Local Speaking Legend Takes Presbyterian Village North Residents On A Special Tour Of Dallas

August 2014

Oftentimes, as we drive the same path to work every day, we pass history that we do not even recognize. We get on what some might call “auto-pilot” and forget to pay attention to our surroundings. Rose-Mary Rumbley, one of the most sought after speakers and a fourth generation Dallas citizen, recently took Presbyterian Village North residents on a tour of Dallas. She traveled around the city with the residents and told them the stories behind some very interesting landmarks.

Rumbley speaks around 600 times a year, has written four books about Dallas history and Texas foods, and was a prominent speech and drama teacher at Dallas Baptist University. Having been a public speaker for more than 40 years, Rumbley averages between two to four speaking engagements a day. Before speaking and teaching, Rumbley was an actress who appeared in Paper Moon beside Tatum O’Neal, and has acted with Ginger Rogers, John Davidson, Ruta Lee and Van Johnson. It has been rumored that no one can tell stories like Rose-Mary Rumbley. Those stories are exactly what intrigued a recent group of residents at Presbyterian Village North as they embarked on her tour of Dallas.

“We got a chance to see the first piece of land surveyed in Dallas, the new Klyde Warren Park, and then went around downtown,” said Mary Ann Hyde, resident at Presbyterian Village North. “It was interesting to see the revitalization of downtown. This was the area that used to contain all of the shopping in Dallas back before NorthPark Mall was built. I was happy to see that this area seems to be coming back to life as far as entertainment and culture is concerned.”

Hyde and Rumbley have been friends since they first met at the young age of five. They were neighbors growing up in the ‘M’ Streets and used to play together after school. Both women thoroughly appreciated the time they had together and said they enjoyed the opportunity to catch up during the tour.

“One of the things that Rose-Mary talked about was how Skillman Avenue used to be named Lindbergh Boulevard,” said Hyde. “She said in 1927, Charles Lindbergh flew from New York to Paris and landed where he said he would which gave him worldwide acclaim. So, Dallas honored him by naming a street after him. After it became known that he was favorable with the Nazi’s, the street was quickly renamed. I have lived in Dallas most of my life and never knew that story!”

After visiting downtown, Rumbley took the residents around the campus of Dallas Baptist University. This is where Rumbley taught theater, and later donated her personal collection of books and scripts which can now be found in the Rumbley Room in the Collins Learning Center on campus. The group continued on to west Dallas to see the National Cemetery, then took the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge into Highland Park and finished back at the Presbyterian Village North campus.

“I really enjoyed spending time with the residents at Presbyterian Village North,” said Rumbley. “I know several of them from book clubs in Dallas, as well as from the past 40 years I have spent speaking at various organizations where they are members. I loved sharing stories and laughter with these residents and will be coming back to speak on November 10th as part of the Richland College Series.”

“It was a true honor having Rose-Mary give our residents this tour of Dallas,” said Lisa Englander, independent living life enrichment manager for Presbyterian Village North. “We had a fabulous afternoon of good food, fellowship and fun and are looking forward to her next visit with us.”