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People of the South Wind

People of the South Wind
By Joe Phillips Dear Me
People of the South Wind
By Joe Phillips Dear Me

It's a beautiful morning. On Monday mornings big truck traffic on the street is higher than any other day as stores take deliveries and grain trucks head north. My favorite spot is in the front porch swing with a mug of coffee.

People who don't know me lift their hands and wave as they drive by. Or maybe they do know me. I don't know.

Most of the wheat is cut except that which is weedy from the recent rain.

The wide sky is a clear blue without a cloud. Later some baby cumulus will march over from the south and the blue will fade into a baby blue.

As the day ages, high thin cirrus clouds will form from the frozen water vapor that started as exhaust of jets six or seven miles high.

The streams of ice crystals are known as “condensation trails,” or con-trails.

About mid morning, leaves will begin to shudder and dance as the earth heats up, warmed air rises, cooler air floods in to take its place and the breeze is noticeable on skin.

The word “Kansas” came from the native Americans known as the “Kansa,” loosely translated as “People of the south wind.”

The south wind is formed by a large puddle of cooler air that drifts down through the atmosphere from Canada. The air circulates in a clockwise fashion, and when the eastern edge of it reaches the Ohio River Valley, it produces a wind from the south over the Midwest.

I'm here largely to attend the county fair and eat local food.

County fairs in the South have lost their reason for being. We have produced an army of kids who have never handled an animal nor been responsible for its care. They're scared of rabbits and watch carrots being pulled from the ground like it is an alien.

As communities became more urban and southern 4-H clubs died from lack of interest, the fairs that once featured crafts projects and hand-raised animals sputtered to a slow stop. There are counties in the South that still try to keep the tradition going, but the last one I saw was more like a carnival with threadbare, rust shedding rides.

Uncle Guy Phillips said that owning a horse can teach a kid more about responsibility than anything he knew.

Fewer kids live on farms. Even kids living in small towns are forbidden from having small animals by overreaching governments that ban chickens and other small animals. Their fear is that kids will catch some illness from handling animals (which are not pets) while missing the opportunity to teach responsibility and common sense sanitation.

Kids are being protected to death.

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