This week, Denton lost a firecracker. Bettye Myers was a woman who so thoroughly wove her passions into Denton that people in groups that would never overlap in a Venn diagram knew and loved her. She died Monday at age 92. Myers worked and taught at Texas Woman’s University for 54 years. She was a teacher, a volunteer in more nonprofits than we can list and a champion for Denton residents — whether they were a university chancellor or a struggling homeless adult. (When a Denton Record-Chronicle editor overslept and missed the opening of a meeting with Myers, Myers later presented the editor with a wink and clock with an obnoxious alarm “so you don’t miss a minute of my company at the next meeting!”)

But the most charming lesson we’ve learned from Myers is that, when you get to be roughly 85 years old, you can get away with calling your boss “honey bunny.” Godspeed, Dr. Myers. We promise to carry your cheeky good nature into our duller endeavors.

If you’re the praying sort, pray for local United Methodists this week. The denomination has a historic general assembly this week in St. Louis to decide how it will answer a longstanding question about how it will minister to and with gay and transgender Methodists. It looks like the denomination will split, but we could be surprised. And the reality is that some congregations have been ordaining LGBT clergy and offering full membership to LGBT parishioners for years. All the same, the conflict is painful for Methodists on both the traditional and progressive sides of the issue.

Facebook user Lauren Campbell posted to the Record-Chronicle’s page recently hoping amplify her message and get people on the lookout for her partner’s stolen black Ford Focus, swiped from a supermarket parking lot. “Make this car to[o] hot to handle and please share this post,” she implored. We told her we were sorry but we couldn’t be much help — the car was taken from a Tesco car park in Failsworth, 5 miles north of Denton, England. (She replied with the crying/laughing emoji.)

Health Services of North Texas, a nonprofit clinic, is moving to a new space at Serve Denton, at 306 N. Loop 288. The clinic’s interior walls are going up already. And in a recent email to its donors, the nonprofit said it’s on track to open the new clinic space this summer.

Some of us would love to have the spark that animates one of Denton’s most consistently creative souls, Paul Slavens. The guy has a weekly radio show on KXT 91-7. He makes up songs using audience suggestions at a recurring Dan’s Silverleaf show. He records more music than seems possible. This weekend, Slavens will appear with one of the many bands he plays with: The Travoltas. The band, led by Dallas musician and producer Salim Nourallah, is known for touring past musical decades — from tin-pan alley to the ‘60s British Invasion and ‘70s punk rock. The band released a self-titled album in December, and plays a record release show ($15) at 7 p.m. on Saturday at Sons of Hermann Hall in Dallas. Nourallah is on lead vocals and guitar, Slavens plays keyboards and supplements vocals, Nick Earl is on guitar, Emsy Robinson (another familiar face in the Denton music scene) on bass and Jason Garner plays drums.

Ever heard of environmentally conscious art? Last weekend, University of North Texas faculty and students put together an installation at the UNT General Academic Building, just south of the bus stop. The group put feathers on a contraption that looks like a window screen. The screen measured how much soot birds accumulate on their feathers during flight. The group will eventually release the results of the test in conjunction with an exhibit. The participants are College of Visual Arts & Design faculty Dornith Doherty and Anna Lee, College of Science professor Jeff Johnson, geography professor Alex Ponette and students Matthew Fry and Clare Pitre.

Doherty also has a solo show — “Archiving Eden” — at the National Academy of Sciences Art Gallery. The show is a look at the work of international seed banks. Doherty has created a series of art depicting X-rays of tiny — sometimes microscopic — seeds at international seed banks. In addition to creating an eloquent commentary on the epic preciousness of seeds and the food they create through agriculture, Doherty’s X-ray photography depicts the strange, awe-inspiring appearance of what you can’t see with the naked eye. The seeds — when photographed as X-ray images — look like celestial beings, or stars being born a galaxy away.

Denton has a lot to offer retirees — a bustling senior center , a housing community designed with older, affluent homeowners and a sophisticated continuing education program through UNT. But Denton looks like an exception where the rest of the state is concerned. The Senior List ranks Texas as 39th in a study of the safest states for seniors to settle when they retire. The study analyzed the most recent data from the U.S. Census Bureau in five categories: fraud, housing costs, 65+ population living in poverty, violent-injury deaths among 65+, and 65+ living alone as percentage of state’s population.

Parting Shot

“The human race tends to remember the abuses to which it has been subjected rather than the endearments. What’s left of kisses? Wounds, however, leave scars.”

Bertolt Brecht, German playwright (1898-1956)

Denton Dammit is an old-fashioned gossip column about people, places and things in and around Denton. Send your submissions to Lucinda Breeding at

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