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Leaving the place better than we found it
Seeing with my eyes closed
Thomas Jefferson on gun control
How to lie convincingly
You are on this page
Breaking the cycle
How to catch the sun's comings and goings
Thoughts from the inside
Leveraging the internet to build our walls
Twitters from the past
And the invincibility of youth
Without ego projection
Yet another gift of the road
The charming side of obstinance
The creative part of photography
A movie critic looks in the mirror
We are not alone
As part of the system
Mastering your master
The end of Kumbaya
The wanderer's poet
Running out of dirt
Striking a balance
The Bay of Fundy, where the sea breathes
How to photograph them with anything, even your cellphone
A simple question we get every day
We may be failing to fail
And why no one should hesitate to examine them
Becoming a hero in one's own life story
A writing assignment
A new discovery of something old
Finding new eyes to see old landscapes
Hick humor
Toys for photographing wild places
Experiencing life with God
A radical thought about our radicals
Redemption with style
Hidden heroes among us
Resetting our parallel processor
A village with heart
A lesson from the road
The bullet dodged
A soul sparkles
Isolation in style
Painless ways to lose your virginity : 11/12/15
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Resilience
Our hardy heartland
12/09/16

Back when only Indians roamed the area, a half-ton pallasite meteorite, one of the world's largest, targeted what was to be the community of Greensburg, Kansas.

After the pioneers of Greensburg, Kansas settled into farming, they were hit by an unprecedented drought. Wells dried up as the water table shrank ever lower. In 1887, the folks of Greensburg got together and dug what is even today the largest hand-dug water well in the country. It even made the National Register of Historic Places.

Greensburg flourished for many generations until May 4th, 2007 when Mother Nature got into another foul mood. One of the most potent EF5 Class tornadoes ever recorded killed a dozen townsfolk and demolished 95% of Greensburg.

What it didn't destroy was the determination and resilience of the people of Greensburg. I heard stories of survival, of a community coming together to rebuild. They poked out of their basements, gave thanks for the friends they could still hug, and simply started over.

The descendants of the well diggers cast their eyes skyward and felt the wind in their faces. Instead of shuddering in fear, they set about building a 12.5 megawatt wind farm. Large enough to power every home, business, and municipal building in Greensburg, it sends its leftovers to the rest of Kansas.

I spent a day working with a Greensburg farmer, happily packing away a bumper crop of milo, which I think is a type of soybean. Our conversation drifted to the internet stories I've read about the waning greatness of America, of how one problem or another spells our demise, how the time has come to leave the sinking ship.

Behind a piano-keyboard smile, I heard his compact response, "Nonsense."

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Amber waves of grain

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The giant well of Greensburg

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Greensburg unbeaten

For more pictures of Kansas, click here.


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