You just know fall is transitioning into winter when black stockings are the leg du jour. And the Junior League of Dallas’ Milestone Luncheon in the Anatole’s Khmer Ballroom on Thursday, November 14, looked like a forest of ‘em, with almost all in skirts showing off opaque covered knees, calves and ankles. Is it a requirement that Junior Leaguers must have good legs? One little gal’s shoulder-length hair seemed longer than her skirt. Someone whispered, “She’s not a member.” Oh.
Promptly at 11:50 the chimes played calling all to their tables. In the back of the room one girl stands out. Why? Because she has a drum. No, it wasn’t one for Friday’s Salvation Army luncheon. This drum is much bigger, black and covered.
By 11:58 the electric violins that had been playing during the reception have gone silent. The chimes made a last call for guests to take their seats. The Booker T. Washington Chorale group was now on stage as the drummer girl walked up the main aisle playing.
A fabulous looking KDFW-CH. 4 reporter/5th generation JLD-er/emcee Calvert Collins welcomed the audience and introduced luncheon Co-Chairs Emily Eisenhauer and Patti Flowers. The choir sang “America The Beautiful” perfectly.
Just as luncheon was served at 12:14 p.m., Police Chief David Brown arrived and slipped in at the table where Sheriff Lupe Valdez and Assistant Chief Deputy Debbie Foster were seated. He got a big hug from Calvert.
For those who wonder why it’s called the Milestone Luncheon, it’s because of the many milestones that have been achieved over the years by the JLD sustainers.
Patti and Arrangements Chair Sandy Ammons presented Linda Secrest with the “Sustainer of the Year Award.” In graciously accepting the award, Linda made her comments brief but made sure that husband Les and her family were recognized.
With a schedule to keep, JLD President Laura Johnson followed Linda and introduced guest speaker Vernice “FlyGirl” Armour, who had been sitting at a front-row table in a flight suit. From the moment Vernice walked on stage, there was no doubt that she had never met a stranger. With more enthusiasm than Jerry Jones after a win, she told of the years leading from childhood to beat cop to combat pilot. Like many she recalled how 9/11 was a turning point for her. She was just 60 days away from graduating from flight school when the World Trade Center was destroyed. Despite having failed her first test, she eventually became America’s “First African American Female Combat Pilot” and served two tours overseas supporting and saving the lives of troops.
As she told of her life transitioning from the military to civilian life motivating others to “create breakthroughs,” she removed her jacket and flight suit to reveal a white shirt and navy blue pantsuit.
In the back of the room, an Anatole wait staffer lingered and listened. She smiled when she heard FlyGirl talk about breakthroughs. You got the feeling that another milestone was in the making, thanks to the JLD’s having Vernice talk.