HAPPENINGS IN THE PARK
"In Memory of the Boys"
by Charles Frandolig
"The pine trees are whispering in the night wind. The barren buildings, but shortly filled with every note of the human symphony, are vacant and still.
As the sun of day burns down and the wind cools with his breeze the night and the shadows fall and the moonlight ghosts over the landscape, Camp Logan again lies in a waiting attitude as will be done by the molder and builder, man."
There were, of course, no plans for Camp Logan's disposal at that time, and her article ended thusly:
"Whatever may now come or now be made, of our Camp Logan, we never can escape the fact that once upon a time--a gripping, searching, cruel, glorious time, when self law conquered beneath our fee--the very heart of our nation beat within this sphere.
"In moonlight nights, in silence so soft that our hearts can hear their throb, you will still hear its steady beat.
For spiritually, this is sacred ground."
And so the fire was laid--all that was needed was the spark. It camein answer to the article: A letter to the editor of The Chronicle from a Houston widow, mother of five children. She was Mrs. Catharine Emmott, who lived at 4506 Washington Ave.
Mrs. Emmott complimented The Chronicle on the article, and wrote:
In this article are two sentences: First, 'Camp Logan lies in a waiting attitude as to what will next be done by the molder and builder, man.' Second, 'For Spiritually, this is sacred ground'.
"The thought suggests itself to me, wy not keep a part of the ground at least for a permanent park in memory of the boys. Perhaps some of your many subscribers could suggest some place that we could further this object."
The spark smoldered through the dying days of summer until deep October. Then The Chronicle's Miss Benda sent out a clarimon call in another article for all interested in turning the camp into a meorial to meet at the Rice Hotel.
The turnout was good. At the meeting, Mrs. Emmott was named chairman of the group and plans were tentatively discussed for obtaining 100 acres as a parksite, costing about $50,000 to $75,000.
Mrs. Emmot, a native of England who moved here in the 1850s, took time off from teaching music at her home to lead the move for a memorial park. A graduate of the Lond Conservatory of Music, she hadnother task besides her music teaching: Rearing her five children, Jack H. Emmott of Fairbanks, A.E. and A.V. Emmott, owners of a bookbinding firm, and daugherts Mrs. W. H. Bruecher and Miss Catharine Emmott.
Plans for the small memorial park moved swiftly. And Mrs. Emmott and the backers failed to reckon on one thing--the bigness of Houston's civic leaders.
The idea of the 100-acre park was not to live too long.
In November, 1923, the Hogg brothers suggested the site would make a wonderful large park, and the land should be made available to the city at cost. At the Hoggs request, another company, Reinerman Land Co., agreed to sell the adjacent 630 acres tohe city for $600 an acre.
And so the idea of the huge Memorial Park was given impetus.
Still a rough and rocky road lay ahead before the proposal became reality.
The city could not affort to pay out, in lump sum, even the bargain price of $532,000, about 40 per cent of the true value of the land then. But the Hoggs solved this. They bought the property from the Reinerman Company, then sold it and their own tract to the city with payments spread over a 10-year period. In addition, the Hoggs gave to the city $50,000 cash to make the first annual payment of principal and interest.
But even this installment purchase was difficult. It was mainly through the efforts of former Mayor Oscar Holcombe that the city skimped and saved to make the annual payments to assure its citizens of the future of a huge wooded wonderland.
In addition, to the financial struggle through the bleak depression days, the park at various times was made a campaign issue, its development criticized, and attempts unsuccessfully made to block its purchase.
Today, Memorial Park's 1503 acres stand out like a gem in a crown of progress. It is a monument to the men who served, to a group of civic-spirited citizens who gave and fought to maintain it, and to a struggling widow with five children who wrote a letter to the editor of The Chronicle offering a suggestion.
--Houston Chronicle, 1934
Deloitte IMPACT Day
We would like to give a huge thanks to the volunteers from Deloitte for their very successful IMPACT day on June 6, 2006. The volunteers replaced culverts, prepared the bathrooms for a summer of activity, put a great shine on the Picnic Loop gates, restored the amazing look to Bush Grove and the gravel crew on Memorial Drive did yeoman's work in the heat!
We are very fortunate to have the help of Deloitte for the last three years in Memorial Park. Their impact was not only through manpower, but supplies and funding. Their good cheer and camaraderie was noted by our board members, who commented on how grateful they are to have help from Deloitte. Even Deloitte's Regional Manager Ann Taylor stopped in to survey their good work.
IMPACT Day is Deloitte's national volunteer service day. On this day, Deloitte sets aside their work for the day in order to contribute their time and business skills to local nonprofits. Now in its ninth year, IMPACT Day is a one-day celebration of Deloitte's year-round commitment to community involvement. Thanks Deloitte!
The Running World Is Changing! Every Dollar Counts!
Mindy Hildebrand, MPC Board Member and Campaign Chair, and volunteers are offering Memorial Park Capital Campaign t-shirts in return for $50+ in support of Memorial Park on the first Saturdays of the month. Stop by the Tennis Center and pick up a shirt, go online or call 713-863-8403.
MPC Mission to NYC
In May, some of our board of directors went on a reconnaissance mission to New York led by Capital Campaign Chair Mindy Hildebrand. The group received a behind-the-scenes tour of Central Park and Bryant Park. Lessons learned on this trip will be applied to ongoing protection of and improvements to Houston's Memorial Park.
L-R: MPC Board Members Odette McMurray Mace, Butch Abendshein,
Madeleine Hussey, Ralph De Leon, Claire Caudill stroll through Central Park
Butch Abendshein and Odette McMurray Mace learn from Central Park staff
MPC Welcomes New Staff
We would like to welcome Nancy Kelchlin, our new accountant, to the MPC staff. Nancy has over 20
years of experience and currently owns her own company, Steelbird Studios. Previously, Nancy has worked for both the Health & Fitness Magazine and Houston Life Magazine. Nancy is a CPA with a Master's degree from the University of Houston. Nancy is an active member of the American Business Women's Group - Galleria Chapter and the Professional Women's Networking Group.
Memorial Park Conservancy Golf Tournament Fore the Park
On May 20th, over 120 golfers enjoyed one of the hottest tournaments in town. Memorial Park Conservancy's Golf Tournament's Honorary Chairman Preston Moore and co-chairmen Pat Nowotny and Alex Webb led the planning of a perfect day of relaxation and extreme golfing fun for our supporters. Thanks to the efforts of our hardworking committee: Jeanie Connell, Chase Hooks, Mark Nicholas, Tim Rottet, and Jack Tyler, over $90,000 was raised for the ongoing work of Memorial Park Conservancy - enhancements and improvements yet to come. Special thanks to Beck's Prime for the great burgers and steaks.
Congratulations to the following Tournament Winners!
Longest Drive Kari Anderson
Closest to Pin Ray Riffle
First Place Team - 54
Second Place Team - 57
Third Place Team - 59
Our sincere thanks to all of our supporters including:
The Alkek and Williams Foundation
Copano Energy, L.L.C.
English & Associates
Westside Lexus and Northside Lexus
Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP
Arch and Stella Rowan Foundation
James A. Baker, III
Houstonian/US Padel Association
Landry's Restaurants Group
Silver Eagle Distributors
The Staubach Companies
Hope to see you all again next May! Bring your friends!
Student Conservation Association will work on Memorial Park trail and bridge repair in the area known as "The Triangle" or "Hogg Woods". We are grateful for this important effort from one of the nation's best environmental education crews.
The Student Conservation Association (SCA) is a nonprofit organization that offers conservation internships and summer trail crew opportunities to more than 3,000 people each year. SCA is focused on developing conservation and community leaders while getting important work done on the land. Founded in 1957 to restore and protect America's public lands and preserve them for future generations, SCA remains committed to this goal today.
SCA members complete projects in every conservation discipline - from archeology to zoology - and everything in between. SCA's mission is to build the next generation of conservation leaders and inspire lifelong stewardship of our environment and communities by engaging young people in hands-on service to the land.
We would like to thank our generous donors for supporting our efforts in community building and preserving Houston's premier green space.
The Wortham Foundation, Inc.*
Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld, LLP
AmegyBank of Texas
Beck's Prime in Memorial Park
Mr. Bolivar Andrews
Ballard Exploration Company, Inc.
Cobb Fendley & Associates
Mr. Stephen Costello
Copano Energy, LLC
English + Associates
The Hildebrand Fund
Mr. Charles F. Milstead
Mr. Charles Sheedy
Silver Eagle Distributors, L.P./Budweiser
Mr. Joseph Reid
Westside Lexus and Northside Lexus
Bellaire Exchange Club
Bank of River Oaks
Mrs. Delana Bice
Mr. and Mrs. Mike Dishberger
Mr. James A. Dougherty
M. Peter Fluor
Mr. Allan C. King
Mr. and Mrs. John Lodge
Mr. William Rafferty
Ms. Nancy Reynolds
Mr. Ray Riffle
Shadow Hawk Golf Club
The Virginia and L.E. Simmons
Mr. and Mrs. Wallace S. Wilson
For space consideration, we have limited our list to those gifts $250 and above. The gifts listed above have been received between May 15 and June 15, 2008. Those asterisked (*) have given to Phase I of our Capital Campaign. Our Sincere gratitude to those who have contributed and/or pledged since that date.
Thank you for your continuing support of Memorial Park!