Posts Tagged ‘kansas’

I like the Kansas climate

When I say “climate” I don’t mean the weather.  I mean social and business climates.

I attended my first couple of networking events here in Wichita yesterday and was truly impressed at how I was accepted.  Not to be mean, this didn’t happen to me in either Buffalo or Las Vegas. 

In Buffalo, and I’ve said this before, people are extremely nice to strangers– who are passing through.  If your grandparents didn’t go to school together, you will always be on the outside looking in, on business and social levels. I don’t know if this is an East Coast thing, but I felt it for almost five years until I moved. 

In Vegas, you have a fairly transient city with a lot of newcomers.  People won’t commit themselves to any type of relationship, be it friendship or business dealings, until the other person has been around for at least three years.  It feels to them like a waste of energy when so many people leave town (unfulfilled and with broken dreams) after a few months, taking the relationship with them.

So it was my great pleasure to be received into the Wichita business community so easily.  After the last 10 years, I had somewhat dreaded my necessary acclimation into the community.  I need not have worried.

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I sent an email yesterday to Stacy Barnes of the 547 Art Center in Greensburg, Kansas, a town that was 95% destroyed in May of 2007 by an EF-5 tornado.

I recently moved to Wichita from Las Vegas. At Thanksgiving, 2007, we drove through Greensburg on our way to visit family in Wichita and witnessed some of the town’s devastation. Interestingly, we hadn’t yet decided to move to Kansas, but were intrigued by the ‘Greensburg’ series on the Green Channel, and later on Discovery, especially after seeing the town for ourselves. We again drove through this past November during our move and saw how their recovery was progressing. We visited the 547 Art Center, featured on the Green Channel as one of the first Platinum-certified green buildings in Kansas, though students and camera crews still filled the grounds and we didn’t want to interrupt the progress, so we didn’t go in.

I have since written 2 poems inspired by photos I took on my last Greensburg visit. As I read a newspaper article this weekend about how they are asking for donations to continue to rebuild the town, it occurred to me that I could write a few more poems, include some of my previous work, and create a Greensburg collection that they could sell, and keep all the profits from, for the Art Center. This was my offer to Stacy, with no up-front costs to the Center.

I am eagerly awaiting her reply.

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