Page 1




fall 2010

Entering the Jordans’ well-rounded garden $3.00

A tasty tailgating throwdown

RoadRunner homestay families

Farpoint brings the stars home


Vol. IV / No. IV

from the editor

publisher / Art Director

Darby Oppold Editor

One of the highlights of my job is the round of fact-checking that we do before releasing each issue. Part of that process is reviewing quotes with sources. With digital recorders ensuring the accuracy of interviews, it’s rare to discover a misquote. But the chance to contact sources provides an opportunity to verify background information and catch any updates or changes since the story was first written. It is, for the most part, pleasant and routine conversation. But occasionally—and this is the part that I enjoy—this process turns my understanding of things upside down. That was the case with this issue as I checked on a quote from Henry Herreman. Henry, you see, is 4 years old. His minor status meant that I followed our standard procedure of verifying quotes with parents/guardians, and so I found myself on the phone with Henry’s father checking on Henry’s simple statement: “We see deer.” How many do they see? Where on the trail do they usually see them? It seems, however, that Henry meant exactly what he said. As his dad explained, Henry was probably not focusing on whether he saw the deer on that day or on that particular trail. He was stating that, in general, he sees deer, and the fact that he is a “deer seer,” regardless of the context or frequency, seemed to be an important part of his own idea of himself. Henry’s well-worded selfhood, I think, is an inspired approach to walking

Fall 2010

trails or living life. And it’s a model that seems to be followed by many of the subjects in this fall issue of Topeka Magazine. In these pages, we meet local residents who have hobbies or professions that occupy their hours but also define who they are beyond the time they spend on these interests. There is a stay-at-home mom whose daily routine is shaped by the knowledge that she’s a crack archer (p. 18). There is a retired professional molded by the Sunday mornings he spends living the life of a 19th-century cowboy (p. 30). There are gold medalists (p. 22), stargazers (p. 58) and tailgaters (p. 48) who carry something of their experiences into anything else they do. And, of course, there is a 4-year-old boy who goes through life as a “deer seer” not just on the trail but also when he is reading at the library or playing at Gage Park. Taking a cue from Henry, we’d like to think of our work, and now some of our substance, as “Topeka-seers.” The city we write about, photograph and discuss shapes our identity and understanding of anything else around us—and we hope it does for you as well. P.S. Henry’s quote is part of a story about the Herreman family that appears exclusively online. You can follow the link from our Facebook page at

Nathan Pettengill Editor

Nathan Pettengill COPY EDITOR

susie fagan advertising representative

kathy lafferty (785) 224-9992 Designer

Tamra Rolf Ad Designers

shelly bryant Tamra Rolf Photographers

Jason Dailey bill stephens Contributing Writers

julie k. buzbee anita miller fry Stacey jo geier KIM GRONNIGER CAROLYN KABERLINE vernon mcfalls karen ridder christine steinkuehler debra Guiou stufflebean GENERAL MANAGER

BERT HULL coordinator

faryle scott


$22 (tax included) for a one-year subscription to Topeka Magazine. For subscription information, please contact:

Christopher J. Bell 609 New Hampshire st., P.O. Box 888, Lawrence, KS 66044 (800) 578-8748 / Fax (785) 843-1922 Or e-mail comments to

Topeka Magazine is a publication of Sunflower Publishing, a division of The World Company. F ollow us on twitter @TopekaMagazine find us on facebook:

Send your comments and suggestions to



The Max Gallery

at The Woodward Max

Etched - Enameled - Forged - Folded - Oiled Works in Metal and Oil by Five Kansas Artists

Open First Fridays 5pm - 9pm or by appointment - Art Walk/Dinner Special available - Art Walk/Dinner B & B Special available - Sculpture and Art Glass at The Woodward Max - Polish Pottery available at The Woodward - Coming Soon The Little Antique Stop at The Woodward Executive

The Woodward Inns on Fillmore 13th & Fillmore Streets, Topeka KS

(785) 354-7111 *Transportation to galleries included

Topeka. A Great Arts Town.

From concept to completion...we can help with any task or element of your project.

Cabinets ~ Counter tops ~ Flooring ~ lighting ~ plumbing ~ hardware

Create a vision for your home.


115 Northwest Laurent • Topeka, KS •

Contents Features


on the cover


Carole and Orion Jordan stand near their garden gate. {Photography by Jason Dailey}

48 A tasty tailgating throwdown 34 RoadRunner homestay families 58 Farpoint brings the stars home

34 Home Rink Advantage

They come, they skate, they score … but off the ice, even tough up-and-coming hockey stars need a welcoming home where the hosts know their favorite snacks

48 Tailgating Throwdown

It’s two chefs, two schools, two big meals—and you choose the winner


In Every Issue

03 From the Editor 62 events calendar

DEPARTMENTS .............

topeka businesses

10 Theatrical Taste

Topeka Civic Theatre and Academy shares its recipe for success as it celebrates a milestone year


30 Guns for Attire A historical shooting club targets a friendly revival of the cowboy culture .............

14 Reinventing the Mercado


44 House Dreams Made True

Sample history and autumn delights by touring one of Topeka’s oldest neighborhoods

Topeka female archers bring new blood to one of the most ancient sports

A young couple open their self-designed home to support one organization’s mission of helping children



For Nadine and Pete Latham, the senior days are a time to gather gold medals and step onto the Olympic platforms

26 Perret’s Reward

An artist follows her curiosity across disciplines and materials to create her work


40 Ward-Meade’s Colorful Past

18 Pink Bow Standouts


56 Garden-Gate

Carole and Orion Jordan’s garden gateway opens to their greens, rescued treasures and yearlong neighborly conversations

Home LIfe

A search for pozole ingredients leads to establishment of thriving community groceries with Mexican heritage notables


living well

54 Born Libby

Through decades of evolving theories and care, a childbirth educator works to bring the ‘incredible miraculous experience’ of labor (along with some much-deserved rest and respect) to new moms


For the Family

58 Farpoint’s Mission

Thanks to this observatory, sky gazers can observe ‘Topeka’ travel to the stars … without difficulty

More than meets the eye Topeka’s Highest Rated Hospital

It’s what’s inside that counts St. Francis Health Center ranks among hospitals in the top 5 percent nationally in clinical excellence for 2009 and 2010, according to HealthGrades, a national health care ratings organization.

Innovative Care with a Soul™

The clinical excellence rating looks at mortality and complication rates among Medicare patients across 26 procedures and diagnoses, from heart attacks to total knee replacements. According to HealthGrades, St. Francis Health Center patients who have procedures done at St. Francis are 27 percent less likely to die and 8 percent less likely to incur a major complication. Also in 2010, HealthGrades awarded St. Francis its Women’s Health Excellence Award. Only 165 hospitals out of 5,000 met the criteria. It also earned the HealthGrades 2010 Emergency Medicine Excellence Award™, placing it in the top 5 percent in the nation for emergency medicine services.

1700 SW 7th Street, Topeka, Kansas | 785-295-8000 | MISSION STATEMENT | We will, in the spirit of the Sisters of Charity, reveal God’s healing love by improving the health of the individuals and communities we serve, especially those who are poor or vulnerable.

10 TOPEKA BUSINESSES Topeka Civic Theatre and Academy



Topeka Civic Theatre and Academy shares its recipe for success as it celebrates a milestone year


Sara Kennedy portrays Peter Pan. The musical Peter Pan will close out the main stage productions for Topeka Civic Theatre and Academy’s 75th anniversary year.

hannon Reilly has something in common with the city’s best chefs. As artistic director for the Topeka Civic Theatre and Academy, Reilly must know how to blend an eclectic mix of ingredients—in his case, a cast of artists, paid staff and volunteers, comedies, dramas and musicals. And he must dish up a hearty helping of entertainment to Topekans hungry for the sophisticated taste of big-city theater on a home-cooking budget. As TCTA sets the table—err, stage— for its 75th season, Reilly reflects on the recipe needed to operate a successful community theater that puts on 250 events a year and the decisions that went into selecting the lineup for the theater’s anniversary performances. First, don’t look for a recipe book

Selecting a successful theater season means knowing both the audience and a theater’s capabilities. It also means taking risks and not limiting yourself to standard fare. “I wish there was a magic book that I could open that said, ‘If you want a hit at your theater, do this,’” explains Reilly, “because I would read that book. We have had some shows be massively successful and others just hit the wall.”



STORY BY Stacey Jo Geier | PHOTOGRAPHY BY jason dailey

will it be another

Everyone Can Afford a Penwell-Gabel Funeral

hard winter?

We believe every family we serve deserves the best and at a price that fits their budget. That’s why we guarantee Penwell-Gabel will provide the service you want for a price that is the same or less than you will find elsewhere.

Be prepared with

DeBacker’s Inc.

Same Price Guarantee

Licensed & insured

Mention this ad or “winter 2010” and receive $10 off labor Tune up your heat pump or furnace before winter.

Residential • CommeRCial • all bRands • Air Conditioning • Heating

• Humidifiers • Digital Thermostats

Funeral Homes, Crematory & Crematory Everyone Can Afford a Penwell-Gabel Funeral 354-8558

• Air Cleaners • Parts & Supplies

1520 E. 10th Street

(785) 232.2916

outdoor imagination

Ren and Theresa Newcomer Owners



12 Topeka Civic Theatre and Academy

Select the main course carefully

A 15-member committee and theater staff read about 240 scripts between September and December one year previous to performance and whittle the pile to eight main stage, three studio and five additional shows. “It’s a creative ballet as we juggle so many comedies, musicals, family-oriented and classic shows,” said Reilly. “We also have to ask ourselves if the shows have too many men, too many women, too many old people or are there too many shows about New York City? There have been many times when we have had two great plays about conmen and have to pick one. Or a hot new musical just arrived and we want to do the show, but it’s got too many children, so we can’t do the Wizard of Oz. It’s those kinds of balances that take time.” Serve themed meals and seasonal fare

Of the shows picked for the season’s productions, three must be musicals. “Dancing, singing and something Christmasy seem to be a hit during the holidays,” says Reilly. “March became the musical month by default as we fight a big round orange basketball. We try to present a show that can be an alternative. The March musical tends to be a little quirky. We do a

Dan Heinz, left, portrays Stanley Kowalski from A Streetcar Named Desire. David Crawford hams it up as Bob Wallace from Irving Berlin’s White Christmas.

family classic show in the summer, something for everyone to see together, which is why Peter Pan is just perfect for our 75th anniversary season. Our summer show is usually the largest with a cast filled with college kids who have come home for the summer.” Reilly says TCTA does two dramas: one pop and one classical. “We fight a lot of footballs in October. It’s a nice

spooky month, so that’s when we have our thrillers and murder-mysteries. Then we do one other drama and that tends to be a classical drama, such as next year’s Streetcar Named Desire.” Sprinkle in laughter— cautiously

Reilly says comedies that appeal to a wide audience in Topeka are difficult to find. “Most of the comedies are written on the two coasts. They get away with a lot of situations and language that don’t necessary play well in the Heartland. We try to open with a well-named comedy, a classic comedy. That is why Arsenic and Old Lace is perfect for us.” Romantic comedies tend to do well right after the holidays, according to Reilly. “That’s why we picked Funny Valentines. It’s light, it’s funny. It’s about a couple that should not be together, and yet they are. You root for them and can’t believe they are together. It’s that warm, When Harry Met Sally kind of thing.” Borrow from other kitchens

Phyllis Penney, left, portrays Aunt Abby from Arsenic and Old Lace. Shannon Reilly, right, portrays himself, head “cook” and artistic director for TCTA.



Embracing other local arts organizations is vital to the success of TCTA, says Reilly. “My dancers, singers and actors are dancing, singing and acting at Washburn

and Helen Hocker. They are also painters and photographers and sculptors at the First Friday Art Walk. We share the same resources, people, audience; we share the same passions. The arts community finally figured it out. We can and should be friends because it’s lonely without each other.” Keep an eye on the competition

“It used to be that I worried about what other theaters would do. I don’t anymore,” says Reilly. “Now I worry about what’s on your iPod, or what are you going to do with Kindle. It’s so easy to stay home and order Netflix. It’s easy to look at mass media on your computer. I am more worried about your laptop getting in the way of you coming in and sitting down in my theater than anything else.” Serve anywhere

As TCTA kicks off its anniversary season, Reilly emphasizes that the theater is not a place but a group of people. “In our history, we have been homeless, we have been flooded out and we were in a warehouse. The theater is not a building. It’s a 75-year-old woman answering our telephones. It’s the cast and crew. It’s the 600-plus volunteers we touch every year and the thousands of members and general public ticket buyers. It’s changed my life; it’s changed their lives. Topeka would be a lot less without TCTA.”


About Topeka Civic Theatre and Academy (TCTA)

Founded in 1936 as the Topeka Civic Theatre, TCTA combines main stage productions with dinner theater performances, smaller studio productions, youth productions, in-house comedy teams and instructional academies. Here’s the 75th anniversary lineup of main stage productions:

• Arsenic and Old Lace (comedy) September 11-October 2, 2010 • Wait Until Dark (mystery) October 22-November 6, 2010 • Irving Berlin’s White Christmas (musical) November 26-December 19, 2010 • Funny Valentines (comedy) January 14-February 5, 2011 • Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (musical) February 25-March 26, 2011 • A Streetcar Named Desire (drama) April 15-30, 2011 • The Boys Next Door (comedy) June 3-25, 2011 • Peter Pan (musical) July 15-August 13, 2011 All main stage productions will be performed at the main theater building, 3028 SW Eighth Ave. For reservations or information, call (785) 357-5211.

14 TOPEKA BUSINESSES Mexican markets

Reinventing the


A search for pozole ingredients leads to establishment of thriving community groceries with Mexican heritage


The grocery and supplies store Miselanea el Rodeo is one of the anchors for a cluster of Latino businesses on SE Sixth Avenue.

hen Salvador Lopez was visiting relatives in Topeka and wanted to make pozole, a pork soup with red chilies, his quest for the right spices turned into a life-changing experience. “We wanted to eat some typical food, and we went to look for the powders [spices]. We couldn’t find them anywhere in Topeka,” Lopez relates. The closest place with a selection of spices for the traditional Mexican shredded meat soup was Kansas City. “I said, ‘This would be a good place to open a store with the products,’” says Lopez. He and his family followed up on the idea, and a new business for Topeka was born. ‘Neighborhood store’

Lopez and his family—including a sister, brother and his mother—relocated to Topeka from Denver, where they lived seven years after immigrating from Durango, Mexico, where Lopez’s mother operated a store. Now, 10 years later, the family operates Miselanea el Rodeo, a Hispanic mercado or market in the heart of East Topeka, where a number of people with Hispanic and Latino heritage live. The store carries a full selection of spices, displayed right up front, as well as groceries, clothing, boots, hats, Hispanic greeting cards and music. Customers can also purchase international



STORY BY Anita Miller Fry | PHOTOGRAPHY BY bill stephens



785-887-6100 FREE ESTIMATES Stripping, Cleaning & Protecting Decks, Fences & Siding “Environmentally Safe Cleaner and Protectant”

Voted Topeka’s Best Barbeque Every Year Since 1995! H Specializing in smoked ribs, pulled pork, burnt ends, chicken, sausage, ham, and turkey. H Our own recipe sides, made from scratch. H Salads, soups, and delightful desserts.

2833 S.W. 29th On the Terrace at Brookwood 785.273.7300 | LUNCH & DINNER • DINE IN OR CARRY OUT • FULL SERVICE BAR • CATERING • PRIVATE BANQUET ROOMS


16 Mexican markets

phone cards and send money electronically to relatives in Mexico or other Latin American countries. Some of the more popular products are oregano, real vanilla, chili and corn hash for tamales. There is also demand for Mexican Coca-Cola because it is made with real sugar and tastes like the original Coke. “The little kids love our candy,” Lopez says of the nearly full aisle of bags of imported sweets, which are available in all kinds of flavors and types. The narrow aisles of the Lopez store have fresh produce, canned and packaged foods, as well as a fresh meat market that always seems to draw a line of customers. In the back of the store is a small eating area for dine-in customers. On the menu are tacos, tortas, burritos, gorditas and quesadillas. Regulars come in each day for breakfast or lunch. “It’s a neighborhood store, with groceries, sodas and basic things,” Lopez says. “A lot of neighbors come in and a lot of people from other towns—Manhattan, Holton and Lawrence.” Lopez recently began concentrating his business on basics, such as the grocery items. But he says the store’s fancy Western boots will still be on the shelves as well as supplies for special occasions like quinceañeras, baptisms and reunions. Little store, big piñatas

Just down the street from Miselanea el Rodeo, Mary Lou Minjarez and her fam-

Mary Lou Minjarez, left, places one of her best sellers— a piñata—on display at her store, Deportes y Mas. Baptismal clothes, above, are also popular items at Minjarez’s shop.

ily opened Deportes y Mas four years ago. Originally from Mexico, Minjarez had been living in Chicago when her husband learned from a friend of an existing store in Topeka that was for sale. Soon, they bought it and were packing their bags. “He liked this place, so it was good to move here,” Minjarez says, speaking in Spanish through interpreter Erika Hernandez Brown. Deportes y Mas is known in the neighborhood as latendita, which means “the little store,” and is full of Mexican foods, candy, sodas and giant piñatas that hang from the ceiling.

The piñatas, one of the top-selling items at the store, come in all makes of popular cartoon characters, some as tall as a 5-year-old child. One section of Deportes y Mas is devoted to soccer or “football” supplies. The eclectic merchandise also includes a large selection of fancy girls’ dresses and toddler boy clothing for baptism, which often is a big family event that involves a church service and party. Minjarez, who does all the buying for her store, works every day, seven days a week, from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. The couple’s four children, ages 3 to 12, often help her. On one afternoon, son Rene, 5, and daughter Ingrid, 3, open boxes of new merchandise, while their mother works at the cash register. Behind the checkout counter is the section of Minjarez’s store that she seems most proud of—a collection of soccer trophies, not for sale, but on display because they were won by her children in their new home. ...............................................................................................................

neighborhood store, with groceries,

“It’s a

basic things.” – Salvador Lopez

sodas and Erika Brown browses in the boot and hat section of Miselanea el Rodeo.



intimate | Elegant | Cool


Community Clusters

Two similar businesses based in the same area might serve as tough competition for one another, but they also help define a community’s character. It’s businesses in clusters like these that provide a neighborhood with a “sense of quality of life,” says Cyndi Hermocillo-Legg, vice president of entrepreneurial and minority business development for GO Topeka. “It brings a sense of community. It brings local, fresh food, and there’s a comfort in that. It saves people time, it’s closer for them in their neighborhood and they can walk or drive to the store.” There are other Hispanic-related businesses along S.E. Sixth Avenue, including restaurants, a clothing store and a bakery that also have developed in response to changing demographics. While 9.6 percent of Shawnee County residents are of Hispanic or Latino descent, Hermocillo-Legg says, the population of the ZIP code area in East Topeka with a cluster of Hispanic businesses is 25.2 percent Hispanic or Latino. Hermocillo-Legg says because the Hispanic population is the fastest-growing demographic in the United States, entrepreneurs who focus on this group have many opportunities. She points out that Topeka businesses specializing in Mexican products are experiencing success on a more regional level.

Photos by imagewise PhotograPhy

Fresh, innovative, local cuisine Dinner Wednesday thru Saturday | Reservations Recommended Dine in part of Topeka’s History

515 SW Van Buren St. Topeka KS


18 NOTABLES Female archers

Pink Bow

Standouts Topeka female archers bring new blood to one of the most ancient sports


here is not a breath of air in the small clearing as Jen Wilson raises her bow and takes aim at a bighorn ram across the ravine, one of the 40 targets at T.H.E. Archery Club. Wilson slowly pulls back the arrow, then lets it fly. In only a heartbeat or two, there is a resounding thunk as the arrow reaches the kill area on the 3-D target. After her three male companions—a cousin and two friends—take their shots at the same target, the arrows are retrieved, and Wilson finds that her shot has scored 10 of a maximum 12 points. As she pulls her arrow from the ram target, it’s easy to read the message on the back of her brightly colored T-shirt: “Shoot Like a Girl.” Wilson has been “shooting like a girl” since taking up the sport of archery about two years ago. “I needed a new hobby,” she explains, adding that the sport “gets her outside,” a place she loves to be. Since that beginning, Wilson has not only entered several target shooting competitions, she has hunted deer, turkey, rabbit and wild hogs. She even tried her luck at bear hunting in Canada. “The bear I hunted ended up being too small,” Wilson says. “In Canada it’s OK to bait with grease in a 55-gallon barrel. If the bear is smaller than the barrel, it’s too small to shoot.” Wilson says she still has the bear tag and plans to return to Canada this fall so she can add some bear meat to her freezer, which currently holds two hogs and two deer. Her two sons, ages 7 and 4, enjoy telling friends about their mom’s hunting prowess, although their dad hunts too. “I make a bigger deal of it,” Wilson says with a chuckle. “I get really excited. Since I’m a stay-at-home mom, this is my chance to succeed. The boys eat better when they know it’s something I’ve killed, and that makes me happy.” It probably won’t be long before those two boys, who each have small bows to shoot in the backyard, join family hunts. “A lot

Jen Wilson aims for a target at T.H.E. Archery Club range.



STORY BY Carolyn Kaberline | PHOTOGRAPHY by Bill Stephens

20 NOTABLES Female archers

Jen Wilson, above left, inspects her bow and equipment. As more women become interested in archery, manufacturers are beginning to tailor products for female archers. Melissa Handley, above right, pauses between targets.

of our family members bow hunt,” Wilson says. “This is something we can all do together.” ‘Isn’t just about the kill’

Although archery is often perceived as a man’s sport, many women pick up the hobby as a family activity. “My husband is an archer,” Melissa Handley says. “He bow hunted before we got married, so it was either get up off the couch and go with him or spend a lot of time alone.” Since making that decision almost 16 years ago, Handley has hunted deer, turkey and wild hogs and taken part in the Sunflower State Games, where she qualified for the State Games of America. Handley finds the sport challenging whether her goal is a better target score or bigger game. “It’s also about how much you can get away with in nature without getting caught,” she says, describing being close enough to watch deer play. “Hunting isn’t just about the kill.” ‘I said “bow”’

Tammy Brown says her real entry into archery came about 15 years ago when her husband asked what she wanted for Christmas. “For some reason I said ‘bow,’” Brown recalls, adding that she had really been into the sport as a teenager. “After I asked for the bow, I decided I could do it again.” Brown mentions that her husband, who hunts and fishes, likes the technical aspects of archery: working on the equipment, reading about how to fix things and learning more about how to shoot them. In fact, his renewed interest in the sport led the couple into opening their archery shop, B2 Outdoor Sports. Being outdoors for archery, says Brown, is also a good way for her two daughters to experience nature and spend time with their parents that is “different than the same time in the house.” During the years she’s been in the sport, Brown says she’s seen changes in the attitude toward women in archery. “Manufacturers are gearing more



toward women now than before, so it’s easier for women to feel comfortable with the equipment. “In the past it used to be extremely hard to pull back on the bows because of the poundage,” she explains. “Now they make sizes specially geared toward women; they’re shorter and lighter and are better technology-wise.” Brown notes there are also more accessories available for men and women, such as colorful string stoppers and matching braided wrist slings. And there are even pink bows. “I think what I like best about the sport is that anyone can do it—whether you’re short or tall, fat or thin, young or old,” says Brown. ‘Shoots like a girl’

Charlene Miglionico is one of the area’s younger female archers, but at 18, she is already a veteran. Miglionico got her first bow when she was only 8 years old. “My dad did it, and when I started shooting I enjoyed it. It’s a relaxing sport.” Miglionico finds that the best part of the sport for her is “improving my shooting stuff and just getting out in the woods. It’s fun to watch the wildlife and hunt too.” And from the way Miglionico talks about helping her father in his store, Straight Path Archery, it’s obvious she’s in it for the long haul, even if it means—or particularly because it means—she “shoots like a girl.”

A GreAt MArketinG tool for your Business ..........................................................................................................

Topeka Archery Resources T.H.E. Archery Club Archery club that promotes family and youth participation through a series of instructional meetings, benefit shoots and gatherings. Jody Stormann (785) 224-6255

to advertise contact

Kathy Lafferty E-Mail: Phone: 785.224.9992

B2 Outdoor Sports 4700-D SW Topeka Blvd (785) 862-2776 Straight Path Archery 110 NE U.S. Highway 24 (785) 233-3101

We made our home more comfortable...

and lowered our energy bills, too!

Now it’s your turn. With a low-interest Efficiency Kansas loan from a partner lender or utility, you can make your home (or small business) cooler in summer and warmer in winter, improve indoor air quality, and reduce your energy costs. Visit us online at or call toll-free 877.448.3185. We’ll answer your questions and help you get started. | 877.448.3185 PARTNER LENDERS: Alden State Bank | Baldwin State Bank | Bennington State Bank | Capitol Federal | Citizens Bank of Kansas | Farmers & Merchants Bank

of Colby | Farmers National Bank | Farmers State Bank of Oakley | First Bank, Sterling | First National Bank and Trust Company of Junction City | First National Bank of Centralia | First National Bank of Hope | Kansas State Bank Ottawa & Baldwin City | Mid America Bank | Mid American Credit Union | St. John National Bank | Sunflower Bank | PARTNER UTILITIES: City of Chanute | City of Horton | City of Iola | City of Osage City | City of Sabetha | City of Seneca | DS&O Electric Cooperative, Inc. | Heartland Rural Electric Cooperative | Midwest Energy, Inc.

22 NOTABLES Senior Olympics




‘If you don’t use it, you’re gonna lose it.”

“My slogan is

For Nadine and Pete Latham, the senior days are a time to gather gold medals and step onto the Olympic platforms



ete and Nadine Latham are not spending their retirement years sitting around letting grass grow under their feet. Instead, the two spend their time out on the grass in their backyard and in Topeka’s parks as they participate in sports from bocce to softball. “We do a different sport every day,” Pete says, rattling off just a few: pickleball, table tennis, bocce. “I play softball every week on the over-65 team,” the 82-year-old catcher says, grinning. “It’s kind of comical every now and then.” But one event they take seriously is the Kansas Senior Olympics, a competition they have entered each year since 1995. Nadine, 79, explains the Topeka-based games and similar events in other states have become a big part of their active lives. “We just got back from the Senior Olympics in West Des Moines,” she says, adding that they have also gone to contests in Salina, Missouri, Utah and Maine. With all the traveling, playing, practicing and competing, Pete and Nadine are extremely busy. “Our daughter said ‘Mom and Dad we have to make an appointment to see you,’” Nadine says, laughing. They’ve always been busy, though. This family-oriented duo raised five children and have 12 grandchildren and nine greatgrandchildren, most of whom live in the Topeka area. Nadine grew up in Topeka, while Pete, who grew up in Maine, first arrived in 1947. “I was stationed out at Forbes Air Force Base after North Africa,” he says. “I got discharged here. That’s when I married a Jayhawker.” At home in a cozy abode on Morningside Road where they’ve lived for more than 50 years, family photos decorate every nook and cranny of the living room, which also contains Pete’s karaoke machine that holds more than 1,000 songs. “I think it makes you feel good to sing,” he says.

A vast collection of medals—and a winning kiss—are the rewards of Nadine and Pete Latham’s long involvement in competitive sports, including the Kansas Senior Olympics.



STORY by Julie K. Buzbee | photography BY bill stephens

©Aveda Corp.


Sometimes, the toughest subjects

are the most important.

Dealing with changes that occur as people age can be challenging for everyone involved. That’s why so many people count on us to help them understand moving to a retirement community and how it can help them or their loved one live a happier, healthier, more fulfilled life. Any conversation about retirement living and what it can mean to your family usually starts with a question. We welcome yours. Just ask. Call today for our free brochure. Together, we’ll find the answers.

zine’s Elle Maga alon Top 100 S 0 01

2009 & 2

us in the Look for 010 August 2 Edition!


Aveda’s expertly-trained colorists give you customized, vibrant, long-lasting hair color that’s 99% naturally derived,* so hair is essentially damage-free and feels silky to the touch. Live a colorful life — call to book your appointment today. *From plants and non-petroleum based materials.

Find other Aveda locations at 800.328.0849 or


OPI Axxium Gel Nail Services now available Schedule your appointment today!

(785) 235-8808 808 SW 12th Street, Topeka, KS (Located in historic Holliday Park)

Call Marsha at 785.272.6510 today for more information or to schedule a tour of the community.


4712 South West Sixth | Topeka, KS 66606

Haircuts • HigHligHts • color • Perms • straigHteners • m anicures • Pedicures • Facial Waxing



“We do a different

Senior Olympics

every day. I play softball every week on the over-65 team. It’s kind of comical every now and then.” – PETE LATHAM

Nadine and Pete often play games of badminton in the yard of their home in Topeka.

Being active in sports and the Senior Olympics also makes them feel good. They’ve won so many medals that they have an entire chest filled with them. The couple is particularly proud of a plaque that proclaims them “Athlete of the Year” for Kansas Senior Olympics in 2007. And word has spread about the Latham sports arena. The Lathams have turned a large screened porch and their yards into their own sporting arenas. A badminton court is in the side yard. Table tennis fills the back porch, along with Pete’s bike. Horseshoe pits are as natural a part of their backyard as are the vegetable garden and the trees and vines bearing peaches, pears, plums and grapes. On the porch, Nadine pulls out a ladder golf set that they built, as well as washers and Baggo sets that they use. Baggo and washers (Baggo is similar to a bean-bag toss and washers is played much like horseshoes, but with—you guessed it—metallic or plastic washers) are two of the fun events played at the Kansas Senior Olympics. The statewide event began in Topeka in 1984 with 92 participants, says Becky Sewell, director of Kansas Senior Olympics and senior adult specialist for Topeka’s Parks and Recreation Department. This year’s games were expected to attract about 750 athletes, mostly from Shawnee County, but also from across Kansas and 20 states, she says. The Lathams plan on participating in as many as possible, but when the games are over they will also spend time bowling and playing miniature golf. In the winter, Pete ice skates, sometimes with his 6-foot-6 grandson. “My slogan is, ‘If you don’t use it, you’re gonna lose it,” he says, before admitting that the actual slogan others know him best for is “You can’t win ’em all.” Sewell, whose office is lined with hundreds of pictures of senior Olympians, says it is athletes like the Lathams that make her job rewarding. She never thought she’d find herself wishing she were older, but she does look forward to competing with the seniors. “It’s inspirational just to go out and see them play,” she says. Besides Sewell, the Lathams have made many friends as they compete. “When you’re doing these sports, you meet so many nice people,” Nadine says. But when it comes to winning, that competitive drive is always there, Sewell says.




“The desire for competing, it never leaves us. There’s some heavy-duty competition at these games,” she says, adding that as soon as the athletes cross the finish line, they are back to being best buddies. “I don’t like getting skunked, but if we make a good showing, I’m happy,” Pete says. Pickleball is Pete’s favorite. The sport is similar to tennis, but its court size is smaller, it uses paddles bigger than table tennis paddles and wiffle balls rather than tennis balls. “I like a lot of action in my games,” he says. Oftentimes, the senior athletes practice pickleball at Hughes Play-for-All Park, 725 SW Orleans, and Pete says they are always looking for new players to join. Nadine, who prefers playing horseshoes above all other sports, encourages other wouldbe-athletes to compete. “We would actually be bored sitting around the house,” Nadine says. “We tell people about the senior games everywhere we go.” Pete adds: “We ain’t planning on quitting.”


About the Kansas Senior Olympics

Open to registered athletes who will be 50 or older on or before December 31, 2010, the 2010 Kansas Senior Olympics will take place September 22 - October 3 in Topeka. Individual and team sporting events are archery, badminton, bowling, cycling, golf, horseshoes, pickleball, race walk, racquetball, road race, shuffleboard, swimming, table tennis, tennis and track and field. Team sports are basketball, softball and volleyball. Fun events include standing long jump, 50-meter dash, coed 4x100-meter relay, basketball free throw, football throw for accuracy, softball throw for accuracy and distance, washers and Baggo. For more information, contact Becky Sewell at

(785) 368-3798.

Plan better. Play more.

Investment Management / Financial Planning / Trusts Personal / Business / Nonprofit / Foundation

Learn more today. / 785.273.9993

26 NOTABLES Marguerite Perret


Perret’s work is balanced in


design and execution,


reflecting the mystery

sacred and the urbane. of the

An artist follows her curiosity across disciplines and materials to create her work


love work that has a sense of humor in it,” explains Marguerite Perret. Humor—as well as many other elements—can be found in the work of this artist. One apt description of Perret’s overall approach is “assemblage.” The associate professor of art at Washburn University is a conceptual magician, creating deft juxtapositions of thought and insights drawn from science, medicine, environment, ecology and the explosion of life and culture around her. But perhaps Perret is best described as a “cultural aggregator”—an artist who draws in data and transforms it. Perret hails from the East Coast—New Jersey—where she says she grew up feeling somewhat “a nerd.” She stayed in the state for college, attending William Paterson University, before going on to Southern Illinois University Carbondale, home to the highly regarded futurist Buckminster Fuller, whose integration of architecture, engineering and science would be reflected in Perret’s work across traditional academic disciplines. “In American contemporary culture in general,” says Perret, “there was a division of disciplines in the early 20th century. It’s beginning to come back [together]. I’ve talked to a number of scientists about working together on projects.” One of Perret’s most recent creations, Niche: nature morte and the simulated garden (Or The Simulated Garden), is an example of this cross-discipline approach. This artwork combines digitized images of insect and animal species, some threatened, some extinct and some recently extinct. The work is a visual collage with echoes of fractal geometry, Fibonacci sequences, mandalas and nature. If you look closely, you see mankind and machinery encroaching, for better or worse on the natural world. Perret’s work is balanced in design and execution, reflecting the mystery of the sacred and the urbane.

Marguerite Perret’s recent artwork, an examination of sickness, health and healing, follows a trend in her work of combining fields of inquiry and traditional disciplines. Photograph courtesy Daniel W. Coburn.



STORY BY Vernon McFalls | PHOTOGRAPHY courtesy marguerite perret

CWC ElECtriC 215-8775


CWC outdoors 233-5480

28 NOTABLES Marguerite Perret

Nature intersects with the mechanical and artificial in these details that are part of Perret’s Niche: nature morte and the simulated garden.

Part of this work, Curtain and Apse, weaves patterns that seem organic in nature but upon closer examination contain aerial views of streets and tract housing. Perret describes herself as being caught up in “the spectacle of science,” but she also approaches scientific and naturalistic themes with enthusiasm and empathy, such as when she describes the image of a colorful, extinct bird portrayed in her works. “Carolina parakeets are a beautiful bird,” says Perret. “They used to nest along the Kansas River. They had shimmering feathers: green, blue and yellow. And these birds might have been here, part of our environment. But they were hunted down and are now extinct. People liked their feathers.” Perret’s collaborative installations are spread across the country. Currently, she is preparing an ambitious project called “The Waiting Room,” set to show in the fall of 2011 at the Alice C. Sabatini Art Gallery. The exhibit incorporates sculpture, images and spoken word to examine issues surrounding health. Skeletal structures are incorporated into designs and fabric pieces display arresting patterns based on health and disease.

“They are botanical prints about medicine and healing,” describes Perret. In her work, Perret collaborated with medical researchers to obtain relevant biological images, such as molecules extracted from yew trees and used in creating Taxol (a drug to combat breast and ovarian cancer). For Perret, however, an examination of the meaning behind her work can only go so far. “I try to draw people in,” she explains. “There’s a space in there where you recognize the issues, and I try not to preach to people, to present a sermon. If people are perceptive, they will notice. That they engage with the piece and think about it is my reward.”

Alaska • Australia • Canada & NE • Caribbean • Dubai • Europe • Panama Canal • South America

the beautiful Voyager of the SeaS returnS

to galveston, tX on november 21, 2010

Cruise holidays

of topeka

ASK AbouT our

inside Staterooms from $597 oceanview from $689 balcony from $827

CAribbeAn offerS

reSerVe your Stateroom noW at the beSt price!

5967 SW 29th St. Ste 260 • Topeka, Kansas • 785.271.9889 * Prices are based on per person; double occupancy, cruise only and are subject to change without notice. Government taxes/fees are add’l. royal Caribbean reserves the right to impose a fuel supplement on all guests if the price of West Texas fuel exceeds $65.00 per barrel. restrictions apply.


Prairie band keePs getting hotter

• A spAcious cAsino floor with over 1,000 slots And more thAn 30 tAbles • three delectAble dining estAblishments – the longhouse buffet, the buffAlo grill And the three fires steAkhouse • 297 luxury hotel rooms

• 12,000 squAre-foot convention center • stAte-of-the-Art rv pArk • convenience store And gAs stAtion • weekly line runs from topekA! visit for dAys, times And pick up locAtions | 1-888-PBP-4WIN | Just north of Topeka off Highway 75 Must be 21 years of age or older to gamble. Owned by the Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation. *Get $25 in Prairie Cash when you join the Prairie Band Players Club. New members only. See the Players Club for details. Getting help is your Best Bet. Call the confidential, toll-free Problem Gambling Helpline at 1-800-522-4700.

30 NOTABLES Capital City Cowboys


The Capital City Cowboys


meet at 8:30 a.m. on the fourth Sunday of every month at the Capital City Gun Club range, off NW Fourth Street from the Interstate 70 Valencia Road exit.

for Attire

A historical shooting club targets a friendly revival of the cowboy culture

For directions or more information, contact club director Russ Estes at (785) 266-6408 or see


owboy TOP fires off his last shot, holsters his empty 1873 single-action Army pistol, draws an identical reserve from his left side, raises it, aims, pulls back the hammer and slips his finger on the trigger. Then he hesitates as he realizes he’s drawn the wrong gun. “Too late, too late,” shouts Flint Hills Dawg, standing next to him. TOP should have left his second pistol in the holster and shouldered his rifle to head off the rampaging cattle. By all rights and laws of the Wild West, TOP could have been run over and down under. But because he’s at a shooting range for the Capital City Cowboys, TOP only has to about-face and become the target of good-natured barbs. “This shooting sequence,” jokes Kant Kount from under a broad-rimmed hat, “it’s tough on an old cowboy’s memory.” The Kount (Russ Estes), Dawg (Jeff Collie) and TOP (Rodney Davis) are three club members who gather regularly at a shooting range a short drive past Valencia Road, where the Eastern-style tree lines seem to run out of steam and give way to open land, where west Topeka begins more and more to resemble simply the West. The cowboys do too, at least if you don’t look too closely at their concessions to modernity: goggles, ear protection, a ban of alcohol on the range and a strict safety code. Otherwise, these dozens of men and women re-create a version of the West each month as they dress in period costumes, strap on authentic six-shooters, prepare trail grub and address one another by cowboy aliases. Of course, if truth be told, those aliases are not entirely authentic. “But if they’re not historical,” clarifies Kant Kount, “they could be hysterical.”

Fast shooting

The Capital City Cowboys formed their posse in 1988. A collection of active and retired military personnel, former firefighters, JD Cook (Roger Wake) and Crystal Jane (Lucy J. Sterpenig) tote their firearms at a gathering of the Capital City Cowboys.



STORY BY Nathan Pettengill | PHOTOGRAPHY By bill stephens

Come see us at our NEW ClINIC Same quality care with new added services! Providers Josie Norris, MD Kathy Snyder, ARNP Finette Gress, ARNP-C

Coughs, Sinus Congestion, Sore Throats, Strains, Sprains, Bug Bites, Rashes, Physicals of all types. Now offering Primary Care, on site X-Ray and Ultrasound!

Walk-In Clinic 785-246-3733 3405 NW Hunters Ridge Terrace, Suite 100 / Topeka KS 66618 Phone 785-246-3733 / Fax 785-246-3406 Hours: Monday-Friday 9am-8pm, Saturday 8am-8pm, Sunday 9am-5pm

a s s i dy Orthodontics

32 NOTABLES Capital City Cowboys

TOP (Rodney Davis), far left, and Dakota Wrangler (Greg Froning) go through a safety inspection after TOP finished with a sequence of shoots. Snokomo Bill (Bill Newton), far right, listens to the morning shooters’ meeting before the range is opened.

mechanics, security officers, doctors, dentists and others, the cowboys join for many reasons: like-minded camaraderie, good-natured ribbing and sport. But the group, like many aspects of the Wild West itself, centers on guns. Cowboy action shooting requires two pistols: a rifle and a double-barrel (or pump-action with exposed hammer) shotgun, which have to be authentic or historically accurate pre-1900 reproduction models. At approximately $700 for an entry-level pistol set alone, the guns are frequently customized, engraved or adapted to fit the individual. In competition, these guns are shot in a set sequence at designated objects—silhouettes of gun-totin’ baddies, raised outlines of bull heads and knock-down targets for the shotgun. In the spirit of the close-quarter gun draws of cowboy legend, targets are placed nearby and can be shot down by practically anyone who just rode into town. But just as in the Wild West, it is time—perhaps only a split second on each draw—that separates a shootin’ ace from a squirrel-huntin’ cowpoke. That emphasis on fast shooting means the cowboys select rifles that load faster, look for advantages with left-handed shooting, modify their holster belts for speedy draws and perfect every motion. Shootin’ Newton (George Newton), a top gun for Capital City Cowboys, steps up to the range with his holsters hung at precise hand levels and his big shooting sticks placed just so. But he says the secret to good shooting is muscle-over-mind reflexes. “It’s motor memory,” says Newton. “I’ve practiced so much that when I put my hands down to put away one pistol, I’m automatically coming back up with the second one. I’ve gotten so that it feels so natural and is so fast that sometimes people will think I’m still shooting with the same pistol.” Riding together

All the events, preparations and friendships that surround the shooting competitions—as with any sport or hobby—create a way of life for the century-crossing cowboys. Many of them pack their gun carts each weekend and travel down the highways for shoots with nearby clubs. And the



cowboys form friendships across state lines over the years with other like-minded shooters they meet at competitions and gatherings. After all, who else but a fellow Single Action Shooting Society gunslinger will understand what it feels like to be gawked at as you walk out of a fancy convention center hotel with your holsters on and hat hung low? And who else but a modern cowboy gets all worked up that the pistols John Wayne carried in some of his most famous films were shockingly anachronistic? Of course, you don’t have to be able to recite the history of the development of the Winchester rifle or outdraw Shootin’ Newton to shoot with the Capital City Cowboys. Newcomers are welcome. Competitions are divided by age and shooting style (there’s even a category for shooters who dress up like Hollywood legends), and the monthly meet-ups tend to be a friendly mishmash of sharp shooting and even sharper one-liners. “About the third or fourth time, I thought I had it all down,” recalls Estes. “But I shot everything out of order, and they joked I should change my alias to ‘Can’t Count.’ And that’s how I became Kant Kount. … Because if you can’t count, I guess you can’t spell either.” “That’s one thing I’ve always liked about the cowboy shooters,” says Davis, “they’re always willing to loan you equipment and help you out. And if you outshoot them, they’ll be happy for you.”

Home Rink Advantage They come, they skate, they score … but off the ice, even tough up-and-coming hockey stars need a welcoming home where the hosts know their favorite snacks Story by Kim Gronniger Photography by Jason Dailey


he mostly 18- and 19-year-olds arrive each August from various states and an occasional Canadian province or European country lugging their luggage, hockey gear and an abiding hope that Topeka is the next step on their way to playing hockey at collegiate and professional levels. On the ice, it’s the coaches who will instill a competitive drive to succeed through drills and gameday dynamics. Off the ice, however, it’s Topeka host families who will nourish the players’ dreams and cure homesickness by providing a room, home-cooked meals, favorite snacks and beverages, laundry assistance and an enthusiastic cheering section for the approximately 30 teenage athletes who are the Topeka RoadRunners. Although the homestay or “billet family” arrangement is similar to hosting a foreign exchange student, there are notable exceptions. Players typically have their own vehicles, a built-in peer group with their teammates, a rigorous training regimen and frequent road trips for games, so there is more freedom on both sides. The players’ parents make frequent visits to Topeka. And, being athletes on a rigorous competition schedule, the players eat more than a typical international scholar—so billet families receive a $250 monthly stipend to offset grocery costs. RoadRunners fill empty nest

RoadRunners Chris Bond and Evan Karambelas relax at the home of their Topeka host family, Denise and Mike Parker.



A couple of years after Mike and Denise Parker’s adult sons left home, the empty nesters realized they missed the noise and activity of young lives, so they signed up for the RoadRunners homestay program. “We didn’t know a thing about hockey, but we’d always been sports fans,” says Denise, a nurse practitioner at Lincoln Center Obstetrics and Gynecology. “Now we won’t miss a game.”

The Parkers hosted one player their first year, then signed up for two players their second year. They keep in contact with all their RoadRunners and proudly celebrate their achievements, such as when Chris Bond, a player from Virginia, spent a week at the prospect camp of the National Hockey League’s Washington Capitals. Bond will return to the Parkers’ home this fall for another season.

During the season, Mike, employed by Lawyers Title of Topeka, makes trips to Sam’s Club to load up on player provisions with such frequency that Denise says he’s become acquainted with the greeter. Referring to her housemates as “fun and considerate,” Denise explains “a lot of energy leaves the house” between seasons. “As a billet, you are a parent to these boys with all that entails,” says Denise.

“We cheer when things go well in a game and hurt for them when there is a loss. Besides the usual daily routine of meals and laundry, out-of-the-ordinary things can happen. One boy was seriously ill with pneumonia last fall and another had several trips to the ER for stitches and dressing changes for a fingernail ripped off in a game. Those were times when it was good to be a nurse as well as a mom.”

Denise demonstrates her best “nagging mom” impersonation as she pretends to goad Evan—who will be attending college this fall—into doing his homework.



“We cheer when things go well in a game and hurt for them when there is a loss.” – Denise Parker

Six plus ‘Billet Brothers’ When the Romine family moved to a larger house with an extra bedroom, Chris Romine, a Topeka native whose previous hockey exposure consisted of one game, thought the RoadRunners homestay program would be “a chance to help out.” His wife, Kristine, recalls, “I thought he was crazy. Our youngest son was a toddler, and I remember being in a bad

mood picking up the house before Kevin [Grauberger, the homestay coordinator] came over. But by the time he left, I was on board.” The Romines’ first player, Reed Seckel, a Melvin, Michigan, native, will be playing hockey for Northern Michigan University this year and was invited to the Red Wings Prospect Camp this summer, a dream come true.

“Our four kids loved having an older kid around,” says Kristine. “He was like a new toy, and the neighbor kids cheered whenever he came home.” The Romines keep in touch with Seckel and his family and plan to follow his games on television. That initial experience was so positive that they took in Jacob Poe, from Arlington, Texas, who has stayed with them for three seasons.

This fall, Jacob Poe begins his fourth season playing with the RoadRunners and staying with the Romine family, which includes Chris, Pierce and Mason, playing hockey in background, as well as Kristine, Claire and Ellise, drawing with chalk.



Sharing meals, chores and holidays, the RoadRunners develop close ties with their Topeka host families.



“Our four kids loved having an older kid around. He was like a new toy, and the neighbor kids cheered whenever he came home.” – Kristine Romine

“I’ve learned that teenage boys don’t care who folds their underwear, but they are often bashful about stating what they need or want. So I got to know the mothers first so I would know what their kids’ favorite snacks and drinks were so I could have those stocked,” says Kristine. “Getting a relationship going with the player’s family is so helpful and rewarding. We love our players and their families.” The Romines have hosted the Seckels and the Poes for Thanksgiving dinners,

and the Poes have hosted the Romines for a summer vacation. At games, the Romine kids cheer for their “billet brother” with Chris and Kristine providing additional fan support and near-parental pride. They are looking forward to an alumni game this fall when they’ll be able to watch both their players compete on the ice. Chris, who serves on the board of the Topeka Youth Hockey Association, says, “The RoadRunners players are talented

and extremely motivated. They’re taking classes or working part-time, training and traveling for games. They don’t want to jeopardize the dream they’re working toward. It will be fun to keep in touch with our players and see where they go in hockey and in life.”

Guess who’s coming to dinner ... (making the case for the benefits of inviting a big, hungry, friendly hockey guy into your home)


evin and Tonya Grauberger are the RoadRunners’ homestay matchmakers. In addition to full-time jobs as a research attorney for bankruptcy court and a Washburn University bookstore employee, respectively, the couple place approximately 30 RoadRunners into homes each season. They take this role seriously, meeting with prospective hosts and reviewing player and family questionnaires to ensure compatible replacements. “There’s no magic qualification for families who want to participate,” says Kevin. “They just have to be willing to open their homes and make the boys feel part of the family.” To illustrate just how fully players can be integrated into the family, Kevin recalls his family’s experience. “We hosted one player who fell in love with our dog, Jordan,” says Kevin. “Jordan would sleep at the foot of his bed and rest at the top of the stairs waiting for him to get home at night. Our dog was clearly depressed for a week or so when he moved out.” The Graubergers believe that the RoadRunners provide good role models for their host family’s young kids, such as their children, Natalee and aspiring hockey player Maks. The players’ assimilation also extends to volunteerism for local charities, including a Read with the RoadRunners school program that combines enrichment with rolemodel interaction. Helping these players succeed, says Kevin, benefits Topeka and “adds another element to the community’s quality of life. Without the RoadRunners, our youth hockey program wouldn’t exist.” RoadRunners homestay programs last from the end of August to approximately the beginning of May. Potential billet families can contact the Graubergers with questions by sending an e-mail to



Kitchens to fit your


Randy S. WaRRen, CKd/CBd Certified Kitchen & Bath designer

(785) 230-3063 exclusively

Topeka's most unique B&B, dining location and event facility.

Full service catering serving the Topeka area and beyond for 14 years. Any size event on site or off. Experience a weekend getaway at our beautiful bed and breakfast. Located near Hwy 75 in North Topeka. | (785) 235-0057

40 HOME LIFE Ward-Meade neighborhood


WardMeade’s Colorful Past Sample history and autumn delights by touring one of Topeka’s oldest neighborhoods

ard-Meade neighborhood is an area rich in fall colors and history. It contains one of the city’s largest concentrations of architectural gems: St. Joseph Catholic Church, Sumner School and Hicks Block. Bounded by Interstate 70 to the north, SW Sixth Avenue to the south, SW Van Buren Street to the east and SW Garfield/Willow/Quinton to the west, the Ward-Meade neighborhood fills roughly 296 acres. Originally, 240 of these acres were the Ward-Meade family’s property. The eastern half of the neighborhood, extending to Western Avenue, is part of Topeka’s Original Town Site that dates to 1859. Included in this area is Harvey’s subdivision, which emerged in 1847, making it one of the city’s oldest residential neighborhoods. The neighborhood’s obvious contribution to history is Sumner School, one of the city’s greatest Art Deco buildings that also has ties to the historic Brown v. Board of Education case. Sumner was the school that Linda Brown wanted to attend. Less well-known is Hughes Conoco, a small Tudor revival gas station on the corner of Fourth and Taylor. Operated by Edwin Hughes, it was one of the first black-owned businesses outside the city’s established black neighborhoods and was Topeka’s only black-owned station supplied by a national gasoline company. With Old Prairie Town, anchored by the Ward-Meade house, this complex is a living history of Topeka’s beginnings. Thanks to an eclectic mix of architectural styles, residents and a shared history, the Ward-Meade neighborhood is a unique blend of treasures and a perfect location for a fall stroll or drive.

225 SW Clay St. — This limestone Gothic Revival with its angled front porch, pointy arched windows, prominent front bay window and decorative botanical carvings is one of the most romantic homes in Topeka. Built by John Sargent, an English-born and -trained stonemason, the home has limestone from a quarry in Cottonwood Falls that also was used for the west wing of the Capitol. Local legend is that the rear corner is angled to allow horses to pass to the planned, but not then built, barn without brushing against the house.



story by Christine Steinkuehler | photography by Jason Dailey

329 SW Western Ave. — Known as the Johanson house, this is one of the few brick Queen Anne style homes left in Topeka. The stone window lintels and delicately turned spindle work porch columns are some of its elegant touches. It was built by Sven Johanson, a Swedish-born stonemason, contractor and designer who built many Topeka landmarks including the Crawford building at Fifth and Jackson, the First Methodist Church at Sixth and Harrison, and Rice Hall on the Washburn University campus.

218 SW Clay St. —

Built in 1900 by J.B. Davidson, this home is the quintessential Queen Anne. A multicolor paint scheme highlights the home’s wonderful details: the spindle work frieze and sunburst pediment of the porch, the hand-carved ornamentation of the bay window corner brackets and the variations in shingle patterns.

104 NW Clay St. — The original building permit for this home was given in 1907 to Luke Ballard, a clerk with the Rock Island Railroad, and in 1924 another permit was issued to William Gibbon, a bricklayer. These permits create some curiosity, part of the enchantment of an old home. But the perfection of this cut-stone American Foursquare is not in doubt. Its welcoming front porch boasts wide steps and a stone balustrade. TOPEKAMAGAZINE Fall 2010



120 NW Western Ave. —

Ward-Meade neighborhood

This is one of the best Craftsman bungalows in Topeka. Highlights include its red granite masonry, tapered front porch piers, deep overhangs, exposed rafters and stone fireplace. To top it all off, it faces the Ward-Meade gardens.


Thanks to an eclectic

mix of architectural styles, residents and a shared

the Ward-Meade neighborhood is a unique blend of treasures and a perfect location for a fall stroll or drive. history,

115 SW Western Ave. — This Victorian eclectic cottage looks to be straight from the pages of 19th century house and garden guru Andrew Jackson Downing’s pattern books. A beautifully bowed bay window, a steeply pitched red slate roof plus fish scale and diamond-pattern shingles combined with brick corner quoins make this cottage stunning.



Is your working memory working for you? Millions of Americans experience less success at school or work due to treatable limitations in working memory. Working memory is the critical ability that helps us control attention, resist distractions, and hold information “on line� as we think and problem-solve. Family Service & Guidance Center is proud to offer Cogmed Working Memory Training. Exercises on your home computer combine with weekly coaching sessions to build stronger working memory and help you or your child be more productive and successful in a matter of weeks.

For more information, call 785.295.6906

44 HOME LIFE CASA homes tour

House Dreams Made True A young couple open their self-designed home to support one organization’s mission of helping children


aron and Heather Scott’s house is part inspiration and part compromise. Aaron likes older homes with character. Heather likes newer homes with updated features. He likes art and always has a home improvement project going. She’s the finance person who keeps their feet on the ground. When the Scotts moved to Topeka in 2008, they couldn’t find the right house. So they decided to build it. This wasn’t too much of a hardship for Aaron. As a structural engineer, he usually works on industrial and commercial projects, but loves design. A new house gave him the chance to pull out a stack of ideas he had been gathering and put those talents to work. One thing the Scotts could agree on was location. They chose the Berkshire neighborhood for its mature trees, golf course and workout facility within walking distance from what would become their front door. The Scotts started with a Mediterranean-style design that had everything they wanted in a house, then scaled it back to fit their budget. The two bedrooms and a bath on the second floor mirror the design of a house they liked across the street, but the first floor is their creation. Aaron spent a lot of time planning for unique features like crown molding and arched doorways and ensured the inclusion of their priorities: Small details, top, create a nice master bedroom and bath, a firstfocal points in the Scott floor laundry room and a chef’s kitchen kitchen, left, which provides clear and open that opens to the living room. spaces for cooking and A commercial-grade stove in the eating. kitchen promotes another one of Aaron’s



story by Karen Ridder | photography by jason dailey

Topeka designers will stage the chef’s kitchen, above, and the living room, below right, for the fall/winter 2010 CASA Holiday Homes Tour.

hobbies—cooking. Heather describes his style as “just dump the stuff in and … voilá. He’s not a recipe kind of guy.” The couple enjoy the space, which includes an adjoining formal dining room, on a daily basis for cooking, winding down after work and hosting dinner parties. Because the Scotts love to have people in their home, it seemed a natural choice to volunteer to share it with the rest of Topeka as a part of this fall’s CASA homes tour. The homes tour is a major fundraiser for CASA of Shawnee County, the organization that provides advocates who serve as a voice for children caught in the court system. The volunteers monitor court orders, visit with families and help make recommendations to the court for the child’s best interest. Every fall, on the weekend before Thanksgiving, CASA hosts a holiday homes tour to raise money for training and recruiting these volunteers. CASA Executive Director Sharolyn Dugger says the tour is symbolically connected to the organization’s work for children in need of a safe and loving home. “For our kids, going back home is their dream,” she explains. By touring the featured homes, Topekans can help make these children’s dreams come true. For the Scotts, the tour simply means finding a new way to do something they love anyway: decorating their home and welcoming guests. The couple call this their first dream home. “I know we’re not going to be here forever, because Aaron’s already itching to design a new house, but this is truly is our first house that we absolutely love,” says Heather. “We got everything that we wanted.”



46 HOME LIFE CASA homes tour

Aaron and Heather Scott’s growing family might one day outgrow their first customized house. But for now, they call their Topeka home “everything that we wanted.”

There is one more thing the Scotts are getting—a new baby, due just a few weeks before the tour. Heather admits the timing makes her a little nervous, as the couple will be busy turning the home office into a nursery for the new child. But she and Aaron are excited about sharing their dream home with others and helping build new dreams for local kids.


The CASA Holiday Homes Tour will be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. November 20 and 21. Five homes in Topeka will be featured. Tickets are $10 at the door or $9 in advance at various Topeka locations. For a complete listing of homes and retail locations, call (785) 215-8282.


It’s two chefs, two schools, two big meals— and you choose the winner


Story by Debra Guiou Stufflebean Photography by Bill Stephens

Terry Walker’s Brisket on a Bun


all means football for sports enthusiasts. As the season begins, competition rises between fans of the state’s two biggest football schools. Two local restaurant owners, one a University of Kansas Jayhawk fan and the other a booster of the Kansas State University Wildcats, good-naturedly agreed to challenge one another in this tailgating throwdown. Running fullback for the fans of K-State is Terry Walker, at 6 feet, 315 pounds. Terry is the hometown favorite, born and raised only a few blocks from Terry’s Bar and Grill, 522 SW Sixth Ave. Even the rustic brick building is rooted in Topeka history. For 30 years it was home to the Ginza Club, named for the upscale Tokyo district. Terry purchased the building in 1976, remodeled it and renamed the business in 1992. Tough Terry tempts diners to try his tailgating trio and waits impatiently for the thumbs up. His spread consists of brisket on a bun that can be baked in foil in the oven, plus hearty and delicious baked beans and potato salad seasoned with ranch dressing. Running tight end for the fans of KU is Bob Carmichael, at 6 feet, 1 inch, 262 pounds. Bob may have come from out of state—Fulton, Missouri, in his case—but he is committed to Kansas. In 1996, he purchased the Topeka Perkins with Dan Esmond. Their restaurant at 1720 SW Wanamaker Road is hard to miss thanks to the large American flag flying over the commercial corridor.


5 pounds beef brisket 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce 1 tablespoon liquid smoke 2 teaspoons onion salt Meaty Baked Beans 1 teaspoon garlic power 1 pound ground beef 1 tablespoon salt 3 tablespoons chili powder 1 tablespoon celery salt 1 tablespoon salt 1 tablespoon black pepper 1 tablespoon pepper 10 hamburger buns 1 53-ounce can pork and Place brisket on a large piece beans of foil. Combine remaining 1 cup diced celery ingredients in a bowl; brush 1¼ cup diced onion on brisket. Wrap brisket in ½ cup diced green pepper foil and place in a baking ½ cup brown sugar dish or on a jelly roll pan. 1 cup ketchup Refrigerate for 4-24 hours. Brown ground beef; drain fat. Bake brisket in foil at 300 Season beef with chili powder, degrees for 3 hours or until salt and pepper. Combine with tender. Serve on sesame seed remaining ingredients in a hamburger buns. 13x9-inch casserole pan. Bake Makes 8-10 servings. at 300 degrees for 90 minutes. Makes 8 servings.

Ranch Potato Salad Salad 12 medium red potatoes 12 eggs ½ large onion, chopped 1 large green sweet pepper, chopped 3 stalks celery, chopped Boil and dice potatoes. Hard boil and dice eggs. Allow potatoes and eggs to cool. Mix in bowl with chopped vegetables. Dressing 1 ounce package ranch salad dressing and seasoning mix 1 teaspoon mustard 2 tablespoons relish 3-4 tablespoons mayonnaise 3-4 tablespoons picante sauce Combine ingredients in bowl. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Add dressing to dry vegetables and toss to coat. Garnish 1½ pimento Dill weed (Terry’s recipe calls for “lots and lots of dill weed” to taste) Combine and sprinkle atop potato salad. Makes 8-10 servings.

Bob Carmichael’s


Cucumber and Onion Salad 2 cucumbers, sliced 1 onion (red or yellow), sliced into rings 1 yellow bell pepper, sliced 2 poblano peppers, sliced Combine ingredients and sprinkle with apple cider vinegar, sugar and salt to taste. Dilute with water if necessary. Place in refrigerator overnight. Makes 8-10 servings.

Crock Pot Beans 2 16-ounce cans baked beans 1 16-ounce can crushed pineapple ½ cup honey barbecue sauce 3-4 ounces fatty pork pieces Combine ingredients and place in slow cooker on low heat for 4 to 24 hours, depending on taste. Makes 8-10 servings.

Pulled Pork Sliders 8 pounds Boston butt or pork shoulder 8-10 white or wheat mini-buns Rub ¼ cup garlic salt 1 tablespoon ground cumin 1 tablespoon fresh-cracked black pepper 1 teaspoon allspice 1 teaspoon thyme 1 teaspoon white pepper Combine rub ingredients in large bowl. Rub on pork at least one hour before grilling. Honey Barbecue Sauce ½ cup extra virgin olive oil ½ yellow onion 1 clove garlic, finely chopped ¼ teaspoon celery seed ¼ teaspoon cumin ¾ cup red wine vinegar ½ cup honey 2 cups ketchup Preheat olive oil in large saucepan. Add onion and garlic and cook until softened. Season with celery seed and cumin. Add vinegar and bring to a boil. Add honey and ketchup and simmer on low for 30 minutes. Smoke pork on grill for 14 hours. Pull pork into pieces and baste in honey barbecue sauce. Serve on mini-buns. Makes 8-10 servings.

Bad Bob boasts about his bodacious barbecue menu, confident that he’ll win this throwdown. It features pulled pork sliders so juicy they melt in your mouth. Slow-cooked baked beans are sweetened with crushed pineapple, while tangy cucumbers and onions have poblano and yellow bell peppers for pizzazz. The competing restaurateurs may be more alike than different. Both men like owning their own businesses, both like playing golf and both are committed to giving back to their community. For 21 years, Terry, with Rich Malloy and Tom Palace, has organized the Mike McDonnell Memorial Golf Tournament at Western Hills Golf Course as a benefit to Midland Hospice. The tournament has grown to more than 360 golfers. Bob takes his pancake feed on the road to benefit many causes including Helping Hands Humane Society, ROTC and the Combat Air Museum. Additionally, he has served as chairman of Visit Topeka and the Kansas Restaurant and Hospitality Association and is a member of the Governor’s Council on Travel and Tourism. As it turns out, both fellas are also pretty good at putting on a party. The outcome of this match is up to you. Recipes are included in this article; you can try them at home and then vote. Just send us an e-mail at or go online to vote for your favorite on the Topeka Magazine Facebook page: Keep in mind the challenge was to choose dishes that are easy to prepare and easy to transport— perfect for tailgating!

Upcoming EvEnts:

David’s Jewelers Custom Jewelry

Wedding Sets


Ride for the Red September 11

Annual Downtown Topeka Inc. Pub Crawl September 11

Miracle on Kansas Avenue Christmas Parade November 27

Farmers Market

Every Saturday 7am -12 noon at the Judicial Center parking lot. Mid-Week Market every Wednesday at 9am


Family owned and operated since 1968

Quality diamonds and gemstones at affordable prices.

With almost $100,000,000 in development, either proposed or under construction, Downtown Topeka is undergoing an unprecedented revitalization.

We offer 12 months no interest financing.

(785) 234-4808 ~ (875) 234-3771 ~

• • • • • •

Wedding Invitations Lamination Full color banners Color Posters Framing Supplies & Equipment

for over 83 years!

Sport Trophies

 Corporate Awards Promotional Items Quick  Plaques Turnaround  Wedding Specialties   ADA Signage  Custom & Personalized Items  

Rethi nk Downtown Shop p i n g 728 s kansas ave • topeka, ks 66603 785.357.1444 • m-f 10 to 5

the merchant

2030 SW Fairlawn Rd.  Topeka, KS 66604 

785.232.7209 ToPEka BLuEPrInT Co., InC. 608 SW Jackson St., Topeka kS 66603

Westside Stamps & Awards

We have neW and used items. necklaces from Peru $8.99 shoes $9.99 handbags from india $6.99-11.99 board shorts $4.99

Phone: (785) 272-7242 Fax: (785) 272-1366


live, WORK AND play” Downtown Topeka Inc A Unique Boutique of Gifts and Favors!


Fun Shopping in a Charming Atmosphere 929 S Kansas, Suite B 785-357-0090

Monday-Friday 10am-5pm, Saturday 10am-2pm

The end result is smooth, healthy hair frizz-free hair with radiant shine!





~ All hair types

downtown Topeka 734 South Kansas Avenue

785-357-4438 Hours: Mon - Sat. 9:30-5:30 Thursdays until 8 PM

~ Loose Diamonds ~ Diamond Jewelry ~ Colored Stone Jewelry ~ Gold ~ Silver ~ Watches ~ In-House Jeweler ~ Full Service Repair Department ~ Pearl and Bead Restringing ~ Watch Batteries

Home Owned Since 1940

We Buy Old GOld

~ NO HARSH CHEMICALS ~ Service complete in 90 minutes Açai aftercare products ensure longest lasting results 3-5 months.

avenue Hair Styling & Day Spa (785) 233-5225

807 S. Kansas Ave. Topeka, Kansas

The ONLY Professional Smoothing Treatment that improves the health of the hair.

54 LIVING WELL Libby Rosen

Born libby

Through decades of evolving theories and care, a childbirth educator works to bring the ‘incredible miraculous experience’ of labor (along with some much-deserved rest and respect) to new moms


ibby Rosen’s new mantra is: “Why hit the bottle if you can get as much rest with the breast?” That message, which she uses in presentations across Topeka, is the result of her recent research on how new moms sleep and is the latest step in her 35 years of work in Topeka’s childbirth community. Rosen is known as a breast-feeding expert. She helped start Stormont-Vail HealthCare’s Breastfeeding Clinic in 1996 and has worked with thousands of new mothers during her career as a labor and delivery nurse and educator, witnessing and helping to bring about many changes in the way mothers and fathers experience the addition of a baby. Rosen’s path to sleep research started in the mid1970s after she became a diploma nurse and new mom. At the time, the majority of mothers were still put under general anesthesia during delivery. From Rosen’s perspective, moms were going through the difficulty of labor only to be put “to sleep” for the best part. Believing that childbirth “was just such an incredible miraculous experience” that should not be missed, Rosen decided to do what she could to help. Rosen started teaching childbirth classes in her home for St. Francis Hospital. The classes were required for mothers wanting a “natural childbirth” experience. That primarily meant two things at the time: Moms were allowed to remain awake for the birth of their child and dads could be in the delivery room. Helping women have a good childbirth experience remained a priority when Rosen became the nurse for Dr. Josie Norris, who founded what’s now known as the Topeka Birth and Women’s Center. Rosen worked with Norris to offer mothers an alternative birthing experience, first in local hospitals and then at their center, which became the state’s first freestanding birthing center.



Libby Rosen has been a part of Topeka’s birthing community for more than 35 years.

Rosen has attended more than 2,000 births in her career and spends a lot of time trying to help new parents in the transition, even in tragedy. The life-changing loss of one of her own children—a baby girl who died in utero 30 years ago during the 37th week of pregnancy—steered her to a renewed, compassionate focus on her work. As she walked through the grief of that loss, she recognized that she wanted to increase her efforts to help others. “That kind of gave me my voice,” explains Rosen. As Rosen shared her story with others, she recognized that women might heal by putting voice to their tragedies. She started an Infant Grief and Loss Support Group to give moms a place to talk about lost little ones. “There is a dual loss that

STORY BY Karen Ridder | PHOTOGRAPHY BY Jason Dailey

happens with infant loss. You lose that baby. Then you lose the dream and the plans and the hopes,” says Rosen. Rosen believes that all experiences, and particularly for local nurses the cross experiences from working among different birth centers, created an evolution of childbirth care in Topeka. She says many ideas that started as revolutionary care for new mothers slowly moved into general practice and created a new model of maternal care. One example is post-hospital nursing visits to check on the welfare of the child and mother. While working at Stormont-Vail on these types of home visits, Rosen realized new moms consistently asked for a lot of help with breast-feeding. That led to the start of the breast-feeding clinic in 1996. The clinic was a huge success, growing from a small room to a center that now sees between 600 and 700 new-mother visits each month. After spending so much time helping parents with infant feeding, Rosen turned to what she saw as another primary concern of new mothers—sleep. Rosen decided to tackle the sleep issue by throwing stones at a myth she believes leads many women to wean early: that breast-feeding moms don’t get as much sleep as those who bottle-feed. Rosen felt in her gut that this just wasn’t true but was challenged to develop the research to prove it. So she went back to school and started looking at ways to study how new moms sleep. Rosen believes that the amount of sleep a mother gets is what really pushes her decision making about infant care, including breastfeeding. While people often focus on how much a baby sleeps, a lot of research shows that new babies sometimes wake up more often than their parents are aware. So it’s the sleep the mother gets that really matters. For her doctoral research, Rosen looked at first-time mothers of 4- to 6-week-old infants—some bottle-fed and some breast-fed—to see how much sleep they were actually getting. The study showed there was no significant difference in the amount or quality of sleep the two groups of mothers received. Simply put, she says, it’s a myth that a mother who gives up breast-feeding will soon get more sleep. That’s what led to Rosen’s new mantra about “sticking with the breast … because moms will get as much rest.” Rosen says new mothers have other habits that make the difference in the amount of sleep they get. While she believes in respecting everyone’s personal choice and situation, Rosen hopes the research will encourage tired moms to stick with breast-feeding a little longer. Rosen says all of her work is about giving back to people. The sleep research and the education about parenting and breast-feeding are all important to Rosen because they help people transitioning to parenthood. She now also helps students transition to nursing careers as an associate professor for Baker University. “The most satisfying thing is feeling like you’re making a difference,” says Rosen. “You’re helping someone in their transition, in their journey.”

56 GROW Carole and Orion Jordan’s Garden

Garden-Gate Carole and Orion Jordan’s garden gateway opens to their greens, rescued treasures and yearlong neighborly conversations


hen my children were young, we logged countless hours walking the stroller through the Kenwood region, where we often passed the home of Carole and Orion Jordan. Their house fascinated me. For years it had been a pale gray, nondescript structure, and suddenly one summer it became a beautiful, jewel-toned Craftsman bungalow. In reality, this transformation had been in the works for quite some time. The Jordans had been researching bungalows and the Arts and Crafts period for years while meticulously restoring the interior of their home. The outside was simply the last stage of the property’s transformation, and in many ways the culmination. Carole and Orion began their outdoor project by cutting stone for their back wall. Then, the front yard transformation began approximately six years ago with the introduction of raised garden beds. Using the tenants of square foot gardening, Carole and Orion designed these compact, layered beds in their front yard to get the maximum use from a small space. Carole is responsible for the herbs and flowers while Orion concentrates on the vegetables. “There’s some blending,” says Orion. “We accommodate each other, but Carole oversees the aesthetics. Otherwise I’d probably put in another beanpole.” Working together, the Jordans map their garden plans on paper. “I was fiscal officer, so I have the garden mapped out



on a spreadsheet,” laughs Orion. The grid changes in small ways each season, and these adjustments are transposed by using small metal stakes in the ground to map out the actual garden. Their goal is to balance productivity and aesthetics so the hardworking summer garden transitions into a calming landscape in the fall.

The Jordans use layers and compact plantings to make the most of their garden space throughout the year.

story by Christine Steinkuehler | photography by Jason Dailey

W e t h i n k y o u d e s e rv e c u s t o m q u a l i t y.

Gardening next to the sidewalk creates the opportunity for the Jordans to more frequently visit with neighbors and passersby.

Now retired, the Jordans have more time to devote to their outside projects. They cleverly mix new with old and formal with informal throughout their garden. Salvaged limestone capstones have been repurposed into benches and a grate from a potbelly stove decorates one of the patio walls. Orion says many of their decorative treasures come from small shops they stumbled upon during trips or have been salvaged from the middle of a field. The Jordans’ most recent eye-catching project is the curved fence with a round gate in the back garden. The horizontal boards and curved form make it seem as though the fence is wrapping the back garden in its arms. It is left partially open on the back in order to create a more welcoming feel and keep open the view of the stone retaining wall. The curved fence and round gate are clearly a work of art, with many people contributing. Michael Briggs, an engineer Orion has known since he was an infant, helped with the expertise necessary for the mechanics and seemingly effortless operation of the heavy gate. The Jordans also turned to Robert Mohan, production manager with Haas Metal Engineering, for the construction expertise of the gate’s metal framework and the overseeing of the gate’s metal framework fabrication. Finally, when the planning was done, Jordan tapped his friend Reggie Wagner, who builds fences for a living, to act as the “fence whisperer” and coax the boards into place. Friends Glenn Briggs and Ragen Murray also lent their assistance. Perhaps the most interesting aspect of the gate and fencing is that rather than act as a barrier, they seem to bring people together. Neighbors stop on their walks and begin conversations with the Jordans, who are often gardening in the front yard. In fact, the Jordans’ front garden has become an informal gathering spot. They’ve created a place for a generosity of ideas while inspiring an unknown number of neighbors in their garden and home projects.

Custom-made, made affordable. Get an up-close look at our work at our st. marys or topeka showrooms. St. MaryS 415 e. Bertrand (785) 437-6533

topeka 1920 S.W. Westport Dr. (785) 271-1869 Since 1981.

For the Family


farpoint observatory




he sun is just beginning to sink below the rolling terrain as the white metal roof slowly slides across tracks and down the building, revealing a large Tombaugh reflector telescope with 27-inch-diameter optics. When the roof reaches the end of its tracks, the whirr of servos begins as the front of the telescope starts to rise. Minutes pass before it finally stops its climb and begins to turn slightly on its base as it focuses on a particular star. Finally

Thanks to this observatory, sky gazers can observe ‘Topeka’ travel to the stars … without difficulty it settles on Arcturus, barely visible in the twilight sky above Farpoint Observatory. Located approximately 30 miles southwest of Topeka on the grounds of Mission Valley High School, Farpoint Observatory is owned and operated by the Northeast

Kansas Amateur Astronomers’ League (NEKAAL). Since the observatory’s opening in 1996, club members have used Farpoint for observation and research while nonmembers have entered the observatory for an introduction to the wonders of space.

The Farpoint Observatory has a working telescope, this 27-inch Tombaugh, for scientific observations and two telescopes for guests.



STORY BY Carolyn Kaberline | PHOTOGRAPHY BY Jason Dailey

4005 SW GaGe Center Drive • tOPeKa, KS •

Evaluation & Treatment • MRI • Surgical Center • Rehabilitation Services Wellness & Aquatic Programs •


From left, Russell Valentine, Brad Hutton, Gary Hug and Graham Bell are some of the professionals and volunteers who instruct visitors at Farpoint in using the telescopes.

.......................................................................................................................................................................................................................................... .......................................................................................................................................................................................................................................... ..........................................................................................................................................................................................................................................

Guests are welcome at Farpoint Observatory open houses. This fall, open houses are set for

8 p.m. September 18, 7:30 p.m. October 2 and 7:30 p.m. November 13. Guests are advised to call the observatory at (785) 806-2070 before traveling to Farpoint; a message will be posted if the open house is canceled due to weather conditions or cloud cover. Farpoint is on the west side of Mission Valley High School, 12913 Mission Valley Road, Eskridge. For more information about the observatory, see .......................................................................................................................................................................................................................................... .......................................................................................................................................................................................................................................... ..........................................................................................................................................................................................................................................

According to board member Gary Hug, NEKAAL originally bought five acres in the Flint Hills farther west in Wabaunsee County for the observatory. However, when league members went before the county zoning commission, things didn’t go as they hoped. They were denied on grounds that the observatory might bring in too much traffic. But the zoning commission’s decision made the local newspapers, and a teacher at Mission Valley said the group was welcome to build on the school grounds. The observatory took approximately three years to build—and rebuild—with NEKAAL members doing almost all the work on weekends. “We got the frame up and were close to being done when a 90 mph wind took it out,” Hug recalls. But they eventually cleaned and reused the parts. The facility now boasts two buildings, each housing a telescope.



The main building also contains a computer room, a meeting room, a mini-kitchen and restroom facilities, all of which meet disability access requirements and can be used year-round. The Tombaugh telescope was purchased with a grant from NASA. In return for the grant, Hug says NASA “expected three years of hard labor. We had to commit to three years of observation of NEOs [Near Earth Objects]. It’s worked out pretty well.” To date one comet—178P/Hug-Bell discovered by Hug and Graham Bell—and almost 600 asteroids have been discovered through Farpoint. In addition, 6,000 observations of NEOs have improved the orbital parameters of these objects. All asteroid and NEO results have been sent to the Minor Planet Center at Harvard University, the international clearinghouse for asteroid discovery. Even with the professional research, Farpoint is open to the public. “We’ve had

a lot of kids out here,” Hug says. “We’ve had Boy Scouts, church groups, youth groups and home-schooled kids.” During monthly open houses, guests are treated to views of numerous cosmic objects using laser pointers and 14- and 18-inch reflector telescopes. The large 27-inch Tombaugh telescope is equipped with cameras and used solely for research. Those monthly open houses have attracted new members for NEKAAL. Photographer Brad Hutton purchased a refractor telescope for his hobby. But when his wife took him to an open house at Farpoint, he was hooked. “I’m into pretty pictures,” explains Hutton. “I like the nebulas and galaxies. I’m still out for the ‘wow’ factor, and I’ve learned a lot too.” Russell Valentine’s interest began through the use of a virtual planetarium on his computer, “which is supposed to simulate what can be seen, so I went to a city park to see,” he says. However, he was greeted by a policeman who said he couldn’t be in the park at that hour. When he heard about Farpoint in 2004, he showed up at a club observation night and has participated since, lending his skills as the group’s tech guy. Farpoint has even attracted people outside of the Topeka area. Dan Tibbets of Tonganoxie, whose interest lies in globular clusters, is often present for the advantage of making observations in a shelter with friends. “Never underestimate the advantage of modern conveniences like heating, airconditioning and of course toilet facilities,” Tibbets explains. “The advantage of having some protection from the wind is also valuable. Then there is the chance to interact with other observers.” And why call it Farpoint? The origin of the observatory’s name is no secret to any Star Trek fan: It was the name of the Federation outpost visited by the Enterprise in the first episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation. But the Hollywood-inspired observatory has also done its part to add another name to the stars. When Hug discovered an asteroid in June 2000, he had the honor of naming it. Now Asteroid 54439 is more simply known as “Topeka.”

2010 - 2011 Season October 11, 2010

December 20, 2010

March 7, 2011

May 16, 2011

Sing Hallelujah!


Hold On!

Try To Remember


7:30 p.m. White Concert Hall - Washburn University

Topeka Festival Singers Tickets are available online at or call 785. 267. 3500



Events Calendar

BEST BETS in Sept-Nov 2010 September

It’s a new season —

The F i r sT


TCTA 75th SEASON PREMieRE September 11: Topeka Civic Theatre and Academy opens its 75th anniversary season (see article on page 10) with a dinner production of Arsenic and Old Lace. 6 p.m. dinner, 8 p.m. show. For ticket information or a season production schedule, call (785) 3575211 or see FARPOINT OBSERVATORY OPEN HOUSE September 18 (and October 2 and November 13): Farpoint observatory opens to visitors (see article on page 58). Viewing begins at 8 p.m. at 12913 Mission Valley Road, Eskridge. Call the observatory at (785) 806-2070 before traveling to Farpoint; a message will be posted if an open house is canceled due to weather conditions or cloud cover.

25 2010

strauss: Die Fledermaus Overture

Nadine Latham (see article on page 22), at athletic competitions open to participants 50 or older as of December 31, 2010. For more information, contact Becky Sewell at (785) 368-3798. TOPEKA SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA SEASON PREMIERE September 25: Works by Strauss, Hayden and Sebelius open the 2010-2011 concert season. 7:30 p.m., White Concert Hall, Washburn University. For ticket or season concert information, call (785) 232-2032 or see CAPITAL CITY COWBOYS SASS SHOOT September 26 (and fourth Sunday of every month): Join regional cowboys and cowgirls for Western action target shooting (see article on page 30). Mandatory safety meeting begins at 8:30 a.m. at the Capital City Gun Club range off Valencia Road. For more information, call (785) 266-4608 or see capital_city_cowboys.htm.

KANSAS SENIOR OLYMPICS September 22-October 3: Cheer on hometown heroes, including Pete and

haydn: Cello Concerto in D Steven Elisha, cello sibelius: Symphony No.1


sTrings on Fire


30 2010

TOPEKA ROADRUNNERS HOME OPENER October 1: Topeka’s NAHL hockey squad (see story on page 34) plays its first home match of the 2010-2011 season. 7:30 p.m., Landon Arena, Kansas Expocentre. Single tickets sold at door; for group reservations, call (785) 286-7825. www.topekaroadrunners.

Paert: Cantus in Memory of Benjamin Britten respighi: Ancient Airs & Dances, Suite 3

APPLE FESTIVAL October 3: Old Prairie Town, in the heart of the historic Ward-Meade district (see article

Bizet/shchehedrin: Carmen

November EXTREME COWBOY WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP November 13-14: Some of the most daring horses and riders from the West and around the world gather for competitions designed to test the limits of horse-rider teams. Domer Arena, Kansas Expocentre. For tickets or event information, call (785) 297-1000 or see

Music for Northeast Kansas John Wesley Strickler, Ph.D. Music Director and Conductor


sa seaso ve n su 50 bscri % be




Call for tickets:

WINTER WONDERLAND November 19-December 31: An estimated 1 million holiday lights are turned on throughout the Lake Shawnee region to celebrate the season and benefit TARC,

on page 40), hosts a family celebration of apple harvest with old-time crafts and music. Tickets are $6 at the gate, 124 NW Fillmore, and entry is free for kids 12 and under. Call (785) 368-2437 for more information. WASHBURN UNIVERSITY ART DEPARTMENT FACULTY EXHIBIT October 15-January 23: The work of Marguerite Perret (see article on page 26) and other faculty members of the Washburn University art department opens to the public. Mulvane Art Museum, 17th and Jewell streets. Museum is closed Mondays and holidays. For more information, call (785) 670-1124.

the city’s nonprofit organization dedicated to helping those with developmental and related disabilities. Donations of $7 per car or $2 per person requested; advance tickets of $5 available at various locations beginning November 1. Display is open 6 p.m.-10 p.m. For more information, call (785) 232-0597. CASA HOLIDAY HOMES TOUR November 20-21: Tour five homes, including the Aaron and Heather Scott home (see article on page 44), decorated for the holidays by area designers. All proceeds benefit CASA of Shawnee County and its work to advocate for the interests of minors in the court system. Homes are open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information and ticket sales, call (785) 215-8282 or see

All events are subject to change. E-mail your upcoming events for the calendar to



Topeka Magazine Fall 2010  

Topeka Magazine Fall 2010