Celebration Senior Magazine, Senior Resources & FREE Events for Seniors!
Seniors in Dallas, Texas | Events for Seniors in Dallas, Texas | Senior Magazines United States
Celebrating Life After 60!
Serving our Community Since 2011
August/September 2020 Contributor Articles
The Dallas Museum of Art
by Paulina Dosal-Terminel
On September 3rd, 2020 the Dallas Museum of Art will lead a live, interactive tour of two virtual galleries! Join Director of Community Engagement, Mary Ann Bonet and Manager of Community Programs Paulina Dosal-Terminel as we navigate the digital platform, share online resources, and guide you on a virtual tour of some of our favorite pieces.
While the Museum’s physical doors may be closed to the public, the DMA is constantly working to find opportunities to connect, bringing the wonder and discovery of art to your home in inventive and spirited ways. A new Museum Mondays e-newsletter launched during the pandemic, providing a peek into the galleries by spotlighting individual artworks and recordings of past speaking engagements. The DMA’s Instagram feed has also shifted for the times, giving tours of the collection through posts, and including a daily #MuseumMomentofZen.
As the city’s museum, the DMA continues to grow its collection, with the hope of inspiring all those who walk through our doors, whether in person or virtually. This statement is at the heart of the Museum's community engagement efforts. In collaboration with partners, artists, and residents, we strive to increase opportunities throughout Dallas to create and connect with art and each other, even from a distance. You can always visit the DMA’s art collection online, read behind-the-scenes stories on our blog, and follow us on social media: Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. You can expect thoughtful dialogue around current exhibits, and opportunities to join the conversation via chat or the microphone on your device.
What to expect on the tour:
First, we will begin with the newly reinstalled European galleries which were unveiled last August. This was a major undertaking that involved the total reinstallation of nearly 150 paintings, sculptures, works on paper, and decorative art objects. Prompted by Eugene and Margaret McDermott’s incredible bequest of Impressionist and modern masterpieces, the reinstallation gave the DMA a rare opportunity to rethink the collection and present it in dynamic new ways. Enriched over the years by gifts of artwork and acquisition funds, the European collection as it stands today is truly a reflection of our community and supporters. Strengths of the McDermott Collection, such as works by Claude Monet, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Paul Cézanne, Edgar Degas, Edvard Munch, Pablo Picasso, and Georges Braque, among many others, are now presented alongside the DMA’s holdings.
Next, we will take some time to closely look and talk about pieces in the My|gration exhibit which features more than 50 works of art from the DMA’s permanent collection, across many periods and mediums. The exhibit, which occupies the Center for Creative Connections’ 5,000-square-foot facility, is organized in three sections (Departures, In-Transit, and Arrivals) and explores the impact of migration and how we connect across great distances of time and space. My│gration is made possible by The Bonnie Pitman Education Endowment to Do Something New, which was established in 2015 from longtime patrons Beverly and Donald S. Freeman to benefit the DMA’s education programs, in honor of its former Director, Bonnie Pitman.
Lastly, we will end our tour with group reflection and time for any final comments or questions.
About the Center for Creative Connections and the Dallas Museum of Art
The Center for Creative Connections (C3) is both an actual physical space and the driving force for disseminating education throughout the Museum and the community. C3 incorporates all the spaces and collections of the Museum to facilitate exploration of personal creativity and desire for learning, providing opportunities to visitors of all ages, genders, and education levels.
Established in 1903, the Dallas Museum of Art (DMA) is among the 10 largest art museums in the country and is distinguished by its commitment to research, innovation, and public engagement. At the heart of the Museum and its programs is its global collection, which encompasses 25,000 works and spans 5,000 years of history, representing a full range of world cultures. Located in the nation’s largest arts district, the Museum acts as a catalyst for community creativity, engaging people of all ages and backgrounds with a diverse spectrum of programming, from exhibitions and lectures to concerts, literary events, and dramatic and dance presentations. With a free general admission policy and community outreach efforts, the DMA served more than 900,000 individuals onsite and offsite in 2019. The DMA is an Open Access institution, allowing all works believed to be in the public domain to be freely available for downloading, sharing, repurposing, and remixing without restriction. For more information, visit DMA.org. The Dallas Museum of Art is supported, in part, by the generosity of DMA Members and donors, the citizens of Dallas through the City of Dallas Office of Arts and Culture, and the Texas Commission on the Arts.
TAKE A VIRTUAL TOUR OF THE DALLAS MUSEUM OF ART ON ZOOM WITH CELEBRATION MAGAZINE LIVE ON SEPTEMBER 3RD AT 2:00PM Click Here to Register
TIME IS A GIFT
by Mary Dowling
Father Time, Wherefore Art Thou?
Where did the time go? Time stands still, though sometimes it keeps on ticking.
Time if of the essence, Time gone by, Time is money, Time after time, Time alone, Time apart, Time is precious, Time times two, A Time for every season,Time in, Time out what is it all about?
All these cliches and what do they mean? The list is endless.
Now that I have "time on my hands" it has allowed me the opportunity to reach out to lifelong friends, write notes and letters to those that I have neglected because "I ran out of time." Prayer and meditation have always a ritual with me but now I can reflect in a more timely manner because "time hasn't run out on me."
Self reflecting has also made me aware of time wasted on nothingness, which I now know was a "waste of time."
Having the time to do the important things in life has given me a different view through a clearer lens on the telescope.
Time is a gift I will continue to unwrap every day!
A LETTER TO MY RESIDENTS: FROM DONNA WHITE AT TWIN RIVERS SENIOR LIVING
by Donna White
July 4, 1776 the Declaration of Independence was signed which freed the 13 Colonies from British rule and is celebrated every year to remind us of the freedom and independence we enjoy living in the United States. The following most prominent and repeated message from the Declaration of Independence:
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness”.
I was thinking about that statement and all the freedom and independence we have living in the United States. A book I read years ago Man’s Search for Meaning, by Viktor Frankl, made a huge impact on my life. It helped me realize that the real freedom, actually the only freedom I really have is the freedom to choose what I think, how I feel, and the actions I take every day regardless of the conditions in my life.
Viktor Frankl was an Austrian neurologist and psychiatrist who wrote a book about his experience in a concentration camp during the Holocaust and how he survived. Here are 3 of my favorite quotes from the book that help me remember how free I really am to create my own reality every moment I choose.
“Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.” -Viktor Frankl
“When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.” -Viktor Frankl
“Between stimulus and response, there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom. ” -Viktor Frankl
These words have helped me, especially during the past few stressful months during all the conditions of the Coronavirus Pandemic that I have no control over.
There is no worse feeling for me than to feel powerless, but knowing that I have the power to create my own experience and how I feel, regardless of the conditions around me that I have no control over, gives me back my power and sense of freedom.
THEATERS AND MOVIE PICTURES COME TO TOWN
by Pat Rogers
As the Victorian Grand Opera Houses across America began to disappear in the early 1900’s, little theaters or Photo Play Houses began to open and became a source of pride to the citizens of every small town and large city. Movies were a national craze and with the arrival of the Interurban in 1908, people who lived in the smaller towns like Anna, Allen and Plano could ride the train into McKinney to see a movie. One such little theater opened, called the ‘Nickle Dime’.
It specialized in one or two reel moving pictures as well as live performances such as “Madame Reno”, the worlds’ foremost magician.
Audiences at the Nickel Dime were treated to some exciting performances by the ever popular “Daredevil Ezell”, a free act on the public square. Ezell would stand on top of the Courthouse, saturate his clothing, set fire to himself and slide down a wire attached to the Nickle Dime. He would be enveloped in flames midair and bravely land at the theater entrance.
It’s June 14, 1913 and the Pope Theater celebrated its opening performance. It was located across from the new Interurban Station and without a doubt was one of the best furnished photo play houses in the entire South.
Newspapers of the day were filled with events at the Pope: photo plays, speakers for local clubs, demonstrations of new products, graduation exercises, high school drama productions, and a succession of spectacular vaudeville acts.
Without a doubt, the highlight of events presented at the Pope in 1918 was a speech given by William Jennings Bryan on March 10, former Secretary of State and three-time candidate for the presidency of the United States.
The high-level of entertainment the Pope offered lasted into the 1920’s, and many films considered classics today were shown to enthusiastic McKinney audiences.
On March 17 1926, the Lon Chaney production of The Phantom of the Opera, billed as “wildest, weirdest, most wonderful story ever thrown on any screen,” met with reactions of horror from the viewers.” Lights grew dim. Strong men turned cowards, Beautiful women grew faint as thousands feared him!” Well anyway that’s what the advertisement in the Daily Courier-Gazette claimed!
From 1910 until about 1930 the motion picture theaters in the open known as Airdome theaters became popular for the late spring and summer months across America.
The airdome consisted of a fenced enclosure, eight to ten feet high, that formed an enclosed yard. At one end a projection house or projection platform was built; at the other end, a picture screen of usual theater size was erected
Chairs were arranged before the screen as in any motion picture theater. The novel idea pleased the general public, whether it was operated in a country town or upon a vacant lot in a large city.”
Other theaters began to appear such as the Happy Hour and the Queen in 1916, and the America in 1917. Their proprietors were T. A. and Roy Brockman who would manage theaters in McKinney for decades.
On October 8, 1928, the Brockman’s opened the Ritz Theater with great fanfare. It was originally called the Robb & Rowley Movie House and was located on the Square at the corner of Virginia and Kentucky Streets. It boasted the most modern projectors, screen, and sound equipment available. The highest quality films were shown there.
A bookstore was located in the front corner of the building and when the feature film was based on a novel, such as From Here to Eternity or To Kill a Mockingbird, the store owner would make a display of that book in the front window of her shop.
Most of us would cringe, or even leave, if we found ourselves in the R & R Ritz Theater of the 1920’s. Stadium seating, digital sound and pictures, with drink and meal service have spoiled us.
One thing hasn’t changed since The Great Train Robbery showed for the first time in 1904. Movies are still magical, taking us on adventures we could never have on our own. A theater is the portal – an enchanted mirror or a fantastical train station – that sends us on our journey and welcomes us back to reality a little happier, a little more relaxed for having spent a couple of hours away from our daily cares.
” Night on the Town, history of entertainment in McKinney” may be experienced at the Collin County History Museum in McKinney, Texas.
TAKE A VIRTUAL TOUR OF THE COLLIN COUNTY HISTORY MUSEUM ON ZOOM WITH CELEBRATION MAGAZINE LIVE ON AUGUST 25TH AT 2:00PM Click Here to Register
TIME - THIS IS MY EXPERIENCE
by Julia DeVaney
The dictionary has so many definitions of time. Everything from interval between events to a prison sentence. I think it now has another meaning: The time before COVID-19 and the time after COVID-19. None of us could have imagined how it would affect our lives. This is how I used my time during this period:
Naturally I miss my social life. Going to church, lunch with friends, card nights, and of course the many activities and trips sponsored by Celebration.
I do have plenty of time for walks in the neighborhood which gives me time to ponder. First of all, I’m thankful that I have two good legs so that I can go for that walk. Then I think of all the people on my church email prayer list who cannot get out. So instead of just going over the list, I actually pray for them and then I drop them a note in the mail just to let them know I am thinking of them. I now have a better understand what it means to be a shut-in.
When I watch the news and see the long lines of people waiting for food because they have lost their jobs, again I am thankful. As long as the Social Security check keeps coming in, I can go to the grocery store and get food. I buy a little extra so I can donate to the Food Bank.
I have plenty of time to read; but I have also learned new things – like how to use Zoom.
Of course I enjoy working in my small yard. It’s amazing how even during this pandemic the flowers still continue to bloom. The iris and amaryllises were beautiful. And while I’m pulling those darn weeds, I can’t help but wonder why they keep coming up every year even tho I pull up the roots. Do you think the scientists can find a cure in those stubborn weeds?
And while I am out in the yard, I have had an opportunity to meet my neighbors who are out for a walk. Visiting at a distance is no problem.
My experience with time during COVID-19, is that it has given me the opportunity to be more aware of my many blessings for which I am thankful!
ESSENTIAL OILS 101 - LEARN ABOUT ESSENTIAL OILS FOR SENIORS
By Joie Bailey
Essential oils are plant compounds in liquid form, most often distilled or extracted from the seeds, bark, leaves, stems, roots, flowers, fruit, peels, etc., of plants.
Because it takes many plants to fill one bottle of essential oil, these oils are highly concentrated (granted the product is 100% pure). Therefore, a small amount goes a long way, and it’s fairly difficult to “overdose” on essential oils.
There are hundreds of health benefits to using essential oils, and there seems to be an oil for just about everything. A few of the properties of essential oils include: antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal, antihistamine, anti-tumor, anti-inflammatory, stimulating, sedative, anticonvulsant, vasodilating, pain-reducing, cleansing, immune-booster, uplifting, calming/soothing, antiparasitic, nerve tonic, warming, cooling, antidepressant, antioxidant, decongestant, digestive aid, anti-infection (natural antibiotic) — and the list goes on.
Essential oils are used to help change your mood, cure ailments or promote balance in your life. Certain oils and blends of oils can help to bring about physical and emotional changes in our bodies.
When using essential oils for treating an ailment, consistent application will yield the best and quickest results. In general, a little more patience and persistence is needed when using natural remedies, but finding relief with no ill effects, will be well worth it, especially if one of your goals is to raise a healthy family.
The 3 Ways to Use Essential Oils
1. Aromatically: inhaled or diffused into the air using a diffuser or vaporizer.
When an essential oil enters the olfactory system through our nostrils, it reaches the limbic system of the brain, which allows the aroma to have profound physiological and psychological effects. Aromatic use of essential oils is a great way to quickly boost your mood and to help relieve stress, anxiety, depression, and emotional trauma.
Try placing a drop of your favorite oil in the palm of your hand, rub your palms together, then cup your palms around your nose and mouth (taking care to avoid the eyes), and take a nice, slow inhale. You should feel your mood shift instantaneously.
2. Topically: applied directly to the skin.
This application works well for treating skin conditions such as rashes, wrinkles, warts, burns, etc. If you’re spreading the oil over a large area, dilute about two or three drops of essential oil with a carrier oil, (which can be any variation of pure vegetable-based oil, such as coconut, olive, almond, jojoba oil, etc.), so it’s easier to spread. Be sure to dilute essential oils for use on babies, the elderly, and those with sensitive skin.
For quick absorption into the bloodstream, try rubbing two or three drops of oil on the bottoms of your feet, which have the largest pores in your body.
3. Internally: taken under the tongue, in water or other beverage, or in an empty capsule and swallowed.
This method is best used when dealing with more serious conditions, where you want to tackle something quickly. Essential oils are often taken internally for gastrointestinal issues, colds, flu, and getting rid of parasites. Oils could help support the treatment of cancer, diabetes, high blood pressure, and other diseases. However, pregnant women, those with liver issues, and children under six should not ingest essential oils.
Awareness of aromatherapy - the therapeutic use of essential oils has grown exponentially worldwide over the past twenty years. Essential oils can be found in grocery stores or ordered on Amazon or through Multi-Level Marketing companies… BUT not all essential oils are created equally! To be sure you are using the safest and most effective oils, you should always consult with a Certified Aromatherapist.
A Certified Aromatherapist has completed hundreds of hours in training. Course work covers Anatomy and Physiology, Chemistry, a specific set of essential oils (60+ oils per course typically), safety and usage guidelines. After course work, assignments and multiple case studies, a student completes two rigorous exams. The average course takes 400 hours to complete. They know their stuff.
Joie Bailey is a Certified Aromatherapist. She has a degree in Applied Science from the University of Texas, worked as a Radiation Therapist, and has spent the past 20 years working in senior healthcare. Joie has seen first-hand the side effects and counter indications that prescribed medications can have on seniors. She loves the way that Eastern and Western medicine can complement each other, and is passionate about sharing her knowledge to help others.
Join Joie Bailey on Zoom September 15th at 2:00pm for her series called ESSENTIAL OILS 101. Click here to register for this event.
IT'S A COVID-19 WORLD AND WE'RE ALL JUST LIVING IT!
By Kristin L. Woods, Regional Director of Sales, Holiday Retirement
Drive-by parades, hand sanitizer stations, seniors wearing masks in their own homes—to say that Covid-19 has disrupted the senior living world, might be the understatement of 2020. After all, the very reason why many seniors join communities is for just that, “community.” With Covid-19 turning everything upside down, it has been up to us to figure out how we will keep our residents safe, while keeping them mentally, physically and socially engaged.
Prior to Covid-19, our communities were bustling with seniors engaged in all types of activities. If you have never seen a 100-year-old lead chair exercise, you have not lived! Enjoying meals with friends in the dining room was the highlight of everyone’s day. I mean, who could resist a chef-made dessert with every single meal? And of course, we could not wait to pile on the bus to see the local high school’s one act play--Sherri’s granddaughter has the lead this year!
Yes, that’s how Holiday communities around the country looked, until mid-March when the shutdown occurred.
It was time to pivot.
With nearly 50 years of senior living operational expertise, Holiday Retirement helped lead the charge when it came to enhanced safety protocols in response to Covid-19. Holiday serves 30,000 residents in 43 states, and although the virus presented a challenge, our prevention measures and commitment to our residents’ well-being led to new and creative ways to keep residents engaged, informed and connected.
So, how did Holiday do that? For starters, the executive leadership team organized a Covid-19 response team from day one. This ensured that we had associates focused on combatting Covid-19. This team was able to procure essential personal protective equipment, such as gloves, masks, face shields and gowns and distribute to communities, so that our residents and our associates were properly equipped.
Regional Director of Operations, Lydia Robertson, says, “I feel beyond blessed to work for a company that was so quick in its response to the virus. To know that our associates and our residents are protected is everything.”
In addition to outfitting associates with proper personal protective equipment, each resident was also provided a personal mask by Holiday. Also, staff members stepped up cleaning efforts. In addition to cleaning residents’ apartments, the company is devoting more than 18 hours per day to cleaning and sanitizing everything from doorknobs to elevator buttons. We have also been delivering three meals and two snacks daily to every resident to ensure that they are receiving proper nutrition. Enhanced protocols like these have led to a lower infection rate in Holiday communities as compared to the national average for seniors.
While safety is obviously essential, keeping older adults mentally and socially active is extremely important. With the safety precautions in place, we had to limit the visitors and family members that could come into our communities. And although that is understandable, it can lead to isolation, loneliness and depression--none of which we want in our communities.
So, what have we done to combat this? For starters, we never stopped doing activities, we just had to modify the way we did them. Our resident experience coordinators have had to be extremely creative. Have you ever done socially distanced bingo? Have you ever led an exercise class along a hallway with everyone six feet apart? And, have you ever held a socially distanced outside concert? Well, we have!
Resident Experience Coordinator, Deedee Knox puts it like this, “Covid-19 certainly has affected all of our residents. Depression is a real enemy. So, my job as a REC is super important. I try to provide activities that will entice them to open their doors, bring them out on their balconies/patios, stretch their minds with various daily puzzles, re-introduce small group activities, and share a meal with other residents, all while socially distancing. One important thing, too, is spending time to talk with the residents individually, even if it's just asking how they are or taking the time to listen.”
Listening to our residents and their families is at the center of everything we do at Holiday. As we have managed the effects of this virus, technology has also played a huge role in connecting our residents and their families. When your son or daughter cannot physically come into the community, that can be extremely hard. Holiday has set up spaces in communities where residents can see their loved one through windows and communicate with them via cell phone. It is not the same as having them sit on their couch and converse, but it is a start!
We have also developed a weekly learning series to connect residents to family and loved ones using computers. And we have a great weekly newsletter that highlights events and happenings at all our communities across the nation. In addition, our residents are using things like Facetime, Facebook messenger and Google Duo to connect to their families virtually.
As states and cities begin to open back up, Holiday has taken a cautious, multi-phased approach to the re-opening of communities. Under public health and state guidelines, our communities will implement initial changes, then evaluate the impact of those changes against gating criteria before considering a move to the next phase. As we move from phase to phase, we expect to maintain stringent visitor screening and limitations, and our residents and associates will wear masks and other protection in common areas.
While we would like to go back to the way everything was prior to Covid-19, the reality is, this is our new normal. As we navigate these unchartered waters, some communities are now able to allow a limited number of family members to see their loved ones by appointment. In many cases, we are also welcoming outside visitors to tour the property once again in person. They must supply their own personal protective equipment and agree to temperature checks and electronic screening, just like all our associates.
Implementation of all changes is based on whether there are any active cases of Covid-19 in the community or whether someone (an associate or resident) is being tested for the virus. When those things happen, we already know what to do and we once again pivot to protect our residents and staff.
With so much change on a daily, sometimes hourly basis, it can be daunting. But as Holiday resident, Carol Botefuhr says, “It’s important for everyone to just keep a good sense of humor during these times.”
After all, humor is good for the soul—in and out of a pandemic!
INTERESTED IN LEARNING MORE ABOUT HOLIDAY LIVING? CLICK HERE!
MY TIME DURING THE PANDEMIC
by Helen Davids
Since March, when we went into quarantine/social distancing due to COVID-19, my activities and ways of doing life has changed.
Suddenly, much of everything I do is now done online- Grocery shopping (for pickup or home delivery), You Tube and ZOOM for exercise classes, Livestream church services, and Zoom Sunday School class and other meetings. I found a Mah Jongg app (my favorite social game) that lets me play online with friends or against the computer bots. The best thing I found online, was Celebration Magazine – for Zoom events and games – and a new social connection.
During this time, I have also taken more walks outside, read many good books, listened to music (and danced around the house), watched Amazon shows and Hallmark movies.
I did venture out to some appointments (dental, eye dr, dermatology, and a haircut), all while practicing safe protocols (temperature check, masks, and hand sanitizer).
I learned to slow down, get more sleep, eat healthier, enjoy nature on my walks, and cherish family and friends connections through phone calls, texts, Zoom and Facebook.
Life has changed, but I am still doing things I enjoy – just in new and different ways.
HOW I AM SPENDING MY TIME
by Kathy Massie
Three years ago I moved to Carrollton, Texas, from Lockport, New York. As I was a recent widow, I knew it was time to live near family. My goal was to find an independent living community near my family and also to meet my needs as an active & outgoing 75 year old!
I happily found a perfect fit for me! I drove with my son-in-law to Texas, moved in and loved it from day one! I joined activities from fitness classes to card games such as bridge, “hand & foot” and “pegs & jokers”. I took daily walks around the nearby lake and I made a community full of new friends! Life was good!
And then...March 12, life suddenly stopped. COVID-19 Pandemic! The entire community was in “lockdown “. If we left the community, even for a doctors appointment, we were required to be in quarantine for 14 days. All meals were delivered to our apartments, activities were canceled and if we walked outside, we were expected to stay on the property. We were suddenly isolated from our previous “free & easy life”!
So, what did I do, you may ask? After over three months of “me, myself & I” I truly have come to realize that I CAN take care of me!
* I subscribed to the library free books online! I’ve read 10 great novels so far!
* I’ve been introduced to Zoom! Attended meetings, talked with family and played Wheel of Fortune and BINGO with Celebration Magazine, and happy hour chats too!
* I’ve kept fit using You Tube fitness videos! Nothing like a good workout by myself!
* I’ve loved playing games online and, of course staying connected with friends through Facebook!
* I’ve talked by phone with forever friends who I hadn’t stayed connected with.
* I’ve baked cookies to share with friends and staff who have been so kind.
* I’ve ordered groceries online to be delivered. Who knew it would be so easy!
* and, yes, I’ve watched more TV than ever! I discovered Animal Planet, The History Channel, and of course the Halmark Channel for never ending love story movies!
As cities and states began to open up, so did life in my community. Just a tiny bit... we are once again playing cards, playing BINGO, attending in-house movies in the theater and outdoor entertainment! All, of course, wearing a mask and limited to 10 participants. Today our families came with decorated cars and did a “drive by we love you” event!
Yes, in-spite of COVID-19, we are all still healthy! Now at 78, I feel blessed to have many friends, am healthy and my new reality is that I CAN DO THIS! But I also can’t wait until...this too shall pass!
MARK CARROLL: THE STORY OF A TALENTED, GENEROUS MAN.
by Stacy Allyn Dominguez
When you think of the Spectacular Follies, one name stands out more than the others; Mark Carroll, who passed away this week, was the man who started it all.
Mark created the Follies in 2008 as a way of promoting talented seniors he knew and to bring entertainment to the mature audiences in the community, but that is just one part of his incredible lifetime in the spotlight.
Born in Little Rock, Arkansas in 1935, Mark’s childhood was not one of fun and happiness. His parents were not well equipped to raise a child so Mark spent a lot of time alone. As a youngster, Mark attended a carnival show and was mesmerized by the lights, costumes and glitz and decided right there and then to find a way to become part of the show business community. He read every entertainment magazine he could and daydreamed of all the glamour and excitement of Hollywood and New York.
Learning to play piano in his early teens, Mark bought and listened to every record he could get his hands on, focusing on the piano playing for each song. He knew that his talent for piano would get him to the promised land.
By the time he was 18, Mark left home never looking back to Little Rock and joined small bands and played at tiny clubs in the area. Always trying to improve his craft, Mark listened to all kinds of musical genres and his ability to play them all gave him the opportunity to work with larger, big named professional musicians. Mark was on his way.
Mark decided it was time to go out on his own and came to Dallas to find fame and fortune. At first he found work as a pianist for burlesque houses and played for Candy Barr and other strippers who loved how he kept the beat for them and musically elevated their acts. During this era many famous Dallas entertainers visited these clubs and Mark met them all. Mark was advised to travel more and gain experience so he could broaden his appeal and he took this advice and played clubs all over the country gaining fans everywhere he went due to his talent and giving personality. He learned early to love the lyrics of the songs he played and sing from his heart and audiences could not get enough of his performances.
Mark took his winning personality and talents and headed to Las Vegas, Hollywood, New York and many other big cities where he could work in nightclubs and was always a hit. Known as a pianist’s pianist, Mark could play and sing just about every song requested of him and that made him a favorite for booking. He worked steadily for many years and traveled the world through his 20s through 40s. By then he decided to come back to Dallas and settle down and work in the many clubs in the area.
Mark had no trouble finding work in Dallas. Commerce Street was the place to go at that time and Mark worked at nightspots such as the Century Room in the Adolphus Hotel, which featured a lavish ice show, and the showrooms in both the Statler and Baker hotels. He also played at night spots like the Bachelor’s Club, the Carousel Club and the Colony Club. Dallas had a flourishing night life and Mark found work easily and played to capacity crowds.
Mark found himself with a one-night engagement at the Mansion at Turtle Creek that turned into a full-time gig, playing six nights a week. Mark loved to share the stories of the many famous people he met there, Robert Goulet, Larry Hagman, Mary Martin, Rosemary Clooney, Rock Hudson, Lauren Bacall and even Frank Sinatra.
Mark was a fixture at the Mansion bar for many years even writing a song about it, “Meet me at the Mansion bar”, which he recorded and became his theme song.
Over the years, Mark Carroll became the go-to pianist for many artists and he backed up many big names like Julie Wilson, Jeri Southern and Peggy Lee. Later he would pair up with Dallas favorite, Trella Hart for many appearances.
The years went on and times changed and many night spots no longer had live music and Mark thought it was time to change direction and move on. He made Dallas his home and gave music lessons and did private parties. Then he met Ned Startzel.
Ned Startzel was a former vaudevillian who lived in the area and was thinking of how to put on a showcase that featured senior aged entertainers that still had a lot of talent but not too many places to show it. He called Mark and they had a long discussion that led to them coming up with the idea of putting together a Las Vegas, Ziegfeld Follies type of showcase that would feature talented performers over the age of 55 staged with beautiful sets, lights and lavish costumes. They decided that they wanted to produce a show that recreated a musical experience long vanished from the stage and bring back variety geared toward senior aged audiences who were longing for that type of entertainment. With the idea of live singing and dancing and a line of beautiful showgirls in full feather and bead costumes, the Spectacular Follies was born in 2008 and Ned and Mark brought their dream to fruition. Ned lived to be 99 years old and was an active part of the Follies both on stage and behind the scenes until his passing.
An instant success in 2008, the Spectacular Follies has grown over the last 12 years from a cast of 40 entertainers to the 130 cast member show it is today. Mark was responsible for finding the many talented acts and showcasing their talents and produced the shows for many years until his health forced him to slow down. Mark was the most generous of showmen, always encouraging and pushing his entertainers to find the best of their abilities and how to show them on stage. His ability to make each performer feel special made Mark beloved by everyone who worked with him. Mark gave his cast their ‘second act’ on stage and his love of fellow entertainers will not be forgotten.
When Mark was unable to travel to perform in later years, he came up with the idea to write his memoir and published “Reaching for the Moon”, his life story told in his own words highlighting the many ups and downs in his long life. Digging deep into his soul, Mark shared a lot of interesting stories of his time in the spotlight from his introverted childhood through the years he became a fixture at the Mansion on Turtle Creek to the creation of the Follies, the story is filled with all the big names from Showbiz who Mark got to know. Sometimes sad, often times funny, Mark opened his heart and soul to give an honest version of himself.
In the last year, Mark decided to do musical showcases from his home on Saturday afternoons that appeared online so the audience could find and enjoy him without leaving home. In the days of home confinement and the need for people to seek entertainment from their living room, Mark was able to fulfill the void with a wonderful performance each weekend of playing and singing the many songs he loved to perform over his long career. His last performance was in June when he had a large online audience watching him do what he did best. Mark’s voice has been silenced this week, but his legacy of music will live on. Mark Carroll lived a life of entertaining and helping others which gave him the love he looked for since he was a child in Little Rock.
George W. Bush Presidential Center
By Amy Polley Hamilton, Curator
As curator of the George W. Bush Library and Museum, I’ve been asked a lot of interesting questions:
“Q: Where are all of the books? A: We aren’t that kind of library.”
“Q: Why don’t you have something about [my very specific and narrow topic of interest]? A: It’s impossible to cram everything from the 2,923 days he was in office into an exhibit you go through in two hours.”
“Q: Why do we have presidential libraries? A: That’s a very good question.”
As we go through this Covid-19 pandemic, something that came out the blue and drastically changed our plans for 2020, I’ve thought frequently about the parallels between our current experience and what we all went through on a clear, blue-sky Tuesday morning 19 years ago this month: September 11th. Yes, there are officials who have spent their whole lives planning and preparing for both of these crises, but did we, the normal people going about our daily lives? What did we feel that day, how did we react and respond in the days that followed, and how did it change our lives forever, into a ‘new normal’? And how is this at all related to presidential libraries?
When we were developing the museum exhibits in 2010, we knew that when we opened in 2013 that a 7th-grader would not have been born when the 9/11 attacks occurred -- and this was shocking to us! It seemed then that the attacks were “just yesterday.” Today, that 7th grader is a sophomore in college. And even 24-25 year olds were such little children when it happened, many of them have no first-hand memories of the experience. Wow.
When guests visit our museum, they are taken back to that time; not just September 11th but the 2000 election (remember the hanging chads -- we have some), the domestic agenda President Bush focused on in the first nine months in office (tax reform, education reform, and faith-based initiatives), and Mrs. Laura Bush’s favorite books for kids of all ages. Then, bam! You turn a corner, just as we did that morning, and are faced with a day of fire. Videos from the day show the initial confusion of what was happening, and then the quickly mounting chaos. We exhibit a piece of the World Trade Center steel, which we worked hard to make safe for visitors to touch, so they can have that physical connection with a place they will never forget, but never be able to visit again.
We show the Fire Department of New York fleece jacket President Bush wore when he threw out the first pitch at Game 3 of the 2001 World Series -- in New YorkCity: Yankees vs Diamondbacks. We have the ball and pitching rubber, too. Through the past 7 years, we have watched parents and grandparents walking their 7th-graders, and now college kids, through the exhibit, pointing at a video, a letter, a baseball, and saying: “I was there. I remember this. This is what happened. The whole world changed.”
Our presidential libraries are not just about the man who served as president for 4 or 8 years. They aren’t just about the head of state gifts that the leaders exchanged, and they aren’t just about the fabulous gowns the first ladies wore to state dinners (although we can learn so much about other countries and global diplomacy through both of these).
The presidential libraries are time capsules of the most important events in our country (and the world) in the last century. Through the permanent and temporary exhibits, visitors can revisit the news headlines, contemporary footage, original documents and artifacts, and even music and fashion from a distinct period in American history. Parents and grandparents can provide their own “walking tours” through the memories of their youths, assisted by exhibits that present information they may have forgotten, or not paid too much attention to “the first time around.”
The libraries are also amazing repositories of information that will be mined by scholars and researchers for decades to come. With over 70 million documents, 43,000 objects, 4 million photographs, and over 80 terabytes of digital information (which is 200+ million pages) from the George W. Bush administration, the library offers researchers a virtually endless source of material to read, analyze, and write about (this is where the “library” term comes in).
As we develop a “new” new normal after Covid-19, I am sure that the museum experience everywhere will be a little bit different: a little less touching, a lot more hand sanitizer. But what won’t be different are the stories: “I was there. I remember.”
The George W. Bush Library and Museum has an active and social volunteer corps. For more information about volunteering, please email email@example.com.
TAKE A VIRTUAL TOUR OF THE GEORGE W. BUSH PRESIDENTIAL LIBRARY AND MUSEUM ON ZOOM WITH CELEBRATION MAGAZINE LIVE ON SEPTEMBER 24TH AT 2:00PM Click Here to Register
Dallas Heritage Village
from the Dallas Heritage Museum
Just south of bustling downtown Dallas is an oasis unlike any other in the city. For centuries, this land has been a gathering place for the community.
First, as a camping spot for Cherokee Indians.
Later, as the first public park for the city.
Today, history and nature come together at Dallas Heritage Village (DHV).
Located in the historic and rapidly redeveloping Cedars neighborhood, DHV exists today because of the passionate commitment of Dallas visionaries who came together in February 1966 to save a historic home built in the 1860s. As an immersive history museum, DHV encourages visitors to imagine themselves in the past.
Shop in the 1900 General Store—or pick up a broom and become the shopkeeper’s assistant. Chat with staff and volunteers who are ready to talk to you about our past—and our future. Play a game of dominoes in the Saloon. Ride with Waylon & Willie, our Mammoth Jack donkeys. Discover the complex history of Millermore—and how that story connects to life in Dallas today. Or simply enjoy a bit of peace in the middle of our hectic city. No visit to DHV is ever the same.
For generations of North Texas families, DHV has been a place to make history.
TAKE A VIRTUAL TOUR OF THE DALLAS HERITAGE VILLAGE ON ZOOM WITH CELEBRATION MAGAZINE LIVE ON SEPTEMBER 17TH AT 2:00PM. Click Here to Register
TIME CAN BE AN ASSET OR AN ENEMY!
My mother told me all my life, when I became impatient awaiting a special occasion, to enjoy the wait as time would fly as you get older. I couldn’t imagine that concept when I was 6, 16, or even awaiting the birth of my babies or for those terrible two’s to pass.
When I retired and began a new chapter in my book of life, I began to notice a speed change in time. Some days were longer without the pressures of work deadlines; while others were shorter - like time with family.
Then the Pandemic hit and the staying in place, closures and isolation. I live alone and quickly realized with normal routines altered, I had big adjustments to make. Did I want to stay in bed all day binging on junk food and TV? Or, should I tackle some domestic projects?
I’ve always been a people person; outgoing and socially involved. My career had been in corporate industry event planning; which I broadened after retirement to planning my high school reunions, college alumni gatherings, and marketing speakers. Now all of that was on hold, and I pondered how to replace those projects.
To be honest, I have spent some days in bed, binging on snacks and the entire six series of Downton Abbey. And of course, there’s been the usual domestic projects of drawer/closet/cabinets/pantry reorganizing and downsizing. I’ve written lots of cards, emails, texts, and done Zoom events, FaceTime calls & Podcasts. Aren’t we glad we’ve got hi-tech now?
I began a daily group text of inspirational messages to my Beta Sigma Phi Sisters. It’s been less lonely keeping in daily contact with them. And I’m blessed to have a daughter and a few others that call and check on me daily.
I’ve found that Facebook has become my best friend! I’m online several times daily to connect with old and new friends, loved ones and family near and far. I’ve lived vicariously through photos and stories shared. We’ve celebrated achievements and milestones, and grieved losses.
I’ve ordered food, products, services and groceries online for door delivery. And even had TeleHealth calls with my doctors. The weirdest thing was having labs tests from my car in a parking lot.
The only thing I haven’t tackled yet is crocheting those neck scarves. I’ve had a big bag of yarn waiting for six years. That’s my next project, after the door wreath I’m working on.
Mama was right! Time does fly now whether I’m busy or not. Time is a friend now and no longer an enemy. At almost 79, I’m thankful and blessed for every hour God gives me.
Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow’s not promised. Live and treasure every minute today.
by Vivian and Dennis Marino
When our time of quarantine began, the days seemed long and very isolated.
As everything began to close, I became a workaholic! I washed drapes and sheers, cleaned closets, organized drawers, and anything else that needed done. That lasted a while, and then I decided that there had to be other ways to enjoy the time.
Dennis and I began walking around the neighborhood every morning. We have continued this activity as an exercise routine and as a way to soak up Vitamin D.
Then one day, my line dance instructor sent out a Facebook link to practice line dance routines. So every Tuesday morning I spend two hours learning new routines and giving my memory a workout!
I love to read, so I am finally taking the time to enjoy this pastime. I do this in the afternoons, and when it isn't too hot, I also get to enjoy reading while sitting in our backyard on my swing.
Dennis works around the house and cooks dinner every night for us. He has become quite the chef! He cleans up afterwards, too.
On Sunday mornings we attend Mass in our living room. We dress up (not too formal) and while watching the Bishop on Channel 4, we respond as if we were actually in Church.
These activities were fine, but were done in isolation!! Then along came Celebration to the rescue!! The activities that the team has initiated for us has give us a chance to interact with friends and to make new friends. Dennis and I enjoy every event and enjoy our time on ZOOM.
We thank you for your hard work in finding ways to keep us active and to sharpen our minds. WE SALUTE YOU!