Category Archives: Grapevine

Santa makes special trips to The REC

Santa is taking some time to come visit Grapevine before he starts his Christmas Eve trip around the world! Come out to The REC and see him!

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For more information, visit GoGrapevine.com

A guide to ‘The Christmas Capital of Texas’

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Celebrate the magic of Christmas in Grapevine, the Christmas Capital of Texas! Grapevine is the perfect place to create wonderful Christmas memories with your family and friends. You’ll be amazed at the 1,400 Christmas events in 40 days, as you see Grapevine sparkle with millions of lights, enormous decorations, animated characters and much more! 

New This Year: Explore Grapevine’s enchanting past and join an elf for a cheerful adventure with the Grapevine Christmas Passport – Elf Adventure. Experience 175 years of Christmas spirit by visiting Historic Grapevine and participate in unique hands-on activities. Capture the magic of Christmas and take home your very own hand made projects. Christmas Activity Tickets are also available for only $3 each.

For more information, visit https://www.grapevinetexasusa.com/christmas-capital-of-texas/

Proud son shares father’s story of his tour in the Korean War

I recently sat down with John A. Michel of Southlake to talk about his dad, 87-year-old US Army Sergeant (Retired) Andrew J. Michel, and his experiences during the Korean War.

I met John when I visited VFW Post 10454, stopping in to thank the veterans and their families for their service and sacrifice.

John is very proud of his dad, and it seemed fitting that this interview happened so close to Veterans Day. We were even able to get Sgt. Michel on the phone (“Dad never talks on the phone,” John said), so I felt very honored to speak with the Sgt. in person.

Sgt. Michel was born in Poland in 1932 and survived quite a bit of the ugliness that WWII brought, though his family was not Jewish. He and his family relocated to St. Louis, Missouri, where Sgt. Michel attended high school and graduated in 1951.

Michel joined the US Army in 1952, just in time to go to Korea.

“I was a young man with no parental supervision [in the Army]. I remember buying kimonos for my parents, though those weren’t ‘true’ kimonos. They were basically pretty robes that were sold to tourists and the military,” Michel said.

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Sgt. Michel (R) and a platoon brother (Photo courtesy of John Michel)

“One night, we decided to ‘go into town,’ where all of the entertainment was. That was during a blizzard, and snowplows were clearing the road. I had ice on my eyebrows! We got a few drinks in us and felt warmer. My brothers and I debated on whether to stay the night in town, and a few of us decided to head back. We went to pick everybody up the next day, and I left the brake on in the Jeep. That was a big ‘oops,’ but we got those guys back to camp!” Michel laughed. “One of the most important things in life is to laugh,” he added.

Michel was honorably discharged as a Sergeant on March 27, 1955. He attended the University of Akron (Ohio), but graduated in 1959 with a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from The University of Arkansas.

He worked for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) from 1959 until the mid-1960’s. After that, he moved to Pine Bluff, AR, working for Central Maloney, where, in 1968, met his (now) wife of 51-years, Shirley. 

The couple and their family moved to Southlake in June of 1977, but left again in 1980, when Sgt. Michel was transferred to the FAA HQ in Washington, DC. He retired in 2003, and the family moved back to Southlake, where they have lived ever since.

Thanks, John, for sharing your dad’s story with me. We are only free because of men and women like him, who sacrificed and fought (and sometimes paid the ultimate price).


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Sgt. Michel and John are both members of the “Airport Cities” VFW 10454 Post in Grapevine. Once a month, on a Friday, the Post hosts a steak dinner, which includes salad, mashed potatoes and dessert, for $15. The next steak dinner is Friday, November 15 at 6:30 pm. The Post is located at 221 North Main Street.

“Come eat and drink for the vets!” John said enthusiastically.

For more information, call 817-481-6768 or visit http://vfw10454.net or check out their Facebook Page at https://www.facebook.com/vfw10454/.

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Sgt. Michel, along with wife Shirley and son John (Photo courtesy of John Michel)

 

Upcoming Road Closure in Grapevine

70453104_10162631651780268_8964929861651005440_nNorthGate Constructors will conduct work on Bass Pro Drive from SH 26 to southbound SH 121 frontage road from Thursday night, September 19 starting at 8pm until 6am Friday morning, September 20. Then, the majority of their work will take place from 7am on Saturday, September 21 until 7am Sunday morning, September 22.

This work will require a full closure of Bass Pro Drive from SH 26 to the southbound SH 121 frontage road.

  • Eastbound traffic on Bass Pro Drive will be detoured to the hook ramp at the southbound SH 121 frontage road.
  • Westbound traffic on Bass Pro Drive will be detoured to the northbound SH 121 frontage, then to Sandy Lake Road.
  • Drivers will still be able to cross the Bass Pro Drive bridge in order to turn left on the southbound SH 121 frontage road.
  • The 7-Eleven and Embassy Suites Hotel will still have driveway access on northbound SH 26.
  • Bass Pro Shops will still have driveway access from the southbound SH 121 frontage road.

View a map that describes the closure and detour routes at bit.ly/2kjZu44. This second map shows the business driveway closures at bit.ly/2km5nxH.

Visit DFWConnector.com or text DFWC4 to 77222 for real-time updates.

We Will Never Forget

Here are some photos from the aftermath of Grapevine’s ceremony this morning at the 9/11 Memorial on NW Highway at Texan Trail. It was obvious that there was an outpouring of love and remembrance. The City of Grapevine has photos of the ceremony on their Facebook Page.

Road closures and detours in Grapevine this weekend 8/16 – 8/19

67786291_2659990824012394_3533004183173070848_nMake sure friends know about road closures this weekend in Grapevine, so everyone can plan the best routes and avoid delays.

  • From 8:00 Friday (8/16) to 6am Monday (8/19) Bass Pro Drive will be shut down between SH-26 and SH-121. SH-121 traffic will also be diverted onto the frontage roads.
  • Northbound SH-121/FM 2499 will be shut down at Bass Pro. Southbound SH-121 will be shut down at FM 2499/Grapevine Mills Parkway.
  • Off-ramps connecting SH-121 and I-635 will also be closed, so plan alternate routes.

The closures will allow crews to demolish the old Bass Pro Drive bridge. You can see a full list of closures (and detour maps) at: www.dfwconnector.com.

Editor’s Corner: Grapevine Cruise Night ‘makes Main Street fun again’

By Stacey Doud

Show9I got to go to “Cruise Night” in Grapevine on July 19, 2019. It’s an antique (and sometimes not so antique) car display in downtown every Friday night at 604 S. Main Street in the Blagg Goodyear parking lot from about 6 – 9pm.

I was there to support my friend Richard and his 1937 Dodge police car, but I love antique cars and modern speed demons.

Cruise Night was started in April 2016 by Steve and Barbara Trenkle and Ben Flanagan. They grew up in Grapevine, where it truly was like the movie “American Graffiti.”

“We would cruise Main in our cars, then stop and discuss and compare cars and engines. We wanted to do that again. Our motto is, ‘Make Grapevine Main Street fun again’,” Barbara said.

The event has gotten so popular that the City of Grapevine has a web page for it.

The owner of the 1937 Dodge, Richard Borisenko, and I met around 5pm to set up. There was a steady stream of people all night – some were locals that come out to Cruise Night every Friday, and some were tourists in town, walking down Main and happening upon us.

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“Texas Rich” from Busted Knuckle Magazine (L) and Richard Borisenko

Car owners swapped stories and chatted with visitors, showing off their labors of love. There was also a representative from Busted Knuckle Rod and Truck Magazine which only features Texas vehicles, unlike the more widespread mags like Road and Track or Hot Rod.

It was a very pleasant evening, and Richard got to show off his “baby,” turning on the roof light, sounding the siren (which is so loud, it freaked people out!) and the undercarriage lights after it got dark. He brought his mannequins, “Bonnie and Clyde,” which were a big hit, especially since the dastardly duo had caused problems in Grapevine way back when. There is a plaque about them at the corner of Northwest Highway (Business 114) and Dove Road.

 

All of the car owners, without exception, were very friendly and happy to talk about how they had restored their vehicles.

Cruise Night happens every Friday in the Blagg Goodyear parking lot, located at 604 S. Main Street in Grapevine from about 6 – 9pm. Check out their Facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/GrapevineClassics/.

Editor’s Corner: The Grapevine Escape provides opportunities to exercise the brain, encourages teamwork

By Stacey Doud

GE Outside SignageMy stepdaughter and I recently visited The Grapevine Escape, located at 160 N. Main Street in Grapevine. We had a terrific time!

Escape Rooms are a relatively new form of entertainment in which the participants are “locked” in a room (there is always the option of leaving the room for potty breaks, illness or other needs) and are given 60 minutes to escape. Each room has a theme and a backstory.

Escape Rooms have gotten so popular that there was a movie made this year called, amazingly, “Escape Room.” It is classified as a horror/thriller, but fortunately, we were safe and sound in The Grapevine Escape.

FocusTecWhen we visited, our room was called “FocusTec Labs.” The backstory, which is available to read on the website, involved the Chief Technical Officer of the fictional FocusTec Labs going missing, and unfortunately, she was the only one who could keep the lab functional. Our job was to figure out a series of puzzles, find out what happened to the missing executive and escape the room.

When I say puzzles, I don’t mean crosswords or a box with 1,000 pieces in it. I mean that we had to investigate the room, find clues, keys, combination numbers and the like. It was a real mind-bender with some really awesome special effects. I am lucky that my stepdaughter has a natural talent for puzzles. I’d still be in the room had I been by myself! The rooms encourage critical thinking, teamwork, time management and problem solving, all which exercised our noggins!

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Co-Owner Amber Sebastian

Participants are allowed three hints, though our Games Master took pity on us and gave us a couple of freebie hints. Our Games Master was one of the owners, Amber Sebastian, who sat in a back room, watching and listening to everything we said and did. When we ran into a situation we couldn’t figure out, Amber was able to send hints to the television screen in the room.

“Building escape rooms is quite a challenge, but it is also lots of fun!” said Sebastian, who is co-owner, along with her husband, Russell. “We design rooms full of puzzles – a creative sandbox that kids and adults get to play in, and we simply love creating them! However, building escapes is only half the fun – watching teams escape them is the real joy,” she added.

The Grapevine Escape is not only fun for families – many companies use escape rooms as team building exercises. If more than one group books a room for the same time (10 people are allowed in a room at one time), then participants may be paired with strangers to give the experience a whole new dynamic.

There’s also an offering that I have never seen from an Escape Room company. “Escape Excursions” are travel rooms that are administered by The Grapevine Escape personnel in a remote location, such as a company, a birthday party, a family reunion or a just-for-fun party. While not as visually complex as being in one of their Escape Rooms, excursions offer the additional convenience and flexibility of the puzzles coming to you! 

While we didn’t actually “escape,” we came close and had a fabulous time trying. The Grapevine Escape currently offers three Escape Rooms. You can check out the backstories and learn more about the experience at TheGrapevineEscape.com or give them a call at 817-601-5663.

Editor’s Corner: Why my dad loved this farm

By Stacey Doud

My dad and stepmom came up from Houston to visit me this weekend. My dad’s birthday is always right around Father’s Day, which is partly handy and partly yucky. It’s like a person having a birthday around Christmas – double gifts or one big one? This year, I gave him the gift of my time, as we don’t get to see each other as much since I moved to Grapevine from the Houston area.

I decided to act as a tour guide as we drove around Grapevine. There is so much to do here! But knowing my father and my stepmom, I decided to show them Nash Farm first.

I have been there several times, so I got to tell them a little about the history. Thomas Jefferson Nash and his family bought 450 acres in Grapevine in 1859. Over the years, it got sold off, and what remains is a little over five acres of land, which is used as a working farm, as well as a tourist attraction and a tribute to the Nash family and Grapevine’s history.

Nash built the house on the property in 1869, and the folks at Nash Farm and the Heritage Society in Grapevine have renovated it and keep it in superb condition. All of the furniture, clothing, kitchen tools and décor are either original to the house or are items that one would find in the late 1800’s.

Outside, they keep chickens, turkeys, sheep and Leroy the Barn Cat. The Farm Store offers all kinds of information and wares that were common in the 1800’s, even though a bonnet may have been sewn last week. The craftsmanship shows that the folks that work and volunteer there really care about what they are doing.

They hold all kinds of fun events. The next thing on their calendar is an Ice Cream Social where folks can enjoy homemade ice cream while learning about the Farm, as well as farming itself.

I drive by Nash Farm a lot, just in my local city travels. I get to see the big field of crops that are grown out front. The crops are changed out by season. Right now, they are harvesting wheat and growing corn. As with everything at Nash Farm, it is obvious that they offer the best, grown with close attention, loving care and a bit of science.

My dad really enjoyed looking at the antique tractors and other farm equipment. My stepmom fell in love with the turkeys, so I didn’t mention that they would be someone’s Thanksgiving dinner.

The employees and volunteers dress in 1920’s clothing and may be found churning butter or sewing a bonnet on an authentic foot-powered sewing machine from that time.

The trip to Nash Farm was a big hit with my family, and they want to come back again to see more.

To learn more about Nash Farm, visit https://www.grapevinetexasusa.com/nash-farm/.

Grapevine Police Locate SUV of Missing Woman

PRESS RELEASE

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Joyce Payne

Investigators have located the SUV belonging to a woman reported missing in Grapevine two weeks ago. After multiple searches throughout the city and lake area, a team using sonar equipment at Grapevine Lake identified a vehicle submerged nearly 400 feet from the shoreline. 

Dive teams confirmed that the make, model, and license plate number match the vehicle owned by 66-year-old Joyce Payne. Due to the depth of the SUV and murkiness of the water, police have not yet been able to confirm if Payne is inside the vehicle.  

Police and fire personnel will remain on scene until the SUV can be removed from the water.  Grapevine detectives are in contact with Payne’s family, and have made them aware of the vehicle’s discovery. The Payne family is asking for privacy at this time as they await more information.

Grapevine Police thank the public for helping search for Mrs. Payne.  Any updates on the case will be made after the vehicle is recovered.