Small town fan to rock with Mellencamp
When Rachelle Ziesenis was a Eudora High School student, John Mellencamp was known as Johnny Cougar, and hits like "Jack and Diane" and "Hurts so Good" were several years away.
Mellencamp may have changed his name and his floppy 1980s hairdo, but Ziesenis still lives near her hometown. Her love for the small-town life in Eudora earned her tickets to Mellencamp's concert at Sandstone Amphitheater in Bonner Springs Aug. 24, and a Kansas City radio station will broadcast from Eudora from 1 to 3 p.m. Aug. 23 at the Guilded Cage, where the station will have a drawing for concert tickets.
A Mellencamp fan, Ziesenis said she tried to get tickets a month ago, but found they were sold out. She found out she won while listening to the radio in her car driving from Eudora to Lenexa for work.
KCFX 101 The Fox had a contest asking listeners in surrounding small towns to list their five favorite things about small town life since Mellencamp's hit "Small Town" praises the virtues of the lifestyle and remembers his own roots in small-town Indiana.
"She just bragged and and bragged about you guys," said radio host Chris Stigall.
Ziesenis said that living in the country heightened her appreciation for rural life.
"I have a 12-year-old daughter. It's a wonderful place to raise a child. I love the camaraderie. I still hang out with people I grew up with since kindergarten."
Several Eudora features made Ziesenis' lists, including the gazebo in CPA Park where the community gathers for the historical CPA picnic.
"We're proud that we have our small-town doctor, Doc (Kenneth) Holladay who's been in practice for over 40 years," Ziesenis said. The station will interview she and Holladay by phone at 8 a.m. Aug. 23.
"They say they're going to put Eudora on the map," Ziesenis said. "I'm thinking, I better have some people there supporting me."
She also mentioned her great-great-grandfather and great-great-uncle, German immigrants who founded the town.
"One of my reasons was he has a song 'Cherry Bomb,' but here it's the Guilded Cage where you can still get a homemade pickled egg with your beer."
She also mentioned the Jasmin Restaurant where hungry diners can get lo mein and enchiladas under the same roof.
"Only that can happen in a small town," she said. "They thought it was a hoot."
Ziesenis said she wanted to invite the town to the broadcast.
"They making a big to-do about this," she said, adding that she wanted to see "anyone who wants to rally around and give Eudora a big hurrah."