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MY ESSENTIALS: Kansas

Ink

Somebody just turned 150!

The state of Kansas, that rectangular bastion of Americana so commonly associated with agriculture, conservatism and insufferable college basketball fans just celebrated its first century and a half of existence, and to mark this momentous occasion, Ink caught up with Kansas to get a feel for how it’s doing as it chugs along.

The last century and a half, certainly, has been filled with excitement. Kansas has served as the setting for abolitionist John Brown’s rise to prominence and the Brown v. Board of Education decision, as well as home to some of the country’s more prominent figures — from Amelia Earhart to Dwight D. Eisenhower — and has developed a reputation for an utterly unpredictable climate.

In short, the Sunflower State has done its best to leave its mark on the world.

So, as it kicks off what figures to be another action-packed 150 years, we get up close and personal with America’s 34th state.


infobox-hr-separator /> Pet: Toto (dog)

Gadget: John Deere 5095MH Hi-Crop Tractor. “The Cadillac of upscale farming equipment.”

Website: kansas.gov

Local restaurant: Free State Brewery

Drink: 3.2 beer, except on Sundays

Snack: Sunflower seeds, Wheat Thins

Sports team: Wichita Wingnuts

Athlete: Danny Manning, Maurice Green, Jim Ryun

Actor: Paul Rudd, Kirstie Alley

Author: Langston Hughes, Laura Abbot. “I love a good Harlequin. Don’t print that.”

Book: “What’s the Matter With Kansas?” by Thomas Frank. “He sort of had some good points, I guess.”

Video game: Oregon Trail

Magazine: Grass & Grain

Pet peeve: Theory of evolution

Radio station of radio personality: KJIL 99.1, covering Dodge City and Garden City. “Love their tagline: ‘Helping believers fulfill the Great Commission.’ ”

Movie: “The Wizard of Oz”

Scent: Buffalo crud

Shoes: Anything from Payless or Olathe Boot Company. “Why they moved to Texas, I’ll never understand.”

Best physical feature: Flint Hills

Exercise: Rodeo-ing

Band/singer: Kansas, Melissa Etheridge

Place to spend an extra $50: Kansas Sampler

Phoning or texting: “West of Topeka, service is spotty, so …”

Facebook or Twitter: “What’s a Facebook?”

People to quote: Judy Garland, Bob Dole

Vacation spot: Paradise, Kan.

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