Just for Fun!


(make no assumptions!)

1. On a cold winter night, you enter a room which contains only an oil lamp, a match, and a wood stove. Which do you light first?

2. Your doctor gives you three pills and tells you to take them every half hour. How long will they last?

3. Can a man marry his widow's sister?

4. Divide 30 by 1/2. Then add 10. What is this sum?

5. There are three apples in a box. You take away two. What do you have?


Games We Used To Play

Grandmother's Trunk

The first player begins, "My grandmother has a trunk in her attic and in that trunk is a . . . " Then the player names something that begins with A, such as Abyssinian. The next player says, "My grandmother has a trunk in her attic and in that trunk is an Abyssinian and a . . . " and names something that begins with B, such as breadbox. Each player must repeat the entire list so far and then add something that begins with the next letter of the alphabet. First one all the way through the alphabet wins! This is, for some reason, a great hit with younger children (who are amazed at what all Grandmother can pack into her trunk); older players can increase the degree of difficulty by limiting answers to a specific category.


The steps outside a building (such as a schoolhouse) are established as a "free base" (or home base, where you're safe). One player is selected to be "It." Another player tries to run around the building and arrive back at the free base before being tagged by the "It" person. The person who told us about Bear added with a shrug, "There weren't any points or anything . . . it was just something to do." But then he remembered that some children who played did keep track of how many times were able to run around the building without being tagged.


Players split up into two teams. Each team goes to opposite sides of a building (must have a peaked roof). One team throws a ball over the roof to the other team, who must catch it. If the other team can catch the ball before it hits the ground, they run around the building and tag the other team. The person who told us about this old game said tagging the throwing team was a little like the Indians "counting coup" and that it was done strictly on the honor system, since the throwing team couldn't see the catch on the other side. So the first team would throw the ball over the roof, waiting for it to come flying back -- and all of a sudden, without warning, the other team would be swarming around the building to reach and tag them! (Makes Grandmother's Trunk sound pretty tame . . . !)

Kansas Trivia

The Internet mailing list has been playing trivia. The members are unusually sharp and typically get the answers right away. Can you do as well?

1. The seventh game of the World Series this year went eleven innings. The only one that went longer was in 1924 (twelve innings). The pitcher of the 1924 winning team was from Kansas, and has been called the greatest pitcher in baseball history. Can you name this player, give his nickname, and tell us where he was born in Kansas?

2. This famous American was commemorated by a $.03 postage stamp in the late 1940s. He attended school, was a member of the Presbyterian Church and its choir, and later operated a laundry in Minneapolis, Ottawa County, Kansas. Name this famous American.


3. The mobile home didn't originate in the 20th Century. When new townsites were surveyed and plotted, the promoters commonly offered a free lot to the first house in the new "city." The first house in my home town of Hutchinson was built by A.F. Horner, but not in Hutchinson. The same structure had previously won lots in three other towns before being sledged across the plains to its next location. Can anybody name one of the three previous towns?

4. When Coronado assembled his group to explore America there was a clergyman in the group. Part of that visit brought them to Kansas. After returning home the clergyman requested permission to return to work among the Kivira (Kansas) Indians. While in Kansas his group was set upon by murderous Indians and all of them escaped except for the priest who stayed behind and thereby aided their getaway. However he was murdered.

Who is this -- the first Christian martyr on Kansas soil -- and can you name one of the three locations where this is a monument erected in his memory?

5. Judy Garland starred in two movies with "Kansas ties".....name the "other" one.


Background: When a Kansas high school sophomore once glanced at his classmate named Sarah, there may have been strong chemistry in that classroom regardless of any subject matter being taught. Such interactive physiognomy would eventually lead to something of special significance.

While the teenage girl dreamed of a career on the stage (theater -- not a horse-drawn carriage), we cannot be sure what the observant student named Frank envisioned for the future. Born right there in Arkansas City, Sarah later assumed a stage name but never quite succeeded in show business after studying her craft in Kansas City.

A dozen years later, Frank and Sarah sure enough tied the old matrimonial knot, and then they retailed paintings and such in order to sustain their new household. (Art was framed.)

The first offspring of Frank and Sarah (aka: Francis and Sara) was a boy named Howard. And later their new baby daughter (named for her maternal grandmother) spent a happy first Christmas with adoring relatives (two sets of grandparents) in Arkansas City. This daughter would also try becoming the Thespian her mother had aspired to be, and later she was widowed with children before marrying a successful lawyer.

Question: Can you also identify that cute little baby girl who first saw Yuletide bright lights and glitter during an Arkansas City, KS, Christmas?


7. A rodeo clown/animal trainer from southwest Kansas became nationally known in the late '50s, early '60s for successfully training an American Bison. This person and the bison appeared in the Saga of Andy Burnett, the Buffalo Hunter. A TV Guide in 1961 had a two-page color photo of Charlie Wooster, the cook of Wagon Train, riding the bison. The trainer and bison rode an elevator (causing quite a stir) at the Salt Lake City Tribune office. They participated in a three-way race between the bison, a mule and a horse at Denver's Centennial Turf Club which was photographed and published in Life magazine, and participated in the Inauguration Parade of President John F. Kennedy in January, 1961, where they were called back to the viewing stand by Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson until security officials rushed them on. The trainer himself appeared in Marilyn Monroe's Bus Stop and Desert Sands.

Name the trainer and his trusty steed. (The bison had a stage name, and either his original or stage name is acceptable.)

8. According to at least some of his biographers, Billy the Kid was afraid of only one man. That man, a sometime member of Billy's gang, was a Kansan who left his home in Greenwood County to trail cattle west into Colorado in the early 1870s, then became involved in a train robbery between Kinsley and Dodge City before going on down into New Mexico. He met his end either by being beheaded in Old Mexico, where he was hiding out from U.S. authorities, after cheating in a game of cards (version number 1) or (version number 2) left Mexico with a herd of cattle to the northwest country where he later died an alcoholic in Oregon. Who was he?

10. It seems that Kansas is blessed with many interesting newspaper editors. This one once said that "Kansans have the box seats of the world's theater and can always see the figures, issues, events, causes, and cataclysms waiting in the wings for the cue from fate. For things start in Kansas that finish in history." Name that editor.


A Voices Puzzle

The illustrations on this issue's front cover all come from materials in KanColl. Can you identify the pages where they are found?


1. Kitchen [Oyster Stew]

2. Bells [On Earth Peace . . .]

3. Landscape [The Surveyor's Trade]

4. Sunflower [The Wheat Dreamer]

5. Laughing girl [Just for Fun!]


Voices 'Contents'


Trivia Question #2: The gentleman was an artist, educator, humanitarian and scientist. Among other things, he developed the most popular lunch food of the 1990s and the crop-rotatation methods for conserving nutrients in the soil.

Go back up

Trivia Question #6: This question was sent by Dick Taylor, who notes, "I pre-tested this trivia on my sister in Topeka: Had she heard of this notable woman who spent her first Christmas in Arkansas City, KS? Sis replied, 'Oh sure, I know her name about as well as I know my own.' The question is just that easy, and the answer is not hard to find.)"

Go back up

Voices Puzzle: Try looking in Jude Glad's Holiday Postcards and "The More Things Change . . ." Postcards from Jude Glad.

Go back up