12.59 seconds; and fastest time to solve a rotating puzzle cube by a team of two under water, 18.93 seconds.
I’m not usually an alarmistist.
This is all pretty frightening since I can sometimes get two sides done in about 30 minutes and most Americans can’t get one side for as long as you allow them to play with it.
Really what I’m getting at is this; the Chinese are smart and they have a long term plan to win whatever game they want to play with America. While we sit back and allow our children to be gender confused, have men competing in women’s sports, have crime running rampant, China is secretly buying up land, industry, our media, food and medical supplies - such as penicillin. 97 percent of all antibiotics and 80 percent of all active ingredients in American pharmaceuticals come from China. In 2017 alone, the United States imported a whopping $4.6 billion in foodstuffs from the People’s Republic of China.
Oh, and get rid of TicTok.

KWIBS - From  August 22, 2022 - By Kevin Noland

My morning ritual begins with me convincing myself to roll out of bed..... at some point.
Between newspaper, bonding, bail enforcement and the ranch, I can have some pretty long days, as was the case last week.
When I do finally get up, I go for the caffeine machine and then read the news on-line. I could sit blankly in front of the TV, but I still enjoy reading the news from several perspectives. Then I visit Faceplant where people go to vent.
One of the best and worst ideas from several news sources is having a place at the bottom to make comments and give opinions. This is where the real trolls come out of the woodwork.
An internet troll is a person who posts inflammatory, insincere, digressive, snarky, condescending, extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community (such as social media Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc.).
The newspaper can find itself being trolled on Faceplant over the simplest things like an incorrect headline, but the fact of the matter is, if you don’t have the courage to just pick up the phone and call and inform us of the error and ask for a correction, but choose to put on your keyboard armor, you can expect for me to respond in kind, right here.
We don’t claim to be perfect, we don’t always hear everything that’s said, barely above a whisper at a meeting, but we are human beings who care about our communities and want to present information to the public in the most accurate manner possible.
Any entity funded by tax payer dollars should be able to provide clear information about what’s being shared. Never assume that we all know everything. That’s being transparent. We’ll always do our best to cover these meetings accurately, but we will make a mistake every now and then.
Speak up. Clearly explain and treat us online like you’d treat us face to face. Be an adult. And we’ll do the same.

KWIBS - From  August 15, 2022 - By Kevin Noland

My wife is pretty.
Only she gets that little inside joke before I begin.
Acronyms can be hilarious, especially if you don’t use them correctly.
My wife had a hilarious slip this past weekend. As most of you know, we manage a lake resort north of Medicine Lodge. We’re watercraft and boat people and have been for the better part of 30 years. We’ve seen it all.
Our cousins are also watercraft and boat people. They have unusually bad luck. They just replaced two engines in their boat this past year. I thought we were doing so much better, but two months after my warranty expired, an engine blew in one of our jetskis. Replacing it cost almost half of buying a new one.
They say the two greatest days of a boat owner’s life is the day they buy a boat and the day they sell it.
As our cousin was limping his boat back to the dock this weekend Ronda declares, “Well, you know what ‘BOAT’ stands for? ‘Bust Out More Money.”
We all just looked at her and then started laughing.
“Babe,” I said, “It’s Bust Out Another Thousand.”
We all had a good laugh and even asked her if she wanted to go on another BOMM ride?
Here’s some other funny acronyms that I like:
BOOK - Brainy Object Of Knowledge
MAID - Mother Actually In Disguise
STRESS - Stuff To Remember Every Single Second
BEACH - Best Escape Anyone Can Have
MALL - Money Accepted, Long Lines
FORD - Fix Or Repair Daily (or Found On Road Dead)
DODGE - Drains Or Drops Grease Everywhere (or Dead On Day Guarantee Expires)
PORSCHE - Proof Of Rich Spoiled Children Having Everything
Just laugh. You know you want to.
KWIBS - From  August 1, 2022 - By Kevin Noland

John and Martina McBride and her brother Marty gave the ulitimate gift to their father Daryl Schiff by having a “Schiffter’s” reunion a little over a week ago.
The smiles on Daryl’s face said it all. He’s very proud of his kids and they are very proud of him. It was a great act of love to do that and it was a really fun evening, despite the 106 degree heat we sat in! I was moved to tears several times watching Daryl up there still being the awesome entertainer that he’s always been with his family beside him. That Saturday night, he felt the love of several generations and he gave it right back to them!
But the love didn’t stop there. Our entire family came to the show and for the entire evening my son and daughter-in-law (Joey and Haley) had kept a secret to tell Ronda and I. They are expecting their first child!
I was distracted and was hanging out with some friends when Joey was trying to get my attention. Then I saw my wife running up to me with a white object in her hand and she said, “We’ve been trying to get you over here for the past 30 minutes and you’re not answering your phone!”
Well, my phone was dead and I did blow off Joey when he came to the fenced in area behind the stage and yelled for me.
When Ronda handed me the white cloth I said, “What are you guys so excited about? Did you catch Daryl’s sweat rag or something?” I thought that was pretty funny, until I unrolled the white cloth and read the tiny baby shirt that said, “You can stop asking now!”
My jaw dropped and I stared at this shirt for what seemed like an eternity and my heart was racing.
“We’re going to have a baby,” I said to Flint Rucker!
Flint said, “Yep, I knew before you did because your wife was running around the fair showing everyone!”
We both just laughed.
After the show, we went to say our thanks to Daryl, Marty and Martina and they signed the little tiny baby shirt and we tried to give it back to Joey and Haley, but they wanted us to keep it.
What’s so very special to us all is that Haley got to tell her mom and family in person in California. She found out they were pregnant just three days after her dad passed away. While at Haley’s dad’s celebration of life ceremony, they made their announcement and now celebrate a new life - and we are so happy for them!
Like I said, I was in shock and my hands were trembling, so this photo is a little blurry. Haley can attest that when I get excited my photos turn out terrible!

KWIBS - From  July 25, 2022 - By Kevin Noland

Sometimes if it’s bad luck, it’s at least some kind of luck!
These blistering temperatures are rapidly moving us into a fire danger situation again. Not that many are burning, but I believe a burn ban is in order again.
Last weekend I started my day looking for my septic tank. Keep in mind, I was there when it was installed in 1999, but hadn’t seen it since. I was pretty sure I knew the location and that it was pretty deep. The ground is basically concrete, so I called my local septic guy and we assessed the situation.
Both of us decided that hand digging was out of the question, but I just happened to have a backhoe in my front yard. We dug several holes over a couple of hours with no luck. I finally called a service with a camera and locator and discovered I was about 15’ off.
Unfortunately, I had turned my front yard and drive way into a war zone, so after I fixed all the holes, we planted some quick cover grass and began watering and watering and now it looks like I have buried bodies in my front yard! Maybe a few are? Maybe this is just a cover story!
Anyway, the toilets are flushing and all was right with the world by Saturday afternoon.
We had the grandkids out, so we had plenty of distractions and didn’t notice that it was getting hotter and hotter in our house.
I woke up Sunday morning and checked the thermostat and it read 80. It was set on 73. I slipped on my sandals and went out to the unit which wasn’t running. I’m not an a/c repairman, but I know when a capacitor goes bad. Those cheap little devices can stop your cooling without warning and mine did.
Now it’s Sunday and we have no air. It was Tim Winter to the rescue. It was no surprise that we were already his third call of the day. He had us fixed up before breakfast!
Thanks to all those guys who work out in the heat to help those in need!

KWIBS - From  July 18, 2022 - By Kevin Noland

If you are a nerdy type person, like me, I’d like to introduce you to www.quora.com
Quora is a place you can go ask a question and then some smarty pants guy or girl answers you. But it gets even better. 100s of other smarty pants people can then share their knowledge on the subject in questions.
Most of the time it’s military stuff that people have questions about. I find those the most interesting, but this one caught my eye last week.
Steven Haddock had the answer to this question: If a single atom was split, would a nuclear explosion occur?
Well, someone actually did that.
Some Germans who later won a Nobel Prize were trying to create a new element by firing helium nuclei at a sample of uranium.
Instead they got a weird mix of lighter elements (always the same ones) and a minor amount of energy off the sample.
One of them asked for help from a German physicist living in England. She worked out what happened - they had split the uranium into lighter elements and the energy was the result of the difference in mass between the uranium going in and the other elements coming out.
Instead of building a new atom they had, quite by accident, done what everyone had said couldn’t be done - they had split an atom.
And, luckily for the scientists, no nuclear explosion either. The energy was measurable, but not significant. They got the Nobel Prize for demonstrating atom splitting, except for the lady who did the actual math to prove they did it.
Einstein was kind of pleased because it proved his theory E=mc^2. He already had a Nobel Prize.
But the whole nuclear explosion thing had to wait for a Hungarian Jew waiting for a traffic light in London realizing that if you had a lot of Uranium-235 that the neutrons thrown off by some of the atoms undergoing radioactive decay would cause other atoms to split and give off neutrons and it would be self sustaining. No Nobel Prize for him either. Also, everyone who knew him said the story was a lie - he never waited for traffic lights at any time in his entire life.
Which an Italian in Chicago first demonstrated by making a “nuclear pile”. He won a Nobel Prize for that.
And a young bongo playing grad student with a talent for safecracking later worked out how much Uranium-235 or Plutonium you needed in a place called Los Alamos. He won a Nobel Prize for something else.
I discovered that a lawnmower seat placed strategically in the sun on a 110 degree day will melt your rear end in a few seconds if you just hop on it without thinking. No atoms to split, no dangerous uranium to handle, just good old sun. I was working on putting new belts on one machine and every tool, every cover, every screw was like 2,500 degrees.
Nobody gave me a Nobel Prize for that little discovery!
So, if you’re bored with the mainstream media, check out the Quora website to have all your questions answered that you’ve never thought of asking. You might find it as interesting as I do, but remember to read the comments. Those are the best.
Have a great week!

KWIBS - From  July 11, 2022 - By Kevin Noland

I get frequently asked to download “TikTok” by a law enforcement friend of mine and I keep telling him how bad it is.
TikTok collects information from your messages. So you may want to consider that when using the app to chat with friends. Further, the platform doesn't have end-to-end encryption for messages. That means it isn't as secure as some other messaging apps which do have that extra layer of security built in.
TikTok knows the device you are using, your location, IP address, search history, the content of your messages, what you're viewing and for how long. It also collects device identifiers to track your interactions with advertisers.
Over the past few years, security researchers found multiple security vulnerabilities within the app. And since TikTok has access to a lot of personal information, it became the favorite route for many hackers. Apple developers testing its next operating system, iOS 14, recently found that the TikTok app could access clipboard data on its iPhones. iPhone users sometimes use the clipboard feature to copy sensitive information like passwords. That means TikTok could also access and potentially collect the data.
It also requests access to your phone's model, screen resolution, current OS, phone number, email address, location, keystroke patterns, and even contact lists. None of that seems important if you just want to watch 15-second clips.
It's no exaggeration to say that TikTok is a danger to your privacy.
Multiple studies have shown that too much TikTok can also be bad for the brain. With more than 689 million active users worldwide, TikTok users spend more than ten hours per week on the platform. Tiktok videos have also been linked to decreased attention spans after being on the app for more than ninety minutes.

KWIBS - From  July 4, 2022 - By Kevin Noland

Saturday our family and friends celebrated Independence Day. That was perfect considering that the vote for actual independence by the 2nd Continental Congress actually happened on July 2nd. It was ratified on July 4th 1776 and called the Declaration of Independence.
After the revolutionary war we truly became free, united and independent states.
For all that is going on in our world, The United States of America is still the greatest nation in history. If that were not true, people would not be caravaning through the most dangerous places to get here and more citizens who claim they want to leave for another country would have done so (insert Whoopi Goldberg’s name here).
In the Bill of Rights (The first 10 Amendments of our Constitution), in the first amendment it states: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, or abridging the freedom of speech or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.
The second amendment guarantees the first: The right to bear arms. “A well-regulated Militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed.”
This amazing document protects your basic freedoms.
One of my favorite quotes on the 2nd amendment:
“The rifle itself has no moral stature, since it has no will of its own. Naturally, it may be used by evil men for evil purposes, but there are more good men than evil, and while the latter cannot be persuaded to the path of righteousness by propaganda, they can certainly be corrected by good men with rifles.” - Jeff Cooper, Art of the Rifle
Happy Independence Day!
 

KWIBS - From  June 27, 2022 - By Kevin Noland

What I wouldn’t give to have a mean tweeting president right now.
You know it’s bad when CNN starts distancing themselves and calling a spade a spade.
A CNN poll released last Wednesday shows that the President's repeated efforts to highlight undeniably strong aspects of the economy's post-pandemic rebound and to offset blame for its bad spots aren't working.
I’m sorry if you disagree, but every one of my Democrat and Republican friends agree. Biden is not up for the job.
House and Senate Dems are not helping by focusing on January 6 hearings, The Supreme Court’s pending decision on Roe V. Wade and trying to reinvent the wheel with more gun legislation. Americans appear to be smart enough to ask questions, but the party seems stuck in a dangerous political position of insisting the economy is doing well while voters think it's in the tank.
The CNN poll, conducted by SSRS from April 28 to May 1, showed that a majority of Americans think Biden's policies have hurt the economy, while 8 in 10 say the government is not doing enough to combat inflation. It was released on the same day the Federal Reserve made its biggest swing against the rising cost of living in 22 years.
Are the days of 30 year mortgages under 3% in the past? In the 1980s, mortgages were close to 15%, so it’s not unfathomable to think we haven’t hit near the ceiling that we could.
And stop telling us that “we’re doing all that we can.” Just two years ago we were a major energy and commodities exporter. What changed? Policy changed and Biden owns it.
The good news is, Americans are resourceful and have bounced back a number of times, even in my lifetime.
But it's hard to see how things get better quickly -- or anywhere near in time to make a difference to Biden before the midterms. It’s about the economy, stupid. - James Carville.

KWIBS - From  June 20, 2022 - By Kevin Noland

I let out an audible gasp last week as my tank received $100.29 of the cheapest gas in Goddard, Kansas last week.
This was a “had to” trip. I needed a part for one of our mowers at the lake and out of 4 dealerships, Goddard had the part I needed.
At the same time my wife, back home, filled up her car at $81.00. We had to go back to Wichita on Tuesday to take our kids to the airport.
Things are getting tight with inflation. Many believe we are entering a recession. As a business, that’s a frightening word. It means: a period of temporary economic decline during which trade and industrial activity are reduced, generally identified by a fall in GDP in two successive quarters.
Nobody wants to see a recession happen in our country, especially in our county. You do have some control. Shop at home and support your local businesses where you can. I realize nobody in Barber County has a rectifier for a XL850 Kawasaki engine that I can just go in and buy, but as an example, I needed twelve, 2 1/2” PVC end caps. I stopped in Home Lumber and saw Chris and he scratched his head for a bit. We both knew it was an odd size and he didn’t have them. Amazon did for $15-$21 a cap vs. Chris’s $1.98 for a 2” cap. I appreciated that he looked and was sorry it ended up being a no-sale, but he mentioned Jayhawk Oilfield Supply.
I stopped in and, behold! They had them!
We all love to get out of town occasionally, but our local businesses need your support through these difficult periods.
Our local grocery stores, might be higher than the big box stores, but $5 a gallon gas should make you think twice about shopping with people who support your community with their taxes and employment. Give Barber County businesses a chance and you’ll be surprised at what you can find and how hard our merchants will work to get you what you need.
We might have our ups and downs, but we can make a difference in our own small economies. For example, I’m a big fan of a good steak and I won’t lie, I often leave the county to get it served to me, but recently decided to stop at the Plumb Thicket in Kiowa where Sue Becker cooked us the most amazing steaks. It was so good, we went back a week later.
There is so much this county has to offer, so don’t drive 60 miles or more to save yourself a fraction of what you spend in fuel and wear and tear on your vehicles, but if you must leave town, buy your fuel, tires and have your local mechanics do the work. It’s the very least you can do.
Congratulations to Dr. David Chacko for the ground breaking of the Medicine Lodge Meat Company! I was supposed to attend this event, but we had a family emergency and had to fly our kids to Denver. This was a near and dear project to me. There was a lot of behind the scenes action taken to get this project off the ground. Mayor Anthony Farrar, City Administrator Jeff Porter, Barber County Development’s Jim Rowland, myself, Henry Hudson, Shon Fields and, of course, the tireless Marcine Moldenhaur, were all partners in getting this new business off the ground. There were many others including former Mayor Bob Stutler and Tom Carr of the ML Planning Commission. Teamwork. Sorry if I left your name out!
Finally, I am apologizing to Papa Vick. I missed wishing him a happy Father’s Day in last week’s column. Don Vick is an amazing man who recently had a life changing car accident on March 9th. He spent just over two months in the hospital and was cleared last week to put weight on his leg. It’s been a journey to see his determination to heal and get back to life. You’re an inspiration to your family “Papa” and we love you dearly and are thankful the Lord gave you more time to be with us.
Have a great week!

KWIBS - From  June 13, 2022 - By Kevin Noland

Life is an adventure. I’m blessed to have a wife of 34 years who loves me and deals with all my quirks with such grace and beauty.
That goes both ways. Oh, the stories I could tell that would completely ruin this column!
Ronda is not just my wife. She’s my best friend. We get to be together every day. It’s a fairy tale (at least for me!) Of course, we too ride the roller-coaster that is life, but we do it with our hands in the air most of the time.
June 17, 1988, two 18-19 year old kids said “I do,” and it was off to the races. To that union three amazing children, two daughter-in-laws, a son-in-law and 6 grand kids have entered our world. 32 of those 34 years have been spent building a home, raising a family and building a business together.
I am a blessed man. I love you, Ronda. Happy Anniversary!

Our engagement photo from 1988

 

KWIBS - From  June 6, 2022 - By Kevin Noland

We finally got around to recognizing our law enforcement community in Barber County.
Our original plan was to have a group photo, but the logistics were impossible.
The story on the front page lists those on the front lines as well as those who are behind the scenes. One person I would like to take a moment to thank is Dispatch Manager Kristine Landwehr.
Kristine recently took over the dispatch news and it now, more closely than ever, represents the hard work our LEO and EMS do each day. Read it on pages 4 and 5.
I’ve worked with most all of those named in the article. This year marks my 18th year as a bondsman and bail enforcement agent in Kansas and I love working with these people.
There are others in court services and those who are part of the judicial system that are really, really behind the scenes, but play equally important roles in keeping our community safe.
Also on the front page is the progress of the mural at the corner of Main and Kansas. This is going to be a great addition to the art that is already present in both the north and south parts of the county. I am enjoying watching the progress.
And finally.....
We just had another birthday! Today’s issue marks 31 years of publication! It has been our honor to serve Barber County.
We can’t do it without you! Our readers and tipsters around the community help bring you news of what’s happening. I encourage you to reach out with your stories and share your happenings with us and all who love our communities.
Ronda and I have spent 31 years of our 36+ years together, working side by side and it’s easy when you love what you do and love who you do it with.
So many years ago, we were the youngest publishers in the State of Kansas. Now we’re a little older, maybe wiser, but we’re still here - thanks to you!

KWIBS - From  May 30, 2022 - By Kevin Noland

I love to brag on my buddy Nix White. He and his Wife, Wendy, went to Trump International last week and Nix’s FrogX team jumped into the event.
Nix also got to meet our 45th President, eat at the Trump’s table and mingle with his kids and their spouses.
Trump made small talk with Nix and asked, “Do you get nervous before you jump?”
Nix, in classic form said, “No. I get nervous about landing. I would sure hate to eat it in front of a former president.”
The Whites and Trumps had a fun afternoon at the famous Golf Club in West Palm Beach, FLA. Good thing too!
Ronda and I were planning a surprise trip to see them. I was about to click “buy” for the tickets when I heard back from Wendy that they weren’t home!

KWIBS - From  May 23, 2022 - By Kevin Noland

I’m back, whether you like it or not! That’s a little joke. I got pretty backed up last week and had to give up my space.
There’s a lost art when it comes to writing letters. Nothing means more to me than to get a hand written letter or card in the mail. My wife will tell you that I’m a hoarder when it comes to keeping cards and letters. I have a stack of them next to my monitor. That sort of makes it sound like I get a lot, but in actuality, it’s about a 30 year collection.
The younger generation just send texts or instant messages. If you’re lucky, you get a legible email. My kids send emojis after I carefully hunt and peck out a text message.
I got a real nice letter in this past week and I wanted to give a shout out to James W. Graves. The letter meant a lot to me because it’s not every day that someone takes the time to hand write a compliment. So, thank you Mr. Graves. You made my day.
The world seems to be short on supply of everything. Baby formula is the newest toilet paper. You just can’t get it and people need it. You can’t get it unless you cross our southern border illegally and then you can get as much as you want.
That’s a pretty sad state of affairs if you ask me. I don’t know who to blame, but it’s not just formula. I paid $7.49 for a bolt and drove 60 miles at $4/gal last week to get it.
While there (not naming names), I tried again to buy our resort a new lawn mower. The ones we use just don’t exist anywhere. I was told, like the 6th time, it will be November before I can get a new mower.
I don’t need a mower in November. I need it now. I started looking back in October and couldn’t get one. Waiting until November of this year for a lawn mower is like waiting to buy snow shoes in July.
Mayor Pete needs to spend less time trying to act like a mom and fix supply chain issues. I wonder if he can get formula or if he’s breast feeding?

KWIBS - From  May 9, 2022 - By Kevin Noland

I believe we are truly living in bizaro world.
President Biden’s administration is still talking about student loan forgiveness.
I’ve got a few questions.
First, when will we stop the madness of student loan forgiveness and focus on colleges who have billions of dollars in endowments and pay some extremely high salaries to administrators?
Second, who will be paying off these debts and how?
Third, does anyone teach economics anymore or is it just AOC?
$10,000 or $50,000?
According to CNBC, Canceling $50,000 for all would cost around $900 billion, and leave 80% of current federal student loan holders with no balance, according to a recent study by The Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
At the moment, the main point of contention among student loan forgiveness proponents is over how much debt should be scrapped.
I have the answer: NONE. You borrowed it. You pay it back just like we did.
If Uncle Joe is opening this door, I want reparations for things like my student loans, the items I bought to start my business, my vehicle loans because without them, I can’t get to work! Let’s not forget mortgages. Those are such a burden and unfair. While we’re at it, let’s stop paying so much to the IRS! Forgive those debts, Joe.
Instead of teaching our children the importance of borrowing and paying, we are teaching them to be dependent on the government for everything.
There’s no such thing as a free ride. Somebody has to pay back this debt. This is a bribe for votes.

KWIBS - From  May 2, 2022 - By Kevin Noland

Everyone on the left seemed to have a meltdown last week when entrepreneur and billionaire Elon Musk bought Twitter, except me, I guess. I lost interest in Twitter after Trump got canned for “mean tweeting,” which basically is what Twitter is all about.
Another lesser-billionaire and tech savvy guy, who just happens to own the Washington Post, spoke out against Musk’s take over of Twitter, agreeing with the pundits that it would crush free speech. That was Jeff Bezo. That was his right to say under the 1st Amendment. Nobody censored him.
So you’ve got two billionaires who like to fly rockets, arguing over free speech. Both claim to be “protectors of the 1st Amendment,” which protects five basic freedoms: speech, religion, press, assembly, and the right to petition the government. Together, these five guaranteed freedoms make the people of the United States of America the freest in the world.
But only a handful of people at Twitter decide who gets to speak and who doesn’t and which topics are acceptable and which are not. In most cases, these censorships have just happened to lean in the favor of the left.
Musk has been clear on his intentions to make Twitter an open source and fair platform stating, “By “free speech”, I simply mean that which matches the law. I am against censorship that goes far beyond the law. If people want less free speech, they will ask government to pass laws to that effect. Therefore, going beyond the law is contrary to the will of the people.”
In response, the White House announced Thursday that the Biden administration will create a ‘Disinformation Governance Board’ to combat disinformation in the 2022 midterms.
Wouldn’t that have been a handy board to have when all of Hunter’s laptop stories were suppressed by Twitter in the 2020 elections? The thought police are not finished here.
Have a great week (unless that’s disinformation).

KWIBS - From  April 25, 2022 - By Kevin Noland

“Let’s go see Foreigner,” I said over five months ago.
Ronda was all in. It’s one of our favorite groups, even though Mick Jones never comes to the smaller venues anymore.
So we bought a bunch of tickets and a couple of weeks ago we realized it was on Easter weekend.... Oops.
We had to cancel our Easter weekend festivities with our family, so we could spend it with our friends.
Jesus, forgive us.
We are now trying to reorganize and have Easter on May 1st.
The weekend with our classmates and spouses did not disappoint, but I am still trying to catch up on sleep.
Nix and Wendy White flew in from San Diego Friday night. If you don’t know Nix, you might have seen him sky dive into Main Street during Peace Treaty for the past 4 events. Nix, Wendy, Ronda and I never miss a chance to cram as much into a three-day-weekend as possible. We’ve been doing mini-get-aways for 30 years now. We even flew home from San Diego the day they gave birth to one of their daughters!
We picked up Jamie and Michelle (Delano) Chism, another classmate, Saturday afternoon and we all headed down to Newkirk for the concert.
The MLHS Class of 1988 is a tight class. We all pretty much keep in touch and we get together regularly to see each other.
This short trip didn’t allow enough time for us to organize a bigger get together, but it will happen.
Many of you can relate, as you get older, you grow fonder of your friends from your high school years. I’m no different. I believe those bonds are strong and even though we hold dear to those memories, we are always looking to make new ones.
Have a great week!

KWIBS - From  April 18, 2022 - By Kevin Noland

True Grit.
It’s the name of a couple of western power thrillers (one with John Wayne), fitness and strength training equipment.
None of my younger readers will even understand this, but as a kid, I sold “Grit” newspapers to about 60 customers in town. Grit displayed news and features aimed at rural America.
A person with true grit has passion and perseverance. Goals are set and followed through. A person who works really hard to follow through on commitments has true grit. It is not a word you hear very often anymore.
But I know a guy..
My father-in-law, Don Vick, is the perfect example of someone who demonstrates “True Grit.”
On March 9th, he nearly lost his life in a terrible car accident. He remembers nothing of the accident, but he’s been in the hospital since then. Thankfully, he and the other driver survived, but not without life-changing injuries.
With the help of skilled surgeons, his left arm and right leg are now plated and screwed back together. Just within the last few weeks, he’s been able to slowly stand on his good leg with the help of nurses and therapists.
Every day he gets a little stronger. I saw him stand for the first time just under three weeks ago. He shook like a baby calf for about 10 seconds and then had to be helped back down.
Today, he can use a walker to “hop” about as far as they will let him go and if we are lucky, he’s about to go home!
Our family would like to say a special thank you to our local hospital. You think of hospitals as a place to go when you’re sick, but in Don’s case, it was to recover. They have been so great in all areas from getting him here, pain management, transportation to and from Wichita, and their PT/OT is probably the best in the state. Without their help, Don would not be where he is today. Look for him to be writing and golfing very soon!

KWIBS - From  April 4, 2022 - By Kevin Noland

I don’t think I’ve ever watched the Oscar’s, but if Will Smith or anyone else is going to make habit of punching Chris Rock in the face, I might consider watching…
During the ceremony on Sunday, Rock apparently made a joke at the expense of Jada Pinkett Smith, Smith’s wife. Smith strode onto the stage, struck Rock across the face and returned to his front-row seat, where he twice yelled, “Keep my wife’s name out your f---ing mouth.”
Even though I am not a fan of the Oscars, Chris Rock or random acts of violence, this story did interest me. It was made for TV “black on black violence”. If a white actor would have gone up and slapped Chris Rock, there would have been a SWAT team repel from the ceiling, grabbing the offender and locking him up for a lifetime.
One of my buddies said, “Well, at least Chris Rock didn’t make a joke about Alex Baldwin’s wife....”
According to new polling, 3 in 5 Americans disapprove of Will Smith’s slapping of Chris Rock. The other two must have thought he should have used a closed fist I guess.
The only polling I ever remember seeing on TV was the commercial for Colgate where “4 out of 5 Dentists approve using Colgate toothpaste. I never understood what the other guy was thinking. Maybe he had dentures.
In a world of hypersensitivity, comics and the ultra famous elite, something like this was bound to happen. I feel bad for both Chris Rock and for Will Smith. Smith has been one of my favorite actors and Rock, well, he obviously has a strong chin.
Two things are for sure: Chris Rock made a bad joke and isn’t that funny, and Will Smith should have waited in the parking lot for him after the Oscars to slap him, like a real man.
It was Chris Rock’s job to be a comedian, presenter and host, not Will Smith’s. Both of them are probably having regrets for the evening. The rest of Americans continue to yawn.
Have a great week!

KWIBS - From  March 28, 2022 - By Kevin Noland

When you hear that inflation is up 7.9% in the last 12 months, don’t believe it. It’s much higher than they are reporting.
Pricing for gasoline is a major category used by U.S. Labor Department's Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) in calculating inflation but their volatility is also why they are excluded when the agency calculates core inflation rates.
So, a 38% increase in fuel isn’t calculated? Well, yes, it is when it comes to shipping, which translates into higher costs of goods and services.
This 7.9% number still doesn’t make sense to me. It’s like common core math for Department of Labor I guess. When a can of freon (R-410A) costs me 3x as much as it did a year ago, that’s not 7.9%. When fuel is 38% higher, that’s not 7.9%. When most food has seen a 20-30% increase, that’s not 7.9%.
According to the Internet here’s how you calculate CPI: “You will subtract the starting price (A) from the later price (B), and divide it by the starting date (A). Then multiply the result by 100 to get the inflation rate percentage.”
Well, that was simple now wasn’t it?
I believe our inflation is a direct result of bad policy on energy. Pipelines don’t “produce” oil and gas, but they transport it cheaper than truck and train. Nearly every pipeline application has been turned down by the current administration and the average American is paying a lot more than a 7.9% increase in the cost of living.
It’s a supply and demand issue when it comes to oil and since we are no longer the world’s leading producer, we will bow down to those that are. So instead of creating this commodity that puts people back to work and drives down energy prices, we are now looking to Venezuela, Iran, Saudi Arabia and Russia to help us with supply issues.
Somebody write a letter to the editor if you have a different view on this, to help us all understand.

KWIBS - From  March 21, 2022 - By Kevin Noland

Because we were gone last week, I was out of the loop on a few things. A gentlemen came into my office to tell me my friend and fellow Publisher of the Coldwater Western Star was in the hospital at St. Francis and had a quadruple bypass last week.
It dawned on me, we were all at St. Francis at the same time and I could have visited him, but did not realize his situation, so I called him.
He answered the phone, “Western Star,” with a drawl that he’s famous for.
I asked him if he was still in the hospital and he said, “Nope, I’m behind my building, getting ready to jump in the car and go home for a nap, but I’m back.”
I read his paper. His one staff member, the publisher of the Protection Press and friends from Spearville, KS, all joined forces to put his newspaper out in his absence.
I can tell you from similar experience, that is a publisher’s worst nightmare: not being able to put the paper out. We are held to a minimum of 50 newspapers a year to keep our postal permits and to publish and be “official city, county, school and governing bodies,” newspapers in Kansas.
The headline on his front page was, “It Ain’t Pretty, But It Reads Well.”
Dennies Andersen has been a friend for more than 40 years and was one of the people we turned to when we started our newspaper over 31 years ago. We rib each other pretty hard, so I want to do it again in my column.
Dennies, you’re rag has never been pretty and has never read well, but you’re the best Coldwater has, so I guess you’ll just have to do!
Seriously, he’s taught me a lot over the years and he’s a good guy who likes to joke around. I’m glad he’s recovering well and that the “news” continues in small town Kansas!
Have a great week!

KWIBS - From  March 14, 2022 - By Kevin Noland

Two families’ lives changed at 9:15 a.m. Wednesday morning.
My Father-in-Law Don Vick was in a really bad car accident this Wednesday south west of Wichita on 42 and 135th. A young 19-year-old girl didn’t stop at the stop sign and Don hit her passenger side with no chance of braking. She underwent multiple surgeries and was in critical/stable condition. We don’t know how that family is doing.
Don was admitted as serious and stable, although the Kansas Highway Patrol said “critical” on their report. Both were taken to St. Francis. He has broken ribs, his right leg is broken, his left arm is broken, he has staples in his head and his right hand is stitched up. He received a unit of blood and after CTs and stabilizing him, they scheduled him for surgery at 7 a.m. the next morning. He’s full of metal now, but is stable.
Because his blood pressure is low and they couldn’t give him much pain medication, he was very uncomfortable.
When we got the call, we shut the office down, picked up his wife Linda and left for Wichita, not really knowing much. The KHP was wonderful! *47 on your phone. They directed me to where his car was towed and they were able to give us some details about the accident.
Don was awake when we got there and was concerned about two things: the food in the back seat and his golf balls. We knew he would be ok since he was concerned about his golf balls!
We went to the salvage yard and got everything we could. The impact was so hard that it broke his key off in the ignition. I’ve seen some pretty terrible accidents, but I’ve never seen anyone live through an accident like that.
Don was concerned about the three meetings he covered last Monday. He wasn’t going to get them into us. I told him not to worry and that “he was fired.” He squeezed out a painful laugh. Since he probably can’t get us those stories, he made the front page this week. I expect he has months of recovery ahead of him, but we are thanking the good Lord for being with both of them.

KWIBS - From  March 7, 2022 - By Kevin Noland

If you don’t think the Russian’s war against Ukraine isn’t important or worthy of American intervention, you’re wrong. It is proof that freedom could be lost for millions of people because good people did nothing.
“Captain Ukraine,” President Volodymyr Zelensky, a former TV comedian, in the past few days, has become a global symbol for democracy. He has become the face of Ukrainian resilience. Zelensky is a leader that has truly united people across the globe.
His courageous response to an offer of evacuation by America was exactly what this nation was founded on. He said, “The fight is here; I need ammunition, not a ride.”
As our government works so hard to take guns out of the hands of many law abiding citizens, 70,000-100,000 rifles were distributed to civilians in Ukraine in a single day last week.
We take our liberties for granted. America’s elite want to remove our constitutional freedoms, like speech and our right to bear arms. President Abraham Lincoln probably captured it best when he said, “Freedom is the last, best hope of earth.” It is something we should cherish rather than take for granted.
It’s easy to do, really, since most of us can’t ever recall a time in our lives when we weren’t free. Ukraine understands this better than any of us, since they are such a young “free” country. The freedom that President Lincoln spoke so eloquently about is something we’ve grown accustomed to, something that comes as naturally, and is as expected, as having air to breathe and food to eat.
In the coming days, the air they breath and the food they eat will be choked off as the Russian military squeezes their capitol. Imagine this happening to America.
President Reagan (a WW2 Veteran) once said “no arsenal, or no weapon in the arsenals of the world, is so formidable as the will and moral courage of free men and women.”
God Bless Ukraine
 

KWIBS - From  February 28, 2022 - By Kevin Noland

The class of 1988 was Bud Moore’s first class he had when he became Principal of MLHS in 1984. That’s my class.
As you know, Bud passed away last Tuesday after battling a number of health issues for many years. He fought the good fight and is now at rest. It was a very emotional event for our class, not to mention the community and his wonderful family.
As sad as I am of his passing, memories of him have flooded my mind. My last text message on my phone to him was from January 23rd. I had heard he was taken to the KS Heart Hospital and I wanted him to know I and our class had him in our thoughts and prayers.
Bud and I had a friendship that lasted from the moment I met him as a Freshman. I had the unfortunate luck of landing myself in detention for three days. It was one of the worst experiences of my life and after graduation Bud and I talked about it and to this day, we were still laughing about it.
I got placed in an advanced P.E. class due to scheduling. This class was full of juniors and seniors and was labeled “Jock Class.” I was not a jock. In fact, I was the exact opposite at 110 lbs dripping wet. I was picked on and bullied something fierce.
One day ‘coach’ took us out to the football field. There was this one upper classmate, who I won’t embarrass, who relentlessly picked on and bullied me. On this day I had been shoved to the ground by this near 275 lb. gorilla several times. The last straw was a smack on the back of my head with a football he threw from about 10 yards away.
I turned into the 110 lb. version of the Incredible Hulk. I was angry and was ready to murder my classmate. I kicked an old beat up desk that was used by the gate and ticket takers at the football field, grabbed the biggest piece I could carry and went after the gorilla. I was going to crush his skull, but ‘coach’ grabbed me first and took us both to ‘Mr. Moore’s’ office.
The gorilla went in first. He was in there a long time and when he came out, he exited, through the front door after being suspended, out of school, for 3 days for the assault. Then it was my turn. I was sweating bullets.
“Come on back Mr. Noland,” said Bud. I was trembling.
I was also in there for a long time. I can’t remember a thing he said to me except, “You’re getting three days of in-school suspension.”
I was super torked about that, since I never took a swing or did anything to provoke the situation. Those three days in a room, by myself with an octagon plate where a clock used to be, were horrible. I only saw Bud about twice a day when he’d pop in with work assignments and my lunch. I was in Bud prison and it sucked.
Fast forward to 1988. I graduated and often came back to socialize with teachers and Bud. One day I finally worked up the courage to tell Bud how mad I was for getting in-school suspension for fighting back in 1985 and he laughed and said, “Dude, I didn’t suspend you for fighting. I suspended you for damaging school property!”
We both started busting out laughing.
Ten years later I was back in Bud’s office. He had called me and a new teacher in after the new teacher, Dale McCurdy, and I had a disagreement on some computer issues I was working on at the school. Basically, each of us was about to damage school property and beat each other with the pieces. Bud calmed us down and, ironically, Dale became one of my dearest friends.
Fast forward to near-present day. After 30 some years of friendship, Bud and I had a few beers together in his garage. We talked about the old days and we schemed. During Peace Treaty, Bud played the part of the Southern General Robert E. Lee. I played the Northern General Ulysses S. Grant. For a long time we both held these parts and I always looked forward to Bud surrendering his sword to me after a brief Civil War portion of the pageant. On Friday’s performance in 2018 I put my hand out and said, “Give me your sword.... loser.” We always trash talked each other through that scene, but that’s when the teacher part of Bud came out.
It’s an enduring myth of the Civil War: Robert E. Lee surrendered his sword to Ulysses S. Grant at Appomattox, and his Union counterpart refused the traditional gesture of surrender.
“Lee never offered it, and Grant never asked for it,” said Patrick Schroeder, historian at Appomattox Courthouse National Historical Park. Bud being Bud said, “I did a little research and you don’t get my sword, ‘General,’” he said sarcastically.
There we stood in this awkward stand off; me with my hands out and Bud defiantly refusing to give me his sword, and he chuckled all the way through the narration.
Bud was also in the signing scene with us. I never understood why a Confederate Soldier was at the signing of the peace treaty of 1867. The war ended in 1865, but Bud somehow slipped in our scene and I didn’t catch it until I became the President of the association in late 2018 and Cathy Colborn brought it up. Bud and I had a good laugh at that too. I missed standing with him during the 2021 performance. Bud’s health was declining.
There are so many memories of that guy, that I could fill this entire newspaper with them.
He was so influential on so many kids’ lives. He even encouraged my son going into the Navy. Bud served in the Navy and on more than one occasion told me the story when he got caught smoking in boot camp, so the drill instructor had him put a mop bucket over his head and finish off the pack of cigarettes!
Bud was a respected teacher, coach, principal, veteran, community and school board member. He was here for so long that 3 generations of my family had him in their lives in one way or another through our school district. I love and respect “Mr. Moore.” He was and always will be my “Bud”.
God bless to his family for sharing him with us. I am a better person because of him and I will miss him dearly.
Rest in Peace “Bud”
 

KWIBS - From  February 21, 2022 - By Kevin Noland

Well, I might have missed a Valentine’s Day card, but at least I remembered my wife’s birthday, with an actual birthday card.
We went out to dinner with friends Monday to celebrate our love for our spouses. Traditionally, Ronda doesn’t like me to buy cards or flowers, so I didn’t, but my buddy bought his wife a card.
Only it was a birthday card. Her birthday is in September by the way.
I totally understand the dilemma. I recently got my eyes checked and got new lenses. Now I start my day off feeling drunk and wobbly until my eyeballs adjust.
I can’t see anything close up with my glasses on and absolutely nothing far away with them off.
“Oh, heck no! I don’t need bifocals,” I said.
I need bifocals.
My doctor wasn’t pushy about it. He did remind me that I’m in my 50s and lots of people have bifocals and get colonoscopies at my age.
I really don’t understand how a colonoscopy will help my vision. That seems like the wrong and long way to my eyeballs, but he’s a doctor and I’m not.
So when I’m dialing my phone my glasses come off. When I’m driving, they are on, or should be, or you should avoid me.
When the Super Bowl half time show came on, I took off my glasses. It didn’t help, so I turned down the volume, which is strange because I was told I needed hearing aids. I don’t think that would have helped me listen to the half time show. To each his own on entertainment.
My buddy needs bifocals too because he read several cards, put the ones back he didn’t like and selected a lovely “Happy Birthday” card for his Valentine.
Have a great week!

KWIBS - From  February 14, 2022 - By Kevin Noland

His obituary, written by himself, says “Charlie would like to be remembered as a quiet guy; who kept to himself a lot.”
Well, I’m going to tell you that’s just not true!
Charlie DeGeer (don’t misspell his name, or he’ll write you a long letter to the editor), passed away last Thursday. He was “the Midnight Voice of the Barber County Sheriff.”
I worked with Charlie for over a decade as a bondsman. I would go in during the way night shift and there would be this awful Cajun music playing at almost unbearable decibels coming from his station.
I was greeted with an insult and a joke several times a week and was a huge fan of how he made dispatching interesting and almost entertaining. After he retired a few years back, I tossed my scanner in the closet.
Every April 1st, Charlie would put an entry into the dispatch report of something like “Barber County Sheriff responded to a UFO crash on River Road.”
Years later, I attended several burns with Charlie and Vaughn and I took a lot of abuse from Charlie for wearing shorts to burn pastures.
I remember one time back in about 1994. I had purchased a green Chevy S10 pickup from Bowe’s and was proudly driving it up Main Street when I apparently ran a light. I was in the back alley of my building and he pulled up, honked and yelled, “Nice red truck!”
At first I didn’t get it, but then his dry humor set in and I realized he was referring to me not knowing what my colors were. I had those stop lights torn out about 20 years later just because of him (kidding.... but that’s what I told him).
To know Charlie, was to love him. I hated the day he retired from the Sheriff’s Office. That day was a punch in the gut. I will miss that voice even more now than when it was just on the scanner.
Rest in peace Charlie
 

KWIBS - From  February 7, 2022 - By Kevin Noland

Got up Wednesday morning to snow.
I hate snow.
I hate winter.
I hate being cold.
Enough of my frigid rage, I’m taking it out on Punxsatawney Phil. That stupid rodent saw his shadow and declares 6 more weeks of winter.
Several years ago I put out a hit on Phil. I used this dude named Mayor de Blasio and he totally messed up the hit. He was in Staten Island and dropped “Staten Island Chuck,” who at the time, also predicted 6 more weeks of winter in 2014.
He hit the wrong groundhog.
“I tried it, it didn’t end well, I won’t be back,” de Blasio said with a hearty laugh, joking that the event is the “highlight” of his year.
De Blasio infamously dropped Staten Island Chuck – played by a 10-month-old female groundhog named Charlotte – several feet during the 2014 proceedings when she crawled up his glove-clad arm. She died of “internal injuries” a week later.
How could he have messed it up so badly. Needless to say, I didn’t pay him and cut off all ties when he pulled the push to ban large sugary drinks in New York City.
Anyway, back to Phil. Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow Wednesday, meaning that if you believe in a groundhog's ability to predict the weather -- we're in for six more weeks of winter. I didn’t really need to know because I ran into Jim Colborn at Red Dirt Jack’s on Tuesday we were casually speaking about the weather. I asked him if it was going to snow and he put it simply, “count on it.” He’s more accurate than the National Weather Service.
Though Phil has no meteorology degree, every year on February 2, the United States, except for me, tunes in for his prediction. I usually don’t get up early enough for that event. It’s not even in my top 100 things I’d like to attend.
You’re probably (not) wondering, what is in your top 100 bucket list events you’d attend Kevin?
So, Google, Emma Crawford Coffin Races and Festival. I know, drastic switch in topics, but every October in Manitou Springs, CO, people dress up like the dead or Emma herself and race coffins down nearby Red Mountain.
Emma Crawford came to Manitou Springs in 1889 searching for a cure for her tuberculosis in the area’s famed cold-water mineral springs. Her dying wish was to be buried on top of Red Mountain. Unfortunately, Emma succumbed to her illness in 1891. Her boyfriend, with the help of eleven other townspeople, carried Emma’s coffin up the 7,200 foot slope and buried her near the summit of Red Mountain.
In 1929, after years of harsh winters and spring rains, Emma and her coffin came racing down the mountain side. The young children who happened upon her remains found only the casket handles, a nameplate, and a few bones.
We talked about going in 2021, but the COVID cancelled the event.
Maybe this year?
Have a great week!

KWIBS - From  January 31, 2022 - By Kevin Noland

Did I miss something?
Voter-ID laws continue to get a lot of attention, and proponents of the law are being drowned out by opponents claiming the laws discriminate against certain voters.
Rather than getting IDs to the people who are supposedly disenfranchised, opponents spend their efforts trying to end the laws, even though polls consistently show overwhelming majorities of voters approve of the laws.
Below are just some of the examples of things you need to prove your identity for:
1. Purchase alcohol
2 Purchase cigarettes and vapes
3. Opening a bank account
4. Apply for food stamps
5. Apply for welfare
6. Apply for Medicaid/Social Security
7. Apply for unemployment or a job
8. Rent a house or apply for a mortgage to buy one
9. Drive/buy/rent a car
10. Get on an airplane
11. Get married
12. Purchase a gun
13. Adopt a pet
14. Rent a hotel room
15. Apply for a hunting license
16. Apply for a fishing license
17. Buy a cell phone
18. Go to a casino
19. Pick up a prescription
20. Hold a rally or protest
21. Donate blood
22. Purchase a “Mature” rated video game
23. Purchase nail polish at CVS
24. Purchase certain cold medicines
So, so many more..... But not to vote???
 

KWIBS - From  January 17, 2022 - By Kevin Noland

Well, I called it and exactly one year later, we’re still talking about it like it was something so horrible that our country was nearly destroyed and Democracy lost forever.
The great January 6th Insurrection. Or as I like to call it: just another January 6th, but with Trump supporters.
But if you use the Google machine, you’ll read that it was an “armed insurrection, an attempted Coup of our Government, worse than the civil war, as bad as 9-11 and a day that will live in infamy, ”
Seriously, this was like Pearl Harbor, the Civil War and 9-11 the II?
One year ago, I wrote a column about how ridiculous this was and one year later, we’re still watching and hearing about it. Shut up and move on. There was a peaceful transfer of power and now we have a vegetable in the White House.
When Trump won, people marched in the streets screaming, disrupting business and the flow of traffic in major cities, some wearing hats that looked like vaginas. Nobody called it an insurrection. Most called it stupid, as was January 6, 2021.
Sorry to get political, but we often just need a dose of reality and I have friends who are Democrats, Republicans, Libertarians and simply A-Political in nature, but I think Dr. James Veltmeyer said it best in a column he wrote on January 12, 2022.
“The Democrats will not let go of Jan. 6 because it now appears to be the High Holy Day of their secular religion which carries an obsession with the 45th president of the United States that rivals praying to Mecca multiple times during the day. It can be safely stated that if “January 6” and “Donald Trump” were removed from the vocabulary of the Democrat Party, they would have as little to say as senile Joe Biden at a news conference.”
But, CNN reported (by the way, their viewership fell by 80% from one year ago), “Violent attacks by Trump supporters,” and “A dangerous and volatile situation caused by Trump radicals,” and “Insurrection.” One person was arrested for carrying an unlicensed gun and six people were charged with assault, including one for assaulting a police officer. No one ever asked or reported what party affiliation they were from, but even CNN’s footage of people inside the Capitol showed many people who didn’t have any “Trump” attire on. Some wore masks and there was obvious damage and at least one woman shot and died, why, we still don’t know. Don’t forget her name - Ashli Babbitt.
It’s a fact that Federal prosecutors have charged more than 700 people in more than 45 states with participating in the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol, and arrests continue almost daily. Some have still not gotten a day in court. The majority of those arrested have been charged with assaulting police officers with flag poles and trespassing - things that you’re released for without bail in NYC.
A man named Devlyn Thompson got 46 months in prison for his actions that day.
Thompson took part in the rioting for nearly three hours on Jan. 6, during which time he assaulted a police officer with a metal baton. He also tried to throw a speaker at the police, but missed and ended up injuring another rioter.
Thompson later pleaded guilty to assault with a dangerous weapon. In December, Federal District Court Judge Royce Lamberth sentenced the 28-year-old Thompson to 46 months in prison with credit for time served, along with 36 months of supervised release and a required payment of $2,000 in restitution.
Looking back, we certainly don’t see much evidence of any kind of an armed revolt against the duly-constituted government and how does a good revolt get off the ground without arms? There were no tanks or armored personnel carriers on Capitol Hill that day. I don’t recall seeing F-16 fighters circling the sky or missiles being fired at the Capitol dome. I certainly didn’t see an organized army storm the building, guns blazing. If this was an insurrection along the lines of what we have seen in other countries at various times, it was the weakest in world history.
Trump did not ask or direct anyone to crash Congress. He called on them to march “peacefully and patriotically” to protest, which is every American’s right under the Constitution. Martin Luther King also marched on Washington in 1963 and anti-Vietnam War demonstrators marched multiple times in the late 1960s and early 1970s, not to mention the famous Million Man March of 1995.
You know what I did observe over the summer of 2020 in cities like Portland, Seattle, Los Angeles and New York? Violence and chaos, no order, even deaths. Police largely let these things happen under the orders of many liberal city mayors. CNN reported that those protests were, “mostly peaceful,” as buildings were on fire in the background.
There was a lot of order in dispersing that crowd of supporters of the protest against counting the electoral votes. Did you see that happen over the summer 2020 during riots?
We’re also still talking about voter fraud and integrity. We want to “federalize” that process now. Well, not all of us want that, but those in power want to stay in power, so that just makes me shake my head.
From my column one year ago: “Many media outlets hold to their headlines that there was no voter fraud, yet you’ll see evidence long after Trump leaves office. We have seen that evidence and we keep seeing more. I know someone personally who is registered in Kansas, but flew to Arizona to vote as well. She voted absentee here. This person even bragged about how easy it was.
Would there have been a different result? I doubt it. I said a year ago that I don’t even really care. I do care - more than ever.
I said, “ I’m not excited about a Biden-Harris administration, I will wait and see before I judge it.”
Well, I’ve judged it and it is terrible. More people have died of Covid under Biden than Trump, inflation is off the charts, the border is a serious crisis, our energy independence was destroyed over night, crime is up and news conferences are down, oh and Afghanistan is in shambles. I’m running out of space, but you get it, even if you voted for him. Just be honest. I was. I did not vote for Trump in 2016, but I did in 2020.
Of course, no president is entirely responsible for what happens in America, but for a team that touted unity from their basement bunkers, a bolstered economy, a basic understanding of foreign policy, and “building back” what’s been lost, Biden’s first year was as bad as I thought — if not worse. But hey, we got rid of the mean tweeting orange hair guy.
Don’t cancel your subscription. We can have an honest discussion. Your letters to the paper are welcome if you can defend this administration with a straight face.
Have a great week!

KWIBS - From  January 10, 2022 - By Kevin Noland

For a variety of reasons, mainly the “C” word, we had to cancel our New Years plans with friends. We opted instead, to sit on the couch and binge watch Netflix. The day before it was 64 degrees and we played outside and then Saturday brought a new year, wind and freezing cold temperatures.
I was deep into a movie (code for sleeping) when my phone rang. I looked at the caller ID and it was Tom Walters. Tom never calls me and so I thought, I wonder who is in jail that Tom knows or is TOM in jail?
No, Tom nor anyone else was in trouble, he just had a story to tell me. He and Melody were flying home when the airlines had the holiday meltdown and thousands of flights were cancelled. Tom and Melody had split up on different flights and she had made it home earlier than Tom, but while waiting for a flight to Wichita in Dallas, Tom ran into someone I knew, Paul Rhodes, Publisher of the TSnews and longtime colleague in the newspaper business.
As we all know Tom, he wasted no time making friends at the gate. He met Paul and Kim and probably hundreds of others. He even gave up his seat so that Paul and Wife Kim could sit together.
I need a Tom every time I fly because I either lose a bag, have a flight delay, have flights cancelled and end up in a sleazy part of Houston or, my favorite, get tossed into a tent with TSA agents. That’s another column. Anyway, I usually have a bad experience when flying, like the time my uvula swelled up after a food allergy and I could literally spit it out into my hand. That’s also another column. Simply put, it’s always good to have a Tom around when you’re away from home and there is uncertainty in the world. Tom is a comforting person to talk or listen to, unless he’s in the announcer’s box at the football field cheering for the away team, but he’s just that polite!
Paul is a traveler. I know this because I read about all the places he and Kim fly to and wonder how he puts out a newspaper in between vacations (just kidding Paul, that’s just jealousy sneaking its way into my column). He’s used to canceled flights and missing luggage, or in Tom’s case: missing luggage and wife, but the story has a happy ending.
Melody was waiting for Tom at the airport in her van and Melody, Tom, Paul and Kim all jumped in, only missing one checked bag.
Yep, Paul and Kim jumped in the car with perfect strangers (emphasis on “perfect”). Since Paul and Kim had missed their original flight, they also lost their ride back to Goddard.
So Tom was just excited to call me to tell me about meeting Paul and living in such a small world. I told him, “You’ll make the TSnews this week.”
I was right. The headline for Paul’s column was “A big world made small by flight cancellations.”
In his column he describes his encounter with Tom and then with Tom and Melody and then how this news would eventually reach me and then Medicine Lodge. We shared a couple of emails and I told him I would wait for his column to come out and hit my desk on Thursday and would follow suit by writing about it too.
Yes, it’s a small world, but I wouldn’t want to paint it.
- Steven Wright, Comedian

KWIBS - From  January 3, 2022 - By Kevin Noland

I hope you all enjoyed Christmas and had a happy new year!
Our holiday got off to a little bit of a rough start. One of our kids and his spouse picked up COVID right before they were to travel to Denver.
Both of them were disappointed, but not seriously ill, thankfully. Christmas day was just beautiful outside, so we had them come and sit outside at our picnic table and we brought them presents and made them Christmas lunch..... to go of course!
So, our family Christmas photo is a little weird this year, but you should not expect the normal from our family.
My poor Mom called a day later and had taken a COVID test and it came back positive. A couple of days later, Ronda began feeling ill. Two negative COVID tests later, she must have just had a bad cold or a mild flu. Either way, she was pretty miserable and I did my best at being her nurse, but I’m never as good as she is.
After everyone thinned out, my son-in-law and I grabbed our waders and went to set beaver traps. The day before we had broken down one dam to release some of the backed up water . It was pretty deep the day before, but was about knee high Saturday. I got half way across a creek holding a loaded trap and suddenly lost my balance in the mud and fell. I had enough sense to not trust all the safety latches and squeezed the trap in a way it couldn’t go off on my hand.
Miguel helped me up, very cold water had rushed in over my waders and now my socks were soaked. It wasn’t such a nice day out afterwards. I eventually warmed up and we finished up.
Some of our kids’, nieces’ and nephew’s gifts got mixed up in the bags. Little do they know they got someone else’s gifts. We’re not saying which ones. I just kept looking at Ronda and laughing through the exchange.
My favorite line from the day before from her was, “I just hate wrapping gifts.”
I looked at the tree and said, “You didn’t wrap any dear. They’re all in sacks.”
She grabbed my arm and dragged me to the one gift under the tree that she had wrapped. In all fairness, it used to be my job to wrap the gifts and I’ve somehow passed that off to her.
 

KWIBS - From  December 27, 2021 - By Kevin Noland

This is it! The final edition of 2021 Barber County news.
Despite COVID still lingering, our county has had a good year.
My person of the year is very unique. She’s one of the smartest people I know and I could not have left the leadership of Peace Treaty in better hands.
Joscelyn Nittler is my choice for “Premiere’s Person of the Year.” Nittler is a life-long resident of Barber County, but for her years of college and short stay in the Big Apple while her husband showed off his wears, or lack there of (Sorry Joscelyn. I could not resist. You’ve made plenty of jokes about me.)
She is a business woman in the community for more than 15 years, highly respected, involved in her church and the community, the project manager for Barber County Cares Recovery Fund, the representative of South Central Kansas Leadership League. And she loves Peace Treaty!
She represents the next generation of leaders in our community. I’m happy to call her my friend.
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2021 was a special year for The Gyp Hill Premiere. What was started in the kitchen of our farm house, has grown to be a product that Ronda and I are proud to own and operate. The Gyp Hill Premiere turned 30 years old in June. I’ve had many people help us along the way and our only wish is to represent the county in the best way we can.
Thank you to my wife, Ronda, for keeping this office organized. Thank you Aimee for bringing your talents to the editorial staff. Thank you to my mom, Joyce, for being the eyes that see our mistakes. Thank you to my father-in-law, Don, for covering meetings. Thank you to my sweet daughter, Breeann, who juggles six children and still makes sure the paper is mailed out each week. Finally, thank you to my oldest and longest serving employee, Ellis Mayfield! Now in his 90s, he began driving the newspaper for us when he was in his late 60s! Ellis is the best and never lets us, or you, down when it comes to delivering the paper each week. Thank you all and thank you, readers, for your support! Have a great 2022!
 

KWIBS - From  December 20, 2021 - By Kevin Noland

We are nearing the end of 2021. It was a good year and a bad year. That sounded like a Charles Dickens’ rip off, but it wasn’t.
I’m actually looking forward to the holidays, but are the holidays looking forward to me? That’s deep.
Because I think Christ was actually born in the spring, I’m disappointed that we have to celebrate in generally cold conditions. I think baby Jesus would have loved to play in the lake and creeks, ride jetskis and fish. I know he had a thing for fishermen.
I’m not trying to make light of birth of our Lord and Savior. I’m just believing that He was a lot more like us than we give Him credit for. Yes, He is God in man and he carried those attributes with Him to His death on the cross.
He was born of a virgin. He was a baby. Jesus is both human and God at the same time. I suppose that statement implies that he was also once a child since, after all, all human beings once were. This means that Jesus was once both a child and a powerful God-being. I don’t know about you, but I doubt things would turn out well if any child in present times were given the capacity to bend the rules of nature.
With that kind of power, why would they listen to anyone?
Tantrums would turn into ultimatums, and backyard scuffles could have lethal consequences. Maybe this is why the Bible makes little to no mention of Jesus’s childhood?
The most detailed story we get about young Jesus in the current Bible is him ditching his parents to go to the temple. He’s later found conversing with scholars about all things religious. It gave his parents a little scare, but it wasn’t anything obnoxious for a boy his age.
So at Christmas time, think of how good God is to us. Be patient with your children and grandchildren (that was mostly for me).
Most importantly, have a Merry Christmas and include Jesus because we are celebrating Him, even if I think He was born in June. Merry Christmas friends!

KWIBS - From  December 13, 2021 - By Kevin Noland

Every year about this time I say to my wife, “I need a hobby.”
Winter is not my friend. Cold weather is meant for penguins and polar bears, not me.
Each year, I have heavily relied on my good buddy Jeff Clarke to come and trap beavers on our ponds. It’s a ridiculously busy job (as in busy as a beaver) to trap these amazing, yet destructive creatures.
This year has been the worst year for beaver damage in the 30+ years we’ve lived out on the ranch. Fields and Sons just temporarily fixed a dam for us last week and in years past, Roger Simpson has saved us from dam-doom on many of our ponds. To say, “I’m dam tired of this,” is putting it mildly.
I’ve used and abused my buddy Jeff and I owe him big time for all of his hard work he has done in trapping. This year though, I decided that maybe YouTube could teach me and my son-in-law Miguel how to trap.
What looks easy, is not.... I bought the right traps and Miguel and I didn’t lose any digits setting the traps, but learned after a few tries that there was a special tool for $30 that takes all the work out of setting the traps. I also bought Miguel waders. I tried to buy myself some, but they don’t make a size short and fat, so I ended up with leg waders that leaves your bottom exposed. I learned not to squat down or you get a cold, wet bum.
In 5 days, we caught three beavers weighing in at 32 lbs, 38 lbs and a 45 lb’er that I nicknamed chubs. He was so big, I don’t know how he got in the trap.
So, I guess we have a new hobby. It’s one that I hope stops soon, but I have a feeling it’s going to be a yearly event. I love wildlife and I don’t hunt, but now I do trap and I’m finding it very therapeutic.

KWIBS - From  December 6, 2021 - By Kevin Noland

Last Monday it was 80 degrees outside! I love global warming.
I grabbed Ronda, loaded her up in the Polaris and took her to the outback to check some beaver traps. We didn’t find anything in our traps, so after tromping around in the dirt and streams, we headed back and sat on the dock of our pond. It was just a beautiful day.
At about 3 p.m. Ronda declared, “Road trip!”
I was all in. We loaded up in the truck and headed north. As soon as we hit the Elm Mills road, I went about another 100 yards and turned around. We had never been to Elm Mills. Yes, we manage one of the three lake resorts in Barber County, but had only been to our own and to our neighbors at 99 Springs.
Ronda reminded me Elm Mills was also gated and I told her I had a plan. I picked up my phone and called my friend Mike. I know he likes a good warm day too and chances are, he was out there at his cabin, and as I suspected, he was.
Mike took us on the tour starting with his cabin. Of course Ronda was interested in the homes and the surroundings. I was interested in the engineering of this cool little slice of heaven. We can relate, because we live on our own little slice.
The place was constructed in the late 1800s and was mostly a destination from people in Pratt. Times have changed and there are about 20 cabins/homes there with owners all over the place. Each resort in Barber County has its specialty. Lake Arrowhead is known for boating, skiing and awesome crappie fishing. It’s one of the most remote resorts in the county and requires private membership and home ownership. 99 Springs, also a private membership organization, originally had a golf course in the early 1900s. Now it has great fishing and recreation and lots of room for large gatherings. Elm Mills has a small lake and a swimming area. It even has a famous rope swing and water slide. It too had a large area for public gatherings.
One thing almost all three of these places have in common, is there low profile. None of them advertise, almost every house is occupied (I only know of one house at all three resorts that is even for sale.) Another thing we all have in common is that the appraiser’s office loves to visit us! :)
Factually, Lake Arrowhead is the largest and costly resort at 83 acres of surface water and 300+ total acres of recreation area it has the highest price yearly membership of about $1,200. 99 Springs has the most members and the cheapest memberships at around $600 a year. Elm Mills was only around $750 a year. I would say it has true community spirit. They have no care taker. They all just pitch in and help keep the place nice. Both 99 Springs and Elm Mills are HOAs with boards. Our resort is privately owned since 1966.
All display the beauty of Barber County.

KWIBS - From  November 29, 2021 - By Kevin Noland

It’s always been my intention to do a Christmas card. We seem to talk about it, plan it and then never execute.
In our defense, try working around 14 people’s schedules. The last time we had an actual family photo was back in June of this year at Joey and Haley’s wedding. That was almost 6 months ago and little Ensley was only 6 months old. She just turned a year old last week. A lot changes in 6 months, so we just haven’t scheduled a “family photo.”
Long gone are the times when you could buy a hundred of identical Christmas cards from the bargain bin, scribble a quick generic message inside and be satisfied that you have played your part in spreading the Christmas spirit and seasons greetings to neighbors and friends.
These days the possibilities are endless, and the bar for personalized Christmas cards has been set high. Nowadays, nobody enjoys anything generic, so the popularity of family photos seems to have gone through the roof.
Several years ago, we actually did try to do a family photo. I had set up a shoot with a local photographer. She did an amazing job on our outdoor shots. We decided one more shot by the Christmas Tree would do it for a Christmas Card. As our photographer was helping adjust everything, she got snagged in our Christmas Tree and it came crashing to the ground, scattering ornaments all over the living room and forcing laughter on everyone after a tiring day of photography.
We never mailed out a single Christmas card though. I do so appreciate those who do and I hope they understand, we’re just not that family!

KWIBS - From  November 22, 2021 - By Kevin Noland

I don’t want to mislead anyone, but it’s been a long time since I’ve enjoyed Thanksgiving.
Let me explain. Owning a weekly newspaper is complicated. It’s further complicated when a holiday falls on our deadline day. It doesn’t mean a day off of work. It means shoving that work out an extra day.
My family will tell you, I’m sort of a grump at Thanksgiving.
I’m going to do better this year! After suffering from the two week flu, I’m getting stronger, but I’m also behind on about everything I do. This year is special though. This year, my son Joey and his wife Haley are doing the heavy lifting. They’ll be hosting and we just have to bring a side, a chair, an appetite and as Haley reminded me, “A grateful heart.”
I needed that reminder.
In a not so certain world, with so many problems, it’s incredibly hard to see the blessings right in front of me. Haley’s text message reminded me of that. All of our children now are married off and we have 6 grandkids. Both Ronda and I are blessed to each have a parent left (Great-Grandparents!). Our kids are all working and healthy. Our family is growing and we are blessed beyond belief.
Life might be complicated for a lot of us right now, but we have so much as Americans. It’s too easy for us to lose sight of that.
Thanksgiving will be a time for us to reflect and give thanks for all that God has given us.
Have a Happy Thanksgiving!

KWIBS - From  November 15, 2021 - By Kevin Noland

The greatest generation.
I was fortunate to know many of Barber County’s WWII veterans. Sadly, most of them are gone now.
Approximately 240,329 of the 16 million Americans who served in World War II are still alive, but we are losing them quickly. Many in their late 90s will be gone in a few short years.
Ronda and I watched the movie Midway this past weekend. One of Japan’s main goals during World War II was to remove the United States as a Pacific power in order to gain territory in east Asia and the southwest Pacific islands. Japan hoped to defeat the US Pacific Fleet and use Midway as a base to attack Pearl Harbor, securing dominance in the region and then eventually securing surrender from Japan.
June 4-5, 1942 US troops at sea and on Midway continued their attacks, forcing the Japanese to abandon the battle and retreat. The Japanese lost approximately 3,057 men, four carriers, one cruiser, and hundreds of aircraft, while the United States lost approximately 362 men, one carrier, one destroyer, and 144 aircraft. This critical US victory stopped the growth of Japan in the Pacific and put the United States in a position to begin shrinking the Japanese empire through a years-long series of island-hopping invasions and several even larger naval battles.
My son Nick has been home from Okinawa for 1 year now. He was able to attend his first Veterans Day program put on by the schools. It’s finally sinking in how significant his service was. We still have bases in Japan and on Okinawa’s islands. Nick spent 3 1/2 years there. That time passed very quickly and our family is so thankful that he’s home now.

KWIBS - From  November 8, 2021 - By Kevin Noland

You can’t be serious... Opossum Part III.
I was laying in bed Monday when my phone rang.
I’m pretty sure I had a conversation with Stephanie Marshall, but I was on my 6th day of flu and fever, the kind of flu that rocks your world. Four days of fever at 103, trembling, sweating, not eating and so many trips to the bathroom that I hadn’t cracked a smile for fear I would lose control of all orifices at once.
It’s the hardest way to lose 15 pounds and drop to your last notch on your belt in one week. I don’t recommend this diet program at all. The food is terrible: pudding, jello, Ensure, scrambled eggs and chicken noodle soup.
Back to that phone call...
Stephanie was, well, sort of livid in a fun way? I don’t really know, but it was about the opossum that had escaped my clutches the Friday before in front of Daryl Schiff and Martina McBride. The little critter climbed its own tail and bit me before I dropped it. I was wearing leather gloves, so I wasn’t hurt, but startled. Then that little guy or girl, I didn’t check, shot across the street towards Rick Swayden’s office before it disappeared under Stephanie’s truck.
I walked over and looked and didn’t see it, so I assumed it had sprinted up the sidewalk and went around the alley.
But I was wrong.
Daryl Schiff had offered to rehome the rascal out near Sharon before I lost him.
Thankfully, it did get rehomed. Only, it got rehomed somewhere on the undercarriage of Stephanie’s truck.
With my limited recollection of the conversation, I think this is a pretty close account as to what happened.
Stephanie left work sometime Friday afternoon and unknowingly to her, she had a stowaway. When she got home, she pulled her truck into the garage and probably did woman stuff after that. I’d have to ask Tim for sure.
Over the weekend she was tending to the yard and opened the garage to find some sort of rake or shovel, that part I can’t remember, and she saw the little opossum run across her floor. Being the farm woman she is, I believe she screamed out in fear and went and found Tim, but I don’t really remember.
Maybe a day went by? I can’t remember that either. I’m sure the entire family was sleeping from suspended ceiling beds or hammocks in their homes in fear that he would climb up and eat them, but probably not. That’s probably not how it went. I think she saw it again the next day, grabbed a piece of firewood and pinned it to the ground, grabbing it and launching it out of her garage and out to freedom!
I’m thinking as she is ranting, “how did she know this was my opossum and not another one?” Then it hit me. Oh ya, I wrote about that in my column last week.
So, I owned it. “Yes, that was probably, inconclusively, our pest problem.”
“Well,” she said, “You could have at least come over and told me that it was under there!” There were some inaudible noise and perhaps cursing in that part of the story, but we are a PG paper, so I won’t repeat. (It’s all good. She was laughing and I was laughing.)
In all fairness, I did walk over, got down on my hands and knees and NO OPOSSUM here, so I went back to my conversation with Daryl and Martina and then went back to the office.
So, sorry about that Marshalls, but they are excellent for the ecosystem and will eat up all the ticks around your house.
And....
If it comforts you to know. We now have the smell of something decomposing in our office and we’ve torn the building apart looking for the cause. This story could turn out to be a made for TV special before it’s all over.
Have a great week!

KWIBS - From  November 1, 2021 - By Kevin Noland

Opossum: Part Deux
As you read last week, we caught a baby opossum in our office.
Later in the week, we got a panicked phone call from my mom who had just had another baby opossum run across her feet in the composing room.
So I came to the office and started the search. After moving an old copy machine, there he was staring at me and hissing. I held him to the floor with a broom and then grabbed him by the tail and decided to go release him, but first I wanted to march him over to the bank where my Daughter-In-Law Haley works. I didn’t let her see it until I got to the window and said, “I need to make a deposit,” holding the little dude up.
Despite the fact that she was behind, what is most likely bullet proof glass, she must have thought the opossum could scratch a hole through it and attack her.
I said, “Haley, open the drawer or I will put him in the tube and shoot him inside!”
Dale Lonker was watching, and like the bank Ninja she is, Haley reached up and sucked the cartridge back inside before I could even get over there. It was impressive. She should be commended for thinking on her feet like that.
Little did I know, Daryl Schiff and Martina McBride were coming through the drive through as I was teasing Haley with this critter. I got out to Kansas Street and Martina yelled at me and said, “What is that?”
I calmly responded and asked, “Don’t newspaper publishers in Nashville wander the streets with baby opossums where you live?”
Just about that time, the little dude climbed his own tail and bit me on the palm of my hand, but I had gloves on. It startled me and I dropped him. He promptly started heading over to Rick Swayden’s office when Daryl said, “Oh, just grab him and put him in my truck and I will take him towards Sharon.”
Despite my efforts, I was unsuccessful and now comes a confession.
Stephanie Marshall’s truck was in front of Rick’s office and it went under the truck and scaled a front tire into the engine compartment.
Since I figured there was no way that thing was going to make it out as far as she lives, I just didn’t say anything to her. There was no need to cause panic!
When I got back to the office, we did a room to room sweep and then I did some research on the internet. Did you know a momma opossum can have up to 20 babies at one time? Gulp!
Would I be finding these critters all over the place over the next days, weeks, months and maybe years? Did my office just become a habitat for opossums?
I have a friend named Jamie Chism who caught two baby opossums and raised them, so I took a photo and sent it to him. He begged me to keep it and raise it, but we don’t do pets anymore, especially ugly, wild ones!
Nope, this guy had to go and hopefully, Stephanie has given him a good home, whether she knows it or not!

KWIBS - From  October 25, 2021 - By Kevin Noland

Only a few critters give me cause for alarm and make me want to jump on a chair and scream like a little girl.
Spiders are one of those critters. I was grading roads at the ranch the other day when one decided to drop out of the top of the cab and onto my chest. I nearly beat myself to death and then I had to stop the tractor quickly and exit it and remove my shirt and jump around shaking it in the air. After careful examination, I found that little sucker’s remains on the seat of the tractor. I found a stick and some toilet paper and cleaned up and interred him in the dirt on the ground.
I’m also not a fan of being startled by bees, mud dobbers and yellow jackets, mostly because of my memory reflexes telling me that those actually hurt and they attack. I’ve never heard of attack spiders, but that would be horrible.
Snakes don’t bother me, as long as I’m not surprised to see them. In fact, I accidentally grabbed a good sized bull snake while trying to find the light switch in our shed this summer. I ran my hand across a 2x4 that felt a little off, maybe too soft. When I got to the light switch, I saw her relaxing, all stretched out, with her head pointing the other direction. I’m sure I would have been more terrified if I had brushed the other end.
This time of year, the critters are looking to get in. I caught the biggest pack rat I think I’d ever seen on my porch a few nights ago and he put up a fight even with his head stuck in the trap.
Apparently, we now had one in our office that both my wife and daughter saw. They either just left to go buy some rat traps or gasoline - to burn the place to the ground...
So it’s Wednesday and the girls are freaking out about this giant rat when I saw something out of the corner of my eye. I think the rat was now in my office.
This rat looked pretty mangy and moved kind of slow for a rat, so I got up and followed him down the hallway and into the kids’ play room. That’s when I realized, he wasn’t a rat at all. He was a baby opossum!

KWIBS - From  October 18, 2021 - By Kevin Noland

Great work President Biden!
Inflation was up 5.4% over last year in September – the highest rate in 13 years. Prices rose 0.4% in Sept, up from 0.3% in August. Gas, food and goods continue to be key drivers of inflation. Used car prices fell slightly but remain 24% higher than last year. But that’s probably Trump’s fault, somehow.
Raise your hand if this is what you voted for when you filled in the circle next to Biden-Harris names on the ballot.
Most troubling for me was during an interview this past week White House reporters questioned the matter and our President turned his back and walked away ending the press conference.
Good for Biden, things are about to get even worse. The world's delicate supply chains are under extreme stress.
The "weakest link" may be the shortage of truck drivers — an issue that has contributed to congestion at ports and caused gas stations to run dry.
We’ve also become energy dependent again. We bow to OPEC instead of using our natural resources. We close down our supply pipelines and give our blessings to Russia to put in their own and we wonder why things are gloomy?
I didn’t start out a Trump fan, but I would take him and his nasty Tweets every day of the week over watching staged press conferences where our president insists that we can’t control our own bodies, unless it is for the purpose of aborting a child.
My rant is done, for now, but surely I’m not the only one that feels this way. Darn, ran out of space to talk about the border crisis..... Have a great week!

KWIBS - From  October 11, 2021 - By Kevin Noland

So I tried desperately not to draw attention to the fact that my birthday was last Monday.
I stopped posts from appearing (unless tagged) on my Facebook page and took the day off to actually do some work around the house. We cleaned out three garages over the weekend and we took our jetskis out of the water and took them to Wichita for service.
Since my friends couldn’t post on Facebook, they called me instead. One particular friend said, “Did you know you broke Facebook today?”
I had no idea what he was talking about.
Facebook experienced another outage. I love that!
The outage started just before noon ET and took nearly six hours before it was resolved. This is the worst outage for Facebook since a 2019 incident took its site offline for more than 24 hours, as the downtime hit hardest on the small businesses and creators who rely on these services for their income.
You know what doesn’t experience an outage? Your newspaper. We work tirelessly to print your news, sometimes to my frustration, everyone is their own reporter now and wants to make sure it’s on facebook. Well, you just can’t always rely on the digital world, but for 300 years, newspapers keep you informed, but it takes a partnership with our readers to stay alive. Small town newspapers have taken a beating since the conception of social media, but we keep chugging along. Remember that post from 2004 about your daughter’s game? Neither do we because it’s gone......

KWIBS - From  October 4, 2021 - By Kevin Noland

Another Peace Treaty is in the books!
The past Monday I went to roll out of bed and realized every bone in my body hurt.
After working the week before Peace Treaty and then being on my feet for as long as 24 hours on one of those days, my body said, “Hey Kevin, let’s just lay back down for a while!”
Who’s going to argue with that recommendation?
So that’s what I did, until about 11 a.m. and then I was loading up trailers and working on mowers at the ranch. By 3:30 p.m. it was 100 degrees and even after a 32 oz. iced tea, I was ready for another nap.
So again, that’s what I did!
Tuesday started out better. I put most things away that I had dragged out for Peace Treaty. For some reason, I decided to put about 500 lbs of chain in my truck that all had to be hung back up in the shed, so by noon I was a dripping, sweaty mess with a sore back and ribs and had a window to go get my back worked on before I was to meet 4 semis with 100 tons of rock to spread with my grader.
My trip to get my back worked on was met with hitting something in the highway near Kingman and poking a hole in my tire that was leaking at an alarming rate. No one in Kingman could fix it, or had a tire to replace it. I tried in Goddard to the same results and I finally hit a car parts place that had one of those plug kits. That’s how I made it home, but it’s by no means a professional patch job.
I made it back just as the semis were turning onto the ranch. I fired up the grader and was done in about another 4 hours. So for now, life is back to somewhat normal. I hope it is for many of you after such an amazing weekend!

KWIBS - From  September 27, 2021 - By Kevin Noland

Happy Birthday Bree!
My daughter turns another page on the calendar of life on Sunday.
She’s had a pretty amazing year and blessed us with #6 grandchild Ensley!
Growing up out in the country, she spent her early years riding dirt bikes and go karts, going jetskiing, swimming and boating at the lake. She is our first child to bring another generation of kids to the ranch and lake to play, which makes our hearts happy!
So, Happy Birthday to my first kid!
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Peace Treaty is wrapped up by the time you’ve read this. We call this week the “Peace Treaty Hangover.” Not that anyone actually drank too much, the whole town is just exhausted. Now the work starts putting everything away, finding out how things went financially, what events did well and what events need work. I can tell you that after nearly 30 years involvement with Peace Treaty, no other board has worked so hard to make such a successful event.
With that in mind, THANK YOU for coming, donating your time, energy and talents, for forgiving us where we had short staff or maybe not the answers you were looking for. We did our very best. The board handled the event with so much professionalism. I have thanked each of them personally, but in the coming weeks, I will be naming names! One great team we had was The City of Medicine Lodge Crew. You guys rocked it!
Our hope is, that you enjoyed your time and that more and more people will step up to help keep this event alive in our community. I can’t tell you how many people volunteered, but it was well over 1,000 in one way or another who did donate materials, machinery, money and time and you are all appreciated!

KWIBS - From  September 20, 2021 - By Kevin Noland

This letter is one I wrote for the program of the upcoming Peace Treaty. I didn’t even know I had to write one until I was on my way home from Wichita last week, so I read Rick Swayden’s letter from 2018. It was powerful and professional. I had already started my column for this week and grabbed my notes off of my phone. I’m not scooping the program, but since I’m both president and publisher, naturally, this was on my mind this week.
I thought long and hard how to relay my thoughts and after many back-space, replace and more deletes, I hope I did the president’s letter justice.
This year’s pageant and commemoration of the signing of the treaty of the 5 tribes of the plains and the U.S. government could not happen without the hard work put in by so many people.
I’d like to thank our board and chair people who have dedicated their talents, time and sometimes sanity, to continue this event.
I’d also like to thank our Native American friends who have blessed us in so many ways and taught us the value of their history and customs. They graciously come to Peace Treaty which, wasn’t really peace at all, but a change to their way of life forever.
The treaty of 1867 represents promises made and promises broken.
Our board acknowledges that there was a great deal of misery during this time in history.
“History is Written by Victors.” The quote gets attributed to Winston Churchill, but its origins are unknown. It implies that history is not grounded in facts, rather it's the winners' interpretation of them that prevails. It’s narratives continued influencing many opinions, even being reinforced by Hollywood Westerns.
As a kid, I still remember playing Cowboys and Indians, not Explorers, Expansionists and Natives. It is a new era and we believe we have made great strides over the past decades to honor the Native American participants. We are so excited about the new Powwow Arena at Memorial Peace Park. Credit for this amazing structure goes to the David Colborn family, his committee, those who donated their labor and materials, our fantastic sponsors and volunteers. We hope it will become a place for families of the descendants of the five tribes of the plains to fellowship, dance and to keep their traditions alive on the very grounds their ancestors danced on more than 150 years ago.
You’ll look around and see many improvements that have been made around town and at Memorial Peace Park. These improvements have all been the fruits of money raised by our sponsors and the hard work of so many people. Those names are scattered throughout the program and I’m sure we may have missed a few, but please know how much we appreciate your continued support.
To every board member, chair person, volunteer, the hundreds of participants in the pageant, the powwow participants and head staff, night show actors and dancers, our local museums, craft fair and food vendors, the contestants in the Kansas Championship Ranch Rodeo, its staff and chair-people, the judges and assistants, and our Bulls and Broncs riders, I want to personally thank you for being here and for all you do.
I especially want to thank YOU for attending the 26th reenactment of the signing of the Treaty Of Medicine Lodge and the more than 300 years of history it represents.
We do this with humble hearts and thoughtful consideration to accurately represent our community’s rich history. With that in mind, expect some extra “bangs” and some corny moments during the weekend.
We are glad you are here. Whether it’s your first Peace Treaty or one of many, welcome to Medicine Lodge and Barber County!
Kevin Noland, Publisher
MLPTA President

KWIBS - From  September 13, 2021 - By Kevin Noland

Can you feel the excitement building?
Medicine Lodge will once again commemorate the signing of the Treaty with the 5 Tribes of the Plains in just under two weeks!
A LOT of work has gone into this year’s event, possibly more than any other year. There are so many new things to experience, you will want to bring your family for three days of food, rodeos, kids attractions, street dances, the night show reencactments, a brand new Powwow Arena at Memorial Peace Park, wagon rides, parades, a craftfair, muzzle loaders encampments, the Stockade and Carry Nation Home will be packed with events, alumni tent, helicopter rides, a sky diver into Saturday’s parade (weather permitting) and all we need is you, your family and friends!
I can’t even begin to tell you how much has gone into this year’s pageant and festival. Everything at Memorial Peace Park has been transformed into something amazing. If you haven’t been out to see the improvements, go see for yourself.
To stop any rumors, things are still happening on Main Street. The only differences are moving the Powwow to Memorial Peace Park and on Friday night, when the street dance will be held at the rodeo grounds.
We’ve also made this a value added event. For adults - all three days of as many events as you want to take in costs only $35 for a bracelet, children 7-17 pay $15 for a bracelet and children 6 and younger are free!
I just went to www.peacetreaty.org and got my tickets! You should do the same!
Have a great week!

KWIBS - From  September 6, 2021 - By Kevin Noland

The greatest travesty about our recent removal of troops in Afghanistan is giving a country 20 years of freedom and then just taking it away.
According to our government, in the early days of the evacuation effort, thousands of Afghans crowded Kabul’s airport seeking a way to flee the country. Some made it through without paperwork, while American citizens and visa applicants were unable to enter.
While hundreds of Americans are still trapped inside the Taliban ruled nation, the majority of interpreters and other U.S. Visa applicants were left behind.
In July - among other things the US military left were tens of thousands of bottles of water and energy drinks, as well as meals ready-to-eat, or MREs, the AP reported. There were also some personal items, like a guitar. You wouldn’t want to be caught with that. Troops left thousands of civilian vehicles, including many that no longer had keys, and hundreds of armored military vehicles, such as Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicles, or MRAPs, Over 200 winged and helicopter aircraft US forces also left ammunition and weaponry, though most of the heavy weapons were taken by the departing troops or destroyed, the AP has reported, but I don’t believe that. The Pentagon acknowledged that some vehicles were left, but denied that weapons had been left behind. We know now that we did in fact leave enough equipment behind to make the Taliban in the top 85% of an armed country. We’re being told that the majority of the weapons will never function again, but I’m not so sure.
 

KWIBS - From  August 30, 2021 - By Kevin Noland

As September 11 grows nearer, our thoughts should now be with the survivors, the victims’ families, our military and now, more than ever the Afghan people.
Over the past 20 years the mission has never been extremely clear, other than we did not ever want to leave a safe haven for terrorists in Afghanistan. We never wanted to see another 9/11.
I have several friends and family who have served in Afghanistan. I’ve visited with almost all of them about how they feel about our exit and all of them are feeling a sense of remorse, confusion about why we are doing it the way we are and most importantly, they worry about those they left behind.
One particular friend worked with translators. He first volunteered to go there just months after our country was attacked. He was the first person I called after seeing our withdraw going badly. Most of his translators eventually ended up in the United States and have become citizens. Sadly, most of them had family left behind that are now in extreme danger from the Taliban. There was one translator that he was in communication with up until last week. His fate is unknown.
Under our protection and leadership, Afghanistan moved forward 2,000 years. We spent billions of dollars, lost high tech equipment and lost thousands of American lives, for what?
That’s the question that should haunt us. Yes, we needed to end that war and occupation, but the humanitarian crisis we leave behind will endure. Pray for Afghanistan and Americans who have been stranded there. Pray for wisdom for our leaders to do what is necessary to secure their safety and bring them home. Pray for those who now have to live under the Taliban. God forgive us for not leaving in a way that secured the freedoms that we brought their country.

KWIBS - From  August 23, 2021 - By Kevin Noland

I think almost half the county got hair cuts last week.
Every kid around seemed so well groomed and then I remembered - school was about to start.
I remember the days when the all important hair cut set the tone for the new school year. Just before leaving for school, your parents drag you out on the front porch so they can take your pictures for your first day of school.
It always felt like a hostage situation for me, likewise for my kids. They all hated the “first day of school” photo.
Several years ago, many of our friends were posting photos of their kids’ first day photos. Ronda and I decided to take a picture of the two of us holding a bottle of wine with a caption that read, “First day of no more kids in school!”
It got both cheers and sneers.
All of the county’s parents let out a collective cheer this week when their kids started school. I’m hoping it’s the best year of school for all of them.
Many kids, including my neice, didn’t get that perfect prom or graduation last year because of COVID restrictions. Although many adjusted well, many fell behind and being back in the classroom is the only real way they will learn.
If you are a teacher or staff member of our school districts, you are heroes to hundreds of parents, and grandparents, I might add.
Thank you for caring for the little ones and for teaching them to be, not just book smart, but kind, caring and good people.
Have a great school year!

KWIBS - From  August 16, 2021 - By Kevin Noland

So, I rarely ever cheer for cooler weather, but this past week has had me rethinking.
Jumping into my truck Tuesday afternoon, my thermometer flashed 111 degrees. It eventually dropped to 103 as I was driving towards Pratt to pick up parts for a mower.
I noticed I wasn’t getting cool even though I had the a/c down to 60 degrees and my air conditioned seats were on full blast.
I’d been hot all day. I got up early and was putting a new belt on one of our mowers and at one point water began dripping from my forehead. Then I could feel it running down my back, and before I knew it, I was drenched in sweat.
It seemed to never let up and my lack of a/c in my truck left me in a constant state of dampness.
Don’t pity me though. I drove past countless farmers, ranchers and oil field guys doing their work in the heat of the day. These are the heroes that keep our lights on and food on the table. I’m just a guy who was trying to make sure we could cut the grass.
I thought about how hard they work and how easy most of us have it inside in the a/c. I usually get to work inside Wednesday and Thursday all day and Friday morning. The rest of the time, I’m working at the ranch. Luckily, the tractors have a/c. It’s not great, but it’s better than nothing.
One trick that I’ve found to work, is to take a dishcloth or hand cloth and keep it in a cooler of ice water. Grab it and wrap it around your neck or head. When it dries out, rinse and repeat. Sounds old fashioned, but it works for me!

KWIBS - From  August 9, 2021 - By Kevin Noland

In our target market, there are 19 full and part time jobs being offered. Many of these jobs have been advertised for weeks on end.
Facebook is also flooded asking people to fill out applications. I would guess if you are a living, breathing human being wanting work, it’s out there for you. Many of these advertised positions are very good paying jobs.
We don’t have a job shortage. We have a worker shortage. We are not alone. Across the country you’ll see HELP WANTED signs everywhere.
It is true that a sliver of people would rather stay home for a few months making as much, or more, from unemployment than they would defrosting meat patties or answering phones.
It’s a concern shared by independent business owners worried that their efforts to bump wages and increase benefits aren’t luring in the workers they need as Covid-19 restrictions fall and consumer spending soars. We’re seeing that same trend in Barber County as sales tax figures show spending is up.
But we’re not filling jobs.
Good things are happening here on the economic front, but without skilled workers, we may find ourselves in a pickle.
If we do attract workers we boost our own economy in so many ways: Properties are purchased or rented; our schools’ enrollments increase; sales tax is generated from local purchases and our local hospitals see more patients.
The U.S. Census Bureau’s Household Pulse Survey, finds that roughly 10 million people who rely on jobless benefits will lose them on Sept. 6. And another 10 million will see those benefits drop by $300 per week if Congress allows the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation program to expire.
I say, let it expire. Get people back to work.

KWIBS - From  August 2, 2021 - By Kevin Noland

Ronda and I were spending our last day in Denver after our son and daughter-in-law’s wedding when we met an interesting young lady who works for the “Denverite” as a free-lance columnist and writer.
I heard her ask the bar tender where the women’s bathroom was and I said, “Follow me,” which is kind of a weird way to start a conversation, but Ronda had just gone there and I was on my way to her after tabbing out.
Since we were both in the business of journalism, we struck up a conversation and I quickly learned she was very liberal in her thoughts and writing. I had no problem with this and actually enjoyed the lively conversations. She also seemed to enjoy meeting a conservative to ask questions of.
“Rebecca” mostly worked on stories that involved gun violence. Even though she is only 23, she has travelled the world and was quite intellectual. She was quite surprised that I am a licensed Surety Agent and Bail Enforcement Officer in Kansas. She had recently reported on police reforms in Denver and the rising use of fire arms by both law enforcement and criminals.
Bail reform was a high priority for her. I shared statistically how catch and release programs are leading to higher crime rates in many cities across the country. Even crimes involving felons with weapons were being released on no bail situations.
At that point in our conversation she asked me how many guns I owned and I was honest with her. My answer surprised her and she asked, “why so many? You can’t possibly shoot all of those or need them to protect yourself.”
I asked her, “how many pairs of shoes do you own?”
She smiled and knew exactly where the conversation was heading.
Her investigative reporting uncovered at least five fatal shootings since May by Denver Police Officers. More than 25 officers were either suspended or on desk duty while investigations continue. George Floyd protests last summer stirred “mostly” peaceful protests in her city. Although an oversight citizen driven committee was formed, it had no leader and gun crime was still on the rise.
Our subject later turned to the legalization of recreational marijuana in Colorado and how it had affected Denver’s homeless population. On almost every street corner you find a dispensary and at least one person holding a sign that reads, “Need money for weed.” Some were at least trying to play a musical instrument and take tips, but most just wanted free weed!
A friend of mine recently moved back from Colorado to Kansas because of the liberal policies that are overwhelming the state’s resources and the rise in crime.
Near an art district in downtown Denver also shares a location of a make shift homeless city that was once a beautiful park. Tarps, tents and trash littered the streets just within sight of nice restaurants and bars. In speaking with a bellhop at our hotel, he warned us not to go past the block to our east. He said just the day before there was a shooting and he frequently sees people having sex in the park, out in the open.
These things just blow my mind and make me so thankful that I live in a place that is usually peaceful, but we have our problems too. It was a pleasant conversation and I am a fan of her writing, even if I don’t share her views.
She probably has too many shoes and I probably have too many guns, but we did agree that we all have much work to do to unify us.
It was a step outside my comfort zone, but I’m glad I took it.
 

KWIBS - From  July 26, 2021 - By Kevin Noland

Ronda and I are big western TV fans. We both grew up on Bonanza and in our early marriage, we grew fond of the TV series “The Young Riders,” a show about the early years of the Pony Express. The show, fictional in story, but fairly accurate historically expresses the hardships of both the Native Americans and the Settlers looking for a better way of life.
I’ve know for years that I have ancestry linking to the Cherokee and Osage tribes.
I learned recently that my great-great-great-great grandmother Nancy Beaver, Weddle, Lewellen was full blood Cherokee. She married Alexander Weddle, “the half-breed” son of a white trader and an Osage Indian mother. Alexander was killed in battle during the Civil War leaving Nancy with three small children. (“half-breed” was how he referred to by his family.)
Backing up, The “Removal Act” of 1830 empowered the United States to forcibly relocate Indians from states wishing to do so, to the West of the Mississippi River. This lead to the “Trail of Tears.” During 1838-1839 4,000 men, women and children from a group of 15,000 died and were left on the trail as they were herded like live stock to Oklahoma where many later starved because no food was provided for them.
Nancy Beaver’s family (and others) escaped the “Trail of Tears,” fleeing into the wilderness where Nancy’s mother soon gave birth to Nancy somewhere in Georgia in 1832. They made their way to Chillocothe, Ohio area.
After Alexander’s death, Nancy remarried Alexander’s Army Commander; a man named Felix Lewellen. Felix’s wife had also died recently and he had children at home also. He moved Nancy and the girls to his home and they eventually married.
The war was hard on Felix, a native Virginian. Slavery was coming to an end in Virginia. So Felix picked up the family and his slaves and moved to Missouri, but shortly after that, Felix had a meltdown and was committed to the Asylum at Nevada, MO where he remained until his death.
Our family journals talk about Felix never getting over “losing” the war.
A newspaper article confirmed, “Anticipating greater troubles, Jacob Beaver (Nancy’s father) decided to move his family to Missouri to make a new home away from the white settlers. This decision spared the family the indignities and hardship of the force removal of the sourthern tribes by the government in 1837 on the “Trail of Tears.”
It would be another 30 years and dozens more treaties before the 5 tribes of the plains Indians would sign the 1867 Treaty of Medicine Lodge. Even this treaty did not end all wars and conflicts between the Native Americans and the Settlers.
We call our event “Peace Treaty.” Most everyone knows the beginnings of our “Peace Treaty.”
In 1926, the newly formed Medicine Lodge Indian Peace Council Treaty Memorial Association invited Kiowa Chief
I-See-O to Medicine Lodge to locate the exact spot of the signing of the 1867 Peace Treaty. I-See-O was 18 years old at the time of the Medicine Lodge Peace Council. He located the exact spot where the treaties were signed, one-fourth to one-half mile south of Medicine Lodge just below where the Medicine River and Elm Creek intersect. Thus began plans for the first ever Medicine Lodge Indian Peace Treaty Pageant.
Index Editor and Owner J.C. Hinshaw described the town’s excitement by saying, “As time nears, it is evident that everybody in Medicine Lodge and surrounding country will be afire with enthusiasm concerning the celebration.”
Presently, “celebration” isn’t a term we refer to when talking about our communities event and rich history. We do speak of our Native American friends, and in many cases, family, with the utmost respect for their culture and participation.
I’m sure it wasn’t always that way, but the boards I have served on for nearly 30 years have worked hard to repair relationships with those who were here before we were.
On Sept. 29, 1927, Editor Hinshaw printed the first ever Peace Treaty Special Edition. Though long before modern technology, Hinshaw managed to publish a 32 page edition and had to turn some advertisers away. There and then, he set a precedent that is still being followed today.
Have a great week!

KWIBS - From  July 19, 2021 - By Kevin Noland

So I did something out of character a few weeks ago.
I got a haircut.
To the average person, that’s just something they do, but for the majority of my life, I’ve had long hair, usually pulled back in a pony tail.
It’s never really been about a statement - having long hair. It’s actually because I was too lazy to go to the salon and get a hair cut. Maybe lazy isn’t the right word. Busy sounds better to me.
I had cut it off in my 30s for a period of time out of necessity. I had slid under a vehicle I was changing oil on and got my hair wrapped up in the creeper wheel. I was alone and stuck to the floor and my option was a pocket knife, so I sawed it off and then went and got it trimmed.
I grew it back.
A few years later it was long again and one summer I was riding the jetski and it was wet and tangled up and I couldn’t even get a brush through it, so I cut it off again, but this time I just used the hair clippers I was cutting my kids’ hair with.
I kept it short for about 10 years and then for Peace Treaty 2018, I grew it back out and put it back in a pony tail and that’s the way it was until 3 weeks ago.
Joey and Haley were about to be married and I wanted to look like a respectable grown up, so when Ronda slipped out of the office, so did I.... to the hair salon.
Aubrey Bolton was like, “Are you absolutely sure Ronda wants you to do this?”
I assured her it was fine and I left the office only telling Aimee that, “I was running an errand.”
Ronda came back and must have had some women’s intuition because we had ridden in together and my truck was here. She knew I hadn’t gone far because I’ve had a persistent back injury. She looked up and down the street until she saw Aubrey’s car and walked in and caught me.
Haley and Joey had already left for Colorado, so when I arrived, it was a surprise. I have to admit, it feels really good not to have to mess with it in the morning and I use a lot less shampoo!

KWIBS - From  July 12, 2021 - By Kevin Noland

A couple of weeks ago our entire family attended Joey and Haley’s wedding in Denver.
The venue was actually in Golden, but Ronda and I chose to stay at the Historic Brown Palace in downtown Denver at the suggestion of Steve and Suellen Bryan.
I can’t tell you how amazing this old building was.
I can’t tell you how weird Denver is.....
Please understand, that if you live in Denver, I mean no offense towards your city, but the traffic is horrible at about any time of day. Going 4.8 miles took us 45 minutes one evening.
Every time we got in the car, it was white knuckle driving. Ronda did all of the driving, as I injured my lower back about a week before we left. She was a trooper though. Between her and Siri, we found our way around, but the night before we left, we decided to just ditch the car in the parking garage and go on foot.
Within a block, we saw beautiful hotels and buildings, homeless people with signs that said, “need money for pot,” marijuana dispensaries and spas and oh, it was “Pride Week.”
Pride week is a celebration of the gay and LGBT community. I missed that on my calendar and I guess Medicine Lodge didn’t celebrate, but I don’t want to ramble about it and be seen as a bigot.
As we pulled out of Denver the next morning, we could smell the pot growing farms from inside our car at 75 mph going on I-70. When traffic thinned and the mountains were gone, it was just flat open roads. We both took a deep breath and realized that there’s no place like home.
I like my fish bowl in Barber County. I like the fact that when I leave work, I pass through 2 stop signs and I get to our ranch in about 10 minutes. Denver is weird, but I’m sure they think we are weird too!
 

KWIBS - From  July 5, 2021 - By Kevin Noland

Back in the early 1990s, we joined a cooperative to bring Internet to several rural communities across Kansas. I knew nothing about the Internet, accept that Al Gore had invented it and he must have known it was going to be big based on his projections about global warming and such, so we jumped in.
One thing I did was register multiple domain names, thinking they would be hot commodities one day. At one time I had like 20 “www” addresses floating around. I still have like 7 of them left and 8 email addresses, which is totally ridiculous, but trying to wean off of a couple, but I occasionally find that people are still sending me importing emails to them like, “Russian women want to meet you; Help is here for your ED problem; Health and Horoscopes; and Can you really carry 40 languages in your pocket?”
All these are mixed in with actual important things like legal publications and actual news content. Then there things I’ve set up like Amazon Prime, Netflix and Apple Music that are all on different accounts, why, I have no idea, so I’m helplessly trapped with multiple email accounts. I feel like Hillary Clinton, except, less sinister and I don’t smash my Blackberry with a hammer or have my hard drives wiped clean. I may want to consider that with the whole “Russian woman want to meet you” emails I get.
The days of people walking in the door with news has dwindled since email. That’s good and bad. I enjoy visiting with folks, but it’s also nice to have things emailed to you so you don’t have to retype it!
Having 7 email accounts means that I usually don’t get any actual work done until I filter through like 300 emails a day. I’ve gotten pretty fast at deleting the garbage that my spam filter misses, but I occasionally delete something I need, like my flight passes last Friday for our son’s wedding! Glad I took a screen shot before I hit delete!

KWIBS - From  June 28, 2021 - By Kevin Noland

Right about the time some of you are reading this, Ronda and I are traveling home from Denver.
Our last son was married off to Mrs. Haley Nicole (Gomes) Noland on Saturday, in what I can only imagine of this writing, to be the perfect wedding in Golden, CO.
Since we had to get the paper done so early, I full court pressed Aimee and her awesome writing skills. I rushed Ronda. I begged for things to come in early. I even stayed late at the office and graded roads at the ranch after dark with the headlights on.
Trying to predict how to do a newspaper in the future is no easy task. Of course, Joey and Haley gave us an entire year’s notice, but still, you just don’t know what will happen the week of a newspaper, and as my wife will tell you. We don’t miss deadlines unless we are dead....
One time I was in the Kansas Heart Hospital and Ronda was nervously waiting for me to recover from a stent surgery. She finally checked me out early. My cardiologist was not impressed and we had to sign a bunch of paperwork, but we made our deadline.
Rewinding from this planning stage, our original plan was to get the paper done on Thursday evening, get it to the press, get the online edition done, get the digital subscriptions done, postal reports, and all the other stuff you don’t really care about - you just want your paper!
So we sent our car out with Ronda’s dad to leave at the airport, Deb Kolb acted as Uber for us and took us to the airport and if all went well, we made our flight, got to Denver, checked into our hotel and drove to Highland Ranch for the rehearsal dinner, just in time to meet everyone before Saturday’s big day.
See how hard it is to write about something that hasn’t happened yet? It could end up being an entirely different column next week. I could be telling you we missed our flight, the dinner and drove a rental car all the way to Denver all night long.
The good news is, we have a new daughter-in-law and a happy son. Life is good.
Have a great week and a great 4th!

KWIBS - From  June 21, 2021 - By Kevin Noland

Well, this is the BIG week for my son Joey and his Fiance’ Haley. They are getting married in Golden, CO on Saturday.
Because of this, our office will be closed Thursday-Tuesday as most of our staff is family and we’ll all be making the Trek out there towards the end of the week.
Joey and Haley share the cutest love story, as I would tell it.
Joey had completed round one or two of FHSU and had gone back to work for the White’s family grocery stores. He came to Ronda and I after a year off of school and said he wanted to go back.
Joey admitted to his mother and I that although he wasn’t the greatest student in the world, he needed to go back and, in his words, “find a wife.”
Secretly, he had already picked one out, he just hadn’t told her yet. Joey and Haley had become friends after meeting in church.
They would “happen” to run into each other at the Church Coffee Shop on a regular basis where Haley volunteered some of her time working and Joey just loves a good cup of “Joe,” thus his name. (Yes, we named him after coffee and in honor of Jo Meador and my Grandpa Joe).
There was only one flaw in this soon-to-be fairy tale: Neither of them had the courage to tell the other one they liked each other in, “that way.”
This went on for an unseemly long time. We even gathered some family and friends and took Joey out to dinner to have pep talk to encourage him to tell the girl!!!
He finally did, and she felt the same. As of the next writing of KWIBS, we’ll have a new daughter, sister, aunt and Joey will have a wife and student debt to prove it!
As, I joke, I also am so blessed to know how these two will be an amazing couple who will bless Ronda and I with grandkids: 4 boys and 2 girls. Wait, that’s what I want, maybe not what they want!
Joey and Haley, I love you and I pray your marriage is as wonderful as ours. Congratulations!

KWIBS - From  June 14, 2021 - By Kevin Noland

June 17, 2021 marks our 33rd anniversary!
Not many can say they’ve been married 32 years when they got married at 18 and 19. I was just one month out of high school. We’ve been blessed with three children and, so far, 6 grandkids. Now in just two weeks, my oldest son will take the hand of his bride to be.
So what’s the secret to a successful marriage?
I would say, keep your mouth from outrunning your brain. That’s a joke. I would actually say, laugh a lot, love a lot more and remember Proverbs 5:18: May your fountain be blessed, and may you rejoice in the wife of your youth.
Ronda is not just my wife. She’s my best friend. We get to be together every day. It’s a fairy tale (at least for me!)
I am a blessed man. I love you, Ronda. Happy Anniversary!
 

Our engagement photo from 1988

 

KWIBS - From  June 7, 2021 - By Kevin Noland

30 years ago Ronda and I started The Gyp Hill Premiere in our living room and dining room of our 3 bedroom farm house.
Thank God we had two living rooms because one was set up as a print shop. Our basement had a darkroom set up.
There wasn’t a plan. I had just resigned from the Index two weeks before that to pursue our printing business, but a persuasive group of businessmen convinced us to start a local newspaper to the community.
So between the bank and a loan from Ronda’s Grandma, we knocked out the first actual edition in July of 1991. Through the years the original volumes and issues system failed us and we got off on our numbering, but who is counting? Well, we are. This is Volume 30, Issue 1 (probably closer to Volume 29, Issue 48).
Not many people get to say they were the youngest newspaper publishers in the State of Kansas’ history, but we were. I was 20 and Ronda was 21.
Over the years, I got my experience growing up in my grandpa’s, uncle’s and dad’s print shops. I was not interested in the newspaper business, instead I was a printing press operator.
I had actually had a lot of experience in all areas of newspaper and commercial printing. It wasn’t until 1990 that after my dad had moved away and sold the Index that I was thrust into the business unexpectedly.
Some of the people who helped us over the years that were behind the scenes were people like Coldwater Publisher Dennise Andersen; Kingman Publisher Bob McQuin, Protection Publisher Bob Greer, Kiowa Publisher Rex Zimmerman, Belle Plain News Publisher Sam Clester and camera and darkroom guru Dave Gerstner of Dave’s Pizza Oven in Coldwater. Later on Ellis Mayfield became our driver and still is to this day! He was 69 years old when he took the job!
Dave, Rex and Dennise are all that are left after 30 years. We’re thankful for these folks who helped us get to where we are today.
No other newspaper cares more about Barber County than we do. We are fully invested along side you and through medical conditions, births of children and grandchildren, inclement weather, break downs and lack of help. Not once did we not print a newspaper.
There were some really long days that faded into each other over the years when we were still doing dark room work.
As Aimee interviewed us, we reminisced about all the amazing people we’ve had working for us. My mom has been a typesetter and proofreader (a darn good one) for our entire life of The Gyp Hill Premiere.
Our friend and now Library Director Doris Sorg stuck it out for 17.5 years without killing me.
I think of the antics of hiding in trash cans and jumping out to scare her, or constantly blowing an air horn when she’d come into my office. I think about my cattle sorting stick that sits next to my desk, just waiting for people to miss deadlines and I go casually poke them and ask them to speed it up!
After doing all of that to her, Doris still gave me like a 3 month notice that she was moving on.
Then there was my friend Dave Fasgold who was almost always late and one day decided to show up to work wearing a 3 piece suit and holding a glass of wine in one hand and a brief case in the other at 11 a.m. on deadline day.
He also quietly would sneak into my office and blow a trombone in to the back of my head for kicks. Come to think of it. I should have fired that guy!
Practical jokes are a part of being in this office. Eric Larrison lent my father-in-law a life sized Trump cut out and he was famous for being in the bathroom with the light off waiting to surprise the next user. It was usually Ronda.
In 30 years of publishing the news in Barber County we’ve seen the good, the bad and the ugly, but our goal is to always show and report the good, cover the bad and report the ugly when it happens.
We look forward to many more years of service in Barber County and we thank our readership for staying with us and growing with us!
Have a great week!

KWIBS - From  May 31, 2021 - By Kevin Noland

If you are reading this on publication day, it’s Memorial Day.
This day of remembrance happens on the last Monday of May when we honor the men and women who died while serving the United States military. Interestingly, it was called Decoration Day as it originated following the Civil War and only became a federal holiday in 1971.
Many Americans observe Memorial Day by visiting cemeteries or memorials, holding family gatherings and participating in parades. Unofficially, it marks the beginning of the summer season, or in my case this past week: monsoon season.
We have three important summer holidays at Lake Arrowhead: Memorial Day, Independence Day and Labor Day. Every good day is a holiday at Lake Arrowhead. These are just the ones that I can usually count on: rain, equipment breaking down and me being exhausted the week of and after.
As predicted by the weather people, we had a 0-100% chance of me getting behind because of lack of cooperation by mother nature. She let me have it about 6 days in a row and, as anticipated, two of our three mowers decided they were having a holiday. I’m thinking of having a memorial service for at least one of them very soon.
The actual Memorial Day is a special day for us to remember our loved ones, those who served and those who did not, but are no longer with us.
It’s holiday to honor the service of men and women who have passed away. Thankfully, I have two veterans still in my life: My Son Nick and Father-In-Law Don Vick. My dad has passed away, but was also a Navy Veteran.
Nick recently completed 3.5 years of his 4 year service with the Navy on one of the most important islands captured by the Americans in WWII. 12,500 men and women died in the Battle for Okinawa. The Okinawa campaign lasted 82 days, ending on June 22, 1945 and witnessed some of the highest casualty rates of the war, across both combatants and civilians.
Never forget the sacrifice of so many throughout so much war.
 

KWIBS - From  May 24, 2021 - By Kevin Noland

Doctors in India have urged people not to smear themselves with cow poo in an effort to ward off coronavirus. Medical officials said there is no scientific evidence behind the practice and warned that it risks spreading other diseases.
In the western state of Gujarat, some people have turned to cow shelters to cover their bodies in cow dung and urine once a week, in the hope that it will boost their immunity or help them recover from the virus. Cows are considered sacred in India, with the animal a symbol of life and the earth in the Hindu faith. For centuries, Hindus have used cow dung to clean their homes and for prayer rituals, believing it has therapeutic and antiseptic properties.
As people wait for the poo and urine mixture on their bodies to dry, they hug or honor the cows at the shelter, and practice yoga to boost energy levels. The mixture is then washed off with milk or buttermilk.
This past week, I finally got around to teaching my granddaughter Baylee how to ride her little gas powered Yamaha 4 Wheeler. This very same motorbike was her mothers when she was about the same age. After sitting for years, I had to replace the seat and the carburetor and battery to get her to spin up. She runs like a finely tuned sewing machine and coming in at 80cc, it will actually take my butt up the hill!
After begging for hours to take the little 4 wheeler out of our yard, I gave in and we all took separate vehicles down to the shed. I worked on a lawn mower and Ronda watched the kids playing where our children used to play growing up near our farm house.
After a few minutes of racing through the pasture, Baylee came in to the shed crying. She had gone through a pretty fresh pile of cow patty that flicked up all over her green tennis shoes, legs and all over the freshly cleaned up 4 wheeler.
I got her calmed down and rinsed off and I told her, she no longer has to worry about coronavirus!

KWIBS - From  May 17, 2021 - By Kevin Noland

I love DIY projects and hacks found on YouTube.
For almost two years I’ve had an issue with a Honda engine that shuts itself off when it’s not perfectly level. It’s a silly thing to have when it’s on a spray rig on the back of a UTV. I have to get off and start it so many times after it stalls, that I had to replace the recoil on the motor. Which is another DIY story... gone bad, but I will get there.
So I look up how to bypass the low oil shut off on the GX160 and a nice young man, who posted a 7 minute video, explained how to unplug it. I seriously think he could have done it in about 30 seconds, but Honda had to throw a commercial in there and he really wanted that air time on simply unplugging or clipping the wire.
The recoil was a different story. Imagine breaking your rope to start your lawnmower and ordering one to replace it. You get the box and the pieces don’t look anything like what you just took off. What do you do? Well, you go to YouTube and type it “Honda GX160 Recoil Replacement.”
This dude’s part looked just like the one I took off, but the new one didn’t fit at all, even with a hammer. I fought it and fought it and then finally realized, I only needed the rope. So I pulled the rope out and put it on my old recoil. Then I realized I spent $40 for a piece of rope.
Everything seemed fine until I went out to Jeff Clarke’s to burn the next day and after my second stall, I pulled the rope, the engine started, but the rope didn’t go back in. That’s ok. I had a 10 mm wrench and popped it off to rewind it, but it was then that I discovered my spring had broken.
A couple of us tried unsuccessfully to take it apart, but ended up breaking 3 screwdrivers in the process.
So while in Wichita this week, I stopped where I bought it and asked for another one. They didn’t have it, but they had a display model and I convinced the guy to let me take it off. I even told him what wrench I needed. I got to the front counter and was charged $96!!! They told me that it was a Honda OEM price. By the way, it’s garbage and I will be lucky if it lasts me the rest of the season!

KWIBS - From  May 3, 2021 - By Kevin Noland

The struggle is real!
After having bail bonds classes last week, we jumped into our billing week. We also remembered it was the Graduating Senior Edition, which is nearly the most difficult paper to make for the entire year.
If not for the preparation work by Cheri Dohrmann at MLHS and Meagan Henry at SBHS, we’d never get this done! Thank you ladies for all your hard work in helping us recognize and congratulate the 2021 graduating classes in Barber County!
Since this is our 3rd year to cover South Barber, I’m getting to know the names of these future leaders from both the north and south parts of the county. I’m a firm believer that the old “line” does not exist for my generation. I have so many friends from all over the county, that I believe we are all friends and family.
Good things are happening all over the county. I hope this entices some of these graduates to consider coming home once they complete their secondary education choices. I read every single graduates’ profiles and we have impressive kids in this county.
Congratulations to the classes of 2021 and best wishes for your futures!
You’ll also notice that the Medicine Lodge Planning and Zoning Commission has approved Dr. Chacko’s micro-processing beef plant. This is a big win for Barber County and there are so many people that worked to see this to fruition. I attended the meeting and was surprised by the support given for this project, considering the first hearing was a disaster. I believe they have chosen the right spot and Dr. Chacko and his consultant Marcine Moldenhauer are a welcome addition to our community and we are very excited to see the plant being built, once the Medicine Lodge City Council approves it.
So expect big things in Barber County. Things are happening in Kiowa and in Medicine Lodge as well as all of the communities of our county that we call home!

KWIBS - From  April 19, 2021 - By Kevin Noland

It was almost exactly one year ago last week I attempted to run a chain saw through my left hand.
I was doing maintenance to all of our saws and weed eaters at the ranch in preparation for spring and I had set a pole saw on my tail gate and started it. As it was running (at full blast), I bent down to start another chain saw on the ground. As soon as it started I looked up to see that my pole saw was falling off the tail gate. It hit the ground and came towards my face.
Instinctively, I put my left hand up catching the spinning chain blade and swatting it to the side. I knew I was hurt almost instantly and made a tight fist that didn’t feel right. I called my wife to tell her I had an accident and was pretty sure I needed to go to the ER. I grabbed some clean shop rags and opened my fist. It was pretty awful. I could see my tendons and I was bleeding pretty badly, so I wrapped it up and started walking back towards our house, a 1/4 mile away. Ronda met me at the top of the hill from the shed and we called ahead to MLMH.
I ended up with 14 stitches and the nurses and the doctor on call did all they could to try and get me into a hand surgeon. Nobody would see me. The good news was - all my fingers were still attached. The bad news was - I couldn’t feel half my hand and could barely move my index finger and thumb.
Today, I still can’t feel the top side of my finger from the nail down. That finger still throbs and my thumb is still numb and tingly. I get shooting pain from nerves that were severed that go from the tip of my finger down my elbow. Thankfully, I have found a medication that decreases the effects of my accident.
Two weeks later, I took out my own stitches and did the best I could to clean up the scar tissue. It really looks pretty amazing and I might have missed my calling as a cosmetic hand surgeon. Nobody would want to use me because I have three tools: a chainsaw, a cuticle trimmer and tweezers. If you need anything beyond that, you’ll need to see a professional. In fact, just go see a professional.
I did finally get in to see a hand surgeon almost 8 weeks later due to COVID. The surgeon said, “I probably would have been able to do something more if you had gotten here sooner.”
I did remind him that his office cancelled two appointments. The doctor was impressed with me removing my own stitches.
His diagnosis was grim. He probably had a slim chance of fixing my issues, but even with that surgery, I would have been in a cast for 8 weeks minimum and had a 20% chance of it being successful . Since I sort of need to use that hand, I passed on the surgery.
Over the past year, I have had to learn to type again and make do with the three fingers that still do work. I can’t play my guitar and bass much anymore either becaues I can’t feel the strings and I push too hard or too softly.
Things like grabbing cups and touching things that vibrate are very uncomfortable. For example. I can’t put my left hand on top of the steering wheel while driving because the road vibration is painful. The mere sound of a chain saw or weed eater running sends me into a panic, yet there are so many areas that I need to clean up.
My son Nick sent me photos of a bunch of new items that Home Lumber is carrying. In the photo was a Milwaukee battery powered chain saw with an anti-vibration handle. Ronda’s new rule as of April 11, 2020 was, “Kevin is not allowed to use the chain saw anymore.”
So when I walked into Home Lumber on Tuesday, I asked to see the saw and surprisingly, my wife bought it for me. My hope is I can use it without much pain to clean up around the yard. I know I’m never going to go out and cut a pickup bed full of firewood again, but this is at least a start!
So I grabbed the manual when I got back to the office to learn about the new tool I had. Lots of safety reminders were scattered throughout the book and then this one photo caught my eye. In the picture below, it appears as though one dude is cutting down a tree and another guy, who obviously should not be there (I could tell by the circle with the slash through it), appears to be running and missing part of his right arm!



So, duh... don’t run near a guy who’s cutting down a tree or you could end up losing your right arm at the very least!
This safety tip brought to you by Captain Obvious, because I’m no one to give safety advice when using chain saws.

KWIBS - From  April 12, 2021 - By Kevin Noland

Most news media exists online these days, which is a shame. There's something beautiful about the experience of reading a print newspaper; the fresh ink on your fingers, the smell of newsprint, and of course, the occasional bizarre and (unintentionally) funny newspaper headlines.
Jay Leno used to do “Headlines” on Monday nights, back when late night was funny.
I love these!
- Forecasters call for weather on Monday
The folks at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette make no promises about Tuesday. Enjoy the weather on Monday while you have it because the rest of the week could contain no atmosphere whatsoever.
- Cows lose their jobs as milk prices drop
- Miracle cure kills fifth patient
- Man accused of killing lawyer receives a new attorney
- State population to double by 2040, babies to blame
Is it too late to stop this nefarious plot by babies? They may be small, but they're sneaky.
- Missippi's literacy program shows improvement
This supposed improvement doesn't include being able to correctly spell the state where they live.
- Breathing oxygen linked to staying alive
And in other news, eating, drinking and sleeping helps too.
- Bridge closure date: Thursday or October
Is this like when the cable company says, “we’ll be there between 8 a.m. - 4 p.m.?
- Most Earthquake Damage is Caused by Shaking
Well, that's weird, I thought most of the damage was caused by hurtful sarcasm. You know how mean-spirited earthquakes can be.
- Federal Agents Raid Gun Shop, Find Weapons
- Safety meeting ends in accident
Next time maybe you should have an accident meeting. It's the only way to keep people safe.
- Muddy Creek Problem: It's too muddy
Now if we could just harness the properties of the Medicine River....
- Murderer says detective ruined his reputation
He was a respected member of his community who occasionally murdered people until that meddling lawyer came along.
- Utah Poison Control Center reminds everyone not to take poison
Hold on, let's hear them out. Give us one good reason not to take poison and we'll consider it.
- Students Cook & Serve Grandparents
- Alton attorney accidentally sues himself
It almost renews your faith in our legal system, doesn't it?
- Museums full of history
That’s a great idea for a museum! We should put old stuff in there!
Have a great week!

KWIBS - From  April 5, 2021 - By Kevin Noland

“Biden dog poops on White House floor”
That was the headline I saw when I logged on Thursday morning.
Where are the cries for impeachment?
Do you rub the dog’s nose in it and throw him out on the lawn or the President’s?
It’s obvious he can’t handle the crap on the border, but now he can’t control crap in the White House.
The Bidens have two dogs - Major and Champ. President Biden’s dog Major on Monday afternoon bit another employee, who then required medical attention. That’s right, “another employee.”
The incident was the second time Major, a three-year-old German Shepherd, bit someone at the White House in less than a month. On March 8, Major sank his teeth into a Secret Service employee, who also required attention from the White House medical unit. Psaki referred to that incident as "minor."
I’m sure she’ll “circle back” to that.....
First Lady Jill Biden’s press secretary Michael de Rosa confirmed the "nip" in a statement to Fox News. "Major is still adjusting to his new surroundings and he nipped someone while on a walk. Out of an abundance of caution, the individual was seen by medics and then returned to work without injury."
Major did his biting on the White House South Lawn Monday and one of the two dogs did their business on the floor in the White House. CNN first reported the bite, adding that the employee worked for the National Park Service.
It’s unclear who did the pooping. It’s also unclear who had to clean up the mess.
It really doesn’t matter. Lots of crap is coming out of Washington these days. We just stepped in about $4 Trillion of new debt in less than Biden’s first 100 days in office. Our grandchildren will be cleaning up that mess. Get ready for a bunch of new taxes that will cause most of us to yell “Sh__!”
 

KWIBS - From  March 29, 2021 - By Kevin Noland

This past week saw an explosion of mass shootings across our country and is now creating a rehashed dialogue about gun control, assault rifle bans and new (more) laws.
I’m extremely pro 2nd amendment. So, if that upsets you, the number to cancel your subscription is 620-886-5654..... I hope you're open enough to have respect for differing opinions.
I began carrying as soon as Kansas allowed concealed carry. I’ve kept up on my license and have even gone further with additional fire arm training. It has been a strong “suggestion” by my parent company that as a bondsman, I do carry for my protection. I also carry special insurance to carry. My guns are registered and I hold a license from the Attorney General’s Office as a practicing Bail Enforcement Agent in Kansas.
In 2016 my son Nick had a Navy Deployment meeting and I had to meet my house arrest equipment supplier “Alex” in West Wichita. She and I met up in a parking lot. We parked our vehicles along side each other so I could move boxes from her car to my truck. Our doors were opened when I heard the sound of squealing tires on pavement.
I looked up to see a silver Chevy Silverado racing across the parking lot towards us. It stopped about 100 yards out and a young man jumped out and started sprinting towards us. Alex was already in her car and I told her to lock the doors. As the young man got closer, my hand went to my hip as his hand went down the front of his baggy pants.
I pulled my weapon. I drew down on him with my 9 mm and placed my hand on the trigger guard and yelled, “Stop! Put your hands where I can see them!”
The young man did stop. He took his hand out from in front of his pants and then turned and ran towards the silver truck, who was already backing up as well. What I did that day, was actually a crime. It is not legal to make a threat with a deadly weapon. However, I did not know what his plans were and I was ready to fire if I saw his weapon. I never did.
To this day, Alex and I do not know what his intentions were. I grabbed the rest of the equipment and told Alex I would follow her part way to her office to make sure she was ok.
Two things went through my mind that day. a) I could have shot and killed someone that day. I thank God that did not happen. b) I or Alex could have been shot or robbed that day. Thankfully that did not happen either.
I believe criminals or deranged assailants look for soft targets. They don’t want to be met with resistance. It has been my experience that when being met with force, making the playing field level, is something that can save lives and deters violence. Without a gun, my only option that day would have been to reason with this person. I’ve received “de-escalation training,” self defense and take down courses, taser training and several other law enforcement type education. None of it actually prepares you for what you will do. I was always taught that if you point a weapon at someone, you’d better have a good reason not to shoot, but if you do or don’t, be prepared to answer to the local law enforcement jurisdiction.
Law enforcement, and our legal system, is entirely reactive, not proactive. There is almost nothing law enforcement can do until a crime has been committed. There is very little the government can do to prevent gun crime because criminals don’t obey the laws already on the books and won’t obey new ones. The one person ultimately responsible for your safety is YOU. And if you’re an honest, law-abiding citizen and want to personally do something to protect yourself and reduce gun crime --- carry a gun.
Do I think everyone should carry a gun? Absolutely not. I have seen several people, who I would not let carry a stick, take the Kansas Concealed Carry Classes. That’s not my call though. That’s the class instructor or local sheriff’s job to determine.
When people are armed, they are referred to as citizens. When the government takes fire arms away, they become subjects. Our first and second amendments have been under attack for a long time. Without either of these rights, we do become subjects. I find it ironic that the government wants to take away these rights to protect ourselves, while busily writing legislation behind fencing and razor wire, all while being protected by people with guns.
And don’t even get me started on the ,”well, we don’t need military style weapons.” We don’t have military style weapons. It takes a special, higher license to even own such a weapon. The same bullet fires in a Remmington 223 deer rifle that is fired from an AR 15. Just because they look different, they function nearly the same way. In fact, the deer rifle is probably equipped with better optics and is more accurate in most cases.
There’s one thing that gun crime is strongly related to: crime. This is a fact that is true almost everywhere in the country, in a way that appears to be unconnected with each area’s gun laws, and Chicago is a prime example.
The city has some of the tightest gun-control laws in the country. Illinois as a whole is one of seven states to require a license to buy any gun, one of only five with mandatory waiting periods and was the last state to allow concealed carry. In addition, Cook County has an assault weapons ban and, until it was ruled unconstitutional, Chicago banned all handguns in city limits.
These laws haven’t slowed down gun crime, though. A large part of the reason why is because the laws traditionally associated with gun-control have relatively little direct effect on the issue of crime itself.
In the instance of the grocery store shooting in Boulder, CO last week, I wondered how many people inside that store were carrying a weapon? Colorado has a concealed carry permit law, but cities like Denver have banned conceal carry. The state of Colorado already has strict gun laws including Universal Background checks; Red Flag gun seizure laws, “Hi-Capacity” magazine bans and has received a passing gun-control grade from Gifford’s Courage.
God bless our law enforcement and first responders. Prayers go out to the victims’ families and friends and for the life that Officer Eric Talley gave in the line of duty.
Pray for our country to get a handle on crime and to be reasonable about gun laws.

KWIBS - From  March 22, 2021 - By Kevin Noland

Like most Americans, I have a pent up cabin fever that began about a year ago when COVID began shutting things down.
We are social people. We have friends all over the country and we enjoy getting time off to see them. We actually didn’t miss too many offers to travel last year, but I can tell you that traveling with COVID restrictions was not pleasant.
One such trip involved me and Ronda having to wear a mask for 9 hours straight, unless eating or drinking. We ate a lot and drank a lot on that flight.
I still get frustrated that you have to put a mask on to walk six feet to a table and then you can take your mask off when ordering food and drinks at the cigar bar in Wichita. Like the virus knows that you can only be infected or infect others when you’re standing, but not sitting. Who comes up with this science?
I got up to go to the bathroom, which was just a few feet from our table and a waitress said, “Sir, help keep our business open by wearing your mask.”
I told her my cigars and drinks orders, pointing at our full table, was what was helping to keep their business open. So like a good sheeple I put the mask on, opened the bathroom door, shut it and took it off.
There’s hope on the horizon! Many states are lifting restrictions now that vaccinations are happening and better treatments for the virus are coming out.
Cabin fever will do weird things to you, so will the time change (Daylight Savings Time). Wednesday night, Ronda opened the garage door to find me cleaning our old oven.
“It’s 11:30 p.m. What the heck are you doing out here,” she asked?
Well, I was cleaning it up and taking photos of it to put it on Facebook to sell it. I wasn’t tired, so there I was, in the garage, cleaning an oven. I had been in the garage almost all day, working on my kids’ and grandkids’ 4-wheelers and motorcycles. With spring just around the corner, they’ll all want to play on the “toys.”
With storms keeping me inside a lot this week, I just needed something to keep me from parking my ever growing behind in front of the TV watching garbage.
 

KWIBS - From  March 15, 2021 - By Kevin Noland

There are 26 bones in each foot. That's 52 bones in both feet, out of 206 total bones in your whole body, which is more than 25 percent. It may sound crazy at first, but think about it: Your feet support your weight and allow you to jump, run, and climb. Those bones and joints also allow your feet to absorb and release energy efficiently.
It’s also a fact that when you stub the tiniest of these bones, you’ll scream the loudest.
These days I wear a steel-toed work shoe. I am famous for dropping things on my feet or stubbing a toe, so now my closet is fully stocked with sneakers and boots that have steel toe protection. I hate being a spokesperson, but Skechers makes the most comfortable steel-toed shoes on the planet. Check them out.
Another random fact....
If you got into your car, turned on the ignition and drove up to the sky at 60 mph, it would take just one hour to get to outer space, according to astronomer Fred Hoyle. Of course, this is purely a theoretical, but it sure is fun to think about!
I’m pretty sure a road to outer space was part of the recent COVID-19 Stimulus package. $1.9 Trillion in relief spending is in motion for us to get a $1,400 stimulus check. The COVID-19 relief bill that has very little to do with the pandemic, and we all know it. Congress should admit as much.
This bill is a steaming pile of government handouts and special interest giveaways.
About the only COVID-19 relief that most Americans might need right now comes in a syringe. Once we hit a critical mass of immunity from vaccinations, and state and local governments lift economic lockdowns, the stimulus will happen without any help from Congress.
Using the pandemic as an excuse for a spending free-for-all when the country is $28 trillion in debt is beyond irresponsible. And trying to pass off this bloated list of politically motivated handouts as essential to America's public health is dishonest and cowardly.

KWIBS - From  March 8, 2021 - By Kevin Noland

The cancel culture is the new thing that makes me angry every time I turn on TV or read the news.
Over the last few weeks, there have been attempts to cancel Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head and now even removing Dr. Suess books.
Did anyone consider what The Potato Heads wanted? We’ve been shoving things in their butts for years and our concern is the Mr. and Mrs. in their name? Clearly, no one asked the Potato family what made them feel most uncomfortable.
If you think about it, The Potato Heads are the only toys you can change the parts on and make into whatever you want.
You want to cancel something? Cancel Legos. Or at least make them less painful when you step on them.
At the direction of President Biden, Read Across America totally left out Dr. Suess’s (Theodor Geisel’s) work. Shortly after that, an announcement came from the foundation of the Dr. Seuss Enterprise that 6 children’s books he wrote would be taken off the shelves because they depict insensitive and racial imagery.
Explaining the decision to stop the publication of the six books, the company said: 'These books portray people in ways that are hurtful and wrong.'
Let me call you a “waaaambulance.” Big babies...
In 'And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street,' an Asian person is portrayed wearing a conical hat, holding chopsticks, and eating from a bowl. 'If I Ran the Zoo' includes a drawing of two barefooted African men wearing what appear to be grass skirts with their hair tied above their heads. To think!?!
What the flip are we doing America? We’re tearing down monuments, rewriting our history (even trying to change our constitution), taking our kids’ toys away or trying to rearrange their anatomy and we are going to forever ruin the fun and crush the imagination of children for generations to come.
If you don’t like the book, don’t read it. If you don’t like the toy, don’t play with it, but stop shoving this garbage down our throats. I don’t like it and I hope you don’t either.

KWIBS - From  March 1, 2021 - By Kevin Noland

Is there any genre of humor more satisfying than a dad joke? I don’t think so. Because dad jokes aren’t like regular jokes. They’re multifaceted and complex. They’re funny because they’re so desperately uncool that you’re not even sure whether to laugh or grimace. Yup, a dad joke is loosely defined as a groaner so corny that you basically need to own a pair of white Sketcher sneakers, a cellphone belt clip, fanny pack and a coffee mug emblazoned with the phrase "World's Best Father" to actually find it funny.
My Grandson Kycen loves corny jokes and I love to print out pages for him to read. Usually, they are thought provoking jokes, but some are simple.
My Grandpa Joe was the king of Dad Jokes. He always had one. I’m pretty sure I get my sense of humor from him. So in his honor and for my grandson, I present to you these terrible Dad Jokes!
What rock group has four men that don’t sing? Mount Rushmore.
When I was a kid, my mother told me I could be anyone I wanted to be. Turns out, identity theft is a crime.
A guy goes to his doctor because he can see into the future. The doctor asks him, “How long have you suffered from that condition?” The guy tells him, “Since next Monday.”
What do sprinters eat before a race? Nothing, they fast!
What concert costs just 45 cents? 50 Cent featuring Nickelback!
What do you call a mac 'n' cheese that gets all up in your face? Too close for comfort food!
Why couldn't the bicycle stand up by itself? It was two tired!
Did you hear about the restaurant on the moon? Great food, no atmosphere!
Why do melons have weddings? Because they cantaloupe!
What happens when you go to the bathroom in France? European.
What's the difference between a poorly dressed man on a tricycle and a well-dressed man on a bicycle? Attire!
How many apples grow on a tree? All of them!
Did you hear the rumor about butter? Well, I'm not going to spread it!
Did you hear about the guy who invented Lifesavers? They say he made a mint!
Last night I had a dream that I weighed less than a thousandth of a gram. I was like, 0mg.
A cheese factory exploded in France. Da brie is everywhere!
Why did the old man fall in the well? Because he couldn't see that well!
What do you call a factory that sells passable products? A satisfactory!
Why did the invisible man turn down the job offer? He couldn't see himself doing it!
Want to hear a joke about construction? I'm still working on it!
I was really angry at my friend Mark for stealing my dictionary. I told him, “Mark, my words!”
How does Moses make his coffee? Hebrews it.
I’m starting a new dating service in Prague. It's called Czech-Mate.
I was just reminiscing about the beautiful herb garden I had when I was growing up.
Good thymes.
Do you know the last thing my grandfather said to me before he kicked the bucket?
“Grandson, watch how far I can kick this bucket.”
Have a great week!
 

KWIBS - From  February 22, 2021 - By Kevin Noland

Thank you Lord for warmer weather! And thank you Southern Pioneer Electric for doing all that you could to keep the lights on!
If you’re reading this, you survived one of the coldest snaps since 1971. I don’t think I remember that one, but I am sure I was double diapered.
My cousin Michelle and husband Jeff live in Fort Worth. They went several days without power and run Confederate Park Farms. Michelle is my biological cousin. She’s been riding and training horses and teaching equestrian riding for as long as I can remember.
This winter was especially hard on their operations, as they board many of their customers’ horses. They lost power for several days, wells froze and they had to haul in water and string up extension cords to keep things going.
Here in Kansas, things weren’t much different, except for the fact that we don’t have as many issues driving in snow and ice. Texans seem to lose their ability to drive when the roads get slick.
Our State did a great job in preparing and clearing roads off. I didn’t really have an excuse for not coming to town on Monday other than I didn’t want to take off my warm pajamas and go outside.
Our city crews also deserve a big thank you for keeping water going even when meters were freezing all over town. You all are awesome!
Those of you folks that do work out in this weather, my hat’s off to you, but only for a second or my bald spot gets cold. Seriously, our oil and gas people, delivery folks and our awesome power company deserve a round of applause for keeping things going in the most miserable conditions that I can remember in my life time.
Have a great and warmer week!

KWIBS - From  February 15, 2021 - By Kevin Noland

Ok, somebody shut the front door!
This has been an unprecedented week of cold weather we’ve had.
It’s been especially hard on farmers and ranchers trying to keep cattle fed and water from freezing.
I looked out my window Tuesday morning as I was doing paperwork and had a good view of my pond. At around 9:30 a.m. there were ducks on the pond. At 11:30 a.m. the entire 2 1/2 acre spring fed pond, was frozen over. The pond south of our house was also nearly frozen over.
This usually takes days to freeze over because of the volume of water that runs through them, but at 12 degrees, it only took a partial day.
The weekend was scheduled to bring even more snow, ice and cold air. I was not particularly pleased that I had to get out in it a couple of times. This chart explains Wind Chill and how long it takes to get frost bite in these temperatures.
 




Not only is it bitterly cold out, it’s also very dangerous. My wife fell twice this week on icy patches around town as she was running errands. I threatened to buy her a life alert button if she continued to fall. The lumber yard had completely run out of salt Tuesday morning.
Speaking of dangerous, Hypothermia (abnormally low body temperature) and frostbite are both dangerous conditions that can happen when a person is exposed to extremely cold temperatures. If you have to be outside, please consider:
What is hypothermia?
Hypothermia is caused by prolonged exposures to very cold temperatures. When exposed to cold temperatures, your body begins to lose heat faster than it’s produced. Lengthy exposures will eventually use up your body’s stored energy, which leads to lower body temperature.
Body temperature that is too low affects the brain, making the victim unable to think clearly or move well. This makes hypothermia especially dangerous, because a person may not know that it’s happening and won’t be able to do anything about it.
While hypothermia is most likely at very cold temperatures, it can occur even at cool temperatures (above 40°F) if a person becomes chilled from rain, sweat, or submersion in cold water.
What is frostbite?
Frostbite is a type of injury caused by freezing. It leads to a loss of feeling and color in the areas it affects, usually extremities such as the nose, ears, cheeks, chin, fingers, and toes. Frostbite can permanently damage the body, and severe cases can lead to amputation (removing the affected body part).
If you must be outside during the extreme cold, please bundle up and keep bare skin from being exposed to the wind and elements.
I hated to turn my light hearted column into a public service announcement, but this is really dangerous weather we are coming out of and I know some people think they are invincible, but please take precautions. Check on your family members and friends.
 

KWIBS - From  February 8, 2021 - By Kevin Noland

People are generally very friendly when I meet them on the road either coming to or from work each day.
The majority are the same people I see every day. Most of them have a feed truck and are off to tend to some hungry cattle. They almost always wave. I wave first many times too. It’s just a way of life in rural Kansas.
Wednesday was a particularly beautiful day for being the day after Groundhog Day. That stupid, giant rat says 6 more weeks of Winter, but he’s been wrong and dropped before, so if Punxsutawney Phil knows what’s good for him, he’ll stop leaning that direction.
But for a Wednesday in early February, people were REALLY friendly. Everybody had a big wave. I never even had the chance to return the wave in most cases. Then I stopped to talk to a buddy who was grabbing a bale with his grandson. As I was standing at his truck and looking at mine, I could see what the commotion was all about.
My work gloves were tossed on the dash in a way that it made it look like I was permanently giving the peace sign! That’s why everyone was waving.
I put it on facebook, where another friend jokingly suggested, “test your theory by reconfiguring the fingers.”
I’ll take the high road on this one and either leave the glove as it is, or just do a manual wave!
Have a great week!

KWIBS - From  February 1, 2021 - By Kevin Noland

Not many realize this, but COVID struck again, shutting down an annual event that is extremely important to our agriculture community.
The Bankers Award Winners’ Annual Banquet was cancelled due to the virus and potential spread.
We struggled with ideas to replace our edition dedicated to the award winners and decided an edition to honor agriculture would be appropriate.
In our tight knit communities, we seldom think or appreciate the people who put food on our tables. Only in recent years of observing and friending farmers and ranchers have I learned how important they are to our financial well being, not to mention what an incredibly hard job it is.
It’s not easy in today’s climate to make a living in this industry, but I admire those who stick it out and continue family traditions of taking care of the land, raising our crops and growing our beef, sheep, pigs, etc.
Every morning I wake up and hear cows mooing and it makes me happy. They aren’t even our cattle, but I know how hard my friend works to keep them fed and healthy. I also appreciate this same friend who takes care of fences, cattle guards and burning pastures each year.
I’m no where near being a farmer or rancher, but I sure appreciate the hard work it takes to be one.
That friend, by the way, is Flint Rucker. I could not ask for a better person to take care of our ranch. He treats it like it was his own and over the past several years has helped me and Ronda realize how much more we appreciate it.
We love the land of Barber County. We pray God’s blessing over the harvest and we honor those in the Agriculture Community.
Have a great week and thank a Farmer!

KWIBS - From  January 25, 2021 - By Kevin Noland

We’ve all lost someone we love - maybe a brother, mother or father.
Every year on 01-11, my grandson Kycen turns another year older and on that day when Kycen turned 3, my dad passed away in 2013 from a long battle with dementia.
Many of you remember my dad. He was the life of the party in most situations (if you know what I mean).
My dad, “Ronnie” grew up in Logan, KS and attended Phillips County Schools, later graduating high school from Kinsley, KS in 1964. He went on to college in Emporia, which he always told me he was not quite ready to do. Instead, he left school and joined the Navy in 1965, serving as a Sonar Technician. After he got out of the service, I was born in 1969. Shortly after that, my mom and my dad moved us to Kinsley where he helped my grandpa run the Mercury. My grandmother Ethelyn was very sick with cancer and died in 1972. After she passed, my mom and dad moved to Medicine Lodge to run the Index, one of several papers my Grandpa Bill owned and my Uncle Gary had managed until my dad came in to run it. So from 1972 to 1990, my dad was the local newspaperman.
That 18 years went by quickly. In 1990 he sold the Index. I worked there for just another year before I left and Ronda and I started the Gyp Hill Premiere in 1991.
To me, my dad’s long life as a publisher in Medicine Lodge seems like yesterday until I realize that in June, it will be 30 years that Ronda and I have been publishing the newspaper. Now we’re not just Medicine Lodge, but of Barber County. It’s a proud feeling, but like my dad and my uncle and my grandpa, it’s all I’ve really ever known how to do, besides being a bail bondsman. That’s another story.
Dad’s birthday came and went. I remembered on the day, then my sister sent me a picture of him and I and I relived some great days with him before he became too ill and eventually died.

KWIBS - From  January 18, 2021 - By Kevin Noland

In 50 years, long after COVID and whatever else the Chinese throw at us is gone, we’ll have some pretty odd archived newspaper photos to look through.
Each day I place photos in the paper, many in the photo are wearing masks. I don’t have a problem with wearing a mask (properly), but you can barely tell who are in the photos!
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This year will mark 30 years of The Gyp Hill Premiere being in publication. I remember working on the first copy in our living room at the farm house on our ranch. I had one thing that drove me more than anything. I always wanted our newspaper to be a place where people’s opinions were not censored. Now, we do have a letter policy, but in the 30 years we’ve been in business, I can only think of three letters we refused to print. The reasons were all different: 1) didn’t want to put their name to it. You can’t be a tough anonymous person. Own it or I won’t print it. 2) The information was just not relevant to our communities. 3) The information was liable and slanderous and they provided no truth to the contrary.
Our policy is on our website if you care to read it.
Since the beginnings of social media, our letters to the editor have fallen off. It’s so much easier to be a keyboard warrior online, that is, if you follow the tech giants’ rules.
On Monday, the social platform “Parler” was taken down from Amazon Servers and Apple Apps because they said it promoted and encouraged violent content.
I had only been a member for about three months and not once did I read something violent.
On Monday, I found more than 11 specific threats towards our government and the president on Facebook, but that’s ok.
Our first amendment rights are under attack and I am sure that it won’t be long before our second amendment rights are right behind them. I hope I’m wrong.
Have a great week!

KWIBS - From  January 11, 2021 - By Kevin Noland

How do you know for weeks that a massive amount of people are heading to Capital Hill and not be prepared for it?
First you start by simply shutting down everything in the community to anyone wanting to come in. No hotels or restaurants were open. Most businesses closed on January 6th in anticipation for a rally of Trump supporters during the counting of electoral votes.
Keep in mind the vast majority of people gathered peacefully. In fact, many of the trouble makers have been proven to be Antifa radicals. Sure, there were some bad apples there in the name of Trump, but I knew a lot of people who were there only to protest and assemble peacefully. They sent photos throughout the day. I heard singing in the background during a phone call. It was our National Anthem. Throughout the day
CNN reported, “Violent attacks by Trump supporters,” and “A dangerous and volatile situation caused by Trump radicals,” and “Insurrection.” One person was arrested for carrying an unlicensed gun and six people were charged with assault, including one for assaulting a police officer. No one ever asked or reported what party affiliation they were from, but even CNN’s footage of people inside the Capitol showed many people who didn’t have any “Trump” attire on. Some wore masks and there was obvious damage and at least one woman shot and died, why, we don’t yet know.
I never saw police cars being tipped over. I never saw buildings and vehicles set on fire. I never saw businesses being destroyed and looted.
I did see those things happening over the summer in Portland, Seattle, Los Angeles and New York. Police largely let these things happen under the orders of many city mayors. CNN reported that those protests were, “mostly peaceful,” as buildings were on fire in the background.
There was a lot of order in dispersing this crowd of supporters of the protest against counting the electoral votes. Did you see that happen over the summer during riots?
Many media outlets hold to their headlines that there was no voter fraud, yet you’ll see evidence long after Trump leaves office. I even know someone personally who is registered in Kansas, but flew to Arizona to vote. This person even bragged about how easy it was.
Would there have been a different result? I don’t know. I don’t even really care. What I do care about is election integrity. I saw enough and heard enough that I have my doubts about the fairness of this election and many others.
Elections are the basis of our republic. No matter what your party affiliation is, you should love the constitution and the process. A peaceful transfer of power has happened in this country for over 200 years. With any luck, we’ll last another 200 years.
I’m a registered Republican, but feel as though I am a Libertarian in my beliefs. The two party system is tearing apart our country, not to mention friendships and even families.
Although I’m not excited about a Biden-Harris administration, I will wait and see before I judge it. Some of the left’s ideas could break our fragile republic. I pray level heads prevail.
Have a great week!

KWIBS - From  January 4, 2021 - By Kevin Noland

What a wonderful Christmas. Thank you to all the family for all of the food that now requires me using all of those gift cards for looser fitting pants!
All of the gifts were so appreciated. I always tell my kids, “don’t buy me anything. Just take care of the kids. It’s about them and not about an old fart that doesn’t need anything.”
My kids went above and beyond this year. Each of them giving from the heart.
Friday we stood together and said grace. It was a time for us to honor the birth of Jesus. God became man. It was an amazing day.
To top it off, all of my NFL teams gave me several wins! Chiefs, Saints and Cowboys all won and are either easily in the playoffs or in the hunt.
It was hard coming back to work after so much time off, but I’m glad I did because my email was jammed up with a lot of things that needed to make this newspaper!
I ran across my “clean” funnies list that I subscribe to when I got in the office. It’s full of jokes sent in from pastors across the country. This poem cracked me up and I thought I would share it with you. The author is unknown (except for by Santa).

Twas the Night After Christmas

'Twas the night after Christmas and all through the trailer,
The beer had gone flat and the pizza was staler.
The tube socks hung empty, no candies or toys
And I was camped out on my old Lay-Z-Boy.

The kids they weren't talking to me or my wife,
The worst Christmas they said they'd had in their life.
My wife couldn't argue and neither could I,
So I watched TV and my wife, she just cried.

When out in the yard the dog started barkin',
I stood up and looked and I saw Sheriff Larkin.
He yelled, "Roy, I am sworn to uphold the laws
And I got a complaint here from a feller named Claus."

I said, "Claus, I don't know nobody named Claus,
And you ain't taking me in without probable cause."
Then the Sheriff, he said, "The man was shot at last night."
I said, "That might have been me, just what's he look like."

The Sheriff replied, "Well he's a jolly old feller, with a big beer gut belly,
That shakes when he laughs like a bowl full of jelly.
He sports a long beard, and a nose like a cherry."
I said, "Sheriff, that sounds like my wife's sister Sherri."

"It's no time for jokes, Roy" the Sheriff he said.
"The man I'm describing is dressed all in red.
I'm here for the truth now, it's time to come clean.
Tell me what you've done, tell me what you've seen."

Well I started to lie then I thought what the hell,
It wouldn't have been the first time I've spent New Years in jail.
I said, "Sheriff, it happened last night about ten,
And I thought that my wife had been drinking again."

When she walked in from work she was as white as a ghost.
I thought maybe she had seen one of them UFO's.
But she said that a bunch of deer had just flown over her head,
And stopped on the roof of our good neighbor Red.

Well, I ran outside to look and the sight made me shudder,
A freezer full of venison standing right on Red's gutter.
Well my hands were a shakin' as I grabbed up my gun,
When outta Red's chimney this feller did run.

And slung on his back was this bag overflowin'.
I thought he'd stolen Red's stuff while old Red was out bowling'.
So I yelled, "Drop, fat boy, hands in the air!"
But he went about his business like he hadn't a care.

So I popped a warning shot over his head.
Well he dropped that bag and jumped in that sled.
And as he flew off I heard him extort,
"That's assault with intent, Roy, I'll see ya in court."

So that gave me a chuckle and an idea. I thought I would share this photo and share a little poem of my own. I’m not real good at it, but if you know Miguel, then you know this might go right over his head.

The children gathered Christmas day to give from the heart.
A pair of socks for Miguel, sort of seemed kind of smart.

He slid them on with grace
With a smile on his face

The socks don’t lie, because to this day, no one has ever heard him fart!

 

KWIBS - From  December 14, 2020 - By Kevin Noland

A classmate of mine, his wife and my wife have made this strange tradition for the past few years that we attend an NFL game together around Christmas.
Nix White, a 1988 MLHS graduate and retired Navy Seal and his wife Wendy are our “travel buddies.”
Nix loves to see his name in The Gyp Hill Premiere!
In past trips, it started out in New Orleans. Then it moved to Kansas City and last year it was from Kansas City to New Orleans in 3 days.
Usually, our trips occur in mid-November, but for some reason, it’s falling right before Christmas this year, but I’m not complaining. Ronda and I both realize that when we get home, we’ll have just a small amount of time and a mountain of work to finish out the year and get things ready for Christmas, but we get to hang out with Nix and Wendy and we know there will be belly laughing, food and drinks involved.
This year, with COVID, we are just going to New Orleans, doing a little shopping and sight-seeing and taking in the Chiefs vs. Saints game on Sunday. This will be EPIC! Think about this: We will watch one of the youngest Superbowl Champs, play against one of the oldest, most respected Superbowl Champs. It is sports history in the making. Last year, Drew Brees broke the all time passing record for touchdowns while we were there.
And what did I say to him after the game?
“Hey, I was going to wear a sports coat and a tee shirt, but my wife said I would look stupid.”
That is exactly what Drew was wearing. We didn’t even call and coordinate that. My wife recovered quickly with, “Ya, but he can pull it off!”
Ronda and I feel pretty safe since we’ve been over the virus for about a month now. When you’re a retired Navy Seal, you just sneak up on the virus and kill it quietly and move on.
When Nix called and asked if we were up to it again, I was like, “Sure! Why not?!?”
The planning began and later this week, we’ll take another adventure with the Whites. These adventures date back to 1999 when we took our family to San Diego, traveled up the coast and took in Disney with our children.
We are excited to continue our adventures with Nix and Wendy!
Have a great week!

KWIBS - From  December 7, 2020 - By Kevin Noland

Many of you knew Mike Shinkle. Let me tell you, he was a great man.
Mike had passion for Jesus and he was unashamed to share it. In fact, if you met him even once, you were sure to get the Gospel!
I met Mike at the Christian Church when I was about 10 years old. He and I shared a strange talent. We could both speak Donald Duck.... fluently. We did a couple of skits together. When we did these discussions in Donald’s voice, it was almost a competition to see who could keep it up without cracking up first. I think Mike was the best at it. I’m pretty good, but he was a Donald Duck Jedi Master.
Everything about him made you want to laugh and smile. Mike and his family were a huge part of our early lives together. Mike and Kim weren’t just friends, they were family. They took care of our children and we took care of theirs.
We still talk about “Nanna Jana.” Jana was Mike and Kim’s first daughter and at the moment she was ready and her parents said it was ok, we took her everywhere. She was part big sister and part indentured servant! We took her on all of our family vacations. I remember taking her to both Disneys in Florida and in California within months of each other. During the day, we’d all go to the parks. Jana would help with the kids. At night, Ronda and I would leave Jana with the kids and go check out the night life.
In Medicine Lodge, the Shinkles watched our kids during the summers. They would beg to go to Mike and Kim’s house. There were board games, singing, laughing and a home full of love.
The last time I saw Mike was at Bob Christensen’s funeral. We both made the comment that it wasn’t the end and we would see Bob again one day. I hugged Mike so many times that day. He had been such a blessing for the 40 years I have known him.
Mike died the Friday after Thanksgiving from complications of COVID. It was a punch in the gut. All his friends are hurting, but also have hope, knowing we’ll see him again and get the best hug a person can get.

A man of God, on his hotrod. RIP my brother.

KWIBS - From  November 30, 2020 - By Kevin Noland

I’m never thankful about Thanksgiving falling on a Thursday.
Thursday is our deadline day, which means we either hump it up and get most of it done on Wednesday or we end up working a long Friday and Saturday.
It never seems fair.
I propose we make all holidays fall on a Monday! Nobody likes Mondays anyway. All of our holidays would then be three day weekends!
I’m a genius.
Moving on.....
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All of those wonderful things that were going to happen to us have happened! If you remember, I wrote in early October that Nick would be coming home from Okinawa. He’s home and has a new job at Home Lumber! It’s been fun to hear how surprised he is when he sees someone he hasn’t seen in 4 years. I think he’s really enjoying it and enjoying being a part of the community.
We had another grand baby! Right on time and as expected, Ensley made her perfect little appearance and making her the #6 grandchild. I hate bragging, but she is the most beautiful baby in the whole world.
Lastly, Joey became a home owner! The interesting part about this is that the home belonged to one of my classmates and his sister after their father passed away. The home has always been “The Fincher Home.” The first house you come to in the Forsyth’s Addition to the west. Brett and Joey made a deal this summer and with Joey becoming the new store manager and his fiance’ recently joining Citizens Bank of Kansas, this home will be the perfect home for them.
Thanks to Brett, I can once again get up in the morning with little to no clothing on and get a cup of coffee! Sadly, Haley’s coffee is pretty amazing. I’m sure she’s glad to have a place of their own!
Brett kindly wrote on Facebook, “Today was bittersweet. I finally sold my dad’s home. After 2.5 years of driving 3 hours almost every weekend to take care of it.. it was finally time. I’m beyond exhausted.... beyond words... but I also am proud of the owners that God brought forward. I’m excited for Joey Noland and his fiance’ Haley Gomes. What a great young couple moving into the Lodge. I hope this house gives you many memories like it did for my family. My dad was always proud of the “Fincher house “ at 101 Leslie for over 35 years . Good luck now to the new Noland house!”
I called Brett right after the closing. It was an emotional time for him. Brett and I went to school together from preschool to graduation. His dad was my friend and was always being a prankster.
We were in high school when Brett lived there. We shot pool in the basement and shared many good times with old ornery Ron Fincher.
I’m so happy for Joey and Haley and for Brett and Kim.
So even though I hate that Thanksgiving always falls on a Thursday, I’m thankful I get to stay late on Wednesday and write this column about my kids all growing up and doing great things.
In these days and times, it’s hard to find the good in the world. For me, I just look around me: Beautiful wife, children, grandchildren and family all around us.
I hope you and your family had a great Thanksgiving too.

KWIBS - From  November 23, 2020 - By Kevin Noland

I won’t mention the “C” word this week, but once again, it got in the way of life.
That life entered the world Monday morning at Pratt Regional Medical Center. Ensley Alaia Hernandez entered the world weighing 6 lbs. 9.5 oz.
We could not go in and see her, but that did not stop us from trying. Ronda had to make an “emergency” run to Pratt to bring our daughter a toothbrush and toothpaste. I was like eye rolling world champion that day.
She got there and got her temp taken and the lady stuck a sticker on her and pointed her towards the elevator. Ronda went to the 4th floor expecting to meet a nurse, but my son-in-law, carrying Ensley met her at the door and opened it.
Immediately alarms went off. Ronda handed him the bag of mouth products and ran out the door. We later heard that the Pratt Police Department and Sheriff’s Department responded to the alarm.
The best part was, I had to go to Pratt County following Ronda’s return, to bond out a defendant from jail. While there, I heard the story of the alarm going off at the hospital and said, “Oh, that was my wife. she’s now a fugitive from justice. What’s her bond amount?” lol,.....
No charges were filed against the grandma and I got a chance to be the weird grandpa. I showed up in the parking lot with binoculars and the kids held Ensley up to the window so I could see her.
Yes, I carry around binoculars. I’m a bondsman and bail enforcement agent. You wouldn’t believe the things I carry around in my truck.
Ensley and family came home Wednesday and I rushed over to stand in line to hold her. I was third in line.
When it was my turn, I snatched Ensley up in my arms. She got really rigid and then let out the biggest grunt and filled her diaper. She took her first dookie on her grandpa at her own house within ten minutes of coming home. Needless to say, the ladies worked on changing the diaper and I went back to work all smiles.
Have a great week!

KWIBS - From  November 16, 2020 - By Kevin Noland

Today, Ronda and I are celebrating our 6th grandchild!
By the time you are reading this, we hope and pray that our daughter Breeann had a successful C-Section and delivered a healthy baby girl! Ensley Alaia Hernandez and her mommy will be welcomed home by their five siblings Baylee, Ashley, Eric, Miguel and Kycen and daddy Miguel.
That reminds me: Christmas has just been cancelled. Just kidding, but I may be that grandpa who slips a $5 bill in an envelope for birthdays and Christmas if we keep reproducing!
The pressure is now on Nick and Natalie! Very soon the pressure will be on Joey and Haley. We could have a small army of grandchildren very soon. The first things this army will be equipped with are lawnmowers and weedeaters! Just kidding, but wow, that would be awesome.
Babies are cool and all, but I like them better when you don’t have to change their diapers anymore. I feel like I shouldn’t have to change anymore diapers. In fact, I’m probably closer to having my own diaper changed at this point in life.
I love the pre-talking, pre-walking stage. When they cry, give them back to their parents. When they start walking, you have to practically put a helmet on them, so it’s better they just roll around for a while. Crawling starts the scary phase. It’s just a matter of time before they are walking and then running. We used to call our youngest child Nicholas “Baby Scar Face” when he was little. That kid could fall into a pile of pillows and scratch his face all up.
Of course with COVID still lingering around, we can’t be there for the birth. That’s a new first for us. I’ll be glad for the day that I no longer have to write a column that includes the COVID word.
Have a great week!

KWIBS - From  November 9, 2020 - By Kevin Noland

I sat out of the game on the bench most of the last couple of weeks because of COVID.
Like many of you, Ronda and I came down with it within about 12 hours of each other.
I spent most of that time catching up on TV shows and flipping through pictures on my phone. Since we have iCloud, we have nearly 20,000 photos of the past 10 years floating around in cyberspace.
Remember the days when we would drag out the photo albums and slip those 4x6” pictures into plastic sleeves. Then we’d look at those until the binders wore off our photo albums? Those days seem to be gone now that we all carry phones in our pockets that have more memory than the first Apollo Mission Control had.
I stumbled across photos of concerts. Many, many concerts. Oh my God how I miss live concerts! COVID wrecked me seeing several shows this year including The Foo Fighters, Perfect Circle and Foreigner, amongst many more, I am sure.
One thing almost all of these photos had in common was this one guy in a shot with me. Steve Green has been a friend for over 20 years. We met back when our band used to play clubs in Wichita. He was a sound engineer and his crew did light and sound for several of our shows. Any time Ronda and I go to a concert, we almost always run into Steve and his wife Joni and take a photo.
I picked up the phone and called him. We chatted it up for almost an hour and then he called back a few days later just to check up on our recovery. It reminded me, no matter what our country may be going through, we’re going through it together. It was good to hear his voice and to talk about our favorite thing: music. Steve is still in a band and chances are you’ve seen them or met him. “Lucky People” has played Peace Treaty like three times now. Steve’s company “Eardrum Entertainment” does the sound for Peace Treaty’s Pageant and night show. He and his crew are good people and I was reminded of that just by flipping through my phone last week.
Stay healthy and have a great week!

KWIBS - From  November 2, 2020 - By Kevin Noland

An alarming number of Barber County residents learned they have contracted COVID-19 in the past several weeks. It’s gotten to the point that our County Commissioners and Public Health Officials have put a mask mandate into effect.
If you read it, you might have noticed the same thing I did. There’s no teeth to it. There are no fines or penalties for not wearing one. It’s basically a strong suggestion.
I, like many, have been exposed, more than once now, to someone with COVID-19.
A doctor explained it to me like this, “It’s not if you get COVID, it’s when you get COVID.”
That resonates with me. Although, I’m not one who likes to be told what to do, I am doing better at wearing a mask in the event I have been exposed - doing so is an attempt at not spreading to someone at high risk from the virus.
The same doctor told me, “80% of those who get COVID may never even have a symptom.”
That sounds comforting.
However, someone I know who had it recently said, “I’ve had worse hangovers than this.” Yet another good friend said, “I taught my children how to unlock my phone and call 911 because I thought I was going to die.”
His entire family came down with it. It was only their father did not suffer the worst symptoms, yet was at the highest risk.
It’s all very confusing. Doctors will tell you, they still don’t understand this disease, but they learn a little more every day. A treatment is out there, but you either have to be the President of the United States, or on your death bed, to get it. There is a man in Barber County who is getting that treatment and I pray he is doing well. Remember, people die of the flu too and we are also in that season.
I will say, when in doubt, wear a mask, especially if you are not feeling well. Now that it’s cold, it’s not as hard to do. Mine sort of helps keep my face warm.
I believe we will see a higher number of cases and that will happen because of increased testing. It does make me wonder why we haven’t been doing this for years with the flu. At some point, we’ll stop testing because everyone will have had it.
Stay healthy friends

KWIBS - From  October 26, 2020 - By Kevin Noland

COVID has robbed a lot of people of joy. I know of birthday parties cancelled, funerals that were only held with limited mourners, sporting events postponed, schools, graduations and classes cancelled. The list goes on and on.
My grandson is a straight A student. He was sent home after being in close contact with another student who tested positive. As of this writing, he and his buddy are both doing fine. With any luck, Kycen will dodge COVID and return to school on Wednesday.
Ronda and Joey’s birthdays are this week. We haven’t planned much, but I’m sure there will be the family dinner. In the past, we’ve all gone to Wichita to a movie or out to see a concert. It seems those days are in our past.
I love you two so much and wish you both a happy birthday.
I heard recently that the schools will be canceling the Veterans’ Day Program. I understand why, but I am also so crushed that we won’t be paying respect to our community’s heroes.
One of those heroes returned home Friday at 2 p.m. We gathered with our masks and waited for him to walk into the airport from the terminals. It didn’t feel like the welcome home I wished for him, but I am grateful that my son, Nick, is back.


 

Nick will tell you that he didn’t do anything that important in the four years that he served with the Navy and Marines. I admire his modesty, but he did great things. A three year overseas deployment is hard and the time did not go by quickly for any of us. I’m happy that he got to spend the last 15 months with his wife Natalie by his side.
My son Joey’s Fiance’, Haley Gomes, has moved to Medicine Lodge. They will tie the knot in Colorado in June. Her early arrival is also due to COVID. The business she worked for closed suddenly.
Lastly, this feels like an early Christmas letter, my daughter Breeann and her husband Miguel will be celebrating the arrival of their newest family member in just a few more weeks.
COVID may be stealing some joy, but if you look closely, you can find joy all around you. Don’t be afraid, be encouraged and be thankful for those around you. Isaiah 41:13
Stay healthy and have a great week!

KWIBS - From  October 19, 2020 - By Kevin Noland

What I hope to be the final chapter of the horrific events of July 21, 2018 has been written.
I did not get to attend the sentencing hearing for Ora Munger on Wednesday, but I did get to watch the proceedings via ZOOM.
I wished I could have been there in person. I commend our local Court Clerk Ann McNett and Judge Meisenhiemer for setting up and giving the community a chance to watch. The Judge was fair to Munger and I was impressed with how the sentencing went.
Gary and Emmajo Rucker’s daughter Jody Cushenbery asked the question, “Do you remember what you were doing on July 21, 2018?”
I gasped.
I remember exactly what I was doing. Ronda and I had finished up some yard work and had sat down at the patio of our lake house and marveled at how beautiful it was outside - not too warm, but just a great day to be outside and to be relaxing.
Little did we know of the evil that was occurring to our friends just a few miles south of us. Their granddaughter Leah called us that afternoon as we were lounging and told us that her dad and grandparents had been viciously attacked and beaten, but her dad had stopped by with a watermelon and wrestled the gun away from Ora Munger. She had little time to talk.
I called Flint’s phone, but got no answer. I called his wife Donna and she picked up.
She gave me a short recap of what had happened and told me that EMS and the hospital were checking everyone out and it looked like they would all be ok.
I was furious that someone would do this to anyone, especially the Rucker family. There couldn’t be nicer people in Barber County.
Flint came in my office the following Wednesday and carefully told me what happened over that two hour period. Some of it was so horrific, I never wrote about it.
For longer than two years, I covered this story. I’m glad that I may never have to type Munger’s name again. That this monster is going away for a long time and will never hurt another person or family.
My admiration for my friend Flint has never changed. He’s always been a hero to me. Flint is by definition a Christian man. He gets this from his loving parents who gave him and his brothers and sisters so much love. They live by their example and are some of the best people you could ever know.
God bless you all for what you went through and for the courage to continue to live with such incredible grace and mercy for a man who could have ended your lives.
I do absolutely remember what I was doing that day.

KWIBS - From  October 12, 2020 - By Kevin Noland

The following article comes from Jim Rowland, Barber County Economic Development.
WHY SHOP LOCAL?
You’ve seen the phrase and the commercials, and we even have a day dedicated to shop local but what does shop local really mean?
First and foremost, we keep sales tax dollars in OUR community. Sales taxes collected from local sales go toward streets, sidewalks, police, and all the things that make our community an appealing place to live and raise our families. When we travel to Wichita, Pratt or Alva to purchase products or services, we’re building that communities’ sidewalks and streets.
Next when we shop local, we invest in entrepreneurship. Creativity and entrepreneurship are the foundation of our local economy. If we want a sustainable economy, then we need to shop local. To shop local means more money stays in our community.
By encouraging entrepreneurs, our community becomes a destination. The more interesting and unique we become, the more we will attract visitors, guests and new neighbors. We are already blessed with an incredible natural landscape that draws many to the area. Visitgyphills.com was born out of that desire to draw folks into the best kept secret in Kansas.
Shop local means helping businesses that help the community. They’re the ones we go to repeatedly throughout the year asking for donations for every possible activity and group. They are our neighbors; they know us, and we know them. Let’s create an environment where we can give them honest feedback about products or services that we’d like to see, honest, constructive feedback when they fall short or praise when they exceed our expectations.
Lastly, to shop local means to create local jobs. Putting money in the pocket of local businesses means they are able to employ people from our community. Also remember that the sales taxes collected locally means jobs for essential local workers, think city/county employees that deliver services we desperately need to ensure a higher quality of life.
 

KWIBS - From  October 5, 2020 - By Kevin Noland

Extortion has certainly been used as a political tactic through out history, but never in America, until now.
We have been witnessing a very ugly attack on American traditional values and institutions in general, and Trump supporters in particular. Conservatives are routinely threatened and openly harassed in public by the radical left of the Democrat Party.
Joe Biden has said nothing to condemn this behavior until a few weeks ago when the polls began showing that people are getting fed up with it. He now claims that Donald Trump is the cause of all this unrest and that he, if elected, can stop it. Nice try Joe.
First of all, I don’t think that Biden can control this anarchists mob, that would take a strong law and order president. Second, I don’t think it’s Trump’s fault that these America-hating socialists are trying to stir-up racial strife as a way to overthrow our Constitutional form of government. He simply brings out the true character of these people for all to see, and it’s not pretty.
President Trump has done more to help blacks through criminal justice reform and job growth than Obama and Biden ever thought about doing, and more blacks are waking up to that fact.
Biden is telling people to vote for him if you want the violence to stop. That’s nothing short of extortion. I don’t know about you, but I don’t respond well to extortion and threats. I think I’ll vote for Trump.
 

KWIBS - From  September 28, 2020 - By Kevin Noland

Happy Birthday to my oldest child October 3rd!
Breeann, as her given name on her birth certificate states, prefers to be called “Bree.” So Bree is turning the calendar page on Saturday.
Many of you know, or maybe you don’t, Bree is expecting! A little girl will be delivered in November!
Another daughter should be delivered by the time this newspaper is in your hands. If all went as planned Natalie Noland left Japan Sunday (Saturday our time), dropped her husband Nick off in Seattle and made her way back to Kansas! Welcome home Natalie!
? ? ? ?
Let us all rejoice with prerecorded applause that the NFL is back on. At the same time, let us all roll our eyes when one of the players or an entire team protests our National Anthem.
It is so very weird to see little to no fans in the stadium. I read an article that producers are using three levels of prerecorded crowd response for effect at the games. We’ve turned the NFL into a sitcom. (Insert laughter here). Oh well, as of this writing my fantacy football team is 2-0. (Insert crowd roaring here).
Although some teams are permitting reduced capacity attendance at their stadium when the season starts on 10th September, the pre-recorded crowd noise is being made available to all NFL franchises to play on a continuous loop via their PA systems.
The league has, however, laid out strict guidelines around the use of the artificial crowd noise. In a memo issued to all teams, the NFL stipulates that any club attempting to manipulate the crowd noise will be subject to fines, suspensions or potential lost draft picks.
The audio must not be played at 70 decibels (dB), no higher or lower, and start from kick off. Noise levels will be monitored by the NFL throughout the game to ensure that crowd noise does not go above or below that level.
Going above could break some records for loudest stadiums (like the Browns’) in the NFL, but that would be cheating, like deflating a football.
? ? ? ?
In last week’s Premiere’s Board of Education article, we inadvertantly reported, with the pounding of the “0” key, that the cost of repairs and enhancements to area school facilities is estimated to be $23 billion! It should have read $23 million. I’m trying not to find this funny, but it sort of is. My father-in-law reported the meeting and was late turning it in. I take full credit for missing the extra “0s” causing some to consider packing up and leaving the county. Please don’t, it was just an error and we are extremely sorry!
? ? ? ?
while Joey is back in Medicine Lodge and the new manager of White’s Foodliner, it’s been fun to observe the ways he entertains himself when he’s not working. Mostly he sleeps! lol
The other night he was out in the front yard. My first thought was, “he’s out hitting golf balls over our pond,” a favorite pastime at our house.
I ran outside to grab a club only to find him digging around in my garage.
“Where’s your handsaw,” he asked?
I don’t normally give out that information to anyone, especially a tired family member, so I honestly told him that I didn’t have one. I really don’t...
I instead handed him a Millwaukee sawsall, the mother of all saws!
“What are you building,” I asked?
“A bow and arrow,” he said with a straight face.
My son is a YouTube, do-it-yourself, but leave the garage door open and tools left out for someone else to pick up, kind of guy.
Well, you know I couldn’t not help him, so we started sawing and splitting cedar for his bow.
Part of Joey’s job is to make promotional videos for his store. I can just see a customer now, with an apple on his head, Joey with his bow, taking steady aim. Wait. No. Don’t do that Joey.
It didn’t take long and I was bored with the project and suggested he just go online and buy a bow and arrow set. He was out until dark. I’m not sure how this is going to turn out.
Have a great week!
 

KWIBS - From  September 21, 2020 - By Kevin Noland

I read an article I wrote about Peace Treaty in 2003. That was 5 Peace Treaties ago.
In the article, I wrote about my buddy Nix coming from San Diego with his son. I remember we decked out a couple of Harley Davidsons to look like horses and we took our sons Nick and Zane, who were roughly the same age, through the three days of parades. It was a blast.
The kids would have been close to 4 or 5 at that time. They played together. They had met once before, but were just little bitty buddies on the beach of San Diego, CA.
Add 17 years and both our kids are now serving their country. Zane joined the Marines and Nick went into the Navy, just like Nix had done. Zane dreamed of being sent over seas and Nick dreamed of being state side during his duty. Neither got what they wanted. Nick ended up in Okinawa, 7,500 miles from home, and Zane ended up at Pendleton about 30 miles from his folks near San Diego. Nix and I have had a few laughs over that one.
This is the final KWIBS in 4 years of talking about Nick being overseas (Joscelyn Nittler has got to be thrilled)! Friday of this week (Thursday their time), Nick and Natalie Noland begin their journey home. It’s not as easy as just jumping on a plane and flying back. Nick has had endless hours of separation classes and will have to quarantine in Seattle when they arrive. Natalie will come on back to her family in Kansas and we can’t wait to see her. Nick will have an additional two weeks of classes and paper work to do before he can join his wife.
They both leave behind almost ALL of their belongings. Because Nick didn’t get his orders in time, he could not schedule the movers until three days after they will have left. Thank the Lord that they leave many friends behind in Okinawa to meet the movers after Nick and Natalie will already be home in the states. They will help the movers pack and load all of their belongings to arrive sometime..... who knows when?
There’s some pretty excited people ready to welcome them home!
 

KWIBS - From  September 14, 2020 - By Kevin Noland

I spent the better part of three weeks trying to replace a columnist who’s been making appearances in The Gyp Hill Premiere since 2006. Jason Offutt “Ended Transmission” last week with his final syndication. We grew to be friends and we will miss his whacky, practical sense of humor.
So I began searching and made calls to a few other syndications, but before I did, I ordered three of the spiciest tacos I’ve ever consumed from Cancun’s.
My daughter brought it back and I took bites between phone calls. It became apparent that these were the type of tacos that burn twice. If I have to explain it, you shouldn’t be reading my column.
After an urgent visit to the “little publisher’s room,” I discovered that my roof is still leaking. It is relaxing to listen to a gentle water fall while doing your business, but since it’s in the mechanic’s room near all of the electrical, I got my business done and got out of there. There’s a lot of ways a person checks out of this world and being electrocuted on the toilet is not even on my top ten list.
I broke my promise to not watch the news anymore last week. It was easy enough to keep that promise when I was getting up and going to work and not getting home until dark. Then winter showed up on Tuesday out of no where and what’s a person to do? When I did turn back on the TV, I discovered there are still two old men arguing about the presidency. One is funny and yet insulting, the other seems to be wandering around looking for his car keys that his family took away from him several years ago.
Oh, and there are riots over social injustices. Before I stopped watching TV it was racial injustice, but they must have figured out it was not just about one race. Good job TV people. Somebody tell the NBA.
Looks like COVID-19 will have a safe cure by early 2021, just after pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca on Tuesday put a hold on its experimental coronavirus vaccine study in America, after a participant in the United Kingdom faced an apparent serious adverse reaction.
I think I will go back to work outside and leave the TV off.
Have a great week!
 

KWIBS - From  September 7, 2020 - By Kevin Noland

Well, it’s officially September. Normally, I’m so excited about football, I can’t come up with anything to write about in my column, but this is a special month. This will be the last month you have to endure me talking about my Son Nick, who is in Okinawa (In case Joscelyn Nittler didn’t know - inside joke -). You know what to do Joscelyn....
I have to relive a few of my favorite conversations I had with Nick in the past 3.5 years of his deployment.
“Good Lord Dad. It’s hot here. I mean, you really don’t understand. It’s like you turn on the weather channel and the guy says, ‘looks like another day of swamp butt here on the island’.”
“We slept outside last nighy as part of our jungle training. Oh, did I mention it was during a typhoon? Me and Chap Jones moved to higher ground to try and stay dry and the Marines all slept in the mud. When I woke up, I was alone. Chaps was sleeping in his car.”
“Dad, I bought a soccer mom van for $500! It’s made of crushed beer cans and goes about 45 mph, which is like 200 kph or something like that.”
Later...
“We’re selling the soccer mom van for scrap. The scrap yard guy said he’d give us $500 for it. That saves me time crushing beer cans. Oh, and I got my money back out of it.”
“Natalie and I bought birds and named them Soko and Monga. We named them after our favorite bar.”
Later from Natalie...
“All I do all day long is clean up bird poop.”
Later from Nick...
“It’s been a rough day. We had to give the birds away before we come home. I’m pretty sad.”
Later that same day from Natalie...
“I don’t know what to do with all of my free time. Thank God Nick doesn’t fly around the house pooping on all the furniture.”
“Dad, I spent $30 on a Pokemon card that’s worth $1,200. I’m not sure if that’s American or Japanese money....”
I said, “Probably Monopoly money.”

KWIBS - From  August 31, 2020 - By Kevin Noland

The community was heartbroken to hear the news that Rex Bugbee had passed away Tuesday.
I had been following his accident and condition all week. It was just such a shock that the accident occurred one week after we had done a feature on the Pickup Man.
I struggled to remember the exact conversation I last had with him. It was about a week after the last Peace Treaty and he said something like, “So, are you ready to be the President of Peace Treaty?”
I answered him pretty honestly, “Well, not really. I have no idea what I’m doing, but I love this event and all the people who are in it.”
He went on to tell me, that all I had to do was love it and I’d figure it out.
Those were always the short types of conversations I would have when I’d see Rex around town. Short, but good.
Over the years, I shot dozens of pictures of him in Peace Treaty. He was in about half the Peace Treaty Pageant, riding, driving a team and helping in any way he could.
“Now, there’s a real cowboy,” I’d always say to myself. It was true. It wasn’t until recently that I realized Rex was in his early 60s and was still a Pickup Man. I’m barely in my 50s and I have trouble climbing in my truck, let alone getting on a horse, nearly daily, and doing the kind of work Rex did, but he loved it. He was a real cowboy. I only personally know a few like Rex that I could approach and visit with without feeling completely intimidated. I know there are a ton of them around Barber County. Guys like John Clarke and Flint Rucker come to mind.
This community lost a legend and hero on Tuesday. Everyone was pulling for him to recover and it appeared that he would for a while.
The Lord had other plans though and he went home Tuesday. I pray for peace for Teri, Josh, Jay and their families. I also pray that there are rodeos in Heaven and that the best Pickup Man just arrived on the scene. Rest in Peace Rex.

KWIBS - From  August 24, 2020 - By Kevin Noland

Speedy Morris
Speedy Morris was the basketball coach at LaSalle and they were having a pretty good season. One morning he was shaving and the phone rang. His wife answered it and called out to him that Sports Illustrated wanted to talk to him. Coach Morris was excited that his team was apparently about to receive national recognition in this famous sports magazine. As a matter of fact, he was so excited that he cut himself with his razor. Covered with blood and shaving lather and running downstairs to the phone, he tripped and fell down the stairs. Finally, bleeding and bruised, he crawled to the phone and breathlessly said, "Hello?"
The voice on the other end asked, "Is your name Speedy Morris?"
"Yes," he replied.
Then the voice continued, "Mr. Morris, for just seventy-five cents an issue, we can give you a one-year subscription to Sports Illustrated."
Which brings me to an actual story that happened last week. I got a call from “Audrey,” who is a producer for the History Channel’s “Pawn Stars.” Pawn Stars is set in Las Vegas, NV. Rick Harrison had taken an interest in an item that I had sent to the producer’s email about exactly one year ago.
“Hi Kevin, this is Audrey from Pawn Stars,” she said as I was driving down the road. My first thought was, which one of my friends is pranking me? She then reminded me of my 2019 email. “Rick Harrison would like you to come on the show with your item.”
We had made plans to go to Vegas for my 50th birthday with Derrick and Shanda Swinehart back in 2019. I thought it would be fun to visit the pawn shop and maybe try and get on the show, but I got no response, so we just went anyway.
So imagine my surprise when she called me and asked if I would be interested in traveling to Vegas for two days of filming. After several minutes on the phone, we negotiated a price for the item and then got down to travel arrangements. Due to COVID, the show is not flying people to Vegas, but instead reimbursing their mileage to drive there.
“That’s a 17 hour, 1,105 mile trip,” I told her. I did the math and I could fly for about $195. If I had the trime to drive it, I would be looking at $1,215.50. I don’t have time to drive it, so I politely told her the math doesn’t work and I wouldn’t be able to take off that much time.
“That not a problem,” Audrey said. “Rick said you could ship the item and we’d find someone to play your part on the show!” My jaw about hit the floor. Who would play me? I instantly thought Harrison Ford, Keanu Reeves, William Shatner (he might be too old). Then I thought. Well, what a load of crap that is. I thought this show was about people with interesting items that the shop wanted to feature from interesting people. I’m interesting! That’s what my wife says.
Plans are on hold for a moment while I decide if I am flying or driving. I’m definitely not having someone else play me, unless it’s Vin Diesel.....

KWIBS - From  August 17, 2020 - By Kevin Noland

I’m just going to leave this right here. Please don’t blow up my email with hate mail. I’m simply pointing out something that I read, found interesting and decided to pass it along for you to draw your own conclusion.
In the recent days, weeks and months, more advertising about wearing masks and #alonetogether is being shoved down my throat at every turn.

"If masks don't work, then why do surgeons wear them?"
A response to people who use the classic fallacious argument, "Well, if masks don't work, then why do surgeons wear them?"
By Jim Meehan, MD
I'm a surgeon that has performed over 10,000 surgical procedures wearing a surgical mask. However, that fact alone doesn't really qualify me as an expert on the matter. More importantly, I am a former editor of a medical journal. I know how to read the medical literature, distinguish good science from bad, and fact from fiction. Believe me, the medical literature is filled with bad fiction masquerading as medical science. It is very easy to be deceived by bad science.
Since the beginning of the pandemic I've read hundreds of studies on the science of medical masks. Based on extensive review and analysis, there is no question in my mind that healthy people should not be wearing surgical or cloth masks. Nor should we be recommending universal masking of all members of the population. That recommendation is not supported by the highest level of scientific evidence.
First, let's be clear. The premise that surgeons wearing masks serves as evidence that "masks must work to prevent viral transmission" is a logical fallacy that I would classify as an argument of false equivalence, or comparing "apples to oranges."
Although surgeons do wear masks to prevent their respiratory droplets from contaminating the surgical field and the exposed internal tissues of our surgical patients, that is about as far as the analogy extends. Obviously, surgeons cannot "socially distance" from their surgical patients (unless we use robotic surgical devices, in which case, I would definitely not wear a mask).
The CoVID-19 pandemic is about viral transmission. Surgical and cloth masks do nothing to prevent viral transmission. We should all realize by now that face masks have never been shown to prevent or protect against viral transmission. Which is exactly why they have never been recommended for use during the seasonal flu outbreak, epidemics, or previous pandemics.
The failure of the scientific literature to support medical masks for influenza and all other viruses, is also why Fauci, the US Surgeon General, the CDC, WHO, and pretty much every infectious disease expert stated that wearing masks won't prevent transmission of SARS CoV-2. Although the public health "authorities" flipped, flopped, and later changed their recommendations, the science did not change, nor did new science appear that supported the wearing of masks in public. In fact, the most recent systemic analysis once again confirms that masks are ineffective in preventing the transmission of viruses like CoVID-19: https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/eid/article/26/5/19-0994_article (I did read this article and although, some see Jim Meehan, MD as radical and out of touch, government data suggests that masks are not effective.)
If a surgeon were sick, especially with a viral infection, they would not perform surgery as they know the virus would NOT be stopped by their surgical mask.
Another area of "false equivalence" has to do with the environment in which the masks are worn. The environments in which surgeons wear masks minimize the adverse effects surgical masks have on their wearers.
Unlike the public wearing masks in the community, surgeons work in sterile surgical suites equipped with heavy duty air exchange systems that maintain positive pressures, exchange and filter the room air at a very high level, and increase the oxygen content of the room air. These conditions limit the negative effects of masks on the surgeon and operating room staff. And yet despite these extreme climate control conditions, clinical studies demonstrate the negative effects (lowering arterial oxygen and carbon dioxide re-breathing) of surgical masks on surgeon physiology and performance.
Surgeons and operating room personnel are well trained, experienced, and meticulous about maintaining sterility. We only wear fresh sterile masks. We don the mask in a sterile fashion. We wear the mask for short periods of time and change it out at the first signs of the excessive moisture build up that we know degrades mask effectiveness and increases their negative effects. Surgeons NEVER re-use surgical masks, nor do we ever wear cloth masks.
The public is being told to wear masks for which they have not been trained in the proper techniques. As a result, they are mishandling, frequently touching, and constantly reusing masks in a way that increase contamination and are more likely than not to increase transmission of disease.
Just go watch people at the grocery story or Walmart and tell me what you think about the effectiveness of masks in the community.
If you can't help but believe and trust the weak retrospective observational studies and confused public health "authorities" lying to you about the benefits and completely ignoring the risks of medical masks, then you should at least reject the illogical anti-science recommendation to block only 2 of the 3 ports of entry for viral diseases. Masks only cover the mouth and nose. They do not protect the eyes.
Give it some thought. It at least made me think.

KWIBS - From  August 10, 2020 - By Kevin Noland

So people retire.
Sometimes they are admired and are enamored with gifts, such as a watch or a cool plaque. Sometimes they get the heav-ho and cupcakes. Some get to slip off quietly into the sunset and others go kicking and screaming.
Jason Offutt has been a columnist for The Premiere since 2004. We were both a little younger then, lighter, better looking and probably had more hair back then. One fun fact about Jason’s photo to the right: I am pretty sure it’s the same one we’ve used since he started writing for us 16 years ago.
Jason told me before Christmast last year that he was retiring in August of 2020. So, I’ve known it was coming.
I was like, “wait, you’re the same age as I am! You don’t get to retire!” At least not on what I was paying him.
He told me his focus would now be on his novels, which by the way, are great! If you’ve enjoyed his columns, you would really like his novels.
So before the beginning of our venture together, former Editor David Fasgold, discovered Jason’s columns and we were instantly hooked on his humor. One day I reached out to Jason and asked him if he would syndicate with a small weekly paper. He agreed to do it for $10 a month. Most columnists of his caliber are several thousands of dollars a year, so I gladly wrote him a check.
The rest is history.... and so is Jason after 4 more weeks.
But wait, you say. His column wasn’t in last week’s paper, but is back now.
Well, that was my bad and his. You see, I couldn’t remember if he was retiring the first of August or the last of August and when I didn’t see his columns, I just thought he was done! Well, he sent them late on Friday and I was already out on the ranch working, so we get another 4 weeks of Jason!
Best of luck to my friend Jason on his new venture. We will miss “As I Was Saying.”

KWIBS - From  August 3, 2020 - By Kevin Noland

As crazy as the world is these days, you can only count on me to make fun of the headlines. Ready?
Every player and coach on the Yankees & Nationals took a knee before the national anthem the other night in D.C
But to be fair, maybe they were ducking in case Dr. Fauci threw out another first ball!
Princess Beatrice got hitched in a private ceremony
Her dad, Prince Andrew, didn’t give away the bride… instead he traded her for two bridesmaids and flower girl to be named later.
Trump claims people need more water pressure in their bathrooms
Welp, what do you expect after eating all those cans of Goya beans?
Mark Zuckerberg surfboards in Hawaii with way too much sunscreen
No, he actually is that white.
Taylor Swift drops new album, ‘Folklore,’ she did while in self quarantine
I still haven’t decided whether to go with alphabetical or size to organize my spice rack…
Happy 97th birthday, Bob Dole
Bob Dole says thank you to all who wished Bob Dole a ‘happy birthday’ on Bob Dole’s birthday.
Seattle Kraken is new name for Seattle’s NHL franchise
No word if their new arena will be known as the Krackhouse.
White House touts coming executive order on healthcare, saying it will “have teeth”
But, ironically, no dental.
House Republicans lash out at Liz Cheney over Trump criticism
Cheney is one step away from offering her fellow GOP Congress people free hunting trips with her Dad.
Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin became first human beings to land on moon, 51 years ago.
And they still haven’t been able to get their luggage.

KWIBS - From  July 27, 2020 - By Kevin Noland

I wrote the headline on the front page. “Joey is the new ‘Norm’ at White’s.”
I couldn’t resist the play on words. I don’t know that anyone could actually become the new “Norm,” but Joey will be as close as one could strive to be. He’ll be “normal.” (He’ll be better than that)!
It’s been quite a whirlwind and emotional couple of weeks for us. Originally the White’s family offered Joey a store in Phillipsburg, KS. Joey had accepted that three weeks before Norm Clouse made his announcement that he was leaving the store and buying a local business. Joey and his fiance’ Haley had even gone house shopping in “P-Burg.”
It was a long way away from all of us, but we were excited for Joey. That was where Joey was up until 2017, so he knew many of the employees and people in the community. Everyone was excited for him to come back to “P-Burg”.
But, things changed!
Joey started out, just like Norm, working for the Whites in high school. Joey worked for Norm and helped set the new store in Medicine Lodge back in 2011, way back when the store was on Main Street. It was in 2017 that the Whites offered Joey an opportunity for his own store in St. John, KS. Joey got to set his own store along with Jordan White.
Norm got to spend a lot of time in St. John helping Joey and was always available to answer his questions. The two of them would often meet in Pratt to exchange store items and have a quick lunch. I jumped in with Norm one Tuesday and surprised Joey in the old Alco parking lot.
Although a shock to hear that Norm was leaving the store, we can be excited about his family’s newest adventure and business opportunity. Most of you already know, but we’ll wait for him to officially announce it. In the meantime, he and his family are on a much needed vacation.
Congratulations Norm, Joey (welcome home) and thank you to the Whites for always creating opportunities for others.

KWIBS - From  July 20, 2020 - By Kevin Noland

Sorry about this column, but my inner 13-year-old boy took over my keyboard this week.
This story is true and was posted on July 9th. I don’t know how I could have missed it last week, but it squeaked by me until I caught it this week.
Being a bondsman and a Bail Enforcement Agent, this story made me giggle. I’ve had some really good “hiders” in my day, most recently a guy hid under a pile of clothes in his baby daughter’s room. He blended right in and I searched that room three times before I finally found him.
Here’s the best story though:
Law enforcement officers in Missouri managed to capture a man wanted for possession of a controlled substance after he gave away his position in an unorthodox way.
He farted. Loudly. Or, at least, with enough volume to get the attention of the police officers looking for him.
"If you’ve got a felony warrant for your arrest, the cops are looking for you and you pass gas so loud it gives up your hiding spot, you’re definitely having a [poop emoji] day," the Clay County Sheriff's Office wrote in a Facebook post, which included the hashtag "#ItHappened."
A local TV station requested more information on the case and the sheriff's office responded on Facebook with, "the person was arrested over the weekend on a Clay County warrant for Possession of a Controlled Substance. We’ve gotta give props to Liberty (Missouri) PD for using their senses to sniff him out!"
The official Twitter account of the City of Liberty also had some fun with the incident.
"The Liberty Police Department was surprised to see this incident slip out, which stinks for the arrestee," the city wrote in a post on Twitter. "Fortunately, no one was injured during his arrest."
The city also thanked the sheriff's department for "airing out a wanted person's dirty laundry and fanning the flames."

KWIBS - From  July 13, 2020 - By Kevin Noland

Our lives are full of decisions. Some are big decisions and some are like what to order for lunch.
Decisions shape our destiny. The wrong decisions can lead you down the wrong path, whereas the right decisions can lead you down the right path. Learn from your bad decisions and improve upon them, as your daily decisions determine the life that you will live.
The hardest decisions in life are the ones you have no control over. Maybe you have to choose what to do after you lose a job or career. Maybe you preside over an organization that has to make a difficult decision. Maybe you have to make a decision about your health. Maybe you have to watch one of your children make a choice - and maybe you disagree, but it’s their choice.
Sometimes you actually have no choice. You are in the passenger seat and someone else is driving, but you still decided to get into that car!
My week has been through a roller-coaster of decisions. I don’t always make the best decisions, but I always try to “sleep on things,” before making them and “never rush them,” as my dad would say.
A friend told me, “Good decisions come from experience, and experience comes from bad decisions.” There’s a whole lot of truth in that statement.
I guess in the end, we only regret the chances we didn’t take and the decisions we waited to make. It feels like the hardest thing and the right thing are the same, but they are completely opposite. So, I leave this column, written for someone who won’t probably even read it:
“Every decision brings with it some good, some bad, some lessons, and some luck. The only thing that’s for sure is that indecision steals many years from many people who wind up wishing they’d just had the courage to leap.” Doe Zantamata

KWIBS - From  July 6, 2020 - By Kevin Noland

I hope you had a wonderful Independence Day!
I want to thank my son-in-law Miguel Hernandez for helping us get the lake all spiffy for the celebration. He is one hard worker! Thank you Miguel!
Have a great week!

KWIBS - From  June 29, 2020 - By Kevin Noland

Have a Happy 4th of July!!!

KWIBS - From  June 22, 2020 - By Kevin Noland

If you see a fire fighter or dispatcher this week, thank them!
Several fires broke out across the county and area during harvest last week.
It was our 32nd wedding anniversary and Ronda and I decided to take a trip to tour a new company called “Restore.com”.
On our way there, we passed through a fire line that was about 10 miles long between Kingman and Cheney. Several structures were in danger.
The fires must have just started because not many rescue and fire vehicles were there yet. It was long after we had passed Cheney that we saw a line of heroes heading that way.
I’ve done controlled burns, but never been a fire fighter. I’ve always admired my friends who will drop everything to go and help a neighbor in that way.
It’s also a good feeling to know that our local volunteers are well trained and have pretty modern equipment to work with. You can sleep well at night knowing that they will be there when you need them.
So back to restore.com. This is a wellness service started by our cousins Amanda and Andy Roy and partners. Amanda is a former resident of Medicine Lodge. The facility offers a variety of wellness treatments like cryotherapy, compression, IV drip, vitamin injections and many other services that I don’t quite understand.
Ronda tried the full cryotherapy. She got in this machine that looked like the one that froze Han Solo in carbonite in Star Wars.
I watched as the temperature went to -159 and looked through the glass as Ronda fought to stay in for the full time, which she did! She came out with a roll of smoky liquid nitrogen and said it was like being stabbed with a thousand needles. Soon after, she felt like a million bucks! I did some local cryo treatments on my hand and shoulders. No, I didn’t chicken out. I couldn’t pass the medical because I have heart stents.
I did get the vitamin B12 and complex shot and felt amazing on Thursday morning. If you want to learn more about this, visit their website!

KWIBS - From  June 15, 2020 - By Kevin Noland

June 17, 2020 marks our 32nd anniversary! I’m talking about me and Ronda. Not many can say they’ve been married 32 years when they got married at 18 and 19. I was just one month out of high school.
So what’s the secret to a successful marriage?
I would say, keep your mouth from outrunning your brain. That’s a joke. I would actually say, laugh a lot, love a lot more and remember Proverbs 5:18: May your fountain be blessed, and may you rejoice in the wife of your youth.
I am a blessed man. I love you Ronda. Happy Anniversary!
 

Our engagement photo from 1988

KWIBS - From  June 8, 2020 - By Kevin Noland

When I hear someone say, “I just enjoy mowing the grass,” it makes me want to throw a sucker punch.
I love summer. I love everything about summer, except one thing: mowing the grass.
The weird thing is, I don’t mow my own grass, but every week I mow around 20 acres of roadways, spillways and a dam that is 1/4 mile long at up to a 29 degree angle. My son-in-law mows my grass and two other houses at our ranch. He also mows about three days straight at the lake.
I only have to mow this dam grass a few times a year, but it pencils off at least two days of my life each time it occurs. I wasn’t cursing there by the way.
I will admit, most of the time, I’m sitting in an air conditioned cab of a tractor, but when it is in the upper 90s, the air conditioner button is just a knob that I touch with hopes to stop the continuous sweating that the tiny 4x4 cab creates like a green house. The windows and doors do not open (yes, the doors open so you can get in and out, but you can’t leave them safely open while driving). The back window opens a crack, but when open, it throws dirt and debris inside the cab defeating the purpose of opening the window for a little bit of fresh air.
The best part about mowing the dam grass is my lovely wife will usually bring me lunch and we have a picnic overlooking the water.
The worst part about my mowing job is that, one wrong move, one twitch or turn of the wheel, I either end up falling 60’ to the ground to the south or trapped under water if I tip over to the North. The steepest angle I mow is around 30 degrees, which the manual reminds me, is over the maximum.
Thank you Lord for NAPA in Medicine Lodge for carrying R-34a coolant! I’m even more thankful that the owner lives nearby and I can usually call him for parts and he will run them out after work! Hope you are enjoying your summer!

KWIBS - From  June 1, 2020 - By Kevin Noland

I was so excited last Christmas when my “gift” to myself came in.
You see, I have a problem with shopping online. Yes, I admit, I’m drawn in by social media advertising and I often buy things like fly catchers, steel toe tennis shoes, the “useless box” (stop in and it’s on my desk), playing cards, a Star Trek Communicator, mugs and cups and other items that are completely unnecessary, but I just can’t help myself.
The Star Trek Communicator was just too cool and I had to have it. Aaron Traffas eat your heart out.
I find myself trolling Facebook just before bed and I’m bombarded with things that I just have to have! I didn’t even know I needed them until I got online and saw them.
But this item was king of them all when it came to “I NEED THIS!”
I even called my buddy Derrick Swinehart and told him the news. Although this item would only be used in the summer at the lake, he also agreed that I needed it!!
So what was it? The suspense is killing you, isn’t it?
Before I tell you, I ordered this item right at the end of summer and sort of forgot that I bought it. It just showed up from China like three months later and I was like, “Oh ya, I bought that!”
The item was a giant magnet with about 30 feet of rope! This magnet was to be thrown off your boat and dragged across the bottom of the lake.
In the advertising video, a man is seen dragging things in like bicycles, chairs, rings and even a gun!
I couldn’t wait to try it!!!!
Finally, Memorial Day weekend we cast it out, over and over and over.
We never pulled in one thing.
I’m not giving up. If it is strong enough that Ronda can’t pull it off of the fridge, then I will find something cool!
 

KWIBS - From  May 25, 2020 - By Kevin Noland

Every day is a countdown to a few special events in our lives.
In October our Son Nick and his Wife Natalie will return state side from Okinawa. Nick has had a very long, three-year tour stationed on the tiny tropical island. Although beautiful, it’s challenges include blistering hot and humid days and typhoons. He’s currently just coming out of a typhoon this week.
Also, in October, we are proud to announce the pending arrival of our newest grandchild! Bree and Miguel Hernandez and their brothers Erick, “lil’ Miguel, Erick, Ashley, Kycen and Baylee will wecome home a new brother or sister.
I’m hoping for another grandson.
Last week, all the boys and Baylee picked up fence posts and dragged them about 70 yards and put them in a pile for me. We paid them .30 each for every log. When it was all over, we just paid them all whether or not they worked that hard. They were great help and I couldn’t help but ponder how much I could get done with this kind of work force! lol....
Over the soggy Memorial Day weekend, my Son Joey announced who he picked for his best man and groomsman. Next July he plans to marry his love, Ms. Haley Gomes, from just outside of Denver.
I’m so very proud of Joey. He’s been with the White’s Family Foodliner now for almost 11 years. He manages the store in St. John, KS
So every day, I mark off a day representing something that’s going to brighten our future on the calendar, anticipating a grand family reunion like we’ve not had in almost 4 years!
I hope your Memorial Day was special. It certainly was a busy one for us and it was a day to remember those that our family wished farewell. We may honor them with flowers on graves, but they are forever in our hearts.

KWIBS - From  May 18, 2020 - By Kevin Noland

I’m an excellent planner. I’m just a terrible weatherman.
I started putting in phone calls a couple of weeks ago to some folks out at the lake. I had reached out to a company in South Dakota for some ski slips. These things aren’t cheap, so the more you buy, the cheaper they get and shipping and installing them goes way down when you have a big order.
Well, it took me about two days and I had 7 slips ordered. The owner of the company offered me a sales position and I laughed and reminded him that this was probably a one time deal.
All the arrangements were made, they left South Dakota on Tuesday, made it to Kansas City on Thursday for more material and then headed our way. Well, we had about 1.5” of rain that week.
Anyway, it made for a sloppy mess, but we got it all done!
Also last week, I made arrangements to have someone come and quote us on some new fences on the ranch. These fences are nearly 80 years old and were in bad need of repair and replacement. I’ve been piecing them back together for three decades and even burned right through one section last year. We have cows everywhere, except for where they are supposed to be at times.
Remember, we had 1.5” of rain.
When Nute and Flint Rucker arrived to talk fence, they were dressed appropriately with coats and muck boots. I had just slipped on some tennis shoes and jeans and we headed out for a little walk across the muddiest earth on the planet.
Needless to say, the excursion cost me my tennis shoes, socks and jeans. Somehow my wife will get them clean. I don’t know how she does it. I think it’s some sort of black magic. Flint and Nute looked completely clean when they got into their truck.
It also cost me another shower for the day, but I managed to get presentable enough to make it to work by 1 p.m. Thank you for the rain Lord. I’ll try to incorporate that into my next planning process.

KWIBS - From  May 11, 2020 - By Kevin Noland

Governor Kelly continues the needless agony
– Dane Hicks is publisher of The Anderson County Review in Garnett, Kansas.
Governor Laura Kelly’s one-size-fits-all approach to the reopening of Kansas after the Covid-19 shutdown further damages the bureaucracy-hammered Kansas economy, and puts her in the running with her friend and former Governor Kathleen Sebelius for the title of most economically damaging governor in state history.
Last week Kelly laid out a three-phase blanket plan for the reopening of Kansas that leaned fully on top-down administration and centralized authorization. Its mandates were based on the assumption that every county, city, neighborhood, nook and cranny of the state was at equal risk from a resurgence of Covid-19. Every restaurant, car dealership, hair salon, bank, livestock sales and auction company, insurance office, and other potential commercial or recreational gathering place was ladled with another helping of state-mandated restrictions, which in reality varied only slightly from the rules in place prior to May 3 and which will extend through at least May 18.
That, despite a continuing confirmation of the ratio between infections and population which has chronicled the outbreak from the beginning: heavier concentrations of population have shown themselves to be consistently more at risk.
Case in point from Saturday’s Covid-10 report from Kansas Department of Health and Environment: of Kansas’ 105 counties, 23 had recorded no cases of people sick with the virus since public health officials began counting, and 57 counties had fewer than 10 cases. Those case counts began when the beginning of the “crisis” was broadly recognized in mid-March and they don’t account for the individuals who have since recovered from the bug.
Still, under both the initial shutdown mandate and even the reopening order from the Governor’s office, the Cactus Club Restaurant in Ness County where no cases were ever recorded was torpedoed with the same executive fervor as was J. Gilberts in Johnson County, where nearly 600 residents tested positive.
Kelly’s carpet bombing order of the Kansas economy is evidenced by state tax revenue figures for April which are less than half the $1.18 billion Kansas took in during April 2019. March unemployment claims skyrocketed as well in the state to more than 20 times the most recent weekly average.
What’s worse, Kelly’s phasing in of a reopening plan that treats the whole state with the same precautions needed where the virus is more present – Johnson and Wyandotte counties for instance – ensures a continuing erosion of the state’s economic might.
This level of damage wasn’t necessary.
Had Kelly the foresight to see past the need for government to seize the roll as sole protector of the populace, she might have judged the legitimate but measured health concerns in view of the more global damage to be done by such all-encompassing orders. Governors of states like South Dakota, Nebraska, Arkansas and others made recommendations and set guidelines for their populations and their commercial sectors, then trusted in the logic and judgment of their citizenry. They were never under shutdown orders, and their economies saw less damage and have better prospects moving forward. By population, demographics and geography, they are greatly similar to Kansas.
In Kansas the tally of the carnage is yet incomplete, but Kelly’s debacle will most certainly approach that of her friend and cohort Kathleen Sebelius in the latter’s derailing of a $3 billion private investment to expand a coal-fired electric generating plant at Holcomb some years back. Sebelius’ embrace of green principles was intended to put her on President Obama’s political short list for bigger things. Indeed, her appointment to the cabinet post of director of Health and Human Services during the roll out of Obamacare left much to be desired. For her floundering ambition, the Kansas economy paid a historic price.
Kelly’s reopening plan should have stair-stepped its phase restrictions based on the documented impact to date of Covid-19 in individual counties, instead of stamping all of Kansas’ communities like the same bottle cap. Her over-governance has hurt Kansas through the days of Covid-19, and will make a longer road back than need be.

KWIBS - From  May 4, 2020 - By Kevin Noland

You are the class of perseverance. You were the class who didn’t get their senior prom, senior breakfast, spring sports and missed out on all of the things that make you a senior in high school. For that, I am sorry, but I know that this experience will forever change you in a good way.
You have learned that in a blink of an eye, your lives can forever change. Sadly, it is at the expense of all of those things that you should have experienced.
Class of 2020, South Barber and Medicine Lodge. You are unique in so many ways. Just to throw out that, “you are our future” is so cliche. You are the first class in my lifetime that was robbed of all of the joys that a senior should have in their final year of schooling.
I can tell you that your communities stand behind you. We are still just as proud of you even when your year was abruptly cancelled because of a pandemic like none we’ve ever experienced.
This newspaper is dedicated to you. Please know that Ronda and I, Aimee, Bree, Ellis, Don and Joyce all congratulate you on the accomplishments of graduating from High School in your respected communities. We also are sad that our newspaper was not able to feature your track meets, baseball games, afterproms and those important moments when your graduation ceremonies were held. We miss your after graduation parties and celebrations, your invites that we proudly display on our counter in our front office and the stories of all of your accomplishments.
The good news is, life will go on through COVID-19 and you will do more great things in your lives that will be as notable, if not more, than graduating from high school. Most all of you will go out into the world and make names for yourselves. You’ll be the pride and joy of our county as we remember “that time” when things got weird in the world and all was turned upside down.
Just know, we are proud of you and we’re going to have all the memories of you from the time you began school, to the time it abruptly stopped for you. Your caps and gowns are treasures that will one day tell a story of when things changed. We all hope this is temporary, but until we get a true “all clear,” we all understand that it has to be this way. YOU ARE THE FUTURE! We hope many of you will return to our communities and live, work and raise the next generation of Indians and Chieftains. Congratulations classes of 2020 in Barber County! We are proud of you all!
I’d also like to thank Rex Zimmerman for FINALLY allowing us to recognize the 40 years of service he has given to Kiowa and Barber County. Getting him to tell his story was harder than Chinese calculus, but Aimee finally convinced him.. He’s been a long time friend and colleague. His story is on page 5 of this week’s paper. I can’t believe it’s already been a year. Time’s fun when you’re having flies. Rex always said he was a dinosaur. Maybe so, but he’s mentored me, the next generation of dinosaurs. I’m not far behind you old friend.

Have a great week. Stay well and Congratulations Classes of 2020!
 

KWIBS - From  April 27, 2020 - By Kevin Noland

Raise your hand if you are tired of COVID-19 and what it is doing to our country. Raise your other hand if you are ready to be over it and ready to be back to normal.
Now reach down and pick up your newspaper.
I believe we are almost over the great toilet paper shortage of 2020. We are very close to meeting the “curve” that the stay at home order was designed to do. People have been slowly learning the 6’ rule and many are doing their part by wearing masks and gloves.
Obviously, we don’t want to live this way forever. We have to overcome fear and responsibly open up for business as usual. This comes with many challenges. We can’t afford any mistakes. A mistake could cost a life.
We are looking at “soft” reopenings across the country, state by state, county by county. I know many people who are working to get factual information in front of those making the decisions to get back to work.
This is not an easy task. There is so much confusing data on COVID-19. There is also so very little known about COVID-19. What is known is that it spreads more rapidly than the common flu, but is generally no more deadly.
As of Wednesday last week of 1,816 cases, 432 required hospitalization. That’s nearly 1 out of every 4 cases. Moving too quickly could change this number. More frightening is the damage being done to our local economy. State income tax figures missed the mark by almost $1.5 million this last quarter.
If we go back to work and life as we knew it, we could risk lives. If we don’t go back to work and life as we knew it, we risk our livelihoods and our American way of life. I pray for those having to make these difficult decisions.

KWIBS - From  April 20, 2020 - By Kevin Noland

By the looks of things, thirty days of staying at home is making almost everyone crazy!
I’ve been fortunate (?) enough to be in an essential service, so we’ve continued working. Aimee and Bree are working from home. Ronda and I are working the office and building the newspaper. Email and cell phones are how we’ve done business. We’ve worked through those challenges to, what I believe, resulted in the printing some of the best editions of our newspaper in history.
That doesn’t excuse the fact that we are all suffering some mental meltdowns during our social distancing because of COVID-19..
Your emails, calls, instant messages, tweets and remarks on Facebook keep me from completely losing my sanity.
In the last month, I’ve laughed at funny COVID-19 jokes and memes, cried from learning a friend and a family member who have contracted the virus and are both fighting it hard with success so far.
It’s to find a channel on TV that doesn’t at some point mention the pandemic. Sometimes I just want to shut my mind off and watch brainless television.
We happened to run across a game show where people have to eat extremely hot chicken wings and then answer questions to move on. The Game Show, hosted by Sean Evans, is currently on truTV. On Hot Ones: The Game Show, two teams of two go head-to-head through three rounds, answering pop-culture trivia questions while eating chicken wings doused in brutally hot sauce.
These people were sweating and running around like they were on fire. It was pretty brainless and provided us a little entertainment. I suggest you watch it if you are as bored as we are at times!

KWIBS - From  April 13, 2020 - By Kevin Noland

I’m starting to miss people; some people anyway.
Through this crisis, I’m still being reminded that my car warranty has expired, at least 4 times a day.
I’ve read reports that pollution is down in the cities because people are staying home. That’s great, but then the KDHE is telling farmers and ranchers not to burn their pastures because of potential health risks from inhaling smoke. I guess they are more afraid of inhaling smoke than they are burning alive in an uncontrolled wildfire.
Not much in the world is making sense. We were told not to wear masks, now we’re told it might be ok.
The internet erupted last week with the news that Barber County had its first COVID-19 case. The responses were interesting. If you follow us on Facebook, check out some of the conversations.
I do so want to thank our hospitals, health department and emergency management people who have been placed into a situation like we’ve never seen before. I am glad that officials are working around the clock to make sure we are safe. I hate the stay at home order, but I get it. We are all at risk of either getting the virus or being asymptomatic and possibly spreading it to those who could get it and possibly die.
Our lifeline is our business community. Last week several eating establishments closed their doors out of caution. This broke my heart. I know how hard this is becoming on everyone, but we have to keep our chins up (from six feet away).
A ray of sunshine broke last week. Both of our local banks and Barber County Development started reaching out to businesses to offer SBA assistance in the form of forgivable loans for the PPP (Paycheck Protection Program).
We applied and got just a little help, but we’re grateful for that. Both banks were very helpful and acted quickly to assist our local businesses.
We intend on continuing to grow our county when this all gets resolved. Keep praying for our communities, our country and the world. Wash your hands often and don’t touch your face. Stay 6 feet away and make your essential outings short and sweet and to the point. Let’s all work together!
 

KWIBS - From  April 6, 2020 - By Kevin Noland

In this time of crisis, the last thing I want to do is raise more alarm, but this release came into our office last week. I can’t even believe it was considered:
“April 1, 2020 -- Today, The Kansas Department of Health and Environment held a press conference announcing the use of a GPS program to track residents’ locations through their cell phones. Department head of KDHE, Dr. Lee Norman, announced at the press conference that such measures are necessary to track the measures of social distancing in counties across Kansas.
Kansas Justice Institute, a public-interest litigation firm specializing in the protection of constitutional freedoms, sent a letter to Kansas Governor Laura Kelly, expressing serious legal concerns with this action.
The wholesale, warrantless collection of cellular data raises significant privacy issues, even during a pandemic.”, warns general counsel and litigation director of KJI, Samuel MacRoberts.
Kansas Justice Institute strongly urges Gov. Kelly to make public the details of the tracking program as well as provide a thorough legal justification for this program that impacts the privacy of Kansas cell phone carriers.
“The COVID-19 pandemic does not justify warrantless data searches of Kansas residents, and it certainly does not justify the lack of transparency. Although the Kansas Legislature has provided broad executive powers during emergencies, they are not absolute,” says Sam MacRoberts.
This, on top of overlooking some KORA and KOMA requirements, has me concerned we still have a consitution and we are forgetting to live by it.
Hold our government officials accountable to uphold the constitution. We need to make sure that short term measures do not become the norm when we are “all clear.”

KWIBS - From  March 30, 2020 - By Kevin Noland

During this time of crisis, I want to give some pats on the back to our local merchants who are doing their absolute best, above and beyond, to keep our community alive.
No doubt this will be a defistating impact on the businesses in Barber County, but the acts of kindness I’ve witnessed and the extra time people are taking to make their customers feel safe and secure is amazing.
Thank you especially to White’s Foodliner for keeping the community’s food supply in tact. What a blessing it is to have such a store in our town. Norm and his crew are doing an amazing job. I know it might feel thankless, but I am grateful that Pat and Tonya White chose Medicine Lodge to have such a fine store with great selections. I’m obviously partial. My son is the manager in St. John’s White’s Foodliner. I know how tired he is, but I also know how committed he is to serving his community.
Hometown Market is tryng to get their shelves filled as quickly as they are emptied. They are super dedicated to serve Kiowa and the surrounding area. Hibbards has been amazing at getting scripts filled. Marci is doing all she can to provide to go orders at the coffee shop. Most of our food services are happy to offer curb side, so please keep ordering from them! Farm Bureau has been most helpful with things over the phone and through email. Both banks are still taking care of business, although not face to face for the most part. Every business is doing its part. Thank you Barber County!
You all are amazing and I pray for our little piece of heaven on earth that we call Barber County. It will take a village to keep us alive after much of this is over. It will be over, but we are no where near out of the woods. Everyone should follow a stay at home policy when possible. It helps the most vulnerable people we have and those with underlying conditions.

KWIBS - From  March 23, 2020 - By Kevin Noland

Wow.
Things changed drastically this past week with a declaration of a national emergency.
Our county was ahead of the curve when Dr. Pete Meador notified local schools that they should close for a minimum of two weeks. This created multiple reactions throughout the county. Some were positive, some were negative, but I applaud him for being proactive. One day after his announcement, Governor Laura Kelly followed shutting down all schools in Kansas for the remainder of the school year to slow the spread of COVID-19.
The saddest thing about cancelling school is knowing that our seniors in Kiowa and Medicine Lodge will miss some important mile stones like prom, baseball and softball, track, state events, music programs; all of which would be their last as students in Barber County Schools. It breaks my heart to know that we probably won’t be able to put together senior pages to honor them at this time.
It’s important we stop the spread of COVID-19. Even if fewer people die from this than the flu, it could quickly overwhelm our medical services and put more lives at risk, especially the elderly and those with underlying medical conditions.
Throughout the coming weeks, we will print the news and we will keep you updated through our Facebook page. If you just don’t want to get out to buy a paper, we understand and encourage you to subscribe to our PDF viewer, which is the entire newspaper online. Visit www.gyphillpremiere.com.
We are trying diligently to share vital information with you multiple times a day through Facebook and as we are open for business, we are not doing unscheduled appointments with the public. Please see page 3 for all contact information for our offices during this “cooling down period.”
Stay well friends.

KWIBS - From  March 16, 2020 - By Kevin Noland

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way – in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only. - Charles Dickens
Ya, I didn’t write that. Last week my column was about not freaking out over the latest virus. I’m trying hard to follow that advice.
Dickens sounds like he wrote a story about Coronavirus (COVID-19).
In two short weeks, we’ve cracked jokes about this nasty virus that has now shut down international travel, sporting events, college classes and crushed thousands of points of gain on the stock market. Before the virus, the economy was growing and stocks were continuing to climb. Probably most alarming is the price of oil.
What may reflect as a great deal to fill up your gas tank at the pump actually means that our local oil producers are suffering and many could find themselves without work.
The now Pandemic has creeped into every aspect of our lives. Stores are out of hand sanitizer, Clorox wipes, even toilet paper. Many mass gatherings have been cancelled.
There will be an end to this and some of the fear is unfounded, caused by the necessary precautions to stop the spread of this virus.
Social distancing.... don’t shake hands, don’t hug, don’t touch your face, wash your hands frequently, use hand sanitizer cough into your arm.
Have a great week! (Hope I didn’t ruin it for you)

KWIBS - From  March 9, 2020 - By Kevin Noland

Everything in the last 20+ years has pointed to the end of the world.
It all started with Y2K. Then in 2001 we had the attack on the Twin Towers and an Anthrax scare. Al Qaeda was going to kill us too; Global warming were going to kill us; In 2002 it was West Nile Virus that was going to kill us; 2003 SARS was going to kill us; 2005 Bird Flu was going to kill us; 2006 E. Coli was going to kill us.
Then the world about came to an end when the stock market went south in 2008. We managed to survive that somehow and it has more than rebounded. But wait, now “Climate Change” was going to kill us.
Don’t forget in 2009 Swine Flu was going to kill us; 2010 BP Oil spills were going to kill the ocean and all of us along with it; in 2011 Obamacare was going to kill us. It killed my insurance, but I’m still typing.
2012 was the big one. The Mayan Calendar was certain to be the end of the world. It wasn’t. Later in 2013 it was North Korea that was going to kill us; 2014 Ebola was going to kill us; 2015 Measles and ISIS were going to kill us (they may have been colluding, but I can’t prove that; 2016 Zika was going to kill us.
Starting in 2017 we were all going to die according to the “fake news”; Migrant Caravans were coming to kill all of us in 2018; and the Measles made another run at us in 2019.
Now it looks like we’re going to all die from Coronavirus. Seriously though, we need to stop panicking about everything. Something has to kill us eventually, but probably not Coronavirus.
Take a deep breath (not too deep and cover your face). We’re going to be all right.

KWIBS - From  March 2, 2020 - By Kevin Noland

Jack of all trades - master of none.
That’s me.
I’m really decent at cooking, grilling and eating. I’m ok at some musical instruments like guitar, bass and drums. I’m also a pretty good singer. I can say that confidently as I get positive affirmation from my wife and have been in several bands over the past 25 years.
You may not know this, but I actually went to school for carpentry, woodworking and interior design. I spent a few years at that. I even helped build three houses, including my own.
In addition to newspaper publishing, I’m also a decent heavy equipment operator. I can run backhoes, graders, most tractors and skid steers with a little instruction.
When it comes to mechanicing, I’m all over the map. I can do the old change “service” on most of the farm equipment. I can almost always take things apart. I just don’t always remember how they go back together.
I would say that I’m better with small engines than larger ones. I can tear into a motorcycle and 90% of the time, I can fix what’s wrong or at least diagnose it.
Boat and jetski motors are a mystery to me. I usually end up messing those up. They end up needing more work when I’m done tinkering with them than when I started.
So I took on a 1970 T500 Galion road grader water pump project last week. Water pump - 1; Kevin - 0. I had to call in a favor from my friend Rick F. Rick has helped me with my tractor repairs in the past. I managed to break off two bolts and he only broke one, but with any luck, this machine will be conquered and back in service. I have faith in Rick.
At least I’m hoping it will be fixed because I need to grade some roads after several days of rain and snow!
I’m ready for warm weather. How about you?

KWIBS - From  February 24, 2020 - By Kevin Noland

Although I did fall asleep through part of it, I did attempt to watch the Democrat Debate in Nevada last week.
My official party affiliation is Republican, but I lean Libertarian and was once a Democrat myself. I did not vote for Trump in 2016 because I never thought he could beat Hillary, but I will in 2020. It’s not that I like the guy as a person, but he’s getting things done and the Democrats seem to be completely off the rails, only looking to get him out of office, anyway possible.
The debate was a disaster for Bloomberg.
MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” played a montage of Bloomberg’s “worst moment” and Mika Brzezinski said he was “hard to watch," Lawrence O’Donnell said the billionaire suffered "the worst blows" of the evening and an NBC News article co-bylined by Chuck Todd, Mark Murray and Melissa Holzberg said "the biggest individual news from the debate was Michael Bloomberg struggling to defend his stop-and-frisk record as New York City mayor, as well as the non-disclosure agreements his company settled with women."
“For a guy who is worth $55 billion and says he could run the world, he couldn't even run his own microphone last night," Joe Scarborough said.
CNN’s Van Jones declared the debate a “disaster” for Bloomberg and the liberal news organization published a roundup of opinions headlined “It's unanimous: a horrible night for Bloomberg.”
I took to Twitter to see the comments and found my all time favorite.
Brian Fallon said, “This debate has been a NASCAR race and Bloomberg wrecked on pretty much the first lap.
That made me laugh out loud.

KWIBS - From  February 17, 2020 - By Kevin Noland

There was a collective sadness last week when we heard the news that Deven Leis lost his battle with cancer.
“No one fights alone,” was the motto as our community rallied to support Deven through his cancer treatments. #52 was on everyone’s wrist.
It felt weird wearing that bracelet while standing next to a sidelined football player that was about 6 inches taller than me. During his treatments, Deven didn’t play football that season, but was still right there with his tribe. We spent a lot of time walking up and down the sidelines.
We’d chit chat about the game, do a little arm chair quarter backing together and joked around. He was a pleasant kid trying to tackle life.
We didn’t win every game. In fact, it was a tough year for the Indians with Deven not playing. Deven fought and played hard on the field, on the court and in life, until the end.
We lose people, but when it’s someone so young, it leaves a great sadness in our hearts. Deven was just a few years younger than my son Nick. They played football in high school together. The news of his passing came Monday while I was at work. I sent Nick a text to tell him, but it was 12 hours difference in time, so he woke up to the news he had lost a classmate and teammate.
It floors me how fast kids grow up, as I grow older. As far back as our digital archives go, Deven was mentioned in the newspaper over 30 times.
Prayers for the Leis family, our schools and the community as we remember a great kid.
#52

KWIBS - From  February 3, 2020 - By Kevin Noland

I like stability, normalcy, tradition, etc. That’s why I had a melt down last week when my wife wanted to paint our kitchen a different color.
She’s quite the same when it comes to moving or rearranging furniture. Nothing sparks a lively discussion in our house than painting or rearranging furniture.
So after her kitchen project, I pointed out some not so contrasting colors leading into our living room. That was a huge mistake. She came home the next day with sample paints for the fireplace and wanted to paint the oak mantle I had built and sanded and stained and labored over for days, the color “white.” She also wanted to paint the angled wall that the fireplace sits in. I love this woman, but did I mention I hate painting?
After some discussion, that included me saying, “If you paint that wall, you’ll be chasing colors all over the living room until you get to the stairwell and I told you 12 years ago that it would be that color until I died or we left the house.”
I nearly died the last time we painted that wall.
I also DID NOT under any circumstances, want to move the furniture, take down the TV, stereo, Grandfather Clock, etc. My head was spinning at the thought of my future back pain.
I left the house, as I had planned, to go work on the tractor. That tractor got so much work done, it’s like a new tractor.
I expected to come home to drop cloths and the smells of more fresh paint. Instead, I came home 3 hours later to the sad face and limited conversation. I felt badly.
Karma..... For my reward, I caught some sort of Influenza A-Z, SARS, Ebola or Coronavirus. Maybe it was just a cold. Whatever it was, it kicked my rear end and kept me down for most of the week. It also kept my wife from painting the living room because she caught it too. I do have to admit, the kitchen looks great!
I wonder if you serve lime with Coronavirus?
Have a great week!

KWIBS - From  January 27, 2020 - By Kevin Noland

I’m at a loss for words this week in expressing my grief and condolences for the death of Trey Orr.
There are so many emotions, mostly sadness in our community, when they speak Trey’s name. Four years ago his wife Sherrill passed away. She was obviously the love of his life and he was never quite the same after she died. Trey remained someone you could talk to, get good advice from, be encouraged by, shoot a round of golf with and have a beer with. He was a normal guy, but he had pain that he expressed with very few people around him.
I choose to remember him as the coach, high school counselor and all-around good guy in our community. His death reminds me to be keenly aware of how, no matter how one looks on the outside, we never really know what’s going on inside.
Tell your friends you care about them. I’m going to try and do better about that. Life sometimes gets in the in the way of remembering to care.
 

Friends are far, friends are near.
Friends will be there to lend an ear.
They listen, laugh, and care,
But most of all, they're always there.

Through thick and thin, up and down,
Your true friends are always around.
For treats, hugs, and real big smiles,
They'll travel to you from several miles.

They'll always be there to hold you tight.
Anytime, no matter if it's day or night.
You really know when your friends are sincere
When they always show up to lend their ear.


God bless the family of Trey Orr “Three Paddles”

KWIBS - From  January 20, 2020 - By Kevin Noland

I’ve been printing Conservation Editions for more than 30 years. It was in 2006 that I actually started reading the articles. Frankly, before that, I had no knowledge or desire to know what it was all about.
That changed when my wife and I took over her grandmother’s ranch. Over the last 14 years, I can’t think of a year that I did not use the services of NCRS. I’ve found the resources to be endless when it comes to helping me find solutions to problems.
I’ve not signed us up for a single program, but they have been so gracious in giving advice and providing services.
It was through their offices that I was introduced to The Gyp Hills Burn Association and what they did. Through that introduction, I have met an amazing group of men and women committed to controlled burning and property improvement programs.
Instrumental in helping Ronda and I do our first major burn were the Alexanders. Ted and his son Brian went beyond friendship and being neighborly, to literally helping with every aspect of getting our property prepared. They introduced us to a burn plan specialist, helped write a burn plan, provided equipment and helped round up more than 50 other farmers, ranchers and friends and an army of equipment to ensure we had a safe and productive burn of 600 acres, nearly half the ranch!
Although I’ve only been a member for 1 year, I have a history of about 5 years of participating in controlled burns. I am by no means an expert, but have learned so much from folks like Tom Carr, the Alexanders, Robert Larson, Keith and Eva Yearout, Jeff Clarke and countless others.
Taking care of your property transforms you into a lover of the land and it all starts with conservation, especially when you have the help of your local conservation district.
Congratulations to all the Bankers Award Winners and to all who have helped me and Ronda over the years.

KWIBS - From  January 13, 2020 - By Kevin Noland

We live out in the country and have since 1989. We’re used to critters.
When I was a kid, animals were featured in just about every cartoon I watched. They were funny and cute! They are nothing like that in real life.
Bugs Bunny? We’ve got him. He’s the reason we can’t have nice things like flowers and gardens.
Tom and Jerry? We’ve got Jerry for sure. We can’t seem to make Tom stay around. Jerry doesn’t grab 2x4s and hit me in the feet while I’m setting traps. Contrary, he dies at the end of nearly every episode at my house.
Daffy Duck? We have two ponds very close to our house, so Daffy sometimes comes around and does his business on my front porch. Not cool Daffy, not cool.
Pepé Le Pew? He’s French, he stinks and if he gets too close to the house, he gets dead. I don’t care how charming he was in the cartoons. You don’t seduce me at all. Penelope was right to avoid relations with you.
Bambi? Oh Bambi. You are cute until I’m traveling 60 mph and you run out in front of me or my wife’s vehicle. Thousands of dollars that Bambi and family have cost us over the years.
Charlotte’s Web? Charlotte has been teaching me how to be a drunk Ninja for most of my adult life, setting up little traps for me to walk through on the front porch at about mouth or forehead height.
Starting last week we thought we had someone knocking on the door that never appeared to be there. We actually got alarmed. I went to the door with a gun at one point in my underwear. The annoying knocking was interrupting our sleep and intimate times. I was getting very frustrated at our ghost knocker!
Introducing the newest cast member to our country living: Woody Woodpecker. Woody showed up last week.
When he’s not knocking, his theme song is rolling around in my head. When he is knocking I’ve been known to throw boxes of kleenex at the window to scare him off. That laugh..... ugh.
 

KWIBS - From  January 6, 2020 - By Kevin Noland

The most noticeable thing about the holidays are that my clothes keep shrinking.
I am pretty sure my wife is doing this to me, but I can’t prove it.
We normally eat pretty well in our house. By that I mean healthy portions of food. Our refrigerator currently looks like we are feeding a family of 10 instead of 2, but that’s the aftermath of the holidays.
Also a casualty of the holidays is my wallet.... We have 3 kids plus a daughter-in-law, son-in-law, fiance’ and 5 grandkids now. No problems fitting my wallet in my pocket the last week or so.
One thing that I believe is a right of passage, is to buy annoying gifts for my grandkids. This year, I bought them all Nerf Guns. These aren’t the Nerf Guns of my youth. These are near fully automatic, hard hitting, bruise making weapons in the hands of children. Great minds must think alike because their aunt and uncle also bought them, so now I have three heavily armed grandsons.
I did announce at the opening of the gifts, “These gifts are for your house and not to be opened or brought here.”
I did that with an evil smile on my face. My wife wasn’t pleased and thought they should be able to open (fire) these presents and I reminded her that the last time we had these in our house, the picture on our TV never looked the same and we’re still finding darts 20 years later under furniture.
Friday night was our last Christmas (we had three). It started out with rain all day. We live on 4 miles of rough dirt roads that quickly became chocolate pudding. First to get stuck was my son Joey. We got him pulled out and turned around facing the highway. Second to get stuck were my in-laws. After everyone was gone, I had created additional laundry for my wife and gotten mud all over the inside of my truck. It was a regular Christmas I guess. Have a great week!

KWIBS - From  December 30, 2019 - By Kevin Noland

 

So, this is not our normal type of newspaper. It’s a look back. 2019 is soon to be a part of history for all of us.
It was a year of challenges, joy and great sorrow.
We began our year with a trip to Oklahoma City where we picked up Nix and Wendy White at the airport for a night of rock and roll with KISS! Nix is friends with Gene Simmon’s manager and he finagled us back stage passes where we got to take pictures with the band. This was Ronda’s first KISS concert. I had gone with Nix back in 2016 and spent an interesting afternoon behind the scenes of one of history’s greatest rock bands and the legendary Gene Simmons.
Right after we finished up being rock stars we began planning a wedding for our youngest son Nick who serves with The United States Navy and Marines in Okinawa. His bride, Natalie Bare, waited patiently to get married and eventually moved to Okinawa where they will be living until the end of 2020. We got to spend about 14 days with Nick this year. Most of that time was last minute preparations for their wedding, but I can’t tell you how good it was to see him. It could be January of 2021 before he’s out of the service and back in Kansas.
But right before that joyous occasion, tragedy struck our community and we heard the news that we had lost Bob Christensen, a friend to so many. Without intention, Bob’s death sparked a “Be Like Bob” movement. Bob was kind to everyone he met and was an example of living like Christ. His death has left a void for so many in our community. Nick was home for his wedding and we attended Bob’s memorial service as a family. We’ll always remember him.
Also in April, with the overwhelming help of many friends, we did a large controlled burn of our families’ ranch north of Medicine Lodge, better known as “Lake Arrowhead Resort.” It was very challenging and stressful and incredibly successful! Thank you to my burn buddies; especially Brian Alexander and Robert Larson for helping us blaze the way to better land management. The Gyp Hills Burn Association is an amazing organization to belong to. We have a lot yet to learn and a long way to go, but we understand the passion for taking care of our property and making it safe for the residents who are surrounded by prairie grasses that were nearly 6’ tall.
In May The Gyp Hill Premiere and The Kiowa News combined to bring coverage to Barber County. The Kiowa News was a staple in our area for 126 years. Rex Zimmerman and his wife Diann decided it was time for retirement. We have loved getting to cover the entire county and we still hear from Rex every now and then!
Our dear friend Doris Sorg got the nod from the Lincoln Library board to become the new Director. She is so worthy of this position and we are so happy for her. Doris was our rock at the Premiere for 17 1/2 years! That’s commitment!
Not long after Nick’s wedding, my daughter announced that she too was getting married! She and Miguel Hernandez tied the knot in August. Miguel was a dear friend of Bob Christensen’s and we wished he could have been there for the special occasion. We now have three more grandkids: Ashley, Miguel and Eric! Welcome to our crazy family!
We had a retooling of our non-pageant year Peace Treaty Celebration in September. We took a leap of faith after consulting with Jim Rowland of Barber County Development. He helped us retool everything from advertising and sponsorships to the way we marketed ourselves. Thank you to my board and to Jim for helping us achieve a very successful Peace Treaty Celebration in 2019.
As the year moved on, my 40s moved on with it. I turned half-a-century old on October 4th, 2019. I always thought 50 was old, but then I proved it was after a boating accident in September that left me limping to this day, but I haven’t let it slow me down much! For the celebration, Derrick and Shanda Swinehart joined us for a trip to Vegas that we’ll never forget.
As summer slipped away and the trees turned, our attention turned to football. We enjoyed watching the Indians play football, this time as an 8-man squad. They did quite well and we enjoyed watching the season. I also got familiar with The Chieftains, who have amazing talent and went into post season play this year.
What can I say about November? My wife had a birthday. She doesn’t want me to write about that. Thanksgiving was about the high light of the month - great food and festivities.
Now when December hit, that’s when things got crazy. Crazy in a good way. We made a trip to Kansas City a couple of weeks ago and watched the Chiefs play the Broncos. My Son Joey asked Haley Gnomes to be his wife and she said yes! We met up with great friends Nix and Wendy White again; and then the four of us joined some fellow classmates in New Orleans the next day and watched Drew Brees break the touchdown pass record. To top that off, we got to hang out with him and the team after the game!
And just like that, it was Christmas! We enjoyed seeing Ronda’s brother and sister-in-law over the holidays. They drove in from Albuquerque, NM with our Niece Lily and Nephew Sam. Joey was able to take a little time away from his grocery store in St. John, KS and join us and his sister and family for a great holiday!
We don’t know yet what 2020 has in store for us, but I pray it’s blessings, health and joy for you all.
From our family to yours, we wish you a HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Have a great week!

KWIBS - From  December 23, 2019 - By Kevin Noland

Ronda and I had the pleasure of doing a marathon of NFL games last weekend. It started in snowy Kansas City watching the Chiefs beat the Broncos and ended in New Orleans watching Drew Brees and the Saints, beating the Colts. Drew Brees made history Monday night at the Superdome, becoming the NFL’s touchdown-pass king.
A bunch of 50 year old classmates from the MLHS Class of 1988 decided to meet up in New Orleans and watch the record get set in person. Cheryl (Doman) and Steve Ellis, Nix and Wendy White and Ronda and I went to the game in New Orleans and spent a day laughing together. After the game, we got another chance to hang out with Drew and Brittany Brees.


Ronda and I did this exact same trip last November with Nix and Wendy. Nix and Drew are long time friends from when Drew was Quarter Back for the Chargers. Since Nix is always doing these fun trips and including us, Ronda and I invited him to join us on Sunday in Kansas City for the game.
While at the game, I got to introduce Nix and Wendy to 6-time Pro Bowler and retired free safety Deron Cherry.


Kansas City turned white while we were there. Fortunately, we had inside seating, but we did end up leaving early to get to the airport in the blizzard conditions. Sadly, we could have stayed at the game as our flight was delayed almost 3 hours.
This story hops around a bunch, but we went to Kansas City on Saturday with my Son Joey and his girlfriend Haley, who is from Denver. It was her first ever NFL game watching her Broncos get destroyed by Kansas City. Saturday night Joey popped the question at Union Station and now Haley is no longer the girlfriend, but is now the fiance’!!! We were glad she didn’t decide to break off the engagement after the horrific loss. Those poor kids got stuck in the parking lot waiting on a cab for over two hours as chaos erupted after the game. 5” of snow made everyone’s cars look exactly the same and made for an even slower exit from Arrowhead Stadium back to our car at the hotel, which Joey graciously drove back to Wichita and left it at the airport for us.
We finally got in to New Orleans at about midnight and went to bed, but Ronda and I didn’t hold to the “let’s sleep in” suggestion and woke up early ready to eat some crawfish and meet up with Cheryl and Steve. We messed around on Bourbon Street and by noon, Nix and Wendy joined us at the Hard Rock Cafe for lunch. Then we all went to Manning’s for another lunch and more laughs.
The journey to the Superdome is always a fun experience. Tail gaters line up the French Quarter and it’s one big party. We were being pretty responsible adults (for once) that evening, but somehow Cheryl managed to trip and fall in the street, spilling her drink. She was ok, but we made sure she felt the love of her classmates all the way there with jokes about how she’s 50 now and balancing is a hard thing to do.
Before the game, Nix got us all field passes and we watched the team warm up. When Drew tied the record we all were on our feet. When he broke it, the stadium went absolutely nuts. Drew and the Saints easily handled the Colts, 34-7. Drew Brees threw 4 touch down passes for the night, completing 29/30 passes and 307 yards! To say this was an incredible experience is an understatement. It’s now NFL history.
After the game, Drew was kind enough to speak to my Son Nick and his Chaplain’s group in Okinawa. He also was kind enough to take us from the hospitality room down on to the field for some pictures. I can’t thank Nix and Wendy enough for always sharing in the adventures of life with us. After 30+ years, all of us reforged our friendships (Cheryl’s in some blood on her hand and knees from her fall)!
I hope you all have a Merry Christmas. Normally my column would be about that, but I could not hardly wait to thank our friends for such a fun trip.
 

KWIBS - From  December 9, 2019 - By Kevin Noland

I’d like to offer an apology and give a shout out to some hard working guys at the State HWY Department. But first I want to rip a big box chain for their terrible customer service.
Tuesday, I ran into Wichita to grab a TV we had found on Monday. To our amazement, the TV would not fit in the back of my wife’s car, so I had to drive back with my truck to get it.
The entire situation was a mess. On Monday we went to Best Buy and got the last TV they had on sale. They just “held it” for me and expected me on Tuesday. I showed up just before noon and they said that the TV was out of stock. I walked the sales associate over to the box that was scanned the day before and said, “here it is.”
“Well, this is for another customer who ordered online,” said the sales associate.
That’s when I asked for the manager. Within a couple of minutes of me explaining how far I drove and who helped me the night before, he had someone loading up the TV in my truck in a flash.
When I got part way home, I was thinking about my total on the receipt and thought that it was high, so I pulled it out and looked. I was charged an extra $100 for the TV.
I didn’t have any internet service to search for the store information, so I called my wife to get the number to the Maize Road store. I was almost past Cheney by that point and wasn’t turning around. She texted it to me and I called. My first call was 40 minutes on hold of the same Christmas music over and over and then someone picked up and hung up. My second call was near Cunningham. I was on hold until Isabel (almost 30 minutes) and finally got a live person on the phone.
This sales associate took my information and informed me that the price had gone up. The sale was over at midnight on Monday night. The lady I had dealt with on Monday assured me she would honor the price and hold the TV, but this sales associate wasn’t budging. I asked for her manager.
“Click.” She hung up on me.
I met my wife at the house and she helped me unload the TV. She could tell I was not pleased. I headed back to town to the office to get some work done and see if someone else with Best Buy could help me.
In our new technological day and age, you no longer get to speak with real people. When you call, you go through a series of questions that are supposed to help you with customer service issues. After about 20 minutes of that, I gave up and did live chat on the Internet.
The overly friendly representative took my information and my receipt information and basically said, “So sorry, too bad, but is there anything else I can do for you?”
“How about some customer service training,” I asked?
I got no response from that so I asked for in store credit. I shop there a lot.
“Well, we just can’t do that in this situation sir,” he said.
I read from their policy that if I was not satisfied with my purchase that it could be returned within 7 business days and that according to their website, I could print out a shipping label at their expense and they would have to pick the TV up. That seemed to surprise him.
“Surely it will cost you more than $100 to come get this giant TV,” I said politely.
That sort of stumped him, but he agreed. It was a bluff. There was no way I was going to try and pack that TV back in the box to ship back to them.
I requested the transcript of our conversation. He said, “Sure, I will send that right over!”
I never got it and I never got offered my $100 back. They’ll never get $1 out of me ever again. Remember you read my horror experience with Best Buy. That’s BEST BUY. I give them a “no star” rating at this point.
? ? ? ?
Tuesday night after we had the TV set up, I had to run back to town and decided I would load up the trash and take it to the office. Even the empty box weighed a ton and I struggled to get it into the back of my truck. It was a very tight fit and I could barely get the tailgate shut.
I headed to town and pulled into the back of the office. The box was gone.
Now keep in mind, this box was the size of a queen mattress and it was heavy!
In a panic I called the Sheriff’s Office to let them know that there could be a large box in the road north of Medicine Lodge somewhere between town and mile marker 32.
“Oh yes,” said the dispatcher, “someone has already called that in.”
I was so embarrassed and told her that I would be heading north and would pick up the mess.
I headed home, slowly, squinting in the dark for what I thought would be easy to find. I never saw it. So when I got home I called the Sheriff’s Office again to let them know I couldn’t find it in the dark and would look again in the morning.
Wednesday morning, I rolled out and started my search for the giant TV box. Dispatch had told me that it was just south of the Resort Road turn off. Taking my time, I scanned the ditch until I came up on a State dump truck. Suddenly a large plastic sack came flying out of the back of it, narrowly missing me. I pulled over, jumped out and grabbed the sack. I hopped back into my truck and followed the State’s truck back to the HWY Department.
Two guys were getting out of the truck and I asked, “Hey, you guys didn’t happen to find a large TV box on the HWY did you?”
“Sure did,” one answered.
I apologized and explained that I had lost it the night before.
“We’re just going to throw it away,” he said, “unless you want it back.”
I laughed and said I didn’t, but I was sorry to make them go get that.
The other guy said, “No worries Kevin. We call that job security!”
Have a great week!

KWIBS - From  December 2, 2019 - By Kevin Noland

My wife is more awesome than your wife.
You need proof?
For years, we have tried, usually ending in failure, to get our ‘Christmas on’ or nearest to, the weekend of Thanksgiving.
Last week (Friday before Thanksgiving) she was bound and determined to get everything in order for Christmas decorating. This could have been spurred by our frantic online shopping spree for our kids Nick and Natalie Noland who are living in Okinawa. We needed their gifts to ship out before Thanksgiving, so that they would have our Christmas gifts in time.
Once the gifts arrived, were wrapped and shipped, she went into full Christmas mode. I woke up on Saturday morning and it looked like Christmas had thrown a frat party in our living room and kitchen. Boxes were everywhere and I was a little freaked out when I saw the mess.
“You go to work and when you get home, I promise, everything will be done,” she assured me.
I rolled in around 4 p.m. to promises kept. The house looked amazing and I stopped being a “Karen” for the moment and went back into “Kevin” mode, which is similar to “Karen,” but not as panicked.
Karen definition: A Karen is a kind of person who is unhappy when little things don’t go their way. They are a, “Can I speak to your manager?” kind of gal. The cranky soccer mom of her friend group that nobody likes.
“Do you see her over there? She’s such a Karen.”
“Hi! You put meat on my son’s turkey sandwich, when he is STRICTLY VEGETARIAN. If you know what’s good for you, you’ll direct your manager over to me right away.”
“Hey, it’s not Christmas. It’s not even December and you’re putting up Christmas decorations?”
Ok, that last one was me, but it really is nice having that part done. Just note that she takes everything down, usually Christmas Day!
 

KWIBS - From  November 11, 2019 - By Kevin Noland

First, I missed his birthday; then I forgot to mail my letter to him for “mail call”. I wasn’t about to miss his homecoming.
Last week was Veterans Day. I skipped my column because, to be honest, the day has a new meaning to me.
My dad passed away back in 2013. He served in the United States Navy from 1965-1969. After he passed away, my youngest son, Nick, chose to follow in his grandpa’s shoes and he too joined the Navy in 2016.
I get pretty emotional around this holiday. I was thinking about my dad and my son last week as I stared blankly at my screen where my column goes.
I couldn’t type a word.
Two days before that, I had the privilege to be at the Kansas Honor Flight welcome home ceremony at Wichita’s Dwight D. Eisnehower National Airport. It was the only thing I thought of all week.
Bill Musgrove was one of the guys who took the last flight of 2019 and was honored to attend with Amy Axline at his side.


It was worth the quick trip up and back to see how Kansas honors its veterans and my way of saying thanks to Bill. Thank you to all our veterans.
Please donate to this great cause: kansashonorflight.org

KWIBS - From  November 11, 2019 - By Kevin Noland

Thank you Veterans!

KWIBS - From  November 4, 2019 - By Kevin Noland

Anger, frustration, wild accusations, inflated claims, genuine needs and thoughtful consideration.
All of these things are true when we are talking about tomorrow’s bond election. We all love our school district, our faculty and our students. Social media has brought out the best and worst in many of us over discussion of a bond issue(s).
20-some years ago, I laid my neck out on a chopping block and joined a steering committee to make improvements to our school district. I watched at least two bonds fail. I stayed on the committee to watch the last one pass, which I did not vote for because it did not really address the needs of the district and forced us to pay for improvements on a building we eventually, partially vacated.
It’s been long enough ago and I don’t have time to research it, but we dumped a lot of money into the old middle school. We continued to pay on a bond for those improvements long after we left it.
I’m not going to bore you with the facts, but I do have to admit my reservations about this project. My obvious concern is the indebtedness payment responsibility being asked of property owners. Obviously, if your property has little value, you’ll see little increase in your taxes. If you don’t own any property, you might even think you’re off the hook.
If you are one of the lucky (sarcastically) small farm and ranch operations like we are, grab ahold of something because you could be strapped with the majority of the financial burden in paying off a 25 year bond committment - if you live that long and can keep your operation afloat.
No one would ever say improving our schools is not necessary. That’s just nonsense, but we have to be careful to balance those needs and not break small property owners, farmers and ranchers in the process.
Whatever happens tomorrow, I still love my friends and neighbors who support the bond(s) and I certainly love our teachers, faculty and students. I’m a proud Indian alumni - Class of 1988!
Fail or pass. Our kids should always come first.

KWIBS - From  October 28, 2019 - By Kevin Noland

My son serving in Okinawa, Japan is reaching his 1 year exit from the military.
A lot can happen in a year, but when you’ve been away from home for the past 3 years and in a foreign country, you start planning your exit about now, which is completely normal.
We talk a few times a week. His plans change daily, but his dreams do not. Now that he’s married, he’s thinking about his future. With no question, he has his college paid for. He just doesn’t know what to major in. His wife has a plan to become a part of a radiology program and they both are looking at Fort Hays State University for their education.
I remember being 21 years old and not know what I was going to do, so I went to Pratt Community College until something just landed at my feet. It was a chance to own a newspaper and printing company.
For Nick, he has so many interests he doesn’t know what he wants to do. A friend of mine emailed him with some thoughts. In it he said, “Don’t rush it. Let it happen naturally.” I think this is great advice.
I entertain everything he’s interested in. I think it’s good to be a dreamer. All he’s known is structure and military for the past three years. He’s ready to make a change back to “normal” or “civilian” life. With any luck, he won’t be broke when he gets home, has an idea what he wants, already knows that he has full support of both sets of parents and will always have a place to call home.
We would love to see him stay in another 4 years, earn that degree on the military’s dime, maybe have a couple of grandkids with his insurance he has with the Navy. He would be state side for the next 4 years, but Nick says he’s ready to have a change of pace. I can only be proud of him for what he’s already done and encourage him to follow his dreams.
Today is a special day for my other son! Mr. Joey Noland is 27 today. He’s working hard as the manager of White’s Foodliner in St. John, KS. Happy Birthday Buddy!!!!
I’m proud of all of my kiddos! It’s a good feeling to know they are all doing just fine as young adults!

KWIBS - From  October 21, 2019 - By Kevin Noland

A malapropism (also called a malaprop or Dogberryism) is the use of an incorrect word in place of a word with a similar sound, resulting in a nonsensical, sometimes humorous utterance.
So when my science teacher in high school said, “orgasmic” instead of “organic,” you can only imagine that I laughed like I was a seventeen-year-old kid; because I was a seventeen-year-old kid.
These days with all of our technology, Dogberryism happens much more frequently in my life with my iPhone. I try to not use the voice to text feature on my phone because either my phone doesn’t understand me, or I am speaking part English / Part Dutch. When you send a text message, it checks spelling mistakes and corrects your writing. Like Siri, iPhone autocorrect has a good sense of humor and often replaces original phases with funny, epic or even scandalous expressions.
These are a few real (funny) autocorrects logged by iPhone users:
* Wife: Happy Birthday to you! Happy Birthday to you! Happy Birthday to dead husband! Happy Birthday to you!
Husband: Thanks. I assume you meant “dear”.
Wife: Yes!!! I mean that is a crazy autocorrect! Sorry babe.
* Boy 1: How was the date? Did you? You know?
Boy 2: Not quite. First date we went to dinner and then I killed her in the woods outside her house and left.
Boy 1: Killing her seems a bit harsh.
Boy 2: KISSED, OMG!
* Employee: Very Cool! Mind if I pump you later then?
Boss: Um, excuse me?!
Employee: Oh god, I’m so sorry. I meant, is it cool if I pimp you later? *join (not pump or pimp). Are you going to fire me?
The iPhone autocorrect especially has gained a reputation for making very poor guesses that have led text senders into some very awkward places.
Autocorrect fails never fail to entertain.
Have a Greek Week! I mean Great....
 

KWIBS - From  October 14, 2019 - By Kevin Noland

Jo Meador passed away July 10, 1996. A very dear friend to us, Jo was a surrogate mom to my wife Ronda. Ronda’s mom fought cancer for many years and had passed away in 1988. Those following years, Jo was there for Ronda. She even took my oldest son in for his circumcision after he was born because we just couldn’t do it.
Jo’s daughters Halee and Kelsey taught all of our children how to swim. We spent countless days at their house watching movies, eating and swimming.
Jo was an inspiration to everyone who knew her and knew her battle with cancer. She was especially important to us and we still feel the pain of her loss to this day.
20-some years later, Jo’s youngest daughter is battling breast cancer. Halee had just watched her sister go through the same thing not many years before. Both of these girls are family to us and it was heartbreaking news to learn that Halee too had to go through this. Her story is on the front page this week. I’m so thankful that she is sharing her story.
Halee has been sharing her journey through her treatments on social media. If you are a friend of hers, you know what is happening. She’s been very open and very brave through this process.
We love Halee and her family very much. It’s been so hard to watch her go through this, but I am so grateful that she is sharing her story with us during the month of October. October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Halee is “fighting breast cancer like a boss.”
If you don’t know this young woman, find her on Facebook and follow her. You won’t find a tougher girl out there. Halee and I have so many inside jokes that we share. Those can’t be printed, but this is for her:
867-5309
You got this girl. God bless you Halee and thank you for sharing your story.
 

KWIBS - From  October 7, 2019 - By Kevin Noland

There’s a very special place in my heart for the rich history of Barber County.
Just a short while back, Medicine Lodge held its annual Peace Treaty Festival which included the Intertribal Powwow and Ranch Rodeo. Both of these events capitalize on our area’s history, along with the Peace Treaty Pageant held every three years. Kiowa also has such a rich history and celebrates the Cherokee Strip and their now 80-year-old Labor Day celebration.
Tourism in Kansas is growing and it’s not something we should take for granted. People enjoy coming to our county to discover history. We have to capture this audience. Get on your internet machine and look up visitgyphills.com - that should help you understand why I’m pressuring everyone to see things differently.
Obviously, I know a whole lot about Medicine Lodge’s history. I came here with my family in 1972, so it’s sort of beat into me. But I am learning about Kiowa.
I’ve been reading about “Old Kiowa” and W.E. Campbell who settled there after the Civil War. Our very own Carry Nation went to Kiowa armed with a brick and threw it through the window of a local bar, probably starting that whole north vs south thing!
So Bob(s), Hays and Cox, this is sort of for you. Sorry to call you out, but I hear nothing but amazing things about you and hope this invitation (although a little pushy), finds you well and possibly excited about this.
I’m looking for a Kiowa history buff. What I am really seeking is something to add to our “Days of Yore” that represents your community. Maybe it’s something simple like an old photo with the cutline or maybe it’s a weekly column. Whatever it is, I really want it!
Our history is what unites us. We are all Barber County. Let’s embrace and share with the next generation.
Have a great week!

KWIBS - From  September 30, 2019 - By Kevin Noland

We were on our way to Jed and Erin Hill’s wedding when I got a call from my friend Brian Alexander.
He was 5 minutes out of Sawyer, heading towards our ranch with a friend he had met at a grass conference in California earlier this year.
We never made it to the wedding.
“Robert” is from Germany, living in Switzerland and is a chemical engineer who worked at a chocolate factory.
What was so unusual about “Robert” was his height. He measured about 6’8”. To put that in perspective, I’m about 5’7”, Ronda is about 5’ even, I’m guessing Tonia Gerstner is about as tall as Ronda and Brian Alexander is a good 5’10”.
Needless to say, “Robert” stood above the crowd.


“Robert” was shadowing Brian last week (pun intended), learning about soil and grasses in Kansas. While they were out and around the county, we got the opportunity to show “Robert” our little slice of heaven and learn about his interest in farming in America.
We had a large time..... (pun intended).
During the tour some heads turned as people drove by all of us relatively short people, standing next to this bearded giant.
I can’t help but think that all you need to be a good producer is a big weird hat and a crazy beard. It seems to work for Brian and he seems to attract others like him, only taller.
I learned a lot, we sampled local beef and talked about the future of agriculture in our county, country and in “Robert’s” country.
On a side note: Congratulations to Jed and Erin. We are terribly sorry we missed your wedding and hope you had a blessed event!
Have a great big week ya’ll!

KWIBS - From  September 23, 2019 - By Kevin Noland

So I went to the fair last week. I was very proud of myself. For the first time in three years, I spent less than $15,000 at the fair. No joke.
I normally go to the fair for one thing - equipment for the ranch and lake. I wait until the fair rolls around because you can literally save thousands on your purchases.
Well, this year we didn’t need any equipment, so I was reserved to not go to the fair.
My wife had other plans.
Ronda arranged for her and I to go to the fair along with her dad and stepmother. It wasn’t that I didn’t want to go with them. I just didn’t want to go to the fair, but I did because I’m an awesome husband and favorite son-in-law (I’m the only son-in-law).
The ladies took us straight from one stop at the beer garden to the infomercial buildings, as I call them. My father-in-law and I roamed from chair to bench, back to chairs again. He begged a few times to go back to the beer garden. I said nothing, but agreed even though a beer was like $9.00 a can and I don’t even like beer.
At least I would get to go look at farm and ranch equipment. I have this weird fetish for tractors, implements and lawn mowers that my wife does not share with me.
Somehow, we wandered through booths of make up, purses, belts and bed sheets and never ended up near a tractor or a lawn mower. My father-in-law used his super powers to get us back to the beer garden before we finally worked our way to the last stop - the grand stand. There we would be cat called to buy everything from more make up to roasted nuts.
I was about to get out unscathed when this Greek guy caught my wife’s attention. This muscular, good-looking dude lured her in with the promise to make her wrinkles disappear. Well, the sales pitch worked and the product works too, but I’m pretty sure it was the accent that cost me $100. At least it was less than $15,000.

KWIBS - From  September 16, 2019 - By Kevin Noland

Taxation without representation is the act of being taxed by an authority without the benefit of having elected representatives or a vote. The term became part of an anti-British slogan when the original 13 American colonies aimed to revolt against the British Empire.
Would it seem reasonable or fair that a person from, let’s say Derby, KS, who has ownership of land in Barber County, cannot vote on issues that have a direct impact on what he pays in property taxes?
Would it also seem reasonable or fair that a person from Medicine Lodge who owns no personal property, but rents a house, has a bigger voice on issues that affect the individual I described above?
Would it surprise you that an average house is already costing over $800 a year in personal property taxes in our county, while a small ranch of 1,500 acres pays $6,000 or more?
It’s not new. It happens all of the time. We have interest in some property in Texas that we don’t control the taxes on. In fact, we’ve been taxed far more than we’ve ever earned on the property, but we hope that one day that changes.
In the meantime, we have no say-so on their local issues.
Some say, that’s the cost of ownership. Others see it as taxation without representation. It’s a little bit of both.
Would it be reasonable to say that if the guy above, from Derby, has his taxes raised, say by $2,500 a year, that he would pass that cost on to his renter? You bet he would. How would that affect the small farmer or rancher who is trying to build a herd of cattle? That’s the price of at least a couple of cows or calves. By the way, if you are the renter in the second example I gave, would it be reasonable that your rent will increase?
Fast forward a few years after taxes increase drastically. You know what happens? Property values fall because it becomes a buyer’s market. Land sells to more people from out of county who have no say-so on local issues - Businesses fail - Jobs are lost - People move - Populations decrease even further.
Want an example? Visit our property in the panhandle of Texas. Once a thriving area, is now full of ghost towns and high taxes.
 

KWIBS - From  September 9, 2019 - By Kevin Noland

Wednesday, September 11 is called “Patriot Day.”
If you are like me, you remember it as the day that 19 terrorists associated with the Islamic extremist group al-Qaida hijacked four airplanes and carried out suicide attacks against targets in the United States. Two of the planes were flown into the twin towers of the World Trade Center in New York City, a third plane hit the Pentagon just outside Washington, D.C., and the fourth plane crashed in a field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. Almost 3,000 people were killed during the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
I was drinking coffee and watching the news when it broke. I thought the first plane was just a horrific accident. Ronda was in the shower and I ran in to tell her as the second plane struck the towers.
We didn’t go to work right away as more news about more hijackings kept coming in. I was 31 years old. Ronda was 32. We remember like it was yesterday.
Two of my friends, Nate and Dale, stepped up to serve their country and volunteered to fight the terrorists on their soil. Thankfully, they both returned home to their families, certainly changed by their experiences, but viewed by me as heroes who stood against terrorism.
So much of the world has changed since then. The way we fly, the way we get our news and the way we view people who are of a different culture. It changed us.
We can not ever forget the deaths of those Americans on that day and the thousands who have died fighting, who were injured and who continue to fight America’s longest war in history.
Take a moment Wednesday morning to remember that on September 11, 2001, at 8:45 a.m. on a clear Tuesday morning we began our day in sorrow as we watched in horror people jumping from windows of our burning Twin Towers of the World Trade Center.
Never forget.

KWIBS - From  September 2, 2019 - By Kevin Noland

The Green New Deal is already turning into the Old Brown Steamer in Georgetown, Texas – population 75,000. It was to be the new poster child of the green movement.
Last October, while the green dream was still in full flower, the city applied for a $1 million grant from former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s nonprofit, Bloomberg Philanthropies, and won it. The grant’s only real requirement was that the city serve as a public relations platform in Bloomberg’s push to convince Americas to abandon affordable fossil fuels and switch to more costly renewable energy.
Georgetown’s electric bills went up as more wind and solar power displaced cheaper natural gas in the power portfolio of the Georgetown’s municipal utility. Politicians scrambled for cover. And the bloom came off Georgetown’s renewable rose.
Now, largely embarrassed members of the City Council are trying to figure out how to unwind the renewable mess they and their predecessors voted themselves into.
With their municipal utility facing a $7 million shortfall – money that has to be made up by the city residents through higher electricity costs – the City Council voted 5-1 in July to instruct the staff to figure out how to wriggle out of the Bloomberg PR deal.
On Aug. 13 the Council voted 5-0 to officially kill the deal. The city is also raising property taxes.
In Georgetown’s case, for it to truly go 100 percent renewable energy using today’s state-of-the-art mass-produced batteries from Tesla’s Gigafactory, the city would need a $400 million battery farm weighing some 20,000 tons to avoid a blackout on a quiet winter night. And, after spending $15,600 for each household to build such a battery farm, its backup power would be drained in 12 hours, with a second windless winter night leaving residents shivering in the dark.

KWIBS - From  August 26, 2019 - By Kevin Noland

Agree to disagree I guess.
We got a phone call right after lunch on Tuesday from a lady in Kiowa who wanted to cancel her subscription because we were a “right leaning” newspaper.
My wife was like, “what”?
Ronda asked for examples, but the lady on the phone could only site “some pastor”. Mike Henry will be happy to know he is the reason we lost a subscriber. Kidding Mike!
I grabbed the paper and tried to find other examples of “right leaning” articles. Maybe Roger Ringer every once in a while and sometimes I have a soapbox, but the front had stories like:
* Oldest Cattlemen’s Tour in Kansas
* Kiowa Police Department and City Council agree to take salary cuts to make budget work
* USD# 254 approves 2019-20 budget
* New bleachers for South Barber High School
* Horns move Red Dirt Repair to new location
I didn’t see anything “right leaning” about any of those.
My column was about my daughter getting married; Jason Offutt wrote about having the Summer flu; Days of Yore was about stuff that happened as long as 110 years ago; The Lincoln Library News didn’t make any comments politically; The Leisure Time Center surely didn’t offend anyone; the news of record doesn’t care what party affiliation you are if you’re speeding or breaking the law; there was no mention of whether or not the people that died and were in our obituary section were Democrats or Republicans; Roger Ringer was just Roger Ringer this week and wrote about work ethic and attitude; my daughter’s upcoming wedding didn’t mention anything political (in fact, it was probably the most diversified article we had this week); the article about Jo Johnson wasn’t right leaning or left leaning. It was just about an amazing lady; the South Barber dancers and FFA kids didn’t make any political waves; Kiowa’s schools being recognized with a civic award barely touched on instruction in government, history, law and democracy.
Could that have been it? No, I doubt that could offend the staunchest of Democrats.
Was it the Kiowa Senior Center news or Tim Marshall completing Ag Lending School that set this lady and her son off?
I don’t know, but what I do know is there’s a lot of things on TV and in magazines that I don’t like or don’t agree with. I just skip those channels or articles and move on. I don’t cancel my DirecTV because of the LOGO channel. I don’t stop reading CNN, but I skip their editorial department.
I really thought the divisiveness over politics had skipped over our tight communities, but I suppose I am too naive to think that my neighbors could think differently about politics and I could still like them.
So here’s where I will get political. Drop your subscription. You hadn’t started paying for it yet anyway. Also, let me point out that you are a part of the “tolerant party.” Yet you can’t tolerate one or two articles out of 30-40. Your hatred for Trump, Republicans, Martians, Mike Henry, or whatever trips you, tells me what kind of people you really are.
As long as a person agrees 100% with you, then you can accept them, but disagree and you are the enemy.
I also liked the fact that this woman made the phone call while her adult son was in the background telling her what to say. What a great big man you are sir. Your mom actually sounded very polite when she called. It was the noise in the background that changed her tone when Ronda asked for examples of what you all were offended by.
Notice I didn’t use your name, share your address, telephone number and encourage people in our county to bother you at the store or scream obscenities at you in the street or stand outside your home in protest?
By the way, I am a registered Republican. I was a Democrat for a while and then an Independent and then a Republican again. I have actually considered the Libertarian Party. I think my views line up more with that party than any. Regardless, I have many friends and family members with different views about politics. I still love them. We try to just agree to disagree and get along. I hope you’re reading. If not, that’s ok, maybe someone will read it to you slowly. One last thing: My wife was about to offer you a spot in our paper to express your political views, but you hung up on her before she had the chance...
We don’t consider ourselves a “political publication” of any sort. I would never silence someone’s local opinion as long as it was done in decency and written respectfully.
Have a great week!

KWIBS - From  August 19, 2019 - By Kevin Noland

In a few days, we will be celebrating the marriage of our Daughter Breeann to her fiance’ Miguel Hernandez.
The announcement came, as no surprise, to us about a month ago.
Most of you in the area know who my daughter is. She’s the one you usually meet first when you walk into our office. A lot of you also know Miguel. Miguel has been a familiar face in Medicine Lodge for many years.
Together they will be a blended family of 7 and we instantly became grandparents to 5 kids ranging in age from 6-13.
I’m not going to lie. It’s been fun watching the chaos. That might sound mean, but it’s not meant to be. These are two loving adults loving a lot of kids at once. It won’t be easy on them, but it will be worth it for the sake of love.
I’m happy for Bree and Miguel and I congratulate them and love them all.
They will be married on Saturday, August 24th with family and friends present. A reception is planned afterwards. My only disappointment is that my son, her brother Nick and his wife Natalie, won’t be able to attend the wedding. They are in Okinawa, between typhoons, and with such short notice, they can’t be in attendance. I’m hoping to facetime them the ceremony as it will be 9 a.m. Sunday their time and 7 p.m. Saturday our time.
One more congratulations goes out to Doris Sorg. She’s been appointed the new director of the Lincoln Library. She’s the perfect choice! Doris was with us for 17.5 years before she left us for greener pastures. Ronda and I are so proud of her and cherish her friendship! Congrats Doris!!
Have a great week!

KWIBS - From  August 12, 2019 - By Kevin Noland

I hope you’ve all been keeping up on the articles concerning the upcoming Peace Treaty Festival and our attempt to consolidate and brand the event “Peace Treaty” forevermore.
I know it’s been confusing because since I was old enough to remember, Peace Treaty means there’s a pageant. But we all know there are so many aspects to Peace Treaty and that there has always been a “non-pageant” event on the off years (I’m making air quotes for my board’s sake).
Since we’re trying to make this event grow and evolve, our board (who somehow elected me as president) has really gotten excited about this concept. We are rejoining forces with Ranch Rodeo and the Powwow to bring an added value to an already great time. We just want it to be yearly and not every three years that you think of coming home and visiting Medicine Lodge and Barber County.
Some of the changes will barely be recognizable, but others will be and as the articles evolve, you’ll understand the evolution of the festival.
You can’t even begin to understand the magnitude of what we’d like to accomplish. It might be ambitious beyond our time frame, but we are working towards a common goal
There have been some critical comments on Facebook, where everyone with a computer becomes an expert on everything, even if they don’t have the facts. I can tell you that there isn’t a harder working, more caring group of people trying to preserve our heritage. There is no attempt to do any harm and we understand that change is hard. Trust me, no one understands that more than we do.
I remember a sign I saw one time that sort of fits us: “Please excuse our mess as we progress.”
Keep reading and join us September 27-29, 2019.

KWIBS - From  July 29, 2019 - By Kevin Noland

One of my favorite artists and guitarists of all times is Joe Walsh.
I’ve been a fan since I was very, very young. I think one of my very first albums was James Gang Thirds, which featured “Walk Away.”
In my youth, I was a Columbia House Music member. I was big into vinyl and 8-track tapes. These days, it’s just easier to subscribe to a service such as Apple Music to store all of my favorite music; and you can bet, there’s a lot of Joe Walsh by himself, the Eagles and James Gang.
Many Ordinary Average Guys don’t realize that Walsh is a native of Wichita, KS. I had always hoped I would meet him one day. In conversation with Ginger Goering, she mentioned she had met him on an elevator in Wichita years ago. That makes me very jealous!
But Seriously Folks, Joe Walsh is one of the greatest talents of my generation. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1998.
Joe is not a fan of today’s music. We share that in common. The digital age has taken away raw musical talent and replaced it with computers, voice, pitch and tone correction, processed drums and instruments that are near perfectly recorded with little human emotion. I’m still a purest at heart when it comes to music. Give me a live performance any day of the week over a recorded version. Most bands today can’t pull off sounding anywhere near their albums.
In an interview from 2012 Live From Daryl’s House, Joe says, “There’s no mojo, there’s nobody testifying. There’s not the magic of human performance, which is never perfect and the magic of human performance is what we all know and love in the old records.”
Life’s Been Good To Me So Far..... Keep going Joe!

KWIBS - From  July 22, 2019 - By Kevin Noland

Monday, July 15, 2019 was a wild and crazy day for me. My first call came shortly after 5 a.m. I had to be in Harper County, Barber County and then Pratt County and back in time to make supper before our Peace Treaty Board meeting.
Ronda’s was no better. She made the mistake of saying, “I’ve got nothing on my schedule today.”
With that statement, I attached our broke down jetski to the back of her Tahoe and sent her to Wichita.
She was freaked out about pulling a trailer and possibly having to back it up. I told her that she only had to turn corners and pull up in front of Marine World and they would do the rest! And they did!
I had laid out some steaks that Mike cut down at White’s. These are just fabulous ribeyes and I really want to compliment how well his meat department does.
It’s easier for us to eat steak now that the kids are all grown and out of the house. We couldn’t afford it when they lived with us. Feeding three teenagers was like, well, feeding teenagers. You get it.
We usually just split a steak anymore. It used to be we would have left overs and make steak tacos the next night.
As we were rushing to eat and make it to our meeting Ronda said, “Oh my gosh. It was one year ago today that Hyde died.”
Hyde was our 15 year old German Shepherd.
It was an incredibly somber moment, as the “left overs” were always diced up into small pieces that I would make him do tricks for. Hyde could stand up, sit down, roll over, run in circles in both directions and catch a ball, frisbee or a piece of food as far as 50’ away. I miss my best friend, but have great memories of his long life with us.
We’ve said we’d never get another pet. There was none like Hyde. He passed peacefully in our arms and is buried in our front yard under a tree by the pond. He died almost one month after our youngest left home again for Okinawa and I’m glad I made him say good-bye to his old friend.
Have a great week!

KWIBS - From  July 15, 2019 - By Kevin Noland

My grand kids are in the office a lot during the summer.
It’s cute. It’s distracting. It’s sometimes frustrating.
My granddaughter is an abstract artist. She’s constantly making slime out of hand sanitizer and glue, using up all the white out, stealing all of the colored pens and shredding paper, straws or whatever she can cut with scissors.
But it’s cute, because she’s 6 and it’s hard to get mad at a 6-year-old.
Ronda was looking for the pitcher to water the plants in the window the other day and finally found it in the “kids’ conference room.”
It was covered in strapping tape, trash bag ties, popsicle sticks and a smaller vase was trapped inside of it.
It was an interesting piece.


 

Ronda stared at it for a long time. I took a photo and then Ronda spent 30 minutes disassembling it.
“That could have been worth hundreds of dollars,” I said.
Later that day, we found a second pitcher.
As I was taking Baylee’s picture with her latest piece of art, Norm Clouse walked in. He thought it was fabulous!
I offered it to him for $300. He’s thinking about my offer.
Have a great week!

 

KWIBS - From  July 8, 2019 - By Kevin Noland

I’m doing a sneak peak of a snippet from Days of Yore that is supposed to be printed next week, but the article caught my attention and I thought I would share it with you. I’ve spoken with local historian John Nixon who could not confirm this information, but also found it interesting.
From The Barber County Index, July 21, 1909:
The Peoples State Bank of this city has on exhibition an old Indian Sharp Carbine rifle. It was found by C. M. Johnson one day last week on what investigation proves to be an old Indian burying ground. The gun protruded out of the embankment which was gradually washed away by the rains and storms of a half century and in the stock of the odd-shaped gun were these notes: “Carried by Geronimo bodyguard. Killed in assault on Medicine Lodge stockade Nov. 21, 1865.” Except for rust and some defects in the wood, the gun is in a fair state of preservation. The barrel is filled with sand and clay which is as impenetrable as the metal itself and, of course, could not be put in working order. The trigger work is rusted out entirely. The note which was found in the stock was in an air-tight metallic box 1 1/2x2 inches and this box was concealed in the stock by means of a metal clasp. It is believed that the finding of this weapon has some connection with the Custer affair that took place here before civilization and an effort is being made to get some reliable data.
The gun will be photographed and the weapon itself is being preserved for historical purposes. The gun is much shorter than rifles of today and works on complexed principles.
Numerous small bones were unearthed in and around where the gun was found and several were large enough to show clearly that an Indian was buried there. The location corresponds exactly to notes made by the first settlers of “The Medicine Lodge Indian Burying Ground.”
A few things that spiked my interest in this story was the note, “Carried by Geronimo bodyguard. Killed in assault on Medicine Lodge stockade Nov. 21, 1865.” The stockade around Medicine Lodge was built after that date, but there could have been a settlement in the area. Another interesting note was that the Peoples State Bank in 1909 is today’s Taco Tico / Simple Simon’s. I was interested in what happened to this gun. According to the Stockade Museum, they don’t have it. So where did it go?
I’m hoping to have something to report back to on this in the near future. I’ve reached out to the Kansas Historical Society for more information, but for now, it’s a mystery. If you have any information on this, please contact me at knoland@gyphillpremiere.com
Have a great week!
 

KWIBS - From  July 1, 2019 - By Kevin Noland

Whether I need it or not, once every 7-10 years I break down and buy a new computer.
Remember, I come from a long line of newspaper people who never thought we’d see the end of linotypes.
This was my week. My friend and best IT guy around, Tim Wortman, got me my new gear and set me up. He knows what I do about as well as I know what I do, so I always trust him to put all my programs and files back on my new computer.
Surprisingly, we only had a few issues, but those issues were major when considering I couldn’t send the newspaper file to the printing plant, couldn’t edit photos and couldn’t see the icons because my screen resolution was set for someone in their early 20s that doesn’t wear bifocals.
With a little patience and some prescription medication for anxiety, Tim was able to get me going again. Now I can either stress about the next 7-10 years of look for a retirement opportunity or stay up to date with technology!
I really hate change. Most of us do. Changing operating systems for me is like learning Russian in a matter of days. You’re going to think I’m a cave man, but we were still running Windows XP. I think Microsoft stopped supporting it a decade ago, but I was going to keep running it until it wouldn’t run anymore and the end was near.
When it takes 45 minutes for your computer to boot up, you know it’s time for a new one.
One thing we are still struggling with is our website updates. We are working on that and should have that issue resolved, maybe by the time this goes to press!
Have a great week!

KWIBS - From  June 24, 2019 - By Kevin Noland

I can be serious. I can be sarcastic. I can be seriously sarcastic. You get that way in any line of work.
Mondays are usually a day I get sarcastic. It’s usually slap-happiness after an incredibly busy weekend and first part of the week. In my line of work, my easy days are usually Tuesday. That’s a day I often take off to get personal things in order, whether at home or at the ranch. I’m usually not slammed at the office.


Monday is a different story. For years we’ve kept the office closed on Monday. Don’t worry, we’re here working. We just limit the contact with the public and the phones and focus on getting ready for the next week’s news. On top of that, I’m a bondsman and it’s supposed to be the day when my defendants check in and I do reports for the companies I represent for bonding, house arrests and chemical and alcohol monitoring.
Each week I have close to 75-90 people who call and check in with me to let me know they haven’t forgotten about court, have stayed out of trouble and that they know when their next hearing is. Some folks set their phones to remind them. I know this because they call at the exact same time every week. Others forget and after two weeks of no contact, I contact them.

That’s usually not a good thing.

I get all kinds of excuses for being late on checkins. Generally, people have very ill grandparents. You grandparents should take better care of yourselves. People also seem to get very sick right before court sentencing hearings. I have one lady who has been in ICU three times in the last three months. Some are just honest and say they forgot to check in. Those are the ones I usually just say, “Hey, no problem. Try again next
week to be on time.”


I’ve heard it all. Every excuse in the book has been used on me, until last Monday when “JS” to protect his identity texted me late after check in. He writes: “Had a weird past couple of days since my girlfriend and I rescued a kitten from Sonic here in ______, but I am so sorry I forgot to check in with you today.”


I wrote back, “No problem.”


But I also shared it with some of my law enforcement friends and other bondsmen for a good laugh and added some narration, “I bet you guys are still recovering from the stress of rescuing that kitten. The PTS must be awful. I personally can feel the tense situation concerning the rescue. What a scary moment it must have
been when you finally got the kitten away from those .99 cent corn dogs. I’m hearing that EMS and Fire are planning on awarding you a plaque for your great deed. Also the local lumber store is donating a 16’ ladder to you so that anytime a cat gets caught in a tree, you can quickly and safely rescue it! I’m even hearing that the local courts are dropping all felony charges against you and clearing your name. In other news, the local Chinese restaurant just raised the price of their buffet by $1.”


I’m bad. I know it....
 

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Ronda and I were able to slip away Monday afternoon and enjoy our 31st anniversary. Being the romantic that I am, I got on my handy movie app on my iPhone and booked us two tickets to see the new John Wick movie. Seriously, what could be more romantic than watching, by my count 154 people die violently by knife, sword,
books, gun fire, car accidents, motorcycle crashes and explosions!?!?!
Right?


Ronda will never admit she likes this series, but she did it for me because she knows I love it - and she loves me! I did return the favor and took her to her favorite place to eat that evening. :)
Have a great week!

KWIBS - From  June 17, 2019 - By Kevin Noland

Today is our 31st wedding anniversary. I’m writing this in advance of printing the paper, so I hope we’re out doing something really cool!

If I had to guess, I’m probably working and if the weather is nice, I will probably be mowing the grass later. Ronda will be busy cleaning house and doing laundry because it’s Monday.

The good news is, we are still going strong at 31 years. The grass gets mowed, the house gets cleaned, the laundry gets done and so much more! We’ve been blessed with three children, grandchildren and so many friends.

I recently looked at photos from my son’s wedding and saw how much our family has changed since June 17, 1988. All of the kids have significant others now and the third generationers are stacking up nicely.

Ronda and I were 19 and 18 when we tied the knot. I had only been out of high school for one month. I love you, Ronda. You’re the best thing that’s ever happened to me. There’s nothing I would change about our lives together. We truly are blessed in our lives. Don’t think it’s all been easy, but we’ve managed to overcome many difficult things through our marriage.

Now, thinking about my son and his new wife Natalie, they are 21 and 20 and they will begin their new lives together in just over a week as Natalie and her family, along with Ronda and I, are preparing her to leave for Okinawa to be with Nick through the end of his deployment in December of next year.

They are young and about to see the world rarely like kids their age ever get to do. One of their bucket lists is to go to the Tokyo Olympics in the spring of 2020. Nick has already planned several trips to islands in the area to show Natalie the beauty of the South Pacific.

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"It’s a small world, but I wouldn’t want to paint it." This phrase is credited to one of my favorite comedians - Steve Wright.

It’s true though.

Early Wednesday morning at 4 a.m. my son Nick starts messaging me from Okinawa. It was bout 7 p.m. his time.

"Dad! I bought a car!"

He was pretty excited and it only cost him $500. He sent me some photos and I was actually impressed. It’s a standard transmission 5 seat mini-van with captains chairs, only everything is backwards and they drive on the wrong side of the road over there. I don’t think it has power windows, locks, a/c, cruise, a radio or any other modern creature-comforts, but he had a car! Nick had waited two long years to achieve the rank of Petty Officer so he was allowed to get his driver’s license, purchased insurance, registration and a $500 car. Come to find out, these cars sell new for about $1,200. I’m guessing they’re made from crushed aluminum cans, but it beats paying for a taxi every day and when he’s done there, they have like a Craig’s List to advertise these cars for sale and it’s almost always the same kind of boxy car for $500. He claims our Polaris could beat this car in a drag race.

So Nick decided to go driving around base in his new "mom car," as he calls it. "Plenty of room for grandkids," he joked. He stopped and asked several people if they needed a ride. That’s another common courtesy to younger marines and sailors on the island. He dropped off a couple of people and saw two Marines standing out in front of a shopping center.

He tells the story: "So you know how I just got my car? Well, today was the first day that after work I just drove around and was giving people rides so they didn’t have to pay for a taxi or walk, and I kid you not, I pulled up to one of the shoppers and I asked these two guys if they needed a ride. One was like ‘no, we’re good. Thanks man!’ and I looked closer and I’m like.... Sheldon?? And he was like, Nick??" It was Sheldon Hart from Medicine Lodge, son of Becky and Justin Hart!

Sheldon had just finished up on some training in Florida, Georgia and California before he received his orders for Okinawa. I had heard he was going there and reached out to his sister Justine. We thought it would be cool if Nick and Sheldon were to run into each other. It’s not likely given the number of Marines, Airforce and Sailors on the island, but it’s a tiny island. Who would have thought that Sheldon only being there for two days and Nick just getting his first car there would cause this meeting to happen 7,500 miles away from their home?

Sheldon had literally been there for two days and Nick just happened to run into him. Hart was in JRC, which is a processing department transitioning him into how life works on base. They spoke for a few minutes and agreed to get together some time. Nick offered to show him around the island and see some attractions after Hart is able to go off base.

I found this to be one of those, one in a million, encounters. It’s pretty cool that two MLHS grads from our county are serving their country together in Okinawa. I’m not sure how long Sheldon will be there, but Nick has been there for two years and exits in December of 2020. Nick will have the opportunity to show a former classmate around the historical island of Okinawa. I’m proud of all of our local military kids for their sacrifice and my hearts go out to their parents who miss them daily. I’m sure they will be able to see each other from time to time and have some great stories to share with us one day!

Have a great week!

 

KWIBS - From  June 10, 2019 - By Kevin Noland

Years ago, many Medicine Lodge residents were up in arms over increasing water rates to support new infrastructure and improvements to existing water lines in our community.

It was not a pretty time in our history and there were hard feelings and hateful things said about those who were trying to make the improvements.

Kiowa is currently well into a project for a treatment facility. It should come as no surprise that these things cost money and is paid for by the users of the water systems.

Recently the city of Anthony announced a rate increase after they discovered they were operating in the red in their water department fund.

It’s only a matter of time before all communities our size will face the inevitable decision to increase rates for one reason or another. As we decline in size, we share the cost with fewer customers. And if we ever want a shot at growth, water is one of the most important factors to consider. Clean water.

I commend the past and present council members, city administrator(s) and mayor of Medicine Lodge who had the foresight to make the difficult decision to upgrade our water system. There were a lot of folks that did not like the changes in the billing structure, but if we had done nothing, we would be in the same position as many of our neighboring communities are soon to be in. I commend Kiowa for thinking about their future water needs as well. As the two largest cities in the county, we have to lead the way.

Progress is not easy. Change is rarely welcomed. If we do nothing, we get nothing in return. Sometimes by making the difficult decisions, we are giving future generations a shot at growth. Maybe it will happen in our lifetimes. Maybe it won’t.

Have a great week!

KWIBS - From  June 3, 2019 - By Kevin Noland

As you age, injuries become more significant. I could fall down 10 years ago and rub some dirt in the wound and shake it off.

Now, at almost 50, injuries are a gamble. Over Memorial Day weekend, I was working on a spillway and needed some metal pipe. I went down to the shed and grabbed my sawzall and found exactly the pipe I needed (almost, or I wouldn’t have needed the sawzall).

I climbed over a mound of rusty metal and found my pipe. As I was climbing back out, I scraped my leg against a rusty piece of metal. It didn’t hurt, but when I got to the other side, I was pretty bloody and it looked fatal. I still went into the pond and fixed my spillway.

I’ll call it a flesh wound, but my doctor buddy took a look and asked, "When was your last tetanus shot?"

I thought for a minute and answered, "Oh, like 1981."

He didn’t make me get another one. I probably needed a stitch or two, but a few strips of bandages and some rubbing alcohol and I was good as new.

Then we had more storms on Saturday. One of my wife’s glass vases blew over and shattered on the front porch. I was told it was all cleaned up, but my foot discovered a nice sliver of glass that lodged itself into my heal.

That wound resulted in a bloody shoe and a sore foot. Thankfully, both cuts were on the same leg, so if I have to have it amputated, at least I have one good leg left.

None of these wounds would be serious if I were in my 20s and I wasn’t taking blood thinners because I have had heart issues in my recent past.

I can only be thankful that I am aging gracefully and am still well enough to write this column I guess!

 

KWIBS - From  May 27, 2019 - By Kevin Noland

As promised, I have returned this week.

My last couple of weeks were spent on a tractor and road grader trying to repair damage we received after the latest rounds of rain and flooding.

It couldn’t have happened at a worse time. My ranch foreman, Dave, and his wife, Mary, who also works for us, went to Hawaii for two weeks. That left me and my trusted friend Leroy Weber to get things mowed and roads repaired.

It was a long week of hauling rock, digging out culverts, fixing deep washouts and getting the grass mowed. We have about 150 acres of recreation area we maintain.

Friday evening of last week, we had everything done and caught up for Dave’s return on Monday. It was perfect and I felt a real sense of satisfaction until I was driving down my own driveway, fixing the last of things and saw rain hitting the windshield.

Saturday, it poured. Pretty much everything I had fixed, had washed away and more puddles formed. At first, I was really distressed, but then I remembered 4 years ago when the ground was so hard you couldn’t even dig a hole.

Well, those days seem to be behind us and more rain is in the forecast, as I write this.

On Monday, Ronda and I were invited to the Barber County Annex to meet with area FEMA representatives to discuss damages we received.

We’re not a city, but we have 42 homes located in the middle of our ranch on a resort known as Lake Arrowhead. It is our hope that someone in Washington will recognize us as tax paying citizens who could use a little help with funding for repairs to roads and culverts, spillways and dams. It’s a long shot, but one we will pursue. I do know that Barber County is in FEMA’s crosshairs and we should get some relief.

Stay dry my friends!

KWIBS - From  May 13, 2019 - By Kevin Noland

About 4 years ago, my mens’ Bible Study group prayed for months for it to rain and for the drought to end.

I wish someone would pray for my bank account that hard - with as much success!

Up in the north part of the county, we are saturated. I know the entire county has received a good amount of rain, so you can relate..

It affects us in a unique way. When we receive too much rain in a short amount of time, we become "hydrologically inadequate" when it comes to moving water. With the current spring rains, higher water table and complete saturation, we have a lot of water with nowhere for it to go.

It seemed we got rain every day last week. So much at one point, that we went over our emergency spillways at Lake Arrowhead. Whenever this happens, we turn to our EAP (Emergency Action Plan). It’s sort of silly, but the Kansas Water Office requires we have one, so when the water comes rushing over, I make one call to the sheriff’s office or to Rick Wesley to let him know basically, "here it comes!"

And within a couple of hours, the East side of Medicine Lodge including all of the city park was underwater.

Rick came out and watched Elm Creek rise at Resort Road. That night, I went out and measured 22" of water that had made a new river across our main entrance to the lake. Several folks couldn’t get home on Tuesday night. Several more couldn’t get out, but eventually, we started to drain off. My phone rang several times that night with concerned folks who had heard that our dam burst. That simply was nowhere near true. Our dam is good and strong and will outlive everyone reading this.

Wednesday morning, I went out and surveyed the damage. We have some road issues that I’ll work on over the weekend, provided it stays dry long enough for me to run a road grader. The funniest thing was seeing about 40, 15-30 lb grass carp nearly 1/4 mile away from the lake, flopping around in the middle of the road! Truly a fish out of water experience. I even found one crappie still alive.

Ronda and I went down to meet folks in Kiowa last week. We enjoyed running into people who we have known for years and meeting a few new folks for the first time.

I will say this about Kiowa. You guys have a lot of community and school pride. We have been overwhelmed with calls of encouragement and support in covering your town.

We’ll be trying hard over the next few weeks at making new connections and getting all your news and advertising in the paper. Many of you have already reached out to us and we appreciate it. We are short staffed, overworked, underpaid, but SUPER EXCITED to be a part of covering you.

I’m still going to bug Rex Zimmerman about telling his story to all of our readers. He has been so helpful the past week in getting us information to help us build the paper.

We want your news! Send us everything you can to news@gyphillpremiere.com !

Have a great week!

 

KWIBS - From  May 6, 2019 - By Kevin Noland

It seems weird to me, but I have to use my column this week to introduce myself and my wife to some who might not know us.

As you can see by our reboot and reformat this week, we and The Kiowa News have come together to make one paper. It’s sort of strange how quickly it all happened, but it was. Rex and Diann were ready to retire.

Rex Zimmerman and I have known each other for many years. We share a long history of newspaper in our blood. He started in the St. John area in his teens in the 1970s, maybe earlier, but I don’t want to embarrass him. I worked as a third generation pressman and newspaper man in Medicine Lodge since the early 1980s. Rex and I have always respected each other’s areas and not stepped on each other’s toes; to the point where we even shared the yearly appointment of official county paper with no disputes or hard feelings. We and our families have felt an obligation to our county to bring the news to the citizens. I’ve written stories for them and they’ve written stories for us. I have always had good feelings about Rex and his wife Diann. They devoted 40 years to the Kiowa area and South Barber. When I say "devoted", you can’t understand this commitment unless you’ve experienced 52 deadlines a year for decades. We’ve both had that dedication and feeling of responsibility to our respected communities for most of our lives.

So when we began talking about a merger-acquisition, I was at first hesitant, but interested. Ronda and I are still in the business for the long haul. Rex and Diann were ready to retire. It was a good fit. We just didn’t have a good game plan in place and I was hoping for a few months to get one. As you’ve read, that didn’t’ transpire, but we were able to start the process last week.

My biggest concern was giving Kiowa and the readers in our county the same service as Rex did. Ronda and I have quite a few strange commitments going on in our lives. Not only are we newspaper owners, but we have a ranch we take care of north of Medicine Lodge (with a lake resort, I might add); we are grandparents; we still handle some operations for an internet company; I’m a bail bondsman and enforcement agent; I do house arrest and monitoring for a company from Wichita and we are both deeply involved and love The Medicine Lodge Peace Treaty Association as well as Barber County Development.

So, ya, we’re a little invested in the county, to say the least.

I have many friends in South Barber (I hate that term). I believe we are one county and we share the common struggle of surviving in rural America. We are unique in the respect that we adapt and change when that need arises. We have to. "North and South" sounds so territorial.

As I said, we want to serve the Kiowa and South Barber area with the same passion as the Zimmermans. We can tell you that we can only do this with the cooperation of those who live in our communities. It was common practice 20 years ago for folks to submit articles and news to the area papers. These days, people like instant gratification of social media and often forget the importance of community journalism and keeping a record of events. A perfect example and proof that newspapers are still a viable industry is to, "Look at Facebook and tell me what happened 75 years ago."

Newspapers are a way to preserve the history of our community in a "hard copy" form of media. We’re in your schools and libraries, at your city, and county meetings. We’re a part of your anniversaries, birthdays and even deaths of your friends and family. Facebook may be instant, but we’re in it for the long haul.

Ronda and I need your help. We’ll print just about any news item you send us. We want to. We aren’t psychic and we can’t be everywhere at once, so that’s where you come in and help us report your news. We love to know what’s happening in our communities. I actually read about 20 newspapers a week around our area. I enjoy seeing how we stack up against other communities. We’re doing well, by the way. Even though we are experiencing a slow down in our economics, I believe the future is bright. It can be brighter with your help. Over the coming weeks, we’ll be wanting to include more of your news, photos and advertising into The Gyp Hill Premiere.

Ronda and I look further than just retail business support and subscribers. We understand the delicate balance of agriculture and the natural resources we rely upon in Barber County with our oil industry. If you’ve been around long enough, you’re probably like us, this is our third or fourth oil recession we’ve experienced. Things are looking better, but these booms come and go and we can only hope to take temporary advantage. The most important thing is that we don’t lose hope or vision.

I will say something controversial about Barber County: I don’t believe in the north and south division. I’ve always had dear friends from all over the county: north, south, east or west. And I’ve always been envious of the community pride that Kiowa has shown over the years. It really is time to erase that line and become a united county. Many of us have already done that.

We are overwhelmed with Kiowa’s response to us coming in. I can’t tell you how excited and scared we are, all at the same time. You all deserve a good newspaper. We can do that, with your support, so please contact us with your news and thank you to all who have already.

If you are new to our paper, you’ll see some things you haven’t seen before. Some things that the Zimmermans did, are only what they could do because of their long commitment to your community. I know there are more like them out there. We just have to connect with them. We have some obvious differences that I hope you’ll find valuable like our features, comics, puzzles and columnists.

This week has been the hardest and longest week of our lives. This transition will take months of fine tuning and building relationships with you, but I know it will be worth it, so bear with us as we work out the kinks. There will be many. Call us or email us anytime. Everything you need to know about Ronda and I and The Gyp Hill Premiere are available at www.gyphillpremiere.com.

This is a positive move forward in our communities. Thank you Rex and Diann for being so gracious and entrusting us to carry the torch forward. We wish you a fantastic retirement and we thank you for your selfless commitment to our county. We hope to share the Zimmerman’s story with you very soon.

Have a great week! We look forward to working with you.

 

KWIBS - From  April 29, 2019 - By Kevin Noland

This is a tough week for our family. We’ve been celebrating since late March, when Nick finally came back stateside and married Natalie.

This week, we said our good-byes. Friday, Nick began his long journey back to Okinawa. He will be there only a few days before he is deployed on two different operations in the Asian theater. By the first of June, he should be settled back in at his new job at 1st Marine Aircraft Wing Group 36. It’s a ton more responsibility and I believe he’s up to the challenge. Nick has worked very hard on training other RPs on protecting their Chaplains in combat situations. His procedures will be incorporated into future A-Schooling for all Religious Program Specialists.

His new bride should arrive in Okinawa sometime in June, provided all the paperwork is done.

We might be seeing Natalie in the Spring of 2020 for her sister’s graduation, but we may not see Nick again until December 2020 when his deployment ends.

It has been wonderful having him home. These past few weeks have been a flood of emotions for our family. We’ve done some really fun things as a family that we won’t get to experience again for almost two years. That’s a bitter pill to swallow, but I stand as a proud parent of a fine young man who is serving our country and making a huge sacrifice by being so far away from home.

We don’t yet know exactly what Nick and Natalie’s future plans will be. Nick says that he is out at the end of his contract, but then ponders another 4 years - and then changes his mind again. It’s ok with us, whatever his decision will be. He’s already proven to us that he is capable of handling whatever life throws at him and he’ll either breeze through the rest of his deployment and then college, or he’ll re-up and serve stateside for another 4 years and then get out of the military. Either option is just fine with us. One thing is for certain - he will be back in the United States at the end of next year.

All I want is for him and his new wife to be happy, healthy and safe as they make their way around the world together.

One exciting thing they plan to do is attend the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo!

While Nick was home, we took a lot of photos. We haven’t even seen the wedding photos yet!

This photo was my favorite of Nick and Natalie. It was taken by Natalie’s maid of honor outside of The Gyp Hills Guest Ranch during the night of rehearsal.

Nick didn’t want to wear his uniform while on leave, but I begged him to wear it for photos with Natalie. He thinks I take way too many pictures, and I probably do, but it’s these moments that bring fond memories to mind and tears to my eyes.

We’re so excited to have Natalie as a part of our family. She’s the first new Noland since 1998! (Nick was the most current Noland before that!)

We love you Nick and Nat!

Have a great week.

 

KWIBS - From  April 22, 2019 - By Kevin Noland

It’s like someone let the wind out of my sails; more like the air out of my tires.

After 50 years Slinkard Oil is history. Bill made the announcement nearly a month ago, signs went up to sell his building and he eventually got a contract pending.

I’m dating myself here, but I used to sneak down the alleys on my mini-bike behind our house on A-Way to go buy gas from Bill. He would pump it or Bob Smith would. It usually cost me about 30 cents to fill up my 1/2 gallon gas tank on my Honda 50. Occasionally, it cost me a stern speech from Chief Monte Rickard, when he could catch me.

Over the years, Bill stopped pumping gas, but kept the business going. We used him to service Ronda’s car and grandma’s car since we could start driving. He fixed half a million flats for me.

Bill was so detail oriented when it came to servicing a vehicle and he wasn’t shy about telling you to take it somewhere else if he wasn’t qualified to fix it.

I remember hanging out on his lot as a kid. We were safe there and there was one of the last pay phones in town if we needed to call home.

I’ll miss watching him put a fresh coat of paint on that place before it ever needed it.

I’ll also miss the free air. I could always count on that compressor to be on 24-7, 365 days a year.

Mostly, I’ll miss his friendly smile behind his old-school desk at his classic gas station. I wish you the best, Bill, in your well deserved retirement.

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Congratulations to Mr. and Mrs Nicholas Noland! We welcomed Natalie to our family, officially, on Saturday, April 13, 2019. Nick goes back to Okinawa later this week for about 2 more years. It will be sad to see him go, but I know he will soon be joined by his new bride.

 

KWIBS - From  April 15, 2019 - By Kevin Noland

For the past 4 years, just one year before the Anderson Creek Fire, I started going on some controlled burns with some friends. I was trying to learn the importance of prescribed burning.

This year, Ronda and I joined the Gyp Hills Prescribed Burn Association. I knew most of the members and had burned and learned from many of them. It seemed only right to offer my help and resources. Those resources were less than outstanding. I have two UTVs with 50 gallon sprayers, one old F350 with a 350 gallon tank and pump and one drip torch.

My first official burn with the association was on the Cook Ranch north of Hardtner two weeks ago. We started at around 11 a.m. and the 360+ acres were contained by 1:30 p.m. It was a great burn. Everyone went home full and bored. I only used 10 gallons of water all day.

I have limited knowledge on this topic, so forgive me if I speak out of turn, but if you use just a little water and things go good, that’s a good burn. Someone did their preparation work.

We set a pin on the date of Monday, April 8, 2019 to burn just under 600 acres on our ranch. Wind direction was not critical because we had professional management help us with a burn plan that covered any direction (that’s another benefit of belonging to this amazing organization). Ideally, we needed a north or west wind. God provided us a mostly west and north west wind for the day.

That’s not all He provided.

My phone and email started blowing up with people I didn’t even really know, offering to help. We welcomed it all. Our burn was unique. They all are in their own way. We had two priorities. Firstly - regain grassland and replenish. Unlike most ranches though, our ranch has a resort with 42 homes in the middle of it. That created a safety challenge and extra help was necessary to contain and fires that broke out of our fire lines. And they did.

I hadn’t slept in about 24 hours by burn day. We had a lot of last minute preparations removing cedar trees from the fire line and the thought of lighting this fire kept me awake for several nights. Cedars are like nature’s Roman Candles. When they go up, they throw fire and create little tornadoes that can set off fires thousands of yards away from the controlled burn. It was our intention to keep our residents safe and our neighbors safe.

I was up early the morning of the burn. I went down and put coolers of water, dish soap for water tanks, torch fuel, maps and burn plans. I got a text around 9:30 a.m. that a caravan of people were heading our way. I had no idea.....

At about 9:50 a.m. there were more than 50 people, 20 water trucks, a 6x6 forestry truck, 9,000+ gallons of tank water, 11 UTVs, a forestry fire expert, our county emergency management director, and neighbors and friends with more than 1,000 combined years of burning experience; all staged at our dam at Lake Arrowhead. I actually had to slip out and regain my composure. I was overwhelmed with everyone who came.

Their pay for the day: A successful burn, no injuries, full bellies and some boredom and seeing half the ranch go up in smoke. By 2:30 p.m., we had released several people. Some stayed a few more hours; a couple of us stayed all night and throughout the next day and a half.

I can’t name everyone to thank, but I will hit some highlights. Flint Rucker, his sister Jodi and son Cory came to help. Mark Dugan, Flint and I, did the preparation work. Brian Alexander was my burn boss. Robert Larson was my team leader with David Colborn, Jeff Clarke and Pat Bedwell on our back fire team. Jess Crockford (prescribed burn expert) was there lighting things up. Keith and Eva Yearout from Z-Bar brought a giant fire truck and Eva must have walked 8 miles with a drip torch that day. Ted Alexander came with radio communication and his wisdom; of course his son Brian Alexander and I have been friends for quite a while and he is teaching us more about ranching than our minds can contain. The local NCRS and Cheryl and Wyatt at the office hooked us up with some storage tanks and pumps, several of our residents at Lake Arrowhead volunteered to help.

My wife did some walking along with a drip torch. She was tired and fried at the end of the day, but we were more than happy with the results.

The people of GHPBA are amazing and I can’t thank them enough. Tom Carr is the president of this great association and provided organization and his personal assistance on the day of the burn.

The most important thing I learned that day was that we have to take care of this land. There is an invasion of cedars and grasses that put us in danger and reduce our profitability in raising food to feed the world.

Ronda and I are excited to be a part of this group and we look forward to helping our neighbors, just like they have helped us.

Next week, we will have an article that Jess Crockford is writing to help educate the area on the importance of controlled and prescribed burning. Have a great week!

KWIBS - From  April 8, 2019 - By Kevin Noland

He’s home and he’s marrying the girl this weekend!

Nick arrived safely on Saturday, March 30th in Wichita after about 30 hours of traveling from Okinawa.

The girl, Natalie Bare, from Pratt, KS is already a part of the family. They’ve dated for three years and kept a two year engagement. Saturday, April 13th, 2019 is the big day and we couldn’t be prouder and happier for them.

I want to share some wisdom and advice for a successful marriage.

Nick, your big day is upon us all. You have chosen wisely. Natalie is smart and beautiful and comes from a great family. You are blessed to have found such a person. I’m blessed in the same way and I’m so excited at the path you’re on.

Treat her well. Always open the door for her. Treat her like the queen that she is. Keep the romance alive.

May your fountain be blessed, and may you rejoice in the wife of your youth.

Remember - it won’t always be easy, but it will always be worth it. Never let the sun go down while angry with each other. Forgive quickly. Tuck her in bed every night you can. Hug, kiss, hold hands and grow old together as friends.

I’m proud of the man you have become. Your time in the Navy has changed you in a good way. I see how mature you have become. Stay the course.

A few scriptures I would share with you:

Ephesians 4:2-3: "With all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace."

Colossians 3:14: "And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity."

Ecclesiastes 4:9: "Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up. Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone?"

God bless you and your new wife. I love you.

 

KWIBS - From  April 1, 2019 - By Kevin Noland

Raise your hand if you’ve ever had a stress zit.

Now raise your hand if you’re a liar because you didn’t raise your hand the first time.

I’ve been a little stressed lately. If you ask my wife, she’d probably say more than a little.

I woke up on Wednesday morning and I had this giant zit on my neck. I’m sure it was from stress, being filthy dirty for the better part of a week working on equipment, and my stellar healthy living. For about 6 weeks, I’ve been out mowing fence lines and helping burn pastures.

Spring means, it’s time to get things done at the ranch before the busy lake season starts.

I had forgotten about the zit until I went for a hair cut. My stylist was like, "Oh my God. You have like a third nipple, only on your neck!"

A third nipple. That always fascinated me. Supernumerary nipples, in the case of multiple nipples is a condition in which you have one or more extra nipples on your body.

I actually have three friends with third nipples. How ironic is that? I won’t name them, but I always wondered what that would be like. Apparently, I now know.

I’m just glad it’s temporary. At least I hope it is. I have this wedding thing coming up and I don’t want to have to turn my head for pictures.

So my stylist had fun with it. She actually tried to squeeze it, but it only made it bigger and sore.

"Oh! Here’s another one," she exclaimed!

It was like she’d found a diamond mine.

It was a weird experience that turned into her straightening my hair at 360 degrees with some flat iron contraption.

I don’t even know why this column is happening, but happy April Fools! You know I am one....

 

KWIBS - From March 25, 2019 - By Kevin Noland

A normal pregnancy usually lasts about 40 weeks, counting from the first day of a woman's last menstrual period, which is about two weeks before conception actually occurs. Pregnancy is divided into three trimesters. Each of these periods lasts between 12 and 13 weeks.

Aren’t you glad to know that?

So it takes about 9 months to get your baby.

In our situation, it’s taking about 10 months.

The baby of the family, Nicholas Noland, RP3, USN, will make his voyage home from Okinawa starting Thursday and arriving Saturday morning to a host of family, friends and most importantly, his anxious bride-to-be, Natalie Bare.

This is the longest we’ve gone without seeing him. His recent promotion has also complicated our communication, so we can’t begin to explain how excited we are to have him home and to be a part of their wedding on April 13, 2019. It will be his longest visit home - nearly 30 days of leave.

In the middle of him coming home, we’re working feverishly to prepare to burn about 700 acres of pasture and prepare for our resort season. I apologize for not getting back with several people last week. It took me about three days to catch up on emails.

As I do enjoy being outdoors and out of the office, I find myself in a panic when I’ve been gone for three days. Things begin to pile up on my desk and the second I walk in the door, the sticky notes begin to get removed one by one as I catch up.

If I missed you last week, try me again. If it’s an emergency, you are always welcome to call my cell at 620-886-0630. The rest of March and most of April will be super hectic for Ronda and I and the entire family as we welcome home our son and prepare for an awesome wedding!

Have a great week!!

 

KWIBS - From March 18, 2019 - By Kevin Noland

Last week, we rushed around to finish up our mock up of the paper so that I could leave town early for some mandatory continuing education classes for my bail bond and enforcement business. Keep in mind, this legislation was passed back in 2016 by a small group of big-city bonding companies after, what I feel, was a failed attempt at convincing people like me to join their association.

The sales pitch was, "You should join, so that you’ll be kept up on legislation in our industry."

The cost to join at that time was $500. I did not see the value in it, but soon learned of legislation that affected my industry. The Kansas Bail Agent Association lobbied our Kansas legislatures to pass HB 2056.

In May of 2016, Governor Brownback signed HB 2056 into law; laying the groundwork for Continuing Education requirements for Kansas Bail Agents and Kansas Bail Enforcement Agents. A double-sided bill, one side of HB 2056 explains the new regulations and requirements for all Kansas Bail Agents in regards to Continuing Education requirements for both Surety and Property Bonding Agents. I dread it each year.

The catch: Only the Kansas Bail Agent Association could teach the class at a cost of $250 a year per person; half of the original membership I was quoted. Nice play KSBAA.

Imagine being a painter and being approached by an association claiming to represent you and your industry and then telling you that joining will help you fight against legislation that affects your business, but you refuse to join and then suddenly, you can’t paint anymore unless you take a class on how to do it. Imagine you’ve done it for almost 15 years. Do you think that you should be forced to pay for a class?

Well, if you’re like me, our state representatives don’t think too much about passing bills and how they will affect those who fall under the law. For me, the closest class each year is Park City or Hays. I have to take off on a Thursday, get a hotel room, drive up and sit through about 8 hours of watching paint dry. This was intended on being a pun about the painter association doing something like that.

I belong to several organizations of my own free will. Kansas Press Association is one of those groups. Can you imagine if they lobbied to make a law that I could not publish a newspaper without continuing education classes first?

For the past three years, I’ve grudgingly, missed work, tossed them a check, sat through these boring classes, grumbled through the speakers that have nothing to do with my work, stood in line and received a worthless piece of paper that says I was there.

Topeka is full of BS like this and lobbyist have too much power to force issues just like this.

The same Attorney and special prosecutor who took 6 months to attempt to charge our former Sheriff with domestic battery (that could never be proven because the spouse/victim and witnesses said it never happened) was the morning speaker. Remember, that cost Barber County tens of thousands of dollars and man-time to investigate and in my opinion, was a political hack job.

He used much of his time advertising his services to his "captive" audience at a reduced rate if we only, "paid a little more for a full blown membership."

Officers of the KSBAA used their time to also encourage us to join, using the same sales pitch - that if we aren’t involved, more legislation could come down the pipe affecting us. Maybe true...

The very definition of a crime I have bonded people out of jail from reads: Extortion - the practice of obtaining something, especially money, through force or threats.

The force: take the class and pay $250. It’s mandatory. The threat: if you don’t, you can’t practice your trade anymore, no matter how long or how well you’ve done it.

Most of the afternoon session with judges present from Sedgwick County’s court system had nothing to do with how the 30th district handles bonds that I work. So I was forced to sit through almost two hours of complaints from local bondsmen about how poorly the Sedgwick County Jail operates. I really don’t care. I was there to be "taught" something useful to my business.

Now, I do see value in these classes for new agents entering the bonding business. We were handed booklets at the beginning of the day that were basically the same that we’ve received three years in a row (sponsored by the Attorney who wants us to join and use his services at 1/2 the rate), with the legislation on why we have to take this class. I can read. I don’t need it read to me for $250.

I’m frustrated with Topeka on many levels. I spoke with Representative Hoffman about this issue many times with no resolution. He either sees value in the classes or simply doesn’t care. I even invited him to take the class last year. He didn’t. I sent him a short video of the attorney giving away drink coozies and T-Shirts like it was a rock concert. How does that educate me to be a better bondsman?

At this point, I would rather just join the association for $200 a year and do away with the training since my total expenses for the classes were over $600, plus what I lost in a days worth of work at my real job, but that’s not an option.

On the bright side, there was a break out session on Kansas Gun Laws that was given by a gentleman who I have known for a couple of years. The irony was, I ran into him at a gun show last year and told him he would actually be an "interesting" speaker at a continuing education class. Low and behold, he was the only speaker that I had any interest in, but still, since I already use his product and training, I had no real benefit of hearing it again.

Topeka should get back to fixing our state’s problems and stay out of our businesses. There is absolutely no evidence that I benefited from this class, taken three times now, except that I am helping fund a lobbyist to look after "my industry’s interests."

It’s not all bad. I understand we need a voice in Topeka, but convince me of that and earn my membership. Don’t force it upon me and my industry. My time is valuable and I don’t like it wasted.

Are you listening Topeka?

Have a great week.

 

KWIBS - From March 11, 2019 - By Kevin Noland

After two weeks of firing my .45 pistol, a KISS concert in OKC and a Metallica concert Monday, my ears have had it.

For the first time in my life, I had to wear ear plugs to go listen to music.

Monday we drove to Wichita to see the metal band that started it all: Metallica. They aren’t exactly what I put in my playlist, but the concert was significant because it marked 34 years of a shared love for concerts and music that Ronda and I have together.

Our first out of town date was in mid-December 1985 when I took her to see Ozzy Ozborne with a brand new opening act called "Metallica". Little did we know then that we were seeing history in the making. They were weird, loud and in our opinion, terrible. The entire Kansas Colosseum agreed and they got a "boo" from the crowd.

A Rolling Stone article reflected their experience. Lead singer James Hetfield said he’d never perform there again. For their 25th anniversary tour, they decided to come back to Wichita to kick off the tour to a different tune. Their strange speed-thrash metal caught on and they became the staple of the metal music industry and on January 14, 2009, it was announced that Metallica would be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

There’s about a dozen Metallica songs I really like and about 100 I really hate, but for us, it’s about production and entertainment. Everyone has their thing. Ours is music. I can listen to just about everything except modern country and rap music. Some people don’t see the talent in playing the type of music that Metallica plays, but they have a unique talent for authentic speed with music.

I reached out to a friend on Valentine’s Day of last year and using my Jedi mind control, convinced her to let me prepurchase 4 front row tickets. The tickets went on sale to the general public the next day and sold out Intrust Bank Arena, making it the largest event in the arena’s history. Metallica’s Monday-night crowd of 15,690 was the biggest the downtown arena has seen in its nine year-history, and it busted the previous record held by country legend George Strait, who drew 14,680 fans in 2014.

The arena was somewhat prepared for the crowd, the city’s parking was not. We took some friends with us, ate a quick dinner and then spent the next 45 minutes trying to find parking. We ended up parking under the 54/400 overpass off of Emporia, three blocks away. I’m not even sure if we were legally parked, but we didn’t get towed away!

This concert was loud in a way I can’t describe, but my sound techy friend "Steve" met up with us to explain it all. Steve is a great sound man who works a lot of venues in and around Wichita. He is also owns the sound company that Peace Treaty uses.

Steve explained, "Metallica owns subs (woofers) that were designed by the military as sonic weapons. They used the subs for a total of three minutes off and on because the sound waves can actually cause people to become ill and disoriented."

He added, "This sound set up was such a harmful frequency that they use a cancelling system that changes the frequency of the bass on stage and cancels out that signal so the bass player (who complained his feet would go numb) and most in the audience don’t become ill because of the low frequency."

There was so much science and technology that went into this concert, but all I can say is, it was loud. VERY LOUD!

A little heavy metal does me some good, now and then!

 

Remembering my friend Michael Walker

Back in late 2004 and early 2005, we were introduced to a band named Aranda, made up of brothers Dameon and Gabe Aranda, Chad Roper and Michael Walker. Mike was a music instructor in Oklahoma City and one of the neatest guys we’ve ever met. Over the next 15 years, we would go to more than a 100 shows in 4 states and we’ve become great friends with everyone that has come in and out of Aranda’s band over those years.

Tragically, Monday morning, March 4th, Mike and his wife Rachael were both murdered in the early morning hours at their home in Edmond, OK.

If this wasn’t sad enough, the crime was committed by their eldest son "Eli". Eli, 19, had a long history of mental illness and was having a difficult time in his life. Whatever drove him to kill his parents is something I will never understand and it will haunt me forever.

Please pray for the Walker’s children during these difficult days.

This group of people are near and dear to us. When not touring across the country, you would find members of Aranda at LifeChurch in the Oklahoma City metro area doing worship services.

These guys are the real deal and they are all hurting over the tragic loss of their drummer and friend. Here’s a photo of me and Mike in Austin, TX in 2013.

Mike was a great man. He was an amazingly talented musician and teacher. He was soft spoken - but hilarious at just the right moment. He was sensitive to those around him. He was gracious in nature. He had rhythm and soul to his core. He was blessed with countless friends, fans and family and he knew God's mercy.

He could be sweaty at times, but worth hugging after a show! We are trusting God to heal many hearts in the days, weeks, months and years to come without Michael Walker and wife Rachael.

 

Heaven gained the greatest percussionist ever.

 

KWIBS - From March 4, 2019 - By Kevin Noland

You know how deep a friendship runs when your buddy and his wife will hop on different planes from cities in California, meet up in Las Vegas and fly into Oklahoma City to spend less than 24 hours with you and your wife for a KISS concert.

Nix and Wendy made the trip our direction on Tuesday. Ronda and I drove down and we picked them up at the airport and then stopped by to say hi to a couple of classmates from the MLHS Class of 1988 that live in OKC.

Jim Tedrow and Tina (Littlechild) King both work north of Will Roger’s Airport and when they heard we would be passing through they started blowing up my cell phone.

In fact, they called so many times that it interrupted our GPS directions and we missed our exit. Thanks Tina and Jim!

After a quick visit, we hit the hotel, which was completely not prepared for the crowd of people who came to see KISS on their "end of the road" tour.

I had gone and seen KISS with Nix a couple of years ago and got to meet the band and see the behind the scenes action. I begged Ronda to come this time and she said, "Yes, as long as Wendy is going." Well, Wendy came!

Ronda and I are not really big KISS fans, but we are huge Nix and Wendy fans, so when Nix begins a conversation with, "What are you guys doing.....?" We usually perk up to see what he has in mind.

It was a blast and here’s our latest fun photo!

 

This marked 4 adventures in 10 calendar months that we’ve seen them and we always have a great laugh or two!

And Happy Birthday Mom!

Have a great week!

 

KWIBS - From February 25, 2019 - By Kevin Noland

When my kids each turned 21, we celebrated with a cold one.

I remember when Joey turned 21. We drove all the way to Hays so we could have a beer together. It’s like a right of passage and an entrance to true adulthood. It’s second in importance only to hitting retirement age.

Today is my youngest’s 21st birthday. We won’t be celebrating with a beer because he’s 7,500 miles away on a tiny island and a Marine base south of Japan.

Over there, he’s been able to buy himself a drink since he was 20, so this is really no big deal to him, but it’s important to me. It’s that whole, "now son, do these things in life and not these things," kind of moment.

So, I’m a little sad that today (yesterday for him) we won’t be having that special bonding experience.

The good news is, he’ll be home in 34 days and on leave for 29 days. During that time, he’ll be busy preparing for his marriage to Ms. Natalie Bare of Pratt!

It’s been 10 long months since we last saw him. Actually, the longest we’ve gone without seeing our son. For Natalie, it’s only been a couple of months. She got to go to Okinawa over Christmas and New Years to visit Nick.

And speaking of birthdays, and Ms. Natalie, her birthday is Thursday, February 28th. She’ll be the big 2-0! Happy birthday Natalie!

Have a great week!

 

KWIBS - From February 18, 2019 - By Kevin Noland

I found this article interesting on many levels:

Marijuana smokers find tiger in vacant Houston home

Police said a group of people broke into an abandoned Houston home to smoke marijuana and quickly discovered they weren't alone -- there was a tiger in the house.

The Houston Police Department said the people called the 311 non-emergency line Monday when they broke into the southeast Houston home, which was believed to be unoccupied, and discovered a tiger in a cage.

A BARC Animal Shelter crew responded to the home with the Houston police's Major Offender Animal Cruelty Unit and tranquilized the tiger, nicknamed "Tyson" by rescuers after the famous scene in The Hangover featuring boxer Mike Tyson's tiger.

Police said the tiger, which appeared well fed and in good health, is being taken to an undisclosed animal sanctuary.

Investigators said it is legal to own a tiger in Texas with the proper wildlife permits, but it is not legal to keep such an animal in the city of Houston.

What the article didn’t clarify is, what happened to the mariuanna smokers? They broke into a house to smoke marijuanna and the only mention of a crime was having a tiger in the city limits?

Can you imagine that buzz kill and conversation? I think it would go like this.

"Hey, let’s smoke some pot and laugh and eat Cheez-its."

"Dude, is that a tiger?"

"No man, we have to be trippin’."

"Seriously man, that’s a tiger."

"Should we call 911?"

"I don’t know the number man."

"Well, we could call 411 and get the number."

"How about we just dial 311 and report it as a ‘non-emergency’ and finish smoking."

"You’re so brilliant. Let’s do that."

"Hey, hand me that box of Cheez-its."

"Sorry, I fed them to the tiger dude."

"Dang...."

Have a great week!

KWIBS - From February 11, 2019 - By Kevin Noland

Valentine’s Day is coming in a few days and I wanted to share with you a love story.

Sounds so mushy. You might be thinking, "oh Lord, coming from Kevin this could be worse than "50 Shades of Gray."

Don’t worry, this is Rated G and family friendly.

In the late 1970s and early 1980s, I worked for several people around town. Luke Chapin was one of my employers. I did a lot of mowing for him at the motel and at his lake home north of Medicine Lodge.

My favorite time working for him was out at Lake Arrowhead. He had a pretty snazzy Snapper lawn mower and I felt pretty important when mowing out there. When I’d finish mowing, he’d let me wax his boat. That sounds awful, but it meant I could jump in the lake and I got to spend a lot of time riding his three wheeler all over creation.

On one such adventure, I saw a cute little redhead riding on a Honda trail bike. I smiled and waved, she waved back. Several summers went by and I would see her.

One summer I was riding Luke’s three wheeler back on the ranch and a big red Thunderbird came screaming up behind me with the horn honking. I stopped and this lady jumped out and proceeded to give me the butt chewing of a lifetime. I did not realize at that time that she would one day become my grandmother-in-law.

Late in 1985, a beautiful girl moved to town. She was a grade ahead of me in school, but I was smitten when I saw her. I had no clue that she was the little redheaded girl that I waved at several summers as a kid.

One day the entire school had an assembly. It was sponsored by the Cosmosphere and was all about NASA. We all gathered in the gym and sat on the floor. This beautiful new girl sat right beside me and we started talking. I wasted no time in asking her if she’d like to hang out. She said yes. A few weeks later she asked me to the Christmas dance and I said yes!

Then there were more dates, meeting the parents, proms and this week, I count 34 times that she’s been my Valentine.

This love story has so many chapters and so many adventures, they are almost unbelievable at times.

Through good times and difficult times, the love of my life has stood by my side. She has comforted and cared for me; given me three beautiful children, was with me as we started businesses together; we work side by side every day and seldom do we get angry with each other. She’s patient and kind - everything that is 1 Corinthians 13:4-8. She gets more beautiful as she grows older and accepts that I get balder and fatter with every year. She is strong, honest and is the best help mate that God could have ever provided me. I can type this column and it could take up the entire newspaper to tell you all of our adventures. We’ve traveled all over, have hundreds of friends. We love the same music, movies.

Finally, we make each other laugh, even when we need to cry. In my mind, there has never been a better love story than ours.

That beautiful redheaded girl is my soul mate. I say that I don’t deserve her and I can’t figure out what she saw in me that day that she said "yes". I love her and she is the best thing that has ever happened to me.

Proverbs 30:18-19: "There are three things that amaze me—no, four things that I don't understand: how an eagle glides through the sky, how a snake slithers on a rock, how a ship navigates the ocean, how a man loves a woman."

Happy Valentine’s Day Ronda. I love you and thank God for you every day.

Have a great week!

 

KWIBS - From February 4, 2019 - By Kevin Noland

Forget about it!

That’s so easy for me. You see, I’m an amazing multitasking human being, as long as I do one thing at a time, in order.

I operate off of two things: A piece of paper clipped to my Farm Bureau desk calendar and my cell phone’s appointment calendar. If it’s not on either of those, I might have emailed myself to remind myself to do a certain task or put that certain task on one of my calendar reminders! The only bad thing about that is that I have 7 email accounts and the message has to go to the correct account for me to do the task. If it’s a ranch task, I need it to go to my ranch email account on my phone. If it’s a task for the newspaper, I need it to go to my gyphillpremiere.com account at the office. If it’s bail bonds related, it needs to go to my attica.net account. If it’s Lake Arrowhead related, it needs to go to my Lake Arrowhead account. I keep a couple of old email addresses to steer junk mail to and talk to old friends on. I (they) hate when I get a message from a friend on my business account and then I don’t respond.

My office can tell you that I get the job done, as long as I have written out what I need to get done! And when I get it done, I cross it off my list and forget about it.

Sticky notes are my friends too. If it gets late in the day and I know I didn’t accomplish something, it turns into a sticky note task that gets stuck to my monitor. I can’t possibly start the next day without seeing it.

The two things that never (NEVER) work for me are: handing me something and asking me to bring it to the office to give to someone else, or messaging me on Facebook about work related issues. If you message me on Facebook, it probably dies right there. If you hand me something and ask me to take it to the office or give it to Ronda, expect it to take as long or longer than if you had mailed it around the world first.

Last summer a tenant gave me a check for several thousands of dollars and said, "Hey, would you give this to your wife?"

I told him that I’m not real good at that, but he insisted. Two months later...... Ronda said to me, "I never got that rent check. I’m going to call him and find out why he hasn’t brought it by."

I told her that was not necessary. It was up in my visor.

Things go there to die as well.

Another example of my forgetfulness happened a few years ago. My tag was about to expire. My sweet bride paid the bill and put my new registration on my desk along with my new insurance cards. It had been raining that day, or she would have stuck the sticker on and put all of the documentation in my truck. The tags expired in August. After about a week of her reminding me, I took the registration card to my truck.

My buddy, who is a Sheriff’s Deputy, noticed in December that my tag was expired and asked me about it. I showed him I had it up in my visor and he said, "well, you really need to put that on and display it properly or you could get cited for that."

The next year in March.... I was driving to church up in Pratt one Sunday and got pulled over. I was wondering why in the world I was getting stopped. The nice police lady (cough-cough) gave me a $427 ticket for improper registration (and no proof of insurance because the one that Ronda gave me was still on my desk). Even though I showed her that I had the registration in my visor, she still wrote me the ticket. Fortunately, the municipal judge was kind and dropped the ticket when I showed I had complied and did have insurance.

Over the years, dozens of ads and articles have probably been left out of your local newspaper and checks have been cancelled and rewritten because I can’t walk and chew gum at the same time. I do apologize. Every-once-in-a-while, I remember, but in most situations, not so much!

Have a great week!

 

KWIBS - From January 28, 2019 - By Kevin Noland

Short week. I’ll be back. PS: Dear Santa, Christmas is over. Take your house down or put up a Hobby Lobby.......

KWIBS - From January 21, 2019 - By Kevin Noland

Here’s a creative idea: tax people when they leave your country.

It’s a real deal.

Japan recently implemented such a "tax."

As of January 7, 2019, the Government of Japan (GOJ) is implementing a 1,000 Yen "International Tourist Tax" when departing Japan.

You read that correctly because I had to read it twice. I would have never cared except we fly our son home a couple of times a year, so unless it’s exempt by order of the military, we’ll be paying the fee for him to "leave" Japan.

In The Eagles’ song "Hotel California," Don Henley sings, "You can check out anytime you’d like, but you can never leave."

So you can’t leave Japan unless you pay the 1,000 Yen. At first I was like "YIKES!" Then I looked up how much that was in American currency. It’s about $9.20, so I’m not getting too worked up about it yet.

But I got to thinking that this could be a pretty cool tool to raise money for tourism in Barber County.

What if we had a "Barber County Tourist Tax?" You could come into our county free of charge, but we tax you to leave! Maybe you’d just stay! It’s just like "Hotel California," but we’ll let you leave for $10.00!

As my future daughter-in-law recently discovered, the Japanese culture is full of funny things. They have a very difficult time translating their squiggles into our English.

Natalie went to see Nick during Christmas and we had dinner with her after picking her up from the airport. She showed us photos of funny things she read there. I did some checking and the Japanese are almost hilarious when trying to accommodate for Americans. These are real signs in Japan:

"For Restrooms, go back towards your behind."

" Please keep chair on position and keep table cleaned after dying. Thanks for your corporation!"

"Building asks a smoked visitor in the outside smoking section that you cannot smoke in."

In a bathroom: "You lady will push this button before leaving."

"Back to school special: Eat Kids FREE!"

"Toilet. One Place One Dream."

"Only for women. Capsule Room. (Keep Out, Man)."

"Please urinate with precision and elegance."

"Shoplifters will be prostituted!"

On Stairs: "Beware of Missing Foot!"

At a shopping mall: "We can help you with our pleasure!"

At a park: "Beware, this plant wears very sharp prickles."

In a hotel: "Please refrain from taking a bath when you are dead drunk."

On a menu: "Meat muscle and stupid bean sprouts."

While in Okinawa, Natalie shot some photos of things that cracked her up and shared them with us when she got home. Enjoy and have a great week!

I forget a lot of things. Thanks car door!

 

Just in case you haven't used one before....

By the way, "Moking" is also bad for you.

 

KWIBS - From January 14, 2019 - By Kevin Noland

I know we’re already a couple of weeks into a new year, but I wanted to reflect on 2018.

Years ago, I used to journal every day. I did it when my dad became sick with dementia. I wanted to document a really difficult time in my life. It was somewhat of a stress-relief, but turned into something I enjoyed doing and intended on leaving it for my children to read someday.

When my dad passed away, I stopped. It’s something I have wanted to start doing again, but just don’t have the motivation.

I did sit down with my iPad the other night and reflected on 2018. Our family had a lot of ups and downs, some very personal, but I’m usually an open book and not afraid to share in our triumphs and our disappointments. Those difficult times in life are learning and teaching experiences.

In 2018....

All my children were here at the beginning of the year. Nick was home from Okinawa on leave. Joey had a short time off from work in Phillipsburg, KS and we all got to celebrate together before Nick left again.

Ronda and I are huge music fans. We saw the Eagles, Peter Frampton twice, STYX, REO Speedwagon, Don Felder, The Steve Miller Band and a few other concerts during the year.

We discovered an amazing woman named Bat-Or Kalo from Israel. She’s a blues guitarist and singer-song writer. We loved her and her band so much, we hired her to play at our 30th wedding anniversary over the summer in June. To top off that wonderful celebration, Nick flew home from Japan and surprised us with a certificate from his command. We were honored to pin him as an E3. He finished the year as a Third Class Petty Officer.

Joey has been with the White’s Foodliner family for almost 10 years now and he was given the opportunity to manage a new store in St. John, KS. He’d been in Phillipsburg for a year working, learning produce. We are so proud of him and wish the best for the Whites for their endeavors. We also got to meet Joey’s girlfriend Haley! We love her and are excited about her being a part of our family.

During the summer we enjoyed our time with our kids and grandkids at the lake. It’s sometimes hard for us to unwind. Summer is busy for us running a resort, a newspaper and being a bail bondsman, but we made a lot of memories. It was an exceptionally wet year and things were so green, which meant a lot of mowing, but we found time to relax in the evenings and weekends. I did, however, take a fall and hurt my shoulder and am still recovering.

Our class celebrated our 30th reunion. Brett Fincher always organizes and does such a great job putting these on and he did it just weeks after losing his dad, Ron Fincher, a staple in our community.

I lost a friend. His name was Mike Pickens and we shared a love of music together. He was my age and died suddenly. Many of you heard his handy work, as he was part of the sound crew for Peace Treaty events over the years.

Sadly, we too had to bury a family member. Our German Shepherd, Hyde, was two weeks shy of his 15th birthday. He lived a long life and we loved him dearly. It was one of the saddest days of my life to lay him to rest on the ranch. The hardest part was telling my son who was half a world away and spent the majority of his life with that dog. We’ll probably never have another pet again because of how much it hurt when he died.

As stressful as this event can be, we had a great Peace Treaty. Ronda and I have been on the board for many years and you cannot find a better group of people. The Medicine Lodge Peace Treaty Association is passionate about our area’s rich history and works tirelessly to put on events for the community. We had almost decided it was our time to step down, but I ended up being elected President and Ronda went from Treasurer to Secretary. I learned so much from people like Rick and Betty Jo Swayden, Sarah Whelan, Robert Larson, Steve Bryan, Richard Raleigh, David Colborn, Joscelyn Nittler, Aaron Traffas, Mike Roe, Cathy Colborn, Kaye Kuhn, Kyle Thomas, Deb Kolb and Danielle Farr and so many other great folks. I want to thank them all for trusting us to lead this exceptional group of people. I always say there is not one person on that board that we can do without. They are amazing and we are truly honored to continue to be a part of it.

Ronda and I both turned a year older. She hit the half century mark, I’m not far behind her. For her birthday, our friends Nix and Wendy White from California, took us on an amazing trip to New Orleans where we got to tour the city, enjoy the culture and attend a New Orleans Saints’ game vs. The Philadelphia Eagles. After the game, Nix arranged an introduction to Quarterback Drew Brees and his family. We got a real VIP experience that we’ll never forget.

Throughout the last part of the year, we had sorrow again after my daughter and her husband divorced after 8 years. We also lost a friend at Lake Arrowhead. Byron Hummon died. He was a part of our lake family and we will miss him.

Christmas was different for us this year. It was hard because we didn’t have our traditional family Christmas. Nick was unable to come home due to leave time, money and his upcoming wedding in April, so we all chipped in and sent his fiance’ to Okinawa. We missed them both at our gatherings, but we enjoyed all the photos and facetimes with them as they celebrated Christmas and the New Year!

I’m looking forward to 2019. I know there will be ups and downs. That’s how life goes, but I am looking forward to Nick and Natalie’s upcoming wedding in April; Joey is going on another mission’s trip to Haiti; Breeann has a new friend in her life; we have another spring and summer to look forward to (notice I left out fall and winter!); there’s a lot to do on the ranch that we love; our grandkids are growing up; our friends are getting older, as are we.

Life’s cycle continues and I hope 2019 is a great year for us and for you. Thanks for reading, happy 2019 and may God bless you all.

 

KWIBS - From January 7, 2019 - By Kevin Noland

Ronda and I were the victims of a home invasion last Tuesday evening.

I had started home around 6 p.m., it was getting dark and I was driving an unfamiliar vehicle to me and the owner was with me. The unfamiliar truck ran out of gas about a mile from my house. Fortunately, a nice young man passing by picked me up and brought me to the shed, where Ronda was already waiting for me. I left the owner of the vehicle standing on the side of the road while I found a gas can and filled up.

Obviously, we were not home, but our door alarm went off, so we hurried to the house. We were just a short distance away, on the ranch, when the alarm went off.

As we were coming around the back side of our home, we could see a white van leaving our house and heading south on Resort Road. We had to make a decision; do we check on our home or do we chase after the mystery van?

We chose to check on our home and call the Sheriff’s Department if needed. I left Ronda in the truck and ran in the door and looked around. Nothing was out of place. I decided they weren’t far ahead of us and I could probably catch them. I turned around and saw the evidence left behind and chuckled to myself.

One of our neighbors up at the lake had brought us a plate of cookies and a Christmas card. Since we weren’t home, they just placed the cookies on the table and left. It set off the silent alarm on our door, but fortunately, the audible alarm was not armed. I passed Ronda’s vehicle as I walked out the door and told her everything was all right and to meet me at the gas tank. She pulled up. I gassed up my can and jumped back in.

"Was everything ok in the house," she asked?

"Yes, I figured it out, but let’s get back to that truck and get it off the side of the road," I said.

Ronda was left confused. I was developing a plan to keep the cookies to myself. I just had to beat her back to the house and hide them.

We got back to the truck on the side of the road and my friend was standing there waiting on us. He was holding a plate of cookies.....

My wife was like, "Hey, where did you get those cookies?"

He was about to blow my cover.

"Some nice people in a white van just stopped to see if I was ok and I told them I was with you guys and they handed me this plate of cookies, they said ‘Happy New Year’ and drove off," he said.

Now my cover was seriously blown.

Ronda figured out quickly that it was Brendon and Rachel Wray and their children who had set off our door alarm and now there was no way I was hiding those cookies from her.

We raced home and gorged ourselves on the plate of cookies in a friendly family feud.

Happy New Year!

 

KWIBS - From December 24, 2018 - By Kevin Noland

It’s Christmas Eve!

I have to be honest, Christmas is sometimes not my favorite holiday. It’s not Christmas’s fault - it’s mine.

My heart and my head forget what a great day we are celebrating; the birth of Jesus.

The world tells us that it’s about gifts, food, drinks and ugly sweaters. The simplicity of God becoming man in the form of a helpless baby actually becomes this complicated and confusing situation where the meaning is lost.

The Bible is a love story. It’s God’s love for his creation, no matter how horrible it chooses to be. If you celebrate Christmas for the right reason, you know how difficult this season can be on your spirit. The Devil loves to contort and cause us to fall off the rails during this time of remembrance and celebration. I know I’m sounding really preachy, but this column is as much for me as it is for anyone reading it.

We have a good God and we have a willing Savior in Jesus. Santa did not die on the cross and the elf on the shelf did not rise as the first of all who believe in the scriptures. The book of Isaiah was written nearly 700 years before the birth of Jesus. It goes into great detail of the prophecy of his birth and his death. It’s undeniably one of the most fascinating books of the Bible.

As a believer, I have to be ashamed of myself for not being in the Christmas spirit EVERY DAY! What makes it so difficult for me, or you, to not experience the joy of Christmas every day of our lives?

We’re all born and we all die. The birth of Jesus is the celebration of life. It’s a promise from our God that we too will live forever in Him; a simple, yet so complicated thing to believe (or have faith) in.

Despite every distraction in life, I choose this Christmas to simply thank God for loving me. Historically, our dates are probably off on the official "birthday" of Jesus, but we have that one day to celebrate and remember that, even though I am a sinner, God loved me enough to send his Son into this world to die for my sins.

With that truth, should come joy!

Remember when we were all just kids ready to open presents on Christmas Eve or Christmas day? That simple excitement should be how we feel about what we are really celebrating. We’ve received the greatest gift that a person can get - life!

I’m thankful that I can write to you and tell you how I feel about Christmas. I’m glad you are reading this.

Ronda and I and our families want to thank you for supporting us all of these years. It is my honor to wish you and your families a Merry Christmas!

Whatever is going on in your life, good or bad, stop for a moment to think about what Christmas is about and I leave you with a different Christmas scripture that maybe you’ve read a hundred times, but consider the context during this season of celebration:

John 1:14

The Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us. We have seen His glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.

Merry Christmas

 

KWIBS - From December 17, 2018 - By Kevin Noland

Plans change.

Sunday afternoon I was making plans to go and do a fugitive recovery for Monday in Wichita. My hopes were to find my guy quickly, get him booked back into Sedgwick County and then go see Byron Hummon who had been sick and in the hospital. I also was wanting to check on my neighbor John Nixon, who was also in the hospital in Wichita.

Sunday night, my contact did not respond with an address, so I postponed my trip. Sadly, Byron passed away early the next day. I felt like I didn’t get to say good-bye.

Byron and Carolyn have a home at Lake Arrowhead and they’ve been a part of the family out there for many years. We’ve spent many a Friday in the summer, having a drink and discussing life at "Party Cove" with our lake family. Byron was wise and I cherished our friendship.

Byron was a generous man to many people with his time and his money. He was humble and always cheerful around Ronda and I. We will miss him at "Party Cove" this spring when the weather gets nicer and we all meet again.

I missed John too. Thankfully, he is recovering and getting better every day.

It seems like our neighborhood goes into hibernation during the colder months. Living between two lake resorts makes us appreciate the warmer days. Unlike living in town, there’s literally nothing to do where we live when the weather turns. Days get shorter and we hide in our warm homes, longing for the warm days, playing at the lake, riding our cycles, shooting fireworks and fishing. I pray John will be up for that really soon.

Tell your friends you love them while you can. It’s really easy, but we forget that we live on borrowed time. Prayers for Carolyn and family during this time of loss that we all feel.

 

KWIBS - From December 10, 2018 - By Kevin Noland

I remember registering to vote on my 18th birthday in 1988. A presidential race was heating up between George H.W. Bush and Michael Dukakis.

It was my first time to vote and I voted for George H.W. Bush. He won. I felt like I had won something too.

Although Bush was a one-term president, I learned a lot about Government and history during his presidency. It was a scary time as a young adult. The Gulf War was ramping up, Saddam was going to launch us into WWIII. Bush was a capable leader, a veteran himself, that would lead the way to remove the tyrant from Kuwait.

President Bush formed a true coalition of willing nations that easily sent Saddam back from Kuwait to Iraq with his tail between his legs. He made life safe for my generation. Many of my friends fought in Desert Storm.

Again in 1992, I voted for President Bush. This time he lost to Bill Clinton. I noted how graceful the peaceful transfer of power happened from Bush to Clinton. We seemed friendlier to each other in those days.

I loved seeing what life after president was for Bush. He embraced life, loved his family and continued to serve his country, even doing it along side Bill Clinton.

At the time of his wife Barbara’s death on April 17, 2018, George H. W. had been married to Barbara for 73 years; theirs was the longest presidential marriage in American history.

41 passed away on Friday night, November 30th, 2018. My iPhone "dinged" with the AP report of his passing. I watched his funeral on Wednesday and Thursday. It was a wonderful tribute to a wonderful man and a great statesman.

"Die young, as old as possible," - George H.W. Bush.

God Bless George H.W. Bush and his family.

 

KWIBS - From December 3, 2018 - By Kevin Noland

Years ago former teacher Dale McCurdy taught me the value of time management and scheduling.

We would go on trips together and he would actually send me a spreadsheet that mapped out our vacation.

He would start every trip out with "backwards planning."

This backwards planning intrigued me. What was it? How did it work?

Dale explained, "Take the time you wish to arrive, subtract travel, subtract estimated fuel stops, bathroom breaks and then leave 30 minutes earlier than that."

It’s a pretty clever way to get to things on time.

So two weeks ago when we traveled to New Orleans, our trip home was carefully orchestrated using Dale’s "backwards planning" method.

Ronda and I had a Peace Treaty Board meeting in Medicine Lodge at 7 p.m. that we had to be at, so our story begins at 7 p.m.

Leaving from New Orleans at 10 a.m. would have put us back in Oklahoma City at 1:20 p.m. Grabbing our bags and finding our car (add 30 minutes), consider a bathroom and fuel break (add 30 minutes), and road time (add 3:30 minutes), meant that we would arrive just before 5 p.m., leaving us plenty of time to clean up, eat and make it to our meeting.

Everything started out smoothly. We arrived and boarded our flight and that’s the last time that day that we stayed on schedule....

"Hello and welcome to Southwest to Houston," the captain said. "We’ve got some bumpy weather ahead and our approach would be determined by Houston. We could be delayed by as much as an hour."

We had 1 hour and 20 minutes layover. That would be tight, but we would be ok.

As expected, we landed an hour late in Houston and it was pouring down rain. We entered at gate 45 and our connecting flight was at gate 4 on the other side of the terminal.

We hauled butt, stopping to use the bathroom and grabbing some to go food and literally made it to board the next flight.

We got our seats, got comfortable and prepared to take off when the captain said, "Welcome aboard Southwest to Oklahoma City, we will be delayed a few minutes while we wait on two passengers from a connecting flight as well as waiting on their baggage. We should be exiting and cleared for take off in a few minutes.

A few minutes turned into about an hour and then we took off.

"We’ve got clear skies today and we’re going to bump this up and get you folks to Oklahoma City as close to on time as possible," the captain stated.

We did land only about 20 minutes late. Ronda and I got off the plane and went to baggage claim.

Three flights landed at the same time and the carousel was crammed with folks looking for baggage.

It seemed like a long time, but our baggage eventually arrived. I grabbed it, noting how heavy it felt.

I must have lost muscle tone over the weekend of playing football with Drew Brees and Nix White, or maybe not.

We hurried to our truck, which we had forgotten what floor we had parked on. Once we found it, I heaved our bag in and Ronda got us out on the interstate.

I noted the time.

"We’re going to be tight," I told Ronda. It was 3:15 p.m.

Ronda exceeded the recommended interstate travel speed and we hit Blackwell, OK with enough time to fuel up, grab a snack and take a bathroom break.

Then I got a bond call from an inmate in Barber County....

The calling inmate’s employer lived in Kiowa, had the money and would co-sign. We had to make a detour and we had a 20 minute buffer.

Ronda took off towards Kiowa.

I decided since we were not going to make it home in time to change, that I would grab my sports coat, a nice shirt and some cleaner pants from the luggage.

I had flown from New Orleans in a concert shirt and ripped up blue jeans. The only thing I had to change into was the nicer clothes that I wore to dinner on Saturday night. They weren’t dirty, we just ate dinner and went back to the hotel.

While trusting my wife’s driving, I took off my seatbelt and unzipped the bag.

She instantly slammed on the brakes to avoid hitting farm equipment that pulled out in front of us. I was tossed onto the console and we laughed while I went back to trying to find clothes.

That’s when I discovered why our bag was so heavy. Everything inside of it was soaking wet.

Our bags must have sat out on the tarmac in Houston during the rain.

I carefully pulled out my coat, which was wet; my pants, which were wet; my socks, which were really wet and my shirt, which was wet and wrinkled.

I put everything on and turned my heated seats up full blast. I also pointed all the vents at me and turned up the fan. By the time we reached Kiowa, I was just moist, but exhausted.

We got our signatures and money and agreed to meet up with our defendant after the Peace Treaty board meeting, which was in 30 minutes.

We left Kiowa and hit Medicine Lodge at 6:50 p.m. We pulled into the office. Ronda touched up her makeup and we shared a road taco that was now almost 3 hours old.

It was 7:01 p.m. when we walked into the meeting. We were fashionably late and I was dryer than I was at Blackwell, or Kiowa, but still a little damp.

The "backwards planning" had sort of worked. We made it almost in time.

So thanks Dale, for the lesson on time management!

Have a great week!

 

KWIBS - From November 26, 2018 - By Kevin Noland

"It’s not, what you know, it’s who you know."

I’m not sure who first said this, but I’ve repeated it several times in my life. It’s really a true statement. I’ve met some very educated people that don’t go far in life and I’ve met some goofballs that dream big, reach for the stars and actually grab a few.

That’s Nix White, long-time buddy, 1988 graduate of MLHS, retired Navy SEAL and owner of FrogX Parachute. You probably know this guy if you’ve been to a Peace Treaty in the last decade. He jumps out of a helicopter and lands in the middle of Main Street during the parade. It’s pretty amazing.

Nix is a regular guy that’s had a larger-than-life-real-life. He’s been all over the world as a SEAL. He’s met presidents and all sorts of celebrities. He just knows a lot of people. I should say, he knows a lot of important people.

When he called me three weeks ago and asked what my November and December schedule looked like, I asked him what did he have in mind?

Nix always has an adventure in mind.

Back in 1999 he invited us out to San Diego. Nix and his wife Wendy took us to Tijuana, MX. That’s a column in itself.

In 2016 he called me up while I was in Amarillo, TX and asked me to pick him up at the airport in Wichita the next day. He had a surprise for me. He took me and a friend to see KISS. We didn’t just see them, we met them and hung out with them for an afternoon because Nix knew their tour manager.

So you can only imagine how peaked my interest was for what he had in mind this time.

"Want to meet up and go to New Orleans," he asked?

So I had to know more specifics. First, a date would be handy. He simply said, "I’ll get back with you."

The next thing I knew, it was two weeks later and he had my flight and Ronda’s flight confirmed and hotel accommodations made. The big news: We were going to the New Orleans Saints’ game vs. the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday!

Oh, it gets way better.

Through the years, Nix had become personal friends with Drew Brees and his wife Brittany.

Using Google as my friend, since joining the Saints in 2006 as Quarterback, Brees has led all NFL quarterbacks in touchdowns, passing yards, and 300-yard games. Brees holds the NFL records for career pass completions, career completion percentage and career passing yards and Nix asked him if he could bring a couple of friends to New Orleans to go to the game and meet him afterwards.

So Ronda and I booked out of here on a Friday and made it, just in time, for our flight out of Oklahoma City. We had a short stop in Houston and made it to the hotel at 10 p.m.

The concierge met us at this very luxurious hotel called "The Windsor Courts." The place was "swanky" as I like to say. He informed us our bags would be up shortly and we were in for a real surprise.

That was an understatement. Our suite on the 17th floor was beyond description. It was adjoined to another suite. We hadn’t noticed that until we walked in and saw that we had a welcome note from Nix and Wendy, which included chocolates and my favorite bourbon (to be sipped on Bourbon Street) later that night.

The next thing I knew was Nix burst through the door to welcome us to New Orleans. Their rooms and our rooms were at the end of the long hallway. We had a private balcony that overlooked the French Quarter. We were completely blown away.

Of course this was another, "I know a guy," story from Nix. He knew the general manager of the hotel.

So we went out, listened to jazz music, walked Bourbon Street all night and slept until noon on Saturday before touring the cemeteries and French Quarter. We ate everything we could and saw as much as we could stand until we dropped from exhaustion.

Again, we slept in until noon on Sunday and then ventured to the Mercedes Benz Superdome. Now keep in mind that Ronda and I are Dallas Cowboys fans. We cheer for the Saints, as long as they aren’t playing the Cowboys.

Before we left for the game, there was a knock at the door. It was Nix carrying Saints’ jerseys for me and Ronda.

"You can’t go to the game without wearing Drew’s number," he told me.

And just like that, we were at the game, but Nix had more surprises. We walked in, showed them a special pass and bam! We were on the field for pregame. Nix walked us over where we stood by a tunnel and out came the Saints and out came Drew Brees.

After they warmed up, we went back up and took our seats and watched the Saints whoop the 2018 Superbowl Champs.

After the game, Nix handed us new passes and said to follow him. We went into a hospitality area and had some drinks and eats and watched Drew do his post game interview. The Brees family greeted us warmly. Just after seeing Drew leave the television screen, he walked in to the room, hugged his family and came over to see us.

Meeting Drew Brees was going to be awesome, but I had another plan. I had my son, Nick, in my pocket.... I had facetimed him in Japan and he had a bunch of marines and sailors waiting to see Drew Brees.

After a quick introduction, I told Drew about Nick and Nix added that he was serving in Japan. Drew’s grandfather had stormed the beaches in Okinawa in WWII.

I asked, "Would you say hi to my son?"

Drew grabbed my phone and started having a conversation with Nick. It was priceless.

Nix had given Nick a signed Drew Brees jersey after he had won the superbowl back in 2010, so Nick was pretty excited to talk to this football legend.

After the conversation ended, Drew asked, "Hey, you guys want to go and hang out on the field for a while?"

You know that there was no hesitation. We all crammed into an elevator and walked out on to the field in the now empty Superdome.

There is no way to describe how incredible this was, but it keeps getting better.

Nix and I have always had this tradition where we stunt some hilarious photo. At least we think we are hilarious. Nix asked Drew if he would play along and he set the scene. Nix and I were on the line and Drew was calling out the plays. I don’t think I’ve ever laughed so hard in my life. Ronda took the photo.

Imagine this: Here we were, on the Saint’s 10 yard line (with horrible stance), with Drew Brees behind us calling out the plays. It took a few shots, but we have a winner!

So it’s not what you know, it’s who you know and I know Nix.

The best part of the weekend was just hanging out with Nix and Wendy. They are cool people, both veterans and great friends.

Nix and I broke out cigars Sunday night before we left. That’s another tradition. At least I remembered to bring cigars!

Thanks Whites, for the weekend of a lifetime that we’ll never forget! We can’t wait for the next adventure!

Have a great week!

 

 

KWIBS - From November 12, 2018 - By Kevin Noland

There’s a place for everything and everything in its place.

This was something that Ronda’s mother taught her at a very young age.

If it would have come out of my mouth, it would have sounded more like everything goes on the kitchen table or on the floor by the door.

Ronda’s mother was wise, neat and orderly. She got that from her mother Mildred Meairs. Mildred, Barbara and Ronda all keep a clean home. I would also say that in 30 years, Ronda has trained me pretty well to keep my things put away. The consequences of not putting my things away is that she’ll put them where she thinks they go. That’s not necessarily a bad thing unless she forgets where she put whatever I left out. For instance, I probably own 30 hammers. I know where 3 are. The other 27 got "put away."

There are times where our philosophies on where things go clash. She has her usual go-to places for things I leave laying around if it’s missing because I left it out, I start with my bathroom counter. From there I go to my closet. Finally, if I can’t find it, I look in the garage.

At first glance, my garage looks pretty unorganized. I know where about 90% of the things are that I need, but that other 10%; that’s anyone’s guess.

To further complicate matters, as we both get older we swear we know exactly where we put things, when we actually don’t.

I swore when I got home last Monday, I put my jacket on a chair at the kitchen table. When I didn’t find it there, I went to my bathroom. It wasn’t there, so I looked in my closet. I was pretty baffled when I couldn’t find it, because I had just worn it like 30 minutes before I lost it and I knew it wasn’t in the garage. When Ronda asked what I was looking for, I sheepishly told her I couldn’t find my jacket. She lowered her head and said look on the chair in front of your closet. She has a new go-to place.....

My closet is full.

KWIBS - From November 5, 2018 - By Kevin Noland

We will celebrate Veterans Day on Friday. This special holiday has so much meaning to my family. The actual holiday falls on a Sunday this year, but MLHS will honor veterans at a program at 1:45 p.m. on November 9th.

I’m deeply moved by the service that people give to their country in the armed forces. Although I did not serve, I have the utmost respect for those who did and are serving. My dad was in the Navy during Viet Nam. His service actually had him in and around Cuba during a tense time with Russia. He later did joint missions with many countries in South America. He was a radio technician on a mine sweeper.

His Navy career is the reason I am now here writing this column. My dad was a Kansas native who met my mother in Rhode Island at a YMCA dance. As a result of that meeting, and later a marriage, I was born in 1969 in Providence, RI. When my dad’s time in the Navy was finished, we moved back to Kansas and I’ve never lived anywhere else.

It came full circle two years later when my son graduated from MLHS and went into the Navy, a decision that I am very proud of. He is approaching his second year of service and is now stationed with the Marines on a base in Okinawa as an RP (Religious Program Specialist).

His duties as a Religious Program Specialist might seem sort of unimportant, but after boot camp and his "A" schooling, Nick went through 14 weeks of Marine Combat Training that he described as "worst thing ever". Now he treasures the memories. He switched from "Blue" side Navy to "Green" side Navy. He is considered by his fellow Marines as one of their own. He trains, eats, sleeps and is in all practical measures, a Marine. In just a few months he’ll have his FMF pin.

The United States Fleet Marine Forces (FMF) are combined general and special purpose forces within the United States Department of the Navy that perform offensive amphibious or expeditionary warfare and defensive maritime employment. The Fleet Marine Forces provide the National Command Authority (NCA) with a responsive force that can conduct operations in any spectrum of conflict around the globe.

So, he’s not really just an assistant to a Chaplain. He’s a combatant. Sometimes I joke with him that he’s an armed librarian and secretary, but he does own the phrase, "We fight tonight." I pray that he never does.

All kidding aside, Nick is an awesome shot. According to Chaplain Jones, Nick earned the "expert marskmanship" ribbon with a broken rifle in Okinawa.

During the past year, Nick has served with the Marine Wing Support Squadron - 172 "Firebirds" at Camp Foster, Okinawa. They are the "Tip of the Spear" in the event of a deployment in the South Pacific. It’s taken me an entire year to study up and learn about what they do and just when I thought I learned enough to understand what they do, Nick is about to advance to the command building after his promotion to Third Class Petty Officer (hopefully in December). So dad has a new learning curve.

Thank God for the internet and Wikipedia! From what I’ve seen from pictures Nick has sent me, he’s near a lot of carriers with attack helicopters. There are a bunch of amphibious assault vehicles and tanks and other attack ships. Nick doesn’t tell me much more than that. The kid who graduated from MLHS in 2016 who talked nonstop and had never seen the ocean, is now the kid who seems to be keeping a tight lip on what he does and where he’s at, but he’s almost always at the beach, surrounded by ocean!

I know he’s participated in several operations. One of those operations was a U.S. - Philippine mission back in April or May. He also made a quick trip into South Korea that I can’t even share what I do know, which isn’t very much.

What I do know is that I am extremely proud of my son. He takes his job very seriously - most of the time. Nick has seen and done more in his 2 short years after high school than most of us get to do in a lifetime. I’m glad he made the decision to serve our great nation and to be a part of something bigger than just himself.

His immediate plans are to marry his sweetheart Natalie Bare in April and move her over to Okinawa as soon as possible! He says he wants to share the beauty of the island with her as he finishes his tour which will be sometime after 2021. As for continuing his service, Nick’s mind changes from day to day. No matter what his decision, I know he will never regret his time of service in the Navy with the Marines.

Thank you to every veteran who has served our country. From a combatant to support staff, each member of our military is necessary to maintain peace in our crazy world. Thank you for your service and for your sacrifice to keep us free. You all have my deepest admiration.

Thank you to my son for serving. I know it’s hard being so far away from home, but you are doing something incredible and we are so proud of you!

Chaplain Marquis Jones’ uncle said about the photo below with Nick, "You preach heaven in them and he shoots the hell out of them."

Have a great week!

 

KWIBS - From October 29, 2018 - By Kevin Noland

My first experience of vertigo was in 1983 while being a passenger in my dad’s Piper 210 airplane.

The instructor did a climb and stall and then rolled out of it. I remember the sensation of just being lost and not in the right place.

I wasn’t exactly a roller coaster rider as a kid. As a grown up, I’ve ridden every roller coaster I can find. It’s a great thrill, but I always experience vertigo. I haven’t been on a roller coaster in about 5 years, so I had forgotten the sensation until Wednesday of last week.

Ronda was driving me to a doctor’s appointment in Wichita. We left the driveway and my attention was on paperwork in my lap. We hadn’t gone very far down the road, when I had a sensation that just being lost and not in the right place. When I looked up, the terrain was wrong and my brain got more confused.

"Where are we," I asked?

Ronda said, "The township road. Why do you ask?"

That’s when I said, "Umm.... we are going the wrong direction!"

Ronda had turned south like we do every morning to go to town and go to work. Wichita was the other direction. We laughed and then we turned around.

The vertigo stayed with us the rest of the day. We decided to see George Palmer after his hip surgery. He sent me a text and said he was on North Ridge Road. That was perfect, since my appointment was also on North Ridge. We drove up and down Ridge, but couldn’t find the recovery center where George said he was at.

As it turned out, George was on Webb Road, way out East. We missed two exits on the way. When we finally found him, almost an hour later, we all had a good laugh.

Happy Birthday to my bride of 30 years!!! She’s celebrating a milestone on November 3rd!! I love you Ronda!

Have a great week!

 

KWIBS - From October 22, 2018 - By Kevin Noland

Do you ever have days that you feel like your significant other (in this case, my wife) is angry with you? We’ve been married for 30+ years now and we can read each other pretty well. I could tell she was frustrated about something. I just didn’t know what it was.

Several months ago I had an accident and injured my shoulder. I’ve been in a significant amount of pain and discomfort and haven’t been sleeping well. While I’m waiting to see a surgeon, I’m slowly getting more mobility and for the first time in almost two months, I had a great night’s sleep Wednesday night into Thursday morning! In fact, I went to bed shortly before midnight and slept until 9:15 a.m. the next day. It was some kind of adult sleeping record for me.

Unfortunately, my great night of sleep must have translated into a terrible night’s sleep for my wife. From what she tells me, I snored. Loudly. Like one of the seven trumpets blowing from the book of Revelation.

So Thursday, I was all bubbly and bouncy and busy, but Ronda was a zombie, and might I say, a slightly grumpy zombie. I could tell something was wrong, but for the life of me, I could not remember what I had or hadn’t done to make her mad. To top that off, I was incredibly busy, running in several directions.

It wasn’t until the end of the day that I asked her what was wrong and she told me it was the snoring that kept her up all night. I feel really badly about that.

I probably feel worse about telling her that sometimes she snores too and keeps me awake.

I probably just should have kept that to myself.

I was setting myself up to be Lucy and Desi Arnaz from "I Love Lucy."

They were married in real life, but slept in separate bedrooms on the series. Some claim that "The Musters’ Herman and Lily were the first couple to be portrayed sleeping in the same bed on television. The eligibility of this one as a valid claim to rights is sometimes questioned because the Munsters weren’t exactly a "human" couple.

Fred and Wilma bunked together on their rock bed in The Flintstones from 1960-66 (but their eligibility is also questioned because despite being human in character, they were cartoons and not real actors). I remember several times Fred snored through episodes when he and Wilma were sleeping. I think Wilma was just fine and obviously humanity continued and evolved, at least in cartoon world.

Yes, this may have all taken place in the "early days," but even as late as 1969-74 series "The Brady Bunch", six children shared a single bathroom that lacked even a toilet.

I’m sorry, I regress and I apologize to Ronda for keeping her up all night with my snoring.

Have a great week!

 

KWIBS - From October 15, 2018 - By Kevin Noland

Joey Noland and Tonya White

Small town rural America can not survive without people like Pat and Tonya White and their children: Jordan and Julia White, Brennan White and Karly White. For more than 65 years this family has invested in small towns in Kansas with grocery stores.

I’ve enjoyed getting to know this family over the years after they purchased Parker’s IGA back in the early 1990s. It was nearly the same time that Ronda and I started The Gyp Hill Premiere.

Since that time, two of my children worked in their store in Medicine Lodge. Both Joey and Nicholas stocked shelves in high school.

I want to brag and gush over this family. Joey Noland has worked for the White’s Family Grocery store for almost ten years. They have taught him so much and now given him the opportunity to be a store manager. Although he’s still in training, I watched him from a distance at the grand opening of the St. John White’s Foodliner last Wednesday and thought about all the opportunities that he’s been given by the Whites. I hope he makes them as proud of Joey as I am. He loves the community of St John and he loves White’s family.

I’m so proud of his work ethic and enthusiasm. It was so much fun to sit back and watch the community of St John get a new grocery store on that day and listen to speeches given by their economic development group and Pat White.

We were so happy to be a part of the celebration. The Whites get little recognition for all they do for their communities. Many people don’t realize that they were one of the largest sponsors for the 2018 Peace Treaty. There were no giant checks or big stories about them in the newspaper. Not because we didn’t appreciate their support, but they were super busy getting ready for the wedding of their son Jordan to his lovely wife Julia during that week.

They didn’t make those donations for the publicity. They did it because they truly care about the communities they serve.

Pat and Tonya are good people and they’ve raised some great kids. Ronda and I appreciate their friendship and for them giving Joey a chance to do something big.

Seeing Joey grow and succeed is a blessing to his mother and I. Thank you Pat and Tonya White, Jordan and Julia White, Brennan White and Norm Clouse for mentoring him. I’m biased, but I think you’ve got one great young man working for you.

Congratulations to the city of St. John and all of the organizations that worked so hard to convince the Whites to come to town. You will never regret asking them to put in that store.

I was very impressed with the warm reception they were given. There was even a marching band present at the ribbon cutting.

Small towns like Medicine Lodge and St. John should be thankful for families like the Whites who are willing to make huge investments in the communities they serve.

In an age where box stores take over and run out the mom and pop businesses that are the heart and soul of rural America, the Whites take a chance and provide a service that’s very challenging.

Also deserving of some praise is Lance and Sloan Freeman. They are young and motivated people who call our area home and they are growing their business and have placed a pharmacy inside. It was fun seeing them on Wednesday.

Congratulations to you all!

Have a great week!

 

KWIBS - From October 8, 2018 - By Kevin Noland

We have a snapshot of how Peace Treaty 2018 went and tonight The Medicine Lodge Peace Treaty Board will meet to discuss what we already know to be true.

Attendance to our Pageant productions over the three day weekends are on a steady decline, similar to preceding pageants up until 2012 when it nearly became the last pageant.

The hard truth is, every Peace Treaty could be the last. It brings in a huge crowd to Medicine Lodge. The crowds just don’t translate into numbers of tickets sold to the pageant and that is the Association’s main bread and butter to continue the celebration.

I hear two main excuses of why people don’t attend and none of them are legitimate.

"I’ve seen it already." - Well great. I watched it 5 times in 9 days this year between rehearsal and performances and participated in many scenes. I love it each time I see it. It is breathtaking to watch the skill of our community’s riders. I am in awe of the history of our area and would personally not change much of how it is presented. "It’s too expensive." - Seriously? $30? I could never pull that excuse off. Going to a movie costs close to $10 a person without ordering food. Going to dinner at a nice place is closer to $20 a person. Going to a concert is closer to $100. This event is 2 hours of action and history packed into a beautiful amphitheater with over 400 actors. It’s cheap!!

Most who come to town only go to the free events. Those free events can’t happen without good attendance to the pageants or we come up with a new way to raise money. Help us keep History Alive in Medicine Lodge. Support future Peace Treaties!

I want to thank my buddy Pete Meador for being such a great supporter of Peace Treaty. We always try to get a photo together after our signing scene. I’ll leave you with a smile, but consider what I wrote above and have a great week!

KWIBS - From October 1, 2018 - By Kevin Noland

Another Peace Treaty weekend is in the books. I can tell you, as a board member, we don’t have numbers yet. That will take us a little while to gather.

I’ve also had to write this before the event actually even started. We’ve felt really good about all the work that’s gone into this year’s celebration. If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a thousand times, I love serving with the people on Peace Treaty board.

It was just 23 minutes from my 20th birthday and my wife was delivering our first born child.

It was 1989. We’d been married just over a year and all I could say was, "Hold it in!" The baby could be born on my birthday if you can just hold it in!"

The fact that I referred to my daughter as "it" or the request to stop being in labor for 27 more minutes didn’t stop us from having two more children, but it resonates with my wife when we talk about Breeann’s birth.

On October 3rd my baby girl will be 29 years old and the very next day, you can add 20 years to that and figure out my age!

 

KWIBS - From September 24, 2018 - By Kevin Noland

We are at the finish line. It’s Peace Treaty 2018 week. Are you ready?

Inside this issue is our Special Edition, all about the history of our little town.

Let us take you back 150 years to a time when our town was just a settlement with a stockade. Our community has grown into what it is today and now we look back and acknowledge the historic events that took place, shaping not only Medicine Lodge, but the expansion of the west in the United States.

The weekend celebration takes so many volunteers that they are impossible to list. We have a cast of character’s page on 4 and 5 and inside the Peace Treaty Edition, you can meet the Peace Treaty’s board. This is only a tiny fraction of those who make this weekend possible. We also rely heavily on The City of Medicine Lodge Crew and are so thankful for all of the things they do to help us prepare for this event.

You’ve probably seen all of the help around town from our youth and from adults. We’ve seen them out painting and cleaning up the community. We appreciate you!

Thank you to our Native American friends for coming and being a part of this weekend.

Beginning today, you’ll start seeing streets closing, guests arriving and horses and wagons going down the street. That’s what Peace Treaty does!

Many of us are Peace Treaty Crazy at the moment. It’s a ton of work to serve on the board and as 1st Vice President, I want to thank everyone who has selflessly served on this board and volunteered to help. We don’t always agree, but we have a common goal. We love this community and the Peace Treaty and our mission is to keep it going for generations.

Now it’s up to you to make it a success. With you, and God’s blessing on the weekend, the 25th reenactment of the signing of the 1867 Peace Treaty with the Five Tribes of the Plains will happen in a few short days.

Have a great weekend!

 

KWIBS - From September 17, 2018 - By Kevin Noland

This is a pretty cool edition for us this week.

I have the pleasure of printing articles of three young men who are doing outstanding things in our community.

Andrew Bell made a post last Sunday while Ronda and I were attending the Kansas State Fair in Hutchinson. Andrew posted on Facebook: "If you're at the Kansas State Fair, come say hi. I'll be here all week! My booth is at 123 Cottonwood Avenue just north of the outdoor arena."

I called him on his cell to make sure he was still there and he was! I’ve known Andrew since he was just a little kid and have always thought highly of him. He has created a fire fighting rig called "The Minuteman" that easily fits into the back of a pickup quickly to fight fires. This idea came after his family’s home was destroyed in the Anderson Creek fire over two years ago.

We stopped to see this invention and I was very impressed. He also had several fair-goers stop by to look at his product and it seems like there is a lot of interest in it. The product is well constructed and has some really cool features. Andrew and his product are featured on today’s front page.

Pake McNally is one of the most creative artists and people I have enjoyed meeting. He also has created a product: a hand-welded workout mace called the "WarClub" under the name Become Stronger, Industries. In addition to this invention, he is a brown belt in Jiu Jitsu and creates works of art from metal. He has a brilliant mind and I am excited to see his business evolve.

Finally, Aaron Traffas has released a new EP. I consider Aaron a dear friend. We are on polar opposite ends of the political spectrum, but we can talk and disagree without yelling and screaming. For this, I have hope. Liberals and Conservatives can have conversations and strive towards common goals.

Aaron is a talented song writer, musician and sound technician. We have a lot of the same interests, we just disagree about politics. Again, I think it’s cool that I consider him a friend even though we have different beliefs.

I see great things in the future of Medicine Lodge and Barber County with the creative minds in these three young men.

It is very humbling to be able to complement these young men. There are many young men and women in our community who are the new "movers and shakers." I first heard that phrase when Ronda and I started our newspaper in 1991.

I remember how kind people like Bill Forsyth, Steve Bryan, Ron Fincher, John Nixon, Pete Meador, Myrlen and Ann Bell, Alan Goering and Dub Rickard (to name just a few) were to us when we ventured out on our own.

You guys are making history. Keep up the good work. Keep dreaming and congratulations!

Have a great week!

 

KWIBS - From September 10, 2018 - By Kevin Noland

We are just a few weeks away from Peace Treaty 2018!

Every day from here until pageant time, there is some important task to complete in preparation for Peace Treaty. As board members, Ronda and I know first hand the work that goes into putting on a pageant year production.

Thousands of man hours go into preparing for Peace Treaty. It is all volunteer and each and every one of you who donate your time and resources are so greatly appreciated. Serving with the Peace Treaty Association is one of the most rewarding things I’ve had the honor of doing.

Over the next couple of weeks, we will finish up our Peace Treaty Special Edition. We will publish it with our Monday, September 24 newspaper. This edition highlights just a fraction of the people who make Peace Treaty happen.

I would like to encourage and challenge you to do something very important to keeping our heritage alive and keeping Peace Treaty solvent. Buy a ticket to the pageant.

I hear people say, "Oh, I already saw it back in 2000." I also saw it and performed in 4 scenes.

It’s Peace Treaty’s life blood. Sales to the pageant and generous donations from sponsors are what keeps this event alive.

Years ago, word got out that 2011’s pageant could be the last one. The truth is, every pageant could be the last one without ticket sales.

Help spread the word to your friends and family this year and go see the 2018 Peace Treaty Pageant.

We have an amazing community with a rich history. Our story will continue to be told in the future with your support. Let’s never hear, "This may be the last pageant," ever again.

Have a great week!

KWIBS - From September 3, 2018 - By Kevin Noland

A long time friend of mine passed away suddenly last week. I had known him for 14 years.

If you had ever been to a concert at the Cotillion in Wichita or any club that offered live music, you were probably hearing his work. He wasn’t someone that craved the limelight, but he was a rock star in his own way. My friend Mike even worked in Medicine Lodge during Indian Summer Days and the last Peace Treaty as a sound technician.

Mike Pickens was pretty close to my age. I first met him at a club called Loft 150 above River City Brewery in Wichita, KS. He was the house sound technician and a very good one at that. I’m not a great bass player, but he made me sound like one. That was always our little joke.

Over the years Mike went on tour with several bands and became one of the most in demand people for tour management and sound engineering around. You could say Mike was a little odd, but it comes with the territory. You don’t eat well, you don’t’ sleep much and you’re under a lot of stress to please a whole lot of people, but Mike always pulled it off and then blew off steam by playing 18 holes of golf wherever he was on tour.

On at least 5 occasions in four different states, I had run into Mike at music events. He was working and was always happy to see a familiar face in the crowd. At one event in Oklahoma City, Mike came up to me at the venue and asked if I could give him a ride home to Wichita after the show. I had to explain to him that we didn’t go through there to get to Medicine Lodge. He was cool with that. In fact, he would have just come home with us and tried to catch a ride back to Wichita! I finally drew him a map and convinced him that he was as close to home in OKC as he would be at my house. Mike didn’t have a car at the time. He owned a moped, some music gear and had a cat. He ended up finding a ride home the next day.

At a show in Wichita at the Cotillion two years ago Mike spotted me and came over to me and Ronda and yelled in my ear, "How’s it sound?"

I yelled back, jokingly, "A little loud, distorted and tinny!"

Mike looked like I had just parked my truck on the 18th hole’s green or slammed his cat’s tail in the door. He ran over to his console, threw on his headset and started listening to his mix. I walked over and tapped him on the shoulder. He took off his headset and I yelled back, "Hey man, I was just kidding. It sounds great!"

He threw a little awkward, fun punch at me and looked at me with a silly grin through his thick round glasses. "You jerk," he smirked.

He recently married the love of his life, Amy. They were scheduled to marry late winter earlier this year and Ronda and I had planned on making the trip to Kingman for the ceremony. Bad weather rolled in and he sent out a Facebook message saying the wedding was off for the moment. A week later, he posted they were married and one of the photos had a mutual friend in it that he had as his best man. I was bummed out that we didn’t get notified and fired him off a text. He said, nobody came except our mutual friend Gabe and a couple of family members. It was just a spur of the moment wedding at the courthouse before the next round of bad weather rolled in.

Mike came off tour on the road two weeks ago and hadn’t been feeling well. He was dehydrated and worn out from his last trip across country. He went in for treatment and then went home. His wife found him unresponsive the next day and he was revived and placed on a ventilator.

Mike was taken off of life support on Tuesday of last week after several doctors gave bad reports of his condition. He died at 2:49 p.m. Wednesday. Our mutual friend Gabe called me to tell me the sad news.

I was out on the tractor mowing when the call came. We shared some memories and I put on one of Mike’s favorite bands, "Aranda." Our mutual friend Gabe is the lead singer. I’m glad I got the news from Gabe and didn’t see it on Facebook until later in the day.

Mike was supposed to be here on Wednesday, September 26, 2018 to help with sound for Peace Treaty. There are many other sound technicians coming, but I was most excited to see Mike. He will be missed by so many people. Some that didn’t even know him or why he was here. They didn’t even realize how important he was to what they were hearing.

If you get a job when you go to Heaven, Mike would be in charge of making the Angels sound more awesome than they already do.

 

KWIBS - From August 27, 2018 - By Kevin Noland

Wednesday moring my wife sighed and said, "Our office is a newspaper again."

I was like, "huh?"

"Well, we’ve been a daycare-slime factory for the last three months," she explained.

Yes, school is back in session and our office manager is starting her kindergarten year. All day Kindergarten. Thank you USD#254.

Our cute Grandkids Kycen and Baylee!

 

KWIBS - From August 20, 2018 - By Kevin Noland

A friend is someone who is there to catch you when you fall or at least put your dislocated shoulder back in after you take a stupid-stumble.

A stupid-stumble is similar to a regular stumble, but involves you doing something stupid in the process of the stumble. I don’t need to go into great detail, but my stumble was a classic stupid-stumble.

My friend just happens to be very skilled in fixing this type of injury. He also had a side kick that night who found my predicament quite amusing. Apparently, she thinks I should look down before stepping. I’ve done a lot of painful things in my lifetime, but dislocating an arm/shoulder, is right up at the top of the list.

After a visit to our x-ray department at Medicine Lodge Memorial Hospital, it looks like nothing is broken, but my left arm and shoulder are reminding me daily that I am not as young as I used to be. I will be sporting a sling for the unforseeable future, which is really putting a kink in things like: trying to write this column, working on anything requiring two hands, putting on clothes, driving, texting (not texting and driving) and clapping.

I’m also convinced this is a career ending injury for me as a quarter back for any NFL football team. It would also end it as a concert pianist, brain surgeon or astronaut. Thank God I can’t play piano.

I was fortunate enough to have my friends to help me and a box full of slings from other stumbles, stupid or not. The one I’m wearing is kind of special because it was my son’s. Nick tore his shoulder in one of his last high school football games before joining the Navy.

 

KWIBS - From August 13, 2018 - By Kevin Noland

If you know me well at all, you know I am crazy about music. Ronda and I are always finding a concert we want to see and last week we managed to break our own record. We scored 2 front row, centerstage seats to Peter Frampton at the Kansas Star Casino.

What makes it a record breaker is that we’ve only made it on the front row twice in 33 years of concerts. The really cool part is that both times, it was Peter Frampton!

 

 

KWIBS - From July 30, 2018 - By Kevin Noland

The story about the Ruckers on the front page this week, is the hardest story I have ever had to write in my 30+ years in the newspaper business.

Fortunately, it had a happy ending.

The reason it was so hard to write, is because I care so much for this family. Emma Jo and Gary Rucker are the sweetest couple you could ever meet. We’ve featured them several times over the years and I always love hearing Gary ask me, "How are things up the creek?" at church.

To hear that they were terrorized in their own home saddened and angered me. What you don’t know about this story, is that Gary and Emma Jo prayed for the man who was hurting them and robbing them. They witnessed about the love, grace and mercy of Jesus to this man. That’s just the kind of people they are. Their son Flint said it best when he told me that they were "the best parents in the world."

I was on FaceTime with my son in Okinawa when we saw the helicopter fly over our ranch. The very ranch where Flint keeps a herd of cattle. Little did we know, that helicopter was flown in to transport the man who had just assaulted the Ruckers. I turned my phone around and showed Nick. He wasn’t that impressed, reminding me that he lived on a base full of helicopters. When I heard the news later that night, I texted Nick back and we shared in the shock of what had happened.

I texted Flint the next morning, but wanted to give him a few days before I spoke with him. I knew that he was being bombarded with questions and I hated to be that one more reporter guy that called. So finally on Wednesday, Flint stopped in and sat down for the better part of an hour to tell me what had happened.

I was in complete shock.

For most of my life, I have idolized Flint Rucker. He’s a man’s man. Tough as nails, with a heart of gold. I consider him one of the greatest friends and men in my life. He has been encouraging to me, shared in good times and bad and has always been there when I needed him. We’ve laughed together and cried together. I want him to know that he is special to me and my family and loved by this community.

Flint is so humble. He would not want the recognition or mention, but he is a hero who gives credit where credit is due. This was a God thing that he was able to overpower that would-be thief and killer.

Things could have ended so differently for the Ruckers that night. I’m thanking the Lord that it turned out the way it did. Flint is a man who has always had strong faith in God. This can only reinforce his beliefs.

I’m so thankful that he was right where he needed to be that Saturday when Ora Munger decided to try and make victims of his family.

I pray that Emma Jo and Gary and Flint and Donna and all the huge Rucker family heal emotionally and physically from this event. I know they are strong people and they love each other and their community.

When I think of what Flint did and what could have happened, I get goosebumps, but it reminds me of some scripture that I believe is a perfect example of how Flint lives his life.

John 15:13 - Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends (family in the case).

God bless the Ruckers!

 

KWIBS - From July 23, 2018 - By Kevin Noland

A young Nicholas and a young Hyde.

There’s a special bond we form with our pets. You don’t even realize it’s happened until one day they are gone.

We lost our loyal friend of almost 15 years last weekend. Hyde was a smart and kind German Shepherd that was just a natural part of our family.

Ronda and I found an advertisement from a family selling German Shepherd puppies over by Augusta back in 2004. We had just lost our friend "Beau" who was hit while chasing a truck. We had said we would never get another dog, but our hearts were so broken and empty.

We brought our new puppy home and named him "Hyde." He wasted no time in becoming our new buddy.

As our kids all grew up and left the nest, it was just me, Ronda and Hyde. For about the past two years, Hyde didn’t come out and play with us much. We could get him to go on a walk on his good days, when his hips weren’t bothering him. We slowly watched him grow from a puppy to an old man.

In his younger years, Hyde could jump higher than your head for a frisbie or ball, he could catch a treat in his mouth from more than 25 yards away. He knew multiple commands and would do some of the funniest tricks like spinning in circles until he got his treat. Hyde loved to ride in my truck, in the back. With the "load up" command, he would literally jump into anything that had wheels.

He went everywhere with me. If I had a town errand, he came with me. He’d sit patiently in the truck when I ran into the grocery store. He came to the office for the first few years of his life until he just got too big and was too nervous of all the traffic. He also got a little too protective when customers came in and we took him home to be on the ranch. He was a farm boy. He liked the peace of the country and being close to his pond in the front yard where you’d often find him cooling off on a hot summer day. He would go on long walks with Ronda and I and occasionally spot a deer and take off running. He would be gone for hours and always returned tired.

As a member of the family, he joined us for our first Christmas photo back in 2004. Looking back, he was in graduation photos, birthday photos and about every holiday occasion we had.

We’ve known our time with him was getting shorter and when Nick came home on leave from Okinawa last month, I told him that it was close and Hyde was struggling. Nick needed to say his good-byes because I was sure he wasn’t going to make it to April of 2019 - Nick’s next leave. Hyde couldn’t see well anymore, had lost most of his hearing and struggled to stand and walk. He never acted as though he were in pain and would still come out occasionally and sit on the porch with us for dinner. I knew he hurt though.

Last Sunday he just didn’t have the strength to pull himself out of his dog house. I took it apart and tried to gently bring him to his food and water. He drank, but soon laid down and seemed like he’d had enough of it all. I could see it in his eyes.

I called Joey to let him know that Hyde was going to be gone that day. He was in Denver and I hated to ruin his weekend, but he understood. He wished he could have been there with us. I sent Nick a message, knowing it was late in Japan, but wanted him to know that we were about to lose his first dog. He wrote back and said, "don’t tell me."

Moments later Nick flooded Facebook with photos and this message: "There's so many hard things about being over seas. Constantly missing friends and family. But the hardest part is losing someone and not being able to say good-bye. Hyde was truly the best dog I could have asked for. I remember sitting in the garage talking to him and pretending that we had full conversations with each other without needing to say a word. There's no love like a love for your dog. But it makes my heart easy knowing he's not in pain anymore. God got the goodest boy today."

He may be United States Navy stationed with Marines and hardened by his training, but his heart is soft and I knew it was broken.

Ronda and I sat quietly on the ground and brushed him out and said our good-byes. We shed a lot of tears for our friend and furry child of 15 years. We held his head in our lap as Dr. Lynch showed such amazing compassion as she reassured us we were doing the right thing.

We laid him to rest in our yard, overlooking the pond he would swim in. I imagine Hyde being able to run and jump and play again, like when he was a puppy.

Everyday we get up and look out the window where his kennel is. We remember every bark, whether it was to warn us or just to say "hey!" when we pulled in the drive way each day.

We say now we won’t replace our friend Hyde, it’s just too hard to say good-bye.

You can only hope that one day our compassionate God would allow us to see our pets again. The Bible isn’t clear on this, but my heart would feel so much better if I knew I would get a big slobbery kiss from him when my time comes.

You were a good dog, Hyde. Good boy!

Have a great week and love your dog!

 

KWIBS - From July 16, 2018 - By Kevin Noland

A Texas man who plead guilty to stealing more than $1.2 million in fajitas while acting as a public servant has been sentenced to 50 years in prison.

Gilberto Escamilla, 53, was employed at the Darrel B. Hester Juvenile Detention Center in San Benito, Texas, until August 2017 — when it was discovered that he had been placing orders for fajitas using county funds and then selling them for his own profit since December 2008, according to Cameron County Court filings.

When sentenced on Friday, Escamilla was also served with the maximum fine of $10,000 on top of the $1,251,578.72 he was ordered to pay back for the cost of the fajitas, officials said.

According to The Brownsville Herald, Escamilla's scheme unraveled last August after a delivery driver with Labatt Food Service phoned the detention center to give kitchen employees a heads up that an 800-pound delivery of fajitas had arrived.

Employees immediately thought the delivery to be suspicious as minors at the detention center are not served fajitas, however the delivery driver insisted that had been delivering fajitas to the detention center's kitchen for the past nine years.

After being fired and arrested, Escamilla's house was searched by police, who found packages of the fajitas in his refrigerator.

"It was selfish. It started small and got bigger and out of control," Escamilla said during court testimony, according to the Herald. "It got to the point where I couldn't control it anymore."

Texas State District Judge J. Manuel Banales, who handed down the sentence, dismissed an additional theft charge as part of an earlier plea deal made by Escamilla. Because Escamilla stole more than $200,000 worth of goods, Texas law considers the crime to be a first degree felony and allows for a sentencing of up to 99 years in prison. It also allows for a more severe punishment if the defendant commits a crime while acting as a public servant.

And that’s the news!

Have a great week!

 

KWIBS - From July 9, 2018 - By Kevin Noland

There are a lot of positive and negatives when a holiday falls in the middle of a work week.

For us, it was mostly negative. Our scheduling got tight with deadlines and it was harder for us to get things written and placed in the paper.

On the positive side, nobody knew which weekend to do fireworks shows, so we saw one on June 30th at 99 Springs, one on Tuesday night at Dr. Meador’s house and then had a great show provided by Derrick and Shanda Swinehart at Lake Arrowhead on Saturday night. I appreciate all of those folks who light up the sky in honor or our Independence Day.

Speaking of the holiday.... It’s always been a tradition for me to find a funny 4th of July shirt to wear. Last year, I bought Joey and I shirts. Mine had President Trump riding an American Eagle and holding a machine gun on it. Joey’s was of President Bush standing on two sharks shooting a machine gun. They both said "Freedom" on them. They were hilarous. One year I had Chuck Norris holding a pair of machine guns and it said, "Undefeated World War Champions."

This year, I found a shirt that said, "Happy Treason Day - Ungreatful Colonists." It had a Brittish Flag in the middle of it. I got some laughs from a few people. Many didn’t even notice what it said.

The 4th of July wasn’t quite the same for one of my family members. Nick spent it on base in Okinawa in his room for the most part as a Typhoon rolled over the island for a few days. It was the first time he admitted to being home sick in a long time.

? ? ? ?

Our first Weird Beard contestent was named this week. It goes out to my buddy Andrew Meador. Keep those photos coming! See Andrew’s photo on the right, page three and see if you can top that!

Have a great week!

 

KWIBS - From July 2, 2018 - By Kevin Noland

A friend came to visit me this week. We come from opposite ends of the political spectrum, but we are most often in agreement on topics.

Our discussion turned to the ongoing spotlight the media has placed on immigration. It’s not a new topic for our country. As old as I am, I can’t remember a time that immigration wasn’t a topic of discussion, especially close to election time.

No one I know believes we don’t have some sort of immigration problem in our country. Dealing with the issue generally stirs up a lot of opinion.

The most recent discussion, rightly so, has been on the subject of separating children from family at the border. It’s a heartbreaking issue that is impossible not to be emotional about.

The images of children sleeping in cages and crying for their parents does make you sick, but the zero tolerance policy is an enforcement of laws that have been on the books for quite some time.

I applaud the president for reversing his decision to separate children from family. At the same time, I am a firm believer in secure borders. Those seeking asylum in our country are simply trying to escape from the hardships they are experiencing in their own countries. The dreams of freedom America has to offer would make anyone from a third world nation want to come here. My personal feelings are that I welcome all who want to come to our country and live productive and fruitful lives.

"Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free."

Most all of us here today come from lineage of refugees or immigrants. Our country was built on these principles, but before you think I’ve become some bleeding liberal, I also believe that there is a need to vet these people, now more than ever. Our country is a country of law and order. People wanting to enter into this country, must do so legally and orderly, not through porous holes in our southern border.

In today’s world, borders are sad, but needed to secure our country. Thousands of people enter illegally and many commit heinous crimes against citizens of The United States. We can sing the lyrics to "Imagine" by John Lennon until we’re blue in the face, but the reality is that if you cross the border illegally into Mexico, you’re going to be separated from your child, if you brought one with you, and you’re not going to be treated very well.

As many of you know, I also work as a surety agent. That’s a fancy word for bail bondsman. I deal with a number of Hispanic defendants, normally very good people simply trying to better themselves by coming to our country. They work harder than most of us, but they so often circumvent our system. When arrested, they become extremely difficult to bond. Many have aliases, prior convictions and a large percentage of them abscond from their responsibility to answer to our courts for their crimes. It’s a real problem that I experience first hand.

My highest rate of absconding comes from illegal immigrants. One of my largest lost bonds was on a drug smuggler from Poland who worked for the Mexican Cartel. She overstayed her visa, committed several felonies and then fled the country. Thankfully, she will never return. If she does, she will be sent to prison for a very long time. Folks, these are scary people, doing scary things. People associated with them, lost their lives. They were American citizens.

Last week the president addressed the media concerning victims of illegal immigration. President Trump highlighted "American victims of illegal immigration" on Friday, hosting families of people killed by people who immigrated to the U.S. illegally to tell their stories and hitting back at critics of his rescinded policy that separated some children from their parents who crossed the border illegally.

"These are the American citizens permanently separated from their loved ones," Mr. Trump said at the White House. "These are the families the media ignores. These are the stories that Democrats and people that are weak on immigration don’t want to discuss."

I watched family member after family member holding photos of their lost loved ones and listening to their stories. It was heartbreaking.

We have to embrace the fact that we do have an immigration problem and stop turning it into a talking point for elections. The president ran on the issue of fixing our nation’s immigration issues. I say we at least let him try or offer up a better solution that still keeps Americans safe. We need to stop taking a side and start thinking constructively, yet compassionately. I don’t want to see photos of children in cages and I don’t want to see pictures of lost loved ones.

Before you fix your leaking water line in your house, you do one simple thing: you shut off the water. Before you change a receptacle in your house, you shut off the breaker. You do this so you don’t create a mess, or worse, cause injury. Our border should be treated the same.

KWIBS - From June 25, 2018 - By Kevin Noland

A sixth branch of the military, in space no less, could be in our near future. Unless congress launches that idea into the sun (see older columns for reference to shooting things into the sun).

Last week President Trump announced "Space Force." Man, if that doesn’t take your mind off of hookers, Russia and inappropriate things he’s said, then nothing will.

I guess it’s all in the delivery.

"We must have American dominance in space. Very importantly, I'm hereby directing the Department of Defense and Pentagon to immediately begin the process necessary to establish the Space Force as the sixth branch of the armed forces. That's a big step," he said in the White House East Room during a meeting of his National Space Council Monday.

"We are going to have the Air Force and we are going to have the Space Force: separate but equal, it is going to be something so important," he said.

I suppose that’s logical and probably important, but what about the uniforms for the troops? I think it would be so cool to have them modeled after Storm Troopers from Star Wars movies. Let’s face it. Those guys are super intimidating.

Obviously, Space Force Generals would dress like Darth Vader.

All joking aside, space is an important place to be dominant. You must consider that our satellite technology is of the utmost priority in the event of a war. If space is secure, then our troops on the ground have a better chance of winning battles. All communications and targeting systems come from space, so it’s not that far fetched to dedicate a branch of our military to space.

Sorry to my lib friends. I think Trump is on to something here. Space: The final frontier....

 

KWIBS - From June 18, 2018 - By Kevin Noland

Ronda and I have been empty-nesters for about two years now.

Don’t let anyone tell you that it isn’t awesome.

Of course we were sad when our youngest son left for the Navy, but we discovered quickly that it wasn’t all that bad. No offense to my kids, but I am glad they are out of the house and on their own.

Of course, they’re never really on there own. They are always your kids and always come home.

And they all did.

Last weekend we had all three of our kids home. This is pretty tough to manage considering one of them lives 7,147 miles away.

They may all be adults now, but when they come home, they pick up right where they left off. They make a mess!

When you are just two people, it’s easy to cook and keep things in order. When you are 40 people, you are just crazy.

Yep, we had about 40 family members show up over the weekend. It was our 30th wedding anniversary and aunts and uncles and sisters and brothers and cousins and extended family all came to celebrate with us. We had more than 40, but the 40 I’m speaking of needed food, water and shelter. That’s a lot of work, but well worth it!!

We did decided that our next big anniversary, we’re probably taking a cruise, because it will be cheaper. *kidding*

I’m grateful for the time we got to spend with everyone. It’s never enough time. It’s been so amazing having Nick home and getting Joey home for a couple of days during that time.

The next time we all will be together will be in April of 2019 when Nick and Natalie get married! It takes my breath away a little bit to think it will be that long before we see him again.

Thanks to everyone who came. We are blessed.

Have a great week!

KWIBS - From June 11, 2018 - By Kevin Noland

She is my better half.

Happy Anniversary Ronda!

This weekend, Father’s Day, is our 30th wedding anniversary.

Two high school sweethearts tied the knot on June 17, 1988 just one month after I graduated from high school.

There were groans from family and friends when we announced we were getting married. They said we were too young. We were, but all we had was each other and we did it.

We have so many stories from 30 years. We’ve been places and done things that a lot of people never get to experience. We’ve experienced much joy and many sorrows. We’ve raised three amazing children, one giving us two grandchildren. We’ve lost parents, a cousin, friends, grandparents and aunts and uncles.

Father’s Day this year will be the most incredible day for us. Not only does it mark our 30th, we will have all of our children home. Bree never strayed far from home, but our son, Joey, lives in Phillipsburg, KS and is working for the White’s family grocery stores. He’ll soon be moving to St. John. Nicholas of course is in the Navy based with the Marines in Okinawa. He’s made the 22 hour journey home to spend this special day with us! He did it while being promoted! He’ll actually have his pinning ceremony once he goes back.

There will be so much to celebrate. It will be the last time we’ll all be together until at least April of 2019 when Nick and his fiance’ Natalie get married. This will be a bittersweet gathering for us.

I’m a blessed man and I know it. How Ronda has ever put up with me, I will never know.

There has never been another love in my life as I have found in you Ronda. You are my wife, my best friend, my business partner and so much more.

I love you!

Happy 30th!

 

KWIBS - From June 4, 2018 - By Kevin Noland

This is a huge week for us!

Nick is coming home for 14 days of leave starting Friday.

We were last together at Christmas, which just seems like yesterday. This trip home comes after a short deployment to South Korea and the Philippines. Nick is still in Okinawa with the Marine Wing Support Squadron 172, but his job now has him traveling more of the South Pacific.

When he came home in December, I warned him that it was cold here in Kansas. He said, "Dad, it’s cold here too. It was like 65 degrees."

That’s considered cold in Okinawa.

When I talked to him last week, I warned him it was hot and humid here. He said, "Dad, I live near the Equator. You don’t know what hot and humid is."

One of my favorite things about Nick coming home is his menu requests. His mother and I always love fixing him his favorite meals - those meals that we fixed all the time when he was in high school that we didn’t even know were his favorite. After eating MRE’s (meals ready to eat) and what I call "poodles and noodles," he’s ready for some "normal" food. I would imagine I could grill hamburgers every night and he would be fine with that.

I realize that we have to share him with someone very special to him, his fiance Natalie Bare. They will be making plans for their April 2019 wedding. Natalie will be going with Ronda and I on Friday to pick him up. She’ll get the first hugs and kisses and then we’ll get ours. :)

Speaking of weddings...

Congratulations to my Nephew Ronnie Landwehr and my new Niece-In-Law Morgan Landwehr on their marriage this last weekend! We’re so happy for you guys!

Have a great week!

 

KWIBS - From May 28, 2018 - By Kevin Noland

Today is Memorial Day. It didn’t change much for us at the paper, other than we have to mail the newspaper to subscribers on Tuesday.

It’s always hard for me to slow down and really get to appreciate Memorial Day. This year was particularly hard because I was very short handed at Lake Arrowhead Resort. My go-to-guy (AKA: Mower man) Dave Gilbert, took a much needed vacation to Alaska for two weeks.

He’d prepared me a month in advance, but I didn’t get the dates until a week before he left, which just happened to be, historically, our biggest and busiest weekend of the year.

I could handle it though and I had a great offer from my former go-to-guy Leroy Weber to help out with some mowing. I took him up on it and I am glad I did!

Friday before: Main mower had charging issues. I thought I had this fixed before Dave left. Nope. I loaded it up and took it to Stucky Repair in Kingman. I had burned up a wiring harness and rather than keep replacing the wire, we just replaced the entire service bulletin advisement for a kit that was to solve the problem once and for all. I also discovered the seat bracket was broken.

Saturday before: Graded all the roads and one hour later, we got 1" of rain....

I was beginning to see a trend.

Monday before: (less than one week to get it all done). The road grader started leaking coolant. My solution? Carry two jugs of water on the back of the grader. I regraded the roads and stopped frequently to give her a drink.

Tuesday before: The main mower is not done, so I mowed all day with a bush hog and the tractor. The tractor kept overheating and then it wouldn’t shift into 2nd gear. I managed to mow in 1st gear.

As it was getting dark, I realized that I had missed a dinner with friends in town.

Wednesday before: I finally had to actually go to my real job, but I broke my glasses and am having issues seeing. The parts won’t be in until Wednesday after Memorial Day. I’m so thankful that Bree and Ronda kept the office organized.

The main mower is fixed, now I had to run to Kingman to get it. I ran home and hooked up my trailer and noticed that my fender was shoved into the tire. I thought that was strange. As soon as I moved it, I realized it was more serious than that. I had broken a leaf spring and the axle had slid back. The trailer was toast. So I had to use my car trailer to haul the mower home. I joked that I could have pulled home about 6 mowers.

I made it back safely and started mowing again. I finished up at 6:30 p.m. before we got about an inch of rain later that night. I’m out of time to blade the roads again, so I hope they dry out.

Thursday before: I came to realize that I am spread too thin and am thanking the good Lord above that Leroy is still helping! Josh Ybarra also came out and helped do some trimming before the big weekend.

Ronda left to go help our son move out of his appartment in Hays and helped his girlfriend move into her new appartment.

I finally had to stop mowing so I could go cheer on the Lady Indians in Pratt!

Friday before: We finished up the majority of the newspaper by noon and I went back out to mow the dam and spillways. This should be the end of mowing for the week.

So, it was a memorable week getting ready for Memorial Day weekend. I appreciate all the things that Dave does and I would have been out there working whether he was here or not. Having Leroy and Josh around was such a blessing. That’s just how weeks before holiday weekends go in the summertime.

Although, I didn’t make it to the final resting places of my loved ones, I will remember them and will make memories with my family!

Happy Memorial Day to you all!

 

KWIBS - From May 21, 2018 - By Kevin Noland

Just a couple of months ago, we lost a great friend. Ron Fincher passed away at the Kansas Heart Hospital after complications from open heart surgery.

A quote on my desk reads, "If we can’t find it, you don’t need it." It’s a Ron Fincher quote.

His son, Brett Fincher, has been a life long friend. So, when he called saying he had been having some pain in his chest and was going in for a stress test, we all got pretty concerned about him. He went to the same surgeon his dad had gone to.

Last week, Brett underwent a heart cath at the Kansas Heart Hospital. Obviously scared of what this experience was going to be like, I offered up my experience with it and assured him that he was going to be just fine. I’ve had three caths, five stents. Brett insisted that he was probably going to be all plugged up and needed several stents because of his genetics. Keep in mind, Brett works out hard every day and jokingly we call him a "thoroughbred."

Ronda and I drove up last Wednesday for Brett’s procedure. When we got there we ran into an old friend and classmate who was also there for support. Doug Hamm was a 1988 graduate of MLHS. I hadn’t seen him since our 10 year reunion. We caught up in the lobby and waited for news on Brett.

Doug had lived in the house I grew up in and later in life, we did some horse trading on cars. It was really good to see him and great to hear about his missions work in India.

The surgeon came out and asked for the Fincher family. Well, that was Doug, Ronda and me. He announced, "Brett is just fine. We didn’t find any blockage."

That was great news. We went to Brett’s room for a couple of hours and he was released. God answered prayers for Brett and now he has the peace of mind knowing that he’s going to be ok!

Have a great week!

 

KWIBS - From May 14, 2018 - By Kevin Noland

I always feel bad when I make a mistake in the paper. Last week I thought we had a phone number wrong in an ad, but it turns out the phone was just messed up for a day.

It caused a little confusion, but former resident Barb Keltner got it straightened out for me and we discovered we hadn’t actually made a mistake at all!

To make me feel better Barb sent this gem of a poster hanging on a restaurant window, I assume in the Kansas City area. It gave me a good chuckle.

Thanks Barb! I just realized that it was one year ago that you and Mike moved away. We miss you guys and we’re glad you’re keeping us on our toes and made coffee run out my nose!

Have a great week!

 

KWIBS - From May 7, 2018 - By Kevin Noland

All week long. I get in my truck and rev the engine up a few times, put it in gear with my foot on the brake and gas and when I take off, I go as fast as I can... until I hit the speed limit.

Before our busy season begins at the lake, Ronda and I have been itching to experience new things and take mini road trips on the weekends. When Derrick and Shanda Swinehart and their daughter Aubrey invited us to watch them race their cars in Great Bend last weekend, we took them up on it.

Keep in mind, I hadn’t been to the "drag races" since I was a kid. Ronda used to go to Texas Speedway as a little girl with her family and we both discovered, we weren’t that interested in it when we were little, but this was a unique opportunity to watch a father and daughter race alongside their Grandpa Gordy Myers. Three generations of local people seemed like a historical event that we should go see.

So our tour started out with me doing some investigative work on a bond skip I had last week in Pratt County. I didn’t find my person, but we had left plenty early enough to drive around and take a tour of St. John, KS. The White’s are opening a grocery store there. It’s really a nice little community. We stopped and visited with a couple of locals before moving on down the road. At this point, I had not yet developed my "need for speed."

We rolled into Great Bend about 45 minutes before the races began and found the Swineharts. Although I wanted to ask 40,000 questions, I knew they were all getting ready for their races. Shanda was quite informative and gracious enough to explain what was going on to me and Ronda.

First up to race was their daughter Aubrey. Aubrey has been racing since she was old enough to drive a car. She was running low 12 second quarters in her 1963 Nova. We walked to the line as she drove her car into position. I really didn’t know what to expect. Here’s a girl who had not raced in almost three years, in a hotrod, racing guys...... The lights lit up on the tree and when it hit green, Aubrey had gunned it. The earth shook, my ears hurt and the next thing I knew Aubrey was flying down the track. She won her race. I think she drove across the line going about 112 mph.

We were instantly hooked! Our team had just won a race! Like we had anything to do with this team. Haha.

I was given a sneak preview of the behind the scenes of this sport by Derrick a week before. He had showed me two of his three race cars. One was a dragster fueled by alcohol and nitrox. As a complete novice, I just thought two cars pull up, the lights go to green and you race down the track and the first one to cross the finish line wins. Not so.... I can’t even explain all of the science and math behind this sport, but it is not the redneck event I was planning on attending. Those who take this sport seriously have a lot invested, including computers and weather stations to help calculate their times. They sort of compete with themselves and the other car in the lane next to them. It made my brain hurt a little bit.

The races aren’t just for "race cars" we saw several normal vehicles competing. One was a 2004 Jeep Cherokee. I’m pretty sure my truck was faster, but that’s not what this sport is really about. We saw Vetts, Camaros, Trucks and even motorcycles racing that day.

So, by this time we are pretty hooked after Aubrey’s race and excited to watch Derrick in his dragster. Here’s a car that does close to 190 mph! This is the real deal with the parachute that pops out the back and everything. I was pretty excited when I saw Derrick shoe horn himself inside the cockpit of this miniature rocket and put his helmet on. We walked over and did the same routine with following him to the line. Before the race, the drivers pull up to an area that is wet so they can do a quick burnout to get the tires hot and sticky for the launch at the starting line. When Derrick’s car started spinning the tires, I capped both my ears. Dear God, there is a lot of power in one of these cars! This was twice as loud and earth shattering than Aubrey’s car.

Derrick’s race didn’t end like Aubrey’s, but Derrick wasn’t finished. There was a buy back. During that intermission, we watched Gordy Myers win one and lose one. We also ran into Troy Wells from Medicine Lodge. Although I only got to see him race one time, it wasn’t his day either.

During Aubrey’s last race of the evening, Ronda got a chance to ride to the line with her in her car. That’s a grin I will remember for a long time and I’m sure she will too!

At the end of the evening, all our Medicine Lodge people had been eliminated, but this was a great experience and probably one of our funnest mini-road trips we had taken in quite sometime.

As we were leaving, I power braked my truck and got the tires to break lose on the pavement, doing what I thought was a pretty impressive burn out. After being scolded for doing that, I still pulled away with a huge grin on my face!

Thank you to the Myers and the Swineharts for letting us hang out with you all and see an unusual and entertaining family bond! Good luck on the rest of your season!

Aubrey and her race car!

Have a great week!

 

KWIBS - From April 30, 2018 - By Kevin Noland

Two years ago, I was filled with emotion as my last child graduated from MLHS.

So I know too well how many of you parents are feeling this week. The thought of your child, whether first one, or the last one, or the middle one graduating just makes you about spin out of control.

Their world is about to change in an amazing way. There will be new freedom and the ability for them to choose their paths. There will be some mistakes made and some will face struggles, but I’m confident that they will find their way.

My confidence comes from knowing many of you parents and knowing the faculty and staff of MLHS. We live in a blessed little community with great people looking after our children.

For you seniors, take nothing for granted. Your experiences at MLHS will be the launching point for life. Remember the values that you were taught, not just algebra and science. Remember your relationships with your classmates. Remember the successes and failures of your sports teams, your coaches and teammates. Remember your time at MLHS.

These will be some of the best memories of your life. The new memories you are about to make will also be great experiences.

This is a very special class to me. My Nephew Riston Landwehr is graduating, top of his class! Congratulations Riston and the class of 2018. I’m proud to welcome you into the world of alumni! You’ll always be an Indian no matter where you go. I wish you the best of luck in all of your endeavors.

These things I leave with you as advice from an old MLHS graduate: Don’t be afraid of good-byes; push yourself outside your comfort zone; trust your gut; be crazy, but not too crazy; and it’s ok to cry (That’s for mom and dad)!

Congratulations Class of 2018!

KWIBS - From April 23, 2018 - By Kevin Noland

Barbara . Bush turned to her doctor in the last few days of her life. "You want to know why George W. is the way he is?" she asked.

The doctor looked a little surprised when she answered, "Because I drank and smoked when I was pregnant with him."

I’ve always admired the class of this woman and her family. She died at her home in Houston on Tuesday surrounded by the ones she loved.

George W. Bush said on Wednesday that he spoke with Mrs. Bush by telephone shortly before her death to tell her he loved her, and she replied that she loved him too.

The Bushes had celebrated their 73rd wedding anniversary in January, making them the longest-married couple in presidential history.

As the wife of the 41st president and the mother of the 43rd, George W. Bush, Mrs. Bush was only the second woman in American history to have a son of hers follow his father to the White House. (Abigail Adams, wife of John Adams and mother of John Quincy Adams, was the first.)

She was born Barbara Pierce on June 8, 1925, at a maternity hospital in New York City run by the Salvation Army principally for unwed mothers. The family obstetrician practiced there one month a year, and that month happened to be June. She was the third child of the former Pauline Robinson and Marvin Pierce. Her father was in the publishing business and eventually became president of the McCall publishing company. Her mother, the daughter of an Ohio Supreme Court justice, was active in civic affairs in Rye, N.Y., the New York City suburb where the family lived.

One of Mrs. Bush’s distant relatives was Franklin Pierce, the 14th president of the United States.

Can you imagine being the first lady and the mother of a former president? Her life was so interesting and she carried herself so well. God rest her soul.

 

KWIBS - From April 16, 2018 - By Kevin Noland

Some days you’re hot, some days you’re not. I’m talking about Spring.

In a short week we’ve seen temperatures ranging from a low of 17 degrees to a high of 95 degrees!

I know that I am growing older when I get concerned about my pear and peach trees. One day they had beautiful blooms on them, the next day they were gone.

I sort of jumped the gun on spring and spring made sure she told me who was boss. Saturday evening I noticed that we were dropping below freezing. I ran around and unscrewed garden hoses and attempted to drain out some pumps I had prepared for some controlled burns I was helping with. Somehow in the late night hours, I missed one drain plug.

On the day before we were going to burn some brush piles, I went and fired up the pump. As soon as it started, I knew something was terribly wrong. I was soaking wet and was getting wetter. When I realized my pump casing was broken and spraying me with water, I shut it down.

? ? ? ?

Thursday’s forecast was 94 degrees!!! I’m pretty sure it got there and in preparation for it, I ditched my socks and put on my lake shoes that morning.

Anyone that knows me well, knows that I can’t stand shoes and wearing socks. I think I only own like three pairs of socks and two pairs have holes in them. I don’t know why I hate wearing shoes, but I always say, "my toes freak out." I also hate wearing pants. That sounds strange, but I am more comfortable in a pair of shorts! Thursday afternoon was my first official day back in shorts!

By Saturday, my disappointed toes were back in socks as the weather plummeted into the 40s. I also had to put my pants back on.....

 

KWIBS - From April 9, 2018 - By Kevin Noland

"What’s your password grandpa?"

My Granddaughter Baylee asked me that question on Tuesday.

I was busy making an ad for a customer and I nearly blurted it out.

I told her I couldn’t tell her what my password was. That’s always a mistake because it leaves the conversation wide open.

She asked, "Well, why not?"

I explained that it was a secret and I could not tell her. I didn’t even know what password she wanted. It could have been to my Snapchat or Facebook account. Heck, it could have been nuclear codes. It didn’t matter. I was in a full-blown conversation about security with a five-year-old.

There are sticky notes all over my desk with log-ins and passwords to different accounts. It’s probably good that she can’t read or comprehend what I am doing or the entire newspaper could be jeopardized.

Then it was, "What’s this gray box?"

Might as well make a column out of this.

It was my computer.... Now she is staring at the screen as I write this column. It’s sort of entertaining for me to watch her watch me do this. She seems really interested. Maybe she’ll be the future editor.

Nope. Now she’s digging in my trash as I write.

She grabbed the trash and said, "I am going to work on this in my office," and she darted out.

One thing is for darned sure. She’s very distracting. I mean cute and entertaining. She wasn’t gone but a few seconds.

The next question was, "What time is it, grandpa?"

I almost answered, "Time to get out of my office," but instead I told her it was 3:10 p.m.

"Oh! That’s when I have to go to work," she exclaimed!

And that’s when I said it.

"Then get your butt to work," I said firmly.

This conversation ended with her looking at me and saying, "You’re not the boss. Grandma is the boss!"

 

KWIBS - From April 2, 2018 - By Kevin Noland

Anyone that knows Ronda and I very well, know that we love live music. Our first official date was at a concert in 1985. It was Metallica and Ozzy Ozborne!

A guy I met recently posed a question to me and asked, "Who is a band you haven’t seen yet that you would say would be a bucket-list item?"

I had a really tough time answering that question. We’ve seen so many concerts in the last 30 years that my bucket-list is full! My favorite band of all time has to be the Eagles.

This band brings back memories of my childhood. You’ve got that one band that you always turn up the radio when they come on. This one is mine. It might sound silly, but if you love music like I do, you know how it moves the soul. I love all kinds of music from bluegrass to heavy metal. It’s all good except for rap music. I just can’t do it. It’s painful to listen to. I must be getting old because I have caught myself telling my kids their rap music is terrible, too loud and to turn it off.

I always watch the upcoming concert alerts for anything from Kansas City to Dallas to see if there’s a concert sneaking up that I want to reserve seats for. Back in December of last year, I saw that former Eagle Don Felder, REO Speedwagon, and STYX were performing at Hartman arena. One of Ronda’s favorite bands is REO Speedwagon, so I bought us tickets for the March 25th show in Park City. Keep in mind, we buy tickets early to get the best seats possible.

A few weeks back some friends called and said they had two extra tickets to the Eagles at Sprint Center in Kansas City for Monday, March 19. Even though it was a week night, I could not pass up seeing my favorite band and jumped at the chance, sort of forgetting I had the March 25th show already booked.

If you grew up in the 60s-80s, you probably know the words to most every famous Eagles’ song written. At least I do. My parents listened to the Eagles and I fell in love with them from a very early age. We’ve seen them 4 times in the last 24 years. A lot of people don’t realize that the most recent line up is not the original band. Only Don Henley and Glenn Frey were original members up until Frey’s death in 2016. You still have the familiar Joe Walsh on guitar and vocals and Timothy B. Schmidt on bass and vocals, but this line up only performed together for two years before breaking up in 1980 for 14 years. It was then that they put differences aside and reformed that line up. Earlier performers included Bernie Leadon, Randy Meisner and Don Felder, who was famous for his song "Hotel California" along with over 17 tracks he contributed during his time with the Eagles.

Glenn Frey and Don Felder had had enough of each other in 1980. At a concert in Long Beach, California for Senator Alan Cranston on July 31, 1980, known as the "Long Night at Wrong Beach", things hit breaking point when the animosity between Felder and Frey boiled over before the show even began. Felder recalls Frey telling him during "Best of My Love," "I'm gonna kick your a** when we get off the stage." After the concert, Felder smashed, according to Frey, "his cheapest guitar". The Eagles disbanded shortly thereafter.

In 2016, the day after Frey's death, Felder told the Associated Press that he felt an "unbelievable sorrow" when he learned about Frey's death. "I had always hoped somewhere along the line, he and I would have dinner together, talking about old times and letting it go with a handshake and a hug."

Joining the Eagles in Kansas City was Glenn Frey’s son, Deacon. This kid sounds just like his dad and is only 22 years old. Also joining the Eagles was one of my all-time favorite guitarist and vocalist Vince Gill.

If you were paying attention to my long and drawn out Eagles’ history lesson, we went to see the Eagles on Monday and then saw Don Felder the following Sunday with REO and Styx. We got a double dose of the Eagles. I was in music heaven!!

I did not realize that Don Felder would basically do most of The Hotel California album at this concert. I assumed I would be subjected to music that I had never heard from his post Eagles career. I was pleasantly surprised that I was wrong.

I believe we witnessed rock and roll history last week. I didn’t even tell you how good REO Speedwagon and STYX were.

So, I really don’t have a bucket-list for concerts anymore. I just have the same old desire to see the ones I love.

An interesting side note: the Eagles play in Tulsa on June 17. That’s our 30th anniversary. We can’t make it though because we have one of our new favorite bands playing for our anniversary! I also bought us tickets to Metallica for March of 2019!

"Music is a moral law. It gives soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and charm and gaiety to life and to everything." - Plato

 

KWIBS - From March 26, 2018 - By Kevin Noland

It’s interesting to note that our newspaper has a few famous "subscribers."

One such subscriber is Former Kansas Congressman Mike Pompeo. Mr. Pompeo’s career has really blasted off in the past few years. After President Trump was elected, Pompeo rose the ranks of director of the Central Intelligence Agency. Recently, he’s President Trump’s pick for replacing Rex Tillerson as Secretary of State.

I met Mike Pompeo at the Grand Hotel several years ago and then he stopped into our office shortly after that. I kind of wished I had taken a photo with him now. A few weeks after that visit he subscribed to the newspaper.

Now I doubt he probably has time to read this, but I did note that Mr. Pompeo was a very interesting person. He graduated first in his class from the United States Military Academy at West Point. He was also a Gulf War veteran with the 2nd Squadron, 7th Cavalry in the 4th Infantry Division. That’s impressive. I found him polite and intelligent. I also remember after meeting him that I forgot to ask his party affiliation. It didn’t seem important to me at the time. I liked him and I liked what he had to say about rural America and he had my vote.

He’s obviously had the same impression on our president and is being trusted as one of the top people in his administration.

If by some crazy chance Mr. Pompeo is reading my newspaper, I want to congratulate him and thank him for serving his country in this capacity. I would think Secretary of State would be the hardest job you could ever have, next to President of the United States.

Somehow, I don’t quite picture him with his feet up on his desk with The Gyp Hill Premiere spread open.

From my limited knowledge of him and first impressions, I believe Mr. Pompeo will do the right thing for our country in these perilous times. I trust him to make decisions to keep us safe and to promote America’s interests throughout the world.

Have a great week!

 

KWIBS - From March 19, 2018 - By Kevin Noland

The community woke Saturday morning to the sad news of Ron Fincher’s passing.

I ran into the office and pulled my column off the page, so that at the very least, we could share our condolences with Brett and Kim and all the folks at Finchers Findings. We don’t yet know when his services will be, but we will try to update everyone on Facebook.

Ron was a friend to all of us in town and he will be greatly missed.

KWIBS - From March 12, 2018 - By Kevin Noland

While the kids were growing up, I did the typical dad thing (relived my childhood through them). Ronda was the nurturer and often nurse. I was the, "hey, let’s buy the kids gokarts, motorcycles and BB-guns!" kind of dad.

Both Breeann and Joey had multiple motorcycle and gokart injuries. By the time Nicholas was born, I was no longer able to play with the children per mom-orders.

I watched once as Joey drove his first motorcycle through a 2 railed, 2"x6" fence at 30 mph.

The most interesting part of that story is that he was 4-years-old. I had taught him how to balance on a bike, rolling down a hill without training wheels just 1 week earlier. Any good dad knows that that is enough experience to put an engine under him and let him ride. Right?

You think I’m that irresponsible? Come on.

I put a helmet on him, gloves and a leather coat and even some goggles over his eyes. There. Feel better about me now?

My mission was to do the same as I had with his older sister: Tie a rope around the motorcycle and let him go slowly at first until he got the hang of it.

I remember how mad my wife was at me when I came home with this motorcycle. I had rolled through Mullinville, KS on my way home from a job one day and some guy was selling these motorcycles on the side of the road, so naturally I stopped.

After I threw my money at him and he helped me load it up in my truck, I drove home with visions of my "father of the year trophy" all shiny on my desk.

I got it home and unloaded it. I polished it up as my wife stood there shaking her head and telling me how bad of an idea this was.

What did she know about "fathering"?

Now here we were. Father and his son were about to make history. It was like Evel Knievel’s first jump over 30 buses. I explained the brakes, the gas, the inner-workings of compression and torque to my 4-year-old and said, "When you’re ready, squeeze the gas and I’ll be right behind you."

So I thought.

This kid took off like a pro-motocross racer from the gate and ripped the rope right out of my hand. I busted after him at my slightly-slower than Olympic running speed, screaming, "Let off the gas!"

That’s 4-year-old language for "give it more gas" apparently, as he went shooting towards a barbed wire fence at the end of our yard. He was a good 20 yards in front of me. I was yelling, "Stop! Brakes! Jump off! Jesus, this is a good time for the rapture!" along with other explicits, when suddenly he took a sharp left hand turn and plowed through the wooden fence along our driveway.

It was over in about 10 seconds and he was on the ground with the motorcycle on top of him, still running, back wheel spinning. He still had the throttle gunned.

I ran over, shut off the bike and lifted it off of him. I could see his wide-eyed stare through his fogged up goggles. He was breathing. I picked him up gently and asked him if he was ok and that’s when the tears machine turned on. He started crying. I was like, "sssshhhh, you’re ok, you’re fine. Don’t alert your mom..."

Too late. She was out the door and sprinting towards us. It looked like she was investigating the crash scene, but I think she was actually looking for broken parts of the motorcycle to pick up and hit me with.

The motorcycle was broken. There was a fender a few yards away, a couple of broken boards that Chuck Norris couldn’t have Karate kicked through any better, and the front wheel was now smashed into the engine of the new motorcycle that had less than 5 minutes of run time on it.

I nervously said, "I bet the warranty doesn’t cover that!"

My wife was not having it. She took Joey inside to clean him up. He amazingly didn’t have a scratch on him.

I took the bike down to the shed and heated up the frame and forks and got it bent back into riding condition.

Although I was told that I could not let him ride it again until he was older and ready, Joey was ready to try again within a few days. I had a better understanding of how tight to hold the rope and he had a better understanding of the throttle control. In time, he became an excellent rider and this first crash prepared him for many more to come.

Have a great week!

 

KWIBS - From March 5, 2018 - By Kevin Noland

I sat patiently with Bree on Saturday morning as she learned how to do corrections and the final stages of the newspaper before it went to press.

"Grandma finds all these mistakes?" she asked.

I explained that there has probably never been a more thorough person as a "copy editor" for any small town newspaper the size of ours.

My mom has always been a huge part of the newspaper making process. Most people don’t even realize that before you get the paper, she’s already read it from top to bottom.

Of course, with a crew like this one, she can’t possibly catch every mistake. I bet she’s pretty darn close to perfection. Many of the mistakes you might find happened after she had proofed the newspaper. They were usually last minute changes.

Now it might seem weird to honor her for her birthday with a story like that, but my mom has been a bigger part of my adult business life, than my childhood - at this age and stage of the game.

And there is no way to hide a birthday greeting from my mom (unless I don’t have it proofread)!

My mom is turning 75 years-young on Wednesday, March 7, 2018. That’s a cool accomplishment!

I could have used my space to tell funny stories about her like the time she took my sister and I to Century II in Wichita to an event. She got lost and ended up on the grounds sidewalks in our car. We kept telling her she wasn’t on a road and we were sure she was driving on the sidewalks, but she insisted she was until we ran over a garden hose.

I love you mom. Thanks for always being here to help me.

Happy 75th Birthday!

Have a great week!

 

KWIBS - From February 26, 2018 - By Kevin Noland

Quietly and with little to no fanfare, my youngest son left the age of teenager and turned 20 years old on Sunday, February 25.

For him, it’s kind of a big deal. He’s serving his country in Okinawa with the Marine Wing Support Squadron 172. In Okinawa, you only have to be 20 years old to buy an alcoholic drink, unlike being 21 in the states. I haven’t talked to him about it, but I bet he went out with some buddies and bought himself a drink because that’s sort of what Navy and Marine guys do.

This is Nick’s first birthday overseas. He spent his last birthday in training in South Carolina preparing to head to North Carolina for 14 weeks of Marine Combat Training. Oh what a difference a year makes.

As a dad, I wanted to be the one to buy him his first drink, but we’ve known for sometime that this would not be possible. I remember buying Joey his first beer on his birthday. We met in Great Bend, KS. Joey was going to school in Hays at the time. Nick and I can’t even meet half way for that first beer. Half way would be somewhere off the coast of Alaska in the Pacific Ocean.

Now, I’m not naive either. I know that I didn’t buy any of my kids their first drink, but I wish I could have ceremonially at least.

Instead, I bought him a guitar and shipped it to him. I expected it to take 4 weeks, but it took less than a week, so he got it a little early!

The funny thing is, the next time I see Nick, he still won’t be old enough for me to buy him a drink! That’s kind of funny.

Happy Birthday Nick! It’s a day late in print and probably three weeks before you’ll even read this, but know that I love you, I’m proud of you and hope you have the best birthday ever!

Have a great week!

 

KWIBS - From February 19, 2018 - By Kevin Noland

I’m not a real man. I’m just a big baby. That’s how I felt while suffering through the latest plague to strike our area. It was just the flu, but it felt like much worse than H1NDeath-whatever-it-was....

I kept waiting for a cart to roll by my house with a driver wrapped up in linens and a mask shouting, "Bring out your dead!"

Well, I didn’t die. I wanted to a couple of times. I thought maybe Ronda was going to put a pillow over my head, but she didn’t want to be anywhere near me.

For the record, I know she loves me and takes the entire "in sickness and in health" to heart, but I’m a better caretaker than she is.

When she’s sick, I take charge. I cook, attempt at cleaning (no where near her standards), bring her drinks, soup, medicine, take her temperature, place ice packs on her head, etc.

When I’m sick she’s like, "I’m going to Wichita today shopping with my cousin and let you rest!"

No kidding, but sort of kidding.

She’d had about enough of me and my coughing and moaning and she did go shopping and have a girls’ day so I could "rest" as she put it. She did deserve to get away from me for a little while. This stuff was on its 5th day by the time she needed to get out of the toxic relationship. By toxic, I meant contagious.

I surprised her with a nice dinner though. I actually got up, grilled some steak and made jalopeno poppers wrapped in bacon and even roasted sweet potatoes.

By Sunday morning, I was feeling like I was over the hump. I wasn’t really ready to go to church or back to work, but I could at least bend over and pick up my own tissues off the floor.

We decided that a good way to pass the rest of that day was to watch some movie on Netflix. I didn’t really care and started flipping until she yelled, "Beauty and the Beast!"

I figured, meh, ok. I clicked it and expected to be asleep within a few minutes. It was a 2 hour movie redone recently on the basis of the Disney cartoon that from 1987-2008 I had watched more than 100 times with my daughter Breeann. I had also cut my teeth on VHS repair during those years when the machine had eaten the movie and my daughter would break out into tears.

Well, I didn’t sleep because I knew the words to every song, "Be our guest! Be our guest! Put our service to the test!"

"No one's slick as Gaston. No one's quick as Gaston. No one's neck's as incredibly thick as Gaston's. For there's no man in town half as manly. Perfect, a pure paragon! You can ask any Tom, Dick or Stanley. And they'll tell you whose team they prefer to be on..." and so-on.

This was ridiculous.

At one point Belle had to leave the Beast and rescue her father. I was like, "Am I crying?"

Dear God, this is not a sensitive moment I’m having is it? It had to be the Robitussin.

Maybe it was a combination of both, but I was choked up and sobbing a few times. It wasn’t the movie. It was the thought that I still had 1 hour and 45 minutes of this to go!

Seriously, I thought about how cute Breeann was as a little girl always wanting to watch Beauty and the Beast or The Little Mermaid. It brought back some great memories.

I’m such a baby....

Have a great week!

 

KWIBS - From February 12, 2018 - By Kevin Noland

It’s a dance that nobody likes to dance to, or likes the song. It’s only interesting to watch others "dance".

It might be a terrible analogy, but that’s what happens in our court systems. The back and forth of motions, responses, petitions and the grueling slow grind of the legal wheel is often maddening.... but entirely necessary.

Our society has one of the finest judicial systems in the world, if not the best. If not understood, on the outside, it looks like a cluster of unorganized chaos. All of it has purpose for fairness and accountability for each side, whether it be for the plaintiff or the defendant.

I’ve had the miserable honor of covering the events of the Steven Myers’ death on October 6, 2017. With each court filing, I try my best to put it into plain English so that you can process it.

Every motion, memorandum or rulings are just small pieces of a complex process that our community must go through to get to the end.

My heart breaks when I think about what everyone has gone through in this difficult situation: The family and friends of Steven Myers, The Sheriff’s Department and all of the deputies, the EMS crews and the people of Sun City and Barber County - all wanting answers.

I wear so many hats at times: newspaper, bondsman, lawn mower, janitor.... Today my job is simply to present you with the most current information, without inserting my opinion. I hope I do that, while honoring this process of law.

My hope is that we soon heal as a county and community; that we are safe and that there is justice - in what form, I do not know.

KWIBS - From February 5, 2018 - By Kevin Noland

She’s been one of my kids over the past year and it is sad to see her go, but I’m happy for her.

Jessica Wright is moving to greener pastures - or hallways of chaos, either way you look at it.

Jess is going to the Grade School to work as a Para. It goes along well with her decision to go back to school and get a degree in teaching.

I’m super-proud of the work she did for us for almost a year now. Next to me, she’s probably one of the fastest at assimilating information for exportation (from her pen to your eyes).

What will I miss most about Jessica? My morning greetings. I can’t write about them, but she totally understands what I’m talking about.

When I say she’s like one of my own kids, I mean it and she has been. I’ve had to give fatherly advice, which just like my real kids is taken with a grain of salt; I’ve had to criticize her work, getting the too often eye-roll; and I’ve had to call her occassionally to ask, "Where are you?" She knew just how hard and how much to push my buttons before I would either snap or laugh.

But seriously folks, Jess has been great to work with and I wish her the best of luck!

? ? ? ?

Breeann (AKA Bree) comes to us as green as green can be. She’s not written anything that I can remember since her, "I will be home by my curfew" story, which was actually just a sentence written 30x on a piece of notebook paper in high school.

So far, she’s picking things up and is figuring out the routine. I don’t expect her to get a Pulitzer anytime soon, but with some practice, she’s going to be a great addition to The Gyp Hill Premiere. She will introduce herself next week.

Along with Bree, we get our Granddaughter Baylee for half the day in the office. Baylee is currently finishing her degree in pres-school, so she only goes half days. Her afternoon office is across the hallway from mine, so every few minutes she brings me her "work." I get yards of adding machine tape with random numbers on them. I usually fantasize that it’s my bank account balance. I also get lots of drawings of bunnies, sunshine and trees - refreshing for this time of year.

Have a great week!

 

KWIBS - From January 29, 2018 - By Kevin Noland

One Tuesday afternoon back in early 1989, my dad took a trip to Missouri and left a space-filler for his column that said, "Will Return."

I was working as the pressman during those days and saw an opportunity to test my writing skills. They were pretty terrible and my dad was pretty mad when he came back and saw that I had written KWICK KWIBS, Jr. as a guest writer.

He let me continue to write, but then eventually sold the newspaper and moved to Missouri. I hope that wasn’t an indicator at how badly my first columns were, but I was able to keep the column for another six months or so, before it got axed by the new owners of the Index. I continued working there for about another couple of months before Ronda and I started The Gyp Hill Premiere.

I was always involved in the newspaper business. I had my diapers changed there, I grew up and played there. I swept the floors there and eventually ran a press there. I miss those days at the Index and I miss those folks I worked with.

A fun little history lesson about this column.

One day several years ago Doris found a snippet my dad wrote in February of 1976, "I have been toying with the idea of starting a personal column for the Index for the past three years," he wrote.

Dad was also "toying around" with the title KWICK KWIBS, Jr.

When we started our newspaper in 1991, my early columns were terrible, even worse than today. I know, you can’t believe it. I brought the name with me when Ronda and I started The Gyp Hill Premiere. Many people over the years have asked me, where the name came from.

Now, the column name "KWICK KWIBS, Jr" by my dad, Ron Noland, came from his father (my Grandpa Bill). In 1946 my Grandpa Bill bought his first newspaper, the Logan Republican. He started a column called "KWICK KWIBS".

Well, I’ve read some of my grandpa’s and dad’s early columns and I am glad to say that I come from a long line of some terrible writers! Seriously though, some of these columns were very well done and made me smile to think how far back my heritage in the newspaper business goes.

It dawned on me last week that my grandpa wrote KWICK KWIBS for 24 years. My dad wrote KWICK KWIBS, Jr. for 12 years and I have written KWIBS for over 27 years now. I’m the winner. Of what, I do not know.....

KWIBS, of some form, has been a part of Kansas newspaper history for close to 75 years now, with a few years of gaps in between. Possibly, there are over 3,000 columns with the name "KWIBS" on them.

So over the course of the last week, Jessica Wright has given Ronda and I notice that she’ll be leaving for a position at the grade school. She’s been great help and I have agonized over what to do to replace her. Jessica has a natural gift for writing and has really evolved over the last year.

It’s a struggle every business has - keeping employees for the long haul. Not everyone is a Doris Sorg who can put up with me for 17.5 years and then give several months notice that she was leaving. Only one other woman has chosen a longer path in life.... my wife! So far, she has not given me notice she is leaving!

I’m rambling here, but I will eventually get to my point.

We’re a small family owned newspaper. We’re a rarity by today’s standards. Most small town newspapers have been gobbled up by larger corporations and conglomerations of small chains. I’ve always dreaded that happening to a community, but finding the right person in a small town is really hard. Sometimes sharing those resources in a centralized location in rural Kansas makes sense. Don’t worry, we’re not heading there any time soon as far as I am aware. I have been actively seeking an employee. I had some excellent applications. Two of which I really wanted to hire, but for various reasons, I could not make a decision.

It takes a person who loves their community to write about it. It’s easy to write the controversial news. It’s a lot harder to cover the good news. Human nature makes it that way. More people want to read about crime and chaos than the successes and accomplishments of a community. Let’s be honest, we all turn to the courthouse news first and then go back and read the other parts of the newspaper.

It's been a mission statement for us to, "Report the good news about our community."

I always dreamed of one of my boys running the newspaper one day. That would make us 4 generations deep. I had floated that by Joey one day last summer and he said, "You’re job looks boring. No thanks." Personally, I think it’s a very interesting business, but I was not offended.

I’ve read many things that Nicholas has written over the years and he’s a very good writer, but the commute from Okinawa would be a deal-killer. If I paid 50 cents per mile it would be something like $7,500 a week in travel expenses, so he’s out. Maybe one day, like my father, he’ll return home from his service in the Navy and decide he wants to be in the business, but for now, he’s got a job near a beach, also near a crazy dictator that we’re all keeping an eye on.

It never occurred to me that Breeann might be interested. The thought of working with a family member who is so opinionated and stubborn and hard headed and moody, probably prevented her from ever asking me. Truthfully, we’re both very stubborn people who can be difficult to be around. We can get pretty frustrated with each other at times.

I mentioned, jokingly, to her that she should work her way into the family business. She was actually interested. I think for a split second, I was scared I had mentioned it, but then I thought back to when my dad let me write that second column. He probably didn’t want to at the time. Can she write? Well, probably as well as I did when I first started. She might be even better. I had her write me a little story about something she knew about and she did a pretty good job. It’s writing about things you know nothing about that is harder.

We’re about to find out. I think it’s time. Her children are older and in school. She’s been a stay-at-home mom with only brief moments of employment, but a lifetime of being in the community. She’s smart and, hopefully, trainable. If she’s not, I know several choke holds. This will be a challenge for sure, but I think with a little time, she can be a great addition to our family newspaper. I hope you’ll encourage her in this endeavor. Please be patient with us while we work through the process of getting her involved and please pray for patience for me! Thank you to everyone who applied and expressed interest.

Have a great week!

KWIBS - From January 22, 2018 - By Kevin Noland

Where do I begin?

As if adulting wasn’t hard enough, there’s also parenting.

Parenting, you’d think, would be the toughest, but Grandparenting is even more difficult.

Sunday morning I worked Pratt County for some bonding business and then grabbed some lunch. While at lunch, I got two more bonding calls out of Barber County. Then we got a phone call from our daughter needing a sitter for the grandkids that night.

As it worked out, I dropped off Ronda at the house and went in to assist some folks out of the Barber County Crossbar Hotel, as one of the defendants called it. Ronda suggested I pick up the grandkids on my way home.

Piece of cake.

The grandkids were excited to see grandpa. They grabbed what I thought was warm clothing and we headed out to the truck. By the time we got to grandma and grandpa’s I had discovered that one of my grandkids only had on a sweatshirt and the other had on cowboy boots, missing one sock.

Close enough.

By the time I had gotten home, I had answered about 178 questions ranging from, "why do turkeys make that sound" to what is "DNA"? I had an easier time explaining DNA.

When I pulled into the drive way, my granddaughter was asleep and missing one cowboy boot. I found the boot under the back seat, slipped it back on her naked foot and after I got her awake and stable, set her on the ground. I just wanted to get inside, get warm and get fed. I was exhausted from the 7 mile trip home.

The grandkids won’t eat anything at our house that isn’t either 100% sugar or simply chicken.

We were having steak, but I know to call it "chicken" no matter what we’re eating. I can still trick them into eating about anything if I just call it chicken.

"We’re having chicken tonight!" No, that’s chili, but they don’t seem to know the difference yet.

I have been known to put a tub of ice cream on the floor and two spoons and say, "get it" in place of actual food. I am told this is alright if you are a grandparent. Parents are not allowed to do this.

So we ate and still had a couple of hours to burn. I know what to do. Get balloons. Let’s of balloons!

Watching them blow them up and turn bright red in the face is wonderful. I know they are getting plenty of oxygen and working their lungs. It’s also a great cardio workout for them to run around and bop balloons in the air.

I don’t know about those two, but grandpa slept pretty good that night.

? ? ? ?

Monday both Ronda and Jess came down with a bug, leaving me the only healthy person in the office.

I told Jess to stay home, Ronda insisted on working. She lasted about two hours and left me in charge.

Alone. Sorry if you called and I didn’t answer. It was hectic.

I was chugging along pretty well. We were busy since Monday was a holiday and everyone seemed to not mind braving the cold weather. It was an unusually busy Tuesday.

Before Ronda left at noon she asked me to make the deposit. I thought that would be easy enough. She did all the work. All I had to do was walk it over to the bank.

After 3 hours of customers and phones ringing, I finally made it to the bank, but I think I missed the cut off. Thankfully, I think I had enough in there to cover checks. If not, I’m probably going to get fired.

Have a great week!

 

KWIBS - From January 15, 2018 - By Kevin Noland

I don’t know who’s in charge, but I was promised global warming which included polar ice caps melting and Manhattan underwater by 2014. It’s cold and I don’t like it.

Congratulations to the Conservation District Bankers Award Winners! We appreciate all you do!

KWIBS - From January 8, 2018 - By Kevin Noland

I made what seemed like the longest trip to town I’ve made in decades Tuesday morning. It was the end of "Christmas Break" for Ronda and I.

We still had a few days left with Nick before he left for Japan on Friday morning.

We were pretty quiet driving in. We were not really looking forward to going back to work, not even knowing where to begin 2018. We might have even been a little grumpy.

Ronda started laughing when we got to the Assembly of God sign. It read, "Don’t be mean in 2018."

It made me laugh too and then I started in.

"I will also not be green or a bean. I hope to be lean, but not have a lien. I keep my motor clean in my full steam space machine. I’m trying to be less obscene since I’m not longer a preteen or even sixteen. Speaking of, did I mention my home economics teacher in high school was named Charlene? I’ll try to remember this summer to use sunscreen unless they come out with some crazy anti-sunburn vaccine. I was hoping to jump on a trampoline inside a submarine dressed as a wolverine. I am also wanting to keep my spleen at least until Halloween - all in 2018!"

Thanks Rodney for being our local sign comedian and turning me into "Dr. Seuss" last Tuesday morning.

? ? ? ?

So I want to give a big shout out and a big thank you to a couple of guys who have served this city well for several years. Norm Clouse and Mike Roe take their city council seats for one last moment tonight and then ride off into the sunset. Well, maybe not, but they are leaving the council. These guys were original movers and shakers. They took part in some unpopular, but necessary actions to improve the functionality of our city government. I applaud them for sticking it out and seeing things through. You guys are appreciated and we hope to be interviewing them soon as civilians!

Have a great week!

KWIBS - From January 1, 2018 - By Kevin Noland

KWIBS - From December 25, 2017 - By Kevin Noland

Wow! Today is Christmas, but you probably are reading this on Tuesday, December 26th or even later.

The holidays will sort of mess up our delivery schedules, but we will publish our weekly newspapers through the holidays.

I hope you had a Merry Christmas! It’s difficult to write about something that hasn’t happened yet and that you’ll read after the fact, but it is my wish that you had a joyful celebration with family and friends. .

I know of so many in our community that have experienced loss of family members around the holidays and it is my prayer that the Lord gives you peace, hope and love during this time of year. No one is immune to loss. In the last few years, our family has lost several family members. Within the last year we lost two uncles. In recent years we’ve lost Ronda’s grandma and my dad.

Ronda and I enjoyed looking through old family Christmas decorations a few weeks ago. She used them to decorate for our Christmas this year. It reflects over 30 years of Christmas together. The memories are the gifts that those who have passed leave us.

If it all worked out, we had our entire family together for Christmas this year. It would be the first time since 2015 since we were all home for the holidays.

I love getting Christmas cards with family photos. I’m terrible at sending them, but know that I enjoy seeing your families as they grow over the years. I’m planning on taking a good family Christmas photo this year and with any luck, I’ll make Christmas cards for next year!

Next week will be a recap of 2017. It will be an issue about our community’s successes and struggles. I love to reflect and find the positives in life during this time of year. I hope you will take time to remember 2017. My prayer for our little town is that 2018 is the best year yet!

Have a blessed holiday and see you next year!

 

KWIBS - From December 18, 2017 - By Kevin Noland

In a few short days, my Christmas present to myself and my family will be here.

Yes, it’s selfish to buy yourself a gift, but this one is a doozy!

Our Son Nick is coming home from Okinawa, Japan for a couple of weeks! Perfect timing and much luck has made this trip possible. Nick is stationed with the Marine Air Wing 172 Firebirds there and serves with the ministry team as a Religious Program Specialist.

As it turns out, Nick’s current Chaplain is retiring and there will be a change in command that occurs over the holiday. The gap in between offered Nick the opportunity to come home, if all goes as planned. (Keep it down Rocketman).

If it all goes well, he’ll take the 20+ hour flight home beginning Thursday our time and arriving sometime Friday afternoon. He will actually leave on Friday morning, his time, and arrive Friday afternoon, our time. It’s confusing.

For the past six months, we had believed we wouldn’t see Nick until maybe Peace Treaty of 2018. So, needless to say, WE ARE EXCITED!!

Nick spent his last Christmas in Great Lakes, IL in bootcamp. It was not a special occasion for him or for us, but we are so grateful to have our entire family back together for Christmas this year.

Because of this special visit, our office hours will be somewhat sporadic over the holidays and for the week in between. We will be receiving our mail and checking our voice mail system and we have a drop slot in our door for you to drop things by over the holidays.

Thank you in advance for your patience!! We don’t plan any deadline changes, however, we will be in stores on Tuesday, December 26th and Tuesday, January 2nd due to the holidays falling on a Monday this year.

And we are at my favorite edition of the year! This is our Christmas newspaper and we always love sharing the kids’ letters to Santa each year. The kids are just too funny. I hope you enjoy them as much as we have.

And because of the season:

Matthew 1:20-23

Behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, "Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. And she will bring forth a Son, and you will call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins."

Now all this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying: "Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Emanuel," which is translated, "God with us."

From our family to your family, we wish you a blessed Christmas. Love and cherish the time you spend with your family and friends and remember the true meaning of Christmas.

Merry Christmas Friends!

 

KWIBS - From December 11, 2017 - By Kevin Noland

I’m going to weigh in on the news in my own special way this week.

John Conyers announced his retirement from Congress after several women came forward with sexual harassment charges against him. He’s 88 years old and the longest serving Representative in Congress. He’s endorsed his son to replace him.

The younger, Conyers, 27, would be a first-time political candidate. But he has already been connected to an ethics issue, according to the Detroit Free Press. In 2010, the congressman had to reimburse the Treasury Department $5,682 for his son’s misuse of a taxpayer-funded Cadillac Escalade, the paper reports. It seems to me, he’s perfect for the job, if he was able to use a Cadillac Escalade for $5,682..... The younger Conyers’s wife, Monica Conyers, was sentenced to more than three years in prison for taking cash in 2010, as a Detroit council member, to support a Houston company’s sludge contract with the city.

North Korea is still rattling a saber at us by launching more ICBMs into the sea of Japan. Normally, it would just be another day, but each time he does it, it makes me sick to my stomach because my son is attached to the Marines there and they will be the first to deploy in the event of a war.

Nick says, "I don’t care as long as I get to come home for Christmas. We can’t go to war until January 5th, 2018."

Of course he’s kidding. No one wants war. I’m proposing a simple solution to the issue.

The 2018 Winter Olympics are scheduled to be held in South Korea. I think we should have a competitive javelin toss between North and South Korea. At each other....

Speaking of the Olympics.... The Russian Olympic Committee was suspended on Tuesday from the 2018 Winter Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea over the 2014 Sochi doping scandal. I propose that we have a special competition just for the Russians. "Vodka Shots!"

And finally....

The Supreme Court wrestled with a clash between religious freedom and LGBT rights on Tuesday as it heard arguments from a Colorado baker who refused to make a cake to celebrate a same-sex couple's marriage because he believes that God designed marriage to be between a man and a woman..

While I agree with the baker, I also understand that you can’t discriminate in the market place. However, you can make an awful cake.....

Have a great week!

KWIBS - From November 27, 2017 - By Kevin Noland

People get pretty "bold" when it comes to Facebook and comments. With the recent updates in information concerning the officer involved shooting in Sun City on October 6, 2017, many folks have taken to the internet to express their anger and opinions over the death of Steven Myers - Mostly towards law enforcement, but even towards how we reported last week’s court motions and responses.

The facts will come out. It’s a long process. We printed the story on the motion and response in last Monday’s Gyp Hill Premiere. I did not, however, pull quotes about statements that were heard on the videos.

In my opinion, it’s far too early and irresponsible to quote a civil attorney for the family on what he interprets after watching the videos and then going on all the TV news stations to blast our local law enforcement, but this is just not a good situation. Someone died and it tarnishes the respect we need to have for law enforcement. Don’t take this as being insensitive, but we’ve sort of forgotten that this all started with a person who became drunk, went and got a shotgun, and made threats.

Please don’t think in any way that I support use of force as the only option in dealing with Mr. Myers, but be careful believing 100% of what a lawyer wants you to know in the very early stages of an investigation, especially when you know he’s preparing a multi-million-dollar lawsuit against our county and that will line his pockets. I wasn’t there. The attorney wasn’t there and as far as I know, most of you were not there either.

What we need to remember is Myers leaves behind people that cared about him. Appropriate care should be given to his family if there is fault found. I express my condolences. It’s very sad and I wish I didn’t even have to address it, but I hate seeing this play out on Facebook news feeds. Myers’ death is already being commercialized in a sickening way.

We also need to remember our actions from the past in situations that involve investigating of the actions of law enforcement. We’ve forgotten that within days of an accusation, a special prosecutor was appointed by our county to investigate Sheriff Justin Rugg for allegedly committing domestic battery against his wife in December of last year.

The same has been done for this case and the Attorney General’s Office is investigating this issue.

I’m very qualified and unafraid to bring this up because I know Justin and his wife very well. The nearly 8 month long investigation cost Sheriff Rugg the election and tarnished his wife’s reputation at her job. It also cost our county a good deal of money investigating it.

I believe it is important to investigate this incident as rigorously as we did an alleged domestic battery - which resulted in no charges being filed. In the end, hopefully, the truth will be known and justice will be served. I also believe it is important to let investigators and prosecutors do their jobs, unimpeded by public opinion - including mine. We will do our very best to be fair in reporting on this story, which has been forced into the spotlight by what appears to be an inevitable lawsuit.

 

KWIBS - From November 13, 2017 - By Kevin Noland

Wednesday morning we received notice of the winners of the write-in campaign for city council.

By as much as a 5-1 margin, Matt Forsyth, Elisa Stone and Ron James will take a seat at the City Council in January.

It was a particularly interesting election given that voters had to write-in their names. With a 26% voter turn out, it was a nail biting evening on Tuesday. No information was available until mid-morning on Wednesday and my phone was blowing up.

I want to thank Amy Sill for keeping me up to speed on the progress at the Clerk’s Office.

Now we can move on to something that hasn’t been discussed much since the write-in campaign started. Mike Roe and Norm Clouse have served the city of Medicine Lodge for 8 years on the council. They will be leaving with little fanfare.

Their decision to serve in the first place came with great sacrifice and whether or not you like what they’ve done during their terms, they have both served the city honorably. If you see either one of these guys, don’t forget to thank them for their many years of service to our community. They’re not done!

If anything, the election sparked more interest in our city government. Several who made last minute runs will hopefully keep themselves informed on what is happening in Medicine Lodge. I got to visit with at least one other write in who did not win and I believe this person has a genuine interest. My hope is that instead of watching Facebook for fake news and information about our town, they will, in fact, educate themselves on issues concerning the operations of the city.

I can be biased in this situation, because I do get involved and I can provide factual information. Our city operates on the up and up and we have good, honest people at the helm. Thank you all for voting and doing your part to keep Medicine Lodge alive and well.

KWIBS - From November 6, 2017 - By Kevin Noland

In the 1970s, I grew up in a country that referred to Viet Nam as a "conflict". It was taught in school and ingrained in our studies. It was later in my life that Viet Nam was called what it actually was, a "war". It was fought by brave men and women who were not remembered like the veterans of WWI or WWII.

People had grown tired of war by the 1960s. Some were simply cowards who did not love our country enough to fight for it, whether there was a draft or not. They directed their hatred towards those who served.

It breaks my heart to hear of accounts of disrespect towards the men and women who served our country during this era. Some were wounded more severely by their own countrymen upon their return home than in the battle field.

We will celebrate Veterans Day on Friday. I’ve always felt this was one of the most important times of the year. I’m deeply moved by the service that people give to their country in the armed forces. Although I did not serve, I have the utmost respect for those who did and are serving. My dad was in the Navy during Viet Nam. His service actually had him in and around Cuba during a tense time with Russia. He later did joint missions with many countries in South America. He was a radio technician on a mine sweeper.

His Navy career is the reason I am now here writing this column. My dad was a Kansas native who met my mother in Rhode Island at a YMCA dance. As a result of that meeting, and later a marriage, I was born in 1969 in Providence, RI. When my dad’s time in the Navy was finished, we moved back to Kansas and I’ve never lived anywhere else.

It came full circle last year when my son graduated from MLHS and went into the Navy, a decision that I am very proud of. He is approaching his first year of service and is now stationed with the Marines on a base in Okinawa as an RP (Religious Program Specialist). His duties as a Religious Program Specialist might seem sort of unimportant, but after boot camp, Nick went through Marine Combat Training. He switched from "Blue" side Navy to "Green" side Navy. He is considered by his fellow Marines as one of their own. He trains, eats, sleeps and is in all practical measures, a Marine. In about a year he’ll have his FMF pin. The United States Fleet Marine Forces (FMF) are combined general and special purpose forces within the United States Department of the Navy that perform offensive amphibious or expeditionary warfare and defensive maritime employment. The Fleet Marine Forces provide the National Command Authority (NCA) with a responsive force that can conduct operations in any spectrum of conflict around the globe.

So, he’s not really just an assistant to a Chaplain. He’s a combatant. He owns the phrase, "We fight tonight." I pray that he never does.

On an average day when RPSA Nicholas T. Noland leaves the confines of his base heading to another, he is faced with protesters who spit, curse and throw things at his vehicle. When he first told me this, I couldn’t hardly believe him. Then he slipped me a video one day and I saw it for myself. The protesters are paid by China to harass our troops in Japan. It’s a poor attempt to demoralize our soldiers serving there. The irony of it to me is that if we weren’t there, the economy of Okinawa would collapse. I didn’t even mention how unstable the region is. Imagine if we left? The people of Okinawa rely on jobs on our bases and money that flows from our soldiers to local businesses. Japan relies on us to protect them from some of the craziest leaders in the world like the one from North Korea.

My point is pretty simple. Men and women who serve this great country deserve great respect, especially in their own country. I really feel obligated give honor to those who served in an "unpopular war" such as Viet Nam, but what war is popular?

Each Veterans Day our school district does a wonderful job honoring veterans in our community. They usually focus on honoring one era and this year is the Viet Nam war veterans.

We struggled this year to find a Viet Nam veteran who wanted to talk about their experience with the newspaper. Two actually cancelled and I totally understand. We’ve been honored in the past to hear Gary Dyke’s accounts of the war. He’s a wonderful man and a friend.

So since we’ve done Gary and we were turned down a couple of times, I turned to someone who I greatly respect, but I knew he would decline. I believe him to be one of the most honorable people I have had the privilege of meeting in my adult life. Major Bob Stutler agreed to share some of his thoughts about Viet Nam. I will tell you that he did turn me down at first. After he thought about it for a day, he agreed to write his own accounts. I sat in my office last Thursday and read his perspective on Viet Nam. Keep in mind, I’ve known Major Stutler for 10 years. I’ve heard his story. What he’s shared with the newspaper is just a glimpse of some of the things this man has seen and done. He didn’t write about all of the medals he’s received, including several Purple Hearts. I’ve seen his passion for our country. I’ve also seen his wounds and heard how he got them.

Take a moment to read his perspective on the front page.

Thank you Bob for sharing your perspectives on Viet Nam. Thank you to each and every veteran who made the choice to serve our country during peaceful times and during times of conflict and war. Thank you to my son, whom I miss every day with every fiber of my being. Thank you to my dad, who I miss and think about every day since he’s been gone; and especially on Veterans Day.

My hope is that there will never be another Viet Nam-like homecoming for our soldiers. I know that my children and my grandchildren will honor those who serve our country because of what they learn at school in our community. I can never imagine a protest against someone like my son, or like my dad, or like Bob.

I have many people who I consider friends that served in Viet Nam. I hope they know now that we honor them and thank them today and forever. We are not the America you came home to after the war and I pray we never are again. I have many friends who served in Iraq, Afghanistan and on bases in the United States and around the world. They are heroes and worthy of our respect and thanks.

Please attend the Veterans program at MLHS on Friday. Take a moment to thank these and all veterans for their service. We live free because of their what they’ve done in service.

Happy Veterans Day

 

KWIBS - From October 30, 2017 - By Kevin Noland

Ronda ran into my office last Tuesday with a 20 year old KWIBS column from November 3, 1997.

She had the evidence needed to close the case and accusations that we did not carve pumpkins with our children when they were young.

I probably lost you there, but last week our oldest son Joey did some "pumpkin carving" with friends and stated to me that, "It was my first time to carve pumpkins because we only painted pumpkins when we were young."

I knew we had carved pumpkins and we had also painted them. I remember making the switch to painting after we had an incident with a family of raccoons (that’s another column).

We also had one other issue after carving or painting. It has been resolved, but also verified. We had an issue with disposal of the pumpkins after Halloween. It seemed like the pumpkins sat around for a little too long after the holiday. Is Valentine’s Day too long to continue to display a pumpkin?

I regress....

Joey claimed it was his first time. He was mistaken. Here is the evidence.

From November 3, 1997’s edition of The Gyp Hill Premiere:

It was the scariest thing we had ever seen...

Last Wednesday evening Ronda and I brought home pumpkins for the kids to carve and decorate.

We started our project shortly after dinner. I carved out the faces with the careful guidance of our children Joey and Breeann (this was Pre-Nicholas. He was still in incubation and not born until February of 1998...). I made them "gut" the pumpkins. Traditionally, it’s the parent’s job to do the carving and clean up, not the actual "gutting". This job is designated for tiny hands that aren’t grossed out to have sticky stuff crammed up their fingernails.

It took the kids 20 minutes or so to completely get their pumpkins cleaned out and ready for the title of "jack-lanterns", but they just weren’t ready to be done with the traditional pumpkin carving. That’s when I had a great idea (at the time it was a great idea). Why not paint the pumpkins?!? This would add an artistic flair to an ancient tradition. They could paint faces and mustaches, eyelashes, lips or even beards on them. We got the paints down from the cupboards and gave the kids brushes and water and they went after it.

It was time to relax. The kids were being entertained and Ronda and I could enjoy some quality television. We had no interruptions for nearly an hour. This was pure bliss. Never before had I had such an innovative idea to keep the children busy with a fun project.

Then the true horror of Halloween hit our home.....

Joey came out of the kitchen (15 feet from where we were sitting) with paint from the tips of his fingers to his elbows and all over his school clothes.

I said, "don’t touch a thing!" I picked him up and took him straight to the bathroom. Whew! That was a close call. It wasn’t 30 seconds later that Breeann came out of the kitchen in the same condition.

I said, "don’t touch a thing!" I guided her in the direction of the bathroom. Children seem to need directions to the bath tub when they are so filthy they risk completely destroying a home environment.

After getting the children in a safe place we approached the pumpkin projects in the kitchen.

"OH MY GOD," we both shouted in terror!

The kids not only painted their pumpkins (entirely from bottom to top, including the stem), but they also got paint on the table, the wall, the chairs, the pictures on the walls, the ceiling, the refrigerator, the floor, the carpet, the dishwasher, the stove, a stained glass window, all of the vitamins on the counter, the lamp, the light, the back door, the sink (which is a good 15 feet away from where they were painting), the cabinets and cereal boxes.

Apparently they went VanGough on us. Instead of painting with brush strokes, they took a more modern splatter technique. They mixed every color together, which you realize makes black....

Ronda and I spent an hour mopping the floors and the ceilings (yes, we used the mop on the ceiling as well). It was quite difficult to get off, even though it was water soluble.

The entire time we were cleaning up the horrible mess we were laughing hysterically! How could we have been so stupid? That’s when Ronda reminded me that it was my idea to get the paints out and let the children be creative after carving pumpkins.

I put the painted/carved pumpkins out on the front walk that evening. It rained overnight. The pumpkins ended up a bright, shiny, clean orange the next morning....

Case closed Joey!

KWIBS - From October 23, 2017 - By Kevin Noland

It was "A Day to Remember," although it wasn’t. Well.. sort of..

Wednesday our oldest son Joey called and said he would be in Wichita that evening if we wanted to hook up for dinner. We were all about seeing him. Joey moved to Phillpsburg, KS a few months ago to work at one of the White’s Foodliner stores.

That’s a pretty far and away place, so we haven’t seen him much. Getting to meet up with him in Wichita was a great idea. It turned out that Joey and a friend had tickets to a concert for a band called "A Day to Remember."

Well, it was a day to remember, but not for the right reasons. On the way up, I was called to stop and write a bond in Kingman. It was a large bond and I spent a couple of hours writing it only to have the whole deal fall apart after some confusion between attorneys.

I called Joey to let him know we were running late because of the fiasco with the bond I was writing. It wasn’t a problem because he was about an hour behind too and would have to just meet us at the concert. Ronda and I pulled into Wichita and had enough time to grab a bite to eat and head to the Cotillion. We were just a few minutes late and called Joey from the parking lot. He and his friend met us at the box office.

When we walked in, an enormous sign read, "SOLD OUT." We waited around outside the show hoping that someone would be selling a pair of tickets, but finally left after an hour and a half. There was one nice kid who had one ticket that he was willing to give us, but we politely declined after not being able to figure out which one of us was going in and which one was staying in the parking lot! We had driven three hours to basically give our son a hug and then drive home.

It was worth it. It was a day to remember.

KWIBS - From October 16, 2017 - By Kevin Noland

Well, it happened, most unexpectedly.

It started Monday and took me completely by surprise and I broke on Tuesday.

I had to put on pants.

Fall has arrived and the temperatures fell Monday afternoon. I’m just not a fan of cold weather. I want it to be 80-100 degrees all year long. That’s where I’m most comfortable, and in my shorts. I will stay in them as long as possible, but at some point the weather always wins.

Yes, I folded up my shorts and put them away...... for a about three days. I can handle being in shorts at 60 degrees and up, but any lower, and I break down.

If you see me in the summer wearing pants, it’s bad. Someone has died and I’m going to their funeral. There is no other reason for me to be wearing pants during that season.

Come to think of it, the Grim Reaper doesn’t wear pants at any time of the year. He’s probably got shorts on under that black robe, if anything at all.

Worse than having to put on pants, I had to put on socks too. I have CCFS (Chronic Claustrophobic Foot Syndrome) and my toes like to roam free inside my shoes or be barefoot, rather than be restricted by a knitted boot on my foot. I don’t know if that really is a chronic syndrome, but it should be and it sounds real.

My wife simply calls it being "crazy".

I can’t really explain in words why I freak out wearing socks, but if you’ve ever put tape on cats’ feet, that’s sort of how I feel for the first few days wearing socks. If you haven’t done the tape on the cat’s feet experiment, do it now and report back to me. If your cat has not been declawed, look it up on youtube.

Have a great week!

 

KWIBS - From October 9, 2017 - By Kevin Noland

When I was a kid, all of my rock and roll idols were immortal. My first experience with losing one was when Elvis died. in 1977. I think I was in second grade when Brett Fincher came to school crying. When I heard the news, I think I cried too.

Since I’m a grown up now (jury is still out on this statement), I’ve experienced the loss of several of my favorite rock and roll artists. Half of the band of Lynyrd Skynyrd died in a plane accident in the same year that Elvis died. Keith Moon of The Who died a year later; Bon Scott of AC/DC in 1980; John Bonham of Led Zeppelin and John Lennon of the Beatles also died in 1980; Bob Marley in 1981; Randy Rhoads of Quiet Riot in 1982; Andy Gibb of the Bee Gees in 1988; Stevie Ray Vaughan in 1990; Freddie Mercury of Queen in 1991; Jerry Garcia of The Greatful Dead in 1995; another Bee Gee, Maurice Gibb in 2003; Johnny Cash in 2003; Ray Charles in 2004; Richard Wright of Pink Floyd in 2008; Michael Jackson in 2009; Lou Reed in 2013; David Bowie, Prince, and Glenn Frey of the Eagles in 2016. There were many more when I searched the internet. These just stood out to me.

Last week, we lost Tom Petty. I grew up on his music. The very first song I learned to play on guitar and sing was a Tom Petty song. For years I wanted to see him live. Before I could, my son Joey stumbled upon a concert at Madison Square Garden where he and a friend bought scalped tickets to Tom Petty. He ended up sitting very close to the stage and I was so jealous. It was just a few years ago, Ronda and I finally got to go see him play in Wichita. Sadly, he was in a sour mood after having much of his valuable guitar collections stolen a few days before his tour started.

Rest in Peace Tom and thank you for the music.

 

KWIBS - From October 2, 2017 - By Kevin Noland

If NFL players can’t come up with a better way to promote attention to "injustice" other than taking a knee during the National Anthem, then I can’t watch any more.

I won’t go on and on about being patriotic, but there is a time and a place for everything. Surely there is a better way for players to get their message out. Never before have I read so many divisive comments on social media concerning the flag and National Anthem.

Yes, America has its problems, but do you think this is drawing attention to those problems or creating more division among Americans? Have you been to another country with more freedoms?

Do I agree with President Trump’s statement concerning the NFL? No, I do not.... and just when you thought I was a Trump supporter....

At a political rally Friday in Alabama, Trump challenged NFL owners to fire any player who takes a knee during the National Anthem, saying owners should say, "Get that son of a … off the field right now. Out! He’s fired!"

That’s not a statement a sitting president should make about any subject. Teach by example. The NFL can whine about what the president said, or they can take a closer look in the mirror and remember a man named Tim Tebow.

His kneeling was considered a clash of faith vs. football. It had no place on the field according to many in the media and in Hollywood. That event caused a full blown national debate about religion and its place in sports.

The League has also had no problems in the past giving the thumbs down to activities that it feels are harmful to the NFL.

Back in August of 2016, Dallas police officers were shot and killed execution-style. The Cowboys wanted to honor them with a decal on their helmets. The NFL said no. They added that "there are so many wonderful, wonderful causes, the league has to be careful," - a statement by executive vice president Stephen Jones.

So, the NFL has no problem squashing someone’s freedom of speech when it comes to supporting fallen police officers, but they won’t stop a protest at their games during the National Anthem. I’m surprised they just don’t stop doing the National Anthem all together. It’s so divisive....

Justin Houston of the Kansas City Chiefs may have had the only logical reason to kneel before the game (but still during the National Anthem).

"People are complaining about kneeling and standing, but I feel like it’s pointless because it’s not changing anything," Houston said. "I feel like prayer changes everything, so I was praying before the game that we come together as one.

"What are we kneeling for? What is that going to change? It’s not going to solve anything. Prayer is power. So I believe if we pray together, the more we come together as one and we can make a change."

When I hear the National Anthem played, I think of soldiers protecting our country around the world. I think of my son serving with the marines. I think of the freedoms that I have because of people who were willing to serve their country, some of them sacrificing their very lives so that players can take a knee during the anthem at a NFL game.

Is it too much for us to teach our kids respect for one another? For the country? For our men and women in uniform? For the flag?

I don’t want politics in sports. When I’m choosing sides, it’s because of the teams playing. I’m not an insensitive deplorable. I’m an American trying to watch a football game. There’s nothing political about standing, taking off your hat and honoring our country for two minutes.

Have a great week!

KWIBS - From September 25, 2017 - By Kevin Noland

It was a breath of fresh air to read all the positive comments on social media about the Community Improvement District project on Main Street and 281/160.

It is really looking sharp and I commend everyone who has had a part in this project. The new street lights, benches and points of interest markers look really sharp and very much accent our community’s rich history.

We’re fortunate to have so many things going on at once. If you look around town, several businesses, including The Gyp Hill Premiere, have taken advantage of Barber County Development’s Facade Grant Program. There is still time to make improvements and receive up to $1,000 in assistance to give your business a face lift.

Both the CID and the Facade Program came about from Barber County Development. I’d like to thank Jim Rowland for his leadership role in getting these projects off the ground.

The City of Medicine Lodge also deserves a big thank you! The new lights on Main Street also include a new sound system that will benefit the entire community for events like Peace Treaty and Junefest.

Jeff Porter gave me the tour of the sound system Tuesday afternoon before Indian Summer Days. I am impressed! For the past 26 years, the downtown sound system was located in my office and for each and every parade, David Colborn and I would run all over town trying to make things work. It was a patched up mess for years and without David’s help, I could have never kept it going. It was bitter sweet to see it come down (and leave my office!).

Finally, thank you Brett Edwards and crew for the terrific job on the front of the Premiere building!

Have a great week!

KWIBS - From September 18, 2017 - By Kevin Noland

A few weeks ago, I was forced to endure an 8 hour continuing education class on being a bail bondsman.

Keep in mind, I’ve been doing this pretty successfully for 13 years now, have written better than 4,000 bonds, made more than 40 arrests and surrenders, but recent changes to the law forces me to take this education training.

The KBAA (Kansas Bail Agent Association) approached many of us in the industry about joining several years ago. I, along with many of my colleagues chose not to join.

Their sales pitch was, "You will be kept informed on pending legislation in our industry."

Little did I understand at the time, that their lobbyist would be introducing legislation that would require 8 hours of continuing education to be taught by, none other than, the Kansas Bail Agent Association.

So at $250 per class, they held approximately 9 classes this year with about 40 in attendance at each class. That’s about $90,000 in income generated annually.

Because I’m not a member, I can’t see where the money goes, but my local State Representative Kyle Hoffman was notified of this interesting situation. The KBAA represents less than 15% of compensated surety agents across the state and these classes are a big boost to their cause.

Hoffman was made aware of the changes to the law earlier this summer. He said he honestly didn’t read it that closely. I understand that a lot of things cross his desk, but this bill is extortion at its finest. The state has effectively set up a membership agency monopoly that profits solely from a law passed, that the KBAA introduced.

The law requires that only they can teach this class at a cost of $250 per person. If a bondsman or "compensated surety" does not take the class annually, the KBAA will notify the chief judge of the district and those not completing these hours will be removed from the authorized list of bondsman for the jurisdiction they serve in, no matter how long they have served.

I actually love to learn. I attended the education class in Hays on September 1st. Here’s what I learned.

- I was read the law concerning bonding in Kansas. No one there taught me to read. I’ve been doing it pretty well on my own for about 43 years. I’ve also read the laws concerning being a bondsman.

- You can fight the courts on forfeitures and win. You can especially count on winning if you use the KBAA’s attorney. And if you are a member, you get 1/2 off the hourly rate for representation. I have a problem with that. First, they are soliciting for a law firm and their association at a mandatory class; and secondly, if the court has a legitimate forfeiture, that’s my responsibility to either find the person and return them to jail or pay the forfeiture as agreed. Anything else is unethical and dishonest.

The attorney who spoke finished his speech with much foul language, disrespect for judges and county attorneys and then proceeded to throw T-Shirts and beer coozies into the audience. For a minute, I thought I was at a terrible time share conference. I caught a beer coozie though.

- In the second session, I learned how to trick police officers if I want to commit a crime. I don’t even want to go there.

- In the third session I watched in horror as bondsman after bondsman disrespected a 6 term sheriff of Ellis County by whining and complaining about their phone systems and the way they allow bondsman to write in their jails and commons areas. I felt sorry for this guy. He was there to talk about ethics and instead answered questions about 800 number calls and fights between competing bond companies in his jurisdiction.

- In the final session a representative from the National Bail Association told jokes about the male anatomy. He also made fun of people who had been in trouble with the law and how he was fighting to keep our industry alive and well. He might have said some important things about our industry, but I was already so angry to have been forced to be there, I was no longer interested.

This is what’s wrong with government. Money buys lobbyists, who convince our legislating bodies to pass laws that force people to fund these lobbyists who pass bills to keep their jobs. Our representatives don’t even seem to read these laws or understand them before passing them.

How horrifying would it be if Kansas Press Association passed a law that said if I didn’t take an 8 hour journalism class, I could no longer print a newspaper?

So, where was the education I was paying for? Since it was at a country club, as soon as the class ended, I went up and got a drink at the bar.

Drain the swamp from the bottom up....

KWIBS - From September 11, 2017 - By Kevin Noland

Nick has been gone for a couple of months now. We talk several times a week, but he’s so busy and with a 14 hour time difference, we have a difficult time matching up our schedules.

He asked me, "Hey, you know... uhm... you could send me a package or something. Other people are getting stuff from home...."

I didn’t really understand. I sent all the stuff he asked for two months ago and then like a ton of bricks, it hit me. He misses home and familiar things.

I am such a dope .... All through boot camp and "A" school, I sent him packages and letters, but after he got to his job, I just stopped.

So he needed some documents mailed to him and wanted a couple of items from home. This was the perfect opportunity for me to make his day. I scurried around to make him a "care package" Tuesday.

I discovered something. Dads really aren’t that good at making care packages, but I did my best. I don’t bake cookies, but I grill a lot. You can’t really send someone a steak that takes 10 days to arrive. It would be cold by then. I drove all over town and stopped at several businesses to buy him some little items. He got some beef jerky, peppermints, a candle and my favorite set of headphones that he always used when he was home. His mother included a cute card with a hand drawn picture of Kansas and put "Mommy miss you" inside it. I wrote a note on the card that said mom’s picture looked like "the bat signal..." She might be a spy for North Korea. I wouldn’t trust her.

He also got some cute hand drawn messages from his niece and nephew that were considerably better illustrations than his mother’s. :)

Have a great week!

 

KWIBS - From September 4, 2017 - By Kevin Noland

There are times when I think we should scrap the English language and just go with whatever my 4-year-old granddaughter makes up.

"I want to go to the restranaut!" I think this is a place for astronauts to eat, but I can’t be for sure.

"I wanna go wiff you at grandma’s house." Assuming she means that she wants to go where I also live, she either wants to go there to see grandma or smell me.

"Grandpa, my teacher’s name is Mrs. Bologna!" I learned it’s actually Mrs. Maloney. Her loss....

"My mom made sketti for supper." I think this is the female version of the yetti. They are definitley meaner and better cooks.

Baylee spent some time in our office after school on Tuesday. Translation: I can’t get anything done because I’m being bombarded with questions.

While I’m trying to register for a class and book a hotel room she’s asking questions like, "What’s that screen do? Why do you type so fast? Grandpa what’s in this cup (spills cup). Who is bigger, you or grandma?

My brain can only respond with, "Go ask your grandma questions!"

But she continues, "Grandpa, what are you doing? Why are you doing that? How long are you doing that? Grandpa, why are you putting headphones on and drinking bourbon for lunch?"

And why do we always lie to little kids? I always thought of myself as a relatively honest person, until it comes to my kids and grandkids. I’m honestly shocked at how much I lie to my grandkids. Can you really even trust that statement?

"You can’t eat that popsicle in here because your brain freezes faster inside. Go outside and eat it, but not on the concrete. Go to the grass. The grass insulates your feet and keeps your brain from freezing."

That’s a lie (see photo at end of my column). Your brain freezes just as fast in the grass, but the ants don’t get on your concrete when they inevitably drop said popsicle.

Maybe it’s not really lying so much as it is diversion from the truth. We start these kids out with lies. We tell them about Santa, the Easter Bunny and the tooth fairy.

And they believe it all. We’re either sinister liars or great actors. I’d like to think I am a golden-globe winner at parental and grandparental acting.

The Tooth Fairy was just out of necessity. We lie about where their old nasty teeth go and give them money with a made up story about a fairy who leaves $1 for a tooth. When I was a kid, I think it was just a quarter, but you have to figure for inflation.

If we were truthful with our kids, we’d say something like, "Congratulations, you lost a tooth and look like a hillbilly. Here’s a dollar to make you feel better."

You have to admit, they are pretty stinking cute at that age and most of the stinking is gone because they can go to the bathroom on their own. Of course, you have to take them in there and stand around waiting for them to do their business.

This is an actual photo of my grandkids Kycen and Baylee with painful brain freezes that both of them experienced while eating popsicles. Notice how they are supposed to be in the grass, but have crept up onto the concrete.

Have a great week!

 

KWIBS - From August 28, 2017 - By Kevin Noland

Moonday, August 21, 2017 - a day that eclipsed all others.

Ok, sorry for the dumb intro to my column.

Like most people, I couldn’t wait to jump on the eclipse bandwagon, only I was a little late. I searched all over for those "look straight at the sun glasses" but they were sold out everywhere. I just waited too long.

So, I heard from a friend that there was this beer company that put a pair of the glasses in with their packaging and they bought some in Pratt. Well, I’m not much of a beer drinker, but thought, "Hey, we can get some glasses and give the beer away!"

So we hopped in my truck and drove up to Pratt. We walked in just behind someone we knew, whose name I won’t mention, but her initials are Donna Queal, oops. Sorry I am outing you Donna.

We all walked up to the counter together. She had her purchase and we didn’t have anything because we were in a liquor store looking for solar eclipse glasses.

I asked the clerk, "Do you have beer with solar eclipse glasses?"

She pointed at Donna and said, "That’s it right there."

Only Donna had bought the last box.

So we went home empty handed.

Later in the day we learned that Ronda’s stepmother, Linda Vick, had bought 8 pairs from Farmer’s Almanac and wanted us to have a couple of pairs! So, our trip was just a waste of time. I’m still outing Donna for buying the last box of that beer.

Monday rolled around and we not only had glasses, but I had cut up two cereal boxes and made the proper viewers to safely watch the eclipse without glasses.

We actually came to town, got our work done early so that we could rush home and watch the eclipse together at the lake.

Ronda and I set up our lawn chairs and relaxed in the sun as it began to cool off and get darker. Then my phone rang. It was Cory with UPS needing in the gate at Lake Arrowhead. I always joke with him when he comes through and he always jokes back like saying, "Pizza delivery for Nolands" or something silly like that.

Before I let him in I said, "Stop by the viewing eclipse party at our place."

I was kidding, there was no viewing party. It was just me and Ronda, but in about 5 minutes, the UPS truck zipped over the hill and out jumped Cory.

So, "What can brown do for you?" That was their old slogan, but Brown can certainly join us and make an official viewing party of the great eclipse of 2017.

Me and the UPS guy. No packages were delivered during the shooting of this photo.

 

KWIBS - From August 21, 2017 - By Kevin Noland

Words, language, tone of voice.... We’re so consumed by it.

The President was too harsh and reckless with his words recently towards Kim Jong-Un according to some media outlets and his words were not harsh enough over the recent riots in Charlottesville by the same media outlets.

I didn’t vote for Trump and was not a supporter of him during the election (no, never a Hillary fan), but I found his words most appropriote in both matters.

In a controversial, but intentionally strong, statement of his own, President Trump declared any North Korean attack would "be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen."

Wow, that is harsh in comparison to former President Obama’s statement on a nuclear test North Korea carried out in 2012.

"The United States condemns North Korea's September 9 nuclear test in the strongest possible terms as a grave threat to regional security and to international peace and stability."

Umm... ok. That wasn’t quite the fix it all statement now was it?

Kim Jong-Un is a punk who only understands forceful responses. He makes constant threats against America and its allies. We’re not going to hug this guy into submission. Choosing careful words hasn’t seemed to work in the past, so let’s try Trump’s approach. The North Koreans have used rhetoric and saber rattling to cause anxiety in their region since Kim Jong-Un took power and I believe he only understands the same in response.

Haters on the right and the left predate Trump’s political career. No matter what he says or does, he will be scrutinized harder than any other president ever was.

Why is that?

Because he doesn’t do politics like politicians have done for decades. He even takes on his own party like when he recently called out his fellow Republicans for not putting a repeal and replace bill on health care after they promised they would to the American people.

But let’s blame Trump for that too. The Republicans only had 7 years to come up with something better than Obamacare, but that’s another column.

Charlottesville was a condemnable act of domestic terrorism. I don’t care if it is Neo-Nazis, the KKK, women dressed in vagina costumes or Black Lives Matter. If you can’t be civil about political issues, you are about as un-American as you can be. When we protest and use violence, we risk the very right to have a right to protest.

Trump’s words and response to the violence were spot on.

"We ALL must be united and condemn all that hate stands for. There is no place for this kind of violence in America," he said about Charlottesville. Pick that apart all you want, but he’s absolutely correct. We should never use our 1st amendment right to insight violence, no matter what side of an issue you are on.

It’s too soon to say I’m warming up to Trump, but I am seeing something that I never saw before in a president in my lifetime.. Trump is either someone who is not afraid to be bullied around by either party, especially his own, or he’s crazy. That’s sort of gotten my attention.

#haveagreatweek

KWIBS - From August 14, 2017 - By Kevin Noland

I treasure every text, Facetime and Instant Message I get from my kids.

Joey’s recent texts went something like, "Hey Dad, I want this ridiculously powerful and expensive jetski. Check it out {link included}."

I checked it out. The crazy thing is $10k and is like 1500cc of raw power. Guys in the video are doing flips and jumps so I responded, "You’d need a helmet. In fact, you need a helmet for just wanting one of these."

Breeann’s text go more like this, "Are you cooking dinner at the lake tonight?"

I responded, "Yes, for me and mom. We’re having ribeyes."

Breeann (she hates that I call her Breeann. She says her name is "Bree", but I constantly remind her that I named her at birth): "Hey, if we bring meat, will you cook it? Oh, and is it ok if I bring out (10 of my friends) to the lake?"

Me: "Grrrr..... fine... bring sides."

Now Nick is an entirely different type of texter. With his strange sense of humor, schedule and the 14 hour time difference, our messages go unanswered for hours, sometimes days.

Me: "Hey buddy, what’s up?"

Finally at like 2 a.m. my time I get a text, "Nothing, killing terrorists." He also included a photo of himself with his newly assigned M4 carbine.

Me: "Nice. Thanks for keeping us safe."

Nicholas: No problem. Been at the range all week. Sorry for not texting much. What did you do today?"

Me: "Well, I’m sleeping because it’s like 2 a.m., but yesterday I killed terrorists too."

Nicholas: "???"

Me: "I sprayed Round Up on the driveway and killed all the weeds, but it’s similar to killing terrorists I suppose.

Nicholas: "Sort of...."

Have a great week!

 

KWIBS - From August 7, 2017 - By Kevin Noland

I recently read the book "Fearless: The Undaunted Courage and Ultimate Sacrifice of Navy SEAL Team SIX Operator Adam Brown."

Adam was killed in a fire fight in 2010.

I’m not trying to spoil this book, but it does end this way.

Early in Adam’s life, he struggled with addiction and at one point spent time in jail for crimes relating to his addiction and theft. He later gave his life to Christ and became a husband and a father.

Adam’s life was full of challenges, but he met each one courageously. He lost his vision of his dominant eye in an accident and later had all his fingers severed and reattached when his HUMVEE rolled in Afghanistan.

Even though he had to retrain himself to shoot left handed, he made the top of the SEALs.

Adam was a man of extremes, whose determination was fueled by faith, family, and the love and support of his wife. He was a man who waged a war against his own worst impulses and persevered to reach the top tier of the U.S. military. Always the first to volunteer for the most dangerous assignments, Adam’s final act of bravery led to the ultimate sacrifice.

He was and is a hero to those who knew him and those like me who would later read the story of his life.

His children saw him as a super hero. They even bought him a pair of "Batman" underwear. He promised them he would wear them while going into battle and he did.

When medics removed his clothes to tend to his many bullet wounds that ultimately killed Adam, they found he was wearing the underwear he promised his children he would wear.

When you remember to pray for our troops serving our country, remember that they are super heroes, at least to someone.

Have a great week!

 

KWIBS - From July 31, 2017 - By Kevin Noland

So, I am a bucket list kind of guy.

Some of the things I have gotten to check off my list are: SCUBA diving and cave diving in Mexico, zip lining in the Riviara, flying an airplane, driving a Porsche over 100 mph and a number of great concerts - like The Eagles, Boston, Styx, Heart, Tom Petty, Ozzie Ozborne, Metallica, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Van Halen, Foo Fighters, Def Leppard, Foreigner, Bon Jovi, KISS, Rush and so many others over the years.

Tuesday night, I got to check another concert off my bucket list. Ronda and I, along with Pat and Tonya White, saw Peter Frampton open for The Steve Miller Band. I’ve seen Steve Miller a number of times and he’s awesome at 73-years-old, but always wanted to see Peter Frampton live.

I had just missed going to see Paul McCartney at Intrust Bank Arena the week before and really wanted to see that show, but I had another obligation pop up at the last minute.

Several months ago, I got an email from The Steve Miller Band fan club (yep, I’m a member) announcing his show at Hartman Arena in Wichita. I was eligible for front row seats with a special code (and a special price). I typed that code in and discovered I could buy 4 front row seats. So, when I saw Peter Frampton was the opening act, I pulled out that magic plastic card and made it happen. I had Pat and Tonya in mind for this show as we went to Steve Miller last year and had a great time. Peter Frampton did not disappoint!!!

That was my first "front row" bucket list concert and I was in heaven. I watched one of the greatest guitar players in history from only 10 feet in front of me - and with good company!

It turns out that I wasn’t the only fan from Medicine Lodge. We ran into several people that night and I received several text messages from others in the crowd who saw us sitting on the front row wondering how we got there! It’s easy, just sign up for the fan clubs and pay attention to your emails and make sure your credit card isn’t maxed out yet!

 

KWIBS - From July 24, 2017 - By Kevin Noland

While I’m not going to take up Ann Coulter’s cross to bear with Delta, I will share a recent experience we had with them.

Ann was simply upset because she got moved from a prebooked aisle seat to a window seat in the same row. Boo hoo.

My Son Nicholas had completed his training at Marine Corps Expeditionary and Combat Skills Training, Class 17030 (that’s me being a proud parent of a serviceman) in North Carolina mid-June. His flight was also prebooked to leave at 2 p.m. - ish EST and arrive in Chicago with plenty of layover time to catch his 7 p.m. flight.

Delta’s flight sat on the runway for more than 4 hours before they disembarked the passengers and placed them on another flight. That flight also sat for more than an hour before taking off for Chicago, now nearly 5 hours behind schedule.

As he was landing in Chicago, his Delta flight to Wichita was taking off, delayed 30 minutes, but still not in time for him to catch it. It was the last flight of the day and he wasn’t sure what to do. I told him to go to the Delta counter and ask for a voucher for a hotel and a meal.

Delta refused and even went as far to say that, "they were out of rooms for passengers from his flight."

Some nice gentlemen at the airport bought Nick a cup of coffee and a meal and thanked him for his service to our country.

Delta didn’t do that. Delta told him that if there was room, he could fly out on the first flight to Wichita on "stand by" status the next day.

The USO gave Nick a cot and he slept in his uniform on the floor near the terminal. This was acceptable to Delta.

It surprises me that no effort was made to do the right thing in Nicholas’s case. He was obviously distressed over missing his flight home. He wasn’t just an ordinary passenger. He was in uniform. Delta didn’t care that he only had 9 days to spend with us before a 36 month duty station in Japan. They robbed him of one of those days and didn’t even so much as offer an apology.

So for everyone taking Delta’s side as Ann Coulter blasts them on Twitter, just remember how they treat ordinary passengers, including those serving their country.

? ? ? ?

Since I’m on the subject of Nick, I’ll let you in on his progress. He is in Japan. He has been assigned to a Chaplain and he is in a one month mentorship program with another RP on his base to learn his job duties.

Nick LOVES Japan. That makes me happy. He was a little apprehensive about his first duty being so far from home, but I think his weekends on the beach with his new Marine buddies and gourmet food pictures have convinced his mother and I that he is genuinely happy with his job.

Because of OPSEC, I’m not allowed to say much more than that. So I’m just pretty green at all the acronyms that are thrown at me as a military parent, but I was "scolded" on Facebook back in January for violating an OPSEC rule. I disclosed my son’s mailing address online. Oops, my bad.

OPSEC, short for Operations Security, works to keep military and families safe from enemy intrusion or detection on social media. The Navy defines it this way: "Operations Security (OPSEC) is a systematic method used to identify, control, and protect critical information and subsequently analyze friendly actions associated with military operations and other activities. Ultimately, OPSEC is protecting your information and activities from your adversaries."

So, we’ve done the whole crash course on OPSEC and I have carefully crafted a special recognition for one special Chaplain. We’ll call her "Chap Eagle 1" to protect her identity. She’s a huge Philadelphia Eagles fan, which could prove to create a hostile working environment for Nick one day soon, since he’s a Dallas Cowboy’s fan.

Chap Eagle 1 is the Chaplain that Nick is attached to, at a undisclosed Marine Air Wing base, on an unidentified island south of Japan. I’ve sent Chap Eagle 1 some messages through Nick thanking her for taking care of my son. She found out that we owned a newspaper in Kansas. Nick snapped a photo of himself and Chap Eagle 1. She wanted to, "be in the paper and have a copy."

Thank you Chap Eagle 1! God bless our soldiers!

 

 

KWIBS - From July 17, 2017 - By Kevin Noland

Several years ago, in an attempt to get healthy, I bought an elliptical off of a Craigslist post.

It was a pretty nice Nordictrack model with more features than I knew how to use, so I just left it unplugged and ran on it for years.

Ronda was wanting a treadmill, but we didn’t have room for both in the basement. She hated the elliptical and told me daily. Recently she took an interest in it after about 5 years of mocking it. Maybe I should rephrase that. Ronda became obsessed with my elliptical. She started out going 30 minutes for the first few days and quickly progressed to an hour a day of rigorous excersise.

She gets up about an hour and a half earlier than I do and she spends most of that time on the elliptical. You can hear the "squeak, squack, squeak, squack" all through the house.

One morning last week that "squeak, squack, squeak, squack" turned into a "squeak, squack, click, click, squeak, squack, click, click, THUMP" then some explicit language.

She ran upstairs and woke me up to tell me that she was ANGRY!

Thinking on my feet (or on my back in this instance), I recalled all of the possible things that I could have done to justify her anger. I came up empty.

"I broke the elliptical and was only on it for ten minutes! Get up and fix it," she said.

I got up, grabbed my tools and took it apart. It was apparant as soon as I got the cover off that I wasn’t fixing this. Ronda had sheared off a 3/4" drive pin that had two 20 lb weights on it.

She literally, ran the wheels off of the elliptical. I stared at it for several minutes and imagined the mileage she and I have put on this exercise machine, what it cost to buy it and figured up it’s per mile cost. It was just pennies. It was less than the price of a normal clothes hanger.

I got on Craigslist and found another one. I hope it lasts us another 5 years.

Have a great week!

 

KWIBS - From July 10, 2017 - By Kevin Noland

One of the greatest things about our country is the diversity of people we have.

I’m speaking specifically of two classes of people: City Folk and Country Folk.

I can’t claim this for a fact, but I think more Country Folk have experienced City Folk living than the other way around. I’m always entertained by people who come to this area and are amazed at the wide open spaces.

Take for instance, my cousins from Fort Worth, TX. They are no strangers to the country life, having grown up in remote areas of Montana, my cousin Michelle, isn’t as impressed by the country as her husband Jeff was on a recent visit. He’s a Fort Worth native.

"You guys have so very few stoplights," he said, referring to Kansas in general. "I think we passed like 2 cars between Harper and your house!"

I thought about that. Yes, we have just two intersections of stoplights here in town, but what really caught my imagination was thinking about when I leave my office to go home, generally I only stop three times before I hit my driveway almost 8 miles away.

When Ronda and I went to my Uncle’s funeral in Fort Worth in April, we stayed about 7 miles from my cousin’s ranch. It took us 50 minutes to get there from our hotel. That’s normal for them, but not for us!

I like visiting the city, but I don’t like traveling in them. Fort Worth is probably one of the worst for traffic, so it may not be fair to compare to a place like Wichita, which is relatively easy to get around in.

I would not trade my pace of life for anything. Last week the 281 resurfacing project began. It took me 50 minutes to get to town on Wednesday. I’m thankful it is a temporary traffic issue!

 

KWIBS - From July 3, 2017 - By Kevin Noland

Noland leaves for Okinawa

RPSR Nicholas Noland graduated the United States Marine Corps’ Expeditionary and Combat Skills Training Class 17030 from Field Medical Training Battalion-East, Camp Lejuene, North Carolina on June 14th, 2017. He is pictured with his brother Joey and sister Breeann during his 9 days of liberty he spent at home before he reported to his assignment in Okinawa on June 28th. RPSR Noland will be stationed on a Marine base working for the Chaplain and support teams for the next three years.  K. Noland Photo

Almost every parent has had this conversation with their child.

"When I’m done with school, I’m getting as far away from here as possible."

Maybe your conversation didn’t go quite like that with your kid. Mine didn’t either, but my kid is about as far away from home as you can get right now.

7,145.859 miles to be exact (as the crow flies), according to freemaptools.com. Nick left Sunday, June 25th at 6:15 a.m. and arrived in Okinawa, Japan on Monday, June 26th at 4:15 a.m. Three airplanes and about 18 hours of total flying time and he’s on the other side of the globe.

RPSR Noland reported for duty with the Fleet Marines on June 28th. The tiny sliver of an island will be his home where he’ll be stationed for the next three years. It’s pretty hard to imagine our baby on a Marine base that far away from little Medicine Lodge, KS and less than a 1,000 miles from the craziest dictator on the planet in North Korea.

Nick spent 9 days at home before leaving for his new job. He’s spent the past 6 months in some of the hardest training that the Navy and Marines have to offer. While home, he spent as much time with his new fiancee Natalie Bare as possible. He also graced us with his presence when he needed a home cooked meal! His brother and sister and mother and I really enjoyed having all of our kiddos under one roof again.

I can say with all honesty, that I have never laughed and cried so much in one week. We dropped Nick off at the airport in Wichita early Sunday morning, June 25th. Not knowing when you’ll see your child next, is a sinking feeling, but I know he’s safe, well trained and serving our country proudly.

Have a great week and Happy 4h of July!

 

KWIBS - From June 19, 2017 - By Kevin Noland

It was the greatest Father’s Day gift I’ve ever gotten. All three of my kids were back together in front of me Thursday morning.

It was a crazy week. Nick flew home from combat training after his graduation on Wednesday. Ronda and I, along with Nick’s girlfriend Natalie, drove up to pick him up in Wichita. We took in a movie, ate dinner and did some shopping before we got some awful news.

Nick’s American Airlines flight had broken down on the runway (at least not in the air) and his flight was delayed. Although we were hopeful at first, after 4 1/2 hours, we realized he was not going to make his connecting flight in Chicago and not making it home on time.

Irony can be so cruel. Nick commented after boot camp, "I never want to come back to this God forsaken place," speaking of Chicago.

Nick landed in Chicago 35 minutes after his connecting flight left for Wichita. He would be staying in Chicago for the night. To make matters worse, American Airlines informed him that they would not give him a room for the night and no food voucher.

Nick went and sat down and gave us a call to inform us of his unfortunate situation. While he was sitting there waiting, a retired Marine bought him something to drink and talked with him about his service. It made Nick feel better, but didn’t fix the problem.

We headed home. It was a quiet trip home.

The poor kid ended up at the USO and slept on a cot. He’d later comment on how he was robbed of one night in his own bed after 6 months of training.

But he made it home. We all drove back up the next morning, bright and early, and had him back for a warm reception from his siblings and a warm shower before noon Thursday..

He’ll be here only a little while before his deployment to Okinawa, Japan. RPSR Noland will be stationed there for three years as an assistant to the Chaplain. We’re clinging to every moment with him before he goes.

I’m proud of Nick. I’m equally proud of Joey and Breeann. My kids are amazing people with good hearts. I could not ask for a better Father’s Day than to have them close to me. The only thing missing on Father’s Day for me, was my dad. I know he would be proud of all his grand kids. (my camera did weird things with this photo).

In other news, in all the chaos last week, I forgot to wish my beautiful wife a happy anniversary. It was 29 years ago on June 17, 1988, that I used my Jedi powers to convince her to love me. I love you Ronda. :)

Have a great week!

KWIBS - From June 12, 2017 - By Kevin Noland

I could not be more excited than I am this week.

Late Wednesday night, Ronda and I, along with Nick’s girlfriend Natalie Bare, will travel to Wichita to pick up Nick from the airport!

Nick completed his MCT-East combat training in North Carolina last Friday and graduates from his training this Wednesday morning. After graduation, he’ll grab his sea bags, put on his service uniform and start the trek home to be with us for about ten days before he leaves for Tokyo and then on to Okinawa, Japan for 3 years.

He hasn’t seen his home since December 11, 2016. He hasn’t had a home cooked meal, seen his girlfriend, slept in his bed, pet his dog, seen his niece and nephew, brother, sister and a host of family and friends since he left for boot camp.

RPSR Noland will be given a well deserved rest from his military training. He says he just wants to "hang out" and do nothing for 10 days. We’ll do our best to make that happen.

His mother and I last saw him at RTC in Great Lakes, IL in February. He’s been to his RP schooling in South Carolina and now Marine Combat Training in North Carolina.

After completing his "A" schooling, Nick went "Green" side and started training with the Marines. This was no easy task. Nick has learned how to operate several weapons systems, throw grenades, be gassed, go on hikes of up to 8 miles with 80+ pounds of gear, eat MREs and live in the field and go into battle simulations during the day and night. He’s been sleep deprived, driven to mental and physical exhaustion, screamed at, but is with no doubt, in the best shape of his life.

He has an incredibly interesting career ahead of him and I can’t wait to hear more when he’s home.

KWIBS - From June 5, 2017 - By Kevin Noland

I want to die peacefully in my sleep someday like my old friend did, not like the 3 screaming passengers in his car.

Sometimes a good joke is all it takes to break the ice. I used to call it "The Fat Penguin." I always tell my son Joey, when he’s in a tough spot, be prepared to use the Fat Penguin.

My Pastor Dwain Richert always starts his sermons out with a decent joke. Some times they are groaners, but usually they are pretty funny. You wouldn’t think he could tell a good joke, but he can!

Then there’s Jerry X (to protect his identity). Jerry runs me down at the grocery store a few times a week to tell me a joke that’s usually not appropriate. Sometimes he is funny.

My father-in-law has a strange super power when it comes to jokes. He never runs out of them.

My Grandpa Joe was one of the best joke tellers I ever knew. I strive to be like him, but my wife says I always ruin the punchlines.

So to prove her wrong, I’m going to close with a few jokes.

First, do you want to hear a word I just made up? Plagiarism...

Parallel lines have so much in common. Too bad they’ll never meet....

Woman never find me attractive until they find out how much money I make. Then they realize I am ugly and poor..

What’s green, fuzzy, and if it fell out of a tree it would kill you? A pool table...

The other day, someone stole my mood ring. I’m not sure how I feel about that...

Have a great week. Tell a joke and make somebody smile!

 

KWIBS - From May 29, 2017 - By Kevin Noland

I wanted to take up some space to say a special THANK YOU to Barb and Mike Keltner for the many years of service they have given to our community.

We don’t know how lucky we have been to have them here. They have shaped the lives of several generations of children in this town and they have given their time and their money to help others for as long as I can remember.

Barb actually changed the way I see trash. Before Barb’s lecture, I did not recycle a thing. Today, I recycle almost everything.

Barb is a Mac fan. We’ve had some great banter over the years on Mac vs. PC. She actually won me over to an iPad and an iPhone. I probably couldn’t go back now if I wanted to.

Mike and I share a love for music and several years ago, he and I went to Wichita to see Bela Fleck and the Flecktones featuring Victor Wooten.

The best part about our trip was that it was Valentine’s Day. We both left our wives for the evening, put on some ridiculous flowered shirts and went to dinner in Old Town. We also walked into some tatoo parlors and some other questionable establishments. Over all, it was a great man-date and my wife makes fun of me every Valentine’s Day by asking, "Are we going to do something or do you have plans with Mike?"

Barb and Mike: You guys are the best of the best. This town will never be the same without you. I hope that life brings you many blessings and maybe some return trips to the Lodge!

KWIBS - From May 22, 2017 - By Kevin Noland

I packed and unpacked my clothes twice last week. Actually, my wife did the packing.

It all had to do with the weather.

Mother Nature may not be through with us for the spring season. Make sure during the severe storm season you make an emergency preparedness kit, or, ask my wife to do that for you. :)

Spring storms put her on edge, which naturally puts me on edge. Our bags were packed early Thursday morning before I even got out of bed. The weather channel told my wife to do it and she did it. Turns out, it was a bust.... No real damage.

When the area got hit with hail a couple of weeks ago, we stood outside of the newspaper’s front door and watched hail pounding our vehicles and listened to it pummeling our roof.

Before the clouds moved past, we had contact from three different roofing companies. They descended on our little town like moths to a bright light.

And many people have had damage to their roofs.

Several comments have been made about who to use and who not to use and I’ve even heard of near fist fights breaking out over people stealing roofing companies’ signs around town. While leaving town the other day, I thought I missed an election cycle with all of the different signs popping up around town.

When possible and feasible, I would recommend using local contractors. I make this recommendation for several reasons.

1. If they’ve been around a while, they’ll be here when you need them. 2. Their money stays here and circulates here.

Have a great week!

KWIBS - From May 15, 2017 - By Kevin Noland

I just want to say, I miss Jay Leno and headlines on Monday nights. For those of you who were fans of the Tonight Show, you know what I’m talking about. It was my favorite weekly event and something the entire family got a chuckle out of.

Being in the newspaper business, we see funny headlines (sometimes intentional, sometimes accidental).

I sat and read some of those headlines this week and thought I would share some of my favorites:

"Poverty meeting attracts poor turnout"

"Gas company behind bean supper"

"Miracle cure kills fifth patient"

"Total lunar eclipse will be braodcast live on Northwoods Public Radio"

"Breathing oxygen linked to staying alive"

"Man tries armed robbery with knife in gun store"

"Neurosurgery department gets new head"

"Pigs die as houses are blown down"

"Man competent enough to be declared insane"

"Bugs flying around with wings are flying bugs"

"Man with nothing to declare had 55 tortoises in his pants"

"Most Earthquake damage is caused by shaking"

"Northfield plans to plan strategic plan"

"Starvation can lead to health hazards"

"Feds say fish need water"

"Dead man found in graveyard"

"Woman missing since she got lost"

"Alton attorney accidentally sues himself"

"Utah Poison Control Center reminds everyone not to take poison"

KWIBS - From May 8, 2017 - By Kevin Noland

Congratulations to the Medicine Lodge High School Graduating Class of 2017!

You are about to join the long, proud list of alumni from our community.

Many of you have big decisions to make in your future. Things are about to change for you. For some, it will be a good change, for others, not so good. Sometimes you find out what you are supposed to be doing by doing the things you are not supposed to do.

You’re all adults now. How do you know when you’re doing right and wrong? You know because you were taught by the best teachers in the world at MLHS. You have a guide that is your GPS system for life’s choices. I don’t normally tell you to do something that is led by your emotions, but sometimes if it feels right, it is. What you’ve learned in school the past 12-14 years should have given you the tools you need to make good choices.

Check your ego at the door. This is only the beginning. I know how good you feel walking out of those doors at MLHS, but I promise you, you’ll want to return. And you must return and remember the halls, the smells, the sights and sounds of your school. I still go there often and I don’t even have children in the system anymore. I’m right at home when I walk through those doors and see some of the original smiling faces that were once my teachers!

George Saunders to Syracuse University in 2013 said it best: "Do all the other things, the ambitious things—travel, get rich, get famous, innovate, lead, fall in love, make and lose fortunes...but as you do, to the extent that you can, err in the direction of kindness."

Again....Congratulations Seniors! We’re so proud of you!

KWIBS - From May 1, 2017 - By Kevin Noland

I’ve done my best to keep you up on Nick’s journey in the Navy.

A few weeks ago, I got my second "kid in a box" delivered UPS.

It was full of all of his former Navy uniforms.

Upon graduation from Navy RP training in South Carolina in early April, Nick shipped off to North Carolina to MCTB-E (Marine Combat Training Battalion - East).

Are you as confused as I am? So, Nick is a Navy RP (religious program specialist), who is now attached to the Marines. The Marines came into existence on 10 November 1775. They conducted ship-to-ship fighting, provide shipboard security and discipline enforcement, and assist in landing forces. The Marine Corps has been a component of the U.S. Department of the Navy since 30 June 1834.

Since Nick is a Navy Religious Program Specialist attached to the Marines, he will now wear the Marine uniform. He also is going through their combat training. So, I got all of Nick’s former Navy uniforms from his 4-month-long career shipped back home.

Nick and all of his new uniforms will be home in June for a couple of weeks before shipping off to Japan, where he’ll be stationed for the next 36 months of his Navy/Marine career.

When I ask him what uniforms he’ll need shipped back he answered, "I dunno..."

And because of OPSEC.... (Operations Security - they identify critical information to determine if friendly actions can be observed by enemy intelligence and determine if the information could be useful to them).... I can’t tell you anymore about all the cool stuff he’s doing!

Have a great week and God bless our troops!

KWIBS - From April 24, 2017 - By Kevin Noland

You can learn how to do just about anything these days by simply watching a youtube video.

Just type in "how to_____" and you’ll get a video giving you a step by step guide for things as simple as brain surgery to as complicated as driving a car....

That’s what one 8-year-old boy did right before he chauffeured his sister effortlessly to the McDonald’s half a mile from his East Palestine home while his parents were sleeping last week.

Witnesses said the 8-year-old obeyed all traffic laws like making sure to stop properly at red lights, waiting for traffic to pass before taking a left turn, and staying within the speed limits.

When the two siblings pulled up to the drive-through window with piggy bank money in tow, the McDonald’s workers were convinced this was all a prank, but after an investigation, they discovered it obviously wasn’t.

When confronted by the police, the boy realized he had done something wrong and told Patrolman Jaco Koehler through tears that he just really wanted a cheeseburger, according to the Weirton Daily Times.

I usually cry after eating at McDonald’s.

The children did get to eat at McDonald’s while they waited for their grandparents to pick them up. No charges are being filed.

Meanwhile, my self performed lobotomy seems to have worked well and I can now successfully tie a full Windsor knot while correctly boiling pasta. The constant yodeling is annoying my wife, but the ease at which I can solve a rubik’s cube is down to 15 seconds.

I still forget to use my turn signals though.

Have a great week!

KWIBS - From April 17, 2017 - By Kevin Noland

My son Nick texted me last Monday from his Marine Training Schooling in North Carolina to tell me that he had run 8 miles that morning.

That’s a pretty amazing feat considering I used to have trouble getting him to run downstairs and turn off the lights.

I do have the most interesting family.

Ronda and I travelled to Ft. Worth, TX last weekend to attend my Uncle Gary’s funeral. While we were there, we took a tour of The Stockyards. A guy I simply met as "Jack" was at my uncle’s funeral. Jack was a member of the board of directors of The Stockyards and did a spot-on imitation of John Wayne. He threatened to "belt me in the mouth." I thought he was serious for a while. Turns out being a board member really means you just hang out at a certain drinking establishment once a week at a certain time. He was a hoot.

Just when I thought I had met the most interesting person who was a friend to my uncle, I met "Lisa". I kid you not, she was all of 95 pounds and a former ballet dancer from New York City who turned bronc rider. She had worked for my uncle for many years and around 2009 had fallen from a horse and broken her neck. Not only was she not expected to live, if she did live (which obviously she did), she was told she would be paralyzed for life. She walks, albeit with a limp, but she still works at my uncle’s farm (now my Cousin Michelle’s farm). Lisa was incredible and showed Ronda and I her little apartment behind my uncle’s house at Confederate Park Farms.

I had a drink with Thaddius and Eleanore Roosevelt, her pet raccoon of 13 years and a squirrel, who’s age I didn’t enquire.

I was most impressed to meet my uncle’s friends and see the lives that he had touched in his 14 years in Ft. Worth. My favorite memories will include this journey to celebrate his life with Ronda, my Aunt Millie and Cousin Michelle and family.

Have a great week!

KWIBS - From April 10, 2017 - By Kevin Noland

Just over four years ago I sat in my kitchen with Ronda, my Uncle Gary and Aunt Millie. We looked over photos, laughed, cried and paused to remember my dad who had passed away on January 11, 2013.

They drove up from Fort Worth to pay their respects to my dad and my uncle’s only living brother. Over the years, we’ve spent a lot of time together. Fort Worth is an easy drive and any time we are remotely in the area, we drive over to see them. They also came to visit us on a couple of occasions.

Many of you have shared stories about my Uncle Gary with me. He had lived here with his family in the late 1960s and early 1970s, being a part of the Peace Treaty and local Chamber of Commerce. He eventually worked his way up to Editor and pressman at the Index and later in life started a 24 hour printing plant in California. Before his last move to Texas, my aunt and uncle had a newspaper in Seeley Lake, Montana. Over the last 14 years or so, they have raised, boarded and trained horses, specifically for Equestrian.

Last Friday I worked my hardest to finish up everything and hit the road by early Saturday afternoon. My Uncle Gary’s health was failing rapidly. I wanted one last moment with him.

The last time we saw him was before Christmas and before that, it was his 73rd birthday in May of 2016. I expected to leave shortly after lunch and get there early evening. I spoke to my Aunt Millie as I was packing and she said, "You probably won’t make it in time."

We did not make it in time. Uncle Gary passed away later that afternoon.

Thursday afternoon was the last time I spoke with him. I told him I loved him and he was able to say it back. Ever since my dad died, we always told each other we loved one another. We knew we only had so much time to do that in this life. He was in a hospital near Fort Worth and they were preparing to hand him over to Hospice and bring him home to his ranch that day. He wanted to be home and he made it home.

Uncle Gary died surrounded by his family and friends.

He was one of the hardest working people I had ever met in my life. A dreamer, he always had his next move planned. Most recently he and my Aunt Millie were planning on building a new home on their farm, near their daughter and family.

Back in 2011 when he and my Aunt Millie were here, I recorded a 2 hour conversation with them while looking over the family photos. I learned a lot about the Noland side of my family, but mostly I just loved my time with them. I found that conversation and shared it with my aunt and my cousin.

I learned my family had the first television set in Logan, KS. My grandpa "Jock" Noland was probably never photographed without a pipe sticking out of his mouth. My Grandpa Bill was the spitting image of Abraham Lincoln and often portrayed him in reenactments and parades. My Dad, Grandpa, Grandma and Uncle Gary all loved and had Boston Terriers throughout their lives.

My Uncle said to me a few months ago, "It’s up to you now to carry on the bloodline." Uncle Gary’s boys, my cousins, don’t have any children of their own and I have two sons.

He also made me promise to stay in touch with my aunt and my cousins. Family was important to him. That should be an easy promise to keep. I love my Aunt Millie and Cousin Michelle. Since she spent so much time growing her business in Fort Worth, I’ve gotten to spend a lot of time watching her ride and teach others.

Uncle Gary fought the good fight. He fought cancer to the bitter end and never looked back with any regrets. He was a good provider for his family and I saw him work so hard through good times and bad to be a good husband and father.

He was my stand-in dad after dad passed away and I will miss our sometimes daily texts and phone calls. We’d armchair quarterback about every Dallas Cowboys’ game and then talk politics for hours. I will also miss his intoxicating laughter, serious life advice and every promise he kept to love and live.

Have a great week.

KWIBS - From April 3, 2017 - By Kevin Noland

I love music.

I’ve been a musician for most of my life now. I’m a bass player. As a bass player, you’re not viewed as a very important part of the band. Play one wrong note and you certainly get recognition.

As of late, I play in church every now and then and sometimes when I walk past one of the six basses in my house, I’ll pick it up and punch out something from my Dorfus CrackTractor days.

You probably remember that crazy trio made of Justin Rugg, David Fasgold and myself. We spent the majority of our time picking on each other and making fun of each other.

One of our favorite past times (to this day) is the belittle the importance of the instrument the other plays. Sometimes we get pretty brutal, but it’s all just in fun.

I ran across this funny story the other day and thought it was a good opportunity to poke a little fun at myself.

An anthropologist went to study a far-flung tropical island. He found a guide with a canoe to take him upriver to the remote site where he would make his observations. About noon on the second day of travel up the river they began to hear drums. The anthropologist asked his guide, "What are those drums?"

The guide turned to him and said, "Drums okay, but VERY BAD when they stop."

As they traveled the drums grew louder and louder. The anthropologist was nervous, but the guide merely repeated, "Drums okay. Drums not bad. When drums stop, then very bad!"

Then the drums suddenly stopped. Terrified, the anthropologist yelled to the guide: "The drums stopped! What now?"

The guide crouched down, covered his head with his hands and said, "bass solo."

Have a great week!

KWIBS - From March 20, 2017 - By Kevin Noland

Somebody slaughtered March’s lamb....

This bipolar month has my closet in shambles. I’m not sure which coat, if any, I’m supposed to wear or if I wear shorts and a sweat shirt. Some days, you don’t even know if you’ll end up in the same clothes you started out with. My truck doesn’t know whether to have air conditioner or heater on or if the windows should be up or down or somewhere in between.

What we do know is, it’s very dry.

? ? ? ?

I am getting spring fever, or maybe it’s allergies. I don’t know for sure. I just want to be outside.

I’m a lot like my dad in this respect. I love a project. And just like my dad, I never seem to finish one.

Last year, I began working on a zip line for my kids and grandkids. I got one platform finished and poles hauled up to the top end. We began drilling 20" x 8’ holes in the ground when the Anderson Creek Fire occurred last year and my drill truck guy had to go build close to 20 miles of fence or more. I’ve not seen that truck since! (hint-hint-Flint).

This year’s project is a pontoon picnic table. My wife is less than thrilled.

Parts needed: Picnic table, check; plastic barrels, check; outboard motor, check; lumber and screws, check; friends to ride on it, check; redneck attitude, check...

So when this is finished, the idea is to have a floating picnic table with a motor on it that we can putt around the lake on. Since Ronda thought it was a dumb idea, I agreed to put an umbrella on it so my fair lady won’t fry in the summer sun on the lake. She’s coming around.

Now, if I can just focus and finish it...

Have a great week!

 

KWIBS - From March 13, 2017 - By Kevin Noland

Driving home from Wichita Monday night, all we could see and smell was smoke.

My phone had been blowing up since early in the afternoon after fires sparked up all over the state, one south of our ranch.

That very day, we had printed an article "Getting - and staying - a step ahead of wildfire". Jessica and Brenda worked as a team on this project. It was something I believed was relevant to the conditions and ironically, it was prophetic in nature.

"Tinderbox dry". That’s a quote from the story.

For weeks now, I’ve been mowing fire lines in preparation to do a little controlled burning on our ranch. We’ve been patiently waiting for the conditions to be right: lower winds, higher humidity and by the grace of God: some moisture to make the ground green.

None of those conditions have occurred and we are now in constant danger of fire in our area.

I’ll be the first to admit that articles on prescribed burning were ones I printed, but didn’t take the time to read. Now I get it and it took last year’s Anderson Creek Wildfire to really get my attention.

Next to Divine intervention, our next best thing is the courage of our local volunteer fire fighters. These folks wage war against wildfire and deserve our thanks and constant prayers.

We could be in for a very critical event in our area. After we receive some needed moisture, we need to evaluate what we can do as a county and community to protect our citizens and property from the dangers of quick spreading wildfires. There are some great people out there with some proactive ideas that need to be heard.

Good luck and thank you to our fire fighters.

KWIBS - From March 6, 2017 - By Kevin Noland

I’ve never been quite so devastated than when Doris Sorg announced she was leaving us after 17 1/2 years.

Thankfully, it wasn’t because she hated us or anything. It was just time for a change for her. It couldn’t possibly have been all the times I blew an air horn at her or placed a Donald Trump cut out where I knew it would scare the you-know-what out of her.

As fate would have it, I got a bomb dropped on me a couple of weeks ago and I was again devastated. Brenda Head, who we had hired to replace Doris, announced that she and her husband would be moving back to Missouri where they came from before moving to Medicine Lodge.

Again, it wasn’t anything I had done (I had learned not to blow an air horn at her without some warning). This was just life happening for Brenda and her husband. Brenda was just what we needed, when we needed it.

Sometimes life does funny things.

Finding Brenda was just dumb luck (more like divine intervention). During the search process, Ronda and I had approached Jessica Wright for the job originally. We had heard she had given notice at the bank and we knew she was a smart, articulate lady who would be a good fit.

She turned us down. She had already made other plans for life and as bummed out as we were, we understood.

Brenda’s resume was actually submitted several months before Doris announced she was leaving us, but I had buried it on my desk. After Jessica turned us down, we got out some old resumes looking for a candidate. Little did I realize, I had left Brenda’s in a pile. I had never even seen it, but when I did, I knew Brenda was the right person for the job! A phone call was made, an interview was done and she was hired!

Well, she wasn’t here 17 1/2 years, as required and is now company policy, but she was a wonderful part of our family. She will be missed and we wish her well.

? ? ? ?

Backing up....

I had shot Jessica Wright a series of text messages after Brenda made her announcement. I wasn’t exactly begging, but I was a little more pushy this time!

She turned me down again.

So, I put out some feelers on the old interweb and started setting up interviews.

Out of the blue, Jessica texted me back and said she was interested in the job.

Just like a woman, she couldn’t make up her mind. *kidding Jessica*

Keep in mind, I’ve known Jess since she was a little Jess. She’s about my son Joey’s age and I’ve always known she is a sharp girl, had great people skills and was someone who I had a gut feeling about.

Also keep in mind I hadn’t read a single story she’d ever written excepting text messages and facebook posts!

But I think my gut is pretty smart most of the time. It wasn’t smart on Wednesday when I tried to eat an entire meat lover’s pizza by myself, but pretty smart nonetheless.

So the entire week was pretty busy and like a giant drum roll. I was in and out and finally received Jessica’s first stories on Thursday. It was her introduction and CID stories.

I nailed it. I mean, she nailed it. The girl can write!

So, with a week of training behind her, I’m excited to welcome Jessica Wright to Team Premiere. She’s already aware of my office antics, has gone through all the stages of grief for taking the job and will probably turn in her notice in a week. *kidding again*.... I hope!

Watch for what Wright writes. Yeah, I am the one doing the word fun at the moment.

I want to thank Brenda for putting up with me the past 7 1/2 months. She’s not getting a big party, but she’s getting a big thank you from us. We love you sister and we thank you for your time with us!

Welcome aboard Jess!

Have a great week!

 

KWIBS - From February 27, 2017 - By Kevin Noland

If you’re older (like me), you remember when air was free. You probably also remember never getting out of your car when pulling up to the gas station.

Things are different now. You pull up and get your own gas and pay for it right at the pump. If you are like me, you also wash your own windows, check your own oil and then, if you notice a tire is low, you reach over for the free air pump. The only problem is, it’s not there and it’s not free anymore at most places in the city.

So that’s another one of the little things I love about Medicine Lodge. We still have free air. There’s at least two that I know of that are on 24/7. One is at Black Diamond Express and the other is at Slinkard Oil. There are probably others, but those are the two that I know for sure are there and on when I need them.

And I always need one. I live in the country, on dirt roads, and we are guaranteed at least a flat once a month. At last count, I’ve had 9 nails already for 2017 and I still have one in my front right tire as I write this.

Ever since I was a kid, Slinkard Oil has been my go to place for air. It was always my go to place for gas until Bill stopped providing that service (way, way back).

Bill has always been my main source for free air for 4 decades. I can always count on pulling up to his station any time day or night and being able to top that tire off before I head north for home.

If I’m lucky enough, it’s during business hours and I can say hi to someone who has been serving the community for longer than I’ve been alive. Thanks Bill for always having air. If you charged for it like the big cities do, I’d probably be your biggest customer. (Please don’t start charging me for air though. That would just crush me!)

 

KWIBS - From February 20, 2017 - By Kevin Noland

As parents, Ronda and I couldn't be prouder of E1-RP, Nick Noland, one of the United States Navy's newest Sailors! Nick graduated from RTC (Navy Boot Camp on Friday, February 10, 2017. Many of you with military members in your family know the process. We had little contact consisting of a couple of short phone calls and several letters that were usually 10 days old by the time we got them.

Nothing made us happier than to run onto that ceremonial floor and hug our son after 3.5 hours of waiting in the grand stands.

So I had to share this photo and a funny story about Nick's Pass In Review from the Navy. As dumb luck would have it, Ronda and I were invited to sit VIP with the Officers of Recruit Training Command.

We had read that if you were dressed up and were lucky enough, you could get selected if there was room. We were dressed up and we were lucky enough to be selected!

A young man (Petty Officer) came and offered us seats and we jumped up and followed him downstairs in front of thousands of other anxious family and friends of sailors and we were seated in some nice cushy chairs in the center of the ceremony hall directly behind the RTC staff and big wigs.

The event is broadcast live each week. We ended up on the live stream for most of the ceremony. Many of our family members back at home took photos of the screen and send us the pictures via our phones. At one point, Nick glanced up from the choir and looked at the Officers and caught a glimpse of his mom. He was mortified! Nick had purposely hidden from us before the ceremony. He was in the performance division and that division can usually meet their families before the graduation, but he did not want to become emotional before having to perform.

After graduation he was like, "I thought you guys wandered up there by mistake and would get thrown out and I would be in huge trouble!"

A Pass In Review is an awesome military graduation full of marching bands, singing, drill teams and speeches. The best part is when they call out, "Now hear this. Now hear this. Liberty! Liberty!" We all went running onto the floor looking for our sailor in their dress blues. It's like looking for a needle in a haystack, but when you find it, you hold it tight!

There's a news release from the Navy about Nick's Pass In Review on page 12. I would note that Nick says "thank you" to so many who wrote to him. That really does help them get through the training.

Nick said, "It was a lot like college accept you don't get to sleep much, you do a lot of exercising and everyone is screaming at you before and after classes!" That was explanation enough for his mom and me.

We spent the day in the Great Lakes area catching up from the past couple of months of separation. The second good-bye was much easier than the first. Nick left early the next morning for Fort Jackson in Columbus, SC. After a couple months of schooling, he may be home for a few days before his next assignment. We are proud of our son and so happy that he chose this career and education path. HOOYAH NAVY!! CONGRATULATIONS NICK NOLAND!!

KWIBS - From February 13, 2017 - By Kevin Noland

I called my wife on a Thursday evening, "Did you see the new water tower?"

She simply said, "No, what are you talking about?"

I don’t know how she missed it.

We drive about 8 miles to town every morning from our home at M-Bar Ranch, south of Lake Arrowhead. The drive takes us right past the Phye Development and the area where they have been building the new water tower.

Somehow, she drove home that Thursday night and didn’t even notice that the skyline had changed!

So we drove in together Friday morning and she was like, "WOW!"

It was pretty incredible to see that tower go up in a day. I realize they have worked on it on the ground for months now, but to see it all up inside of a few short hours, was impressive to say the least!

Over the 28 years of driving to town almost every day, I have a great perspective on how things have changed. I now see wind towers, cellular towers, a new SPEC building, transmission power lines and now a new water tower!

There’s also going to be some road construction happening in the near future, so be prepared. Be prepared for a stop and a pilot car. I’m sure you’ve seen all the heavy trucks and equipment that are being staged to the south of the SPEC building. The project will pave 281 from the intersection of 160/281 clear to the Pratt County line.

We’ll be prepared by going an extra 5 miles out of our way on over towards Isabel and down that county road to town to avoid having to stop and wait for a pilot car to guide us at 20 mph. I’m not patient enough to stop and wait, and the change in scenery will be nice, unless it rains and then that’s about 8 miles of dirt roads to drive down instead of 2.5.

That’s the price we pay for progress I suppose.

By the way, Ronda and I are the proud parents of one of the Navy’s newest Sailors - Nick Noland!

Congratulations and happy birthday, buddy!

KWIBS - From February 6, 2017 - By Kevin Noland

This is a very special week for Ronda and I. We’ll be flying to Chicago on Thursday, renting a vehicle and driving to Waukegan, IL early Friday morning, February 10, 2017 to watch our son Nick graduate from Navy RTC.

We haven’t seen Nick since we dropped him off in Kansas City on December 12, 2016. It seems like forever ago, that we watched our youngest child board a shuttle for the airport.

Since then, we’ve gotten a dozen letters and two short phone calls. One call was actually about 30 seconds long to tell us he made it and he was sending us his personal belongings. The other phone call was about 14 minutes long and was at the tone of a whisper because we were still in church.

We are expecting one other important phone call this week. It’s the "I’m a Sailor" call. Each recruit is given the opportunity to call home after Battle Stations 21 (BST). BST is the final test for the recruits and is a 12 hour evaluation program with 17 ship board scenarios from missile attacks that can cause fires to flooding caused by exploding undersea mines. Recruits also stand watches on the bridge and are tasked with engineering scenarios, lookout scenarios, and mass casualty drills.

Battle Stations-21 is conducted several times a week, at night, on board USS Trayer (BST 21), a 210-foot-long Arleigh Burke-class destroyer simulator. It begins around 8:00 pm CST and ends the next morning. Throughout the various scenarios, recruits are evaluated and graded not only as individuals, but also as teams and as an entire division. The morning that a recruit passes Battle Stations-21, they attend a capping ceremony around 8:20 or so that lasts about 20-30 minutes where they remove their "RECRUIT" ball cap and replace it with a "NAVY" ball cap, which signals to the world that they are a US Navy Sailor! Then they can call home.

We can’t wait for this call and can’t wait to see Nick!

Have a great week!

KWIBS - From January 30, 2017 - By Kevin Noland

Cautiously optimistic.

That’s the answer I gave when asked what I thought about President Trump’s first week.

I was a "never Trump, but never...er Clinton." I wasn’t shy about it, but I have to say, I’m impressed so far with the composure of President Donald Trump.

I can’t believe I just wrote that.

Everyone deserves a chance. Those who are protesting and carrying signs that read "Not My President" are delusional.

I didn’t vote for Obama, but he was my president for 8 years. That’s how it works in America. We agree to disagree and we move on down the road ..... or we dress up like women’s genitalia and march in the streets...

I have many friends who are staunch Trump supporters and many others who are totally freaking out. We all have to calm down and not get thrown off the airplane for our emotional outbursts.

I think that, no matter your political view, we have to agree that destruction of property, aggravated battery and violence against authority are not part of the healing process for America. I believe in a peaceful right to protest and the freedom of speech, but it ends when you threaten to "blow up the White House." It ends when you burn limousines. It ends when you forget to act like an adult, no matter who your president is.

You would have thought the whole world went mad on January 20th, 2017 after the inauguration of the 45th U.S. President.

I’m grateful to live in the middle of South Central Kansas where we shrug off crazy and go to work every day no matter who our president is. There’s something to be said about living in a fishbowl when the ocean has so many sharks in it.

Let’s all be friends and hug it out.

Have a great week!

 

KWIBS - From January 23, 2017 - By Kevin Noland

Many of you ask, and I’m always proud to answer, how is Nicholas doing in boot camp?

Well, we haven’t heard much from him. We’ve gotten about 5 letters (all at once) and we’ve received one 15 minute phone call.

He is doing well though! Nicholas made the Triple Threat Division also known as the Performance Division. These sailor recruits are chosen based upon interview and past experience in flags, band, choir and drill performances. Nicholas was chosen to sing in the Blue Jacket Choir.

Beginning on Friday of this week 1-27-17 at 8:45 a.m., Nicholas will perform at Pass In Review (PIR), which is the Navy’s version of Graduation. He will perform at three PIRs, including his own on Friday, February 10, 2017.

He marches in separately from his division, so we’ll have a great opportunity to see him before we actually see him!

How’s that? You can watch the ceremonies live on the Navy’s website: http://navylive.dodlive.mil

I started watching these live streams a few weeks ago and they are pretty amazing. You can only imagine how proud we are and how excited we are to see him!

Tune in any time on Friday!

KWIBS - From January 16, 2017 - By Kevin Noland

Ronda and I were driving north on 119th Street in Wichita a couple of weeks ago when a truck lost a bundle of newspapers and hit and then went airborne all over the place. It was a really windy day and there were newspapers everywhere, including windshields of passing vehicles.

I said, "Man, that poor dude ...."

About a week later, I was perusing through the stacks of newspapers I get each week in the mail and ran across Paul Rhodes’ column in the Conway Springs Star.

In his column, Publisher Rhodes confessed that he lost a bundle of newspapers on 119th in Wichita.

"I was between stops, headed south on 119th Street, just north of Central in west Wichita. An extra-unruly gust of wind actually caused my truck to jump a little, and then I heard a thump."

Disaster struck....

Yep, that’s pretty much what I saw heading north on 119th Street, just north of Central in west Wichita.

So when I read that, I picked up the phone and called Paul and told him that I was a material witness to his littering.

Paul told me, "It would have been professional courtesy for you to stop and help pick those up!"

That’s true, but I was in a hurry to make an appointment and to get lunch. Lunch came before being a good Samaritan that day. I sort of feel bad now, knowing it was someone I have known for so many years.

Some jogger ended up taking pity on Paul. You’ll be happy to know he picked up almost every single edition he lost in all of that heavy traffic and bad wind that day. It took him over an hour to get it all cleaned up!

Have a great week!

 

KWIBS - From January 9, 2017 - By Kevin Noland

We simply take for granted what it takes to put food on our tables.

Once a year, we do this special edition to honor our area farmers and ranchers for their dedicated love of the land.

As I get older (this is my 26th Soil Conservation Edition) I become more and more appreciative to those folks who work the land.

So to those involved with the Barber County Conservation District, thank you and congratulations!

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As of this writing, we still haven’t heard from Nicholas directly. We are hoping that will change soon. Nick left for RTC (Navy bootcamp) on December 12.

We' waited 21 days for news about Nick and Monday night we got a call from Waukegan, IL at dinner. I was so excited and answered "hello buddy!". It wasn't him.

It was a shipmate named Miller. Nick had watch that night while his shipmates got to call home. He's the last division to get that privilege, but couldn't. SR Miller used some of his time to call us and let us know Nick was thinking about us. It was only about a one minute call, but couldn't have been more appreciated.

We've camped out on our phones for three weeks. It felt so good to know someone cares enough to have his back and make a call to people he'd never met. He said, "I was there when you put your hand on the window of the bus against your son's."

Wow. Miller, you're a great kid and great future sailor for taking the time to call us. Hope we get to talk to Nick soon, but feel so good to know he has friends like that. I'm going to hug that kid at PIR on 10 FEB 2017. There are some great kids out there serving our country and each other. Thank you SR Miller.

 

KWIBS - From January 2, 2017 - By Kevin Noland

Ronda and I were able to take a few days off to see family and friends in Texas over the Christmas break.

It’s good to be home and back into a seemingly normal routine again.

While in Texas, we got to spend a day with Dale and Michele McCurdy. You might remember them. They were both teachers in our district in the late 1990s. We’ve kept our friendship up with them and they are a great couple. We try to see them a couple of times a year.

They flew in from Amarillo and we picked them up at Love Field in Dallas. We didn’t really have a plan. We just wanted to spend a day together around the holidays.

One of the highlights of our visit together was seeing Star Wars Rogue One. Dale and I are both nerds and we abstained from seeing the movie until we could do it together.

One week later, Carrie Fisher has died. Although she did not actually have much of a role in Star Wars Rogue One, she did have a computerized cameo appearance which will now be an immortal tribute to her career as Princes Leia.

What boy in the 1970s and 1980s didn’t have a crush on Carrie Fisher?

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Ronda and I also got to go to a Dallas Cowboys’ game at AT&T Stadium. We’ve been life long fans and even went to games when they weren’t winning.... They didn’t disappoint, beating Tampa Bay, 26-20. The best part of the game was getting to see Caleb Alexander, Ronda’s cousin. We had a great time.

The most important thing we did, was to see my Uncle Gary Noland. Many of you might remember him from his days running the Index. Uncle Gary has stage 4 lung cancer. I was blessed to see him and his family this Christmas season.

KWIBS - From December 26, 2016 - By Kevin Noland

8 days, 4 states, 2150 miles later and we were back for a few days - just in time for Christmas and this special edition!

2017 is only a few days away now. The new year brings hope and excitement. You’re probably thinking I’m speaking of the election again, but I’m not.

A new year is always a time to reflect on goals and ambitions, while remembering the things of the past. This entire newspaper is a snapshot of what our community achieved over the most recent completion of a lap around the sun.

I usually do a column on a person of the year that stands out in our community. There are several and on our way home from Texas last week, Ronda and I discussed many of them. To summarize: It’s all of you. It’s everyone who took the time to be involved, be informed and kept faith in Medicine Lodge during a more challenging economic time.

No one will argue that this was a tougher year. The oilfield is a wee bit slower than most of us would like. We hope that 2017 brings prosperity to this industry. We also hope that cattle markets come back up, and that wheat prices and other crops continue to make a come back.

I look forward to 2017. I’m most excited to be able to spend time with my family. We got a little scattered this year with Nick leaving for Chicago, so we especially look forward to seeing him at his graduation in February.

My prayer for you this new year is that you find peace and happiness in whatever situation you find yourself in. Be good to one another and give the gift of yourself to those who might need you. That’s easier said than done, but it’s good advice. No one ever said in their last moments, "I wish I had less time to give."

Have a happy new year friends!

 

KWIBS - From December 19, 2016 - By Kevin Noland

"To raise a child, who is comfortable enough to leave you, means you've done your job. They are not ours to keep, but to teach them to soar on their own."

I don’t know who said it, but it was the first of several emails I got from navydads.com last week. It choked me up a little bit. I’m also not really sure how comfortable any of us were when Nick left for Chicago Monday, but he’s on his way to a new life and we’re proud of his decision to be in the Navy.

Thank you to the American Legion Riders for a wonderful send-off for Nick on Saturday. You guys are really special people.

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This is our last of two newspapers for 2016. They are both my favorite issues to publish. I love this issue because the kids write to Santa and we have the awesome responsibility of making sure Santa gets our newspaper and reads each letter! And... those kids are hilarious!

This was one of my favorite letters. I have no idea who these little people are, but the letter is almost extortion!

"Dear Santa,

Do you like chocolate chip cookies? I would like a remote control car, a new pencil box, a blue ipad and a play computer. I would like a snappy from the Trendy Monkey for my mama and underpants for my dad.

Love, Darcie, Davis and Mackenzie"

"Do you like chocolate chip cookies?" Well Santa, if you do, you’d better get your butt to my house with the following items! Hilarious!

Dear Santa,

This year for Christmas I have three gifts I would like to receive. The three gifts I would like are a guitar, drums, and a microphone. The first thing present I want is a guitar. I want a guitar because I want to play to practice and to join a band. The second thing I want is drums. I want drums because I want to play them in the band and to practice at home, and to join the band and the third thing I want is a microphone. I want a microphone because I want to sing, to talk into and to join a band. - Mekoy Baier

Do you think this kid wants to be in a band?

Dear Santa,

This Christmas I have three gifts that I would like to receive. The three things I want for Christmas is an I pod, rabbit, K-State shirt. The first thing I want to receive is an I Pod. I want an I pod because I can play games on it, call 911 for emergencies and order clothes on line. The second thing I want to receive is a rabbit. I want a rabbit because they are fluffy and I can play with it and I can cuddle with it. The third thing I want to receive is a K-Sate shirt. I want a K-State shirt because I like K-State, it’s my favorite team and I can wear it on favorite team day. This is what I want for Christmas. - Kembry Shippy

Ok, a rabbit..., 911? Order clothes online? Wait a minute...

Dear Santa,

This year for Christmas I have three gifts I would like to receive. The three gifts I would like to receive is a 22 gun, a machete, and a chemistry set. The first gift I would like to receive is a 22 gun. I want a 22 gun because I can shot deer, I can shoot squirrels, and I can shoot rabbits. The second gift I would like to receive is a machete. I want a machete because I can chop wood, I can clean the animals, and I can chop grass for a fort. The third gift I would like to receive is a chemistry set. I want a chemistry set because I can do science, I can do experiments, and I can do explosions. These are the three gifts I would like to receive. Marry Christmas. - Shaefer Stone

Keep this kid away from Kembry’s rabbit.....

My kids are all grown and my daughter has children of her own now, so we don’t really do the "Santa" thing, but I remember doing it for them.

I even remember one year I got Cecil Newman to dress up as Santa and come to my mom’s house. Joey and Breeann were pretty little and it scared the you know what out of them.

I think it’s safe to say that Santa was very, very jolly.... That’s one of my fondest memories of my kids and Santa when they were little.

Every year we do something silly. This year, we all got together with Santa during Nick’s send off party. You can see that photo on the front page this week. My son Joey is into ugly sweaters. A couple of years ago, I got to recreate a really goofy Christmas photo with my two sons. This year they wanted to do another one before Nicholas left for Navy Boot Camp.

You know the goofy photos I’m talking about. They look like this....

Matthew 1:20-23

Behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, "Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. And she will bring forth a Son, and you will call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins."

Now all this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying: "Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Emanuel," which is translated, "God with us."

From our family to your family, we wish you a blessed Christmas. Love and cherish the time you spend with your family and friends and remember the true meaning of Christmas.

Merry Christmas Friends!

KWIBS - From December 12, 2016 - By Kevin Noland

There is almost nothing as wonderful as a childrens’ laughter - unless you’re in the middle of a tense football game and three of them are running around between you and the television!

Seriously, it is amazing to watch a child laugh and play and not have a worry in the world.

When I was a kid, I could be entertained with a 10 cent rubber ball from Frosty’s Donut Shop. You remember them. I’m pretty sure I spent thousands of dollars on those silly things. I come across one every now and then.

I also remember going to Ben Franklin’s dime store once a week and buying up all the little rubber parachute guys I could afford. They cost 19 cents a piece. I could usually get 4-5. Those guys kept me entertained for hours.

Toys are so expensive these days. There are many families who just can’t afford to buy them. There are many kids in this community who could use a gift this holiday season. The Angel Tree at the Peoples Bank is a great way to give this Christmas.

The next two editions of The Gyp Hill Premiere are the best editions to put on the streets. I absolutely love the Letters to Santa, which will be in our December 19th Christmas Edition. The following week is our Year In Review. This edition I lovingly refer to as the "Bathroom Edition". It’s perfect to leave in your bathroom all week long to read about the events that happened in our community during 2016! I would not use this like a 1930s Sears Catalogue though as we now use soy based inks that tend to smudge on your skin....

Congratulations to Noel Lopez on opening Cancun’s. I’ve always enjoyed his families’ food at their other locations. We’re very happy you chose Medicine Lodge as your newest eatery!

Have a great week!

 

KWIBS - From December 5, 2016 - By Kevin Noland

One week from today, Ronda and I will have a first-ever transition in our lives. We’ll be true "empty-nesters".

Our youngest child, our baby, will be entering the United States Navy.

This has been an incredible journey for our entire family, especially for Nick.

I remember last September when he had barely started his senior year, Nick asked me what I thought about him joining the service. I was pretty impressed that he was even considering such a move. I had always assumed he would play football, baseball or run track somewhere.

Within a week from that conversation, he was signed up and we started the weekly check ins and monthly meetings.

Everything was on track until early November, when Nicholas was injured in a football game at Sedgwick. The prognosis was a torn labrum and after his recruiter was notified, he was placed in a holding pattern. We learned a week later that he was to be disqualified medically by the Navy. His only option was surgery and even then, there was no guarantee that they would take him. It was pretty devastating.

Everyone has a dream and a story of how it came to pass. Nick’s story was pretty incredible. He went right in for surgery after his injury, never once looking back. He worked extremely hard on his rehabilitation, so much that he even rejoined the baseball team in the spring almost one month earlier than his surgeon had thought possible. They made it to state for the second year in a row! Everything was going according to schedule and he left for MEPS (Military Entrance Processing Station) in April where he was denied by one surgeon and granted a waiver from another! He had even lost his original job and only given an Airman Undesignated job, but then he was offered his original job back 3 days after swearing in.

To understand what the odds of that happening are, consider that Religious Program Services in the Navy consists of 889 jobs worldwide. Not many of these jobs open up. RPs assist with religious services on bases and ships. One of their main responsibilities will be providing physical security for chaplains during field exercises and in combat environments. In the Navy, chaplains are not allowed to carry firearms. RPs are assigned to assist and protect them. When Nick finishes RTC (the Navy’s version of bootcamp) he will go to an "A" schooling to learn his job and then to a Marine Combat school, as he will most likely be traveling with Marines.

Nick has never stopped trying. He has never given up. His quiet nature should not be mistaken for timidity. He’s been very courageous through this process. That doesn’t mean he’s not anxious and nervous about what’s coming. He tells me that over the course of the next 9 weeks of training, he’ll miss: his girlfriend, music, his mom’s cooking and his own bed. I’m sure he’ll figure out a lot of other things he’ll miss.

He has one final trip to Kansas City on Monday, December 12, 2016. Once he is cleared, he departs for the Navy’s Recruit Training Center in the Great Lakes Region the next morning. Please be praying that everything continues to go in his favor!

As hard as this transition is going to be for Nick and for Ronda and me, we are so excited for his future.

We’ll miss him at Christmas and probably his birthday in February. I’ll miss our nightly visits, playing guitar with him, the constant pranks in our home and just his presence. He will be in good hands. "The World’s finest Navy," as the base answers their phones.

Please join us at Finnegan’s Saturday, December 10th from 2-4 p.m. as we celebrate Nick’s decision to serve his country and jump start his future. Everyone is welcome to attend!

KWIBS - From November 21, 2016 - By Kevin Noland

Dear President-elect Donald Trump,

I just wanted to congratulate you on the biggest upset in politics in the history of Presidential races.

First, let me admit that I did not vote for you. You’ll be happy to know I didn’t vote for Hillary either. I took the obscure and unlikely 3rd party candidate route - because, honestly, I didn’t think you could win and did not want Hillary to win. I figured that America was so over all of the Hillary scandals and she would sweep the election. We’d be stuck with that for four years..

Boy was I wrong. You should know that I also bet on elections. I usually win, but this is the first one in three elections that I didn’t win. I even went as far to "double or nothing" this election. I almost felt sorry for the guy I was betting because he had so much confidence in your win. That is going to cost me two steak dinners. Secretly, I have never been so happy to lose a bet.

I’m a Republican, but not a "Never Trump" Republican. I will tell you that some of the crazy things you said during the election baffled me. You certainly did not demonstrate being presidential for the most part. Maybe that’s what was appealing (appalling) to people.

I think you got elected because people have had enough with the same old - same old in Washington, D.C. We’re all tired of the same names, same declines and same outcomes and we’re ready for something different. I guess you’re it.

My only advice to you is: don’t be a post turtle. In case you don’t know what that is ...

An old rancher is talking about politics with a young man from the city. He compares a politician to a "post turtle". The young man doesn't understand and asks him what a post turtle is.

The old man says, "When you're driving down a country road and you see a fence post with a turtle balanced on top, that's a post turtle. You know he didn't get up there by himself. He doesn't belong there; You wonder who put him there; he can't get anything done while he's up there; and you just want to help the poor, dumb thing down."

Best of luck to you and America,

Kevin

KWIBS - From November 7, 2016 - By Kevin Noland

As I was mowing and weed eating on November the first, I was thinking, "When will this end?"

Well, it ends tomorrow - Hopefully.

Who knows when the grass will stop growing, but the election is officially over tomorrow at 7 p.m.

I often wonder what Facebook will look like after November 8th. I hope it goes back to its quirky self with pictures of families and fun posts.

I’m hoping for some good jokes about the candidates. I’ve found a few that made me giggle.

Donald Trump jokes:

- What airline does Donald Trump aspire to fly? Hair Force One!

- Why doesn’t Melania Trump want to be the first lady? Because she’d have to move into a smaller house.

- You know what Trump has besides money? A barber with a sense of humor.

Hillary Clinton jokes:

- Why won’t Hillary let her campaign staffers exercise? Because they might "feel the Bern...."

- Why is Hillary running for President? Because it’s easier than running from the law.

- A Fox News national poll found that people prefer Hillary Clinton to Donald Trump by 2 points. While an MSNBC poll found that Hillary Clinton has already been president for two years.

And.... for both Clinton and Trump:

- Trump and Clinton are the oldest nominees since 1848. Or as Bernie Sanders put it, "My first campaign!"

- A new poll found that the majority of millennials would vote for Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. Then millennials found out you can't vote by texting and said, 'Never mind!

- Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are on a plane. The plane crashed. Who survived? America...

God help us.... Have a great 4 years!

 

KWIBS - From October 31, 2016 - By Kevin Noland

I can’t believe it’s Halloween. It’s scary how fast time flies. Did you see what I did there?

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Sometime in the next few weeks Medicine Lodge will be getting a brand new restaurant. Noel Lopez will be opening "Cancun" on Hwy 281. I met Noel several years ago in Anthony and he’s been trying to get his family’s Mexican restaurant open here for a couple of years now. Watch the newspaper for information on his opening!

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We only have a couple of more weeks left of hearing about which candidate is grabbing inappropriate body parts or which candidate is the most corrupt. I personally can’t wait until 2020 when we restart the process, hopefully with brand new faces worthy of consideration.

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I missed getting a birthday greeting in the paper for my daughter and my oldest son. Bree’s birthday was October 3rd and Joey’s was October 28th. Happy birthday kiddos!

October always gets away from us with all of the birthdays we have.

Thursday is my wife’s birthday. For those of you who don’t know her, she’s the beautiful redhead I’ve had on my arm for the past 31 years, 3 of those years as my girlfriend. She’s still my girlfriend.

There are a few men who can claim they are blessed with a good woman. I’m one of those guys and I know it - and I don’t take it for granted. Ronda is my world and I take great pride in telling you what she means to me and wishing her a happy birthday.

Proverbs 31:10-12 says:

An excellent wife who can find? She is far more precious than jewels. The heart of her husband trusts in her, and he will have no lack of gain. She does him good, and not harm, all the days of her life. and

28-29: Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her; "many women have done excellently, but you surpass them all."

I found her. Happy Birthday Ronda, I love you.

KWIBS - From October 17, 2016 - By Kevin Noland

A lady I’ll call "Sandy", stopped in my office last week. She was a native of Mullinville, KS and was doing a historical book on her community.

My great-grandparents, Jock and Mom (Ethel) Noland were known as "Grandpa and Grandma Noland" in Mullinville from the 1930s-1970s when they passed away.

"Jock" was a mechanic and owned the garage in town that is now the home of Mullinville’s veterans’ memorial.

Folks remember Jock as the local go-to-fix-it-guy. Ethel was the town’s dooms-day prepper. She had a large cellar that many of the town’s folk gathered in when inclement weather approached.

Over the years I’ve run into many folks from Mullinville who remember my great-grandparents. All of the stories were of fond memories. They ran a skating rink and silent movie theater in town and eventually the mechanic shop.

I still know where the house they lived in is. When I stop at the Mullinville Cemetery I drive by the old house. It still has an "N" on the screen door.

Sandy recalls, "On the site of the Veterans’ memorial on HWY 154 which is on the NE corner of Main and the highway sat Jock’s Mechanic Shop for many years. In the beginning it was a service station run by Hoch Aldrich and Jock had a mechanic shop behind the service station. Then Jock purchased the whole building and turned it all into a mechanic shop.

Almost everyone in town at some point had Jock work on their cars. He was in business at that location and did some advertising in 1953-54 in the school annual. In 1956 his ad in the annual said: ‘Bring it to Jock’s. We do the Best."

Most of us remember Jock as a tease who loved to talk and shoot the bull with anyone within earshot. We can all see him perched on his folding chair outside the drive in door of the mechanic shop watching the traffic going by on the highway and holding the ever present pipe in his hand.

Everyone remembers him with the pipe, he never went anywhere without that pipe in his and or dangling out the side of his mouth. I don’t think most of us ever saw him in anything but his overalls. When he wasn’t sitting outside the mechanic shop, you could find him across the street at the Sinclair telling stories to the guys that would stop in there. Through the years Jock mentored a lot of young men on how to take care of their cars and how to fix them."

My cousin Dave Woolery recalled another story about Jock’s Mechanic Shop in Mullinville. Dave recalls that it was a gathering place for many of the local men. They would sit on his bench in front of the garage and drink sodas and smoke. Jock didn’t mind them hanging out, but didn’t have a public restroom.

This didn’t bother the men that came to visit. They would just go around behind his shop and relieve themselves in a drain grate he had behind the building. This irritated Jock and he asked them time and time again not to do that. They didn’t listen.

Jock devised a plan to stop this behavior. He wired up the metal grate to a car battery. It only took one person using the bathroom in the forbidden drain to teach the rest of the town a lesson.

Several years ago, I had heard they were tearing my great-grandpa’s shop down to build the memorial site. I found where many of the bricks had gone and purchased some from the man who had stored them. I have a few of them around my house.

I was very young when Mom and Jock passed away, but have many photos and have heard many stories about them.

Sandy’s book featuring my family is set to be published in the spring of 2017. I shared some stories and some photos with her for the book. I ordered some books to give to family.

KWIBS - From October 10, 2016 - By Kevin Noland

In about 60 days, my youngest son leaves for Great Lakes, IL for Recruit Training Command for the United States Navy.

It seems like when you are young, time lingers. As you get older, time flies.

Nick and I have been talking through some of the anxiety of starting this new chapter in his life. Four years for an 18 year old is nearly a quarter of their life as they know it. Four years for me was the end of Nick’s Freshman year in High School. It seems like it was only yesterday that he started grade school.

The relevance of time is a perspective that is uniquely appreciated by everyone. Some things like waiting for the birth of a child seems to take forever, while watching that child grow up is a flash before your eyes.

Nick will spend about 9 weeks in his basic training and then attend A and C schooling in the Carolinas. All of this will happen in just the first few months of his enlistment. From there, who knows where he’ll end up. Most likely because of his rate, he’ll be stationed with Marines somewhere.

60 days... That’s coming up very quickly.

One year ago, almost to the date, Nick was playing in one of his last high school football games. It was in Sedgwick, KS. We weren’t winning this game, but Nick was not about to give up. With just a few minutes to go in the 4th, Nick tried to arm tackle a running back heading for the endzone. Nick made the tackle, but in that moment, things changed for him.

Nick dislocated his right shoulder and tore his labrum. As a "future sailor" we reported the injury to his recruiter first thing on Monday morning after the Friday night game. The news wasn’t good. Without surgery, Nick was going to be disqualified by the Navy. With the surgery, there was no guarantee that he would be accepted either.

Nick was in surgery within about 10 days of his injury. He sat out basketball and barely made it back for baseball in March, but by April, he was medically cleared to play. While at MEPS in Kansas City (Military Entrance Processing Station), Nick was told by their surgeon that he would not be cleared for entrance into the Navy. By the end of the experience, another Navy Surgeon gave Nick the waiver he needed to enter and within hours of being told he would be sent home and denied, he was swearing in.

The delay from the injury caused Nick to lose his place for jobs and he enlisted as an Airman Undesignated. His recruiter said that Nick would basically leave boot camp and be assigned a job, probably on a ship. It wasn’t a guarantee that he’d get anything close to what he wanted, but Nick was just happy to finally get in.

Nick’s first choice rating was RP (religious program specialist). Religious Program Specialists assist Navy chaplains. Religious program specialists provide support to Navy chaplains in developing programs to meet the needs of Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard personnel and their families.

Obviously, Airman Undesignated was far from Nick’s choice for jobs in the Navy, but within about 3 days of swearing in, his recruiter called to offer Nick the RP job. There are about 889 of these positions in the Navy and 424 currently serve with Marine units. This late in the cycle, it is very unusual for a position like this to open up and Nick jumped at the chance and signed a new contract.

From 1942 to 1945, the Navy adopted the Specialist "W" rate (the "W" stood for Welfare) to address the specific wartime needs of Chaplains serving in World War II. Specialist "W's were at that time required to: Perform clerical duties; play piano and organ for worship services; be competent musical directors; not expected to serve as religious leaders (just as it is today for RPs); and be willing to serve anywhere under any conditions.

RPs have a lot of responsibilities like maintaining records, helping prepare religious services on bases and ships, and probably stacking Bibles and setting up chairs. One of the main responsibilities will be providing physical security for chaplains during field exercises and in combat environments. In the Navy, chaplains are not allowed to carry firearms. This is where an RP comes into service. For this reason, after his basic training Nick will attend schooling for his job and then receive combat training, probably with the Marines.

All of this is pretty overwhelming and time is ticking.

Everything we discuss now revolves around time. I try to remind Nick that 4 years ago, he was trembling the night before his first high school football game. He would be on a special teams kick off unit and play varsity squad. He was terrified, but that experience resulted in building confidence in himself, playing more varsity and eventually being selected for CPL honors by his Sophomore year. We look at pictures of his niece and nephew’s birth and we reminisce about the time that has passed. We look, with anticipation and some anxiety towards the next few months and years that he’ll be away. We talk about missing our first Christmas together and probably his birthday in February.

It’s pretty overwhelming, but talking about it helps us understand the relevance of time. In four short years Nick will thinking about the time he just spent in the Navy and deciding on what to do about his future. Although 4 years seems so far away, my experience is that it will fly by.

 

KWIBS - From October 3, 2016 - By Kevin Noland

What if no one would be elected president this time around and we all promised real hard to just be cool?

Ok, so that’s probably not an option. Our options are: A) Donald Trump; B) Hillary Clinton; C) none of the above or in other words, Gary Johnson.

I keep using the phrase, "In my adult life", as in "I’ve never seen anything like this in my adult life."

It’s true. Somehow, two candidates, neither deserving to be the leader of the greatest nation in the world, have become our choices for president.

We’re actually getting a lesson in oligarchy (the small group of people having control of our country) by only having these choices for president and they are using fear to make us think we have a meaningful choice between these two candidates that are preselected for us.

In all my adult life (see, there I go again), I’ve never seen the selection process dwindle down to two people who are so unpopular. We don’t need to go into the details of why neither Trump or Clinton are worthy of the Oval Office. That just creates a storm of emails back to me trying to convince me that I am biased towards one candidate or another. I’m not. I dislike them equally at this point.

"But you’ll have Hillary for a president if you don’t vote for Trump," one of my friends told me.

Then the opposite of that is that we’ll have Trump for president if I do? I don’t want my seal of approval on that either.

It’s controlled opposition. I would only vote for one of these candidates because I dislike the other one even more. What happened to the America where you actually believe in your candidate’s platform.

The debates did nothing for me other than confirm what I already knew. Clinton was well prepared and avoided talking about anything that would catch her in a lie/crime. Trump was just himself - completely oblivious. The only motivating factor for me in this presidential race is the fact that somebody will appoint some supreme court justices...

KWIBS - From September 26, 2016 - By Kevin Noland

I go to the state fair every year for a variety of reasons. Usually it revolves around a purchase for the ranch, food and music. We went on Friday, September 16.

This year is no different except for the fact that I brought home some nasty bug that laid me up for a few days with a fever, sore throat, cough and sniffles.

I attributed that to the many grubby children I saw running around picking their noses and touching things that I probably touched, and then picked my nose later.

Who doesn’t love a Pronto Pup?!? Me. That’s who. Who wants to spend their day at the fair running from bathroom to bathroom? Not me. That’s who. I had the lamb gyro. At least that’s what they claimed it was.

The first place Ronda and I stopped was to look at mowers and tractors. We’re approaching 22 years on one of our machines and you can always get a great deal at the fair. A man from Agri Center was there and showed us some of the newest New Hollands that are 0% for 84 months. I like free money. We talked for a while and he agreed to come look at our oldest machine and give us a trade quote. We shook on it and Tuesday would be the day.

Ronda and I moved from the heavy machinery (her least favorite part of the fair and my favorite) to the infomercial section... That’s what I call the merchant buildings. It’s like you can’t sleep and you’re up at 3 a.m. watching a commercial for a wondermop, only it’s like you fell back to sleep and had a bad dream where you have to walk isle after isle and look at everything that promises to revolutionize your life in some way.

Every year we walk by those jiggle-butt weight loss machines. I just like to stand there, watch and giggle, but I always get on one and I know someone behind me is giggling. (You know who I’m talking about Phil Hinz....) We also go past the dirty-foot-water booth. You know the one. It’s where you put your feet in warm water, they stick some electricity through it and you supposedly detox through your feet. Basically, it’s a scam, but my wife wanted to try it. I was tired, so sitting down with my feet in warm water was worth $20. Plus I got to make fun of the junk science the guy was trying to sell me.

After not spending $1,300 on this incredible machine that basically was my dirty feet in a rusty puddle of water made from the electrodes and salt, I made a mental note of how many strollers, wagons and scooters we had to maneuver around. I realize that I may need a scooter some day, but I didn’t that day and it was a pain in the butt. I didn’t want to stand in front of the amazing sun glasses cleaner any longer than I had to, but there were at least three scooters in front of us, probably stopped at the pretzel dip sample booth or getting their sun glasses cleaned.

I think they should have a special day at the fair for all strollers, wagons and scooters. They get in for free. Only those pulling, pushing or scooting are allowed in that day. Nobody walks. Or have a day where none of those are allowed at the fair and charge double! That’s the day I would go to the fair.

We finally made it out of there with most of our money intact (less $40 for the rusty foot water bath). That’s when we moved on to the grand finale of the evening: Lynard Skynard! That’s right. Ronda and I went to a concert where we were of the average age of our peers. This wouldn’t have happened if it weren’t for the fact that Bob and Valerie Slinkard couldn’t go and they had excellent seats! The concert was great!

We left and stopped at a small gas station on the south end of town. I said, "Look, there’s the band’s buses."

It was true. It was them. We’d watched them leave the same spot earlier in the day, saw the same buses at the show behind the stage and then followed them back to the same spot. While some call this stalking, I call it coincidence. I noticed there was a "bar and grill" sign on the hotel and I begged Ronda to pull in, much to her eye rolling. I’m just the kind of guy who would make an attempt at buying the band a round and trying to hang out with them. Hey, it worked at KISS a couple of months ago, if you remember.

We parked the truck, went inside and acted like I knew where we were going. We followed the signs around the corner and were met by a staff member of the hotel. He informed us that the bar was "closed" to the public that evening. I’m pretty sure I could have gotten passed this guy, but I wasn’t going to risk getting arrested out of town on a Friday night, so Ronda, being the sensible one of the two of us, grabbed my wrist and we left.

I was so close.

So Tuesday rolled around and I never heard from the tractor guy. I should have known there is no such thing as free money. Wednesday I finally got a call from the tractor guy. He was on his way out and apologized for the day-late delay.

As it turns out, he fell ill late on Friday of the fair and had to go home and start a round of antibiotics for some nasty bug he picked up..... I apologize to all grubby, nose picking kids at the fair for accusing them of making me sick.

Have a great week!

KWIBS - From September 19, 2016 - By Kevin Noland

Now is the time for all good men to come to the aid of their country.

I used to type that over and over and over...

Betty Frisbie worked for my Grandpa Bill, Uncle Gary and finally my dad way back in the old newspaper days.

As a way to keep me busy, Betty would load a sheet of paper into an old manual type writer and make me type that over and over again. I got pretty fast.

By the time I took typing in high school, I was probably faster than my teacher Anita Hughbanks.

I know I am faster than former MLHS teacher Dale McCurdy. We raced once. He says he won, but he made a lot of mistakes while typing that phrase.

Kids now days don’t seem to type as quickly or accurately as I did as a kid. Of course, now everything is done on tiny phones with small QWERTY keyboards using your thumbs.

That being said, they can type just about as fast on those screens as I can on a full size keyboard. That doesn’t go the same for my typing skills with my thumbs. For some dumb reason I can’t hit the space bar. I always hit the "N" and all my words run together on my phone.

And auto correct... Oh how I hate you auto correct.

You can get yourself into a lot of trouble by not proofing what you read before you send it...

"are you coming to my new years party?"

"Of course - I will be there."

"ok cool because ia m going to kill you at midnight."

"Ok on 2nd thought maybe I won’t go."

"haha. i mean i’m going to kiss you at midnight."

"hello? sorry....."

Havengreatnweek!

 

KWIBS - From September 12, 2016 - By Kevin Noland

Not many people know this about me, but I’m a pretty decent mechanic.

Maybe decent isn’t the right word.

I’m actually very good at breaking things, figuring out what I broke, finding out what it will cost to fix it and then determining whether or not I have the skill to fix it. In many cases, I’m very good at finding someone to fix it.

So, I’m a shade tree mechanic.

I had issues last week that all involved batteries. It’s like I upset the gods of voltage last week and had problems with electrical systems on four different machines. That’s not including the remote control batteries not working in my TV.

First it was Nick’s (youngest son’s) truck. He parked at the bank, went in, came out and his truck wouldn’t start. He walked to the office and said, "Dad, my truck is dead. It won’t start. It’s junk and I probably need a new one."

Nick is my "jump to conclusion" kid. If it isn’t running, it’s junk, broken and needing replaced

After I asked him what it did, I decided it was probably a battery cable. I grabbed a 1/2" wrench out of my truck, tightened the terminals and all was right with the world.

Next, "Farm Truck" died. I lovingly refer to our old truck as "Farm Truck" even though we don’t farm. It’s an older F350 dually that we use on the ranch to haul the trailer and mowers around. Nick had parked it and backed the mower off. When he returned several hours later, "Farm Truck" wouldn’t start. I determined it was a battery issue. We charged the battery up at the shed, put it back in "Farm Truck" and it started right up. We hauled the mower and trailer up to the house. All was right with the world.

Only it wasn’t....

"Farm Truck" was dead the next morning. I decided to back the mower off the trailer to disconnect the trailer and reconnect it to another vehicle. Strangely the mower battery was too weak to start the mower to back it off the trailer. So I grabbed a jump start battery pack I keep in my truck. It was dead too.

After some head scratching, I pulled both batteries and put them on the charger.

After a few hours, I put the battery back in the mower and it was up and running. Nick was able to mow for about 2 hours before the blades wouldn’t engage. Then the engine wouldn’t start.

Curse you voltage gods....

I can make a long story even longer, but when it came down to it, the mower needed a new battery after 4 years and the "Farm Truck" was just a problem of not getting the ignition turned all the way off. We just recently started leaving the keys in it.... (Thanks to Lane at Mike’s Service for figuring that out.)

Lastly, over Labor Day weekend Joey (my oldest son) had some friends down from college to ride our jetskis.

On one turn, the jetski just quit and two of his friends were stranded for a quite a while until Joey went and towed them back to the dock.

When I checked, there was no power to the dash. I knew it had to be a lose battery cable because I just put new batteries in both skis. That was pretty much my modus operandi for the week. I popped the hood, pulled out my handy 1/2" wrench, that I now just keep in my front right pocket, tightened things up and she started right up! All was right with the world.

Don’t tell my sons, they both think I’m a decent mechanic.

 

KWIBS - From September 5, 2016 - By Kevin Noland

Hey, if you see Summer, let her know Spring has been squatting on her time.

I’ve been so happy to see all the rain these past few weeks. It’s crazy to think that just 2 years ago we were praying daily for some sort of moisture. Now, it’s like a tropical jungle in some parts of the county.

With all that rain, we keep mowers running near around the clock at our place.

I bet you’d agree with me that it’s been one heck of a year for mowing the lawn and like most, you’re tired of cutting the grass. I’ll bet you’re not as tired as we are.

I’m sort of a statistics nerd, but in looking back from the time the mowing season started, three of us at Lake Arrowhead have logged just over 600 hours of mowing so far this season. That breaks down into 180 blades sharpened and/or replaced, 20 oil and filter changes (50 quarts of oil and 20 filters), 220 gallons of gasoline and 250 gallons of diesel used and more than $1,000 in repairs and another $6,000 in labor. That’s mowing almost 200 acres of recreation areas, roads and lots. We get done mowing just in time to start over at the beginning almost every 5 days with a 2 day break, if we’re lucky! It’s been an unusually busy season this year.

That should make you feel better about mowing your lawn!

Many of those hours were logged by Josh Ybarra and my son Nick Noland. These guys have mowed their butts off this summer, literally in one instance. I had to replace a seat on one of the mowers after Nick wore it out!

Thank you Josh and Nick for helping us keep things looking so nice this year. I’ve never seen a year like this where it’s been so green and lush.

As I hurry and finish this, I’m leaving early on another Wednesday to go out and do some more mowing!

Have a great week!

KWIBS - From August 22, 2016 - By Kevin Noland

Throughout life you meet people, and if you’re like me, you categorize them into acquaintances and "keepers". MT Main was in my "keeper" file.

Born Marion Tackle, MT and I met back in 2004 at the fitness center. At 74 years young, MT and I would do the tread mill and weights together.

A year later our band Dorfus CrackTractor formed. Justin Rugg, David Fasgold and I would practice in the back of my office. MT asked if it would be OK if he attended practices and we were fine with it.

He’d compliment or criticize what songs he liked or disliked and why. We actually took his advice. We even decided that we’d call him our "Manager". His only responsibility would be to show up and follow us around, but he was our biggest fan. MT actually road the bus to different venues we played at and he’d be the last one standing, helping us put our equipment away.

Even after the band stopped playing, MT kept up his friendship. Ronda and I brought him out to our lake and introduced him to jetskis. MT loved riding the jetskis. At almost 80, he’d climb on and mash the throttle and keep up with people half of his age. He was incredible and a blast to be around.

He confessed once that hanging out with us made him feel young. Making jokes about his age were fine with him. He once told a story about working for the telegraph company and one of us asked, "Was that right after you quit the pony express?"

We always ribbed MT and we always got a laugh out of him.

After a few years, MT’s health began to decline and he wanted to be closer to his family in Wisconsin. He stopped in the office and started out the conversation about moving with one of his signature statements, "I hope you’re not mad, but I’m going to move closer to my daughter in Monroe."

MT kept in touch and called once a month to check on his friends. A few months before he died he wanted me to know he had cancer and may not have much time left. He thanked me for our friendship and it was sincere and really touched me. MT was a "Keeper" and I was honored to be his friend.

His daughter called me last week. She had found my name and number in a book that he’d written in. He asked her that if anything happened to him, that someone call his friends in Kansas to let them know. My name was in his book. That made me smile.

 

KWIBS - From August 15, 2016 - By Kevin Noland

I’m usually too busy for any scheduled TV. I leave one on in my office to hear the news as it breaks, but lately that’s just been boring jabs from presidential candidates.

So when a buddy of mine asked if I was watching the Olympics, I had to confess that I had forgotten they were even on. So, no, at that time I had not watched a single minute of the Olympics.

While eating dinner the other night,women’s sand volleyball came on and I happened to catch that. I have to admitt, this is more of a late night Showtime event, but I see the athleticism in it. After that, I finally made an effort last week to watch some of the swimming events. I wasn’t as impressed as the womens sand volleyball.

My phone rang and I paused a mens swimming event and for the next 20 minutes while on the phone, this is what I had to look at....

 

KWIBS - From August 8, 2016 - By Kevin Noland

Nothing lasts forever, but even when you know it’s going to end and have been prepared for a month, you just aren’t ready.

But it’s not really an end. It’s just a date we’ve marked on the calendar that is Doris’s last day working here. We celebrated it last Friday with some gifts, cake and some laughs.

Bittersweet is the dumbest term I’ve ever heard of, but it’s true in this moment. We are so happy for Doris that she’ll be able to do many of the things in life that she’s wanted to do, but we are also so full of sadness that she’s leaving.

You couldn’t possibly understand our office unless you’ve worked here as long as Doris and she didn’t come here by much of her own choice. Way back (17.5 years ago) I had met Doris around town and knew of her work at Myrlen Bell’s office and then at Alco. She was smart, articulate and very friendly. I had to have her come work for me.

One day she walked passed our office and Ronda said, "Hey, there is that lady you’ve been talking about!"

We had been searching for the right person to add to our staff and I ran out the door after her. I think I sort of freaked her out by telling her quite bluntly, "I want you to come work for us!"

She actually didn’t say yes, but she didn’t say no either. A few days later, she accepted the offer and has become many things to us over the years, most importantly a friend.

She is replaceable, but only up to a point of work. There will be an empty place in our hearts. She’s always had a pretty great sense of humor, patience for me and my office pranks, done almost anything for us with minimal grumbling and eye-rolling and has always had our backs - in good times and in bad.

She said it best last week when she said, "This isn’t good-bye."

We know Doris will bless others like she’s blessed us for the past 17+ years. Ronda and I are so excited to welcome Brenda Head to the family. We’re already discovering she can tolerate us and our hectic schedules and wacky sense of humor! We know she’s a little overwhelmed, but we are confident in her!

KWIBS - From August 1, 2016 - By Kevin Noland

Last week, I checked Facebook early in the morning and discovered a friend request from someone I actually knew.

I accepted the request and noticed that I had just then hit 1,000 friends. I thought, no way... So I looked again, and sure enough, there were 1,000 names in my Facebook collection.

Thinking this was just too many and I couldn’t possibly know all these people, I logged in with intentions to thin out the herd.

I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t find one person to delete. I pretty much knew or liked everyone in my friends list!

Now, to be fair, some of these people are folks that I bonded out of jail through my other business and it’s a nice way to keep track and be able to contact them, but the others were ACTUAL friends, so I kind of "collect them"!

How blessed is the man with friends! Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 says: "Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up!"

Sometimes Facebook is full of trouble, but most of the time I find my friends posting photos of their life events, children, spouses and just funny stories.

Speaking of friends, I got a full dose of them during the last couple of weeks. Ronda and I went to Amarillo over a week ago to take our niece and nephew back and met up with Kyle and DeDe Vick. They met us half way from New Mexico. We love this little rendezvous because it allows us to stop and see Dale and Michele McCurdy! We had a great evening of catching up before heading home. I had to get back to pick up Nix White from the airport the very next day. On Monday, Nix and I hooked up with Mike Traffas, a fellow classmate, and took in the KISS concert.

It’s great having friends!

Our first KISS...

Before you read any further and roll your eyes, please understand this story isn’t about me bragging or being star struck, it’s about an experience I recently had that turned out to be nothing like I expected it to be.

Sometime during the last week of June, my friend Nix White called and asked if I wanted to go and see KISS in concert in Wichita on July 25th. Nix and I graduated from MLHS together in 1988 and we’ve made a point to get together as frequently as possible and "make some memories."

I have to be honest, and I was with Nix, I wasn’t a huge KISS fan. Admittedly, my very first Columbia House record order was KISS’s "Love Gun" in 1977. It was on 8-Track. I later bought "Lick it Up" in 1983 on cassette, but I’m sure that both of those are in a box somewhere in my garage or ended up in the trash after digital music became more popular.

I love live music, so it was easy to say YES to Nix to go to the concert. Little did I realize at the time that Nix was friends with KISS frontman Gene Simmon’s Personal Assistant - "Dave."

I learned later through some text messages that Nix was working a deal on some backstage passes. Nix always has some crazy connection to somebody. As a retired Navy SEAL and FrogX parachutist, Nix has met some interesting people in his life.

I had sort of forgotten all about the invitation to KISS from Nix until I got a phone call from him as I was traveling to Amarillo, TX just over a week ago.

"Hey man, I’ll be flying into Wichita on Sunday. You ready to see and meet KISS," he asked?

I was a little dumbfounded, but realized he was serious.

"Make sure you bring a record album or something. You’ll get an opportunity to have them sign whatever you want," Nix explained.

After a little more discussion and planning, I realized I had nothing to bring for the band to sign, so I put out an urgent request on Facebook. Claudia and David Vollbracht came to my rescue with the "Destroyer" album. When I got back from Texas, I went straight to their house and got that album.

The next day Nix’s flight arrived right on time and I picked him up at the airport and we met up with another classmate from MLHS’s class of 1988, Mike Traffas. Nix had made a last minute arrangement to get Mike in on the deal of going to KISS.

The last time I had seen Mike was last year at his brother Dan’s funeral. It wasn’t good circumstances that we met up and we didn’t have much time to visit, so this opportunity was perfect to catch up on what had been going on in his life for the past 30 years over lunch.

You have to rewind three decades to understand that Mike was an unlikely candidate to go to KISS with Nix and me. Nix and I wore parachute pants in the 80s, break danced, listened to rock music and had long hair. Mike would have been found in cowboy boots, wearing his cowboy hat and probably listening to Hank Williams, Jr at a nearby rodeo. We just weren’t "close" in high school, but finding out he was right there in Wichita, Nix really wanted to get together, and he couldn’t have picked a better person to take along.

We made arrangements to pick up Mike the next day and Nix and I came back to Medicine Lodge for a quick excursion out to our lake for some jetski time and then a quick visit to his former hometown of Medicine Lodge. The last time he was here, you might remember him landing on the football field and on Main Street with giant flag after he jumped out of a helicopter during Peace Treaty.

Monday, we got up and began the day that will forever change my impression of KISS.

After picking up Mike and making a quick lunch stop we arrived at Intrust Bank Arena at about 2:30 p.m. I had a contact there and reached out to "Kandace" for some special parking and a tour of the arena for me and my buddies. We actually name-dropped her and got to park right next to the security gate!

When we got to the area east of the arena we were met by a nice young man in a black security outfit who worked for Martin Security. Nix’s contact had given him instructions we were coming and that he would meet us at the security entrance. We parked and within a few minutes a gentlemen came out of the gates and welcomed us. "Dave" was a unique character.

He led us into a large lot full of semi trucks and black tour buses where he stopped at the first one and entered a security code that opened up the bus door. Inside was like a small office setting with big screen TVs and food and beverages. We sat down and Nix began catching up with Dave. Mike and I just sort of looked around and at each other, not believing we were actually doing this. People came in and out of the bus bringing in more food, getting instructions from Dave and picking up radios and other equipment. After a few minutes of small talk, Dave became very personal to both Mike and me and we got to know each other. After about an hour on the bus, Dave handed each of us wrist bands and, an honest to God "back stage, all access pass" with KISS on the front. I couldn’t get that thing around my neck fast enough.

We exited the bus and entered Intrust Bank Arena from a place I had never been before. Inside and past security were forklifts and people working like ants on a mission. There was a lot of commotion and Dave yelled, "You guys can go anywhere you want. I just ask that you stay off the stage and don’t go into the guys’ dressing rooms!"

Dave pointed out where the band would greet us and he disappeared into his madness of being Gene Simmon’s personal assistant.

Just seconds later, several Segwick County Sheriff cars led a convoy of Black Lincoln Navigators into the garage area where we were standing and out pops original members Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons and newer band members Tommy Thayer and Eric Singer. After some high-fives and handshakes, they grabbed some instruments and did a quick, up close and personal, very impromptu, 30 minute concert for about 30-40 fans waiting in the hallway.

My friend Kandace showed up and watched with us before we took our tour of the Intrust Bank Arena.

Here’s where every preconceived notion I ever had about the band KISS went out the window. There was no make up, there were no drugs and girls weren’t throwing themselves at the guys. It was just some really happy guys meeting some really happy fans. I felt a little out of my element. After KISS put their instruments back up, they came over and talked and signed autographs. Then the fans were escorted out the door and there we were with KISS and their crew. Since they had things to take care of before their concert that night (like putting on their make up and costumes, we went with Kandace and began our tour of the facility.

Nix and Mike hadn’t been there, so we took the personal tour and stopped in the suites to visit and rest for a minute. When we went back down stairs, Gene Simmons came out of a room in the hall, grabbed me and Kandace and yelled, "Group Hug!" Gene is a huge guy and my face and Kandace’s face ended up buried in his chest as he nearly crushed us to death, laughing the entire time. As we roamed the halls we would run into Gene, Paul, Tommy and Eric. It got to the point where it was really no big deal. We were just all there waiting for a concert to begin.

Gene was the funny one. At least 3 times during passing him in the hall, he would reach into his bag on his hip and throw handfuls of guitar picks at us. Later in the evening, he showed us how he could, with precision accuracy, launch a guitar pick and hit someone almost 40 feet away. It was just crazy. And yes, his tongue is that large (you’ve been dying to know, but that’s not what this story is about).

When we finished the tour, Dave sent Nix a text saying that the hospitality room was ready and we should come down for some food and beverages. My mind went crazy here. This is probably where the sex, drugs and rock-n-roll would be. I thought there would be some finger foods, sandwiches, chips and tons of alcohol, because that’s what rock bands eat and drink, right? Wrong.... We walked into a very nice buffet line with things like BBQ-Watermelon-Chicken-Legs, roasted pork and potatoes, baked squash and not a single drop of alcohol to be found.... and no, no drugs. There were men, children and ladies, presumably family members and staff in the room and everyone was talking and enjoying their meal. We sat down at a table and I had one fantastic, very normal meal!

So we were about 15 minutes out from the opening act to start and we just sort of hung out back stage. There was a lot of activity and we met some nice people. One guy was bouncing a ball off the wall and talking to a giant security guy. I walked by and said, "Hey man!" He said "hi" and while Nix and Mike went to the restroom, I learned that he was Caleb Johnson, season 13 "American Idol" winner. His set list was taped to a console backstage and I snapped a photo of it.

The plan from Dave was that when Caleb began performing, we would meet at section 112 for the opportunity of a photo with KISS in their full costumes and makeup. We’d have one final opportunity to talk with the guys after the fan club ran through their meet and greet and photo session. We had a different color of wrist band and passes than everyone else and we ended up in a group of about 15 people and began small talk with them. One lady and her 7 year old son had come from Switzerland by invitation of KISS’s tour manager. The young boy was pretty excited. His English was excellent, but hers, not so much, but we enjoyed talking with them. She accidentally got into KISS’s dressing room and was promptly ushered out.

I had read about KISS and putting on their makeup: "We had to go through torture to perfect the process of putting it on", Paul Stanley said. "I can remember plenty of times when I blinded myself with black eye make-up... In the beginning, the white was a zinc oxide cream which you can buy in any pharmacy. We didn't know what we were doing; we just wanted white faces...and the zinc oxide beat spraying ourselves with white paint. We eventually worked our way up to what's called 'clown white.' The two best brands are made by Stein's and Max Factor... At first, the black was Maybelline waterproof eyeliner, but it would crack because it's only meant to draw a line around your eye, not a whole star. Now we use black grease sticks, which are a more solid form of greasepaint."

After what I imagined was a few minutes of a grueling process of putting makeup on four men, we were ushered into a locker room / bathroom and down a short hallway to a room with a large KISS banner. In the room was a photographer, a security guard as big as a gorilla and a group of veterans with the local chapter of Wichita’s American Legion, including their families.

Some classic KISS music was pumped into the room through a small PA and folks started cheering. In walks KISS.... now about a foot taller than when I first met them, due to the platform shoes, in full costume and makeup. You couldn’t help but feel the excitement as they greeted the veterans and lined us all up for photos with the band. Gene squeezed my neck just before our photo. With their makeup and costumes on, they took on the persona of larger-than-life comic book-style characters.

Again, after the fan club people were finished, they were herded out to the left and Dave told us, "Go to the right and wait in the hallway." So Mike, Nix and I were standing in the hallway when this very pretty girl walks up to me and asks, "Are you Kevin Noland?" I blubbered out a "yes" and she explained why she was looking for me. Her husband’s band "Saving Abel" toured with my friends in "Aranda". She had been texting Gabe Aranda and he told her I was there and what I was wearing. She came looking for me and we took a selfie together and sent it to him.

Just then Paul Stanley and Tommy Thayer walk out and give us high-fives and make some small talk as they head towards the back of the stage entrance. Eric Singer, the drummer, walked up and got right in my face and started talking and asking me what I do for a living and how I ended up backstage with KISS. I gave him the Cliff Notes version. We had a few laughs and I asked him if it would be OK to video him with my phone and he was all cool about it.

In the video, I asked him to say hello to Sheriff Justin Rugg. He does and then grabs Gene Simmons as he walked past and got Gene Simmons to say hello to Justin as well. I texted that off to Justin. We spoke with Gene and Eric for a few more minutes and then we were directed towards an exit, which actually turned out to be an entrance to the back of KISS’s stage. We followed the band through the doors and the lights went off in the arena. I heard a loud bass hum that roared through the speakers. KISS walked up the stairs and we turned stage right, through a winding maize of computers, power amps and cords. When we emerged, we were in front of the stage.

That was the last contact we had with any of the band or any staff members that night, besides the occasional arm grabbing by security guards, which were brushed off when they saw our credentials.

KISS’s concert was really pretty incredible. I knew most of the music and I watched the show. I realized instantly how much these guys like to perform. The stage show featured fire breathing, fake blood-spitting, smoking and smashing guitars, shooting rockets, levitating drum kits, a center stage that was reached by pulley and harness systems and pyrotechnics that rival most 4th of July’s. It was pretty amazing to watch.

What I really took away from this show:

Not one curse word was uttered by the band.

KISS brought children up on stage to perform with them and gave them gifts.

I never saw or heard anything inappropriate in their behavior.

KISS took a break during the show to bring up the American Legion on stage to present them with a check for $150,000 to help wounded soldiers and their families; and honored all area veterans.

They asked us all to place our hands over our hearts and say the "Pledge of Allegiance".

Then they played the "Star Spangled Banner".

They closed with "Rock And Roll All Night." This is where Nix, Mike and I probably had the most fun. We were standing at the back of the room by this time, near a giant confetti machine that shot hundreds of pounds of paper into the air. The guy running the machines was having a blast shooting this stuff into the crowd and even throwing handfuls of it at us. We would pick it up and throw at each other and back at him and we laughed all the way out to the truck. I still have pieces of confetti in my truck.

This was a really cool experience; one I am probably never to see again in my lifetime. It was great to reconnect with Mike and spend the day with a couple of classmates. I can’t thank Nix enough for the invite and hope you enjoyed reading about my day with friends and ......KISS.

 

KWIBS - From July 25, 2016 - By Kevin Noland

I’ll be first to formally announce it, but you’ll be reading about it in the weeks to come. Doris Sorg is leaving the paper in a couple of weeks.

Doris has been with us for over 17 years.

So it came as a shock, but not a bad shock, that she told us over a week ago now that she would be winding this chapter of her life down.

She’ll go into her own details of what her plans for the future are soon, but I can tell you that Ronda and I are sad she’s leaving and at the same time, happy that she’s going to do some things in life she’s always wanted to do.

When you spend as much time together as Doris, Ronda and I have, you get into a pretty comfortable routine and you really get to know a person. We’ve shared many milestones: children going off to war, children getting married, becoming grandparents, experiencing the death of parents and grandparents - and so many more life events. 17+ years of friendship have made a bond unbreakable by an employee-employer relationship.

Over the years there have been some great office antics that have happened at the Premiere, pretty much on a daily basis. One of my favorite office pranks is the air horn. When you least expect it, I blow an air horn in the office. I do this strictly for the scream factor! Another one of my favorite pranks was when I hid in the new recycling bins from Nisly that were dropped off at our office and jumped out when Doris came in.

She’s handled me pretty well over the years. If anyone has ever had a reason to quit their job because of the working environment, it would be Doris. Instead of all the times she should have quit, she would either punch me or karate kick me. I’m going to miss those times.

I’ve barely touched on what wonderful thing she has done for us over the years, but they are too many to put in such a small space. Doris, know we love you and appreciate you.

You’re probably wondering who is going to replace her? Well, through answered prayer and a great stroke of luck, we will be introducing that new lady next week!

 

KWIBS - From July 18, 2016 - By Kevin Noland

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve noticed Pokémon Go is a phenomenon both ruining and… saving the world? In less than a week, the game has taken the world by storm, bringing Nintendo shares up by 25% and even beating out Tinder as one of the most popular mobile apps. Basically: people love Pokémon more than.... well, real love!

If you thought your kid or friends spent too much time looking at their cell phone screens already, there’s a new reason for them to get a kink in their necks.

It started at my house last week. Nick, my youngest son (18) calls at 11:30 p.m. one night and asks, "Hey, me and some friends *13 of them* want to go to Kiowa to a gym and take it over. Is that ok?"

I said, "Of course that’s not OK. What they heck are you talking about?"

So I get a 15 minute lecture that was mostly, "blah, blah pokestops, blah blah level up, blah, blah gyms, battle and I think I finally fell asleep around the discussion of Hyper Potion."

So the 13 or so kids from Medicine Lodge on the "red team" walked the main street of Kiowa that night, doing battle and taking over their gym there, stacking it with their Pokémon that they conveniently called "ML".

So the new Mason-Dixon line for Barber County has been drawn in the digital world of Pokemon. Kids now gather in small packs across the street from the Methodist Church in Medicine Lodge, battling each other. It’s everywhere.

I thought this was cute: This is a public notice that anyone caught hunting Pokemon on M-Bar Ranch or Lake Arrowhead property without written permission will be prosecuted to fullest extent of the law. We have been hand raising some top performers for years, their bloodlines are unprecedented and well sought after. If you would like to lease the property for next year, we are having a lottery draw and we will issue tags. All Pokemon caught must be checked in for our personal records.

Game Management

KWIBS - From July 11, 2016 - By Kevin Noland

I’m amused and annoyed by the confusion most people have about a candidate running for office.

You know, I hear things. People talk about this candidate or that candidate, but most are completely unaware of the facts and many times candidates are completely misrepresented. Sometimes, they’re completely dishonest.

Politics is an ugly thing.

I gave the political world a whirl several years ago, filing for county commissioner. I learned really fast that people are not what they appear when it comes to running for public office.

It doesn’t always happen this way on a local level, but the phrase, "Absolute power corrupts absolutely" does scare the *you know what* out of me. Power can go to your head.

From my experience as a candidate, everyone starts out with well meaning intentions. Unfortunately, outside influences usually seeking favors can tarnish good people who become politically motivated. Public service often turns into benefit packages. Those in power forget who they are serving.

I can honestly say that after the 2012 election, I saw good things from the gentleman I ran against. Bill Smith became the county commissioner in early 2013 after beating both me and Bob Packard for District 3. He’s done a good job for Barber County. Early on, I had ambitions to run against him again this year, but after seeing that his heart was in it and he had good intentions, I believe supporting him is the better decision for the county. Maybe I will give it a whirl again someday.

We’re not in the best of times, mostly because of real property and oil valuations on the decline. I know that our commissioners are trying very hard to balance budgets and keep our county’s momentum going through support for economic development and keeping taxes under control. That’s not an easy task given the state is also in financial trouble.

My advice to all the candidates is, "Keep it above board." Taking cheap shots and being malicious won’t gain you the respect of voters. At least not this one.

Have a great week!

KWIBS - From July 4, 2016 - By Kevin Noland

The tradition of Independence Day celebrations goes back to the 18th century and the American Revolution.

The day was only officially declared a federal holiday in 1941.

In June 1776, representatives of the 13 colonies then fighting in the revolutionary struggle weighed a resolution that would declare their independence from Great Britain. Actually, on July 2nd, the Continental Congress voted in favor of independence, and two days later its delegates adopted the Declaration of Independence, a historic document drafted by Thomas Jefferson. From 1776 until the present day, July 4th has been celebrated as the birth of American independence.

John Adams believed that July 2nd was the correct date on which to celebrate the birth of American independence, and would reportedly turn down invitations to appear at July 4th events in protest. Adams and Thomas Jefferson both died on July 4, 1826--the 50th anniversary of the adoption of the Declaration of Independence.

On July 2nd, the Continental Congress voted in favor of the resolution for independence. On that day, John Adams wrote to his wife Abigail that July 2 "will be celebrated, by succeeding Generations, as the great anniversary festival" and that the celebration should include "Pomp and Parade…Games, Sports, Guns (yes, guns...), Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other." On July 4th, the Congress formally adopted the Declaration of Independence, which had been written largely by Jefferson. Though the vote for actual independence took place on July 2nd, from then on the 4th became the day that was celebrated as the birth of American independence.

Whatever day you celebrate, remember that we don’t always agree on everything, but we did agree then, and should now, that we have to be a free people. More oppressive laws and less individual rights is what lead to the first revolution and that is what this country was founded on.

 

KWIBS - From June 27, 2016 - By Kevin Noland

PERSHAGEN, Sweden, June 23 (UPI) -- Audible flatulence resulted in one Swedish soccer player being ejected early during a lower-league match.

The Guardian reports that Pershagen SK defender Adam Lindin Ljungkvist, 25, was given a red card and sent out of a match against Järna SK's reserve team after the referee determined that his fart was "deliberate provocation" and "unsportsmanlike behavior."

"I had a bad stomach, so I simply let go," Ljungkvist said. "Then I received two yellow cards and then red. Yes, I was shocked, it's the strangest thing I have ever experienced in football."

Kristoffer Linde, who was playing on the opposite team of Ljungkvist, also admitted to the bizarre nature of the call but said he was able to hear the fart from his position on the field.

"I was standing a good distance away but I heard the fart loud and clear," Linde said. "It's the strangest thing I've seen on a pitch, and I've been playing football since I was eight years old."

Ljungkvist said he asked the referee why he was being penalized for his decision to "break wind a little" during the game and determined the referee must have believed he directed his flatulence at the opponent intentionally, according to Vice Sports.

"I can only surmise that he thinks I did it up against an opponent, but to provoke someone with a fart would be pretty bizarre," he said. "I just did a perfectly innocent fart, and got sent off for it."

Referee Dany Kako confirmed Ljungkvist's suspicions and stated he handed out a similar punishment in an incident that involved a player urinating on the field.

"I perceived it as deliberate provocation," Kako said. "He did it on purpose and it was inappropriate. Therefore, he received a yellow card."

Pershagen SK and Ljungkvist eventually lost the game 5-2 and he expressed his displeasure with the call to Kako after the game.

"To provoke anyone with a fart is not particularly smart or normal. It's nonsense – I just broke wind and got a red card," he said. "I spoke to the referee afterwards, I was annoyed, but there were no bad words. I just said he was a buffoon."

KWIBS - From June 20, 2016 - By Kevin Noland

I’m a man.

I consider myself pretty brave in most circumstances.

In comes a spider...

Now spiders freak me out and you can bet that any time I have an encounter with one and I see it first, I’m yelling for my wife to kill it.

But my wife wasn’t at the office on Thursday afternoon. Thank the Lord, White’s Foodliner Manager Norm Clouse was.

We were talking and I happened to look up and see this giant spider on my ceiling in my office. Norm saw it too. I have 12 foot ceilings, so I was not able to reach this spider and convinced Norm that he could reach it with a broom handle (because he was at least 6 inches taller than me).

The plan was simple: Knock it down and kill it.

The first part of our plan went flawlessly. Norm knocked it down, but it landed on my desk and immediately took up a defensive position behind some of my manly NRA magazines. We could see him, and I assumed with all of his 8 eyes, he could see us as well.

I decided that I would use some reverse psychology on the spider and approach him from the opposite direction and sort of herd him out into the open where Norm would be waiting to smack him with the broom handle. We got into position.

You should always have a plan and stick to the plan. For some reason, Norm decided to stick his hand in there too and the spider got confused. Long story short, the spider went in several directions; Norm and I bounced off of each other, knocked some things off my desk and screamed like a couple of teenage girls.

There stood the spider. Unscathed.

We regrouped and took an assessment of our well being. We were fine. I took my desk name plate and crushed the spider.

We are men, hear us scream.....

 

KWIBS - From June 13, 2016 - By Kevin Noland

This is a big week for us. A page turned, a volume number and an issue changed over on the front page.

We’re 25 years old.

Ronda and I officially started this newspaper in July of 1991. Like a couple of loose chains, we skipped a cog somewhere back in volume 2 or 3 and we ended up at 25 this week - two weeks early. Someone should research when that happened. So we’re 1,300 issues into this adventure. A few of you have been subscribers since day one and we appreciate that! A couple of famous longtime subscribers include Martina McBride and my buddy, retired Navy Seal, Nix White.

Here’s a nice transition....

I was on the phone with Nix White on Tuesday around 4:30 p.m. He called to congratulate my family for my son’s swearing in to the United States Navy.

My son raised his right hand on Tuesday after two days of MEPS in Kansas City. Nix was a pretty big influence in his life. Graduating from MLHS in 1988, Nix went off to Illinois for his basic training, just like Nick will. He’s always been there to encourage Nick.

Both Nix and Nick had and have a lot in common. Both were good athletes, about the same height and weight, average academics.... but most importantly, they both have big hearts to achieve big things in life!

Nix is now retired from the Navy and has a son of his own entering the Marines. It’s crazy to think our kids could be serving together somewhere in the world side by side at some point. It’s a real possibility.

I’d also like to wish my wife a Happy Anniversary! On June 17th, we’ll celebrate 28 years! I love you Ronda. :)

Have a great week! Congratulations Nick! And, thank you to our readers for 25 years!

 

KWIBS - From June 6, 2016 - By Kevin Noland

While the world was in an uproar with the killing of Harambe, apparently the world’s most gentle Gorilla, no one even noticed Lobby Joe’s great rescue and escape.

The lobster’s long voyage began when he was spotted sitting alone in a tank in a northern Ontario supermarket, by Christine Loughead. Perhaps because she was a vegan, she found the crustacean’s probable fate unbearable. "It weighed on my psyche more and more," she told the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.

Then it dawned on her. "It’s not too late to help. He’s alive."

Loughead bought the lobster for C$20.23 ($15.46), not exactly sure what she would do next. She took it home, telling it: "You are now not dinner," and naming it Lobby Joe. Cutting off the thick rubber bands around its claws, she put it in a saltwater tank in her home.

An online search suggested the lobster had probably been plucked out of the waters near Nova Scotia. Loughead reached out to an online vegan community in the area, appealing for help to release the lobster back into the ocean if she could find a way to get it to Halifax, some 3,000 kilometres away from Red Lake.

Her call was answered by Beth Kent, the founder of a local animal shelter in Bridgewater, a small town about an hour’s drive from Halifax.

Now Loughead had to figure out how to get the lobster to Kent. She called around; the nearest courier that would ship live animals was in Winnipeg, a six-hour drive from her town.

Loughead packed the lobster in a Styrofoam box padded with wet newspaper and cold packs, placing the box gingerly in the back seat and fastening the seat belt around it. The cost of shipping was C$225 ($172) while gas for the journey came to around C$160 ($122.30).

After 24 hours in transit, the box arrived in Nova Scotia. As Kent gently wrestled wet newspaper from the grasp of its claws, she told Lobby Joe: "Life is going to get better, OK?"

Kent first went to the site where she had planned to release the lobster, but hastily changed plans after spotting a fishing boat on the horizon. She instead released the lobster in a small cove. "There he goes, there he goes," Kent said excitedly as the lobster scrambled over the rocks.

Meanwhile, over 480,000 people had signed a petition on change.org called "Justice for Harambe" after the 17-year-old male Western Lowland Gorilla was put down last week after a 4 year boy fell into his enclosure.

For the record, I like my children alive and my lobster with melted butter.

Have a great week insane world!

 

KWIBS - From May 30, 2016 - By Kevin Noland

A positive person anticipates happiness, health and success, and believes he or she can overcome any obstacle and difficulty.

This describes my Uncle Gary Noland perfectly.

On a recent trip to Texas, we stopped and celebrated my Uncle Gary’s 73rd birthday with him and my Aunt Millie. Many of you will remember Gary from his Index days here in Medicine Lodge. He’s been in California and Montana and finally landed in Fort Worth many years ago.

My Uncle is a positive thinking person. He’s been through quite a few trials in his life. Almost 12 years ago, he was told he would die of colon cancer. He beat that and has lived a productive and healthy life since.

He was weak and tired during our visit, but positive. After we got home and a few days had passed, he called to tell me that he was in the hospital and was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer.

He was told with treatment, he might have a year, but he is positive.

Positive thinking is not accepted by everyone. Some, consider it as nonsense, and scoff at people who follow it, but I believe there is real power there.

"A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones." - Proverbs 17:22

My Uncle Gary had confessed he’d not been feeling well for quite a while and our visit made him laugh and he felt so good the next day.

I felt good too. We always have a good laugh when we’re together. I’m blessed to have so many family members close by. I wish he lived closer, but I am sure we’ll get back to see him soon, so I can spend more time with my Uncle Gary.

We’ll share some good medicine together.

Try it, you might find it works well.

Have a great week!

KWIBS - From May 23, 2016 - By Kevin Noland

Use whatever bathroom best fits your identity. That was the big story last week. Nothing trumped that - pun intended.

A letter the administration sent to school districts was signed by officials at the Justice Department and the Department of Education. A copy was posted on the Department of Justice’s website.

While the letter does not have the force of law, it does warn that schools that do not abide by the administration’s interpretation of civil rights under the Title IX law may face lawsuits or loss of federal aid.

"There is no room in our schools for discrimination of any kind, including discrimination against transgender students on the basis of their sex," Attorney General Loretta Lynch said in a statement.

First, let me say that I understand that since the beginning of time there have been men and women who have trouble with identifying their gender. The parts might be there, but they may not have developed a male or female brain.

There’s lots of science and solid clinical evidence for the chromosomal, anatomical and hormonal variations which lead some men to be "girly" and some girls to be "manly". This does not always mean they are gay or lesbian.

We all grew up with people who might have been a little more masculine or a little more feminine. It was just a fact of life, but we all got through school without the President telling us to open up our bathrooms to whoever wants to use them so that we don’t discriminate against them.

My personal feelings are that it goes against the values of so many people to grant "rights" to those who wish to identify themselves with being transgender.

Although I am compassionate to those who were born and identify this way, I see it as a slippery slope to start granting special rights to anyone identifying themselves as a different gender, a different race, a different animal or whatever they identify themselves with.

Even though my brain identifies myself as a 18-year-old teenager, my body still says, "Wait a minute, you’re nearly a 47-year-old, middle-aged man. Don’t try that."

Like it or not, more people will take advantage of this forceful "recommendation" by the Obama Administration’s Justice Department than you might think. It will lead to some very uncomfortable situations in bathrooms across the country.

Some common sense and common ground can be met in addressing this issue without causing embarrassment and discomfort to a majority of students and parents, all while preserving the rights of the few who this effects.

Our world has gone mad with political correctness, to the point where we aren’t even close to being correct.

Is this story more important than the 25 Iraqi citizens who were tortured and killed by ISIS last week? ISIS lowered people into Nitric Acid and we heard virtually nothing about that, but everytime my TV was on this week, I had to hear about bathroom equality? We’re really being distracted by this type of news.

For the record, I used the women’s bathroom at a Walgreens in Texas last weekend after I found the mens room locked up. I didn’t identify myself as anything but "desperate" and made my wife stand guard outside the door.

Have a great week!

 

KWIBS - From May 16, 2016 - By Kevin Noland

I came across some interesting information about funny words that were actually made up by former presidents that we still use today. I hope you get a kick out of this.

"Iffy" - Franklin D. Roosevelt invented this term in the 1930s to dismiss questions at various press conferences. Today, we use it to communicate the status of that month-old bread in the refrigerator.

"Sugarcoat" - Upon sending an urgent message to Congress, Abraham Lincoln said about Southerners: "With rebellion thus sugar-coated they have been drugging the public mind of their section for more than 30 years." An official government printer found the term to be too casual and asked Lincoln to change it for the record. Lincoln refused. The result: The perfect word-bomb to drop in your next argument.

"Snowmageddon" - Although President Obama made the comment on the popular Michael Bay flick when he first used this term to describe the huge snowstorm that hit Washington, D.C., in 2010, I had also used it in a headline in this newspaper. The snow may have melted, but the saying has stuck.

"Belittle" - In 1788, Thomas Jefferson was so inspired while writing about the natural beauty of his home state, Virginia, that he just had to make up a whole new word to describe it. "The Count de Buffon believes that nature belittles her productions on this side of the Atlantic." Boom: "Belittle" was born. But Jefferson didn’t stop there. The third U.S. President gets credit for more than 100 new words such as: lengthily, monotonously, and (randomly enough) pedicure.

"Squatter" - Are out-of-work hipsters camping out in your neighbor’s apartment? Well, thanks to James Madison, there’s a word for them! The first recorded use of the word "squatter" was in a 1788 letter from Madison to George Washington, discussing homeless Maine residents that lived on other people’s property. If it's good enough for a president...

Have a great week!

KWIBS - From May 9, 2016 - By Kevin Noland

A guy just won the Republican nomination for president by taking no money, hiring no pollsters, running virtually no TV ads, and just saying what he truly believed no matter how many times people told him he couldn't say that. It doesn’t hurt that he’s hugely rich and a popular TV personality.

Love him or hate him, Trump is the nominee. Personally, I hate him. Fortunately, I hate Hillary even more. She has far more political experience, but I would have taken a Sanders Presidency over potentially having her win, which she will.

The rise of popularity for Trump reminds me of a 2006 comedy Called "Idiocracy".

The movie, once considered a comedy, now probably considered a documentary, as the film’s screenwriter Etan Cohen tweeted out recently.

In 2005, average in every way, PVT. Joe Bowers (Luke Wilson) is selected to take part in a secret military experiment to put him in hibernation for a year along with a woman named Rita (Maya Rudolph). The slumbering duo is forgotten when the base they are stored on is closed down and are left in stasis until 2505. When they finally wake up, they discover the average intelligence of humans has decreased so much that Joe is now the smartest man in the world.

In the future, Joe finds that the United States has elected a pro wrestler as the president and a great famine has stricken the world because they water their crops with a sports drink named "Brawndo", whose parent corporation had purchased the FDA, FCC, and USDA.

The human population has become morbidly stupid, speak only low registers of English competently, are profoundly anti-intellectual, and are named after corporate products.

President Camacho (the pro wrestler) gives Joe the job of fixing the nation's food shortages.

But I regress.... My column is simply pointing out that the future is closer than it may appear.

Have a great week!

KWIBS - From May 2, 2016 - By Kevin Noland

Hi! Welcome to Barber County where one month we’re on fire and the next month we’re under water....

I am just kidding, well sort of. The recent rains have really changed the appearance of the burned Gyp Hills. It doesn’t rebuild fences or homes, but it sure made the ground beautiful.

Help is still coming in for our area and we are grateful for the help coming from our neighbors. It’s a blessing to see how people have reached out to help those affected by this devastating fire.

Very soon, we’ll be featuring the journey of Don and Carol Gerstner. The Gerstners lost their home in the fire. 87-year-old Don Gerstner told me two days after the fire that he was going to completely rebuild. I thought maybe he was joking, but he’s not and he’s already begun! I’d say that’s Barber County Tough right there.

A friend from Wichita asked me an interesting question that I couldn’t answer. He asked if the fires got rid of ticks and other insects. I don’t know the answer to that. Some of you folks that live out there should drop me a note at knoland@attica.net and tell me what you’re seeing.

Ticks are becoming an issue in the north part of the county. After spending several days mowing and trimming after the previous rain, I found a tick on the back of my leg.

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Congratulations again to the MLHS class of 2016. My youngest son and 37 of his classmates took the traditional wheat truck ride Friday. This year it was raining about as hard as I have seen it rain for years. I still saw a couple of them throw water balloons!

Have a great week!

KWIBS - From April 25, 2016 - By Kevin Noland

What a bitter sweet moment in our lives as we celebrate the graduation of our last son, Nicholas Noland.

It seemed like only yesterday that he got his nursery school graduation certificate, we were flying kites on the primary school playground for kite day, that he went to his first school dance, and that he suited up and was a starter for the Indian football team.

Now he’s walking across that stage to get his diploma and begin a new chapter in his life.

I’ve had two other children graduate from MLHS, Breeann in 2008 and Joey in 2011. It’s very emotional to build a senior edition for the newspaper when your children are pictured. It’s even more emotional when it’s your last child to graduate.

Each of my children’s classes had so many special people in them that all grew up together. Nick’s class is no different. He went to school with many of these kids since preschool. They are all about to venture off in different directions, but I encourage them to stay in touch and keep that bond.

Nick let me read his "story" he wrote for his English IV class. It was about his life and growing up with his friends and family. It was truly a "life flashes in front of your eyes" moment for me.

This entire year has been. Amy Axline and I have had a special joke between us since the High School Parents’ Night back in August. We say, "This is the last time........."

Well Amy, this is the last time I get to write about my child graduating from high school in my newspaper!

I love all these kids and am so proud of them. I’m also proud and love our faculty at MLHS and throughout the district. You’ve helped us raise some pretty special kids from this community.

Good luck to you all and congratulations to the MLHS class of 2016!! Especially you, Nick Noland!

KWIBS - From April 18, 2016 - By Kevin Noland

Some of my fondest memories as a child were growing up at the Index in Medicine Lodge. My father, Uncle and Grandfather all had a part in my love for the newspaper business.

Another person who kept me going in the industry was Rose Mary Shoemaker. "Rosie" worked for my family for what seemed like forever and she retired from there when I was almost a senior in high school.

She was the only employee who worked for my father that I ever had any real fear of. My dad had given her special permission to whip my tail if I needed it. She never did, but she came close several times.

Rosie got me in to scouting when I was very young. I still have my uniform hanging in my closet. I remember her taking her book out at work and asking me how I was doing on my projects. She even helped my dad build me a pinewood derby car in the print shop.

Almost every Friday afternoon, we’d set up a big table in the composing room, grab all of our loose change and play poker. I remember how mad she would get when she had a really good hand and the phone would ring, or a customer would rattle the locked door.

Over the years she saw so many changes in the newspaper industry and she got fussy each time we’d add some new equipment, but she’d always get it figured out. I’ve never seen anyone who could type as fast as she did on a screen that only showed 24 characters at a time. She could type so fast, I couldn’t read it.

Rosie came into my office after we started the Premiere in 1991, each and every week until the time she moved to Texas. She was a gem of a lady and we are honored to have known her and I am thankful she was part of my life.

KWIBS - From April 4, 2016 - By Kevin Noland

With the recent fires in Barber County, Facebook has become a very resourceful tool at sharing information.

That doesn’t threaten me as a newspaper. I embrace it and encourage it. However, remember that social media is not a permanent record of the accounts of Anderson Creek Fire. In 25 years from now, no one will find the posts regarding the events. We’re doing our very best to record these stories and need your help.

If you have something you wish to be preserved for the record, send it to us for publication even if you have posted it on Facebook.

An example of how newspapers preserve the historical aspects of events comes from last week’s Premiere from an article printed in 1896:

"On Sunday, Charley Porter’s house and furnishings near Pixley, were entirely destroyed by fire. How the fire originated is only a matter of conjecture and all speculation. Mr. Porter and his family had gone to a neighbor’s house on a visit when the fire started and before anyone could get to the scene of conflagration, everything was in ashes. The building was uninsured. Happily the next morning that gentle whole-souled fellow, Tom Murphy, started a subscription paper to partly replace Mr. Porter’s loss and before eight had something like $300. A people who will stand with each other in times of misfortune and adversity is the best and noblest of humanity."

These stories being published online will disappear with no historical archiving and all that will remain is the printed information. Please, if you have something important you want preserved, send it to us for publication. We want your story remembered for future generations.

Thanks again to our fire fighters and volunteers!

KWIBS - From March 28, 2016 - By Kevin Noland

When you hear people talk about last week’s wildfires and say, "I’ve never seen anything like that in my entire life," take it to heart.

I spent most of Wednesday out west of town with a friend whose house was in a direct path of destruction. We had a tanker truck, two 50 gallon sprayers on UTVs and a spray truck.

We watched as the fire came in along the south side of the Medicine River on River Road. It had already jumped that line north of us. We just sat and watched and waited.

At about 5:45 p.m. the wind shifted and blew the fire around his place, but the fire raged on towards Medicine Lodge. God was good to my friends.

Many people took the voluntary evacuation measures to heart and there was a steady line of cars leaving north on 281 at around 8 p.m. when I was coming back through town.

Tears of joy and sorrow were shared by so many when good news and bad news came over the radios. Some had barely escaped losing their homes, some lost theirs and some lost their buildings and other property.

Our local fire fighters are absolute heroes. Many of them went two or more days with no sleep. Rick Wesley must be a ragged mess, but is to be commended for his efforts, when at times, there was nothing he or his men could do but watch as that fire ripped through areas of our county.

Those other departments from other communities, too many to list here; we owe our gratitude to. Thanks for having our backs.

Thanks to our Sheriff’s Office, EMTs, City Officials, MLPD and County for staying and organizing efforts.

I was so grateful for the sandwich meat, bread and chips that magically appeared in Landon Cunningham’s truck that day out west of town.

And thank the good Lord above and pray for rain for our dry lands.

Have a great week!

KWIBS - From March 21, 2016 - By Kevin Noland

It’s been a few years since I was allowed a "Spring Break". In fact, it’s been a lot of years. That term sort of no longer applies when you are an adult, but since I have a son who is a Senior at MLHS, I felt that a "Spring Break" was in order. We took Nick to New Mexico. Our trip was designed so that we could spend time with Ronda’s brother and family - Kyle, DeDe, Lily and Sam Vick.

While there, DeDe informed me that I should somehow incorporate Sam and Lily into my column because they had never been in it before. Well, that’s easy enough to rectify!

KWIBS - From March 7, 2016 - By Kevin Noland

Do you want tighter abs, inches off your waist and lose up to 7 lbs. in one week?

Sure you do and I’ve got the secret on how to do it!

I started on Tuesday, February 23 and it didn’t take me long to feel the burn in my abs. By Friday I had already dropped 4 lbs. The sweating was brutal, but I achieved my goal by the following Tuesday morning.

You’re getting excited and you want to know more!

From all accounts, you can do this at home for FREE! That’s right, absolutely FREE. It takes 1-4 days for results to start.

You might think, this is too unbelievable. You’re asking, I can get this for free, at home and it starts doing all of the above within 1-4 days? I know your hesitation, you’ve seen ads on TV and you might be one of those people, like myself, who have bought into the latest gimmick and found out it was too good to be true.

Well, this isn’t. It works.

I’m pretty sure I got my starter kit from Doris, who brought it to work the week before. She probably was licking my keyboard or coughed on my phone when I wasn’t in the office and I caught it after coming back. It was most likely the latest strain of respiratory influenza.

I’ve been lucky to not have caught this bug for several years, but my luck ran out. With lots of coughing, sneezing, aching, a fever, probably being possessed by demons and more, I did drop about 7 lbs. I’m pretty sure I blew my nose so hard once that it popped and I heard a seagull fart on a beach in South California.

I hope I can keep the weight off, but I hope I didn’t pass it along to anyone else. It comes on fast and seems to linger.

As I type this, I can hear Doris coughing in her area up front. It’s too late this year, but I am going to see about putting her in a bubble the next flu season (October - April).

Have a great week!

And Happy Birthday Mom!

Love Kevin and Rhonda and families!

KWIBS - From February 29, 2016 - By Kevin Noland

You know how I love the odd news and the crazy stories.

I have a cousin, by marriage, that I’ve always thought could belch louder than any human known.

His belch is so loud that one afternoon at the lake, his belch called in about 100 head of cattle to the fence line. I’m not kidding. This event was witnessed by many people in our family and friends at the lake.

This story popped up on my news feed early Thursday morning and I sent the story to my cousin:

Australia, Feb. 25 (UPI) -- An Australian man set the world record for the loudest burp by producing a belch that reached over 110 decibels.

Nev Sharp's unofficial record of 110.6 decibels was measured by NT News as he awaits a response from Guinness World Records to have his burp tested.

"It's [the world record] been a bit of a goal from when I was a kid," he said. "I'm always training."

Although not officially registered by Guinness World Records, Sharp's impressive burp edges out the current record of 109.9 decibels set by a UK man Paul Hunn in 2009.

Sharp said he learned the skill from his sister (she sounds like a keeper) and prepares for his burps by drinking various carbonated beverages as well as cold water.

"It would've been 600ml Coke and some cool water," he told ABC News. "And my beer fridge is always full."

His burp registers as, "louder than a snowmobile or motorcycle and a power saw from one meter away."

I don’t know where to find a decibel meter, but I want to find one desperately. I’m pretty sure my cousin could beat this guy.

Have a great week!

 

KWIBS - From February 22, 2016 - By Kevin Noland

I’d like to take this very short space to wish my youngest a big HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!

Nick Noland turns 18 on Thursday. Last week he said to me, "I can’t wait to go register to vote! I’ve already got the papers filled out!"

I didn’t even bother to ask him his party affiliation. I’m pretty sure I can guess that!

It’s pretty wild to think my baby is now old enough to be drafted and can now vote!

It’s hard to believe this was Nick (and his teacher Gail Ferguson) around 2002.

Happy Birthday Nicholas Tate Noland. Your mom and I are so proud of you!

Have a great week!

 

KWIBS - From February 15, 2016 - By Kevin Noland

Since no one fire bombed my office last week concerning my Donald Trump comments, I will bust out my opinion of Hillary Clinton this week.... as promised.

Of all the candidates gracing the debate stages, Mrs. Clinton is the most experienced in all areas of government.

Wow, you said, as your mouth hit the floor.

Unfortunately, Mrs. Clinton cannot be trusted as PUSA. She has been misleading and untrustworthy for most of her career.

I know Bernie Sanders might be sick of talking about Hillary’s emails, but we must regress.

You might wonder if Hillary Clinton's email scandal is something to worry about and the short answer is - yes it is. She was the Secretary of State and in that role she had access to top secret information that only the top people in government knew.

For example - when we moved in to kill Osama bin Laden, Hillary is pictured in the room with Obama watching it all unfold. She was also involved with the Iranian nuclear weapons discussions and deals, the wars in Syria, Egypt, Libya, and Tunisia. When you are dealing with these kinds of important issues, you don't do that on a home server that is filtered through a commercial spam filtering service.

I still am a partner in that type of home server email business. As secure as we want to make it, it is not completely secure when done the way she did it.

I'm amazed that the Obama administration and the State Department let her get away with it. They all had to have known she was doing it because her email address wasn't @state.gov, it was @clintonemail.com, So the other people in the Obama administration knew what she was doing and just let her do it.

I wish this were the only reason I could not trust her as PUSA, but it’s not..... It is however, significantly serious.

 

KWIBS - From February 8, 2016 - By Kevin Noland

I’m going to come right out and say it. It’s going to make some of you angry and some of my family and friends even more angry, but I don’t care for Donald Trump as a presidential candidate - of any party.

The billionaire real estate mogul turned reality TV star reminds me of a drunken frat boy with no mouth filter. He’s a sideshow.

Here are a few of the reasons I won’t be voting for him.

- His hair is awful. We need a president who has good hair. His weird "rug" or "piece" is hard to look at, sort of like not wanting to look at a car accident, but being drawn to it. It sort of wraps around his whole head and molds into his eyebrows. I read a report that scientists have been trying to study its perplexing anti-gravitational properties, but could not afford the licensing fees he demands.

- He’s terrible on his own TV reality show. The Apprentice is dumb. The premises is: you work for the Donald and compete against others to win a prize.. or be fired. So it’s like winning Publisher’s Clearing House and having the prize delivered by clowns wielding chainsaws. Who could take him seriously as president when he sits at the board room table and says, "You’re fired!"

- He flaunts it. Yep, he’s got a lot of money and he loves to tell you about it. Coming from humble beginnings, he got only a mere $1 million loan from his poor father to start his first business. He tells us he wants to make America great again. I know we’ve got our share of problems, but we are still a great nation. We could be greater I suppose, but we’re not, not great....... If that were true, we wouldn’t need to build a wall at the border to keep immigrants in check. They obviously think we’re pretty great and want in here. I agree with them.

- He’s terrible with social media. Perhaps a new label for Trump should be, "Tweetarded" is in order. I’m sure he writes his own stuff, and that scares me more. From the birther statements to the Chinese inventing global warming, he never fails to squeeze all his BS into the allowed 140 characters. My favorite tweet from Trump: "I have never seen a thin person drinking Diet Coke."

I could go on and on, but I won’t. I will tell you that I would vote for him any day of the week if it were between him and Hillary Clinton...... She’d be another column. God help the Republican party though....

 

KWIBS - From February 1, 2016 - By Kevin Noland

A fun little history lesson about this column.

Doris found a snippet my dad wrote in February of 1976, "I have been toying with the idea of starting a personal column for the Indiex for the past three years," he wrote.

Dad was also "toying around" with the title KWICK KWIBS, Jr.

When we started our newspaper in 1991, I had been writing "KWIBS" for the Index for about two years. My early columns were terrible, even worse than today. I know, you can’t believe it. I brought the name with me when Ronda and I started The Gyp Hill Premiere. Many people over the years have asked me, where the name came from.

Now, the column name "KWICK KWIBS, Jr" by my dad, Ron Noland, came from his father (my Grandpa Bill). In 1946 my Grandpa Bill bought his first newspaper, the Logan Republican. He started a column called "KWICK KWIBS".

Well, I’ve read some of my grandpa’s and dad’s early columns and I am glad to say that I come from a long line of some terrible writers! Seriously though, some of these columns were very well done and made me smile to think how far back my heritage in the newspaper business goes.

It dawned on my last week that my grandpa wrote KWICK KWIBS for 24 years. My dad wrote KWICK KWIBS for 12 years and I have written KWIBS for over 25 years now. I’m the winner. Of what, I do not know.....

KWIBS, of some form, has been a part of Kansas newspaper history for 70 years now, with a few years of gaps in between. Possibly, there are over 3,000 columns with the name "KWIBS" on them.

 

KWIBS - From January 25, 2016 - By Kevin Noland

If you ate breakfast, lunch or supper today, thank a farmer and rancher.

By appearance, you might think I need to slow down on "thanking". I’m working on that by trying to eat healthier and exercise, but they do such a darn good job!

Farming and ranching are far more labor-intensive, than most of our jobs are and most of us forget about the hard work that goes into feeding America - even the world.

I have a unique perspective on this industry through experience on our family’s ranch. Although my experience might be limited to getting a calf back on the right side of a fence at times, I do see how hard those who work the land have it and I appreciate what they do.

Around this time of the year, every year, for the past 25 years, we have dedicated a special edition of our newspaper to the farming and ranching community, especially to the Conservation District and its members.

We live in a time where conservation is a household word, but do we really know what it means to conserve? Those who’ve been in this business for generations do know and they not only practice conservation, they live it.

Maybe many of the articles this week won’t interest you, but at least take a moment to think about what it takes to put food on your table and if you know a farmer or rancher, take a moment to thank them for their labor of love and for conserving our land for the generations to come.

Thank you conservation folks! I hope you have a great banquet and awards ceremony!

KWIBS - From January 18, 2016 - By Kevin Noland

So my desperate call for a calendar column worked last week!

One was left anonymously at the door with a nice note on it another slipped its way into my drop box on Thursday. I appreciate that more than you can imagine! I love living in a community that will allow me to ask for a calendar in my column on a Monday and have one delivered to my door on a Tuesday!

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Heaven got a little sweeter this week. It is very sad to say goodbye to Darrel Rhea and Dave Rausch. Both of these guys made huge impacts on my life. I sat with Darrel at many basketball games throughout the years. Darrel was a Merchant Marine veteran in World War II and a US Air Force veteran of the Korean Conflict. He was a kind gentleman. It was a pleasure to know him and my thoughts and prayers go out to his family.

I learned of Dave’s passing at cards Tuesday night. He was a player at a different table with a different group of guys who play on Wednesdays, but they shared the news on Facebook and I was able to share the news with our card group.

Dave has been after me for years to rejoin the golf club. I had quit after not getting better than an 18 handicap after 5 years of playing. I was never really into it, but Dave never let up on me. He was a heck of a good dude and I know his friends and family have heavy hearts.

I’m sorry that my column is such a downer this week.

I also wish to extend my sympathy to the family of Sherrill Orr. Sherrill and I used to catch up on life at the grocery store. For some reason, it seemed we did our shopping at the same time! Her brother Bob Packard is my friend and Tuesday night card player. I’m so sorry for your loss.

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I pray that God comforts our community. We are a big family. Everyone knows everyone, and that’s not a bad thing when we realize how precious life is.

Have a great week.

 

KWIBS - From January 11, 2016 - By Kevin Noland

Suddenly, and without warning, no one gave me a new calendar this year.

My "Walking Dead" calendar still says December 2015. There’s nothing behind that last page. I checked.

I opened a drawer in my office and found 4 unused 2015 calendars, but I can’t find a single 2016.

I know I have a calendar on my iPhone, but I like to write on a real calendar to remember when I did things and be able to look forward by flipping pages.

Call me old-fashioned, but someone please bring me a full-sized calendar for 2016!

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Speaking of iPhones and calendars, did you know that the device you hold in your hand today has hundreds, maybe thousands of times more computing power than the entire Apollo 11 mission team had in 1969?

I was nerding out this week and read that the moon lander had about 64kb. That’s hard to imagine when most cell phones’ cameras are 5mb and most phones are 16gb or more these days.

One of my favorite things to say to my kids is.. "When I was your age..." Then I launch myself into a long-winded story of my childhood that they roll their eyes at.

Seriously though, I had an Atari with a black and white TV. My kids have a 52" LED with XBlock, or something like that.

Kids nowadays have it pretty good. They have a million options for entertainment, tons of resources to learn new things, and gadgets that make life's little annoyances so much easier.

But everything has its downside. Though we're grateful for technology, we'll never regret not having more of it growing up. Because if we'd had today's gadgets and gizmos back then, we would have missed out on family time watching TV together and fighting with our siblings over the remote, before the time of DVRs. Heck, we might not even know how to read an analog clock or read a map.

I just need to know what day it is without finding my calendar app on my phone. Have a great week!

 

KWIBS - From January 4, 2016 - By Kevin Noland

We made it through the holidays and now we’re into a brand new year. I know this because I went to write something down on my calendar for January and realized I was on the last page.

Let’s be truthful for a moment. Unless you are a kid, Christmas is work. Maybe I’m doing it wrong.

I worked very hard to simplify Christmas this year. We drew names, only partially decorated our tree, did potluck meals and tried hard not to go "Overboard" with the gift giving and expense of shopping

Maybe I’m doing it wrong.

According to Gallup, the average American spent $830 on Christmas gifts and that’s up from last year when average people only spent $720. I’m guessing if you are reading this, you are laughing and wondering what the heck happened? That average factors in those who spend $0 at Christmas, so the numbers are skewed a little. 30% of Americans spent more than $1,000.

While there’s nothing wrong with the spirit of giving, I strongly believe we’ve gone astray on this special holiday (I did intend for that to rhymm).

Do you think I’m wrong? Try this simple social experiment in your home like I did.

I made the suggestion that we far overspent on Christmas this year. Then I suggested that we just take $1,000 and donate it to a good cause in the name of our family. I read where one family gives each of their children $50 to put in an envelope on their tree to someone in need. That’s pretty cool!

It wasn’t a popular suggestion, but it hopefully got my family to thinking about what this season is all about. Look around you. Are you comfortable, warm, fed, healthy? There are others that are not so fortunate in the world.

Can you imagine what the world would be like, if we celebrated the true meaning of Christmas? It doesn’t have to be just once a year.

It’s also easier said than done, but I want to try a little bit harder in 2016.

Happy New Year!

KWIBS - From December 21, 2015 - By Kevin Noland

It has been my privilege over the past 24 years to print the Santa letters in the newspaper. I also take advantage of the opportunity to showcase my kids and grandkids during this time of the year as you’ve probably seen on our front page. Yes, those are my offspring, Grandchildren Kycen and Baylee Schaffer.
It is incredible to think we’re already at the end of another year. This is always my favorite newspaper to print. It’s usually the biggest paper of the year and full of requests from the community’s youngsters for Christmas gifts from Santa.
Thanks to our advertisers that help us put out these last couple of editions during the holidays. It’s fun to look back over the years and see your greetings to the community and read the letters. We appreciate you and wish you a Merry Christmas!
I always have a favorite that I pick out and this year’s letter is from Tell Thomas, son of Kyle and Shannon Thomas:
“Dear Santa, I would like to have new skis, a dirt bike, ipad that I get to do whatever I want to do on, a bunny that won’t run away, and a transformer toy. I would also like a new room that I can decorate myself, shotgun and shells, knife, a camo suit, and a pistol.”
If I were profiling this kid, I would conclude that his mom and dad aren’t giving him enough time on their iPads, that he’s not pleased with their decorating skills and that if his bunny runs away, he might use the shotgun, knife, pistol, etc.... Dear Kyle and Shannon, keep an eye on that kid! lol....
This would be my request to Santa:
Dear Santa, please bring oil prices back up to help our local economy. That’s it. Thanks Santa.
I don’t have to tell you this, but as you get older, Christmas becomes more expensive. I love giving gifts to the kids and the grandkids, but I don’t want them to ever forget the reason we celebrate this time of year. It’s not about how much we have. It’s about how much we’ve been given. God loved us so much that He gave his only son. That beautiful gift is a promise of forgiveness and eternal life in the sacrifice shed by his blood on the cross.
Pause for a moment this Christmas season and remember why we celebrate.
Matthew 1:18-25
18 This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be with child through the Holy Spirit.
19 Because Joseph her husband was a righteous man and did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly.
20 But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, "Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit.
21 She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins."
22 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet:
23 "The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel"--which means, "God with us."
24 When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife.
25 But he had no union with her until she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus.
Scripture tells us that 30 years later, this baby, now a man, was asked a question by a teacher and scholar of the day. He asked. “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?”
Notice Jesus answers him, but doesn’t give him one commandment of importance, but two: “The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.”
Every year, since my kids have been babies, I drag the entire crew to church on Christmas Eve. It’s mandatory in our home. There’s a lot of grumbling, kids are tired, house is trashed, but we go and we pause to remember the gift we’ve been given. It’s been a fun tradition for us. I would encourage you, if you’ve never gone, find one of our great area churches and attend a Christmas Eve service. You’ll be welcome at any of them.
God bless and Merry Christmas!

KWIBS - From December 7, 2015 - By Kevin Noland

My wife is an excellent cook. With only 2 years of observation and taste testing her mother’s cooking, I would say I dodged a bullet.
Ronda’s mother passed away in 1987. I only knew her for a couple of years and during most of that time, she was sick with cancer, so it’s not really fair to judge her cooking. I know she opened a mean can of soup every now and then and grilled up cheese sandwiches. I back up my opinion of her cooking from statements from her son and husband at the time.
At our house, we share in responsibility of cooking. I do most of the meats, she does the sides and vegetables. I also am in charge of Wednesday night (I take her out to eat).
We try to eat healthy, but it’s hard when you live 8 miles from town, so we cook a lot of food and it becomes meals on wheels for us at the office.
Ronda and I have completely different shopping habits. I can magically get out of the grocery store for around $30, while it usually costs her $100+. In her defense, she shops for our 17 year old son, who eats more like livestock than a human being.
Ironically, if you ask him, we never have anything to eat in our house. He’ll eat and 30 minutes later is standing with the refrigerator door wide open. It usually ends after about a 5 minute stare and then some unintelligible grumblings as he’s walking back down stairs. Within 30 minutes, the ritual repeats itself as though we’ve either gotten the hint and gone to the grocery store or the refrigerator is somehow replicating food like the Starship Enterprise.
The drawer in our refrigerator is where good intentions go to die. I have a monthly responsibility of throwing slimy, once garden style items into a sack while holding my nose.
That might be the difference between $30 and $100 at the grocery store my love.....

KWIBS - From November 30, 2015 - By Kevin Noland

Nearly 25 years ago to the day, I remember taking this road trip to Wichita with Mike Jacobs. We were going up to an auto auction to try our luck at making a buck.
Mike had just made a big move in his life and I had done the same. We had both quit our jobs and were pursuing going into business for ourselves; Mike, as an alignment and vehicle mechanic - me, as a commercial printer and later as a newspaperman.
We were big dreamers and we were both scared to death.
At the time, we had both started families, we were broke, drove junk vehicles and didn’t really have a plan other than to work hard and try to make a go of it.
I was at his shop on Monday and we were taking a trip down memory lane. Looking back, we both agree that we were probably crazy, but we did make a go of it. Our families have gotten bigger (including grandchildren!), we’ve gotten a little grayer and we still drive junk vehicles! At least I still drive a junk vehicle, which is good for Mike’s business.
Mike has done a fantastic job the past 25 years. He’s grown and moved to a new location. He’s got a fantastic team of people working with him and I want to congratulate him for 25 years in business.
Mike has also been a huge supporter of the community, schools and the Peace Treaty Association, to name a few things.
So go down and get you some free breakfast on Saturday, December 5th from 7:30 a.m. - 10 a.m. He wants to say, “Thank You”.
I want to say thank you to Mike for sticking it out all these years and providing a great service to Medicine Lodge!
Have a great week!

KWIBS - From November 23, 2015 - By Kevin Noland

Tornados, blizzards and earthquakes for Kansas this past week.
Go home mother nature, you’re drunk!
That earthquake early Thursday morning was something else. I was actually halfway awake and still out in the living room at 1:45 a.m. when I heard the dishes and cabinets in the kitchen rattling. Then my son Nicholas woke up and said “Dad! Earthquake!”
It sure was and it lasted for a long time. I got up and went to bed and was sure Ronda slept through it. As soon as I hit the bedroom door she said, “That was a huge earthquake!”
I picked up my iPhone to see what others experienced and what some fracking-accusing friends were saying. Sure enough, there they were...
“Big old earthquake.....they must be frack in' Curry Lane.”
I hoped that was just some sort of dumb joke.... The epicenter was near Cherokee, OK.
You’ve read it here before and you’ll read it again and again. Fracking does not cause earthquakes. It, at the very most, causes minimal seismic activity.
More and more evidence points towards waste water injection wells close to fault lines and people keep confusing the processes.
In a report from the USGS: Wastewater is produced at nearly every oil and gas well, not just sites where hydraulic fracturing is taking place, the report said. In Oklahoma, the site of numerous earthquakes, less than 10 percent of the water injected into wastewater disposal wells is used fracking fluid, the USGS said.
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Congratulations to my buddy Dr. Pete Meador who was recently recognized as a “Real Doc Hollywood.” He was recently featured in a showcase for National Rural Health Day and he so deserves it. Love you old friend.
 

KWIBS - From November 16, 2015 - By Kevin Noland

Medicine Lodge does a lot of things right. Many times, you just hear the negatives, but if you look around, we’ve got a great community of people always ready to step up and do something for the good of the town and its citizens.
A couple of those events took place this week.
Monday night The Medicine Lodge Peace Treaty Association’s board met with the public to discuss the figures from the 2015 pageant and weekend celebration.
Although these figures show a downward trend in attendance, they show an increase in support for preserving and financing future events. Sponsorship is at an all-time high and volunteers continue to step up.
Ronda and I are proud to be a part of this amazing group of selfless people. It’s a big job for each chair and board member. When we say we elected a new board, we’re really saying, “We’ve all agreed to continue on in our positions and serve Peace Treaty for another term.” It was pretty incredible to have a group of citizens unanimously recommend the nominations for all the board. We appreciate your support and we’ll do our best to keep Peace Treaty alive and well.
On Wednesday, November 11, Ronda and I went to MLHS to honor our area veterans. The Veterans Committee did a fantastic job of thanking all the area veterans of all the branches of service.
They paid a special tribute to 21 World War II veterans in attendance. Some came in wheelchairs and walkers and some came under their own power. These aged warriors who brought peace to our country with their sacrifices deserve our utmost respect and thanks. It was a shining moment for our community to see these folks awarded for their service.
Good job MLHS!
Have a great week!

KWIBS - From November 2, 2015 - By Kevin Noland

Tomorrow is my wife’s birthday. For those of you who don’t know her, she’s the beautiful redhead I’ve had on my arm for the past 30 years, 3 of those years as my girlfriend. She’s still my girlfriend.
There are a few men who can claim they are blessed with a good woman. I’m one of those guys and I know it and I don’t take it for granted. Ronda is my world and I take great pride in telling you what she means to me and wishing her a happy birthday.
On her birthday, Ronda will:
- Get up very early and get the laundry done, wash all the dishes in the house, make coffee and breakfast, get Nicholas up and around for school.
- She’ll probably go to work where she’s responsible for the accounting of 5 five businesses, advertising and general office work.
- If she’s lucky, which she creates this luck, she’ll see her grandchildren and spend time with our daughter.
-Depending on our work load, we’ll either go out for dinner or stay home. She’ll be exhausted and she’ll do it all again the next day.
And she does all of this because she loves her family. If you didn’t remind her, she would probably forget it was even her birthday.
Proverbs 31:10-12 says:
An excellent wife who can find? She is far more precious than jewels. The heart of her husband trusts in her, and he will have no lack of gain. She does him good, and not harm, all the days of her life. and
28-29: Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her; “many women have done excellently, but you surpass them all.”
I found her.
Happy Birthday Ronda, I love you.

KWIBS - From October 26, 2015 - By Kevin Noland

These kinds of columns never end well for me, but I just can’t help myself.
Monday, October 12 I was heading out to the ranch with my father-in-law for a repair job when I neared the Stolp and 281 HWY intersection.
I swerved to miss a mess in the road. The first road kill was a large armadillo. Ten feet from that was a black and white cat. I morbidly chuckled to myself wondering who’s fault that was - the armadillo’s or the cat’s? I could only assume that it was the armadillo who crossed the road and the cat was just curious. Regardless, it was a two for one that someone surely went, “oooooo!”
As you’ve seen, Elisa Stone has done some writing for us the past couple of weeks. She’s quite good and a very fun read. Last Tuesday she shot me over a couple of stories she wrote. One was about the new Orscheln’s and one was about a cat named Oreo. There was a photo attached. I read with curiosity.
If you haven’t read the story on the front page, I would encourage you to stop right here and go read it.
Ok, are you done?
It was only after I read the story that I opened the photo attachment.
“Uh, oh.......”
The awful armadillo and cat crime scene I had seen the day before could only mean one thing. It was a murder/suicide. No, just kidding.... But I am pretty sure I know where Oreo is now. Oreo is sipping a glass of milk, playing a harp in kitty heaven. His 9th life - snuffed out after he went to investigate the placental mammal with a leathery armor shell.
Curiosity most likely did kill the cat.
Now Elisa and Todd have some children, so I want to be sensitive here. Don’t read this column to them. I’m sure they can handle the death of an animal. After all, Todd is a local veterinarian. Not saying that he’s a bad one, but I am sure the kids have seen a dead animal before.....

KWIBS - From October 12, 2015 - By Kevin Noland

So many things went through my mind on Wednesday morning when Jan Forsyth said, “I’ll race you!”
I was walking across the street from the Citizens Bank when she got out of her car. We were walking together and out of this sweet little lady’s mouth came the challenge.
Part of me wanted to say, “Bring it on!” but several things went through my mind:
What if we both start running and one of us falls or gets hurt? What if that someone is me? What if I win and humiliate her? What if SHE wins and humiliates me???
If I remember correctly, Jan just celebrated her 90th birthday. She looked as though she could have at least sprinted across that street and given me a run for my money (no money was wagered on this race....)
My common sense took over. This almost never happens. I told Jan that it would probably not be a good idea for either of us to race across the street, but secretly, I think I can beat her.
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Customers of Burger King trying the new Halloween Black Bun Whopper are getting a fun trick or treat surprise. It’s turning their customers’....er...uhm...poop GREEN!
Apparently, the food dye being used is a dark green. Social media has been blowing up about people’s green poo caused by the fast food chain’s newest promotion.
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Orscheln Farm and Home is open and will have their official grand opening this week. Congratulations on the new store. It is fantastic and a great addition to our community. Be sure to check out their activitites on page 8 this week.

Have a great week!

KWIBS - From October 5, 2015 - By Kevin Noland

If you were around Friday or Saturday, you probably saw the spectacular jumps made by retired Navy SEAL and MLHS 1988 graduate Nix White.
I’ve known Nix for more than 30 years now. Years ago, probably back in the late 1990s, Nix and I started a tradition where we would take a goofy photo of ourselves to remember our visit. Our first one started in Tijuana, MX. That column could never be written. Since then, we’ve stunted half a dozen hilarious photos together of us riding horses, motorcycles, being arrested and now this one below. I made the announcement on Facebook Saturday of Peace Treaty that there had been a change in plans and I was jumping into Saturday’s parade. Upon landing, I would look like “a yard dart.”
For the record, it wasn’t really me. :)

KWIBS - From September 28, 2015 - By Kevin Noland

I don’t know about you, but I’m exhausted!
Peace Treaty 2015 is now a memory. Our community now takes on the task of cleaning up and putting away all of the things that it takes to put on a pageant.
You’ll probably notice, we don’t have a huge story about Peace Treaty this week. Since my wife and I are both on the board and in the pageant, it puts a lot of pressure on Doris to cover everything! She did a fantastic job of shooting pictures around town and we have those to share this week. Next week we hope to have some news on how the events and weekend went, along with more photos! We’ll also be posting a lot of photos on our Facebook page. Be sure to be our friend!
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For some dumb reason, I got a little concert silly this year, not that that’s any different than normal for me. Back in October of 2014, I found out a bucket list band I had never seen was coming to Wichita (almost a year later). I bought tickets to the Foo Fighters before Christmas.
Eventually, we forgot we were going to that concert with our cousins and they bought us concert tickets to Third Day. I love that band. Well, it just so happened that I had also bought tickets to Def Leppard, Foreigner and Tesla back in May. It turns out that Foo Fighters is on Wednesday at Intrust Bank Arena, Third Day is on Thursday at the Orpheum and then a week later we go back to Intrust Bank Arena for Def Leppard.
It was just a complete lack of judgment on my part when purchasing these tickets and I had no idea how close together each performance was, so this is my apology to my wife, who is dreading the next week of loud music and driving back and forth to Wichita!
I should probably pre-apologize for buying tickets to see Aranda at the Cotillion on November 1st.... Sorry sweetheart.

KWIBS - From September 21, 2015 - By Kevin Noland

Ready or not, here it is! Peace Treaty 2015 is here. Are you ready for the time of your life? Well, we’ve got you covered, wagon! Yep, my usual Peace Treaty humor. I crack myself up!
You want parades? We’ve got them. You want history? We’ve got that way covered. How about some awesome entertainment? Ok, we can do that. Do you like a good football game? Well, we’re planning one! Do you want to see a guy jump from a helicopter and land on Main Street? We’re doing that too! Looking for a rodeo? There’s one of those. What about a Powwow? Glad you asked that question. YES, at our new arena. Go check that out! God willing and weather permitting, this will be one heck of a Peace Treaty!
You’ll have no trouble finding everything you want to do and it’s all inside this edition. As you felt, this was a big newspaper. We’ve been working on this edition since May of this year and it was stressful, but we’re so excited to present it to you this week.
You can also find everything online at www.peacetreaty.org. Aaron Traffas has built us an amazing website and it is updated with the best, most current information about the weekend.
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There is so much work that goes into a Peace Treaty. It literally takes the entire town to prepare for this event. So many good people donate their time and resources to putting this event in motion that it is impossible to list them all. However, we do have a list of the cast of the 24th reenactment of the signing of the treaty at Medicine Creek on pages 4-5 of this week’s newspaper.
Besides all of those people are folks like the students and faculty of USD#254 who spent all of last Wednesday cleaning up the town and helping at the pageant grounds. We’ve pictured them on page 8 of today’s paper.
Inside this newspaper and special edition we have a story about the board of directors. I’m so proud to be a part of this team. This is a family and we’ve spent the last 4 years together planning for this very weekend. It’s impossible to list everyone of them, but each of them has worked their donkeys off.
Our board is made of our town’s very best folks and I can’t thank them enough for all of the sacrifice and hard work they’ve put into this.
One of our newest members to the board is my wife, who became treasurer after I said, “Oh, honey. It will be easy!” We’re still married and she has forgiven me for lying to her. It turns out, that the treasurer is very busy during Peace Treaty.
I hate singling people out for recognition, but when it comes to volunteering, David Colborn wins every time. David is our liaison to our Native American friends and partners. Steve Bryan and I roped him into that position in 2011 and he’s done an amazing job.
I don’t know if he realizes just how much we all appreciate him. I can tell you that he and his family are very much responsible for the fact that we have a new powwow arena, that the sound on Main Street works and that there is electricity where and when we need it. Thank you my friend for everything you do. I always have fun working with you.
Joscelyn Nittler is our 2nd Vice President in charge of advertising and promotion. She also got suckered into painting a bunch of parking signs. On top of all she does, she’s also about to cross a big finish line. She’s pregnant and due in just a couple of weeks. She’s been a lot of fun to work with and we wish her and her husband Chad and family the best with the newest addition to their family! Maybe we’ll have a Peace Treaty baby!?!?!
Like I said, I don’t want to single out anyone and don’t want to leave anyone out. It is a team of great people: Princess Summer Moncivais (who lobbied our cause all over the state), Rick and Betty Jo Swayden (our President and his Secretary!), Cathy Colborn (Director of the Pageant and Night Show), Kaye Kuhn (long time promoter and Executive Director), Susan Seal (our Native American friend and helper), Sara Whelan (a past president and the glue that keeps us together and organized), Kyle Thomas (a guy who is our very own horse and buggy/wagon whisperer in charge of the big barns!), Aaron Traffas (our technical guru and often my go-to guy), David Colborn (the everywhere man - for everything), Norm Clouse (in charge of food downtown and city councilman), Mike Roe (this poor guy was in charge of the crappiest of jobs - portable toilets and the grounds at Memorial Peace Park. He’s also a councilman), Steve Bryan (a past president and official cook), Kevin Noland (that’s me. I’m 1st Vice President and I’m going to be humble and not rant too much, but I got Aranda here!), Ronda Noland (the money lady), Joscelyn Nittler (the prego lady who has been quite creative and fun to work with), Cindy Brungardt (our town’s “fun” coordinator and Robert Larson (who has the biggest heart and equipment!!)
Each one of these people are a big reason that this event is even possible.
There are so many more people who aren’t mentioned that deserve much credit for this upcoming weekend. Our city stands ready to help us with their people and resources. We could not do this without help from Sheriff Rugg (who is also an announcer of the pageant) and Police Chief Nick Krug; our County Commissioners and County Attorney and Diversion Fund; our City Administrator Jeff Porter, Mayor Maj. Robert Stutler and city council have supported us all the way.
Of course all of this takes a tremendous amount of money. That’s where you come in. Please attend one of the pageants. It is the primary means of income for the Peace Treaty. Many of the events are free, but we wouldn’t have any of them if people didn’t go see the pageant. We also thank our many, many sponsors and donors who so graciously step up when we need them.
There is always the possibility that this could be the last pageant. It’s only going to continue if people continue to support it. Even if you’ve seen it 69 times, please come again and show your support for our rich history and pride in our community.
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The best part of Peace Treaty will be seeing people. Let’s face it’s a giant reunion of friends and family, classmates and acquaintances from our past.
We’re going to have a good Peace Treaty, God willing, and if any of us have any say, it won’t ever be the last one.
Bring on Peace Treaty 2015!

KWIBS - From September 14, 2015 - By Kevin Noland

We are two weeks out from Peace Treaty 2015 and I am super excited about today’s front page stories. Nix White is a classmate and friend of mine who has a distinguished service record as a Navy Seal. He’ll be jumping into the Indians vs. Roadrunners game on Friday night, September 24th at about 5:50 p.m. The next morning, he’ll start the parade by jumping into the intersection of Main and Kansas at about 9:50 a.m. If you saw him do this in 2011, you know how freaking cool it was! If you didn’t see it. Don’t miss it this year!!
Nix is a 1988 graduate of Medicine Lodge High School and we are honored to have him back for the weekend!
I’m also really excited about DWTA Tours coming back to town and am looking forward to taking a helicopter ride around town. I didn’t get to do that last time, but I am making a plan to do it this year!
We also have some fantastic music and performers for the weekend including Aranda! These are some great friends of ours from Oklahoma City. They have a brand new album and they have a song on the Billboard Charts sitting at number 11 this week - “Don’t Wake Me.”
All of these events are high up on my MUST DO at Peace Treaty this year, but the entire weekend will not be a success without two things: YOU and GREAT WEATHER! Please be praying about this year’s Peace Treaty Celebration, the safety of the actors and participants and of course, the weather!
I’ve been enjoying the shared posts about Peace Treaty on Facebook. Keep it up! Social media has been a great place to spread the word about Peace Treaty.
Have a great week!

KWIBS - From September 7, 2015 - By Kevin Noland

I was saddened to hear the news of Dan Traffas last week.
Dan was a classmate and friend. He was someone who always had a great story to tell, a smile on his face and a way to make you feel special.
It’s never an easy day for me to have to print an obituary for someone I knew in our community. This one is even harder, seeing his smiling face on page 4 this week and thinking about how full of life he was.
Dan and I loved to talk shop. We’ve both been in the advertising business for most of our adult lives, so it was easy to have a conversation with him. I used to see him more when he was in the Wichita area, but even when he moved to Arizona, I would get phone calls from him from time to time to catch up. In fact, I got one about a month ago from Dan. It was the last time I spoke with him.
I remembered learning the news about Dusty’s motorcycle accident during a toy run several years ago. He was Mike, Dan and Genae’s brother, also a good friend. I’ll miss them both.
Paul teaches in 1st Corinthians 10:13 that anything that comes our way, anything that tempts us, any tragedy that happens to us- we are capable of overcoming it. That does not mean life will always be easy. On the contrary, the fact that we may need a way of escape indicates that God sometimes allows difficult trials to come into our lives. We may not believe that we can overcome them, we may doubt our own strength to prevail, and we may even fail in the test. That does not mean, though, that we are not capable of overcoming that particular problem in our lives. Whatever the problem is, God promises that we will be able to overcome it through Him.
My prayers go out to Dan’s family.

KWIBS - From August 31, 2015 - By Kevin Noland

We are just a few editions away from the 2015 Peace Treaty.
Our office has been, well, for lack of better or appropriate print, “nuts”.
Thank you Doris and Ronda for accepting my bipolar behavior the past couple of months (or more like 24 years). When we start putting the special edition for Peace Treaty together, things usually go awry: Computers crash, photo schedules change, information gets lost, people get sick, some even die.
One thing that never changes is our desire to put out the best edition we can and make it something that reflects our community’s pride, history and expresses our sorrows for the loss of those who have passed away that were ever so important to the history of Peace Treaty.
Of course our ultimate goal is to share our rich history with those coming to town over the three day celebration and we will deliver on that.
With the evolution of online media, we are also embracing the digital side. Aaron Traffas is to be commended for building Peace Treaty a first class website. He has built it from the ground up. If you haven’t visited it yet, go to your computer right now and type www.peacetreaty.org. Explore and find everything you need to know about Peace Treaty 2015. It’s been my honor to work with Aaron over the past year getting content for the website.
For this event to exist for future generations we must and we will adapt. Change is sometimes met with resistance, but over time will be accepted and considered the “norm” again - until the next change occurs! Peace Treaty will always hold on to the tradition of history. For that history to continue to be available in the future, it will have to become a part of the digital age and Aaron is a frontiersman in this department.
Have a great week!

KWIBS - From August 24, 2015 - By Kevin Noland

Can you believe we’re just one month away from another Peace Treaty celebration?
That really puts things into perspective when you only have 30 days to “get’er done!”
The Peace Treaty board has been working very hard getting things ready for the upcoming weekend, but we still need volunteers. There are many scenes that need actors, we still need ticket takers and there is always a hole to fill somewhere. If you are interested in helping, contact me or any board member. We’ll be meeting weekly on Monday evenings from now until the pageant.
The newspaper is also working on Peace Treaty. You’ve probably noticed that for weeks now, our front page has been mostly about Peace Treaty. We are also working on our 40 page special edition that we do each Peace Treaty. It’s scheduled to come out the week before Peace Treaty in mid-September. We haven’t nailed down that date.
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I’ve only heard a couple of critical comments about the newspaper price raising to $1 next week. We appreciate those who have supported us over the years and promise, we’ll do our best to be worth the extra 25 cents. Ironically, I just read an article about the Rawlins County Square Deal in Atwood, KS (population 1,250) going up to a $1. The owners said they had a few “grumpy” people, but just like us, they needed to get that price into effect to cover recent increases in production and postal rates. We’re actually one of the last papers to go up in price.
The Square Deal was started with community support in 1992 by owners Keith and Rosalie Ross, Kevin and Mary Holle and Joe and Katie Snystrup. I remember when they started up because they called on us for help and advice. At that time, we had only been in business about a year. They have new owners now, but they’ve been going strong for nearly 23 years now!
Have a great week!

KWIBS - From August 17, 2015 - By Kevin Noland

OK, I’ve been a slacker. I admit it, but summer was slipping by and I had a lot on my plate.
This past weekend we made a last minute decision to drive our Niece and Nephew (Sam and Lily Vick) half way back to Albuquerque, NM. They were about to start school and their Kansas family had kidnapped them for a couple of weeks.
Lily understands completely now that she is my favorite niece. She holds that title uncontested, as I have no other nieces. She also learned all the dumb little travel facts of every county between here and Amarillo, TX like, “You know how many people are dead in that cemetery? ALL OF THEM!”
Oh, I do crack myself up.
Sam and Lily also had to hear my ramblings about how Miami County Texas is 497.5/sq mi and has a population of 597 after losing one back in 2011.
It’s also a fact that a place in Canadian, TX has the world’s best bread pudding, if you like that stuff. This fact didn’t come from Google. It came from Ronda and put us about 30 minutes behind meeting their mother.
It was great to have spent time with those kids. We love you Sam and Lily!
It was also no coincidence we volunteered for the duty to drive them to Amarillo, TX. Our good friends and former Medicine Lodge citizens Dale and Michele McCurdy live there and we coordinated a dinner date with them.
We had about two years of catching up to do and after a few beverages, steaks and some good laughs, we ended up at their home where Dale, his son Colby and I played “Bayblades”. It’s like taking a dreidel or top and putting spikes on them, placing them in a fighting pit and seeing which Bayblade is the last one standing. I have to admit, I was rather amused with this game and am looking for them on Ebay. Right after I finish this column!

KWIBS - From July 27, 2015 - By Kevin Noland

Could it be that an exact double of yourself is somewhere in the world?
The word is called “Doppelganger”. "Doppelganger" is German for "double walker" -- a shadow self that is thought to accompany every person.
Traditionally, it is said that only the owner of the doppelganger can see this phantom self, and that it can be a harbinger of death. Occasionally, however, a doppelganger can be seen by a person's friends or family, resulting in quite a bit of confusion.
That confusion happened to Ronda and me last week during a visit to a retail store in Wichita. Ronda and I were walking several isles apart looking for an item when all of a sudden, I saw my oldest son Joey walking towards me. I started to smile and then as I got closer, I realized Joey had gotten his ears pierced, had a stranger than normal haircut and wasn’t as enthused to see me as I was to see him.
Then it hit me. This wasn’t Joey. It was his doppelganger.
I stopped dead in my tracks and turned to watch Ronda stare this same kid down and then stop dead in her tracks as he passed by. Then she started jumping up and down and pointing. I walked over and I asked, “So you saw that too?”
We both agreed that it wasn’t our son, but it was just about as close to a Joey-Double I have ever encountered.
It was a such a close resemblance that I could not resist following this young man and finally ask him to stop and allow us to take a photo with him. Now this troubled him a bit and we explained that he was the spitting image of our son. He asked to see a photo and then simply said, “wow.”
As we talked, things got even weirder. He was about the same age, had the same manorisms and even sounded like our Joey!
I snapped a photo with his permission and sent it to Joey, who only wrote, “ooo, that’s creepy.”
I told Joey we needed to take him to Wichita and find this guy and meet him. Joey explained that in legend to meet your doppelganger meant you were going to die!
But a quick google search found that rule #6 for instructions on what to do when meeting your doppleganger reads: “Don't panic. Many people who relate tales of seeing their doppelgangers live for many years afterward. Seeing your doppelganger doesn't mean you're going to die, only that you've got a fascinating story to tell.”
I later posted the photo of Joey’s look-a-like on Facebook and to my surprise, most people thought it was Joey! I had to explain to a few people that it was not in fact Joey.
Here’s that photo!

KWIBS - From July 20, 2015 - By Kevin Noland

A couple of articles appear in this week’s edition that deal with helping others.
One of these stories hits close to home for us. Joey, my oldest son and Tim Morford, our adopted summer-son, took a trip to Haiti a couple of weeks ago to be a part of the “Restore Haiti” missions.
When Joey first talked about taking off time from work and using part of his own money to go to a third world country, I thought he was crazy, but deep in my heart I knew it was because he loves to help others and I am proud of him.
And thank you to the ladies of the First Assembly for their efforts to help local families in their upcoming “Chop & Shop” to be held on Saturday, August 8th.
It is more blessed to give than to receive.
Have a great week!

KWIBS - From July 13, 2015 - By Kevin Noland

On Tuesday, the annual “Running of the Bulls” happened. Two Americans were gored during the event held in Pamplona.
Mike Webster, a 38-year-old occupational therapist from Gainesville, Florida, was gored as he ran with the bulls in Pamplona for his 38th time over the last 11 years, he said from his hospital bed.
San Fermin’s media office said he was gored in the armpit, and Webster told The Associated Press that he hasn’t decided whether he’ll run again because he first needs to discuss the issue with his wife.
I’m pretty sure she’s going to say, “knock yourself out” or at least that’s what my wife would say.
I’ve heard it said just this week that America needs to catch up with the rest of the world. Well, if this is how we do it, I say leave us in the dust, rest of the world! As a kid from Kansas who has been on a cattle ranch for almost 30 years, I would not want to run, walk or sit anywhere near a bull.
This event is so dumb, I actually cheer for the bulls!
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Did you see the falling star this past week?
Bill Cosby's admission that he used sedatives to lure at least one woman into having sex with him leaked out early last week. Netflix cancelled Bill Cosby’s shows after the allegations last November, even though media outlets have been talking about the accusations for nearly a decade. Many networks still carry The Cosby Show, but you can’t watch “The Dukes of Hazzard” on TVLand anymore because it’s so offensive.
This is dumb too.
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On July 3rd, just in time to celebrate our Independence Day, Oregon Labor Commissioner Brad Avakian issued his ruling against Aaron and Melissa Klein, the owners of the Sweet Cakes by Melissa bakery that refused to bake a cake to celebrate a same-sex wedding because of their religious beliefs.
Avakian not only ordered the Kleins to pay $135,000 in “emotional damages” to the complaining lesbian couple, he also slapped a gag order on them, ordering them to “cease and desist” from “publishing, circulating, issuing or displaying, or causing to be published … any communication to the effect that any of the accommodations … will be refused, withheld from or denied to, or that any discrimination be made against, any person on account of their sexual orientation.” In other words, if the Kleins continue to proclaim their unwillingness to celebrate gay marriage in their business activities, they’re in violation of Avakian’s order.
So much for “freedom of speech” and “freedom of religion”.
This ruling is stupid and dangerous. It’s crazy to think that the complaining couple is entitled to six figures in emotional damages simply because a Christian couple refused to bake a cake for their “wedding.” In a free, ideologically, culturally, and religiously diverse country, the idea of meeting a person who disagrees with your life choices is hardly traumatic, and women who can’t handle a brief encounter with bakers who don’t want to help cater their wedding don’t need “damages,” they need counseling.
I wonder, if the Kleins refused to bake a Confederate battle flag cake for a white, straight couple from Tennessee, would Avakian find them guilty of race discrimination?

KWIBS - From July 13, 2015 - By Kevin Noland

This will be one of the harder columns to write, but closes a chapter of a legacy that I’ve been blessed to be a part of for 30 years.


Mildred L. Meairs passed away on Tuesday morning, June 30th. She was 91 years old. Her 92nd birthday would have been on September 6th. She was surrounded constantly by her family for the last five days of her life. We loved on her, read her letters, cried, laughed and slept there by her side in shifts.
People have heard the name, but may not know who she was. Many of her friends and family are gone. A brother in his late 80s (Johnny Barker), her 3 grandchildren, 13 great grandchildren and 2 great-great grandchildren and a flurry of nieces and nephews remain. My wife is one of those grandchildren and I consider myself a grafted-grandchild. That’s a right of passage I earned having spent 30 Christmas Eves, 4th of Julys, birthdays, weddings, and other special events with this lady.
And she was a lady.
One of her friends wrote me Monday before she died after hearing she was failing in health, “She was (is) a classy lady and will be greatly missed. Think of the foresight/ambition of Mildred and Wayne (her late husband) in establishing the Lake, the countless hours of fun and enjoyment they made possible. I was always amazed that she had such great losses in her life and didn’t allow that to make her bitter or resentful. Instead, she went about her life with class and an eye toward the future. What a legacy!”
She did have a sorrowful life. She lost her husband Wayne in 1977, her son Earl Wayne in 1980, her daughter (my wife’s mother Barbara) in 1988 and then a grandchild Earl Wayne Meairs III (Trey) in 2001. Life was hard for her, but in all of that she was so full of grace.
My first meeting with Mildred was in 1977. It was probably right before her husband had passed away. I was about 8 years old and worked for Luke Chapin. He had a cabin at the lake and I was coming out a lot in the summer to mow the grass, wash and wax his boat and play in the lake. He would pay me pretty well and let me ride his three wheeler around.
One day I took a trip a little too far from his place on his three wheeler and ended up in a beautiful place near two ponds. In the distance I could hear the roar of an engine and saw the cloud of dust following it. Pretty soon a big red Thunderbird pulled up and this little fiery woman jumped out and proceeded to give me the biggest ripping of my life for trespassing on her ranch and near her home.
Little did we both realize that one day, I would marry her granddaughter and live at the exact spot where she caught me!
Another person wrote me Tuesday morning, “ Sorry to hear about your loss, I remember visiting with her several times when I was younger and staying at the lake... (Several times because I was in trouble.. Lol). She was a good woman...”
I could totally relate to that!
But again, she was full of grace.
After Ronda’s mom died of cancer in 1988, we were married and chose to stay here after her family moved back to Texas. We lived in her little farm house for 12 years and had all three of our children there.
In 1991, it was Mildred Meairs, who lent Ronda and me money to start The Gyp Hill Premiere. Mildred kept a ledger in her top drawer and we paid her every month, when we could, until we paid her off nearly 4 years later.
She gifted that money back to us years later. She helped us out time and time again. She did this for each of her grandchildren and loved them all so very much.
About 9 years ago, she began forgetting things and struggled to maintain her business and ranch affairs. Ronda and I stepped in and eventually took over the responsibilities. Over time, she could not drive anymore, then she began forgetting names and slowly she got to where she didn’t even leave her house.
She made it clear to us that her wishes were to never be placed in a nursing home and that she wanted no fuss made when she died. We honored those wishes as best as we could, but we did make a fuss about when she died and had a nice service for her Sunday evening at her lake.
Mildred, the private person, is who most people knew her as. “MeMe” is who I will always remember her as. That’s who my children and grandchildren will remember her as. Even at 90 years old, she would get down on the floor of her kitchen, drag out a box of toys and play with Baylee and Kycen, her two great-great grandchildren. Baylee is two years old. Grandma would play with all of her grandchildren, great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren. We had to help her off the floor towards the end, but she still wanted to be there close to them.
Baylee was there during the last few hours of Grandma’s life. I look back now and see how much she helped us go through those last hours. She was so funny and didn’t care that MeMe was at the end of her life. She tried to read her books and kiss her. She even got into bed with her and rubbed her arms and face.
She would say, “Wake up MeMe!” and then turn and look at us all and very seriously say, “MeMe is sleeping.”
Tuesday morning Baylee told her mother, “I want to go see MeMe.” Breeann had to tell her that MeMe went to heaven to be with Jesus.
Baylee looked her mother in the eye and said, “Jesus loves MeMe.”
We all loved MeMe and hope to continue her legacy and live by her example of love and grace.
We discovered things in her final hours that will forever be treasured: A letter from her grandson a few months before his tragic death that said, “I hope to have a house near yours in heaven one day,” a poem from Ronda’s mother that she wrote to her mom before she died encouraging her to live and love and to not be afraid, every newspaper clipping of anything to do with her grandkids, great grandkids and great-great grandkids and the craziest belt collection that we’ve ever seen. Pictured are her granddaughters Ronda and Amanda modeling some of these belts.


Thank you all for your calls and all the prayers these past few weeks. Words can not express how much we appreciate those thoughts and concerns.
Have a great week!

KWIBS - From June 22, 2015 - By Kevin Noland

Well, we seemed to have gone from desert to tropical rain forest in just a couple of months.
Flint Rucker always said, “Every drought ends with a good rain.”
He’s right. I don’t think we are completely recovered from the past few years of dry conditions, but things look so much better now than last year.
We’ve been blessed to have all of the moisture in recent weeks and lawns are trying to make a recovery all over town. With the recent lifting of water restrictions by the city, things can look good for the 2015 Peace Treaty Celebration.
That’s right! Peace Treaty is just around the corner -only a few months away!
I want to encourage everyone, residential and business, to spruce up their properties. This is a time to “showcase” our community. Mow your yard. Mow your neighbor’s yard if it needs it. Help our community look good this Peace Treaty!
Peace Treaty could always use your help! There are several ways to help like, monetary donations and sponsorships, but one of the more important ways you can help is to spread the news about the upcoming pageant weekend. Send an email message to all of your friends, post it on your facebook page or like the Peace Treaty Pageant’s official website at www.peacetreaty.org. Without ticket sales, there would be no reason for the reenactment and without the reenactment, there would be no reason for the weekend long celebration that we all look forward to. Buying tickets is now easier than ever. If you are a select-a-seat customer, you can purchase them online and have tickets mailed to you.
You can also volunteer! We’re always needing warm bodies somewhere and if you are someone looking to volunteer, drop me a note and I will get you to the right person (knoland@attica.net).

Have a great week!
 

KWIBS - From June 15, 2015 - By Kevin Noland

Wednesday, June 17, 2015 marks our 27th wedding anniversary.
Ronda and I were married at the First Christian Church in 1988, just a month after I graduated from high school. Tom Walters was the pastor.
We’ve experienced all of the “for richer and for poorer, in sickness and in health” trials of marriage. I hope, with God’s grace, it will be many more years, “until death do us part.” I’ve scared her a couple of times, but I am trying to stay on this side of the dirt!
I love you Ronda, forever and always. Maybe we could just get away this week together to a beautiful place like in the photo below.


Happy Anniversary Baby!

KWIBS - From June 8, 2015 - By Kevin Noland

I just wanted to take a few inches here to congratulate Steve Epperson and the entire Southern Pioneer Electric Cooperative on their first steps towards their new facility north of Medicine Lodge.
They are the first, with hopes of many to follow, for a new development and industrial area north of Medicine Lodge.
This ground breaking ceremony opened with a beautiful prayer by Epperson that was very heartfelt. Epperson prayed for our community and I believe it was possibly the most sincere prayer I’ve ever listened to and agreed with. I appreciated his courage and boldness to share his faith at this event and to learn that prayer is an important part of every decision that he and his board makes about decisions that affect their customers.
Many folks might think Southern Pioneer is just another greedy utility, but they are a very generous and not for profit cooperative that gives back to the communities they serve.
From their website: “Giving back to the communities we serve is a part of Southern Pioneer Electric Company's business plan. Our employees live, work and raise families in the same communities as our consumers; we have a vested interest in developing our communities to be strong and viable for years to come. Two years ago, the H.U.G.S (Helping Us Give to Society) team was formed to do just that - give back to the communities we serve. The H.U.G.S team is proud to announce the completion of another project.”
They follow through with giving to many local groups like the Barber County Fair, Peace Treaty and the city pool, to name a few.
In past years, Southern Pioneer even filed an application with the KCC requesting a retail rate decrease! When’s the last time you’ve heard of a utility company doing that?
Congratulations SPEC! And THANK YOU!!

KWIBS - From June 1, 2015 - By Kevin Noland

The season is over and it's shots like these that make me proud of our Indians!

KWIBS - From May 25, 2015 - By Kevin Noland

Congratulations
Indians!
Good Luck
At State!

KWIBS - From May 18, 2015 - By Kevin Noland

The community was saddened to hear the news of the death of Roger Lukens on Tuesday, May 12th, 2015.
I’ve known Roger for many years and I couldn’t think of many people who ranked as highly as he did in my book. Roger was one of those people who made this world a better place. He always was kind and considerate. He gave serious contemplation to every decision, weighing out all of the options so carefully, even his one to run for city council in April.
Roger had stopped by the Friday before the filing deadline to talk to me about it. I had sent him an email a few months back and had encouraged him to get back on city council. During our visit, he told me that he was praying about it.
I wasn’t the only one who had asked him to run and by the results, he was overwhelmingly the favorite of all candidates.
Prayer and faith were priorities in Roger’s life. He lived what he knew to be true. He loved people and people loved Roger. Roger loved the Lord and he lived like it.
So Roger’s chair at city council might be empty, but a new seat was pulled up to the table in heaven and Roger is sitting in it. We’ll all miss him dearly.
Prayers to Trish and the family during his passing. I pray God gives you comfort knowing that you will see him again.
Rest in Peace Roger Lukens

KWIBS - From May 11, 2015 - By Kevin Noland

Parents of children! Hide this newspaper from your children. I’m letting the cat out of the bag.
Sometimes parents are just flat wrong. There, I said it and I feel so much better.
Even though age is supposed to produce wisdom, sometimes it produces stubbornness.
Shortly after Christmas, Nicholas, my youngest, made an announcement that he was not going out for track and was instead going out for baseball.
I was furious. I hate baseball.
No, I wasn’t really mad at him. It was my fault.
When my kids were young, I was dragged kicking and screaming to every tee-ball game in every town from here to Wichita. Breeann and Joey were both involved in baseball and softball and it was just one of those sports that was less interesting to me than full contact dominos.
I didn’t want to go to the games, so I devised a devious plan to divert their attention during the summer. I said to the kids, “You can play summer baseball or... I’ll buy you jetskiis!”
They chose jetskiis and for 17 years I was rid of my least favorite sport.
Because they chose the jetskiis, Nicholas never participated in any tee-ball or coach pitch or organized ball. He had, however, run track for several years and qualified for regionals last year. He has piles of medals. I knew he was good at this, so when he made his announcement that he wanted to play baseball instead of running track, I was naturally disappointed.
First, and most selfishly, I hated baseball. It’s a slow paced game that has just never kept my attention. Just ask Larry Keahey, who coached me in little league in the 1970s.
I can still hear him shouting at me out in left field, “Kevin! Put your glove back on and quit chasing butterflies!”
Secondly, Nick had never played the game. He couldn’t possibly be any good at it and now, once again, I will be dragged from town to town probably just to watch him sit on the bench.
I was wrong, wrong.....
Nicholas has turned out to be a great baseball player. He is a starter, playing left field (wonder where he got those mad skills..)
Realistically, he could use a few hours in the batting cage, but he’s fast and a great outfielder!
I suddenly realized, “Hey, I can tolerate baseball!” (With a comfortable lawn chair, some sunflower seeds, a book to read during the slow times, a large glass of iced tea and maybe a tranquilizer.)
I was having a conversation a couple of years ago with a good friend of mine, who is a baseball fanatic. I told him that I didn’t care for the sport and he said, “Awe, that’s all right, Kevin. It’s a game for smart people.”
Thanks Jeff Clarke.....

KWIBS - From May 4, 2015 - By Kevin Noland

We’ve probably all done things that our moms don’t approve of. But she doesn’t always catch us, and, if she does, it’s not captured on the national news. That is, unless you’re one young man from Baltimore.
As protests intensified late Monday night following the funeral of Freddie Gray — the 25-year-old Baltimore man who died April 19 from injuries sustained while in police custody — a video captured a mother, Toya Graham, doing her best to physically restrain her 16-year-old son and keep him from getting involved.
To put it nicely, she beat the tar out of her son on National TV and even though she has not lived the “model” life herself, she showed true courage in standing up for what is right.
For that, she gets my “thumbs up mom” award!
And with that, Happy Mother’s Day, Mom. Remember giving me a bloody nose that one time? I'm sure I deserved it!

KWIBS - From April 27, 2015 - By Kevin Noland

To the MLHS Class of 2015 - This edition is for you!
This is around the 25th senior edition I have put together in Medicine Lodge. Each year I realize how old I’m getting when I recognize the kids’ in the baby photos. Yep, you all were just babies not long ago. It makes me kind of sad and happy all at the same time.
Speaking of mixed emotions. This edition is always one of my favorites to print and least favorites to put together. It’s complex to edit that many photos and keep names straight. It’s also emotional to see kids like my nephew Ryan graduating.
Time passes so quickly. So my advice to all of you seniors is to treasure this time and to treasure the life you’ve been given and seize every opportunity in life. It is up to you. Your parents have hopefully done the best they can to bring you this far. Their work is never done, but this is the point in your life that you have to start taking more responsibility.
Many of you will leave home, some for the first time. Some of you will enter the work force. Frankly, whatever you do, the reality is that some of you might fail. Don’t stop trying though when you fail. Pick yourself up and keep going.
Thomas Edison's teachers told him he was "too stupid to learn anything." - Edison went on to hold more than 1,000 patents and invented some world-changing devices, like the phonograph, practical electrical lamp, and a movie camera.
Walt Disney was fired by a newspaper editor because he "lacked imagination and had no good ideas." - Several more of his businesses failed before the premiere of his movie "Snow White." Today, none of your childhoods would be the same without his ideas.
Colonel Harland David Sanders was fired from dozens of jobs before founding a successful restaurant. - He traveled across the U.S. looking for someone to sell his fried chicken, and after finally getting a business deal in Utah, Kentucky Fried Chicken was born. KFC is now one of the most recognizable franchises in the world, with over 18,000 locations.
Finally, this guy (I’m speaking about myself) went to college to learn to build homes. I was making good grades and loving my classes when I fell off of a house and broke my arm during my second year of college. I ended up doing what I had always done, worked at a newspaper.
Whatever life throws your way, I pray the best for you all and have been proud to cover your events for the past 12 years of your school life.
Congratulations Class of 2015!

KWIBS - From April 6, 2015 - By Kevin Noland

This story hit Facebook last week about a couple in Florida arrested for selling “golden tickets to heaven.”
Tito and Amanda Watts were arrested last weekend for selling “golden tickets to heaven” to hundreds of people. The couple, who sold the tickets on the street for $99.99 per ticket, told buyers the tickets were made from solid gold and each ticket reserved the buyer a spot in heaven — simply present the ticket at the pearly gates and you’re in.
Tito Watts said in his police statement:
“I don’t care what the police say. The tickets are solid gold… it ain’t cut up two by fours I spray painted gold. And it was Jesus who give them to me behind the KFC and said to sell them so I could get me some money to go to outer space. I met an alien named Stevie who said if I got the cash together he’d take me and my wife on his flying saucer to his planet that’s made entirely of crack cocaine. You can smoke all the crack cocaine there you want… totally free. So, try to send an innocent man to jail and see what happens. You should arrest Jesus because he’s the one that gave me the golden tickets and said to sell them. I’m willing to wear a wire and set Jesus up…”
Amanda Watts said in her police statement:
“We just wanted to leave earth and go to space and smoke rock cocaine. I didn’t do nothing. Tito sold the golden tickets to heaven. I just watched.”
Police said they confiscated over $10,000 in cash, 5 crack pipes and a baby alligator!
I’m sorry, a what?
You know who should have been arrested? The hundreds of people dumb enough to buy the tickets!
One clue that these tickets were perhaps fake was that Watts claimed Jesus gave them to him behind KFC. Everyone knows that Jesus would have been at Chick-Fil-A.
Also, the entire story is fake. Even though several posted it on their Facebook pages, it’s simply not true. I suspect it was an early April Fools’ joke. Read all about it http://www.snopes.com/media/notnews/goldentickets.asp

Have a great week!

KWIBS - From March 30, 2015 - By Kevin Noland

Few people like to “toot their own horns.” Sometimes they need a gentle nudge from people who appreciate them.
A very important election is quickly approaching. On Tuesday, April 7th, Medicine Lodge residents will have the opportunity to elect two new council members and elect a mayor.
There are four choices to fill the two council seats. It’s unfortunate that there are four good choices! With only two seats available, two very qualified people will have made an attempt to be valuable public servants to their community. I do have a horse in this race, so to speak. My father-in-law, Don Vick is running for city council. He’s new to the community, but wants to be actively involved and is eager to serve. That being said, I like all of the other candidates too: Roger Lukens, Anthony Farrar and Steve Probst. I have no questions in my mind why they want to serve. I believe all of them like the progress that our city has made over the past several years. They want to be “on board” with doing the important work of seeing us continue to grow and be as successful as any small town in Kansas can be.
Because I won’t use my column to say anything negative about a candidate, I will only say that my choice for Mayor is Major Robert Stutler. It should be your choice too.
Bob, as I will refer to him, has provided strong and professional leadership to this community. He has had no axe to grind, treated no one more special than anyone else, restored broken down buildings, used his own resources to promote and benefit Medicine Lodge, worked tirelessly and gifted all of his compensation for being the mayor. I’ll bet you didn’t know that. He might be mad at me for saying that, but it goes towards his character. Bob has been mad at me before and he’ll just have to get over it.
Maybe you only know or have met the gruff military man who loves to talk about his service to our country and his decorated service in Vietnam, but you don’t know the guy who addressed congress on Marine matters during the Carter administration. Maybe you only know the man who bought the Grand Hotel and restored it, but not the guy who traveled half way around the world to win the heart of the girl he loved and married. Maybe you only know the “gun guy”, but you don’t know that he was William B. Ruger’s right hand man until he retired and moved to Medicine Lodge 13 years ago. Maybe you think you know the guy who you hold responsible for shutting off your water for late payment, but you don’t know the guy who has given thousands of his own wealth to area churches and organizations.
Love him or hate him, Bob is so overqualified to be our mayor, it’s almost ridiculous and comical to see him challenged. I’m so pleased that he has expressed an interest to continue to serve the people of Medicine Lodge. My hope is that voters will carefully examine the motives of a candidate that wants to run against Bob.
I’ll leave you with a thought:
Grudges are for those who insist that they are owed something. - Unknown
And some warning...
If you want to test a man's character, give him power. - Abraham Lincoln
All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing. - Edmund Burke
Bad officials are elected by good citizens who do not vote. - Andrew Lack.
Go vote on Tuesday, April 7th.

KWIBS - From March 16, 2015 - By Kevin Noland

So I really struggled this week juggling 5 email accounts, two office lines, a home phone and a cell phone. So, I am un-announcing my run for President of the United States. Hillary should probably do the same. Wait, she hasn’t officially announced she is running. Maybe this whole “email-gate” will make her reconsider.
The announcement of Hillary’s email woes come at the heels of Sunshine Week. March 15-21, 2015, marks the 10th anniversary of the nationally commemorated Sunshine Week in which open government proponents throughout our nation point with pride at transparency breakthroughs. Hillary probably didn’t get that email.
Forgive me for my sarcasm, but does she really think that the American voters are stupid enough to believe that she did this out of “convenience” and that we should just trust her that she turned over all of the emails during her tenure as Secretary of State? I mean, she’s not well known for scandals or controversies (except for maybe The Russian Reset Button, Dodging Sniper Fire in Bosnia, Whitewater, Travelgate, Benghazi - to name a couple).
I’m prepared for my Democratic friend who will somehow take offense to my criticism of Hillary, but are we prepared to overlook these transgressions all for the sake of electing our first female president? I don’t think so.
There are a lot of qualified, honest Democratic and Republican women who would better serve as our President than Hillary Clinton. I don’t care what their party affiliation is. I don’t trust someone who is an hour late for an impromptu press conference and then looks at the camera, reads a prepared statement and says that her email and personal email server will remain private.
I personally don’t care what she and Bill email each other or what her yoga routine is, but I do care about open and honest government at all levels, especially at the level of the President of our nation.
Have a great week!

KWIBS - From March 9, 2015 - By Kevin Noland

You have to love the imagination and perspective of a child. As we grow older, our perspectives become narrower and often we lose our imagination. My 5 year old grandson reminded me of this last week while he was in the office.
I was showing Kycen some paintings we had hung on the wall in our hallway. He carefully looked at each one. When we were done looking, I asked him which one was his favorite?
Without a missing a beat he said, “I like the birds one.”
I was a little confused. We didn’t have a painting with anything to do with birds. I asked him to show me which one, so he took me down the hall and pointed to a painting that is an abstract of an Indian village.
“This one,” he said!
I didn’t see it. I had gotten this painting from Richard Raleigh when he moved from his old office to the courthouse over a year ago.
I told him, “Those are Indians buddy.”
“No, those are birds grandpa,” he insisted.
I finally agreed with him, for the sake of argument, and we kept looking at the other pictures.
After Kycen left I was in Ronda’s office telling her about the painting. At nearly the same time, we both saw what Kycen saw - BIRDS!
It just took us a moment to gain his perspective.
Here’s that photo.....


Do you see the Indian Village? Do you see the birds? Do you now see both?
Have a great week!

KWIBS - From March 2, 2015 - By Kevin Noland

Maybe you know, maybe you don’t.
For years our local Ministerial Association has hosted a Lenten Meal each week through the Lent season. The first meal was held last Tuesday evening at The Assembly of God Church with Karen Lemon delivering a great message. The church served up a fantastic meal of meatballs and cheesy potatoes, green beans and several selections of pies.
It’s all a free will donation that the Ministerial Association uses to help people in our community that are in need.
It’s a great opportunity to fellowship with other Christians in our community and Ronda and I have enjoyed these gatherings for a number of years.
Different pastors and ministers take turns giving a message at a church in town. The meals are done up by folks of the church sponsoring that week. The first 2 meals are held in the evenings so the whole family can attend. Everyone is invited to attend as our community of faith comes together. Supper on Tuesday, March 3rd will be sponsored by The First Christian Church. The pastor speaking that evening will be Dwain Richert of Community Bible Fellowship. If you come, you will be served starting at 6 p.m. and hear a short message from Dwain at around 6:30 p.m.
The last 4 Lunches are served from 11:45-12:20. Then the speaker will start at 12:20 ending around 12:30.
There wasn’t a big crowd on Tuesday, but I imagine that the out of town basketball game might have robbed some of the attendance. I just want to encourage people to come out and have a meal and hear a good message from our local ministers and pastors as we lead up to Easter. It’s a great way to celebrate the season with others in our town and it’s a great way to support the ministry of helping those in need in our community.
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Alco officially closed its doors after more than 2 decades in Medicine Lodge. In all, 198 stores in 23 states closed, as did the 113-year-old discount retailer's 352,000-square-foot distribution center in Abilene, KS. That facility was recently taken over by Orscheln Farm and Home. There has been limited discussion on Orscheln taking over the property in Medicine Lodge, but nothing has become official. When we receive something official, we’ll make that announcement.
We’re not just losing Alco, we’re losing Mark Sutton. Mark has been the manager at Alco for as long as I can remember - 13 years to be more specific. He’s been very active in the community and I wish him well wherever he lands. I also hope that all the folks who have served us working at Alco land on their feet as well. Thank you all for the great service over the years.
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Spring is on the horizon. We keep getting small samples of it followed by the harsh reminder that winter isn’t finished with us yet. Sunday, March 8th, Daylight Savings Time resumes. I don’t mind losing that hour of sleep and look forward to having some sunshine when I get home from work! Don’t forget to set your clocks forward!!
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The Medicine Lodge Indians enter Sub-State Basketball this week. Sr. High girls will travel to St. John for sub-state play. The girls will play St. John-Hudson at 6 p.m. The boys will travel to St. John for sub-state play. The boys will play St. John-Hudson at 7:30 p.m. Good luck Indians!
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As a concealed carry permit holder, I have been particularly interested in a recent bill taken up by the Kansas Senate that has been approved to allow people to carry concealed guns without requiring them to get a state permit or take training classes.
The vote last Thursday was 31-7 and sends the measure to the House. The bill is sponsored by 26 of the chamber's 40 members, led by Majority Leader Terry Bruce.
A state concealed carry permit costs $132.50, and a person must undergo eight hours of training to get one.
Gun-rights groups note Kansas has long allowed the open carrying of weapons without a state permit. The bill's critics say training should be mandated for people carrying concealed weapons.
I saw nothing wrong with requiring people to have a permit and to require them to take the 8 hours of training. It’s a reminder to those of us who carry how great a responsibility we have. The classes were educational and provided information on the laws of the state in the event of having to ever use your weapon. Those without this training may not understand the consequence of the law when or if they fire that weapon.
We don’t hand the keys to cars to our children without them first taking driver’s education. They even have to take a test before they are given a license to drive. I guess I’m one of the odd gun rights supporting people. I saw no harm in folks being properly trained to carry a weapon concealed or open.
Only time will tell whether this was a good idea or not. I can tell you that there have been few, if any, instances of a permit holder using their weapon illegally in the state of Kansas.
Let’s hope that this measure doesn’t backfire on the 2nd amendment.
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Kansas legislators have introduced a number of so called “cost cutting” measures this year. One of them is to remove public notices from newspapers and publish the notices on government run websites. It’s not the first time this has been proposed. In fact, it’s an issue our industry fights almost every year for as long as I have owned and operated The Gyp Hill Premiere.
While these actions may seem like harmless, cost cutting measures, they aren't.
Not only the newspaper but more importantly you, as a taxpayer, would suffer if legal notices were not printed in newspapers.
Granted, papers rely on the revenue from public notices to help the company's bottom line. And these days, with advertisement income plummeting, many newspapers need the notices to survive. And that's what should be worrisome to taxpayers. No matter how you feel about your local paper, it is providing a critically important service to the community. It is a pillar in helping keep this nation free and democratic.
Let's review a few reasons why it's a bad idea to not publish public notices in the newspaper.
There are simply too many important issues that affect our homes, neighborhoods, schools and jobs to no longer include this information in newspapers. Tampering with city charters in this manner will curtail the public's right to know about important government actions affecting every aspect of your life.
Newspapers remain the main source of local news and important matters, such as these government legal notices.
Relying on the Internet alone, as these proposals would do, is unfair, especially to the elderly or those who have lower incomes and often have less access to computers.
Continuing to publish these important notices in newspapers is just common sense. Newspapers are an independent source of information and help provide a transparent and permanent record of these government actions.
Also, publication of these important government legal notices helps provide oversight of important matters affecting our homes, neighborhoods, schools and jobs.
Nothing in the current law prevents city governments from posting notices online, and we encourage such action in addition to publication in newspapers.
Kansas Press Association has been ahead of this for a number of years. We have a website, independent of government intervention, that publishes public notices from across the state. You can see it free of charge at www.kansaspublicnotices.com.
Removing public notices from newspapers also jeopardizes public oversight and right to know. The loss of this oversight is just too costly to the general public. These notices often deal with matters affecting home values, special assessments or fees for local residents or small businesses.
Newspapers are a fair and independent source to ensure the public is informed about these important government notices.
It's understandable that local counties, schools and municipalities want to trim expenses. But the cost is too high when they stop using newspapers for public notices.
As boring as they may seem, the notices help keep a governmental unit transparent and open. These are necessities in a democratic society.
Don't let your state leaders sacrifice your right to know for the sake of a few dollars.

Have a great week!

 

KWIBS - From February 23, 2015 - By Kevin Noland

The weekend before last, I had a reminder of how old I am becoming.
Saturday Night Live celebrated 40 years of making, at least me, laugh.
I’ve been a fan since I was old enough to watch TV and I still record the show to this very day.
Saturday Night Live is one of the longest running network programs in American television history, with over 760 episodes broadcast over the span of 39 seasons. A number of the show's sketches have been developed into feature films, including The Blues Brothers, Wayne's World, A Night at the Roxbury, Superstar, Coneheads and MacGruber.
The line up of past cast members, musicians and actors was amazing and keeping with tradition, the new skits were on the edge - and often over. I caught myself laughing out loud several times.
The show has always been a launch pad for acting careers, take for instance Jimmy Fallon. Fallon became a cast member in 1998. He’s now the host of The Tonight Show. Don’t forget about some of my favorites: Eddie Murphy, Dan Aykroyd, Chevy Chase, Jim Breuer, Billy Crystal, Robert Downey, Jr., Norm Macdonald, Seth Meyers, Dennis Miller, Bill Murray, Mike Myers, Amy Poehler, Andy Samberg, Adam Sandler, Martin Short, Molly Shannon, David Spade. You also can’t forget the late John Belushi, Phil Hartman, Chris Farley and Gilda Radner.
Past Presidents, former Beatles, and famous athletes have graced the SNL stage along with some of the best musical performers over the past 4 decades.
It never mattered if you were Republican or Democrat, you were an easy target. They’ve never leaned right or left.
My favorite skit of all time has to be Celebrity Jeopardy.
I was 6 years old when the series began. Thanks for the laughs Lorne Michaels and the cast of SNL!
Have a great week.

KWIBS - From February 16, 2015 - By Kevin Noland

My wife’s Grandmother Mildred Meairs is 91 years old. Her memories are fading, but when engaged in conversation, she can remember a few things from her past.
She always asks, “Do you know anyone as old as I am?”
We always answered with, “Yes, Dub Rickard is actually older than you. Remember him?”
She would remember and we’ve repeated that conversation for many years.
Sadly, Dub passed away last week. After Bev McCollom died several years back, Dub was “dubbed” the local historian. Dub loved telling stories about Medicine Lodge’s early years. He lived many of them.
Now that torch passes again. This time most will agree that John Nixon is our official town historian. He’s always been my go-to-guy for history stuff, but there were many times he would say, “Ask Dub.” Dub was a walking history lesson. He will be missed.
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Speaking of history lessons.... I had contacted my dad’s cousin Frankie Price last week about a story I remembered about our family being part Cherokee Indian.
On Tuesday of last week, I got a package in the mail with stories about my Great-Great-Great Grandmother Nancy (Beaver), Weddle, Lewellen. Nancy was born in 1832 during the Trail of Tears relocation of her family during the “Removal Act of 1830. Her birth came after a small band of Cherokee Indians escaped. Her family later settled in Missouri. At 20 years old she married an Osage Indian named Alexander Weddle. They had three children and then Alexander was killed in the Civil War.
She later married Felix Lewellen, Alexander’s Army Commander who had children of his own and was widowed. Felix was committed to an institution after the war because he never dealt with the south losing. He later died.
Nancy’s daughter Mabel and Felix’s son Samuel (yes, step brother and sister) married and had 12 children of their own. One of those daughters, Maude Minerva, married James Copeland, who was my Grandma Eithelyn’s father. Ethelyn married Bill Noland and the rest is history.
Sadly, Nancy’s family never registered with the Cherokee Tribe, so there is no official lineage on record with the Cherokee Nation.
Have a great week!

KWIBS - From February 9, 2015 - By Kevin Noland

“Chick Hill Premiere,” Ronda answered the phone on Thursday.
That’s what happens when you are talking about food right before answering the phone.
Our brains are funny machines. On Wednesday I asked Ronda to buy me some pens when she went to Dirks’. She came back and gave them to me. I remember she put them in my hand and I walked to my office. When I sat down and needed a pen to write, I could not, for the life of me, find those pens. Of course, I accused my wife of taking them from me. It’s happened before....
January 16, 2015, 5 p.m.: I open my safe, pull out tickets to Cirque du Soleil for Sunday’s performance and place the tickets on my counter in my bathroom.
January 18, 2015, 10 a.m.: I grab everything on the counter and we leave for Cirque du Soleil. Somewhere south of Cunningham Ronda asks, “Did you get the tickets?”
I thought about that statement and then realized. Hey, no, I did not! Where the heck were they? I inventoried my pockets and everything was there accept those tickets.
I was like, “I put them on the bathroom counter! Where did they go?”
Ronda said, “I moved them and put them in the drawer under the medicine cabinet.”
Why???? I can only assume to test my psychic skills because that drawer contains nothing but brushes and makeup mirrors, as far as I know. I’ve never put anything in that drawer. Its contents are a complete mystery to me.
So we laughed, turned around and went back for the tickets.....
Back to my pen story.
I knew I had them as I was hanging a picture on the wall when Ronda gave them to me. I retraced my steps and found them in the drawer where I put the hammer. Ronda had nothing to do with their disappearance - this time... *wink*
Let me be clear, I love this woman with all of my heart. She’s been the love of my life for 29 years. I hope she keeps me guessing for many more! Happy Valentine’s Day Baby!

Have a great week!

KWIBS - From January 19, 2015 - By Kevin Noland

I’ve got another confession to make....
I have a pretty big wardrobe of unworn, unwanted shirts. Many of them were free or gifted to me.
Nothing in life is finer than a comfortable T-Shirt. When I find one, I’ll wear it out and I don’t care if you think it’s the only shirt I own. Such is the case with some of my favorite shirts - generally concert shirts.
Concert shirts are like a trophy that is won from competing in an Olympic-like event. If you’ve ever been to a concert, you know what I mean. I own several trophy like Van-Halen, 3 Doors Down and the Foo Fighters. When one of these shirts eventually wears out (or magically shrinks), they get retired to the pajama’s drawer or the sleeves cut off drawer for summer wear.
I searched and searched for days for my favorite concert shirt last week. It was my “Foo Fighters” shirt. It was no where to be found. Heated arguments with my wife erupted over what happened to this shirt. I tore through what seemed like endless drawers and the bottom of my closet for this precious shirt, but never found it.
I had determined that someone had taken it. I could have never parted with it. I always come home with a shirt on.
Then, last week we had our kids over for dinner. Devin and Breeann walked in and Devin was wearing my Foo Fighter’s shirt.
Apparently, he had spilled something on his shirt during a previous dinner at our house and someone helped themselves to my shirt drawer. Possession is 9/10ths of some law somewhere and he just thought it was now his.
He was wrong.
Not wanting to be a bad father-in-law and making him go home shirtless, he walked out with a shrunken Aquaman shirt.
Have a great week.
PS: Devin, I’m going to need that shirt back. It has a summer appointment with a pair of scissors....

KWIBS - From January 5, 2015 - By Kevin Noland

I hope you all had a great holiday season. Our family enjoyed the quirkiness that is a Noland Christmas.
I made a few observations this holiday and took interest in the following facts:
1) I bought a new artificial Christmas Tree that is pre-lit, or already has lights on it. This is a great idea until part of the lights stop working, like my old one did. I simply took that one, bought a string of lights and put it up at the office. That’s exactly what they wanted me to do.... I also have no idea how they get the tree back inside the box they come in. They will never go back in there no matter how much shoving and cursing you do.
2) God bless Nisly Trash Service during the holidays (and all year round). These guys work tireless to get rid of all of the trash we make during Christmas. I know I had about three extra bags, plus at least two full recycling bins. I think they should make those trash bins transparent, so we can see what others got for Christmas.
3) No matter how many trips to the grocery store you make before it’s closed on Christmas day, you forgot something. Probably toilet paper....
4) There’s always that friend that stops by with a gift and you get caught off guard because you didn’t get them anything. Judge Richard Raleigh stopped by my office with a gift. I grabbed a rain gauge off my desk that I had won at Citizen’s Bank the week before at their open house and said, “I got you something too!” I think he’s on to me.
5) I now hate the following foods: Turkey, ham and pecan- anything.
6) Christmas isn’t complete without a child crying during Christmas Eve service. Usually, it’s one of mine. Their ages: 25, 22 and 16.
7) I could fast from December 25th - January 1st, exercise daily and still gain 4 pounds.
8) Something will be spilled - usually a drink, ok, usually my drink. A toy will break. Bad sweaters will be worn.
9) Somehow, I managed to avoid “wassail” this year. I don’t even know what’s in that.
10) True fact: Christmas trees are edible. Look it up. Many parts of pines, spruces, and firs can be eaten. The needles are a good source of vitamin C. Pine nuts, or pine cones, are also a good source of nutrition. I have an artificial tree.... I can’t get it back in the box and I’m not eating it, or ham, turkey, etc...
Happy New Year!

KWIBS - From December 22, 2014 - By Kevin Noland

A few years ago my kids unearthed a really dorky photo of me from like 6th grade. It was one of those photos that had my head floating off to one side with the black background. Everyone who lived through the 1980s either had this photo or has since destroyed one.
Each year around Christmas, I try to shoot a few photos of the kids around the tree. Of course, my daughter has a family of her own, or she would have had a head floating in this too.
Thanks to Nick and Joey for being such good sports about this!

For 23 years I have enjoyed getting to put out this edition with the Dear Santa letters.
Adalynn Cope writes, “I want a stuffed snowman, and my brother needs a new shirt. You have a nice beard. Thank you Santa for the doll.”
Notice how Adalynn compliments Santa and then thanks him for the “doll”? How could he not give this cute little girl what she asked for?!?
This is the first year that my grandson has “officially” been given the chance to write a letter to Santa. He’s got big ambitions, but I bet Santa follows through with most of his requests.
And yes, those are my grandkids on the front page of the newspaper this week. I’ve always taken the liberty to picture my kids and grandkids on occasion over the years and tried not to abuse the power too much. But come on, how cute are they?
Finally, remember why we celebrate Christmas! We have a gracious God.
Matthew 1:20-23
Behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. And she will bring forth a Son, and you will call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.”
Now all this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying: “Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Emanuel,” which is translated, “God with us.”
Merry Christmas Friends!
OK.. one more dorky photo....
 

KWIBS - From December 8, 2014 - By Kevin Noland

As I’ve written many times, I am sort of a “newsy” kind of guy. I start my day off reading the news and then watching some news on TV while drinking my coffee and then, checking the news throughout the day and even leaving my TV on in my office, listening to the news.
In fact, if you get into my truck, the radio is generally tuned to the news. It’s that bad.
One thing I love is strange news. It really gets my brain’s attention. Tuesday’s news from USA Today was: About 100 brains missing from University of Texas. I misread it at first. I thought it said, “... from Washington.”
Some 100 jars of brains, possibly including one from infamous UT sniper Charles Whitman, have gone missing from a psychology lab at the University of Texas at Austin.
The missing organs, which represent about half of the university's collection, had been stored in jars of formaldehyde in a basement because the lab did not have enough room for all of them.
It is not entirely clear whether the missing organs include the brain of 25-year-old Whitman, who killed 16 people, including his mother and wife, before he was fatally shot by police in 1966. All identifying data was removed from the specimens when the center took them in.
Who’s brainiac idea was it to remove the labels from the brain jars? This instantly reminded me of the episode in Mel Brooks’ 1974 comedy “Young Frankenstein.”
Dr. Frederick Frankenstein: [to Igor] Now that brain that you gave me. Was it Hans Delbruck's?
Igor: No.
Dr. Frederick Frankenstein: Ah! Very good. Would you mind telling me whose brain I DID put in?
Igor: Then you won't be angry?
Dr. Frederick Frankenstein: I will NOT be angry.
Igor: Abby someone.
Dr. Frederick Frankenstein: [pause, then] Abby someone. Abby who?
Igor: Abby... Normal.
Dr. Frederick Frankenstein: [pause, then] Abby Normal?
Igor: I'm almost sure that was the name.
I can’t even make this stuff up...
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Speaking of brainless acts....
I got a call from Mayor Stutler Thursday morning. He was calling to tell me that someone had vandalized the Veterans’ Memorial. That’s probably the most despicable thing I’ve heard in a long while.
Further into our conversation, I learned that it was his name and plaque that was damaged. Someone had taken and cracked his name plate, probably with a hammer.
It’s a pretty gutless and disrespectful thing to do to anyone, especially a veteran. Bob has given the better part of his life (25 years) of service to his country and several years to this community. I can’t imagine how this would make him feel. It certainly does not reflect the spirit of this community.
There are hundreds of names on that wall. My dad’s name is there. My wife’s grandpa’s name and many of my old friends who are gone, but not forgotten are also on that wall.
That corner is a source of pride in our community. It’s a thoughtful and honorable memorial to all who have served and been a part of our community. It doesn’t matter what the reason was for this particular name to be vandalized. It is just shameful.
Whether this was a dirty deed done by one of our youth in the community, or even worse, an adult, it is something we should not tolerate. I’d like to offer the first $100 cash reward for information leading to prosecution of the vandalism to the memorial. If you would like to pledge a reward amount, shoot me an e