New Red Shoes.

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Friends show up in homey places…

Depot, Las Vegas, New Mexico. Jan 2014.

Depot, Las Vegas, New Mexico. Jan 2014.

we never really knew them.

Then nor now….

but somehow….

Rhythm kinda soothin’

photo

for the drama and the dance

energy.. words…non-romance….

xmas lights and nighttime drives

quiet… quiet…place….2lives…

 

take the fork, be on our way! 

time rolls on…plan  the day!

 

But year be New

….& plans not working‘ !!!!??

take the call!     don’t be smirking’…

Bacon-eggs & hopeful blues…

Nothing like Harry’s & New Red Shoes. 

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Happy 2014.  

Home to pens of Kansas, ready to re-load. It’s all in the mind….

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

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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?

Toejam at Paddy O’Shay’s Sept 2nd, SMEast ’78, Harold Epstein.

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Harold Epstein, Musician. SMEast Class '78

I have a way of not getting to the main point, so here it is. Harold Epstein’s Band Toejam (or whatever etiquette is to indicate collective ownership of a group of musicians but Harold is who I know. When you google it he has all the important businessman titles: General Manager and Booking agent) is playing at Paddy O’Shay’s Labor Day Weekend.

  • So, what would anyone have to do that could possibly be better than seeing a committed creative of (40 years? …when did you start playing Harold?) in our class at East to celebrate that we’re 50ish and shouldn’t be laboring so hard?
  • Or, as I see it, play is indeed work and takes some effort.
  • So, get in the car (Julayne Ramsey is driving 600 miles from Minnesota…I’m not giving up on Eugene Bridges as he needs some fresh Kansas air being down there is smoky moutains all summer), hop on the plane, ride your bike on the bike path on I-435, whatever you have to do.  It should be fun.
  • I’ve heard there will be a former recluse or two from my neighborhood putting in an appearance.
  • Dave Wood (and Denise Gatzoulis) called me a month or so ago and at that time we committed to seeing Harold play next KC visit, so he motivated me. So, I’m hoping they’re both in town. All the outdoorsman can sit together at one table and talk hunting and fishing and Cabela’s.  I’ll pass on this for the fashion and art and photography with Julayne and Lisa Revare Hickok. I’m name dropping on my homies being there, have no idea of their social commitments that Friday as we’re all too busy to talk.
  • no one comes to these things if they are true dyed-in-the-wool pills or assholes.
so here’s the data:
Paddy O’Shays
Sept 2, 2011
9 pm to 1 am
135th and Nieman
As I haven’t seen Harold and didn’t hear him play in high school, I have no idea of music genre. In my mind, this could be anything from Led Zeppelin to the Monkees, but I’m sure we can find a way to dance to whatever it is. I intend to dance a lot, mostly with the girls.
So, that’s about it. Toejam, is of course, front and center. But, I do love these opportunities for high school friends to get together.  I realize that it may make me a bit of a loser to think back about high school. Whatever…But two things…
stop here for 99.9% of readers. The rest is just Paula’s attempts to get some of the thoughts about high school and friends role in later life that are constantly spinning around her head, onto paper and into her blog therapy. This is done for numerous reasons, one being her goal to talk and burden/bore others less about such randomness in casual conversation. I’m going to rehearse before I go Friday evening, can’t promise anything.  
  • I know I always have mixed feelings of good and bad about this time in my life. And almost 30 more years of real life, different people, different experiences, different jobs and places certainly makes this just a little sliver and maybe not the most interesting facet. But, it was the slice when we were transitioning from being girls and boys to women and men (hormonal). And that is a common bond. And, I’m thinking and hoping that amidst all the $h!t of probably not the greatest sex and fumbling, parents and family life, competition, drugs and alcohol and trouble and and self- discovery and Carolyn Howard, that there was a lot of joy and fun for everyone. This is what I like to remember with friends.
  • On a personal note about friends and I’ll get to the point after a bit of background…. I married 6 months after graduating from KU to an incredible man who went to a private high school in KC and was in a frat at KU. But, he grew up on a ranch in the Flint Hills. I should have realized that the Brooks Brothers and penny loafers were just a small part of this guy. But, the gritty cowboy thing was and of course, will always be extremely alluring, as you can imagine it was for a Johnson County Girl. This John Adams was really is the main show.  I was confident that since I was creative, love and I would figure out the rest. I threw myself in and have never regretted it.
    • So, right after we were married, we moved to the XIT ranch in his family’s cattle business down on the Cimarron River in very rural Meade County, Kansas, 30 miles from the closest city.  He’d go there to brand cattle for two weeks in the summer. But, he had never lived there full-time, so we shared the adventure. It is about as diagonally opposite from Johnson County as you can get in Kansas and about as diametrically opposite from Johnson County as it comes.
    • So, I’m getting closer to my point about old friends, places, and memories of key things to build upon that were my foundation and are my mother’s milk. These are for me: my family, my school friends, creative expression we all have and do in different ways, and France.
    • The isolation of living on the High Plains was often very challenging  for someone like me who a) likes to work for days on end and needs the solitude to do this, b) is efficient and isn’t going to drive 30 miles to town in a lonely moment just have coffee with a female and pick up the milk and c) is at heart a social person. But, I did it, I lived it, and the wandering in the Great American Desert to find self (as the High Plains was labeled when Europeans started to explore America) is me. And maybe we all have had or still have this in some form, whether in our truck or at our computer or in suburbia or at a cocktail party, or out on the beautiful ocean of the hi plains in Kansas…those moments when the blissful Alone can at times be lonely and we go inside our minds to find a companion with a common past that knows us and we don’t have to say a thing.
    • The point:  you were always on my mind and will be there for me, both at happy times and dark moments when there is no one else around and I am weary of being alone.  


[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R7f189Z0v0Y&ob=av2n[/youtube]

I look forward to seeing anyone who can make it on Friday, 2nd.  Go Harold with the artful life! Paula.

Talking Shop: Stratford, Wood, Graves

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Lisa, Kelly, Paula, Dave, Denise, etc.

Design and Nall Karma: Lisa, Kelly, Paula, Dave, Gatty

Whenever I am with Kelly Stratford or Dave Wood we talk about our work, though of course, not about our clients. Chuck Stratford and Dave’s Dad were both in construction, residential high end and all that entails. Dean Graves was drawing the pictures. They tended to work in overlapping social circles and all have tremendous people and social skills. Dave is in construction, Kelly a decorator, Paula practices architectural design.

  • You know what we said in architecture school, “you don’t know how hard it was for me to draw that, it can’t possibly be that hard to build.” This is still what I say to my contractor. It’s a team effort.

Dave and Mark Allen would measure for my father on occasion, probably his best help (see holding the tape measure). Later in his career, Dave would still make time to squeeze in a small beautifully detailed and crafted Wood-Graves venture for Dean and Ginny. Dave’s dad, John K. Wood, Jr. passed away last week, Dec 2010.

"Graves Gazebo by Dean Graves and Dave Wood"

Graves Gazebo by Dean Graves and Dave Wood

(more…)

Sweet Biff and Dave

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"Biff Rubin"

A particularly cute picture of Biff Rubin.

Biff and Paula in tan corduroy and black

I asked Biff to many parties and he was my homecoming candidate date. He was just the right size, though I think I had about ten on him at the time when he was wrestling at his banter or is it bantam? weight. He was my prop man for chair seats when he was a yell leader, and there’s nothing like straddling a man between your thighs to feel powerful, I’ll look for a picture.

One party we were ants. We, that is I, dyed pillowcases black with rit dye and we wore these with black tights. This particular night ended early for me with Dave Wood holding my head in Karen Kokjar’s bathroom after whatever nasty thing Biff had provided, maybe peppermint schnaps. Dave got me home to Dean and Ginny while Biff stayed for the party. I don’t think Biff and I ever made it to a goodnight kiss.

"looking good"

Looking good, still.

Biff and Dave will always be together because I think they both still live near each other out south somewhere. Or, at least I still always see them together, so I think this. Before John’s Pembroke 10th Reunion Guys Night, we were having pre-party at JJ’s and met up with Biff and Dave, spending the rest of the evening there.  There is nothing better than getting your husband and high school buddies together, especially if all from Kansas City. We also connect through Gary Pener at Tivol’s somehow, running, construction, Pembroke, kids, don’t know how it all fits together.

Dave is a particular holdout, but I feel he has always been very interested in how women’s minds work. I remember a particular discussion in the Graves living room (sans furniture, I think it was being re-upholstered) with Kathy Kindred late at night when the Graves were out-of-town. I won’t get into particulars but actually this wasn’t about women’s minds, but it was flattering that he was so curious. With his family background in design, (father Hagemann and Webb Interiors in Crestwood with a monkey in the office, see June Cavannaugh) he had a high standard for women. But, he noted after his Colorado stint that you shouldn’t get too enamored with beautiful women there until after they’d raised their arms.