Page 1

Spring ’13

Vol. VII / No. II

from the editor


Nathan Pettengill

dEsignEr/Art dirEctor

Shelly Bryant

chiEf PhotogrAPhEr

Jason Dailey

coPY Editor

Christy Little

AdvErtising rEPrEsEntAtivE Ad dEsignEr contributing PhotogrAPhEr contributing WritErs 2013



Kathy Lafferty (785) 224-9992 Jenni Leiste Bill Stephens

Melinda Briscoe James Carothers Meredith Fry Jeffrey Ann Goudie Kim Gronniger Cecilia Harris Carolyn Kaberline Susan Kraus Vern McFalls Eric McHenry Anita Miller-Fry Cheryl Nelsen Karen Ridder Christine Steinkuehler Debra Guiou Stufflebean

the records from the Carlsbad Potashers minor league baseball team note that on the night of August 11, 1959, Gil Carter—the subject of this edition’s cover story—hit a home run for a distance of 650 feet. But that was a safe estimate, a fudging of caution and disbelief when the actual measurements indicated 730 feet. Carter, a topeka native who has since returned to live in his hometown, remembers the distance set at 733 feet. Any way you mark it—that home run would have been a record. Could have been. But minor league teams at that time didn’t have a hotline to officials from the Guinness world Records. And so, baseball’s longest-home-run title officially belongs to Mickey Mantle, who whacked a ball 634 feet at an away game in Detroit in 1963.

Nonetheless, here’s the one big truth that comes out of all the missed record-keeping and retellings like a fast ball down the middle: That night, Gil Carter hit one heck of a wallop. it was a blast that crowned an incredible, long career as an athlete, and now as a community volunteer. it was a shot that earned Gil Carter a place in baseball legend. Carter is on the other end of his sport from the high school rodeo competitors who share the pages with him in this spring edition. At the start of their young lives, they might or might not continue in their sport and leave a legacy as large as Carter. But that doesn’t make the present chase of their dreams any less compelling—for them, their family or the fans who might enjoy watching them in the ring. we hope you enjoy our tribute to Carter, the rodeo rising stars and other topekans in this issue of Topeka Magazine.

Bert Hull

$22 (tAx iNCLuDED) FoR A oNE-yEAR SuBSCRiPtioN to toPEKA MAGAziNE.

Gil Carter’s for subscriPtion inforMAtion, PLEAsE contAct:


toPEkA MAgAzinE is A PubLicAtion of sunfLoWEr PubLishing, A division of thE WorLd coMPAnY. WWW.sunfLoWErPub.coM

Historic Homer PLEAsE contAct us At toPEKAMAGAziNE@SuNFLowERPuB.CoM for ALL coMMEnts, subscriPtion And EditoriAL quEriEs.

the rodeo returns A Newcomer’s Guide to the Ring Follow us on twitter @TopekaMagazine Find us on facebook:


Spring’ 13 |

Spring ’ 13



Spring ’13

Vol. VII / No. II

from the editor

Editor Nathan Pettengill designer/Art Director

Shelly Bryant

chief Photographer

Jason Dailey


Christy Little

advertising Kathy Lafferty representative (785) 224-9992

Ad Designer

contributing Photographer

Jenni Leiste Bill Stephens

Contributing Writers Melinda Briscoe 2013 James Carothers Meredith Fry Jeffrey Ann Goudie Kim Gronniger Cecilia Harris Carolyn Kaberline Susan Kraus Vern McFalls Eric McHenry Anita Miller-Fry Cheryl Nelsen Karen Ridder Christine Steinkuehler Debra Guiou Stufflebean Barbara Waterman-Peters GENERAL MANAGER

The records from the Carlsbad Potashers minor league baseball team note that on the night of August 11, 1959, Gil Carter—the subject of this edition’s cover story—hit a home run for a distance of 650 feet. But that was a safe estimate, a fudging of caution and disbelief when the actual measurements indicated 730 feet. Carter, a Topeka native who has since returned to live in his hometown, remembers the distance set at 733 feet. Any way you mark it—that home run would have been a record. Could have been. But minor league teams at that time didn’t have a hotline to officials from the Guinness World Records. And so, baseball’s longest-home-run title officially belongs to Mickey Mantle, who whacked a ball 634 feet at an away game in Detroit in 1963.

Nonetheless, here’s the one big truth that comes out of all the missed record-keeping and retellings like a fast ball down the middle: That night, Gil Carter hit one heck of a wallop. It was a blast that crowned an incredible, long career of an athlete, and now a community volunteer. It was a shot that earned Gil Carter a place in baseball legend. Carter is on the other end of his sport from the high school rodeo competitors who share the pages with him in this spring edition. At the start of their young lives, they might or might not continue in their sport and leave a legacy as large as Carter. But that doesn’t make the present chase of their dreams any less compelling—for them, their family or the fans who might enjoy watching them in the ring. We hope you enjoy our tribute to Carter, the rodeo rising stars and other Topekans in this issue of Topeka Magazine.

Bert Hull

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

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Please contact us at for all comments, subscription and editorial queries.

F ollow us on twitter @TopekaMagazine find us on facebook:


Spring ’ 13


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Spring ‘13

45 Mr. 733 An epic home run is only part of Gil Carter’s long life of baseball

50 Rodeo Returns Our guide to competitors, events and hints for welcoming back the championship rodeo

Gil Carter takes the plate at the Jerry Robertson Field in the Shawnee County Parks and Recreation’s Bettis Family Sports Complex. Field access courtesy Shawnee County Parks and Recreation.


Spring ’ 13



Spring ’13 Longtime Seaman High School supporter Chuck Sodergren, with a supporting cast of Viking fanatics, gets his Vikes-spirit on.


what’s happening?





Down the Line The orphan train program sought to improve the lives of thousands of children in the 1800s, but generations later one woman hopes to trace the tracks back to her natural family

Events around Topeka for March–May

From Top-eka to Eur-eka! Historic Ozark town offers a retreat for all interests



Deep Under A layered, creative process allows artist David Hartley to bring motion and memory to his Kansas landscapes

‘Heart of the House’ For the Bergstroms, it’s two careers and interests, but one kitchen and life to share them


home life

Torch It For one home chef, local ingredients, attention to detail and big flames make the perfect dessert


Jenny Bergstrom prepares a fresh corn, mozzarella and avocado salad in her kitchen.

Greatest Fans From one season to the next, these superfans remain loyal to their school and serious about their sports

on the cover

from the editor


Shelly Bryant

chiEf PhotogrAPhEr

Jason Dailey

AdvErtising rEPrEsEntAtivE


Spring ’ 13

Nathan Pettengill

dEsignEr/Art dirEctor

coPY Editor


Spring ’13

Vol. VII / No. II

Ad dEsignEr contributing PhotogrAPhEr contributing WritErs 2013



the records from the Carlsbad Potashers minor league baseball team note that on the night of August 11, 1959, Gil Carter—the subject of this edition’s cover story—hit a home run for a distance of 650 feet. But that was a safe estimate, a fudging of caution and disbelief when the actual measurements indicated 730 feet. Carter, a topeka native who has since returned to live in his hometown, remembers the distance set at 733 feet. Any way you mark it—that home run would have been a record. Could have been. But minor league teams at that time didn’t have a hotline to officials from the Guinness world Records. And so, baseball’s longest-home-run title officially belongs to Mickey Mantle, who whacked a ball 634 feet at an away game in Detroit in 1963.

Christy Little Kathy Lafferty (785) 224-9992 Jenni Leiste Bill Stephens

Melinda Briscoe James Carothers Meredith Fry Jeffrey Ann Goudie Kim Gronniger Cecilia Harris Carolyn Kaberline Susan Kraus Vern McFalls Eric McHenry Anita Miller-Fry Cheryl Nelsen Karen Ridder Christine Steinkuehler Debra Guiou Stufflebean

Nonetheless, here’s the one big truth that comes out of all the missed record-keeping and retellings like a fast ball down the middle: That night, Gil Carter hit one heck of a wallop. it was a blast that crowned an incredible, long career as an athlete, and now as a community volunteer. it was a shot that earned Gil Carter a place in baseball legend. Carter is on the other end of his sport from the high school rodeo competitors who share the pages with him in this spring edition. At the start of their young lives, they might or might not continue in their sport and leave a legacy as large as Carter. But that doesn’t make the present chase of their dreams any less compelling—for them, their family or the fans who might enjoy watching them in the ring. we hope you enjoy our tribute to Carter, the rodeo rising stars and other topekans in this issue of Topeka Magazine.

Bert Hull

$22 (tAx iNCLuDED) FoR A oNE-yEAR SuBSCRiPtioN to toPEKA MAGAziNE.

Gil Carter’s for subscriPtion inforMAtion, PLEAsE contAct:


toPEkA MAgAzinE is A PubLicAtion of sunfLoWEr PubLishing, A division of thE WorLd coMPAnY. WWW.sunfLoWErPub.coM

Historic Homer PLEAsE contAct us At

Photo collage of Gil Carter and opening page of Topeka Magazine based on the remnants of a photograph taken by the Chicago Cubs shortly after Gil Carter signed with the team in 1957. Design by Shelly Bryant with Jason Dailey.



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Spring ’13

Sports, the main theme for our two full-length feature stories, appears as well in our regular department stories this issue with Carolyn Kaberline’s and Bill Stephens’ portraits of longtime high school fans across Topeka. Over the years, these loyal boosters have carved out a regular spot on the sidelines and on the bleachers to cheer on young athletes. In a sense, these fans have created a home within their sporting team—a sense of belonging and purpose. For that reason, we felt their profiles fit perfectly alongside the other stories in this section, ones concentrating on searching for or creating the sense of belonging to a home or family. It’s in the narration of Joanne Barrand’s genealogical quest across rail lines and family lines. It’s part of sharing recipes from the Bergstrom or Martin kitchen. And it’s found in the layers of meaning in David Hartley’s artwork. We hope you enjoy these stories as part of an exploration of what “home” and belonging means to each of us, in our individual lives and in the community we share.


Down the Line


Deep Under

22 Torch It 26 Greatest Fans 35 What’s



‘Heart of the House’

58 From Top-eka to Eur-eka!

Rebecca Martin, from the story “Torch It,” prepares a crème brûlée recipe in her kitchen.


Spring ’ 13


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Photography by Bill Stephens Story by Cheryl Nelsen

W Down the Line The orphan train program sought to improve the lives of thousands of children in the 1800s, but generations later one woman hopes to trace the tracks back to her natural family

hen Joanne Barrand, 77, hears a train whistle, she thinks of her mother, Johanna Dorothea Sorgenfrei, who at age 6 rode an orphan train from New York City to Sabetha in 1909. Besides bringing Joanne’s mother to Kansas and Americanizing her name to “Dorothy,” the train trip created a puzzle with a piece missing for both Joanne and her mother. That missing piece was Joanne’s grandfather, Martin Sorgenfrei, a German-speaking Danish longshoreman who gave up his four children after the death of his wife, Johanna. One son, Malthus (who later became “Billy”), was adopted by a New York couple, but Dorothy, her older sister, Elsie, and brother John, like thousands of other children who rode the trains from 1854 until 1929, were transported to new lives with new families.

about the


Cheryl Nelsen is a retired high-school journalism teacher who enjoys learning about and sharing the lesser-known aspects of history.


Spring ’ 13


In many cases, the children in these programs were brought into a town, lined up on a stage or a public square and distributed to families in hopes that they would find a loving, nurturing home. Dorothy moved through two families before being placed with William and Emma Wittmer, where she was raised with their three other children on a farm near Sabetha. John was placed with another family near Sabetha and was able to see his natural sister from time to time before he moved to California to work on the pipelines. Elsie remained with a family in Sabetha for two years before her foster parents fell ill and she returned to New York. “She was 13, and she just couldn’t handle it, so they brought her back. They would rather they would do that, take them back, than leave them in a place that wasn’t good for them,” Joanne says. Not all of the children who rode the trains had positive experiences, and some were occasionally removed from their foster families. The train orphans were released to be on their own once they turned 18. Following the foster-care regulations, the Wittmers bought a train ticket for Dorothy to return to New York when she was 18, but it was a round-trip ticket. They wanted her to return to Kansas, and she remained with them until 1930 when she married Davie Ray Lewis at the age of 27. They lived on a farm south of Sabetha. Although Dorothy’s brothers married as well, they chose to not have children. Elsie never married. “They didn’t want children to ever go through what they went through, so they adopted us,” Joanne says, laughing. “Ever since we were little up until we were going into high school, we got big boxes at Christmas time. Mama told us at an early age they were from Aunt Elsie or Uncle Johnny or Uncle Billy,” Joanne says. “They sent us clothes for school and savings bonds until they died.” Dorothy continued to communicate with her siblings who rode the train with her, Elsie and Johnny, as well as Billy back in New York. Most of the time the family kept in touch through letters. Joanne remembers enjoying letters written in German that they received from her mother’s Aunt Hannah in New York. “We would take them to Sabetha to a lady up there that Mama knew from being with the Wittmers. She would read our mail in German and then translate it,” Joanne says. left Dorothy Sorgenfrei spent most of her youth at the farm of William and Emma Wittmer near Sabetha. OPPOSITE Dorothy Sorgenfrei—pictured here as a young girl when she still used her birth name of Johanna Dorothea Sorgenfrei—was one of approximately 7,000 children brought to Kansas as young orphans or half-orphans from New York City. Photographs courtesy Joanne Barrand.

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Orphan Train Complex The experience of Joanne Barrand’s mother –and thousands of other young children who rode orphan trains out of New York City in the late 1800s and early 1900s—is commemorated at the National Orphan Train Complex in Concordia, Kansas. Founded in 2007 and housed in a restored train depot, the complex’s permanent exhibits explain orphan life in New York City in the late 1800s, programs to relocate children under care of social organizations, and the testimony of children who were placed on trains. The complex’s in-house research center receives approximately one dozen requests each month from people searching for information about relatives who might have been one of the approximately 250,000 children who rode on one of the orphan trains, or one of the estimated 7,000 children who resettled in Kansas. The center relies on census books from the Children’s Aid Society and New York Family Hospital (two of the largest organizers of the orphan trains), as well as records from the New England Home for Little Wanderers in Boston and private collections. “We have around 15,000 records here,” says curator Amanda Wahlmeier. “So it is kind of hit or miss.” The organization often refers visitors to archive resources in New York City where privacy regulations allow only family members to access particular information. Wahlmeier notes the scale of the orphan train program means that many American families have at least one ancestor who went through the program. It is possible, estimates Wahlmeier, that “one in 25 Americans is connected to an orphan-train rider.” Text by Cecilia Harris, from Concordia, for Topeka Magazine

The Orphan Trains in American History

In the 1800s and early 1900s when millions of people were immigrating to the United States and moving from farms to cities, one of the problems New York City faced was an estimated 30,000 abandoned children living on the streets. Two charity institutions developed programs to transport these children by train to 47 states and Canada. The Children’s Aid Society, founded in 1853 by Charles Brace, sent out in 1854 the first train from New York with children bound for smaller towns in more rural areas. The Sisters of Charity founded the New York Foundling Hospital in 1869 and sent nearly as many children west as the CAC. An estimated 200,000 children were part of these programs from 1854 until 1930. One of the biggest differences between the two organizations was the method used for sending children out to new homes. The NYFH made arrangements for foster parents before sending the children on the train. The requesting family was sent a receipt for a child. When the train arrived, the parents had to present the numbered receipt, and the number had to match what had been stitched into the children’s clothing. The CAC used a more random system of transporting children to a location where local newspapers had announced the arrival time of the trains. Signs were made with titles such as “WANTED: Homes for Children” to inform the public. When the train arrived, children were taken to a public building such as a theater or community building and lined up for selection. Usually a local committee had been formed so that families would be endorsed after they made application for the children. Agents for the CAC traveled with the children and returned to the local sites annually to check on the children in their new homes. Not all the children transported were orphans, and some siblings were placed in different cities because few families wanted more than one child. At the time the process was referred to as “placing out.” The term “Orphan Train” was not used until the 20th century, and perhaps not until CBS aired a miniseries in 1978 titled The Orphan Trains.



Spring ’ 13

When 18-year-old Joanne married Gene Barrand in 1954, she says she had a plan to have her children while she was young. “I said my grandkids are going to know me.” She was correct about that. All three of Joanne and Gene’s children live within close driving distance of their Topeka home, and the five grandchildren Joanne took care of during the day when their parents were at work are not much farther away. “They’re going to remember grandma—and that’s what I wanted,” says Joanne. “And now I have three greatgrandchildren.” Joanne’s mother died in 1975, but not until those last few years of Dorothy’s life did Joanne realize a few things about how her mother felt as a half-orphan, a child with one living parent. Dorothy said some things revealed how she felt as a young girl taken away from her family in New York. Joanne recalls that her mother would often walk down a halfmile-long dirt road near their home at 3 or 4 in the morning when she couldn’t sleep. “I think that’s when it hit me that she had such feelings of wondering about what she might have done in New York if she had been able to stay there. She wished she could have been closer to them, but the main concern for her was that she wanted to know what happened to her dad,” Joanne says. For many years, the adoption records were closed to the children who rode the orphan trains. Joanne’s mother died without ever knowing the identities of her birth parents. Joanne learned of these only in 1997, when The Children’s Aid Society released some records at her request. But despite years of research and presentations to various community groups, Joanne has been unable to discover what happened to her grandfather after he was parted with his children. One possession dear to her is a book put together by her Great-Aunt Hannah about the Sorgenfrei family. But even in that family history, nothing was revealed that would help her find the missing piece to her puzzle. “I had foster grandparents, which was great, but there was just a connection there that was missing,” says Joanne. “I still feel like there’s somebody out there who might know what happened to my grandfather, but I haven’t found them yet, and I may never.”

ABOVE LEFT Billy Sorgenfrei, Joanne Barrand’s uncle, was placed into a family in Long Island before Barrand’s mother was placed on an orphan train for Kansas. ABOVE RIGHT John Sorgenfrei, Joanne Barrand’s other uncle on her mother’s side, was placed on the same orphan train as Barrand’s mother and was taken in by a family near Sabetha. Photographs courtesy Joanne Barrand.

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Deep Under A layered, creative process allows artist David Hartley to bring motion and memory to his Kansas landscapes about the



Spring ’ 13

above David Hartley at his 2012 exhibition on the campus of Washburn University.


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andscape is synonymous with Kansas art; numerous artists focus entirely on depicting the beauty and magnificence of the Flint Hills or other geographical features found here. Very specific locations, seasons and times are often brought to the canvas and carefully noted in the titles. But David Hartley is a Kansas artist who approaches the landscape from inside out. Hartley describes this approach as “pulling a lot of energy out” of a scene by “thinking about things not just on the surface, but what is below … what is deeper.” This exploration begins with the process of creation. Defined as “a series of actions, changes or functions that bring about an end or result,” process is part of any creative act. Some artists labor over the necessary steps to produce a work of art but almost conceal the evidence of that labor. Other artists, such as Hartley, allow much of the evidence to show plainly.

Hartley describes this approach as “pulling a lot of energy out” of a scene … Hartley describes “opening the process, letting myself begin” as the “physical force of pushing the material [in his case, most often charcoal, graphite or pastel] onto the paper.” He draws a connection between the paper and the land he portrays by also describing that process as an “imposition onto the landscape,” necessitated by the resistance from the paper and layers of charcoal, graphite or pastel to the additional lines pressed onto them. In Hartley’s work, once marks cover the paper, they are then erased. More marks are made and erased. Layers of activity accumulate, creating a history, a palimpsest, or series of previous images, that allow the finished drawing to pulsate with what Hartley describes as echoes of experience. Those erased and covered lines might not be visible, but Hartley says their “buried activity is a metaphor for the deeper history beneath the landscape.” Hartley has expressed a preference for subjects with motion and has said that he sees an artist’s job as giving insight into a chosen subject. And in his work, Hartley’s energetic strokes and layers of marks on sheets of white paper provide that motion and insight, attesting that his process, the creative act itself, is an important element in the final piece. Like writer William Least Heat-Moon and poet Denise Low, Hartley approaches Kansas by exploring a region in-depth. And while sometimes recognizable places result from this method, Hartley’s finished images are not about that site for its own sake. “Although Kansas is very much a part of the dialogue,” he says, the drawing is a “means to an end,” a much “broader interpretation of nature” that connects one place, one land, one time with others.

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Immersed in Hartley’s connection to process, it could be easy to overlook the power of these densely worked drawings. Meditative, evocative and poetic, these images speak to the artist’s description of himself as a “traditional” artist. On the other hand, a sense of timelessness and the constant energy of a sort of life force pervading the entire body of work plant it firmly in a more current mode. Occasionally working in color such as a lush, dark green, Hartley usually prefers marks made in black, which can seem to be infused with color simply by the character of the marks. The marks themselves, sometimes squiggly, sometimes long and sweeping as they define a hill, dance across the paper. Some are delicate, almost a whisper; some are broader like a shout. They carve out light, air and space or earth, tree and shadow. No particular place, the images are anyplace, like memories.

Sifting through

Hartley’s History David Hartley received his BFA in Art History and Painting, his MA in Art History and his MFA in Painting from the University of Kansas, where Robert Sudlow was a highly influential teacher because of his engagement with the landscape; however, other artists and movements, both historical and contemporary, also shape his work. John Constable, Albert Pinkham Ryder, Ralph Albert Blakelock and Vincent van Gogh are among those Hartley names. From the French Barbizon school of painters and the American Tonalists in the mid-19th century through the German Anselm Kiefer today, the “physicality” and “attitude” toward process exemplified by these artists have molded Hartley. Referring to the materials he uses, Hartley enjoys the fact that paper and charcoal are made of wood and that they are used to depict wood (trees). So both the materials and the images have histories. Hartley’s devotion to his work has continued unabated for many years and has produced a large body of intriguing work. Canvases and drawings, particularly the dark, very dense pieces, represent untold hours of adding and subtracting marks that vary infinitely, and yet are all informed by a disciplined hand. When color is used, it is muted, shimmering subtly. Nothing is hurried. Recent work is not yet ready to show, but numerous examples of Hartley’s art can be found locally: in the collections of Emprise Bank in Wichita, the Alice C. Sabatini Gallery at Topeka & Shawnee County Public Library and the Mulvane Art Museum. Recently, he has shown twice in NOTO. Hartley has taught art history and drawing at Washburn University since 1987. For the last three summers he has taught a class in landscape art in which, like himself, he encourages students to find their own artistic connection with nature. He lives in Topeka with his wife, Kathy, and has two daughters, both of whom attend Washburn University.

Hartley, above, specializes in landscapes with layers of lines and markings including these works, from left, Shoreline Road at Osage Lake and Southeast Field.


Spring ’ 13


Photography by Jason Dailey Story by Meredith Fry

Torch It For one home chef, local ingredients, attention to detail and big flames make the perfect dessert

about the



Spring ’ 13

Rebecca Martin, opposite page, applies a kitchen torch, above, for the final step of her crème brûlée recipe.


When Meredith Fry isn’t studying at Washburn University School of Law, she can be found in the


ebecca Martin says she kind of nerds out to master one culinary dish each year. One of these recipes, crème brûlée, has become a favorite feature of the wine soirees that she hosts with husband Brian Meredith. Also known as “burnt crème,” this dessert recipe is fairly simple to make. Martin’s recipe calls for only four ingredients: heavy whipping cream, granulated white sugar, eggs yolks and a vanilla bean. Of course there are a few nuances to the dish. Martin says you can bring an extra touch of flavor to the crème brûlée by adding grated orange peel and liqueur. And for best results, the dessert is prepared in ramekins, small oven-safe circular dishes and with a food-grade torch. Martin, an associate editor for Mother Earth News magazine, fires up her cooking torch in a smaller-sized, traditional kitchen typical of the homes in her central Topeka neighborhood. But Martin’s kitchen maximizes space with floor-to-ceiling cabinets stocked with essentials for the experienced gourmet. As Martin begins her preparations for a crème brûlée, she spreads her ingredients out on her countertops. Although she covets more counter space, Martin says her kitchen’s flow between her refrigerator, sink and stove (the relationship that designers call a “work triangle”) allows her to cook easily. And a large, east-facing window illuminates the entire kitchen with natural light while a door allows immediate access to backyard herb and vegetable gardens. As she continues on the recipe, Martin cracks open her eggs and separates the whites from the yolk by transferring the yolk back and forth between the egg shell halves rather than using an egg white separator. “Some cooks like fancy equipment, but not me,” she explains. What Martin does insist upon, however, are local ingredients whenever possible. For this recipe, she says, having cream from a local dairy makes a world of difference for the final taste. This attention to detail shows up in all steps, but particularly for what could be considered the crème brûlée’s grand finale. After spreading approximately a tablespoon of sugar on the top of her desserts, Martin starts her torch and moves it evenly around the dish to caramelize the sugar and form a crunchy, sweet topping on the custard. Martin suggests doing this final step not in the kitchen, but at the table in order to “impress your guests.” Of course, like Martin, you might want to practice the recipe and master it before any performance so that your guests remember the evening for the right reasons.

Fine Arts Unique • Affordable • Functional Featuring the original handmade works of local, regional and national artisans. • Pottery • Blown Glass • Jewelry • Woodwork • Textiles and much more

Visit us in beautiful downtown Lawrence, Kansas! 825 Massachusetts street Lawrence Ks - 785.843.0080 garden growing her own food, testing out healthy recipes or peddling her bike through Topeka.



Crème Brûlée Ingredients: 2 cups heavy whipping cream ½ cup granulated white sugar 1 vanilla bean 5 large egg yolks 1 tablespoon Grand Marnier liqueur (optional) Grated orange peel, optional Extra granulated sugar for torching Supplies: Four ramekin dishes; kitchen torch Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Place four empty ramekin dishes in a pan as deep as the ramekins. Mix cream and sugar in heavy medium saucepan. Using a small sharp knife, horizontally split vanilla bean and scrap seeds out. Add seeds and bean to saucepan. (Martin takes a whole vanilla bean pod and carefully slits the pod open lengthwise to expose the many seeds contained in it. She scrapes the dull side of a knife along the pod to remove the vanilla seeds and puts them in the saucepan along with the pod itself. The vanilla pod and seeds infuse a rich flavor into the crème and sugar mixture.) Stir over medium heat until sugar dissolves and mixture comes to a simmer, making sure the mixture does not boil, which could result in scalding. Cover pan, reduce heat to very low and simmer gently for up to 10 minutes. Strain into large measuring cup. Whisk yolks in medium bowl until well-blended. Slowly whisk crème mixture into yolks. Caution: If you add too quickly you’ll have scrambled eggs. Divide custard mixture among ramekin dishes. Pour hot water into the pan surrounding the ramekins so that the water comes up to nearly the top of the ramekin. (The water helps the custard mixture cook evenly once they are placed in the oven and cool slowly after they come out.) Transfer the pan to the oven. Bake custards for about 35 minutes until almost set in center when pans are gently shaken. Cool for 30 minutes until the custards are at room temperature; the dessert can be refrigerated for up to two days. Prepare the topping just before serving by sprinkling 1 tablespoon of sugar on top of custard. Light torch. Keep torch moving on the surface of the custard until the sugar caramelizes. Let sit for 30 seconds to one minute, until the sugar hardens.



Spring ’ 13

Photography by Bill Stephens Story by Carolyn Kaberline

Greatest Fans From one season to the next, these superfans remain loyal to their school and serious about their sports


here are fair-weather fans, and then there are these types of fans, the ones who follow a Topeka school team year after year no matter what. Whether it’s Friday night lights or Saturday afternoon hoops and whether the team is making a run for the championship or struggling to eke out just one victory— these fans have been there, are there and will be there for the team. These are a few of Topeka high school teams’ greatest fans.

chuck sodergren

The Fan:

The School: Seaman High School For the record, Chuck Sodergren did graduate from Topeka High School—but he’s all Viking anyway. Having taught for 30-plus years in the Seaman district, Sodergren says his loyalties grew with his community. Retired, Sodergren continues to root for his school at football, basketball, volleyball, cross country, track and wrestling events. “There’s also a great marching band,” he says. “With over 200 kids out for band, there are great halftime performances.” Of course, the proud grandfather does have a few favorite Vikings. One of his favorite moments is seeing his granddaughter Sydney Messick come over a hill to win a cross country race.



Spring ’ 13


Spring ’ 13




Spring ’ 13

The School: Highland Park High School

“I remember looking at the clock, then at the team, then back at the clock,” recalls Edwards of her son’s team’s first championship win in 2004. “Knowing we were going to win and seeing my son so happy was special.”

The Fan:

Anita Edwards

Anita Edwards is a Scottie through and through. Not only was she in Highland Park’s pep club and band, but she cheered on her son, Theron, and his football teammates, who started a series of championship runs for Highland Park.

Though her son graduated, Edwards still attends most home and many away games while assisting the booster club and at team dinners.

The School: Cair Paravel Latin School

The Fan:

Watching his daughters “enjoy both the accomplishments and failures of high school sports and getting to know the kids and their families” are favorite sports moments, Cook says. “I also took satisfaction in the encouragement that CPLS instilled by opening the sports programs to those less likely to be considered ‘athletes’ to participate in order to stretch them outside the classroom as well.”

Scott Cook

Scott Cook first became a fan of Cair Paravel in 2001 when his daughters began to attend the school. They have since graduated, but Cook still roots for the teams, attending most home basketball and football games.

The School: Hayden High School Louis Stadler has supported Hayden sport teams since the time he helped excavate the Catholic prep school’s football field.

The Fan:

Stadler roots for the Hayden Wildcats throughout the year, following many sport teams to away games and volunteering to mop up the court during timeouts at home basketball games. And when he takes the court, mop in hand, the Wildcats cheer him.

Louis Stadler

“I couldn’t do much after I got back from Korea,” says Stadler, a 1950 Hayden graduate, “but I wanted to get involved in something.”

The community threw an 80th-birthday party for Stadler last year to honor his commitment. For Stadler, there’s no end in sight for his fan-plans … though he does acknowledge with a chuckle that he “may have volunteered for a lot of work.”

The School: washburn rural high school

The Fan:

Ron Bowen

After coaching football for 23 years at Washburn Rural High School, Ron Bowen says it’s impossible not to be a fan of his school. After leading his squad to three state championships and several runner-ups in 6A competition, Bowen is often found cheering at the football games in the stadium that bears his name. “I get to as many games as possible any time I can get away and don’t have a grandkid playing somewhere,” Bowen says. “Some of the kids playing now are the sons and daughters of the players I had in the past.”


Spring ’ 13


The Fan: John Oestreich

The School: Topeka High School

“I love Topeka West, and I love its athletes,” he says. “It’s a great school.” Although he retired in 2008, Oestreich says he still follows “whatever is in season. As head basketball coach I was tied to one sport during the winter even though wrestling and swimming were going on at the same time. As athletic director I could follow more of the 17 or 18 sports offered.” Oestreich still enjoys going to all the games— even getting to some of the out-of-town games such as those in Emporia and Junction City— whenever he can.

Eddie Charay

John Oestreich, who served as head basketball coach at Topeka West for 20 years and athletic director for six, has been a fan of the school since he began there in the summer of 1981.

The Fan:

The School: Topeka West High School

The Topeka High tradition is strong in the Charay family: Eddie Charay’s father attended from 194546, his daughter graduated in 2000 and his sons in 2005. He also has fond memories of his own days at the school where he ran cross country and track and sang in the boys’ glee before graduating in 1971. “I still follow some nieces and my nephew as often as I can,” Charay says. “It’s more fun to watch and see what you went through.” He tries to follow all the basketball and football games and also goes to cross country and baseball events. If there’s one Topeka High sports moment that stands out for Charay, it would be that perfect mix of Topeka High and Charay family history— watching his nephew’s first football game in 1989 where the young man ran a kickoff all the way back for a touchdown.

The Fan: Cheryl Holt (with daughter, Reagan) The School: Shawnee Heights High School Cheryl Holt has been involved with Shawnee Heights in some way for more than 30 years, first as a lunchroom worker, then as PTO and a room mother and now as a grandmother of a Tecumseh South student—and all that time she has been a loyal sports booster. Since her property line adjoins the schoolyard and her patio overlooks the parking lot, Bowen often has students stopping by before the game and grabbing something good to eat or drink. Since her son coaches at Blue Valley, Holt does miss a few Shawnee Heights football games—but only a few. Most every time she is there, often with her daughter, Reagan. “There are so many good people here,” she says. “I try to follow football, basketball and softball. It’s fun to go and watch the kids that I knew while working. I really liked getting to know all the kids.”



Spring ’ 13

Pull-Out Guide

Arts Connect of Topeka Official First Friday ArtWalk Map and List of Participants Detail from Bully, Bully by Debra Joy Groesser, an artist with the Missouri Valley Impressionists Society Second Annual Juried Art Show, opening on the May 3 Art Walk at SouthWind Gallery, 3074 SW 29 Street.


833 N. Kansas 785.969.4867

837 N. Kansas 785.220.4129

Find us on Facebook


(785) 249-6329 Hours: Sunday - Tuesday by appointment Wednesday - Friday 10:00 - 6:00 Saturday - 9:00 to 5:00

Six Auto Sales proud sponsor of

RiveRfRont Station GalleRy & lounGe

the newest gallery in NOTO!

Riverfront Station 802 N. Kansas Open Tues-Sat 10-6 First Fridays open till 10pm

pop up ShoWS YWCA Art Auction Preview (April) Governor’s Row House ....................................... 901 Buchanan Topeka, KS BA Designs ...........................4119 SW Southgate Drive Topeka, KS 66609 Washburn Tech (April) ..................... 5724 SW Huntoon Topeka, KS 66604

S.W. Gage Blvd

S.W. Fairlawn Rd



S.W. Huntoon St



48 49 S. 46 50 S.W. 60

SW 21st St


S.W. 17th St

West Ridge Mall




Colmery-O’Neil VA Medical Center

S.W. 29 St th

Sherwood Lake

Provided By:

S.W. 37th St Berkshire Country Club

n o RT h To p e k A ( n oTo ) 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20

Riverfront Station 802 ..................................... 802 N Kansas Ave Rumba Club .................................................... 816 N Kansas Ave Serendipity ...................................................... 820 N Kansas Ave Gravity Gallery & Shops ................................. 820 N Kansas Ave Megan Rogers Photographie ..................822 1/2 N Kansas Ave Two Days Market ............................................ 824 N Kansas Ave Rusty Haggles/Stonewall Art Gallery ............ 826 N Kansas Ave 4 Girls’ Garage ................................................ 837 N Kansas Ave Southwest Traders .......................................... 830 N Kansas Ave Studio 831 ....................................................... 831 N Kansas Ave Kaw River Mercantile ...................................... 833 N Kansas Ave Foole’s Dream Studio ...............................833 1/2 N Kansas Ave Second Chance Antiques .............................. 840 N Kansas Ave Robuck Jewelers ............................................ 845 N. Kansas Ave Eclective .......................................................... 900 N Kansas Ave Scarlet Window............................................... 902 N Kansas Ave Yeldarb Gallery, Inc. ........................................ 909 N Kansas Ave J&J Gallery & Bar ........................................... 917 N Kansas Ave Vintage Vibe ................................................... 920 N Kansas Ave NOTO Community Arts Center .................... 922 N Kansas Ave

Topeka, KS Topeka, KS Topeka, KS Topeka, KS Topeka, KS Topeka, KS Topeka, KS Topeka, KS Topeka, KS Topeka, KS Topeka, KS Topeka, KS Topeka, KS Topeka, KS Topeka, KS Topeka, KS Topeka, KS Topeka, KS Topeka, KS Topeka, KS

doWnToWn TopekA 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33


S.W.Oakley St

826 N. Kansas 785.221.0167

4 giRl’s gaRage

S.W. 10th Ave

S.W. Gage Blvd

Foole’s DReam stuDio

Sports Center Golf Complex

S.W. Fairlawn Rd

Rusty Haggles antiques


S.W.Wanamaker Rd

ARTSConnect First Friday ArtWalk March 1 | April 5 | May 3

pull-ouT Guide Join us for first fridays! March 1 • april 5 • May 3


Blue Planet Café .................................................. 110 SE 8th Ave Bottega 235............................................ 7th & Quincy, 3rd Floor Constitution Hall.............................................. 429 S Kansas Ave Brown Vs. Board of Education ..................... 1515 SE Monroe St Break Room...................................................... 911 S Kansas Ave Boho Mojo ....................................................... 728 S Kansas Ave Celtic Fox ............................................................118 SW 8th Ave First Presbyterian Church ................................. 817 SW Harrison Cloister Gallery @ Grace Cathedral ..................701 SW 8th Ave Hazel Hill Chocolate ........................................ 724 S Kansas Ave Black Door Gallery.............................. 913 S Kansas Ave, 2nd Fl Merchant .......................................................... 913 S Kansas Ave NexLynx ...............................................................123 SW 6th Ave

Topeka, KS Topeka, KS Topeka, KS Topeka, KS Topeka, KS Topeka, KS Topeka, KS Topeka, KS Topeka, KS Topeka, KS Topeka, KS Topeka, KS Topeka, KS


6 3 4 5




Kansas Expocentre


S.E. 21st St

Topeka Coun try Club

S.E. California Ave

S.W. Washburn Ave



S.E. 6th St

S.E. Adams St


Capitol Building

S.E.Q uincyS t


S.W. Lane St

. Huntoon St

N.E. Seward Ave



.W. 12th St

Phillip Bill ard Muni cipal Airport

7 9

28 23 6 th Av e 31 33 22 30 37 27 32 45S.W 40 . 10th 29 38 26 Ave 25 21



For Great Fine Art

S.E. 29th St


Art Restoration & Repair Lake Shawnee

S.E. California Ave

S.E. Adams St

Shawnee Golf Clu b

S. Kansas Ave

S.W. Topeka Blvd

urli ng am e


W. 29th St

S.W .B

Pull-Out Guide




S.W. 21st St

10 8

S.E. Bran ner S t



N. Ka nsa sA ve

Tope ka B lvd

W. 6th Ave

2 nd A ve



17 19 20 15 18

12 16 14

3113 SW Huntoon (in the Westboro Mart)


Lake Shawnee Golf Course

The Collective Art Gallery Fine Art Since 1987 Join us on the First Friday Art Walk! (and during our regular business hours)

Wednesday-Friday 12-5 Saturday 10-3 We’re On Facebook! 3121 SW Huntoon, Topeka, KS 66604 785-234-4254


34 35 36 37 38 39 40

Prairie Glass Studio ............................................. 110 SE 8th Ave Upstage Gallery/Jayhawk Theatre .................. 720 Jackson Ave Warehouse 414 ...................................................... 414 SE 2nd St Lupita’s ............................................................ 723 S Kansas Ave Topeka Ramada ................................................... 420 SE 6th Ave Swinnen & Associates ................................921 SW Topeka Blvd H&R Block ........................................................ 726 S Kansas Ave

Topeka, KS Topeka, KS Topeka, KS Topeka, KS Topeka, KS Topeka, KS Topeka, KS

sOuth, west & east 41 42 43 44 62

Topeka Art Guild ........................................ 5331 SW 22nd Place Southwind Gallery .............................................3074 SW 29th St Colorfields ................................................. 6825 SE Stubbs Road Paint Therapy Uncorked ........................5130 SW 29th St, Ste B House 2 Home Lighting & Décor ...........5612 SW Topeka Blvd

Topeka, KS Topeka, KS Topeka, KS Topeka, KS Topeka, KS

westbOrO / midtOwn 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61

Alice C. Sabatini Gallery (TSCPL) .....................1515 SW 10th St Beauchamp’s Frameshop & Gallery ..............3113 SW Huntoon Collective Art Gallery .....................................3121 SW Huntoon Edward Jones ................................. 3100 SW Huntoon, Ste 101 Firestation #7 .....................................................1215 SW Oakley Glass Expressions ..............................................1250 SW Oakley Great Mural Wall................................................. 20th & Western Legacy Community Arts Center ................ 1315 SW 6th St, Ste D Mulvane Art Museum & ArtLab...............1700 SW College Ave SoHo Interiors .................................................3129 SW Huntoon Topeka Fiber Arts District ................................. 400 S Washburn Topeka High School ................................................ 800 SW 10th Burger Stand @ College Hill ....................................... 1601 Lane PT’s Coffee (Flying Monkey) ........................... 17th & Washburn United Methodist “Art & Spirit Café”............ 1621 SW College Westboro Window Fashions..........................3119 SW Huntoon Whitehall Fine Gifts & Collectibles ...............3401 SW 10th Ave

Topeka, KS Topeka, KS Topeka, KS Topeka, KS Topeka, KS Topeka, KS Topeka, KS Topeka, KS Topeka, KS Topeka, KS Topeka, KS Topeka, KS Topeka, KS Topeka, KS Topeka, KS Topeka, KS Topeka, KS

Highlighted entry indicates venue is a contributing patron of this Topeka Magazine / Arts Connect pull-out map guide

ToPeKa arT Guild and Gallery

Serving Our Artists and Supporting the Local Arts Community


921 SW Topeka Boulevard Topeka, Kansas 66612

Open 11 am-5 pm Wed. - Sat.

(785) 272-4878 (HURT)

Upcoming Show Theme: Seasons

Join us every First Friday from 5 pm-8 pm for 10% off 5331 SW 22nd Place Fairlawn Plaza | Topeka, KS 66614

Pull-Out Guide

The gifT of glass is Timeless Look for us on Facebook search “Art Glass Expressions”

HArriE Art GLAss

3074 SW 29th St. Topeka, KS 66614 785.273.5994 Gallery Hours: M-F, 10-6; Sat. 10-4

“Fixing Up” by Richard Sneary

Specializing in Original Paintings and Sculpture by Artists of the Midwest Missouri Valley Impressionists Society 2nd Annual Juried Art Show Exhibit & Sale: May 3 – June 29, 2013

What’s Happening in

march Easter Egg Hunt

Governor’s Residence Cedar Crest | March 23 Cedar Crest staff hides about 12,000 eggs for the annual Governor’s Easter Egg Hunt. The 2013 event begins at 11 a.m. and will be divided into sections by age for children 1 to 9. It is a bring-your-own basket occasion. Kansas governors have sponsored this tradition for decades. Governor Sam Brownback and First Lady Mary Brownback will be on hand at MacLennan Park, which is on the south side of the governor’s residence, for the event. The Easter Bunny and other local personalities will entertain the kids, and there will be a bike giveaway. Shuttles will be available from the parking lot of Security Benefit. Evidently the holiday hopper will be working hard across town the last two weeks of March. If you do not get your fill at Cedar Crest, more local hunts are sponsored by Shawnee County Parks and Recreation:

March 23

| 11 a.m. Velma K. Paris Community Center: FREE Lunch

March 24

| 2:30 p.m. Lake Shawnee Recreation

March 28

| 8 p.m. Shawnee North Community Center: hunt by flashlight

March 30

| 9 a.m. Auburn Community Center

March 30

| 11 a.m. Garfield Community Center

March 30

| 1:30 p.m. Central Park Community Center

March 30

| 2 p.m. Dover Community Center

March 1 thru 3 | Gnome Sweet Home, The Topeka Homebuilders Association Home Show | Kansas Expocentre

March 15 thru 17 | Capital City Cycle Show,

March 1 | Topeka & Shawnee County Public Library celebration of “The Big Read” with The Great Gala during NOTO First Friday art Walk | Great Overland Station | Free event

March 15 | Opening of Furnishing Kansas exhibit highlighting furniture that witnessed history | Kansas Museum of History

March 1 thru 30 | Hairspray musical about a plus-sized teen who wants to dance | Topeka Civic Theater

March 1 | The Temptations & the Four Tops, Motown classic in concert | Topeka Performing Arts Center March 2 | “Bessie’s Blues” by Queen Bey live show | Topeka Shawnee County Public Library | Free event

March 2 | Rascal Flatts Changes Tour 2013 concert | Kansas Expocentre March 7 | Concordia College Choir: Great Spaces series concert | Grace Cathedral March 8 | Women Empowerment Weekend, “Evening with an Author” book signings and talk | Blue Planet Café March 9 | Women Empowerment Weekend, Their Eyes were Watching God film screening | Topeka & Shawnee County Public Library | Free event March 9 | Good Old Fashioned Kansas Barbeque benefiting the Marian Clinic | Heritage Hall at the Kansas Expocentre March 11 | Topeka Festival Singers “Homeward Bound” concert featuring Jeff Kready and Nikki Renee Daniels | White Concert Hall at Washburn University

motorcycle show benefiting ABATE of Kansas | Kansas Expocentre

March 16 | Blarney Breakfast benefiting The Capper Foundation | Texas Roadhouse

March 16 | Topeka St. Patrick’s Day Celebration, the Great Topeka Bed Race, Parade at Noon and Celtic Street Fair to follow | Downtown Topeka on Kansas Avenue March 16 | Irish Fest featuring homemade Irish food: Patty’s corn beef pockets, Irish stew, bangers and mash, beer and music | Mater Dei Church, Assumption Site

March 16 | “Tchaikovsky to Berlioz” concert by the Topeka Symphony | White Concert Hall at Washburn University

March 16 | Laughing Matters Junior improvisational comedy show | Topeka Civic Theater March 16 and 17 | Reining Horse Show | Kansas Expocentre | Free event

March 23 | Sparky and Rhonda Rucker storytelling and blues at the Last Minute Folk Series | Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Topeka

March 24 | WCTC Radio Players recreated radio show performances | Topeka Civic Theater March 28 | “A Night of Stars” benefit for Boys & Girls Club of Topeka | Ramada Downtown

Text by Karen Ridder Photographs, from left, courtesy Topeka Civic Theater and Academy, Jason Dailey for Topeka Magazine and courtesy Kansas Museum of History.


Spring ’ 13


What’s Happening in

april Laughing Matters Junior Topeka Civic Theater April 13

April 5 | First Friday’s North Topeka

April 18 | History and Environmental Fair |

Walking Ghost | North Kansas Avenue

Kansas Museum of History | Free event

April 5 thru 21 | Tulip Time featuring over 100,000 tulips in Shawnee County Parks | Lake Shawnee, Old Prairie Town and Gage Park

April 19 thru 21 | Capital City Quarter Horse

April 5 and 6 | Laughing Matters improvisational comedy show | Topeka Civic Theater

April 6 | Heartland Park Topeka 25th Birthday Bash and season opener | Heartland Park Topeka April 11 | Peace and Justice Party honoring Peacemakers in Shawnee County | Ramada Downtown

Laughing Matters Junior is Topeka Civic Theater’s kinder-gentler version of its popular improvisational group, Laughing Matters. The youth troupe, ages 14 to 19, performs seven times a year. They play the same improvisational games as the older group, but with family-friendly results. Performances are open to the public with a ticket price of $5 for all ages. Price, a Seaman High School sophomore, has acted with the troop for three years. She says the practices are almost as much as the performances. “I can be in a horrible mood and go to Laughing Matters and come out laughing so hard I’m crying. It’s a great way to brighten your day,” says Price. Her favorite onstage moment came last year during a performance of Blind Line when two cast members ended up in the same shirt.

April 19 thru May 4 | Cat on a Hot Tin Roof | Topeka Civic Theater April 20 and 27 | Wildlifer Challenges outdoor adventure | Kansas Childrens Discovery Center April 20 | Kickstands for Kids, familyfriendly motorcycle event and 120-mile ride to benefit Kansas Childrens Service League | Heartland Park

open for weekend service | Gage Park

April 20 | “Best of the Broadway Pops” concert by the Topeka Symphony | White Concert Hall

April 13 | Swap Meet at Lake Shawnee |

April 26 | Douglas Neidt classical guitar

Lake Shawnee Beach Parking Lot

concert | Grace Cathedral

April 12, 13 and 20 | Battle of the Bands to benefit Breakthrough House | Tailgators Sports Pub & Grub

April 26 | Concealed Revealed Art Auction

April 13 | Jeff Dunham “Disorderly Conduct” comedy concert | Kansas Expocentre

April 27 | Ana Egge folk troubadour concert for the Last Minute Folk series | Unitarian Universalist Fellowship

April 12 | Gage Park Mini-Train and Carousel Abby Price likes talking nonsense, at least when she’s trying to figure out a “who-dun-it” onstage at Laughing Matters Junior. It is part of the game “Rapid Gibberish Detective” that allows actors 15 seconds to solve a murder and attempt to get a laugh in the process.

Show | Kansas Expocentre | Free event

April 13 | Leipzig, Germany’s Calmus Ensemble in the Great Spaces Concert | Grace Cathedral

April 13 | Bill Maher comedy concert | Topeka Performing Arts Center

April 13 | Topeka Community Concert Association featuring Jason Coleman | White Concert Hall | Free for students and accompanying parent

April 14 | “Music, Just What the Doctor Ordered” featuring Topeka physicians performing; a benefit for Health Access and Marian Clinic | First United Methodist Church | Freewill offering

to benefit the YWCA Center for Safety and Empowerment | Governor’s Row House

April 27 | Autism Awareness Carnival and BBQ competition | Washburn Technological Institute

April 27 | Dick and Dotty Hanger Kids Fishing Derby | Lake Shawnee

April 27 | “Rock 4 Charity” concert featuring Vandelyn Kross and Battle of the Bands winners | Topeka Performing Arts Center

April 30 | Brown v. Board of Education El Nino Day of the Child event | Topeka & Shawnee County Public Library

Text by Karen Ridder



Spring ’ 13

Photographs from left, Topeka Magazine, courtesy Heartland Park, courtesy

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What’s Happening in


May 2 | Touch-a-Truck day for preschoolers to climb on county work and emergency trucks | Gage Park

May 11 | Laughing Matters improvisational comedy show | Topeka Civic Theater

Downtown Topeka | May 16

May 3 | First Friday’s North Topeka

Festival Singers concert | White Concert Hall

Heartland Park Topeka celebrates the 25th anniversary of their National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) Kansas Nationals with a downtown Speedfest. The free event on Kansas Avenue will feature show cars, dragsters, dirt track race cars and motorcycles. Games, promotional displays and kids’ activities will also take place from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Top drivers will be available in the evening to sign autographs from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.

May 3 thru 19 | Next to Normal musical


The Mello Yellow Drag Racing Series follows on May 17, 18 and 19. It is expected to bring in in hundreds of racing teams in multiple classes, competing in what Heartland Park General Manager Joe Douthitt describes as the fastest racing on the planet. Admission for this event is free to military service personnel, women and children.

Walking Ghost tour of North Kansas Avenue

May 13 | Swingin’ with the TFS, Topeka

show | Topeka Civic Theater

May 15 | Preschool Track & Field Meet | Shawnee North Community Center

May 4 | Cosmos Karaoke | The Break Room

May 16 | SpeedFest celebration of racing

May 4 | Kansas Law Enforcement Run to Remember 5K | Lake Shawnee May 4 thru 26 | Designers Showhouse

to benefit ChildCare Aware of Northeast & North Central Kansas | 8311 SW 33rd Street

May 10 | Ad Astra Percussion Ensemble | Grace Cathedral

May 10 | Ghost Tours of Kansas, West Topeka Ghost Tour | Starts at the Celtic Fox

May 11 | Drew Nelson storytelling songwriter at the Last Minute Folks Series | Unitarian Universalist Fellowship

in Kansas | Downtown on Kansas Avenue | Free event

May 17 thru 19 | NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Kansas Nationals event | Heartland Park Topeka May 18 and 19 | Kansas Buckskin Horse Show | Kansas Expocentre | Free event May 25 | End of School Party with kidfriendly lawn games, sidewalk art and nature scavenger hunt | Kansas Childrens Discovery Center May 25 | Opening Day for Shawnee County Pools | Various locations

Text by Karen Ridder



Spring ’ 13

Photographs: Jason Dailey for Topeka Magazine

Now opeN iN Topeka! Authentic New York Brick Oven Pizza

Create your own pizza by the slice Full Service Bar Party Room Available Catering Available 785.861.7000

1930 Westport Drive (former location of O’Dooley’s)

Sewing • Embroidery • Quilting Classes

Now in our th

20 year



5331 SW 22nd Place Topeka, KS 66614

Now eNrolliNg studeNts Jr. Pre-K (age 3) - 8th grade

Topeka Collegiate offers unparalleled experience-based learning opportunities with a commitment to academic excellence and humanitarian ideals. Call for an appointment or visit our website for more information. 785-228-0490 •

Photography by Jason Dailey


enny and Steve Bergstrom have been married for 24 years, enthusiastically enjoying each other’s interests in good food and beverages. Steve, a marketing director for Glazer’s of Kansas, knows about a variety of liquors, especially bourbon, tequila, rum and scotch, but also fancies himself a connoisseur of good coffee. Jenny, a director for Pampered Chef, specializes in cookware, stoneware, cutlery and spices. It’s no surprise, then, that a visit to the Bergstrom kitchen is a gourmet aficionado’s dream. Even the details contain delights as the drawers roll out to display cutlery of all types, including a blunt-tipped knife for de-pitting an avocado or a chef’s knife to create chiffonade ribbons of fresh basil. Jenny rolls out another, referring to it as “the world in my drawer.” Every imaginable spice is stored at a slant that allows labels to be easily read. The center island is a cabinet for stoneware, which Jenny explains is stored vertically to prevent stress fractures. The Bergstrom kitchen didn’t always look so inviting. In fact, their first Topeka kitchen was in the College Hill neighborhood shortly after they married. Twelve years later, that home on MacVicar seemed too small with the addition of sons Nik and Geoff. “Their feet and their hockey bags were too big for the house, and we needed a second bathroom,” says Jenny. A new house on Plass, their present home since 2000, seemed ideal—almost. Both Jenny and Steve loved the traditional homes and established neighborhood, but they had dreamed of having a large kitchen with stainless-steel appliances, granite counter tops, wine fridge, prep island … in short, everything that was missing in the kitchen on Plass. “We wanted the kitchen to be the heart of the house, where everyone gathers and feels welcomed,” says Jenny. The Bergstroms hired friend and contractor Jim Oliva, owner of Oliva Overall Construction, to build an addition to the back of the house, removing the east wall of the kitchen and the corresponding rooms on the second floor, where Oliva relocated a laundry room to open up space for the expanded kitchen. He then brought in customized cabinets from Wende Woodworking, which were made of quartersawn oak to match the Colonial Revival house. A

Story by Debra Guiou Stufflebean

‘Heart of the House’

For the Bergstroms, it’s two careers and interests, but one kitchen and life to share them

about the


Debra Guiou Stufflebean is the author of four novels and the director of the Shepherd’s Center of Topeka. She and husband Mike live in the College Hill neighborhood with their four dogs and can be found cheering at their grandchildren’s ballgames.


Spring ’ 13


rustic red paint sets off the lower cabinets in the center island. Glass-fronted cupboard doors show off collectible dishes, and open shelving displays Jenny’s collection of old cookbooks. The buttercolored granite counter tops and similarly colored walls provide a unifying and inviting feel. The Bergstroms still have plans for the kitchen. Steve points to a location on the wall where he wants the words of Galileo stenciled: “Wine is sunlight, held together by water.” Jenny says she still hasn’t gotten all of the ceramic light switch and electrical plates made (including the hand-painted fruit on each one to add a pop of color). Though they may consider the kitchen a work in progress, it’s very apparent to a visitor that much has already been fulfilled. Visitors feel the warmth of hospitality the minute they walk in. Steve puts a glass of wine in your hand, and Jenny offers you a chair at the dinette. They actively engage in conversation, all the while continuing to prepare the meal, stopping periodically to give a guest a sample bite or to offer a tidbit of wisdom. It’s virtually impossible not to pick up kitchen tips from this couple. And the learning is delightful as they pour fresh pomegranate mojitos, serve fresh corn, mozzarella and avocado salad to garnish with a slice of bread and uncover a rum cake topped with chopped pecans. After a few bites and seconds, a guest can only come to share their love for the kitchen, good beverages and good food.

Table Talk

(Just a few of the kitchen tips from a dinner with the Bergstroms)

Proper glasses Wine glasses should be selected specifically for a wine. There are different curvatures for glasses depending on whether you are serving Bordeaux, Chardonnay or Eiswein. Discolored can be good For stoneware, the more discolored, the better it is seasoned for baking. Never skimp on … Always buy good mozzarella. The quality of this cheese can make or break many dishes. Choose early Buy avocados a couple of days ahead of use so they are soft to the squeeze when you are ready to use them. Making better pomegranate mojitos and margaritas Use PAMA mix instead of Triple Sec for pomegranate mojito and margarita recipes Quick slices To make quick work of slicing a grape or cherry tomato for a salad, place the tomato on a plastic lid, then top with another plastic lid and press down firmly while running a sharp knife blade between the two lids.



Spring ’ 13

Mojito 2 teaspoons sugar 6-8 fresh mint leaves Club soda 1 lime, halved 2 ounces light rum, like Cruzan Estate Light (or use 1 ounce rum with 1 ounce PAMA) Sprig of mint for garnish In a highball glass, muddle sugar, two capfuls of club soda and mint leaves. Add the juice of both halves of lime. Add rum. Stir well. Fill with ice and finish filling with club soda. Garnish with mint sprig. For more recipes from the Bergstroms, go online at

TCTA Presents:


(Mainstage Musical)

March 1 – March 30, 2013

No Dogs Allowed! (Theatre for Young Audiences) April 5 – 14, 2013

Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (Mainstage Classic)

April 19 – May 4, 2013

Next to Normal* (Studio Series Musical) May 3 – 19, 2013

Red, White and Tuna (Mainstage Comedy)

May 31 – June 22, 2013 * Contains strong language and adult themes

For tickets and information call 785-357-5211 or visit

baseball timeline




Gil Carter

Nov. 11, 1931 – born in Topeka, Kansas

Approximately 1947 – Begins playing first organized competitive games as a left-fielder with the Topeka Hornets, an intercity, mixed-race fast-pitch softball team that played its games at a city park in North Topeka

1948 – Begins playing baseball for a high school team organized by Jack Alexander

1949 – Joins Johnny Gates’ intercity baseball league. “We played all these little country towns in Kansas,” says Carter. Carter also gets a job that allows him to take off for baseball games, running a jackhammer at a construction site near the Hotel Jayhawk.

1951 – Moves to Kansas City to play with Kansas City Giants, a semi-pro, allblack baseball team based at Paseo

MR 733 An epic home run is only part of Gil Carter’s long life of baseball

Story and interview by James Carothers Photography by Jason Dailey

1953 – Switched to a mixedrace, fast-pitch softball team in Springfield, Missouri. Here, Carter is introduced to Tom Greenwade, who signs him with the New York Yankees and sends him to a minor league affiliate in Mount Kisco, New York

1954 – Spends spring training at Mount Kisco, arriving just seven years after baseball was integrated and as one of the few blacks in the region, Carter says he encountered “lots of prejudice there.” After several incidents, he quits Mount Kisco and the team.

Some rare ballplayers—Willie Mays, Stan Musial, Derek Jeter, Albert Pujols—have long superlative careers at the major league level. A few more have a season—Mark “The Bird” Fidrych. Hundreds have only a cup of coffee in the big leagues. Most never get there. Gil Carter played against Hall of Famer Willie Stargell and Joe Torre, among others, but he never got to The Show. Topps never put him on a baseball card. Carter had a moment, however, when he made a permanent place for himself in the folklore of the game, hitting a home run so high, so far and so majestic that the baseball disappeared into the Carlsbad, New Mexico, night. They found the ball the next morning, in a backyard a long way away, among peach tree leaves and peaches. An aerial reconnaissance photograph of the ballpark and the backyard appeared in the local newspaper the next day tracing the flight of the ball with the same dotted-line trajectory given to photos of long home runs by stars like Mickey Mantle and historic blows like Bobby Thomson’s “shot heard round the world.” Those measurements indicated a blast of 730-733 feet; officially, conservatively, the team placed the hit at 650 feet. In fact, there is plausible evidence that Carter’s homer on August 11, 1959, went about twice as far Thomson’s 1951 blow that completed the Giants’ “Miracle of Coogan’s Bluff” in the 1951 National League pennant race. The path of a projectile is a parabola. It didn’t get much publicity then: The aerial photograph was followed a couple of weeks later by a brief note in The Sporting News. Twenty years later a retrospective piece appeared in Sports Illustrated. Finally, there was a nice article in the specialist baseball publication Elysian Fields Quarterly. But the home run was largely lost in the context of Class D ball and a player who, on paper, was assumed to be playing with a “baseball age” five years short of his own. Think about what would happen today, if we had a fan’s video shot of Carter’s blast leaving Montgomery Field, and a cell phone photo of the ball, near a peach, among the fallen leaves. The twittering and tweeting and all the other noises and pictures would instantly go viral. Carter would be assaulted with overwhelming publicity. He’d be called “The Carlsbad Bat.” John Mayberry used to swing the bat as though he was not just “going for the fences” in Royals Stadium, but aiming at I-70. Physicists say you can’t hit a baseball that far. Physicists also used to say it’s impossible to throw a curve ball. For over 50 years, Carter has lived with the knowledge that, for one moment certainly, and for a lot of other moments probably, he was as good Babe Ruth or Mickey Mantle, or any of them who did what all hitters dream of doing. And he still knows it.

1954 – Arrives in Memphis, where he spends two weeks playing with the Memphis Mudhens in what had been a Negro League team that was now mostly all-black.

1954 – Returns to Topeka where he works and plays ball with the Kansas City Giants

1957 – Marries Bettye Dillard, moves to Kansas City and is signed by Buck O’Neil to join the Cubs farm system

1958 – Attends spring training, for the Cubs and is assigned to their minor league team, the Carlsbad Potashers.


For the Record

Gil Carter talks about his long home run, old-school weight training on an East Topeka farm and the kid who will beat his record I was born and raised right down the street here in East Topeka. Only thing we had to go to town for was sugar and flour, we raised everything else. I walked behind a horse, plowing, making my own garden. My grandparents raised me. My grandfather and I, we cleaned up all the Dibble’s stores and everything the grocery store threw away. My grandmother canned all of that. I had to cut wood every day to go in the cook stove and the heating stove. I walked through the two cemeteries to go to East Topeka Junior High School. I weighed 180 pounds and played football for East Topeka Junior High—I run over them, I didn’t go around them. I started out playing softball with Topeka Hornets, that’s where I first started playing ball—fast-pitch softball, Topeka Hornets. I played softball down in Springfield, Missouri, and we beat the Springfield Champions 2-1. That’s when Tom Greenwade signed me to the Yankees organization. They sent me to Mount Kisco, New York, and I run into a lot of stuff that I didn’t like and I quit and came home. That was the early ’50s. Tom Greenwade, bless his soul, he died quite a few years ago, but he was the one who signed me to the Yankees. And then I started playing baseball. It’s a whole lot different playing softball and baseball. The coordination is a whole lot different. You have to adjust yourself from softball to baseball. A guy named Johnny Gates started me playing baseball in Kansas City, Missouri, right there at Paseo Park. You know that turn when you come up Paseo, and make that left turn to get

1959 – Coming off an injury, Carter has a successful season, including the night of August 11, when he hits a home run that might or might not have been the longest home run in world history


on the interstate? Right there used to be the baseball park, and some apartments across the street. I was hitting that baseball in them apartments, knocking out windows in those apartments on the Paseo. That’s when Buck O’Neil signed me with the Cubs. I got signed in ’57, and I had 17 home runs in June. Then one night I slid into second base, waited too long to slide, and twisted my ankle and broke my ankle. In ’59, I went back to Carlsbad. On the night of the 733 home run, their pitcher, Wayne, had us shut out. When I came up, I hit a double off him. The next time up, he had us 6-1 because I drove someone in and that had made it 6-1. The next time I came up, Wayne tried to throw it by me. It was not quite letter-high. And that’s when I hit that home run against him. When I hit that ball—believe it or not, this is the honest-to-God truth—I could feel that bat when he give that much. It kinda bent. And I knew it was something special ’cause I sat there and I watched it for I guess about 10 seconds. It went over everything. Everything. Light towers and everything. Two blocks and the ballpark. I knew it was something special. That’s when I broke the record, the home run record. And I got six hundred and thirty three dollars in one-dollar bills that night. They hand you money through the screen when you hit home runs down there. I hit 39 home runs in Carlsbad. I made more money hitting home runs in Carlsbad than I did my salary. But I got released from the Cubs in 1961 and went to Wichita, lived there for 39 years,

and I was one of the first blacks that drove a city bus in Wichita. Bernie Calkins owned the bus company. And he loved baseball. So he got a baseball team together called the Dreamliners. We beat everyone. In the state tournament, we lost our first ballgame at North Platte, Nebraska. I’ll never forget it. We had to win seven straight ballgames. We won seven straight ballgames and played the nationals. We won that in ’62 and ’63. We had no problem in ’63. That’s when I hit a 430-foot home run off of Satchel Paige. I played with some guys in the Negro Leagues— believe this or not—I played with a guy, he was a pitcher and he’d pitch a ball game nine innings right-handed. At night, he’d pitch left-handed … and win. And I played against Satchel Paige one night and he called his outfield in and told them to sit down on the infield. He was a showboat, but he could throw. He struck the side out. I played softball until I was 55 years old, that’s when slow-pitch softball was popular. We got $80 a game. We took second in nationals two years in a row in Jacksonville, Florida. The score would be 55-60, 65-70—everybody hit home runs. But we had a lead-off man, he could hit that softball anywhere he wanted to place it. The rest would hit the ball out of the ballpark. One guy, believe it or not, he had one of his arms cut off. Left-hand hitter, that guy could hit that ball a mile high and mile long. I didn’t come back home until my daddy died in 2000. October the 12th, 3:20 p.m. My dad come from church and walked in that door there and passed out. There was a coffee table sitting right there and he passed out and he hit

1960 – Assigned within the Cubs system to the “Rox,” a team in St. Cloud, Minnesota. The local fans were everything to Gil Carter that the fans in New York had not been. “I was the only black playing up there, and people treated me wonderfully,” says Gil Carter. “I didn’t want for anything. And that’s the first time I saw that a white man could cut my hair.” Fans treated him to dinners or groceries and volunteered to baby-sit for him and his wife. The ballpark was less accommodating, but it was equally cruel to everyone. “I hit three balls out of that ballpark one time, and the wind blew them back in,” says Carter. “First one—blew back and I got a single. Second one—blew back, hit the fielder coming back in and I got a double. Well, the third one—blew back and the fielder caught.”

1961 – After an injury, Carter is released from the Cubs farm system

1961 – Moves to Wichita and joins the Dreamliners, a fast-pitch, semi-professional softball team in the Dumont NBC League

Topeka Baseball Legends 1962-1963 – Plays with the Dreamliners and wins the league’s championship

Ken Berry*# Major League Baseball player from 1960s-1970s; All-Star and two-time Golden Glove winner; listed as the second-ranked athlete by the Topeka Capital-Journal in its 2011 list of top 100 athletes in history of Shawnee County

Mark Elliott# Minor league baseball player with Dodgers in late 1970s

Duff “Sir Richard” Cooley# Late 1800s-early 1900s outfielder who gave up his position on Detroit Tigers to Ty Cobb

Ken Johnson* Star pitcher for Phillies in 1950 when they reached World Series

Aaron Crow# First-round MLB draft pick and current pitcher for Kansas City Royals Elwood “Bingo” DeMoss*# Early 1900s baseball prodigy; played with Topeka Giants and 20 seasons in the Negro Leagues Lee Dodson Late 1940s-early 1950s pitcher for the Topeka Owls and Yankees minor league teams; honored with namesake baseball field at Hummer Sports Complex for years of volunteer coaching and service to Topeka baseball programs

1964 – Team ownership switches and changes name to Davis-Moore baseball team; at age 33, this is Carter’s last year of professional ball

Art Griggs* Early 1900s player with St. Louis Browns and other teams; .966 lifetime fielding average

“Topeka Jack” Johnson* Former boxer and Negro Leagues manager in the 1920s Jerad Head# Currently a minor league player with Detroit Tigers Lon Kruger# Minor league player with St. Louis Cardinals organization and college basketball coach

1964 – Returns to slow-pitch softball in Wichita; his team, the Truckers, take second place in national slowpitch league

1968 – Retires from Truckers

Dudley “Tullie” McAdoo* Star with Topeka Giants in early 1900s and powerhitting first baseman for Negro League teams, including Kansas City Monarchs

Jerry Robertson Pitcher who played for Expos and Tigers in 1969-1970; honored with namesake field at Bettis Family Sports Complex for his career and leadership in Topeka civic organizations

Jim Morris* Topeka Owls player and pitcher for Boeing Bombers NBC division when they won national titles in 1954 and 1955

Gene Rogers* Shortstop for Boeing Bombers 1954 and 1955 NBC championship teams

Carroll “Dink” Mothell*# Topeka Giants versatile utility player who joined Kansas City Monarchs in 1920 Loren Packard* 1940s Topeka Owls standout who played first base for Boeing Bombers in 1954 and 1955 NBC championships

1969 – Plays in amateur city leagues

1991 – Fully retires from work as a bus driver with the city after a work injury.

Sources: Kansas Baseball Hall of Fame, Topeka Capital-Journal and Shawnee County Parks and Recreation * Inducted into the Kansas Baseball Hall of Fame # Ranked in the top 50 athletes of Topeka CapitalJournal’s 2011 list of “Top 100 Athletes in Shawnee County History”

John Tetuan# Colorado Rockies minor league pitcher and manager of Topeka Golden Giants Mike Torrez*# Eighteen-year career in Major League Baseball from mid-1960s, including pitching two games for Yankees in 1977 World Series; listed as the topranked athlete by the Topeka Capital-Journal in its 2011 list of top 100 athletes in history of Shawnee County

2000Returns to Topeka after his father dies in October

2000 – Begins working for Topeka YMCA’s youth sports program

2000- Begins volunteering to speak at local public schools—French Middle School, Indian Hills and Landon—urging students to stay in school and avoid drugs. He continues these appearances to the present.

2008 – Joins Topeka organization “Success” to provide activities for seniors and youth


The Gil Carter Correspondence Describing the distance as 650 feet, said the official scorer/sports editor who covered the game that night, was … an effort to keep the announcement believable. “We just wanted to be conservative,” he remembered forty years later. “It would have been okay with me to call it a 730-foot home run.” —Jerry Dorbin, Elysian Fields Quarterly

Before he takes his insulin, the man who hit the really long home run responds in longhand to another patient fan: “Thank you so much for writing, Mr. Bonds. Gil Carter, with friends and family in Topeka

his head on that coffee table and busted his spine. My daddy was 90 when he died. The doctor come up to me and said to me, he said: “Mr. Carter, there’s nothing we can do, he’s badly.” You know what really got to me? The nurse even cried. Everybody knew my father. He was a mild-mannered man, and everyone loved him. Now I work with these kids. One of the things that bothers me about young hitters—and I’m talking about major leaguers that I see on TV now­—is that the ones that try to pull everything, including the outside pitch. When I first started out, I had a problem with curve balls. But see, when I was playing sandlot ball around here, them country boys didn’t know nothing about no curve ball. They just threw the ball in there and said: “Hit it, or miss it!” But then they come up with that curve ball and I had to get used to hitting that curve ball. But a lot of guys don’t know nowadays, a guy throw - Gil Carter a curve ball and let it hang, it’s going out of the ball park. Well, these kids coming up nowadays, they’ve got to be careful. They’re trying to make it too fast. They got to stop letting someone influence them by taking these damn drugs, ’cause eventually they catch up with them. If you want to play a game and you’re honest about it, play it like it’s supposed to be played. Play it to your potential. If you can’t play it, get the hell on out of it. See, when I was playing it was a whole lot of fun. But now it’s about the dollar. When I talk to the different schools, I tell the kids if you can play anything—keep your ass in school. They can’t take that away from you. It’s just that simple. I work with these kids now. I got six or seven godkids that I work with now, but one kid, he’s gonna be a ball player. He’s dedicated. He’s serious. And he loves school. I said: “That’s number one, son. Don’t let nothing deter you from going to school. Not ever. Don’t let nobody let you stop going to school.” And this year he said to me: “I’m going to beat your home-run record.” And I said: “I hope you do, son.”

“It went over everything. Everything. Light towers and everything.”

Yes, I remember almost everything, the nighthawk silhouettes, the infield chatter, the ball becoming huge, the hitchless swing, the lone voice swallowing its last no batter, slack faces lifted to the firmament — and by the ball I hope you know I mean the one that hadn’t finished its ascent the last time it was seen, which isn’t necessarily the one beside me as I write. It wasn’t hard in ’59 to find a fresh home run in any big New Mexican backyard.

Home run: what a spectacular misnomer. You can’t go home again, jiggity-jog. If forced to choose a name I’d favor homer, less for Odysseus than for his dog. What can I truly say about this ball? It’s horsehide, twine, and yarn from Costa Rica hugging a hunk of cork from Portugal. On its slow odyssey to East Topeka my homer would’ve been the shortest leg. I saw the seams that night, the sutured leather, and realized this was the only egg horses and men had ever put together, and that I should reopen it, should try to beat it back into the cosmic batter from which we’re conjured. Chickens long to fly, but if an egg can long it longs to shatter. Of course I couldn’t do it. Once again I took the full cut and it simply flew. I’d love to tell you how that felt, but then I wouldn’t be the only one who knew.”

[This interview was condensed and edited from a conversation for Topeka

Magazine between Gil Carter and James Carothers, a professor of English at the

Eric McHenry is an award-winning poet whose work has

University of Kansas and specialist on baseball literature and history.]

appeared in The New Republic and the Harvard Review. A native Topekan, he teaches at Washburn University.


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Rodeo Returns Our guide to competitors, events and hints for welcoming back the championship rodeo Story by Carolyn Kaberline


Photography by Jason Dailey


TM’s Guide to Your First Rodeo If you’ve never been to a rodeo—especially a high school rodeo—then you might want to heed the advice of Jarek Van Petten, two-time all-around cowboy at the state finals. Choose convenient times: There will be lots of rodeo. The first two days are preliminary competitions where the top 15 riders in each event compete for a spot in the Sunday finals. At the finals the best of the best will compete for the opportunity to represent the state in the national finals; only the top four in each event will have the opportunity to advance. Regardless of the performance you decide to attend, you will find plenty of thrills and spills, so select the performance that’s most convenient. Catch the start: Be sure to arrive before an event begins or stay past your event to see at least the beginning of the next one, because every event begins with a grand entry to give the spectators a chance to see and applaud all competitors. Choose seats wisely: Select a seat halfway down the arena so you will have a good view of both the rough stock—bareback bronc riding, saddle bronc riding, and bull riding—as well as the timed events—barrel racing, pole bending, calf roping, team roping, steer wrestling, goat tying and break-away roping as well as cutting. Make it a lunch: It’s a rodeo, a perfect excuse to eat the traditional fare: hot dogs, hamburgers and snacks. Don’t sweat the etiquette. You should never jeer a competitor, but never feel shy about giving applause and cheers. Their horses won’t mind, and the cowboys and cowgirls will welcome your support. Don’t forget to show your appreciation for the efforts of the competitors if they don’t have a qualifying ride or run--your applause is the only reward they’ll receive for all those hours of practice. See the stars: After the performances you can walk through the stall area and see the horses close up if you’d like and your schedule permits. However, don’t give treats without the owner’s permission.

An award given to a rodeo competitor who excels in two or more events.

A boy’s event where a contestant chases after a calf, ropes it, dismounts rapidly, throws the calf to the ground and ties three of its legs together. The speed of the horse and the way the equine works the rope are as important as the rider’s skill in winning this timed event.

A timed event open to a team of two riders made up of two boys, two girls, or a boy and girl with one contestant roping the steer’s head and the other both hind legs.

It’s back! After a three-year hiatus, the Kansas State High School Rodeo championship returns to Topeka this June. And with it comes your chance to see some of the state’s toughest, youngest talent to ever climb into a saddle. The competition will attract riders from ranches across Kansas, and among the hopefuls are several local competitors hoping to earn a spot onto the floor of the Kansas Expocentre. Even if you’ve never seen a rodeo, you can still cheer on these and other hometown talents while enjoying one of the region’s top amateur sports. Just read through the annotations, take notes on the “Guide to Your First Rodeo,” and have some kind words ready for the horses.

Event for boys in which a contestant leaps from his horse to grab the horns of a running steer, stops the animal, and throws him to the ground


A timed event for girls in which a horse and rider weave in and out of six poles placed 21 feet apart. The winner is the rider with the fastest time.

A timed roping event for girls in which the rope is tied to the saddle with a nylon string. When the contestant ropes a calf and her horse stops to hold it, the rope “breaks away.”

A timed event for girls in which a horse and rider race around three barrels in a cloverleaf pattern. The rider with the fastest time wins. Though this resembles some areas around Topeka during rush hour, the event has been held long before the establishment of the KTA or the federal highway system.

Fallon Dyer of Overbrook can’t remember a time she hasn’t been involved with rodeos. “When I was three my father put me on a horse by myself and led me around the barrels at the Ottawa rodeo,” she says. Dyer made it to the junior high state finals in pole bending and goat tying as a seventh-grader, and breakaway roping and goat tying as an eighth-grader. Now in her first year at Pomona High School, the 15-year-old is leading the competition in girls’ breakaway roping. She is also fifth in goat tying, seventh in pole bending and in the top 15 in barrel racing competition after the fall qualifying rodeos. In addition to rodeo, Fallon plays high school basketball. Although she broke some track records in middle school, she says she’ll probably just go out for basketball this year so she can concentrate on rodeo more—especially goat tying and breakaway roping which she lists as her favorite events.With four horses—one for each event—Dyer must practice every day. “I love competing to the best of my ability and love everything about rodeo,” Dyer says. “I’ve grown up with a lot of the kids there, and I’ve met a lot of people. My parents used to rodeo, so I kind of grew up in the bleachers.”

A timed event for girls in which contestants must ride their horses to a goat tied to a stake, dismount, then proceed to throw the goat by hand, then cross, wrap and tie at least 3 feet together with a leather string or rope. The goat has little or no say in this, though injuries are quite rare.

Somewhat like polo, but without horses. Originally it was played with peach baskets, which might have distracted horses and would explain why horses are no longer involved. It has now become a competition in which two teams of five players, either male or female, each try to move a ball across a playing area called a court and throw it through a designated hoop at the end of said playing area.

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Souce: Kansas High School Rodeo Association / Pro Rodeo Hall of Fame

Rodeo Legends who came out of the Kansas High School Rodeo Championships

Bobby Berger, Halstead

World Champion Saddle Bronc Riding 1979; inducted into Pro Rodeo Hall of Fame

Will Lowe, Gardner

World Champion Bareback Bronc Rider 2003, 2005 and 2006

Ike and Lyle Sankey, Rose Hill

These brothers were individual national qualifiers in bareback and saddle bronc riding and have since gone on to found rodeo schools, one in Montana and the other in Missouri

Rocky Patterson, Pratt

World Champion Steer Roper, 2009, 2010 and 2012

Amy Wilson, Colby

Miss Rodeo America, 2008

Is thatinsmile you? a s s i dy Orthodontics Second generation of providing orthodontic services to Topeka residents. 600 Governor View | Topeka, Kansas | 785.233.0582


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 retirement living and how it can help their loved one live a more fulfilled life. Taking the next step usually starts with a question. We welcome yours. Just ask. Call today for our free brochure. Together, we’ll find the answers.

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4712 South West Sixth St Topeka, Kansas 66606

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785.246.3733 3405 NW Hunters Ridge Terrace, Suite 100

Topeka, Ks 66618

A broken saddle gave kept Ben Doyle of Holton sidelined through much of the fall rodeos. However, his odds of making it to the state finals this year are good since there are only a small number of competitors in his event—saddle bronc. A latecomer to the rodeo scene, Doyle had always been interested in rodeo and the rough stock events. When a couple of the locals talked him into it, the Jackson Heights High School senior was more than ready to give it a try. “I tried bareback bronc riding first, but it wasn’t hard enough, but I liked saddle bronc and have stayed with it,” Doyle says. Although his parents were less than thrilled when he told them of his interest in rodeo—his dad just shook his head, while his mom said “no, you’re not”­ —both have become very supportive of his efforts, even though he’s experienced several injuries which have kept him from playing football his junior and senior years. “My dad is even back of the chutes with me,” Doyle says. Doyle says he’s thought about going to college on a rodeo scholarship and has even received calls about college visits, but for now he’s concentrating on making it to the state finals. “I couldn’t ride during last year’s finals due to an AC injury to my shoulder,” Doyle says. “I like everything about rodeo—the people, the different crowd; it’s my home away from home. “When you’re there saddling your horse and getting on, nothing else matters. You’re focusing on only one thing. It’s more of an adrenaline rush than football.”

An event for boys in which a contestant must ride a saddled bucking horse for eight seconds (a standard time believed to be the point at which a horse becomes fatigued from bucking). The contestant’s score is based on his riding ability and the horse’s bucking ability.

Events where contestants ride bucking horses or bulls. While these two events do involve similar skills, they most often draw two separate sets of competitors in the same way that tennis and table tennis are similar but that doesn’t mean that Serena Williams would walk away with an Olympic gold medal in ping-pong.

An event for boys in which the contestant must ride a bucking horse without the benefit of a saddle for eight seconds. The score is given on the rider’s ability and the horse’s bucking ability.

A sport where two opposing teams of 11 players each try to gain possession of a rather small, odd-shaped ball and carry it successfully to the far end of the field. Perhaps self-conscious about the sport’s lack of horses (or even goats), players of this sport hide behind wrap-around plastic masks and mostly appear only with the support of friends and peppy cheer squads who provide moral support and loud encouragement every step of the way.

DancE • Drama • KEyboarD VisuaL arts • VocaL music

Melody Brown Memorial

Fun Factory oF arts introduces children, from 5–8 years old, to dance, drama, keyboard, visual arts, and vocal music.


Monday, June 3rd, 2013 Friday, June 14th, 2013 9:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Robinson Middle School 1125 SW 14th St. Kristy Larson 633-3310 Dee Ann Meredith 783-2014

Kansas High School Rodeo Championships Date: June 6-9 Location: Domer Livestock Arena at the Kansas Expocentre Competitors: The 15 top cowgirls and cowboys competing in each of the 12 events plus the Queen’s contest Origins: Began in the 1950s with the Topeka Round-Up Club Includes: 150 individual members in high school division

An event for boys or girls in which a mounted rider attempts to separate or “cut” a cow from a herd and keep it from returning to the herd. Contestants are scored on the horse’s ability to work cattle and the amount of reaction from the cow. The best horses for this event are sometimes described as having a “cow sense,” which brings up all sorts of philosophical or spiritual questions about how a horse might develop empathy for a cow … but while pondering these questions might be grist for long trail rides, it doesn’t do you a whit of good when you’re in the saddle and competing in cutting competition. The horse just knows.

A competition that has nothing to do with crime scenes but everything to do with reading prose and poetry as well as acting.


Hadley DeHoff of Tonganoxie started in rodeos as a youngster. “My sister got me into it when I was only 6 or 7,” the 16-yearold Tonganoxie High School sophomore says. “I started in barrels and poles, then got into goat tying, but I didn’t like that. Last year I started in girls cutting, too.” After making it to the state finals in girls cutting last year, she’s poised to repeat with a second-place standing in girls cutting after the fall qualifying rodeos. She’s also just out of the top 15 in pole bending. During the school year, DeHoff is involved with her school’s forensics program and a member of the FCA (Future Christian Athletes) club. She also practices rodeo events for an hour to an hour and a half after school each day. So far DeHoff seems to be following in her family’s footsteps: Her mother used to rodeo, and her older sister attended Oklahoma State University on a rodeo scholarship, something she’d like to do as well as major in nutrition science. “I really like competing,” she says. “Horses are pretty much my best friends, and I get to meet a lot of new people.”

See earlier annotation. Goats for this event will weigh between 40 and 60 pounds Pygmy goats are not allowed—they are too small and way too cute.


eller’s Grill & Bar

Here at Weller’s We are dedicated in providing a quality meal, great service and a clean dining experience. Any night is a great night to kick back and enjoy yourself with friends and family. We provide a great atmosphere that fits people of all ages.

222 NW Independence Ave. / 785-783-3191

FROM TOP-EKA TO EUR-EKA! Historic Ozark town offers a retreat for all interests

Story by Susan Kraus



Spring ’ 13

Downtown Eureka Springs, above, showcases the town’s many shops and elevations. Photograph courtesy Eureka Springs CAPC. Nearby, the town of Bentonville offers attractions, such as the original Walmart store and museum, above right. Photograph courtesy Walmart Visitor Center.


icture houses where you enter the first floor from one street-level entrance and the second floor from another street entrance. These are homes on stilts, homes perched on rock cliffs, with treetops adjacent to basements. That’s how steep the terrain is in this Ozark mountain town with the nickname “Little Switzerland.” Architecturally, the overall feel is more Victorian, from stately lodges to colorful cottages to the stone hotels and shops of the historic downtown. Indeed, it’s hard to avoid history here as the entire city is on the National Register of Historic Places as the “Eureka Springs Historic District.” Locals claim people have always been drawn to Eureka Springs, so of course there are numerous legends to describe its appeal. But whether it began with Native American tales of this being a healing place, Europeans who thought the springs had magical powers, a doctor who claimed the springs cured eye ailments, Civil War soldiers who were treated with spring water in a hospital in a local cave, or one Judge J. B. Saunders, who marketed his own cure in the late 1800s … they all begin as if Eureka Springs virtually erupted from the rocky earth. Incorporated in 1880, it grew from a shantytown of tents to the second-largest city in Arkansas in a mere few years. Construction boomed, including the Crescent Hotel in 1886 and the Basin Park


Bentonville Exit

If you’re driving all the way to Eureka Springs from Topeka, then you should strongly consider a stop-over in Bentonville. First, there’s the new Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art. It’s a starkly modern structure designed by Moshe Safdie, a internationally recognized architect. The museum circles two spring-fed ponds on 120 acres of Ozark woods, with miles of hike-and-bike trails. The collections, ranging from the Colonial to the current, include many significant American artists, with an extensive modern element. I found myself most gripped, however, standing in front of remarkable art by artists who I had never heard of (which may mean I need to take a few art history classes when I retire, but also attests to the depth of the collection). Free admission. Also in Bentonville, on the square in the middle of the quaint (but Disney-like) downtown is the Walmart Visitor Center. It’s the original location of Walton’s 5 & 10, which Sam Walton launched in 1950. No matter what you feel about Walmart, the center presents a fascinating history of the man, his dream and the marketing he used to achieve it (even how the “history” is presented is pure marketing). There’s plenty of interactive exhibits and a fun five-and-dime as part of the center. Like Crystal Bridges, this is also a free admission. If you like cutting-edge hotels (or if the stop-over has tired you out), the spanking-new 21c Museum Hotel, Bentonville, is a must-visit. It’s modeled after the 21c Museum Hotel in Louisville, Kentucky, and is a combination contemporary art museum and boutique hotel. It features exhibits, events, a restaurant (sustainable agriculture, contemporary cuisine) and hotel space saturated with art. It’s a trip in itself.

about the


Susan Kraus is a therapist and award-winning travel writer who believes that travel can be the best therapy. She enjoys helping people create their own “travel therapy” by writing about journeys that anyone can replicate.


Spring ‘13


Hotel in 1905 (both still going strong today). People flocked to Eureka Springs for “the water cure,” to vacation, and then to retire. And they brought their money and artistic sensibilities with them. The Eureka Springs of today is rather a smallish town, with a full-time resident population of a little more than 2,000 people. But tourism is what keeps the city alive, so expect that number to grow tenfold on a special event weekend … and there are many of those. Eureka Springs is known for culture, art, music and open-minded thinking. But it


is in the heart of the Ozarks. So, you’ll find Bransonesque country music jamborees, hoe-downs, big band, gospel music and a massive Passion Play. Biker groups arrive in noisy gaggles and roar through Highway 23 South, known as “Pig Trail.” But Eureka Springs also hosts summer opera, blues, jazz and classical music celebrations. There is a Mardi Gras, “Eureka Gras,” that lasts a month with parades, floats and dance-balls—and it can get frisky. There are four annual “Diversity Weekends” with an LGBT focus. The town’s International Summer Music Festival features three weeks of concerts, recitals,

touring eureka

Seven Tips

Tram and Trolley The best way to start a visit to Eureka Springs is with a narrated tram tour. These tours provide a historic overview, have a few key stops and will orient you to the twisty streets. There are also trolleys, and taking each trolley for its entire route is a good way to acclimate. Downtown Eureka Spring’s downtown boasts approximately 20 art galleries and some truly interesting shops, but you do have to wade through many tourist souvenir shop junk to get to them. Don’t miss the Art Colony on North Main Street to observe working artists. I also loved trying on hats at the Hats, Hides and Heirloom store on Spring Street, and I also appreciated the oddities of Quigley’s Castle on Quigley Castle Road (think HGTV meets Garden of Eden). Spas Eureka Springs wouldn’t live up to its name without spas. For the adventurous, there are some more funky-historic variations such as steam cabinets. And while urban-luxury-chic is the exception, a decent massage is easy to find and priced to enjoy. Outdoors You can easily meet your fitness-exercise goals by simply walking all the town streets, but for outdoor fun you can also take advantage of numerous

stables to amble on a trail ride or go to the White River for canoeing, fishing or boating. There’s golf and hiking and, of course because this is the Ozarks, there are caves, caverns and state parks to explore. Restaurants Eating (my favorite hobby) is good in Eureka Springs. With so many return visitors, restaurants will close after a season if they don’t measure up. Ermilio’s has been around for decades, in a small house on the hill (and often with long lines off the front porch). It offers feature dinners or standard Italian home cooking where you pick a pasta, pick a sauce and add some meatballs. You also can’t go wrong with Local Flavor Café, which has the best breakfasts I could find (more and better food for, oddly enough, less money), the biggest and best salads, and a nice seasonal deck. It is also open for lunch or dinner. Sparky’s Roadhouse Café is a local burger favorite but with an eclectic menu sure to surprise. Autumn Breeze is popular for higher-end fine dining. The Mud Street Café has the funky ambiance that epitomizes “The Springs,” with good coffee and a wide range of tasty food. And this is just a starter list. But as always, be sure to ask the locals, the shop owners and artists, where they eat. Best with … Eureka Springs is OK for kids, but much better for couples or girlfriend getaways. It’s a honeymoon

A performer, opposite left, joins Eureka Springs’ Mardi Gras parade. Photograph courtesy Chip Ford for Eureka Springs CAPC. Eureka Springs’ emphasis on art and culture is complemented by a visit to Bentonville’s exquisite Crystal Bridges Museum, which features works by major U.S. artists, such as Norman Rockwell’s Rosie the Riveter. Photograph courtesy Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art.

heaven, or perfect for an anniversary surprise, with dozens of romantic retreats, cabins with hot tubs on decks that are practically in the treetops. There is an abundance of B&Bs as well as chain hotels that ring the outskirts of town. And it’s a great getaway for couples that want to balance some lazy downtime in the woods or on the water with fun restaurants and music. Pick a cabin resort on Table Rock or Beaver lakes (just 20 minutes from downtown), and you’ll have the best of both worlds. Before you go … Whether a festival is in town could greatly affect your visit. Check out the city’s calendar of events at to learn if your planned weekend overlaps with the Carving in the Ozarks Festival (April 19-20), the Yards and Yards of Yard Sales (April 26-27) or the kickoff of the ARTrageous Parade (May 4). This site also had a great visitors’ guide, and more information can be mailed by calling the visitors’ center at (479) 253-7333.


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master classes and more by world-famous musicians. In May, the city and gardens bloom: from the Artrageous Parade to gallery strolls, poetry readings and Basin Park concerts. Halloween is over-the-top with the haunted and weird. There are car show weekends, antique festivals, and eagle and birdwatching weekends.

Eureka Springs is known for culture, art, music and openminded thinking. It’s hard to have a weekend in Eureka Springs that isn’t celebrating something. I hadn’t been to Eureka Springs in almost 20 years. It has changed, of course … and yet not. The stone buildings of the downtown were as I remembered. The view from the roof of the Crescent Hotel (savor the view from the deck of the little café) seemed unchanged. The food was still great, the people friendly. And I got lost this time as I walked the back streets, caught up in looking at the lovely homes, the hidden springs, the beautiful gardens… just as I had back then. What I found myself thinking was, “What took me so long to come back?” But other than the answer, “Because life gets crazy,” I really can’t say.



Spring ’ 13

Trams and trolleys are some of the best ways to make a first excursion through Eureka Springs. Photograph courtesy Eureka Springs CAPC.

Topeka Magazine spring 2013  

Topeka Magazine spring 2013 issue. The quarterly Topeka Magazine is the premier magazine of people, places and style of Topeka, Kansas.

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