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What do you like most about Kansas?

Asked at Massachusetts Street on January 30, 2007

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Photo of Kirby Anderson

“I just overall like the people of Kansas. They’re very friendly.”

Photo of B.J. Mikel

“I guess I would have to say the convenience. It’s got everything you need. As far as city life goes, it’s enough for me and it doesn’t feel crowded.”

Photo of Barbara Lewis

“I really think it’s surprising how much we have here to offer. People are friendly, and I like the weather. I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else.”

Photo of Corban Goble

“The people. They’re more friendly and humble.”


Melanie Birge 10 years ago

I enjoy "Lawrence" because the ppl here are so welcoming and open minded on many issues, the rest of Kansas may be a Bible belt but Lawrence is not. I lived in Austin and I had herd that Lawrence is a mini Austin I can see that. I didn't care to live there any longer because it was so over growen and crowded. I remember 22 years ago when Austin was so much smaller, I hope that don't happen here in Lawrence.

jonas 10 years ago

Lightin' the coals early, I see.

jonas 10 years ago

The fact that a great number of my friends live here.

jonas 10 years ago

By the way, Gootsie, isn't the song the cookies are singing just "Don't you want me baby?" I thought that was how the pop songs in the 80's worked: you picked a title, and sung the title over and over to some synth beat, and called it done.

sgtwolverine 10 years ago

When I get to Kansas, I'll let you know. At this point, the BIG! OTS is what I like most about Kansas.

Unless you mean the band, in which case ... I'm not really sure.

KS 10 years ago

If you don't mind four seasons, it is the best kept secret in the country, Got a little experience in that area.

Hilary Morton 10 years ago

How about the wide open skies on summer nights. (Summer nights where the temperatures are in the 70's).

ohjayhawk 10 years ago

I have to agree with 3 of the 4 respondents. One of the biggest reasons I ended up in Kansas was because of the friendliness of the people there. It was also one of the biggest reasons it was so hard to leave as well.

ang_1966 10 years ago

Lawrence is not a friendly town at all. You hold the door open for people and they never say thanks. You let someone out in traffic and they don't even bother to acknowledge you. If anything it's a very rude, snooty little town! Now if you happen to be gay or a granola, ya got it made.

trinity 10 years ago

sunflowers, hands down! :) and of course-ots! the flint hills! KU! having grown up in an era&a town that i could ride bikes, hang out, play until all hours-without being afraid or getting mugged molested or otherwise maimed! i could go on&on...i love kansas. heck today i love life! :)

thomgreen 10 years ago

I don't know about the prettiest in the world, but the Kirby Anderson's of Kansas sure help. And is it just me, or does B.J. Mikel look like "The Sherminator"?

Aileen Dingus 10 years ago

The friendliness is definitely tops on my list.

People actually take the time to get out and DO things here- concerts in the park, parades, ice cream on a hot summer night. They socialize and learn about each other.

I love the cicadas and the crickets, although I could do without the slugs. The grass is green and the fireflies are plentiful.

People LIVE here. It's easy. :) It's helpful that the cost of living is fairly low here, another big plus in my book!

sgtwolverine 10 years ago

c_c, when Iowa came to Michigan for a football game a few years ago, someone in the crowd declared that Iowa stood for I Owe the World an Apology.

Also, do you all remember the time LJW flipped out and starting randomly switching login names? I think of that every time the site has issues. Like today, when it logged me out for no apparent reason and then stopped loading altogether.

sgtwolverine 10 years ago

Oops. Thanks for setting me straight, TOB.

Now, how many jokes can we make about the Edgie? We're a creative bunch here.

irnmadn88 10 years ago

I often wonder if the reason I haven't left Lawrence is because of the Freestate Brewery. VERY few independently operated breweries can match their beer. Why be anywhere but close to the well?

Having Freestate makes this oasis much more tolerable now that Lawrence is more of a city than a sleepy little town.

Ken Miller 10 years ago

After having lived in New York, Indiana, Seattle and Virginia - I can say that comparatively speaking, Kansas and specifically Lawrence is a GREAT place to live. People here are less wrapped up in their individual lives and most are willing to give their time and money to help out.

We have it pretty good in Larrytown.

ang_1966 10 years ago

Okay. First of all Reticent, did you read what I wrote? When I HOLD the door open. when I LET THEM OUT in traffic. That means I am not a rude person. Good god. Second, Kansas is nothing like Iowa. And last but not least, Conceptual, how freakin old is that Iowa joke? Let me tell you, it's old. Not to mention, stupid. But, that's typical Kansas mentality.

ilovelucy 10 years ago

Russell's Restaurant in Salina, the Scheme Pizza, Brookville Hotel, the Seeley Mansion in Abilene, Vera's Bar in Hunter, the Garden of Eden..... The Flint Hills, the one finger wave from farmers on country roads, harvest season, Wilson Lake, friendliness, the fact that you can have great day trips no matter what direction you take. We are SOOOOO lucky to live here. The only exception is the religious right and the intelligent design nuts.

sunflower_sue 10 years ago

"Carry on my Wayward Son" has to be my favorite from Kansas. I also loved the movie "Heroes." Henry Winkler is still tops in my book. I just saw Click...which had a great message but was just so poorly done with the over excessive dog/duck/wall shadow scenes...and I thought: "I like Henry Winkler!" Oh, am I rambling? Wasn't the lead singer of Kansas actually from MO? I'll have to look that one up. I could have sworn my sis was in his Mother's house...although I wouldn't know why. Maybe they called themselves Kansas because "Earth, Wind, and Fire" was already taken. Kansas is great.

ang1966, for the record: I would say "thank you" and I would wave. And I don't think you sound rude or bitter.

Trinity, have a freakin' awesome day! (I think I want whatever you had this morning.)

sgtwolverine 10 years ago

Oh, also, I like Jericho. It's goofy but entertaining. Is that an accurate picture of Kansas?

Kat Christian 10 years ago

Space...lots and lots of green space. Less buildings and roads and more earth, grasses, some trees and most of all blue sky everywhere. This is Kansas to me. I'm orginally from the East coast...concrete city and gray skys.

Sen_Fudgepack 10 years ago

I currently live in Austin, TX... Yes, it's too big...

Lawrence is nirvana... That is why I still own a couple of homes there... The ones that haven't travelled much really don't know how good you have it...

There's lots to love about Kansas... I'm very proud to be from there and no matter how long I live in TX, I always tell people that I'm a Kansan...

thanksforcoming 10 years ago

I like the fact that you can tell someone where you are from and everyone knows somebody from there no matter how big or small the place is. Anybody know anyone from Cimarron?

ms_canada 10 years ago

If I had a choice of where to live on this planet, I would chose a mountainous region, preferably the Rockies of B.C. or Alberta. I love the mountains, high or low. I did not like the flatness of Kansas, what I saw of it. But, and a BIG BUT, there are some awfully nice people in Lawrence, Kansas that I could cheerfully live near and socialize with. A whole lot of them that I met.

May Soo 10 years ago

I just moved back to KS to take care of my parents, so far I haven't find anything good in the last 2 weeks about KS.

Sen_Fudgepack 10 years ago

I would still live in Lawrence but it's a little too far from the ocean for me....

My name is homage to our presidential candidate...

JayCat_67 10 years ago


Sounds like you're from my neck of the woods (OK, maybe the shrubbery). Can't believe you forgot about Cozy burgers though. Plus, the ice cream you get from Call Hall out at K-State is pretty tasty... produced at the dairy right there on campus. Riding on a tractor or combine all day listening to Grandpa singing old Volga German hymns, then going out at night, looking up and seeing more freakin' stars than you could ever imagine.

Ang, keep in mind, we got a lot of "transplants" here from other states and, umm... counties. You can usually tell who's from here and who's just pollutin' the population by how they react to the courtesies you described.

JayCat_67 10 years ago

BTW, the obvious "(W)edgie" award comes to mind.

sunflower_sue 10 years ago

RI, yep! That's me. I love granola. Strangely, I love soap and deodorant, too.

OK, YDP, when I say something like..."No, I don't think you sound bitter," it is always to be read as sarcasm. Has TOB stolen everyone's sarcastometers again?

budwhysir 10 years ago

I like Kansas for the great respect I get when entering debates like this one right here on a great award winning media venue. I consider myself a little Edgie now and again and enjoy the company.

Kansas is also a great inspiration for the political insight that I conjure up on a daily basis. I cant see myself living any place else. Politicaly speaking

ohjayhawk 10 years ago

T_O_B - The storms/tornados were another big reason I ended up in KS. Alas, I never saw a tornado.

gnaegy 10 years ago

Fried chicken livers and gravy at Don's Steak House. Summer so hot and inescapably humid it's like being in a sauna for two months, and it's free. Bring beer. Walking on a blanket of fallen leaves under a canopy of orange and red. Cold, icy, snowy, interminable, disruptive, chaotic, memorable winter. Storms, actual storms in the spring with lightning, torrential rain and 60mph winds. You wouldn't believe what pathetic, wimpy little showers people in other parts of the country call "storms". It's laughable. Driving out in the country to shoot tin cans. Being able to talk about how fun that is without people freaking out. The Nelson/Atkins in KC. Sub $1000 rent. Trees, fields, visible stars, distant horizons.

sunflower_sue 10 years ago

ohjay, you bring up a good question. How many people from around here have actually seen a tornado? Not me! (Not yet, anyway.) I've been caught out in some pretty nasty storms where I've had to abandon my car and run to the nearest dwelling, but never have actually seen a "giant swirly" (that's a scientific term).

ohjayhawk 10 years ago

sue - I'm a bit bummed I didn't see one. I didn't want to see one going through a town or anything, just a nice "giant swirly" out in the middle of a large open area.

sourpuss 10 years ago

The thing I like best about Kansas is that we are the first "K" state, so we are easy to find in pull-down menus on websites. Take THAT Kentucky...

deec 10 years ago

My son and I were driving to Wichita one day. Both of us started staring out our respective windows. My son said "Oh look, a tornado." I said "Yeah, there's one over here,too." They were fairly far from the highway, so we just kept driving, with one eye on the pair. They lifted back up into the clouds, and we drove on.

Linda Aikins 10 years ago

Wow - catch-up time!

Jonas - YES that's the song. Remember "You are everything, and everything is you"? Or Hey Jude's "na na na na-na-na-na"

Tornados - I saw one by Hutchinson once.

I do know someone from Cimarron but I can't think of her name. She would be around 50 now, tall redhead. Dang. VanValkenberg was her last name.

My favorite thing is that you can spell it backwards and it sounds cool!

trinity 10 years ago

i've seen giant swirlies too! awesomely fascinating. and NO i do NOT like the destruction they can reap! but mannnnn talk about awesome. wow.

giant swirlies, lmao-oh ss! all i can think about is somebody's head getting flushed down a giant toilet!

Bone777 10 years ago

Summer thunderstorms lightning bugs bass fishing in a farm pond the way people bond over a good plate of food or around a tailgate........

Bone777 10 years ago

locust turtles cougars on west campus

Sen_Fudgepack 10 years ago

When I was a whippersnapper, I heard our town sirens go off.... I lived on the edge of town and saw three small tornados all on the ground moving in the same direction... Kind of like a conga line... Also, I was riding with my mother to Wichita once and saw a tornado in a field... It was a biggun'... Thank God for a V8...

What I like... Being able to open your windows and not hear the constant buzz of traffic and sirens (not in Lawrence though).

Actually, having someone wait for you while driving... Here in Austin there are three traffic rules: 1. Never stop or slow for a yellow light. There will be 10 more cars behind you trying to make it. 2. Tailgate everyone, everywhere... If you leave so much as a gap for a Yugo, someone in a huge F150 will try to squeeze between you and the truck in front of you. 3. Never signal. If they know you are trying to get over, they'll never let you.

Back to why like KS....

No fire ants... No DPS... (that's Dept. of Public Safety for non-Texans... They are like Hitler's SS in TX...) I could go and on...

budwhysir 10 years ago

Wow, an article posted about living in Texas right here in response to a question about living in Kansas. I like how this is going.

Sen_Fudgepack 10 years ago

Hey, buttwiper, I was talking about what I liked about KS and how much it sucks in TX in comparison...

I don't miss idiot rednecks in KS who's life revolves around beer...

Sen_Fudgepack 10 years ago

Godwin flag? What the hell is that??

sgtwolverine 10 years ago

Godwin's Law:'s_law Basically, Nazi comparisons are bad news.

Good call, i_p. I hadn't thought about that in a long time.

So, you threw the flag; what's the penalty? Five yards and a loss of down? Fifteen yards?

rebellious_acquiescent 10 years ago

largest ball of twine............................

Sen_Fudgepack 10 years ago

Hey, I was trying to think of something that was fitting and Hitler's SS is most fitting... I don't think you've had the experiences that some Texans have had with DPS... They really think they are above the law... I know a woman that was assaulted because she opened her car door to change a diaper... At least, that DPS thug got fired...

How about Bob's Law? You know, when you say basically nothing and try to sound profound??

jcantspell 10 years ago

I like the yellow bricks, chatting with munchkins Gilda is pretty cool the Wizard is all right thou some times he is full of it! Don't like the witch of the east. And if any body's seen Dorothy let me no. Tthat chick owes me 5$ and her little dog Toto to!

budwhysir 10 years ago

Idoit rednecks??? Now theres a texan term for yaall. Best I can tell, someone has misspelled my name. And for the record, since I completed my 12 step program, my life revolves more around the online LJW postings.

Anyhow SEN. thanks for your support, politicaly speaking.

james bush 10 years ago

I like Kansas because..............whenever I visit Houston or Chicago, I'm always glad to return to Kansas. And because the guy who wrote "what's wrong with Kansas" or something like that left the state!

budwhysir 10 years ago

Dorothy was originaly from Oaklahoma I think, I am sure she wasnt from Texas

Crispian Paul 10 years ago

Posted by ang_1966 (anonymous) on January 30, 2007 at 7:08 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Lawrence is not a friendly town at all. You hold the door open for people and they never say thanks. You let someone out in traffic and they don't even bother to acknowledge you. If anything it's a very rude, snooty little town! Now if you happen to be gay or a granola, ya got it made.

Well, I say thanks AND wave when people let me out and I am both a little gay and a little granola. Have you ever thought people are rude and snooty to use because you judge them in terms of categories such as "gay" or "granola"? Just a thought. I think you often get what you give....

sgtwolverine 10 years ago

I like Kansas because it has a sense of perspective. And it has Bob's Law.

Remember the motto of Bob's Law: Quidquid latine dictum sit, altum sonatur.

Crispian Paul 10 years ago

Posted by ang_1966 (anonymous) on January 30, 2007 at 9:34 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Okay. First of all Reticent, did you read what I wrote? When I HOLD the door open. when I LET THEM OUT in traffic. That means I am not a rude person. Good god. Second, Kansas is nothing like Iowa. And last but not least, Conceptual, how freakin old is that Iowa joke? Let me tell you, it's old. Not to mention, stupid. But, that's typical Kansas mentality.

Again, you just made my point.....Referring to the Kansas mindset as typically stupid while stating you are not a rude person makes me laugh...thanks for that, Ang. Hope you get that cob out of your butt soon.

budwhysir 10 years ago

Yes bob's law is a very effective law that works very well here in the great state of Kansas. Politicaly speaking.

Crispian Paul 10 years ago

I have seen about five tornadoes in my life, but alas, I grew up in Wichita, where we see them quite frequently. My little sister was born in the middle of a tornado that killed 20 people in Wichita area....

zut1281 10 years ago

I so glad I moved to Kansas in 1984.

My family and I live in WaKeeney and we appreciate the quiet and safety of that small rural community.

Retired folks - especially veterans, should consider moving here. All the services they need and if needbe, there is always nearby Hays.

Jim Oss, Mayoral candidate WaKeeney

budwhysir 10 years ago

Is it politicaly correct to comment on another state when answering the question "what do you like about Kansas?"

sunflower_sue 10 years ago

Crispian, my hubby was born during the Topeka tornado that killed 33(?) people. Do you suppose the tornadic activity has an affect on the womb of a full term pregnancy? Maybe we should consult Bob on this.

i_p, what is the ruling? I want "the Law According to Bob." (BTW, if this line turns into a movie title, I say we all get royalties!)

Crispian Paul 10 years ago

Sunflower, not sure. My step mom was 8 1/2 months, worked a half day, then got home, looked out the window and saw a huge tornado hitting the Air Force Base and went into "stress induced labor" they called it....wonder if there are changes in gravitational forces that cause this :)

sunflower_sue 10 years ago

I suppose TOB or any other "Bob" could rule, as well. Maybe I'll become Sunflower_Bob.

budwhysir 10 years ago

Does Bob's law aka the law according to Bob limit the use of the word Whippersnapper?

rebellious_acquiescent 10 years ago

  1. Not-Bob's Law

Thanks to PotterSues @ LiveJournal.

If you accuse somebody of putting something down because they're just jealous of the creator's skills, particuarly if you invoke the opinions of others who liked it in order to support your argument, you are breaking Not-Bob's Law and have lost the argument. You can think Kill Bill was pointless without being jealous of Quentin Tarantino's filmmaking.

sunflower_sue 10 years ago

Py, my first lesson upon moving to KS was that "chiggers are real." After deciding it was a perfect day to weed around the house, I came in to shower off the afternoon's grime. That evening, as the bumps emerged in places that were just downright inappropriate to scratch, the hubby and I thought we might as well have some fun and count them. We tired at 140! I didn't sleep that night but did find out that a scalding hot bath will give temporary relief.

On the upside: KS gets to lay claim to the high school education of George Washington Carver. Also, 90% of KS land is still in farmland or pasture. We also have those cute little box turtles roaming the prairies. (Wish they ate chiggers.)

Linda Aikins 10 years ago


ilovelucy 10 years ago

Jaycat-how could I forget the Cozy burgers? When I was in college, I walked into the establishment with a wool coat on. Needless to say, that coat went into the trash. I was not from Manhattan but do remember a great donut place in the basement of a home that only served starting at 2 am. I love this state! Lucy

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 10 years ago

I studied in Costa Rica when I attended college at KU. I was feeling kind of down, when our KU secretary received some books from home. There was a photography book of pictures from Kansas. When I saw that sky, I realized I really missed Kansas. The mountains in Costa Rica are beautiful, but they really block the sunset. I love visiting places with mountains, but I really need the big sky to live.

introversion 10 years ago

Actually, yes, supposedly things like tornadoes and rainstorms do affect women who are ready to go into birth... supposedly it has something to do with a drop in barometric pressure. Who knows if it's true though.

tj_hawk 10 years ago

KS born&raised, so are my kids. My favorite thing about KS is spring and fall. Lived in CO for four and now in Iowa two years, plus have traveled the US in my 50 years. Native Kansans are as open as the plains and as warm & friendly as the sunflower. Life is hard and hectic, whether you drive a combine or comute to the gut of a city. Our responses are our responsibility, whether its to the one who opened the door for us or didn't for whatever reason. There's no place like home but everyplace has a bright spot. It could be right where you are, if you let it, or take a deep breath when necessary and decide to Be it.

budwhysir 10 years ago

Politicaly speaking, kansas has a great political backing and is filled with political correctness. This is why I like Kansas politicaly speaking

sgtwolverine 10 years ago

Py, a couple weeks ago when the ice storms visited Michigan, the tree canopies over the roads were amazing. (Unfortunately, it also took down a few trees and branches. Oh well.)

Anyway, it is true that you love what you're used to. When I was skiing up north, I had a great view of the northern Michigan countryside, with the rolling hills and acres of trees. And to me, that was wide open. A different sort of wide open, yes, but definitely wide open. I would enjoy the views of Kansas, but I would not be drawn to them the same way.

budwhysir 10 years ago

I love the deer that you see running around. Although, I think these poor creatures have been driven crazy by those little whistles people have on thier cars. I have seen these deer charge cars on the hiways.

Maybe Kansas deer are just more macho

Sagecasey 10 years ago

The best Kansas I can think of is when Jonas would leech off another state along with Marion.

kg52 10 years ago

I have lived in Kansas (most of it in Lawrence) all my life and the only tornado that I ever remember actually seeing was the one that took out the K-Mart Store I think in the late 70's - we watched it go right around town (that area was really the edge of town at one time). As far as the best part of Kansas I choose the green - I love the green - it is just mostly hiding right now but it is coming soon - Yippee!!

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