A couple of weeks ago, I wrote a feature story about Beverly Dillon who enjoys working for her daughter and son-in-law, Ginger and Mark Whitney, creating window displays for their hardware store downtown. She usually comes up with some pretty clever arrangements. Whenever I park in front of Peabody Hardware and Lumber and there is a new exhibit in the window, I enjoy looking over her latest effort.
This past week I parked there to run into the drugstore and get a prescription filled. I noticed a new display and went closer to see what she had done. The windows feature maps and symbols of Kansas celebrating Jan. 29 — Kansas Day. Along the bottom of the north picture window are pages about famous Kansans — each with a pen and ink sketch of the individual and a brief biography.
You should take a moment to check this out. If you have children, you should definitely check it out and take them with you! Mrs. Dillon has arranged biographies of a diverse array of individuals celebrated by our state. I expect most of them had humble beginnings just like those of us who call Peabody home. There is a bit of inspiration here for any child.
Glenn Cunningham, Emmett Kelly, Lynette Woodard, Fred Harvey, Martin and Osa Johnson, Charles Curtis, Hattie McDaniel, Birger Sandzen, Nancy Kassebaum, and Dwight Eisenhower are just a few of the individuals highlighted. It is a nice collection of notable people with Kansas roots. I expect none of them decided they would just go off and become famous. Instead, I expect all of them pursued a career, decided to strive to be the best, and fame just followed.
How many Birger Sandzens or Hattie McDaniels might there be in a community like ours?
Monday night, I attended an awards ceremony at the Brown Building honoring 124 Peabody and Burns students who were recognized by the Kansas Department of Education for exceeding state standards or for making exemplary progress in math, reading, and science assessment tests. Those 124 students (almost half of our student population) brought home 192 awards!
My guess is that just about any of them could eventually be a page in the display in Beverly Dillon’s window. Maybe between now and Kansas Day, someone will encourage each of our students to soak up the inspiration in those brief biographies of successful Kansans. Who knows where that might lead?
— Susan Marshall