December 24, 2013

Merry Christmas!

From neighbor to neighbor...may you and your family enjoy a peaceful and safe holiday season.

Image courtesy

December 20, 2013

Helpful Advice: Protect Your Pet During Winter and Cold Weather

The following is some friendly advice received from the Family Pet Clinic of Richland Hills, as forwarded by our neighbor Julie Charles:

Protect Your Pet During Winter and Cold Weather
Follow our tips to keep pets safe and comfortable

In many areas, winter is a season of bitter cold and numbing wetness. Extra precautions during winter months will make sure your four-footed family members stay safe and warm. Help your pets remain happy and healthy during the colder months by following these simple guidelines:

Keep pets indoors and warm
Don't leave dogs or cats outdoors when the temperature drops. Most dogs, and all cats, are safer indoors, except when taken out for exercise. No matter what the temperature, wind chill can threaten a pet's life. Regardless of the season, shorthaired, very young, or old dogs and all cats should never be left outside without supervision. Short-coated dogs may feel more comfortable wearing a sweater during walks. The best way to keep your pets safe (and happy) is to keep them with you

Take precautions if your dog spends a lot of time outside
A dog or cat is happiest and healthiest when kept indoors. If for some reason your dog is outdoors much of the day, he or she must be protected by a dry, draft-free shelter that is large enough to allow the dog to sit and lie down comfortably, but small enough to hold in his/her body heat. The floor should be raised a few inches off the ground and covered with cedar shavings or straw. The house should be turned to face away from the wind, and the doorway should be covered with waterproof burlap or heavy plastic.

Help neighborhood outdoor cats
If there are outdoor cats, either owned or unowned ferals and strays (often referred to as "community cats") in your area, remember that they need protection from the elements as well as food and water. It's easy to give them a hand.

Give your pets plenty of water
Pets who spend a lot of time outdoors need more food in the winter because keeping warm depletes energy. Routinely check your pet's water dish to make certain the water is fresh and unfrozen. Use plastic food and water bowls rather than metal; when the temperature is low, your pet's tongue can stick and freeze to metal.

Be careful with cats, wildlife, and cars
Warm engines in parked cars attract cats and small wildlife, who may crawl up under the hood. To avoid injuring any hidden animals, bang on your car's hood to scare them away before starting your engine.

Protect paws from salt
The salt and other chemicals used to melt snow and ice can irritate the pads of your pet's feet. Wipe all paws with a damp towel before your pet licks them and irritates his/her mouth.

Avoid antifreeze poisoning
Antifreeze is a deadly poison, but it has a sweet taste that may attract animals and children. Wipe up spills and store antifreeze (and all household chemicals) out of reach. Coolants and antifreeze made with propylene glycol are less toxic to pets, wildlife, and family.

The best tip of all: keep your pets with you
Probably the best prescription for winter's woes is to keep your dog or cat inside with you and your family. The happiest dogs are those who are taken out frequently for walks and exercise, but kept inside the rest of the time. Dogs and cats are social animals who crave human companionship. Your animal companions deserve to live indoors with you and your family.

December 16, 2013

Walk the RAD! - Craft and Artisan Market

On Saturday, December 21st, come out and do your last-minute gift shopping in the Riverside Arts District!


Walk the RAD - A unique holiday shopping experience in Riverside Arts District
2800 and 2900 blocks of Race Street and Riverside Stolen Garden
Saturday, December 21, 2013, 10am to 5pm

December 10, 2013

This Week: ONA Ladies' Christmas Tea

Please join us this Saturday for our annual ONA Ladies Christmas Tea!  Bring your favorite holiday goodies to share...and your favorite tea cup!

Where: Home of Tamara and Burney Dickinson, 1905 Bluebonnet Drive

When: Saturday, December 14, 2013, 2-4pm

RSVP by December 12 to or 817.307.8530

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

October 25, 2013

The Way it Was on Aster Avenue in the 1930s

Oakhurst resident Beverly Sharp Germany recently shared some memories of growing up at 2313 Aster Avenue in the 1930s and 1940s.  Her parents, Ruby and W.E. Sharp, built their house in 1928 as newlyweds.  Here’s a photo of Beverly and her best friend, Nancy Moses, in front of her Oakhurst house in the early 1930s getting ready to go swimming.

Beverly remembered a lot about 1930s life in the neighborhood: "We had an iceman, Mr. Winn, who delivered ice to our houses.  Few if any had refrigerators until up into the 1940s.  Each house had a large cardboard square that had either a 25, 50, 75. or 100 on each side.  The homeowner put the number of the amount of ice needed up in the front window.  Mr. Winn would turn back the heavy tarp that helped keep his ice cool, chop off the amount ordered and hoist it up on his shoulder.  He wore a thick leather apron to keep him dry.  He’d come to the back door, knock, call out "Iceman!", come in and deposit the ice in the icebox.  He was a friend and would stop to fix a toy or pick a child up with a skinned knee from a fall while skating.  He had a number of children himself.  Mother would send freshly-made cookies or jelly home with him from time to time."

"We would also stop by the ice plant on Sylvania and buy ice.  It was near where Lucas Funeral Home is today.  The man would put it on the front bumper of our Model A Ford car and then we’d need to hurry home before the ice melted.  Sometimes my dad would stop at the Ashburn’s ice cream place and get a quart of ice cream for dessert.  He’d set it on top of the chunk of ice in our ice box until dinner time.  We had to eat it all at one meal because it didn’t keep.  Many times Mother would say, "Bill, can you finish up the ice cream left in the carton?""

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

Halloween Weather Contingency Plans

ONA Halloween in the Park is scheduled for tomorrow (Saturday, October 26) from 3-5pm, and we hope you are planning to attend!

However, the weather report has called for possible rain storms.  At the moment, we plan to proceed with the event as scheduled.  If we find that we need to postpone the event due to inclement weather, we will notify everyone by email and this website.  If that happens, we will reschedule the event for next Saturday, November 2, and call it our Fall Costume Contest and Games!

October 22, 2013

Reminder: ONA Events this Week!

Thursday, October 24th

This Thursday, ONA will hold its fall general membership meeting.  Please plan to attend this neighborhood-wide event!  This is the perfect opportunity to catch up with your neighbors, hear from our guest speakers, and renew your membership for the coming year.  See full details at

Please note that the venue has changed!  We'll be moving nextdoor to Calvary Cathedral in lieu of the school for this meeting.

ONA Fall General Membership Meeting
Thursday, October 24, 7pm
Calvary Cathedral International

Saturday, October 26th

Join us this Saturday, October 26, for some kid-friendly fun!  Volunteers and donations are also needed.  View full details at  We look forward to seeing you there!

ONA Halloween in the Park
Saturday, October 26, 3pm
Oakhurst Park

October 8, 2013

This Saturday: City of Fort Worth District 9 Bond Package Public Input Meeting

In his recent visit with ONA, Councilman Burns shared information about the upcoming 2014 Bond Program and encouraged us to, "...keep speaking up for central city needs."  He also posted a reminder about our District 9 meetings on his website.

This is your opportunity to be heard!  Meeting details are as follows:

District 9 Bond Package Public Input Meeting
Saturday, October 12, 9-11am
Greenbriar Community Center
5200 Hemphill Street

Also check out the bond presentation on YouTube:

For more information, visit the City of Fort Worth's 2014 Bond Program website.

October 7, 2013

Save the Date: ONA Halloween in the Park

Save the date for ONA's annual Halloween in the Park!

Join us on Saturday, October 26, for some kid-friendly fun!

3:00pm:  Event kickoff with games and Halloweenie roast
3:30pm:  Costume contest for all ages (and dogs)

Volunteers are needed to work games, help with activities, judge the costume contest, and server refreshments.  Donations are also appreciated:  individually-wrapped candy, juice boxes, cans of soda, and bottled water.  Please contact Glenda at 817.975.4653 or  You may also drop donations off at 1924 Bluebird Ave.  Your participation is the key to our success!

ONA Halloween in the Park
Saturday, October 26, 3pm
Oakhurst Park

October 4, 2013

Save the Date: ONA Fall General Membership Meeting

On Thursday, October 24th, ONA will hold its fall general membership meeting.  Please plan to attend this neighborhood-wide event!  This is the perfect opportunity to catch up with your neighbors, hear from our guest speakers (see below), and renew your membership for the coming year.

FWISD trustees Ashley Paz and Jacinto Ramos, Jr.
Newly-elected Fort Worth ISD Trustees Ashley Paz (District 9) and Jacinto Ramos, Jr. (District 1) will speak at the meeting.  The district is putting forward a bond election on November 5.  Paz represents District 9, which includes all of Riverside’s elementary, middle and high schools.  Ramos represents District 1, a generally Northside District, which includes the Oakhurst precinct.  The main focus of the bond issue in Riverside is improvements to Amon Carter Riverside High School, including new permanent classrooms, as well as improvements to the kitchen, cafeteria, and restrooms.  The school, built in 1936 to house about 900 students, now has 1,200 enrolled.  Come hear from our new trustees on this important topic!

Lt. Alan McLain of the Fort Worth Fire Department will also speak at the fall meeting.  Following the recent house fire on Bluebird, some residents have asked for a presentation addressing precautions which can be taken in a heavily-wooded neighborhood like Oakhurst, where a fire threat is particularly acute in periods of drought.  So Lt. McLain has been kind enough to tackle this issue for us.

The annual fall social will follow the meeting...yet another reason to join us that evening!

ONA Fall General Membership Meeting
Thursday, October 24, 7pm
Calvary Christian Academy

September 30, 2013

HELP NEEDED: Annual Police and Firefighter Appreciation Dinner this Thursday!

ONA's Annual Police and Firefighter Appreciation Dinner is this week!  As in the past, we have at least one special guest coming.  Our mayor, Betsy Price, has our event on her calendar.  We are also hoping that the police and fire chiefs will attend.  Come and meet our city officials!

Springdale Baptist Church has graciously donated their gym and kitchen again this year for the event, which will start at 11am and run through 1am on Friday morning.  Springdale is located at 3016 Selma (on the corner of Riverside Drive and Selma).

Shifts are as follows:
1st serving:  11am-1pm
2nd serving:  5pm-8pm
3rd serving:  10pm-1am
PLEASE remember that we will need food for all three shifts.  And we could certainly use your help to wash up and serve.  If you haven't already been called, it is not because we don’t need your help; we may just not know your number!  So PLEASE call Phyllis at 817.831.8958 if you wish to help or make food.  Also, if you wish to donate but cannot attend, we'll send someone to pick up your food!

Note that Riscky's always gives us their delicious barbeque at a greatly reduced rate, for which we are very grateful.  But we can always use additional meat and side dishes, as well as desserts.  And if you don’t wish to donate food or help with serving, we also give out door prizes during the event, and you are welcome to donate a small amount of money or new item for that purpose.

The thanks that we get from the firefighters and policemen who come to the dinner is very heartwarming.  They are so happy to get a home-cooked meal in the middle of their shift!  It’s a small way in which we can serve the ones who serve us.  Plus…WE HAVE SO MUCH FUN!

Above all, come on out, visit with your neighbors, and meet the police and firefighters who serve Oakhurst.  We hope to see you there!

ONA Annual Police and Firefighter Appreciation Dinner
Thursday, October 3, 11am-1am
Springdale Baptist Church

September 24, 2013

Day in the District!

On Saturday, September 28, ten cultural destinations will offer free admission, and many of Fort Worth's cultural organizations will offer free performances in and around each destination.  We welcome you to enjoy the rich cultural experiences that Fort Worth has to offer during the seventh annual Day in the District, from 10am to 5pm.  Free transportation within the Cultural District will be provided by The Fort Worth Transportation Authority (The T).

Bring your family out to the celebrated Cultural District and enjoy free admission to a variety of art and cultural exhibitions, family-friendly activities and live performances by some of Fort Worth’s favorite arts groups.

For more info, visit

Day in the District
Fort Worth Cultural District Museums and Community Arts Center
Saturday, September 28

September 6, 2013

This Saturday: Fort Worth Gallery Night!

The good folks at the Riverside Arts District (building owner Flora Brewer, manager Debby Stein, and many more) on Race Street invite us all to come out to Fort Worth Gallery Night from 2-10pm TOMORROW (Saturday).

Here's a list of participating venues:

This will be great—come join your Riverside neighbors!

Park your car, bicycle, or scooter, and stroll Race Street for a fun night of art, food and lively conversation.

There will be neighbors in the garden with antiques and re-purposed/recycled items.

Also, see the new recycled metal installation between 2814 and 2902 Race Street by artists Lori Thomson and Gary Norman. Get a peek of their work at!

A lot has happened since the "Build A Better Block" event a year ago. Congratulations and thank you to all who supported RAD and made it all happen. Stay tuned. There is more to come!

From Debby Stein
Riverside Arts District
A DIY Urbanism Creative Community

September 4, 2013

Councilman Burns to Speak at September ONA Meeting

As a result of redistricting, the neighborhoods of Oakhurst, Scenic Bluff, and Sylvan Heights West are now part of Fort Worth City Council District 9, which encompasses downtown and a major part of the South Side.  This means that Fort Worth City Council member Joel Burns now represents Oakhurst.

Mr. Burns will speak at the September ONA meeting.  This is a great opportunity for you to meet our new Council representative, hear what he identifies as key issues in District 9, ask questions, and share neighborhood concerns with him.

ONA’s officers met recently with Burns to begin acquainting him with our neighborhood—“the northernmost outpost of his district.”  He returned to City Hall with a list of issues for which he is seeking answers.

Please join us in welcoming Councilman Burns to our September meeting!

ONA Monthly Meeting
Thursday, September 12, 7pm
Calvary Christian Academy

This Thursday: FW League of Neighborhoods Meeting

From our neighbor Libby Willis:

Please join us for the League's Fall General Membership Meeting!

The membership will hear an update on the City of Fort Worth proposed budget for 2013-'14, particularly as it relates to City services to neighborhoods. The 2014 proposed budget projects reductions in police, fire, and Code Compliance positions. This will be the 4th consecutive year that the League has analyzed and reviewed the proposed City budget for its membership. The next public hearing on the budget is Tuesday, September 10.

The membership will also hear an update on the City Water Utilities Task Force meetings, which the League has been monitoring as the City considers privatization of some water services. Additionally, the League's membership will hear an update on the City's proposal on amending its ordinances on gas line compressors in Agricultural-zoned areas near neighborhoods.

And come prepared to give a brief update on your neighborhood's news!

Fort Worth League of Neighborhoods Fall General Membership Meeting
Thursday, September 5, 2013, 6:30pm
University Christian Church, 2720 S. University Drive

August 17, 2013

Reminder: ONA Happy Hour at Mamma Mia!

Franco at Mamma Mia on Belknap is hosting an ONA Happy Hour on Thursday, August 22 at 5:30pm.  Come on out and join your neighbors for some good conversation and drink specials, and stay for dinner if you like!

ONA Happy Hour at Mamma Mia
Thursday, August 22, 5:30pm (Happy Hour), 6:30pm (Dinner)
Mamma Mia Restaurant, 3124 E. Belknap Street

August 16, 2013

The Womacks of Primrose: An Oakhurst Story

Contributed by Libby Willis

"Their story would make a great movie," according to Delia Brelsford Shiflet. She's talking about the story of her parents, Mary Margaret Womack and Joe Jack Brelsford.

The story starts in Oakhurst when Mary's parents, Bertha L. and William A. Womack, moved into the new bungalow at 2508 Primrose in 1928. The Womacks were the original owners of the house, which was built in 1927 and was featured in a booklet, "Our Home in Fort Worth" and on a postcard. The house was theirs for $4,500.

The Womack family at 2508 Primrose in the summer of 1933:  Mary is
standing,  top left, with brother Bill; seated is father, W.A. Womack,
with baby James, John Carver, Jr., and mother, Bertha Womack.
Mary Womack was nine years old when she moved to Oakhurst. She had an older brother, John Carver, Jr., who was her mother's son with her first husband, John Carver, who had worked for the Rock Island Railroad. Carver was killed in a work accident, and Bertha Carver later married his good friend, William A. Womack, who also worked on the Rock Island as a fireman. John and Mary had a younger brother, Bill, and, eventually, another brother, James. The Womack kids attended Oakhurst Elementary and Riverside Elementary Schools.

Bill and Mary Womack before school in 1933.
Their home in Oakhurst was a typical style for the early part of the neighborhood's development. The family took advantage of the bountiful sandy loam soil and created a rose garden on the east side of the house.

2508 Primrose, built in 1927, as it appeared in an early postcard
photograph. Note the roses on the east side of the house.
Like most kids their age, Mary and Bill Womack and their friends rode bikes, sat in the side porch swing, and went swimming. Mary said she often skated from Primrose to Sylvania then up to Yucca and back home. "I wore my skates out!" she said.

"We had fun in Oakhurst," Mary said in a recent interview. Now 94, she remembers all the details: "We went barefoot a lot and tried to avoid all the mosquitoes. We had picnics in the backyard where my parents had set up a table and benches. Every July 4th, we went to Sylvania Park for the fireworks."

The second half of Mary's childhood and adolescence was in the 1930s, when the Great Depression made finances very hard for many families. She remembered that "people would beg at the door." In 1934, Joe Brelsford saw Mary coming down the steps at Riverside Christian Church. He was sixteen and she was fifteen. Joe, a Poly resident, famously told a friend that someday "he would marry that girl." According to his obituary, Joe introduced himself to Mary the day he first saw her and "they became inseparable."

After graduating from Paschal High School, Mary attended Texas Wesleyan University and then went to TCU on a scholarship where she was a Journalism major. She graduated in June 1941. Three days after Pearl Harbor, in December 1941, Joe Brelsford joined the Navy and shipped out to his base in California. He later served on the U.S.S. Pennsylvania.

Here the movie part continues. In 1941, Mary, deciding that she might have let a good thing get too far away, took the train with Joe's mother to San Francisco. There, in October 1942, Mary and Joe were married by a Catholic Navy chaplain, she in her traditional white gown and he in his Navy blues.

Mary Womack and Joe Brelsford married
in October 1942 in San Francisco.
While Joe went to war, Mary went to work for the government in the Foreign Intelligence Broadcast area. Her job was to stay up all night (from 12:30am until 8:30 or 9:00am) and make reports to Washington on what Japanese propagandists were saying in their radio broadcasts. At one point, Mary heard the Japanese announcer say her husband's ship had been sunk. "That was a bad time - I cried," she remembered. Happily, the story turned out not to be true.

Mary and Joe were stationed in California, Washington, Florida, Massachusetts, New York City and Virginia during World War II. Meanwhile, the Womacks on Primrose Avenue were carrying on. Brother Bill was 20 when the war started. W.A. and Bertha Womack were raising younger brother James, who was 8 at the beginning of the war. Mr. Womack died in 1956; Bertha lived on at the Primrose house until her death in 1975.

James Womack, in aviator goggles, prepares to slice
open a watermelon in the early 1940s on Primrose.
Mary and Joe moved back to Fort Worth after the war ended in 1945 and lived briefly in Meadowbrook before settling in Rolling Hills, on the South Side. Joe worked 30 years on the engineering staff of Chance Vought Aeronautics (LTV/Lockheed Martin). He and Mary raised two children, Delia Ann and Joe Scott Brelsford.

The Womack family in August 1949 at 2508 Primrose.
By then, Bertha and W.A. had grandchildren.
For almost 50 years, 2508 Primrose was the center of the Womack family's life. They celebrated weddings, Christmas and general life there. For many years, a dinner bell brought from Kentucky by Mary's family was installed on the east side of the house. It's now with Bill Womack at his home in Midland. Mary Margaret lives with her daughter, Delia, in south Fort Worth. She is still vibrant and full of memories of life in Oakhurst. James is retired and lives with his family in San Antonio.

The Primrose house and the Womack family made a big impression on Delia. She remembered: "Going to my Grandmother's house on weekends was an important part of my childhood. I remember playing in her front yard and rolling down the little slopes at the foot of her yard onto the sidewalk. For some reason I clearly remember watching "The Naked Jungle" with Charlton Heston (about the killer army ants in the jungles) back in her den, curled up on her couch with the swamp cooler running. Most of all, I remember her making me meatloaf and her legendary peach cobbler. When she passed away in 1975. my mom asked me if there was anything of hers that I would like to have, and out of all her belongings, I chose her old, dented peach cobbler pan. It might not have had any monetary value, but it was the one thing that so many of my memories of my Grandmother revolved around. No matter what the occasion - family gatherings, Sunday dinner, Christmas, or whatever - that pan was on the table, filled with her homemade peach cobbler. I still have that pan, and it's one of my most prized belongings."

Mary Womack Brelsford in July 2013, age 94. Her
journals record life during the war and after and are
reminders of many good times with her family.
Even though no Womacks have lived at 2508 Primrose for almost 40 years, "we still drive by and look at the house when we go to Mount Olivet to visit the graves of my family" says Delia. "We're glad the house is being taken care of," she said. The present owner is Margaret Hamm, who has three other generations of her family (daughter, granddaughter, and great-grandchildren) also living in Oakhurst.

Like so many other Oakhurst homes, 2508 Primrose Avenue is a place in the heart because of the people who lived there, the families and lives they created, and because it launched them into extraordinary events.

Just like in the movies.

Information for this story was drawn from July 2013 interviews with Mary Womack Brelsford and Delia Brelsford Shiflet and from various Brelsford family documents; Delia Shiflet kindly lent Womack family photographs of life on Primrose from the 1920s through the 1950s. This story originally appeared in the August 2013 edition of the Oak Leaflet.

Public Library Hours at the Amon Carter Museum

From Whitney at the Amon Carter Museum:

The Amon Carter Museum of American Art is pleased to announce that its Research Library will be open to the public on Saturdays from 11am–4pm, beginning on September 7.  Complementing the museum’s art collection, the research library offers an extensive range of materials on American art, photography, the West, and history from the early nineteenth century to the present.  The library provides support to researchers at all levels interested in deepening their understanding of the country’s artistic heritage.  For more information, please call the reference desk at 817.989.5040, or visit for a complete list of library hours and Reading Room services.

August 6, 2013

Farm Fresh Market - Now on Thursdays!

Farm Fresh Market - Now on Thursdays!

Located in front of the old post office, next to Race Street Barber Shop.
Setup between 3:30-4:00pm, runs until 7:00pm

Courtesy Debby Stein
Riverside Arts District
A DIY Urbanism Creative Community

August 3, 2013

Wanted: Pictures of Oakhurst

We need your help!

If you or someone you know has pictures and/or stories to share of families, homes, events, and neighbors in Oakhurst (1920s-'60s) or West Oakhurst (1940s-'60s), we would love to include them in the upcoming Fort Worth's Oakhurst Neihborhood, to be published by Arcadia Press.

PLEASE contact Libby Willis, or 817.838.8140, if you are willing to share stories and imagery for this book.  The deadline for inclusion is August 29.

Help us celebrate Oakhurst's 90th birthday in 2014 with your contributions to this effort!

July 30, 2013

Upcoming August Events

City Bond Election Public Input Meeting for Riverside
Thursday, August 8, 6:30-8:30pm
Riverside Community Center, 3700 E. Belknap Street

Learn about the proposed projects and give your input!

EcoScape Contest Entry Deadline
Friday, August 16
See this post for details!

ONA Happy Hour at Mamma Mia's
Thursday, August 22, 5:30-8pm
Mamma Mia's Restaurant, 3124 E. Belknap Street

Join your neighbors for a great meal and conversation!

5:30pm Happy Hour
6:30pm Dinner

$15.95/person (dinner and beverage) plus Happy Hour discounted drinks

RSVP by 8/15 to

EcoScape Contest: Enter to Win!

Enter the first EcoScape Contest!

This event is sponsored by the Fort Worth Water Department and BRIT, and it is open to residential landscapes within Fort Worth city limits and Fort Worth’s wholesale customer cities.  Download the Call for Entry form or visit and click on EcoScape.

Contest Details
  • The contest features front yard landscapes (1,000 ft. minimum)
  • Up to three residential award winners (1st, 2nd and 3rd place) will receive prizes; community gardens, demonstration gardens and commercial landscapes are not eligible to participate
  • All participants must agree to have their landscapes photographed and consent to allow such photographs to be used by the city
  • All winners must agree to be present to answer visitor questions from 8:30am to 3:30pm on tour day
Judging Criteria
  • Design:  Aesthetic appeal; composition; use of color and plant variety
  • Water Conservation:  Efficient irrigation/water use; use of non-vegetative materials such as fences, walls, walks, etc.; use of native or adapted plants; reduced turf area; and use of mulches
  • Appropriate Maintenance:  Landscape tidy - healthy, disease and pest free plants; no weeds; plants pruned as appropriate
Entry Deadline:  August 16, 2013.  Entries will be judged in late August (August 19-23) and winner’s names will be released the first week of September online.  The public tour of landscapes will be held on Saturday, September 14, 2013.  View the event flyer for more details.

July 26, 2013

Coming up this Weekend!

This weekend's events, as shared by the Carter-Riverside Neighborhood Association and Race Street Urban Village:

Pruitt Farms Returns to Race Street TODAY, July 26!
Next to the Barber Shop
Friday, July 26, 4pm

Tell your friends!  Looks like it will be worth the wait:
  • cantaloupes
  • peaches
  • okra
  • tomatoes
  • squash
  • watermelons

Mid-Summer Night Social
Riverside Stolen Garden, Race Street
Saturday, July 27, 6-10pm

Everyone is welcome to this potluck event!  Here are the details:
  • Wear Creative Garden Party Attire—hats, flowy fabrics, florals, sunscreen, bug spray, etc.  Be comfortable!
  • Contribute your favorite covered dish, appetizer or dessert
  • BYOB&C—Bring Your Own Beverage & Chair
  • Bring a candle with candleholder or candelabra (the funkier the better) to adorn the tables
  • Taste a pizza nibble hot off the grill of The Work Room’s own caterer, John Willems (6-7only!)
  • Bring your guitar or other musical instrument to jam between The Guitar Trio’s sets
  • Most importantly...enjoy a relaxing evening in the Riverside Arts District!

July 2, 2013

Reminder: ONA Annual July 4th Parade and Picnic

Fun for all ages!

10:30am:  Neighborhood parade around the park
Give your pet patriotic flair for his leash or collar!  Grab the family, put on your red, white, and blue, and make a homemade banner!  Bikes, strollers, wagons, and wheelchairs sporting streamers and balloons are welcome!

11:00am:  Hot dogs and sides
ONA will provide the hot dogs and you provide the sides:  chips, beans, desserts and any other food or drinks you wish to bring.  Join in the fun for all ages:  horseshoes, washers, bocce ball...or just sit and enjoy the company of our neighbors.

Volunteers are always welcome to help with refreshments and setup/tear down.  Give Glenda Shelton a call at 817.975.4653 if you'd like to help out.

ONA Annual July 4th Parade and Picnic
Thursday, July 4, 10:30am-1pm
Oakhurst Park

June 25, 2013

FW Water Department Meeting TONIGHT!

Per the FWWD website:

The Fort Worth Water Department needs your input!  Join us at public meetings to learn about our city's water supply situation, explore options for water management and offer your views.  The Water Department will share your feedback with the City Council in upcoming discussions about Fort Worth's water management plan.
City Manager Tom Higgins told City Council Members in a June 4, 2013 Informal Report, "During these meetings, participants will be provided overview information on water supplies—current and proposed—and water efficiency programs already in place.  Feedback will be obtained to assess attitudes about what measures should be in a conservation plan—things that should be done all the time and are long term—versus what measures should be in a drought plan—things only in place when water supplies are low and are short-term."
Everyone interested is invited to the meetings.  Parking is free, and refreshments will be served. 
  • North Fort Worth:  Tuesday, June 25, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., Heritage Trace Church of Christ, 4201 Heritage Trace Pkwy 
  • South Fort Worth: Thursday, June 27, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., Unity Church of Fort Worth, 5051 Trail Lake Drive

June 4, 2013

ONA June Monthly Meeting: Vegetable Garden Tour

Respondents to the recent ONA program survey said they would like to visit a neighbor's garden to see what they're doing and socialize a bit.  So ONA is delivering by producing the June monthly meeting at the home of new Oakhurst residents Aaron Latchaw and Jessica Gonzales.  They have graciously agreed to open their backyard on Thursday evening, June 13 at 7pm for all vegetable garden enthusiasts!

One of the prime selling points of Oakhurst lots in 1924 was that "everything grows in the best sandy loam in Tarrant County"—here in Oakhurst.  It's fun to see the next generation discovering this about the neighborhood.  Come join us at 2105 Morning Glory Ave for tips, fun, and refreshments as we welcome summer.  Don't forget your bug spray to keep away the mosquitoes!

ONA June Monthly Meeting:  Vegetable Garden Tour
Thursday, June 13, 7pm
2105 Morning Glory Ave

June 2, 2013

Reminder: Stage 1 Watering Restrictions Take Effect Monday

Fort Worth is implementing Stage 1 watering restrictions effective Monday, June 3, due to low water supply levels.

What does this mean for you?

Residential landscape watering is limited to a two-days-per-week schedule, as follows:
  • Wednesday and Saturday:  Residential addresses ending in 0, 2, 4, 6, 8
  • Thursday and Sunday:  Residential addresses ending in 1, 3, 5, 7, 9
As always, there is no watering permitted between 10am-6pm, no watering of hard surfaces, no watering during precipitation, and no waster water through runoff or missing, misaligned, or broken sprinkler heads.

Exceptions to the restrictions are as follows:
  • Foundations may be watered up to two hours per day on any day using a hand-held hose, soaker hose or drip irrigation system placed within 24 inches of the foundation that does not produce a spray of the water above the ground.
  • Establishing new turf is discouraged.  If hydromulch, grass sod, or grass seed has been installed, a variance is required.
  • All users are encouraged to reduce the frequency of draining and refilling swimming pools.
  • All users are encouraged to use native and adapted drought-tolerant plants in landscaping.
  • Washing of any motorized vehicle (including a motorbike, boat, trailer, airplane, etc.) is limited to the use of a hand-held bucket or a hand-held hose equipped with a positive-pressure shutoff nozzle for quick rinses.  Vehicle washing may be done at any time on the premises of a commercial car wash or commercial service station.
  • Supervised testing, repair, or maintenance of a sprinkler system is an exception to allow water to run more than 50 feet away from the property.
  • Discourage hosing of paved areas (sidewalks, driveways, parking lots, tennis courts, patios or other impervious surfaces), except to alleviate an immediate health or safety hazard.  No hosing of buildings or other structures is permitted other than for fire protection or surface preparation prior to painting.
Violations will receive an initial warning.  Repeat offenses will be subject to an irrigation system lock-out which carries an administrative fee.  Subsequent offenses may be issued a citation, with a fine of up to $2,000 per day.  Each day is considered a separate violation.

Questions?  Contact the City of Fort Worth at 817.392.4477 or visit

May 29, 2013

Beware the Egrets!

Thanks to resident Glenn Calabrese for bringing this article on the 'invasion' of egrets to Fort Worth in recent years.

Once they nest in an area, the birds are protected under federal law...despite the noise, odor, and excrement that they produce!  For more information, see the Migratory Birds section of the City of Fort Worth's website.

Be on the lookout!

May 27, 2013

Happy Memorial Day!

Happy Memorial Day!  Today we remember our fallen heroes with pride and respect.
Thanks to all that participated in this weekend's 9th annual ONA Collective Garage Sale.  45 households took part in this year's event.
Also, we have recently learned that ONA has received recognition once again from Neighborhoods USA, with the Oak Leaflet receiving a silver level award for excellence in the neighborhood newsletter competition.  Congratulations to editor Libby Willis and all contributors!

May 17, 2013

ONA Meeting Recap: Updates from Meacham International Airport

For those that missed out on last Thursday's meeting, Bill Welstead has been kind enough to make his presentation available for your viewing online. Click here to take a look!

May 8, 2013

ONA Membership Survey

We are conducting a brief survey of our membership to help us plan ONA activities over the coming year.  Please download the survey, complete and return to let us know the topics and events you'd like to see.  Thank you in advance for your suggestions; we look forward to hearing from you!

May 6, 2013

ONA Meeting This Thursday!

Come out and join us this Thursday to hear two informative presentations!

Fort Worth Aviation Department Director Bill Welstead will outline the new investment and projects at the airport and the bright future it holds for the area and the city.

William B. Welstead was promoted to director of the City of Fort Worth Aviation System in May 2012 after assuming the role of acting director in February 2012. He has full management responsibility for the system, supports the infrastructure services assistant city manager, and recommends policies to the Aviation Advisory Board and City Council for the city’s three airports.

Fort Worth’s Meacham Field, built in 1925, has always had a special relationship with Oakhurst, as many residents have lived and worked there since the neighborhood’s beginnings in 1924. Today, the airport is promoted as an international airport reaching for recognition as a top airport in the nation. Many improvements (apron, terminal, surrounding development, etc.) have been and are being made at the airport.

In addition, Steve Chaney, the Tarrant County Extension Agent for Home Horticulture, will be joining us to discuss hypoxylon canker, a disease that can affect Texas native oaks, and which has been recently sighted in our neighborhood. In a recent interview, Chaney said of the tree disease, “You don’t see the damage to the tree until it’s done. There is no good treatment for it.” He went on to say, “It’s not a huge infectious problem; however, it does affect highly-stressed trees. If you know hypoxylon canker is in the area, try to give your trees a little extra care to bolster them and help them resist the disease.”

You may find much more information on hypoxylon canker at the Texas A&M Forest Service website; click here to launch the site.

Oakhurst Neighborhood Association Monthly Meeting
Thursday, May 9, 7pm
Calvary Christian Academy Library

April 23, 2013

Reminder: ONA General Membership Meeting This Thursday!

ONA's Spring General Membership meeting is THIS Thursday, April 25, 7pm, at Calvary Christian Academy.  Officer and street rep. elections will be held.

Come early to pay your membership dues and/or sign up for the May garage sale.  You'll find more details at our previous post, along with a download link to the registration form.  Fill it out and bring it along on Thursday. 

The Beautification Committee will also hold a raffle for some great prizes (e.g. a one-night stay at a Granbury bed and breakfast, greens fees for Texas Star in Euless, etc.).  Funds will benefit the beautification of Oakhurst.

At the meeting, you will also have a chance to hear from candidates on the May 11 ballot.  Jacinto Ramos, Jr.; Camille Rodriguez; and Carlos Vasquez are competing for FWISD School Trustee Place #1.  Candidates running for the Tarrant Regional Water District Board will also be on hand.  This is not meant to be a candidate forum, but each candidate will have time to introduce himself or herself, tell you why they are running and what they believe to be the critical issues.

Phyllis Anglin is organizing the refreshments for the spring social, and she asks that you PLEASE bring some of your favorite cookies or savories to share with your neighbors.  We will have a great time after the meeting sampling all the goodies.  We hope to see you there!

ONA Spring General Membership Meeting
Thursday, April 25, 7pm
Calvary Christian Academy Cafetorium

April 10, 2013

Mark Your Calendars: ONA General Membership Meeting

ONA Spring General Membership Meeting
Thursday, April 25, 7pm
Calvary Christian Academy Cafetorium

ONA will hold its spring general membership meeting at 7:00pm on Thursday, April 25, in the Calvary Christian Academy cafetorium.  The meeting will include the annual election of officers and street representatives.  At the meeting, members will have the opportunity to hear from candidates in contested races in which Oakhurst residents can vote.

Local elections for seats on the Fort Worth City Council, Fort Worth Independent School Board, and Tarrant Regional Water District Board are set for Saturday, May 11.  The meeting is the perfect time to pay your annual dues and also sign up for the annual ONA neighborhood garage sale set for Memorial Day weekend.

The first 20 new or renewing members will receive a copy of How to Avoid Identity Theft, a document published by the Federal Trade Commission and distributed by the Fort Worth Police Department.

Candidates for Fort Worth school board trustee district No. 1 (Jacinto Ramos, Camille Rodriguez, and Carlos Vasquez) have been invited to appear and share their platforms.  Oakhurst Precinct #4124 is included in FWISD trustee district No. 1.  This year Oakhurst Precinct #4124 moves from Fort Worth City Council District #2 to District #9, represented by Councilman Joel Burns.  Burns is unopposed in his bid for re-election.

ONA has also invited candidates for election to the Tarrant Regional Water District Board to appear.  These are: John Basham, Vic Henderson, Dwayne Herring, Mary Kelleher, Timothy Nold, Hal S. Sparks, III, and Jack R. Stevens.  The annual spring mixer with refreshments will be after the meeting.  As always, please bring your favorite goodies to share!

April 8, 2013

Coming Soon: Ninth Annual Oakhurst Collective Garage Sale!

The NINTH Annual Oakhurst Collective Garage Sale
Memorial Day Weekend:  May 24-26, 2013

Are you ready to hold your spring garage sale?  If so, get ready for our annual Oakhurst Collective Garage Sale.  Here’s how it works:

1.  Register using the form in your Oak Leaflet (or click here to download).

2.  Oakhurst Neighborhood Association will secure the garage sale permit, place Star-Telegram ads advertising the garage sale, and provide maps and lists of all residents holding a garage sale on May 24-26.  Copies of these maps will be available to you as a garage sale participant.  You can hand them out to all your customers.
3.  All registrants will receive a free currency forgery detecting pen.

4.  More customers equal more sales for you!  Joint advertising of the sale means less work for you and more customers.

Registration fees are $5 for current ONA members, and $25 for non-members.

DEADLINE to sign up:  Monday, May 20

Please make your registration check payable to Oakhurst Neighborhood Association and return by May 20 to:

Karen Cerulla
ONA Garage Sale Chairman
1516 Bluebonnet
Fort Worth, TX 76111
Questions?  Call Karen at 817.831.7717.

April 4, 2013

More Pics from Mayor's Bike Ride

We have received more pictures from Mayor Betsy Price's bike ride through Oakhurst, and we're happy to share them with you...

Mayor Betsy Price
ONA Members and the Oakhurst Garden Club presented
a spectacular refreshment table for the participants
Glenda Hartsel and Linda Plemons were key organizers of the event
Leslie Kehmeier, Mapping Specialist for the International
Mountain Biking Association, participated in the ride 
Emerson Redding with Mayor Betsy Price
The 2013 Mayor's Bike Ride through Oakhurst
For previous posts related to the bike ride, please see the following:

Recap:  Bike Fort Worth with Mayor Betsy Price
Neighborhood News
Bike Ride with Mayor Betsy Price TODAY!
Join Mayor Betsy Price on a Bike Ride through Oakhurst!

Thanks again to all of the attendees and volunteers that made this event such a success.

April 1, 2013

Little Free Library is Open!

Linda Plemons and Joy Roese
The library is open and ready for visits! Thanks to all who donated books! I could only use about half of them. Linda and I will trade out books occasionally, so if you don't see a book you like, check back later! The library is located at the west end of Daisy.

Tom Roese
Remember.....'Always a gift, never for sale', 'take a book, leave a book'.

Happy Reading!
Joy and Tom Roese

Cowtown Cleanup: Volunteers Needed!

From Fran Burns, ONA Beautification Committee Chair:

Volunteer Cleanup: Oakhurst participation in the Cowtown Cleanup will be on Saturday, April 13. Those interested in helping will meet at 9am that morning in Oakhurst Park. Keep Fort Worth Beautiful is providing T-shirts, gloves and bags to registered volunteers. To join our Oakhurst team, call 817.759.0049. Deadline to register by phone is Tuesday, April 9!