SEE PAGE 93
AFTER WHAT I consider to be a very fair two-year trial subscription to your magazine, I am returning my non-renewal notice for the following reasons:
D Magazine seems to act on the assumption that there are no black people in Dallas (close to 100,000), or that if there are, they are all on welfare and live in poverty, and therefore, do not frequent the businesses that advertise in your magazine.
None of the models in the ads are black, and all of your articles I have read so far are about the upper-middle class and above, or, to come a little closer, what they are doing now to reclaim the inner city (Bryan Place).
I assure you there are black people in our fair city whose ancestors helped build Dallas from the very beginning and whose descendants continue to make valuable contributions.
I am afraid that you seem to want to reflect the Dallas made so popular recently by the TV series in which all of the people of the city are the same color and cast, and even the street scenes downtown show no people of color. (Who else goes down there now?)
Herbie K. Johnson
“GETTING THE Goods on Julia Sweeney” (May) is the most appalling piece of yellow journalism I have ever read.
Mike Shropshire’s vicious diatribe against Ms. Sweeney strongly indicates a personal animosity on his part and is tasteless, offensive, and completely malicious.
This type of irresponsible writing puts D on a level somewhere below The National Enquirer.
THE ENVELOPE, PLEASE
I REALLY resent the characterization of my 1959 movie, The Killer Shrews, as the worst ever released. This is simply not true. In the same year, I made a picture called The Giant Gila Monster, which was much worse.
It is true that I played a mad scientist in The Killer Shrews. The fact that I was mad enough to take the part is ample proof of my ability as an actor. In all fairness, however, since the director is now dead and unable to defend himself, it is my contention that I was badly directed, and that that is just as much responsible for my performance as the fact that I cannot act.
It is also a dastardly convolution of the truth to say that this was my first and last attempt at the silver screen. I will next be seen as executive producer of Paramount’s forthcoming release, Escape to Victory, which was made in Budapest, directed by John Huston, and stars Sylvester Stallone, Michael Caine, Max von Sydow, and the great soccer star, Pelé.
I might add that I made the same artistic contribution to this picture as I made to the first two: money.
IT INTRIGUES me that Jerry Flemmons, a man who never knew my father, has become the accepted source of information concerning my father, Amon Carter. His latest comments, published in your April Answer Page, carry a sprinkling of truth.
Unfortunately for Mr. Flemmons, he was never privy to comments made by my father, expressing his admiration and praise for some of the most respected leaders in Dallas in those days. I particularly remember his esteem for the late Fred Florence.
Accurate reporting isn’t too difficult to achieve if the proper authorities are consulted, and they do exist.
Ruth Carter Johnson
I HOPE your subsequent issues will not contain “How to Commit a Rape,” “How to Pull Off a Holdup,” or “How to Counterfeit Money,” following your very detailed description of “How to Burglarize a Home” (April).
Since the publication of D, I have not heard as much criticism as I’ve heard about this article.
THREE CHEERS for Doris Grimes and the giant step she took towards the incarceration of Mackinaw. Which (once again) goes to prove that a judicial system does exist, if you can afford it.
But what about the unfortunate others who have been through this painful ordeal and can’t afford the $17,000 price tag put on justice?
“CRIME IN North Dallas” is noteworthy. The section “How to Burglarize a Home” is the epitome of irresponsible journalism. One would hope that someone in your editorial department would feel some moral responsibility to the public.
I have always considered myself a staunch supporter of the First Amendment. This piece could push me to the other side.
I DO NOT believe that a real pro will attack a house with an alarm system. Why should he, when most of the houses in the same neighborhood don’t have an alarm and presumably offer the same selection of goodies? Any system worth its salt will include a constantly recharged battery backup, thereby dispelling the notion that a burglar can cut the power to a house and walk right in.
While it is true that the perimeter of a house can be breached, such as by removing a large piece of glass, any responsible alarm installation company should insist on at least one internal detection device, such as an inexpensive carpet trap which will trigger the alarm when stepped on. And the alarm could be a “silent” one; i.e., the police are notified (directly or through a central station) while the local alarm remains silent. There are, of course, other internal traps, such as area detectors, beams, and body heat sensing devices.
The article stated that “there is nothing you can do to stop him, period.” I know of a very sophisticated, redundant (and very expensive) system in a prominent Dallas-ite’s home, that will stop him … in spades. Don’t worry about the outrage over telling how to burglarize a house; a real burglar has already learned from his friends, and the juveniles can’t read.
J. Val Smith
President, Marshal Security Systems
Chairman, Publicity Committee
Dallas Burglar and Fire Alarm Assn.
“HOW TO Burglarize a Home” was the absolute height of irresponsible journalism. Thanks a lot! With most homeowners already almost pushed to a state of paranoia over house break-ins, you have really added to our peace of mind.
Just prior to the arrival of the April D in our mailbox, we received an opinion questionnaire from you to rate your magazine. How sorry I am that we’d already given you a plus rating and returned it before the April issue reached us. Had they arrived in reverse order, our response would have been quite different!
July is renewal time for us -we’ll have to think about that. We may very well be able to do without your helpful hints on our coffee table.
I READ “Crime in North Dallas,” and began to wonder what brilliant flash of inspiration lead the author to write the sidebar, “How to Burglarize a Home.” When movies are capable of contributing to assassination attempts, no doubt articles such as this one will be an inspiration to a “financially needy” person somewhere.
The personal resolutions I reached after completing both articles would at one time have seemed drastic to me. I am determined to shed all status symbols and live behind a facade -a bricked, windowless facade. Perhaps I can find a lighthouse for sale, preferably in Singapore.
I WAS astounded by Mary Candace Evans’ portrayal of successful North Dallas residents as ignorant, helpless victims subject to living in fear all due to the hero, “a burglar,” nor do I understand the motive behind “How to Burglarize a Home” and the insufficient antibiotic, “Fighting Back.”
Whose side are you on? I personally have received several calls like the ones mentioned in the article, where the caller hangs up at my hello. I telephoned Southwestern Bell and requested the call-forwarding feature. I was informed by them that this type of service has substantially increased only since the printing of your article. More caution or more calls?
“How to Burglarize A Home,” though written in satire form, was factual, and in my opinion has added to the growing unsafe conditions of North Dallas. I hope you will have enough nerve to print this letter as you did the article. I am an avid reader of D Magazine, but now would only subscribe if I were a burglar, and then for all my buddies.
Robin D. Spear
HOW ABOUT A NIGHTCAP?
THOUGH I enjoyed your article on the Sixties, “Is Your Trivia IQ in the Sixties?” (April), I feel compelled to correct your reference to “Mario Daboub and The Nightcaps.” As an original member of this popular rhythm and blues group, I can assure you that our name was just “The Nightcaps.” Mario, bless his heart, liked to imagine that it was his band, but it never was. In fact, he left the group fairly early in its existence. Incidentally, the band still performs, but with only one of the original members -singer Billy Joe Shine. For my part, I’ve moved on to dixieland as the drummer with Tommy Loy and the Upper Dallas Jazz Band. And yes, I’m overweight, disillusioned, neurotic, etc.
Jack S. Allday
LETTER FROM HOME
ALTHOUGH WE no longer live in the Dallas area, we couldn’t say good-bye to D Magazine. D keeps us in touch with our homeland and we anticipate its arrival each month.
Keep up the good work. I must add that we don’t always agree with all that your publication prints. But, that too, is another plus. The material that stimulates inquisitive conversation is fulfilling one of the important functions of the journalism in our society.
Randy and Susan Nix