Arm Art at Billy’s in Liberal

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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.

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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 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

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  • 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

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    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 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.