Creating memories one fingernail at a time

Rylin's "handy" work on Grandpa Chuck's right hand.

Rylin’s “handy” work on Grandpa Chuck’s right hand.

Chuck Kurtz

Chuck Kurtz

You’ll get no argument from me that I will do just about anything when it comes to each of my five grandkids.

To say they have me wrapped around their little fingers is, well, an understatement.

Our oldest, Alexandra, is 13 and leaves on Whidbey Island near Seattle, Wash. Dylan, 7, and his sister Carys, 5, live in Windsor, Colo., just east of Fort Collins. Then there are Rylin, 4, and her sister Ashlyn, 18 months, who live in Olathe and who I have been babysitting three afternoons a week since Rylin was six months old.

I would watch them all if it were possible. Continue reading


Halloween 1973: The Devil Made Me Do It

David Chartrand

David Chartrand

I recently attended a reunion of high school friends and classmates.  Everyone seemed happy to see me. Everyone, that is, except Helen Stockman.

Thirty-nine years after our last date, Helen was still waiting for Congress to legalize physical violence against people who pull stupid, juvenile Halloween pranks.

“I see no reason,” she told a CNN interviewer, “why such persons shouldn’t be beaten senseless with a baseball bat.”

Thinking back, Helen Stockman was a poor choice for the Halloween prank of 1973. She was a frail, pale 16-year-old who freaked out during school fire drills. I was madly in love with her. Continue reading

Olathe news briefs for the week of Oct. 28

City Council – Joint Council/Planning Commission Meeting
The Olathe City Council and the Olathe Planning Commission will hold a joint meeting on Tuesday, October 29 from 6 to 8 p.m. in the Council Chamber at City Hall.  The Planning Commission will brief the City Council on the draft Unified Development Ordinance (UDO) and obtain Council feedback prior to initiating the public hearing.  To see the complete agenda for this meeting, visit the City’s website at

The Olathe City Council will next meet Tuesday, November 5, at 7:00 p.m. in the Council Chamber at City Hall for a regular session. Regular sessions are broadcast live on OGN (Comcast channel 7, AT&T channel 99 and on the City’s website). To see the complete agenda for this meeting, visit the City’s website at  For a recap of the previous Council meeting, visit the City Clerk’s webpage. Continue reading

Halloween fun on The Farm

Trick or Treat on the Farm and in the Boooo Barn from 1 to 4 p.m., Oct. 26 and 27 at the National Agricultural Center and Hall of Fame in Bonner Springs.

Cost is $5 per person; members and children under 1 are free.

The Boooo Barn, a kid-friendly haunted barn, will delight and spook children of all ages. Trick or Treat through the historical buildings in FarmTown, enjoy spooky stories, a costume fashion show (at 3:00), farming activities, hayrides, miniature train rides and more! A unique Halloween family tradition!

The National Agricultural Center and Hall of Fame is located at 630 North 126th Street (just northeast of I-70 in Bonner Springs, Kansas, two miles west of the Kansas Speedway). For more information call 913-721-1075 or visit


Halloween fun at KSU-Olathe Campus Oct. 29

Kansas State University’s College of Engineering and Kansas State University Olathe are partnering to offer an evening of Halloween-themed activities for elementary students based on science, technology, engineering and math principles, or STEM.

Trick or Engineering will be 5-8 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 29, on the Olathe campus, 22201 W. Innovation Drive.

“Many of the amazing feats humans have accomplished throughout time have a common theme: engineering,” said Emily Surdez, admissions representative for the College of Engineering at the Olathe campus. “This program allows elementary students to be engineers for a day, experiencing the joy of discovery and the ownership in implementing their ideas. They will utilize math and science knowledge to build structures and create solutions to real-world challenges.” Continue reading

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