Some 60 people gathered one Thursday evening last month in the big community room at the Lakewood Branch of the Dallas Public Library for the fourth annual reception honoring East Dallas writers, sponsored by the Friends of the Lakewood Library. Punch and wine and cheese and fruit and flowers were arranged in big tables in the center of the room, and the walls were covered with over 100 paintings and photographs – entries in the Friends’ recent juried art show. Glancing at one another’s name tags and explaining what street they live on, the guests smiled and talked about their favorite subject – books.

Overheard within 10 square feet: Poet and columnist Roxy Gordon ate grapes and cocktail crackers while Bill Sloan III talked about his upcoming book, JFK: Breaking the Silence, to be published in September. Medical writer Gale Sloan (no relation to Bill III) explained the premise of her latest book, Postponing Parenthood, to poet and publisher Judy Gordon, related by marriage to Roxy Gordon. Julie Ryan, whose byline in The Dallas Morning News is familiar to avid gardeners, arranged to visit the home of Anne Courtin Williams, one of the Friends responsible for the get-together, as well as a fabled Swiss Avenue gardener noted for her backyard English garden. Ryan also has a forthcoming book on Perennial Gardens for Texas.

The evening was one of a series of activities sponsored in the past year by the Friends of the Lakewood Library, a 20-year-old organization of 235 members whose purpose is to support the work of the Lakewood Library. In addition to organizing free cultural activities for their neighbors, the group also raises money through membership fees (a modest $10 per year), through the occasional ticketed event, such as the Valentine’s Day tea and guest lecture, and through the sale of Lakewood Library T-shirts, according to current Friends President Holly Grief.

These include not only books, such as current best-sellers and works of East Dallas writers, but a laminator to make buttons for children’s programs and video and language tapes for non-English speaking users of the library.

A brochure on the organization and regular upcoming events is available at the library. Membership Chairwoman Annie Redding is also glad to provide information on joining; call 821-0927.

News and Notes

A show featuring the work of Lakewood resident Bob Slaughter, a professor emeritus of paleontology at SMU, continues through June 6 at the Trammel Crow Center, 2001 Ross Ave. The show, sponsored by the Ladonia Foundation of East Dallas and entitled “The Fossil Remains of Mythical Creatures,” combines Slaughter’s 25 years in the field with creatures from fiction and fable…Actors Theatre of Dallas presents “School for Scandal,” a comedy of manners set in the roaring ’20s, at the Bath House Cultural Center at White Rock Lake, Thursdays through Saturdays at 8 p.m. through June 19.

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