TNT’s 1990s began under the BIG TOP with Toastmasters International Convention in Dallas and our own Pauline Shirley throwing her hat into ring for her first step toward becoming the organization’s International President. Talking about TNT members being in high places, our club had a member serving on the Toastmasters’ International Board of Directors all but one year from 1991 to 2002, including two members on the board during 1992-1994. Pauline served in two International Vice President roles during those two years while Jo Anna McWilliams represented Region Three (our region) as its International Director.
While these ladies were taking care of the International scene, TNT could have stood for Town North Travelers instead of Town North Trendsetters. Our club members were not only moving through the speaking projects at our meetings, but our club relocated seven times in a ten-year period. We began the 1990s at Tony Roma’s (Belt Line & Quorum) and ended the decade at Tony Roma’s. Between these two stops, the members could find themselves giving a speech at the restaurant in Addison Marriot Quorum (Tollway & Quorum), providing an evaluation at the restaurant in Sheraton Dallas North (LBJ & Tollway), giving a Table Topics’ response at Vincent’s Seafood (LBJ & Midway), or being Toastmaster at the Old Country Buffet (same location as New New Buffet). By early in the 2000s we landed at our seventh and current location.
At the two hotels’ restaurants and Vincent’s Seafood, we were not in a separate meeting room, which was less than ideal. When we spoke, everyone in the restaurant was looking at us and wondering what this band of TNT gypsies was doing. It was a rather intimidating setting in which to speak. We also had to overcome the competition from luncheon conversations, background music, rattling of plates, and the wait staff bringing food to various tables in our vicinity.
While we were at Vincent’s restaurant, Monty Goodman and I met Ross Perot one day before he ran for President. He asked what our group was doing there. Just think, if Monty and I had been better spokesmen for TNT, Ross might have joined our club, improved his speaking skills, and been elected President of the United States – becoming another one of TNT’s presidents!
I think that Pauline and Jo Anna must have been a little worried about us and wanted to check on us as Pat Gallagher, DTM (former District 50 Governor) Bob Lanz, DTM (former District 25 Governor, and Bruce McWilliams, CTM (Jo Anna’s husband) all became members of TNT. All three of these individuals enhanced our club meetings. Bruce was extremely helpful in marketing our club to attract new members. However, I’d like to think that we did all right on our own during most of the era of the 90s.
Former TNT Toastmasters were very active in the 1990s. Grace Tyler, former member of TNT in the 1980s, was selected as outstanding Division Governor of the Year for 1995-1996 and District Toastmaster of the Year (Bob Lanz Award) for 1997-1998.
On my personal memories of the 90s, I remember when the trio of Evelyn Young, Glenna Brown, and Marti (Holloway) Erbe competed in the GREAT TNT RACE to becoming a DTM. It was a real battle royal as both Glenna and Marti were active and outstanding members of TNT. I vividly recall the 1994 International Convention in Louisville, Kentucky when Pauline asked her mom to stand while giving her presidential address. I, too, had a special moment when I was asked to come up to the stage to accept TNT’s first presidential banner. Later, I would share that same honor with Pauline when both of us were asked to accept Jo Anna’s presidential banner for TNT at the 2000 International Convention in Miami, Florida.
The TNT era of the 90s concluded with Evelyn Young becoming a DTM (TNT’s fourth home-grown DTM) and only new DTM of the 90s in September, 1999) and winning the GREAT TNT DTM contest!
WOW! WHAT A DECADE!