Richard Crowson Commentary

One of the things I did not give thanks for yesterday before my family’s Thanksgiving meal was the Wichita City Council. Nor was I able to express gratitude for the pure and pristine waters of the Arkansas River.

Christmas has hundreds of songs. Thanksgiving has “Over the River and Through the Wood.” New Year’s has “Auld Lang Syne” and Easter has “Here Comes Peter Cottontail.” But Halloween has zilch.

So here’s a song for Halloween. Played, appropriately I think, on the scariest instrument—the banjo.

This is a list of each scary thing that can frighten you this Halloween:

A letter for you from the IRS
A store-bought cantaloupe
Yet another GOP presidential debate
To drain your soul of hope

Recently I had occasion to dust off and update my resume. As it usually does, the whole thing once more gave me a bad case of “the squirms.” As I sat there pumping up my accomplishments in an attempt to make myself sound like a cross between Dr. Jonas Salk and Donald Trump, I couldn’t help thinking about certain people who brag themselves into a state of sainthood practically 24/7.

Richard Crowson

Every Fall, I pretend to be something that I’m not. Way before the Halloween costume season, I start wearing my mask. I disguise myself as someone who gives a flying whoop-ti-doo about their lawn.

“Late in the evening, about sundown
High on the hill, up above the town
Uncle Pen played the fiddle; Lord, how it’d ring
You could hear it talk, you could hear it sing.”

Crickets chirping. That’s a favorite Internet phrase that’s usually meant to point out a pause or a lack of response to something that was said during an internet conversation. Like for instance if a commenter said: “Anyone out there sorry to see this splendid summer coming to an end?” Then no one responds and someone says, “Crickets chirping.”

It’s not always easy to figure out exactly what a prophet is telling us. Sometimes, we have to piece together their perplexing words and actions in order to understand their true intent, as the prophet instructs us on how to behave. So it is with the Prophet Samuel.

Samuel Brownback would, on the surface of things, seem to be contradicting himself a bit lately. But I think I’ve figured out his master plan for us Kansans. Perhaps it was revealed to him when he went to pray loudly and publicly, Pharisees-style, with Texas Governor Rick Perry.

If I may be boastful for a moment here, let me just say that you are listening to the voice of a very brave man. I didn’t realize I was brave—in fact, I’ve lived my life fairly oblivious to my own courage for lo, these many years.

But at a recent Sedgwick County Commission meeting, Commissioner Richard Ranzau proposed allowing folks with concealed-carry handgun permits to tote their pistols into many county buildings, including mental health facilities. Commissioner Karl Peterjohn agreed, saying, “I feel safer in a building where concealed carry is allowed.”

When the temperatures get above 100 week after week, when walking the dog makes me realize it’s going to be another 2-shower day, when I can pick fried green tomatoes right off the vine, already fried and I find myself smack dab in the middle of another blistering Kansas summer, I like to kick back and enjoy the silence.

When I got out of bed this morning, our dog Lucy did her usual dance of jubilation. Her front paws shot up in the air repeatedly, making a mockery of gravity, and she wiggled all over, enthusiastic at the sight of my awakening—sighing and huffing, then pouncing about and just making a general spectacle of herself.