Archive for Wednesday, April 26, 2000

Where and when would you go?

April 26, 2000

A friend asked me the other day if I could travel in a time machine back to any of the historical events of the world, where and "when" would I go.

I knew immediately what my answer was more about that later.

Then, I started thinking what would other people want to do?

I must admit, at first I felt a little silly asking such a question. But the wide variety of responses tells that, indeed, people do think about time traveling.

For example, Bill New, president of First State Bank and Trust, said, "I've thought about that so many times and I've thought that would be super interesting."

The hardest part, he said, would be to narrow the destination to a specific time and place.

"My wife had a great aunt who went to eastern Colorado in a schooner," New said. "Wouldn't that be interesting to look back and see what the tallgrass prairies looked like?"

When asked about time traveling, Janice Rake, postmaster, said that even though she loves history, she tends to imagine what things will be like in the future, rather than how they were in the past.

But if she were able to travel back in time, Rake said, "I would like to go back to Jerusalem when Jesus was there."

Kay Soetaert, owner of Powerhouse Graphics and Legal Printing, said the early to mid-1800s would appeal to her.

"I would probably go to the pre-Civil War period because people were more family-oriented, there were fewer pressures and it just looked like a fun time to live."

But if she had to narrow her time travels to one direction, Soetaert said she'd be heading west way west:

"I'd probably be going out on a gold rush."

John Lena-han, owner of Lenahan Hardware, said he might consider returning to the end of World War II when he was coming home from Europe.

"That was probably the happiest time for me, 55 years ago," Lenahan said.

Gary Carlson, executive director of Leavenworth Area Development, said he'd first like to go back to England during the signing of the Magna Carta.

"I think that changed the world, basically," Carlson said. "It established the basic human right of inheritability. Before that, when you died, everything went back to the state, or the supreme government."

And Carlson's next destination?

"The next quantum leap would be the birth of the Constitution of the United States," Carlson said. "I would like to have been in Philadelphia when they held the first constitutional convention."

Bill Altman, president of Community National Bank, said he often thinks about time traveling.

"I would like to be back in the times of the early explorers of the seas," Altman said. "I would loved to have been on one of those big sailboats sailing to who-knows-where, discovering uncharted islands, basking in the sun away from everything."

"I've known that for a long time," Altman said. "I think about that all the time and I've never even been on the ocean."

And, Tonganoxie has its own past just waiting for time travelers.

Richard Erickson, Tonganoxie school superintendent, said he would keep his time traveling to a minimum, and he'd keep the school district in mind.

"From the school district's perspective, the Steve McClure years here in Tonganoxie from the late-1970s to the mid-1980s were very successful years for the district," Erickson said. "The district experienced a lot of growth in student enrollment and was on the cutting edge with technology and curriculum."

In those days, Tonganoxie was a "lighthouse district," Erickson said. "We were leading the way. Today I hope we're quickly approaching and moving in that direction to return to that status."

And now, you have it a community of time travelers.

But before I close, I have to be fair; it's my turn divulge my answer to the time-travel question.

Without hesitation, I said, "Nowhere, I'd stay right where I am here and now."

My friend said he thought my answer was extremely odd.

But when asked the same question, my dad, Phil Stevens, gave an answer identical to mine.

So you see, while all you time travelers are gallivanting through time and space, rest assured that Dad and I will stay here, and now.

Somebody's got to mind the store.

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