Thursday, February 9, 2017

A Surprise Visitor

If you read my last post, then you know all about the Tea Garden and Restaurant that hid it's shady secret, and the Baptist College that made sure you would never ever know about it....that is until Mrs. Bryant came along.
Vicki Brant was conducting her tour of the property, and few years back, when a feisty little elderly lady spoke up and informed her that she had been a dancer at this very place.
At that time she invited Vicki to her Dallas home where she gave her this beautiful photograph.
That is Willetta in the middle.
Willetta, so it seems had a rather exciting and long life. She danced on Jackie Gleason's New York Stage, was for a short time a Rockette, lived in Hawaii ,dated Al Capone's cousin, and even took a Hollywood screen test.
A high school dropout from Dallas, Texas she joined a vaudeville group and entertained across the country, only settling down in one place for the eight years when she was a chorus line dancer at the famous old Edgewater Beach Hotel in Chicago. There she rubbed elbows with a lot of the same celebrities that frequented the Top O' Hill Terrace in Arlington, Texas.
 Her third husband brought her back to Dallas where she lived out the rest of her life in this stately mansion that is registered as a Texas Historic Landmark
Hold on, life wasn't exactly boring for Willette in Dallas. She was granted a lifetime supply of Cook's Champagne when she informed Cook's she had been their 1940's poster girl.....that is until she drank so much they withdrew the offer. Willetta was also a landlord....part owner of an apartment building in a not so nice part of town, She ran it with an iron fist they say (and a gun in her waist band). In order to rent an apartment you had to sign a contract that you didn't own a motorcycle, would park your car only head in, and had no facial hair..There are all kinds of stories about this ladies run in with burglars and drug dealers,(usually handling these guys herself without calling for help), and one she had herself...when a certain cop questioned her right to carry that gun. Apparently, she won that battle as at that time you could carry a gun on your own property.
A very beautiful and colorful lady, Willetta lived well into her nineties and had checked off most of her bucket list...


  1. Quite a life lived! Willetta is a very unusual name.

  2. What a story again, someone should write a book about her! You?

  3. Gosh Willetta was quite a colourful character Janey.. I agree with Marianne above, her life story would make a fabulous read ☺

  4. Haha. I bet she had checked off most everything on her bucket list. What a woman!! This is a fascinating life story.

  5. Willetta sounds like my kind of girl!! I love the story about Cook's. A great story about a beautiful lady. Have a wonderful weekend, Janey.

  6. Dearest Janey,
    Willetta sure lived a wild and colorful life!