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magazine

Seven over

fall 2011

sunflowerpub.com

70

$3.00


editor’s letter magazine

nathan pettengill

e di t or n at h a n p e t t e n g i l l De s ig n e r /a rt di r e c t or S h e l ly B r ya n t c op y e di t or s u s i e fa g a n advertising representative j o h n W. k r a m e r ( 7 8 5 ) 8 5 6 -7 7 0 5 ad designer Janell a L. Williams C h i e f Pho t o g r a ph e r jason dailey c on t r i bu t i ng w r i t e r s l a u r e n b e at t y K at e B l at h e r w i c k- p i c k e r t Becky Bridson k at h e r i n e d i n s d a l e amber brejcha fraley mary r. gage Barbara Higgins-Dover susan kraus pa u l a n a u g h t i n cheryl nelsen Julie Tollefson nancy vogel

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g e n e r a l m a nag e r bert hull pu bl i s h i ng c o or di nat or fa r y l e s c o t t

$

Subscriptions 2150 for a one-year subscription

For subscription information, please contact Christopher Bell 609 New Hampshire St., p.o. Box 888 Lawrence, KS 66044 (800) 578-8748 Fax (785) 331-0633

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editor ............................................................................. The subjects of our cover story on community leaders older than 70 came to our photo studio at different times, each with a different background and a different story to tell. Our story of them, however, has one common theme—working past the age of retirement is no Page longer an anomaly, but rather a conscious choice that established professionals willingly pursue so 70 they can continue doing what they love and can continue benefiting the community. Seventy years is an impressive age. A few decades ago, when these subjects were a feisty 40 or so, it might have been noteworthy that people worked past 70. Now, however, it is not the milestone but what our subjects have done, and continue to do, at whatever age they happen to be. That concept applies to communities as well. This year, our state celebrates 150 years—a respectable length of time. But a sesquicentennial only matters if we’re proud of what has been done over the past 150 years and if we’re working toward the next legacy. Join us in this issue as we explore that past with a sometimes serious and sometimes lighthearted examination of John Brown and as we visit with residents about the work they do, the meals they make, the homes they create and the land they share. Our magazine celebrates its own anniversary with this issue—seven years. And while that’s neither 70 nor 150, we hope that by profiling interesting people and spaces from across the community, these pages contain wisdom beyond our young age. Let us know what we’re missing and how we can include even more of Lawrence in our upcoming editions.

Regards, Nathan

E-mail comments to lawrencemagazine@sunflowerpub.com facebook.com/lawrencemag

P.S.—This fall edition also marks the departure of Susie Fagan, former editor of Lawrence Magazine and Sunflower Publishing’s long-term copy editor. We will miss her graceful but authoritative editing and wish her the best of luck in her new position outside of Sunflower Publishing.

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Lawrence Magazine is a publication of Sunflower Publishing, a division of The World Company.

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on the cover Barbara Hodgson and John McGrew with text illustration. Photograph by Jason Dailey; design by Shelly Bryant.

living

identity

08 / W h at T h e y Wa n t e d

26 / A B l a c k s mi t h ’ s B i o

14 / H o me T o u r w i t h t h e b r o w n s Bob,

30 / C o a c h B B Q Barry Hinson, the Jayhawks’ go-to grill guy, serves meat and wise thoughts for the KU men’s basketball team

A once-isolated cabin provides decades of cozy living for a Lawrence couple, their grown family and their sun-loving cats

Cordelia and Carolyn Brown have found paradise at the end of a winding, steep, quartermile gravel drive

market 20 / S e v e n o v e r 7 0 Why should the youngsters get all the glory? Especially when one of the biggest trends in business leadership isn’t whippersnapper talent, but post-retirement-age seniors leading the pack for the long run

contents

Kate Dinneen finds a path to the forge through bass strings, pedals and a pub

34 / T h e S o f t Sid e o f t h e M a n W h o H at e s T ig e r s Who knew that Don Fambrough, the Jayhawk with the legendary fightin’ words, is a devoted son and sweetheart

wellness

42 / C o o k in g f r o m t h e S o u l Learlean Hooks-

Glover cooks up time-tested cuisine for family, friends and charity events

community 46 / T r e e-me n d o u s Fall colors provide

38 / ‘ B a c k t o B a l a n c e ’ KU research scientist Stephen S. Ilardi has won national attention for his study of life habits and depression. Now he begins applying that insight to teen health

features

a seasonal highlight

50 / Tw o G e n e r at i o n s , O n e L a n d The Hayden family talks about generational differences and common ground in working to preserve Kansas habitats

journey 84 / ‘ B u l a’ f o r F i ji Lawrence Magazine travel writer Susan Kraus visits Fiji for beaches, villages, temples, second helpings and bus route friendships

54 / Hot Rods

90 / T r a il t h r o u g h t h e P r a irie The pathways

Revved up cars and the drivers who love them

of the KU Field Station north of Lawrence connect visitors to the region’s natural heritage

62 / T he Riv er a nd it s Row ers

For the KU crew team members, seasons spent perfecting their sport lead to a love of the waters that host them

70 / W WJBD?

and I wanted to b e .. ............................ 80

What Would John Brown Do? And why should Lawrence care?

calendar .. ......................................... .. 96

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living story by

/ Amber Brejcha Fraley

Facelift for the farm Artistic skill, clever ideas and a lot of hard work help renovate a family farmstead

What They Wanted A once-isolated cabin provides decades of cozy living for a Lawrence couple, their grown family and their sun-loving cats

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Lawrence Magazine

/ fall 2011 / sunflowerpub.com

photography by

/ Jason Dailey


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living

S

Clockwise from top: Though the Brunfeldts’ home now sits inside city boundaries, the dense foliage provides wonderful fall color and screens nearby roads. The Brunfeldts have considered many architectural styles to describe their house, but after decades of living in it they mostly consider it “home.” The sunroom shelters plants but also Joan’s cats throughout the year.

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ince 1985, David and Joan Brunfeldt have had six addresses. Here’s the interesting part: They’ve always lived in the same house. Over the years, the address of their northwest Lawrence home has changed from Route 6 to Route 7; from a zip code of 66046 to ’47 to ’49; to 1150 Road and now to Monterey Way. “My guess is we’ll probably stay with that one for a while,” says David. Before the city of Lawrence came out to meet them, the Brunfeldts’ custom home was out in the country. Their neighbors consisted primarily of soybean and corn fields, sheep, cattle, llamas and a couple of bulls that would bawl back and forth at each other across Monterey Way, which at the time was nothing more than a gravel and dirt lane. “They were kind of scary,” David notes. “I always hoped those fences would hold. They did.” Both David, a retired electrical engineer who now teaches physics at Bishop Seabury Academy, and Joan, a doctor of internal medicine, had a good idea for the interior of their home when they began working with architect Michael Treanor in 1984. What they ended up with is a cabin-like house somehow simultaneously cozy and roomy, where they raised three children, two of whom are twins. The kids are grown now, but Joan was pregnant with the twins when the house was being built, and she was forced to go on bed rest for three months, right in the midst of the house’s construction. When her doctor finally said she could get out

Lawrence Magazine

of bed, she ended up having exactly one day to pick out all of the home’s paint colors, wallpaper, tile and fixtures before she went into labor. Other additions have been less rushed. Several years after the home was built, David and a handyman added a sunroom to the south side of the house. “In the winter I store all my geraniums and begonias …” begins Joan. “It gets packed in there,” David breaks in, “and in the spring the stuff gets moved outside.” The sunroom, with its rich carnelian red ceramic tile floor, has also become the favorite haunt for the couple’s feisty young cats, Max and Lilly. “That’s a bit of a crisis for Joan,” David jokes. “She loves the plants, but she loves the cats. Hmmm … How to get those two to get along?” While building the house, the couple knew they wanted a porch. But it was their

/ fall 2011 / sunflowerpub.com


living

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living

Clockwise from top: A lush fall garden surrounds the Brunfeldt home. The family’s wraparound porch was a favorite playing spot for the children when they were young. A birdhouse sits in the Brunfeldt yard. Birds and the occasional deer are the most common wildlife in the yard, a far cry from the early years when the home was surrounded by farmland and sheep, cattle, llama and bulls lived as neighbors.

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architect who knew that the family would appreciate something more. As such, the deep wraparound porch encompasses three sides of the home and has become far more significant to their daily lives than the Brunfeldts ever imagined. It features a bench swing, a hammock, several attractive seating areas—one with a ceiling fan—and a plethora of potted plants. “It was well worth the money. It’s turned into another living area that we use all the time,” says David. “In the wintertime, on a sunny day, if there’s kind of a cold north wind, you can go out here on the south side of the porch out of the wind. And on a January or February day it just feels great, even though it might be very cold out.” Joan agrees. “When the kids were little, they played outside on the porch all year round, even in the rain, under the overhang. They could ride their bikes—everything.” And what an intriguing place to grow up. Years after they finished the house, the Brunfeldts still debate its exact style. David thinks that ultimately Treanor divined the style after speaking with the couple at length, and Joan remembers Treanor remarking that “modern farmhouse” might be the way for the couple to go. “But other people say that it looks like a Colorado lodge,” she says, shrugging. “Well, whatever it is,” says David, “it turned out better than I thought. In other words, we didn’t know what we wanted. But now that we’ve lived in it for 25 years, this is what we wanted.” m

“[The porch] turned into another living area that we use all the time.”

Lawrence Magazine

– David Brunfeldt

/ fall 2011 / sunflowerpub.com


living

fall 2011

/ Lawrence Magazine

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living story by

/ Julie Tollefson

photography by

Home Tour with the Browns The Brown family walks along the trails of the rural home they call Rocky Road.

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Carolyn, Bob and Cordelia Brown have found paradise at the end of a winding, steep, quarter-mile gravel drive. Their 20-acre rural Jefferson County property, dubbed Rocky Road, is a private retreat, a favorite staycation destination and a working farm that irresistibly lures them away from Lawrence. Lawrence Magazine

/ fall 2011 / sunflowerpub.com

/ jason dailey


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living

A “Must-Have” for Cordelia Cordelia found the property in 2000, attracted by photos of the “unconventional” property described in a real estate ad and an asking price that seemed feasible for the then-single mother of teenage son Max Howig. Her first walk down the gravel drive sold her. “I knew as soon as I came in I had to have it and that I would make a bid that very night,” she says. “I just felt a sense of harmony here that I have never felt before.” “It’s so peaceful and quiet out here. We love it here,” says Bob, a family physician with Student Health Services at the University of Kansas. Grown-up

Tree house On the upper floor of the newer half of the cottage, light filters through the leaves of the trees and streams into Cordelia and Bob’s bedroom, giving the impression of being in a grown-up tree house. “When you look out, it’s just like a sea of green,” says Cordelia, a musician, public radio host and sometimes goat farmer.

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living

Hexagonal charm

Part of Rocky Road’s charm is the unusual design of the cottage: a pair of two-story hexagons connected by an arched doorway. The Browns say the previous owner told them he built the arch around the hood of an old Volkswagen to give it its distinctive shape.

Old and New The double-thick brick walls of the original hex, built in the 1970s, blend seamlessly with the native stone of the newer hex added in the 1980s. Nestled into the side of a hill and surrounded by trees and wildlife, the cottage is much more than a weekend retreat for the Browns. “If it were up to us and our devices, we’d be out here all the time,” Bob says.

“For the first time since I was a child, I felt like I had come home.”

– cordelia brown

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living

From Farm to table

The bottom floor of the original hex building is the kitchen, a comfortable, homey room dominated by a range and refrigerator large enough to accommodate Cordelia’s passion for baking as well as to store the fruits of their agricultural endeavors. A dozen freerange hens contribute a steady supply of fresh eggs. Cordelia plans to add a herd of dairy goats; and the couple harvest vegetables, grapes and berries from their expansive garden.

Private retreat

The unique design means privacy is at a premium inside the cottage, but the Browns have carved intimate niches throughout the property. Bob built a tree house for daughter Carolyn that doubles as a deer stand and private retreat at times. He describes it as a wonderful place to read, sleep, play guitar or “just be out here.”

The Summer office

Across from the bedroom, built-in bookshelves frame an office area. The second floors of both hexes open in the center to the floor below, allowing hot air to vent through turbines on the roof in the summer and circulating heat from the home’s two wood-burning stoves in the colder months. Each hex has its own personality. “I always think of this as kind of the summer half,” says Cordelia, surveying the kitchen. “It’s always warmer in the newer side and more cave-like over here.” m

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market story by

/ Kate Blatherwick-Pickert

photography by

/ jason dailey

Seven over 70 Why should the youngsters get all the glory? Especially when one of the biggest trends in business leadership isn’t whippersnapper talent, but post-retirement-age seniors leading the pack for the long run

Y

ou’ve seen it before. A magazine or other glossy publication with a list of young, up-and-coming talent—“Meet 4 Rising Stars Under 40,” for example. Media love to focus on new faces leading business and nonprofit ventures. But the bigger story might be that as people work later in life, leading talent increasingly comes with familiar faces and gray hair. With the help of a community panel, Lawrence Magazine searched out people who have said no to retirement in order to continue business and nonprofit work. A full list is long and mighty, but here are seven people over 70 years of age who represent the growing trend of active non-retirement.

Barbara Hodgson, 73

real estate agent, McGrew Real Estate Hometown gal and 1955 Lawrence High School Homecoming Queen Barbara Hodgson hasn’t always sold real estate. That career was born out of selling land in Colorado during her summer teaching breaks. When she moved back to Lawrence in 1989 to take care of her parents, she dropped teaching for full-time real estate work and hasn’t looked back. “I enjoy people. There are so many people I wouldn’t have met if I wasn’t doing this,” says Hodgson. “I love putting people and things together.” Hodgson adds she’s heard from friends who say they’ve retired too soon, but she says she’s still having fun and has tremendous endurance. “When we go skiing, I’m not the best. But I will be there at the end of the day,” laughs Hodgson.

Thanks to panel members Hank Booth, Joan Golden, Tom Hornbaker, Ernie Cummings and Napoleon Crews for their nominations.

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John McGrew, 72

McGrew Real Estate, founder of Outside for a Better Inside John McGrew says he feels 40 again thanks to a recent hip replacement. “It’s amazing what they can do for us over-the-hill generation,” chuckles McGrew. An avid tennis player who intends on keeping his game competitive, McGrew says too many people are just spectators. After retiring as head of his family real estate business in 2007, McGrew founded a grassroots task force to get children outside and lead healthier lives. McGrew says being “connected to the earth and involved in the community” benefits his generation. “It is essential for our well-being and our health—and it benefits the community as well.”

John Kiefer, 78

owner, Kief’s Audio & Video John Kiefer loves what he does and loves sharing his knowledge of the industry. His business started as a small record store in 1959 and was quickly noticed by the largest record distributor in the United States. Kiefer says the money isn’t what keeps him going, though he says he’s been fortunate. “I just love to be around this stuff,” says Kiefer. “And the other option would be probably playing golf, which I think is boring.”

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market

Diane Simpson, 76 attorney/receptionist, Stevens & Brand, LLC

When Diane Simpson graduated from college in 1957, she remembered only one woman going to law school. Simpson spent the 25 years after graduation raising her four children and volunteering in the Salina community. In 1980, things changed for Simpson. She decided to enter law school at the University of Kansas,

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Lawrence Magazine

eventually graduating and working for Stevens & Brand in Lawrence. She practiced for 23 years until she turned 70 and decided she wasn’t going to practice law anymore but knew she wanted to keep working. The timing couldn’t have been better; there was an opening at the firm for a receptionist in the same office. Now, Simpson greets clients, performs conflict checks and opens files in the firm’s database. “I really enjoy being with the younger people,” says Simpson. “It’s really good for me to need to get up when the alarm goes off and to have a job that I enjoy doing. I would like to do this until I fall off my chair.”

/ fall 2011 / sunflowerpub.com


market

Rod Ernst, 77

Ernst & Sons Hardware In 1961, Rod Ernst joined the family hardware business that his grandfather had partially owned since 1905. Ernst says he enjoys continuing the tradition, working every day except Sundays. “I don’t have anything else to do,” he quips, adding that he likes the independence of running his own business, though he says he is always dependent on customers. Ernst has seen Lawrence and his industry change over the years. He notes it’s rare for a downtown hardware store such as his to survive. When asked his secret for staying in the game, he said there was no secret. “I’ve been blessed with pretty good health.”

Joe Reitz, 72

retired professor of business, Family Promise founder Joe Reitz was enjoying his retirement from the University of Kansas when an opportunity came to take on the role of CEO of the Leo Center, a faithbased health care organization. Reitz said he read Scriptures and prayed about the offer before agreeing and embarking on the position that also led him to found Family Promise of Lawrence. This organization focuses on homelessness and families. “What’s great about Family Promise is that we destroy stereotypes,” says Reitz. “When you meet homeless families, they could be your neighbor. … These kids could be my grandkids.” Reitz says his role has also brought him into contact with many community volunteers. “There are so many good people in Lawrence who give of their time and talent,” explains Reitz. “It gives me more meaning, some kind of focus, some kind of challenge, something to work on.” sunflowerpub.com

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market

Dr. William Bailey, 70 orthopedic surgeon, OrthoKansas

A fraternity brother convinced William Bailey to come back to Lawrence to practice medicine. So in 1974 Bailey began his long career in orthopedic surgery and has seen his practice grow from two to seven physicians. “I have some patients I’ve seen almost the whole time I’ve

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Lawrence Magazine

been here. I really enjoy seeing them back and enjoy helping them,” says Bailey. Though he gave up performing surgeries five years ago because he says he wasn’t as dexterous as he use to be, he’s not interested in retirement. “I don’t think I would have enough activities to fill up my time if I didn’t spend some time at the office,” says Bailey. In fact, his best advice to those considering retirement: Have some good hobbies to keep you busy. “I think if you aren’t mentally occupied, you will go downhill fairly rapidly,” says Bailey. And that’s advice from a doctor. m

/ fall 2011 / sunflowerpub.com


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identity story by

/ Paula Naughtin

A Blacksmith’s Bio Kate Dinneen finds a path to the forge through bass strings, pedals and a pub

Kate Dinneen works at Walt Hull’s blacksmith shop south of Lawrence.

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T

he beat of Kate Dinneen’s hammer fills her blacksmith shop south of Lawrence. And if you listen closely, you might hear another steady pulse—a strong sense of rhythm underlying the life of this artist as she moves

Lawrence Magazine

photography by

through various interests of biking, baking and bass playing. We can start from the beginning. Kate was born in Vietnam, where her father was in charge of the American translator pool as the French were evacuating the country. A few years later, the family came to Lawrence while her father attended graduate school, made various sojourns in Massachusetts and France, and eventually returned to Lawrence, where her father was a professor of French and linguistics and where Kate spent most of her childhood years. She attended the University of Kansas, designing her degree in international folklore with an emphasis in Irish music and culture. This tied in with her love of music and performing and some-

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/ jason dailey

what with her talent for playing the string bass, an instrument she says she was first assigned in junior high orchestra because “I was the tallest.” What careers are open to a bass-playing folklorist? Kate didn’t really have to worry about that. She began washing dishes at a local restaurant after high school and moved up in the kitchen hierarchy during her studies before becoming a full-time cook. After graduation, she spent time in a who’s who of Lawrence restaurants. (A warning to our readers: This list may make longtime Lawrence residents both misty-eyed and hungry.) These eateries included Campus Hideaway, Nabil’s, Fifi’s, Paradise Cafe & Bakery and The Eldridge. Her longest stint, however, was at


identity

“This sounds like fun—I’m still using fire and I can hit things!” – Kate Dinneen

Free State Brewing Co., where Kate did just about every job before ending up in charge of personnel and desserts. In addition to working in the kitchen and playing bass for the Topeka Symphony Orchestra, Kate cycled competitively from 1982 to 2010. She was the Kansas champion in road and time trials for five years in a row and spent several months from 1988 to 1989 working out with the masters national team at the Olympic training site in Colorado Springs (her jersey still hangs at Sunflower Outdoor & Bike Shop). Her racing career frustratingly ended when she was hit by a driver who ran a red light, threw her from her bike at Seventh and Vermont streets and left her with a hip so severely injured that she could no longer compete. Kate’s transition into blacksmithing was more gradual. She often thought about taking a blacksmithing class from Walt Hull, who had

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a forge and worked as a blacksmith in addition to a fulltime job. But Kate’s symphony rehearsals always interfered with the class. While chatting with Walt at the brewery, Kate learned that Walt was also contemplating a change. He decided to go into blacksmithing full time, and Kate started with him. Or, as she explains, “I got started blacksmithing in a pub.”

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She also remembers thinking at the time: “This sounds like fun—I’m still using fire [as she does in cooking] and I can hit things!” In addition to her work with Walt, Kate has learned from master blacksmiths all over the United States, in Israel, Germany and England. Thirteen years after she began pounding her hammer, the sense of rhythm that has carried through her life continues to be an essential part of her new career. And it rings through to her at unexpected times, such as at a blacksmith convention in Alfred, New York, where she says she “was headed back up to the demonstration tents and my ear was caught by hammering. It was musical the way they were working together.” It’s that sound, that cadence that she says draws her in. m


identity

work a r o u n d

town As a blacksmith, Kate Dinneen concentrates mostly on large-scale projects, several of which can be found in prominent places throughout Lawrence.

Free State Brewing Co. door handle and tavern sign mount, 636 Massachusetts St. On the outside of the front door of the popular downtown restaurant where Kate once worked, this is art that begs to be touched. Kate says it is one of her favorite pieces. “I like going in,” she adds— for the drinks, food and chance to see her work.

Black Jack Battlefield and Nature Park Entrance gate Baldwin Kate is heading the effort to create a hand-forged gate at the Black Jack Battlefield and Nature Park commemorating the spot where John Brown and his followers fought a pro-slavery militia in 1856. Two blacksmiths from England, Terrence Clark and Peter Parkinson, led a group of blacksmiths and four young artists from the Van Go Mobile Arts program to work on the gate for nearly a month this spring to begin the forging. Project leaders are raising funds to complete the gate. The blacksmiths used a large forge space at Kraft Tool in Shawnee for part of their work. Robert Evans of Shaped Steel in Liberty, Missouri, has donated the 2,000 pounds of steel needed for the gate. More information about the Black Jack Battlefield can be found at www.blackjackbattlefield.org.

Corpus Christi Catholic Church door handles, cross, screen and interior, 6001 Bob Billings Parkway

Lawrence Community Nursery School railing, 645 Alabama St.

Kate worked closely with Walt Hull, who was the designer of this project, to create much of the ironwork at Corpus Christi Catholic Church. She particularly enjoyed working on the church screen. “I got to do lots of sledgehammering. I love to do sledgehammering.” The task is really a duet between two people. Picture the blacksmiths, working in tandem. One, the master, determines the position of the blow, then the assistant lands the actual blows. There they are: The assistant swings, the sledgehammer strikes, the master makes a small adjustment by turning the piece. A strike, a turn and on and on in shared rhythm.

Students at this primary school drew pictures of animals and flowers that Kate integrated into the final railing design. “It’s really cool,” says Kate. “I can go back and look at it and see what the kids did.”

sunflowerpub.com

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identity story by

/ Becky Bridson

photography by

/ jason dailey

“Best Burger” Recipe

While head basketball coach at Oral Roberts University, Barry Hinson developed and distributed these steps for great grilled hamburgers.

1. As always, the first thing is to select quality meat. I know it’s not the healthiest, but the best hamburger is ground chuck. It guarantees the meat will have flavor and is extremely juicy. There’s nothing worse than a dry hamburger. 2. When building your patties, don’t compact the meat. Every time you press them, it takes away from the juiciest patty. Pack it as loose as possible. 3. Much like when you cook a steak, you want to get your fire as hot as possible and sear each side of the hamburger (depending on the heat) to lock in the juices. 4. After searing, shut down your grill and let it bake the burger. 5. An old trick I learned a long time ago is to put an indention into the middle of each patty when you first make them. First cook the indented side facedown, and when you flip it put an ice cube in the indention. This is another way to cook your meat and keep it moist throughout the process. 6. Enjoy the best burger you’ll ever eat.

Coach BBQ Barry Hinson, the Jayhawks’ go-to grill guy, serves meat and wise thoughts for the KU men’s basketball team

Barry Hinson takes a break from his job as University of Kansas director of men’s basketball operations to cook up a mean barbecue.

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S

izzles and swishes. Matches and matchups. Flames and flashes. Whether it be cooking or coaching, Barry Hinson, director of men’s basketball operations for the University of Kansas, possesses a unique talent for both. If you ask Hinson, he insists the key to good barbecue is having

Lawrence Magazine

a good butcher and is as humble about his culinary capabilities as the smoker is smoky. Nonetheless, Hinson has acquired a reputation in the KU sports world as one of the master chefs. As he eagerly waits to teach his now still-too-young grandson some grill secrets, Hinson cooks for friends, family, his two daughters and, as he describes it, his 15 (rather tall) boys. Barbecue and basketball. It’s all the same for Hinson. It’s all about family. Growing up in Texas and Oklahoma where “barbecue is a staple,” Hinson claims his dad first coined the phrase “food, fun and fellowship.” As an adult, Hinson “did what most everybody does and started with a Brinkmann smoker.” He elevated his game

/ fall 2011 / sunflowerpub.com

when he purchased his first supersize smoker in 1986. This was when he was a high school coach, meaning that the $750 behemoth was a big investment for Hinson and his wife, Angie. “It was huge,” Hinson recalls. “I was like a kid with a new toy. I was barbecuing for everyone in the neighborhood.” He’s not exaggerating. Hinson even went door to door across the neighborhood to remind neighbors to drop off their meat at 9 a.m. the following morning so he could prepare it throughout the day. The chickens, pork loins and ribs, and other meats would simmer slowly in smoldering smokiness for hours. Non-meat fans benefited as well. Hinson learned to smoke fish, squash, asparagus and other veggie delights.


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identity

“I don’t know who invented barbecue. I think it was a caveman.” – Barry Hinson

For more recipes from Barry Hinson, go online to facebook.com/ lawrencemag and look in the “Notes” section.

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“You just figure out how to do it, so you can make everybody happy,” Hinson says. As he rose up the ranks in coaching and spent a 15-year tenure leading basketball teams at Oral Roberts University and Missouri State University, Hinson did two things in every community he visited while recruiting potential players: stopped at the grocery store to snag the local barbecue sauce and ate at the best hole-in-the-wall in town. He’d take the menu, critique it and put it in a file. He’d go behind the counter and ask questions. He learned. He read. A lot. “It’s like coaching basketball,” Hinson says. “I didn’t invent the sport. There’s only one guy. His name is Naismith. I don’t know who invented barbecue. I think it was a caveman. You take from everybody here and there.” At Missouri State, Hinson and his staff raised more than $150,000 by auctioning items, the root of that being the barbecue dinners he and Angie hosted. Some years they went for $10,000 each, other years for $13,000. Along with the families who bought the dinners and their friends and family, they invited the entire athletic department and their significant others. They did it right, too. Everything was homemade. Everyone donned an apron. Hinson described it as an old church picnic. They drank Nehi grape soda and root beer. They had all the fixins, including cole slaw, baked beans and potato salad. He drove in his mom to make her homemade blackberry cobbler. This spawned the addition of one- to twominute barbecue-tip segment featured at the

Lawrence Magazine

Barry “Coach Barbecue” Hinson on … Butchers — My butcher just moved. It just broke my heart. It’s almost like getting a divorce. Always visit with your butcher. Tell him exactly what you want. Learn your cuts of meat. Barbecue’s greatest tip — The number one trick is to cook it slow and cook it low. Anybody can be great. You just have to practice. Barbecue joints — Eddie Sutton [Kansas native, legendary NCAA men’s basketball coach who, like Hinson, spent a few years as a high school coach in Tulsa, Oklahoma] used to say: “We’re here to eat, we’re not here to dine.” If you’re going to a barbecue place to dine, we got issues. The greatest barbecue places to me are the hole-in-the-walls, the ones that serve on butcher papers. When you walk in, you ought to be able to smell the smoke.

/ fall 2011 / sunflowerpub.com

end of his coach’s show. Talk of his own cooking show on the local public access channel emerged as well. Just before he was let go from his coaching position, Hinson purchased a 14-foot-long and 6-foot-wide trailer smoker in anticipation of the show. Hinson jokes that he was “fired up” to become “the new Emeril of barbecue.” Unfortunately, the show dissolved upon his dismissal. Their loss was a Jayhawk gain. In addition to his primary basketball recruiting role, Hinson now cooks for the KU men’s basketball team and all student athletes. He’s also scheduled to cook for an athletic department event with 550 people in attendance this fall. But he’s not letting his grill mastery go to his head. “If we get a kid to campus, very seldom do we ever lose them,” Hinson says. “Is it because of the cooking? No. It’s because they just see us as regular folk.” Hinson says if he could teach one thing, it would be patience. Low and slow is tantamount to a well-executed strategy and to ensuring a dazzling, delicious finish. “You can’t hurry it up,” he says. “There’s not a barbecue microwave. It makes you just stop and slow down and enjoy, and all of a sudden it brings people together. There’s no fighting during a meal. I go back to the food, fun and fellowship.” m


identity

1. Know your … butcher. He is the superhero behind all meals! 2. Know your … woods. Some woods are smokier than others.

Coac h Bar be cu e ’ s

ten

Commandments

for Cook i n g

3. Know your … meats. This is where “superhero” butcher can help you. All meats are not created equal.

4. Know your … party. The crowd always dictates the menu. Don’t cook possum when you know they won’t eat it.

5. Know your … plan. Are you smoking , barbecuing or grilling? If you don’t know the difference, make sure you learn. 6. Know your … rubs. If you ask what a rub is … well, Houston, we have a problem! 7. Know your … clock. It is a must—all barbecue

personnel must read the Book of Job before cooking. Patience is a must.  

8. Know your … allotment. Know how much you need to cook. And always cook more.

9. Know you’re … not the Creator. There have been far better cooks before you, and there will be far better when you die. Learn from everyone, and don’t be afraid to try new ideas.

10. Know your … sauce. Many great barbecuers have ruined many dishes by oversaucing. Real barbecue doesn’t need sauce. It is an accent and only that.


identity story by

/ Cheryl Nelsen

The Soft Side of the Man Who Hates Tigers Who knew that Don Fambrough, the Jayhawk with the legendary fightin’ words, is a devoted son and sweetheart

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Lawrence Magazine

photography by

I

first met Del Fambrough when I moved to Kansas in 1977 and interviewed for a job in the English Department at Lawrence High School. Del, the department chair, had a dry sense of humor, a hint of a Texas twang, a refined wardrobe of distinctive clothing and a love of the English language. At that time, I had not heard of her husband, Don Fambrough, the fire-breathing University of Kansas football coach who led the Jayhawks from 1971 to 1974 and 1979 to 1982. As the years passed, I wondered what this petite woman who loved British literature saw in a coach best known for his pro-

/ fall 2011 / sunflowerpub.com

/ Jason Dailey

fessed hatred of the University of Missouri Tigers and his salty, noholds-barred pep talks before each MU-KU showdown. Finally, I got the chance to ask that question, not to Del, but to Don. He said he didn’t know what she saw in him, but there must have been something because they were married 60 years. He definitely knows why he married her. “She was the most beautiful person I had ever seen. She was absolutely gorgeous. She could have any boy, probably, in the state of Texas. Beauty, brains, she had it all. I can’t imagine any person ever being as easy to live with as she


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identity

“If I amounted to anything, I got it from my mother.” – Don Fambrough

Clockwise from top: A portrait of Don Fambrough’s beloved mother, Willie Fambrough, sits near football memorabilia in a place of honor at Don’s home. A collage of Don’s football career includes an insert photograph of his wife, Del. Don wears a ring commemorating the University of Kansas football team’s 2008 Orange Bowl victory.

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was. She just babied me the whole time,” explains Don, who turns 89 this fall. They met in the sandbox, he says, where they grew up in Longview, Texas, and he can’t remember not knowing her. Del was the second great love of his life—the first was his mother Willie. “If I amounted to anything, I got it from my mother. No one in my family had ever been to college. My mother was determined that if I got a scholarship that I would take it, and that would be the only way I could go because we couldn’t afford to pay the tuition,” Don says. Don’s father thought his son required only reading and writing, plus plenty of chores to do on their 2,400-acre Texas ranch. But Willie helped Don with his chores of milking and feeding livestock and rounding up cattle so he would have time to practice football. Because Don had no one else to play football with on the ranch, his mother helped him build a goalpost and held the football for him to practice kicking extra points. “If it hadn’t been for her, I would never have played a down,” he says. “I was a mother’s boy all the way.” He wasn’t the only one who had respect for Willie. Don rode a horse named Charlie to

Lawrence Magazine

school, often standing on Charlie’s back. One day, while trying to get Charlie to lope, Don fell off, and the horse straddled him. “My dad came down and tried to get me, and Charlie bit him. Some of the cowboys came down and tried to get me out from under Charlie, and he bit them. My mother came down, and he stepped aside for her,” Don says. Once Don began dating Del, he had two women supporting his early football career. Del, a cheerleader, was at all his high school and college games. She got her father interested in football so he would drive her to Don’s games

/ fall 2011 / sunflowerpub.com

away from Longview. In 1937 Don was on the Longview team that won the Texas championship against Wichita Falls in the Cotton Bowl. Don describes the game as being as much a thrill for the town of 8,000 as for the team. Off the field, Don and Del dated mostly by having dinner at her house or catching an occasional movie. “I couldn’t afford to take her to a movie. I had a good friend that would let me in the movie for free, and I’d meet her in the movie,” Don says. After high school, Don played football for the University of Texas for two years, but World War II interrupted his college days. Uncertain as to when Don might go to war or come back, he and Del got their marriage license by standing in a line of sweethearts that stretched for blocks. Don and other members of the team expected to stay in school until they graduated, but many were taken into the military. “We played Georgia Tech in the Cotton Bowl on a Saturday. The following Monday we were all on the [military] drill field. In fact, we had to get what they called a ‘delay en route’ to play the game,” Don says. “The service people allowed us to play in the Cotton Bowl, but then we had to go directly to whatever branch we were in.”


identity

Del didn’t let the war keep her away from her new husband. Whenever possible, she moved where Don was stationed and took whatever jobs she could find. “She would stay with me as long as she could when I was on this side of the ocean,” Don says. The Air Force was the branch Don enlisted in because his older brother James flew a B-17 over Japan. He figured if James could do it, so could he. “I washed out as a pilot because I had no perception. One time I tried to land, and I was about 3,000 feet up in the air. The instructor said, ‘Fambrough, I can’t pass you because if you fly an airplane, it’s pretty important you know how to land.’” His failure as a pilot turned out well for him, he says, because he was assigned to a unit where he befriended Ray Evans. Don describes Ray as the greatest athlete he has ever been associated with, and it was Ray who helped persuade Don to go to KU after the war ended. Back in Lawrence, Ray went on to become an AllAmerican in football and basketball before starting a professional football career with the Pittsburgh Steelers. Don spent one season playing for the KU football team before graduating and taking an assistant coaching position with the Jayhawks. During the years Don coached at KU, Del was one of his biggest supporters. Don says in addition to her own teaching career, Del took care of him and their two sons, Bob and Preston, assisted him with recruiting athletes and managed all their finances. “Back then you could have asked me [my salary]. I didn’t even know what we were making,” says Don. “I was so involved in football.” But once Del became sick with cancer, Don forgot everything but her. Told in 2001 she had only weeks to live, Del asked to die at home. Don says he relied totally on the visiting nurses from Hospice to help take care of Del. He admires them so much that today he feels he is paying them back by being an ambassador for the program. He speaks to various groups each month about what Hospice did for him and his family. “They did everything to make her comfortable those few days she had before she passed away,” Don says. “She died holding my hand with a big smile on her face. They made sure she didn’t hurt.” Don says he completed three goals he had for his life: He played football, coached football and married his childhood sweetheart. “I was blessed by having a person like Del in my life for so many wonderful years. I think she would describe me as being somebody 100 percent totally in love with her. I probably didn’t always show it, but it was there,” he says. m

fall 2011

/ Lawrence Magazine

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wellness story by

/ Katherine Dinsdale

T

Stephen S. Ilardi’s study of an “antidepressant lifestyle” has led him to consider what insights this might provide for teen health.

he very idea is a light box of hope. Could it be that Stephen S. Ilardi’s 2009 book, The Depression Cure: The 6-Step Program to Beat Depression Without Drugs, might translate for teens and children trapped under an iron blanket of depression? Could it be that the six protective lifestyle elements Ilardi recommends in his Therapeutic Lifestyle Change (TLC) program—omega-3 fatty acids, engaging activity, physical exercise, sunlight exposure, social support and sleep—could be appropriately adapted for youth as a freeing antidote to depression’s debilitating clutch? Ilardi, associate professor of clinical psychology at the University of Kansas, says not so fast. A self-described cautious scientist always looking for more data to back his assumptions, he is quick to point out the seriousness of clinical depression, the necessity of professional care and, in some instances, medication. He stresses the importance of ruling out or treating physical causes for depression such as sleep apnea and thyroid conditions before relying on natural treatment. That said, Ilardi admits to being hopeful as he begins his next major project, extending his program to younger populations. “With five years of data from adults suffering from depression using the program, we’ve seen many encouraging successes. It is clearly having an extraordinary impact on many individuals who’ve been depressed for more than a decade and have not responded to anything else,” Ilardi says. Shifting his work toward youth is a big departure for Ilardi, whose research has always involved adults, but the idea

‘Back to Balance’ KU research scientist Stephen S. Ilardi has won national attention for his study of life habits and depression. Now he begins applying that insight to teen health

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Lawrence Magazine

/ fall 2011 / sunflowerpub.com

photography by

/ jason dailey


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wellness

has become increasingly compelling as Ilardi and his research team become aware of the need to address the epidemic of depression among children and, particularly, adolescents. He notes personal motives, as well. “I happen to be the father of an adolescent. As I’ve grown as a parent, the prospect of working with children my daughter’s age seems like a much more natural thought.” Ilardi and his wife, Maria Ilardi, a psychiatric nurse practitioner in private practice, have a daughter, Abby, 14, who Ilardi says is growing up with two parents dedicated to making a healthy lifestyle a part of the family’s day-to-day life. Abby’s experience is far from the norm, however. Ilardi can spiel the familiar stats for American youth: “Today an average adolescent spends more than seven hours a day interacting with a screen and another hour and a half is on a cell phone, mostly texting. Teens have traded face time for Facebook and are so much more sedentary than in the past; their diets are much poorer; they are spending more time indoors and they have little face time with friends and family. They are often alone, experience unhealthy sleep, and they face a level of stress that is unrelenting. We were never designed to live this way.” The same unhealthy lifestyle that Ilardi believes triggers depression in teens also underlies the burgeoning epidemic of obesity, type 2 diabetes and ADHD in young people. “All this is very much on people’s radar,” he says. “Intuitively, as

Ilardi says part of his interest in youth mental health comes from his experience as a parent, with his wife Maria Ilardi, center, to daughter Abby, right. (Plants courtesy Lawrence Landscape Tree Farm.)

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Lawrence Magazine

/ fall 2011 / sunflowerpub.com


wellness

a society, we recognize we have a crisis on our hands. Life is out of balance, and medication is not the complete solution. “Unquestionably the meds have saved many thousands of lives,” Ilardi says, “and yet the relief they have provided for both adults and youth has often come at a great cost. Antidepressants have lulled many into a false security and have left others with painful side effects and painful withdrawal symptoms.” For the most part, Ilardi says, the treatments mental health professionals are using to help depressed young people and adults simply aren’t working very well. “The very wellkept secret is the fact—based on mountains of evidence—that antidepressants do not represent a lasting cure for the large majority of people,” he says. “At most, only 10 percent to 20 percent of those treated with pharmaceuticals find complete and lasting remission.” Ilardi, 48, earned an undergraduate degree in math and economics and worked for Wells Fargo Realty before quitting to look for a “more meaningful career.” He was surprised when he began researching depression in graduate school and learned how little was known about the causes of the increase in incidence of the disease. He says he was interested to learn, as well, that depression is relatively uncommon in aboriginal cultures across the globe, such as the Kaluli of Papua New Guinea.

“We were never designed to live this way.” – Stephen S. Ilardi As his book fully explains, he questioned if the daily routines in those cultures provide some sort of external reset button that serves to prevent depression. “I began wondering, ‘What would it look like to have an antidepressant lifestyle?’” “Every part of the TLC program has extensive research support documenting its ability to powerfully change brain function down to a neurochemical level. Physical exercise induces profound increases in the brain’s circuits that use serotonin and dopamine, so called ‘feel-good’ brain chemicals. In one landmark study, exercise was shown to be more effective than meds in the long term. “I can’t say this too often,” Ilardi says. “People have been so bombarded with the notion that they have to take meds to correct a chemical imbalance. There are many ways to change a brain, and most don’t involve ingesting chemicals.” “The main takeaway here,” he says, “is that so far, those who are putting these lifestyle changes into practice in their lives are seeing results. Our biggest question has become not ‘Will this program work to help heal depression?’ but ‘How can we get people—of any age—to do the things they need to do while they are depressed?’” m

fall 2011

/ Lawrence Magazine

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wellness story by

/ Amber Brejcha Fraley

L

Learlean Hooks-Glover first learned cooking in her grandmother’s kitchen.

earlean Hooks-Glover began her cooking education while growing up on her family farm in Palestine, Texas, where her large family produced all its own food. And when Learlean says all, she means all: meat, fruits, veggies, dairy products, cornmeal, wheat flour, right down to pecans and even brandy. “We kids had to make the butter,” she says. “Everything was from scratch.” Though Learlean, 70, says she was a tomboy in those early days, she still observed her grandmother’s culinary techniques and disdain for cookbooks. “No one cooked with recipes,” explains Learlean. “It was a pinch of this and a pinch of that. If I cook with a recipe, you will not eat it. It’ll go in the garbage. That’s how bad I am with recipes,” she says, laughing. Learlean was 8 when she went to live with her brother in Galveston, Texas, and it was there that she began to learn how to cook all kinds of fish in the Creole style. It was also at that age that she prepared her very first dinner, which included beef short ribs, potatoes, salad, cornbread and gravy. The only mistake she made was to forget to brown the roux

Cooking from the Soul Learlean Hooks-Glover cooks up time-tested cuisine for family, friends and charity events

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Lawrence Magazine

/ fall 2011 / sunflowerpub.com

photography by

/ Jason Dailey


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wellness for the gravy, so they ate white gravy with the meal that night. Still, she remembers, it was good. “By the time I left there, I could cook a four-course meal for 12 people,” she says. At the age of 12, Learlean went to visit two of her sisters in St. Louis and ended up staying. She grew up and got married there, eventually opening her own soul food restaurant where the meat smoker was fashioned from a recycled kerosene tank. Learlean served up full meals of greens, black-eyed peas, corn bread, fried chicken, fish, potato salad and ribs. Her cafe survived for about six years until crime overtook the area. “They closed up the red-light district, and the ‘ladies of leisure’ moved over into North Saint Louis where I was. Those women could break into a car and rip out a stereo system as fast as any man.”

“By the time I left there [Galveston, Texas], I could cook a four-course meal for 12 people.” – Learlean Hooks-Glover Learlean began nursing at the Veteran Administration hospital and for a family in St. Louis. When the family moved to Lawrence, Learlean came too. She still works for the family part time, and though she calls herself “semi-retired,” Learlean remains a cooking force. She keeps a portable kitchen in a trailer that she takes to several area events, including Homecoming, an annual all-town reunion in celebration of the emancipation of blacks in Nicodemus. She also cooks at the annual Juneteenth Celebration in Lawrence to raise money for the Boys & Girls Club, as well as serving up her soul food at the Missouri State Fair in Sedalia. Her mobile kitchen is known as Captain Hooks’ Rare Choice Grill Lovers Barbecue & Soul Food. (“Grill Lovers” serves as a description of her customers and a play on the family name Glover.) In addition to the annual events, Learlean has fired up Captain Hooks’ grill to raise money for a string of churches and community charitable organizations in Lawrence, from the NAACP to the women’s shelter. While Learlean is always ready to lend a hand to help raise money for the charities that are close to her heart, she’s also no stranger to tragedy. She lost her husband, Charles Glover Sr., and four of her grandchildren in an East Lawrence house fire in 2006. Suddenly, she found herself the recipient of a community outpouring of support, but even in the midst of her own heartbreak, she found a way to help others. After her husband’s death, she had his collection of suits cleaned and donated them to a local youth. “The community was there for me, and he was part of the community,” she explains. m

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Lawrence Magazine

/ fall 2011 / sunflowerpub.com

Learlean’s Steak and Greens … Braised Steak

¼ teaspoon canola oil 1 tablespoon butter Flat iron steak Seasoned salt, to taste White pepper, to taste

Preheat a cast iron skillet over medium heat. Add oil and butter. When butter melts, add steak. Let steak braise on one side until well browned, 3 to 5 minutes, then turn and brown the other side. As steak browns, sprinkle it with seasoned salt and white pepper to taste. Continue to turn and brown steak until done to your satisfaction.

Greens

Ham shank or pack of salt pork (ham shank will have less fat than salt pork) ½ bushel of greens (may include any mixture of mustard, turnip, collard greens and/or spinach) Small Vidalia onion, diced Bay leaf Garlic clove, diced 1 teaspoon white pepper 1½ jalapeno peppers, diced (optional)

In a large pot, cover ham shank or salt pork with water and boil. Wash greens thoroughly and trim stems. Add greens to the pot in bunches, occasionally putting the lid on the pot to make the greens “steam down” so you can add more. Simmer greens on medium heat for an hour before adding onion and seasonings and jalapeno if desired; let the mixture simmer on low heat for an additional hour before serving. Learlean recommends washing the greens three or four times to make sure all dirt, sand and “critters” are removed. And, she says, don’t salt the greens until you taste them. “Usually, I don’t salt the greens because the pork is salty enough.” Learlean also says that when cooking for a crowd, she tends to ease up on the spices and fix her soul food with less grease. But when cooking for close friends and family, she goes full throttle on the bacon fat and seasonings.


community story by / Mary R. Gage

photography by

/ jason dailey

Tree-mendous Some of Lawrence’s best fall colors can be found on the University of Kansas campus (above, opposite and page 48) as well as across the city, including the northwest region (page 49).

46

T

here are many reasons to love Lawrence in the fall, but one of the strongest reasons is the Technicolor kaleidoscope of red, yellow and green spectacularly showcased by our tens of thousands of trees. Crystal Miles, the city’s horticulture and forestry manager, estimates there are at least 25,000 trees in Lawrence parks and rights of way alone. She notes in 2011 the city is celebrating its 33rd year as a Tree City USA—a designation from the National Arbor Day Foundation recognizing a community’s commitment to care for its trees.

Lawrence Magazine

“We also received a growth award from the Arbor Day Foundation,” says Miles. “With the help of volunteers, we planted over 300 trees in three hours last spring along the new Burroughs Creek Trail.” When pressed to name her favorite tree, Miles admits to having a weakness for the sugar maple. She often joins like-minded folks at the Maple Leaf Festival in Baldwin each October. Miles says in the future she hopes to bring in more native oaks, alternatives to pine trees such as Norway spruce or bald cypress—and she doesn’t expect to plant ashes, aspen,

/ fall 2011 / sunflowerpub.com

weeping willows or poplar because of their susceptibility to disease. Fall colors don’t play a large role in the selection of city trees, Miles says. She is more concerned with matching trees to existing soil and water conditions or, in her words, planting the “right tree in the right place.” But Miles and her staff are adding several examples of a new species that will bring more color to downtown locations: the Pacific sunset maple. It’s a hardy tree that survives well in urban conditions and provides bright red color in the fall. Look for it in the coming autumns as part of Lawrence’s seasonal color extravaganza. m


community

sunflowerpub.com

/ fall 2011 / Lawrence Magazine

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community

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/ fall 2011 / sunflowerpub.com


COMMUNITY

SUNFLOWERPUB.COM

/ FALL 2011 / LAWRENCE MAGAZINE

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community story by / nancy vogel

photography by

/ Jason Dailey

For Chelsi, 35, home is now an apartment in the center of Lawrence, but her work and free time connect her with the land. She serves as vice president of the Kansas Land Trust, a Lawrence-based organization dedicated to working with private owners in protecting natural, agricultural and recreational areas, and frequently paddles down the Kansas River for recreation.

On falling in love with the land

Two Generations, One Land The Hayden family talks about generational differences and common ground in working to preserve Kansas habitats

Mike and Chelsi Hayden discuss their concepts of land stewardship at Mike’s home in west Lawrence.

50

H

e’s a rancher, a former governor and her father. She’s an outdoor enthusiast, an attorney and his daughter. Together, Mike and Chelsi Hayden represent two Kansas generations with different approaches to the natural environment but with common concerns for its future. We met with Mike and Chelsi separately and then together at what is now Mike’s home in west Lawrence.

Lawrence Magazine

The landscape has more hills and more woods than the farm in Rawlins County where Mike grew up, but it still has the distinctly Kansas open skies and prairie. Mike, 67, governor of Kansas from 1987 to 1991, settled here with his wife Patti Hayden as he continued to work in politics, serving as secretary of the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks and sitting on the Pew Charitable Trust’s Oceans Commission.

/ fall 2011 / sunflowerpub.com

Mike: I think what happened to me was that I got introduced to the land by working on the farm. But then I was fortunate enough to get an education in wildlife and then an advanced degree in biology. I remember reading, maybe when I was a freshman in college, the Sand County Almanac, and in that Aldo Leopold—who was one of the great conservationists—wrote a chapter called “The Land Ethic” that was far, far ahead of its time in saying that when we own a piece of property, there’s a lot more to it than just the income from the property or the value. In fact, we have an obligation to make sure that that property is actually in better condition than it was when we acquired it. Chelsi: As I grew up, I helped at the ranch and eventually drove the combine. I love being on the combine and watching the storm roll in. Everybody [back home] knows what it’s like to drive the truck or to bust


sunflowerpub.com

/ fall 2011 / Lawrence Magazine

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community

On conservation priorities Chelsi: Unless you’re paying attention to the danger of losing open spaces and unless you’re realizing how much we’re losing a year, you don’t really think about needing to preserve it. It’s kind of like water and other issues like that. People aren’t paying attention to them and some day they’re going to be sorry they didn’t. the header off the combine. You have those common experiences that are cool. I think that’s part of how you build the legacy and that appreciation for it. I also have a great appreciation for the land, and not necessarily just farmland and agriculture, but also just that of life and the importance of open space. I think I get that from my father. I was the only girl in the hunter safety class … and we’d spend time out dove hunting. But even before I could hunt, I remember him taking me with him and we would just sit out on the beautiful prairie.

On generational differences Chelsi: I’m not a farmer, and so my relationship with the land is different. It’s not my economic base. I can’t say that my generation is more active than my father’s because I don’t know that for sure. In my generation, it’s not so much hunting and fishing as it is some of the more active sports. I think my generation is looking for public access—people love to hike, they love to ski, they love to kayak and all of those things. But I feel as though they’re going elsewhere to get it. They talk about Colorado or they talk about Tahoe or they talk about places other than considering doing – Chelsi Hayden this in Kansas.

“You have those common experiences … that’s part of how you build the legacy and that appreciation for [the land].”

Mike: I think there’s been a change in what I’d call the land ethic among the generations. My grandfather’s generation, and grandmother’s, they were of the “manifest destiny” generation: to conquer the land, break it out, farm it. And my father, he farmed it, sustained it. I began to formulate ideas about stewardship of the land, not just conquering it or using it for economic gain but some basic fundamental ideas about stewardship and sustainability. And then I think Chelsi’s generation has taken it a step further. They have formed things like the Kansas Land Trust and organizations like that to use tools like conservation easements to ensure that certain pieces of the land will be held in perpetuity in somewhat of their original state, or at least in a state of conservation for wildlife, for better environment and for future generations. We [the Haydens] still farm, and we still have ranchland, but we have a different attitude about public land and about the preservation of private land than, say, our previous generation of ancestors.

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Lawrence Magazine

/ fall 2011 / sunflowerpub.com

Mike: We’ve got two challenges: We’ve got to inspire people who are landowners to take better care of what they are entrusted with, and then we’ve got to be able to explain to the general public, the non-landowner public, why it’s important to take care of these places for our own welfare and for future generations.

On their favorite Kansas natural treasures Mike: The Flint Hills. Next choice is the Arikaree Breaks in northwestern Kansas and the Cimarron Grasslands, with its extensive public access, in southwestern Kansas. Chelsi: The Flint Hills. Next choice—I don’t have specific places by name, but I like being in western Kansas. I love being out on the farm and being able to see the storm roll in. m


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Hot Rods Revved Up Cars and the Drivers who Love Them


or this group of Lawrence drivers, there’s no finer way to pass the time than with a little car talk. And when they talk cars, they mean hot rods—oldfashioned autos souped up with the latest technology or tailored with custom interiors and vivid paint jobs. They can spend weeks scouring the country for the perfect fixer-upper and years restoring it. And once the job is done, there’s no greater compliment than an enthusiastic thumbs up from a passing motorist.

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Try not to stare People are constantly sticking their heads inside the windows of Dennis Stone’s silver 1946 Chevy coupe. He doesn’t mind … too much. “People like to see this kind of car,” he says. “They just gawk at it.” Stone, who used to drive in demolition derbies, took about two years to redo his Chevy. When he bought it in the early ’90s, the car had all its original parts. Stone upgraded the engine to a V8, put in new gauges and upholstery, and painted the exterior. “It’s just like a new car,” he says. “It’s very dependable.” Finding common ground Robert Smith’s hot rod is award-winning. A few years ago at a car show in Quincy, Illinois, his 1938 Cadillac took home the distinction of “most promising.” Smith, a motorcycle mechanic for 26 years, began restoring the old car in 2002. He did nearly all the work himself on the Caddy model, of which fewer than 100 were made. The overhaul included installing a new engine and transmission and adding modern amenities like power steering, cruise control, air conditioning and fourwheel disc brakes. His cruising car, however is a 1939 Pontiac with a 455 motor, automatic transmission, power windows and air conditioning. “I’ve driven it to Colorado, Indiana and Kentucky—it’s a good cruiser,” says Smith. Smith is glad to share his success with other car show enthusiasts. “It’s a community of great people,” says Smith. “You can work with others, trade ideas, get advice. We all get along. If we’re talking cars, we’re OK.”

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Dennis Stone’s 1946 Chevy coupe

Rev It Up Hot Rod Hullabaloo

Robert Smith’s 1939 Pontiac

South Park, Massachusetts Street, October 8 Registration for cars begins at 8 a.m. and activities begin at 10 a.m. with concerts starting at noon. Event closes at 6 p.m. Free admission, but donations accepted for Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Douglas County.


playground for grown-ups Fidel Jimenez Jr.’s love of hot rods is evident in every square inch of his sprawling garage and auto shop—even the bathroom, where the toilet paper holder is constructed from a gearshift and the vanity lights are hidden behind a shiny silver bumper. This is place where hot rod enthusiasts come to play. Jimenez says his uncle taught him how to fix motors and do body work. About 30 years ago, on a whim, he bought a commercial sewing machine. Now, he’s the go-to guy in Lawrence for upholstery work. “I’m pretty much the only guy in town who knows how to do this old school stuff,” he explains. In his collection, Jimenez has a 1949 Ford, a ’50 Chevy pickup, a ’72 Monte Carlo, a ’36 Ford, a ’67 Dodge and a ’50 Ford. Nearly every day of the week, Jimenez and his friends can be found toiling in the garage. “The coffee’s always on,” he says. “We’re always working on something.”

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Get on ‘Da Bus’ Hop on board—Lloyd Fulks is bound for Margaritaville. His bright yellow 1938 mini school bus is definitely something to behold. It’s hard to believe that the bus had been sitting untouched in a field for 15 years before Fulks got a hold of it and turned it into the party machine it is today. “Da Bus,” as it is monikered, has been quite a project for Fulks. When he hauled it from that field to his home south of Lawrence, it took a group of guys about five hours to simply move the beast into Fulks’ garage. Then, after the restoration was finished, Fulks realized that the bus wouldn’t fit back through the garage doors. So he did the only logical thing—installed bigger doors. Fulks has four other hot rods, including a 1943 Chevy limo that has been used for weddings and proms. But they don’t quite get the same attention. “Everybody likes the bus,” he shares. “It’s pretty eye-catching.” m

Hot Rod Convergence Want to check out some of Lawrence’s finest hot rods? The Rev It Up Hot Rod Hullabaloo is a good place to start. Steve and Michelle Chronister are organizing the fall event, now in its third year. Their charity, Be Your Best Self Inc., partners with Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Douglas County on the car show, a fundraiser for the nonprofit organization. Hot rods of all makes and models, older and newer, are the feature attraction. But the event also presents three rockabilly bands and a variety of food and merchandise vendors. Steve, who owns a 1953 Buick and a 1993 Dodge Viper, hopes the car show will bring in enthusiasts and novices. “We’d love for this event to become a Lawrence tradition,” he says. (See event information on page 57)


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for the ku crew team members, seasons spent perfecting their sport lead to a love of the waters that host them

It is a place where eagles soar and great blue heron fish. A place where giant cottonwoods tower along the banks. Here, the smooth waters widen to a “pool” where powerful athletes in sleek shells stroke long oars with colorful blades in graceful unison. This stretch of the Kaw (or “Kansas”) River, between the Interstate 70 bridge and Bowersock Dam, is also the playing field and practice court for the University of Kansas Rowing Team. The modern KU rowing program was revived as a club in 1978, with membership ballooning to around 400 athletes in the mid1980s. One of these athletes was Rob Catloth, who became the first KU rowing head coach when it became an official sport in 1995. Up to this year, both men and women compete on club teams, but only the


putting a name to it … The KU women’s rowing team dips into the power of Kansas imagery when it christens its boats— shells for racing teams of eight, four, two and single rowers. Names such as Toto’s Revenge, Ruby Slipper, Dorothy, Glinda and Scarecrow are inspired by the ultimate good versus evil Kansas fairy tale The Wizard of Oz. Themes of KU and Kansas history and landscape appear on boats named Ad Astra, Bison, Wakarusa, Jayhawker, Oread, Prairie Banshee and Wom-PaWa-Ra, the name of a Konza tribal leader. Jayhawk Nation, one of the eight-crew boats (58 feet long propelled by 121/2-foot oars), is a team favorite. It was named to honor KU students after they voted to add a fee to support construction of the new boathouse.

women’s rowing program has a varsity team competing at the NCAA level. Over the years, Catloth says he has grown to appreciate the natural setting where his work takes place. He recalls the day his team counted 11 eagles, mornings when beavers swim by and times when deer and fox appear at the water’s edge. Heron are frequent visitors, and in the fall, snowy egret land by the hundreds on nearby sandbars. He describes the sound the river ice makes “like glass cracking … and sometimes a crack in the ice will literally go up the river for miles, and you’ll hear it as it snaps and traces up the river.” Catloth trains, and shares this stretch of the river, with 70 to 75 women on the rowing team whenever the weather and winds allow.

“Sometimes a crack in the ice will literally go up the river for miles, and you’ll hear it as it snaps and traces the river.”

– rob catloth

“Anything over a 15 mph [wind] is really dicey as to whether you can row or not,” says Catloth. “Wind affects a lot, because obviously you have those boats that don’t sit very high out of the water. Here, we’re actually pretty protected unless we have a south wind … and Kansas is the land of the south wind.” Catloth uses a rough calculation of 70 degrees to determine whether the team will be on the water. That doesn’t sound too harsh until he points out that

64


The Kaw’s Historical Racing Waters

The same stretch of river that the KU women’s rowing team uses to perfect its strokes was, in 1882, the sight of the first regatta held west of the Mississippi River. According to a description published in the Lawrence Journal, 8,000-10,000 spectators were on hand to watch the milelong race that set out above Bowersock dam as part of an annual fair sponsored by the Western National Fair Association at Bismarck Grove.

Prior to 1978, the only other KU-sponsored crew team Catloth knows of was a club that lasted from 1904 to 1914. Regattas have been held on the Kaw from time to time, but the KU rowing team currently hosts competitions at Wyandotte County Lake. Catloth says the unreliable water level on the Kansas River makes it difficult to schedule many meets there, especially in the last several years during construction of the new interstate bridge. “When they built the bridge, they diverted the current, which made what I’m guessing is a 15-acre sandbar here,” says Catloth, gesturing in front of the boathouse. Now that the bridge is complete, the sandbar will naturally flush out. And after Bowersock Mills & Power Co. completes its North Powerhouse Project, Catloth says the water level should be stable enough to host regattas again.

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Rob Catloth and KU crew team

is a combined air and water temperature—as long as the water and air temperature add up to 70 or above—e.g. 40-degree water and 30-degree air— practice on the river is an option. Based on that calculation, 2011 team member Jessica Sadler might be exaggerating a bit, but not by much, when she says, “As long as the river’s not frozen, you’re on the water.” Sadler, along with the majority of the rowing team, was new to the sport as a freshman. There are few rowing programs in the area, so high school athletes are often recruited from other sports. Coaches and team members set up information booths during orientation and keep an eye out for recruits. In addition to long-limbed, powerful rowers, the team is on the lookout for tough little spitfires who can fill the bill of coxswain, or cox. Ideally, a female coxswain weighs less than 120 pounds and is not shy. Her job is to navigate and motivate. She sits facing the bow and steers with her feet while calling the race strategy over the “coxbox,” a sound system installed in the shell. With the help of two on-board computers between her feet, she keeps

67


track of essential information such as stroke rate and distance crossed. Elise Langtry, an award-winning coxswain on the KU team for the last four years, feels fortunate to have been a rowing team member. “It was probably the best decision I’ve ever made,” says Langtry. “I’ve learned good teamwork and communication skills, and I’ve become more independent.” Her hours spent working with her teammates to perfect their graceful flight across the water also foster strong bonds with the river itself. “I love the Kansas River; it’s home,” says Langtry. “I know the river really well, and I know how to steer it. The river is constantly changing. The water can be low or high. I saw my first bald eagle there, lots of blue heron and foxes. Sunrise and sunsets are beautiful.” m

The Boathouse

Since February 2009, the KU rowing team has enjoyed what rowing member Jessica Sadler describes as “almost like a secret hideout”: a 14,000-square-foot boathouse tucked into the Burcham Park trees along the banks of the Kansas River. The structure’s glass-fronted upper level features a wraparound deck that faces the sweep of the river from beyond the interstate on the west to Massachusetts Street bridge on the east. Able to store up to 65 racing boats, the boathouse also holds indoor practice machines, including the ergometer—described on the website usrowing. org as “an indoor torture device that best stimulates the rowing motion without any of the pleasantness.” Having an indoor boathouse has been a key development for the team’s performance, according to Sadler. And by keeping in shape when the weather is too harsh for river practices, the team is able to return to peak form when racing season begins. The rowers enjoy competitions and magical moments on the river, such as what Sadler describes as one of her favorite moments—when semi-trucks on the highway bridge toot out an enthusiastic honk for the rowers.

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STORY BY Amb er Brejcha Frale y PHOTOGRAPHY BY Jason Dailey with Bill Stephens and Jennifer Heeke

T H E

JOHN BROWN P A N E L

I

t’s a question oft pondered: What would our nation’s founders think of us were they suddenly to appear in modern times? For Lawrence, there is arguably one leading founder—in spirit, if not in actual deed—John Brown.

The radical 19th century abolitionist defended Lawrence from raiders, fought to make Kansas a free state and spilled blood to raid a U.S. military arsenal in hopes of sparking a rebellion to end slavery. In this 150th anniversary year of the Civil War, John Brown is now a Lawrence icon whose image appears on many front license plates and at the occasional University of Kansas sporting event. But is that a good thing? In short, is John Brown a hero for our times? We assembled a panel of John Brown experts and questioned them about Lawrence and John Brown. The questions and their answers are a sometimes humorous attempt to ask WWJBD? (What Would John Brown Do?) if

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he pulled a Rip Van Winkle and strolled across Massachusetts Street. But they are equally a serious examination of one of Lawrence’s most controversially important figures and our assessment of his legacy. “This kind of reflection,” explains historian and panel member Napoleon Crews, “is important to helping us understand how we got to be where we are, as a society and as a country, on important issues such as human and civil rights.” “I personally think he is one of the most important figures in American history,” adds fellow historian and panel member Kerry Altenbernd. “That’s the thing about John Brown—he does not go away.”


— KERRY ALTENBERND, Douglas County Law Librarian, member of the Black Jack Battlefield Trust Board of Trustees, tour coordinator for the Black Jack Battlefield & Nature Park, and John Brown re-enactor

— KATIE ARMITAGE, historian and author of Lawrence: Survivors of Quantrill’s Raid

— NAPOLEON CREWS, attorney and author of several historical novels including The Emancipation of Nate Bynum, Bleeding Kansas, Black Jack Blood and The Man Who Tamed Lawrence

ON THE NEXT FEW PAGES,OUR PANEL CONTEMPLATES “WHAT WOULD JOHN BROWN DO?”

— KARL GRIDLEY, historian, author of the Territorial Kansas Heritage Alliance’s John Brown of Kansas brochure and the John Brown plaque outside Free State Brewing Co.

WOULD JOHN BROWN

— CATHY HAMILTON, director of Downtown Lawrence Inc. and nationally syndicated BoomerGirl humor columnist

1

3

5

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sure!

— KEVIN WILLMOTT, fi lmmaker, associate professor of fi lm and media studies at the University of Kansas and creator of the “mockumentary” CSA: The Confederate States of America

no way!

JOHNNY SCORE:

Altenbernd: Even if he didn’t drink himself, he would not have been so dogmatic as to shun those that did imbibe, so he would likely go with you to Free State. Armitage: If he downed a John Brown in front of the plaque at the Free State Brewery, he could draw a crowd and ask all to mend their ways in the moral cause of the day. Gridley: John Brown, being a Calvinist and Puritan, I imagine would abstain from downing the Kansas ale named in his honor. He wasn’t a killjoy, though.

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John Brown (Cathy Hamilton) with a pint of John Brown Ale and friends at Free State Brewing Co.

DOWN A JOHN BROWN?


WOULD JOHN BROWN

BE SATISFIED WITH THE STATUS OF THE MODERN BLACK COMMUNITY? JOHNNY SCORE:

no way!

1

3

WOULD JOHN BROWN

STAY FIT?

John Brown (Todd Wyant of Westside Yoga) strikes a pose at Watson Park.

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Altenbernd: He would have believed in keeping the body fit, but not by expending energy unproductively. It is said that when he first came to Kansas in 1855, he walked most of the way leading his pack animals. Gridley: John Brown was tough and wiry from having led a hard life and from always being on the move. I think he would stay fit, but do it by working hard, not working out.

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sure!

no way!

JOHNNY SCORE:

John Brown (Kerry Altenbernd) visits with members of the Lawrence NAACP before the organization’s annual cook-off competition.

5

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sure!

Altenbernd: If he were alive today, he would be pleased that we have a black man as president of the United States, though he might ask us, “Why did it take nearly 150 years?” Willmott: He would think we have come a long way.


WOULD JOHN BROWN

VOTE OR RUN FOR OFFICE?

Gridley: I think he would be pleased with progress like the end of slavery, desegregation, Brown v. Board and the Civil Rights Act. He would be disappointed, though, that we haven’t made more progress in terms of social equality.

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Altenbernd: Yes, John Brown would vote. He was a patriot. He believed very deeply that the United States had the potential to be the greatest nation that the world had ever seen, but it could never achieve that potential until the yoke of slavery was removed from around its neck. Crews: Voting was important to John. When the Missouri Border Ruffians took over Kansas ballot boxes and intimidated voters on the Free State issue, it helped him make the decision to come to Kansas and set things right.

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John Brown (Napoleon Crews) stands near a voting booth outside the Douglas County Courthouse.

Crews: John would be relieved to see that slavery had ended and that his life and the lives of his men were not lost in vain.

1

sure!

Armitage: As John Brown passionately opposed conditions in his own time, he would be dissatisfied with social justice in our time.

no way!

JOHNNY SCORE:


WOULD JOHN BROWN

GIVE A GOOD GRADE TO PUBLIC EDUCATION?

JOHNNY SCORE:

no way!

1

3

John Brown (Napoleon Crews) prepares to answer a question in Pam Mitchell’s second-grade Deerfield Elementary class.

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sure!

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Altenbernd: That is hard to say. He would likely be pleased that an attempt is made to educate all American children, but would have been dismayed that the system seems to fail many of those who most need its help. Willmott: He would be very frustrated at how we still teach in some places that the (Civil) War was not over slavery. He would want to burn down Atlanta after seeing Gone with the Wind on TNT. He would pull his hair out when he heard of the N-word being removed from Huck Finn.

Gridley: I think he would be impressed with technology and the great strides made in making education available to all children regardless of circumstances. But he would probably be disappointed in the overall lack of funding for public education and the unfair advantages that the privileges of class and wealth still bestow.


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Altenbernd: Probably. There is a widespread impression that John Brown was an oddball, someone who was outside the mainstream of society. But in some areas of his life, he was very much like the people around him. He would probably not have liked the overemphasis on money and celebrity that is so common in sports today, but he might very well have waved the wheat.

5

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sure!

JOHNNY SCORE:

no way!

CHEER A TOUCHDOWN? Crews: He would scream his lungs out and pound the benches as KU whipped the stuffing out of Missouri. Hamilton: JB would definitely wave the wheat and root for KU. (I mean, excuse me ‌ Jayhawkers?!?) The trick would be getting him to leave his rifle outside the stadium.

75

John Brown (Ethan Miles) cheers for Free State High School at the annual Free State vs. Lawrence High football showdown.

WOULD JOHN BROWN


no way!

1

JOHNNY SCORE:

John Brown (Cole Cottin) gives a thumbs up to vendors Kevin Prather, left, and David Gundy at Cottin’s Farmers’ Market.

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5

WOULD JOHN BROWN

BE A CHAMPION FOR THE ENVIRONMENT?

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9

sure!

Altenbernd: Yes, John Brown would work the ground. He farmed and raised livestock most of his life. I imagine that he would have been very suspicious of modern agribusiness with its massive use of fuel, chemical fertilizers and poisons, all of which require huge capital investments.

Armitage: John Brown today would likely be an environmentalist preaching about climate change and environmental degradation.

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no way!

1

WOULD JOHN BROWN

PAY TAXES?

Altenbernd: John Brown would have paid his taxes, keeping in mind Jesus’ admonition to “Render unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s, and unto God the things that are God’s.”

Crews: John Brown might fi le his taxes late, but not because he was a resister. He kept a lot of irons in the fire and failed at a lot of business ventures.

5

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sure!

John Brown (Matt Kirby) might or might not file his taxes after the annual post office tax day concert by Alferd Packer Memorial String Band.

JOHNNY SCORE:

3


no way!

1

JOHNNY SCORE:

3

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sure!

WOULD JOHN BROWN

HONK FOR HEMP?

Altenbernd: It is very likely that John Brown grew hemp and would do so again now. Willmott: He wouldn’t be very interested in that. Brown dug reality—he didn’t try to escape it.

John Brown (Nic Sanchez) joins Thomas Trowler in encouraging Lawrencians to “Honk for Hemp.”

7

Crews: He would abhor the fact that we have evolved into a drug culture and allow so many people to be enslaved by drugs.

WOULD JOHN BROWN

REV IT UP TO GET AROUND? no way!

Hamilton: I’m seeing JB on a Harley, crazy hair and beard flying in the breeze, a sexy grayhaired babe in the sidecar. M Read the complete panel answers by going online to sunflowerpub.com/other

3

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78 sure!

John Brown (Vernon Brejcha) revs up his Harley with Tori Crump, middle, and Melissa Darling.

Gridley: Brown certainly got around in the 1850s. I guess I can see him driving a monster truck to the Battle of Black Jack.

1

JOHNNY SCORE:

Altenbernd: He was a frugal man, so he would have chosen for himself the means of transportation that was most cost effective for his situation. As such, he might ride a bike, or even a Harley, if that proved to be the best choice.


Illustrations by Jason Barr

SECRET AGENT BROWN When most Lawrencians think of John Brown, they probably see the famous John Steuart Curry mural with fanatical-eyed Brown hoisting a rifle in one hand and a Bible in the other. And then there’s the beard. Flailing around as if it has a mind of its own, this hairy monster is the decisive visual clue that something could be seriously wrong with Johnny. But if you agree with a number of influential contemporary historians that Brown was less of a religious zealot and more of a pragmatic abolitionist, you might look at that beard as just one essential element of real 19th century cloak-and-dagger stuff. Brown was usually clean-shaven. He grew his beard late in life when there was a price on his head and he needed to travel incognito. At other times, Brown dressed as a surveyor or an angler in order to meet secretly with his supporters. Were he alive today, the Underground Railroad’s famous secret agent would probably know how to blend in with the modern crowd. Brown. John Brown. Abolitionist, man of action—and master of disguise.

Help John Brown go undercover—be it with a beard, a nurse costume or a wrestler outfit—by printing the Lawrence Magazine John Brown cut-out doll disguise kit. www.sunflowerpub.com/other Plus … how does it feel to be John Brown? Find out by printing and wearing the Lawrence Magazine John Brown beard by Lawrence artist Jason Barr. www.sunflowerpub.com/other


AND I WANTED TO BE … Lawrence residents portray their childhood aspirations

A N D I WA N T E D T O B E … a Firefighter.

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PHOTOGRAPHY BY

/ JASON DAILEY


e, Cary Engl owner, F l o r is t Englewood

, 7 years old When I was . B Lyndon President is Great h ed ing Jr. roclaim p n so n h n Luther K ti Jo ar M r. D iative, awrence, Society init ze and in L ri P ce ea P bel rtised that won the No roudly adve p st ri o fl l ca ywhere. Kansas, a lo egraphed” an el “t e b ld u its flowers co y I spent man , Missouri. is e, h ik p b em y M m I lived in ses, rode be … imming clas hours at sw grade and I wanted to nd entered seco r. te h g fi a fire

81


AND I WANTED TO BE … Lawrence residents portray their childhood aspirations

A N D I WA N T E D TO B E …

a Weeki Wachee mermaid.

82

Katie Euliss and Mike West

PHOTOGRAPHY BY

/ JASON DAILEY


Katie Euliss,

Musician, Truckstop Honeymoon When I was 7 years old, Ronald Reagan was president. Michael Jackson’s Thriller became the greatest-selling album and Lawrence, Kansas, asked, “Is there anybody there?” in the post-apocalyptic movie The Day After. I lived in Ocala, Florida. I dressed my dog in circus clothes, rode around on my bike with neighborhood kids and I wanted to be … a Weeki Wachee mermaid.

83


journey story and photography by

‘Bula’ for Fiji Traditional thatch homes provide shelter and community structure for mountain villages of Fiji.

84

Lawrence Magazine travel writer Susan Kraus visits Fiji for beaches, villages, temples, second helpings and bus route friendships Lawrence Magazine

/ susan kraus

A

t puja, the Sunday prayer service at the Sri Krishna Kaliya temple in Lautoka, Fiji, there are no seats, no pews. Women sit crosslegged on the marble floor on one side, men on the other, while children play with crayons in the back, facing altars decorated in golds, reds, pinks, purples, beads and jewels. There is, however, a sermon. Then music and dancing. No organ here, but there is much drumming, bell ringing, conch blowing, chanting and clapping.

/ fall 2011 / sunflowerpub.com

Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna, Krishna, Hare, Hare. The tempo mounts as dancers entwine their arms, sway, step forward three steps, then back, forward and back. To the side. And back. It’s a Texas line dance in saris.

 More than a beach      Just hearing the word “Fiji” evokes images too ideal to be real: exquisite sand beaches, swaying palm trees, turquoise seas, impossibly blue skies, darting fish and pulsating coral reefs. It’s touted as a


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haven for serious scuba divers, a honeymoon destination—a paradise. After spending three weeks in Fiji, I found that all these stereotypes were, amazingly, true. But don’t go all that way just for scenery. If what you crave is a pool with a swim-up bar and a beach with palm trees, there are picture-perfect places a lot closer. But if you have a sense of adventure and want to experience a culture totally different from home, Fiji is definitely worth the trip. It was the people of Fiji, not the beaches, who made my visit so memorable. 

Kerekere, Sevusevu, Kava and Bula!       “It takes a village” is more than a saying in Fiji. Villages, made up of family clans with hereditary chiefs and myriad rules and expectations, are core. For many in these small farming and fishing groups, life is subsistence but also sustaining. Everything done is for the good of the group. According to the Fiji tradition of kerekere, time and property are seen as communal—if someone wants or needs what you have, you give it to them. To go to Fiji without visiting a village, or several villages, is to miss the soul of the country. Visitors show respect through the tradition of sevusevu, presenting a gift to the village chief. Usually that gift is the roots of a certain pepper plant, used to make kava, the national drink, which has a mildly narcotic property for some. (It turned my mouth numb the first time… by the third you don’t notice.) After presenting the gift, a visitor is welcomed with a kava ceremony. The ceremony is not an ancient ritual reincarnated for tourists, but an essential part of every Fijian gathering or event. Prepared in a tanoa, a ceremonial wooden bowl, the kava is mixed with water and then strained. Protocol is to clap once, accept the half-coconut shell with the kava and say “Bula!” before draining the cup, returning it and clapping three times in appreciation. Bula, which means “life,” is the first word you’ll hear when you arrive in Fiji and the last when you depart. Bula is hello, welcome, an all-purpose toast and farewell. 

The markets in Fiji, above, are accessible, affordable and filled with local produce. Fiji has a substantial ethnic Indian population, resulting in a cultural and religious mixture where cathedrals and Hindi temples, right, are found across the country. Expensive resort hotels with gorgeous scenery, opposite, are spread across the nation’s islands.

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Take a bus     

fiji

Where and How

Fiji is about 98 percent water and 2 percent land as a country of more than 300 islands, the majority uninhabited. Some belong to groups with exotic names: Mamanucas, Yasawas, Lomaiviti, Kadavu, Lau, Moala, Rotuma. The smaller ones often lack roads and cars, get limited electricity from generators and have “rustic” accommodations. But some small islands have been turned into high-end luxury resorts. It’s an equal opportunity paradise. Getting to Fiji is surprisingly simple. Fly to Los Angeles and hop on an Air Pacific direct overnight flight. Eat, drink (free drinks on Air Pacific), sleep … and wake up in Fiji. I arrived at 5:30 a.m. local time, was at my hotel by 7 a.m. and on a schooner cruise for a day of snorkeling and swimming by 9:30 a.m. By late afternoon, I’d enjoyed my first Fijian feast on an atoll and sailed past Monuriki, the island where Tom Hanks’ movie Castaway was filmed. And throughout the day there was music. Fijians use music to turn daily life into a celebration with guitars, drums or just voices. Everyone sings, and the singers’ enthusiasm is contagious. It was a very fine introduction to a country and a culture. Music provided a brilliant end to the first day of travel, a wonderful introduction to the days ahead—all in all, not bad for a first day.

One way to connect with the people of Fiji is to travel as locals do. I spent a week taking public buses on the largest island, Viti Levu, explored the capital city, Suva, and stopped at towns and villages. For me, it was a hot and sweaty adventure; for the locals, it is how they get around. Roads can be gravel and dirt, the buses old and worn, the ride slow and bumpy—which may be why I never saw another tourist or white person on a bus. But the Fijians noticed me. They asked me where I came from and why was I taking the bus. They shared stories of their lives, kids, the cousin who joined the U.S. Marines and was serving in Iraq. Just as travel is about observing different cultures, it is also about understanding how people experience their lives and how they may see yours. Such glimpses can be moments of epiphany. I won’t forget chatting with a young man bringing his produce to the market in Rakiraki, his machete tucked between his legs. He asked where I was from. So I tried to describe the prairie, and Kansas, a place in the middle of so much land that it would take two very long days of driving a car at 100 kilometers an hour to reach an ocean. “Oh,” he said, his eyes opening wide. “How sad for you.” 

Back to the temple After the service, it was time for Sunday lunch. Everyone filed back to the temple hall, lined with long tables and folding chairs, looking like any church hall around the globe. In Kansas, we serve casserole dishes, salads and fried chicken. Here it was mounds of rice, smothered in green vegetable curry, served in metal bowls. No utensils, no napkins. People ate with their fingers, swishing curry into the rice, scooping up rice and curry with three fingers, sucking their fingers at the end. Across from me sat several church ladies smiling through yellowed and missing teeth. They asked me in halting English where I was from. They talked among themselves in rapid Hindi. Then they said what church ladies always say: “Eat some more.” When I finished, I watched what to do next. Following others, I took my plate out back where there was a very long metal sink with many faucets, washed it, laid it on a table to dry, then cleaned my gummy hands. I found my sandals in the pile by the door and started to walk away in the sultry afternoon heat. The church ladies waved goodbye at me through the glass walls. “Bula,” they called out. “Bula!”  m

Singing and dancing, right, are part of many village gatherings. This mountain village home, far right, is slightly larger than many others but typical of the interior décor and intergenerational family living.

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journey story by

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Trail through the Prairie Signs point to the entryway for one of the University of Kansas Field Station’s most visited trail routes, the Rockefeller Prairie Trail.

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The pathways of the KU Field Station north of Lawrence connect visitors to the region’s natural heritage Lawrence Magazine

photography by

D

ust rises across the countryside as cars make their way to a gravel parking lot approximately seven miles northeast of Lawrence. It is a case of modern transport leading to what is one of the region’s most historically authentic tracts of land—and the chance to explore it. The University of Kansas Field Station holds some 3,400 acres, approximately half of which lie here in a contiguous section along East 1600 Road. Tracts of this land

/ fall 2011 / sunflowerpub.com

/ Jason Dailey

are set aside for research, providing a valuable resource for scholars, while other sections are set aside as native prairie or for prairie restoration. For visitors, a trail system winds through sections of this rolling and sometimes wooded land. The trails provide a chance to enjoy fall colors, possibly spot a rare Western earth snake or a Mead’s milkweed in bloom and observe a near-natural Kansas landscape. It’s a perfect day-trip destination.


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Historic founding This area of the field station developed from the farmland of Kansas’ first governor, Free State settler and doctor Charles Robinson. By 1948, KU had expanded its ownership of this region and installed a naturalist to oversee and study the land’s stewardship. Scott Campbell, a KU research scientist and field station staff member, says he is impressed that only a few years past World War II, his predecessors recognized that natural areas, plants and animal habitats in Douglas County were endangered and needed to be studied. Since 1994, a portion of the land has been open to the public. But since 2008, KU has developed a series of trails across the land for people to explore the region without affecting preservation studies.

Trail system Currently, five miles of trails are open year-round, dawn-to-dusk to visitors who are asked to observe a few restrictions mandated to preserve the surrounding ecosystem (and particularly threatened animal and plant species). Motorized vehicles, dogs or other pets, and bikes or other vehicles are forbidden. “It’s a little bit different,” Campbell says of the rules, “but we’d like for people to come out and experience northeast Kansas in a quasi-natural environment that has not been significantly modified or landscaped in any way.” Although the majority of the trails are not ADA compliant, there are two parking lots near trail entries and one section, the Rockefeller Prairie Trail, is an accessible concrete, half-mile pathway. This section winds along the side of a virgin prairie field, passes a striking shelter built by students of KU associate professor Nils Gore and leads to the Kaw Valley Overlook, a wooden tower with a striking view of Lawrence and the KU campus. Douglas County, Campbell notes, was once 94 percent natural prairie. Now, it is less than 0.5 percent prairie. The KU field station trails provide a rare, rewarding glimpse into that disappearing portion of land. m

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1. Start small. Visit the shorter

7 T ips

for Vi s i t i n g t h e T r a i ls

Rockefeller Prairie Trail and then the overlook. “Park at the northern lot, take the trail, enjoy the overlook. It’s a leisurely hour, and it’s great for anyone, including kids or someone on a wheelchair,” says Bosnak.

2. Be seasonal. Consider planning a

visit in the spring or fall for cooler, pestfree weather. Consider multiple visits at different times of the year. Prairie blooms begin in spring and culminate in June or July. More blooms and fall leaves make autumn a wonderful time to visit. The winter brings the chance to see animals more easily and enjoy more solitude.

3. Be a detective. Look for animal

scat, stop and listen for calls or noises. Stay on the trail, but look to either side of the trail for animal tracks.

Scott Campbell of the KU Field Station and Kirsten Bosnak of the KU Native Medicinal Plant Research Program provide these suggestions for enjoying the KU Field Station trail system.

4. Move quietly. The less noise you make, the greater chance you have of seeing animals. “It goes back to the whole low-impact idea,” says Campbell.

5. Bring backup. Pack your

wildflower, bird or butterfly guides and a pair of binoculars. “In the spring and fall, we have a large number of migratory birds, particularly warblers, coming through, and there is a great chance to observe their migration,” says Campbell.

6. Bring water. A

bathroom and a drinking fountain are open seasonally at one point on the trail, but not along the trail route.

7. Observe the rules. “You can love a place to death. By our very presence, we’ll have an impact—there’s no way to avoid it,” says Campbell. “But by being considerate, then we can preserve the prairie and places like this for future generations.”

trailhead wild horse road

parking restrooms Kaw Valley overlook Gravel road Lawrence

trails Rockefeller Prairie Trail

1600 road

(handicap accessible portion)

KU Native Medicinal Plant research Garden (open to public)

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events September HASKELL INDIAN ART MARKET September 10-11 / Two-day outdoor market featuring American Indian artists from across the country as well as dancing and musical performances. Haskell Indian Nations University campus. (785) 749-8467. www.haskell.edu/art_market HAWK 100 September 10-11/ Lawrence’s first 100-mile ultra-marathon trail race on the north shore trails of Clinton Lake. Race begins at 6 a.m. September 10 at Shelter 4 of Campground One. Runners have 32 hours to finish. Entry is limited to those who have completed a 100mile race within the last two years. (785) 766-0293. www.lawrencetrailhawks.com FINAL FRIDAYS September 30 (and the last Friday of each month) /

Downtown galleries and venues open at 5 p.m. for an evening of art displays and sales. (785) 842-3883. www.facebook.com/FFLawrence DEPRESSION STUDY SeptemberDecember / University of Kansas

researcher Stephen S. Ilardi (see story on page 38) and associates begin a free 14-week Therapeutic Lifestyle Change research program as part of ongoing studies. Volunteers are needed; for more information, contact the TLC research lab at (785) 864-4274 or tlcdepression@gmail.com.

OCTO B ER NORDIC HERITAGE FESTIVAL October 1 / Cultural celebration includes food, crafts, Viking games and other family activities from noon to 8 p.m. Suggested donation of $5 for admission; Douglas County Fairgrounds. (785) 843-7535. www.ksnordicfest.com KAW VALLEY FARM TOUR October 1-2 / Annual tour of regional farms and ranches allows visitors to explore the connection between farmers and the food they produce. Admission is $10 for each vehicle to take in as many or as few stops as desired on the self-guided tour across the Kaw Valley. This year includes a special wine excursion and tour bus. (785) 843-7058. www.kawvalleyfarmtour.org REV IT UP HOT ROD HULLABALOO October 8 / Hot rods, rockabilly music and other free events open to the public from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

at South Park (see article on page 54). Free admission but donations accepted for Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Douglas County. www.revitupcarshow.com BERT NASH DASH & BASH October 9 / A 5-kilometer and 10-kilometer race with music and street entertainment to benefit the Bert Nash Community Mental Health Center. (785) 830-1701. www.bertnashdashbash.org JOHN BROWN AT BLACK JACK BATTLEFIELD October 15-16 / Historians provide the last guided tours of the 2011 season at the Black Jack Battlefield & Nature Park where John Brown (see story on page 70) fought a battle preceding the Civil War. Free admission for tours at 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. at 163 E. 2000 Road (three miles east of Baldwin City and 1/4 mile south of U.S. Highway 56 on East 2000 Road). (785) 883-2106. www.blackjackbattlefield.org LAWRENCE ARTWALK October 29-30 / Annual free, self-guided tour of studios and art spaces throughout Lawrence and Douglas County. More than 50 artists are expected to display their works, be available to visit or sell selected pieces. Maps and additional information available at www.lawrenceartwalk.org.

NOVEM B ER ANDA UNION November 5 / Performance of traditional and contemporary Mongolian music. 7 p.m., Lied Center of Kansas. For more information and full concert schedule of other events, including appearances by Herbie Hancock and David Sedaris, see www.lied.ku.edu. (785) 864-3469. DOWNTOWN HOLIDAY LIGHTING CEREMONY AND SANTA’S ARRIVAL November 25 / The holiday season begins in downtown Lawrence with this ceremony and Santa’s traditional landing on the roof of Weaver’s Department Store. Music begins at 5 p.m. at Ninth and Massachusetts streets. 35th ANNUAL HOLIDAY BAZAAR

November 20 / Merchants and artists

present handmade holiday crafts for purchase at this free event. 10 a.m.5 p.m., Community Building, 115 W. 11th St. (785) 832-7290

A ll e v e n t s a r e s u b j e c t t o c h a n g e

Lawrence Magazine advises contacting organizers ahead of time. For more event listings, see www.visitlawrence.com/events and www.lawrence.com/events Send your future event listings to us at lawrencemagazine@ljworld.com


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Lawrence Magazine Fall 2011