Famed columnist brings insights to Texarkana
By BECKY BELL
Heloise has been around long enough to know that even when she
hears a doozy of a suggestion, she still hasnt heard it all.
Steam ironing JELL-O to remove that nasty tough layer that seems
to inevitably develop after days in the fridge.Writing thank-you
cards by sitting backward on the toilet so there is a desk
to write on and washing sheets with a vacuum cleaner
and spraying Febreze on them.
People tell her they have actually tried these things. And even
if she doesnt endorse these unconventional approaches to domesticity,
she understands their confusion.After all, not everyone grew up
with the original Heloise as a mom.
The author, lecturer and syndicated columnist, whose work appears
in more than 500 newspapers in the United States and internationally,
shared some insight about hints and life during Come Laugh,
Learn and Test Your Hint I.Q. at the Perot Theatre on Tuesday
This was the second time Heloise has appeared at the Perot. She
was the featured speaker for the YWCAs Tribute to Women in
told her primarily female audience at the Perot that the one thing
she has learned over the years is when she writes hints for the
masses, she cant assume the reader will know what she is talking
about. For example, there was once a bachelor who told her he had
tried a recipe of hers but it had not worked out. He said he thought
beat the eggs separately meant to put each egg in a
separate bowl. This was one of many occasions where the audience
erupted in laughter. Many times Heloise herself would crack up and
shake her silver mane of hair in amusement.
Heloise, who began her presentation in a red satin robe and colossal
yellow house shoes, said a good morning could certainly set the
tone for the day. She said her mother, the original Heloise who
started the column in 1959, built her career on helping housewives
by reminding them of one fact.
The original Heloise always said to make life as simple as
possible, she said.
One way to do this is by possessing basic knowledge about everyday
household products and their variety of uses. A brave four-person
panel from the audience got on stage while Heloise asked them questions
in a Jeopardy! style format.
One of the two men on the panel, Paul Wilson of Ashley Furniture
HomeStore, knew that to keep dark colors from fading, you are supposed
to turn them inside out during the wash. Another man on the panel,
Les Minor, Texarkana Gazette managing editor, knew that newspapers
can be used to wash dirty windows.
seemed relieved to find these men possessed this knowledge. During
a recent college tour, she found that some of the young men were
not so domestically educated. A couple of students told her they
knew how to keep their CD collection clean.
He said you know what I do is to lick them, Heloise
said. The other guy said he put them in the toilet and flushed
the commode and the water cleans them. I asked him, Then do
you lick it?
Her presentation at the Perot was not her only stop in Texarkana.
Earlier Tuesday, Heloise spoke to the Junior League of Texarkana,
which celebrated its 80th anniversary with a luncheon at Texarkana
Country Club. The luncheon was held in honor of the sustainers of
Texarkanas oldest non-profit.
We are even older than Bryces, Junior League
president Jennifer Doan jokingly told the audience of members.
Doan said the Junior League has more than 500 members, including
those who are provisional, or in their first year of service; activeserving
their seven years of required service with the group; sustainerswho
have completed their required years of service but dont have
the responsibility of monthly duties; and ameritusmembers
who are 80 years and older.
Doan thanked Greg Pulido, the president of the local manufacturer
HUMCO, for helping to bring Heloise to Texarkana. Pulido is married
to Cindy Pulido, a Junior League member. Heloise is a lifestyle
consultant and spokeswoman for HUMCO, which makes many of the chemical
products she uses.
Marguerite Holman Magee, 83, said she remembers being a Junior
League guinea pig when she was a child and the group was just forming.
Her mother, Marguerite Whitmarsh Holman, was one of the groups
local founders in 1926. Magee said her mother would have been pleased
to see the Junior League continue to thrive today.
She always respected the group, and it is really something
the community depends on, Magee said. It is magnificent
and Im proud to be in the ameritus category.
Heloise told Junior League members that if volunteers such
as their group all stopped doing what they do for five days, the
country would fall apart. People dont understand the value
of what volunteers do, she said.
Besides speaking about the value of volunteerism, Heloise also
told the women to approach housekeeping by considering assigning
everyone in the home a few tasks and monitoring them daily. And
she recommended to be a little more laid back about certain tasks
such as bed making. A bed doesnt have to have hospital corners
to be presentable, she said.
You cant be a 10 at everything, you have to pick and
choose. Unfortunately housework is always going to be there,
.Heloises appearance in Texarkana was sponsored by the Junior
League of Texarkana and the Texarkana Gazette in conjunction with
the Texarkana Regional Arts and Humanities Council. Other supporters
include Ashley Furniture HomeStore, Laffertys TV and Appliance,
H&N Landscaping, and Greg and Cindy Pulido of HUMCO.
At Heloises request, all proceeds from the event will go
to the Battered Womens Shelter and Domestic Violence Prevention,
Heloise will round out her trip to Texarkana today by meeting with