Thursday, December 14, 2006

Holiday Travels, Memories, and Serial Killers

The fact that we haven't updated for almost two weeks should be a sign of how hectic things have been for us. Laura has been teaching a 25-person Chicano lit class. At UT this would be a nice, small size, but here it's the upper limit for a class, and handling this number of people without a TA and on the intense all-day-every-day schedule of the Block Plan is exhausting. I have been trying to get a couple of publications out before the end of the year.

We won't be in Kansas over the holidays, but we did make it there for Thanksgiving. Here is a picture of the two of us with my folks, my brother, my Aunt Rita's family, and my cousin Sarah's boyfriend's family at the Clinton Lake, not far from my folks house.

And here is a picture my aunt took of my folks' house as she and my uncle were leaving.

Thanks to Chuck & Rita for the pics!!

While in Lawrence, we did some early Christmas shopping at the Bizarre Bazaar, a craft fair that appears to have become an annual event in the years of my absence. Lawrence has grown and changed much since I left in 1987, but every time I return I see signs that the small college town I knew isn't entirely gone. One of these was the fact that I could walk into the fair and see for sale on the wall a picture (left) of the family doctor in Tonganoxie who treated me as a child AND pictures of a late record-store cat who once belonged to my best friend from high school. Of course, it wouldn't be Lawrence without a touch of strangeness. In Northeast Kansas and Western Missouri, the phrase "Bizarre Bazaar" inevitably evokes memories of the serial Killer Bob Berdella, who sold skulls, shrunken heads, and eerie occult paraphernala from a booth called "Bob's Bizarre Bazaar" at the flea market in Westport when I was in high school. In 1988, a man bearing signs of torture and wearing only a dog collar escaped from Berdella's Kansas City house, and Berdella was later discovered to have murdered and mutilated six people. The case has acquired a "cult" status, and films have been made. The thing I can't figure out is, how does this name pass to a crunchy-chewy craft fair in Lawrence where a friend of ours sells childrens' clothing made from used fabrics under the label "Wee-cycle?" Somebody has a sick sense of humor.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

what a great family picture!

December 15, 2006 9:01 AM  

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