A gentle reminder ...

The goal of this blog initially was for Mr. Mc to show his students and friends what he doing while in Pennsylvania and DC in 2011. Now it's being used as a place for him, travelling colleagues and former students to discuss edumacation and history related "stuff" as well as ... well, anything which pops into his head. Mr. Mc would never knowingly embarrass either the school he loves or the family he is devoted to. By joining in the discussion, he expects the same of you.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

I would not exchange my home on the range... (the discourse)

If you read the previous post, you'll know I am waxing eloquent on my home state.

Kansas has been a favorite punching bag of late. Yes, we have business leaders and politicians who behave in a manner that sometimes confound us. Yes, we seem to have a different mindset and priorities than those states who don't get flown over. We get labeled as flat and red and jingoistic.

  • To be fair, Kansas is actually the sixth flattest state geographically. What makes it appear flat is Kansas' width. Kansas' elevation difference is about 3,300 feet. That is roughly the average elevation difference between the base of the Appalachian Mountain and its peaks. They just take 300 less miles to get that high.
  • In addition, regarding Kansas ia a Republican stronghold. In the 2012 election, nearly 40% of all Kansans voted Democratic. In addition to the 'in addition', half of the governors of Kansas since the mid-1950s have been Democrats. BTW-the last 25 years has seen the same percentage as well.
  • The jingoistic label is just as deceptive. Our per capita of jackasses is just about the same as the rest of the country. There are times that Kansas is an easy lightening rod for ridicule and there are times when someone from Kansas steps in it. But as often as not, what is missed is the great work Kansans do for their community and the country.
But I want to highlight why I am a proud Kansan. Today, both are artistic.

Last Wednesday, I went to see South Pacific in Wichita by Music Theater Wichita. MTW brings young actors from across the country and partners them with established Broadway talent in a reparatory setting for the summer. The company will perform five shows in roughly ten weeks. The organization is so respected, that almost all of the Disney shows on Broadway in the past ten years had their tryout at MTW. I need to admit that I am not a fan of South Pacific. I can give you reasons, the best of which is that Bloody Mary scares the hell out of me. What I found was a revelation. The show rests on the female lead and, all I can say is that, Erin Mackey is brilliant. Brilliant. I do need to acknowledge that a dear friend and someone I recently talked about in the blog is her commanding officer in the show. I'll watch Chuck Parker and another local actor, Tim Robu, in anything. I got a little choked up at the end, as the sailors and nurses prepare to leave the island they've called home for months and enter the battle in the South Pacific.

This video is from a few years ago...Lyle Lovett and the Kansas City Symphony
On Saturday, Maggie and I went into the Flint Hills to listen to the Kansas City Symphony perform in Symphony in the Flint Hills, an outdoor concert on a working cattle ranch. Some 7,000 people travelled 45 minutes to the ranch, parked and walked another 45 minutes to the concert site. Maggie and I ended up sitting facing away from the symphony, listening while we watched the landscape-and more than 25 hats fly away from their owners in a stiff Flint Hills wind. The organizers always have a cattle drive during part of the concert and this year the theme during the drive was the song used in the Beef. It's What's for Dinner commercial. "I'll take irony wrapped in symbolism for 500, Alex." The evening ended with everyone singing the state song, Home on the Range. I have gotten choked up singing the national anthem. I get choked up at things like the ending of South Pacific. I get choked up at a lot of stuff, but never at the state anthem.

Until Saturday.

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