Despite the damp night before that forced a back-up plan to kick into place for the Dallas Arboretum‘s Rory Meyer Children’s Adventure Garden gala, the sun came out for the official dedication Saturday, September 21.
As dignitaries, bands and a multitude of guests gathered in the garden’s Pavilion, an interesting little incident took place that won’t make headlines.
In the Dallas Arboretum’s Camp parking lot, a vintage couple got out of their sedan and walked toward the Camp House. He was in the Dallas fall uniform of blue blazer, blue shirt, red tie and tan slacks. He gently escorted her like a charmed date with the homecoming queen. In white sweater and black skirt with her head full of white hair pulled back in a ponytail, she seemed a bit concerned about what the POA was, but she knew her champion would make the right decisions.
A young Arboretum staffer told the couple they were to take the shuttle to the Pavilion for check in. The gentleman questioned ever so gently that suggestion. “We were told to go to the Camp House.”
The young man admitted that the ribbon-cutting for the Rory Meyers Children’s Adventure Garden had created confusion, but they were to go to the Pavilion.
A senior female Arboretum staffer arrived and agreed the elder couple should take the shuttle to the Pavilion. The couple smiled, realizing they were to comply with the two staffers. Luckily, the shuttle driver, sensing that a bit of hesitation wouldn’t damage the situation, drove the couple around the circular driveway to the front door of the Camp House. She said it wouldn’t hurt just to check. As the shuttle arrived at the Camp House, a woman came out and immediately welcomed the two, hugging the small, white-haired woman.
The gentleman said that he thought they were supposed to at the Camp House but were advised otherwise. The greeter said that much had been happening and that she would check. The white-haired passenger seemed relieved. Her champion was getting to the bottom of things in a gentlemanly fashion. After a few minutes the greeter emerged from the Camp House and said it had been a case of miscommunication. Of course, they’re “to be in here.”
The couple was Rory and Howard Meyers.
A half hour later, the Meyers would join Mayor Mike Rawlings, Arboretum Chair of the Board Brian Shivers, Arboretum President/CEO Mary Brinegar and a host of officials at the ribbon-cutting and on stage with the St. Mark’s School choir performing. As the speeches continued and City Councilman Sheffie Kadane acknowledged a countless number of associates, the proclamation was presented and the sun warmed the area. The highpoints of the event were Howard’s thanking all with Rory by his side, and then the surprise revelation that, unbeknownst to the Meyers, their friends had created a fund that would underwrite a program allowing the underprivileged to visit the garden.
The garden with its multitude of highlights may have been a 17-year project in the making, but in those scant 20 minutes, the Meyers’ love, graciousness and dedication to each other seemed to reflect the same care, consideration and compassion that resulted in the amazing wonderland for children of all ages.