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From trivia to boot-scootin' to Vietnam

On Friday, I celebrate the first anniversary of my move to Kansas. A year ago, I was just getting ready to make the move from Missouri to Kansas. I was not yet engaged, had not started working in the library and had not met anyone around town.

One year later, all that has changed. I am now a veteran of Kansas winters and summers. I know more about Kansas history than I ever imagined I would, and I am ever more acquainted with local people. Best of all, I'm now married and settled in Ellis County.

Don't get me wrong, there are still days I wake up and think, "Whoa, this is really my life." Just this morning as I was driving to work in the fog and rainy-mist, I forgot for a second I was in Kansas. The scene was so familiar, a pang of homesickness shot through me, and I thought for just a second I was back in Missouri.

One thing that always makes me think of my friends and family back home is trivia. I used to play team trivia with some of my coworkers and my favorite game to play with my brother is Trivial Pursuit. So to commemorate my first anniversary in Kansas, there will be a Trivia Night at the library at 6 p.m. Friday in the Schmidt Gallery. Bring some friends along and work together to answer trivia from categories such as U.S. history, pop culture and famous artworks. Some refreshments will be provided, but feel free to bring your own food and (non-alcoholic) drinks along. Adults and teens are encouraged to attend.

The Kansas Room also will host a line dancing class at 6 p.m. Aug. 20 in the Schmidt Gallery. Vanessa North from the children's department will teach participants the steps to classic country-western dances from "Cotton-Eyed Joe" to the "Boot Scootin' Boogie." If you've always wanted to line dance, but never had the opportunity to learn, now's your chance.

Finally, at 6 p.m. Aug. 29, the Kansas Room will host a special program in honor of Labor Day. Wayne Purinton, WaKeeney, is a Vietnam veteran who recently published a book based on his experience titled "Journey Back from Vietnam," but he also has developed a poignant presentation called "Once Enemies, Now Friends."

Purinton was just 19 when he volunteered for service in 1966. When he returned home in 1968, he had lost his innocence and gained a new worldview. In the years since the war, Purinton has returned to Vietnam four times for healing and reconciliation. Please don't miss this thought-provoking presentation.

Thanks to all those who participated in the Hays Scavenger Hunt. We had quite a few people enter the contest, having had their pictures taken at all 10 locations. Judy Zerr-Schamburger was our lucky winner of the $25 Chamber Cheque. She completed the hunt with her grandchildren, and they snapped some great pictures together. Congratulations.

Lucia Bain is Kansas Room librarian at the Hays Public Library. lbain@hayspublib.org