While parts of North Texas were scouring the skies for possible thunderstorms and even tornadoes, Lisa and Clay Cooley’s estate was simply glorious on Thursday, May 4, for the Klyde Warren Park President’s Circle reception. As golf carts wound around the drive leading through pristine lawns and mammoth trees and fountains showcasing ponds, the backyard was primed for an event to celebrate a park that had brought so much national attention. Luckily, the little vehicles were prepared with protective enclosures, just in case storms arrived.
In addition to tables set up as if in a ballroom, and two buffet tables in place for a night of Cassandra feasting with musicians nearby, even the pool got second looks. There, oversized planter bowls filled with flowers and greenery and lounge chairs and sofas with spring colored cushions were getting thumbs-up reviews. One item in particular was the diving board recessed in the terrace.
Around the pool were Klyde Warren Park President Kit Sawers and Lyda Hill on the topic of today’s sport-of-the-day favorite Pickleball. Lyda recalled how in decades past when her dad Al Hill Sr. and Al Hill Jr. were into tennis in Colorado Springs, she had had the tennis courts adjusted for the then-new “sport of the day.”
Adding to her recollection, Lyda said that Pickleball was originally named after co-founder Joe Pritchard’s pooch Pickle, who would run off with the ball while it was still in play.
When asked if Klyde Warren Park would be adding a Pickleball court, Kit admitted that the Park was running out of room. It had already expanded across the road for the dog park. Luckily two courts were in place a couple of blocks away.
But the history of Pickleball only launched a recall of Lyda’s uncle, Lamar Hunt, who had been so instrumental to the growth of professional football, soccer and tennis.
Talk about three-degrees-of separation! It was Kit’s father, tennis great Ham Richardson, whom Lyda’s grandfather, H.L. Hunt, had asked to help his son on his plan for expanding tennis to an international arena. Ham told H.L. not to worry, recognizing the future of the World Championship of Tennis.
Standing poolside, Lyda recalled how her philanthropic support had resulted in such ventures as an RNA group that would become Moderna — and another little something called Zoom.
While Lyda regretted that losses of the recent pandemic, she was gratified that her grassroots support had helped provide vaccines to save countless people throughout the world and made communicating during the pandemic easier.
Over on the terrace, Lucy Wrubel reported that daughter/mistletoe entrepreneur Stella Wrubel was moving non-stop, as were her grandparents Jenny and Stuart Reeves. Plans for college for the teenager were already on the dinner table discussions. But for this night it was just Lucy and her gal pals being there to support Klyde Warren.
But still the question had to be asked: “How was Lucy going to handle the grassy grounds in her stilettos?” No hesitation.” On tiptoes, of course.
Meantime, guests like Nancy and Randy Best, Deborah and John Scott, Laura and Greg Koonsman, Gloria Snead, Myrna and Bob Schlegel, Caren and Pete Kline, Betsy and Richard Eiseman, Christie Carter with Hudson Weischel and Cooleys (Bela and Chase Cooley and Ciara Cooley Biggers and Hunt Biggers) gathered on the terrace and grounds. Paul Divis waited for wife Tiffany Divis to arrive. He was cutting her a bit of slack since she had been up until 2 a.m. earlier in the morning planning the upcoming Saturday’s Day At The Races at Turtle Creek Park.
But there was no waiting for the program as Kit thanked the guests over the PA for their support that had resulted in 1.2M people visiting the Park, “more than the Cowboys, Stars, and Mavericks home games combined,” while countless other groups from around the country explored the program to create similar ventures in their communities.
She then hinted that news of the annual Party in the Park plans were nearing. It was interesting to note how some guests gave each other a sly wink and smile when the subject was broached.
As the rain held off, the guests settled down to dine under the trees.