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Diana Frese's Blog Blog Tools Rate This Blog
Creation Date: 12-30-2010 04:23 PM
Diana Frese
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Status: Public
Entries: 43
Comments: 170
Views: 216,686

In General Kitsy and Valerie Paint the Dojo With Me Entry Tools Rate This Entry
  #32 New 06-03-2012 01:07 PM
This isn't exactly Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure or Ferris Bueller's Day Off, just one of those funny memories of New York Aikikai. I mentioned Valerie and Kitsy as swordswomen in my previous entry, Valerie did kendo at the American Buddhist Academy on Riverside Drive, and Kitsy studied iaido somewhere downtown. Valerie liked the spirited competitiveness of kendo, she went to tournaments and was very insistent in demanding rights for women there.... sorry I don't remember the details.

Kitsy was about a decade older than we were and was raising her two youngest children in New York, I'm not sure where the older ones were. Same parents, the kids were just different age groups. She was spirited too, but almost shy in a way, in contrast to Valerie who was as I hinted before, very outspoken in matters of Women's Lib as it was called at the time.

By the way, Valerie took her large white cat Loki to the kendo tournaments because she wasn't sure of Paul giving Loki the insulin shots correctly. That was the first time I heard of diabetic cats and their treatment.

I miss Valerie too, and so does Kitsy. The last I heard Valerie was teaching courses in Medieval History at a college not far from New York City, but when I checked Google there was nothing recent and the email address didn't work. Another notable thing about Valerie is that she had her own column in Black Belt Magazine entitled Fighting Woman, which she later expanded to magazine format as Fighting Woman News. She published it herself and when the registering organization required a staff she simply added Muskat Buckby as art director.

Muskat helped us paint the dojo. He was a Burmese cat. They are shaped a little like Siamese cats, but a bit squarer in build it seems. I forget if they have green or yellow eyes. Siamese cat eyes are usually blue.

Kitsy seemed opposite in temperament from Valerie. She was a mom, but that takes guts, you know!
And she studied iaido, which is very precise and demanding as many of you know. My hat's off to her in many ways as it is to Valerie. For me, Aikido took up most of my time, learning the techniques and trying to do the ukemi. I guess I should save the ukemi for another post.

So one day, as I had remembered paint parties were fun, we swore the dojo secretary to secrecy, and he ordered and paid for the paint out of the dojo treasury and the three of us, Valerie, Kitsy and myself painted the dojo with Muskat the cat looking on and keeping us company.

Well, Mary, I guess this doesn't answer your comment, but maybe next time. At least we were standing on the mat while we painted!

And Francis, this might be one of the answers to your comment. I will try to have the Aiki spirit whatever I do!
Views: 2435 | Comments: 2

RSS Feed 2 Responses to "Kitsy and Valerie Paint the Dojo With Me"
#2 06-03-2012 07:16 PM
Diana Frese Says:
Kitsy will try to visit New York and thank Sensei for the lasting positive effect being at New York Aikikai has had on her life, and she is encouraging her grandson to try it when he can drive. Correction to my first comment: she was visiting people and the lights were off in the middle of the night. Instead of the bathroom it was the stairs --Remembering to relax, she saved herself serious injury. She credits the Aikido training!
#1 06-03-2012 06:26 PM
Diana Frese Says:
just a note: for those who are curious, this was New York Aikikai in the early 70's.... Kitsy is now a grandmother! She says that she is very grateful to Aikido and the dojo people for giving her confidence during some difficult years. And awareness of the importance of relaxation. Years later when she tripped on the stairs of her house she would have been badly injured otherwise. I keep telling her she should phone Sensei and tell him...

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