quips and quotes on the road and from the XIT.

by admin

The route from the ranch to Taos goes:

  • liberal.
  • bypass guymon at Hitch Feeders, now pig farmville.
  • Boise city
  • Clayton
  • and then the long stretch to springer (83 miles).

Taylor Springs consists of a bathroom, scones, a gift shop, a John Wayne picture above an antique commode and gas, among other things. Everyone from miles around gets their mail here and there are only about 16 boxes. I felt right at home when I saw they had a few provisions for the locals such as canned vegetables and a very huge frozen brisket. No milk, it might spoil for lack of customers.

We had this in the nearby town of Gate when I lived on the east ranch with mailing address in Forgan, in the Oklahoma Panhandle. Gate was big time, though. That is, relatively more populated. In Gate they would have chili or chicken and noodles in a crockpot so you have frito pie or whatever was on their menu if you stopped in over the noon hour and there was anything left.

Someone told me once, “those people in Gate only got running water a few years ago!” But, I think that was just people trying to think they are better than other people.

This is the Taylor Springs Quik Trip with the beautiful sexy owner and handsome gentleman local customers. Everyone is always so kind.

Leave it to me to find the most expensive thing in the gift shop. I photographed in the event that anyone is collecting vintage child’s cowboy boots. These are very nice.

These are very early and have the inlay. I kept all of Jack and Lace's boots and they make a graduated fill of a triangular pediment area on the sloped front porch which was glassed in.

 John Adams would always always say to me when we drove to Santa Fe,

” it could be a lot worse.” I would laugh, as I never really felt that way about living on the high plains, or anywhere for that matter. 

We actually had a former cowboy, Mike Simmons, who later worked in northern new Mexico on a ranch. It was outside of Roy which is close to Wagon Mound, so named as the Mesa looks like, yes, a conestoga if u are driving I 25.  “Outside” being a relative term.  They were 65 miles from town and the kids were on the schoolbus for an hour and a half.

Since I'm from Prairie Village with the statue of Pioneer woman and family, I like the name of this town.

Mike Simmons, who was Polish, was most famous for an expression that has been passed down within the Adams Family. He was digging around for something (don’t ask me what for, probably a water line to a stock tank?) out in a pasture with Dave Holden. Dave was a “lifer” cowboy on the XIT, at least at that time, as Dave grew up with John Adams.  After they hit the line as always happens one knows who digs, Mike wondered if it was a gas line. So of course, threw a match down into the pit.

After it razed off his eyebrows and took his hairline a few inches back, Mike smiled and said, “That’s some kinda HOT!”

This can really apply to anything, though I tend to use it for foods. For example,

  • taking that bite of pizza too early,
  • tricking your by son telling him wasabi is pistachio ice cream,
  • eating fried cracklings from the skillet when making chicken,
  • or, too many packets of peppers per one bite of thin pizza. I like pain with my peppers.
This just visualizes my pepper statement above. These were not hot, but the conversation was very warm this lovely evening in Santa Fe.

Just some beautiful peppers from a lovely dinner on my trip. These were not hot, but the conversation was very warm and nice.

Now, I do take issue with this next remark as it might seem to imply to some that Cowboys are not smart and this is not true of those I have encountered. Smart is, anyway, is as smart does says Forrest. But, as Raymond Adams told me once:

“We don’t hire accountants as cowboys.”  I just look at this statement as this. They can all count, but the Cattleman is always there for the final one, in the field and on and off the truck. And frankly, the cattleman really aren’t accountants nor can they explain the tax return much better than any average person.  Accountants are accountants. 

This is another funny John Adams-ism and he is VERY as was his father, Raymond, and all of his brothers, Eddy, Clay, and Uncle Charlie.

People often commented about what a great life this would be…the fresh air, slower pace, and in general their idea of slow and leisurely pastoral lifestyle. Even more humorous, how lucky one was to have been fortunate enough to have been “given” this to work. Won’t even go there. Usually, it was somewhat based on the perception of  having  a horse farm in southern Johnson county and not by anyone owning a ranch who employed someone to live on it and manage. Though John usually would say very little, I know his thoughts and words to me were:

“do you think I’m living out here for my health?”

Ranching is the business. Cows are on the ranch that make the beef. The rancher and cowboys take care of the cows and the rancher takes care of the business no different than an owner takes care of his be it a store or a factory. Wide open spaces with no people or towns for miles and miles are where the cows are. Where it takes an hour to get milk or the kids to school.

Bulls being bulls.

At least it is for those whose cows pay the bills and send the kids to college, for it does take work and active management to make a ranch make money. Ours was not a Party Ranch, though I did have some nice parties there.

This fuzzy picture is exactly how it feels at nightfall.

And another tidbit, in the realm of “advice.” And this is from a city girl, so I’m just trying to help out if the situation ever arises socially. Don’t even think to ask how many acres or head of cattle one owns in a casual conversation. There will be a pause. And you will get a reply something like,

“enough to keep us busy.”

And I like to explain to people why this is not acceptable to mannerly, old school, rural people as John did not, being more polite than I, perhaps. It is similar to asking to see someone’s tax returns, number of shirts they have sold, or how many mailings they do per day.

It is funny interesting, as often there are people who ask who know exactly what they are asking and I can see the calculator tallying. I know because they ask me!!  But this goes on everywhere. Don’t let anyone fool you that holding onto a few assets for several generations (can anyone do division?) over time means everyone learned the same manners about talking about money. Being that I am not from one of those families (my mother scared me with “rags to riches, riches to rags” from birth!), it really isn’t relevent for me to be discussing anyway.

Sing it cowboy, "this land is my land, this land is my land...from the salt cedar forest...to the river highland...this land was made for me and me..."

The ranches down here are different than where I lived in southwest, Kansas. They are very large and spread out with sometimes one employee tending to areas that seem to be a whole township to me. With the climate, sparse vegetation and years of drought the cows per unit is very very low. So ladies, if any handsome man tells you he has a ranch in New Mexico, you might want to check on the stats and definitely go for a visit before getting too serious.

I was actually already engaged after I saw the XIT where we were to live. I visited for the first time after I was engaged on a return trip from Santa Fe where I flew into Liberal. And, I cried a bit after this trip for no real reason I knew of except being an emotional person. It was and still is the most beautiful ranch I have ever seen and I was in love. And I guess that cowgirl expression that “if you are going to say no, it’s best to say so right away” just didn’t apply to me as I’m not really a cowgirl by birth. I seem to dive in, have trepidation, and think it is too late to turn back. It has always brought adventure. But, I am now learning other ways that are softer, where I can say maybe and someone will wait until I’m ready to go.

I really did not intend for this to be a story, I just wanted to post pictures from Springer. But I will only add one anecdote about the restroom stop at the intersection in Springer. In part, it is because I have some great pictures from this intersection with my daughter. The story is this: I lost $400 in cash that I had saved for my Santa fe trip in the restroom one time when I was traveling with my sister and left my coin bag.

[I do tend to stress around nuclear family with three eldest children and me the youngest as everyone is always needing something or someone to organize, ME.]

It really cramped my shopping, so at first I was so depressed and down on myself for a bit. But, I went home after having spent no money at all and having had a lovely time. This can be a GOOD FEELING AFTER A TRIP, I had this in France, too. And guess what?  A very kind lady called me a week later with my cashola. She tracked me down somehow by calling some numbers in my wallet, having picked it up and not wanting to leave it there!  God really rewarded me for my parsimonious-ness that day.

So Springer brings me thoughts of prosperity and good fortune, always!

Here are one lovely sentimental picture from Springer, New Mexico at the Cactus Club with my daughter Lacy, about Christmas 1989 when she was not even a year old.

Lacy Amelia Adams and Paula Graves Adams on the door and steps beside the Cactus Club. Springer, New Mexico.

This is the Door by the Cactus Club where Lace and I saw below 13 years later.

So, I guess the other stories and pictures will have to be another day.

The End, but only of this story. 

Generations of ghosts…I hope we all meet. I’ll be wearing red lipstick.

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?

My ghost will be wearing heels…but who knows what kind?

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?

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?

Tales, Pics, and other John Adams-isms from the Road. Clayton-Taylor Springs-Springer, NM.

by admin

The route from the ranch to Taos goes:

  • liberal.
  • bypass guymon at Hitch Feeders, now pig farmville.
  • Boise city
  • Clayton
  • and then the long stretch to springer (83 miles).

Taylor Springs consists of a bathroom, scones, a gift shop, a John Wayne picture above an antique commode and gas, among other things. Everyone from miles around gets their mail here and there are only about 16 boxes. I felt right at home when I saw they had a few provisions for the locals such as canned vegetables and a very huge frozen brisket. No milk, it might spoil for lack of customers.

We had this in the nearby town of Gate when I lived on the east ranch with mailing address in Forgan, in the Oklahoma Panhandle. Gate was big time, though. That is, relatively more populated. In Gate they would have chili or chicken and noodles in a crockpot so you have frito pie or whatever was on their menu if you stopped in over the noon hour and there was anything left.

Someone told me once, “those people in Gate only got running water a few years ago!” But, I think that was just people trying to think they are better than other people.

This is the Taylor Springs Quik Trip with the beautiful sexy owner and handsome gentleman local customers. Everyone is always so kind.

Leave it to me to find the most expensive thing in the gift shop. I photographed in the event that anyone is collecting vintage child’s cowboy boots. These are very nice.

These are very early and have the inlay. I kept all of Jack and Lace's boots and they make a graduated fill of a triangular pediment area on the sloped front porch which was glassed in.

 John Adams would always always say to me when we drove to Santa Fe,

” it could be a lot worse.” I would laugh, as I never really felt that way about living on the high plains, or anywhere for that matter. 

We actually had a former cowboy, Mike Simmons, who later worked in northern new Mexico on a ranch. It was outside of Roy which is close to Wagon Mound, so named as the Mesa looks like, yes, a conestoga if u are driving I 25.  “Outside” being a relative term.  They were 65 miles from town and the kids were on the schoolbus for an hour and a half.

Since I'm from Prairie Village with the statue of Pioneer woman and family, I like the name of this town.

Mike Simmons, who was Polish, was most famous for an expression that has been passed down within the Adams Family. He was digging around for something (don’t ask me what for, probably a water line to a stock tank?) out in a pasture with Dave Holden. Dave was a “lifer” cowboy on the XIT, at least at that time, as Dave grew up with John Adams.  After they hit the line as always happens one knows who digs, Mike wondered if it was a gas line. So of course, threw a match down into the pit.

After it razed off his eyebrows and took his hairline a few inches back, Mike smiled and said, “That’s some kinda HOT!”

This can really apply to anything, though I tend to use it for foods. For example,

  • taking that bite of pizza too early,
  • tricking your by son telling him wasabi is pistachio ice cream,
  • eating fried cracklings from the skillet when making chicken,
  • or, too many packets of peppers per one bite of thin pizza. I like pain with my peppers.
This just visualizes my pepper statement above. These were not hot, but the conversation was very warm this lovely evening in Santa Fe.

Just some beautiful peppers from a lovely dinner on my trip. These were not hot, but the conversation was very warm and nice.

Now, I do take issue with this next remark as it might seem to imply to some that Cowboys are not smart and this is not true of those I have encountered. Smart is, anyway, is as smart does says Forrest. But, as Raymond Adams told me once:

“We don’t hire accountants as cowboys.”  I just look at this statement as this. They can all count, but the Cattleman is always there for the final one, in the field and on and off the truck. And frankly, the cattleman really aren’t accountants nor can they explain the tax return much better than any average person.  Accountants are accountants. 

This is another funny John Adams-ism and he is VERY as was his father, Raymond, and all of his brothers, Eddy, Clay, and Uncle Charlie.

People often commented about what a great life this would be…the fresh air, slower pace, and in general their idea of slow and leisurely pastoral lifestyle. Even more humorous, how lucky one was to have been fortunate enough to have been “given” this to work. Won’t even go there. Usually, it was somewhat based on the perception of  having  a horse farm in southern Johnson county and not by anyone owning a ranch who employed someone to live on it and manage. Though John usually would say very little, I know his thoughts and words to me were:

“do you think I’m living out here for my health?”

Ranching is the business. Cows are on the ranch that make the beef. The rancher and cowboys take care of the cows and the rancher takes care of the business no different than an owner takes care of his be it a store or a factory. Wide open spaces with no people or towns for miles and miles are where the cows are. Where it takes an hour to get milk or the kids to school.

Bulls being bulls.

At least it is for those whose cows pay the bills and send the kids to college, for it does take work and active management to make a ranch make money. Ours was not a Party Ranch, though I did have some nice parties there.

This fuzzy picture is exactly how it feels at nightfall.

And another tidbit, in the realm of “advice.” And this is from a city girl, so I’m just trying to help out if the situation ever arises socially. Don’t even think to ask how many acres or head of cattle one owns in a casual conversation. There will be a pause. And you will get a reply something like,

“enough to keep us busy.”

And I like to explain to people why this is not acceptable to mannerly, old school, rural people as John did not, being more polite than I, perhaps. It is similar to asking to see someone’s tax returns, number of shirts they have sold, or how many mailings they do per day.

It is funny interesting, as often there are people who ask who know exactly what they are asking and I can see the calculator tallying. I know because they ask me!!  But this goes on everywhere. Don’t let anyone fool you that holding onto a few assets for several generations (can anyone do division?) over time means everyone learned the same manners about talking about money. Being that I am not from one of those families (my mother scared me with “rags to riches, riches to rags” from birth!), it really isn’t relevent for me to be discussing anyway.

Sing it cowboy, "this land is my land, this land is my land...from the salt cedar forest...to the river highland...this land was made for me and me..."

The ranches down here are different than where I lived in southwest, Kansas. They are very large and spread out with sometimes one employee tending to areas that seem to be a whole township to me. With the climate, sparse vegetation and years of drought the cows per unit is very very low. So ladies, if any handsome man tells you he has a ranch in New Mexico, you might want to check on the stats and definitely go for a visit before getting too serious.

I was actually already engaged after I saw the XIT where we were to live. I visited for the first time after I was engaged on a return trip from Santa Fe where I flew into Liberal. And, I cried a bit after this trip for no real reason I knew of except being an emotional person. It was and still is the most beautiful ranch I have ever seen and I was in love. And I guess that cowgirl expression that “if you are going to say no, it’s best to say so right away” just didn’t apply to me as I’m not really a cowgirl by birth. I seem to dive in, have trepidation, and think it is too late to turn back. It has always brought adventure. But, I am now learning other ways that are softer, where I can say maybe and someone will wait until I’m ready to go.

I really did not intend for this to be a story, I just wanted to post pictures from Springer. But I will only add one anecdote about the restroom stop at the intersection in Springer. In part, it is because I have some great pictures from this intersection with my daughter. The story is this: I lost $400 in cash that I had saved for my Santa fe trip in the restroom one time when I was traveling with my sister and left my coin bag.

[I do tend to stress around nuclear family with three eldest children and me the youngest as everyone is always needing something or someone to organize, ME.]

It really cramped my shopping, so at first I was so depressed and down on myself for a bit. But, I went home after having spent no money at all and having had a lovely time. This can be a GOOD FEELING AFTER A TRIP, I had this in France, too. And guess what?  A very kind lady called me a week later with my cashola. She tracked me down somehow by calling some numbers in my wallet, having picked it up and not wanting to leave it there!  God really rewarded me for my parsimonious-ness that day.

So Springer brings me thoughts of prosperity and good fortune, always!

Here are one lovely sentimental picture from Springer, New Mexico at the Cactus Club with my daughter Lacy, about Christmas 1989 when she was not even a year old.

Lacy Amelia Adams and Paula Graves Adams on the door and steps beside the Cactus Club. Springer, New Mexico.

This is the Door by the Cactus Club where Lace and I saw below 13 years later.

So, I guess the other stories and pictures will have to be another day.

The End, but only of this story. 

Suki’s lesson of the day: See Flowers. Shree Yoga, Taos.

by admin

Thorns producing a flower.

I started the today at Shree Yoga, just south of Kit Carson Road and 1/2 block west.

The room was beautiful, warm but not hot, small white enameled wood stoves and a wonderfully aged floor.

Sweet Suki of the fun yoga practice.

Suki greated me at the door. Suki was Lace’s nickname (my daughter) as a little girl.

There were four of us of all ages, one young man. I cannot say it as beautifully as she did, but she began our practice with these thoughts.

Lent was the topic. And though she’d decided to practice a date late, she had pledged her commitment to giving up something meaningful.

Not chocolate or wine. For denial of pleasures, if not such excessiveness warranting total exclusion, was transitory creating a later craving in abstinence.

She mentioned a Balinese song, whose words went something like this.

“if your heart is a flower, you will see flowers.”

“if your heart is a thorn, you will see thorns.” 

Not to deny that one’s heart would sometimes be thorny and prickley, for these are necessary at times to learn. But, we control how long we stay in the darker, negative, contentious ones.

So, not too long. Because we will see what we think.

Her second point was in a personal commitment that she was making.

Unpeeling the onion.

Suki expressed that she was wanting to peel away the layers to better understand herself and her past. To uncover what is below.

I think this is a lifelong quest. Because, like an onion, if they are not continuously peeled and revealed, a crust and hardening will form.

And being almost 52 (and also having a facial today to peel away the layers), it seems that renewal is even more important. With the challenges of life in 20s, 30s, 40s in work, relationships, family, perhaps children it often seems too busy to do. The layers just encircle and encircle and the whirling dervish misses the point of wisdom and illumination.

In this and in so many other ways, I learn so much from children, from my children, from everyone younger who will take the world forward. It is okay to question, necessary. And to learn about self, which is unselfish. Really, no one really cares about you but you.

So I figure that I better figure it out.

To see what has worked, what has not, and to try to discover our true purpose. At least, our true purpose for this time.

When I see flowers, I am thankful and give flowers.

And then what I see is a big bouquet. Everyone’s flowers, complete with some thorns, all blending together in a beautiful joyous sometimes prickley arrangement with music and chocolate. 

Still Life. Jan Davisz de Heem.

The way to a girl’s…make them laugh, kindness, honesty and killer abs.

by admin
"Marcus Allen"

Marcus Allen

The best thing about heaven is that Mark is going to be there and he won’t have aged.  I still have dreams about Mark and I’m not sure what awakens me to remember ?? Maybe I shouldn’t say too much more about that, except that at the end I am always laughing.  The killer abs phrase is from Marthe whose specific memory is from grasping Mark’s torso from the rear of his motorcycle.  He was one of those real guys who drove a motorcycle for the real reason in the 70s which is that no father or family was going to supply him with a car. It was paid for with labor, in Mark’s case, construction for Chuck Stratford as well as measuring with Dave Wood for my father Dean Graves.

Marthe, Mark and I pal’ed around together sometimes. This threesome was in part because we all had volkswagen beetles.  A few tangent notes about those:

  • Marthe’s was lemon yellow and had no radio because Dick Dreher thought that a radio would promotes reckless driving. I think Marthe later thwarted this by hanging a transistor on the temperature control knob.
  • Mark’s white, I am thinking, was probably his brother’s car or his mom’s that he would have on occasion.
  • Mine was a 1967 white beetle that had been painted “hippie green” to make it palatable for my older sister, Gina, to drive when she turned 16 in 1974. This was the first “second car” that my parents bought.

a cultural sidenote: Prior to this time, my mother, as did many women, existed by either doing without a car during the day or driving their husband’s car to work so that they could use the car that day for their grocery shopping, to take a child to the doctor, or for their wash and set. Remember that our mother’s mothers still had those embroidered tea towels that said “Monday, ironing, Tues. washing…etc.”.

This was actually pretty common and one of reasons social psychologists explain the sharp rise in divorce of women in the early and mid-70s. Women now had wheels. That is, with freedom of movement, came freedom to work. As men lost physical control over women, they lost control over the children and that is when our society just went straight to hell, at least as some may see it.

Plus, vacuum sweepers and all the appliances (supposedly) meant there was less housework for women (NOT) to goof around and go buy stuff. Or, in the case with the women in my family, to go do some work other than housework which used their education so they could make money to have a little fun using their own cash and pay someone else (provide another woman with a job) to do the work for which they now needed help.

so back to car cultural sidenote: I don’t really believe that the car was the downfall of men’s and women’s societal roles. Barbie may not have had or wanted a Dream House, but in my mind there was always a Barbie throughout history who had her wheels, even if it was in her mind.

…and back to volkswagen beetles: One time in the SME parking lot we put all their noses together for a kiss. Mark was kind of joint property, even among the best of women friends. And the laughing we all would share….a man among men and a stud among women, both liking him equally well.

And back to Mark. Mark’s mother, who raised two wonderful sons alone, had to have been an incredibly strong and independent woman. The only memory I have of Mark speaking of his father was a  memory about A.I.’ing cattle in Texas with him one summer as a young boy. A.I’ing is artificially inseminating. So, I now think this is interesting and curious, having lived on a ranch.

Mark related notes

Mark related notes

My life is recorded through notes to my mother and kept them all. If I wrote a note to my parents telling them where I was and with whom, and this guy was responsible and watched my back, I had very a long leash. Mark spent a lot of time hanging out at our house and staying for dinner, long after our brief period of dating. My family thoroughly enjoyed him.

Mark was hanging around at my house the night of the Kansas City Flood. While we were at the top of 67th St. (a relatively high point), a later addition to our house prior to a later drain caused a foot high lake of water in front of our home.  Mark helped my father release the floodgates by opening the garage and bucketing thousands of gallons of water from the front to the back of our house. A good man.

"Prom 1977"

Prom '77: he's got the body stance, the tux, and I'm still quite pleased with my dress.

Here is a note from Mark:

"Paul Lenard GO AWAY"

Paul Lenard GO AWAY

Contrary to what everyone always wrote in my yearbook, I was not that nice. This was a date that I accepted because this is what I thought my mother was telling me was the thing to do. That is, to say yes to the first invitation. I do not agree with this, by the way, and in this case, it is not nice to accept and then to complain dearly about having to fulfill the commitment behind the person’s back, in this case the date with Paul Leonard. I always had a fear of boys liking me for which I had no really jazzy feeling in return if you get what I mean. My daughter explains how to handle this by advising, “even the nice nerdy ones still think there is always a chance. So to be both kind but to not shun an overture of friendship, “you just need to keep clarifying from the very beginning that if you hang out with them nothing is NEVER going to happen.” In this case in hindsight, I realize it wasn’t even an issue. In fact, this is the male company with whom today I am very, if not most comfortable.

Anyway, Mark came over to help me prepare for the dreaded date, and when I went to the door to greet Paul, I found that Mark had stuck this on the front door. As I left, Mark yelled from my parents bedroom (he spent lots of time here with various people when we had parties before tee pee’ing SM South when my parents did their 3 week trip to the southwest every fall), “she doesn’t want to go with you!” and other hurtful things that I maybe had been saying but I really think not that bad but just maybe something like, “I REALLY am dreading going” but regardless now I don’t like to admit to having said or thought mean things or laughed at the much meaner things that Mark (boys in general) said.

I am so sorry Paul Le(o)nard. It was really a very nice date and we went to Pumperniks in Ranch Mart. And I had matzoh ball soup for the first time. I think Paul was Jewish, so that also commemorates this nice date in my mind.

"the bunny fleece jumpsuit"

The bunny fleece sleeper

I’m putting in this photo to document that the fleece sleeper Mark wore at the pep club assembly our Sr. Year was mine and link myself with this fame.  All of the (football players..??? or was it the basketball yell leaders?) dressed up as cheerleaders and pep club girls. And then Mark arrived in the pink bunny sleeper. Hanging out at the Graves, he’d seen this quite a bit, but I can’t quite remember any preliminary try-on or how he snuck it out of my house.  It was quite formfitting on him. Translation: Mark’s @$$ looked great in it, all hard but soft and fuzzy, too.

Mark saw it all with me, was like a brother I never had. The white zit medicine I’d forget I had all over my face when he’d drop by but he’d never mention until I’d been chatting for an hour. Understanding my habit of taping over blemishes so I’d keep my hands off (by this time I wasn’t bothered that he saw this) but then later letting me forget the tape was on my face when I had to go answer the door. (He had no blemishes but I did have a little picking obsession at the time.)

So that is it, or at least a few Marcus “Ottawa” Allen stories. Please post if you have more.

Samouyah, Mark. (“we will meet again” in Taosien).

All the women will be lined up for a kiss, a funny, and those great abs. We have missed you!

Lacy’s Rudogh and Jack’s Minimalistic Sleigh with Multi-legged Guide who will go down in His-Story.

by admin

Lacy read read read "fresh books" so she has these great phonetics!

Just love it! Like Santa because he has a triangle hat, a triangle moustache and a triangle beard. And Mrs. Claus has a Triangle body. Also can you see it is obvious this child has curly hair herself because of how she handles curlicues for both curlybeard and furry boottops.

Hi, I’m old Santa! Merry Chrismes. 

I’m and elf on rodogh.  (Lace has read so much, I think she’s 7 here, that she’s got the ph down for the “f” sound).

Hi! I’m Mrs. Claus. And I make cokieyes. (Again, she has the “y” consonant for “i” sound).

re: cookie baking and the Mrs.’s often making the holidays as much work as possible

  • So Lace, thanks for noticing that Mrs. Claus is in there baking all those cookies and usually solo I might add. Graves Family tradition was:
  • cookie press green almond butter wreaths with tedious cherry bows
  • nutty nougats (individually rolled in sugar with about 30% loss if done too quickly before cookies cooled)
  • iced sugar cookies (don’t even need to say a word about how much work for anyone who makes these not to add how my detailed decoration doubled the time)
  • and Adams addition of peanut butter balls (that Jack ate as fast as I could roll).
  • The point is, Jack and Lace soon realized it was an all-day ordeal and the value for going feeding with dad and cheerfully doing barn duty for a good part of those days!  I got some help from both, but Jack seemed to mysteriously disappear along about in Jr. High. So relieved I don’t have the cookie press with me this year.

EXTRA ANIMAL LEGS, GOOD TO HAVE SOME SPARES

And both of the kids (see Jack’s below) have at least one extra leg. I agree, when you look Rudolf and all the reindeer it gives the impression that there are a million sets of legs there carrying all those toys.

PUPPET??? (Lace will have to explain this).

I have no idea why the puppet is there except that there was an old puppet theatre in the basement that the kids would play with at mom’s. He has has a triangle hat. Actually, in looking at the strings and bar above, it might have been one of our old marionettes from those shows we did at the Nelson Gallery where we made our own puppets.

 

So here’s Jack’s..he is five.

Love the sleighs!

I am trying to get back to this level of simplification that I fear I never had in making everything so complicated. I do not know what the simple lines are at the left, but maybe he was perfecting the sleigh because they do usually have that roll in the front.

In the middle picture:

Santa has Rudolf sitting on the front of the sled which I think is great. Rudolf needs a break and frankly, if Santa’s sleigh isn’t self-powered then who’s really is? Love the circle, edited bag of toys.

On the top right picture:

Santa (in both) has some nice rosy cheeks and his bag is bigger as is sleigh.  Because the kids grew up on a ranch with deer munching our trees we tried to plant in the yard as well as eating all of our alfalfa, Jack has seen lots of antlers. Plus, when deer hunters get a deer, they often leave the antlers so they are often in a pile all jumbled up and interlocked (like those gateways to Square in Jackon). So I like the way he deals with their intricacy and just makes a big locked up mesh. He looks like a pretty big Buck!

And again, Rudolf has at least 3 spare legs which can always come in handy when you are traveling the miles that he covers.

Okay, that’s it! I love them. Again, they would not be here if it were not for my mother Ginny Graves saying, “draw me a picture!”  and “Tell me about your picture.” Good job Grandy GG.

Rudoph with your nose so bright, won’t you guide my sleigh Saturday night!? 

Sampler: 29 years of Adams Custom Christmas Cards…

by admin

Well, I didn’t get a Christmas Card out this year. And I won’t be able to see those you have sent over the holidays. But I know they are all beautiful pictures sharing kind sentiments and interesting news from old friends and new to the Adams Family. Thank you! I’m sure they are in a big bowl in the living room with everyone watching over Dexter episodes.

My job was staging the picture, a thankless one that I now realize my mother has always had to bear. One year we had a professional photographer, Robert Love, Ivanhoe Love’s brother (the Liberal Mayor). I cannot find that card. We were all wearing white, very posed and a bit stiff with our hands placed upon each other. It was nice, but I thought we all looked pretty uptight.

I loved doing card design. As did Jack and Lacy. I was the coordinator, printer, and database.  Jack will remember the year we were both so challenged with the avery label print merge on my Dell that the final file was labeled Merry fre@k!ng Christmas labels (or some version of that). It was used for the next several years without computer corrections to the database because it was so hard to do.

Many years I would get help with stamps and labels, but as most mothers know, it is often easier to get them out yourself. The last Mexico card was ready the week of Thanksgiving and I still think it barely made it by New Year’s. Doesn’t matter, a couple of the years the Christmas Cards became Valentine’s Day cards. I always think it’s fine to skip a year if nothing inspirational comes to mind or if it might send one (me) over the precipice. You’ll notice we had very few the 8 years of getting Adams kids through high school in cities afar, working, and commuting to ranch.

So here are a few….

Map from Meade, Kansas to the East Ranch in Oklahoma on Cimarron River.

This was a map with landmarks along the dirt road that took people from 15 miles south of Meade to the ranch house on the East XIT Ranch in Knowles, Oklahoma.

I have to admit it that you are missing a card which was a classic that I am very embarrassed to have sent out. Fortunately I cannot find it in the scrapbooks. John and I are on a horse,  I have on a Laura Ashley dress with a white apron, and John is holding our male pug Winston. Winston, by the way, was later eaten by a coyote…”the dingo ate my baaaybeh”. This was a real eye-opener for me about (wo)man in nature and kill or be killed.

Christmas Card from 1987, the Christmas before Lacy was born.

Christmas 1988. A Blessed Child is here. I knitted the sweater and you can tell she was born a happy horsewoman.

 

Lacy and Mei Rose. Lacy had pony print pants and I painted her in these, so I'll stick that picture in, too. It was kind of a theme that year and Christmas.

Well, here's the painting and the pug.

And here's Lacy in the pony print pants with her red high top sandals.

 

We had lots of paper dolls, so this was the Cowboy Santa Paper Doll Card with Lacy's Dear Santa list on his legal pad.

John, Jack, Paula, Lacy Adams. Jack Adams looks like he is smiling but it was FREEZING and he was really crying. I guess that is why dad is laughing. Boys will be boys.

Now here Jack is really happy I think, but again, winter winds in SW Kansas are colder than a b!tch's wit.

 Here is one of those late Valentiner’s. I think it’s actually pretty nice because people actually have time to look at the card as it’s not amidst 500 others.

Love this one, green red blue. I think this was taken Christmas Day because Lacy has her kitten Midnight. Lace cut a picture of a tabby out of a magazine and John scoured southwest Kansas until he saw that exact kitty. Midnight was born a barn cat and stayed a barn cat and mouser. She lived in a tree and one time caught a rabbit and drug it up into the tree, very tough cookie.

Lacy and Jack Adams by carvings at rock outcrop. 1995

Seaside, Florida. 1997.

Lace's drawing of the newly restored Rock Island Depot in photo collage.

Lacy did this great perspective drawing with a light table of the Liberal Rock Island Depot. It was adjacent to the  Grier Eating House (like Harvey Houses but on Rock Island Line) that received ISTEA Grants from KDOT for Restoration-Renovation of the two buildings.

I worked in various areas: schematics, grants, historical significance, and did fundraising so it was a baby for me.  I am proud to have been associated with work of so many many others and there is a great Italian restaurant if you need a bite to eat when traveling on 54 west.  Jack and Lace spent some time there, but rollerblading not allowed on the quays of the tracks so the card is in defiance of city rules.

Oh, Home on the Range. Lace did this drawing and I added the boots. They are over at the guest (bunk) house in that kitchen. They are also pictured on the horses riding outside of the window.

Bob Bernquist skateboarding picture that Jack drew. Then he put into Adobe Photoshop and colored in the fields. Bob is flying on the hilltop over the Cimarron River where I would run everyday on the West Ranch. Get the Mood, Dude! Brilliant, Jack.

This should be Christmas of 2000 or 01 and Jack would have been 9. His pictures were always total action.  The complex twisted body poses always convey the exact movement. He still has this ability to see how people use their bodies to a T and dances and moves like a cat.

He sees it in his brain because he seems to memorize so easily upon seeing and imprints that snapshot in his brain without having to see a picture. Same way with math. Don’t know where he gets it. I wish I had this abililty to see and master foreshortening. Look at Bob’s hand curved back in the air!

For the caption on the back, Jack wrote, "Lacy, what do you think Dad is going to say?"

This card was the Christmas after a summer we went to Chicago. We walked Michigan Avenue with Randy & Heather Knotts and their family taking pictures and lounging along the way around the Cows on Parade.

So this is Cows on Parade on the uplands along the Cimarron River.

Lacy, Paula, John, Jack in New York City, Thanksgiving after 9-1-1. I think we are outside of one of Lidia's restaurants.

Here’s another that became delayed as I was at long last finishing my last tech. arch. studio in Lawrence while John and kids held down the fort at the ranch. Mostly what I remember is that the apartment at Meadowbrook had a pull-down bed and it had to be up most of the time for all the models and projects at my drafting table and it was very lonely for I missed my family, but worth it and necessary for later events to unfold for our family for high school. Believe it or not, the Adams family would come up to visit and we would all sleep in the room together.

2003-2009

I know we’re missing quite a few in here. But, these were the years when we got the Adams children a genufied citified high school edumacation. And it was grueling, and we survived, but personally only by the skin of my teeth. And maybe I’m going to have to be the one to say it to all of us, but… we got’er done! And well-done at that. Fait Accompli, the bulk of our work and work and driving and driving and driving and working and working was over. I’m sure all parents feel this way in some form or another, rural or urban. Of course, it was also the bulk of too much fun!

Jack, Lacy, John, Paula Adams. Puerta Vallarta, Mexico. sum 2010.

So, you may have seen this last card on Facebook the other day. This was a vacation we took in Puerta Vallarta the summer of 2010.  We really had only taken one beach trip like this in that decade to St. Croix the year that Lacy graduated from high school, so it was a real treat and it was a lovely trip. We waited until the last night, I ordered up jeans and black and it still hadn’t been taken after dinner and lots of wine. But what did God send but this beautiful orange stucco wall with tiered steps and I think it is really our best family Christmas Card.

Many happy memories!