Monday, April 5, 2010
What Goes On In Claflin
Came back from western Kansas yesterday. Went out on April Fool's day, to go to a party for my Aunt Virginia's 95th birthday. Had a great time celebrating her special day.
On the way back to KC, I took the Ellsworth cut-off, to save a little time. I took K-4 east of Lacrosse and drove past Otis-Bison, through Hoisington, and past Claflin, in Barton county. As I drove through Claflin, the first thing that turned my head was a set of elaborate playground equipment that looked very new and modern. I thought, "Wow--someone really laid out some dough to provide that." I almost wished my kids were still young enough for us to stop and take full advantage of it. As I continued on K-4, I glimpsed some colorful, old-timey-looking buildings off to my left. I turned the car around to take a better look, and saw that Claflin's downtown area had been remodeled with 19th century store fronts.
This is one of those unexpected pleasures you get from driving through Kansas--some anomaly or unlikelihood you encounter out here in one of these prairie towns. Claflin has a population of only about 750, but apparently it has a lot of spunk. I looked up the town online and according to the Skyways website managed by the State Library of Kansas, "Cards (the same as in the 1920s) are played at Wildcat Pump and Supply daily (except Sundays) at 6:45am prior to everyone’s work day."
I'm going to think on that the next time I am dragging myself out of bed at 6:45 in the morning. I'm going to tell myself, "those Claflinites are up and playing cards at the Wildcat Pump and Supply, by God. Get along, you sluggard!" I like knowing that they're playing the "same as in the 1920's". I don't know if that means it's the same tradition or the same games or the same ratty deck of cards, " but I like knowing it.