Mass Street and more
His journey took him from his hometown in upstate New York to junior college in Dodge City, where he noodled with a candle-making kit ordered from the back of a magazine. A semester at KU did not flame his imagination as candles already had, and in 1970 Bob Werts transformed his hobby into the now-beloved Waxman Candles.
Though COVID canceled a September party, Bob and Deb Werts and their three children are celebrating their fragrant shop’s 50th anniversary as a stalwart of the Mass Street scene. They’re happily receiving well wishes from longtime customers and countless former student employees, and they look forward to in-person reunions during holiday shopping.
“School was always their main thing,” Bob Werts says of devoted Waxman alumni, “but we keep it fresh and fun. It’s a happy place, a friendly, open place, and I’m happy our employees are nice to our customers.”
The good times continue in 2021, perhaps this time with an actual in-person party, when Waxman’s store on Chicago’s Lincoln Avenue—managed by son Mitchell, c’13—celebrates its 25th anniversary.
With Lawrence’s vibrant live music scene shuttered by COVID-19, the Lawrence Public Library offers a high-tech alternative: a free digital archive of music from Lawrence and surrounding areas that fans can stream from home. The Kaw Valley Jukebox, music.lplks.org, launched in July, features about 80 local artists “both contemporary and completely lost to history” dating back to the 1960s.
“We want to build a collection that connects Lawrence music history with what’s currently out there,” says project director Kevin Corcoran, c’10. “We really like to see musicians who are now performing have their music right
alongside music that’s been there for decades.”
Listeners can help build the collection by recommending acts; email KawValleyJukebox@lplks.org. The biggest gap is the 1970s and ’80s, Corcoran says, but recommendations from all eras are welcomed.
“Everybody working on this has an age range or musical scene they’re into, so we all have these little threads we pull at. If people can provide more of those threads, we’ll keep tugging.”
And Lawrence will keep rocking.
In 1994 KJHK was the world’s first radio station to broadcast a live 24-hour signal over the internet. A technological lifetime later, KU’s student-run station has again prospered in a completely altered landscape, with student DJs overcoming the pandemic’s campus access rules by programming and broadcasting remotely.
Those innovations are just two of many factors that keep KJ as vibrant as ever as it celebrates its 45th anniversary. “It’s a pretty big deal,” says communications director Erin Bugee, a St. Louis junior, “for a radio station to be around this long.”
Tune in to 90.7 FM, kjhk.org or the exceptionally user-friendly phone app, check out cool videos and a station timeline at kansaslumnimagazine.org, and chill with the Sound Alternative. You’ll travel back in time and place while also tapping directly into the latest campus vibe.
“I don’t tell the students what to play. Ever,” says general manager Mike Macfarland, f’97. “It really is their station, so the station will always change with what college students are interested in. The music is always interesting. Always changing. We don’t really have a format, so we can be a lot of different things to a lot of different people.”
On behalf of your devoted lifelong listeners, happy anniversary, KJHK. We adore you.
All in the family
When Will Grant arrived on Mount Oread this fall, he became his family’s sixth Jayhawk generation. Not only did his parents, Bill, c’99, and Sarah Remley Grant, ’99, go to KU, but his grandparents, Tom, c’72, and Jane Hedrick Grant, d’72, and Cathy Dunn Remley, ’74, and great-grandparents, Clay, c’48 and Nancy Goering Hedrick, c’48, g’49, and William, c’39, and Mary Noel Grant, c’40, also attended. Even his great-great-grandparents, Jane Krehbiel Goering, c’22, and William Thomas Grant, c’1905, and great-great-great-grandfather, Daniel Krehbiel, c’1892, were Jayhawks. Truly a family tradition worth celebrating.