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Stoskopf Diaries

August 31, 1997

Dean took a hay trailer to church this morning. The Methodist Women sponsor a Labor Day flea market in the city auditorium and the men hauled all the church's tables and fans down there after church. They have to haul them all back late tomorrow afternoon, too.

This evening, the 4-H club used our machine shed to build the club's float for tomorrow's Labor Day Parade. Once we got going, it really went pretty quickly. The theme is '57 Years of Blue Ribbon Fun' since the Eureka Homesteaders 4-H Club is 57 years old this year. Current 4-H members are going to ride, as well as parents, grandparents, and others who are 4-H alumni. Dean's brother Lawrence is going to ride with Wayne to represent the Stoskopfs. Dean's dad joined 4-H 70 years ago! We have one member whose great-grandfather was a 4-H member. Several have grandparents who were 4-H members, some of whom are going to ride on the float tomorrow.

September 1, 1997

Labor Day is here!! The float judging started at 8:15 this morning. The 4-H float is basically paper and fabric stapled onto boards on one of our hay trailers. One of the 4-H fathers came to hitch up the trailer to his pickup about 7:30. It's only 2 miles to town but the float has to be driven very slowly. Once the float is parked for the judging, we added the finishing touches - mostly paper ribbons that would have blown off on the way to town.

Dean helped put the finishing touches on the 4-H float before he headed across town to help cook for the Mason's annual ham dinner. I stayed with the 4-H float - which won First Place in the 4-H float division - until almost parade time and then headed off to meet the rest of the Stoskopf's down on the parade route. Dean met me there and Julie & Wayne & Lawrence walked back there after they had finished the parade. Julie didn't ride the 4-H float this year as she was marching with the Middle School band. The 7th and 8th grades had only marched together once before today's parade and they looked pretty good.

The 4-H float looked really good! I counted 7 grandparents riding on the float, along with the retired 4-H agent from our county, parents, kids, etc. The governor of Kansas was in the parade, as well as one U.S. Senator from Kansas, the Congressman from our district, local representatives, state officials, and lots, lots more. This was the 101st parade and it was bigger than ever. Many of the Hoisington High School alumni class reunions were held during Labor Day weekend and all the different anniversary classes rode floats in the parade, too. Dean got soaked with a water balloon thrown from one of the alumni floats. Some of the alumni had so much fun; they came back through a second time at the end of the parade!!

After dinner at the Masonic Lodge, a walk through the flea market, and a peak at the antique car show down on Main Street, the kids and I headed home for a break. Dean had about an hour between cleaning up from the Mason's ham dinner and heading down to the flea market to haul all the tables back to the church. As we usually do, we headed back downtown to eat supper along Main Street and watch the kids ride carnival rides. It's usually a little cooler and not quite so crowded in the early evening. It's a chance to catch up from the weekend's activities and visit with friends but, with school tomorrow, we didn't stay too late.

September 2, 1997

We're still worn out from the weekend! Wayne had his first piano lesson for this year after school tonight. Turns out, he was the first lesson for the teacher this fall!

We need to run up to the shelterbelt and pick some hedgeapples. The crickets are really bad this year. For some reason, putting hedgeapples in the garage, basement, etc. helps control the crickets. Hedgeapples are the fruit of the Osage Orange tree, commonly called hedge in Kansas. Miles and miles of these trees were planted in shelterbelts to help control wind and soil erosion. Hedgeapples are bright green and look a little like cauliflower. Sometimes they ooze a sticky juice so we have to watch where we put them inside the house.

September 3, 1997

Dean and Wayne both went to the Kid's Ag Day sponsored by the Great Bend Chamber of Commerce. Dean was helping and Wayne was one of the more than 400 4th Graders learning about agriculture. Organized to run like clockwork, all the Barton County 4th Graders took turns riding on hay trailers around a farm listening to 10 minute presentations. The kids also got to watch presentations on llamas, wheat and bread-making, and snakes and other zoo animals. They also got weighed (by classes) on the big livestock scales and had time to check out a sample Horticulture Judging Contest.

Dean's job was to ride on one of the hay trailers and to answer any questions. He rode with 3 different groups, including Wayne's class. He said the kids were most surprised by the fact that the tractor they were shown had 9 different computers in it. Wayne was amazed that the llamas were allowed into the man's house and were supposedly house-broken. Even the kids who live on farms learned something about agriculture today.

The guys are putting in long hours. The pump on our fertilizer applicator broke. Rather than take the time to tear it apart and repair it, they've borrowed an applicator for the liquid phosphorus from the local grain elevator and are trying to get as much done as possible. They're swathing and baling hay, discing, applying fertilizer, and cultivating - each field needs something a little different to get it all ready for wheat planting the middle of this month.

September 4, 1997

Our Internet access provider is installing new equipment and the phone company messed up - installed a circuit backwards, etc. Until it was unavailable, we didn't realize how often we checked the e-mail or relied on it to get information back and forth. Hopefully, it will all be up and going tomorrow!

Julie's been so busy that she only allowed herself time to bake one angel food cake for the state fair. Unfortunately, it didn't work - fell out of the pan when we inverted it. Oh well, she can try again next year and her vest will be entered at the state fair this year, as well as our 4-H club's banner.

September 5, 1997

We finally gave in and installed a second telephone line for the computer today. It only took us 8 months to decide it was necessary.

Julie was gone all day to a cheerleading clinic at Russell. Safety was really emphasized and the girls got lots of ideas for pep rallies, new cheers, etc. She's really excited about finally getting to cheer - maybe next week.

September 6, 1997

Another hot day in Kansas. The middle school marching band marched in downtown Hutchinson and on the state fairgrounds this morning. The band earned I ratings both times. We're headed to the fair as a family tomorrow so this was Julie's day at the state fair to ride rides and hang out with her friends. She saw several of her friends from the Hays band camp. She was really excited about seeing kids from the different bands and schools from across the state.