The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas on October 13, 1996 · Page 48
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The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas · Page 48

Salina, Kansas
Issue Date:
Sunday, October 13, 1996
Page 48
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8 SUNDAY, OCTOBER 13, 1996 COMING HOME THE SALINA JOURNAL RURAL PROBLEMS It was nothing for me to drive my car 200 miles a day. We ended up buying a house in Colby." — CAROL SWEAT, on how her children's school activities added up on the odometer "YOU can call anybody you want in Salina and it's a local call. When we lived in southern Rawlins County, it was a long-distance call to call the neighbors and tell them the cows were out." — FRED GATLIN, state representative from Atwood rPl mm *wl %mt &&&£&^&m&Lj$zjjfa£ajjk!fa .-^kig^Sj^ Rural living has many advantages, but phone service and driving distances aren't two of them By LINDA MOWERY-DENNING The Salina Journal arol Sweat's grandpar- C ents left Thomas County in the early 1920s for the promised land of Wichita and bigger and better opportunities. Her grandfather, Ray Garvey, was raised in Phillips County and moved to Colby in 1915 after attending Washburn College in Topeka for five years and receiving a law degree. In the 13 years before his move to Wichita, Garvey managed to transform himself from a struggling young attorney who made $15 a month handling the city's legal business to the owner of a land company, an oil marketing company and other properties. By the early 1980s, the Garvey Empire was worth an estimated $500 million and included oil fields in North Dakota, cattle ranches in Kansas and Nevada, natural gas wells in Texas, timber land in Canada and a flour mill in Jamaica, according to research from the Thomas County Historical Society. Sweat's grandparents — Ray married Olive White of Topeka in 1916 — found their opportunity in Wichita. Over the decades, however, younger generations of Garveys have returned to northwest Kansas, mainly to escape the city life embraced by the elder Garveys. Sweat was raised in Fort Worth, Texas, and moved to a family- owned ranch following her marriage in 1983. Her children attended grade school in tiny Wallace, and Sweat is active in community projects in Wallace and Thomas counties. She calls herself a citizen of northwest Kansas because her ranch stands near the Wallace-Sherman County line and she travels the region for services. "It's special out here," Sweat said. "Wallace County has Wallace, Sharon Springs and Weskan, and each town has its own personality. Most of the people are an absolute joy." With the good comes the bad, and residents of rural Kansas pay a price for their relatively low crime rate, wide open spaces and sense of community. Sweat, the mother, became Sweat, the chauffeur, when her children started attending school in Colby, 45 miles from the ranch. "It was nothing for me to drive my car 200 miles a day," she said. "I just couldn't cope with the after-school activities. We ended up buying a house in Colby." The family now divides its time between town during the week and the ranch on weekends. Thirty miles north of Colby, in Atwood, state Rep. Fred Gatlin announced earlier this year that he would not file for re-election to the Legislature because he wanted to spend more time with his family and business. He has been a representative for a decade and much of his time has been spent on the road between Rawlins County and Topeka. Distance can be a major headache in rural Kansas. "Even telephone service is an issue," Gatlin said. "You can call anybody you want in Salina about anything you want to buy and it's a local call. When we lived in southern Rawlins County, it was a long distance call to call the neighbors and tell them the cows were out." Even more troublesome are trends Gatlin sees being repeated from Topeka to Atwood: Leadership is no longer bestowed as a reward for hard work and ability. In this age, an individual's well- being often has priority over the well- being of a community, and a business leader can care more about profits than town survival. "Ability and knowledge used to be power. Now they're not," Gatlin said. "We've devalued them. "I know when I pick up a publication at what level it's written and how much stock I can put in it. But how do you de- termine value on the Internet? It's the elevation of one person's idea whether or not they're substantial or substantiated." The sparse population of many rural areas also presents challenges in leadership and financing. People must come forth to head civic projects, and funding must be found for schools, health care and other essential services. The costs can add up. At one time, for instance, Rawlins County claimed the state's highest hospital mill levy. "If you live in a small community, how do you find enough people to be leaders of the Scout troop, the school board, the church, the hospital board?" Gatlin asked. "To complicate matters, many of the people who used to be pillars of the community aren't pillars of the community anymore. "The man who owned the bank and lived at the top of the hill sold the bank and now the person who manages the bank works for somebody who lives somewhere else and his obligation is to a company, not a community." Gatlin believes that "somehow or another we have to quit devouring each other" and work together — even when we don't agree with the other fellow. Sweat has similar thoughts. Earlier this year, she fought a losing battle to save the Wallace School, which houses students in grades one through eight in a modern-day version of the one-room schoolhouse. The issue was put on the August election ballot and, because Sharon Springs has the majority of the district's voters, the school was lost. Sweat lives 28 miles from Sharon Springs. Being in rural Kansas means domination at every turn. "You are at the mercy of the majority," Sweat said. "Our country was founded as a republic. It was not a democracy because the founders were concerned that the majority would tyrannize the minority. In a republic, the minority is protected." • Auto & Truck Repair • Farm Equipment Repair | • Snapper Mowers Sales & Service • Stihl Chain Saws Sales & Service (913)488-3762 Rt.1, Miles. KS WORLD WIDE WINDOWS, INC. MADE IN SAUNA VINYL WINDOWS Where windows are our business, not just a side line. FREE ESTIMATES \ 826-17O1 1-8OO-783-1711 736 N. 9th. Salina 'Rollover Custom Made to your specifications • Drill Covers, Gravity Boxes • Grain Trucks and Trailers "Ihermoflex Quality Industrial Fabric Products 913-827-7201 or 1-800-428-2237 888N.Ohio Salina Don't Forget To subscribe to the Salina Journal. It's your major source of information for weather, sports, entertainment, local news and lifestyles. Call Today! 823-6363 or 1-800-827-6363 fj|jS Salina Journal Upton / Town survives FROM PAGE 5 "My daughters had never played volleyball or basketball. They would have been lost in Chicago," he said. "My mom, my grandparents — their pictures hang on the wall at the high school. I just thought it would be a neat tradition if my kids could go there." There were adjustments to be made. Beloit, with its clothing stores and other attractions, is on the other side of the county. Salina, with its orthodontists, medical specialists and movie houses, is IVi hours away. But Vali, who has come to enjoy the quiet of the country, has resigned herself to the trips to Salina every other week and the other inconveniences that come with rural living. And the grocery, known for its Tipton sausage that is made from a homemade recipe that came with the sale, has done well. This year, the Smiths moved into a larger, remodeled building. "This is like a new grocery store," Vali said. "Before we were crammed and tight." Others also contribute to the activity on the town's main street. Kent Manufacturing, which .was started 38 years ago by Ken Hake's father, employs almost 50 workers in the manufacture of farm equipment. Ellenz of Tipton was established in 1968 by Dave Ellenz, who was born and raised here. The store, which sells carpet and other home decorating merchandise, draws customers from a dozen towns in north-central Kansas. Tipton's latest pride and joy is the new restaurant and club Francis and Lucille Becker opened several months ago to replace the town's former eatery. "It was an old building beyond repair," said Francis Becker, who designed the new restaurant himself. "We decided we were going to get out of the business or do it up right. We've been doing real well." Becker said life in Tipton is good — despite the fact that "sometimes my neighbors may know what's going to happen to me before I know — that's the bad part." "But good things come in little packages. I enjoy a small community. You'll find a lot of friendly, hard working people." Fred Smith said residents of Tipton stick together. Several years ago, when an eastern Kansas writer included the town on a list of dying towns, the chorus of objections could be heard for miles. To this day, residents think the writer confused Tipton with another community. "You can't find a parking space in this town in the mornings," Fred Smith said. "I think the main reason (for Tipton's success) is that everybody works together. We don't have the fights you hear about in other towns. You need a source of unity and our source of unity is the church and the school and from there we pull everybody else in." Fall Festival of Mattress •BBffiHHH| Sealy /m \M 1 1L JOHN DEERE Introducing the all-new c John Deere 8000 Series Tractors • Four all-new models: 160-hp 8100,180-hp 8200,200-hp 8300, and 225-hp 8400. • Revolutionary new CommandARM (armrest module) puts all major tractor functions in the palm of your hand. • Unprecedented visibility with 62 square feet of curved, tinted glass. • Tightest narrow-row MFWD turn radius for high-horsepower tractors. • All-new, ultra-efficient 16-speed Power Shift transmission. • New high-torque 8.1 L and 7.6 L engines with exclusive electronic engine control. 1 Over 15,000-pound optional hitch-lift capacity on two largest models; over 14,000- pound hitch-lift capacity available on two smaller models. • Exclusive TouchSet™ hydraulic-control panel lets you set rate and flow from your seat. • Exclusive John Deere Field Cruise™ engine control ensures uniform seeding, chemical incorporation, and seedbed making. HALTED V IMPLEMENT IV Located 2 miles south of Wal-Mart South 81 Highway 825-2141 Salina, KS 21ST CENTURY TECHNOLOGY TODAY I • Hurry' .SALE ENDS, ,10-31-96 EALY GIVES YOU MORE rFEATUREJ WITH SEALY POSTUREPEDIC & COMFORT SERIES SLEEP SYSTEMS MORE STYLE* Free Delivery Free Bedframe Free Set-Up H & Removal jtf PRIDE OF SEALY DELUXE $219 TWIN SET Reg. SALE FULL Set $399 $319 QUEEN Set $549 $374 KING Set $749 $599 SEALY POSTUREPEDIC MARLOWE $299 TWIN SET Reg. SALE FULL Set $599 $399 QUEEN Set $699 $474 KING Set $999 $769 SEALY POSTUREPEDIC AFFIRM $349 TWIN SET Reg. SALE FULL Set $649 $449 QUEEN Set $779 $544 KINO Set $1049 $829 SEALY POSTUREPEDIC EXQUISITE | $389 TWIN SET Reg. SALE FULL Set $729 $539 QUEEN Set $999 $514 KINQSet $1189 $999 SEALY SLEEP SYSTEMS FOR SUPPORT, DURABILITY, AND LONGER COMFORT LIFE. STORE HOURS: Mon.-Fri. 9:00-5:30 Sat. 9:00-5:00 Credit Terms Available or 90 'Home Furnishings With Style ttntl Price /i/j>j>t«/' J1LKA • Furniture • Carpet • Drapery Says Same As Cash 131 S. SANTA FE - DOWNTOWN SALINA - 132 S. FIFTH

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