On the first day of Christmas….12 drummers drumming…

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Eagle's Nest, NM. Rural America, maybe everywhere, seems to have a high tolerance for alcohol well into older age. I've never thought the happy time was the "8 till" but more when one is winding up singin' the blues.

Mostly about 12 drummers drumming….they work.  For any chemical use or personality flaws such as being annoying, self-centered, narcicisstic, ADD, for having melt-downs at Best Buy, and in general for any defect of character that involves giving up control to a higher power. It’s my personal opinion that everyone could benefit from practice, regardless of habits, and hit a meeting now and then.

I am powerless over…
my computer
my iphone apps and ipod in the case of the challenged
talking about the digital world
my pleasure in my own humor
desire to use the restroom in completely inappropriate situations like church, inherited from my father

Here is a good one from today on Humility:

“A bully ain’t have too much patience to read or write too much…
how to understand things…(s)he’s just mouthy.”

“I just go to hear the stories.”  -Bob.

Bob is a well-dressed Cowboy in Delano who was hangin’ at the hood in the Seneca McDonald’s.  When I was looking for some contract labor to put labels and stamps on my backattheranch.com Valentine mailer, he was on the way out for a smoke and said,”wait on me, I’ll come back here and hit on you”, lucky girl that I am.

Bob remembered me from photographing Barry a while back, so here’s a clip of Barry from November speaking on the need for 24-7 shelters.


I cut out the end where I lost him on the concept of the portable houses from architecture school at Marvin Hall. A ridiculous idea in hindsight, there weren’t too many homeless backgrounds in the student pool at KU to give a first hand account. Carrying a house around on your back I can imagine sounds ludicrous and backwards, heavier than a mortgage around your neck when you’re out in the field.

Apparently Barry had just had a heart attack a few days prior in McDonald’s, right in the corner where I’d taken his picture and he was in the hospital.   Bob and I shared a cry and a laugh for Barry, as he noted that management “was maaad” and took Barry aside after he got out of the hospital, “you pull any of that $h!t in here again and you’re not coming back.” They welcome the cowboys, but that kind of advertising can’t be good for the quarter-# angus sales, which are delicious with swiss and mushrooms I might add. I know Barry was very ill and I fear has passed, bless Barry.

And, back to Bob.  He lives with his brother who’s wife, a lesbian, left him long ago.  He sleeps at the Shelter down the road by where I used to work at SJCF Architecture on the nights when he’s on the sauce since his brother and new wife don’t allow alcohol in their house. A painter by trade, Bob is from a military family with both of Bob’s brothers having done tours in Iraq, one now flying fighter planes in the desert.

In our discussion of drugs and alcohol and 12 drummer meetings, he  also mentioned that the military was big on pharmaceuticals for those 72 hour flight missions.  Anyway, it was cold, so I gave him a ride from McDonald’s to the Mission, always big on safety telling the night manager before I left that if I ended up dead in the Wichita papers tomorrow, get Bob.

My parting words were, “Bob, you’ve got to cut out the drinking to get the women, you’ve asked me my name 3x in the last 10 minutes.” And Bob’s last words were, “I think I’ll go to a meeting tomorrow.” So, one of the best things about 12 drummers is passing it along, even before you know much.

Dance Party Tonite at Paula’s

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I thought it was “fat Girl is a freak….” like it better that way…


I couldn’t figure out how to post all the paying sites, but I thought this was a really good advertisment for thinking all that over the river and 23 highway through the Meade State Woods to piano wasn’t wasted. I just sang along.
Haven’t worked enough to feel it, but I’m a big supporter of the concept….

Always, have to have a little Sergio, here Bim Bom in Brasil.
After Val in the Doors, John said he didn’t do drug trips over 10 minutes in movies adding to his before 1940 rule. Personally, I enjoy the music…
Hot young Elton. Thanks, Big Bear and Debbie, for the great 50th birthday party and Elton at the Red Piano, Vegas Caesar’s sum 09.


Raina Rose, first encountered the lovely person at the Adobe Bar, Taos Inn, Nov. 30, 2010.


It’s the perfect time of year
Somewhere far away from here
I feel fine enough, I guess
Considering everything’s a mess.
There’s a restaurant down the street
Where hungry people like to eat
I could walk, but I’ll just drive
It’s colder than it looks outside.

It’s like a dream – you try to remember but it’s gone..,

credits, Adams family i-pod collection via the young Master DJ Adams.

Don’t fence me in….

by admin

I told somebody recently that if you’ve got your mind, you don’t ever have to be bored anywhere. I take it back, too much to think about in there, out there in those wide open spaces.

I’m afraid I have to go to town and maybe I’ll be bored for a while, take a break from the way I’ve been using the gray.  You can get lost in there with too many speeding tickets and maybe lose your license…

Jack Adams

Cowboy take me away...set me free hope I pray...closer to heaven above....John Graves Adams horseback.

in there, out there in those wide open spaces.

The Myth of the Campanile

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1:25 am and I’m up here at Java Break, 1/2 block east of Mass & 7th St. on the south side, across from the Journal-World. I don’t think espresso had been invented in Kansas in 1982. Everyone working here was like negative 7 then, so they don’t remember the space’s former life, thought maybe a Dr.’s office.  But it had opened by my second year of architecture school in ’93 and they are open all night with wireless, so here I am. You know the place, Liberty Hall a block north, Hobbs is now on the corner, and the grade drops off to the east, so you enter about 4′ below Mass St. level. So here’s a little ambiance…


"Java Break"  "Lawrence"

Great color scheme.

"Java Break"

And some good reading.

"Java Break"  "Lawrence" "coffee house"  "cereal bar"

And a nighttime snack, here's a great picture of the cereal bar.

Tonight was Rock Chalk Revue, a over fifty year tradition, the Glee Archetype. And I came to see all the shows, but in particular the women and men of Chi Omega and Phi Delta Theta now transplanted from Hoch Auditorium to the Lied Center.

Jayhawks Lied Center Rock Chalk University of Kansas Chi Omega Phi Delta Theta Bill Self

Go Hawk Arts!

Anyway, it’s my second annual KU parents visit. Just another night up here in Lawrence with all the parents….Bill Self & his son & family, Mike McCarthy, John and Paula, Carol and Mort Searcy, Stephanie and Brent Stuber, the Wilinsky’s…just Kansas family.

"John Adams" "Bill Self" "Rock Chalk" "University of kansas" "Lawrence Center"

John and Bill chatting it up about the kids and the game.

Featuring tonight, highlights of the Phi Delts and the Chi Omegas in Myth of the Campanile. Here’s the Phi Delt-Chi O intro video with Bill’s cameo from his living room about 1:30. Bill is a Chi Omega Dad of Lauren, a lost Student of Hawkland and Coach of the Kansas Jayhawks!


Myth: if a student passes underneath the arch, he may not graduate in four years and the main characters are enticed to walk through, swirling through cosmic abyss to Hawkland where there are no classes (that we went to?) and no tests (that we studied for?), only carefree fun and Jayhawk Pride. Sound familiar?

Here’s a dance number:


And, presenting Ben Wilinksy, as new student tour guide. Ben went to Blue Valley in KC and we met his family now in San Diego and sister, a KU grad to East Village transplant working with ABC then Bloomberg. Go KU grads.


Now I missed filming Joey Soptic’s scene where he is Truman the hero Hobo who falls from the Campanile on game day after a KU loss to MU Tigers. He is sat upon in my video and cannot be seen but he was great.

And here’s a guy I know, Jack Graves Adams, as the Chancellor behind the scrim. He is a cowboy-engineer, plays a little Guaraldi on the piano, does a mean backflip, and is presently a Phi Delt at KU with a few Beta genes. And after a lifetime of benign neglect, and promises to keep my offspring for the most part out of my blog, I just had to play stage mom to all these sons and daughters for one night.


I never really left KU, literally returning in 92 and 2001 for two more degrees, so I can walk those steps up to Marvin Hall and across the bridge to Art and Design in my sleep, though the training in studio for all those years now means that I do not need much. But, this is like taps….
We’ll call it a night.


Joey Soptic: Truman the Hobo, Jack: Chancellor, Cody Suber: lost student

Phi Delts post show

Chi Omega-Phi Delta Theta

Lead Cast
Brad Crawford and Lindsey Murray
Chris Pyle
Erin Robinson
Jack Adams
Joey Soptic

Costume Design
Sandy Murray
Deborah O’Neal
Linda Robinson
Kari Schulz

Lindsey Murray
Erin Robinson
Rachel Schultz
Jack Adams
Chris Pyle
Ben Wilinsky

Maddie Estrada
Rachel Schultz

Set Design
Chris Pyle

too long to write all this out, but it was good.


The End.

an XIT-ARTS Production.

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.


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.


"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.


Paula and John Adams

Arm Art at Billy’s in Liberal

by admin

fig. 1.1 Subject: Vizcela dog owner, gentleman, photographer, agriculturist, beast of burden on the jukebox, and boasts a firm man-hand on the two-step. Later.

Fig. 1.2 "Get that Pellligrino bottle out of here, my boss will get mad."

To start, the subjects here have not all been in the Big House, most importantly not Fig. 1.1.

B) the setting is Billy’s Mexican BBQ in Liberal, Kansas. Go here to hang out with

  • the youngins’
  • the “hope no one at work or dad got deported this week because the taillight was out”
  • the frat boys when they’re home from college
  • a few Liberal Country Club people who want to have fun
  • beautiful hispanic girls
  • the aggies under cover, urban relative term (a Wal-mart), Liberal is it.  A nice shirt and pressed jeans doesn’t impress, Hi-Plains ghetto the current chic.
  • people who want really good food:  bbq, beans, baked potato salad to name a few.
  • and,  the real thing, a tattoo Artist just out of the pokey.

I’ll quit talking (so much), here’s some bod(ies) art.

Fig. 1.3 How could I not notice this one....

Fig. 1.4 Left guy said he had tattoos all over his body, friend at right sitting back. But, when I asked him to go in the backroom for a pic he backed out. Chicken.

Fig. 1.5 But his buddy fearless. He's knows he's a star.

Fig. 1.6 A smile and bicep makes it even better.

Fig. 1.7 Hmmm...kind of depressing...

This tattoo’s owner had  worked for Best Well Service in Oil field. Slow economy, so temporarily out of regular work. Thinking ahead about what to get pictured on the internet but still shared.  It says “Death.”

Fig. 1.8 The Yin and Yang.

Life:  how can you really appreciate one without the other? He wouldn’t let me take a second (awkward upside down arm pose) photo, I like the cool. “Rotate your picture.”  And he knows i-photo better than I do.

Now for the specifics on the Artist and how he revealed himself:

Paula:  “are you all using the same artist?  It’s a similar style.”

Artist:  “no, I did these myself.”

Paula:  “where did you learn how to do this? Did you go to school?”

Artist:  “in prison.”

Paula:  “Whoa…(pause).  Do they just give you the supplies?”  (thinking a little rehabilitative craft project…license plates…)

Artist:  “no we just get them.”

Paula:  “how do you do it?”

Well, I’ll summarize the technique here.  In lockup, one can have hair grease which looks really good in ethnic hair, I might add.  Hair grease from the brilcream is lit with a match (a prison network item) to provide  ashes:  the ink. The ashes are pressed into the skin with a needle (inter-prison commissary). And then, all the thought and artistry, zen time.

Very impressed with time use for an otherwise boring day in confinement. Idle minds are the devil’s weapon.

Paula: “so, how did you get in prison?” …..(+ a little more coaxing…)

Artist: “they said for burglery.” (who can afford a good lawyer these days?)

Paula: “did you do it?”

Artist: “Well, someone got killed.” (he only did a year, so I don’t think it could have been him, not to make light of this).

Paula: “so… are you still hanging out with these friends?  A word from mother, “you are the company you keep.”

Fig. 1.9 The Artist's friends chose for his signature piece. Note to self: ask about laser hand treatments.

So, I can’t give the handsome Artist billing on his exact visage above because he was concerned about the coverage. For the record and parole officer, he wasn’t drinking. He and his companions could not have been more lucid and gentlemanly. I was at a midwestern college so I can discern.

I have no worries, I don’t think the burgler-Artists become the Unabombers or on a Tucson tyrade, that’s takes suburbia or a higher education to bring it on. He’ll be fine.

Jody's friend in Paula's scarf, Paula, Jody, Pelligrino.

And last, credit to Jody’s friend for the fun evening of inviting me to sit down, people sharing, and encouragement. He wouldn’t tell me his name, but he did tell me his age, less than half mine. I love it when people ask if I have a daughter.  Better than when the hairdresser asked if Lace was my granddaughter, but I blame this on the culture and region, Wichita.

Boys will be boys, men and their toys: the Komat’su Transformer.

by admin
Men and their toys

Mine's bigger.

Men and their toys. Have videos but later.  Decided will just get a post in each day of exciting things in my life, not all has to be a footnoted thesis.

This was a demonstration of a piece of equipment that will clear Russian Olives from the riverbed.  They come from upstream, introduced at one time by farmers as windbreaks, and multiply rapidly. Very few when we moved to sw Kansas and have multiplied 30 fold so it’s something to pay attention to.  Tamaracs are good, native and serve a purpose but not so with Russian olives; hard to ride through, choke out grass, very rough, cattle can’t get through to river.

People always trying out things down here to see if they work. I remembered a particular kind of moth introduced to take care of salt cedars during my tenure, but no one seemed to claim it today when I spoke with soil conservationist Tom Flowers, so don’t quote me. We’re just the place to try it out, not the instigators but support others efforts. If proven and affordable technology, we’ll partake.

Imagine really big tweezers

Get the scale? That’s Larry Sorters, cowboy and preacher who worked with various Adams off and on much of his adult life, starting with $350 a week living in a one-room bunkhouse by my garage long before I was here.  Look for great video later that  I took today of Larry telling about this as well as his grandfather driving mail by stagecoach from Beaver to Meade, about 36 miles.  The banks would throw in the money bags to go along (Larry’s very trustworthy stock) and a few passengers as extra clients. Now I get why they were robbed in the movies, though I only remember one western growing up. It was “How the West was Won” at a drive-in and I don’t think my father ever got away with it again. He was self-employed, not like a postal worker. That’s another day. (see Larry Sorter)

So back to how it works. It tweezes tree out by root, chops it up and jettisons out left side. Dangerous, like when a piece of wood escapes the bandsaw in architecture school. The woodshop turned out to be a liability and I think it’s different now, but tho frightening, it was a great learning experience for me professionally, the girl who dreamed of one day having an easybake oven. Thanks to Dan Rockhill, School of Architecture at KU.

Roots can’t be completely pulled out without breaking and any root sprouts, so this technology proposes a minimal amt. of chemical (I know, always sounds bad) to root. It’s like having a lawn (buffalo grass) but having it overtaken with really big trees and root systems.  Soil conservationist, Tom Flowers said that efforts to just pull out had been ineffective and costly;  Russian olives returned rapidly.

This is Roland Spencer’s toy www.ranchlanddevelopment.com. In a bit of down time when John was diverted, I was able to introduce myself to Roland and ask a few questions. Within two minutes, we spoke the same language for he was a contractor with loving hands for a historic stone building that is now a bed and breakfast in north central Kansas, I’ll get more information on that. He is a man of many talents for his company specializes in Ranch Restoration, Real Estate, and Rangeland Management, but I think this coalition was a labor of love as most preservation projects are. That was it, got the “cut” sign from John, but he is pleasant and I do still want to hear more about how the Japanese happened to corner the market on these unless of course it’s a marketing ploy of John Deere. Maybe he’ll post…

We had neighbors on each side come, but it’s only relevent along river and there just aren’t many of us.  Would have to be several people that went together to make it profitable for him to come out, we’ll see.  I’m pretty much overwhelmed with enormity of task with most things like this on the ranch, but you’ve got to stay on it and accept that nothing stays the same.

Anyway, a day in the life.

Update, Kirk Worthington saw this post and had to show off Kevin’s toy, but now I cannot find the picture, so Kirk re-send please. We want details, too.

73 and 74, water, arts&crafts, drama, denise

by admin
  • By 1973, Denise Rabius was there.
  • SME top: Liz Frost in splits, Denise Rabius, Marthe, Polly Johnson; bottom Paula Graves, Sally Burger, best counselor ever Carol Blehm 2nd from right

  • And maybe this was the year Sarah Jones, Madelyn and Karen came but again they’re in a different cabin. I don’t know if our mothers did cabin requests?
  • Sarah Jones, Marthe, Liz. I judge the year on breasts and my haircut. This may have been our last year after 8th grade but if so, Liz certainly matured quickly, you'll have to ask her the date.


    71 and 72. Windle Wisp, Gunny, music, Marthe

    by admin

    Marthe, Liz, Paula and I think back of Anne Thomas's head in foreground departing for Minneapolis from KCI, 1973?KCI,

    I was driving to town yesterday afternoon at 5 and Four Strong Winds, a camp song came on 63 Outlaw. I pulled over to call Marthe so we could sing together but I was out of range, so pleased she was so accessible even for a minute at her new media position at Hallmark after just a month. Reached her at 6:30 after errands and we talked camp.

    It seemed like everyone played the guitar and brought them to camp at least after a year or two of lessons at Toon Shop in the Village. Ridiculous in my case. I had really wanted to take the twangy banjo, Glen Campbell and all, but didn’t get arranged, maybe too un-feminine at the time. Marthe did play the guitar and does my son Jack who I also had haul off his guitar to Cheley. After the first summer he would forget it with a whole different music genre in 90s though I think pre-i-pods which would have been forbidden anyway.

    Paula and never-to-be played guitar, 1971.

    Marthe’s next-to-oldest sister Elise was a counselor or CIT when I went for first time after 5th grade, instantly mesmerized by the Dreher women.

    The Graves girls and the Dreher girls, no brothers.

    These older beautiful young women guided and nurtured us and French mama Elise played her guitar.

    CITs from KC, Carol Blehm, Elise Dreher, Carrie Ball, Julie Jacobs

    All ages of young women, we sat around a big campfire at the foot of steep steps from the lodge on the hill where we ate.

    clockwise: Lodge, canoe house, dock, and steps back up. Ring 'o fire between steps and boathouse at grade.

    Still and all in a circle singing great songs, Marthe and I remembered others played at night in the early 70s; The Great Mandela and Four Dead in Ohio were two. It smelled of pine, smoke, and I’ve never known such quiet as Minnesota at night, the wind blows and coyotes sing where I live.

    As usual, the Marthe-Paula telepathy was all lined up for she was just sending me a link for a card shower for the Camp Director Maxine Gunsolly’s upcoming 85th birthday. See Sherwood Forest Camp Deer River, MN history for best information. Marthe knows, too, as she was a counselor there in college with Ann Morrill. Marthe gave me her family background connection. Georgeanne Dreher, Marthe’s mom, was a Pi Phi at KU and friends with Maxine Gunsolly who was a Kappa. The Dreher’s would host the movies every year to tell people in KC about the camp that Gunny had taken on from previous owners in 1951. There was also a Dreher Salina connection and Molly Maloney from Wichita went to Sherwood Forest Camp.

    Gunny: Maxine Gunsolly

    Gunny was beautiful and I don’t know her age in this photo, I’m must have been 45ish when I met her in early 70s. She was beautiful and handsome, tan skin, curly hair that ageless look and square cheekbones like a combination of a young Barbara Bush with the confidence and reassurance of Ol’ Golly in Harriet the Spy. Helen, her assistant Director and longtime companion, had white hair. They were a team.

    Sherwood Forest Camp Counselors and Staff, 1971. Gunny and Helen at lower left.

    So many of us in Kansas went to Gunny’s camp, especially those of us with mothers who supported local and this incredible KU woman committed to shaping strong women. A new alternative to other more traditional old school Minnesota Camps, Camp Lake Hubert for girls (Lisa Mann) and Mishawaka (Liz Lynd). KC people went north to the Minnesota Lakes, canoeing, sailing and riding. Before this, we all went out to daycamp to Allendale at Barby Powell Allen’s mom’s place to go horseback riding, swim, and jump on the trampoline.

    Those west of Lawrence went to Cheley in the Colorado Rockies for hiking and riding. My mom, Jerry Hesse McGuire, Connie Curran’s mom, my father-in-law Raymond Adams, and my children. After all this riding, I’ve only just learned to suck myself down into the saddle after a brief analogy from my teenage children that helped out a lot.

    Paula in tweed miniskort with yarn ribbon and Gina Graves in suede hotpants & shag, summer 1971

    This is the only year Gina and I went to camp in same session. a) on record before all the camp food I ate and b) pretty great outfits and Gina’s early shag (see Ginny Graves clothes) c)it was the last summer we went the same session. Don’t know if my mother thought sisters needed our separate identities or if my parents could only tolerate one daughter in house at a time.

    These are the years I remember and fellow campers.

    • 1971, after 5th grade at Highlands School. Nancy Falkenberg Puck, my ornery alter-ego and I were best friends and went together (see Nancy Falkenberg and Nancy Mistele, 67th St. construction). We were in Windle Wisp on the Little End of the camp with the grade schoolers. Nancy on bunk beside me, I met Marthe who was on the bunk above me. And Laura Davis who was very stylish, from St. Paul Minnesota, with long dark hair, a husky voice, and wire-framed glasses as were many girls at our camp.
    • The girls from St. Paul went to synagogue or something on Sundays instead of vespers I think because of their not having to go to church I became aware of people being Jewish and going to public schools where almost everyone was Jewish. At SME it seems like we were fairly proportionally Protestant, Catholic, and Jewish and I never really thought about it until college when I realized that Catholics seemed to go to church so much more or at least on Saturday nights.

      Paula asking Ginny for wire-framed glasses, "I'll pay for them."

      I had tortoise shell glasses but this was the move to wire frames, 1972. Wire glasses and braces was way too much metal.

      Indian Hills bound.top: Paula at left, 2 down Ellen, Polly Johnson of Wisconsin at right. bottom: Marthe and Anne Thomas.

    • 1972 is top post pic, post 6th grade, my second year of camp. Those from KC to be SMEast were Marthe, Ann Thomas, and Ellen Haynes from Prairie; Liz Frost and Sally Burger from Belinder; and Paula from Highlands. I’m pretty sure Madelyn White and Karen Kokjer were there this year but in a different cabin but maybe this was next year. Polly Johnson in the cabin picture above was a dear friend from Wisconsin who I have lost-but-hope-to-renew contact with who came one year for Thanksgiving.

    Paula Graves and Polly Johnson, Thanksgiving 74?

    This is a camp newsletter I found that would come out during the winter season and then we would go to Dreher’s house and watch the movies from the previous summer and enlist new campers for the next year.  The style of illustration is Joan Walsh Anglund who I loved and I think I still have these dolls in the attic cradle.  I don’t know who n.p. was the poet.

    The Robin's Arrow

    the golden colors of autumn
    replace the green of summer
    mist enchanted brisk mornings
    silently prey upon the empty cabins
    August winds echo through the fall lofty pines
    Sherwood is alone
    Remember when we were together? -j.n.

    The Sherwood Forest Girl

    And last, Marthe and I sang together on the speaker phone and said goodnight. I heard taps and the loons.