Marci Penner, director and WenDee LaPlant of the Kansas Sampler Foundation staff are the presenters for Kansas Day 2015. These women are currently traveling to every one of the 626 incorporated cities in Kansas doing research for an update to the Kansas Guidebook for Explorers. They will be sharing their adventures at the annual Kansas Day Program co-sponsored by the Lyons Public Library and the Rice County Historical Society.
Marci and WenDee will share pictures and stories of surprising things that Kansas has to offer as well as quirky and memorable places. For instance, in the Seneca Library they found an original painting by the Bird Man of Alcatraz (Robert Stroud) while he was incarcerated in Leavenworth during the 1930s. They’ll talk about where they found the most beautiful church in the state, being in a rail motor car that stopped 90-foot above the Blue River, how best to enjoy the Chalk Pyramids, and they’ll explain what a bootlegger gravestone is.
Marci said, “Every one of our research days has been an adventure. You never know who you’ll meet or what you’ll find. We’ve been given spontaneous tours by judges, security guards, and maintenance men plus we’ve met several ghosts. We’ve crawled around in courthouse towers, looked at pictures in the back of shops, and driven over bridges that felt like they would collapse. This is a great state with infinite day trip options and we can’t wait to share what we’ve seen.”
Marci and her father Mil Penner co-founded the Kansas Sampler Foundation in 1993. Since then Marci has authored or co-authored five Kansas guidebooks. Some of the well-known projects of the Foundation are the Kansas Sampler Festival, the Kansas Explorers Club, and the 8 Wonders of Kansas. The public can follow the research trip dubbed ERV (Explorer Research Voyage) on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ERVoyage.
For additional information about the presentation, call (620) 257-2961. Mark your calendar for 7 p.m. on Monday, January 26, at the new Lyons Public Library, 201 West Main, Lyons.