RND Corner Grille located at 801 Mass.

Round Corner Drug. Esquina. Intorno. And of course, The Cheese Shoppe. All of these businesses has lived inside of 801 Massachusetts, but now it is home to a new restaurant. RND Corner Grille opened in December 2015 and shares it’s owners with Kansas City’s Coal Vines Pizzeria and Westport Ale House, Zach Marten and Bret Spring.

This building has quite a history. Round Corner Drugstore moved into the space at 801 Mass after it’s original location (inside of the Eldridge House, a block to the north) was torched to the ground during Quantrill’s Raid of Lawrence in 1863. The Round Corner Drugstore was in operation until 2009, opened for nearly 150 years, and was the oldest pharmacy in the state at the time of it’s closing. I can’t imagine what medical advancements must have been seen coming and going from this small corner in Lawrence, Kansas.

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These wooden stairs have always jumped out at me because they are seemingly placed randomly, just off the side of a gravel road. Upon closer inspection, it’s obvious that they are used to get over a barbed-wire fence. Metal, ladder-type devices are more common in the area to get over fences where there is no gate nearby, which definitely makes this set of stairs stand out.

Although capturing the image was poorly executed (check settings before pushing the button, check settings before pushing the button), I think I was able to salvage this image. After basic processing in Lightroom, I brought it into Photoshop for more detailed processing. Mainly, I had to remove a telephone pole’s support cable that ran diagonally through the image. After that, I had to recreate some parts of the branches (and sky) that were hidden behind the cable. The image was finished up by taking a run through Topaz Lab’s Impression and Texture Effects filters.

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Outside of the Granada, before Berning Man.

Disclaimer: This is not a post to express why I #feelthebern, nor is it meant to solicit any political rhetoric. This is meant as a photo-journalistic story about an event that happened in Lawrence, KS, on February 17, 2016.

Lawrence, Kansas (recently referred to as “Obamaville” and the “Commie and Candy Ass Capitol of Kansas”; see this LJWorld article) is a rare liberal city in a conservative state. We go against the natural grain of Kansas. We celebrate art on a monthly basis (even if our governor keeps taking money away from the arts), we have fun parades, like the Art Tougeau Parade (whacky and fantastical works of vehicular art) and celebrate street performers with an annual Busker Festival. Lawrence was the home of the first legal brewery in the state in over 100 years at the time of it’s opening in 1989. Lawrence is in Kansas, but more often than not, Kansas isn’t very Lawrence.

Bernie Booth
Even photographers need a break!

I went to this rally not really knowing what to expect. I knew there would be a crowd, but how big of a crowd? It was an unusually warm Wednesday night for February, which could bring out some rather unusual folks in the LFK (Lawrence –a word that starts with ‘F’ but not fit for this family friendly blog– Kansas). It was a free event if you were over the age of 21, and a mere $2 for the minors; all ages welcome.

Nine photo panorama taken from the front of the stage.

Upon arriving at the venue, there was a small line at the door. The guys at the door were checking ID’s and taking money from minors. A young couple sat on a hand railing, smoking a cigarette and watching people walk by. Passers-by always gawk when there’s a crowd in downtown LFK. A tall guy with a mop of curly hair was politely saying ‘Hello’ to everyone. He had a small box on the ground, obviously for donations. But what for? I don’t know; I didn’t ask. I quickly took a snap of the marquee with my cell phone (always testing the competency of it’s RAW capturing ability), stood in line for a minute, flashed my ID to the doorman and made my way inside.

The crowd is eagerly awaiting the first speaker.
WOOT! PBR was on special this night!

As soon as I got inside, there were a bunch of Bernie volunteers with clip boards taking down names and phone numbers of individuals willing to donate time to the campaign; to work the phones, go door-to-door, etc. The lobby of this venue is small and a table set up pretty much blocked the way to the upstairs restrooms and the lobby bar. I made my way past the table to go upstairs to see if the balcony was open. No dice. I really wanted that elevated shot of the crowd and the stage. Oh well. Back downstairs, past the closed bar and the blocking table, I navigated to the dance floor. I’ve been here many times, so I knew the layout of the place.

Mmmmm…..beer.
Don’t forget to tip your bartenders!

As you enter the main floor, there is a bar to your left and an elevated floor to the right. On the elevated floor to the right, there were photos being taken of you and your group with a cardboard cut-out of Bernie. There were props like Bernie wigs and signs to hold up for your photo. Along with the photo booth were a few merch tables. One for Bernie and a couple for the bands who played after the presentations.

A little magic for those walking by and to those going outside for a smoke.
In case you were wondering, his trick was successful.

There were quite a few people in attendance. The bar was pretty much packed most of the night. People were standing and sitting in circles, waiting for the MC to get things started. Little kids were running around, chasing each other. I was surprised at the amount of small children at this event, which did not start until 8 pm on a Wednesday night. I walked around a bit, snapping photos of different people. I made my way to the front of the dance floor, at the foot of the stage, to take a nine-photo panorama of the whole venue. People were very nice and you could feel the Bern in the air! Before the MC came out, I made my way outside to see if anything was happening out there. Not much. The tall guy that was outside finally had lured in a couple victims people to witness his unearthly abilities.

The following photos and paragraphs are about the speakers who presented at the event. Again, I don’t want this post to focus on one party’s agenda, let alone one potential nominee of that party. I would like to point out, however, that each of these presenters were passionate, well-spoken and truly believed in what they were saying. It was a pleasure to experience each of their stories.

Andy Stowers, Master of Ceremonies

Andy Stowers was selected as the Master of Ceremonies for the event. Andy has been a life-long Independent, but is now a registered Democrat to support Bernie Sanders.

Jordan Jerkovich

Jordan Jerkovich, a senior at the University of Kansas, is a leading member of KU Students for Bernie.

Davis Hammet

Davis Hammet is a founding member of the Equality House in Topeka, KS. The Equality House is a rainbow-painted house that is just across the street from Westboro Baptist Church, a hate group known for their hatred towards homosexuality and picketing dead soldiers’ funerals, in Topkea. To be able to stand up for what you believe in without resorting to violence or demeaning remarks is something most of us could do a little better.

Johnathan Duncan

Johnathan Duncan shared a great story with the crowd about when he was a young student at the University of Kansas and got a call telling him that he was being deployed. He spoke about the impact it had on his life, how he had two weeks to sort his affairs before being shipped off. Upon his safe return, Johnathan knew, first hand, the difficulties of returning to civilian life. He began focusing on veteran outreach with KU’s Collegiate Veteran’s Association. He is now continuing this focus at the VFW headquarters in Kansas City.

Fred Lonsdale

Fred Lonsdale is the Regional Field Organizer for the Lawrence/KCK Metro region for Bernie Sander’s 2016 campaign.

Dennis “Boog” Highberger

I feel like a jerk because I did not get any photos of the next speaker, Brooklynne Mosley. Brooklynne is the Kansas Political Director of Bernie 2016. She is seen below, holding one of Boog’s shirts.

Boooooooooog! Dennis “Boog” Highberger was the final speaker of the night. Boog is the Kansas state representative of the 46th district. He is a very determined and compassionate speaker. And what a funny guy! His first words on stage were, “I’ve always wanted to go to Burning Man. Where are all of the naked people?” I was really impressed with the way he presented himself, his knowledge of his chosen presidential hopeful and his excitement for sharing it with everyone in attendance.

Boog and Brooklynne Mosley. We’ll let this shirt speak for itself.

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