Parker County Today April 2017 - Page 84

our traditions: SHAW-KEMP OPEN HOUSE Visitors Look Forward to a Visit with the Past BY MARSHA BROWN Shaw-Kemp Open House Opens For 37 th Time H 82 Mary Kemp ow often each day, do you hear the words, “I’m stressed!” or, “I’m feeling the pressure”? One reason why so many people are moving to Parker County is in the hope to recapture a gentler time in a sweeter place, one where girls wore calico, boys wore cowboy boots and the wind blew sweet and clean. After all, who doesn’t long for a time when they never have to hear the words, “Obamacare,” “Brexit,” or “The Russians did …,”? Satisfy your yearning for yesteryear at the Shaw-Kemp Open House, held every April when the blue bonnets bloom. This year it will be held on April 15, 2017, beginning at 1:00 p.m. and wrapping up at 5:00 p.m., in the rolling hills of Mary Kemp’s Parker County ranch. Mary spent several happy decades here with her late husband, V. Kemp Jr. She founded this tradition a scant 37-years ago, after the idea struck her to invite everyone to her gorgeous ranch in the springtime to celebrate the success of her efforts in getting a historical marker in the spring of 1982. “We dedicated the historical marker with a big open house. We had so much fun that each year afterward, we hosted an open house on a Sunday afternoon.” It’s since been moved to a Saturday, but it’s always in April. “That’s also when the blue bonnets are their prettiest,” she said. It has become a treasured Parker County institution. When asked what inspired her to invite the general public into her ranch once a year, the matriarch of the Kemp clan