District 2 Spotlight:
Tougher ’N A Boot by Buster Jenkins is an autobiographical story that takes the reader from humble beginnings on a Kansas farm through a life at sea (where he got the reputation of being “tougher ’n a boot”) and on to a remarkable career in the field of music.
Buster was the Mid-Western Fiddling Champion for 7 years, and Banjo Picking Champion for 2 years. He’s appeared with many Grand Old Opry stars and has performed for former President Gerald Ford and former First Lady Rosalynn Carter. He’s been inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in the state of Colorado and into the Mid-America Old Time Fiddler’s Hall of Fame. Buster and his wife Betty, who have performed for fellow District 2 members, were a favorite when they recently entertained Kansas Authors Club members at the Literary Contest Awards Luncheon of the 2004 Centennial Convention in Topeka.
This past summer Tougher ’N A Boot was listed among the top 36 in a Kansas City Star list of “Books to Read.” The book is available at local bookstores and on Amazon.com.
I’m saddened to report the untimely passing of a person whose name had become a household word for many District 2 members. Shirley Swayne, Ottawa, presented workshops at our 2003 Kansas Authors Club Convention in Emporia, and also honored us with a well received presentation on “Identifying and Avoiding Clichés” at our District 2 meeting in April of 2004. Shirley was the recipient of three Masters Degrees and wore many hats. She was an Assistant Professor and Chair of the Art Dept. at Ottawa University, lectured at the Kansas City Art Institute, taught at Johnson County Community College, Fort Scott Community College, and Neosho County Community College, as well as teaching creative writing at the Ottawa Community Arts Council, and organizing and leading the “Pen to Paper” writing group. No matter what topic she spoke on, Shirley had a unique way of presenting it. She will be missed.
Kathryn Croan Cooper is a District 2 member I’ve been corresponding with, as time permits. We’ve never met face to face, but I feel as though I’ve known her a long time. Poor vision and failing health keep the 85-year-old author mostly confined to her home in Garnett, so attending our monthly meetings and annual convention are out of the question for her. Kathryn’s 25th and 26th books are currently being printed. She recently sent me a copy of a book of poetry she wrote in 1992, entitled Quittin’ Time, Never! and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed reading it. Kathryn gave me permission to read from it at our 2004 convention, and if possible, I will do so. However, I would like to share one of her poems with our District 2 members. She calls it “Half & Half?” and it goes like this:
I’m called an Author/Poet
(I grit my teeth and grin)
For between a rock and a hard place
Is the spot that puts me in.
’Cause they call us poets “crazy”
And the authors “smart” you see
So if I’m “half of each” we know
Just what I’m s’posed to be!
Two of Kathryn’s books, Wonderful World Of Sound and Hooterville Rainbow, were chosen by the Reagans for their presidential collection.
I’m pleased to report that some District 2 members contributed to the success of our KAC 2004 Centennial Convention, hosted by District 1. Mark Bouton, author of Max Conquers The Cosmos, presented a workshop on “Getting Your Novel Published.” Buster Jenkins, Hall of Fame Fiddler and author of Tougher ‘N A Boot, and his lovely, talented wife Betty, provided entertainment at the Literary Contest Awards Luncheon on Sunday. Behind the scenes, Mark Bouton assisted with convention planning and coordinated the author book signings, and Sam Pierson assisted with luncheon table decorations and in the Bookroom.
District 2 Convention Winners
It gives me great pleasure to announce that for the second successive year, a District 2 member has been awarded the prestigious J. Donald Coffin Memorial Book Award. Mark Bouton was the winner this year for Max Conquers The Cosmos. Tom Mach won last year for Sissy!
Two District 2 members were presented Awards of Merit at the Saturday night banquet. Edith Bradford Gustafson, Moran, was awarded an Achievement Award and Barbara Curry, Lawrence, was given an award for Service. Both were well deserved. Congratulations, ladies.
Other District 2 winners were as follows:
Barbara Curry, Lawrence, 3rd place in Free Verse for “Accessible for Joy.”
Mary-Lane Kamberg, Olathe, 3rd place for “What You Should Know About Hospice” and HM for “Brockway Mills: Retrofitting a Small Hydro Project” in the Feature Article category, and 3rd place in Short Story for “The Elephant’s Whiskers.”
Beverly Lyons, Fulton, 3rd place in the Prose Theme contest for “Keeper of the Soil,” and HM in the Poetry Theme Contest for “Looking Up.”
Diane Palka, Baldwin, both 2nd and 3rd place in Japanese Forms, for “Mortality” and “Migration.”
Sam Pierson, Lebo, 2nd place for The Longest Night (A True Story) in First Five Pages of a Book.
Joann Williams, Princeton, 1st place for “William Eli Cox, The Old Prospector” in Story for Children.
CONGRATULATIONS to all our winners for a job well done!
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Items of Interest:
Tom Mach, Lawrence, was elected KAC State Recording Secretary at the ’04 convention in Topeka. Way to go, Tom!
Larry Rochelle, new District 2 member, was honored at a reception in Cincinnati, Ohio on November 14, where his books Prof Rap and Cracked Crystals were especially recognized. Congrats, Larry!
District 2 Met in Fort Scott
by Barbara Curry
The combined meeting of District 2 members was held on the 2nd Saturday in September at Fort Scott Community College. Only two members were able to attend from Lawrence, but there was a large local contingent. A visitor at the luncheon meeting was Marian Holmes, sister of Barbara Curry.
Joyce Sinn, former English teacher, and her daughter Michelle McClendon, former journalist and college English instructor, had prepared a clever Jeopardy-type program to refresh our memories of correct rules of grammar. Many found that they could use a review of these rules.
Barbara Curry told of the delightful visit she and Jean Jackson had with Edith Gustafson (see below) in her home near Moran, where they enjoyed visiting and seeing some of her animal and nature paintings.
Members wrote brief messages to be given to Edith, along with an enlargement of her photograph.
Left- Jean Jackson, District II secretary, presents achievement award to Edith Gustafson
Below- Edith with her award and one of her paintings.
Anne Haehl, PhD., District 2 member, presented a workshop at our October meeting in Lawrence and shared with us how she sews up the problems of oral presentation. It was extremely beneficial to those of us who love to write but hate to perform (read aloud our creations.)
Our Way With Words, the Kansas Authors Club Centennial Book, was distributed at the convention. ALL members whose dues are paid up to date are entitled to a free copy. However, there will be a $5.00 mailing charge now that the ’04 convention is behind us. Please contact Raymond Nelson to get your copy.
We’re hoping to resume our annual District 2 contest for both prose and poetry, providing we can find someone willing to chair it. Any volunteers? If so, please contact Joann Williams, 1209 Indiana Terr., Princeton KS 66078 ASAP so we can get the ball rolling.
If you have any items you’d like included in our District 2 Newsletter, please send them to Joann Williams, 1209 Indiana Terr., Princeton, KS 66078, or e-mail Joann.Williams@gentiva.com
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FEATURE: Meet Our Oldest Member
by Barbara Curry, District 2
On the 3rd Wednesday in May, right after our writing group at the Senior Center, Jean Jackson and I started south from Lawrence. Our destination–Moran, Kansas on Highway 54, almost straight south of Lawrence. We were anxious to meet the oldest Kansas Authors Club member of District 2, Edith Gustafson. Our district president, Joann Williams, told us about Edith and I had pursued, obtaining her phone number by calling the city clerk of Moran.
After my first phone conversation with Edith, I was more determined than ever to meet her. She had been so cool, friendly, and easy to talk with. I called her again the day before our visit to forewarn her, and she seemed happy we were making the trip. I have forgotten to mention that Edith is 102 years of age.
When we arrived at her little white country cottage she was seated in a comfortable, straight-backed armchair with cushions. She sat quite straight and looked at us through attractive glasses with extra large frames that set off her bright eyes. Those eyes seemed filled with amusement. In fact she found something amusing in most of the stories she told us about herself. She was surrounded by a globe, world map, and paintings of a horse, a bird in flight and a seascape, which she herself had painted. We were genuinely impressed.
Edith told us it had been her parents’ home, and she had cared for them until they passed away, both in their mid-nineties. Edith outlived her two sons.
She talked about the book she had recently finished writing, about a coyote who shares her nearby countryside.
Time passed all too quickly and we hoped we hadn’t worn her out. As she showed us to the door, I saw a crutch under her right arm. I hadn’t noticed it earlier. She talked a bit about the value of good breathing and exercise. She seemed a wonderful example to me, and I look forward to seeing her again
District 2 members in:
December Member News: Larry Rochelle
November Member News: Mark Bouton • Buster Jenkins
October Member News: Sam Pierson
September Member News: Tom Mach
August Member News :
Mark Bouton — Barbara Curry — Anne Haehl — Edith Gustafson —
Buster Jenkins — Mary-Lane Kamberg — Tom Mach — Sam Pierson
July Member News : Barbara Curry — Jean Jackson — Tom Mach
June Member News : Tom Mach
May Member News : Mark Bouton
April Member News : Mary-Lane Kamberg — Tom Mach
March Member News : Mark Bouton — Sam Pierson
February Member News : Tom Mach
January Member News : Tom Mach
October 9 Meeting: Anne Haehl, a published poet with a doctorate in speech and a master’s in English, shared tips to improve oral presentations.September 11 Meeting: Our September meeting was hosted by our gifted Fort Scott group in their historical city. Guest speaker was Joyce Sinn. Luncheon was served at the conclusion of the program. We met in a room in the cafeteria building at Fort Scott Community College, 10 a.m. August 14 Meeting: held at the Lawrence Public Library, 7th & Vermont, 9:30 a.m. until 12:00 noon. April 17 Meeting: Shirley Swayne presented a workshop entitled “Identifying and Avoiding Clichés.”