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Forty Years Makes a Home

Forty years ago, I left my law practice in Topeka, and with my wife we moved to Hays. Forty years ago. It is hard to believe it been so long.


The move was not without hiccups. Our home in Topeka was our first. We lived in a little two-story home, single garage, in an older neighborhood. We loved that first home and our neighbors. We had trials and tribulations there, but it was our first home, so it was special.


The day of the move in January of 1983 was a beautiful day—a summer day. We loaded up a U-Haul, towing one car and driving another car. Barb followed in the other car.


Somewhere along the way on I-70 (probably Ellsworth) it started snowing—hard. By the time we got to Hays, I was pushing snow with the bumper of the truck and Barb was trying to follow in my tracks.


I found our little rental house and pulled into the driveway. I was surprised to discover that Barb was not behind me. After about 30 minutes, I saw a figure walking down the street in the blizzard. Barb had gotten stranded on Vine Street and had to walk a mile to our new home.


I was scheduled to start work in a day or two (on February 1st). However, Hays was shut down because of the snow. We had to hire a wrecker to get Barb’s car off Vine Street. We were shut in in our home, with little food. One day during this time, the mailman drove down the street, sliding into Barb’s car.


Barb had never been to Hays, except when I interviewed for my job. When we both saw the mailman run into the car, and after battling through a blizzard and being locked in the house without food for several days, she looked at me and said, “Where the heck have you moved me?!”


It was not a great start.


Life’s journey in Hays has not been a straight line, but along the way we raised three sons, made wonderful friends, and I have an elder law practice that I love. I have a wonderful team that I work with.


But it sure would have been easy in those early days in 1983 to give up and go back to Topeka. Sometimes our beginnings are hard. Sometimes we just must “plow ahead” with determination. I’m glad we did. I am glad to call Hays my home.

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