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Kansas City

11/4/01 9:14:47 PM Pacific Standard Time

I spent Halloween in Topeka, staying with a lady whose daughter had brain surgery for her epilepsy a few yrs ago. In fact, Heather married Craig -- also an epileptic who also had brain surgery a few yrs ago! So I thoroughly enjoyed meeting these families: Craig & Heather, her mother Pam, and his folks Bob & Geri. They were all so nice.
While I was there, Bob & Geri took me to the museum, Heather took me to the Zoo, and I walked to the Capitol.
From there I headed to Lawrence, where I stayed with another family whose daughter has epilepsy. Meredith is around my age and has had brain surgery 3 times (wow) and is now participating in a research study. Her seizures are not completely under control, although she is much better off than before. The study she's participating in looks very promising.
While I was there I was able to do a newspaper interview, a talk on the radio, and a story on the local TV station -- all in one day!
I also enjoyed visiting the local museum and learning more about Quantrills Raid. In fact, the radio interview was done at the Eldridge Hotel, which was plundered & burned to the ground during the raid.
The state of KS was established during the bitter conflict over slavery. Armed clashes between anti-slavery Jayhawkers from KS and pro-slavery Bushwackers from Missouri were common. William Clarke Quantrill, at age 26, had become the leader of a group of pro-
slavery guerillas. In 1859, he lived in Lawrence for a yr, giving him the knowledge necessary to plan a raid.
On Aug 18, 1863, Quantrill assembled 400 men in Missouri late in the day. On Aug 21 the attack began, shortly after 5:00am. The order was to burn every house and kill every man. Only men & youth were killed; women & children were robbed but not harmed. Following 4 hrs of looting, burning & murdering, the Raiders rode south out of Lawrence and escaped their pursuers.
Quantrills Raid killed approx 200 men, left 85 widows, and 250 fatherless children. Fire devastated the commercial dist, with only a few buildings left standing. Around 185 homes were burned. But the resilient citizens of Lawrence banded together and rebuilt.
I'm now in KC staying with Peggy Wall, exec. dir. of the Epilepsy Foundation of Kansas & Western Missouri. Tomorrow (mon) I'll talk to a school in the morning and then in the afternoon attend a reception at the Ep. Found. office. On tues I'll again talk at a school, and then talk again at the "Winning Kids Banquet," a dinner put on by the Ep. Found. On wed I'll head out of KC and walk to Lone Jack. Y'all take care and have a great day! KB

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