Sunday, September 15, 2013

The Whatevers or Guess Who's Coming for Lunch

Welcome back to The Whatevers Round 2. I hope you have decided to play along and enjoy the fun we are having. I'd like to share my story for September.


I always knew when someone important would be coming for lunch in Lilydale…the hotel and it’s staff would be bustling about frantically getting everything in tip top shape. They knew that the owners of the Maplewood Hotel, 2 brothers, would be coming by the day before to inspect and make sure everything was in order. I never knew their names but Mama and Papa called them Fric and Frac…then giggle to themselves.
The luncheon menus were always filled with Fric and Frac’s favorite foods. Mama would spend hours making sure every ingredient was the freshest it could be for these meals. One of the often-requested desserts was Mama’s Date Nut Bars.
As children we not allowed to be present on these special days but brother and I had the most perfect place to hide ourselves and watch the goings on. We found a small closet behind the dining room, in back of a huge mirror, that for some strange reason we could see them but they couldn’t see us!
Among the notable visitors to Lily Dale Assembly were Mae West, Harry Houdini, Mahatma Gandhi, Franklin & Eleanor Roosevelt, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Susan B. Anthony, Russian Countess Alexandra Tolstoy, and many others.

I didn’t know until I was an adult what Lilydale was really all about. That is a very long story but here is the best way for me to describe it now.

The Lily Dale Assembly, a gated compound in far western New York State, was known as one of the most famous and aristocratic spiritualistic camp in America." Freethinking, forward leaning, this was a place for prophets of all kinds. Seekers from around the world looking to explore the continuity between life and what locals refer to as "so-called death.”

The lakeside town was a haunt of the famous Mae West, who was rumored to have had a medium-boyfriend in the lakeside hamlet.

Harry Houdini and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle created a bond during their visits. They were there to witness the "Lessons from the Spirit World". Houdini was looking for a message from his dear Mother and Doyle was from his young son.

Susan B. Anthony visited half a dozen times, along with Elizabeth Cady Stanton. Susan B. Anthony, the grande dame of the women’s suffrage movement, made the first of her several public appearances in Lily Dale in 1891. That day she spoke to an audience of 3,000 people in an amphitheater decorated with flags.

Brother & I always hoped that after these luncheons there might be a date nut bar left for us. It never failed that Mama always wrapped one up in a napkin for us. Here is Mama's recipe for you to try.


1 ¼ C. flour
1/3 C. sugar
½ C. butter, soft but not melted

Blend with pastry blender or fork until resembles fine crumbs. Pack firmly into 9” sq. baking pan.

Bake at 350 F. for 20 min. or until edges are golden.  {While crust is baking make top layer}


Combine well in bowl:
1/3 C. light brown sugar
½ C. sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla

Then add to mixture:
2 Tbsp. flour
½ tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. nutmeg
Combine thoroughly

Fold in:
1 C. chopped dates
1-8oz. pkg. chopped dates

Pour batter onto baker crust and bake 20 min. more.

Cool & sprinkle with powdered {10x} sugar. Cut into small bars.

Here are links to the other creative stories about The Whatevers. Please stop by and see what these fabulous artists have created.
If you would like to play along this is what you need to know:

Here is how it works
  • Vicki, Cat, Cuchy (Carmen), Nathalie and I have made a one-year commitment to each other and picked twelve photos with Whatevers whom we will give a story.
  • Every month – if possible always on the 15th –  each of us will do a post with an individual story that goes along for us with the same photo.
  • If you want you can play along and we will have the photo for you to download and show us your version of The Whatevers. The photo will be posted at the end of our blogposts- not on Facebook!
  • There is no rules to the story itself- it can be funny, sad, uplifting, breathtaking- WHATEVER
  • There is no rules on the length or the form of the story- it can be a short sentence, an essay, a poem or a soap opera – WHATEVER
  • There is no rules on the artform you choose – it can be a scrapbook layout, an altered art project, an artjournal page – WHATEVER
  • Here is a rule though: if you take the photo you have to link back to us and show us your story.
  • These pictures are from our personal stash and are for personal use for you only! If you want to use them for a publication whether a book or magazine in print or digital form please ask for permission!
  • If you want to participate we’ll have a linky list for each Whatever Post.
  • You can also join our The Whatevers -Facebook Page


Thank you for stopping by today! 
Martha Richardson


  1. Wow, I want to go there. Such an interesting place. :)
    Your page looks like a part of a picture wall in the hotel. Love it.

  2. Wow! How amazing to have those people visit!! I loveeeeeee your page!!!

  3. I want to go there too, maybe we should plan a Whatever Retreat! I might try those nut bars today! Love your page Martha, and Fric and Frac -- ha ha! xo

  4. Wondering how you girls can be talented artists AND writers?? Love it all! Your stories and recopies are priceless, and your page amazing Martha!

  5. How fun, Martha! I saw something on TV about that place a few months ago. Love how your creation looks like a page ripped from a scrapbook back in that time. Wonderful!

  6. I'm an appreciative audience of the Lilydale happenings! You bring such interesting characters to life and the recipes that tie into the story are always reminiscent of that bygone time. Once a month 'whatevers' aren't enough!

  7. Fric and Frac- hahahahaha-I love this!!!! I wanna go there too!!!

  8. Really enjoy the story lines you pick and what a guest to be entertaining Mae West no less ! Date bars sound like a tasty treat for special guests. Thanks for hosting the whatever's challenge, it is fun to see the different ways everyone takes their creative story telling.


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