Thursday, April 7, 2016


(Above) The guy behind Mike Sims, that was Hudson. Some knew him as Bob. His full name was Robert Hudson. I knew him as the tall guy with gray hair. Last Saturday Jan and I drove over to the Plaza in Kansas City to hear stories about Hudson and family photos. There he was standing on the snow slope with skis, grinning. In the next slide he was stretched out in a hospital bed in traction with a leg cast and that same grin.    Karl

I didn't recognize anyone at the funeral service, but here and there were friends of ours from the Nelson Atkins Print Society. After the funeral service and reception, a number of us met over at Ric's place. At some point, after all the chit chat, milling around his place, and munching on goodies, we gathered in the living room. The softness came out of us. I was afraid I was going to cry, one said. I did during the service, another admitted. Timid. Frail. Touched by the care he gave us. Karl
From Day One I would get LITTLE NOTES: “You are so wonderful." “Thank you for being here.” And I still have some of them. Some of them I just crunched when I left. But one of the sweetest men in the world. Most generous spirit. And that is why I say, if someone needed something he could be helpful. He was always signing people up and paying their dues (to the Society) He would get them started. He would find prints to give to other people. Sometimes he gave it to them, sometimes they never left the studio. That’s my story. And I will miss him.  Beth

    Jack: Bob was the president of the Print society, and I think he set a very good example for me   
    Paula: When was Jack President? 
   Jack: I don’t remember the dates.   
   Jane: You were sort of, it was right at the time George died. 
   Jack: Yes.   
   Beth: Well George passed in '07.
   Ruthie: The print society, honest to goodness, used to be twelve of us around the table. 
   Beth: I know there weren’t very many of you. 
   Ruthie: And Jack and I used to sit at the same table, where we met in the room that had the real shiny table and I used to love throwing the papers across to people, because it would SLIDE. There were about twelve of us, and this is the way elections went. And Jack, correct me if I’m wrong, but everybody had a TITLE and when there was an election year you moved your title ONE SPACE to the LEFT.   
   Jack: I never had been to an art museum until after I start associating with Jane.   
   Jane: He went off to print society meetings for ten years or something like that.     
   Eileen: I was before Jack    
   Ruthie: That’s right    
   Eileen: And Mike was before me. Mike Gross, my husband.    
   Ruthie: The original crowd that I remember was Mike and Eileen (Gross), Greg Schiezer, Jack and Jane (Coakley). Now I was in the late 80s, about ‘88, ‘89 and ‘91. Jean Levi, Leo Goertz, Richard Coleman, Mary and Curt Cutting, and Barbara Mueller for a short time. And George and Jan (McKenna) and Jean Howard.

    Karl: We were going to one of the clinics in the city and in the waiting room there he was and he was waiting and we talked.                      
    Jan: One of the first times my blood pressure wasn’t so high, because we spent time talking to him.             
    Ruthie: He never seemed old to me.                 
    Jan: No, he didn’t.                      
    Ruthie: He always seemed like he was fourteen.
    Ric: Mentally that is true, but boy that cancer took him down. It was so sad.                                       
    Ruthie: He lost a lot of weight.   
    Ric: He fought so hard. I mean, I think if he hadn’t tried with that chemo aggressively he would have died a couple years ago. But he basically did it so he could stay alive as long as he could.
    Ruthie: And that was for Sharon.     
    Ric: I think so.
As the Print Society we gave the, I delivered a big fruit basket. I asked Sharon: what can we do for you? We want to do something. It was actually Susan who could give her the fruit basket. Sharon said: I don’t know what to do. I can’t, I can’t, hoping to make it through. So I said, okay. So I got the fruit basket. When I saw here today she gave me a HUGE HUG and said THANK YOU!! It was perfect, we tore into it. So she was really thrilled and that was exactly what it was supposed to be. It isn’t all fruit, you know there was salami, cheese and crackers.    Beth   
Sometime this last year we were having a committee meeting at our house and he brings this little wrapped up painting to give to me. So I opened it up and it’s this sort of perfectly awful like Western oil, you know, something like a cowboy or Indian or something, and it’s pretty awful, but it was done by someone named SOKOLOFF. So he felt that I should have it. And the irony is that my son Adam is over, and I said: "Hey look, look at this."  And my son said: “My friend just found one of these at a garage sale and gave it to me too.” So now he’s got two! It’s the same artist, the same sort of genre.  Paul
   Beth: He did talk to me about the plumber company. 
   Karl: Why did they have the caption of "The Plumber" on that slide? I didn’t get that.                                           
   Jan: Because of the Roto-Rooter.       
   Paula: He owned the Rotor-Rooter franchise. 
   Ruthie: He never was a plumber. He just owned the company.
   Paula: (on the program) he said, well you know “due to his wonderful employees.”
   Karl: Yeah, yeah. So that was with the Roto-Rooter. 

Conversation audio. Six minutes. Its dialogue follows, next.

   Ruthie: I got a kick out of the fellow he had co- pastored with, saying that Bob worked on his OWN TIME CLOCK. I’m sure, just like all of you, Bob came over, you know, he came over to see what Doug was working on, and he’d call and say, well. This is a man who has been physically inside our house (in Olathe) probably no fewer than fifty times. On Time Fifty-One he’d call and say: "Well, I am somewhere near Paola. Where did I miss my turn?" And, you know, he was coming at two and at four he arrived after calling three times for directions. But, talk about a love-of-a-guy. I’m not sure if we’ve known him longer than anyone, we have known him a long time. Aside from me, Bob Hudson owns the largest single collection of Doug Osa’s anywhere in the world.     
   Ric: He was a huge fan of Doug’s. 
   Ruthie: He was very supportive. So AMAZINGLY supportive of Doug. You know as an artist, you have your good years and you have years that you think, I’m just going to shoot myself in the basement and no one will miss me. And Bob never forgot to call Doug, just, just to check up on.    
   Doug: Most of the time he’d come out just to sit and talk. We’d sit down there and look at a few things. He’d, he’d just sit and talk, we’d cover the last three months. And, he, uh, was a REAL ENCOURAGER. That is the best way I can describe Bob. He just, I don’t think he had, uh, anything but encouragement for me. We’ve known him, I’d say, for over twenty years. It had to have got back to the early 90s.           
   Ric: How did that happen?   
   Doug: We met, we were down in the, when the print society had their meetings, uh, somewhere down there where the kids’ stuff is, the classrooms are, in the basement (of the Nelson Atkins Museum), back in there and Bob came one evening for an event of some sort. And he showed up and somehow we struck up a conversation outside the door in the hall, and one thing lead to another, and the next thing I knew he was calling to come out to the house. And he made regular trips out there. He’d be getting his car worked on, and he said: “Well, I’ve got two hours. Why don’t we get together and have some coffee” or something like that. 
   Ruthie: When our youngest son was home and had just crashed and burned, uh, Bob showed up with two tickets to a baseball game. He said, why don’t you find a buddy and go to a baseball game. He was the most generous soul. Um, I’m going to MISS HIM. He was my evil twin at the board meetings. I agreed to be president only because he agreed to be the vice-president. If I promised that I would never quit being president, so he wouldn’t have to be. I reneged on that, and he forgave me. We pretty much sat together and would write somewhat obscure notes to one another that seldom had anything to do with the meeting. Sometimes he would laugh inappropriate times. But he made the meetings tolerable. And he, oh gosh, he made them TOLERABLE FOR EVERYBODY. Whenever we had a meal, he and I had an incurable sweet tooth and a guilt complex over it, we always split a dessert. And I’m pretty sure he picked desserts based on what he thought I would eat. And he would shove the plate, just like his friend at the funeral said, he would show the plate over. He would have a little bit and then shove the plate. “Here, here’s another fork.” There is a lot less guilt involved if you are eating half a dessert. 
   Beth: It’s SHARING.   
   Ruthie: It’s sharing the guilt. 
   Paula: Ruthie, do you know how Bob got started collecting prints. I mean, how did that all begin?  
   Ruthie: He saw a print back in the 80s. He saw a print, I want to say there was a little gallery in Westport. There was someplace around there. 
   Paula: Oh there was a gallery on Westport Road.    
   Ruthie: Somewhere in there that he liked.  
   Kathy: I think it was in the article that you wrote about.   
   Karl: That Ruthie wrote about it and I posted it. 
   (Click on
   Kathy: And it had the name of the gallery that was in there, his first gallery. 
   Ruthie: And he just kind of fell in love. Bob was a very passionate guy. And pretty much given to go off on a whim. And he saw a print and connected with it. And he always said, he would never buy something because it was a “smart buy.” He would buy a painting or a print because he fell in love with it. And, he even returned a painting to Doug once because he said, you know, I thought I was in love with it. And I fell out of love. So Doug actually literally still owes him one more painting. But that is how he got started. He just saw a print that he fell in love with and he realized there was an emotional connection with art. And he was not artistic in a visual way. Uh, and it really touched him in a place, it took him some place beyond himself.   
   Paula: Well, did he collect a certain topic?  
   Ruthie: No. He just had to fall in love with it. If it touched his soul in somehow, uh, that is what he would collect. He just bought what he liked.    
   Jane: Bob Farmer, is that his name?    
   Ric: Wayne Farmer. He (Hudson) bought a lot of stuff from Wayne. And I invited Wayne over here. They got to be very close the last couple years. And he said he couldn’t make it. But Wayne gave that amazing speech about Hudson at the Love of Art luncheon. And then they were very close. And Bob kept Wayne going for the last couple years anyway.    
   Ruthie: He kept a lot of people going.  


Double click on bio to see it enlarged.

   Paula: I thought that was a really nice TOUCH, you know. 
   Beth: That he wrote it himself. 
   Tanya: I know people do that, but that was the first one I ever read.
   Paula: That he took care of all that.                             
   Person: I thought that was great. I thought Oh Bob, do you mind if I use that?       
   Karl: Borrow?  
   Rick: Yeah, we could all use that.   

Friends: Ric, Elizabeth, Ruthie, Doug

Group shot. Video. One minute. Present were: Jack, Jane, Paul, David, Marilyn, Tanya, Paula, Kathy, Debbie, Judith, Jan, Eileen, Ruthie, Doug, Ric, Elizabeth, Karl and Beth.

Hudson at Print Share salon in January of 2015

Kathy with Hudson at 2015 Print Crawl

posted by Karl Marxhausen
April 2nd, 2016