I guess I have finally arrived as a recognized voice in the Lake Highlands community. I don’t want to brag, but I’m constantly receiving offers for dinner, invitations to parties, requests to move, threats of bodily harm – and, frankly, the celebrity status I have achieved in such a short time has become my own private burden to bear.
I can now relate to superstars such as Brad Pitt, Alec Baldwin, Rosa Lopez, Lamar Alexander and Boutrous-Boutrous Ghali.
It’s lonely at the top. It’s also windy.
Recently, however, I chose to break my rule of resisting the flood of social invitations I receive, but it was unquestionably for a good cause. My wife and I were delighted to be the honored guests of international drywall magnate Steve Baker and his lovely wife Carol at the Lake Highlands Exchange Club’s annual fund-raising event.
It was clearly the event of the year for our burgh, and I would estimate over a half-million people attended. I was particularly impressed with the other guests of the Bakers who were also seated at our table – Neal and D’Ana Flagg, whose ancestors settled Flagpole Hill; Dan and Kaye Allred, whose three daughters will likely monopolize the title of Miss Lake Highlands for many years to come; and Mark and Cindy Newman – Mark is one of those Bob Redford-looking guys. Disgusting!
The Wildcat Wranglers from Lake Highlands High School demonstrated some of their western-style, acrobatic dancing. They were swinging each other around by the hair and throwing the girls up in the air – and I was glad our table wasn’t next to the stage.
As far as I know, only three patrons were kicked in the chin by a stray cowboy boot.
The event also included a silent auction consisting of several hundred odds and ends, most of which were donated by Gary Scoggins.
They had a picture of Jerry Jones signed “with love to all of my fans” (I don’t think that one received a bid); a year’s supply of bottled water from White Rock Lake (which is about how much water is left); an autographed copy of Jimmy Carter’s book of poetry (a sample – “I once told all the world that lust was in my heart; And then a guy named Reagan said I must depart.” Deep, very deep); and, of course, an all-you-can-eat voucher at S.T. Café (formerly known as Sweet Temptations) for a maximum calorie count of three million or the equivalent of a half-slice of Lake Highlands rock cake.
There was also a live auction, complete with a professional auctioneer, who seemed to be stuck on trying to sell “hominy, hominy, hominy,” and I never once saw any, and I was even ready to bid on some.
You know, live auctions can be hazardous to your financial health. I quickly learned that while the bidding is underway, it is imperative that you sit perfectly still unless you want the item being auctioned.
If you blow your nose, wave to a friend, scratch your ear, nod your head, raise your eyebrows, or flare your nostrils, you will suddenly be the proud owners of an object d’art for $5,000.
By the way, the Lake Highlands Exchange Club is a pretty impressive bunch of people, who actively support the students at Lake Highlands High School and other neighborhood schools. They provide scholarships, support the athletic teams, the choir and other school organizations and events. The auction is their annual event to raise the funds to support such programs. This year’s event raised more than $37,000.
Anyone can join this group, which meets every Friday at 7 a.m. at the Galveston Island Seafood Restaurant, at Skillman and Royal. I have been to a couple of meetings and they are generally interesting.
The party ended with a surprise Beatles reunion concert. Ringo still can’t carry a tune.
You shoulda been there!