Candace Evans, Cole Smith, and Sherry Hayslip Smith

It saddens our hearts to report that Dallas, indeed the entire U.S., has lost one of its most significant architects: Cole Smith.

Cole was born in 1926 and died August 25. He was married to interior designer extraordinaire Sherry Hayslip Smith, who rightfully called her beloved husband “a national treasure.”

“Cole Smith’s life and work have been inseparable. Dedicated to preserving and promoting craftsmanship, he has mastered many crafts and found patrons to underwrite the work of others,” she said. “A lover of history, he has woven it into his architecture. Compelled to infuse design into everything he does, his philanthropies, hobbies, and pleasures involve creating unique and beautifully crafted structures and objects, or preserving existing ones.”

It is going to take some research to write about all the homes he has designed in Dallas, significant homes, classic homes, beautiful homes. I believe he was one of the most prolific architects of our time. Cole designed more than homes, he designed great buildings that will live on in this city and beautify North Texas long after we are all departed. And they were not all mega-mansions.


YountI met Kelly Yount about six years ago, as I do so many people, in the course of publishing this blog-turned-website. She had reached out to me and we met for lunch as two total strangers, and it was a two-hour lunch with iced tea — no wine even. I mean, we clicked.

She was a beautiful blonde attorney, very much like my own daughter, and we had so much to talk about and share. I learned that she was from Knoxville, Tennessee, that she had three beautiful children, that she was a lawyer in real estate law.

I knew she loved ranches and animals.

We kept in touch through and of course, Facebook.

A few years ago, she reached out to me after a tragedy in my own family and graciously invited me and my daughter and grand-daughter to a beautiful meal at her home. That is where we met her pet pig, Daisy, a baby piglet at the time.

We have been in touch since, talked about grabbing lunch or a glass of wine, but our busy lives just got in the way.

Sometimes I wonder why we cannot just push pause on this world and everything in it. I’m not saying stop, but pause. A breather. A chance to reach out to people and just connect, then hit the start button again and get on with it.

Because the one time I did that with Kelly, I met a beautiful person who will be in my heart forever.


Dallas Realtor Laura Avila passed away after being placed in hospice care.

We have held off on posting this tragic, tragic story for weeks with hope that the outcome would be much different.

But JP & Associates agent Laura Avila died Saturday, November 24 in El Paso, where she was on life support following a plastic surgery procedure in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico that left her brain dead.

Laura went into a coma after anesthesia complications in Cd. Juarez. She died around 8:20 a.m. Saturday morning, according to her sister’s Facebook post. She was only 36.

By now most people know that Avila, who lived and worked in the JPAR Uptown office, traveled to the Rinocenter clinic in Juarez for a rhinoplasty and redo of a breast augmentation, but fell into a coma after anesthetic complications before the surgery even started. Avila was a resident of El Paso, and going over the border for medical procedures is not uncommon for many El Paso residents who have relatives in Mexico. And cosmetic surgery procedures in Mexico are tempting — cheaper than those in the U.S. Avila’s family has said that the cost for Laura’s surgical procedures was about $8500, less than one-third the price of what she found for the same procedures in the U.S. 

Her procedures were booked for 7 a.m. on October 30, but later pushed to noon, according to her sister, because some of the surgeons flying in from Guadalajara were running late. 

Laura’s fiance, Enrique Cruz, was with her and was told the procedure would take four hours. When he returned for her around 4 p.m., he said he wasn’t able to see Laura and was told, finally, at 9:00 p.m. that Laura needed to be transferred to another hospital. 

Angie Avila told ABC-7 in El Paso the doctors in Mexico said they may had erred in her spinal anesthetic injection: instead of flowing through her body, the anesthetic went straight to her brain. The complications resulted in Laura suffering severe global brain damage. Her brain swelled and she suffered cardiac arrest for several minutes, according to her family. Her family tried to move her to Parkland Hospital, but Parkland wouldn’t take her. The hospital where she had been transferred in Juarez refused to sign transfer papers until the family paid the bill. Finally she was moved to a hospital in El Paso where everyone had hope she would emerge from the surgery-induced coma. But late Friday, doctors recommended Laura be moved to hospice care, where she passed the next morning. (more…)

When I think of “Dallas Alice” Slaney Davis, I think of the original Dallas personalities who made this great city the real estate powerhouse it has become: Ebby Halliday, Mary Frances Burleson, Virginia Cook, Paula Stringer, Jenny Ling, Mona Biskamp…

And Alice Slaney Davis.

“Alice of Dallas”, as she called herself (and everyone called her) could light up a room with her beautiful presence. As so many have said, Alice “never met a stranger”. And when she met a friend, she made you feel like you were walking on air. You actually parted ways being better just for having been touched by the very genuine Alice of Dallas.

I was heartsick to learn earlier this week at the North Dallas/Park Cities MLS meeting that this legendary Dallas Realtor and beautiful human being passed away last Saturday, June 23, 2018.

“Alice never met a stranger, and she always made sure everyone felt included and appreciated, says Keith Newman,  Associate Broker Manager at Ebby Halliday Realtors famed Little White House. “She knew how to work a room, to engage with people, and she was genuinely interested in what they had to say.  She was never afraid to strike up a conversation with someone she did not know. She always had something positive and uplifting to say.”
Alice was a very special lady. She was born in Philipsburg, Pennsylvania in 1932. She attended Thompson College, married James Slaney, and lived in a variety of cities: Baltimore Maryland, Roanoke Virginia, Buffalo New York, Pittsburg Pennsylvania, Los Angeles California. Alice moved to Dallas in 1966.

It was a pivotal time in this city. In 1970, Alice began her famous career in real estate, remaining active until May of this year. She was involved in countless TAR Boards and Commissions, was a Realtor & Broker Emeritus, a mentor and role model for many.

Alice joined Ebby Halliday Realtors in 1990, managing their fast-growing Coit at Campbell office. Later she joined the company’s home office, becoming Director of the Ebby Referral Associates Alumni Group.

According to Alice “Realtors never retire, they just get “Listless”.”

Alice was incredibly active: a Founding Member and past President of the Northwood Woman’s Club and involved in many charities focused on supporting woman during their journey through life.

Her journey left a legacy of family. Alice is survived by her children; Scott Slaney and his wife Lisa of San Francisco, California, and Lynn Slaney Silguero (also an Ebby agent) and her husband Paul, of Frisco, Texas; her grandson, Josef Slaney of Houston, Texas; her brother James Woodring and his wife Beverly, of Cary, North Carolina; as well as nieces, nephews, in-laws and the thousands of friends and colleagues she cared about so deeply.

She was preceded in death by her husbands, Floyd “Bud” Selbst, Richard Davis, and James Slaney; her sister Margaret Capatch; and her brothers, Wesley Woodring and Bob Woodring.

Alice was a strong believer in paying it forward. In that light, the family requests that memorial gifts be designated to Kidney Transplant Research at Mayo Clinic. Gifts can be mailed directly to Mayo Clinic, Department of Development, 200 First Street SW, Rochester, MN 55905, or made on-line at NWC-Northwood Woman’s Club Charitable Fund, Ebby Halliday Foundation mailed to: 4455 Sigma Rd. Dallas, Texas 75244.

Mass will be said at Holy Trinity Catholic Church, 3811 Oak Lawn Avenue, Dallas, 75219 at 2:00 p.m., Friday, March 16, 2018.

Dallas Realtor Kay Hardee McFarlane passed away peacefully in her sleep at her home on Sunday, March 4, 2018. Kay was born on February 17, 1967 in Little Rock, Arkansas.  She was the daughter of Jan (Nix) McFarlane of Little Rock, and Robert S. McFarlane, Jr. originally from Cleveland, Mississippi. She is survived by her brother, Guy Everett McFarlane of Dallas, her Aunt, Ladye Kay (Nix) Allen of Dallas, her beloved cousin Taylor (Allen) Vincent and two loving nephews, Rennic T. Vincent and Z. Nash Vincent of Durango, Colorado.

Preceding her in death is her father and her grandparents, Jonnie (Rowland) Nix and Cecil Everett Nix of Pine Bluff, Arkansas and Virginia Guy (Hardee) McFarlane of Cleveland, Mississippi.

Her paternal Great Grandfather, William Guy Hardee, Esq., of Cleveland, Mississippi gave the land for the site of Delta State College, and the Freshman’s Girl’s Dormitory. Hardee Hall, is named in his honor. Kay was proud of her deep Southern roots, but loved her adopted state of Texas. Kay truly loved the Texas Hill Country. She attended Camp Mystic in Hunt, Texas, where at 8 years old she received the coveted Silver M Award. Kay’s early education was at Jefferson Preparatory School in Pine Bluff, Arkansas. In Dallas she attended McCullough Middle School and remained a proud Scottie, graduating in 1985 from Highland Park High School. She continued to love all her many friends from high school days, seeming to know almost everyone in every grade. As one mother said, “My memory is of little Kay driving that huge old blue Oldsmobile convertible around the school looking for a parking place!”


Update: Readers tell me Ms. Malone lived on Livingston near Inwood Road, and lived her later years as a recluse.

I had no idea that the great actress Dorothy Malone lived in Dallas. She moved here from Chicago with her family, attended Ursuline, Hockaday, and SMU, and then returned in 1971 when she married Charles Huston Bell, a Dallas businessman and hotel executive.

They divorced in 1974, but Dorothy Malone stayed on in Dallas. And according to a little internet research, she dated a Dr. Phillip Montgomery from Dallas in the late 1940’s and… was a real estate agent in later years, about 1991. Anyone remember working with her?

Dorothy Malone died Friday morning in a Dallas assisted living facility, where she had been living for the last ten years, according to the New York Times. Dorothy Malone was 93.

Ms. Malone, who was married and divorced three times, had two daughters from her first marriage to French actor Jaques Bergerac. She is survived by those daughters, Mimi Vanderstraaten and Diane Thompson, six grandchildren, and her brother, Robert B. Maloney, an inactive senior federal district judge in Dallas.


Al Hill, Jr. & daughter Heather Washburne, photo courtesy of CultureMap

We are saddened to report the loss of one of Dallas’ most dynamic entrepreneurs, philanthropists, and real estate aficionados, Al G. Hill, Jr.

The Dallas Morning News reports that Al died in his sleep at his Highland Park home on Lakeside Drive Saturday night at age 72.

His death marks a significant loss in a huge Texas family dynasty. Al Hill was the oldest grandson of Texas oilman H.L. Hunt, who for decades was known as the richest man in America, and who amassed a multi billion dollar fortune for his descendants.


By Phil Crone
Special Contributor

Long before social media connected the world and made business leads just a click away, Clyde Anderson developed his own network with good old fashioned diligence. The legendary building materials salesman never made a cold call.

A colleague who rode along with Clyde to learn the tricks of his trade asked him how that could be. Clyde replied, “I know everyone in this market and they know me. I see to that by being a member of professional organizations and never missing a meeting. I check the business journal for new business licenses and even ask the UPS drivers if they’ve noticed any new businesses coming in.”