Saturday, October 14, 2017

Newton, Kansas, Friends and Rocks

From Dodge City, we headed east to the town of Newton. It’s just north of Wichita, and there we were going to spend five nights. Our friends Bob and Nancy moved there this summer, and we needed to do some catching up, (Bob and I taught together for thirty years and spent eighteen years as partners, fishing the Walleye Circuit). We also had to drive to Kansas City where we were going to buy a beautiful piece of jade.
Finding a nice campground, Spring lake, we were happy to discover it was a Passport America Park. That saved us half of the camping cost! The next day we all headed to Kansas City to meet with the son of the Master Lapidarist, Dick Cline. Dick was our mentor and taught us more about lapidary, rock saws, and rock then everyone else combined. He passed away in May, at the age of ninety-two, just after we left Corpus Christi.
Arriving at Dana’s house Theresa invited us in and we talked of all the knowledge that Dick had imparted. He not only knew more about lapidary, but he had also traveled to twenty-three foreign countries where he had worked building nuclear power plants.
After Dana had told me of his Dad’s passing, he also asked if I wanted any of Dicks rough. I told him I really would like to buy a piece of jade from his dads shop and Dana and Theresa agreed to sell it to us.
He also asked me if I would help him price the other jade and so we spent about two hours. Dick had as good of a collection of Wyoming Jade as just about anybody and so it was a joy to handle the material. Not only were there several pieces of Edwards Jade, including a piece with the red rind, but there were also quite a few slabs of the finest apple green jade.
Dana and Theresa still have more things to do at Corpus and so I offered to lend them a helping hand. Saying our goodbyes, we headed back to Newton, where we were warmly greeted by our guard dog Molly, (she turns sixteen this month and has slowed down a lot, but is doing good for such a tough old girl).
The next few days, we spent taking walks around the city and meeting with Nancy’s cousin Mark and his wife. They had asked to see our work and so we set up a private showing. Mark is a master goldsmith and complimented us on our wire wrapping. His wife paid us the highest compliment as she hired us to wire wrap some Caribbean beach glass, (they sail the Caribbean each summer and they often collect beach glass).
The time went to quickly as the stories and memories were all told and retold.  Bob is like a brother to me and he helped to mentor me when I first started teaching.  They have expressed an interest in buying a summer place at Star Valley and we really hope they do. It’s a lot cooler there then it is in Kansas.

It was time to move on, a cold front blasted through and so we hooked up the rig and headed further south. We took two days to drive through Oklahoma and arrived at Eisenhower State Park in Texas. It’s a beautiful place where we will spend five nights before moving to the Gulf Coast!  Clear skies

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