Gifts from men…and another home run for…Peter Stack!

by admin

Pete,

I was just looking through my scrapbook and found another creative (writing) gift from you. The expiration date was 6/7/78, so I am thinking this was for my 16th birthday in 1976? Way to go! Another stellar effort from my first boy-friend.

Here it is:

"A Date on your Birthday Club, 4505 W. Burlington. Nantucket, NC 66409

So I wanted to break this down into parts, because it is such a brilliant exhibit.

Paragraph One

Sentence One: I have won something! Always makes one’s heart race.

Sentence Two: Establishes trust in the organization from whom I have won the prize. Note mention of prestige, status, and all the contact information including address (Nantucket, North Carolina, 66409) with phone and extension.

Let’s dissect  this. I know the nuances of your cleverness were greatly overlooked at the time for which I apologize.

Nantucket:

A city I would not even visit for another ten years. But this historic whaling capital has beautiful historic homes from classicistic to local vernacular, great clam chowder and fried oysters, and most of all water. So, I am thinking that this was you foreseeing our futures in history/preservation for Paula and life-giving water for you.

North Carolina:

The state where I was born at Camp LeJeune. Establishes a connection to my past.

66409:

Berryton, Kansas. The zip code where my favorite funniest brother-in-law (and Jack and Lacy’s uncle) Charles Ash Adams lives and owns property, just west of Topeka. Again, a prophecy from you who knew his calling of an important relationship for me. Charlie’s military slang confirming our forever friendship, apart from being Adams, was that it was (I should say, he is), “teflon coated.”

339 area code:

This is for many suburban Boston towns including part of Wellesley where my sister Gina would later live. The town I will mention that jumped out at me was Maiden in Middlesex County. Not much more to say there.

Sentences Three and Four

It was wise to use the term companion instead of escort. It foretells the use of computers when their only existence at the time was at a scale the size of a small gym. And, further instruction. You knew me too well with my love of details, not that surprises aren’t equally effective.

Policy

1. Punctuality. This was nice. Since I’m usually not on time but working on it, I am sorry if I made you wait.

2. This is all true.

3. Respects my parents curfew and puts to rest any anticipated fear of consequences if ignored.

Statistics

Vitae-Data, good to know.

Actually, I wouldn’t mind still having a bit of this from others before I engage in dinner with anyone, for various and conversational reasons. Weight is irrelevent, though. And of course, unemployed in the current times should be amended to self-employed. We all do good work in some form or another.

Plus, the confirmation that food is still one of the two constants directing the way to a man’s heart is one of general interest to me.

To Pete’s wife Jen and all women and wives: do we really want anymore complexity?

Back page (the further instructions mentioned above) 

"One of these dates are a possibility"

Restaurant Review

These notes are of recollections about restaurants popular in Prairie Village-Leawood-Plaza-Overland Park burgs in the latter 70s. Lancers, please post and share your stories and funny memories about family dinners, dates, girl’s-guy’s night out, or our pre-SME-Prom Group outings (or “drunks” as we might now call them): 

A. Dragon Inn. Pete introduced me to Chinese Food and this family restaurant. At the time, it was located a clock behind the sporting goods store (?, memory lapse, please post and help) on Santa Fe Drive in Old Overland Park just west of Metcalf off 79th.  We had mu shu pork and crab rangoon and it was marvelous. I learned to drink lots of water.

B. Minsky’s Pizza. The only location I can remember was at 103rd and Metcalf. Was this called Watt’s Mill or was that on east side of Metcalf? I think the only place I ever go to in this area now is Keith Coldsnow, which was only located in Westport at that time.

C. Dinkeldorf’s. Was this in Ranch Mart? Or the deli approximately across the street from Minsky’s that had lox? I don’t think the Indian Hills people knew these areas as well as those who had migrated further south to Meadowbrook. We were more Merriam-Prairie Village-Fairway-State Line north oriented folks.

D. Sam Wilson’s. Was this the first great steak and salad bar place on State Line? Wasn’t there also another one over in Missouri on 63rd?

E. Lobster Pot. Ralph Gaines. Lud Gaines father’s place in Union Station. Very expensive as I remember. I never dined there. This was quite a big thing for Pete to offer (see*).  Since I had been trained by my mother not to order the most expensive thing on the menu and to eat everything you order when someone else is paying, this was generous for him to offer but way out of my comfort zone for him to invest.

F. Trader Vic’s. Of course always loved this, but I get mixed up with the Kona Kai. I think Trader Vic’s was the one in Crown Center and Kona Kai was at the Hilton just south of the Plaza on Main across from The Wishbone (which was a definite favorite of mine). It reminded me of Brookville Hotel in western Kansas where I would go with my Grandparents when traveling to Hays.

F. Dinner at the Kona Kai. Just a word to our children about these asian restaurants in the 70s.

1) Women love drinks evocative of sand, sun, and surf served in creative containers with umbrellas. It’s a sweet, colorful playtime in a festive outfit, stimulates many senses. I should have skipped the alcohol, that was, and still is, plenty for me to handle right there. I would tell you about an SME pre-homecoming gathering here, but I don’t remember anything (or if fun?) beyond the first drink in the coconut. I do think the cute drink stirrer made it home safely.

2) And I’m making a generalization here about cultural familiarity in Johnson County vis-a-vis suburban kids and asians at this time period: we both all looked the same to each other. In fact, the waiters couldn’t even discern us from our parents when ordering alcohol.

G. Your choice. Such a relief that someone else had taken the time to think all this through, so I was putty. Was never even considered.

And to Jen and the Stack Family, you are very good sports about these, now two, posts. They are in part about New Mexico and Philmont Boy Scout Camp and Johnson County Restaurants. But Pete, your creative thoughtful momentos were the motivation to taking me back to different places, different times, old friends. Thank you, Pete.

Sincerely,

Paula Elizabeth Graves Adams.

note: to SME Lancer’s, ’78ish. I would love it if you would post and share in Coffee?

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.