Platte City’s current City Hall building at 400 Main Street will be turned into a community room after the new City Hall/police station is completed on Marshall Road. It’s estimated to be a $400,000 project completed in part with a county partnership grant.
Some repairs will be completed on the building, including a roof replacement. According to a recent city staff report, the next steps for the renovation are pending a process to consider options for multiple city-owned properties, including the 400 Main Street building.
Start of NFL season is fast approaching. And so is The Landmark’s NFL prediction contest, known as Landmark Pick’em. Go to our website at plattecountylandmark.com and click on the prompt “Landmark NFL Pick’em 2023 Season” for all the info and to create an account if you haven’t played in recent seasons. It’s free, of course. First pre-season game is this Thursday night, Aug. 3 between the Jets and the Browns. Get on there and make a prediction. The Hall of Fame Game will give our contest administrator, better known as Tech Guy Schneider, a chance to test the system to be sure everything is in working order before the start of the real season in early September.
By the way, our columnist Guy Speckman is right. I do watch an inordinate amount of preseason NFL football, which doesn’t always make me popular inside my own home.
Sidenote: After giving it much thought on a drive through western Kansas/eastern Colorado last weekend, I think I’ve identified the team to use for Foley’s “pay your mortgage” NFL win total pick of the year. It’s for those of you who enjoy making a legal sports wager in a neighboring state. Giving my choice a little more time to marinate before we make it official. We’ve got a nice winning streak going with these win total picks, so the pressure is on.
Are you surviving all the hype and chatter about the new Barbie movie? I think Chris Kamler is the only Landmarker to see the movie thus far. In fact Chris Kamler might be the only Landmarker who ever sees it (though don’t count out the sometimes nerdy Tech Guy Schneider), so I will defer to Chris for a review of the flick.
I was never a doll kind of guy so can’t say for sure but I was always told Ken isn’t anatomically correct below the belt. Poor guy.
He’s working for K-State in Manhattan now but from 2017 to 2019 our son lived in Colorado. On our trips out there, on I-70 in western Kansas I would see highway signage pointing toward the small town of Sharon Springs. It always rang a bell, as I can remember my dad briefly mentioning he worked at a newspaper in Sharon Springs. I had no details, no dates–not even a definite year, no idea what job he did (he could write, run a Linotype, run a press or any other piece of equipment you put in front of him), I only knew he had worked at a newspaper in Sharon Springs sometime in the 1950s before moving to northeast Kansas in 1959 when he purchased his first newspaper. “Sometime we should take a detour and head to Sharon Springs,” I would say to my wife every time I saw that sign.
Last Friday it finally happened. Drove the extra 40 miles or so out of the way to visit Sharon Springs and drop in at their newspaper, which is still in publication with circulation of 500 in the town of 751 people. Sharon Springs is the largest city in Wallace County, which tells you something about the population of Wallace County. By the way, as you cross the county line you suddenly find yourself in the Mountain Time Zone and the clock inside your car immediately rolls back an hour. So you can say Wallace County really is a place that turns back time.
Stopped by the newspaper office shortly after 1 p.m. (their posted office hours are 1-6 Monday through Friday) but the door was locked. So we went to a café for a bite. Mighty fine café for a small town. Interesting that they don’t list prices on their menus. You’re ordering lunch or dinner without knowing how much it’s gonna cost you. Probably to save the cost and hassle of reprinting menus when prices change.
We headed back toward the newspaper about 2 o’clock and fortunately the office was open. We walked in and I introduced myself to the only person in the office. Turns out he wasn’t the editor but he pointed to the next desk, explaining his wife runs the newspaper from that desk while he runs a title company and drone operation from his desk a few feet away. Lol. I told him I was looking for any information that might confirm my dad worked at this newspaper, like a staff listing or a byline (though weekly newspapers typically didn’t put bylines on stories back in those days), anything. He invited us to look through bound copies of past editions of the newspaper, so we asked to see the years 1958 and 1959.
Took a bit but we found what we were looking for. It was my son Kurt who first caught my dad’s name listed among staff members on the newspaper’s Christmas greeting ad in December of 1958. Then in the Jan. 29, 1959 edition of The Western Times, we found nearly all the information we needed. The publisher–a man by the name of W.W. Morford–had written a column on the front page. His column was simply titled “Comments.” It consisted of four paragraphs or stanzas, each separated with a “-J-” (which was short for Jiggs, the publisher’s nickname) as a divider to indicate each paragraph was its own unique topic. The third stanza read like this:
“Dwayne Foley, who has been with The Western Times the past two years, will assume ownership and operation of a newspaper of his own Feb. 1. The paper is the Wathena Times at Wathena, Kansas. We wish Dwayne well in his new venture. Wathena is located 60 miles north of Kansas City and 5 miles west of St. Joseph, Mo.”
My dad died in 1980 at the age of 50 from a heart attack when I was 17. No one in the family had any information about his time in Sharon Springs, didn’t even know the name of the paper, as there had been several newspapers in that area back in those days. And suddenly there it was right in front of me. It was a cool moment.
If there is a lesson here, it is to occasionally find the time to intentionally take a detour. It just might be worth it.
(Give Foley your review of the Barbie movie at email@example.com. Or don’t.)