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Ron Parks

Ron welcomes you to view his words here.

Ron Parks grew up in Minneapolis, Kansas. The son of a self-educated bricklayer, he was the fifth generation of the Parks family to live in this north central Kansas community. The family dinner table was the setting for discussions about progressive politics, history, and philosophy. In 1972, Ron earned a degree in English at Kansas State University, where he met his wife, Judy.

He has also lived in Hays, Topeka, and now Council Grove, where in November 1990 he became the administrator of the Kaw Mission State Historic Site. In each of these locations he has enjoyed learning about the region's natural and cultural history.

He writes a monthly column, "The Kanzas 150 Years Ago," published in the Council Grove newspaper. The articles reflect his research into the history of the Kanza (or Kaw) tribe during the tribe's 25-year occupancy of a reservation in close proximity to Council Grove.

Ron finds resonance in Wim Winders' statement: "Politics can never be separated from culture. A large part of what songs, movies, poems, or books are doing is creating memory and preserving it - what was, and what might be if we are honest about ourselves."

Recently, Ron has returned to the Solomon River, a feature of his childhood and adolescence, to study its ecology and history. Known by the Kanzas as the "Nepaholla," the river provides a narrative background for treatment of themes near and dear to his heart.

His interests include sports, birding, canoeing, hiking, gardening, tai-chi, and reading.

We're delighted that Ron writes with us at the Kansas Free Press. We encourage you to read his archives here.


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