By Sharon Wisch-Ray
Ann Bogart’s influence on the Miss Texas Pageant was legendary and July 2, the Miss Texas Pageant paid tribute to that impact by dedicating its preliminary at the Eisenmann Center in Richardson to Ann’s memory. Marvin Blum made the following remarks prior to welcoming Ann’s surviving children, Ruthie Currie and Herb Bogart to the stage.
“I am Marvin Blum, a member of the board of directors of the Miss America Organization, and I am here tonight to present a memorial tribute for a dear friend that we lost during the last year.
“One would not think that a woman born in Poland and a Stalinist Labor Camp Holocaust survivor would be the typical Miss Texas Organization volunteer. Well, Ann Bogart, was not your typical volunteer.
“Ann was born in 1920, 94 years ago, and met her husband Louis, also a Holocaust survivor, in Uzbekistan and they married in 1945. Soon after, they moved to Fort Worth, Texas, where Ann was a fashion designer and both of them started Bogart Industries, a fashion apparel business.
“Ann and Louis became involved in the Miss Texas Organization in the 1960s. They both were long time members of the Miss Texas board of directors, Hall of Honor members, and avid supporters of the Miss Texas contestants.
“But certainly what Ann will be remembered for most are her beautiful evening gowns and famous swimsuits. Hundreds of contestants from Texas and around the country had the honor of wearing one of ‘Miss Ann’s’ beautiful creations. Whether it was for competition or for the pageant production, she tirelessly gave of her time and talent to help the young women of this organization fulfill their dreams.
“Perhaps what amazes me most about Ann Bogart is how vibrant and active she was, even in her 90s, until just a few weeks before her passing. Right until the very end, she continued to design, create, and sew, with the energy and spirit of someone decades younger. Ann Bogart was a true miracle.
“So, a typical volunteer, no she was not. But for almost 50 years, Ann Bogart stitched her way into our hearts and our memories forever.
“Please join me in welcoming Ann’s daughter Ruthie, and Ann’s son and longtime Miss Texas pageant volunteer, Herb Bogart.”
Miss Texas 2013 presented Ruthie with a beautiful bouquet of roses and a photo montage of Ann and Louis’ contributions to the pageant over the years followed.
Chevra Kadisha Society seeks members
Debby Rice shared the following with the TJP, beautifully written by Louise Vermillion.
“My mother moved to Fort Worth from Florida when she was 90-years-old. She had osteoporosis and walked with a cane, but there was nothing else wrong with her physically, and mentally she was sharp as a tack. She moved into a lovely apartment in Franklin Park (now the Vantage) and was very happy to be so near me, her only child. That was all she was happy about.
“My mother didn’t like anything about Texas. She thought the food was unhealthy, she had a hard time understanding the Southern accents and she didn’t realize that Jewish life in Fort Worth revolved around the synagogue. My mother wanted a Jewish community; she just didn’t want it to involve religion. She joined the Shul because I belonged there, and because I told her she’d get a cheaper burial plot.
“When my mother died at age 94, she really didn’t have any close Jewish friends here in Fort Worth. The Chevra Kadisha Society didn’t care that they didn’t know her. They treated her with love and respect. I know this because that’s how they treat everyone. After my mother died, I felt that I wanted to give back to the wonderful community that had been so good to her. I called Debby Rice and asked if I could become part of the Chevra Kadisha. She enthusiastically said ‘Yes, of course!’
“I admit I was scared. I had never been so close to a person who was no longer alive. What would it be like? Would I be grossed out? Would I be embarrassed? My fears were soon put to rest. The ladies of the Chevra Kadisha Society treat everyone as an honored, loved, and respected relative. Modesty and respect are shown in every aspect of the tahara ritual. Sometimes, it can be too much for someone. If that happens, the person just steps out of the room. There’s no judgment, no ill-feeling, no argument. It doesn’t mean you won’t be asked back. We all know that not everyone can do everything.
“I am so glad to be part of this community. When I die, I’m grateful that the Chevra Kadisha Society will treat me as part of their family. Please consider joining us. You don’t need any special skills and you don’t have to know how to do anything in advance. We provide on-the-job training. Call Debby Rice at 817-706-5158 and tell her you’d like to try — no commitment! Be a part of something Jews have done for each other for thousands of years. We welcome you, and thank you in advance.”
Musing about the great game
I’m certain I was not the only ourtowner at the Rangers versus Angels game Saturday night.
Eric Nadel was honored by the club and fans with a bobblehead and a special tribute in honor being this year’s Ford C. Frick Award winner presented annually by the National Baseball Hall of Fame in the United States to a broadcaster for major contributions to baseball.
Nadel will be inducted into the broadcaster hall of fame in Cooperstown, N.Y. in a couple of weeks.
Legions of broadcasters sent their well-wishes to Nadel shown on the jumbotron at Globe Life Park. Present were Brad Sham of the Cowboys, Chuck Cooperstein of the Mavericks and Ralph Strangis of the Stars.
It was a great tribute, and I was struck by the fact that three out of four of the voices of our professional sports teams are Jewish.
Apologies to all. In our piece about the senior programs, we neglected to say that none of those programs would be possible without the amazing generosity of the Dan Danciger/Fort Worth Hebrew Day School Supporting Foundation. The foundation’s support provides the JFS Senior Program with its basic needs and special social opportunities, such as museum trips, zoo trips and Jewish community events.