Fort Worth Blogs
Tristan & Isolde by Richard Wagner
Winspear Opera House, Dallas, Texas February 16, 19, 22, 25
Review by Dean M. Cassella, Ph.D.
This, dear readers, has been the one I have been waiting for. Tristan was the first opera I ever saw live, as a wee undergraduate music major back in 1987. Although I could scarcely claim to have understood the work in all its brilliant complexity, I nonetheless found the experience overwhelming. I felt as if I had been swept into an ecstatic vortex of sound that left me feeling giddy for days following the performance. I remember thinking “if this is what it means to be a Wagnerian, I want in.”
This new production of Wagner’s “monument to perfect love” (as the composer himself put it) is the first time I have seen it performed live since. I approached it with high hopes, as well as a touch of trepidation: In the near-quarter century since I first heard Tristan live, had I fetishized the work in my mind to a level that it could not actually reach? Passions run very high when it comes to Wagner, with advocates such as the novelist Thomas Mann claiming that spending a week seeing The Ring Cycle is the equivalent of a year in psychotherapy, and detractors condemning the composer for deliberately trying to destroy Western Civilization with his music.
In the final analysis, I must conclude that the work delivers on almost everything it promises. TDO’s new production is a musical beauty. It includes a fabulous cast that creates an enormous amount of vocal magic onstage.
I first discovered that TDO was doing Tristan almost two years ago when, at the premiere of Jake Heggie’s Moby Dick, I was randomly seated next to Maestro Graeme Jenkins. As Jenkins waxed poetic about the new Winspear Opera House, the first question out of my mouth was “When are you going to do Tristan?”
“2012” was his simple reply—and I had been on tenterhooks ever since. As could be expected, Jenkins did a wonderful job of bringing out all of the endlessly beautiful and complex harmonies and orchestration from start to finish—orchestration, by the way, which cannot be heard on any recording; you have to be there to hear it.
Tristan does not get performed that often in North America (TDO has not done it in 40 years). The reason is that there are so few singers that can handle the two lead roles, which require enormous power sustained over a 4 ½ hour performance. In particular, it demands a Heldentenor (heroic tenor) who can virtually carry the whole third act on his own, after singing over a relentlessly loud and aggressive orchestral score in Acts I and II.
Tenor Clifton Forbis sings a deeply introspective Tristan, and one can sense sweet overtones in a voice that delivers the wallop needed for the role. As an interesting aside, Forbis is now the Chair of the Voice Program at Southern Methodist University, making him a local son of sorts. I, for one, would sure love to drive down from UNT after a day of teaching, belt out the lead role in a Wagner opera, and then drive home to get some sleep!
Soprano Jeanne-Michèle Charbonnet demonstrates her power and grace from the first scene. There is a lovely tension in her voice, which conveys the sense that something is in danger of exploding inside her. Perfectly matched to her is mezzo-soprano Mary Phillips, who plays Brangäne, Isolde’s handmaiden. At times, their voices blend so perfectly, that they almost sound like soprano and mezzo-soprano versions of each other. This works to wonderful effect throughout Act I.
Icelandic basso Kristinn Sigmundsson could easily have stolen the show if the principals were not so fine. He has a heavenly delivery, with a warm, double-reed type overtone in his voice that beautifully drives home the pathos inherent in the role of King Marke who, through no fault of his own, is doubly betrayed by the adulterous couple.
This production was originally scheduled to be a recital concert with animated projections. But in the eleventh-hour, Crow Holdings and TDO’s “Chariman’s Circle” came through with funding to do a minimalist theatrical production. This proved to be an enormous boon, as Tristan lends itself well to such a treatment. If anything, minimalism has been the order of the day with this work since Wieland Wagner, the composer’s grandson, launched his first series of abstract stagings at Bayreuth in the 1950’s. Overall, the sets and stage direction, ably handled by Christian Räth, contribute substantially to this production, and provide just enough visual interest to round out a work that does not require much beyond the music.
The sets predominantly consist of movable screens. In this, they seem to owe much of their inspiration to the version of Tristan available on DVD from the Metropolitan Opera starring Ben Heppner and Jane Eaglen. This includes the swelling up of red lights when the doomed lovers first drink the love potion that sets them on the course of their sublimation/demise. It is a natural and sensible effect.
Act I, which takes place on Tristan’s ship, as it conveys the Irish princess Isolde to her groom, King Marke, lends itself particularly well to the screens, which serve as faux sails. In Act II they serve to provide the viewer with the sense of being in a dark forest. This beautifully compliments the cocoon-like induced trance for which the score is famed.
When the trance is broken—by King Marke and his retinue catching the hapless couple in flagrante delicto— it feels like being awoken from the sweetest dream of your life by IRS agents pounding at your door. The projections illustrate this with an expanding full moon that, at the final moment, bursts into an exploding sun. It is perhaps a bit overwrought, but one can hardly care, in the face of such overwhelming music. Philosopher and music writer Bryan McGee once suggested that the best way to experience Tristan is to do so with one’s back to the stage, eyes closed; if you naturally respond to the music as it was intended, you may find it hard to keep your eyes open, anyway.
Act III takes place on a skiff marooned on a beach. The projections cleverly create the effect of ocean waves rolling right past the singers and pouring into the orchestra pit.
In sum, this production is excellent. One can only it hope that it does not take another generation to pass by before we may hear Tristan again in the Metroplex.
Margo and Bill Winspear Opera House, Dallas, February 11, 13, 16, 19, 25, 27, 2011
Review by Dean Cassella, Ph.D.
TDO’s third offering this season is French Romantic Charles Gounod’s popular Romeo and Juliet. This production is well worth seeing and could serve well as an introduction to the world of opera. Although the general advice is to start off opera neophytes with works from the Italian repertoire, a genuinely noteworthy exception would have to be Bizet’s Carmen. Since that work falls squarely in the late-Romantic camp, which includes lush, recognizable melodies and a lurid subject matter, the beginning opera listener can easily warm up to it. Gounod’s Romeo and Juliet could easily stand in for Carmen on this account (sans the lurid subject matter). The music sounds like a cross between Bizet and Verdi, and is extremely accessible and at times the melodies are strikingly memorable. The story, which is drawn from the Shakespeare play, is a perennial favorite with which most high school and college age students are familiar. Consequently, listeners in these categories can follow the libretto without much ado.
Veteran Shakespeare director Michael Kahn made a very smart move in visually presenting, during the Prelude, the moment at which the Capulet and Montague families discover their dead progeny in the Capulet tomb. This creates a tragic overtone to the cheery optimism of the first acts, and also creates an effective ring composition of sorts with the last scene, wherein Romeo and Juliet die together. Since the opera ends at that dramatic high point, the final scene of the Shakespeare play would be otherwise missing. Yet in a sense we have it here.
Without question it is the two lead roles that drive the work, and TDO’s choices are clearly up to the challenge. New York tenor Charles Castronovo and Russian soprano Lyubov Petrova prove to be near ideal as the star-crossed teen lovers.
Both possess very powerful and graceful voices that are up to the task of carrying over the exuberant conducting of Marco Zambelli (see below). In addition, they are both youthful and attractive enough not to cause suspicious glances among some members of the audience. This works especially well at the beginning of Act IV, the “morning after” scene in Juliet’s bedroom, wherein the audience is treated to—or subjected to, depending on how one perceives such things (!)—the couple’s post coital bliss that comes close in spirit (if not in technical practice) to naked opera.
The costumes and sets, staying squarely within an early Italian Renaissance vein, are extremely effective in evoking the period in which the story takes place (i.e., fourteenth-century Verona). The mock-ups could easily pass for fifteenth-century Italian church architecture (especially the work of Brunelleschi in Florence–if you have been there, you will know what I mean). The set for Act II, i.e., the “balcony” scene, has to be one of the most beautiful in recent memory, and richly conveys a romantic ambience, with ivy literally overrunning the walls. Petrova and Castronovo are really at their best in this act, and beautifully interpret the requisite duets.
Genovese conductor Marco Zambelli makes a fabulous debut with TDO here, and brings an assertive power to the orchestra, while still ably handling the light touches that are a characteristic of French Romantic opera (ala Bizet). Let us hope that we see more of him in the future.
All in all, this is a thoroughly decent and all around satisfying production. My eleven year old daughter accompanied me to the show. She enjoyed it a lot, especially the acting ability of the two leads whom, she felt, effectively conveyed the personalities of their characters. She did say, however, that she enjoyed Don Giovanni at the beginning of the season better—but perhaps an eleven year old is bound to say that, isn’t she?
Next up: Verdi’s Rigoletto (one of my personal favorites!)
Roger Waters: The Wall Live
American Airlines Center, Dallas, Texas
November 21, 2010
Review by Dean Cassella, Ph.D.
I must admit, dear readers, that although my aesthetic tastes tend toward the aristocratic, I have a populist streak that rears its head, from time to time. So when I heard that Roger Waters, the former leader of Pink Floyd, was touring the Americas and Europe with a new version of Floyd’s operatic The Wall, my interest was more than a bit piqued. I remember well when, as a wee lad growing up in Los Angeles, Pink Floyd unpacked their unprecedentedly huge multi-media live rendition of the massively successful LP in our city. The staging was so elaborate that performances only occurred in Los Angeles, New York, London, and Dortmund, Germany. I was not really into latter-day Pink Floyd at the time (my tastes running more towards The Beatles), but one of my friends, under the influence of his older brother and cousin, was, and consequently had the requisite chaperone to see one of the shows. Years later, as the shows grew in stature in pop music lore, my friend’s happy condition of having been there increased his social cache, while the rest of us, like Tantalus, could only lament having been so near, and yet so far . . .
Accordingly, Sunday evening’s performance took on the role of filling a small void in my adolescence. Despite the hype, the show lived up to my expectations, and was arguably the most impressive multi-media musical presentation I have ever seen (and probably ever will). The old Pink Floyd was a pioneer in creating such productions, and accordingly is part of the theatrical trend started by Richard Wagner in the mid-nineteenth century. This is Gesamptkunstwerk (or Total Art Work) at its grandest. And although modern opera productions attempt and succeed (often brilliantly) in pulling off such fare (especially with the Ring), none have the resources or audience to pull off something this elaborate, try though the folks at Bayreuth might.
Roger Waters, who recently turned 67, still clearly possesses the energy to perform under touring conditions, and even more importantly, his voice can still carry his songs for over two hours of performance time. Supporting him was a large backup band of seasoned professional studio musicians who carried the show almost without a hitch. One could also say that the audience functioned as quasi backup singers, because one could hear the audience singing along with Waters throughout the show.
The idea for The Wall grew out of Waters’ disaffection with performing live Pink Floyd shows, after the band achieved superstardom. He says that he felt alienated from the audience members in the big sports stadium venues, and wished that he could build a wall around himself when performing. Besides that fact that the music counts among the best to come out of the seventies, the concept of literally building a wall around the band during a live performance proved to be a catalyst for some strikingly innovative musical theater. The lyrics largely concern the interior state of a severely disaffected rock star, named Pink, who psychologically builds a wall around himself.
Waters was also greatly disturbed by the mass hysteria that inevitably accompanied Pink Floyd stadium shows, which to him vaguely resembled fascist party rallies (in this context, one must keep in mind that Waters’ father died while serving in World War II). In keeping with previous incarnations of The Wall, this show contains some visuals that resemble fascist-type paraphernalia. The “fascist rally” towards the end is one of the most successful experiments in performance art ever created. While even the daftest of fans could not help but catch the irony of the lyrics of the anthem In the Flesh (imagine a “one world” rock star type singing about lining up gays, Jews and blacks to be shot!), it is virtually impossible not to get swept up in the excitement generated therein.
The whole experience amounts to a type of experiment in applied archeology, as one experiences the feelings that many who attended actual Nazi rallies had, even as they intellectually rejected the content of the message.
One of the highlights of the show was the acoustic ballad Mother.
Prior to playing it, Waters addressed the audience, telling them that the accompanying visuals were a film of him performing the song at the original shows in 1981. Other visuals in the song included shots of a video camera playing the role of “Big Mother” with the audience, and slogans in a variety of languages such as “trust us,” and “everything’s going to be ok.”
A constant theme of the visuals in the performance is the idea that war is the destruction of masses for the benefit of the powerful. One of the most touching moments was the inclusion of photos, submitted by fans, of soldiers who died while serving. These created a mosaic on the stage wall, all to great effect.
By the show’s end, Pink is put on trial a condemned to be “exposed before [his] peers,” and hence the wall comes crashing down, quite literally, on the stage.
In sum, this was one of the finest and most satisfying live performances that I have ever seen. If you are hanging on the fence about going to one of the subsequent performances, take the plunge—you will not regret it.
This was a case of just picking up a novel which was lying around the house and opening it, thinking it was mildly interesting, and going on. The book, by famous Canadian writer L.M. Montgomery, is the last of the Ann of Green Gables series, and treats of Anne’s daughter Rilla who comes of age in 1914, at the beginning of the Great War.
It was the author’s voice that caught me, that and the opening discursive description of a group of middle aged women sitting reading the society pages of the paper on a weekday afternoon before dinner. I was struck by the very novelty of having so much time and so little reading material. Certainly these were women who wore long dresses — you could tell by the way they spoke, somehow.
Rilla, a girl of 15, comes on the scene frantic that her first dance will be ruined by bad weather. But when news of England’s declaration of war comes in the middle of the soirie, a much bigger obstacle for Rilla’s successful entry into society arrives: all the boys begin to enlist and be shipped overseas.
Though enough happens in this book to keep it moving forward, it’s more driven by a meditation on women’s world and the home front in the early part of the 20th century. Heroic women “keep the home fires burning,” deal with various crisises as they arise, and live on the edge of their seats for four years as news from the war comes slowly and husbands, lovers, sons and brothers are in danger.
What struck me was the mentality about the war. The men had to go, they felt, it was their duty to defend the home turf. The women, while feeling upset about this decision, do not question it — they feel that it is necessary to turn back the hated Kaiser and free the French before the Germans take over France and England too, then start sailing for the New World. Certain resentment is tendered toward the Americans, for waiting until the last year to arrive, and as the book ends little attention is given to the American effort to finish the job that others had begun. More than anything, the book was a meditation on nobility of character and duty to one’s family, society and country. It is a porthole into a world long before Vietnam and the modern questioning of whether any war is “worth it.” For these Canadian patriots, deciding whether to go to war wasn’t a question of how to get a better life, but of feeling at peace with yourself for doing what you knew was your duty.
My own great grandfather died on the battlefield in France, having joined the army at age 35 to get away, it was said, from his ex-wife (a terrific scandal in those days, being divorced). The family story of a man driven to enlist and get himself killed in flight from an unfortunate home life is a far cry from Montgomery’s world of Prince Edward Island in the teens. Which story is true? What were people really like? I’m sure we all realize that stories are always colored by attitudes and rhetorical flourishes, but nevertheless there is unquestionably something attractive and real about Montgomery’s plucky and noble heroines. And I believe, on reflection, that this novel gives us a romanticized but realistic picture of the thoughts of the denizens of another age. Well worth the read.
I was warming up for DFW on the Web this Week when I came across a rather disturbing blog post (linked by @vedo’s Next Communications blog) heralding what it called “Digital Darwinism.” The post argues that digital media is changing the way we think and socialize, and may ultimately kill off longer forms of writing:
There’s a saying, “technology changes, people don’t.” Yet, when we consider the impact of technology on our daily lives, some very interesting observations surface…A pen now feels awkward to hold and as such, our penmanship is deteriorating. It’s now common to sit at a dinner table with family and friends where some are actively communicating with others, listening to music or gaming via mobile devices … The future of the art of long form writing is at risk of becoming shrtr and less formal #forrealz …
First: before we “write off” handwriting, as a teacher, I want everyone to know: handwriting is back in the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills for elementary students. The Texas Education Agency has decided that handwriting is important for knowledge processing and this year I and other Texas teachers will begin to re-emphasize it. This is because, technology or no, at the current time there is no cognitavely equivalent replacement for taking notes by hand. Writing it down makes you think more clearly … tweeting, at least for now, may or may not.
Secondly, it’s true, people sit around at meetings (not at my dinner table if they want to eat) and SMS message other people. But meanwhile I notice that teenagers do not sit around for hours on the telephone, as we did. SMS simply replaces the phone-to-the-ear syndrome. And people who SMS others while in class or meetings are simply rude. We do not put up with that in schools and I’m hoping that other places will soon follow suit. SMSing people while you’re supposed to be listening is cognitively dysfunctional. You can’t sit there texting people and comprehend a speaker as well. If Digital Darwinism means survival of the intellectually fittest, behaviors which actually make you slightly dumber shouldn’t survive, right?
As for the people losing the ability to read long works, such as novels, I do believe we read less now than we used to — it’s been going on for decades. That does not mean the long form of writing is dying out. Reading was endangered more than anything else by the arrival of TV. Today, with surfing the internet, reading is at least basically important to communication in a way it wasn’t twenty five years ago. And novels, while they may be less popular than they were, are not going away completely. It takes relatively little resources to produce and maintain a novel reading culture within the greater one. The number of novel readers may be shrinking, but we are not going away.
So, to recap: knowing things in the “old fashioned” way, by reading and writing well edited and thought-out works, is not going to go away just because we can SMS or tweet clever and not-so-clever thoughts when we have them. The future still belongs to those who can think. Social media may be a boon or a burden on human cognition, but it’s not going to replace “traditional” modes of constructing meaning. Not IMHO, anyway, and with that, I’ll close this blog post before it reaches 600 words.
Made it! I will not have to face another first day of school this year.
Overall, it went well. I have 20 students. Already I have picked out a number that are unusally bright and the class as a whole were well behaved. Of course, I know on the first day of school the teacher doesn’t usually have discipline problems. As my youngest son put it, “Mom, I never get in trouble on the first day.”
Reflections? I’m glad, it looks like a better year than I expected. This evening, I was at the Kroger’s and I spotted a display of small Venus fly traps.
I knew just what to do. Buy one, and construct a science observation in the next two weeks. We are doing a unit on scientists. What does the young scientist do with a venus fly trap? Can we make up an experiment? Can we make a prediction about what will happen? What if we touch the inside of the jaws of the flytrap with a small stick? Will it shut? Can I find a video to support the lesson? I don’t know, but the school year is off and running.
I’ve decided to resurrect, at least once, this popular feature tagging my fellow Fort Worth bloggers:
Politics and Urban Life
Probably the most important news is that there will be a Modern Streetcar meeting on Monday, August 9th – Kevin at FortWorthology calls out the troops to support our hopes of having Fort worth streetcars; “If you’re in favor of effective modern central city transit for Fort Worth, stop by and check out the progress … I’m a Soap Addict announced our monthly Fort Worth Market Day at the corner of Hulen and Camp Bowie … Frugal in Fort Worth writes what to do for free this weekend…
Arts and Letters
The Amon Carter shows off Audubon Prints … while The Modern is showing an exhibit involving Attics, Religion, and Carl Jung in Anselm Kiefer’s “Quaternity” …
Personally and Professionally
Lauren at Brown Eye Blue Eye has decided to buy a vintage sewing machine and see if she can get it to run … Richie Escovedo writes a how-to about blogging for school districts … and Todd Landry’s Blog gives us an Image of Trinity Railway Express at twilight.
Yesterday afternoon, Pia and I pulled down some copper wire that was used as an unusual ceiling decoration by the previous owners. We had heard that you could sell scrap copper, and since, to my estimate, I had over 20 pounds, I decided to run it out to the scrap metal buyer — I figured we must have one in this large industrial city. Pia found a place in North Fort Worth that stated by phone they were willing to buy it, and armed with the address and some simple directions on a post-it note, I drove out to the Northside in my old trundling Suburban which has no air conditioning.
Where the slip of paper with the directions and the address got to I don’t know, but by the time I reached 28th Street, it was gone, perhaps blown out the open window (no air conditioning, remember?) “That’s okay,” I thought. “I remember it said right on North Main, left on 38th, I’ll try that and if it doesn’t work, I’ll call Pia for more instructions.”
Okay, it didn’t work. I called Pia and she gave me more instructions but of course I didn’t pay enough attention and made wrong turns aplenty, was honked at more than once, made a possibly illegal u-turn back at the freeway onramp where it all started, and figured out that Commerce Street doesn’t go all the way through from 28th to 38th. I ended up circling the address three times before I finally pulled up 45 minutes later.
I expected something like an industrial warehouse. But this place was more like a huge junkyard, an entire city block with piles of metal at least two stories high, front loaders and 18 wheelers rolling all over the place, a drive-on scale, and no obvious place to park something as insignificant as a Suburban. It was so hot I was getting dizzy. It was so hot my normally straight hair was curly. I am supposed to be a respectable senora but my clothes were sticking to my body and I knew no nice lady was going to be expected to show up at a place like this.
The scrap metal workers wore baseball caps with bandanas hanging down as if we were on the Sahara desert. There were no other women anywhere. There was just about no one who didn’t have a beer belly. A huge metal gate stood tall enough for any fully loaded semi to pass through. Letters of rusted pipe spelled out the name of the yard. In the middle of everything was a small building with glass windows. That would be the office. I parked on the street and looked in. Huge trucks rolled past. “I can’t do it,” I thought. “Walk in there, some lady with two neatly coiled copper bundles? I can’t. What if they won’t buy the copper? What if they only give me $3.00 and a weird look? I mean, I clearly don’t know what I’m doing here.”
I sat in the truck for a moment. No, it wouldn’t do. I’d have to go in. After all that driving around, I had to see this thing through. I walked across the asphalt, dodging trucks large and small, and pulled open the door to the building. The office was full of people speaking Spanish. I stood at the counter waiting for someone to notice me. Very quickly, a young guy did.
“Is that all you’ve got?” he asked. I nodded. “Put it up here.” He checked it with some kind of magnet that, I assume, told him if it was solid copper. I guess it passed the test, because next he said “Put it on the scale outside.” I walked out and there was a platform scale, about 4 feet by four. I put the coils on, looked in the window, and the guy motioned me in.
“Twenty-two pounds copper, fifty dollars and 60 cents,” he told me. “I’ll need a copy of your driver’s licence and your vehicle info.” And in about ten seconds, a young woman handed me the money, I signed the receipt, they carried off the copper, and that was it. I walked back through the blistering heat of the yard. Fifty bucks! I thought. Well, I guess it was worth it. And to think I had almost not gone in.
Just goes to show, you’ve got to try to follow through on what you start, even if you’re not completely presentable, even if you’re a stranger in a strange land, even if you’re not sure it will work. Even in the dog days of August.
And it will help if you have a “crew” like Pia at home for when you loose the directions, too.
The mercury hit 110 degrees today. We went to the public pool in Denton — a nice place with slides and floating islands — but it was hot even there, beside the water under the trees. I sat in the shade and even then, I felt hot. I read the first few chapters of The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe and thought about how nice it would be if, like Lucy in the story, I could take a quick trip from summer back to a snowy land of winter to cool off, and then come back to the summer afternoon a few hours later after the sun went down. The kids stayed in the water for hours until we had to go, then ate lunch ravenously and fell asleep.
Summer gets this sweltering and you wish fall would come and cool it off, even though fall means going back to work for everyone and it’s hard to wish for that. But you know you can’t bear much more of this either. It’s too hot for tomatoes to set fruit, too hot to heat up the kitchen cooking normal foods, if you want to walk outside you’ve got to do it before 8 a.m., and you get tired of sandwiches and barbecued food. People honk at you for no apparent reason when you’re driving, and you don’t know if they’re short tempered or if the heat is making you so languid you’re forgetting how to drive properly.
I think of summer as my favorite time of year, really I do! But the fact is that it always seems to be summer when nagging fears, obsessions and various paranoias seem to come into the fore, perhaps because there’s so few regularly scheduled activities to distract me from them. If you don’t use your free time for something productive, your head may use the extra energy to begin thinking up stuff that’s downright destructive to your peace of mind.
So, yes, summertime and the living is easy, spending time sitting down by the pool, relaxing and cooling off, Yes. And yet. And yet. I read on Wikipedia that the name “dog days” comes from the Latin, diēs caniculārēs, and refers to summer days from early July to mid August during which the Romans believed that the Dog Star, Sirius, somehow impeded things from getting done. I suppose it’s easy to claim this a ridiculous superstition, and yet the more things change, the more they stay the same. Whatever the reason, it’s hard to get things done during early August. A lof of the time, you just stay inside, crank up the air conditioner, and try not to think about the blistering rays of sun outside and that if the modern conveniences like AC were to fail we’d get fried like eggs before we knew it. I’m sure we’ll be fine. But it does make me a little nervous, thinking about it.
This evening we visited the last Wednesday nightKeller Point Pack the Pool event– free admission to their mini-watepark off the beaten path in downtown Keller. I have to say it is probably the best entertainment deal we’ll meet this year, unless you include the trip to Lake Washington last week on Uncle Nick’s motorboat — but since he’s family, that outing desn’t really count. Besides, we had to drive up there an camp in a tent in order to enjoy the Lake Washington trip.
Anyway, the Keller Point — an indoor/outdoor waterpark with three large slides, two lazy rivers” and two splashpark wading palygrounds –decided to celebrate July’s National Park and Recreation Month by letting everyone come and swim at their pool. We heard about this event last year through the Frugal in Fort Worth blog and this year heard about it again because we’re now on th Keller Point emailing list. I was feeling lazy, and might have skipped it, had not Dean been fired up to go. I hate to say this but he does like to get free stuff.
So the seven of us started up the oldSuburban — about to be sold, but still running at the moment — and drove out to Keller, a 50 minute drive from here. We signed it at the desk and went out to float around in circles in the rivers and slide down the slides. Pia had a particularly amusing time, since it was all new to her — last year she was lying around sick in California and couldn’t come with us.
Although the slides at the Keller Point cannot hold a candle to the ones at NRH2O, and the park was quite crowded — not surprisingly, considering the admission charge — the overall demeanor of the staff was friendly and helpful, the pool was clean, and the clientelle was courteous andnot at all uncomfortable to be around. After the swim, we got out our picnic lunch and had dinner in the park next door, then Dean wanted to go toHalf Price Books Wautauga to finish off the evening.
All in all, a first rate time was had by all, and so a big thank you to the management of the Keller Point, for considering the community and inviting us over. Your town has risen in our estimation due to your friendliness and generosity.
- Playing Catch Up – TDO Reviews | The Dallas Opera Blog on TDO’s New Magic Flute Bound to be a Crowd Pleaser
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- The Critics Weigh-In on LA TRAVIATA | The Dallas Opera Blog on Soprano Myrtò Papatanasiu Scores a Victory with TDO’s Traviata
- Dean Cassella on (If) I detest Facebook (Why Do I Still Have A Profile?)
- The Doobie Brothers – What a fool believes | TrendSurfer on Reflection on What a Fool Believes, 1979