Corsicana Daily Sun, Corsicana, Texas

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June 20, 2014

The Longest Day

More than 5 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s, which is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States, according to

The Alzheimer’s Association chose the longest day of the year, June 21, to raise awareness (and funds) for dementia and Alzheimers. A day long “party” with paint classes, baked goods and more will go on at Twyst, 508 N. 19th St., from 8 a.m. to 5:30 Saturday.

“Both our families have been affected by Alzheimer’s,” said Gay Lyn Hendrik, baker and paint class instructor. “This is to remember family and friends who had Alzheimer’s by doing what they enjoyed before they were affected (by this disease.)”

Hendrik’s grandmother Betty Duncan was known as the “Cookie Lady,” a fact they discovered after her passing. In her honor, Hendrik will bake Duncan’s famous cookies and cinnamon rolls at Twyst, owned by Shelly Simmington.

“We will be painting picture frames, so you can put pictures of yoru loved ones in the frame,” Hendrik said. “All proceeds will go to the Alzheimer’s Association. This is the first year they have done the longest day, and there will be events going on all over the country.”

A trip to Round Top for Simmington introduced her to Annie Sloan Chalk Paint, a product from England that is non-toxic, no fumes, dries quickly and comes in 31 colors. Not long after that, she discovered two clothing lines, Match Point and Flax, then the building at 508 N. 19th St. became available, and Twyst went from being Simmington’s dream to a reality.

“We have gifts, furniture, paint, home decor, ladies clothing, items made in America that are not mass-produced, and use natural products,” Hendrik said. “We do a lot of European furniture. Shelly sews the curtains, paints furniture, and does hair.”

Simmington is joined in the hair salon pursuits in part of the stores by Page Jones, stylist.

For more information about the store, visit, and read Hendrik’s blog. In the fall, they will add two new clothing lines exclusive to Corsicana with fall colors, but for Texas weather.

Paint classes are held on Mondays and Thursdays during the summer months, and always there is food. When school resumes, paint classes will be held on Saturdays. One class coming up will be a “Here’s Your Sign” class, when students will make signs using paint, stenciling and wax techniques.

Each Alzheimer’s Longest Day event will be unique to whatever the person liked to do.

“I’m just glad my grandmother didn’t like to sky dive!” Hendrik said.

For more information about The Longest Day, call Twyst at (903) 602-5032.


Deanna Kirk is a Daily Sun staff writer and editor of Explore magazine. She may be contacted via email at

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