Local/Kansas The Salina Journal Sunday, January 19,1986 Page 3 Partygoers wait in line for treats. Children receive King's message of racial equality By JILL CASEY Staff Writer Laughter punctuated the air with exclamation points Saturday as the 70-odd children and several adults played a game called "Cheek to Cheek, Nose to Nose" at the Carver Center. The participants made two circles, and those in the inner circle paired up with the person across from thenf in the outer circle. At a leaders' command, one circle moved clockwise and the other moved counterclockwise until a leader shouted "Elbow to Ear!" or "Head to Head!" Near chaos ensued as players scrambled to find their partners and touch the designated body parts. After the game ended and the excitement died down, leader Debbie Cox drew a lesson from it. ; "It might have been silly," Cox - told the children.' 'But you probably noticed it was hard to find your - partner. We don't all look alike but '• we're all human, we all have eyes... ' and underneath we all have - hearts." '. The games were played at a ' birthday party honoring Martin Luther King Jr., and Cox used them to illustrate how color is unimportant in determining human qualities. "Way back before you were born, - a man saw how black Americans ' weren't being treated like other . Americans," Cox told the children. I "They couldn't go to the same : church ... and they couldn't drink ; from the same water fountain," she ; told the now somber crowd. ; "Martin Luther King Jr. knew that even if our skin colors are different, we're still human." Martin Luther King Jr. Day will be celebrated Monday for the first - time as a federal holiday. Several events this week in Sauna paid tribute to the acclaimed civil rights leader. •; Earle Bess, an organizer of this week's King events, said it was hoped that bringing the children together for the celebration Saturday would help them learn about and be proud of King's accomplishments. One girl, Mari Gordon, 11, expressed her pride by generously bestowing a compliment on King. "He was a very smart man," Mari said. "And I'm sorry he got killed, but I'm glad we're remembering him." The Rev. Joe Alfred, Salina, said he was glad to see an integrated crowd at the party, and agreed with organizers that it was important to teach children about King. ' 'It makes you realize how old you are when you think these kids were born much after that time,'' he said. "But it wasn't that long ago. This all makes me think about how far we've come, and yet how far we have to go." Other events scheduled include a special worship service at 3:30 p.m. today at the First Presbyterian Church, 308 S. Eighth. The St. John's Baptist Choir will perform at 3-.15 p.m. William Augman Jr., a civil right activist and associate professor at the United Theological Seminary in Dayton, Ohio, will speak at the service. On Monday, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., the Allen Chapel AME Church, 1021 W. Ash, will host a prayer vigil. In a quiet moment, Elizabeth Alfred, 7, Salina, studies a poster about Dr. Martin Luther King. Shawn McDaniels, 7, Salina (left), pretends to be an animal ready to make Robert Prim, 5, Salina, bis prey during get-acquainted games at the opening of the party. Laid-of f Beech employees seek work, survival By JUDITH WEBER ' Staff Writer ; Because of being laid off from his job, John Curtis Jr. soon may have to do something he doesn't want to do— apply for food stamps. " "I've worked all my life and it's hard to go ask for something like that," he said. ; Curtis, 44, was laid off last March from Beech Aircraft Corp.'s plant in Salina, where he had worked for nine years. • Bob Falk also was laid off from Beech, in December 1984. He had worked there for eight years. Like Curtis, Falk is experiencing some trying times. He now is receiving welfare payments and has had to turn his bills over to a credit counseling service. His children, who used to receive allowances, now have to earn their spending money from jobs like delivering newspapers. "That doesn't make me feel very good," he said. Curtis and Falk are two of many laid-off Beech employees looking for jobs. Others have been more fortunate in finding employment elsewhere. Employment at Beech in Salina has dwindled from 450 in January "I'm filling out a lot of applications, but nobody called me." — Bob Falk 1985 to 268 in January 1986, said,a Beech spokesman in Wichita. Most of the loss is because of layoffs, said Fortunate Bonilla, plant chairman of Lodge No. 2328 of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers. Beech also laid off many employees in Salina during 1984. Bonilla said he keeps in touch with many of those who are laid off. "We don't forget each other. We don't forget they're still out there," he said. Some laid off workers have moved to Wichita to work for Beech, others commute to work in Wichita, and still others have gone to work for the Boeing airplane company in Wichita, Bonilla said. A few workers have kept their homes in Salina while taking short- term contract jobs at aircraft companies in Georgia, Texas and Louisiana, he said. Two workers have even gone to Germany for contract work and are planning to seek work in New York. Others who were laid off have had to take low-paying service jobs when their unemployment insurance ran out, he said. The union maintains a community service committee that helps those in need, Bonilla said. A $150-gift certificate for groceries from the union gave Falk's family a better Christmas than they had anticipated, Falk said. He said he has been working at odd jobs like fixing cars and hauling garbage to try to make ends meet. "I'm filling out a lot of applications, but nobody called me." Falk is supporting a wife and four children. Curtis also said he has applied for a lot of jobs. "Nobody's hiring," he said. He is supporting a wife and two children, including an eight-month old daughter. "There ain't no work in this town I can't do," he said. Curtis said he worked for two weeks before Christmas at United Parcel Service, and recently got a part-time job at a Salina convenience store. If something better doesn't come along soon, Curtis said he will have to apply for food stamps. He also is considering moving to Washington, D.C., his wife's hometown, because he hears there is work there. "I'm going to survive," he said. For Merrill and Colleen Gill, who both worked at Beech for 12 years, remaining employed has meant that they must live apart. Merrill Gill was laid off in Salina in March. He went to work for Beech in Wichita in April, and is living in Wichita, his wife said. Gill had to relinquish his seniority ranking in Salina to take the job in Wichita, she said. Colleen Gill was laid off in July and called back in November. She fears that she soon may be laid off again because she is second from the bottom on the seniority list in her department. Beech announced last Monday that it will lay off 300 workers in Wichita and Salina over the next three months. GUI said she applied for a transfer to Beech in Wichita, and also has applied for a job at Boeing. The Gills have put their house in Salina on the market. Dennis Gallagher was laid off for the third time in August. He has worked at Beech for 10% years. His wife works, which Gallagher said helped ease the situation. About a month ago, Gallagher landed a job with ElDorado Motor Corp. in Minneapolis. But job hunting was tough, he said, because employers are reluctant to hire Beech employees for fear they will be called back to work. "I really don't look to get called back," he said. Bonilla has a more optimistic outlook. "We all have high hopes of this thing turning around. We've been there before," he said. Employment at Wichita was down while work was booming in Sauna because of a Navy contract for T-34C training aircraft. Now the situation is reversed with Wichita benefitting from work on the Starship I project, Bonilla said. Two days after Beech made its most recent lay-off announcement, President James Walsh said the company expects to add 250 to 350 employees to its payroll by the end of the year as production gears up. State picked as a top area for bicycling By NANCY MALIR Start Writer Although it was by default that the Santa Fe and Oregon Trails in Kansas were named among the top 25 bicycling routes in North America, Kansas biking enthusiasts say the national publicity can only increase the state's appeal as a biker's paradise. In the February issue of Bicycling — a national magazine for cyclists — the two historic covered wagon trails ' in northeast and north-central Kansas were listed among "the best" areas in the U.S. and Canada to ride a bicycle. Other areas mentioned include such well-known scenic spots as Cape Cod, Napa Valley, Nova Scotia and Yellowstone National Park. But Patricia Lynch, author of the article, said in a telephone interview that the Kansas trails were chosen only after the magazine's editors discovered no Midwestern states were cited in the story. A number of avid bike travelers were selected by the magazine to determine the most interesting areas of North America. When no mid- America bike routes were among the final selections, Kansas was chosen to represent the area, Lynch said. Nevertheless, Kansas cyclists are tickled with the publicity. "A lot of people think Kansas is the No. 1 biking state," said Larry Christie, organizer of the annual Biking Across Kansas tour. Christie, who has hiked over parts of both the Santa Fe and Oregon Trails with more than 500 people on his annual summer excursion, said some out-of-state cyclists join Biking Across Kansas year after year. "They love it," he said. "We draw people from both coasts." Phil Menniger, the touring information director of Kansas' League of American Wheelman, a cycling organization, said he considers Kansas one of the friendliest states in which to bike. He said Bicycling's spotlight on Kansas will help promote biking in the state. A director of the state tourism bureau agrees. "It pleases me that people are beginning to recognize that Kansas is a great state for bicycling," said Kathy Kruzic of the travel and tourism division of the Kansas Department of Economic Development. The state's climate and terrain make it conducive to bike travel, she said. The division already receives many requests about cycling in Kansas, Kruzic said, and the Bicycling article likely will draw more requests. Sherry McKee, 1515 Ellsworth, who has participated in the Biking Across Kansas tour for the past three years, said she isn't surprised to find Kansas rated as a top area for cycling. "Kansas is a pretty state," McKee said. "It's not just flat." She said the Gypsum Hills near Medicine Lodge, the area around Smith Center and the area termed "Little Switzerland" near White Cloud all are attractive and hilly. "In the last two or three years I have seen a definite move toward biking," she said, adding that the national focus on Kansas can be expected to increase the state's biking popularity. Christie shares McKee's enthusiasm about the state's scenery. "Western Kansas is exciting," he said. "The sights there are spectacular." In touting Kansas, Bicycling focused chiefly on an area north and east from Abilene. The Santa Fe Trail follows a route similar to Kansas Highway 56, beginning in Kansas City and snaking its way through Gardner, Council Grove and Lamed before reaching a fork at Dodge City — with one trail to Colorado and the other to New Mexico. The Oregon Trail follows a northeasterly course out of Kansas City, through Topeka and Marysville and into Nebraska. Much of that trail is on private property. Bicycling magazine entices the would-be bike tourist with: "You'll ride past missions, Pony Express stations, the Agricultural Hall of Fame, and museums celebrating anything from pioneer life to the telephone. When you stop along the trail, look carefully for old wagon train ruts embedded in the soil." Bicycling noted that Abilene boasts "an authentic cowtown complete with an oldtime hotel and saloon." But a caveat: Kansas can be windy. Bicycling warns that Kansas has heavy winds and recommends fall as the best time to take a bicycle tour.
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