It’s been over a year and a half since I have been back to the town I grew up in (Salina, KS) …

Honestly, I don’t think I miss it for several reasons:
– I LOVE house I live in, what I do and the neighborhood I do it in
– My relationship with Salina is such a love/hate thing that I think I am finally to the point that I miss my friends that live there, not the town itself … I know that this seems obvious, but in my 20’s I used to think that I needed to SEE the physical city to feel grounded.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Looking forward to seeing Chris … Doing stupid/awesome things like putting in fog lights and a new stereo in Roger (my truck) is just the kind of crap we would do when we were 16. I guess the coolest thing about getting older is that you can do the same stupid shit and add drinking beer… Which is cool.

The other thing I am looking forward to the the 3 hour drive… DAMN! I LOVE turning the music up LOUD and just driving… One of my guilty pleasures in this world. Driving through the Kansas Flint Hill’s and blasting Pink Floyds’ “The Wall” is my religion.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Started reading the graphic novel “The Dark Knight Returns” last night after my small man-brain did not understand ANYTHING that was happening in “Jimmy Corrigan, the Smartest Kid on Earth”… I’m kind of sad because I was planning on telling everyone how “deep” I was after reading it… Oh well.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Random Notes:
– Ran all five days this week… NOTHING on TV in the morning, I think I am better off running outside.
– I am Tweeting on a fairly regular basis: @josephhagen
– Saw The Dictator a few days ago… Not going to recommend it, but it had a few shock-funny moments.
– Planning a blog entry entitled: “Movies that I hated that you loved”, so be ready to get pissed
– MAN! Football really sucks all other entertainment off the TV doesn’t it? I hope I see the downfall of that sport before I die.
– Anyone else addicted to the comedy radio station?

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

One of the benefits of my job is that I get to oversee the web side of a magazine called Creative Outlook. It is a student based art magazine… ANYWAY, here are a couple of pieces from Anna Dittmann an unbelievable student artists! Fantastic right?

Anna Dittman

Anna Dittman

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

History of Salina (from Wikipedia)

Settlers led by journalist and lawyer William A. Phillips founded Salina in 1858. In the next two years, the territorial legislature chartered the town company, organized the surrounding area as Saline County, and named Salina the county seat. The westernmost town on the Smoky Hill Trail, Salina established itself as a trading post for westbound immigrants, prospectors bound for Pikes Peak, and area Native American tribes. The town’s growth halted with the outbreak of the American Civil War when much of the male population left to join the U.S. Army. In 1862, local residents fended off Native American raiders only to fall victim to a second assault by bushwhackers later that year. Growth returned with the soldiers after the war, and with the arrival of the Kansas Pacific Railway in 1867 the town expanded rapidly. Salina was incorporated as a city in 1870.[6][7]

The cattle trade arrived in 1872, transforming Salina into a cowtown. The trade brought the city further prosperity, but also a rowdy culture that agitated local residents, who relocated westward just two years later.[8] During the 1870s, wheat became the dominant crop in the area, steam-powered flour mills were built, and agriculture became the engine of the local economy. In 1874, Salina resident E. R. Switzer introduced alfalfa to area farmers, and its cultivation began to spread throughout the state. By 1880, the city was an area industrial center with several mills, a carriage and wagon factory, and a farm implement works.[9] Salina was also the location of the first garment factory of jeans maker Lee which opened in 1889.[10] Over the following decade, three railroads were built through the city.[9] The success of the wholesale and milling industries drove Salina’s growth into the early 1900s such that, at one point, it was the third-largest producer in the state and the sixth-largest in the United States.[11]

In 1943, the U.S. Army established Smoky Hill Army Airfield southwest of the city. The installation served as a base for strategic bomber units throughout World War II. Renamed Smoky Hill Air Force Base in 1948, the base closed the following year only to be reopened in 1951 as Schilling Air Force Base, part of Strategic Air Command.[12] The re-opening of the base triggered an economic boom in Salina, causing the city’s population to increase by nearly two-thirds during the 1950s.[11] The U.S. Department of Defense closed the base permanently in 1965, but the city of Salina subsequently acquired it and converted it into Salina Municipal Airport and an industrial park.[12] This led to substantial industrial development, attracting firms such as Beechcraft, and made manufacturing a primary driver of the local economy.[13]

In the decades since, Salina has continued to be the commercial hub of north-central Kansas, serving as a regional center for trade, transportation, and industry.