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It’s a small world

Laugh Tracks in the Dust
Milo YIeld
Damphewmore Acres, Kan.

My how time flies when you’re havin’ fun! Our two-month excursion into the Valley of the Sun in Arizona is coming to a close in just a bit more than a week.

I know winter is still hanging on in the Flint Hills, so, in a way, I’m dreading getting out of the dry warm weather and getting back into the damp, cold weather. But, It’ll be nice to get back into our home and among our Kansas friends.

Speaking of cold, the weather hasn’t been, but ol’ Nevah and I have both caught bad colds in spite of the sunny weather. I wuz hopin’ that I could escape a winter/spring cold this year, but it wuzn’t in the cards.

However, before the cold laid us low, Nevah and I drove into some more beautiful country. We drove into the Superstition Mountains to Tortilla Flats. It wuz abut 20 miles of narrow blacktop with dozens of 15-20 mph hairpin curves. The mountains were rugged and unusual in that part and some mountains were distinctively yellow, and, while I’m not a geologist, my reasoned guess it that the yellowish parts of the mountains were yellow clay compressed into rock millions of years ago.

On the way to the Flats, we stopped at the Canyon Dam, viewed the beautiful, deep blue waters, and ate lunch at the marina. When we arrived at Tortilla Flats, we were greeted with a crowd of tourists and Harley Davidson bikers so large that we couldn’t find a place to park, so we turned around and headed down the mountain.

• • •

Then on Valentine’s Day, we took in the Barleen’s matinee floor show at Apache Junction. It was a wonderful meal and a variety of music — ranging from Big Band music, to old time country-western music, to old-time early rock and roll music — with a smidgen of comedy thrown in for good measure.

The show wuz quite similar to the best of the shows in Branson, Mo. The thing that struck me wuz how closely the singers sounded like the original artists. You’d have swore that Perry Como, Satchemo, Merle Haggard, and Frankie Avalon had come back to life to sing. And, the bass singer had the lowest voice I’ve ever heard, but he could do falsetto, too. He did one act where he impersonated the opening song on the old “All in the Family” TV show, featuring Archie and Edith Bunker. He matched Edith’s ear-piercing falsetto voice to perfection.

The family said it does a similar show in the summer and fall at its place in Estes Park, Colo.

• • •

I ignored the balky knee again and played nine holes of golf this week at a new golf course close to Apache Junction. It wuz fun and I shot the best nine-holes of our trip. Shot a 45, which is good for an old, crippled-up duffer like me.

• • •

It’s a small world and spending time down here proved it. It’s popular to say there’s no more than seven levels of separation for any two people on Earth. I don’t believe that, but I do think it might be true just in America.

For instance, Nevah and I were going through an open house just for fun and the home had a big back yard with orange and grapefruit trees loaded with fruit. I wuz wearing a KC Royals cap. Another couple joins us and the guy sees my cap and says, “Royals fan, huh?” I replied, “Yep. Live in Chase County close to Emporia.”

He says, “What a coincidence. We’re from Marion and drive to Emporia all the time.” So, then we got to talking and I ask him if he knows John Dee who raises Longhorn cattle at Marion. The guy is friends with John. He also knows a former newspaper writer who lives in Marion that is an acquaintance of mine. To add to the coincidence, the guy’s wife says their children are that very evening going to dine at the Ad Astra restaurant in Strong City.

A few days earlier we were standing at a reception desk at an RV Resort and I wuz wearing a T-Shirt with the logo of Bea Wilder U (my favorite university). A guy walks in behind me, took a look at my shirt, and the first words out of his mouth were, “I hate such and such university, too.” (Such and such is the big rival of BWU). Turns out the stranger was in school with me at BWU decades ago and he went to high school at Medicine Lodge, Kan., with Louis, a kid I roomed with one working summer in Kansas City while we were in college.

What were the chances of those meetings? Pretty high, I guess.

• • •

The political season is open until the election in November, so I guess every topic is fair game.

This past week, two prominent pols made headlines by making denigrating comments about farmers and rural America. One essentially called farmers intellectual lightweights and that anyone could easily learn to farm. All you have to do is drop seed into the ground, get a rain and you’ve got a crop. Clearly he knows nuthin’ about farming.

The other prominent pol discounted the Iowa caucuses as “just a bunch of farmers and Midwesterners.”

Such comments say way more about the pols than about the farmers and rural areas they so easily discount as unimportant. Sadly, it’s popular to attach a disparaging name to those who engage in politically incorrect speech. So, I’ve invented a name for the above pols — “Ruralogynists.”

• • •

You can find words of wisdom on T-Shirts if you look. Here’s some: “Does running late count as exercise?” Have a good ‘un. ❖


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