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How do we keep family

with us

through geography

through belief systems

through property

through money

Or today



digital photos



How many homes today

have printed photos

old family photos

family photo albums?

What will happen to family photos

in the future?

Will everything be online?

Will people look at their

family photos?

Every day I pass by

my family on shelves

next to my kitchen cupboard.

Old photos

When was the last one taken?

Over five years ago

The oldest one?

Not sure but

there is a photo of my

paternal grandfather

who was shot and killed

or so the family lore goes

by a jealous husband

somewhere in Oklahoma.

So that would have been


Sometime in the 1920’s?

Then the photo of my father

With his sister Margery

and brother Jack

could be older.

My father born in 1907

He looks to be about 10 or 11

in the photo.

Family lore has it that he left

home at 13 and rode the rails

From Oklahoma

to San Francisco.

Photo of my brother Lon

with his wife Olivia and

our mother Bette Silver

in Mazatlan, Mexico.

Photo of Jim with his

older sister Erica

mother Hsiao Li

father Michael Lindsay

in Oxford England, 1947.

Photos of me as a baby, 1946

held by my mother

Bette Jo Hutchison

and my maternal grandmother

Irene Higginbotham.

Photo of my sons Nathan and

Gabriel with their cousin Lawrence

in Kansas City

Date? Maybe about 1989?

Can I name all the places

the photos were taken?

Kansas City, Joplin, Missouri

Tulsa, Oklahoma

Oxford, Lake District, England

San Francisco, Pajaro Dunes,

Yosemite, California

Beijing, China

Islamabad, Pakistan

Caracas, Venezuela.

Not all the family is present.

Not all the places are listed.

Family on the shelves in my kitchen, Canberra, Australia

Family on the shelves in my kitchen, Canberra, Australia


Bette Hutchison Silver

On March 10, 2012, Bette Hutchison Silver would have been 90 years old.

Last year we celebrated your birthday with a gathering of your friends and neighbors.  We all shared our memories of you.  Martha Woodmansee, one of your other “daughters” was there on SKYPE.  We released balloons on a grey wintry day and watched them as they all made it over the trees and the tops of the houses.  We even had a homemade chocolate birthday cake made by Jim Lindsay, your son-in-law.

JIm's famous chocolate cake for Bette

You were with us in spirit although not in body on your birthday last year.  You passed away peacefully with me, your daughter Pamela, and your grandson Nathan with you on the evening of March 1, 2011.  You opened your eyes.  Looked as us for several minutes and left us.

Balloons for Bette

We miss you.  Today and all days.

with love,


In remembrance of Bette

Now there are three… ways to remember Bette Hutchison Silver…

1. The Wind Sculpture at 63rd and Summit Streets, Kansas City, across the street from where Bette lived in the first house she ever owned (with her then husband Lon Hutchison) and around the corner from her house at 623 Greenway Terrace where she lived from 1973 until her death on 1 March 2011..  Bette’s house was a neighborhood institution, especially the front porch where people gathered to play the tile game, cards and drink wine.

2. This blog.

3. The latest: a charming and moving book written and designed by my nephew Lawrence Andre, who lives in Mission KS (not far from Bette’s house).  The title:  Goodbye Granny.

Front cover of Goodbye Granny, Bette Silver with her great grandson Henry Andre

Here’s the final page:

In Memory of Bette Jo Snidow Hutchison Silver

I wrote this book for several reasons.  Most importantly, I wanted to capture the history.  Buy beyond that, I wanted this writing endeavor to help me move on to the next phase of my life.  I hope this book brings me peace and closure.  I wrote it to share with others who were part of Bette’s life.  And I wrote it for Henry so that one day he can better understand our past.

With much love,

Lawrence Andre 

Back Cover of Goodbye Granny, Lawrence Andre with his grandmother Bette Hutchison Silver

For now, Goodbye Granny, is only available by special order.  Jim Lindsay has suggested to Lawrence that he should make it generally available.  We will keep you posted.  If you want a copy now, send a comment to this blog.

And I forgot.  There is a fourth way that many of you can physically remember Bette Hutchison Silver.  On the day of her memorial 13 March 2011, we urged friends and neighbors to take a small souvenir from the many arts and crafts in her house.  Some of you did.  Others came to the estate sale to purchase items that they wanted to have in her memory.

Please add to the memories of Bette Hutchison Silver. Send a comment and/or photo of any memories and/or objects that you have of her.


Windmills Kansas Road Trip with Mom 2004

14 November 2011

Last time we were in LA  (Los Angeles) together, Mom was on our road trip, from Kansas City to California in 2004.  You wanted Jim to see the USA.

Here’s an email I wrote  on 16 September 2004 Kansas City MO:

I am writing this email to share with you the itinerary of our road trip adventure through Kansas, New Mexico, Arizona and California.  Jim, myself, and my mom, Bette Silver, will travel by car to see and enjoy some of the natural beauty of these areas on our way to Oakland California, where Jim and I purchased a condo last year.

 Here’s our itinerary:

Leave Kansas City the morning of 27 September 2004

First night: Elkhart Kansas, a very small town in the southwest corner of Kansas on the border with Oklahoma, located near the Cimarron National Grasslands

28 September, drive through the mountains of northern New Mexico and stay overnight in the town of Espanola, between Taos and Santa Fe.

29-30 September Sedona Arizona, home of the famous red rock formations.

Pamela Bette Sedona AZ restaurant









Pamela Bette Grand Canyon 2004

1-2 October Grand Canyon southern rim  











Drive to Los Angeles on 3 October to visit Nathan Collett, who is in graduate film studies at the University of Southern California.

Jim, Bette, Nathan Los Angeles County Museum 2004

3, 4, 5 October we will stay in Santa Monica while visiting Nathan.

6 October drive up Highway 1 to Monterey California.

6 October spend the night in Monterey.

7 October, visit the Monterey Aquarium then on to Oakland.

7-14 October  my mom Bette Silver will stay at least one week (and we hope more), near Oakland, at the Holiday Inn, Emeryville on the San Francisco Bay.


I remember a young couple approached us somewhere in western Kansas because I was wearing a Kerry for President button..They said they had never seen one.  I gave it to them.  I remember that it was somewhere also in Kansas, that Jim got a speeding ticket.  Something about those long flat stretches of road.  We stopped and admired the windmills, also in Kansas.

I remember Santa Fe New Mexico.  We went to see your friend Maudie Strawn, who was not in good health, in a senior citizens facility that seemed like a hospital.  But Maudie was in very good spirits when she saw us and cracked jokes as usual.

We stopped at the Grand Canyon.  Jim had been there once many years ago when he came to the USA with his family from Australia.  His father left the Australian National University to take a position  at the American University in Washington DC.

In LA, we visited Nathan who was studying film at the University of Southern California.  We also went to the Los Angeles County Museum, where I went yesterday.  Art and museums have always been in my life and in yours.  You told me so many times of spending every Saturday at the William Rockhill Nelson Gallery in Kansas City.

Jim Pamela Griffith Park Los Angeles

I briefly stepped into the Los Angeles County Museum Gift Shop, thinking I would buy a postcard.  But you were the only person that I regularly sent postcards to.

In various drawers in your house at 623 Greenway Terrace, I found stacks of the postcards that I sent you from many different countries.  I think you kept them all.

So this is my postcard to you.  I miss you.

Whenever I feel pain, discomfort, lack of energy, I think of my mom, nearing the end of her life.  Did she feel this way every day for the past few years?  Did I, could I, understand the limitations of a life surrounded by pain after a life of activity, travel, camping, going to Mexico, Africa, Venezuela, Australia, France.. and the last two years confined to a very charming house in Kansas City, a comfortable arm chair and a television, watching tennis and MSNBC?

Bette Silver in Mazatlan, Mexico: daughter-in-law Olivia, son Lon, daughter Pamela, son-in-law Jim

I am 66.  My mom died just a few days short of her 89th birthday.  What will the next 20 years hold for me?  What new challenges?  What new limitations?  In the last stage of my life, what should be the focus?  It will always be more than me, my health and my comfort…and yet… there will be limitations. How to face them?  How to embrace them?

My mom could not give me many clues.  Our lives have taken different paths. She had a place, a space, a neighborhood, despite all her travels.  She was anchored at 623 Greenway Terrace, Kansas City, Missouri for almost 40 years. I am still roving.

Bette Silver's home base, 623 Greenway Terrace, Kansas City, Missouri USA

Thinking of you, Mom.

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