It's nothing new for Dodge City to have tourists in the summer, but when the visitors are from England it's a little more exciting. When the visitors also happen to be a Member of the British Empire, a very prestigious honor in England, it's really something special.
Paul Firman MBE and his wife Janet stopped in Dodge for a whirlwind visit earlier this week on their travels across the Western half of our country.
"I've always heard of Dodge,' Firman said of why he wanted to come here. "It's synonymous with cowboys Indians and Wyatt Earp and so much other history."
Firman and his wife have traveled to the states several times but this was their first visit to Dodge City. While they were here they had to opportunity to take a trolley tour, see the Santa Fe trail tracks, explore Boot Hill and what visit would be complete without dinner and the Long Branch Variety Show?
"It was a great show," Firman said, "there was such energy and excitement!"
Although the Firman's main reason for coming to America was a family wedding, they are also taking the opportunity to do as much sightseeing as possible. After they left Dodge, they headed west to Flagstaff, AZ. to see the Grand Canyon. Other stops on their trip include the London Bridge, ironically in Lake Havasu City, AZ., Las Vegas, Santa Fe, La Junta and more.
"We like small towns," Firman said. "The people are friendly, you get to see and learn so much and they're just fun to visit."
The Firman's also like to travel by train, so much of their trip will be completed on Amtrack.
Firman became a Member of the British Empire in 2007. According to him, to be awarded this honor, someone in the government must nominate you for service to your community or country, then the Queen selects a few nominees twice a year, New Year's and her birthday, to bestow the honor on.
"At the ceremony where I was presented the award you can ask which member of parliament you want to give it to you," Firman said. "I didn't ask for anyone specifically, but I was lucky enough to have the Queen herself present my award."
Firman was nominated because of services he provided to his community, which is Martlesham Heath, located in Ipswich, about 70 miles from England. He has hosted several fundraisers, ran the local village newsletter for years, and did many other things for local charities.
"It was such an honor to be given this prestigious award," Firman said. "I feel very lucky to have even been considered."
As they continue on their travels across the states, the Firman’s will blog about their experiences and the places they've visited.
Page 2 of 2 - "We want to promote all these great places we visit and inspire others to come as well," Firman said. To read their blog and see what they've said about Dodge, visit http://journals.worldnomads.com.