Another Memorial

The final event on our trip to Kansas City was another open house memorial for my dad.  Our long-time friend, Barb, opened her home to us for the event and we were able to visit with several friends.  It was great seeing some of our parents’ dearest friends, as well as our own.2016-09-24-16-16-32

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Sad as death is, it always brings people together that haven’t seen one another for a long time, and that’s a good thing.

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Private Tour

My sister had a friend that works at Missouri Star Quilt Company so we were able to take a behind-the-scenes tour.  The most fascinating part was seeing how these old buildings looked before being decorated.  First we saw one of the finished shops upstairs.

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Then we stepped next door into an area that was in its original condition.  Isn’t it shocking to see the difference?

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This will also be made into a quilt shop eventually, and you can almost imagine how beautiful it will be with the archways, high ceilings, and front windows.

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This was part of the original J.C. Penney’s store in the founder’s home town. Maybe they will display fabric in these old carriages sometime, or find a unique use for these old doors.

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Next we toured the retreat center.

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Last, we were taken into Jenny Don’s private office and sewing area.  This is where Missouri Star Quilt had its start.

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2016-09-22-14-19-53_500This is one of Jenny’s daughters and they were busy preparing quilts for the next few magazines and tutorials.  One of the other daughters held up a quilt in progress but asked us not to reveal this pattern until published.  It has been published now, and you can view the tutorial below.

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This is Jenny’s sewing table.

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Soon it was time to leave and we said farewell to our tour guides.

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We went to an Amish community and bought some baked goods.

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Then we stopped at another quilt shop and admired the fabrics and furniture.

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In the evening, we ended up at Stroud’s for dinner, where the motto is, “We Choke Our Own Chickens.”  The food is served family style and is outstanding.

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strouds

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We saw a photo of the original Stroud’s — both the one that our Dad remembered from his youth, and the one he used to take us to (it has since been demolished since it was right under a bridge on the interstate).  But the great food and the traditions continue on, thankfully.

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Missouri Star

My sister and I spent nearly a whole day at Missouri Star Quilt Company.  It’s an amazing place to visit.  Basically, they took over an entire downtown of a small community and converted every store into individual fabric shops.  It was fun browsing all the different shops.

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All the shops are decorated beautifully, according to various themes.

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There’s even a place for husbands to hang out while they wait for their wives.

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Of course, you can find every kind of fabric imaginable.  We bought a few because the fat quarters were only 88 cents/apiece.

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We took a peek at the sewing center and there were classes going at the time.

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Jenny Doan–the founder of Missouri Star Quilt–was pretty busy because it happened to be their anniversary sale day, but we did have a chance to meet her.  She has created quite the successful business with her online tutorials, retreats, classes, patterns, magazines and fabric sales.

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Coming Home

Robyn and I were on a road trip to visit some of the places our grandparents and ancestors lived.  Our next stop was Manhattan, KS.  Our great-grandparents, Jenny (Fleming) and Stephen Harris, and their parents, Elizabeth (Dodd) and George Harris, and Susanna (Carnahan) and Alexander Fleming, lived in a town called Garrison, Kansas.  Sadly, the whole community had to move when the Tuttle Creek dam was put in, as the entire town was flooded and swept away.  Even the graves had to be moved, and this is what we visited — the Carnahan Creek Cemetery.  These brave pioneers had come from England and Ireland via Pennsylvania to live in the plains of Kansas.  They’d had a long journey and stories of hardship, bravery and discovery, I’m sure.

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When they moved the graves up to the top of the hill in 1959 they also moved their church.

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We thought it was hilarious that the church had a two-seated outhouse in back.

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I’ve been told that before Garrison was destroyed by the dam, all the townspeople moved away in many different directions — it was like a death of the entire community.  But in the years that followed, you could always come back to see your friends at this church on Memorial Day, when a pot-luck would be held (still to this day, perhaps, though very few are left if any).

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Next we headed to one of our favorite places in the world — Lawrence, Kansas — home of the Jayhawks.  On our way, we stopped in Topeka to see where Papa Koontz worked at the State Hospital.  Sadly, most of the buildings are gone now, but a couple of them remain.

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We have photos of our mother as a young girl with her grandpa at this very location.

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I also stopped to show Robyn the beautiful Tiffany windows at a church in Topeka.  The depth and beauty in these windows is stunning!

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Finally we pulled into Lawrence and it didn’t take us long to find some Jayhawks at the University of Kansas.

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We also saw the original “Rules of Basketball” in the DeBruce Center.  Wow!

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We found an oddly quiet Allen Field House, but it’s thrilling to be in the facility anytime.

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The athletic museum is impressive!  I personally attended two Orange Bowls, and here are some winning trophies from football and basketball.

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It was fun to play with some of the equipment, too.  My arms and hands are not nearly as large as those of the players.

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It was interesting to see the records of former Kansas athletes that competed in the Olympics, many of them receiving medals.

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Lastly, we stopped in the old Sunflower Village of the 50’s, where our parents first lived after they were married.  These were multi-family units at the time, and were not far from Lawrence on the way to Kansas City.2016-09-21-18-00-28_500

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What an interesting time we’d had, tracing our roots and paying respects to all those who went before us in our family tree.  It was a memorable road trip, indeed.