People came in.
More people came in.
Still more people came in.
And just like that, instead of empty tables, we had 80 people and few empty chairs.
Students, professors, and some leaders at the University of Central Missouri brought a brown bag lunch and gathered in the basement of the Chapel to hear more about The 70273 Project.

They didn’t leave, even when this is what greeted them.








When looking at the photos taken by The 70273 Project Documentarian Alison Chambers, I discovered these photos of Dr. Clifford-Napoleone introducing me and me speaking. We already share so many traits, characteristics, beliefs, and Southernisms Amber and I do, might this be more evidence that we were separated at birth?

There were really good questions, as I’ve come to look forward to from students here at the University of Central Missouri, and I’m delighted to tell you that the goodness of the  conversations grew as the faculty joined in. It was great.

Honor Roll of Alumni Faculty and Students for whom the Chapel is dedicated

The Alumni Chapel, site of the Brown Bag Lunch, was built in honor of students, staff, and professors who lost their lives in World War 1, World War 2, Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan.

Alison and I left the Chapel and went to the UCMo bookstore, where textbooks are displayed on open shelves just like in the good ole’ days before non-student textbook geeks like us weren’t allowed to poke around. Somehow I only bought three books.

Wednesday evening found us talking to folks at the Warrensburg First Presbyterian Church. It was another great group of delightful people, fantastic questions, and communal tears of joy and pain shed by women who are grandmothers, mothers, teachers, friends, siblings, and just plain ole’ caring women.


Miles Apart, Art Quilt by Susan Stevenson. This is the one that was in the Fissures Exhibit.

An Uneasy Chair, Art Quilt by Susan Stevenson

As I moved from pew to pew introducing myself before the program began, Susan Stevenson introduced herself to me. We both had a quilt juried into the Fissures exhibit at the Emerald Art Center in Oregon last year. AND I saw two of her amazing quilts (shown here with her permission) in the Faculty Art Gallery the day before as I was leaving the building after talking with the Fibers Class that was filled mostly with Art Education majors. Susan teaches Interior Design at University of Central Missouri, and I’m delighted to have met another talented art quilter in person!

L to R: Amber Clifford-Napoleone, Emma, and Jeanne

From the church, we went to Café Blackadder where we had the best supper. Alison got a large slab of tree that was filled with yummy fresh fruits. I’ve never been accused of being a foodie, y’all, but I sure did enjoy my grilled cheese / fig / balsamic vinegar / garlic mayonnaise sandwich with a side of sea salt chips. (It also came with pickled red onions, but I asked that they lave those off.) And just wait till you hear how Emma (shown above) spent her summer, coming soon to a blog post near you.

Thursday morning found us at the McClure Archives and University Museum enjoying unscheduled conversations with students, some of whom taped short videos telling us about how The 70273 Project impacts them.

At 2:00 Thursday afternoon I had the honor of speaking to another great group of interested folks at the Midwest Center for Holocaust Education. More good conversations, more good questions. When we arrived, we couldn’t help but notice how many armed security guards were in attendance, each wearing a bulletproof vest. Most interior office doors – even the ones with glass – were locked so we had to be buzzed in. Such security measures were necessary in the aftermath of the murders committed there several years ago. It all made me feel safe and sad at the same time.

It was still early when we left the Jewish Campus, so Alison and I took ourselves to one movie, and as we were ordering the food that would be delivered to us in the theatre, we decided that the timing worked out just fine for us to see an another movie. We saw “Angel Has Fallen” first (we were the only two in the theatre, and wouldn’t you know this is the chair I sat in.) (Yes, I moved.)  then there was just enough time to grab a drink at the theatre’s bar before going to see . . . wait for it . . .  “Downton Abbey.”

As we exited the theatre, we were greeted with the delicious sound of “That Old Time Rock and Roll”, and it was live music. Following our ears (that’s what Alison did – I danced down the sidewalk), we landed right smack dab in a street party. What a fun surprise! The sidewalk jewelry said “Dance fist. Think later,” and that’s just what we did.

Two more days at this wonderful place. Alison and I want time to slow down.