Monday, December 04, 2006
A couple of weeks ago I was at The Legends outdoor mall in KCK.
I was meeting some family/friends there for my kid's fourth birthday dinner, and I was early. So I had a chance to walk around and explore the shiny new outdoor shopping mall a little.
This is when I discovered that The Legends is actually a theme for the mall. That, in addition to being a cathedral to consumerism, it's also meant to honor "legendary" Kansans from different branches of human achievement.
So every 10 yards or so, there's a medallion in the pavement honoring William Allen White for his writing, or Russell Stover for his candy making, or Charlie Parker for his excellent saxamaphone playing.
As I walked the pathways, reading each of the plaques, I felt a growing sense of populist pride welling up in my bosom (and I didn't even know I had a bosom). It was a nice feeling, seeing all of these Kansas heroes gathered in one place, some I hadn't heard of and some I didn't realize were Kansans (like Walter P. Chrysler).
Then I meandered down the walk of Kansas sporting legends. The obvious entries were there: James Naismith, Wilt Chamberlain, Gale Sayers... but there was something missing. Something glaringly missing. Something that cried out at the prairie sky in it's missingness, "Why have you left me out!"
There was no mention of legendary football coach Bill Snyder, the man who built a Kansas State University football program from the depths of non-existence to the heights of national glory.
And I realized that The Legends at Village West is a sham. Omitting Snyder from a list of Kansas sports legends is like omitting Jimmy Hendrix from the list of greatest guitar players.
But, rather than just writing off The Legends at Village West as mere crass commercial catering to eastern Douglass County doofuses, I have decided to start a grass-roots effort to get this unforgivable omission un-omitted.
I am copying this post to Rod Yates on The Legends management team and I encourage all readers and all responsible Kansans to join the campaign.
Together, we can make a difference.
tagged: Kansas, Kansas City, The Legends, William Allen White, Russell Stover, Charlie Parker, James Naismith, Wilt Chamberlain, Gale Sayers, Bill Snyder