I’m Not Finished Yet

I’m Not Finished Yet

By Kathleen Swift • Photo by Artistic Expressions Photography “I’d wanted to be a fire fighter since I was a kid,” said Jimmy Burgess, “but my friends were joining the military, and up to that point, I had no plans. I joined the Air Force reserves and eventually ended...

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Casting a Line in the SEK: An Anglers’ Paradise

Casting a Line in the SEK: An Anglers’ Paradise

By Connor J. Ossowski, District Fisheries Biologist Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks & Tourism It was the first day of what felt like summer without the consistency of the forecast showing a chance of rain. It was 5:30 in the morning, and I was heading out to...

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True North: Developing Leaders

True North: Developing Leaders

By Kathleen Swift Jimmy Burgess envisioned a new style of team building and leadership training that would operate in a military style. It would be a place where veterans and others could discover strengths in themselves and do things they didn’t know were possible....

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!Editor’s Letter




New Season, New Perspective


With the beginning of the new school year barely in our rear-view mirror and the start of a new season right ahead of us, I am reminded of how we tackle “new” in our region. The words “new normal” have been used to describe the state of our present days. The word “new” has grown synonymous with uncomfortable or hard. However, in our region, “new” has given us opportunity to evaluate priorities, and we have acted with intention.

This past summer, we spent more hours outside. We made memories together as a family. Electronic game systems were paused and board games found their way out of the closet. Quick meals to get out of the door were unnecessary, allowing traditional family recipes to be explored. We sat around the table, we found new passions and hobbies, and we talked to each other in a way we have not since technology became attached to every fingertip.

This “new” did not always come easy. We had to practice it. We had to show grace to ourselves and others around us. We had to truly understand the meaning of appreciation and humble ourselves to know what we took for granted. But, we did it! 

Now, we have a new “new.” We have a new season – fall. This fall season, we will still embark on cooler temperatures, area football fields will be lit with bright, shining lights and backyard barbeques will be on our social calendar. In this September edition, we highlight the new of our region and continued to bring feature stories from your favorite writers. Our September edition is the right combination of “new” with the comfort of what has made SMTO your magazine of choice for over a decade.

The combination of “new” and comfort is what I foresee this fall to be all about. “New” does not have to mean uncomfortable or hard. “New” can lead to different experiences and expanded perspectives. “New” allows change and growth. “New” is full of hope.

We have made it to fall 2020. I hope this “new” season brings you great growth and happiness. As always, I hope you bring SMTO magazine with you. I hope you lean on our pages as a guide of what to see and do in our region. I hope you continue to reach out to us to share what you want to read within our pages. I hope SMTO will be one of your comforts as you embrace your “new” adventure.


Happy fall!


Lee Radcliff




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