The sun decided to bless Dallas with heat and warmth on Tuesday. Perhaps it was to put a spotlight on the Valentine Tea at the Arboretum by the Women’s Council of the Arboretum. Whoa! You’re getting ready to sign off because who wants to read about a tea. Ladies sipping from little tea cups and munching on cucumber sandwiches. Usually you would be painfully right.
But this time it was different. Besides delicious centerpieces, there was a talk beforehand in Rosine Hall. No, it was more of a family conversation that rows of guests got to eavesdrop on. The family was matriarch Caroline Rose Hunt with her daughter Laurie Sands Harrison and Caroline’s four granddaughters/Laurie’s four daughters (Bailey, Caroline, Hassie and Laurie).
The chat covered such subjects as Caroline’s childhood at Mount Vernon, her going into the hotel business, her establishing Primrose, her opinion on healthcare and many marvelous tales.
What made them marvelous was the 88-year old Caroline herself. Not only has she witnessed and been part of history-making events in Dallas, she can hold her own nicely, thank you, with anyone of any age.
When asked what advice she would give a woman going into business, she countered with, “I’d give the same advice to a woman that I would give to a man. That is to do the best job you can.”
Then she added, “But if you’re going to speak just to a woman, I would say, ‘Don’t expect just because you’re a beautiful face or a beautiful woman or you’re sexy. . . to trade on that doesn’t work.”
She told the group that in pulling together materials (17 boxes) for her archives with her “wonderful helper” Charlene Howell, she ran across an old college album where she “saved all types of things. Here was a Valentine from Ed Cox. I never had a date with Ed. He was just my bestfriend and he sent it, you know, as a friendly gesture.”
If you don’t know who Ed Cox is, drive to the corner of Preston Road and Beverly and look at the house on the southeast corner. That’s Ed’s place. Or, head on over to SMU and ask to see the Ed Cox School of Business.
At the end of the talk, daughter Laurie presented her mother with an oil painting of a rose that Laurie had done to mark the occasion.
Like said earlier, Caroline is living treasure of Dallas history.
If you weren’t able to make the tea, try to find someone who attended like Ruth Buzzi, Kent Perkins, Yvonne Crum, Jill Rowlett, Carolyn Lupton, Dee Wyly or Caroline’s niece Lyda Hunt Hill. They were all there for a once-in-a-lifetime occasion with a Dallas sweetheart.