Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Gordon Parks Coming Home to Kansas

Gordon Parks will be buried in Fort Scott, Kansas, next week. He will be laid to rest beside his parents.

Parks is well known for his photographs and his books. But he was also a poet, musician, composer and film maker.

Some years ago he spoke at the Dillon Lecture Series. Unfortunately, it was before I was here, so I didn't get to see that.

But he became friends with a woman, Barbara Peirce, who was instrumental in starting that series. I interviewed her many times and she was a dynamo. She died some years ago, long before her years would indicate it was "her time."

When I went to her funeral, they read a poem that Gordon Parks had written for her, remembering their friendship. At the time I thought, "wow, it's good to live your life in such a way that Gordon Parks writes a poem for your memorial service." Barbara was that kind of person.

It's odd how our brains file things. I never hear Gordon Parks' name without thinking of Barbara.

Now they're both gone.

Big Love Deal Makes Mediaweek

The "Big Love" deal from HBO that my podcast, Art of Gracious Living, was included in, is generating lots of interest among media types.

New Fun Survey Thing

Birthday:Dec. 23
Current Location:Kansas
Eye Color:blue
Hair Color:brown
Right Handed or Left Handed:both
Your Heritage:French, English, German and a few other things
The Shoes You Wore Today:crocs
Your Weakness:perfume
Your Fears:not living fully
Your Perfect Pizza:pepperoni
Goal You Would Like To Achieve This Year:
Your Most Overused Phrase On an instant messenger:I don't use IM so I have no idea... but "I'm a model..." might be it
Thoughts First Waking Up:"Wow! Great! I woke up! Thank you for another day."
Your Best Physical Feature:hair
Your Bedtime:varies tremendously
Your Most Missed Memory:
Pepsi or Coke:diet sprite
MacDonalds or Burger King:neither
Single or Group Dates:
Lipton Ice Tea or Nestea:neither
Chocolate or Vanilla:either
Cappuccino or Coffee:neither
Do you Smoke:no way
Do you Swear:on occasion
Do you Sing:yes
Do you Shower Daily:I prefer baths.
Have you Been in Love:yes
Do you want to go to College:already have
Do you want to get Married:maybe - who knows what the future holds
Do you belive in yourself:yes
Do you get Motion Sickness:yes
Do you think you are Attractive:sometimes
Are you a Health Freak:no
Do you get along with your Parents:my parents are gone but I did
Do you like Thunderstorms:yes
Do you play an Instrument:yes
In the past month have you Drank Alcohol:no
In the past month have you Smoked:never have - never will
In the past month have you been on Drugs:no
In the past month have you gone on a Date:no
In the past month have you gone to a Mall:no
In the past month have you eaten a box of Oreos:no
In the past month have you eaten Sushi:no
In the past month have you been on Stage:yes
In the past month have you been Dumped:no
In the past month have you gone Skinny Dipping:no
In the past month have you Stolen Anything:no
Ever been Drunk:yes
Ever been called a Tease:no
Ever been Beaten up:no
Ever Shoplifted:no
How do you want to Die:doing something I love
What do you want to be when you Grow Up:me
What country would you most like to Visit:long list of them
In a Boy/Girl..
Favourite Eye Color:doesn't matter
Favourite Hair Color:doesn't matter as long as it's not red
Short or Long Hair:doesn't matter as long as it's clean
Height:doesn't matter
Weight:doesn't matter
Best Clothing Style:doesn't matter as long as it's clean
Number of Drugs I have taken:I refuse to answer on the grounds it may incriminate me - or more likely - others.
Number of CDs I own:have no idea
Number of Piercings:one hole in each ear - that's all for me
Number of Tattoos:none - not letting anyone other than a medical professional with multi years of training stick needles into me
Number of things in my Past I Regret:I don't believe in regret.


Today was Mental Health Advocacy day at the capitol. It's also the day that we did the Compeer Legislative Breakfast. There were lots of activities on the first floor, but we were up on the third floor, where most of the legislators and staff were. It was good. The only down side was we started at 6 a.m.

Wichita brought up their mascot, IC Hope. He's a trademarked character used by MHAs around the country to spread the message of "Don't Duck Mental Health." He was very popular - the governor had her photo taken with him, along with the Executive Director in Wichita and the Director of the Compeer Program there. They were on the Topeka local TV news today, too.

Compeer is a great program. We match community volunteers with people who are recovering from a mental illness. The program has tremendous impact on people's lives.

I didn't get a chance to leave our area much, so only got to see a little bit of the capitol. But, I was struck by just how many kinds of marble one can get into one small area.

Over the years, I've been drawn to Topeka for multiple reasons, the most recent of which was the last boyfriend, who lived north of here. When I spent time at his apartment we were in Topeka a lot, and just tonight they were talking about the place he used to live, which is not a major area, and yet there it is on the news. Seems like there are always reminders of him, regardless of where I go and what I do. Oh well... such is life. In December I realized one day that I had stopped missing him every day. But reminders of him seem to continually pop up nonetheless.