Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

October 13, 2018

Dearborn Café

Saturday, October 13, 2018

by Ed Chasteen


Ginny and John both grew up in Philadelphia but went to different high schools. Ginny recollects first meeting John when he and a buddy followed her and a girlfriend on the boardwalk. Ginny and John now have three grown children, a daughter and two sons.

Ginny and I sat across from one another this morning for breakfast at Dearborn Café. She and John live in Overland Park and drove to this Village of Ferrelview to ride with us to the tiny town of Dearborn, both smaller than the high schools they attended.

Interurban Road runs seventeen virtually flat and almost straight well-maintained farm-to-market miles from where we begin at the Christian Church, 123 Ona Street, in Ferrelview to Dearborn Café, just to our right before Interurban Road crosses an intersecting county road and becomes Main Street.

Day after day of incessant rain has saturated the surrounding farmland and overflowed the road we ride. We pass several ROAD CLOSED barriers and take once or twice to the middle of the road where water still stands on the roadside. The fastest and the slowest of us arrive near 30 minutes apart, but all by the time I had given Logan on the phone. All 11 of us squeeze together at one long table.

John sits to my right, his second time to ride with us, the first being to Smithville a few weeks back. John is friends with Dwayne, the first lives in Overland Park, the second in Liberty. Both work for Honeywell in KC, accounting for their friendship. Two other guys who work with them came the morning we rode to Smithville. One had too small a bike and soon after got another. Soon after that he stopped in his car at a gas station, his bike strapped to the back. And someone stole them both.

Dave sits to my left. He and Rinne, his wife, volunteered to let me pair them with another couple of some other faith for a series of seven online conversations with seven sets of questions ending with a Human Family Reunion at William Jewell College where each speaks for no more than three minutes as their pair, using the information obtained from the online conversations.

Next Saturday we ride again from Ferrelview and on past Dearborn to the even smaller town of Faucett for breakfast at Big Rigs, just on our right as we cross over I-29 and come to Farris Truck Stop.

I regret that I will not be able to come to this good place. My wife and I are going to the farm of some friends 114 miles away to see them work their cattle.


Riders today: Stephanie Rice, Richard Woodruff, John Vernickas, Bill Hessel, Mike Nason, Doug Edwards, David Woods, John Ricciardelli, Ginny Ricciardelli, Ed Chasteen


Server: Logan Hall


October 9, 2018

Ode to Mismatched Plates

Saturday, October 6, 2018

By Ed Chasteen


Willow Spring Mercantile was a big deal in this small town a century ago. Both have morphed in the ensuing years into something different. The Mercantile back then carried hoes and rakes and food staples for folks who came by wagon, horseback and on foot. This morning we come by bicycles on paved roads for a gourmet breakfast made just for us.

Such was our plan. Before the oft promised rain came with a vengeance during the night and lingered past the time scheduled for our departure from the bike shop. So I called Daphne on my bike-phone from the dry front seat of my HateBuster Mobile to tell her that none of the promised forty riders had come. ”I still expect at least twenty at your place for breakfast,” I tell her. :”Your place is special to us. Just twice a year we come. For the breakfast you make just for us. We will come.”

Bottled wine and packaged coffee to take home. By the glass and cup enhancing the allure of this out-of-time place, serving delectable foods found only here. Singly perhaps available elsewhere, but not in combination or so lovingly and masterfully prepared.

The crowning touch to this meal worthy of notice beyond these walls is their being served on mismatched plates. Chain restaurants deviate hardly at all from their corporate commands and appear across the land as one. Efficiency, speed and sameness serve the masses well. And all of us here this morning have at other times frequented them. They, though, speak to other needs.

No two small town Mom and Pop cafes are alike. Daphne and Jim Bowman have shaped Willow Spring Mercantile in their image. The look of the place. Its ambiance. The vibe! Whatever that is, here is not like any other place. I doubt the mismatched plates came from a conscious decision. We’ve been here several times and never noticed. Like most good things that grace our lives, they simply merge into the background against which we live out our days. As mouth-watering as the food is, it’s the mismatched plates that bring to my mind the question Emily asks in Thornton Wilder’s Our Town when after her death she is given one last look at a typical breakfast in her family kitchen: “Does anyone ever realize life as they live it, every single minute?”



Riders (by car) this morning: David Eaton, Linda Eaton, Ed Piepergerdes, Pam Piepergerdes, Dustin Prockish, Ed Chasteen, Terry Clark, Michelle Clark, Dan Doss, Jason Swan, Jay Smith, Delfina Ortiz, Kim Siegel, Dwayne Hughes, Cynthia Hughes, Mike Nason, John Vernickas, Bill Hessel, Richard Woodruff, Rick Miller, Noel Miller, Kelly Chasteen, Laura Bellah, Wanda Tyner, Joan Bruns, Linda Kidd


Hosts: Daphne and Jim Bowman

Servers: Kim Powell, Donna Bell, Kerri Day

Cooks: Amy Rice, Makala Morse, Trisha Banning

September 19, 2018

HateBusters and Greater Liberty


by Ed Chasteen


I live in a town called Liberty. Just a few miles from another called Independence. I came here straight from grad school to join the faculty of our local college. Early on I was tempted to move and work in some other place. I knew I would like the new place. But I liked it here. Why leave?

After 30 years I did leave my college. Not to retire! To do full time what my students and I had started years earlier. We called it HateBusters.

A headline in the Kansas City Star got us going: KLANSMAN WINS ELECTION IN LOUISIANA. The governor invited us to come help. A black church and a white church invited us. We went. Word got out. We began to be invited all over the country. We got so busy I had to leave the college to give HateBusters my full attention. We became a 501 C-3 non-profit. Headquartered in my home. In the basement. Past the washing machine.

We needed focus. I loved living all these years in the only house I’ve ever owned with the only wife I’ve ever had. With our three children who went to the college where I taught. I loved as much the world I’d read about in great books and seen in great people. Living long in a little place had wedded me to smallness. More to footnotes than headlines. I discovered that big problems yield to laser-like focus.

One summer when I had no obligations at my college, I put to a test the world vision I had gotten from great books and great people. Every person on the planet has at least a spark of goodness and genius inside: This I believed. I wanted to know. How could I?

I got on a bicycle. By myself. With no money. Planning to ride from Orlando to Seattle to Anaheim—Disney World to Disneyland—asking strangers along the way for exactly what I needed at the moment and for the best way to the next town. For 105 days I pedaled. More than 500 people I asked. No one said no. They all gave advice. I found the spark.

On my longest days across the high plains desert of Washington state where towns are far apart, I pedaled 125 miles. So when I was back home in Liberty, I drew a 125-mile circle around our town; thus came Greater Liberty, both place and principle. The place goes north to Creston, Iowa and south to Carthage, Missouri; west to Manhattan, Kansas and east to Columbia, Missouri. The principle is this: we all have greater liberty than we ever know to live above and beyond all the limits other folks expect of us and we uncritically assume, such limits as race, religion, gender, class, culture, creed.

The world is a big place. Its problems are endless. Overwhelming in mass. Frustrating enough when viewed alone. More likely, though, to yield, at least somewhat, to concerted effort. By focusing on this place and this principle, HateBusters adopts the oft heard maxim: Think Globally, Act locally.

Those who stir hatred make headlines. To counter them, HateBusters seeks equal attention. When bigots came with their signs to march in our street, I had the same right to march. I ran to my office. Made a sign. And ran to join them. My sign said, “These guys are nuts.” The crowd laughed. They had come to intimidate. Not entertain. So they left.

Responding to hate is necessary but not sufficient. Hate must be prevented. So with our book, How To Like People Who Are Not Like You we go to schools, churches, synagogues, mosques, temples, civic clubs, prisons, homes. Anywhere we’re invited. Free of charge to those who invite us. Supported by those who like what we do.

Teaching people how to like people does not make headlines. Hate averted is never known and not reported. Because hate does make headlines when it happens, it seems to appear more often than it really does. If it bleeds, it leads seems universally true. And though true, gives a jaundiced view.

HateBusters promises to respond to any act of hate that targets anyone in Greater Liberty because of some despised identity the hater applies. HateBusters promises to teach people in Greater Liberty how to like people. Everything we do is free to those who need us. We are all volunteers. We have a mission. We will not be deterred.

No one would know to blame me if I did not work at my self-appointed task. But guilt and grief would hound me all my years. I could not rest easy in my grave.


For your free E-copy of How To Like Who Are Not Like You, Ctrl click on then on Books



Invite us and we will come.

Join us and we will win.


Our Belief

Until we get to know each other, who’s right is the wrong question.

Our Motto

Red and Yellow, Black, Brown and White

Christian, Buddhist and Jew

Hindu, Baha’i, Sikh and Muslim, too

All are precious in our sight

Our Practice

To oppose hate wherever we find it and in whatever form it takes.

To teach others how to oppose hate and why they should.

Our Dream

To become World Class Persons,

able to go anywhere at anytime and talk to anyone about anything and feel safe

and to teach others this skill.

Our Address

Box 442

Liberty, Missouri 64069

Phone: 816-803-8371



BIG Welcome at BIG Rigs

September 15, 2018

Saturday, Sept. 15, 2018

BIG Welcome at BIG Rigs

by Ed Chasteen


Interurban road runs seventeen miles straight, flat and smooth through open country still mostly cropland, with a few newly-minted homes. Farm trucks and assorted tractors vie with bicycles from Ferrelview to Dearborn. Little Toot drew us to breakfast in this place of near 500 more than 20 years ago when we first began to ride. After it burned, Logan’s Bar &Grill one day came and lingered for a while. Then Cook’s Corner Café occupied part of what once had been the Lickskillit Mall, kitty-corner across Main Street from where Little Toot had been. When after more than five years, Cook’s Corner moved to Smithville, we could find no breakfast in Smithville.

Then it was we realized that Interurban Road ran not only to but through Dearborn. Through its brief journey through town it’s called Main Street and becomes county road Y as it acquires hills and turns and comes some eight miles past to a truck stop café just off I-29 on this near side of the tiny town of Faucett.

Big Rigs Café is reason enough to pedal the 23 miles from Ferrelview. Comfort comes on more than the plate: The private room we’re always given; the care bestowed by ministering angels as they bring us ice water, ice tea, hot coffee and the breakfast of our choice.

The journey really is the destination. Nothing comes close to the natural high of pedaling a bicycle on such a day as this. A close second, though, is the interlude that comes in a small town café two hours into the ride, with another two still to come. Jessica Martinez, Bev Jocobs, and Patti Elliot wait on us today and make us welcome.



Riders today: Mike Margaita, Sean Cavanough, Mike Nason, Dustin Prockish, David Evans, Craig Leff, Ed Piepergerdes, Paul Klawinski, Jeremy Briscoe, Richard Woodruff, Greg Snodgrass, Bill Hessel, John Vernickas, Ed Chasteen, Dwayne Hughes, Mark Maston

September 15, 2018

Open Letter to Morris Dees at the Southern Poverty Law Center


Your recent letter ended: “If you can, please send a generous gift. Just as important, be an activist for justice in your local community.”

HateBusters started as a class project in my Race Relations class at William Jewell College in 1988 when David Duke was elected to the Louisiana State Legislature. The governor, a black church and a white church invited us to come to Baton Rouge to help the state redeem itself.

HateBusters is now a 501 c-3 non-profit. We teach our book, How To Like People Who Are not Like You. We respond immediately and publicly to all acts of hate that target any person’s race, religion, gender, nationality, sexual orientation. Haters are cowards. To wait encourages them to think either that we’re afraid of them or that we agree with them. Neither is true. Either makes them harder to beat.

If we had tons of money, we would send most of it to you. You operate on a grander scale. We focus on this little piece of God’s good earth we know as Greater Liberty. We live in Liberty, Missouri. We drew a 125-mile circle around our town, going north to Creston, Iowa and south to Carthage, Missouri; west to Manhattan, Kansas and east to Columbia, Missouri. We call this place Greater Liberty.

Greater Liberty, though, is more a principle than a place. We all have Greater Liberty than we know to live above and beyond all the labels other folks apply to us and we uncritically assume, labels like race, religion, gender, nation, sexual orientation.

We HateBusters never have much money. By choice. That summer I biked alone and without money across America for 105 days made me know the power that comes from total dependence. Having to explain my self and my need and win a stranger’s help in under a minute, doing so hundreds of times from Orlando to Seattle to Anaheim, always with the same result, brings on a natural high from which you never come down.

No one is born hating. Everybody is a natural born HateBuster. If you don’t want to be one, we say, send us your name and we’ll take you off the list. Otherwise, you’re one of us. We give away membership cards. We have no dues and no meetings. Just work to do. We stay in touch by email.

Morris, I have admired the Southern Poverty Law Center for years. I sing your praises everywhere I go and in everything I do. I read every word in all the ways you send them to me. Years ago when I was given some money to give to a cause, I gave it to the SPLC. I have none now to give. My gift to you and the SPLC comes in what your letter said was just as important.

Together, we hoe to the end of the row.


Ed Chasteen, HateBusters founder