Tuesday, July 23, 2013

June, oops, July!!!!

It has been a busy month....lots of changes. The Kansas Hall of Fame was a resounding success. Spending time with these laureates or their representatives is a priceless gift. While it is a celebratory event, the real work comes with sharing the stories of the laureates and maintaining a continuous presence in the state. That's what I am working on now. If you would like to get involved in the Kansas Hall of Fame, do I have a deal for you! Drop me a line!

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One of the highlights of the month of June was visiting Cowboy Culbertson's, American Frontier Adventure, near Easton, Kansas. Heather Newell, trusty camera girl and brains behind Around Kansas, shot some fantastic footage of artists staging scenes with various models. My personal favorite among the models was old friend, Wes Studi. We first met years ago at a gathering hosted by my friend, Carol Ann Turner. It was great to visit and I am looking forward to the episode of Around Kansas that will feature Wes, Cowboy Culbertson, Dick Deshon, and Judy Coder. Rod Beemer took these photos (I look forward to visiting with Rod and taking one of his "Boss Hawg" tours of local Indian Wars sites for another episode).

As legions of fans can attest, Wes is the most intense of actors. He brings an unparalleled passion to his work. When asked if his combat experience in Viet Nam informed certain performances, he responded that he has been fortunate to have a broad range of life experience and all of it informs his acting. "Authentic" was the word of the day whether talking with Wes about his acting or with Cowboy about the experience and images he and others are trying to create at the ranch.

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August 21 will mark the 150th anniversary of Quantrill's Raid on Lawrence, Kansas. Events will be held throughout the month to recall the events of that tragic summer. On August 24, 10 a.m., I will lead a tour of Topeka Cemetery, 10th & California, that will highlight the lives of some of those connected to the raid, including some survivors, who rest in our state's most historic graveyard. The cost is $10 per person and the tour is about 2 hours long. Bring bug spray and wear comfortable shoes. Email me for more info: debbisel@yahoo.com
We are starting to accept donations for the 2nd annual Shawnee County Attic Sale, with proceeds to benefit the Shawnee County Historical Society and the terrific programing we do. At a recent board meeting, we were treated to a reenactment of the Underground Railroad by our own resident teacher, Melinda Abitz, and volunteers George Bernheimer (also a board member), his lovely wife, Diane, Alan Shirrell, and Melinda's daughter who was drafted as well. This is one of the programs that summer camp kids were exposed to this year. With more than 500 kids attending, we took history to a lot of folks!!! So please consider donating furniture, collectibles, coins, militaria--anything of value that be suitable for an "estate sale." Call us at the SCHS and leave a message; we will arrange for pickup. 785-234-6097.
Local artist/gallery owner Jeff Hisey is donating space for our auction/sale.  He is leasing the building at 109 North Kansas Avenue (at the south end of the bridge) and is turning the space into a creative mecca! Visit him on 1st Friday!!!

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