Monday, September 28, 2009

Fall Fest 2009

Funnel Cakes, turkey legs, shaved ice, chili pies, homemade ice cream and kettle corn, these are just a few of my favorite Fall Fest things! Thousands of people lined the street to cheer on over 70 parade entries. One of my favorite was the Cloud County Community College Cheer Squad. How do those boys carry those girls so far? WOW!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Saving My Favorite Seat At Concordia's Auction House

While Kearn Auction House has only been open since 2007, the custom of saving one’s favorite seat at a Concordia auction house has been in practice for as long as some of us remember.

In 1962 Clifford Sallman opened the Sallman Auction House. Folks would gather each week to chat, savor Grandma Curry’s famous homemade pie and bid on the treasures of others. Soon Sallman’s was as popular as the local cafĂ©. Back in those days each number was printed on a wooden paddle. It wasn’t long before certain numbers were always missing from the stack as the “regulars” latched on to their favorite “lucky” number. Prior to each auction, paddles began to show up on certain chairs as a way of “saving” that bidders favorite seat.

I still remember my first time at the Sallman Auction House. The place was packed except for a couple of seats at the back. One seat had a paddle on it. I was a rather shy teenager and it took me awhile to work up the nerve to edge over to the seat. I reached down to move the paddle over so I could sit down and nearly jumped out of my skin when a deep voice behind me said, “I wouldn’t do that if I were you, that seat is saved”.

As a young boy Danny Kearn would go to the auctions with his family which began his lifelong love affair with auctions. As a young man he loved the auctions so much he began to help set up for each auction at Sallman’s. Around 1978, Sallman retired and his daughter and son-in-law took over the weekly auctions. They ran the auction house until their retirement in 1992.

For years Danny hoped someone would re-open the auction house. Finally, in 2007 he and his family scraped up enough money to purchase the building at 220 W. 5th, Concordia. Just two weeks after finalizing the purchase of the building, on May 19, 2007 Kearn Auction House opened.

Today the wooden paddles have been replaced with paper cards. However, the same twenty or so numbers are signed up for permanently. Just a few short weeks after Kearn’s opened, while wandering in to check out the merchandise to be sold, I noticed pillows marking certain seats in the first two rows on each side of the aisles. Danny laughingly nodded his head. Just like when we were kids, the regulars are marking their favorite seats. Just try to move one of those pillows and they will set you straight. “That seat is SAVED”!

After a few remarks about the hard seats, Debbie added a few more pillows to seats. Not to be thwarted in their effort to “save the seat” a piece of tape with first names and nicknames began to show up on the back of the seats.

Saving your favorite seat at the local auction house has been a Concordia Custom for over 40 years.

Brewing a great cup of joe at the Blacksmith Coffee Roastery!

A couple of weeks ago the girls & I were attending a meeting in Lindsborg, Kansas. On this particular day we had closed up shop a bit early so that we could take in a few of the "Little Sweden" sites. As we strolled down Main Street the air became heavy with the rich aroma of fresh ground coffee. Following the wafting air with our noses we soon found ourselves standing in front of an old Blacksmith Shop. Monarch butterflies were fluttering about on the front deck playfully pointing the way to the door as if to say "come on in". Unable to resist we followed along. Open rafters, brick walls, old barn wood and brick floors transported us back to by-gone days, but then the wonderful smell of fresh brewed coffee overtook us like a drug and we each eagerly reached for a mug. Unable to choose between Swedish Morka and Guatemala Antigua I had to have one of each. Mark and Nancy Galloway, owners of Blacksmith Coffee Roastery were gracious hosts.
While we sat and sipped the delicious brew Mark educated us on his 100% organic, artisan forged, exquisite coffee.
I still have trouble deciding each morning between Swedish Morka, Espresso, and Guatemala Antigua, but I no longer have to drive to Lindsborg to purchase more. Our very own Rod's Food Store in Concordia is selling all my favorite roasts. Next time you are out exploring Kansas make sure you stop by the Blacksmith Coffee Roastery in Lindsborg. Mark always has the coffee on!