Lovin' It in Rural Kansas
Ten miles southwest of the rural community of Kendall sits Sheree Braddock's childhood home. Her grandparents moved to the area in the 1930s. For a dwelling, her dad dug a basement and moved two old school houses together. As the family grew, her father continued to add on rooms.
Small town life floods her memories. Sheree started riding motorcycles at the tender age of ten. She decorated her bicycle for the parade in the neighboring town of Syracuse, and played with her three siblings. While her mom got her haircut, Sheree and her friends rode bicycles all over town. After graduating Kendall High School in 1972 with her seven classmates, Sheree was eager to check out the world. She left for the big city of Manhattan, Kansas.
Sheree attended Manhattan Christian College. “I loved Manhattan. I thought it was a metropolis. There was so much to do.” After two years, she continued her education at Crum’s Beauty School, and, here, Sheree found her calling: hair.
She opened her own salon in Junction City. For the next 18 years, Sheree enjoyed both her work and her friends. Throughout the years, Sheree and her daughter, Kandice, would visit Kendall. Kandice’s visits were always about fun. Often, she fantasized about rural life. She would remark to Sheree, “Mom, can we move here?” Kandice loved the Northrup Theatre and found it charming that you could walk from one end of town to the other.
Courtesy of Google Earth
After many years doing hair, Sheree decided to make a change and started selling hair products in Kansas City. But she never lost her desire for working with tresses. Eight years later, she returned to her first love.
In recent years, both her parents passed away. “When you lose your parents, you have a real appreciation for the way you were raised,” said Sheree. Country, home, and family are some of the things she missed while living in the more urban areas. Sheree added, “There is not a lot of a pretense in a small town. I love the slower pace and that people know your name.”
Life in her hometown community of Kendall has changed. They no longer have a school. The final graduating class of 1975 would be the last at Kendall High School. However, Sheree was impressed with how progressive nearby Syracuse had become. The Syracuse Sand Dunes ATV park, the Tone N Trim 24 hour fitness center, a chiropractor, and massage therapy were some of the changes that awed her.
One day, Sheree and her brother Larry bought some cattle at the sale barn in Syracuse. While eating lunch in the café, Sheree ran into her high school boyfriend, Dan. He offered her a motorcycle ride on his Harley and the rest is history. Sheree and Dan were married on December 17, 2007. They live on a farm 17 miles southwest of Syracuse. They have three big dogs, Taz, Bo, and Joe.
Sheree said, “My friends from the city can’t wait to visit. They want to ride four wheelers, go hunting, and try out Dan’s shooting range. “ Sheree is now self-employed at Hair Creations working with Wilma Lillibridge.