Friends, I chatted with Andrea Bresee, local librarian at our remarkable Johnston Public Library, and want to report Baxter Springs' most beloved pet "Kitty the cat" is doing great. No news with Kitty is good news, health-wise. She has been featured in numerous articles and multiple newspapers including this premiere newspaper that you are holding in your hands. She loves visitors and on my most recent visit the local pet legend climbed in the chair with me and spread out for a cat-nap. I was deeply involved in research so I slipped away and found another soft chair while she snoozed.

A close second in Baxter popularity, Rascal the dog, who has been featured in two books: "Rascal" and "The Surprise For Rascal", by local author Jan Shafer. Rascal recently spent one week with a veterinarian due to a health scare, but has made a full recovery. Dona K. stated in a phone interview Rascal is like a puppy again after a medical procedure and some tender loving care. Kitty and Rascals' ages withheld due to medical and privacy laws. I do lawyer-proof each writing and would like to state I have never been successfully sued.

While I'm in this literary neighborhood, let me encourage you to join the Library if you have not done so. As seasoned citizens please encourage your children and grand kids to do likewise. We are never too smart for an occasional library visit. I enjoy the reference books and atmosphere in our beloved library, the people are nice and helpful, and readers of this column (full disclosure). Computers are available and they have a free and almost free table. Buy your grand kids a subscription to this newspaper! I need my job.

Allow me to share with you what others say about reading, books and libraries: "In a good bookroom you feel in some mysterious way that you are absorbing the wisdom contained in all the books through your skin, without even opening them" --Mark Twain.

"The only thing that you absolutely have to know, is the location of the local library"--Albert Einstein.

"I traveled the world in the library/bookmobile in Jordan before I ever boarded my first airplane"--Duane Henry Hoefer Lyon, it was once said, reading is dreaming with your eyes open.

Speaking of travel, I was recently in Hannibal, Missouri, where I spent the day touring Mark Twain's boyhood home and museum. Twain was born in Florida, Missouri, population 0 as of 2010. Guess I should be happy Jordan, Kentucky, has seven folk left. It had 30 people and dogs when I left 40 years ago, about as many dogs as people best I remember.

I admire Albert and Mark because they were "thinkers", a lost art in much of society today. I do fancy myself as a bit of a small town thinker, not that Duane, Mark and Albert should go in the same sentence.

Folk been hauling metal and scrap, etc. out of the old Lerner's Manufacturing building, across from the flower shop, by the truckload. We reported first the building has sold. We are watching and reporting.

City of Baxter Springs is still taking applications for lifeguards for employment at the city pool, please visit city hall or call, 620-856-2114. Yes the pool will reopen! I am purchasing a season pass along with Jesse-Rue. I'm gonna get my swim on this summer! I have missed all my pool buddies, besides after my extensive research at the Donut Palace, I need to spend some dough to take off some dough.

I have enclosed a photo with this report with Mike "Smiley" Stark, former employee of Yellow Freight for 17 years, building 2404, corner of 24th and Cleveland, three blocks east of 69A on 24th street, Baxter Springs, Kansas. Mike is sitting between Sandy and Bob at a Baxter tailgate party.

Brandi, Jody, Bailey, and Ross from Kansas City played fools ball, kids jumped on a trampoline, Bill, an Airforce Veteran and his son Jason an army Veteran sat in a row of 22 recliners. The military two are from Oklahoma City. A small army of workers were selling chili dogs, chips, soda pops, and hot stew to a crowd in Baxter of right at 'one thousand' folk hungry for a deal and a hotdog. I rode a wide tire bike, others rode high-end men's and women's mountain bikes, some folk exercised on bowflex treadclimbers at the celebration.

This massive party was hosted by MT. Vernon Auction Company at the old Yellow Freight building in Baxter, now a building supply auction house at the before mentioned address.

My ticket was 331, all purchase checks made out to Mr. Rick Beard, oh yeah you did have to pay tax at this super sale party! People came from four states to the March 10 sale.

Folk were trying out the fun stuff, a try before you buy policy. They also had a ton of tools, appliances, windows, kitchen cabinets, tile, hardwood flooring, decking, siding, sinks, faucets and a bunch of "other stuff"! These are good and fun neighbors at the Baxter Building Supply Auction House. For future fun and information call 417-830-1304 or fax 417-485-0163 or God Bless you with joy and health, warm regards! Visit: search: Duane Lyon the resurrection story--for an inspirational poem.