Question: You write, beneath this column each week, “John Neely Bryan is the founder of the city of Dallas and an expert on all matters. Email him for advice, to have a dispute adjudicated, or to seek his wisdom on any of a myriad of topics, at firstname.lastname@example.org.” Seriously? There is no such thing as, “a myriad” of anything. There are, “myriad” things, but not “a myriad”, ever. — Gary B.
Sir, you are, an inspiration. Your, courage not merely, in flaunting the rules of proper punctuation, right in the faces of the grammar, Nazis, but also in daring to challenge, a man so learned, as myself in regards to proper syntax, has truly, as you can no doubt, see, inspired me. Alas, it is my, duty, to, inform, you, that, as, to, the, aforementioned, usage of mine, which you claim, to be, abuse of language, you are wrong. You could not be more wrong. It is difficult to be incorrect to a significantly greater degree than you are in this matter. “Myriad,” scholars agree, was a noun long before it became an adjective. So, while I applaud your moxie and willingness to hazard ending up on my enemies list — alongside everyone on the Dallas City Council (Lee Kleinman excepted) and whoever was responsible for that stupid briefcase stunt Neil Patrick Harris pulled at the Oscars — it’s time to sit down and shut your pie hole.
Question: Saw your article on the origin of the name Love Field. Always wondered how the name “Lovers Lane” came to be. A nod to Love Field or totally unrelated? — Jeff O.
Firstly, much appreciation for your full-throated endorsement of my phenomenally popular recent explanatory writings on the great injustice related to the naming of the future John Neely Bryan Aeroport & Memorial Gardens.
You are far from the first to inquire what connection exists between the monikers of Love Field and Lovers Lane. It’s certainly natural to do so, given that the road terminates at the airfield on one end. But there’s no significance to that fact, nor to the similarities of their names, whatsoever.
The airport’s eponym, you’ll remember, is a wholly undeserving polo player who never set foot in our beautiful city. Lovers Lane was christened by the wife of Colonel Henry Exall, whose Lomo Alto Farm was inclusive of the thoroughfare and was famed for its horses around the turn of the (20th) century. By the by, did you know that Exall and partners initially owned and planned to develop the area known today as Highland Park under the outrageous Yankee-fied moniker “Philadelphia Place”? Thankfully the Panic of 1893, which also intervened most dramatically in the history of Oak Cliff, spared Dallas that travesty.
But I digress. Returning to the main thrust of this discussion, newspaper scion and longtime publisher of the Morning Snooze Ted Dealey explained the origin of Lovers (as well its close cousin, Mockingbird) in his 1966 book, Diaper Days of Dallas:
Lovers Lane was rightly named because in those days it was only a narrow little dirt road bordered on either side by dark hedges of bois d’arc trees. It was dark and gloomy in the evenings which was exactly what the enamoured couples of the day liked best. And Mockingbird Lane was named no doubt because it was the hangout of these little songsters.
Dealey, who was but a child during the years he’s describing, does not speculate how much canoodling the Exalls themselves partook of behind the bois d’arcs, but it’s safe to assume that Mrs. Exall was the libidinous sort. I mean, for Pete’s sake, she founded the Dallas Shakespeare Club. We all know what those theater girls are like, am I right?
Keeping my stick on the ice,
John Neely Bryan is the founder of the city of Dallas and an expert on all matters. Email him for advice, to have a dispute adjudicated, or to seek his wisdom on any of a myriad of topics, at email@example.com.