My Volga German Descendent Friends

With my wonderful and fun-loving Volga German friends who grew up in St. Peter, Kansas.
Photo by Elaine and Mike Balthazor.

I am on the left with two Rome sisters, the late Mary Wilmott and Marcella Roe, and to the right, Andy Schreiner. Residing in Colorado, the three returned in April 2011 for a polka festival in Hays, Kansas. And lucky for me, dinner with all at Mike and Elaine's!

The Volga German series of paintings started in 2005 with Mary asking me if I would paint two images of St. Peter "restored" to the time when she was a young woman. Darlene Applehans of Hill City, Kansas, was a magnificent photo resource for older St. Peter photos. After a couple of visits to the old townsite I was ready to go. For the rest of the story see the following link.

Sometimes a pleasant surprise comes from out of the blue. Palmer Mai of St.Louis contacted me by phone and left a message. We immediately started a back and forth conversation about Volga Germans, western Kansas and yes, even the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra and all kinds of music.

We met at WaKeeney on April Fool's Day 2011. Palmer brought his brother Ernie from Kansas City. Both grew up in southern Trego County near Trego Center. We picked up another Volga German descendant, Mary Jo Clevenger, went to lunch, and had a rip-roaring good time.

Palmer is in the brown jacket and Ernie in white. The canine white guy is my new pup. He came on the scene in July of 2009. Already named Buddy, I saw no reason to change it.

"...and about that checkbook, Steve!"
Sunell Koerner and Steve Schreiber, Portland, Oregon

"The beer flows!"
Sunell Koerner and Steve Schreiber

Steve Schreiber and Mike

"One of the very best!"
Wilmer Dreiling of Ellis, KS and Mike.