November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving!

ONA wishes everyone a safe and enjoyable holiday with family and friends!

November 17, 2013

Fox Tales and Acorns

The story goes like this:

Fred Anglin took possession of the three flags that have been displayed at our ONA functions in years past.  These are the American flag, the Texas State flag and the Oakhurst flag, which is the same image of the oak leaf that many of us have displayed by decal on our cars.

Fred was unhappy with the poles that supported the flags, and with good reason.  It seems that the “poles” were actually industrial-size mop handles and in very poor condition.  Knowing that good ONA member Doug Hyde was a clever woodworker, Fred bought some sturdy 2-inch wooden dowels of appropriate length and gave them to Doug to sand, stain and finish.  Finally, Fred found an American eagle to sit atop the American flagpole, a Texas five-point star for the Texas flag and NOTHING for the Oakhurst flag.  At the March “Oakhurst Neighborhood Bike Ride with Mayor Betsy Price” Fred proudly displayed all three of our flags and expressed his dismay that there was no appropriate “Oakhurst finial” for our proud flag.  Seeing another opportunity for self-aggrandizement, I quickly volunteered to carve a big acorn for the top of the flagpole.  Using a piece of red oak from a tree in my front yard, I made a rough approximation of an acorn and completed it in time for it to be displayed at the ONA Spring General Membership Meeting.  It is made from authentic Oakhurst-grown red oak.

At the spring meeting, I had an epiphany.  With a burst of ridiculous enthusiasm, I announced that I would carve a red oak acorn for every member who donated an additional $80 to ONA.  Sort of a KERA/KKXT type of fund-raiser incentive.  In addition, I promised that they would be the first in a yearly series of Oakhurst Acorns representing the major oaks that grow in oak, then white or post oak, live oak, bur oak and chinkapin oak.  By the end of the 5 years, a person would have 5 distinctly different acorns, carved from their own distinctly different, acorn-specific oak.  The acorns are different; the wood they produce is different, too.  I announced that I would call the series Now You Know Your Nuts.  “How clever,” I said, “this will be a sure-fire fund-raiser for our neighborhood association!”

Three people took me up on the offer that night, and others expressed an interest.  I thought, what could be easier, three more red oak acorns.  What an idiot!  No one carves oak!  There’s a reason you make your hardwood floors and furniture out of oak.  It’s hard, hard as a rock!  After this experience, I’m quite confident I can carve marble or granite acorns just as easily.  So, about $650 later in tools, equipment and wood, I’ve managed to finish 6 since the Spring General Meeting.  Of these, Doyle Willis and Glenda Shelton have made their selections, and Ginger Bason still needs to pick hers from the remaining.  They have the Oakhurst emblem laser engraved and there are three, maybe four, left.

If you want one, it’s  Don’t hold your breath for the rest of the series, but if I do it again next year, I’ve already got Jon Bayer’s white oak drying.  (Sadly, another victim of the deadly hypoxylon canker.)

This story, authored by Dr. Glenn Calabrese, originally appeared in the November 2013 edition of the Oak Leaflet.

November 9, 2013

Oakhurst Residents Part of History of November 22, 1963

President Kennedy speaks outside of the
Hotel Texas on November 22, 1963
President John F. Kennedy made his last speeches in downtown Fort Worth just 2 1/2 miles from Oakhurst on November 22, 1963, a day that changed the history of the country and the world.  As we mark the 50th anniversary of his assassination in Dallas, it is good to remember that Oakhurst residents were part of the happy events for the president in Fort Worth.  A new National Geographic television special on JFK in Fort Worth entitled “JFK — The Final Hours” features a segment on five Carter Riverside High School coeds who were downtown that day and saw the president.  Most if not all of those girls lived in Oakhurst.  One of them, Dian Witherspoon, recently wrote about the experience of being interviewed for the television documentary:  “Well, Sat. May 25 at 9:30 in the morning, the "5 Carter High School coeds" and Pam Pierson's aunt met the TV Producer with National Geographic in downtown Fort Worth at the JFK Tribute site and filmed the interviews
of our experience there on Nov. 22, 1963.  It was fun and I trust that it will be well edited so that we are all proud of it.

They had many more people after us, but he said our group were the "stars" of the parking lot segment.  (In case you need names of the 5, they were Kathleen Kane Golden, Dian Frohlich Witherspoon, Carol Clinton Sikes, Kay Fredericks Payton and Pam Pierson DeLeon.  That is the order (right to left) in which we were standing back in 1963.  There were other students from Carter there that day in "63", but because we were among the very first to arrive, we were mentioned on a WBAP radio broadcast, which started the hunt for us for this project.  Also because of our early arrival of 5:00 AM, we were front and center when the crowd started to gather and appear in several photos taken that day.  Three of us are clearly visible in one of the photos at the JFK Tribute and the others were blocked from view by Kennedy and the Secret Service agents as he passed by shaking hands with the was Pam's aunt who volunteered to take Pam and some of her friends to see the President.  Her aunt is now 80 and as full of life as people half her age.  She is shorter than any of us and was only 29 years old when we saw Kennedy, so the radio reporter said 6 coeds assuming she was a student too.”

Another Oakhurst resident, Mrs. Milo Thelin, shown left in her Mapleleaf home in the early 1970s, was also part of the November 22, 1963 Fort Worth story.  She and her Sunday School class from Grace Lutheran Church often worked as a team serving banquets at the Hotel Texas (now the Hilton) to raise extra money for class and church projects.  Mrs. Thelin and her fellow Sunday School class members helped serve breakfast to the packed house at the Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce breakfast for the president in the hotel ballroom that Friday in November 1963.  A statue of President Kennedy and memory wall of the famous day are new additions to downtown across from the hotel.  They are worth a trip to see to remember Fort Worth’s place in this important history.

This story, authored by Libby Willis, originally appeared in the November 2013 edition of the Oak Leaflet.

November 4, 2013

This Weekend: Lone Star Film Festival

Image courtesy
From the Fort Worth Events website:

The eighth annual Lone Star Film Festival promises to be one of the premier cultural events in Fort Worth.  The festival lineup showcases artistically and culturally significant films, and provides educational forums in which filmmakers and enthusiasts can learn more about the art and business of cinema.

Lone Star Film Festival
November 7-10
Sundance Square