Archive for Thursday, June 30, 2005

Longtimer likes changes

June 30, 2005

Verlin Tompkins may live in the same house as he did 37 years ago when he first came to Lansing, but he says the city itself is not the same at all.

Tompkins said it was hard to describe the change in the community dynamic over the years.

"The most influential people when I came were the old settlers," he said.

Tompkins said the settlers were homesteading families who had been in Lansing for generations. He said he viewed those people as having the predominant influence on this community's ideas, actions and the people themselves.

"Now more younger military families are part of the community with their sophisticated, new ideas," Tompkins said.

Tompkins said that these families have traveled the world and so are much different than those families that were here nearly 40 years ago. But he said their influence was positive.

"They keep track of the trend of the future and get ahead," said Tompkins.

Tompkins said that was one reason why the growth of Lansing had been so successful.

"We (the city) are good at anticipating problems and getting ahead of the game," Tompkins said. "Lansing is a great success story of developing as a city."

Name: Verlin Tompkins

Address: 302 E. Olive St.

Occupation: Retired, now a volunteer

Graduate of: Northwest Missouri State University, bachelor's in math and science; Kansas University, master's in education

Family: Wife, Fran; five grown children and nine grandchildren

How long have you lived in Lansing and what brought you here? I moved here 37 years ago from Lawrence to take a management analyst position at Fort Leavenworth.

What do you like most about Lansing? Lansing is friendly and has all needed amenities, and it's in a great central location to the airport and Kansas City.

What do you do to relax? I sit in my back porch swing and read while listening to the birds and having a Dr. Pepper.

What would surprise people about you? I taught secondary- and junior-college-level math and science to American Indian children for 12 years at Haskell Indian Nations University in Lawrence, Kansas.

What's the best advice you ever received? My mother told me to be honest, to always tell the truth. I would also say that the best practical, nonmoral advice is "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." This advice is often given, but those that get it choose to ignore it and then regret it later.

What organization or clubs do you belong to? Lansing Historical Society, VFW, Lansing PRIDE Committee and Lansing Board of Zoning Appeals

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