Only Marnie and Kern Wildenthal could be “roasted” by a Nobel Laureate with a sense of humor. That’s what happened at The Senior Source’s “Spirit of Generation” luncheon Friday at the Anatole.
But before the stellar crowd lunched and laughed, the VIP reception took place in the Wedgwood Room that was just a tad bit chilly. It seems that prior to being the place for the reception, a flock of flowers had been in a holding pattern. No problem. With the cold front that had moved in earlier that day, the ladies like Helen Storey and Virginia Chandler Dykes had pulled out their wool suit jackets for the lunch and others like Ruth Altshuler (pictured right with, from the left, Alicia Landry, Virginia Chandler Dykes and Helen Storey) and The Senior Source Exec Director Molly Bogen wore extremely fashionable six-foot long scarves.
The hot topics of conversation ranged from 2011 Equest Co-chair Barbara Stewart (pictured) reporting that her daughter/Equest co-chair Margaret Macatee will be handling the hi tech aspect of promoting that annual event at Brook Hollow; Mary McDermott talking about the October opening festivities for the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge; and Isabell Haggar happily recalling Dinner Under the Star’s incredible success.
One person steering away from a particular topic was Ross Perot. He opted to take pass regarding the week’s elections.
Then it was on to a ballroom full of boldface types like Jess Hay seated with Margaret Crow, who just a couple of weeks ago had been on hand for the opening of the “refreshed” Anatole lobby. . . Faye Briggs with her daughters Pebble McKenzie and Hester Briggs had French beauty Sylvie Wainwright (pictured left with Faye Briggs) at her table.
When all were settled in, it was time for the program with Luncheon Chair Sandra Estes teasing the group that for a long time she had considered “senior citizens as the ‘others.’” But her thinking had changed over the years and now, “I’m sold on old!”
Baylor Health Care System Foundation President Rowland “Robin” Robinson (pictured) did a nice job subbing in for Baylor Health Care System CEO Joel Allison who was in Washington on business. As you can guess, Baylor, like so many of the health care providers, is very concerned about providing for the upcoming flood of baby boomers as they approach the senior years. “Both organizations (The Senior Source and Baylor) are committed to meeting the physical, the spiritual, the emotional and the mental needs of our clients.”
Following a video and a note from British operatic great Robert Lloyd recognizing the Wildenthal for their contributions throughout the years and their friendship, it was time to get down to business, or in this case, laughs. That was left in the hands of UT Southwestern Nobel Laureate Dr. Al Gilman, (pictured right with, from the left, Margo Goodwin and Kern and Marnie Wildenthal) who really should start a second career of roasting great people. While Al lauded Marnie for her decades of teaching at Episcopal School of Dallas, he gently poked fun at Kern with decades of stories about Kern even before his days as UT Southwestern president. A recurring theme was bird droppings that seemed always to find Al but avoid Kern.
But Al was not going to just tease Kern. He told the group of Kern’s incredible work ethic, his vision in orchestrating the growth of UT Southwestern, as well as the Dallas Opera.
Kern must have known that the lunch was going to have some mischief from the red-ribbon-tied Coke bottles at his table (pictured). Luncheon guests learned that Kern has a love for Coke. They also learned from this brilliant, world-famous friend that not only did they share the same birth date, but they also have a respect and friendship for each other that is unmatched.
With that Marnie and Kern accepted their award with the grace, eloquence and humility proving they rightly deserved the 2010 Spirit of Generations Award.