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B y R A M O N A A N N


When Sun City Live de-

cided to share a portion of its

profits with a local charity, it

was pretty easy for club mem-

bers to decide which one.

They picked the George-

town Palace Theatre’s youth

performance program and

voted it as the club’s designat-

ed charity for 2016-17.

Sun City Live’s primary

purpose is to find, develop

and showcase talent in Sun

City. The Georgetown Pal-

ace Theatre is dedicated to

training young artists in the

youth performance program,

providing a place for them to


They have very similar

missions, with the only big

difference being age, but in

this case young and old have

something in common – the

love of performing.

Cathy Francis, co-presi-

dent of Sun City Live, says it’s

turning out to be a wonderful


“The kids are adorable

and very talented,” she said.

“We are so happy to help them

learn and give them an audi-


This year’s Sun City Live’s

patriotic holiday summer

show on July 1 will involve

students from the Palace pro-


“We love the kids partic-

ipating and are very excited

to see them perform on our

stage,” Ms. Francis said. “We

want them to come back ev-

ery year, watching them grow

into the stars they really are.”

This year, she says the

Sun City’s independent newspaper since 2007

Georgetown, Texas

March 15, 2017

Taking a trip to

Abu Dhabi


B y B R A D S T U T Z M A N

A framed copy of a Jimi

Hendrix album hangs from

the wall at Phil Walden Cus-

tom Opticians, posing the

musical question: “Are you


Stuart Walden happily

answers yes.

Proud of the training

and heritage he received

from his late father, Phil,

Stuart Walden has kept

open the Williamsburg Vil-

lage shop his dad started in


“I started as a kid, work-

ing formy dad,”Mr. Walden,

39, said. “Working as a teen-

ager on weekends, in his

stores in Austin for a couple

of years.”

The Walden family – fa-

ther Phil, mother Theresa

and son Stuart – came to

Georgetown, where Phil

had grown up, in time for

the 1987-88 school year.




Georgetown schools and

in the small-town way of

things, his first principal

was Dr. Jo Ann Ford, who

had taught his father in

high school.

The late Dr. Ford, who

was legally blind, once

wrote a note to Phil Walden,

thanking him for his pro-

fessional services. It hangs

– to one side of the Hendrix

album and across the room

from the autographed Loret-

ta Lynn photo – on a wall at

the shop.

“That’s one of the many

treasures of this place,” Stu-

art Walden said.

Phil Walden’s optician

business included two of

those aforementioned Aus-

tin locations, as well as of-

fice space with Georgetown

optometrist Dr. Steve Schae-

fer at San Gabriel Eye Cen-


Ultimately, Phil Walden

branched out on his own

again, opening his store in

the Williamsburg Village

shopping center on Wil-

liams Drive.

Phil Walden died in De-

cember, following a chronic

illness. But the shop still

bears his imprint and son

Stuart wouldn’t have it any

other way.

A drawing of Ben Frank-

lin, the inventor of bifocals,

looks down from high upon

one wall.

Vinyl record albums,

jacketed in their iconic cov-

er art, maintain the prom-

inent place they’ve always

had and reflect the elder

Walden’s eclectic tastes – ev-

erything from Jimi Hendrix

to Herb Alpert and the Ti-

juana Brass.

Another wall is devoted

to the autographed photo-

graphs of country music

royalty. In addition to Ms.

Lynn, Mr. Walden also col-

lected signatures from Tam-

my Wynette, Tanya Tuck-

er and one of the original

rhinestone cowboys, Porter


In keeping with the al-

bums on display, the music

that’s played – either from a

turntable or radio – reflects

the classic rock period of

the mid-1960s through the


Last week, a visitor

spending some time at the

shop was treated to selec-

tions from Bob Seger and

TheMoody Blues, plus Cros-

by, Stills, Nash & Young.

“You can’t gowrongwith

this music,” Stuart Walden


Like father, like son

Tradition endures at Walden Opticians

Stuart Walden is proud of the craftsmanship his late father, Phil, exhibited.

Cathy Francis, co-president of Sun City Live, presents a check to

JonathonYoung, director of education for the Palace.

Brad Stutzman

Ramona Ann Thompson

Continued on 10 Continued on 9

Sun City Live aids

youth theater group

Kids, elders love to perform