Tag Archives: Parsons Kansas

Stealing the General’s Jeep


Patch of the USAAF 14th Air Force (World War II)

Image via Wikipedia

I’m posting this because the guy who’s titled FLYING TIGERS – 14th AIR FORCE, is my Uncle Ron.

Ron is a native of southeast Kansas, Born in Oswego Kansas and lived in Parsons, KS for many years. Also, it’s a short WW2 story that’s never been told until this video was made!

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Parsons City Commission Code of Conduct – proposed


 It appears that Parsons City Manager Fred Gress and Commissioner Greg York are pushing a code of conduct for our City Commissioners. This code seems to be aimed at new commissioner Frankie Barnett, since he is to our city what “Columbo” was to detective shows.

 True or not, the appearance (to the public) is that Gress basically wants control over who Frank can speak with, and what the topics/questions are.  Since the other commissioners almost always vote in favor of whatever the City Manager proposes, and Mr. Barnett is often the only dissenting vote, it only stands to reason that certain portions of this proposal are intended to affect Barnett and his remarks regarding the issues at hand.

Love or hate Frankie, I believe there are NO inappropriate questions, as long as they pertain to city works and finances. We elected Frank to shine some light into the process so that we see where our tax dollars are going.

Here’s a sample that reads much differently than Fred and his allies propose. This sample certainly does not need a manager or mayor to filter questions to city staff.  http://www.battlecreekmi.gov/City_Government/Mayor_and_Commission/Code_of_Ethics.htm

I’m assuming you haven’t seen a copy of this proposal, so I have attached this below. There are other copies already around town, so some of you may have seen this.

I believe section 6 of the proposed rules is completely unacceptable. It basically says asking questions is inappropriate, unless Fred Gress says it’s appropriate.

From section 12, who will it be that makes the judgement call on what comments are “belligerent, personal, impertinent, slanderous, threatening, abusive or disparaging? Will Mr. Gress or Mr. York be making these decisions?

It is a well-known fact here in Parsons that Mr. Barnett has been attending public meetings and has often irritated Mr. Gress and other commissioners by simply asking that they enforce City regulations with a fair and even hand for all, while pointing out cases where inconsistencies exist. He has admittedly been an outspoken critic of the current City Manager and the city’s management in general. This past history practically insures that Frank Barnett has prejudice against him when someone claims he is making disparaging remarks.

We elected Frank to ask questions and get information. Especially when taxpayers feel inappropriate actions or spending is being done.  In essence, he was elected to be an outspoken critic. Not liking Frankie’s “tone and tenor” at a meeting is an emotional reaction, and not a good reason to create this over-reaching code of conduct.

If Frank speaks the truth, as he sees it, he will be in danger of being labeled belligerent and then being admonished publicly. Is that what this document is leading to, a public spanking for constantly asking tough questions?

Who would be a fair and impartial judge of what a disparaging (section 12) or “personal remark” is? Are we leaving it up to Gress and York to decide what’s appropriate and what’s not?……well THAT’S NOT APPROPRIATE!

Much of the document below is “standard boiler-plate” stuff and just common sense. I have no objections to those ordinary and customary requirements of code, they are quite acceptable and possibly should be accepted.

My questions are these: why wasn’t some of this boilerplate already in place years ago? If this was un-needed before, what has suddenly changed that we need to adopt these rules and give the City Manager these new controls and powers? 

Some of this common sense stuff was needed in the past, especially for conflicts of interest when giving JOBS Inc. $24,000 that was ultimately wasted. The City Manager and a former City Commissioner (the Commissioner has since been voted out) who belong to that private group had a glaring conflict of interest then (see section 2). What has changed?

The bottom line is this; The document and the timing of it’s proposal just don’t pass the “smell test”. Does anyone else get that feeling? If so, or not….feel free to comment!

Sorry so small – please ZOOM IN.


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Filed under Human Rights, Kansas, Labette County, Opinion, Politics, Southeast Kansas

Tribute To A Misfit


Editors note: this is a re-post, which just seemed fitting for memorial day ~ sekanblogger

 The Kinks became one of my favorite groups, but only after the release of the album Misfits in 1978. I graduated from high school that year. Of course, growing up on 70’s rock, I knew about the Kinks. Everybody knew the song “Lola,” and most people can only name that one song of theirs. That’s about all I knew too, until I moved to Wichita in ’78. The same day I moved there, a guy I kinda’ sorta’ knew moved there, too. We got re-acquainted and started hanging around each other. We both had the same habits, that is, drinking as much as possible and smoking more weed than anybody we knew. He had a Stratocaster knock-off, and was always playing some Kinks stuff. He had some of the older stuff, but I remember him mostly playing along with the 1979 album Low Budget. I could identify with that. It was a good album, but I wasn’t hooked yet!

 I became a real Kinks fan when I picked up a copy of Misfits. In my humble opinion, this album is one where the Davies brothers really bared their souls. At the time, I felt like a misfit, and all my friends were similar. One friend in particular really liked the title cut, and I decided it fit him to a tee. So this is dedicated to my long-gone friend Mark Fabrycky. As far as I’m concerned, it could be Mark’s ballad.

 Mark was a tall, muscular guy. He never knew a stranger. I was a sophomore in high school when we became friends. His brother and my older brother had been busted for weed together and we were birds of a feather.

 He refused to conform to almost everything. He would skip school on a whim, doing whatever came to mind, and rarely wore shoes, even in the winter. The first time I realized how different Mark was, he had gone to a forensics meet out of town. While someone else was on stage, he jumped up on the side of the stage and broke into an impromptu interpretive dance! They removed him from the meet, so he spent the day in a field across the street, brewing coffee in an old tin can and rolling cigarettes.

 Later that summer, we jumped a boxcar and rode to the next town, got arrested there for it, too. One night we slept in a cemetery, using dead leaves as a bed. We slept on the top of the spillway at a state lake while doing LSD and watching the stars. We would sleep on gravel bars out on the Neosho river. We canoed streams in Missouri and generally enjoyed being teenagers. Mark enjoyed climbing water towers just for the hell of it. He was arrested in Pittsburg, Kansas, after he climbed a tower with a mutual friend, Crazy Vince. The police came and asked them to come down. He replied that he would as soon as his weed was gone. They waited while he smoked the weed.

 He was a brilliant guy who had a Masters’ degree in agronomy from K-State, but he never conformed there either. Mark was always wearing old second-hand clothes, and a WW2 green trench-coat. He had a running joke with the ladies who ran the student union in which they would touch a long string hanging from his trench-coat (which he conveniently left there), as a parody of Christ healing the lady of faith. His hair would be shoulder length for awhile and the next time you’d see him, it was shaved, eyebrows and all. I asked him, “Why the eyebrows?”. His answer? “Shock effect, I want to be different.” IT WORKED.

 He quickly made friends with some chemistry students, and they supplied Mark with all the windowpane LSD he wanted. This was most likely his downfall, but that was years later. No matter what drug, food, or drink was around, Mark needed more. If you did a hit of acid, Mark would do six! If you grilled chicken, he needed a whole chicken for himself. Weed? He inhaled it like the breath of life itself.

 After graduating from college, he ended up in California. Lived in a commune with an older lady as his partner. Grew ‘community gardens’ in any extra space he found. I remember him picking veggies right out of the field and eating unwashed anything.

 Anytime Mark came home to see his Mom, he would always make a point to come see me. I felt honored. His mother said he never cared to see anyone else here. The last time he came home, his mom called me, saying Mark was having some mental problems. She was warning me that he was coming to my house, and she hoped I could handle him. I did, sort of. He spent the night, and ate everything in the house, right after he smoked all my stash. It was obvious he was in some trouble, as his mind was racing and he was speaking in broken sentences. He had a portable typewriter with him, and cranked out ‘beat’ poetry like crazy. He drank all the booze, and never slept a wink.

 The next day, I knew I had to get him home. I finally got him loaded up, and he made me take him to the old MKT hospital. They had a mental ward at the time, and he insisted he was due to check in there. I was relieved, until they told me they didn’t know Mark and there was no knowledge of his problem. He walked the hospital halls, scaring the hell out of everybody. I finally got him to his mother’s.

 That was the last time I saw Mark alive. His mom got him into a hospital in Pittsburg. The hospital took a group to an AA meeting a few days later. Mark walked out of the meeting and into oblivion. The police found him dead, underneath the same water tower he had been arrested at. Vince, his old friend, had come back to town when he heard about Mark being here. He was at my house when we heard the news.

Mark was gone. He had went to mingle with the stars.

Mark, my misfit friend, this is still your song to me.

The Kinks – Misfits Lyrics

You’ve been sleeping in a field but you look real rested
You set out to outrage but you can’t get arrested
You say your image is new, but it looks well tested
You’re lost without a crowd yet you go your own way

You say your summer has gone
Now the winter is crawlin’ in
They say that even in your day
Somehow you never could quite fit in
Though it’s cold outside
I know the summer’s gonna come again
Because you know what they say
Every dog has his day

You’re a misfit, afraid of yourself so you run away and hide
You’ve been a misfit all your life
Why don’t you join the crowd
And come inside
You wander round this town like you’ve lost your way
You had your chance in your day
Yet you threw it all away
But you know what they say
Every dog has his day

Look at all the losers and the mad eyed gazers
Look at all the loonies and the sad eyed failures
They’ve given up living ‘cos they just don’t care
So take a good look around
The misfits are everywhere
La la la la la la

This is your chance, this is your time
So don’t throw it away
You can have your day
‘Cause it’s true what they say
Every dog has his day

You’re a misfit
Afraid of yourself so you run away and hide
You’ve been a misfit all your life
But why don’t you join the crowd and come inside
You wander round this town
Like you’ve lost your way
You had your chance in your day
Yet you threw it all away
Now you’re lost in the crowd
Yet, still go your own way

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Filed under Kansas, Music, ODDITIES, Rock and Roll, Short Story, Tributes

Antique Postcards ~ Broadway Street, Parsons Kansas 1924


Be sure to visit KATY DAYS  for more area history.

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Filed under AMERICANA, History, Kansas, Labette County, Postcards, Southeast Kansas, Trains

POETRY OUT LOUD


SEE POETRY OUT LOUD locally.

Parsons High School auditorium, Monday Feb. 8th at 7:00pm.

FREE admission.

Please support our local arts, especially at the high school level.

Recitation and performance are major new trends in poetry. There has been a recent resurgence of poetry as an oral art form, as seen in the slam poetry movement and the immense popularity of hip-hop music. Poetry Out Loud builds on that momentum by inviting the dynamic aspects of slam poetry, spoken word, and theater into the English class.

The National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation have partnered with State Arts Agencies of the United States to support the expansion of Poetry Out Loud, which encourages the nation’s youth to learn about great poetry through memorization and performance. This exciting program helps students master public speaking skills, build self-confidence, and learn about their literary heritage.

After successful pilot programs in Washington, DC, and Chicago, the second phase of Poetry Out Loud was launched in high schools across America in the spring of 2006 with tens of thousands of students participating. Last year, over 300,000 students competed. William Farley from Virginia was named National Champion on April 28, 2009.

The program will continue to grow during the 2009-2010 school year, culminating in the 2010 National Finals in Washington, DC, on April 27, 2010.

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Local Entertainment – The Canadian Tenors


These gentlemen preformed last night at our local Municipal Auditorium. As all the acts from our Area Concert Association, they are world class. Had Randy Jackson been there, he would have certainly commented; “Dawgs,….You guys BLEW IT OUT DA BOX!”

HAT TIP to Pastor Paul  and Peck Cam for providing the tickets. (Umm, sorry about missing that meeting last night Pastor.)

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Filed under Classical Music, Kansas, Labette County, Music, Vocal Music

Happy New Year Parsons – 1924


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Antique Postcards ~ Merry Christmas Parsons


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Antique Postcards ~ The Wise Men


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Filed under AMERICANA, Kansas, Labette County, Postcards

Antique Postcards ~ Merry XMAS 1918 Parsons Kansas


In 1918, over 16,000 people lived here in Parsons.

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