Sunday, March 01, 2009

Kansas Facts and Trivia

The El Dorado Times published a special section of its paper to celebrate Kansas Day. Besides "Kansas Facts and Trivia", the special profiled the other 49 states with such interesting facts as the state's capital, governor, name origin, bird, flower, motto, nickname, songm population, famous residents and what or who the state is the home of. Well. I guess it might be interesting, if you are bored with everything else that demands your attention. For example, did you know that the state motto of New York is "Excelsior", which is kind of Latin for higher or the best and not the packing material as we frequently think. The first Kansas fact is: A ball of twine in Cawker City measures over 38' in circumference and weighs more than 16,750 pounds and is still growing.

I have actually seen it. It's housed in a structure located on the highway through town. All I have to say is that's a lot of string. According to a web site called Round America:

"There isn't anything much in Cawker City except the World's Largest Ball of Twine, so I had no problem driving right up to it on the main street through town. This sucker is BIG. It's housed in a very nice open-sided building where you can walk right up to it and smell it and touch it. Frank Stoeber started the ball of twine on his farm in 1953. By 1957, it weighed 5,000 pounds, stood 8 feet high, and had 1,175,180 feet of twine on it. Stoeber gave the ball to Cawker City in 1961 before his death in 1974. When I visited in 2003, it weighed 17,578 pounds (that's almost 9 TONS). It has a 40-foot circumference, and it consists of over 7,019,145 feet of sisal twine. If stretched out, it would extend 1,325 MILES. Like I said, this baby is BIG."

It's interesting that whoever supplied the El Dorado Times with the trivia list needs to update the facts as to weight and circumference. Well, I guess they covered themselves when they said, "...it was still growing." The above report is now over 5 years old, so I guess I better make another trip to Cawker City to measure its circumference and make a new estimate of its weight. I'll bet the folks in Cawker feel like they're a prisoner to this monster ball of sisal twine that isn't as round as it used to be. Pretty soon it will look more like a haystack than a ball and they'll have to start calling it a stack of twine to advertise truthfully. The big question is how long this foolishness can go on and how will it end.

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