Candle and Books (EKIS)

Behind the Scenes . . .

In the Early Kansas Imprint Scanners (EKIS) workshop, volunteers use scanners to make electronic copies of materials such as books and photographs, proof any text, and then add web designs to include these works in the Kansas Collection. Here's a look at what the volunteers are up to, behind the scenes:

       Notes from around EKIS:   Cutler's History
         of the State of Kansas,"Orphan Trains," the
         Andreas History of the State of Nebraska,
         and the KanColl Interactive Reading List

       Volunteer Spotlight:   Meet Kathleen Roper

Notes from around EKIS

Volunteers are very active in working on Cutler's History of the State of Kansas, including the Baxter Springs Middle School students, who have now completed Montgomery county....The Andreas History of the State of Nebraska project has been moving along quickly: nearly half the county chapters have been completed, along with a good bit of the state history chapters. This EKIS project, coordinated by Connie Snyder, was recently included in a companion brochure for the PBS presentation of "Ancestors"; the brochure identifed a number of Internet resources for genealogists in Nebraska....Connie Dipasquale continues to hear from many people who are finding the "Orphan Trains of Kansas" gallery helpful. She's been assisting schoolchildren who are doing National History Day projects/reports on the Orphan Trains; one young lady sent Connie a videotape of her oral report on Orphan Trains. She had dressed up (assuming the role of the placing agent that happened to be the same one who accompanied Connie's grandmother to Kansas) and proceeded to give an excellent report on the whys and wherefores of this movement. She won her category in her first competition and will be competing in her second competition sometime this month (we wish her well!). Adults have also contacted Connie about their searches for information about family members who were Orphan Train riders....EKIS developed an Interactive Reading List in KanColl to support the Fort Hays State University conference, "Home on the Range." Held 11-12 April 1997, the conference explores a variety of topics in Kansas history, and the Reading List provides a list of the KanColl works related to these topics.

Volunteer Spotlight:   Meet Kathleen Roper

In August 1995, Kathleen wrote to EKIS and said she had just retired, and asked if she could volunteer to help. Since then, Kathleen has completed the transcription of Went to Kansas by Miriam Colt (with Jack Coffee), creating the web design for the book, and is nearly finished with transcribing the Wyandotte county chapter of Cutler's History of the State of Kansas. In between she fit in teaching, visits to family out West, typing dissertations, developing a unique project for the State of Kansas which has national application -- well, you get the idea. Kathleen has enough energy to power Kansas City!

We are very pleased to introduce you to a most remarkable person, Kathleen Roper, who writes:

     "I'm made up of many people -- there's Kimmie, the child in me, and Kim, the wife and mother. There is also Kathleen, the teacher, professional consultant and computer nerd-ess, and the sometime unapproachable Mrs. Roper too!

     "It was a dark and stormy night when I made my entrance into the world. On New Year's Day 60 years ago, my mother and I accompanied my daddy and grammie, on foot (well, three of us were afoot) through four-foot snow drifts to a tiny hospital in Williams, AZ, way up in the mountains of Northern Arizona.

     "I had a wonderful childhood with a brother 10 months younger and a sister 15 years younger. My brother Pat and I were really big frogs in a little pond of 100 students in High School where our daddy was the principal and our mother stayed home and did all the wonderful things moms did in the 50's. My volunteerism comes from Mother, however. At age 85, she has just passed the 10,000 hour mark of volunteering at Recording for the Blind and Dyslexic in Phoenix, AZ. The summer before my senior year--right after I got back from Girls State--I met Lester V. 'Sam' Roper, Jr., the new barber in town. Two and a half years later (40 years ago New Year's Day), I quit college and married Sam the day before my 20th birthday and moved away to Kansas. This was accompanied by dire threats from everyone except my parents that I had thrown away my life and would never amount to anything.

     "Two children later, Sam started college for the first time--being the first person in his family to do so--and I went back to college. At age 30, Sam discovered he could write and we both graduated in 1966, I with a degree in Business Education and he with a degree in Journalism. Sam subsequently published a dozen books--including four Regency Romances under the name of Samantha Lester and several suspense novels, as well. In order to have time to write, Sam became the house spouse and raised the children; was the Girl Scout leader, the Cub Scout father, room father, and birthday cake baker; and all-round great dad. Both children--unbeknownst to the other--sent him a Mother's Day card one year.

     "'Kathleen' emerged, got her Master's degree in Business Education, and started teaching at a Vocational-Technical school in Southeast KS. Twenty-one years later after being named Master Vocational Educator of Kansas and Region V of the American Vocational Association, I moved on to the world of employment and training. I worked full-time for eight years and currently work six days a month as the Planner/Coordinator for the Southeast Kansas Private Industry Council and have started a consulting business. And what did Dad do after the children left home and the dogs died? He ran for and was elected to the KS State Legislature where he served five terms. This is where Mrs. Roper made her first appearance! People flock to the Roper's kitchen to seek wisdom from their political idol. They go through three pots of coffee a morning and a keg of beer every ten days. "Mrs. Roper" sails through from time to time and actually scares some of the hangers-on-ers. To many of these people, the couple is known as Sam and Mrs. Roper. Mrs. Roper doesn't correct them!

     "I've been involved with microcomputers since 1980 when I wrote a grant to lease a Model I TRS 80 computer which had just been upgraded to use a floppy disk in addition to the cassette recorder and had also been upgraded to 32K of memory. I talked Sam into purchasing a Model II that had twice as much memory--64K--and 8" floppies. We then purchased a daisy-wheel printer and one of the first hard drives with a magnificent 8 megs of memory.

     "As the years have passed, some of us have moved forward, others have not. Sam is still using the Trash 80 Model II, although he is on his second daisy-wheel printer, and he does have a spare Model II upstairs just in case. I, Kathleen, on the other hand kept upgrading and upgrading. A grant in the mid-80's brought a scanner into the picture with two PC's--one for school and one for home. Later upgrades included the 486 with 120 megs of memory, then a Pentium and 1.2 gigs of memory and a laser printer. Within the month, the Pentium will go to my son and Mom will get an MMX with 32 of ram and a whole bunch of hard drive.

     "And this brings me to my EKIS involvement. I was having problems with my brand new color scanner and I searched the net for 'scanner.' This of course brought up Early Kansas Image Scanners which led me to the wonderful Susan Stafford and here I am. This is a public thank you to Susan who was my guiding start throughout the transcription of Went to Kansas by Mrs. Miriam Colt. I had read a 'Dummies' book and a 'Learning Everything You Never Wanted to Know in Seven Days' book, but Susan is my reference to all that is wonderful about HTML.

     "I have come to know Mrs. Colt of Went to Kansas intimately--that happens when you spend all those midnight hours with a soul. She doesn't mention until the last two chapters that she was a sickly child who was unable to attend school on any kind of regular basis. As a self-taught young woman, she managed to pass the teacher's test and became a teacher until she met a another young teacher with a dream--which often seemed like a nightmare as they Went to Kansas. Be sure to bring your hanky and check it out.

     "So, thanks for the opportunity to become one of your volunteers. Next up is the Cutler's History of the State of Kansas--Wyandotte County. John Matthews has kindly started posting it in 'Parts.' You'll find it at the Cutler's County Index page--go to the bottom of the page and click on Wyandotte.

     "Susan asked me to give a run-down on a typical week in the life of a retired person.

     "Monday we have the kick-off meeting of all the area employment and training agencies up at Ft. Scott. We are getting ready to open a One-Stop Shop at the local community college for anyone needing a job. It will include indepth vocational assessment, job search and retention work shops, and workforce basic skills training. It's so exciting! Then I go to Topeka for three days. I'm being allowed to pilot a nation-wide common intake software concept for all employment and training agencies in Kansas to be used at the One-Stop Shop. When I get back from there, I'm running a real neat assessment workshop sponsored by the Department of Labor's Women's Bureau and our little SEK Education Resource Consortium.

     "Suffice to say, that isn't a typical week. This week, I'm finalizing the dissertations for a husband-and-wife team who are each defending in two weeks.

     "Happy electronic reading --"

                Mrs. Kathleen Kimmie/Kim Roper

Anyone who knows Kim Kathleen Mrs. Roper knows better than to argue with her , so when she insisted on including a thanks to me for helping her with the Colt book, I could not dissuade her (even though I did try!). However, I would like to add that EKIS is an excellent way to learn web design, because we all help each other and we have live projects to work on. If you would like to "join up," you can find more information at the EKIS website. ---The Editor.

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