Ken Weyand


After receiving a degree in Journalism at the University of Missouri, Kenneth Charles Weyand worked ten years for the "Kansas City Star", becoming Advertising Copy Chief. Later he published several publications, including "Discover North", a monthly history and travel newspaper. After expanding the distribution from a single county to more than nine states, Weyand sold the publication in 2001, but continued to write for the paper, renamed "Discover Vintage America". For the past ten years, he has written a monthly history and travel column, “Traveling with Ken.”

"Fiddling with Friends in the 1920s: A Chautauqua Trouper’s Story" is Ken's first book, capturing the life of his mother who, as a young woman, left her small town behind for a great adventure and a chance to get a first-hand look at a changing America in the early 20th Century. A much larger book, "An Unlikely Love Story," tells the unique story of two people from vastly different backgrounds who overcame great odds to begin a new life in the country during the depths of the Depression.

The author's own remembrances of a country life are recounted in "Dirt Road Diary: Recalling a Country Childhood." It picks up where “An Unlikely Love Story” leaves off, and includes a lot of country-style memories. Both books will be published in the near future.

Another book, "Early-Day Flying in Kansas City", based on a similar history published in 1970 and including material not in the original book, was released in October 2015.

Weyand’s passion is kayaking, particularly in Florida. He is currently working on two eBooks on kayaking, both non-fiction, and plans to release them in the near future.

"Lost in the Everglades and Other Florida Paddling Adventures" recalls a harrowing experience, but is balanced with other experiences that were equally adventurous but more successful. If you’re a paddler or would like to be, you’ll enjoy reading this one.

"A Florida Paddling Bucket List" is currently being compiled for paddlers (and would-be paddlers) looking to make the most of their free time on Florida rivers, creeks and estuaries, with helpful tips on where to launch and take out, and what to expect at each location. Factoids of local history are included.

Contact Ken at

Smashwords Interview

You seem to have worked in and around publishing throughout your career. Can you tell us a little about that?
After ten years with the Kansas City Star, I realized I wanted to do something on my own. I did a couple of aviation papers, including an aviation history magazine, and the original History of Aviation in Greater Kansas City. Then I began publishing a small paper about local history that was distributed at retail shops. It grew from one county into eight states and I sold it in 2001. I still write a travel/history column, “Traveling with Ken” for the paper, now called Discover Vintage America.
One of your books, "Dirt Road Diary", tells the tale of you as a young man of adventure who, among other things, takes a 100-plus mile journey on foot with some buddies. Have you always been drawn to adventure and taking the road less travelled?
I’ve always been excited about travel adventures. My grandfather left me with a large collection of National Geographic magazines, and I spent a lot of time as a young boy poring over the exotic maps. I think there’s a common thread between solving the mysteries of the “thin blue lines” that define Midwest streams and exploring the creeks and estuaries I’ve been able to discover in Florida.
Read more of this interview.


Lost in the Everglades and Other Florida Kayaking Adventures
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 17,610. Language: English. Published: January 6, 2016. Categories: Nonfiction » Sports & outdoor recreation » Kayaking, Nonfiction » Travel » Trip Journals
Ken Weyand discovered kayaking late in life, but it added a world of fun (and occasional excitement) to his retirement. For the past several years he has spent winters in Florida, where opportunities for flat-water paddling on rivers, creeks and estuaries are plentiful. He kept a journal of most of his kayaking adventures – including one lowlight that turned out to be on the scary side.
Early-Day Flying in Kansas City
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 26,890. Language: English. Published: October 25, 2015. Categories: Nonfiction » History » American, Nonfiction » Engineering, trades, & technology » Aeronautics & Astronautics
"Early-Day Flying in Kansas City" is based on a trade paperback published in 1970. The original book, Aviation History in Greater Kansas City, was compiled by "Historic Aviation" magazine, edited and published by Ken Weyand, a private pilot at the time, with a keen interest in aviation history.
Dirt Road Diary: Recalling a Country Childhood
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 35,320. Language: English. Published: September 9, 2015. Categories: Nonfiction » History » American, Nonfiction » Biography » Personal memoir
A journalist recalls growing up on a farm in northeast Missouri, where his only connection with the outside world was a dirt road. Recollections include farm animals, old-time vehicles, a one-room country school, fairs, hikes in creek-beds, party lines, and the foibles of rural life. Illustrated with family photographs, “Dirt Road Diary” covers the years before the author’s college days.
An Unlikely Love Story: A City-Bred Musician and a 'Country Boy' Begin a New Life on a Missouri Farm
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 35,760. Language: English. Published: August 10, 2015. Categories: Nonfiction » Biography » Adventurers & explorers
Sometimes two people from seemingly opposite backgrounds find each other and build a successful life. Ken Weyand tells how his mother, a city-bred only child who became a musician, met and married his dad, an orphan who was following his late mother’s dream to be a farmer. Ken uses diary entries, old family letters, photos and personal recollections to trace his parents’ unique journey.
Fiddling with Friends in the 1920s: A Chautauqua Trouper’s Story
Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 7,160. Language: English. Published: July 8, 2015. Categories: Nonfiction » History » American, Nonfiction » Entertainment » Music
Before the Internet, TV or even the mass popularity of radio, performers boarded trains and Model T’s to tour North America, entertaining live audiences on the Chautauqua circuit. Author Ken Weyand captures the life of his mother who, as a young woman, left her small town behind for a great adventure and a chance to get a first-hand look at a changing America in the early 20th Century.

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