Posts by Michelle Saunders

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    • Michelle Saunders
    • Assistant Editor
    • Michelle is a graduate of the University of North Texas. She joined Park Cities People after an internship with its parent company, D Magazine. In her spare time she enjoys taking perfectly tasty recipes and health-ifying them, sometimes with dubious results.
  • Carrell Family Doctors Loved Pediatrics

    John G. Birch, assistant chief of staff at Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children, consults with patient Geraldine Solorzano. W.B. Carrell (top) and Brandon Carrell were the first chiefs of staff.

    John G. Birch, assistant chief of staff at Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children, consults with patient Geraldine Solorzano. W.B. Carrell (top) and Brandon Carrell were the first chiefs of staff.

    W.B. Carrell began to think about becoming an orthopedic surgeon while serving on the battlefield during the first World War. With the introduction of modern warfare and weapons of mass destruction came an onslaught of previously unseen afflictions.

    “The injuries that he observed inspired him,” said Carrell’s granddaughter, Helen Mann. “Warfare in World War I was completely different, and he saw all kinds of shattered bones from bullets, dismembered arms and legs, and physical deformities.”

    At around the same time, the polio epidemic was becoming more widespread, and Carrell, a kind-hearted physician with an interest in children with orthopedic deformities, wanted to help.

    There was just one problem.

    In the early 1900s, orthopedics — the branch of medicine that focuses on injuries or disorders of the skeletal system — didn’t exactly exist.

    “For a long time, there wasn’t any surgery for scoliosis or skeletal deformities,” said orthopedic surgeon Dan Cooper, a Carrell Clinic partner who happens to be the Dallas Cowboys’ team doctor. “There was a big need.”

    In fact, much of the development of modern orthopedics is a direct result of WWI surgeons’ experiences.

    Never one to be daunted, Carrell — who was widely considered to be “Dallas’ first orthopedic surgeon” — and partner Percy M. Girard established a clinic on Maple Avenue.

    Carrell wanted to do more, however, so when a group of Texas Masons approached him about providing free care for children with polio, he quickly became the driving force behind the campaign.

    What is known today as Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children was chartered in 1921, with Carrell initially treating patients from near and far in his clinic. But just one year later, the hospital had treated 500 patients with 1,000 more on a waiting list.

    With word continuing to spread, a larger facility was imperative, and Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Crippled Children was built adjacent to Carrell’s original clinic.

    “People came from far and wide to get to the clinic,” Cooper said. “It was the first orthopedic surgery group established west of the Mississippi River.”

    Carrell, who served as Scottish Rite’s first chief of staff, treated children at the hospital and his clinic until his death in 1944.

    “He became partially ill, so he just moved into an apartment above the clinic so that he could still see his patients,” Mann said.

    Following in his father’s footsteps, Carrell’s son, Brandon, became Scottish Rite’s second chief of staff. It was truly a family affair, with father and son spending countless hours working side-by-side at both the clinic and the hospital.

    “They practiced togeth-er, and, at the time, the physicians at the Carrell Clinic all volunteered at Scottish Rite,” Mann said. “It was a very close association in those days.”

    Almost a century after the hospital’s founding, Carrell’s legacy lives on.

    “Carrell was a real lead-er in the community,” said J.C. Montgomery Jr., Scottish Rite Hospital’s president emeritus. “He was the only orthopedic surgeon in Dallas, and a real visionary.”

    While Montgomery never knew W.B., he said that he imagines that he was like his son, who also continued to serve the hospital in an active role until his death, in 1981.

    “Dr. Brandon Carrell was one of the most unassuming men I’ve ever met,” Montgomery said. “He absolutely loved working with kids, and they loved him.”

    Mann said her father and grandfather had similar personalities and were both known for their tender, thorough care and devotion to their patients.

    “Although my grandfather had his private practice, his main love was treating the orthopedic deformities of the children at Scottish Rite,” Mann said. “I’m very proud that his reputation as a very gentle, compassionate physician has continued for all these years.”

    By Michelle Saunders Aug. 30, 2013 | 2:24 pm | No Comments | Comments RSS
  • Terry Turned Her Life Around By Starting to Sell Real Estate

    Ellen Terry says spending time with her children and grandchildren is among her favorite pastimes. (Photo: Ellen Terry)

    Ellen Terry says spending time with her children and grandchildren is among her favorite pastimes. (Photo: Ellen Terry)

    Ellen Terry will never forget the afternoon that changed her life forever.

    She was hosting a meeting for the Junior League of Dallas when her doorbell rang. But instead of a late member, a tow-truck driver stood on her front stoop and informed her that he was repossessing her Mercedes.

    “I was in total shock,” Terry said. “I had absolutely no idea that we couldn’t afford the lifestyle that we were living.”

    The family was forced to move immediately into a modest cottage, but after confronting her former husband, she discovered that things were much worse than she had expected. So she sent her two kids to live with grandparents and gave up a Highland Park home for an efficiency.

    “It was a great leveler for me,” Terry said. “I thought that I was just going to raise my children, but suddenly I had to find a career.”

    The former Hockaday teacher worked for a travel agency for a year, but struggled to make ends meet before deciding to try her hand at selling homes. Her first commission came from an unlikely-but-familiar source.

    “I was waiting at a red light in my 12-year-old army green vehicle, when a former student pulled up next to me in a 500 SL Mercedes,” Terry said. “She pushed a button to roll her window down, and I had to crank mine down by hand.”

    Terry told the student she was entering the real estate market and asked if she knew anyone looking to buy. As it turns out, the student needed a place to live, and Terry sold the woman her first house — fewer than 30 days after Terry entered the business.

    Her second sale was to the couple who had vacated the first residence, with Terry making $25,000 commission in her first month. The rest, as they say, is history.

    In 1979, Terry opened a firm with Bettie Abio and Lynda Adleta, just three years after she entered the industry. Two years later, Terry formed her own company, Ellen Terry Realtors, and left selling to manage her business.

    Every summer, Ellen Terry gets a little rest and relaxation in California, where she rents a house and entertains old friends. (Photo: Ellen Terry)

    Every summer, Ellen Terry gets a little rest and relaxation in
    California, where she rents a house and entertains old friends. (Photo: Ellen Terry)

    She grew her firm to 50 employees before joining forces in 1995 with real-estate maven Ebby Halliday. The union, known as “the best of the big join[ing] with the best of the boutique,” allowed Terry to return to her true passion: selling.

    “I was so happy to get back into the sales world,” Terry said. “To sell real estate makes my socks roll up and down.”

    Halliday, Terry’s personal mentor, said she holds her in the “highest esteem,” citing her work ethic and quality as “top of my list.”

    Terry, who said her firm has sold more than $5.5 billion in her 37 years in the industry, joined forces in 2011 with Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s International Realty, where she serves as the executive vice president.

    More important to her than her sales figures, however, are her philanthropic efforts. Over the years, she’s given back to numerous causes and organizations, including CASA, Genesis Women’s Shelter, the Family Place, and the Suicide and Crisis Center of North Texas. She’s a sustaining member of the Junior League of Dallas as well as the Crystal Charity Ball Committee, and she’s received countless honors and awards for her efforts.

    “Helping people has always been important to me,” Terry said. “I had a lot of people who were very good to me, and I believe that we need to be very giving to our communities.”

    Camille Brennan, a vice president of Briggs Freeman, said Terry’s accomplishments are more lengthy than she’ll admit.

    “Ellen has done so much in this industry, and for so many people,” Brennan said. “But she’s very modest; you won’t hear her singing her own praises.”

    Though it would take pages to recount Terry’s career, her longevity as a Realtor can be summed up quite simply, Terry said:

    “I love people, and I love pretty houses.”

    By Michelle Saunders Aug. 2, 2013 | 6:15 am | No Comments | Comments RSS
  • You Decide: Home Intruder or Just Confused?

    Yesterday I was forwarded an email from a concerned UP resident who wanted to let neighbors know about an alleged home intrusion that took place on her block. The tipster said that at around 2 p.m. on Sunday, she noticed several police cars a couple of houses down. Apparently, a well-dressed young black man had walked into the home through the unlocked front gate. The wife was in the shower, and the husband, who was in the pool with the baby, saw him walk by a window. According to the email, the man then walked outside and calmly asked the husband how to get out of the gate/house. Because the husband thought the man might have been a contractor, he was not initially alarmed.

    The tipster also said that police said there is a group of home intruders who have been targeting unlocked homes. Supposedly, one man walks into a home and if it is empty, he calls his buddies who are waiting nearby.

    When I asked the UPPD to confirm this incident, they said that it had been cleared as a “no report.”

    The file they sent said that upon investigation, they were told that the man had been on their front porch, and that while the husband did let him through the front porch gate, no one saw him inside the house.

    The report goes on to say that “The husband was not concerned and believes he was just at the wrong house.”

    They are also unaware of any group targeting unlocked homes.

    I’ll let you decide which account to believe, but in the meantime … lock your doors!

    By Michelle Saunders Jul. 30, 2013 | 3:44 pm | No Comments | Comments RSS
  • West Nile Virus Detected in HP; Spraying Ensues

    Spraying will occur tonight and Sunday, in quadrants C and D. (Photo: Town of Highland Park)

    Spraying will occur tonight and Sunday, in quadrants C and D. (Photo: Town of Highland Park)

    According to a press release sent by Sgt. Koppa, the Dallas County Health and Human Services department has confirmed a positive test for West Nile Virus from a mosquito sample taken from the east side of Highland Park. Consequently, the town will be spraying the ground in the areas east of Preston Road to the town’s limits. Spraying, which begins at 10 p.m. and wraps up by 6 a.m., began last night and will happen again tonight, as well as Sunday. Quadrants C and D on the above map will be sprayed.

    I’ve embedded the full release, which encourages residents to be mindful of stagnant water, below. Read More…

    By Michelle Saunders Jul. 26, 2013 | 2:45 pm | 1 Comment | Comments RSS
  • Centenarian, Fitness Enthusiast Shares Secrets to Lengthy Life

    Joe Weaver, a 100-year-old resident at Edgemere, says growing up on a farm helped keep him in shape, but he credits the Cooper Fitness Center for helping him realize the importance of cardiovascular health. (Staff photo: Kellie Spano)

    Joe Weaver, a 100-year-old resident at Edgemere, says growing up on a farm helped keep him in shape, but he credits the Cooper Fitness Center for helping him realize the importance of cardiovascular health. (Staff photo: Kellie Spano)

    For most people, retirement and the onset of old age signify a time to become less active. But Edgemere retirement-community resident Joe Weaver, who turned 100 on Tuesday, doesn’t believe in slowing down or making excuses.

    So what does he attribute to his longevity? Weaver says that a healthy diet, active lifestyle, and strong faith are his secrets, along with good genes.

    He begins every day with 30 minutes of floor exercises, works out three times a week in the community’s gym, and does water aerobics twice a week. Breakfast every morning is a bowl of oatmeal — even when he dines out.

    “I’ve been eating oatmeal since my childhood, when we ordered it from Sears in big 15-pound bags,” Weaver said. “Oatmeal is like a drink of water to me.”

    Growing up on a farm in Alabama, Weaver was always active, but he cites Dr. Kenneth H. Cooper with inspiring his devotion to aerobics. After retiring in 1978 and moving to Dallas, Weaver joined Cooper Fitness Center and helped develop a seniors program. While at Cooper, he became “hooked on Tai Chi,” and spent years perfecting the martial-arts practice he would later teach to his peers.

    Calling septuagenarians “youngsters,” Weaver said that physical fitness is possible at any age, as long as one remains disciplined and determined.

    “Sometimes people get to be about 75 years old, and they think it’s too late for them to start or try to get strong,” Weaver said. “But it’s not — if they have a positive attitude and stay committed, they’ll be surprised to see the progress they make.”

    When Weaver moved to Edgemere more than a decade ago, one of his first tasks was becoming the fitness chairman, said Edgemere’s lifestyles director, Lorraine Kendrick-Rose. Shortly after, at the age of 88, he started a Tai Chi club and taught a large class for almost eight years, until neuropathy forced him to give up the practice.

    Since he could no longer stand for extended periods of time, Weaver started an aquatic-fitness class that he led for a couple of years; he still gives lessons to a few residents.

    “The main thing about Mr. Weaver is he does not quit,” Kendrick-Rose chuckled. “Go-ers don’t ever retire.”

    Most recently, Weaver founded the “90 Plus Club,” for “any resident willing to admit they’re 90 or above,” Weaver said with a wink. Believing that keeping the mind active and fostering relationships is just as important as physical health, Weaver is thinking about also starting a Scrabble club in the fall.

    “I’m a highly motivated guy, and I like to share any abilities I have with others,” Weaver said. “I’m a people person, and I try to reach out and meet new residents. The connection just happens.”

    Always striving to lead by example, Weaver inspires his peers in a subtle and unassuming way, Kendrick-Rose said.

    “Joe’s attitude is one of helping other people,” said Kendrick-Rose. “He motivates people in a very kind way, but he doesn’t let anyone give up — he expects the best of you.”

    Weaver, who will celebrate his birthday with two parties, said that he has “a million friends,” who have played a large part in his life. Ever the optimist, Weaver plans to repeat the party in five years. If not, he jokes, he can be contacted at weaver.spirit716.heaven.    

    By Michelle Saunders Jul. 20, 2013 | 10:00 am | No Comments | Comments RSS
  • Puppy’s Owner Says They Were Maced by Personal Trainer

    Stephanie Reiter says she and her 5-month-old golden retriever, Finn, were maced in Lee Park by a personal trainer. (Staff photo: Chris McGathey)

    Stephanie Reiter says she and her 5-month-old golden retriever, Finn, were maced in Lee Park by a personal trainer. (Staff photo: Chris McGathey)

    When Stephanie Reiter headed to Lee Park on June 5 for an evening of fun with her puppy, she never expected they’d get maced. But that’s what she says happened after Finn, a 5-month-old golden retriever, slipped away from her and ran toward a personal trainer.

    The trainer, Whitney Golston of Camp Gladiator, had placed an orange cone about 15 feet away from where Reiter was standing, and Finn, who is being trained for hunting, got excited when he saw it, Reiter said.

    “She came over with this little cone … and as he’s clumsily running at her, she yells at me, ‘I’m going to mace your dog!’ ” Reiter said. “But he was just sniffing the cone … he didn’t even jump up on her.”

    Reiter was right on the heels of her puppy, and had almost caught up to him when the macing began, she said.

    “I had my hands right behind his front legs … but she was in a dominant position when she was doing it, leaning over him, spraying him. I have very severe panic disorder, so in the process of me having a full-blown panic attack, I didn’t realize that I was maced as well.”

    Golston declined to comment, but Amy Pylant, Camp Gladiator’s divisional vice president, said the situation was an isolated incident, and that the camp understands Golston’s actions.

    “There have been multiple instances of aggressive animals at the park, and that particular trainer had been attacked in the past and had felt attacked in that instance,” Pylant said.

    Following the incident, the camp, which has won multiple awards for its training programs, opted to permanently remove itself from Lee Park.

    “We did recognize that this was not a good situation on either side,” Pylant said, adding that Camp Gladiator trainers are “absolutely dog-friendly.”

    Because Lee Park is a public park, dogs are required to remain on leashes, per several signs there.

    Golston — who “is extremely uncomfortable around dogs not on a leash,” Pylant said — had expressed concern about the rule not being followed to Gay Donnell, the president and CEO of the Lee Park and Arlington Hall Conservancy, Pylant said.

    “Since November of last year, Whitney had reached out to Gay on several occasions, asking that security be aware of the dogs off the leash at Lee Park, and Gay had sent security out several times,” Pylant said.

    While the conservancy oversees the care and maintenance of Lee Park, because it’s Dallas parkland, it’s the city’s responsibility to reinforce the rule, Donnell said.

    “We have signs posted all over the park,” Donnell said. “So when Whitney would inform me of this, I would inform the city. … We have an agreement with the city; we take care of it, and the enforcement of ordinances is still up to the city.”

    Donnell also said that, to her knowledge, there has never been an incident involving a boot camp and a dog in the park. She also said that she does not have any issues with Camp Gladiator.

    “They have been very good partners,” Donnell said. “They have been supportive of the conservancy, so I think that they just arrived at [the decision to leave] internally, as their best course of action.”

    Following the incident, both Reiter and Finn went to an emergency room, where they were treated for their swollen eyes and immediate reactions. She also filed a police report, but the charges have since been dropped, she said.

    And even though it’s been almost a month, she and Finn are still recovering from the incident.

    “I’m still on medicated eye drops because my eyes dry up and burn,” Reiter said. “My eyes are still so dry from the reaction.”

    She’s more concerned about Finn, however. She said he has only recently overcome his fear of going outside.

    “The hard part with dogs is they don’t get it — they don’t know why,” Reiter said. “He can’t understand. He doesn’t know what things he can and can’t do to avoid that being the reaction. But hopefully he’s young enough that the brain will reset, but as of now, it’s not quite there yet.”

    By Michelle Saunders Jul. 3, 2013 | 3:35 pm | 10 Comments | Comments RSS
  • Park Cities YMCA to Host Kids Triathlon Sunday

    It’s too late to register your kids, but you can still show up to cheer on budding athletes at a triathlon solely for pint-sized participants Sunday.

    The run begins at 7 a.m. at the Park Cities YMCA, and the course is as follows:

    • Ages 6-10: 100-yard pool swim, 5k bike ride, 1k run
    • Ages 11-14: 200-yard pool swim, 10k bike ride, 2k run

    A full schedule can be viewed here.

    By Michelle Saunders Jun. 28, 2013 | 3:05 pm | No Comments | Comments RSS
  • Komali’s Executive Chef Organizes Aid for Moore

    Anastacia Quinones with 6-month-old daughter, Isabella

    Anastacia Quinones with 6-month-old daughter, Isabella

    It’s been more than a month since the tornadoes hit Moore, Oklahoma, and although the city is no longer on every front page, the people who live there are still trying to slowly rebuild their lives. Donations and assistance are still greatly needed, and it’s heartwarming to see the community stepping up to help out.

    Komali, of the award-winning margaritas, is offering anyone bringing much-needed baby supplies (think diapers, wipes, formula, baby bottles, blankets, or teddy bears) 25% off their lunch ticket for up to four guests (tax, tip, and alcoholic beverages not included).

    Of course, cash donations are welcome too, and the special runs through August.

    Komali’s executive chef, Anastacia Quinones, worked with owner and chef Abraham Salum to devise a plan of action.

    “When I heard the babies in Moore, Ok., were in desperate need of diapers, wipes, formula and even teddy bears to hug at night, I felt the intense obligation to help, seeing that my daughter has all those things and I couldn’t imagine not being able to provide that to her,” Quinones said.

    Don’t forget to bring those baby items by on your next lunch break.

    By Michelle Saunders Jun. 28, 2013 | 10:00 am | No Comments | Comments RSS
  • Serial Entrepreneur Covers Top of Head to Tail

    Tomima Edmark marketed the Topsy Tail to revenues of $150 million before penning a dozen books, inventing a couple of products, and launching two online lingerie retail sites. She says her journey has been “a path no one else would take.” (Staff photo: Chris McGathey)

    Tomima Edmark marketed the Topsy Tail to revenues of $150 million before penning a dozen books, inventing a couple of products, and launching two online lingerie retail sites. She says her journey has been “a path no one else would take.” (Staff photo: Chris McGathey)

    sidebar2Take a look at Tomima Edmark’s résumé and you’re likely to get intimidated just a few lines in. After graduating with an MBA from the University of Texas, the petite blonde got her start working at IBM. She logged more than eight years at the tech superpower — and started her first business while working full time.

    Inventor of the ’90s cult hairstyling tool known as the Topsy Tail, Edmark used her weekends and lunch breaks to fill orders and grow her business. And her dedication paid off; it wasn’t long before her side project was bringing in an extra $3,000 a month. She eventually left IBM and made millions on her invention before selling the rights to hair-care empire Vidal Sassoon.

    Her early success came as no small surprise to those around her, although they’d be loathe to admit it. Edmark, who struggled with dyslexia and attention-deficit disorder growing up, said no one had any expectations for her.

    “I was kind of like the wallpaper,” Edmark said. “Nice, but I didn’t stand out.”

    And despite the success of her first venture, Edmark said she still felt like she had something to prove.

    “I worried about being a one-hit wonder,” Edmark admitted. “But I had all of these ideas, and I knew there was more for me.”

    So she wrote 12 books and invented a couple of other products — including a machine that used low-grade electricity to enhance the kissing experience — before settling into her latest and greatest venture: online retail.

    After experiencing firsthand the fickle nature of fads and trends, and after having her products knocked off, Edmark was looking for a way to create a sustainable enterprise.

    “I really wanted to build a business, an ongoing annuity that couldn’t be stolen,” Edmark said.

    The owner of Her Room, which Edmark confidently claims is “the top online lingerie retailer based on revenue,” she has made it her mission to transform undergarment shopping from a troublesome-but-necessary experience into an enjoyable one.

    “I didn’t want to just be another retailer,” Edmark said. “Success is not just about chasing a profit. I really want women to understand their breasts and learn to love their bodies, and the proper undergarments can help them do that.”

    Guys are not excluded either; Edmark launched Her Room’s male counterpart, His Room, after realizing that the lack of online options extended to both sexes.

    And while His Room is “just a baby compared to Her Room,” it continues to grow, Edmark said. Between the two sites, she offers more than 800 brands as well as tools, tips, and personal-shopping assistance to make the process as streamlined and enjoyable as possible.

    Following up one successful start-up with another is difficult, said Jackie Kimzey, executive director of the Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at UT Dallas.

    “Everything you touch doesn’t turn to gold,” said Kimzey, who started a wireless company and grew it to around 1,400 employees before selling it. “When you’re starting a business, you get a lot of scar tissue, and that kind of teaches you what you shouldn’t do in the future. … But just because you’re successful once doesn’t mean you’ll be successful again.”

    Don’t expect Edmark to occupy a posh corner office far-removed from her staff and customers — that’s the kind of behavior she shied away from in the corporate world.

    “I learned a lot of lessons at IBM,” Edmark said. “My employees see me working, and I wouldn’t ask them to do anything I wouldn’t do myself.”

    Staying in touch with customers is also imperative, Edmark said, and the reason why she reads 10 percent of the customer-service emails received daily and sometimes responds to them herself — under a different name, of course.

    So what’s on the horizon for the serial entrepreneur? Although Edmark still gets asked what business she’ll start next, she said that she’s satisfied with her online-retail shops.

    “I think this is my last hurrah,” Edmark said. “Now I know that I’m not a one-hit wonder, and I want to continue to build my company.”

    By Michelle Saunders Jun. 21, 2013 | 2:30 pm | 1 Comment | Comments RSS
  • Catch ‘Madagascar 3’ at Shops at Park Lane

    Today's the official first day of summer, and these guys have the right idea. (Photo: High Def Disc News)

    Today’s the official first day of summer, and these guys have the right idea. (Photo: High Def Disc News)

    Sure, you could take your youngsters to Monsters University, which opens tonight. But lines will probably be long, theaters crowded, and the air conditioning too cold (or maybe that’s just me), so why not wait a few days and catch a free movie under the stars instead? Summer is officially upon us, and while yes — it is hot — by evening, it shouldn’t be unpleasant. The fun starts at 8:30 p.m. im the park across from Bowl & Barrel at the Shops at Park Lane. Popcorn  will be available for $1 per bag with soft drinks and more adult snacks  provided by Gordon Biersch (think real food, beer, and wine) for sale.

    By Michelle Saunders Jun. 21, 2013 | 2:08 pm | No Comments | Comments RSS
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