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What a weekend in county and beyond

Staff writer

This past weekend, I put in more weekend hours than I had since beginning work in Marion in August.

From Friday evening through 9 p.m. Sunday, when I finally called “uncle,” I worked a 40-hour work week.

Sadly, most of those 40 hours were spent on the phone.

Fortunately, I spent two hours at Fuzzy’s in Florence early Friday evening for this column. Oh, my word: Fuzzy’s is my type of place, and its customers my type of people, times infinity.

I enjoyed a delicious made-to-order cheeseburger with grilled onions and jalapeños, hand-cut fries, and two Bud Lights (only because Bud cans were $1 each, and no PBRs or Miller High Lifes were available). I bought a round for Brent and Robin Miles. My acquaintanceship (are we at the friendship stage yet? I don’t know — LOL) with them is proof that people with different political opinions can be civil — even sweet — to each other.

I talked to folks about the J.K. Williams homestead auction, which was Tuesday. A neighboring property owner speculated about how much it would sell for, and quite honestly, it was the talk of the place while I was there.

I met a rancher who had moved eight truckloads of cattle from Chase County to Morris County that day. I’d happened to wear my dusty Justin Roper steel-toed work boots, so that was a wise choice. Long story for later, but I spent time in Marion, Chase, Butler, Shawnee, Douglas, and Leavenworth counties on my way to my destination and then in Douglas, Osage, Morris, Chase, and Marion counties on my way back. I may be forgetting a county. I took only county and state highways on the way back, not the Kansas Turnpike or interstate.

It was a heck of a day.

Brandin’ Iron

Earlier Friday, I ate lunch at Brandin’ Iron, also in Florence. I ordered a waffle with honey roasted chicken because I hadn’t yet jumped on the chicken-and-waffle train.

I could have ordered fried chicken, but I’m trying to lose more weight. Service was good, and I liked that a device brought to my table allowed me to insert my card and spit out a receipt right there.

What I liked the most wasn’t on the menu.

A Bella Vista, Arkansas, man celebrated his 92nd birthday with a group at the table next to me.

He got a dessert with the new-style firecracker-type birthday candle. He was all smiles, and I talked to him and his family a bit.

I also ran into Mike Beneke, which is always a happy hoot.

Parlour 1886

The culinary highlight of my weekend was breakfast at Chef’s Plate at Parlour 1886, nestled inside the Historic Elgin Hotel.

I’ve written before about eating dinner there, so I won’t go into a ton of detail, but breakfast was amazing Saturday and next-level amazing Sunday.

I will add that I should have used an indoor voice while speaking Sunday to my husband and a source by phone. Lack of sleep made me loud and obnoxious, and I own that.

At Saturday breakfast, the atmosphere was much more relaxed. All guests gabbed it up, and we enjoyed each others’ company.

Chef’s Plate owner Kari Newell soon will open Kari’s Kitchen in former Zera Coffee across the street and offer expanded breakfast and lunch items.

For the record

I lived in Teton County, Wyoming, for three years in the ’90s, and spend a good bit of time in the Boothbay Harbor region of Maine, where my in-laws live and where my husband and I plan to retire.

So … for the record: Marion is the third-most beautiful county I’ve enjoyed working and living in during my 56 years.

Although my home remains in Wichita — my literal home and figurative home — I stay at Marion Reservoir once or twice a week most weeks unless the home I rent isn’t available.

I adore Marion County.

It’s flat-out gorgeous, and most of its people are my kind of people.

That’s been the case since August, and absolutely nothing about that has changed, even though I’m a stickler for state open meetings and open records laws.

Last modified May 3, 2023

 

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