Sometimes things that my common sense should tell me are coincidences seem more like a quick trip through The Twilight Zone. Lately these mini-trips have involved replacement of the Kansas statues in the Statuary Hall in Washington, DC. For years, both the Kansas statues were Atchison residents.

Last Saturday, I noted in my column that I found it sort of ironic that the statue of George Washington Click, ninth governor of Kansas and partner of Judge Alfred Otis — Amelia Earhart’s maternal grandfather — was replaced in 2003

Now the other original statue in the national hall, that of Sen. John James Ingalls, is to be replaced by a statue of Amelia. The Earhart connection is now to both statues. Sometimes, things that my common sense tells me are luck strike me, at best, as an odd incident.

Adding to my eerie feelings, last Wednesday Atchison Globe ran an editorial headline, which read “Ad Astra Per Aspera.” Which is, of course, the Kansas state motto, “To the Stars Through Difficulty.”

Well, guess who came up with that motto? Ingalls.

Now the editorial was basically about the anniversary of the NASA expedition to the moon by Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Mike Collins.

But not only did I find it unusual that the motto attributed to Ingalls popped up right after I wrote about him, it seemed to also be the life story of his statuary replacement. Amelia Earhart, as I see it, spent her life reaching for the stars in her own way, and with the ultimate difficulty.

Now all of this is just my oddball way of looking at things, but it gives me moments of wonder and questions about those occurrences which might be coincidence, or maybe something called “fate.”

My supposed common sense tries very hard to reason with me about no such things as ESP or pre-destination, and maybe it’s really my lack of common sense that leads me down the path of Rod Serling into the Twilight.

Du du du du, du du du du ..... know the tune to that?

Now all this — fate or coincidence — is just so much speculation on my part, but it’s fun to consider the possibilities. You readers all know that I have a truck-load of hard-to-change opinions, and one of them is: We humans don’t even begin to know what we don’t know.

Oh well. So much for my stroll down weird lane, back to my original Ingalls opinion. While I doubt if there’s any chance of it happening, I’d still love to see the motto-thinking Senator’s statue standing in his adopted hometown of Atchison.

Patty Moore is a semi-retired veteran Atchison Globe journalist who lives in Everest. Feedback may be provided on this column via

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