August 2009


IMG_8922Sam and Sara Killian have been family friends for several years.  Recently, they sold their house and were moving to another town.  Since their 3 children had grown up in in this home, they wanted to have a few family photos to remember this period of their life.  Once the kids had grown tired of taking pictures, we let them cut loose to play, have fun, and get energy…And this is a probably the best time to capture photos of kids 🙂

Thank you Sam & Sara for asking me to capture the moment!

To see all pictures, visit my online photography portfolio!

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IMG_1217Despite living in a sports town with easy access to baseball games, we usually only actually attend one game per year.  This year’s attendance can be attributed to Willie and Debra, whom took us to see the Rockies vs. Giants as a generous thank you for recently doing their wedding photos.  The four of us took the light rail downtown for dinner at Wynkoop and then to the game.  Fortunately the games are interesting as the Rockies have just been barely in the lead for the wildcard playoff spot, so every game counts.

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IMG_8723Willie has been a good friend to us for several years.  Along the way in our journey with him, he met and fell in love with Debra.  After a long engagement with little timeline to have an official wedding date, they finally decided and were married within a month.  There was no real planning for their wedding as it was small, intimate, (and almost impromptu) on a cool summer evening.  I was greateful to be asked to be there photographer.

To see all of the pictures, visit my photography portfolio online!

Congratulations Willie and Deb!!

Kara gave me a great birthday present this year…which I was able to use while camping.

Emergency room, here I come!

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It has taken me to time to get to this post, but I (Nicolas) wanted to take a moment to honor the life of my grandmother, Lillian Moseley, who passed away in mid-June at the age of 92.  Though I had not grown up being around Grandma much, during/after college I always made it a point to stop in Russell (KS) to visit her on my way home (Harper KS), mostly always staying overnight and for breakfast.  Through this, we developed a fond relationship.  Below are just a few memories…

  • In our visits, she would always joke about needing to put away the ‘nasty’ cigarettes she smoked.  When she was in the hospital prior to her passing, she still continued to joke about it, except that she would say “Well, I haven’t been able to smoke for several weeks because of the hospital, so I’m just gonna quit.”  It made me laugh because she said it with such certainty and as if it was of no consequence.
  • For breakfast, Grandma would always cook an entire package of bacon…whether there were 4 of us staying, or only Kara and I, or just myself.  We’d always eat the bacon, but by the end we would be quite tired of it!
  • Grandma always loved to send some of her homemade goodies with us, mostly canned fruit jams.  And they were always delicious.
  • Even at 92, Grandma’s mind was still sharp and she always remembered events from the past and always made sure to talk about them…and it always brought a smile to her face.

Anyhow, those are just a few memories.  I am continually thankfully for the individuals around her that helped take care of her during the several years when she was physically unable.  For the neighbors who mowed her lawn, the people who prepared her meals, and especially for Sammy, though being paid to take care of Grandma, really became family and a great friend for Grandma.  Below is one of the last pictures Kara and I had with Grandma, then after that is a little family history, which was written by her nephew Chuck McMillan.

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This is a brief history of McMillan family
By Chuck McMillan

 William McMillan and Rachel McMillan (nee Darby) had a family of 14 children 8 boys and 6 girls there was one set of twins among them a boy/girl. The family was raised on a farm located about 1 1/2 mile west of Lucas Kansas along a creek that runs into Wilson Lake. The school that has been restored about a mile just west of Lucas is where the children went to school. They walked to school or sometimes road horses when the weather was bad it was about a little over a mile. Their house was a two story frame house built in the early 1900 with the help of neighbors and friends. It is no longer standing although the barn is still there.

 All of the farming was done with horse and mule no tractors they had no electricity they had an ice house where they would cut blocks of ice from the creek in the winter and stored the ice on a bed of wheat straw underground and ice would last most of the summer. After the depression and dust bowl days they moved to a home in Lucas and opened a service station close to downtown Lucas. The service station still stands.

 The family would have a yearly reunion every Labor Day and most of the time all their children would return home. There would be people sleeping on the floor all over the house on the porch in cars in tents. Ralph and Lillian would gather up kids in their car and take them home and we would stay with them. There were a couple uncles that had farms close by and sometimes we stayed with them. There was also a great aunt that lived in a rock house a few blocks away. That house is still there.

 When I was 1 1/2 years old my mother gave birth to twin boys my brother’s jack and jerry and I stayed at grandma’s house for a little over a year. Ralph and Lillian would often take me home on weekends.  My grandma often told me stories about that time and about me eating her rubber plant and fern and diaper mishaps and grandpa giving me a bath Grandma always had chickens and geese and a garden and she had a goose that would always chase me and bite me. I would help her gather eggs and stuff from the garden but I had to always watch out for that goose.

 My fondest memories of visiting grandma and grandpa McMillan was that it was always around my birthday also grandma and Lillian’s. So I always got a cake. I would exchange gifts with grandma and Lillian I would give them a hanky to put on their breast pocket as that was fashionable at the time to wear a hanky with a broach pinned to their dress. Grandpa would take us kids to the service station and give us kids candy bars and tell us stories.

 Back in the 30s and 40s there was a lot of oil drilling around Russell and there were oil wells everywhere in that area. Ralph worked in the oil fields and would later die as a result of an oilfield accident. He enjoyed town events and always participated. In the town parades and the beard growing contests. He was always doing some practical joking and told bawdy poems and was kind of the life of the party. There was always laughing and fun at Lillian’s.  My dad also told bawdy poems and Ralph and him would try to outdo each other. They would shoo us kids away and tell their stories but we would sneak back so we could hear them.

 My dad had a favorite saying (jack of all trades but master of none) he really was a master carpenter and could build anything .he spent several years building concrete forms for road bridges on highway 36 through Kansas and into Colorado you can still see some of the bridges today that are along the current highway 36 since it has been upgraded. He was a mechanic once pulling the oil pan from the engine and removing a bad bearing and cut a section of his belt as a temporary bearing on a trip home from grandmas this was done along the highway. Back in those days interstate 70 was a two lane potholed patched oiled road and wound through the middle of every town. A lot of the bridges were wood and you had to be careful crossing them to avoid the spikes that had come loose.

 Once when I was about 5 or 6 Ralph took me fishing from grandma’s house at Lucas KS we drove to Blackwell OK where he loaded up his trunk with beer and whisky because at that time Kansas was a totally dry state. When we were on our way back he stopped in Salina KS at a groceries store and bought several catfish. When we arrived back at grandmas Lillian was a little mad at Ralph for being gone so long but all the guys went out in the yard and had a beer and grandma cooked the fish for supper. I met Ralph’s folks several times over the years but didn’t know them well they had a farm around Russell KS that we went to once.

 When Clark and Lillian first got together they were at a family gathering and Lillian’s brothers and sisters told her she was living in sin and treated her badly and made her cry. She and I went for a long walk and talked about it for about an hour and I had told her that it wasn’t a sin for her to be happy and that she should continue with her life with Clarke that she deserved some happiness in her life. A while after that they got married. on their fishing trips to the coast I asked them to stop in Austin tax and spend some time with us they stopped by once and I visited them once on the coast and went fishing. Lillian and I corresponded with several letters a year but I didn’t get to see her much during the time she was married to Clarke. After Lillian’s accident I was then living in St Louis and would go see her several times a year. We would talk about old times and trips she had made and places she had been. She was my favorite aunt my best buddy and like a second mom to me I loved her dearly and I will miss her.