Wednesday, January 19, 2011

A Little Reminder

Perhaps it's time for a little levity on the CV blog. Just click the link. HERE

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Jim McCall

This just in from Reva Sawyer:

"Jim passed away shortly after 9am Saturday morning. He had fallen and hit his head on concrete Tuesday and was taken to Wichita St. Francis Hospital where it was determined that surgery would not have a good outcome. Will let you know when we have more details." Reva

Monday, January 3, 2011

Jim Robinson

Jim, thoughts and prayers are coming your way, concerning Margaret's passing. She was a wonderful person. Such a smile...and winsome way! Lightened up any room she entered. She reflected your fine family, you, Elizabeth, Mae and Lincoln. I have many warm memories of your family. I will tell you one story. This is about Lincoln. I always admired his paintings..and writings. My admiration went up a couple of levels when, after I showed him some of my poetry, he said, "Good, keep writing!" On another occasion, he gave me some white, linen trousers, when he heard that I was going to K.U. Band Camp. We wore white at our concerts and I always felt special in those linen pants!

Thanks for informing us of Margaret's passing. This sharing makes me even more aware of how much "family" there was between families in Cedar Vale! Such a special place, such special people.

Blessings to you, Jim, and your family.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Margaret Robinson Kennedy

I'm very sad to report that Margaret Robinson Kennedy died December 26, at her home in Chicago. She had received a cancer diagnosis, but she was resolutely planning on further testing and getting whatever treatment could be done, and she was feeling okay. She collapsed suddenly, with friends present.
Diane and J.D. particularly, I'm sorry not to make direct contact, but I get tangled with email addresses and I don't have phone numbers.
Margaret doesn't want a formal service, but there will be an open Chicago reception on Jan. 15 at the Quadrangle Club, 1155 E. 57th St., 4:00 to 6:00 P.M. We will bury her ashes with a graveside gathering at Ozro sometime in the spring, probably late April. We will let people know when the time is set.
Jim Robinson

History of the CV Memories Blog, Part II

Near the end of the previous post I mentioned the photos that people sent to me that were posted on the blog. This is the proper time to mention our own Jay D. Mills, who is a professional photographer who has documented what CV looks like today. You can see his photos and his other blogs listed at the bottom of the page. Go there, if you haven’t already, to learn about a very interesting ex-CV guy.

Jay, who has many technical skills, has become my assistant administrator of the CV Memories blog. Jay is the one who keeps watch among the comments that come in to the blog and eliminates the spam from the serious comments. This became necessary sometime in 2009 when the spammers found CV Memories and began to sprinkle their junk over our blog. Every comment that is posted to the blog has been scanned and approved by Jay. (Thanks again, Jay.)

A major high point for me in 2008 was the trip back to CV and our forming a “Band” to serenade George Beggs, our school band director when we were in CV. George was designated as the parade grand marshall for the Fredonia Fall Festival/Parade on Saturday, October 4. George had retired as band director in Fredonia and the whole town was honoring him. Don Shaffer had alerted us on the blog about this event and I put a plan in motion that ended with a group of us on a flat-bed trailer on October 4, playing (or trying our best to play) “When the Saints Go Marching In”. How this all came about is due to the efforts of many people, primarily Don Shaffer, who served as our leader and furnished musical instruments and music for those of us who could still read music. I drove back to CV and stayed with Don Cox (thanks again, Don) and a group of us arrived in advance of the parade to find 84-year-old G. A. Beggs with his cornet jamming with us before the festivities began. We made a “joyful noise” in the parade and gathered in the basement of a local church for a dinner in Beggs’ honor. This was a memorable day for many of us, and we shared stories and got to know each other face to face after over fifty years. George had stories he remembered for each of us from our high school days. His favorite story for me was of my skipping the entire middle section of a Herbert L. Clark trumpet solo and not knowing that it had happened until I was off stage. Luckily, my accompanist was fast on her feet and covered for me completely. G. A. Beggs is a major hero of mine, and if I can be anything like as alert and active in ten years it will be a miracle.

A major change of location for me came at the end of 2008 when Elyn and I moved to Spain. Luckily, I had already enlisted the support of Jay to cover the blog for me, since I would be out of contact several times in the move and afterward. Jay has pretty much taken care of the CV Memories blog since that time. I have checked in from time to time to see what was going on, and Don Shaffer has become a regular blogger. He has kept the blog from dying entirely this past year and we all owe him a debt of gratitude. Elyn and I have traveled over much of Europe in the past two years, published four books about our travels and have two more in planning stages.

Well, that pretty much brings you up to date on the CV Memories blog, at least as I have seen it grow and develop for two-plus years and begin to slide into obscurity more recently. I have a question for you all—what do you want to do about this blog? I can just leave it up even though no one is posting to it, or I can take it down. Jay has said give it at least six months to see what happens and I’m OK with that. Lets see what the next six months brings. Best wishes to you all for a happy and peaceful 2011.

History of the CV Memories Blog

Now that CV Memories appears to be winding down I feel the urge to relate a bit about how this blog came about. I’ll consult my memory and the back files of the blog, but I’m sure this will be as much fiction as fact, as are all our memories.

Sometime in 2006 or 2007 I made contact with my old CV schoolmate, Wayne Woodruff, after having no communications since the mid 1950s when we were both undergraduate students at KU. Wayne was living in New Mexico, as was I, so I invited him to visit us in Santa Fe when he was coming our way. Wayne came through and spent a night with us on his way to Ohio, where he was moving. He related how he had retired from his medical practice to take care of his wife, who suffered from Lou Gehrig’s disease. After she died, Wayne had begun to make contact with a number of people he had grown up with in CV, in part, as an antidote to depression I thought.

We had a good day in Santa Fe remembering our years in CV and I thought that since Wayne was emailing several of our classmates we might go “high tech” and create a blog to all share our various memories. Wayne had the contacts and I had the techie skills to get it off the ground so I put up a blog called CV Memories and we invited people to join.

I should say at this point that I also had an ulterior motive for putting up CV Memories. I had been collecting little autobiographical pieces for several years that I was planning to put in book form and the blog seemed a great place to preview pieces that pertained to CV. (I ultimately published Pebbles: Memories of a Small-Town Kansas Boy in 2008.) At first, the CV Memories blog consisted mostly of excerpts from Pebbles, and others seemed loath to join in. Gradually, Wayne began to write down some of his memories and they developed into an extended essay on the Main Street of Cedar Vale as he remembered it.

When I had exhausted the store of excerpts from Pebbles, sometime early in 2008 others began to come online to fill the gap. Wayne continued to post his offerings, and Don Cox became the resident historian, since he is still living in CV and has the clearest and most extensive memory of early days there. He also has his companions at the Hill Top Cafe to fill in the details for him from time to time.

CV Memories gained local notoriety in Cedar Vale when Susan Schaff, editor of the CV Lookout section in the Winfield Courier began to use excerpts from the blog in her weekly news section. By this time, I was mostly serving as administrator and collector of the photos and other memoriabila that people sent along. I created the photo section you see on the blog from the stuff that was sent to me. I enjoyed bringing some of the older photos to life through the magic of Photoshop.

To be continued.

Help Us Keep This Blog Alive / Interesting

Gary and Don (and myself) are questioning whether it is worthwhile to keep this blog going. I believe that we should keep it going for at least another six months.

I'm not sure how to encourage more people to contribute. If just a few of you "watchers" would click "New Post" and share some of your memories of growing up and/or living in Cedar Vale the site would come alive again. If you don't want to write a little article then just chime in with a comment now and then. Your comment will appear just as soon as Gary or myself can OK it. I am still helping to delete spam in the comments every few days. I will continue to work with the site as long as there is activity.

I would be interested in hearing your memories about school outings, sports, family histories, favorite foods, "hanging out", first cars, teachers, pranks, summer / part-time jobs, fishing, hunting, dances, best friends, your travels, and what you have been doing since high school. I believe that it is also a good place to let us know about the welfare of friends and those we grew up with in Cedar Vale.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year

Things have been mostly quiet on the CV Blog this year, but I'll keep it up for 2011 to see if there is any more interest. If not, I many take it down later in the year. Any thoughts about this?