High Plains History http://hppr.org en Velma On... http://hppr.org/post/velma <p></p><p>As my time with Velma Wancura draws to a close, Velma and I talked about some of life's nuggets.&nbsp; These are some of her thoughts about:</p> Wed, 01 May 2013 20:22:21 +0000 Cindee Talley 15433 at http://hppr.org Velma On... Prejudice and Pride http://hppr.org/post/prejudice-and-pride <p>It was hard to be German during World War I.&nbsp; Velma Wancura's father hired extra help during harvest time.&nbsp; She said you had to be careful not to hire a German sympathizer or a spy.&nbsp; Wed, 24 Apr 2013 05:01:00 +0000 Cindee Talley 15019 at http://hppr.org Prejudice and Pride The Root Cause of Stingy http://hppr.org/post/root-cause-stingy <p></p><p>Go back to May, 1935.&nbsp; Velma and Ted Wancura have a young son.&nbsp; They haven't had a wheat crop in years, or rain for that matter.&nbsp; Most of their cattle herd has been lost in the dust storms.&nbsp; A tornado took their house.&nbsp; The Wancuras moved a vacant house in to replace it. Wed, 17 Apr 2013 05:01:00 +0000 Cindee Talley 14740 at http://hppr.org The Root Cause of Stingy Dark Cloud on the Horizon http://hppr.org/post/dark-cloud-horizon <p></p><p>The mid 1930's were the dry years on the high plains.&nbsp; The drought has taken so much, a tornado took their home, but one young couple continue to persevere.&nbsp; Velma and Ted Wancura were creative problem solvers.&nbsp; They had 150 head of cattle, but no grass in the pasture. so&nbsp;&nbsp; Ted and his brother harvested the cactus that remained for feed.&nbsp; After burning the spines off with a blow torch, the cactus were placed in a cattle tank where the were well received.&nbsp; When they were gone, Ted fabricated a truck bed to haul beet tops from the Garden City sugar factory, approximately 50 miles away, where the farm land was irrigated.&nbsp; That solution worked until weather conditions worsened.&nbsp; Wed, 10 Apr 2013 05:01:00 +0000 Cindee Talley 14441 at http://hppr.org Dark Cloud on the Horizon No Home to Go To http://hppr.org/post/no-home-go <p></p><p> In 1935, there had been no rain and no wheat crop for the Wancuras.&nbsp; One day, Velma and Ted decided to drive to Beehler to a farm sale about 14 miles north.&nbsp; On the way home, they stopped at her parent's home in Beehler to say hello.&nbsp; The weather turned.&nbsp; Velma's dad told them to stay for the night.&nbsp;</p><p>The next day they started out for home.&nbsp; They met a neighbor on the road, who told them there was no reason to travel any further, a tornado had destroyed their home.&nbsp; It was scattered for miles. &nbsp;</p> Wed, 03 Apr 2013 05:01:00 +0000 Cindee Talley 14233 at http://hppr.org No Home to Go To The Dry Years http://hppr.org/post/dry-years <p></p><p> The hard times began long before the dust storms that inspired movies, documentaries, and books.&nbsp; There was no rain, no crops, wheat was .25 cents a bushel, which would have been something if there was any wheat to harvest.&nbsp; For Velma Wancura, the dry years meant going back to work as a teacher.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; That wage supported her family.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> Wed, 27 Mar 2013 05:01:00 +0000 Cindee Talley 13835 at http://hppr.org The Dry Years Back When Horse Power Meant Barney and Joe http://hppr.org/post/back-when-horse-power-meant-barney-and-joe <p></p><p> Velma Wancura's dad wanted to be a farmer, so he traded a house in McCracken, Kansas for a quarter of land south of Beeler.&nbsp; He was a good farmer, and it took the whole family to make it successful.&nbsp; The kids helped&nbsp; milk eight to twelve cows twice a day, separated the milk, and sold the cream.&nbsp; Velma also remembered the horses.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; She recalled two by name, Joe and Barney.&nbsp; When Velma was six or seven, she started driving the team.&nbsp; Looking back, she said, "The horse looks so tall and big, I don't know how I did it."&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> Wed, 20 Mar 2013 05:01:00 +0000 Cindee Talley 13700 at http://hppr.org Back When Horse Power Meant Barney and Joe Life is What You Paint It http://hppr.org/post/life-what-you-paint-it <p>Can you imagine living over 100 years and only having two regrets?&nbsp; I can't.&nbsp;&nbsp; It is one of the things that amazed me about Velma Wancura.&nbsp; Wed, 13 Mar 2013 05:01:00 +0000 Cindee Talley 13282 at http://hppr.org Life is What You Paint It A Leaf Should Know Its Tree http://hppr.org/post/leaf-should-know-its-tree <p>I met Velma Whipple Wancura two years ago.&nbsp; Her grandson, Dan Wancura contacted me, telling me I needed to meet his grandmother.&nbsp; He said the story of her life was simply amazing.&nbsp; He was right.&nbsp;</p> Wed, 06 Mar 2013 06:01:00 +0000 Cindee Talley 13115 at http://hppr.org A Leaf Should Know Its Tree Location Location Location http://hppr.org/post/location-location-location <p></p><p></p><p>Ask anyone in real estate how to choose property, and they'll tell you, "location, location, location."&nbsp; The White and Kirk building in Amarillo sits at the crown jewel of locations- the intersection of Route 66 and Polk Street. Wed, 27 Feb 2013 06:01:00 +0000 Cindee Talley 12806 at http://hppr.org Location Location Location Where I Come From http://hppr.org/post/where-i-come <p></p><p>Virginia Kerns Frantz was born near Granada, Colorado on February 28, 1924.&nbsp; She remembers her childhood as a hand to mouth existence. Wed, 20 Feb 2013 06:01:00 +0000 Cindee Talley 12534 at http://hppr.org Where I Come From Making Lemonade http://hppr.org/post/making-lemonade <p></p><p></p><p>Let’s give the mailman something to laugh about and send one of those exaggerated postcards of giant insects or oversized rabbits.&nbsp; You can find them at the Finney County Historical Museum, along with information on their creator, a photographer named Frank ‘Pop’ Conard who found a way to make lemons into lemonade during the dark days of the Great Depression. Wed, 13 Feb 2013 06:01:00 +0000 Skip Mancini 12249 at http://hppr.org Making Lemonade Sherman County Hero http://hppr.org/post/sherman-county-hero <p></p><p>Today we’ll visit the Texas Panhandle and stop by the Sherman County Depot Museum to hear the story of Sam Wohlford.&nbsp; We’ll take a look at a&nbsp; silver medal and a plaque that reads, “No greater love is there than for a man to risk his life for friend or stranger.”&nbsp; And we’ll learn about Sam’s refusal to give up in his quest to save lives during the Great Blizzard of 1948. Wed, 06 Feb 2013 06:01:00 +0000 Skip Mancini 11947 at http://hppr.org Sherman County Hero The Last Reminder of a Thriving Community http://hppr.org/post/last-reminder-thriving-community <p></p><p>A trip along the history trail that tells of the settling of the west is littered with the remains of hundreds of ghost towns.&nbsp; The lives of many of these settlements were very brief, as they boomed when they bet on the tracks of the railroads and then busted as they watched from a distance as the trains pass them by.&nbsp; One of the largest communities was called Ivanhoe, and was developed between the Arkansas and Cimarron Rivers on what is now U.S. Highway 83.&nbsp; Today we’ll visit what remains of this once-bustling community – the cemetery.</p> Wed, 30 Jan 2013 06:01:00 +0000 Skip Mancini 11476 at http://hppr.org The Last Reminder of a Thriving Community Hooves and Wheels http://hppr.org/post/hooves-and-wheels <p></p><p>The saying ‘You can’t get there from here!’ must have been on the minds of many of the pioneers who tried to settle in far west portions of the HPPR broadcast area.&nbsp; For a long time, road making was an individual task which involved taking off&nbsp; in the direction you needed to go, and then hoping you would make it to your destination.&nbsp; Eventually trails became roads, which then became highways as travel vehicles evolved from wagons to buggies to new-fangled automobiles, but it could still be a bumpy ride at best.&nbsp;</p><p> Wed, 23 Jan 2013 06:01:00 +0000 Skip Mancini 11404 at http://hppr.org Hooves and Wheels Kansas Born Architect Impacts Amarillo Skyline http://hppr.org/post/kansas-born-architect-impacts-amarillo-skyline <p></p><p></p><p>A list of the movers and shakers who helped develop the city of Amarillo would have to include Guy Anton Carlander.&nbsp; An architect who developed his own style by utilizing elements of design and decoration from the 1920s and 30s, his name is on the dedication plaques of many courthouses, hospitals and medical buildings, and office buildings throughout the Texas Panhandle. Wed, 16 Jan 2013 06:01:00 +0000 Skip Mancini 11138 at http://hppr.org Kansas Born Architect Impacts Amarillo Skyline Windthorst Windows http://hppr.org/post/windthorst-windows <p>Though the town of Windthorst never really became a reality, the magnificent church that was the centerpiece of an entire community is very real and well worth a trip to Ford County in Southwestern Kansas. The Immaculate Heart of Mary Church features an interior filled with wonders, not the least of which is a series of hand-blown stained glass windows fashioned in the “Munich Pictorial Style”. Wed, 09 Jan 2013 06:01:00 +0000 Skip Mancini 10824 at http://hppr.org Windthorst Windows Sublette Swatters http://hppr.org/post/sublette-swatters <p></p><p>Today we’ll take you out to the ball game.&nbsp; Though we won’t buy you some peanuts and crackerjack, we’ll have another type of treat.&nbsp; We’ll tell you the story of a tiny town in Haskell County, Kansas that had a semi-pro baseball team in the 1950s, and of the top notch uniforms they wore.&nbsp; Sometimes when you think something is over and done with and gone for good, it will come roaring back, better than ever. Wed, 02 Jan 2013 06:01:00 +0000 Skip Mancini 10212 at http://hppr.org Sublette Swatters Hidden Oasis http://hppr.org/post/hidden-oasis <p></p><p>Let's get ready for the new Year by taking a drive to Lake Scott State Park.&nbsp; Maybe the weather will let us try our hand at some trout fishing, and we'll take a turn on the lake in a canoe.&nbsp; Afterwards, we can explore the ruins of El Quartelejo, the only Indian pueblo in Kansas.&nbsp; Keep an eye out for wild turkey and deer.&nbsp; No wonder Lake Scott made the recent list of Best Beaches in the USA! Wed, 26 Dec 2012 06:01:00 +0000 Skip Mancini 10142 at http://hppr.org Hidden Oasis A Christmas Blizzard http://hppr.org/post/christmas-blizzard <p></p><p>We’ll celebrate the Christmas holiday by recounting a Christmas blizzard of long ago, when Santa traveled across the open range of the Texas and Oklahoma panhandles.&nbsp; It seems that jolly old St. Nick joined some ranch hands in a snowstorm, and he left a special gift in the chuck wagon that he made himself.&nbsp;&nbsp; Tue, 18 Dec 2012 06:01:00 +0000 Skip Mancini 10118 at http://hppr.org A Christmas Blizzard The Big Easel http://hppr.org/post/big-easel <p></p><p>Today we’ll travel north to see one of the world’s largest paintings.&nbsp; Located in Goodland in Northwest Kansas along Interstate 70, the Big Easel can’t be missed.&nbsp; Look for a vase of giant sunflowers, a tribute to Vincent Van Gogh and his signature series of seven sunflower paintings. Wed, 12 Dec 2012 06:01:00 +0000 Skip Mancini 9777 at http://hppr.org The Big Easel Southern Stage Route http://hppr.org/post/southern-stage-route <p></p><p>A major U.S. Highway that runs through Western Kansas began as a rough trail that connected various boomtowns who were waiting for the railroads that ultimately passed them by.&nbsp; Today we’ll travel in a classic coach on the Southern Stage Line and head south out of Garden City, stopping for a bite of lunch and then an overnight stay by the Cimarron River. Wed, 05 Dec 2012 23:19:00 +0000 Skip Mancini 9453 at http://hppr.org Southern Stage Route Llano Cemetery http://hppr.org/post/llano-cemetery <p>What began as an act of kindness to provide a final resting place for a pioneer child has become the Llano Cemetery in Amarillo, Texas.&nbsp; The 130 acres have been developed to include elements of historical architecture, impressive landscaping, and&nbsp; a sense of a beautiful public park for all who enter the gates.&nbsp; Wed, 28 Nov 2012 06:00:00 +0000 Skip Mancini 9779 at http://hppr.org Llano Cemetery Smithsonian on the Kansas Prairie http://hppr.org/post/smithsonian-kansas-prairie <p>After a visit to the Stauth Museum in Montezuma, Kansas, you'll feel like a world traveler.&nbsp; The museum is filled with art and artifacts from around the globe. Throughout the year it also showcases local art and culture and hosts numerous programs, lectures, or exhibits for area school children.&nbsp; Since the building is constructed to Smithsonian Institute regulations, is often hosts traveling exhibits from the Smithsonian in Washington DC. Wed, 21 Nov 2012 06:01:00 +0000 Skip Mancini 9127 at http://hppr.org Smithsonian on the Kansas Prairie End of an Era http://hppr.org/post/end-era <p>You get used to things always being there, maybe even take them for granted.&nbsp; Things like snow at Christmas, Grandma sharing her wisdom no matter how old you are, Mom meeting you at the door when you pull in the drive, calling Dad when you have trouble with your car,&nbsp; or driving to Herb's Carry Out for a burger and a piece of coconut cream pie.&nbsp;&nbsp; Somehow, you're surprised when they are not.&nbsp; November 21 will be the end of an era.&nbsp; Herb's Carry Out, located on Kansas Avenue in Garden City, will be gone.&nbsp; Wed, 14 Nov 2012 06:01:00 +0000 Cindee Talley 8844 at http://hppr.org End of an Era Oslo on the High Plains http://hppr.org/post/oslo-high-plains <p></p><p></p><p>A full history of the Oslo Settlement is provided in the article below.</p><p align="center"><strong>Oslo on the Texas High Plains<br>Peter L. Petersen (Volume 28: Page 138)</strong></p><p align="center"><em>HPPR thanks the <a href="http://www.naha.stolaf.edu/">Norwegian-American Historical Society</a> for permission to post this article.&nbsp; A grant from the West Texas State University committee on organized research assisted in its preparation.</em></p><p> Wed, 07 Nov 2012 23:15:09 +0000 Peter Peterson & Skip Mancini 8609 at http://hppr.org Oslo on the High Plains Cattle Drive Quarantine Creates Wild Cowtown http://hppr.org/post/cattle-drive-quarantine-creates-wild-cowtown <p></p><p>Driving cattle from Texas to the north became complicated when homesteaders refused to allow herds to cross their land.&nbsp; Quarantine laws were passed to protect herds from tick fever carried by Texas cattle.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> Wed, 31 Oct 2012 05:01:00 +0000 Skip Mancini 8260 at http://hppr.org Cattle Drive Quarantine Creates Wild Cowtown Masterson, Man of Many Colors http://hppr.org/post/masterson-man-many-colors <p>For many, the name Bat Masterson, brings to mind gunfights and the Old West.&nbsp; He was born in Quebec, Canada.&nbsp; Masterson came to eastern Kansas with his parents, but western Kansas drew he and his brother with its wide open spaces and hunting.&nbsp; The most well known part of his life as Ford County Sheriff inspired a television show, but did you know Masterson:</p> Wed, 24 Oct 2012 05:01:00 +0000 Skip Mancini 7988 at http://hppr.org Masterson, Man of Many Colors Nicodemus http://hppr.org/post/nicodemus <p>Pioneers come to the west, leaving all that was familiar, to create a new community- Nicodemus, Kansas.&nbsp; To this day, descendants of that hardy bunch return to celebrate.</p> Wed, 17 Oct 2012 05:01:00 +0000 Karen Madorin 7602 at http://hppr.org Nicodemus Commancheria http://hppr.org/post/commancheria <p>Today we'll look at a battle that marked the turning point in the Red River Wars.</p> Wed, 10 Oct 2012 05:01:00 +0000 Skip Mancini 7297 at http://hppr.org Commancheria