Forbes just dropped its list of the 400 richest people in America. Sorry. Wealthiest people. “Rich” is such a gauche term. Let’s have a look at the Dallasites who made the list and see how I, Tim Rogers, have personally interfaced with them. Just for giggles.
Andy Beal, No. 45, $10.9B
In 2010, I flew to Cape Canaveral on a 747 chartered by Beal to watch a space shuttle launch. Gabe Kaplan was along for the ride, too, on account of he, like Beal, enjoys high-stakes poker. I beat down Kaplan with questions about cards. He’s not nearly as nice as Beal. I shook Beal’s hand and thanked him for including me. Among the parting gifts given to everyone on the flight was a backpack that I still occasionally use to this day. Friendship rating on scale of 1 to 10: Beal and I are totally close. 8
Jerry Jones, No. 95, $5.6B
I’ve never met Jerry, but around 2000 I was thrown out of Valley Ranch for trying to interview a chef about what he was cooking for the team. Friendship rating: Jerry and I are lifelong enemies. 1
Robert Rowling, No. 108, $5.2B
Strange as it may seem, given that he has an alliterative name, I’ve never met Rowling. Friendship rating: there is hope that one day our families will vacation together. 5
Ray Hunt, No. 122, $4.9B
I talked to him once on the phone. Can’t recall why. He was once a part owner of D Magazine. His building is a block from our office, and I sometimes visit his lobby just to see his badass Foucault pendulum. Friendship rating: we’d probably bro hug if we ran into each other at lunch. 6.5
Trevor Rees-Jones, No. 132, $4.8B
I have an email from 2009 indicating that we made a mistake in the magazine involving TRJ. Friendship rating: it was a great mistake. 9
Kelcy Warren, No. 161, $4.2B
I interviewed him in 2014. We fell so hard for each other that he invited me to his wife’s birthday party at Savor a couple days later. They are both really nice people. Friendship rating: beyond besties. 10
Ross Perot Sr., No. 167, $4.1B
Earlier this year, a handful of D staffers got to tour the new Perot family office. Just by chance, we ran into Ross Sr., and I got to shake his hand and see his own personal office, which includes hundreds of pictures of artifacts from his fascinating life. Friendship rating: out of respect for one of the greatest Americans ever to live, I will not overstate our bond. 5.2
Mark Cuban, No. 226, $3.3B
Man, I hate to bring this up. It happened so many years ago. 2002, to be exact. But Mark Cuban once threatened to slice off my nuts. Those were his words. I’m not making that up. Anyway, I played pickup basketball with him a couple times after that. So no hard feelings. Friendship rating: we will probably play one on one as soon as his kids get older and he has more time. 8
Gerald Ford, No. 278, $2.9B
I’ve been in Ford Stadium. Friendship rating: it was only to drop off my daughter at soccer camp. 2
Ray Davis, No. 288, $2.8B
John Blake once cussed me out big time. John Blake is the head of communications for the Rangers. Ray Davis co-owns the Rangers. Friendship rating: I can tell that Davis values loyalty and that he has Blake’s back. 0
Herbert Hunt, No. 374, $2.1B
Wait a sec. Which Hunt is this? Friendship rating: seriously, there are so many Hunts that it’s hard to keep track of them all, and that’s before we even start talking about the Hills. 1
Ross Perot Jr., No. 374, $2.1B
Remember that tour of the Perot office I told you about? Ross Jr. led the thing. Nice dude. I offered to come lead a morning yoga class for him at the gym in their office. He politely declined. Friendship rating: next time he flies around the world in a helicopter, pretty sure he’ll ask me to be his copilot. 9
Here’s the latest flutter over the State Fair of Texas, which continues to deep fry down at Fair Park through October 22. It is about a survey the fair is offering attendees the chance to win $1,000 to complete. Among a host of questions, like how old are you and how safe do you feel at the fair, the State Fair drops a sensitive bombshell. Depending on the version of the survey, it either asks how would you feel if the State Fair of Texas departed Dallas’ Fair Park after 130 years, or whether you believe the fair should work with the city to keep it at Fair Park for another 130 years.
In the article that appeared over the weekend about the survey, the subtext is clear. The State Fair is at the center of the debate over the future of Fair Park. Three groups are vying to take over private control of the park. The fair has been criticized for not living up to the terms of its contract with the city, managing Fair Park into a concrete mess, and contributing historically to the ongoing disinvestment and degradation of the neighborhoods surrounding Fair Park. All the while, a group headed by former Trammel Crow CEO Don Williams remains dead-locked in a series of lawsuits related to freedom of information requests to view the fair’s oft-criticized and tightly guarded finances (I mean, they count their ducats by weighing greasy tickets, for goodness sake).
And so, now the fair suddenly takes it upon itself to measure the emotional attachment of its attendees to the idea of the State Fair being in Fair Park. How does that not play as a preventive political maneuver that will raise its head again as the Fair Park privatization bid moves forward? And reading the fair’s spokesperson’s aww-shucks, gee-whiz, nothing going on here quote in the DMN, that perception is only furthered. Or, as council member Scott Griggs puts it, “Nothing the State Fair does surprises me.”
But that is not the best part of the article. The best part comes from young Jocelyn Hodges, age 15, who, when asked about the State Fair and Fair Park, makes a simple, ingenious suggestion.
“It would be kind of cool if it moved around to different cities every year,” she said.
Oh, I know, the sweet, inspiring naivete of the youth. Of course, it is not a practical suggestion. Of course, the powers that be – from fair officials watching the bottom line to city officials counting tax dollars – don’t want to take on the risk or complication of mounting the fair in moving locations year in and year out. There’s the tradition, the logistical nightmare, the cost, the loyalties, the liabilities, the food vendors, and all the countless little details.
But forget all that for a second and just think about Ms. Hodges’ idea: A State Fair that Travels.
It would be kind of cool. Actually, it would be very cool.
Each year could highlight a Texas region and bring in regional contrast. Each event could spruce up a locale and draw tourism, investment, and visitors to a different part of the state. Die-hard vendors could travel to the fair, and so could Big Tex. Sure, you wouldn’t get to ride on the Texas Star every year, but San Antonio, El Paso, Lubbock, Nacogdoches, Abilene, and who knows where else could build there own unique attractions. Maybe there could be a fair circuit – 10 cities that shared the honor, or one per cultural or geographical region. And the fair wouldn’t be an albatross around a specific location, but rather an Olympic-style interruption – embraced because local businesses and neighborhoods would know they wouldn’t have to relive the nightmare of the fair year-in and year-out.
How fun would it be to attend a State Fair of Texas on the Gulf Coast? Imagine the food at a state fair in the Rio Grande Valley. Think about the music at a state fair in the Hill Country.
Texas’ greatest quality is its rich cultural and geographical diversity and its vivacious embracing of individual freedom. Its most irritating quality is its pigeon-brained, self-serving cultural, political, and economic petulance, a parochial protectionsim which it fraudulently tries to pass off as individualism and independence. In its broad-shouldered political maneuvering, the State Fair exhibits too much of the later quality. A traveling fair would go a long way towards embracing the former and making Texas’ best self the center of the show.
Boy Scouts Will Now Let Girls Join. Yesterday Irving-based Boy Scouts of America announced plans to let girls join the Cub Scouts next year and to allow older girls to use the same curriculum as Boy Scouts. Females could become Eagle Scouts as soon as 2019. Of course, the CEO of Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas isn’t super thrilled. Jennifer Bartkowski said Girl Scouts gives girls role models to look up to. And Girl Scouts of the USA has criticized the announcement. But some girls like Makayla Lunday from McKinney are excited about the chance to join Boy Scouts.
DPD and DART Crack Down on K2. This year, there have been 151 arrests at the West End DART station regarding synthetic drugs like K2. In an effort to slow this rate, Dallas Police and DART will meet with Dallas County Community College District law enforcement and the Downtown Safety Patrol every month to try to make rail stations safer. Police Chief U. Renee Hall said DPD officers and DART will talk directly to each other to have “real-time communication relative to incidents going on.” They’ll have access to shared radio communication. She also wants more officers at stations.
Jerry Jones Meets with Cowboys on National Anthem. They met yesterday after practice, and Jones doubled down on his stance that players should stand for the anthem. Players including Dak Prescott and Dez Bryant didn’t comment on the meeting, but Prescott said they “ironed out” things during that time. Cornerback Orlando Scandrick said there are more questions in addition to answers now. Stay tuned.
City Council Settles Lake Fork Water Dispute. Yesterday the City Council unanimously approved a settlement with the Sabine River Authority regarding water the city gets from the Lake Fork reservoir, about 80 miles east. The city’s cost for the water had been increased, and so had customers’ water rates. The new rates for the city will be halved from the current $27 million per year, but the Council will have to decide on new customer rates. Mayor Rawlings called this a “major win” for North Texas.
In the wake of the news that our old friend Barrett Brown has won a victory in his case against the government for snooping around to find out who contributed to his legal defense fund (I mean, seriously), we get this trailer for a double-B documentary that’s set for release November 1. I apologize in advance for my small role in it.
Garland Firearms Dealer Recalls Vegas Shooter. Paul Peddle, owner of B & S Guns in Garland, sold guns to Las Vegas shooter Stephen Paddock in 2010 and 2011. Peddle also remembers Paddock visiting the shop last year with his girlfriend, Marilou Danley. Peddle said Paddock didn’t buy anything this most recent time but inquired about modifying a gun to make it easier to pull the trigger. Apparently Paddock hadn’t purchased long guns from him that could’ve been used in the shooting.
Body Found in Fort Worth Could Be Tied to Arlington Slaying. Fort Worth police found a body inside a vacant home after receiving a tip from Arlington police. The body may be connected to a double killing last month in Arlington when a severed head was found near AT&T Stadium. Two suspects had been arrested in the Arlington case. A medical examiner will determine the Fort Worth deceased person’s identity and cause of death.
Man Drowned in Lake Ray Hubbard. DPD identified the victim as 51-year-old Prince Slaughter, whom they pulled from the lake near John Paul Jones Park. He drowned while attempting to swim to his boat that had drifted away from the shore. A witness was able to pull him to shore, but by that time it was already too late.
Marc Stein, a long time ago, was a Mavs beat reporter for the Morning News. For a long time after that, he was ESPN’s top guy on the NBA, until he was laid off earlier this year. Stein was delivering scoops basically up until the second his tenure ended. He is the best. Just in time for the forthcoming NBA season, the Dallas-based Stein has hooked on with a little startup out of New York.
Proud and hugely humbled to share that, just in time for my 25th season covering the greatest league in the world, I'm joining the @nytimes
The only knock on Stein is that, back in 2009, when I was trying to pick a Premier League team to follow, he talked me out of choosing his beloved Manchester City, who went on to win the PL title two years later. The team I chose — Everton — hasn’t finished higher than fifth and has been total garbage this year. But it’s OK. I don’t dwell on that or anything.
The funny thing about today’s trend in throwback barbershops, and the renewed interest in men’s grooming—which I covered in D Magazine’s October issue—is that not even 15 years ago, men who used face cleanser instead of a Zest soap bar and admitted to having a daily cardio regimen were such an aberration, they earned their own term, “metrosexual,” a whole other classification to separate them from those who didn’t care about fine lines or ab definition.
Since there’s no better way explore our past lives than a search through the D Magazine archives, I dug up this gem, found below, a feature on the “most metrosexual men that Dallas has to offer.” While the concept itself is pretty ridiculous, it was made all the better by Laura Kostelny, who I might say—if I wasn’t within spitting distance of Tim and Zac—was the funniest writer on staff in her day (she’s now at a well-known knee-slapper of a publication called Country Living). I highly recommend squinting and giving her prose a good read, or clicking here to read the ancient online version.
Because I couldn’t help but notice that none of the men here were what I, personally, would consider extremelysexy, I contacted Laura to see if she remembered anything about this feature. She wrote back: “Well, I will say, more loving formatting and better photography would probably help the gentlemen and the story itself. Honestly, I don’t remember much about the piece. I was a freelancer at the time—so it was maybe my third assignment? I know I was given a list of folks. (I actually went on to do a piece all about John Reoch.) If I recall, I was turned down a lot. Men didn’t love the term ‘metrosexual’ then. They probably don’t love it now.”
It’s no surprise men didn’t love the word, but fortunately, it went out of fashion along with “cyberspace.” And these days, guys, it’s all cool. No one’s going to laugh if you go sweater shopping or double-tap Instagram pics of trending haircuts. You do you. Just please don’t shave that beard.
Task Force Wants Robert E. Lee Statue in Museum. The mayor’s Task Force on Confederate Monuments said yesterday that the Lee statue should be moved to a museum from storage. It could be given as a gift or a long-term loan. The Cultural Affairs Commission and City Council will have to figure out the details.
Jury to Start Deliberations in Jason Lowe Murder Trial. Today a jury will begin to discuss the fate of 28-year-old Jason Lowe, the Richardson man charged with the murder of his girlfriend, Jessie Bardwell. He testified yesterday that he had sexted with a few other women while Jessie lay dead in his SUV for a week. He also said she died after falling in the shower. If convicted, Jason will face up to life in prison. His story sounds, at best, shaky.
Theaster Gates Wins Nasher Prize. The 44-year-old was awarded the third annual Nasher Prize for sculpture last night. His work couldn’t be more relevant.
Megashelter for Harvey Evacuees to Close. The downtown megashelter for Harvey evacuees at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center will close today. The remaining 200 evacuees there will move to a shelter at Oak Cliff’s Tommie M. Allen Recreation Center, the final Harvey shelter open in Dallas.
Dallas County Votes, Keeps Tax Rates the Same. Commissioners voted yesterday to keep tax rates the same for county government and Parkland Memorial Hospital, even though property values have been increasing. Their reasoning for not cutting county tax rates was to fund raises for employees and fill in a budget hole of $13 million.
DPD Headquarters to Get Security Overhaul. Yesterday the City Council approved $2 million to tighten security in the front lobby of DPD headquarters, as well as new protective gear for officers.
City Hall Decides Not to Ban Travel and Business with North Carolina. The City Council rejected a resolution that would’ve banned dealings with North Carolina’s businesses over LGBT laws that had required transgender people to use the bathroom according to their birth gender. Some council members were concerned such a resolution would affect business with Bank of America.
NFL Files Motion to Attempt to Get Zeke Off the Field. In an effort to enforce its six-game suspension of Cowboys running back Zeke Elliott, the NFL last night filed a motion for an emergency stay of the injunction that’s letting Zeke continue to play. The league asked U.S. District Judge Amos Mazzant (also the judge who issued the injunction) to issue a ruling by the end of today. If necessary, the NFL will go to the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of appeals tomorrow morning.
Mexican Drug Cartel Allegedly Back in Dallas. Yesterday, charges were announced against eight members of the violent Jalisco New Generation Cartel regarding a methamphetamine trafficking plot supposedly operating in Dallas and DeSoto. They were charged with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute a controlled substance. The defendants used Dallas-area homes as meth labs throughout the past year.
Dallas Symphony Donating Concert Proceeds to Harvey Relief. Single-ticket sales from the symphony’s performances today and Sunday will go into a relief fund that’ll help people in Houston affected by the hurricane.
It’s North Texas Giving Day.Today‘s the day to support local nonprofits. Last year, a record-breaking $37 million was raised. This year’s giving is underway and ends at midnight.
This week’s podcast is the first ever en plein air episode of BraBurner. There is compost. There are fresh figs. There is a dwarf heritage chicken named Minnie Pearl. There is a goat revolt that I may or may not have caused. Holland discloses a heretofore secret allergy to cloven-hooved beasts.
We wanted to talk about North Texas Giving Day, which is coming up on Thursday. So we figured it was a great excuse to head down to Bonton Farms in South Dallas on a gorgeous sunny day to hang out with its founder, Daron Babcock, along with Trisha Cunningham, the new CEO of the North Texas Food Bank.
As I’m sure you are aware, NTGD is the day when you can donate money to your favorite local charity and, through the Communities Foundation of Texas, that charity becomes eligible for bonus money and matching funds. (Full disclosure: Tim Rogers’ wife, and my tennis team co-captain, is part of the PR effort for this event.) Last year, Dallas set another national record, with $37 million donated in 18 hours to more than 2,500 nonprofits.
Bonton Farms and the North Texas Food Bank are just two of the possible charities you can give to. Listen to the podcast via the streaming player after the jump or use your favorite podcatcher. Learn about the fresh food revolution Babcock is leading in South Dallas with the help of some former criminals and Cunningham’s plans to tackle hunger in North Texas one can of low-sodium green beans at a time. For this one, I don’t have any show notes, but I do have one piece of wisdom shared by Danny, one of Bonton Farms’ super helpful employees, on our way out. After giving each of us a perfectly ripe fig to eat (Holland’s first), he advised us that next time Aunt Flo comes to town, boil up some fig leaves and drink the tea. Your cramps will be gone.
Hearing Today for Temporary Restraining Order Stopping Removal of Robert E. Lee Statue. Yesterday, the removal of the Robert E. Lee statue in Oak Lawn was halted by a temporary restraining order from U.S. District Judge Sidney Fitzwater due to a complaint from attorney Kirk Lyons. The hearing is set for today at 1:30 p.m.
Dallas Bankers Accused of Defrauding Bank out of $1.2 Million. Three former officials with the Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas are accused of faking business travel to get $1.2 million worth of lavish trips paid for by the bank. Terence C. Smith (former president and chief executive officer), Nancy B. Parker (former chief information officer), and Michael J. Sims (former chief financial officer) have been charged in federal court. Over five years, they used bank money for things like luxury hotel rooms, pricey liquor and vineyard tours, and concerts.
Angela Paxton Launches Texas Senate Campaign. The wife of Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is seeking the District 8 seat that her husband used to hold. She’ll run against Dallas County Republican Party Chairman Phillip Huffines in the GOP Senate primary in March.
Jaguars from Texas Zoo, Damaged by Harvey, Arrive at Dallas Zoo.Two jaguars from Victoria’s Texas Zoo are finding shelter at the Dallas Zoo in the wake of Harvey floods. “We’re now focused on ensuring their stay is as comfortable as possible until we know more about the state of their home,” the Dallas Zoo said via Facebook.
Folio: is a trade magazine about magazines with funny punctuation. Folio: has funny punctuation. Not the magazines it covers. Well, I mean, some of the magazines it covers have funny punctuation in their titles. There’s Life: Beautiful, for example. Anyway, every year Folio: hands out awards for the best editorial (Eddie Awards) and design (Ozzie Awards) work done across the country, both digital and in print. This year, we’ve got 11 finalists in 10 categories, which is so many that it would be embarrassing if we were the kind of people who got embarrassed by recognition that we so richly deserve.
Okay, kidding aside, I’m honored to work with this bunch. Congratulations to everyone involved. Here are the categories and finalists:
City & Regional – Newsletter [Eddies] Baltimore magazine, Baltimore magazine D Magazine, D Brief — D Magazine Partners
City & Regional – News Coverage [Eddies] D Magazine, Barrett Brown’s City Council Reports — D Magazine Partners D Magazine, The Case of Dr. Christopher Duntsch — D Magazine Partners NYPD News, NYPD News — New York City Police Department
Consumer/City & Regional – Podcast [Eddies] D Magazine, EarBurner — D Magazine Partners
Happy Half Hour, Happy Half Hour Podcast — San Diego Magazine
Harvard Business Review, HBR IdeaCast — Harvard Business Review Inc. Magazine, Inc. Uncensored — Mansueto Ventures, LLC
Scholastic Reads, Scholastic Reads Podcast — Scholastic The Red Bulletin, The Red Bulletin Podcast — Red Bull Media House
City & Regional – Series of Articles [Eddies] D Magazine, Coverage of Dr. Christopher Duntsch – D Magazine Partners Golden Isles Magazine, “10 Places to Visit This Fall” September/October 2016 – Brunswick News Publishing Company INDULGE Miami, INDULGE: Staycation
City & Regional – Single Article [Eddies] Baltimore magazine, How Baltimore Invented the Modern World – Baltimore magazine Baltimore magazine, Waterwomen – Baltimore magazine D Magazine, “I Did This Alone: Dallas, Lone Gunmen, and Hijacking of American History” – D Magazine Partners Feast Magazine, Kings of Corn – Feast Magazine Houstonia Magazine, The Houstonian’s Guide to Crawfish – Houstonia Magazine Sonoma Magazine, There Are No Walls in Windsor” – Sonoma Media Investments Texas Highways magazine, Nine-River Day – Texas Department of Transportation
City & Regional – Overall Design [Ozzies] BigLife Magazine, BigLife Magazine / Winter 2017 – BigLife Media LLC D Magazine, D Magazine – D Magazine Partners, June, 2017, Weekend Getaways INDULGE Miami, INDULGE Miami – INDULGE Miami Sonoma Magazine, Sonoma Magazine – Sonoma Media Investments Time Out Los Angeles, Time Out Los Angeles – Time Out North America What’s Up? Weddings, What’s Up? Weddings – What’s Up? Media
Use of Digital Imagery – Overall [Ozzies] AARP The Magazine, New Hope for Aging Knees – AARP AARP The Magazine, Build A Better Password – AARP D Magazine, D Magazine, May 2017, Cover – D Magazine Partners Drive, Summer Wonder – Subaru of America, Inc. InvestmentNews, The Big Tech Lure – Crain Communication Inc.
The 2017 Police Commissioner’s Report, The 2017 Police Commissioner’s Report – New York City Police Department
City & Regional – Use of Photography [Ozzies] Baltimore magazine, Waterwomen – Baltimore magazine BigLife Magazine, The Art of the Wild / Summer 2016 – BigLife Media LLC D Weddings, D Weddings, March 2017, Jump for my Love – D Magazine Partners Houstonia Magazine, The Texas Duck-Hunting Tradition – Houstonia Magazine Sactown Magazine, Troubled Waters – Metropolis Publishing Sonoma Magazine, The Faces of Harvest – Sonoma Media Investments Southern Living, Let them eat Cake – Southern Living
Consumer / City & Regional – Site Design [Ozzies Digital] 5280 Magazine, 5280.com – 5280 Publishing Inc. Baltimore magazine, Baltimoremagazine.com – Baltimore magazine D Magazine, Visual Storytelling: Greatest Dallasites – D Magazine Partners
HouseLogic.com, HouseLogic.com – National Association of REALTORS® Life: Beautiful, Life: Beautiful – Grey Dog Media
Editor’s note: The City Council voted 13-1 to pull down the monument and store it away from Lee Park. Councilwoman Sandy Greyson was the lone “no” vote, and Councilman Rickey Callahan voted that he was “present,” neither for nor against. We’ll have a story up soon. Here’s the piece from this morning.
This morning, the Dallas City Council will vote on a resolution to authorize the removal a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee from Lee Park. Mayor Mike Rawlings believes he has the votes to approve the resolution, which was drafted by three of the African-American members of the Dallas City Council, and which also officially condemns the history of slavery, racism, oppression, exclusion, and disenfranchisement that has dominated the historical experience of African-Americans.
That means that, after the vote, the city manager will remove the statue from the park. The mayor’s new Task Force on Confederate Monuments will begin the process of discussing what will ultimately come of it, as well as what the city will do with the massive Confederate memorial in Pioneer Cemetery, and the many streets, murals, and parks that bear the names and symbols of the Confederacy.
The removal of the Lee statue comes as cities around the southern United States have been removing or covering up Confederate memorials. In Dallas, a group of citizens has been organizing an effort to remove Dallas’ Confederate symbols since earlier this year, and council member Philip Kingston, who has been working with the group, previously drafted a resolution that called for an immediate removal of the monuments. The mayor initially expressed reluctance to the idea of immediately removing the statues, while simultaneously condemning them as “dangerous totems.”That changed, Rawlings says, after the violence in Charlottesville, when a woman was killed by a protester associated with white supremacist groups that were rallying around a statue of Lee in the Virginian city.
“[Removing the statue] was my first inclination after Charlottesville,” Rawlings said. “It wasn’t my first instinct before. My point of view changed.”
Rawlings says what became clear to him after the violence in Virginia was that the Confederate monuments were more than simply historical artifacts.
“I’m a marketing person and there is a term called ‘brand association,’” he says. “Fairly or unfairly, when a Robert E. Lee statue gets associated with Nazi sympathizers, that brand regard goes way into the negative.”
The latest resolution establishes a clear timeline for the task force to complete its deliberations, requesting the new body submit a plan to the council by November 8. That sets up a critical two-month period in which Dallas’ relationship to its own history – and the many figures represent that history – will be put on trial. It is an important moment for a city that has, historically, been more of a mind to re-brand or rewrite its history, rather than confront it.
Starting that process by removing the Lee statue indicates a sincere desire to confront that history meaningfully, but opposition to the move has already begun to surface. Yesterday, a new group calling itself the Dallas Citizens for Unity and Reconciliation— headed by Jane Manning, Pierce Allmän, Henry Tatum, and William Murchison—released results of a survey it paid for that asked 503 registered voters if they would rather see the statue moved or maintained with an additional plaque that offers “the historical perspective of the statue with the addition of privately funded new statues that celebrate the African American community.” The survey found that a majority of those asked favored the compromise, but one can’t help but wonder how Dallas voters would have responded to similar polls about school desegregation or voting rights if they had been conducted during the Civil Rights era.
That’s because, as Wick wrote a few weeks ago and the mayor seems to now perceive, the historical context of these monuments and statues is secondary to the symbolic meaning they now express. There is little merit to the argument that we need to preserve these particular symbols, regardless of any aesthetic or historical relevance, because they are the propagandistic media of a culture that held tight to a worldview in which white supremacy was central. Or, as Kingston said in an interview yesterday: “They are institutional reminders of the institution of racism. I don’t have to look hard to find reminders of the institution of racism.”
All of which makes a second argument made against the removal of the statue voiced by Rick Brettell, the former-director of the Dallas Museum of Art and the Dallas Morning News’ art critic, all the more tone deaf. In an article that appeared over the weekend, Brettell argued that the intention of the Lee monument’s artist, noted 19th century equestrian sculptor Alexander Phimister Proctor, was not to create racist propaganda. Brettell’s point may be supported by the curious irony that Proctor also sculpted the steed beneath a statue of the brutal “scorched earth” Union General William Tecumseh Sherman that sits in Grand Army Plaza in New York.
But as Kay Kallos, the city’s public art program manager, explained to the Task Force on Confederate Monuments during their first meeting last week, the meaning of public art differs from other forms of artistic expression in that it carries with it the intention not only of the artist but also the individuals – and the broader societal impulse – that inspired its commissioning. If Brettell can argue that Proctor was a kindly man out-of-step with the commonplace racial attitudes in which his time was steeped, he would have a more difficult time arguing that those who paid for and organized the installation of the Lee statue felt similarly. And it is those cultural attitudes that allow for the statue in Lee Park – as well as Confederate monuments through this city and the rest of the southern United States – to retain a potency that has been newly coopted by resurgent fascist, neo-Nazi, and white supremacist organizations.
It all goes to highlight the importance of the work the Task Force on Confederate Monuments has in front of them. In speaking with both Rawlings and Kingston, they agree that the issue at hand is not whether the statues should be moved, but how they are to be moved. That process offers a rare opportunity for broad-based civic discussion and education around this city’s racist past.
“I think the passion around history and preservation is in an exciting conversation with racism,” Rawlings said. “And how do you do that? That’s what I think you are going to hear in this group. Will they find the secret formula for racial strife? I don’t think so, but I do believe it is a good avenue for civic discussion.”
The Task Force will meet again this week and will be briefed, at the request of member Sara Mokuria, on the historical context of the Confederate monuments. If done well, that briefing should begin to help people like Brettell, or the educators and artists lining up to support the DCUR, understand that any archaeological or aesthetic merit of the Lee statue, or nostalgic connection to imagined civility, or any of the original intentions of its creation or commissioning, is superseded by the potency of those objects as totems of racial hatred.
The task force should also look to other examples of how to deal with offensive propaganda. This country isn’t the only place that has to have dealt with discarding propaganda. Germany and countries in Eastern Europe have expunged symbols of fascist or communist regimes in various ways. A recent article in the New Yorker talks about India’s decision to deal with massive monuments to British Colonial rule by placing them in a park and allowing them to rot.
“New Delhi had not erased its imperial origins,” the New Yorker author writes. “It had collected painful symbols of it and then allowed their potency to dissolve.”
To this end, the task force should not only seek out historical experts, but also experts in dealing with issues of aesthetic and artistic potency. There are many contemporary artists whose work, writing, and thinking often wrestles with these kinds of issues of meaningful context and potency. Some are active right here in our community – artists like Lauren Woods, Vicki Meek, Rick Lowe, Michael Corris, Cynthia Mulcahy, Carol Zou, Darryl Ratcliff, and others. These are the cultural workers who possess the language and insight to deal with the multifaceted complications that arise when considering how to properly dissolve the potency of propaganda.
The good news, though, is that today’s action by the mayor and council, and the prerogatives set for the task force, indicate that city’s leadership is ready to tackle this heavy task with sincerity, even if that means they will face tough pushback from some of their constituents.
“Someone said to me, ‘all you want to be is politically correct,’” Rawlings said. “I really don’t. All I want to be is correct.”
An alert FrontBurnervian points us to the news that Tomi Lahren has joined Fox News in a contributor role. She’ll make her debut tonight on Hannity, and she’ll have a “signature role” on Fox’s digital lineup, whatever that means. No word on whether this signature role will require her to leave our fair shores for NYC. Robert Jeffress seems to have no problem saying offensive stuff on Fox from Dallas.
The Dallas Mavericks just sent out a news release. It reads, in part:
This upcoming school year, each student in the Dallas Independent School District (approx. 158,000) will receive school supplies including a notebook, pencil and a Mavs game voucher from the Dallas Mavericks and owner Mark Cuban.
On Monday, August 28th, the first day of school for Dallas ISD, the Mavs ManiAACs, Dancers, Champ and MavsMan will distribute over 6,000 school supplies to Skyline High School and Frank Guzick Elementary School in East Dallas to celebrate the beginning of the 2017-2018 school year.
This raises a question, though. Will DISD trustees Lew Blackburn, Joyce Foreman, and Bernadette Nutall allow this to happen? Their track record suggests they won’t.
Zeke Elliott Granted Temporary Restraining Order to Play Sunday. The Cowboys’ controversial running back will rejoin practice today at The Star and will play Sunday against San Francisco. A U.S. district judge, filling in for the assigned judge who was on vacation, ordered a temporary restraining order against Elliott’s six-game ban last night. It’s good through October 30 unless another hearing is held first. The assigned judge will make a more permanent decision when she gets back.
The Search for Sherin Mathews Continues in a Field Near Richland College. Police moved the search for 3-year-old Sherin Mathews to a field near Richland College yesterday. It’s less than 2 miles from the Mathews’ home in Richardson where her father put her outside in an alley at 3 a.m. as a punishment. Police said they found “objects of interest” but haven’t elaborated yet.
DISD Superintendent Wants to Close Two Schools and Convert Two to Charters. Superintendent Michael Hinojosa said the goal in doing this would be to avoid punishment from the state for the schools’ poor performances. He didn’t say which schools he had in mind, but he’ll present his plan to trustees on November 2. If no action is taken, the school board and superintendent could be replaced. “If I take a chance and they don’t make it, something is going to happen in August. We’re not running from the accountability. We have something great we want to replace it with,” Hinojosa said.
Getting Caught with Weed in Dallas Doesn’t Mean You’ll go to Jail Now. Yesterday, Dallas County commissioners passed a “cite and release” program to free up cops to focus on violent crimes. Dallas police can now give a court summons to people found with less than 4 ounces of marijuana. It will go into effect December 1.
Once again, if you haven’t been following along at home, Folio: is a trade magazine about magazines. Every year Folio: hands out awards for the best editorial (Eddie Awards) and design (Ozzie Awards) work done across the country, both digital and in print. Yesterday, in the “city and regional” category, we won three.
We won an Ozzie for best use of digital photography for our May cover, about the Tobolowsky murder. The image was created by C.J. Burton, and the cover was designed by our own Kevin Goodbar, who also came up with the concept.
We won an Eddie for best series of articles. They were written by our own Matt Goodman about the Duntsch trial. You can find his reports and the cover story he wrote here.
And, finally, we won an Eddie for best news coverage, for a series of reports on Dallas City Council meetings written by Barrett Brown. You can find those here. In typical Barrett fashion, he was not humbled by the win. One of the publications he beat was something produced by the New York City Police Department. Here’s what he wrote on Facebook yesterday:
Ten years ago, upon moving to Brooklyn, I was grabbed off the street along with a couple of Puerto Ricans I was hanging out with, thrown up against a wall, called a “liar” for claiming I wasn’t buying drugs from them, searched, and then released with a warning that they were going to rob me. That was my first, though by no means last, experience with the NYPD. Today I was up against the New York Police Department’s NYPD News for “Best Local and Regional Coverage” award from Folio. I just beat them. Fuck you, pigs, and fuck your little pretend newspaper. Also, the drugs were in my sock.
Back in August, as the debate over the future of Dallas’ various Confederate monuments and street names was only heating up, the In Solidarity Movement staged a protest at the Confederate War Monument that sits in Pioneer Park Cemetery just outside the Dallas Convention Center.
The protest, as these things do, attracted some folks who believe we need to leave the monuments alone. In the midst of the hubbub, a cringe-worthy (to say the least) back-and-forth between Michael Waters, the founding pastor of Joy Tabernacle African Methodist Episcopal (A.M.E) Church, and a man bearing a Confederate flag, went down like this, according to our reporter in the field Doyle Rader:
Like Waters before him, Rick was frequently interrupted by shouts and accusations from the crowd. Unlike Waters, though, Rick engaged those confronting him and spoke about a race war that began in the 1700s. At this point, the gathering resembled a Facebook argument more than anything else. This exchange got the most play on the evening newscast, between Waters and a bearded man in a blue shirt holding a Confederate flag (who wouldn’t give his name):
Waters: Why do you carry that flag?
Man: Because this is my heritage! My family fought to save their farm under that flag!
Waters: Who was working that farm?
Man: My family was!
Waters: Who was working that farm?
Man: They were poor! Do you know how much a slave cost back then?
Yikes. Well, nothing goes unnoticed these days, and that precise bit of dialogue was picked up by John Oliver in his 20-plus minute take-down of the Confederate debate on last Sunday’s Last Week Tonight. Here’s the full clip, but you’ll have to advance to the 9-minute mark to watch the shocking bit Dallas contributed to the piece. And in response to it all, here’s Oliver’s zinger:
“You know you are wrong when you decide that your best argument with a black man is ‘Do you know how expensive you used to be.’ It is comments like that one that landed that guy on the cover of ‘Holy Sh*t that is not remotely the point magazine.'”
Chris Shull eventually became a respectable adult and got himself a wife and a real job, but when I entered his orbit, in 1994, he was the arts editor for the now defunct Met, a Dallas alternative weekly staffed by brilliant minds working hard to do stupid stuff. Most of us were just a few years removed from college. Shull — we all called him by his last name — was five or six years older, which seemed like a larger gap back then. He was an elder statesman but only because we were such punks.
I’ve met few people with his breadth of expertise and interests. He was a horn player and knew plenty about jazz and classical music, of course, but he was also into drag racing. Somehow he convinced The Met’s editor, Joe Guinto, that we should run a profile of Kenny Bernstein. This was circa 1995, and Bernstein hadn’t lived in Dallas for more than a decade, but, come on, he was “The King of Speed,” the first man to go 300 mph in the quarter mile. I remember that trivia because Shull conscripted me as his co-pilot for a road trip to Kansas City, where Bernstein was racing the week prior to an appearance at the Texas Motorplex, in Ennis. Shull would interview him there, then write the cover story for the following week. I’d like to say that on that trip Shull and I had a long, meaningful conversation about our hopes and fears and plans for the future. And maybe we did. But I don’t remember that. What I remember is that I didn’t think his car would make it to KC and back. I remember shutting down a bar with him. And I remember how cool he was, how he was equally at ease navigating the pit lane at a drag race as he was sipping Chardonnay at intermission at the Meyerson.
He did it all while wearing rose-colored Ray-Bans, no matter the time of day or night. They were prescription glasses. He explained to me once that he couldn’t afford two pairs, so he’d chosen the sunglasses. After he became a respectable adult, he bought himself some proper indoor eyewear, but I’ll always remember him in those sunglasses. God, he was a funny, profane, big-hearted dude. He had an enormous, explosive laugh.
Kim Jones worked with Shull at The Met. In a Facebook group DM earlier today, she told a bunch of former staffers: “I can still hear him laughing and calling every woman in the room a fabulous babe. And talking about his cat Maia. I am 48 years old and have been married for 14 years and have two children. I hope one day that someone will talk about me the way that Shull talked about that cat.” It’s true. Shull had a weird thing for that cat. (Go here to read a really funny Shull anecdote from Kim.)
Shull spent some time post-Met covering the symphony for the Wichita Eagle, in Kansas. That is where he met Charla Sanderson. The two were married 17 years. She now works for the Office of Cultural Affairs, here in Dallas. A couple weeks ago, Sanderson noticed that her husband looked jaundiced. A visit to a doctor revealed that his liver was failing. Shull spent a week in ICU but seemed, for a bit, to be doing better. That wasn’t the case. He died yesterday morning. Shull was 55 years old.
Sanderson says there won’t be a service. She plans to have some dinner parties, to surround herself with people who loved and admired her husband. I hope she has a big table. She’ll need it to accommodate all those people, including many of the musicians at the Dallas Symphony. For those who wish to do something in Shull’s honor, she suggests donating in his name to help cats at Operation Kindness.
FROM JOE GUINTO, FOUNDING MANAGING EDITOR OF THE MET:
When I was his boss at The Met back in the day, I could never be mad at Chris Shull for long, even though rage was my most honed leadership skill. It didn’t matter if he missed deadlines — and, oh, how he missed deadlines — didn’t matter if he assigned stories to writers I hated — and he did — didn’t matter if he brought contraband along for a staff outing to a strip club at a gas station halfway between Dallas and Waco — and he did, despite my explicit, ranting instruction that he should absolutely do no such thing.
I loved Shull. Everyone loved Shull. And everyone hated me when I restructured Shull’s full-time arts editor job into a part-time position — part of a short-sighted decision to move a few thousand dollars of Shull’s appallingly low salary into some godawful fashion publication we’d just started (see above). Everyone hated me, that is, except Shull. When I broke the news to him, apologetically, he hugged me and he thanked me for being such a good boss. I wasn’t. But Shull was a good man and a dedicated editor who cared deeply for the Dallas arts community, especially the city’s classical musicians, and who made The Met’s coverage of that community into something respectable.
Early on, we’d have been lost without Shull. Later, when he left for full-time work in Wichita, we were lesser for not having his connections to, well, everyone — Shull had friends in high and low places — and for not having his loud, hilariously vulgar presence in our midst on a daily basis. As it turns out, everyone was right to hate me.
Like a lot of Met people, I saw Shull very infrequently in recent years. But he served as arts editor for our one-week-only 21st-anniversary issue, in 2015, and he brought his big laugh to our reunion party. I talked to him a lot at that event. On his way out the door, he stopped and hugged me as if I’d just laid him off. “Thank you for letting me be a part of this, man,” he said. But he had it backward. The Met wouldn’t have been The Met without Shull. And I’m sure that for anyone who knew him back then or more recently, life won’t be the same without him either.
FROM ERIC CELESTE, FOUNDING EDITOR OF THE MET:
Chris Shull was one of the few truly unique people I’ve ever met. He was also one of the kindest people you could ever know. He was a loving bear of a man who at once felt familiar and larger than life. He was Austin Powers without the lechery, The Dude with ambition, a redneck Mr. Holland.
Shull’s swingin’, cool-cat vibe was genuine. Twenty years after he worked for me, he still called me “boss.” (He may have called everyone that, but I choose to believe not.) The prescription sunglasses he wore indoors, the long hair he constantly pulled out of his eyes, proclaiming every female friend/colleague/performer “a fabulous babe” — each felt honest and innocent. In a world where most eccentricities feel calculated and pretentious, Shull’s were wildly endearing.
Women loved Shull, and he in turn really loved women. He loved their beauty, of course, but he found beauty in the things that mattered: their strength, their honesty, their hopes and fears. (And, it must be said, in less high-minded qualities.) At The Met, we worked above a bar called the Green Elephant, and after (or during) work, it was often we’d come downstairs and find Shull surrounded by young women, talking to each of them about their jobs, their boyfriends, school. He knew everything about them, he counseled them through their problems and concerns, and they never felt threatened by him. Despite proclaiming his love for each of them, they viewed him, correctly, as something of a father figure, someone motivated first by friendship and kindness.
But a man as fully romantic as Shull of course found love. Young love came in the form of women dazzled by his passion, awed by his encyclopedic knowledge of classical music, and tolerant of his more Texas-y pursuits (football and auto racing, in particular). As Tim pointed out, true love came later, when Shull moved to Wichita and met Charla. I didn’t know her well, but I knew how happy she and Chris were together. Every time I saw them about town, they beamed. They were *that* couple, the one that made you feel all things are possible through love.
I hadn’t seen Shull since last year, when he left the DSO, where he handled PR and publications. He would regularly email me and tell me to bring my “fabulous babe” of a girlfriend. Mostly because of him, we came often, and we always had a blast. He was great at his job because he loved the symphony so much, and he wanted to help me and other philistines share in what he found so exhilarating. He would dumb it down for me. “Don’t come to that show, come to the next one, the program is SEXIER!” “When that movement starts, and you feel the boomboomboomboom — boss, it’s like you’re in FUCKING DIE HARD!”
I hope some of you can hear his voice there. The temptation with Shull is to only recall how open, honest, and caring he was, because he offered more of his heart to his friends than just about anyone I’ve ever known. But I don’t want to forgot how wickedly funny he was. He was a World War II buff — again, endearing — and once, while writing a simple preview for The Met of a big Japanese-American art exhibit, he decided to write in the voice of an aggrieved veteran. I can still hear Shull laughing loudly, bellowing the words out, and us laughing maniacally around him. I’ll end this goodbye with those words because they always make me laugh. Also because I’m tired of crying, and I don’t want to go on about how much I want to hear him yell “Celeste!” and bear hug me one more time.
Here are the funniest, most inappropriate 192 words that were ever printed in The Met:
We have but one question for the fastidious organizers of “Sun & Star 1996,” this fall’s ubiquitous festival of Japanese art and culture that has relentlessly filled museums and concert halls since September: Remember Pearl Harbor? The sun and star have met and mingled before, and it wasn’t in the cool darkness of the DMA or the quiet grandeur of the Meyerson in that breathless moment between silence and music. Oh no, my friends. It was on the blood-frothed beaches of Tarawa and on the fire-swept hell of Iwo Jima that sun and star first mingled, and it was no goddamned tea ceremony either. IT WAS WAR, dammit. WAR! It was a peaceful Sunday morning in paradise, shattered by treachery and well-aimed 500-pound bombs. But you got yours, didn’t you, my little samurai? PAYBACK’S A BITCH, huh Tojo? You can make pretty little enamel lacquered boxes and folded paper cranes, but could you construct a simple self-sealing gas tank? HELL NO! Nimble is as nimble does, and your vaunted Zeros were just that: DUCKS IN A GODDAMNED SHOOTING GALLERY, from Midway all the way to Tokyo Bay. Never forget! Remember the Arizona!
The paper visited the outspoken Channel 8 sports broadcaster at his ranch in Waxahachie to find out how the “white-haired grandfather who hasn’t voted since 1972” became a fixture on social media feeds around the world. At least part of his viral popularity is, as Hansen puts it, the surprise of a “fat, old, white sports guy” on TV acting against type and defending progressive causes.
The riffs have made Hansen something of an outlier: a local newsman with a national voice, a champion for social issues in a stick-to-sports world, a liberal voice in a deeply red state that’s as passionate about its sports as it is its politics.
Here in Texas, mixing those two religions is nearly a sin, but the cocky Hansen revels in taking on sacred cows, saying, “Oh, well, I’m agnostic anyway.”
There are a lot of good bits in the story, including Hansen’s not-so-diverse upbringing. Perhaps most importantly, we learn the name of Hansen’s mini donkey, Edward R. Burro, referencing the legendary broadcast journalist Edward R. Murrow and the Spanish word for donkey.
Chances are if you’re reading this, you’re already well aware of the fact that Playboy founder Hugh Hefner passed away at his home, the Playboy Mansion, on Wednesday. The guy was 91. That’s a great run. Pour out a Jack Daniel’s and cola for him. It was his favorite nightcap, after all.
Regardless of your stance on Hefner and his publication, there’s no denying the magnitude of the brand he built. The Playboy logo is one of the most recognizable in the world. There are Playboy cookbooks, clothing, and clubs. A tattered copy of The Playboy Gourmet is one of my most cherished possessions.
I came across a story about Dallas’ Playboy Club in the January 1977 issue of D Magazine a while back while I was digging through the archives. This seemed like an ideal time to pull it back out and share. (Fun fact: the Dallas Playboy Club was located at Express Tower by North Central Expressway, and the Dallas Cowboys offices were located in the same building. Apparently the Playboy Bunnies and Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders had quite the ongoing rivalry.)
It also inspired me to reach out to the women who worked at the club during its heyday. Mary Ann Russell, Thressa Anderson, Terry Parrish, and Lori Bailey were employed as Bunnies in Dallas during the ’70s and ’80, and they loved it.
These are their stories.
“I started in 1981; it was the tail end of the club, no pun intended. It was so wonderful and glamorous. We were well protected. You couldn’t touch a bunny. The best thing I got out of the experience was my friends. I’m still friends with them. The sisterhood of the bunnies is just amazing.
It was almost an illusion; we wore more clothes than you’d think. There were two types of pantyhose: support hose and black stockings. The made-to-fit costumes were tedious to put on. It took up to three girls to get one girl into her outfit. One girl would hold it at the waist, one person would hold at the top, and another would zip it up. I used two pairs of tube socks to fill it up. My outfit was pastel. It took five years to get a black suit. I really wanted a black suit. We did have Christmas outfits; they were red with white fur.
There was the main den where cocktails were served, the lounge with bumper pool, the showroom where performers headlined and dinner was served, and the game room. There was a regular stream of clients. So many Dallas Cowboys. The Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders and the Bunnies had an ongoing rivalry. It was a lot of fun. We weren’t supposed to date customers, but they loosened the rules for celebrities.
Some of the girls were making more money than their fathers did. It was very empowering for a woman. I had great insurance and benefits, and the money was good. I was in school at the time; a lot of the girls were. We were working toward bigger and better dreams.
I was a bit conflicted when I heard that Hugh died. Since then I’ve become a big woman of God. So I was torn. But what I always loved about Hugh was the way he broke down race barriers by way of entertainment and music in his clubs. I loved him for that.” – Mary Ann Russell
“I worked at the club from 1978 until it closed in 1982. I was 20 years old when I started working there. I still remember everything. It was the best years of my life. The first weekend I worked, there was a Cowboys game on TV and Howard Cosell and Jimmy ‘The Greek’ Snyder came in. It was always exciting. There were movie stars and TV stars and rock and roll musicians. It was just a pretty magical place. It was so upscale.
It wasn’t like a topless bar or anything; you had to have a key to get in. It was for members only. I remember drinks costing $5.50, which was a lot for back then. I was a Silver Anniversary Bunny. I still have some of my suits. I have the red one, the black one, and the silver one.
Somebody called last night and said that Hugh passed. I actually cried. I met my best friends of my life there. My best friend was a Bunny in Dallas, too.
She married the drummer in the band Boston. I call them every day, even after all of these years. He got us all together—a group of incredible women from all over the world. It was so empowering. I can’t stop smiling talking about it. I dream about going back. It was just a fabulous time and a fabulous club.” – Thressa Anderson
“I was one of the original girls. We had to go through at least four to five interviews. It reminded me of beauty pageants. You wouldn’t hear from them for a few weeks, and then you would get a letter. And then there was another audition at the Fairmount. We had to wear a swimsuit and there were celebrity judges. Rose Marie Mazetta from The Dick Van Dyke Show was one of them. You started at the top of a runway and then walked down it—in high heels. It was very scary and intimidating. There were so many people on-site. More than 5,000 girls tried out; out of that, they chose 188. Then we had to go through training. There were classes for six weeks, for almost all day.
It was fun. It was absolutely, positively the best years of my life. People would stand in line for hours to get into the club. And we were so protected and treated with respect. People couldn’t touch us. You would stuff so much money down the front of your suit that when you unzipped it, all of the bills would fall out onto the floor. We were making $200, $300, up to $600 in a night. I paid cash for a new car. We made really, really, really good money. And we were always doing promotions and charity work.
I moved to Los Angeles in 1981 and was looking for a place to stay. I lived in the Playboy Mansion for two weeks. Hugh was such a wonderful man. He was caring. Some girls were having a rough time financially, and he would help them out. He didn’t know me, but he knew I was one of the Bunnies, one of his girls. He was so sweet. He was so loving. He had a dream, and I was so privileged to be a part of that. We’re a family of Bunnies. Some went on to be attorneys, some are teachers. I have two masters and am working on my doctorates. I’m a licensed mortician and teach American history.
My younger sister was also a Bunny. The night Hugh died, I was watching TV, except it was something that I recorded. The phone rang and she goes ‘Terry!’ I say, ‘What?’ She scared me. She goes, ‘Hef just died! They just announced it.’ I was wondering why I hadn’t seen it on TV, but then remembered I was watching a recorded program. It was everywhere: CNN, Facebook. I felt very sad, but as someone who’s been working in a death industry, I probably felt a little different. He lived to be 91 and that’s a wonderful life.” – Terry Parrish
“I started at the beginning. I was an original Bunny. I was working a terrible job, and my boyfriend at the time saw an ad in the Dallas Morning News. He was like, ‘You should do this.’ I secretly auditioned and waited on an acceptance letter. I was thrilled to leave that job. I never looked back.
It was the most wonderful four years of my life. Us Bunnies loved each other. We looked out for each other. We still hang out together. And it was a darn good job. A lot of girls made a lot of money and blew it. But I bought a house at 22; it was pretty revolutionary for the ’70s.
The night Hugh was at the club, I wasn’t scheduled to work. I was bummed. He was classy, a perfect gentleman. He lived a great life and lived to be 91, so God bless him. Hugh was a revolutionary. He changed everything. People sometimes think of the Bunnies as strippers, but it was not even close to that. The Dallas Playboy club was very elite, and I thoroughly enjoyed working there. Well, except for the high heels. My feet suffered. Our method of a foot massage was to stick our feet in the toilet and flush it over and over again.
It’s nothing but good memories. The first celebrity I met was Mel Tormé, and my favorite was Lainie Kazan. I got to watch the show when she performed. When the lights went down, the bunnies stopped serving. I remember sitting on the steps and crying when she was performing. It was so beautiful. She was so incredible.
There were some happy times there. We took it in stride, put money in our pockets, and danced all the way home.”– Lori Bailey
The Playboy Club closed in 1982. Click the gallery below to view some of Thressa Anderson’s photos from her time there.
DISD Will Vote on Jump-Starting Renaming Schools Honoring Confederates. The Dallas ISD board of trustees will vote tonight about when to begin the process of renaming four elementary schools that are named after Confederate generals. A resolution created by board president Dan Micciche proposes waiving current policy and making an accelerated timeline for the name changes. If accepted, the board would hear recommended changes in November and vote on their enactment in December.
Former Dallas Cop to Pay $6.3 Million Related to In-Custody Death. Ernesto Fierro had already gotten in trouble multiple times when he worked for the DPD in the 1990s and 2000s. In 2013, when he was a cop in East Texas, he pulled 70-year-old William Livezey over while off duty, and the man died of a heart attack when he was being arrested. Livezey’s family had brought charges against Fierro for an illegal traffic stop and excessive force. Now Fierro, who was convicted of aggravated assault, has been ordered to pay the family $6.3 million.
Fort Worth Teacher Caught Soliciting Minor. North Crowley High School science teacher Jarrod Cook was arrested in an online predator sting after he replied to a “Sunday Funday?” post. Investigators posed as 13- to 15-year-old girls and boys. Cook, along with six other suspects arrested, met at a location for sexual contact with a person they thought was a teenage girl. He and the others are in custody.
A week ago, the Dallas City Council voted to remove the Statue of General Robert E. Lee that sits on thee public green in Lee Park in Uptown. Within an hour of the vote, crews were on the scene ready to take down the statue. The swift action was, in part, an attempt to reduce the risk of the kind of protests that have accompanied Confederate monument removal attempts elsewhere, and particularly in Charlottesville, where a pro-Confederate rally member rammed his car into a crowd, killing a young woman. and injuring many others.
That backfired for a variety of reasons. And now, per a note sent by Dallas City Manager T.C. Broadnax to Dallas City Council members and posted on council member Scott Griggs’ Facebook page, the armed protesters are on their way:
I am aware that you are receiving questions and are inundated with media requests regarding the removal. This is a priority for Staff and we continue to utilize all resources available to ensure the safe removal of the Robert E. Lee statue. We will have more concrete information on the removal within several days. I have attached a list of questions and answers related to the monument removal for your reference. Should you have any questions or concerns, please contact me directly. . . .
The Dallas Police Department (DPD) is preparing for a rally on Saturday, September 16th regarding the confederate statues. The organizer, Mr. Beverly, has been cooperative and is working with DPD Intelligence Unit Detectives regarding rally logistics. Although preliminary, Mr. Beverly has stated that his group will hold the rally in Lee Park sometime around midday on Saturday and the estimated crowd of 200 will also be armed as they are a pro-open carry group. The organizer is stressing that this is a peaceful event, and is working with DPD.
As always, DPD will not interfere with a lawful and peaceful assembly of any individuals or groups expressing their first amendment rights but will take enforcement action if any type of criminal offense is committed against any person or property. Enforcement action will also be taken if demonstrators illegally impede traffic in the roadway or attempt to shut down a freeway. The safety of our officers and citizens is the primary concern as individuals or groups gather to express their first amendment rights. DPD will provide further updates as we get closer to the event. Should you have any questions or concerns, please contact Assistant City Manager, Jon Fortune.
Peter Simek wrote for us yesterday about the troubles that workmen had trying to take down the statue of Robert E. Lee that stands in the eponymous park. Oops. Then, of course, came the TRO. Now who knows how many bad actors are on their way to Dallas to create problems for our citizenry and police department? I fear what the coming days hold for us. And this entire thing could have been someone else’s problem if the city hadn’t acquiesced to the pushy group that was behind the statue. An alert FrontBurnervian sends along this story from a 1936 edition of the Dallas Morning News:
Threats to Place Lee Monument in Suburb City Made
—- Unless Located in Oak Lawn Park Say It to Be Out of City
Unless the Park Board agrees to have the Robert E. Lee memorial located in Oak Lawn Park it will be set up outside the city limits, probably at Southern Methodist University, city officials were notified Tuesday by Mrs. R.V. Rogers, chairman of the committee for the Southern Memorial Association.
Members of the Lee Memorial committee will not consent to Dealey Plaza as a location for the monument, Mrs. Rogers wrote the Park Board. Last week the group also said they would store the memorial before they would allow it to be placed at Centennial Park.
Declaring that a location must be found for the statue at once, since it is nearing completion, and the association hopes to have it in place by June 1, Mrs. Rogers requested “that you give us your final decision as to what you intend to do toward getting the Government funds diverted from Dealey Plaza to Oak Lawn Park, and when we may expect work to begin on the base.
“If we cannot get the location we want in Dallas we shall seek a location outside the city limits. We shall expect a definite reply from the Park Board in the next few days and shall hope for a favorable one.”
Jim Dan Sullivan, president of the board, said he would not consent to having the statue placed in Oak Lawn Park, where it would not be available to a majority of the people. He said he had received many letters and calls approving his stand and one letter was from a contributor to the Southern Memorial Association’s campaign to get money for the $40,000 statue.
The city had expected to spend $18,000 in preparing a base for the memorial, using part of their WPA program to get the work done. In addition, more than $20,000 has ben set aside in the program for landscaping the plaza, which is immediately east of the Commerce-Main-Elm underpass.
Mr. Sullivan said he received information Tuesday that plans are being made to place the memorial at SMU if it cannot be located in Oak Lawn Park.
By the time I arrived at Lee Park, about thirty minutes after this morning’s council vote, the southbound lanes of Turtle Creek Blvd. were already shut down and blocked off by police to make way for the massive crane. When it arrived, the crane promised to hoist the 81-year-old statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee out of its position of honor in the park that bears his name.
There were around 40 or 50 people on the scene, holding cameras or leaned up against the barrier chatting. Some had just come from City Hall and were demonstrative in their dismay with what they had witnessed there. Others had wandered down from nearby office buildings during lunch to see what the hubbub was all about.
Jerome Finney, who works up the block, said he had heard about the news on Twitter and simply came to see what was going on. He was surprised that Dallas was moving the statue at all.
“I don’t think there has been a lot of uproar here, not as much as elsewhere,” Finney said. He added that his surprise was also related to his perception that, unlike Austin, where he had previously lived, “Dallas is such a city of the south.”
If today’s council vote was about anything, it was about showing that being a city in the South doesn’t have to be synonymous with holding onto the symbols of southern history that also express the south’s legacy of slavery and racial violence. And there wasn’t much uproar at Lee Park either, which may have been the point of scheduling the removal of the statue so close to the council’s vote. There was no time to rally the usual characters who accompany these kinds of happenings these days, the semi-professional Confederate flag bearers, jittery heritage activists, and extremist neo-fascists. In fact, throughout the day, the most threatening thing about the spontaneous event was the random outbreak of grating, ill-informed historical conversations.
A quick survey of the crowd during the lunch hour recognized a preponderance of silvery haired men and women, mostly older than 60, as well behaved as they were dressed. Not that they weren’t upset. Some chatted about ousting North Dallas council members Jennifer Staubach Gates and Lee Kleinman in retaliation for support of the mayor gambit to remove the statue. Others simply shook their heads and expressed their disappointment in the process and lack of public input.
There was one flag. Grey-bearded Lamar Huffstutler sauntered up Hall Street draped in the battle flag of the First Texas Infantry and called the action a “stepping stone” on the way to a communist-style reeducation of Americans. There were some removal supporters too. When a lanky, long-haired, college-aged man arrived on the scene, his friend, a woman standing off to the side of the back barricade, yelled out, “I’m over here with the liberals.” He went to join the small posse that included a bearded father with an infant strapped to his chest and a young man brandishing a ukulele and wearing an Indivisible DFW t-shirt.
Downtown and Oak Lawn’s councilman Philip Kingston, an early champion of the statue removal effort, arrived around 12:50 and took up a post underneath the shade of a Live Oak. He surveyed the scene, looked pleased, and chatted with reporters and constituents for a while before departing. South Dallas Councilman Dwaine Caraway made a more conspicuous appearance. He entered with an entourage of dark suited men and women, and they were escorted by police underneath the yellow tape and across the park lawn where they posed for photographs at the base of the statue. By the time Caraway was finished, the crane had arrived, and workers began the slow task of staking up counterweights in preparation of hoisting the 12,000-pound statue onto the back of a flatbed truck.
And so we waited.
The news crews gathered. The crowd thickened and turned younger and more diverse as the afternoon drew on. Men in yellow vests and hard hats measured the statue and propped ladders up against its sides. Police, some decked out in bullet-proof vests and carrying automatic weapons, milled around, looking a little bored, chatted with members of the crowd, and otherwise enjoyed the cool breezy late summer day. We all anticipated the promised surrealist scene: The old general on his massive horse, followed at his heel by the unnamed soldier, set to flight for a brief, thrilling moment before being ushered off to an undisclosed location to await his uncertain future.
The counterweights finally in place, the crane lowered its hoist towards the bronze as a WFAA news chopper and a tiny drone hung overhead. The crowd hushed as the workers scurried up onto the mammoth monument, one taking a seat behind Lee to help maneuver the yellow straps under the bellies of the horses. The odd scene — eight or so little workers in vests and hardhats crawling around and around the fixed, daunting girth of the general and his solider — only heightened the grandeur of the monument itself, surely a skillful and striking piece of sculpture, and one that, in this setting, couldn’t hide its intended conveyance of might and permanence.
As the workers continued their preparations, the crowd passed the time by lapsing into verbal spats. Barbara Williams, who lives nearby on Maple Avenue, stood at attention in the mud in pumps and a gold embroidered dress at the edge the back barricade for the better part of three hours, taking turns sparing with anyone who got close enough to overhear her running commentary. She tangled at times with Dallas Park Board President Bobby Abtahi, art dealer David Quadrini, and artist and curator Cynthia Mulcahy, arguing that the statue has nothing to do with racism, that Robert E. Lee never owned slaves, and that there was never any trouble like this on the Georgian farms of her youth where all the black workers tended the fields in happy harmony. She took a call from a friend in Colorado whose great aunt Maddie Slaughter had donated an unknown sum of money to the original commissioning of the statue and who now sat in her home 800 miles away, sickened by the news from Dallas.
Not long after the workers attached the straps underneath the horses, it became clear that the task was larger than they had anticipated. They began to pry crowbars underneath the solid bronze base, which set the hulking object at a slight wobble. Seams from the 81-year-old welding job were visible around the horse’s hooves and across the back third of the base, prompting some to worry that the whole thing might come apart in the air. When workers produced a drill, and began to burrow a hole through the back of the bronze base, they invited shouts of advice from the crowd.
“Don’t chip it!” shouted a bystander.
“Is that the point of this plan, to drill hole in it?” yelled another.
Still, the statue wouldn’t budge. The workers produced a larger drill with a two-foot long bit and began to attack the concrete. They separated a portion of the plinth, pried it loose, and began to repeat the procedure on the other side. By this time, it was after 4 p.m. A tired worker in a white hardhat with a piece of blue tape bearing the words “Team Panda” running across its side, wandered over to the barricade. He explained to a few members of the crowd that the workers had discovered that the statue was installed with anchors that had been set into the wet concrete of the base, an engineering detail they had not expected.
“The city records of how it was installed are all wrong,” he said.
The plan, he went on to explain, was to remove the sides of the top portion of the plinth and saw though the anchors. If that didn’t release the statue, they would have to pry it up high enough to see if there were additional anchors near the center of the statue, which would also have to be sawed through.
They set back to the task. Williams found someone new to talk to, a man who said he ran youth leadership programs at a Dallas rec center. He had a friend, he told Williams, who lived up the block and deliberately avoided Lee Park on her daily runs because she didn’t like running past a park “dedicated to the Confederacy.” Williams said the statue and the park had nothing to do with slavery.
“FDR – a Democrat – came here to dedicate it,” she said.
“Well he shouldn’t have,” the man said.
“I agree,” she said, the two finding rare common ground.
A few minutes later, a member of the work crew walked away from the site on his cell phone. When he returned, the drilling stopped. The Team Panda worker returned to the barricade.
“It is not happening today,” he said. “Court injunction.”
There were a few moments of edgy confusion as the news spread through the crowd. I texted the mayor’s spokesman for confirmation. Councilman Scott Griggs posted the news on Facebook, and TheDallas Morning News tweeted it out. Noted “Neo-Confederate” lawyer Kirk Lyons had filed for a temporary restraining order to halt the removal of the stuck statue, and it had been granted by U.S. District Judge Sidney A. Fitzwater of the Northern District of Texas. Despite the morning vote and the long afternoon of labor, September 6, 2017 would not be the day when the symbol of the old south was removed from its place of honor in Dallas’ public park.
The crowd began to disperse, and a loud holler went up from its rear.
A man in a wide-brimmed tan cowboy hat, a plaid button-down shirt, and a big buckle on a thick leather belt stood in a clearing.
“Guys, it’s a court injunction,” he bellowed. “Party’s over!”
Cops come in all shapes and sizes. And with the Dallas Police Department experiencing a major staffing shortage, it’s possible that one might assume the city’s finest have had to dive deeper into the recruitment pool. But sometimes it’s OK to ask to see a badge.
The Dallas Police Department’s Financial Investigations Unit is seeking the public’s assistance in identifying a person suspected of Impersonating a Public Servant.
On August 11, 2017, a male victim was in the 300 block of St. Augustine Drive when an unknown Latin female approached him stating she was a police officer and needed to see his identification. The suspect threatens the victim with an arrest if he didn’t give the suspect money. The victim pulled out his wallet and the suspect took the wallet and fled the location in a white SUV. This incident is documented on case number 183072-2017.
Attached to the bulletin, three photos of the alleged public servant impersonator, including this one.
This woman, according to the Dallas Police Department, is not a cop.
Anyone with information that could identify the woman in the photo is asked to contact Detective Ed Lujan at 214-671-3548 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
An image of Dallas model Lisa Bull in a leather dress, rowing a canoe down a floral-carpeted hallway in the Adolphus Hotel—that’s hard to forget. So it’s not surprising that was the first thing Jamie Laubhan-Oliver, D Home‘s creative director, brought up when we talked about the hotel’s recent remodel. Back in 2013, Jamie had been the art director of “A Night at the Adolphus,” a Through the Looking Glass-inspired shoot of a mother and daughter’s trippy storybook staycation for D Moms. Jamie took full advantage of the 1980s excess, staging shots of Bull and her daughter in full glamour mode against wall-to-wall patterned carpeting, pastoral murals, trompe l’oeil Greek columns, and the French Room’s candy cane painted ceilings.
The carpet and murals are no more. Swoon, the Dallas design firm helming the hotel’s remodel, has gone back to the basics, restoring the original marble floors and the French Room’s wedding-cake-white ceilings. But they left a number of Easter eggs along the way, hinting at the hotel’s storied past, from the chandelier that twins the one hanging in the Anheuser-Busch stables to the piano that avoided a trip on the Titanic. You’ll find a number of them identified in the September feature, “Staying Power.” But we left at least one out. Hanging above the concierge desk, you’ll find a photo of a bedazzled rabbit mask by Thom Jackson. The photo, specifically requested by Joslyn Taylor at Swoon for the remodel, is from Jamie’s 2013 shoot. It serves as an eye-catching reminder of what once covered the hotel’s well-traveled floors.
One day after the Dallas Independent School District’s board failed to get the votes to ask residents for a tax increase for at-risk schools, trustee Miguel Solis sat on a panel of arts advocates to discuss other challenges that hold students back. In a district with the third-lowest funding in the region, scarce resources could be put toward innovative approaches to learning, but are spent instead on the scourge of standardized testing, he argued.
“What it has become now is an education system that has led us to rote memorization, an education system that has created far too much emphasis on testing, and we begin to lose the soft skills that are necessary to provide a holistic education for kids,” Solis said. “Grit. Determination. How to have a basic conversation with another human being.”
The Youth in Arts Panel, held last Saturday at the Dallas City Performance Hall, was organized to make a compelling case for the arts as a key civic issue and an important factor in student achievement within Dallas ISD.
The Texas educational system, like much of the nation, de-prioritized the importance of arts and humanities over the last four decades and turned to a more mechanical approach to education. Solis traced the roots of our test-obsessed school model back to the infamous Reagan-era report entitled “A Nation at Risk,” which called for standardization and quantitative measures of student mastery. Many years and failed educational policies later, we’re left with a lopsided approach to learning.
Solis, though, brought a message of change, highlighting the district’s efforts to correct the imbalance, like district-wide investments in socio-emotional skills to prepare students for the future. Other panelists were examples of the type of success that can come with making the arts an educational priority. Julienne Penza-Boone, director of arts at the Westhampton Beach Performing Arts Center in New York, underscored how the arts are uniquely positioned to prepare students for an unsure economy.
“We hear that everything is going to be automated in the future,” Penza-Boone said. “So we’d better be preparing our kids to have those skills that robots won’t have.”
Highly adaptive people have always thrived in the workforce, including panelist Lily Cabatu Weiss, a former dancer and school administrator at Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts, who is now the executive director of the Dallas Arts District. Weiss spoke about how artistic discipline equipped her for multiple industries, and thinks young creatives will experience similar benefits. “I wholeheartedly believe that everything that these students learn in and through the arts prepares them for any job. They will be articulate. They will be passionate. They will persist and persevere. And they will re-strategize until policies are changed.”
Weiss hit on an important point about the role of the arts in changing policies and ideas. For progressive societies, she contended that it isn’t often the data scientists who spur revolution, but the creators, dreamers, and entrepreneurs.
As Solis reminded the audience, “Remember it was a young woman who refused to give up her seat to move to the back of the bus. It was a young preacher who rallied people for the Montgomery bus boycott. It was young people who sailed across the Atlantic to fight fascism.” In fact, Solis told the audience that the masterminds behind the record-breaking Frida Kahlo dress-alike event at the Dallas Museum of Art were two undocumented Dreamers.
While references to cultural equity are sometimes dismissed as liberal-ese, the panelists skillfully explained how equal access to the arts is really about creating better citizens and humans. If we want Dallas to remain a city guided by innovation, we must raise up people who can navigate the politics of a complex workforce and increasingly unpredictable nation. The arts, offered widely and equally enough, might just be the best tool to get the job done—a glimmer of optimism even in the face of a public education system that sometimes seems hopelessly stuck in the mud.
Frisco Men Face Up to Life in Prison for Hate Crimes. Nigel Garrett and Cameron Ajiduah pleaded guilty to using the dating app Grindr to target and assault gay men in a series of home invasions earlier this year. They could get up to life in prison and a $250,000 fine. “The Justice Department will not tolerate hate crimes against any individual based on sexual orientation. Hate crimes are violent crimes but also attack the fundamental principles of the United States,” Acting Assistant Attorney General John Gore said.
Capital Murder Conviction Reversed, Court Says Evidence Withheld. Dallas man Jerome Deamus was convicted of capital murder for allegedly killing two brothers at a nightclub in 2013. He was sentenced to life in prison in 2015 without parole. Now, the 5th Court of Appeals in Dallas discovered that a prosecutor didn’t turn over two eyewitness statements to the defense and withheld other evidence that would undermine an eyewitness. The judge found the evidence to be insufficient for capital murder, so Deamus will have a new trial in Dallas County.
Felon at Large Following Aggravated Assaults in Southern Dallas. Dylan Cordelro Jackson is wanted on six felony counts, including aggravated assault and family violence. The 28-year-old was convicted aggravated assault in 2007 and got seven years in prison. He also shot at a car in 2016. After Jackson posted bond in January, he tracked down his ex-girlfriend and threatened her with a gun. Police consider him armed and dangerous and welcome any information on his whereabouts.