Category Archives: Uncategorized

Home on the Rainbow

There are so many amazing things happening right now in Kansas in art, music, and food. Today, on the eve of Kansas Day Eve (because, let’s be honest, there’s plenty of build-up to my favorite holiday), I have the opportunity to host the World Premier of a song about Kansas here on my blog.

My friend Adam Inman, who never misses an opportunity to make fun of me eating chicken and noodles every year at the Kansas State Fair, put together a mash-up of two of the most beloved songs in our state, with all sorts of twists.

So check this out: “Home on the Rainbow,” arranged and performed by Adam Inman.

It’s back!

Some of this year’s hottest food news in Kansas is becoming old news, but it’s still good news, so I am excited to share it.

Mo’s Place in Beaver has re-opened!

The bar and grill has long been on my top three list of my most favorite Kansas places, mostly because of the plucky story associated with it. Len and Linda Moeder, the original owners of Mo’s, as the tale goes, left a high-stress lifestyle in California to realize their dream of opening their own microbrewery and restaurant in an old metal-building beer joint … in the shadow of a Central Kansas grain elevator.


I was so excited to get inside that I didn’t notice that this photo was crooked. Just focus on the “open” sign. And the grain elevator. Kansas!

The Moeders retired in 2014. They’ve since sold the building and the beer brewing equipment to Austin Bell and Dale Kaiser, who will now call it Beaver Brewery.

My 90-year-old grandfather and I recently made the trek out to northern Barton County to check it out. While some things remain exactly the same – including the red-and-white-checked tablecloths that cover the tables – the menu received a serious upgrade of freshly prepared classics: burgers, hot dogs, chili, and a fried bologna sandwich.


We both ordered the Hickory Burger – a fresh ground beef burger with BBQ sauce, cheese, bacon and an onion ring – and split a basket of hand-cut fries. We should have split the burger, as the portion sizes are clearly aimed at the local contingent of hungry oilfield workers and farmers with whom we dined.


Old and new, all in one photo.

I can’t wait to go back to try the beer. Bell said they were waiting on the final necessary approval from the various governmental agencies to fire up the brewing operation – hopefully by May of this year. Until then, they have a full cooler of all the local favorites, including Bud Light and Coors Light.

Beaver Brewery at Mo’s Place, 1908 Elm Street, Beaver, Kansas. (620) 587-2350. Hours: 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday.

(This review appeared first in Hawver’s Capitol Report on April 27, 2016. HCR is a great source of news from the Kansas Statehouse.)

An Open Letter to the Hipsters of Kansas

Dear Kansas Hipsters,

I have been to the place of your dreams.

It’s a land of wonder and enchantment, filled with all the things you hold dear: pickled vegetables in glass jars! Knitted sweaters and funky scarves! Ironic food! Chickens!

Where is this wonderland?

It’s the Kansas State Fair, which takes place in Hutchinson every September.

And I think it needs your help.

I’ve worked for the past five years in the Domestic Arts building. This is the building with the quilts, the latch-hook portraits of cats, and the exhibition kitchen for the SPAM and hash brown recipe contests.

The median age of the workers is approximately 70. That’s counting myself, which is a number so low that it should be tossed because it’s an outlier.

This year, as I helped my friend Andrea carefully arrange beautiful hand-knit sweaters, scarves and mittens on display racks, I wondered where you were.

Where are your full-arm fingerless mittens for those cold roller derby days, your wacky socks in tie-dyed colors? Where’s the blanket you knit for your baby, the one with the intarsia skull-and-bones? What about the sweater for your boyfriend, which covers up his tattoo sleeves when he visits his grandma?

Where are you, O Urban Pioneer, with your beer-pickled okra, your gluten-free cookies, your heirloom tomatoes?

This could be you.

This could be you.

It’s time to take part in this grand tradition, to stand next to those who have come before you, and learn all that you can before they pass on. You possess an amazing blend of appreciation for traditional art and modern style.

It’s kind of the best set-up, when you think about it, to display your talent with a relative cloak of anonymity. Your photo isn’t included with your work. There are no computer screens for anyone to interact with you.

On the other hand, it’s a way to be recognized for your hard work. It takes time to knit a garment; it’s hard work to stand over a boiling pot while canning pickles. And you could be an inspiration to others who visit and think, “hey, maybe I could do that.”

As a hipster, you want desperately to be cool, without being cool.

I can assure you that this is the best possible place for that to happen.

Start thinking now about what you’ll enter. Next August, make sure everything is finished and hop online to enter your goods.

I’ll see you there.



Thanks, all, for your comments and feedback! I’m flattered. And I hope you all had a good Kansas Day. I had a quiet day, with conversations with friends about the state, and chowing down on a bag of sunflower seeds, a thoughtful gift from my brother.

I’ve got a few ideas percolating, so watch this space in the coming days.

Thanks again! Keep the cards and letters coming.


On slow media

“Today, the challenge is … to be insightful enough and patient enough to use the (unlimited) time to create slow media that people actually want to listen to. Not all people, of course, but enough. Not media for the masses, but media for the weird, for people who care.”

Media for the weird? I like that.