There’s a certain kind of beauty to the plains that is, from what I can tell, truly unique to this country. Let a little bit of rain fall on these expansive acres, and the most extraordinary flowers will emerge. But, unlike the manicured and pampered blossoms that adorn more “settled” places, these beauties have retained their sturdiness, their wildness, as if the sheer determination to thrive sometimes harsh conditions is an inherent part of the flower’s glory, itself.
Stories have great power in our lives.
For as long as human beings have had language and the cognitive ability to express thoughts and ideas—whether those thoughts were written or spoken or drawn on a cave wall--stories have played a role in shaping who we are as individuals and as part of a larger whole. And, occasionally, a truly profound story—especially one told by a gifted storyteller—will come along that causes us to question our world and, sometimes, to even seek answers to the questions those stories have posed.
Being scared has never been a sensation I enjoyed.
I’m not talking about the “scared” some people feel when getting on a horse they don’t know (which has never been a problem for me—although the horse may have felt differently) or they try technical climbing the face of a mountain in Boulder Canyon and then rappel back down to ground level. (I’m not saying I made a pretty sight; I’m just saying I wasn’t scared to do it).
There are some eras in Kiowa County history that linger on in people’s memories to such a degree that they have taken on that special hue reserved for the wistful, “Those were the days, weren’t they?”
The early days…the Kiowa County Fairs when carnivals (and the occasional elephant) added to the annual festivities…the Saturday night socializations and shenanigans—despite the drought—of the famous fifties…and…Cottonwood Park.
For the first time in too many years, people have good reason to find their attention drifting south of town toward the Great Plains Reservoirs, those bodies of water that have been a source of life in Kiowa County from the time long before Kiowa County was even born.