Blue Mound is a town of 275 in Linn County.

We turned on to Main Street and saw Berna, owner of Bradley's Grocery, checking on the pop machines in front of this mural.  Berna and I remembered each other from the last time I was in Blue Mound so after hugs we caught up about the grocery store. 

Bradley's is for sale but still has basic inventory on the shelves.  Berna has done her best to make the store work.  You've got to really hand it to her.

Then we asked her about the group of guys sitting on benches in front of the Feedlot Cafe across the street.  She told us the names and about the personalities.  It's always a little intimidating to walk in front of such a group especially when you know they've already been talking about you.

Armed with information from Berna, we walked across the street and said hello, called them by name, and stuck out our hands.  This caught them off guard so the playing field was even.

Ralph was the talker and biggest jokester.  Bill was on the city council, though not a Blue Mound native. When we asked which guy was Toad, they all looked pretty surprised.  I sat down between T.F. and Kevin and then Toad left when we talked about taking a picture.  Jimmy (his friends call him Windy) came out of the cafe with his wife.  WenDee ended up in a long conversation with him while his wife waited patiently in the truck -- but she was used to that.

While WenDee and Windy kept talking outside, I ordered breakfast.  I love this kind of flatter pancake, just barely crispy around the edges.  And hot syrup.  Yum...  But, alas, that was WenDee's food, so I tried to stay away from it. 

(Don't you love the plates?) 

The waitress was friendly and soon the owner, Rich, came out of the kitchen to visit with us.  You can tell he's got the right personality and the right reasons for running this cafe.  Blue Mound needs a cafe and Rich will make it work.

I got up to pay and the woman at the bar teased me about buying her coffee.  So I did.  That opened a whole new round of fun and conversation.

ERV wanted a picture in front of the Feedlot Cafe before we left town.  The place sure was different without Ralph and the boys on the benches though.

By the time we left town we had found out about lives of the citizens, the history of the town, the drama of every day life in Blue Mound, and made some new friends.

Sometime the attractions are the moving pieces of a town.  Don't be afraid to be friendly and say hello.  Just tell folks like Ralph and the boys that you are exploring Kansas and you came to get to know their town.  They'll take it from there.

We came to town thinking it would be a short visit and it ended up being a special time.

Blue Mound, thanks for a great morning.

P.S.  The Feedlot Cafe, 208 W. Main, is open Monday-Saturday 7 a.m.-2 p.m.