Nov. 27, 2011. Memories from the 1st day of 29 years and counting of Paula Graves Adams’ Cowgirl Adventures…

by admin

Just a word of clarification…

I have to qualify the use of the term “Cowgirl.” I use it as a state of mind, not as any profession which could claim me as an associate.  I do ride a horse, can herd cattle without causing a rampage, and I have a hill on the XIT to where I would ride on a regular basis and look back at the river and the XIT Headquarters.

But cowgirls are really born.  They are born to fathers who are cowboys and cattleman who work in the trenches. Not all daughters of these men are cowgirls. Just the ones who worked alongside the other men.  Some rope and tie, others vaccinate and herd and brand. The three real cowgirls I know in the Adams family are Wanda Adams, Chelsea Adams, and Lacy Adams. But that’s another post.

So. Today is 29 years to the day of our wedding day. And I am celebrating another person who in so many ways made me who I am today, John Adams, just as I feel about my parents. I definitely pulled my weight and worked this gift of parents and husband as I have done with other God given gifts. I need to do a bit more of this for myself and cut them some slack from all the burdens that come along with this responsibility, but I am eternally grateful.

So I will try not to talk (too much), but here are some pictures of stuff leading up to the wedding, the big day, and of our honeymoon in Chicago for three days before heading west in a u-haul to begin the adventure.

Grier and Warwick Showers, Wedding Cookbook, Independent Engagement Pic, Ring showoff, Dean laughing at life's burden of "stuff."

Dean Graves is laughing at one of his own jokes in the lower left photo. Probably something witty sensing my fear of this new burden of “stuff.” I inherited this tendency to do big belly laughs at my own jokes.

I just mainly remember that John Adams would look at it all and say, “you are really getting great stuff.” This is translated as, “these things we both will cook and serve off of are yours so you will write the thank you notes” and extended on into wedding gifts. We had some perfectly nice “Paula & John” cards custom designed by the calligrapher for Loretto Chapel in Santa Fe, Mary Lou Cook, but I don’t really remember John using these :). But, he had to pack it and haul it and unpack in a u-haul over bumpy roads, not breaking a dish. As he did two more times to Lawrence and Wichita over the course of our marriage, which is more moving of stuff and wife than most husbands would tolerate. So this really counts for much, much more.

Here is a brief concept and history page for my Paula Varsalona wedding dress. Sandra Kenney, former KU cheerleader, the most beautiful Pi Phi at KU in the 50s, former wife of Bob Kenney, was the buyer for The Jones Store at that time.

Beautiful Kenney women: Sandy, Karen, Kirsten.

She was a good friend of my mother, Kirsten my good friend, and the reason why The Jones Store got all the best designers at that time. And, the models to wear them…Terri Sue Walters and Kitty Bliss. Terry’s picture is underneath my head on the Independent Cover and Kitty’s beautiful picture was on the cover when our engagement picture appeared. So, I am honored to be pictured in a magazine with photos of such beautiful and photographed Kansas City women!

A cover, concept, lace mitts and shoes, and two Paulas at a dress fitting. Professional and hobby designing women.

My mother spotted another $1,000.00 shorter lace dress that was also very beautiful and classic with a plunging neckline. It would have been lovely, but I opted for this $325.00 more Victorian number which I styled with the lace mitts, shoes, and dropping the veil for a crown of baby’s breath with some tiny ribbon streamers. Both dresses seemed like a lot of money at that time, but nothing compared to the rest of the party. What our fathers do…

Here are some of the friends who were at the University Club on Nov. 27, 1982.

George Waugh, Mike Tutera, back of David Kerr's head.

Christie Reed Reniger, Ed Bolen, Kate Nettels Faerber

Julie Connally, Karen Majors Bogle, Alison DeGoler.

Dr. Dick Dreher, head of Children's Mercy Hospital, Marthe's date?, Marthe Dreher Tamblyn.

David Stubbs and my cousin, Wendy Ward.

Alison Weideman Ward, Eleanor Stolzer?

Molly Miller, Lynn Kindred, Susan Grier, Kathy Kindred.

Bridget O'Brien and Elaine Beeson.

Scott Ward and Liz Waugh.

Jamie and John Kane, Carney Nulton.

Mary Beth Simpson, John Simpson, Bradley Grover Simpson.

Mary Stauffer and Sam Brownback.Two Jack's and a Jane: Savings and Home, Dicus and Frost.

? Beta?, Elaine Scarborough, Greg Duvall, John's Patient Pledge Dad.

And here are some family pictures…

 

Raymond Adams and Sandra Dublin Frizzell Adams with her parents. So I am kind of related by (ex) marriage(s) to both McKinley Winter Feedyard, Cindy Brown, and Tripp Frizzell and Alison Miller Frizzell in a way.

David Adams, 12-step Guru across the High Plains. Judy Robert Adams, great-niece of Sally Chisum, a wife on the XI Ranch who never lived there and niece of John Chisum. William Robert, Judy's Grandfather was the former co-owner of the XI Ranch Landholdings before H.G. Adams partnered with him to fence and water, subsequently buying the holdings from Robert.

Ginny Graves, my mother and co-party planner who handled all the details. In a great mother-of-the-bride frock with Allison Ball in the background in a smash pink and black party dress.

And look! Heavy Hitter Jessie Adams and a dashingly handsome man (Bud Helm?) and heavy hitter and my bro Randy Knotts at left.

I’m assuming they all attended the nuptials at 4:00 at Second Presbyterian Church, but I didn’t look around. It was another stage performance where I was gripped with both fear and emotion.

In part, I hold Gina responsible (my maid of honor) as she was beside me crying when I said my vows at the altar at Second Presbyterian Church. This of course precipitated my crying while I said “I do.” John later expressed concern that others would think I was crying because we were getting married. We were both wearing our parents shoes. I actually was sad at the idea of my father giving me away. But as they say, “a son is a son until he takes a wife, but a daughter is a daughter for the rest of her life.”

At the University Club, someone took these candids in the room where all the food was. It was freezing rain that Thanksgiving Day. So, many of the older guests wanted to get in, wish me well, and get safely back home.

Where did the saying, “Rain is good luck on your wedding day” come from?

YAHOO! Answers.

It pops up through Shakespeare’s works and I imagine it would have to do with a pastoral society, where rain would symbolize fertility-hence it is good luck on a wedding day!

So after having a thoroughly wonderful beautiful month of Paris with rain every day and living on a very dry ranch in western Kansas and a wedding day of heavy rain, Paula the Pisces Water Child is always happy to see raindrops, curly hair and all.

But back to University Club, the point is that I’m putting in this picture at the lower right of this “media page” because it is in the library of the University Club. This was pretty much all I saw of my wedding reception until about 8:00 after which John and I did the bouquet (Beth Van Winkle Ewing, Theta now in Dallas) and and garter toss (Ed Bolen). Then we bolted, socially exhausted. One reason I now adore other people’s weddings!

The length of the writeup in the Beaver is only shadowed by the coverage in the Meade-Globe Press which is not included. They noted every detail of my outfit that I had so lovingly chosen. I was both embarrassed and tickled pink.

We spent the night at the Kansas City Club, arranged by John’s step-mom-at-that-time- Sandra (the Wichita Falls most beautiful party planner and gift wife). She had medium-rare filets with three sauces (a bernaise, hollandaise, and a horseradish cream) delivered to our room.  The next morning we lay around in bed all morning and watched Little Big Man with Dustin Hoffman. Then, John had to go back to Lawrence to prepare for his finals and a project with some Brian guy from business school who had transferred from engineering school.

We had a few people to dinner at this apartment in Lawrence during finals. Pat Boppart I do remember, but I cannot remember the others who were still finishing up their college careers. I had chicken breasts stuffed with boursin because it was John’s turn to cook that week. John and Pat argued about how one person of these two felt it was not an even trade for one person to have t-bones and the other to serve spam, though Pat defended this staunchly. I tasted spam later in life, as I have also tasted dogfood, and it is really not all that bad.

Our first Christmas was in Lawrence at Hillcrest Apartments, but I will also do this in a later post in the advent countdown to Christ’s birth. I am more exhausted from this wedding post than I was from the actual wedding.

I will include pictures of our honeymoon in Chicago, a gift from Kevin Pistilli. He and Tina met us there for dinner at the Pump Room. This didn’t happen until later, but honeymoons are a part of the wedding picture so they are included here.

The Raphael, the Cape Cod Room at the Drake, Frank Lloyd Wright's first big residential project in Oak Park and tour of his home.

I am looking forward to the holidays and remembering some very early times with my husband and friends from pictures that I am sure my mother took.

Before a house,

before children,

before a place that would be my life for 29 years and always in my mind.

I hope the others that were married that day in Kansas City (there were four of us, Gibson Rymar and Sara Jury and….??) are also celebrating.

Of course, it is now the 28th as I didn’t get it done by day’s end. This is the day I always I incorrectly remembered as my wedding date. It was always just “the Saturday after Thanksgiving” in my mind…it didn’t matter much as we were usually always having fun with friends and family in the city and would forget to celebrate.

So now I will take the time to say, “Happy Anniversary John!” But this time it is a joke because I remembered yesterday to celebrate this day, the start of my big life adventures that still continue.

love, Paula.

 

 

Adams Family BOTAR Ball Dancing Videos

by admin

note: my comments in red

"Stayin' Alive!"

Custom has made dancing sometimes necessary for a young man; therefore mind it while you learn it, that you may learn to do it well, and not be ridiculous, though in a ridiculous act.    – Lord Chesterfield

Jack Adams somehow knew this at an early age, he does it so well. 

 

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nOtWND3rTWI[/youtube]

 

And, of course, they’ve always condemned dancing. You know, you might touch a member of the opposite sex. And you might get excited and you might do something natural.  Frank McCourt

From a woman who gave up on enforcing the “no grinding” rule at private school dances.  “I just look at it as safe sex.”  

Jan Davis, woman headmaster of Wichita Collegiate who was pulled out of retirement from the Wichita Public School System to serve at my daughter’s private high school. 

 

But in reality we are accompanied by the whole dancing universe.  Ruth St. Denis.

Mildred Evelyn Lee Ward is my Grandmother. She taught school with her Master’s in English to help put my Grandfather Paul Ward through law school during the Depression. But she found time to teach dance on the side, living this motto “life is a dance.”

 

Common sense and a sense of humor are the same thing, moving at different speeds. A sense of humor is just common sense, dancing.  William James.
aahhh…..so that’s why I admire these qualities…hmmmm….

 

All the ills of mankind, all the tragic misfortunes that fill the history books, all the political blunders, all the failures of the great leaders have arisen merely from a lack of skill at dancing.  -Molière

what an idea! we must find more time for this….

 

Dance is bigger than the physical body. When you extend your arm, it doesn’t stop at the end of your fingers, because you’re dancing bigger than that; you’re dancing spirit.  –Judith Jamison.
as with all creativity, in painting, business, people…..

 

Dancing and running shake up the chemistry of happiness. Mason Cooley.
and I do both, to both rein it in and put it out…

 

Dancing begets warmth, which is the parent of wantonness. –Henry Fielding.
keep it in check….

 

Dancing is a perpendicular expression of a horizontal desire. George Bernard Shaw.
so that is what it is?

 

Dancing is a sweat job. Fred Astaire.
among other satisfying things in life…

 

Dancing is a wonderful training for girls, it’s the first way you learn to guess what a man is going to do before he does it.
Christopher Morley.so that is what we’re supposed to do….have not yet mastered….

 

and….some of the best dancing partners are women….

Lisa Revare Hickok, Marthe Dreher Tamblyn, Jane Fenn Wallace. Three SMEast '78 Great Women and Dancers.

Disco dancing is just the steady thump of a giant moron knocking in an endless nail. -Clive James.
I just thought this was funny.

 

Dance hard

Dance while you can

In whatever you do

Even when you don’t know what you should do…

Especially then!

-Paula

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.” 

Adventures of the Handy Dandy All-Purpose Ballgown from Wells Street.

by admin

The Handy Dandy All-Purpose Ballgown from N. Wells Street was born into the Adams Family on a trip to Chicago in the summer of 1999.  John and Paula Adams were there on a summer trip. I think Jack and Lace were on this trip, because I remember Jack playing with a ball on the steps in front of Nicole Miller. We also bought a black Barbie silk vest for Lacy that I think she wore once, but it will be great for dress-up.

The cumulative total of Balls attended respectively by John and Paula Adams at this time was three.  John Adams had attended the Jewel Ball in 1979.  He had been solicited to escort, but had mistakenly felt he could be absent from parties in June for two weeks to fulfill family roundup and branding responsibilities on the XIT Ranch in western Kansas. When he returned, he had been demoted to the floor committee.  “What on earth were you thinking?,” was my comment when he still seems a bit injured. The other two Adams ball attendances were Paula Graves BOTAR Debut in 1982 (1) with John Adams as her escort (2).

I like to go on record here that John Adams, though he went to Pembroke-Hill, was from Wabaunsee County.  He was living in Lawrence finishing his last semester in business school while Paula was first working at Hallmark as design coordinator and then working at Halls in retail.  Because a BOTAR could choose her escort if she as engaged, John Adams as fiancé was her GOTAR. It tends to be a bit of a family competition at times which holds social rank: being the BOTAR from Kansas City or being the demoted Jewel Ball Escort from Wabaunsee County.

There were two dresses, one a bit more expensive than the other, both very pretty. The less expensive was a crinkly black fluffier number that would look very good on someone about 5’4″ and taller.  The other was this dress pictured below.

The Handy Dandy All-Purpose Ballgown from Wells St., Paula, John, stucco fireplace.

The structure:

It was column-like with a bit of a flare at the pedestal base. Not enough to be anything tent-like, which is how small women can feel when wearing a floor-length dress. Just enough to make it easy to walk, and more important, in which to dance. The bodice is boned.

The sheathing:

Textiles always do it for me.  Handy Dandy’s skin is an aubergine silk that is cross-woven with black. It is crushed into very flat wrinkles.  This gives her a faintly iridescent appearance. It reminds me of an old swakara (persian lamb) coat I have of my grandmother’s or bird’s-eye maple or anything very intricate, but naturally patterned in a tight, small design.

Anyway, after trying on this dress John Adams said, “that’s the one.” For a man who never appears to have any interest in or spends any time shopping, he has a good eye. But, his maternal Grandfather was an artist and had a sign company. And, his father had a good look.  As well, John Adams always looks pretty dapper.

Adventure One-Debut at the 50th Botar Ball:

The 50th Annual Botar Ball.  My friend Betsy, whose taste in fashion is impeccable, called me a trophy wife. That was nice, being that I had young children and was slaving through that last semester of architecture school so I could get the job in Wichita for Lacy to go to the big city school. Neither John nor I were feeling like there was any trophy at the end of the tunnel of marriage, children, and attempting to live rural and urban lives driving thousand of miles and eventually getting Lace educated in secondary school 200 miles from home where I would work for SJCF Architecture. It was grueling, but we were moving towards doing it, and we did it. So, feeling like a prized heifer got me through.

Handy Dandy does the Meade Eighth Grade Graduation.

Adventure Two-Second Appearance at Meade 8th Grade Graduation:

Handy Dandy appeared on stage at the Meade High School for the Meade Eighth Grade Graduation with Lacy Amelia Adams when she graduated from Junior High.  This is a formal occasion, not uncommon in smaller rural towns.  I think my mother told me of wearing a white long dress to her eighth grade graduation, or perhaps this is someone else who grew up in a small town.

I have included the picture of Lacy as she walked down the aisle with the flower that all the girls held.  A local member of the clergy was the guest speaker.  He spoke of Christian values, which at the time I found jarring, wanting separation of church and state education.  But, I’ve lightened up on this and feel it was a reflection of common values that we all held in that room. It was just clothed in a language that was probably not offensive to many, if not most, of the people in that auditorium in Meade, Kansas.

If you will look at the bottom picture of the lineup, you will notice how all of the kids turned so nicely to look at me when I took their picture.  Amanda West is the “even more petite than Adams women” girl to Lacy’s left.  She and Lace get the prize for most effervescent.  Lacy is seen having lost all composure at the occasion.  This happened on several occasions at Meade Grade School performances, at times even taking down the group. But, she was forgiven and loved for her transgressions and has since learned to handle public appearances in full control of her mirth.

Adventure Three-The Handy Dandy All-Purpose Ballgown from Wells Street at the 62nd Annual Botar Ball, Oct. 22, 2011.

When Lacy Adams was asked to be a BOTAR in the summer of 2011, the BOTAR Mother pondered, “what to wear?” Because this frock had traveled across the state and was in the possession of Lacy Adams, I asked if I could borrow it back.

Though I had been instructed from my friend Betsy,”You will not cut off that beautiful dress,” I ignored the advice. I hauled it to my stylists at Brick’s in Wichita, and asked for a second opinion.  “Where will you ever wear a long dress, or more pointedly, where will you ever want to wear a long dress?” they said.  Good point. Not only are they not conducive to climbing stairs, they are not height inducing for the Lillputian. A little bit of leg helps.  And, they don’t show the killer shoes I intended to wear that were also recycled from the Governor’s Inaugural Ball.  Oh, I guess I forgot that, I guess the Adams are at 5 Ball occasions.

Tuxedo and the Handy Dandy Ballgown with Jack and Paula Adams.

I won’t get into more details or show you pictures of the shoes.  (though please notice how cute my BOTAR Governor’s Pin looks on the little cutout in my dress at my left breast.) But, I will tell you that I was very proud of myself for recycling this classic dress for it’s second appearance at a BOTAR Ball. I could never have found a dress that I liked as well as this one. And I bragged about this to everyone who would listen.  The men, of course, weren’t listening though if they were, I think they would have commended me for my practicality.

One female friend commented, “No one will even notice.” Completely missed my point as I wanted to tell everyone in the room. I am the kind of woman who thinks it’s fun when someone buys the same dress that I have purchased and plans an event where we can wear them together like twins, hoping for a third woman to join in on the fun for a Couture à Trois. Of course, if anyone should think I am too practical from living the rural life, I do have to confess that I spent as much or more on my clutch and bracelet.

So that’s it for now for the Adventures of the Handy Dandy All-Purpose Ballgown from Wells Street. I will keep you posted.

I fully intend to wear if it I ever have a Granddaughter who is either living in Kansas City, or has the opportunity to attend or be in the BOTAR Ball if she has any desire for me to lurk in the lobby and peek in.

And if this seems too far off and murky relative to anyone wanting me in attendance or me wanting to be in attendance, I’m sure I can stay this size for one of my potential grandchildren’s 8th grade graduation, circa 2035.