End of an Era

Last weekend kind friends helped me continue a decades old tradition of selling Ken’s pottery and produce for our “Spring Opener” the first weekend in May.  Since Ken’s death, many people have asked me what my plans are.  Until now I have simply answered truthfully, “I don’t know.” But after last weekend some things have become clear.  And I can state unequivocally that I have no desire to do pottery and produce retail sales on …

Continue reading

Stan and the Crock

Ken was a real do-it-yourself guy.  But even he knew his limitations.  Back in the day people built their own houses rather than having them built.  And they got knowledgeable friends to help with their weaker areas of skill.  Ken was excellent at concrete, wood, sheet rock, etc.  Electrical and plumbing, well he felt less confident.  So he asked Stan to check all his work.   Stan came and checked.  Ken asked what he could …

Continue reading

Thank you, Mom and Dad!

Ken always enjoyed the amaryllis.              My parents had sent him a bulb here and there; most went to a friend when we went to Japan.                Last fall they sent one to me, and now its blossoms remind me of both them AND Ken.          It is short, has two stems and is BEAUTIFUL. 

Continue reading

Getting a Handle on It

Dave at Halco Press and I were laughing as we remembered Ken stories last week.  One of my favorites involves Ken, Dave and Dave’s dad Jim.  Jim Slack was a warm –  hearted man with a crusty exterior.  He loved teasing Ken.  He would often ask Ken what he was up to and once Ken explained that afternoon he planned to put handles on cups.  Ken further explained that one had to wait for the …

Continue reading

Ken and Dave – and the Postcards

In the days before we were doing publicity on the internet, Ken commissioned art and made postcards to announce his pottery shows.  He worked with our local Turtle Lake printer, Dave.  Dave’s family published the Turtle Lake Times, and ran a print shop.  One of Dave’s first printing jobs was to deal with that weird, long haired artist up in the woods who made pots – Ken.  Ken had an art degree and was often …

Continue reading

Bread and Crackers

I took on Ken’s sourdough when he died.  I am still learning about bread baking, but can do a passable loaf.         I ended up with extra sourdough.  I guess this is a fairly common occurrence.  I am not a big pancake eater – one of the ways to use the extra starter, but I decided to try the recipe using starter in crackers.  Today I made my first batch, and I …

Continue reading

Taking on Tasks Ken Did – Starting Seeds

Ken and I formed a team.  People are often surprised at areas where our skills did not overlap.  Ken loved planting seeds.  And he had his set up on the lower level adjacent to the pottery studio.  A few years ago he built a germination cabinet.     Ken started each season with the onion seeds.  On a trip to the root cellar I could walk by and see him planting.  Sometimes we’d discuss what …

Continue reading

Bread – Ken’s and Mine

Ken was such a good cook and baker.  His experience was broad and deep.  He grew up cooing and canning from a garden in his back yard.  His grandmother owned and cooked at the Afton House.  Ken worked in restaurants, a bakery,  pizza shoppe, hospital kitchen, and finally as a private chef for one of the Pillsbury family.          I grew up in a food family, too.  My maternal grandmother had a …

Continue reading

Memorial Service for Ken Keppers

  Memorial Service and Celebration for Ken Keppers     When: Sunday, May 20, 2018 at 1 p.m. Where: D D Kennedy Park Shelter,  1459 Kennedy Mill Ave, Amery, WI 54001 What: Sign guest book, music, readings to remember and celebrate the life of Ken Keppers BRING YOUR OWN CHAIRS Directions: From highway 8 head south on 120th St. for one mile.  Then head west onto 120th Ave for 2.5 miles.  Head south on Kennedy …

Continue reading

Small Things that Take Time

Ken viewed everything as a potential material for a project of some sort.  He loved finding things.  He was a hunter and gatherer.  Some people called him a pack rat, but he used what he had.  Who else could build an entire chicken coop from scavenged materials?      People called our place the “Reuse center.”  But now I want my house back.  I am sorting through boxes, drawers, tubs of rags people gave me …

Continue reading