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The Sullivan House Sends Encouraging Words to a Friend

Published on Wednesday, March 09, 2016 By Melissa Prycer
Dear Blue House at 1423 Griffin, formerly 285 Browder I hear that you will soon be adding a new address to your history-by moving to another lot in the Cedars. The same thing happened to me, over 25 years ago, and a few of my joints still ache, but it is better than the wrecking ball. You and I were born in the same era of beautiful Victorian houses. We nurtured people. I know that you lost one of your humans to a tragic car accident. One of my young residents drowned—it was hard to accept that he would never again slam my front door and bound up my stairs. But, we are sturdy and made to outlast humans. I hear that you have been fortunate enough to lure some into spending their money, which they value highly, on moving you and putting you back together. Even some of  ..

Reflections on Twenty Years at Dallas Heritage Village

Published on Wednesday, November 04, 2015 By Melissa Prycer
(/images/postimages/Gary_BW-001.jpg) After twenty years, my departure from Dallas Heritage Village has been so gradual that it is hard to say just when my last day was. But it is certainly evident that the leadership succession plan that Melissa Prycer and I worked out two years ago has already been a terrific success. Melissa hit the ground running from her first days as Interim Director, and by the time she was named President and Executive Director almost 18 months ago, she was operating at full speed. While my official last day is obscured, I can certainly remember my first day at DHV (then Old City Park) on the Monday after Thanksgiving in 1995. Before I had even poured my first cup of coffee I had plunged into the groundbreaking festivities surrounding the new Chaut ..

DHV Farmstead in High Cotton

Published on Monday, September 14, 2015 By Melissa Prycer
“In High Cotton” is one of those wonderful old southern phrases that may not be used much these days. If you are in high cotton, you are doing well, maybe even rolling in wealth, because your cotton crop is so tall you can harvest without stooping, and the price for cotton is high. Now, high is a relative term, and if you must be precise, the cotton crop at our farmstead is only high if the picker is two feet tall. But, our plants sprouted, and grew, and didn’t die, and they are making little bolls of cotton, which feel a lot like cotton balls but firmer and spelled differently. Our little urban garden is not always successful, so we will count this as a win. The price of cotton is irrelevant. They don’t buy it by the ounce. We only have 13 plants.  ..

Why I Drive 800 Miles per Week to Intern at DHV

Published on Friday, August 07, 2015 By Melissa Prycer
(/images/postimages/DSCN18691-e1438965720166.jpg) By Coleman Hamptom, Baylor Museum Studies Student Most Texans are familiar with the bumper car style of driving on I-35. Long stretches of smooth sailing and verdant views can quickly become what feels like a Nascar race with 18 wheelers and Corvettes jockeying for ideal position. The interstate’s span from our border with Mexico all the way to Canada is 1,695 miles. I drive that far in two weeks on my daily commute to DHV from Waco…and back. Everyone said I was crazy for choosing a summer internship in Dallas (which counts for six hours graduate credit at Baylor). I heard, “You should find something closer to Waco, man”, or, “I’d find somewhere to stay in Dallas if I were you.” M ..

A Day in the Life with Mr. Kennedy

Published on Friday, October 17, 2014 By Melissa Prycer
If you have been to Dallas Heritage Village lately odds are that you have met this history educator back at our farmstead. Louis Gene Helmick-Richardson (we know him as Gene) plays Mr. Kennedy, a fairly well-off cotton farmer at the “ragged end of Reconstruction,” about 1870. Gene comes to us with plenty of experience being a history interpreter in places such as the Georgia Agrirama in Tifton, Georgia, Pryor Creek at the Homeplace, and the TVA’s Land Between the Lakes in Kentucky. He also currently is a professional storyteller with his wife Peggy as Twice Upon a Time Storytellers. His resume even includes being the Director of the Collin County Farm Museum for a few years! His experience is not limited to museums, however. Gene has a PhD in Entomology from  ..

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