Tis the season
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on a Mission
11/21/16 5:11 PM
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Hutchinson Volume 09 / Issue 03
dear readers Publisher John Montgomery Marketing Solutions Director Jeanny Sharp Marketing Solutions Manager Anita Stuckey For Advertising Rates and Information
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Kalene Nisly Kristen Garlow Piper Deborah Walker illustrator
What a treat to be writing this letter! It was just two years ago that I passed Hutchinson Magazine on to Nadia Imafidon, a budding editor who joined our team with a great passion for magazine publishing. Nadia had so much inspiration that she took that to an exciting new opportunity this November. Of course, we couldn’t be more excited for her although we miss her contributions. What I enjoyed most about watching Nadia edit this magazine, as I am sure you saw as readers and advertisers, was the energy she infused into its pages. The magazine became more colorful with each issue, featured a community of engaged citizens, celebrated the arts, and captured the exciting direction Hutchinson is headed—like The Point Coffee (above). An editor can orchestrate a community magazine, but at the end of the day it’s the community makes a magazine a treasure. I followed up with Nadia to ask what she enjoyed most about editing Hutchinson Magazine and she fondly said, “Every time I worked on an issue, I always knew that the magazine would get in the hands of not only the people in the community, but to their family members near and far. People in the Hutch community truly value this publication, and it filled me with so much pride to be a part of it.” This winter marks over eight years of publishing Hutchinson Magazine and we couldn’t be more excited to see what the future editions hold. As always, thank you for reading.
— Katy Ibsen, Sunflower Publishing, General Manager
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“There are three rules: have fun with your daughter; when you are in the front row, memorize the steps so those behind you can follow; and just have fun.” —Valerie Hamilton
contents Features 40
business on a mission
In honor of the 20th anniversary of the Chili and Soup Festival, participants share some of their prized recipes that are sure to warm you up this season.
Local shops raise money to contribute to good causes worldwide.
A Hutchinson mother and her daughters create an annual tradition of coming together to make large batches of cream-filled pastries for eager customers. One Hutchinson resident fulfills her dream of loft living with a beautiful Main Street renovation.
In Every Issue 2
it’s the great gourd
dance and discipline
From the Archives
the end quote
With community care—and a cake! This year marks 500 babies delivered at Birth and Women’s Health Center. Local artist creates a business in designing unique gourd décor and lighting.. Two dance instructors collaborate to teach youth strong values and flawless technique. “Sleepy Ghosts”
Want to escape the frigid winter? A Texas-sized round up of cowboys, culture and cuisine offers endless options for adventure on the sunny streets of Fort Worth.
Hutch Talks Winter 2016
Sara Huff and her gourd art. Photo by Kristen Garlow Piper
Tis the season $4.00
on a Mission
Director of Hutchinson Zoo
60 Barbara Robinson
Coordinator of Robinson’s Craft Show
for creativity Business
8..................................... Lifestyle 18................................... Profiles 34.................. hutch illustrated 54..................................... travel 58............................hutch talks
Creamsticks A Hutchinson mother and her daughters create an annual tradition of coming together to make large batches of cream-filled pastries for eager customers.
Story by Richard Shank
Photography by Kalene Nisly
In the ’90s, Carolyn Yoder began making what would become her famous “creamstick” recipe, and it sparked a sort of sugared frenzy, bringing customers near and far who hoped to get some of the sweet treats produced at her home in rural Reno County. The creamstick is no ordinary pastry. It is not exactly what you would call a doughnut; it’s nothing like a cinnamon roll, and its origin is far beyond Kansas. The idea to make them came from Ohio during the 1980s, thanks to friends of the Yoders who dropped off the recipe on a visit from the Buckeye state. Although the recipe remains a closely guarded secret, Carolyn provides sufficient detail on what goes into making these deepfried goods, and it’s a labor-intensive effort, to say the least. “Production is divided into four steps. First, Carolyn makes the filling by cooking flour, sugar and milk with Crisco and powdered sugar. Next, she combines in another bowl brown sugar, butter, milk and powdered sugar to make the frosting. At day’s end, Carolyn is onto step three, which is making the dough. The flavor on the frosting improves with a couple days of aging. Several days later, Carolyn is joined by her daughters, Jennifer, Kristen and Megan, for a 4:30 a.m. rendezvous in her kitchen, and, if all goes as planned, they deep fry the ingredients, fill the middle with the cream filling and top with chocolate or butterscotch frosting. By 9 a.m., as many as 400 creamsticks are off the assembly line and ready to be boxed for sale. Customers can pick either the chocolate or butterscotch version and, if they wish, can order boxes of both. “The process to produce creamsticks is very labor intensive, and we are always seeking ways to streamline the process,” Carolyn says. “The shelf life of the product is short. I recommend they either be eaten on the first day or frozen.” In some cases, customers are literally waiting at the door to pick up a box of creamsticks and will often call back the following day to place a second order. Customers from as far as Iowa, Pennsylvania and Mexico have called Carolyn to inquire about the product. The Yoders started this annual tradition as a means to cover school-related expenses for the children. When they first appeared at the Reno County Farmers Market in the late 1990s to try their luck at selling creamsticks, the results exceeded their greatest expectations. On a typical Saturday, as many as 50 boxes—each containing six pastries—were sold within an hour. While they offer special orders, it’s in July Carolyn set aside three non-consecutive days to make creamsticks, making as many as 400 per day with the help of her three daughters. Her daughters now range in age from 22 to 29, but they return home each summer to assist with production. Jennifer refers to the annual family get-together as “girl time.”
At her home in Reno County, Carolyn Yoder double-checks an order for her famous creamsticks.
Long’s Pant Store
“It is something we all look forward to, even at such an early hour …” —Jennifer Yoder
“It is something we all look forward to, even at such an early hour in the morning,” Jennifer says. “One of my jobs is to put frosting on the creamsticks.” Kristen relays similar sentiments. “No matter how often we make creamsticks, they are always good,” she says. “Also, it is just fun to have the family together.” Kristen says creamsticks go well with coffee, and she often finds eating more than one at a time the best way to enjoy them. Although Carolyn’s husband, Dave, doesn’t contribute on the production end, his services are called on to make deliveries or handle other logistics. Carolyn has no marketing budget, but social media, including Facebook, and word of mouth have been very successful. One loyal customer, Erin McFarland, says she has no preference on the flavor, as neither last long in her home. “I have been eating creamsticks since Carolyn Yoder starting making them, and none seem to make it to the freezer as they are consumed so quickly,” McFarland says. “We jokingly call them homemade Twinkies, and they are nothing short of awesome.” As summer fades to fall, it is not uncommon for Carolyn to receive calls from area churches or Mennonite Friendship Manor to place an order for fundraising projects. Carolyn is not new to making treats. She is a hostess four days a week at Dutch Kitchen Restaurant, west of Hutchinson on Highway 50, where in years past she fine-tuned her skills baking the eatery’s legendary pies. Carolyn may not call her business a vocation, but it allows her to do what she enjoys most—spend time with her family and make delicious creamsticks.
By the Numbers
Through the years, Carolyn Yoder has maintained a detailed diary with details from each production year. Here are notes from a few entries.
192 cups of powdered sugar, 40 cups brown sugar, 32 cups butter for 22 batches total.
“We did three days, since it was getting overwhelming to do it all in one day.”
“I started at 4:30 a.m.; Kristen came at 5:10 a.m.; Jennifer and Megan came at 5:30 a.m. Had all creamsticks in boxes and home by 10 a.m. Megan had to be back at work by 10 a.m., Jennifer and Kristen took care of customers and I cleaned up the place and got home at 12:30 p.m.”
“Used 16 bags of powdered sugar and 18 pounds of shortening.”
living One Hutchinson resident fulfills her dream of loft living with a beautiful Main Street renovation. Story by Amy Bickel
Photography by Deborah Walker
On cool mornings, Alice Jane Hayes likes to open the doors to her patio and enjoy the sunrise and a cup of coffee as she reads the newspaper. It’s one of the things she loves about living on the second floor of a storefront in downtown Hutchinson. From the windows, she can peer down to Bluebird Books on Main Street and watch residents stroll by. It was on Hayes’ bucket list, but it took a 3 a.m. epiphany for the retired business owner to realize her dream of loft living. She moved into her finished space in 2014. Now downtown Hutchinson is experiencing a rebirth as others like Hayes are renovating old buildings and turning unused upper stories into living spaces. Her friends thought she was crazy, she adds with a chuckle. “I wasn’t going to give up my dream,” she says. “Loft housing has just really become popular.” Hutchinson’s “Times Square” It was about a decade ago that downtown Hutchinson saw a resurgence in business. One by one, mom-and-pop businesses began to open—a kitchen store, salon, bookstore and many restaurants. Lloyd Armstrong, owner of an antique store on South Main, had been one of the first to add a loft above a downtown business, Hayes says. Hayes, who was on the downtown development board and a committee to promote loft housing, began giving tours of some of the un-renovated spaces. She had even begun initial work to turn the upstairs of her family’s former business, Hayes Home Furnishings (located in the old Woolworth building), into loft apartments as a commercial investment.
Alice Jane Hayes’ Main Street loft features beautiful wood cabinetry, quartz countertops and lots of natural light.
“Then I was like, I should put my money where my mouth is,” says Hayes. She immediately called her builder, Steve McLaughlin. “I told him, ‘You are building this for me.’ I totally believed in loft housing out here, and so I did it. And I never regretted it.” More followed her lead, says Jim Seitnater, Hutchinson’s director of downtown development. “There’s an absolute positive momentum,” Seitnater says. “Those buildings were built to use all the floors. Now they are going back to the vision of why they were built.”
Besides lofts above storefronts, in the past few years the Wiley department store building has been renovated into apartments, he adds. So has the former Catalyst building at 14 W. First Ave., which is now Catalyst Lofts. And soon, the former Pegues department store will become apartments. An open canvas It took two years for Hayes’ loft to be completed, says Hutchinson builder McLaughlin.
“It really was an open canvas,” he says of what was once an empty space with metal truss ceiling and concrete walls and floors. He originally worked to restore the building in 2001, after a downtown explosion caused the Hayes family to relocate their furniture store to the ground level of the Woolworth building. McLaughlin says Woolworth used part of the upper story for their office space and planned to add more, even adding a couple bathrooms, but never plumbed it or developed it. Part of that unused space has been transformed into Hayes’ loft.
The Hayes family closed Hayes Home Furnishings in 2012 and transformed the lower level into an event center. Now the upper level includes Hayes’ 1,800-square foot residence, which features two bedrooms and two baths, as well as an open living and kitchen floorplan. Her kitchen space has plenty of wood cabinets, as well as quartz countertops and an island bar in place of a dining room table. There is also a large desk area and bookshelf for Hayes’ extensive book collection. But the focus of the loft is the patio, which was McLaughlin’s idea. He gave it more of a veranda feel by separating it from the living quarters and making it a glass sunroom with French doors. “I thought, ‘Wouldn’t it be nice to have outdoor space?’” says McLaughlin. “There wasn’t another option.”
The patio features ceramic tile floors and a rock-style fountain in the center. The large windows can be switched to screens in the summer— bringing in the fresh air and sounds of downtown, which are part of the joys of living here, says Hayes—to glass enclosures in the winter. “We even had a grill out here last year,” Hayes says. “And I have a sunporch in the winter.” She can also revel in the sunsets, which paint a beautiful backdrop to her Main Street view. It was the perfect move and the perfect time to move, she says. Her husband, Jay Dee, passed away more than a decade ago, and Hayes says it was time for their large family home to be occupied with a family with children. “It’s been an interesting journey,” she says. “I’m just thrilled.”
“I totally believed in loft housing out here, and so I did it. And I never regretted it.” —Alice Jane Hayes
A Few Details
Loft stairway Each step of the staircase leading up to Alice Jane Hayes’ loft has the name of one of her favorite books, including Jane Eyre, Anne of Green Gables, Mutiny on the Bounty and Gone with the Wind. “My granddaughter painted it,” Hayes says. “They are all meaningful books to me. Each one represents a time in my life when I read them.”
Painted piano A sky-blue piano with a cat theme sits on the landing of the stairway leading up to her loft. Hayes always loved the piano, which was part of a downtown movement when different artists painted pianos at different businesses, including for Hayes Home Furnishings. Hayes wanted to keep it, so McLaughlin gutted the musical instrument and used it to cover an “ugly black sewer pipe” on the landing. Meanwhile, the Cheshire Cat piano seat hangs on the staircase wall.
Narnia Closet That is what Hayes calls the hidden elevator in the back of her front entrance coat closet.
Baby grand piano A focal point of her living room, the piano was a gift to Hayes from her husband, Jay Dee, on her 40th birthday.
Birger Sandzen art It was a wedding gift from her husband’s grandmother in Lindsborg. “Oh, that’s nice,” Hayes remembers saying when they received it. “We didn’t even know who he was.”
Cats Cat mementos are situated throughout the home, including Hayes’s own two cats, Yankee and Suki.
Alice in Wonderland Among her favorite books, it resides on her bookshelf. “My grandfather gave me his copies of Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass when I was a child.”
With community careâ€”and a cake! This year marks 500 babies delivered at Birth and Womenâ€™s Health Center.
Story by Kathy Hanks
Photography by Kalene Nisly
As Ruby Sue made her way into the world, her father, Clinton Snyder, and two midwives were there to catch her. That’s the way it works at the Birth and Women’s Health Center in Yoder where Lois Yoder and Angel Schmutz work as a team. Both women are advanced practice registered nurses and certified nursemidwives. When a mom goes into labor, the midwives arrange their schedules so that one is there during labor and delivery, and the other is there for delivery and post-partum care. Located in the southeast Reno County community of Yoder, the center attracts a number of Amish people, which explains the tie-up and shelter for horse and buggies outside the building. Opened in 2004 by the Mennonite and Amish in Yoder, Hutchinson and the Partridge area, the birthing center is community owned and licensed by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment. However, Lois says families from all walks of life come here to give birth, with only 25 percent of their patients coming from the Amish and Mennonite community. “It was built mostly by donations and a lot of volunteer help,” says Lois. In fact, it was built with the help from a “frolic,” an allvolunteer, all-day Amish gathering in which barns are raised or other big projects are completed. The center is an alternative for childbearing families who anticipate a low-risk pregnancy and birth, Lois says. Its mission is to provide safe and sensitive care for women. The first baby was born in December 2004. This year on August 4 they delivered their 500th baby. Family affair Mark and Margi Nisly had their first child at the center in early November 2015. They had a boy, Finley Eugene. “We’re very excited,” Margi says. They chose the center because they wanted a more natural birth experience. Plus, two other family members gave birth there, so they were familiar with it. Margi was already under the care of Lois for pre-pregnancy well visits. The couple felt they could have the type of birth they wanted at the hospital, but there were things they wanted that were more of the norm at this birthing center, like being able to walk while in labor, the option to not have an IV, and not being continually hooked to a fetal heart monitor.
“It was built mostly by donations and a lot of volunteer help.” —Lois Yoder
Lois Yoder admires sevenweek-old Ruby Sue Snyder during a recent check-up.
“We’re not unhappy with the hospital,” Margi says. “But, I am under the impression a hospital is where you go when you are sick. Births have nothing to do with being sick. “I would feel safe and comfortable at a hospital. I just don’t want to start there.” If there is evidence of a problem, Margi trusts Angel and Lois in making the decision to get her to the hospital quickly. The center collaborates with doctors at both the Hutchinson Regional Healthcare System and Rice County District Hospital in Lyons. Lois and Angel believe pregnancy and birth are a natural part of a woman’s life. They provide education for the parents, let them make decisions and support them in those decisions. Seven weeks since her birth, Ruby Sue was back at the center for a follow-up visit. Passed between Angel and Lois, the two women admired the happy infant. Ruby Sue is the first child of Clinton and Jamie Snyder. Jamie is a registered nurse and knew enough about hospital deliveries to know she and Clinton wanted a different kind of experience. “It’s an amazing thing, a godly experience,” Jamie says. “It makes you a believer. I went out walking and looked at the moon. It helped my contraction.” Jamie relished the freedom to walk outside despite being in labor. Plus, Jamie felt she and Clinton had input in everything that happened. When she was far enough along she relaxed between contractions in the deep Jacuzzi bathtub as the labor slowly progressed. “They made you feel like you were in safe hands,” Jamie says. “I would recommend this to anybody who doesn’t have a high-risk pregnancy.” Heartwarming experience A tradition at the center is to bake a cake when the mother is in labor or soon after the baby is born. Lois Yoder opened a cupboard door in the center’s kitchen and pointed to a supply of yellow and chocolate cake mixes. The families have a choice of the two flavors for the special first birthday cake of their newborn’s life. “It is so homey,” says Margi. “You walk in and hear a baby cry and smell cake. It does have a small-town feel. Angel and Lois are not there just to do their job—it’s a community. It’s about creating families and supporting families. “And, it’s not a party without cake.”
Angel Schmutz prepares a birthday cake to welcome a new arrival. The center celebrated the birth of its 500th baby in August.
Meet the midwives As a registered nurse, Lois Yoder went to El Salvador in 1977, where she delivered 32 babies. She returned in 1980 due to the beginning of the Salvadoran Civil War. By 1984, she was a midwife in rural Paraguay. She remained there for 17 years and delivered 2,900 babies. While she loved the work, she returned to Partridge, Kansas, to help care for her aging parents. The birthing center was opening at about the same time; as a certified midwife, Lois found it was a perfect fit. Throughout her career, which began in Jackson, Mississippi, Lois has delivered 3,400 babies. “I’ve been at this for a while,” Lois says. At the birthing center, babies seem to come in clusters. Even a change of weather can affect a delivery, Lois says. They keep cell phones turned on, and they are always on call. Meanwhile Angel Schmutz is a 2003 graduate of KU Medical Center in Kansas City, with a master’s degree in nurse-midwifery. She came to the Yoder center with six years’ experience as a hospital labor and delivery nurse. On an average, Angel says, they deliver about 80 babies a year. Their biggest year was 2014 when they delivered 90. Many families come in for their services for more than one baby. Angel was one of them. Two of her four children were delivered at the center, where Lois and Angel’s husband, Reverend Rob Schmutz, were in position to catch them.
“Angel and Lois are not there just to do their job—it’s a community. It’s about creating families and supporting families.” —Margi Nisly
Itâ€™s the Great
Gourd Local artist creates a business in designing unique gourd dĂŠcor and lighting.
Story by Amy Conkling Photography by Kristen Garlow Piper
Sara Huff tossed and turned in her bed. It was the middle of the night, yet the Hutchinson resident—a stay-at-home mom to three children—lay wide awake and discouraged. For months she had been searching for a creative outlet, a way to provide supplemental income for her family while also serving her need to create something artistic and beautiful with her hands. She and her husband, Jason, prayed for it. Four months later, Sara received some unusual mail from her uncle, who grows gourds on a large plot of land in Nebraska—a sack of gourds with a request to make a birdhouse out of one of them. Huff took on the challenge and created that first birdhouse. She then began research that led to the creation of beautiful gourd lamps, lanterns, ornaments and more. That was in 2012. Now, the artist has a steady flow of customers who purchase her whimsical gourds online under the name The Golden Gourd. “When I started, I had no idea what I was doing,” Huff admits. “But I’m not afraid to jump in and try new art.”
A style of her own Huff always has enjoyed various artistic mediums, whether it’s painting, clay work, sketching or even playing folk music on her guitar. As she investigated how to turn a plain, awkwardly shaped gourd into a breathtaking and usable home décor item, she became energized by the project. “I take this ugly, earthen vessel, carve it out, and let the light shine through in a beautiful way for the world to see,” Huff says. Huff’s bohemian style shines through with each gourd she creates. “My inspiration matches my personality of liking everything,” Huff says. “I’m drawn by different fabric or textiles, folk art, nature, people and their life stories, and Scripture.” Her favorite challenge, she says, is figuring out a way to design a gourd in a way that will remain artistic both during the day and at night when LED lights shine through. What you see during the day, she says, is not what you’ll see when the gourd is lit. Huff’s popular designs include whimsical waves and paisley patterns. Custom orders, though, give her the chance to try new designs, such as a recent whale and sea design.
Creating the perfect Golden Gourd - The gourds completely dry out for six months. - Once the gourds completely dry, Sara Huff’s uncle drives them down or sends them with her mom in large storage bags. - When Huff is ready to start a project, she first scrubs the gourds clean, then cuts a hole in the bottom and hollows it out, completely removing the seeds. - After the gourd is hollowed and de-seeded, Huff starts the design process. All of her designs are done free hand, though she switches up between a wood burn and stain/ paint, based on customer requests or how she’s feeling. - Once the design is complete, Huff glazes the gourd and then drills the holes to complete the design. - From start to finish, the entire process takes anywhere from 10–15 hours.
Sara Huff dedicates anywhere from 10–15 hours to transform each gourd into a work of art beautiful by both day and night.
“I’m a gourd hoarder,” Huff says, with gourds overtaking every inch of storage space in her garage. While Huff enjoys working with all types of gourds, her favorites are the Chinese bottle gourd and African wine kettle gourd. The Golden Gourd’s prime season is September through February—primarily during the holidays— which perfectly lines up with the children’s school schedule. In the summers, she even puts the three of them to work. “I’ll fill up our kiddie pool in the backyard and pay them to scrub the mold off the gourds,” Huff says. Building a customer base Huff started small when first selling her gourd lamps and lanterns. She attended a few craft shows and started both Facebook and Etsy pages, and quickly word spread of her breathtaking and unique décor items. Kate Pentz, a high school classmate of Huff’s, reconnected after more than a decade when she stumbled upon The Golden Gourd Facebook page. “I was intrigued by how unique the lamps were and how they illuminated the pattern of light on the walls,”
Pentz says. She met up with Huff at a local craft show and ended up purchasing two lamps. “I’m a firm believer in supporting my community and local vendors,” Pentz says. “Sara went above and beyond when she sold me the lamp, sharing her story behind the patterns with each lamp. You can tell she puts a lot of time into her products, and they’re beautiful.” Huff’s customer base extends across the United States, thanks to her online presence. Recently a local yerba mate tea bar in California asked Huff to design several gourd lamps for lighting in their store. The Golden Gourd also has piqued interest in other countries across the world, including Canada, Australia and Turkey. “There’s a big gourd community in Turkey—I have several followers from there,” Huff says. The business has allowed the Huff family to enjoy vacations and home renovations, and it’s provided in other ways. But Huff says it’s always been about using her artistic gifts and talents to bless others. “It’s fun when I ship internationally or throughout the United States, and I know that someone from around the world is opening a box from me,” Huff says.
dance and Discipline
Two dance instructors collaborate to teach youth strong values and flawless technique. Story by Kathy Hanks
Photography by Kalene Nisly
In the dancing world where gracefulness is everything, Valerie Hamilton continues a tradition with poise. For the past 10 years Hamilton has been the owner of Hutchinson dance school Poetry in Motion. When she took over ownership, she made a promise to herself to keep the values the former owner Judy Mason had instilled in her and other dancers at the school. That’s because Mason was also Hamilton’s former instructor and a woman she has long admired and respected. As Hamilton became the administrator, instructor and choreographer, she retained Mason as part-time instructor and choreographer. It made sense to Hamilton; after all, she wasn’t buying the school to make major changes. “We had such a good reputation,” Hamilton says, and she wanted to build on that. In front of the studio—located on the second floor of a corner building on Main Street—remains the sign, Judy’s School of Dance, with a wire sculpture of a ballerina. Though the school is now known as Poetry in Motion, the iconic sign remains. Following a dream As a three-year-old, Hamilton dreamed of becoming a dancer after her grandmother took her to see The Nutcracker. Soon she was enrolled at Judy’s School of Dance, and even when her parents moved 34 miles away to Newton, they made sure she got to her dance classes throughout the week in Hutchinson. Once Hamilton achieved her dream of becoming a dancer, she began dreaming of teaching with Mason, which she began to do as she grew older.
Poetry in Motion continues to shape Hutchinson’s youth through the art of dance.
Valerie Hamilton proudly continues the traditions begun by her predecessor, Judy Mason.
After graduating with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in dance from Wichita State University, the dream grew; by the time Hamilton was 24, she bought the dance school from Mason, who had operated it since 1964. Fast-forward 10 years, and Mason and her daughter Kathy Bourell—both women who taught Hamilton—continue teaching at the school. Plus, now Hamilton’s two children Lillianna, 6, and Elijah, 3, are enrolled in the school, learning tap and ballet. The school also offers classes in jazz, modern dance and Acro, which is acrobatic movement. Traditions established by Mason continue, such as dancing competitively at Dance Masters of America. The competitions are held at various venues around the country, and students train to compete every year. “They learn sportsmanship and foster friendships,” Hamilton says. At a recent competition her students befriended
competing dancers from Salina. “They got to know them in the middle of competition. They returned home in March, and this year at our recital in May, the Salina dancers came.” Because of the amount of time they spend together practicing their performances, the dancers grow very close. Fellowship is the very thing that brings 10-year-old Ava Waln to Poetry in Motion. The best part is “dancing with my friends,” says Ava. She even finds it more rewarding than the time she was crowned Petite Miss Dance of Central Tri-States at the Dance Masters of America in 2014, though that was also exciting. While competing makes her nervous, it also makes her try harder, she says. Ava’s parents, Bill and Michelle Waln, appreciate the discipline she learns as she practices up to 10 hours a week between lessons and preparation for competition. “The students are competing against each other, but they cheer for each other,”
“They learn sportsmanship and foster friendships.” —Valerie Hamilton
Dancing on water In February 2005, Valerie Hamilton experienced an eight-month adventure of her lifetime performing on a cruise ship. As she danced to Broadway hits, the ship crossed the Atlantic Ocean twice and sailed through the Mediterranean and Baltic seas. She also danced her way around the Caribbean Islands. Hamilton recalls it as an amazing adventure performing with the Peter Grey Terhune Entertainment Company. But, it wasn’t always smooth sailing. During Hurricane Katrina the seas were so rough, and the waves so high, they had to seal their porthole windows. Hamilton returned to land permanently on December 19, 2005. Twenty days later, she bought Judy’s School of Dance. But she could have signed up for another dancing adventure on a cruise ship. “But, when it’s time, it’s time,” Hamilton says. And the time was right to settle down with her dream of owning Judy’s School of Dance.
Michelle says. “When they get off the stage the others are there for support. It’s not cutthroat. It’s like a little dance family. They spend a lot of time working on individual dances, and as a group, and they are working towards the same goal—to be their best.” The family-oriented dance school brings fathers into the fold every year during the father and daughter dance at the annual recital. That’s when Bill builds special memories with his daughters. Along with Ava, his daughter Mary attended the school for a number of years. “It’s a lot of fun,” says Hamilton of the dance. “There are three rules: have fun with your daughter; when you are in the front row, memorize the steps so those behind you can follow; and just have fun.” Of course, dancers also have to learn how to deal with disappointment if they don’t perform their best or the music goes out and disrupts the number, Michelle says. “Valerie teaches Ava to push herself and try new things,” she adds. For Hamilton that extra push helps her achieve the dance studio’s overall mission—to have versatile dancers well trained in various genres. A perfect scenario Hamilton shares Mason’s goal of incorporating lessons of respect, self-confidence and responsibility in her classes. “Judy still gives grammar lessons. It’s not ‘can I go to the bathroom,’ but ‘may I,’” Hamilton shares as an example. When the girls enter the spacious studio everyone places their cell phones in a box. “They come in here and let everything that happened throughout the day go away,” Hamilton says. “This is a safe place. They have a different identity. They come to dance.” Meanwhile for Mason the past 10 years have been a win-win situation, as she helps out several days a week. “I wasn’t going to sell to just anyone,” Mason says. “I wanted the same integrity it always had.” She didn’t want someone to take over who would dress the girls in inappropriate costumes, use inappropriate music or teach inappropriate dances. “Valerie was raised listening to ‘On the Good Ship Lollipop,’ not a Las Vegas act. I wanted the integrity and the proper music. I wanted someone with the same values, and she is a wonderful teacher. “It’s absolutely perfect that I am able to do what I can do,” Mason says. “I am 79 and still dancing.” She knows she’s lucky. “I am glad I didn’t sell to someone who wouldn’t want me around,” Mason says. “That would make my heart cry. This couldn’t be a more perfect scenario.” The young dancers warm up before their class at Poetry in Motion.
She grunts & stirs Quiet not to wake my wife I rise picking up her little body A parcel wrapped tight save for one skinny limb She worked it free, sucking fingers intently beaming back at me with little black eyes
Poem and Illustration by Brady Scott www.bradyscott.weebly.com
Together we step onto the porch Late summer night greeting us, A warm friendly hug Trees in silhouette framing a massive bank of stars The moon silver, bright I feel the earth and the breath of our ancestors Generations of sleepy parents standing with us Looking up at these same stars falling back through time
AUTHOR BIO: Brady Scott lives, laughs and loves in the beautiful rolling hills of central Kansas. Working mainly in spray paint and acrylics, Brady paints everything from large scale murals, album cover art, fine art portraits, and custom cars/bikes. He works in a fresh and contemporary style, but often draws inspiration from the stories and photographs of our past, and the timeless prairie landscape.
Archives Text by Lynn Ledeboer Images courtesy Reno County Historical Society and Reno County Museum
(Left) Taken by Paul Proctor around 1940, this photo features an unidentified man hunched over in the wind and snow as he walks to the corner of First and Adams streets. This is the corner of the Reno County Courthouse. Paul Proctor owned Proctorâ€™s Fairmont Restaurant. His wife, Alta, ran the elevator at the Wiley Building and also owned the horse that was famously photographed on top of the Wiley building. (Above) The three Dukelow boys take a break from the hard work (for two of them!) that goes into sledding to pose for a picture on a partially frozen portion of Cow Creek. This photo was taken looking south from a bridge on 50th Street in Hutchinson. The brothers from left to right are Sam, James S., and John R. Dukelow. Itâ€™s easy to see why Sam is the happiest pictured!
40........................................ winter soups 48.......................... business on a mission
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In honor of the 20th anniversary of the Chili and Soup Festival, participants share some of their prized recipes that are sure to warm you up this season. Story by Ann Parr | Photography by Deborah Walker
This year marked the 20th anniversary of one of Downtown Hutchinson’s favorite events—the Chili and Soup Festival. Over the years it has grown in popularity, almost doubling in participants with 23 teams in 2006 to 44 in 2015. It’s no surprise to us that organizers advertise the event as two and half hours long, or until the food is gone. When cool weather comes, nothing suits the occasion more than a steamy bowl of savory soup. So we offer to you a few recipes to try this winter from some of the finest festival participants. It’s chili (and sweater) weather—grab a bowl! Winter 2016
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“The people of Hutchinson expect us to do something special,” says Anne Dowell, owner of Apron Strings. “Cooking is what we do, so we want to be one step ahead with our soups. That’s a challenge, year after year.” Anne made a wonderful butternut squash soup this year that can be served warm or cold. It’s so delicious served cold that it could be mistaken for dessert.
4 tablespoons butter 1 large butternut squash, peeled, diced and seeded 1 large onion, diced 2 large pinches salt 1 large pinch pepper 2 cups milk 2 teaspoons chicken bouillon (paste or granules)
Melt butter in a large covered Dutch oven or baking dish. Add squash, onions, salt and pepper. Bake at 375 degrees for 30–45 minutes or until tender. Add milk and chicken bouillon. Blend until smooth. Garnish with sour cream drizzle (sour cream thinned with milk to a drizzle consistency) and a pinch of chipotle powder or seasoning.
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Ryan Erickson, of Erickson Custom Building, distinguishes his hot chili with Frank’s RedHot sauce, cayenne pepper, and jalapeño peppers. He makes a second batch without these fiery additions, but both batches share some unconventional ingredients. With his daughters’ help, they position themselves in front of The Cabinet Store on Main Street and dole out samples of chili and Halloween candy for children. “It’s a good event for The Cabinet Store, with whom I work regularly, and it’s good for us, too.”
5 pounds ground beef 5 pounds ground pork 5 yellow onions, chopped 5 green peppers, chopped 20 fresh jalapeno peppers, chopped 1 40-ounce can tomato sauce 6 28-ounce cans diced tomatoes Liquid smoke to taste 4 Fanestil chili sticks 1 40-ounce can diced jalapeño peppers 1 stalk celery, chopped 6 15-ounce cans kidney beans 12 ounces Frank’s RedHot 10 ounces yellow mustard 3 15-ounce cans black beans 1/2 cup brown sugar 1 1/2 15-ounce cans beef broth 5 10-ounce cans Ro-Tel tomatoes 5 4-ounce cans diced chilies Chili powder (to taste) Beer (depends on how thirsty Ryan is when he makes the chili)
After browning equal amounts of ground beef and ground pork, Ryan begins his chili concoction. He combines and cooks all the ingredients in his propane turkey roaster. He stirs the chili with a spoon he made from a broomstick handle and a spoon the size of a small shovel.
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Here’s one from our soup champion for the past three years, Jeni Bryan, co-owner of Jackson Meat at 13 West Sixth Avenue. She credits her meat for the wins. “Our ground beef is freshground daily, and I also use whatever sausage flavor they are making on that particular day to blend in with my fresh ground beef,” Bryan says. “One year it was Cajun sausage. Another year, it was German sausage. I just want it fresh.” Bryan wholeheartedly believes that making the soup Friday and reheating it Saturday, the day of the festival, enhances the flavor. Another secret? Last year, she decided to incorporate a popular Bloody Mary mix for added kick. The meat, in-house chili seasoning, Bloody Mary mix, along with mild black beans, spicy chili beans, tomato sauce, stewed tomatoes, Ro-Tel tomatoes— none of which she drains before adding—made a winning soup last year.
1.5 pounds freshly ground beef (lean) 1 pound hot and spicy pork sausage 1 16-ounce can chili beans 1 16-ounce can hot chili beans 1 15-ounce can tomato sauce 1 15-ounce can stewed tomatoes 1 can mild Ro-Tel tomatoes 2 tablespoons chili seasoning Dashes of Bloody Mary Mix (about one-half cup)
Brown both meats and add all other ingredients. Taste along the way and adjust as you like.
Moms, dads and kids bought more than 1,000 wristbands last year, which was the required entry to the chili sampling, says Eric Steinle, chairman of the 2016 Downtown Hutchinson Soup and Chili Festival committee. A record number of 44 soups—chili and otherwise—showed off how vibrant downtown Hutchinson has become. “When customers, friends, and neighbors walk the downtown blocks,” Eric says, “that’s a good way to find out about downtown and find out what’s going on. I’m excited about our downtown how we’re doing.” At the festival, each team is eligible for monetary prizes; $250 for first place in soup and chili (separate categories); $150 for each second place; $75 for each third place. Those who purchase this year’s wristbands receive ballots and oneounce samples of each chili and each soup. After tasting the soups and chilis up and down Main Street, they drop their ballots at voting booths. Votes are tallied, the chili committee ranks each, and winners are announced in the next day’s Hutchinson News. Participants are encouraged to wear costumes and decorate their booths to celebrate Halloween; best costumes and best booth receive prizes too.
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Brad Patton, of Wade Patton Insurance Company, says his office looks forward to the chili festival because they have fun making the chili, meeting the people who come by and bypassing the idea of winning. “My basic recipe is both ground beef and sausage,” he says. “Add some chili beans, tomato sauce, and RoTel tomatoes. It’s thick, the way I like it. Other employees make it their way until we have our 10 gallons. We’re naming our booth ‘Premium Chili’ this year, in honor of our insurance business.” Here’s Brad’s recipe, but he adds this disclaimer: it’s a decoy. The real recipe is like the secret 23 ingredients in Dr. Pepper, which will never be divulged. “Or the recipe changes from year to year, like a fine wine, and we don’t write it down.”
7 pounds of ground beef 7 pounds of sausage 14 14-ounce cans of regular chili beans 14 14-ounce cans of hot chili beans 14 10-ounce cans of Ro-Tel tomatoes Seasoning that includes whatever is handy, such as chili powder and plenty of salt and pepper
Brown both meats and add all other ingredients. Taste along the way and adjust as you like.
Craig Williams, director of Family Community Theatre, looks forward to offering his favored dish at the festival. “We have a reputation of making the best potato soup around,” he says. “It’s our signature soup. We make some additions that especially appeal to the kids—the small round oyster crackers, cheese, bacon bits. It’s a fun day for us to meet the public and have them get to know us a little better.” “When people have tasted several chili soups up and down the street before they get to us,” Craig says, “they welcome a taste of something different in this comfort food.”
16 potatoes, baked, peeled and diced 1 cup butter 1 large onion, diced 1 cup of flour 6 cups of chicken broth (some of which has been used to make a roux) 2 cups half & half 4 cups milk Salt and pepper (to taste)
Melt butter over medium heat. Sauté onion until tender, five to eight minutes. In a small bowl, combine flour and enough chicken broth to make a paste. Add paste and remaining chicken broth to the onions and cook until thickened. Add potatoes, half & half, milk, salt and pepper. Heat to serving temperature.
business on a
Mission Local shops raise money to contribute to good causes worldwide
Story by Amy Bickel | Photography by Deborah Walker
Play It Again Thrift Boutique To Tracy and Becky Spencer, meeting a Swaziland missionary couple while rummaging garage sales in Washington State wasn’t by accident. It was a divine appointment, says Becky, of the 2003 trip to the west coast to visit family. “We were asking God what our next assignment was,” she says, when their first garage-sale stop just happened to connect them to African missionaries Stan and Sue Drew. “We exchanged information,” Becky says. “When we got home, we felt really led to support their mission.” That chance meeting would eventually become the foundation of a nonprofit business, Play It Again Thrift Boutique, which the Spencers and their mission organization, Grand Staff Ministries, opened in October 2015. The store—with its rustic ambiance and stylish, repurposed clothing—has become a trendsetter in downtown Buhler. And the more people come, the better, as all profits help orphans and other vulnerable children in AIDSravaged Swaziland. The couple has always had a calling to help children, Becky says. She and Tracy adopted four children in addition to raising their own birth children. But meeting the Drews changed their lives. In 2006, the Spencers ventured to Swaziland to see the needs for themselves. “We didn’t know if it meant moving there or spending a month there with our 10-year-old at the time,” she says. Almost half of the population in Swaziland has AIDS/HIV, Becky says. About 200,000 children are orphaned. In 2010, 20 percent of children were
the heads of their households because many of their parents had died from AIDS. “Pastors can’t afford to take care of all the kids that are left on their doorsteps,” she says. “We were willing to move there, but that isn’t how we felt led.” In 2006, they started Grand Staff Ministries from their home in Buhler and set up a board. At first, the funds helped pay for children’s schooling, including uniforms and books. However, it wasn’t enough. So many children were homeless, and Becky wanted to do more. “The number of orphans is growing so rapidly,” she says. “We knew we had to do something deeper.” This fall, the organization will finish work on its first orphan home, which will house 12 youth and a host family. The chief of this village granted Grand Staff Ministries the land to build. “We just had to give him a cow,” Becky says. Eventually, when enough funds become available, they also will build a church, preschool and more homes. “We’re so excited,” Becky says. “We opened the store so we make sure we always have enough to pay the house parents, to make sure they have food and to make sure all the kids there get to go to school.” And their mission is succeeding. Grand Staff Ministries paid back all their expenses and had a profit the first quarter after the shop opened. In the second quarter of 2016, the store cleared $16,000, which will cover a variety of expenses. “It just keeps growing,” she says.
“We knew we had to do something deeper.” —Becky Spencer
“Every little bit, everybody’s willingness to do just an extra bit … it makes a difference.”
1410 E 30th Ave. Open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m., Monday through Thursday; 4 to 7 p.m. Saturday and 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Sunday. The church is closed on Fridays.
The Point Coffee This coffee is truly is a lifeline. You can see it from the chalkboard that hangs on the wall at The Point Coffee. More than 100 numbers have been crossed off. That means 100 girls have been rescued from human trafficking, as a result of both sales from lattes, cappuccinos and other drinks sold at this coffee shop and the generosity of extra giving through donations. It’s estimated that every $100 helps one girl, says manager Joni Heiderscheit. “That has become our battle cry for mission outreach this year,” she says. CrossPoint Church, located on East 30th Avenue, has been serving coffee from the business located just inside the church’s front doors since March 2015, says Rev. Paul Thurston, the campus pastor in the Hutchinson location. Revenue has gone to several different missions since the shop’s opening, which includes supporting the work of one of the church’s pastors at a refugee camp in Kenya. “We were looking for a missions emphasis,” says Thurston of one of the reasons they started the coffee shop. “It’s a missions outreach for the church and an extra extension that can go to different causes.” This year, the church decided to dedicate 2016 profits to Nepal-based Tiny Hands—an organization that helps rescue girls out of human trafficking and give them a better future, Heiderscheit says. Tiny Hands works primarily in Nepal and Bangladesh and was brought to light to CrossPoint by a pastor who during a mission trip was stationed at a border patrol station in Nepal. That makes the experience more than just enjoying a cup of coffee, Thurston says. For the church’s 1,800 parishioners, as well as the daily customers, the coffee shop has become a connection to what is going on in the world and how people can make an impact. “Anything we can put in front of them, and they can see that their dollars have an impact,” Thurston says. But this is still a coffee shop, Heiderscheit says. The smell of coffee made by the barista behind counter greets people as they walk through the church’s doors. There are tables and comfy couches, music and even outdoor seating. The doors are open to anyone who wants to come use the free WiFi, study and have a cup of Joe. “We wanted a welcoming environment, a comfortable setting, an open door where people can come, relax and have a cup of coffee—all the things a coffee shop does,” Heiderscheit says. “They are getting the same benefit of coffee, but it is helping a good cause,” she says. “Every little bit, everybody’s willingness to do just an extra bit … it makes a difference,” she says. Next year, the coffee shop’s proceeds will support a different cause, to be determined, Heiderscheit says.
Ten Thousand Villages – Et Cetera Shop
“the money goes wherever there’s a need.” —Jane Wagler
Step inside Ten Thousand Villages in downtown Hutchinson, and travel around the world. Find pottery made in Vietnam, totes made in India, handpainted picture frames from Honduras and nativity scenes carved from wood from the West Bank. The unique shop sells the products of artisans living in developing countries, helping them earn a fair and sustainable income. That might seem like a mission enough. But as Jane Wagler puts it, it’s just one part of the five-fold nonprofit she manages. Whether it is the fair-trade artisan wares that Ten Thousand Villages offers, recycled home improvement supplies through Builders Bargains, locally sourced cuisine from the Tea Room or thrift items at the Et Cetera Shop, “the money goes wherever there is a need,” Wagler says. The causes extend from Hutchinson to across the ocean, such as local nonprofits First Call For Help, the Christian Soup Kitchen, the women’s shelter and many others. Globally, the shop aids the relief and development missions of the Mennonite Central Committee. “Most recently, that includes Hurricane Matthew,” Wagler says. “If people think of us as a retail business, they are missing the point. We are a lot more than retail. We are here to build communities.” Ten Thousand Villages and the Et Cetera Shop have been paired together for 40 years, says Cloris Enns, who helped conceptualize the shops in 1978. Enns says the shop was the idea of a First Mennonite Church Sunday school group. “It grew and grew,” she says. “We wanted to help locally and around the world, and that’s been a vision we had all these years.” In the past few years, the nonprofit has added other wings to the business, including the Tea Room, which serves soups, sandwiches, pastries and teas provided by local producers. Wagler serves on the board of Interfaith Housing, a local mission that helps provide housing to low- to moderate-income families, and that connection resulted in a partnership in 2015 to further serve and build communities. The partnership created Builders Bargains, 1326 E. Ave. A, which provides excess home improvement supplies, such as sinks, windows, doors and other hardware, for sale to the public. Wagler says the income from Builders Bargains is split evenly; half goes to Interfaith Housing, and the other half goes to Et Cetera. Wagler took over as manager when her family moved back to the area in 2008, she says, because it’s rewarding when she knows their efforts are helping others. “When we sell an expensive nativity, we can order more and you are securing an order for that artisan again,” Wagler says. “We can order more, it’s a livelihood that will continue. The ripple effect goes all the way across the world.” That’s the underlying mission, after all, she adds. “Our business is to do missions and our mission is to do business,” says Wagler. “That is why we are not just a retail store. That is why it doesn’t get boring.”
Cloris Enns & Jane Wagler
Want to escape the frigid winter? A Texas-sized round up of cowboys, culture and cuisine offers endless options for adventure on the sunny streets of Fort Worth. Story by Cecilia Harris
Photos courtesy Fort Worth CVB
Watch cowboys on horseback drive a herd of longhorns up the street in front of the restaurant while sampling local beer and barbecue. Sip a glass of wine and relax before musing the masterpieces of Michelangelo, Monet and Picasso in a museum building, itself a world-renowned piece of art. Or simply relax in an umbrella-shaded chair on a plaza surrounded by elaborate historic buildings and sleek, modern architecture. Whatever your pleasure, Fort Worth offers a multitude of experiences for visitors in three distinct geographical areas—the Stockyards, the Cultural District and Downtown/Sundance Square. Spend a few days in the warm and sunny Texas climate and discover your favorite spot. Or enjoy them all.
DAY 1—THE STOCKYARDS
Relive Fort Worth’s beginnings by exploring the National Historic District where old livestock pens mix with brick sidewalks alongside century-old buildings. Find shops, honky-tonks (country bars), and restaurants serving barbecue, steaks and Tex-Mex favorites. A guided walking tour starting at Stockyards Station details Fort Worth’s history, including its role as the last major stop for post-Civil War cattle drives passing through on the way to market in Abilene, Kansas, via the Chisholm Trail (celebrating its sesquicentennial in 2017). Twice daily, cowboys on horseback push longhorns up the street in a re-enactment cattle drive. Take a stagecoach ride, then wind your way through the cowtown cattlepen maze’s wooden livestock corrals in a friendly competition. At lunchtime, grab a Chef Tim Love-inspired hamburger at The Love Shack, try the mouth-watering ribs at the popular Riscky’s BBQ, or choose from five different toppings on your chicken fried steak at Horseshoe Hill. Then spend the afternoon shopping for Western attire; find boots at the legendary M. L. Leddy’s and a belt buckle and jeans from Fincher’s White Front. Bring cash for an early dinner of fajitas at Joe T. Garcia’s, the renowned restaurant covering a square city block with plant-filled tiled rooms and gorgeous courtyards with fountains. Or dine on steak at Hunter Brothers’ H3 Ranch, Live Hickory Wood Grill, where a favored dessert is Jack Daniels ice cream with a brownie and chocolate sauce. If it’s a Friday or Saturday night, head to the Stockyards Championship Rodeo at Cowtown Coliseum, where you also can catch a performance of Pawnee Bill’s Wild West Show. Or kick up your heels at Billy Bob’s Texas, billed as the world’s largest honky tonk. Originally built as a cattle barn in 1920, the nightclub offers food, beer, live music that you can two-step to, billiards and bull riding in the arena. Spend the night in the historic Stockyards Hotel, where cowboys, cattle barons and even a couple of outlaws have slept.
DAY 2 – CULTURAL DISTRICT
Meander through some of the country’s finest art and history museums in this district just west of downtown Fort Worth. Begin with brunch at Café Modern at The Modern Art Museum, then sit back and enjoy the serene reflecting pools visible through floor-to-ceiling windows before viewing the museum’s post-World War II art exhibition. Or grab lunch at nearby Salsa Limón, serving Mexico City-style tacos. Then explore the Kimbell Art Museum featuring 350 notable works of art in one of the country’s most unique contemporary architectural structures. If you’re traveling with kids, the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History offers hands-on activities for children and an interactive dinosaur exhibition; there’s also an Omni Theater and a planetarium. For dinner, head to the nearby West 7th Street District where the locals favor two hamburger joints, Rodeo Goat Icehouse, serving gourmet burgers with toppings like grilled peaches and peanut butter, and Fred’s Texas Café, famous for its Fredburger and spicy Diablo burger, as well as free live music on most nights.
DAY 3 – DOWNTOWN/SUNDANCE SQUARE
Shop, dine, or just relax in downtown Fort Worth, with its glittering skyscrapers and beautifully restored historic buildings. Sundance Square, the heart of downtown, spans 35 blocks and offers plenty to do all day long. Get your day off to a quiet start by exploring the Fort Worth Water Gardens, an urban park featuring three pools of water—the quiet, blue meditation pool encircled by towering walls over which water cascades evoking the sound of a gentle rain shower; the aerating pool featuring multiple illuminated spray fountains; and the active pool with water cascading 38 feet down terraces and steps you can walk down. Then head to Sundance Square and experience a lunch full of sampling at Bird Café, where small plates of food are shared among all guests at the table. Explore the quirky shops and boutiques in the area, then spend time in the Sundance Square Plaza, featuring its own whimsical water fountains and occasional free movies, concerts, yoga and other events. Make your last night here an elegant evening with dinner at Grace, serving modern American classic fare and house-made seasonal cocktails. Or if you haven’t had enough of the Texas lifestyle, head to Reata, which is known for its “sophisticated cowboy cooking.” Finish the flawless night with a ballet, a theater performance or a concert at The Bass Performance Hall.
Director of Hutchinson Zoo In April, the Hutchinson Zoo got a new director— one with an extensive history of working with animals, particularly birds. Ryan VanZant’s resume boasts work across the country including the Flights of Wonder show at Disney’s Animal Kingdom; zoos in Philadelphia, Tulsa, Dallas and the National Aviary; and the George Miksch Sutton Avian Research Center, which works to restore bald eagles in the South. “There, I was the director of education and developed a one-of-a-kind education program which took birds to schools and taught students how birds relate to math, science, literature, art, history, music, etc., the things they were already taught in school,” VanZant says. After seeing the job opening at the Hutchinson Zoo before the holidays last year, he applied with encouragement from a mentor friend and the support from his wife and children. “Hutchinson has been a great fit for my family,” he says. “We love this part of the country, and the community has been wonderful to us since moving here.”
Tell us about how you got connected with your bald eagle, BENSAR [whose name stands for Bald Eagle Northern Sutton Avian Research]. BENSAR was hatched at the Sutton Center in the early ’90s and raised to be an ambassador for his species. A little over 10 years ago, I started working with him. Together, we have educated, entertained and inspired over a million people. We heard BENSAR went missing at the Grand Canyon. How did you manage to track him down? In 2010, we were contacted by BBC and Discovery Channel and asked to fly a bald eagle over the Grand Canyon for a series called Earth Flight. BENSAR and another eagle I had trained had worked well for the first couple of days of shooting. On the third day, a tourist decided they would run up for a photo and spooked BENSAR away from his target and he ended up at the bottom of the canyon. He was wearing a radio-tracking device, so we knew roughly his whereabouts. The only problem was that he was in a location in which, the rangers informed me, no person had been. There is a lot more to the story, but in a nutshell, I did a hike that was supposed to take three days round trip in two on what is deemed one of the most difficult trails in the park to get BENSAR back. BENSAR and the other eagle were edited together to seem like one and may be seen on Episode 2, “North America,” during the Grand Canyon segment. This program was aired all around the world. Where does your fascination with birds come from? What do you love most about them? I got a parakeet as child, and soon after I was breeding parakeets, and had graduated to small parrots by the time I was a teen. My interest grew into birds of prey, and I became a falconer. Falconers use hawks, falcons and eagles to hunt prey animals. Not only is it a hunting sport but it also is a form of advanced bird watching. You get see something incredible that happens every day in nature orchestrated right in front of you. Being a falconer has also created opportunities for me to travel all over the world. What’s on your bucket list? That’s a list that keeps on growing … I’d like to continue to travel. I’ve been on 5 of 7 continents and would like to set foot on them all. I would also like to visit every state in the US. Only 6 to go. If we could grant you three wishes for the zoo, what would they be? I would really like to know what ultimately happened to the carousel, which used to be in Carey Park. We’ve done some research, and last we found it was placed in storage after an owner/operator dispute. You hear stories of these types of things being rediscovered. I think finding and restoring that carousel would be an amazing addition to the zoo. I would also love for those who have not been to the zoo (or have not for a while) to come pay us a visit. Lots of things are happening—from animals moving around the zoo, to new exhibits, to exciting events. I would also wish for groups to consider the zoo for holding their events. The zoo has space for corporate picnics, weddings and birthday parties. It’s a great opportunity for a host and their guests to get outside and enjoy themselves. Interview by Nadia Imafidon Photography by Deborah Walker
Barbara Robinson c o o r d i na t o r o f R o b i n s o n â€™ s C r af t Sh o w
Robinson’s Craft Show, now the largest craft show in Hutchinson, began organically, as Barbara Robinson noticed an interest among her friends in buying homemade items. “In 2008, my sister’s doctor told her she needed a hobby,” Robinson explains. ”I found a place to get silver chains for her, so she tried making jewelry for a while.” Several of her friends saw the jewelry and wanted some; then other items were requested. “It kind of snowballed. One day someone said, ‘We should have a craft show.’ So we did.”
What were your first craft shows like? My first two shows were in my home with my sister (who has since passed), a couple of friends and myself setting up our displays. It was pretty much a wordof-mouth, email-everyone-you-know invitation. For the third show, I rented one of the Scout buildings on the fairgrounds, and when it filled with vendors within a week, I went back and rented the other Scout building. After that show I’m surprised any vendors returned; we were terribly crowded due to my poor planning, but the shoppers were awesome, and it was a terrific show. In 2015, I rented the Sunflower North building, and that’s where my Christmas show (December 3, 2016) is now. My summer show, which just started in June 2016, will continue to be in the Domestic Arts building (next year on June 3, 2017). What goes into setting up the Christmas craft show? I start planning about three months prior to the show. Applications go out to 500–600 names that I’ve collected over the years. In 2015, the show was booked full in 65 days. This year it was only about 40 days. I then start a waiting list in case someone cancels. I make floor plans and use post-it notes to plan the show. I limit the number of any one line (jewelry, commercial, etc.) to about 10 booths. Advertising is done on Facebook, in the Hutch News on posters all over town. I pass out 1,000 business cards advertising the show at all the shows I do prior to my show. Then about two [or] three days prior to the show I put 25 stick-in-the-ground signs out all over Hutchinson (BTW, this is absolutely my least favorite job … especially if the ground is frozen!). And, one of the best advertising techniques … word of mouth! What are some new vendors we should check out this year? Lance and Nissa Rohrer were actually at my summer show, but they have some awesome metal work—benches, fire pits, signs. Shawna DeGraffenried will have barn quilts, welcome mats, and painted clay pots. Cyndie Duncan will have her Cheeky Chic
clothing line there. Wow, this is hard with nearly 100 vendors, and they all have such nice stuff! You best just come shopping! Who are some longtime participants? Don and Char Bigger with their gorgeous wind chimes and wine holders; Daetta Cotton with Tastefully Simple products; Donna Adcock with beautiful coats, cloaks, and jackets; and Patty Thompson (Yoder Bulk Foods) brings the best fudge around. What is your favorite memory from the past seven years of the craft show? Last year at my first show in the Sunflower North building, Eileen Gailliart (one of the coordinators for Trinity Methodist’s Craft Fair in March) came by. I said, “Well, whaddaya think?” She said, “Oh my, Hutchinson has never seen anything like this!” The way she said it, the look on her face … I took it as a compliment. What is something people may not know about it? The December 3 Christmas show is Hutchinson’s largest with 101–104 booth spaces, and the summer show in June is the second-largest with 70 booths. Parking is great, location is great, shopping is great, and Mark Teter from the Second Table in Yoder will be serving a hot lunch. Plus there’ll be lots of “walking around” goodies. I always joke, “It’s free to get in, but it may cost you to get out.” What’s on your bucket list? I participate in about 25 craft shows per year. I’m constantly on the lookout for neat items. I want to attract more of those to this show. I love my local crafters and certainly want them to participate, but I also want things that our shoppers haven’t seen before. What is your favorite wintertime tradition (other than this craft show)? Hard question for me … I tend to be a homebody. My son and daughter-in-law and my only grandson (not quite a year old) live in St. Louis, so I love to go there for visits. Interview by Nadia Imafidon Photography by Deborah Walker
“I’m a gourd hoarder.”
“There’s an absolute positive momentum. Those buildings were built to use all the floors. Now they are going back to the vision of why they were built.” —Jim Seitnater, Hutchinson’s director of downtown development, on new lofts
number of contributors in this issue
5 the number of soup recipes in this issue
“I would also love for those who have not been to the zoo (or have not for a while) to come pay us a visit. Lots of things are happening—from animals moving around the zoo, to new exhibits, to exciting events.” —Ryan Vanzant, director of the Hutchinson Zoo
—Sara Huff on her gourd art
“Our business is to do missions and our mission is to do business.” —Jane Wagler, Ten Thousand Villages
192 cups of powdered sugar (among other ingredients) used to make 22 batches of creamsticks.
December December January
Robinson’s 8th Annual Christmas Craft Show Get your holiday shopping done for everyone at the largest craft show in Hutchinson. Check out our interview with event founder and coordinator, Barbara Robinson on page 60. Begins at 9 a.m. 620-665-7049
Christmas Movie at The Fox An annual tradition and family favorite, a Christmas movie at The Fox is a relaxing way to end the day’s busy festivities and share a classic holiday film with your loved ones. Begins at 7:30 p.m. hutchinsonfox.com
Read to Rover
State Fair Promenaders Dance Square dancers can enjoy meeting a couple nights each month with attendees from all over central Kansas and dance to caller Rod Krehbiel. Mark your calendar for the second Friday and fourth Saturday of each month. squaredancehutch.com
Luminaria Hutchinson’s Hyde Park (Main to Monroe, 18th to 23rd) will be aglow as 17,000 luminaries line the streets and sidewalks of the neighborhood. Begins at 6 p.m.
Every second Thursday, elementary students can come to “Read to Rover” at the library where students are paired with dogs from the Hutchison Kennel Club. Every third time a student attends this event, the student is rewarded with a book to take home. Begins at 6 p.m. hutchpl.org
Bryce Luty Jazz Festival Concert The instrumental jazz music program at Hutchinson Community College honors the legacy of former HCC Jazz Director Bryce Luty, who taught at HCC from 1975–1998. Tickets are $10. Begins at 7:30 p.m. at the Stringer Fine Arts Center on the HCC campus. hutchcc.edu/fine-arts-andhumanities
All dates and times are subject to change
Talk 20 Hutch Ten community members share their stories with 20 slides of photos and 20 seconds to speak per slide. It’s a quick and easy (and fun!) way to get to know the people in our community. talk20hutch.com
HCC Theatre presents: The 24-Hour Plays On the Friday evening before, 24 actors, six playwrights, six directors, and six technicians will meet, and overnight playwrights will each write an original 10-minute play. The next morning directors will work with the actors to rehearse the plays, technicians will set the scene, and by 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, six brand new plays will be stage ready. Begins at 7:30 p.m. hutchcc.edu/fine-arts-andhumanities
Dillon Lecture Series: Dayton Moore Dayton Moore was named Senior VP/General Manager of the Kansas City Royals in 2006. Tickets are $10; begins at 10:30 a.m. hutchcc.edu/dls
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