Page 1

A Royal Children’s Party

Flight’s Future Captains

Exline’s Homes with Stories

Mulberry Meadows Raising Goats on the Prairie

Salina area’s premier Magazine on People, Places & Style winter 2011 $3

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Underthecover volume 01 / issue 04

New roles in life … A few years ago, two goats wandered out of their home and around the Smoky Hill region until they were utterly lost. Their wayward journey set forth a chain of events that caused Art Howell, pictured below, to try on the role of goat herder. You can read about their, his and his partner’s journey in this winter edition of Sunflower Living, as well as many other stories about people who are taking on new roles in life. There’s a recent graduate who has become royalty, a hardworking nurse who has become a homeowner, a Salina native whose memories of his grandmother’s art projects helped him become an international architectural designer, several area residents who transform into proper 19th century dancers and a self-confessed “class clown” who grew into a daring juggler of fire, machetes and (gasp!) stale Twinkies. We hope these and the other stories in this winter issue inspire you in whatever roles you plan to fulfill in the coming year. Nathan Pettengill Editor

Publisher Tom Bell advertising director Kim Norwood advertising sales managers Christy Underwood Kathy Malm Linda Saenger for advertising rates and information (785) 822-1449 Sales executives Matt Browne Tina Campbell Brian Green Leah Plumer Jamie Stroda Erica Wiseman Tiffany Modlin Sue Austin Debbie Nelson Mary Walker Debbie Porter Ad designers Jamie Jeffries Natosha Batzler Annette Klein Aaron Johnson photographers Lisa Eastman Larry Harwood Contributing writers Patricia E. Ackerman Melinda Briscoe Chelsey Crawford James R. Godfrey Cecilia Harris Karilea Rilling Jungel Nancy Karst

Production and editorial services for Sunflower Living provided by: Editor Nathan Pettengill Designer Shelly Bryant Copy Editor Susie Fagan Chief Photographer Jason Dailey General Manager Bert Hull Coordinator Faryle Scott e-mail Comments to • a division of The World Company

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Winter 2011




sunflower spaces 6 ‘Someplace I can go’

Boers on the Range Unexpected visitors lead to the growth of a goat ranch and new interest in goat meat for area ranchers


Patricia Burse saw potential, then crafted a new home in north Salina

10 Back to Vernacular

A California-based architectural designer returns to his hometown for prairie-inspired, ‘more personal’ house projects

sunflower resumés 15 Steve Miles

Founder/co-owner of Milestone Hearth Shoppe and Chimney Service

16 Patricia Anderson Owner, Vernon Jewelers

local profiles 18 The Machete and Twinkie Guy

Richard Holmgren’s Flying Debris Show juggles unlikely combinations with a touch of comedy

20 This is your captain …

The Home that Called Her The Foley family layers its home in history, love and generational decorations


Kansas skies greet new pilots through the Kansas State Salina Aviation program

for the family 22 Her Highnesses Drawing on royal wisdom and glamour, princesses bring magic to youngsters’ celebrations

26 The Habitat Solution Working families find shelter and peace of mind through sweat equity, volunteer support and the guidance of a nonprofit housing organization

health & fitness on the cover:

28 Fencing for Health One of the oldest sports, fencing finds fans devoted to its physical and mental conditioning

out & about 32 An Invitation to the Ball

Abilene’s annual statehood ball celebrates history with all-ages friendly dancing

Art Howell stands near a barn at Mulberry Meadows.





‘Someplace I can go’ Patricia Burse saw potential, then crafted a new home in north Salina


atricia Burse has a knack for interior design. And if you step into her house, it shows big time. But let her tell the story about how her home came into place, then you’ll realize the TV catchphrase “Move that bus!” would apply. The only difference is that Patricia and her husband, James, didn’t have a fancy-schmancy reality show crew ascend on their house and transform it into a showplace. They didn’t need it. They were resourceful, creative and determined enough to turn this homely little duckling into an elegant swan by themselves, with some help from family and friends.



Winter 2011

story by Melinda Briscoe

photography by Larry Harwood



The idea forms Back in the mid-’90s, Patricia and James were in the market for a new home. Patricia had a mental blueprint of what she wanted, so building a house, as opposed to buying one already on the market, seemed right. After looking further into it, Patricia was disappointed by their options: “For what we wanted to spend, we knew we really wouldn’t get much. We wouldn’t be getting the size and style of home that we had hoped for,” she recalls. So, for a short time, the notion of their dream home was put on hold. But then two unrelated opportunities came together. First, Patricia learned that a family member was looking to sell some property in north Salina. “It made me think,” Patricia says, “that maybe we should buy the property. The way I looked at it was our family worked hard to get what we have, and I hated to see it go.”

Shortly thereafter, another relative told Patricia that St. John’s Military School was expanding and some of the houses on the block north of the school were going to be demolished if not sold. Intrigued, Patricia arranged to go look at one of the houses. At first sight, James couldn’t envision the old place as a viable option for their family. Patricia viewed it differently. “I immediately saw potential in the house,” she remembers. Sweat equity They bought the house. They purchased the property. And then they had the home moved onto the land. That’s when Patricia and James realized they had their work cut out for themselves. At the time, James, a sheet metal assembler, was





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Patricia and James Burse, opposite, stand in the basement of the home they renovated and moved onto their property in north Salina. After the massive renovation project, Patricia began to decorate the home with several small decorative objects, such as this collection above, that she had gathered through the years.




“I immediately saw potential in the house.” – Patricia Burse

working in Wichita. During the week, most of the footwork, phone calls and general hustling and bustling was done by Patricia, who began to run up against some old attitudes. “I quickly found out that a lot of building professionals don’t take input from a woman seriously,” she recalls. A dispatch specialist in her work, Patricia realized she didn’t have time to brood about being treated as a member of the weaker sex. “I basically had to become my own general contractor. It took some doing, but I started finding quite a few people who wanted to help out,” she says. One of them was contractor Ray Sherwood. Patricia says he embraced the project, reviewed the drawings that she and James had created, offered constructive criticism and went to work. On the weekends, James was able to throw himself into the project. The couple’s three children—Janine, James Jr. and Jantzen—helped with every aspect, even sanding, staining and painting wood for the kitchen cabinets, new closets and bathroom vanities. On many occasions, the couple worked side-by-side with their contractor to build the home. Family pitches in Professional plumbers and electricians came into the home to get it up to code, but the Burses had to be pragmatic with their funds, so they enlisted family members to help whenever they could. Many relatives pitched in and the three Burse children were not exempt. Oftentimes the children were working on their new home instead of hanging out with friends. Running the family operation was Patricia’s mother, the late Daisy Whitaker. She “acted as my foreman,” Patricia says with a chuckle. “Mom made a lot of phone calls for us and helped me to keep straight what all needed to be done, day by day. She was organized enough for the both of us!” Northern charm Patricia is glad that she and James decided to place their home in north Salina. “I love the North End. It’s home to me. I grew up right 8


Winter 2011






around the corner. I can remember my friends and me jumping rope, hula-hooping and doing the twist not too far from the block this house sits on.” And she hopes their efforts have a residual effect or are part of a trend. “I have noticed more people moving down here, rehabbing older homes or moving new modular homes in,” says Patricia. “I can’t say that our project had anything to do with it. I am just glad that more people in north Salina are taking pride in their homes again.” His blessings Patricia, just as ambitious now as she was then, says they recently made more improvements. She and James installed hardwood floors, new windows and a new central air unit. In all, the house has five bedrooms, three bathrooms and a full finished basement. “I think someday I’d like to have a reading room. Someplace I can go read, write, pray and reflect,” says Patricia. For now, the Burse homestead is a favorite destination for all 15 of the couple’s grandchildren. Patricia says they host many holidays at their house. “Every year I say I’m not going to cook for Thanksgiving …” she says with a grin, “but every single year I do anyway.” Almost all of her grandchildren have celebrated their first birthdays at the house as well. “This house has already accumulated so many memories,” Patricia says reflectively. “God made everything happen just when it needed to happen with this project. So to welcome family and friends into our home, that is just our way of giving thanks for His blessings.”


glass vases serve as the focal point for the family room.

small statue stands with other artwork on the family room end table.

pillows provide a decorative element as well as comfort in the much-used family room.

[ 1 ] The Burses’ living room is one of the home’s formal areas. [ 2 ] James Burse reigns as the resident pool shark in the basement game room. [ 3 ] The Burses spend most of their time together in the home’s family room. [ 4 ] The kitchen renovation was one of the home’s more recent projects. [ 5 ] Patricia inherited the double-layer aquarium from her late mother, who was also a guiding force on the home’s renovation.

place settings decorate the table for Burse family gatherings.







Back to Vernacular A California-based architectural designer returns to his hometown for prairie-inspired, ‘more personal’ house projects



Winter 2011


avid Exline strolls under the vaulted ceilings in the newly constructed interior of one of his latest projects, a spacious home in Salina’s River Run addition with a striking core of Kansas limestone. “A house like this is a truly lovely opportunity for an architect. It just doesn’t get any better than this,” says Exline. As an architectural designer based in Orange County, California, Exline creates homes, residences and business structures. He also specializes in international theme parks: a nature-themed amusement park in Japan complete with cascading waterfalls, a nautical-themed park in Portugal with 15th century architecture and a mythical Middle East-themed park in Dubai. They are, by their nature, grandiose, extravagant, innovative and whimsical.

story by Nancy Karst

photography by Larry Harwood



But during the past six years, Exline has been balancing that work with a series of four home projects in Salina that draw heavily on vernacular elements of prairie and stone. It’s fitting for an architect whose first big projects began in his hometown of Salina, more specifically at Grandma Inez Exline’s house. “My grandmother was very crafty,” Exline recalls. “We would go over to her house and make things. We were always doing craft projects with construction paper, fabric or oatmeal boxes.” As Exline grew older, grandma’s art projects evolved into summer art classes, performances with the Salina Community Theatre and piano lessons. They were creative endeavors that, though he didn’t realize it at the time, would inspire him in the late 1970s when he began second-guessing his enrollment as a pre-law major at

Kansas State University. After a trusted adviser suggested he follow his heart, Exline switched to the College of Architecture and Design. Before graduating from K-State in 1982, Exline worked in New York City as an intern with the awardwinning architectural firm Hardy Holzman Pfeiffer Associates. Among other projects, Exline helped on a renovation of the Blair House, the official guesthouse for the president of the United States. After his internship, Exline took architect jobs in Vail and Denver, Colorado, designing venues such as upscale golf course clubhouses, residences and restaurants. On one of these jobs, he met former Disney designer Roland Crump, who offered him a position with a firm in Orange County, California, that was creating international theme parks. Exline’s work took him to

David Exline, opposite, stands inside one of his latest projects in Salina’s River Run addition. Other Salina projects include this new home, above.




Exline says even a residence should have a narrative to it.

Theme parks, says David Exline, are “all about storytelling.” Exline’s theme park developments invite visitors to step into a realm with its own history and fantasy. Sketches for Exline’s Lusolandia, a proposed project near Lisbon, Portugal, draw on the area’s central role at the dawn of world naval voyages, when Portuguese vessels charted unknown waters and opened links between civilizations.

Australia, Spain and Portugal. And it carried him to the realization that he could do the same work on his own. By 1985, he had established Exline Design and continued theme park work in Dubai, China, Japan and other international locations while also doing work in the United States for NASCAR. He says the theme park work helped him hone a style that was innovative but realistic. “It’s not too far out there,” Exline says. “It’s not too wild and crazy. Usually my designs are pretty well-grounded. I think they are logical, but at the same time, they are usually pretty dramatic. [Because of ] the theater experiences in my life—music, drama—I’m a bit dramatic, and it comes through in my work.” And the urge to bring in the dramatic, Exline says, helps an architect work with clients to see something beyond a standard project, even in home designs. “I will draw what they ask for, and then I will say, ‘If you want, we can do this—something beyond the original idea,’” Exline says. Drawing on his work with amusement parks, whose themes are based in storytelling, Exline says even a residence should have a narrative to it. “Personally, I like that this storytelling gives the residence some depth. Things look like they are there for a purpose, and that comes from the backstory in my mind,” says Exline.


David Exline’s

storytelling Sketches courtesy Exline Design and Architecture



Winter 2011








Applied to home design at the ongoing project in south-central Salina, Exline taps natural surroundings and elements for the dramatic. Kansas limestone blocks provide an earthly, solid shape. Grand windows open to beautiful prairie. And there is the story of the Kansas land. “Even in this project, we had a backstory about an old stone barn that looks like it has been sitting there for 100 years, and we developed the home around that storyline,” says Exline. “It was a contemporary Craftsman look combined with a barn. The real agricultural roots of Kansas: the limestone, the indigenous materials. “The home has a real Kansas feel,” he says. “The prairie surroundings really influence the style and the geometry of the structure. What’s lovely about doing a house like this is, it is very different from doing those large master planned amusement parks and theme parks. This is more personal.”

[ 1 ] This open interior is part of a beach house that David Exline designed in New Smyrna Beach, Florida. [ 2 ] A luxurious living room serves as one of the centerpieces for an Exline home remodel in Orange County, California. [ 3 ] A spiral staircase in the Orange County residence provides, says Exline, “the signature of the home … drama and sweep.” [ 4 ] The Exline-designed home in New Smyrna Beach has streetside access but maintains residential privacy. [ 5 ] Exline removed interior walls in the home in Orange County to capitalize on the location’s abundant sunshine and the home’s extensive windows overlooking the garden and pool terrace. [ 6 ] The beachfront side of the New Smyrna Beach residence takes full advantage of the home’s access to the Atlantic Ocean. [ 7 ] The living room of the New Smyrna Beach home allows for a comfortable view of the beach and ocean. Photographs on these pages courtesy Exline Design and Architecture,



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teve Miles grew up in a military family stationed for a time in Germany. That is where he saw his first chimney sweepers—the traditional Old European types who wore tall hats and black suits and carried a chimney broom over their shoulder as they bicycled down the street. Back in Kansas as a young man, Miles set up his own chimney sweep business in 1978 from Milford, where he covered the north-central region of Kansas. He moved to Salina in 1984 and began a business partnership with Jim Kerby in 1992 to create the hearth and chimney business that they operate today with staff members Tonee Owen and Sarah Weis.

Steve Miles Occupation: Founder/co-owner of Milestone Hearth Shoppe and Chimney Service Job Location: 245 S. Fifth St., Salina Name:

What percentage of your business is chimney sweeping? and Stove [It] started out mostly as sweeping. Hearth75% But now the hearth and stove side Sweeping of it is definitely about 75 percent of 25% the business and the cleaning is 25 percent.

What are some major changes in chimney sweeping over the years? Steve Miles


Use of specialized electronic cameras for detailed inspections of dark and difficult-to-reach areas inside the chimney. That really revolutionized our business.


Standards of national testing and required continuing education for professional certification. You have to recertify every three years. Take a test again or earn continuing education units.


Most chimney sweepers have stopped wearing the traditional costume. I evolved out of that in order to be taken more seriously. If you [are wearing the tuxedo and top hat and] tell customers there’s something wrong at first, then they won’t take you seriously.


The actual physical labor hasn’t changed much. It’s good, old-fashioned elbow grease.

What animals have you encountered in chimneys? Birds Squirrels Ducks A Chimney Monster Raccoons A Bull Snake

What are the best woods to burn in a chimney?

Wood that is cut, split and has dried for one season. Oak and walnut – good, but not a lot of these around Salina. Hackberry, locust and ash – medium grade, but plentiful. Hedge – sparks too much for an open fireplace, but the most efficient burn. story by NATHAN PETTENGILL

photography by lisa eastman






orn in Goodland and raised in Dodge City, Patricia Anderson arrived in Salina in 1972 to attend Marymount College and help her parents at Vernon Jewelers, the store they had just bought from their retiring friend, Vern Webster. Her family was the third family to own and operate this business established by D.J. Strikler in 1884. “We’ve been all over, but Kansas is still home,” says Patricia. “There is no state like Kansas and no people like Kansans.” When asked to name her favorite thing in her full-line jewelry store, Patricia’s answer was a big smile and three words: “Diamonds, of course.”

Patricia Anderson Occupation: Owner, Vernon Jewelers Job Location: 123 N. Santa Fe, Salina Name:

What are your secret talents?

Remodeling. I have learned that I am very capable of doing things I have never done before. We love remodeling our home. Patricia Anderson

What is one of the secret strengths of your business?

We offer a full-line jewelry store with gifts for men and babies—and we also have one of the few horologists (clockmakers) in the state.

How many employees do you have at Vernon Jewelers? 10 in Salina

5 in junction City Besides the holidays, what is your biggest time of the year?

September. That is our big anniversary sale of the year. We’ve operated continually from the same location for 126 years.

I can’t brag enough about my employees. They are the reason for the success of the store. What are some of the nearly forgotten products you would like to see come back in popularity? Something you’d see when you were growing up that you don’t see anymore. Men’s Tie Tacks

Crystal Objects

Pewter Products

Men’s tie tacks. Good crystal objects—it’s hard to find good crystal suppliers. Pewter products, like baby plates. 16


Winter 2011

story by James R. godfrey

photography by Lisa eastman


local rofiles

The Machete and Twinkie Guy Richard Holmgren’s Flying Debris Show juggles unlikely combinations with a touch of comedy


f catching a bowling ball on your face sounds impossible, try balancing another small ball on top of that bowling ball, then using your hands to send cell phone text messages to a friend across the room. Combining these unlikely feats of dexterity with comedy and magic, Salina native Richard Holmgren amazes audiences each time he performs his Flying Debris Show. The foundation for Holmgren’s show began when he was a fourth-grade student at Salina’s Gleniffer Hill Elementary School. “We did a bit of juggling in gym class, and I went home and just kept practicing and teaching myself,” Holmgren explains. As Holmgren’s interest grew, his mother stitched up a set of juggling beanbags for him. Later, his parents bought him a set of juggling clubs. From there, he went on to tossing eggs and tire irons. Three years later, he brought his improved act to the seventh-grade talent show at Roosevelt Lincoln Junior High. “I think I was the only one who didn’t sing in that talent show,” Holmgren recalls. “I guess I was always a class clown, but I never imagined I would make a living at it.” Twenty years later, Holmgren continues performing but now does it professionally. And he has added fire, bowling balls, ping-pong balls, a toilet plunger and other items and their unbalanced combinations to his act. “I started juggling machetes and Twinkies at the same time,” he says. Based out of Salina for the past 16 years, Holmgren travels to Canada, Mexico and places between, performing for audiences of as many as 3,000 people. At the WinterCity Festival in Toronto, he performed his fire-juggling act three times a day on a stage constructed of ice. He also performs at corporate events, libraries, schools and private parties. Though Holmgren dabbled in clowning for a few years, he says his Flying Debris performance character

Richard Holmgren practices his juggling tricks for years before performing them. The Salina native has performed internationally and closer to home.



Winter 2011

story by Patricia E. Ackerman

photography by larry harwood


local rofiles

“I guess I was always a class clown, but I never imagined I would make a living at it.” – Richard Holmgren

“reflects my own authentic personality.” His costumes, however, tend toward the thematic and dramatic. For a recent benefit show in Wichita, he wore a full chimney sweep costume to accommodate an Old Europe theme. Holmgren has taught juggling workshops at schools and libraries across the Midwest for children and adults. “I’ve had people up to 60 years of age walk up to me on the street and say, ‘Do you remember that juggling workshop you taught years ago? Well, I’m still practicing!’” While working as a professional entertainer is a dream come true for Holmgren, he admits it does come with risks. He practices tricks for years before performing them, and even then there are mishaps, “like having the bowling ball land on the wrong part of your face while you are buckled into a straight jacket in front of an audience.” In that case, the show went on. And Holmgren was juggling for the second day of the event with a black eye. Every object that Holmgren uses is genuine—not stage props. The risk of being cut or smashed is real. “Danger is not always an illusion. I have to be careful not to injure myself so that I am able to perform in consecutive performances.” A lifelong Salinan, Holmgren believes that his “parents are proud of the fact that I’m doing what I love and making a living at it.” Like their father, his two sons, Tanner and Gunnar, attend Salina schools. Both have learned to juggle. “We’ve performed together a few times,” says Holmgren. But he adds that while he would “absolutely” love to see them continue the Flying Debris tradition, the most important thing for him is that they pursue a career they love. Holmgren’s path recently returned to where it began—at Salina’s schools, where he was the featured entertainer for his 20-year class reunion in 2008. “It was one of the shows I was most nervous about but also most excited about,” says Holmgren. “It was a lot of fun creating comedy that poked fun at some of my old classmates.”

The Good, the Bad, the Fiery and the Bouncy

2 Four-way tire irons I tried juggling these but stopped. It hurts when they land on your wrist.

5 fire batons They have to be flipped or rotated, not thrown. And you have to get permission from the host venue before using them in your act

What’s best for juggling? Richard Holmgren ranks the items he juggles on a sliding scale from “Juggle-Junk” to “Jugglicious.”

6 machetes They have to be flipped or rotated, not thrown.

7 twinkies Fresh ones fall apart faster than the ones that have been on the shelf for a while.

7 juggling Balls Any ball can be juggled. Silicone balls are great because they have a consistent bounce to them.



3 Chain saws I’ve considered juggling these, but they are an expensive prop, and you have to worry about fuel when you are traveling.

6 Bowling ball, pingpong ball and plunger The most difficult combination I juggle because of the different weights and sizes.

7 plungers Less risky than grabbing the wrong end of a flaming torch or a machete.

8 pins My favorite prop. There are so many variations in how you can use them. Sunflowerliving



local rofiles

This is your captain … Midwest skies greet new pilots through the Kansas State Salina Aviation program


ust how magical are our Kansas skies? Magical enough to make dreams come true and even provide for newfound life experiences. For some, that magic first takes off through the Kansas State University Salina Aviation program, which began in 1965 and expanded into a pilot training program in 1986. About 250 students are enrolled at the K-State Salina campus in the pilot studies program that requires standard college curriculum for a four-year bachelor’s degree and demands an average of 800 hours of flight to earn the Certified Flight Instructor (CFI) rating. But the most significant time for the pilots—even after years of training and hours in the air—seems to remain their first magical hours of solo flight. Three K-State pilots-in-training shared their takes on the first flights and lifelong dreams that have propelled their studies. All blue, all good The strong Kansas winds abruptly introduced themselves to Hiro Yamashita on his first solo flight over Salina. “My airplane drifted off the runway. I was confused, because I had never flown by myself in such strong winds,” says Yamashita. “I go around a second time and really struggled with the airplane. It was like, ‘Whew!’” Yamashita is one of 12 international student pilots in the K-State program. He chose the program on the recommendation of his high school teacher, knowing that Japanese regulations (which do not accept pilots with corrected vision) eliminated his chances to fly at home. Uprooting to Salina has involved many changes and adaptations, but it allows Yamashita to fulfill a dream he has nurtured since he was allowed into the cockpit of a commercial passenger plane when he was about 8 years old. “It was so exciting, I decided to become a pilot,” recalls Yamashita. “Flying is like swimming in the sea.

Future pilots Randy Franzen and Jennifer McLean share a high-five.



Winter 2011

story by Karilea Rilling Jungel

photography by Larry Harwood


local rofiles

We can do whatever we like as long as we think about wind, weather and such. So the sky is similar to the sea for me.” The ‘Old Dog’ in the Classroom “My first flight,” recalls Randy Franzen, “scared me to death.” That was when he was a “little kid” and his father’s friend took him up in a Cessna 172 over Laurel, Montana. His first solo pilot flight came years later, over Boise, Idaho, but still had a daredevil appeal. “It was a 1946 Champ—a tail-dragger with a seat in the back and a seat in the front. It had about three instruments in front of you with a cork sticking in a glass and a wire on the hood to let you know when the gas was running out. No flaps. You prop-started it yourself. I loved the plane.” Franzen has worked a variety of jobs through his life, including a recent stint as a ski instructor. But finding himself unemployed, he decided to return to his aviation background and tap his experience as a licensed pilot to train on the latest unmanned aviation equipment, such as the Aerosonde—crafts whose models have flown 38 continuous hours without refueling. After talking with people at various companies “to find out if they’d hire an old dog like me,” Franzen enrolled in K-State’s unmanned aerial system program. Though Franzen, 52, is older than most students on campus, he is one of about 150 nontraditional students over age 25 in the aviation program. Set to graduate after a year of training, Franzen plans to remain in the aviation industry for a long time. An enthusiastic outdoorsman, cyclist and pilot, he says he might retire in 20 years. ‘You have to go there’ “There was not an ounce of fear in me. I was like, ‘I’ve got this!’” says Jennifer McLean of her first solo flight. “I had been practicing touch-and-goes all day. I went up, around the traffic pattern, came down, perfect landing. My instructor told me to do another, so I went around and was really high up. We had just reviewed slips, so I came and [worked] the opposite rudder, came in with a slip and landed perfectly.” Her instructor, she notes, was surprised that she just “threw that in.” McLean, a second-year pilot student, represents a trend at the KState Salina campus. While about 30 percent of students in the aviation program are women, the pilot program has a more even split with 40 percent female students and 60 percent male students. McLean says she’s seen more female pilot students in her short time at Salina. McLean, who has always wanted to be a pilot, has a particular fascination with helicopters. “Even when playing with toys outside, the second a helicopter or airplane flew over, I dropped everything and looked straight up and just stared at them,” she says. By the time she was 16, she decided she wanted to fly helicopters—for the New York Police Department. McLean kept after her high school counselor to help find a school where she could learn to fly helicopters. She recalls her dad saying, “If you really want to do it, Jen, you have to go there.” A year later, she was at K-State Salina on a scholarship for female pilots endowed by the late Marian Hardman, a pioneering K-State female pilot. If all goes according to McLean’s plans, her next stop is the NYPD academy.

Hiro Yamashita Hometown: Kanagawa, Japan Favorite aircraft: Beechcraft Bonanza 33 Number of flight hours: 200 Favorite pilot: Yuki Narita, the first Japanese student at Kansas State Salina Aviation Long-term goal: Commercial aviation Favorite aerial view of Salina region: Salina airport covered with snow

Jennifer McLean Hometown: Sleepy Hollow, New York Favorite aircraft: King Air (jet) / Robinson helicopter Number of flight hours: 120 Favorite pilot: Jacqueline Cochran (the first female pilot to break the sound barrier) Long-term goal: Helicopter pilot for NYPD Favorite aerial view of Salina region: The Salina runway at night

Randy Franzen Hometown: Billings, Montana Favorite aircraft: “The one I get to fly.” Number of flight hours: 200 Favorite pilot: Chuck Yeager Long-term goal: Unmanned aviation systems Favorite aerial view of Salina region: “The instrument panel … looks pretty cool.”




for the amily

Her Highnesses Drawing on royal wisdom and glamour, princesses bring magic to youngsters’ celebrations 22


Winter 2011

story by Chelsey Crawford

photography by larry harwood


for the amily

the young guests of honor often dress up and don party favors, including princess jewels brought by the older princess


LEFT: A gathering of birthday princesses includes, front row from left, Anjoeline Bonilla, Olivia Mancion-Hinde, Leah Peebles and Taylee Parmenter and actresses, back row from left, Lacey Jones and Julia Rhudy. ABOVE: Young princess Hollis Murdock enjoys the party. TOP RIGHT: Fancy cupcakes are perfect princess fare, but even the most humble dish will do as long as it is tasty and served with pomp. BOTTOM RIGHT: Julia Rhudy and Olivia Mancion-Hinde form a royal court at their tea party.

fter graduating from high school, Rachel Hinde left Salina and headed to California, where she worked as a nanny and enjoyed the magic of a warm climate and a family that treated children like royalty. “They would have parties for the kids where they would bring in small petting zoos or other theme parties for the children,” Rachel says of the family that she worked for and of their friends. After returning to Salina, Rachel earned her degree and set up a small production company that offers, among other things, a bit of regal treatment for young birthday girls. Since the fall of 2009, Fairytale Princess Parties has provided princess-actresses for birthday events in the Salina region. “We have the princesses sing songs, and they play games with the children. There are also glitter dust applications, and they teach the little girls real ‘princess lessons’ like how to smile, curtsy and wave,” says Rachel, who sometimes steps into the royal “We” herself for performances. For the most part, the princesses dress up as the big three of fairy tale royalty—Cinderella, Snow White or Sleeping Beauty. But with planning and coordination, a personalized princess character can attend. Not to be outdone, the young guests of honor often dress up and don party favors, including princess jewels brought by the older princess. Rachel says most young party guests prefer knowing in advance about the theme so that they can arrive dressed in Sunflowerliving


regal gowns and jewelry. And when helping a young lady appear for court, it’s best to remember a maxim of princess wisdom: The more it sparkles, the better. “Little girls love anything makebelieve and magical,” says Rachel. Even those without a royal heritage can entertain young groups easily with madeup “princess songs” and tea party fare of small sandwiches, fruit and cupcakes, she says. If a young princess balks at cucumber tea sandwiches, peanut butter tea bites can be suitably regal if presented with pomp on a fancy dish. After all, if a young girl helps around the house, brushes her teeth and treats others well, she deserves some time simply to be a princess.

for more information Fairytale Princess Parties through Good Company Productions cost $110 per hour or $65 for half an hour. Contact (785) 787-5955 or go online to and click on “Fairytale Princess Parties.”

Olivia Mancion-Hinde and Leah Peebles


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When a princess just won’t do … It’s not only fairy tale witches and villains who don’t warm to princesses. Truth be told, a good many young boys don’t necessarily welcome a chiffon-wearing fancy gracing their party with calls for tea and crumpets. But that doesn’t mean boys don’t want some magic at their parties, suggests Rachel Hinde, the owner of Fairytale Princess Parties. Their type of magic, she says, comes in camouflage or is prone to shout “Aaaarrrgh!” After hiring some actors and doing some brainstorming, Rachel’s company recently began offering pirate, knight, superhero and Army parties. Like the princesses, the boys play games and do activities, but they aren’t necessarily as charming and proper about it all.

Captain Brandon Murdock hosts a pirate party.

Birthday mutiny! Nash Murdock takes over the party from Captain Brandon Murdock.

“During an Army party we had an ‘Army sergeant,’ and he did a lot of physical games with the boys,” says Rachel. “When he first approached the kids, they had to drop and give him 20!”


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Habitat Solution Working families find shelter and peace of mind through sweat equity, volunteer support and the guidance of a nonprofit housing organization



Winter 2011

story by James R. Godfrey

photography by lisa eastman


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“I was here every day doing something: installing insulation, painting, putting putty in holes, helping with siding and so much more.” – Michelle Rogan

LEFT: Michelle Rogan stands outside her house, which she and other volunteers built through Habitat for Humanity. ABOVE: (Clockwise from top left): Nathan Swanson, executive director of Salina Habitat for Humanity, stands at the most recent project in northwest Salina. Habitat for Humanity has built 30 homes, including this recent project, in the Salina region. Financial and labor donors, such as the ones listed here, are honored on a billboard outside each new home. RIGHT: Michelle Rogan says her Habitat for Humanity house has created more peace for her family and has allowed her to help others in their search for a family home.

ichelle Rogan works as a surgical nurse at the Salina Surgical Hospital. She also takes calls at the Salina Regional Hospital. But even working two highly skilled jobs was not enough to allow this single mother to purchase a home for her family of one son and two daughters–until she teamed with Habitat for Humanity. A national organization that has constructed more than 300,000 affordable homes since 1976, Habitat’s local chapter has completed 30 homes in the Salina region since 1990 to assist working families into home ownership. It’s designed to help people like Rogan, who heard about the program through an acquaintance and began the process of turning her dream into a reality. Getting started on this road began, as so many things do, with paperwork. After that, Rogan attended a workshop and did an interview with Habitat volunteers and staff. “They wanted to let me know that they wanted me to succeed,” says Rogan, “and they wanted to decide in their minds if I was a good applicant.” In November 2008, Habitat announced it would build three houses in the Salina region, and one of those would be Rogan’s. “I was very happy to be selected,” she recalls. Habitat for Humanity is able to help families partly through donations of land or equipment, but mostly by creating an affordable loan program based on a family’s ability to pay, relying on sponsor organizations and tapping the sweat equity of the prospective owners. Nathan Swanson, executive director of Salina Habitat for Humanity, says the arrangement helps others as well. “The whole community benefits because when we build a house, it upgrades the neighborhood,” says Swanson. As Rogan explains, “It is not a giveaway program. You go through the same paperwork, credit checks and everything else like any home loan. It’s the no-interest loan and all the volunteer work that makes it affordable.” For Rogan, the actual building began in August 2009. She showed up ready to work and met a large group of volunteers from the First Covenant Church of Salina who stayed with Rogan throughout the construction process. Busboom & Rauh Construction Company donated construction supervision and expertise. “I was here every day doing something: installing insulation, painting, putting putty in holes, helping with siding and so much more,” says Rogan. The work culminated in “the day”—a ceremony where Rogan received the keys to her new home. “I still get emotional about it,” says Rogan. “The relief of stress, the feeling of tiredness. But the feeling—it was a good feeling. It was wonderful, though it does take a lot out of you.” Swanson says that once a family is in a new home—and not consumed by trying to find affordable housing—the real benefits to the family and the community begin. “If a family has a decent, affordable house, then perhaps they are not caught up in simply trying to pay for the roof over their head,” he explains. “They can spend time taking care of their kids or perhaps going back to school.” Now that work is done on her three-bedroom, one-bathroom home on Clark Street, Rogan is sponsoring another family through the process, helping them with paperwork. For Rogan, the home has created a new sense of peace. “The home is not huge, but it’s big enough for us and we can afford it,” says Rogan. “My kids are warm and happy, and I know that I can pay it off and retire in it.” Sunflowerliving




Fencing for Health One of the oldest sports, fencing finds fans devoted to its physical and mental conditioning story by Karilea Rilling Jungel


photography by lisa eastman

sk most people in the Smoky Hills about fencing, and the conversation will likely turn to fence posts, types of barbed wire available, best time of year to get the job done and how help is unlikely to show up, even if the day is spectacularly beautiful. However, if one were to pose this question to Salinans who know fencing as a sport involving a duel of foils, épées and sabres—well, that’s another story.

When physical meets mental Though in the United States fencing might be more familiar thanks to swordplay in The Princess Bride, Pirates of the Caribbean or even Star Wars, the sport is more than romantic and much more than comedy. It is popular in Europe and elsewhere on the international stage. Anna Katkova, outgoing fencing coach for Salina’s Kanza Fencing Club, compares it with another classic duel that other nations call “sport”—chess.



Winter 2011

“It’s the same,” says Katkova. “It’s quick, smart and sneaky.” But Katkova also sees fencing as a blending of mental and physical aspects. “Like all physical and mental conditioning, one learns to become smarter and make quick, correct decisions,” she explains. Katkova, a former coach with the Ukrainian national fencing squad, comes from a background where the sport is a physical science. Her students grew up attending fencing practice 12-15 hours a week. “It’s practice, practice, practice,” she explains. “Your eye sees, mind makes decision, it’s your decision. You make mistake, it’s your mistake.” The way of the sword Fencing gained traction in Salina in 1995, when Dr. Merle Sunflowerliving




“[Fencing] is quick, smart and sneaky.” – Anna Katkova

“Boo” Hodges and his wife, Melissa, founded the Kanza Fencing Club. The sport, a standard part of traditional military education and a common activity in many schools across the United States, has been practiced at St. John’s Military School since 2007. Sergeant First Class Geronimo Rivera, St. John’s Junior ROTC instructor, says cadets in the fencing class combine conditioning with discipline and competition. “They really enjoy the swashbuckling attitude and look forward to competing.” Rivera says he knows firsthand not only the physical exertion fencing requires, but the mental exertion too. “I started fencing this last year with the adults. You have to think three or four steps ahead of your competition, and it is mentally challenging. It’s even harder than boxing. You’re using a different set of muscles.” Carolyn Hofer Zimmerman, a board member of the Kanza club, fences approximately four times a week, joining her sons Ryan, 12, and Nathan, 11. “It’s also called ‘physical chess,’” explains Zimmerman, who works as a physician with the Veterans Administration, “because it involves mental strategy and physical exercise that build the mind and body simultaneously.” Changing of the guard As Katkova prepares for a new position with the Fencing Academy of Westchester in Hawthorne, New York, John Miller, who has been fencing for the last eight years, readies to take her place at Kanza. Prior to Miller’s association with the club, his fencing background consisted of “fighting with my brothers with sticks” like any young boy might do. 30


Winter 2011

TOP: Anna Katkova helped develop

the fencing program in Salina, but is leaving for a new position in New York. CENTER: Katkova instructs a student in foil fencing. LEFT: John Miller becomes the new

coach for Salina’s Kanza Fencing Club.

Miller describes fencing as “the most exciting game” but also a “very intensive workout” that surprises newcomers with its physical demands. Fencing, Miller says, will “build muscles you didn’t know existed,” and the sport’s “three T’s” of technique, toughness and tactics provide solid conditioning. Of course, modern safety equipment ensures participants don’t have to pay what Miller describes as the “high consequences” of the past—namely a sword through one’s guts—and the sport has expanded rules for wheelchair fencing at national and international competitions. Miller says he has met athletes in their 80s who rely greatly on technique and cleverness to skewer their competition. It is that balance between the physical and mental that En Garde Miller believes defines the sport as healthful activity on many levels, including its insistence upon The Kanza Fencing Club meets grace and good will. in the basement at 135 E. Claflin It is, says Miller, “a gentleAve. at various times and days man’s sport. If one doesn’t shake for elementary, secondary and hands after a bout, they are autocompetitive level instruction. matically disqualified. You have See to learn how to lose before you or call (785) 452-9640 for more information. learn how to win.”

Kenneth Beck and Ryan Zimmerman Sunflowerliving




An Invitation to the Ball Abilene’s annual statehood ball celebrates history with all-ages friendly dancing



Winter 2011

story by Cecilia Harris

photography by larry harwood




The 2011 Statehood Ball will include a pre-ball dinner sponsored by the Abilene Convention and Visitors Bureau at locations throughout Abilene, including the Kirby House, left. Many of the ball attendees will arrive in period costumes with even the smallest details authentic to mid-19th century fashion. Katie Simmons shows the dress details and hair ribbons that she will wear. Her partner, Kelly Taylor, will sport a Western-style bowtie.

he young lady wears an elegant, fulllength taffeta gown supported by a hoop skirt and lavishly trimmed with ruffles, ribbons and lace. Her gentleman partner wears white gloves, knee-high boots and a double-breasted military uniform adorned with gold buttons. Smiling, they stand facing each other as the music begins to play and the Abilene Statehood Ball commences. Held annually since 1995, the ball commemorates Kansas’ entry into the Union on January 29, 1861, and the festive balls held that night in Topeka and Leavenworth to celebrate. The gala balls of that era were social events to acquaint the dancers with one another; therefore, certain etiquette had to be followed. For instance, it was considered illmannered to dance with the same partner all evening as everyone had a duty to mingle and ensure the others had a pleasant time. “You were only allowed to dance with your partner on the first and last dance,” says Jeff Sheets, director of the Dickinson County Historical Society, which hosts the modernday ball. Sheets adds that a lady would record the names of gentlemen with whom she intended to dance on a card. “And if a young man wanted to dance with a young lady that he didn’t know, the preceptor—the social director of the ball—would introduce them, and she had to say yes or have a good reason why she wouldn’t dance with him.” Some things, of course, have changed. In present years, no one will question a refusal and women may ask men to dance. But a preceptor still presides over the Abilene ball and explains the correct social behavior before he instructs guests about 1860s ballroom dances. Such instruction allows those attending to experience living history among people Sunflowerliving




The gala balls of that era were social events to acquaint the dancers with one another.

dressed in period clothing. Period dress is not required, but many attend the event wearing ball gowns, military uniforms or other mid-19th century attire that was typically found in Kansas. Jim Gray, who publishes the bimonthly historical newspaper The Kansas Cowboy in Ellsworth, has attended nearly every Abilene Statehood Ball. He says he enjoys “learning how people did things back then.” He dresses in 1860s-style clothing for the event. “I wear a woolen pant, a dress shirt, a brocade vest, a long frock coat and high-top boots; my partner wears a ball gown.” Katie Simmons of Chapman emphasizes you don’t need a fancy ball gown to attend. Her attire is that of a pioneer woman in a long skirt and blouse. Her dance partner, Kelly Taylor, has attended the last six Statehood Balls and usually dons the clothing a mountain man of that time period would have worn. “You see all kinds of historical costumes, and you see people dressed in their regular blue jeans,” Taylor says. One group in full costume is the Kansas Brigade Band, whose members dress in period military attire and provide the dance music. Their program begins with the Grand March that was the opening for many balls in the 1800s. Participants parade around using normal walking steps in simple formations, with the original intent to allow dancers to view prospective partners for the evening’s dances. The next dance is the waltz. The livelier Virginia Reel and the Jenny Lind Polka follow. Most of the Victorian-era dances are done in formations of circles, squares or lines that require changing partners often, making the bash an opportunity to dance with everyone attending.

Abilene Convention and Visitors Bureau, (785) 263-2231, is accepting reservations for special overnight lodging and a pre-ball dinner that includes an entrée at Mr. K’s Farmhouse Restaurant, above.



Winter 2011

A preceptor’s primer Robert “Skip” Thomas of Fort Scott has served as preceptor every year of the Abilene ball. Though willing to accommodate the mores and sensitivities of 21st century dancers, Thomas is known for staying in his 19th century character and ensuring that everyone minds (or at least knows) their Victorian-era dancing manners. We asked him to provide a short primer for proper gentlemen and ladies who might plan to attend a statehood ball. 1) Go with gloves A gentleman’s bare hand would never touch a lady’s bare arm. Because most of the ladies’ ball gowns were short sleeved or sleeveless, gentlemen must always wear gloves. 2) Lead the lady A gentleman always leads the lady on and off the dance floor. 3) Start things right Bow and curtsy before starting the dance. 4) Be introduced properly A gentleman would never ask a lady to dance whom he did not know. He would first have to be introduced to the lady, with her permission. 5) Make refusals rare and reasoned A lady would never say no to a gentleman who asked her to dance without giving him a reason. If she did say no for any reason other than already being engaged for that dance, she was then expected to sit out that dance.

Gray says the dances are easy to learn and all ages can participate. “Some people are intimidated because they think they need to know how to dance, but these are simple dances and it’s more about the interaction of the people. The best part is there are people 90 years old and kids 5 years old out there dancing together. It doesn’t matter whether you’re young or old—everyone enjoys it. It’s a pleasant way to spend an evening.”

6) Take turns A couple, even a married couple, should never dance together more than once or twice during the evening. 7) Part properly Always thank the lady for the honor of dancing with her.

Statehood Ball 7 p.m.-10 p.m. January 22 Sterl Hall, 619 N. Rogers St., Abilene $5 for adults, $2 for children age 12 and under Sponsored by the Dickinson County Historical Society For information call (785) 263-2681 or e-mail or visit Sunflowerliving


Boers on the

range Unexpected visitors lead to the growth of a goat ranch and new interest in goat meat for area ranchers Story by Patricia E. Ackerman Photography by Larry Harwood




he guards along the lane of Mulberry Meadows Ranch are stocky fellows, sporting beards and horns. Trust N Luck, Smokey Joe and Right Cross move in closer to inspect visitors on their way down to the “car corral,” where Carol Bachofer and Art Howell eagerly wait to tell the story of how they came to be goat herders on the plains of Kansas.

The goat ranch of Carol Bachofer and Art Howell, above, began by chance, but years later they have established a large herd of Boer goats, such as this one, left, and raise them for meat and breeding.

“True story,” says Carol. “Eight years ago, two Nigerian dwarf goats wondered into the yard one morning after a big thunderstorm. No one in the community wanted to claim them, so I took care of them. They multiplied, and I found myself with 17 goats. They started driving me crazy when I came out the door each day—‘baa baa baaa!’—wanting grain and attention. So I loaded them up and drove to the Sylvan Grove livestock sale, where I sold seven of them. That started me thinking, ‘You know, maybe I could grow a business out of this.’” After that, Carol bought five registered American Boer Goat Association (ABGA) goats. These five remain part of the breeding herd of 75 does and four bucks on the 160-acre Mulberry Meadows Ranch that Carol and Art now operate west of Salina. Carol brings some goat experience to the ranch. She had raised Nubian and Nigerian dwarf pygmy goats, both milk goats, with her daughter more than 30 years ago. But the gifted education teacher for the Manhattan school district now spends most of her weekdays working and leaves the daily herding and


The daily care for the goats falls mostly on the shoulders of Art, whose routines include a Boer goat’s equivalent of a pedicure: caring for the animals’ hooves.

for your information Mulberry Meadows Ranch’s annual open house and goat auction begins at noon March 26. Visitors also can contact the ranch to arrange for a tour. 1657 N. Wyman Road Brookville (785) 577-7810

nurturing to Art, who is semi-retired and can call on his diverse background as an engineer, surveyor and cattleman. Boers, which originally came from South Africa, New Zealand and Australia, are raised as meat goats and require plenty of grazing space. “We believe that raising goats on pasture grass is both healthier and more profitable,” says Carol. “Buying hay and feed reduces profit margin.” Another benefit of grazing goats on open pastures is to help control tree and shrub growth. “They chew off the leaves as high as they can reach and keep small trees from taking over good pasture land,” explains Carol. Assisting Carol and Art with all the grazing and herding are two Anatolian livestock guardian dogs. At 90 pounds, Sissy is the second generation of Anatolians that Carol has owned. Sissy has mastered the ability to blend in with the herd of goats that follow her across the pasture. She is joined by two new arrivals from Texas: Lori, a 95-pound newcomer, and Biscuit, a 140-pound male. “Because of these dogs, we are able to keep our goat herd on the pasture with little concern for coyotes or bobcats. They also chase away opossums and raccoons,” explains Carol. “And they always keep the goats together. When the goats are grazing, the dogs will position themselves on a hill and watch over them. Anatolians are a very independent thinking dog.” Art and Carol are able to recognize each of the goats and their personalities, referring to them by name, marking or ear tag number. Art quickly points out the “good composition” of Selena, whose black spotted tail stands out among the dozens of stubby,


flag-like tails, all wagging in unison. “Over there is our new buck DCW Outkast Warrior. Two of the June babies from that buck placed first and fourth at the Kansas State Fair in September,” Art says proudly. “DCW’s pedigree has won national shows for the past eight generations. His father was the youngest buck ever to win the ABGA National show when he was only 6 months old.” Carol points out that Boer goats are capable of “kidding” more than once a year. “But we only breed our does once a year. Healthier ewes can often give birth to twins or triplets.” Mulberry Meadows’ primary market for selling Boer goats is to agricultural youth groups such as 4-H and Future Farmers of America. The price for a goat can range from $100 to $600 for prospect meat goats and $250-$1,200 for pedigreed breeding stock. “There is a tremendous move for kids to show goats, in addition to cattle and hogs, because of size and variety,” says Carol. “4-H families like raising goats because they are more companion-like. They have distinct personalities and children enjoy working with them.” The goat ranchers also hope that goat meat, which they describe as “very lean” and “one of the healthier meats,” continues to gain popularity. Their primary market for meat is an open house event each March on their ranch. The couple’s long-term plans include “selecting the best out of our existing 75, plus the 25 new kids we get each year, and winnowing the herd down to 25 or 30 top-quality head,” explains Carol. Then, the couple hope to retire and set off traveling, leaving the goats for someone else and seeking new pastures for themselves.

Mulberry Meadows ranch goat chili

15-ounce can Van Camp’s Pork & Beans 6-ounce can tomato paste 11.5-ounce can low-sodium V8 vegetable juice 1 large or medium onion, diced Ÿ teaspoon ground roasted cumin freshly ground sea salt and peppercorns, to taste

2 pounds lean goat burger (ground goat meat) 1-ounce package Williams Original Chili Seasoning 28-ounce can diced, peeled tomatoes 15-ounce can black beans 15-ounce can red chili beans in chili sauce

Brown goat burger in saucepan and drain on paper towel. Place browned, drained goatburger in slow cooker (CrockPot). Add canned ingredients, rinsing cans with a small amount of water and adding the water to the slow cooker. Add remaining ingredients, making sure to include the desired ground sea salt and peppercorn. Stir and cook for 6 to 12 hours on low heat setting. Makes about 3 quarts of chili.


The Home That Called Her

The Foley family layers its home in history, love and generational decorations Story by Chelsey Crawford Photography by Larry Harwood

Martha Foley fell in love with her house from the first moment she laid eyes on it in 1954.

Judge Prescott’s office, above, has been the working room and reception area for James Foley over the past decades. This guest room, right, in the Foley home is often reserved for visits from their daughter, who lives in Texas.

“We rented a two-story home on Ninth Street, just past the intersection of Ninth and Prescott. I would go stand at the corner and just watch the Prescott Mansion,” recalls Martha, who moved to Salina from Texas with her family. “It was so beautiful. I thought, how magnificent that would be to live there!” Two years later, the Foley family moved into Martha’s dream home. Over the decades, husband James worked as an administrator for St. John’s Hospital and then as a private stockbroker while Martha dedicated her time to the couple’s six children, nurturing them in their home filled with rooms and history. Saline County Judge John H. Prescott built the three-story, 14-room Second Empire style home in 1884 with carved wooden details, first- and second-story verandas, a bracketed roof cornice and a mansard roof with wrought-iron railing at the cost of $10,000. Before the Foley family purchased it, however, the spacious mansion had been converted into a boarding home and then separate apartments. The couple went through extensive work to restore the structure as a home for their family of two girls and four boys, who fortunately had the sprawling yard to enjoy during the renovation. “The boys could play football. All the children loved playing outside, and there was just so much room,” Martha remembers fondly. Once the home was restored, Martha was able to decorate and furnish it for her family. “I did all the walls myself,” she explains. “But each time I would do one, I would get better and better at it.” Moving down halls and into various rooms, she shows the progression of walls covered in all kinds of fabric that she fashioned from yards of colorful material. Some of the walls have padding underneath the fabric and feel like a huge pillow.



The Foleys’ main dining room hosts formal dinners. When the home was built, the small room off to the rear right was constructed so that servants could stand and watch for approaching carriages and greet guests as they arrived to the front entrance.

the Details

Historic registry

Hand-carved door frame

Martha Foley, left, greets visitors near the first floor staircase. A small table, below, stands in a guest room.

Guest room decorations

Radiator heating

Martha laughs as she shows a wall covered with painted burlap. “Now, if the house fell down, the upstairs hallway would be the only thing left standing. Whenever I wanted a different color, I would just paint over it.” The stiff material also serves as insulation. A layer of beauty and memory frosts the entire home. The two sitting rooms are full of distinctive décor, from a centerpiece given to Martha by one of the sisters at Marymount to family antique pieces. After more than 50 years in the home, the Foleys have made many decorative changes and upgrades. One of the last renovations was the kitchen, with unique cupboards and flooring. “I never stop decorating,” Martha explains, showing pieces bought at auctions, including a china hutch she purchased for 35 cents. The only room Martha hasn’t changed is James’ office, which holds Judge Prescott’s original décor except for the addition of a barber chair-turned-table (but still operated by a foot pedal) and a large oak cabinet from the first post office in Kansas. Throughout the house, there are reminders of the children’s growth and connections to it. “They started here, in the nursery,” Martha says of a small, warm-feeling room that is the perfect size for an infant to toddler. “Then they just kind of went on down the hall, getting a bigger room as they got older.” One of the girls’ rooms remains full of butterfly decorations, with fabric on the walls that also was used to make the curtains and the bedding. Along the bedroom hallway, the walls are full of photographs, some color but most black and white. They show the years of happiness and love the Foleys have shared and still enjoy in the home that called to Martha when they first moved to Salina.


Profile for Sunflower Publishing

Sunflower Living Magazine Winter 2011  

Sunflower Living Magazine Winter 2011

Sunflower Living Magazine Winter 2011  

Sunflower Living Magazine Winter 2011

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