Dallas real estate tycoon Wayne Garcia pumps his creativity into new HRC benefit that would have made Ann Richards proud
The recent death of Ann Richards affected Texans of every stripe. And the night she died, CNN re-aired her May 20, 2004 interview with Larry King where the straight-shooting former governor chimed in on same-sex marriage:
“I cannot understand why anybody gives a damn whether those people get married or not. It just is it really makes no sense to me at all,” Richards said. “We need more loving families in this country, not less.”
Wayne Garcia says Richards’ death has deeply moved him. The Texas A&M alum remembers how Richards became an emblem of Lone Star pride upon his inaugural pilgrimage to San Francisco.
“On my first day, I wore a Warhol-inspired T-shirt from her 1994 gubernatorial campaign. And all these Californians kept walking up to me asking me about her, thinking Texas was so liberal and cool for having elected such an amazing woman,” Garcia remembers. “I got so many free drinks and countless dinner invitations that I ended up wearing the shirt every day on that trip.”
And now he’s honoring Richards’ legacy with a pair of Ann-inspired high heels.
Garcia frequently shops at the Kul Gallery and Store, a new downtown boutique that’s organizing a fundraiser called “Walk on the Wild Side.” Garcia is one of a dozen or so volunteers who are transforming a pair of women’s pumps into an “art and sole” effort enhancing the original design with something more imaginative, campy, funky and fabulous. On Saturday, the shoes will be auctioned off, and proceeds will benefit HRC.
An architect and owner of a real estate company, Garcia has often wielded glue guns and X-Acto knives. And those tools came in handy for his foray into shoe design. Paying tribute to the famous Harley-Davidson image that Richards assembled for the cover of Texas Monthly, Garcia painstakingly glued rhinestones and Swarvoski crystals to a white satin pair of Stuart Weitzmans.
“All in all, the gluing took about 45 hours,” Garcia explains. “I also added white feathers to emulate Ann’s big ol’ Texas hair.”
“Walk on the Wild Side” auction Oct. 21 at 8 p.m. at Kul Gallery and Store, 1303 Main St. Tickets start at $100. 214-745-5585.
This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition, October 20, 2006.