by admin

Back to KC!


Isn’t this why we run?

Because we are always running.

Running around doing or saying or something.

But it is only when we are truly running that we get that zen moment of the true freedom of

  • being on foot,
  • covering ground,
  • and returning to “place” that never is the same.

I have returned to Kansas City after 30 years of living away and I am doing just this, every day in every way. Friends, family, childhood places and spaces, re-visiting a history of mine and of the City Beautiful of Kansas City.

Above tells a story of my journey, but I am here to discuss my training program for Hospital Hill. Well, it was 28 years of running with, at best, a dog along the Cimarron River on the XIT Ranch in southwest Kansas. So my peer group was few, but I did fair pretty well in the local races such as

The Dodge City Marathon which,

as Participant of One,

I Won. Get the isolated picture?

So now while enjoying urban life and the KC CoffeeShop Scene at Eddy delaHunt’s, I ran into Dr. Tom Pierce from whom I request all kinds of tips since my return to town. He handles just about anything with higher than average street knowledge of KC history and cultural geography, running groups, training tips, Westwood Hills homes, and where to find a person of male persuasion with whom I might  go to dinner (no longer a point of focus)… (BTW, his recommendation for me was The Linda Hall Library).

And in ’12, despite the fact that I’d run an average of about 12 miles a month, he said of Hospital Hill three weeks before the race,

“mind over matter, you’ve been doing yoga, you’ll be fine.”

So here’s the pathetic picture of me struggling in at the final stretch. My goal was to break two hours, which I did not. I think maybe 2:05 or 2:07. But, he did give me tips on how to pace myself throughout the race.

Why did I only look up the date of this race 3 weeks ago and think I could do it? Thanks alot, Tom.

So, my approach in counting down the weeks leading up to hospital hill as a guest blogger, are to pass along both his instructions and my own thoughts as I worked my way along the course through streets of my past. I’m an architect and preservationist, with a heavy dose of ADHD when I’m not in hyper focus.

So, I will share a little bit

of history and place

along with Tom’s words

on body chemistry and pace.

Tom is both a Dr. and Chemist, I believe.

Here is one of his best and first tips:

Hold yourself upright. First, middle, last,

regardless of how you feel. Military carriage.

It’s somewhat similar to what my cousin Gretchen told me at the start of my race of the last two years when encountering friends, family, foes?, fear and complicated factum.

“Hold your head up high.”

I think it’s a pretty good approach to running,

and an excellent approach to life.

Giving the right answer.

by admin

If you need any help after August 18, please call me :). I don't do windows.


So, now that I’ve moved to town, and have added more people ingredient to my current life’s recipe, I’ve decided that there are really, maybe only a few answers to many personal questions in life. So, this is the multi-purpose right answer that works for everything from “what do you want to do?” to financials to questions of a personal matter or about relationships.

Me, me, call on me!

Actually, this is from my therapist in Wichita, Dr. Stephen Sowards.

(Dr. Sowards gives a big intake and sighs first. The eyes avert slightly to reflect thought processing in a particular hemisphere or the other, alerting listener of what could possibly ensue if they continue on with the particular line of questioning.

Then one responds, “It’s sooooooo complicated.”

Pretty much peoples’ eyes glaze over. You can stop putting forth any effort from that point on.

But, I do have a nice party favor. I hand them my card.




Bastille Day with the KU Thetas! Running through Paris barefoot with heels in hand for dinner at La Tour d’Eiffel! Naked men at the Lido!

by admin

Pont d'Iena. Vous ne pouvez pas passer, mademoiselle!

[note: this is word for word from my journal-sketchbook notes, my thoughts today in red.]

Monday July 14, 1980.  raining.

Woke at 9:00.  Susan Keck and Cindy Brown were at train station. Gave them directions to my hotel, headed to run 3 miles, breakfast, and waited for their arrival. They weren’t here until noon. They walked from Place de la Concorde!!!

Cindy Bean [Cindy was with KU French, the group I traveled with before Parsons] came over and we talked all afternoon. They, they headed to walk to the Eiffel Tower.

I went to le St. Germain Café for un café and letter writing. The sun did peep its head out for about 15 minutes. Yea!!

While running, I was able to see the military parade for Bastille Day. It was exciting, all blue coats, french flags and military music. The people that actually were in crowd at the parade got caught in the flow and were almost swept away! They said you have to move with the crowd or be trampled. Lots of grabbing hands that “wanted American Girls Bottoms,” they told me.

[darn, I missed it! No, honestly, the French men terrified me. I was just dying to see a good, wholesome & safe, midwestern boy in t-shirt  & bermudas with crew socks that summer, but there were none to be found in Paris. They were probably over in Amsterdam going going for the hard-core! :)].

Mom called back and I loved talking to her. [I had called my mother. Back in that day, one didn’t speak with their parents all summer if they were abroad. This was an emotional emergency after a stressful day with grand-mère.].

Dinner at 7:30-was supposed to be at the Hotel Regina to meet Granda at 6:30. Mom and I finished talking (I’m in jeans) and it’s 6:45.

[later, after the evening’s events]

I’m writing again with a report of mon soir de souvenir. After my earlier report,  I tore into a dress and headed out on this evening of adventure. Late. took off heels & put in my hand and ran! Running through the streets of Paris, barefoot w/ shoes & purse in hand. Arrived at 7:00, seeing my destination.

Thought I had PLENTY of time to get to Tour d’Eiffel. Our reservation, we were told, would be given away at 7:40.

but….the 5-10 minute was was not to happen ON BASTILLE DAY!!??

Métro stop Trocadero is across Seine. No big deal, except that all three bridges (one directly across & one on either side) to the tower were closed for fireworks.

I said, “Granda!  It’s the second floor of the Eiffel Tower!  I just ran it and I’ll do it again. WE ARE NOT going to lose this reservation!” So off go the heels and I sprint away.

Of course, the gendarmes found it very cute and amusing and American that I was all dressed up & jogging along the Seine again, but NOT cute enough to allow “passage speciale.”  They were setting up for the fireworks.

Arrived at 7:45 at the le tour d’Eiffel, pushed some money at the elevator operator man to get me to the front of the line and headed up.

Maitre d’ very nice and amused. “Mais, où est Grandmere?” I waited, knowing it had been a fifteen minute jog and thus a 30 minute walk.  I knew very well that I’d likely do dishes all night to pay for the “set menu” if she did not appear avec l’argent pour payer. Voila, elle arrive! The waiter could see my relief, and we had beaucoup d’attention après ça.

It was a nice dinner.




dessert, etc.

Mais, un problème. The Lido reservation at 10:30 (and it’s 10:00). The taxi driver says,”aahh, noonnn… there eez no way to go down le Champs-Elysées ce soir!”  So, I ask a man at the Sheraton-en francais-and tell him mon problème. Voila! I slip him 2 francs, we’re off, and arrive with 15 minutes to spare.

[while the Franc has changed quite a bit, especially since it’s now a Euro, I have to say that I was a bit scotch that summer with my money. I think this was like 50 cents so I don’t know that that translates to now. Being a woman from the era when it was an assumption that women were poor tippers though this is no longer valid or verified, I just wanted to get it on record that I now am an excellent tipper.]

The Lido was great. I could take the women, but the men were a bit much. [I sure wish I’d added more details here, or at least a good sketch as I cannot remember anything. They may have just be flamboyant in their dress. I’m sure if it were anything more it would have been embedded in my mind. I was with my Grandmother, Millie, but that being said I’m sure if it were racy we would have discussed it! 🙂]

There was a “Steal the Mona Lisa” Dance Act, a Japanese Act, a Broadway musical act, Atlantis act, and this gymnastic/dancer couple.  And, a magic show, juggler, dog trick show, and the kind that throws their voice.

30 minute trip to get home due to traffic, but the city was kicking!

Our going out to the Champs-Elysees & Eiffel Tower on Bastille Day in Paris is like going out in downtown Washington, D.C. on the 4th of July, 1976!  Très-stupide!!

We can survive anything.

To Bed.

Susan & Cindy, poor things, were wrapped in our bedspreads on the floor!!

And so, for your entertainment, the beautiful women (and their French Girl Bottoms) at the Lido in Paris. The Rockettes in thongs and with bare (pick your words, boys!)….



And what will my ghost be like?

by admin

I will quit talking and telling stories. Here are more Springer pictures.

Beautiful old buildings in use.

 Magistrate Court. Springer, New Mexico.

Zia Theater.

Hmm…I think the Zia Theater might be Clayton, NM. Someone correct me.

Worth a stop. It may only be open in summer or possibly moved to storefront down the street, but off and on it has been a flea/antiques market of sorts. I bought some tiny wooden carved cowboy boots here.

This is the R. H. Cowan Livery Stable, a beautiful building.

I cannot read the date.

Brown Hotel just north of the livery stable. Springer, New Mexico.

For me, here is where the fascination begins…

There is nothing more special and interesting than a town that is in some stage of much much later mid-life but is still very much alive…

And when things are left untouched, with no one coming in to perfect, re-work, clean-up or tear out.

To not try to make young again or worry if others see their antique and patina as trash or think it is depressing….it is not.

Simply content to accept…

Just like a person might be….could be….

So honest.

The places I love to ponder. Can you imagine being a small child in this town and playing around these old buildings? And hearing stories and making up stories about what happened in them? What a life!

Here, I’m going to take you on an adventure….

This is where I started...

This is where I saw the first anomaly….the red corrugated tin was fine, but the asian manner in which the side columns were arranged seemed out-of-place….

Yes, something doesn't look cowboy here...

So I ventured beyond and yes, Tonto, it does not look like we are in Indian Country…

Here is a clue around on the north side of the property...

There is some kind of old hotel here. Not the era of the Brown Hotel, of course, but perhaps when Raton had horse racing. Which, by the way, is sorely needed and desperately wanted in rural northern New Mexico. I heard it got caught into politics with horse racing around Albuquerque which is a loss. Nothing can be as interesting or exciting as traveling in places where people have not ventured for some time.

The office wasn't open, but their neon still looks good. Maybe Luminous Sign can bring it back to life!

I climbed up as best I could and this is the view over the stucco wall...

I don’t know if you can see, but there is a pathway that heads in with a bramble arbor that arcs overhead which a person must walk under…It’s like the artist that does those kind of boyscout lashing architectural structures (KU Campus by the Chapel) but in a time before it was art…

this dangles over the wall.

I just really could not scale a stucco wall, but I did see this on a rope over the wall.

A Key?

A clue?

What story to tell…

And what will my ghost be like?

Dennis Morgan and me, Paula: Myra & Ginny’s protegés. Plus partying and architecture, circa 1977.

by admin

Dennis Morgan and Paula Graves having cookies and milk on Graves patio after our houses were built.

Dennis Morgan was my first friend who was a boy. I have this on facebook with the caption, “He’s so dreamy, I think I will just close my eyes and dream…”

This picture was taken just after Bob Wendt, a Kansas City architect of German descent, finished our custom homes. By the way, Betsy Curry lived in a much bigger very neat house designed by Bob Wendt west of Roe south of 83rd St.

They were very unique contemporary ranches:

  • Post and Beam design: 4×6 posts supporting and rough-sawn cedar timber beams (5′ on center), stained black. (most houses stud framing.
  • beams exposed with natural pine tongue and groove roofdecking running 90 degrees to wood beams and spans the 5′ o.c. beams
  • 60s “ski lodge” fireplace
  • walnut stained oak wood floors
  • flat walnut veneer cabinet doors. the kitchen (north side of house) was so dark that the doors only (still flush set in walnut) were lacquered white to lighten up the room.  Lacquer, mind you, being a lost art. Here, it was 11 coats well-done by Bob Falkenberg (also German descent Falkenberg & Son contractor in KC, clients like Annenberg’s, lived in my neighborhood and daughter, Nancy, was one of my best friends at Highlands Grade School).
  • floor to ceiling glass along patio side.
  • exposed aggregate patios with wood strips and front walk entry hall

That’s enough about the architectural history of the houses here, let’s just say “they were cool, well-designed, well-crafted, well-done functionally and aesthetically.” And, our mom’s made the cookies. Ginny’s nutty nougat (aka snowballs) is still on the plate.

Jim and Myra Morgan, my neighbors.houses mirrored each other and shared a driveway.
Here is a picture from the KC Star of Dennis’s Dad, Jim Morgan, with the kids. Jim and Myra moved to KC from Alabama. Mr. Morgan at that time was an airline pilot for TWA and Myra was a southern belle and mother of three kids, Dink, Dennis and Denise (Missy). Doo, Jim Morgan’s mother, also lived with them. I’m not sure if this was from the outset or after Myra became busier  with the gallery. They both started Morgan Gallery in the 60s after Mr. Morgan had some kind of heart thing while flying and was grounded.

You can google Morgan Gallery, but Myra and Jim had the ins with the art galleries on both coasts in this era taking KC trips to NYC to Leo Castelli’s and Lillian Nassau to buy art and art nouveau. Both were highly creative with all that entails. Jim Morgan collected Arts and Crafts pottery, Roseville, etc. long before anyone else. Their social sphere was fascinating for me, for their friends were quite a bit wilder than the creative-conservatives with whom my parents socialized.

KC Star May 26, 1968. News About Women and Society. Note that Mrs. Jack O'Hara's garden is also featured, so I have included it.

They mention Taffy in the article. Taffy was a really great dog, I don’t know the breed. But I will have to find out. He was a mellow yellow hound of some sort.  Very methodically, he would trot around his two joint estates everyday, checking in and on everything. I’ve never had a dog with this kind of temperament, though it’s probably partially due to the owners.

John Buck Sculpture
The sculpture is by John Buck who was a graduate student at the K.C. Art Institute. This sculpture has had a colorful live, witnessing many a deal and an ordeal between the dramas in the Morgan and Graves families in both generations. But, most importantly, it was home base for kick the can. Dennis has the sculpture in storage and he and Dink have said that I can have it.  It needs a coat of black paint and rust-oleum mixed together. Dennis told me the recipe.
I had envisioned it on my mountaintop at the XIT Ranch. This is the high point along the Cimarron River at the Crossing to where I would run every day, sprinting the hill for reward of the river view. I am confident that the Plains Indians used this place as a burial ground it is so beautiful. I’m not sure it I would have gotten approval, but I know I could have sneaked in onto this place somewhere.

(excuse me…note to Dennis)


I still want this sculpture, so please don’t give it away if you have not yet already. A bit of a problem is that I may not have any land in the near future where it could be erected.  As will getting it from Dick Belger’s warehouse to the proposed site. And, since it’s a fairly permanent installation involving concrete this does need some thought for appropriate context.  I think it would look great in Santa Fe and likely no problems with the neighbors depending upon the size of the lot, but I’m not sure yet if I want to be there.  

I’d mainly be motivated in this southwest direction because you and I could have a great road trip hauling this thing to someplace west of the 98th meridian. As you can see below, we have a history of wheels and road, inherited from our parents, I guess. 

Dennis Morgan and Paula Adams on our bikes. Mine has training wheels.

a) love the picnic tablecloth fabric of my dress, white knee socks with vertical pattern up the leg, and my red Mary Janes.  Kudos Ginny Graves. My mother made me!!

b) training wheels into grade school. Dennis, aren’t they on your bike, too? it was scarring to learn to ride without these wheels with my marine corps father. he is such a patient man, but not as patient with lack of coordination and confidence. Seriously, everyone learns differently. If I had had a physics lesson first, I know I would have grasped concept of momentum sooner.  
c) Dennis, enough about me, you look great. :), like the mustard and grey combo. 
many loving thoughts,
(end of letter).

Little did I know at the time I would come to know water tanks well...

The above picture was taken getting ready for a Morgan-Graves Circle Party when we were in high school. The beer was iced and stationed in the water tanks on our joint lots.

Dennis’s Crowd vis-a-vis Paula’s Crowd

Dennis ran with a more diverse crowd than I; swimmers, baseball players, and pretty hardcore party’ers, at least in mind. That is, they smoked marijuana, maybe even tried other stuff! Since we were childhood friends, I didn’t really think that much about the fact that we didn’t hang out in the same social (partying) circles. I was cheerleader with jocks, of course.

Prairie Village Pool

We worked together at the Prairie Village Pool and lived next door to each other, so I always felt like we really shared the same friends. So many of us that lived in Prairie Village and swam at the Village Pool had parents (mothers) who insisted that at 15 we would take Red Cross and Lifeguard Training at the Pool. This is so that we would be gainfully employed at sixteen in a 45 hr. 6 day-a-week job that paid rather well (minimum wage adds up when it’s a real work week). Mostly for mothers, we were out-of-the-house.

Dennis and I really shared our friends in a sense. That is, his buddies were always and still very nice to me just as my girlfriends express fond memories of sweet, kind, interesting Dennis. One reason is because our driveway was really the hub for all kinds of Prairie Village people with these party’ing habits, even my jocky SME athlete buddies I was recently told. As usual, all going on around me and my head is in the real clouds.

Parental Control vs. Sense of Place

Back in the day, neither of our sets of parents seemed to care much about legal issues relative to our fun habits as dominates parental fears today. I’m sure philosophy for some was the same as it is for parents now. Knowing your kids were in a safe place was of primary importance; their mischief, a parent could hardly have time to monitor for the parent is usually busy with their own misbehaving. Anyway, I would pass these guys and their row of cars in our very long driveway to get to my garage. It was called “the circle” as the John Buck sculpture is on a round grass island around which the drive circulates.  “The Fort” was two lots to the east which was Peter Wilkin’s hub. Peter was the son of another neighborhood architect who attended Highlands but transferred to Pembroke-Hill. This is another story, but “the Fort” brought the private school laddies to the other side of the tracks (Mission Road).

I always felt like a totally square goofball in that d@mn cheerleading uniform and, of course, was and still am.

We were on the way to some birthday party.

I like my dress and mod gift paper, but Dennis is the star fashion icon here.

Such a cool blue plaid with the leather lacing.

And his loafers with the high tongues and white crews are classic.

Old School Preppy goes Wyoming Western.

What the Morgan-Graves were most famous for…GREAT PARTIES!

Our parents had their friends from KC Arts-Social Scene (my parents friends, dad’s clients, Morgan Gallery Clients, Contemporary Arts Society people, Alabama Folks). We invited all of our friends, but I guess it was really open to anyone as people I would meet at KU from SM South would tell me “I was at a party at your house in high school.” There were lights, tamale vendors, the ice cream truck, peanuts, beer, and Riverrock Played on a stage in the gravel rockbed in the landscaping that linked our two houses.

This is excerpts from an email from DWG giving a bit of resumé-history of some of the people pictured clarifying some of my earlier notes I took from our last phone conversation re: people. Exhausts me to get it close to right, so I’m just going to put in his red notes from his email and mine are in black. This is the best Dean and Paula combo with which I can feel comfortable. Apologize to all, I am responsible.

From: Dean Graves <>

Subject: Re: id photos

Date: November 14, 2011 3:53:03 PM CST

To: Paula Adams <>

Wm. T. Wiley, Bob Stark, World’s Greatest Artist
Sam Perkins Pres. of Bank in Olathe in photo just to the right of GG
Eileen and Byron Cohen: Panache (real estate), lived at 61st and Ward Parkway
Jan Pescanofsky and Giles Fowler CLARIFICATION : husband and wife; Giles wrote/reported for KCStar and Maybe Jan , too . Could probably google KCStar 1978July and find something. hmmmm…ignoring that last part Dean, already too many trees in forest…having inherited both parents genepools and talents, I’m not committed yet & would like to remain so. Anyone else? Please post. 
Ted Coe…Director of Nelson Gallery, after Lawrence Sickman who amassed chinese collection. [CLARIFICATION : TED CAME FROM CLEVELAND MUSEUM OF ART and after Nelson Gallery moved to and lived rest of his life in Santa Fe Died plus or minus two yrs. ago .  Was very much an expert in Northwest American/Canadian Indian Art .] In picture on btm. row just to right of Laddie Hurst Mann. Ted came from back East, who had gallery directorships, into contemporary scene.


You know, Dennis will always be my best first friend and a boy. We have survived our lives and our wonderful families and mostly the way we are made: two emotional, sensitive, and very shy people.

Shy that wore itself in different clothes but is the same.

Love you Dennis. Tell Nancy hi, her Morgan boys Christmas cards always earn first prize in the card sort each year. I guess we’re all still working the arts gig in one way or another, squeaking out the dollar but doing what inspires us. We have to get the kids together in their lifetimes. Or, maybe they will just cross paths…I bet they will. 

sketch du jour July 8, 1980. Versailles? just warning you…and other neurotic tendencies.

by admin

Oh, goodness!

If I had only read through this journal and sketchbook from my summer in Paris 1980 over the last 32 years, I might have identified some of my mental disorders sooner.  But, it is funny (to me). And, I really should warn you about any desire to visit Versailles prepared....

[a friend posted that I had a great memory about Paris.  I don’t particularly, these posts to sketch du jour in my blog are directly from my journal & sketches that summer.]

Tues. July 8, 1980.  Raining  [pretty much every day if you haven’t noticed]

Woke-ran 3 1/2 to Ile-St. Louis.

Bought cooked artichoke for lunch at Versailles.

I mention artichokes so frequently, I thought I should show my painting I did in a cheap frame of how they look in the market. This is in my apt. in Wichita. Mike Savage told me to drop the frame. The William Zorach Madonna & Child marble in front make it look better. And it’s on a Taos painted chest so the greens go together nicely, which is such a decorator non-art way of looking at wall art for an art history major, but I don’t care.

Took bus from Louvre to Versailles.  Smelled awful on the bus-lots of wet bodies-steamy but freezing!  As you can see, the day did not start out well.

Are you getting a concept for the scale here?

Anyway, toured Versailles-very cold-and began at 10:00 am. We finished at 2:45. Everyone was rather unhappy because we were supposed to be at Trianon Palace at 3:30 & we were starving!

Actually it would be nice if examined at this perspective, but confronted with so much it all just jumbles together. As Rooney Sellars would say to Susan in context of moving, "it's all just @rap."

Since we're on chandeliers....

[here it comes…the confession…to???  my mom?  my dad? the teacher? God?  such a baaad girl…]

Anyway, shouldn’t admit this, but Alison & I took off! We found the train-took it to the first métro stop & headed to the hotel!!  I was wet & cold & knew I couldn’t take it!!

I’ve decided that it costs too much to pack more than I can handle into a day-especially when I don’t get a thing out of the interior history.

[now I do have to explain that last comment here for professional reasons as it might hurt some future career and credibility.

I spent hours in a lecture hall au musée des arts décoratifs in the Louvre, happy as a clam, learning about period armchairs just from France, not to speak of references to foundations from Greek and Roman and Medieval sources.  

This spoke of politics, people, production modes, geography, and social trends. The same with armoires, boulle chests, tapestries, ceramics, silver, glassware, etc.  And there is something to be gained from seeing all of these things, “set-up” in period rooms, placed within the paneling and wallcoverings that would be contextual to that period. But the whole Versailles concept, while beautiful and I love it that Louis did this, is just excessive, addictive, and out-of-control. And it did come back to bite them from the people. Or at least, that is my excuse. Perhaps if we’d done the tour in a slight jog with headsets editing the talking I could have handled it. Thank goodness I haven’t ever wanted to be a docent, what a nightmare to be on my tour.]

This is the kind of stuff I did like to look at in detail relative to period, how it was produced, intricacy of art and craftsmanship. Versailles does not allow for this unless you are staying for a few years.

I’m going to get a lot out of the architecture but if the interiors are not interesting I’m going to use the time to do all the other neat museums and places in Paris that I don’t have time to do. Marie doesn’t know if we’re there are not [oh yes, Marie, I am afraid of Marie the teacher finding out! Marie had one pair of very very expensive shoes she wore everyday, very stylish. She was a fag hag, first time I ever had heard that term. There was a very good-looking blond superior-intellectual-acting Michigan fraternity boy who worked both games in our Parsons program with whom she hung, not to make a pun here.] 

Imagine just walking through thousands of halls like this....getting the picture(s)...

I may take the test, but if it is extensive I just won’t get the credit-even if I get the credit, I shouldn’t because it’s way over my head. [omg seriously neurotic, someone else please examine all this, I’m tired. I’m flunking it before I’ve taken it anticipating failure? Then feeling guilty that I might undeservedly pass it? and cheat them out of credits they would bestow upon me for all of my mother’s expense and my hours???]

Anyway-home-Chinese Restaurant. Bed.  [speaking of…found this nice picture, see below]

I actually remember this gold bedroom, though all the bedrooms looked similar. I am sure I only remember it because a) it sounded so awful for people to come in and dress me in the morning or b) I was fascinated that the King and Queen did not sleep in the same bed or c) there was a homosexual prince who cavorted in here.

So, any questions about Versailles? I think if you’ve made it to here, you have passed the test and get full credit.

Enjoy you day of architecture, shopping and eating in Paris when you decide you don’t really need to do Versailles.  I am confident you are in the company of the majority of Frenchmen. And please give me full credit for skipping out. :). 

62nd Botar Ball to Benefit the American Royal Association. Muehlbach Hotel, Kansas City. Oct. 22, 2011.

by admin

National Hereford Association Bull. Faces n-s politically neutral to KCK, but no bull about it, he faces north. Prevents the newly developing city from forgetting its roots as a cattletown.

In the spring of 1949, newly appointed Senator Harry Darby gathered a group of civic leaders to find a way to interest young people in promoting the American Royal.  Their common passion was the American Royal, one of the country’s largest horse and livestock shows and a unique and legendary event in Kansas City.  The Royal had come to symbolize the country’s good life straight from the Midwest-land, agriculture, animals.

By 1970, after twenty-eight years of existence, the American Royal Coronation Ball was replaced by the profitable BOTAR Ball, raising more than $1.5 million to date in 1999.  The Charles N. Kimball Lecture “It’s All About the Eating: Kansas City’s History and Opportunity” says it all.

excerpt from the lecture:

THE SPIRIT OF THE ROYAL (A hundred years of growin’)

All bricks are bare now, where a thousand cattle bawled.

The window signs are changed where all the packers called.

Though the yards which penned the critters now are bare,

the heartbeat of a city and its spirit linger there.

The ghost riders come at midnight with jingle in their gait,

The agents and commission men are getting figures straight.

Calloused hands with stubby pencils working numbers in their heads,

Hot coffee and cigar smells rousing buyers from their beds…

You can’t quite see their faces or the color of their eyes,

But you know they remember things that you can’t realize.

They keep the blood a flowing… through the city’s veins,

As they lean back in the saddle, look up the hill across their reins…

And see the city growing, see the concrete sprawling out,

Covering up the grassland where they used to ride and shout.

They think about their bellies and the beans they used to eat,

They put the bull on the east horizon, and brought the nation meat.

They are the founders of the city with the cow stuff on their feet,

The echoes of what they did rebound from every wall,

They’re the soul of the American Royal, They’re the ones who built it all!

Rich Hawkins 4/27/99

The Royal is the symbol of our past; but more importantly, it is the symbol of our future….I thank all of you for coming and listening. It’s an honor for me to deliver the last Kimball lecture of the 20th century on a subject that could be our shining star for the 21st century. Let’s invite the folks who feed us all to dinner.  After all, we still have to eat…and I remind you, It’s All About the Eating!” 

Oct. 21, 1999. Mr. John A. Dillingham.

Children and grandchildren and great-grandchildren of old and new Civic Contributors to Kansas City and Kansas in Agriculture, Business, Community, and Preservation participated in this event. It was held Oct. 22nd, 2011 at the Muehlbach Hotel in Kansas City, Missouri. And it was grand!

Here are some very amateurish highlights of the event:


A little tight there, Dad! But I'm confident she'll make a break for it...though always her father's daughter.


Beautiful Cerise presents...Mama Connie & Mama Paula were BOTARS together. In fact, as petites, they danced beside each other.


Note: One of the ladies featured had a paternal Great Grandfather who served on the Livestock Exchange Board whose Cattle Company, still in existence, was a charter member of the American Hereford Association.  Her maternal grandparents made contributions to Kansas City in the areas of preservation, architecture, and education. Mom and Dad were a BOTAR and GOTAR and continue in their respective fields to pursue work in agriculture and architectural history in the state of Kansas.

This lady BOTAR works in marketing for an agricultural advertising agency  based in St. Louis with offices located in downtown Kansas City. She lives in a loft in the Kansas City Board of Trade Building and walks to work.  It is a block away from three different downtown architectural offices of her maternal Grandfather.  And, Lacy Amelia Adams can herd cattle, vaccinate and build feed bunks with the best of them as

“some of the best cowboys are indeed, cowgirls.” 

le sketch du jour: Mon. July 7th, 1980. Trapped in Wallpaper nightmares…

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It is funny because I just repeated a story to someone else about a friend who had made the comment, “if it’s not one addiction, it’s another.”

He went on to tell about how he’d decided that he would wallpaper this room. He said it looked so good, that he decided to do another. With each room, he started to feel better about his wallpapering abilities, and thus about himself. So then he shared that he started letting his thoughts race and get ahead of themselves. “I’m pretty good at this, I ought to start a business” and so on, and so on. If you don’t relate, just move on. Anyway, you get the idea, pretty soon, ego out of control, he was a Wallpaper(ing) Magnate, at least in his head.

Well anyway, I just thought I would relate because there are those people who really do focus on wallpaper and know their stuff.  Unfortunately, I had the opportunity to spend one of my afternoons in Paris au musée des art décoratifs with this very person: the Curator of Wallpapers.

I respect the art of the design of wall coverings in paper. I love the color, pattern, texture, historical motifs, etc. After living in a 100+ year old house, I now also understand the functionality in old houses with cracked plaster. A bandaid is much cheaper than complete re-haul of skin. But even later in my own home, I preferred to continue to spackle; I claimed these fissures in my own walls as the wrinkles that told the history.

So to generalize, architects don’t do wallpaper. And at that time, while not an architect, I was the daughter of an architect. Maybe this is all just an excuse, but I was BORED OUT OF MY MIND.

Here are the notes from my journal, Mon. July 7th, 1980:

Lecture at le musée.  Headed to Institute of France (Baroque) and east façade of Louvre.

Instead of lunch, went to jeu de paume-the impressionist museum in the Tuileries. Loved it. Saw the Degas ballerinas…the one in the cafés, all that you’d ever recognize.

Lecture in P.M. & then we saw the wallpapers….Quelle nightmare. She pulled out rows after rows that all looked the same and kept us until 5:45. The technique and earlier examples were interesting, but…


Climbing the wallpaper.

[More about paying for bus fare to London, 276 Francs, $70 for bus and Hovercraft.]

Home at 7:30. Got spinach and artichoke for dinner.  Cindy (Bean) came over and confirmed train reservations to Barcelona. Sun, warmth, no rain, above 60 degrees :). Wrote letters to hotels in Barcelona. Bed.

and a note:

Later when working for Bobby Smith at Jack Rees Interiors, I had the job of picking wallpaper for an older home off of Overbrook in Mission Hills. In many of these homes, the bathrooms are small, the original small white hexagonals still intact on the floor. They were well done, grout well maintained, and if it ain’t broke….Plus, old money, slow as honey, and there’s a lot to be said for not moving with the latest trends. Ranchers live like this, but to an even greater extreme since a home on a ranch is of virtually no value and there is no return on investment.

Point is, a little must have soaked in after viewing all of those many many bird & bee, basketweave, fleur de lys, strawberry, chinoiserie, toile, blah blah blah across western Europe papers.  I was able to weed through vast samples to find the appropriate color, scale of print, and historic meanings to give the owner a selection of edited choices from which she might choose. And, it was fun! Not boring at all.

Put a little gravel in my travel….let my mind unravel…77 to Junction City.

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Round bales running east and south...

Letting my mind unravel on 77…

Thought it would take a while to say

after 28 years living day to day

8 miles of gravel in my travel

ranch to pavement, tiny bit of the way…


But I’m “Sick & tired of this interstate system…”

At least this last two months, now I’m christening

“‘ ‘Wichita-KC Paula’s Freeway…

I don’t know but something miss’nin…”

Another beautiful white frame and limestone barn, not the bank barn of my studies.

Structural tile silo? Can't think it would be well? Dennis Domer? Mike Swann? any comment?


I was called mid-week to 77

Burns to Florence and Marian

J.K. Williams old barnyard,

white bank barn still standin’ hard.


Roads I’d traveled doing history stuff

Places where the writin’ was more than fluff

Highways, sideways, drainage ditches

Engineering plans that had some glitches…


I passed by and got to smile…

Road re-routed a fraction of a mile

cows in stockpens still intact

KDOT got it, had impact.

-a song, my day, my thoughts, my memories my mark on 77 with KDOT, KSHPO, and Citysearch.

Kansas Department of Transportation does a great job!

The importance of the road in the political landscape reminds us of something we are not always willing to accept: 

man as a political animal is always inclined to be footloose, inclined to leave family and home for a more stimulating place. 

p. 27, Discovering the Vernacular Landscape.  J. B. Jackson.


Praying for Rain at the Scottish Rite Temple. 1st and Topeka. Wichita.

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Doing a Rain Sketch

I know that I should be sketching more in Kansas. It is meditative. I sketched my way through France and it rained everyday; the Loire Valley, Morzine, Paris, Bourges, it didn’t matter, it rained.

I’ve only sketched twice now in Wichita and both days it has rained while I was drawing which we sorely need. Big, juicy drops that puddled the felt tip lines and created their own thunderclouds on my drawing. I love this, it’s like felt tip watercolors.

So, something compelled me to turn right at the Orpheum Theater on Broadway at First Street. When I saw the curved wood & iron balcony on the turreted corner, there was no choice but to get out, photograph, draw.

I want to stand up there so bad, so I guess I will draw and imagine...


The sky was a dark blue grey, so the subtle colors of the leaded windows were vivid.

The colors aren't vivid in this photo but think aubergine, aubergine, Grueby green, milky cornflower....Louis Comfort Tiffany when he was alive.

And just as I was getting close to winding it up, the Rain Came! And I realized that I was at the Scottish Rite Temple.

Paula's felt tip, prismacolor and charcoal of the Scottish Rite Temple. Wichita.

This is all I can say about the numerous google pages I have read about Scottish Rite and Freemasonry and it’s not even my words. 

There are “three obligations” which include:

  1. the candidate promises to act in a manner befitting a member of civilised society,
  2.  promises to obey the law of his Supreme Being, 
  3. promises to obey the law of his sovereign state, 
  4. promises to attend his lodge if he is able, promises not to wrong, cheat nor defraud the Lodge or the brethren, and 
  5. promises aid or charity to a member of the human family, brethren and their families in times of need if it can be done without causing financial harm to himself or his dependents.

This seems like five, so maybe you only have to do three. Other than that, it was so esoteric that it eluded me, so I’ll offer no more.

I do think they always have the coolest lodges or “temples.”  

Temple definition: a building devoted to the worship, or regarded as the dwelling place of a god or gods or other objects of religious reverence.

But, after seeing the above stated values, I guess God and Jesus (who probably never thought in terms of temples anyway) must not have a problem with this being a temple so who was I to fear it as cultish?  It probably came from the DaVinci Code or some movie anyway.

I'm sorry, but I still see bats and think it could be a great backdrop for Damien IV.

I can imagine that God might feel, as I do, that the design of these buildings gives beauty back to the street and to the cities in which they were so painstakingly designed and constructed. Thank you Order of the Freemasons, for doing your part. 

Scottish Rite Masonic Center (Temple), First and Topeka. National Register of Historic Places. One of the six designated Historic Landmarks of Wichita.