Q. My pinball wizard son is cutting classes to play his games at the 7-Elev-en. Does Dallas have any of the regulations I’ve heard other cities enforce to control this expensive habit, or does the city itself profit from the games? T.R., Dallas.

A. If your Tommy’s video A or pinball games are located within 500 feet of a private or public school, if Tommy is under 17, and if he’s playing between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m., he’s breaking the law and the business hosting the games can be issued a citation or even lose its machines. The city does not receive any direct profits from the games, but since the moderately estimated 7000 pinball and video games in the area generate more than $44 thousand annually for the city, from tax stamps alone (which sell for $7.50), the council can hardly say those quarter-carnivores hurt the economy. Revenues go each year to the state from registration certificates ($50), state tax stamps ($15), and in some cases, fees for general business licenses ($200 or $500). According to the Texas State Amusement Machine commission, state revenues from all coin-operated machines-be they for music, skill or pleasure-totaled $2,375,830 last fiscal year. Who’s the real pinball wizard?

Q. Why is there a picture of KBOX radio station on the back of one of my Her-man’s Hermits albums? S.W., Dallas.

A. The picture of KBOX, as well as some shots of Dallas crowds, made the cover of “Herman’s Hermits on Tour” album, released in 1961. The Hermits put KBOX on their back cover after a phenomenally successful promotional concert was sponsored by the then-“Top 40” station welcoming the Hermits to Dallas for the first time.

Q. When will -or per- haps I should simply say will -construction of Central Expressway ever be completed? B.D., Dallas.

A Department of High-ways and Public Transportation design engineer John Btain says frontage road construction from Airline Road to Mockingbird Road is due for completion by late spring. The expansion should speed the traffic flow, Blain says, by making shorter trips possible on the frontage roads and reducing crowding on the expressway. It is also less complicated construction than widening the expressway itself. Overall construction will extend from the central business district (at Woodall Rogers) to Parker Road in Piano. Frontage roads from Park Lane to Forest Lane will take about two-and-a-half years to complete and should be begun late next year, after the success of the Airline-Mockingbird section can be measured.

Q. On a number of cars I’ve noticed rainbow window stickers imprinted with the word “Decolores.” Is this one of those New Wave groups? P.K., Garland.

A. The rainbow is the un- official symbol of the Cursillo movement, which began in Spain in the 1940s. “Decolores” is a Spanish folk song that praises the many colors of nature. The song was adopted by the movement and its meaning was expanded to include praises of “the many colors of God’s graces in the world.” The initially Catholic movement now includes Episcopal and Lutheran churches, and is a renewal course taught within church congregations, exploring the fundamentals of Christianity. The Cursillo movement began in the United States in Waco in 1957. Today the National Cursillo Center is open in Dallas and courses are offered in area Catholic and Episcopal churches.

Q. My children and I love to watch the tree-lighting ceremony in Highland Park each Christmas. How did this tradition begin? R.M., Highland Park.

A. In the late Twenties, before Highland Park was incorporated, developers Flippen and Prather tried to generate interest in the area by decorating the pecan tree at the intersection of Armstrong and Preston Road during Christmas. At that time, the pecan tree, now more than 100 years old, was considered to be a primary landmark of Highland Park. What began as a real estate promotion has been a tradition for more than 50 years. This year the tree-lighting is scheduled to take place December 10 at 7:30 p.m.


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