KRISTIN JAWORSKI — TRAIL BOSS
There’s nothing like watching a herd of longhorn cattle meander down East Exchange Avenue in our Stockyards to remind you that Fort Worth is truly where the west begins. The Fort Worth Herd drives these 18 longhorns seven days a week, 352 days a year. It’s one of the top visitor attractions to the Fort, and a big part of the draw is Trail Boss Kristin Jaworski, Fort Worth’s first female trail boss, who leads a group of period-dressed drovers (complete authenticity right down to their saddles) through crowds twice a day.
One of Jaworski’s toughest decisions: Are the weather conditions suitable and safe for 36,000 pounds of nearly six-foot tall cattle in a drive up the street? Some of the best views of the twice-daily drives include the lawn in front of the Livestock Exchange Building or any of the restaurants on Exchange with outdoor seating.
DR. DIANA VELA — EXHIBIT EXPERT
Fort Worth’s Cowgirl Hall of Fame & Museum is the only museum in the world dedicated to honoring the trailblazing spirit of women who helped shape the American West. Associate Executive Director Dr. Diana Vela investigates and researches material and content and, as she says, “directs the narrative thread for the galleries and exhibitions.” Dr. Vela is the principal investigator and interpreter for the recently completed $5.5M Kit Moncrief Galleries which includes the permanent It’s Never Just a Horse™ on the newly renovated second floor.
The exhibition features Jon Snow’s saddle from Game of Thrones and Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman costume. Dr. Vela says “In researching historical and contemporary women who all trailblazers in some way, and making a difference in some way, I am always struck by how our tag line continues to stand the test of time: “The Women Who Shape the West…Change the World.”
CLAIRE BARRY — ART DETECTIVE
The Kimbell Art Museum is known as a jewel in Fort Worth’s cultural crown, with a standing collection of 350 pieces ranging from Old Kingdom Egyptian artifacts to mid-20th century works. But it might surprise you to learn that the museum supports the science behind the beautiful art as well. The museum’s chief conservator Claire Barry is alternately a radiologist, an historian, and an artist attending to the repair of often fragile canvases.
For years, I’ve loved movies about antiquities-hunting adventurers who scour the world for treasure. Barry is a modern-day treasure hunter, but instead of running around archaeological digs, she uses scientific imaging to view below the grime and paint to preserve priceless centuries-old works, and occasionally to authenticate (and in some cases, disprove) the provenance of paintings. Barry’s work extends to other museums in Fort Worth’s Museum District, as the Kimbell works with its partners to preserve art for generations to come. Barry calls working “with three independent and distinct world-class museums” one of the joys of her professional career.
JUAN RODRIGUEZ — CHEF ON THE RISE
Fort Worth has no shortage of amazing, nationally recognized chefs (Jon Bonnell, Molly McCook, Marcus Paslay, and Tim Love to name a few). A decade ago Juan Rodriguez, then in his early 20s, was named executive chef of Reata Restaurant, one of Fort Worth’s most iconic dining spots, after only two years’ tenure. Rodriguez, who learned to cook in his grandmother Magdelena’s kitchen in Monterrey, Mexico, brings a mix of formal training (a degree in Culinary Arts from the Art Institute of Dallas) and up-by-your-bootstraps kitchen experience to his work.
Four years ago, Rodriguez, along with wife Paige, opened Magdalena’s Catering and Events as a catering venue. They also host Magdalena’s Supper Club, a monthly, BYOB free-form pop up that features a multi-course meal of dishes that inspire the chef and his staff. Rodriguez recently added a Breakfast Club to the mix! The club spaces sell out quickly; if you’re interested in being in the know, sign up for the mailing list.
JENKINS BOYD — MUSIC AFICIONADO
Doc’s Record & Vintage is one of Fort Worth’s longest-running indie operations. A decade ago, Jenkins Boyd and dad Jerry opened the vinyl and more shop on Fort Worth’s west side after a two-year stint in Hurst. The shop moved from the Montgomery Street Antique Mall to Camp Bowie West, settling last year in a much larger space in Fort Worth’s Foundry District. The new space allows for an expanded opportunities like pop-up events and weekly music. Boyd also has space for what he calls a “vintage market” –– heavy on pop culture items and vintage clothing.
Essentially, the store is built to both encourage nostalgia in those of us who love vinyl and provide an education to people who’ve never heard a record. It’s no wonder that Doc’s was declared the “Best Place to Blow Money Accidentally” by the Fort Worth Weekly. Just don’t ask Boyd his favorite genre: He laughs at the question and says there’s no way for him to pick just one kind of music.