Keeps mama happy.
No need for comment except to quote my friend Marthe, “uhnh.”
Jul 24 2012
Keeps mama happy.
No need for comment except to quote my friend Marthe, “uhnh.”
Nov 28 2011
Just a word of clarification…
I have to qualify the use of the term “Cowgirl.” I use it as a state of mind, not as any profession which could claim me as an associate. I do ride a horse, can herd cattle without causing a rampage, and I have a hill on the XIT to where I would ride on a regular basis and look back at the river and the XIT Headquarters.
But cowgirls are really born. They are born to fathers who are cowboys and cattleman who work in the trenches. Not all daughters of these men are cowgirls. Just the ones who worked alongside the other men. Some rope and tie, others vaccinate and herd and brand. The three real cowgirls I know in the Adams family are Wanda Adams, Chelsea Adams, and Lacy Adams. But that’s another post.
So. Today is 29 years to the day of our wedding day. And I am celebrating another person who in so many ways made me who I am today, John Adams, just as I feel about my parents. I definitely pulled my weight and worked this gift of parents and husband as I have done with other God given gifts. I need to do a bit more of this for myself and cut them some slack from all the burdens that come along with this responsibility, but I am eternally grateful.
So I will try not to talk (too much), but here are some pictures of stuff leading up to the wedding, the big day, and of our honeymoon in Chicago for three days before heading west in a u-haul to begin the adventure.
Dean Graves is laughing at one of his own jokes in the lower left photo. Probably something witty sensing my fear of this new burden of “stuff.” I inherited this tendency to do big belly laughs at my own jokes.
I just mainly remember that John Adams would look at it all and say, “you are really getting great stuff.” This is translated as, “these things we both will cook and serve off of are yours so you will write the thank you notes” and extended on into wedding gifts. We had some perfectly nice “Paula & John” cards custom designed by the calligrapher for Loretto Chapel in Santa Fe, Mary Lou Cook, but I don’t really remember John using these :). But, he had to pack it and haul it and unpack in a u-haul over bumpy roads, not breaking a dish. As he did two more times to Lawrence and Wichita over the course of our marriage, which is more moving of stuff and wife than most husbands would tolerate. So this really counts for much, much more.
Here is a brief concept and history page for my Paula Varsalona wedding dress. Sandra Kenney, former KU cheerleader, the most beautiful Pi Phi at KU in the 50s, former wife of Bob Kenney, was the buyer for The Jones Store at that time.
She was a good friend of my mother, Kirsten my good friend, and the reason why The Jones Store got all the best designers at that time. And, the models to wear them…Terri Sue Walters and Kitty Bliss. Terry’s picture is underneath my head on the Independent Cover and Kitty’s beautiful picture was on the cover when our engagement picture appeared. So, I am honored to be pictured in a magazine with photos of such beautiful and photographed Kansas City women!
My mother spotted another $1,000.00 shorter lace dress that was also very beautiful and classic with a plunging neckline. It would have been lovely, but I opted for this $325.00 more Victorian number which I styled with the lace mitts, shoes, and dropping the veil for a crown of baby’s breath with some tiny ribbon streamers. Both dresses seemed like a lot of money at that time, but nothing compared to the rest of the party. What our fathers do…
Here are some of the friends who were at the University Club on Nov. 27, 1982.
And here are some family pictures…
I’m assuming they all attended the nuptials at 4:00 at Second Presbyterian Church, but I didn’t look around. It was another stage performance where I was gripped with both fear and emotion.
In part, I hold Gina responsible (my maid of honor) as she was beside me crying when I said my vows at the altar at Second Presbyterian Church. This of course precipitated my crying while I said “I do.” John later expressed concern that others would think I was crying because we were getting married. We were both wearing our parents shoes. I actually was sad at the idea of my father giving me away. But as they say, “a son is a son until he takes a wife, but a daughter is a daughter for the rest of her life.”
At the University Club, someone took these candids in the room where all the food was. It was freezing rain that Thanksgiving Day. So, many of the older guests wanted to get in, wish me well, and get safely back home.
Where did the saying, “Rain is good luck on your wedding day” come from?
It pops up through Shakespeare’s works and I imagine it would have to do with a pastoral society, where rain would symbolize fertility-hence it is good luck on a wedding day!
So after having a thoroughly wonderful beautiful month of Paris with rain every day and living on a very dry ranch in western Kansas and a wedding day of heavy rain, Paula the Pisces Water Child is always happy to see raindrops, curly hair and all.
But back to University Club, the point is that I’m putting in this picture at the lower right of this “media page” because it is in the library of the University Club. This was pretty much all I saw of my wedding reception until about 8:00 after which John and I did the bouquet (Beth Van Winkle Ewing, Theta now in Dallas) and and garter toss (Ed Bolen). Then we bolted, socially exhausted. One reason I now adore other people’s weddings!
We spent the night at the Kansas City Club, arranged by John’s step-mom-at-that-time- Sandra (the Wichita Falls most beautiful party planner and gift wife). She had medium-rare filets with three sauces (a bernaise, hollandaise, and a horseradish cream) delivered to our room. The next morning we lay around in bed all morning and watched Little Big Man with Dustin Hoffman. Then, John had to go back to Lawrence to prepare for his finals and a project with some Brian guy from business school who had transferred from engineering school.
We had a few people to dinner at this apartment in Lawrence during finals. Pat Boppart I do remember, but I cannot remember the others who were still finishing up their college careers. I had chicken breasts stuffed with boursin because it was John’s turn to cook that week. John and Pat argued about how one person of these two felt it was not an even trade for one person to have t-bones and the other to serve spam, though Pat defended this staunchly. I tasted spam later in life, as I have also tasted dogfood, and it is really not all that bad.
Our first Christmas was in Lawrence at Hillcrest Apartments, but I will also do this in a later post in the advent countdown to Christ’s birth. I am more exhausted from this wedding post than I was from the actual wedding.
I will include pictures of our honeymoon in Chicago, a gift from Kevin Pistilli. He and Tina met us there for dinner at the Pump Room. This didn’t happen until later, but honeymoons are a part of the wedding picture so they are included here.
I am looking forward to the holidays and remembering some very early times with my husband and friends from pictures that I am sure my mother took.
Before a house,
before a place that would be my life for 29 years and always in my mind.
I hope the others that were married that day in Kansas City (there were four of us, Gibson Rymar and Sara Jury and….??) are also celebrating.
Of course, it is now the 28th as I didn’t get it done by day’s end. This is the day I always I incorrectly remembered as my wedding date. It was always just “the Saturday after Thanksgiving” in my mind…it didn’t matter much as we were usually always having fun with friends and family in the city and would forget to celebrate.
So now I will take the time to say, “Happy Anniversary John!” But this time it is a joke because I remembered yesterday to celebrate this day, the start of my big life adventures that still continue.
Nov 3 2011
note: my comments in red
Custom has made dancing sometimes necessary for a young man; therefore mind it while you learn it, that you may learn to do it well, and not be ridiculous, though in a ridiculous act. – Lord Chesterfield
Jack Adams somehow knew this at an early age, he does it so well.
And, of course, they’ve always condemned dancing. You know, you might touch a member of the opposite sex. And you might get excited and you might do something natural. –Frank McCourt
From a woman who gave up on enforcing the “no grinding” rule at private school dances. “I just look at it as safe sex.”
Jan Davis, woman headmaster of Wichita Collegiate who was pulled out of retirement from the Wichita Public School System to serve at my daughter’s private high school.
But in reality we are accompanied by the whole dancing universe. –Ruth St. Denis.
Mildred Evelyn Lee Ward is my Grandmother. She taught school with her Master’s in English to help put my Grandfather Paul Ward through law school during the Depression. But she found time to teach dance on the side, living this motto “life is a dance.”
Common sense and a sense of humor are the same thing, moving at different speeds. A sense of humor is just common sense, dancing. –William James.
aahhh…..so that’s why I admire these qualities…hmmmm….
All the ills of mankind, all the tragic misfortunes that fill the history books, all the political blunders, all the failures of the great leaders have arisen merely from a lack of skill at dancing. -Molière
what an idea! we must find more time for this….
Dance is bigger than the physical body. When you extend your arm, it doesn’t stop at the end of your fingers, because you’re dancing bigger than that; you’re dancing spirit. –Judith Jamison.
as with all creativity, in painting, business, people…..
Dancing and running shake up the chemistry of happiness. –Mason Cooley.
and I do both, to both rein it in and put it out…
Dancing begets warmth, which is the parent of wantonness. –Henry Fielding.
keep it in check….
Dancing is a perpendicular expression of a horizontal desire. –George Bernard Shaw.
so that is what it is?
Dancing is a sweat job. –Fred Astaire.
among other satisfying things in life…
Dancing is a wonderful training for girls, it’s the first way you learn to guess what a man is going to do before he does it.
–Christopher Morley.so that is what we’re supposed to do….have not yet mastered….
and….some of the best dancing partners are women….
Disco dancing is just the steady thump of a giant moron knocking in an endless nail. -Clive James.
I just thought this was funny.
Dance while you can
In whatever you do
Even when you don’t know what you should do…
Oct 20 2011
By the end of it and all the articles, we’d all had our share of time in print. Barby Allen’s was most impressive and she’s lived up to the write-up. We probably all had horseback riding lessons at Allendale, so this was most appropriate; and she has served the state of Kansas in public office and still rides for competition.
This was a particularly great party hosted by Lou & Dom Tutera & Connie Tutera Mendolia. Boss man spent a lot of time here during Pembroke tenure. He has recounted fond memories of experiencing family with Nonnie, Lucille, Connie, Mike, Peaches and Joe, all in context of Dom’s beautiful western bronzes and lots of pasta.
All the BOTARS hosted separate parties. Mary Kerr and Paula Adams had theirs at Three Friends Hall at 27th and Prospect. It was collard greens and black-eyed peas with jazz from Rich Hill and the Riffs featuring the one and only Ida McBeth. We invited our friends, so Kathy Kindred Noonan, Susan Grier Campbell, Marthe Tamblyn, Mary Landon and Dave Kerr were there.
This is my escort John Adams. He was also my fiancé. A BOTAR cannot be married, but can be engaged. I think being engaged at your debut is a little like selling the cow before the auction but the Ward-Graves women went young. Why didn’t my mother warn me about a man like this?
(see letters from Harry Darby)
Jan 6 2011
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.
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.
These older beautiful young women guided and nurtured us and French mama Elise played her guitar.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
I had tortoise shell glasses but this was the move to wire frames, 1972. Wire glasses and braces was way too much metal.
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 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.
And last, Marthe and I sang together on the speaker phone and said goodnight. I heard taps and the loons.
Dec 11 2010
The Baby Blubs were the little sisters of the original Blub Club. I guess the date below, 76, is when the photo was taken though their trip which this photo documents would have been summer of 75.
Ginny Graves organized the trip and logistics and the list of things to bring, mainly an air mattress and swimsuit. Dean Graves drove the boat (see Dean Graves and water). I can’t mention the incident illustrating my mother’s sense of humor because my father documented it on film, very upsetting to her, and it’s a forbade Graves topic.
We would drive to Bagnell Dam, go on the water slides which I have movies of, then board the houseboat where would eat, eat, dance to loud music, swim, and wave to other guys on boats while my Dad drove us around, finding safe coves for the night. There was also a stop to Bridal Cave so we could see the stalagmites and stalactites and plan our weddings.
Well, that’s it for blubs, but for what this is really about, boobs, a word we didn’t use in the Graves family, we said breasts, another reason why I hung out along with the Dreher sisters and Dick Dreher. He would know terms like “superfluous papilla” and when a daughter might find an extra mole, he’d suggest that this might be the issue. I think there was a character in a James Bond movie with one. The Graves also only used the word bra and when I first heard brassiere, I thought it was a dirty word, so French.
For some of us, it all kicked in early, but eventually we all had them. It was a combination of raging hormones and all that salty food we were eating. Fat molecules deposited with the nurturers, while the guys had only blood molecules to rush to extremities.
I read in seventeen magazine that men who liked really big breastsa were lacking in self-confidence. I also read in Vogue that anything more than a champagne glass was too much. Little did they know 30 years later we’d have big slurps. So, getting so much attention from David B. throwing paper clips down my sundress in 8th grade did it for me though it took a while.
And, back to Blubs, I think we should organize another trip and get the Deaner to drive the boat. Maybe the guys can come too if they get their own boat. It is basically a big floating RV, so I’m not sure if we could all handle the plumbing situation now.
Nov 14 2010
Once upon a time it started with going to camp at Sherwood Forrest. We flew to Minneapolis and took a 6 hr. bus ride to Deer River. The camp director was Maxine Gunsolly with assistant and companion Helen. I think Maxine was a Pi Phi with Marthe’s mom Georgeanne Dreher.
Paula: some kind of platform I can’t google on internet for posterity, man hair, polyester with collar (see trendy never pays), macrame by Paula (see handmade). Marthe’s snoopy pudding pillow, corduroy bells, baretraps.
I first fell in love as we all do with Marthe’s beautiful smile, straight hair, tibetan eyes and sense of style. The dry humor and all the sister beauty and Dick Dreher health tips sealed the deal.
The first day of Jr. high Marthe wore a brown polka-dotted silk once piece skort with brown suede clogs, probably a hand-me-down. I don’t have a picture so I may have to draw one and post it.
Mothers, fathers, guys, sons, daughters and sadness all came later, and the laughing is forever. That’s all for now.