Bang bang…my baby shot me down.

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photographer:  Robert Trachtenberg. photo from  NY Times Mag 8-1-99.

photographer:
Robert Trachtenberg.
photo from
NY Times Mag 8-1-99.

When I worked at an Art Museum, what I liked the most about it was that I didn’t have to talk.

Yes, pretty amazing to hear from me, isn’t it?

But I really did all the time anyway, in the way I like the best. And the other day, I was passing one of the patrons with whom I’d chatted it up while on my post.

[I saw her at the Saturday morning market in Old OP, I was browsing the beets. She was on wheels, parked at the periphery by the parsley, but fully aware of her presence.]

Paula: “Heeey!” “It’s been a while!”

Stroller Girl: “what’s up! look at all these colors…makes me wanna’ paint, what about you?”

Paula: “…workin’ on it, more like drawings….”

Stroller Girl: “Any new codependents in your life….?”

Paula: “well, you know what they say ‘54 is the new 65′….I’m getting wiser everyday…

My Grandmother Millie only made it to 97, though.”

“What if they bump up that number in the system and make it higher…

I might not re-set to your sagacity. “

“You?”

Stroller Girl:  “I still haven’t shaken these two…I’m going to give them some time…

I’ve heard if you can get them to three they get a little better.

I just have to stick with my program….”

“they’re such whiners sometimes, though. A little self-discipline

tempered with Gaga-acceptance would go a long way.”

“But, the food is good…and, it pays the rent.

so….until I get a Barbie Car and grow a pair, these wheels are as good as it gets,”

Paula:  “You know it is nice to have a little of my own space and hi-place, but the solo thing is overrated…

And I’ll tell you, so is lookin’ out for yourself and growing up….”

“I’ve now been known to grow a pair, too, these days.

But, only when warranted & I really get pushed.

Sugar coated, of course.”

Paula: “But, I didn’t mean the kids…you know what I mean…”

Stroller Girl: “well, you know they say ‘one is the new 5...'”

You know these guy babes, though….I don’t get it...

Bald is the look and they’re wearing rugs

White is the new black but I’m only seeing it at the roots…

Who in heaven’s nursery taught them all this stuff…

Is this supposed to be what we want? So much work!  hi maintenance stuff!”

Paula: “Well, I think WE did, but it’s kind of a chicken or egg thing, don’t know what came first…”

“I just look at it as Pay Back. “

“It’s pretty weird times, though…

just when I thought I must look 80 with all the attention from ‘peers,’

I mesmerized some four year old across a crowded restaurant…cute guy.”

“It was really pretty flattering …he hadn’t even tasted my fried chicken.

…really had a nice van, so I was curious about the nod.”

I think it was my shoes….”

Stroller Girl: “Yea, I know that guy….buggy’s a Porsche P’4911, right?”

Paula:  “Yes! …..and….?”

Stroller Girl:  “Well, I’m sure your shoes were great, but I think he has a foot fetish.

And remember what they say….”

Paula: “What’s that?”

Stroller Girl:  “It’s only when a babe gives you a key to his Porsche

that you know

you’re close to winning his heart.

Call me Mama...

Call me Mama…

 

 

Baby don’t crack, at least not our system.

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Baby Don't Crack

Baby Don’t Crack

 

I found this porcelain baby doll in a little side table that had moved with me in the last four moves in the last 2 years. It was my daughter’s and while I was sad it was broken, I mended it and knew it was still here for I’d forgotten details like this.

It wasn’t going away and it would stay with her, just as the porcelain dolls of my Great Grandmother had stayed within our family. And just possibly, it might stay with her daughter if she chose that path and had a girl child which is such a privilege. As my cousins said when Lacy was born, “we think you had the best kind.” [which is not to insult my son, Jack].

It made me feel happy that somehow I was connected with all the women in my own family, and in my former husband’s family, that we had contributed to the work of the world to hope to make it a better place for those after us. Or at least, to give something while we were here, whether we were Doctors, or mothers, or executives, or writers or architects, or spouses or co-owners or whatever made up “The team” to have a family of whatever sort.

So here’s a poem that came to mind when I saw the baby doll and wanted to cry, for it was happy drops….For the Future! Life rolls on…spin with it!

 

Baby Don’t Crack

Baby Don’t Cry

Mama be back

Daddy can fly!

We all have wings

We all have cages

Never quite lines up

Just happens in stages…

S’okay Sukie GG Coco

Jessie, Yogi, Amy, Popo

Annie, Kathy,

Lol & Wendy

Too far ahead

but never trendy.

God is Good…

God is great…

Let us thank him for our food.

See the point!

Don’t be late!

Life is SHORT

BUT we all are GREAT!

Mildred Lee Ward and Paul Roy Ward

Getting ‘The Boot…’

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Frye'd... with studs...  that's how ah like'em!

Frye’d…
with studs…
that’s how ah’ lik’em!

Sometimes for a Cowgirl

there must be risks

…that one takes

…with one’s actions

that were never a conscious thought

but, it might just be

that it was worth the risk

despite the costs

to get  ‘The Boot!

God has a plan

….put on your boots

and cinch up the straps…

ladies… we’re going for another ride...!

-Paula Elizabeth Graves, July 9, 2013.

Awaken Your (Indigo) Wild Joy & Take Back Valentine’s Day.

by admin

Valentine’s Day, Feb. 14, 2012. Kansas City.

one perfect Valentine's Day: Rosie black pug, sunflowers & greenflowers, Zum Grapefruit oil, man's soap, Andre's, Juicy Baby Doll set, a found bra strap, and a taupe lace half cami.

I moved recently to Kansas City and I feel as if I am living in Central Park East, upper 70s (?). Haven’t really a clue where as I don’t know NYC that well, but thinking since the Nelson is south and a little west and aligning this with the Met, I would say this is approximately my neighborhood. No point, but ADD has taken full hold working on financial, legal, unpacking, car title, health insurance, and numerous other things which I classify as WORK.

So, I had to take a break to do some of my other work today as it is Valentine’s Day and we all need to treat ourselves.

First, a preface.

My daughter texted last night:

“Well  XXX and I prob don’t go much. (???, new i-phone). I kind of want to dress up though and we’ll just go to din andhe’ll stay with me in KC.”

[XXX is name not disclosed to protect his privacy as a very smart first year full-ride KU law student by way of his former position as Assistant Pro at the Phoenix Country Club].

Then this:

“Jay thinks vday is so stupid.”

Now, as a smart mother, I agreed and sent a long negative viral text rant about social pressures, consumption, media driven economy, men having pressure to show their roll with gift, women having pressure to tell their friends what their “man” got them since the girl with the best (translation to many is $$, don’t agree) gifts supposedly has “won” which takes all women back into the dark ages in so many ways I won’t go into it relative to women taking control over their lives. Here are a few of the excerpts:

“…i hate those stupid special menus where they jack up prices and serve stupid bad valentiny food. Go to a gay bar or google knuckleheads. I may have to do this, greAt idea paula [someone else introduced me so I can’t take credit for finding this.]”

“you have to rebel itherwise (i-phone again) ots a lose lose for all. I did always like Dad’s dove bites never turn down a choc or flower but sometimes this happens for no holiday whatsover.”

“Plus men who buy into it will really hate it if they were socially forced into it for 30 years.”

“That being said, if i ever get surprised with a car or a big diamond i wont throw it back in anyone’s face.”

“I’m probably just jealous.”

Can you imagine having a mother like this from he!! who shares what reality of life might be like with this kind of cynical bad attitude 30 years from now? One good thing about mothers is that they can be a good role model or a frightening example, both work equally well.

Just ignore me, my first reaction is always negative, it’s kind of a boundary off-putting thing after which point I am totally open to whatever was said or suggested. I then have gotten this off my chest, have to make amends, and proceed to the PollyAnna Stuff. Any design perfectionistic people understand the critical nature. That’s what keeps buildings from falling down and artistic people working for nothing but their unrealistic desire to make others happy just like comedians want to make us laugh and musicians want to make us feel. We all have needs to be met.

Valentine’s Day. There was only one thing on the agenda.

Zum Store to have a tour with old family-personal-h.s.-KU friend Linda.

Tour was incredible. Soap room, other products room, met all the pups and peeps, beautiful creative design at every turn with ornate mirrors, corner booths with custom ottomans, an accounts receivable in metal orange casework to die for.

After: purchases for Lace and her BF.

Grapefruit Body Oil. Purchased this for myself the other day. Lace grew up on  pink grapefruit juice, so once again chose as preferable to the featured love oil scent for both genders and for positive memory association. We also had sectioned broiled pink grapefruit Christmas morning with powdered sugar. Very very nice.

On recommendation from a handsome man in the front office, I chose for XXX the shaving soap, a very mild clean masculine appropriate almost non-scent.

The fine young man at Starbuck’s on Main who gave me directions recommended the cedar. I asked if he also wore plaid shirts as he had fine beard. “Yes,” he replied. “And do you do log rolling?” “Yes,” he replied. “And you are working the lumberjack gig tonight?”, I said. “Of course.” Thumbs up!

But this just didn’t seem fitting for a man who wears beautiful golf shirts of the Scottsdale genre.

a note: Daisy the pug at Zum was wary of me and I was told she is normally so friendly. I was a little taken aback, maybe she smelled Rosie who does tend to be a bit aggressive at first and left some scent on me. I really was kind of hurt, dogs usually love me. I have pug paintings all over my website, have had 5 pugs in my life, wrote a little Prairie Pug Book. I will have to work on this, maybe I came off too strong. She may have also heard that I often photograph pugs, probably sensing that I might sneak a pic and use her to blatantly market the nothing I have to sell. Smart puggie, just like those (I still call them) Indians at the Taos Pueblo remind me,”It’s going to cost you.” I don’t think Daisy will want a gift certificate at the liquor store, though. I’ll have to think on this. 

I wanted to take a picture of all the pretty displays and colors in front retail but it didn’t seem appropriate to ask after all of their kindness and time today.

  • Rydell’s Alterations for button-sewing-on and button purchase consultation. Pick up black accordian pleat dress and jean leggings and drop off jean leggings.
  • The Dime Store upon his recommendation for buttons. This was complicated, it always is.
  • Back to Rydell’s to discuss the structure, shape, black vs. metal with all their great selections, and ease of buttoning which was my issue plus button loss which brought me in. He selected one, but it was in part for roundness as this was my issue.
  • Back to Dimestore to return others, and get more.
  • Back to Rydell to drop off and give him check from car for pickup items.
  • Back to Dimestore as I decided I liked the different flatter button with both gold and black as contemporary and a nice mix with lace and stripes. He totally understood the reasons why. Also the subtlety possible only discernible to design people and why I would go to this extra trouble to choose the more difficult beveled button though it was flatter than what I’d brought in. It is 12 tiny buttons up the back and usually unbuttoned or buttoned cockatew when I walk about the door requiring help at some point during my day.
  • Back to Rydell to drop off and try to sneak his picture. This is real reason why I go in here, especially on Valentine’s Day. He is European and wears these great European-cut form fitting pants, has the shaved head thing going on. Unfortunately he a) had his shirt out for some reason (he must have seen me coming) and b) does not like having his picture taken. I did get this one, but his best attribute is not visible, though his smile a nice second.
  • The dark and handsome man and exquisite tailor at Rydell in his black form-fitting pants we cannot see.

  • I then went to Shopgirls and picked up a taupe grey lace cami kind of thing that would be great underneath something sheer. Spoke with darling creative girl Carly Griffith about her blog about fashion.
  • Realized God was punishing me for shopping, even at the nomimal lingerie price range, and I had lost the bra strap to my black bra. If you could see it, you would understand why this caused dismay. It is flowery and ruffley and something I will never replace.
  • So had to re-trace my footsteps to go back to Rydell’s (showing him my brastrap of course, simply so he’d understand the importance of calling me) and leave my number in case he found it.
  • Voila! It was right there on the sidewalk on Brookside. God was smiling that I had not let it ruin my day. So, he rewarded me by not letting someone come by and steal this cool one bra strap, somone missed out (with a one cup bra).
  • Heart Torte's in the case. I had no reason to buy one for tonight. But, really cannot resist, so I may have to return tomorrow as they will be marked down a bit and will keep (except the raspberries) until Sat. Hmmm....who can come for dinner?

    These are the feuillete puff pastry palmier whatever you call them raspberry things.

  • Andrés to get a little chocolat. Found two great little heart shaped things. 1 petite buttercream torte with fondant for Lace, and a heart-shaped feuilleté (palmier) filled with raspberries. My dad and his partners designed Andrés (Steve Abend really, I think) arched opening years ago which I think are timeless. And André Bouillier went to my Church, Second Presbyterian. So, after the service he brought all the swiss pastries in Westminster Hall to go with the coffee. I won’t go into all the Bouillier-Design-Graves-Goolsbee-Theta-Pembroke-SME overlaps as everyone has this in KC. In sw Kansas, it was like 17 degrees of separation instead of the 2 in JoCo/KC, though I always found the connection.
  • My final stop. I was so excited, I have been passing by this place on Westport Road for the last two weeks. I have such a wild imagination, I was fantasizing great things that seemed perfect for today. You’ve seen in, that store….
  • Awaken (and Re-Awaken, yes, yes, yes!) your wild Joy.

  • Awaken (and Re-Awaken, yes, yes, yes!) your wild Joy.
  • Awaken Your Wild Joy.
  • This was the only slight disappointment. It appeared to be empty. Micah’s name was on the door, so I did take a picture because it might just be a front to something really even more enticing than I could have imagined.
  • So, I had another thought to take a positive spin on it. And not to get ahead of myself…But, if I ever do find I have anything to sell or find any service people might pay me for which would afford this rent, I would just keep this signage on the window. It seems like it could be applicable to anything I might do or may have done in the past: architecture, preservation, French, (maybe not grant writing), ranch cooking, a sexy spin on Art History as my young friend in my building from Belgium, Stephan, just showed me his beautiful French Explicité (pornugraphie….there’s a nicer word for art level of porn), mosaic chairs or birdhouses, jewelry, nude portraiture, and a host of other things I did for my egg money.
  • love blue, started with Indigo and working back to a baby hue as seeing my first love child tonight, but I guess since it’s it Lace this would be pink as Jack is in Lawrence. Two of my first true loves.

OK, it’s 6:30, and I have to get on to my Valentine’s Celebration with a drink at Nara with Lace and BF before their dinner at Drunken Fish. Her gift also includes a Juicy Couture cute little baby doll nightset but don’t tell her.

After that, I have no plan, but certainly will celebrate love in the air. I am my special someone these days and want to bathe in everyone elses’s happy feelings, so I will go out SOMEWHERE, regardless.

(translation, may go see Freud-Jung movie for the third time, except I missed the 7:30, so home to try to figure out this pesky cable thing and remote. Urban living is so difficult).

It was a Perfect Valentine’s Day. 

Sex and the Kitty: Preservation Girls Night Out. A funny video.

by admin

21st c. Barbie has her car, her computer and her...

I wanted to call title this PVs$y Galorious but my father sometimes looks at my blog and I don’t use such words though I’ve been hearing them quite a bit lately.

The setting:  a lovely contemporary historic modern home in Riverside Park of 13th St. The owner is the Preservation Director for the city of Wichita.

We’ll stay on a no name basis here, but it was girls night out (that is, after the men had left) representing Cowtown Historical Museum, Wichita State University, a key figure at Skare animal clinic and Paula.

I am unable to post my embed code from utube which I don’t understand (not famous enough?), so I apologize for including kitty porn in my blog, it’s just temporary until I can resolve the issue.  I’ll also work on the laughing at my own jokes thing while filming, my family hates this, says it ruins the delivery.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ssfr4NZtj1I[/youtube]

note: Personally, I have to ask them to turn off the massage chair when getting pedicures because I get a headache from all that jarring. I tried this on my neck, even worse. Don’t understand the attraction.

 

Robin Macy, the original Dixie Chickie, Kansas Treasure, soil and soul sister of Mother Earth at The Bartlett Arboretum, Inspiration.

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I have to begin the concerts at The Bartlett Arboretum with Robin Macy.

Robin Macy & Paula Adams. Jimmy LaFave 17 July 11. The Bartlett Arboretum, Belle Plaine, Kansas.

The First Encounter

I first met Robin at some kind of architectural function where musicians were playing (maybe architect musicians?). Robin was attending because Mike Siewart, her architect for her home and co-creator at The Bartlett Arboretum, was there and I think was maybe playing.  I didn’t know anyone and was new to Wichita, newly working for SJCF Architecture and my daughter Lacy just beginning her 3 year jaunt at Wichita Collegiate.

There was wine. And Robin refused it saying, “I have to speak to the parents at Wichita Collegiate about the Honor Code and it probably wouldn’t be good for me to be slurring my words.” She had this wild blond platinum curly hair that reveals her soul piled high and some knockout attire that completed the picture, but in no way detracted or distracted from the spirit within. And, a few days later I met her at Parent’s Night. I learned that she was head of the “Go girls” (can’t remember name…kind of a find your light and let it shine in whatever context or era women are born in) group.  And, blessed, the next year she was Lacy’s geometry teacher.

The Angel Professeur at Wichita Collegiate Graduation, May 2006. Wichita, Kansas.

 

So I better get to the basics since I don’t know if anyone really reads this stuff anyway which are the following:

  1. The Bartlett Arboretum, links to Robin’s site, description of Lacy and Paula’s first visit, pictures.
  2. The XIT Ranch, Robin and Kenny’s visit.
  3. Robin’s beautiful poem to Lace at Sr. Graduation.
  4. A recent pic from Jimmy LaFave concert at the Bartlett Arboretum. These concerts from her summer series and music will be in separate posts.
okay one
The website has most about The Arboretum as Robin doesn’t talk much about herself, but if you ever see the video on early Dixie Chicks, she is in that and here’s the wikipedia link to Robin.
This is Robin singing[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UicERus50Ig[/youtube] 1992. She is the lead singer and guitar, voice like honey.
SYNOPSIS of HISTORY OF BARTLETT ARBORETUM AND ROBIN.
  • Go here for the site’s  history of The Bartlett Arboretum, the 100+ year old 15 acre planned landscape started by Dr. Walter Bartlett as an avocation in the city of Belle Plaine.
  • He also contributed to the community in the form of ballparks and public spaces in part motivated with his fatherly interests in son Glenn’s pursuits.
  • The next generation carried on with his son Glenn becoming a professional landscape architect and horticulturist. He took it to the next level with his introduction to French gardens and landscapes as Company Commander in the 1st Division in France during World War I.
  • As life would have it for those with Kansas roots, while completing post-graduate work at Columbia in NY, Glenn encountered Belle Plaine native Margaret Meyers. She was an artist, fashion designer for magaines, a university instructor, flower arranger and garden-club organizer. So Kansas was blessed for them to return, bringing everything they had gathered while away back with them to share with Kansas and Kansas to share with them.
  • Their daughters, Glenna and Mary along with Mary’s husband Bob Gourlay carried on until 1995 when they finally decided to sell to Robin “this cute little blond elf…[who] came knocking at the door. …we gained another daughter.”So Robin’s work began.
  • The site has all the rest, the soil sisters, all the people who make it happen, concerts, etcetera. She says it best.
The Buildings
But, one last word about design.  I can’t talk much about the landscape, out of my element. And a picture is worth hundreds of letters I use, so I hope to add more photographs later and edit a little here.
I’ve seen Vaux le-Vicomte, Versailles, Green Animals and lots of other stuff, but this little jewel in Kansas is most special because it is ours: a product of Kansas midwestern work ethic and lots of planning and perspiration.
The house:  Mike Siewart’s design (Wilson Darnell Mann, Wichita) built a second level upon the simple several room brick dwelling that was originally on the property.

Robin Macy and Emmanuel Magisson with classic expressions. Pictured to actually show the original house lower level in the background.

The Kitchen: This  joint creation of Mike and Robin’s has wonderful stained white concrete counters with weathered patina in the tiny L-shaped workspace. There are only the cabinets that one person needs (husband Kenny has a separate house…the perfect setup), with several doors of antique glass spool cabinets. These were memorable to me as I have a few of these in which I use as drafting tabourets.
The Upstairs: It is kind of a loft space, so the steps are the grand ascent to her bedroom with footed tub and sink.
The Closet:  should be in a period museum and is a painting in itself of boots, petticoats, urban, rural, high, low, cowgirl, play area that is how I imagine a movie costume room to be for a Merchant Ivory Movie except it would be a different movie, maybe Wade’s Even Cowgirls Get the Blues meets Daisy, Mattie Ross, and Coco Chanel. But, never a costume on Robin. She always looks like someone who just transcends time.
The Guest House:  this is where Robin offered for Lace to live her Sr. year. I lived in Wichita for two years, but went home the third. I think it was the old chicken coop. It was really too far for her to commute with activities, but Robin was such a supporter of our family to make this loving offer.  It takes many mothers…or maybe she was Lacy’s sister since Lace didn’t have one. Anyway, Robin helped raise the Adams family.

Robin's guest house and some kind of former outbuilding.


Hmmm..only on two? I’ll make this one brief.
The kids and I were gone from the ranch that day, but Robin and her then boyfriend now husband Kenny were on a road trip one day and said, “I think Miss Lace lives around here.” They whirled up in a cloud of dust at the XIT Ranch on the Cimarron River in this dashing convertible to drop in and say “hey” to John Adams. This is always, always appreciated. Kenny is the guy mentioned above who is a musician among other things and lives with his son in the other house on the property at The Bartlett Arboretum.  He is darling with curly curly hair, too.
Here’s the cute pic, I’m so proud of John or whomever took it since the usual photo lady not there. Thank you Robin I’d say. 

Robin and Kenny in front of XIT Ranch Headquarters where the John Adams family all raised themselves together: John, Paula, Lacy, Jack.

Three:  Robin’s poem toasting Lacy at the Sr. Graduation Dinner at Wichita Collegiate School.
Comin’ outta shoot No. 2, weighing in at 101, no stranger to a saddlehorn or a pair of running sneakers, we now toast our Curly Girl.
Miss Lacy Amelia Adams journeyed the furthest to be with us tonight.
Born and reared on the histori working XIT cattle ranch in Meade County, Kansas (Daddy, John, met me at the cattle cross last year wearing spurts and sweat) this fourth generation cowgirl has much to yodel about.
Our Lacy rode a school bus 60 jies to attend a rural elementary school before her parents decided to send their Little Girl to the Big City for some AP-style “edumacation.”
She has been a very courageous woman, living without her family all year in order to make this dream-come-true.
Lacy was born smiling, from wrist to wrist. She calls ’em like she sees’em and knows all the words to Back in the Saddle Again. Mathematics did not always coe easy for Lacy but she was true to her upbringing:  tenacious and disciplined.
Qualities she surely learned while mending fence or building feed bunks in the summertime- alongside her beloved ranch hand and constant companion, brother Jack.
She was a mainstay in my classroom after schol during her Geometry tenure and I am grateful for those times together.
 Always a style-setter this fun-loving madrigal singing trackster nevr said an unkind word about anyone.
No wonder Lacy is loved and adored by her classmates and teachers.
Like her hair, Mrs. Stokley says her vivid writing and note taking is wild and magical.
Lacy heads off to the University of Kansas in the fall where I’m certain she’ll continue to be wearing her sweaters backward and with her infectious laughter, continue to be the life of the party and proving to all who are lucky enough to know her that some of the best cowboys are, indeed, cowgirls.
You can see, life will never be long enough for Robin to refill the pitchers she pours for us all,  sharing so many gifts that she taps into from one moment to another. Her focus on the big picture, caretaker and co-creator of a beautiful landscape, leaves Kansas with her footprint and those of so many others. So, she lives on and will always, putting her energy back into the soils of the earth in one way or another, always with Robin’s soundtrack as backup.

Just last year? A fun night with our groovy new Kansas guv and KC people.

by admin
"Sam Brownback" "Mary Stauffer Brownback" "Inauguration" "Kansas"

Mary Stauffeur Brownback and her husband at Paula Graves Adams and her husband's wedding reception....I don't know....doesn't look like a social conservative to me...

I thought I’d begin the story here. Mary Stauffer, Carol Zachery, Karen Majors, Kitty Wilson, Linda Warwick, Joy Plavidol, Leslie Yearick, Lisa Dickhaut and my older sister, Gina Graves, were the rat pack of Highlands Elementary School and all that entailed from girl scouts to teepeeing houses to ice skating on brush creek. Mary moved to Topeka after grade school but we re-connected when she was a Pi Phi at KU.  She hung out in my bedroom at the Theta house with my pledge mom, Karen Majors, also my sister’s best friend and the main reason why I chose to plant myself at that pad. Mary then attended law school at KU with Diane Worthington Simpson where she met another classmate who she married, Sam Brownback. ‘Tis such a small world in Kansas.

"Mary Brownback"

A very nice speech. Alongside a great woman is a great governor.

I won’t go into the parents’ connections or Adams’ connections but as in the big scheme of life, we’re connected, and particular to this night, we’re Kansans.

Lots of people were all in Topeka at the Ball. My evening and experience of living in Kansas told me who was at the party. All religious denominations, political parties, fiscal philosophies, races, genders and gender preferences, states, ages, the business-creatives, all Kansas family, together for the gala event. The media labels…social conservatives…liberals…blue state…fundamentalists…were not here at this party, if they even exist?  We were all celebrating in one way or another, all optimistic about Kansas past, present and future.

"Sec'y of Commerce Pat George" "Paula Adams" "John Adams" "Ed and Pam Condon" "Lori George"

Paula, the honorable Sec'y of Commerce Pat George, John Adams, Ed and Linda Condon, Lori George

The guy to my left invited us to the party. He was one of,  and I think a head honcho of the party planning committee though he’d never say this, and he did all the tables. He is Pat George, Governor Brownback’s newly appointed Secretary of Commerce and a native of Dodge City. He is a businessperson and entrepreneur, a former football player, and a friend and business partner of Reggie Jackson, just to name a few things about Pat.

I became acquainted with Pat because he is a 2nd generation family friend of the Adams. He and his father sold us our first car, a sporty grey Buick wedding gift from my father-in-law Raymond Adams. He also gave us our first hunting dog on the e. XIT where we lived, George Lapsley Waugh Adams (see Tack Shop-Painting-his dogs for Lapsley’s portrait). Lapsley was a German short hair’d pointer puppy acquired in a car deal by Pat’s dad. Pat hunted on the ranch where I lived and we pal’d around together in the 80s in Dodge, eating burgers and calf fries (technically these were more like bull fries for they were cut into strips before the batter dip) at Cowtown on E. Trail Street.

He is everything you would want in a politician, a businessman and a fine person.

I don’t know how Pat and his friend Ed Condon met for Pat knows everybody, but Pat hooked us up with a great table of KC folks. A story: Ed’s license plate says CVN77, the tenth and final Nimitz-class supercarrier of the United States Navy.[1] named for the 41st President of the United StatesGeorge H. W. Bush, who was a naval aviator during World War II. Ed’s admiration of the Bush family connected him to George W. Bush who said of his father that if Ed were to get his signature that he’d have the autograph of a great man.

Ed’s wife Linda is an executive but currently serving as professeur to children she homeschools in Leawood. Only the best for the Condon kids and she is it. Not every family has this level of in-kind services.

I was so pleased to meet Lori George and her great crew that evening.  She is beautiful, funny, and completing another degree in secondary education while holding down the fort for the George contingency. We shared a part-time gig, substitute teaching. She’s also good at sports, volleyball her forté

"Lori George" "Ed Condon"

Ed Condon on 3rd try to hold kiss long enough for the picture

Ed wanted a picture giving a kiss to Lori George. “Hold it” ….”longer”….”don’t stop”….”there’s a delay between flash and photo” is Paula trying to educate her subjects with yet more information.

Here's Lori, exhausted, sometimes you just have to walk away with from the job but with a smile on her face.

Lori, exhausted. Sometimes you just have to walk away from the job but she does it with a smile.

We never got it, but the thought is there and we all felt the love, though I can’t speak for Lori.

We sat with Frank and Robin Sterneck and the Condons thanks to Pat, but I have no picture with the Sternecks. We were friends from our children together at Pembroke Country Day. Their son Trent worked on Governor Brownback’s campaign and Trent, Jack Adams, and Pembroke intern to Sterneck Jake Myron were high school buddies in KC. Some common family business ties to Tulane people and New York places and family and kids and education made for great conversation. Robin came to KC as major GE exec but I knew this from others, she never said a word. She serves on the Board for Pembroke Country Day and could not be a better addition.

Sterneck Capital Management, Conestoga Energy, southwest Kansas and Kansas City and Kansas ties make us all bedfellows that were able to meet, re-connect, have fun, and celebrate that evening. Thank you, Pat, for the invitation to the party and great piece of real estate at the function.

"Conestoga Energy"  "Rock and Stephanie Ormiston"  "Nick and Lisa Hatcher"

The Conestoga Crew.

Now we’re all neighbors, but here are our next-door neighbors and I cannot be more literal about that: Stephanie and Rock Ormiston, second from the right-front-to-back, décolleté and surfer blondie.  Steph and I got to dance (women are always the best partners…we both get to lead and to follow in perfect sync) and we all looked mahvelous. Nick and Lisa live down the road and we were able to meet all of the Conestoga people.

"Andy Brownback" "John Adams"

John Adams and Andy Brownback

I spotted this handsome man right away from the Christmas card my mother had sent on to me the day before, a very sophisticated and artful card I might add. He has all the looks, poise, grace and charisma of his parents and the Stauffer grandparents that I know, I’m sure his others as well.  He is working on a PhD in finance in California and could not have been nicer to take the time to connect with us, the “we know your parents” unknowns.  I met his beautiful sister and when looking for Mary, his dad hooked us up with another young smiley Brownback who graciously ushered me on a search for First LadyMom at 10:45 who we never found. You know you’re in Kansas when the band stops playing at 11:00, so if I were her, I’d have been getting my wrap.  They make it look easy, but I can only imagine the energy it takes to give of yourself to community, state, country and to serve in public office and raise a family. Mary gave a wonderful speech which I have in video but my cinematography so poor I’ll not post to utube.  Here’s the point about the governor and first lady:

“If you mess up your children, nothing else you do really matters.”

Jackie Onassis

Family starts at home and this first family’s children are lovely and spirited and will carry it on as will their children and their children.  We all have children and are children in one form or another.

Now, just a bit from Diana Vreeland.

Best dressed duo at the dance.

I am embarrassed that I do not know who this is at the time of print, but they could not have been more a more handsome and gracious couple to the woman with the camera. For anyone whose made it this far, please post.

"Brick's"

Award to person who liked their party shoes the best: Paula. An honorable mention to Rock Ormiston.

And last, some credits to the wardrobe committee done by phone and email with project managers Genevieve and Erin, Brick’s, Wichita.  It’s not easy getting dressed on the Cimarron River in Meade County, but this team of colleagues all get the job done. They open-mindedly listen to the funky suggestions of high maintenance creatives like suede boots but shape it into a tasteful and fashionable closet item(s) to last well beyond the event or year.

Thank you for the help.

And my last word about Kansas and politics and people and work and getting the job done and family…

“We’re all the same.”  “We will meet again.”

-Butch and Dee, Taos Reservation, December 2, 2010.

And…

"sunflower" and "Z-Bar Ranch Headquarters"

Helianthus annuus and Steve Jones lovely home at Spring Hill-Z Bar-Kansas Tallgrass Prairie Reserve

Dear Governor and Mary Stauffer Brownback and Secy’ Pat,

Thank you for the evening to remember.  We enjoyed your good film, good food, good friends, good funk, good fun, good family, good future, good favor: Love the postcard and the sunflower lives on in Kansas.

Sincerely,

Paula and John Adams



A for effort Pete.

by admin

I’ve never been very good in the training department on ordering up gifts for others to give to me on certain occasions, too much pressure for everyone. I’m tickled with any random thought, dark dove bites, other and I’ve received some nice ones. In going through my scrapbooks where (my mother or I?) stashed every memory jogging thing, I came across a very beautiful keepsake that is history, time, place, and art.

Philmont Scout Ranch, Cimarron New Mexico

I had to give you a taste first. It is a letter from Pete Stack to Paula Graves after her return from cheerleading camp  while he was at Philmont Scout Ranch in Cimarron, New Mexico.  “I want you to know that I normally don’t write on shirts for letters!!  But I thought it would be a little different. Do you like the little bull? I found the shirt in the little boy’s section.”  I had just passed through Cimarron a few weeks ago and came home to find this work of art and the bull brought it home.

Pete Stack in Master Scout Uniform

 

This was probably summer ’77. There are a few excerpts for history’s sake below, but he asks, “so how does your dating life go these days?” so it was well into a later friendship stage.  Here are a few noteworthy repeats:

  • I talked to Dave (Nixon) last night for about an hour but it was worth it. It was great to talk to him! He said he had a great time in the Carribean” (I’m sure with Liz hosted by Jack Frost at Petit St. Vincent rubbing elbows with Princess Margaret and George Plimpton, good gig).
  • “He was going to send a bottle to make me sane.” (Guess they didn’t allow liquor at camp, even for the counselors?)
  • “Hope sometime you call!”  (very lonely and ready to go home)
  • “I made a belt the other day! It was macrame and leather. (see macrame) …..I made a pot holder! Neat huh!”
  • (I’m not putting in all these exclamation points).
  • a weird thing from his neighborhood that I won’t mention.
  • side two: he’s wearing down, telling my parents and dog, Dooley hello….”I’m messing up this shirt. You know I got it small so you can’t wear it.” Not then, but after nursing two children, it’s perfect, see below.  I think he’s realizing how much time he’s invested and how cool it is, regrets buying the boys S (10-12), maybe wants to keep it.
  • “I (‘m) running out of things to say but I can bore you somehow. You like my artistry? What a joke!”
  • Strong finish “the mail just came” and then these incredibly detailed drawings. And, “P.S. Tell Marthe hello for me! Also happy cheering!”

    Drawing: Mountain range, Philmont Rocky Mountain Scout Camp patch, Pete's cabin, small drawing of Prairie Village kiddie pool.

    So, I tried on shirt and it fits great. I was taking a break and dancing when John came home after 5 days in Turkey, Texas where he was hunting. The man works all the time, so this was uncommon and I was very proud of him.  We danced a little, then I  took advantage of his 5 days away with me alone in country (loved it) and wanted closure so enlisted his help in capturing the right pose but needed the mirror to get my body right.

John's photographic skill.

This took 5 minutes so quite a bit of effort and diversion from unpacking his bags which I totally relate to when returning home. And here’s the best part.

  • “That’s really a cute shirt,”said John, concentrating on the task: getting this great picture for me, of me, my ex-boyfriend, and my husband. That’s it. So Pete, I just took full artistic credit for your creativity and cleverness. So anyone?, don’t say anything when I wear it to the next reunion if John comes. Too fun.
  • And Pete, it really was a beautiful and thoughtful gift. Thank you.

A few from my mother

by admin
"Ginny and Dean, Officer Training School Graduation

"Ginny and Dean, Officer Training School Graduation, circa 1958, Quantico or Camp LeJeune?

“The first day that your father went off to Basic Training at Quantico, he was told that a Marine is married first to the Marine Corps and second to his wife.”

 

"Dean Graves, makin'em laugh

the deaner, makin'em laugh

“I’d like to tell you differently but it never gets any easier.” GG, the Nelson Art Lady to her daughters.