Column published in Smith County Pioneer – November 13, 2014

By El Dean Holthus

News is scarce as we all continue to unwind after our big week-end and don’t feel it is news to write about what is happening at everyone’s else’s location.

We continue to have a regular number of visitors each day of the week; individuals have asked, “Why don’t you print more quotes from your registration book”? I have printed some but again if it is nothing new it is not news. What we do have, and think the locals appreciate, is the awe and respect we observe on the faces of visitors without their speaking word. Most readers are aware that we have interior and exterior security cameras provided by NexTech that record visitor activity in and around the Cabin; it is available on our home computers for Gerald, Mark McClain and I to observe 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. It is a delight to observe visitors of all ages as they walk in the door and to a person are quiet, look at the re-building photos, check the loft, feel the rope cot, look in the trunk and admire the furnishing. People who visit our site are special in that they are students of history and show respect for the work at the Site by so many people. All of you who have been apart of the Site through your labor, donated materials and cash can rightly say, “I am a part owner, this is my Cabin and I am proud to have helped to save it”.

Thursday I was in Osborne at the Parkview Care Center to share the story of our re-dedication. Kristen, the activities Director, is a big fan of Home on the Range having made a scrap book of pictures and articles for the residents to enjoy. She attended our Saturday events during the re-dedication week-end. I am always delighted to have the opportunity to visit with Bud Nech, originally from Kensington, who flew bombing raids in B-24’s in the Italian Theater during WW II and wound up serving timeas a prisoner of War. He introduced me to a friend of his, also a resident who had served in the China/Burma Theater caring for mules, sent from France, used by Allied Forces in the mountains of Burma; he shared of the mules taking supplies up the mountains and carrying body bags on their return.

I want to again remind all my readers, regardless of your age, if you know anyone older than 80 years thank them for their part fighting in or supporting our War efforts during WW II. Tom Brokaw called them the “GREATEST GENERATION” and I would add, “If not for their efforts we would be speaking German or Japanese.”

Kathy and I had the privilege to represent Home on the Range in the Kensington Veterans Day Parade. This is a great program requiring a large amount of money and 100’s of hours of work for the purpose of maintaining the Armistice Day Tradition and honoring all military of all Wars whether retired or on active duty. Ruth Bienhoff detailed some of the history last week.

We urge and invite you to visit the HOR Site, walk the Nature Trail where you might learn something about someone you have known all your life and never knew they had a relationship to Home on the Range. It is worth a trip to see beauty and simplicity of the furniture made by Gerald complimented by the new stove donated by Orscheln, Inc.

If you are bringing a group give me a call; 785-695-2347 and I will see if we can set up a tour.