1965 Arkansas River flood movie


Here’s a link to a 3 minute 16mm film of the Arkansas River flood in Kinsley taken from a helicopter on June 21, 1965 by Marvin Ryan.  Gizmo Pictures digitized the film for the library to archive.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iIoEG_65apg&feature=youtu.be

It and the interview transcripts and display from the “Turning Point:  Stories of Change” premiere can all be found linked on the Kinsley Library site:   http://kinsleylibrary.info/flood-archive/

The next post will leave the world of floods and enter the world of droughts as we continue our investigation of the Dust Bowl.  The outline of the discussion series, “It Blew So Hard:  The Dust Bowl and Great Depression in Western Kansas,” winter discussion series starting January 11 will soon be posted.

Premiere a Success

The premiere went well despite a couple of technical problems (Thanks to James DuBois, we were able to get through most of them.)  We had a nice crowd and it was fun to see everyone up on the big screen.  If you missed it, we’ll have the films on the website in early December after the premieres have all happened.   You will then be able to enjoy it on the small screen.

I put together an exhibit of photos, newspaper articles, and quotations from the interviews which was unveiled at the premiere and is now on display at the library.  Visit   http://kinsleylibrary.info/flood-archive/  to view the exhibit on line.  There are also complete transcripts of the interviews made for both films online.

A big shout out to Leslie Von Holten, Program Director for the Kansas Humanities Council, who oversaw this project.  It was great to have her here yesterday.  I also want to thank Marsha Bagby, Jay Dill, and Steve Samuelson for serving on the panel.  I believe citizens got some answers to questions and at least one learned how to get documentation that would stipulate that her house was not in the floodplain.

This project gives the library an extensive file on the areas flooding.  I have enjoyed researching this historical perspective and appreciate all of the information that the local people have provided in the form of interviews, pictures, and documents.  This blog will be leaving the realm of Too Much Water to one of Not Enough Water as we proceed with our exploration into the Dust Bowl Era.  So stay tuned for more enlightenment from the Best Small Library in Kansas.  (Wamego Public Library will take over that title later this week.)



Over the years many misconceptions and resentments have been around in regard to FEMA flood regulations and flood insurance.  This Sunday after the KHC Turning Points:  Stories of Change film, the Kinsley Library is hosting a panel discussion with some experts to help us understand, work with and existence under these requirements.

SteveSamuelson  One panelist will be Steve Samuelson.  His  title is National Flood Insurance Program Specialist for the  Kansas Department of Agriculture/Division of Water Resources.  He is a Certified Floodplain Manager and has been in his current position since August of 2007. Prior to that he worked in Lyon County as Zoning Administrator and Floodplain Manager.

As the NFIPS , he provides technical support to communities with floodplain management. This usually involves helping community officials with FEMA rules and regulations, showing people how to access resources, looking at flood maps, and helping people with flood insurance problems. He also  provides training classes for community officials, surveyors, realtors and lenders.

Also on the panel will be Marsha Bagby, past Kinsley City Manager who worked hard to have some areas removed from the floodplain map and Jay Dill, the current Kinsley City Manager.

So come out for the free movies, including:  Navigating Rough Waters about Kinsley’s struggle to survive on a floodplain and “The Chickens Survived” about the 1965 Arkansas River flood going through rural Offerle.  You’ll see your friends and neighbors on the big screen and get a free bag of popcorn.  It’s all happening October 26 at 2 p.m., in the Palace Theater in downtown Kinsley.


Countdown to the Premier

This Sunday at 2 p.m. at the Palace Theater in downtown Kinsley will be the premier showing of the Kansas Humanities Council’s Turning Points:  Stories of Change featuring “Navigating Rough Waters.”  This is Kinsley’s very own story of living on the floodplain.  You won’t want to miss seeing your friends and neighbors on the big screen, enjoying the free popcorn, viewing another short film about the 1965 Arkansas River Flood in Offerle, and having your questions about FEMA regulations and Flood Insurance answered by a panel of experts.  Mark you calendar.  Navigating Rough Waters

Panel to answer questions

Following the Turning Points film premiere, there will be a panel discussion to try to answer everyone’s questions about FEMA regulations and Flood Insurance as they affect Kinsley today.  The panel will consist of: Steve Samuelson, National Flood Insurance Program Specialist; Jay Dill, current Kinsley City Manager; and Marsha Bagby, past Kinsley City Manager.  These people should be able to clear up any misconceptions and maybe even give us some ideas about projects which might help us move forward.

At the premiere, I plan on having a big display on the history of flooding in Kinsley. It will feature lots of pictures, quotes from the citizens that were interviewed for the film, newspaper images and other documents of interest.  So mark October 26, 2 p.m. on your calendar and get ready for popcorn and seeing your neighbors on the big screen.


Don’t miss the premiere

Turning Points: Stories of Change will be the feature film at 2 p.m. on October 26 at the Palace Theater in downtown Kinsley.  Eric McHenry of Washburn University in Topeka will be in attendance to introduce the film for the Kansas Humanities Council.  This project explores pivotal moments in four Kansas Communities:  Kinsley, Hays, Ulysses, and Olathe.  Dr. McHenry wrote and narrates the connecting thread that ties the films together.

The film was produced by Gizmo Pictures of Topeka.  Our contribution, “Navigating Rough Waters,” has comments by Kinsley citizens about floods and the challenges of living on a flood plain taken from interviews conducted in January of this year.  It also draws on historic photographs, film and newspaper articles.  It was a difficult task telling the complicated story of our struggle and triumphs in a very short film, but I think Gizmo Pictures have managed to do it.  Be sure to put this date on your calendar.

“The Chickens Survived”

“My dad was down watching the river.  He said that when it came in, it wasn’t rising very fast, but then all at once, there came the trees and the logs and the dead cattle.  It just made a wall; it was just a dam moving slow.”    Kermit Froetschner

Our film premiere on October 26 will begin with a short introductory film about the Arkansas River flood waters raging through Offerle on its way to Kinsley in June, 1965.    This film was produced by Rachel Harmon of Sagebrush Video and is entitled, “The Chickens Survived” Community & Cooperation – Offerle and the Flood of 1965.  The script was inspired from a gathering last March of Offerle citizens who met to remember the flood.  Rachel had a particular interest in this project as her grandparents were Leander and Pauline Lightcap from south of Offerle.  Rachel has produced many full-length videos about Kansas history including two on the Trousdale area.  All of her videos are available at the library for check out.  ”The Chickens Survived” was also funded as a special project by the Turning Points: Stories of Change grant the Kinsley Library received from the Kansas Humanities Council.  More tomorrow about the KHC feature film.



TurningPTbannerThis blog has been on a long hiatus. I’m sorry about that, but as it turns out, making a film takes longer than one would think.  And “Navigating Rough Waters” was only one of four films that have been produced by Gizmo Pictures of Topeka for the Kansas Humanities Council’s short film project, Turning Points:  Stories of Change.

However, I am now happy to report that our premiere date will be on Sunday afternoon, October 26, at 2 p.m. at the Palace Theater in downtown Kinsley.  Besides our story of living on a floodplain, there will be three other communities’ stories about: the Hays Arts Council; the Deaf Cultural Center in Olathe; and how new immigrants sparked an economic and cultural renaissance in Ulysses.

Click here to view a poster with more details and dates for all of the premieres.  And stay connected as I promise to reveal all the exciting details of our premiere on Monday’s post.

Gizmo Productions were back in Kinsley last week to get a little more footage for our upcoming film.  Tim Tyree of Tyree Ag Inc generously provided a plane and pilot for Jeff Carson and Zach Stremel to attach a camera to a strut to get some aerial shots of the terrain.  Big thank you to Tim Tyree for helping with our Turning Points film project.IMG_3672edit