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FORT RILEY, KS 10-23-01

On sunday while I was walking to Junction City, a husband & wife hollered at me and we started visiting. It turned out that Shari is the Chief of Admin & Operations and Directorate of Community Activities at Fort Riley, and she said she would find out if I could walk through Ft Riley to get to Manhattan, since the base is now closed to the public.
Shari did get it all ok'd and cleared, and today she met me at the Camp Forsyth entrance and "sponsered" me for a 1 day pass.
The plan was that I'd walk 8 miles in to a Pizza Hut, call her, and then she'd give me a tour of Ft Riley and dump me out on the other end.
When they were writing out my 1 day pass, they told me to take absolutely NO PHOTOS while I was there. And as I was walking today, at least a dozen police cars drove by. I'm sure they were keeping pretty close tabs on me.
While I was walking, I saw the Post Cemetary. There are graves of people who died in 2 cholera epidemics in 1855 & 1867. There are also graves of Confederate soldiers imprisoned there in 1862, and German & Italian POW's from WWII.
Then I walked by a residential area and past a park, then found my way to the Pizza Hut and called Shari. While I was waiting for her to come, I bought a magazine at a convenient store. The cashier asked for my I.D. "For a magazine?" I asked. "I.D. FOR ANYTHING" she bellowed. I didn't argue and quickly complied.
Shari then took me out to lunch, then drove me around Ft Riley. She showed me The Chapel; The Custer House, believed to have once been occupied by LTC George A. Custer & his wife; The Old Trooper Monument, the gravesite of "Chief," the last Cavalry mount registered on Gov't rolls. I also saw a horse statue, dedicated to the horses & mules which perished during the Civil War. Then she showed me Quarters #1, built in 1888, home to the Commander of Ft. Riley. She also took me to a new residential area with duplexes & triplexes being built. The houses really looked nice. She also showed me an old train locomotive, and then dropped me off at the Museum & Gift Shop.
Shari was so nice to me. Next October will be 30 yrs as a Fed. employee and she plans to retire then. Her & her husband plan to sell everything and travel in their RV.
I told her I was so lucky to meet her at just the right place & time, and she said that it was simply meant to happen. If I had decided to stay in Chapman and walk past her house on monday, she would've been at work. If she hadn't just shown her house to a possible buyer, she wouldn't have been outside or seen me walking. And if she wasn't curious enough to inquire...... well, you get the picture. It really was meant to be.
I had a great time walking through Fort Riley today. Take care! KB

 

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