When I arrived in Greensburg on a brisk Friday morning in mid-November, I was greeted with a brass band. No, I'm not a celebrity, and the band didn't know I was coming. It was the combined Greensburg Jr. Hi. and Sr. Hi. School Marching Band practicing on Main Street.
There was hardly any traffic. The one or two other vehicles beside my own turned down side streets when they saw that the band was practicing. I slid my pickup truck into a space in front of the Kiowa County Historical Museum and got out to watch the parade and enjoy the music.
The only person I saw on the street, other than the band members, was an elderly white haired lady standing in front of Hunter Drug Store. I walked over next to her during a break in the performance said, "They're very good, aren't they."
"Yes," she huffed, "and they're standing right in front of where I parked my car so I can't leave."
The band members went through a few formations and then faced the white haired lady and me and played the Star Spangled Banner. It was splendid... rousing... inspiring! Then they turned about face and marched back down Main Street toward the school, filling the air with music as they went.
Where else but in small town America!
Richard Huckriede, better known as "Dick," has been working behind the soda fountain at Hunter Drugstore for well over half a century. I was very honored to meet this fine gentleman and he agreed to let me take his photo as he was making a root beer float for me.
Dick moved to Greensburg from Ohio with his family when he was young. While his brothers went into farming on the fertile Kansas plains, Dick settled into a more "urban" lifestyle as a clerk for Hunter Drug in the small county seat town of Greensburg.
I thoroughly enjoyed chatting with Dick and found him to be accomplished behind the soda fountain. He is also a fountain of knowledge about the local area. Even though Dick is old enough that he could have retired a decade ago, he still enjoys working regularly. Dick and his vintage soda fountain have been featured in articles of several publications.
If you ever find yourself in Greensburg be sure to stop in Hunter Drug and say hello to Dick. He will make you an ice cream soda the old fashioned way and serve it to you with a smile. It will be as good as any you've ever tasted.