By Charles Segebrecht
Remember hearing, “You never get a second chance to make a first impression”? There is more than a little truth to this. Repeated new experiences or observations contradicting a first impression may slowly erode its influence, but it may never go away completely. Good fodder for therapists. Please read on about the first impressions the longest-term Lake Quivira residents had of their chosen spouses and of this chosen community. Their impressions have fortunately stood the tests of time. In addition, the newest members to our community – all within the last eight months – have shared initial impressions of their partner and of this newly chosen community; may they always be so satisfied!\
Deeply-rooted residents confirm they made the perfect choices
Sandy Greene remembering visiting LQ in 1964, declared. “It was so beautiful!” She and Frank came to the lake for the first time to house-sit for a business associate for four or five days … each immediately “feeling fortunate to have found their childhood lake water and dense trees again; we were sold!” Sandy is still living in their original home with just two modest changes incorporated over the years: air conditioning and a dishwasher. Regrets regarding LQ? “Not at all!” They moved from an Overland Park duplex with two boys under foot. Frank was working for Midwest Research Institute having completed post doctorate work at KU in physical science research. He continued reinforcing her first impressions: smart, a night owl with his work and, she adds: a nerd. A third son was added to the mix eventually joining his brothers roaming the LQ territory. No organized sports other than a swim team. Fewer rules than now; initiation was only six hundred then; more social then.
Norma Lee Winters remembers happily how George, Sr. was fortunate to have a car in the early 1950’s so she and her girlfriend could go for rides when attending Kansas City Jr. College. Norma Lee would sit in the middle of the front seat so she could sit by George. “He was so tall and handsome! Love at first sight when I spotted him in the library!” She is sure it was reciprocal. After they married and moved from Kansas City, KS to Lake Quivira, Norma Lee was not impressed … with LQ, that is. “It had a little town feeling then.” She still senses this, but not as much. “It is a beautiful and wonderful place for kids to grow up. This has not changed.” She remembers “the simple, average people living here … too expensive a place now.” She is “not surprised how every child raised here wants to move back.”
Barbara and Paul Brown received an invitation to visit good friends living at LQ. This occurred sixty-four years ago when they were living in Houston, TX. “One look is all it took,” and within one year, Paul had purchased the home he still lives in for a whopping twenty-seven-thousand dollars. The “one look theme” continues: Frank saw Barbara as “nice looking and fun.” They dated for eighteen months and married when sophomores. LQ was still eight years out, but when they moved here, dues were thirty-six dollars a month; no maintenance people on LQ property; no country club appearance. “It had a small-town feel; perfect and pleasant; life was good!” LQ then defined volunteerism – everything was done by the residents: fencing, tennis courts construction, court striping, swimming docks, diving boards, plantings and cutting grass. “More of a country club now … not a bad thing.”
Becky and Eric Johnson have never wasted their time with decision making. He does remember, however, his surprise and his hesitation to say “yes” when Becky approached and asked him to dance at a BOTAR Ball in Kansas City, MO. Considering it was April, 1st, he thought an April Fool’s joke was being played out. Becky may have been annoyed, because “he was my second choice!” Regardless, they were married six months later. Coming to Lake Quivira in August 1967, Becky’s first impression was “the solid tree-lined shore; a natural feel with the lake complimented by the ambiance of the community.” There were swings even then and abundant picnic tables; a one-of-a-kind merry-go-round easily entertained all ages of children. Absolutely no regrets on their move or chosen partner by either Johnson.
Corky Nason met Phyllis their freshman year of college. He found her attractive, fun to be with and quite strong, but it was her short hair sealing the deal! After graduating from KU in 1966, they survived a rather rocky romance. He confides, “I liked many girls.” In 1967, they began to get heavily involved in this “small town” of LQ helping to make this community their own. “If something needed to be maintained or constructed, we’d pass the hat and volunteer our energy.” Corky added, “A person’s pedigree was unimportant back then. I did not know what neighbors did for a living.” Phyllis, a stewardess, participated in the garden club, summer rec, and gourmet club. The latter was not a misnomer for when it was her turn to host; she traveled to Paris twice for formal culinary training. Corky recalls how she and five others made all the lunches for the homes tour crowd. Corky was one of thirty-two TWA pilots when he arrived on scene. A hobby he made time for was collecting convertibles – the only car he would drive (seventeen in all) and still drives. Gas for his first cars was a whopping eighteen to twenty-two cents a gallon. This, of course, changed as did the twenty-six hundred dollars for their lot, seventy-one for water, one-hundred-and-twenty-one for their mortgage and club dues of fifty to sixty dollars. We can quote Corky: “Be sure things are going to change!”
John Harding had a “good line” as described by Karen. They met in 1962 in theater class working on the musical, “Bells are Ringing.” He had already dated six girls in the chorus “line” before asking out a certain number seven. She declined; he persisted. Eventually, they went to a movie and had a late-night snack of a salad with mandarin oranges, toast and marmalade – what memories. It was snowing, yet, they walked and walked until 5:00 AM. Number seven was the charm. John became a TWA pilot and they moved to Brookside. Water, however, was missing for John. Orinne and Cloyce Wiley invited them to LQ for Mexican food. When driving across the dam and taking just one look at the tree-lined shore, they immediately confirmed they were moving to LQ. Home touring began the very next morning and the Harding’s moved in two weeks. No regrets ever for their speedy velocity. “There is more to living than looking for a house.” “The natural environment, the intelligent and good neighbors, sailing, fishing and volunteerism have made for a wonderful mix.” “Changes have occurred … good changes happening today.” One, however, is not: climate change. John and Karen miss the long seasons of ice-skating, iceboating and even golf cart races on ice.
Joe Bartels was fortunate to spend some of his younger years at LQ and develop a relationship with legend, Duane (school bus driver and guard). Joe could easily pass through the gates waving to Duane after his parents were gone and their membership had ceased. In 1962, and unable to stay away from a place he still called home, Joe trailed a sailboat to LQ one evening. He accidentally dropped his wallet into the drink! Weeks passed and his Social Security card appeared in the mail – no note; nothing else. Thirty years later in 1992, an excavation near the dam was required create the courtesy docks. Removed spoils were spread out to dry. Yep, someone found his laminated school ID from 1962! Joe saw this as a sign, bought a lot in 1972, and built a home designed by his late wife, Julie, in 1975 – the home he is still in.
Joe’s girlfriend, Rose Davied, has been seen at LQ for at least eight years, walking, running, gardening, boating or just being outdoors enjoying nature. She was attracted to Joe’s quiet demeanor and how he is tuned in with nature. She says she “is slowly learning from him how to smell the flowers.” The first time Rose visited LQ was at a daughter’s friend’s function at the beach in 2003. She thought LQ was gorgeous, and how anyone living here should never take LQ for granted. She finds the residents to be great people who should always feel they are living at a resort.
The late Julie Bartels met Joe at Shawnee Mission North. He says, “I found her really cute and nice.” Julie had dated a friend of Joe’s leading Joe to the conclusion, “If she would date my friend, she would certainly go out with me.” She did, in fact, and found they liked the same things, got along well, enjoyed sailing and just enjoyed the water. She was, however, a little uncertain about the LQ location. “In the end, she became the lake’s biggest enthusiast.”
Newcomers appear to continue a tradition of embracing this place and one another
Anna Ohly, while playing the violin, did not notice Johann playing his cello sitting across from her in an orchestra at the University of Chicago. He had noticed her, however, through his thick glass lenses; “attractive and an amazing violinist.” Johann was patient, got contacts and then deemed himself worthy to approach her. She accepted as he mustered courage and asked her out on a date. Now living at LQ with their five children (2 to 15) since this Spring, they clearly see – even Johann – they made the right decisions.
Anna has purposely set up a home she knows she would like, and fortunately, has a flair for decorating. She wanted to have a home respecting how they want to live, as opposed to trying to fit themselves into a home. They feel safe here; one of the factors in their decision. Schools are the other big one. The community center came into play allowing flexibility in Anna’s workout schedule with daycare available. The manicured grounds, golf course, flowers and freedom in a large backyard playground – LQ defined. A sense of community was immediately apparent. They felt welcomed with much appreciated humble interactions. Ending with a continuation of happy notes, Johann joked through their home construction with, “The community center is going to be finished before our home!”
Sherry and Michael Magee will tell you how, “walking or riding a bike – especially a tandem – are the best ways to really see a place.” Visiting LQ the first time on their tandem, they clearly saw the attention given to landscaping, golf carts, beach paraphernalia, kids everywhere – the lifestyle. It was a beautiful day in August 2019 and they mutually agreed, “they were visiting a resort.” Both saw LQ as a place to live and gather enjoyment from a plethora of options – especially a place for years of bike fun. Sherry also enjoys tennis and the camaraderie; Michael also enjoys social golf. Neither knew of the community center until much later – not a factor; just icing.
Standing in a dining hall line at the University of Northern Iowa, Sherry’s girlfriend, JJ, introduced Sherry to her boyfriend, Michael Magee. Sherry thought: “cool guy; why don’t I know this tight end football player seeing how I’m on the dance team?” Michael’s impression: “she was very pleasant; seemed nicer than his present girlfriend; and a jock!” Med school, grad school, and patience … no regrets!
Stephanie and Mike Mattingly dreamed of a golf cart community with a lake and searched for eighteen months before landing here. Good schools were an essential decision factor along with recognizing the number of children and the potential for friendships. Stephanie convinced Mike with the active lifestyle available here. They made the move this year – earlier than they ever dreamed to their retirement community. Both want to be more active and live for today. “Every family member loves it!” exclaims Stephanie. She gets her mind set each day driving eight minutes off the reservation to her ER nursing job at KU. Regardless of how her workday goes, a quick healing is available as she reverses the drive. Mike finds the clubhouse regal; loves driving towards it and seeing its silhouette against the lake. As he continues his drive, he also loves the eye candy the variety of homes provide.
Friends – the kind of friends you want – set Stephanie and Mike up for a happy hour and dinner. They soon found themselves to be a bore to others … they never stopped talking to just each other. Stephanie saw Mike as “very handsome, warm smile, kind and welcoming. I could not wait to see him again.” Mike “was simply wowed” at seeing Stephanie.
Tim Rosewicz has had a twin brother, Tom, already living at LQ. Visiting Tom’s family allowed Mary Pat and Tim to get a better feel for the community over the last two to three years. They picked up how it can feel like they are on vacation here with the golf carts, fishing, tennis and waving. LQ reminds them of Watercolor, FL where they vacationed. Tim is an avid fisherman and has spent many long days and nights pursuing fish stories. Mary Pat had an epiphany: why not live where her fisherman can fish? She and her son may see more of him this way. Tim will tell anyone “LQ has everything a fisherman wants: great fishing in a well-maintained lake.” Their kids are now bringing their friends home instead of going to their homes – quite ideal. Mary Pat and the family dog are getting familiar with LQ’s great trail system, and she is honing her golf game.
It was at Kelly’s in Westport where a wager was placed. Tim found Mary Pat to be quite cute as they were introduced by friends; she was intrigued he was a twin. Finding out Tim was unemployed did not prove to be a deal-breaker. Instead, she bet him if he landed a job from the next day’s job interview, she would buy him a beer in the evening. She was waiting at Kelly’s, and he got the job. The rest is more charming history.
Cindy and Terry Heidorn have grandkids here at LQ. They were commuting forty-five to sixty minutes one way to play with them. Living in a high-rise condo, no one made eye contact. Cindy thought, “there must me a better way.” Here they now reside, albeit uncomfortable for the short run as their major remodel nears completion. Remembering their first visit together to LQ: sheer awe coming through the gates; elevated awe driving past the clubhouse – and only then did they see the golf course. Terry was pleasantly surprised by the density of perimeter dock sites. Almost daily, Cindy will ask Terry, “Have I actually told you how much I love it here?” Terry comments about how nice all the neighbors are. “It feels like the Truman Show!”
Cindy and Terry met in high school when he offered her and a friend a ride home from a basketball game (she, a freshman; he, a senior). Despite going off to college and even different colleges, the match came together. Terry even broke off another engagement to marry Cindy “because no one else could fill her shoes.”
Bill Faherty did not know LQ existed even though he grew up in Kansas City. He left KC at twenty-one for a successful career in LA and decided to venture back upon retirement. Upon his initial visit, he loved hearing kids screaming with glee and seeing all the youth activity. He finds the community and surroundings ideal; “loves it here and doesn’t want to ever leave!” With the social distancing required by COVID-19, it has been difficult to meet people so far, but he loves how nearly everyone waves to him. He wanted to be on the water somehow as he was coming from the west coast to land-locked Kansas. Nailed it. He wanted to be closer to his older daughter living in Lawrence. Nailed it. He wanted his youngest daughter, Genevieve, to come this way from the west coast and remain. Nailed it. The LQ community played a part.
Liz and John Jacobs met in the fifth grade. “She was cute and cool – even then!” The relationship would mature and get a bit more serious as they began their junior year of high school. John recalls his new assessment of her: “She is so far out of my league!” They were running high school track together and had many similar friends – but it required senior prom to close the deal. Even though she was finding John super obnoxious and super immature, she told her grandmother after senior prom “she was going to marry him.” John said the stars must have aligned.
Liz and John are doing a major remodel on their home and cannot wait to settle into the active community sans the late hours working on the home. The quality of Lakeshore – how homes align the lake perimeter, but everyone can enjoy the shoreline – is awesome. “Residents make genuine eye contact, are sincere and want to know us.” Open and friendly non-country club types; no statements; no overt prestige … just good first impressions.
Going Forward with New Generations of Lake Quivirans
LQ’s respected, deep-rooted LQ residents were impressed years ago by the many LQ assets also attracting the newcomers to this community. These common denominators will carry forward with future generations because they resonate with all of us. Perhaps our own children will someday raise families here. Lake Quivira will prosper with careful stewardship of a one-of-a-kind natural environment, by lending our talents and time to committees, boards and clubs, respecting others’ views, and remembering why we came here … our first impressions.