Tag Archives: greensburg kansas

From Wright,Ks. back to Des Moines

No weather problems this time – and smooth sailing the entire nine hours, for which we were grateful, especially given what friends and family are dealing with on the East Coast. We stopped in the slowly reviving town of Greensburg – which was devastated by a tornado several years ago – at a hip looking coffee shop, then onto Wichita where we opted for our favorite Vietnamese restaurant, Saigon, which was packed and has the world’s fastest service, and pleasant service, and mighty good Bun (all around us people seemed to be ordering what N and I ordered #45  Bun – noodles, shredded lettuce – with char-broiled pork and a fried spring roll. We stopped at N&J, our favorite middle eastern place, to pick up some humus and homemade chips and one, just one, piece of baklava, to bring home. In Kansas City, we dropped by Gates to pick up ribs to take home for dinner. Yes, it’s all about the food. Good to be back here, although it’s at least 20 degrees colder and a lot snowier than Kansas.

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Filed under DINING, Dodge City, Kansas City, Kansas misc, Wichita

The BIG WELL/Greensburg, Ks: Takemewithyou

Fate (or chance or destiny?) has taken me to some unexpected places, sometimes repeatedly, and one of them is Greensburg, Kansas – a small town (pop. 1000) in the state’s windy west that was almost blown off the map in 2007 by a brutal tornado that killed eleven people and destroyed most of the town. (An event that ironically put Greensburg on the map.)

In the past 23 years, I have driven through Greensburg oh, maybe, 23 times, during our annual trips to visit my in-laws who live about an hour west in the even smaller wind-swept town  of Wright, Ks. (pop. about 100) near Dodge City.  Until the tornado struck, one of my favorite parts of our Kansas trip was going through Greensburg,  driving under – if my memory serves me correctly – an almost hand-written sign blowing in the wind over State Highway 54 (US 400) that read: “BIG WELL.”   With an arrow pointing due south.

I did visit the Big Well (aka “the world’s largest hand-dug well”….32 feet wide and 109 feet deep) at least once and don’t remember it being that Big a Deal.  But that Big Sign – way cool! Something about its no-nonsense, no frills, bluntness struck me as classic Kansas. It is what it is.

But after the tornado – which blew the sign to God knows where –  the sign never reappeared.

So I was pleased to read in a front page Wall Street Journal story yesterday (http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703906204575027323116293074.html) that the Big Well may soon be an even bigger  tourist attraction – as Greensburg continues its valiant efforts to recover from a tornado whose devastation – flattened buildings, chewed-up trees, piles of random rubble – I’ve seen firsthand.

Apparently Greensburg is emerging as an eco-tourism hotspot ( environmentalists including Leo DeCaprio are helping to resurrect Greensburg as a “green city” ….geddit?) – and the city has plans to develop a $3 million Big Well museum, contracting with big shot New York museum designers.

Good for them. I just hope they remember to string up that Big Sign again.  (And maintain some of that low-key, quirky, Kansas charm.)

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Filed under Kansas, Kansas misc, On the road