Saturday, July 28, 2007

The Other Buttermilk

It was bound to happen, right? I received an email from a relative of someone who played on a Buttermilk Softball team in Comanche County, Kansas sometime around 1950. He thought our site might somehow be related. Because, you know, how many Buttermilk Softball teams can there be in the world?

Well, apparently there are at least two. You can read more about the team -- and check out the design of their so-spartan-they're-cool uniforms -- on this geneology site. FYI: The most recent U.S. Census data puts Comanche County's population at 1,884 -- equal to the number of high-end strollers trolling through Prospect Park at any point in time.

The team apparently took its name from the unincorporated town of Buttermilk, Kansas, home of the Big Gyp Cave Pictograph Site. The name refers to the presence of gypsum in the cave, not to its quality as a tourist destination or to a common epithet leveled at the Roma people. Big Gyp Cave is even listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The entrance to the cave, one of Kansas' largest, is pictured at right. Here's how a Witchita Eagle reporter described an expedition a couple of years ago [emphasis added]:

He gets out, then leads a group of students from West Texas A&M University down a steep hill and into what seems to be another world.

It looks like Colorado, or maybe the Ozarks in Missouri. A stream babbles over a small waterfall. Dense cedar trees create a canopy from the outside world.

And upstream: the entrance to Big Gyp Cave, one of the largest caves in Kansas.

It's home to some of the bats that Roth has grown to love over more than four decades.
Roth? "Bats?" Weird.

No comments: