Train to El Tovar, II Too! (Don’t) Stop this Train…

by admin

I’m just now planning a trip for tomorrow on a train to the Grand Canyon. Tonight is with Lace and Jay. Tomorrow  by 9:00 am, I’ll be in the middle of a shootout at the Grand Canyon Railway Hotel. How exciting….

Of course, this makes me remember another trip in these parts…another shootout that hadn’t yet happened….

A few thoughts and old photographs about that trip first…
Then, we arrived driving through Hoover Dam after a few days in Las Vegas. Yes, we took our Grade school kidlets to Las Vegas before we took them to Disneyland! Did not matter, they loved it, architecturally the same trip and none of us really gamble….Or at least I did not then. Life has many risks and it is so much better if one takes them…It was Easter. He is Risen indeed!

My main memory of Hoover Dam was looking down over that precipice and thinking of Albert Brooks meltdown in the scene from Lost in  America the morning after Julie Hagerty has gambled away their ‘Nest Egg.’  Jim Carrey in Cable Guy, too… “Kill the babysitter!” Thank you, Hollywood, for taking us on our first and sometimes only travels.

Here  are the Easter Day’s  highlights which began with our hike that started at 5:00 am. 


Hoover Dam Grand Canyon page from Jack Adams Webway


More El Tovar and Grand Canyon from Adams Family Webway.


I show the two photogs to document and remember two things:

  1. Yes, as I’ve said before… often it’s as if the mother taking the pictures never existed. Even then, I had to cut and paste myself into my life! (did you notice…? In my family album, I had not yet bothered to cut and paste mom into the photo!)
  2. I’ve included the second picture of this ‘family scrapbook’ 3 reasons. a) these are really the only photos of me taken because the kind waiter asked, b) it gives a feel for El Tovar Hotel Dining Room (Easter Dinner), and c) “Dad” has a derriere fetish and thinks it’s funny to fondle at the most inappropriate photo ops, oops… So, I have kind of a weird look on my face…Whatever.

Trip II I’m embarking upon tomorrow will have a more leisurely visit to draw at beautiful El Tovar Lodge designed by Charles Whittlesey. I’ll keep you posted…Trails to Rails…

(Don’t) Stop this Train…


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.

All we want for Christmas…to feel Love and Gratitude.

by admin

For Christmas this year I pretty much decided that I needed to be sure that I had a great day. I can’t really ever remembering particularly wanting the Heidi Doll. And that turtle Troll was probably something absolutely impossible to satisfy that my cre[aaazy, man!]ative mind had made up.

In this same way, no one really wanted to eat all those cookies or peanut butter balls, there was no family gathering at my house I needed to orchestrate, and I was around no one in particular who had any Christmas needs. Even my neighbor whose father had died was super super busy organizing stuff and planning a trip to Mexico, so we waved today while running to respective outings armed with food as I did have a two events with minor cooking responsibilities. So, I realized it should be a celebration and opportunity to have these few days to keep it simple and focus on what Christmas meant to me.

And I’ll tell you, it is a LOT less work. It makes me finally realize that term my father so often used about “make work”, though in different contexts than women. And, I do think is often what we (women) to do ourselves, at least if my yoga teachers had anything to share about their family Thanksgivings… I think we need to start competing on who can do less :). Much of what we do likely misses the point if we are expecting anything in return and when I started to simplify, I realized it wasn’t really missed much, if any. Green wreaths with cherries were pretty enough in my picture. Now, the prime rib …that’s something entirely different….

So, I started early to plan how I would spend this weekend, tomorrow and Tues, being free of any (moi??!!) past resentments, pre-conceptions, and time & money consuming last minute tasks. These had been likely only an attempt to try to control the happiness of others on Christmas Day while often neglecting my own needs. With all of this thought, I realized that the only thing that mattered with those primary relationships in life with whom I’d spent so much time  was one special gift.

Jack said it perfectly in this note which came with this golden gift. The gift is very beautiful, well-crafted and made with loving hands so here is a picture of that first.

Lamb, Mary, Baby Jesus, Joseph, Cow. by Jack Adams, 3rd Grade. Meade Grade School.

I love the way Jack forms clay, I’ll have to do another of his KU Basketball player.

But, it didn’t really even matter if he had given a gift or not, because his words just by themselves remind me of what this holiday is all about, Christ’s birthday. That is, Christmas is about the gift of Love. And, the idea aka the Faith in Christianity, is that the parent, God, had a son that was an embodiment of his love. And, Mary was the one who had the privilege of being his mother for the short time he was on this earth. Here is his note:

“This Gift Shows the true meaning of Christmas. The Gift of Love! Merry Christmas Mom and Dad. I love you!” Jack Adams, 3rd grade 1999-2000.

This  wonderful person who gave, spoke, spread his gifts given to him by God his Creator was Jesus. You know? A really good kid. Took what he was given in terms of his abilities, and saw the positive. He spread it in the way that he was able, to others, learning to somehow speak in such a way that his message from God spoke to very many people. In the real world that we live in, you can imagine how he  was somewhat of a threat to power structures. So he was killed.

That is, a person’s faith that God’s love is really what matters the most in getting through life and each day, was an idea that some in power felt needed to be put down. This is because fear is a very powerful force in governing others.  While it was an entirely different time, in some ways it’s just the same.  Fears, within ourselves in the fairly comfortable middle class reality of being fed and clothed, fears that society can evoke, fear we may let others evoke with theirs that ignites something also within us, and mostly within ourselves if we let it grip us. Fear of poverty, fear of indecision, fear of being alone, fear of self, fear of loss of self-control, fear of not being able to control. Whatever it is that pits one against another, and most often those two arewithin ourselves. Divide and conquer, right?

So God had a plan. If we can forgive ourselves for being human, we can always begin again by feeling love and gratitude.

God’s intentions came to us by way of a story told to a woman that saw Jesus after his image reappeared, but his body had disappeared. His spirit was still alive and he came back to tell what had happened.

I believe this happens to all of us in many ways with people that have come into our lives that are important. They come back in our dreams and in our thoughts. And if anyone else’s experiences are like mine, they are always positive. All gratitude.

Perhaps it’s easier to remember than it was to ever experience in real life. But, I do think at least focusing on the feeling of thanks makes everything about both giving and accepting love easier. It’s only then that I can see what I brought to that relationship and equally how well I treated and thought of myself within that relationship. It’s a mixed bag of responsibility, self-forgiveness, love and gratitude.

It’s only then that I can bring that to another on the holidays as there were so many things that I enjoyed. But this time doing it with more love, more understanding, more forgiveness both of self and of another for not fulfilling any “want” or “need” that I have or had neglected to give first to myself.

Got it, Paula? That is, first remember that I am a Child of God as Paul Rock’s pebble reminded me a few Sundays ago. Then, to feel thanks.

And to know that so often when I am alone, that I have the very best companion.

It’s a time to enter the quiet

that often can get lost

with all the hubbub,

 it should be cherished.

Baaa…when he speaks to me, He calls me Paula.

by admin

I am attaching a link for a wonderful sermon that I missed hearing last week on Mother’s Day at Second Pres.  It is very powerful and I enjoyed hearing this one in particular at home, as I am prone to crying in church. Click on Reverend Paul Rock: The Voice, the top sermon, delivered on May 13th.

Listen to him, but he is talking about how God speaks to us and how to find that voice.

The value of feeling really low and 12 steps to go up.

I first had to feel pretty low about other things and to realize that I had to give into the fact that I couldn’t run the show of my life. I will say a little because I believe the 12 step process that one particular anonymous group identified in 1939 as instrumental for so many should be at least peripherally mentioned. It worked for many people to give up alcohol and more importantly to take responsibility for whatever else about oneself that wasn’t working in life. And addictions can be many things in people besides chemicals. I know because I am an addictive person and you can see it in part when I write. It’s often those things that worked so well for so long to keep us going, working, doing, running, thinking but for some reason yet to be uncovered it just wasn’t working anymore.

Starting over Each Day.

And, it has been said in meetings that it is a bit of a bait and switch. This is because so many do have a problem with organized religion and a higher power, religion is separate and apart from this process. But at the end of the day, it finally does come around to finding a God within oneself. And, because it focuses on just each day, it is really what brought me back to understanding why people chose Christianity as a religion. That idea that each day, sins are forgiven, and to be good, feel good. To move on doing good things it is important to forgive oneself to be rid of resentments that can keep us stuck, lazy and in the past in a negative way. Focusing too much on not forgiving oneself diverts from taking responsibility for past actions with amends as well as doing important work in life in the future.

So, after all of that and really several months of just going through the motions, I came to Believe. After practicing and saying and repeating, something finally happened. It was not like this, though this picture kept going through my head.

Bernini's Ecstasy of St. Teresa


It did involve sunlight, though. I think this is in part because the sun is so warming and relaxing. It also so changes the way that everything looks at different times of the day. Everything is grayed and light blued in the morning, golden in the afternoon, and reveals every color possible throughout the day, all in the same still-life setup.

I knew the hard work had paid off when I felt I really now saw

Great Beauty. Masterpieces.

Not all of the time, just when I am conscious.

But in these moments, all of a sudden the

yellow was buttery,

the green was a meadow,

the blue was indigo and

my reds were tame and quiet.

I have studied art and been around beautiful paintings, sculpture, buildings all of my life. I’ve visited complex cities that were both planned and evolved with people, time and place. Some were places that others may not have thought of as beautiful like junkyards, but I’ve always been open to thinking there was something to see and learn in any place, any person. I never associated this with God.

Still my most beautiful picture, place, moment captured. Trash sack and School Bus. Colorado Line, summer 2011.

Even when I made things, my meditation, I never really thought of this as God.

And later when I so relied on my mind to remember, there and in my dreams, I have always seen vivid color and detail. It does not always matter if something is in front of me, I can still see it, taste it, smell and touch it in my head.

When I lived in southwest Kansas,

I lived in the past when I studied stone buildings and read Webb’s the Great Plains.

I was in the future when I studied Rem Koolhaus and read Metropolis.

I was with my friends when I was lonely,

and I was in Paris when wanted to explore, see, draw and be alone to experience.

And I was in the present,

when I was cooking, driving, raising a family, doing my work,

but being connected to all of that and feeling important about what I chose to do.

Paul Rock also speaks to that in his sermon. That is, pretending. Some people call it daydreaming, but when it shows up in what we do on earth it is more than that. This is the idea hat there are crowds cheering, people watching, and that what we do matters, civic responsibility and hard work. And for all that organized religion gets knocked around, that the belief in good through religion is something that at one time and still does unite Americans in values and in large part helped us to build a great country. If one doesn’t like the word religion, just call if faith, faith in building something that is good or in large part tries to be.

With faith, suddenly Life is electrified through everything on earth and it is all connected.


The Work of it, the Practice, to hear Voice.

Within Paul Rock’s sermon he also talks about Voice, real voice and hearing. I actually have practiced this, not often enough, when I really work at setting aside a time and place to have a conversation. The pauses, the questions.

I’m not so great at conversation with others in general. I talk way way too much about self, answer questions with too much detail, explain, random and tangential and wonder why I’m always the one talking and having to offer, often way more than I really want or need to say. It comes off as unhealthy narcissism when I am often just engaging in a nervous habit that in part was necessary to share about my unorthodox life but no longer has value.

I am working at the Art of Listen, being still. (though professionally here this translates to just baby steps with partial “edit”).

And of staying in the moment.

Maybe actually trying non-verbal connecting, even with other women and we are so verbal!

I have to say, the last place I found was just happening to sit upon a little padded bench in my foyer at The Illinois in one of these conversations I knew had to happen at that moment. When I looked down, terrazzo and border tile and when I looked up,  there was a beautiful plaster ceiling of white.

My little Borromini Chapel at The Illinois. How on earth did God help us do decorative plaster?

So, at the end of the day, it is work and practice and I could be doing a whole lot more, though out each day. But, I am getting pretty good at it. In fact, the birds awakened me this morning earlier than usual to get this sermon of Paul’s out there before church this morning.

So, both the seeing and the hearing are working pretty well.

 Off to shower. I think instead of running this morning,

I will have to let God treat me to a some tasting before church with a chocolate mocha decaf.

And I’ll get to church early,

to take time to smell the lilacs by the fence

of the house along Oak where I park.

Have a happy Sunday.



Shakin’ it the Good Presbyterian Girl Way!

by admin

Shake it Nancy Alberg McGuire! 

Gotta deliver the message with the moves he gives us.

Have a happy joyous and free Sunday.




to Go Ahead and Do it Even though I’m Down in Front

by Kite Singleton


“Speak softly and carry red lipstick.” And please let me explain…I hate being misunderstood.

by admin

Teddy Roosevelt. Had the importance of the look down early on.

Teddy Roosevelt

” I have always been fond of the West African proverb:  ‘Speak softly and carry a big stick; you will go far. ‘ “

-written by Teddy Roosevelt in a letter; 1900, the year before he became President.

He repeated this in a speech as President in Chicago in 1903, and twice again in his writings, but each time it was “speak softly.”

He made the statement in regard to foreign policy.  It meant to speak politely or diplomatically but have the forces to make our position meaningful.  

Teddy’s belief was that words and actions that went unvalidated would only attract frustration and scorn.  And, that ’empty words’, ‘broken promises’ and ‘unfulfilled actions’ would not offer protection even with a ‘big stick.’  Self-respect had to be earned through hard work and determination. 

I think that this can be applied to other forces on this earth. Specifically here, that God in one form of analysis, made two different models of human beings. They are, in some ways, different. And that is a good thing. A great combination of energy, a unity and friction that will always exist. 


How I am applying to some of my “person” now.

I have been working on speaking softly and having boundaries.  I also like to wear heels and boots, and at times, to wear red lipstick.  So, my mind keeps putting together these two ideas  because of Teddy’s phrase and (completely unrelated, at least in my consciousness), I was compelled to buy a classic red chanel  à la Mac lipstick last week.

Paula à la Wayne Thiebaud.

Someone else has probably already said it before me, but I couldn’t find it in brainyquotes, and this keeps recurring in my mind.

‘Speak softly and wear red lipstick; you will go far.’  

-Paula’s recurring thought now in print.


I have thought about this for a while before saying it or writing it. I am often misunderstood by speaking too soon, before I have thoroughly given it thought about what I am saying and I really don’t like that. That is, if someone takes it at face value and latches onto the idea that women will speak softly but use their femininity to control in a negative way, what is theirs to control, it would bother me.  And control, when and if we truly can, can get mixed up with manipulate. So, here are a few thoughts…


(di: prefix meaning “apart” or “two”)

Speak softly.

When I am excited, on task, caught up in humor, in a hurry, all kinds of reasons, I often do not speak softly. It is often more forceful, more urgent, full of unbridled energy.  Sometimes when I have spoken softly, it was because I was a doormat and not wanting to take a stand. I did not know how to do it because I did not have the skills to say it with edit, with proper tone, with well-chosen words.  That took hard work and determination on my part, to get the self-respect I had not earned.

Wear red lipstick.

Of course, red lipstick I see as using feminine strengths, whether it is a man or a woman wearing it.

I do not see dressing nicely, painting pretty colors on lips or eyes to highlight features, or wearing shoes that make me feel rugged or statuesque (and this isn’t easy for me!) to be anything negative.  I like color, form, design, masks, costumes.

I’m an artsy

my plague and my gift

forever in my mind

even if I am blind

I will see it. 

I’m not intending to misuse or entrap or mislead, I am 51 and I will enjoy this, what others may see as vanity,  until I die. It is for me.

On occasion, I have crossed the line in judgment of a given region or time or field of perception.

  • shorts in rural churches in New Mexico in 1968.

And times change.

  • My Grandmother Mildred Evelyn Lee Ward, gave up stockings with her dress and heels in Seaside, Florida circa 1990. She even starting wearing slacks, not jeans, on occasion. Her mother, Lillie McDowell Lee might have been turning in her grave.

And, we are different but also the same. 

It is no different than the contra-fairer sex deciding what facial hairs to keep, to shave or wear  a ponytail, to boots or birkenstocks, to freshly clean t or tattarsall. We are all actors and put on this earth to play his roles. It is not superficial to bathe and clothe to fit the gig.

Lipstick versus Drawing lines and listening and reading and prioritization.

There are so many other skills and strengths that I was given to work, so this is a small outer pleasure that became so seemingly unimportant in the big scheme of time and how I used my day.  I lost site of this as being something that mattered to myself or to anyone else. I see now that it does give me pleasure. And pleasure is not a bad thing. We were meant to have joy and fun.

I try to find each day a different way or action to do the hard or not-so-hard work to earn self-respect. To put forth good with no expectations by using what God gave me.

And it is work, at least for me, to give up control, to give up trying to force something to happen. I have to examine my motives, to see if I’m giving or doing to get something back in return that is off-balance. I have to reign in the inner forces to, as Teddy said, “to have the forces to make our position meaningful.”

But today, I have put some things into practice and have gone far.

And, I was told to wear red lipstick.

I know, Teddy, with his gifts of words, action, and style, would get it. 




Taking my Pony on my Boat: what I share with Zeb Pike.

by admin

Me and my Pony on my boat on the High Plains.

What I share with Zeb Pike.

I do have a few things in common with Zebulon Pike.

I climb the mountains to my West.

I speak French which I use in the West.

As was his, my father was in the military, or at least in the Marines Corps.

And, I beat the trails through Northern New Mexico quite often. This is where Pike was encamped when he was captured by Spanish authorities and taken to Santa Fe. 

I, too, am captured in New Mexico by Santa Fe.

By the art and culture and landscape I need to nourish me on the Plains, so as to be refreshed again with its beauty when I return.

And I am also an explorer of the High Plains that records with maps, drawings, pictures, people’s stories, history and research.

So I understand now that this shadow at right in yesterday’s picture, made  from the clear photo corner that was holding another picture, that is me exploring the High Plains by sea.

When I did sail at camp, about all I could do well was to trim the jib. And that’s maybe all I will ever really take part in in regard to making money off land in the High Plains; to be the crewsman, cook the meals, drive. To suit up and be there.

The XIT Yacht

When I sail on this boat, it is isolated with a skilled crew, but I am somewhat of a stowaway who serves up the chow.  I do share in my own way what I can, sometimes having them yacht, but often with others not on board. Not just sharing of the ranch but of other ranches, through drawings and photographs and writing about ranching in Kansas.  Or in other ways like preserving a Depot that used to ship cattle or having folk artists to a one-room school near my house and inviting everyone around to come see, hear the music, and bring their fiddles.

Or by inviting the real Frenchman in Kansas down for dinner and into the schoolroom to parlez with the pupils. Or having the paleontologists from Kentucky and their European interns down for dinner where I got to parlez with Sophie, the French student. I do what I love, just as those do in their jobs on the XIT Yacht. 

I do the work on the boat that I know how to do, that I did halfway well with what I’d been given, where I think I’m giving back.

Sometimes when I would return to the main dock, I would do something stupid like let go of the main halyard. This only needs to be learned once. And sometimes I need to find a different dock. 

But mostly what I enjoy on the High Plains, is sailing and seeing at sea.

Sometimes it is when I am running…

A bit of it was in the pastures where I would fish for lost cattle. I didn’t always know where to look and it seemed like I never found them. But I could feel something, maybe someone saying follow me…and I will make you fishers of men…

For a lot of my time I had on the High Plains, I had the blessing and curse of taking my pony on my boat. I was probably not as useful as I could have been on the XIT Yacht, but there many people on that boat, and it just seemed so crowded it might sink. So, I lightened the load, my load…

In my books, my degrees, my work in design or preservation, in my car driving miles, in my art, I could get lost on the ocean. But, I would always be guided safely home, wherever that was for the night…Lawrence, Kansas City, Wichita, the XIT Headquarters, Santa Fe, or a hotel in a small town in Kansas when doing historical research in the field.


a Lone Ranger note: I like this song, but I take issue with the one line that pits Tonto and the Lone Ranger as enemies. I feel it is a contemporary translation that lacks depth in understanding the actual details of the history of its writers. Their intent was to illustrate the common values of an Indian and a White man, to do good, and a friendship that united the pair. They worked alongside each other as practically equal partners, and had each saved the other from death at different points in their lives. 

Tonto’s character was originally a Potawatomi Indian by choice of the radio station owner who was from Michigan. This was a non-native to the area where he rode in Texas and the clothing is inaccurate. But, ‘Tonto’ in Potawatomi means “Wild One” and was mistaken as the Spanish word meaning fool or dumb. And, Tonto called the Lone Ranger “Kemo Sabe”, “trusted servant.” They worked the High Plains together, and would have been on the same boat. 

So yesterday, when I started with Zeb, I went on my sailboat journey of maps and google and Walter Webb’s Great Plains and my Master’s Thesis to try to take what I’d read and done before and make it into something short, edited and tangible. But, instead I realize I took my pony on my boat and we just enjoyed the day.

We sailed

  • through geological and rock formations, surface etching of the High Plains with rivers, glaciers, erosion. 
  • I read about Lewis & Clark and re-read the Charles Kimball Lecture, “It’s all about Eating: Kansas City’s history and opportunity.”
  • I did a timeline of government policies and actions within the 200 year span from Pike’s quote and today that were specific to the Great Plains. 
  • I even added in a tangential timeline of modes of production (technologies) and modes of transportation in relation to phases of Farming in America, but again, focused on my region, The Great American Desert. 
  • And I recorded my journey, over some familiar waters at sea, with my pony on my boat. 

I still do this almost every day and accept that this was the way I was made.

And just sometimes it works. I zigzag back and forth at sea and occasionally hit my mark, reach the point.

At other times I don’t really know where I went or where I was headed, but I did have kind of a plan, just like we did with America when Zeb was sent out to explore. 

And I always enjoy the journey, and record it in my memory or in some other way to preserve. I take that with me, and I leave some behind for the next guy, to do with as he pleases. 

This is Paula, Explorer of the High Plains.

On the first day of Christmas….12 drummers drumming…

by admin

Eagle's Nest, NM. Rural America, maybe everywhere, seems to have a high tolerance for alcohol well into older age. I've never thought the happy time was the "8 till" but more when one is winding up singin' the blues.

Mostly about 12 drummers drumming….they work.  For any chemical use or personality flaws such as being annoying, self-centered, narcicisstic, ADD, for having melt-downs at Best Buy, and in general for any defect of character that involves giving up control to a higher power. It’s my personal opinion that everyone could benefit from practice, regardless of habits, and hit a meeting now and then.

I am powerless over…
my computer
my iphone apps and ipod in the case of the challenged
talking about the digital world
my pleasure in my own humor
desire to use the restroom in completely inappropriate situations like church, inherited from my father

Here is a good one from today on Humility:

“A bully ain’t have too much patience to read or write too much…
how to understand things…(s)he’s just mouthy.”

“I just go to hear the stories.”  -Bob.

Bob is a well-dressed Cowboy in Delano who was hangin’ at the hood in the Seneca McDonald’s.  When I was looking for some contract labor to put labels and stamps on my Valentine mailer, he was on the way out for a smoke and said,”wait on me, I’ll come back here and hit on you”, lucky girl that I am.

Bob remembered me from photographing Barry a while back, so here’s a clip of Barry from November speaking on the need for 24-7 shelters.


I cut out the end where I lost him on the concept of the portable houses from architecture school at Marvin Hall. A ridiculous idea in hindsight, there weren’t too many homeless backgrounds in the student pool at KU to give a first hand account. Carrying a house around on your back I can imagine sounds ludicrous and backwards, heavier than a mortgage around your neck when you’re out in the field.

Apparently Barry had just had a heart attack a few days prior in McDonald’s, right in the corner where I’d taken his picture and he was in the hospital.   Bob and I shared a cry and a laugh for Barry, as he noted that management “was maaad” and took Barry aside after he got out of the hospital, “you pull any of that $h!t in here again and you’re not coming back.” They welcome the cowboys, but that kind of advertising can’t be good for the quarter-# angus sales, which are delicious with swiss and mushrooms I might add. I know Barry was very ill and I fear has passed, bless Barry.

And, back to Bob.  He lives with his brother who’s wife, a lesbian, left him long ago.  He sleeps at the Shelter down the road by where I used to work at SJCF Architecture on the nights when he’s on the sauce since his brother and new wife don’t allow alcohol in their house. A painter by trade, Bob is from a military family with both of Bob’s brothers having done tours in Iraq, one now flying fighter planes in the desert.

In our discussion of drugs and alcohol and 12 drummer meetings, he  also mentioned that the military was big on pharmaceuticals for those 72 hour flight missions.  Anyway, it was cold, so I gave him a ride from McDonald’s to the Mission, always big on safety telling the night manager before I left that if I ended up dead in the Wichita papers tomorrow, get Bob.

My parting words were, “Bob, you’ve got to cut out the drinking to get the women, you’ve asked me my name 3x in the last 10 minutes.” And Bob’s last words were, “I think I’ll go to a meeting tomorrow.” So, one of the best things about 12 drummers is passing it along, even before you know much.

Don’t fence me in….

by admin

I told somebody recently that if you’ve got your mind, you don’t ever have to be bored anywhere. I take it back, too much to think about in there, out there in those wide open spaces.

I’m afraid I have to go to town and maybe I’ll be bored for a while, take a break from the way I’ve been using the gray.  You can get lost in there with too many speeding tickets and maybe lose your license…

Jack Adams

Cowboy take me away...set me free hope I pray...closer to heaven above....John Graves Adams horseback.

in there, out there in those wide open spaces.