ART, Attractions, DESTINATIONS, DFW Metroplex, Performing Arts, Road Trips, TRAVEL

Senior Follies at Eisemann Center

Showgirl Sherry Snider
Showgirl Sherry Snider


A few weeks ago I took you back to the Crow Collection of Art and discussed artistic connections within their latest exhibition. Talk about connections! Life is full of them. That’s how I ended up at the Spectacular Senior Follies a few Sundays ago.

It Started with the Lot

So we were looking for a new home and ended up with a lot in Heath’s Buffalo Creek community.  Had we hesitated at all in making our offer we would have been out of luck.  Two other couples were also considering the same lot.  One of those couples is now lives next door and we virtually built our houses together. One day, during the build, I suggested we go grab a bite, but they couldn’t because they had The Senior Follies – as in she was a showgirl in the revue and he was on the board, so he’d be helping out in other ways.  Pete suggested we should try to see one of the shows that weekend, but we were overwhelmed with other things.

Then They Needed a Videographer

One evening, after our houses were built, our next door neighbors joined us for happy hour.  As we enjoyed our view of the pond, we got to talking about Pete and Sherry’s involvement in The Follies.  That led to us discussing videography at the Eisemann, since that’s where the show is presented and one of my clients, LeniCam Video Productions,  frequently records shows there.  Come to find out, Pete is the Chairman of the Senior Follies Board and he was interested in improving the quality of the videos of the show.  Did I ever have the guy for him!

The Sunday Matinee 

Somehow September is always a crazy month for me, but we did manage to attend the Sunday matinee of the 2015 Spectacular Senior Follies.  We didn’t know exactly what to expect, but we really didn’t expect a packed house.  I mean this was the last of five performances of this bunch of senior citizens.  Who besides their neighbors, family and friends were going to go?  Turns out there were a lot of people!

See, this wasn’t their maiden voyage.  It was their seventh year and in those seven years they’ve built up quite a following.  Walking up to the theater we saw buses from retirement centers all over the Metroplex.  In fact, people of all ages were flocking in from all directions.

As we entered the theater we were greeted by Pete himself, who was searching for programs.  Seems they were about to run out.  When we got to our seats I perused my program and was amazed by the talented performers involved in the show.  I immediately recognized the name of Rose Mary Rumbley, a gifted author, comedienne and my mom’s absolute favorite book reviewer.  Digging deeper I saw Jackie Troup Miller who was oftentimes a dance partner of Donald O’Conner, one of my favorite dancers on the silver screen.There was the lead singer of the Dallas Doo-Wop tribute band, members of the Dallas Symphony Chorus, ballroom dance champions, ex-Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders and the list goes on.

The Beat Goes On

The curtains opened on The Sixties.  White go-go boots, mod prints, mini-skirts and bell bottomed trousers dominated the stage as the energetic seniors proved you are only as old as you feel – and these guys were feeling pretty young!  The first act was a series of tributes to stars of the sixties and seventies:  The Captain & Tenille, Sonny & Cher, Diana Ross & The Supremes, The Bee Gees, Elvis Presley, Bread, Johnny Cash and more.  I actually had tears in my eyes during their rendition of “How Do You Solve a Problem Like Maria” from The Sound of Music.

After Intermission it was time for the Showgirls.  This segment is a tradition of the show and the audiences whoops and hollers as each showgirl is introduced, making her entrance down the double staircase.  The rest of the act was a vaudevillian.  There was more singing and dancing, but they also had comedy skits, military tributes and a patriotic extravaganza.  OK, so I cried again when they sang the Air Force song.  How many times did my daddy and I croon that tune together?

Do I think you should plan to attend the 2017 Spectacular Follies.  Well if you’re looking for a really good time then I certainly do.  If you’re a performing arts snob who is looking for every missed note or disharmony, you should probably stay home, because the heart of this show is ever so much more important than technicalities.  I’m on the cusp of senior citizenship and watching these guys reminded me that aging is only a state of mind.


DESTINATIONS, DFW Metroplex, Restaurants & Bars, Road Trips, TRAVEL

Welcome to Ye Shire

Ye Shire
Ye Shire Tavern. 3600 Shire Blvd. #112 Richardson, Texas 75082


No, I haven’t turned into a Hobbit, but I have found a great little neighborhood restaurant you should try.

Stopping by Ye Shire Tavern

It was late on a Sunday night.  After church we’d put in a full day of rental house shopping.  We were tired and all we wanted was a decent meal.  Bill said he knew just where to go.

Where he headed was The Shire, a restaurant/retail development at the Southwest corner of the Bush Tollway and Jupiter Road.  From the tollway you see restaurants like The Silver Fox, Casa Cha Cha and another place that’s just called TEXAS.  Behind that is another row of restaurants, places like Main Street Bakery, Thai’s Thumbz Urban Kitchen and Apollonia’s Italian Kitchen.

It was after nine and pretty much everything was closed down, with just a few stragglers finishing up their meals.  Ye Shire Tavern, on the other hand, was open until ten and they welcomed us in.  The other patrons were at the bar joking around with the barmaid and nursing drinks.  One got the impressing that they were there most nights, joking around with the barmaid and nursing drinks.

More Than Adequate

Confession: We weren’t expecting much.  It was the end of a Sunday night and no one else was eating.  We figured the real cook had gone home hours ago.  Still we were hungry, so we ordered.

Since we weren’t expecting much, we were pleasantly surprised with what we got.  I had a patty melt and Bill had another sandwich.  Both were delicious and time had actually been spent on presentation.  There were garnishes on our late night meal.

What’s more, the service was great.  No wonder there were so many regular patrons at the bar, joking with the barmaid, on a Sunday night.  She was a treasure.  My husband assured me she was easy on the eyes and she had a great personality.  She took care of us like she was glad we were there, rather than acting as if we’d just shown up to cause her more work.

We’ll Be Back

The beer was cold, the service was good and the food was delicious.  I even got to pretend I was being healthy, having a salad with my patty melt instead of fries.  The place was clean, very clean, which goes a long way with me.  The prices were reasonable.

In our new digs, on the northeastern edge of Dallas, the intersection of 75 and 190 will play a more important role in our lives than it did while we lived in Far North Dallas.  We’ll be back to Ye Shire, but someone should tell them this is the 21st Century, the age of social media.  They really need a website.



DESTINATIONS, DFW Metroplex, Restaurants & Bars, Road Trips, TRAVEL

Frankie’s Mexican Cusine, Richardson TX

From Frankie's website
From Frankie’s website


Here’s a local hangout in Richardson, near Custer and Lookout, you probably didn’t know was there.  Even though we were looking for it we missed it, because it’s hidden away between Canyon Creek Square and Valley Glen Drive.

Frankie’s Found Through Friendship

When I was in the throes of locating a rental to tide us over between the house we sold and the house we were building, I made a cry for help on Facebook.  Several friends made viable suggestions.  One had just bought a house on West Lookout in Richardson and was willing to hurry up his renovations in order to provide us with a place.  This was just the latest in a series of assists he offered, so even before we’d decided what we were going to do about our living situation, we knew we owed him dinner.

Our friend recommended a local hangout for dinner and it was perfect for catching up.  See, I’ve known this friend for about thirty years.  We used to work together and he was the roommate of one of my boyfriends.  The boyfriend is long gone, but the roommate and I are still good friends.  However, we travel in different circles now, so our paths rarely cross.  We had a whole lot of catching up to do.

Good Food and Awesome Margaritas

Anyplace would have been a good place to catch up with my friend, but as is often the case with him, that little restaurant he knew about was just the sort of place everyone else is looking for.  He is from New Orleans after all and New Orleans folk know food.  Every time I think of him, I think of a muffalata joint around the corner from Jackson Square.

The meal at Frankie’s started out right.  My husband considers himself a chips and salsa connoisseur.  He proclaimed the chips beyond satisfactory – some of the best he’d ever had, I believe, or something along those lines.  (I’m still on the El Fenix has the best chips team, but different chips for different folks)

Friend and I ordered Margaritas, on the rocks with salt.  Let me tell you, the drinks alone are reason enough to make your way to Frankie’s.  I had two and was a very, very happy camper.

For our meal, Hubby had chicken enchiladas with tomatillo sauce and I had flautas.  Friend had some kind of enchiladas with fried eggs on top.  Friend cleaned his plate.  He thought it was because the food was so good, but it might have been the spin class he’d just been to.  I ate way too many chips, because there was still guacamole left when my flautas were gone and it was very good guac.  Hubby ate up his meal, too.

So do I think you should go to Frankie’s? Absolutely!  The atmosphere is very casual and so are the prices.  We had a great waitress who got us everything we needed without being intrusive.  The food is yummy – and did I mention the Margaritas?

ART, Attractions, Decorative Arts, DESTINATIONS, DFW Metroplex, Performing Arts, Road Trips, Shopping, TRAVEL

Cottonwood Arts Festival


They say the familiarity breeds contempt and that’s a little harsh, but easy availability can give rise to complacency.  The Cottonwood Arts Festival has been around for decades, it’s free and it’s close.  Yet it’s been years since I bothered to go.  My loss, completely, my loss.  So when my friend Deborah called and suggested a visit on Saturday morning I was quick on the uptake.  I just didn’t realize that I was going to freeze to death.

The Cottonwood Arts Festival

Cottonwood Park, home of the festival, is on Beltline in Richardson, right across from a high school with a football stadium.  We parked at the high school and a shuttle dropped us off at the entrance to the park.  As cool as it was, I was surprised at the bustling crowd.  On a warmer day we might have been faced with quite a trek.

What I noticed right away was the crisp, professional look of the event grounds. The white booths are lined up with military precision on aisles marked with large nylon banners sporting the names of famous artist’s like O’Keefe and Matisse.   No cheap camping awnings of blue plastic with rickety card tables and cigar box cash boxes for Cottonwood.  It’s a juried show, not a place for those riding in their first rodeo.

The next couple of hours were given over to pure enjoyment.  The painting, sculpture and decorative arts  were nice, but I’ll admit I lingered longer at the jewelry counters.  Innovative designs, unusual materials, excellent craftsmanship and the-sky’s-the-limit creativity were evident throughout the festival, whether the medium was exotic woods, diamonds, glass or clay.

More than just a feast for the eyes, Cottonwood offers up musical entertainment, as well as food.  A Beatles cover band was playing old favorites  as I sniffed the air for favorite scents.  I had a delicious pretzel and some marvelous candied pecans, but there was everything from fried Oreos to fruit smoothies – a little something for everyone.

I’ve got to tell you though, Cottonwood’s not for the faint of pocketbook.  Admiring one sculpture, I spied a $6,900 price tag.  A gold ring showcasing a rare type of quartz was about $1000 less.  Even a bowl made from exotic woods cost $378.  I’ll give you that it was pretty, but Home Goods has similar stuff for more like $78.  I’m sure the wood is less exotic and it’s machine made, rather than hand-crafted, but I couldn’t help wondering who bought this stuff.  Do people really leave home on a chilly Saturday morning and come home with a $6,900 sculpture for the table in the entry hall.

People were making purchases, though.  No one whipped out their debit card for the $6,900 sculpture while I was there, but I did see people with all manner of odd-shaped packages, suggesting they’d fallen in love with something they couldn’t leave behind.  Maybe I’m just a tightwad.

I did make one purchase that I didn’t eat.  October is Deborah’s birthday month, so I told her to keep her eyes open for something she loved.  The hand-painted silk shawl she chose was thankfully in my price range.  Good friends don’t expect good friends to go broke.

How about you?  Would you go to an art festival and drop seven large for your foyer?  Whether you would or you wouldn’t, you’d enjoy strolling through the park and seeing all the beautiful pieces of handi-craft.  So watch for it when the bi-annual show comes back in the spring.  You’ll be warmer then.