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The Hesston Record
345 Old Hwy 81
Hesston, KS 67062
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Camping In Style

Posted 8/3/2017


When it comes to building a better world, there are few buildings more efficient and more geared toward fun than campers from the 1960s.

The final Summer Reading Street Fair featured three vintage campers, complete with their own themes and decor.

Teresa Huffman of Marion brought her 1965 Scotty camper for kids and adults to explore.

Huffman described her camper as a “rescue” she found half-demolished in a hedgerow. 

“The tires were rotted, there were mouse nests, it leaked like a sieve. It was full of mold and mildew. But I had been looking for a long time,” she said.

Before rescuing her Scotty from its hedge, she said she would cruise alleyways, leaving notes on the windows of campers she found along the way, asking the owners to contact her if they wanted to sell.

The Scotty that caught her eye was stripped down to the bare wood and rebuilt.

“I had to have her skinned, have new wood put on her, new lights on the outside,” said Huffman. 

Now, she said, her camper has become a home of its own.

“I just love them. They’re called canned hams and I just think they’re really cute.  It’s a good thing I don’t have room to store them,” Huffman said.

Further down the block, Mary Beth Sweeley of Hesston got her camper out into public for the first time since purchasing it two years ago.

“We’re in town, so it was an easy-peasey first outing.  It pushed us to bring her to this level,” she said.

Sweeley said when they purchased the camper, it was in good condition, but like any vintage object, it has a history and a life of its own, full of querks.

“You have to want it and you have to really want one and want to fix it up. It is a lot of work. It’s a buyer-beware thing. When we bought this it was in good shape, but you take back the layers and they’re notorious for having damage and needing repairs,” she said.

However, customizing a camper is part of the fun of owning and restoring one, she added.

“If you talk to most gals, it’s having your own little doll house again - just revisited. You glamp it up and have fun with all the vintage items.  It’s just fun. You have the culture and the community of ladies that are getting into it. It’s kind of scary to think that there are other people out there and are crazy like me,” she said.

Sweeley added it is “soft camping” bringing campers off soggy, hard ground and providing a few creature comforts. 

Hesston Public Library Director Libby Albers brought her own camper “Eileen” to the show.

“I like the old stuff,” she said.

Albers added she and her family take Eileen out camping regularly during the summer. 

“It’s still a work in progress.  There are still some squishy spots and paint that needs added and it needs a good cleaning,” she said.

Albers said the final street fair was inspired by the conclusion of the Summer Reading Program.

“We’ve been talking about houses and apartments and trailers and places people live. We wanted to fit a fun, hands-on activity that would fit into the theme of homes. 

“I wanted to bring out these club houses on wheels,” she said.

Albers added children and adults appreciated the nostalgia of the campers and being outdoors in a different way than modern campers offer.

These aren’t the camper of today when you go in and shut the door and turn on the TV and sit inside the whole time.  These were meant to be a place to go and sleep, have a meal, but camping was still something that was primarily outdoors.

“We’ve had adults that have shared a lot of memories that remember camping in these. And the kids have really loved the play house aspect,” she said.



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The End Of An Era

Posted 8/3/2017


July 12 will mark the end of an era in Hesston’s recreation history.  The Hesston pool will close to the public for good.  After providing decades of fun in the sun, the pool will be closed and replaced with a new facility which is currently under construction. The public pool, completed in 1971 was part of a five-year plan, which also included a nine hole golf course.

According to the first proposal for the pool was to “develop a community recreation facility for twelve months of annual use.  This will include an enclosed swimming facility which will provide for a year around public pool as well as supplement the schools physical education program with swimming and provide for competitive swim meets.”

Many Hesstonians may not remember, but the pool was originally built with a protective bubble, allowing for year-round use. The bubble was destroyed in 1973 or 1974 and never replaced.

Today, the pool is one of the most popular gathering places for Hesston young people with weekday attendance at over 70 people and weekend admission between 20 and 40 on the weekends according to Hesston Recreation Director Ryan Magill. 

However, with an annual operating cost of $40,000 and aging underground infrastructure, repairs and maintaining the pool have become more costly, including replenishing the inches of water lost each day. 

Magill added, the new pool will not only be more efficient, but with a zero-depth entry will be accessible to nearly all members of the community. 

Magill said having a pool is an important part of community culture. 

“It creates a gathering place in the community to encourage physical activity during the summer through recreational swimming, swim lessons, aquatic activities and supporting the swim team,” he said. 

To read more, see this weeks print edition

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Pickleball Court Packed At Heritage Park

Posted 8/3/2017


Hesstonians have a new sport at Heritage Park.  The pickleball court is now open for play.  Teams from across the community have been gathering during the unseasonably cool evenings to break in the court and develop their pickleball skills.

Players Dennis and Tammy Wyse of Hesston were out on the court on Sunday evening playing with a group of friends.

“We were introduced to it by my brother on a trip to Phoenix, Arizona,” said Dennis. 

Dennis said the sport allows the couple to remain competitive, but without the post-play pain.

“We’ve both been competitive, so this is something we can do, and it’s social.  I used to play tennis with some of these guys, and we played volleyball. We were excited to be able to be on the court and doing this kind of thing; and it’s not hard on your joints,” said Dennis.

The Wyses added the game gets people of all generations engaged.

“Our grandson is 12, and it’s easy for young people and old people to compete on the same court,” said Dennis.

Tammy added while learning the rules can be complicated at first, as soon as players master the basics it is all fun and games.

“Go get some rackets, share them, and bring your neighbors out to play,” said Dennis. 

The sport was originally developed for seniors interested in keeping fit and competitive, but avoiding the strain of high-intensity sports like tennis.

“Our intent was to add this sport to our community to help address needed activities for seniors. However, the sport is becoming very popular among all demographics.

“I have never played, but I intend to. I am hoping that the Recreation Department will add competitive pickleball to their list of activities” said City Administrator Gary Emry.

Emry said the court was installed by popular request after a website survey in conjunction with the recreation project planning.

“We originally added this to the recreation project scope of sporting activities but the cost was prohibitive, more than $100,000 per court. So the city council gave me permission to build a court. Final cost for the court was $20,600,” said Emry.

Emry added Heritage Park was the logical location for the court, as there were already utilities and an unused green space large enough to accommodate the court. 

“Although not oriented to the north and south as courts should be, we were not able to place the court in that orientation without significantly impacting mature trees. After dialog with the local players, it was decided to build it in an east-west orientation,” said Emry.

Emry added if sun becomes a challenge for players, the city will look into adding sun shading or possibly more lighting for evening play. 

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Usborne Books New Vendor For End Of Summer Sale At HPL

Posted 8/3/2017

Record Staff

USBORNE Books has replaced Scholastic as the Summer Reading book sale vendor at Hesston Public Library.  The library will receive 50 percent of sales in credits to purchase books for the children’s and juniors’ collections. 

This year Hesston Public Library is wrapping up Summer Reading with a new book sale featuring Usborne Books, which ends Saturday, Aug. 5 at 2 p.m..

For several years, the library utilized Scholastic Books for book fairs, however, Director Libby Albers said with the small volume of sales, the library no longer qualified for a full Scholastic Sale. 

To read more, see this weeks print edition

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Community Read Focusing On Water Crisis

Posted 8/3/2017

Record Staff

For the sixth year, Hesston College and the Hesston Public Library invite individuals and groups in the local communities to join students, faculty and staff for a community read during the fall 2017 semester.

The book selection for the 2017 read is “Blue Revolution: Unmaking America’s Water Crisis” (2012, Beacon Press) by Cynthia Barnett. 

Barnett, an award-winning environmental journalist who teaches at the University of Florida (Gainsville), proposes that America needs a “blue revolution” comparable to the “go green” movement to address the use and abuse of water in the United States and around the world. The book examines a variety of perspectives and makes an argument for a “water ethic” with a call to action that reconnects individuals to their water. 

Barnett will visit the Hesston College campus for the annual Melva Kauffman Lecture Series to discuss themes in the book on Thursday, Nov. 2.

Events for the day will include a morning talk with students, an afternoon presentation for the public at Dyck Arboretum of the Plains and an evening keynote address at Hesston Mennonite Church.

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New Activities Coming To County Fair

Posted 8/3/2017

Record Staff

This Saturday at 10:30 a.m. Harvey County Sheriff Chad Gay will be speaking about issues in Harvey County.  The event will be moderated by Hesston Record publisher Robb Reeves, introducing Gay and his deputies as well as taking audience questions.

There will also be a demonstration of the Harvey County Sheriff’s Department drone. 

The Sheriff and Deputies will be taking “Live” questions from the audience. This forum is for Rural and City folks to get to know the Harvey County Sheriff Department.

Rural Security will be one topic on the agenda. Security expert Bob Collins will be present to discuss farm and ranch security methods for audience members curious about protecting their homes and farms.

At 1 p.m. Kansas State University will demonstrate an unmanned aircraft system in the livestock arena.

The fair will also be holding a drawing for a Skytech TK 106RHW quadcopter drone donated by Biggest Little City Media. Registration is through Aug. 5 for a chance to win the drone; all entries must be present to win with only one entry per person.

DWTA Helicopters of Wichita will be providing helicopter rides from the field south of the Demo Derby Arena.  Flights will be for up to three passengers. Rides are two minutes. 

DWTA Helicopters is an FAA/DOT Certified Commercial Air Carrier based in Wichita.

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