My buddy and fellow Landmark columnist/first Landmark Live co-host/infamous Twitter smartass Chris Kamler is writing another book. Our apologies, America.
I kid, of course. About the apology. Not about the book. It is real and it is spectacular. Though there’s always the chance I’m overselling this. You won’t know unless you buy the book.
It’s coming soon to a book shelf near you. Or you can use it as a door stop, we really don’t care. Just buy the book. Give it to a friend. Or an enemy. You’ll buy it and you’ll like it, America, even if it is filled with small words, large print and lots of pictures.
“I’m about halfway done with my latest book, which will be a collection of columns I’ve written in your Landmark newspaper over the last 11 years. I’m tentatively calling it ‘My Best 10 Percent’ because it’ll include 50 of the last 500 columns, assuming that I can find 50 that are ‘good,'” Kamler tells me.
Then he continued:
“I’d love it if you would write the foreword to this book since, basically, this is all your fault,” Kamler told me.
Damn. Wasn’t expecting that. These tears I cry are real.
So anyway, now I have a pressure-filled homework assignment. This will be hard for me. Books aren’t my specialty. In fact I might be allergic to them, though that hasn’t been medically proven. Need Dr. Fauci to check the science on that one. I prefer to be a short stanza/make-a-smart-comment-and-get-the-hell-out-of-there kind of guy.
Let’s see how this goes. You’ll have to buy the book to find out.
I have, in fact, long considered writing a book about my 40 years at The Landmark. Over the years I’ve made a few notes on a Big Chief tablet using a No. 2 pencil and an 8-count box of crayons.
We talked about this several weeks back and I haven’t forgotten. Al Fitzmorris, former Royals pitcher from the 1970s, will be a guest on Landmark Live soon. The good news is Al Fitzmorris hasn’t forgotten. I bumped into him last Thursday in downtown Platte City and he mentioned to me–unprovoked, even–that he is looking forward to coming on the show. He has made some work changes in his life and now has more freedom with his time. He and his son, Mark, have teamed up to form a company called Building Trades Construction. They’re commercial and residential roofing specialists, and can do much more than that.
My buddy Guy Speckman will be joining me on Landmark Live for the conversation with Fitzmorris. I’m hoping the former big leaguer will give Speck some tips for the next time he’s throwing at the dunk tank in Platte City.
And don’t forget: Landmark Live on Thursday, June 16 will feature the new mayor of Parkville, Dean Katerndahl, for a fun and interesting conversation on all things Parkville.
The FBI is in town. Somebody please check on our favorite former mayor.
In this week’s edition of The Landmark, we’re proud to announce this year’s winner of The Landmark English Award. You’ll find our winner Chloe Bramble’s photo and information inside this issue.
It’s a cash award presented to a Platte County High School senior skilled with, as you might have guessed by its name, the language of English. The award was established by The Landmark in 1982 to help foster an interest in the English language among high schoolers. A faculty panel at the high school chooses the winner each year. Over the 40-plus years the cash prize amount has varied anywhere from $100 to $300 and points between. The winner also receives a certificate suitable for framing that is signed by top school officials and yours truly, which makes it invaluable, shall we say.
This year’s winner gets a total of $300, with $150 from the newspaper and another $150 from a loyal and generous Landmark reader who last year began a tradition of matching the newspaper’s award amount. The reader wishes to remain anonymous.
We’ll let the reader explain why she chooses to match the award:
“Among my excellent teachers and professors in many years of formal education, four were exceptionally inspirational in my writing. They challenged and encouraged my creative efforts and I grew to love writing as a way to express myself and entertain others,” she says. “I’m in my retirement years now. And still learning, of course, never stop. For a long time, I’ve contemplated how I could honor these special educators by paying their inspiration forward. I discovered a way by reading The Landmark article about your award. This is a perfect opportunity to honor their gift to me.”
Chloe Bramble, this year’s winner, says she is headed to K-State in the fall.
Complete list of The Landmark English Award winners by year:
1982: Natalie Parrett; 1983: Tamera Jones; 1984: Shane Lee Zembles; 1985: Amy Deterding; 1986: Chaundra Crawford; 1987: Sherry Stanton; 1988: Rebecca Ann Brown; 1989: Lisa Pancake; 1990: Jennifer Fowler; 1991: Jennifer Donnelli; 1992: Tyra Miller; 1993: James Davis; 1994: Megan Boddicker; 1995: Kerry Durrill; 1996: Jamie Knodel; 1997: Laura Donald; 1998: Christa Fuller; 1999: Alison Miller; 2000:Alison Coons; 2001: Valerie French; 2002: Devon Paul; 2003: Tara Gutshall; 2004: Elizabeth Anderson; 2005: Anne Mullins; 2006: Branson Billings; 2007: Kelsie Blakley; 2008: Peter Rasumussen; 2009: Hannah Rickman; 2010: Kelsey Boeding; 2011: Sean Carder; 2012: Brian Geran; 2013: Hailey Godburn; 2014: Sam Danley; 2015: Abagale Godfrey; 2016: Madison McBratney; 2017: Mara Tharp; 2018: James Catlin; 2019: Julia Irminger; 2020: No award given as schools were not in-person for pandemic; 2021: Emily Wisniewski; 2022: Chloe Bramble.
Our thanks to faculty at Platte County High School for their assistance in this award process each year and in particular to Heather Brown, high school counselor, for helping facilitate things.
(You can find Ivan Foley scratching notes on a Big Chief tablet or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org)