Stock Show Zealot Selling $2,000 Burgers

Special orders don’t upset him

Fort Worth businessman Don Hansen obviously takes the name Cowtown seriously. As a kind of monument to the cow – and to his own fund-raising abilities- Hansen has given the world his latest creation: the $2,000 hamburger.

Hansen, the owner of a local construction firm, is loyal to what many Fort Worth residents consider the city’s premier cultural and social event, the annual Fort Worth Fat Stock Exposition and Rodeo. By researching the records of stock shows around the state, Hansen determined that $52,000 would be the all-time record sum paid for a grand champion steer. But who wants to dig $52,000 out of his own pocket for the sake of setting a silly record?

So far, nine Fort Worth businessmen have anted up, which is where the $2,000 burger comes in. They give Hansen $2000 apiece now; he promises them a burger. There’s no profit or tax shelter in it for the investors -just a spot in the record books. (For the same price, they could each have purchased 1,739 McFeasts).

What does a $2,000 hamburger taste like?

“’Hell if I know,” said Fort Worth Mayor Pro Tern Jim Bradshaw, who has purchased one. “You don’t actually get your burger until 1979, when Don buys the champion steer.”

The Internal Revenue Service is checking the tax returns of some Dallas investors who voluntarily surrendered land investments and wrote off large losses when the land boom fizzled in 1974-75. Many of the investors, easily identified from joint venture agreements, wrote off all of their losses in one year, dollar-for-dollar against ordinary income. IRS says it doesn’t work that way: The losses shouldn’t be written off in a single year. The three-year statute of limitations may protect some losers, but the statute runs six years in other cases.

●Rumors continue to fly about the possible development of downtown’s most valuable blacktopped parking lots. The Murchison property, adjacent to One Main Place, has been vacant since plans to develop Two Main Place fell through in the early Seventies. The most persistent rumor says that the Hilton Hotel chain is thinking about building its third Dallas hotel on the land. Hil-ton won’t talk, nor will Mur-chison. but something may be up: A soil analysis crew was seen recently conducting tests on the site.

●What local four-year college attracts the most DallasCounty students? It’s the Uni-versity of Texas at Arlington,across the Tarrant County line.Last spring UTA had 4,677students from Dallas County.UT Dallas had 3,925 students,SMU had 3,451, and the University of Dallas enrolled 871.

●Dollars obviously go far-ther at the Dallas CountyCommunity College District than they do at the Dallas Independent School District. The City of Dallas recently took offers from the two to operate a program to help disad-vantaged youngsters get jobs and stay in school: The DCCCD proposed to assist 2,800 kids for a $228,000 price tag; the DISD proposed to help 300 students for $350,000. The principal difference between the programs was that the DCCCD planned to find students real part-time jobs, while the DISD planned to place them in private firms, but pay their wages with federal grant money.

●Look for Beltline Road in Addison to become the next big bar-and-restaurant strip. Chili’s is already there, Victoria Station is building, and TGI Friday’s is planning to move in.

●Members of the Dallas Cowboys offensive unit are usually glad to have Roger Staubach on their side, but there was a day after the last Superbowl when they weren’t. An underwear manufacturer approached the team with a proposal for a national magazine ad. While all the other players agreed to strip for cash, Staubach thought the idea was too offensive. He even declined to be pictured in long Johns. “If they asked the defensive unit.” says Harvey Martin, “wed have our pants down in a minute.”

●If you have the first issue of Professional Woman, you

also have the last. The Dallas-based magazine has ceased publication.

●Steak & Ale founder Nor-man Brinker is building the most lavish addition to the chain at the corner of Mont-fort and Beltline – even though Montfort isn’t there yet. The new restaurant is being built in anticipation of the huge shopping center at Parkway and Beltline.

●Our favorite quote of the month comes from the mouth of the Rev. Richard Freeman of Waco, who suggested that SMU’s trustees ban all liquor from dorms and restore the stringent rules the school had in the Fifties. Questioned about his idea, Freeman said: “If I said we couldn’t go back to the 1950’s, I’d be saying we couldn’t go back to the first-century lifestyle of Jesus.” Somehow it’s hard to picture Jesus in penny loafers.

●When the “Urban Education Report” was released last month, nobody was surprised that it praised the DISD and Superintendent Nolan Estes. The report was written by Francis S. Chase and sponsored by the Council of Great City Schools. Chase was paid $27,836 last year as a consultant to the DISD. Nolan Estes is president of the Council of Great City Schools.

●Basketball may not be theonly new pro sport coming toDallas. There is strong talkthat World Team Tennis willplace a franchise here nextspring. The nucleus for theteam would likely be providedby Dallas residents MartinaNavratilova, Dick Stockton, and Bill Scanlon. One insidersays it’s 99 percent sure, andthat the franchise most likelyto come here is the one nowoperating in New Orleans.

When former Dallas Assistant City Manager Gene Denton dropped out of contention for the post of Fort Worth City Manager, he said overabundant publicity had driven him from the bidding. Insiders say Denton is actually waiting for George Schrader to quit, so he can try for the Dallas job.

●The associate publisher ofHouston Home and Garden,Tom Ferguson, has moved toDallas to start work on DallasHome and Garden. The firstissue should appear in October.

●Voters’ rejection of $2 million in bonds to pave the newsports arena’s parking lot has left the city staff with a problem. Revenues from the lot were supposed to help pay for the $24-million arena, as a part of Mayor Robert Folsom’s unusual financing scheme. How will the lot be paved now? “I really don’t have an answer for that,” says assistant city manager Gerry Hen-ingsman. “We haven’t ruled out the idea of having a graded lot. It may not be too classy, but it would at least be functional.” He also says the city staff hopes a cost underrun on arena construction might leave extra funds to pave the lot. Dream on.


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