Ebby Halliday graced the halls of McNeil Elementary School on Tuesday, Sept. 11, to enjoy lunch with kindergarten student Isabel Hall in celebration of Grandparents Day. Halliday, a Dallas business icon, was accompanied by Isabel’s grandmother Tudie Athens -- a 35 year member of the Ebby Halliday team -- and Executive Assistant Betty Turner.
McNeil principal Debbie Kanar said that Grandparents Day was established as an opportunity for students to enjoy the special bond that exists between children and their grandparents. And, even though Isabel and Halliday are separated in age by nearly a century, the heartfelt bond between them was obvious as Isabel gently wrapped her arms around Halliday.
“She is the grand-daughter and daughter of agents of mine,” said Halliday, “and Isabel has adopted me as her great-great-grandmother.”
“We’re like family,” said Athens of her family’s relationship with Halliday. “We spend a lot of time together.”
According to Wikipedia, Halliday is an American realtor and businesswoman who founded Ebby Halliday Realtors, which now sells more homes than any other broker in Texas, was the 11th-biggest in the country in 2007, according to a new report from RealTrends Inc. She turned 101 in March.
For Halliday, time spent in the company of children is a joy. “It’s wonderful. They are the future of America. I’m thrilled to be here.” Leaning in conspiratorially, Halliday added with a grin, “At 101, I’m thrilled to be anywhere!”
And, while Halliday’s presence was noteworthy to the adults attending the event -- “Is that Ebby Halliday?!” -- in the kids’ eyes, the real celebrities were the people sitting right next to them, sharing a meal and the mutual adoration that passes between a child and a grandparent.
Pictured: (L-R) Ebby Halliday, Tudie Athens, Isabel Hall and Betty Turner enjoy lunch together on Grandparents Day at McNeil Elementary.