Friday, October 30, 2009

Shoal Creek Harvest Festival

I'd heard about this annual event before, but ever since going there for the first time this summer, I really wanted to try and see it. Unfortunately, the weather that day so freezing that it could've been called the Shoal Creek Artic Festival.

At the first little farmhouse we stopped in, some re-enactors came in right behind us to warm themselves by the wood-burning stove. But they stayed in character and immediately barked, to the Mrs. in the kitchen, "What are these people doing in my house!?!" You could tell they loved doing it, and even funnier was that Jackson didn't know how to take them.

But after a bit he realized that they were playing and whispered to us, "They don't really live here."

A few "period" vendors had booths with their handiwork for sale. We gave Jack his choice of getting hot chocolate or an old-fashioned wooden toy. He chose the toy.

That same toymaker calligraphied everyone's names on little horse-shaped die-cuts for free, right there on the spot, just sitting at his picnic table.

Sunbonnet Sue walking past the mill.

Jack and I went on the horse-drawn trail ride, in a little covered wagon.

At first Jack thought these gunshots were fireworks.

Looking at the pelts for sale. It seemed like they had furs from every vermin imaginable.

The carpentry shop.

Thank goodness the wood-burning stove in the back of the school was working that day!

It was so cold, that we only stayed for an hour. But it's such a neat place — we'll definitely be back.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Landon's first haircut

Just in time for his first birthday.

Ready for take-off.

Like usual, Landon did great.

Watchin' Elmo.

Looks like a brand new man!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

The Great Punkin

How many times do I have to tell him? "No climbing on the produce!"

Tuesday, October 27, 2009


A couple of days after running into a former co-worker recently (while tailgating at the Northwest game at Arrowhead), her current marketing/advertising agency hired me to manage the PR and media relations for one of its clients — the American Royal Barbecue! With more than 500 teams from three different continents, it's the biggest barbecue contest in the world. And it was just 14 days away.

The Friday morning it began, I met Lindsay Shively, a reporter with NBC-41, at 4:30 a.m. and she broadcasted live all throughout the morning news. Oh, and temperatures were in the 40s with the first windchill factor of the season.

Here's another barbecue team up that early, tending to their meat, while Lindsay interviews Jim McNair, president and CEO of the American Royal. Yes, the guy in the red cap is wearing shorts.

Mmmm, barbecue — the breakfast of champions.

In the shadow of Kemper Arena.

Jeff Bell from 980 KMBZ.

Mid-morning, I had a chance to check out the grounds while all the teams were busy getting ready for Friday night's parties; the time, effort and expense that they go to is amazing. (Don't miss the old-fashioned gas pump on the right.)

Just a plain ol' chandelier rigged up beneath the overpass.


I got a call from Lindsay who returned, with a different cameraman, to report during the hour-long mid-day show, too! I quickly lined up interviews for her with the Jamaican team and the winner of last year's "Party of the Year."

Shaun Broyls, from KCTV-5, interviewing Bryan Beaver, chairman of the American Royal board of directors.

More party decor.

You can't tell from a still photo, but this rotisserie smoker rotates the ribs 'round and 'round.

Dr. BBQ.

For the Friday evening news, I worked with John Pepitone from FOX-4 and arranged interviews for Bev Chapman from KMBC-9.

It had already been a looong day, but I tracked down Paul & Patti before heading home.

Just one of the entry gates, as I headed out.

I remember the first time we went to the American Royal Barbecue, several years ago. As crazy as the whole atmosphere is, I realized that the entire event is simply about eating, drinking and having fun. Phil Peterson, freelance photographer for Ink, captured the thousands of people partying 'til the cows came home.

Back early Saturday morning.

Check it out, a huge RV pulled by a big-rig.

Liz Zamora and Jaime, a cameraman who I've gotten to know through the years, from NBC-41.

I spent at least an hour accompanying Susan Pfannmuller, a freelance photographer with The Kansas City Star.

Her shot in front of the "Bull Wall" art installation — of a boyfriend and girlfriend visiting from Phoenix for a friend's wedding, who said they wanted to truly experience Kansas City — was in the Sunday paper the next day.

This Texas team's chili was SPICY ... and delish!

BBQ-TV at the judging.

And the winner is...

Boondoggle BBQ — a former co-worker of mine!