The Vermont Street Garden Lush, fresh and green
Local ice cream delights Life above Mass. Street Gathering groups at breakfast
summer 2009 publisher/Art Director
Darby Oppold editor
Nathan Pettengill copy editor
I thought I knew the geography of Clinton Lake. As a young kid in my grandfather’s fishing boat, I would ride the lake’s waters, sometimes fishing, more often being fascinated by the tips of trees that poked above the waves. These trees, I later learned, sometimes marked the tops of a flooded forest and sometimes marked plantings around a submerged settlement. The trees around farms or homes were the ones we sought out, because these structures attracted crappies and bluegills, whom I regarded as remarkable underwater squatters, happily schooling around in a barn or swimming over someone’s dining table before they would, alas, end up on our own. In retrospect, all that attention to branches and fish was actually a good primer into the geography and history of the lake. The almost-submerged trees testified that the lake depths were not swimming-pool-bottom smooth but a rolling land full of plains, woods, streams and ravines. And the buildings that the fish inhabited testified that the valley offered a great land for living, first for the indigenous people who perhaps saw the network of rivers and streams as canoeing’s ecological equivalent of a superhighway system, and then for pioneers who valued the fertile bottom lands. Indeed, the entire history of the valley, from glacial collision to federal engineering, could be pieced together starting with the clues offered by the treetops amid the waves. Now, nearly three decades after Clinton Lake was finished by gradually flooding the Wakarusa River Valley, a new monument is being unveiled to the communities that gave up their homes to the waters and the fish. The stories behind that monument and the decisions leading to it are told in this issue, with Julie Tollefson’s portrait of a displaced native, her mission to gather artifacts of the valley and her collaboration with one of Lawrence’s most accomplished artists. Lawrence Magazine is proud to present these stories from our history and recent past, as we have done before, to give more insight into the community where we live and to offer praise to sometimes forgotten heroes. But the mission of our magazine is also to highlight the events and people around us in the present, so that we don’t leave these stories to the museums. Often lost in the media avalanche of headlines, blogs, postings and tweets are remarkable stories of the people and places around us—and these are the ones we bring you in this summer edition. In these pages, you’ll discover the details of the Grinter family’s marvelous ode to sunflowers and the background behind James Barnes’ acclaimed symphonic creations. We introduce a young medical couple who forged their own path in finding a healthy balance between their work and home, and another couple who have made farming a family institution. Along with stories about people in Lawrence, we bring you new perspectives on city institutions: a feature about an entirely different way to see Massachusetts Street (hint: Look up!) and our cover story on a lush, abundant garden that just happens to be in the heart of town. Because you’re reading this magazine, we know that you know the people, history and geography of Lawrence. But there’s always something more to discover, a new perspective to learn and appreciate—and we hope we’ve brought you a few pleasant surprises in these pages of Lawrence Magazine.
John W. Kramer (785) 856-7705 Ad Designers
Shelly Kemph Tamra Rolf Photographers
Jason Dailey Mark Hutchinson Contributing Writers
Lauren Beatty Becky Bridson Katherine Dinsdale Barbara Higgins-Dover Amber Brejcha Fraley Mary R. Gage Cathy Hamilton Alex Hoffman Susan Kraus Emily Lubliner Paula Naughtin Cheryl Nelsen Kate Blatherwick Pickert Julie Tollefson Sureva Towler manager
Bert Hull marketing assistant
$21.50 for a one-year subscription to Lawrence Magazine. For subscription information, please contact:
Christopher Bell 609 New Hampshire, P.O. Box 888 Lawrence, KS 66044 (800) 578-8748 • Fax (785) 331-0633 Or e-mail comments to email@example.com
Lawrence Magazine is a publication of Sunflower Publishing, a division of The World Company. www.sunflowerpub.com
on the cover: They are urbane urban gardeners with a bumper crop in the heart of the city. From left: Lee Heeter, Josh Millstein and Jim Grimes. Photo by Jason Dailey
Local ice cream delights 20 Life above Mass. Street 82 Gathering groups at breakfast 40
Kansanese on the Kaw
This summer, she joins the
Breakfast with the boys
family behind Tomato Allie for
a remarkable Fourth of July
A local designer constructs
College students hit the bars.
his own live-in lab to take
Young professionals swear
ideas from paper into practice
by a skinny latte. Ladies do lunch. And senior men? They
Room to grow 12
have breakfast down to an
A computer industry success
art. Writer Sureva Towler
story leads to an ideal oasis
profiles the high culture and
for one young Lawrence
long traditions of the men’s
morning coffee klatch
Lost valley 16 A new monument will commemorate the communities that vanished under the waters of Clinton Lake
Dessert delights 25 Four and Twenty Blackbirds
Cultivating community on Vermont Street 66 A band of green-thumb businessmen grow everything but silver bells and cockle shells in their downtown vegetable garden
Powered by Hudy 44 Coach Andrea Hudy pumps up the Jayhawks with muscle and character, but she attributes much of her success to an onion-gulping,
Big Wheel-daredeviling, love-
Leading roses 70 Like all true divas, roses can be demanding. But their devotees know the flowers are also surprisingly resilient, reliably fragrant and likely to steal any garden show
what’s hot in lawrence
sweeten the mix of Lawrence
Leamon’s late return policy 48
By coming to Lawrence, David
dropping out of a plane is
Leamon checks himself out
a chance to experience a
of the library world and back
certain free-falling zen, over
into the arts
and over again
Sounding like himself
Taking his stand 78
and After Five Cupcakes
Coffee break 29 Chris McAdoo rode a discarded coffee cart out of the music industry and into
If I can jump … 74 For area skydiving fanatics,
his new career. Five years
later, he still feels the buzz
Once a young Okie tubist set
to him, Simon Bates is on the
from giving humble coffee
loose on Mount Oread, James
cutting edge of the boutique
beans rock-star status
Barnes returned to Lawrence
Even though it’s “just food”
Frozen. Refreshing. Fun. 20 Lawrence’s original icy treats are tempting and cool summertime indulgences
High ‘Mass’ 82 Massachusetts Street is probably the most recognized and loved street in Lawrence. But what goes on above the pavement, on the second floors and higher? Writer Amber Brejcha Fraley gives us a different perspective on the city’s main drag—a view of Mass. Street from on high
to make his home and
Pater domesticus 32 Once the rarest of parenting species, stay-at-home dads
composer and instructor
Q&A with Jim and Ted Grinter 89
health & fitness
international reputation as a
are becoming more common
Doctor, doctor 56
A young medical couple
BoomerGirl’s grandma and
devise an ingenious balance
local designers agree: A few
in taking care of their patients
simple steps can turn your
as well as their own family
home into a summer retreat
now she’s translating that
A chef’s table: A fourth on the farm 60
philosophy into motherhood
Writer Katherine Dinsdale
Local mom 36 Restaurant owner Hilary Brown made her culinary career by going local … and
No pressure in paradise
continues visiting the home
kitchens of local chefs,
The secret to discovering the
farmers and foodies for
best of Hawaii is found in one
seasonal, fresh menu ideas.
Lawrence Magazine 7
Lawrence living Written by Emily Lubliner Photography by Jason Dailey
Kansanese on the Kaw
Address 532 Walnut St.
Bedrooms Two plus a studio
Homeowner Scott Voelker
Year built 2008
floors Two plus a full basement
square feet style of house 1,720 plus a basement and “Kansanese,” aesthetically detached garage inspired by Japan, built for Kansas conditions
Scott Voelker designed his house, served as general contractor, fabricated many of the home’s unique features and has guided visitors to it with his own offbeat description. Head into North Lawrence and look for “the tilty one on the levee trail that has the garage door for a window.”
A local designer constructs his own live-in lab to take ideas from paper into practice
8 Lawrence Magazine
Voelker’s structure has a modest footprint, both spatially and ecologically, but it packs a profusion of ideas within its walls. It serves as a kind of showcase for some of the inspiration brimming inside Voelker’s brain—such as using that garage door as a window. For the record, that particular plan has been exceeding expectations. Not only did the 8- by 9-foot glass-paned garage door cost less than conventional windows to cover such a large expanse, but it allows the sun to reach deep into the house during the winter to help provide heat. It’s just one example of the creative solutions employed in this live-in laboratory of design. Voelker has been an architect for the last decade, much of which he spent in Seattle. He moved to Lawrence a few years ago to be part of a design/build firm and then started his own endeavor, Eggmanink Design (www. eggmanink.com). As a designer, he emphasizes quality over quantity and believes that a house can respond to how its inhabitants live and enhance the world around them. It also can have a sense of humor, as evidenced by his home’s quirky qualities. “I think it’s a happy little house,” Voelker says. “It doesn’t take itself too seriously.” So what is the deal with that tilted wall, anyway? The idea, Voelker says, plays upon the balance between two intersecting volumes. One is the anchor while the other floats away. Voelker must relate to that concept. His architectural training and work experience serve as the grounding for his approach, but his enthusiasm and optimism allow him to see things from a perspective that is artfully askew.
Describe the concept behind your home’s unique design. The form of the house is definitely inspired by a modern Japanese aesthetic. I really enjoy how they treat the form of an object with such purity and let the experience of the space be the focal point.
Is this the first house you have designed? This is the first house that I designed and built. I have worked on additions and remodels of existing houses in Seattle and Lawrence, both from a design and construction side, and created designs for a series of prefab houses for a residential firm in Seattle, the first of which was built outside of Seattle this past year. Most of my architectural experience has been in the commercial realm.
How long did it take to design and build? The design took about four to five months to figure everything out. The construction of the house took about eight months, from September 2007 to April 2008.
At what stage did you move in? I moved in on an air mattress the night before final inspection, if you can count a three-hour nap as moving in. I had my bed and a couple chairs moved in while ink was still wet on the mortgage.
What was your goal in building this house?
Describe some of the sustainable materials you used and their benefits.
What I hope this house does is provide an example to people that there are affordable alternatives to do something more personal when building a house,
Materials such as the recycled steel siding, fiber-cement panels and bamboo floors not only have a minimal impact in their production process, but also are
Because Scott Voelker’s home sits in North Lawrence, near the levee, he coordinated his construction with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and received help from Grob Engineering Services to meet requirements. He also consulted with Bob D. Campbell and Company, structural engineers in Kansas City, about the tilting of his walls.
10 Lawrence Magazine
no matter what style you prefer. We are all unique, so what sense does it make to follow the one-size-fits-all philosophy when it comes to one of the biggest purchases most people make in their lives? Although the design certainly won’t appeal to everyone, I hope that in the end my house serves as a positive inspiration for people, in the spirit of what is possible. I remain hopelessly idealistic, and I think that shows up in most of the work I do.
Side views of Voelker’s home show off the unusual wall tilting, top, and the use of a garage door as a window, bottom.
easy to install to reduce the impact there, too. The recycled asphalt drive was once a street somewhere in Lawrence, and it allows for the water that comes onto the site to drain into the soil, as opposed to being diverted to the storm sewer system. The kitchen counters and bathroom vanities all come from trees in the Lawrence area that were damaged during storms. The insulation for the house is blown-in cellulose, made of recycled newspaper.
What comment do you hear most often about the house? I guess the most common question I get is: “Is that a house?” •
Voelker says his goal for the home’s design was “to let the experience of the space be the focal point.”
Written by Barbara Higgins-Dover Photography by Jason Dailey
When Andrew and Heather Lynds sold their start-up business Assurity Technologies to an international corporation in 2006, they knew they wanted to make another good investment. So they used the proceeds from their accounting compliance software company and created a home they jokingly refer to as the “Oasis.” The Lyndses’
spacious house in west Lawrence is certainly an impressive and comfortable blend of indoor and outdoor environment. But more importantly for the couple, it is an ideal domestic preserve close to extended family that will allow them to raise their son and begin the next leg of their lives.
A computer industry success story leads to an ideal oasis for one young Lawrence family
Of all seasons, summer is perhaps the best time for the Lyndses to enjoy their new home. Just outside the large, interior glass windows that seem to go on forever stands a twostory deck with an inviting area spread beneath it. A beautiful swimming pool features waters that fall from the stone wall just above it. A nearby hot tub offers promise of a relaxing and quiet soak. “We are really enjoying the hot tub,” says Heather. “We’ve been there a lot.” A stainless-steel outdoor kitchen and dining area allows for poolside eating while a sandbox and playground of wooden equipment promise hours of fun for Ethan, the couple’s 7-yearold son. Partly because this is Jayhawk country, the Lyndses also placed a basketball court in the backyard. “We had a vision that the court would be specifically for kids,” explains Heather, “but Andrew has had friends over to use it a few times.”
Design epiphany The plan for creating this home began one day, sometime before morning coffee. “We woke up one morning and had an epiphany,” recalls Andrew, “so we wrote everything down on paper, everything we wanted, and used it as a guide.” The results satisfied both Heather and Andrew, who calls the home “a complete package.” The only drawback, he notes,
12 Lawrence Magazine
Comfortable throughout the year, the Lyndses’ home is perhaps best enjoyed during pool season.
is that he finds it more difficult to get out and about. “When I get up in the morning,” explains Andrew, “I don’t want to leave the house.” Respect for the surrounding natural environment was an important aspect of the Lyndses’ original design plan. An open expanse of land sits just behind their property and creates a feeling of being out in the country. That same land also influenced their idea for incorporating earth-friendly landscaping as much as possible. The stones found in the walkways and on the ground surface are native and fit in beautifully with the surrounding environment. The evergreen shrubs and trees provide a natural windbreak and tie in with the open land nearby. The various mulches, gravels, pebbles and sand pull things together by providing natural, rustic materials that allow for proper drainage and moisture retention. Drip tubes are also installed to cut water usage, particularly through those hot summer Kansas days. The couple installed energy-efficient pumps for the pool and hot tub that considerably reduce electric usage. They plan to go completely solar with power as improved technologies permit much smaller, lightweight panels for capturing and storing this energy. As of now, both the pool and hot tub can be heated in this way.
Home for the future Recently both Andrew and Heather have re-entered the world of academia for advanced studies at the University of Kansas. Andrew seeks a degree in business while Heather works on her prerequisites for a master’s in computer science. Their hectic lifestyles of being business professionals, parents and college students bring even greater need for relaxation during the down times. Andrew and Heather find that solitude in entertaining at home, after the books are put down and the homework is done.
14 Lawrence Magazine
Landscaping around the pool creates a lush, green atmosphere, while the energy-efficient pumps provide eco-friendly powering.
The Lyndses designed their backyard as a comfortable retreat for themselves and their son. For now, however, the older generation dominates the basketball court.
And while details of their future are still in flux, the house has created one element of certainty. “Our home has brought a degree of calmness to our lives,” explains Heather. “It has cemented our decision to stay in Kansas with a stability that is best for our family and our son.” •
Written by Julie Tollefson Photography by Jason Dailey
Martha Parker has a story about every hill surrounding Clinton Lake and many places under the lake water as well. She talks of the people in the photographs on display at the Wakarusa River Valley Heritage Museum as if she knew them—and in some cases, she did.
A new monument will commemorate the communities that vanished under the waters of Clinton Lake 16 Lawrence Magazine
“They were all farmers out here,” the museum director says of the 500 people who lived in the valley before the engineered lake claimed their homes in the 1970s. “They weren’t really interested in what was the past. They were just trying to make a living.” The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers began acquiring property for the lake in the late 1960s. Partly in response to the 1951 flood that devastated much of Lawrence, the federal engineers began the dam and reservoir project to guarantee flood control, help with water conservation and provide recreation. Their project also called for the displacement of all the homes and families in its way. Parker’s parents were the first forced to sell their land. The others followed. Struck by the devastating consequences for families who had called the valley home, Parker made it her mission to save what she could of the culture, history and sense of community of the Wakarusa River Valley. “Every farmer had to start cleaning out their attics. For generations, they’d been here,” she says. As attics were cleaned, Parker gathered letters, diaries, church papers, school papers, family histories and any other records and objects residents came across while preparing to vacate their homes. “I was inundated with stuff,” Parker says. “It’s just such a fantastic story.” Through her efforts, the Clinton Lake Historical Society and the Wakarusa River Valley Heritage Museum (formerly Clinton Lake Museum) were born. This summer, 80-year-old
Like much of the Wakarusa River Valley’s history, the tombstone of former slave Nickerson Cowan was once lost. Stolen out of the Clinton cemetery, it was recovered from an abandoned house in Topeka and restored to place in 1991.
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Parker will realize one more objective in her quest to preserve and honor the area’s rich heritage. Freedom Rings, a sculpture commissioned by the historical society and partly funded by the Kansas Arts Commission, will be dedicated in a ceremony on June 20. Lawrence artist Stephen Johnson wove multiple layers of meaning into the pieces that make up the sculpture. The focal point is a 35-foot windmill donated by the late Lawrence philanthropist Tensie Oldfather. When the sculpture is completed, 10 glossy golden-orange hoops of steel will stand in dramatic contrast to the rusted windmill. “There is a lot of symbolism going on with this work, yet it should read primarily as a minimalist work contrasting with the timeworn windmill that leaves
room for multiple interpretations,” Johnson explains. Each hoop represents one of the displaced Wakarusa Valley communities: Bloomington, Clinton, Richland, Sigel, Stull, New Belvoir, Old Belvoir, Kanwaka, Twin Mound and Lone Star. The 6-foot hoops—each set in concrete and inscribed with the name of the community it represents—will be placed around the windmill in a kind of giant map, a feature of the touchable, playful sculpture that delights Parker. “One thing I think will be so much fun—I can see people coming and the first thing they will do is go and find their circle. They’ll have their pictures taken with it,” says Parker, whose nowsubmerged hometown of Bloomington will be represented by a larger hoop encircling the base of the windmill.
Window frames of handmade brick, top left, from the J.C. Steele house and a limestone milk shed, top right, are some of the few original structures remaining. Martha Parker (above) points to the location of other structures that were lost to Clinton Lake.
18 Lawrence Magazine
Parker and Elizabeth Hatchett, an art consultant hired by the Clinton Lake Historical Society to help with the search for an artist to memorialize the area’s history, call Johnson’s vision “genius.” The sculpture unites the twin themes of honoring the lost towns and acknowledging the valley’s prominent role in the Kansas branch of the Underground Railroad. A sphere atop the tower will reflect the sun’s rays during the day, but its significance will shine at night when its alignment with the North Star is evocative of the role of constellations in guiding escaped slaves to freedom. “I was so glad that Stephen came up with that brilliant idea,” Parker says. The sculpture will stand in an open area near the museum and not far from the picnic tables and boat docks of Bloomington Park on the west side of the lake. Parker hopes to be able to erect a new museum building in the not-toodistant future, replacing the converted milk shed that has become a hub for community gatherings, barbecues, weddings and other celebrations. Even as Parker devotes her seemingly endless energy to rebuilding the ties fractured by the creation of the lake, when she looks out across its waters, she sees the past. “I still see all the houses. I see all the people. I see all the old roads,” she says. “I remember it just as that valley was.” •
At least six churches were destroyed by the creation of Lake Clinton, but the Clinton Presbyterian Church has been standing since it was rebuilt after a tornado in 1917.
More information about these and other events can be found on the Clinton Lake Historical Society’s website, www.wakarusamuseum.org. The museum’s regular hours are 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Visitors may make appointments to visit the museum at other times by calling Martha Parker at 785-748-9836. In addition, the museum will host two major upcoming events: • 2 p.m. June 20, dedication of the Freedom Rings sculpture honoring the towns of Bloomington, Clinton, Richland, Sigel, Stull, New Belvoir, Old Belvoir, Kanwaka, Twin Mound and Lone Star. • 5:30 p.m. October 3, Clinton Lake Historical Society barbecue dinner and fundraiser. Arnold Schofield, a John Brown reenactor, will perform a short historical presentation.
Tha t smarts.
Acclaimed art and adorable robots— the work of Stephen Johnson
Stephen Johnson, the artist tapped to create the memorial to the lost towns of Wakarusa Valley, has a record of creating striking images for public spaces. Like Freedom Rings, Johnson’s nearly 67-foot-long DeKalb Improvisation mosaic mural in Brooklyn, New York, celebrates the history of the community in which it is set. Another work, Arrangement In Red Blue And Gold, hangs in the main lobby of the University of Kansas Lied Center, commemorating both the center’s 10th anniversary season and the 100th anniversary of KU’s Concert Series. Johnson’s other creations—including painting and photography— can be found in numerous galleries and museums, such as the National Portrait Gallery at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. Closer to home, you can see his work at the Spencer Museum of Art, the Mulvane Art Museum at Washburn University in Topeka and the Beach Museum of Art at Kansas State University in Manhattan. If this list of accomplishments wasn’t impressive enough, Johnson has enjoyed a successful parallel career as a children’s book author. Publishing under the name Stephen T. Johnson, he has released A is for Art: An Abstract Alphabet (2008, Simon & Schuster), which won a New York Times Best Illustrated Book of the Year award in 2008 and was the subject of a solo exhibition at KU’s Spencer Museum of Art. His other children’s books are Alphabet City (1995, Viking; a Caldecott Honor book) and City by Numbers (1998, Viking). Johnson has also created a series of highly readable books that double as construction projects: My Little Red Toolbox (2000, Silver Whistle/Harcourt Inc.), My Little Blue Robot (2002, Silver Whistle/Harcourt Inc.), My Little Yellow Taxi (2006, Red Wagon Books/Harcourt Inc.) and, coming in September, My Little Red Fire Truck (Simon & Schuster). In addition to garnering numerous awards, these books have the distinct honor of being some of the most sought-after materials in public libraries. The Lawrence Public Library, for example, keeps these books available for in-house use at the children’s reference shelf. You can still play with them as an adult—just ask politely and use your library voice (even when you make the taxi go Beep! Beep!). Johnson’s website, www.stephenjohnsonstudio.com, has a complete listing of his work and updates on new projects.
Tha t’s smart. Peak Performance has a plan to effectively treat many injuries no matter how they occur. Dr. Jones is the only provider of Active Release Techniques (or ART®) in Lawrence. ART is a type of manual hands-on therapy that corrects soft tissue problems and injuries. We can also help keep you performing at your peak level so you continue to improve your performance in any sport. Dr. Rob Jones and his team work with a variety of individuals from pro athletes to stay at home parents. No matter how you came about your soft tissue injury, you owe it to yourself to give Active Release Techniques® a try.
Dr. Rob Jones, D.C.
1311 Wakarusa • Lawrence, Kansas • 842-PEAK
Lawrenceâ€™s original icy treats are tempting and cool summertime indulgences
Amber Brejcha Fraley photography by
During the sultry, sticky, dog days of summer, there is perhaps one thing more refreshing than a sparkling pool of water: a specialty ice cream, sorbet, gelato or frozen yogurt. And ohhh are they a treat. In Lawrence, we’ve evolved from the soft-ser ve cone at the fast-food joint to an extensive assortment of frozen delights that thrill the kid looking to get sticky-faced as well as the seasoned foodie.
Sylas & Maddy’s Homemade Ice Cream
Sylas & Maddy’s offers 40 flavors of handcrafted ice creams and sherbets made right in the back of the store. Store manager Ally Dagbjartsdottir says four flavors remain favorites year-round: Rock Chocolate Jayhawk (vanilla ice cream, fudge pieces, fudge swirl and brownies), Gold Dust (vanilla ice cream, Snickers, caramel and Oreos), Da Bomb (butter-pecan flavor ice cream without pecans, cookie dough, Oreos and chocolate flakes) and Peanut Butter Freak (peanut butter ice cream, Reese’s peanut butter cups and fudge swirl). One other favorite is the store’s only nondairy option: berry sorbet. Summertime, though, is the only time you’ll find watermelon sherbet, as well as the more standard blackberry and blueberry sherbets. Around Thanksgiving, the ice cream shop puts out pumpkin pie and pumpkin cheesecake ice creams, and when the Christmas season arrives, employees whip up such fun selections as peppermint and the Grinch: chocolate ice cream with peppermint Hershey’s kisses. Dagbjartsdottir says the 12-year-old Lawrence-born store relies heavily on a base of fans, some of whom are responsible for creating customized flavors. Two of the store’s biggest fans, however, have little love for ice cream. The dog and cat pair of Sylas and Maddy (the pets of owners Cindy and Jim England) have lent their names and their image but have not inspired any flavors, which is probably a good thing unless a scoop of frozen sardine and catnip somehow sounds appetizing.
La Parilla, Zen Zero and Genovese
This trio of downtown sister restaurants is owned by three hardworking chefs with culinary skills from around the globe. Alejandro Lule and Subarna Bhattachan opened La Parilla in 1999, Zen Zero in 2002 and then teamed with Armando Paniagua to open Genovese in 2007. Each of the restaurants offers ice creams and sorbets to fit its cuisine style. La Parilla, for instance, serves Mexican fried ice cream, which, Lule explains, is made by rolling a scoop of vanilla ice cream in cornflakes and deep-frying it. At Zen Zero, a restaurant that specializes in Thai cuisine, customers can order green tea ice cream for dessert. “We have a Thai chef who used to always have that as a kid,” explains Lule. At Genovese, diners have their pick from three or four gelatos and two or three sorbettos. Genovese often has an olive oil and rosemary gelato on the menu, but diners are just as likely to find blood orange, Key lime, lemon, pistachio with rosemary or whatever Italian-inspired flavor tickles the chefs’ fancies. The sorbetto selection depends on which fruits, often seasonal and local, the Genovese chefs can acquire.
Penny Annie’s Sweet Shoppe
A nod back to the soda fountains and candy shops of times gone by, this store offers 24 flavors of Blue Bunny ice cream served in a waffle cone or dish. But Penny Annie’s also creates ice cream specialty treats, whether it’s a shake, malt, old-fashioned ice cream soda, float, banana split or sundae. The shop scoops up the most sweet treats during summertime and on Saturdays in particular. “Pretty much nonstop all day long,” says manager Monica Istas. Perhaps the reasons for these Saturday summertime rushes are the specialty treats such as grasshopper sundaes, which are made with mint ice cream, hot fudge and, if you wish, toppings of whipped cream, nuts and cherries.
Summertime, though, is the only time you’ll find watermelon sherbet, as well as the more standard blackberry and blueberry sherbets.
Yummy’s Over The Top Frozen Yogurt
Since November 2007, Yummy’s Over the Top Frozen Yogurt has been offering taste with little guilt. “Frozen yogurt has a bacterium in it that’s good for your digestive system,” explains manager Lois Tooker. “Also, our yogurt is nonfat or low-fat, so it has a lot less calories.” Yummy’s frozen yogurt flavors include vanilla, chocolate, chocolate and vanilla swirl, California tart (which has some of the natural yogurt tang in it) and peanut butter. In the spring and summertime Yummy’s usually offers strawberry, which might be replaced by espresso come fall. After you’ve chosen your yogurt flavor, the real fun begins, because Yummy’s has approximately 60 toppings. These include everything from fruit to candies to cookies, sauces, nuts and more. Once you’ve made your great creation, Yummy’s weighs your serving and charges 42 cents per ounce. Tooker says customers spend as little as $1.50 or as much as $6 or $7 per serving. The record, however, is a $9 serving. “They just piled on the toppings,” says Tooker. •
Sylas & Maddy’s Homemade Ice Cream 1014 Massachusetts St. Summer hours are noon-10 p.m. Monday-Thursday, noon-11 p.m. Friday, 11:30 a.m.-11 p.m. Saturday and 12:30 p.m.-10 p.m. Sunday.
La Parilla 814 Massachusetts St.
Hours are 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Sunday and Monday, 11 a.m.-10 p.m. TuesdayThursday and 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Friday and Saturday.
Zen Zero 811 Massachusetts St.
Hours are 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Sunday and Monday and 11 a.m.-10 p.m. TuesdaySaturday.
Genovese 941 Massachusetts St.
Hours are 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Sunday and Monday and 11 a.m.-10 p.m. TuesdaySaturday.
Penny Annie’s Sweet Shoppe 845 Massachusetts St.
Hours are 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. MondaySaturday and noon-5 p.m. Sunday.
Yummy’s Over the Top Frozen Yogurt 1119 Massachusetts St.
Summer hours are noon-10 p.m. Sunday-Thursday and noon-11 p.m. Friday and Saturday.
Dessert Delights Written by Mary R. Gage / Photography by Mark Hutchinson
Four and Twenty Blackbirds and After Five Cupcakes sweeten the mix of Lawrence specialty shops Four and Twenty Blackbirds offers many desserts, including baby cakes.
Set aside your boxes of cake mix and hang up your rolling pins; turn off the oven and devour all the delicious details. Two new specialty businesses in town are here to fulfill your sweet treat needs. Pastry Heaven The art of French pastry has come to town in the form of Nora Kaschube. As a graduate of the French Pastry School in Chicago, Kaschube has the credentials to work at one of the world’s top-rated restaurants. Wynn Las Vegas, The Inn at Little Washington, bobo, the Ritz-Carlton—these are just a few of the places where fellow graduates have landed après the vigorous training regime. Fortunately, Kaschube (class of 2007) has moved to Lawrence, retired from her first career as an investment banker and begun baking for you and me. Four and Twenty Blackbirds Pastries is Kaschube’s newly opened patisserie. She and assistant Mandy Lamb bake traditional French pastries—madeleines, meringues, macaroons and tarts—as well as the more familiar American desserts like cakes, cookies and muffins. But these are no ordinary tarts and cookies, and Kaschube is no ordinary cook. “I never really liked cooking. I cook to eat. I cook for my dogs,” she confesses. “But making desserts—that’s what I’ve always loved to do.” And what desserts. Only the best ingredients. Everything from scratch.
Always made with butter—nothing but butter. Why? “Because,” says Kaschube, “it just makes the best pastry, period.” The baby cakes, the chocolate ganache tarts and petits four, the madeleines dipped in white chocolate and sprinkled with candied papaya, the French macaroons and dark chocolate truffles—they’re not only mouthswooning euphoria, they’re exquisitely presented as well. Lamb, whose background is in art, says, “We really differentiate ourselves with the designs. That’s where we can get really creative.” What’s more, Kaschube and Lamb are willing to share their secrets. When ordering their scrumptious desserts just isn’t enough, you can learn how to make them at one of the frequent classes they offer through the Bay Leaf in downtown Lawrence. Cupcake Nirvana Ask Christine Fritzel to describe some of the flavors available from After Five Cupcakes, her delicious new cupcake business, and you’ll hear tidbits like “glazed with rum syrup” or “brushed with a Kahlua glaze” or perhaps “topped with a toasted coconut cream frosting.” Are your taste buds perking up? Listen to the cupcakes’ names and your mouth may begin to water. How about a bite of red velvet amaretto or a nibble of champagne orange?
Christine Fritzel’s “glittering castle” is a fairy-tale cupcake holder.
Taste and design characterize the Four and Twenty Blackbirds creations.
Lawrence Magazine 25
Four and Twenty Blackbirds Pastries (785) 841-0401 www.fourandtwentyblackbirds.net
After Five Cupcakes
These aren’t your mom’s cupcakes. These are cupcakes set free— grown-up and sophisticated. They are also original recipes created, developed and tested by Fritzel, each with a touch of liqueur-infused flavor. They can be ordered by the dozen (or dozens) for parties, gifts, events, weddings or (let’s be honest) just to gobble. Fritzel first tried the idea of a cupcake business last year when her youngest daughter went off to college. She took her cupcakes to her neighbors and her friends’ businesses asking for feedback. They not only gave her feedback, they gave her orders for more.
Christine Fritzel creates lavish cupcakes with sophisticated flavors.
“If I can do anything,” says Fritzel, “I know I can cook.” Fritzel credits her grandmother and years of 4-H as the sources of that skill. “My grandmother was a farm woman who was an amazing cook. Everything was made from scratch,” she says.
Nora Kaschube, left, and Mandy Lamb serve elegant pastries with artistic designs.
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And 4-H? The family-friendly neighborly farm organization gave her cupcakes the killer edge. “In 4-H you learned to compete,” says Fritzel. One look at the cupcake displays Fritzel has built for the wedding side of her business proves she learned a lot from self-built 4-H displays. The most impressive display, “The Glittering Castle,” took Fritzel more than 300 hours to complete by hand. The fairyland-like castle is a mix of rounded glittering towers and intricate trim details. It holds more than 90 cupcakes, plus another 150 when the golden sidepieces are added. The central tier is topped with bejeweled crowns for the bride and groom’s cupcakes. Fritzel’s special liqueur-infused creations and fantasy displays are perfectly poised for the trend in substituting cupcake displays for a traditional wedding cake. But you don’t have to wait for your wedding day or get married again. With the new summer flavors Fritzel is developing, such as lime with tequila glaze and strawberry coconut with coconut rum glaze, the only hard part will be deciding which one to try first. •
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Coffee Break Written by Cheryl Nelsen / Photography by Jason Dailey
Chris McAdoo rode a discarded coffee cart out of the music industry and into his new career. Five years later, he still feels the buzz from giving humble coffee beans rock-star status Have you heard that opening a coffee shop is a great way to retire? You know, smelling gourmet coffee every morning, leisurely chatting with your clients and pulling in the profits? Chris McAdoo, owner of Mocha-Doo’s inside the Sixth Street Hy-Vee since 2004, says if you believe that, you are—in one word—wrong. Of course McAdoo is too young to retire at 43, but the coffee bean did lure him away from a career as a sound man with a mobile recording studio. “I was kind of at a crossroads. It was either do coffee or music. I basically decided I’d never met a coffee bean with an ego, so I chose that route,” McAdoo says. The route was paved a bit by his uncle, Robert McAdoo, who was closing two coffee shops and had a primitive coffee cart sitting in his basement in need of repair. Once repairs were made and the cart was updated, it became Mocha-Doo’s. McAdoo already had seven years of experience roasting beans when he opened Mocha-Doo’s, and he continues to roast his beans locally. Although he purchases three to five 150-pound bags of beans from a warehouse in the Kansas City area once a month, he roasts 60 to 80 pounds twice weekly. The 12 to 15 varieties of beans are primarily of single origin with just a couple of blends. They come via the warehouse from core sites
such as Central and South America, Africa and Indonesia. “We try to buy every year out of Peru. The last two years I’ve missed it. They produce 272 bags of coffee a year from this little, tiny region, and it’s fabulous. It vanishes as quickly as it’s packaged,” McAdoo says. But no matter how good the product, how it is processed will affect the taste. McAdoo says when he starts working with a particular bean, he roasts light and dark batches, and several in between, until he gets the roast to where he wants it. “Everything changes when you’re roasting. Is it snowing? Is it raining, windy, hot, cold, humid, nighttime, daytime? It all changes the roast,” McAdoo says. Airflow over the beans and temperature also are important factors in the roasting process. “You listen to the coffee, you smell the coffee, you view the coffee. It’s snapping and crackling and popping while it’s roasting. You see how quick the chaff is coming off. You’re looking for how it reacts to everything,” McAdoo says. After coffee is roasted, flavor deterioration begins. Ground coffee maintains its flavor for a couple of days and whole beans for 10 to 14 days, according to McAdoo. “I have the luxury of being able to say, ‘Don’t use anything over 14 days
Lawrence Magazine 29
Mocha-Doo’s 4000 W. Sixth St. Hy-Vee west entrance (785) 760-3349 www.mochadoos.com
old.’ Now, if you’re roasting 100 million pounds and shipping it to all parts of the country, you’d probably have a little different answer,” McAdoo says. Once consumers take coffee home, they need to store it in airtight containers unexposed to light. MochaDoo’s sells beans in a heavy-duty bag with a ziplock seal and valve that allows the air to be squeezed out of the bag. And the coffee can be purchased in a full 1-pound bag, as CBS commentator Andy Rooney discovered. While watching 60 Minutes, McAdoo heard Rooney complaining that it was impossible to get a pound of coffee
any more. So McAdoo put together a package of coffees in 1-pound bags to ship to Rooney. “I said, ‘Well, Andy, I don’t know about the rest of the country, but out here in Kansas we still believe that a pound’s a pound.’ A month or two later here’s this letter from Andy Rooney praising the fact that he never knew he’d be able to find such great coffee in Kansas,” McAdoo says. Unfortunately, great coffee isn’t the national trend these days, according to McAdoo. He believes restaurant chains are diluting the idea of quality with push-button, fast-order lattes and cappuccinos. McAdoo compares drinking these coffees to “eating with the Jetsons” and rates them at vending-machine quality. “That’s exactly what you’re getting with a national chain. They’re giving you a vending machine drink,” McAdoo says.
Chris McAdoo, right, and several baristas create fresh coffee drinks at McAdoo’s uncle’s coffee cart—the heirloom that launched his business.
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Local businesses such as MochaDoo’s, however, feature skilled baristas who prepare individual drinks to a customer’s specifications. “That’s where the fun is, learning what someone wants to drink and building it the way that you know they’re going to like it,” McAdoo says. Five years in the business, McAdoo insists, has not lessened the fun and excitement of his new venture. And if long hours and hard work ever do kill off the buzz, McAdoo is able to revive, in some manner, the high intensity of the music industry. Except it won’t pout, talk back to him or damage his equipment, and it comes in a cup. Some of his regulars jokingly call it a “Keith Richards”—it’s a dark roast with four shots of espresso, some Mexican chocolate and a splash of cream. A sip of that is about as close as McAdoo wants to get to the heart palpitations of rockin’ the free world, but he’s not ruling everything out. There might be time for the real music industry after he retires. •
Pater domesticus Once the rarest of parenting species, stay-at-home dads are becoming more common in Lawrence Written by Barbara Higgins-Dover Photography by Jason Dailey
Jeff Kennedy has swapped the glare of television studio lights for the chance to spend more time pushing his daughter’s stroller.
A man walking with a kid in a backpack during the middle of the day used to mean only one thing: trouble.
“Do you have a license for that child-carrying device, mister?” went the collective tsk-tsk of society. “And just what are you doing with a young one during the working hours? Don’t you have a job?” But today—post-feminism, post-gender-warism, post dual-income-familyism, post new-age-sensitive-guyism, post Mr.-Momism, post Hillary-now-has-a-job-and-Bill-doesn’tism—things have changed. Lynn R. Marotz, an assistant professor in the department of applied behavioral science at the University of Kansas, acknowledges a more pronounced role for fathers as “nurturer and caregiver” and sees a slow growth in the number of fathers choosing to stay at home with their children. According to Marotz, “These stay-at-home fathers come from a variety of socioeconomic backgrounds, although they typically have more education, higher incomes and professional credentials.” That profile describes the growing number of Lawrence men who are making a commitment at home, doing the diaper changes, nursing the nosebleeds and negotiating naptime.
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Jeff Kennedy used to work as a full-time production assistant for a Topeka television station until the birth of his 2-year-old daughter Suzana. Since then, he has cut back to working no more than 15 hours a week and only during the evenings so that he can spend his days caring for his daughter. Jeff tries to keep a routine at home while his wife, Cami, nurses patients at Lawrence Memorial Hospital. “We take my wife to work in the morning and go back home to prepare for different events, like movement and music class at the Lawrence Arts Center,” explains Jeff. “Sometimes we just read books together since my daughter loves them or go outdoors to play.” At times, Jeff meets other stay-at-home fathers in playgroups and organized events such as the books and babies storytime at Lawrence Public Library. Suzana perfects her swinging technique with the assistance of her stay-at-home dad.
Education: a family affair Before he became a stay-at-home dad, Dave Werdin-Kennicott worked independently as a sculptor. Now he devotes a lot of his time to caring for his three children—6-year-old Sebiyam, 4-year-old Sedgiku and 2-year-old Adisah—while his wife, Lori, teaches high school biology in De Soto. With Lori’s commute, the family depends on Dave to keep the morning routine on track. “I get the kids breakfast, we get dressed and then we go to school,” says Dave. Going to school has meant that Dave works part time at Prairie Moon School while Sebiyam has joined him in class as Sedgiku attended the neighboring preschool room. For now, Adisah has spent her mornings with a friend’s family but joins the boys when they return home after lunch.
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Dave Werdin-Kennicott reads a book with daughter Adisah, right, and her friend Elyse Eichler.
Dave’s devotion to his family is obvious and reflected in the career move he made, but it also has brought him personal rewards. “It’s not easy, but it’s given me a lot more strength and patience,” he explains. “I am a lot more fulfilled.”
Jim Russo cares for his children on a full-time basis while his wife, Whitney Baker, works as a book and paper conservator for the University of Kansas Libraries. Jim’s previous profession as a freelance editor eased the transition to stay-at-home dad status. “It was good preparation for not having much contact with other adults throughout the day,” says Jim. “Being at home has given me a greater appreciation for the sacrifices my mother and other stay-at-home moms have made and continue to make.” Jim’s secret to an orderly home routine with 4-year-old Nile and 18-month Elinor is simple: delegation. “The children decide when the routine begins,” explains Jim, “usually by waking up at the crack of dawn.” As morning shifts into day, the Russo clan can be found checking out books at the library, visiting the toddler gym or playing outside. Jim finds that having a second child complicates the order of the day. He says it is more difficult to do activities that enthrall both kids because they are at such different stages in their lives. But he enjoys having both kids near him and says that once Nile goes to kindergarten this fall, Elinor will have opportunities to do the same solo events that her big brother enjoyed at the arts center and through the Lawrence Parks and Recreation Department. •
Jim Russo has been a stay-at-home dad for both his children.
Local Mom Restaurant owner Hilary Brown made her culinary career by going local … and now she’s translating that philosophy into motherhood Written by Kate Blatherwick Pickert Photography by Jason Dailey
Still a busy business leader, Hilary Brown manages to balance time at home with husband Scott Allegrucci and son Nello.
Since opening Local Burger in 2005, Hilary Brown has won acclaim for her diner’s healthy alternative to fast food. With laudatory write-ups in renowned cooking magazines such as Bon Appétit and Gourmet, Brown was enjoying national success in July 2008 when she and husband Scott Allegrucci welcomed their baby boy, Nello. Now, a
quick peek into Brown’s office in the second-floor of a building connected to her restaurant at 714 Vermont St. shows an entrepreneur who like many others is becoming a specialist in multitasking. Her work space has everything a business owner needs with a few tiny additions, such as a baby carrier and a playpen. Brown is discovering the balance between burgers and baby. “It’s not easy running a small business and being a mother,” she says. “It’s just not.” But there are advantages. While many mothers separate their work life and mothering, Brown has the flexibility to merge the two, and she is trying to do it all in accordance with her natural and local living philosophy. With a strong belief in turning to local farmers for her restaurant’s fresh and organic ingredients, Brown naturally tapped into some local groups for new moms after the birth of her son. The breastfeeding support group at
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Lawrence Memorial Hospital was one of the first stops. Brown was stunned at the number of women who were a part of this group. “You don’t feel so alone. You don’t feel like you’re the only person to have a baby.” Brown raves about the many classes available to new moms at LMH. She even taught one on the importance of good nutrition while nursing and beyond. With the craziness motherhood can bring, it often seems easier to fall into the trap of fast, processed food. Not for Brown. She says it’s simple to find organic products for your baby at many Lawrence grocery stores. “It’s important to me to decrease his exposure to artificial chemicals as much as possible,” explains Brown. Little Nello is never far from Brown’s mind even when she is working in her office. She places Nello’s playpen next to her desk and attaches him with a carrier whenever he wants to be closer to mom. Her ERGO baby backpack, found at Sunflower Bike Shop, is one of the many products that Brown bought from merchants such as Blue Dandelion and the Community Mercantile. Brown says Lawrence is an ideal location to find quality baby products that keep with her chemical-free lifestyle. Her friends even threw her and her husband a “recycled” baby shower, sharing gifts they had used with their children but were ready to pass on. “I had more clothes than I knew what to do with,” says Brown. Working long hours is a vital part of the restaurant business, and Brown says she could not do it without the support of family. “We hit the jackpot with the best mother-in-law and mother on the planet.” Both grandmothers often help take care of Nello when Brown and her husband head off to work. “If it wasn’t for family, I don’t know how we would be doing this,” Brown explains. Nello does spend time in day care, and Brown admits she felt guilty about that at first. But after seeing him interact with
This series of pictures, taken at intervals of one month apart, chronicles Nello’s growth beginning at the far left when he was 1 month old and ending at the far right when he was 8 months old.
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Hilary Brown ran her business almost up to the time when she gave birth; she is pictured here with Nello in her eighth month of pregnancy.
Local resources for the local mom … Doula services Several Lawrence-based doulas offer postpartum assistance to new mothers. Check phonebook listings or online listings through www.ljworld.com/ marketplace (and search for “doula” under services) ERC resource and referral This nonprofit organization provides customized child-care referrals. (785) 865-0669 www.ercrefer.org Lawrence Arts Center The center offers year-round art classes for children, beginning with toddlers, and their parents. (785) 843-2787 www.lawrenceartscenter.com Lawrence La Leche League The local chapter of the international breastfeeding support group meets at 7 p.m. on the second Tuesday of every month at the Lawrence Public Library. Contact: Chris (785) 218-9124 www.lllusa.org (and search for local link) Lawrence Memorial Hospital The hospital sponsors health and nutrition classes, plus breastfeeding and other support groups through its Connect Care program. Visit www.lmh. org or call Connect Care at (785) 749-5800
the other children, she says the guilt quickly disappeared. “It seemed so right. So I don’t feel bad about it anymore.” She says she has learned to relax when it comes to balancing both roles. “I needed to realize my life didn’t stop when he was born, and he’s going to appreciate my gifts and the skills I have,” Brown says. She doesn’t think she was made to stay home with a baby all day, though she understands why many women do. “I get it,” Brown emphasizes. “It’s a big job.” So what advice does this local mom have for other soon-to-be working mothers in Lawrence? Stay at home with your newborn for at least two months (Brown says three would be ideal), turn to local resources for support and don’t think about work. “I wished I just hadn’t thought about it and relaxed. I let myself stress about it,” says Brown. “Just know everything will be OK.” •
Lawrence Parks and Recreation Department LPRD activities include open gyms, exercise and fitness programs, young children’s wading pool and school break events. (785) 832-3450 www. lawrenceks.org/lprd/home Lawrence Public Library The library schedules storytime and school break activities for kids of all ages. (785) 843-3833 www.lawrence.lib.ks.us MOMS Club of Lawrence The local branch of this international club organizes playgroups, meet-ups and moms’ nights out. There are north and south Lawrence groups. Visit www. momsclub.org to access contact information for both groups. Mother to Mother This Catholic-sponsored organization pairs mothers who need support with “mentoring” mothers for mutual fellowship and improved parenting skills. (785) 841-0838 www.moms2moms.org
Her friends even threw her and her husband a “recycled” baby shower, sharing gifts they had used with their children but were ready to pass on.
Lawrence Magazine 39
Breakfast with the Boys College students hit the bars. Young professionals swear by a skinny latte. Ladies do lunch. And senior men? They have breakfast down to an art. Writer Sureva Towler profiles the high culture and long traditions of the men’s morning coffee klatch Written by Sureva Towler Photography by Jason Dailey
Breakfast, coffee and conversation are the staples for the groups of men who meet in the mornings at locations across town such as the McDonald’s at Sixth and Arkansas Streets.
Men have always gathered to share hearty laughter and harmless lies over morning coffee. The coffee klatch has become a Lawrence institution, a long-standing spiritual, social and secular ritual. It is where the good ol’ boys go to chitchat, chew the fat and shoot the breeze. It is where they can escape from the house, rag on the boss (even if they are the boss) and tell stories the way they want them to be remembered.
No matter what the venue, conversation will likely focus on the Jayhawks, the weather, the Jayhawks, roundabouts, Mark Mangino, the Jayhawks, Bill Self, potholes and the Jayhawks. Food and fellowship always prompt men to examine how the Royals plan to redeem themselves, what the smoking ban has cost, who misbehaved at the bar and whether Kathleen Sebelius can cut it in Washington. Where else can you be with pals who do not point out that it didn’t happen that way, or that you’ve told the same story a dozen times before?
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Morning coffee with the guys is an indoor sport, not unlike a playdate for young mothers or mah-jongg for old ladies. It always takes place in a friendly, equal-opportunity environment, where age, income, talent and political proclivities present no barriers. Participation requires no dues, no agenda, no commitments. There is no need to RSVP, gussie up or change habits—yours or the community’s. Like life, you can just show up. Lawrence’s most venerable group may be Just Older Youths (J.O.Y.), which has members who have been swapping war stories at what’s now the Econo Lodge on Sixth Street for more than 60 years. The town’s largest gathering fills two long tables at the McDonald’s at Sixth and Arkansas streets, while the most mobile crew involves Mass. Street merchants, who move from the Eldridge’s TEN Restaurant on Tuesday and Thursday mornings to Milton’s two front tables on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Another especially rowdy group of retired downtown movers-and-shakers inhabits the Eldridge’s TEN Restaurant on Monday mornings. They delight in sharing e-mails and bad jokes, conducting straw polls and refusing to let the truth get in the way of a good story. McDonalds at Sixth and Arkansas streets is a favorite coffee house, a refuge for construction workers who enjoy free refills if Whether professional or retired, white collar or blue colthey present a vintage golden arches coffee mug and retired locals lar, employed or underemployed, the boys around Lawrence’s who relish the opportunity to solve all the world’s problems and numerous morning coffee tables—policemen at the Sixth Street walk away. “Senior coffee” costs 59 cents (including tax), and the Hy-Vee, postmen at Johnny’s Tavern, retired Jayhawk coaches store sells about 100 cups a day. Store employee Donna Sanders, at First Watch Restaurant or vets drinking decaf while counting a McDonald’s veteran of 11 years, says, “No one can walk through bingo pool tabs at the American Legion Hall on Monday mornthat door without someone knowing them. ‘Regulars’ greet each ing—are always hospitable. Attendance may vary but camaradeother every morning but sit at separate tables. They joke about rie is constant, and while the waitress may not remember your their mothers and wives, argue about the Yankees and refill their name, she will never forget how you take your coffee. • own coffee cups. They are all really nice guys.”
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< Proprietor Kelly Church had favorite diners select colors for cinder blocks in the “Loyal Customer Wall” in Kelly’s Diner at 19th Street and Haskell Avenue. A wall calendar tracks birthday so cakes can be served. Many customers come from Baldwin City, Eudora and Olathe, and they often bring their wives on Sunday. “No one goes home hungry,” assures Victoria Garcia, who for seven years has been serving construction workers the $2.19 breakfast burrito every day except Monday.
Brothers Dee, Sonny and Lala Patel, who serve 45 kinds of pastry and know every return customer by name, leave a newspaper out for “regulars” who have been rendezvousing at Dunkin’ Donuts on 23rd Street for 17 years. Glazed and chocolate doughnuts remain their best sellers. According to Dee, the crowd of mostly elderly men is balanced by professors and students, but members of the younger generation usually prefer the drive-in window because they are always in a hurry. > < The Eldridge Hotel’s TEN Restaurant plays host to active and retired Mass. Street merchants, business leaders and coffee cup philosophers.
Lawrence Magazine 43
Andrea Hudy shapes the future of athletes in the workout rooms, and sees the results on the courts—most recently with the women’s basketball team pulling off a secondplace finish in the Women’s National Invitation at Tournament in front of a record, near-capacity crowd at Allen Fieldhouse.
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Written by Becky Bridson Photography by Mark Hutchinson
Powered by Hudy Coach Andrea Hudy pumps up the Jayhawks with muscle and character, but she attributes much of her success to an onion-gulping, Big Wheel-daredeviling, love-filled childhood
In the Huntingdon, Pennsylvania, peewee football league of the early 1980s, Andrea Hudy was the official MVP and the acknowledged relentless running back. “No one could tackle her,” recalls her oldest brother Mike. “She was one of the better players with the boys.” Decades later, Andrea Hudy is still blazing her own course and helping others find their own power as the assistant athletic director for sports performance in the University of Kansas strength and conditioning department. Known as “Coach Hudy,” or simply “Hudy,” she fires up the men’s and women’s basketball teams, as well as all other sports teams except the football squad, to prepare them for competition and life after the court. She put the muscle on Mario Chalmers and the inspiration in Ivana Catic, but she also has prepped these and other star athletes to step off the court with something greater. “I’m in the body business, so you look at physique, and you look at performance parameters,” Hudy says. “There’s a huge parallel between what happens in my arena and what happens on the court. It’s a life skill, too. Working out is a life skill, and you’re teaching them those life skills that they can take with them.” Those on the receiving end of Hudy’s instruction describe her as tough or intense, but they say many of her achievements result from her positive attitude and ability to provide challenging yet balanced sessions for the athletes in the weight room. “It’s her contagious personality that makes her a blast to be around,” says Katie Smith, a senior guard on KU’s women’s basketball team. “Going into workout is never a punishment, a job or a chore. It’s always a lot of fun because she makes it fun. She has such a variety of workouts, so it’s never routine or
dull or boring. It’s always exciting and a good pace and interesting to say the least.” Hudy’s first career achievements came pacing athletes at the University of Connecticut, where teams she trained earned eight Division I national championships: five in women’s basketball, two in men’s basketball and one in men’s soccer. Since arriving in Lawrence in 2004, Hudy has been part of another national championship with men’s basketball, earned a promotion, devised and carried out a restructuring of Anderson Family Strength and Conditioning Center (where all student-athletes except football players train), and worked to bridge the gap between sport and science by collaborating with Andrew Fry, the chairman of KU’s health, sport and exercise sciences department.
Although Hudy was a prolific high school athlete and four-year letter winner in volleyball at the University of Maryland, her inclination toward success and competitive nature was nurtured nearly from birth while growing up the youngest of five siblings. Well before Wii and the web, the Hudy household was a family of unplugged, outdoor adventure sports enthusiasts. Childhood was, in Hudy’s terms, “survival of the fittest” where every family member competed and no allowances for age or gender existed.
Childhood was, in Andrea Hudy’s terms, “survival of the fittest” where every family member competed and no allowances for age or gender existed. Lawrence Magazine 45
all about hudy
Competitions included weightlifting on the backyard patio, races on self-designed cross-country courses and Evel Knievel-type stunts—complete with real flames—on Big Wheels. And if that wasn’t enough excitement, there was always the wagering. “You bet something on everything, literally,” Hudy says. “If you lost at cards, you had to eat an onion like an apple. If you lost a race, you had to run up and down the stone driveway in your bare feet. There was always a punishment if you didn’t win. “It was like you didn’t get on your bike without racing. You didn’t go in the woods without racing. You didn’t climb a tree without seeing who could get the highest. You knew it was over when somebody got hurt.” When someone did get hurt, most of the sympathy usually came from their mother, Mary, whom Hudy credits as being the most influential person in her life. She also recognizes the positive impact of her father, Richard, as well as the same siblings who force-fed her onions: brothers Mike and Tom, and sisters Beth and Susan. The family of educators and coaches, which also includes four in-laws and 10 nieces and nephews, suffered a catastrophic blow when Mary Hudy lost her life to stage
IV breast cancer in 2008 just weeks before her daughter earned her ninth national championship with the KU men’s basketball team. “For her to look death in the face every day for 18 months, I don’t know how she did it,” Hudy says. “Cancer took her confidence. It took who she was. In some sense of it, too, I lost my mom when they diagnosed her because it took away who she was to the core.” A “fighter and great teacher” is how Hudy remembers her mother. “All I know is that the suffering she went through has motivated me. She fought, and I’ll always remember that,” says Hudy. “It also made me realize what love is. It went beyond all boundaries. There were no boundaries.”
Life in Lawrence
Hudy remains in close contact with her family in Pennsylvania, but since the death of her mother she has cut back on shuttling between her childhood home and Lawrence. With a work schedule as intense as her athletes’ regimes, Hudy spends most of her days on campus but also allows time for relaxing with family and friends and her friend of the canine variety, 2-year-old chocolate Labrador retriever Dozer. But much of her free time involves exercise of some kind, whether it be lifting, walking Dozer at the dog park, riding her bike or running with men’s basketball Assistant Coach Joe Dooley. The two train for and compete in half marathons. Hudy raced in the Lawrence Half Marathon in 2005, 2007 and 2008. In a sense, Hudy’s life in Lawrence is a continuation of everything she has done since childhood—turning the ordinary into the extraordinary and pushing herself while shaping her student-athletes to become competitors as well as strong individuals. Any fan of the Jayhawks will hope her marathon of achievements will continue well into the future. •
Molly McKinnon, assistant coach, KU strength and conditioning “You have to have a good leader in order to have a good department. She doesn’t treat us like she’s above us. No one has a problem asking questions, regardless of what your title may say. We’re all trying to learn down here and become a better department, and I think Hudy’s been a big part of that.” Brady Holt, assistant coach, KU strength and conditioning “Anybody who knows her knows how remarkable of a person she is. Her personality is definitely one that basically makes everybody smile. Whether it be practice or people coming in the weight room or whatever the situation is, she always does, in my opinion, an
46 Lawrence Magazine
excellent job of kind of lighting up the room.” Tamika Raymond, assistant coach, KU women’s basketball “For me, it’s probably a little bit more intimate because when I was at Connecticut she was my strength and conditioning coach. I had an injury where I couldn’t practice every day my senior year. I had to work on being better defensively, and she worked me to the point where people didn’t even know I wasn’t practicing. I don’t know if I would have went as one of the lottery picks if not for Hudy kicking my butt every day.” Whitney Samuelson, intern, KU strength and conditioning “She wants you to put in 100 percent effort whether you’re just
the intern or whether you’re the athlete out there. She’s on top of her game all the time. She’s a go-getter for sure, but she’s not hard-core all the time. She definitely has a good sense of humor.” Marija Zinic, senior forward, KU women’s basketball “We did some things that we never thought we were capable of physically. We’ve been through some workouts that when you think about it, [you’re] like, ‘Oh my God, I don’t even know how I went through that, how I did all that stuff?’ Basically, she never let us settle. She pushed us and we reached so much more of our potential than we would have had we been somewhere else.”
As the new director of the Lawrence Arts Center, David Leamon walks the gallery floors and spends time in some of the preschool classrooms in the facility.
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Written by Paula Naughtin Photography by Jason Dailey
Leamon’s late return policy By coming to Lawrence, David Leamon checks himself out of the library world and back into the arts
Why is a librarian running an arts center? Why has an artist been running so many libraries? If you know about David Leamon, the new director of the Lawrence Arts Center, then you know why these questions are asked. And if you follow Leamon’s winding career path, it all starts to make sense. Leamon began his working life as an art teacher in the very same district he attended at Raytown, Missouri. Soon, another job at a small military academy in Missouri required teaching English and humanities during the school day and art classes for students after school, plus establishing a literary journal featuring student poetry, short stories and drawings. As shown in this blend of visual and literary arts instruction, Leamon has long seen the arts as more than paintings and exhibits. Leamon and his wife, Audrey, were some of the first teachers in Missouri to establish and instruct an allied arts curriculum, which combines architectural appreciation, dance, music and art. And he was an early adopter of integrating film into coursework. Remember, says Leamon, these were the “pre-videocassette, DVD days” where using film meant running a projector. Leamon became more and more interested in cinema, serving as a juror for the American Film Festival in New York and, with Audrey, hosting film festivals at their home. “We might have three different projectors going at the same time,” he recalls. Leamon still saw himself, even in those days of working with films, as an instructor. “I was planning on being an art teacher my whole life.” But while at Mid-Continent Public Library in the Independence, Missouri, area, where he conducted workshops for teachers on using films in the classroom, he “kind of got enamored of libraries.”
Leamon went back to school at Case Western Reserve University to earn a master’s degree in library science and was hired from Mid-Continent by the Tulsa, Oklahoma, library system. At the time, says Leamon, Tulsa was on the cutting edge of library innovation, largely due to director Allie Beth Martin. Leamon calls her his mentor and adds, “She would be proud of me today, I’m sure.” During this part of his life, Leamon was definitely more of a librarian than an artist. He moved on to jobs in Seattle; Jackson, Michigan; San Antonio and then Topeka. Going from San Antonio to Topeka was somewhat of a step down on a normal career and salary track. But David and Audrey wanted to be near their aging parents in Kansas, and David was attracted by what he saw as “a charming, small, very well taken care of” library thanks to the previous director, “a grand, gentle man.” He was enthusiastic about the opportunity, and so he began his last librarianship. Under Leamon’s direction, Topeka’s commitment to a single central library with expanded bookmobile service was solidified. As he did in San Antonio, Leamon oversaw the addition of a library building in Topeka. The innovative main building was constructed and programs were developed to make the library a vibrant gathering place before Leamon retired as a librarian in 2005. Like his life, Leamon’s home is filled with art. That’s not surprising considering that Audrey not only taught art for 12 years, but is also an active watercolor artist who frequently shows her work in galleries. In addition to her pieces, their home features works by many other artists, some traded, some purchased. Leamon says that he “changes pictures around several times a year” to get a new perspective on the works. He adds, “In the days we didn’t have the money to spend, we did anyway,” buying as much art as possible. When asked about his own artistic work, Leamon admits that it’s been quite a while since he spent much time on it. He did lead a life-drawing class in Topeka and found that the more he drew, the more his skills returned. “I used to be pretty good at figure drawing,” he said. When he first started drawing again, “It was hard. But after two years, I started turning out some nice drawings.”
Lawrence Magazine 49
He plans to use the arts center’s John Talleur Print Studio after recently getting out some of his woodcuts from his college days. They weren’t bad, says Leamon, but “I can see things Talleur would have changed.” •
Plans for Lawrence Several things brought David Leamon out of retirement and into his new job as director of the Lawrence Arts Center. In addition to the admission that “I’ve always been interested in too many things for my own good,” Leamon says the challenge was compelling. “I thought it was exciting and knew it had a reputation that was positive. … I thought, maybe I can help.” As for his plans for the arts center, Leamon says his ideas are similar to those previously expressed by others. He wants to expand exhibition space to showcase Lawrence’s acclaimed professional artists, but also would like to use it to exhibit the works of preschoolers and retirees who have graduated from their first ceramics course. These larger exhibitions would, Leamon thinks, “demonstrate the beautiful pieces by people who never thought they could create a work of art.” And in difficult times, Leamon says the arts can spur people to pursue new challenges and gain confidence and new skills. “If you put yourself in a new place, you can gain great courage.” He’d also like to warm up the ambience of the center at 940 New Hampshire St. “While the building is awesome, my first impression wasn’t that the building reaches out to embrace me.” And, he adds, “I want people when they come into this building to think that it is so appealing that they want to wander in it.”
James Barnes combines teaching and mentoring on campus with his own career as a prolific and muchperformed composer.
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Written by Alex Hoffman Photography by Jason Dailey
Sounding like himself Once a young Okie tubist set loose on Mount Oread, James Barnes returned to Lawrence to make his home and international reputation as a composer and instructor
James Barnes grew up playing tuba in the small town of Hobart, Oklahoma. The largest band he ever played in at his high school totaled 34 players. As Barnes quips, when the town of some 4,000 residents held a parade, “the band just marked time and the town walked by.” Decades later, the young Midwestern tubist is one of the nation’s most accomplished and performed composers for wind bands. The Tokyo Kosei Wind Orchestra, Queen’s Royal Military Band of Holland and United States Air Force Band all have recorded Barnes’ work. Go to any festival or state contest and there’s a good chance his music will be played. A full-time fixture in the University of Kansas music faculty since 1976, Barnes has created enduring arrangements of the KU fight songs, including his haunting take on Home on the Range, that are woven into the fabric of the university’s traditions.
Barnes’ musical potential could not have been unleashed if not for a life-changing experience as a participant in KU’s band camps for five years. Those six gratifying weeks a year, surrounded by people who were just as fascinated with music as he was, were nirvana for the young Barnes. And in his last two years at camp, Barnes took lessons from a teacher who would shape his future: John Pozdro. “He was a hidden dragon,” Barnes says of Pozdro. “A lot of people don’t even know who he was, and he never had the national reputation he deserved as a composition teacher.” Pozdro largely taught music by style. He would typically instruct Barnes to compose 60 bars in the style of a particular composer such as Ravel or Prokofiev.
“I couldn’t have done better,” Barnes adds. “For me, he was absolutely perfect.” Pozdro, who died this year on New Year’s Day, was the primary reason that Barnes went on to study at KU. “Otherwise,” he says, “I would have been punching cattle.” And it’s in Lawrence, in Pozdro’s old department, where Barnes remains, taking on his mentor’s tutoring role for a new generation of aspiring composers. “There are a lot of composition teachers, and teachers in general, who only want you to write the way they write. And they think they’ve got all the answers. That’s not what a composition teacher does,” says Barnes, who turns 60 in September. “A composition teacher’s job is to help a student find himself or herself, find out who they are and what they sound like. Because, see, all really good composers sound like themselves.”
Barnes’ style is instantly recognizable. The rhythmic vitality, the skillfulness in allowing all instruments to do some heavy lifting and the unabashed fondness of melody permeate each work. He gives just as much attention and care to pieces commissioned for beginning bands as he does to the compositions he has written for all five of the nation’s military bands. Colleagues and former students alike hail him as a master orchestrator who composes with passion and honesty. Whether it’s capturing the thrill of flying a fighter plane
Colleagues and former students alike hail him as a master orchestrator who composes with passion and honesty. Lawrence Magazine 53
in his Air Force Band commission Wild Blue Yonder or translating the heartache and anguish of losing his infant daughter in his Third Symphony, Barnes is at his best when conveying emotions. “Jim writes with his heart and soul, and doesn’t let the craft of composition interfere with the compelling, engaging story that must be told,” says Roland Barrett, a composer and professor of music at the University of Oklahoma. As his opus number crosses 135, Barnes takes on two commissions a year along with his teaching responsibilities. He most recently completed a euphonium concerto, and the KU Wind Ensemble performed his latest symphony, the sixth, in March. Over the years, Barnes has crossed paths with pioneers of the American musical landscape. He took a lesson from Aaron Copland when he visited the KU campus, and on the way back to the airport, Copland insisted that Barnes drive him by the “Big House,” the United States Penitentiary in Leavenworth. Torrential rains accompanied the side trip, which made crossing one bridge a suddenly precarious adventure. “I almost drowned Aaron Copland!” says Barnes, reflecting on what could have been his dubious musical legacy. Barnes also greatly admired Vincent Persichetti, one of America’s finest symphonists and wind band icons who would occasionally stop in Lawrence en route to Philadelphia, such as once when he was returning from a concert in New Mexico with a treasure in his car trunk. “His hobby was he collected turtles,” Barnes recalls. “I said, ‘How are things going? Have you found any great turtles lately?’ He says, ‘You won’t believe this.’ He takes me out to the car in the parking lot west of Murphy Hall. I go out there and he opens up the trunk. He’s got all this luggage in the back seat of the car, and on the bottom of the trunk he’s got hay and stuff. There was a box turtle down there, a huge box turtle he found on the side of the road down in Texas someplace. And he was taking it back to Philadelphia.” In the course of a spirited conversation, Barnes can tack on more stories about his youth in small-town Oklahoma, baseball Hall of Famer Ted Williams’ fishing prowess and the blazing speed of former KU running back Laverne Smith. But beyond the biting wit and first-rate storytelling, Barnes is a man quick to impart no-nonsense wisdom on his students. “I always tell my students that there’s only two types of music: There’s the kind that has integrity,” he says, “and then there’s the rest. And it doesn’t matter whether it’s bluegrass, or whether it’s classical or serious music or jazz or whatever. Music with integrity is a rare thing.” •
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An annotated Barnes guide to Barnes If you haven’t heard much or any of James Barnes’ musical work, where should you begin? For that answer, we asked Barnes to list five of his favorite and most frequently performed musical compositions. Writer Alex Hoffman provides commentary on each piece. Fantasy Variations on a Theme by Niccolo Paganini – Barnes wrote the sketches for this 16-minute U.S. Marine Band commission in one week. It remains the ideal showpiece. Available as an MP3 through iTunes Featured on the CD Fantasy Variations – James Barnes, Tokyo Kosei Wind Orchestra Symphonic Overture – Commissioned by the United States Air Force Band, this concert overture seems more amazing because it is essentially a rewrite. According to liner notes, Barnes didn’t like the direction the piece was going, threw everything away and started over. Thankfully, this is the result, and the delightful main theme is undeniably Barnesian. Available as an MP3 through iTunes Featured on the CD 2006 Midwest Clinic: The United States Air Force Band; Legend – James Barnes, Tokyo Kosei Wind Orchestra Symphony No. 3 – This symphony is arguably Barnes’ magnum opus, written in a self-confessed blur after the sudden death of his infant daughter Natalie. Angry, bitter, poignant and joyful music in a span of nearly 40 minutes, the third movement is a stirring musical representation of what life would have been like had Natalie lived. Essential. Available as an MP3 through iTunes Featured on the CD Excursions – Lt. Col. Lowell Graham, U.S. Air Force Band; James Barnes: Symphonies Symphony No. 5 (“Phoenix”) – This large-scale work, written for the Japanese Ground Self Defense Force Band for its 50th anniversary, is similar to his Third Symphony in structure only. Cast in the same four movements of slow-fast-slow-fast tempo, it differs considerably in character. After a brooding opening movement that may bear some resemblance to works by Shostakovich, the mood lightens with a brisk, playful scherzo, a dreamlike adagio and a rousing finale so often associated with Barnes’ works. Available as an MP3 through iTunes Featured on the CD James Barnes: Symphonies Yorkshire Ballad – Composed after a visit to the Yorkshire Dales in England, this unassuming four-minute piece, according to Barnes, recently was named one of the 50 most-performed works among school bands in the United States. Perhaps its popularity lies in the melody’s straightforward brilliance. The tune is original, yet it could easily find itself in the pages of an English folk-song book. Featured on the CD Pagan Dances – James Barnes, Tokyo Kosei Wind Orchestra
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Health & fitness
Doctor, Doctor A young medical couple devise an ingenious balance in taking care of their patients as well as their own family Written by Paula Naughtin Photography by Jason Dailey
Dr. Eston Schwartz visits with a patient at Lawrence Memorial Hospital.
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Before moving to Lawrence in 2005, Raonak Ekram and Eston Schwartz were young oncologists running their own practice in Jefferson City, Missouri. Professionally, things were going well—they were successful and loved working with their patients. But helping cure others was taking a toll on them. Because the husband and wife were the only two doctors in the practice, one of them was on call at all times. They could not leave town together and had little time off, either for themselves or for their two young children. Something had to change. “It was a quality of life issue,” Raonak recalls. “You’re raising two children, but you love your work too. We were looking for balance.” Physicians are charged with taking care of their patients’ health, but paradoxically this same commitment often impairs their own well-being, especially at the start of their careers with intense schedules and high levels of stress. Throw in the desire to be a good parent as well as a good doctor, and you have a challenge that frustrates even the most talented professionals and gifted minds. Realizing that they could not be the first couple to face this dilemma, Raonak and Eston sought out other medical couples for ideas. They found little inspiration. A few married medical couples relied on nannies to be the main adult presence—even at sporting events and school recitals—in their children’s lives. Most of their other classmates who married fellow doctors and had families simply didn’t try to have dual careers. In every case, the mother was the one who left medicine to raise the children. “I didn’t want to leave the career I loved,” explains Raonak. And Eston agreed with her, telling his wife and colleague: “Your career is as important as mine.” So wanting to be both doctors and parents, the couple joined two other doctors at an oncology practice in Lawrence. The move to Kansas brought them closer to a support network—Raonak’s parents live in Manhattan and Eston’s mother is in Scott City—but it also allowed them effectively to split a full-time post. Both work at the clinic on Monday, while Raonak works on Tuesday and Wednesday and Eston on Thursday and Friday. The on-call duties are divided among the four doctors in the practice. This means that half of the time Raonak or Eston is on call. In theory, the husband and wife each work part time, but in reality, their schedule is determined by their patients’ health. They are always available for acute cases and they both visit hospitalized patients daily. “There is never true part-time in medicine,” says Raonak. “You never put the pager away.”
Your window to the most interesting homes in and around Lawrence, plus great day-trips, with host Lori Carson. Mondays at 6:30 p.m. Watch Home & Away whenever you want with Sunflower On Demand (digital customers only) Sunflower Broadband Channel 1.
Health & fitness But after years of medical school, the required intense internships and the long hours of traditional practice, the couple believe they have created an elusive balance relatively rare in their profession. “Our schedule allows us to take time to do things we want to do,” says Raonak. “We can focus on the things that make us happy outside of oncology.” Raonak believes this equilibrium at home also benefits their work. “Because we are so familiar with each other’s patients,” explains Raonak, “there is a great advantage.” And if one is on call when the other’s patient has difficulty, instant consultation is usually available. They also understand what each faces as a doctor with a caseload of patients with cancer. “Oncology is emotionally draining. People are scared and sick,” says Raonak. “Sometimes it’s a chance to cure them of their cancer; sometimes it’s just to help them at the end of their life.” With a spouse in the same situation, “there is always someone to share things.” And, she adds, “our kids are our solace.” By focusing effectively on work, Raonak and Eston open more time for their children, who are now 7 and 5 years old. The family tries to always have a sitdown meal together, except on Mondays when both parents have very full days. Raonak is the more accomplished cook and enjoys preparing Bengali specialties. Eston admits that his days to cook are more likely to see pizza and grilled items as the bill of fare. Eston’s bailiwick is cleaning, and as a self-described “neat freak,” he “loves to vacuum.” Eston is also the family gardener and is in charge of growing produce essential to Bengali cuisine that is not easily available. He also enjoys being a semi-stay-at-home dad, taking his children to weekday events that he might otherwise miss with a traditional medical career. Raonak and Eston aren’t prescribing their work and life solution for all. As in health, they say each family must develop a personalized routine. But as a couple, Raonak and Eston are satisfied with their choices. “We decided to do what we needed to do to make it work for this family,” says Raonak. •
Dr. Raonak Ekram stands at work, top right, and relaxes with her family at home, above. She and her husband share a full-time physician’s post to forge a healthy balance of family and career.
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A match made in medical school … Raonak Ekram and Eston Schwartz met at orientation on the first day of medical school at the University of Kansas. Assigned to the same study group, they had no choice but to become acquainted during that intense time. Both were raised in Kansas. Eston was born in Scott City, where his mother, Virgie, still lives. Raonak was born in Bangladesh and moved to Manhattan at the age of 2 with her family when her father, Ekramul Haque, joined the faculty at Kansas State University as a professor in the grain science department (her mother, Rahima, runs her own day care business). After graduating with their medical degrees from KU, they completed internships and residencies at the University of Oklahoma-Tulsa. Raonak had planned to be an oncologist since her third year of medical school. Eston, on the other hand, recalls: “I wasn’t going to specialize. She [Raonak] got a spot in a fellowship and I was going to just do medicine. We were planning on being apart for a time.” Their plan was to finish residency, marry and probably live apart while Raonak was in an oncology fellowship at Wake Forest University in North Carolina. But a highly unusual event occurred. One of the three fellowships at Wake Forest was suddenly vacant. And although Eston hadn’t decided on oncology, the open position was offered to him because he had accompanied Raonak on her interviews there and was familiar with the group members and they with him. So within a few months of being married, the couple found themselves in a new town, with new fellowships and, to add another challenge, expecting their first child. Raonak said the older doctors in the group assumed she would quit the fellowship because of her pregnancy—partly because they had never had a pregnant fellow, partly because Raonak was very ill during her pregnancy with not morning sickness but 24-hour nausea. She didn’t give up, even though on several occasions she was hooked to a saline IV for hydration while working on patient care. Raonak says all of this gave her a great sympathy for patients suffering the side effects of chemotherapy. By the end of their two-year fellowship, they had a daughter, Tahsin, a great deal of experience and were expecting their second child, Zain. The children have known their mom and dad as doctors their entire lives. As Raonak explains, “It is important for them to see both parents productive and part of society.”
Health & fitness
A Chef’s Table:
A fourth on the farm
Writer Katherine Dinsdale joins the family behind Tomato Allie for a remarkable Fourth of July dinner Written by Katherine Dinsdale Photography by Jason Dailey
For the Wohletzes, a family farm means long hours of work for everyone—but the rewards are time together and great meals.
The welcome delegation at Tomato Allie is a red and black and speckled chickenbrained flock of hens. Once there were three roosters among the ladies, but Tomato Allie owners Jerry and Jane Wohletz, along with their three children, voted unanimously to cook and eat the roosters a few years back after they attacked daughter Madeline, then just 2 years old. Today, the surviving fowl mistake any arriving guest for their Someone Who Cares. The true supply line will be along shortly, and then the hens will come running and clucking again as Jane Wohletz pulls her car into the long drive off 1100 Road. High school sweethearts Jane and Jerry, 18-year-old Jerry Jr., 17-year-old Katie and 8-year-old Madeline have, as the Paul Simon song says, gotten together and “called themselves an institute.” Tomato Allie is a thriving summertime Downtown Lawrence Farmers’ Market vendor, though long gone are the days when the Tomato Allie booth also provided a bit of classical music aside the yellow bell peppers and Red Norland potatoes. When Jerry Jr. was just 10 or 11 years old he’d open his violin case by their stand and pull in as much as $100 a day playing anything from a Bach concerto to Charlie Daniels’ The Devil Went Down to Georgia for market clientele. Now Jerry Jr. is entrenched at the University of Kansas, and after so many years of gardening with his family, he’s making noise about getting “a real job” this summer. Little sister Madeline is about ready to pick up the slack. Already she’s wellknown for her flower bouquets. Every summertime week as the rest of her family readies produce for the early Saturday morning trek to downtown Lawrence, Madeline fills five-gallon buckets with cut zinnias and sunflowers. Once she has a full bucket she brings it into the family room and dumps the flowers onto the floor. Her mom has rolled up the rug so Madeline can sit cross-legged on the wood floor, merrily and messily stripping off the leaves and assembling her bouquets in previously discarded water bottles. This is the life dad Jerry always had in mind, and he made no secret of his plans when he and Jane met at age 16, began FRESH Strawberry Pie 4 cups fresh strawberries 1 cup water ¾ cup sugar 3 tablespoons cornstarch 8- or 9-inch baked pie shell Mash 1 cup of fresh strawberries and cook over high heat with 1 cup water for about 2 minutes. Combine sugar and cornstarch; stir into the mashed berry mixture. Cook and stir until thickened and bubbly. Add a few drops of red food coloring for a deeper red pie. Place 1½ cups of fresh, washed and stemmed strawberries into a baked and cooled 8- to 9-inch pie shell. Pour half the sauce over the berries. Repeat the layers with the remaining strawberries and sauce. Chill for at least 1 hour. Serve with ice cream or whipped topping.
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Health & fitness
dating at 18 and married at 20 while both were working at UPS some 23 years ago. “It was on Jerry’s resume,” Jane says, “that any woman he married would want to raise her kids on a farm, in the open air with the freedom to run.” Both were the children of weekend farmers and knew what good therapy it is, says Jane, to have your hands in black dirt. The couple bought the property in 1993 and built their home there in 1996. But it was after Madeline was born in 2001, when Jane was looking for a way to generate income and work from home, that the family decided it was time to take the plunge and begin gardening for profit. Tomato Allie has been from the beginning a trial-and-error adventure. Their first year a 130-foot garden hosted 285 seedlings, among them bell peppers, cucumbers, zucchini, yellow squash, eggplant and sweet corn. Jane and the kids set up an old orange card table at their first venture to the farmers’ market. That day they endured some leery looks from other vendors and sold nothing but zucchini, raking in a whopping $12. “It was a good day and a good beginning,” Jane says. Now the family grows from seed 600 tomatoes of assorted varieties including Jet Star, Celebrity and Goliath. Their pepper plants are Green Bells, Lady Bells, Early Sensation, Fat and Sassy, Gypsy and Jalapeño. They also grow cucumbers, broccoli, lettuce and spinach, and Madeline’s two rows of flowers to boot. Plans for the future include a “U-pick” strawberry patch. The four eldest Wohletzes are equal partners; Madeline will no doubt qualify for partner status soon. The Fourth of July is the day to enjoy a meal with the entire family at Tomato Allie. Any other day a visitor might end up weeding cucumbers or tying tomatoes. The menu is one any red-blooded American child can guess. It includes an annual “Red, White and Blue Dessert Challenge” with entries judged on the basis of taste and patriotism. After dessert, there’s more dessert—s’mores around the fire pit followed by oohs and aahs at the home-produced fireworks display. Pretty soon, the citified folk on hand will thrill to hear a few lonesome songs from a wild coyote lingering somewhere in the nearby woods. The shindig on the Fourth at the Wohletzes’ is pretty much the same every year. There’s no need for innovation when tradition is so sweet. •
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A Tomato Allie Fourth of July menu Classic Hamburgers
The Wohletzes raise their own beef but aren’t licensed to sell meat. They suggest buying hamburger from Amy’s Meats at the Downtown Lawrence Farmers’ Market.
2 pounds ground beef ¼ teaspoon Liquid Smoke One package Lipton Beefy Onion Recipe Soup and Dip Mix Salt and pepper Combine all ingredients with clean hands and form into six patties. Put a dent in the top of each patty so it doesn’t puff during grilling. After grilling, top with your choice of cheese (the Wohletzes prefer plain old American slices) and assemble in a bun along with some home-grown romaine, sliced Texas Super Sweet onions, homemade pickles (see recipe below) and a slice of still-warm-from-the-garden Jet Star—the best burger tomato ever. “They have lower acid content and don’t fall apart when you slice ’em,” says Jerry.
Uncle Bernie’s Douglas County Grand Champion Fresh-Pack Dill Pickles
One year Jane secretly entered a jar of these in the open class competition at the fair. When the family was there to view the kids’ 4-H entries, Jerry happened to admire the winning jar in the pickle display. Then he realized the grand champion jar was his own, with pickles made from his Uncle Bernie’s famous recipe.
8 pounds of 3- to 5-inch pickling cucumbers (Jerry suggests Boston
2 gallons water 1¼ cups canning or pickling salt 1½ quarts vinegar ¼ cup sugar 2 quarts water 2 tablespoons whole mixed pickling spice about 3 tablespoons sliced garlic (2 teaspoons to 1 tablespoon per pint jar) about 14 heads of fresh dill (3 heads to 1½ heads per pint jar) or 4½ tablespoons dill seed (1 tablespoon to 1½ teaspoon per pint jar) Yield: 7 to 9 pints
Wash cucumbers and cut into spears. Dissolve ¾ cup salt in 2 gallons of water. Pour over cucumbers and let stand 12 hours. Drain. Combine vinegar, ½ cup salt, sugar and 2 quarts water. Add mixed pickling spices tied in a clean white cloth. Heat to boiling. Fill jars with cucumbers. Add 1 teaspoon sliced garlic and 1½ heads fresh dill per pint. Cover with boiling pickling solution, leaving ½-inch headspace. Adjust lids and process 10 minutes for pint jars. Thanks to Douglas County Extension agent Susan Krumm for help with the recipe details.
5-year anniversary issue in
Cultivating Community on Vermont Street
A band of green-thumb businessmen grow everything but silver bells and cockle shells in their downtown vegetable garden Written by Sureva Towler Photography by Jason Dailey
Gourmet gardening is an adventure and lifestyle for Jim Grimes, Josh Millstein and Lee Heeter, who have transformed Bob Schumm’s vacant lot into an urban oasis for neighbors, pedestrians and rabbits. Grimes, who presides over Headmasters at 809 Vermont St. to the north of the garden, masterminds planning and planting. Heeter, who works with Grimes as salon coordinator, supplies gardening muscle, as does Millstein, who with wife Cassy and sister Casey manages The Casbah Market and Nice Café around the corner at 803 Massachusetts St. Schumm, a former mayor and longtime downtown business owner, owns the garden site and “leases” the lot in exchange for an occasional bag of produce. The gardening collaboration began when Grimes and Millstein met in a yoga class and discovered a common interest in heirloom properties, the beauty of Kansas limestone and activities unique to old Lawrence. Grimes had just won an award from K-State Research and Extension in Douglas County for surrounding Headmasters with roses, fire bushes and a throng of ornamental crabapple, maple and red cedar trees.
When the space next to Headmasters opened in 2007, the two friends moved in with seeds and elbow grease. Each summer, the partners put in around 20 hours a week, weeding, picking and turning a generous compost pile. Their signature crop is tender young salad greens—arugula, mesclun, chard, spinach and Boston, romaine and red leaf lettuces—which Teller’s, the upscale restaurant at 746 Massachusetts St., buys and Casbah Market sells in $3 bags. Last summer Millstein asked a customer to wait while he ran to the garden and picked a salad. “You can’t get any fresher than that,” he smiles. “The garden goes wild from March until June. You can’t stop it from growing.” Jennifer Smith, the Douglas County Extension agent for horticulture who spearheads the local Master Gardener Program, says the downtown gardeners are on to something more than a good business plan. “They help us appreciate where good food comes from and encourage us to grow or buy produce from local Josh Millstein checks the progress of the cucumber crop in the Vermont Street garden. Millstein sells much of the garden’s produce at his store, The Casbah Market.
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farm markets,” says Smith. “Fresh foods truly last longer, taste better and are healthier.” Grimes, 50, has fond memories of punching holes in the ground for tomato and marigold seeds when he was growing up in Argentine, a Kansas City, Kansas, neighborhood once sustained by silver smelters. “In high school it was cool to have a dieffenbachia plant next to your posters, but I didn’t know an annual from a perennial when I began growing things 30 years ago. Nothing prepared me for the heavy lifting it took to dispose of 27 raised, boarded flowerbeds and to spread nonstop truckloads of topsoil and manure.” While this labor has earned Grimes his veggie farmer credentials, he continues to take more delight in the landscaping. “Oddly enough, I care more about the garden’s design than its gustatory attributes,” he confides. By contrast, Millstein, 31, grew up in a family of vegetarians who raised a bountiful garden in Baldwin. He describes his parents, Susan and David Millstein, as “University of Kansas hippies from the ’60s” who were either gardening or renovating historic buildings like those housing Sunflower Outdoor & Bike Shop, Sarah’s Fabrics and Liberty Hall, which they remodeled with Charles and Tensie Oldfather. For the Casbah Market’s 2008 opening, the family pitched in to clean woodwork, build a dining mezzanine and stock the café and grocery with essential oils, carb and soy chips, detoxifying formulas, energy drinks and a variety of health-inducing yummies, many produced locally. The market and cafe have been successful in providing fast health food to the growing number of people who live in renovated apartments and condos downtown. Millstein, a computer engineer by training, says he can only stare at a computer and balance sheets for so long before he has to get outside and turn a little compost. Like Millstein, Grimes is in perpetual motion. He has served as a traveling workshop educator for Redken and Aveda products, and takes pride in conducting “Look Good—Feel Better” classes at the hospital for oncology patients and staff, under the auspices of the American Cancer Society. He served on the Board of Directors of Downtown Lawrence Inc. in the ’80s and again from 2002 to 2005. Grimes says he uses Discovery Channel and the garden “to disengage.” Heeter, the third member of the original gardening trio, will be leaving the group in the fall. In addition to his salon work, Heeter has been studying theology at KU and plans to head off for graduate school. But the gardeners and their customers who remain in town can look forward to bountiful harvests in seasons to come. •
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Growing history: A Lawrence garden plot
Photo courtesy Watkins Community Museum of History.
The site of this downtown garden, 815 Vermont St., once hosted the fading elegance of the Lawrence House hotel, built to accommodate passengers getting off the train, which stopped at the front door. The structure, built in 1871, is rumored to have been a bordello at one time. But by the time Bob Schumm bought it in 1981, it housed pigeon condos on the upper stories and clothing, record and antiques shops on the ground floor. The landscape changed when, about 3 p.m. on Christmas Eve 1990, a fire gutted the building. Nothing could be saved. The first garden on this plot appeared in 2004, when the Kansas Mutual Aid Society established its community garden. For two years, this collective cultivated the ground’s obstinate clay soil. Jim Grimes has owned Headmasters in the prim Italianate Lucy Hobbs Taylor Building since 1985 and bought the building in 2001. Lucy Hobbs Taylor, the nation’s first female dentist, lived there for 26 of the 43 years she practiced. Like the hotel that once stood next door, the building dates from 1871 and—because it is one of the town’s original downtown buildings—is on the National Register of Historic Places. A vibrant mural on a wall of the Vermont Street Station overlooking the garden makes a statement about the neighborhood, preserving Leonardo da Vinci’s sentiment that “Everything Connects to Everything Else.” It was painted by youngsters from Century School, an intimate, year-round private school in a welcoming old house at 816 Kentucky St. Teachers credit the garden with inspiring their 75 preschool and elementary school youngsters to grow tomatoes for their lunches in the backyard.
Like all true divas, roses can be demanding. But their devotees know the flowers are also surprisingly resilient, reliably fragrant and likely to steal any garden show Written by Lauren Beatty Photography by Jason Dailey
Jim and Margaret Thorp own one of the grandest homes in Old West Lawrence. It’s a real looker, situated on the corner of Seventh and Louisiana streets. Normally, this gorgeous domicile would be getting all the attention. But come spring and early autumn, the house itself tends to be outshone by the dozens of glorious roses blooming in the front yard. The red- and pink-petaled beauties occupy prime real estate in a sunny corner plot on the couple’s property. Although initially the Thorps were worried that their roses would be picked over by passers-by or trampled by neighborhood pups, the flowers have come to be cared for and respected like a neighborhood art exhibit. “People tend to walk by to stop and smell the roses—literally,” Jim says, laughing. Despite their nasty reputation as the divas of the garden bed, roses are no doubt some of the most beautiful flowers around and attract a loyal following. Rose devotees find their flowers satisfying in a way no other bloom can be. The Thorps have been gardening for nearly 20 years and grow a variety of roses. The genial couple enjoy the colors and the blooms, but what they’re most interested in is the smell: The more fragrant, the better. 70 Lawrence Magazine
The Thorps say there’s no secret formula to growing roses, but insist it’s easier than most people think. “The kind of rose makes a difference,” says Jim. “The hybrid tea roses are grown for looks, for when you want that one perfect blossom on the stem. We don’t go for that. We go for the heartier varieties.” The couple also grow some other perennials, including lilacs and azaleas. But roses continue to be their pride and joy. “It lifts your spirit,” says Jim. “I’ve enjoyed that so many people in the neighborhood have enjoyed them.” The Thorps for the most part keep the roses outside, although they do occasionally cut blooms and bring them inside the house. “They’re pretty and you can get them in so many colors,” says Margaret. Roses bloom in spring and early autumn in the yard of Jim and Margaret Thorp.
The ‘perfect’ flower
It took some time, but Jennifer Lutz finally found the perfect one for her. A few years ago, Lutz decided to try her hand at growing roses with a ‘Chicago Peace’ variety and a ‘Blue Girl’ variety. It was arduous work. Lutz was hunched over while gardening and ended up pulling a hamstring. The roses fared no better. Neither ended up providing the wow factor Lutz was seeking. “They were taking a beating,” Lutz explains. After consulting a master gardener (and adjusting her gardening technique), Lutz planted ‘Knock Out’ roses in the front yard. “They popped, and I got a color that was similar to the house,” says Lutz. “It turned out to be a good choice.” Once she found the right type of rose, the gardening became simple for Lutz. In fact, for the most part, she lets the roses take care of themselves. “When I get a beautiful bloom, I’m content with that. All the credit goes to the roses themselves,” she says. In addition to roses, Lutz grows zinnias and ‘Lord Baltimore’ hibiscus. But roses, she says, are at the top of the heap. “They’re just beautiful and there’s so many of them,” she says. “I can’t think of anything more perfect than a rose.”
Best show of the season
Family history led Betty Campbell to grow roses. “My grandma grew roses, my mother grew roses,” she says. “I wanted to grow them, too.” Like the Thorps and Lutz, Campbell grows a variety of shrub roses, which need less care and are more suitable to the Kansas weather. “I get started in mid-March, pruning and giving them their first feed,” Campbell explains. “Generally, the roses are done in October, but I’ve had some last until November. You can hardly kill a rose.” Campbell says roses have become the flower of all flowers because of their tie to romance. She simply likes them for their beauty. “In this climate, at the beginning of spring, everything is just dead,” she says. “And then the roses come out. It’s the best show of the season.” •
“People tend to walk by to stop and smell the roses—literally,”
Jim Thorp says, laughing.
Left: Knock Out roses bloom in Jennifer Lutz’s yard. Above: Betty Campbell is at least the third generation in her family to grow roses.
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What’s Hot in lawrence Written by Mary R. Gage Photography courtesy Turk Chapman
If I can
jump... For area skydiving fanatics, dropping out of a plane is a chance to experience a certain free-falling zen, over and over again What does it feel like to fly through the air like a bird; the earth spread below you with all its textures and hues and multicolored fields and streams; floating in acres of sky as the ground rushes up to meet you, then touching down with a gentle bump? Skydivers know. And often, they can’t get enough of it. The United States Parachute Association reports some 32,000 members and lists more than 200 skydiving centers or “drop zones” nationwide. Skydivers make thousands of jumps every month, many of which are by first-time students. Most new students experience their first time in a tandem jump while harnessed to the front of an instructor. The instructor wears an extra-large parachute and guides the jump from start to finish. In fact, in as few as 30 minutes, a healthy adult can be prepared to make a tandem sky dive. Both first-time jumpers and seasoned skydivers speak of the exhilaration and feeling of freedom experienced in that fall through the sky. It’s a unique adventure that keeps some coming back jump after jump. Meet three members of the community who just may convince you to try it.
When she’s not designing websites, Jen Sharp owns and operates Skydive
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Kansas, a drop zone in Osage City, about 40 miles southwest of Lawrence. Every weekend, year-round, she’s out at the drop zone preparing new students and instructing the more experienced ones on the finer points of skydiving. Men and women from 18 to 85 years old, from all walks of life and from almost every county in the state and every state in the nation have jumped with Skydive Kansas. “We’ve done over 28,000 skydives since 1995 when we opened,” says Sharp. “Last year we had close to 500 first-timers and more than 3,000 jumps.” Even with more than 20 years of experience and 2,300 jumps behind her, Sharp still gets a thrill from taking the first-timers. “I love giving someone that experience for the first time. You get to share the excitement with them and get a charge from their energy and sense of fun.” Sharp says people are motivated to skydive for a variety of reasons, and once accomplished, the jump experience is almost always a confidence booster. “I was 18 the first time I jumped,” Sharp remembers. “I was in my first semester at K-State and had grown up in a small town and led kind of a sheltered life. Suddenly I was in this new environment with lots of people. … But once I jumped, for months afterward, I thought, ‘Well, if I can jump out of a plane, I can handle this.”
Tandem instructor Jen Sharp guides student Pete Koenig during the dive (top) and landing (bottom).
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In April of 2005, Jeremy Struemph, coach of the University of Kansas crew team, was trying to come up with a fun team experience. So he and 15 crew team members drove to the Osage City airport to do a little parachuting with Skydive Kansas. That’s all it took; Struemph was hooked. Just four years later, he’s taken almost 1,000 skydives. His intense schedule (just under a jump a day on average) seems frenetic, but Struemph’s hobby gives him peace of mind. “It sounds weird, but it makes me step back and appreciate everything,” explains Struemph. “For me it’s very relaxing, almost therapeutic.” In June of 2007, Struemph set the state record for most skydives in one day when he managed to jump 53 times in about 10 hours. The feat was a coordinated effort among the Skydive Kansas team to raise money and awareness for the Kansas Coalition Against Sexual and Domestic Violence. Struemph’s take? “It was tiring, but it was a blast.”
Tandem instructor Jeremy Struemph has completed approximately 1,000 dives, including this one with student Tyler Flammang.
jumping out of a plane at 10,000 feet and looking over the edge of a tall building are different sensations. “When you’re dropping through the air at 120 miles per hour, it doesn’t Charlie Dyck feel like it. The air kind of cushions you, and it feels like the ground is moving It’s hard to believe that someone who has up toward you,” he says. skydived more than 1,700 times in the last 25 Perhaps it’s true, because Dyck seems dedicated to skydiving. Along with the years—once out of a hot air balloon and anoththrills, what he has really enjoyed over the years are the people. er out of a helicopter—has a fear of heights, but Charlie Dyck claims it’s true. Dyck says “Because of this sport, I’ve met some of the most interesting people from all walks of life. It’s one of the things I love about it.” As an instructor, Dyck often sees groups of people come out together to jump that may be part of a university English department or restaurant co-workers or family members celebrating a birthday. Sometimes couples come to skydive to celebrate an anniversary or to make a marriage proposal. Sometimes groups of 10 or 15 come out and set up a picnic while one or two jump. Dyck enjoys going to “boogies,” which are skydiving get-togethers, or conventions across the country a couple times a year. At age 53, he’s a member of POPS: Parachutists Over Phorty Society. He hopes to make it to SOS—Skydivers Over Sixty—and maybe even the JOES, aka Jumpers Over Eighty. What keeps him coming back for more? Tandem instructor Charlie Dyck begins a jump with student Jason Zerbe. Dyck “It’s the people,” he says, “some of the has completed over 1,700 jumps in the last 25 years. nicest in the world.” •
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What’s Hot in lawrence
Written by Katherine Dinsdale Photography by Mark Hutchinson & Jason Dailey
Even though it’s “just food” to him, Simon Bates is on the cutting edge of the boutique burger boom He’s a community activist who paid his dues in Chicago and took the fast track to fame. But the change that Simon Bates can believe in isn’t politics—it’s burgers. The young chef and co-owner of The Burger Stand—inside Dempsey’s Irish Pub, 623 Vermont St.—has strongly held, clear-eyed notions about how people should eat. In Chicago, Bates worked at Alinea, the world-renowned Lincoln Park eatery known for experimental fine dining and named in 2006 by Gourmet magazine as the best restaurant in the United States. There, Bates learned under the tutelage of Grant Achatz, who won the 2008 Best Chef Award from the prestigious James Beard Foundation. At Alinea, Bates developed some preferences. Food is born to be slow, meat meant to be braised and cauliflower, well, he likes to pickle it in no fewer than 40 ingredients, including honey, orange and saffron. Bates dreams with something of a missionary zeal of making the rich traditions of peasant cooking from around the world affordable and accessible for people—even whole families—in Lawrence. “I believe there’s joy in the actual process of cooking. I’m a person who likes to roast my own veal bones to make my own stock,” he says. Bates hopes someday that he and his new bride, Codi, a creative pastry maker as well as an owner and front-house
78 Lawrence Magazine
manager of The Burger Stand, can open a restaurant in East Lawrence. In the meantime, however, this 20-something Culinary Institute of America-trained chef is flipping burgers as fast as he can. A classic burger of ground tenderloin, strip steak and rib eye is $6.99; an American Kobe beef burger is $8.99 and truffle fries are $2 with a sandwich. Toppings range from Danish blue cheese to Granny Smith apple chutney. It sounds disparaging to call these tasty and hearty premium sandwiches burgers, but the The Burger Stand is a player in a nationwide boutique burger boom. Bates’ burgers offer a confluence of good things in a sour economy and serve as a locally developed value meal of premium quality and more healthful credentials than the typical fast-food options. The Bateses share ownership of The Burger Stand with Robert Krause, who is best known for his pricey and nationally touted Krause Dining at 917 Delaware St. Simon Bates and Krause go way back. In fact, Bates remembers walking down the block from a Topeka restaurant where he was working as a dishwasher about 12 years ago and into the restaurant Krause owned at that time, New City Café. “I was 15 and I asked him for a job. I still don’t know why, but he hired me as a line cook. He took me under his wing.” Bates took that experience and went on
Simon Bates has returned to Lawrence to serve boutique burgers at his new restaurant.
What’s Hot in lawrence
to culinary school in New York, but returned to Kansas to earn a theology degree from Manhattan Christian College. “I wasn’t sure the food industry was what I wanted,” he says. And yet, degree in hand, Bates found himself returning to the kitchens. He worked with Krause in Lawrence and then moved on to Chicago before his and Codi’s families as well as Krause lured the couple back to Kansas this January. The Burger Stand was an opportunity too good to pass up, Bates says. Dempsey’s owner Steve Gaudreau concurs: “The kitchen was already here, left intact from the pre-Dempsey’s Mad Hatter era. The bar was already open and successful. Opening a kiosk restaurant within Dempsey’s was a no-risk proposition for all concerned.” And just as they hoped, Bates and Krause found themselves in “a market niche,” a phrase that has a double meaning here because the kitchen dimensions are about 6 by 10 feet. After only a couple of weeks in business, The Burger Stand was serving 300 customers a day. “Everyone comes running when a new restaurant opens in Lawrence. But the great thing here is that we are seeing repeat customers come in two to three times a week,” Bates says. Going into their first summer, the owners are constantly updating their menu. The chiliburger bit the dust about the time the first crocus peeped through in spring. A cremini mushroom burger is slated soon, while the debuting vegan falafel burger looks to be an enduring hit. One other big change that Bates wants to deliver is atmosphere. He speaks of the stress he experienced working at Alinea with a few unnamed tyrannical chefs. He doesn’t care to continue that tradition. He says he’s not one to “lose it” with his employees. “It is a stressful industry,” he says, “but I remember, it is just food.” •
Bates brings a prestigious culinary career as well as a theology degree to his new restaurant venture.
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Who’s behind the trend? Lawrence-based graphic designer John Wilson works for a group called empowerME, an arm of the Alliance for a Healthier Generation, a nonprofit partnership between the American Heart Association and the William J. Clinton Foundation—yes, that’s President Bill Clinton’s group. The alliance and empowerME work to reduce the prevalence of childhood obesity. So why does Wilson’s name come up in conversations about extraordinary hamburgers? Wilson is one of the many young professionals with foodie dispositions who seem to be a large part of the boutique burger boom benefiting The Burger Stand and other similar restaurants. Quite simply, Wilson deeply admires burgers. “The hamburger is such a concise vessel on which to enjoy an endless variety of flavors and ingredients,” he says. “I prefer a toasted bun, medium-rare beef (to get the flavor) and a good cheddar cheese. I love caramelized onions—sauteed in chipotle Tabasco and balsamic vinegar—for a spicy-sweet topping. This is actually really good with goat cheese.” He acknowledges some incongruence between his work, which strives to inspire kids to eat right and get active, and his affection for hamburgers. Wilson admits he’s no health expert. But he says there are certain skills important for a graphic designer that are relevant as well in burger tasting. “Design is about attention to detail and good craft—much like grilling and all forms of cooking.” And Wilson says he has no problem with enjoying a burger now and then while maintaining a healthful life. He mentions balance and moderation, and says what we all know: All burgers are not created the same, and it’s not just about price. “It’s about the quality of ingredients that can make the difference in the healthfulness of the burger. Using whole-wheat buns, lean meat and fresh veggies is a great start. Take it a step further by buying local produce and using grass-fed beef. Whether you can do all of these things, or just a few, you can end up with some great—and good-for-you—results.”
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Massachusetts Street is probably the most recognized and loved street in Lawrence. But what goes on above the pavement, on the second floors and above? Writer Amber Brejcha Fraley gives us a different perspective on the city’s main drag—a view of Mass. Street from on high Story by Amber Brejcha Fraley Photography by jason dailey
The next time you’re on Mass. Street enjoying downtown Lawrence—doing a little shopping, sipping a drink or having a meal— take a second and look up. There’s another world on the upper floors of the city’s most historic street. Mass., it appears, has a higher calling: places of purpose, destinations of domesticity and spaces of storage. For the people who fill these locations, a common thread runs through their stories: They simply love it. They love being smack dab in the middle of the beating, bustling heart of Lawrence. They love the sounds, the sights and the smells. They love being able to shop or grab a drink at a moment’s notice. And they love it so much they don’t mind that it’s often a challenge to find a parking space.
700 Massachusetts St., third story Blam Creative Inc. and Flory Design Inc. Doug Stremel of Blam Creative Inc. and Trent Flory of Flory Design Inc. have shared office No. 307 at the southeast corner of Seventh and Massachusetts streets for almost five years. Their space is large and airy, and the light filtering through the north wall of windows lends itself nicely to a couple of guys who specialize in graphic design. “We’re competitors in a way, but we office together,” says Stremel, laughing. “It works out.” Stremel and Flory have come to feel at home in their office, which features an old-fashioned, walk-in safe courtesy of the title company that occupied this corner of the building many moons ago. They, and their clients, also have become fond of the funky old elevator that clinks and clunks up to the third floor of the building. Working in their room full of windows—which they open during good weather— allows Stremel and Flory to enjoy the urban noise as well as the smells of food wafting up from nearby restaurants. “We do get some interesting aromas up here. Especially from Rudy’s and the Free State,” says Flory. Stremel, who is also a photographer, likes to make use of the office’s elevated vantage point. “We have access to the roof, so when bad weather comes I go to the roof and take photos.”
717, 719 and 721 Massachusetts St., second story Schumm Food Co.— and about 30 additional businesses
714½ Massachusetts St., second story Lofts When John Blosser’s employer asked him to relocate from Dallas, he talked the company into letting him settle in the fun, culture-filled town where he went to college. Living in Lawrence would place him between his children, who live in Topeka, and Kansas City International Airport, which he would need for his frequent business travels. And living in a Mass. Street loft “right in the center of all the activity in Lawrence” would add excitement. It took his kids, age 5, 8 and 10, a bit of getting used to. “At first they said, ‘Are you kidding me? We’re going to walk to the toy store?’” relates Blosser. “And I said, ‘Well yes, it’s only two blocks down the street. And then we’re going to walk to the library. And after that, we’ll walk to the park, and then we can walk to get ice cream, and then we can walk to Claire’s.’” Blosser says he’s been nothing but “inspired” by living downtown and recalls one evening when he held a pleasant conversation with a robot, or at least someone dressed in a robot costume, near his home. “And I thought, ‘Only in Lawrence, only downtown, can I meet a robot in the alley.’ It summed up exactly the reason I’m down here.”
Since 1975, Bob Schumm has worked above Mass. Street. Today, you can spot the former mayor’s office as the one with the decorative, wrought-iron balcony above the Bay Leaf. Schumm owns three adjacent buildings in the 700 block of Massachusetts Street, including one that is home to his restaurant, Buffalo Bob’s BBQ Smokehouse, at 719 Massachusetts St. Above the street-level businesses, though, is a tremendous amount of space that Schumm knew could become a successful enterprise, provided that he make the necessary improvements and the right businesses made their homes there. “It was a risky development at the time,” Schumm says. “The question was, could you get people to climb 21 steps when they’re used to accessing Massachusetts on one level?” But the risk paid off. Today, there are no fewer than 30 flourishing businesses that include two hair salons, two massage businesses, a body waxing salon, three attorneys, and six psychologists and social workers. “The answer was to rent to established businesses whose customers will follow them wherever they go,” says Schumm. “It was just that easy.”
724 Massachusetts St., second story Jo Shmo’s Burgers, Beer & Bocce You might assume that the name Jo Shmo’s comes from that famous, fictional, anonymous American, but this restaurant features an actual Shmo in the flesh—owner Josh Mochel. Take his first name, add the first two letters of his last name and Jo Shmo’s secret identity is revealed. Mochel opened his beer and burger joint about a year and a half ago. As the other part of the business name suggests, Jo Shmo’s upper level is home to a bocce court. The sand-filled lane of this traditional Italian sport runs the length of the upstairs dining area. If you don’t know how to play, don’t worry about it. Mochel himself can show you, as can any server or bartender at Jo Shmo’s. “They all play very well, actually,” says Mochel.
730 Massachusetts St., second story Hookah House Perhaps the first thing one notices upon entering the Hookah House—besides the low padded benches and Lebanese artwork that lines the walls—is the air, redolent with fruit and spice scents. Operating in the evenings and into the night, the Hookah House is a family-owned business run by Hazem Chahine and his brothers Bassem and Hani, as well as their parents, Bassam and Leila Coptam Chahine. The Hookah House was the first smoking establishment to open after Lawrence’s smoking ban was enacted. It’s able to operate legally because the business caters specifically to smokers and the majority of its sales are from tobacco. Hazem says he and his brothers opened the hookah establishment to make a living, but they also hoped to foster a little oasis of peace and understanding through the culture of hookah. Being Lebanese and Muslim in the United States, especially right after September 11, 2001, says Hazem, hasn’t always been easy. “I came here in 2001, and people thought I was either oil-rich or a terrorist,” he explains. “I’m neither.” Rather than keep to themselves, the Chahines opened the doors of their establishment hoping that people of different races, backgrounds and religions would gather, talk and learn from each other in a relaxed atmosphere. The open seating encourages lots of cross-conversation and no guest is hurried out, even if there is a line of people waiting outside to get in. “I am your host,” Hazem emphasizes. “I want you to feel at home here.”
746 Massachusetts St., rooftop Teller’s Restaurant and Bar Last summer, Teller’s Restaurant decided to put its unused roof space to good use by planting a few pots of fresh herbs for the chefs to use in the food. The chefs, who are the only staff members allowed on the roof, will continue to harvest fresh herbs until frost this year. Sous chef Shawn Miller says the rooftop herb in the most demand is basil. “We use it in the margherita pizzas, a lot of different sauces, salad dressings and some of the appetizers,” he explains. But the chefs use the other roof-grown herbs—such as oregano, thyme, mint, tarragon and rosemary—in every aspect of Teller’s menu. The mint, Miller says, goes in “everything from mojitos at the bar to garnish for desserts.” 801 Massachusetts St., second story Marx Salon For more than 10 years, Mark Taylor has cut hair in his salon above Round Corner Drug Co. “I think I’ve got one of the best downtown views at Eighth and Mass..,” he says. “I’m right in the middle of downtown, and with my corner window I can look right into the intersection.” Taylor, who works mostly by appointment, likes the flexibility of being able to set his own hours and designate his salon as the place to gather for big downtown events. “It’s exquisite. With all the Jayhawk stuff going on last year, it was fantastic. I never take it for granted.” Whenever there’s a downtown parade, Taylor’s friends know they can count on his salon as a prime viewing spot. “It usually turns into a party of some sort,” he says.
801½ Massachusetts St., second story Diane’s Artisan Gallery Diane Horning opened Diane’s Artisan Gallery in May 2004 and says she wouldn’t want to have a gallery anywhere in Lawrence except Massachusetts Street. “Are you kidding?” says Horning. “This is where it’s at. It’s a fun place. I meet lots of interesting people from all over Lawrence, Topeka, Kansas City and the world.” Horning’s gallery showcases glass, pottery, jewelry, fiber arts, wood and more, made by artists from all over the country. The bright, airy space also serves as Horning’s studio, where she can often be found weaving a scarf, stole or shawl.
900 Massachusetts St., sixth story Skepnek Fagan Meyer & Davis, P.A. Way up at the top of the U.S Bank building at Ninth and Massachusetts streets is what may arguably be the best view in Lawrence. And eight fortunate employees at the law offices of Skepnek Fagan Meyer & Davis ride an elevator to enjoy that view each workday. The employees are up so high that they’re the first to spot jets coming in to fly over Memorial Stadium. They’re also among the first to see storms roll into town and have even witnessed a tornado forming near the Lawrence airport. When work needs to be done, the firm handles a wide range of legal issues, from bankruptcy to family and criminal law to complex litigation. And the downtown location is convenient for short walks to take care of business at the courthouse. But like most people who live or work downtown, the law team’s members make time to enjoy downtown events. “The coolest day ever, by far, was the day of the national championship,” says law clerk Paul Klepper. “We watched the game in the conference room and then we were able to witness all the downtown hoopla.”
Murder and Mystery on High Mass.
A 55-year-old crime might explain why one venue is among the street’s least accessible upper-story locations 743 Massachusetts St. Empty office above Jefferson’s Restaurant On May 28, 1954, a 68-year-old man from Kansas City, Missouri, walked into attorney Leroy Harris’ office on the second floor of 743 Massachusetts St. and shot him with a 38-caliber pistol. Harris, a World War I veteran and justice of the peace since 1944, died from the attack that Douglas County Attorney Milton P. Allen would describe as a premeditated “cold-blooded killing.” When police finished working the crime scene, Ralph Wolfson, who owned the building, completely sealed the office, including the windows that looked over Massachusetts Street, with metal siding. It was believed that he never again opened the apartment. A fire in 1977 burned the stairs that reached the office. The stairs were not replaced. In 2000, Ralph Wolfson’s son, Mark Wolfson, allowed Lawrence JournalWorld reporters and photographers to crowbar their way into the office where they found some scattered trash and a couple of bird’s nests. In 2003, the office caught fire by what was thought to be an aluminum ladder coming in contact with an outside power line. Today, the office remains sealed and vacant.
1025 Massachusetts St., second story Cary and Aimee Strong’s apartment Almost 20 years ago, Gary and Eileen Strong purchased the building at 1025 Massachusetts St., opened an antique and clock repair shop in the storefront and rented out the two apartments above. Well, times do change. Gary and Eileen’s son, Cary, became a key member of the family business, and when he married Aimee, she joined the family enterprise. These days, Strong’s Antiques is a little smaller, but that’s only to make room for the bustling Aimee’s Café and Coffeehouse next door. About three years ago, Cary and Aimee decided it would be easier to watch over the businesses if they lived on site. So the family consolidated the two apartments above, and now Cary and Aimee and their kids enjoy a chic apartment—complete with an open floor plan and original wood floors—that, here and there, is decorated with antiques from the store downstairs. In the evenings, the family enjoys the glow of Granada’s marquee across the street. Cary Strong says living above the family businesses has saved everyone involved a lot of time and worry. “There’s always something. Between plumbing issues, maintenance on a machine or a sick employee, sometimes I’m home five minutes before I get a phone call. It’s comforting to know that if something happens, we’re right here.” •
... Jim and Ted Grinter sunflower farmers
Can you tell us about your first sunflower crop?
Jim: I had the idea that I could plant the sunflowers behind the wheat, as a double crop and squeeze enough fuel out of them to power our equipment for the following year. But I just didn’t have enough skills to pursue it, and I offered a truckload to the folks at K-State to see if they would want to experiment with it. They didn’t. But then we found out that people liked the seeds for birdfeed, so that’s what we started doing.
When does sunflower season last?
Ted: People will start calling in late April to find out if they are blooming, but we’ll start planting middle or end of June. They’ll start blooming mid- to late August and we’ll harvest after Halloween. After we harvest we’ll have people drive up and say: “Oh, we missed them!” So I’ll tell them, “Well, there’s always next year.”
What are the crowds like during peak season?
Jim: It’s amazing. It’s not unusual to see 15 to 20 people out there. Ted: That’s 15-20 people at a time—not for the day—but at any given time of the day. Jim: There are times when you can’t find a place to park.
Are the sunflowers profitable as a crop?
Ted: Marginally so. Jim: Oh, they don’t pay their way. They might if you double crop. Ted: But it’s enjoyable. You get to look at them and you get to see people come out and look at them.
What type of sunflowers do you plant?
Head north on Chieftain Road and veer onto Stillwell Road just before you come into Reno. A short jaunt down this road, on your left, sits the Grinter farm. You’ll recognize it when you see it—there are two red barns, trucks and implements, an old farm cat puffing itself out like a chickadee, a lackadaisical golden Labrador with a coat of curly locks … and sunflowers. Acres and acres of the official state flower. Jim Grinter began growing sunflower crops as an alternative fuel experiment back in the late 1970s (you know, during the fuel crisis, when gas was really expensive at $1.20 per gallon). He failed at this experiment, though to his credit so did the American car industry—and Detroit had a bit more capital and a few more resources. A season later, dreams of displacing OPEC were gone, but the sunflower seeds were back in the ground—this time as bird food and, well, because they were pretty. More than 30 years later, the sunflower crop has passed on to Jim’s son Ted. He’s inherited something that is part cash crop, part hobby and part unofficial local institution. Each year during the peak bloom season in late summer, the Grinters’ sunflower fields attract thousands of gawkers and photo-snappers.
Ted: I’ve changed varieties, but they’ve all been black oil. Those are the best varieties for oil production and flat-out pounds. They’re hybrids, not native. Jim: But they’re not very far from being native. If you replant the seeds that are produced, then you will get probably 60-80 percent multiple heads rather than single heads.
Do you feel like you could stop growing the sunflowers if you wanted to? Ted: Oh, no, I’d have ramifications … people yelling at me.
On your anniversary, can you give your wife a bouquet of sunflowers for a present, or is that just being lazy? Ted: Well, they’re not in bloom for our anniversary-that’s in July-so I go into my father’s beds of wildflowers and pick some of those. Interview conducted, condensed and edited by Lawrence Magazine.
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Written by Cathy Hamilton
Summerize BoomerGirl’s grandma and local designers agree: A few simple steps can turn your home into a summer retreat When I was a girl, my nana would welcome summer by covering her dark damask furniture with cotton floral slipcovers and her throw pillows with ticking in red and yellow stripes. Her house instantly seemed fresh and new, and the distinctive “summer camp” scent of the fabric immediately lightened everyone’s mood. While I don’t go to quite those extremes, I love transforming my home every year from its heavy winter look to a lighter summer feel. I roll up the dark throw rugs and store them, change out my floral arrangements and replace the heavy candlesticks on the mantel with my husband’s antique electric fan collection. Quick changes It’s easy to lighten your interiors for summertime by making simple, and often inexpensive, changes. “What you have to do is work with accessories,” says Elvira Angeletti of Elvira Angeletti Interiors. “Use colorful things—pots, flowers. I used to say, ‘Never use artificial flowers,’ but now they make them so beautifully, and you can wrap them up and save them for next season.” If you don’t want to splurge on new slipcovers for your furniture,
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changing your pillows will do wonders to “summer-ize” a room. “You can find lovely cushions and pillows in some of those discount places,” Angeletti adds. “Just 12 to 15 dollars will buy you a wonderful pillow.” Laura Tiffany of First Impressions home staging and redesign suggests clearing clutter from your space by removing throws, extra knickknacks and heavy drapes. “You can take everything down or just leave the sheers or mini-blinds and maybe the valance, because you want to bring that sunshine in,” Tiffany says. “Light and airy is the key. Clear off the tables and just
Photography by Jason Dailey
leave that space free, maybe with one big plate and a healthy green plant.” Transforming the permanents In the summertime, an unused fireplace can leave an unsightly black hole in the room unless you treat it creatively. “Try setting a big, fluffy Boston fern inside on the grate,” recommends designer Julie Adolph of Adolph Interiors. “They don’t necessarily suffer from lack of sunlight. Then, clear your pictures from the mantel and arrange a collection of glass bottles, or lean three or four mirrors up there to reflect light.”
Votive candles placed at different levels on a stack of logs look charming and provide romantic lighting for entertaining, according to Tiffany. Floors can be lightened for summertime, as well. “If you have wood or tile floors, or even a low-nap carpet, you can bring up your Orientals and, instead, do a neutral seagrass rug with a canvas binding and summer things up,” Adolph says. “Sea grass is inexpensive and doesn’t absorb soil and stain. It’s really family-friendly.” Spend a few hours transforming your home into airy, summer sanctuary. Your mood will lighten before you know it. •
No Pressure in Paradise The secret to discovering the best of Hawaii is found in one simple phrase
Written and photographed by Susan Kraus
Extend your hand. Fold your middle three fingers toward your palm while extending the thumb and pinkie. Wiggle loosely. This is “shaka.” Shaka is the same hand motion that President Barack Obama made as his Hawaiian high school marching band passed him during his inaugural parade. It can mean “Thank you,” “It’s cool,” “Hang loose,” “See you,” “OK” or even “Lookin’ good.” Shaka is Hawaiian for “Don’t worry; be happy.” Shaka is an important gesture to know when you drive on Hawaii’s main island of Oahu. It’s how drivers say thank you after merging in bumper-to-bumper traffic … or how they indicate it’s OK to merge. You need shaka because traffic is a bear. But knowing shaka also helps you better understand Hawaii. It’s not just a hand gesture; it’s a way of life. Consider Oahu There are many ways to explore Hawaii, but I recommend starting with Oahu, which is undoubtedly the busiest of the state’s islands. The largest city, Honolulu, and Hawaii’s most famous beach, Waikiki, are on Oahu. Purists often bypass Oahu as “too touristy” and head for more remote islands for “authenticity.” But Waikiki deserves its status as a tourist mecca, and Oahu offers much, in addition to beaches and nightlife, in understanding Hawaiian history and culture. Most “haole” (which roughly translates to foreigner, or white person, including those of us from the mainland) benefit from learning about Hawaii’s rich and complex history, and Oahu is ideal for this. Check the calendar There’s a reason Bing Crosby’s Mele Kalikimaka (or “Christmas in Hawaii”) has been such a big remake hit over the years.
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Top: Beautiful beaches can be found across Oahu. This relatively isolated stretch of sand on the island’s south shore is perfect for surfing, snorkeling or simply relaxing. Bottom: The friendly owners of the Honos Shrimp Wagon outside Haleiwa on Oahu’s north shore serve a fabulous garlic shrimp with a shaka attitude.
Travel ideas Bottom: The annual international Honolulu Festival brings in dozens of top-rate Polynesian and Asian dance troupes. Like many of the city’s festivals, this one is open and free to the public.
Hawaii takes traditional holiday celebrations and shakes them into outrageous fun. And perhaps this is best done in Oahu, in the Chinatown district of Honolulu. Walk the markets of Honolulu’s Chinatown on a Saturday morning and you’ll hear Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese, Tagalog, Japanese—all before you hear English. It may be a melting pot, but here the flavors are each quite distinct. It’s equal opportunity for ethnic celebrations in Chinatown. St. Patrick’s Day rates a bang-up parade, music, food and dancing in the streets. Mardi Gras rocks. The annual Honolulu Festival in March spills beyond Chinatown and becomes a citywide celebration of its cultural diversity. Music and entertainment venues feature top dancers, drummers, musicians and singers from a variety of countries and islands. It culminates with an amazing parade that lasts hours as it twists through the streets of Waikiki. And of course, Chinese New Year is a major event. Whatever the ethnic celebration, Chinatown is ready to host a party. You don’t have to plan a trip to Hawaii around one particular festival, but you definitely should check the calendar before you make your final bookings to see if you can take advantage of the free music and fun that any festival will bring. Beaches Waikiki is as famous as it is crowded and touristy. That doesn’t mean you should ignore it entirely, but it is also reason to go out and discover your own secluded sands. There are beautiful and less-crowded beaches all over Oahu, from Kailua to the North Shore. Downtown Honolulu has Moana Loa Park, with blocks of beach right in the middle of the city. If you drive throughout the island, you’ll find beaches and beach parks every few miles, along with scenic vistas and rocky cliffs. No matter how busy Oahu is, you can always find a romantic and private spot of sand. Each beach has its own appeal. Snorkel at Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve for coral reef and fish. Swim, sun and watch the ever-present kiteboarders and sailboarders on Kailua Beach. Watch surfers along the North Shore (Pipeline and Sunset Beach are two favorites). Or snorkel and explore the tide pools at Pupukea Beach Park. Ocean kayaking is a possibility at several spots. But remember, your attitude and approach is as important as the activity you choose at each beach. No rush. Shaka. Grinding In Hawaii, meals are also called “grinds.” Eating is “grinding,” and good grinds don’t correlate to ambiance (at least in the traditional sense). Kau kau wagons (converted delivery trucks) parked by the side of the road, with a few picnic tables in front, make some of the best stops for plate lunches or suppers. The shrimp trucks have loyal fans, although most offer similar choices (garlic shrimp is the most popular). Tourists who insist on mainland amenities, or restaurants with fixed schedules and locations, will miss out on good grinds in the open air. Those who hang loose about eating can discover the excellent sushi sold at drugstore checkout counters, the Japanese Bento boxes from farmer’s markets and the supermarket snack aisle filled with such popular nibbles as arare (a glutinous dried rice cracker), shirayuki (dried cod), smoked tako (octopus) and ika (cuttlefish). My new favorite
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snack is wasabi arare pea mix (peanuts wrapped in arare and dipped in wasabi). Chance friendships My best discoveries in Hawaii have been entirely by chance. On the last Sunday of my most recent trip to Oahu, I signed on with Dolphin Excursions out of Waianae Harbor on the Leeward Coast, far from the tourist hot spots. On a yellow rubber boat, 15 of us set out to try to swim with dolphins—not trained dolphins in a swimming pool or lagoon, but wild spinner dolphins in the ocean. This was a no-guarantees excursion: if the captain can find the dolphins; if the dolphins cooperate; if the weather holds. But it all came together. The day was sunny and warm. The captain and educator told us everything there is to know about spinner dolphins. After an hourlong search, we sighted a pod— a big pod of about 50 dolphins. We put on snorkel gear and slipped, one by one, into the sea. In an instant, I was surrounded by dolphins: twisting and turning, diving down in pairs. They showed their white bellies and slid past. The sea was turquoise and transparent. Everything felt magical.
When the dolphins swam off, we climbed back on the boat and headed off for a reef where turtles hang out. Snorkeling again, we saw colorful fish darting above the reef. I spotted a small turtle and paddled it its direction. Then I felt movement to my left. It was another turtle—a big, big turtle. Its neck extended as it swam, fluid and graceful. It twisted its head and stared at me, assessing. No rush. I felt like I was looking at an old soul. That experience, like no other, taught me what I have begun to appreciate about Hawaii. Shaka. Live in the moment. Be flexible. Bend with the wind. As a Type A overfunctioner, I find it is not an easy thing to absorb. But I’m getting there. It is what it is. •
Lawrence Magazine congratulates Susan Kraus in winning several top honors, including three articles published exclusively in Lawrence Magazine, at the Society of American Travel Writers’ 2009 Central States conference.
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events calendar may Branching Systems & Other Trees May 1-24 | Spencer Museum of Art | Trees will bring to light the Spencer’s rich collection of images and treecentered works. In addition, the exhibition will involve world-renowned sculptor Patrick Dougherty as artistin-residence during May, when he will create a tree-branch sculpture at the Commons at Spooner Hall.
May 15-16 | Lawrence Arts Center | Dancers from all genres come together to show off the efforts of a year of dance instruction at the arts center.
Art Tougeau Parade
May 16 | Parade begins at the Lawrence Arts Center | Lawrence’s own wheeled art parade featuring art cars and wheeled art creations from national, regional and local artists.
University of Kansas Commencement
May 17 | Memorial Stadium, KU campus | The 137th Commencement of the University of Kansas.
june KU Mini College
June 1-4, 2009 | University of Kansas | KU’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences is offering the first-ever Mini College, a weeklong learning retreat that invites adults to be students again. Mini College offers the opportunity to attend a diverse range of lectures given by KU faculty and to learn more about acclaimed institutions and traditions at KU through extra-curricular events, such as tours of museums and the Dole Institute of Politics, a carillon demonstration at the campanile and a campus architecture tour.
Crazy For You
June 5-7, 11-14, 18-21 | Lawrence Community Theatre | From the stages of New York to the wilds of Deadrock, a 1930s playboy pursues a life in song and dance. It’s high-energy comedy with mistaken identity, plot twists, fabulous dance numbers and classic Gershwin music, including “I Can’t Be Bothered Now,” “Bidin’ My Time,” “I Got Rhythm,” “Naughty Baby,” “They Can’t Take That Away from Me,” “But Not for Me,” “Nice Work if You Can Get It,” “Embraceable You” and “Someone to Watch Over Me.”
St. John’s Mexican Fiesta
June 26-27 | St. John’s Catholic Church | Authentic Mexican food, live entertainment, games and more.
Summer Smash Baseball Tournament
June 26-28 | Clinton Lake Complex | In 2008 this event had 91 teams entered and the same number are for 2009. Kansas teams will be tuning up for the state tournament while Missouri teams are getting ready for the World Series. 3 Game Guarantee 8U $350 9U-14U $450
IIYM Piano Competition
June 28-29 | Lied Center | The International Institute for Young Musicians International Piano Competition will take place at the Lied Center on the University of Kansas campus. The competition is open to students from around the world, ages 11-19, who are attending the IIYM Summer Music Academy.
july 2009 Fourth of July Celebration
July 4 | Sesquicentennial Point Park | A picnic, music and fireworks extravaganza
July 9-11 | A three-day benefit that offers something for wine lovers of all levels and tastes. Every year, more than 600 people travel from near and far to attend the celebrated event.
2009 Annual Downtown Lawrence Film Festival July 12-17 | Downtown Lawrence | Screenings of classic film noir offerings in an outdoor setting in historic downtown Lawrence.
July 16 | Downtown Lawrence | Come early and shop the bargains galore as merchants slash prices on their inventory.
Van Go’s Benchmark
July 17 | Van Go Mobile Arts | Join us to celebrate the JAMS artists and the 2009 benches. Refreshments provided.
Downtown Gallery Walk
July 24 | Downtown Lawrence | On selected Fridays participating galleries and the Lawrence Arts Center will stay open to the public, featuring special exhibitions, demonstrations and other festivities.
June 6-7, 2009 | Sites throughout Douglas County | The Douglas County Master Gardeners will conduct a tour of gardens in Lawrence and Douglas County.
All events are subject to change | Listings courtesy of the Lawrence Conventions & Visitors Bureau, visit www.visitlawrence.com for a complete listing of events E-mail your upcoming events for the calendar to firstname.lastname@example.org