Thursday, December 31, 2009

We will open the book. Its pages are blank.
We are going to put words on them ourselves.
The book is called Opportunity and its first chapter is New Year's Day.

Edith Lovejoy Pierce

New Year's Wishes

May you get a clean bill of health from your dentist, your cardiologist, your gastroenterologist, your urologist, your proctologist, your podiatrist, your psychiatrist, your plumber and the IRS.

May your hair, your teeth, your face-lift, your abs and your stocks not fall; and may your blood pressure your triglycerides, your cholesterol, your white blood count and your mortgage interest not rise.

May New Year's Eve find you seated around the table together with your beloved family and cherished friends.

May you find the food better, the environment quieter, the cost much cheaper, and the pleasure much more fulfilling than anything else you might ordinarily do that night.

May what you see in the mirror delight you, and what others see in you delight them.

May someone love you enough to forgive your faults, be blind to your blemishes and tell the world about your virtues.

May the telemarketers wait to make their sales calls until you finish dinner, may the commercials on the TV not be louder than the program you are watching, and may your checkbook and your budget balance, and include generous amounts for charity.

May you remember to say, "I love you" at least once a day to your spouse, your child, your parent, your siblings; but not to your secretary, your nurse, your masseuse, your hairdresser, or your tennis instructor.

And may we live in a world at peace and with the awareness of God's love in every sunset, every flower's unfolding petals, every baby's smile, every lover's kiss, and every wonderful, astonishing, miraculous beat of our heart.

Best wishes to all in the New Year.

-Author unknown

New Year's Prayer

As the dawn breaks on a new year,
let us give thanks for all we hold dear:
our health, our family and our friends.

Monday, December 28, 2009


This came from Loa Copp, daughter of Helen Burger
"Helen Burger, while at Plaza West Care Center, has shown an almost miraculous recovery!
The family knows that MANY prayers were offered on her behalf and those prayers, along with the excellent care she is receiving has brought her back from what looked to be a hopeless situation.
She has most of her past memories back, her short term memory is still a little foggy but she is basically back to her normal self.
Physically, she is is in better condition than she was before all the sickness began. She can walk long distances and the therapists are amazed at her comeback. Now, the only part of her rehab that needs work is care of her ostomy site, which will begin very soon.
The way it looks right now, she will be able to go back to live with her daughter, Loa, in Auburn, with the aid of Home Health Care provided through Kansas Rehab Hospital.
Helen's four daughters want to thank ALL of you for your prayers as we know this miracle would not have happened without them!
We are so thankful to the Lord for His healing touch that still continues today!"
Helen would enjoy hearing from you.
Her address is . . . .
Helen Burger
% Loa Copp
Box 166 - 450 Milton St.
Auburn, KS 66402

Sunday, December 20, 2009


The True Meaning of Christmas

Some of you may know that I (Onnalee) have a great nephew that is a Police Officer in Lakewood, Washington. He was in a squad of 6 young police officers. 4 of them were shot in a coffee shop as they were preparing for their time of duty. My great nephew, Adam, would have been at the coffee shop with them but he had been detained by an earlier call - which the guy that he had stopped, bit him (Adam) on the calf of his leg. The guy was on PCP, so Adam went to the hospital to see what he should do about the bite. Adam’s other squad member was also out on another call. They both arrived at the coffee shop right after the shooting. When we first heard the news on Fox News, we were very panic stricken. It took us a few minutes to find out that Adam was OK.
We have many links to articles and radio interviews (with Adam) and videos of the memorial service, etc. But the most touching article we have is one that came out this week. It was a Christmas Story by one of the Police Officer’s at Lakewood.

Lakewood police officer pens Christmas story
You can click on the above link to read this article and read the comments.

However, I have posted the story below.

Posted By Mike Archbold on December 16, 2009 at 9:50 am

A little boy and his toy dinosaur who came by the Lakewood Office Department station last Sunday to honor the four slain police officers touched an officer enough that the officer wanted to share the story in a Christmas letter to friends.
One of the friends who received the letter, Tukwila police officer Mike Murphy, said he and his fellow officers were so touched by the story that they thought it should be shared with the community.
Murphy said the officer who wrote it agreed but wanted to remain anonymous.
"It is just a story of one child reaching out and helping heal the pain we have all suffered," Murphy said in his e-mail. "Our only goal in sending it is to reach out to our community and thank them for this and all the other love and support they have sent us through this very difficult time."

The Christmas story is reprinted below:
December 13, 2009
I’m not much for writing Christmas letters, and in fact this year, I didn’t even feel like making the effort of buying and addressing Christmas cards at all. I’m sure you all have heard of the terrible tragedy that occurred here in Lakewood two weeks ago today – four of our officers, four people that have become my friends over the past 5 years as we all worked here together, were gunned down as they sat in a coffee shop. Three fathers and a mother – all of whom were dedicated to their jobs and their families – now dead.

The grief at our station and in our community has been overwhelming and we have all now just barely begun to process what this means for our department and for police departments all across our state and nation. Several times since this event happened, police agencies have responded to reports of individuals across King and Pierce Counties causing commotions and claiming to be planning to kill more officers. We do our best to maintain our composure and continue to do our jobs the best that we can.
It is hard not to remain bleak and jaded with these events so fresh in our minds. But something happened today, just 20 minutes ago, which made me want to send out a Christmas letter. I’m here at work and was just out in our secure parking lot helping another officer load collection bins into his car to take to a local Lakewood Police Independent Guild fundraiser event. I heard a woman, standing with a boy who couldn’t have been more than 3 or 4 years old, calling, “Excuse me….” through our locked gate. She had apparently been trying to get to our front counter but found no one there, it being Sunday, and had just happened to see us in the parking lot. I walked over to her and saw that the little boy was holding a plastic baggy containing a dollar and some change, and was clutching a well-worn stuffed dinosaur.
The woman told me that her son, AJ, had seen the stories on tv about our 4 slain officers. She said that they had driven to our station all the way from Kingston because her son was so intent on helping the children of these officers. I opened the gate and the boy handed me the plastic baggy containing all the money from his piggybank and a note on which he had written “AJ….From me to Pleec. I Love You.” And then, with tears in his eyes, he handed me his stuffed dinosaur. AJ’s mom explained that he wanted to give the children of the slain officers the most precious thing that he owned, and that was his dinosaur, Bruno.
I told AJ that I would take the money that he wanted to donate, but that I thought the best thing he could do for the children of our 4 officers was to keep Bruno safe with him but to keep those kids in his heart when he hugged his dinosaur. He agreed and gratefully took Bruno back from me and held him tightly as if he never wanted to let him go again.
We have seen many, many acts of generosity and kindness over the past 2 weeks. We have hugged more friends and strangers than we could have ever imagined and have mended broken ties with people we haven’t talked to for years. Yet nothing has touched me deeper, or given me more hope for the future, than AJ and his stuffed dinosaur. I gave AJ one of our department challenge coins, explaining to him that we only gave them out to the bravest and most deserving people we came across. I hope he will realize someday how much more than a dollar and some change he gave to me and to the Lakewood Police Department today.
So anyway, none of that is about Christmas, but it is about hope and love and I thought it was appropriate to share this holiday season.
I hope this letter finds all of you well and eager to spend the holidays with those you love. Squeeze everyone a little tighter and hug them a little longer today because life really is precious. Merry Christmas!

And . . . . this is what Christmas is all about.

Jesus is the reason for the season!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009


VFW Post 6240 - Russell, Kansas

The blog that I mentioned that Duane Cronn does is not a blog -
it is a web site and it is wonderful.

Great job, Duane!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009


I received the announcement about Loretta and Leo Baum from Duane Cronn yesterday. I was in a hurry when I posted it, as we had our granddaughter with us and I try to take more time with her. However, I really appeciate how Duane sends us information. I just have to copy and paste what he sends. In my rush I forgot to give him credit.
Thank You Duane for the information.

He sent this email to me this morning . . . . .

"Thanks Onnalee for running the wedding anniversary for Leo and Loretta. I should have told you that Loretta is my older sister. I was talking to her son Gordon at the anniversary and he thinks the blog is great and checks it out a couple of times a week. Everyone I talk to appreciates it, and looks forward to reading the new items, and checking out the old items.

I know it takes a lot of your time to keep it going. I’m the Post Quartermaster at the VFW in Russell. We didn’t have a website, so I was asked to set one up and have been operating it for about a year. I don’t have near the volume that you have but it stills takes a lot of time. In case you want to check the website out, the address is

Thanks again, and keep up the good work.

Duane Cronn"

(Now I know why he sends everything so easy to post - he knows what a blog is all about.)

Thanks again, Duane!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Leo & Loretta Celebrated 60 Years Together

Leo & Loretta Baum
Sixty Years of Marriage

Hope your celebration was Great!
Loretta Cronn Baum was in the class of 1949 at Paradise High School.
Their five children, Leo Harold Baum (1969), Gordon Baum (1970), Leota Baum Hekele, Ginger Baum Cotton and Brenda Baum Roat attended school at Paradise. Leo and Gordon graduated from Paradise, but the girls graduated from Hoisington High School.
Leo and Loretta reside at 409 N. Court St., Hoisington, Kansas

Wednesday, December 9, 2009


I received an email from Connie (Webster) Anderson Nov. 16, 2009
and for some reason, I just now found it.

This is a late for your Anniversary
Connie and John
but Congratulations for your
45th Anniversary -
November 29th.


And . . . . Thank You for your email.


I really enjoy reading all the stuff on the Paradise blog. It is great and we can hear about people we haven't heard from in many years.

Keep up the good work and forget those nay sayers. They don't have to look at it if they don't like it. Let the rest of it enjoy it.
I am a 1962 graduate of Paradise and my sister, Carol, was in Millard's class.

Just wanted to let you know that my we will soon be celebrating our 45 wedding anniversary on the 29th of November. After we were married we spent 6 years in the navy and were mostly on the east coast, except for the 14 months John was in Viet Nam as a medic with the Marines. We came back to Osborne in April of 1970 and have been here ever since. I was a clerk in several of the businesses here in Osborne and John was a lab. tech in the local hospital for 36 years, retiring in 2006.

Thanks for creating the blog and I truly enjoy every article that you put on there.

Thanks a bunch. Connie (Webster) Anderson

Sunday, December 6, 2009


HIGH SCHOOL -- 1959 vs. 2009

Scenario 1:
Jack goes quail hunting before school and then pulls into the school parking lot with his shotgun in his truck's gun rack.
1959 - Vice Principal comes over, looks at Jack's shotgun, goes to his car and gets his shotgun to show Jack.
2009 - School goes into lock down, FBI called, Jack hauled off to jail and never sees his truck or gun again. Counselors called in for traumatized students and teachers.

Scenario 2
Johnny and Mark get into a fist fight after school.
1959 -Crowd gathers. Mark wins. Johnny and Mark shake hands and end up buddies.
2009 - Police called and SWAT team arrives -- they arrest both Johnny and Mark. They are both charged with assault and both expelled even though Johnny started it.

Scenario 3:
Jeffrey will not be still in class, he disrupts other students.
1959 - Jeffrey sent to the Principal's office and given a good paddling by the Principal. He then returns to class, sits still and does not disrupt class again..
2009 - Jeffrey is given huge doses of Ritalin. He becomes a zombie. He is then tested for ADD. The school gets extra money from the state because Jeffrey has a disability.

Scenario 4:
Billy breaks a window in his neighbor's car and his Dad gives him a whipping with his belt.
1959 - Billy is more careful next time, grows up normal, goes to college and becomes a successful businessman.
2009 - Billy's dad is arrested for child abuse. Billy is removed to foster care and joins a gang. The state psychologist is told by Billy's sister that she remembers being abused herself and their dad goes to prison. Billy's mom has an affair with the psychologist.

Scenario 5:
Mark gets a headache and takes some aspirin to school.
1959 - Mark shares his aspirin with the Principal out on the smoking dock.
2009 - The police are called and Mark is expelled from school for drug violations. His car is then searched for drugs and weapons.

Scenario 6:
Pedro fails high school English.
1959 - Pedro goes to summer school, passes English and goes to college.
2009 - Pedro's cause is taken up by state.. Newspaper articles appear nationally explaining that teaching English as a requirement for graduation is racist ACLU files class action lawsuit against the state school system and Pedro's English teacher. English is then banned from core curriculum. Pedro is given his diploma anyway but ends up mowing lawns for a living because he cannot speak English..

Scenario 7:
Johnny takes apart leftover firecrackers from the Fourth of July, puts them in a model airplane paint bottle and blows up a red ant bed..
1959 - Ants die.
2009 - ATF, Homeland Security and the FBI are all called. Johnny is charged with domestic terrorism. The FBI investigates his parents -- and all siblings are removed from their home and all computers are confiscated. Johnny's dad is placed on a terror watch list and is never allowed to fly again.

Scenario 8:
Johnny falls while running during recess and scrapes his knee. He is found crying by his teacher, Mary. Mary hugs him to comfort him.
1959 - In a short time, Johnny feels better and goes on playing..
2009 - Mary is accused of being a sexual predator and loses her job. She faces 3 years in State Prison. Johnny undergoes 5 years of therapy.

Everyone should read this to show how stupid we have become!!


During this busy season, take out a minute for this
Awesome Mini Retreat for your mind.

Friday, December 4, 2009


Just received this from Duane Miller about his wife Donnie.

Hello Onnalee,

Donnie had a break from Chemotherapy Treatments from January until October. Her CEA count was normal in January and by October it was elevated to 24.

Last Wednesday the Oncology Doctor advised after three treatments the CEA count was 3.5. The response to treatment to kill the cancer cells was very good. The fourth chemotherapy treatment was on Wednesday December 2nd and is expected to bring the count on down to a normal level.

The plan is after the CEA reaches normal level, she would have surgery to reverse the colon.

Donnie is doing good on the one hand, but on the other there is considerable pain and suffering from the issues of having cancer and diabetes.

I will let you know when the surgery is scheduled.

Thanks for the prayers. Our family wish you and readers of the Paradise Blog. a Merry Christmas and Happy New-Year.

Duane Miller

Monday, November 30, 2009


The family appreciates your Prayers very much.
Helen is in the Plaza West in Topeka.
This is a gentle rehab/long term care center.
Thank You and Please Continue Praying.

This was sent to me from Loa Copp - Helen's daughter . . . . .
Helen Burger's surgery was on Monday, Nov. 16th.
All went well and she remained in Stormont Vail until she was transferred to Kansas Rehab Hospital on the 19th.
She stayed there until Sunday, the 22nd. That morning she suffered multiple grand mal seizures and was rushed back to Stormont Vail where she is at the current time.
An MRI discovered several serious brain issues and she also has aspiration pneumonia in her left lung.
The family is in the process of choosing a long-term care facility that will meet all of her mental and physical needs and would greatly cherish your continued prayers.

Saturday, November 28, 2009


I received a note from Rosemary (Thomas) Heiney Stewart (Class of 1952) today . . . .

"Hi Onnalee,
Was so sorry to see on the blog about Norma Thompson passing away.
It is so neat to be connected and know a little of what is going on with some of the former classmates.
I knew both her and Gerald even though they weren't in my class.
I enjoy the blog so much. Thanks!

Thank You Rosemary!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009


Funeral Services for Norma Jean Thompson

Service Time: 10:30 A.M.

Day and Date: Monday, November 30, 2009
Location: Paradise United Methodist Church - Paradise, KSVisitation and Guest Book Registration: Noon to 8 PM on Sunday, November 29, 2009 at the mortuary in Russell.
Family Greeting Visitors: 4 PM to 7 PM Sunday evening, November 29, 2009 at the mortuary.
Memorial: Paradise United Methodist Church, Lighthouse Church of God or Regional Hospice of Liberty, MO

Norma Jean Thompson, 74, of Liberty, Missouri and former Paradise, Fairport and Natoma resident, passed away Tuesday, November 24, 2009 at Liberty Missouri.
Norma was born March 14, 1935 in Hays, Kansas.
She was the daughter of Lawrence and Nellie (Sanders) Finch.
Norma attended school at Paradise, Kansas graduating from Paradise High School with the class of 1953.
She married her high school sweetheart, Gerald Dee Thompson, at Great Bend, Kansas, on March 20, 1952. After Geralds return from military service they moved to Woodston, Kansas for several years and then to Waldo, Kansas before returning to Paradise in 1969.

Norma spent the majority of her life caring for her family and working along side Gerald while living on the farm. She was a cook for the elementary school at Waldo, Kansas and worked for a time at Rehs Meat Locker in Natoma, Kansas. She later worked at Travenol in Hays, Kansas.

After retirement, Norma enjoyed spending summers at Wilson Lake and other area lakes camping and fishing with her children and grandchildren. Later in retirement she liked spending winters with Gerald in Rockport, Texas. She loved to travel, having little adventures, and looking at all the sights. She thoroughly enjoyed shopping, and especially enjoyed finding a bargain.

Norma attended the Paradise United Methodist Church where she participated in all church functions, sang in the choir and soloed, played the organ and/or piano, prepared food and crocheted all kinds of creations which were sold at the yearly Thanksgiving bazaar.

Norma had a kind heart, never a bad word to say about anyone, and was a friend to everyone she met. She will be missed by all who knew her.

Norma was preceded in death by her husband, Gerald, her mother, Nellie, and sisters, Barbara (who died as an infant) and Bernita Finch.
Survivors are her father, Lawrence Finch of Natoma, KS, sister, Dixie Eggleston of Liberty, MO, daughter Sonja and husband Jim Weisgerber of Topeka (John and Paul), son Curtis and wife Lila of Oakley, KS (Jennifer, Dana, C.J., Ryan and Courtney), son Bradley and wife Kimberly of Hutchinson, KS (Amber, Randi, Amanda, Jessica, and Kelsay), son Gerald Lee and wife Marlene of Lees Summit, MO (Mark, Matthew and Travis), and son Alan and wife Donna of Enid, OK (Rebecca).

Visitation will be from Noon to 8:00 p.m. with the family present from 4:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m., Sunday, November 29th at Pohlman-Varner-Peeler Mortuary in Russell, KS.
After visitation, the casket will remained closed. A celebration of Norma's life will be held Monday, November 30th at 10:30 a.m. at the Paradise United Methodist Church. Burial will follow at the Mt. Herman Cemetery west of Paradise.

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to Paradise United Methodist Church, Lighthouse Church of God, or Regional Hospice, Liberty, Missouri in care of the mortuary. Condolences may be sent via email by going to Pohlman-Varner-Peeler Mortuary of Russell is in charge of the funeral arrangements.

Norma's Family
Gerald Lee, Curtis, Bradley, Norma, Gerald, Alan, Sonja

All of her children graduated from Paradise -
Sonja (1970); Curtis (1972); Bradley (1974); Gerald Lee (1976); Alan (1978).
Her Father, Lawrence, still goes to church every Sunday at the Paradise Methodist Church.
He is 95 and drives himself from Natoma.

(I would like to Thank Randall Weller, Dan Hoisington, Jim Harrell and Duane Cronn for sending this information.)

I had an email from Irvin "Duane" Miller tonight. He also gave me the above information and added . . . .

"Norma Jean's father is Lawrence Finch. Lawrence is 98 years old and doing well.
Lawrence is my uncle, Norma and Dixie cousins.
Many thanks
Duane Miller"

I certainly appreciate everyone for making sure I get the information. I would rather receive the same information 2 or 3 times than to not to know about it at all. I'm not sure whether Lawrence Finch is 95 or 98 but either way, he must be very amazing! (I'm guessing that Duane is probably correct.)

Thank You, each of you!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009


This is a Tribute and Thank You
to the
United States of America's Men and Women in Uniform
by the
Ten Tenors from Australia

Just wanted to wish everyone a Wonderful Thanksgiving
and let you know how much we appreciate each of you.
Thanks for being a part of our lives!

Millard & Onnalee

Sunday, November 22, 2009


I received an email from Arthur Lee tonight . . . .

"Hello Onnalee, If there are any former students of Agnes Sims interested her address, it is . . . .

Agnes Sims
1293 N. Powers Rd.
Salina, Ks. 67401

Tele. 785 823 8239

I know she would like to hear from them. She celebrated her 90th birthday several months ago. Please enter this in the Paradise Blog. Arthur Lee"
Thank You Arthur for the email.
I certainly hope there are some readers that will remember her and send her a card. It is the little things that count.

Monday, November 16, 2009


Listen to the Paradise Fight Song
and Sing Along

Come on you Pirates, go out and win.
We're ready any time you begin.
Listen to our pep club roar.
Fight for a while and fight some more.
Our motto is we always play fair.
We've got the best team found anywhere.
We will Fight with all our might!
So Fight Team
Fight! Fight! Fight!

A note from . . . .
Judy (Hutchison) Tomei Class of 1971"


Sorry, I am not much of a blogger so feel free to translate/quote me.

I should remember the words and music to the fight song as I was a twirler in the band and a member of the pep club in high school but I had to look up the Notre Dame march and listen to it to be sure. Don't you think we should sing it at the alumni reunions so we don't forget it?

I've been reading the Paradise Educated site since you gave me the website address at the last Paradise Alumni Reunion I attended. I have it stored in my favorites listing. It brings back wonderful memories of the people and the little things that made Paradise so special.

Thanks so much!!

Friday, November 13, 2009


A special Thanks to Devin Strecker for telling us about this tour of Paradise.

"If you ever use Google Maps
then you probably know about street view -
where you can drag the little orange guy to a street
and it will show you the location as if you're
standing on that street looking around.
Well, they just added Paradise
so now you can go through all the streets and
take a virtual tour of the town!
Very interesting."
Type in Paradise, Kansas, then drag the little orange guy to a street.
I will be sure and watch this morning to see if Dan Hoisington gets to work on time. :)

Paradise is a city in Russell County, Kansas, United States.
The population was 64 at the 2000 census.
Paradise was founded in 1889.
Originally it was named Ivamar, who according to legend, was a beautiful and popular young woman in the city. The city was renamed "Paradise" after a hunting expedition led by James Meade stumbled upon the village, having trekked through miles of burnt prairie. On the other side of a creek was green grass, which looked like a paradise to the hunters, and thus the name was changed.


“On Wisconsin” is 100 years old
(Thank You Dan Hoisington for bringing this to my attention.
Dan had a Senior Moment - he thought this was the Paradise Fight Song. :)
However, I took him at his word and published everything about "On Wisconsin" :(
Millard sang the first line and the last line.
Dan Hoisington filled in the rest - except he forgot part of it.
Janette Angel Ross filled in the two lines before the end.
According to Judy (Hutchison) Tomei . . .
"If I remember correctly, the Paradise Fight Song was sung to the tune of the Notre Dame Victory March.
I think we changed the first line when I was in high school to
"Come on you Pirates, go out and win."
Judy (Hutchison) Tomei Class of 1971"
Team work!!!!!!

Come on old Paradise Go on and win
We're ready any time you begin.
Listen to our pep club roar.
Fight for a while and fight some more.
Our motto is we always play fair.
We've got the best team found anywhere.
We will Fight with all our might
So Fight Team
Fight! Fight! Fight!

The "Notre Dame Victory March" is the fight song for the University of Notre Dame. It was written by two brothers who were Notre Dame graduates. The Rev. Michael J. Shea, a 1904 graduate, wrote the music, and his brother, John F. Shea, who earned degrees in 1906 and 1908, wrote the original lyrics.
The lyrics were revised in the 1920s, it first appeared under the copyright of the University of Notre Dame in 1928.
The chorus of the song is one of the most recognizable collegiate fight songs in the United States, and was ranked first among fight songs by Northern Illinois University Professor William Studwell, who remarked it was "more borrowed, more famous and, frankly, you just hear it more."

Thursday, November 12, 2009


We Appreciate Each of YOU!

Duane Cronn stated in his comment under COMMENTS - The Good, The Bad & The Ugly
“Your counter shows 13,600 hits, so it appears that there are more than just a few people that actually look at the blog.”
My response . . . .
We started this blog on May 25, 2008. We did not have a counter until Aug. 5, 2008. I have kept a daily record of how many visitors have been on it since that time. From Aug. 5, 2008 to Jan. 8, 2009 there were 8,758 hits. Then on Jan. 9, 2009, I changed counters. From Jan. 9, 2009 until today Nov. 13, 2009 there have been 13,737. Therefore, since Aug 5, 2008 we have had 21,495 hits.

That is because of each of you - Word of Mouth.
Thank You very much.
Also, Duane stated . . . . .
“Also I want to thank you not only for your time spent working on the blog but also I assume that you also pay the costs to run the website out of your own pocket.”
My response . . . .
That is so thoughtful of you to think about expenses Duane. However, there is no charge for a Blog. My husband (Millard) probably thinks that my time on the Paradise Blog is being used more effectively than on his
Woodcarving Blog
and his Woodcarving Web Site.

I love doing the Paradise Blog and meeting and hearing from so many of you.
It is very rewarding.
I am going to take off a couple of weeks and get Millard's blog and web site up to date.
This should make the writer in the "Ugly" happy.
"Why don't you give the good people of Paradise a break and find some other way to entertain yourself." :)

Hmm! I doubt that I can stay away for a couple of weeks - I am rather addicted.
Devin Strecker said it all in his Comment - which I truly appreciate . .
Onnalee, you put so much effort and heart into the Paradise blog and it really shows.
You have connected so many people through time and space that all share one thing in common: a love of our community, neighbors and family around Paradise Kansas, no matter how long ago it was when we lived there.
I am so grateful that you have provided us with such a forum and think you do a wonderful job maintaining the blog.”
I could not have penned these words any better. Thank You Devin!
The connection that we have made with each of you has been very rewarding.


Scroll down to read the posting with this title before reading these comments.

I received a message on facebook from one of my former students that is a Dr. in Boulder, Colorado.I like her analogy . . . . .
"It looks like lemonade was made from lemons!"
Dan Hoisington (Class of 1967)
I can't get my comment to post so am emailing you the following:
To the secret person who thinks Onnalee needs to"give the good people of Paradise a break and find some other entertainment" why don't you do all of the other 013958 of us a break and don't look at the blog anymore. Obviously you do not like it.
Also, next time you want to rag on the great job Onnalee does please have the guts to sign your name. You can't write an editorial in a newspaper without your signature.
Dan Hoisington
Norma Hutchcraft Williams (Class of 1961)
Hi, Onnalee, I wanted to add my endorsement of the blog. You are doing a great service to keep us connected. In these times when things change so fast and we are bombarded with news and new ways to receive news it is wonderful to connect with old times and places and people that we knew back in the day. I check the blog every other day or so as I don't want to miss anything. I especially appreciated learning that my Aunt Helen Burger had been/is ill and have called and talked to her. That alone makes what you do invaluable. I appreciate your screening of language and content so it can continue to be a quality spot. Thank you very much and you may post this on the blog. I, also, am not very computer savvy and it is easier for me to e-mail you directly. Norma Hutchcraft Williams

Norma made me feel a little guilty. If anyone uses a word or some language that I think is inappropriate, I usually edit it in some way. Well, my good friend & former student, Terry Martin got by with it, as his S word would not have been effective if it would not have been used as is. Sorry to disappoint anyone. I could say, "The Devil Made Me Do It" , but that is not the case. Terry made me do it . . . I copy and pasted his comment as it was.
Randall Weller (Class of 1958)
Hi---I admit that I do not tap into the Blog like I should. Have been gone most of the Summer and have not done so. Then, I tap in and find this hooey about someone complaining about it and maybe taking a critical shot at you. I am going to get nosey and ask you to bring me to date on what happened. I go to Paradise every week and would like to know. I think it is a wonderful thing that you have done and I have enjoyed reading what others have said and done. I am not computer literate enough to contribute. I would like to know who complained and what about.
I have no problem with publishing this and put my name on it!!!! It is wonderful and I know it will continue to be. Randall
Duane Cronn (Class of 1957)
I am a long time resident of Paradise, and have been reading your blog since I found out about it a couple of years ago. I think it is great, and I enjoy reading the e-mails, looking at the photographs, etc. You have put in a considerable amount of work in this project. Please keep up the good work.
It’s too bad we have someone in our community that would send you such an e-mail. I always figure there is going to be that 1% who wants to spoil it for everyone else, so you might just as well ignore them.
Your counter shows 13,600 hits, so it appears that there are more than just a few people that actually look at the blog.
Also I want to thank you not only for your time spent working on the blog but also I assume that you also pay the costs to run the website out of your own pocket.
I graduated with the class of 1957. My classmates were Myron Miller, Blair Houser, Denzil McNeal, Alvin Webster, Bud Montgomery, Larry Schmidtberger, Diane (Hoisington) Hanzlicek, Joyce (Rounkles) Mello, and Marilyn (Elliott) Hoopes.
Devin Strecker (former Paradise student and contributor to the blog)
Onnalee, you put so much effort and heart into the Paradise blog and it really shows.
You have connected so many people through time and space that all share one thing in common: a love of our community, neighbors and family around Paradise Kansas, no matter how long ago it was when we lived there.
I am so grateful that you have provided us with such a forum and think you do a wonderful job maintaining the blog.
Terry Martin (Class of 1965)
Onnalee you have done a great job with the Paradise Blog. Please keep up the good work and don't let some has been mess with you. You know me, If I was you I would make that has been a nice batch of chocolate chip cookies with x-lax in them. This would help them with their shitty outlook on life.
C.C. of Fairport
What are they talking about? I have seen nothing that you have been offensive to or that you told something that you shouldn't have.....I gave you permission on my story....I'm sorry! I hate it when people try to ruin a good thing.....
We are having an OSWALD-FAIRPORT Reunion next July. We are inviting everyone that had or has ties to the Fairport area. We had about 41+ last May at the Fairport Market...had a fantastic time. We visited, roasted marshmallows, took pics at the Oswald Monument, visited the diamond hill, went geocaching and just had a darn good time. Only one day, so am hoping with every ones cooperation we can do 2 or 2 1/2 days.....We had some clear from Oregon and California. and they are coming back next year. I will get you to put something about it so everyone that wants to attend can get it on their calendars. WE HAD AN AWESOME TIME. And the garden will be going good by then so lots of fresh veggies.......imagine that!!!!!
Michele Peterka (Granddaughter of Garnett Angel - daughter of Janette Angel Ross)
If you want to post this, you can, it's up to you... but I said nothing I'm afraid of or ashamed of... Unlike the poison pen author who took time out of his or her sad pathetic little life to spew such wickedness! So if you do publish my response... you will post my FULL name! :o)
This is the work of a coward. It means absolutely nothing without a name to stand behind it. Only an Evil, Hateful, Ignorant person does this.
I wouldn't worry about it, or give it any energy... the person who wrote it is not worth your thought or your time! Pray for them, and ask God to help bring Peace to their tormented mind and soul.
Only the people who matter, support and love what you have done... I would delete it off the Blog, and don't give it a voice.
Karen Hudnall Jakub (Class of 1960)
Onnalee, good for you!!!! Looks great. I like the way you did it - the Good, the Bad & the Ugly. Perfect. I also am glad you put in the message about always having permission or request to put the material on the Blog. Anonymous can just take that and chew on it a while!!! Can't wait to see the positive responses to the latest entries!
You go girl!
S.B. - A former Elkhart student in Saudi
I don't know any of the people, but that's a rather nice blog. It looks like a lot of work but I'm sure it's worth the effort to keep so many people in touch with their hometown friends! Nice!
I wouldn't worry about the overly sensitive critic. If people post personal messages on your blog I think they have chosen to participate. More than half the people in the USA are mentally ill, otherwise, how could Obama have been elected President?!?!?! You can't be asked to judge someones mental capacity by the messages they send you.I know you understand "personal responsibility" and "discretion" as I remember many of the things you said to us during Youth Choir practices regarding personal conduct and values. My memory is fuzzy at times but I absolutely have no memory whatsoever of you ever saying anything off the wall and I know you have the ability to glean public messages from mere gossip. If someone talks about their memories of high school or shares clippings from a newspaper from 30 years ago or even updates news about someones battle with cancer, it's not really an invasion of privacy to share it with friends. It's not like you would leave postings on your blog of personal attacks. Or, if someone starts posting their pin numbers or talks about so-and-so's financial problems you would wipe that off as soon as you see it.
S. W. - A friend and reader from Oregon
I can see that you have put many hours into that blog spot! Admirable!!!!! No wonder that I don't get many emails from you!
Sad, when you are trying to do a good thing, that someone so unjustly attacks you.
To re-word an old quote, "You can please some of the people all of the time and all of the people some of the time. But you cannot please all of the people all of the time."
To that disgruntled person, I would have said, "If you don't like it, don't click onto this site--i.e., if you don't like it, don't read it."
Carry on, good Sister, carry on! But I didn't make a comment on the blog since I am not a part of the Paradise community, and indeed, though a Kansas native with deep roots in that soil, I'd never heard about Paradise, Ks until you started writing about it.


Read this from top to bottom to get the full effect of The Good, The Bad & The Ugly!
This is an email I received this morning from Karen Hudnall Jakub.
Thank You so much Karen.

6 “Hi Onnalee,
I have been missing so much. I haven't been visiting the Paradise Blog on a regular basis. I just spent some quality time catching up. What a blessing you are to so many! I just love reading and remembering. Having lived in Fairport instead of Paradise, there are some of the Paradise residents I don't know that well. Of course, I've heard of them or at least know the family name. Again, you are a real blessing to many.

I really regret that I haven’t saved the many emails that I have received from time to time to be able to share them with you. Each of you make our work on the Paradise Blog so rewarding.

In one of Rosemary (Thomas) Heiney Stewart’s emails that is in a posting about her on the blog. Nov. 7, 2009 she wrote the following . . . . Thank You, Rosemary.
“I just wanted to tell you that I got through the blog. I skimmed through some of it as there is a lot to read. I appreciate all the work you have put into it. My, there is a lot there. Thank you so much! There were many names that I remember and some of the people I remember. It was neat when I saw my 1952 class Graduation class picture. There were 9 of us--i think--and I was the only girl!”

Aug. 30, 2008 Iva Laughlin Byrd wrote a message - which is on the blog -

“Onnalee, I just wanted to take this opportunity to say:   (There was a photo of a bowl of M&M’s here)

As someone who grew up in Paradise and had to leave between my junior and senior year, I really am grateful for this opportunity to reconnect with my former school mates.The blog that you and Millard started has brought us a lot of Enjoyment. I know it takes a lot of time and energy and just want you to know that I do appreciate it. Hope you will be able to continue this very special work. We have never met. Hopefully someday we will. I always seemed to get close to the music teachers, so I believe if the timeframe was different, we would have been friends.Looking forward to getting to know you via email until the day we meet face to face. Iva Byrd

The above was the Good. In fact they were great. There are others too and I am wondering why I didn’t save them.

Thank You Each of YOU!

For the record - I strive to never publish ANYTHING without permission and when a person sends something to me, I usually copy and paste it so it is their wording.
I had a goof up with the "Paradise Quilt" posting, which I have made it known that it was a mistake.
Remember - everything is by permission or request.

Here is the Bad and the Ugly
It was sent as a Comment to be published on the blog. However, it has been “sanitized” in order that it could be put on The Paradise Blog.
As a long-time resident of the Paradise community, I know (name) as well as (name). I am dismayed and a little taken aback that you would see fit to publish such intimate and personal details. Especially when you don't have their permission to do so.
Those current members of the Paradise community that I have spoken to about this tell me that (name) has numerous mental health issues, and it may even be that (name) isn't capable of realizing that they shouldn't be sharing such personal details about someone other than themselves. You, on the other hand, need to take some professional and personal responsibility and realize that what you are posting is indeed crossing a line and may even be considered "none of your business".
Perhaps you mean well, or perhaps it is as others here in Paradise are telling me - that you also have numerous mental problems. Whatever the case may be, please understand that the few people that actually look at this blog do indeed have some manners and understand and respect other people's individual privacy.

If you are going to keep running this blog, then you really need to understand what the terms journalistic ethics and personal responsibility actually mean. Otherwise, you are inviting legal troubles.

Why don't you give the good people of Paradise a break and find some other way to entertain yourself.
Publish this comment.
Reject this comment.
Moderate comments for this blog.
Posted by Anonymous to Paradise Educated at November 9, 2009 11:13 AM

Tuesday, November 10, 2009


Quotes from the Paradise Farmer:
"June 7, 1920 - Miss Junia Sullivan, who is in charge of the telephone central office, gives the best of telephone service, and is well liked by patrons of the system.
September 20, 1920 - Lest you forget, the telephone central office is open during these hours:
Sundays, 7:30-9:30 a.m. and 4-6 p.m.
On week days 7 to 9, with an hour closed at noon and supper time.
Patrons should realize that the operator cannot answer calls every minute of the day."
Junia was born June 9, 1880, in Wilson County, Kansas. She was the daughter of John Melvin and Lydia (Shepherd) Sullivan.
She died February 5, 1966, and was buried in Mt. Hermon Cemetery, Paradise, Ks.



Helen Burger will be having surgery at Stormont Vail at 12:45, Mon, Nov. 16th to correct an ongoing problem. She would greatly appreciate your prayers for her and for her daughters - Thelma, Alice, Sue and Loa - during this time. Also, continued prayers will be appreciated for both her and Loa during this recovery time - which will take several weeks because of her age.

Helen was 91 on Oct. 5th.
This picture was taken a couple of days ago.
Isn't she one amazing 91 year old?

Saturday, November 7, 2009



Rosemary (Thomas) Heiney Stewart
was the only girl in the graduating class of 1952.

Other members of her class were . . . .
George Beller, Robert Beller, Robert Dickinson,
Merle Houser, Harold Hudnall, Tommie Hutchinson,
Darrald Newman and
Chester Webster.

It is always such a delight to find "old" and "new" acquaintances that are Paradise Graduates. I am enjoying being on facebook and seeing several of my former students and some of my relatives that I have not seen for some time - and some that I have not met. Every week brings new postings that Ifind so interesting and exciting.

A couple of weeks ago, I received a message from Rosalynn Heiney Wells Handley . . . . .

"I was telling my mom about some of the Elkhartians I have been re-connecting with. For some reason I remembered seeing something about Paradise and Lyons KS in one of your posts. She went to grade school in Lyons and graduated as the only girl in her Senior class in Paradise in 1952!! Would you or your husband be ...anywhere near ages to have remembered her?? Rosemary Thomas was her maiden name. She had a younger brother named Dale Albert and went by D.A. Just a curious little Kansas girl I am!"

My response . . . .

Rosalynn, we are from Emporia in Lyon County. However, I am sitting here with our Paradise Roster of all the graduates of all the years. Amazing!!!!!
Millard graduated in 1958, I taught my first 3 years in Paradise (1963-66).
We met each other while I was in Paradise and had our first home there after we were married in 65 - then we taught one ... more year - Millard still in Luray and I was in Paradise.

Your Mother will really enjoy the Paradise Blog - especially after she gets through the latest postings. If she goes all the way back to the beginning she will see so many wonderful pictures of Paradise. It will probably take her a couple of days. lol!
From Rosalynn . . .

She went to the 40th reunion in Paradise! She's still in Springfield, but doesn't drive much. I forwarded the blog info to her...I know she will love it. It has been fun finding information and life cycles from old friends :)
Thank you so much for the response

Then I had a message . . . . .
"Rosemary Heiney Stewart sent you a message on Facebook..."
Her message . . . . .

Hello Onnalee, I know you won't know me--my daughter, Rosalynn has been writing to you and it has been so interesting to learn more. I remember the name "Mr. Harrell from when my kids were in band in Elkhart, but never associated it at all. When Rosalynn mentioned that you had taught in Paradise I told her I was sure that I remember the name Harrell from Paradise, but couldn't remember any faces to put with it. When she told me when your husband graduated I could see why.
I graduated in 1952 and my maiden name was Thomas. We lived out by Fairport and I rode the bus to Paradise. I remember well how I used to tell people that I graduated from Paradise and there were really Angels there, It was always funny. It's been many years since I have been there, I went my Jr. and Senior year there and had many happy memories of there. Some of them very funny in fact.
I was married and moved to Great Bend some time after I graduated.I still am in contact with Harold Hudnall who lives in Great Bend and I always get an invitation to the reunions, but it is a long way from Springfield and I am not really physically able to go. I did get to go for my 40th class reunion, but that was the last. It was amazing how much older they all looked than I did (that's a joke). I would like to think that, but afraid it isn't true. My husband and I went for my 40th, but he passed away in 1996 so I just can't make it anymore.
I am interested in learning more about the Harrell's, but can't remember any being close to my age.
The Lord has blessed my life and my husband was a Minister. We pastored 3 churches over almost a 30 year period. We had 3 children, my oldest is Rosalynn, my middle child, Karen passed away with Cancer when she was 22. My son and family are Missionaries in Venezuela and have been there for about 17 years. Won't bend your ear any longer, but just thought this was all so interesting.
I have the Paradise blog now in my favorites that you sent and I know I will enjoy it even though I don't know most of the younger ones.
Hope to hear from you. May God bless you and your family.
Sincerely, Rosemary (Thomas)Heiney Stewart
I sent her a message and asked for her permission to put her messages on facebook . . . .

"Yes, you have my permission to put my message on the blog. Thanks!
I sent you another message asking you about if you and Millard had the furniture store and the funeral home in Elkhart, it just keeps coming to my mind that it was Harrell furniture and I thought that about the funeral home also. I remember we bought some furniture there. This is just all so interesting even though it's been so long ago."
Another message from Rosemary

I promise this will be the last time I will bother you for awhile. I just wanted to tell you that I got through the blog. I skimmed through some of it as there is a lot to read. I appreciate all the work you have put into it. My, there is a lot there. Thank you so much! There were many names that I remember and some of the people I remember. It was neat when I saw my 1952 class Graduation class picture. There were 9 of us--i think--and I was the only girl! I enjoyed seeing the Hudnall family pictures especially. Harold and I have sort of kept in contact and I also remember that my little brother, D.A. Thomas was in the second grade at Fairport with Karen Hudnall. He always said that she was his girlfriend. So it was fun to see her picture now. My brother, D.A. passed away in 2007. He was retired, but for many, many years was head librarian at the DR'S library at K.U.medical center. His wife still lives in K.C. and he only had one daughter and she and her family live in St. Louis. It is so neat to go back in time and remember some of these things from our past.

I thought of something funny that Millard will probably get a kick out of. When I was a Jr. or Senior at Paradise I had to go about 11 miles to get into town so I drove my parents car and went to our play practice--I parked in front of Basheors cafe and went with some of my friends just to ride around for a little bit after play practice. When we got back we were all just standing by my car talking and when I opened my car door the light came on and one of my classmates noticed that the town drunk (I think I know his name, but won't say) anyway he was in my backseat either asleep or passed out. Of course the boys got him out of the car, but I've oftened wondered what would have happened if I had got on the road going home and he would have raised up--He probably wouldn't have hurt me, but I probably would have killed me and him too. This is one of my funniest memories from my days in school there. Just thought I would share and you would probably think it funny too.Is so nice that you live close to your kids and Grandkids--they are so special! I enjoy so much that I am close to Rosalynn and part of her family. It means so much especially since my son and family are so far away.

She wrote another message . . . .

I did look on the blog today, I presume that the newest ones are at the top.
I enjoyed seeing all of the pictures of your Anniversary. I think Millard still looks like I remember him and you do too in the face. I think that you had long sort of blonde hair when I remember you in the furniture store. Of course we all look a little older, but that just means God has granted us a longer life.

I was thinking about the table and chairs set that we bought from your store--it was is 1972 or 73 and I have used it all these years--Just got rid of it and a new set last Summer. It was really a nice set and a good one evidently! The table was still in very good shape, but the chairs were getting a little unstable. It was sort of Early American style with the Maple finish. We later after we had moved from Elkhart bought a China hutch to match it which I still have. Thanks for writing. Rosemary