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Q & A

By D Magazine |

Has former Dallas Congressman Alan Steelman had any success with his efforts to purchase a baseball franchise for Washington, D. C.?

No. According to Steelman, “the venture is off” because of “insurmountable difficulties.” Those difficulties became clear early on: When Steelman made big headlines with an announcement he was negotiating with Oakland A’s owner Charlie Finley, the irrepressible Finley was quoted as saying, “I guarantee you that I’m not going to fool around with this latest jerk.” Later he characterized Steelman as “a Texan – big hat and no cattle.”

Right now Steelman has his big hat in hand: After completing a well-regarded documentary on Congress for PBS, the former two-term Republican congressman sent his resume off to a high-class Washington executive placement service in search of a ticket out of Carters Washington.



Why are so many reporters leaving Channel 8? I’ve counted Bill O’Reilly, Bob Brown, and Bob Sirkin so far. Is the station having management problems?

Quite the contrary. WFAA-TV under news director Marty Haag is one of the hottest new outfits in the nation right now. When you’re hot in the broadcast business you can expect raids on your talent. O’Reilly left for an anchor spot at KMBH-TV in Denver. Brown is taking a crack at the big time in the Big Apple with ABC. Sirkin was lured to ABC’s Atlanta bureau.



Did Belle Starr, the famous female outlaw, actually live in Dallas?

Yes, at least when she wasn’t roaming the countryside robbing stagecoaches. Belle is one legendary Western character whose life couldn’t possibly be exaggerated by Hollywood. Born Myra Belle Starr in 1848 in Missouri, she was apparently moved to Texas by her father in 1863 to get her away from her lover, Cole Younger. Father was a bit late, however, because Younger supposedly fathered her child, Pearl, who was bom shortly after her move. According to historian John William Rogers in The Lusty Texans of Dallas, Belle became a singer and entertainer in a Dallas dance hall, but “this was apparently too tame for her and legend has it that she was soon dealing poker and faro as a professional gambler.” Belle was attracted to violent men and soon she was acting as treasurerand “fence” for various groups of robbers and cattle rustlers around Dallas and in the Oklahoma Territory. Of seven known lovers (two of whom she may have married), five were shot to death by fellow outlaws or lawmen, one drowned, and another was hanged. Belle herself was killed in an ambush in 1889.

Was Trammell Crow asked to resign from the First International Bancshares board?

Crow’s office won’t respond to inquiries about why he resigned last January. But perhaps it is because Crow, a very private man who is enduring a considerable financial squeeze, no longer wanted details of his loans from First National Bank revealed in company proxy statements. Since he has resigned, the bank no longer will have to disclose publicly the details of his $20-25 million loan balance.



I heard from some people involved in historic preservation that the City of Dallas plans to take down the Flying Red Horse from the Mobil Building. Why would the city destroy our best-known landmark, and why haven’t citizens been told about it?

Whoa. According to City Manager George Schrader, the city has never considered dismantling the Flying Red Horse. “We won’t even take possession of the Mobil Building until the Mobil people leave, and that could be anytime from January to June.” As for the horse, Schrader adds. “It’s a historic landmark, and our position is that it should be preserved.”



A friend in New York told me Sports Illustrated is thinking of moving its editorial offices to Dallas because it is closer to most major sporting events. What have you heard?

Nothing. But the people at Sports Illustrated say they hear it all the time, and, according to publisher John A. Meyers, “There is absolutely no truth to the rumor.”



Why are there no left turn signals at the Greenville Ave. and Park Lane intersection? I travel that route every day and wait through at least three or four lights until I can speed through onto Park from Greenville before the others run me over. Because such a large number of people travel this area, installing a left turn signal seems to me to be in order. Any encouraging words?

Unfortunately, no. After talking with Hon Chan, head signal engineer for Dallas’ Traffic Control Department, we learned that the number of people traveling through the intersection is precisely the reason there is not a left turn signal. The Park-Greenville intersection is “over-capacity” and has a tendency to “bottleneck,” Chan reports. “We’ve studied the intersection and determined that a turn signal is not justified. The number of people turning left is not critical and Greenville is simply not wide enough to handle a left turn signal.” Although Chan admits a left turn signal would help out the traffic turning left, he says that overall it would increase the delay significantly for the remaining traffic.



Who writes the daily lead editorial for the Fort Worth Star Telegram?

According to chief editorial writer Jimmy Cox, the lead editorial “gets sort of passed around” among the four editorial writers. “We don’t have a hard-and-fast rule about who writes what,” Cox says, but Cecil Johnson is particularly interested in schools, Horace Craig keeps track of energy, and Roger Summers specializes in state politics. Cox admits he doesn’t really specialize. “I don’t have time to,” he says. “I have to answer too many telephone calls.

Touché.

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