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blogger Devin Browne recently visited the Midwestern heartland, past Dodge City of cowboy lore, out beyond Holcomb, where the Clutter family was slain, and on to a small town of farms and meat-packing plants.

“There are Latinos in Kansas,” Browne writes in “Not in Kansas Anymore. “And they are everywhere — carnicerias all along the street (real dives with peeling paint and misspelled signage written in Spanglish, not restaurants with cactus murals painted on the front), stores advertising SE CAMBIAN CHEQUES/WE CASH CHECKS, dried chili peppers in the market — this is not a marginal population in this prairie town, population 24,000, but the driving cultural force.”

Lakin, the town Browne visited, with its lowriders and gang graffiti, seemed like a piece of her own Westlake neighborhood transported to the American steppe. Who says there's no place like home?

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