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The Quest for a Perfect Chair

Published on Wednesday, June 27, 2012 By Melissa Prycer
The dear mother of Miss Manners, who originally named her daughter Judith Martin, advised her that when sailing across the Atlantic, she should travel first or third class, but never in the mediocre middle. As Judith explains, “In first class, in those days, you had luxury; in third class, you had fun. This is the proper distribution of the world’s blessings. In second class, you had neither.” Remember the movie Titanic, which didn’t even bother to show the people in the middle? We saw the rich having cocktails and the poor having a dance to music they made for themselves. Finances here at the museum sometimes make me feel like one of those people riding in third class, also known as steerage. I produce exhibits and carry out repairs on a shoestring. It ..

Donkeys, Dog Trots, and Flutes: Field Trips at DHV

Published on Monday, May 21, 2012 By Melissa Prycer
A few weeks ago, I was on a trip with family. My cousin mentioned taking their young son to the Texas State Aquarium on Friday morning “when it wouldn’t be so busy.” I looked at him in disbelief: “Don’t go anywhere near there until late afternoon! On a Friday in May, the place will be overrun with school groups.” He looked at me, completely confused. I said “At the Village, we’ll see almost 1/3 of our total school field trip attendance just in the month of May. Fridays are the most popular. Go some other time!” He still didn’t quite believe me. But then they went to the Aquarium, getting there around 1 p.m. They were absolutely amazed at how many school buses were in the parking lot. Don’t get me wrong&ndas ..

Flashdancing Donkeys

Published on Monday, May 07, 2012 By Melissa Prycer
(/images/postimages/donkey-leg-warmers-008.jpg)Nip and Tuck look retro spiffy in their brightly striped leg warmers. Tuck chose yellow with discreet blue cuffs, while Nip went all out with pink and purple. All of which leaves you wondering why we would humiliate our donkey friends by forcing them in to such attire. The answer is that it is fly season in Dallas. If you are a human, you have noticed that our mild winter produced fantastic crops of weeds and mosquitoes. Your pets can attest to the healthy state of population growth among the fleas. For equines, the main enemy is the black fly, and flies seem to prefer the donkey over any other equine. Horses are nice, but donkeys are delicious. Flies buzz about the boys’ heads in an annoying manner, but for biting they ..

So Long, City Park Elementary School!

Published on Tuesday, May 01, 2012 By Melissa Prycer
One of our oldest and most beloved neighbors is leaving at the end of this school year—City Park Elementary School. Built in 1919 directly across from City Park, as it was then known, the school has long been an anchor to a neighborhood in constant change. When the school opened, Gano Street was a residential street forming the south border of Dallas’ first city park, and the neighborhood known as the Cedars was then a relatively well-to-do residential area a short walk, or trolley ride, from downtown. Over the years the neighborhood has changed dramatically. After 1940, car dealerships, manufacturing, and warehouses largely replaced the residential housing, and after Interstate 30 was built in the early 1960s, the Cedars was effectively isolated from the rest of  ..

How to throw a party for 3,000 Girl Scouts (and live to tell about it)

Published on Friday, April 20, 2012 By Melissa Prycer
This spring, our event calendar has been just a little bit different. Long-time patrons might have noticed that Plow, Plant and Shear got moved to a Sunday and was a much smaller event. There was a very good reason for that: the Girl Scouts were throwing a party. And the size of that one event demolished a few other things in its path. About a year ago, staff from the Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas Council (http://www.gsnetx.org/)approached us with an idea: the Girl Scout Centennial was coming up–what if the big council-wide party was held at DHV? We’ve worked with GSNETX for years–first by offering specific programming at the Village for Girl Scouts–badge workshops, tours, and one special Girl Scout Day. Several years ago, we collaborated with other Da ..

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