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magazine sunflowerpub.com

spring 2010

Divine Dwelling The Stamos Home Mission to Ethiopia

Antiques on Locust Street

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The goats of Douglas County


editor’s letter m agazi ne

pu bl i s h e r /a rt di r e c t or darby oppold e di t or n at h a n p e t t e n g i l l c op y e di t or s u s i e fa g a n advertising representative j o h n W. k r a m e r ( 7 8 5 ) 8 5 6 -7 7 0 5 a d de sig n e r s s h e l ly b r ya n t ta m r a r o l f pho t o g r a ph e r s jason dailey mark hutchinson c on t r i bu t i ng w r i t e r s l a u r e n b e at t y becky bridson k at h e r i n e d i n s d a l e barbara higgins-dover amber brejcha fraley mary r. gage suzanne heck susan kraus e m i ly l u b l i n e r pa u l a n a u g h t i n cheryl nelsen k at e b l at h e r w i c k p i c k e r t m a nag e r bert hull c o or di nat or fa r y l e s c o t t

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nathan pettengill

editor ....................................................................................................... I’ve long been intrigued by the home at 1000 New York St. that appears on the cover of this issue. I’ve loved its stark exterior, its brick walkway, its bright red door, its wroughtiron decorations and its proximity to New York School and downtown Lawrence. But mostly I was drawn to this house because it was so obviously built first as a church. Emily Lubliner’s article on pages 18-23 reveals the process this property went through in its church-to-home conversion and relates how the current residents, the Stamoses, feel about living in “a cavernous yet cozy” place that is more appealing because of its history as a church. Like this house, several homes or offices in Lawrence were once religious centers: the apartments in the 1000 block of Kentucky, the county offices in the 1200 block of Massachusetts and the law firm in the 1000 block of New Hampshire. Conversely, churches have been converted from secular buildings: St. Sophia Orthodox Church in the 800 block of Illinois, Heartland Community Church in the 600 block of Vermont and the Kansas Zen Center in the 1400 block of New York. Church to home. Store to sacristy. It’s all part of the natural growth and reduction of various denominations and neighborhoods. And yet I think moving into a home that was once a church would never initially feel quite the same as moving into a home that was once the residence of Mr. Jones. It is one thing to cook dinner where someone else used to heat up pasta but another to inherit a kitchen area where the main concern before you moved in was transubstantiation rather than trans fatty acids. The Stamoses, Emily’s story explains, overcame this barrier with time and an ingenious rethinking of their connection to the building. If they were part of the building’s change, it was also a part of a change in them. I think part of what the conversion of a sacred space does is to underline the transformations of any home when it passes from one owner to the next. One of the pleasures in preparing articles about homes in Lawrence is the chance that often arises to trace a home’s ownership and talk with a series of residents who compare the differences in the property over the years. There are the occasional grumbles and regrets about a removed wall or a neglected garden bed, but previous owners are overwhelmingly complimentary of their successors’ modifications while still being very much attached to the houses as they knew them. Driving or walking by houses in Lawrence where my family or I have lived, I immediately notice the structural changes, but mostly I think it is strange that the current residents cannot possibly be aware of the important events that took place in these locations. Just as I am unaware of how many important events, for the new owners, are taking place in these same houses today. These locations aren’t sacred— but the memories from them can be. And it’s nice to know that something as sacrosanct as a favorite memory can be created at the same place, by new people, differently, again and again. Best wishes for creating your own memories in Lawrence this spring.

sunflowerpub.com

/ spring 2010 / Lawrence Magazine

1


on the cover The renovated house at 1000 New York Street in

contents

East Lawrence was built originally as a church, but is now the home of Tina and John Stamos.

56 / N o n ni ’ s B o y Peter Bass cooks up healthy comfort cuisine from his home in rural Lawrence

60 / m a r at h o n me m o Road-tested runners guide

living

identity

08 / J a pa n e s e-In s p ir e d G a r d e n A d di t i o n s

36 / j o r d a n ’ s s o n g l in e s An artist draws

Draw on Japanese influences and some local advice for new garden elements

12 / Hid d e n G e m Tucked

between campus and one of the city’s busiest streets, Barbara Watkins’ garden flourishes with herbs, ferns, flowers and plenty of hostas

you through Lawrence’s big spring marathon

on pastels to bring out the hidden violets, golds, silvers and songs of the Douglas County landscape

40 / M s. A me ri c a

market

Downtown businesswoman Nancy Nguyen has charted her course through civil war, evacuation and personal tragedy and found success with hard work, restaurants and rentals

24 / T e a c hin g O l d G r a in s N e w T ri c k s One

wellness

entrepreneur ditches dairy, eggs and gluten to create a line of tasty baked goods

28 / TOFU 2 .0 A new

generation of tofu-ers stirs up the mix at Central Soyfoods, but they’re still all about the traditional bean ‘vibe’

32 / L o c u s t ’ s A n t i q u e L o c u s A North Lawrence

shop combines the beauty of brocante and the art of objects

community 64 / N at i v e L e g e n d s From Olympic gold medalists to champion dog mushers, the greatest American Indian athletes are honored in a Lawrence-based hall of fame 68 / T h e G o at s o f D o u g l a s C o u n t y They’re

cute, smart and full of good stuff—perhaps that’s why some find it hard to refuse these kids a joy ride to the ice cream store

72 / W o r l d ly P l at t e r s A decades-old dining group provides palates with passports

76 / T h e W o me n D a r t e r s The world of

competitive darts in Lawrence includes longtime players and a core group of female competitors

48 / J a b b e r wa l k ie s

There are some groups that are talked about, and then there is one group that talks while about

52 / R o l f C e n t r a l Sure,

journey 92 / Me x i c a n Me m o r y U p g r a d e Susan Kraus

discovers tastes, sights and sounds as she reunites with her long-lost Spanish skills in rural Guadalajara

Lawrence has a big number of roundabouts, bars and basketball stars, but it’s also home to an incredibly large percentage of one category of health professionals

features

18 / Divine Dw el ling

A restored church in East Lawrence makes a cavernous yet cozy home

80 / Imme a sur a bly More

A mission and ministry lead to full lives in a full home for the Zicker family

neighborhood letter .......................... 44 Q&A . .................................................. .. 90 calendar ............................................. 96

sunflowerpub.com

/ spring 2010 / Lawrence Magazine

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living story by

As a professional travel writer and official ambassador for the government of Japan, Beth Reiber spends much of her time bridging U.S. and Japanese culture. She compares a Japanese garden in Kansas to Japanese food in Kansas—it’s probably not entirely authentic, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be a delightful fusion.

8

/ Cheryl Nelsen

photography by

Japanese-Inspired Garden Additions Draw on Japanese influences and some local advice for new garden elements

Y

ou love the poppies by the fence in your backyard, and Grandma’s heritage irises are a welcome sight each spring. But you’ve gathered ideas from garden shows and strolled through other gardens. Now you’re ready to try something different. One idea is to create a Japanese rock garden, or at least a small garden influenced by Japanese gardening. For help on how to plan a garden with Japanese elements, Lawrence Magazine turned to Beth Reiber, who has been named by the Japanese government as a Yokoso! Japan Ambassador, and Jane Kuwana, a Douglas County Extension master gardener. Both have visited Japanese gardens while on numerous trips to Japan.

Lawrence Magazine

/ spring 2010 / sunflowerpub.com

/ jason dailey


living

“The number one rule for a Japanese garden is to keep it simple.” – beth reiber

Jane Kuwana cautions that it is almost impossible to create an authentic Japanese rock garden in Kansas, but she has brought many ideas and influences from Japan into her own garden with delightful results.

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Reiber has authored more than a dozen Frommer’s guides, including Frommer’s Japan and Frommer’s Tokyo. “The number one rule for a Japanese garden is to keep it simple,” Reiber says. And keeping it simple starts with selecting a small space. “In Japan there generally isn’t a lot of space. There are many courtyard gardens, or a garden in front of a person’s house. Do it with plants that are more Japanese, like an azalea or Japanese iris or Japanese maple tree,” Reiber says. Kuwana cautions about plant choices for a Kansas garden. Some typical Japanese plants don’t like hot southwest winds or intense sunshine. She suggests using a shaded or sheltered place for such a garden. Rocks play an important role in Japanese gardens and are carefully selected. They are never cut and are buried until stable with the best face showing as viewed from various angles. “In a Japanese garden you basically bury at least a third of the rock, and you never have any sort of undercutting of the rock,” says Kuwana. Reiber says, “They have masters who study this, and nothing is left to chance in a Japanese garden. Everything is calculated and placed just in a certain way for the harmony and the whole picture. And they should be as beautiful from any point in the garden.” Most Japanese gardens are strolling gardens designed for people to walk down pathways and observe nature from many angles. Benches, Reiber says, are rare in a Japanese garden. When designing a garden with Japanese elements, in addition to rocks or popular plants

Lawrence Magazine

in Japan such as chrysanthemums, wisteria, peonies, or hydrangea, use a water feature or a little lantern. To reflect a Japanese garden, only one element typically would be featured. Location is important and thought needs to be given to what is around the garden area. “One of the garden rules in Japan on Japanese gardens is using borrowed scenery. By that, they mean a mountain in the distance or a forest and hills beyond the garden. You have places where you see the views beyond the garden,” Reiber says. To make use of this technique of borrowed scenery, Kuwana suggests using a hedge or something to enclose the garden area and limit views of the rest of the yard or the neighbor’s yard beyond it. Or try lower plantings that bring down the eye and avoid rooftops. Few Japanese gardens in the United States reach the level of those in Japan for various reasons. “You see 100-year-old pines that have supports on them so that the branch might go out 40 feet. Those are beautifully trimmed. Everything is. They’ve got gardeners working just to remove leaves from the moss. The intensity that it takes to maintain a Japanese garden is another reason why we don’t have those. We don’t have the master gardeners, designers, staff to do that,” Reiber says. Selecting and designing a space and choosing plants or rocks are important for a garden with Japanese elements. Reiber, however, reminds anyone contemplating such a garden to keep in mind the Japanese tea cer-

/ spring 2010 / sunflowerpub.com


living

Kuwana’s rock path in her home garden is similar to a Japanese garden in that it does not have a bench along the path. Benches might be present, notes Kuwana, if a garden were to include a teahouse.

emony. It’s ritualized but simple; it’s meant to free the mind. That can’t be done if it’s cluttered. Reiber says, “The main thing for anyone creating a garden to remember is that it’s about whatever makes you happy. It’s all for your own pleasure, so it doesn’t really matter if it conforms to anything.” m

L awr e nc e ’ s b l end ed f riend ship ga rden

dr aws on t wo t r a di t ion s …

Take a break from a busy trip downtown and stroll through the garden at 1045 Massachusetts St. for a cross-cultural experience. The Japanese Friendship Garden, dedicated in October of 2000, is a blending of elements found in the sister cities of Lawrence and Hiratsuka, Japan. Although sometimes called a Japanese garden or a rock garden, it really is neither. Instead, it is what the Japanese would call a “western garden,” according to Beth Reiber, a 10-year member of the Sister City Board, and Jane Kuwana, who was involved in the beginning of the sister city relationship. The garden contains a walkway, plantings, benches, an arbor and polished rocks and boulders laid out to represent a river bed. Gifts from Hiratsuka include a stone lantern and a 13-story garden pagoda. Although some of these elements might be found in a Japanese garden, not all would. Reiber says the Friendship Garden is too busy to be a Japanese garden, but it serves as a blending of elements found in American and Japanese gardens. “It’s kind of the same thing with Japanese food in this country,” Reiber says. “It’s not hardly anything like you get in Japan, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t taste good. So it’s the same with this.”


living story by

/ Lauren Beatty

photography by

Hidden Gem Tucked between campus and one of the city’s busiest streets, Barbara Watkins’ garden flourishes with herbs, ferns, flowers and plenty of hostas

This serene garden in Barbara Watkins’ backyard is only a few hundred yards—but worlds away— from traffic on Iowa Street.

12

T

he setting is so peaceful and lush that only the distant rumbling of cars whizzing down Iowa Street reminds you that you are, in fact, near the center of Lawrence. With its babbling fountains and abundance of green, Barbara Watkins’ backyard garden truly is an oasis in the city for guests and gardener alike. “There’s always something to do in the garden,” Watkins says. “It is my exercise, my therapy and my spiritual home.”

Lawrence Magazine

/ spring 2010 / sunflowerpub.com

/ jason dailey


living

HOME SWEET HOME Watkins is the former distance-education coordinator for the Continuing Education division at the University of Kansas and compiler and editor of several books on Lawrence and KU history. Her 1950s home sits on Westwood Road, which is little more than a circle drive north of the KU residence halls at 15th Street and Engel Road. Enthralled as she was with the house 30-something years ago when

“There’s always something to do in the garden. It is my exercise, my therapy and my spiritual home.” – Barbara Watkins

Watkins, upper right, first approached her wooded backyard as a novice gardener, but over the years she has discovered an abundance of shade-loving plants that thrive in her challenging landscape.

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she moved in with her family, Watkins knew the 1.5-acre backyard would be a challenge. It once was the site of a limestone quarry, making the yard quite hilly and littered with rocks. A thick canopy of trees over the yard blocked most sunlight. When the Watkins family took up residence there, everything was overgrown. Watkins says she knew little about gardening when she moved into the home. So she simply started digging—learning through trial and error what would work and what wouldn’t in her unusual space. It was a challenge. “Gardening brings you to your knees, both literally and figuratively,” she says.

MAKING HER GARDEN GROW Watkins turned to hostas, which are hearty, lilylike perennial plants, because she

Lawrence Magazine

knew they would survive in the difficult environment of her backyard and require little maintenance. Now, she has about 90 hostas, some of which are more than 30 years old. “You figure out what does well, and you buy more,” she explains. “I don’t see the hillside as posing challenges. I would argue instead that the hills and the limestone create opportunities. When all else fails, I just plant more hosta.” Watkins has planted a number of shade-loving perennials and annuals to complement the hostas. Her perennials include several kinds of ferns, daylilies, iris, epimedium, spiderwort, Jack-in-the-pulpit, pulmonaria, lenten rose, balloon flower, bee balm, bergenia, variegated liriope, English ivy and vinca. She has annuals such as impatiens, begonias and pentas. Also in the garden are shrubs, including hydrangea, spirea and viburnum, and herbs like lavender, sage, chives, thyme, rosemary, mint and Sweet Annie. She plants many of her herbs in pots that can be moved to follow any sunlight that breaks into her shady garden.

/ spring 2010 / sunflowerpub.com


living

Watkins’ garden is organic, which means she uses no chemicals, although it requires “a lot of weeding.” Friend Kathy Porsch admires the time and energy Watkins has put into her garden. She says she often stops by to gaze over the landscape and soak in the atmosphere and acknowledges Watkins’ influence on her own yard. “I had not been a hosta fan until visiting her gardens and seeing how absolutely lovely they can be when carefully selected and placed for leaf color, shape, texture and size,” Porsch says. “Now I incorporate them into my own landscape.” m

“You figure out what does well, and you buy more. I don’t see the hillside as posing challenges. I would argue instead that the hills and the limestone create opportunities. When all else fails, I just plant more hosta.” – Watkins The fawn f o u n d a m on g t h e fau na

It’s not only people who are enthralled by Barbara Watkins’ garden. Plenty of animals stop by, too, including foxes, coyotes and owls. In the summer of 2001, Watkins was visited by a small fawn. This was not unusual. Several deer had (somehow) made it across Iowa Street and into the woods surrounding Watkins’ home on Westwood Road. But there was something different about this particular fawn. It was only days old and presumably the orphan of a doe killed on the busy street earlier that day. “It was the smallest deer we’d ever seen,” Watkins says. Watkins and some neighbors called local animal rescue organizations, which primarily advised them to “let nature take its course.” Watkins wasn’t having that. Instead, she began leaving out salt licks, water and grapes for the tiny deer. Other animals enjoyed these tasty treats as well. But the deer especially took a liking to Watkins’ garden. She recalls that the fawn would spend hours nibbling on the hostas. After a few months, the animal was doing quite well. With the help of Operation WildLife, Watkins sent the deer to live in the wild. But Watkins still remembers fondly her time with the little fawn, especially when other deer and their young manage to sneak in her garden to snack on hostas.

sunflowerpub.com

A small water garden, bottom right, is one of the focal points of Watkins’ yard, but the stars of her garden are the unpretentious hostas, upper left, that are allowed to develop their full shapes and rich colors.

/ SPRING 2010 / Lawrence Magazine

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ddress 1000 New York St. ccupants John and Tina Stamos with dog Rudy ear uilt 1872 quare eet 1,700 umber of edrooms Two umber of athrooms One umber of loors Two tyle of ouse Loft-like renovated church

A re s t ore d c hu rc h i n E a s t L aw renc e ma ke s a c aver nou s yet c oz y home


t was like a sign from above. For months, Tina Stamos had been walking her dog, Rudy, in their neighborhood, always admiring the historic church at the southeast corner of 10th and New York streets. And then one day, she received a request to cater an open house at the church from real estate agent Tom Harper, who had renovated the building. “I told him to skip the open house and rent to me,” Tina says. “I sort of leapt without thinking.” She still helped with the event, though it was now a block party and pre-housewarming shindig for herself and husband John. “I think that the universe will present things to you, and you have to decide whether or not you’re going to take them,” Tina says. “I think that’s what happened with the church.” Although it was an easy, split-second decision for Tina, she had a few challenges to face after her leap of faith. First

was telling her husband they were moving into the church down the street. Second was turning a cavernous church into a cozy home. John had doubts that it could be done. “That was one of my big worries moving in here,” he says. “That I’d never feel at home—it would feel like a museum … or a church. I didn’t know if it would facilitate a comfortable living experience, but it’s been great.” John works as an illustrator and has an office space at home, while Tina works on location as a food stylist. She travels frequently for her job, but they both make the most of the time they do spend at home. “We do a lot of entertaining,” Tina says. “It’s the perfect dinner party setup.” Although they are not the owners of the church, Tina and John take pride in their home. “Tom calls us the proprietors of the church,” Tina says. “I think that’s such a better word than renters or tenants. It seems to me like it means the caretakers. We take care of the church, and it’s a nice responsibility.”


Please share any history of the house you’re aware of. Tina: It was originally a German Methodist [Episcopal] Church, then Southern Baptist. How long have you lived here? Tina: Since April 2009. What was the first impression you had upon seeing the house? Tina: Love, inspiration and fear of heating bills! What do you like best about the house? Tina: The openness and the incredible light. What’s your favorite room and why? Tina: If I had to pick one thing, it would be the bedroom. It’s definitely the best bedroom that I’ve ever had. It’s really hard to choose because the space is so open, so all the rooms are connected.


Describe how you arranged the layout on the main level into quadrants. John: We have the main living area for entertainment, a conversation pit, dining area and future creative area. Was it difficult to configure your living space in such an open area? John: We let it kind of happen. We weren’t going to go out and buy a bunch of stuff to try and fill the space. Things kind of fell into place. What was your biggest challenge making this church into a home? Tina: Our biggest challenge was the echo. The first couple weeks we were here, it was this vast, cold, echoey space. It was really hard to feel homey right away. How did you solve the echo issues? Tina: Hanging this tapestry, and then getting plants and furniture. Just getting stuff to absorb sound. What are your family and friends’ reactions to the house? Tina: They love it. Guests feel welcome and relaxed in the space instantly. It’s easy to spend lots of time in the church.


What do you like about the neighborhood? Tina: It’s a true neighborhood with kids on their bikes and Sunday afternoon barbecues. People know each other and are genuinely friendly and neighborly. It’s diverse and homey. I wouldn’t live anywhere else in Lawrence. What comments do you hear most often about the house? Tina: “This is the most amazing space” and lots of “wows”! So you’re glad you took a chance on this unique opportunity? Tina: To pass up the opportunity to live here and see what it would be like to make it a home, I would have regretted not living here. John: The church has grown on me quite a bit. I feel more at home here than I think I’ve ever felt in a place I’ve rented. My wife has the incredible ability of making a place feel like the best place you’ve ever lived. When you buy your own home someday, how will you find a place that compares to this? Tina: Tom Harper has to sell this to us. That’s the only way it can work out. I have to live here forever! John: We take things as they go. We’re here now and loving every second of it. m


market story by

/ Kate Blatherwick Pickert

Teaching Old Grains New Tricks One entrepreneur ditches dairy, eggs and gluten to create a line of tasty baked goods

A Above The ancient teff and amaranth grains provide the basis for many of Hilary Kass’ gluten-free products. Below Kass stands in a sorghum field outside Lawrence. The local entrepreneur uses as many local ingredients as possible, but orders some specialty grains from out of state.

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love of good eating, a drive to help those with dietary restrictions and a little encouragement from a brother in the food industry inspired Hilary Kass to start a one-woman bakery business of a different kind. As owner and baker of Ancient Grains, Kass cooks products free of gluten, dairy and eggs. “It was a way for me to take something I love to do, which is to cook, and to make some things that aren’t out there,” Kass explains. And there is plenty on her menu: flatbreads, cookies, pies and the recently added biscotti. Though Kass has always loved being in the kitchen, she developed her interest in gluten-free baking while working at The Community Mercantile as a nutrition educator. She would often work with customers who suffered from a variety of food allergies and celiac disease, which is an inherited autoimmune condition in which the lining of the small intestine is damaged after eating gluten found in wheat, barley, rye and possibly oats. While searching for just the right foods for her customers, Kass began experimenting with other gluten-free grains such as millet, teff, sorghum and amaranth—an ancient food of the Aztecs—to create something new and delicious for those who must follow such strict dietary restrictions. Her creations began appearing on Lawrence store shelves in the fall of 2008, first at The Cas-

Lawrence Magazine

/ spring 2010 / sunflowerpub.com

photography by

/ Jason Dailey


market

“It was a way for me to take something I love to do, which is to cook, and to make some things that aren’t out there.” – Hilary Kass

Kass’ interest in developing gluten-free products developed from her work as a nutrition educator.

26

bah Market and the Merc. From there, she took her product to other stores and was pleased by the reception. She brought some samples to a meeting at the Hy-Vee store on Sixth Street and left with shelf space at the store that day. Since then, she has placed her products at both Lawrence HyVees, plus Checkers, Local Burger, Signs of Life and Whole Foods in Overland Park. The ease for Kass in starting her business might be because there is a real need for glutenfree products. Kass believes more mainstream doctors are recognizing that some chronic conditions are caused by food allergies. She also says more people are acknowledging that diet directly affects health. Kass’ organic and gluten-free food can be expensive compared with other products on the market. But the baker-entrepreneur is quick to point out there is a general sense that when eating foods grown organically, the customer is paying for the true price of food. “I try to help people look at food as not being expensive but what it really costs,” Kass explains. “Just like if you want to build your home and want to make it structurally good, you will pay more.” Kass buys all ingredients that she can instate, but she does order some specialty grains from mills in other parts of the United States. She says the shipping charges sometimes are more than the cost of the actual products. For teff, a grain the size of a poppy seed, Kass turned to a state better known for its potato crop, finding Wayne Carlson and his Idaho farm, The Teff Company. Carlson was a public health researcher working in Ethiopia through the University of California at San Francisco in the 1970s when he was

Lawrence Magazine

/ SPRING 2010 / sunflowerpub.com


market

“I try to help people look at food as not being expensive but what it really costs. Just like if you want to build your home and want to make it structurally good, you will pay more.” – Kass

introduced to teff by local subsistence farmers. Returning to the States, he ended up in Idaho and was intrigued by the land in the Snake River Valley area and its geographical and agricultural similarities with the land in Ethiopia. He planted his first teff crop in 1978, and has been a full-time teff farmer since that harvest. Now, Teff Company not only supplies to bakers like Kass who are developing gluten-free products, but advises other American farmers on implementing teff into their production and taps into the growing Ethiopian population in the States. Kass puts her local and outof-state ingredients together at The Casbah, where she rents the store’s commercial kitchen. Because her business is relatively

new, she still works on a small scale, using a small mixer and making a lot of batches. When developing a new product, Kass might make it at least 10 times, playing with different volumes and sizes before she thinks it’s just right to put on the shelves. Most weeks, Kass spends 20 hours cooking to meet demand and another 10 to 20 hours taking care of the business side. And after more than a year, she continues to love what she does. “I’m not looking for someone to take over. I’m looking to expand.” She hopes to open a cafe where she could sell her goods and serve them on the spot. But don’t expect Kass to leave the kitchen anytime soon. She says she’s not ready to turn over the baking to anyone else. m

How does she ba k e w i t ho u t …

Gluten?

Hilary Kass’ grains—unlike wheat, barley, rye and some oats—are gluten-free. In baking, gluten gives dough some binding and structure so it can rise. Without it, bakers such as Kass create flatbreads—a staple for many ancient civilizations.

Eggs?

Eggs are often used as binders in baking, but Kass’ products rely on flaxseeds and guar gum, a root grown in India. She takes a tablespoon of the ground seeds, mixes it with 1/3 cup of water and allows it to sit for 15 minutes. She says this is the equivalent of one beaten egg.

WHEN DEVELOPING A NEW PRODUCT, KASS MIGHT MAKE IT AT LEAST 10 TIMES, PLAYING WITH DIFFERENT VOLUMES AND SIZES BEFORE SHE THINKS IT’S JUST RIGHT TO PUT ON THE SHELVES.

sunflowerpub.com

/ SPRING 2010 / Lawrence Magazine

Cookies, breakfast patties and flatbreads are some of the first products that Kass developed through Ancient Grains.

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market story by

/ Mary R. Gage

TOFU 2.0 A new generation of tofu-ers stirs up the mix at Central Soyfoods, but they’re still all about the traditional bean ‘vibe’

T above A brick of tofu waits to be packaged at the Central Soyfoods plant in southeast Lawrence. below Central Soyfoods tofu products appear in many dishes made at Lawrence restaurants, such as Zen Zero’s spring roll salad with tofu.

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ofu. It’s white, it’s square, it’s bland, it’s simple—or is it? Maybe that’s just a disguise; maybe there’s something mysterious going on. What truly lurks beneath the surface of tofu’s simple Zen-like exterior? Seek beyond its obvious use as a starting ingredient for numerous flavorful recipes full of nutrition and health benefits, and one may wonder, how does the honored tofu become as such? How does the unassuming dishwater blonde soybean become a firm milky-white food block chock full of goodness? The answer, like all good mysteries, is more complex than it first appears. Just ask the folks at Central Soyfoods, Lawrence’s own tofu and tempeh production center. Opened in 1978 by Jim Cooley, Central Soyfoods was on the cutting edge of that decade’s natural food revolution and part of a new wave of cottage industries devoted to producing tofu using traditional East Asian methods. Tofu shops were opening in small spaces and basements all over the country as people in the West began to discover and appreciate this versatile food. While tofu has carved out a place in the American diet and become a staple item in mainstream groceries, many of these early tofu shops have come and gone while a few have grown to become mass producers of tofu. Central Soyfoods has

Lawrence Magazine

/ spring 2010 / sunflowerpub.com

photography by

/ jason dailey


market

C entral S oy f o od s

710 E. 22nd St. (785) 312-8638

top The Central Soyfoods crew– from left–Nikki Walker, Erin Sampson, Dave Millstein, Mark Robertson, Susan Millstein and Ryan Trembly–sits down for a tofuthemed dinner. middle The Nice Café at The Casbah Market features Central Soyfoods tofu in its jerk and fajita patties. bottom The Merc Deli’s braised sesame tofu uses Central Soyfoods tofu.

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remained in business for 32 years, retaining its traditional approach. “Lots of tofus come and go,” says Nancy O’Connor, nutrition educator for The Community Mercantile, “but Central Soyfoods tofu has withstood the test of time. Most tofus come from halfway across the country. Central Soy’s tofu we get to eat the next day. It’s comparable to eating fresh eggs. The taste and ingredients are of the highest quality, the packaging is excellent and their tofu has a little personality.” On the surface, the method of turning soybeans into a nutritious food high in protein appears to be a straightforward series of steps. At Central Soyfoods, owned partly by Kansas Organic Producers since 2003, the process begins with several hundred pounds of organic, locally grown soybeans. The beans are soaked for 10 to 14 hours, then ground, cooked and separated. The resulting soy milk is stirred with a traditional curdling agent called nigari. The curds are then pressed, formed, cooled and packaged, somewhat similar to the process of making cheese. Clear and direct, right? Not really, says Dave Millstein, managing partner of Central Soyfoods. “The kind of tofu we make is handcrafted. We use very traditional methods. You don’t just put a bean into a machine and come out the other side with tofu. There’s a lot of kind of Mickey-Mousing around with the stuff because all beans are different and the day is different, the temperature and humidity are different. And the vibe you put into the tofu is different. It’s like cooking anything.”

Lawrence Magazine

/ SPRING 2010 / sunflowerpub.com


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are,” he says. “It’s a unique kind of an art form that they’ve really embraced, and they have gotten very good at.” Packager Erin Sampson agrees. “Our tofu is really fresh and has a really clean taste to it. I always get excited seeing people enjoy it.” m

C e n t r a l S oy f o o d s’ ‘ot h e r b e a n m e at ’

Entwined into the “vibe you put into it” is a curious musical element. When most of the youthful crew members that are now producing Central Soyfoods tofu first came to work a few years ago, they brought their own blend of heavy metal/hard rock music to play over the shop’s speakers. Millstein was concerned that their production ratio—pounds of beans to pounds of finished product—wasn’t improving more rapidly even though they were doing everything right. Having read about the effects of different musical vibrations, he urged the team to try listening to only classical music for an extended period. Much to everyone’s surprise—except perhaps Millstein’s—their ratio improved. Drastically. Ryan Trembly, production manager, was amazed by the difference. “Once we started play-

ing classical music, our ratios went way up,” he says. Gradually, the young crew members have worked some of their own music back in, but if numbers dip, they revert to the classical solution. Sean Hoover, the cook, isn’t convinced it’s all about the music. “I think weather has more to do with it,” he says. “The colder it is, the longer it takes the beans to soak.” He also has experimented with different stirring techniques, settling on a stroke that’s “kind of like rowing a boat.” The crew at Central Soyfoods supplies many major grocery stores and several regional restaurants. The production is done on three days of the week; the tofu is delivered on each of the following days. Millstein is enthused about his young team. “It’s interesting to get this generation involved in it and see what their motivations

Central Soyfoods managing partner Dave Millstein says his company produces less tempeh than tofu—approximately 400 pounds per month of tempeh as opposed to approximately 8,000 pounds per month of tofu—because the market isn’t as large for this high-protein soy product that originated in Indonesia. But for many, tempeh’s distinct taste—it often is described as having a mild nutty or mushroom-like flavor— and ability to be a stand-alone meal if needed have made it the favored soy staple. The production of tempeh is quite different from tofu: Soybeans are soaked and cooked, sometimes with other grains, then fermented. The resulting culture that grows is the tempeh, which can then be pasteurized and packaged. Central Soyfoods produces two types of tempeh. One is the classical soy tempeh. The other is a multigrain tempeh that includes sesame, barley, millet, steel-cut oats and brown rice in the production process. Central Soyfoods soaks and steams, rather than boils, the soybeans and grains to retain more of the nutrients. The tempeh, like the tofu, is vacuumpacked to preserve freshness. Once packaged, the tempeh is frozen immediately.

“Lots of tofus come and go. but Central Soyfoods tofu has withstood the test of time. Most tofus come from halfway across the country. Central Soy’s tofu we get to eat the next day. – Nancy O’Connor

sunflowerpub.com

/ SPRING 2010 / Lawrence Magazine

Central Soyfoods markets its packaged tofu and tempeh products in several Lawrence area stores.

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market story by

/ Barbara Higgins-Dover

Locust’s Antique Locus A North Lawrence shop combines the beauty of brocante and the art of objects

L Above Amy Ballinger, left, and Amy Mumford combined their backgrounds to cover the practical and creative aspects of running an antiques store. below This tall armoire was one of the recent additions to Locust Street Marketplace. Mumford says clients are often drawn to large secondhand furniture in good condition.

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ocust Street Marketplace, housed in a renovated, faux-stone-finished building in North Lawrence, is an eclectic antiques shop that brings together two partners with varied backgrounds who assemble a creative blend of unexpected retail items. For co-owner Amy Mumford, Locust Street was the logical step after Paris, where she accompanied her husband on a work assignment. Returning to Kansas, she sought an opportunity to combine her background of working in department stores and creating displays for approximately 10 years with the recent influence of the French brocante, or “secondhand,” tradition. “I fell in love with antiques and love the way the French use everything. They appreciate everything,” says Mumford. “If it has a flaw, it can still be beautiful.” Mumford’s chance came in 2006 when she met with Amy Ballinger—a local antiques dealer who had just closed one store and was looking to launch another. Having been drawn into the business, Ballinger didn’t want to leave. “It started 11 or 12 years ago when my husband and I went to our first auction,” explains Ballinger. “It was really fun, and we just started going back. I saw the potential for buying and selling.” Together, the two owners have backgrounds that cover the practical aspects of their business.

Lawrence Magazine

/ spring 2010 / sunflowerpub.com

photography by

/ mark hutchinson


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“If it has a flaw, it can still be beautiful.” – Amy Mumford

Above left Larger items dominate the inventory at Locust Street Marketplace, but there are also several accessories from baskets to vases. above right Locust Street Marketplace opened in a newly restored building in North Lawrence. above far right A chicken hutch modified into a kitchen cabinet is one of the store’s more unusual items. right Ballinger and Mumford acquired this table, fashioned from a door that once stood in a European castle. Mumford says they haven’t been able to trace the particular country or region that the door came from, but have no doubts that it is authentic, “very heavy and very dynamic.”

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But their common fascination with antiques and curiosity about unusual items seem to drive their partnership. “We have never really narrowed down our focus; we’ve never really done that kind of business plan,” says Ballinger. “We’ve just tried to find the most unique and best-quality items at the best price.” One of Ballinger’s favorite finds was a late 1700s English bar. “It was a one-of-a-kind,” she says. “I’d never seen anything like it before. It had carved wood, slats for glasses and a mirror covering the back.” On any given day, unusual items from across the globe are likely to be found in the store. The display space features rooms connected by a rugcovered pathway that leads around the inventory and back to the entrance. Along that path are lamps, wall hangings, ceramic roosters, baskets, paintings and other pieces that cover most every space from floor to ceiling. On display is a glasstopped dark wooden table that Ballinger says was once a European castle door. In the corner sits an early 20th-century cantaro that still holds

Locus t S t r e e t M a r k e t p l ac e

642 Locust St., Suite A (785) 856-9030

www.locuststreetmarketplace.com Open 9 a.m-6 p.m. Friday and Saturday and by appointment for showings or design consultations.

Lawrence Magazine

/ SPRING 2010 / sunflowerpub.com


Wicker furniture items are some of the most popular and widely sold pieces at the store.

A queen-size bed with matching nightstands and dresser is part of the display at Locust Street Marketplace.

large clay water vessels to tune the instrument. In another section, an Asian sun hat leans against the wall. Creating this ensemble draws on the talent and time of both partners, who receive support from each of their families. Spouses are tapped for a lot of the moving and lifting, and their children are regularly brought into the shop. A small area in the back, underneath a metal gazebo with lights, holds brightcolored toys for the children. But their mothers’ interests and vision seem to occupy their thoughts as well. Mumford remembers a recent moment when her 4-year-old asked, “Mom, do we have any appointments today?� m

SPRING 2010

/ Lawrence Magazine

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identity story by

/ Mary R. Gage

Jordan’s Songlines An artist draws on pastels to bring out the hidden violets, golds, silvers and songs of the Douglas County landscape

Susan Jordan works from her home studio west of Lawrence.

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B

y February, if the grays and browns of the winter landscape in Kansas seem a little bleak and uninteresting, try looking through artist Susan Jordan’s eyes. In fallow fields with crop stubble, in the twisted dark branches of leafless trees and the

Lawrence Magazine

photography by

stands of beige cattails, Jordan sees beauty and hears music. Influenced by the faraway Australian Aborigine culture, she gathers her pastels, paints her visions and creates a Kansas “songline.” “The Aboriginals believe in something called ‘dreamtime,’” she says. “They hold everything in the universe sacred. I was taken by that concept, and then I looked out in the Kansas landscape and I saw these lines of snow and orange grasses. So I started my Aboriginal Kansas kind of paintings and call them ‘songlines.’” In the Aboriginal tradition, songlines are ceremonial songs that preserve the stories of mythical ancestors who created the physical features of the earth. They are sung to remember ancient path-

/ spring 2010 / sunflowerpub.com

/ jason dailey

ways and traditions and to keep the land “alive.” The lines Jordan sees in the Douglas County landscape of hills and plains that surround her make their way into her art. She gestures to her painting, Wakarusa Warriors Chant a Warning, and points out features edged and highlighted with snow along the tree line of a farm field. Idle furrows dusted white, contrasted with violet, gold and rust, sweep across the foreground of the painting. Jordan draws inspiration from the land and hopes her work imparts a reverence for it. “I wanted to do a lot with the wetlands area near here,” she says. “I want to see it preserved. It’s so rich in diversity with the various creatures that live there. I’d hate to see it gone.”


identity

“I tend to do landscapes from Kansas or New Mexico—the places I love the most.” – susan jordan

Susan Jordan works in watercolors, monoprints and photography, but specializes in pastels. One such pastel work is Father Sky Dancing Up a Storm Over Abiquiu, above right.

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A native Kansan, Jordan finds endless inspiration close to home, though it wasn’t until a bit later in life that she began to translate what she saw onto canvas. She says despite being drawn to art at an early age, she was swayed by advice from “practical” counselors during high school who preached against trying to make a living as an artist. She majored in psychology and English literature and became a high school and junior high teacher—and the man she married became the art teacher. Tom Jordan, now retired, spent 30 years teaching 3-D art at Lawrence High School. Jordan credits a watercolor class she took at the Lawrence Arts Center 20-some years ago with jump-starting her dormant painting career. As she continued to take more classes, moving into oils and printmaking, she rediscovered pastels. “My husband brought home some samples of pastels that a salesman had left in his classroom, and I fell in love with pastel. Pastels are wonderful, so vibrant. They’re pure pigment.” One of Jordan’s instructors at the arts center was esteemed Lawrence artist Diana Dunkley. The women became friends and began a propitious relationship that has been valuable personally and professionally to both. “Diana and I formed a little group called the Fan Club, which has been instrumental in helping me grow as an artist,” Jordan recalls.

Lawrence Magazine

Part support group, part professional society, the Fan Club meets once a month. Roll call of members is a reminder of Lawrence’s abundant artistic talent. The list includes Laurie Culling, Ann Kuckelman Cobb, Margaret Rose, Missy Hamilton, Nan Renbarger, Cathy Tisdale, Dunkley, Jordan and member emeritus Jan Gaumnitz. “When we meet, sometimes we talk, sometimes we paint, sometimes we do workshops or field trips,” says Jordan. “We’ve had guest speakers and gone to art shows. But we always have a special time at each meeting for critiques. If peo-

/ SPRING 2010 / sunflowerpub.com

ple have work they want to share, they bring it and invite opinions. It’s helpful if you’re stuck and you think you’re close, but you haven’t quite made it do what you want it to do. Someone will say, ‘Ah! You need a little red there.’ And that’s nice.” In 2002, the Fan Club collaborated with a group of female Canadian artists for an exhibit in Ottawa, Ontario, called Common Ground. The show was wellreceived and led to a further alliance between the groups in 2005 with an event in Lawrence called Convergence. Jordan’s natural talent and vibrant landscapes have landed her work in many national pastel exhibits. While each piece tells a different story, her landscapes are inspired mostly by two locations close to her heart. “I tend to do landscapes from Kansas or New Mexico—the places I love the most,” she says. “Taos doesn’t get that cold, and they have really brilliant sun there.”


identity

“My husband brought home some samples of pastels that a salesman had left in his classroom, and I fell in love with pastel. Pastels are wonderful, so vibrant. They’re pure pigment.” – jordan

In the past few years, a knee problem has curtailed Jordan’s mobility. Travel to New Mexico has been difficult to undertake, but it hasn’t dampened her dedication to art. After some “work on perspective”—and some help from her husband who, aside from creating intricate boxes within boxes and fine furniture, has designed and custom-built an accessible container for her pastels—she has adjusted to painting from a wheelchair.

Jordan often keeps photographs of landscapes in her studio as a reference point for the work that she creates.

From her chair, looking across her box of pastels, she adds, “We have spectacular sunsets from our back deck.” As before, Jordan finds inspiration unfolding around her. m

sunflowerpub.com

/ SPRING 2010 / Lawrence Magazine

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identity story by

/ Katherine Dinsdale

Ms. America

Downtown businesswoman Nancy Nguyen has charted her course through civil war, evacuation and personal tragedy and found success with hard work, restaurants and rentals

Nancy Nguyen built a solid business base as a landlord and restaurant owner in Lawrence after arriving to the city as a political refugee in the mid1970s.

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I

n the spring of 1975, Nghia “Nancy” Nguyen (pronounced “nwin”) was 36 years old, the mother of four children—the oldest age 12—and pregnant. Her husband, Tho, was a professor. He held his doctorate in chemistry and physics and taught educators at the Dai hoc Su pham university in Saigon, South Vietnam. Nancy had a couple of jobs.

Lawrence Magazine

photography by

One of them—owner of a canned food factory—her friends and neighbors knew all about. However, the other job was not a topic of conversation: Nancy served the U.S. military as a translator. Then, on April 29, as communist North Vietnamese forces pushed into Saigon, the façade of normalcy collapsed. “We left our house and everything in it. I ran with nothing but my husband and our children. I didn’t have a chance to take care of anything,” Nancy remembers. “There was no rule. No law. It was chaos.” Along with the few remaining Americans in the country and a small and desperate number of South Vietnamese, the Nguyens were airlifted by helicopter. Some were flown to safety from the roof of the U.S. Embassy. Oth-

/ spring 2010 / sunflowerpub.com

/ mark hutchinson

ers, the Nguyens among them, left from the airport. The family spent about three months at a refugee camp in Guam. There the stress, fear and confusion took their toll. Nancy miscarried her baby during her seventh month of pregnancy. Despite the hardships, the Nguyen family knew they were among the fortunate. Because of Tho’s work as a professor and Nancy’s work with the government, the couple seemed likely candidates for employment and success in the United States. The government offered the family for selection by an assortment of faithbased sponsoring organizations, and a family history statement Nancy submitted to U.S. officials won the attention of a Lutheran aid organization.


identity

“I think you ought to work more than the people who work for you.” – Nancy Nguyen

Nguyen’s first restaurant in Lawrence featured Americana-style burgers and fries, but she and her family have since expanded their range to feature Vietnamesestyle Asian, seafood and vegetarian specialties.

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Trinity Lutheran Church stepped forward, leading a small group of other local Lutheran churches willing to help settle the family in Lawrence. Harriet Shaffer, still a member of Trinity, said church members worked with the Nguyens to get housing at Edgewood Homes on Haskell Avenue. Someone in the church recommended Tho to the University of Kansas, where he landed a lab position in the pharmacy department. When church member Lenoir “Mrs. E.” Ekdahl, then an administrative dietitian at KU, needed a residence hall cook, she hired Nancy, and the former linguistic expert went to work, first making salads and later baking. Shaffer remembers driving the Nguyen children to medical and school appointments and helping the family with paperwork. The Nguyens, in return, invited the Shaffers to celebrate a formal dinner at the Nguyens’ home shortly before their first Thanksgiving. That evening was the first time the Nguyen children had seen snow and the first time the Shaffers tried the Nguyens’ home-cooked Vietnamese dishes. Shaffer recalls the immigrants as being appreciative, but, she says, “they didn’t rely on us very long.” “We weren’t on welfare,” Nancy says. “Not one day. We all went to work. But my life was upside-down. I cried a lot. I prayed every day. I pleaded with God, ‘You have to help me live my life in this new country. Everything is so differ-

Lawrence Magazine

ent.’ I cried and cried and cried. And then finally it popped in my mind that crying was not helping at all. From then on, there was no more crying.” Nancy continued working with the KU food service for nine years, dreaming all the while about what else she might do. With financial help from relatives and her own savings, she bought a small apartment building, living with her family in one unit and renting the others. In 1985 she bought Drake’s, a longtime Lawrence bakery and diner, then in the location of the current Mad Greek Restaurant. Perhaps because the Nguyens were one of the first

/ SPRING 2010 / sunflowerpub.com

Vietnamese families in Lawrence, her presence as a business owner triggered a fair number of rude and racist comments. The ugliest reactions often came from drunken customers who staggered into Drake’s once Nancy established it as the only downtown diner open on weekend nights after the bars closed. Nancy kept a baseball bat and a handgun under the front counter and was ready to discourage anyone who bothered her or her staff. Though she faced down close calls, she never had to use either weapon. Nancy doesn’t hold a grudge. “At first it bothered me that people didn’t accept me, but then I accepted it and just worked even harder. I believe in hard work. It is the only way.” After several years Nancy sold that property and moved south to the 1000 block of Massachusetts Street. Drake’s was run in various spaces in that block and until recently around the corner on 10th Street. But Nancy’s longestrunning successful eatery opened 15 years ago. The Orient Vietnamese Cuisine is a favorite purveyor of Vietnamese comfort food. Her son, Ted, is a part owner of Angler’s Seafood next door. Nearby is Nancy’s newest business venture, Tenth Street Vegetarian Bistro. At 70 years old, Nancy hasn’t slowed her pace. “My kids say my body is cast iron,” she says. Nancy exercises on a stationary bicycle in her office at the back of the Vietnamese restaurant. The Nguyens’ three daughters live in California. Tho is retired from KU after 22 years, but together the couple manage approximately 40 Lawrence rental properties as well as the restaurants. “I think you ought to work more than the people who work for you,” Nancy says. “I’m not sitting and playing. My employees give me lots of respect, and I work with them side by side. I work from 9 in the morning until 10:30 at night. People say to me, ‘You should stop.’ I say no.” She grins. “I enjoy it. I have no regrets. I am very happy. I appreciate friends’ support and God’s help.” m


identity

N o M e at i n t h e Hou se Nancy Nguyen says she’s long heard requests that she open a vegetarian restaurant, starting with those from her youngest daughter, who became a vegetarian at age 12. But at that time, the early 1980s, Nancy knew that most paying customers in Lawrence wanted meat on their plates. It was only in recent years, when she began hearing from her restaurant’s regulars that there should be a place with “no meat in the house,” that Nancy thought her immediate world was falling in line with her daughter’s. “They came to me and they ate my vegetarian dishes here at The Orient, but over and over they said that Lawrence needs a place that’s only vegetarian, a place with the very best fresh ingredients.” Nancy listened and considered the market downtown. Her long-held burger joint Drake’s had died a slow death, outdone, she says, by less expensive fast-food chains. And so Nancy decided to take her chances on whirled peas. Tenth Street Vegetarian Bistro, billed as “a classical and modern fusion of vegetarian and vegan cuisine,” opened late last fall at 125 E. 10th St. Chef Kevin McGee, who trained at Le Cordon Bleu in Scottsdale, Arizona, and specializes in classic French cuisine, is most proud of his eggplant lasagna, a nontraditional layering of eggplant, roasted red peppers, basil, mozzarella and homemade marinara sauce. No animals—or pasta, for that matter—were sacrificed for the dish.


i

your neighb orhood? Don’t hold it in—pen a love

to your section of

town and share your feelings with all of us.

In this and the next three issues, Lawrence Magazine will

print the best reader “love letter” and photographs to show off one Lawrence neighborhood. Smother your neighborhood—whether it’s downtown, Old West Lawrence, North Lawrence or a different region—with affection by submitting a letter, some photographs or both. The romance letters should be no more than 300 words and

law

ren

ce

mailed to Lawrence Magazine, 609 New Hampshire St., Lawrence, KS 66044 or sent by e-mail to lawrencemagazine@ljworld.com. Digital pictures should be sent to that same e-mail address in JPEG format and a minimum of 300 dpi. The best pictures are ones that show unique attributes of a specific neighborhood and illustrate why you love it. Show your love, Lawrence!


Pinckney Photos courtesy Brenda Harrington


Le t t er to Pinck ne y Neighb orhood Beyond the old-growth trees shading the brick sidewalks, past the cozy front porches adorned with plants and whimsical yard art, dwells the heart of my Pinckney neighborhood—the people. Pinckney’s Queen Annes, bungalows and Colonial revivals hold people just as diverse as the house styles. We work for KU, LMH, the EPA and the city of Lawrence. We are musicians, lawyers, artists, entrepreneurs and massage therapists. We are animal lovers. Our happy hours revolve around walking our dogs and visiting on those same porches. We might know your dog’s name before yours, but we’ll wave or chat every time we see you. Burcham Park is our playground where we look for bald eagles while walking along the river. We take pride in the KU crew teams and the fact that we feel a part of them as they run on our streets. We are Pinckney Elementary students walking to school and the trains whistling by the Kaw River Water Treatment Plant (have you ever noticed the beautiful dogwood trees or lilac bushes cultivated there?). Mostly, I love Pinckney because we as neighbors count on each other. It is a genuine feeling, this neighborliness. After my husband died, the support of this neighborhood held me together. One incredible example: Four of the best women I know took it upon themselves to involve the entire neighborhood in creating a quilt for my daughter’s graduation present. They wanted to ensure that she would be surrounded by the “warmth of the ’hood” no matter where she went or what she did. Pinckney is my neighborhood and my home, and this letter is my big, wet kiss to it. Love, Brenda Harrington


wellness story by

/ Becky Bridson

T The Jabberwalkers club combines exercise and socialization during walks around campus or, as is often the case in the spring when weather is bad, inside Robinson Gymnasium.

he first steps came in 1994 when Joan Reiber and a friend gathered a handful of acquaintances to stroll through some of the city’s most hilly, scenic byways. They started meeting on campus two days a week during the spring and summer. Gradually, the group grew and so did the number of walks. Fifteen years later, some 30 regulars meet yearround, three mornings a week for three-mile strolls, to make health a priority. “It does encourage physical fitness,” says Mary Weinberg. “It really put me on a regular program. It’s really easy not to do it [exercise], but it’s so much more fun with a group.” The walkers, officially one of the University Women’s Club’s interest groups, include women ranging in age from 54 to 79. Participants are married, widowed, divorced, single; come

Jabberwalkers There are some groups that are talked about, and then there is one group that talks while about

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Lawrence Magazine

/ spring 2010 / sunflowerpub.com

photography by

/ mark hutchinson


wellness

Some of the Jabberwalkers include, from left, Jan Roth, Sue Givens (partially obscured) Rita Spradlin, Sidney Sutton, Jerree Catlin, Joan Reiber, Mary Beth Petr and Betsy Joy.

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from all walks of life and all parts of the world; hold varying political views and religious beliefs. Some have joined more recently, such as Marilyn Hall, who trains for and walks in half marathons. Others have been walking together for years, such as Jerree Catlin, Suzanne Collins, Laura Borchert, Suzanne McColl, Mary Ross, Sidney Sutton, Betsy Joy, Jan Roth and Sherry Slade, among others. No matter the tenure, group members say no other exercise option has been as strong or consistent as their current regime. “I can’t tell you how many exercise groups I’ve joined and dropped out of because nobody cares,” says Mary Elizabeth Debicki-Guinness. “If we don’t show up, we call; we write.” Communication has never been a challenge for the avid exercisers, who deem the jabbering along the route equally as important as the walking. Their group, sometimes referred to as the motor of the University Women’s Club, more commonly goes by the name Jabberwalkers or Jabberwalkies. It’s part in tribute to Lewis Carroll’s famous poem, but also an apt description of their loquacious energy that traces the perimeter of campus. “You’re talking so much you don’t even notice the time passing,” Weinberg says. “And one thing I love about this group is it’s not a gossip group. Everything is positive.” “It’s a wonderful way to meet people and stay active and healthy mentally and physically,” says Mary Beth Petr, president of University Women’s Club. Throughout the challenging route, the people and paces vary, so walkers have options and intentionally shift gears to mingle with as many different Jabberwalkers as possible. “When I first started, I didn’t know anybody very well, so it really was not social,” says Tammy

Lawrence Magazine

Steeples. “I had enough social. I wanted to walk, but as you’re in it longer you develop the friendships.” The walking friendships cross into daily lives, so whether it is a wedding, a funeral or a medical issue, support is there. Rita Spradlin attributes surviving two heart attacks and coming back from two open heart surgeries to, not surprisingly, the numerous benefits gained from exercising and practicing good nutrition. In addition to her walks with the group, the 79-year-old has been walking more than four miles a day for 35 years and is considered by the group to be “the most dedicated” and “an inspiration.” Weinberg jokes Spradlin is on cool down by the time she meets up with the rest of the group for their 7:15 a.m. walks. Jabberwalkers welcome new members, and although males are not banned, the groups has been and is still exclusively female. “A lot of it is about girl power,” says Kimberly Anderson. “I think there’s a special quality to a group of just women that you don’t get in a mixed group.” m

/ SPRING 2010 / sunflowerpub.com

“You’re talking so much you don’t even notice the time passing. And one thing I love about this group is it’s not a gossip group. Everything is positive.” – mary weinberg


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wellness story by

/ Becky Bridson

I For approximately 13 years, Larry Redding was the only certified Rolfer in Lawrence. He still practices in Lawrence, but is now joined by six other colleagues, an unusually large number for a city of fewer than 100,000 people.

f you live in Lawrence, there is a greater chance than average that you have tried or at least know about Rolfing—a form of therapy where the practitioner uses his or her hands for, in the words of Rolfing professionals, “reorganizing” the connective tissue network of a client’s body to alleviate pain and adjust misalignments. Lawrence is home to at least seven certified Rolfers and Rolf Movement Practitioners. That’s not a large number, but it represents a disproportionately large percentage of the global total of only 1,600 certified professionals. If Rolfers were evenly distributed by population, then Lawrence would have to be a city of slightly fewer than 30 million people—the entire population of Texas with all Alaskans and Kansans thrown in for good measure, for example—to boast that many Rolfers.

Rolf Central Sure, Lawrence has a big number of roundabouts, bars and basketball stars, but it’s also home to an incredibly large percentage of one category of health professionals

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Lawrence Magazine

/ spring 2010 / sunflowerpub.com

photography by

/ jason dailey


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wellness

Rolfer Larry Redding treats client David Haigh. Rolfing typically involves a series of 10 sessions, each of which is approximately an hour long.

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Holly Krebs, one of these local certified Rolfers and a self-proclaimed “anatomy geek,” attributes this phenomenon to the simple fact that Rolfers, like other people, appreciate Lawrence and want to be here. She says it helps that Lawrence is an “open-minded” community, and that its health-oriented residents seek out therapies and techniques that contribute to achieving and maintaining their well-being. Or it may simply come down to the most basic of economic principles: supply and demand. “One of the reasons we have more Rolfers in Lawrence is because once you establish a base of Rolfers, more and more people find out about it, and so it’s very much a snowball effect,” Krebs says. The snowball effect within the community, however, did not occur without a trickle-down effect among practitioners first. Krebs became interested in the work after Certified Advanced Rolfer Elaine Brewer turned Krebs’ world around through Rolfing and specifically visceral manipulation, which focuses on the connective tissue surrounding the internal organs. Like Krebs, before becoming certified, Brewer experienced Rolfing herself from Certified Advanced Rolfer Larry Redding. A former school psychologist, Redding says he was “born to Rolf” and enjoys working with his hands to create a more fluid and energetic existence for his clients. The hands-on aspect of Rolfing also appealed to Krebs. “Doing something manual was not something I anticipated doing with my life, but it’s very satisfying and keeps me feeling better because I’m moving and using my body,” Krebs says. “Also, one of the things I like about Rolfing as a practitioner is that I feel it very thoroughly uses both sides of my brain.” In fact, she uses her brain and receives craniosacral therapy on it, applying the same technique to clients and even her toddler daughter, Evy, while she’s sleeping. The therapy focuses on the connective tissue that encases the central nervous system. The goal is to relieve tension and help alleviate chronic issues such as headaches and back pain.

Lawrence Magazine

REDDING SAYS HE BELIEVES THE TREND WITHIN THE WIDER HEALTH COMMUNITY IS TO VIEW ROLFING AS A “COMPLEMENTARY” TREATMENT. “I have found quite regularly that if my child is being hyperactive, if she tends to be grumpy during the day, if I do some body work at night she is an entirely different child the next day,” Krebs says. “I’m hoping that as in my life it helps maintain more contentedness.” A goal of “contentedness” is a good example of the Rolfers’ inclination to view treatment as focusing on a client’s overall body rather than a specific organ or trouble area. Rolfing’s focus on general health as opposed to a medical procedure treating a specific ailment–such as a cast for a broken leg–is perhaps one reason that it is often viewed as an “alternative” treatment. Locally, the Kansas State Board of Healing Arts–the state agency charged with licensing health providers in Kansas–does not recognize Rolfers for licensing as a medical profession. This lack of official recognition often eliminates Rolfing—as well as other therapies—from the list of medical treatments covered under major medical insurance plans. And that can be a significant barrier for potential Rolfing clients who are asked to pay $80-$125 for each of the standard 10 sessions of treatment (though follow-up treatments are sometimes done on a monthly basis or for a specific pain or ailment). Rolfers explain that their clients, regardless of how the state or insurance companies choose to classify their profession, feel and notice a significant health difference. And Redding says he believes the trend

/ SPRING 2010 / sunflowerpub.com


wellness

within the wider health community is to view Rolfing as a “complementary” treatment. Lawrence Rolfers also emphasize that their techniques are most effective in conjunction with proper nutrition and exercise. Redding says, depending on one’s diet, internal organs can actually become very tight, which can affect the integrity and health of the entire body. “When any organ is thrown out of rhythm, it starts acting like the black hole in space, and it starts pulling surrounding structures into it,” Redding says. “When you take the drag out of the body and get the organs moving better, then there’s just a whole new level of vitality. “The end goal is to leave the body balanced front to back, left to right, but, most importantly, inside to outside. And when you achieve that, then the body can go on lengthening even after the sessions end for a while as long as the person isn’t eating things that throw their guts out or pull them back short.” Krebs echoes such sentiments and insists diet has the biggest impact on the biochemistry of a person’s tissue and in turn the tissue’s level of responsiveness. “People who have really clean, healthy diets tend to have softer, more malleable tissue,” Krebs says. In conjunction with proper nutrition and regular exercise, Rolfing advocates say the sessions can contribute significantly to improving overall health and helping to keep people young. “As we get older, we walk more and more like penguins,” Redding says. “That’s the compression and twist coming into the body. If you take regular steps to keep that compression and twist out of your body and stay longer, then essentially you’re fighting off the aging process.” m

spring 2010

/ Lawrence Magazine

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wellness story by

Peter Bass prepares a meal from his home kitchen in rural Lawrence.

/ Amber Brejcha Fraley

“Do CIA-trained chefs really cook on electric stoves with nonstick pans?” I wonder as I sit at Peter Bass’ country kitchen table. Apparently so. I have to admit that I had been expecting a restaurantquality gas range, fancy imported knives and impossibly expensive cookware when I visited Peter, a graduate of the prestigious Culinary Institute of America and head chef of Jo Shmo’s restaurant, at his farmhouse just west of Lawrence near Clinton Lake. What I get is a dose of reality. While Peter sautés mushrooms and fresh thyme in a very ordinary-looking skillet on his electric range top and mixes hummus in a food processor that’s seen a lot of use, his two young children run in and out of the kitchen. Their chatter neither ruffles nor distracts Peter from his cooking.

Nonni’s Boy Peter Bass cooks up healthy comfort cuisine from his home in rural Lawrence

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Lawrence Magazine

/ spring 2010 / sunflowerpub.com

photography by

/ jason dailey


wellness

He grew up eating his grandmother’s comfort food—dishes like potato pancakes, spaghetti Bolognese, Swedish meatballs and chop suey—and the association of love and good food stayed with him.

One of the benefits of moving to Lawrence for Peter Bass was the access to fresh, local produce, such as the zucchini and summer squash for his grilled veggie sandwich recipe.

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“Daddy, I’m hungry!” his daughter complains at one point. “You hungry, Boo? How about some hummus?” Peter asks. “Yes!” Luckily for both of them, there is enough hummus to complete the grilled vegetable sandwich he is making and satisfy his daughter’s request. It also brings a question to mind: “So do your kids eat gourmet meals with you two or do they live on macaroni and cheese like my child does?” Peter’s wife, Laura, smiles, opens a cupboard and produces a box of Annie’s organic macaroni and cheese. Somehow, this makes me feel a little better about my own parental cooking. Though Peter’s resume includes an impressive list of gourmet schooling as well as jobs at a list of ritzy East Coast and Chicago restaurants as long as his arm, his approach to cooking at home is far more pragmatic. He believes in using fresh, honest ingredients and treating them with kid gloves so their individual flavors are able to shine through. His love of simple, good-tasting foods was fostered by his grandmother, a woman he lovingly refers to as his “Nonni.” He grew up eating his grandmother’s comfort food—dishes like potato pancakes, spaghetti Bolognese, Swedish meatballs and chop suey—and the association of love and good food stayed with him. “She

Lawrence Magazine

His love of simple, good-tasting foods was fostered by his grandmother, a woman he lovingly refers to as his “Nonni.”

made these little raspberry cookies that were off the hook,” Peter says. “She was my light.” It’s a philosophy Peter passes on to his family in his kitchen. The Basses have lived in the Lawrence area for approximately a year and a half, so Peter relies mainly on fresh foods from the Downtown Lawrence Farmers’ Market for the dinner table, although he and Laura hope to put in their own vegetable garden this spring. They relocated from Chicago because Laura knew that the family would thrive away from the big city in the fun little town where she went to college. Peter started as the chef at the Holiday Inn when they first moved to Lawrence but just happened to run into a friend from their restaurant days in Chicago: Josh Mochel, owner of Jo Shmo’s. The two men decided they could help each other, and today, Peter is the chef at Jo Shmo’s, where he is assisted by sous chef Kevin Proctor. “I owe all my success to my wife and my kids,” says Peter. “I have to give my wife the credit. I wouldn’t be in Lawrence if it weren’t for her.” m

/ SPRING 2010 / sunflowerpub.com


wellness

Peter’s Grilled Veggie Sandwich 1 portobello mushroom, sliced several tablespoons olive oil 2 tablespoons fresh thyme, chopped 1 loaf challah bread or brioche 1 medium summer squash, cut into ¾-inch slices 1 medium zucchini, cut into ¾-inch slices Hummus (recipe below) 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped

Hummus 1 cup drained garbanzo beans (canned are fine) 1 clove garlic 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar 2 teaspoons salt 1 stalk fresh thyme 1 stalk fresh parsley several tablespoons olive oil (water works as well) To make the hummus, place garbanzo beans, garlic, balsamic vinegar, salt, thyme and parsley into food processor or blender. While the garbanzo beans are mixing, stream in olive oil until hummus is desired consistency. (Some people like it thicker and chunkier, while others prefer it thinner and smoother, explains Peter.) Sauté mushroom slices in a couple tablespoons of olive oil with a pinch of fresh thyme. Brush slices of challah bread on both sides with olive oil. Drizzle squash and zucchini with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place the challah bread and the squash and zucchini slices on the grill, turning once, just until the bread is crispy and the vegetables have grill marks on them. To assemble the sandwich, spread hummus on one slice of bread. Place vegetables on the hummus and finish with the top slice of bread. Garnish with fresh parsley if desired. Serves 2 adults. Peter says it’s fine to use baba ganoush on the sandwich rather than hummus, especially if you like eggplant. He also suggests using brioche if challah bread isn’t available. “I like the sweetness of the challah bread and the texture.” It’s a soft bread, Peter explains, that gets a nice crunchiness on the outside when it’s grilled. The sandwich is great by itself but could be served with cole slaw or a fresh pickled cucumber salad, he says.

spring 2010

/ Lawrence Magazine

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wellness photography by

T DJ Hilding runs a portion of the course designated for the upcoming Kansas Marathon. Hilding says this particular stretch near the Youth Sports Complex—an area of flat ground protected from the wind by trees along the path—will be a good spot to make up for any lost time.

his spring, on April 18, Lawrence hosts the Kansas Marathon, an event for serious racers as well as local runners who want to finish their first 26.2-miler on home ground. We asked two experienced marathon runners from Lawrence to run us through the course. Drawing on their knowledge of the local conditions, they’ve provided this mile-bymile advice for runners as well as fans who want to cheer them on.

M or e i n f o : … For more information about the Lynn Electric Kansas Marathon presented by Hy-Vee, see the official website at www. k a n s a s m a r at h o n . c o m or call Sally Zogry at ( 7 8 5 ) 8 4 1 - 5 7 6 0 , e x t. 2 0 9 .

Marathon Memo Road-tested runners guide you through Lawrence’s big spring marathon

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Lawrence Magazine

/ spring 2010 / sunflowerpub.com

/ jason dailey


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wellness

Miles 11-20: The rolling hills here will help keep you focused.



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Miles 12-15: This looks like a long slog. I would love to see spectators out here. Not the most exciting for spectators, but important for runners.

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17 13

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Miles 9-11: This could be an area hit hard by wind. Miles 9-11: I think the valley will protect you from any wind here, though when you come out of the valley it might be tough if there are strong winds.

BOB BILLINGS

WAKARUSA DRIVE

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10 9 Mile 22-23: Hold back a bit longer than you would in other marathons for this, the hardest part. It’s the hardest part of any marathon, but also the hardest part of this course. Boston is famous for “Heartbreak Hill.” I imagine this is steeper, maybe not as long, but it is a definite challenge this late in the run. If you can get past Wakarusa Drive, then you’re good to finish!

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Lawrence Magazine

/ SPRING 2010 / sunflowerpub.com

Mile 22-23: Up to Wakarusa is brutal. This is a tough portion of the finish.




wellness

DJ Hilding

N 2 ND S T

KA S O L D D R I VE

Mile 20: The “true” halfway mark—the tough part is ahead.

LAWR

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Miles 20-22: A nice thing about this “out-and-back” stretch is that you can cross people ahead and 6TH ST behind you. I always love seeing the first woman coming through the course.

H ST

Elizabeth Weeks Leonard A recreational cyclist, experienced marathoner and occasional triathlete, Elizabeth is a KU law professor who also serves as president of the board of directors of Health Care Access, Lawrence’s nonprofit, primary KA NS medical clinic dedicated to serving lower-income, A S uninsured county RIV ER residents. (Race organizers say all proceeds from the Kansas Marathon will benefit Health Care Access—perhaps a bit of inspiration for runners to draw on when they hit the wall.)

KASOLD DRIVE

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2 1 19 T H S T

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CLI NTON PA RKWA Y

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A Lawrence High School and University of Kansas cross country standout, DJ won last year’s Kansas Marathon (which was a half marathon for the inaugural run) and dispenses running advice as the manager of Garry Gribble’s Running Sports store at 839 Massachusetts St.

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Campus stretch: The first few miles through campus will be rather hilly, which is good because it will keep people from going out too fast. I’d rather have the hills at the beginning than at the end.



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kansas marathon sunflowerpub.com

Mile 1: Going through campus is fun and you get some big hills over at the beginning.

/ SPRING 2010 / Lawrence Magazine

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community story by / Suzanne Heck

photography by

/ jason dailey

A m e r i can Indian At h l e t ic Ha l l of Fa m e

Coffin Sports Complex Haskell Indian Nations University

www.americanindian athletichalloffame.com Hours: 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Friday Admission: Free

Native Legends From Olympic gold medalists to champion dog mushers, the greatest American Indian athletes are honored in a Lawrencebased hall of fame

Gerald L. “Jerry” Tuckwin was inducted into the American Indian Athletic Hall of Fame for his contributions as a coach and athletics director at Haskell Indian Nations University.

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here is no 7-foot-tall bronze statue of Jim Thorpe at the American Indian Athletic Hall of Fame in Lawrence. For that, you must travel to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio, to see where the Sac and Fox sportsman, often considered the greatest athlete of the 20th century, is enshrined. Thorpe is included, however, with approximately 100 other American Indian athletes in an exhibit that sits on the west

Lawrence Magazine

side of the lobby in the gymnasium at Coffin Sports Complex at Haskell Indian Nations University. Rows of upright display cases filled with plaques pay tribute to those who have been elected to the American Indian Athletic Hall of Fame through the years. This hall of fame honors well-known greats like Billy Mills (Sioux), who won a gold medal in the 1964 Olympics with his come-from-behind 10,000-meter run, and John Levi (Arapaho), who played

/ spring 2010 / sunflowerpub.com

baseball for the New York Yankees and was an AllAmerican football player in the 1920s. But the intriguing aspect of the exhibit is the lesser-known sports figures who were chosen for more unique sports that are representative of American Indian people. For example, there is dog musher Emmitt Peters (Athabascan), who set a world record in the Iditarod in 1975, and Jackson Sundown (Nez Perce), who in the early 1900s was so good at bronc riding that the animals underneath him would eventually just stop and other cowboys would drop out of the contests altogether because they knew that Sundown would win. Even at age 53, Sundown reigned as rodeo’s world champion back in 1916. There is also Joe Tindle Thornton (Cherokee), who set three world records for archery in Oslo, Norway, in 1961, and David W. Bray (Seneca), who was inducted for his expertise in lacrosse and track. American Indian women have also made


community

their mark, including Angelita Rosal (Sioux), who competed in table tennis at the 1973 World Championships in Sarajevo, Karen Mackey (Santee Sioux) in martial arts and Dawn Kelly Allen (Euchee/Quapaw/Cherokee) in tennis. Since its founding in 1972, the hall of fame has been supported by individual and tribal donations and run by a six-member board that reviews and approves candidates for induction ceremonies held regularly, but not necessarily every year. Candidates are evaluated by their playing ability, integrity, sportsmanship, character and contributions to sports. Of course, candidates must have a proven American Indian identity and must have participated at a post-high school level of an amateur or professional sport that is recognized by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) or National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA). Last year, two out of the four athletes inducted were from Lawrence. Warner “Tony” Coffin (Prairie Band Potawatomi) was given posthumous recognition for his service as a longtime coach at Haskell. The school’s athletic facility, Coffin Sports Complex, is also named in honor of this mentor who died in 1966. One of Coffin’s former students was the other Lawrence inductee. Gerald L. “Jerry” Tuckwin worked for 32 years as Haskell’s director of athletics. He was also recognized for his contributions as a track and field coach there. Under his tutelage, Haskell’s team members earned National Junior College Athletic Association AllAmerican recognition 30 times and twice won the National Junior College marathon championship, which was the first national title won by Haskell. Tuckwin was named Kansas Junior College Coach of the Year three times and was the national runner-up once. He has also supported the hall of fame throughout his career and into his retirement. “Jerry has been with the organization since day one,” says Carol Green, president of the hall of fame. “We couldn’t ask for a better representative for our organization or a better role model for Native American youth.” Although the hall of fame honors outstanding athletes and coaches such as Tuckwin, it stands for more than recognition. The American

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Lawrence Magazine

Ot her n ota b le me mber s of t h e A m e r ic a n I n dia n At h l e t ic Ha l l of Fa m e i n c lu de : … N a m e : Louis Sockalexis Y e a r i n d u c t e d : 2000 S p o r t: baseball T r i b e : Penobscot M a j o r a c h i e v e m e n t: He was

“Jerry has been with the organization since day one. We couldn’t ask for a better representative for our organization or a better role model for Native American youth.” – Carol Green

Indian Athletic Hall of Fame testifies to a spiritual connection that native people have to the world of games, sports and competition that has been passed down through time and across diverse communities. In honoring past legends, the roll call of greats seeks to acknowledge role models who might strengthen this connection for future generations. m

/ SPRING 2010 / sunflowerpub.com

the first American Indian to play professional baseball. Sockalexis played for the Cleveland Spiders, which eventually became the Cleveland Indians—a name change that some say resulted from Sockalexis’ influence. N a m e : Thomas Stidham Y e a r i n d u c t e d : 1995 S p o r t: football, coaching T r i b e : Creek M a j o r a c h i e v e m e n t: Stidham

captained Haskell’s undefeated 1926 football team. He went on to coach in the 1930s and ’40s at the University of Oklahoma and Marquette University. Haskell’s student union building was dedicated in 1965 as Stidham Union in his honor. N a m e : Wilson “Buster” Charles Y e a r i n d u c t e d : 1972 S p o r t: track, basketball T r i b e : Oneida M a j o r a c h i e v e m e n t: Charles

took fourth place in the decathlon at the 1932 Olympic Games. Two years earlier, he won the Kansas Relays decathlon.


community story by / Paula Naughtin

photography by

The Goats of Douglas County They’re cute, smart and full of good stuff—perhaps that’s why some find it hard to refuse these kids a joy ride to the ice cream store Above With a regal bearing that would probably make her namesake proud, Cleo (short for Cleopatra) is a Nubian goat who lives on the Dalquest farm south of Lawrence. Above right Goat cheese from the Nubian goats on the Goddard farm is stored in a Mason jar.

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e’re not just kidding around—there are some very devoted goat people in Douglas County. How devoted? Well, Wendy Dalquest, who lives south of Lawrence, would load her first pair of goats in the car and get them ice cream cones from a drive-in restaurant. Noah and Sue Goddard have three heated birthing rooms in their barn where they attend the arrival of every baby goat.

Lawrence Magazine

And Denise Skeeba, from Homestead Ranch, relates this story from a few years ago. “We had kids born super early—it was super, super cold outside. We didn’t have our heated kids’ section set up. So we kept them in our shower stall for two months. We carried them down twice a day to nurse on their mothers.” You can also gauge the dedication of goat owners by the amount of affection in their voices when they talk about their animals and the time and thought they

/ spring 2010 / sunflowerpub.com

/ jason dailey

put into raising and caring for their goats. Right now, for instance, Wendy has only five goats. Those five, however, require two milkings every day. It’s a good thing, says Wendy, that she doesn’t really like to travel much. Wendy bought her first pair (the ones who got ice cream) to help clear the overgrown brush at the farm she and her husband, Ron, purchased in 1986. She quickly found that, contrary to common thought, goats don’t eat just anything, at least not when they have some nice grain and alfalfa. But it was too late. Her male goat, Wild Bill, “was something else entirely. He just made me fall in love with goats.” The Goddards started with a mixed breed goat and then switched to Nubians. They have conscientiously bred their goats to develop a herd of prodigious milk producers with the breed’s best characteristics. That careful attention has produced a goat with what Noah calls the distinctive


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community

T he breeds … There are three types of goat breeds that dominate the farms and homes around Lawrence. T h e c h at t y N u b i a n

top A trio of Nubian goats greets visitors at the Goddard farm west of Lawrence. middle Denise and Courtney Skeeba sell butter soap and lotion products from their goats at Homestead Ranch. bottom Both LaMancha, front, and Nubian goats live on the Dalquest farm.

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“Goddard goat” look. The Goddards also test all of their goats for a genetic defect that is common in Nubians. This requires DNA analysis for each goat—an expensive process. But Noah says this is the only way he can be sure that the defect is kept from the breeding line. Courtney Skeeba had a LaMancha dairy goat when she was younger. After she and Denise moved to their farm, friends who had pet goats found they could no longer keep them. So the Skeebas started with a doe, Bambi, (who was one of Wendy Dalquest’s) and a wither (a neutered male goat). They now have 15 goats and raise them for both milk and meat. And then there’s Craig Moeckly, the most experienced of the group. He was an animal caretaker in Iowa for 1,500 goats that were used for medical products. When he moved to a farm south of Lawrence, he started with LaMancha goats and now raises Boer goats for meat. He also works full time at a veterinary vaccine manufacturer and part-time at a dairy farm. Each goat breed has different characteristics, but all of them share many traits, including the fact that they are surprisingly smart. “You have to use three-stage locks on their gates because they’re crafty,” says Denise Skeeba. And cute. In fact, these goat owners know there are not many things cuter than a young kid, especially when it comes up to you and wants its head scratched. The goats of Douglas County give creamy and easily digested milk, savory cheese, tangy yogurt, low-cholesterol meat and gentle soap and moisturizing lotion. And they are lovable, as evidenced by their devoted owners. m

Lawrence Magazine

/ SPRING 2010 / sunflowerpub.com

Nubians are the most common dairy goats in America. They originated in Africa and were spread through the world by the British. Unlike other goat breeds, Nubians can come in any color. The Goddards have a sweet little dappled goat with gray and brown shades, black goats—one with a white splash on her side is named Snowflake—and goats with rich reddish-brown coats combined with white, black or both colors. Nubians produce milk with the highest butterfat content. Both Wendy Dalquest and Denise Skeeba commented on “voicy” Nubians, or, as Wendy says, “the talkers.” The social LaMancha

Some refer to LaManchas as “earless.” They aren’t, of course, but they lack the outside part of the ear. Wendy Dalquest says the LaManchas “are really personable, like dogs. They have their own personalities and routines.” LaManchas are dairy goats. Their milk, like that of the Nubians, is difficult to tell from cow’s milk. And like the Nubians’ milk, the milk from a LaMancha is highly digestible by all animal species. In fact, Wendy says wildlife rehabilitators use goat milk for orphaned deer fawns. T h e m e at y B o e r

Boer goats are raised for meat rather than milk. The does can have two pregnancies a year, while other goat breeds give birth just one time a year. (Although Craig Moeckly only breeds his once a year.) Moeckly says Boers are “great grazers” that gain weight faster and build bigger muscles.


community story by / Paula Naughtin

photography by

Worldly Platters

Priscilla Howe

A decades-old dining group provides palates with passports

Above A range of side and main dishes as well as desserts are assembled for each meal of the international dining group. Above left Patricia Graham enjoys one of the group’s dinners.

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s Carol Jean Brune explains, it was easier than catching Air France. “A bunch of us were sitting around drinking and said, ‘Wouldn’t it be fun to go to Paris?’ To get psyched up, we said, ‘Let’s have a fancy French dinner.’ So we had this nice, formal candlelit French dinner.” One year later, in 1983, three of the 10 friends did travel to Paris together, but that didn’t stop their dinners. In fact, they grew even more popular. One month

Lawrence Magazine

after the French-themed meal, the group met for an Italian dinner. And then they invited more and more people for monthly international-themed dinners until their group was so large that there was no table to fit them. There were no more invitations and no more dinners. But the dinners were too much fun— and the food was too good—for the idea to die off. After four or five years of the club being dormant, a few people decided to re-establish the tradition, and since then it has been going strong with about

/ spring 2010 / sunflowerpub.com

/ Jason Dailey

35 people attending the monthly meals. The rules governing the dinners are simple. Members take turns hosting; people with smaller houses tend to volunteer in the summer when guests can spill out into the yard. Each guest or couple contributes at least one dish. There are no meal assignments, so each guest decides whether to make an appetizer, a dessert, a main dish or something else. Vegetarians and meat-eaters share the table; because several in the group are vegetarians, usually at least half of the dishes are meatless. Because the group is so large, the lack of planning has worked quite well. Cheryl Hewitt, a relatively new member, says she is amazed by how the main courses, side dishes, salads and desserts always arrive in “proportional and abundant amounts.” In fact, members recall only one occasion—an Italian meal—where there was no dessert at all.


community

Ot her l on g s ta n di n g di n n e r g ro u p s …

The New Year’s group

At the end of each meal, the following month’s theme is chosen by a random drawing. Past selections have included Japanese, Mexican and German cuisine as well as Tibetan, Croatian and Polynesian. When the dinners began 25 years ago, there would be a rather competitive rush at the public library for cookbooks featuring the upcoming month’s cuisine. Drawing on online resources, members now can search for any specific recipe.

For approximately 30 years, one dinner group has gathered for an elaborate meal on New Year’s Eve. Founding member Karen Gould, who now lives in Kansas City but returns each year for the meal along with her husband Bob, usually plans the meal in conjunction with another couple. “The theme changes each year,” says Karen. “One year it may be Mexican, and the next just super gourmet food.” M y g a l / g u y F r i d ay

There are no meal assignments, so each guest decides whether to make an appetizer, a dessert, a main dish or something else.

Each dish has a small label identifying the chef, the name of the dish and whether it is vegetarian. Members then choose their meal and spread across the host home to dine and talk. bottom right Sven Alstrom prepares to taste variations on Indian cuisine contributed by fellow members of the dining club.

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This range of options combined with Lawrence’s variety of specialty food stores ensures that members frequently have a chance to cook with and sample what might be new ingredients, such as chickpea flour, cardamom or baby octopus. Of course, the competition might have moved from the library reserve shelves to the table. Having more options with recipes and ingredients allows for cooking increasingly elaborate dishes. So the couple that bring an elegant and skillfully prepared shahi paneer (curry with cheese) might be given notice that another couple brought a paneer dish that uses homemade cheese. But slight culinary one-upmanship just leads to even better dishes the following month, when the group “travels” to another location across the globe. m

Lawrence Magazine

/ SPRING 2010 / sunflowerpub.com

Jayni Carey is part of a group of 20-25 people who dub their monthly get-togethers “First Friday.” Instead of a full meal, participants bring appetizers and a bottle of wine. “All these people are great cooks,” says Jayni, “but it’s all about the wine.” T h e R i c e Ta b l e

Inspired by Rijsttafel, a Dutch twist on Indonesian cuisine that pairs a steaming bowl of rice with a variety of dishes, one set of local diners has enjoyed a monthly “Rice Table” for 22 years. Jennifer Glenn, one of nine or 10 regular participants, says the hosting family provides the rice, dessert and drinks while the others bring anything that may go on or beside the rice. This group, too, forgoes assigned choices—the cooks prepare whatever they like. “Sometimes we may end up with three lentil dishes,” says Jennifer. “But that’s part of the fun.”


community story by / Cheryl Nelsen

photography by

/ jason dailey

R e ady to t h row ? For more information about the Lawrence Dart Association league, send an e-mail to lawrencedarts@live.com. Besides the fun on league nights, members compete in tournaments for charity. Some of the organizations and events that have benefited from their fundraisers are Toys for Tots, Lawrence Humane Society and the Lawrence St. Patrick’s Day Parade.

The Women Darters The world of competitive darts in Lawrence includes longtime players and a core group of female competitors

Some of the women in the Lawrence Dart Association include, from left, Dean Haller, Cyd Schnacke, Jill Nesbitt and Laura Talley.

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D

ean Haller would spend time with her family by keeping score whenever her husband and son would play darts. That’s when she had her rev-

elation. “I thought, ‘This isn’t right. I can play, too,’” Haller says. “I enjoy the competition and I like visiting with people.” So she picked up the darts and kept throwing over the years, welcoming the next generation of her family as a darter.

Lawrence Magazine

“The fun part was my grandchildren could count to three before they could talk because I’d hold them in my left arm and throw the darts,” Haller says. Some 33 years later, 70-year-old Haller, who works full time managing her hair salon, still plays darts with her family, including grandson Mike Walters, who is now president of the Lawrence Dart Association. Their family games have spilled over into various bars and venues across Lawrence, growing into a

/ spring 2010 / sunflowerpub.com

league of approximately 60 local darters. During the recent fall season, 10 teams of at least four players competed in the league at Astro’s, Conroy’s, Harbour Lights, Red Lyon and West Coast Saloon. Justin Ahrens, vice president of the association, says the group is close to an expansion with fresh players. He hopes to field at least 16 teams in the league so it can be split into gold and silver classes by skill level. “That way you’re not having a team throwing against a top team. Losing is not fun. I’ve seen guys that come and they lose, and they don’t care. They’re having a good time with their guys. I tell them, ‘As long as you’re having a good time, that’s all that matters,’” Ahrens says. Despite Haller’s trailblazing amateur darter career, female players are still a distinct minority in the league. There is one team made up of seven women who rank themselves as the underdogs.


community

top Dean Haller and Cyd Schnacke pretend to re-enact the William Tell saga with darts.

“We’re the worst team in the league,” says Cyd Schnacke, perhaps too uncharitably. Team members around her disagree and pipe up: “No, we’re not.” “We’re next to last.” “Our goal is to not be last.” Laura Talley, one of the charter members of the women’s team that was formed in 2001, agrees they play for fun, but she also likes to measure herself against a few other players.

“I’m a competitive person, so it’s a nice way for me to be competitive. I’m not going to get out on the tennis court anymore, but this doesn’t hurt my knees.” – Laura Talley

middle The Lawrence Dart Association is a fairly relaxed league, but teams do keep score and compete at the gatherings. bottom The current president of the Lawrence Dart Association, Mike Walters, is one of Dean Haller’s grandchildren who learned to count and add partly through playing darts.

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“I’m a competitive person, so it’s a nice way for me to be competitive. I’m not going to get out on the tennis court anymore, but this doesn’t hurt my knees,” she says. “I feel like I get respect from the old-timers. It’s a big deal when I beat them, and I do every now and then.” Haller, who has played for 20 years with some of her teammates on a coed team, throws darts at least an hour a day. She says she doesn’t have much time for darts any more, but some other players have even less. Schnacke says, “The logistics of the game are easy, but to throw the darts is not. It’s purely based on how much you practice. Unfortunately, the only time we practice is minutes before we’re getting ready to play.” m

Lawrence Magazine

/ SPRING 2010 / sunflowerpub.com

A n ato m y of a Da rt … F l i g h t: Most people choose darts

based on design, but different shapes cause different flight patterns, such as providing some spin.

S h a f t: This can be made of plastic or metal (the more expensive ones are titanium). Plastic shafts often break or bend during the game. B a r r e l : Competitive players

want thin ones so they can get three darts into the bull’s-eye. Most players choose a barrel that fits comfortably into their grip.

P o i n t: Some points, called “moveable tips,” are retractable. This is done so that if the point hits the wire on the dartboard, it will give slightly, go around the wire and land on the board rather than falling onto the ground. Serious players will sharpen their dart points and have them replaced once the point wears down. D a r t s r a n g e i n p r i c e : A set of

three league-quality darts costs $20 to $200. But there are two types of darts a Lawrence Dart Association member will not use: soft darts or the house darts.


imme a sur ably

more

A mission and ministry lead to full lives in


Sto ry by K at herine D in s da l e

Ph oto g r a ph y c o u r t e sy pa m a nd st e v e zi c ker

a f u l l h o m e f o r t h e Z i c k e r fa m i ly

Cancun. The French Riviera. Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity orphanage in Nairobi. Friends of Steve and Pam Zicker wouldn’t have too tough a time guessing which of those locations the Lawrence couple visited during their 1995 honeymoon. For Steve, booking the flight to Nairobi was a clever way to accelerate Pam’s “yes” to his marriage proposal. Pam was trying to decide whether to be a missionary or a Mrs. and wanted to go to Africa to better discern her calling. Steve learned that only married couples were welcome at the guest quarters there—a great reason, he quickly pointed out to Pam, to marry. Pam’s fact-finding mission morphed into a honeymoon, but in what the Zickers say is God’s way of giving them “immeasurably more than we ask or imagine,” the mission and ministry work the couple hoped to do together now are at the center of their family and work lives. Since that Kenyan honeymoon, three natural-born children came in quick succession. Curtis, Cailyn and Lydia arrived within 3 1/2 years of one another. And then in 2005, Steve traveled to Ethiopia to bring home Natinael, a bright-eyed and healthy 4-year-old boy. While in Ethiopia, Steve agreed to a 30-minute coffee date with a field worker from Christian Veterinary Mission. Steve, a veterinarian with Hill’s Pet Nutrition and a specialist in large animal nutrition, already knew what the official explained. Improving the health of a country’s livestock can have a huge direct effect on the health of the population. Pam remembers Steve telling her the story of that conversation with tears in his eyes. The field worker, who had spent 28 years in Ethiopia, told Steve that there were many qualified vets in the United States but precious few in Ethiopia. His final plea was short and blunt: “We need you here.” So as little Natinael settled in to what his adoptive mom calls “his new and forever family,” Pam and Steve began thinking about how all the Zickers might volunteer in Ethiopia.

A young child at market. 2009, Hiwane, Ethiopia


A girl shepherds animals. 2006, Adi Gudem, Ethiopia

“I would love nothing more than to see my Ethiopian


dau g h t er s e t u p h er p er m a n en t h o m e i n E t h i o p i a .” – pam zicker

Steve soon got permission from Hill’s for a one-year leave of absence with Christian Veterinary Mission while Pam clarified her own plans to create a nonprofit, licensed volunteer agency focusing on older orphans who were most always passed over by international adopters. By the time all the Zickers had their final rounds of necessary immunizations, Pam had created Fields of Promise, a child-placing agency with a 501(c)(3) status, licensing and board of directors. The organization’s name and mission, “transforming the Fields of the Fatherless into Fields of Promise, one life at a time,” is inspired by a line from the Old Testament Book of Proverbs—a reference familiar to the largely Christian (Ethiopian Orthodox) population in Ethiopia’s Tigray region that the organization would assist. On July 30, 2006, the six Zickers and their 26 pieces of luggage were airborne. They carried with them everything they and their pediatrician could imagine them needing medically, as well as donated goods and equipment, veterinary books and homeschooling supplies. The learning curve the first few weeks was steep. While Steve lectured at the vet school, Pam set up housekeeping and negotiated crowded markets, searching for foods her children might halfway recognize. They were ferenjees—“foreigners” in the Ethiopian language of Amharic—and people were fascinated by Natinael’s presence with their family. Why would ferenjees accept a habesha, an Ethiopian, into their family? Soon the family settled in, enjoying the slower pace and the kindness of the people. They began right away assisting existing NGOs (non-governmental organizations) with their work. An office, a medical clinic and a dairy cow shed were built with Fields of Promise funds. Veterinary students and faculty were provided with medical care, and an emergency medical fund was established for the veterinary school. Fields of Promise also established the first of several boarding houses for blind students. Returning to the U.S. a year later was as difficult a transition as the move to Ethiopia had been. “We didn’t really want to come home. Everything seemed so much more real there,” Pam says. She recalls seeing Halloween

The members of the Zicker family—from left, Eyerusalem, Cailyn, Pam, Lydia, Steve, Natinael and Curtis—realize, as Pam says, “that the world is much bigger than what they see here” in Lawrence.


Operation Rescue orphans join Pam in 2007 in Mekelle, Ethiopia

“ W e d i d n ’ t r e a l ly w a n t t o c o m e h o m e .


E v ery t h i n g s eem ed s o m u c h m o r e r e a l t h er e .” – pam zicker

costumes for dogs at a Lawrence store shortly after she returned. “That about did me in.” Re-entry blues were eased, however, by a continued commitment to the work they began. Pam and Steve take turns traveling to Ethiopia three times a year, providing regular contact and continued funding for their projects. Several of the children in the orphan homes assisted by Fields of Promise have been placed with American families or await court dates for approval of their adoptions. In addition to the Zickers, three other Lawrence families have adopted children from Ethiopia through Fields of Promise. In February 2008, a second Ethiopian child, Eyerusalem, joined the Zicker family. The girl was 9 years old and her mother had just passed away when she met Pam and Steve. The immediacy of her loss made relocation particularly challenging. “The adjustment has not been a cake walk,” Pam says, “but it really never is for adoptive families.” Eyerusalem, now 11, says she plans to return to Ethiopia after going to medical school “to learn to help other children’s mommies who are sick.” She plans on sharing her house in Ethiopia with her American sister Lydia, now 9, who wants to work there as a teacher. Pam encourages Eyerusalem’s devotion to her homeland. “I would love nothing more than to see my Ethiopian daughter set up her permanent home in Ethiopia,” Pam says. “That’s what three of my five kids say they want now. And what a rich treasure they have on their hands. They realize that the world is much bigger than what they see here. They know that life is more than our hustle, bustle, ‘all about me’ mentality.” Meanwhile the Zickers take life one step at a time. “There is nothing special or unique about our skills or strengths,” Pam says. “But I dread the thought of becoming stagnant in life and just living for myself. I hope that Steve and I are always willing to take that next step of faith that God has for us and our family.” m

A woman prays outside a church. 2007, Lalibela, Ethiopia


F o r m o r e i n f o r m at i o n , s ee

w w w.fieldsofpromise.org and w w w.cvmusa .org.

Wh y

Ethiopia? Ethiopia, currently a nation of approximately 80 million people, faced famine throughout the 1970s. But the combination of civil war and crop collapse in the early 1980s led to severe starvation (it is estimated that a million people died) for areas of the country—particularly the Tigray region, where Steve and Pam Zicker would work some 20 years later. At the onset of this crisis in 1983, Christian Veterinary Mission launched its Ethiopian effort. In the next two years, the famine rose to international attention through global relief efforts and publicity events such as the British superstar pop group Band Aid’s charity song “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” Decades later, the situation in Ethiopia has improved. The nation’s ambassador to the United States noted a 40 percent reduction in his country’s child mortality rate from 1993 to 2008. Christian Veterinary Mission President Kit Flower says he has noticed significant progress in the country in terms of stability and infrastructure development. One of the brightest spots, Flower says, is the training of a new generation of Ethiopian professionals who are addressing the country’s health and agricultural needs. However, Christian Veterinary Mission, which has operated continuously in Ethiopia since 1983, and many other international organizations still provide aid to the country. Flower says that in addition to veterinary and medical programs, international adoptions are still sometimes the best solution for Ethiopian children because the traditional safety net of extended family is often the most vulnerable link in a society at-risk. He believes that adoption programs like Pam Zicker’s Fields of Promise will be an essential component of international aid for at least another decade. The U.S. Department of State reports that 2,277 Ethiopian children were adopted into American homes for 2009—the highest figure in recent years and more than 50 times the number of Ethiopian children, 42, adopted by Americans in 1999.

The many faces of Ethiopia include, clockwise from top left, a young girl peeking through a doorway, a woman threshing wheat and an Orthodox priest outside a church.


Wachovia Securities is now Wells Fargo AdvisorsSM We are proud to be a part of one of the nation’s premier financial services companies.

Jeffrey M. Ingles, CFP® First Vice President – Investments Branch Manager 1811 Wakarusa Drive, Suite 103 Lawrence, KS 66047 785-842-7680 Investment and Insurance Products: X NOT FDIC Insured X NO Bank Guarantee X MAY Lose Value Wells Fargo Advisors is the trade name used by two separate registered broker-dealers: Wells Fargo Advisors, LLC, and Wells Fargo Advisors Financial Network, LLC, Members SIPC, non-bank affiliates of Wells Fargo & Company. ©2009 Wells Fargo Advisors, LLC. All rights reserved. 0409-3012 [77894-v1] 6/09


Q&A F i ve Th ings A b ou t …

Ma rty Birrell,

M

arty Birrell’s office might be the only one in Lawrence where visitors are greeted not by a clerk, receptionist or security guard but by an African grey parrot. In this case, two of them: Duncan, a chatty and cheeky 10-yearold, and his more refined 16-year-old sister, Maurie. On this day, when the center is closed, Duncan’s squawks are the loudest sounds coming from the main room, but usually the center is filled with a chorus of animal and child voices—sounds that carry into Birrell’s office and symbolize her center’s mission. This goal of integrating wildlife into childhood education is also reflected in the five objects that Birrell chose as the most important items in her office.

1

5

director of Prairie Park Nature Center

Kyrie

Kyrie is an education bird, a peregrine falcon that was formerly a breeder bird for a conservation project. The opportunity to work with peregrine falcons is an exciting part of my job. They are symbolic of the conservation efforts that have been going on since the 1950s and are more or less a success story. I’ve enjoyed working with this bird; she’s a beautiful bird and relatively easy to handle.

Picture of her children, Ewan and Abigael

My kids are grown now, and this picture is faded, but this is a reminder of how some of our greatest experiences together are outdoors.

2

5

Rock collection

3

I’m constantly adding to this collection. Each rock comes from somewhere I have been or where someone close to me has been and has brought back for me.

3

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 2007 award for outstanding contributions in monitoring nesting bald eagles in Kansas

1

Being a biologist, one of the cool things is that every single day you have an “oh, wow!” experience. When you band eagles, you get to hold them, and it is really cool to know that that bird you band is going to go out into the wild and find a way to reproduce.

4

4

Carving of a greater yellowlegs

This is a bird carving that my father did many years ago. He’s a bird carver in his retirement. He and my mother both did a lot to instill a respect for the environment in their kids. When we were young, we spent a lot of time hiking and camping and fishing, and they continue doing that today. The outdoors is something that is in my blood.

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Lawrence Magazine

/ spring 2010 / sunflowerpub.com

2


journey story and photography by

/ susan kraus

C h o o s ing

a L a n g uag e S c ho ol …

Mexican Memory Upgrade Susan Kraus discovers tastes, sights and sounds as she reunites with her long-lost Spanish skills in rural Guadalajara ¿Como se dice … ? Ever think that for every new iota of information that enters your brain, something else is deleted from your mental hard drive—and you won’t know what that is until you really need it? Yeah, me too.

Local dancers perform at the Feria Municipla del Libro y La Cultura in Tlaquepaque’s central square. The festival features dance troupes of all ages and abilities.

92

So the idea of traveling to a village outside Guadalajara, Mexico, to attend language school and stuff my brain with forgotten Spanish verb tenses almost gave me a panic attack. Would I be able to remember anything? Or would it be an hourby-hour re-enactment of fear, disorientation and humiliation not experienced since Algebra II? I could barely pronounce the name of the village: Tlaquepaque (tla-kay-pa-kay). Try repeating that six times fast.

Lawrence Magazine

The village Tlaquepaque is known for its artisans and the pedestrian-only section of Avenida Independencia that features upscale galleries of ceramics, jewelry, glassware, sculpture, silver, leather, fabrics, furniture and more. Bargaining prevails on side streets and in smaller shops. I spent hours one afternoon exploring small glassblowing and ceramic factories, watching artisans at work. My biggest frustration was not having a truck: The stone

/ spring 2010 / sunflowerpub.com

I wanted small, informal and flexible. I wanted a school that did not have a rigid curriculum. I looked up every possible language school in Guadalajara, then eliminated those that touted multiple campuses, had a corporatelooking website or wanted full payment up-front. The school I found, GLC (Guadalajara Language Center), fit my needs and budget: no registration fees to apply, no materials fees, no pay-in-advance. Just a $50 deposit deducted from class fees once I showed up. The difference between classes and private lessons was only a few dollars per hour. When I called, the owner answered the phone, and then all of my questions. There are many programs in Mexico and throughout Central and South America, so you can choose which school best matches your interests and needs. Be selective, and remember that any reputable school should be willing to address concerns you might have in advance and be able to provide references from former students. If you are traveling with a family, look into schools that offer family rates with special lessons for kids as well as contact with local schoolchildren. A good language school should also offer home rentals for families.

fountains, grillwork and furniture were both beautiful and bargains. My daily walks through the village were a cultural immersion: Children in uniforms headed to school; women swept and washed their portions of narrow sidewalk; church bells chimed for morning Mass; open-air cafes served morning coffee. Even more memorable were the sounds: A cowbell dinged to tell people to bring out their basura (trash, with daily pickups, not weekly); the


journey

song of “Zeta, Zeta, Zeta gas” rang out loud and repetitively from the truck hauling stacked white cylinders of gas for stoves and boilers; the water man intoned “Ag-u-a, Ag-u-a” in a deep voice; the knife-sharpener blew a flute; a train whistle “whoowhooed” for fried bananas; small bells tinkled for the ice cream man, who often rode on a tricycle with a cooler tied to the front. Tlaquepaque is rich with music and dancing. Many restaurants have mariachi singers daily, and I especially loved the all-female mariachi singers at El Patio restaurant. Popular with tourists are the shows of folkloric song and dance at El Parián, an expansive entertainment area with several cafes.   My first evening I ventured up to the central plaza, the Jardin Hidalgo, and found the annual Feria Municipla del Libro y La Cultura in progress: live music, dancers, street vendors hawking unrecognizable versions of fast food, tents of booksellers. I spent an hour watching folk dance groups perform. Seventy-year-old women received the same enthusiastic clapping as svelte 20-somethings. Covered head-to-toe in fabric and lace, dancers flirted with their partners, in patterned steps, as they have for centuries, and the effect was hot.    From day one, I found that the reality of traveling in Mexico—even alone as a woman—was far more pleasurable than the myths would have you believe. Myth one: “It’s so dangerous.” Mexico is a country of states, just like the U.S., and assuming that drug cartel and gang violence is pervasive is like equating inner-city Detroit or L.A. with Eudora. Myth two: “You get sick from the water or food.” Restaurants can’t afford to have sick customers. Bottled water is plentiful. Myth three: “Intensive language study is difficult.” Well, yes and no on that. 

The studies  I last studied Spanish in high school, more than 40 years ago. But after the first few hours of lessons in Tlaquepaque, words emerged, like old clothes pulled from a long-abandoned closet—with holes but recognizable. After two hours, my brain felt fried. Yet instead of wanting to escape, I was ready to keep trying. I opted for private lessons, from 9 to 11 a.m., with a half-hour break, then from 11:30 to 12:30. I had a “fresh” instructor for the second session. Traveling alone meant I could not cheat by speaking English when away from school. In only four days, my skills moved from

sunflowerpub.com

halting present tense to considering the subjunctive and imperative. Language school is one of the best vacation bargains around, and Guadalajara Language Center proved it. At $20 a day for housing—I chose to live with a host family, staying in a private room with basic meals included—and $36 for three hours of intensive one-on-one tutoring, it was a daily cost of $56. Do group classes for two hours a day and the total drops to $36-$40. Of course, those figures do not include other essentials: two-for-one margaritas (El Patio, $2 each); eating out for the fun of it (a whopping $10 a day) and bus

/ spring 2010 / Lawrence Magazine

A church steeple stands tall in the center of Tlaquepaque.

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journey

Street vendors line the streets in central Tlaquepaque. With a few days of practice, even beginning language students will be able to step into line and buy snacks such as a portion of sugar cane from the vendors.

trips into historic Guadalajara ($1 each way for the upscale air-conditioned bus).   But the best reason to try language school, even if only for a week, is the mental, emotional and practical benefits. Yes, it was frustrating, even humiliating, to struggle with simple sentences. But it was gratifying to experience progress. Think mental treadmill: It makes you sweat but feels good later.   Language school is “slow travel,” serving as a nontouristy entrance into a culture. Locals, at least in this region of Mexico, appreciate that you are trying to learn their language. In a village, you become a part of the scene. In a Tlaquepaque café, on day three of my visit, my waitress said: “I saw you on the bench in the Jardin the other night. Did you enjoy the music?” And I understood what she said. And I replied, slowly, that yes, I liked the music very much, and that I was enjoying her town as well. She smiled warmly and told me the sopa flor de calabaza (squash blossom soup) was good, as was the vacio parillad (grilled flank steak). And I said, with my reclaimed Spanish, that her suggestions sounded very, very delicious. m


events Kansas Marathon (The Lynn

march Shidara

March 10 / LIED CENTER / Traditional Japanese taiko/drum ensemble presents rare concert outside Japan. (785) 864-2787

St. Patrick’s Day Parade March 17 / DOWNTOWN AND NORTH LAWRENCE / Annual charity parade with floats, bagpipers, bands and perhaps a few leprechauns. Parade begins from South Park at 1 p.m. Avenue Q

March 24 / LIED CENTER / Tony

Award-winning Broadway adult musical featuring a cast of singers and puppets. (785) 864-2787

a p ril Lawrence Dart Tournament Date TBA / Lawrence Dart Association hosts the spring dart tournament. For more information, send an e-mail to lawrencedarts@ live.com. Downtown Lawrence Farmers’ Market April 10 / DOWNTOWN LAWRENCE / Saturday morning season opens for the state’s longest continually operating farmers’ market. Located at the public parking lot in the 800 block of New Hampshire Street, the market will be open 7 a.m.-11 a.m. Saturdays through fall. (785) 331-4445 Insight, 30th Annual Lawrence Art Auction April 10 / LAWRENCE ARTS CENTER, 940 New Hampshire St. / Benefit auction featuring more than 150 works by area artists. Preauction showing opens March 22; featured artist Carol Ann Carter. For more information or to purchase tickets, call (785) 843-2787 Kronos Quartet April 13 / LIED CENTER / One of the nation’s most innovative and prolific string ensembles presents works by Terry Riley and more. (785) 864-2787 Lawrence Public Library Spring Book Sale April 15-25 / LAWRENCE PUBLIC LIBRARY / Thousands of donated books, videos and recordings are sold at the library, 707 Vermont St., to support its programs and services. Sale open to members of Friends of the Library on April 15; public invited April 16-25. (785) 843-3833

Electric Marathon Presented by Hy-Vee) April 18 / Full marathon, half

marathon and 5K races. Proceeds benefit Health Care Access. Registration and course information at www.kansasmarathon.com. AIDSWalk 2010 April 24 / 5K race and one-mile fun walk. Proceeds benefit Douglas County AIDS Project. (785) 843-0040 Lawrence Spring Parade of Homes April 24-25 and May 1-2 / Lawrence Home Builders Association tour of new homes throughout the city, noon-5 p.m. A listing of homes and map will be available at www. lawrenceparade.com. (785) 748-0612 Cottonwood Classies April 26 / FREE STATE HIGH SCHOOL / Annual award program for Cottonwood Inc., a not-forprofit organization dedicated to providing services for people with developmental disabilities. 7 p.m. (785) 842-0550 Art in the Park April 28-May 2 / DOWNTOWN and SOUTH PARK/ Lawrence Art Guild, 1109 Massachusetts St., hosts pre-event exhibit, then hundreds of artists present their work for sale May 2 at South Park. (785) 856-2784

m ay Haskell Indian Nations Commencement and Native American Pow-Wow May 7-8 / HASKELL INDIAN NATIONS UNIVERSITY / Graduation events for 2010 include pow-wow celebrations open to the public at 7 p.m. May 7 and 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. May 8. (785) 749-8404 University of Kansas Commencement May 16 / UNIVERSITY OF KANSAS / The 2010 graduation ceremony starts with the traditional procession of faculty, graduates and dignitaries down Mount Oread and into Memorial Stadium. 2:30 p.m. Art Tougeau Parade May 22 / DOWNTOWN / The wheeled parade that combines art and the automobile features creations from national, regional and local artists. (785) 843-2787. 12:00 p.m. Lawrence City Band

May 26 / SOUTH PARK / Free

summer concert series opens May 26 and continues at 8 p.m. Wednesdays until July 14 in South Park.

All events are subject to change E-mail your upcoming events for the calendar to lawrencemagazine@ljworld.com


Lawrence Magazine Spring 2010  

Lawrence Magazine Spring 2010

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