Preston Hollow’s Windsor Lake might not be part of the Turtle Creek waterway, but after Turtle Creek Park Conservancy‘s Day At The Races patron party on Wednesday, April 19, it just might be a kissing cousin.
In addition to Mother Nature being on her best behavior, the 7 p.m. start for the event at Dr. Sami Arslanlar‘s and John Clutts‘ home had the valets filling the streets with vehicles.
No wonder. Whether it was those with memories of the past or first-time visitors, the home and grounds had such a history when it was owned by the late Betty Jo and Jess Hay and had been complimented with all the advantages of the 21st century thanks to Sami’s and John’s meticulous care.
Three degrees of separation: Within the Democratic party history this house made history. In addition to Betty Jo’s uncle being 1971-1977 Speaker of the House of Representatives Carl Albert and Jess’ holding various leadership roles in the Democratic party, former U.S. presidents Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton and Barrack Obama had found it as their Dallas respite over the years.
Shouldn’t surprise. The front of this home with its circular driveway protected all insiders and provided a restful get-away from the problems of the day with a beautiful backyard with its fountain-fed pool and pristine St. Augustine lawn leading to the lake.
On this evening, the DATR guests filled rooms that seamlessly showcased how the best of the past had been meticulously enhanced with 21st century conveniences, thanks to Sami and John. Dee Wyly settled back in a chair in front of the fireplace across the way from pals Barbara Brice and Jill Rowlett.
John laughed and said that Dee should be comfortable in the chair since it had been part of her previous home on Deloache. Like the exquisite dining-room table, the chair and other furnishings had been a perfect fit for the home.
As a pianist played on an antique Steinway (it was a rarity with only 85 keys), guests like DATR Co-Chairs Katherine and Austin Wyker, Underwriting Chair Gail Fischer and Ken Christenson, Ann and Bob Dyer, Melinda and Mark Knowles, Di Johnston and Lisa Cooley felt right at home, with one guest telling John, “We’re moving in next week. What day should we tell the movers to arrive?”
Upon hearing the comment, Wendy and Boyd Messmann added that they were on board for the move-in, too.
In the meantime, as Chef Janice Provost was supervising a feast on the table in the family room, Connie Miles and daughter Olivia Miles were putting the final touches on the evening’s candle favors.
Turtle Creek Park Conservancy President Tiffany Divis reported that the DATR’s sponsorships had pretty much crossed the finish line for the fundraiser on Saturday, May 6. Now the scant few individual tickets remained.
John recalled when the Hays daughter Debbie Hay Spradley had visited the house, she teared up recalling the days of the past. He laughed saying that despite the day’s modern conveniences, they kept the phone that had been used to talk with past state and national leaders. He added that he doubted even with the historic phone that he could still dial up past or even current leaders.
If ever there was a home that would have been the place to find comfort during the past pandemic, this was the one.