Bikes and looking for Gary….or at least his spirit…

by admin
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XaI5IRuS2aE[/youtube]

Sometimes I see something creative and inspiring and I have to talk to the person who made it, wore it, put it out there for us. And people are so kind about sharing why…how….. Like Gary, when he told me about his beautiful handmade bike bags.

This is Gary smiling in front of the Delano McDonald’s, where the 21st c. cowboys hang out.

And I think I have sometimes called Gary homeless, just to identify, but Gary isn’t homeless at all.  Because Gary knows more than anyone that this land was made for you and me and he. 

Gary’s outlook on life seemed like a great way to start Monday morning. And, since the days are getting shorter, you might see him.  He’ll be heading from Jackson Hole back down south and maybe hangin’ for a while in Wichita. So, I wanted to alert you to look for him.

We may have met him before and we’ll certainly meet him again. He is a pleasure…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=31x1hYntyKk[/youtube]

And, given all the negative stuff we see about our country sometimes, I feel his outlook is refreshing. Gary takes the things I complicate, and makes me realize how complicated we can make our lives.

I would expect that riding on a bike across the countryside throughout the year is a pretty good way to see how beautiful America really is. Here is Gary, whittling it down to the essence…

 

 

 

Love Muffintop. This is what a Feminist Looks Like.

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You looked fabulous, but we must have better lighting at Tom's Event...

You looked fabulous, but we must have better lighting at Tom’s Event…

Catherine, Catherine! What a wonderful evening at The Cinemark.

I have to apologize for our late response

in expressing our praise and gratitude

for your efforts

in the groundbreaking arena of

Women’s Directorial Debuts.

 

I had to just take this upon myself, as Paula has been cyber-ly overwhelmed.

I have to say that the handsome picture of Tucker the day of the event

gave me pause…(paws?)…that is, what to wear.

He must have been busy helping you or primping as I had no response,

so I chose the Red Boa.

And, I’m so pleased with the t.

It expresses exactly my philosophy,

that we are feminists

because we feel we have something to say that will make a contribution

Not what we wear, it’s how we participate.

And personally, I like a little diversity, new blood.

 

So, to Hollywood’s Uber Director, Catherine Michon

and her team of Tucker and Bruce.

And soon, of Tom (Rooker) with your next flick filmed in ‘his home town’ Kansas City.

 

Now, what can we do to make this a great city in which to film a movie?

I can tell you that we MUST have better lighting.

We will roll out the Red Carpet and put down a Star, for you have earned yours.

Thank you for the effort.

the Rose.

 

 

Cowboys of Delano: past and present

by admin

I was running in Wichita Saturday morning in downtown Delano, a small historic area just west of dowtown Wichita. Delano has a wonderful clocktower, thriving businesses and is just across the river west of the downtown, a mile or so north of US hwy 54 (Kellogg) the east-west artery running directly through the city.

"Delano" "rotary clock tower" "Wichita Kansas"

A Rotary in Kansas!

In 1870, Delano became an important cattle-shipping center on the Chisholm Trail. With promises of $50 in eastern markets,  cattleman drove cattle through Jesse Chisholm’s “cattle highway”, in this particular area, herding cattle across what is now the Douglas Street Bridge and south to pens on Kellogg. I’m partial to it because the cattle shipping industry became a crucial part of the formation of Delano as a recreational district for cowboys.

Delano was the rough side of town as vices were kept out of the Wichita area.  Most of the gambling, drinking and prostitution took place in the township of Delano, which did not have any law enforcement. Guns were checked at the bridge before you could cross into Wichita. People would shoot their guns and there were gunfights. I  also heard later that it cost $5 to cross the bridge into Wichita which would have been quite the cover fee to hang out with the civilized folk when it was probably more fun west of the river. It’s still a fun place.

I run from my daughter’s apartment at Friends University (see Friends University, New Year’s Eve 2010) north and east at 7:30 am when I’m in the city, so I was afoot when I met the first cowboy from Delano, a man without a mortgage.

First a word about bikers.

Wichita has more than it’s share of bikeriders downtown.  All of the missions and kitchens are located in this area and for those living and surviving in the downtown area, it is the perfect size city for bike mode. When  I worked downtown, I was so motivated and impressed by people I saw braving the vehicles that my kids and I rode our bikes from the ne suburban side of town 10 miles through the various historic neighborhoods, under the interstate, arriving downtown with our Old town destination.

I notice bikeriders.  Not the guys on the weekends in bikeshorts who bike for exercise and sport.  While I did use the bikepaths near our apartment to get to the retail area on the weekends, it seems like we are building bikepaths in all the wrong parts of town.  So, when I saw this man riding in the sub-freezing weather with his house on his wheels, I had to stop him to ask about his gear.

Gary, "Grizz", after we talked about McDonald's

He said his name was Gary, and he was kind to stop and tell me about his stuff. He shared his creativity, his plans for the day and spring, andI knew I wanted to hear more.  And, he said I could take a picture. People are so kind about this. Not having my camera, I decided to run his direction to McDonald’s where he was heading for breakfast to hear more.

He said he was Gary Isaacson, not from Wichita, but born and raised in Callao, Missouri.  He mentioned that after the snow and bad weather was over, he’d be heading to Jackson in a few weeks. Gary didn’t offer all of this, I was prying, but he seemed willing to share when I asked questions. I asked about the cold, about where he slept, and shelters. He said that he was acclimated, told of the bridges and sheltered areas where he spent the night, and said that didn’t frequent shelters because it made it difficult to readjust to being outdoors.  He looked healthy and happy and I said remarked on this.  His response, “I’m right where I want to be.”

Arriving at McDonald’s, he agreed to read the paper a bit inside after his breakfast waiting for me to run home and return with my camera to take pictures and talk more.

Find the Men 4 Toys 4 Tots! They can Dance!

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Dean Graves with U.S. Marine Corps Birthday Cake. Year confuses me, but I’m sure there is a reason.

I was talking to my parents last month and mom sent me this picture to show me the cake Dad was picking up for his gathering.  He was celebrating with fellow U.S. Marines in Tucson, Arizona that week on the 10th. So, I had to call. Here’s the story, that is, what I could write on my computer while listening to my father’s words, so take it with a grain of salt in translation:

Thurs. Nov. 10th, 2011 was the 236th Birthday of the US Marine Corps. The U.S. Marine Corps is one year older than the United States of America.

Paula’s inserts are bracketed.

[On November 10, 1775, the 1st Continental Congress commissioned Samuel Nicholas, a Quaker innkeeper, to raise two battalions of marines in Philadelphia. The tavern’s manager, Robert Mullan acted as marine recruiter.  Prospective volunteers came to Tun Tavern, most importantly, to serve the country by joining the corps, and secondly, for cold beer. The first Continental U.S. Marine unit was made up of one hundred Rhode Islanders commanded by Captain Nicholas. Thank you wikipedia, I made a donation and changed a few words.]

My father’s officer training class was #357.

[Now called the Officer’s Candidates Course, it is currently a ten-month program located then and now at Quantico, Virginia where my sister, Gina was born. By the way, she was a $6 baby. It includes the legendary Marine Corps Boot Camp from which the common term “boot camp” is borrowed, an umbrella term encompassing any kind of grueling physical test. I’m confident any other “boot camp” pales in comparison to the real thing.]

This class has had numerous reunions over the years because this class had four United States Generals. Everyone commissioned a second lieutenant has to go through Officer’s Basic School.

This is my mother pinning a bar or something on my Father after his graduation from Officer’s Training School in Quantico.

This picture is from the cookbook that my mother made for me with recipes of my family and friends when I was married. It is in a section entitled “Marine Corps Cooks.” I don’t have it with me to see her words exactly, but I am remembering that they included a few of the following points:

  • The Marine Corps told the men the first day that they were married first to the Marine Corps and second to their wives. [I’m sure this for some was reason enough to join]
  • My mom felt that as a Marine Corps Wife (at that time) that she had plenty of time on her hands. She said, one of the things that they did was cook. She includes at least two delicious recipes that I remember in this section. They are for a concoction called “Pooh Punch” and for “Quantico Clam Dip.” She would have to tell you the story(ies) but I’m recollecting that the two in excessive amounts could be quite deadly to this group.
  • She also noted that on the base, the competition among wives consisted of being the first one to get the laundry on the clothesline in the morning. And, the competition of who could get pregnant first. I don’t imagine that my mother won the first one, but I’m certain that she did the second; she has always been a high achiever.
  • I do remember her saying that upon graduating from KU and after her marriage June 6th, her parents drove her to Virginia to move her in.  I am not sure where my father was stationed or why her parents had this responsibility, but I am assuming it was as she said, the wedding with the USMC was held before hers.

From here on my notetaking and comprehension break down because it was getting too detailed to write. I should not talk about or relay things I don’t know about but this is what is written:

  • Candidate School
  • ROTC class
  • Basic school class (4 or more each year)
  • 3rd Basic School class for 1957. 600 (3 companies of 200), each company is 4 platoons, 45 in a platooon.
  • Carl Mundy-4 star General Commandant
  • Joe Hoar-4 star General, replaced Schwarzkopf (army officer) as Central Command (commanding officer for marines, air force and army for all forces on the eastern United States). All a chain of command thing. Chairman of the joint chiefs of staff rotates around between the three branches of service. The marine corps is part of the naval establishment, but has their own Commandant.
  • 40 people in a platoon. my dad, Joe Hoar and Jim Joy are all in the same platoon.  Hollis Davison is another 3 star general. Another 5th?

[Dad, please post corrections. I didn’t google for checking]

That’s really the end of my notes from dad’s story by phone on the Eve of the USMC Birthday. The marines I met at the Candle Club in Wichita confirmed what he must have said, which is that after Officer’s Training he was then sent to Camp LeJeune, “Home of Expeditionary Forces in Readiness.” That is, he was assigned to a mission which he would lead and Camp LeJeune was the base where he was prepared for this duty.

I was pretty little, but I do remember this outfit when my dad was in the Reserves. There is somewhere that I with him one time in Kansas City but I cannot remember why I would have gone. He would also be able to get us toys at the PA. He was no longer in Reserve Duty after his architectural practice began to require more time.

I do remember asking my father what he thought at that time when he was on the boat to the Phillippines.  With the humor and self-deprecating smile that anyone who knows my father can imagine, he said something to the effect of,

Man! I might just die over here!” 

And, I’m sure that is what any or at least many honest Marines say to themselves so often when they go to work each day and serve our Country when on a mission.  But they go to work anyway, because they have taken it on as their duty to serve and protect our country.

Honored to be in picture with Two Marines at the Candle Club in Wichita, Dec. 3, 2011. Another noble mission, Toys for Tots night. And they were in the line of danger with all the women that wanted to dance with them. And by the way, they hit the Aircraft Industry Events but by far cleaned up at my new club. The band was great and I didn’t dance, I took pictures. The Marine Corps also appears to have introduced a fabulous dance camp to their training regimen. Kudos.

 

So with whatever you choose

to be your mission in life

and from the child of a marine,

born at Camp LeJeune

Semper Fidelis.