Chansi Long

Recent Stories

Offbeat Occupations: Chef finds beauty in restaurant’s intimate setting

Micah Clement and his wife, Tawny, wanted to do something special before their baby was born. So in February, they booked a reservation at Café Beautiful, 730 Mass., expecting a good night. Their expectations were a little low. “Overall it was one of the best experiences I’ve ever had,” said Clement. “You have a window view of Mass. Street, and you can see the sunset as you dine. (The chef) serves only you, (making) it super intimate.”

Offbeat Occupations: A lock on the locked-out market

Jon Georgeson, 22, has been locksmithing since he was 15. His stepfather owns Ace Locksmith in Topeka, and after school, Georgeson would head to his shop to start picking and rekeying locks.

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Offbeat Occupations: Longevity proves everybody loves a clown

If Richard Renner were to craft a resume, under skill summary would be the following: juggling, pantomime, unicycling, rope-walking, stilt-walking and acrobatics.

Veterinarian takes holistic approach to healing pets

Cathy King, a holistic veterinarian, sometimes jokes about what she calls a “case dispensary in the sky.” That omnipotent being that determines what sort of animals will walk into her office. And in some cases, those animals are carried. That was the case a couple years back when a woman brought in a small poodle who had blown a disc and could not walk.

Offbeat Occupations: Acupuncturist helps heal when traditional medicine stops

Some of the worst words you’ll ever hear from a doctor: “There’s nothing we can do.”

Offbeat Occupations: Work of an art curator

The project was a lofty one: find and collect art created by Harlem Renaissance painter Aaron Douglas for a touring exhibit. The project was lofty partly because of the sort of work Douglas, a 1930s artist born in Topeka, created: book illustrations, book jackets, murals — things not easily preserved or portable.

Offbeat Occupations: Future's up in the air for flight instructor

Craig Harper has red hair and blue eyes, a swath of freckles splashed across his cheeks. He’s a fast talker, words marching from his mouth with a mission: to teach people how to fly an airplane, and to do it well. So no one gets hurt.

Offbeat Occupation: Bitten by the grooming bug at a young age

Shelbie Harrell is only 22 but has had an eight-year career. Harrell grooms dogs at Pawsh Wash, 1520 Wakarusa Drive. She’s been doing it since she was a teenager.

Offbeat Occupations: Munchers baker owns the night

It’s the drunks who come at night. They stagger in bleary-eyed, fix their gaze on the wood display case and cast a slurred order at the person behind the counter. The person behind the counter is often Mike Tennyson, owner of Munchers Bakery, 925 Iowa.

Offbeat Occupations: After 29 years, cemetery caretaker at peace with macabre aspects of job

“The hardest part of the job for me is baby funerals,” says Frank Demby. “No matter who — the funeral directors, the vault people, everybody — you can always tell a baby service. There’s a totally different air. That’s probably the hardest part on everybody.”

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