Holly White says time “can go by too fast.”
That is why she and her three offspring celebrated along with nearly 50 friends at the Dice House on Aug. 17 when Holly marked her 69th birthday.
Of course, Jennifer White, 47; Cynthia White, 45, and Suzanna Steckley, 44, helped with the arrangements and hosted an overflow of guests who danced the night away in East Kendall’s restored historic Dice House, now a park pavilion.
With candlelight, colorful decorations and a frosted cake to cut, friend Herman Koch played music and invited vocalists to sing or the instrumentally talented to strum a guitar.
It was just as Holly wanted it — having family and good friends join her for a Saturday night dance, treats included (but no gifts) at her favorite community meeting place, just as a pre-birthday email invitation announced.
That is how she let friends know how she would mark her life in Florida “after being born in Texas, only one month before my folks moved to an Eighth Street apartment in 1944. A handyman, Dad did all sorts of things while my mom, Phyllis, was a nurse.
“We later moved to Key Biscayne in 1955, before settling in Continental Park, 39 years ago,” where Phyllis Farkas, 87, Holly’s mom, helps keep house years after Holly retired from a 25-year elementary school teaching career, including 17 years in Miami Springs.
Afterwards, it just seemed natural for Holly to take up community activity, a role she has played prominently in East Kendall as president of Continental Park Homeowners Association since 2000, and during the past five years as head of East Kendall Homeowners Organization.
One of a handful of Kendall activists who regularly attend zoning and a variety of state and county planning meetings, Holly counts, “Our most successful effort? Keeping out several hundred condominiums replacing rental apartments opposite the former Greenery Mall.” (It is now TJ Maxx Mall, Kendall Drive and 77th Avenue.)
Over the years, she cheerfully has maintained connections for both HOAs on a monthly basis while urging members and residents alike “to take part in your community affairs,” even though she is often the sole individual to turn up.
“If you live in a neighborhood, your interests are at stake in everything that happens there or in any nearby area, whether it’s new zoning or FPL being granted highvoltage transmission lines,” a project she currently helps oppose.
“Live your life, but live it well,” she advised. “There’s only one per person!”