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:

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jq5zISxcUkQ[/youtube]

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.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6A6fcBwax9A[/youtube]

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.” 

Memoirs of Geisha Girls.

by admin

Footbinding in Chinese Culture.

I remember both my mother and my grandmother talking about footbinding in Chinese cultures as a child. I am not sure where I read it when I was in high school, or maybe it was just told to me. But the vivid visual picture in my mind of having one’s foot bound back upon itself in order to keep it small, a bud, is more vivid than any picture. I had never seen a picture of this until now when I just googled it, but cannot share. I think it is better just told in words by mothers, grandmothers, and authors.

The purpose was to not only arrest a young girl’s foot at a certain stage of growth, it was to actually bind the toes back underneath the ball to achieve a small bud-like appearance, a lotus-shape. This was considered desirable to men. The pain can only be imagined.

It is a mother-daughter story. And I think stories such as Lisa See’s Snow Flower and the Secret Fan are important to read, to see what it is like for women in different times-different places. And to see how our language with each other, our nu shu, allows them to endure and enjoy.

But it as actually the Japanese Government which banned foot-binding in Taiwan in 1915.

So this is a story about the Geishas in Japanese culture. A much different story for women. This was a story I shared with my daughter when we read the same book.

Clockwise Geishas: Lacy, Lacy, Paula, Lacy.

 

The closest English translation of the proper noun “geisha” would be artist/performing artist. 

They are artisans that train for long periods of time (taking many years of work before becoming a full-fledged geisha),

therefore they, in some sense, symbolize perseverance. 

The world of the traditional geisha is the flower and willow world.

The flower is the symbol of beauty, but the willow is this idea of flexibility, not being rigid,

and this is how you survive.

Historically, Japanese feminists have seen geisha as exploited women, 

but some modern geisha see themselves as liberated feminists. 

“We find our own way, without doing family responsibilities. Isn’t that what feminists are?” 

These women leave their families at a young age to immerse themselves in their art.

My daugher, Lacy, read Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden the summer after fourth grade. We are both Pisces, Lace being born on the Ides of March, four days after my birthday on 11th. Always seeing both points of view, we were both immersed in books during grade school. She is her own person.

She wanted to be a Geisha for Halloween, but I don’t sew.  So we trooped to Wichita to Hancock and we kind of drew out this pattern, making up the kimono as we imagined it to be. Velvet flip-flops with a tatami mat footpad were her geta.

My geisha girl experience was as a sophomore server to S.M. East Prom in 1977.  Here is a picture of all of us:

Sophomore Prom Server Geishas: Shawnee Mission East, spring 1977.

Back row l to r:  Marthe Dreher, Suzanne Passman, Tricia Venable, Paula Graves.

Floor l to r:  Don’t know…maybe Denise Rabius?, Julie Newman, Lisa Revare.

The geisha system was founded, actually, to promote the independence and economic self-sufficiency of women. And that was its stated purpose, and it actually accomplished that quite admirably in Japanese society, where there were very few routes for women to achieve that sort of independence.                                                   -Mineko Iwasaki.  subject of Golden’s book.  then wrote her own story, Geisha of Gion. Born Nov. 2, 1949, Kyoto.

Being a Geisha is, in many ways, good training for being a woman. We have a secret sisterhood. We enjoy putting on makeup and clothes, seemingly to be attractive to men. But mostly because we enjoy the costume and makeup that we are privileged to wear in our roles. We congregated in groups with other Geisha at slumber parties in our youth, practicing our dance. And we learn from our older sister, the okee-san, and our mother, the makee-san, not just from our own blood.

The Geisha is skilled in music and dance. She is educated with knowledge to participate in skilled conversations of culture and cleverness on equal plane with the businessmen she entertains. And with her own perspective.

And, like the Geisha, we are the beautiful flowers

who bend like the willow, to prevail when the winds blows.