Greetings from Ellinwood, Kansas
Former residence of E.L. Smith!
The last time we heard from the running Avatar was at the end of May. He complained of what a challenging running year it had been, and how in the month of May he had been trying to "start being a runner again." Yeah, he talks like that. What he didn't know was that circumstances were about to keep him from running for the entire first half of June, during which he would balloon briefly to an all-time high weight! Well, not him. The Avatar doesn't weigh anything. It's me who weighs so much.
We trudge on, eastward across Kansas. We passed through Ness City, which is the county seat of Ness County; we passed through Rush Center, which is not the county seat of Rush County; and through Great Bend, the largest town since Casper, Wyoming, a place where we were able to find an independent coffee shop! And then we went one town further, to Ellinwood. Ellinwood is the hometown of my buddy Chris, so the Avatar thought he would stop in and check out, as Chris put it in a recent communication, "where the shit went down."
As is the custom, the Avatar looked around online for some postcards to send you.
This school no longer exists. I've noticed that the kind of architecture that would be laboriously conserved in a courthouse or a downtown office building, or a church, was generally been ripped down many decades ago in schools. Schools are ridden pretty hard and then typically cleared away to make room for new facilities, and then too they get hit by arson more often than does, say, the average bank. You usually only see this kind of old school architecture in places where the school district itself was shut down and the building was left to rot, along with the rest of the town in most cases.
Ellinwood's little downtown is still there. It was probably never very big -- Great Bend is just a few miles up the road. Who can compete? (Incidentally, the City of Ellinwood's Slogan, "With Streets of Golden Wheat," is at best extremely misleading, as is clear from this photograph.)
Churches get used pretty gently, and people treat them like they were sacred. Reasonably enough. So, Saint Joseph's Church is still there.
The Ellinwood Mill and Elevator Co. no longer exists. For reasons X, Y, and Z, I suspect that it occupied the spot that is now the Great Bend Co-op's big plant, across the railroad tracks from the highway, down by the golf course. But it's just an educated guess.
Does the E.L. Smith Residence still exist? Tough to say! A lot of the houses over on Kennedy Street look a lot like this one, but I didn't see a convincing match. Not that I tried very hard. I invite readers of a compulsive nature to see if they can find the Smith house in Ellinwood's modern urban fabric!
In the meantime, here the former residence of Chris:
Eastward continues the Avatar! Look him up if you find yourself in Central Kansas!