Emporia Living 2018

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Spring 2018


DREAMS Food from the Heart From pizza to po-boys, Daryn Bontrager has come full circle

Life in the Fast Lane Krew Walburn hopes to go the distance on the racetrack

Flavors of the Past Carniceria Don Luis: a step back in time

Floor to Wall, We Do it All

CLARK CARPET & TILE, INC. 3302 W. 6th Ave. (1 block west of UPS) 620-343-6883 www.clarkcarpettile.com

Newman Regional Health Newman Regional Health provides comprehensive inpatient and outpatient medical care for all ages with a mission to improve health in our community by providing high quality care. With services to meet the full continuum of care, Newman Regional Health invites you to keep your healthcare local for your whole life.

Newman Regional Health Medical Partners

Cardiology Family Medicine Orthopedics and Sports Medicine Pediatrics Surgical Specialists

COMING SOON! Newman Regional Health Emergency Department Project Renovation

Expanding to fit the needs of our growing community



Chris Walker E D I TO R

Ashley Walker A RT D I R E C TO R


Kelsey Barker D E S I G N & P RO D U C T I O N

Picante Creative P H OTO G R A P H Y

Jason Dailey Dave Leiker

TABLE OF CONTENTS 7 Editor’s Note 8 Advertising Index 10 Life in the


Zach Hacker Melissa Lowery Regina Murphy Mary Ann Redeker Lisa Soller C O P Y E D I TO R S

Zach Hacker Ashley Walker MARKETING

Victor Acosta Cassi Ellis-Olinger Ronda Henery Tayler Lyons Leann Sanchez A DV E RT I S E M E N T D E S I G N

Dan Ferrell Margie McHaley Phillip Miller Katie Potter ONLINE

Facebook.com/emporialiving For more information, please contact: 517 Merchant Street Emporia, KS 66801 620-342-4800 Emporia Living Magazine is a publication of

Fast Lane

Krew Walburn hopes to go the distance on the racetrack


North Lyon County: 2018 Community Calendar

70 If Walls

60 Flavors of

Downtown building transforms with the times

Carniceria Don Luis: a step back in time

Council Grove: 2018 Community Calendar

2018 Community Calendar

the Past

Could Talk



20 Sweet Dreams Market Macacrons becomes a reality

32 Chase County:

2018 Community Calendar


A Farm Toy Story

More than just a collection, a way of celebrating the past


Food from the Heart From pizza to po-boys, from his love of cooking and for his wife, Daryn Bontrager has come full circle On the Cover: Haley Brinkman [Photo by Dave Leiker]

4 | EmpoRia Living

58 Madison:




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AdvAnced eye Surgery center, PA 1602 W. 15th Ave., Ste A • Emporia

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EDITOR’S NOTE Welcome to our new edition of Emporia Living Magazine! The magazines are among the most fun projects we get to produce for you every year. We appreciate how well they are received. It is fun to share some of the stories that make our community a better place to live, work and play. This year, we have a great group of stories lined up. Choosing a cover for the magazine is never easy. Here are some of the options we considered this year. We hope you enjoy the 2018 edition of Emporia Living!

Chris Walker Editor & Publisher

Spring 2018 | 7

ADVERTISERS INDEX Ad Astra. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33

Kari’s Diamonds & Bridal. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16

Adams Homestore. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 82

La Rumba. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46

Aldrich Apothecary. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 82

Lyon County State Bank. . . . . . . . . . . . . Back Cover

AllState Insurance, Jean Tidwell. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14

Life Care Center of Burlington. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 67

American Real Estate. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 87

Longbine Auto Plaza. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6

Bluestem Farm & Ranch Supply. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 77

Lore & Hagemann, Inc.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45

Bobby D’s Merchant St. BBQ. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 68

Lyon County Title. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 77

Broadview Towers. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46

Lyon County History Center. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 59

Brown Bennett Alexander Funeral Home. . . . . 32

M-N Carpet Store, Inc.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 84

Brown’s Shoe Fit Co.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 59

Mark II Lumber Company. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16

C. Allen For Your Doors. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 88

MFA Oil Propane. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 76

Carpet Plus. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 57

Mike’s Sports Connection. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31

Chase County Chamber of Commerce. . . . 32

Modern Air. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 79

City of Emporia. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9

Morris County Hospital. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 75

Clark Carpet & Tile, Inc.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2

Newman Regional Health. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3

Coldwell Banker, Emporia Real Estate. . . . . . . . 59

North Lyon County, USD 251. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18

Commercial St. Diner. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 59

Patton Putnam & Dean, Paul E. Dean. . . . . . . . 29

Council Grove/Morris County Chamber of Commerce & Tourism. . . . . . . . . 82

Plum Bazaar. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 76

Dairy Queen. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 69 Edward Jones, Jon Geitz. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 84 Emporia Convention & Visitors Bureau. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Inside Back Cover Emporia Dermatology & Skin Care. . . . . . . . . . 85 Emporia Main Street. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 Emporia Public School, USD 253. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 ESB Financial. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Inside Front Cover Evergreen Design Build. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 85 Farmers & Drovers Bank. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 82

Plumbing by Spellman. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19 Prairieland Partners. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 67 Regional Development Association. . . . . . . . . . 63 Reynolds & Anliker Eye Physicians & Surgeons. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 Rolling Hills Bar & Grill. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18 Ryan Kohlmeier, DDS. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 S & A USConnect Company. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18 Schankie Well Service, Inc.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 58 Scheller’s Lawn & Landscape Inc.. . . . . . . . . . . . 46

Flint Hills Technical College. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 54

State Farm, Euler Insurance Agency Inc.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 55

First Start Pool & Patio. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 55

Sutherlands. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31

Food for Students. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 86

Symmonds & Symmonds, LLC. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19

Grand Central Hotel. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33

Tallgrass Antiques. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33

Griffin Real Estate. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32

TCT Wireless. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 82

Grumpys Garage and Fuel. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 58

The Emporia Gazette. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 83

Haag Pharmacy. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 68

Thomas A. Kriss, DDS. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19

Handlebars of Hope. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 86

Thomas Property Management. . . . . . . . . . . . . 47

Hannah Orthodontics. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 81

Thomas Transfer & Storage. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47

High Gear Cyclery. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 57

Thompson Family Dental. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29

Hill’s Pet Nutrition. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 81

Tyson Fresh Meats, Inc.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 84

John North Ford, Inc.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31

ValuNet FIBER. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1

Joseph Laudie Dental. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47

Vektek. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 57

Kansas Maid Frozen Pastries. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 58

Wagner’s Automotive General Service. . . . . . . 58

Kansas Radio, 96.1 The Wave. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 75

Williams Automotive. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 84

Kansasland Bank. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18


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Making you feel at home with our award winning services, facilities and amenities.

Krew Walburn is off to a strong start in what he hopes will be a long career on the racetrack.


In three seasons racing in the factory stock division on the dirt track of Humboldt Speedway, Walburn has already racked up three heat victories. He consistently finishes in the top 10 both in the race and season standings. All of that before even getting a driver’s license. At 15, he races against adults who have 5 - 10, sometimes more years on him. When he hit the track for the first time at 12 years old, the next-youngest driver was 18. Even then, he wasn’t intimidated. “When we went up for my first race, we were rushing around and missed the Humboldt exit,” Walburn said. “We were late getting to the track, so I just threw on my gear and got out for a hot lap before the race started. Since then, I’ve been addicted.”


fast lane By Zach Hacker | Photography By Jason Dailey 10 | EmpoRia Living

Spring 2018 | 11

A family affair It probably wasn’t a surprise to anyone in the Walburn family when Krew started to show an interest in racing and motorsports in general at a young age. His father, Brian Walburn, is a former dirt track racer himself, and even as an infant, Krew was no stranger to the racetrack. “When he was a baby, Brian and I didn’t leave him home when we went to the races,” Krew’s mother, Frannie Walburn, said. “We took him to every race. He was the baby with the ear plugs or ear muffs on.” “It was fun to just go every Friday night and watch the cars go fast,” Krew said. “I knew it was what I wanted to do.” His whole family has been involved throughout Krew’s racing career. He got his first taste of going fast at only 4 or 5 years old when his dad and uncle gave him a gokart — slightly modified with blocks on the pedals so he could reach. He first started exploring the possibility of racing cars at 10, but Humboldt Speedway required drivers to be at least 12. With a start date in mind, Brian found him his first car, a 1984 Chevy Caprice — which eventually

12 | EmpoRia Living

had to be traded because it didn’t qualify for the factory stock division. During race season, Krew, Brian and assorted family members, depending on the night, can be found in the Walburn’s garage at their home just outside of Emporia working on Krew’s car. “I love it,” Krew said. “Me and (Dad) get to spend time together in the shop. It keeps us out of trouble.” On race nights, he has the support of the entire family. Brian, Krew’s cousin Brandon Walburn, a couple uncles and his grandfather, Kenny Walburn, all serve as part of his pit crew. Frannie is his “photographer and cheerleader” while his younger sisters sometimes lend a hand in the pit. He said having that support from his family has meant a lot.

Spring 2018 | 13

When I pulled off the track after the first heat race that I won and saw my whole family there going nuts, that was really cool. I love having them all there.

“When I pulled off the track after the first heat race that I won and saw my whole family there going nuts, that was really cool,” Krew said. “I love having them all there.” Being able to share in something he loves and watch him grow in the sport has also been a joy for his parents. Even though it can admittedly get a little scary at times — such as the time his car flipped after a side-by-side collision with another driver. Frannie said the sight was “a nightmare,” but Krew walked away without a scratch. “Seeing your young son doing what he loves means everything,”

Brian said. “Watching him compete — not just as a young driver but as someone who can drive, hold the line and be a true competitor out there — as a dad, it’s amazing. We are so proud of him.” “We are super proud of him and support him all the way,” Frannie said. “People ask me how I do it and ask, ‘Isn’t it hard?’ It can be a little scary, but we pray with him and teach him that he is shielded by the armor of God. As a mother, to see your child pursue what he is so passionate about means a lot. We always say, ‘Faith over fear.’”

Mentors Along with members of his own family, Krew has plenty of friends on whom he can lean. At the track, his dad serves as head crew chief while Christopher Walburn and Joe Alvarado are his assistant crew chiefs. Off the track, he enlists the help of a top professional in the racing world. Gary Stinnett, a four-time national champion NHRA Super Comp drag racer from Emporia, is among those who have taken Krew under their wing. When the freshman at Emporia High School isn’t

Spring 2018 | 15

Watching him compete — not just as a young driver but as someone who can drive, hold the line and be a true competitor out there — as a dad, it’s amazing. We are so proud of him.

working on his own car, he can often be found helping Stinnett in his garage. He’s even served on Stinnett’s pit crew when he doesn’t have a race of his own. “I soak up every minute of it,” Krew said. “There are a lot of kids out there who love racing, but I get the opportunity to work with Gary.” Stinnett Automotive and Racing is among Krew’s list of sponsors — along with Flint Hills Roofing and Gutter, Flint Hills Towing, Mel’s Tire, K&N Oil Filters, Charlie’s Place,


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Full Service Motorsports and Advance Auto Parts — but Gary also helped him secure a sponsor who was already supporting the champion. “Gary introduced me to the president of K&N and I got a sponsorship from them,” Krew said. “They sent me a big box of filters almost right away.” The other drivers in Humboldt have also recognized Krew’s talent and enthusiasm for the sport. Despite being his competitors, they’ve been willing to help in several ways as the

young driver continues to grow. “He’ll just be around the track before a race and he’ll just go around talking to people,” Brian said. “He’ll go around and see what they’re doing and how their car has been doing in different situations.” “A lot of them have kinda taken Krew under their wing,” Frannie added. “If he breaks a part, he’ll go over and they’ll have it for him.”

A future in racing The next step in his career, according to Krew, would be a move up to the Class B-Modified division. But, while he loves racing under the Friday night lights in Humboldt, his longterm ambitions are much higher. He said his ultimate goal is to follow in the footsteps of fellow Emporian Clint Bowyer and race on the sport’s biggest stage: NASCAR. But he knows that’s something to which he’ll have to work his way up.

“First I want to race in USMTS,” Krew said. “Just to travel around and race mods against the best drivers in the country would be awesome.” Safety is a huge point of emphasis as Krew continues in his racing career. His family tests him and has him practice getting out of the car quickly in case of a fire on a regular basis. All of his gear and everything on the car is thoroughly checked long before he ever hits the track. That attention to safety is something his parents expect him to apply off of the track as well. After all, he’s less than a year away from getting his license. “He’s a racecar driver, so why wouldn’t he want to go fast?” Frannie said. “His mom and dad have told him to leave that on the track.” “I will,” he replied.

Spring 2018 | 17




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Sweet DREA

By Regina Murphy Photography by Dave Leiker

20 | EmpoRia Living

Haley Brinkman had a dream. Bit by bit, the

Emporian has made that dream come true. It began with a personal challenge. Brinkman had a special, sandwich-style cookie called a macaron at her wedding.


Spring 2018 | 21

22 | EmpoRia Living

“But to be honest, they didn’t wow me then,” she said. “They were pretty basic flavors, and I like the fun flavors.” A friend of the family, Rynn Vogel, brought some of her homemade meringue cookies on a visit from Los Angeles, California. “And they were matcha flavor and coffee swirl and vanilla buttercream and that kind of thing, and I said, ‘Well, those are really good. I want to try and do that,’” Brinkman said. “And my first batch? They were so lumpy and they didn’t have any ‘feet’ on them at all, and I was, like, ‘Well, alright, maybe this is hard.’” But Brinkman couldn’t stop — it was a problem she intended to solve. “I said, ‘I’m going to figure this out,’ and I did,” she said. “I got frustrated, but I don’t think I’ve cried over them. About the third attempt, I was ready to give up.” But she couldn’t let it go. She scanned online macaron information and learned some helpful things. First, the French macaron is actually, originally Italian. This was an important discovery for Brinkman. “I was using the French technique, where you do your dry ingredients (flour, sugar), then you do all the egg whites,” Brinkman said. “The Italian meringue, you make a syrup with the sugar.” That syrup is tempered into the egg whites before the dry ingredients are added. “It’s interesting, too,” she said, “The French method, I couldn’t use parchment paper. They wouldn’t come off. All I could use was a Silpat baking mat, and those things are, like, a million dollars. When I switched to the Italian method, the parchment worked and it’s a lot easier.” A convection oven is secret No. 2. The circulating air and consistent temperature are perfect for baking a meringue.

Spring 2018 | 23

Luckily, Brinkman’s parents had one and she had received a Kitchen Aide stand mixer as a wedding gift from her grandparents — perfect for whipping egg whites. Brinkman experimented on her family first, then friends and coworkers all became Guinea pigs. She had the idea from the start to sell the macarons. “I gave my coworkers at ColdwellBanker a box of Fruity Pebbles and Captain Crunch, and they got to talking, so I think that really helped,” she said.

She started out making two dozen at a time, making whatever flavor she wanted, and then selling packages of a dozen mixed flavors. She was selling out 14 dozen a week, at $20 a dozen, out of her home. Now she produces 32 dozen a week “… normally in one day, Brinkman said. “So, I can avoid putting my children into day care.”

24 | EmpoRia Living

The demand was outstripping her mom’s space, and working one small batch at a time made the process time consuming. Brinkman needed to scale up production and she didn’t have the space or tools. Brinkman shared her troubles with her good friend Emmy, daughter of Sweet Granada Owner Kim Redeker. “She was, like, ‘I’m sure you can

“A convection oven is secret No. 2. The circulating air and consistent temperature are perfect for baking a meringue.” Spring 2018 | 25

26 | EmpoRia Living

“It’s not unusual for people to spend several years perfecting their macaron recipe. Haley does a pretty good job.”

rent our kitchen.’” Brinkman said. “So, at first it was about renting, then the conversation turned to just selling them exclusively at that location.” Mission accomplished. Space, commercial-grade tools (Redeker even bought a convection oven for the partnership), a public display and staff to handle the sales. What drew Redeker to macarons? “We’ve always wanted to expand into a baking line, and macarons are really hot right now,” Redeker said. “We’ve had lots of requests. It’s a very challenging, difficult process to bake macarons, and we never had the time or the expertise. So, when this opportunity came along, we just couldn’t be more excited … what better way to start than with something so yummy and so popular as the French macaron.”

Redeker knows she’s landed a gem. “Macarons are one of the harder confections or pastries to make,” she said. “If you’ve ever heard anyone complain about making meringues for their pies … it’s just kind of hard. Temperamental might be a good word. It’s not unusual for people to spend several years perfecting their macaron recipe. Haley does a pretty good job, and loves to experiment with new flavors and being creative.” “I’m just really grateful she presented this opportunity,” Brinkman said. Using the facility during vacant hours has allowed Brinkman to be a stay-at-home mom. And when her husband Jake comes home from work, he can be with their children, Rosalyn, 1, and Rallend, 4, while she goes to the shop on

Spring 2018 | 27

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In addition to weekly offerings, Brinkman has seasonal flavors (“Pumpkin Spice” for fall, “Candy Corn” for October, “Peppermint” for Christmas, “Pink Champagne” and “Red Velvet” for Valentine’s Day) and she can do specialty flavors on request. Commercial Street to bake after chocolate-making time. Market Macarons are little pillow-like gems, gone in two or three bites. Some are swirled, or painted with edible glitter. Others are rolled, edge-wise, in sprinkles or other treats. Colors can be custom-mixed for whatever the occasion is, bridal or birthday. Going from a recipe for 24 to recipes for closer to 70 meant adjustments. Scaling up the measurements was a little scary. “You’re always worried that it won’t work,” she said. “But it should work; you just never know.” With several months of commercial production behind her now, Brinkman is a macaron professional, and her dainties still fly out the door. Special orders need about a week in advance because it is a timely process. They are good in the refrigerator for a week or in the freezer for up to four. “I was kind of nervous to freeze them; I wasn’t sure if they’d turn out too dry,” Brinkman said. “But, I think they actually taste better. I think it kind of morphs together better.” The cookies thaw in 30 - 40 minutes on the counter. In addition to weekly offerings, Brinkman has seasonal flavors (“Pumpkin Spice” for fall, “Candy Corn” for October, “Peppermint” for Christmas, “Pink Champagne” and “Red Velvet” for Valentine’s Day) and she can do specialty flavors on request. How does Brinkman think it has turned out? “I’m really thankful that Kim’s let me work here and partner with her. I’ve known her and

Emmy forever, so it’s nice to be with, like family,” she said. “I feel pretty excited. When I was really little, I came up with a bakery name, and I made menus and I served them to my Teddy bears. This is something that I’ve always wanted to do. I’m just really excited to be making 5-year-old me happy.” She had the chance to do one year of home economics while in school in Olpe. Once she reached high school, she had the chance to take Flint Hills Technical College classes in the mornings. She studied pastries with locallyfamous French pastry chef

Evelyne O’Connor. “We just got on a bus every morning, just a few of us from the school; that was when I was 17,” she said. “At that point, I was deciding on whether I wanted to just keep this as a hobby. They were really focused on restaurant training, and I knew I didn’t want to work in a restaurant. I loved Evelyne and making the desserts and the pastries. So, at that time, I felt more like I wanted to have a bakery.” And now, she essentially does. Access to a kitchen, a place to sell and a grateful audience for her Market Macarons.


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MACARONS How it’s done

Without giving away too many secrets, here’s an overview of Brinkman’s magicmaking process. Macarons are made of egg whites, sugar almond flour and flavorings. The resulting cookies are made into sandwiches bound by a flavored filling. They look solid, but are like eating a cloud. 1. Red Mill Superfine Almond flour and powdered sugar are sifted together 2. Egg whites begin to whip in mixer while a syrup of granulated sugar is prepared 3. Syrup is slowly whisked into egg whites, creating a meringue 4. Meringue is then delicately folded into the dry mixture, thus creating a “macaronage” 5. Once the right consistency is reached, it is poured into a piping bag and then piped out into small discs 6. The shells are baked, cooled and then the macarons are filled and ready to sell “The shell can’t have any wet ingredients, just the egg whites,” Brinkman said. “They need to be room temperature. So, the flavors need to be in the filling if it’s a wet ingredient. But, like Fruity Pebble, I can put that through the food processor and add that to the shell.”

The ingredients have to be very smooth to avoid any hint of grittiness. The oven is very important to the process. “If you’re 10 degrees too high or 10 degrees too low, you’re not going to get the texture you need,” Brinkman said. “If you have a convection oven where the fan is blowing too hard, it can blow them off their feet, and you won’t have the ruffled edge that’s so important.” As the macaron shells cook, they rise in the center and settle around the edges, forming little feet — a sign of skill in macaron baking. “The lack of feet or too much spreading indicate a poorly-prepared meringue,” Brinkman said. She cooks the shells 10 minutes at 285 degrees on the Sweet Granada’s convection oven. “Each oven is different,” she said. “You have to experiment and just get used to the oven you have. It might be 12 minutes at 280 degrees in another oven.” Piping the perfect shell takes skill. “If you pipe from the bottom, closer to the tip, you’re less likely to pipe hollow shells,” she said. Holding the cut end in her right hand, she uses a gentle pressure to make the small circle for each shell, spacing them by sight. She holds the bag steady and allows the flow to create the circle, tipping the bag to the side at the end to prevent the center from being too high. Drawing a circle to fill in, or creating a center-out spiral also runs the risk of the center being too thick. Once the pan is filled, she takes the pan and firmly slams it onto the countertop several times. “That spreads them out a little bit,” she said. She also sees how the meringue reacts. “They shouldn’t be flat. If they’re flat, then you’ve over-mixed.” She’ll still bake them, though. “My mom will eat them.” “The base filling is a butter cream,” she said. “But I actually like more of a cream

cheese filling; I think that balances out the sweetness of the shell better.” Brinkman uses whichever filling she thinks best compliments the shell, and she’s not shy about it. There are Oreo, Fruity Pebbles and pistachios. Sometimes she makes a ring with the filling and then fills the center with lemon or raspberry curd. That filling can serve a purpose. “I think they’re great for weddings, bridal showers, baby showers,” Brinkman said. “One person used them for a gender reveal. I had blue ones, pink ones and white ones. And the white ones, I had a ring of cream cheese for the filling and then in the center was whatever color the baby was going to be.” What is Haley Brinkman’s hope for these cookies? “I hope that people can enjoy them, and have something a little different here in Emporia and not have to drive away for them,” Brinkman said. “They can shop Emporia first.” Market Macarons is a feature of The Sweet Granada, 803 Commercial St. There’s a Facebook page, and Brinkman is at haleynbrinkman@gmail.com.


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• Every Friday Night - “Emma Chase Friday Night Music” in Cottonwood Falls

• Every Friday Night - “Emma Chase Friday Night Music” in Cottonwood Falls

• March 1-April 8 WaterWays, a Smithsonian Institution Exhibit, Symphony in the Flint Hills Gallery

• March 1-April 8 WaterWays, a Smithsonian Institution Exhibit, Symphony in the Flint Hills Gallery

• March 3 - Symphony in the Flint Hills 2018 Signature Event Tickets on Sale, eventbrite.com

• April 7, 14 & 21 - Sunset Trail Rides, Flying W Ranch

• March 7 - Murder Mystery Dinner, Ad Astra Food & Drink

• April 7 - Opening Reception at The Bank Art Space, Matfield Green

• March 10 - Barn Dance, Pioneer Bluffs

• April 8 - Flint Hills Bridal Crawl, County-Wide beginning at Pioneer Bluffs

• March 16 - Cheers to the Beers, Fundraising Beer Tasting, Bulldog Booster Club, Spring Street Retreat • March 17 - “A Night of Broadway” Featuring Katie Banks-Todd, Clover Cliff Ranch

• April 7 - Grand ReOpening, Prairie PastTimes

• April 13-May 1 – 2018 SFH Field Journal Art Exhibit, Symphony in the Flint Hills Gallery • April 14 & 21 - Cattle Drive, Flying W Ranch

• March 24 - Sunset Trail Rides, Flying W Ranch

• Brick Road Rumblers Car Show, Downtown Cottonwood Falls

• March 30 - Moonlight Horse & Wagon Rides, Flying W Ranch

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JULY • Every Friday Night - “Emma Chase Friday Night Music” in Cottonwood Falls • July 7, 21 & 28 - Sunset Trail Rides, Flying W Ranch • July 7 - Cattle Drive, Flying W Ranch • July 7-8 - A Girl Scout Prairie Weekend, Pioneer Bluffs • July 21 - Kaleigh Glanton Concert, Pioneer Bluffs • July 24-Aug 5 - Opera Workshop in the Flint Hills, SFH Gallery AUGUST • Every Friday Night - “Emma Chase Friday Night Music” in Cottonwood Falls • July 24-Aug. 5 - Opera

Workshop in the Flint Hills, SFH Gallery • Aug. 4 - Prairie Heritage Talk: The Shaft Family Story by Margie Dyck, Pioneer Bluffs • Aug. 4 - Howard Glanton, Classical Guitar Concert, Pioneer Bluffs • Aug. 4, 11 & 18 Sunset Trail Rides, Flying W Ranch, 5:30pm • Aug. 11 - New Show Reception at The Bank Art Space, Matfield Green • Aug. 24 & 25 - Moonlight Horse & Wagon Rides, Flying W Ranch SEPTEMBER • Every Friday Night - “Emma Chase Friday Night Music” in Cottonwood Falls

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A Farm

Toy Story By Melissa Lowery

Photography by Jason Dailey


know I’m in the right place when I arrive at DeWayne and Sherry Backhus’ home in central Emporia. The houses in their Hammond Heights neighborhood are homogeneous — identical design, same brown siding — but there on the porch are two distinct indicators of who, and what, is inside: tasteful stone signs representing Emporia State University and John Deere. DeWayne taught Space Science and served as Chair of the Department of Physical Science at ESU for 44 years. Sherry, an ESU alumnus, served as an academic librarian for more than 37 years. The last 10 were affiliated with the ESU Newman Division of Nursing/Newman Regional Health Center Library and the William Allen White Library. »

34 | EmpoRia Living

Spring 2018 | 35

In 2014, the couple presented ESU with a seven-figure monetary gift to establish The DeWayne and Sherry Backhus Physical Sciences Fund. The fund will support graduate assistantships for students seeking advanced degrees in chemistry, earth science, physics or physical science education as well as laboratory capital equipment in the physical sciences department. Their devotion to the gold and black runs deep. But ESU is not the sole recipient of their time and attention. Sherry’s other passion is sailing. “Give me a sail, a lake and some wind, and I’m happy,” she tells me on a blustery winter Monday. We are not at the lake, however. I’m here for a tour of the basement and a glimpse of DeWayne’s collection of farm toys.

A Sea of Green and Yellow After a quick lesson in the difference between toys, memorabilia and collectibles — “Memorabilia comes in two forms. There’s a lot of stuff I consider schlocky, it’s just stuff with ‘John Deere’ on it and that’s what a lot of people think I collect. It’s not.” — DeWayne leads me to the finished basement. As I emerge from the stairwell, I’m met with a sea of green and yellow. Hundreds of John Deere tractors and implements

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Spring 2018 | 37

— rendered in miniature — line the shelves of display cases arranged in rows. Around the corner, more cases house DeWayne’s collection of farm toys from other brands like Allis-Chalmers, Ford and Oliver in bright orange, yellow, blue, even purple. Before we go look at the toys themselves, DeWayne stops at an antique wooden lawyer’s cabinet filled with marketing and advertising memorabilia as well as copies of magazines that cater to farm toy enthusiasts. He shows me a thick John Deere catalog from 1937 — the company’s 100th anniversary edition — in remarkably good shape. “This is the kind of memorabilia I collect,” he says, flipping through the pages. “John Deere, as is the case with many companies that value their heritage, stick with their iconic images despite changing advertising trends.” He has examples of each era of advertising, as well as unofficial John Deere memorabilia like one of the first copies of a John Deere biography by Margaret Bare, published in the 1960s. He

38 | EmpoRia Living

Spring 2018 | 39

picked it up at an antique store in Davenport, Iowa, for about $20. Flipping to the frontispiece, DeWayne shows me a handwritten note from the author in which she thanks the recipient for her assistance with the book and notes that Bare is gifting her with “my first copy.” Thanks to Sherry’s research skills, they identified the recipient of the book as John Deere’s grand-niece. “The dealer obviously didn’t know what they had,” DeWayne said. “I didn’t realize until we got it home and noticed the inscription.”

40 | EmpoRia Living

Rural Heritage Preserving rural heritage is important to DeWayne. In fact, it’s what brought him to the world of farm toy collecting in the first place. Back in the early 1980s, he began attending farm heritage shows during the summers. Steam engines along with threshing and other agriculture demonstrations drew him in, and he eventually joined the Flint Hills TK.

“I was at an ag heritage show in McCloud, Kansas. I remember it vividly,” he said. “There was a lady there who had a blanket laid out and there were a bunch of farm toys on it. It caught my eye and I made a bee-line over there and pointed out the toys I had as a kid.” The woman showed DeWayne a collector’s catalog of farm toys, introducing him to the world of farm toy collecting. A trip to his parents’ home yielded several of his childhood toys, which are now part of DeWayne’s official collection, surprisingly wellpreserved given their history as the playthings of a little boy. These have more sentimental value, he says, as opposed to monetary value. “I have rural roots,” he tells me. “I enjoyed working out in the fields with the different colors of tractors. Whether it was birthdays or Christmas or my dad went to the fair, the toys that I knew were farm toys. This hobby connects me back to my agricultural roots.”

The Meticulous Collector DeWayne references custom models and production models frequently, but I don’t know the difference. Time for my next lesson. “A custom model has low production, it’s not mass produced in large numbers,” he explains. “Some were used as display models for dealers, but many were sold as toys by dealers. For the company, it’s putting in the hands of a youngster something that can begin to provide identification with a company and establish an allegiance.” The custom models fetch higher prices from collectors, DeWayne tells me, but the production models are still desirable in part because they are so detailed.

Spring 2018 | 41

“I’m going to die someday and somebody needs to know something about this,” he says by way of explanation. “In 1937, for the 100th anniversary of John Deere, they produced a gold tractor. It went to a branch house in Kansas City for a while, then it was purchased by an individual in King Fisher, Oklahoma. It did get painted green, but it’s been restored back to its original gold.” Another gold tractor gleams on another shelf. I’m beginning to notice differences and ask if it is another 100th anniversary edition. “Good eye,” he says. “It’s a special edition that was made to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Kansas City, Kansas, branch of John Deere. I bought that one in the box, thinking I was buying a green one. There were some high-end collectors in the back of the room who offered me a lot more than I paid for it once we realized it was one of these gold special editions.” This accidental purchase is now one of the most valuable items in DeWayne’s collection, but I can tell that the story of how he came to own it makes owning it even sweeter. Another prized possession comes with a similar triumphant story. He opens a case and pulls out a long paper box, aged and delicate, and what looks like a small trough, painted shiny green. The trough

“Once toy companies realized that there were people out there like me who would pay somewhat handsomely for a custom model, the toy companies started producing highly-detailed toys,” he says as he lifts an example from a shelf. “See all the details, down to the position of every nut and bolt?” I admire the precision required to render the delicate levers and wonder if I’ll ever be able to tell these tractors apart. DeWayne is a meticulous collector. He points out minute differences between what appear to be identical items to my unpracticed eye. When I ask about something in particular, he can tell me the story behind the item, how it came into his possession and the history of the actual tractor the toy represents. A gold tractor wrapped in plastic catches my eye. DeWayne pulls down a notebook full of articles about the tractor, highlighted and annotated.

42 | EmpoRia Living

is actually a model of a wooden box that sits on a wheeled frame and attaches to a John Deere toy tractor. DeWayne crafted it himself. “At the National Farm Toy Show in 2000, I saw an original Strombecker wagon box kit, new in the original box, sell for $1,600,” he said. “That was educational. Somebody gave me a tip off about an auction within 10 miles of Emporia with some stuff that had been preserved in the attic in old lard cans. I had an idea of what might be in those cans, so I went.” As it turned out, one of those old lard cans contained the original, unassembled Strombecker wagon box kit still in the box. The kit even includes a little envelope of powder to mix with water and make glue. DeWayne’s newest acquisition, purchased at a farm toys show in January, is a dealer’s display of the “patio series,” lawn mower with white bodies and hoods in colors that appealed to aficionados of other brands. It’s still in the box, the little mowers strapped into a diorama of a 1960s yard. “I paid more for that than I paid for a brand new Monte Carlo,” he said. “Yeah, he did,” Sherry confirms.

Collecting a Community Farm toys connect DeWayne to his roots, but he’s also found a community as part of his hobby. In March, DeWayne and Sherry will travel to Gathering of the Green, a conference for John Deere collectors that meets every two years in Davenport, Iowa. DeWayne has a booth there where he sells items from his collection that he no longer needs, as well as items he restored and pedal tractors he built in his basement workshop.

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He shares the booth with another collector from Canada who he met at farm toy shows and communicates with regularly. As he shows me around, he references friends who are connected to various items. Some have restored pieces in DeWayne’s collection, some have asked him to restore pieces for them. They meet for dinner when they attend the shows and occasionally visit each other’s homes. “I’ve met some tremendous people as part of this hobby,” he said. “It’s produced a whole new network of acquaintances. There’s something about that kind of involvement that, while it connects me with my heritage, it also keeps me young, it keeps me active.” Big shows like Gathering of the Green or the National Farm Toy Show attract thousands of John Deere and farm toy enthusiasts. But DeWayne wonders if the passion will transfer to a new generation who will keep the hobby going. “The percentage of farm-related employment is diminished as equipment replaces human power,” he says. “Similarly, we’re seeing a decline in the number of people who attend the shows and collect farm toys. But I do see families at the shows, so there is hope.” As I leave carrying a wealth of new knowledge about farm toys, I find myself sharing DeWayne’s hope that a new generation will embrace this hobby. Because this is about more than toys — it’s about connecting with people while celebrating a way of life that many of us take for granted every day.

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Food Heart FROM THE

From pizza to po-boys, from his love of cooking and for his wife, Daryn Bontrager has come full circle.

ne can say Bontrager’s fate was decided when he was 5 years old. “When I was young, my parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles had pizza restaurants in western Kansas,” Bontrager said. “I don’t remember much being so young, but I do remember serving pizzas to the customers, and I loved it.”Fast forward to the present and Bontrager’s Do-B’s Burger Barn, Philly Stop and Po-Boy Shoppe has become a staple on Emporia’s east side, serving burgers, po-boys and Philly cheesesteaks for six-and-a-half years. Before Do-B’s, Bontrager worked in telecom for 12 years in Kansas City when he was laid off. “I was looking for a new direction in life,” he said. “I set out on a mission to become part of a business which would allow me to have family around. I did barbecue competitions in Kansas City and participated in food-related events. People would always say, ‘You’ve got to open a restaurant!’”

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By Mary Ann Redeker

Photography by Jason Dailey Spring 2018 | 49

Bontrager moved to Alaska, where his sister lived, and was able to learn the restaurant business from the ground up. When his father let him know the property at 704 E. 12th Ave. had become available, Bontrager came home. “I really wanted an open kitchen, so this building fit my needs,” Bontrager said. “I really wanted there to be interaction between the kitchen staff and customers. My mom, Terry, wanted to help, so she came on board and worked evenings. She had actually worked in this building in the 80s for Jim Grimmett when it was Dairy Queen. It’s a full-circle deal.”

All in the family

While Bontrager was getting Do-B’s off the ground, his wife, Leslie Lloyd, was working in real estate. “When we first opened the doors, we depended on my income because everything we made at the restaurant went back in the restaurant,” Lloyd said. “(With our kids,) I didn’t want to miss things. I learned how quickly time can go. I now do the marketing, advertising and social media. We are trying to get a T-shirt line going and we’re bottling our own sauces. I do all those behind-the-scenes things.” Bontrager said Lloyd’s contributions have made Do-B’s what it is today. “I got really lucky that my other half, Leslie, is truly my other half,” he said. “What you see around our restaurant now is her influence. Do-B’s would be a totally different restaurant without Leslie. People can see that transformation over the six-and-a-half years we’ve been here.” Bontrager grew up loving his mom’s cooking and now relies on her influence for dessert items on the menu. “Mom makes all of our desserts and cheesecakes,” he said. “Many of our recipes have been handed down; our cheesecake recipe was my grandma’s. Those recipes allow us to tie my mom and grandma Daryn Bontrager and Leslie Lloyd

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“We have people coming from Kansas City, Wichita and all over just to eat here.

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Terry and Darrell Bontrager

into the business and make it more family-oriented.” Terry Bontrager said passing recipes through the generations has been a lot of fun. “We use Daryn’s greatgrandmother’s biscuit recipe and some of my mom’s recipes, so it’s been fun drawing in bits from the whole family,” she said. “My mom and dad were both raised here in Emporia and Olpe, so we have a lot of old family history in town.” Kerri Hubacek and Chris Linebarger have both worked at DoB’s since 2011. With the open kitchen, it allows them to share experiences with customers. “When customers come through the door, we treat them like family,” Linebarger said. “We have people coming from Kansas City, Wichita and all over just to eat here. This is the best job I’ve ever had, and Daryn is a great boss. The entire restaurant is about family.” Linebarger even has one of his

“Do-B’s is truly a mixture of many people’s thoughts, ideas and efforts in having the same common goal of making the world a better place.

Spring 2018 | 53

own creations on the menu, the Creole Gouda Burger. “It has mayonnaise, avocado, a fried egg, two pieces of smoked gouda cheese, bacon and our signature creole mustard that we make in house,” he said. “I asked Daryn to try it and he loved it. It was such a great feeling to have my creation on the menu.” Hubacek said working for Bontrager and Do-B’s wasn’t like going to work, but was more like going home. “We all work in harmony with each other,” she said. “We play music and dance around each other. We sing with the music and love getting customers singing along. I’ve worked in food service my whole life and I’ve never had an experience like working at Do-B’s. It’s the best.” Hubacek said the whole crew at Do-B’s is a close-knit family. “Daryn is a younger brother and Leslie is a sister,” she said. “With their kids, I’m their aunt Kerri. It’s an awesome environment and the whole staff is great. Daryn really makes things happen, and we all do what we can to make sure his dream comes to life and continues.” Bontrager said both he and Lloyd felt it was important to encourage their staff and treat them as family. “We encourage that creativity in the kitchen because it ties our staff in,” he said. “Getting our people to be vested in our business has been great. Chris and Kerri have been with us since we opened. It’s awesome to find such great people and have them become great employees and, now, family.” “You hear about disgruntled cooks all the time, and I think it’s because they are closed off to the world,” Lloyd added. “Many don’t have

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the opportunity to engage with the people they are preparing food for. I think there is a lot of love that happens in a kitchen. As a cook in our restaurant, they’re looking at that person they’re making that cheese steak for; they know them by first name and likely know what they are going to order.”

Becoming a dining destination

Bontrager said the secret to Do-B’s success is simple — family. “I learned early on — if you want to be successful, you have to surround yourself with successful people,” he said. “A big part of our success is our staff. They are family. As for our customers, Leslie and I know the value of addressing people, knowing them and calling them by name. We didn’t want to call out numbers when food was ready; we wanted to call out names.” Lloyd added she felt blessed to have such an incredible staff and the support of the community. “We all bring something different to the table,” she said. “Do-B’s is truly a mixture of many people’s thoughts, ideas and efforts in having the same common goal of making the world a better place. We strive to provide not only good food, but a great experience. We want people to feel like they are walking into our home, into our own dining room and really are sitting down to enjoy a meal with family.” Terry Bontrager said seeing her son realize his dream was a great feeling. “All four of my kids are tremendous cooks and learned to cook with a simple German chocolate frosting recipe,” she said. “They stood on the same little step stool that I stood on with my mom. Daryn is now getting others to realize his dream of good, family food in a wholesome atmosphere.”

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Lloyd said when she and Bontrager first met, they exchanged many messages about their dreams. “Daryn shared with me he his pipe dream of opening a Mom and Pop’s restaurant,” Lloyd said. “I grew up in the restaurant business and now everything has come together. God knew what he was doing when he put us together. It’s so great that he’s the guy I’m with, those are our kids and Do-B’s is our restaurant and home.” Bontrager said his dream of opening Do-B’s has come full circle. “I’m incredibly lucky to have realized my dream,” he said. “We really want to become a dining destination. We want to be the total package. We’ve got such a great community and couldn’t have done it without them. We want to not only feed your belly, but feed your soul.” Amos, Aidyn and Addie (Addison)


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Flavors past


When you enter Carniceria Don Luis, you step into a grocery shopping experience that cannot be duplicated in big box stores or supermarkets. he air is redolent with spices; fresh fruits and vegetables are piled high and, at the rear of the store located at 318 Commercial St., an old-fashioned meat counter offers a view of owner Jose Diaz hard at work, cutting meat to order. Jose and Nohemi Diaz met at a similar market in Mexico. He worked at the meat counter, she worked at the front of the store. After they married and immigrated to the United States, they settled in Wichita, where they had jobs at a local market. After a few years, the owner of that store asked them to move to Emporia to manage his shop, so they relocated once again. In 2012, the couple purchased the store themselves and took full ownership.

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By Melissa Lowery Photos by Dave Leiker

Spring 2018 | 61

Carniceria Don Luis carries a family name — Jose’s middle name is Luis and the couple’s son is Luis Angel — and the family feel extends throughout the store. When school’s out, young Luis can be found helping behind the front counter or playing games on the family laptop. He also helps make fresh salsa, sauces and chorizo — under adult supervision, of course. Nohemi welcomes customers like old friends and happily assists in finding whatever they need, even if it means making special orders. “We have a lot here in the store,” she said, “and we can order almost anything someone needs. If you’re looking for something specific, just ask and we’ll help you find it.”

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“Including pigs and sides of beef,” Jose interjects. “Through our wholesale connections, we can get a whole pig or large meat orders for special events at competitive prices.” Denise Gilligan, a native of Emporia, enjoys visiting Carniceria Don Luis because it reminds her of the neighborhood shops that are rapidly disappearing. “I think that we have a lot of hidden treasures in Emporia that are worth exploring, like the market,” Gilligan said. “The unique selection offers a chance to get an authentic taste and to try out a grocery-buying experience that is reminiscent of times gone by.” Jose’s skill behind the counter is another element that sets Carniceria Don Luis apart from other grocery stores. His chicken fillets are best-sellers,

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The unique selection offers a chance to get an authentic taste and to try out a grocerybuying experience that is reminiscent of times gone by.

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thanks to his special butterfly technique. Customers also enjoy the seasoned meat offered at the counter. Chicken, beef and pork options are all available. Jose said the seasoned and marinated beef for tacos al pastor is especially popular. “When people don’t know what to make for supper, they can stop in and grab the pre-seasoned meat, then throw it on the grill or in a pan and have a meal on the table fast,” he said. The market is stocked with pantry staples like dried chiles in many varieties, beans by the scoop, queso fresco and large jugs of real Mexican vanilla extract.

Mexican candy and sweets tempt the sweet tooth, and fresh rolls from Panaderia Progreso are brought in daily. Customers can also stock up on hard-to-find delicacies such as sesame seeds, dried hibiscus, pasta para duritos or chicharrones, prickly pear cactus or nopal and much more. “Carniceria Don Luis has the best chicharrones and nopales in town,” said Marck Drennan, an art teacher at Emporia High School who shops there often. Gilligan has her own favorite at Carniceria Don Luis: “I wholeheartedly recommend the chorizo! You will not be disappointed.”


n 1948 with the memory of the war fading Emporians were just about to get their first taste of a national franchise. On the very edge of town, with the Flinthills in sight, the Dairy Queen on West 6th Street was built. The following story is my attempt at the reconstruction of its history and a few of its longtime operators. A group of investors out of Ottawa bought the property as a result of a sheriffs sale and brought with them their own financing, building contractors, electricians, and plumbers. Even the materials came from out of town, it was kind of an outside job as you might say in that only the property had anything to do with Emporia. As Franchises were a new concept and the venture did not incorporate any local contractors or people the new business received no fanfare, no pictures, no notoriety, and no acknowledgement from the business community. However, from the public it was a whole different story. Dubbed a flattop walk up due to the flat roof and the walk-up window it was an instant success with that one of a kind soft serve taste and texture people to this day still crave. When fall would roll around in the early years the operator would sell down the inventory the best they could, soap the windows really good so you couldn't see in, drain the pipes, and close for the winter. Then in March they would open up again, sometimes with a new operator. This went on for about eight or nine years until two excited young mothers convinced themselves one day into trying to operate the Dairy Queen around the summer of 1956, even though they both had young families to care for. Then, right before the season was to begin one of the young women, the one that was the main instigator of the venture, got cold feet and pulled out. So, this left the other young housewife in kind of a pickle she said. She then talked it over with her husband and they struggled with the idea. After much debate and the help of an understanding boss, the young couple decided to run the store and this resulted in the Dairy Queen’s first local owners, Jerry and Marie Icenhower. Not long after they bought the Dairy Queen, Jerry decided they needed to bolster the income in the winter months so he and a local carpenter

built a little walk up carry out called Jerry’s Carryout. Of course, it hit the ground running and to this day people still tell me they were the best hamburgers that they have ever tasted. In comparison of today they would have had to somewhat rival the cheese burgers at J’s Carry Out down on south commercial. Later in the 1960’s the barn roof was added to make it look like a dairy barn and the inside order area to give it the look of today. Marie told me she might have been the inspiration for the first drive through window. One day as she was driving around the Dairy Queen like people do today she was busy attending to children in the back seat of her sedan and didn’t correct her turn and as result was the very first person to drive “through” the Dairy Queen. It was at this little Dairy Queen carry-out, that my father, Larry Reed, would go while he was in college to have his lunch and talk with Jerry and Marie about the Dairy Queen business and the merits to being your own boss. During one of those talks, Jerry told my dad that he had another store in Wichita and it needed an operator for the upcoming season. He thought Dad should go down and open it up and run it. They operated that store and another in Fort Scott. Then in 1982 Larry and Sharon were able finally to buy the Dairy Queen business in Emporia. It was a particularly challenging time in that this store needed a complete remodel and interest rates were incredibly high. I might also mention that this was a couple of years before the Blizzard Treat was officially introduced, which is the bread and butter of any Dairy Queen Treat Shop. Needless to say, the early years were tough for the Reeds but they payed close attention to their customers and always paralleled QVSC (Quality, Value, Service, and Cleanliness). My mother was one of the hardest working women I ever knew. It was a business they knew and they were determined to make it work so they might live in the Flint Hills. They operated the Dairy Queen together until 2007. In all, they worked the Dairy Queen business for around 45 years. Some of their fondest memories were and are of the many kids that worked at the store over the years, always referring to them with great love and appreciation. They always thought of those kids as their own. Some of my personal favorite memories was to have the opportunity to work with my mother every day and to make people happy and see them smile. It’s been the little things like this that I think has been one of the keys for our Dairy Queens longevity. The kids and people who have worked with us over the years have been outstanding and that just falls back on the quality of the people in Emporia and the Flint Hills region as a whole. In 2007 we bought the store from my parents and we are the operators to this present day. Our son Owen is a junior in college at Emporia State and has been working at the store since he was a little boy. He has the aspiration to run the Dairy Queen when he graduates college. Three generations in the Dairy Queen and that sounds pretty good to me. After countless remodels, transformations, and upgrades to keep the Dairy Queen current with modern life and business, you can come down and still see these kids in action and get that one of a kind taste that only comes from Dairy Queen. We are very thankful for the support and it is our pleasure to be your local Dairy Queen Operators serving Emporia. Where for 70 years, smiles and stories have been the order of business. — Written by Russell Reed, Operator

wallstalk IF



Downtown building transforms with the times he brick building at 201 East Sixth St. has stood in that spot for 90 years. This stately building began its life as an automotive garage and showroom welcoming eastern travelers to downtown Emporia. It is now a hodgepodge of businesses, including antiques, apparel and graphics, and a creative marketing agency. The location was chosen for the garage for one simple reason: It’s location on the New Santa Fe Trail, what we now call U.S. Highway 50. O.M. “Mit” Wilhite was a natural born businessman but, more importantly, he could see the future. Oh yes, Mit could see what was coming. Automobiles! Motor carriages! Horseless carriages! And lots of them. Automobiles were the future, as was a decent road system to handle these motorized vehicles. Wilhite was a zealous advocate for good roads, often referred to as the “good roads apostle.” In 1910, he spearheaded the development of the New Santa Fe Trail. With Wilhite in a leadership role, Emporia was front and center as the hub for the good roads conversation. In a 1913 speech, Wilhite predicted droves of tourists would travel to Colorado and the west coast using Lyon County roads and passing right through Emporia on East Sixth Avenue. The New Santa Fe Trail was officially designated in 1915 and linked Kansas City to Hutchinson. The plan was now in place to create the roads, but would they be good roads?

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Wilhite’s earlier prediction was correct. The tourists came, as did the complaints. Several articles in The Emporia Gazette address concerns and criticisms regarding the poor condition of the roads along the New Santa Fe Trail, including roads in Lyon County and Emporia — namely East Sixth Street. A new task was at hand — paved roads. Paving began on the roads of the New Santa Fe Trail by the early 1920s.

Good roads were not only good for tourists, they were good for industry. The oil industry grew through World War I and needed dependable roads to get oil from the fields to the refineries. Manufacturing and agriculture also benefited from the improved roads. Now that the roads were in place and hard surfaced, what next? In Jan. 1926, Wilhite was still active in his advocacy for good roads. As President of the

New Santa Fe Trail Association, he and 25 other men from communities along the trail met with Kansas Gov. Ben Paulen in Topeka to discuss the New Santa Fe Trail being designated as a primary road in the federal system of roads. The Emporia road boosters felt the new trail should be a primary road because it passes through larger towns and taps into higher populated areas than the old trail. On Jan. 29, 1926 — Kansas

Spring 2018 | 73

Courtesy of the Lyon County Historical Society & History Center Courtesy of the Lyon County Historical Society & History Center

New Santa Fe Trail Map, Sept. 5, 1921

The photo was taken between 1931 and 33. Plumb Place was the YWCA at the time of the photo. The building was Dougherty and McClaskey Motor Company.

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Day — the New Santa Fe Trail was designated as U.S. 50S. During the following year, the number of tourists traveling on U.S. 50S continued to increase. In a single day in June, 1,826 vehicles were counted traveling on the road. Wilhite would remain active in the good roads movement until his death in 1933. But what does this have to do with the building at 201 East Sixth? Wilhite was not the only business man who saw into the future. During the 1920s, John H. Dougherty and John R. McClaskey were business partners and owners of the Overland Sales Company located at 501-514 Merchant St. With the new designation of U.S. 50S, a change of selling Chrysler automobiles, and an increase in business, it seemed logical to move the business to a new location. In May 1927, they purchased the land at the corner of Market and Sixth to relocate their booming automotive garage and sales business.

a V r t i s ety e e h B A T rea’s

Playing hits from the 70’s, 80’s, 90’s and Today


Courtesy of the Lyon County Historical Society & History Center

Dougherty and McClaskey hired Emporia architects Henry W. Brinkman and J. Stanley Hagan to design the new building. Brinkman and Hagan designed an Italianate, two-story, brickand-concrete building with red brick facing and green roof tiles. The balconies are embellished

with black wrought iron to continue the Italian effect. The contract to build the new garage and showroom was awarded to Underhill Construction of Wichita. An electric elevator served the basement and the second story. The repair

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Occupants Prior To 1960


1927 — Dougherty & McClaskey, owned by John Dougherty & John McClaskey 1933 — Dougherty Motor Company, owned by John Dougherty 1939 — Baldwin Motor Company, owned by C.F. Baldwin (Shared space with Dougherty) 1940 — Elliot Motor Company owned by Cecil Elliot and President was Orval Faulkner 1944 — Faulkner Motor Company, owned by Orval H. Faulkner 1947 — Arney & Schulenburg Motor Company, owned by Myron Arney & Edward Schulenburg 1954 — Schulenburg Motor Company, owned by Edward Schulenburg 1960 — Didde Glaser Plant 2 Annex Building, owned by Didde-Glaser, Inc

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shop was on the second floor and a showroom for autos was located at the rear of the main floor. Construction began in April and was completed in Nov. 1927. The building was “the only modern fireproof garage on the Santa Fe Trail,” a fact that was advertised in The Emporia Gazette promoting its opening day. The total cost of the garage was $75,000, which equals $1,044,593 in 2018. In 1933, Dougherty purchased the interests of his partner and the business was known as the Dougherty Motor Company. The building continued to be used as a garage and automobile showroom and exchanged hands several times through 1960. Schulenburg Motor Company, owned by Edward Schulenburg was the final business to use the building as a garage. The building soon took on a new life.

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78 | EmpoRia Living

In 1960, it went from an automobile garage and showroom to being a part of publishing history. Didde-Glaser, Inc purchased the building in order to assemble two new pieces of equipment — the Gather-All and Tandemer machines. It would be known as Didde-Glaser Plant 2 Annex Building. In 2001, Alcoa Packaging Machinery, Inc. purchased Didde Web Press Corp and moved the company to Englewood, Colorado. In addition to the Didde-Glaser machine manufacturing, Midwest Business Services was also located in the building. It was established in 1965 by Robert Schmidt, a nephew of Carl Didde, co-founder of

Uncommon Threads

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Didde-Glaser, Inc. Eventually, Midwest Business relocated and the Didde family sold the building. It is currently owned by Jake Dalton and houses Uncommon Threads and IM Design Group, with future plans for an antique shop. When you know the story behind an object — or, in this case, a building — it comes to life. It is no longer just bricks and mortar. It represents those business owners who could see into the future and had the tenacity to pursue their dreams. It is a standing reminder of forward thinking, strength, determination and ingenuity.


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• April 21 - Youth Aquatic Safety Event

• Aug. 4 - Youth Rodeo

• April 21-22 - Fire ‘n Up the Flint Hills, KC Sanctioned BBQ

• Aug. 4 - Babe Ruth Classic • Aug. 25 - Evening on the Riverwalk


APRIL • April 20-21 - SethFest • April 20-21 - Rendezvous at Council Grove Celebration • April 21 - Spring “Crank Up” in Alta Vista

• June 2-3 - Christian Youth Rodeo


• June 2-17 - KS Archeology Training Program Field School

• Sept. 14-15 - Voices of the Wind People Pageant

• June - At the Kaw Mission

• Sept. 14-16 - Mountain Man Rendezvous

• June 15-17 - Washunga Days

• Sept. 15 - Community Wide Garage Sale

• June 16 - Runshunga JULY


• July 3 - Wilsey 3rd of July Celebration

• Oct. 6 - Rush the Rails • Oct. 7 - Fall Ranch Rodeo

• July 4 - Council Grove 4th of July

• Oct. 31 - Halloween Parade, 6 pm

• July 6-7 - Summer WRCA Rodeo


• July 7 - White City Fireworks • July 13 - Ladies Night Out • July 21-30 - Morris County Fair

• Nov. 2-4 - Gathering in the Grove Art Show & Sale • Nov. 3 - Candlelight Charm • Nov. 23 - Santa Arrives at the Lighted Christmas Parade • Nov. 24 - Shop Small • Nov. 24 - Santa on the Santa Fe Trail DECEMBER • Dec. 6 - Kaw Mission Christmas Open House • Dec. 9 - Christmas Open House in Downtown Council Grove

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Food for Students provides a bag of food each week to school children who do not have enough food over the weekends. About 400 bags are given away each month. You can help in one of two ways: either purchase any of the following items and drop them off at The Emporia Gazette or give a cash donation to buy food.

TEG 517 Merchant • Emporia, KS • 620-342-4800

To find out how you can help, email news@emporia.com or call 620-342-4800.

Handlebars of Hope is a bicycle outreach ministry designed to give hope to those in need locally and globally. If you would like to help support Handlebars of Hope by donating a bike or by making a donation please call (620) 342-4977 or stop by High Gear, 520 Commercial St, Emporia, KS 66801

One person can make a d ifference! lved with local gover Get invo



I would love for people to be able to think of me as a citizen who stood up for what he believed in and helped to make a difference for the future industrial development in Emporia. - KB Thomas Jr. George Washington

Abraham Lincoln

Andrew Jackson

Mother Teresa said “Never worry about numbers. Help one person at a time and always start with the person nearest you.” My Father was a proud member of the Committee of 50 that jump started Industrial Development in Emporia in the 1950’s. He gave a small piece of land owned by Ken & Joe Thomas of Thomas Transfer, to G&S Bar Tie Company. They had one employee but that was the spark that ignited a whole bunch of new industries to Emporia. By 1994 it appeared to me that to compete for new industry Emporia needed a full time Economic Development Director so I chose to run for City Commissioner and went up against the establishment. I wasn’t elected but people like John Webb helped bring on a full time Economic Director, Kent Heermann and the rest is history. Since 1994 so many industries have come to Emporia and that list can be obtained by going to emporiakschamber. org. Nothing is impossible for Emporia as long as our leaders have the Faith of a Mustard Seed.

John Kennedy

Ronald Reagan

John Doe “Citizen”

AMERICAN REAL ESTATE KB Thomas Jr • Broker 815 Graham St. • Emporia, KS kbthomas.point2agent.com 620-342-9500 • cell 620-757-8469 • office

419 Merchant St. Emporia, KS