My husband Paul and I were living in the Bay Area in 2016, and we were feeling pretty burned out. On a visit to Kansas over Thanksgiving to visit family, we also visited some friends who had moved back to a little town called Humboldt. It clearly left an impression on us, as we moved to Humboldt in mid-2017, helped found A Bolder Humboldt, and haven’t looked back.

I grew up in coastal Northern California near the tiny town of Bodega Bay, which is famous for being the filming location of Alfred Hitchcock’s horror classic, The Birds. My parents were the caretakers of a 2,000 acre sheep ranch, so I spent all of my free time during the first 9 years of my life on the back of a pony, tearing around on a 4-wheeler, or playing in a creek.

Hanging out with friends on the ranch, coastal Northern California, early 1980s

My husband Paul and I met in high school one of the times he and his family bounced between California and the Midwest. We are both fans of books, travel, gardening, dogs, learning new skills, and entertaining friends over good food and drink. We have a very demanding chihuahua named Bridget (who is from Piqua, KS) and 4 black cats who adopted us and who keep the yard free of snakes. Both sets of parents have since joined us in Humboldt, and it’s been a big help having some extra hands to help finish some of our projects around town!

Alana and her two native Kansans. Husband Paul is from Wichita, while Pup Bridget is from Piqua.

Both of us have started businesses this year in Humboldt. I am using my many years of retail and customer service experience to open Idle Hour Books, a new bookstore, and Paul is opening The Hitching Post, a honky tonk that specializes in good whisky, cold beer, and classic country music. We hope both will be a good addition to the community, and will appeal to both locals and visitors!

With a reputation as a shy kid, running for office was not on my list of life goals, but getting out into the community and talking to people about the issues they care about has been a positive experience. Rural Kansas is full of great people who care about their community!