Orphan Train Rider

Orphan Train Rider
Oliver Nordmark - Age 15 - Esbon KS

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

DAY #6 - Great Kids, Great Questions.....and no guns!

One of the fun things for me when visiting different regions of the U.S. is noticing the quirky little things that the locals don't think twice about but which stick out to me like a big sore thumb and make me think, whoa...what's up with that? Take this sign, for instance. This is on the front door of every school in Salina, Kansas. It is also a sign on every bank here - and I've been to about 7 of them cashing checks for book orders. So today, as a smiling old guy is holding the door to the bank open for me (nice to know chivalry is alive and well in the Midwest), I couldn't help myself. I grabbed the door and pointed to the sign saying, "You know, I'm here from Delaware and I've never seen a sign like this on a bank. Is there a problem with guns around here or something?" With a deep chuckle he said, "Oh no ma'am, no problem with guns, we just don't want you carrying them around!" Okay...... I'll remember that. Note to self....guns okay in Kansas, no problem. Just don't carry one around, especially in the bank or the school - works for me!

So, then I couldn't help but picture the guy who gets up one morning and decides he's going to go rob a bank. He grabs his handgun, shoves it in his pocket and drives to the local branch of the Sunflower Bank. When he arrives, he nervously looks around, checking for any cop cars, then decides when the time is right and tips his cap down over his eyebrows and heads for the door. Just as he reaches for the handle, he sees the sign and stops. "Oh geez," he says to himself. "I can't bring my gun in here, better go and leave it in the car!"
But then I got to thinking...I've been watching the news every night and I haven't seen a report of an armed bank robbery yet so maybe the criminals here in Kansas are just as nice and friendly as everyone else and maybe the signs do work, who knows??? But only in the Midwest - no way would that work in the Northeast!
The kids today were great! I had four presentations at three schools to 3rd and 5th graders and the questions at the end of each talk were the best part. It's always fun to see what kids will ask after sitting and listening to the story of the orphan trains and Oliver's adventures. Things like, "What did the kids eat on the train?" (the noses always scrunch up when I answer, 'mustard sandwiches') and "What if they had to go to the bathroom on the train?" Let's face it, these are the things that kids think about and worry about. It's a lot of fun :)
No talks tonight....although there are 6 on the schedule tomorrow - from 8 am to about 8 pm. Whew! Good thing the voice is holding out. Until day 7.......


Bossy Betty said...

Glad you had a good time at the school. Glad you left your guns at home!

Dianne K. Salerni said...

Perhaps it's that so many Kansasians carry guns around on a regular basis (like cell phones) that they forget they're wearing them?

Yaya' s Home said...

You had me laughing at your description of the foiled bank robber. Like him, I was gravely disappointed when faced with that Fun-Spoiler sign. Too, too funny.

~ Yaya
Yaya's Home

Donna said...

Dianne... I certainly HOPE NOT, but maybe....