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Historic Denton Inc., a group that promotes preservation of the city's historical districts through education, developing National Register districts and fundraising, did something really kind for Veterans Day. The group added 133 new medallions on the graves of early veterans laid to rest in IOOF and Oakwood cemeteries. The organization placed one medallion on the grave of a Texas Revolutionary War veteran; four medallions on the graves of Mexican-American War veterans; 112 medallions on the graves of Confederate States of America veterans in the Civil War; eight medallions to Union veterans of the Civil War and eight medallions on the graves of Spanish-American War veterans. 

Speaking of Denton history, the Campus Theatre — built as a cinema in 1949 and turned into a performing arts space in 1993 — is getting a little bit of a change. The staff pulled up the art deco carpeting. The theater is a busy space, and up until COVID-19 had few days of dark. It's good to see the belle of downtown getting the TLC she deserves, and the word is that other big improvement projects are in the offing. 

The Association of Counseling Center Training Agencies honored Texas Woman's University professor Carmen Cruz recently for her tenure as its president. Cruz educates the next generation of psychologists and counselors, and was the president of the organization from 2018 through this year. The organization honored CruZ for her "dynamic and inclusive leadership" and her commitment to social justice. 

Denton costume designer Judy Smith, the founder and former owner of Rose Costumes, finally saw her supernova star added to the Denton Arts Walk of Fame. Denton Community Theatre (now Theatre Denton) surprised her with a star in 2019, and the honor was installed last month. Smith has dressed countless actors and actresses on the Campus Theatre stage, and we still grin when we think of one of her tactics for making a costume better. "If a costume needs to come up a notch, you can always add feathers or sequins," she once told us. She's not wrong. 

Denton Main Street is ready for the holidays. The nonprofit has asked downtown merchants to decorate and light up their windows for the holidays. As gloomy as 2020 has been, we need a little Christmas. 

Oh, and Denton Main Street has decided to pull the plug on Wassail Weekend this year. We'll all have to wait another year before partaking of the event's nonalcoholic spiced cider. The odds are getting higher that a lot of Denton residents will be drinking their own wassail, with liquor in it (as God intended) at home this year. 

OK, Denton, do you like lettuce? It might get harder to come by, or at least get more expensive. Texas A&M AgriLife recently reported that crop losses in California mean less leafy green stuff for everyone. Unseasonably high temperatures and crop disease killed iceberg and romaine lettuce varieties. Most Texas lettuce is grown in hydroponic greenhouses. David Anderson, AgriLife Extension economist, said the shortage highlights the nation’s food supply chain being disrupted.

Anderson said lettuce is one product in a long list of perishable food items that are produced to serve a “just-in-time inventory” for retail grocers, restaurants and grocery shoppers.

“Consumers have dealt with shortages related to COVID-19 disruptions most recently, but it looks like this is weather- and disease-related losses that resulted in supply issues,” he said. “We grow accustomed to seeing lettuce at the grocery store year-round, but a lot of folks don’t know we rely on producers all around the country and beyond to serve that year-round availability.”

Texas growers might not be able to make up for the loss this season, but Anderson and his peers think Texas operations can teach growers cross the country how to cultivate microclimates. 

The Denton County Veteran Stability Program has provided more than $30,000 for 36 requests through a Texas Veterans Commission grant. The program is administered through the United Way of Denton County, and helps qualified veterans get financial help for rent or mortgage, utilities, transportation, employment, job training, education and child care. The program also helps veterans with critical documents for the assistance. 

Oh, hey, Mormon women came to the rescue last month for nursing home residents who have been especially isolated during the pandemic. The Relief Society,  which is a women’s organization of the Denton Texas Stake of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, recently donated about 800 “Boredom Busters” to local nursing homes.

The Denton Texas Stake Relief Society hosted a monthlong drive to collect crossword puzzle books, adult coloring books, crayons and markers, lotion, treats and more. The volunteers hoped to lift the spirits of elderly residents. The society was led by Holly Babcock, first counselor in the Relief Society.

Parting Shot

"America is an old house. We can never declare the work over. Wind, flood, drought and human upheavals batter a structure that is already fighting whatever flaws were left unattended in the original foundation. When you live in an old house, you may not want to go into the basement after a storm to see what the rains have wrought. Choose not to look, however, at your own peril."

Isabel Wilkerson, from the book Caste

LUCINDA BREEDING can be reached at 940-566-6877 and via Twitter at @LBreedingDRC.

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