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Labor Day weekend fun, recalling the greatest teaching tool of all time
At the Mike.jpg
How many ways can we say ‘it marks the end of summer?’
There is the official end of the summer in September sure, but more people associate the end of summer with either the start of the school year or Labor Day weekend.
For me growing up it was both. We didn’t actually start school until the Tuesday after Labor Day. Now, we went until 3:20 each day but it was worth it to start later. Actually, as I think about it, that just gave us more two-a-days for football practice in high school. You’d think we would have been better than we were with all those practices. Oh well.
Anyway, Labor Day weekend has always been the end of the summer for me. Many of those years were spent at or on the lake in Glen Elder. A great way to send out the summer.
But right here in Barton County, Hoisington has its own grand goodbye to the summer. A weekend chalk full of activities from a big-time football game Friday night against Pratt where they will surely be lining the track to the always large and entertaining parade Monday morning.
Labor Day weekend in Hoisington is truly one of the best events in our area all year long.

Prep Thoughts
While much of the prep focus has been on the upcoming football season, other fall sports are already into their season or on the cusp of it.
The guru himself, Lyles Lashley, and the Great Bend cross country teams will fire things off today with a home meet. The harrier boys are also beneficiaries of that loaded junior class of athletes so despite losing all-everything Kerby Depenbusch the Panther boys should contest for another WAC title.
The Panther volleyball team will also serve things up today with the season opener at Garden City. With just two seniors on the roster and a new coach in Shelly Duvall, expectations may not be high outside the program, but within, they are looking for a pretty good season.
Girls’ golf and tennis are already underway. Tennis has some of its top players back, many of them underclassmen as well. The golf team has three back from the state tournament. Boys’ soccer has kicked things already also. It’s full steam ahead for the next two months.

Referee House
Sometimes it’s the little things people don’t realize that can make a night a little better as an official. Sure you want on good, clean game. Well-mannered players and non-confrontational coaches
But more importantly as the linesman on the crew (the guy that runs the chain gang) I have to stare into a setting Kansas sunset most Friday nights throughout the first half, depending how far into the season we are.
As the year goes on, that amount of time is less and less. The reason, of course, is most home stands, and thus the press box, are on the west side of the stadium. This is for much the same reason, so the home fans don’t have to fight a setting sun.
Our first two games this season are on what I call backwards fields – the home stands are on the east. Thus, I don’t have to stare in the sun. That issue rests with our line judge, right Myrick.
The only trick is to make sure after that initial meeting at midfield prior to the kickoff you run off to the proper side of the field. I don’t call it a backwards field for nothing.

And Finally
So it came to my attention the other day that one of the greatest – if not THE greatest – teaching tool of all-time is 45 years old this year.
That’s right, I’m talking about Schoolhouse Rock. A series that educated kids every Saturday morning through the 70’s and into the 80’s with vital information those who watched it still remember today.
Let me tell you, there are a whole lot of 40- and 50-somethings in the country that have been to Conjunction Junction. They can tell you that ‘and, but and or will get you pretty far’.
There are many, many people in their 40’s and 50’s and maybe even 30’s that can recite the preamble to the Constitution. They just have to sing it. In fact, I recall to this day having to recite it in Eighth grade. Singing it to myself then repeating it and trying really hard not to sing it out loud.
They know the journey a rolled up piece of paper must take to go from a being ‘Just a Bill, sitting here on Capitol Hill’ to becoming a law here in the good ol’ US.
Don’t get me wrong. I had some great teachers in school. I learned quite a bit there as well. Right Mr. Armknecht? I still call him Mr. I mention him because I know he reads At the Mike now and again.
But I remember when the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock because I can still see the boating hitting that rock that says 1620. I can still see that big cup of tea floating in the Boston Harbor.
My favorite number has always been three. Why, because it’s a magic number. Schoolhouse Rock told me so.
I know in today’s world, Schoolhouse Rock wouldn’t work. Too many channels and too many weekend activities. Cartoons are on all day, every day, not just Saturday mornings.
Makes me happy I was from the era I was. I sure couldn’t image never having been to Conjunction Junction.

Mike Marzolf is a guest columnist for the Great Bend Tribune and his views don’t necessarily reflect those of the paper. He can be reached at