Friday, October 31, 2008


Pat Preston sent these neat pictures.
Can you name the year - or close to it?

3Wow! You can see the old hotel, the elevator, a neat windmill, the water tower for the railroad, the old school, the old Methodist Church and everything in between.

Looking from Hoopes to the Thompson hill

A different view 6

Wednesday, October 29, 2008


These pictures were sent to me from Norma Hutchraft Williams.
She sent copied photo's on regular paper, then I scanned them on my computer.
Therefore the quality isn't too great.
But they are such neat pictures.
Thanks Norma!

The above photo is of Ed Helms - 1932
Ed was Lucy Hutchraft's Father
Ed ran a Sinclair filling station on the corner between Brown's Store and the old Methodist Church. He and Jon Bach an Watt Houser hung out together and, according to Bill Hutchdract, judged everything that went on in town. He wrote the Paradise News items for the Paradise Farmer. He taught himself to read and was a carpernter among other thing.
(We will be having a lot of things on the blog from the Paradise Farmer in the future.)

3Paradise Football Team - around 1931.
Luther and Ed Hutchcraft are in the photo.
This is possibly a posed picture.

Notice in the background is the back of the High School and the old Methodist Church is on the left.

1931 Paradise BasketBall Team

Luther Hutchraft with ball
Dean Brown, Owney Hoopes, Ray Dwinelle,
George Morrill, Ed Hutchcraft

Sunday, October 26, 2008


The Annual Paradise Dinner & Bazaar is Nov. 1st.

Have you gone to Paradise for this? It is wonderful! You get to see so many people, the food is scrumptious and the ladies have wonderful crafted items. The neatest thing about this is . . . you get to see how many younger ladies are in our Paradise Methodist Church working at this. What a wonderful sight! It looks like there will always be a future in the Church.
A note from Dan Hoisington . . . . .
"The dinner this year is in the auditoriam instead of the church. The thought is that it will not be so crowded and people can sit and visit instead of having to eat and leave so someone else can sit down. This is more work for the ladies as some of the food will have to be prepared at the church and taken down the hill. If it works well they will continue to have it at the auditoriam, if not it will be moved back to the church."

We will not be able to attend this year as Millard is teaching a woodcarving class at Agusta, Ks, Nov. 1st and 2nd. This is absolutely Millard's most favorite thing to do. You can click on Millard's Foundwoodcarvings Blog and scroll down and see how much fun he has in his woodcarvings classes. (You can click on the blog on the left of this posting - under the 2008 Santa Face.) He has received an order for 45 2008 Santa Ornaments and has orders for 5 more. He is carving and carving and . . . . . carving and doing more carving. Actually, he is having the time of his life. Retirement is very rewarding for him.

If anyone goes to Paradise this week end and if you have a camera, I sure would appreciate it if you would take a picture of each of the Class Photo's in the hanging glass frames in the gym. If possible, it would be best to take them out of the glass so they do not glare. It would be SO neat if I would receive them in an e-mail. Do you suppose that would be possible for anyone?
Also . . . Please take pictures at the dinner and bazaar and e-mail them to me. Thanks!
(Also, take a picture of someone's plate of delicious food.)

Saturday, October 25, 2008


I received an excellent e-mail question from Norma (Hutchcraft) Williams.
I would like to know too.
"What happens to our dreaded "permanent school record" when schools are consolidated? Wouldn't it be neat to have your own permanent records?

Now that we are old enough to laugh at ourselves, it would probably be interesting.
I do know that the Sr. Class pictures of several years are still hang in the gym. We tried to take pictures of each one at the last reunion, but the the sun was shining so bright, there was too much of a glare on them. The crazy thing . . . . . we could have probably taken each one out of the glass holder and taken a photo. I guess by that time, we were too tired to think.

If anyone would like to have a project while they are in Paradise, you could get a key to the gym and take a photo of each Class that is on the wall. I'm sure you could take each one out of the glass and get a great picture. That would be GREAT! I would love to put each class on this blog.

Thursday, October 23, 2008


This was sent to me several months ago from one of our alumni. It is so true.


Those who grew up in small towns will laugh when they read this.
Those who didn't will be in disbelief and won'tunderstand how true it is.

1) You can name everyone you graduated with.
2) You know what 4-H means.
3) You went to parties at a pasture, barn, gravel pit,or in the middle of a dirt road. On Monday you could always tell who was at the party because of the scratches on their legs from running through the woods when the party was busted. (See #6.)
4) You used to 'drag' Main .
5) Most people went by a nickname
6) You scheduled parties around the schedules ofdifferent police officers, because you knew which ones would bust you and which ones wouldn't.
7) You could never buy cigarettes because all the store clerks knew how old you were (and if you were old enough, they'd tell your parents anyhow.) Besides, where would you get the money?
8) When you did find somebody old enough and brave enough to buy cigarettes, you still had to go out into the country and drive on back roads to smoke them.
9) You knew which section of the ditch you would find the beer your buyer dropped off.
10) It was cool to date somebody from the neighboring town.
11) The whole school went to the same party after graduation.
12) You didn't give directions by street names but rather by references. Turn by Nelson's house, go 2 blocks to Anderson 's, and it's four houses left of the track field.
13) The golf course had only 9 holes.
14) You couldn't help but date a friend's ex-boyfriendor girlfriend.
15) Your car stayed filthy because of the dirt roads, and you will never own a dark vehicle for this reason.
16) The town next to you was considered 'trashy' or'snooty,' but was actually just like your town. 17) You referred to anyone with a house newer then1955 as the 'rich' people.
18) The people in the 'big city' dressed funny, and then you picked up the trend 2 years later.
19) Anyone you wanted could be found at the local gas station or the dairy bar.
20) You saw at least one friend a week driving a tractor through town or one of your friends driving a grain truck to school occasionally.
21) The gym teacher suggested you haul hay for the summer to get stronger.
22) Directions were given using THE stop light as a reference.
23) When you decided to walk somewhere for exercise, 5 people would pull over and ask if you wanted a ride.
24) Your teachers called you by your older siblings' names.
25) Your teachers remembered when they taught your parents.
26) You could charge at any local store or writechecks without any ID.
27) There was no McDonalds.
28) The closest mall was over an hour away.
29) It was normal to see an old man riding through town on a riding lawn mower.
30) You've peed in a cornfield/wheat field.
31) You laughed your butt off reading this because you know it is true, and you will tell everyone about it that may have lived in a small town.

I would not have wanted to have been raised any other way.

Tough times don't last... Tough people do.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008


How Exciting
We have a Comment from a new person today. It is almost as close as having a Comment from Arlin Chesney, as it is from his daughter, Christina. And, such a neat comment and Thank You to your "Daddy". Thank You, Christina.
Right now you can click on it on the left side of this page under Comments. When new Comments are made, it will be moved on down - but you can always scroll down to Older Posts and click on the comments under "Classes of 1958-59 Pictures".
This is exciting to me, as I do not know who is reading this blog. As of this morning there are 4915 clicks on this blog. I never know if it is the same 10 or 12 or if we get new "hits". It would be nice if more would Comment or even if some would email me and say "I read the Paradise Blog", but that doesn't seem the nature of people. If you scroll to the bottom on the left hand side, you can view the Hit Counter.
I have mentioned this before, but at one time (for 2 days) we had a hit counter on the blog that told us who was looking at the blog, at what time and where they lived. We felt that was in invasion of privacy, so took it off and just got a counter. The counter started in July with 100.
With Comments and e-mail's like this one and like Brad Hoopes and Michele Peterka (all three, children of our alumni) and even Devin (although he did go to grade school in Paradise), it makes my time spent on this blog even more enjoyable. However, I don't need a lot to make this job too much more exciting. I am absolutely loving every minute of it.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008


(Pages 40 and 41)

Monday, October 20, 2008


Roger Miller, Don Haberer, Alvin Webster, Van Hoisington, Marvin Dwinelle.
This picture was taken on Vada's birthday 12/9 in '56.
It was taken south of their house in Paradise and you can see their windmill to the back right.
I like the car and the tv antenna.
Vada sent this photo and said . . . .
"This might be of interest to some grads on the Blog. Marvin was killed in a car accident November 1, 1963 along with Ronald Thompson and Randall Houser. Gail Houser was thrown from the car and survived."
I remember this very well, as it was my first year of teaching in Paradise. I didn't know the boys, but it was quite a shock to all of us. It was a very hard time, to say the least. Thank You Vada for the picture and . . . memories, good and bad are of interest to each of us.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008


6 The Grade School in this photo was built in 1909

Class of 1928

Eurith (Mellard) Esch,
Carol Brown,
James Dwinelle,
Alice (Hoopes) Gager,
Harold Hockett,
Louise (Dwinelle) Hoopes,
Kenneth Wilcox,
Ruth (Chesney) Morgan

Can you name them from left to right, top to bottom,
including the teacher or Princial?

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Grassroots Art Center - Lucas, Kansas

"Post Rock Santa"
Foundwood Carvings

One of Millard's 2008 Santa Woodcarvings
This Santa is at the
Grassroots Art Center in Lucas.
3 Front
Back 6

Millard also has other woodcarvings at the Grassroots Art Center

Friday, October 10, 2008


Devin sent this picture of Paradise
that was taken in 1920.

This picture was also in the book
"Pieced in Paradise"

I received this in an e-mail . . . . .
"Here is what I have come up with in the picture.

On the left or west side of the street;
First Building was the lumber yard.
Second building was the Miller/Harrell hardware store.The upstairs was used as a theater.
One of the smaller buildings was a shoe repair that belonged to Gus Langhofer.
On up the street was the bank and Browns grocery. The upstairs was used as a meeting room for the Masonic Lodge.
On the right or east side of the street;
First building was the drug store then turned restaurant.
There was a clothing store. I think there was another bank at one time.
The barn belonged to the Hocketts. I always knew it as Webster's barn."
We do know how they were labeled in the "Pieced in Paradise" but I will no longer be copying any pictures or information from this wonderful book of so many memories of Paradise and of our relatives and friends.
I did my first posting (the pictures of the quilt) from the book a few weeks ago after trying for three weeks to locate the author - Roberta Louise Burns Hofmann. I tried on many People Searches on the Internet and could always find her name and her relationship to this book, published in 2002, but could not find a way to contact her. My enthusiasm got the best of me and overpowered my best judgement - and since I did not find a Copyright date in the book - I did the wrong thing and made a posting on this blog.
(This is not the first time I have made a mistake and you better believe, I will make many more.)
Anyway, after I posted the quilts, I emailed a very good friend that I have made from having the Paradise blog and asked her if she by any chance had a way of contacting Roberta. My friend emailed me right back with a "round about way" of contacting her. At that time, I did contact Roberta, and she (Roberta) sent me quite a lengthy e-mail and stated, "This book is my Intellectual Property". That is the end of my story.
This book has so many great stories and pictures of our loved ones and they entrusted Roberta with many thoughts and memories. Roberta did such a lovely job penning these memories to make a book in which each of us will cherish forever. She does not have any more books but she does have some CD's which you can order. You can order them from Roberta at
Please tell her that you read about the book and CD's on the Paradise Blog.
If you have a picture that is in the book and if you can send it to me by way of email with the story of your own, I would love to put it on the blog.
I am going to leave the rest of the businesses and buildings for you to identify. You may identify them in the 1920's - then the changes in later years. Send a comment and I will publish them on this page (not in the comments). Send the comment in the regular "Comment" procedure or to me by way of e-mail. Either way, they will come to me before being published.

Thursday, October 9, 2008


Now I know what Brad Hoopes looks like.
You probably already knew - but I didn't.
Thank You Pat Preston (Patty Hoopes) for the photo.
Remember? Brad wrote a couple of e-mail's.
Scroll down to read them.

Left to right - Glen Hoopes, Linda (Hoopes) Biesner, Pat and Brad Hoopes



Dear Onnalee and Millard,
My name is Brad Hoopes, son of Glen Hoopes and nephew of two notables on your blog so far - Pat Preston and Larry "the hoot" Hoopes. I just wanted to tell you how much I enjoy reading the blog. I think it is a wonderful thing you have put together and something very important.

I am a generation removed from Paradise and don't know many of the names listed, but still immensely enjoy reading it. I have many fond memories of coming back to Paradise to visit my grandparents and for family reunions. It certainly is a special little town. I think I enjoy the blog not only because of my roots there, but also because of a love of history and enjoyment of hearing stories. After all these years of seeing that beacon on our approach to Paradise I never knew, until I read in the blog, that my grandfather was part of the WPA crew that built the water tower. That alone I thank you for the blog. I hope the blog continues to grow and more people contribute stories.

I have for a number of years had a passionate hobby of recording the stories of veterans so that their stories are saved and never lost . I wonder if we could do something along these lines to record people's stories, go around and record with a brief history the various buildings/homes, etc of Paradise all put down on video to preserve on permanent record? Has anyone done or doing this? Just a thought. Well, thanks again.
Brad Hoopes


What a wonderful e-mail to receive. I had to laugh about the two notables on our Blog. Funny! That was clever!

I love Brad's idea of "People's Stories". Wouldn't that be fantastic? I think that since he has a passionate hobby of recording stories, he would be the Perfect Person for this tribute to Paradise and to the Blog. Don't you? We have a very neat cousin that could contribute to this also. He is very knowledgeable about many stories and the history. I will talk to him about it. (Ho! Ho! Do you suppose he will e-mail me when he reads this?)

Brad, you tell us what you want to do to get this started and we will do what we can. As I told Brad by way of e-mail . . . . "You can start with your large family - the Hoopes which involves the whole community of Paradise. From what I am figuring out from the blog - everyone is related. I am ready to get started as soon as possible. You are the Guy! OK?"

This was a very exciting e-mail to me. Thank You so much Brad.


Brad emailed . . . . . .
"Onnalee, Sorry for taking so long to get back to you. Actually, Larry and Marilyn were in town for a visit, so tied up with that. Came just short of cracking some ribs from laughter all weekend. Have a couple of weeks to mend those ribs until Pat comes up for a visit. I have some very funny aunts and uncles. Anyway, in regards to figuring out how to get all this Paradise history down on record. Although a small community, there will be thousands of stories, facts, pictures, etc. that would produce 100's of hours of material. I think our first step is going to be figuring out a good game plan or template for all of this. Would it be an overall history of Paradise, stories from citizens, buildings and homes, Paradise in the 50's -60's- 70's, etc etc, etc.? There are endless ways we could go about this and may end up doing a variety of them. Once again, being a generation removed from this and not knowing all of the players involved, I think we should get input from from such people as you and Millard, that cousin you spoke about, and all the other people from Paradise on what approach makes sense, what is important to include, what they think would be neat to be included and such. -Brad"

Onnalee's response . . . . . . .
I certainly hope you played a few pranks on your uncle Larry. Also, I'm hoping Pat gets a picture of you - we do need to know who we are talking to, you know! Would love to have you send some pictures of you and your family.
Our cousin is tied up until winter, but will possibly get in touch with you after his busy time. It sounds like that you are still putting a lot of thought into sharing our Paradise History, Stories and Memories. I am hoping that we will have comments concerning a game plan right here on the blog.
Everyone, please give us suggestions right here on comments. Thank You!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008


Dan Hoisington e-mailed the bikers to see if they made it to Washington DC safely.

He received this from one of the Bikers - Matt Goodhart

"Yes we did!!! Thank you very much for asking. Andy quit in Chicago, but the rest of us made it the whole way free from injury and loving every minute of it -- except for Stu, who hit our Jeep with his bike and body on the very last day, but he still powered on. I'm sure it will all be up on the website within a few weeks. We all loved staying in Paradise and it's a part of the journey we shared with almost everyone we stayed with after that. Hope all's well, and we'll keep in touch.

Matt and the rest of the crew"


Monday, October 6, 2008


The young men from "Biking The States" stopped in Paradise in June.
Dan and Mona showed them true hospitality from Paradise, KS USA
From Dan Hoisington
"This is the photo of the bikers in front of the Paradise Post Office. This was taken around the middle of June and they said they were about half way to Washington DC.
Their web site is They have interesting links and you can learn all about them on this web site. They were just a great group of young men and Mona and I are so glad that we were able to meet them. Dan"

Thursday, October 2, 2008



Just a note to let you know that I am home, doing great, was released yesterday (Tuesday) and walked a mile today and spent time working in my garden and yard doing very light work. I feel so good that I am having trouble not trying to do more.

The fortunate thing about my episode was that the day prior we were with our friends from Ulysses in Colorado, 20 miles off of any paved road and 70 miles from the closest ambulance let alone a hospital. The Dr. said I probably would have survived but the key word is PROBABLY. I guess God has something he wants me to do yet, I will listen closer you can count on that.
I have attached a couple of pictures of the Aspens from our trip.

You are doing a great job with the Paradise Blog, keep up the good work.


Al Strecker, P.E.Engineered Sales Inc
620-664-5576 Office & FAX
620-728-9062 Cell

Here are a couple of picture that Al sent. Yes, Al is very fortunate.
Although he saw fall in a splendid way, he was certainly in the back country.
I believe in Miracles!
I know that Al and his family does too.



From Brad Thompson . . . . . .

"Al was in Pagosa Springs, CO last week on vacation and was returning when he and Jan stopped for the night in Ulysses to visit friends. The next morning Al got up with gas and severe stomach pain. Jan forced him to go to the regional medical center where they immediately identified his condition, put him on blood thinners, and flew him by airplane to the Kansas Heart Institute in Wichita.

They ran a camera up through one of the arteries in his leg to his heart where they could see that one-half of his heart was not getting any blood due to a clot. They did a balloon procedure to clear the blockage and then placed a stint in his heart to get the blood flowing. This medical stuff is way over my heard, but the key point is that the doctor said everything went well and Al was feeling well and in high spirits.

Al should be released early this week (Monday or Tuesday) following tests to determine the amount of damage done to his heart due to the lack of blood flow.

By all accounts Al is very lucky to be with us still and his recovery from this should be excellent

Wednesday, October 1, 2008


I have found out from having the blog and receiving so many nice e-mail's
that if you are from Paradise, you all are related to one another.
Quite a few months ago, Norma Hutchcraft Williams wrote me an e-mail and asked if I knew if Loa Burger Copp knew about the Paradise Blog, as she knew that her Mother would enjoy reading some of the stories and looking at the photo's. I proceeded to tell her that Loa was Millard's cousin and that her Mother was our Aunt and . . . . .
She wrote back and said that Aunt Helen was her Aunt too. Well, I already knew that most everyone else was related, so I proudly thought - we are too. So . . . . we are related to Larry Hoopes too?????

Helen Dodson Burger
Box 166
Auborn, KS 66402

Auburn woman nannied for builder of
Lindbergh's The Spirit of St. Louis

Published Tuesday, December 26, 2006
The Capital-Journal

AUBURN — Helen Burger learned early that life can take you places where you never thought you would go. Burger grew up on a farm in Russell County but found herself living inside a California mansion in her early 20s.

Burger, 88, of Auburn, was a nanny, cook and housekeeper for T. Claude Ryan, founder of Ryan Aeronautical Co. and builder of The Spirit of St. Louis, a single-engine plane flown nonstop across the Atlantic Ocean by Charles Lindbergh in 1927.
"It was a magnificent house near Point Loma," she said. "Mrs. Ryan and I would stand on the balcony and watch the boats (come into shore)."

Burger grew up in Paradise and graduated from Paradise High School in 1936, along with five or six other seniors. In February 1939, she married Lester Pfortmiller, a neighbor who had joined the Marine Corps and was stationed in San Diego.

After their marriage, she visited San Diego and knew if she was going to live near her new husband she would have to get a job. She saw an advertisement for a live-in nanny and went for an interview.

Helen Burger, 88, of Auburn, was a live-in nanny in California for T. Claude Ryan, who built The Spirit of St. Louis. Burger worked seven days a week for a wage of $1 per day.
"I was hired and went to work the next day," she said. Perhaps on her side was Ryan's tie to Kansas. He grew up in Parsons. Burger, who lived in quarters near the mansion's kitchen and laundry room, worked seven days a week for $1 a day. Her duties: preparing meals, doing laundry, keeping the house clean and taking care of three young boys. "It was my job in the morning to change the baby's diaper and give him breakfast before anyone else came down," she said.

Burger's husband played trumpet in the U.S. Marine Corps Band and gave the children music lessons.

One day, the Ryans threw a big party for military personnel and their wives. Burger was required to don a maid's uniform, complete with hat, and serve the guests. "I didn't like that," she said.

Burger lived with the Ryans for about three years, from 1938 to 1940. Her husband finished his stint with the Marines but then joined the Navy after Pearl Harbor was attacked. He served on the USS Hornet and was killed when the ship was attacked by kamikazes, Japanese pilots who deliberately crashed their planes into U.S. ships. "He was buried at sea," she said.

By that time, Burger had three children. She and her children moved back to Kansas and lived with her parents on their farm. Her father suddenly died a short time later, leaving Burger and her mother to run the farming operation.
"I was a widow for six years," she said.

She married Harold Burger, a high school classmate who had a plumbing shop in Russell, in 1949. They had one child together.

Burger said she and her second husband moved to Topeka in the early 1980s and then to Auburn in about 2000. He died in March 2003.

Burger said she never imagined her life would take the turns it did.
"It shows how your life can change," she said, "from little Kansas farm girl to living with rich people."

Helen - Aug, 2008

Helen & Loa - 2002

Helen - Several years ago


Helen Dodson Burger
Aunt Helen is 90, but sure does not look like it.
She does not act like it either.
She fixes meals quite often.

3Isn't she amazing?

Aunt Helen lives with Loa.
This arrangement is wonderful for her
and for Loa too.
They are exactly what each needs.

Four Generations
Christopher Copp (Loa's son),
Aunt Helen, Loa &
Micah (Christopher's Son)