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.govLocal restaurant: Free State BreweryDrink: 3.2 beer, except on SundaysSnack: Sunflower seeds, Wheat ThinsSports team: Wichita WingnutsAthlete: Danny Manning, Maurice Green, Jim RyunActor: Paul Rudd, Kirstie AlleyAuthor: 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 TrailMagazine: Grass & Grain Pet peeve: Theory of evolutionRadio 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 crudShoes: Anything from Payless or Olathe Boot Company. “Why they moved to Texas, I’ll never understand.”Best physical feature: Flint HillsExercise: Rodeo-ingBand/singer: Kansas, Melissa EtheridgePlace to spend an extra $50: Kansas SamplerPhoning or texting: “West of Topeka, service is spotty, so …”Facebook or Twitter: “What’s a Facebook?”People to quote: Judy Garland, Bob DoleVacation spot: Paradise, Kan.