Running on the Rez: a few Taosien thoughts

by admin

I was actually running on the Taos Reservation December 2, 2010. I met Butch and Henry (“D”) that day and they shared their thoughts and work with me. D called me two days ago on the eve of my next trip to Taos, so I am here at the Sagebrush Inn and thought it was time to record the moment.

I’ll save my Taos history for another post as well as the Sagebrush Inn stories and pictures, but on the 2nd my day began with a few pictures while running before I ran into Butch chopping wood.

Keep the money in the family

If you've got'tem smoke'em.

Living the good life outside of town. 

I knew there was a reason why I felt comfortable on the Reservation.

They enjoy life down on the farm.

Keep if in the family.

Know how exciting a good casino can be in rural America. Dodge City has a new casino and it’s the highlight of my year to now have a place to watch the people, but that’s for later, too.

Butch at work and rest.

Butch makes $50/day chopping wood, so I knew this might cost me as well as asking to take the picture but he could not have been more willing to share his morning. Butch met his wife, a Cheyene Arapahoe, in El Reno. She lives in Oklahoma City. Interesting how so many rural women live in town elsewhere and it all works out, everyone is happy.

Here are a few thoughts from Butch:
He specializes in curved doorway openings in homes on reservation and within Pueblo and has promised me a tour.
He is also an artist. He made a sandstone buffalo that he was trying to sell in Sedona when he worked on a house there, but at Sedona, you must have a license to sell of the street. After he was shut down on the street in Sedona, he entered a gallery where an artist was selling an image of the Taos Pueblo. He then pointed out to the gallery owner that actually the rights to the Pueblo image were owned by the Taos Indians, ironic as he’d just been shot down.

One guys opinion about politics.

Butch likes Bill Clinton, not a George Bush lover, and said the Taos Indians love Richard Nixon. This is because the Taos Pueblo is actually not a part of the U.S. System which placed Indians upon reservations. It was part of a Spanish Land Grant for the Pueblo Indians who have been there for over a 1,000 years. The Taosiens fought to regain their independence from the U.S. Government in the early 20th century in a long battle that was finally won with Richard Nixon granting sovereignty to the lands in the 70s.

Butch, Taos Reservation Nov. 2, 2010.

Butch told me of the Indians connection with Tibet and asked about my eyes if I had Tibetan or asian roots (?). I told him I will have to introduce him to my friend Marthe if he wants to see real Tibetan eyes and an old soul. And speaking of, Marthe and I have been to Taos together about 28 years ago and we will be back soon. I think we also stayed at Sagebrush Inn.

Meeting Butch’s brother Henry, “Dee”, and getting a deserved ass chewing for snapping without asking.

After a bit, Henry and Todd drove up in a pickup. There was a great picture of Henry and Todd that I took right off. I was promptly called out on it by Henry who said that sometimes people can end up dead for doing this. This is actually true. I remembered that my mother had once taken a picture of a waitress with reflecting gasses and a beehive behind the counter at Cascone’s Italian Ristoranti in the River Market. My father, slapped her camera down, for the man sitting on the stool that she was serving was Nick Civella. Nick Civella was a KC mobster, to use an un p.c. old word. I am afraid to use any other (like cosa nostra) as I might end up dead as he was closely associated with Jimmy Hoffa and Teamsters, Roy Williams. His skill at skimming from the Stardust in Vegas earned him a place on the Nevada exclusion list.

Anyway, I always like a good threat and am used to people who carry guns since I live in Kansas. For me personally, my concerns all rest upon how I look in the picture. But, the reason why I do this is at times is because people stop and pose. I can miss the exact moment for the best picture to be captured. So, I have found that sometimes I can get away with just taking the picture and asking later, though not this time. I deleted the picture, it was rude of me.

I was the Indian Papparazzi….it cost me $25.00 and a bottle of whiskey. I fear if they see this post, it will cost me much more, hopefully not my life. I told them about it and them seemed okay. But, I got 1.5 hours of the best history, art, design, and philosophy that I’ve ever had in one setting. I also made three friends who may someday do some cool things on the ranch at the XIT Headquarters if John will let them deer hunt on the river.

Henry had left the reservation as a young man and lived in New York where he was some kind of political figure. And yes, they do allow you to go away and come back. Henry was “old guard” Pueblo.

I felt a lot of guilt speaking with Henry, he was testing me.  When I mentioned history, he said that 90% of American History was false.  He seemed to have a bit of a chip and I was uncomfortable, so I went on the attack,”it’s been 150 years, get over it, haven’t you ever screwed anyone in a deal?”  “No, but I like to screw white women.”

hmmmm….I have decided that maybe men of other cultures have trouble identifying ages since ethnic men, older men, and homeless men seem to be the audiences with whom I seem to garner attention when I’m alone.  Though this white woman remark was not intended for me, it is taken for what I suppose men intend for these comments to be… a compliment to women, right?

Henry and Todd took me to one of the building projects.  I ws totally impressed with their recycling of materials and organization. I live on a ranch and you can tell who’s re-using their stuff by how they organize the junkpile and their takedown system of former projects. Here’s a picture.

Recycled adobe brick under tarp.

Here’s a bit about communal living and the Taos Reservation:
Even in communal living there is hierarchy. Some guys (and gals) have more and better land than others.
There is about 100,000 acres within the Taos Reservation.
80% of this is mountainous and timbered, not productive, and communally owned.
The remaining is privately owned.
There are about 1500 residents.
There are about 4,000 that have tribal rights.


This is Todd. Todd’s wife is a Taos Indian. He mentioned that the women have a lot of power on the reservation.

And last, when I asked about the recent gay pride parade in Taos, I asked if there would ever be a gay pride parade on the reservation. Maybe in 50 years, was the response. Yes, the Reservation has all kinds, everyone keeps to themself, sounds like Kansas. But mainly the answer was, “why do you care about gay men and not about us?” Maybe everyone is feeling a bit neglected and underappreciated these days, not just white males.

And Henry finally allowed me to take a picture of his ponytail only. Then, feeling artful, he gave me a side view.

Henry a la R C Gorman

So Henry, when you called, I was so happy to hear your voice! And do hope that you’ll remember, Butch, that you invited me to Christmas Eve at the Reservation with all the family and Donald Rumsfeld for the fireworks when we met at the Adobe Bar. Yes, I do feel the love… and so appreciate that you called me on some Paula issues I need to work on.

I will look you up on my next trip. And I’m glad you got present from El Prado, though when you did not trust me to give it to Butch that night at the Taos Inn, my note said “So you don’t trust your brother, eh?”

I was teasing. It was in response to our earlier discussion about Indians and all of your brothers. And in the context of the U.S. getting $h@ft’d in a deal, you know, my comment, “didn’t you ever screw someone in a deal?” But, it didn’t read on paper, you are right. I apologize and appreciate. I do not like being misunderstood. I should not be glib and what I think is casually affable invades others boundaries. We had just met, it was trespassing.

Samouyah. We will meet again.
I know I am not your brother, I do not speak your language, but in other ways we are family.
And yes, we are all the same.



And if you ever have to pay $5 at the road when you first enter the Indian Reservation, I did have a vote in that. I was able to run and appreciated taking the pictures free of charge, but perhaps a gate toll at highway could bring in the bucks, not just at the Pueblo. Of course, I need to focus more on my goals in this department. It all looks pretty shiny out there and life  good. “Good idea,” Henry said to the nosy trespassing advice-giver.


Pervasive Bald men and Blue Eyes trend…some research on roots…and why it could work.

by admin

Michael Stipe, R.E.M.


I have noticed more and more men are choosing to completely shave their heads.

And, I just noticed that so many of them have blue eyes. 

Michael Stipe, R.E.M.

a note: to remind you, I have lived on a ranch in western Kansas and spent a lot of time painting, jewelry-making, designing, french-teaching, history-researching, driving, cooking, running and raising children. So, this may be something that everyone else noticed long ago, but I’m just now opening my eyes to these things since I now spend time in the big ‘Ta Town. 

So the two observations lead me to propose this generalization:

Men experiencing early male pattern baldness and blue eyes are rushing to shave their heads to get women. 

Now, we can all accept the fact that many, if not most men are motivated to do anything, by one thing. So, this doesn’t seem like much of a statement. 

But this is so prevalent and apparently so effective, that even others without this syndrome seem to be following suit.

Wentworth Miller, whoever he is…


So let’s look at the steps from predicament to solution from a balding perspective.

a) Too much testosterone.  No explanation needed there. Getting plenty, no problem.

b) Blue eyes. a single mutation which arose as recently as 6-10,000 years ago from one ancestor around the Black Sea was responsible for all the blue-eyed people alive on Earth today. AndEuropeans are far more likely to have blue eyes. They also have a far greater range of skin tones and hair colour than any other ethnic grouping. One theory for the proliferation of so many blue-eyed persons in such a short period of time is sex selection. Sex selection comes to the fore when there is a lot of competition for mates of one sex or the other. The theory is that in Europe, where men had to spend weeks at a time out on the hunt, males were in very short supply. Therefore, the blue-eyed, more unique men were at an advantage...again, getting plenty, no problem. 

c) Hair loss, the problem arises. Hair, in a general historical sense, has traditionally associated with virility in males. So, the men who were winning with too much testosterone were now at a disadvantage.

First, a little background material on hairinesss. It’s not really a tangent, stay with me…

There is a differentiation between the effect of the level of testosterone in body hair versus that at the top of the head.

In the body,

more test is more,

unlike on the head,

where more test is less.

So, by the text books, more body hair indicates men that are fertile, sexually mature and strong. And if you believe in evolution, fertile women should go for the hairy bods.

But Finnish psychologists actually found the opposite to be true.

Here are their propositions:

Fertile women aren’t looking at the body hair, they are looking at the man’s muscles to work out whether he’s got good genes. Less body hair in the way reveals the structure. This is reflected in current aesthetics for idealism in both sexes of defined bod musculature and hairlessness. I am interested to see that this seemingly narcicisstic trend might actually has some positive (?) genetic basis.

The Finns also propose it’s not the testosterone but the estradiol. As estradiol increases, it changes males character slightly, making them better able to take care of their children. So less body hair may reflect a man’s greater caring potential. This might explain why women not desiring or post child-bearing age have no problem with hairy male bodies.

d) So, the solution. The balding men have taken it a step further. Being unable to do anything on their head (implants, plugs, rogaine, all humiliating and make women laugh at them even more) they have found a clever solution to regain their ability to get.

They are marching the smoothness-in-body hair trend vertically upward to tap into a visual characteristic that will trigger a women’s perception of caring potential, a positive trait equally effective in getting sex.  

And I give them a great deal of credit for researching the genetic, historical and cultural trends that have brought them to this point.  It’s a great look to add to the men’s team and very timely:  modern, clean, streamlined, low maintenance, functionally simple.

Michael Chiklis from The Shield.

But most important, why it works? 

Bald blue-eyed men remind of us our babies….smooth heads and their  blue eyes at birth.

I remember…..carry on sweet thing…

These testosterone-laden men are fully aware of the feeling that comes over a mother when gazing into the eyes of her infant.

…no words…

They have tapped into that desire for women to nurture their newborn and are attempting to channel it elsewhere, and where else would that be? They’ve done their homework and history. I have to say,  I’m very impressed with the sophistication of this thought process.

But, I would warn that conjuring up an infant in a woman’s mind to get sex might carry some risk to be aware of.

That is, that infant also came with some other more challenging nascent characteristics. I won’t mention these because, of course,  we all possess them and their potential is there to arise at any moment when unchecked.  But, of course, we all know how worth it they were in raising with our children.

Why I felt I had to share, since of course, this has no real relevance at my age. 

  • As a trying-to-be-a little-wiser older woman who gains most wisdom from my children, I thought I should share this proposition with the gals’ team.
  • To all the bald, hairy, shaved, bearded, waxed, paternal, nurturing, caring, maternal, bachelor, whatever men out there:  I think you’re neck in neck in the race. Keep working it, whatever your angle…


And to women of all ages…

  • Start looking….
  • Please do post and share if you notice the same thing.


Exploration: Sailing with Paula and Zebulon Pike.

by admin

Sailing away on the Cimarron River uplands...

From where did the sailboat begin it’s journey today?

My daughter posted on this picture and I noticed that the photograph I’d scanned from my album still had clear corners at the right.  I use the old school corners and Webway albums and layer my pictures for space and artistic effect, photos only, no stickers, it’s a once a year event. I organize for a day, then do Jack’s, Lacy’s, Family. Then I store any good extras in labeled manila envelopes. It’s all a mess since I’ve ripped into them with this website and blog.

But, I saw this sailboat in the picture that I have now outlined with a pen. And I realized that there are all kinds of explorers of the High Plains so I set off to sail…

But from these immense prairies may arise one great advantage to the United States, the restriction of our population to some certain limits, and thereby a continuation of the union. Our citizens being so prone to rambling, and extending themselves on the frontiers, will, through necessity, be constrained to limit their extent on the west to the borders of the Missouri and the Mississippi, while they leave the prairies, incapable of cultivation, to the wandering and uncivilized Aborigines of the country.

-Zebulon Pike, 1811.

And, it is the 200 year anniversary from when Zeb Pike made this statement.

Zeb Pike, a pretty good-looking guy.

Well, Zeb’s prediction that we would only settle east of the Missouri didn’t really pan out. Zebulon Pike did exploratory travels through the western territories of North America. These travels included a voyage from St. Louis on the Mississippi to it’s source, a journey through the interior of Louisiana, and the north-eastern provinces of New Spain. This was in 1805, 1806, and 1807 by order of the Government of the United States.

Expeditions of New Spain by Zebulon Montgomery Pike.

Pike vis-a-vis Lewis and Clark.

Being from Kansas City, Lewis and Clark always came to mind and their lookout point around 12th St. downtown. And, Pike was overshadowed by Lewis and Clark. But, their journals are of no value to any study of the Great Plains.  Jefferson had appointed Lewis, a military man and Jefferson’s private secretary, who was also a fellow Virginian. Lewis wisely chose Clark, another military man who was the people guy, able to communicate and rally all kinds, from all backgrounds, and of all levels of education. And, he was a brilliant cartographer. But they went by water and were of eastern orientation, so they saw little of the Plains. This is not to diminish that Kansas City is the real Gateway to the West and it just now growing into its history as a food capital of the world, for it all works together.

Who had more work and fun?

After living on the Missouri River, on the High Plains, and having climbed a few mountains, Pike’s journey is the one I would have chosen. He had the more physically challenging and foreign work. The Great American Desert and the Mountains were absolutely that to Americans who migrated from Europe and settled in the East. And, as it is for all of us who look west, this journey is very exhilarating because it is rugged, dramatic, and difficult.

Pike’s Plains Expedition

Pike’s Plains expedition began July 15,1806 in St. Louis with 23 white men and 51 Indians. By Aug. 26, he abandoned his boat on the Kansas River and went onward with horses purchased from the Indians. And he was captured and conducted to Santa Fe March 3, 1807.

This was the conversation:

Governor:  Do you speak French?

Pike:  Yes, sir.

Governor:  You come to reconnoiter our country, do you?

Pike:  I marched to reconnoiter our own.

Governor:  In what character are you?

Pike:  In my proper character, an officer of the United States Army.

So what’s the point about Pike?

My point is that we did it.  We took the United States. This is not a value judgment on who and why and from whom and strategy of what is good or what is bad or what is sustainable and for how long. It is on a country that studies a bit, makes a plan, does it. Be it good or be it bad, in the U.S. we got $h!t done and stepped up to the plate on how fast the world was moving and took action.

And, if we hadn’t done it, or done it this way, there would have been someone else who would have. First in line, first in time in America was the open-minded people who really saw it and accepted it for what it was.

This included all kinds:  colonists sick of the King, indentured servants, starving immigrants, entrepreneurs with European capital from home, businessmen, and those wanting religious freedom. Good people.

That is us and I’m glad we did it, imperfect as it was and is. Because the world doesn’t stop and sometimes to you have to act, to get the reins, to plow forward and do and make it better later. And that, is what I believe, is the spirit of America.

And I share a few things with Zebulon Pike. I am also an explorer of the High Plains. But that is tomorrow.

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.

And, I beat the trail to Santa Fe where I am captured, as he was. But by the art and culture I need to nourish me on the Plains and so as to be refreshed again with its beauty when I return.

And I understand now this shadow in the picture  from the corner holding another picture, that my exploring is by sea.

Sometimes when I am at sea, I am beaten by winds. Then, I know exactly what to do to get back home safely.

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

But in that private life and world of the XIT Ranch, where I lived on the High Plains, I shared in my own way what I could not just of the ranch but of other ranches, through drawings and photographs and writing about ranching in Kansas.  And I shared by doing things like working on designs to preserve a Depot from where they used to ship cattle, or writing a grant to fund the work, or raising the money to help pay for it. And by inviting the Frenchman in Kansas or the paleontologists from Kentucky down for dinner. I did the work on the boat that I knew how to do, that I did well, where I think gave back.

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

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

Some of it was on foot while running.

A bit of it was in the pastures when I would fish for lost cattle. And 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 ranch, but there were so, so many people on that land, and it just seemed so crowded.

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 when doing history work in Kansas. 


a note: I like this song, but I don’t think Tonto would call the Lone Ranger “Kemo Sabe” and not want him on his boat. They worked the High Plains together with the same values.

So today, when I started with Zeb, I went on a 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 took my pony on my boat and we just enjoyed the day.

It took me through geological and rock formations, surface etching of the High Plains with rivers, glaciers, erosion. 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. 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 as he pleases with it. 

This is Paula the Explorer.





If I had the money…if I had the energy…if I had the time…

by admin

The Lord's Diner and the Commodore Apartment Building, Broadway & 5th, Wichita.

The Staff of Life and Food. 

The Lord’s Diner is Wichita’s soup kitchen located at Broadway, just north of Central. It is a faith-based charity serving over 400 meals a day from 5:30 to 7:30, 365 days of the year, 7 days a week. It is manned by a small paid staff assisted by 5,500 volunteers of many faiths who prepare a hot, nutritious meal “in a spirit of compassion, respect, and loving service.” It is a debt-free facility built by many including 175 local companies and countless individuals who donated labor and materials.

And, if I had the money…

I would approach the Tulsa developer and local Wichitan who will be restoring this building to a hotel with a proposal.  Let’s buy a few floors to keep back for the locals who dine at the Lord’s Diner in the evening.

Schafer Johnson Cox Frey Architecture, just down the block, would work out the schematics. These are the guys for whom I worked from 2004-2006 when my daughter attended high school in Wichita.

The Ground Floor

This is the floor where people, anyone, could come when life has taken them to their knees. There would be many others there who have been in this place and so need these newcomers to remind them of powerlessness. People would share, new and old alike, what brought them there. Others might share all the challenges, pain, and positives that lay beyond the adventures of the past. And, to share a gratitude for having the opportunity in life to finally reach the basement and experience the sub-grade of birth.  There is a lot of work to be done on this floor, but it’s only twelve risers and the door is always open.

The Arts Floor

This is a personal floor for me because the beauty is and always has been there. In the sweet manure, in the fluttering trash sack of the junkpile, in that favorite old piece of clothing hidden by new sacks of sh!t. It might be beauty to your ears, to your taste, to your eyes, to your smell, or in a smile. But, (s)he was always there with you.  And, now we get to take the time to look, to really feel the depths of the happiness and pain and beauty. But this time, unclouded and still.

There will be the wildly imaginative persons who need the contemplative to get the project done. And, the reverse, and everything in-between. But what is created will be taken out into the world and shared with everyone.

The Work-it Work-out Floor.

This wouldn’t have been necessary for so many when we all came to this country. But everything’s a muscle, the mind and the body. And we are midwesterners, so it is in our genes. It takes energy to make energy and for those with too much, too trapped inside their head, it must be stoked in some form, to finally get the coals back to the right temperature for proper cooking. Those who toil physically in their daily work get a reprieve. And those who are mothers have daycare. The kiddies would workout with their peers while mom gets to reclaim her mind and body.

And then, there is the dance floor.

Because fun is part of life. Sometimes it’s work to plan the fun, sometimes it’s fun to plan the work. But fun is a great motivator. And, in honor of Lionel Ritchie and the building, the first selection should be “Brick House” followed by “Easy like Sunday Morning.” And, everyone has to dance, alone or together, because it is important to dance while you can. Life is short.

And last, there is our past.

For this, the diners must turn left instead of right on Broadway.

Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, Central and Broadway. Wichita.

And this is an add-on tour, optional, but the point should still be made. Without knowing our history, we are destined to repeat it. So, no matter how painful it is to experience our own, it is a learning that is the hope for a new future. And there is a comfort in our children and our world that nothing stays the same. And all we can do is live our lives and do our work and be kind and give in a way that we have great hope for the future. Not perfectly, not with the answers, not that we’ll do it right and the screwups might actually be sweet, but thinking, pausing, and trying each day for joy, freedom, and gratitude to be alive and for whatever comes next.

Here are some pictures that can tell stories to everyone, literate or not, as they have done since the Middle Ages. They are of pain and here, of people of conviction. They should be passed along. Our stories should be passed along, whether in a moment during a walk with a child or in a painting or a recipe.

Bronze Doors of Immaculate Conception. Wichita.


S. army chaplain who who died in the Korean War.

And sometimes a reminder of earlier stories, told in the same way, that also shaped who we are and that we are responsible…

The Fall of Man: The Bronze Doors of Bishop Bernward, Hildesheim, 1025. Lower Saxony, Germany.

But, I don’t have the money….and I don’t have the energy…and the light is turning yellow

So, I took the pictures. And I wrote a story.

Turning left and heading east, Central and Topeka.



Pas de sketch du jour: June 5, 1980. Shopping for my pledge daughter, my parents, sister, and boyfriend and “little things for friends.” in that order.

by admin

Paula's research shopping path to le Bon Marché. 22 rue de Sèvres, Rive gauche, Paris.


June 5, 1980

Woke at 10:00- ran (4 miles) to Jardins du Luxembourg.  Very good place to run as recommended by man at desk at Hotel Cayré.  

Hôtel et Jardins du Luxembourg

Shopped after. Bon Marché. I didn’t leave for 2 hours. Cute bathing suit and cute long shorts, but I didn’t buy anything. 

le Bon Marché, 24 rue de Sèvres. Left Bank, Paris.

[Bon Marché is a department store in Paris that was founded in 1838 as a small shop and became a fixed-price store in 1850. The successful business built a new store constructed by Louis Auguste Boileau in 1867. Louis Boileau, his son, continued the store in the 1870s. He consulted with Gustave Eiffel for the structure. Louis Hippolyte-Boileau, the grandson, worked on an extension to the store in the 1920s.].

Dome au bon marché, intérieur du magasin.

Want to get a French navy shirt for Ed (Robb Edmonds, boyfriend #2 from high school/KU summer ’80. He was interning for Kassebaum in Washington, D.C.) but I can’t find it here!! Did find a braided bag leather bag for mom which is a possibility. Gina?? Dad?!?  Possibly a bicycling shirt, but I don’t know!

French sailor shirt, immortalized by Picasso.

[I have no clue what that meant, I have no recollection that anyone in my family bicycled to point of having a special shirt, but maybe it was a Tour de France shirt? We bicycled for transportation in Graves family].

Lunch:  chef salade in a café un boul St.-Germain (20F-$5.00). I have to quit spending so much money on food!!

[See the priorities, here…not worried about money for gifts, but concerned about eating out. Seeing that I was in a hotel that only served breakfast, I don’t know what choice I had, but later in summer I started to pick up food at the charcuterie down the street though I did not like having food in my hotel room.]

Took métro to Tuileries to take pictures of little boys with boats.  

Three men approached me on walk from Tuileries to Grand Palais!! I could have café crée libre (I think this is decaf coffee with cream) all day long. They are always

[back to the men, detecting diagnosis of possible ADD tendencies not yet unidentified for another 32 years]

  1. old (over 30 at least).
  2. dark
  3. and have bad teeth.
That must be the type that looks for American Girls in the Tuileries. I asked one man his age-he guessed that I was 18! :(.
One absolutely changed directions to follow me.  It was really sort of annoying after the 2nd time. [See how easily flattered I am with male attention, even substandard?] I am going to start saying I am married.

Point d'embarcation pour les Bateaux-Mouches. Paris.

Sketched (see earlier blog post Le Grand Palais).  It is so neat!! I love it.  I had to sit on a bridge (the one right over where one takes the bateau mouche) and I could feel tremors!! Finished about 7:00 and arrived home at 7:30.  
Ate dinner at “Le Jardin” -sort of a French Health Food restaurant [???? I think paté, rich cheeses, butter, cream and wine for those who partake in the quantities perscribed in France are all proving to be pretty healthy when cutting out the gauloises]. Very elegant and pretty, but “laid-back.” Group seems to hang out there, piano player. I wouldn’t really suggest it unless you were a vegetarian [God forbid in Franch in 1980 or now!], but it was interesting. The chef came out and took my $ for the dinner and asked me what I was doing this summer in Paris, did I like it, etc. The people are so nice. I think when I do stuff alone, I speak a little French, and people feel more comfortable about talking to you and are so helpful. He told me to be sure & come back before I leae, especially for the thé in the afternoon.  They “had very good things for tea” he said en français. 
Well, I’m going to needlepoint maintenant. Au Revoir! 

le sketch du jour: July 4th, 1980. Beaubourg, Renzo Piano and Richard Rogers, d’Estaing, some politics.

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Centre Georges Pompidou, former meat district, Paris.

The Pompidou Center was a brand new building designed by architects Renzo Piano (Italian, Milan)and Richard Rogers (British, Yale) in 1980 when I was in Paris. It was one of many projects by Valéry Giscard d’Estaing. The complex, an Art Museum, is in the Beaubourg area of the 4th arrondissement of Paris. It is near les halles (the former meat market area), rue montorgueil (where hip Parisians shop, eat, are seen…there’s a Monet painting of this street) and the Marais (first wealthy planned urban shopping and dwelling, Place des Vosges which was mentioned in sketchbook on July 1st. The goal of this museum is very egalitarian, to bring in everyone, even those who would never go to an art museum. This is so different than so many other museums in Paris where I would generalize to say that beyond the tourist, the visitor already feels some degree of appreciation of art.

First, a word about le Centre Georges Pompidou, aka Beauborg. If you really want the architect’s intellectual discussion, here ’tis. But bear with me, if you are working in the field of architecture or construction, it’s useless.

The Photo of my angle from internet.

It was innovative in having services such as staircases, lifts, electrical power conduits and water pipes on the outside, leaving the inside open and uncluttered.

an excerpt from journal notes from 4 July 1980.


As you can see, I saw Pompidou Center commonly called “Beaubourg”. It is pretty exciting-it looks like a “big erector set” as Michael (my teacher from NYC and Parsons) said.  It is exciting because it is so big, so high-tech, and so different for this city.  People seem to really enjoy it because the square & inside of the center were packed.  Inside was a photography exhibit, an exhibit of old train cars, tents, paintings, Duane Hanson (people in car) – I think it was “leisure activities,” a restaurant on the roof, a museum in the majority of theh building, and an escalator that takes you up through that clear tunnel to the top.  I did all, but none of the museum, and I was there for 2 1/2 hours.  


In the square were bagpipes, mimes, dancers, beggars, some religious group, and a man with chaings aound him that passed around a bucket for money.  There was also a belly dancer.  Definitely a must of things to do in Paris, but it does take a whole afternoon. 

And here’s some politics about France if anyone cares. 

Beaubourg was initiated under Pompidou, but under d’Estaing’s leadership was completed along with Valéry’s other far-reaching infrastructure projects, the TGV and the turn towards nuclear power as France’s main energy source. He suffered from the economic downturn from the ’73 energy crisis marking the end of the “30 glorious years after World War II.” Official discourse stated that the “end of the tunnel was near”.

A bit of background, he was a centre-right politician and liberal on social issues in the Catholic country of divorce, contraception, and abortion. He was opposed by Mitterand, of the newly-unified left, and from a rising Jacques Chirac who resurrected Gaullis (with whom d’Estaing had broken ranks) on a right-wing opposition line and was not re-elected after his tenure in ’81.  He supported the United States of Europe and the later EU.

One quote of his in particular, from an article he wrote for Le Monde[10] and published in that newspaper on 15 June 2007, that “public opinion will be led to adopt, without knowing it, the proposals we dare not present to them directly”, was consistently highlighted by “No” campaigners (anti EU) as evidence of d’Estaing’s alleged agenda to fool the European public into his proposals. While the quote is accurate, it was part of a critique, taken out of context, of a suggestion made by some unnamed persons. In truth, he went on to reject this course of action by saying, “This approach of ‘divide and ratify’ is clearly unacceptable. Perhaps it is a good exercise in presentation. But it would confirm to European citizens the notion that European construction is a procedure organised behind their backs by lawyers and diplomats.”

He was a a teacher in Montréal in ’48, graduated from École Polytechnique and the École national d’administration from ’49-’51, worked with the Tax and Revenue Service, joined staff of Prime Minister Faure in ’56, sec’y of Finance from ’59-’62, he supported the winning candidate Georges Pompidou and returned to the Ministry of Economy and Finance, and in ’74 at age 48, he was elected to President,In 1974, he was elected President of France at 48, the third youngest president in French history, after Louis Napoleon Bonaparte and Jean Casimir-Perioer. He promised “change in continuity”. He made clear his desire to introduce various reforms and modernise French society, which was an important part of his presidency.

And, he was an elegant, articulate man of economics, seemingly free of sexual scandal (a little minor diamond smuggling liaison accusation, but we have money issues in America, too). Pretty amazing for a French politician. 


Toejam at Paddy O’Shay’s Sept 2nd, SMEast ’78, Harold Epstein.

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Harold Epstein, Musician. SMEast Class '78

I have a way of not getting to the main point, so here it is. Harold Epstein’s Band Toejam (or whatever etiquette is to indicate collective ownership of a group of musicians but Harold is who I know. When you google it he has all the important businessman titles: General Manager and Booking agent) is playing at Paddy O’Shay’s Labor Day Weekend.

  • So, what would anyone have to do that could possibly be better than seeing a committed creative of (40 years? …when did you start playing Harold?) in our class at East to celebrate that we’re 50ish and shouldn’t be laboring so hard?
  • Or, as I see it, play is indeed work and takes some effort.
  • So, get in the car (Julayne Ramsey is driving 600 miles from Minnesota…I’m not giving up on Eugene Bridges as he needs some fresh Kansas air being down there is smoky moutains all summer), hop on the plane, ride your bike on the bike path on I-435, whatever you have to do.  It should be fun.
  • I’ve heard there will be a former recluse or two from my neighborhood putting in an appearance.
  • Dave Wood (and Denise Gatzoulis) called me a month or so ago and at that time we committed to seeing Harold play next KC visit, so he motivated me. So, I’m hoping they’re both in town. All the outdoorsman can sit together at one table and talk hunting and fishing and Cabela’s.  I’ll pass on this for the fashion and art and photography with Julayne and Lisa Revare Hickok. I’m name dropping on my homies being there, have no idea of their social commitments that Friday as we’re all too busy to talk.
  • no one comes to these things if they are true dyed-in-the-wool pills or assholes.
so here’s the data:
Paddy O’Shays
Sept 2, 2011
9 pm to 1 am
135th and Nieman
As I haven’t seen Harold and didn’t hear him play in high school, I have no idea of music genre. In my mind, this could be anything from Led Zeppelin to the Monkees, but I’m sure we can find a way to dance to whatever it is. I intend to dance a lot, mostly with the girls.
So, that’s about it. Toejam, is of course, front and center. But, I do love these opportunities for high school friends to get together.  I realize that it may make me a bit of a loser to think back about high school. Whatever…But two things…
stop here for 99.9% of readers. The rest is just Paula’s attempts to get some of the thoughts about high school and friends role in later life that are constantly spinning around her head, onto paper and into her blog therapy. This is done for numerous reasons, one being her goal to talk and burden/bore others less about such randomness in casual conversation. I’m going to rehearse before I go Friday evening, can’t promise anything.  
  • I know I always have mixed feelings of good and bad about this time in my life. And almost 30 more years of real life, different people, different experiences, different jobs and places certainly makes this just a little sliver and maybe not the most interesting facet. But, it was the slice when we were transitioning from being girls and boys to women and men (hormonal). And that is a common bond. And, I’m thinking and hoping that amidst all the $h!t of probably not the greatest sex and fumbling, parents and family life, competition, drugs and alcohol and trouble and and self- discovery and Carolyn Howard, that there was a lot of joy and fun for everyone. This is what I like to remember with friends.
  • On a personal note about friends and I’ll get to the point after a bit of background…. I married 6 months after graduating from KU to an incredible man who went to a private high school in KC and was in a frat at KU. But, he grew up on a ranch in the Flint Hills. I should have realized that the Brooks Brothers and penny loafers were just a small part of this guy. But, the gritty cowboy thing was and of course, will always be extremely alluring, as you can imagine it was for a Johnson County Girl. This John Adams was really is the main show.  I was confident that since I was creative, love and I would figure out the rest. I threw myself in and have never regretted it.
    • So, right after we were married, we moved to the XIT ranch in his family’s cattle business down on the Cimarron River in very rural Meade County, Kansas, 30 miles from the closest city.  He’d go there to brand cattle for two weeks in the summer. But, he had never lived there full-time, so we shared the adventure. It is about as diagonally opposite from Johnson County as you can get in Kansas and about as diametrically opposite from Johnson County as it comes.
    • So, I’m getting closer to my point about old friends, places, and memories of key things to build upon that were my foundation and are my mother’s milk. These are for me: my family, my school friends, creative expression we all have and do in different ways, and France.
    • The isolation of living on the High Plains was often very challenging  for someone like me who a) likes to work for days on end and needs the solitude to do this, b) is efficient and isn’t going to drive 30 miles to town in a lonely moment just have coffee with a female and pick up the milk and c) is at heart a social person. But, I did it, I lived it, and the wandering in the Great American Desert to find self (as the High Plains was labeled when Europeans started to explore America) is me. And maybe we all have had or still have this in some form, whether in our truck or at our computer or in suburbia or at a cocktail party, or out on the beautiful ocean of the hi plains in Kansas…those moments when the blissful Alone can at times be lonely and we go inside our minds to find a companion with a common past that knows us and we don’t have to say a thing.
    • The point:  you were always on my mind and will be there for me, both at happy times and dark moments when there is no one else around and I am weary of being alone.  


I look forward to seeing anyone who can make it on Friday, 2nd.  Go Harold with the artful life! Paula.

le sketch du jour, July 3, 1980. Postscript. The moral is: remember you are your father’s daughter.

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Okay, Ginna Getto and Cindy Bean, here’s your story paraphrased!  

July 3, 1980. journal entry.

P.S. I have to tell a story about KU group that KU girls from Tennessee and Gower Place told me. Pure gossip, but funny.  Girl in Cindy’s room at youth hostel in Morzine hadn’t been home at nights while she was there.  She had met some boy at a café.

This is Cindy talking..

“Well…we decided the first night that she had just gotten caught up with talking and hadn’t looked at the clock ’til 8:30 am. NBD.  Then, it happened every other night.  O.K. Still NBD.  Professor Anderson said not to go home with anyone, but whatever, it’s her business.  Anyway….”

  • It is Sun. AM and after packing up the night before, it is the day to depart on a long bus ride to Paris.
  • Breakfast is at 7:30 and everyone is to be packed & ready to leave at 8:30.
  • The above-mentioned girl hadn’t left the auberge the evening before until 1:00 AM because her garçon ami had to work.
  • The KU bus is waiting at the Hostel.  Waits, waits.
  • Finally they decide they must find her.

The bus with Professor Anderson at the helm and Jeannie at the wheel drives to the café to ask the owner the guy’s name with whom the girl +avoir des relations sexuelles.  And, the address.

The bus, all seats full of the peering KU French Department, goes to the lad’s apartment.  As the bus is running, waiting, Professor Anderson mounts the steps and rings the bell repeatedly, rrrinnngg, rrrinnngg, rrrinnngg.

Luxembourg Lines and loose-y lady on the landing.

Finally inhabitants wake up.  The KU co-ed comes to the door, hair disheveled, mascara under her eyes, some article of French men’s clothing thrown over her naked body.

The bus continues to wait as the jeune fille (coquine, vilaine, malicieux désobéissant..take your pick) gathers her clothes to cover herself.

The bus must now return to Auberge and wait again so girl can pack her things which she had not thought to do the night before in her hasty retreat for “un plan cul” (booty call) that final night to remember.

Poor, poor girl!  But sort of funny, too! 🙂



le sketch du jour: Wichita. Saturday July 2, 2011. by Paula Graves Adams

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Kress Energy, Douglas and Broadway. Wichita, Kansas.

Decided to get back into sketching the hottest day of the year in Wichita, July 3rd. 107 degrees. I had done cross-fit mash-up for an hour and then 2-1/2 more hours of fundamentals (lifts, etc.). But, I was downtown and it was the day to begin.

My sketching reveals my personality a little too much. My goal is to start like this and then work back to my primitive sketches as I had at the beginning of the summer in Paris. It’s all in the journey back to being a child, isn’t it?

Anyway, it is too stocky, but it doesn’t look as bad as it is because you can’t see the third bay.  I was sitting on the concrete curb in the sun, right by the street so cars were like 6′ away from me streaming down Broadway.

I finally just got too hot, so I threw in the towel and took pictures, as I decided to finish at home. When I spilled my Starbucks on it, I liked it even better and may have to get some watercolors to put color into the drawing. And, I like it the way it is.

Anyway, the pen is back in hand. It was very relaxing even though it doesn’t look it.

History of the building

And, it is Kress Energy. It has 51,000+ s.f. and 98% occupancy. Beautifully restored. Schafer Johnson Cox Frey Architecture just up the street did the restoration/renovation.  This is the architectural firm where I worked when Lacy went to Wichita Collegiate for High School.

The bank where you change your money when traveling abroad is a branch of Bank of America (across the street and big marbley glass monster building) but the international banking is located in the lower level of this building. It is a very intimate place to get your pesos and crib notes for travel conversions.

And, Kress Energy is for sale and is a bargain, I think about 3.3 million. 58 buildings nearby have already been purchased. Wichita is like a frontier town right now, very exciting. But, it’s getting bought up, better hurry. I think Delano is still affordable as well as the Arts District south of sprint and the design district just west of 135. Come to Wichita!

Here’s the description:

Kress Energy Center is a landmark building meticulously restored and updated to meet the standards of discerning firms, it offers timeless elegance rarely found in today’s offices. The property is attached via sky-walk to Bank of America Building and Kansas State Bank Building. Surface parking for 26 and additional parking available in the Bank of America parking garage.

Located in the heart of Wichita. Kress Energy Center is on the NW corner of Douglas and Broadway streets. Kress Energy Center provides it’s Tenants with access to such key areas as Kansas State Bank Building, Bank of America Center and the Petroleum Club.

Anyway, just had to do my sales pitch. It really was an incredible building when it was built. Wichita an oiltown so people do it right.