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Rumor Has It - October 2023

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Clark Edlund, Weston Edlund, Maddox Edlund, Lauren Edlund

EDLUNDS IN ENGLAND The Edlund family enjoyed a month-long experience in England. Pictured: Clark, Weston, Maddox, and Lauren visiting Stonehenge.

Worth waiting for. After waiting six hours, Lauren, Clark, and sons Maddox (7) and Weston (5) Edlund’s flight to London was canceled with no options in sight. The flight they eventually booked left the next day from Austin on a different airline without their luggage, which did not detract from their immersive month-long experience in England. The Cotswolds had them spellbound with history and The Lion King was a big hit for Weston while Maddox loved the London Eye to see the 360 views of the city. Grandparents Mindy and Joel Loshak joined them for a while, and Jas and Katie and children Jack (8), Benji (6), Emily (4) Brars and Lyndsie and Ian, kids Garrett (9) and Evy (7) Palmers met them after a week. 

MAH JONGG MAMAS The “Mah Jong Mamas” recently celebrated 25 years of friendship. Pictured, front row: Sue Shefman, Martee Fuerst, Marilynn Branca; back row: Jill Rose, Sherry Barker, Toni Meason, Lacey Carey, Bonnie Vanhook, and Diane Menscher. Not pictured: Mary Beth Cody, Judy Stockton, and Seanne Klingensmith.

Let there be champagne and cake. A particular group of girlfriends that had a child that graduated from MHS in 1997 wanted to stay in touch when they became empty nesters, so they lunched once a month. Later, bunco games developed and then Mah Jongg took over as the game of choice. The 25th anniversary celebration of the Mah Jongg Mamas group celebrated with champagne and cake at Toni Meason’s home. Many of them go back to Frostwood Elementary with their children. Their cheers were for women friendships. Sue Shefman, Martee Fuerst, Marilynn Branca, Jill Rose, Sherry Barker, Lacey Carey, Bonnie Vanhook, Diane Menscher were there but Mary Beth Cody, Judy Stockton, and Seanne Klingensmith were missed.

George Connelly, Kim Turner

JUST DANCE George Connelly and instructor Kim Turner dance to win at the San Antonio Classic.

Dancin’ man. When George Connelly, a tax attorney, was widowed nine years ago, he had plenty of time on his hands. A few years after Covid, in 2022, he spotted lessons in a dance ballroom and waltzed right in to get a new hobby. Recently, he entered and won a few competitions at the San Antonio Classic, where he danced from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. with his instructor, Kim Turner. He won in the Newcomer Male division with a Roaring ’20s theme and a choregraphed dance to Secret Agent Man. Private lessons paid off. Cha cha cha!

Sharon Roark

ADVENTURES IN AFRICA Experienced rider Sharon Roark rode a Leopard Appaloosa at the Tswalu Kalahari Reserve in South Africa.

Friends in the right place. When Sharon Roark met Gaspard Musonera on a plane 12 years ago, she never imagined that she would be a guest in his and Viviane’s Rwandan house. The 20-day trip also included Tswalu Kalahari Reserve in South Africa, where she rode a Leopard Appaloosa and safari’d and trekked the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest in Uganda to see the gorillas Kigali. 

Diane Roberts, Karen Womack, Ben Roberts, Carol Callaway, and Karen King

Diane Roberts, Karen Womack, Ben Roberts, Carol Callaway, and Karen King adventured to Africa.

Story swap around the firepit. Diane Roberts and Karen Womack started planning their Africa dream trip in 2009 to see the Big 5 (leopard, lion, rhino, elephant, and African Buffalo). It finally came to reality in 2023 when Ben Roberts, Carol Callaway, and Karen King joined in. They started at Cape Town and stayed at three lodges with a break to see Victoria Falls. Indulgences were a sanctuary visit on a private island, glamping in high-ceilinged tented rooms with a private plunge pool and views of the Delta, and a canoe glide past hippos. Their fave animal sightings were mom and baby cheetah, a dazzle of zebras, herds of elephants, a pod of hippopotamus, a pride of lions, troops of baboons, and journey of giraffes. Definitely wild!


IRELAND AND PORTUGAL The McKeon family loved their trip to Ireland and Portugal. Here, they’re pictured at the beach in Estoril, Portugal.

Better weather there. Despite any rain or icy cold water temperatures from the North Atlantic Ocean George, Dana, and Nenagh McKeon loved their summer family trip in Ireland for 12 days, and when Kiera McKeon joined them for 10 days in Portugal. Fave highlights were the Molly Malone statue in Dublin, Nenagh Castle in Co. Tipperary, Moorish Castle north of Lisbon in the Sintra Hills, and St. George’s castle in Lisbon.

Chuck Brown, Billie Sue Parris, and Paul Hensley

CHANNELING BARBIE AND KEN Chuck Brown, Billie Sue Parris, and Paul Hensley embraced the theme at Billie Sue’s Barbie Birthday Party.

Inner child surfaced. It may have been 100 degrees outside, but the pink champagne was perfectly chilled inside at Billie Sue Parris’ Barbie Birthday Party, held at Mary Maxey’s home. Guests embraced the theme inspired by the 1960s fashion icon with Barbie lookalikes. Gwen Mullins selected pastel pink bellbottoms; Val Lankford wore a flower power sundress; Kyle Suttles and Synda Frost donned pink derby hats; Ali Balmer wore a bejeweled pale pink sheath channeling Audrey Hepburn. “Beach Kens” wore pink polos and guayaberas. Ralph Burch sported a turquoise jacket, ascot, pocket square, and zebra tuxedo slippers. Paul Hensley and Chuck Brown capped their look with “Ken hair” which everyone agreed shaved years off their age. Guests enjoyed ’60s fare, including Strawberry Daiquiri Birthday Cake, and dancing to ’60s music.

Stellabration. Liz and Tom Glanville returned from Greece in time to welcome Stella Sati Jiwani, born Aug 19 to Ali (Greenfield) and Rafique Jiwani in New York. Stella’s room is decorated in tones of peach and white with graceful egrets watching over her. Egrets symbolize good fortune, purity, grace, and new beginnings. Grandparents David Greenfield and first-time grandparents Liz and Tom Glanville and Sheila and Arif Jiwani (from Atlanta) are ready to spread their wings to NY anytime to see Stella. 

Mah Jongg in the pool. Gal pals from a mah jongg group all over Houston had a weekend getaway in Austin with a handmade floating mah jongg game table made by Debi Mishael. She used foam insulation and lots of ingenuity. Summer-in-Texas-mah takes on a whole new dimension. Susan Waldman, Cheryl Lidsky, Lisa Lowenstein, Frances Rubin, Bonnie Blumberg, Beth Nelson, and Ruth Reid made the splash. One of the original members, Dr. Beth Nelson, moved to Austin seven years ago to be Vice Dean of Education with Dell Medical School. She invites the group every year to stay with her and play nonstop mah. They usually make side trips but this year it was just a trip to Spec’s for beverages with delivered food to have nonstop mah in and out of the pool. No joke(rs). 

Diane Gelman

Diane Gelman

A pop of surprise. When Diane Gelman entered six art pieces called Candy P-O-P x 6! to the ADC Fine Art for the Art Comes Alive Spring 2023 Competition in Cincinnati, she was attracted to the prize money and her soft spot for the city she used to live in. She won the Gallery’s Art Collective Ultimate Membership Award. These paintings will also be exhibited at the ADC booth during the prestigious Art Basel Miami Dec. 6-10 at the Red Dot Miami 2023 Show that shows contemporary art. How sweet!

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