The Postscript - On the Sidewalk


I met Betty sitting outside on the sidewalk. 
Betty spends a lot of time there. She lives in the adjacent building. It is a place for older folks who need a lot of help and don’t have a lot of money. Betty lost both legs, below the knee, at some point. She wears a curly wig pulled down low on her head, and she is usually smoking a cigarette, out on the sidewalk, accompanied by a few other residents from her building. 
I walk by Betty’s building a lot. “How are you doing today?” I always ask the residents as I pass. 
The building is made of brick, in a pattern that looks like weaving. This has led my husband, Peter, and me to privately call it the “basket building,” and its occupants the “basket cases.” I know this is not nice, but it’s what we do. 
“Doing great! How are you?” Betty and most of her companions always reply. There is usually a gathering of residents, most of them in wheelchairs. They always say they are “doing great!” as they sit in their wheelchairs, smoking cigarettes, gossiping about things I will never know about. 
One day, I saw Betty out by herself. 
“I don’t actually know your name,” I confessed. 
“I’m Betty.”
“I’m Carrie.”
“Nice to meet you, Carrie.”
Then, yesterday, I was on my way to the drugstore, and there was Betty, several blocks from the basket building, with her wheelchair parked and facing the street. 
“Hello, Betty!”
“Oh, hello!”
“It’s a beautiful day, isn’t it?” I said. 
“Oh, it is!” she agreed. 
“What’re you looking at?”
Betty gestured across the street. There was a small park with trees, and taller buildings in the background. There were flowers in the foreground and a brick walkway in the park. 
“It’s beautiful, don’t you think?” she asked. “The whole thing; it’s a beautiful picture.”
I was not in a hurry to get to the drugstore, I realized. I looked across the street. It was late afternoon, and the sun was shining through the trees in the park, and the bricks were shiny, and the flowers were in full bloom. Betty was right. It was beautiful, and I would have walked right past it without a glance. 
“I sometimes sit here and just look at it,” Betty told me. “One day, they had a wedding here!”
“Oh, that would be a great place for a wedding,” I said.
“Uh-huh,” Betty agreed. 
“What was your name again?” she asked.
“Carrie. Like the Stephen King novel.”
“Oh, yeah!”
I stood there in silence for a long moment, looking at the park, taking in the scene. 
“Well, I’ll see you around, Betty,” I finally said. Betty smiled and looked back at the park. 
As I headed down the sidewalk to the drugstore, I took one last look back at Betty. She was sitting in a patch of warm autumn sunshine, and her eyes were focused on the scene across the street. She had a smile on her face and a peacefulness about her that I only manage for moments in a day—if I’m lucky. 
I don’t know a thing about Betty. And, when I see her on the sidewalk, in her wheelchair, smoking her cigarettes, I’ve been pretty quick to assume that hers is not a happy life. 
But I had to wonder, if in her place, I would have wheeled myself down three blocks just to look at a sight that pleased me, just to sit in the sun, just to take in the beauty. 
I hope so.
Till next time,



The Postscript - Sepia-Toned Teenagers

“I don’t remember you at all!” the portly man informed my husband, Peter. Peter smiled, introduced himself, and reminded the gentleman where they might have met half a century ago.  The man shook his head. “Nope!” This was the first high school... [More]


The Postscript - The Readhead and Cat

It all started when I was still in Mexico, visiting a gallery, and I saw a painting across the room. The composition was striking. The bottom third was black and the top two-thirds were filled with a deep blue sky and great white clouds rising from the horizon. There was a bare... [More]


The Postscript - Not Much of a Joke

It wasn’t much of a joke, as far as jokes go. I saw the man wearing two hats, one on top of the other. The second hat may have been for his wife. It was decorated with intricate drawings. He was walking with her, a third hat tied to the handle of a stroller, and the family... [More]


The Postscript - Coming Home

I sometimes envy people who have a family home to return to, a place where they grew up, where their parents or even their grandparents lived.  The closest thing I have is the farmhouse where my mother grew up. My grandparents lived there until they died, and my mother’s... [More]


The Postscript - Piccolina

I was walking down an old street in an old part of San Miguel de Allende, Mexico.  Brightly colored wooden doors lined the streets. There was no indication from the outside what might be within. It could be a courtyard filled with flowers and a fountain, or a small business,... [More]


The Postscript - Two Degrees

They call the impossibly complicated screen I am looking at a “dashboard,” which I do not find reassuring at all. It would be nice not to associate my ignorance of technology with crashing some out-of-control machine into a ravine, although, as I think about it, that... [More]


The Postscript - Lulu

My husband, Peter, and I are back in our little place in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico.  Of course, it is not really “our” place. We don’t own it and have no desire to own anything here larger than a pressure cooker (yes, Peter bought one). When we arrived,... [More]


The Postscript

I’ve decided that I’m good enough.  I had a big birthday, and it got me to thinking, as big birthdays will, about what would change and what would stay the same in the decade to come. I found my list of self-improvement chores much shorter than in previous years. ... [More]

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Michele Howell Makes First Appearance on Arson Charges

Michele Howell appeared in Wallace County District Court on Wednesday, April 7th in person via zoom meeting.  Her court appointed attorney Justin Barrett, Colby opted not to appear with his client for her first appearance. Wallace County Attorney Charles Moser appeared on... [More]

Margheim and Schippers Sentenced in Wallace County District Court

Jake Wilson Margheim appeared in Wallace County District Court on November 12th, 2020 for sentencing in case number 17 CR 33.  Margheim had been charged with 1 count of unlawful possession with intent to distribute marijuana, a level 4 drug felony, on January 28, 2017.  Margheim... [More]

Traffic Court July-December 2020

Elmer Nelson of Lamar, CO was fined $93 plus court costs on 9/3/2020 - cited driving 73 mph in a 55 mph zone on 1/18/1994 by WACOSO. Kathleen Brammer of Grain Valley, MO was fined $69 plus court costs on 9/10/20250 – cited driving 79 mph in a 65 mph zone on 10/05/2018 by... [More]

Small Claims Court Proceedings

Case number 2020-SC-2 D Walker Concrete, LLC vs Jory Parks. On June 15th, 2020 (plaintiff) D Walker Concrete LLC filed claim against (defendant) Jory Parks, DBA Heartcross Ranch Designs LLC in the amount of $1150.25 for concrete delivered, plus $15 for sheriff service and $67.50... [More]

District Court Sentencings

Rolando Gonzales appeared in Wallace County District Court on January 12, 2020 for sentencing in case number 2019-CR-10 with court appointed attorney Christopher Rohr of Colby, Kans. On February 13, 2019, Gonzales had been found guilty of count 1 Possession of a Controlled Substance,... [More]

Traffic Court March - June

Skyler Jacob Adams Urban, Goodland Kans, transporting an open container, purchase/possession/comume by minor. Deferred adjudication, 12 months. Court Costs $108. William M Dysart, Jr., Weatherford, Okla, driving 82 mph in a 65 mph zone, Fined $87, court cost $108.  Shane... [More]

Wallace County District Court Proceedings

Rene Trevino appeared in Wallace County District Court on October 2, 2019 for sentencing in case number 2019 CR 12.  Trevino had been charged with 1 Count Domestic Battery, a Class B, Person Misdemeanor on September 7, 2019.  He appeared in court with court-appointed... [More]

Traffic Court for January and February

Catherine Elizabeth Capra, Pleasant Hill, Mo, driving 78 mph in a 65 mph zone, deferred, court costs $108. Justin Blake Meyer, St. Francis, Kans, liquor purchased by minor, nolo contendre, fined $200, court costs $239. Transporting an open container, guilty plea, fined $200.... [More]

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Snapshots from 2022 Weskan Days

Snapshots from 2022 Weskan Days


Hansen Museum to Celebrate 50th Anniversary in October

On Saturday, October 1, 2022, the Hansen Museum is celebrating 50 years of bringing art and culture to the people of Northwest Kansas with an afternoon celebration.  The party starts with a nostalgic presentation by Hansen Museum Board Member, Debra Berg at 2:00 p.m. in... [More]


KDOT set to receive $39.5M for next five years to build EV charging infrastructure

The Kansas Department of Transportation’s Charge Up Kansas NEVI Plan has been approved and is set to receive $39.5 million total over the next five years under the National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (NEVI) Formula Program. The plan provides KDOT federal funds to help... [More]

6th Grade

Hi! My name is Charlotte and I’m going to tell you all about 6th Grade. 6th Grade has been tough, and it’s been good at times, but other times it's bad. Sometimes it’s so fun, like when we played trash basketball and how we are doing a virtual escape room on... [More]

Bloom - Just B

Have you ever seen one of those quote boards? It’s usually a frame that includes white letters you push into recessed horizontal tracks to create phrases. I’ve seen these boards announcing births, advertising sales, and used as home décor. One time, while Black... [More]


True Crime Exhibit includes In Cold Blood murders

The True Crime Exhibit incorporates evidence, artifacts and information showing how local and area law enforcement officers solved the crime spree of the Fleagle Gang, bank robbers and murderers of the 1920s who were once as widely known as Baby Face Nelson, John Dillinger, Bonnie... [More]


Dotsero to perform at Oakley High School

Dotsero-- to music fans worldwide, this name translates to “a no- nonsense thrill ride of energy and excitement”, a band full of life, energy, and spontaneity, who will perform for WPAA’s second program of the season. The five-member band, originating in Denver,... [More]


DAR Presents US Flag to Sharon Springs 4th Grade

Mrs. Hennick accepted the flag which was provided by Senator Jerry Moran’s office.  This flag flew over the State Capitol in May.  The students also received goody bags with a pencil, flag pin, and a booklet on how to properly care for the flag.  Pictured... [More]

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Bugle Notes - 9/17/22

The Fort Wallace Museum has just completed a big weekend of activities, which in spite of small challenges, was a success. Our 2022 History Exposition and Outdoor Education Days had the theme of “Communication Along the Smoky Hill Trail, “ and brought in local historians... [More]


Fort Wallace Museum to Host History Exposition

Don’t miss this weekend’s History Exposition and Outdoor Education Day “Communication Along the Smoky Hill Trail!” On Friday and Saturday, the grounds will be filled with demonstrations of telegraphy, oxen, printing press, bugle calls, Cheyenne Ledger... [More]


Bugle Notes - 9/1/22

Our big History Exposition and Outdoor Education Days are approaching on Friday, Sept. 9 and Saturday, Sept. 10! This year’s theme is “Communication Along the Smoky Hill Trail,” with exhibits on telegraph, telephone, military communication, bugle calls, Plains... [More]


Bugle Notes - 8/25/22

We hope you have marked your calendars for the upcoming History Exposition and Outdoor Education Days at the Fort Wallace Museum, coming up Friday, Sept. 9 and Saturday, Sept. 10! Our grounds will be filled with demonstrators exploring “Communication Along the Smoky Hill... [More]


Bugle Notes - 8/18/22

We are excited about our upcoming History Exposition and Outdoor Education Days for 2022! With this year’s theme of “Communication Along the Smoky Hill Trail,” we are offering a different twist to our demonstrations and guests. Our two-day event (Friday Sept... [More]


Bugle Notes - 7/14/22

The Museum was filled with activity the week of July 5-8 as we hosted 15 local youth for our first History Day Camp! Six professional educators, led by FWMA Board Member Brenda Tropf, led exploration by 15 4th-8th Graders as we learned about the Robidoux and Madigan General Stores,... [More]


Bugle Notes - 6/30/22

The summer travel season is rolling along at the Fort WALLACE Museum! In spite of high gas prices, people are indeed traveling along Highway 40, including international travelers from such locations as Germany, Australia, and the Netherlands.  Our History Day Camp for grades... [More]


Bugle Notes - 5/26/22

Memorial Day Weekend 2022 approaches and that means that things are about to get busy in Wallace! The 68th Fort Wallace Rodeo will have its Saturday performance on May 28th at 7 pm MDT at the Rodeo Grounds just east of Wallace. The Sunday performance is at a special time - 5... [More]

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