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vol 69 | issue 1


delicious A 3 casinos winning

tailgate fare

homerun story

Ge am dit i o ne

contents features

6 Reasons We Love Kansas

Spring’s rejuvenation is a welcome sentiment for Kansas’ landscapes, events and culture Written by Gloria Gale

16 The Greatest Game

Across the state, America’s pastime has had a simple, untainted history Written by Seth Jones

24 Kansas’ Lucky Roll

State-owned casinos not only provide entertainment, they give back to the community Written by Sally M. Snell

36 The Need for Speed

Racetracks across Kansas make for a fast and furious experience Written by Susan Kraus

38 Outdoor Warriors

Revel in the camaraderie of women eager to learn how to become more ‘outdoorsy’ in one weekend Written by Gloria Gale

54 Catching Midwest Memories The Kansas Sports Museum and Hall of Fame take visitors on a treasured journey Written by Joe Stumpe


Roll. Block. Jam. from the editor


his season it’s all about fun and games in Kansas! Play ball—two words that are music to my family’s ears. For us the first sign of spring is when baseball season starts anew. Our feature, “The Greatest Game,” is a bona fide look at America’s pastime in Kansas. A roll of the die can mean more than just a chance at luck in Kansas. Our three state-owned casinos are not only entertaining visitors but also have significant economic impact. Girls rule this season as we showcase Kansas’ roller derby teams and take a whirl through the popular Becoming an Outdoors-Woman program. If you’ve ever wanted to do more in the outdoors but just weren’t sure where to start, this is the place. For those with speed, see our quick read on racetracks around Kansas. And Our Tour Kansas feature this season takes to the trails on two wheels—find your perfect ride this spring. Additionally, younger Kansans can discover a new hero with a walk through the Kansas Sports Hall of Fame and Kansas Sports Museum. Whatever your sports interests, this edition is a homerun with things to do this year. Visit to find all you can discover in Kansas.

56 Roll. Block. Jam.

The roller derby sensation is alive in Kansas Written by Cecilia Harris

kansas city milestone: sporting kc Cheyenne county gallery: Arikaree breaks junction city outdoor Warriors

wilson let it ride

on the cover

KANSAS! magazine gets playful

70 meade reasons to love kansas

newton catching midwest memories



Photo illustration by Jason Dailey


Send your story ideas to or to KANSAS!, 1020 S. Kansas Ave., Suite 200, Topeka, KS 66612.

topeka need for speed

dodge city our town

mulvane kansas’ lucky roll

find us on facebook: follow us on twitter: @kansasMag

kansasmag .com • kansas!



Tour Kansas: Let it Ride departments

3 The Making of KANSAS! 4 Letters 14 Kansas Events 32 Our Town: Home Run in Dodge City

Ballpark bleachers fill up and players flock to the west for another season Written by Carol L. Jenkner

42 Tour Kansas: Let it Ride

Biking in Kansas celebrates the state’s wide-open beauty on scenic trails, gravel roads, technical courses and canopied suburban paths Written by Kimberly Winter Stern

46 Gallery 60 Taste of Kansas: The Ultimate Tailgate

Grilled to perfection any time of the year for any sport Written by Katherine Dinsdale

64 Milestone of Kansas: Sporting KC


Taste of Kansas: The Ultimate Tailgate

GO MOBILE! Scan our QR code with your smartphone for the latest from KANSAS! magazine.

the making of


Ge am dit i o ne

being a professional photographer

People behind the scenes

Slickest Shoot

roll. Block. Jam by Larry Harwood page 56


While Joe Stumpe was working on a story about the Kansas Sports Hall of Fame and Kansas Sports Hall of Fame Museum, he stumped managing editor Katy Ibsen. The separate entities, located in Wichita and Newton, are both valiantly celebrating Kansas’ rich history in sports. The Kansas Sports Hall of Fame is in Wichita, located at the old Boathouse. The Kansas Sport Hall of Fame Museum is found in Newton at the Chisholm Trail Center.

paper cuts obtained: 3


Gallery Photographers

Farthest Shoot

Kansas’ lucky roll by Michael C. Snell page 24

After the creatives behind KANSAS! magazine developed their concept for the cover, they executed it with a tripod taped to a table, one ladder and props atop a large chalkboard. Game on, indeed!

Freelance Writers

outdoor warriors shot in the spring of 2012 by Tim Sigle page 38

Contributing Photographers

First Shoot

Writer Sally M. Snell and photographer Michael C. Snell clocked a total of 1,267 miles throughout Kansas while working on their assignments, covering Kansas’ state-owned casinos. From Kansas City to Dodge City, they took in the full experience of hoping for a lucky roll of the dice!

kansasmag .com • kansas!


letters across the pond


“Greater Prairie Chicken” in Washington County. Photograph by Harland J. Schuster. From late March to late April the hills are alive with the Greater Prairie Chicken. The Konza Environmental Education Program in Manhattan welcomes enthusiasts on various watching safaris.














Facebook Such a terrific magazine! We were honored to have farm women on the last cover and thrilled to see a strong agriculture image on the cover again! Great work!



abby amick

A Supplement to KANSAS! magazine

April Fools’ Day


















Administrative Professionals Day

Earth Day







Arbor Day

March 2013 S M T W T F S 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31

For more information about Kansas, visit or call 1-800-2KANSAS.

May 2013 S M T W T F S 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31

To subscribe to KANSAS! magazine, visit or call 1-800-678-6424.

MalcoLm Metcalf Norfolk, England

Shirley Hern, my friend Charlie’s mom, has subscribed to this wonderful magazine for him several years. What a nice gift! The calendars are beautiful. We are always tickled when they arrive. YAY, it is here! Thanks, Shirley, and thank you, Kansas! magazine! P.S. Kids, guess what you are getting for Christmas this year? Rhonda Fleming

My Kansas Story The new issue is beautiful - LOVE the calendar! Pat Veesart Each issue is better than the last! Love seeing Baldwin featured in the latest! Judy walker Rayl

Lois Pflughoft Kent, Washington

send your letters to: Editor, KANSAS!, 1020 S. Kansas Ave., Suite 200, Topeka, KS 66612 or e-mail

corrections In the winter 2012 edition of KANSAS! magazine we wrongly identified Salina’s Stiefel Theatre as the State Movie Palace. The Historic Fox Theatre in Hutchinson is the State Movie Palace.

kansas! •

Jennifer T. Haugh editor

Sam Brownback governor

Robin Jennison

s p r ing 2013

Becky Blake

Director, tourism division lawrence, kansas

design & production

Katy Ibsen

managing editor

Shelly Bryant

Designer/art director

Jason Dailey photographer

I was born in Kansas. I grew up in Kansas. When I got married I was wed in Kansas. I’m here to state I like Kansas the Sunflower State. I was born in Reading, Kansas, which was blown off the map by a tornado but is being rebuilt. I grew up in Kansas during the Dust Bowl days, which is now a special on T.V. by Ken Burns. … I am now an 88-year-old lady living in a retirement home, and I use a walker, which I have painted with sunflowers. Do I like Kansas? Yes, I do! It’s my story. Your KANSAS! magazine is really enjoyed, good job.


Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism

KDWPT Secretary

I have just received the latest edition of your colorful KANSAS! magazine and superb 2013 calendar, which I will hang in my lounge with pride. What fabulous photographs it contains. My favorite has to be the Greater Prairie Chickens in April’s month. 21

spring issue 2013

Bert Hull

general manager

KANSAS! (ISSN 0022-8435) is published quarterly by the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism 1020 S. Kansas Ave., Suite 200 Topeka, KS 66612; (785) 296-3479; TTY Hearing Impaired: (785) 296-3487. Periodical postage paid at Topeka, KS, and at additional mailing offices. Newsstand price $4.99 per issue; subscription price $18 per year; international subscription price $22 per year. All prices include all applicable sales tax. Please address subscription inquiries to: Toll-free: (800) 678-6424 KANSAS!, P.O. Box 146, Topeka, KS 66601-0146 e-mail: Website: POSTMASTER: Send address change to: KANSAS! P.O. Box 146, Topeka, KS 66601-0146. Please mail all editorial inquiries to: KANSAS!, 1020 S. Kansas Ave., Suite 200, Topeka, KS 66612 e-mail: The articles and photographs that appear in KANSAS! magazine may not be broadcast, published or otherwise reproduced without the express written consent of Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism or the appropriate copyright owner. Unauthorized use is prohibited. Additional restrictions may apply.

20 Reasons we


Written by Gloria Gale

Reasons we KANSAS


who’s got the junk?

Michele Boyce and Kari Crump are taking junk to new heights. The two entrepreneurs pride themselves on having a knack for pooling the creative mashup of 80 artists into Studio 11 Boutique. This downtown Emporia emporium is where retro, handmade, and, of course, junk, rule. Boyce and Crump decided all things retro were cool, and what better way to show it than to open a storefront filled to the brim with gently used treasures? “On trend right now are crochet and infinity scarves. Vintage clothing is also huge, as are art lab parties where people can make everything from art to furniture,” says Boyce. Little doubt, these two gal pals love what they do.


Spring’s rejuvenation is a welcome sentiment for Kansas’ landscapes, events and culture. Share your Reasons to Love Kansas (see page 13).


kansas! •

s p r ing 2013



Bite on the byway

born and bred

“Kansas is a land where little boys can still dream pure and steadfast dreams of being cowboys, and idolize their forebears and neighbors! Many of them actually do grow to be cowboys, farmers and ranchers, to feed their families and many other people. This little cowboy is on his grandparents’ farm and ranch near Lawrence, owned and operated by his family since the 1850s. So far, his future and that of ‘his’ farm are a dream, acted on by each generation in succession.” – Sharon Anderson, grandmother to Aiden

Photographs: (Clockwise from left) Stephanie Scott Photography, Gwen Shirkey, Courtesy of Edward Sturr, Sharon Anderson.



The tallgrass prairie in Kansas has always captured professional photographer Edward Sturr’s attention. This fascination led to nearly 100 visits to the Konza Prairie during controlled burns since 2001—ample fodder for his book, Fire and Form on the Konza Prairie. “I’m intrigued by the 8,600-acre landscape and wanted to document the burning of the prairie­—a unique ecological event that promotes rejuvenation of the land.” Along with 60 pages of Sturr’s photographs in blazing color, the book features commentary by John Briggs, professor in the Division of Biology at Kansas State University, and poetry and prose by K-State distinguished professor Elizabeth Dodd. ($14).

Reasons we

“Ad Astra,” To the stars, is the Kansas motto that adorns not just the state seal and flag but now a popular restaurant in tiny Strong City. Owners Amanda Hague and Gwen Shirkey decided to open the restaurant in 2012. “We wanted to be situated along the Flint Hills Scenic Byway,” says Hague. The 1-year-old restaurant is open Friday through Sunday. “We like having a weekend business that involves the local community and visitors to the area,” says Shirkey. The Prairie Burner Burger is a big hit, according to Hague, who urges anyone to stop by next time they’re in town. (620) 273-8440,

Flash dance


knock knock

These “hardcore” hammers are a must-have for your tool chest. Made in Shawnee, owners (and brothers) Rick and Steve Spencer have developed the innovative hammer with hardened steel recessed traction surface to better grip nails, and the hickory handle, while designed for optimum use, is also just plain good-looking. The business began in 2010 but saw a boom in 2012 when various consumer magazines learned about the Americanmade tool and began touting it.



Smith’s Market

Keeping your groceries fresh and local since 1933, Smith’s Market in downtown Hutchinson has become an institution. Chris and Gail Barnes keep this family business running strong with the mantra “Eat Your Vegetables.” Offering local produce, Smith’s Market prides itself on connecting and supporting local farmers and agriculture. Beyond the vibrant produce, the market offers bulk items.

Reasons we






what to see

Be sure to get your copy of the 2013 Official Kansas Travel Guide. Visit to request a copy.

Family circle

As Kansas State University celebrates its 150th anniversary, the University proudly salutes the Bradley family. Matriarch Bev Bradley says, “All five of my sons, my husband and myself have an affiliation with K-State.” Bev served as president of the K-State Alumni Association from 1979 to ’81 and hosted the KSU Alumni Picnic in Lawrence on the family farm for 21 years. Dr. Kent Bradley, Bev’s youngest son, is a K-State graduate and now holds the title of chairman of the Alumni Association Board. “We are the first family to have two members who have served in this position ... and, like my mother, I’m proud to serve in this leadership role,” says Kent.

Photographs: (Clockwise from top left) Deborah Walker, Rick Spencer, Shutterstock,, Kent Bradley, shutterstock

Dave Kendall

In the premiere issue of Kansas Outdoors you can read all about Kansas’ outdoor offerings including its 25 state parks, 40 state fishing lakes, 24 federal reservoirs and over 200 community lakes.

route 66

outdoo rs Camping

Find Outd OO r deyou r stinatiO n

in Ka n sa s


As you travel the Scenic Byway of Route 66 look for the blooming dogwood and redbuds in Schermerhorn Park in the Ozark region. Rumor has it that the hilled region is a beautiful site.

kansas depart m of wil dlife, pa ent rks an d to




get outside



k a n s a s

o ffic ial

g u id e


Marks on paper


Reasons we


Wichita resident Fred Cowart is a meticulous artist. For as long as he can remember he’s been rendering hundreds of pen and ink drawings from his travels across the country. He preserved more than 100 of the best Jornada Mogollon petroglyphs in his three volumes titled The Best of Three Rivers Sketchbooks. “I spend quite a bit of time traveling around the state illustrating scenes that I find particularly interesting: stone bridges, the chalk monoliths, mushroom and post rocks and architectural details of historic buildings.” Cowart pen and ink illustrations are available on Kansas Kards ($4 each) at Kansas Originals.


historic reflections

The city of Lawrence begins to commemorate one of its most significant historical events, Quantrill’s Raid from 1863. Exhibits at the Watkins Museum, events around town and various pieces of history will be on display in honor of the anniversary. Among additional events such as a twobus tour to Cass County, Missouri, and a fashion show donning Civil War trends, the Spencer Museum of Art at the University of Kansas will host events as part of its newest acquisition representing Quantrill’s Raid.

Deep roots

Salina’s Land Institute works with instead of against nature. “We are a nonprofit organization and research center committed to change the way the world grows food,” says Scott Seirer, managing director. Preserving the biodiversity of the land by developing hardy perennial grains with less chemical treatments is the institute’s goal. Over the past 35 years, The Land Institute’s annual Prairie Festival has provided a forum addressing topics affecting agriculture. Good food, good music and powerful messages from ecology to economics prevail for those who attend the annual September festival. This informative event is open to the public.

Photographs: (Clockwise from top left) Fred Cowart (2), shutterstock, Courtesy of Porterfield’s Flowers, Michael Kinard (2), J.R. Doney, Courtesy of the Land Institute



Flower power

Porterfield’s Flowers and Gifts is a Topeka icon. Forty years ago David Porterfield bought the shop started by his parents, then expanded it into one of the country’s premier florists. Aided by a skillful crew, Porterfield’s hums with exuberance designing impeccable floral displays for any occasion. Along with fresh flowers, the shop sells plants, gifts and décor. Porterfield’s now features Pickwick Candle & Co., a unique line of candle blends. Facebook:


Jumpin’ for jerky


What began as New York graphic artist Ken Tanabe’s graduate thesis on interracial marriage grew far beyond his academic assignment. Tanabe’s interest in fighting racial prejudice developed into a national movement he called Loving Day. Named after the Supreme Court case Loving v. Virginia (June 12, 1967), which legalized interracial marriage in the United States, Loving Day is now a global network of celebrations designed to educate, bring awareness and build multiracial community. Longtime friends Pat Thompson and Lori Lawrence founded Wichita’s festival in 2010. “Both of us wanted to reach out to others in the heartland. In our first three years the event has grown substantially, which means we are reaching many people who care about building multicultural awareness,” says Lawrence. This summer marks the fourth annual free event in Wichita, which will take place June 8 in Hyde Park.


All you need is love

Reasons we

It’s rare to find a bistro in rural Kansas, much less one selling espresso, gourmet barbeque and organic, 100 percent grassfed beef jerky all under one roof. Smoke Hoss, a hybrid restaurant located in Meade, is the brainchild of J.R. and Christi Doney, a farm family with roots in southwest Kansas. When the idea of a healthy, protein-packed jerky sparked with the Doney’s, they opened the Smoke Hoss restaurant and a jerky processing facility in 2011. “We want to give our customers something delicious while investing in this community,” says J.R. Thus far it’s thumbsup for this hard-working couple and their dedicated employees—grateful for the community support.

16 Facebook: kansasmag .com • kansas!


Reasons we


Oh what a beautiful morning


Salina’s cultural profile is reaching new heights. Adding to its growing collection of public art, the city’s newest commissioned sculpture portrays the simple elegance of the Kansas environment. Barbara Grygutis of Tucson was chosen for her work as a nationally known public artist to design and construct six 20-foottall perforated aluminum components for her work, titled “Dawn’s Silver Lining.” The sculpture, reflecting Salina’s agrarian history, was inspired by the area’s shelter-belts dotting the rural landscape. The metal sculpture accents the roadway along south Ninth Street and joins six other art projects located around the city—all part of the City’s Community Art & Design program. Karla Prickett, Salina Arts & Humanities CAD project coordinator, says, “Salina is thrilled to incorporate Barbara’s beautiful expression of the Kansas landscape into our city’s southern gateway ... a most appropriate and iconic tribute to our community’s identity at the crossroads of the state.”

The pits


Blink and it’s easy to miss Kansas City, Kansas’ Woodyard Bar-B-Que. All you do is follow the aromatic smoke. Yep, that’s pecan and hickory smoking. The scent led Anthony Bourdain and Guy Fieri, two Food Network honchos, right to Woodyard’s door. “We’ve been here for seven years, long before those two showed up. No bones about it, we’re not fancy. In fact, we’re a joint and proud of it,” says co-owner Ciaran Molloy. Six different types of wood and three brick smokers do a bang-up job smoldering at least 100-150 slabs of ribs every Saturday. Brisket and ribs are always on the menu along with salmon, turkey and sausage. Smoking meats is Woodyard’s speciality where, according to regulars, it’s totally worth the trip to get down and dirty. Bottom line ... come hungry. Facebook:

Safe Haven


Douglas County became an important destination on the Underground Railroad for blacks escaping slavery in Missouri, Arkansas and Indian Territory. Between 1855 and 1865 countless numbers of enslaved African-Americans traveled the clandestine Underground Railroad through Douglas County. Archivist and historian Judy Sweets says, “Today, Douglas County has various groups and individuals who are trying to preserve our rich history. Our fascinating Underground Railroad history captures the attention of many of our citizens as well as visitors to our state who want to read about and tour the sites where the incredible stories took place over 150 years ago.” Beginning in 1998, the National Park Service, National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom Program aided in documenting the area’s points of interest related to this history, which many consider the nation’s first Civil Rights Movement. “We Kansas historians were inspired, researching and documenting more than 30 Underground Railroad sites in Douglas County,” she says. Some are now listed on the Network to Freedom Program.  

Photographs: (Clockwise from top left) Jim Cates, Ciaran Molloy, Courtesy of Wamego City Hospital, Courtesy of NPS, National UGRR Network to Freedom


reflections Facebook:

Send your “Reasons We Love Kansas” to

or to Reasons, KANSAS!, 1020 S. Kansas Ave., Suite 200, Topeka, KS 66612.



Reasons we

Angie Barber loves her job. Barber, performance improvement manager for Wamego City Hospital, routinely recognizes employees who are providing the best patient care and services for this rural hospital. Modern Healthcare magazine thinks so, too. In their Best Place to Work in Healthcare survey, the magazine awarded top honors to the 18-bed, 82-employee hospital ranking Wamego City Hospital No. 1 in 2012. Barber cites work environment, employee engagement, corporate culture, training and development, along with putting values first, as contributors to the honor. “We like rewarding personal accountability expressed in an environment where employees are supported and engaged. Everything we do creates a positive professional atmosphere that ultimately benefits our patients,” she says.

find more events at

Mardi Gras Parade

Love Thy Neighbor

LAWRENCE February 12

GARNETT February 22 – March 3

Celebrate Fat Tuesday in Downtown Lawrence. Begins at noon.

Enjoy this comedy written by Garnett’s own playwright, Gary Ray Stapp, at the Chamber Players Community Theatre.

Lincoln Re-enactment

The Lincoln community honors its namesake, our 16th president, with historical re-enactments. Begins at noon.

LEAVENWORTH February 22-23, March 1-3, 8-9

Musical and comedy performed by River City Community Players in the Art Deco Hollywood Theatre. Reservations encouraged.

LINCOLN February 15-16

25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee

March Stained Glass Tours GLASCO March 1-31 Glasco honors the Cloud County designation as The Stained Glass Capital of Kansas with guided tours (by appointment only). (785) 568-0120

Taste of Adventure

spring 2013 KANSAS EVENTS

SALINA March 3 Explore the unique culture, history and cuisine of another country. Begins at 6 p.m.

Hays VFW Craft Fair HAYS March 16 The VFW Ladies Auxiliary sponsors their annual Craft and Home Based Business Fair at the Kansas National Guard Armory. (785) 628-2375

St. Patrick’s Day Parade and Festival RUsH CENTER March 16 Parade, food, games for all ages, craft vendors, beer garden, Irish Stew meal. Begins at 2:30 p.m.


kansas! •

s p r ing 2013

35th annual aggieville St. Patrick’s Day Parade & Road Races MANHATTAN March 16 It’s St. Patrick’s Day, so celebrate your Irish heritage (or somebody else’s) on Moro Street! Begins at 7:30 a.m.

Lenten Labyrinth PAWNEE ROCK March 23 Guided, meditative walk along the outdoor prairie labyrinth in Barton County. Begins at 1 p.m. (620) 923-4585

Republic County spring Czech Festival CUBA April 7

ULYSSES April 12-14 Annual trade show with local and area merchants and arts and crafts at the local Grant County Civic Center. Begins at 6 p.m. April 12.

Family Fun Fest HAYS April 13 Kids and parents can spend time having fun at the various booths at the Hays Mall. From 1-4 p.m.

GREAT BEND April 18-21 A play by Mitch Albom, author of Tuesdays with Morrie. Performed at the Great Bend Theatre. Various showtimes.

NGA Spring Meet ABILENE April 22-27

(785) 625-3314

85th Kansas Annual Relays LAWRENCE April 17-20 The Kansas Relays are a three-day track meet at the University of Kansas.

Spring Longhorn cattle Drive

Duck Hunter Shoots Angel

Abilene has long been known as the Greyhound Capital of the World with the National Greyhound Association.

Atchison Art Walk ATCHISON April 26 You are invited to explore historic Atchison through art.

BUCKLIN April 10-12

Mount up and experience cowboy lifestyle firsthand. Drive Texas Longhorn cattle to summer pasture. Reservation required.

CHANUTE April 26-27

Safari Film Festival

Showcases the films of Kansas natives Martin and Osa Johnson. Begins at 6 p.m.

spring 2013 KANSAS EVENTS

Spring Czech Festival at the Cuba Kansas Community Hall. A basket dinner will be served at 12:30 p.m., dancing to follow. (785) 987-5383

Spring Fling

Pioneer Days KIOWA April 27-28 Parade, pro-rodeo team roping and bulldogging competition, and dance.

Illustrations: Shutterstock

kansasmag .com • kansas!



ike Abasolo can close his eyes and go back in time. It’s 1983, and he’s 5 years old again, meeting a young ballplayer by the name of Eric Davis. He’s at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium in Wichita, and Davis hasn’t won a World Series yet, hasn’t won any of his three Gold Gloves yet. He still hasn’t been named an all-star in the Major Leagues. The future Cincinnati Red is playing outfield for a Triple-A team in Wichita called the Aeros, and he’s a fresh young face full of potential, on the verge of a stellar professional career. “The big thing I remember as a kid was hearing his name introduced, and that anticipation of waiting for your guy to come up to bat,” Abasolo says. “I can still hear his name over the PA system in the ballpark.” Kansans across the state have similar experiences like what Abasolo can still so vividly recall today. The game of baseball has been good to Kansas, and Kansas has been good to the game. History of the game From historical figures like Walter “The Big Train” Johnson and Luther “Dummy” Taylor to events like the National Baseball Congress and teams like the Wichita State Shockers and the Kansas City T-Bones, the state of Kansas has a proud baseball heritage. Andover resident Clinton Hromek studies and collects Kansas baseball history, specializing in the state’s baseball history before 1950. “I think Kansas has an incredible history in baseball. We’ve had several great players and characters,” Hromek says. “Walter Johnson was a first-ballot Hall of Famer. Luther ‘Dummy’ Taylor was one of the first deaf players in the Major Leagues. Fred Clarke managed the Pirates and took them to their first World Series ever. Carl Mays pitched submarine style, he hit a guy and killed him, the only time that’s happened in Major League Baseball. That happened in 1920. They have a book about it called The Pitch that Killed. He pitched for one summer in Mulvane.”


Dick Sanders, current president of the Kansas Baseball Hall of Fame, certainly feels the game has a rich history here. A native Kansan, Sanders himself spent eight years kicking around the New York Yankees organization in the ’50s and ’60s. Sanders lists off a few of his colleagues who serve on the board of directors with him for the Kansas Baseball Hall of Fame: Daryl Spencer, a native Kansan, hit 105 home runs in the majors from ’52 to ’63. Donald Lock, also a Kansan, appeared in 921 games over eight seasons, hitting 27 homers in ’63 and 28 in ’64. And Ralph Terry, born in Oklahoma, pitched for the New York Yankees and won two World Series in ’61 and ‘62. Sanders himself never made it to “The Bigs” but not for lack of trying. The third baseman in front of him, Clete Boyer, was tough to supplant. “You had to have one fine year to break in with that bunch,” Sanders says. “Mickey Mantle, Whitey Ford, Yogi Berra … It was fun, but I could never get over the hump.”

Yankees) and Mark McGwire (first baseman, Oakland Athletics and St. Louis Cardinals). Ruocco’s shop began when his hobby of collecting baseball cards grew to be a collection of 30,000 cards. The native New Yorker did what seemed natural and opened a store. “I had a late uncle who had a candy shop back in Brooklyn. I always wanted to have a candy store so I could sell ball cards,” Ruocco recalls. “Instead I opened a card store and just sold ball cards.” When asked about the rich history of baseball in the state, Ruocco gasps, almost in disbelief. “My gosh, I can tell you about Wichita. It was flooded with great ballplayers that came through here, guys I never even realized,” he says. “The ’55 Pittsburgh Pirates played a game here. The Chicago Cubs came many times to play exhibition games. Did you know that Satchel Paige came with the National Baseball Congress?”

Rock’s Dugout One man who has seen a lot of baseball history come to him is Joe Ruocco, owner of Rock’s Dugout in Wichita. Rock’s Dugout is the oldest sports card and memorabilia store in Kansas, first opening its doors in 1977. Rock’s Dugout has hosted such baseball legends for autograph signings as Hank Aaron (HOF right fielder for the Milwaukee Brewers and Atlanta Braves), Bob Gibson (HOF pitcher, St. Louis Cardinals), Harmon Killebrew (HOF first baseman, Washington Senators, Minnesota Twins and Kansas City Royals), Phil Rizzuto (HOF shortstop, New York

Key events and places in Kansas For the past 78 years there has been a one-of-a-kind baseball tournament played in Wichita that draws players from around the country. And baseball fans can watch the tournament literally around-the-clock. The National Baseball Congress (NBC), founded by legendary Wichita businessman Hap Dumont, began in 1931 and featured future Hall of Fame pitcher Satchel Paige as its big draw. Paige was paid $1,000 for bringing his traveling team that first year—a huge sum of money at the time. Paige paid off,

Scenes from the Kansas City T-Bones and high school ballfields are just a few illustrations of Kansas’ love for baseball.

Born: January 3, 1962 Hometown: Arkansas City Major League career: 14 seasons (1983, 1985-1997) Position: Catcher Teams: Philadelphia Phillies, Florida Marlins Best known for: The threetime All-Star (1992, 1993, 1995) helped the Phillies win the World Series in 1997, but he had his best season in 1992, winning the Silver Slugger award for best offensive player at his position (catcher.)

Born: November 5, 1973 Hometown: Fort Riley Major League career: 18 seasons (1995-current) Position: Outfield Teams: Kansas City Royals, Oakland Athletics, Boston Red Sox, New York Yankees, Detroit Tigers, Tampa Bay Rays, Cleveland Indians Best known for: Helping rid the Red Sox of the “Curse of the Bambino.� Damon hit two home runs (one a grand slam) against the Yankees in the 2004 American League Championship Series, then another home run in the four-game sweep of the St. Louis Cardinals to win the World Series for the first time since 1918, the year the Red Sox sold Babe Ruth to the Yankees. Born: October 21, 1948 Hometown: Pittsburg Major League career: 18 seasons (1969-1986) Position: Shortstop Team: Los Angeles Dodgers Best known for: The three-time All-Star (1973, 1976, 1980) played 2,181 games for the Dodgers, second most of all time. He also helped the Dodgers win two World Series (1981, 1988).

drawing giant crowds and putting on a pitching clinic, striking out 60 batters while winning four games (both records that stand to this day) as well as the tournament. Today the NBC World Series ( at Wichita’s Lawrence-Dumont is still a big draw for fans, offering fans as much baseball as they can handle, while seeing some of the game’s best young talent. “It’s basically a chance to see Barry Bonds and Mark McGwire before they ever sign,” Abasolo says of the tournament. “They’re still in college, they’re still trying to break into the game when they come through Kansas. We feel like we get to see them first, and we kind of feel like they’re ours—maybe more than we have a right to—because they’re so early in their careers and you can see some of the things they can do.” “The NBC has always been big-time. A lot of stars have gone through that tournament,” says Sanders. “It runs three or four weeks in the summer. If you’re a baseball fan you can go out there and watch games all day and all night and see some future stars that will be in the big leagues.” Small-town approach For those who enjoy a more historical baseball perspective, Hromek suggests a trip to the tiny town of Blue Rapids, north of Manhattan. It was in Blue Rapids on October 24, 1913, that the New York Giants played the Chicago White Sox. More than 3,000 fans saw players like Jim Thorpe, John McGraw and Sam

Crawford play on a small ballfield still in use today. “The locals had to raise enough money to get the game, and the folks in Blue Rapids sold enough tickets to get these Major League players to come,” Hromek says. “They have a little museum there now, and they love to show baseball fans around. They still have an original broadside from the game.” For those baseball fans who really want a challenge, they can try to find the memorial dedicated to Kansas’ most dominating player of all time, Walter “The Big Train” Johnson, who pitched for the Washington Senators. Born in Humboldt, near Chanute, Johnson was the most dominating pitcher of his time, and arguably of all time. In his 21-year career, Johnson set numerous records, some of which still stand today. Johnson led the league in strikeouts for eight consecutive seasons and threw 110 shutouts, a record that still stands. Eric Neuteboom, a lifelong baseball fan who majored in American history at the University of Kansas, likes to joke that he minored in baseball history. A student of the game, Neuteboom says the best way to describe the Walter Johnson memorial is “difficult to find” and suggests that visitors stop to ask for directions when they arrive in Humboldt. “That’s what I love about baseball in Kansas. It’s not this grandiose baseball mecca,” Neuteboom, a private contractor living in Lawrence, says. “We have a small-town approach to the game. Baseball in Kansas is about driving to Toronto and playing home run derby with some friends on a beat-up old field.”

Born: November 6, 1887 Hometown: Humboldt Major League career: 21 seasons (1907-1927)

Position: Pitcher Team: Washington Senators Best known for: The Big Train may have pitched 100 years ago, but to this day he remains one of the game’s most dominating hurlers ever. His 110 career shutouts are 20 more than the next nearest pitcher (Pete Alexander threw 90 from 1911 to 1930). He is second in wins with 417, and fourth all-time in complete games with 531. He once held the career strikeout record with 3,508 and was the only player in the 3,000-strikeout club for 50 years until Bob Gibson threw his 3,000th in 1974. The Big Train led the Majors in strikeouts a record 12 times (one more than Nolan Ryan) including a stretch that lasted a record eight straight seasons.

Baseball today True, Kansas doesn’t host its own Major League team; however, we adopt the Kansas City Royals, from the Missouri side of the river. That doesn’t mean there aren’t some great teams to be seen in the Sunflower State. Located in Kansas City, Kan., the T-Bones (tbonesbaseball. com) play independent league baseball in a fantastic ballpark for affordable prices. “You don’t see the caliber of players you’d see in Triple-A, or even in Double-A, but it’s a fun atmosphere,” Neuteboom says. “They don’t take it too seriously. There’s lots of entertainment between innings, making it really family-friendly. My daughter enjoys it. Parking is only $2, beer and a hot dog is maybe $5, the tickets are cheap; so you’re not spending a whole lot of money to take the whole family out there.” Sanders, who has been in the insurance business for 40 years, suggests the Wichita State Shockers is a good team to follow and a perennial power of college baseball. “WSU is always in the top 25, and they play a wonderful schedule, with the California teams, Texas teams, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State,” he says. Abasolo, a high school journalism teacher, likes to entertain the thought of a baseball trip across Kansas. “I’d start out west in Liberal, see the Bee Jays ( and some of those other NBC teams. There’s not a lot out there, but the baseball they have is more of a community game,” he says. “I’d work my way through Wichita to see the (Double-A) Wingnuts ( Then I’d finish in Kansas City with the T-Bones.” For Abasolo, his baseball fandom that started off meeting Eric Davis in 1983 has come full circle. Now he takes his wife and four children with him to games, fostering the next generation of baseball fan. “Baseball here has … really kind of an untainted tradition. It’s not fueled by money or a huge population. This isn’t even a major market,” he says. “The best thing about baseball is the passing of the baton, taking your kids early to the game to get an autograph.” Abasolo doesn’t need to close his eyes to go back in time anymore. He just watches his kids at the ballpark, and suddenly it’s 1983 again.

Born: February 21, 1875 Hometown: Oskaloosa Major League Career: 8 seasons (1900-1908)

Position: Pitcher Teams: New York Giants, Cleveland Broncos Best known for: Once

Eudora writer Seth Jones has been to Major League games across the country, but for the money, he is most satisfied sitting in the outfield seats at a T-Bones game.

Be sure to catch Bubba Starling, Kansas City Royals outfielder, originally from Gardner.


reported to be the highest-paid deaf person in America, Taylor is credited with helping bring sign language, including pitching signs, to the game of baseball.

KANSAS museums There is plenty to see and do in Kansas. Be sure to call ahead for complete directions.



Abilene El Dorado Wichita

Topeka Lecompton

Historical Lecompton Civil War Birthplace Where slavery began to die

Visit Constitution Hall & Territorial Capital Museum 10-5 pm Wed-Sat • 1-5 pm Sun Tours (785) 887-6148 •

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in KANSAS! Magazine For details contact Bert Hull (888) 497-8668

K a n


Lucky Roll

State-owned casinos not only provide entertainment, they give back to the community

Photography by

Michael C. Snell



Walking across the lush gaming floor of a state-owned casino,the visitor is greeted with a medley of sights and sounds: multicolored lights strobed in sync with the unique purrs, chimes and melodies of each slot machine; contrasted with the understated and continuous interaction between player and dealer at the gaming tables.

The Buildup

On December 15, 2009, the Boot Hill Casino & Resort in Dodge City became the first state-owned gaming facility in Kansas. Two years later it was joined by Kansas Star in Mulvane and Hollywood Casino at Kansas Speedway in Wyandotte County. While all or most of the land and infrastructure of the three facilities are owned and managed by private gaming companies, the casino games themselves are owned by the state of Kansas and managed by private corporations with oversight by the Kansas Lottery. This contractual relationship between the state and private gaming companies is unique in the United States. The subject of gaming in Kansas had been debated in the Legislature through the’90s into the mid-2000s, according to Dennis Wilson, former executive director of the Kansas Lottery. Some arguments focused on the facts that Kansas didn’t need more gaming, and further, the laws would not allow it. Other arguments came from lawmakers who perceived a loss of revenue to other surrounding states that offered gaming.

“Why should we let that revenue go across the line or go to other places when the state could engage, underneath the laws, with owning their own casinos?” says Wilson. In 2007 the Legislature passed Senate Bill 66 by a narrow margin. The Bill extended the Lottery until 2022 and created the Kansas Expanded Lottery Act, authorizing the Lottery to own and operate one casino in each of the four zones in Kansas. The law was tested in the state Supreme Court, which upheld the law in a ruling that—under the 1987 Kansas Lottery Act—the state could own and operate its own casinos. To date, three management companies have entered into contract with the state of Kansas to operate and manage casinos in three of four gaming zones in the state after extensive bid processes. Applications are still being accepted for the Southeast Gaming Zone, in Cherokee and Crawford counties. Today Kansans have the convenience of visiting three varied casinos that also pump revenue back into the state, making it a winning game. So what exactly will you find at these prairie gaming houses?


Boot Hill Set against a backdrop of the high Western plains and just outside of Dodge City is Boot Hill Casino & Resort. An Old West theme runs throughout this popular casino, from the kerosene-style light fixtures down to the cowboy boot motif in the custom carpeting. “We try to offer a Wild West experience and a good customer service experience to go along with our gaming experience,” says Sharon Stroburg, general manager of Boot Hill Casino & Resort. The casino, which draws from a wide area, works closely with area attractions to give visitors a comprehensive experience of the region. “In southwest Kansas there’s a lot to do, and we have a lot of people coming here from our advertising, and we want to make sure they’re aware of what they can do on the way here and the way back,” says Stroburg. “We’re very focused on creating a destination and a destination experience versus just come for an hour or two and play on the slot machines experiences.” Boot Hill’s gaming floor is just over 22,000 square feet with 800 slots and 18 table games, with five poker tables in the Steve Walker Memorial Poker Room. Table games include blackjack,


roulette, craps and poker variations: Traditional, Mississippi Stud, Ultimate Texas Hold ’Em and 3-Card Poker. Limit and no-limit tables are available in the poker room. For novice players Stroburg suggests trying $5 blackjack, offered seven days a week until 3 p.m. “While some games can be intimidating for players, we always strive to provide a comfortable environment, where the novice can learn and the expert can enjoy,” says Stroburg. Plenty of slot machines also welcome players who may not want to try their luck at a table. The minimum stake on slots is 5 cents and goes as high as $10. There are several fun, popular games, like the Elvis slot machine, Ghost Busters and Big Buck Hunter, she says. As with all casinos in Kansas, no one under the age of 21 is allowed on the gaming floor. At Boot Hill that includes its two dining options because the only way to enter them is through the gaming area. Boot Hill Casino & Resort offers two enjoyable options for hungry players. Firesides is a full-service restaurant featuring prime rib specials—a guest favorite.

4000 W. Comanche St. | Dodge City | (877) 906-0777 |

For those looking to snatch a quick bite, visit the Cowboy Cafe. Open until 1 a.m. seven days a week, the café serves pizza slices, hamburgers, buffalo wings, and an expanded selection of soups and sandwiches, not to mention breakfast delectables, such as biscuits and gravy, available weekends from 9-11 a.m. The United Wireless Arena, next to the casino and resort, is a multipurpose facility accommodating a wide range of events, from concerts to motorsports to hockey. Adjacent to the arena, the Magouirk Conference Center is suitable for large and small groups, with banquet and lecture seating. Both the conference center and arena are owned by Dodge City. A breezeway connects the conference center to the casino for convenient access in any weather. In March 2012, a 108-room Hampton Inn opened to better accommodate visitors. Boot Hill Casino even offers a shuttle service for truckers staying at the Flying J Travel Plaza, and to the airport, as do some area hotels, and several campgrounds are nearby. While the main structure and growth of the casino are completed, Stroburg says they are in the exploratory stages for more developments on their 300-acre tract. “We’re working diligently to continue to develop, to give people more reasons to come to Dodge City and this part of town.”

Did you know?

No employees of the casinos, their immediate families or anyone living in the household may game where they are employed.

Cha-Ching Highlights

Casinos are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year.

Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings, guests can have their photos taken with “Miss Kitty” and other colorful characters from Dodge City’s past. Boot Hill Casino is the only casino managed by a Kansas company, BHCMC LLC, a subsidiary of Butler National Service Corporation, based in Olathe. Double-Deck Blackjack is one of the more popular table games. “From a table game perspective players really enjoy that,” says Sharon Stroburg.

Photography is typically not allowed inside casinos without prior consent.


Kansas Star Cha-Ching Highlights Opened in a temporary facility on December 26, 2011, the casino moved into its permanent casino on December 12, 2012. The addition of outdoor practice arenas and 624 stables to be completed in 2014 is expected to draw a number of equestrian events to the Kansas Star arena. A stately mural by Phil Epp hangs above the main cashier. The Player’s Club points can be redeemed at the restaurants, hotel and gift shop. The casino is conveniently located south of Wichita off Interstate 35 at the newly built toll plaza on Exit 33.


777 Kansas Star Drive | Mulvane | (316) 719-5000 |

Kansas Star is located west of Mulvane in south-central Kansas. The atmosphere evokes a century farm at sunset—soft light filters through roof rafters as natural décor features saplings, and river rock illustrate streambeds and ancient property lines. “We’ve really tailored the environment to reflect south-central Kansas. We wanted it to be a place people would come to, and feel very comfortable playing in,” says Megan Strader, public relations manager for the casino. Managed by Boyd Gaming, Kansas Star casino draws from south-central Kansas and is positioned to draw from a wider region as it completes its expansions. Final infrastructure will include a 300-room hotel, an approximately 5,000-seat arena, equine center, RV park and a wide range of restaurant options. With the exception of the hotel property, Boyd manages and operates the entire complex, including the arena. “We’ll be able to hold concerts, equestrian events, rodeos, trade shows, boxing, monster trucks, pretty much anything you can think of,” says Scott Cooper, general manager. Transformation of the arena, which had been the temporary home of the casino, will be completed


Bottom Line

by July. All the buildings are connected, allowing all-weather access from the hotel to the casino, restaurants and arena. On-site parking is also available for semis and RVs. Kansas Star is larger in scope than its counterpart, Boot Hill, with more dining options, larger gaming floor and more slots. The gaming floor is 100,000 square feet, with 1,829 Las Vegas-style slot machines, like Wheel of Fortune. Forty-five table games include the more common poker games, roulette, blackjack and craps, mini baccarat, fortune pai gow—a fast-paced poker variant—and Let it Ride, in addition to a 10-table poker room. A high-limit slot area allows for stakes up to $25. “All of the product we have you would see in Las Vegas,” says Cooper. Fine dining at the casino includes Woodfired Grille Steakhouse. While no one under 21 is allowed to enter the casino, the arena, steakhouse and deli can be accessed without entering the gaming area, and they are open to people of all ages. “One of our top priorities is to make sure our guests are happy and they’re comfortable,” says Strader. “It’s Kansas hospitality with the excitement of Vegas.”

Did you know?

The three regions where Kansas-owned casinos are located have benefited from the economic impact—both during the construction phase and from its operational revenue stream. From the time the casinos opened until September 30, 2012, they generated more than $343.5 million in revenues. The three casino managers pay an “effective tax” on its earnings to the state and local jurisdictions as part of its contract: 22 percent to the state and 2 percent to the Responsible Gambling Fund. Boot Hill Casino & Resort distributes 1.5 percent to Dodge City, 1.5 percent to Ford County. Kansas Star Casino distributes 1 percent each to Sedgwick and Sumner counties, and the city of Mulvane. Hollywood Casino at Kansas Speedway sends 1 percent to the Unified Government of Wyandotte County on top of its effective tax of 3 percent. In addition to those monies, each management company “sweetened the pot” in its contract proposal to the state by including additional monies to be used for charitable, educational and other uses by the communities where they are located. Boot Hill contributes 1 percent of the management fee to the Mariah Fund, a nonprofit group that promotes regional tourism. Kansas Star provides 100 percent of the funding for the Kansas All-Star Scholars Fund. This totals about $1.5 million annually. Hollywood gives an additional $1.1 million annually to the Unified Government of Wyandotte County, for parks, education, social service and charitable organizations. One concern communities had prior to the casinos opening was additional burden on emergency services, but that has not been the case. The casinos themselves have robust security, and most of the ambulance calls are allegedly refusals—guests who pass out from the excitement of winning a jackpot but otherwise don’t require medical care. According to figures provided by the Unified Government of Wyandotte County, approximately 40 percent of the 800 full- and part-time positions at Hollywood are held by residents of Wyandotte County. Its 2012 local property taxes amount to $7.5 million, and it was projected to generate $3.1 million on local gaming tax, in addition to sales and liquor tax payments. Sumner County has decided to lower property taxes by 27 percent. The construction phase of Kansas Star also translates into significant revenues. Committed to awarding construction contracts to local companies when possible, Kansas Star had awarded 92 percent of the $121 million in contracts to Kansas-based contractors through November 2012. “We are a very highly taxed business,” says Bob Sheldon, vice president and general manager of the Hollywood Casino at Kansas Speedway. “If residents of Kansas play at one of our casinos, depending on which one, 25-27 percent of what they spend in the casino goes back to the public. Goes to the state.”

The state ban on guests under 21 extends to every restaurant at Boot Hill and Hollywood. Two restaurants at Kansas Star, accessible without crossing the gaming floor, do allow underage guests.


Hollywood Casino

777 Hollywood Casino Blvd. | Kansas City | (913) 288-9300 |

The Hollywood Casino at Kansas Speedway blends the energy of NASCAR racing with an interior that depicts the “glitz and glamour of ’30s and ’40s Hollywood,” says Bob Sheldon, vice president and general manager of the casino. It’s easy to feel the art deco vibe with the glistening gaming floor featuring flatscreen cinemas and splashes of Mediterranean blue glass walls. Opened in February 2012, the casino rests on the western edge of the Kansas City metro. Around 2.1 million people live within a 100-mile radius of Hollywood. “We’re in a very, very competitive casino market, Kansas City metro,” says Sheldon. A very competitive and mature gaming market, adds Dean Doria, vice president of marketing. Gaming has been available in the KC metro for more than 17 year at other casinos in the area. This contrasts sharply with the Mulvane and Dodge City areas, which did not have gaming prior to the opening of the Kansas casinos. One of the ways Hollywood Casino differentiates itself is by creating a Las Vegas experience. “We’re newer, more state-of-theart”, says Doria. “Energy is really driven through the facility by all


Did you know?

the audio/visual elements and state-of-the-art equipment that we have in our beautifully appointed casino and restaurants.” The casino has 95,000 square feet of gaming floor with 2,000 slot machines, 40 table games, plus 12 live poker tables. Denominations range from penny to $100, and high-limit slot and table areas cater to customers who prefer privacy and a high-level service experience. Sheldon says it would surprise first-time visitors how loose the slots are. “We’ve given a lot of money away every week.” The most popular table game is 21. “People enjoy that because it’s in a group atmosphere. There’s social interaction. Craps and roulette are a lot of fun that way, too. You have everybody that’s betting on the same outcome on that roll of the dice,” says Sheldon. Hollywood’s restaurants are conveniently located directly off the gaming floor. “The three major restaurants: our steakhouse, the sports bar and buffet, all have great views of the Speedway,” says Sheldon. Final Cut Steakhouse appears as an upscale club straight out of a movie set. “The coolest thing is we have [a pair of] Dorothy’s ruby red slippers,” says Doria, along with Daniel Craig’s tuxedo from the Casino

Smoking is allowed on the gaming floors of all three casinos, though it is banned in its restaurants. Hollywood Casino at Kansas Speedway has a designated nonsmoking section for slot machine players.


Cha-Ching Highlights A custom-made NASCAR racecar bearing the Hollywood Casino brand is displayed on the gaming floor. The Toyota Camry features a 358-cubic-inch V-8 engine and can reach a top speed of 200 mph. Hollywood is owned and managed by Kansas Entertainment L.L.C., a joint venture partnership with Penn National Gaming and the International Speedway Corporation, which operates the Kansas Speedway. Hollywood is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week and typically has at least one of each type of table game available at all hours of the day. High ceilings combined with a powerful air-handling system that can purge the air every eight minutes gives improved air quality even in the smoking areas. Smoking is prohibited in the restaurants and bars. Hollywood’s Marquee Rewards Program is shared with its sister property, the Argosy Casino in Kansas City, Missouri. “If they aren’t feeling lucky at Argosy, they can come over here, and they’re keeping their rewards all in one family,” says Dean Doria.

Royale James Bond flick, and plates from the Poseidon Adventure. Entrees include a 28-ounce, bone-in ribeye steak, South African deep-water lobster tails and rack of lamb. The sports bar Turn 2 Lounge, named for Turn 2 of the Kansas Speedway, offers 70 screens of sports entertainment and live cover bands late Friday and Saturday evenings. Outdoor balcony seating overlooks the speedway. Long-range master plans call for a hotel to be built onsite. In the meantime 871 rooms are within a 10-15 minute drive, and the casino offers a shuttle service. An RV campground is seven minutes away in Bonner Springs, and there is designated surface parking area for semis on the perimeter of the lot. “We’re in the entertainment business. People should be ready to come in and have a good time and fun experience,” says Doria. Writer Sally M. Snell maintains her winning streak from her home in Lawrence.

Located in Sumner County, Wheat Capital of the World and only 10 minutes from new Kansas Star Casino Join us for the “Official”

Kansas Wheat Festival July 10-14, 2013

We invite you to stroll through our historic downtown during the First Friday Art Walk…see a movie at the Regent Theater, visit one of our three museums or Nationally registered Carnegie Library. Take in a round of golf at the challenging 18-hole Wellington Golf Club or catch an exciting Wellington Heat baseball game at Sellers park. Sample some of the region’s best steaks, barbeque, Mexican Food or cruise through our nostalgic A&W restaurant for a frosty mug of root beer!!

Wellington Area Chamber of Commerce / Covention & Visitors Bureau 620-326-7466

Live Well, Live Wellington

our town

home run in

dodge city ★


Ballpark bleachers fill up and players flock to the west for another season

kansas! •

s p r ing 2013

Dodge City A’s Each summer, Dodge City welcomes young men from around the country to play summer collegiate baseball in the Jayhawk League as members of the Dodge City A’s. “Summer baseball in Dodge City is an opportunity for community residents to meet college baseball players from all parts of the country and enjoy top-notch baseball. It is a quality of life activity for Dodge City and surrounding communities,” says Glenn Kerbs, president of the Dodge City A’s Board of Directors. Kerbs explains that scouts attend the games looking for talent to fill the ranks of pro baseball teams. Former Jayhawk League players have gone on to become major league players, sports commentators and college coaches. Swing, batter The summer months at Dodge City’s large softball complex are constantly abuzz with little league. Longtime organizer Ed Kimminau says, “In February, parent groups begin the decision-making process, choosing where the traveling youth teams will play.” He adds that Dodge City is a popular destination, fielding quality teams from Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska, Oklahoma and Texas. Kimminau also organizes adult slow-pitch ball and the popular 48-hour softball tournament. With the help of his granddaughter, Kala Cadwell, Kimminau seeks out teams, organizes events and sees that visitors enjoy a pleasant stay. His nonprofit organization, Southwest Sports, has been in operation since 1983 and has earned a reputation as a quality organizer of baseball and softball events. Vintage For those interested in vintage “base ball” you won’t want to miss the Hodgeman County Nine. Now in its sixth year, the vintage base ball team, located in Jetmore, wears 1870s-style uniforms and plays by the original 1860 rules. The team’s goal is to enhance community events, act as ambassadors for Hodgeman County and give presentations about base ball history to schools. The driving force behind the team is Mark Wellbrock. “Base ball has truly become America’s sport,” he says. Wellbrock explains that terms have changed over the years. “The pitcher was called the hurler; the batter was called the striker.” The game traveled west because of the Civil War with soldiers and former soldiers introducing the game wherever they were stationed or settled. The team competes against the Nicodemus Blue, the Wichita Cowtown team as well as others from Ulysses, Chase OPPOSITE Dodge City offers many attractions, but baseball remains a favorite. TOP Bull riding at Dodge City Days. CENTER On the field with the Dodge City A’s. ABOVE A gun fight re-enactment occurs at the Boot Hill Museum.

kansasmag .com • kansas!

our town home run in dodge city

Photographs clockwise from left courtesy of: Lora Miller Photography, Dodge City Convention and Visitors Bureau, Lora Miller Photography, Dodge City Convention and Visitors Bureau.


ineteenth century citizens of Dodge City looked forward to summertime. The summer months brought cattle, cowboys and prosperity to the town. More than 140 years later, Dodge City still looks forward to a summer season that welcomes visitors from all over, only this season it’s for more than history and Wild West memorabilia—it’s for baseball.


our town home run in dodge city 34


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Dr. R. C. Trotter - The cowboy way

Base ball or baseball: No matter how you spell it, it’s America’s sport. Mark Wellbrock’s eyes light up when you ask him about vintage base ball. Wellbrock has been at this game for six years. The idea was mentioned to him after a friend, John Ewy, saw a vintage base ball game in Colorado Springs. Through research, they discovered a few vintage teams around Kansas, generated local interest, then played ball. Wellbrock, who owns Jetmore’s grocery store, constantly promotes the game; he is currently involved in starting a Kansas Vintage Base Ball Association.

Mark Wellbrock - Vintage base ball is his game

the Locals

Dr. R.C. Trotter is a local doctor with an interest that makes Dodge City the perfect place for him: rodeo. He started with the local rodeo as a team physician but was approached to be on the board of directors; he has been the board president for the last 10 years. He and his wife, Mary, who is also a rodeo fan, do many things for the place they call home. In fact Mary coordinates the Wrangler Tough Enough to Wear Pink Campaign, which raises money for cancer research of all kinds. In addition to the time spent organizing rodeo events, the Trotters also sponsor the annual Christmas Card Contest through the Carnegie Center for the Arts.

County, Lyons and Emporia. Efforts are under way to form a Kansas Vintage Base Ball Association to provide online links to the existing Kansas teams, their information and schedules.

Photographs clockwise from left: Josh Rosesener (2)

Beyond ball Dodge City offers plenty of sporting attractions beyond baseball. Every Saturday night from mid-April through September, one can hear the roar of auto racing. Racing events include stocks, sprints, modified, thunder, hornets and others. Action begins at 7:30 p.m., and more information can be found at In late July and early August the rodeo comes to town. The fun starts with Dodge City Days, which kicks off with a parade and quality country western performers selected and promoted by Q97 radio. The PRCA-sponsored rodeo begins at the end of the first week of Dodge City Days and brings in hardcore rodeo fans from across the globe. “The Dodge City Rodeo provides one of the three big buckles on the PRCA rodeo circuit; to have one of them is to have earned something to be proud of,” says Dr. R.C. Trotter, president of the rodeo association. The town of Dodge City is full during rodeo week, according to Dr. Trotter. “The sport of rodeo celebrates our western heritage. Rodeo is more than just a sport, it’s a social gathering with a circus-like atmosphere. People come and enjoy being western for a week, and the rodeo gives entertainment value for the dollar,” he says.


destinations & attractions

Bonner Springs

Baldwin City Winfield

There is plenty to see and do in Kansas. Be sure to call ahead for complete directions.

“Summer baseball in Dodge City is an opportunity for community residents to meet college baseball players from all parts of the country and enjoy top-notch baseball.” – Glenn Kerbs This is the only Wrangler Million Dollar Tour Rodeo in Kansas and is a ProRodeo Hall of Fame rodeo. Amid all of those spectator sports, there’s also the Boot Hill Museum, the Depot Theater Company and the latest addition, the Boot Hill Casino & Resort. Come out and enjoy all the things that Dodge City and Southwest Kansas have to offer this summer. Dodge City writer and history buff Carol L. Jenkner was delighted to discover the vintage base ball team and has already made plans to see them play.


Like to write?

Enter the Kansas Voices Contest by sending in your short story or poetry to Winfield Arts & Humanities, 700 Gary, Winfield every year by March 15th. Entry fee $3 per story or poem. The Arts Council provides a dinner and reading on the first Saturday in May for all the winners with $1,000 in prizes being awarded in adult and youth categories. For more information, visit or call 620-221-2161


in KANSAS! Magazine For details contact Bert Hull (888) 497-8668

Visit Jetmore, Dodge City, Great Bend, Inman, Salina, Goddard, Hays, Colby, Kansas City … and the list goes on … and you’ll find racetracks. Most are banked dirt ovals, some drag strips, a few road courses with twists and turns. There are tracks for cars (stock cars, hobby stocks, modified stocks, sport compacts, modified sports, club cars, drifts and chumps) plus karts and motorcycles.And every kind of car, cycle or kart has its own lingo, specs, rules, classes and fan base.

Lawrence-based writer Susan Kraus got to ride the Heartland track at full throttle in a hot-orange 1982 Porsche 930 ... all in the name of research.

point of interest Hot spots Heartland Park | topeka Heartland Park in Topeka, an exceptional facility that offers a diverse schedule of every type of racing. Heartland Park offers a Touring Club where novice racers can get instruction from pro drivers on skills for safe driving at high speeds, then take their own car to its limits on a professional course. Bike Days is similar, as motorcycle racing pros teach the tools and techniques of bike racing for riders. Opening in 2013 is the Heartland Park Driving Experience, a 1/2-to-full day of hands-on instruction and practice in race course driving using Heartland’s inventory of Formula and race cars. Drivers can go from novice-to-driving in a day. “It costs less to take a family to a dirt racetrack on a Saturday night than it does to go to a movie, and you get 4-5 hours of live entertainment,” says Joe Douthitt, general manager at Heartland Park. “We try to provide a family-friendly experience, with a Kid Zone and economical family packages.” 81 speedway | park city 81 Speedway in Park City is a dirt track that has been in the Hall family since 1963. Parents who bring their children to watch the races first came when they were kids themselves.

Kansas Auto Racing Museum in Chapman (Exit 286 off Interstate 70). This unique museum features restored race cars from seven eras, rare film footage and race highlights, video Play Stations and the first NASCAR trophy, won by Jim Roper of Halstead.

THE CAR CLUB For those who have a need for speed, there are plenty of ways to get started. Car Clubs (Corvette, Porsche, Mustang, etc.) often sponsor club races and trainings. For example, the Kansas City Region Porsche Club of America is committed to driver education events open to anyone with an interest in learning high-speed driving skills. “We provide full weekends when novices-to-advanced drivers get tiered, hands-on instruction and one-on-one supervision with nationally certified instructors,” says Bob Wayman, president of the club. “You don’t have to own a Porsche to attend. Any make or model will do.”

karting Enduro Karts is quickly setting a new trend in Kansas. “Enduro (endurance) Karts are only 1½ inches off the ground,” says Craig Galey of Garnett, who started with a play-kart when he was 8 years old. “So there’s a learning curve as far as visual perception, especially when you’re going over 100 miles per hour.” There are laydown karts and sprint karts, each with different classes (age of driver, type of kart, etc.). Kansas kart racers gravitate to Heartland Race Track in Topeka, Lake Afton in Goddard, and tracks in Oklahoma and Nebraska. Different frames of karts can hit 100 to 180 miles per hour. “The adrenaline of driving one of these is both addictive and fun. I love the competition on the track and the pride of a win,” says Galey. “But it’s the people involved that make it special. It’s like a family reunion at every race as people from North Carolina to California all come together.” For info on karting, go to,

Green: Track is clear. The race will start if car alignment is proper.

For the Family For Sam Linhart of Olsburg, karting is a family affair. Three of his kids, two sons and a daughter, with nicknames like Birddog and Flash, now race and probably will more as they get older. Linhart won a World Title in Daytona in 2007, and the family has won more than 10 National titles. Galey and Linhart both suggest that anyone interested just come to some races, walk around, talk to drivers and ask questions. “People are generous with their time and happy to explain what’s involved and how to get started,” adds Galey. “We work together, deal with frustrations and challenges, overcome obstacles, grow together as a family,” says Linhart. “It’s hard to find that in life anymore.”

Black: Unsafe equipment and/or violation of rules or regulations. If blackflagged for safety reasons, drivers may go to pit road and return to race only if instructed by track official. If black-flagged for violation of rules/regulations, drivers must go to the pits and will not be scored as being in the race from the time they are black-flagged. Red: Race is being stopped. Stop your car wherever you are on the track. Do not get out of your car! Cars may be moved to a location as instructed by officials. Cars should remain in racing order. Officials will re-line up the cars. Violations of any of the above Red Flag rules may result in your car being disqualified from the race. Yellow: Race is momentarily halted. Slow down and continue circling the track in your race position at pace speed. Do not race back to the flag stand for the yellow. Cars are lined up according to the last completed lap. When the lineup is complete, the race will restart. Blue with Yellow Stripe: Your car is ready to be lapped by faster traffic and you should hold your line. White: One more lap before the race will be completed. Checkered: Race is over and all cars will exit the track. The top four from all classes will go to scales and to the tech area.

warriors Revel in the camaraderie of women eager to learn how to become more ‘outdoorsy’ in one weekend

Jami McCabe pauses as she thinks back on her repertoire of outdoor skills that involved more than setting a picnic table for her family. “Before I attended a Becoming an Outdoors-Woman (BOW) weekend 20 years ago I had only dabbled in some outdoor activities. Suddenly, I was hooked. I had such a wonderful time learning new skills from archery and shotgun etiquette to advanced mapping/compass and turkey hunting. BOW would become a lifelong pursuit to share what I had learned,” she says. McCabe kept coming back for more sessions, particularly in archery. She’d never shot an arrow, but she kept at it and after four years was asked to teach, and later became volunteer instructor coordinator. “That’s the interesting thing. BOW empowers women to learn to do something new. It gives those 18 years or older a hands-on opportunity for experiencing hunting, fishing, orienteering, backpacking, camping and boating—and that’s just scratching the surface,” says Bev Knopp, a Becoming an Outdoors-Woman instructor. The nonprofit, nonmembership program offered through Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism is unique for the simple reason that BOW is built on giving confidence in a supportive, noncompetitive atmosphere.

Photography by Tim Sigle


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It’s hard to choose among the many skills offered at Becoming an outdoors-woman. Here’s one of the sample workshop sessions for Friday afternoon:

What an adventure!

like K-State student Carly Simpson or just young at heart like Ethel Evans, the excitement is nothing short of exhilarating and contagious. Some classes may require a little more physical activity than others, but the ‘Young at Heart’ attitude and feeling prevails at all activities.”

BOW is designed for women who have never tried outdoor activities but decide they wanted to learn. Most are beginners who want to improve their skills or may know how to do some of the activities but would like to try new ones. Approximately 48 women attend the weekend workshop in the spring and 100 in the fall. The program begins at noon Friday and extends through noon on Sunday. The sessions are divided into four blocks of instruction, each lasting about four hours. Within the instructional period 6-10 courses are taught by experienced instructors who come from a wide-ranging background. “If there’s a request for a particular class we will try to get it included in the program,” says McCabe.

Mother Nature’s backyard

BOW workshops take place semiannually in the spring and fall at 700-acre Rock Springs 4-H Center. Rock Springs is nestled in the edge of the Flint Hills, 12 miles southwest of Junction City. The Center features modern facilities scattered among the beautiful tall trees and spring-fed streams that run throughout the grounds.

BOW Workshop Schedule The lay of the land begins with a friendly check-in and welcome. Lunch is served communally followed by the first breakout session in the afternoon. After a 3 ½-hour skills session of choice, relax until dinner. The evening closes gently around a nightly campfire to share tales from the day’s adventures.


Welcome and introductions

And that’s exactly what attracted Libby Nelson to the program. “I grew up on a farm but really didn’t know all that much about the great outdoors.” Nelson decided to give the program a try three years ago. “It was my first time and I thought, I’m really a beginner at nearly everything but it didn’t matter. The women who attended my session in the fall were as ‘green’ as I was,” she says. “I decided to try my hand on a float trip. I’ll admit, I was never crazy about the water, but once I had instruction with people who were not only caring but so knowledgeable about their area of expertise, I knew I could master my fears and practice my new skill.” Bev Knopp, BOW instructor says, “It’s always obvious to me that enthusiasm has no age limit. Whether you are college-aged

Shotgun 101 Intro to Handgun Rifle marksmanship Rabbit & Squirrel Hunting

Limbing Fly fishing/Fly Tying Canoeing Basics Tent Camping

Session-A begins


Relax on your own


Mini-session or relax on your own


“I had actually visited Rock Springs as a child. Reconnecting with the Center was very instrumental in helping me find myself,” says Alissa Menke, Carbondale resident. “Though I had grown up in rural Lebo and was very active, I had kind of lost that part of myself that loved the outdoors. The BOW weekend gave me skills, confidence and new friendships,” says Menke. “I didn’t just learn how to do something, like archery, but learned why I was doing it. I never considered how a weekend of uninterrupted time with other outdoors ladies would help me get a better idea of who I was, what I enjoyed and what I was good at. I found the instructors very patient and the environment so integral to our experiences. Someday, I’d like to take my mom and her sisters. “Like me, I think they would reconnect with themselves.”

Intro to Biking Ghost Towns of Kansas kansasmag .com • kansas!


The program began in 1991 by Christine Thomas, an associate dean and professor of resource management at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point College of Natural Resources. Thomas started researching the reasons why more women didn’t participate in outdoor activities such as hunting and fishing. She determined that women prefer to learn outdoor skills in a noncompetitive atmosphere taught by other women. Today the program continues to flourish. BOW workshops take place in 40 states and Canadian provinces throughout North America. Though the Kansas BOW program is for women only, it has both male and female instructors. Most women learn about the program through word-of-mouth. BOW is for women 18 years and older, with participants ranging from 18 up to over 60 years of age. “I want women never to be afraid or say they can’t do something. If you’re interested in adding birdwatching basics, star gazing or surviving in the wilderness to your bucket list—become an outdoors woman. You’re going to have so much fun. Incidentally, the fun comes with s’mores nightly!” says McCabe. Up a creek without a paddle is a close approximation to Overland Park writer Gloria Gale’s outdoor experience. She’s filling out the BOW application now.


Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism and on Becoming an Outdoors-Woman Kansas Facebook page.


(785) 845-5052

Tour kansas

Let it Ride Biking in Kansas celebrates the state’s wide-open beauty on scenic trails, gravel roads, technical courses and canopied suburban paths photography by jason dailey


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Trail Bosses

Flint Hills - Emporia residents and lifelong cycling advocates Kristi and Tim Mohn, two of the organizers of the Dirty Kanza (DK), along with founders Joel Dyke and Jim Cummins, have one of the hottestselling tickets in the state. A chance to ride in the grueling, 200-mile, self-supported endurance ride crowned as a must-do ride by Bicycling magazine and as one of the top races in the world by Velo Magazine sells out in two-and-a-half hours each January with thousands jockeying for the 800 coveted spots in the elite race. Celebrating its eighth year this summer, the DK begins and ends in front of the historic Emporia Granada Theatre. As the riders are battling the rugged course in the Flint Hills, a full-tilt block party-festival atmosphere breaks out in Emporia. The inaugural DK had 15 riders and started from a parking lot; when the race reaches its 10th anniversary in 2015, the Mohns fully intend to have 2,000-plus bicyclists. “It’s like a high school reunion for cyclists,” says Kristi, a self-professed bike widow who cheers on Tim as he trains for the DK. “Except this reunion is set in one of the most glorious places on earth, the Flint Hills.” Kansas - This annual early-June, 475-mile ride begins at the Colorado border and takes riders deep through the heart of Kansas, finishing eight days later at the Missouri River. Launched nearly 40 years ago by Larry and Norma Christie of Wichita during the bike “boom” awakening in the 1970s, this ride attracts nearly 800 riders and support personnel from across the nation, with international riders joining in, too. The crossstate odyssey proves once again that Kansas isn’t flat as a pancake—there are hills and valleys and prairies and woods. Hell Creek State Park/Lake Wilson This two-day event, which proves you don’t need a mountain for world-class mountain biking, takes place on some of Kansas’ most scenic trails and includes a guided tour, a three-hour marathon race and races ranging from 10 to 35 miles. Part of the United Federation of Dirt series, the annual May festival showcases Kansas mountain bike riding.

Tour kansas

The lights swooshing by Ringler that June night carried determined bicyclists, laboring toward the finish line in one of the world’s most acclaimed gravel road endurance cycling challenges—the Dirty Kanza 200. If Ringler had been able to see the athletes, he would have witnessed dirt-caked bikes and grit-covered riders exhausted from maneuvering a 200-mile course that tests the mettle of even the sturdiest cyclists. Welcome to cycling—Kansas style—where the rubber meets dirt roads, scenic trails, off-road courses, river levees, meandering country paths and suburban streets. Bike any way you want in a state that doesn’t have dramatic altitude changes or teeth-clenching hills but boasts a cyclist’s priceless asset: enchanting, intoxicating, inspiring beauty, and miles and miles of it. The perfect road, path or trail waits for you in Kansas … find yours and ride it.

Biking Across Kansas

“We don’t have mountains in Kansas, but we have some of the country’s best biking trails and events to experience our unique terrain and scenery.” – Collin Earhart, lawrence

Kansas Fat Tire Festival


ansas farmer-rancher Jay Ringler recalls the pitchdark Kansas midnight several years ago when he first encountered the flickering lights. He was rumbling down a gravel road near the Lyon-Chase county line on a tractor, returning home following a long day of baling alfalfa. As Ringler describes it, the gently bouncing lights approaching him on the deserted stretch of road looked like twinkling stars that had tumbled from the huge expanse of inky sky. “You don’t farm by the clock,” says Ringler, who farms 1,200 acres in Kansas’ iconic Flint Hills. “You get the job done when it needs to be done. It was early in the morning, maybe around 1 a.m., and I saw these tiny pinpoints of light coming toward me.”

Dirty Kanza 200

Kansas has a calendar brimming with year-round bicycling events for everyone’s taste and skill, including daunting gravel road challenges, mountain bike races, road rides and even bicycle rodeos. For more information, visit

To map out your Kansas bike adventure, visit,

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Pedal Power Here is a sampling of Kansas bicycling—trails and paths that’ll make you say, “There’s no place like home.” Switchgrass Mountain Bike Trail: Nestled in the Smoky Hills region of Kansas on the southeastern edge of Wilson Lake is a 22-mile, single-track trail boasting terrain similar to western Colorado and eastern Utah. The Switchgrass Mountain Bike Trail, home to the annual Kansas Fat Tire Festival each May, thrills cyclists with red sandstone rock formations and an intermediate-to-difficult adventure, although novices can enjoy a 5-mile loop, too. Named in 2012 by the International Mountain Bicycling Association as an “Epic Trail,” the Switchgrass is in one of Kansas’ premier recreation spots.

Tour kansas

Pack a picnic lunch to enjoy by crystal-clear Wilson Lake after you’ve worked up an appetite.


El Dorado Bike Trails: Choose from four trails of varying levels and beautiful scenery within Kansas’s largest state park. This quartet of trails is a sublime family outing. Choose from the paved multi-use El Dorado Linear Trail, the petite ¾-mile Walnut Ridge Trail, the challenging two-mile Double Black Diamond Mountain Bike Trail with rock outcroppings and steep grade changes or the 17-mile Boulder Bluff that follows the shoreline of the stunning El Dorado Reservoir. Spend a weekend camping, cooking over the fire and soaking in nature on two wheels—expect to see plenty of wildlife, too.

Prairie Spirit Rail-Trail: This 15-year-old, 51-mile trail was Kansas’s first rail-trail conversion project and is a pictureperfect slice of the state’s varied scenery. Hop on at one of five trailheads—Ottawa, Princeton, Richmond, Garnett, Iola or Welda—and watch the landscape unfold from expansive vistas with waving prairie grasses to quiet woodlands, placid lakes and charming small towns. Built along a former bed for the Lawrence, Leavenworth and Galveston Railroad, the trail’s

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grades are moderate, ranging from hard-packed limestone on rural sections and asphalt in some of the burgs. Trailheads are equipped with restrooms, benches and picnic areas. Stop off in Princeton to grab a pork tenderloin sandwich or Bronco Burger at the Brand’N’Iron Bar & Grill.

Milford Lake Trails: Kansas’s largest reservoir—west of Manhattan, near Fort Riley and Junction City—is a cyclist’s dream, offering eight trails with opportunities to view wildlife, bald eagles and water features. Riders will find level trails, challenging ups and downs, densely wooded areas and brushy corridors. Mountain bike enthusiasts can traverse five miles of singletrack trail rated from easy to difficult. Après cycling, drive into Manhattan for a Kansas steak and handcrafted ale at the Little Apple Brewing Company.

Indian Creek Trail: A 17-mile multiuse paved path that connects the Olathe, Overland Park and Leawood, Kansas, suburbs with Kansas City, Missouri. The picturesque 8-footwide trail winds through canopies of trees camouflaging populated areas, and wildlife sightings are common, including deer and geese. Nine trailheads dot the generally level trail that includes some tight turns and steep sections and takes riders past ponds, lakes, creeks and city parks. Take a detour at Tomahawk Park at 119th and Roe in Leawood and enjoy world-class barbecue at Oklahoma Joe’s in the Camelot Court Shopping Center—the Z-Man Sandwich will fortify and fuel the remainder of your bike ride.

Kimberly Winter Stern is an Overland Park freelance writer and avid cyclist. After a 20-mile workout, her favorite reward is a burger and shake at Coach’s Bar & Grill.

Gallery Spring’s refreshing scenes

Greener pastures reflect a rejuvenated season.


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Spring Runoff Jason Soden, Cowley County (From top)

Yucca Blooms Harland J. Schuster, Comanche Glass Half Full Sara Brown, Chase County

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Red Barn Brad Neff, Shawnee County (Opposite)

Lightning Over Udall Bill Fales, Cowley County


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(From Top)

Dog and Barn Gunnar Williams, Johnson County Blade of Grass Mark Kreider, Harvey County (Opposite) Badlands at Castle rock Bruce Hogle, Gove County


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(From top)

Arikaree Breaks Yucca Bruce Hogle, Cheyenne County Into morning light Terry Wiechman, Shawnee County


Send your scenic photos to Gallery, KANSAS!, 1020 S. Kansas Ave., Suite 200, Topeka, KS 66612. Visit for submission guidelines and deadlines.



Warren Theatres

Treat your family to a six-story, 601-seat cinematic spectacle and the country’s biggest digital screen when you make Wichita your feature destination.

See more at


c a t c h i n g

Midwest Memories

The kansas sports museum and hall of fame take visitors on a treasured journey Photography by Ze Bernardinello

Best baseball pitcher of all time—check. Most dominant basketball player of all time— check. Greatest performance by a high school athlete—check. Kansas honors its greats among many sports with the Kansas Sports Hall of Fame in Wichita and the Kansas Sports Hall of Fame Museum in Newton. “I think the one thing that inspires people is that when they go through, they actually are amazed at how strong Kansas sports history is,” said Dan Heinze Jr., president of the Kansas Sports Hall of Fame Museum (KSHOF Museum). The players The surprises begin just inside the entrance, where there’s an autographed photo of the McPherson Globe Refiners basketball team. The team, sponsored by an oil refinery, made up half of the first U.S. Olympic basketball “dream team” to win gold. They did it in 1936, after winning the national AAU championship. Basketball gets a lot of space, from the game’s inventor, Dr. James Naismith, to Wilt Chamberlain, the only man to score 100 points in an NBA game, to current professionals such as Paul Pierce and Nick Collison. But other sports get their attention as well. Humboldt native Walter “Big Train” Johnson is considered by many experts to be the greatest


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pitcher in baseball history. Interestingly, an old photograph in the museum shows him at bat in a game played in his hometown. Can you imagine a better football backfield than Gale Sayers and Barry Sanders at running back, John Riggins at fullback and John Hadl at quarterback? All were either born or played in Kansas. Of course, current Kansas State University football coach Bill Snyder is prominently displayed. Probably the most famous track and field athlete featured is Jim Ryun, the former U.S. Representative who broke the four-minute mile while still at Wichita’s East High, a feat noted around the world. Another is Glenn Cunningham, the “Kansas Flyer” who overcame childhood injures to set world records in the mile and 800 meters. Other exhibits cover golf, rodeo, horse racing and wrestling. Several displays mark dynasties enjoyed by the state’s high schools and junior colleges. For Ted Hayes, president of the closely affiliated Kansas Sports Hall of Fame, some of the best exhibits are the quirkiest. One is the mask that Mike Evans, one of K-State’s most prolific basketball scorers, wore to protect a broken nose. “He could light it up, and he looked like Freddy Krueger,” Hayes says. Title IX fans will be happy to know that the accomplishments of female athletes are prominently displayed, especially those of Jackie Stiles, the alltime women’s college basketball scoring leader, and Lynette Woodard, four-time college basketball

When the original rules of basketball go on permanent display at the University of Kansas, much of the credit will rightly go to David Booth, the KU alumnus who anted up $4.3 million for the document. But it would never have happened without Josh Swade, a 38-yearold Jayhawk booster who spent exactly one year as an undergraduate at KU. Swade heard that the document would be auctioned off at Sotheby’s in New York and set out to persuade Booth and others that they belong here. Swade made a documentary film about his effort, co-directed by Maura Mandt and titled There’s No Place Like Home. In October 2012, it aired as part of ESPN’s 30/30 series. The two-page set of rules were typewritten in 1891 by Dr. James Naismith, who went on to coach and teach at KU. Swade’s Jayhawk fervor dates to his childhood in Overland Park, when he accompanied his dad

N o Place

Like Home

to games here. “Terrible seats, a few rows from the top,” he says. “We would go religiously—rain, sleet or snow. That’s where I fell in love with KU basketball.” Swade, who finished college in New York, describes the making of the documentary as “like living in a Jayhawk fairy tale” as he interviewed current and former KU coaches Bill Self, Roy Williams and Larry Brown for the film. In his first meeting with Booth, the latter says he’s “good for a million.” He ended up spending quite a bit more. “Fun doesn’t really begin to capture it,” Swade says. The university has announced preliminary plans to build a new building adjacent to the northeast corner of Allen Fieldhouse to display the document. “It definitely will be in a place where the public can enjoy it,” associate athletics director Jim Marchiony says. “That’s priority No. 1.”

All-American at the University of Kansas and the first female Harlem Globetrotter. Hall of Fame The exhibits were originally part of the Kansas Sports Hall of Fame Museum, which began in Topeka as part of the Kansas Centennial in 1961. It was later moved to Lawrence and then to Abilene before landing in Wichita in 2000. In 2012 the KSHOF Museum applied for its own 501C3 status, separating it from the Kansas Sports Hall of Fame not only physically but organizationally as well. Chisholm Trail Center in Newton is now the home of the Kansas Sports Hall of Fame Museum. All the memorabilia and artifacts are displayed in the museum, and the museum reflects the stories, artifacts and accomplishments of Kansas athletes and teams. The Sports Hall of Fame is now housed in the Wichita Boathouse overlooking the Arkansas River. The Boathouse displays include silver plaques with portraits and brief biographies of the hall’s 219 members, along with a handful of exhibits in glass cases. “People from out of state are literally blown away when they come here,” Hayes says. “People from Kentucky say, ‘Why is [former Kentucky coach] Adolph Rupp in here?’” Rupp, a Halstead native, played at KU before going on to coach 42 seasons at Kentucky. top CENTER Ted Hayes, president of the Kansas Sports Hall of Fame, stands with a Wichita Shockers uniform at the Wichita Boathouse.

The Boathouse is where new members are inducted, the most recent class joining in October 2012. Most of the artifacts remain on display in the KSHOF Museum in the Chisholm Trail Center, which is operated by a separate nonprofit organization. Both organizations operate under the governance of the Governor Appointed Trustees for the Hall of Fame. After starting out in 18,000 square feet of space, the museum shrunk to allow another tenant, Jordan Sports, to occupy the front. “We got creative,” says Debra Mitchell, whose family owns the shopping center. “It was difficult to pay an employee to handle the front desk. Now people can enter through Jordan Sports.” Both the Kansas Sports Hall of Fame and the KSHOF Museum currently offer free admissions, although donations are encouraged. Hayes says the two organizations work closely together and continue to collect artifacts not available elsewhere. “We’ve have Jim Ryun’s Olympic uniform, Glenn Cunningham’s track shoes,” he says. ”Those aren’t things that are just generic, they are one-ofa-kind, competition-worn items of tremendous historic significance.” Writer Joe Stumpe enjoys playing sports even more than watching them, even if his 51-year-old body doesn’t always cooperate.

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Ro l l . block. Jam The Roller Derby sensation is alive in Kansas At the sound of two short whistles, two jammers leave the starting line on the oval roller derby flat track marked by tape on the floor. With a burst of speed, one skater sprints ahead of the other, only to be stalled by the rival team’s wall of women blockers. The jammer feints a move to the right, and when the defense reacts she darts through a sliver of space on the inside of the turn to pull ahead of the pack as the crowd cheers. A big hit across the nation, women’s flat track roller derby is rolling across Kansas. Several leagues provide the opportunity to watch this unique sport, which began in the mid-1930s but fell flat by the 1970s, and experienced a rebirth as an amateur, mostly female-only game in the past decade.

Play by the rules A bout consists of two 30-minute halves during which each team sends shifts, known as jams, of five women to skate for up to two minutes around the oval track. One player, called the pivot, sets the pace, calls out strategies and leads the pack of three blockers who use their hips or shoulders to keep the rival designated scorer, called the jammer, from getting through. Blockers also clear the way for their own jammer to score points by lapping members of the opposing team. Roller derby, however, is no longer the brutal, bone-breaking, anything-goes, sometimes staged battles of long ago. A bout today offers a night of fast-paced, action-packed, familyfriendly entertainment, according to those who participate in the sport.


a brief history of



Roller skating gains popularity.


A 8.5-mile roller marathon occurs in Chicago.


International Skating Union forms.

Kalee Wombacher of Wichita ICT’s Roller Girls says the roller derby bouts of the past reduced the sport to violence rather than the athleticism and strategy skills of today’s competitions governed by strict rules set by the Women’s Flat Track Roller Derby Association. “It’s competitive and there’s contact, but it’s not violent,” Wombacher says, comparing roller derby to football with its legal blocks yet aggressive play. As in football, all physiques can participate since certain body types are generally suited to specific positions; jammers typically are like football’s receivers, fast and nimble; while blockers are akin to the stronger and larger linemen. There are exceptions, however. Some of the best jammers may not be petite but are smart and agile. “They may not be little, but they are able to maneuver themselves,” she says.



The term “Derby” is used in print to reference speed and endurance races taking place.


A 24-hour banked track race held in New York.


Leo Seltzer, creator of the Walkathons, developed the Transcontinental Roller Derby Association. Launched at the Chicago Coliseum, an event put 25 two-person (male and female) teams against each other on a wooden track. They would cover 3,000 miles.

Roller skating sees resurgence of popularity after the Great Depression.


The association had pairs of teams touring the country competing in adapted matches on shorter courses that also allowed physical contact.

Roller Derby teams across Kansas continue to promote sportsmanship and camaraderie among players.


More than 5 million spectators enjoy Roller Derby in 50 cities.


Roller derby is broadcast on a Los Angeles radio station.




Seltzer revives the sport after the war.

World War II creates a pause in the sport.


The National Roller Derby League is launched by Seltzer. It consisted of six teams from New York, New Jersey, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., Baltimore and Chicago.

1961 1953

The Braves become the first team to tour internationally.

Roller Derby is shown on New York television as part of a 13-week airing via CBS. The contract was later picked up by ABC until Seltzer terminated the contract in 1951.



Son of Seltzer, Jerry, is now overseeing the league.

The San Francisco Bay Bombers, notably the most recognized team, is established.

Roller Games, a competing association that was slightly more theatrical, is launched in Los Angeles. Various other associations launch at about this time.


Helmets are introduced and jammers are made a different color, making the game more TV-friendly.

Spectator sport The bouts, held from March through October, typically in roller skating rinks, combine a lot of action with fun activities. “It’s absolutely a sport, but we take the entertainment value very seriously as well,” Wombacher says. “We do give-aways, have raffles and do contests at halftime, so there’s a lot of crowd interaction.” Tina Robertson, of the Capital City Crushers in Topeka, says the bouts are “up close and personal” with the audience seated close enough to the track to see the facial expressions of the skaters. “The rules stipulate spectators must be at least 10 feet from the track and no one under 16 years old is allowed in the first two rows, because there’s always the chance that one of our girls could get hit and fly into the crowd,” Robertson says. “We always joke about it and say, ‘Ladies and gentlemen, if a roller derby girl falls into your lap, you don’t get to keep her. You have to throw her back.’” The fast-pace and hard-hitting action still leads to an occasional broken bone, but the risk of being injured doesn’t deter the women from pulling on their fishnet hose or striped tights and uniforms, applying extra makeup or face paint, strapping on their pads and lacing up their skates. Kym Bearden of the Salina Sirens says roller derby offers women a fun outlet from the daily routine of a job and raising a family. “I was looking for something to add in my life for myself,” Bearden says. “A lot of the women on the team will tell you that’s why they do this. It’s a sisterhood; we can go out there and be all serious and knock each other down, but then as soon as that last half ends we’re all friends.” Roller derby women take on new personas on the track while the identities of nurses, teachers, dental hygienists, biochemists and stay-at-home moms are left in the locker room. Bearden, a day-care provider, describes her alter ego, Bohica Cupcake, as “a sweet yet mean person” who is “a pretty powerful little force” when skating in a bout. “You get out there on the track, and you’re concentrating on skating,” Bearden says. “It’s just a whole other world; it’s an escape. It’s kind of like paradise, with a tough side.” Abilene-based writer Cecilia Harris received her first pair of roller skates—and plenty of skinned knees—when she was a little girl.


Records are made and broken for sellout crowds.



The sport has all but died, as a few attempts are made to revive the sport but did not succeed.


The financials of the business cause Jerry Seltzer to shut down Roller Derby.


Bad Girl Good Woman Productions is launched.


Musician Daniel Eduardo recruits women to a roller-derby-like event. However, the partnerships did not keep.

425 amateur leagues, including 79 abroad.


The revival begins to soar, with more than 50 all-female leagues being created.


Kansas roller derby teams are featured in KANSAS! magazine.

Taste of Kansas


ultimate tailgate Grilled to perfection any time of the year for any sport photography by jason dailey


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let’s eat

recipe “Whether you are tailgating or just having friends over for a cookout, this recipe will provide great flavor and garner great reviews. It is easy and darn near foolproof. These wings have just the right amount of sweet and heat with a touch of smoke.” -Ed Frey

Ta i l g at e W i n g s • 5 pounds of chicken party wings or small chicken legs • 1 stick of butter • 1 teaspoon honey • 1 teaspoon worcestershire sauce • Obie-Cue’s Sweet and Heat Spicy Brown Sugar Rub • Harley’s Texas-Style All-Purpose Barbecue Rub • Brown sugar • Tiger Sauce Start by rinsing chicken party wings or small chicken legs in cold water. They can be found in the meat department at your local grocer. After rinsing, pat dry with paper towels. Place the pieces on cookie sheets.

If using a grill, use indirect heat. Smoke the chicken at 225 degrees for an hour. Halfway through the process, flip the chicken over. At one hour, mop the chicken with Tiger Sauce, then continue cooking for a few more minutes until the internal temp of the chicken reaches 175 degrees and the sauce is set. Pull them off the smoker or grill and serve. Prepares 12 servings.

Frey Lessons

Ed Frey, of Wichita, teaches a few grilling and barbecue classes at the Woodard Mercantile in Maize as well as in his home. He offers these tips for the newbi-cue tailgaters.

Always clean the grates and wipe

1 them down with oil before cooking. 2

Follow good food-handling techniques - take a food handler’s class; your friends will appreciate it. When grilling, pay attention to your

3 fire. You can go from succulent

meat to blackened bites in a hurry.


Kitcha says some purchased fried chicken and a couple of folding chairs would suffice to guarantee a good time, but he and his group choose to go allout. A season of menus is agreed upon months in advance. The grand finale tailgate is always a chili cook-off before the last home football game. The Kanbulance crew limits its tailgating to football, but NASCAR, soccer games and lakeside tailgates are welcome variations on the traditional tailgate. Ed Frey, a supportive Kansas State University alumnus who lives in Wichita, is similarly interested in good barbecue and says he likes to choose themes for his tailgates, basing his menu choice on the day’s slated opponents. A game against Miami inspired a seafood bash of shrimp and mussels. Texas Tech

Cook vegetables and fruits around the outside of the grill so they do not burn as quickly as they might in the center of the grill.

Use a grill basket for fruit and

5 vegetables to keep them from falling through the grates.

Cook fish on oiled foil on the grill

6 to keep it from falling apart.

Taste of Kansas

Melt one stick of butter and add a teaspoon of worcestershire sauce and teaspoon of honey. Brush the chicken with the butter sauce. Dust the chicken with Obie-Cue’s Sweet and Heat Spicy Brown Sugar Rub and Harley’s Texas-Style All-Purpose Barbecue Rub. Then sprinkle on some brown sugar. Turn the chicken over and repeat the same procedure for the other side. Let the chicken sit for about 20 minutes while you heat up the grill or smoker.


ake your next bash a (parked) party on wheels. Plan now for a get-happy American pastime that requires little more than a pile of briquettes, a koozie-clad beverage and a jolly company of chums. Elaborate or simple, a tailgate with good eats and good friends is a sure-fire plan for fun. Consider the happiness to be had cavorting on the Astroturf that is traditionally unfurled behind the vehicle known far and wide as the Kanbulance. Kitcha Paranjothi speaks for a consortium of University of Kansas alumni who saw the purchase of an old ambulance a practical choice. Its many builtin lock boxes make for convenient storage of tailgating gear, and Kitcha loves the socializing that goes on around the red and blue emblazoned rig.

Don’t be afraid to try new things.

7 Experiment. Sometimes mistakes

can become can’t-miss sensations.


Remember that recipes are guidelines. Put your own twist or touch on a menu item to make it your own.

find More recipes online at kansasmag .com • kansas!


In the know Every veteran tailgater has their own tricks of the trade. Many save time by having bins of needed items clean and packed and ready for the next event.

Taste of Kansas

Make a master list of gear and keep a laminated copy taped to the top of the tailgate bin.


brought out brisket and ribs. It’s important to Frey to be inclusive, and he and his wife, B.J. Wells, welcome any passer-by to stop and sample their fare, even if that individual might be there to root for Red Raiders or even those Jayhawks. Frey loads his Chevy pickup with a portable heater and a weighted canopy complete with sides to pull down in case of a cold day. Making an effort to be prepared for any unexpected contingency is part of the fun, Frey says. One such contingency was, in fact, a squad of K-State cheerleaders who wandered by after a game. One of them commented, “Wow, those are great-looking ribs.” Frey waved over the cheer squad and ended up feeding the yell team. Afterward,

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he says, there was not a speck of food leftover, but he’d made some new friends and gained a title he relishes. Cheerleaders greet him on the street as “the rib guy.” Frey began tailgating in 1990 after his first wife died of cancer and he hoped to spend quality time with his 5-year-old son, Aaron. Now the all-grown-up Aaron is himself a good cook, Frey says, admittedly hoping to one day sit back and relax while his son takes the grill. Now put on your apron, and c’mon, get happy. It’s time for a tailgating day. Lawrence writer Katherine Dinsdale likes the idea of showing up with a lunch-hour tailgate for friends trapped in an office.

Bin contents might include baby wipes, trash bags, sunscreen, bug spray, a first aid kit (including some antacid tablets, perhaps), an identifying flag to foist high above your chosen site, plenty of foldable chairs and an assortment of bowls. Nest smaller serving bowls in larger bowls filled with extra ice or hot water to keep hot things hot or cold things cold. Consider investing in a power inverter to plug into your car lighter when some household AC power is needed, but be sure to research how long your car battery will last using an inverter. Throw in some jumper cables and a sound system fitting your taste and budget. Delegate tasks and shopping lists for your tailgate so you don’t end up too tired to cheer or too broke to drive home.

let’s eat

recipe “This is even better the second day, once the flavors have had a chance to meld. This recipe is just a guide. I usually don’t measure things. I just eyeball it.” -Kitcha Paranjothi, Lawrence

Butter Chicken a n d G r av y • 6 skinless boneless chicken breasts cut into 1-inch pieces • 2 cups plain yogurt • 2 teaspoons salt • 3 teaspoons ginger paste* • 3 teaspoons garlic paste* • 3 teaspoons tandoori masala (or more, according to taste) • 1 teaspoon finely ground black pepper powder • 1 teaspoon chili powder (or more, if you like the heat) *Purchase these ingredients in tubes found in your grocer’s produce section.

Mix all ingredients together and marinate for at least two hours or overnight. In a stockpot, cook chicken in broth or water with all of marinade until cooked through over medium heat. Pour gravy (recipe below) into pot of the cooked chicken and add 2 more tablespoons of the methi leaves. Stir and serve over plain basmati rice with Naan bread for dipping. Prepares 4-5 servings. Gravy • 5 tablespoons butter • 14 ounces pureed tomatoes • ½ teaspoon salt • 2 tablespoons methi leaves (or more) • 1 pint cream or half and half • ½ cup ground cashews or almonds • Siracha chili sauce, to taste In skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Add nut powder and lightly brown, then add tomato puree, chili sauce, salt and methi leaves. Add cream or half-and-half to thin to desired consistency and heat through.

There’s No Place Like Kansas Lemon Bars LeAnne Rinearson, Prairie Village

• 1 cup butter or margarine softened • 2¼ cups all-purpose flour • 2 cups sugar • 4 eggs • 2 teaspoons grated lemon peel • ½ cup fresh lemon juice (do not substitute with bottled) • 2 tablespoons powdered sugar Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix butter, 2 cups of the flour and ½ cup of the sugar and press into the bottom of an ungreased 9-by-13 pan. Bake 15-20 minutes or until center is set and edges just begin to brown. Mix remaining ¼ cup flour and remaining 1½ cups sugar with whisk. Add eggs, lemon peel and lemon juice. Stir with whisk until well-combined. Pour over partially baked crust. Bake 18-22 minutes longer or until center is set and edges are golden brown. The bars will firm up as they cool. Cool 1 hour. Sprinkle with powdered sugar. Cut into 6 rows by 4 rows. These bars freeze very well. Prepares 24 servings.

find More recipes online at kansasmag .com • kansas!


Kansas City’s Major League Soccer team, Sporting Kansas City, spent 2012 receiving accolade after accolade. Sporting Park (formerly Livestrong Sporting Park), where the club plays, was built in Kansas City, Kansas, near the Kansas Speedway in 2011. A year after it opened, it was named a finalist in venue of the year designations, and was honored with the 2012 Venue of the Year Award by The Stadium Business Awards. The team is equally accomplished. In 2012 it won the MLS Eastern Conference and the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup. Most notably, however, is the huge fan base that has evolved in KC and continues to support the team, rain or shine. Way to go, Sporting, you should be proud.

Photograph courtesy of Jason Buck

Milestone of Kansas

Sporting Kansas City

KANSAS galleries PENROSE DESIGNS “Chunkie Ocean Bracelet”

Paintings, Glass Art, Jewelry, Photography, Pottery, Wood Carving, Wheat Weaving and more.

Photo By: Ralph Gabriner

There is plenty to see and do in Kansas. Be sure to call ahead for complete directions.

125 N. Main St. • Lindsborg, KS 67456 785-227-3007 • Look for us on Facebook search “Art Glass Expressions”


Fine Arts Unique • Affordable • Functional Featuring the original handmade works of local, regional and national artisans.

• Pottery • Blown Glass • Jewelry Woodwork • Textiles and much more 825 Massachusetts street Lawrence Ks - 785.843.0080


in KANSAS! Magazine For details contact Bert Hull (888) 497-8668

Spring 2013  

Spring 2013 edition

Spring 2013  

Spring 2013 edition