Robert Rebein visits DCPL.

Several hundreds of people have considered Dodge City home and a place to be proud of for well over a century.

Robert Rebein, who grew up in Dodge City, loves his hometown so much that he wrote a book about it.

Headlights on the Prarie was released on July 12, and since then has sparked up many interested locals.

“His book is about growing up in Dodge City and southwest Kansas. He grew up here in the 70’s and 80’s, and then he moved away,” said Dodge City Public Library director, Brandon Hines. “Each chapter is set up as a completely different stand alone essay. Some of them talk about Kansas in general. Others talk about rural Kansas.

"From the cover image of a pick-up kicking up dust on a dirt road in Hodgeman County to the final chapter sharing a personal conversation with his aging father at Manor of the Plains Senior Living Center, Headlights on the Prairie is the southwest Kansas experience for many who have lived or still live in the area."

Rebein visited the DCPL on Friday for a book signing. According to Hines, Rebein was a definite crowd-pleaser.

“Judging by the laughter and the applause, everyone really seemed to appreciate having a local author come back,” said Hines. “There’s something about when you have a person who’s writing, or even just talking about a place where you’re very well connected to, it enhances the meaning I think.”

Rebein, who is related to David Rebein of Rebein Law Firm, is currently a professor of English as well as the chair of the English department at Indiana University-Purdue University in Indianapolis. He also wrote another book, titled Dragging Wyatt Earp.

"Dragging Wyatt Earp is described on as a ‘must-read for anyone interested in Western history, contemporary memoir, or the collision of Old and New West on the High Plains of Kansas,’" said Hines. "Both Dragging Wyatt Earp and Headlights on the Prairie are available for checkout at the Dodge City Public Library."

According to Hines, Rebein’s book also mentions other issues and benefits of living in southwest Kansas.

“He also talked about health care being in southwest Kansas and having to drive to Wichita to see the doctor, and that was a big part of his experience,” said Hines. “He also talked about sports growing up and how big of an impact that is on many people’s lives in this area.”

Hines says that he enjoyed reading Headlights on the Prarie because of the personal connections he also holds with Dodge City.

“I grew up in the area, and I can really connect to a lot of those essays,” he said. “There were a lot of moments where it clicked and I was like ‘oh, I remember that!’ or ‘I thought the same thing growing up.’ Additionally, there were also couple things he brought up that I forgot all about.”

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