Culture

by Mike Marlett | Monday, May 4 | Posted in Culture

MythBusters Jamie & Adam Unleashed will come to Century II’s Concert Hall on Dec. 1. The Discovery Channel show hosts, Jamie Hyneman and Adam Savage, will take the audience on an evening of on-stage experiments, audience participation, rocking video and behind-the-scenes stories. The show will run from 7:30 to 9:30. Fans will join Jamie and Adam on stage and assist in their mind-twisting and not always orthodox approach to science.

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by Michael Carmody | Wednesday, January 7 | Posted in Culture

Today's newspaper reportage is typically dry and straightforward, with little to none of the florid prose employed by journalists of the 19th and early 20th centuries. This week's Wichitarchaeology collects samples of the long-lost old style of purple prose published in the Wichita Eagle many years ago; many can be attributed to Eagle founder Col. Marsh Murdock, the master of the style who coined such Wichita pseudonyms as "Peerless Princess on the Plains," "Magical Mascot of the Meridian," "Mecca of Men" and "The Windy Wonder."

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by Michael Carmody | Thursday, December 18 | Posted in Culture

I have been, since adolescence, a "car guy." Over the years I have owned something like 50 cars, trucks and motorcycles, the vast majority of which where manufactured in the 1960s and '70s. Most were purchased for less than $1,000; the cheapest was the fully operational 1960 Ford Falcon that I bought for $25.

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The power of the press was used to make — and break — this city.

by Michael Carmody | Thursday, December 4 | Posted in Culture

Colonel Marshall Marcellus Murdock, founder and editor of the Wichita Eagle, was one of the key figures in creating rampant real estate speculation in Wichita, and he was also a major factor in bursting the bubble.

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by Michael Carmody | Thursday, November 20 | Posted in Culture

In 1991-92, this author lived in a tiny apartment on the backside of the carriage house of an 1870s-era manor at 1725 Fairmount. Known to locals as the Funeral Home (due to a prank that had taken place some years before), this ramshackle Victorian house had been divided up into a dozen or so cheap apartments, most of which were occupied at any given time by students and/or dropouts and/or bartenders from the nearby Kirby's Beer Store.

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An art deco jewel in Wichita's Air Capital crown.

by Michael Carmody | Thursday, November 13 | Posted in Culture

In a city that has long traded on its legendary status as the world's Air Capital, one cannot be faulted for puzzling over the fact that promotion of our fine Kansas Aviation Museum seems to fall so low on the city's list of priorities. The museum, located in the city's original Municipal Airport building at the southeastern end of George Washington Boulevard, is a treasure too often overlooked.

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by Michael Carmody | Thursday, November 13 | Posted in Culture

In this week's Wichitarchaeology, we wrap up our ongoing series on the origin of Wichita place names. In the last installment, we examined the history behind Getto, Harry, Hydraulic and Nims streets; this week, we take a look at Orme, Osie, Rutan and William.

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by Michael Carmody | Thursday, November 13 | Posted in Culture

Editor's Note: This week's Wichitarchaeology is a special edition, presented in conjunction with the Historic Dunbar Theatre Open House Concert taking place this Sunday, Oct. 12. The fourth and final installment of "Where the Streets Have Historically Relevant Names" will appear in next week's F5.

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by Michael Carmody | Thursday, November 13 | Posted in Culture

In the past two editions of Wichitarchaeology, we have examined the origins of some of Wichita's place names — in particular, Bleckley Drive (named for World War I hero Lt. Erwin Bleckley) and Hoover's Orchard (a residential neighborhood which was once a hugely successful commercial orchard run by the Hoover family). This has stimulated a fair amount of reader feedback, mostly in the form of questions regarding the names of other Wichita streets and areas. We will cover several of these in this and next week's columns.

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by Michael Carmody | Thursday, November 13 | Posted in Culture

In the last edition of Wichitarchaeology, we discussed the origin of the name of Bleckley Street, christened in honor of fallen World War I hero Erwin R. Bleckley of Wichita. This week we continue the theme with a look into how Hoover Road got its name.

In 1869, a year before Wichita was incorporated as a city, 25-year-old Samuel Henry Hoover and his brother Daniel migrated to this area from Bloomington, Illinois. With them came their wives, Eliza and Sarah, and a brother-in-law, John Teter.

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by Michael Carmody | Thursday, November 13 | Posted in Culture

Some of Wichita's oldest and most well-known public thoroughfares — Douglas, Kellogg, Waterman, etc. — are named for individuals with considerable influence on (or, in some cases, popularity among) the local populace. In last week's Wichitarchaeology, we reported that Benjamin Hills development was named not for Wichita civic leader Ben McLean, but rather his grandson, Ben II, killed in World War II. Looking closer at a map of Wichita, other stories come to light. This is the first in a series exploring the namesakes of Wichita streets and places.

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by Michael Carmody | Thursday, November 13 | Posted in Culture

Perhaps the most consistently scenic thoroughfare in Wichita is the long, winding, river-hugging McLean Boulevard, snaking through the city's heart from north to south. Keen-eyed readers traveling upon McLean may have taken note of the splendid Ben F. McLean fountain just north of Douglas Avenue, as well; both street and fountain share a common namesake, early Wichita banker and civic leader Benjamin F. McLean.

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The 1907 Wichita Jobbers had the third best record of any 20th century minor league team.

by Michael Carmody | Thursday, November 13 | Posted in Culture

The history of Wichita is inextricably intertwined with that of baseball, that most American of sporting pastimes. When Wichita was incorporated as a city in 1870, scarcely a year had passed since the formation of the first professional baseball club (the Cincinatti Red Stockings), and baseball fever was spreading across American settlements from coast to coast. Over 140 years later, Wichita still has a soft spot for the sport.

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by Michael Carmody | Wednesday, July 30 | Posted in Culture

This edition of Wichitarchaeology completes a three-part series of news highlights from historic July issues of the Wichita Eagle. The preceding two installments covered the period from 1872, when "Indian trouble" was headline news, to 1929, when Wichita's might as an aerospace industry giant was jeopardized by that year's devastating stock market crash. All text is taken directly from the Tihen Notes on the Eagle (and Eagle-Beacon), except that in italics, which is the author's commentary.

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by Michael Carmody | Thursday, July 17 | Posted in Culture

Human nature never changes, but the details of our daily lives do on a constant basis. Wichita, born by candlelight on horseback at the end of a cattle trail, blossomed in the span of a few decades into a modern, machine-age metropolis fueled by aerospace and lubricated with fresh crude. Another 100 years hence finds us making the difficult transition from an economy (not to mention social structure) built on manufacturing to one in which information has become the world's primary widget.

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by Michael Carmody | Thursday, July 3 | Posted in Culture

Young people today can be forgiven if they are confused about the nature of traditional fraternal organizations. Archaic, mysterious, inscrutable — "secret societies" whose members called themselves Eagles, Masons, Knights of Columbus, Odd Fellows, Daughters of Rebekah and Maccabees were once commonplace in American communities of every size. Their lodges were vibrant hubs of social interaction not to mention the very crucible of charity in a time before public assistance was widely available.

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by Michael Carmody | Thursday, June 19 | Posted in Culture

Editor's note: This is the second part of a 2-part story on Wichita Boat houses. In last week's F5, we covered the rise and fall of the Wichita Boating Club from 1877 to 1897 and its boathouse at Oak Street (now Murdock Avenue) and the Little Arkansas on the edge of what is now Central Riverside Park.

Whatever had caused the mass loss of interest in boating in the 1890s, it was temporary. By 1898, the public once again demanded its boats.

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by Michael Carmody | Thursday, June 12 | Posted in Culture

In the humid heat of any given Kansas summer, inhabitants are liable to find themselves looking for an entertaining way to beat the heat. For decades, the most popular option in Wichita was a trip to the boathouse on the Little Arkansas River at Murdock Avenue.

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by Michael Carmody | Thursday, May 29 | Posted in Culture

Our fair city has laid claim to the proud title Air Capital of the World for most of the past century, but there was a stretch of several decades in which Wichita was also the planet's number one trade center for a now-marginalized agricultural product: broomcorn.

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by Michael Carmody | Thursday, May 22 | Posted in Culture

Wichita has long been fortunate in its strong and vibrant connection to the arts, and one of its earliest figures was John Noble, Jr. Born in our fair city in 1874 to English immigrant parents, Noble would later claim (falsely) to be "the first white child born in Wichita." It was but one of many fabrications in the self-made mythos of the man who dubbed himself "Wichita Bill."

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