Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Working on the Whiting Cafe Makeover

On Saturday, June 27, 2009, myself, my sister Sue Parker of Salina, KS, and my niece Katie Parker all pitched in with the renovation of the Whiting Cafe in Whiting, Kansas.

One of the first things done already by Saturday was the painting of a new mural on the south side of the building.

WenDee LaPlant of the Kansas Sampler Foundation took this photo of my niece Katie cleaning the floor of the inside of the horseshoe counter. Whatever job was needed we pitched in and helped. Between the three of us we helped to install windows, sanded wood, tore up ceramic tile, laid contact shelf paper, painted, stripped grease, removed the kitchen sink, and a number of other odd jobs.

My thanks to Cheryl Unruh of the "Flyover People" blog for capturing this photo of me helping the professionals setting the frame for one of the new cafe windows.

Here we have the Formica Guys, the brave two in charge of setting and reconditioning the formica top of the horseshoe counter, conferring on what to do next.

Outside the cafe the lawn was strewn with tools, lumber, and set-aside work areas.

Inside that great outside mural was being recreated into stensiling which ran around the top of the front room in the cafe.

At noon Saturday all gathered four blocks away in the former Whiting School, now the Whiting Community Center, for a great meal. Live music performed as all stuffed themselves. This set us to wondering: "How on earth did those who stayed and worked all three days stay so slim?"

Caught by WenDee LaPlant with our mouths full and our stomachs satisfied in the above photo, we did manage to return and work the rest of the day. After eleven hours and the loss of some heavily-soiled clothing that had to be thrown away it was time for us to return to Salina. We did so by taking state highways west and south of Whiting through some gorgeous countryside, especially in Pottawatomie County. As we drove through we passed 4th of July celebrations going on in the Kansas towns of Goff and Havensville.

The work at the cafe went on until 7PM on Sunday, and the newly renovated Whiting Cafe once again opened its doors to several probably very curious customers at 6AM on Monday, June 20, 2009.

The Final Product: Looking at the south side of the Whiting Cafe. Note the new flower garden in the left foreground - the iris planted there came from Osborne, KS & yours truly. Photo courtesy of the Kansas Sampler Foundation.

For more photos of the before, during, and after views of the cafe renovation, I recommend that you check out two great blog sites - the Kansas Sampler Foundation blog at, and Flyover People by Cheryl Unruh at

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