Thursday, July 23, 2009

Just Another Typical Day in Osborne

Today was just another typical day. It started out with my portayal of an insomniac, up before 5Am, as today is the first day of the 63rd Annual Osborne County Fair, and so I began creating and printing brochures and flyers for my company's display in the "Butler Building," the local name for the commercial building in the fairgrounds as the east edge of Osborne. [Why "Butler Building?" That comes from the name of the company that built the pre-fab metal structure and is displayed prominently above the south entrance.] As co-owner of a small royalty publishing company, Ad Astra, the county fair is a wonderful chance for some local promotion. Say, if you're looking for a great gift, we certainly have a book or two you might be interested in at . . . .

(The preceding advertisement was brought to you by me. My partner will be pleased.)

Later in the morning I met Laura McClure and Joe Hubbard, proprietors of Osborne's Riverbend Bed & Breakfast, and after erecting my display helped them to but up the display for Osborne County Tourism. This year's OCT display features our brand-new county banner and county flag, small but significant strides in Osborne County's efforts toward expanding local tourism and promotion.

There are many symbols in the Osborne County Flag, as befits the first-rate design it is. The three colors, from top to bottom, stand for the three main North American countries - Canada, the United States, and Mexico. The three stars stand for both the three countries and for the Holy Trinity. The centerpiece is a recreation of the actual bronze disk that is the Geodetic Center of North America, unique to Osborne County and one of the reasons that Osborne County is referred to as "the Center of the Continent."

Here is a quick shot of the Ad Astra Publishing display. Easy to erect, easy to tear down. Sometimes less really is more.

Later in the afternoon I met up with Laura McClure again as we presented a program at the Parkview Manor rest home in Osborne. As you can see, there was quite a crowd waiting for us!

We first showed a video and then several photos as we told of how the nearby town of Natoma is credited with inventing in 1910 a true national sport - auto polo. Young daredevils of the time stripped down Model T's to their bare frames and with each car holding a driver and a ball handler actually drove on football fields trying to knock a small ball over the opposing team's goal line. We kid you not. Check out the photo below from 1913:

As you can imagine, the game was very exciting to watch but had more than its fair share of bruises and broken bones. This next photo from 1914 shows a goal being made:

Auto polo grew into a true national rage by the 1930s as teams from New York City, Chicago, and other large cities thrilled audiences everywhere. However, World War II and national gas rationing signaled the end of the sport.

We then ended the program with a photo presentation of what there is to see and do today across Osborne County.

After that Laura and I headed to the Carnegie Research Library in downtown Osborne to spend the rest of the afternoon working as volunteers in operating the library for the local Osborne County Genealogical & Historical Society. As you can see, there is now a permanent sign welcoming all members of the Kansas Explorers Club to the 1912 former Carnegie Library, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Stop by most afternoons as friendly folk will always be ready to help you with your questions and help you discover what there is to see and do in Osborne County.

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