June 2023

Page 40

ARLINGTON CLASSICS ACADEMY ARLINGTON CLASSICS ACADEMY A Timeless Education for a Lifetime A Timeless Education for a Lifetime
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of Sports
22 Arlington Classics Academy Tuition-Free Private School-Level Education CONTENTS FEATURES June 2023 • Volume 10 • Issue 6 50 One Cool Car 1954 Chevrolet Bel Air 8 ARLINGTON TODAY • June 2023 • arlingtontoday.com
Starting Line 10 Itinerary 12 This ’n Data 16 Around Town 20 Scene 24, 56, 57, 64, 65 Speaking
48 Bulletin Board 58 Keen
62 Finish Line 66


Our vibrant community continues to thrive, and this month’s issue is chock full of some of the events, activities, and people that reflect positively on our collective experience.

Our front cover features Arlington Classics Academy, a public charter school providing tuition-free private school level education to Arlington, Dalworthington Gardens, and the surrounding communities for over 20 years. Our story describes how ACA was founded by parents with the mission of putting parents at the forefront of locally controlled, parent friendly education resulting in a current enrollment of over 1,500 students.

Celebration is underway marking the 100th anniversary of the original Rotary Club of Arlington. Amanda Rogers leads her story by telling us that in 1923 the city’s population was only just over 3,000 residents, that Warren G. Harding was in the White House, and our country was two states short of where we are today.

To mark the occasion the club is donating an interactive $160,000 sculpture to the new Rotary Dream Park between the Arlington Museum of Art and the George W. Hawkes Downtown Library. There’s lots more to commemorate the occasion so check out all the details in the complete account just pages forward.

Just about everyone enjoys a car show. Well, there’s another celebration to mark the 70th anniversary of America’s Sports Car – the iconic Corvette. It will be center stage at the Downtown Arlington Classic event presented by Chevrolet at the Vandergriff Town Center. A large turnout is expected of car enthusiasts and collectors and, yes, there’s will be lots of models across the decades that will join the Corvettes as you will see in the story that follows.

Kenneth Perkins marks Father’s Day through his story of how some of our local fathers reflect upon their roles. Here’s a sample of just one of them to whet your appetite for his whole account from Linh Nguyen, father of three – “We have to show we are part of their lives, and what helps is wanting to be there. It’s critical. If you want them to grow up to be citizens of the world, you have to teach them how to do that.”

John Rhadigan’s column marks the occasion of Flag Day commemorating the adoption of the nation’s flag that occurred on June 14, 1777. John makes the connection with an account of how a Texas Rangers star player and the team’s new manager have military ties to those who protect and defend the Stars and Stripes flying over our nation.

Richard Greene’s Finish Line is all about the dedication of Arlington Heritage Memorial Grounds, following a five-year long project that has restored the city’s first cemetery where Arlington’s settlers are at their final rest. Long overdue, the sacred ground is now a tribute to those who came long ago to the open prairie and launched what is now a thriving urban center.

You will want to check out this month’s Itinerary, our Scene pages, Style, the celebration of graduates across the community (including my granddaughter Abby Grace) and all that is in store this month’s presentation for you. Please enjoy paging through and remember to support our advertisers. They are the ones that make Arlington Today possible every month.


Executive Publisher

Judy M. Rupay


Richard Greene


Sports Columnist

John Rhadigan

Website & Social Media Manager

Bailey Woodard

Graphic Artists

Francisco Cuevas

Betsy Lewis

Contributing Writers

Kenneth Perkins, Amanda Rogers, Richard Greene

Contributing Photographers

Dwayne Lee, Heather Lee, Bruce Maxwell, Ryan Brown


Business Manager

Bridget Dean

Sales Managers

Laura DiStefano, Paige Payne, Andrea Proctor, Debbie Roach, Tricia Schwartz

Distribution Manager

Hanna Areksoussi


Production Manager

Francisco Cuevas

ARLINGTON TODAY is published monthly. Copyright 2023 Arlington Today, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted by any means without permission of the publisher. The inclusion of advertising is considered a service to readers and is not an endorsement of products. Basic subscriptions are $33.95 for 12 issues.

To subscribe, e-mail subscriptions@arlingtontoday.com.

Phone us at (817) 303-3304


Arlington Today magazine proudly sponsors Arlington Charities, the Arlington Independence Day Parade, the AWARE Foundation, Levitt Pavilion Arlington, Boy Scouts of America Longhorn Council and Theatre Arlington.


your community your magazine Today Starting line
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9 a.m. Downtown Arlington Red, White and Blue Spectacular This year's theme is "Let Freedom



We could all use more laughter these days! Theater Arlington’s Comedy Club will offer a fun-filled evening of improv, sketch comedy with a few musical numbers and occasional stand-up – all led by Ben Fort. theatrearlington.org

Theater Arlington

Saturday, June 11th 6:30 pm doors, 7:30 show

Saturday, June 17th at Levitt Pavilion, 8:30pm

2023 Arlington Juneteenth Celebration

Free concert on the lawn featuring the New Breed Brass Band.

Open seating is available on the lawn. Please bring blankets and lawn chairs. You may bring your own food and coolers with beverages, including alcohol, but no glass containers. Parking is free.

Saturday, June 10th at Texas


Frozen or on the Rocks?

Make your pick at this year’s Margarita Crawl!

Custom margaritas, live entertainment, giveaways, and more!

Doors open at 2pm



An unforgettable, all-live music experience, expertly performed by a costumed full band and string section. Fans of all ages can sing along to the amazing songs of one of the top selling artists of all time.

Arlington Music Hall

Saturday, June 24th 7:30 pm

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Rich Stoglin

The University of Wisconsin has honored Chaplain Rich Stoglin with its Lifetime Achievement Award for his 22-year career as a decorated veteran having served as U. S. Navy Chaplain from 1985 to 2013. Stoglin is a 1979 graduate of the university with a BS degree in History and Political Science.

This is our 11 month old ShihTsu Coco Renee. She will always jump into the Asian Jasmine every time we take her outside. She is an affectionate baby girl however when outside she is full tomboy. There is not a pile of leaves she won’t jump in full face. We will be celebrating her birthday with cake and balloons on February 10. That will mark one year that we have had her. – Lena and EJ Patino


Texas Rangers Home Series for June

June 2-4 vs Seattle Mariners

The Chaplain, a Naval War College graduate, went on to obtain his MBA degree at UT Arlington in the School of Urban and Public Affairs. Now as long time Arlington residents he and his wife Reecia serve in several community service organizations in support of the needs of others.

June 5-7 vs St Louis Cardinals

June 12-15 vs Los Angeles Angels

June 16-18 vs Toronto Blue Jays

June 26-29 vs Detroit Tigers

June 30 - July 3 vs Houston Astros

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This ’n data #atpetofthemonth

The 58th annual

Arlington Independence Day Parade

The 58th annual Arlington Independence Day Parade is getting ready to roll through downtown on the 4th of July, but this year the iconic parade is adding something new.

Before the parade takes off, runners will sprint down the parade route in the inaugural Firecracker 5K, starting at 7 a.m. The certified run will take off from the University of Texas at Arlington’s parking lots at Speer and West Mitchell streets, make two laps on the parade route, then wind up back at the lots on Speer Street.

Leading the run and cheering on the runners will be the parade’s new mascot, Sparky, the only legal firecracker in Arlington. Sparky will hang out with the runners, then head out to participate in the largest Independence Day parade in Texas.

“There is not another event like it in the city, and you can’t help but shout freedom loud and proud as the parade marches along,” said Will Busby, co-chair of communications for the Arlington Independence Day Board of Directors.

“It draws spectators from all over the Metroplex, and many of our judges drive hundreds of miles to celebrate Independence Day in the American Dream City. As the colors are hoisted by the ladder trucks and the band plays the ‘Star Spangled Banner,’ everything else moves to the side as we all join together to celebrate our nation and all the unites us.

It’s truly a one of a kind event, and there is no better place to be on July 4th.”

The popular parade has become a fixture in Arlington, drawing old and young spectators who stake out their spots before the sun comes up on July 4. The parade is one of the longest-running events in the city, annually attracting thousands.

“Our lowest attended year was the year after COVID, and we still had over 18,000 people spaced out along the route to enjoy the parade, with thousands joining online,” Busby said.

“We expect between 40,000 and 50,000 people to join us in downtown Arlington this year.”

More than 100 entries will line up in the UTA parking lot at Cooper Street and Doug Russell Road, including professionally built floats, church groups, classic cars, Cub Scouts, dance teams and all six Arlington ISD high school bands.

The parade will step off at 9 a.m. and wind through the UTA campus with a loop down Abram Street past City Hall and the Levitt Pavilion.

“We look forward to seeing the community come out in support as we celebrate,” Busby said. “Our theme, ‘Let Freedom Sing,’ is sure to make you burst out in song as we sing freedom loud and proud in the American Dream City.

Come dressed in your red, white, and blue, and join us as we celebrate our great nation and our community that we are blessed to call home.”

For more information or to register for the Firecracker 5K, go to arlington4th.org.

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June 3 – September 24, 2023

The Arlington Museum of Art presents an exclusive exhibition of 12-time Grammy award-winner Taylor Swift which explores the evolution of her artistic expression.

Tickets go on sale starting Monday, April 17 at 10:00 a.m. Admission to Girl in a Country Song and Hometown Harmonies will be included in your ticket to see Taylor Swift | The Eras Tour Collection. AMA members get free tickets as a part of their membership benefits.

Curated by the Arlington Museum of Art from Swift’s own private collection, Taylor Swift | The Eras Tour Collection, presented by HELP Center, is an exploration of Swift as an evolving, boundary-pushing artist. The exhibition will feature original costumes, photographs, videos, and more representing several of her creative periods, or “eras.”

Highlights of the exhibition are eight costumes worn by Swift from her record-breaking albums Midnights, folklore, Red (Taylor’s version) and Fearless (Taylor’s version).

The Arlington Museum of Art is located at 201 West Main Street

Arlington, Texas 76010


1. Top O’ Hill Terrace in Arlington was the largest gambling destination in the country in the 30’s and 40’s.

2. Ballpark nachos were invented at Arlington Stadium, former home of the Texas Rangers.

3. The entire Statue of Liberty at 305 feet high can fit inside the 320-foot high AT&T Stadium.

Credit to Arlington CVB Press Kits

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"There for you in the past, here for you today, serving you in the future!"
me for resources
Arlington strong for 35 years Scan

Dr. Cavazos

Departs with some big shoes to fill

When AISD threw a farewell party for retiring Superintendent Dr. Marcelo Cavazos in the auditorium of its Center for Visual and Performing Arts, I counted the number of times the word visionary was used to describe him.

Or at least I tried.

Somewhere in the double digits, it felt pointless. We’d gotten the idea.

The Cavazos legacy, 23 years in AISD, 11 in the top spot, will show quite vividly an educational leader who envisioned the future and exhibited what one might refer to as a pleasantly gentle impatience to implement it.

One of my favorite parts of the program, which about 900 people attended, was when Mayor Jim Ross joked about the superintendent’s tactics of getting his way to help AISD students. He was described as a Tony Soprano-like mobster tossing around his muscle.

Say what you want about how he did it; Cavazos was considered quite the backroom deal maker who often sent emails to mayors, city managers, and university presidents with nothing more than, “Can we talk?”

Let’s take a step back a bit to think about that.

Cavazos has come a long way since childhood when he worked in the fields, harvesting okra with his family. During the farewell, he spoke of his mother, who pushed education to the point of obsession.

It rubbed off and was lodged deep into Cavazos’s soul.

“She made sure we all went to college,” said Cavazos. “We worked over the summers to save money and buy school supplies. She understood this world and what she wanted for her kids, which I didn’t know then. We worked over the summers to save money and buy school supplies.

“It wasn’t until later that I understood the whys. She grew up, literally, in a mud hut with dirt floors. She had six kids. She died at age 49. This is what drives me.

If I could be the end of my life half of the person my mom was, I would consider that success.”

I remember when Cavazos was announcing the Arlington Collegiate High School at TCC and telling a somewhat skeptical media how “it’s not for everyone,” which meant the kids who signed up wouldn’t experience the traditional experience of sports and band and theatre.

Yet those who saddled Cavazos with a go-to-college bias were calmed a bit with the rise of AISD’s Dan Dipert Career and Technical Center, which

focuses on industry experience. Through the CTC, students have earned welding, veterinarian assistant, and sports medicine certifications, allowing them to enter the workforce.

I remember running into a former Sam Houston high school, student who now pockets $60,000 a year as a violin repairman. He’s 20.

Those who have heard Cavazos speak often refer to education as “the great equalizer,” meaning that kids growing up outside an affluent bubble can equal the playing field by doing well in school.

Cavazos told me one day that teaching was indeed rewarding, but seeing principals and superintendents pull the strings and levers, he knew that would be where he could make the most difference.

There was a portion during the farewell when students took the stage to say “thank you” to Cavazos for changing the trajectory of their academic lives through the many programs erected on his watch, including the very building the farewell was being held in, which will now be renamed the Dr. Marcelo Cavazos Center for Performing Arts.

Teachers do remarkable work from the trenches but can’t do that.

As for the departure, “It’s time,” he said when we chatted briefly during the district’s annual “What’s Your Big Idea” event at UT Arlington, another one of those effective partnerships through the Greater Arlington Chamber of Commerce and UTA.

“It’s time for another chapter.”

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Perkins has been a contributing writer for Arlington Today for nearly a decade. He is a freelance writer, editor and photographer.
KENneth Perkins Dr. Cavazos

family law for 39 years.

Both Donna J. Smiedt and Desaray R. Muma are collaboratively trained to provide clients with a private form of dispute resolution to avoid litigation.

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Rotary Club 100thAnniversary

The year was 1923. Warren G. Harding was in the White House and all the flappers were dancing to ragtime, jazz and the blues. There were only 48 states and the population of Arlington, Texas, was 3,031. And the Rotary Club of Arlington was chartered.

The original Rotary Club in Arlington will mark a century of community service on June 10, doing what the club has always done best – give back to Arlington. Just steps away from the University of Texas at Arlington campus where the club was chartered in 1923, the Rotary Club will leave another mark on the Dream City, donating an interactive $160,000 sculpture to the new Rotary Dream Park between the Arlington

Museum of Art and the George W. Hawkes Downtown Library.

“We wanted to do a large donation to the city,” said Victoria Farrar-Myers, the current president. “We started to work with the city and found a few artists that have done large public art.”

The club brought in artist Jen Lewin, who designed the horizontal and vertical piece, called “Boundless.”

“It’s an homage to a Rotary wheel, it’s interactive,” FarrarMyers said. “At night, it will light up. When you look into the vertical piece it’s almost a looking glass piece.”

The DREAM letters, currently next to the Levitt Pavilion, will

be moved to the park, too. The new Rotary Dream Park will be dedicated at 9 a.m. June 10.

But this won’t be the first permanent impression the Rotary Club of Arlington has left on the community.

“Our Rotary Club was instrumental in starting the first park in Arlington, Meadowbrook Park, which will celebrate its 100th anniversary next year,” Farrar-Myers said.

Working with other Rotary Clubs, the Downtown Club came back in 2005 and donated the Meadowbrook Sculpture Garden.

Founded with 17 members, Arlington’s first Rotary Club now boasts 156 members, who volunteer on a variety of service projects.

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“It’s about getting out there and making an impact on your community,” Farrar-Myers said. “We’ve done a lot of international grants in Honduras, bringing in fresh water. Locally we’ve done cleanups, collections for nonprofits, done a number of projects with Mission Arlington and even livestock projects back in the day. For years, Rotary has been committed to eradicating polio across the world.”

Since the 1990s, though, the Rotary Club of Arlington has partnered and become a part of Webb Elementary.

Arlington at the end of the school year.

“Every student in Webb Elementary gets to pick out a book for themselves,” Farrar-Myers said. “A lot of students don’t have a book of their own. A lot of the students are transient, their families live in the Arlington Life Shelter. All of the students at Arlington Life Shelter can attend Webb Elementary.”

“We’ve been trying to work with Nichols (Junior High) so we don’t lose the kids,” Farrar-Myers said.

it’s the ones who embrace community service who stick around, Gibson said.

“The reason I stay in Rotary is because of the friendships and the quality of people that I meet,” Gibson said. “The key to keeping memberships is finding projects to keep members busy. If you want to be involved, you can be involved. You need to give back. I can’t even name all the projects that we do.”

Farrar-Myers, who has been a member for eight years, echoes the sentiment.

“I enjoy working alongside individuals who are committed to serving something larger than themselves,” she said. “There’s the satisfaction that I’m not only making a difference in my local community, but also impacting the world.”

The Centennial Celebration isn’t just about looking back, but also looking forward, she said.

“Webb was a Title I school,” Farrar-Myers said. “And there was a lot of interest in adopting a club close to downtown. There was a commitment to creating a local foundation to raise money for an endowment. The funds go to a scholarship for a Webb Elementary graduate. Any student who is at Webb Elementary for at least a year that graduates from high school is eligible for a scholarship. They can apply that scholarship to any accredited program. We give $1,000 a semester for eight semesters as long as the student is in good standing.”

Since 2002, the endowment has donated $1 million to Webb Elementary graduates.

But they don’t just contribute money, the Rotary Club of Arlington hands out pencils on the first day of school and pays for sixth-graders to go to a two-day camp. Rotarians also show up to pass out awards at every elementary and junior high in

After a century in existence, it’s not just the club that has left a mark on Arlington, so have many Rotarians.

“Most of the mayors of our city have been members of Rotary,” said Farrar-Myers, who served from 2016-2022 as a member of the Arlington City Council.

Rotarians’ names can also be found on a number of city buildings and parks, said Val Gibson, who has been a member of the Rotary Club of Arlington for 32 years.

And for some, being a member of the Rotary Club of Arlington is a family tradition. There are a number of second- and third-generation Rotarians currently in the club, including President-Elect Barry Bondurant, whose father and brother were both president of the Rotary Club of Arlington, and Susie McAlister, whose grandfather Sam Wine was the club’s first president, plus many more generational members.

While some people join Rotary to make connections,

“Planning this has been a real educational process,” Farrar-Myers said. “Getting to know who you are, what we have meant to this city and living up to that same standard of impact.

“I joined Rotary because I wanted to be among like-minded individuals who wanted to make an impact on the community,” she said. “We’re celebrating what Rotary has done in Arlington.

“This is about celebrating who we’ve been, our history, who we are,” Farrar-Myers said. “We are also laying the foundation of who we are going to be in the future.”

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Main Street, Arlington 1921
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Arlington Mineral Water Station Arlington Train Station 1921 Photo credit Bruce Maxwell Dr.
Social Scene
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Our 9 Year Club includes 92 students that attended ACA from kindergarten through 8th grade.

Photo by Ryan Brown

Arlington Classics Academy: A Public Charter School Providing Tuition-Free Private School Level Education to Arlington, Dalworthington Gardens, and the surrounding communities for over 20 years!

While many people debate public school choice and parent empowerment in education, Arlington Classics Academy (ACA) has been a leader in providing tuition-free, public school for 24 years.

Founded by parents for parents, ACA has been at the forefront of locally controlled, parent friendly education since its beginning in 1999. As a public charter school, ACA does not charge tuition and continues to have the highest scores available in both financial and academic public accountability for over a decade. ACA’s enrollment has grown from under 500 students in 2011 to over 1,500 students in 2023.

“What impresses me so much about Arlington Classics Academy is the level of education that my child receives at ACA is outstanding and impressive. My 2nd grader is reading at a 4th grade level and performing math at a 3rd grade level. He is learning Spanish, music and technology which will help him in his life. I believe ACA has a very well rounded and advanced level of education that my son would not get anywhere else.” –ACA Parent

“The academics! Hands-down, I know that our kids are far ahead... and I am continually impressed at the education they receive for free! I tell everyone that it’s like a free private school, academically speaking.” – ACA

At ACA, academic excellence is at the core of its mission. The school provides a rigorous, standardsbased curriculum that is designed to challenge and engage students at all grade levels, from Kindergarten to 8th grade. ACA’s dedicated team of experienced and highly qualified educators employ a student-centered approach, fostering a love of learning, critical thinking skills, and problemsolving abilities in their students.

“We are one of the many options in public and private education that Arlington affords its citizens and those in the surrounding area. ACA seeks to challenge students and parents to think of the education they receive from ACA as a toolkit for life where students will go on to engage in solutions for our world,” says Craig Sims, Executive Director of Schools.

“Our world is changing fast and ACA students will be ready to think critically and confidently respond to the challenges that face them as they become adults.”

The school is dedicated to nurturing the whole child, focusing not only on academic achievements but also on building strong character, leadership traits, and executive functions that will serve students well throughout their education, career, and lives.

Through various initiatives with parent guidance and collaboratation, such as servicelearning projects, community outreach programs, and leadership development opportunities, ACA students are encouraged

to develop empathy, social awareness, and civic responsibility. These efforts not only help students become ethical leaders but also foster a sense of pride, ownership, and connection to their community.

ACA’s commitment to its surrounding community goes beyond the classroom walls. The school believes in the importance of giving back and making a positive impact in the community. ACA students, staff, and families actively engage in various community service projects, volunteer activities, and fundraisers to support local organizations and causes.

This commitment to community involvement has a ripple effect that goes beyond its immediate impact and creates a positive cycle that benefits its students as well as the community at large.

“As Arlington Classics Academy enters its 25th year, our city would like to extend our congratulations for the exceptional work that you do, not only with your students, but also for your contributions to our wonderful city.

ACA and its families are raising our future leaders. Through your collaborative efforts, you will instill the values that we all hold near and dear to our hearts –respect for self, others, and our community. Your support and participation in our city events are priceless. Your contributions to support organizations that help others are extraordinary, especially to the Salvation Army.

The Griffin Goodfellows keep our city looking exceptional. We are so blessed to have you in the DWG family. We love and appreciate you most!” – Mayor Laurie Bianco, Dalworthington Gardens.

On May 20, 2023 Pantego Christian Academy honored the Class of 2023 with a graduation ceremony celebrating 55 exceptional students. The Class of 2023 entered high school during unfavorable circumstances, but they did not let any of these troubles deter them from leading PCA with humble hearts and a determination to serve His Kingdom throughout these past four years. They have now collectively completed over 4,800 hours of community service and just recently completed their final mission trip with Pantego Christian Academy in Orlando, FL.

A word from our Class of 2023 Valedictorian, Ashlyn Turner and Salutatorian, Beca Kosta, about their final mission trip with PCA:

“The Pantego Class of 2023 ended their senior year by serving in Orlando, Florida. We were given the opportunity to serve at many different sites. As a class, we boxed 11,000 meals at Second Harvest and served 1,300 cars in a food drive. Also, we all helped helped at the Christian Service Center where we were able to serve meals, clean portable showers, organize clothes and mail, and sit and talk to people in need.” say Ashlyn and Beca.

Pantego Christian Academy strongly believes that our students should understand their responsibility to, and develop a passion for, service and missions on a local and international level. “This trip allowed us to grow as a class, but also grow the body of Christ. We saw how serving the world is not just physical, but spiritual, as well. Starting at a young age, students at PCA learn the importance and joy of service. Pantego participates in service projects throughout the year locally. As Christians, we are taught that service is more than just making boxes and organization. It is showing the love of God through your actions and hard work. It is revealing that God cares for everyone no matter what their story is.” say Ashlyn and Beca.

Pantego Christian Academy’s mission for 60 years now has remained steady; equipping servant leaders to honor Christ and impact the world. The Class of 2023 exemplifies this philosophy. Pantego Christian proudly serves more than 625 students, who partake in a unique curriculum that focuses on the aforementioned partnership among the school, parents and the church. Classes each student takes in order to graduate include Bible, English, Math, Science, Social Studies, Foreign Language, Fine Arts, Physical Education and Electives.

In addition to the academic regimen, PCA students can participate in a wide range of extra-curricular activities, from fine arts to athletics, as well as service organizations designed to help them grow and demonstrate their faith. Regardless of the endeavor, everything that takes place at Pantego Christian Academy reinforces the Christian values on which the school was founded. In tum, teachers and students grow together through their faith over time.

“PCA has been a place where students feel safe, are taught the love of God, and can share the love of God. Through our time here, we not only served, but we had fun. We made lifelong friendships, had amazing mentors, and feel prepared to take the next step into college and future careers. PCA has been more than a school to us; it has been family.” says Ashlyn Turner and Beca Kosta, Class of 2023 Valedictorian and Salutatorian. Both girls are Alpha Omega seniors, Beca has been at PCA for 18 years and Ashlyn for 15 years. They will both be attending the University of Texas in the fall, Hook em’.

The leadership at Pantego Christian Academy takes pride in the school’s diversity, its affordability and its ability to maximize the educational experience for all its students and their parents.

A note to the Class of 2023 from PCA Head of School, Dr. Kathy Ferrell:

“Graduates, you have sat side by side in class, in chapel, at games, gone on trips together, worshiped together, and served our school and community. You have celebrated each other’s accomplishments, have lifted each other up in prayer, and have grown in your relationship with Christ. You are truly a remarkable class! You found your voice and chose a path that honors who you are, and that, I think, may be your greatest lesson learned thus far. We are here to celebrate what you have accomplished to reach this point. Your future starts today!

May you never waste a moment wishing life was always fair. Rather use each challenge and the gifts God has given you to change the world. A chapter is closed, and another eagerly awaits. We pray that the road ahead is paved with opportunities and inspires you to live with hope in the incredible journey called life.

Please know that you are in our prayers as you leave PCA and head into the next chapter of what God has planned for you.”

Jeremiah 29:11 “I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

Congratulations to the Class of 2023 near and far. May you continue to lead, prosper and change the world. Interested in learning more about Pantego Christian Academy? Read more at www.pantego.com

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Local dwellings


This stately home is nestled on a sprawling 1.84-acre cul-de-sac lot in the Ashworth Homeplace gated community.

Nestled on a sprawling 1.84acre cul-de-sac lot in the Ashworth Homeplace gated community, this stately traditional home offers beautiful curb appeal featuring a covered front porch and stunning balcony. The chef’s kitchen features stainless steel appliances, wine cooler, large island, oversized walk-in pantry, all flowing into the family room accentuated by a cozy

fireplace.The media room downstairs has additional space for game tables or other indoor hobbies. The primary bedroom showcases a fireplace and luxurious bath with separate vanities, free-standing tub, and separate shower. Upstairs, you’ll find three additional spacious bedrooms. This home is perfect for entertaining, with sparkling pool and large backyard for outdoor activities, including a greenhouse. Detached 4-car garage

with breezeway to main house provides ample space for vehicles. Recently replaced HVAC units and tankless water heater. Located with easy access to I-20, shopping, dining, and entertainment, this home truly has it all.

For more information, email susandaniels@ebby.com.

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arlingtontoday.com • June 2022 • ARLINGTON TODAY 39 If you want “rooms with a view,” you’ll definitely find them in this home. And the list of amenities in the kitchen and bathroom runs deep. 39 ARLINGTON TODAY • June 2023 • arlingtontoday.com

Play Days delivered to kids who don’t often get to play

The Trinity Community Foundation has a mission besides getting kids out to play, Bowie admits.

“The goal is to get to the parents to sign their kids up for Hope Tutoring and Dental Health Arlington to get their teeth fixed,” he said. Other nonprofits attend each play day, offering services.

Trinity Community Foundation also passes out brochures with information on even more services for the kids and parents.

The big change was when the H.I.M. Center started handing out food at the play days, Bowie said.

“(H.I.M.) has been a game changer for us,” he said. “We are using it to draw people in to the nonprofits and services that we have for them. We’re just scratching the surface.”

COVID changed the world, but thanks to some resourceful people, some of those changes are for the better.

In 2014, the Trinity Sports Foundation began as a group of volunteers from Trinity United Methodist led by a youth pastor who turned 15 acres near the church into soccer fields for kids.

“I see kids getting to play sports who never get to play sports,” said Bill Bowie, one of the volunteers. “I had no idea. There are a zillion reasons that they can’t get to play.”

The group invested time into creating and maintaining the fields. “We leveled it, irrigated the fields,” he said. “On Saturdays we would bring kids from Mission Arlington and the Salvation Army to play. That was going okay. My wife said ‘you’re kind of a glorified sports facility manager.’”

Then COVID hit and everything came to a stop. The group turned the fields over to the church. But the Arlington Police Department had a plan.

“They asked us to go out into the apartments, The Village and Treepoint,” Bowie said. “We started again at the end of 2021 with play days.”

Now called the Trinity Community Foundation, the nonprofit group partnered with the YMCA this year, and now take Y on the Fly to the Felix Apartments on the second Saturday of the month and to The Village apartments on the third Saturday.

“We went over, fed the kids hot dogs and played with them,” Bowie said. “One of the officers came over and said ‘You don’t know what you’re doing.’ He said ‘These kids didn’t grow up like you did, there are bad things going on in these complexes. They don’t get to be kids.’”

The play days attract 30 to 40 youngsters, he said, but he sees the program growing and expanding.

“The long-term goal is to introduce a second trailer in the fall,” he said. “We will be going out four times a month starting in the fall.

We’ll continue to grow Felix and the Village, and add the Asian community, and the other would be to embrace Mansfield.” But he needs help.

The group posts signs in the apartment complexes to let the kids know they will be there on Saturday, then shows up to play basketball, cornhole, sidewalk chalk, four square, draw in coloring books and do crafts. Then they set up the grills and everybody gets a hot dog.

Bowie is chair of the nonprofit organization, which includes his wife, Shari, and a board of directors along with police officers, who show up at every play day to cook hot dogs and play with the kids.

The youngsters at the apartment complexes don’t always trust the police, Bowie said, but the play days are helping.

“My wife has a great story about when a police officer showed up. A kid said ‘What’s he doing here?’” Bowie said. “By the end of the day, he was playing with him.”

“We need volunteers!” he said. “Bilingual is great and youth. We’re a bunch of old, whitehaired people. The old people will cook the hot dogs. We need them to help unload the trailer, set up the games and play.”

The group takes June off, holds play days for Safe Haven and the YMCA in July, then starts back on its regularly scheduled play days in September.

To find out more or to volunteer, email trinitycommunityfoundation@gmail.com or visit trinitycommunityfoundation.org.

40 ARLINGTON TODAY • June 2022 • arlingtontoday.com 40 ARLINGTON TODAY • June 2023 • arlingtontoday.com

The New Father

How Arlington fathers are redefining what it means to be a dad

When Kenneth Gibbs left the military, he wanted to do two things.

Going to school to earn a college degree was one. Being a significant influence in the life of his children was the other.

Gibbs did both, juggling books and babies while being a stay-at-home dad.

While his military mates might have nodded their heads in agreement with one, they might have easily poked fun at the other. Still, Gibbs knew the stay-at-home decision was the most crucial one he made.

him and how he dealt with his athletes while coaching sports at Seguin High School?

Now he fully understands how having a girl first has turned out “to be even more of a blessing,” he said. Gaffney, who, as a Title I Parent Facilitator with Arlington ISD, oversees the multitude of dad’s clubs at elementary and junior high campuses, figured out rather quickly how he could be both the disciplinarian and nurturer, jumping between the two when the situation calls for it.

hey, if I will practice what I preach. How can that not make you a better person?”

Larry Curry, who runs Metro Sports Arlington, a non-profit that uses sports to help youth develop essential life skills, does events where they encourage father-son competitions because it helps foster their relationships. Nothing hasn’t changed how men and their children can bond over sports.

“It makes the fathers more approachable and relatable with their kids,” said Curry, a dad to three. “Any time my kids see me doing productive things, it fosters that relationship. It’s important, especially between fathers and daughters. I want my kids to see how I treat their mom. My son will see how he should treat a woman, and my daughter sees how she should be treated.”

“Staying at home allowed me to spend way more time with my son while going to school, so, yes, it was definitely the right choice to make,” Gibbs said. “I’m sure a lot of guys wouldn’t want to say they stayed at home and took care of the kids because of how society sees it, even though some things are changing.”

“She softened my heart,” Gaffney said of his daughter. “I couldn’t come at her too hard because she wouldn’t respond. It made me increase my emotional intelligence. It made me a better parent to my son and just a better person.”

One thing fathers tend to agree with these days is that most people didn’t look to them for affection growing up, and it was acceptable for fathers to have that hardline persona as long as they provided for the family. Now fatherhood is far more complex, and being the breadwinner – not all of them are anymore – makes it okay to be emotionally unavailable.

“It’s my hobby,” is how Eric Rice describes being a father to a six, five, and one-year-old. “It’s everything I want to do every single day. All the things I used to do became them in my life. I only want to focus on them.

Linh Nguyen, whose kids are 16, 12, and 9, think that dads are more inclined to want to be with their children instead of merely tolerating them.

“We have to show we are part of their lives, and what helps is wanting to be there,” he said. “It’s critical. If you want them to grow up to be citizens of the world, you have to teach them how to do that.”

That means being intentional, said Eric Phillips, whose two boys are 29 and 26.

Indeed. Few roles have shifted more than that of the father. Having a dad as the primary breadwinner and controller of moral values is no longer a solitary exercise, and it hasn’t been for some time now. The changing economic role of women is one of the culprits, and even the most traditional men who consider themselves the head of the household have to concede that fact.

Fathers now come in various forms. He can be single or married, employed or, like Gibbs, stay-at-home, an adoptive or step-parent, and a capable caregiver to children, even when they are young.

When Johnathane Gaffney had the first of his two children, a girl, he was concerned about how to raise her. Would he be “too gruff,” as he put it, which is how his father sternly raised

Rice said people are often surprised when he expressed that he always wanted to be a father –“Usually,” he added, “that’s something a woman traditionally thinks about. But I always wanted to have kids and be a parent.”

Not so for Matthew Milani.

“I wasn’t planning on being a dad,” said Milani, father to a two-year-old and infant. “But I am thrilled we did. It’s much work, but when you see a kid smile, that makes it worthwhile. We just moved here from California to be closer to my wife’s family, so having that support helps. Parenting is made a little easier, too, when they are good kids.”

“There’s a joy in fatherhood,” said Gaffney. “Being a father to me is the greatest lesson and responsibility I have seen for myself. Not even my kids. I mean that when you tell them they need to be on time, you need to be on time. You can’t tell them what to do if you are unwilling to do it yourself. It’s a reflection on you. To say,

“Parents always have to be asking, ‘what do I need to teach and train my kids to live in this society and be successful?’” Phillips said. “One of my boys is a performer, and I was at all his performances, even though it was in Nebraska. As a father, it was important for me to support them in what they wanted to do. And I’m oldschool.”

As Gaffney said, “Fatherhood is this everchanging culture, and we can’t be afraid to redefine our roles,” he said. “I think what a father is gets lost in the translation. Or what masculinity is. Don’t listen to society. Listen to your heart.”

42 ARLINGTON TODAY • June 2022 • arlingtontoday.com
Linh Nguyen Matthew Milani Larry Curry Eric Rice Kenneth Gibbs
42 ARLINGTON TODAY • June 2023 • arlingtontoday.com
by Kenneth Perkins
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When Business Success is About More than Checking and Deposits

Business financing seems straightforward. You find capital to fuel an idea, start it, run it, and make it grow.

It’s not until you dive into the details that it becomes more complicated.

How much is needed? What do you qualify for? What are all the business financing options that are available?

These are all inquiries Brandon Bledsoe has answered numerous times due in part to his 30-plus years of experience as a business professional, 18 at Amegy Bank alone.

As regional market president for Tarrant County, Bledsoe oversees Amegy’s banking operations in the western portion of DFW.

When Amegy, which has more than 75 locations spread across Texas, entered the Arlington market, Bledsoe ensured it could give clients what they needed. Knowing that means knowing the client and the client knowing the bank.

It’s about more than deposits and checking, he said.

It’s about relationships.

“Getting to know a commercial or business banker who can help you is key,” Bledsoe said. “What must you consider when you grow or start a business? I often find that entrepreneurs have ideas and aspirations but haven’t been coached on what they should be thinking about regarding their financial planning.

KENneth Perkins

“And having a good banker, whether you need that credit at the time, is not so important to having a relationship that will help guide you with options, what you need to be thinking about, and planning for the future so you can start that business.”

Bledsoe said the pandemic taught him and his colleagues several things about the banking business, especially how “many people didn’t understand the banking relationship. They thought they did, but they didn’t.”

He said having a solid relationship with a bank means they can affirm, modify, and revisit plans to help clients with financial options.

“That’s what we try to bring to the table with our quality bankers,” Bledsoe said. “Many

companies may parachute people in. They have high performers and smart people, but do they really understand the community’s wants and needs and how to network effectively with partners?”

Bledsoe is a tried and true product of Tarrant County, who graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a degree in real estate and urban land development. He spent most of his banking career in the real estate industry, but when he joined Amegy, he did many other things with the bank.

Amegy wanted to penetrate the western portion of the metroplex and realized how important it is to be local and understand the communities.

“I would say aspirationally, I wanted to bring our bank and culture to Tarrant County,” Bledsoe said. “Our company and bank recognized what I would say; it’s not just about Dallas in the metroplex. To be more effective in our communities, we must have local banks, local culture, and respect for our communities.”

“I have always wanted to do that. We put together a business plan, and I’m very grateful we got the go-ahead to execute that plan, and about two years ago, we entered the Arlington market with the same mindset that is having seasoned bankers that are from the community, respect and understand the community, and more importantly, are engaged in that community. That’s what we feel like we are trying to do.”

One of the bank’s signature moves was hiring Shirley Cox, who started her banking career in south Arlington and has logged 30plus years in commercial retail banking.

“She’s a resident of Arlington; her children were born and raised in Arlington. And she has been a civic leader of many organizations in Arlington. So she was perfect for Amegy Bank.”

Amegy did more than that, of course. The bank forged relationships with local entities such as the University of Texas at Arlington and the City of Arlington, specifically in financial literacy and programs dealing with working together.

“It’s important for the financial services institution’s bank to be local,” said Bledsoe. “It’s easy to say you are doing business in the community. I think it’s more important for you to understand the community’s needs, goals, and aspirations, be a part of their leadership, and be engaged with their community organizations. If a bank can be engaged in the community, that will be good for business.”

Bledsoe goes on. “We like to say that we want the market to tell us how we should look and what we should be doing, not what the bank wants to do for the market. That’s how we try to precede.”

A case in point is Amegy Bank’s Small Business Diversity Banking Program (SBDBP), which addresses the need to help underserved communities’ capital needs.

“We are one of the only banks in the country with a special lending program targeting women, minority, veteran, and LBGTQ communities,” Bledsoe said. “We work with the government to develop lending programs to tweak our underwriting and create more credit approvals for those target groups.”

The program was featured in February by the American Bankers Association.

“Arlington is the third largest city in DFW,” Bledsoe said. “It has its unique strengths. It has the things that they want to distinguish itself. A bank needs to respect and nurture that.”

44 ARLINGTON TODAY • June 2022 • arlingtontoday.com
contributing writer
is a freelance writer, editor and
Kenneth Perkins has been a
for Arlington Today for nearly a decade. He
arlingtontoday.com • June 2022 • ARLINGTON TODAY 45 ARLINGTON TODAY • June 2023 • arlingtontoday.com 2800 W. Division Arlington, TX 76012 817.461.51.89 4325 E. US HWY 377 Granbury, TX 76049 817.710.8604 1002 N. Central Expressway #601 Richardson, TX 76080 972.521.9700 M-F 9-6 • Sat 10-4 • Sun Closed • www.hiltonsflooring.com

Mainly Mansfield

Feed The Kids

Christmas presents since 1999, so it was a natural for the nonprofit organization to help feed them, too.

The line slowly starts to grow outside the portable building at the First Baptist Church in Mansfield. Men, women and children queue up every Wednesday to pack plastic bags with enough food for seven days of breakfasts, lunches and snacks for hundreds of hungry youngsters.

Common Ground’s Feed the Kids for Summer is ready to roll in Mansfield.

The program started packing 2,000 bags that first summer, and now distributes 10,000 according to Herrmann. All of the food is donated or purchased with donated funds, at a cost of $100,000 per summer. Local churches hold food drives, while the local Kiwanis, Mansfield Cares, other service groups and private citizens make donations, ranging from a few dollars up to $20,000.

bags of food in less than an hour. The food pantries – Bethlehem Baptist Church, St. Jude Catholic Church, Rush Creek Christian Church, First Methodist Church, H.I.M. Center, Southeast Community Action Partnership, Lighthouse for the Nations and Tabernacle Baptist Church –distribute the bags to youngsters when their parents come to pick up food for the family.

The Feed the Kids bags are full of items that are ready to eat or can be cooked in a microwave since many of the kids are at home alone during the summer while their parents work.

In 2012, Common Ground added another element to Feed the Kids – books.

And everyone volunteers, including members of the City Council, Mansfield ISD school board, Key Clubs, 6-year-olds and octogenarians.

When the youngsters pick up their bags of food, they can also select a book to read and keep for their own, thanks to donations from Half Price Books.

Begun in 2004 as Feed the Need, the 12-week program was started after a request from the Mansfield school district.

“Mansfield ISD counselors and nurses came to Common Ground and said ‘Our kids on free and reduced lunches do not have access to food over the summer. They do not come back to school ready to learn,’” said Suzy Herrmann, co-chair of Feed the Kids for Summer.

Common Ground, a network of churches and service groups, has been working to provide Mansfield youngsters with

A crew shows up at 10 a.m. each Wednesday morning to unload and stage the boxes of food, then a bigger crowd arrives at 6 p.m. Wednesday to pack the food into individual bags.

A hum of conversation buzzes through the line as more than 100 people stuff bags with singleserving boxes of cereal, macaroni & cheese, oatmeal, pudding cups, peanut butter, jelly, Chef Boyardee meals and applesauce. Another set of volunteers ties the tops of the bags together, while others run them out to cars to be delivered to eight food pantries across Mansfield.

Working like a well-oiled machine, the crowd can pack close to 900

“We started the literacy program since kids who don’t have access to nutritious food don’t have access to books,” Herrmann said. “The counselors said their reading levels have maintained or improved. They come back to school with their tummies full and ready to learn. It has made an impact.”

For more information or to donate or volunteer, go to commongroundmansfield.org.

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by Amanda Rogers
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Quick, do you know what we celebrate on June 14?

I hope you do, if not I will tell you. We celebrate the flag. That day commemorates the adoption of the flag of the United States on June 14, 1777. For 246 years now we have had the blessing of the Stars and Stripes flying over our nation.

This year as we celebrate it, let us also remember the brave men and women who have protected the flag and this nation and our rights for nearly two and a half centuries. Our armed forces are a gift that keeps on giving. They give us security, they give us protection, they give us freedom. Annnd, what does this have to do with sports?

Glad you asked that question. As you may or may not know May was Military Appreciation Month. As such we had conversations with several Rangers who come from military backgrounds.

Two of my favorite stories come from Nathaniel Lowe. His dad went to the Naval Academy and became a Naval Aviator. Nathaniel is proud to tell you that his dad flew F-14’s and F-18’s for a living. He vividly remembers Opening Day 2004 in Atlanta, the Lowe family was in the stands to watch the Braves. However, they had a more personal tie to what happened before the game.

As the end of the National Anthem drew close, you could hear them before you saw them. Then with all the precision that the military can muster they appeared. Right at the end of the anthem a diamond of F-18’s flew over the stadium. David

Lowe, Nathaniel’s dad, was part of one of the awesome moments of the sports year as he flew an F-18 in that Opening Day fly over. Nathaniel loves baseball but that year the Opening Day game was almost anticlimactic. He was so proud of his dad.

Nathaniel jokes that his dad has every line in the original Top Gun memorized because he could relate to what Maverick, Goose and Iceman were experiencing on the big screen.

In 2007 David was deployed to Iraq; it was scheduled to be a nine month deployment. As it turns out, David was able to return home two months early. Nathaniel’s mom knew that David was coming home early but she decided to keep that as a surprise for the boys.

One day the Lowe boys Nathaniel and Josh were over at a friend’s house swimming when all of the sudden their dad appeared on the pool deck. Nathaniel was so excited to see his dad that he leapt from the water, tripped over a lounge chair and fell. He still has a scar on his leg that commemorates one of the happiest days of his life.

Bruce Bochy is the son of an Army veteran who served in World War II. In fact, Boch was born in Landes de Bussac, France while his father, Army Sgt. Major Gus Bochy was stationed there.

The connection to France is one of the things that brought Bruce back to managing. Since he was born there he could claim French citizenship and that was enough

for the French National baseball organization. When it was time for the World Baseball Classic qualifying tournament they asked Boch to be their skipper. Once back in the dugout, Bruce realized how much he missed the game. One thing led to another and here he is leading the Rangers back to prominence.

Last month on Mothers Day Boch shared the story of how his mom did a great job filling in for dad when Gus was in Korea for a year. “My mom’s out there playing catch with us and pitching to us,” Bochy remembered.

“She’s left handed,” Bochy continued. “She was a switch hitter and threw a nice little BP (batting practice).”

So if you’re one of the millions of American families with a military connection, know that you are like Boch and Nathaniel and me. My son joined the Army last month and will graduate from boot camp in July. So this year on Flag Day think of them and all of the brave men and women who have allowed “Old Glory” to fly.


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& Saturdays at 7:30 pm, Sundays at 2 pm SCAN

Chevy engineers didn’t imagine this

If you heard this car coming before you saw it, the likely unguarded response would be for your jaw to drop open and then say something like “how could that be?”

Then, its owner, Ryan Gruber, would explain: “Yeah, that sound you hear coming from under the hood is not the way the car came equipped in 1954.”

Chevrolet engineers put a 215-cubic-inch, 92-horsepower engine in the line of its cars considered revolutionary at the time as it set the pace for the legendary Bel Air that would evolve over the next few decades.

With its 3-speed manual transmission, the car could deliver speeds of 60 miles per hour – plenty for the country’s highways of the day. But, for Ryan, he wanted more when he finally found what he was looking for some 16 years ago. >>>

50 ARLINGTON TODAY • June 2022 • arlingtontoday.com Behind the Wheels 50 ARLINGTON TODAY • June 2023 • arlingtontoday.com
Ryan Gruber’s Bel Air is one cool car • by Richard Greene Photos: Richard Greene Ryan Gruber stands with his 1954 Chevrolet Bel Air, which features a bevy of “extra features” that make it even more of a head turner than it was in the showroom.
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With its sleek styling and powerful 600-horsepower Corvette engine, this classic car has both “driveway appeal” and “road cred.”

“My first intentions were to chop the top, paint it flat black, and turn it into a hot rod,” he says. “Instead, realizing it was one of only a few white ones around, I changed my mind.”

After switching out three motors, two transmissions and two rear ends, he finally came up with what he has today.

And, it’s way cool. To say the least.

Now it’s souped-up with a Corvette LS, small-block, six-liter, fuel-injected V8 aluminum engine producing 600 horse power that can make the car go maybe twice as fast as it could coming off the assembly line 65 years ago.

As you might expect, Ryan spent some time at the famed Kennedale Speedway Park before drag racing there came to an end two years ago.

Sharing his experience, he describes his early encounter at the track. “The car does not look like it, but it is very quick on the track and has embarrassed a lot of other racers,” he says. “I planned to put slick, drag racing tires on it to make it a little quicker on the track. I was told if I wanted to get it going a bit faster I would not be allowed to race without a roll bar.”

His mechanic, Nathan Hale of Hale’s Speed Shop in Lewisville, who specializes in cars of the mid-’50s, completed the drivetrain and suspension work for him. The addition of an air ride suspension system makes it possible to adjust both the car’s height and overall experience for driver and passengers alike.

But, in addition to adding to the car ’s power performance,

the luxury seating – something else unheard of in 1954 – helps to transform it into as comfortable a ride as any of today’s modern vehicles.

As a result, he drives it weekly, and, along with power steering, automatic transmission and air conditioning, his wife and two daughters can enjoy the experience of cruising around with him and watch people turning their heads as they discover a car that is really different from all the others.

The 1954 Bel Air was part of the first generation of the premium model of cars in the General Motors family. It was advertised as “entirely new through and through,” with restyled body panels, front and rear ends.

It paved the way for the introduction of the 1955-57 range of cars that really established the Bel Air as a cultural icon.

With its curved, one-piece windshield, wide chrome strip of molding from the rear fender bulge to the rear bumper, the styling sets it off as somewhat of a transition from the art deco era with elements you can identify with a closer look.

The interior has a massive expanse of chrome across the dashboard and for the 1954 model, a revised grille and taillights. You could get the car as a convertible, hardtop coupe and twoand four-door sedan. But if you wanted to turn heads with the characteristic throaty sound of race cars, you would have to wait a few years to have one like Ryan Gruber’s.

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The photos on this page show how the auto makers – and auto restorers – put an emphasis on bright shiny objects that give the car a special pizzazz. The air ride adjustment is done with this in the back of the trunk.
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arlingtontoday.com • June 2022 • ARLINGTON TODAY ARLINGTON Today your community • your magazine subscription@arlingtontoday.com “We are very proud to be affiliated with this “class act” of a magazine!“ – Dr. Joan Bergstrom Women’s Health Services What people are saying about Arlington Today . . . 55 ARLINGTON TODAY • June 2023 • arlingtontoday.com Are you looking to sell a business or a substantial piece of real estate? Are you concerned about paying too much capital gains tax? We have a solution where you can defer the capital gains tax. “We are very proud to be affiliated with this ‘class act’ of a magazine!”
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2023 XFL Champions!

ARLINGTON, TX — On May 13, 2023

the XFL successfully concluded its 2023 season in San Antonio, Texas as the Arlington Renegades defeated the D.C. Defenders 35-26 in the Championship Game at the Alamodome.

Throughout the 2023 season, the XFL demonstrated strong growth across viewership and game attendance. They delivered a quality football product on the field for fans and an opportunity for players to fulfill their dreams of competing in a professional football league .

June Book Club

June 8 – Night Out Book Club

“The Graveyard Book” by Nek Gaiman

June 14 – Southwest Morning Reading Group

“On Juneteenth” by Annette Gordon-Reed

June 15 – Southwest Spine Crackers

“Mad Honey” by Jodi Picoult

June 21 – Good Grounds for Books

at Woodland West Library, choose your own book

June 23 – Wine Down Book Club

Choose your own book

Announced for next year!

2024 PBR World Finals: Unleash The Beast

MAY 18-19, 2024

at AT&T Stadium

925 S. Collins

Arlington, Texas 76011

58 ARLINGTON TODAY • June 2023 • arlingtontoday.com

Advent Marketing by Amanda

What happens when a kinesiology major and a finance/business major decide to go into business together? They open a digital marketing company.

Bryan Acosta and Ruben Duarte, both 29, have been friends since they were 8 years old, growing up in Arlington. While attending college at the University of Texas at Arlington, Acosta went to work for Fitness Connection, while Duarte went to work for Metro PCS.

“Ruben became a regional manager and I became a sales manager,” Acosta said. “I ran six gyms and grand opened two. That’s when I learned how to market. I did calls, flyers, kiosks, social media, websites. They didn’t want to promote me. Ruben had a friend who opened a clothing company. So we went to work there. We learned marketing because there was no budget for that.”

When the clothing business failed, the friends decided to take their skills and open their own digital company, Advent Trinity Marketing, in 2018.

“We started just with Ruben and I with a laptop and a desktop to our names,” Acosta recalled. The pair soon got down to business with Duarte getting Google certified and then picked up

their first client, Nutrition Nation, which they still market.

Advent Trinity is a full-service digital marketing company, Acosta explained.

“We launch, grow and scale businesses,” he said. When helping launch a company, they work with website design, website development, application development, branding and logo design.

To help businesses grow, they do social media marketing, SEO, advertising, content marketing, videography and press releases. While helping scale a company, they do marketing and sales automation, CRM automation, reputation management and marketing management.

And the company has grown, including Acosta’s wife, Andrea, who handles social media, and 19 more full- and part-time employees.

In 2021, a former client gave them an even bigger push, buying the company and mentoring the young company.

“(Charlie Pham) fell in love with our team,” Acosta said. “He wanted to invest in our future and grow the company. Now, I’m running three of his companies, including Advent Trinity,

NuvoDesk Coworking and a new software company coming soon.

“Ever since he bought the company, we have picked up quite a few clients, including Bolder Adventure Park in Grand Prairie, Revivify, AdminisTEP, AMS and BFF Asian Grill & Sports Bar,” he said.

Advent Trinity now boasts 50 clients -- and more growth is on the way.

“We’re going to be partnering with UTA and Dan Dipert to get interns and more employees,” Acosta said. “Our goal is in the next five years to have a team of 50. We are very involved with the city of Arlington and we hope to grow that.”

Through it all, Acosta and Duarte have remained close.

“We’re two best friends running a crazy marketing agency,” Acosta said. “Shows you that you can do whatever you want as long as you have the desire and energy.”

For more information about Advent Trinity, go to adventtrinity.com.

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Benefiting longhorn council, boy scouts of America




Longhorn Council, BSA recently recognized Becky Nussbaum Gerro with the 2023 Arlington Silver Eagle Award. This recognition is given annually to a leading citizen for achievements and leadership, who has left an enduring impact on the community and models the principles and values expressed in the Scout Oath and Scout Law. A very special thank you to our many event sponsors, our planning committee members, and Christopher Cassidy, retired NASA Astronaut & US Navy Seal, for serving as this year’s guest speaker.

Pictured left to right: Aidan Koch (Event Chair), Christopher Cassidy (Guest Speaker), Mike Gerro, Becky Nussbaum Gerro (Honoree), Peggy Cassidy, Wendy Shaw (Longhorn Council CEO) scan to learn more or make a gift
61 ARLINGTON TODAY • June 2023 • arlingtontoday.com

Candlelite Inn


Candlelite Inn • 1202 E. Division St. • 817-275-9613 • candleliteinnarlington.com

Dino's Subs • 2221 S. Collins St. • 817-274-1140

The Grease Monkey • 200 N. Mesquite St. • 817-665-5454 • greasemonkeyburgers.com

Tipsy Oak • 301 E. Front St. • 817-962-0304 • thetipsyoak.com

The Tin Cup • 1025 W. Abram St. • 817-303-5518 • tincupdeli.com

Ricky’s Hot Chicken • 3810 S Cooper St Ste. 138 • 682-276-6600

Spicy Bites • 1220 S Cooper St. • 817-642-5005


Café Sicilia • 7221 Matlock Rd. #3409 •817-419-2800 • Cafesicillia.com

Moni's Pasta & Pizza • 1730 W. Randol Mill Rd. • 817-860-6664

Italy Pasta Pizza & Subs • 2221 Browning Dr. • 817-276-3200

Old School Pizza Tavern • 603 W Abram St. • 682-310-6266 • oldschoolpizzatavern.com

Vietalia Kitchen • 1220 S Cooper St. • 817-460-1945 • vietaliakitchentx.com

Piccolo Mondo • 1829 E. Lamar Blvd Arlington. • 817-265-9174


Italy Pasta Pizza & Subs

David's Barbecue • 2224 W. Park Row Drive, Suite H • 817-261-9998

Hurtado Barbecue • 205 Front St. • 682-323-5141 • hurtadobbq.com

Bodacious Bar-B-Q • 1206 E. Division St. • 817-860-4248 • bodaciousbarbq.com

Spring Creek Barbeque • 3608 S. Cooper St. • 817- 465-0553 • springcreekbarbeque.com

Spring Creek BBQ


Gangnam Rice • 4638 S Cooper St #190. • 682-320-8720

Sunny Thai • 4306 Matlock Rd #108. • 817-617-2216

Tic-Taco • 715 W Park Row Dr. • 817-617-2980

Cane Rosso • 200 N East St, Arlington. • 817-533-3120

Gyros To Go • 710 E Sublett Rd #101 • 817-419-2878

Prince Lebanese • 502 W. Randol Mill Rd Arlington, Texas • 817-469-1811

This Month's Keen Cusine
62 ARLINGTON TODAY • June 2023 • arlingtontoday.com

Dallas Cowboys Tacos & Tunes Festival

June 3, 3-8 p.m. at AT&T Stadium, 1 AT&T Way, Arlington

Enjoy live music from the Squeezebox Bandits, Western Rewind Band and Don Stalling & The Divided while munching on tacos and drinks from food trucks. Admission and parking are free! Park in Lot 10. Find out more at attstadium.com/events.

Discover Summer Kick Off

June 3, 10 a.m.-1 p.m. at George W. Hawkes Downtown Library, 100 S. Center St., Arlington

Kick off the summer with music and games. Admission is free! For more information, go to arlingtonlibrary.org.

Kayaking 101

June 3 &11, 7:30-9:30 a.m. at Kayak Launch at Britton Park, 829 Seeton Road, Mansfield

Ages 7 and up can take a turn on the lake in a dual-seated kayak. Paddle along with a naturalist to see wildlife and plants. Instruction will be given on proper handling and safety. Cost is $23.75 per person. Register at mansfieldtexas.gov/ calendar or call 817-728-3680.

Family Fishing Day

June 3, 1 p.m. and 2:15 p.m. at Parks Administration Building, 1164 Matlock Road, Mansfield

All ages can fish without a license today, thanks to the Texas Parks & Wildlife. Celebrate this fishing holiday, the parks department will supply all the gear. Admission is free! Register at mansfieldtexas.gov/calendar or call 817-728-3680.

Dale Watson in Concert

June 9, 8:30 p.m. at Levitt Pavilion, 100 W. Abram St., Arlington

Hear some classic country in the open-air Levitt Pavilion. Admission is free! For more information, go to levittpavilionarlington.org.

Downtown Arlington

Classic Car Show

June 10, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. at Vandergriff Town Center, 200 N. Mesquite St., Arlington

See more than 150 vehicles from the early 1920s to the late 1970s. Enjoy eight generation of the classic Chevrolet Corvette as it celebrates its 70 th anniversary. Admission is free! For more information, go to downtownarlington.org.


June 15, 10-11 a.m. at McKnight Park East, 700 US 287 North, Mansfield

Check out all the vehicles from the police, fire, water department and parks department. Admission is free! For more information, go to mansfieldtexas.gov/calendar.

Moe Bandy and Jeannie Seely in Concert

June 17, 2-3:30 p.m. at Arlington Music Hall, 224 N. Center St., Arlington

Hear country music legends perform live at the Arlington Music Hall. Tickets are $89-$119. For more information, go to arlingtonmusichall.net.

Hands-On History

June 17, Noon-2 p.m. at Man House Museum Information Center, 604 W. Broad St., Mansfield

Take a tour of the oldest house in Mansfield, built by city co-founder Ralph Man, and then try your hand at history activities. Admission is free! Find out more at mansfieldtexas.gov/calendar.

Arlington Juneteenth Celebration

June 17, 5-10 p.m. at Levitt Pavilion, 100 W. Abram St., Arlington

Celebrate with the Frank Sutton Fusion Project, starting at 5:30 p.m., and the New Breed Brass Band, starting at 7 p.m. Admission is free! Get more information at levittpavilionarlington.org.


June 17, 4-9 p.m. at The LOT Downtown, 110 S. Main St., Mansfield

Celebrate freedom with music, praise dancers, step teams, history exhibit, petting zoo, vendors and free barbershop and braiding. For more information, go to mansfieldtexas.gov/1894/


Creature Teacher

June 21, 10:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. at Mansfield Activities Center, 106 S. Wisteria St., Mansfield

Come check out all the amazing animals from around the world! Admission is free!

For more information, go to mansfieldtexas.gov/calendar.

Summer Fun ...

Radney Foster in Concert

June 30, 8:30 p.m. at Levitt Pavilion, 100 W. Abram St., Arlington Hear Texas singer/songwriter Radney Foster with opening act Goldpine starting at 7:30 p.m. Admission is free! For more information, go to levittpavilionarlington.org.

Light Up Arlington

July 3, 6-10:30 p.m. in Downtown Arlington Head to downtown to celebrate Independence Day in style. Music and food trucks will be at the Levitt Pavilion, and more food trucks will be stationed on East Abram Street and West Abram Street and at the George W. Hawkes Downtown Library. Fireworks start at 9:40 p.m. Admission is free! For more information, go to arlingtontx.gov/ independence_day.

Mansfield Rocks

July 3, 6 p.m. at Big League Dreams, 500 Heritage Parkway South, and Hawaiian Falls, 490 Heritage Parkway South, Mansfield

Mansfield will celebrate Independence Day with games, food, live music and fireworks. The lazy river and wave pool at Hawaiian Falls will be open. Admission is $20 per car, or $5 per person if dropped off. For more information, go to mansfieldrocks.com.

Arlington Independence Day Parade & Firecracker 5K

July 4, 7 a.m.-Noon, Downtown Arlington

The new Firecracker 5K takes off at 7 a.m. from the parking lot at Speer Street on the University of Texas at Arlington campus, followed at 9 a.m. by the 58 th annual Arlington Independence Day Parade, which runs through downtown Arlington. Registration for the 5K run is $25. Admission to the parade is free. For more information, go to arlington4th.org.

63 ARLINGTON TODAY • June 2023 • arlingtontoday.com
to you by various city departments and organizations
64 ARLINGTON TODAY • June 2023 • arlingtontoday.com
65 ARLINGTON TODAY • June 2023 • arlingtontoday.com
Dwayne Lee, Southern Flair Photography

Arlington’s First Settlers Now Properly Memorialized

Following the dedication ceremony last month, one of those in attendance made his way along the new pathway and located the in-ground marker he was looking for. He knelt, placed his hand on the adjacent ground and patted it in tribute to the one long ago buried there.

That simple gesture seemed to me to be the personification of how the almost $400,000 project to finally restore Arlington’s original burial ground was worth every penny of its cost.

With a leading contribution from the Arlington Tomorrow Foundation and that of another 1,500 or so individuals and local business, the project that was launched five years ago had finally been completed.

It should have been done long ago as the neglect of the sacred ground served as an embarrassment to a town that prides itself as the American Dream City. As a mayor serving years ago, I share some of the responsibility for that inattention.

When the opportunity developed with the encouragement of Geraldine Mills, Executive Director of the Arlington Historical Society, to form a task force of local citizens to see if what is now

the Arlington Heritage Memorial Grounds could finally be achieved, I eagerly accepted the opportunity to be a part of the effort.

There were originally three sections of the burial ground that existed on the property including The Mill Branch Cemetery, The Middleton Tate Johnson Family Cemetery, and the Colored Cemetery. The result of the work to protect the cemetery was to first develop a barrier around the perimeter.

It was obviously sorely needed as the property had suffered vandalism, damage to the head stones, and the presence of homeless encampments.

The property is now fully secured by major fencing that is also decorative. Passersby on Arkansas Lane will now recognize the property as something of significance to Arlington’s history.

Inside visitors can use the paved walkways throughout and pause at pedestals along the way with QR codes they can scan with their mobile phones and find descriptions of what they are viewing. They will learn the first burials took place in the 1850s and continued for the next 100 years.

There’s adjacent parking, four lighted

American, Texas, Arlington, and Tarrant County flags signifying the national, state, and local connection to the city’s first citizens buried here.

“They all played a role in the establishment of our community,” Mills explained, “Whether the landowner harvesting wheat, corn and cotton or those who labored as workers, their lives mattered, and they must not be forgotten.”

Chair of the venture’s fundraising committee, Chaplain Rich Stoglin, described the mission and purpose of the project, “Cemeteries are a great historical archive because they ask the question, ‘Who were these people? How did we get started? What did they have to face?’ In addition to that it’s an educational opportunity for citizens to come and find out where this great city of 400,000 and growing started from.”

Among the graves is the final resting place of Colonel Middleton Tate Johnson, known as the Father of Tarrant County and one of the most prominent Texans of his time. First buried in the Texas State Cemetery in Austin, his body was later moved here to join other of his family members at final rest here.

The namesake of the colonel, Johnson Creek, runs along the western boundary of the cemetery property and served as a water source for the establishment of life and building a local economy on the prairie here –something hard to imagine in today’s urban setting.

Now fully accessible to the public, it’s an opportunity to spend an hour or so and reflect upon those who first called what would become Arlington their hometown.

Richard Greene was Arlington’s mayor from 1987-1997, appointed by President George W. Bush as Regional Administrator to the EPA, and formerly served as Professor of Practice in UT Arlington’s graduate program in the College of Architecture, Planning and Public Affairs.

66 ARLINGTON TODAY • June 2023 • arlingtontoday.com
Richard Greene

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