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Column: Golden Belt rain, summer learning and flags flying on Broadway
At The Mike
Mike - At the Mike
Mike Marzolf

Holy rain clouds, Batman. 


While it is not official, I’m pretty sure the number of days with precipitation the last few weeks is the most in this area in 100 years.


Okay, maybe not 100. That may be a bit of an embellishment.


But we have received over 6 inches of rain so far in June alone. Yep, 6 inches in 14 days. That following more than 3.5 inches in May.


That is the most rain in June since 2014. We haven’t received more than 3.5 inches of rain in June since 10 inches back in 2014.


Three times this month it has rained more than 1.5 inches in a day. Another day had just shy of an inch. 


So far this year, 13 inches of rain has fallen in the Golden Belt. Good stuff.


Don’t start sandbagging the house just yet, though. We are still quite a ways from flood-type totals.


Although we’ve had good rain, and hopefully, it keeps up, we are far from 1951 or even 1993. I wasn’t around for the flood of ‘51, although many of my girls’ basketball players think I was. 


I do remember ‘93. That was as full, well as overfull, as I’ve ever seen Waconda Lake. Literally a few feet from going over the dam. Much more and they would have had to open the flood gates.


In fact, it has hardly made a dent from what I can see in crossing major rivers in Kansas. I’ve been over the Smoky and Saline recently and they are still barely running. It is rain we need in the area.


Even those farmer’s about ready to cut wheat aren’t complaining too much about it. For one, the wheat crop is far from stellar so many are not in a big hurry. Second, it helps the fall crops. It may not be the optimum time for rain for the fall crops but it’s not far off.


If nothing else, it puts some moisture in the ground if farmers’ want to sneak in a second crop in their wheat field.


It’s kind of ironic because there was talk about this year being an El Nino year. Warm and no rain for June, July, and August. 


Now, we’ve just started that but stretch, it has been a cool, wet beginning. I guess time will tell, huh.


In the meantime, the rain has been great. 


Keep it up rain. Keep it up.


The Teacher’s Lounge


This past week I was able to get away for a day to do me some learning. Yeah, grammar check wants me to correct that last sentence, but I’m sticking with it. I was able to do me some learning. 


I got away to Hays for a classroom management clinic. Bootcamp, they actually called it. But there was no physical activities that took place. Except for standing, sitting and eating.


It’s nice to gain knowledge. Always. It was informative. But it is also fun to gather with other teachers from different schools. Have some comradery with them. Discuss what they do, what they like, and how they do it. 


Sure, there are professional development days and inservice days during the school year. But there is a different atmosphere to gathering in the summer months. In the ‘off season’, so to speak. 


It’s more laid back. More relaxed. I think due to those factors, at least I am more apt to do me some learning than during the school year when everything is happening. 


And Finally


Some things just look pretty dad gum good. 


Case in point - Broadway on Flag Day.


I forget each year how good Broadway looks with all the flags flying when they are out at various holidays. Flag Day being one of them.


Yesterday was a reminder of just that. It’s pretty cool just to drive around town and see all the flags out not just on Broadway but at homes around town as well.


I love to see US flags flying. I still remember the scene after 9/11. For days folks all across the US were flying on a daily basis. Great Bend was among those. 


Some of the most locked in moments in my memory revolve around the flag. 


Few moments have given me goose bumps on an annual basis as the Memorial Day ceremonies at Glenwood Cemetery in Glen Elder. Going all the way to my earliest days, we would go to the services.


Former military walk carrying flags. They come to a stop. A command is given to fire off a 21-gun salute. Then after a silence, taps start to play on a single trumpet in the far corner of the cemetery. Man, I have goosebumps just thinking about it.


Another moment I will forever remember came in 1991. January of that year at Colby. I was at the Orange and Black Classic writing for the Hays Daily News. On Wednesday, Jan. 16, our troops invaded Iraq. It was our first real military action in my lifetime. 


Yeah, the US was involved in the Vietnam War until I was 6 years old. But I didn’t recall that war. But that Friday, January 18 of 1991, when they played the national anthem it was the first time I heard it while we were at war. 


It, too, gave me goosebumps. The national anthem had new meaning to me that day. By the way, it was my birthday as well. Whitney Houston’s Super Bowl anthem about a month later is still talked about today. And it was cool with all the festivities that went on. But for me, it hit home about a month earlier at the Community Building in Colby.


So, yeah, seeing all the flags flying on Broadway is pretty darn neat to me.