Ginger has been patiently waiting to greet visitors.

Her co-greeter, Buddy, has yet to see anyone walk through the front door of the Greyhound Hall of Fame.

That all changes today as the 9 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. hours return.

Ginger and Buddy are retired racing greyhounds that are the official greeters at the Hall of Fame located on South Buckeye Avenue.

The museum has been closed since mid-March because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Since then, Gary died and Buddy has been a greeter in training.

Manager Kathy Lounsbury is expecting a busy Memorial Day weekend as people are anxious to get out and do something.

She was hoping to open the door — there are separate “In” and “Out” doors — last week but that got delayed when Kansas went from Phase 1 to Phase 1.5.

Both liquid and gel sanitizer is all over the building. There is even separate wastebaskets at the door for discarded gloves and masks.

“The state has asked us to collect names and phone numbers in case they need to get in touch. It’s one of their recommendations,” she said.

The guestbook has two containers. One contains sanitized pens and one for used pens.

Lounsbury said there are counters to keep track of the visitors as the new Phase 2 rules limit groups to 15 or less.

“Being that it is a holiday weekend and there isn’t anything else open, we’re going to have to keep track of that,” she said.

Chairs to watch the opening video are positioned six feet apart. 

The water fountain has been covered.

“The displays the way they are set up are just fine,” she said.

Most of the museum contains graphics and videos.

 

Racetrack

There are two exceptions: the racetrack model and the pioneer section which is touch-screen driven.

Disinfectant wipes are beside the racetrack model so viewers can use those to punch the buttons. 

The display playing different videos explains how fast a greyhound runs, how far they run and other aspects of a greyhound racetrack.

The pioneer screen will be wiped down regularly along with the artificial lure which especially the kids like to touch. The artificial lure looks like a rabbit.

“Anything that is touchable is covered,” she said. 

She said staff will regularly wipe everything down once visitors leave.

Visitors watching replays of the Hollywood World Classic will have to socially distance themselves as the bench has been removed.

Several greyhounds raised locally that won the major sprint race can be seen. Bernie and Andi Collette’s Bomb Threat won in 1997. Vince Berland’s Flying Earnhardt won in 2002. Flying Stanley won in 2007 and Tiger Boy in 2011.

“We changed that so anyone watching the video will have to stand. It’s personal responsibility,” she said. 

There are also videos of the Night of Stars races and a video on Talentedmrripley. The two-time captain of  All-American greyhounds was once a greeter at the Hall of Fame. He was also inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2008.

Today the role of official greeter goes to Ginger, officially WW’s I Giver, and Buddy, officially WW’s Tough Guy. Both were raised locally and owned by Julia Ward.

Both greyhounds will be confined and not allowed to roam around like before the COVID-19 pandemic. 

 

Donations

Staff has been busy cleaning floors, shampooing carpet and other maintenance projects.

“I am fortunate to have Warren (Kready) and Carlena (Lindsey) at getting stuff done and keeping it done,” Lounsbury said. “Since we’ve been closed, we’ve been working on maintenance we couldn’t do with visitors, like getting the floors waxed and the dog in the back painted.”

Admission is free but cash or credit card donations are welcome.

“Since we operate strictly on donations, since we have been closed, there has been zero income,” Lounsbury said.

The Hall of Fame also receives funds from an special auction at the National Greyhound Association’s meets held twice year. However, when the NGA runs its spring meet in the first week in June, the Hall of Fame auction that Tuesday night has been eliminated. Some items with proceeds to the Hall of Fame will be mixed in with the track stake auction on that Friday in June.

That auction normally held at Sterl Hall will be held at the Greyhound Hall of Fame.

“We will have no evening events,” Lounsbury said. “There will be no Tuesday night auction which benefits the Hall of Fame. The induction ceremony has been canceled.”

Plaques for the All-America Team, Rural Rube Award and Flashy Sir Award will be mailed to the recipients.

Contact Tim Horan at editor@abilene-rc.com.

Contact Tim Horan at editor@abilene-rc.com.

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