2014.05.26 MondayToday was moving day, though it was Decoration Day for many. I am now writing from Riverbend B+B, just east of Osborne, Kansas.
Then it was on to Cawker City, home of the largest SISAL twine ball in the world. Two of my second cousins raised families here, and I quizzed several locals until I found the house of Ernie Kohn at 920 Lake Drive and the now-empty corner lot for Ves Kohn at 129 Locust or 108 Second Street.
Then it was on down the road to Downs and a shock of recognition. U.S. Highway 24 skirts the north edge of Downs, and it is easy to bypass the town on the way from Beloit to Osborne. Because Riverbend is a few miles to the east of Osborne, I decided to take the county route 181 south from town to shave a few minutes off the drive. As I neared the downtown that 181 passes through, I began to recognize buildings that I had always associated with Osborne—mistakenly so! There was the State Bank of Downs just south of the railroad tracks; there was Voss Motors (though the name had changed); there was the beauty parlor that mom went to for her monthly "do." When I visited Osborne, Kansas in 2001 for research, I had remarked that all my old landmarks were gone, that the town really looked different from my memory. Now I realized that all my old landmarks had been of Downs, and not Osborne. Memory mixes with reality: mistaken assumptions help us create a remembered "reality" that is not the same as the real world.
My expectation of shortening the drive was thwarted by bridge construction on 181 just outside the south edge of Downs. So I retraced my path through downtown and continued on U.S. 24 to Downs.
|Fronnie Slothower, 2014|
|Slothower family, 2014|