Hearne: Real True Columnist Confession of How I Fell Off the Edge of the Earth

So where the hell have I been?

Not that the world ground to a halt or anything, but it is somewhat wondrous as to what I’ve been up to the past couple of weeks – as opposed to, oh, writing say.

Well, I’ve been moving.

Moving simultaneously from both Kansas City and Topeka (yes, it’s true) to…LA. Or as most of you call it, Lawrence. You know, that little college burg just west of KC that pisses off MU and K-State types whenever I write about it.

So here’s the deal:

I fessed up earlier this summer and told you guys I got married and sold my house in Prairie Village. My wife works in T Town (Topeka) and the idea was, split the difference and get a place in Lawrence. I mean, LA.

Unfortunately – quite unfortunately I might add – my layover in Topeka while all the real estate mumbo jumbo was going down stretched out to more than three months. An excruciatingly long three-plus months.

So there you have it.

I’ve been trapped in Topeka – commuting to KC at least three times a week – for like an eternity. A very serious, WTF happened eternity.

Now I’m going to share.

Everything you’ve heard about how lame Topeka is, well, it’s completely inaccurate.

It’s way effing worse – trust me.

There’s like 128,000 and change people living there. Including two of the strangest Kansans – Sam Brownback and wack “reverend,” Fred Phelps.  And yes, I’m grouping them in the same sentence even though they have zero similarities outside of being incomprehensible.

Here’s the problem with Topeka – other than it’s location,  climate,  topography and complete lack of cultural amenities:

It sucks.

There’s very little to do other than overeat – which its populace excels at to the point of rendering every single “Fattest Cities” poll I’ve seen ridiculously inaccurate – raise a family, shop or eat at a low to mid-level chains and follow sports on television at places like, oh, you know, Hooters.

The trouble with Topeka is it’s too big to embrace the charm of a small town and too small for the amenities of an real city.

Example; there’s one movie theater there for all 128,000 people. One. Oh yeah, plus a “dollar” theater. The best Italian restaurant in town is Olive Garden – which I don’t remember eating at ever before moving to T Town.

Anyway, back to my lame excuse about not writing much the past couple weeks…

Things are still a little goosey – with all the unpacked boxes and the like – and god only knows where my mailbox key and just about anything else I really need to find went. But largely I’ve completed my escape and am living large in Lawrence (I went to Arizona, sports fans) so the fog is rapidly clearing.

Look for me to return to form (sorry Super Dave, I can’t afford to feed Brandon to you more than once or twice a week) and get back in action in KC (and LA).

You know, for the betterment of mankind.

You guys have no idea how liberating it feels to leave T Town in the rear view mirror.

Honestly, you don’t.

Next time you feel like teeing off about how bad things in Kansas City are…hold you tongue.


This entry was posted in Hearne_Christopher. Bookmark the permalink.

26 Responses to Hearne: Real True Columnist Confession of How I Fell Off the Edge of the Earth

  1. Super Dave says:

    Man three months in Topeka, I have to say I really do feel sorry for you. Back in the good ole commercial real estate days I had to go at least once or more times a week and hated it everytime. But those properties are long gone and sold thanks to the fools who bought them. You’re right the town sucks to no end. And really the places to eat are nothing to write home about either, chain joints for most part.

    Well good luck in Lawrence a nice town I really like the town and enjoy going there every so often. As well has several cool places to eat out at and things to go do.

  2. chuck says:

    I worked in Topeka for a summer at Dave Wittig’s house (Weststar Energy) at 6th and Gage (Alf Landon’s old house.). Miserable town. My condolences.

    Congrats on the new digs.

  3. bschloz says:

    No worries Hearne.
    We got your back here in KC. Harley can cover Town Center and Park Place. I got SW Blvd … lets keep Glaze out in Wynadotte. Chuck your choice Hickman Mills or Watts Mills?

    • chuck says:

      I grew up in Ruskin, but Kirby and Little John quit laying down suppressing fire for me, I avoid Hickman Mills at all costs.

      Watts Mill it is.

  4. harley says:

    Now that i’ve got national i probably won’t have time to spend doing hearnes
    stories…like stories about the star laying off people, stories about the size
    of the cubicles at the star, management decisions on layoffs at the star,
    stories about stories published in the star, gossip about writers at the star,
    medical recordsw of star reporters, star financial data and other extremely
    important stories that make up 90% of hearnes stories.
    sorry…..but time is money!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    HC: My sympathies

    • the dude says:

      So much to do with so little, eh Harlinator?

      • harley says:

        the dude…nothing to work with…nothing in life…nothing
        but b.s….just one big nothing with nothing to look back
        on…nothing to look forward to.
        as glaze once said…the dude…n-o-t-h-i-n-g…
        now get back to work!

        • Super Dave says:

          The dude abides

        • harley says:

          I admit Ima fraud. I make my own skin crawl. Sorry its getting late I have to write more for my nationul following. Their are 6,321 new members in my fan klub. Harley is even more than 100% right now that Im on the US blog scene. I didnt think I could be more ruigtht than write all the time, but I am. Im not 246% right, always. Take that dude.

  5. Rick Nichols says:

    In defense of “T Town,” one of the best books ever written was set in Topeka, but unless one is inclined toward matters of faith, one wouldn’t be aware of this book, which served as the catalyst for today’s “What Would Jesus Do?” movement. The Potwin community north of the downtown area boasts some lovely old Victorian homes, including one that was the private residence of Gov. Sebelius during her six-plus years in office. There is also a budding arts community north of the river back of the renovated Great Overland Station, not to mention Porubsky’s. All this said, some have noted that the overall mood of the city is a somber one, as if a big black cloud were permanently parked over Topeka. This was attributed to the city essentially being a government town and the continuing presence of the Menninger Clinic in light of its work in the area of mental illness. But the clinic was relocated to Texas (Waco?) several years ago if memory serves me right. Not to worry. By then the Phelps Gang had already emerged from the shadows to make native Topekans and recent transplants all that much more depressed.

  6. mike says:

    Topeka may not have all the amenities of a big city like Kansas City, but they at least have the crime of a big city!

  7. Hot Carl says:

    I had the misfortune of working in Topeka for 9 months. Every word Hearne writes is true. I was saying the same thing when I worked there 25 years ago. Nice to see some things never change.

  8. mark smith says:

    Sounds like a hipster hillbilly move to me…………..

    Let me tell you all a story bout a man named Hearne C.
    Ex writer for the Star now running KCC
    They said Lawrence Kansas is the place you oughta be
    So he loaded up his Fiat and and fled from P.V.
    Prairie Village, smart cars, douche bags.

    First thing you know ol Hearne is living green,
    wearing Birkenstocks making the aged Hippy scene.
    Living off tofu, macrobiotics, and pipe dreams
    wearing turtle necks and faded skinny jeans.
    Old hipster, nimrod, Jayhawk……

    Some readers worry, Hearne may lose his edge.
    Huggin trees in Lawrence, I’d just as soon be dead.
    As long as Hearne is happy, we all would wish him well,
    except he moved to Lawrence so he can go to hell.

    Remember Lawrence. Sounds like time for another raid.

    Ya’ll come back now, ya hear.

  9. Reggin Tnuc says:

    I share your feelings. We too lived in Topeka as our daughter was going to law school at Washburn. No sooner than the ink on her diploma was dry we moved to Kansas City and she took off to Chicago. We have lived in many places in the US including such outposts as Cheyenne, Wyoming and Missoula, Montana, but none were stranger than Topeka, Kansas. Whether true or not, our neighbor in Topeka told us that in Indian, feather, not dot, Topeka meant “land good for growing potatoe’s”. Judging many of the people we met while there maybe he meant “land good for smoking pot.”

  10. admin says:

    HC: That was a good one and I know you really don’t want me to go to…

  11. DSW-ESQ. says:

    Spent 42 months of “Hard Time” in Topeka… Its awful!!!

  12. the dude says:

    Topuka, Kansass.

  13. Lance the Intern says:
  14. Dave says:

    Hearne says: “You guys have no idea how liberating it feels to leave T Town in the rear view mirror.”

    In the still shot from “Bullitt” Hearne has chosen to illustrate his point, Mr. McQueen is driving in reverse. So he’s driving TOWARD what’s in his rear-view mirror.

    Rather than snorting blow, being a dumbass, and attempting and failing to form meaningful sentences, Hearne should try this …

    Not snorting blow, actually watching the movie, still failing to form sentences, and remaining a dumbass. At least it would indicate some sort of effort on his part.

    HC: Classy comment!

Comments are closed.