RAREBITS by Helen “The Bunny” Hellweg
June 26, 2013
Home of Cindy and Wing Ho, Bella Vista

If you ever want to meet two very nice people (and who doesn’t!) –- I know a great pair that I and (as of June 26) 19 other people can recommend. They are (drum roll and trumpets blaring, please) –- Cindy and Wing Ho. They were our PAPO hosts this past Wednesday in Bella Vista. What swell people. They opened their home, their yards, and their boat to us. And if you got to their home early enough (8 a.m.) you could go for a boat ride.

Glenn Benson, Joanne Ausburn, Brenda Longworth, Sherry Portman (welcome Sherry!) and John Dillingham’s cutie granddaughter – and budding artist – Hannah went, piloted by Cindy. She even wore the Captain’s hat, just to make it official. Of course, that meant these brave souls had to walk down 100 steps to the boat on Lock Lomond. (Which wasn’t bad. But wait for the kicker.) Afterwards, hopefully, they kept their fun boat ride in mind, as they climbed back up those 100 steps.

The rest of us wusses were content to sit or stand and paint or draw. When the Bunny arrived, she heard a guitar being played and figured it was a teenager (?). Actually it was Victor Parkerson plucking away on Wing’s guitar (a teen in spirit, anyway). Carol and Mike Tillery brought their granddaughter, Elaina, to model for us. Victor dashed off at least two complete watercolors of her, whilst the Bunny nit-picked her way thru one drawing. I know, I know, persnickety. Glenn meanwhile did two very effective drawings of an artist on the walkway amongst the surrounding woods, using a white pencil on light blue paper. Jim Goff sat on the dock and drew the water, the boats, the trees, the people on the boats, what they were having for lunch, etc.

From the other side of the hill came Phil and Wanda Wright. Phil got busy kibitzing with others and Wanda managed to get a few photos before the heat and humidity got too much (90 degrees plus – at least). It was good to again see Gloria Pendry, who painted in front of the house, and Annetta Gregory, who took multiple shots of the gorgeous red velvet flowers on a mandevilla (sp?) plant. Audrey Grothe arrived, smiled, said “HI!” and immediately set up to paint.

Victor’s house guest, Bob Pariseau, a fellow artist from Florida, brought pastels. Well, we have to question whether Bob really is from Florida; he wasn’t wearing a Ron Jon tee-shirt. Not like some other Floridian we know. Ah – remembering Florida, especially in the Summer What am I saying!? Today we ran a close second with our humidity and high temps.

Speaking of guests, John’s granddaughter, Hannah, is continuing in her grandpa’s steps (pretty big shoes to fill!) Not only does Hannah have John’s eyes and smile, she loves to paint – anytime, anywhere.

With all those growling stomachs setting up a chorus, we didn’t even have to announce it was LUNCH TIME! Not only did Cindy make us feel so very welcome – she fed us too! Made to order sandwiches with ham, chicken, cheese, and a gargantuan fresh fruit bowl. All the condiments, chips, soda, iced tea, and sponge cake bites. WOW!! The Bunny provided brownies of course (PAPOites here: Thanks, Bunny!). And if you’ve never seen a kitchen/dining area after PAPO people have scarfed down food – you are missing something quite – (well, I won’t say it’s as bad as ‘catastrophic’. More like – ‘overwhelming’). It’s really, well, on the road to ‘disaster-ville’. You’ll see it again at the next PAPO brown-bag-in-home meal. Don’t miss it!

Cindy and Wing: what can we say? Except a massive THANK YOU! — from our hearts to yours. You made us feel so-o welcome to your home and your thoughtfulness in every way spoke to us all.

God bless.

Karolyn Farrell, you’re in our thoughts and hearts. We hope you are feeling much better soon.

RAREBITS for July 11, 2012

RAREBITS by Helen “The Bunny” Hellweg
Home of Cindy and Wing Ho, Bella Vista
July 11, 2012

HA! The weatherman predicted temps were going to be cooler this week. C’mon . . . OK, so it was “only” in the mid to high 90’s instead of the over 100 temps we’ve been so vastly enjoying. But you know what? Even with the heat/humidity, sixteen PAPO people and guests were at Cindy and Wing Ho’s house in Bella Vista on July 11.

Out host, Cindy, took the early-arrivers (8 am-ers) on a pontoon ride around Lake Lomond. Enjoying the ride were Annetta Gregory, from Siloam Springs yet, John Dillingham and granddaughter/budding artist Hannah, Glenn Benson, who probably arrived at 7 a.m. and Brenda Longworth, from Stella Missouri. Not enjoying the 100 steps up from the lake were Annetta, John, Hannah (who acquired a good-size splinter in her hand) Glenn, and Brenda. Cindy was out of breath, too.

The rest of us pokey, draggy, sleepy-headed slugs figured 9 a.m. was early enough. After making a square with his fingers, sighting different views using his hand as a tube and finally getting out his viewfinder, Victor Parkerson decided to paint the Ho’s entryway (stick with white please). Jim Goff huffed and turned around to paint a scene across the road — from the middle of the street. We still don’t know whether it was fortunate there wasn’t any traffic.

Wanda Wright braved the 100 steps to get photos of the artists and the lake; husband Phil was under the weather and not present. OK, Phil, vacation is over. Joe Meyer and Millie Boothe took advantage of some of the landings on the infamous stairway and began painting from them. We couldn’t figure out where Linda Cassidy ended up. But you remember PAPO people and water. Just because she was wet and her shoes squished when she walked, Linda solemnly crossed-her-heart and said she did not skinny dip. (She just dove in with her clothes on.)

Above it all and ensconced on the shady and plant-filled deck, sitting and enjoying a spot of tea, The Bunny got out her drawing supplies. The very welcome iced tea was provided by Cindy.

Just before lunch, Karolynwithak Farrell dropped in to say “Hi” to all; husband Don wasn’t about to leave the AC cool car. When Brenda arrived for lunch, everyone oohed and aahed over her cute little wooden paint box. It’s just big enough to hold supplies and a wet 5 x 7 canvas. Pretty neat, huh? Almost everyone brought their brown-bag lunch. For those who didn’t (and for some who couldn’t resist) Cindy, ever the host, made sandwiches. Gotta’ tell you — she’s a great asset! She also presented her bountiful fresh fruit salad, The Bunny chimed in with triple-chocolate brownies and the deck was set for a satisfying “Chow Down!”

Cindy and Wing, thank you so much for your boundless hospitality. For being our parking directors. For the luscious fruit salad and the endless iced tea. And especially for your kindness in welcoming us PAPO people. Good company and good talk. Thank you.

God bless.

Tidbit: “Thank you, Bunny, for your famous brownies. Delish!”

RareBits for May 22

RAREBITS by The Bunny

Philbrook Museum of Art, Tulsa, Oklahoma

May 16, 2012

 Ah-h-h to ride with the wind blowing thru your hair (unless you have on a helmet) and in your face, swaying your motorcycle from side to side, your arms straight out at your sides (a.k.a. Kate and Leonard in “Titanic”), traveling 80 mph down the road. Wouldn’t that be really awesome?! * More on this later.

 Last Wednesday, May 16, five PAPO people met at the Philbrook Museum in Tulsa, Oklahoma, another glorious paintout day. On the way there Ann Powers told the Bunny, “I bet John (Dillingham) beats us there.” Yep, he did — but just. Brenda and Leroy Longworth drove all the way from Stella, Missouri.

Since there were just three cars, we were able to park in the back with the staff. And unload. Just so you now know, Ann has been made an official member of the staff. A “Philbrook Museum Photographer” complete with lanyard, ID card (no photo), and a key to the back gate. At least she was until she had to turn in the key.

Ann proceeded to unlock the gate and headed for the Rotunda. Brenda decided on the pond, serene and promising. She had forgotten her tripod, so (just like another PAPO member) she rigged up her chair as a tripod/easel and sat down on the grass. As the temp climbed, Brenda was really tempted to let out an ear-splitting “YEE-HAH!” and dive into the pond. We could follow John’s safari hat as he trekked into the wilds of the Philbrook Wild Game Preserve. Leroy dodged the sprinklers and tried, without success, to find a dry bench to take a nap on.

Then, came a bus load of 15- and 16-year old high school art students. After touring the museum’s art works, they descended on Ann at the Rotunda. Remember: she’s a museum official. So with many guffaws, giggles, and snickerings, some of the kids asked Ann if she would “marry them” in the Rotunda’s (to them, smaltzy) atmosphere. That’s until they heard her price. Some stopped at the Bunny’s outpost and listened to her moving speech on drawing.

Lunch was at the museum’s restaurant. There we were: a little grungy and a lot grimy. Except for Brenda, still slightly damp — but refreshed from her dip. Luckily our waiter set us at a table some distance from everyone else. (He recognized us.) But, good food and good gossip — er, talk.

* OK. To continue . . . This was the doofuss Ann and the Bunny followed (for a while) coming home on the Cherokee Turnpike. Yes, he was swaying. Yes, his arms were out at his sides, at 80 mph. And yes, we stayed way-y behind him, ’cause he was movin’!

Ann, thanks so much for setting up all the arrangements for our paintout and lunch at Philbrook Museum. (And for stopping at the Amish bakery for Whoopie Pies! You’re a true PAPO-ITE). Wednesday, we may have been few in number but we can always let our presence be known.

God bless.


From Bunny

Botanical Gardens of the Ozarks, Fayetteville
May 2, 2012

We’ve had some terrific weather when PAPO has been at the Botanical Gardens of the Ozarks for our paintouts.  On Wednesday, May 2, a stiff breeze every so often had the hats of Catherine Totten, Laverne Nelson and our host, Karolyn Farrell in a race to see which one would end up in the farthest pond. (Who won, guys?)  Anyway, that day’s weather was the terrific-est of all.

The Gardens Staff kept the tents up so we had shade.  Jim Goff took advantage in a quiet corner.  Jerry Plumlee (thank you, Jerry) provided a model, Brittany Cusanek, who looked lovely in sundress and straw hat. (And lots of sun screen).  Speaking of hats, Mary Helen Roper wowed us again. She had on a cloth, safari hat with a brim that drooped down her back to keep off the sun. She’s ready for Africa! Or the wilds of an Arkansas summer.

Victor Parkerson, Kay Pickett, Judy Maurer, and the Bunny joined in painting the model.  Annetta Gregory and Brenda Longworth disappeared into the Back 40. The chickens so charmed Millie Boothe, the chip in her camera wore out.  Back from her Plein Air symposium in Colorado, Cindi Ho brought back a resounding “Hi!” from Jeff Legg.  We thought we heard an awesome echo last week from out your way, Jeff.  A BIG “HOWDY!” back at ‘cha, guy.

John Dillingham headed straight for the Children’s Garden. He said he likes to see what would be new and entertaining for his grandchildren. (Uh-huh). Actually John likes to hand-over-hand himself up the slide and then plunge down, shrieking all the way (“Look Ma, no hands!”).

Former member Mary Collins, keeping in mind our exceptional sense of propriety and steadfast approach to achievement, rolled her eyes — and rejoined.  Welcome back, Mary!  Janis Ward was torn between whether to continue painting all the colorful  foliage (“three hours are just not long enough!”) and lunching with us colorful
PAPO-ians. Guess who won.

Cynthia Morris joined us for lunch at La Hacienda Restaurant. Victor insisted on hearing the saga of her TV interview.  Jerry said it was amazing to watch the other customers seated around us “just disappear” when we arrived.  Food was served — with the exception of Annetta’s. She had eaten the soup and rice. And now waited. Ahh — here it comes! Yikes! One half-chicken (a big ‘un!). And sauce. And tortilla shells.   Well, dinner for the family is taken care of. The ever-chipper Margie Goff charmed the owner with “muy guapo y simpatico!”

As an add on, John recounted his recent visit to Penguin Ed’s — and after our lunch there last Wednesday.  Before he was let in the door, the waiter looked around and made sure that little person with the red “St.L” Cardinals hat wasn’t with them.  Chalk another one up for the Bunny!”

Thanks, KarolynwithaK, for once again providing the perfect spot and time to see the always-fresh and different Gardens. I know you were relieved that we were so well-behaved. And “such a nice group, you (meaning “us”) can come back everyday.”  (This from a Garden staff member.)  Obviously — she’s new there.

God Bless.