Saturday, July 19, 2014


I have a few questions, thematic ponderings, if you will:
  • So, is OZ really the antithesis of Kansas?
  • Of all the places Dorothy could have been from, why Kansas?
  • Do the Oz-onians represent the opposing the alter-ego of the rural "solid mid-westerners"?
These are questions and hypothesizes that must be asked...why my seemingly sudden interest in the tornado-driven visit to the munchkins and the creatures, great and small, who had neither brain, heart nor courage? Well, I'm currently in the middle of Kansas. Yep, I'm neck deep in the land that brought us Auntie M, Dorothy, and Toto too. Again, WHY? you ask, well, its like this:

My dad was the 5th of 6 children born to Charles Wesley and Rosa. The family lived in rural Kansas, (mostly near Wichita). Of his siblings, my aunt Dorothy was by far Daddy's favorite, and definitely my favorite as well. (Don't get ahead of me here, yes, I had an Aunt Dorothy from Kansas...we'll make the other connections soon enough.) Well, Aunt Dorothy (and Uncle Howard, who's real name was George--I can't explain it other than to say that I've found it extremely common for people around here to be called by some name other than the one on their birth certificate, it's quite peculiar and extremely confusing if everyone doesn't call them by the same name, whether the "official" one or the "stage?" one) had three sons. And, as I've told you before, I have four sisters so we sort of found it handy to "adopt" the Locke boys as our special cousins. ANYWAY, some of us started talking about the fact that we hadn't seen all three of the Locke boys in decades. So, a phone call and several emails back and forth and a reunion was planned.

This would be a good time to introduce you to each of the brothers:

Duane, the eldest, is about 10ish years older than I. We have seen him more frequently over the last several years than either of the other two, but that is still not very often. Duane is married to Carol and they are wonderful people. Duane bears a striking resemblance to my dad, both in physical appearance and in personality. Both have/had wonderful senses of humor, which ranged from the generally funny, to the intelligently sarcastic, to the ultra dry-"are they really serious or is this a joke?" varieties. 
Jay Dee, Doug, Duane

Jay Dee reminds me more of his dad. He is also humorous and likes to tell tales. He is married to Julie, one of the most laid-back, fun women you'd ever meet. They are a great couple and complement each other well.

Doug is the youngest brother, by more than 10 years and is married to Leesa. He looks a lot like his mom, especially when he smiles. He and Duane have very similar personalities and you are never sure what is going to be said, what tales are going to be told and how much of the tale is fact and how much is embellishment, however, I promise you that you will enjoy the telling.  

Together, they are HILARIOUS! They all have children and grandchildren and at least one great-grandchild. They live hundreds of miles away from each other and still, when they are together, it is obvious that they genuinely like being in each other's company and we loved it as well!

Getting back to the Kansas-connection...during the planning stages, we soon realized that Wichita was a good "middle ground" for all of us to travel and it was symbolically a good reunion location as well. Our parents, as I mentioned earlier, lived in this area, though most of us knew very little about Wichita. Even for a couple who had visited more recently than the rest of us, there were huge changes that had taken place over the intervening years.

We've spent the last few days reminiscing, remembering, getting reacquainted and realizing that we all really like each other. I think some of our personalities are enough like our respective deceased parent, that we are getting to spend time with their spirits as well. For me, I have had an extraordinarily fun time "hanging" with these guys and sharing jokes and stories and just being together, sharing space. We've all agreed that we MUST schedule these events much more frequently. The idea of a family cruise vacation has been tossed around...OH MY, lets just hope it's not just a "3-hour tour..."

TTFN and safe travels all,


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