R.I.P. Megan Margolies, AKA Patsy Grind, the Hairdressing Burlesque Queen of Deep Ellum

Categories: Arts, News

Patsy Grind resized.jpg
Megan Margolies, from her Facebook page
Megan Margolies, a local burlesque performer, hairdresser at Halo Salon, and beloved member of the Deep Ellum music and art scene, died on Tuesday in a traffic collision, when a scooter she was test-driving on Abrams Road collided with a tractor trailer. She was 23.

The Margolies family was unavailable for comment, but Megan's friends spoke about her warmth, generosity and humor. Yesterday afternoon, her friend Stephanie Hastings, a local photographer, sat outside Tigger's tattoo shop on Main Street in Deep Ellum, waiting as an artist there drew up a memorial design.

"I chose a cowgirl boot with a filigree design because she loved Pasty Cline," Hastings said. Margolies performed under the name "Patsy Grind," had a portrait tattoo of the country singer, and often wore ornate cowboy boots during performances.

The tattoo Hastings was getting had bluebonnets brimming from the top of the boot, in memory of the last photo shoot the two did together, a little over a week ago. "It's very girly, just like she was."

When Hastings was diagnosed with breast cancer last fall, Margolies immediately organized a topless bike-ride through Deep Ellum, ending with a raffle at The Bone to raise money for her chemo treatments.

"She barely knew me then," Hastings said. "That speaks to the kind of person she is. She was very generous with her time and her spirit. Loyalty was definitely something she had in spades." Another time, Margolies and her best friend, Ashly Campbell, showed up at Hastings's house to keep her company while she was sick with the after-effects of the chemo -- both of them wearing "grown-up size footie pajamas, with the grips and everything." They handed Hastings her own pair of pink leopard print footie pajamas, then kept her company through the night, watching trashy TV and making sure Hastings ate.

"She just wanted me to have a nice evening," Hastings said. "That's who she was."

Margolies started performing as Patsy Grind barely a year ago, when Campbell, who performs as Bang Bang Lulu, spotted her pool-side in a retro bathing suit, wedge heels and fire engine-red lipstick and persuaded her to give burlesque a try. Becca Blood, a local pinup girl, says that dancing transformed Margolies's life.

"I was so proud of her," Blood said. "The burlesque thing really helped her. She got so much confidence. It helped her come out of her shell a whole lot more, not be so shy and timid. She found her confidence." Margolies also made Blood her very first pair of pasties, pink, bedazzled numbers festooned with feathers and hearts.

"I still have them," Blood says. "But I'll never wear them now."

"She went out a time that she was on a peak," another friend, Liz Mitchell, said. "She was loving every single moment of her life. Even through the struggles she just..." Mitchell trailed off for a moment, then continued, "The last six months were probably the best of her life. Onstage, she absolutely lit up and took over. All eyes were always on her."

Margolies lived in an apartment in Lakewood her friends dubbed "the pink palace," because everything was either pink or zebra-striped. She was also devotee of the Deep Ellum music scene, and could often be found at shows when she wasn't dancing, thrifting, or sneaking out with Mitchell to the movies to see "cheesy romances" that no one else would admit to liking.

Among her friends, Margolies's generosity and warm-heartedness were legendary. "There will be people at this funeral who she's gotten off of drugs or paid for their children to eat," Campbell said. "She's just a baby, and she's supported people. She's let people live with her. There are people now who are better because of her." One of the pallbearers, a former heroin junkie, credits his sobriety to her support, Campbell said. She was barely 20 when she helped him kick his habit.

The funeral is tomorrow, and will be reserved for family and close friends. There will also be a public memorial for Margolies on Sunday night at La Grange in Deep Ellum from 7-10. A memory book will be provided, and a table where people can leave flowers for her family. At 8, her favorite local band, Rodeo Clown Dropouts, will perform.

"It'll be a full, lively set, no holds barred," Hastings said. "We'll send her off in that 'use your outside voice' kinda way."

Margolies had been excitedly looking into buying a scooter for months; she wanted to make sure she bought one with enough room so Campbell could always ride on the back. She was test-driving one that belonged to a local musician when she got on Abrams, made a too-wide turn, and collided with the trailer. According to the police report, she died at the scene. The youngest of three children, she's survived by her parents and her two older brothers, Aaron and Joshua.

"She did not go through any pain from what we understand," Mitchell said. "What we'll believe in our hearts is that she didn't go through any pain. The people that did go in to see her did say she was just as beautiful as ever. Till the end, she was always put together. A bombshell."


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28 comments
jnlooki
jnlooki

I grew up with Ms. Megan for a time. Her dad and my mom were in relationship when we were really young. I still remember how vivacious and outgoing and incredibly gorgeous she was. My very favorite memory of Megan was her singing Salt-N-Peppa's Push it... we were in love with that song and she would trhow in a Texas twang for ewww babay babay babay babay ewwww babay babay. I miss her and I will never forget those moments. I wish I had been there live for one of her awesome shows... thank God for youtube ;-)
Taken too soon but always in our hearts....

hillabeans
hillabeans

I am revisiting this article from a year ago. I wanted to say it is a heartbreaking but very well written piece, thank you.

I am about to invest in a scooter and the story of this young lady has never left my mind. When I took the Basic Motorcycle Course (which this, and a written DPS test is required for a scooter license), we had two things drilled into our head. 1. The number one cause of single-vehicle motorcycle crashes are riders taking too wide of a turn and crashing into obstacles. We spent the majority of our time on the range riding curves and turns. 2. No matter WHAT the conditions, you must at least wear a helmet or gloves. It was a humbling experience, being nearly tossed off the scooter or falling several times but under the eye of a highly trained instructor. 

There seems to be so many unknowns in Megan's wreck and though I've researched and asked around, things like: was she wearing a helmet, had she had experience riding before this, did this musician friend know where she was going or teach her the basics? Let's all not focus on that but learn, going forward, the precautions one should take riding on or sharing the road with scooters, mopeds, and motorcycles.

I never knew Megan Margolies personally, but had seen her perform as Patsy Grind. A lot of energy. I will keep you in my mind going around every turn. Rest in Peace little lady.

Jack E. Jett
Jack E. Jett

I never met her but she sounds like one of those chicks that makes Texas such a cool place to live.  I hope she is happy whereever she may be.

Dr. P
Dr. P

Not really certain how well Becca Blood knew Megan. Shy? A shell? Certainly not the Megan we knew. She and my daughter were close friends in elementary and middle school; were cheerleaders together. Megan moved off in high school but everything I've read about her is exactly what the Megan we knew would have done. Spontaneous, thoughtful, delightfully different...that's the Megan she was when young and it seems she stayed true to her roots! Megan was truly a wonderful life force; those who knew her, miss her terribly.

Mike
Mike

It would be good if DMN shared some details. It is possible that she was riding without safety equipment, without training or license, on a vehicle that may not have been on the best road for the bike's limits. It does not take away from her life story. People should understand that almost all young accident victims die as a result of not very smart actions. Fatal injuries just do not happen like a bolt out of the blue.

Rico Suave
Rico Suave

I'm going to tread lightly here because plenty of people are grieving over Megan Margolies. I did not know Megan yet the circumstances of her death really upsets me.

I'm a scooter dork who rides the streets of Dallas every day. I think other people should too --- it's a wonderful, affordable and fun way to get around this jacked-up city we call home. I want other aspiring and veteran scooterists alike to learn from what happened to Megan. So I'm going to preach for a good reason.Judging by a photo of the wreck that was posted on Facebook, Megan was riding a Honda Ruckus when she died. That is a motor scooter (mopeds have pedals that are used to start the engine, scooters do not.) A Ruckus is slow. It tops out at about 38 mph. There is a natural assumption that slow scooters like the Ruckus are safer than motorcycles because they are small, slow vehicles. This is a false and dangerous assumption. Scooters are no safer than motorcycles and in some instances can be even more dangerous than motorcycles: some cannot speed up fast enough in traffic to avoid trouble; and all of them are hard for other vehicles to see.The Dallas Morning News reported that Megan was test riding the scooter when she died. I can only assume that this was her first scooter and maybe even her first real ride on a scooter. Never, ever try out an unfamiliar scooter for the first time on a busy street. Take it to a parking lot or some other place far away from four-wheeled vehicles. And take that state-required safety course. You'll need it to ride most scooters legally and the things you learn in that course will save your life. Wearing a helmet and protective gear will do the same.And finally, if you put a scooter up for sale, never let someone test ride it --- even if they tell you they've been riding for years. Ride it for them if you must. That demand may cost you a sale, but you likely just saved a life too.But I hope sharing what happened to Megan with others will do that as well --- save a life.       

Justin Julian
Justin Julian

Patsy/Megan was a complete sweetheart.  I barely knew her, my wife knew her better, but she was always very kind and friendly.  She will be missed terribly.

Rebeccacooleu59
Rebeccacooleu59

Such a fantastic article. Really captured Megan. Brought tears to my eyes but it is good to remember what a special lady she was.

Fletch
Fletch

By all accounts, she sounded like a really awesome person.  How sad that her life ended way too soon.

Chris Danger
Chris Danger

Wow, such a pretty lady losing her life so young before her life really started...My heart goes out to her family and friends...

Just a friend
Just a friend

She would light up the room when she walked in.She wasnt always happy,but wouldnt let you know that.She seemed to care for everyone,whether they were an ass or not.It would also be nice if you cats could defend scooters on a different story.Megan is not a statistic.She was a dear friend to alot of people.This was a young,beautiful life ended by the negligence of scooter riders that should have watched out for her. I am a big bike rider ,I dont feel comfortable being on that street at that hour.By the way,anyone that says burlesque brought her out of her shell,didnt know her as well as they thought.All it did was help her feel loved,since so many of us have had times of being lonely."LONESOME"I dont mean to offend anyone.I will miss her so much,but that is my burden to bare.I have never been a man of faith,but I know for a fact that she is somewhere beautiful!!! 

Becca
Becca

Perhaps I knew a different side of her? Could you open your mind to that. SHe came to every one of my bands shows, she was always shy to get up on stage and dance with me and was always saying how she was shy and hadnt had a bf in two years. Who are you to judge my friendship, last time I check NONE of you are god.

Justin Julian
Justin Julian

The answer to your question: NOT AT ALL.  The correct phrase here is GHOUL: one who feeds off the dead.

Guest
Guest

She had no helement, flip flops and a tshirt. First time riding.

Lmglies
Lmglies

Thank you so much for posting this. The concern you have is genuine. Hopefully people will listen and learn. What happened was Very Tragic and everything you stated was true in this case.  Megans Dad

Observerist
Observerist

I'm going to attempt to tread lightly here too, but, generally speaking, solely in reference to the points you made, there is no way in heck I would ride a scooter (that you can barely hear) on any street. Every day it seems I run into more and more people texting on the road. I would say 7-10 times last week there was someone in front of me rolling slow, swerving between lanes, stopped at a green light, camped out at a stop sign oblivious to anything other than their PDA.

Becca
Becca

You bearly knew her but think it is ok to call me names?????????????????????? WOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Take a look in the fn mirror loser.

Becca
Becca

Who are you to jude my freindship with her. You are not god.

Anna Merlan
Anna Merlan

I know Becca a little, and we're friends on Facebook. When I saw that she was attending Megan's memorial, I messaged her and a few other people to ask if they would share some memories of Megan, which she did. If she's being accused here of inappropriately soliciting press attention, I don't think that's fair or accurate, since I got in touch with her, rather than vice versa. Just wanted to clarify. 

Everyone who spoke with me had beautiful things to say about Megan. It was really moving to hear about all the things she did with her short time here. My sympathies again to her family and friends. 

Millie
Millie

she did not own a pair of flipflops

patrick1960
patrick1960

 I am sorry for your loss, i have no comment on on anything-else another  than sorrow at the end of a short life.

Rico Suave
Rico Suave

 And that is the other side of the equation: oblivious drivers. Operating any sort of two-wheeled vehicle in Dallas is a calculated risk. A scooter rider can take precautions, but they can't control the stupidity of others on the streets. And you are absolutely correct; there are no doubt more drivers in Dallas who are more interested in watching their cell phones instead of the road in front of them. I see it every day and that scares me. In fact, I even profile vehicles as I ride and stay far away from some of them as possible. Chevy Tahoe drivers seem to be the worst.  Yet because gas is really expensive now, more people in Dallas are buying scooters and are using them for regular transportation. This happened back in 2008 and prompted me to get my first bike. I hope no one dies in this town because a driver couldn't look up from his or her cell phone, but I know that is unrealistic. So the question then becomes, do you surrender the streets to drivers who will not drive safely? It is a life or death question. 

BeggarsThrowingStones
BeggarsThrowingStones

You're disgusting. Shouldn't you be off begging people for money on facebook?!?!?!?!

Justin Julian
Justin Julian

Look, Becca.  Anyone who knows you, knows you have this issue of pathological lying and starting drama.  You feed off it for some reason.  You've already burned your bridges with a lot of people in the burlesque/pinup scene.  

In this case, you went too far.  Megan's best friends and all of her family know you're completely full of it, and were actually -mean- to her. Not theories, not opinions, first-hand witnesses of such behavior. You're just making this up out of whole cloth.

This is the last response you're getting from me, so feel free to have the last word, or the last dozen knowing your history.  We're all kind of fed up with you, you've now burned a TON of bridges, and you're going to start finding doors closed when you try to do things in the future.  You're poison, everywhere you go, you bring trouble.

Now, go away.  We're not interested anymore.  (And yes, I do speak for others who don't want to get involved publicly.)  

Anna Merlan
Anna Merlan

Let me suggest to both of you that the comments section of an obituary is not the most appropriate place to hash this one out. 

Justin Julian
Justin Julian

No worries, Anna.  This has been an ongoing problem with this person in the Burlesque scene for quite awhile.  Drama/lies/high school nonsense.  We're all pretty much done with her now, she's gone a bit too far this time.  I'm the only one willing to come out and say so because I'm not -immediately- involved with said scene and don't have to deal with her on any level.  :)

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