FEBRUARY UP FRONT

Dallas model Suzanne Ruby, 19, is off to Paris this month to join the 30-member Prestige agency. Suzanne follows in the footsteps of two other Dallas models who have conquered the Continent-Terry May, also 19, who just finished a stint in Paris and will soon join the Elite agency in New York; and Tara Shannon, 21, who recently appeared on the cover of the Italian edition of Vogue magazine. Suzanne says she isn’t making the move for the money, only for the exposure. Terry and Tara, however, can expect to do well this year-between $50,000 and $75,000.



The case of James Bond and the Foundation for Quality Education becomes curiouser and curiouser. Not long after Bond and the DISD announced formation of the foundation to raise funds from private sources for special district projects, it was revealed that one of the foundation’s largest donors (to the tune of $165,000) was the DISD itself. Then last fall Bond resurrected the old plan to develop a hotel-office-educational complex for the DISD near the Southland Life building, only to have the idea rejected by Supt. Linus Wright within weeks of his taking office.

Now it appears 1979 won’t be any better for Bond than 1978. A creditor is pursuing legal moves to collect on a judgment-one of several dating back to the early Seventies-rendered against Bond in 1972: He still hasn’t paid $106,000 he has owed since he defaulted on a loan from Texas Bank and Trust. The loan had been guaranteed by Troy Post, who paid off the entire amount and now is attempting to collect from Bond; Bond says he never thought he’d have to pay it back. Because of accrued interest, the total debt is now more than $2000,000.

Bond also owes the Fairmont Hotel a substantial portion of some $15,000 from a bill he ran up the same year. A court has ordered Bond to pay up, but according to the hotel’s attorneys, the bulk of the debt is still outstanding. Bond, for his part, is fairly blase about his personal debts. He doesn’t think they will hamper him in his role as a fund-solicitor for the school district. His personal investments “crashed” about 1970, he said, “and half the people 1 know went under. But I wouldn’t claim bankruptcy. I said to the debtors, ’Go get your judgment.’ I am proud of the action I took.”

Robert Decherd, the 27-year-old whiz kid of the Dallas News, surprised a few and disappointed many recently when he left the newsroom for an executive suite on the fourth floor. Decherd, a Belo Corporation board member and Dealey heir, had built a reputation as the paper’s Great White Hope in his two-year stint as assistant to executive editor Tom Simmons. Though initially resented by newsroom staffers, he gradually earned respect for his keen mind and straightforward manner. More than one News reporter, in fact, had indulged the fantasy of young Decherd becoming the paper’s editor and finally transforming the gray-haired old lady of Texas journalism into a more aggressive and upbeat newspaper.

But Decherd has apparently opted for the high road. For the record he says he’s “working on some Belo projects” and getting more involved in “the corporate end of things.” Some insiders feel he is being groomed for a major management role after the retirement of publisher Joe Dealey Jr. The newsroom, for the most part, was cynical about the move: “He’s just solidifying his role as heir,” said one reporter sourly. A few reporters are more optimistic: They hope that Decherd is learning the ropes upstairs to prepare himself to take over the paper’s editorial operation when Simmons retires.



John Chamberlin of Irving says he’s sorry, but he was only kidding. It seems that a harmless prank Chamberlin pulled on the Food and Drug Administration last spring may well have sparked the rumor that McDonald’s hamburgers contain worms.

Last April, Chamberlin vented his pent-up wrath at the Federal bureaucracy by sending the FDA a fake newsclip that read, “A local businessman is reportedly on the verge of a major breakthrough in fast food hamburger marketing with the development of an economical earthworm ranching operation south of Irving.” Chamberlin enclosed a letter asking the feds for their comments on his budding enterprise. A few weeks later, he heard from Vivian Prunier, Ph.D., who informed him, “We have determined that food containing worm meal would be considered adulterated. . . Neither earthworms nor worm meal are commonly consumed as food by people in this country.”

That was the last Chamberlin heard from Washington, but a few weeks later, he began hearing the McDonald’s rumor. He couldn’t help making the obvious connection. As for McDonald’s, all their public relations man Doug Timberlake will say is, “If this is somebody’s idea of a practical joke, we are not amused.”



word that American Airlines will move its national headquarters to D/FW has exacerbated the longstanding rivalry between Dallas and Fort Worth. It seems that certain members of the Fort Worth City Council took considerable umbrage at NBC anchorman John Chancellor’s announcement that American would soon be moving its headquarters to Dallas. Not so, they said: The airline’s new headquarters will rest within the city limits of Fort Worth. Councilman Richard Newkirk got so peeved that he placed a long-distance call to the newsman while he was still on the air. Newkirk was prepared to demand an immediate retraction and clarification. For some reason, NBC declined to interrupt its broadcast to give Newkirk satisfaction.

Meanwhile, the Fort Worth city staff is going to extremes to make the move comfortable for American’s 1200 headquarters employees. They’ve even set up a shuttle bus system running between major apartment complexes in the city and the new headquarters, since many of the employees are New Yorkers and never bothered to learn to drive.



Newly elected Tarrant County Treasurer Howard Green is taking his time living up to his campaign promises. Green, a former county judge, ran and won last fall on a pledge to eliminate the obsolete treasurer’s office if he was elected. Though he hasn’t done a turnabout on the issue, skeptics point out that Green hasn’t had any trouble picking up his paychecks since he took office January 1. Indeed, they say, Green’s headline-grabbing promise may just have been a publicity stunt.

One group that apparently feels Green and his office should stick around is the Tarrant County Comissioners Court; it recently voted him a 10 percent pay hike. Green refused the raise. “You’ve got to figure the Internal Revenue Service would have taken 40 percent of it anyway,” he says.



Incumbent State Senator Bill Braecklein hasn’t decided whether he’ll seek a third term next year, but if he does he’ll probably have some competition in both the primary and general elections. Though the elections are more than a year and a half off, both Democratic State Rep. John Bryant (Pleasant Grove) and Republican State Rep. Lee Jackson (Northeast Dallas) are making noises about running for Braecklein’s 16th District. For Bryant, the moderate Democrat, it would mean moving from his present address to Braecklein’s district. Whoever finally runs, Republicans and Democrats agree that the 16th District race will be “pivotal”: If the Republicans can win it, they will finally have parity with the Democrats in the county’s state senatorial delegation. That could count for a lot the next time redisthcting comes up.

Thumb Awards



Thumbs Down: To the Dallas district judges who approved the hiring of former County Judge John Whittington, recent loser to Garry Weber in his bid for reelection. Whittington was handed an $18,000-a-year job in the adult probation department. The judges openly admitted that the favor was granted only to give Whittington the additional year on the county payroll he needed to qualify for $27,000 in county pension funds. Who needs cronyism, particularly when it costs the taxpayers $45,000?



Thumbs Up: To County Budget Director Lewis McClain. Dallas County has long been looking for a real live budget director, and finally found one in McClain. Much to the chagrin of county department heads who’ve had their budgets slashed, McClain has done his job.



Thumbs Down: To the House Assassinations Committee. Five and a half million dollars later, how much more do we know?



Thumbs Up: To the linemen for Dallas Power & Light who worked 24 hours the night the ice storm hit. And to the office workers who went out into the field to help the linemen: At one point DP&L had 1475 people out among the crashing branches and flaring transformers. Sure, your lights didn’t come on till Thursday – but aren’t you glad you didn’t have to fix them yourself?



Thumbs Down: To all of our local weathermen. They didn’t see the big storm coming, and we all got blasted by surprise. But worse, on the following weekend, they boldly predicted another onslaught of ice, causing schools to be closed early, businesses to be shut down, events to be canceled. And nothing happened. Channel 8 weatherman Steve Newman explained away the false alarm as “better safe than sorry.” Wrong, Steve.

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