Joe McKenzie: Food for thought in Salina


Greetings! This is a new weekly column where I’ll be sharing my observations about things going on in Salina that catch my attention and help increase awareness of everyday life in Salina. Contact info is at the bottom of the column. Thanks for your comments. Make it an interesting week.

Is ice cream considered essential during a pandemic? Of course. Follow the science. Ice cream provides energy and motivation to get more exercise so you can eat more ice cream. It’s a sweet and satisfying loop.

If you prefer a greener diet, check out the farmers market on Tuesday afternoons at Emmanuel Foursquare Church on E. Cloud. One of the cool things is how nearly everyone wears a mask, quickly finds what they want and move on. Incredible selections: kombucha, bierocks, peaches, sausage and every kind of fresh produce you wish you had time and space to grow yourself. We got tamales. Loved them.

Speaking of love, Laundry Love is an ongoing project of Salina Shares. They take quarters to local laundromats to help people pay for washing and drying. But, because of the coin shortage, they can no longer purchase two boxes of quarters for $1,000. The limit is $200. What kind of world is this? So, they need quarters. Go to the bank. Get a roll for $10. That’s for the wash cycle. Please get another roll or two for drying. Take your quarters to Salina Shares at 155 S. 5th St. Show some love by doing what you can when you can — that’s one of their slogans.

Good karma: If you raised a pup who was going to grow up to be a cop, would you name him/her Karma? Well, that’s the name for a K-9 cop at SPD. But, if you had chosen Bennie, you would be right, since that’s the name of the other K-9 unit. Remember Hooch? I don’t think he was a K-9.

Enjoying the fresh blacktop on S. Ohio. It makes my car quieter than my mechanic Ben can at Sankey Motors. Not Ben’s fault — the car is 13 years old. Do you name your vehicles? What’s a good pet name for the ubiquitous (had to look up the spelling/biggest word of the week) black SUV? Remember the president already took the name The Beast — the limo, not the man. Do you drive a boy or girl car or truck? A girly pickup truck? I know. It’s the middle of a global pandemic and I’m thinking about pet names for cars and trucks. And, who knows if it’s the middle?

Pizza Love. I noticed Coop’s Pizza is moving to 1000 E. Crawford, the former location of Umami Bowl. Coop’s has been downtown for over 12 years. The new location is closer to Mike Cooper’s Commercial Signs, Designs and Shirts shop.

“Wear Purple. Be Proud.” That’s a promotion that combines KWU, K-State Polytechnic, the Chamber, and Rocking M Media as Salina Celebrates Purple Fridays. Purple Fridays have been a long-standing tradition. Show your support.

I misread a sign at 9th and Crawford and thought Food Fight was a new store. It’s Food Mart, but I was reading and driving at 30 mph. It was just a glance. I was not reading and driving.

Joe McKenzie is a retired librarian who has been active in Salina for many years. He can be reached at

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