Page 1

Salina area’s premier Magazine on People, Places & Style

Who loves you, heritage hill’s Peterson bros?

13.5 20

acres of natural Kansas million


(and counting) that’s who.

why night Cooper’s farm food time Updated

redux for fishing

is the right time ... Home Cooking






They call them “dirt” bikes … but they’re born to fly

Trusted in Kansas Communities Since 1884 Personal, local solutions from a community-minded bank. • • • • •

Certificate of Deposits Checking & Savings Safe Deposit Box Loans Youth Accounts

454 S. Ohio (785) 823-5700 2900 S. 9th Street (Inside Walmart) (785) 822-3126

Member FDIC Equal Housing Lender

785.309.0900 |


Integrity Trust

Good Advice • Personalized Care • Full Service Audiology Clinic • Fellow American Academy of Audiology



Quality Devotion

Dr. Patrick Putzier Owner, Audiologist

249 S. Santa Fe, Salina, KS • See Us On



Long McArthur Lincoln

3450 S. 9th St., Salina, KS | 785-823-2237 | 1-800-874-6316



volume 04 / issue 03




for advertising rates and information



Kathy Malm Linda Saenger Christy Underwood


Publisher Olaf Frandsen Advertising Director Dave Gilchrist advertising sales managers


(785) 822-1449

Sales executives Sue Austin Debbie Nelson Tina Campbell Natalie Brooks Brian Green Erica Green Mary Walker Jenny Unruh Heather Phillips Laura Fisher Jeanna Pohlman Natosha Batzler

Ad designers Jamie Jeffries Annette Klein Aaron Johnson Kristin Scheele

photographers Lisa Eastman Larry Harwood Dylan McKee

Contributing writers Patricia E. Ackerman Susan Kraus David Clouston Judy Lilly Sarah Hawbaker Meta Newell West

Production and editorial services for Sunflower Living provided by: Editor Nathan Pettengill art director Shelly Bryant Head graphic designer Jenni Leiste Chief Photographer Jason Dailey copy editor Deron Lee General Manager Bert Hull e-mail Comments to • a division of The World Company

Subscriptions to sunflower living $15 (includes tax) for a one-year subscription

for subscription information, please contact: Salina Journal Circulation Department

Christy Kohler 333 S. Fourth, Salina KS 67401 (785) 822-1467 / (800) 827-6363 ext. 347


Sunflower living fall 2013


Grace, Power and Air

A Salina motocross enthusiast clears the track—and the sky—for area riders




A work of spiritual art endures as a memorial and symbol of mission

A monument in the heart of Salina honors war veterans and a cross-country network of artists and donors who made it possible



Flathead Nights

Jason Hyman perfects the art of night fishing to bring in the giant catfish—if not this night, then maybe the next


The Well-Traveled Palate From Ireland to Italy, Margaret Vinson has developed a flavorful resume

The Hiker


Photo contest

This round’s winner and our next theme

Fall 2013




Heritage Hill

A tract of land is preserved as native prairie in honor of a family’s local heritage


Sunflower living fall 2013


from the editor

about the writers putting pen to paper Patricia e. Ackerman

David Clouston

sarah hawbaker


There’s no hidden agenda for the lineup of stories in Sunflower Living. Each issue, we try to bring you articles about people and places in the greater Salina region because we have enjoyed meeting and learning about them. Sure, often we hope our stories might encourage a reader to explore something nearby. If, for example, Patricia Ackerman’s and Dylan McKee’s story on a local prairie preserve spurs you to a delightful encounter with a prairie flower, then we’ll be pleased. Or if Judy Lilly’s and Larry Harwood’s story causes you to stop for a SUNFLOWER few extra moments at the monument in Oakdale Park, 20 then we’ll be honored to have shared that interest in local history. But we also strive to create pages where reading the text and enjoying the photographs is exploration in itself. That way, even if you never jump a hill on a on the motorbike, you might come away with an idea of cover: how it feels thanks to Sarah Hawbaker’s and Larry Andrew Burns Harwood’s story on local motocross racers. flies over a So we hope you enjoy this fall issue as another nojump at the Prairie Harbor pressure journey through some of the best and most race course interesting aspects of local life, guided by neighbors northwest of Salina. and friends who have shared their time and their Photograph Larry stories for us to print. Harwood

susan kraus

judy lilLy

Salina area’S premier magazine on people, placeS & Style

Who loves you,

heritage hill’s Peterson bros?




(and counting) that’S who.

why night Cooper’s farm food time Updated


is tHe rigHt time ... Home Cooking





motocroSS They call Them “dirT” bikes … buT They’re born To fly


Sunflower living fall 2013

meta newell west

Patricia E. Ackerman is an Abilene-based writer and associate professor at Kansas State-Salina.

David Clouston is a journalist and marketing/communications agent based in Salina, whose interests include music, photography, cooking, and exploring and writing about Kansas. Former newspaper reporter and communications specialist Sarah Hawbaker writes and takes care of her family in Assaria.

An award-winning travel writer, Susan Kraus focuses on go-slow journeys across the globe, throughout America and in her home state of Kansas.

Lifelong Kansan Judy Lilly is the former Kansas history librarian at the Salina Public Library. Retired, she attends writing groups, reads, researches and travels with her husband, Dennis. Meta Newell West spends a lot of time in her Abilene kitchen. She and husband Barry also team up to teach cooking classes.

Fall 2013



Letters, Comments and Observations about our Previous Editions

Peterson Brothers: Photo via vulture baby: Photo courtesy Wes McCall

Won’t you take me to Funky Farm? The Peterson brothers continue to conquer the internet. Since our profile of them in the summer edition, Greg, Nathan and Kendal have released a new music parody “A Fresh Breath of Farm Air” from their family farm near Assaria while also appearing at fairs and agricultural events across the nation. In the fall, Nathan and Kendal return to their school studies while Greg, the oldest, is working full-time on the farm. But it doesn’t appear to be all work and study for the Petersons—they’ve asked their online followers to suggest new videos and are perhaps dropping a few heavy hints as to their future musical plans with postings such as this (above). “Beet, it,” anyone?

In Memory …

New Sightings …

We received sad news just as our summer edition went to print. Sari, the snow leopard featured in the article about Rolling Hills Zoo, has died. At 21 years of age, Sari was already 5-6 years beyond the average life expectancy for snow leopards. “I’m glad we had her as long as we did,” wrote in Peter Burvenich, head curator for Rolling Hills Zoo. Since our summer issue went to press, the zoo’s animal family has grown in size. Two tamarin monkeys were born to the zoo’s proud monkey parents Lilly and Eddy, four African painted dogs have arrived and a new male wolf has joined the zoo’s female wolf. Burvenich says it’s quite possible this might lead to a Rolling Hills Zoo wolf baby early next year.

Members of the Smoky Hill Audubon Society continue to update their lists of “birds spotted” and “birds yet to spot.” A sparse hummingbird migration this summer disappointed many members, but several of them were on the verge of adding a rare sighting to their lifetime lists when reports spread of a possible pair of albino vultures—an extremely rare occurrence—in a barn outside Salina. On closer investigation, reports Marge Streckfus, it turned out that the vultures were simply young and still sporting their white baby down. As we prepared for press, black feathers were appearing on the maturing vultures, giving them a more standard, if still somewhat homely, appearance.

They Came. They Saw. They Crashed. Kody Chase, who was in our summer story on combine demolition derbies, reports his combine came out of this year’s circuit a bit worse for the wear. “It needs some work, it got pretty torn up,” says the competitive combine driver. His vehicle survived 26 derbies, which Chase says is at least a dozen more than he expected. Chase and his team are currently looking for a replacement. “But the iron prices are high—the combine’s scrap iron will be at least $2,000 worth, so that’s what we’re competing with,” explains Chase. “But in the end, we’ll scrap it and preprocess the iron for them, and then we can sell it down the road to get our money back.”


If you have something to share about this edition of Sunflower Living, please send an email to or write to us at Sunflower Living / PO Box 740 / Salina, KS 67402. We are always eager to hear from you.

Sunflower living fall 2013


behind the



Photographer Larry Harwood’s goal was to create images that reflected the artwork’s essence of speaking directly to all people rather than to one individual.


Sunflower living fall 2013

A wall of original artwork greets congregation members, staff and visitors at First Presbyterian Church in Salina.

points of contact


o one could have known, when a celebration picnic was set for September 16, 2001, that they would be gathering under the cloud of a national tragedy. But when the 9/11 attacks came, the members of Salina’s First Presbyterian Church decided that they had to go through with their plans, that they had to continue with a program and the celebration they had been planning for months, in order to affirm their community and their beliefs. In the spring of that year, the congregation researched area artists and commissioned three of them to submit proposals for a work of art that would “capture the essence of the Presbyterian Church” while honoring the memory of Janice Allen, an active member of the church and civic communities. Based on concept, originality and understanding of the social and cultural context of the site, the committee decided on a proposal by Newton-based artist Conrad Snider named Points of Contact. Committee Chair Martha Rhea recalls that “Conrad’s concept was overwhelming and unique to the space.” His idea was to install a large-scale, clay wall made of 330 12-inch square tiles containing imprints of the hands and feet of congregation members. In addition to the imprints, the artist proposed to incorporate reflective verses from the Bible, the Presbyterian Hymnal, and the Book of Order. All of the original 70 quotations were chosen by then-Pastor Tom Reid. Sunflower living fall 2013

Photography by Larry Harwood


A work of spiritual art endures as a memorial and symbol of mission

Story by Patricia E. Ackerman



A church staff member places her hand onto Points of Contact—this interaction is precisely what artist Conrad Snider hoped to invite with his work.

In designing the clay wall, Snider says he examined “aesthetic and circumstantial considerations, including the architecture of the building, who would be using the space, and what it would be used for. I wanted to make the entire space more interesting.” Snider also considered the ideals of the Presbyterian Church and the ways members interact with the world around them. “I liked the opportunities for tactile interaction that a wall would present.” Everything was in place for the project to begin. The actual imprints would be taken at a church picnic that fall. And then came the September attacks. Rhea says that in the shadow of that horrible and sudden loss of lives, the congregation realized they wanted


Sunflower living fall 2013

and needed to continue with their plans. She recalls an unusually large number of members attending the picnic, and a strong sense of energy and purpose as babies, children and adults placed their hands and feet into the clay tiles. “I will never forget the individual and collective energy that members of the congregation brought to that gathering. Everyone placed their hand or foot in the clay with powerful intent, as if to say ‘we are here and we are alive.’ It was a most energizing day.” After taking impressions and making rubber molds, Snider wedged and handpounded each tile to its ¾-inch thickness. Rubber molds of each hand and foot were then pressed into the clay. After being dried, glazed and double-fired at 2,295

degrees Fahrenheit, the tiles were ready to be installed. Snider points out that clay shrinks during the firing process and the actual impressions change. But the beauty of this wall is that the impressions represent everyone, both individually and collectively. “Each print could belong to any member of the congregation,” he says. But two impressions stand out. The only imprints of shoes, rather than bare feet or hands, belong to Janice Allen. Her husband and son helped Snider construct the wall and cradled a pair of her shoes into the clay in her honor. The wall holds other symbolism as well. A brochure describing the work explains that “as you walk in the South door, the quotations address peoples’ need to be refreshed, preparing them

the artist

Working from his studio in Newton, Conrad Snider has recently completed an extension of Points of Contact. The new portion joins the original work at Salina First Presbyterian Church. (Photograph by Lisa Eastman for Sunflower Living)


Conrad Snider lives and works as a fulltime studio artist in his family’s hometown of Newton. Originally interested in architecture, he studied for two years at Bethany College. After going on to graduate from the Kansas City Art Institute, Snider apprenticed with a variety of artists while traveling across the U.S., Japan and Holland. In 1996, he established his studio in Newton. His works appear in public and private collections across the state, including a variety of publicly commissioned art pieces. One of his public art works can be seen in front of the Salina Criminal Justice Center. Most of the clay he works with comes from Missouri and Tennessee, via a distributor. These are high-temperature clays, making them easier to work with than local clay. In addition to working as a large-scale clay artist, Snider also manufactures and sells clay mixing machines, which can be found in schools and studios around the globe. An accomplished cook, Snider utilized his culinary skills to support the development of his art career. Living and working in Newton allows this full-time working artist to spend as much time as possible in his studio. Conrad Snider enjoys “watching the interaction of people” with his works. “People experience art differently when they can walk up and touch it. Some walk by very passively and look, while others prefer to interact actively and have that tactile experience with a work of art. I like my art to be available on different levels.”

points of contact

conrad snider

Free Estimates & Competitive Rates Call Z Best! 785-309-6368 or

785-404-1012 Bob Winter • 125 South Bradley Drive • Salina, Kansas

Sunflower living fall 2013



Sunflower living fall 2013

The quotes in Points of Contact were chosen by the pastor of Salina First Presbyterian Church.

points of contact


for worship. The adjacent hallway corner expresses sentiments surrounding the experience of worship. And the wall exiting the sanctuary to the East invites people to go out into the world and do God’s work.” This past year, the wall expanded for the first time. The space between the existing sections was filled in with new tiles, spanning the entire length of the entry corridor. “This is the living nature of the wall,” explains Rhea. “We have new members and new generations carrying on the work of our congregation.” This dynamic living memorial forms a passageway to the sanctuary, the Family Hope Center and the Salina Child Care Center. Each Sunday, children and adult members of the Salina First Presbyterian Church congregation can be found placing their hands into the molded spaces along Points of Contact. Small children can be heard exclaiming, “This is my hand.” As these children grow they will find new places where their hands will still fit into this collective work.

• Medicare Supplements • Annuities • Life Insurance • Long Term Care • Prescription Drug Plans • Retirement Planning Two Locations: 785.404.2106 785.823.2158 Central Mall, Salina 500 E. Iron, Salina 10 am - 5 pm 8:30 am - 4:30 pm Saturdays By Appointment

“Each print could belong to any member of the congregation.” Conrad Snider



Levi Lyle

L&L ADVISORS Insurance Planning

You r Su rgical Experien ce Is O u r Specialty ‚O rthopedics ‚Ga stroen terology ‚Gen era lSu rgery ‚Ea r,Nose & Throa t ‚O ptha lm ology ‚Neu rology ‚Podia try ‚W om en ’sHea lth “Iknew Iw a s in go o d ha nds w ith the friendly a nd kno w ledgea ble sta ffo f Sa lina Surgica lH o spita l.» -Bria n,Sa lina

Bev can provide the unique investment and insurance design you will need to pursue your objectives. Since 1985, simplifying & strengthening financial futures. Securities offered through Woodbury Financial Service, Inc., Member FINRA, SIPC. Bev Lindsey Financial Services and Woodbury Financial Services, Inc. are not affiliated entities.

155a N 7th Street, Salina KS 67401 • Phone (785) 493-0966 • Toll Free: (800) 607-0668 • Fax: (785) 493-0979 • Cell (785) 342-5488

785-827-0610 ‚401 Sa n ta Fe,Sa lin a ,K S Sa lin a Su rgica lHospita lisJoin tly ow n ed by Sa lin a Region a lHea lth Cen ter(50% ) a n d a grou p ofloca lphysica n s(3.2% perphysica n )

about the


Melinda Briscoe

A Salina native, Melinda Briscoe is a freelance writer and poet. She’s a busy mom working on her first novel.

behind the




catch of the night

Photo shoots distract from fishing. In fact, the only thing caught around the river on this night was by our photographer—and it was poison ivy.


Sunflower living fall 2013

Jason Hyman perfects the art of night fishing to bring in the giant catfish—if not this night, then maybe the next


t’s just after 9 p.m. and I’m off to go night fishing with Jason Hyman, who’s promised to land a monster flathead catfish and show me how it’s done at one of his favorite fishing holes along the Saline River west of Salina. At Hyman’s east-central Salina home, his

Photography by Larry Harwood

PROFILE PROFILE slumber cash fish Hollistah party red Dodge Grand Caravan is ready, loaded with gear and decorated with stickers reading: “Catfish: It’s What’s for Dinner” and “1 Stop Bait & Tackle.” Fishing and hunting are, to a great extent, how Hyman, 30, feeds his family. His wife and three young children never want with a freezer stocked full of filets. “I provide our church every year with a big fish fry,” Hyman says. “They take probably close to 100 pounds of fish every year. All my neighbors, family, friends— they get enough fish. And my boss, I’m filling his freezer.” Hyman’s job affords him fishing opportunities five days a week. He hauls mail for a contract-mail carrier with the U.S. Postal Service. In Salina, he picks up mail in the wee hours, then runs a route to Bennington, Tescott, Beverly, Lincoln

and Sylvan Grove, arriving at his last destination at about 7 a.m. Most days after that, he hops on his bass boat docked at Wilson Lake and fishes until 12:30 p.m. He also frequents farm ponds, area rivers and other lakes best suited to the season and the day’s weather conditions. Hyman grew up scrounging crawdads for a local bait shop. At a nickel each, this provided his soda pop money. His dad also took him river fishing. “He liked to fish the river more than anything else, but being a kid I just wasn’t real patient with it,” Hyman says. “By the time I was 14, 15, I fished more. When I got married, I started fishing the river a lot. Private ponds became less accessible and it cost so much to fish lakes, just because you have to drive so far. … I started spending more time at the river.”

And he started catching more fish with more weight. Hyman landed his first 74-pound flathead catfish on a $20 discount-store pole. The next night, he caught a 46-pounder. He began taking careful note of logjams where deep holes in the silt are created, as well as the dams and outlets on lakes where the rock structure below the surface creates an ideal spawning habitat. Hyman fishes year-round, and experience and study has made him keen on most sport-fishing species in Kansas. In spring he’s after walleyes, white bass and stripers. Fall brings 30- to 40-pound blue catfish. Even some occasional ice fishing for crappie gets him out in the winter. But it’s the late spring, summer and early fall when channel catfish and the wily flathead get his full attention. Sunflower living fall 2013

Story by David Clouston

Jason Hyman, one of the region’s biggest enthusiasts and experts on night fishing, uses nets and rods to catch catfish that can weigh up to 100 pounds. His work allows him to fish early mornings, but he also likes to fish at night when the fish are biting (though he usually leaves his baby-blue striped bathrobe at home).


Hyman’s Tackle

To catch big flathead catfish, says Jason Hyman, a good angler approaches the task with sturdy tackle that stands up to punishment. For his nighttime fishing, Hyman starts with two different reel styles—an Abu Garcia brand Ambassadeur 7000i Big Game Reel and a Shimano Tekota Saltwater Casting Reel. He equips these reels with monafilament 40-pound test line, an 80-pound test leader, 11 or 12 aught big game/ saltwater hooks and 4 to 8-ounce sinkers. Lastly, a 566-pound test swivel. “They’re ball-bearing swivels, not a crane or a barrel-type swivel, so when there’s 100 pounds of pressure on there they will turn and roll just as easily—a crane swivel doesn’t like to spin when there’s pressure,” Hyman says. Big fish can sometimes roll and twist enough to free themselves on smaller swivels. “I’ve had so many on small swivels, they’ll unlatch. So I use large swivels as a precaution.” During the fall and winter, Hyman will switch to smaller hooks, going to a 6 or 8 aught hook from an 11 or 12 aught size. Also, he’ll use smaller bait fish, in the 5- to 6-inch range. This is because the target fish are more sluggish as the weather cools and aren’t feeding as voraciously. In the depth of winter, Hyman will take some time off, catching fishing programs on television such as Jeremy Wade’s River Monsters. “I love watching his show, especially in winter when big catfish aren’t biting,” says Hyman. “I get the itch so bad, and it just makes it worse.”


Sunflower living fall 2013

“My neighbor gave me the nickname ‘The Flathead Whisperer’ because I’d go out and come back with a big one every time,” Hyman says, grinning. After-hours are prime time for large flatheads, a nocturnal species who do most of their feeding at night. And moonless nights, Hyman explains, are the best because the bait fish anglers use to attract flatheads become more restless under the glare of moonlight and seek deeper water, where it’s harder for the flatheads to hunt. By the time Hyman stops his van in a field next to the river, the stars overhead are shining brightly, and there’s nary a breeze to rustle the leaves and brush. To light our path down the riverbank, we’ve donned battery-powered headlamps. Fish are repelled by light, especially unusual light like firelight that dances on the water, and flatheads have reflector lenses in their eyes making them even more light-sensitive, Hyman explains. His technique is to stand up to 40 yards away and cast to the deep hole. “Then your movement isn’t going to disturb them as much,” he says. When Hyman speaks of catching 70-plus pound flatheads and 80-pound blue catfish, or 60 stripers in a successful recent outing with a buddy, he’s got proof on his cellphone camera to back up his claims. Flatheads are one of the least sought-after, and in Kansas, probably one of the less caught game fish, he says. The misconception is that due to their massive size, they must be old and tough. Hyman says he releases most flatheads he catches weighing more than 30 pounds, but the truth is, though muscular, they’re generally young fish and good eating. “A lot of people expect them to grow a pound or two a year, so if you catch a 60-pound fish they think it’s a 30-, 40or 50-year-old fish, which is nowhere near true,” says Hyman. “The life expectancy of a flathead is about 12 years. So their average growth rate is going to be between 10 and 12 pounds a year.” That makes flatheads in midlife, their peak growing time, ravenous eating machines, he says. They have a huge mouth that can swallow nearly any other fish up to 1/3 their size, including smaller catfish, with bullheads being one of their favorite foods and, therefore, a favorite baitfish for flathead anglers. It’s the availability of bullheads and other live bait that has stirred up passions recently among Hyman and dedicated anglers like him. This year, a change in Kansas fishing regulations placed greater restrictions on the use of wildcaught baitfish. The change largely prohibits transporting bait fish caught in a body of water and using them to fish elsewhere. The purpose of the change is to curtail chances that baitfish from a body of water contaminated by an invasive species, such as zebra mussels, may carry the parasite to an uncontaminated waterway. The law mirrors similar measures already adopted by surrounding states. “The only exception is that bluegill and green sunfish, collected from waters known not to have invasive species, can be used to set bank lines,” says Jessica Mounts, fisheries biologist for Kansas Wildlife, Parks and Tourism. Bait shops that sell permitted live baitfish are required to give anglers a receipt, and to show the receipt to a game warden if asked to do so, or risk being ticketed.

Hyman says the regulation change “puts fear in people about what they can and can’t fish with.” He fears live bait will one day be made completely illegal, which greatly restricts flathead anglers’ chances. And if they’re forced to use worms? “Nightcrawlers will yield you flatheads under 20 pounds, usually,” Hyman says. Tonight, the bullheads we’re fishing with are about 6 to 9 inches long. They came from a private pond not associated with a moving body of water or invasive species, meaning they were obtained and transported legally, Hyman assures me. The solitude at night on the river is enveloping. “Just the stars and moon and fishing poles,” says Hyman, who watches the tips of three fishing rods he’s lodged in the soft ground for any signs of movement. “And crickets.”

“My neighbor gave me the nickname ‘The Flathead Whisperer’ because I’d go out and come back with a big one every time.” Jason Hyman

Of course there are other creatures moving about at night, and Hyman’s had his share of thrilling encounters. “I’m not going to tell you things I’ve heard killed in the night that would make a grown man cry,” he says, with a chuckle. His closest nerve-jangling encounter on the Solomon River near Minneapolis was with a mountain lion. “I was carrying a sidearm,” recalls Hyman. “It came down to about 15 feet from me; it just stared me down and it was whipping its tail a little bit. I was just about to squeeze off a round when it finally turned around and went up the bank. It scared me bad. I stayed away from that area for about six months, actually, after that.” Another time, Hyman was startled when he sensed movement a few feet away. It was a yearling doe.

Dr. Jody Bieker, MD

Specializing in Family Medicine Accepting New Patients Of All Ages

Family Health Care Clinic 785-227-3371

Lindsborg Community Hospital 605 W. Lincoln, Lindsborg, KS • 785-227-3308

Sunflower living fall 2013



Sunflower living fall 2013

Castle Lodge offers accommodation for fishing and family parties.

When fishing calls for a bed … So if you like fishing and you like nights, but don’t necessarily like to spend your nights fishing, one option is to book a cabin or hotel near one of the area’s popular fishing lakes. The Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism offers cabins across the state, including at Lake Kanopolis and Glen Elder. Bookings can—and should be— done well in advance through the state’s website. Options include deluxe, pet-friendly and ADAcompliant accommodations. Another option at Glen Elder is the Castle Lodge, a private venture with lake access and an interesting history. In 1926, a filling station was built in Glen Elder, Kansas, that was described in the local press as “the finest edifice of its kind long the entire span of Federal Highway 40” and “the prettiest building if its kind between Kansas City and Denver.” It had a “commodious ladies rest room,” an office and shining oak floors. This fine building originated when E.W. Norris returned from serving in the Army of Occupation in Germany in 1919 with sketches of castles and asked architect F.A. Slack of Beloit to design a building of native stone that evoked what he’d seen. Every rock was hand-cut and fitted by stonemasons, and three archways constructed and finished off with colored stucco. The pillars of the archways were large enough to have doors and tiny rooms. On opening day, any customer who bought 5 gallons or more of gas received a pair of pliers and kids got free ice cream cones. It was quite the attraction. And 87 years later, you can sleep there if you’d like. It’s now called Castle Lodge, and though a renovated gas station is not really a lodge, it is unique. It sits right on the town square of Glen Elder, across from the city pool and the park. Owners Dan and Linda Winkel have upgraded it into a little living room with a flatscreen TV and a compact bedroom. They have even updated the “commodious ladies room.” Where gas pumps used to be now sits an expansive covered patio, big enough for a reunion, with tables and chairs and plenty of options for lounging. On the side, adjacent to the garage once used for repairs, is a large outdoor grill, perfect for fish caught in Waconda Lake, just blocks away and known for great fishing. Visitors need to be sure to ask Dan to show them his other hobbies, like the totally renovated ‘56 F-100 pick-up, ’69 Chevelle and ’87 Iroc 228 Camaro. If it’s a romantic interlude you’re wanting, the Castle Lodge might not be the best place. The bedroom has two bunkbeds (twin on top, doubles on bottom) and lends itself more to families and small groups. On any road trip, it makes a fun and memorable alternative to a boring chain hotel, and provides a taste of small-town Kansas. If you’re fishing, then it’s too, too perfect. - Susan Kraus, Sunflower Living

“I think I scared the deer more than the deer scared me, but it scared me quite a bit,” he says. “She made that whistling snort sound and it was right in my ear. It scared her so bad she was paralyzed. It took her about five seconds, then she finally hustled up the bank.” We’re out for more than hour before one of the rod tips dips, then suddenly bends downwards. Playing it for a bit, Hyman hauls in the catch. It’s a baby flathead, perhaps four pounds. “This is a male; he was probably spawned late last year. See the huge mouth? Their mouths are so big they can eat anything they can close their mouths over,” Hyman explains. Returning the fish to the river, Hyman settles back in to watch the pole tips for any other signs of a nibble. It isn’t too long and there’s a promising long tug on the tip of one pole, and line starts streaming out. “I think he’s going up river. He could be a 10-pound fish, or a 60- to 70-pound fish. It’s really hard to tell at this point,” he says. A few moments later Hyman tries to set the hook. The line slackens. He thinks the entire bait is in the fish’s mouth, and then ... “Ohhhh, I missed him. Ohhh, that is so heartbreaking,” he says, dejectedly. “I really feel that could have been a seriously big fish.” But Hyman knows that if he didn’t catch the monster tonight, there’s always tomorrow to try again. “I’m excited about every outing,” he says. “It’s hard to imagine, really. If it was easy, everyone would do it.” Sunflower living fall 2013


behind the



It might not seem like a highpressure shoot, but our food stories always provide a bit of drama—the dish we photograph has to be authentic, practical and visually appealing.


Sunflower living fall 2013

Margaret Vinson holds a salad that she learned to make in Italy and has adapted for local food in Kansas.


alina native and Kansas State University student Margaret Vinson says it wasn’t actually love at first bite between her and authentic Italian cuisine. In fact, her first impression of the famed local food while studying for a semester in Tuscania was that it was a little bland. But it didn’t take her long to realize that the simple dishes, made from high-quality, fresh and regional ingredients, were actually packed with flavor and very satisfying to the palate. Vinson’s appreciation deepened during culinary courses at the Lorenzo de’ Medici’s Mediterranean Culinary Institute, where she worked alongside eight other students to prepare traditional dishes. One of her Italian professors emphasized the importance of understanding and appreciating the flavor and unique qualities of individual ingredients. “It is only then that you know how they should be combined,” Vinson remembers him saying. “Our instructor provided a basic recipe but stressed the importance of cooking by flavor. We were encouraged to taste as we cooked. This was something I’d always been taught, but it really came to light in Italy,” she says. Take for instance a simple Italian salad, a combination of sun-ripened tomatoes, gardengrown basil and freshly made mozzarella. “Instead of drowning their insalata in bottled dressing, the Italians drizzle it lightly with extra virgin olive oil, add a splash of vinegar and a little salt and pepper,” Vinson explains. Over the course of her time in Italy, Vinson also came to appreciate eating as a way of life. “I found myself looking forward to four-hour meals. Prior to

margaret vinson’s pasta salad

chef’s table

From Ireland to Italy, Margaret Vinson has developed a flavorful resume

Photography by Lisa Eastman


Story by Meta Newell West

The Well-Traveled

Sunflower living fall 2013

Change is coming … and we’re Ready to Go! The Affordable Care Act offers widespread access to reliable health insurance. Whether you’re a long-time Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas member, or new to health insurance – we’re ready to answer your questions. Learn about Health Care Reform plus everything we have to offer. With Blue Cross, you’ll be good to go! Visit


An Independent Licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association M.1303




pasta salad

trimmings with peas, tomatoes for and onions

Red Onion

Pasta: Acini di pepe, about the size of tiny beads or peppercorns, were Margaret’s pasta of choice for this salad. She notes that Italian cooks often use small pastas in salads, sides and soups. “Couscous is another possibility,” she says. Although it did not originate in Italy, this pasta is considered a staple in many of its regions and was the basis for the salad that inspired this recipe. Other pasta possibilities: orzo or pastina.

Oil and Vinegar: Rather than a heavy sauce or dressing, this salad’s flavors are enhanced with good-quality, but simple, additions. Margaret learned that Italian cooks take special care in matching the sauce to the pasta. Heavy sauces go on sturdy pastas while light sauces, or just a drizzle of olive oil, go on the more fragile ones.

Sea Salt: Although fresh herbs and garlic often find their way into Italian cuisine, at other times something as simple as a little salt is enough to enhance the flavors of the main ingredients.

Cherry Tomatoes

Veggies: The bright colors of the Italian flag are evident in this salad’s trio of vegetable additions. The dish that inspired this recipe actually used fava beans, but because they are not available locally, frozen peas were used instead.

margaret vinson’s pasta salad

chef’s table

Acini di pepe

that, I thought 45 minutes was a long time to spend at the dinner table,” she explains. The Italian experience was part of Vinson’s overall goal to earn a degree in hotel and restaurant management from Kansas State, as well as a personal revelation. “It opened my eyes and helped me see beyond what is right in front of me,” she says. “It opened my mind to new possibilities in travel and tourism and made me realize that I enjoy finding out-of-the way places, off the well-traveled tourist paths.” Vinson shared much of this experience in weekly Skype sessions with a fourth-grade class at Coronado Grade School (facilitated by her mother, Katy Vinson, who is in charge of integrating technology at some USD 305 schools). Mom also created a blog where students could track her daughter’s travels. This fall, Vinson is back at KSU, working as a management assistant in the university’s Van Zile Dining Center—but she hopes to begin another international study program, this time in Australia. For Vinson, the international travel and cuisine is—in some respects—a full-circle return to an early childhood experience. When she was nine, her grandmother and grandfather took her on a trip to visit ancestral relatives in Ireland. There, she tasted the family’s traditional soup with one difference—in Ireland they used the local, home-grown potatoes that inspired the original recipe. The young Vinson’s verdict was immediate: This was the best soup ever. “It made me realize the effect of adjusting just one ingredient in a recipe,” says Vinson. Now, at the age of 21, she has already accumulated a collection of culinary experiences that should serve her well. “Some might say that my travels and work experience will look good on my resume,” she says. “That’s true, but my purpose has also been to add to my overall life experiences.” Which, thankfully for guests at her table, include a repertoire of excellent dishes.

more about the ingredients

Sunflower living fall 2013


Margaret’s Advice: “Always make it your own.” Change up the ingredients to suit your own taste. Interchange pastas or vegetables, or even add herbs. Throw in cooked chicken, shrimp or meat and make this a main dish. And, she adds, “The measurements for this recipe do not have to be precise.” In the spirit of the Italian cook, let your sense of taste be your guide when making dishes such as this.


Sunflower living fall 2013

Pasta Salad with peas, tomatoes and onions (Acini di pepe con piselli, pomodori e cipolle)

preparation Cooking Time: 30 minutes to

Feeds 6-8

Serving Suggestions: In Italy, Margaret served this as a starter or first course. It was followed by a meat course consisting of grilled salsiccia (spicy Italian sausages) and unsalted bread that was grilled and then drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with salt. For American tables, she suggests serving this salad alongside grilled brats. And, since it can safely be served at room temperature, pack it up for picnics or tailgate parties.

margaret vinson’s pastaDandu salad chef’s chef’s tabletable Kamila Kostolna


ingredients 1½ cups acini di pepe Half of a red onion 1 cup cherry tomatoes 1 cup frozen peas 1 cup olive oil (divided use) Sea salt 1 cup white wine vinegar

Cooking Instructions 1. Prepare acini di pepe following instructions on the box or package, making sure it is cooked “al dente” (firm but not hard); drain and set aside. 2. While waiting for the pasta to cook, prepare all vegetables: Slice onion into strips, slice tomatoes in half and defrost peas. 3. Cook each vegetable separately (to retain its own flavor) in a skillet. For each, start with 2 tablespoons olive oil and a pinch of salt. • Cook and stir onions just until they are translucent. • Cook the tomatoes for just a few minutes, until they soften up just a bit; they should not wilt. • Warm peas for just a couple of minutes in the skillet. 4. Drain and place cooked pasta in a mixing bowl. Add remaining olive oil and vinegar; toss. Add in all vegetables and toss again. Taste and add additional salt if needed. 5. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Sunflower living fall 2013


behind the


also honored

The monument’s west wall portrays John A. Logan, a Union war veteran who went on to become a U.S. senator and who conceived the idea of a Memorial Day to remember the sacrifices of fallen comrades.


Sunflower living fall 2013



A monument in the heart of Salina honors war veterans and a cross-country network of artists and donors who made it possible


the hiker Sunflower living fall 2013

Photography by Larry Harwood

A mystery remains as to who connected the Salina project with George Honig, an Indiana sculptor. The answer might rest with Hugh A. Price, a man whose name appears three times on the Memorial Gate. Price, an architectural artist in Chicago, designed the bronze medallions mounted on the two walls as well as the enlarged replicas of lapel buttons on the taller pillars. Lapel buttons were issued to veterans of both the Civil War and SpanishAmerican War. Price may have also cast the bronze form of “The Hiker.” After more than nine decades, only a few changes and repairs have been necessary. The original gateway was about 14 feet wide, allowing for smaller automobiles and maybe a few horse-drawn buggies. Between the taller 12-foot pillars spanned a gate. Within a few years, this opening proved too narrow as automobiles increased in number and size, and motorists kept hitting the open gates. In 1933, after the city had begun leasing Oakdale from the county, park officials enlarged the width of the entrance and removed all the gates. Sometime later, Salinans Jim and Martha Foley purchased the old driveway gate from the city. Today it adorns the main entrance to the grounds of the Prescott-Foley house at 211 W. Prescott. In 1992, after a vehicle damaged the east pillar of the gateway, extensive repair work was necessary. Salina artist Richard Bergen was called upon to fix the statue of the Civil War soldier while the 12-foot pillar was rebuilt. Both it and The Hiker continue to honor war veterans and welcome visitors to Oakdale Park today.

Story by Judy Lilly


ne day in November 2007, a stranger appeared at Oakdale Park and inquired in the park office about a statue he called “The Hiker.” “Do you have it?” he asked park superintendent Bob Ash. “The Hiker?” Ash remembers replying. “Not by that name, but I’ll show you what we have.” The two men walked to Oakdale’s northwest entrance, flanked by two bronze statues. The visitor, Walt Yeager, immediately pointed to the statue on the west side of the gateway. It was, indeed, the one he sought. Yeager, from California, was traveling through the Midwest locating and documenting the artwork of Indiana sculptor George H. Honig (1874-1962), who was his great aunt’s husband. The bronze statue of a Spanish-American War soldier, along with a mass-produced Civil War soldier, was erected in 1918 as part of a memorial to those who participated or died in the nation’s wars. While this figure had stood as a sentinel to the park’s entrance for nearly 90 years, no record of the identity of its creator was apparently ever made until Walt Yeager stopped in Salina and solved a mystery Salina didn’t know it had. The idea for a commemorative park entrance originated in August 1917, a few months after the United States had entered World War I. A committee of businessmen and civic organizers won approval from the Saline County commissioners for a plan to honor all war veterans, including those from the Civil War (1861-1865) and the Spanish-American War (1898). Eleven

months later, on July 4, 1918, Saline County citizens gathered to dedicate the gateway. The original design, done by Salina monument owner George Stuart, still graces the northwest entrance of Oakdale Park. Here, two sets of white Virginia-granite pillars loom on either side of the street and form openings to the footwalks originally decorated with iron “walk gates.” Extending from the pillars on each side is an exedra, a freestanding, semicircular wall with a bench designed for conversation and rest. Many who arrived at the morning dedication ceremony in 1918 brought baskets of food and blankets for the public picnic that followed at noon. Hundreds of people flowed through this portal and into the park under the gaze of the two bronze statues. Both statues are worth a closer look, but the Spanish-American War soldier on the west displays more detail. The artist used as his model a veteran of the Philippine War of Independence (18991902), dressed in his original military fatigues with rolled sleeves, kneehigh laced leggings, brimmed hat, and equipment around his waist. A canteen and knapsack hang from shoulder straps. The soldier clenches in his left hand a Krag-Jorgensen rifle used by some units in the Spanish-American War. Honig crafted the figure in plaster and then sent it to Chicago to be cast in bronze. He called it “The Hiker,” a nickname known by soldiers of the SpanishAmerican War because of the arduous marches they endured in a grueling tropical environment. The Salina statue is a nearly exact replica of one Honig did for Colorado veterans in 1916 and which is displayed in the Fairmount Cemetery in Denver, Colorado.


suNFLowEr LIVING R pRemie , ea’s ple a aR on peo salin Zine le maga ces & sty pla

u, s yo ? love os Who rson br Pete


13.5 WiLD ON





wH tHat’s

s you, Who love bros? Peterson

13.5 WiLD

ONS ECTi CONN epeRs and


s RHZ Ke animal tHeiR

(and counti

per’s Coo d update e

x REDU s u m m e r $



pRemieR salina aRea’s on people, magaZine places & style


food farm

How You Live Starts With Where You Live

Hom king Coo

wHo. ng) tHat’s



Independent Living | Assisted Living | Rehabilitation Services Memory Support | Long Term Care | Home Health Services

and RHZ KeepeRs als tHeiR anim

farm food


Cooper’s updated Home Cooking





2601 E. Crawford | Salina, KS 67401 |

lyde C t e Me e Meet Clyd


ies Strawberr hes Late Lunc


toes Sweet Potakeeper . . and his

iPads C limbing

Strawberries Late Lunches

iPads Climbing

Sweet Potat oes . . and his keeper

Just $15 per year! If you are a reader living outside of our home delivery areas, you may subscribe annually for only $15, plus tax, and enjoy the convenience of having Sunflower Living mailed directly to your home.

your connection

301 W. Elm • (785) 825-4624 •

Give a Gift subscription and share the salina area lifestyle with a friend! 3 Easy ways to subscribE:

Mail in this form, call or send us an e-mail! Yes! Send me a year of Sunflower Living, 4 issues, for just $15 (includes tax). Last Name

First Name



Phone Number

Yes! I would like to send a gift subscription to:

Payment included $ (Check and credit card payments accepted)

Mail this form to: Salina Journal Circulation Department c/o Christy Kohler 333 S. 4th, Salina, Kansas 67401

Or call us at (785) 822-1467 / (800) 827-6363 ext. 347 Or e-mail at


features 30.

Grace, Power and Air


Heritage Hill

Sunflower living fall 2013



Power and A Salina motocross enthusiast clears the track—and the sky—for area riders

Story by Sarah Hawbaker Photography by Larry Harwood


Sunflower living fall 2013

Sunflower living fall 2013


It’s another dry day in central Kansas, so all across the Salina region people are watering their flowers and lawns. And then there’s Andy Hammond—he’s out watering his racetrack. It’s one of the less glamorous, but necessary chores that come with owning and operating Prairie Harbor, a 23-acre recreation facility located just one mile west of Salina’s I-135/I-70 junction that Hammond turned into a motorbike racing venue in 2010. Not that Hammond minds. One hour and a truckload full of pond water later, his track has a darker look, a loamy smell and three riders, including Hammond, tearing into its curves and soaring past its jumps. On a big event weekend, such as when Prairie Harbor hosts one of the official Central Kansas Motocross Series events, as many as 200 racers and 1,000 spectators might arrive. But the facility is also open three days a week to amateurs and pros alike. On this day, Hammond is joined by circuit racer Andrew Burns and enthusiast Scott Gilpin as they try out a series of airborne jumps on the “tabletop”—two ramps of dirt joined by a raised flat surface between them—and race through a series of raised mounds called a “triple jump.” (continued on page 37)



All other jumps are based on the single jump, which is basically a pile of dirt in the middle of the trail or course, and can vary in height.

A double is two single jumps with a gap in between. The rider takes off on the front face of the first jump, and lands on the back face of the second jump. It sounds easy, but the degree of difficulty rises exponentially from a single jump to a double jump.


Sunflower living fall 2013

jumps whoops &

A guide to various motocross terrain, according to ( and Andy Hammond of Prairie Harbor Recreation (




Three single jumps with a gap between each one. Riders jump the front face of the first jump, fly over the second jump and land on the back face of the third jump. Not for inexperienced riders! One small miscalculation can lead to lots of pain and broken plastic.

If there is any such thing as a “safe” jump, the tabletop is it. It’s basically a double jump, except the void between the jumps is filled in with dirt,

A series of low piles of dirt that can be compared to moguls in skiing, except the whoops are on flat ground while moguls are on a downhill slope. The trick is to keep up enough speed so the front wheel stays on top of the piles and doesn’t fall into the valleys. Whoops take a lot of practice. Mastering the intricacies of timing, throttle control and body positioning is essential for getting through without crashing.

creating a flat top similar to a table top. Or look at it as a flat jump with ramps at either end.

Sunflower living fall 2013


helmet A full-coverage helmet will cover the base of the skull. It is a lifesaver.

boots Rubber boots or tennis shoes are not an option. Boots should be sturdy and protective. They should cover the ankle.

eye protection Guards against flying mud and dust, but is also the last barrier to protect eyes in a crash; must be shatterproof.

clothing Protective pants, gloves and shirt with full-length sleeves. Shirt must be tucked in. The clothing identifies the racer, but also offers a barrier against burns.

Gear gear In addition to the bike, a motocross rider requires gear that can costs well over $1,000. That’s more expensive than a pair of running shoes, but far cheaper than the hospital bills that the gear might prevent.

Chest protector Riders are often thrown off their bikes or up against their handlebars; this gear absorbs some of the impact when that happens.

knee braces

neck braces

Given that a knee injury One of the more debated pieces of gear in motocross circles. can end a professional Many riders say they restrict movement, but advocates of neck career, this gear is often braces say the newer models are not cumbersome and could worn by top riders. help prevent a life-altering spinal injury.

This gear is required for any rider participating in a Central Kansas Motocross Series event. This gear is recommended by Prairie Harbor Recreation for the safety of riders of any level.


Began riding: Age 12

First bike: Suzuki RM 85

Current bike(s): Suzuki RM 125 and Suzuki RM 250

Favorite place to ride: Inman Motocross, Inman, Kansas Neither of Burns’ parents were motorcycle fans and nobody in his family picked up the sport, but riding dirtbikes has seemed to come naturally to Burns ever since his first attempt. In the past few years, he’s also formed his own community of riders. “I love the sport and the relationships I have built with fellow riders and their families,” Burns says. “I love going out and riding with my buddies and hanging out with people that share the same interests as me.” Currently Burns, a 2012 graduate of Salina South High School, is competing in the Central Kansas Motocross Series. He says that typically there are 25 to 30 racers in his class and “I can usually pull off a 2nd-, 3rdor 4th-place finish if I don’t crash.” Like most who ride, Burns has suffered some crash injuries, including a torn ACL and a broken collarbone. Despite the risks, Burns tries to ride at least two times a week, sometimes more, in addition to his competition events.

“I could do this all day,” says Hammond as he takes a short water break. For racing enthusiasts like him, the motocross season is year-round (particularly if you race in some of the indoor venues) and the sport never gets dull. And to mix things up, Hammond consistently changes his track route at Prairie Harbor. “I feel that one of the great things about motocross is the variety of terrain you encounter,” Hammond says. “The best way to provide that variety is by constantly altering the track layout and obstacles.” While it takes a team of about 20 to organize a race weekend, Hammond alone—with a water truck, a tractor, a skid steer and occasionally a bulldozer—makes the track modifications. Of course, nature has its say as well—the placement of one of the jumps is dictated by the long, sweeping branches of a cottonwood that claimed its spot along the course long before Hammond bought the land. Those branches nearly took Hammond’s head off when he made a spectacular jump right into them during a test run for a new course. Ever since, the track routes and the jumps are placed to keep the cottonwood at a respectful, safe distance. For Hammond, a real-estate agent when he’s not on a bike, all of the time and sweat spent operating Prairie Harbor definitely has been a labor of love. “Overall I would say the track has been just successful enough to justify doing it but not as successful as I had hoped,” Hammond notes. But that’s only if you count your bottom line in dollars, not in high-speed thrills and spills. Hammond hopes to expand his course both in size and in racing times, with a summer training camp for avid dirt bikers also on his radar. In the meantime, there’s plenty of time for more jumps before the sun sets.

Sunflower living fall 2013


Began riding: Age 12

First bike: 1985 Yamaha YZ 80

Current bike(s): 2013 Suzuki RMZ-450F

Favorite place to ride: Prairie Harbor, followed by Rampart Range in Colorado Andy Hammond thinks the appeal of riding dirtbikes is hard to explain to those who have never done it. But “once it’s in your blood, it becomes a lifestyle.” It’s become even more of a lifestyle for Hammond after opening Prairie Harbor Recreation. He currently is the lone rider in his family (his wife does not ride, and of course neither does their 2-year-old daughter), Hammond thinks his 8-year-old son may already be done riding after his first try, which ended in a broken bone. Hammond has suffered about 10 broken bones, five concussions and “more road rash than I care to remember.” He has had two ambulance rides and five surgeries, and has been airlifted by helicopter once. While he admits that riding dirtbikes is “pretty dangerous” and “not for everybody,” Hammond also believes that “if you are willing to take the risks, it rewards you with constant thrills and an amazing feeling of accomplishment.”

andy 38

Sunflower living fall 2013

scott gilpin

Began riding: Age 4

First bike: Yamaha 50

Current bike(s): Honda CRF-450: “More bike than I’ll ever need, but it’s perfect,” says Gilpin.

Favorite place to ride: Prairie Harbor Recreation, Salina, Kansas, and the Little Sahara Sand Dunes, Waynoka, Oklahoma At the age of four, Scott Gilpin would ride his Yamaha 50 up and down the sidewalk in front of his house. When his family moved to the country, he was able to upgrade his bike to a Honda 80, riding for hours in a dry riverbed and over surrounding pastures. Gilpin believes starting at such a young age made riding feel natural to him. Although Gilpin stopped riding dirtbikes while in high school and college, he continued riding motorcycles and returned to dirtbikes approximately four years ago. That long break means Gilpin is not a professional, but a dedicated enthusiast. “I know my limitations and I don’t really push to ‘go bigger’ than I know I can.” He also notes that having a wife and two kids keeps him more grounded. “I have no desire to get too crazy and get hurt.” Well, not too often at least. Even cautious drivers are injured, and Gilpin has seen his share of crashes the worst coming this past March when he broke his collarbone. Other injuries have been typical bumps and bruises, along with “taking a bit of skin off my knees and elbows.” Gilpin says what keeps him coming back to his bike and to the track is pretty simple. “I love the sound of the bike. I love the smell of the helmet. I love doing wheelies and jumping through the air. I love the people that ride. I just love everything about it.” Scott Gilpin pictured with daughter, Chase and son, Cole.

Sunflower living fall 2013


Heritage Hill A tract of land is preserved as native prairie in honor of a family’s local heritage

Story by Patricia E. Ackerman Photography by Dylan McKee

The children of Kenneth and Mary Bell Stauffer have strong connections to the land in Saline County. A family ancestor, Simon Donmeyer, is credited with founding the nearby town of New Cambria after arriving in Kansas from Johnstown, Pennsylvania. Their great-great grandfather Daniel Donmeyer bought a section of farmland outside of New Cambria in October 1884. Kenneth and Mary began farming on this 500-acre parcel of land after their marriage in 1931. Here, they raised six children, wheat crops and a variety of livestock to supply the family. After Kenneth’s death in 1996, most of the land was sold off to family members. But the Stauffer children hoped to preserve one special piece of their family’s legacy.

Sunflower living fall 2013


In 2002, to honor their parents, the siblings agreed to donate a 20-acre section of land to the Kansas Land Trust. The family called this scenic vista “Heritage Hill.” According to Kansas Land Trust records, “Many requests to purchase the twenty acres had been made over the years” but Kenneth and Mary steadfastly refused, wanting this particular piece of land to be preserved. The Stauffer siblings, “motivated by their parents’ wishes that the prairie be saved … felt that a conservation easement held by the Kansas Land Trust was the only feasible way they could accomplish their goal of permanent preservation.” Kansas Land Trust reports that the Stauffer conservation easement protects “a native pasture containing more than 90 identified species of plants.” And the area’s elevated sections offer scenic views of the Solomon, Smoky Hill and Saline river valleys. It is, in many ways, a view of the land as Daniel Donmeyer might have seen it in the late 1800s. And that is how the family hopes to preserve it.

“It can’t be sold for lots or built on at any time in the future.” -Mike Stauffer

“My eldest sister, Donna, was the one who started the Land Trust,” recalls Mike Stauffer, the youngest member of the sibling group. “The arrangement prohibits this land from ever being developed. It can’t be sold for lots or built on at any time in the future.” After the trust was established, the eldest Stauffer brother, Richard, constructed concrete markers commemorating ancestors and “interesting sites along the trails, like the buffalo wallow and the windmill,” Mike points out.


Sunflower living fall 2013

Sunflower living fall 2013


Jerry Jost, director of land protection with the Kansas Land Trust, introduced the family to staff members of Kansas Wildlife and Parks who helped them receive a federal grant to further conserve the natural prairie ground, which have never been tilled. “Most of the Osage orange and Russian olive trees have recently been removed,” says Mike, “allowing the prairie to return to its natural state. That is one of the things that my older sister Donna really wanted done. “We had six years to remove the trees and conserve the prairie after being awarded the federal conservation grant. Most of those trees were planted on the prairie back during the ‘dirty30s’ to keep the top soil from blowing away,” continues Mike. “The cutting was only recently completed and we just burned off the prairie grass for the first time in the spring of 2012.” Kenneth and Mary Bell Stauffer grew up within three miles of one another in Eastern Saline County. Their six children attended elementary school in New Cambria and high school in Salina. Kenneth Stauffer served on the New Cambria School Board while his children attended school there. Many of the family’s ancestors are buried in the Donmeyer Cemetery, located two miles south of the KLTprotected property. Three of Mike Stauffer’s siblings, Donna, Richard, and James, have passed away since the trust was first established in 2002. Mike, Richard’s wife Mary, and James’ son, Brian, continue to care for the land. “Our family is responsible for ongoing maintenance, including all of the burning of the natural prairie,” says Mike. “I mow the trails when needed and Brian maintains the property.” When Mike’s generation can no longer care for the land placed in the Stauffer Trust, the responsibility will pass on to their children, who will one day become trustees of their family land. Mike Stauffer believes that land trusts should be considered by families that want to preserve their family histories and conserve natural environment. It’s a belief they shared in a statement issued by the Stauffer siblings in 2002: “This protected property will forever be a legacy to all those who, like us, will forever be a part of the land from whence we came.”


Sunflower living fall 2013


Heritage Hill While Heritage Hill is not fenced, visitors are expected to obtain permission before hiking the trails. The family reports occasional problems with vandalism and requests that the intent of the trust be honored and respected. Visitors are asked to be considerate of their impact on the land, not to hold large meetings, start any fires nor bring off-road vehicles or bicycles onto the preservation. Obtain permission by sending an email several days in advance to Heritage Hill is located east of Salina on Campbell Road ½ mile west of Niles Road.

fall 2013

Runner Up

randy wendt burning rubber

chosen by

photo contest

Shelly Bryant Art director, Sunflower Publishing

lisa eastman Photographer, Sunflower Living

chosen by

jason dailey Chief photographer, Sunflower Publishing

Larry Harwood Photographer, Sunflower Living

Runner Up

ranell ruder niagara falls

chosen by

First Place

sight & sound For this issue’s contest, we invited readers to submit their photographic take on the theme “Sight and Sound.” Our panel of five judges awarded first prize to Andrea Groot’s photograph of a wheat field rustling in the wind.

Andrea Groot Talking Wheat

We had a double-winner this round. Andrea Groot’s photograph of a wheat field took top prize from our judges and from our readers’ votes on the Sunflower Living Facebook page. Andrea captured this image on her Canon Rebel just at sunset, just before the summer harvest at the field near the back of her family’s home northwest of Salina. Andrea, a home-schooled high school student, describes the sound coming from this wheat as a distinctive sound that she has heard for most of her life—something anyone who has grown up around wheat fields would recognize with their eyes closed.

Jenni Leiste Designer, Sunflower Living

sunflower’s choice

andrea groot talking wheat

chosen by

our online poll at sunflowerliving

next round We want to feature your photograph in Sunflower Living magazine. We accept photograph submissions from readers with a permanent address within the greater Salina region. Our panel will judge the submitted photographs and select a winning image, which will run on this page in the following edition. The winning photographer will receive a prize of $50.


Sunflower living fall 2013

Submission Guidelines:

A) Email the image to

sunflowerliving@sunflowerpub. com with a heading of “Photo Contest.” Please include contact information and the name of the theme you have chosen. B) Submission must be made before November 15, 2013. C) Only submit the image if you are the photographer and the copyright holder of the image and if you live in the distribution

area of Sunflower Living or Salina Journal. Photographs

showing the image of a person must have that individual’s consent. D) Files should be in digital form, either JPEG or TIFF, that can be printed up to 8X10 at 300 dpi. E) By submitting an image, you consent to having the image published in the magazine and posted online in connection with the magazine.

Theme for the 2013 winter Edition:

best friend Submission must be made before november 15, 2013

Oct 20 Connie Dover, Kelly Werts & Doug Goodhart Celtic & Folk Music Nov 3 Goldilocks & The Three Bears presented by Wichita Children’s Theater

IN UNIT AMENITIES • Adjustable Height Sink & Stove • Raised Dishwasher • Washer/Dryer in Unit • ADA Accessible Bath & Kitchen • Heated Bathroom Floor • Privacy Balcony / Patio • Keyless Entry System • Elevated Electrical Outlets • Lazy Susan • HUGE Walk-in Closets

Nov 23 King Midas & The Mufflers

Call Sheryl today to find out how you can live a worry-free lifestyle with full concierge service.

600 E. Elm St., Salina | 785-822-1300 |

Dec 6-8 It’s A Wonderful Life – The Musical Jan 5 KC Symphony’s Lyric Arts Trio

135 W. 7th Street • Junction City, Kansas • 785-238-3906

For all of your Medication, Oxygen, Mobility, CPAP and other Home Medical Equipment come see the Medical Professionals at B&K!



601 E. Iron, Salina • 785-827-4455/1-800-432-0224

People Helping People Live Healthier Lives.

Are you noticing changes in your aging parents?

• Corporate events • High speed internet/AV Services On-Site Meetings • Team Building/Challenge Course • Family Reunions & Gatherings • Wedding & Graduation Receptions • Summer Camps for All Ages • Full Food Service and On-Site Catering • Recreational Activities: Swimming, Disc Golf, BB/VB Inside and Out, Archery, Air Rifles • Overnight accommodations • We can accommodate group sizes from 10-450

2601 N. Ohio, Salina • 785-827-6565

• Is walking becoming more difficult? • Are they having a hard time with their daily living chores? • Are you seeing more confusion or memory issues? • Difficulty remembering their medications or experiencing side affects?

Medicare pays 100% of these services. Call Jennifer at 785-825-8500

737 E. Crawford 655 S. Santa Fe 511 S. Santa Fe Salina, Kansas

(785) 827-7261 (800) 223-0845


Steven G. Sebree, MD

Jeffrey B. Knox, MD


Ted L. Macy, MD


David T. Dennis, MD

David E. Smith, MD

Dirk T. Hutchinson, MD


Mark T. Mikinski, MD


J. Edgar Rosales, MD

Joel E. Parriott, MD

Alisa J. Bridge, MD

Earl H. Matthews, MD

Karil L. Bellah, MD

Seth A. Vernon, MD

Henry S. Reed, MD

David L. Battin, MD

Leslie A. Ablard, MD

Brian S. Pavey, DO

William L. Freund, MD


Debra J. DeBiasse, MD

William R. Alsop, MD

Chris A. Rupe, MD

Brad R. Stuewe, MD


Bennett L. Radford, DO

Natalie A. Morgan, MD


Richard A. Yaple, DO

Curtis D. Kauer, MD

David C. Prendergast, MD

Larry K. Beck, MD

Paul A. Johnson, MD

Muhammad S. Ahmed, MD

LaVelle A. Ellis, MD

Peeran D. Sandhu, MD


Kent B. Berquist, MD

Sunflower Living's fall 2013 edition (entire issue)  

Dirt bikes. Sacred art. An Italian recipe with a Kansas accent. Night fishing for catfish. Reviving the almost-forgotten history of a monume...

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you