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Helen Ford Wallace: Parties, Etc.: Aug. 3

Garden Party, VIP Party, John Marshall Reunion, YWCA Labyrinth Dedication
By Helen Ford Wallace Published: August 3, 2014


Occasion/location: Maggie Barrett and her friends were at the Doel Reed Center for the Arts in Talpa, N.M., near Taos, to dedicate “Maggie’s Garden.” Ann and Burns Hargis and the Oklahoma State University Foundation members hosted a reception in her honor following the dedication of the garden and the newly renovated Doel Reed Studio. A tent was set up outside with chairs for the guests, and OSU President Burns Hargis officiated at the dedication. Barrett also spoke during the event.

Seed money: Barrett raised money by asking friends to donate to the garden. She installed a piece of sculpture by artist Alexander Brown from Santa Fe. “I had never asked people to donate money for something before,” Barrett said. “I just kept asking lady after lady, and now we have a garden.” A plaque with the names of all the donors is set in the garden. Barrett also noted that “people helped her brother, Jim (Vallion), at OSU and then he helped me. Hopefully, I can help with the education of someone else at this facility.”

Room to bloom: The garden, in the center of the courtyard, features plants indigenous to the area, including heather, lavender, black-eyed Susans and sage, and will have apricot and other fruit trees. The plantings will match the blooming plants in front of the former home of Martha Reed, Jane and Doel Reed’s daughter.

Landmark: The late Martha Reed gave the three historic adobe structures — her late parents’ house, her house and her father’s art studio — and 1.5 acres, with spectacular views in all directions, to OSU for use as a teaching facility. Doel Reed was a famous aquatint artist. All three buildings were open for tours for the visitors.

A little history: Martha Reed was famous in her own right. Her shop called Martha’s of Taos featured the sought-after hand-pleated calico broomstick or squaw skirts, with velvet blouses decorated with silver and turquoise Concho buttons. She graduated from OSU in 1944. She died in 2010. Her dad, Doel Reed, was an OSU professor and helped establish and direct OSU’s Department of Art until he retired to Talpa in 1959. Her mother was also an artist.

On the town: Following the festivities, Jim Vallion honored his sister, Maggie, with a dinner at the El Monte Sagrado Hotel in Taos. OSU alum Vallion has also been instrumental in the Doel Reed project. There is an area called The Vallion Gathering Place by the garden. That’s where Maggie Barrett was last year when she decided there needed to be a special garden. And Jim’s daughter and son-in-law, Ann and David Sutherland from Dallas, are also involved. They are decorating/restoring two of the buildings, Martha’s house and the Cooper Hacienda, using some of the original furniture.

In New Mexico: Among the people at the event were Ann and Burns Hargis, Ann and David Sutherland, Phyllis Stough, Bill Acheff, Sue Ann and Dudley Hyde, Terri Cooper, Deb and Dave Engle, Laura and Doug McDonald, Susan Anderson, Jane and Conner Helm, Joan Gilmore, Vicki Gourley, Dick Sias, Ruth and Jimmy Sallis, Paula and Bobby Maddox and Robert Branson.


Party that popped: Charlotte and Jerry Hess were hosts for the Integris Jim Thorpe Courage Award Gala VIP Party. It was in their cabana next to the swimming pool. Metallic bistro tables as well as regular tables were set up for the guests. Gala sponsors received bottles of champagne as party favors.

Flowers/food: A tall, elegant bouquet of birds of paradise and calla lilies decorated the buffet table, and the other tables held bouquets of roses and hydrangeas. Every food item prepared by Sue’s Catering was unique such as the bowl of hummus, which had decorative flowers with an onion stalk, and cheese and tomato skewers were arranged like a food tower. Other foods included grape leaves, kibbe, fattoush salad, meat pie, spinach pie, katfa meatballs, spice salmon, baklava, Russian tea cookies and mini cheesecakes.

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