The Sunflower State

Stephanie Marinello

Photos by Evan Anderson

I bet you didn’t know Kansas was the sunflower state?! 

Don’t worry, neither did I 🙂

Kansas is a place I would have never predicted packing my bags and flying to. Being an Angeleno, my only reference to Kansas, sadly I know, is the Wizard of Oz. Wait, wait, before the Kansas natives kill me for saying that I would love to share with you how I no longer have those stereotypes! I mean, don’t even tryyyy and tell me you have no stereotypes for Los Angeles….see we’re even then 😉

As a little girl, I always had dreams of becoming a Native American, living out Pocahontas style adventures… putting my archery skills and lessons to use, foraging in the wild, sticking my toes in the dirt and having that feeling that somehow, I know we are all connected.

Kansas isn’t shy about their origins and I dig it, in fact they have a 44′, 5 ton stylized sculpture of an Indian Chief, designed by Native American artist Blackbear Bosin where the Arkansas and Little Arkansas River converge. If the statue didn’t say how proud and connected they are to their roots, the ring of fire burning into the night just might do the trick. I happen to go check it out during the day, in the peak of the heat, if that fire had been burning I might have been heat delirious enough to start a rain dance all by myself! Hot damn! At the base of this statue is a memorial to the people of Wichita called, Keeper of the Plains. You can get there by crossing a killer suspension bridge from either side of the river.

I like the idea that Keeper of the Plains Plaza represents a symbol to the community that embraces the vision, spirit, innovation and creativity of Wichita’s origin, right where the two rivers meet…it’s so symbolic and so powerful at the same time.

The only time history is better than the books is when you can see it, feel it and touch it. When it becomes an experience. Experiences are tools we use to embrace things we don’t quite or haven’t understood yet. It’s more than words, it’s a feeling. And those feelings stick with you forever.

Stephanie Marinello Stephanie Marinello Stephanie Marinello Stephanie Marinello Stephanie Marinello Stephanie Marinello Stephanie Marinello Stephanie Marinello Stephanie Marinello Stephanie Marinello Stephanie Marinello Stephanie Marinello15

Getting to know your origins.

Smart is Sexy.

Have you ever been curious what your origin is? What does it mean to you, to know where you come from?

Special thanks to Kat, Cameron and Asher Anderson.

Xoxoo Beijo!


8 responses to “The Sunflower State

  1. Great post! Love the fact that you were open to a new experience.

    Awesome pictures too! 🙂 Keep sharing the travel!

  2. Beautiful post. Smart way to take us all in a beautiful time travel. Yep. It does not matter the origin, all connected. Much appreciated and cheers!

  3. Your handbag!!! I was thinking to get that one, hahaha

  4. I think it is super important to know where you come from. I feel like I know myself better after realizing my grandparents were german! Great post, love the small details

  5. Kansas looks surprisingly beautiful, thanks for the daydream doll!

  6. I like the Native American feel, and I also think doing a genealogy is very cool, even looking back in pictures if you have them. It’s something that helps make you feel like you have a community, a place in the world.
    You look stunning btw xoxo

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