Art, History, Kansas City, Uncategorized

Bob’s Perspective


I first fell in love with the Trading Post when I became friends with the previous owner. He and his roommate were pattern makers, prototypers, mold-makers, and inventors. They were living in the building, using the first floor for business and rehabbing the building at the same time.
When my predecessors acquired the building it had no foundation, the first floor was open, undivided, unfinished, with a cracked and deteriorated concrete floor, giving way here and there to native soil. The second floor contained two small, shabby apartments.

In a fashion I would later learn to be typical of their cleverness, they first jacked up the building and poured a foundation UNDER it! (Originally the Trading Post had been built up the hill. When a new road was put in on the other side of a small pond separating it from the building, the owner drained the pond, hitched the building to mules, and dragged it down the hill to rest on a shale outcropping back-filled with dirt. And so it settled for more than a hundred years.)

Then they stripped the inside of the building and restuded it in its new configuration. After applying interior wall surfaces, they stripped the outside and resurfaced it as well.

Midway in the project, in 1982 they moved their business to a large, downtown commercial building and decided to part with the trading post. Years before, after dreaming someday it would be my home, I told them if it was ever for sale- I wanted it at whatever price they deemed reasonable.

You see, I am an attorney by profession, but I have been an artist showing in galleries since childhood, and a musician who has played in public almost that long. It was my dream, locked away in my law office on the 18th floor of a bank building downtown that someday I would live, work, and maintain music and art studios all in the same place.

One glorious day I received a call from Drake, the remaining partner/owner- “make me an offer!” I secured open-ended financing and met with him to learn his price. He stated a desired sale price and I unhesitatingly agreed! Two days later Drake called and requested a meeting. After a lengthy preamble about all the things wrong with the building, the failing water heater, the 5 roofs dating in part to the Civil War era, the unfinished 2/3 of the interior, Drake lowered the price by $5,000 and gave me a stern lecture on never accepting the first offer!!!

Well, after this magnificent display of compulsive honesty we became friends for life, in early 1983 I became the glowingly proud owner of the Trading Post. The first day as I sat delighted in my huge empty building the doorbell rang. A little old man from up the block came to welcome me to the neighborhood. He told me about the long history of the building- trading post, saloon where it is said Doc Holliday ran the card game, grocery store, plumbing contractor, junk shop, design studio, and finally to me. He gave me a wonderful old picture of himself as a boy standing his uncles in front of the building with wood-spoked wheel delivery trucks and handlebar moustaches when he worked in the grocery store.

Despite all the work they had put into the restoration I was still left with a daunting task. The first floor was an undeveloped disaster. I had to stud in and build walls, pour a 2000 square foot floor, build a law office and studios, a darkroom for photography, and so forth. The second floor living space of 2500 square feet could only be entered by a 45-degree ladder from downstairs, or by climbing pile of wooden peach crates to reach the two doors, unaccountably hanging 4 feet above the ground! (The building was on a slope so that both floors were theoretically ground accessible.)

The living space was partially beautifully finished in oak truck bedding, doors, window treatments, and trim. Drake had purchased a freight car load of oak left unpaid in a bankruptcy and the whole interior shoe with luscious red oak, but there was a looooong way to go!

At first the building was wonderfully empty which suited my “Italian Industrial” style taste. The problem was that decades upon decades of settling and decay had warped and tilted every floor and angle in the place! Without adding optical illusion furniture and wall hanging placements one quickly felt like a drunk in a fun house walking about the building!

Of course the spare gallery look was not to last. As the work progressed, the artwork and guitars accumulated, and the junking expedition prizes were turned into furniture and light fixtures it took on a different look. In truth it was a full 12 years before I declared the job “done.” But of course it was not. A new roof, the yard cleared of anything that had to be mown for rock garden, hot tub, an 8’x30’ herb garden, and an outside home for our duck, many revisions, new bathroom, this and that, and here we are today.

Somehow 30+ years has filled the building with art work, one of a kind furnishings, odd antiques, musical instruments, and my new art hobby 1:12 scale miniature buildings, 10 of which now crowd the living room display space along with an enclosure for our two bunnies. Hardly room for another drawing!

Today it is a quirky but wonderful home for my wife, a scientist and talented artist, and I. What will it become next? Who is to say? Check with Terrie regularly on her blog Myhouse thetradingpost.com to find out!

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Art, blog, History, Kansas City, photography, Story, Uncategorized

Job Search, my house…

Why-Lie

 

Are there more job search sites than there are jobs? The online job sites include Monster, and Career builder. And more like, Career Experteer, USA Staffing, Jobs.com, Hire America, Jobungo, Snagajob, and once you go to any of those sites there are a number of employment agencies advertising openings.

However, they all have the some job. I have given my identification to so many hiring sources with no response. I have applied for the same position through a dozen employment agencies. I still can’t find a job. (I had my identity stolen and have to monitor everything now.)

There may be 6% unemployment recorded and the news media spouting long term unemployed are lazy and have too many government services available to them that they have no incentive to work. Well, that’s bull.

Many members of my extended family have experienced a strange change in society and the economy that has left a once proud middle class family to fend for themselves and muddle in poverty. Some family live on only $200-400 a month with children under five. Other like myself are older and the job market has squeezed us out. The only thing saving the over 50 group of unemployed from jumping off the bridge is the blessings of family and a home that is paid or nearly paid for.

Unemployment is hard work. It may mean waking up early to walk the neighborhood collecting aluminum cans. Or spending the afternoon counting pennies to cash in for a gallon of milk. I have ambition, talent, and skills that go to waste because of the computer human resource trends.

As for the guy in the photo, Bob and I saw him sitting along one of the popular beaches in California, during one of my business trips (a few years ago when I had a job). We thought it was really funny. The guy didn’t appreciate that we took his picture; I can’t repeat what he said to us after the shot was taken. What is not funny, is homelessness. I feel that we are closer to losing everything despite all the good work  we put into our lives.

Times are getting rough for some, others remain gainfully employed. If you have a job, you are one of the lucky ones.

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Art, blog, History, Kansas City, music, photography, Story, Uncategorized

Slowly, my house

Slowly I turn, step by step, inch by inch…

Something new is coming. My blog, My House The Trading Post, is slowly gaining followers. Wow!

The type of stories that I enjoy sharing are about the Belles of Westport, stories about Westport fashions then and now, stories of the Civil War, and Love Stories then and now. The posts that were least viewed were the stories of music and art that we make here at the house.

What I have learned about blogging is shorter posts are often viewed more than longer posts. Inspirational messages are also favored by more views. I have also learned that one post a day is preferred over multiple posts a day.

Thank you for viewing my post.

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Art, blog, History, Kansas City, Story, Uncategorized

Streets Covered In Snow

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I think the Kansas City Mayor follows my blog. Several weeks ago I wrote a blog story about the three snow trucks in a row. The snowplows were barely skimming the pavement. It appeared that the Kansas City snowplows were traveling too fast and the shovel wasn’t engaged low enough to move any snow off the street. I also twittered their technique didn’t look right and that the ‘Kansas’ side was clear.

This morning the snow laid on the ground, all the neighborhood covered in white. The Kansas City snow plow trucks are out and working. They just did my neighborhood. I didn’t expect the street to be clear’d so soon. In fact, I had cancelled my doctor appointment because of the snow.

In Westport Missouri, an icy snow is several inches thick on the roads, and unlike the last time the snowplows are doing a much better job. I love the snow. I don’t like the cold.

Snow-angel

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Art, blog, Kansas City, Uncategorized

Twinkind, my house the trading post

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Imagine dollhouses or work scenes with dolls of actual family members and coworkers. Twinkind uses a state-of-the art 3D scanning and color printing technology. The result is stunningly detailed figurines that you can hold in your hands and observe from any angle. – See more at: http://www.twinkind.com/en/product#sthash.HnpYNyWv.dpuf

I found the site browsing. I am intrigued. However, a 1:12 scale, plastic doll costs about $450. This will detour me from purchasing one. The dolls are made on a 3D computer that melts plastic to the dimension and shape programmed. Very cool, in my opinion.

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http://dollhousesby.wordpress.com

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Art, Kansas City, Story, Uncategorized

Art Projects, my house the trading post

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Six dollhouses we have made in the last year. Each one is a tribute to our life. My career spanned 25 years working as a medical technologist in academic, clinical, and hospital laboratories. My husband has had an exciting career as a lawyer, artist, and musician. The third dollhouse was a room of shops that represented Bob’s law office and an art gallery. Within the art gallery are miniature replicas of his current art works.

The fourth dollhouse was made out of all the left over wood scraps. We call it, Eddie’s Market. My grandson, is Eddie. He likes being a shop owner. He is three. The fifth dollhouse was actually a 1:12 scale travel trailer we converted into a wiener wagon. My son’s dream is to own a food truck.

The sixth dollhouse is my pride and joy. It is a scale laboratory. The details are very good. The remarkable detail is important, because laboratory supplies are not available in the miniature world. However, some medical equipment and nurses and doctor dolls are available. Since laboratory personnel are often offended when mistaken for a nurse, I made reasonable efforts to convert or hand make the items in the laboratory scene.

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Art, blog, History, Kansas City, music, photography, Story, Uncategorized

KC Art, my house the trading post

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In February, 1897, the art association of Kansas City opened a gallery to the public. The art gallery’s idea was conceived by William Rockhill Nelson, who presented the city a collection of reproductions of the old masters, for purposes of study. The reproduction of the greatest pictures of the old masters of the Italian, Spanish, Dutch, and Flemish schools were commissioned by the best copyists. Even the frames were reproduced. These paintings, together with an extensive collection of large carbon prints and a number of well selected casts were presented as a gift to the people of Kansas City in 1896.

William R. Nelson, built his residence called Oak Hall in 1888. The home, sheathed in stone, lied on a large tract of land south of 45th street and east of Oak Street. After it was demolished in the 1920s, the William Rockhill Nelson Gallery of Art and Mary Atkins Museum was constructed on the site. The gallery opened in 1933.

The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, as it is known today, is open daily at 4525 Oak Street in Kansas City Missouri. I love this place, it is magnificent and filled with many, many works. A pleasant and free place to take the kids. Along each floor, a child’s guide is available. This guide has activities like matching or locating pictures of works of art found in a corridor or room. A child as young as three, can help find the picture hanging on the wall. My grandson and I enjoy this game.

Check out my blog for more art. “Secrets”

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