le sketch du jour: Yvoire, Genève, power shopping with details. June 24, 1980.

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Our bus route from Morzine, France to Genève, Switzerland.

A bit of background. While we were at the Auberge de Jeunesse in Morzine (French Alps) we did intense French lessons. But, there were two days of sidetrips. After study on a rainy Monday, we were rewarded with this trip to Geneva.  I’ll just begin from the sketchbook.

Mon. June 23, 1980.

Woke at 7:00. Sunny. Ran to Les Gets (all uphill 🙁 ) & back (all downhill 🙂 ). About 6.5 miles. Breakfast on raisins and coffee. Shower-hot.

10:00 headed for Genève.

Allons-y! traduisez: Let's go!


Stopped at 11:30 at Y’vroiy (sp?).  Small, medieval walled town that reminded me of San Gimingniano [San Gimignano, Sienna] in Italy. Lunch there.

[Yvoire is a medieval town in Haute Savoie on the shores of Lac Léman. It dates back to 1306. It was an important town on the trade routes through the Alps and along Lac Léman. By the 16th c., Yvoire had lost its strategic importance and had become a fisherman’s village. There is a beautiful château on the bank of the lake with turrets, towers, and a demanding position at the entrance of the yacht towers of Yvoire. And, the flowers are lovely.]


We were in Geneva from 1:00 to 6:00. Beautiful, beautiful city!! The feeling of Rome, but more polished and glittery, yet not artificial because it is still old. Very cosmopolitan feeling! I felt very important.  All the $ is just overwhelming, though.  Blocks and blocks of banks, jewelry stores with enormous emeralds & diamonds, & every designer one has ever heard of! Stores that you wouldn’t step into unless you were dressed to the teeth & probably not then! We went into the McDonald’s there & a Big MAC is $2.50.

Sent a white chocolate to Robb [Robb Edmonds was my part-of-the college-time boyfriend who was working in Washington, D.C. as an intern for Kassebaum, I think] at Georgetown which was really fun to do! Felt very touristique!!

The people were very nice, & I’m beginning to understand without having to ask questions, ask to repeat, or ask to speak more slowly.  People also seem to think by this time that we can speak a relative amount of French fluently (as long as we don’t speak too much :)! )  I think our tongues are loosening up a little & we’re not as halting as on our arrival. I made 2 purchases.

[I am always money conscious and worry about running out of money. My grandmother lived to be 97. This doesn’t mean I don’t spend it extravagantly at times, but I do keep track and my goal for this trip was to come home with money in my pocket to give back to my mother (parents). I think I was realizing how much spending money had been given to me and the great experience my parents were providing for me.]

One [purchase] -an aqua soft, soft sweatshirt ($17 or $18) that is possibly for mom-possibly Gina.  I bought it at a place called Blondino’s (like Fiorucci) [Italian store started in Milan in late 60s, maybe still around?]. It was wild! Bright colors & sort of punk-pink topsiders-yellow penny loafers etc. It was worth it for the bags alone.

[true shopping confessions]

I also made another purchase-for myself-but probably for sharing in the family [the 3 Graves girls; mom, Paula, Gina, as the Adams girls;Lacy & Paula, shared clothes].

[This was a rationalization, I don’t think it was anyone else’s look and Gina was at ASU. Distance and heat would make impossible and silly].

It is a beautiful, hand-knit in Switzerland blue (?), wool (yoke), button-up front w/ little silver button sweater.

A KU style tangent

[we called these Fair Isle in US in 1980s at KU for any sweaters that had a yoke. In Kansas, it was a loose term for any stranded color knitting specifically with this neckline, not necessarily having any relation to the knitting of Fair Isle or any of the other Shetland Islands. It was a Kappa signature sweater. They wore them backwards with buttons up the back, a great look which made me wish I’d pledged Kappa at times, along with the keys & fleur-de-lys. The one I bought looked Bavarian.]

KU Craft note

Note: I took knitting at Yarn Barn in college and I tried to knit a Fair Isle one once. I had mastered Fisherman’s knit and knitted them for me, mom and Gina. I never got the tension right on the Fair Isle, very difficult. So, I’m sure that not being able to make one for myself and the very cold rain without the proper clothes were both additional rationalizations for flipping out this kind of $.

I don’t want to say what I spent, but I do want to keep track in this book so I will say. $100.  hmmm….But I do love it!!  I have cashed $150.00 in traveler’s checks so far. My expenses have only been those 2 things, chocolate for Robb (      ) [don’t know why I don’t write this down, must have been expensive chocolate in my mind or hiding money I’ve spent on a boyfriend from my parents like they would care?  I’m sure shipping was exhorbitant] and expenses such as postcards, drinks in cafés, fruit, carrots, stamps, bottled water.

For dinner we had potage, coq au vin, la salade verte, & fromage blanc avec sucre.  It is a white, sour cream type thing that you sprinkle sugar on top of.  Very subtle, but good.

Journal and letter writing.

Almost done with Tender is the Night.

Tomorrow-possibly Chamonix if weather is good.

Au revoir à demain!


le sketch du jour: Hank, the swiss man’ish man; George, the former tennis instructor from l’hôtel du Cap; some menu descriptions. June 23, 1980.

by admin

Alex, from Dottikon, Switzerland.

Hilmer, Sweden.

Because there are no sketches and no travels within this sketchbook journal entry,  I’m starting off this post with a good visual of two European men. I have a vivid picture of both Hank and George kind of blended into a very masculine Swiss-French athletic what I thought to be older man. Sometimes he has hair, sometimes he does not. I even get these two men and their names mixed up within this journal entry.

But, I could not find a picture of a Swiss man doing calisthenics on the internet, so this is where I landed. I started with men in 50s (see below), but then upped it a bit. I had to look in both Sweden and Switzerland dating services to get even close to the look, but basically they’re both nordic or celtic or something, aren’t they? Anyway, I have another young Frenchman I’m going to market along with two bachelor cowboys, so I thought I’d just throw them in the mix. They both are widows and they both are Taurus’s which I thought was interesting.

Mon. June 23, 1980.

J’ai reveillée at sept heures (7:00 am) and went downstairs to run. Hank (the athletic) one was downstairs in gym shorts & tennies kicking around his legs and looking very swiss-man’ish.  He is very tan with a little hair that is sort of grey-white.  He stopped his exercising long enough to demander où je vais (ask me where I’m going).  I told him & asked him about a good 6-mile route (after taking about 5 minutes to figure out 6 miles in kilomètres!).  He drew me a map which was great, although I still l’était perdue (lost it) before I’d even left the Auberge.  It was drizzly & grey, but still so pretty!  You can hardly see the Alps because of the fog.

I returnedd for petit-déjeuner (café, et un morceau de pain avec beurre).  Today I helped in the kitchen, but it is very difficult to understand because

1) they tease you

2) they act like they can’t undersatnd if you use the “vous” (formal-what we’re taught to use in school) form to address them.

Shower after breakfast & now I’m writing. None of the magasins [stores] sont ouverts [open]  aujourd’hui, so it’s basically a letter-writing-reading day.

[I think the Geneva trip activated the immediate gratification shopping chemicals. These had been dormant after first part of trip when I was occupied with history, buildings, and sketching. Then again, there were not really architecturally significant buildings I can remember in Morzine. It’s like a resort town].

For lunch we had this crudités salad thing and …Rabbit (lapin)!!  [attention Ginna Getto].  It was very good-sort of a white meat. It was served with little white potatoes w/ brie and fruit for dessert.

We had a phonetics lesson at 3:00 in the bar-café.  I’m with the advanced students.  Pretty interesting.

More reading & letter-writing.

Dinner at 7:15.  Pizza that looked good but different, real tomatoes and stuff on it.  After dinner, I talked with George who I thought was the cook, but was not.  He is a tennis instructor at a school & also at a hotel on the French Riviera.  (The School is in Antibes & the hotel is the l’Hôtel du Cap d’Antibes which is the hotel where Hemingway, Fitzgerald..maybe Murphy’s…[the other couple that were in Kevin Kline’s de-lovely Cole Porter movie] hung out in the 30s).  He was very interesting, on vacation, and un petit peu fou [crazy], je pense, but very nice.

To bed.







le sketch du jour: arrival in Morzine and evidence that I did know who Led Zeppelin was.

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June 22, 1980. Morzine, France.


Look!  I did know who Led Zeppelin is, it’s right here in my French sketchbook.  So, here’s a few excerpts…

Ran at 7:00 (2 3/4 miles). We left at 8:30. Drove ’til 11:00. Stopped at a Romanesque Cathedral Paray-le-Monail. Town is very pretty with river and flowers and lots of green grass.

Picnic’ed for lunch.  Stopped in various towns on way to Morzine. Drove through outskirts of Geneva. Many people live in Geneva but live in France.  This way they are able to make swiss money which is good but have a French cost of living (Geneva is very expensive).

Arrived in Morzine at 7:00. Sunny and darling little town. Looks like Aspen only the original instead of U.S. interpretation of an Alpine Resort.  Lots of little cottage-type swiss places.

Dinner at 7:30. Delicious! Boef Bourguignon avec des nouilles (noodles), le potage (thin celery soup), le pain, la salade verte, et une petite tasse de glace chocolat with a darling little cookie. It was very pretty!


Amy Adams, from Julie and Julia. "Oh, Julia, you make it sound so simple."


I have made Julia’s boeuf bourguignon and it is worth every step.

There is a bar downstairs at this Auberge de Jeunesse where everyone sits around & watches some Athletic thing on tv. [note attention to details of specific sport has not improved, but I’m thinking this time of year it might have been Wimbledon? at least I capitalize Athletic to give importance] Dinner was served in another room on long wooden tables.

George (an older-looks Swiss man very athletic-looking) is the head chef and two younger guys, Dénis and another who I don’t know the name of.  Hank is the owner and Mary Anne is his wife.  They are about 30. Mary Anne plays Led Zeppelin in the A.M. about 8:00!! [and it was this song, I utubed and listened to a few and this was it so now I know the name, Kashmir] They speak French and German.

This shows you the difference between different Auberges. They were both only 20 francs ($5) but this one is so nice.  I’m in a room with Sharon & Nixie. Sharon just graduated form KU in graphic design & Nixie will be a senior at CU.  We have a sink et la W.C. is across the hall.  The showers are downstairs but there is lots of hot water & a washing machine. Bonsoir! [Can you see how happy I am with the hot water and bathing and washing facilities?]






More body art….KC and Wichita. Ace Hardware, Brio’s, 12-step, Starbucks.

by admin

First, I’ll have to paraphrase something my sister Gina Lloyd said when I saw her this spring. It was something to the effect of,

‘we have to face the realization  that there is a possibility that maybe some of our grandchildren or great grandchildren may have tattoos.’

So here are a few more to add to post Arm Art at Billy’s:  Art in the Big House.  These were taken from when I first moved to Wichita in February through May.  I’m showing them chronologically.

Vincent: Heart Strong

This handsome young man helped me at the old school Ace True Value at Central and Woodlawn. I started with the stud finder and went through my list of tv cables, conduit clips, molley screws, anchor bolts, 2-3 prong converters, extension cords and outlet splitters in 15 minutes with Vincent as my personal shopper. Kind, explained everything, listened to all the details…and handsome so I knew he had to be pretty evolved and asked about his words.  His neck says heart strong and he was that. You usually have to be to weather me when I’m on a mission such as this.

Good words.

Vincent’s arm says, “love life and respect death.”  Good to be so wise when so young.

Lovely lady from rural environs of Topeka.

Saturday night on the Plaza in KC, Brio’s. 11 pm.

This beautiful girl was holding court upstairs at Brio’s upstairs. FYI, you can get wireless internet, lounge in the comfy chairs, and eat at the bar upstairs for 3 hours without anyone being annoyed, even on a Saturday night. FYI, internet connections (mine at least) are a little messed up on the Plaza, especially at latteland. So, FYI Brio’s is the great office spot.  They were all having fun, so I didn’t want to ask too much about such an intense picture. It looks like the girl on her tattoo is a cutter or something. But, she actually grew up in the country just outside of Topeka, Kansas on a horse farm.

Juan from Mexico City.

12:30 am after leaving Brio.

I had to include Juan because I’d been in Wichita (east side) and Kansas City (Johnson County and Plaza) for just one month and it all felt so foreign after southwest Kansas. Juan was the first certified Mexican National that I found. Happy and now at home, I had to stop at chat while he waited for his ride.  Someone once told me in 80s, “we don’t really have any hispanic population in Kansas City.” hmmmm….get out of your neighborhood, buddy. And, I worked at the clothing bank for the Shawnee Mission School System at 67th and Antioch. Johnson County is a-changing…. He is a dishwasher at Plaza III, but from Mexico City.  And, we discussed the most beautiful churches that I must see when I go. Thank you to all of the hard-working hidden people who do our work that we don’t want to do.  We’ll get it all worked out.

The 12-step boys.

8:00 am meeting, Waterman just west of Hydraulic. Wichita, Kansas.

This was after a meeting that I attended faithfully when I first moved to Wichita. They’ve all but kicked me out as not qualifying. But then and now, it helps me to let go of self-will to a higher power and address all my positive and negative addictive tendencies. I think 12-step programs are a good design for life for anyone, regardless of habits.

The Joker.

This is not a great picture, but I think subject’s name is Marty. No one can compete with Marty on the war stories in a meeting.

a lovely lady.

I think this might have been an old girlfriend. She never seems to age.


Marty’s covered. He’s been in and out of the Big House. But, at one point he was a backer of one of the very successful tattoo shops along Douglas, just west of Old Town.  Seriously, there are some good tax dollars and Fine Art coming back into the community with some of these business-creative projects that originate  in the pokey.  I think it’s great.


We’re somewhat anonymous, but I think his name is Scott, doesn’t matter. His are of a whole different vein. He speaks like a poet at the meeting. All that deep thinking with one so young is painful. Numbing these thoughts may be part of the process. So, what was my excuse in college? Numbing a painful burn from the Theta sundeck?


Scott’s are new and he is young. So the colors are vivid and very clear.

Point it out.

Unfortunately, I can’t find my notes about what the meanings of all these symbols. But, they all had meaning.

Chica Peligrosa.

Chica Peligrosa:  def. “Dangerous Girl.” This one works for Eric Fisher at Eric Fisher Salon on the east side, Wichita.

my buddy at Starbucks.

Scott’s my drinking buddy. Not really, we just cross paths quite often at neighborhood Starbucks. All the self-employed’s coffee break office.

I can't read this one.

Scott’s covered. I can’t read this one, but the girl is pretty. I do know he’s single at this point.

Mens Rea.

He wouldn’t tell me what this meant. I am always concerned about some secret nazi or hate thing that I’m inadvertently posting though this didn’t seem characteristic of Scott.

Here’s what I found:

Mens rea definition:

As an element of criminal responsibility, a guilty mind; a guilty or wrongful purpose; a criminal intent. Guilty knowledge and wilfulness.

Criminal law consists of both a mental and physical element and mens rea is the physical element. The concept of mens rea developed in England during the latter part of the common-law era (about the year 1600) when judges began to hold that an act alone could not create criminal liability unless it was accompanied by a guilty state of mind

Can't read. Hope it's not anything hateful. I'm sure not.

attn: Tim Hickok. Think one might look good on you.




And last, the real reason I take pictures of people’s tattoos.  I get men to take their shirts off.  And Tim Hickok, these reminded me of your collection in the mancave.  Seriously with all the bodywork you’re doing, Lisa might like it.




le sketch du jour: Bourges Cathedral perspective, London girls. 21 June 1980.

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Perspective of groin vault with very fat felt tip pen. Bourges Cathedral.

I realize that it is just two days short of 31 years since this day and drawing in Bourges. Bourges is a city in the central part of France that is famous for it’s gothic cathedral. I’ll supplement a bit with pictures from Helen Gardner’s Art through the Ages. This will give you a little background and comparison historically between my first “le sketch du jour: Chartres” blog post and this contemporary cathedral in  Bourges. That’s tomorrow.

I have had so many jobs to both occupy myself and bring in egg money, that I don’t want to get too intense and lose anyone with detail which I tend to do. For example, playing art history teacher, you can google all this. But, a bit of background about what my goals were this summer. I only see these now in my retrospective look of my sketchbook from the summer of ’80.

I began my study at KU in interior design, minoring in French. My interest in interior design was never commercial. It began with my dollhouse for which the dolls held little interest, but the furniture! It was an old thrift shop bird cage with plywood shelves and I made comforters, tiny Andy Warhol flower paintings, modeled tiny FIMO tv sets and crocheted rugs. My grandmother would supply an occasional designer piece from the miniature shop that is now a Christmas Shop in the courtyard outside of The Shed in Santa Fe on our summer trips.

So, this began my interest in residential interiors (not playing house, designing and decorating house) and my interest in the history of decorative arts. I had done an internship with Bobby Smith at Jack Rees Interiors on Belleview. Bobby was a good friend of my Grandmother Millie Ward. Bobby was old school decorator from Chicago when there was no ASID or accreditation. Decorators just “had it” (taste) and/or went to art school.  Jack Rees Interiors was just up from JJ’s Steakhouse though I don’t know if it existed at that time. And yes, it is the spot that more than one time a car heading south from Westport crashed through the plate glass entry and landed in Jack’s showroom, thus requiring a remodel. He never seemed too fazed, so I wonder if he relished the opportunity to update the floor. There were never any casualties, but it would have given me pause when stopping in for a lamp or pillow.

Of course client names are confidential, but many had incredible art, antiques, and paintings; Old Master’s, Stickley before it was hip, noble, and reproduced, Tiffany candlesticks and one client with  NYC lighting designer on the team. I distinctly remember the bathroom lighting and downward focus on the pedestal sinks. The interiors were a backdrop to wonderful collections of possessions.

This was a whole different scale of domestic dwelling and interiors from my world growing up. I lived in our small, well-designed contemporary house on 67th St. in Prairie Village. My family did collect modern art through their relationship with Myra Morgan of Morgan Gallery. The Morgan’s were our neighbors in our tandem designed houses and Dennis is my childhood and forever friend.  Many in the 70s in KC collected art before people bought fancy cars and were diverted with other forms of consumption. Myra and Jim would take them all to Leo Castelli’s gallery in NYC.

As well, I remember my Grandmother taking me to Lillian Nassau on East 57th to buy me the few Tiffany pieces and later goblets to start my small never-to-grow collection. I really don’t even know NYC enough to know where I was in the city. But these were the small ways that I was connected to art possessions.

My grandparents had some wonderful pieces and I have a few, though much has been given to museums. They also gave joint larger gifts with the National Endowment for the Arts to the Nelson Gallery and Spencer Art Museum in Lawrence, the Cottingham Showboat and Rauschenberg Color Wheel are a few that come to mind. Their background another story, but needless to say, the wildcatter’s struck in Hays after the Depression. After teaching English and doing all the requisite women’s clubs, my grandmother gathered up reproductions of famous works of art, piled them in a van, and headed to more rural areas of Kansas. She and my Grandfather shared their love and interest in art with Kansans in the field who might not otherwise have had the opportunity to experience such things. She also had her own collection and wrote a book about Reverse Paintings on Glass. And, she served on the Kansas Arts Council, now the Kansas Arts Commission.

So, we had connections to art in my family. My mother at that time had been an art educator at the Nelson, on tv, and then Director of Art at the Johnson County Librairies. My father an architect. So, this background was more in the trenches than those for whom I worked at Jack Rees. As Bobby always said, serve the classes live with the masses. I’m sure my family’s passage was one of indentured servitude. We inherited the appreciation and desire to work around fine things of beauty and great craft without having to supply or possess the pocketmoney.

I guess I was in France this summer to learn about the European roots of all the historical interiors, secular and religious buildings, and urban planning from the Continent to put all of my background into a historical context. And I took an appreciation and history of Kansas with me to France. It is this history, enriched with the Industrial Revolution, new modes of transportation, and westward Frontier expansion that is the fabric of the wonderful aesthetic culture that is America today, warts and all.

This summer of 1980 and connections between these two worlds molded what I would later do and experience in life.  The difficulty, loneliness, beauty and learning of that summer was the best preparation I could ever have for living in the Deep Rural for the next 28 years. Inner resourcefulness and appreciation of place and people served me well in truly feeling and living the culture of the windy High Plains.

So, too deep, Paula. On a lighter note, a few notes from the sketchbook:

“Ran-got lost this am so a little tense.”  [how could I have been so aware of my emotions and recorded them but regressed so far…?]

“The artichokes here are HUGE! They are the size of honeydew melons.”  [this was bliss for me]

“Read French Magazine Marie Claire. Very easy to understand (subject was sunbathing). [again, too much tanning…]

“Dinner was better than last night. It was a hamburger thing, tomatoes, les pommes frites, camembert & peaches. We  knew it was hamburger because horsemeat here is the speciality (expensive) meat and the auberge wouldn’t serve that.”

“After dinner we talked with two girls here from London.”….”They gave us names of punk rock groups to see, theaters to go to to see what is really going on in Lond, bars to go to, what to be afraid of, what not to be afraid of. They said punks are weird but no harmful.”

[I have written] “if they ‘….stair ott ewe, tell tham to feck awk’ in her words.”  “But, stay away from the skinheads-the whole purpose is to fight-can’t miss them.  Bald, big boots, leather, sunglasses.”  [one east coast art school student from Kansas adopted the look that summer which I witnessed upon arriving home; the cultural background of the “look” had not been researched]

“They were traveling a little differently:  camping (tents), hitching for transportation, and free food via “nicking”-she said her meals were wonderful!! And then they proceeded to complain about all the “nicking” in Italy!!” [already identifying my pattern to pick up on hypocrisies in other’s while I’m sure unaware of my own].

The end, bonsoir, à demain.


Joyland Park, est. 1949. Wichita, Kansas. noon Friday, 17 June 2011.

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I started my day at Blackhawk Crossfit in the Get Fit class.  After our abs, I noticed Kim’s shirt.

Kim in her Joyland shirt.

Always interested in historic places in Wichita, I asked about her shirt and the place. Joyland was an Amusement Park built in Wichita in 1949, a  Wichita institution. Joyland was home of the Skycoaster, the oldest wooden roller coaster still standing in America. Kim’s shirt says, “Last warning, do not stand up.” This sign sat at the peak of the first hill on the ride. A sound warning in a day before we were physically barred in.

Joyland Wooden Roller Coaster, painted white.

I mostly want to just share the pictures. But, Kim said that the wood is a special wood from Florida that is very hard and does not weather. The structure is still sound, with some tweaking for function, of course. It was painted white prior the the Park’s closing as the psychology of the weathered wood wasn’t understood by riders. The thought was that the white paint refreshed its look and instilled confidence.

Closeup underneath the tracks.


Underneath view of Skycoaster cable system.

Bringin' it home with the skids.

They are in the process of raising funds for a renovation of the Park which has been closed for over 10 years and fallen into decay.

Entry to Joyland and pink amphitheatre steps.

The scale seemed small in comparison to World’s of Fun. But, upon walking the grounds, it was still Amusement Park scale and spread out over several intertwining areas on a lot sitting back from Pawnee. I’m sure it was fairly rural at that time.

Old stand with toy.

It was fascinating, a point in time that had been suddenly abandoned. No cleanup, no storage, the last night’s toys perched on the ledge.

Motor room.

This was some kind of center of electrical operations, amazingly small.


The panel says, “Rednecks were here.” But, it had been largely left alone. We noted that it would be a great shelter for the men without a mortgage (homeless). But, in Wichita they congregate in a more urban spot under the River bridges by downtown Delano. This would be pretty rural, and there are no McDonald’s around for warmth.

Games below, offices above.

This building with four or five bays had competitive games below, but administrative offices were above.

Old typewriter.

I wonder how the typewriter was removed from offices and landed below?

Shoot for the Stars.

I had to put this in because we had a common background with guns. I lived on the XIT Ranch for 28 years. Kim is a marketer and distributor of replica antique guns, Replica Armory, especially cowboy guns. They are used in re-enactments and films and purchased by collectors.  She has customers all over the world, Brazil, France, Canada. The French are big into historic Cowboy stuff. Some countries have regulations regarding shipping guns even with they are replicas. The are housed in a warehouse and Kim is the liaison between storage facility and end-user. This is her blog.

Roller skate.

There was also a place to roller skate and we found this shoe with orange bumper on the toe. It would be like Mission Roller Skating Rink off Johnson Drive and the French Market off Metcalf, all rolled into one. But,before anything in Johnson County ever existed.

Bugs Bunny Easter Egg Drawing.

This sat in an arcade over by all the kiddie rides. The easter eggs were still scattered and shattered all over the floor.


I’ll call this picture above and those below: Homage to Randy Knotts and our evening at ESPN Zone. If I’d only known the historic character of these games, I’d have suffered less from ADD this night in Chicago with our families.


This was some kind of submarine underwater game.

Ticket booth to Ferris Wheel.

Men's urinals.

The restrooms had suffered a fire but they had been very attractive. White subway tile with black tile trim. I have never seen such sustantial men’s urinals, not that I’ve seen many.

The Old Woman who lived in a shoe.

This was pretty tiny, only big enough for a small person or two.

Perfect size purple door.

Wacky Shack.

Cut off hand.

We are in Wichita, and I lived here when they caught Dennis Rader, the BTK killer. So, a hand like this in an area that would be rather spooky and sinister at night gave me a moment’s pause.

Kim and her after sale cop car.

This is Kim’s car. She said she was merging one time a bit above the speed limit to avert a wreck and was stopped. I would think this would be terrifying. The officer commented on her driving which she defended on safety. And, he said, “your car does attract quite a bit of attention.”   I can imagine they aren’t really pleased. I had actually thought someone in our crossfit group was a police officer. But I thought perhaps this officer had fallen on hard times. It’s  stripped and with a bit of hail damange.

Tall enough to ride!

Joyland sign. Skycoaster in rearview.

It was a lovely morning. So glad I asked about the shirt and we headed out to look right after our class. A new friend and an old hangout. That might become a new gathering spot. So I love seeing this Skycoaster in its 60s with some age and interest. And capturing a place in time which could go shiny or decay, but will nonetheless never be the same as it was today.

a few men and fire stories…

by admin

Backburning in the Kansas Flint Hills. Wabaunsee County.

I was in the Flint Hills yesterday for the Symphony.  It was beautiful, very green with the recent rainfall. That’s a later post.

I have been looking at all the FB posts on fires in Arizona which brought thoughts of fire in my sphere. I have never lived in the Flint Hills, but I have visited the Maple Hill Ranch in the spring when all Adams brothers were burning pastures.

The conditions have to be just right.  A recent rain is requisite, but it has to be dry enough to get a good burn. An overgrazed pasture can’t be burned. If there is no grass left at the end of the pasture season, there won’t be enough for a fire in the spring: graze half, leave half is the rule of thumb. And, the wind is important. High winds are of course hazardous, but a light wind gives a good burn. Winds in Kansas are tricky, particularly in the southwest.

The burning season was traditionally March when there were longhorns in the Flint Hills. It is now more often April to prepare for putting cattle out in the summer. It’s generally accepted now as a good environmental practice, though there are safety precautions in place. I’ve driven I-35 KC to Wichita a time or two when the smoke was so bad everyone had to pull over to shoulder. As well, I don’t think the Prairie Chicken falconers are so thrilled with the practice.

The first step is backburning. Fireguards are laid down along borders in direction of the wind where there is no natural block such as a plowed field, water or roadway. As we “neighbor” in western Kansas for branding and weaning, Flint Hills ranchers often neighbor for controlled burns.

It is important to act on the right day and there may only be one chance. When I was working on my Academic Master of Architectural History Thesis on Mill Creek Skyline Road this came into play. Leland Schultz, the owner of Henry Grimm’s I-House (just across the road from the Flint Hills Symphony last night) specifically told me that it was not a good day for my KU Professors to come out. It was on their agenda to take a play day and photograph the family cemetary on the river. I relayed this and gave warning that they should forgo their plans. But, they headed out. It cost them access to the property for their teacher’s class meeting that summer. And they learned before the National Vernacular Architecture Forum Tour the next year. When the rancher says, “keep out” , you keep out. There’s a reason, he’s not out there riding around on his horse playing cowboy.

The story I told today on a post is one that the father of my children would rather forget. It endeared him to everyone in the county. We were in our twenties and living on the east side of the ranch, south of the Cimarron River in Beaver County, Oklahoma. And, the tamaracs and brush were multiplying quickly on the river.

Tom Flowers, soil conservationist for Meade County, noted that the brush has increased 40 fold since 1982.  So, John was actually on top of things. He did all the backburning and reported (I think he reported…) it to the county that he’d be doing a burn. I have to say, it’s not as popular or common at all in arid western Kansas so he may have skipped this part.

It was all going fine, but as happens in southwest Kansas, the wind picked up full speed on a dime. It still would have been okay, but there was a 30′ steep embankment along the north side of the Cimarron. The wind hit that fire and it rolled up that wall to the adjacent neighbor’s pastures above. That was a long night and next morning. John felt terrible, foolish, inconsiderate.

The reality is that everyone likes to come out for a fire. The volunteer crews and trucks came from Meade and Beaver counties. Maybe even Seward came by for the fun. John Adams is a good neighbor and steward, he keeps up his fence, and he will help anyone. Everyone was very sympathetic with how bad he felt. It was kind of a “welcome to the neighborhood” fire since John hadn’t grown up out there and had a few different practices. The neighbor on the upland side whose pastures were burned was thrilled. There were no cattle out at the time, so his spring grass had a great stand.

My job during all this was to run the sprinklers in the yard around the house. John’s uncle was burned out due to an electrical fire one year, but nothing has ever been close enough for me to feel that this was really necessary. I’m sure that’s poor judgement on my part. I always think I’ll be able to see it, run out, and get it all watered down in time. I have similar thoughts about going down in storm cellars, going into the right corner of a store when there are sirens, outrunning a tornado, or outrunning a buffalo that found it’s way into our yard. But, those are other stories.

So, we don’t do any controlled burning anymore on the ranch. And, this ensured that the local crews got an even bigger donation from the XIT Ranch from this point on. These are great men.

There are many naturally occurring fires in the summer due to lightening in southwest Kansas. When there is dry lightening, everyone is on the lookout throughout the night for any signs of red in the night or smell of smoke. It is difficult to judge how far away a fire is. With everyone living miles apart, one keeps an eye out for himself as well as his neighbor.

That’s about all I have to say. Except that, I think the guys all love it and it seems to always go into the night. I’ve never seen any women at the party.

I guess I would generalize that some men maybe like to play with fire. I have a good friend who’s little boy set their yard on fire playing with matches. She, of course, was very aware of all psychological makeup that this might impart having some concern. She said it wasn’t a popular thing to bring up in playgroup. He had two older sisters, so he probably just needed to get out of the house. The son is now a wonderful, successful, smart college bound male, no problems. He was also an intense long distance runner as a little boy. I’m sure he’ll go far.

I guess it’s just guys with a lot of their own energy playing with nature’s forces. And learning early life lessons about partnerships and who is ultimately in control.

le sketch du jour: Bourges Auberge de jeunesse. June 20, 1980.

by admin

Streetscape: Bourges, France.

Fri. June 20, 1980.  (notes from my sketchbook journal: The Johnson County girl comes out).

Well!  I am writing this so I will remember how I feel but won’t write that home. We are in Bourges in an Auberge de jenuesse. It is the pits.  There is a festival going on in Bourges so there is a huge group of 15-16 yr. old girls from Brittany. It is quite pungent.

The bus couldn’t get on the street to the Auberge so we all had to get out of the bus and pick up those little Italian cars so we could get by.  In the meantime, we caused a HUGE traffic jam & people were furious. Lots of yelling and gestures.

Dinner was at 7:30.  It was a sort of dormitory place.  It consisted of 1/2 grapefruit (pamplemousse), some kind of mystery sausage that looked like hormel sausage uncooked, rice, cheese, & apple.  Then everyone stacked up the dishes and scraped plates, at the table. Then we sponge off table and dry the silverware.  The curfew was 11:00 pm and I took one look at the 8″ of water standing in the shower & decided not to bath for two days until Morzine.  You can imagine how wonderful I am in this sort of environment.

We did go to a town carnival after dinner which was a lot of fun. [my motivation for Thursday night’s visit to carrousel in Wichita, June 9, 2011].  All the same bumper cars, games, rides, lights, but beignet & gauffre (thick waffles with whipped cream and berries) & escargots instead of popcorn, cotton candy, and hotdogs.

Cindy (Bean) and I ran at 10:00 pm.  It was still light and no one bothered us (3 mi.). Talked to Amy and Ginna Getto outside for a while. We all agreed to travel in groups of 3 & save money for hotels.  The truth is finally out after we all tried to be cheery on arrival.

Tomorrow I’m going to the Festival here & the Bourges Cathedral. Au revoir à demain!

P.S. Bedtime

There is a sheet sleeping bag you stick your feet in and a horsehair blanket! 🙂

You would be proud of my attitude here, though. I have been thoroughly pleasant.  Much nicer than I would be with my own family.

P.S. June 10th, 2011.  I read this last week. And, as I went to yoga, I noticed that a Carnival was setting up in the parking lot behind Siva next to the Baseball Stadium. This area used to be the old airport runway. Friday evening after my class, I could not resist.

the best horse!

and the best shoes!

The Men’s Scrapbooking Project. Wichita Final Fridays, 27 May 11.

by admin

Final Fridays, Wichita. 27 May 11. total fun.


This was the Men’s Scrapbooking Project. And one woman. Hang in with the photographer. It was a warehouse dock alley, trucks driving by, and no lighting on back metal building.


Beautiful reproduction condom petal gown. Aidswalk Benefit. $$?

Comic Bodice Dress. Aidswalk Benefit.

Two lovely frocks from Positive Directions Gallery.

More music with Dez and Hosue on trumpets. Dez in silhouette. Unknown Drummer.



Schwin re-built. cowhide seat. old leather pouch on handlebars.

Schwin re-built. cowhide seat. old leather pouch on handlebars.

I put $5 in the raffle for 5 tickets. If I win, I will let you know so if anyone wants a bike.

This is to advertise show

“Art of the Bicycle”

7th annual bicycle art show at the Go Away Garage.

Opens July 22.

Open during Final Friday July 29. 508 S. Commerce, se of Sprint Arena.

Downtown Wichita.


My First Painting Purchase. May 27, 2011. Kathy Gordon, Idaho.

The high plains has no trees. And, it says Paris. And, it’s a cool technique with layers and relief and urethane and will be examined.


Wichita OIlman.

Wichita has more per capita millionaires than Johnson County. I’m hanging with the homeless.


Elizabeth at Fisch Haus.

Night time run with rover.

Swan symbolism.

swan is a bird that is a symbol of gracefulness and calmness. Swans are graceful as they float atop the water in ponds, and they are calm creatures. Swans also symbolize sensitivity, love, and beauty.


Genocide, arson, torture…


Genocide, arson, torture…