Long Time Gone

Long Time Gone: Lori Shalberg

| Priscilla Waggoner | Long Time Gone
Located north of town, the cemetery at Sheridan Lake sits on the crest of the gentlest of slopes. The elevation is no more than perhaps a hundred feet higher than the land that surrounds it, yet it is still graced with just enough rise to give all who stop and look an unobstructed view of the miles and miles of wide open plains that stretch all the way to the far distant horizon.

Long Time Gone and the Grand Duke

| Priscilla Waggoner | Long Time Gone
Recently, one of the readers of the Independent suggested a story he thought other readers might enjoy. It took place in 1872 and involved a group of individuals whose names are so well-known that the story itself sounds like something more likely to be found in a dime store novel than a history book of the time.

Long Time Gone and Lill Penn's Life of Love, Beauty and Butter

| Priscilla Waggoner | Long Time Gone
Somewhere, I learned that Eskimos have 24 different words for snow, each one reflecting some slight but key difference that is probably imperceptible to everyone except for those who inhabit the land where the white frozen stuff falls by feet at a time.

Long Time Gone - June Blooding, a shining star

| Priscilla Waggoner | Long Time Gone
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.

LONG TIME GONE and the lessons of Capra, the Coop and “Meet John Doe"

| Priscilla Waggoner | Long Time Gone
Stories have great power in our lives.

Long Time Gone - Scary Stories That Aren't (Better Not Be) True

| Priscilla Waggoner | Long Time Gone
Being scared has never been a sensation I enjoyed.

Long Time Gone - The Lingering Love For Cottonwood

| Priscilla Waggoner | Long Time Gone
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?”

Long Time Gone - Sweet Sweetwater

| Priscilla Waggoner | Long Time Gone
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.

A Legacy Of His Own Making: A Tribute To Jack Gardner

| Priscilla Waggoner | Long Time Gone
I knew one thing about Jack Gardner before I met him. He used to own the Kiowa County Press, which meant, to me, he was a newspaper man.

Long Time Gone - Marvin Hasser's "The Great Escape"

| Priscilla Waggoner | Long Time Gone
Several months ago, the Kiowa County Independent let readers know that we would be periodically printing original stories by Marvin Hasser, selected from his book titled “Oscar Hasser Cow Puncher ‘South of the Arkansas’”.  The book is a compilation of stories Mr. Hasser wrote about his father, a feat he attributes to “the great love and pride I have in my heart for my dad” and accomplished so that his children might know their grandfather a little better so he will be forever in their memory.

If you liked the October 19th article about the Disappearance of the Great American Buffalo, You Might Be Interested in What Happened at Standing Rock Last Week

| Priscilla Waggoner | Long Time Gone
A herd of Buffalo appear out of nowhere during Lakota Sioux peaceful protest of the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline project.  The project crosses sacred land and could potentially threaten their clean water source. 

Head Em' Up, Move 'Em On

| Priscilla Waggoner | Long Time Gone
     The Civil War has just ended.  The North is experiencing a boom of industrialization and growth, and an expansive market has opened up for beef.  Meanwhile, down in Texas, there are between 3 and 5 million wild cattle roaming the hills—not the docile cattle found in other parts of the country.  These were Longhorns, mainly known for the four to seven foot spread of their horns and their less than calm temperament. 

Long Time Gone - The Old Wells

| Priscilla Waggoner | Long Time Gone
Most people who grew up watching Westerns were swept away by the romance on the big screen. It’s a natural enough reaction.  Spend enough hours in a dark theater munching (preferably buttered) popcorn with the likes of Eastwood or McQueen (not to mention the Duke, Coop, Fonda or Stewart) staring down from the big screen, and you’ll gladly join the ranks of those who swear that, in the old days on the frontier, good guys were always clean with nice boots and really smart, loyal horses while the bad guys all wore dirty clothes and had bad teeth. 

Coral Hickman and a Hero's Accidental Fall from Grace

| Priscilla Waggoner | Long Time Gone
In my opinion, one of the more unpleasant aspects of an election season is the never ending quest of the media to find “dirt” in a candidate’s past.  While it may be—and, at times, probably is—important to learn of the smudge on an individual’s record of personal history, it occasionally feels like a point learned long ago is being rubbed in.  No one is perfect.  Everyone, even those we view as heroes, has those proverbial skeletons in their closet. 

The Confession of Mr. Dargy

| Priscilla Waggoner | Long Time Gone
When first learning the history of this area, it’s natural to focus on the big events as being those that tell the story of the past.  The bloody conquest and banishment of indigenous people who had roamed these plains for centuries.  The first ranches, some so vast that their founders, who might have been common men in other places, became, in this place, a new kind of king.  The settlers rolling in, with circumstances more humble but dreams that were just as big, building towns only to move them again and again in pursuit of the location they hoped would guarantee the prosperity they sought.  The arrival of the railroads with their endless miles of track that would change a land that had been unchanged since time immemorial. Lines appearing on maps that proclaimed counties.

The Killing of Coral Hickman

| Priscilla Waggoner | Long Time Gone
     Just before noon on March 14, 1930, three men walked into the Manter Bank in Manter, Kansas. Several minutes later, after brandishing “rifles, shotguns and six-shooters”, John Walker, Andrew Halliday, and Clyde “Shorty” Ray, came back out of the bank carrying roughly $4000 in cash. They then got into a Model A Ford and started up the engine.  The three men had done this before. Walker, 41 and from Joplin, Halliday, 24, and Ray, 22, both of Webb City, Missouri, reportedly had known each other for much of their lives. If they had headed east, they might have lived lives that turned out differently. But they didn’t head east.  They headed west, toward Colorado. And, in so doing, they sealed their fate.
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