The Bluffview home of Douglas Haloftis and Fernando Gonzales set an elegant scene as they hosted the second luncheon in the Soup and Salad series of Les Femmes du Monde recently.
Guests enjoyed champagne and wines as they chatted with Alyce Heinrich, president of Les Femmes du Monde and Doug Box, the featured speaker and author of Cutter Frisco: Growing Up on the Original Southfork Ranch as they mingled throughout the home filled with fresh flowers, accompanied by a pianist entertaining all with classic favorites.
The second in a series of three events, the Soup and Salad luncheon began service with a selection of gourmet cheeses accompanied by fresh fruit and a selection of baguettes. A luscious salad of spinach and arugula with baby lettuces combined with dried cranberries, mandarin oranges, candied walnuts, feta and a special dressing accompanied the hearty Philadelphia Steak soup. Topping it all off were a selection of freshly baked cookies, specialty breads and huge fresh strawberries, the perfect setting for Box’s delicious stories.
Alyce welcomed everyone and thanked the hosts for their generous hospitality in opening their fabulous home for today’s luncheon, which received a round of appreciative applause.
Taking the stage, Doug Box dimmed the lights and began his presentation speaking about his childhood home in Frisco, then called the Box Ranch, which was the original home used by the Dallas television series in its first season’s first five episodes. He introduced his family through the presentation, including his father, Cloyce Box, the storied patriarch and entrepreneur thought by many to be the inspiration for Dallas’ J. R. Ewing, his mother, Fern, older brothers and stories about growing up on the ranch and riding his favorite cutting horse, Cutter Frisco.
The Box family was very well known and liked in Frisco and supported the city and its residents in all aspects of community service and involvement. In anecdotes both sweet and bitter, the youngest Box son remembered what it was like to grow up as a member of Texas royalty; if Frisco had a “first family,” the Boxes were it.
Doug’s childhood was replete with professional athletes, television crews, celebrities, Miss America pageants, and all the glitz and glamour of southern grandeur. Through a news video, he related how the house caught fire in 1987 through a painter’s accident. It was being rebuilt in 1993 when Cloyce suffered the heart attack that killed him. The partially rebuilt house’s steel frame stands today as it was then, at the northeast intersection of Main Street and Preston Road in Frisco.
Ultimately, a downturn in the Texas economy would come back to haunt the Box family, leading to the eventual sale of Doug’s beloved horse, Cutter Frisco, and ultimately the ranch itself.
After a round of applause, Alyce reminded everyone about the next Soup and Salad luncheon on Tuesday, August 18th, which features Ambassador Robert Jordan, who was the USA Ambassador to Saudi Arabia when 9/11 took place. He has written a book entitled The Desert Diplomat.
Mark your calendars for the Woman of the Year gala on Wednesday, October 14th, chaired by Venise Stuart, celebrating Virginia Cook as the Woman of the Year. Proceeds from the gala event benefit The Child Life Program at Children’s HealthSM Children’s Medical Center and the International Education Program of the World Affairs Council of Dallas/Fort Worth. Les Femmes du Monde has donated more than $2 million to the World Affairs Council of Dallas Fort Worth, and more than $670,000 to Children’s Medical Center.
Tickets for the gala begin at $250 each. Sponsorships and underwriting are available. Visit the website for details at www.lesfemmesdumonde.org
Membership in Les Femmes du Monde is open to the public and includes many benefits, such as invitations to events in private homes, the Woman of the Year celebration, New Member reception, Annual Meeting and Luncheon, and the opportunity to meet new friends and learn more about the world we live in.
Past Woman of the Year Honorees (in chronological order): Doris S. Dixon; Ruth Collins Sharp Altshuler; Caroline Rose Hunt; Annette Strauss, Mayor of Dallas; Vivian Castleberry; Mary Kay Ash; Ebby Halliday; Catherine Crier; Kay Bailey Hutchison, U.S. Senator; Laura Bush, First Lady of Texas; Juanita Miller; Nancy Brinker; Gloria Campos; Florence Shapiro, Texas State Senator; Liz Minyard and Gretchen Minyard Williams; Karen Hughes, Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs; Billie Leigh Rippey; Dee Wyly; Anita Perry, First Lady of Texas; Yvonne Crum; Geraldine “Tincy” Miller; Dr. Gail Thomas, President and CEO, The Trinity Trust Foundation; Mary Lee Cox; Virginia Chandler Dykes, Gina Ginsburg, Lynn McBee, Margaret McDermott, Pat Smith, Nina Vaca.
(Photos by Dana Driensky)