A Remington in the lobby of the First National Bank, Norton, KS

A Remington in the lobby of the First National Bank, Norton, KS

Everyone warned me about Kansas. “It’s so flat you’ll fall asleep. Nothing but feed lots and corn fields. Booooring,” they agreed.

Why do we feel such a strong need to be entertained?

I’ve crossed through Kansas twice now, and always found plenty to see, do, and contemplate, including the Gallery of Presidential Also-Rans in Norton. Scroll to the bottom for a video tour a of the gallery with Curator Lee Ann Shearer.

Any motorcyclist will tell you to GET OFF the interstates to find the soul of a place and I did that whenever possible. There’s a lot to learn about the Pony Express, the California Trail and the Oregon trail if you take the time and read the landmarks.

Sure, Kansas is flat and mostly rural, but there’s a unique charm and beauty there waiting to be discovered, if you get off the interstate and journey down the highways and byways. There, you’ll see capable kids driving tractors, and the occasional Amish family out in a buggy. Smile and wave—they’ll probably do the same.

I don’t know what our obsession is with being entertained. G.K. Chesterton said, “There are no dreary sights; there are only dreary sight seers.” I think he’s on to something.

Maybe today you’ll transcend the need for entertainment. My yoga teacher taught me a simple meditation:  sit quietly and breathe in with the word “Let” and breathe out with the word “Go.” 


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