Photo by John Ladd

Now four decades strong, the Fairmount Historic District Tour of Homes has become a beloved Mother's Day weekend tradition in Fort Worth.

For the 2023 edition, four bungalow-style homes and two historic businesses will open their doors to visitors, May 13-14.

"Most of the locations on the tour were originally built between 1890-1930, and characteristics include: beamed interior ceilings, colonnades, pocket doors, antique hardware, prominent wide front porches, overhanging eaves, as well as exposed rafters and beams — to name a few," a release says.

There are also some new, related events this year, including a fair in Fairmount Park and a pop-up art show at Arts 5th Avenue. The fair will take place 12-4 pm Saturday, March 13 at Fairmount Park, and will feature food trucks, local artists, kids' activities, and more. The fair follows the traditional kick-off parade through the neighborhood at 10 am Saturday.

The tour itself takes place (rain or shine) 12-5 pm Saturday and Sunday. Tickets are $20 in advance and $25 the days of the event. Proceeds benefit neighborhood improvement projects.

Tour-goers should check in at the Welcome Pavilion located at SiNaCa Studios at 1013 W. Magnolia Ave. Tickets may be purchased or picked up there both days, a map and information will be provided, and T-shirts and posters will be for sale. For more information about the event and tickets, visit the district's website.

Here's a closer look at homes on the 2023 tour, with descriptions provided by the district.

Mattie Foster House
As pictured in the photo at the top of the story, the century-old home was built in 1915 and turned into a duplex in the early 1950's so that the newly widowed Mattie Foster could stay in her home. Foster's home was sold to Joe Johnson, a Fort Worth attorney and bail Bondsman in 1962. It fell into disrepair in recent decades, but was eventually rehabbed (back into a single family home) and sold in 2021. Original tulip-stained glass, exposed wood beams, wainscotting, and built-in cabinetry have been restored.

The Edgar-Tanner House, Fairmount home tourThe Edgar-Tanner HousePhoto by Stacy Luecker

The Edgar-Tanner House
This large imposing corner foursquare home (above), with huge wrap-around porch and massive concrete columns on stone bases, was built about 1911. While the Prairie-style inspired its horizontal rooflines, the columns are a nod to the classical revival style, which was gaining popularity. The the first residents in 1912 were Dr. & Mrs. Charles Leslie Edgar. Edgar was an early ear, nose and throat specialist in Fort Worth. The current owners moved from Dallas and purchased the home at the height of the pandemic in 2020. They have filled their home with wonderful art, including a few well-know local artists, family heirlooms, and a signed pochoir by Pablo Picasso.

The Medley-Tucker House, Fairmount Home TourThe Medley-Tucker HousePhoto by Stacy Luecker

The Medley-Tucker House
This beautifully restored example of a foursquare-type house (above) was built by its first owner and resident, carpenter-builder Charles A. Medley, for his wife, Lynette, and their two young sons, beginning in 1908 and finished in 1909. The nickname for this style of foursquare home in historic architectural terms is “shirtwaist style,” so called for the material on the upper half to the middle or ‘waist’ of the house being of one kind — usually wood shingles as this home has — and a different kind of covering on the bottom half. After a series of owners, the home fell into ruin in the 1990s. The current owners purchased it less than a year ago. A complete restoration of the interior has been accomplished. Fun fact: It's one of the only houses in Fairmount with a basement.

Former Edna Gladney Home, Fairmount Home TourFormer Edna Gladney Home on HemphillPhoto by Stacy Luecker

The Jacob Tanner House, The Edna Gladney Home (& Adoption Agency), The Bastion
Few Fairmount houses have more important stories to tell this one. Built in 1925 for Jacob Franklin Tanner, owner of a local fish market, it was originally a unique kind of duplex built as two residences side to back. One of the first residentswas Glen “Buck” Smith, who married Minnie Meacham, daughter of department store owner and former Fort Worth mayor, Henry C. Meacham. (The Smiths eventually divorced, and Minnie became Mrs. Amon G. Carter, the famous Fort Worth promoter and philanthropist’s third wife.) More importantly, the home was as The Edna Gladney Home, 1959-1970s, a charitable institution and adoption agency named for early Fort Worth women’s and children’s rights activist Edna Browning Gladney. Current owners, Richard and Chandra Ricetti, purchased it in 2008 and Chandra, a master chef, set up her catering business, The Bastion, in a separate building behind the apartments. The Ricettis have been restoring The Manor House and will soon move in.

The tour also will include the home of Arts Fifth Avenue (A5A), which dates to 1926; as well as the home of the Domingo Garcia law firm.

US Ghost Adventures

New Fort Worth ghost tour showcases the spookier side of the Stockyards

Ghosts of Cowtown

A national travel company is showing off the scary side of the Fort Worth Stockyards with the launch of a brand new ghost tour.

US Ghost Adventures, an Orlando-based company that hosts ghost tours in some of the most haunted cities in the country, has just added Fort Worth to its list of tour locations. The one-hour tour is held nightly at 8 pm and includes eight stops within a one-mile walking distance.

Some of the haunted highlights from the tour include Miss Molly’s Hotel (109 W. Exchange Ave.), a former brothel where unexplained activity – think lights turning on and off, heavy breathing, and footsteps heard on the stairs – have long been documented.

The Stockyards Hotel (109 E. Exchange Ave.), built in 1904, is said to be home to the apparition of its developer, Colonel T.M. Thannisch, as well as rodeo cowboy C.D. “Junior” Colwell, who is said to have committed suicide to avoid jailtime for swindling people.

Tour participants will also visit the Texas Cowboy Hall of Fame (2515 Rodeo Plaza), where it’s said the six-foot, four-inch ghost of famed actor John Wayne has been seen admiring the cowboy memorabilia on display – even with a museum dedicated solely to him located just steps way at John Wayne: An American Experience.

While other ghost tours exist in Fort Worth, US Ghost Adventures owner Lance Zaal says his tour specializes in storytelling.

“US Ghost Adventures offers EMF detectors and focuses on telling the history behind the hauntings,” says Zaal.

When paranormal activity takes places, theories suggest electromagnetic disturbances can be seen with electromagnetic field (EMF) detectors. Lights on the detector indicate the strength of the disturbances, with a green light meaning little to no activity, yellow meaning moderate activity, and red meaning high activity.

Fort Worth was one of 12 new cities recently added to the US Ghost Adventures roster, as well as Houston and El Paso. The company operates tours in more than 50 cities across the country, and full list of new cities include:

The tour is $25 per person and there’s a two-person minimum. There's also an option to add a 30-minute bonus tour of four additional stops for just $6 per person.

Reservations should be made in advance online, and participants should meet at the Livestock Exchange Building at 131 E. Exchange Ave.

Travel + Leisure heralds Fort Worth among world's 11 best places to visit this January

Here come the tourists

A national magazine is proclaiming what Fort Worth residents already know - that the city is a pretty great place to be this month. A new report by Travel + Leisurehas named Fort Worth one of the 11 best places to travel in the United States and around the world in January 2023.

"If the post-holiday blahs typically set in after the busy end-of-the-year season, planning a vacation, even a weekend getaway, can be just what the doctor ordered," writes Patricia Doherty in the article. "Whether you stay close to home for a local staycation or head to a far-off locale, experiencing a new destination or returning to a familiar favorite is a great way to start the year."

The magazine rounded up suggestions for winter sports, sunny beaches, and fun places to explore, they said. The unranked list of 11 places ranges from chilly Park City, Utah and Minneapolis-St. Paul to warm-and-sunny Jamaica and The Bahamas.

Why was Fort Worth included? The Stockyards were a major draw.

Here's what they said:

"The Stockyards area in Fort Worth offers restaurants, bars, clubs, shops, a rodeo, and the history of the state’s famous livestock industry. Family entertainment includes the twice-daily longhorn cattle drive with drovers available for photo ops and questions. Walking tours, a petting zoo, horseback riding, and weekend rodeos at the Cowtown Coliseum are great fun. Shops offer western gear, art, and gifts, and at Flea Style, shoppers can design their own Stetsons. There’s nightlife at Billy Bob’s and the new Tannahill’s Tavern Music Venue, and through February 5, the 'Rodeo Rink' ice skating venue takes over the lawn of the Livestock Exchange Building with live music and a lights display. Stay steps away at Hotel Drover for great food and Texas hospitality."

In a head-scratching omission, the magazine did NOT cite the biggest event of the month in Fort Worth: The Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo, taking place January 13-February 4 at Dickies Arena and across the Will Rogers Memorial complex.

It's a curious thing to leave out - not only because FWSSR is "legendary" - but because specific January festivals and events appear on a few other places in the list (i.e. the Lowcountry Oyster Festival on January 29 in Charleston, South Carolina; and the 10-day Great Northern Festival from January 25-February 5 in Minneapolis-St. Paul).

Nevertheless, Fort Worth was the only Texas city to make the list. The 10 other cities included are:

  • Park City, Utah
  • The Bahamas
  • Las Vegas, Nevada
  • Charleston, South Carolina
  • Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota
  • Jamaica
  • Mazatlán, Mexico
  • Queensland, Australia
  • Costa Rica
  • Vienna, Austria
Photo courtesy of NASA

NASA confirms stunning discovery of Space Shuttle Challenger artifact

historic discovery

A TV documentary crew has just made a startling discovery linked to one of the American space program's greatest tragedies, one that deeply resonated in Texas. Divers off the east coast of Florida have found an artifact underwater that NASA confirms is debris from the space shuttle Challenger.

While searching for wreckage of a World War II-era aircraft, documentary divers noticed a large object covered partially by sand on the seafloor, one that was clearly crafted by humans. The team contacted NASA after analyzing the proximity to the Florida Space Coast, the item’s modern construction, and presence of 8-inch square tiles, according to the space agency.

Upon viewing the TV crew's footage, NASA leaders confirmed the object is indeed part of the Challenger, which exploded during launch on January 28, 1986, killing all seven crew members on board — all of whom trained in Houston.

A History Channel documentary depicting the discovery of the Challenger artifact is scheduled to air Tuesday, November 22. While the episode will screen as part of a series about the Bermuda Triangle, the artifact was found well northwest of the area popularly known as the Bermuda Triangle, researchers note.

NASA, meanwhile, is currently considering what additional actions it may take regarding the artifact that will properly honor the legacy of Challenger’s fallen astronauts and their families, the agency notes.

The Challenger disaster is now counted as one of American history's "where were you?" moments. The mission, dubbed STS-51L, was commanded by Francis R. “Dick” Scobee and piloted by Michael J. Smith. The other crew members on board were mission specialists Ronald E. McNair; Ellison S. Onizuka, and Judith A. Resnik; payload specialist Gregory B. Jarvis; and teacher S. Christa McAuliffe.

Space Shuttle Challenger crew 1986The Challenger crew poses ahead of the mission in January, 1986.Photo courtesy of NASA

McAuliffe, a charismatic civilian with a bright smile, became an international celebrity, bringing everyman accessibility to the space program. She was beloved by fans young and old, and quickly became the face of the doomed mission.

Celebrating NASA's 25th shuttle mission, the spacecraft waited overnight on Launch Pad 39B at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. A sudden coastal cold front brought freezing temperatures, causing ice to form on the shuttle. Launch managers cleared the mission for launch at 11:38 am on January 28, despite concerns raised by some shuttle program employees.

A mere 73 seconds after liftoff, major malfunction caused the explosion that killed the seven crew members, a moment captured on live TV and watched by millions.

Later, a NASA investigation revealed that the unexpectedly cold temperatures affected the integrity of O-ring seals in the solid rocket booster segment joints, sparking the explosion.

Challenger's loss, and later Columbia with its seven astronauts – which broke up on reentry in February 2003 over the western United States – greatly influenced NASA’s culture regarding safety. The agency went on to create an Office of Safety and Mission Assurance, developed new risk assessment procedures, and established an environment in which everyone can raise safety concerns.

NASA also created the Apollo Challenger Columbia Lessons Learned Program to share these lessons within the agency and with other government, public, commercial, and international audiences.

“While it has been nearly 37 years since seven daring and brave explorers lost their lives aboard Challenger, this tragedy will forever be seared in the collective memory of our country,” said NASA Administrator Bill Nelson in a statement. “For millions around the globe, myself included, January 28, 1986, still feels like yesterday. This discovery gives us an opportunity to pause once again, to uplift the legacies of the seven pioneers we lost, and to reflect on how this tragedy changed us. At NASA, the core value of safety is – and must forever remain – our top priority, especially as our missions explore more of the cosmos than ever before.”

By law, all space shuttle artifacts are the property of the U.S. government. Members of the public who believe they have encountered any space shuttle artifacts should contact NASA at ksc-public-inquiries@mail.nasa.gov to arrange for return of the items.

Photo courtesy of Fiske family

Prominent home on River Crest Country Club opens for sale of ‘museum-quality’ antiques

Collecting history

UPDATE 10-25-2022: While the estate sale has ended, the home is now officially on the market. Check out the listing here.


A century-old house across from the first hole of Fort Worth's River Crest Country Club is opening to the public, and behind the doors is a treasure trove of rare antiques that need new homes.

The stately white two-story at the corner of Crestline Road and Tremont Avenue was the longtime home of Michael and Drinda Fiske and their two sons, Damon and Shannon — a well-known, well-loved family in the neighborhood. Michael, an engineer and entrepreneur, died in 2014; Drinda passed away in November 2021.

Drinda was an avid and experienced collector whose vast assemblage of heirlooms will be shoppable at an estate sale conducted by Urban Potluck Sales, September 1-3.

Her collection fills every nook and cranny of every room in the house, downstairs and up — from vintage tins and cookbooks in the kitchen to antique toys in the children’s bedrooms — and it’s “better than any antique store you will visit,” says Urban Potluck Sales owner Tracy Keltner.

“This house, from start to present, has been nothing short of jaw dropping. The first day I walked in I knew that many of the items were museum quality,” Keltner says. “Most estate sale companies will encounter a house with specific antiques and vintage collections around once or twice a year. Rarely, if ever, do we encounter collections of this magnitude, and of this quality. Everything we touch winds up being something significant.”

Among the fun and significant discoveries:

  • A sterling silver Tiffany & Company small desk calendar, black with tarnish, tucked in with some antique wooden spools. “When I felt it, I knew it was something special — it just took some polishing to be able to read the mark, but was a true treasure,” Keltner says.
  • A Buck Rogers Atomic toy pistol
  • A Clark's Spool Cotton cabinet and table from a general store with a "secret" code to open the cash drawer with a series of hidden brass buttons
  • Spun cotton Victorian Christmas ornaments
  • A Bakelite greyhound-shaped carved pasta cutter
  • "Feather" trees (Christmas trees that are considered to be some of the first artificial Christmas trees)
  • Two tubs full of antique/vintage Halloween items. “Drinda collected papier mache pumpkins and cats. These items have paper faces that are quite rare, most in part because the pumpkins were used as luminarias and probably caught fire,” Keltner says.
  • A small personal diary from a young girl that dated to 1878. “The book was only a tad larger than a business card and had been a Christmas gift as indicated from her entry in the front of the diary," Keltner says. "She had made an entry every day without fail. In the back of the small book was a dog-eared miniature book that she had saved and had noted that the miniature book had been a gift from a Mrs. Harper, who had nicknamed her Adeline. I just found it so intriguing that the diary had survived and that the tiny book had been so special that she had saved it to her adulthood.”
  • A large collection of antique children's shoes. “I found it humbling that most of the antique children's shoes had signs of wear that indicated that the shoes had been worn well past the size of the foot, i.e., the shoes were worn way longer than the foot had grown," Keltner says. "This was a severe reminder that shoes were passed down from kid to kid and that just because your child's foot was in need of a larger size did not mean they got new shoes — the parents had to wait for the money to afford the purchase.”

One of the largest categories are vintage Christmas collectibles — enough to fill several rooms of the second story. Bins and shelves are filled with ornaments, beads, nativity sets from around the world, books, and even post-World War II-era decorations with tags that say, “Made in occupied Japan.”

“Of particular note is her passion for all things from the Victorian era, most specifically Victorian Christmas,” Keltner says. “What makes Victorian Christmas items so charming is that they were not mass produced and were mostly hand made. Over time these pieces, if not cared for properly, will be torn or broken due to their fragile nature. To have a collection this large, and in divine condition, is spectacular. Many of the blown glass ornaments have extensions that are a thin as a toothpick, and under the care of Mrs. Fiske they have been lovingly stored and have survived intact, unbroken.”

Drinda Fiske had a special love of holidays and made the home come alive at Christmas, both for visitors and passersby, remembers her daughter-in-law.

“I have so many wonderful memories of going to their house at the holidays and being in awe of her Christmas tree that was decorated with Steiff teddy bears," says Darlene Fiske, who is married to Michael and Drinda’s son Shannon. "She would arrange them doing certain activities in the tree. Two bears would be having a cup of tea at a table, another swinging in a hammock. There were these vignettes all around the tree; it must have taken her weeks to set it up. The Christmas tree was inside but she put it near the window that faces Crestline so everybody could see it when they drove by.”

And yes, the teddy bears are up for sale.

Home with history
Shopping the sale also gives Fort Worthians a rare opportunity to peek inside the storied home. While the Fiskes were very private people, their daughter-in-law says, the home was the subject of several newspaper and magazine design articles, as well as neighborhood intrigue.

According to a 1975 Fort Worth Star-Telegram feature, the home was built in 1921 by a German couple. (At the time, River Crest Country Club was just 10 years old.) The architecture is Norman, and restoration experts believed it may have been a copy of a house the owners had originally built in Germany.

The Fiskes spent more than a year in the 1970s rebuilding and restoring the house before they moved in and filled it with Drinda’s precious antiques. The newspaper article, headlined "House that found love a traffic stopper," said drivers would regularly slow their cars to glimpse the Fiskes' transformation of the once-dilapidated house.

"After the house was completed, she started collecting antiques," Darlene Fiske says, recalling family trips to Canton, New Orleans, and other antiquing hot spots. “If something caught her eye and it was unusual, she would buy it. She just had this sense for things that had a story to tell.”

The home is not yet on the market but will be seeking new owners to love it as much as the Fiskes did, the family says.

“We’re taking inquiries for the home purchase right now, but are not in a rush and will wait for just the right person,” Darlene Fiske says. “We’re hoping that someone will want to keep the home intact and give it some TLC and a refresh.”

Keltner says working on the estate sale “has been something like opening a time capsule."

"Mrs. Fiske had a keen eye and did not specialize in any particular item to collect,” she says. “What is clear though, is that her love of antiques was all consuming. The magnitude and quality of her collection indicates a lifetime of hunting.”


The Fiske home is at 4259 Crestline Rd. The public sale will take place 8:30 am-5 pm September 1-3. For more information on the collection and special shopping opportunities, visit the website.

The home, across from the first hole of River Crest Country Club, is more than 100 years old.

Fiske home, 4259 Crestline, Fort Worth
Photo courtesy of Fiske family
The home, across from the first hole of River Crest Country Club, is more than 100 years old.
Photo courtesy of Magnolia

7 spectacular surprises inside Chip and Joanna Gaines' new Fixer Upper castle in Waco

Royal revelation

“Are you ready to see your fixer upper?” the enthusiastic tour guide asked, channeling Chip and Joanna Gaines and their famous “big reveal” line from TV’s Fixer Upper. This time, it wasn't the home owners waiting outside a first glimpse at their home makeover; it was a small group of tourists gathered on the porch, ready to step inside the Gaineses’ most ambitious renovation project yet — a century-old castle in Waco.

For the first time ever, Texas’ king and queen of renovation have unlocked the doors and let the public into one of their famed fixer-uppers before it’s featured on their Magnolia Network show.

Known as the historic Cottonland Castle, this three-story, 6,700-square-foot residence was started in 1890 and finished in 1913. The Gaineses purchased the dilapidated structure in 2019 and designed and executed a regal flip that will be featured on an eight-episode special called Fixer Upper: Welcome Home – The Castle, beginning October 14.

They plan to sell it in the fall. But before a home sale comes an open house, and for three months only — through October 29 — the castle is open six days a week for guided tours.

Hour-long castle expeditions take visitors through every room, nook, and cranny — from turret to toilettes. Knowledgeable guides dispense history, impart design information, and reveal behind-the-scenes stories from Chip and Jo that may or may not make it on TV.

For Fixer Upper fans, Magnolia maniacs, and Gaines gangs in Fort Worth, it’s worth the 90-minute drive down I-35 to experience the castle transformation in real life before it hits the small screen. A tour offers the very rare chance to walk through the door (in this case, a 10-foot-tall, 400-pound, solid-oak door) into the world of a Chip-and-Jo reno.

Without revealing too much, here are seven fun surprises you’ll find behind the castle walls.

1. History meets homey. A castle museum, this is not.

“Chip and Joanna’s vision was that they really wanted to honor it with historical pieces but also make it more practical for the modern family that’s going to live here in the future,” guide Megan Shuler said at the beginning of the tour.

While many original features — including seven fireplaces — were restored, the castle has been fixed up as a home for the future, not a shrine to the past. One-of-a-kind and collected antiques (such as the kingly dining room table from Round Top, Texas) blend with pieces from the Gaineses’ own Magnolia Home collection. A 17-page “Castle Sourcebook” lists design elements and products and where to buy them. And in the ultimate modern touch — a branding tie-in — a forthcoming “Colors of the Castle” paint collection will be available through Magnolia this fall.

2. Sweet nods to the castle’s past. Posted on the wall in the foyer is a poem written by Alfred Abeel, the owner who completed construction in 1913. It talks of making the castle “‘home sweet home’ all seasons of the year.”

On the center of the dining room fireplace mantel is Abeel’s family crest, along with the phrase (in Latin), “God’s providence saves me.” Next to it, children’s heights are recorded from the 1930s to the early 2000s, the last time a family lived here.

3. A cozy nook in the turret. The original design was modeled after a small castle on the Rhine River in Germany, and there is one tower turret. A space historically used (in “real” castles) for military defense has, here, been turned into one of the coziest corners of the house. Tucked into a corner next to the winding staircase, two comfy chairs sit under an antique-y light fixture from Austria. It's the perfect place to curl up with a book from the library upstairs.

4. Rooms with storylines. “One of the challenges Chip and Joanna had when they bought the castle was, there was no one, really, they were designing it for,” Shuler explained. “So they would create storylines for each room to help tell their story.”

Two of the four bedrooms, for example, are the “boy’s bedroom,” and “girl’s bedroom.” The storylines are that the future homeowner’s son would come back from college and stay in his childhood bedroom, and that the future homeowner’s granddaughters would stay in the room while hanging out at the grandparents’ house.

The boy’s room contains more masculine furnishings and decor, including a watercolor portrait of Roy Lane, the famous architect who helped complete the castle. The girl’s room is painted in “Rose Pink,” a color named after Joanna’s grandmother.

5. Bodacious bathrooms. There are three-and-a-half “throne rooms” in the castle, and they’re some of the prettiest spaces, mixing metals, woods, and tiles; even original radiators look like works of art. One of the most spectacular rooms in the house, in fact, is a grand, gleaming bathroom — which (tease!) will be fully revealed on the show.

6. Party in the basement. “Gathering spaces” are a hallmark of Chip and Jo’s homes, and in the castle, they take place in the dungeon — er, basement. A “card room” for poker games or family game nights sits next to the family room, which houses the only TV in the castle. The guest bedroom’s also in the basement, along with a laundry room and a former wine cellar now left “blank” for the new owners to reimagine.

7. Behind-the-scenes tales and tidbits. Fixer Upper devotees will devour the charming and quirky tidbits about the Gaineses shared throughout the tour. There are a few design elements and furnishings originally meant for their own home, including an item banished to the castle by their daughters. There’s a fun story about what Chip did when they found bones — yes, bones — in the basement. And, the prime selfie spot for Fixer Upper fans is a large mirror that, the tour guides say, Joanna used to touch up her makeup during the filming of the show.

Castle tour tickets, $50, are available through the website, with 20 percent of proceeds benefiting The Cove nonprofit organization. (Note that the home does not have an elevator and requires guests’ ability to access three staircases.)

Tips for a Magnolia pilgrimage in Waco:
Shop: No castle jaunt would be complete without a stop at the Magnolia Silos complex. A new 8:15 am tour, offered Monday through Saturday, takes visitors behind the scenes and on the roof before the crowds (and the heat) arrive. Hint: August is a “slower” month at the Silos, and Tuesday through Thursday are less crowded. Tour tickets are $25 and come with a free coffee from Magnolia Press.

Eat: Chip and Joanna’s Magnolia Table cafe stays busy all day, every day. If you don’t have time to wait for a table, visit the takeaway market next door. Grab to-go items like pimiento cheese and crackers, a butter flight, banana pudding, and chicken salad sandwiches, and enjoy them on a table outside (if it's not too hot).

Stay: Availability at Magnolia’s four vacation rentals can be hard to come by, but watch the website for nights to pop open. Make it a girls’ getaway with a stay at the grand Hillcrest Estate (which sleeps 12), or go solo and book the darling Hillcrest Cottage, the Gaineses’ newest and smallest lodging, which opened in fall 2021. A forthcoming Magnolia boutique hotel, in the historic Grand Karem Shrine building downtown, is slated to open in 2024.

The castle will be on tour only through the end of October, before it's featured on a special season of Fixer Upper - Wecome Home.

Fixer Upper castle Waco
Photo courtesy of Magnolia
The castle will be on tour only through the end of October, before it's featured on a special season of Fixer Upper - Wecome Home.
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CultureMap Emails are Awesome

'Yellowstone' stars to greet fans at Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo

Yellowstone news

Yellowstone fans, get your comfy shoes ready - there'll be a long line for this one. Cole Hauser a.k.a. "Rip Wheeler" on Yellowstone, and Taylor Sheridan, the show's co-creator, executive producer, and director of the series, will meet fans and sign autographs at the Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo.

The event will take place from 4:30-6:30 pm only on Friday, February 3. Location is the 6666 Ranch booth near the south end of Aisle 700 in the Amon G. Carter, Jr. Exhibits Hall.

According to a February 2 announcement from FWSSR, "fans will have the opportunity to snag an autograph as well as purchase some distinctive Yellowstone and 6666 Ranch merchandise while also enjoying all the features the Stock Show offers."

The event is free to attend (with paid Stock Show admission) and open to the public.

It's the second year in a row for Hauser to appear at FWSSR; in 2022, he and fellow cast mates drew huge crowds.

Sheridan, a Paschal High School graduate, is no stranger to Fort Worth; he lives in a ranch near Weatherford and filmed 1883, the prequel to Yellowstone, in and around Fort Worth. Currently, another spinoff, 1883: The Bass Reeves Story, is filming in North Texas.

The Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo is winding up its 2023 run on Saturday, February 4.

Quonset hut in south Fort Worth to be transformed into ballroom

Quonset Hut News

A Quonset hut in south Fort Worth is about to make a Cinderella-like transformation: Called the Quonset Ballroom, it's being developed into an entertainment space which will host live music, food trucks, and events.

The hut is located at 2608 W. Dickson St., and was previously home to a lawn care operator for 30 years.

Husband-and-wife Jason and Hedy Peña stumbled onto it while searching for a new location for Hedy’s insurance agency, Armor Texas Insurance Agency. They landed at 2612 Dickson St., a cool mid-century office building built in 1957, which was ideal for the agency, even despite its offbeat address in a heavily industrial area.

“It was a piece of property where we could locate the office and it also had this 4,000-square foot Quonset hut next door,” Hedy says. "We started thinking about creating a venue which could be rented for parties, weddings, and social events."

Quonset huts are sprinkled across the Dallas-Fort Worth landscape, most dating back to the 1940s, shortly after the structure was first invented at Quonset Point Naval Air Station in Rhode Island.

Fort Worth is also currently in thrall with Quonset huts, thanks to the hip PS1200 mixed-use development near the Medical District which opened in July.

This one was built in 1948, and will require an overhaul, including new flooring, AC, and framing, with a planned-for capacity of 250 people.

Even as they work on the revamp, the Peñas have hosted private parties as well as a campaign event for Jason Peña, who ran unsuccessfully for Fort Worth city council in May 2023.

“We’ve had some private events there, but it’s not ready for a full event," Hedy says.

They currently have no plans for a bar but they're building a kitchen space to serve as a platform for the food trucks, including hookups.

The tract also has what was once a 10-car garage, which the Peñas are developing as storefronts they hope to lease as office spaces.

The industrial nature of the neighborhood initally gave them pause, but Hedy says it's turned out to be a positive, and the property itself has mature, leafy trees.

"Everything around us is industrial and at first I was uneasy about opening the insurance agency there," she says. "But the neighborhood has not deterred customers. We've even grown. And without homeowners nearby, it's a good setup if we have live music."

She envisions a spot that will eventually have a community feel, where families can dine and sit outside or inside – there will be seating – and enjoy music and conversation.

“It will be open to rent to the public, for sure, and could turn into something where it has regular hours," she says. “It will be for everyone, the public, our friends, family, so that everyone can see what we have here.”

Gamestop stock saga gets fun, star-filled movie treatment with Dumb Money

Movie review

The stock market feels like one of those aspects of American life that only a select few truly understand. The rest of us acknowledge it as something that exists and affects our lives in some way, but how and why any particular stock is traded and becomes more (or less) valuable can be a complete mystery.

Dumb Money tackles one of the most interesting recent stories to come out of the stock market, the surprising inflation of Gamestop stock in late 2020/early 2021. The film bounces around to a variety of characters, but centers mostly on Keith Gill (Paul Dano), a YouTuber who went by the name of Roaring Kitty. Gill, an amateur stock trader, took an early position about liking the lightly-regarded Gamestop stock, regularly posting videos and on the Reddit thread WallStreetBets about how his significant investment in the stock was doing.

Concurrently, hedge fund managers like Gabe Plotkin (Seth Rogen) were actively trying to short, or bet against, the stock. That began a battle by Gill and other similarly-minded individual investors to fight back against what they saw as unfair trading practices by the big firms, resulting in Gamestop’s stock rising astronomically in a relatively short period of time.

Directed by Craig Gillespie (I, Tonya) and written by Lauren Schuker Blum and Rebecca Angelo, the film is notable for what it is not, a deep dive into the inner workings of the stock market. Instead of getting into the nitty gritty details, the filmmakers treat it as the ultimate David vs. Goliath story, with Gill and other everyday people like a nurse, Jenny (America Ferrera), Gamestop worker Marcus (Anthony Ramos), and college student Harmony (Talia Ryder) going up against billionaires like Plotkin, Steve Cohen (Vincent D’Onofrio), Ken Griffin (Nick Offerman), and Vlad Tenev (Sebastian Stan).

Paul Dano in Dumb Money

Photo by Claire Folger/Sony Pictures

Paul Dano in Dumb Money.

It doesn’t hurt that Gill is an eccentric character who wears cat-emblazoned shirts and a headband, and that the Reddit community he inspires communicates primarily in memes, upping the entertainment factor of their side immensely. The story is also a suspense in a way; as the variety of individuals drive the stock ever higher, their net worth – on paper – also grows exponentially, and the longer each of them holds on without selling ups the potential that they could be burned.

Because the real-life event happened during the thick of the pandemic when it was still up in the air as to the full impact of COVID-19, the story takes on a little more significance. Characters mask up regularly, conversations take place on the phone or over Zoom, and a general feeling of unease permeates the film. That may or may not have influenced how certain people approached the situation, but in the context of the film, it definitely seems to play a part.

The back-and-forth between the haves and have-nots takes up so much time in the film that it barely has time for such well-known actors as Shailene Woodley, Dane Dehaan, Olivia Thirlby, and Pete Davidson, among others. Each of them plays a supporting character to one of the main people, and all of them deliver that little something extra in what could have been throwaway roles.

Dano is a chameleonic actor who’s gone between drama and comedy with ease throughout his career. This role is a mixture of both, and he has an effortlessness about him that makes everything he says instantly believable. Rogen is great casting as Plotkin, amiably playing the buffoon of the story. After her big role in Barbie, Ferrera once again shows that she deserves as many showcases as Hollywood can give her.

Storytellers can rarely go wrong in showing people with little power taking on those with great wealth, and the fact that the story shown in Dumb Money is (mostly) true makes it that much better. You may not understand the stock market any more than you already did at the end, but you’ll be so entertained that it won’t matter.


Dumb Money is now playing in theaters.