Nothing is black and white these days. Rights and Wrongs andGoods and Bads are no longer the stuff of the enlightened. Our forefathers may have chosen sides and clutched extremes, but modern man displays maturity by embracing shades of gray-by touting the impartial, the open minded, the fair.
Unfortunately, too much neutrality can leave modern man rather likeprepackaged slice of processed American cheese: neither here nor there, neither sharp nor mild. Only mellow. And boring.
But as luck would have it, it is once again our privilege (and our duty) to throw shades of gray to the wind. To pass judgment, to take sides, to callnames. Stay tuned for another convivial collection of things savory and sor did, fragrant and fetid, heavenly and hellish. Stay tuned for the Best and Worst of Dallas, 1983.
FILLED WITH THE SPIRIT
For Confetti’s first anniversary bash, nothing but the best and biggest would do. Bartenders imported a wine storage tanker from California and mixed the world’s largest cocktail: 7,000 gallons. Hic.
FILLED BY THE SPIRIT
Bob Buess, pastor of the Christ of Life Church in Far North Dallas, prays for people’s teeth. By the end of one service, 17 church members had stood and declared that their molar problems were over. “God is filling your teeth,” Buess says. “He is working miracles in your mouth.”
GIRLS, GIRLS, GIRLS
BEST: Apparently, good girls don’t-at least not in Dallas. A film company planning to make a high school sex comedy in Dallas was forced to go elsewhere when it couldn’t find any local actresses willing to bare-breast it for the camera.
RUNNER-UP: Officials at Las Vegas’ Tropicana Hotel announced that representatives would visit the Dallas area in search of the ultimate showgirl. Only five women showed up for the audition, however, and the Dallas quota was reduced from five to three.
CHURLS, CHURLS, CHURLS
WORST: In an act of anything but good humor, University Park officials banned ice cream man John Kuehn from his self-appointed rounds, despite the fact that University Park youngsters had collected 250 signatures requesting that he be allowed to remain.
DIAL-A-LIFESAVER: KAAM-KAFM offers a 24-hour DWI hotline to help get drunk drivers off the street. 263-5DWI.
DIAL-A-KATHY: A personalized, reliable messenger service is offered by a Kathy or maybe a Lisa. They’ll file papers for you at the federal courthouse, get some dry dog food for Fido or even take little Timmy his forgotten sack lunch. 559-5201.
DIAL-A-WIFE: Gopher Girls offer home-warming services for divorced or single men or anyone else who might need a strictly professional woman’s touch. At a cost of anywhere from $15 to $35 an hour, a Gopher Girl will stock the fridge, take the kids to softball practice or put a roast in your oven to welcome you home after a rough day. 699-5470.
DIAL-ABUSE: Try making a service call to Warner Amex.
DIAL-AN-OLDSTER: Home Sitting Services of Dallas offers the services of senior citizens for pet care, plant watering and giving your home that “lived-in look” while you’re away. 458-94553.
THE HORSE’S MOUTH
Maxie Fuller of Enterprise, Alabama, claimed in a lawsuit filed against Southfork owner J.R. Duncan that a filly at the ranch did “ferociously and without provocation” bite her in the chest.
BEST: One of the most successful efforts to get downtown on its feet has been the addition of street vendors. The crème de la dog is at a stand called Dog Daze, parked weekdays between Field and Akard on Pacific. Cancel your afternoon appointments and get yourself a fire dog-served on a piping-hot poppy-seed bun with serious red peppers in the wiener.
WORST: A new ordinance makes it illegal for a restaurant to serve alcohol al fresco unless up to a nine-foot fence surrounds the area.
SHUT UP AND GAG, PART I
Nuevo Wavo singer Joe “King” Carrasco was fuming when the crowd at Tango ran out on his act, but when the smoke cleared, he discovered something that only added insult to injury. One of his “fans” had dropped a tear-gas grenade into the crowd.
SHUT UP AND GAG, PART II
(Free press from frogs)
Tango’s rooftop band of dancing frogs made coast-to-coast headlines as the courts debated whether the amphibians should be considered art or mere signage subject to city ordinances. The publicity saved the frogs, but wasn’t toady enough to keep their nightclub filled to the gills. Another business booster was in order: a new happy hour, “Tangomatic,” including strolling jugglers, comedians and video art.
SHUT UP AND EAT
(Best new restaurant with a namealmost ending in ’o’)
Genaro’s Tropical. Ricky Ricardo lives.
WORST: Ambulance-chasing Dallas attorneys came out of the woodwork after the fatal Enterprise amusement ride accident at this year’s state fair. Family members of the victims were bombarded by phone calls and stacks of calling cards. After learning that one of their sons had been killed in the accident, Marion and Billie Phillips were approached by a lawyer, contract and pen in hand, before they left Parkland’s emergency room.
BEST: H & M Natural Foods Grocery on Greenville provides great slabs of fresh avocado, Monterey Jack cheese, tomatoes and just the right touch of bean sprouts.
A window-washer on a work release from the Dallas County Jail was arrested for “attitudinal problems” and toted off to jail after he fell from the 16th floor of the downtown Hilton. The safety belt that the washer, Billy Joe Mathis, was wearing saved his life by supporting him until he could be rescued by police officers, but the young man was hardly gracious. A Morning News article described Mathis as “loudly expressing his critical assessment of their worth in brisk language.”
BAD: So much for the sounds of silence. The Walnut Hill branch library now provides-at no cost to patrons-Muzak to break the monotony of a good book. Now you can settle down with Faulkner and Feelings.. .wo, wo, wo, feelings….
WORSE: In a move that enraged Federal Aviation officials, the Irving City Council revised zoning laws to allow apartment construction one-fourth mile from the end of a planned runway at D/FW airport.
WORST: Leaders of Irving’s Crestview Baptist Church campaigned against zoning revisions until a developer offered to buy their land one-half mile from the airport at a $1.6 million profit, if it were rezoned residentially. Church leaders dropped plans to build facilities underground on the property (underground to avoid dangerous noise levels) and began asking the council to rezone.
MORE ABOUT DUBIOUS DRINKING
BEST: Coin-operated intoxilyzers are now available in bars all around town. If you aren’t sure you’ll be a safe driver, slip a quarter in the slot, and the machine will tell you whether you’re just a little woozy or wasted beyond recognition.
WORST: In an effort to control on-campus drinking, the University of Dallas requested a private club permit allowing the sale of alcohol in the student lounge. The rationale? Administrators hope the permit will cut down on the amount of free alcohol available at private parties.
RETURN TO CINDERS
BEST: The Magic Flute went up in flames last November 9 and, judging from our dining experiences there, we suspect the flames leapt from the spark of a discriminating arsonist.
WORST: The original Big Wong restaurant burned last March, but from its ashes has sprung (a few blocks away) the New Big Wong and all is right with the world. Where else can you get soup, iced tea and a delectable lunchtime feast of cashew chicken, sweet-and-sour pork or shredded beef with garlic for under $4?
REMEMBRANCE OF THINGS PASTA
BEST: The tortellini at Arthur’s.
WORST: After a sparkling first act on opening night of Donizetti’s opera, The Daughter of the Regiment, the Dallas Opera allowed soprano Jane Withers to lapse from French into English to explain that she really is a good ol’ gal from Texas who married well. As John Ardoin wrote in a review for The Dallas Morning News, “Miss Withers’ redneck hard sell of her lines turned a gourmet dish into a bowl of chili con corny.” The audience booed.
BEST: Neiman-Marcus’ twice-yearly “Last Call” continues to offer an extraordinary selection of merchandise at extraordinary prices for more than a week before crating it all up and shipping it off to Filene’s in Boston for ultimate merchandising burial.
BEST: The Irving City Council included funds in its 1983 budget for the construction of a Frisbee golf course with hazards, doglegs, aerial obstacles and baskets mounted on steel poles.
BEST: Adriano’s in the Quadrangle offers a dish for serious sluggers: escargot pizza.
MOVERS AND SHAKERS
BEST: Lome McMillan of McMillan House Movers donated a house to Malisa Edwards, an 88-year-old widow who had been living in a dilapidated West Dallas house that had neither plumbing nor gas.
RIGHT UP THERE: Podgers of Penzance, a woman’s reducing class held on the second floor of City Hall, had to be canceled because the reported mass of the class-some three tons-was determined to “seriously overstress floor beams.” In other words, when these ladies got rolling, the building really rocked.
BEST: The Dallas Bead Society meets bimonthly to discuss the significance of beads. As one society member said, beads are serious objects. Within each shiny nugget is art, beauty, culture and science. The scientific significance of beads cannot be stressed enough, according to the society’s president. He claims to have some particularly significant amber pieces that contain an assortment of petrified bug parts.
BEST: Outraged by the city’s campaign to rid Dallas of weeds, City Councilmem-bers Max Goldblatt and Elsie Faye Heg-gins compared tactics used by the city to those practiced in Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia.
WORST: Condominium developers allegedly used “land flips” to artificially inflate the price of land near Lake Ray Hubbard. Some tracts of land were sold as many as five times in one day, increasing their value by 400 percent. Not bad for a day’s work. The FBI reportedly investigated, looking for violations of federal mail and banking statutes.
BEST: At happy hour, the best grazing can be done at Studebaker’s. Ribs, fish, chicken, cheeses, salad and hot dogs are plentiful; free with purchase of a cocktail, wine or beer; and best of all, replenished often.
WORST: Best Products offers a mother’s ring with your choice of screw-in birth-stones to represent each child. The screws are visible through the stones, but consider the advantages: Now instead of cutting you out of the will, Mom can screw you out of the inheritance.
BLOW ME AWAY
BAD: Lone Star Auto Service Products Co. has begun marketing coin-operated air and water machines for service stations. What a bargain: five minutes of your choice-air or water-for a quarter. “I’m in this business because I believe that free air is going to go the way of free road maps,” the company president said.
WORST: A disgruntled patient opened fire in his dentist’s North Dallas office because he suspected that the good doctor had extracted the wrong tooth. Luckily, Dr. William Jenrette avoided the spray of bullets. He later said that he would not charge the man for the dental work.
BEST (for atmosphere): The Lounge at the Inwood Theater just looks right.
“I brake for the hell of it.”
On the back of a city bus: “You may be sitting on the best reason for joining the Y.”
In honor of Sheriff Don Byrd, one of the city’s great folk heroes: “I’m not drunk, I’m just having a stroke.”
Seen on Stemmons: “Ask me about my ex-wife.”
BEST: Routh Street Café’s sweet-potato variety is thick and rich with apple slices and a topping of sour cream.
Heading a newspaper story on track star Craig Virgin: “Virgin Offers Some Good Tips On Running.”
Topping a newspaper story on the White Rock 10-kilometer race: “Virgin Whips Field of Runners.”
BEST: The tear-jerking final episode of MASH, which aired last February. One of television’s finest moments.
WORST: The local country/Western hit, Greenville Avenue, in which a lovesick man spends all his waking hours at TGI Friday’s and Annie’s Santa Fe, pining that, “I’m sure missing you on Greenville Avenue.”
Dallas County District Attorney Henry Wade responded to statements made by Judge Tom Price by saying only that “I don’t like to argue with a little peanut-head judge like him.”
Bernie DiFiore, head of Dallas’ equipment services, managed to save $2.7 million of the city’s budget by instituting cost controls.
THE UNKINDEST CUT OF ALL
An Oak Cliff man sliced a set of telephone cables and cut off service to 1,800 businesses and homes when he suspected that creatures from outer space had been eavesdropping on his phone conversations. Ouch. E.T. can’t phone home.
….To the powers that be at Lone Star Gas, Dallas Power & Light and other Dallas area utilities, which donated more than $100,000 to a special fund to reduce winter utility bills for the needy and elderly.
….To hizzoner, the mayor, and his Southern Dallas Task Force, for proposing property tax exemptions as an incentive for development in that long-neglected area.
….To Vince Carrozza and the Dallas Museum of Art for completing construetion of the new facility on time and over $1 million under budget. Carrozza gave the money back to the City of Dallas. … To the City of Dallas and the State of Texas for trying to settle their differences out of court concerning the Pearl Street exit of Woodall Rodgers Expressway. By doing so, they assured other land deals and the continuity of the Arts District.
BEST (In the red-tape department): Legal-size paper is now illegal in federal courts. Standard 8-by-ll pads will be tidier, but taxpayers will spend millions on new filing cabinets. A government spokesman speculated that file-cabinet purchasing in such volume might very possibly solve the economic crisis in the U.S. steel industry and put thousands of laid-off steelworkers back to work.
FREE CHIPS AND DIP
BEST: Rio Grande Grill. They’re sprinkled with lots of pepper and are served with picante and cheese dip.
RAMOS GIN FIZZ
BEST: Café Pacific.
NO PILLARS, NO POPE
The Dallas Democrats, planning the 20th anniversary commemoration of John F. Kennedy’s assassination, invited Pope John Paul II to perform an open-air Mass at the Kennedy Memorial downtown. When the Pope declined, one pouting Democrat official said, “Well, that’s obviously how the world feels about our city.”
WORST:While the Hillcrest High School defense was still on the sidelines, the referee blew the whistle to begin the final period of a tied football game with Thomas Jefferson High School. The TJ offense heard the whistle, snapped the ball and scored the winning touchdown on a 37-yard run. What a bunch of champs.
DARE TO BE DENSE
BEST: As an antidote to heady MENSA, DENSA (Diversely Educated, Not Seriously Affected), an organization devoted to the pursuits and pleasures of everyday people, has been established. Talented and gifted folks need not apply.
CAUSE FOR ALARM
BEST Channel 8’s “Eat, Drink and Be Wary” series, which zapped local restaurants for committing repeated health violations. Sorry, Granny’s.
ALMOST AS GOOD: A second-time convicted felon, sentenced to 75 years for aggravated robbery with a deadly weapon, made a mad dash to freedom down a stairwell at the Dallas County Court-house. Guards who failed to apprehend him said later that they had assumed the alarms they heard were false.
BEST: The Dallas Harlequins Rugby Football Club, which has been in existence for 12 years and won second place in the nation in 1983.
BEST: Drew Pearson. Pure class-on and off the field.
WORST: Hollywood Henderson. He continues to degrade what has always been a despicable reputation.
BEST (outdoor): Despite heavy rain, Simon and Garfunkel put on the most memorable concert of 1983 in the Cotton Bowl. The two still won’t share a limousine, but their ballads of friendship strengthened the kindred spirits among the 24,439 dripping fens.
BEST (Indoor): James Brown at Tango.
BEST: Commentary by Twinkle Bayoud, 26-year-old sophisticate, wheeler-dealer and woman extraordinaire: “This is an Armani top and skirt… the jacket is by Carol Fertig… I like Jeanne Marc for working and Bernard Perris and Karl Lagerfeld for black-tie. But other than that, I never look at labels.”
WORST: In a civil lawsuit, Balch Springs City Councilmember Gary Kattner charged that the former mayor of Balch Springs caused him “loss of enjoyment of life” by striking him in the neck during an argument.
BEST: The eggplant with garlic sauce at Uncle Tai’s.
WORST: Arlington resident Wiley Brooks says he can go three months without eating or sleeping, can lift 10 times his weight, never gets sick and expects to live 2,000 years. He offers classes on his philosophy, called Breatharianism, but a Dallas doctor quoted in the Times Herald was skeptical: “The guy would have to be a plant.”
WHAT’S IN A NAME?
Everyman Ed Jones covers the computer world for The Dallas Morning News under the stirring pseudonym “Brian Starfire.”
Nester E. Macho, a 42-year-old security consultant, says that despite his name, he wouldn’t consider unbuttoning his shirt to his navel or wearing a gold chain. He says it’s his brother, Dr. Macho, who gets the most mileage out of the name. Or maybe it’s their cousin, Father Macho, a priest in Miami.
BEST: Norm Hitzges’ Friday morning sports spectacular on KERA. An entertaining and educational meeting of the “I Am Not a Jock Club.”
WORSTS: The insipid Texas Rangers postgame show.
BEST: If one of the delectable slabs of heaven offered in 40 different flavors at Strictly Cheesecake doesn’t satisfy your yearning for something rich, ask shop owners Mike and Dan Mooty to tell you about their other line of work: wholesale diamond dealing.
BEST: Four acres of bald cypress trees set in water amid twinkling lights is the plan of designer Dan Kiley to complement Fountain Place behind the Fairmont Hotel between Akard and Field.
BEST: The Texas Rangers’ Mickey Rivers.
WORST: When Irving School Superintendent J.F. Townley established a policy requiring all school administrators to move into that district, the rule applied only to whites. When asked why the two black administrators would not be forced to comply, board president Anne Pfaff said that it was because they would have to move into all-white neighborhoods.
BEST: Thirty-odd “small-business types” at Canyon Creek Elementary School took out a $50 business loan and printed 109 copies of a book about “bugs, insects and animals.” When treasurer Adam Byrd was asked whether the company was public or private, he answered, “Well, most of the mothers know about it.”
WORST: The teen prostitution ring that was recently broken-up in Highland Park.
BEST: When the wife of Dallas bank president Joe Goyne was kidnapped along with her husband and two children in May, she escaped from the car in which she was being held captive by shouting the perfect one-liner: “Hey, look over there!” When her captor did, she jumped out of the car and ran to safety.
NEARLY AS GOOD: People Express leased some Braniff jets and set out to become the Freddie Lakers of the U.S. skies with a fabulous bargain to New York: Take a shuttle to Houston and fly to New York for only $69 one-way during off-peak hours and $99 during rush hours.
WORST. What the people at People Express didn’t do was hire enough telephone operators to stem the tide of customers. We tried at all hours of the day and night to get through on its toll-free number, its Houston exchange-even its phone line in Newark. We never did. We couldn’t even check the rates. It makes you wonder: If the phone lines are down, how do they get their planes off the ground?
BEST: When raccoons began terrorizing Highland Park this fall, authorities determined that the rodents preferred that neighborhood over nearby parts of Dallas because the trash in the Park Cities is simply a grade above Dallas trash.
WORST: The Cowboys loss to San Diego: 24-23.
BEST: Since he’d been married twice before in a church and a bar had ruined both marriages, Big Bob Dougan figured he’d try an alternate method. This time around, he and his bride, who wore a traditional white skirt and blouse with ice blue-and-white boots were married in a Baptist ceremony on the dance floor at the Dallas Palace, a bar.
BEST: Durable Juanita Craft, 81-year-old civil-rights champion and ex-city coun-cilmember, continues to be active in the Democratic Party.
WORST: Eighty-year-old Tanzalear “Granny” Hughey was sentenced to two years in prison for selling marijuana at H. Grady Spruce High School.
THE THANKS WE GET
BEST: The news staff at radio station WFAA-AM won 10 of the 13 AP and UPI awards in the 1983 statewide competition.
WORST: Later in the year, the entire news staff of WFAA-AM was fired when the format switched to rock music because of low ratings.
BEST: The Dallas Museum of Art’s new sculpture garden. Now downtown has the attractive outdoor sack-lunch spot it meant to buy with City Hall Plaza.
SIGNS OF THE TIMES
In front of Garland Laundry and Cleaners: “Cleanliness is next to godliness. Let us save you.”
On one side of the Twin Sixties Inn marquee: “Welcome Baylor.” On the other side: “Drink free with room key.”
Near Presbyterian Hospital: “Handicapped towing enforced.”
In front of an Oak Lawn duplex: “Adult for rent.”
In front of Minsky’s Place, a topless joint on Harry Hines: “Closed for remodeling.”
BEST: The Cirrus Lounge, high atop the Doubletree Inn. You get all the regular highballs, draft beer and house wine you can drink for only $6, seven days a week from 5 to 7 p.m. Add some free munchies and a great view of the city, and this could be heaven.
WORST: Or it could be hell. The deal gets complicated when you try to switch drinks-say, from bourbon and water to bourbon and soda. You can’t do it unless you pay another six bills and start over. The Cirrus staff will also split hairs over the precise meaning of “regular highball.”
IMPERSONATION OF AN IMPERSONATION
BEST: Celebrity Answeralls offers 48 famous sound-alike voices on cassette tapes for your answering machine. Let Mr. Rogers greet your calls with, “Leave your name at the beep. You can say beep, can’t you?” 1-894-9242.
LOOKING OUT FOR NUMBER ONE
WORST: Fresh out of high school, Kevin Murray decided he wanted to be a professional baseball player, so he signed a contract with the Milwaukee Brewers stipulating that he wouldn’t play football. But by October, his minor league career hadn’t progressed the way he had hoped, so he took an athlete’s prerogative: He changed his mind and suited up as starting quarterback for Texas A & M.
BEST. The Texas Rangers through the all-star break.
WORST: The Texas Rangers after the all-star break.
BEST: Pat’s Delicatessen Sandwich Shop, tucked in beside the Highland Park Village Theater, serves paper-thin slices of deep pink roast beef piled on a buttered Kaiser roll.
PILOT OF THE AIRWAVES
BEST: LaBella and Rody on KZEW.
WORST: A tie between Ken and Granny on KMGC and Billy and Rose for Breakfast on KIXK. It’s two hours of leering, sophomoric double-entendres.
BEST: Highland Park Pharmacy. They come in pineapple, chocolate, cherry, butterscotch and vanilla. Heaven for $1.95.
BEST: The venerable White Rock Car Bath, which has been in business for 26 years at 10229 Garland Road. For $7.49, you get a fast wash, three coats of wax, a vacuum and a smile.
EVEN BETTER: FBI agents sucked up three ounces of cocaine that had been hurled from a fleeing car by borrowing a vacuum cleaner and four 100-foot extension cords from residents on Alta Vista Lane.
FREE PRESS FROM DALLAS
BEST: In an episode of Dallas, the Ewing sons suggested to their mother, Miss Elly, that one way to come to terms with her husband’s death would be to establish a “Jock Ewing Memorial Scholarship” for SMU students. After the episode aired, SMU was so flooded with calls asking for scholarship applications that SMU President L. Donald Shields talked Lorimar Productions into providing a real scholarship for the school.
WORST: A French symposium of intellectuals including Norman Mailer, William Styron, Susan Sontag and Kate Millett concluded that television is the cause of the disintegration of American culture, specifically mentioning Dallas as the kind of show that damages people’s minds.
BEST: Mistletoe Shoe Shop, a hole in the wall in Oak Cliff, is where real cowboys get their boots.
A MANY SPLINTERED THING
BEST: In a sermon on coordinating two-career marriages, an assistant pastor at Fellowship Bible Church of Park Cities mentioned that his wife “had tasted both sides of the fence.”
WORST: County Commissioner Jim Tyson reportedly sent a memo on official stationery to county supervisors asking employees if they “would mind” bringing loads of split firewood to Tyson’s home after work. Anything else, Mister Jim?
CHAMPIONS OF AMBIGUITY
Headline in the August 29, 1983, edition of the Dallas Times Herald: “Home for retarded opposition continues.”
Line from a radio ad for an apartment selection service: “We promise to find you the intelligent alternative to a better lifestyle.”
Quote from Addison’s The North City News: “Traffic in Addison has long been a sleeping dog which is now about to erupt.” Stand clear, everyone!
WORST: Citing the Bible, Dallas mayoral candidate Tom Gibbons blamed the nation’s Judeo-Christian heritage for all forms of violence. God requires violence, Gibbons said, to atone for man’s transgressions.
BEST: When DISD School Board member John Martin offered to “buy the barbecue” for the next meeting with black community leaders, some of them countered angrily by offering “to bring the watermelon as well.”
WORST: Asked if blood donors were questioned about possible AIDS symptoms, a staff scientist at Parkland Hospital reportedly answered: “The problem is one that has been discussed many times. You can’t ask someone if they are homosexual and expect a straight answer.”
CLASSIC: In a Dallas Morning News profile of Priscilla Davis, the infamous blonde was quoted as saying, “I’m like the Statue of Liberty. Nobody wants to pay the price to maintain me, but everyone wants to say he’s been there.”
BEST: Deputy Mayor Pro Tem Annette Strauss asked the City Council to approve a resolution proposing that the Dallas Housing Authority move Washington Place tenants only after they express “in a written letter” a desire to be relocated.
WORST: Sado-sleaze bike mag Easy Riders is more than just a sexy picture book. According to former Dallas County Jail inmate Richard Wagner, “It’s a depiction of a lifestyle… like D Magazine is to the society folks in Dallas.” Wagner filed a $2,500 damages suit against jail officials who confiscated his copies of the magazine because they considered them pornographic.
BEST: When Prince Albert of Monaco was in town, he and Michael Powers, owner of Hoffbrau, made a trip to Cutter Bill Western World. After the prince racked up a hefty bill, he handed a clerk his credit card only to be told moments later that the royal credit line had been discontinued. Powers, sport that he is, footed the bill. The interest rate has not been disclosed.
BEST: The best Mexican eggs-so fiery you’ll feel like you’ve been to Nuevo Laredo and back-are at the unlikely Sun Rexall Drug Store at Bryan and Haskell.