Life on the ark
The first farmers market booth at the Great Bend Public Library parking lot was up Tuesday morning. I saw a sign advertising sand hill plum jelly.
That is something I’d never heard of before moving to central Kansas. According to the Kansas Forest Service, sand hill plums, also called Chickasaw plums, are the most common wild plum in western Kansas. Although they are native to most of the state, they are commonly found on sandy prairies. Sand hill plums are similar to American plums.
Another food once common to Kansas is the pawpaw. Anyone every tasted one? The Kansas Forest Service advises that the taste is a cross of banana, mango and pineapple. The fruit is rich in vitamins, but some people are allergic to it.
On to other topics. May 5 is Cinco de Mayo, although Great Bend’s big Cinco de Mayo celebration will be this Saturday — Seis (6) de Mayo, en español. Starting with a parade down Main Street at 11 a.m., the community is invited to a celebration of Mexican heritage in the courthouse square.
The fencing around the south side of the square has come down and this will be the first big event to utilize the expanded stage at the Clayton L. Moses Memorial Band Shell. It has officially been named the Thelma Faye Harms Stage, which is still part of the Clayton L. etc., shell. …
Which is part of Jack Kilby Square, a name that has somehow replaced Lafayette Park, the original name of the land surrounding the Barton County Courthouse. When one-time Great Bend resident Jack Kilby won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2000 and a statue was later erected in his honor, the area around that statue was going to be Jack Kilby Plaza. Somehow the name took over the whole block.
Now there is a group that would like to add another statue, one honoring Bill McKown. It is an idea worth considering, and if it’s approved we can worry about what to call it.
Another thing going on Friday and Saturday is the annual Great Bend High School Variety Show, at 7:30 both nights in the GBHS Auditorium. Schools throughout the area, including Barton Community College, are finishing the spring semester. There have been numerous art shows, concerts and demonstrations highlighting the culmination of the past year.
Commencement is just around the corner.
Susan Thacker is news editor of the Great Bend Tribune. Send email to email@example.com.