Magnolia Gardens Aug. 7th

Magnolia model Magnolia
RAREBITS by Helen “The Bunny” Hellweg
August 7, 2013
Magnolia Gardens and Inn, Springdale
Have you ever met anyone whose parents –- both of them — graduated from West Point? You haven’t? Yes, you have.

If you were among the PAPO people at Magnolia Gardens in Springdale last Wednesday, August 7, you’ve met her. “She” is Jordan Cascio. And she was the model at our paintout that day. We met both Jordan and her mother, Deanna. They are neighbors to our hosts Jim and Margie Goff, who bamboozled — er, persuaded — Jordan to model. Thank goodness she accepted. A naturally lovely teen, she charmed Jim, along with Phil Wright, Victor Parkerson, Cindy Hoand the Bunny.

Jordan wore a black and white sundress with red accents. Now, a dilemma: What shoes to wear? It was a choice between black suede, toeless, with strappy heels and a do-dad on the front. OR. Shiny red leather, toeless with a puffy-net-thingie on the front. We sketched and painted Jordan (and all the shoes). Nope, no decision was ever made; Cindy kept changing her mind. Bunny had so much “fun” trying to capture the ritzy footwear. But see, she was a bit nostalgic, thinking back to the dark ages when she, too, could wear 4 1/2 inch heels.

In the attached room sat Margie, Deanna, and Wanda Wright, dispassionately and reservedly discussing where to eat lunch. In walked Kay Pickett who, after hearing the decibel level in the room, decided she “vahnted to be alone” and walked back out, all the while reliving her recent trip to Oregon. So there.

Before joining the inside groups, Mike and Carol Tillery explored the Garden’s beautiful grounds, Mike giving scientific names for all the trees. Wanda, camera ready, was just in time to capture Carol on a swing, enjoying a carefree flight; with Mike pushing, of course. Joanne Ausburn marveled at the Garden’s country-like vastness. While John Dillingham tried to make up his mind just what he would paint (and contemplating a trip to his old stomping grounds in Viet Nam).

Just about lunch time, Bonnie — er,– I mean Celestine Eichler came in and introduced us to Santos, a visiting friend and fellow artist from Honduras (and a cutie). We were set for lunch at the Spring Street Grill. Our host, Jim, had called ahead for a table of 10. By the time we arrived, we numbered 14! So another table was added. And in the same area sat Celestine and Santos. Sixteen! Everyone had ordered whenTodd Williams and John Lassitar from Siloam Springs arrived. Eighteen! Scrunch time, guys — and more chairs.

Big John D was overseeing the whole tribe at what turned out to be a series of round tables sorta touching. He was able to keep most of us in line. Except for one — who complained loud and long when Todd and John (the last to order) were served first! Bummer. But it didn’t matter to the poor pestered waitress. She just needed to serve this “group”! Oh well, John did offer a grape (to shut me up) while he dove into his quiche (which should have been mine). Gosh durn.

Jim and Margie, thanks so much for making arrangements for us to paint at Magnolia Gardens. They’ve really renovated and added on since we were there last. And Margie, thank you for asking Jordan to model. She is a stunner and “sat” so well. Also, guys, for making reservations at Spring Street Grill for however many we turned out to be. Thank you.

God bless,