Tanglewood/River Oaks Buzz - July 2023

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PRSRT STD US Postage PAID Permit No. 2047 Houston, TX 2023 Buzz Photo Contest Winners
and Coffee
First Place, People and Portraits
by Ed Diaz


We are excited to announce the winners of the 2023 Buzz Photo Contest in this issue. This year, we received more than 1,700 entries from talented amateur photographers from our communities. The quality and diversity of the submissions were truly impressive, and it was a challenge for our judges to select from so many outstanding photos. We want to thank all those who entered for sharing their vision and passion with us. Congratulations to all our winners, and especially to our grand prize winner, 17-year-old Rilina Tran, for her winning photo, A Life of Shelter. This year, in addition to being featured in this issue, online, and through social media, winning photos are also displayed at a special pop-up gallery held at River Oaks District, June 26-30, 12-5 p.m. each day. We encourage residents to stop by and view these incredible photos up close and vote for your favorites, at 4444 Westheimer Rd. See thebuzzmagazines.com for details. We hope you enjoy this visual feast as much as we do, and we look forward to seeing more of your photos in next year’s Buzz Photo Contest. michael@thebuzzmagazines.com


Editor-in-Chief Joni Hoffman

Publisher Michael Hoffman

Editor Jordan Magaziner Steinfeld

Associate Editor Caroline Siegfried

Design Manager John Duboise

Staff Writers Tracy L. Barnett

Sharon Albert Brier

Cindy Burnett

Andria Frankfort Dilling

Angie Frederickson

Todd Freed

Cindy Gabriel

Cathy Gordon

Michelle Groogan

Dai Huynh

Annie Blaylock McQueen

Jennifer Oakley

Cheryl Ursin

Account Managers Andrea Blitzer

Leslie Little

Jo Rogers

Interns Isabella Barcenas, Raigan Clay, Grace DeJong, Naama Machol, Demi Pappas

Published by Hoffman Marketing & Media, LLC 5001 Bissonnet, Suite 100, Bellaire, Texas 77401 info@thebuzzmagazines.com • p: 713.668.4157 • f: 713.665.2940 Follow us on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram and Twitter thebuzzmagazines.com
The Buzz Magazines has made all reasonable attempts to verify the accuracy of all information contained within. Advertising claims are solely the responsibility of the advertiser. Copyright © 2023 Hoffman Marketing & Media, LLC. All rights reserved. Reproduction of any portion of this magazine by any means without written permission is strictly prohibited. Printed on recycled paper. Please remember to recycle.
Ed Diaz snapped this candid photo of his boss walking into a meeting.
photo by Ed Diaz

Your letters, thoughts, opinions

Hats off for a keepsake story

Thank you so much for including my daughter, Lizzy [Newhouse], in the recent article, “Where are they Headed?” [Class of 2023: Where are they headed? by Caroline Siegfried, June 2023]. Every year, we look forward to this article and reading about where the graduates are headed and learn a little about them. It’s so exciting to see someone we have known for many years and whom we watched grow up in our neighborhood. I especially love to see their senior year photo side-by-side with their Kinder photo!

This year, it really was a thrill for Lizzy and all of our family to see her in the magazine. This will be a keepsake and a great memory. Thank you for continuing this heart-warming article year after year.

Pegi Newhouse

Paw-sitive feedback

Annie McQueen did an article on dog parks in the Houston area [Dog Parks in Houston: Where pups can play, June 2023] and featured my husband and my love story, which naturally brought me so much joy. I simply wanted to share how much “buzz” I got from friends in the surrounding areas about the article and how much they enjoyed it! Additionally, it was such a joy to work with Annie! I always love reading The Buzz Magazines and look forward to the next edition.

Jenna Patel

Running around the world

I loved the story about Melanie Margolis and her run streak [Going the Extra Mile: Melanie Margolis marks a personal run streak by Jennifer Oakley, May 2023]. We travel together regularly, and I’ve been in Iceland, New Mexico, California, and New York when she’s had to find a way to get her run in. Her dedication is worthy of the utmost respect, and we’re glad when she returns safely – generally celebrating with a nice glass of wine as she starts her cool down. A great role model for those she coaches. Thanks for highlighting a great friend!

From one ‘AFOL’ to another

I loved the article about Jason Buchman and his Lego creations [Pop Art: Jason Buchman inspires, brick by brick, by Jennifer Oakley, May 2023]. It was nice to read about his progression as an AFOL [Adult Fans Of Lego] by building the Lego walls of so many colors and moving on to more and more builds! Finding “one of our kind” is so nice to come across since so many people think Lego is just for kids and not adults.

I am also an AFOL and am part of a registered Lego User Group (LUG) called Houston Brick Club (houstonbrickclub.com/). We also have a large

LEGO convention coming up in Sugar Land in the summer called Brick Rodeo (BrickRodeo.com/), July 6-9.

Inspirational author

Thanks so much for the wonderful article on Ellen Leventhal [Pearls of Positivity: An author’s gift to children, by Cathy Gordon, May 2023]. As a member of her writing critique group, it was fun to watch Ellen’s Debbie Friedman book [Debbie’s Song] come to life. Her lyrical writing is a joy to read. And yes, she revises! It's amazing how she can come back, time after time, with a fresh take on what she's trying to achieve.

Your article captured Ellen's voice, spirit and love of writing along with how she can weave an important message into the books she writes for kids. Debbie’s Song is another one of those inspiring books by Ellen Leventhal.

Send letters to info@thebuzzmagazines.com. Please include your name, address, phone number and email address for verification purposes. Letters are subject to editing for clarity and space. Views expressed in letters do not necessarily reflect the opinions of The Buzz Magazines, and The Buzz takes no responsibility for the content and opinions expressed in them.

If this sounds like you or someone you know, please contact us at info@thebuzzmagazines.com or 713.668.4157, ext 102.

We are looking for residents for upcoming articles who:
special fall traditions.
Buzzworthy neighbor to feature.
milestone life event to share.
• Have
• Know a
• Have a
compelling travel tale.
• Have a
story. What’s your story?
Have a sweet multi-generational

Hot Days Call for Cold Salads


few ideas

Summer is salad season. Put another way, it’s the time of year we want to forget about our ovens.

While shaking up the salad scene can be a challenge for some of us, a few Buzz neighbors have this thing figured out. Here are some of their top cold salads for hot days.

“My favorite salads are from the produce Haran grows in the backyard garden,” says Cheryl Levy, a volunteer, of her husband, a forensic CPA. “There’s nothing like very local farm to table!

“When it’s really hot outside I always like a cold fruit salad, like watermelon and feta. Remember the Redwood Grill [on Montrose], that later became Mockingbird? They had a Nantucket Blue salad with blueberries and blue cheese. Nothing fancy. We make it with whatever greens I harvest from the backyard, and I often add nuts to it, toasted or sugared, whatever is in the pantry. The original Nantucket Blue was with spinach. Many summers Haran will grow spinach, but it gets a little out of control, like his okra does. One summer it grew and grew and grew, and we harvested it all, like half a trash bag. Then we cooked it, and it cooked down to two servings. The entire summer! It was not worth all of that for two servings. So the years he grows spinach, I do use it, but otherwise we’ll use whatever lettuces are growing. Once it gets really hot the lettuce is over, and we’ll have to go to the grocery store and buy it.”

The Levys’ 12-year-old Maltipoo, Bailey (2012 Buzz Pet of the Year) enjoys the okra as much as his parents. “He walks around with it in his mouth like it is his cigar,” Cheryl says.

“We’ll also just have cucumbers and tomatoes from the backyard, the less said the better. Just a little bit of sea salt. Or a caprese with the tomatoes and mozzarella and basil. These are two-minute recipes. Anyway, it’s too hot to turn on the oven. Last year our house was hit by lightning, and there were supply chain problems so we didn’t have an oven for two months. I was thinking Maybe this wasn’t such a bad thing.”

Nantucket Blue Salad from the Redwood Grill

Cheryl likes to use the miso dressing from Samurai Japanese Steak and Sushi in place of the Blueberry Vinaigrette.

5 ounces fresh baby spinach

1 pint blueberries

2/3 cup crumbled blue cheese

½ cup chopped, toasted pecans

Blueberry Vinaigrette (recipe follows)

Place the spinach, blueberries, blue cheese, and pecans in a large bowl. Toss with the Blueberry Vinaigrette.

Blueberry Vinaigrette:

1 shallot, minced

½ pint blueberries

1 teaspoon salt

3 tablespoons sugar

1/3 cup raspberry vinegar

1 cup vegetable oil

Place all the ingredients in a blender and blend until the dressing is smooth.

Debbie Greenberg, who, as a recent empty-nester, splits time between Houston and Newport Beach, Calif., makes a caprese salad that substitutes peaches for the traditional tomatoes. “We love having fresh salads for dinner,” she says. “They’re light and filling. And the farmer’s market here is amazing.”

Summer Peach Caprese Salad

4 medium peaches, sliced thin

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

½ teaspoon kosher salt

¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper

8 ounces mixed greens

4 ounces fresh mozzarella, sliced

4 ounces prosciutto, torn into bite-sized pieces

8 basil leaves, sliced thin

2 tablespoons balsamic glaze*

Place the peaches in a large bowl and toss with olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper.

On a large platter, layer the mixed greens, mozzarella, peaches, prosciutto, and basil. Drizzle with the balsamic glaze.

*Editor’s Note: You can buy balsamic glaze bottled, or make your own by reducing 1 cup balsamic vinegar in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring, for 8 to 10 minutes. You

COOL AND EASY A Nantucket Blue Salad (top) and Summer Peach Caprese (bottom) are pretty and unique, and they also are simple to put together.
(continued on page 10)
Andria Frankfort Dilling
Frankfort Dilling

will have more than 2 tablespoons and can store the remaining glaze in the refrigerator and use it another time.

Then there’s a classic Greek salad found on Instagram that Mary Clark Granberry is loving. “Barbara Catechis and I were talking about it on a walk, and she said she also makes it,” Mary Clark says. “I’ve been making it on repeat. It’s simple and light, and delish. Friends kept requesting the recipe. Barbara and I think fresh dill is the key ingredient.”

Simple Green Salad with Dill and Feta

Mary Clark says, “You can add a protein if you want to make it a meal. Chicken, shrimp, salmon, or chickpeas would be yummy!”

2 heads romaine lettuce, chopped

4 or 5 thinly sliced green onions

Fresh chopped dill to taste (3 or 4 sprigs)

Block of feta cheese

Optional: 3 or 4 mini cucumbers, diced, or ½ English cucumber, diced

Lemon Vinaigrette (recipe follows)

Place the lettuce in a large bowl. Layer the green onions and dill on top. Crumble the feta over, then the cucumbers, if using, and toss with the Lemon Vinaigrette.

Lemon Vinaigrette:

Juice of 1 lemon

1/3 cup olive oil

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Whisk together the lemon juice, olive oil, salt, and pepper in a small bowl, or add the ingredients to a jar with a tight lid and shake.

Pediatrician Lindy McGee says the “best summer salad” is Samin Nosrat’s panzanella from her award-winning book Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat

“I read that cookbook cover to cover when it came out in 2018,” Lindy says. “It’s the only cookbook I have ever done that for, and it has made me a much better cook. We make this salad several times every summer, when there is an abundance of fresh tomatoes. It is perfect for company, and you can vary the ingredients by what looks good at the store – but always stick with the tomato vinaigrette and the homemade croutons. This weekend we had it with grilled copper river salmon – summer in a meal!”

Samin Nosrat’s Tomato, Basil, and Cucumber Panzanella with Grated Tomato Balsamic Vinaigrette


1 (1-pound) loaf of day-old rustic or sourdough bread

1/3 cup olive oil

¼ teaspoon kosher salt

Tomato Vinaigrette:

¼ cup finely chopped shallots

¼ cup red wine vinegar

2 tablespoons aged balsamic vinegar

4 very ripe small tomatoes (about 1 pound)

8 fresh basil leaves, torn into large pieces

½ cup extra-virgin olive oil

2 garlic cloves, smashed

½ teaspoon plus a pinch of kosher salt


¾ cup thinly sliced red onion

1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

1 pint cherry tomatoes

1 ½ pounds

Early Girl or other flavorful ripe tomatoes, cored and cut into bite-sized pieces (about 3 ½ cups)

1 ¼ teaspoons kosher salt, or to taste, divided

4 Persian cucumbers, peeled and cut into ½inch thick slices (about 2 ¼ cups)

16 fresh basil leaves, torn into large pieces

Flaky sea salt (such as Maldon)

For the croutons:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Remove the crust from the bread, and discard or reserve it for another use. Cut the loaf into 1-inch-thick slices; cut the slices into 1-inch-wide strips. Tear the strips into 1-inch pieces, and toss with the olive oil until evenly coated. Spread in an even layer on 2 rimmed baking sheets. Bake until the croutons are golden brown and crisp, about 18 to 22 minutes, flipping the croutons and rotating the pans. Sprinkle with kosher salt and let them cool in a single layer.

For the tomato vinaigrette: Stir together the shallots, red wine vinegar, and balsamic vinegar in a medium bowl; let that stand for 15 minutes. Cut the tomatoes in half, and grate the cut sides on large holes of a box grater until only the skin remains. Discard the skins. Set aside 1 cup of tomato pulp. (Reserve the remaining tomato pulp for another use.) Stir the tomato pulp, oil, basil leaves, garlic, and

kosher salt into the vinegar mixture; let that stand at least 10 minutes or up to 30 minutes. Remove and discard the garlic. (Taste the vinaigrette with a crouton or tomato slice, and adjust salt and acid as needed.) Set aside 1 ¼ cups of the vinaigrette; reserve remaining vinaigrette for another use.

For the salad:

Toss together the onion and vinegar in a small bowl; let stand 20 minutes. Set aside. Place half of the croutons in a large salad bowl, and toss with ½ cup of the reserved vinaigrette. Place the tomatoes on top of the croutons, and season with ½ teaspoon kosher salt (to encourage them to release some of their juices); let stand 10 minutes.

Remove the onions from the vinegar, reserving the vinegar. Add the onions, cucumbers, basil, and remaining croutons to the bowl with the tomatoes. Toss with the reserved onion vinegar, remaining ¾ cup reserved vinaigrette, and remaining ¾ teaspoon kosher salt, adjusting the amounts as desired. Divide the salad evenly among 4 to 6 plates. Sprinkle with sea salt.

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SUMMER STAPLES A Simple Green Salad with Dill and Feta (top) is deceptively delicious. Samin Nosrat's Tomato, Basil, and Cucumber Panzanella with Grated Tomato Balsamic Vinaigrette (bottom) takes a bit of time but produces a stand-out salad.
Andria Frankfort Dilling Andria Frankfort Dilling

Going the Distance

Diving into a challenge together

Helping teens overcome life’s challenges is the essence of the social work Sophie McCollum does on a daily basis. The driving force of her altruistic vocation naturally spills over into the pool at the Bellaire Family Aquatic Center, where you will find her most afternoons, comfortable in a bathing suit offering lessons and coaching the Bellaire Barracudas, a swim team for 5-18-year-olds in

the Southwest Aquatic League.

As a certified water safety instructor and level 2 member of the American Swimming Coaches Association, the 39-year-old believes that swimming has everything to do with learning life lessons, and it’s why she’s placed discipline and hard work at the core of her coaching. Folks around here frequently refer to backing up your beliefs by “walking the walk” and last fall when the

prospect of Bellaire’s 100 Mile Swim Challenge reemerged, Sophie figured it was time she “stroked the stroke.” The challenge was simply to swim 100 miles in any body of water with any type of stroke in six months, November – April.

“I stand in the water a lot and I stand on the deck and around the pool but actually swimming laps is a different story,” said Sophie. “I really just wanted to chal-

ACCEPTING THE CHALLENGE Audrey Tedore, Kathy Cane, Sophie McCollum, and Marc Soriano (from left) took on Bellaire Family Aquatic Center’s 100 Mile Swim Challenge together, becoming friends in the process.
(continued on page 14)
Grace DeJong

(continued from page 12)

lenge myself and thought that this seems very hard, but something that even if we didn’t get to 100 it would be a good way to get back into swimming.”

She decided quickly that the best way to swim 100 miles in six months was to incorporate accountability. So she recruited the perfect group of boosters – three people she knew from years of swimming, but who didn’t all know each other. She extended the challenge to fellow Barracudas assistant coach, 25-year-old Audrey Tedore, Barracudas team manager Marc Soriano, 33, and longtime friend and fellow avid swimmer Kathy Cane, 60. They are all just as different as they are alike, agreeing to a personal challenge knowing they would need each other to do it.

“In the beginning it was all we could do to get to maybe 50-60 laps,” said Marc Soriano, a civil engineer who himself swam for the Bellaire Barracudas as a teenager. “We were all pretty out of shape. And then slowly but surely, we got to where we were doing 2,000 yards, 2,400 yards and our workouts just progressively got longer, until eventually I could swim nonstop for two solid hours and do over two miles. And so there were definitely a lot of personal bests and personal growths in there because of how consistent we were.”

Competitive swimming is an art form and doing it well takes physical strength and precise technique, requiring even elite performers to push past a breaking point – a level of intensity Bellaire Rec Center wanted to avoid for the 100-mile challenge. The Bellaire Rec Center Director Wes Chupa said he preferred “consistency” over “intensity.” Wes sought to inspire as many swimmers as possible to stay active during the off-season, offering participants plenty of leeway when it came to logging laps between November and April. Some of the participants casually walked in the pool, rather than dive in. Out of 27 people who

signed up for the Bellaire Rec Center Challenge, 14 completed it by the May 1 deadline. The first to complete the challenge two years in a row was 79-year-old Bellaire resident, Rosemary Schouten.

Here’s a breakdown of just how many laps are in the Bellaire’s meter-style pool.

¼ mile = 9 laps or 18 wall touches

½ mile = 18 laps or 36 wall touches

¾ mile = 27 laps or 54 wall touches

1 mile = 36 laps or 72 wall touches

That’s a lot of strokes for a sticker and a Tshirt.

“We were all in it individually, but we came at it from a team perspective,” said Sophie. “I could not have done it if I didn’t have my three other swimmers pushing me. We had a group text and we created an Excel spreadsheet, documenting everything and keeping each other accountable and that made all the difference. I think my competitive spirit came out because I was determined to get to 100 once I saw it was possible.”

Six months sounds like it might be plenty of time to swim 100 miles, but this foursome all have full-time jobs, families, and other big life events happening. Sophie is getting married.

Audrey was finishing up her senior year at the University of Houston with a math degree and minor in finance. Kathy was out of the country for a time but still recorded laps in the ocean. And Marc hit a swim slump when things got too busy with a job promotion, as well as buying a house.

“I told Sophie, I can’t do this,” said Marc. “I've extrapolated our workouts out in the future and I’m not going to be able to do the Saturday morning swims because I have this house stuff going on and this that and the other, and work deadlines. Sophie pulled out her coach hat, which she does so well and somehow made me believe that I could do it.”

Not to mention there were some frigid swim-

ming days even though the Bellaire pool is heated to 84 degrees.

“I don’t think I would have done it if it was just by myself,” said Audrey. “It was a lot because I was working part time and doing school, but it was mostly for fun, and I thought at least I’m getting in shape and getting back into swimming. But in the end, I was like I’ve come this far, I can’t quit now.”

While Kathy loves to swim, doing this challenge is nothing she would have dreamed up, especially since swimming laps is something she hasn’t done since the pandemic shut down pools.

“What a neat feeling it was to accomplish this,” said Kathy who works for her husband’s family business making engineering copiers. “I turned 60 in May and so I was like this is going to be my birthday present to myself. I’m going to do 100 miles before I turn 60. And it wasn’t easy.”

They got stronger and faster. Marc reports losing 20 pounds. Board kicks were written into the workouts so they could talk and socialize while completing a lap. They discovered that at the same time they built a unique and fulfilling friendship. And they have continued to show up for each other. They all went to Audrey’s graduation celebration.

As the deadline of May 1 got closer, Sophie and Kathy found themselves slowing down so they could all touch the wall on the same day at the same time. Encouraging, motivating, and cheering each other on until the very end. And then they did it.... On April 30 at 4:15 p.m., they finished lap number 3,520 together.

“We cheered,” said Kathy. “We had a little bottle of champagne, and we toasted and wore our t-shirts.”

Perseverance, resilience, and a competitive spirit are all essential virtues of athletic success. But for this group of pool-embracing friends, the deepest joy clearly came through the collaboration and the kinship of a genuinely shared accomplishment. Some just call that teamwork.

Grace DeJong
THEY JUST KEPT SWIMMING Left photo: Friends Audrey Tedore, Sophie McCollum, Kathy Cane, and Marc Soriano (from left) are all smiles completing mile 3 in the Bellaire pool. Right photo: Marc, Sophie, Audrey, and Kathy proudly hold up the poster-size spreadsheet that tracked the progress of all participants in Bellaire’s 100 Mile Swim Challenge.

Model Citizen

David Nemon details his memories

The first clues are the (real) cars in David Nemon’s garage. The bright red 2003 50th Anniversary Edition Corvette is his everyday ride. The restored 1957 Chevy, also bright red, generally goes out only once a week, when David meets a group of friends for breakfast.

But it’s in his house that you will see the depth of David’s knowledge and interest in car design. In glass cases around the living room are dozens upon dozens of model cars, most meticulously hand-assembled and hand-painted, arranged by make, model, and year. David, 76, estimates that he has built somewhere between 400 and 500 of these models, ranging from the Ford Model T to his latest “build,” a 2021 Dodge Charger.

He plucks a 1957 turquoise and white Chevy from a case. The interior of the tiny car is also turquoise and white. “This is the one I got my driver’s license on, in this exact color,” he says.

He points out that he has turquoise and white Chevys from 1955, 1956, and 1957, but they are not the same shade of turquoise because, each year, the car company changed the color slightly.

David has been building model cars since he was eight years old. Back then, the model kits cost $2.50 each. “And most of the time, I’d leave them white,” he remembers, since the paint wasn’t included in the kit and would have cost him another 75 cents to $1.00.

David’s wife Suzanne says his interest in cars and in design started earlier than that. “There are pictures in his baby book of him at three or four drawing pictures of cars,” she says.

As a young man, David for a time contemplated a career in car design, but then a friend who was a car designer told him that he might spend the first several years only designing steering wheels. David decided to become an architect instead.

David got back into model cars when his own son, Jeffrey, was eight, and David tried to get him interested in building them. “He wanted nothing to do with it,” says David with a laugh, but David himself got hooked again.

These days, David, now retired, gets his model kits from several sources. One is G&G Model Shop here in Houston, which he visits every week or two. “They’ll also call me if they get something new in,” he says. David’s fellow

Houston model builders rave about the 78-yearold G&G online: “Visits here are like a trip back in time to the hobby stores of my youth and early days of model building during the 1950s and 1960s,” wrote one.

Like many model builders, David was first introduced to the hobby by his father. It was something the two of them could do together. Soon, he remembers, he was regularly riding his bicycle to his neighborhood hobby shop (in St. Louis) to spend his allowance money.

These days, the internet is also a source of both kits and information. People often sell old model-car kits that were never assembled, perhaps they were found in an attic, on eBay. While a middle-of-the-road (ha!) kit for a model car is now generally somewhere around $30 to $38, some of these old original ones that are particularly desirable might go for $100 or more in an eBay auction. “And sometimes people are even just selling the original box without the kit for $10 or $15,” says David.

There are magazines, available online, such as Scale Auto Magazine, Fine Scale Modeler, and Model Cars Magazine, where you can read reviews of different kits and articles filled with advice. There are YouTube channels where you can watch hobbyists carefully assemble their models. One of David’s favorites, called “Model Car Videos,” features a father/daughter duo.

When David and Suzanne travel, such as to visit their children and grandchildren in Chicago and in California, David visits hobby shops and car museums. “I get dragged to the hobby shops,” says Suzanne, who is not a car person, “but then again, he comes with me when I shop.”

Most of David’s models are of classic American cars, “from back when they were really designed,” says David.

“Now, cars all look like bars of soap,” he laments.

Unfortunately, the cars he built when he was

a child were lost after he went away to college and his family moved to a different house. When David is shopping for a new kit now, he is often looking for one that he had back then.

“All told I have been able to find at least 11 that were the exact same kit I built as a kid,” he says.

The majority of his collection are cars he made from kits and are made of plastic. He also has a few that are made of metal and came assembled. These are most often cars for which no kit was ever made or David has not been able to track that kit down. Some of his metal ones come from the Franklin Mint company. Others are diecast models called “dealership editions” that car manufacturers had made back in the day so that their dealers could give their customers a model of the car they just bought. (Wouldn’t it be cool for your child to be given a toy version of your new car?)

Assembling a model car from a kit is not for the faint of heart. It takes David about a week of effort to make each one. And it is very close work. The pieces are tiny. “I have to take breaks for my eyes and for my back,” says David. He does much of the work on his old architect’s drafting table in his home office.

The kits are rated for difficulty, on a scale of 1 to 5. David recently bought kits for his two older grandsons, ages 10 and 6, where the pieces don’t need to be painted or glued but are simply snapped together. “Those are for beginners and can be made in about half an hour,” David says.

He usually uses advanced kits himself, and those can contain hundreds of pieces which come attached to plastic “part trees,” so the first step is to cut each piece free from this tree. Any little plastic bump left on the part from the tree has to be carefully shaved away. Sometimes, “flash,” which is excess plastic left by the manufacturing process, has to be trimmed away from the edges of pieces as well. There are all kinds of specialized tools for model-making, though most often David prefers his

IN GEAR Retired architect David Nemon builds his model cars on the drafting table in his home office.
www.forsythefotography.com NEIGHBORS (continued on page 18)
DRIVEN David with his 1957 Chevy and its exact replica.

trusty X-Acto knife. Because accuracy and detail are the keys to a good model car, sometimes pieces have to be shaved down, to fit together precisely. In other cases, things need to be buffed and sanded with sanding sticks.

Also, though David generally follows the directions of the kit, “you’re allowed to do whatever you want,” he says. In most car kits, for example, the hood will open, to display the engine, but the passenger doors will not. However, a model builder can carefully cut the doors so they will open, a process that is, David says, very time-consuming. Or if David can’t find a model of a type of car in its convertible version, he will take a hard-top kit and remove the top of the model, carefully cutting around the windshield to leave a very narrow chrome frame, and then add a convertible boot from his collection of spare parts to the back of the car.

David will research online to find the exact colors of paint he needs, not only for the body and the interior of the car but also for the color of different parts of the engine and the mechanical parts underneath. “I might Google ‘1968 Chevy engine compartment’ to find a picture of the engine and see what color it was from the factory,” he explains. Car manufacturers used to have proprietary colors; Chevy’s was called “Chevy Orange,” which they used to spray-paint

the engines of their cars. Meanwhile, David will paint the chassis, or underside of the car, flat black, but the muffler might be silver and the pipes running to the engine, which, in real life, the manufacturer left unpainted, he will paint a steel color. There is also specialized paint for the chrome on the car.

He paints many of the pieces before assembling them. For some parts, such as the body, he uses spray paint. Even there, there are choices: Should he use a primer, which can make the finished product smoother but less glossy? Should he use a top coat to add gloss? Older cars had less glossy finishes on their bodies than cars today. “It’s not even close,” says David.

And dust is David’s nemesis. Dust will ruin a model’s glossy sheen, and David has been known to strip the paint off a model that has dust on it, using special chemicals, and repaint. Currently, one of his favorite cars in his collection is a Toyota Supra, where the finish on the body came out a particularly glossy and flawless red.

Other smaller parts of the car, such as the details of the engine, David paints with tiny brushes.

When it comes to assembly, David generally starts with the chassis, which is the most timeconsuming part to put together, then the interior, then the body. Assembling all those tiny pieces requires tweezers and specialized glue. David likes the Testors brand of model glue that

actually fuses the plastic pieces together and uses another specialized glue for the clear plastic pieces, such as the windshield.

One of the biggest fascinations for David is the detail in the models. “It’s in a 1/25 scale (meaning the model is 1/25th the size of the actual car) and the details can be perfect,” he says. He has seen the kits become more and more detailed and accurate over the years. “It used to be, in an AMT (American Metal Toys, a major model-car company), the whole interior of the car would be one piece,” he says. “Now, there are different pieces for the steering wheel, the steering column, the brake pedal, the gas pedal. The detail is just so much better.”

Models and miniatures, from cars to train sets to doll houses, have fascinated people, sometimes adults even more than children, since the beginning of human history. There’s the wonder at the craftsmanship, the patience, the attention to detail necessary to make them. There’s how David can hold in one hand an exact replica of the car that he took his driving test in 60 years ago, a memory made manifest.

Currently, David has five more models in the pipeline. Two have already had their bodies spray-painted. “It just requires patience, that’s all,” he says. But patience and focus seem to be in such short supply these days. It’s nice to see that they’re still around.

ATTENTION TO DETAIL Clockwise, from top left: David just completed a model of a 1975 Honda Civic; the engine of his next model, a 1967 Oldsmobile 442; David with his wife Suzanne, who’s not a “car person,” but supports her husband’s hobby; and some of the models on display in their living room. The three in front are, from left, the model of his '57 Chevy, a 1959 Ford Skyliner, unique, David says, because its retractable roof was designed to fit into its trunk, and a 1956 Chevrolet.
www.forsythefotography.com www.forsythefotography.com www.forsythefotography.com www.forsythefotography.com
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The Buzz Magazines’ 2023 Photo Contest

sponsored by

Although The Buzz Magazines’ annual photo contest is not for professionals, the quality of photos we receive astounds us each year. With any contest like this, the process is inherently subjective. However, there are basic principles of photography that must be met, such as lighting, focus, exposure, and composition. Each judge prioritizes different factors in their deliberation, but they all look for images that are purposeful, powerful, and stand out in terms of the uniqueness of the shot. The judges consider the level of skill required to capture each photo and take the time to scrutinize the smallest intricacies. And there are personal elements to consider, some difficult to define: a photograph’s essence, the emotions it evokes, the artful nature of its expression. Judging for the photo contest is blind, as the judges do not see names or information about the photographers.

Always, there are excellent photos left behind – we received more than 1,700 submissions this year. We’d like to thank all the talented photographers who submitted, and our expert judges for their careful deliberation.

And it’s not all about the experts: our readers have a voice in the contest as well. The top 60 finalists were posted to our Facebook page, and the photos with the most likes become our Readers’ Choice winners.

Congratulations to all our winners and especially to our Grand Prize winner, Rilina Tran, who will receive a Panasonic LUMIX ZS100 Digital Camera from Houston Camera Exchange and a staycation package compliments of the Houstonian Hotel, Club & Spa.

A special thank you to our photo contest sponsors, Houston Camera Exchange and The Houstonian Hotel, Club & Spa.

The Buzz Magazines’ annual photo contest is open to local amateur photographers. If you have a knack for photography, keep our contest in mind this upcoming year. Look out for our call for entries on our website, social media, and in our March 2024 print issue.

This year, in addition to being featured in this issue, online, and through social media, winning photos are displayed at a special pop-up gallery at River Oaks District, June 26-30, 12-5 p.m. Stop by to see these photos, and vote for your favorites, at 4444 Westheimer Rd.

Grand Prize and Readers’ Choice, A Life of Shelter

Seventeen-year-old Rilina Tran noticed these two puppies while volunteering at the Petco Love Mega Adoption Event, where more than 1,000 dogs and cats were up for adoption. Rilina, a senior at Bellaire High School, helped walk the dogs, clean the cages, and showcase the puppies at the event at George R. Brown in September. When these two puppies refused to get out of their cage so she could clean it, she snapped a photo on her Canon EOS Rebel T6. “I took many photos of the adorable dogs and cats, but these two stood out to me the most. Although the goal was to get all these puppies a home, I felt the fear of separation in these two.”

Judges’ comments:

This image immediately caught our attention. The light and shadows are beautiful. The choice to use black and white draws the viewer in, while removing color distractions and highlighting the strong vertical lines of the cage. The pensive look on their faces, the cage, and the way that one dog is hiding behind the other’s ear make this an emotionally resonant image. At a time when shelters are overcrowded, animal cruelty laws have finally gone into effect and pet abandonment seems to be at an all-time high, the title strikes a chord – A Life of Shelter. So many elements came together to make this a favorite; it’s excellent.


Category: Animals

First Place, Zebras

Dana Katz, 46, took this photo of zebras in Serengeti National Park in northern Tanzania during a family safari in June 2022. “I thought converting the photo to black and white would help emphasize the zebras' distinctive and visually striking patterns.”

Second Place, Who's watching who?

Kelsey Ziegler, 29, snapped this shot of a bright green lizard sitting on a red tipped leaf on April 7 on the island of Kauai. “We spotted this bright lizard on the trails of the McBryde & Allerton Gardens Visitors Center. His bright, wise looking eyes caught my attention, and I couldn't resist snapping a few pictures of him.”


Third Place, Evil in the Shadows

Jennifer Welch, 38, thought this snake looked “comfortable, maybe a little too comfortable,” lounging on a branch at the Houston Zoo earlier this year. She noticed it “hiding in the shadows partially concealed by darkness. What evil could be plotted in darkness, I wondered? I took this photo because of what snakes and darkness represent, although I don’t necessarily believe that snakes or the mere presence of darkness are ‘evil.’ Mostly I was interested in the way most of the snake was shrouded in darkness, the way only the face was showing in the light, and the way the light portrayed the detail of the snake’s scales. I should give a shoutout to my 12-year-old nephew, Chris [Welch], who is a big fan of my photography and has an eye for it himself. He is the one who suggested I enter this photo, saying it was ‘really good.’”

Fourth Place, Hanging Out

Shazma Matin, 56, happened upon this lion in the Serengeti plains during a family vacation to Tanzania in September. “We came across a young pride of lions who were lazing around and looking very content after having a successful hunt. One of the lions from the pride moved away and we began to follow him in our vehicle. I was able to photograph him as he was strolling through the tall grasses, and eventually climbed up a tree. I took several portraits of him with a zoom lens. I asked our guide to move the vehicle to several different positions so that I could get a clear view and use the tree to frame him.”

Fifth Place, Reticulated Giraffe Trifecta

These rare and endangered Reticulated Giraffes are found only in Northern Kenya, Somalia, and Ethiopia. David Holland, 68, was happy he caught a glimpse this February while in Samburu National Reserve in Kenya. “Just seeing them was a treat. This image was my favorite of the trip. I spotted these three ‘necking’ one another (smacking necks and heads) to establish dominance. They were quite active, but one stood still while two approached one another. I was hoping for some sort of unique behavior or alignment. The mountains behind and blue skies were a perfect backdrop. They crisscrossed in perfect symmetry right in front of the stationary one and I took the shot. ‘Did you get that?’ exclaimed our driver. A trifecta for sure!”


Category: Landscapes

Second Place, Caddo Lake in Fall Color

When Ned Shimizu, 58, saw the bald cypress at Caddo Lake for the first time, he felt he had been “transported to its strange world, and it was difficult to return to the real world.” Since then, he has been kayaking in Houston swamps for the cypress. He snapped this photo of a bald cypress tree at Caddo Lake State Park in November.

“The cypress in Caddo Lake is especially massive and conveys a strong feeling of peace. I’ve always liked the otherworldly look of the bald cypress covered with Spanish moss, and this time I managed to capture the autumn coloring.”

First Place, Brooklyn and Williamsburg Bridges Mauricio Recinos, 52, snapped this picture from a New York balcony on a family trip last year. “The Brooklyn and Williamsburg bridges looked impressive: manmade structures that have lasted for decades. I decided to take a few pictures, and at that moment the sky was a great complement to the urban scene. Converting the picture to black and white was a must for me. All the shadows and light contrast make the picture more interesting.”

Third Place, Milky Way over Crystal Lake David Holland, 68, stopped to set up for this starry night sky shot as he was driving along the “Million Dollar" Highway in Colorado in September. The shot was taken at midnight. “Crystal Lake is just outside Ouray, CO in the San Juan Mountain range. Designated a Dark Sky area, conditions for astrophotography were excellent. I set up at the far end of the lake to capture the reflection and then waited for the Milky Way to be perfectly positioned.”

Fifth Place, Meteora at Sunset

When Whitni Parker, 44, and her husband traveled to Greece for their 20-year wedding anniversary in August, they initially planned to go straight to the islands. But after some research, they decided to travel north and visit Meteora first. “This is a picture of the setting sun casting ethereal light over the cliff-top monasteries in Meteora, Greece. While at first we planned a day trip, we learned that to really do Meteora right, you want to stay overnight and take in the sunset. Meteora is known for its natural rock pillar formations whereon monasteries were built in the 13th and 14th centuries. We were amazed to learn how the materials were hoisted up by hand for construction. The two monasteries pictured are specifically the Monastery of Rousanou (far right) and the Monastery of St. Nicholas Anapausas (second from right). We settled ourselves on a high lookout point as the sun began to get low. I set up my tripod and snapped images over the next hour, in awe of the warm glowy light and shadow contrasts from the rock formations as the sun dropped.”

Fourth Place, Addicks Park & Ride Connectors in Color

Chuck Martinez, 53, drives past this view each day on his commute home from work. He stopped to take this shot at the Addicks Park & Ride in early December. “I had originally planned to stop there one evening to take a very different photo of the Energy Corridor skyline at dusk, but when I arrived, I realized I could not capture what I envisioned due to poor angles and obstructed views. So I began looking for other opportunities for anything else interesting to capture, and I discovered this fantastic perspective beneath the connector ramps, just as they change direction, curving towards I-10 from the lot. I think the view shows the incredible precision that goes into the engineering and construction of what is otherwise a common sight around the city roads and freeways. It’s also a reminder that to be successful at photography, you must be open-minded. I could have just packed up my gear after not being able to get the photo I originally hoped for, and continued home after the long day. I chose to not call it quits, and didn’t regret it.”


Category: Nature

First Place, Synchronized Symmetry

This perfect match-up was captured by Loyd Dalton, 75, on a February trip with his son to Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge. Driving on the trail, they noticed a small pond that was holding a large number of waterfowl. “As we got out of the car to survey the scene, we startled a pair of mallards resting on the near bank. I barely got the camera in position to be able to take the in-flight shot as they were rapidly getting out of range. I consider this image as one of those ‘lifetime’ shots that you don't get every day; it was pure luck that the pair just lined up perfectly in sync when I took the shot!”

Second Place, Amaryllis Bud on Black

This photo of an amaryllis bud was shot by Bonnie Davidson, 74, in the early afternoon on an overcast day. “This was taken at our house in Houston, in mid-April 2023. I'm drawn to flowers naturally, and went out to photograph some of the amaryllis blooms. Recently I took a course on using your iPhone for photography and had started practicing on just about everything. This image was taken using the lighting effect of ‘Stage Light’ in the Portrait Mode on the iPhone. I like this effect a lot because of the black background it makes. The new phones take amazing pictures.”


Third Place, Diamond Beach

Darren Inoff, 54, grabbed this photo showing the blocks of ice that break off from nearby glaciers and wash ashore in Iceland. “This photo was taken on August 1, 2022 at 4:30 a.m. on Diamond Beach in Iceland. We left the hotel at 3 a.m. to get in position for a beautiful sunrise. We were there in late summer during the time of the midnight sun. It was an amazing experience to photograph these blocks of ice as the shapes, textures and light are constantly changing.”

Fifth Place, Ambushed – look closely

This split-second capture was taken by David Holland, 68, at Brazos Bend State Park in March. “Walking along the Elm Lake path, I spotted a green heron atop a nearby lily pad. It stood motionless, its eyes seemingly fixed on something. I decided to sit and wait for whatever might happen. After a few minutes I noticed a bug scooting on top of the water towards the green heron. I chose my camera settings for a quick strike and hoped for an action shot. Finally, the bug and the heron were both in the viewfinder and all I needed was for the heron to strike. Unexpectedly, the water exploded from below as a fish went for the bug and the heron simultaneously went for the fish. I fired away at 20 fps (frames per second) and was stunned at the result. Truly a once in a lifetime image.”

Fourth Place, Pretty and Pink

Chuck Martinez, 53, spotted these American (or Caribbean) Flamingos wading through a shallow water pond at a resort in Mexico. Peafowl and other native animals roamed freely on the Iberostar resort property in Playa del Carmen. “I spotted these beautiful birds from an observation deck above the water feature where they were wading. Besides the beautifully vivid colors of these birds, I was happy to capture the moving shapes of the group, with their straight long legs, pillowy feathers, and curvy necks that changed with each photo I took. I was also glad to have taken a telephoto lens with me, otherwise this photo and most others I took of the resort wildlife would not have been possible.”


Category: People and Portraits

First Place, Paparazzi and Coffee

This candid may seem Hollywood-esque, but Ed Diaz revealed that it is actually a photo of his boss walking into a meeting. Ed, 51, took this photo in April, at Roland Artist Relations Office in Burbank, California. “I love taking candid photos, and my boss [Duane McDonald] tries to block me when I attempt to take one. In this case, although he was successful in blocking, I was able to capture something special. The photo was originally in color, but I decided to edit it in black and white because I felt I could get more clarity and texture from the image. Plus, I thought it looked cool and reminded me of an album cover.”

Second Place, Two Faced

Sixteen-year-old Lillie Kleban posed her friend Samantha Weiss for this photograph earlier this school year. She took the photo for an assignment on different types of lighting in her Digital Imaging class at The Emery/Weiner School. “I love the concept of split lighting and the ambiguity that comes with it. I wanted to use my photography and intentional lighting to reveal specifically how one cannot know the full story or grasp a true understanding when only taking things at face value.”


Third Place, People on the Move

Mauricio Recinos, 52, says that “between residents, tourists, workers and the occasional photographer” it can be a real challenge to take pictures at Grand Central Terminal. After he found a good spot, he had to wait a while for others to move away. “I wanted to capture the moving people in the station, to exemplify the life in New York. Beautiful city, always in the fast lane.”

Fourth Place, Red Jacket

Darren Inoff, 54, grabbed this photograph of a friend in front of Skogafoss Waterfall in Iceland in early August. “I wanted to show the size and scale of this waterfall and thought this would make a great composition.”

Fifth Place, Pure Joy

Natalie Alexander, 48, loves to take pictures of nine-year-old Mackenzie, the youngest of her four children. "The rest are mid-high school, college, and college graduate. She is the only one that still spends a lot of time with me, so of course I love to take pictures of her. I took this photo in March in our pool. Mackenzie is a water child. She loves it more than anyone I’ve known. Every time she’s in the pool it’s just pure happiness. I started taking pictures because her expression was so fun and bright that day. Our pool is totally shaded, and the sun was still shining so it actually makes for the perfect lighting with the help of the reflection off the water. This one picture shows exactly who she is.”


Category: Sports and Action

First Place, Day of Infamy

Gerald McGlamery, 61, photographed this fleeting moment during a Pearl Harbor reenactment at the Wings Over Houston Airshow. “The focal point, a vintage Boeing B-17G Flying Fortress bomber, is juxtaposed against a reproduction Japanese Nakajima B5N Kate torpedo bomber in the background and an ambulance jeep in the foreground. I was tracking the B-17 and was vaguely aware of the presence of the B5N and the jeep, so I was excited to find them all in the frame of this particular photo. The photo was taken at Ellington Field on October 29, 2022, during the Commemorative Air Force's Tora! Tora! Tora! reenactment. I love air shows and air show photography. This photo is just one of many I take each year at Wings Over Houston. Tragically, this Boeing B-17G, known as Texas Raiders, was destroyed two weeks later in an aerial collision with another vintage aircraft at the Wings Over Dallas Airshow. Seven lives were lost in the crash.”

Second Place, Safe

Avid sports photographer Wayne Donnelly, 70, took this shot at an April baseball game at St. Pius X High School baseball field. Cooper Brown of St. Pius scored the game-winning run against The Kinkaid School on a bases-loaded two-out bunt. “I thought about ‘Safe or Out?’ as a title to make people guess. It is hard to tell from the photo. Could be an interesting poll if the description didn't ruin it.”


Third Place, Hopper

Wayne Donnelly got this high-flying picture in an April softball game at the St. Pius X field. Jessica Muniz, a pitcher for the St. Pius X Panthers, is in midair during a softball game against Concordia. “It looked like both feet were leaving the ground, but I couldn't tell for sure because it was so fast. I set my camera for as fast as it would shoot and lucked out with one frame that caught it perfectly.”

Fourth Place, Game Summary

Wayne Donnelly says he got lucky with this shot of Diego Guandique, the St. Pius X High School goalie, as he was mobbed by his teammates after blocking the opponent's final penalty kick to win this January game against their cross-town rival St. Thomas. “I got lucky being in the right place at the right time. If you know soccer, you have a good idea about how the game ended without any words, thus the title.”

Fifth Place, On the Ground

St. John’s rising senior Emma Nguyen, 16, caught this moment of St. John’s linebacker Dax F. Garza tackling a Houston Christian running back during a football game in early September. “Football games start at 7 p.m. every Friday, and the lighting in the background of the photos is always phenomenal. I love taking action photos of sports, as I find them the most compelling to take and look back on. I attend every game to hopefully take the best pictures possible for myself and for my school’s yearbook, Quadrangle.”


Category: Readers’ Choice

First Place, A Life of Shelter

Our readers wholeheartedly agreed with our expert judges –our Grand Prize winner, A Life of Shelter by Rilina Tran, was also chosen by our readers as the first place Readers’ Choice winner on our Facebook page. With a total of 649 likes (at the time of our voting cutoff), the tally of votes for this photo surpasses any other Readers’ Choice winner in the past.

Second Place, Can We Play

Dana Katz, 46, snapped this sweet moment. “This is a photo of our dog, Frazier, and my precious nephew, Luca [Yudovich], taken in January of this year. Frazier adores playing with Luca and is constantly licking him and wanting to play with him. I think this picture captures that loving bond.”






a container ship

Galveston. “I took the photo a couple of days before Christmas. My wife and I decided to take a quick drive to Galveston just to get away. While we were there, I made it my goal to get a good shot of a pelican flying through the air, and if I was able to capture it then it would make the trip totally worth it. I shot the pic handheld with my Canon R5C and a Sigma EF 150-600 mm lens. I actually was successful that day and captured numerous shots, but this by far was my favorite of all.”

Historic Point

Fifth Place, On the Ground On the Ground by Emma Nguyen received Fifth Place in our Sports and Action category, and Fifth Place in our Readers’ Choice. Third Place, Paparazzi and Coffee and Coffee by Ed Diaz received First Place in our People and Portraits category, and Third Place in our Readers’ Choice. Place, Pelican Flying Against a Cargo Ship Diaz, 51, took this shot of a pelican flying in of at Fort San Jacinto in

Judges’ Bios

Eric Forsythe has been a full-time photographer for over a decade. His work has been featured in several magazines and regional journals, including Time, The Ferrari Club Magazine , and Success magazine. His images have been shared on Larry King Live, Piers Morgan Live, Good Morning America, and The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon , to name a few. Eric’s clientele includes automotive icons such as Ferrari, Porsche, and Lamborghini, as well as entertainment companies like MGM, Paramount Pictures, Capitol Records, and Integrity Music. He is based in Houston, but his passion guides him to continuously explore in search of optical stimuli. He believes that photography is not motionless and tries to establish a sense of movement in his photos.



Nikky LaWell, certified professional photographer and master craftsman photographer from the Professional Photographers of America, holds a BFA in photography from the University of Houston and owns a boutique studio specializing in family portraits with a personal perspective. Nikky has been the keeper of memories for the most important of moments, from babies and graduations to weddings and promotions. She is known for listening closely to her clients and coming up with ideas for intimate and creative photography sessions. Her awards include “Best Portrait of a Senior Professional” from the Professional Photographers Guild of Houston, “Best Wedding” from the Southwest Professional Photographers Association, “Best Wedding” from the Texas Professional Photographers Association, and the illustrious Kodak Gallery Award. lawellphoto.com


Terry Vine , recently named one of the 200 Best Ad Photographers Worldwide by Lürzer’s Archive, is an advertising and lifestyle photographer who specializes in creating custom images for the healthcare, hospitality, and corporate industries. His ability to capture the essence of an experience as it relates to a destination has landed him assignments around the world and earned numerous awards. His work has been featured in Communications Arts, Graphis Photo, Print, American Photography, Applied Arts, and PDN Photo annuals. Terry’s fine art images are in many museum and private collections around the country. Having grown up in Ohio, Terry now lives in Texas with his wife, two children, and a rambunctious Golden Retriever named Ranger.




Rumor Has It

Personal. Thirteen books and 1,291,000 words later, this Memorial author has continued to engage fans with his detective books. A friendly crowd gathered at Andy and Tanya Greenwood’s home for wine and cheese to check out Andy’s latest book, When It Was Personal. Some of those in the crowd have known Andy since they were lifers at St. John’s. Friends that go way back in time are Lucy Clark Shaw, Anne Peden Tucker, Margie Baldwin Esse, Cody and Jim Greenwood, and Maryann Macy. Andy often puts his friends and acquaintances in his books as aliases. Michael and Cindy Graves have not seen themselves in any books yet although Michael has known Andy for more than 70 years. It’s not personal though.

Not the 5th? It’s just an excuse to fiesta and raise money. Jeannette Nestvold, Roberta Grossman, Shelly Cyprus, and Sandy Harris with miniature sombreros on their heads underwrote the luncheon to raise funds for Anne Frank Hadassah at a Cuatro de Mayo party at the Four Leaf Towers’ party room on May 4th, of course. Five gals won the scavenger hunt that was in the room before macarena music inspired the 30 fiestagoers to dance and conga their way around before batting up for a swing at a piñata filled with jewelry and candy. And then there was Mexican bingo with sombrero markers. Margaritas, queso, guacamole, fish tacos, spinach enchiladas, tres leches, and mucho laughs made for a memorable day. And it was good practice for Cinco de Mayo.

Pretty people. It was a happening and pink scene at Tootsies on May 3 to fun-raise for Nancy Owens Breast Cancer Foundation spearheaded by Shelly Levy, Randee Kaplan, and Cassandra Hurst. Two hundred fashionable ladies bought tickets. Lucky Sharon Cordes won the $500 gift card from the raffle.

Not just yet leaving the 60s. Honoree Jean Wilson stepped into her naughty-or-nicethemed 69th birthday like a boss at the Ballroom at Tanglewood. A hundred and fifty friends and family from many areas of her life took fun party props to add to their scandalous outfits. Lead singer for Nightbird (Fleetwood Mac Tribute

band), Brooke Alyson, channeled Stevie Nicks to sing the birthday song. Some of those dancing to DJ Freddy Batres were Brian Wice, Carmen Roe, Barbara Seymour, J. Michael Soliz, Neera Patidar, Naureen and Ahmad Malik, Christina Zhou, Bobby Bowick, Evan Bauman, Charlie McDaniel, Ana Beaven, Chloe di Leo, William Roberts, Jo Ottaviano, Fritz McDonald, Alex Grover, Debra Linse, Lina Matar, Michael DeMarse, Roxanne D’Ascenzo, and Lois De Armas. Very nice!

Famous authors. A Celebration of Reading was held at the Hobby Center sponsored by the Barbara Bush Literacy Foundation. A filled theater of 1,000 heard bestselling authors Nelson DeMille, Tess Gerritsen, Tom Papa, Isabel Wilkerson who wrote the recent bestseller Caste, and local Rev. Dr. Russell J. Levenson, Jr. (Rector of St. Martin’s) talk about their own lives and about their writing procedures. Their big personalities were humble yet revealing. Neil and Maria Bush hosted the 10th anniversary of the event, which raised 1.8 million to help more children and adults realize their fullest potential in life and live the American Dream by learning how to read. If you were a patron at the VIP dinner, you got a free book. The opp to hear these authors was worth a bucket-list item.

She has butterflies. Sue and Mitch Feinberg became grandparents for the first time when their son Kerry and daughter-in-law Melissa became parents of Kinsley Cara on May 12, a day earlier than expected. Kinsley is named after three family members and made her appearance on the same birthdate as the only other

female grandchild in the Feinberg family of men. Kinsley’s room has a large, beautiful butterfly painted by Sue and gold butterflies flitting over her crib. A cotton candy colored pink rug matches the painting. No doubt Kinsley is dreaming about going to Peru, where there are over 3,700 species of butterflies. She is looked after by Murphy the Bernedoodle who takes his job seriously with the reward system.

Movie fans turn out. The 56th annual WorldFest film festival, started by Hunter Todd, was held in April at Cinemark Memorial City. Four thousand entries were culled to determine the winners in a variety of 200 subcategories. Three theaters were sold out. EmmaRain Welling made her debut in Mission from Outer Space as Agent Rain Moss. Faith and Lee Majors celebrated his birthday at the opening. Some of those singing Happy Birthday in the VIP section were Corey and Regan Thomson and Michelle and Shawn Welling.


See Rumor Has It at thebuzzmagazines.com for additional photos. Have some good news to share? Email us at info@thebuzzmagazines.com.

HOLLYWOOD-ESQUE HAPPENING IN HOUSTON EmmaRain Welling made her acting debut in Mission from Outer Space as Agent Rain Moss. Pictured at the WorldFest Film Festival at Cinemark Memorial City are (from left) Corey and Regan Thomson, executive producer Lee Majors, Michelle and Shawn Welling with LillySky Welling in his arms, and (in front) Faith Majors with EmmaRain Welling. Ray Kuglar

Buzz Baby

A roadmap to the Fourth

Buzz Baby is a column about life with little ones. Writer Annie McQueen is a mother of four children under the age of 8.

The Fourth of July is a time for families to come together and celebrate. This month, we decided to share some patriotic events in Houston along with some ideas on how to celebrate the Fourth of July with little ones in tow.

The Lopez family, who live in west Houston, rent a beach house every summer for the Fourth. Their annual Fourth tradition is to make patriotic-themed dishes, including one they call flag fruit pizza. The ingredients needed are sugar cookie dough, cream cheese, powdered sugar, vanilla extract, strawberries, blueberries, and bananas.

To make the pizza, they roll out the cookie dough into a rectangle and have a parent help bake it at 350 degrees for around 10 minutes. Once cooled, the kids mix cream cheese, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract to make the frosting. The younger kids take on the task of spreading the frosting on the cookie while the older ones then arrange blueberries in the upper left corner as stars and use sliced strawberries and bananas to create red and white stripes.

We gathered up a few more ideas on how to celebrate the Fourth as a family.

Fourth of July craft ideas:

Patriotic handprints are a neat craft idea to preserve a memory. To make them, use nontoxic paint to paint your baby’s hands, and create red, white, and blue handprints on a piece of paper. Frame it or use it as a decoration on a food table at a Fourth party.

Paper plate tambourines are a great craft to make to bring to your local neighborhood Fourth of July parade. Have your child decorate two paper plates with markers, stickers, or paint. Fill one plate with dried beans or rice and staple the plates together to make a music maker. Do-ityourself fireworks are also easy and fun. To make them, use colored paper, glitter, and glue to make a fireworks display on paper. Let your child decorate and design their own unique fireworks.

Fourth of July events for families:

Below we compiled a list of free and family friendly Fourth of July events around Houston.

Many neighborhoods will host a Fourth of July parade in the morning, where kids can decorate their bikes and trikes in red, white, and blue streamers and decorations. Neighborhood parades are a perfect activity for babies and toddlers to celebrate before naptime.

The City of Bellaire’s Celebration of Independence Parade and Festival bellairetx.gov

July 4, 9 a.m.-12 p.m.

The parade will start at 9 a.m. at South Rice Ave. and Valerie St. The children’s bike parade will start at South Rice Ave. and Evergreen St. Both parades will end at South Rice Ave. and Evergreen St. The festival starts around 9:30 a.m. and will feature live music, food and more on the Great Lawn and in Loftin Park.

City of West University Place Independence Day Parade westutx.gov

July 4, 8:45 a.m.-10 a.m.

The parade will start in front of West University Elementary School at 3756 University Blvd. All ages are welcome to attend this family-friendly Fourth event.

Villages Independence Parade bunkerhilltx.gov

July 4, 10 a.m.

The Villages Independence Day Parade will start at 10 a.m. at Memorial Church of Christ on Gaylord and Echo Lane and continues east on Gaylord to N. Piney Point. The Memorial Villages Police Department will host a fun run and bike ride prior to the parade at 9:45 a.m. (no registration is required).

Children’s Museum Houston’s Kidpendence Day


July 4, beginning at noon

Join the celebration at Children’s Museum Houston with fun, interactive activities, a Captain America story time, a special salute to troops, and more. General admission: $17 for adults and children; child under age 1: free; sen-

ior: $16. Active-duty military enter free.

Fourth of July Celebration at Bayou Bend Collection & Gardens mfah.org/bayoubend

July 4, 1-4 p.m.

This annual free festival features music, craft projects, and storyteller David Allen will present an illustrated read-aloud of We Came to America by Faith Ringgold. The first floor of the Bayou Bend house will be open for tours. Limited free parking will be available on-site. Additional parking is available on nearby streets.

Shell’s Freedom Over Texas at Eleanor Tinsley Park freedomovertexas.org

July 4; gates open at 4 p.m.; fireworks will begin at approximately 9:35 p.m.

This year’s headliner is Chris Young, with Yola, TMF formerly of Maze featuring Frankie Beverly, and Chris Walker. Eleanor Tinsley Park, general admission is $10, and children 5 and under are free. Public parking is available in nearby downtown garages. You may want to arrive early or use public transportation to avoid parking congestion.

CityCentre’s Fourth of July Celebration citycentrehouston.com

July 4, 7-11 p.m.

CityCentre Plaza

Gather the family for a spectacular free fireworks show in the heart of CityCentre. Parking is available in the nearby parking garages. Remember, fireworks can be extremely loud and sometimes scary for babies and toddlers. Consider bringing noise-canceling headphones or earplugs to help reduce the noise. Wherever the celebrations take you this month, or whatever craft or dish you decide to make this month, just remember to enjoy the time with your family.

FOURTH FAMILY TIME The Fourth is full of kid-friendly activities around town. Pictured is Sadie Teare, at age 2, enjoying Fourth festivities with family.

Buzz Reads

Five picks for July

Buzz Reads is a column about books by reviewer Cindy Burnett. Each month, Cindy recommends five recently or soon-to-be released titles.

Banyan Moon by Thao Thai (fiction) –Banyan Moon follows the lives of three generations of Vietnamese women – Minh, the grandmother; Huong, the daughter; and Ann, the granddaughter. When Minh passes away, she leaves Huong and Ann Banyan House, the Gothic and mysterious home where Minh raised Ann; however, Huong and Ann are estranged and cannot fathom owning a home together. As the story bounces between Minh’s early years in Vietnam and the present as Ann and Huong get to know each other again, long-buried secrets are revealed. With Minh looking out for her daughter and granddaughter from the great beyond, the women begin to understand each other better and come to terms with their choices and how those choices impacted their relationship with each other as well as with others. This stunning tale of the bonds between mothers and daughters and how those bonds inform people’s lives is well worth reading. It is an atmospheric, character-driven story that left an indelible impression on me. Readers who love books with a strong sense of place will revel in this beautiful story.

The Bitter Past by Bruce Borgos (mystery) –After retiring from an Army Intelligence division, Porter Beck has returned home to take on the role as sheriff of Lincoln County, located in the high desert of Nevada north of Las Vegas. When a retired FBI agent is killed, the normally sleepy area suddenly springs to life as FBI agents arrive, and a mystery from 60 years ago when a Russian KGB agent came to pilfer the United States’ nuclear technology appears to be linked to the recent death. Toggling back and forth in time, The Bitter Past, the first in a new mystery series, is an enthralling read; the nuclear testing site storyline, the FBI aspects of the story, and the ending make this an all-around fabulous read. I could not turn the pages fast enough and am already eagerly awaiting the second book in the series.

Have You Seen Her by Catherine McKenzie (thriller) – On the run from her past, Cassie Peters has fled New York City and returned home

to Mammoth Lakes, Calif. to work with Yosemite Search and Rescue at Yosemite National Park. While on the job, she encounters Petal, who lives at a nearby trailer park and is constantly writing in her journal, and Jada, a recent college graduate who is traveling the country with her boyfriend and posting about it on Instagram. Have You Seen Her is told from Cassie’s point of view in the present and the past and her story is interspersed with Petal’s journal entries and Jada’s Instagram posts. As a lover of all things National Park related, the Yosemite setting appealed to me, and McKenzie does a fabulous job of bringing the park and its environs to life. This is a stellar addition to the growing number of thrillers/mystery series set in the great outdoors and is full of some great twists and turns culminating in an enthralling ending.

Night Will Find You by Julia Heaberlin (thriller) – Texan Julia Heaberlin hits it out of the ballpark with her latest thriller, Night Will Find You. At age 10, Vivvy Bouchet became famous when she made a prediction that saved a boy’s life. Years later she is an astrophysicist who does her best to suppress the visions she sees. Mike, the boy she saved, grows up to be a cop and believes that Vivvy still sees things that others do not. So Mike ropes Vivvy into helping Jesse, a police detective and friend of Mike’s who only believes in things he can see, with a cold case regarding a kidnapped girl. I am always on the lookout for unique and entertaining thrillers –ones that don’t read like other countless ones on the market. This thriller definitely fits the bill, and I loved the Texas setting as well. The book is already being developed for a TV series.

The Seven Year Slip by Ashley Poston (romance) – When Clementine loses her beloved Aunt Analea, she finds it difficult to move forward, so she throws herself into her work as a book publicist and looks for love but struggles to find the right guy. After inheriting her aunt’s apartment, she moves in and is startled one day to find a strange man in the kitchen. As they begin to bond, she is dismayed to learn that he lives seven years in the past. Her aunt had often hinted that the apartment held secrets regarding time and how it exists there. I find timetravel stories intriguing, and this one is a winner. Both the premise, in a New York City apartment time occasionally overlaps by seven years, and the way the story plays out are fantastic, and I was so sad when the book ended, but the ending is wonderful.

Editor’s note: Southside Place resident Cindy Burnett also writes our weekly Page Turners column at thebuzzmagazines.com. She hosts the award-winning Thoughts from a Page Podcast, is co-creator of the Houston literary event series Conversations from the Page, runs the Instagram account @thoughtsfromapage, and regularly speaks to groups about books.

WHAT TO READ This month’s picks include a compelling mystery set in rural Nevada, two thrillers, a romance with time-travel elements, and a family saga about three generations of Vietnamese women. Cindy Burnett

Travel Buzz

A Moroccan Love Story

Lisa El Hafi – then Lisa Laufbahn — fell in love with Morocco on her first trip there in 1974 as a college junior studying in Paris. Little did she know her next trip there would be for her Moroccan wedding.

As it turned out, Morocco was destined to be a central part of Lisa’s life. During her college years, she met Moroccan medical student Salah El Hafi, and the two became friends. But Lisa was dating someone else, and then she graduated and returned to the States. But Salah never forgot Lisa, and after two years persuaded her exboyfriend to share her address and tracked her down in Boston, where he proposed to her – and she accepted.

She moved back to Paris in 1976, where they had their civil ceremony – Lisa is Jewish, but because they planned to eventually live in Morocco, they had a Muslim ceremony for legal expediency.

“I was, at the time, and I still am very openminded regarding cultural traditions,” said Lisa. “So it was fine with me, even though it was all in Arabic.”

The next year, in Rabat, Salah’s hometown, his parents planned a traditional Moroccan wedding, and it was magical. Lisa wore an elaborate caftan, there was lively traditional music with dancing, and those memories wove themselves into the tapestry of their lives.

They returned to Paris, where their son Adam was born the following year. Their next trip was when Adam was three months old. They would go back at least every two years to keep the relationship with Salah’s family and his mother country alive.

“I wanted them to know their grandparents, so we spent most of their youth visiting here or having the family visiting us in Houston,” said Lisa, speaking from the couple’s second home in Marrakech. “The family connection is really important to us.”

Eventually they moved back to the States, first to Connecticut, where Salah did his medical residency. Their daughter Mia was born there in 1980. Then they moved to Birmingham, Alabama, and New Orleans, where Salah completed his cardiology training

before settling in Houston, “as soon as we could,” says Lisa with a laugh. There Salah began his cardiology practice in 1984.

The journeys to Salah’s motherland continued, and the children grew up learning about the culture. Morocco’s complex history begins with the indigenous Berbers, who inhabited Morocco before the arrival of the Arabs in the eighth century.

“The country was occupied by the Spanish in the north and in the Sahara,” writes Lisa, an author of several books, in “Morocco: What You Need to Know,” which she was inspired to write for our readers (see the link to this guide at thebuzzmagazines.com). From 1912-1956, Morocco was a French and Spanish protectorate. “The result is a society where the architecture is a mélange of Moorish palaces and Art Deco banks and post offices built by the French in the 1920s.”

The family spent visits in the early years mostly with family in the coastal capital city of Rabat, often referred to as the “White City” because of its many white buildings. Like many Moroccan cities, Rabat has its culturally rich medina, a walled Old City with its winding, narrow streets and ancient souks, or markets.

They sometimes went to Salé across the river Bouregreg and took family excursions to the Mediterranean resort town of Cabo Negro, with its expansive beaches and crystalline waters. Cabo Negro is near the picturesque Rif Mountains and another of Lisa’s favorites: Tétouan, a city with a major Andalusian influence, as it served as a refuge for Jews and Muslims expelled from Spain. Morocco as a whole took in many Jews during the expulsion that began in 1492, and later the Spanish Moors, who were expelled in the early 1600s.

The family also visited Meknes, where Salah’s sister lives. Meknes has been called an open-air museum. Its impressive medina, listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is entered through the Bab Mansour Gateway, considered a masterpiece of Hispano-Moorish art. Also near Meknes is the Roman archaeological site of Volubilis, dating to the 3rd century B.C. Volubilis is considered one of the richest sites of North Africa, known for its many fine buildings, well-preserved mosaics, bronze and marble statues, and extensive inscriptions.

Lisa tried to teach her children French, the second language of Morocco. To this day, Mia makes regular visits, bringing Lila, 12, and Sammy, 9. Adam comes from time to time with son Max, 12.

Over the years the couple also came to Morocco for Salah’s medical conventions, three in Marrakech. Treasured memories included stays in the 100-year-old Mamounia, a classic palace turned hotel featured in the classic 1956 Hitchcock film, The Man who Knew Too Much “Winston Churchill was fascinated by Marrakech and used to stay at the Mamounia and paint the beautiful scenery toward the end of World War II,” said Lisa.

In the end it was Marrakech that really captured their hearts.

by the family of their friend Anissa Balafrej. (continued on page 46)

MOROCCAN VISTA While studying abroad in Paris as a college student, Lisa El Hafi fell in love with Morocco. It was during that same time that she met Moroccan medical student Salah El Hafi. Later, the two started dating and married. Eventually, they settled in Houston while continuing to visit Salah’s homeland and exploring the country. Now they have a second home in Marrakech. Pictured: The El Hafis at the Oberoi Hotel just outside Marrakech, about 10 minutes from their home; the hotel is owned

(continued from page 44)

“Marrakech is a unique place, with the weather, the scenery and the people, the changing colors of the sky, the magic of the palm trees,” said Salah. “You can be swimming and looking at the snow-capped Atlas Mountains.”

A two-hour drive from Casablanca, where most visitors arrive, the city lies on the edge of the Atlas Mountains. It is known as the Red City, because of its buildings and ramparts of beaten clay.

“Visitors typically begin with a visit to Jemaa el-Fna, the square with its snake charmers, monkeys, ancient storytellers spinning their tales (in Arabic) and natives hawking everything from local wares to counterfeit DVDs,'' wrote Lisa. “From there you can wind your way through the serpentine alleys of the medina, where you can buy souvenirs, caftans, and babouche (traditional leather shoes). Stands with freshly ground spices, olives and pickled lemons are gradually replaced by stores selling silver and gold jewelry and brass light fixtures and carved wooden tables.”

Hotels for all budgets and tastes are available in the medina and also in the Palmeraie, a palmfilled oasis outside the city that has grown into a major tourism base. Lisa recommends staying at a riad; these traditional homes converted into boutique hotels give an authentic taste of Moroccan life. Local cuisine is delicious and distinctive, including traditional tagines and couscous, with an array of international cuisines as well.

One must-see, she says, is the Mellah, the old Jewish Quarter, especially for those interested in Jewish history. The government has recently refurbished the synagogue and the cemetery, and many Israelis come to visit the graves of their ancestors. She recommends the Mellah as a cleaner, less crowded shopping alternative to the medina with abundant shops and restaurants.

She and Salah enjoy taking a respite from the city in the Atlas Mountains. A favorite spot is the Kasbah Tamadot near Asni. This luxurious

hotel founded by Sir Richard Branson and his mother features local women’s handicrafts. The price is prohibitive for many, so the El Hafis make the trip to enjoy a sumptuous lunch and walk the lush and manicured gardens.

Another favorite is the 19th-century Bahia Palace, with its impressive collection of stuccos, paintings, and mosaics. Its two-acre garden features rooms opening into courtyards, each filled with cypress, palm, orange, and lemon trees.

“Each room is different,” wrote Lisa. “Some were used as official salons, others housed the Vizier’s women (wife, concubines and, yes, slaves).”

Other favorite sites include Dar El Bacha (literally, House of the Pacha, or governor); Koutoubia Mosque, founded in 1147 and the largest in Marrakech, with a towering 253-foot minaret; the Menara Gardens, built in the 12th century by the ruling caliphate, Abd al-Mu'min; M Avenue, the trendy new mixed-use development in the city center connecting the Menara Gardens to Mohammed VI Avenue, filled with a diverse array of shops, restaurants, and hotels. For Lisa, the main attraction of M Avenue is the interactive cultural center called the "Meydene," with a permanent exhibition space, a 400-seat auditorium, and a Morocco-themed virtual light and sound show projected on the walls of the center.

Salah eventually purchased land on the outskirts of the city when he received his inheritance. For 30 years it sat there, grazed by sheep and goats from the neighboring village. When the children grew up and left home, Salah began to think more seriously about building a house there.

“I couldn’t imagine building a house in Marrakech – it’s daunting – until my friend said, ‘I’ll do it,’” said Lisa.

Salah’s childhood friend, Dr. Said Balafrej, is married to an architect, Anissa – Lisa’s “sister from another mother,” as she refers to her.

Anissa proposed designing the home and the couple accepted. They called the home Dar Lila; “dar” means “house,” and it was named for the couple’s first granddaughter, Lila.

The site evolved from a weedy patch to a classic Moroccan-style home, bright and airy with patios and gardens, a pool and even a hammam, a Turkish bath. The gardens are filled with palm trees and the house has spectacular views of the Atlas Mountains, where the couple never tires of watching the iridescent sunrises and sunsets.

“It was a dream come true to be able to build our house in Marrakech and to be able to spend time with family and friends,” said Salah.

“We have olive trees and all kinds of fruit trees and roses,” said Lisa. They also have animals – goats, chickens, and a donkey. They love the calm of the countryside, which has gradually developed over time with a number of other homes and riads.

The house would become a gathering place for family and the base for Lisa’s writing. Author of historical fiction novels The New Woman and The Empty Mirror, Lisa spoke to us from Dar Lila, where she was working on a new book about Morocco in the 1920s.

The family’s relationship with Morocco has shaped them all in many ways. Lisa watches the grandchildren interact with the locals, picking up some Arabic and immersing themselves in the culture.

“Traveling, you look at the US in a different way,” she said. “There’s so much more going on in the world than people know; many don’t understand the different cultures, the different history – they just haven’t had the exposure.”

There’s another reason she’s glad to have a Moroccan escape. “With all the craziness going on right now, it's very good to be here and away from that. Life here is simpler; we don’t talk politics with our friends at all. And having some distance helps me not to worry about the stuff I can’t do anything about anyway.”

A TASTE OF MARRAKECH Left photo: Lisa, left, at home in Dar Lila, enjoying the gardens with Anissa, the architect who designed their home. Lisa and Salah call the home Dar Lila; “dar” means “house,” and it was named for the couple’s first granddaughter, Lila. Right photo: The El Hafis eat couscous every Friday, the Muslim holy day, without exception. Usually it is served in a typical Moroccan dish like this one called a tagine.


The St. Agnes Academy Tigers dominated the field to bring home a remarkable seventh consecutive state championship in Track and Field. The Tigers outscored second place John Paul II by a lofty 43-point margin to capture this year’s TAPPS 6A state title. “Honestly, it was a total team effort,” said Tigers head track and field coach Chris Warren. “The team unity and bond are so strong. Also, about 80 percent of our team are only freshmen or sophomores, so it was an impressive effort.”

Youth was served well with the freshmen trio of Kaitlyn Elackatt, Michaela Grimes, and Isabella Rohrig along with sophomore Zara Chinwuba teaming up to win state in the 1600-meter relay. In addition, Elackatt captured a second gold medal by winning the 300-meter hurdles.

“We had so many outstanding performers,” said Warren. “Michaela might have been our strongest overall runner. Along with running the anchor leg on the winning mile relay team, she also finished second in the 400 meters and fifth in the 200 meters.”

The Tigers were also a powerful force in the field events with senior Kinsey Schwartje winning gold in the discus throw, Chi Chi Umeh taking the silver medal in the shot put, and sophomore Grace Sanders winning her second state championship in the pole vault. Sanders also ran the anchor leg on the Tigers second place 4x200 meter relay team and she finished fifth in the 100 hurdles.

The Memorial Mustangs boys golf team capped off a sensational season by finishing third at the UIL 6A State Golf Tournament. “It was super exciting,” said Mustangs golf coach Clayton Brady. “It was a goal of ours at the beginning of the year to medal at the state tournament. As the year progressed, we got better and better and by February realized we had a team that could seriously contend for a state title.”

At the state tournament, the Mustangs finished just five strokes behind second place behind Austin Travis and ten strokes in back of state champion Austin Westlake. “We had a great first round, and then played extremely well on the back nine of the second day to hold off

Johnson High School by a single stroke to finish third,” said Brady.

Leading the way for Memorial at state was junior Charlie Wylie, who fired a spectacular six-under 66 in the opening round of the state tournament. Wylie ultimately finished third individually with a sevenunder par score for the 36 holes. “Charlie’s put our team on his back and delivered when it mattered most,” said Brady. “He’s been a rock for us all year with about 15 of his 24 rounds of golf played underpar. Charlie and fellow junior captain David Martinez have led by example the entire season.”

Joining Wylie and Martinez in the Mustangs state tournament lineup were junior Austin Le, freshman Turner Chiles, and junior Gray Gammill. “The exceptional thing is that all five of these terrific players will be back with us next season,” added Brady.

The St. Thomas Eagles came within one victory of the TAPPS Division 1 State Baseball Championship before dropping a 7-6 heartbreaker to Trinity Christian Academy in the TAPPS Division 1 state final. “We were pretty much overlooked to start the season after a tough season last year, so the guys kind of had a chip on their shoulder,” said Eagles head baseball coach Adam Massiatte. “We started playing well once district started and got really hot by the time the playoffs rolled around.”

As for the playoffs, the Eagles staged a series of big wins including a dramatic come-frombehind victory over Plano John Paul II in the regional finals. Senior shortstop Anthony Equale connected on a sixth-inning two-run homer to propel the Eagles to a 4-3 victory. Senior pitcher Jack Clinton then closed out the game to send St. Thomas to the state tournament for the third time in the last four seasons and 11th appearance since 2010.

In the state semifinals, the Eagles then shut out Antonian High School 6-0 with starting junior pitcher Donte Lewis and reliever Jack Ward combining for the shutout victory. Lewis, who also plays third base for the Eagles, hit .350 for the season with a staggering 40 stolen bases.

Other top hitters for the Eagles this season included junior centerfielder Luke Edgecomb with a .355 batting average, senior second baseman Braydan Salinas (.340), junior third baseman Billy Theroux (.311) and sophomore utility infielder Evan Wisnoski (.300).

Editor’s note: Todd Freed is the host and executive producer of H-Town High School Sports, which airs Saturday at 10:30 p.m. on CW39 and Monday-Thursday on AT&T SportsNet SW. To submit high school sports news for possible inclusion in SportzBuzz, please email todd@thebuzzmagazines.com.

STATE RUNNER-UP For the eleventh time since the 2010 season, the St. Thomas Eagles advanced to the TAPPS State Baseball Tournament. The Eagles came within one victory of a state championship before falling to Trinity Christian Academy in the TAPPS Division 1 State Final.

SportzBuzz Jr.

Welcome to SportzBuzz Jr., a column spotlighting neighborhood athletes in elementary and middle school.

Rocked it

The Rockies rocked the socks off their season with an undefeated regular season, a 12-2 overall record for the Spring Branch-Memorial Sports Association Rookie league. The baseball team, coached by Chase Luberger (pictured), and (not pictured) Jeff Petersen, Kelly Belcher, Coleby Weinstock, and Nate Alford, finished in third place after losing to the Astros during playoffs. That game was the team’s first loss of the season. They played the Blue Jays for a second time in the consolation bracket. The Blue Jays ended up defeating the team and went on to win the gold bracket in extra innings. The Rockies were the number one seed in the Gold Bracket for the SBMSA playoffs and the top team for Wilchester Elementary School. They scored 175 runs in 10 games while only striking out 12 times. Chase and Jeff were selected as the all-star team coaches because of this accomplishment. Player Jeffrey Alford got a new puppy towards the end of the season and named him Rocky after the team. Pictured are (top row, from left) Sean Tierney, Reid Foreman, Nate Gardiner, Coach Chase, Oliver Luberger, Fields Petersen, Zachary Davies; (front row, from left) Max Belcher, Cullen Weinstock, Preston Harrison, Jeffery Alford, and Brooks Magee.

Gold finalists

The Spring Branch Memorial Sports Association 8U softball team the Typhoon played their hearts out during a long, hot Saturday as the last day of their season – finishing out as Spring Branch-Memorial Sports Association Gold Bracket Finalists. The girls were coached by head coach Chris Grizzaffi, Travis Gault, and a few other volunteer coaches who helped throughout the season. Midway through the season, the team got to try out kid pitch (instead of their regular coach pitch) during the first inning. The players included Annabelle Davis, Brooke Russell, Cassidy Grizzaffi, Colette Marchesani, Elizabeth Guidera, Emma Kaminsky, Hadley Gault, Iris Thomas, Julia Aly, Katherine Urech, Lila McQueen, Mila Stevens, and Molly Squillante

Softball stars

The Spring Branch-Memorial Sports Association softball team, the Force, was a team to be reckoned with this spring softball season as Gold Bracket Champs. The 7U team was made up of second- and third-grade girls from Rummel Creek Elementary. They were 7-2 in the regular season and 5-1 in the postseason. At the end of the regular season, they played three games and outscored their opponents to win their playoff game. Pictured (front row, from left) are Imogen Cullip, Morgan Shuck, Connie Herrera, Audrey Herzog, Grace Foss, Cleo Hodges; (second row, from left) Wynn Caddell, Henley Rohr, Cora Hewitt, Hrisoula Dimitrakakos, Parker Linton; (top row, from left) coaches Matt Herzog, Brady Hewitt, and Todd Foss

Editor’s note: Send your best high-resolution photos and behind-the-scenes stories about young local athletes, in both team and individual sports, to SportzBuzz, Jr. at info@thebuzzmagazines.com. Include all contact info, names, ages, grades and schools. Featured athletes must live in Buzz-circulation neighborhoods. Items will be published on a space-available basis.

TANGLEWOOD/RIVER OAKS BUZZ JULY 2023 51 Call to reserve your senior portrait session now. A Portrait Remembers 713.542.8040 • nikky@lawellphoto.com • www.lawellphoto.com

PEN TO PAPER Fourth grader Violet Powers wrote this in the WITS (Writers in the Schools) program at her school, Travis Elementary. WITS is a nonprofit that works with schools to engage children in reading and writing through activities like workshops led by professional writers.

Buzz Kidz

The fun of the forest

Shenandoah National Park: a pretty, out of the way, forestry place. We stayed at a cabin right off the side of a hill with an amazing view. The sunshine gleaming in the sky. Golden light shining down on my skin. After a night of restful sleeping on a soft, silky, pillow. When I awoke the sun had not come up. It was still dawn. Ten minutes later the sunrise started. It was beautiful to watch as light poured into the deep blue sky. Once everyone awoke, we had a lovely, yummy breakfast with bacon, eggs, and “healthy brownies.” Once we were full we decided to go on a long, beautiful, hard, hike. As I walked through the amazing meadow down to the river where there were lilies and daisies all over, I felt as though there was a swing lifting me off the ground and swinging to the tip of the uni-

verse. As we were coming back I saw a stunning mammal, a vicious cat. The rest of the way was a bit like the symmetric other side of an unusual object. I was sweating when we finished the hike. A jubilee started joyous and fun. That’s how we went to the cabin lifted of our struggles. We soaked our souls in the warm water of the hot tub. Watching the sun set. Our cousins arrived a little later, around... Dawn. That night we went out to a fancy restaurant. Where we had (where my parents had) bright living red but still dark wine. A fancy, fresh, flavorful, charcuterie board with the greasy smell of salami. When we got home we went straight to bed (I didn’t want to. I wasn’t sleepy). When I woke up I was so tired. I had a restless sleep. It was a horrible morning, but I tried my best to have a positive

morning. That evening we went out on a short hike and found a stunning waterfall. As we tried to get down, my foot slipped and I fell in the soaking cold water. Everyone was laughing and having a good, fun, time.

Want to be a Buzz Kid? Email approximately 350 words, a high-resolution photo and caption to info@thebuzzmagazines.com. Or mail it to The Buzz Magazines, 5001 Bissonnet, Suite 100, Bellaire, Texas 77401.

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Single-member LLCs and probate

Limited liability companies (LLCs) are popular among real estate investors. Less formality is required than a corporation, and LLCs offer at least as much asset protection, if not more. That informality means family often does not know where to start when Dad, the sole member-manager, dies. What happens to rent checks? Utility accounts? Lease renewals? What about property and casualty insurance?

Fortunately, although the Business Organizations Code does require at least one “person” as a member, an estate can be that one. In an independent administration, where Dad left a robust will or else all the heirs agreed, the Estates Code gives the executor or administrator full power to carry on the business, including reviving the LLC that might otherwise dissolve on Dad’s death. In a dependent administration, where Dad didn’t leave a will or the heirs can’t agree, business administration is court supervised, and at much greater expense than in an independent administration.

Your friendly local banker and their compliance department don’t have time to reconcile all the Texas statutes relevant to business administration in a decedent’s estate. Once probate has opened, don’t give the bank a treatise; offer them a resolution replacing Dad with Dad’s estate as the sole member and also replacing Dad with his executor or administrator as the new manager. If your lawyer doesn’t have the form, the bank often does. Armed with the resolution and “letters” from the probate court, the new manager/executor or administrator can deposit checks, manage utilities, renew leases, and confirm or complete Dad’s insurance program.

This arrangement works well until estate administration is complete (typ-

ically not sooner than when Dad’s last tax return is filed), at which time Dad’s LLC membership interest is distributed according to the will or the laws of intestacy, the new member(s) sign an operating agreement, and the ultimate manager is confirmed.

Dad, if you’re reading this, make everyone’s life easier by organizing this much: the LLC certificate of formation, any company agreement and amendments, and a current list of members, contributions, and interests. The above advice doesn’t work if you’re not the only member. Don’t make family guess.

LLCs are required to keep the last six years of tax returns. That’s one source of information if Dad’s records are incomplete. The Secretary of State’s records are online and readily available. Also, the State Comptroller keeps public information reports that often reveal agents and addresses not found in the certificate of formation. Finally, real property records and appraisal district accounts are indexed, and are a resource of last resort when better records are unavailable.

We write wills and go to probate court. Foreign nationals and international families welcome.

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Neighborhood Tails

Astro, age 2, Lab-Boxer Mix, Sugar Hill Dr.

Hey pals! My name is Astro, and just like our baseball team, I’m a pro at catching fly balls. The first time my family threw me a ball was when they found me at a construction site. After I kept coming back to play, they took me home to Tanglewood, where I now live with my favorite human ever, Madeline. Even though I’m a LabBoxer Mix, I am a Horned Frog at heart. I get anxiety when I can’t be around Madeline, so I went to college with her! We recently graduated from TCU, and in proper Horned-Frog fashion, you can always find me sporting my TCU collar. My favorite hobbies include chasing birds in the backyard with my brother, Lucky, and going on a W-A-L-K. Don’t tell my owners, but I figured out that spells walk. Now, I always know when to beg and cry, so they go get my leash.

Got a cute critter? Email a picture of your pet with approximately 150 words to info@thebuzzmagazines.com or mail it to The Buzz Magazines, 5001 Bissonnet, Suite 100, Bellaire, Texas 77401.

PETS Mailed to 58,000 homes monthly. To advertise in The Buzz Magazines, contact us at 713.668.4157, ext. 101 or advertising@thebuzzmagazines.com
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Nasal polyps

Can’t appreciate the bouquet of a nice Merlot? Having to heavily season or spice your food to get a glimmer of taste? Suffer from nasal congestion? You may have something obstructing your nasal passages.

Nasal polyps can present as congestion and/or decreased sense of smell/taste. They can be associated with drainage, mouth breathing, snoring, sneezing, headaches or facial pain.

Nasal polyps can be associated with asthma, sinus problems and or sensitivities to aspirin or NSAIDs (ibuprofen, naproxen…). Nasal polyps can be involved in some cases of sleep apnea.

Cases can be seen in most age groups but nasal polyps are more common in adults, 40 years old and older. The overall incidence in children is roughly 0.1% (higher in children with Cystic Fibrosis). Among adults, the incidence is between 1 and 4%.

Nasal polyps are inflammatory overgrowths of mucus membranes of the nose and sinus tissue. We don’t know why some people get polyps but we know it is tied to a type of inflammation (type II inflammation) that we are experienced in dealing with.

For some patients, nasal steroids sprays such as Nasacort or Flonase can be helpful. Sometimes surgery is required when the polyps get severe. Unfortunately, even with surgical removal, polyps usually grow back. Some patients have had multiple surgeries yet polyps grow back. With each surgery, the risks of surgical complications go up.

In the last few years, newer approaches have become available. As the cause of polyps seems to be tied to type II inflammation, medications for

this allergic inflammation and asthma began to be explored as treatment for nasal polyps. Several medicines that had been previously FDA approved for asthma for example have now been shown to be effective for nasal polyps. The FDA has now approved several for polyp patients. At this time, Xolair, Nucala and Dupixent are available for chronic rhinosinusitis with nasal polyps. We have been administering some of these agents for asthma for two decades at The Allergy Clinic and thus are very experienced with their use.

If you are troubled with persistent nasal congestion or if you have asthma and are sensitive to aspirin/NSAIDs, or if you have been told you have nasal polyps, come see us for an evaluation. We can investigate to see if you indeed have nasal polyps and which treatment might benefit you.

No one nose allergies like we do.™

Note: Information contained in this article should not be considered a substitute for consultation with a board-certified allergist to address individual medical needs.

Anthony J. Weido, M.D., The Allergy Clinic, 7707 Fannin, Suite 100, Houston, Texas 77054, 713.797.0993, *1200 Binz, Suite 1400, Houston, Texas 77004, 713.522.9911, www.allergyclinic.com, *Operating as Houston Allergy and Asthma Clinic


Buzz About Town

Dinner and dancing with Houston Ballet

ham-cracker ice cream prepared by Fluff Bake Bar owner and pastry chef Rebecca Masson and first soloist Chandler Dalton

Miss River Oaks Teen USA

Kristy Bradshaw and Lindsey Brown (pictured, from left) were among the nearly 150 guests who enjoyed a four-course dinner at Bludorn for the Houston Ballet’s Raising the Barre event. The menu was created by four of Houston’s top chefs in collaboration with four Houston Ballet company dancers who served as sous chef for their dish. Dr. Liliana Soltero and Dr. Michael Hawkins, and Mitchell B. George and Stanley Curtis, Jr. chaired the event that raised more than $90,000 for Houston Ballet. Chef Hugo Ortega and Corps de Ballet dancer Rafaela Henrique created the first course, an artichoke and asparagus salad. Second course was an Alaskan king salmon sinigang with sour tamarind pork broth and chiles, created by Chef Chris Shepherd and demi soloist Syvert Garcia. Bludorn’s executive chef Aaron Bludorn worked with principal dancer Beckanne Sisk to create the entrée, veal tenderloin with English peas, morel mushrooms, and a savory veal jus. The meal concluded with a s’mores tart and gra-

Elle Millett (pictured) was named Miss River Oaks Teen USA, in a pageant associated with the Miss Universe system. She recently graduated from Texas Virtual Academy at Hallsville and will attend Vanderbilt University this fall, majoring in medicine, health, and society. The pageant experience has given her important life experiences, including interview skills and time management, and has also provided a way for her to promote awareness of dysautonomia. After a traumatic car crash, Elle was diagnosed with the autoimmune condition that disrupts the autonomic nervous system, which controls involuntary functions. She is working with Dysautonomia International to host Texas’ first 5k walk/run in Houston, to raise awareness of the condition.

Celebrating Chinquapin

Supporters of Chinquapin Preparatory School celebrated at The Revaire for the annual spring fundraiser, Planting Seeds for the Future, honoring the Peterson family. Rachael Volz and Lindsay Pearce (pictured, from left) were among the 360 guests who gathered to support the school’s mission of providing a college-preparatory education to low-income students. Event co-chairs Lindsay and Dan Pearce welcomed guests to The Revaire’s historic industrial space that was transformed into a glamour-filled venue with twinkling fairy lights and glittering chandeliers. Chinquapin, located east of downtown Houston, provides 6th-12th-grade students from under-resourced communities with a collegeprep education along with scholarships to cover the school’s tuition, transportation, and meals.

New beginnings

Aid to Victims of Domestic Abuse (AVDA) held its inaugural New Beginnings luncheon at the Junior League of Houston. Beth Wolff, Sippi Khurana, and Jenny Todd (pictured, from left) attended the first-time, sold-out event that raised more than $300,000 for domestic-abuse survivors, chaired by Sarah Barrett, Jessica Leeke, Alexis Smith, and Rachel Delaney. Emcee Courtney Zavala welcomed the crowd and introduced AVDA chief executive officer Maisha Colter, who gave an update on AVDA’s services. Maisha then introduced Ambassador of Advocacy honoree

(continued on page 58)

Corrine Akers Jenny Antill Photography Wilson Parish

Stephanie von Stein Schusterman, who is a member of the AVDA board of directors and a dedicated volunteer. The luncheon keynote speaker was former journalist and best-selling author Janine Latus, who shared her personal experience with domestic violence. At the end of the event, guests took home their own “new beginning” by creating a custom plant from Succulent Bar.

Houston’s crime-stopping heroes

Houstonians gathered to honor community members who contribute to public safety at the annual Crime Stoppers’ Houston’s Heroes awards luncheon at the Royal Sonesta Hotel. Courtney Zavala, Laura Ward, honoree Bill Balleza, Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg, and Crime Stoppers’ chief executive officer Rania Mankarious (pictured, from left) joined other supporters to raise more than $230,000 for public and school-safety programming and victims services. Board chairman Lindsay Aronstein addressed the crowd and then turned things over to mistress of ceremonies Courtney Zavala. The luncheon concluded with the presentation of the 2023 Dave Ward Excellence in Media award, given to retired KPRC anchor Bill

Celebrating cancer survivorship

More than 400 supporters attended CanCare’s HOPE Luncheon: Celebrating Cancer

Survivorship at River Oaks Country Club, including Ashley Dedmon, Stephanie and Frank Tsuru, and Darcie Wells (pictured, from left). The event, led by chair Stephanie Tsuru and her husband, honorary chair and cancer survivor Frank Tsuru, raised more than $425,000. Frank spoke about his own diagnosis and the importance of support groups like CanCare. Dr. Esmaeil Porsa, president and chief executive officer for Harris Health System, was named healthcare honoree; Roslyn Bazzelle Mitchell was named community honoree; and John L. Nau, III, chairman and chief executive officer of Silver Eagle Beverages, was named survivor honoree. Cancer survivor Frank Billingsley, KPRC, served as emcee and introduced guest speaker Ashley Dedmon, director of the National Breast Cancer Roundtable. The highlight of the event was the traditional candlelighting ceremony that filled the room with candles held by guests to remember loved ones impacted by cancer.

Books for development

Pulitzer-prize winning author and 1995 St. John’s School graduate Benjamin Moser (pictured) was the featured speaker at the Books for Development Lunch for World Literacy event held at the Junior League of Houston. The evening before the event, John and Linwood Olson hosted a meet-and-greet at their home. Ben spoke to the crowd of (continued on page 60)

Balleza, presented by Rania Mankarious and Laura Ward on Dave Ward’s behalf. (continued from page 56) Daniel Ortiz Daniel Ortiz Quy Tran Photography

more than 100 donors and volunteers about the resilience of books during the annual luncheon that supports Books for Development’s efforts to collect and ship books to countries in East Africa and Central and South America. Ben has won numerous awards for his books, including Why This World: A Biography of Clarice Lispector, a biography of the Brazilian novelist, and Sontag: Her Life and Work, a biography of American writer Susan Sontag. This fall, Ben will release a new biography on Dutch painter Johannes Vermeer.

VICTORY rally ball

each representing a different type of cancer. The evening raised $1.6 million for pediatric cancer initiatives in Greater Houston.

Hope for addiction and recovery

VICTORY Houston, an all-volunteer group working to fund local cancer research, held its first-ever Rally Ball at 713 Music Hall at the Post in downtown Houston. VICTORY Rally Ball co-chairs Elizabeth Fulghum, Stephanie Morris, and Melissa Hobbs (pictured, from left) coordinated the evening for more than 850 supporters. KPRC meteorologist Frank Billingsley led the pop-art themed evening as master of ceremonies, while guests enjoyed Las Vegas-style gaming, tequila and whiskey tastings, and music by Yacht Rock Revue and Disco Expressions. Auctioneer Johnny “Bravo” Holloway, donning a gold sequined jacket, engaged the crowd during the live auction. Supporters viewed the unique tribute wall made of colored ribbons,

The Menninger Clinic hosted its annual Signature Luncheon at the Hilton Houston Post Oak. Event co-chair Susie Peake, keynote speaker Ryan Leaf, event co-chair Poppi Massey, and Menninger president and chief executive officer Armando Colombo (pictured, from left) joined other supporters at the event that raised $375,000 to help establish the new Center for Addiction Medicine and Recovery at the Menninger Clinic. Peake and Massey welcomed guests who listened to Ryan Leaf, a former college and professional football player, who left the professional sports world due to mental illness and addiction. Leaf shared his experiences and road to recovery. This year’s luncheon honored Archway Academy, a sober high school for students in recovery, and executive director Sasha Coles accepted the award on behalf of the school. Supporters also heard from Menninger’s Colombo and Dr. Daryl Shorter, medical director of addiction services, about the latest advancements in addiction treatment.

Houston Symphony’s big night

This year’s Houston Symphony Wine Dinner and Collector’s Auction was its most successful event to date, raising more than $1,120,000 for education and community-engagement initia-

tives. Houston Symphony executive director and chief executive officer John Mangum, event chair Bobbie Nau, and wine auction chair Bob Weiner (pictured, from left) joined supporters for the sold-out event at Jones Hall. More than 300 guests sampled a variety of rare wines and

spirits during the silent auction and had the chance to bid on wine lots displayed in the foyer. Guests were then seated for the multicourse meal, with each course accompanied by a specially selected wine.

Be seen in Buzz About Town. Send your high-res photos and community news to info@thebuzzmagazines.com. Items are published on a space-available basis. Also share your upcoming-event listings on thebuzzmagazines.com.

(continued from page 58) Priscilla Dickson Wilson Parish Daniel Ortiz

Back Porch

AC Wars: The hot and cold of it

There’s a war going on at Deanna and Steve Sheaffer’s house. Both parties in the otherwise happily married couple –plus their four boys – will tell you it’s a problem: Nobody can agree on what temperature constitutes comfort.

“It’s a huge battle at our house,” says Deanna, who is the strategic gifts manager for the nonprofit Families Empowered. “This has been a battle our whole lives. It’s the bill – Steve pays it.” Steve, chief customer officer for a consulting company, thinks the AC ideally should be kept at a steady 74 or 75 degrees. Deanna and the boys, ages 23, 21, 19, and 13, disagree.

“We have two stories,” Deanna says. “The kids’ bedrooms are upstairs and ours is downstairs. The boys turn the AC down, and my husband goes up and turns it up. They turn it down, and he turns it up. It’s ongoing.

“When we have guests – my mom used to travel to town and stay with us, although now she lives here – she’d say, ‘Please make sure the air is low’ before she came, and I’d tell Steve, ‘We have guests in the house, we have to keep it cooler.’ He’d begrudgingly turn it down.” But the cooler temps would be short-lived, and the war would continue. At one point, Steve thought he had won.

“My husband thought he got smart a couple of years ago, and he got the control on the phone and locked us out. But then I’m a menopausal woman and would get hot and he would give me the code to turn it down. And then the kids would complain, and I’d get tired of listening, and I’d say, ‘Just go do it yourselves, here’s the code.’” Once again, Steve would have to change the code to regain control.

“During the freeze, our pipes burst, and one burst on our bed,” Deanna says. “So we went shopping, and Mattress Mac doubled our budget because they had one of those mattresses – there are a lot of different models – that are supposed to cool one side of the bed at night.” The Sheaffers bit. “I don’t even know if it works, but if you had told me the mattress would clean my kitchen sink I would have bought it. I would have bought anything that promised to make it cooler!”

In all the back-and-forth, Steve has given up.

Almost. “When I’m in the house, it’s 68 at night,” Deanna says. “He brings it up to like 74 during the day.”

Wars over the AC are not unique to the Sheaffer family. Heather Kearney, who lives part-time in Crested Butte, Colo. with her husband Wayne, says, “We’ve got God’s air conditioning up in Colorado in summer. I like it really cold at night, so Wayne is always freezing. I’ve got the window open in our bedroom, and it gets down into the 40s. Wayne has been known to sleep with a ski hat on his head.”

We wondered if the Kearneys’ battle is longlived. “It’s just the last few years,” Heather says. “I’m 55. Enough said.”

Another husband in his early 80s, married for almost 60 years, stands in solidarity with Wayne. But he knows he isn’t going to win the battle: “I guess I am always going to be cold and probably just need to start wearing long johns to bed in the summertime,” he laments.

And yet another couple says, “I keep our AC on so cold my husband says the wooden windows

are going to rot from the inside out.”

“Do any spouses agree on thermostat settings?” wonders Kathryn Rabinow. “During the hot days in Houston I casually walk by the thermostats and ‘happen to brush against them’ and lower them by a few degrees. If the numbers are not noticed on the thermostat screen, then everyone is fine with the ambient temperature. But, if the numbers are noticed, then ‘dear spouse’ raises the settings to the high 70s. In the winter, I prefer the thermostat to be set lower than my husband, so the wars continue. I wonder what all that means? Am I just ‘cooler’ than he is? Or is it the other way around?”

The Sheaffers have turned the war into a family joke. Last year, the boys gave Steve a t-shirt for Father’s Day that reads, “Thermostat Police.” He wore it with a smile.

“When we’re not in the house, I feel bad for my kids,” Deanna says. “I think Steve sets it differently when we aren’t there. You know, he changes the code from time to time. So when we’re gone, I just wait for the call saying, ‘We need air!’”

HOT AND COLD There’s a not-so-silent war going on over the temperature in many homes.

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