August 1, 2008

Kansas Flint Hills

"All men are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field; the grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of the Lord stands forever." 1 Peter 1:24-25


Back in the summer of 1987, I took a college course at Emporia State University called Flint Hills Folklife. Dr. Jim Hoy taught about the Flint Hills inside and outside the classroom. That summer, my love for the Flint Hills of Kansas was born.

The Flint Hills are a strip of land two hundred miles long and fifty miles wide that stretch from Nebraska to Oklahoma near the middle of Kansas. Unlike most other land in Kansas, which is ripe for farming, this strip of land refuses to be tamed--too rocky to farm, its rolling hills encrusted with sharp native flint rock. Because of this, it has become one of the last standing tall grass prairie regions in the world.

I've always loved this parcel of Kansas grassland, but it wasn't until a few years ago that I
realized I had a story to tell. So began my idea to write about the people of this land, to tell their story in a fictional piece of work.

That idea stemmed into four contemporary stories, which blossomed into a series I call "Seasons of the Tallgrass."
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