also

I am hosting this "Walt Kik Fan Page" until someone more qualified comes along. I am not related to Walt; I am not from Eastern Washington; I am not a farmer; and I did not have a special relationship with Walt and Sugar during the two summers I met them while working in Big Bend Country. But when I read his writings and discovered they had little or no media presence, I resolved to share them: his unpretentious homespun insights, his humanitarian world view, and his free-spirited lifestyle. Walt was ahead of his time. His very first article began: "I was born at least 40 years too soon." I aspire to be more like him. 

- Phil Krogh, July 2020, Woodinville, WA

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My Favorite Stories

Sugar    Lots of Luck, Love, and Tender Care

Younger Days     Off to a Bad Start         Boy, Oh Boy!

Hard Times         Three Helpless Farmers       A Flood of Memories

 Wheat Farming     Second Prize...Two Quarts of Beer 

 California            I Already Appreciated America

            Recreation           Too Bad He Didn't Get Around More 

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Archive.org

Kik Backs by Walt Kik

Publication date 1982-01-01

Reviewer: Phil Krogh - - February 10, 2020

Perhaps these writings will only be of interest to someone who had met Walt Kik, or who has a connection to wheat farming in the Big Bend country of eastern Washington. However, I think his work has merit on its own; it is unpretentious, concise, and sprinkled with homespun insights.

Here are some examples:

“Gramps started to get bugged when he saw what the grasshoppers were doing to his crops. He found a guy that didn’t mind grasshoppers, and sold him their farm.”

“When I got old enough to shave, all I could think about was how to raise wheat instead of heck.”

“(Their) wives’ brain power was weighed one notch lower by their ego-filled, hairy-chested husbands.”

“When Frank died, he was financially as naked as when Alice Marcellus bore him back in Jesse James’ country.”

“She sure did look different since all her equipment had arrived.”

“Ever since the crystal set days, my love affair with radio and TV may explain why I have a TV set in every room except the bathroom, and that’s because it’s just used mostly during the commercials.”

Walt Kik farmed wheat from the 1930’s to the 1970’s near Rocklyn, Washington. He was known for his free thinking and independent spirit, was a health enthusiast, and sponsored many youth clubs with his wife, Sugar. After retirement he wrote history columns for local newspapers, from which this book (the first of three) is compiled. I met Walt in 1971.

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January 2021

About a year ago I began devoting much more time and energy to this project, posting and editing almost every day. I recently realized that this has evolved into something more than just a Walt Kik fan page. It is becoming a showcase of my enthusiasm for this corner of the world in which I grew up and still live - the Pacific Northwest; its landscapes and natural beauty (formed by mind-boggling geological events), and its infrastructure of cities and towns, bridges and dams and highways built by our pioneers and their descendants; our public servants, politicians, architects and artists.

-P.K.

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July 2021


I am presently attempting to weave Walt's stories into one long continuous narrative. (Should I call it a book?) The biggest challenge is, of course, where to put what story where. It quickly became clear that simply arranging the stories chronologically would be less interesting than doing it so that it reveals who Walt was in an interesting, evolving manner. The page is "I Was Born". I am editing the page almost daily.

("I Was Born" is at the top of the "Popular Posts" home page only because it is the oldest page. Nothing of the original page exists.)

-PAK


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Aug 2021


My present hope for the long-term impact of this page is informed by the blog BigBendRailroadHistory.com. Searches I do about Big Bend people, places, and history often point to that website. Currently, I notice surges of traffic to my site about once a week from Germany, Ireland or the Netherlands. These readers are most probably searching geneological information.

-PAK


Walt Kik / Phil Krogh
Genealogic Path Between me and Walt from Geni.com


Walt Kik
Connie and me on the cover of Washington State University newspaper Jan. 1974

Walt Kik

15 June 1974, Seattle, Washington State


September, 2021

I am giving up on trying to weaving one long narrative - I am building three. Kik-Back Country will contain all the places of local history in Walt's books. Kik-Back Characters contains the stories of the persons he wrote about, and a third book (booklet?) containing his first-person stories about his life, his beliefs and his relationships - especially with Sugar. PAK 


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Some stories inspired by Kik-Backs


    In 1970 I entered Washington State University in Pullman. I chose to live in Orton Hall which became, that year, the first co-ed dorm on campus. The admissions volunteers in the lobby asked me if I wanted to live on an upper or lower floor of the 12 story building. I said I did not know or maybe that I couldn't decide. That is how I ended up in the middle - the 6th floor. (I soon learned that several of my dorm/floormates had the exact same story.) Connie lived in a dorm at the University of Idaho (eight miles away) for the first few weeks of school because of a housing shortage on campus. Her dorm mates became close friends during those weeks. When she moved to Orton, she lived on the ninth floor but hung out with several of her Idaho friends who lived on my floor. That is how I became aware of her existence. PAK


Phil Krogh

Phil Krogh
Dorm room - not my photo

    These Idaho friends of Connie's once held her down in the study room and placed a pet gerbil on her stomach, probably because they knew she would hate it. She scrunched her eyes closed and struggled to get away, but I do not remember her screaming. The gerbil was mine. I had brought it from home after spring break.

    Connie and I did not go out together until the last week of school. We saw one of those Friday night dollar movies on campus. It was "The Sterile Cuckoo" staring Liza Minelli and Wendell Burton. After the movie we walked aimlessly around campus and talked and talked and talked. We were walking and talking around the basketball court by the dorm around midnight when inside. The elevator had a broken, plastic button which, if you pressed it at the right moment, would stop between floors. (My dormmates had figured this out.) I stopped the elevator, we sat on the floor, we acted silly, and we talked and talked and talked until morning.