The Park Cities Historic and Preservation Society’s (PCHPS) Spring Taste • Tour • Explore events began with the Distinguished Speaker Luncheon featuring Jenna Bush Hager as the speaker, chaired by Tish Key at the Brook Hollow Golf Club.
VIP guests enjoyed a reception with Jenna where she was as amiable and friendly as ever, visiting with hometown friends and making new acquaintances with PCHPS sponsors and underwriters, posing for photos and selfies whenever asked.
Lucinda Buford, PCHPS president, welcomed the crowd with Tish and introduced Highland Park High School’s Lads and Lassies choir as they sang a lovely version of The Lord Bless You and Keep You as the invocation. After luncheon, emcee Scott Murray recognized honorary chairs Gail and R. Gerald Turner, sponsors and the board of directors. As a very special surprise, he introduced HPHS principal Walter Kelly, who announced the first ever PCHPS Distinguished Chair for History award to Bradley J. Sanders, AP European History teacher.
Moderator Pierce Allman took the stage, giving a brief background of Jenna, saying she is a contributing correspondent on NBC’s Today show and an editor-at-large for Southern Living magazine. She is also the author of The New York Times best seller Ana’s Story: A Journey of Hope, which she wrote after traveling to Latin American in 2006 as an intern with UNICEF. Hager is the daughter of former U.S. President George W. Bush and First Lady Laura Bush
Jenna joined Pierce on stage after a warm welcoming round of applause and shared stories about her being named after her maternal grandmother Jenna Hawkins Welch and choosing names for her children, keeping it all in the family. Her stories gave insight into her life with the Secret Service, dating her husband, Henry, and episodes at the White House and beyond.
She spoke strongly about helping support more appreciation for teachers, as a former teacher herself. As a television correspondent, one of her most compelling interviews was with Maya Angelou and she stressed that even the most ordinary people have extraordinary lives and stories to tell and she finds it fulfilling to meet these people and share the stories of their lives and experiences. Reading with her children is a favorite pastime as well as spending time with all of her family. She ended her presentation saying she believes strongly in keeping the heritage of our homes, the history of our city, preserved for future generations.
After a standing ovation of appreciation for her sharing sometimes hilarious and serious episodes from her life, everyone was reminded about the Historic Home Tour happening that next Saturday chaired by Jana Paul and the Classic and Antique Car Show, which was rescheduled to the rain date of Saturday, April 28, chaired by Polly and Dan McKeithen.
• The purpose of the annual Historic Home Tour is to show case architecturally and historically significant homes of the Park Cities and illustrate how these homes have been restored or remodeled and updated to serve the lifestyle needs of families today.
• The Historic Home Tour and Distinguished Speaker Luncheon are the Society’s only fundraisers each year. The proceeds are allocated for scholarships and to help further our mission to promote, protect and preserve the historic, architectural, cultural and aesthetic legacy of the Park Cities.
• The Society landmarks architecturally and historically significant homes in the Park
Cities, some of which are on the Historic Home Tour.
• Membership in the Society is open to the public. Members enjoy historic and preservation-oriented educational programs.
Sponsors included: Presenting Sponsor, Allie Beth Allman & Associates. Home Sponsor: Capital Distributing; Lucinda Buford/Tessa Mosteller, Briggs Freeman. Legacy Sponsors: Highland Park Village, William Briggs Architect, Venise and Larry Stuart. Vintage Sponsors: Carol and Clair Storey, Briggs Freeman Sotheby's International; Cynthia H. Beaird, William S. Briggs, David Dike Fine Art, Eiseman Jewels NorthPark, Harold Leidner Landscape Architects, Jana and Hadley Paul, Lentz Landscape Lighting, Sleepy Hollow Homes, Southwest Gallery. Presenting Media Sponsor is D Home. Newspaper media sponsor is The Park Cities News/The Waters Family. Radio sponsor is KESN 103.3 FM ESPN.
PCHPS mission is to preserve and promote the history, architecture, aesthetics and cultural traditions of the Park Cities. Proceeds of the fundraisers will be used to help preserve and maintain the Park Cities House at Dallas Heritage Village, support the new PCHPS archives at the University Park Library, fund the Society’s landmarking initiatives and award scholarships to Highland Park High School graduating seniors planning to study architecture or history. Membership in PCHPS is open to the public. For more information visit http://www.pchps.org
Photos by Dana Driensky and Rob Wythe/Gittings.