In the discussion about possibly tearing down I-345, the Dallas Morning News editorial board and its partner, Michael Morris of the North Central Texas Council of Governments, have come to the defense of the working poor in South Dallas. At the paper, Rodger Jones writes about “economic justice,” and Tod Robberson tells us that lowering I-345 would throw the lives of South Dallas commuters into “upheaval.” Morris says only rich white people are interested in tearing down the elevated freeway. Let’s see about that.Full Story
You never knew why there’s a Dr Pepper sign on that corner? Here’s why.Full Story
Dan Carney grew up in Highland Park but had moved away for many years — for college, a stint in the Peace Corps, and his first newspaper job in North Carolina — when he got a jarring phone call from his father early one Saturday morning in 1987.
He learned that his brother Paul had been brutally stabbed late one night while walking from a bus stop to where he worked, a halfway house for prison parolees in East Dallas. At the intersection of Bryan Street and Fitzhugh Avenue, someone had taken what must have been an ice pick to Paul’s face and head over and over. There was severe brain damage. Two of the wounds reached all the way to his brain stem. He fell into a coma, kept alive by machines in the Baylor intensive care unit, and died a couple weeks later.
No suspect could be found. No motive could be established. Paul Carney’s death seems the definition of a senseless killing. But Dan Carney was a reporter, wounded by the loss of his brother, and so he was drawn to discover whatever he could about his brother’s life, to try to make any sense that he might of this crime.
I hope I never have to report on anything as personal and painful as the story Dan Carney wrote for the August 1988 issue of D Magazine, which we’re recognizing today as one of our 40 greatest.
Carney is now an editorial writer for USA Today. I reached out to him and asked for any thoughts he might share about this story, 27 years after his brother was attacked on February 27, 1987. Here’s what he had to say:Full Story
Would you believe that Dwaine Caraway isn’t the most colorful character to have ever served on the Dallas City Council? Sure, what with his football-fanatic friends Arthur and Archie, his handing a key to the city to an animal-abusing athlete, proposing a canal be dug through downtown Dallas, and posing for photos with a million condoms, he makes a strong case for the title.
But what if I told you this great city of ours once nearly elected mayor a man who proposed buying a helicopter with a big magnet on it that could lift wrecked or stalled vehicles from the road to make traffic run more smoothly? This same fellow also wanted the police department to hire an “elite group of crime fighters” who’d wear suits and “Lyndon Johnson-like Stetsons.” He thought municipal vehicles should be converted to run on methane gas from the city’s sewage-treatment plants. And he favored scraping Dallas Area Rapid Transit (which was in its infancy) in favor of building a monorail, years before similar projects put North Haverbrook and Ogdenville on the map.Full Story
Toward the end of my first week here at the Seagoville Federal Correctional Institution, I was approached by another inmate.
“You ready, Brown?”
“Ready for what?”
“Whites having a meeting.”
I hesitated. Of course, by this point in my incarceration, I was aware of the extent to which inmate affairs are usually organized along racial lines, but this was the first time my presence had been requested at a white-people meeting.Full Story
A look back at shinier days for this Lower Greenville site.Full Story
I knew about her liaisons with troubling characters. But we’ve all made bad decisions driven by our pants, right? What I didn’t know was how anti-Semitic Chanel herself was.Full Story
Louisa Meyer contributes this Ghosts of Dallas entry. She writes: “The center picture is of my husband and his brother and was on the cover of the Dallas Morning News the first week of January 1976. I took the other shot Friday. With leaves still on the trees today, I don’t think it is as interesting, but I had to seize the opportunity to re-create it. The next time there is a storm in January, I’ll return.”Full Story
All through the 2013-2014 academic year, the Hockaday School in North Dallas has been celebrating its 100th anniversary. The prestigious institution for girls held its first classes on September 25, 1913. Some of the city’s leading citizens had summoned Miss Ela Hockaday to Dallas to establish a college preparatory school for young ladies.
Sixty-five years later, Prudence Mackintosh (who’d earlier taught at Hockaday) wrote about the history of the school, which opened first in a small house on Haskell Avenue, soon moved to a campus on Greenville Avenue at Belmont (then part of the Caruth farm on the outskirts of Dallas), and later to its current home on Welch Road along Forest Lane. Her story is one D Magazine’s 40 greatest ever.Full Story
Sometime D Magazine contributor Ray Hutchison has died at the age of 81. In addition to writing for the magazine, Hutchison, who was married to former Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, led the negotiations to bring the Washington Senators to Dallas (or Arlington), and he played a major role in building DART and DFW Airport. The News has more.Full Story
I find myself craving chili and rice, specifically the chili and rice served by Shanghai Jimmy, who ran a hole-in-the-wall restaurant on Live Oak Street downtown in the 1950s and ’60s. It was an era when men were men and reporters were unashamed of making up the news if they couldn’t find any, if a fellow named Jack Proctor is to be believed. Which, based on Blackie Sherrod’s October 1975 D Magazine article (one of our 40 greatest stories ever), he almost certainly is not.
Sherrod writes with great affection for Proctor, his fellow newspaperman, press box regular, and chili-and-rice aficionado. Proctor invented his own vocabulary — a tattoo was a “too-tat,” a jail was a “gowhoose” — and sometimes interviews. Sherrod writes of the time in the 1930s that Proctor wanted to visit a girlfriend down in San Antonio and so he convinced his editor he’d landed an exclusive with Clyde Barrow. Trouble is, at the time Proctor was supposedly meeting with Barrow, the notorious criminal was positively identified having shot a highway patrolman (a “highway petroleum” in Proctor’s parlance). And so the reporter was asked to move on to some other newsroom to find employment, which he did.Full Story
You might visit the corner of Peak and Bryan streets today to eat at Bangkok City or Vietnam or maybe get a drink at Bryan Street Tavern. Back in 1975 it was known as “The Corner,” a “cluster of depressing, ramshackle bars” around which thousands of Native Americans who were relocated to Dallas from rural areas across the Great Plains would cluster to support each other as they looked to start new lives in the big city.
In the second of the 40 greatest stories in D Magazine‘s history that we’ll be highlighting this year to celebrate our 40th anniversary, writer Doug Holley spends time among American Indians at the bar Tom & Jerry’s, which had been welcoming them since the late 1950s.Full Story
In looking through a 1975 issue from the archives of D Magazine for unrelated reasons, I happened across a story (which appears to be incomplete online) featuring a number of couples who had moved into East Dallas and discussed why they were choosing to invest in the neighborhood. Among them:
Don and Judy Templin had wanted to buy a house in Highland Park. The have lived there for a year in a rented place, but had begun to outgrow it.
They found a large one-story on St. John’s that they thought might fit their buying capability — around $40,000.
“As it turned out, we looked at it and liked what we found, but it cost too much,” says Templin, a young attorney. “I think it sold from $60,000 to $70,000.”
And then they witnessed what might have been the dawn of the teardown age:Full Story
I couldn’t help thinking back to an ancient regret of my own when reading the story of Rodney Kitchens, a man who literally brought Ecstasy to the legendary Starck Club at its mid-’80s hedonistic heights. The article, which first appeared in the October 1989 issue of D Magazine, is the first of the 40 greatest stories in our print product’s history that we’ll be highlighting over the coming months. Read the whole thing here. Our excuse for revisiting the past is the 40th anniversary of the first issue of D, an event we’ll officially celebrate this fall.Full Story
I just received my very first set of Dallas Heroes Trading Cards. There are 25 different cards total, and they range from Juanita Craft and Ned Fritz to Al Lipscomb and Barefoot Sanders. The cards are being dispersed around the city, courtesy of bcWorkshop, a nonprofit design center.Full Story
Things I learned about 91-year-old Roland Mack from the short profile of him in the Morning News‘ NeighborsGo section:
1. In World War II, he served as a tank mechanic in Gen. George Patton’s 13th Armored Division. As the war was ending, he also became an interpreter, since he spoke German and soldiers “were surrendering right and left.” This is perhaps why he reminds me of Mr. Rake, the late Levon Helm’s character in the underrated 2007 Mark Wahlberg vehicle, Shooter.
2. In 1947, Mack drove a new Indian motorcycle from Dallas to California, up to Oregon, and then back home through Utah. Which, come on, that’s pretty great.
3. He has a 1923 Model T speedster that he fully rebuilt himself, a 1923 Ford Roadster, a 1925 Harley-Davidson he added a sidecar to, and a 1930 Model A. He met his caregiver Lillie Mae Reeder (who is 84!) because they both have Model Ts. This happened at a Denny’s coffee club Mack used to have in the early 1990s.
4. In addition to rebuilding cars and pretty much anything mechanical, he can also do electric and plumbing work (he built houses after he came home from the war until he retired) and probably dozens of things you can’t do. “He can do, well, anything that needs to be done,” Reeder says.
5. His name is Roland Mack, which is the name of a pure player and/or the lead in my new series of hardboiled private detective novels that I’m writing under the pen name Frank “T.T.” Nails.Full Story
This downtown building used to have a twin sister. Now see what she looked like way back when.Full Story
Teen in Drunken Crash That Killed Four Gets Probation. The families of the four people killed during a drunken crash aren’t happy with the driver’s sentence. Ethan Couch, 16, was driving with a blood-alcohol level three times the legal limit the night of the crash in June. He was given 10 years of probation and time in a rehab facility. The one that’s currently being considered is a $1,200-a-day facility that Couch’s dad said he’d pay for.
Fact Checking is Important. Listen, I know mistakes happen. There is nothing worse than being told that you got something wrong. So I feel for those who were in charge of the new historical marker in front of the Texas Theatre. The marker states that Lee Harvey Oswald was arrested at the theater for JFK’s assassination, when, in fact, he was arrested for shooting officer JD Tippit. It’s going to cost $1,600 to fix this error.
Something Big Happened Here Last Night. If you’re on Twitter or Instagram, your feeds were probably filled with photos of old cars, Kristen Stewart, Karl Lagerfeld, and Anna Wintour. If you were lucky enough to get a ticket, then you were filling our feeds with photos of old cars, Kristen Stewart, Karl Lagerfeld, and Anna Wintour.Full Story
As understated as a 20-story South African flag can be. Bravo, Omni.Full Story