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Catherine Team and Beverly Smirnis, authors of ANNA FROM ATLANTA, at The Preston of the Park Cities

As historical fiction writers Catherine Team and Beverly Smirnis talk about Anna From Atlanta, the tale flows easily between the two of them, one picking up the thread of the story where the other leaves off. With one Anna book published, a sequel at the printer, and a feature film screenplay in the works, the co-authors have an abiding love for their subject, which they shared with senior residents at The Preston of the Park Cities on November 5 during a Watermark University session.

Anna From Atlanta is based on true tales recounted by Catherine’s father, who grew up in rural Iowa during the Great Depression, where Anna – who described herself as, “big and dark and scary” – was the fiercely protective caregiver to Fritzy, a severely handicapped child. The dignity she commanded both for Fritzy and for herself made an indelible impression on Catherine’s father and the entire town.

“With its setting in the Great Depression, many of our residents could relate to the historical background of this true story,” said Ke’o Velasquez, Executive Director, The Preston of the Park Cities. “It was especially meaningful to us that the main character, Anna, was a caregiver.

”We have such regard for the art of caregiving here at The Preston and throughout all of Watermark that we even give our caregivers the unique name of Nayas, a word originating from the ancient language of Sanskrit,” he continued.  “In our communities, a Naya is a guide, a person of wisdom and a leader who is engaged in the present moment. It sounds like Anna was a Naya decades ahead of her time. We were very pleased to have Catherine and Beverly here to tell us about their first book and what’s next for Anna.”

The talk was part of the community’s Watermark University fall series, which features integrated programmatic offerings in the seven dimensions of wellness (spiritual, emotional, vocational, physical, social, environmental, and intellectual).

The program is a signature of Watermark Retirement Communities® at the 58 communities in 21 states it manages, including The Preston of the Park Cities, which is owned by Dallas-based Silverstone Senior Living.

The Preston of the Park Cities,, is a full-service luxury rental retirement community offering Assisted Living, The Bridge and Memory Care. The community is located at 5917 Sherry Lane, Dallas 75225.


The Preston of the Park Cities is a full-service luxury rental retirement community with 134 residences offering Assisted Living, The Bridge and Memory Care.  Located at 5917 Sherry Lane, Dallas 75225, in the prestigious Park Cities / Preston Hollow area, the community features an amenity-rich lifestyle with dynamic programs, fine dining, and concierge services. The Preston of the Park Cities is owned by Dallas-based Silverstone Senior Living and operated by Watermark Retirement Communities®. Visit for more information.


Silverstone Senior Living develops high-quality senior housing communities which provide independent living, assisted living and memory care services in Texas, Florida, and the Mid-Atlantic states. The principals of Silverstone have extensive experience and an excellent track record in the real estate industry. This experience includes designing, developing, managing, operating, and owning premier properties throughout the nation and across all the major asset platforms for both public and private companies. Silverstone is committed to developing and operating “best in class” communities that are as comfortable as home, luxurious as a country club, and provide the highest level of care.  Visit for more information.


Watermark creates extraordinary communities where people thrive. We believe aging is about renewal rather than retirement. Watermark communities are known for highly trained and caring associates, a lifestyle built on choice, fine amenities, integrative wellness, and innovative programs including the award-winning Watermark University featuring a wide variety of engaging classes for residents and area seniors. Watermark has been named in the top 25 Best Workplaces for Aging Services in a national program conducted by the Great Place to Work Institute and published on A privately held company with a reputation for over 30 years for service, innovation, integrity and financial stability, Watermark manages more than 65 retirement communities coast to coast. Based in Tucson AZ, Watermark is ranked as the nation’s 9th-leading senior housing operator by the American Seniors Housing Association. Visit for more information.