Friday, August 12, 2022 Aug 12, 2022
88° F Dallas, TX
Publications

1974 1984 A DECADE IN D

By D Magazine |

WE ARE 10. It’s official. We rejoice. Some of us are proud to have brought you a decade of uninterrupted service. Others of us are relieved. that we survived. All of us believe that the occasion warrants serious celebrating. It also poses a problem: How to adequately mark so momentous a milestone?

Not one of you offered to fly us en masse to Hawaii. A gift to ourselves of tin, the official mineral of all 10th anniversaries, had a hollow ring. We could have erected a statuesque “D” in the Republic National Life Building parking lot, but that meant applying for a permit. Another deadline.

We began to apply ourselves to a task that journalists tend to favor above all else: flipping through old magazines, bepraising and berating along the way. It occurred to us that, over the years, we had dropped countless journalistic jewels, like so many coins in a child’s piggy bank. But that’s the problem. We dropped them.

Whatever happened to that woman we touted as the sexiest in town? And that teen-ager who brutally murdered her mother? How about that guy we said would never be elected mayor? (He was.) Or that baseball team we predicted would walk away with the Big Win? (It hasn’t.)

Frankly, we wondered too. So our anniversary gift to you is contained in the following chronological chronicle of faces and places, queries and quandaries we’ve paraded before you in past years. Who, what and where are they now? The digging was well worth the trouble. Herewith, our retrospective of a decade of Dallas in a decade of D.

D COVERS, UNCOVE RS



AND DISCOVERS DALLAS

1974

● Dolph Briscoe elected governor.

● Dallas/Fort Worth Regional Airport opens on January 13.

● The World Trade Center opens.

● Harry Parker leaves New York’s Met-ropolitan Museum of Art to direct

Dallas Museum of Fine Arts.

● Judy Jordan reigns on Channel 4 News.

● James Earl Jones stars in Of Mice and Men at SMU.

JOHN ARDOIN



THE ACERBIC MUSIC critic of The Dallas Morning News was once the most feared and hated critic in the city. More than once, a board member of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra tried in vain to get Ardoin fired on the basis that “the paper should support the arts.” Today, Ardoin says, either he or his readers have mellowed. “There was a time,” he recalls, “when I was treated as an adversary. Phone calls wouldn’t be returned. Now, the atmosphere is healthy.” If cordiality reigns, it isn’t because the critic has changed his tune. Rather, he and the DSO have an understanding. “We’re all interested,” Ardoin says, “in the same thing: to have the best possible orchestra for Dallas.”

ARE WE ART-POOR?



DOES DALLAS, WE asked, still suffer “aesthetic poverty”-a shortage of public art? The answer we got-from everyone from author Janet Kutner, now an art critic with the Morning News, to Jerry Allen, coordinator of the City Arts Program-was a not-so-startling yes.

Kutner’s story pointed out that although smaller communities such as Fort Worth and even Red Wing, Minnesota, have a lot of public art, Dallas lacks it-both privately owned art in public spaces and, more so and more important, art that the city pays for. Not much has changed in 10 years. Dallas’ two most prominent acquisitions since Kutner’s assessment-the Henry Moore sculpture in front of City Hall and the rust wall/land form work by Robert Irwin that runs through Carpenter Plaza-were privately funded, the latter supplemented by a $40,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. The city’s own financial commitment to public art, aside from the Dallas Museum of Art, is almost nil. Kutner and Allen say that things are improving, but not enough. “One of any city’s responsibilities,” says Allen, “is to provide an environment that is visually exciting. Public art may be the most important art movement in America, and Dallas is being left behind.” To our credit, we have several generous private collectors, most notably Trammell Crow, who puts art in places where we all can enjoy it. Crow’s son Harlan has overseen the placement of an extensive collection of bronze sculpture, including several pieces by Rodin, in the art courtyard of the new LTV Center. Raymond and Patsy Nasher have made Bank of Dallas a leader in providing good if not major sculpture in public places, such as Beverly Pepper’s Dallas Land Canal at the south entrance of North-Park Center.

But the Nashers’ taste is rare. Corporate art more often tends toward what Allen calls “safe, graphic and usually not very challenging. It neither excites nor inflames. I don’t consider that public art.”

What the city needs now is a major new work in a prominent location, preferably something that integrates the landscape or the immediate environment. The National Endowment is more eager to give matching grants (up to $50,000) to those types of works than to more traditional varieties of sculpture on pedestals. But major works don’t come cheap. A large sculpture by an acclaimed artist can cost upwards of $500,000. Until the city adopts an art acquisition program, public art will continue to come as it has in the past-piecemeal and timidly, from a few private donors.

A SYMPHONY IS REBORN



TEN YEARS AGO, the Dallas Symphony Orchestra almost wasn’t. Up to its bassoons in debt, scorned by the big givers who had traditionally backed it, unable to hold onto its highly regarded conductor, Max Rudolph, and threatening to cut already measly salaries by one-third (to $7,700), the DSO was a shambles. When part of the season was suspended, no one was all that surprised. But city leaders rallied, started another fund drive, hired a good conductor and put the DSO back on its feet. The powers that be may have been unwilling to actually attend a performance, but they were not about to do without an orchestra.

Today, the symphony is positively thriving. Subscriptions have soared from a paltry 2,900 then to 18,000 now. The musicians earn a decent wage (beginning at $34,000), and the season has been expanded. What’s more, in 1987 the orchestra will move out of the Fair Park Music Hall-which it has had to share with the Dallas Opera, the Texas State Fair and the Dallas Summer Musicals -and into its own $50 million concert hall in the Arts District.

Conductor Eduardo Mata is a respected presence in music circles, and what the symphony lacks in dazzle it makes up for with an array of imported guests. Next year it will make its first European tour.

The only thing that remains for the DSO to do is to persuade all those people who bought symphony tickets to actually use them.

ON THE TIES THAT BIND



WHEN D FIRST examined the power structure of Dallas [October 1974], two distinct civic camps could be seen: the bank board of what was then known as Republic of Texas, on the one hand, and International Bancshares on the other. Each bank had its own cadre of companies: First International Bancshares was represented on Southwestern Life’s board by four key members (Herman Lay, Robert Stewart, Ed Cox and Bill Seay) and also on the boards of Braniff, LTV and Campbell Taggart. Republic people aligned themselves on the boards of such companies as Dallas Federal Savings and Loan, Lone Star Gas, Texas Instruments and Southland Financial. It was politically expedient for Dallas Power & Light to draw board members from both camps, but the utility was one of the few exceptions.

Today, the alignment of power.has changed in several key respects: The power camps now number three-with Mercantile Texas Corp. joining RepublicBank and In-terFirst corporations as a third bastion of dollar power. Board members still represent billion-dollar personal and corporate bases of wealth, but they no longer lie in separate and distinct camps. Crossovers are common. For example, Jess Hays’ Lomas & Nettleton shows its Mercantile leanings with board members Gene Bishop, Dolph Bris-coe Jr. and Bill Mead. Hay himself is a Mercantile man, although his board also includes a member from the InterFirst camp, Frank Crossen. A heavy grouping of Republicans sit on the board of Employers Casualty Co., but corporate family member, Texas Employers Insurance Association, boasts InterFirst’s W. Dewey Presley.

The choice of board members today seems to be simply a matter of covering bases-presumably as a means of spreading float. Enserch Corp., for example, has board members from all three major banks: Alfred Davies of Republic, Ed Haggar of InterFirst and Robert Folsom of Mercantile. Likewise, A.H. Belo Corp.’s board includes members who sit on the boards of both InterFirst and Republic-W.H. Seay and Lloyd Bowles, respectively.

Within the corporations themselves, key executives tend to split their board duties among the key bank holding companies. Centex’s Paul Seegers sits with Republic, while co-chief executive Frank Crossen belongs with InterFirst. The Thompson brothers of Southland Corp. split memberships between InterFirst and Mercantile. The net result is that the past decade has seen an erosion of the more obvious ties that bind. Today the watchwords are split, spread, divide-and presumably, conquer.

BARRON KIDD’S PLAN TO SAVE A PUBLIC SCHOOL



WHEN WE POSED the question in 1974, “Should Your Child Attend a Private School?,” the answer in many neighborhoods was a resounding yes. That stuck in the craw of one businessman and father, Barron Kidd, who proposed to do something about it.

Barron Kidd’s neighborhood was Northern Hills, an area bounded by Fitzhugh and Abbott, adjacent to southernmost Highland Park. The neighborhood school is Ben Milam Elementary School, a 76-year-old facility that was once slated to close. At the time, Ben Milam’s student mix was predominantly Mexican-American, with a sprinkling of Anglos and blacks. Not a single child living in the mostly white Northern Hills attended the public school.

Kidd’s plan was to buoy Ben Milam by pumping for local parental support. He figured that an onslaught of parental concern could build it into an educational force comparable to a private school.

Kidd said at the time that his reasons were twofold: simple altruism and the desire to see local property values rise. What he didn’t figure on, he says now, was how little interest his neighbors had in the beleaguered elementary school. Door-to-door efforts to enlist volunteers for a number of school activities proved virtually fruitless. Most of those who bothered to return the form filled in the box marked: “Check here if not interested in helping.”

1975

●Martina Navratilova defects from Czechoslovakia to Dallas.

●Former sportscaster Wes Wise is reelected mayor of Dallas.

●Rose Renfro wins Oak Cliff City Council seat.

●Billy Martin fired as manager of the Texas Rangers.

●Dallas Ballet inaugurates Nutcracker Suite holiday tradition.

●5th U.S. Circuit Court, after a four-year delay, sends DISD desegregation case back to District Court.

●Dallas Alliance citizen group.

●The Cowboys miss the playoffs for

LYN DUNSAVAGE

LYN DUNSAVAGE FIRST made headlines in D in November 1975 when she formed the Historic Preservation League, enabling Swiss Avenue to be designated as the city’s first historical district. Since that time, Dunsavage has gone on to chart newer frontiers: She founded the successful Dallas Downtown News and its young sister, the North City News. As the first woman president of the mostly male Dallas Press Club, she nudged the club in the direction of less conviviality and more action, with the upshot that membership has dramatically increased. Dunsavage was last year’s president of the Near East Side and Deep Ellum Property Owners Association, which is trying to help the area flourish.

PARDON ME, SIR/MA’AM, HOW MUCH MONEY DO YOU MAKE?

IT WASN’T POLITE to mention it then, and it probably isn’t now. But our occasional attempts to ferret out for you the salaries of a sampling of Dallasites are always a hit.

We offer here an update on some-by no means all-of the salaries originally revealed in 1974. For one thing, we don’t have room to spill the beans again on 273 folks. For another, people do a lot of traveling in 10 years, and many have moved on from their posts. Of those who did stay close, we found that most had managed to.. .um.. .keep pace with inflation. And some salary jumps were nothing short of spectacular. To wit:

HUGH AYNESWORTH



NATIONALLY KNOWN investigative reporter Hugh Aynesworth captured D’s attention in November 1975 for his rescue of five kidnapped Tenneco employees trapped in Ethiopia. Since then, he has interrupted a strong reportorial career with other rescues: of kids in cults. After a stint as editor of the now-defunct Parkway, Aynesworth co-authored a book on serial killer Ted Bundy- Last Living Witness. If a contract dispute is settled, Aynesworth may re-surface on the revamped Channel 33 (KRLD-TV).

PAUL THAYER

WHEN HE OCCUPIED the office of the chairman of LTV, Paul Thayer was described as a figure of both substance and power, a rare man of splendid taste [“What Your Office Reveals About You,” August 1975]. Thayer has seen few such words of printed praise since early this year, when he resigned as Undersecretary of Defense (a post he assumed in January 1983) amid accusations of insider stock trading by the SEC. Although Thayer isn’t personally accused of profiting financially from insider information gathered through his various board directorships, he is charged with causing nine others to profit by some $2 million. A tortuous trial is slated for January, but for Thayer, a trial by (media) fire has already occurred.

OF MIKES ANDMEN:CHASING AFTER THE SPORTSCASTERS



SURE, EVERYONE KNOWS that sports-casters Verne Lundquist, Norm Hitzges and Frank Glieber are as highly rated as they were in February ’75. But where now is Channel 4’s former golden throat, Tom Hedrick, whom our writer thought a bit too fond of name-dropping? Glad you asked. Hedrick now teaches journalism and broadcasts games at the University of Kansas at Lawrence. Dick Reisenhoover, a play-byplay man in the Rangers’ early days, died of cancer in 1978. Bill Merrill, Reisenhoover’s partner, ended his broadcast days in 1981 and now works as media production manager for the City of Arlington. Al Wisk, the KRLD wunderkind we tabbed as a future “broadcasting superstar,” threw everyone a curve by quitting the sportsgab world and enrolling in SMU Law School. Now 33, Wisk practices law with the downtown firm of Winstead, McGuire, Seachrest and Min-nick. He’s still a sports fan, but not a fanatic. “You can’t get it out of your blood,” Wisk says, “but now I usually just watch the Super Bowl, the World Series and the really big events.”

LONGFELLOW SCHOOL



THE FATE OF Henry W. Longfellow Elementary School, near Inwood and Lovers Lane, hung in the balance for years. In December 1981, the school board voted to close it down. Five weeks later, Judge Barefoot Sanders reversed the action, offering the neighborhood institution a brief reprieve. Last spring, that reprieve was finally and fatally revoked. Attendance zone changes approved by Judge Sanders in his modification of the DISD desegregation plan whittled away at Longfellow’s already dwindling enrollment. Students were fed into nearby Sudie Williams Elementary, ending a parent-vs.-parent struggle [May 1982] that had existed between the two schools for years. The school we celebrated in September 1975 as “a small, vital, naturally integrated school” will house the Career Academy that was formerly situated at Pearl C. Anderson in South Dallas. Another lesson from Longfellow: Only the strong survive.

1975

the first time in nine years.

●Jimmy Carter visits Dallas and appears on KERA

●Cowboys win NFC title on 50-yard “Hail Mary” pass,

●Cowboys lose Super Bowl to Pittsburgh, 21-17.

●University of Texas at Dallas begins offering undergraduate classes.

●President Gerald Ford delivers convocation address at SMU.

●First companies move into planned

community of Las Colinas.

WHERE HAVE ALL THE LIBERALS GONE?



“WE’RE NOT ON the outside looking in; we’re on the inside.” Thus Dan Weiser, a statistician with a major oil company and one of the most durable liberal Democrats of all, sums up almost a decade of gains for Dallas liberals. Nobody knows better than he the battles they fought to bring single-member districts to the Legislature and City Council. It was Weiser who drew up the plan that prevailed in both lawsuits, sweeping out at-large elections and sweeping in neighborhood politics. And it’s Weiser who’s done the precinct voting analysis, year after year, to keep his people in power.

“You don’t need to change the system if you have access to the system,” he says. “The rest will take care of itself. It certainly has here.”

Indeed it has. Adlene Harrison has gone on from the City Council and the job of acting mayor to become chair of DART… John Bryant has moved up from the Legislature to Congress… Martin Frost is in Congress, too… Former state senator Mike McKool is back in elective office, this time as Dallas County Democratic Chairman… Oscar Mauzy endures in the state Senate … Lee Simpson brought neighborhood groups to a new level of sophistication during his tenure on the Council. He left with a strong constituency in East Dallas, which could become a base for another office at some point. One sour note is played by Jim Mattox, who zoomed from the Legislature to Congress to attorney general, only to jeopardize everything with a messy indictment for “commercial bribery.” His trial will come up next February… Paul Fielding, son of old liberal warhorse Don Fielding, broke the family jinx that kept them on the outside and got himself elected to the City Council… Ken Gjemre still holds forth at his Half-Price Books business. (Who can forget the night he stormed the live set at Channel 13 when Newsroom was covering the city election of 1975, howling that “they” were stealing the race from Rose Renfroe? They weren’t. She won and served for two turbulent years.)

Dallas liberals are still involved in envi-ronmentalism, as they were nine years ago. (Weiser is currently co-chairman of Save Open Space.) They’ve invested themselves heavily in women’s issues, in which Shirley Briggle Miller, Ginny Whitehill, Maura McNeil and many others have been working for more than a decade. “The women’s movement,” says Weiser, “will bring greater changes than the civil rights movement.”

Weiser observes that Dallas has not been fertile territory for the anti-nuclear movement, although Dr. Ruth Tiffany Barn-house has worked tirelessly on this issue. Central America has not been a big cause in Dallas either, but one issue has come to the fore that bears special attention: gay rights.

SIX REASONS WHY THE TEXAS

RANGERS STILL CAN’T WIN THE PENNANT



WHILE THE RANGERS were still new on the D/FW sports scene, D painted a rosy picture of their chances for capturing that season’s pennant. But we waited until next year, and the year after-and they still aren’t waving the flag. Here’s why:



1.TheAl Oliver Trade. When Al (Call me Greatest) Oliver was shipped off to Montreal after four .300-plus seasons, the Rangers said goodbye to one of the most consistent hitters in the game. So what if the Oliver ego was humongous-if he wasn’t the model of modesty? He was the best hitter the Rangers ever had.

2. The Gaping Hole at Shortstop. Yes, Jeff Kunkel may be the future, but what about the past? Bucky Dent was too old and Curtis Wilkerson too young. And remember the days of Mario Mendoza? Feel that shudder? Now think of Pepe Frias.

3. The Long Twilight of Jim Sundberg.Sunny’s gone now. If only he’d left five yearsago. With a nickel for every time Sundberggrounded into a late-inning double play, theRangers could buy a real catcher.

4. The Failure of the Long-Ball Messiahs.Where are you now, Jeff Burroughs, RichieZisk and the other wind-haunted sluggers?Dave Hostetler, the latest Great Big Hope,has now been dropped to the minors.

5. The Absolute Absence of Even a Semblance of a Bullpen.

6. The Trading of Promising Youth, Especially Pitcher Ron Darling, for “Talent”Long Since Departed.

Not a Reason: The absurd no-food-into-the-park policy that Eddie Chiles instituted and then repealed after a firestorm of protest. This Ranger team couldn’t even win if restaurateur Jean Claude catered all the games.

PARK CENTRAL: AN IDEA WHOSE TIME HASN’T COME

“I THINK PARK Central will be a prototype as significant as the first suburban shopping center.” We didn’t say it. Richard Weinstein, a New York urban planner did. When the master-planned complex on LBJ near Central Expressway was conceived by Trammell Crow and a partner, Jim Coker, it was projected to be the new downtown. What happened? It’s a successful office complex, for sure. It has Medical City, a private hospital that is currently undergoing its second expansion. But would you say, as we did in 1975, that “important is too small a word to describe Park Central’s probable impact. Immense may be more like it”?

Immense? No. For one reason, the crossroads of North Dallas, envisioned to be at LBJ and Central, have shifted closer to the Dallas North Tollway. For another, Park Central is in a dry precinct, and that has put the damper on burgeoning restaurants and clubs. The complex was conceived as a 24-hour community, where people could “live, work and play-all within a walking or bicycling radius.” Lots of people work at Park Central, and a few come to play, but nobody lives there. That’s because there’s no housing, and there probably never will be. “The market for high-rise condominiums,” says Coker, “is abysmal.”

When Park Central first got off the ground in 1974, Crow fell upon hard times and sold a substantial piece of it to Equitable Life Assurance’s real estate division. What essentially was an entrepreneurial idea fell to a committee for implementation. It’s interesting to note that Las Colinas, the singular vision of one man, has achieved many of the things Park Central has not.

And its future? There are 95 raw acres that “we intend to develop over the next 10 to 15 years,” says Jim Hodges of Equitable-Grossman, now landlord of it all. A top-of-the-line athletic/dining facility, new restaurants at Olla Podrida and another 2 million square feet of office space are in the works. Says Coker, “I think all those things you wrote about will happen there-one day.”

1976

●Wes Wise resigns as mayor; Bob Folsom wins special election.

●Addison votes in liquor-by-the-drink.

●Dallasites Jim Montgomery and Cynthia Mclngvale win medals at the Olympic Games in Montreal.

●Lloyd Bentsen crushed in bid for Democratic presidential nominee.

●Dallas annexes town of Renner at its northernmost edge.

●Henry Kissinger delivers major for-eiqn policy address at SMU.

●KERA’s Newsroom goes off the air.

●Bjorn Borg defeats Guillermo Vilas at WCT.

ROBERT LEE KOLB



IN DECEMBER 1976, Robert Lee Kolb made a modest prediction: “I’m going to be the Elvis Presley of the Eighties.” The King of rock ’n’ roll (rest his soul) has yet to be dethroned, but Kolb has played California, and now he’s back-despite the fact that “there’s more entertainment in one square block of L. A. than in all of Dallas.” You can catch his act on Monday nights at the Greenville Bar & Grill, and almost as often at Memphis. The rest of the time he spends organizing a local record company to compete with Las Colinas’ “high-rent studios.” Does he regret coming across as the man who would be king? All he meant, he says, was, “I have a lot of moves. I get into it emotionally. I’m into having a great time.”

DOES FORT WORTH LIKE US YET?



IT’S NOT A good idea to dwell on mistakes, of course, but we’d be amiss if we neglected to quote from Bill Porterfield’s June 76 gem, “Is the Metroplex Big Enough for Both of Us?” Now a columnist for the Herald, Porterfield prophesied that the opening of Southwest Airlines was only “a little flap in the breeze of an inevitable assimilation” of sister cities Dallas and Fort Worth. He went on to say, “And because Fort Worth is the smaller and the more anachronistic (which is a compliment as well as a condemnation), she will more readily lose her present identity in the mass.”

Hardly. Today, Fort Worth’s personality could not be any more clearly its own. The city’s new promotional campaign pitches Fort Worth as “what you want Texas to be.” And although few longtime Dallasites are packing to move west, most would admit that the slogan hits home.

Despite the fact that Fort Worth stands distinctly apart from her flashy big sister, competition between the two has never waned. Fort Worthians shun Dallas’ slick social fast track, and they resent their Channel 5’s coverage of same. Dallasites truly believe that people in Fort Worth come to Dallas to shop and that the stockyards still smell.

The truth is that Fort Worth has come into its own-perhaps more so than has Dallas. It has an impressive collection of technological and defense giants feeding its economy, culture with a capital C and many good restaurants beyond Angelo’s and Joe T.’s. Cow-town is accustomed to welcoming tourists who sneak over from Reunion Tower, having seen all they want from the top. Fort Worth likes Dallas just fine these days. How does Dallas like the new Fort Worth?

THOMAS JEFFERSON



WHEN T.J. AND Mary Jefferson participated in D’s forecast of Dallas 2000, they envisioned that their 11-year-old son, Thomas, would become a lawyer. Now 20, Thomas seems headed in another direction. After scoring high as a starting safety for Lake Highlands’ 1982 state championship football team, Thomas took off for Tuskagee Institute in Alabama to major in mechanical and electrical engineering. Brother Troy, now 18, is headed for UT, while their 22-year-old sister Maria joined the workforce at EDS. One thing, though, hasn’t changed at all: The Jeffer-sons are still based in Hamilton Park. Says T.J., “We wouldn’t have it any other way.”

NEW HAZARDS FOR HOOKERS



ALERT! ALERT! To all streetwalkers, bar hookers and call girls: Dallas just isn’t the place to do business anymore.

We’ve come a long way since November 1976, when prostitutes were a major thorn in the DPD’s side. Proprietors of the oldest profession had brought businesses along Harry Hines and Industrial Boulevard begging the police for help.

Today, the city has done such a thorough job of running hookers out of town that cities such as Fort-Worth and Houston are calling to complain. According to the Vice Department’s Lt. E.W. Smith, they want to know how the DPD did it.

How’d we do it? We raised the jail bond for arrested prostitutes from a dismally ineffective $202.50 to a stout $500 a pop. Escort services have virtually been run out of the Yellow Pages.

Smith says NBC News interviewed DPD officials in August because they were so amazed that out of 16 pages of escort listings, only a handful of numbers answered to a ring. We put police on the prostitute beat who never let up.

To give you an idea of how much it used to cost to catch prostitutes, we compared the “miscellaneous services” budgets then and now. (That’s the kitty that pays officers to rent hotel rooms, cruise the streets in unmarked cars and otherwise act like men in search of a good time.)

In 1976, that budget was $46,500; in 1983, it was $53,243 and DPD is asking a stout $70,000 for the 1985 budget.

1976

?Dallas Theater Center presents A Texas Trilogy by Dallas writer Preston Jones.

?Ada Louise Huxtable speaks at Dallas Public Library.

JOE CAMP



WHEN WE NAMED filmmaker Joe Camp one of the city’s “Most Likely to Succeed” in 1976, he had just scored a big hit with the movie Benji and had a staff of 46. Eight years, five movies and several TV specials later, Camp has only six employees. The 40 that are no more worked for Camp’s distribution company, an entity that has been dissolved. Camp says that distributing drew him away from the side of moviemaking he likes best: writing and directing. Now Camp spends half a day working on TV and movie projects and half writing a book: Benji and Me: The American Dream is Alive and Well.

DALLAS NEEDS RAPID TRANSIT. TRUE OR FALSE?



AT THE DAWNING of 1976, D looked ahead some 24 years and attempted to foresee the Dallas of the year 2000 on a number of fronts. One of them was transportation-especially the high-speed variety. We looked at rapid transit with the same skepticism that might be accorded today to the building of a shuttle launch pad at D/FW: conceivable, intriguing, but not likely to transpire anytime soon.

Well, here it is 1984, and plans for DART are speeding ahead. We thought it might be fun to see how several of our statements stood the test of time. We devised this quiz from our ’76 article and asked DART Chairwoman Adlene Harrison to offer her updated answers.



1. “In the year 2000, buses will still be anintegral part of any mass transit scheme, andthey may be the only part.” T or F?



“I’ll say true to the first part, but definitely false to the second. Buses will always play a part in Dallas’ transit schemes, partly because they have to serve as feeder lines to the rail. Also, areas not served by rail need viable modes of transportation. But they will by no means be the only element in the DART system.”



2. “The automobile ranks as the undisputed king of the road.” T or F?

“I guess I’d have to say still true, with a caveat: We hope to change that with a good public transportation system.”



3. “The city will probably never have the massive concentrations of population required for efficient use of a rapid mass transit system.” T or F?

“Absolutely false. Growth in the DART area is not going to stop. Historically, density follows the rail lines.”



4.”The first major departure from the existing system will be the construction of “transitways”-a network of paved right-of-ways that will allow the operation of a number of transit systems, probably beginning with bus-only traffic.” T or F?

“False. Well, we do have a plan for high-occupancy vehicle lanes along a 4.23-mile stretch of LBJ. The lanes will be for permitted vehicles only-buses, vans, etc.”



5. “Rapid transit plans are proceeding at the proper rate: very, very slowly.” T or F?

“I’d have to say false to that. By 1995, we will have many miles of rapid rail line completed.”

SMUAND THE PROBLEMS THAT WON’T GO AWAY



TRY AS IT MIGHT to rectify the many shortcomings catalogued in September 1976 [“Can SMU Get It Together?”] by beefing up its endowment, wiping out debt, hiring fancy faculty, eliminating fringe departments, et al., SMU is still stuck with those country-clubbish students. Remember the Association of White Students? Remember the brouhaha about gay rights? Notice all the BMWs and Corvettes clogging Hillcrest and all the girls in Papagallos and the guys in Polo shirts? Sure, SMU brings the likes of Martha Graham and Ingmar Bergman to campus, and it has a showcase program in the Meadows School of the Arts. Robert Dedman’s $25 million endowment for the Humanities program can’t hurt. And the school’s theater program is first-rate. But SMU just can’t shake its image problem, though a recent study shows the preppie perceptions to be more prevalent in Dallas than elsewhere.

SMU attracts bright but hardly hot-shot students (SMU’s average SAT for last year’s freshman class is 1054 vs. 1233 at the University of Dallas), mostly upper income, and mostly white. The administration officially says it wants more diversity, and to that end the university provides about 50 percent of its students with some type of financial aid. It sounds impressive until you consider that UD offers 72 percent of its students financial aid and nearby Baylor offers aid to 65 percent. So, we have to say that while much has been accomplished at SMU, there is still a lot left to do.

1977

●Bob Folsom re-elected mayor.

●I.M. Pei’s City Hall building is completed.

●Cowboys defeat Denver Broncos in Super Bowl XII.

●City passes jaywalking ordinance.

●Rangers finish season with best record ever, 94-68.

●Ray Floyd captures the Byron Nelson Classic.

●Steve Bartlett elected to Dallas City Council; defeats Pete Baldwin.

●Bikers riot at White Rock Lake.

●John Leedom proposes double- decking Central Expressway.

POWERFUL IS AS POWERFUL DOES

WHEN D FIRST profiled Dallas’ powerful women in January 1977, six of the top nine were operating in philanthropic positions and making their impact felt primarily through community boards. Women are stronger than ever in this sphere today, partly because many CEOs have retreated to the ramparts of their own companies. But wom-enpower is also advancing in politics, law, medicine, business and government. Corporations have been the slowest to admit women to their upper echelons, but this has resulted in a burst of feminine entrepreneurial energy. If you can’t advance in a business, many are saying, start one yourself.

The old-girl network that’s been shaping itself these past seven years continues. But now there’s a new-girl network that’s moving even more boldly into Dallas public life. These newcomers to the ranks of powerful women are exercising their influence with a directness unheard of before. And they’re getting results. When the City Club decided to serve women at lunch in the club’s main dining room, it was a sure sign of progress.

Here is a sampling of the stars of both networks, although their numbers are far greater than can be featured here.

THE OLD-GIRL NETWORK



Adlene Harrison. As chairman of the Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) Board, she presides over the single largest public works project with the largest potential budget that this region will undertake in the next decade.

Annette Strauss. As deputy mayor pro tern, she is a possible candidate for mayor eventually.

Lyn Dunsavage. Publisher of the Downtown News and the North City News, she’s also active on the restoration front, most recently in the fight to bring Deep Ellum (renamed the Near East Side) back to life.

Judy Bonner Amps. Political adviser to Mayor Starke Taylor, which is ironic, since eight years ago she ran Garry Weber’s near-miss campaign for mayor against Bob Fol-som, whose campaign manager was none other than Starke Taylor.

Enid Gray. She works the Republican side of the political street with partner John Weekley while Amps handles the Democrats. Among others, U.S. Rep. Steve Bartlett and state Rep. Lee Jackson can thank her for their campaign victories.

Dr. Florence Wiedemann. Psychoanalyst and president of the Analytical Psychology Association of Dallas, she is regarded as one of the best Jungian analysts in the city.

Ruth Collins Sharp. On the board of governors at SMU and on the board at Repub-licBank Corp., she is deeply rooted in the business, arts and charitable communities of Dallas.

Eleanor Conrad and Chandler Lind-sley. Since both are new members of the Coordinating Board for Texas Colleges and Universities, they will cast votes that are critically important to this city when an engineering school for the University of Texas at Dallas comes up for consideration.

Dr. Bonnie Wheeler. New to Dallas seven years ago, she has been at the center of a cadre of faculty that has brought intellectual excitement to SMU.

Carolyn Barta. Still one of the shrewdest political analysts in Dallas; if you really want to know what’s going on, read her column on Monday mornings in The Dallas Morning News.

Dr. Louise Cowan. A fellow of The Dallas Institute for Humanities and Culture, she’s also deeply involved in a special program in literature for Dallas teachers, funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Betty Jo Hay. Well-known for her work in mental health, she has headed the Dallas and Texas Mental Health Associations and has served on the national board as well.

Nancy Judy. Currently a county commissioner, she’s one of the most durable public officials in Dallas.



THE NEW-GIRL NETWORK



Dr. Camille Cates Barnett. As Deputy City Manager, she implements City Manager Charles Anderson’s policies among 14,000 employees on a day-to-day basis.

Kay Bailey Hutchison. A veteran political figure, she currently divides her time among her own business interests, law, media (commentary on KRLD radio) and civic activities-she’s the first female president of the Dallas Assembly. Look for her to run for office again-possibly the state Senate.

Gail Thomas. Co-founder and director of the Dallas Institute for Humanities and Culture, she has done much to focusthe attention of city decision-makers on the importance of ideas in public life.

Tricia Smith. An Oak Cliff banker, member of the City Plan Commission and former member of the Park Board, she’s an expert in the intricacies of development and zoning.

Caroline Hunt Schoellkopf. A real estate tycoon in her own right, her Rosewood Corp. has brought the Mansion to Dallas, the Remington to Houston and a refurbished Bel Air to Beverly Hills.

Dr. Ruth Tiffany Barnhouse. An Episcopal priest, a psychiatrist and a faculty member at SMU’s Perkins School of Theology, she’s authored several books. The latest is Identity, which explores the differences between men and women. Barnhouse is also deeply involved in the anti-nuclear movement.

Harriet Miers. A partner with Locke, Purnell, Boren, Laney and Neely, she’s the first woman to head the Dallas Bar Association.

Mary Ellen Degnan. Formerly city plan commissioner and currently a member of the DART Board, she’s a strong supporter of Mayor Starke Taylor.

Jan Hart. Director of the budget and research for the City of Dallas, she’s one of the most effective of the new-girl mafia who keep the home fires burning at City Hall.

Pat Perini. As programming vice president of KERA-TV, she has instigated some major projects at the station, including a series on the American West.

Dr. Consuello Murray. An oncologist and the only woman medical-subspecialist in Dallas, she testified in a case of alleged malpractice in Piano and fought hard to have the physician’s license removed.

Becky Olind. Currently employed in the community relations department at Dallas Power & Light, she was also active in the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, where she was the first woman chair until an internal coup overthrew the group that was governing under her leadership. She was also the first vice president of the Texas Association of Mexican Chambers of Commerce.

Meg Read. As manager of Governmental Affairs at the Dallas Chamber of Commerce, she worked on planning policies and also helped with the Welcoming Committee for the Republican Convention.

Susan Collins. A Park Board member and historic preservation enthusiast, she’s also a loyal activist in the Republican Party.

Lucy Crow Billingsley. President of the Dallas Market Center and said to be the most like father Trammell of all the Crow children, she’s expected to play a major role in the city.

Cece Smith. Executive vice president of Pearl Health Services, she’s one of the few Dallas businesswomen who has succeeded in the corporate world.

Rena Pederson. As columnist and editor of the op-ed page of The Dallas Morning News, she both seeks out divergent voices and writes trenchantly herself.

Other power potentates… Beverly Gan-dy, director of public affairs for the City of Dallas. . Candye Bartos, power at the North Dallas Chamber of Commerce. .. Nancy Brinker, champion of the Susan G. Komen Foundation for breast cancer research. . Carolyn Gilbert of the Dallas Alliance. . .Eddie Bernice Johnson, former legislator and official at the Department of Housing and Urban Development, who’s likely to play a role in a Democratic administration.. .and Linda Ferryman, who was executive director of the Welcoming Committee for the GOP Convention.

1977

?Eduardo Mata chosen as conductor of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra.

?Calder’s Universe on view at the Dallas Nude.

?Charles Collum publishes Dallas Museum of Fine Arts.

●First buildings in West End Historic District purchased for renovation.

●Henry S. Miller buys Highland Park Shopping Village.

●Cowboys recruit rookie Tony Dorsett.

RANKING DALLAS: AND THEN THERE WERE NINE . . .



BACK WHEN DALLAS’ Steve Bartlett was gathering political momentum on the local scene (momentum that eventually propelled him into Congress), he took a trip to Cleveland, where he happened upon an article that ranked American cities according to “quality of life.” To the chagrin of Bartlett-and thereafter to D’s readers-Dallas numbered a humiliating 34th (and Fort Worth 44th), behind Toledo, Rochester, Akron, Anaheim-even New York City.

Well, here’s the good news: According to another, more recent study, Dallas has shot up to 10th place. In Rand McNally’s Places Rated Almanac, cities are rated according to nine criteria and ranked by averaging the scores. Where we really shine is in recreation; our movie theaters per capita and access to public theme parks are virtually second to none. What shoots us down is our weather, described as “humid, subtropical with hot summers.” And we can’t do anything about that.

We also rank high in the arts (wait until they see our Arts District in a few years), and our rating is respectable in health care and environment. We can boast no less than six teaching hospitals and some 154 physicians for every 100,000 of us. In the environment department, our air pollution is termed “insignificant.” (No, that wasn’t smog outside your window this morning.)

Dallas/Fort Worth Airport is no doubt responsible for hoisting our transportation index to 31. The fact that we’re a “large hub” in airport terms can only enhance our 484 city buses, 519 freeway miles and two daily Amtrak trains.

Here’s how we stand up to 277 other metropolitan areas:



THE U.S. TOP 10

1. Atlanta, Georgia

2. Washington, D.C.

3. Greensboro/Winston-Salem/HighPoint, North Carolina

4. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

5. Seattle/Everett, Washington

6. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

7. Syracuse, New York

8. Portland, Oregon

9. Raleigh/Durham, North Carolina

10. Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas



HOW DALLAS RANKED (in a field of 277 cities):

Climate and terrain: 247

Housing: 101

Health care and environment: 17

Crime: 243 Transportation: 31

Education: 111

Recreation: 8

The arts: 11

Economics: 26

HOLLAND MCCOMBS



WHEN D interviewed this octogenarian Time and Life writer, admitted hedonist and world traveler, he said he didn’t expect to live more than two or three years. Happily, McCombs is still alive and kicking up dust from some 38 ongoing projects, ranging from writing, speechmaking and serving on horse and cattle associations to serving at the University of Tennessee as honorary professor. “I feel better at 83 than I did at 58,” he says, “but that’s probably because when I was 58 I was always waking up with a hangover. I still don’t have a philosophy. The only thing I can hope for is forgiveness.”

CHANTAL WESTERMAN



DECLARED BY D as “the sexiest woman in Dallas,” Chantal Westerman revealed that her goal in life was “to find a man who can kiss as well as I can.” She found him-“a conventional, traditional, Republican highway patrolman”-and followed him to California. She found a career there as the Hollywood correspondent on the evening news at KHJ-TV, where she also can be seen on Mid Morning L.A. As if that weren’t enough, the “deliriously happy” Chantal is also a field reporter for the Disney Channel’s Epcot Magazine. Says she, “I really love that job. Recently, I got to interview the Merrill Lynch bull.” Of her designation as D’s sexiest, Chantal says her Dallas reputation “created a kind of monster. I felt it was something I had to uphold, and then I wondered why people wouldn’t take me seriously.”

NEW WOMAN MAGAZINE



IN 1977, publisher Margaret Harold breezed into Fort Worth with her successful publication, New Woman magazine, having searched for two years for a “sophisticated, cultural headquarters with a small-town atmosphere.” Two years later, she left for Florida, where the magazine had begun. According to one staff member, the company didn’t like Fort Worth, despite the fact that publisher Harold married a Fort Worth resident, Bill Whitehead. Today, Mrs. White-head, who bought the Vanderbilt estate in Palm Springs, doesn’t talk to the press, which is curious considering the business she’s in. Or was in, since she sold the magazine in June to Australian newspaper sensationalist Rupert Murdoch. New Woman recently moved to New York, where it will be published and edited by a former editor of Cosmopolitan.

1977

SAVE THE LANDMARKS



CRITICS OF DALLAS complain that we have no past, that the shiny glass towers of power are all that define our city’s character. In August 1977 [“Landmarks That Should Be Saved”], we issued a challenge. Photographs of seven structures worthy of respect because of age, grace or style ran alongside hopeful copy that quoted Ada Louise Hux-table, architecture critic of The New York Times, who tests the durability of a landmark by asking, “Can you visualize the space without it?”

Some of our favorites have endured. The Shepherd King mansion, built by a cotton merchant in 1925, stood empty in 1977-fair prey for developers. But beauty won out over bucks; Shepherd’s pad is now The Mansion-you know, the one on Turtle Creek.

The Wilson Block houses on Swiss Avenue were never really in the bulldozer’s path, but neither was the neighborhood, shall we say, what it used to be? Today, the block is living, working proof of the viability of restoration: It houses a group of non-profit corporations.

Partly because too many firemen had been injured sliding down the pole from the second floor, the Cedar Springs Fire Station was actually scheduled for demolition in 1977. The Historic Preservation League and the Dallas Chapter of the American Institute of Architects fumed at the thought. They saw to it that the fire department got their boys some stairs and left the old station standing. It’s now being restored as a registered historical landmark.

But our oracle, Joe Holley, predicted some failures, and sadly, he was right. The Joe Kovandovich poured-concrete house in Oak Cliff, pictured in already unstable condition, is still standing-but barely. No one seems intrigued enough with it to save it. “There are landmarks that ought to be preserved that won’t be,” Holley wrote, “largely because the areas they are in are not fashionable or have become so blighted that no one is willing to take a chance on them.”

Those words rang true for the Festival Theater, an elegant, Spanish-style structure built in 1927 as a home for the Dallas Little Theater. It’s gone and all but forgotten, replaced by a vacant lot.

HAS WHITE FLIGHT RUINED OUR SCHOOLS?



REMEMBER THE OLD joke about how we could have won Vietnam, simply by declaring ourselves the winners and going home? That’s how the DISD has won its war against white flight, the subject of our skeptical August 1977 story. The figures below at right show how the balance of the three dominant racial groups has changed since 1977. But mere numbers don’t answer the question. While maintaining that the white flight problem is no longer a priority (and predicting that Anglos will be the smallest group in the DISD by 1985), school officials point with pride to the district’s test scores for 1983-84-the highest in 12 years-and insist that the white exodus has not damaged the district’s tax base.

Total enrollment 1977: 139,080 Percent of Total

Black… 48% (65,837)

Anglo…37% (49,907)

Hispanic…15% (20,806)



Total enrollment 1983-84: 127,462 Percent of Total

Black…49.8% (63,533)

Anglo…24.7% (31,531)

Hispanic…23.3% (29,636)

PRISCILLA DAVIS



EVERYBODY KNOWS what happened to Priscilla Davis, the scorned ex of multimillionaire Cullen Davis, who was acquitted on November 17,1977 in the trial for the murders of Priscilla’s daughter and live-in lover: She moved to Dallas. The flamboyant Priscilla’s hifalutin lifestyle, long bleached-blonde hair and medically enhanced bust-line gives her an image closer to the Ewings than to the Junior League, but she says her latest pastime is playing with her two small grandchildren. Memories of her daughter, she says, are as strong as ever. “Not a day goes by that I don’t think of her. I consider myself more fortunate than other parents whose child has been killed. I know who murdered my child.”

1978

●Republican Bill Clements elected governor.

●Dallas Public Library wins support in major bond election; Majestic Theatre, Dallas Museum of Fine Arts, Dallas Symphony Orchestra defeated.

●American Airlines moves headquarters to Dallas.

●Dallas premieres April 2.

●New Year’s ice storm paralyzes Dallas.

●A Chorus Line comes to Fair Park.

● Columnist Skip Bayless recruited by The Dallas Morning News.

●Nolan Estes leaves DISD.

WHAT GOES UP DOESN’T NECESSARILY COME DOWN



“INFLATION” WAS the buzzword in 1978 when D tried to explain “Why You Can’t Afford Anything Anymore.” “Recovery Period” is the catch phrase today. Since those grim days in the Seventies, when the price of sugar was so high that people gave up iced tea, the economy has come up roses-at least temporarily. Employers are paying more, and people are buying more, despite ever-spiraling interest rates (according to a local Realtor, home prices increased as much as $800 in one month during 1984) and a deficit that isn’t shrinking.

In 1978, we compared prices with those from 1958 and 1968. When we set out to consider costs again, we thought the changes might be too subtle to mention. Wrong. Even the price of D has gone up, from $1.50 in 1978 to $1.95 today. And if you want to compare apples and oranges, it’s easy to chart the difference. Both have at least doubled in price per pound. In 1978, apples were 33 cents a pound; today, they’re a bargain at 89 cents. It’s a good thing they’ll keep the doctor away, since his price has gone up as well. In 1958, the average physician charged $5 for a routine office visit. In 1968: $7.50. In 1978: $15. Today, you’ll be out upwards of $30.

And that’s just for the routine visit. Say you plan something dramatic, like giving birth. You’ll rack up a hospital bill of at least $1,700. Seven years ago, that same bundle of joy was yours for $800. And death is even more expensive than birth. A moderately expensive funeral service costs $2,317. That same exit style could have been bought in 1978 for a mere $1,438.

ASHLEY COX

IN “PORTRAIT of a Playmate” [January 1978], centerfold Ashley Cox described her photographic debut as a step in the ladder to a career in acting. She got there. Having appeared in 10 feature films-including Night-shift and Looker- and several TV series, Ashley was scheduled to read for a movie with Rock Hudson when she came to the realization that success couldn’t justify the “insanity of Los Angeles.” She said, “I made my decision in a period of 24 hours. I just couldn’t take the lifestyle anymore.” Ashley’s return to the Dallas area has been marked by a renewed religious conviction, a crusade against drug abuse, a new career in interior design and, as of July, a new marriage. “My life appears a bit boring now,” she says, “but I’m definitely happier.”

HOW MUCH ARE THOSE COWBOYS IN THE WINDOW?



ALMOST SIX YEARS ago, we posed the question boldly, without trepidation and other needless polysyllables: If you were to plunk down the hard and cold for America’s Team, what kind of shekels would you need? We did hedge just a little (like in the fifth line, where our writer laid it on the line about the Cowboys’ bottom line: “I don’t know exactly.”) But darn it, we tried. Over at Poke Central, however, nobody wanted to play Digging for Dollars. Gil Brandt was no help. Tex Schramm didn’t even know. Anyway, that’s what he told us. Clint Murchison was in a meeting that must have lasted a month. So, our sources exhausted, we were forced to a last resort-thinking. We estimated the dollar value of the Metallic Blues by multiplying their gross revenues by three, because a business type told us to. We pushed and pulled until we came out with a cool $40 million price tag for the local heroes.

We were just fooling around back then, but as you know, the Cowboys were sold this year to oilman Bum Bright and a consortium of investors for-well, we still don’t know exactly. The Cowboy brass is as tight-lipped as ever, so all we can do is report what we read in the papers. And that’s double (not adjusting for inflation) what our sorcerer foresaw: $80 million in America’s dollars. Right, Clint? Huh?

JOHN BLOOM



WHEN THIS Dallas writer left the Times Herald for the greener pastures of Texas Monthly in 1978, D eulogized that the paper had lost “the best pure writer they had.” Funny thing about greener pastures. Four years ago, Bloom rejoined the Herald as movie critic, and is now a Metro columnist. “I’ve always enjoyed the Herald because it’s the paper of the underdog,” says Bloom, who introduced Dallas to the wantonness of his friend, Joe Bob Briggs. “We go after the hard stories and dive for the loose balls.”

BLACKIE SHERROD



SUPERSTAR SPORTS reporter Blackie Sherrod’s money moves have been fodder for the rumor mill ever since it leaked out that his new five-year contract with The Dallas Morning News will net him a cool million. Asked if the figures are accurate, Sherrod says only that they’re “on the high side, but in the ball park.” Blackie apparently snubbed the Herald’s counteroffer (supposedly $1.4 million), saying that he’d prefer to work for the paper with “the more positive attitude.” So much for the underdog.

1978

?Henry Moore sculpture installed front of City Hall.

W.O. BANKSTON



SINCE D last caught up with W.O. Bank-ston in September 1978, the multi-million dollar car dealer has added two dealerships to his empire and almost put himself behind the wheel of the Dallas Cowboys.

Bankston and Realtor Vance Miller Sr.’s reported $80 million offer to buy the Cowboys fell short when Clint Murchison sold the club to Bum Bright earlier this year. But Bankston’s love for sports hasn’t diminished a bit. “Naturally, I was disappointed. But it was strictly a business deal,” says Bankston. “I haven’t changed my mind about the Cow-tibys. I will still go to all their games.”

Bankston’s passion also extends to basketball, baseball and college athletics. In June, his name surfaced in an NCAA investigation of possible SMU recruiting violations. The issue in question was how several SMU football players came up with new Datsun sports cars from Bankston dealerships. “I haven’t violated anybody’s trust or word,” he says. “I have nothing else to say about the matter.”

MIKE SHAPIRO



DURING THE Sixties and Seventies, angry television viewers aimed their TV grievances at Mike Shapiro, host of WFAA’s popular Let Me Speak to the Manager and later, Inside Television series. The self-appointed censor of the ABC affiliate used that viewer feedback and his own beliefs to regulate the programming of Channel 8. In bold moves, he cut, moved, pre-empted, even instigated the first TV disclaimer-all in the name of protecting viewers from “questionable” network shows. But times change, and so did Shapiro’s stranglehold on ABC’s sexy lineup. In April 1981, the high-profile manager (who had been with the station since 1952 and had since been promoted to senior VP of Belo Broadcasting) retired with his wife to Jacksonville, Texas, where he works part time as a national broadcasting consultant, “does a little writing” and “thoroughly enjoys” his retirement. Of current TV programming, Shapiro says “Program standards today are non-existent as compared to the late Seventies.”

A MAGNET FOR MORE THAN THE ARTS



“THE DISD’S NEW Arts Magnet school is undeniably attractive,” proclaimed our feature in February 1975. “But,” we added, “does it work?” Today, eight years into the Arts Magnet’s life, we can answer unequivocally: yes.

Mixing academic curriculum (math, science and language arts) with intensifed arts courses-dance, theater, music, fine arts-was a novel concept for Dallas and an admitted experiment on the part of DISD. “Like other magnet schools, the Arts Magnet was set up as a means of achieving racial balance without forced busing,” wrote author David Dillon, now architecture critic for the News. “If a school can provide a distinctive, high-quality program, the thinking went, then students will go there voluntarily if the school is located in a socially neutral area like downtown.”

Success has come to the Arts Magnet on many fronts. It is racially diverse. Last year’s enrollment of 577 students consisted of 311 Anglos, 230 blacks, 32 Hispanics, three Asians and one American Indian. Students come from all over the DISD, and according to principal James Gray, some 10 percent are from outlying districts as well-lured by the Magnet’s special character. Although student population has dropped by almost 200 students since its first two years, enrollment is actually about at capacity. In the days of higher enrollment, many students attended other DISD high schools for academics and came to the Magnet for a half day of arts. Now the Arts Magnet is a full-time high school; last year, only 28 students attended part-time.

Best of all, Arts Magnet test scores and attendance rates are consistently above the DISD average. This past summer, it was one of seven high schools to snare the district’s new incentive pay prize. Eighty-nine percent of the class of ’84 went on to colleges and universities, including a National Merit finalist, one of only 11 in the entire school district. Not a bad start for the first true residents of the Arts District.

MORE MADNESS IN THE HOUSING MARKET



IN OCTOBER 1978, the Dallas real estate frenzy had hit an all-time zenith. In one month (August), home sales increased some 66 percent over the same period the previous year. Rekindled growth areas such as Oak Cliff were reaching out to a new Yuppie clientele. People were paying $200,000 for a tear-down in Highland Park.

People still pay way over $200,000 (sometimes $800,000 or $900,000) for a tear-down in Highland Park. And here’s what has changed in six years: Nobody thinks it’s crazy anymore.

Madness in the housing market is here to stay-if you pick your neighborhood right. In the Park Cities, in Lakewood, in Preston Royal and Preston Hollow and in the exclusive enclaves of Far North Dallas, appreciation is still appreciable. And that’s despite the fact that prices have slowed significantly citywide. Since our cover story in 1978, the median price of a new house in Dallas has risen from $56,300 to $101,800.

But the most significant new wrinkle has less to do with prices and more to do with how a house is financed. As everybody knows by now, the fixed-rate, 30-year mortgage is as good as dead. Most major lending institutions-and, by necessity, their patrons -have embraced adjustable loans with a vengeance. Adjustable-rate mortgages-or ARMs-offer lower entry payments offset by rate increases every three or five years, or even every year. So what if you and your spouse can spare 25 percent of your present income to pay the loan on your home? Will you be able to pay tomorrow? Therein lies the new madness in the housing market.

1979

●Anonymous donor gives $2.5 million Frederic Church painting, Icebergs, to Dallas Museum of Fine Arts.

●New Yorker profiles Dallas businessman Bob Strauss.

●Twenty-four performances of Annie at Fair Park break profit records.

●Bond program voted in for art muse-um, symphony site, Majestip redo.

●Restaurateur Gene Street goes one year without a haircut.

●First homeowners move into urbanhousing project Bryan Place.

●Second energy crunch creates queues at gas stations.

THE SLEAZIEST SKIN DIVES IN TOWN



SOMETIMES THE MORE things change, the more they stay the same. Back in the fall of 1979, we informally commissioned a couple of officers in the DPD’s vice control division to single out the sleaziest among the city’s 25 or so sex-related businesses. It was a dirty job: The vice cops have to play games with the porn operators, watch the films, secure search warrants and occasionally bust some bored employee. Well, today, the technology has been upgraded, but the games are the same. In all, police say there are still about 20 to 25 pornographic bookstores and theaters in Dallas. Of those we featured, the Paris on Harry Hines is still, as it was then, the “Most Profitable.” Kudos for the “Sleaziest” again go to the Kit Kat on Industrial. Says vice Sgt. John Til-lery, “Every time I think of the Kit Kat, it reminds me of that scene from the latest Indiana Jones movie- you know, the one where they turn on the lights and all the cockroaches scatter.”

CABLE TV: LOOK WHAT’S NOT COMING INTO YOUR LIVING ROOM



POLITICIANS AREN’T the only ones whose election promises prove embarrassing. Four years ago, six cable companies vied to see which could promise Dallas the most: The most channels. The most community access. The most movies. The most studios. We would march straight into the future. We would do our shopping from home. We would hook into information services. We would talk back. And all this thanks to the miracle of coaxial cable.

As everyone knows, Warner Amex won by promising the most. Now it’s having trouble delivering less. But even the Dallas Cable Board, as annoyed as it is, has relented, saying, “We’re stuck with a sick franchise, and it’s our job to deal with it.” After only two and a half years of service, Warner Amex was permitted to cut back on service and timetables.

Pie-in-the-sky promises aside, Warner Amex is having difficulty providing even basic cable service. Its equipment is, in some instances, already obsolete. Service is lousy. Calls go unanswered. Billing is a mess. And the numbers tell the story. Some months, the number of disconnects is as high as the number of new subscribers. Although the city is almost completely wired, only 26 percent of households are hooked up to the cable. Projections were for 50 percent or higher. And we’re supposed to pity poor W-A. which faces a $24 million debt.

DARLENE RUSSELL



THE ONLY THING that’s changed in Darlene Russell’s life since D featured her as one of five veteran waitresses is that she’s given up rodeo barrel-racing and has sold her horses. “It’s kind of a dull life,” says the mischievous maven of the Mecca. Russell was once known for such pranks as covering a steaming hot coffee cup with plastic wrap before tipping it into a customer’s lap.

BILL

ROBERTS



IN 1978, Bill Roberts had the dubious distinction among criminal attorneys of making the most money ($44,000) from court-appointed cases and having one of the lowest acquittal rates. Today, Roberts still collects the highest amount of court-appointed fees (now it’s some $120,000), but he has diversified. Now he “gets a lot of cases [he] can win.”

JOHN

LEEDOM



CANTANKEROUS POLITICIAN John Leedom raised the ire of his liberal colleagues throughout his tenure on the City Council. He marched around town touting the beauty of free enterprise, harangued fellow Council members for their lavish spending of public funds and walked unswervingly down the road of Republicanism. Leedom was so concerned with saving the taxpayers’ money that at one time he answered letters with a rubber stamp: “Dear Constituent: Thanks for your letter. I am answering in this manner to save all you taxpayers the cost of a formal reply.” The media, including D, had a heyday with him. Wrote one columnist, “Leedom reminds me of the bully on the block who, sooner or later, will meet his better.”

Leedom may have the last laugh. He resigned from the City Council to run for the state Senate in 1980 and defeated the District 16 incumbent, Bill Bracklein, who had jumped the Democratic ship to join the GOP. Now Leedom plays his song to a much larger audience. Obsessed with cutting state spending, his most recent battle was over the newly passed education reform bill. His threat of a filibuster almost axed the bill at the 11th hour, and the senator from Dallas still maintains that we will live to regret its passage. No doubt we haven’t heard the last from John Leedom.

1979

?Boy Scouts of America moves head-quarters to Dallas.

? Cowboys celebrate their 20th year.

●Pompeii A.D. 79 is a blockbuster exhibit at Dallas Museum of Fine Arts.

AFTER THE DAY AFTER



FIVE YEARS AGO, D spotted a fed-not in cream sauces or coils, but in civil defense. There was a buzzphrase making talk of bomb shelters passe”: Crisis Relocation Planning. In a word, evacuation. The thinking went that if more people could get out of the cities (where the first strike would occur) and into the countryside, more people would have a chance of surviving nuclear holocaust. The evacuation was to be directed from an underground federal center built in 1963, three miles east of Denton on U.S. Highway 288. The center’s 3-foot-thick walls were to have been a haven for the high muck-amucks invited to take refuge there. But by 1979, it had become clear that with the increased accuracy of nuclear weaponry, the center’s concrete walls wouldn’t be much solace. Better to tell people where to run than where to hide.

Today, well-informed doom-sayers warn that to “prepare” for nuclear war is at best, misleading and at worst catalytic to war. Thus, the scope of bomb shelter-cum-evac-uation center has evolved a step further. Now it stands as a command post ever-ready to serve in the event of a less earth-shattering emergency. Since 1979 (when there were 60 workers), the staff has grown by 50 percent and is trained to aid evacuation in the case of a hurricane, a tornado or severe flooding. If and when the warheads do come, the staff is poised to pass out pre-printed maps of city-to-countryside escape routes. We can only hope that by D’s silver anniversary the concrete box on Highway 288 will have evolved into something else. How about a world-class racquetball center?

LUCINDA STOUT

AT 16, LUCINDA Stout, profiled in a July 1979 article titled “Murder in the Family,” became the first adolescent female in the country who was certified to stand trial as an adult. She was found guilty of stabbing her mother to death with a kitchen knife and sentenced to 99 years in prison. Today, she is eligible for parole.

Prisoner No. 278606 in the Gatesville Unit of the Texas Department of Corrections has already accumulated 12 years and three months of “good time” through a brownie-point system, by which she amasses 55 days for every 30 days she actually serves. When her “good time” is added to the actual seven years she’s been incarcerated, she will hit the 20-year minimum stay necessary for her to be eligible for parole. If two out of three parole-board members vote in her favor, and if there are no protests by prison authorities or the judge and jury at her original trial, Lucinda will go free.

Among Lucinda’s lawyers, there is both skepticism that that will happen and ongoing bitterness about her trial. One of her attorneys, David Lancaster (her appeal was argued by Racehorse Haynes), says there was undue political pressure to certify her as an adult because “it had never been done before.” The psychiatrist who testified that the teen-ager was an “incurable sociopath” was, Lancaster says, “just plain crazy. He only saw her for 20 minutes. Lucinda’s crime was a one-shot deal. She’d never been violent before and never has been since.” Haynes, who calls the case an “ongoing tragedy,” maintains that had Lucinda been male, she would have been certified as a juvenile-because Texas has adequate facilities for juvenile boys but not for girls.

THE PALLADIUM

REMEMBER THE Palladium? For a brief period in 1979, this nightclub-style concert hall threatened to bring live Dallas rock ’n’ roll into the big time. But for all its success in booking Big Acts, it wasn’t so good at preventing bartenders from “stealing it blind,” according to a subsequent owner, Ross Todd. “The goal, ” says Todd, who reopened the Palladium as the Agora in 1980, “was to bring in someone who was not that well-known and just break even. Then later, when that person-or group-was famous, you’d book at Reunion Arena and make a profit. The unwritten rule was that if I were the first person in Dallas to book Barry Manilow, his loyalty would lie with me. What happened, though, is that when the economy went to hell, so did loyalty.” That’s why, says Todd, the Agora closed and the drastically revamped Monopoly Park Place reopened in its place in October 1983.

THE OLD PLANTATION



THE UBIQUITOUS Old Plantation, dubbed by D in 1979 as the “hottest bar in town,” is in its sixth of an apparent nine lives, having risen from the ashes-literally-once again. The gay/straight Cedar Springs disco planned at press time to reopen its doors in late August in a revamped New Orleans/high-tech style. In its turbulent history, the OP has burned down twice -once arson was suspected. Owners Frank Caven and Dennis Weir plan to attract top-name entertainers to the new club and to convert the surrounding Cedar Springs block to a French Quarter-style Bourbon Street, complete with a food market and shops.

THE LAST HONEST POLITICIAN

WAY BACK WHEN, D tagged then-Fort Worth City Councilman Woody Woods as the last of the honest politicians-and the only man in Fort Worth who drove a Mercedes-Benz with a pipe wrench on the console. Since then, the man we labeled as an “unlikely mayoral candidate” has been elected mayor twice and ran for the state Senate seat in 1982. He seemed a shoo-in for the Senate until the Supreme Court upheld a ruling that said Woods was ineligible because he left a local office before completing his term. (He gave up the mayor’s job in 1981, then won the Republican primary in 1982. So much for honesty.) Since then,Woods has dropped out of politics and hasgone back to fixing leaky pipes. He has,however, traded his Mercedes for one ofAmerica’s own.

THE STRANGE CASE OF JANIECE CHRISTNER



IN SEPTEMBER 1979, we wrote, “A year ago, a wealthy widow reported a $1.4 million robbery from her Turtle Creek mansion. The Highland Park Police, Lloyd’s of London and the FBI are trying to figure out if it really happened-or if they’ve uncovered a magnificent con artist instead.”

The latter proved true.

On January 26, 1981, Janiece Christner-who told D’s David Bauer that “I would have gone down as the greatest collector in this country if I hadn’t been smeared with lies and ridicule’-was issued an eight-count federal indictment for giving false information to obtain more than $5 million in bank loans. At that time, she had already settled her insurance claim with Lloyd’s for the valuable art and porcelain she claimed was stolen. Highland Park Police Chief Henry Gardner calls the settlement one that Lloyd’s “should never have made.”

Gardner, Detective Sgt. Ernest McDonald and others on the Highland Park police force were suspicious of Christner from the start. They believed in 1979 that eventually they would “get her.” And they did, when the FBI dug up sufficient grounds for the indictment. But Christner is nothing if not a polished con artist-she fled the country when a warrant was issued for her arrest. The last time she was spotted she was in Marbella, Spain.

1980

?Violinist Itzhak Perlman is guest soloist at the DSO.

?Ross Perot rescues EDS employees from an Iranian prison.?Reunion Arena opens with $27 million price tag.

●Dallas transit workers strike.

●Candy Montgomery murders neighbor with an axe.

●Record heat wave sends mercury over 100 degrees for 69 days.

●Cowboys veteran quarterback Roger Staubach retires.

●Louise and Dan Cowan leave University of Dallas in protest.

AFTER CHAOS IN DISD, REFORM



IN SEPTEMBER 1980, on Page 1, D published an unprecedented Letter from the Publisher (then Wick Allison). Its first few lines are perhaps the most memorable words ever printed in D: “Are you willing to write off an entire generation? Forget about it? Wash your hands of it? Neither are we.”

With that opening salvo, D launched the most aggressive attack on a community problem in the magazine’s history. The message was clear: Clean up the mess in our public schools. Our cry came before the public was postured for reform. Our editorial urgings were a clarion call-and one that was heard. Though there is still hard work ahead, much in the labyrinthic institution of DISD has been improved.

That fall, four years ago, we went to DISD Superintendent Linus Wright with queries on the many challenges that lay before his fledgling administration. For this retrospective, we have gone to Dr. Wright again. This time, there is an air of optimism, based in part on the educational reform bill passed in the special legislative session last June. The new ground rules are law. What remains is the monumental task of implementing the reforms in our schools. In the following interview, Superintendent Wright attempts to assess how House Bill 72-as well as other changes instituted by the DISD-will ultimately affect the children of Dallas.



Q: Now that we’ve had two months to look back on it, do you foresee any problems with the way the reform bill was-as some contend-pushed through?

A: I think the way to answer that question is to first look at the level of public education in Texas. The majority of schools in Texas are having severe educational problems. A few school districts are not-and some of them are in Dallas County. The people who say we will live to regret the bill are the ones that are doing all right now. But we’re talking about 4 or 5 percent of the population. The state has the highest dropout rate in the country. DISD itself has a dropout rate of 25 percent. Now if that isn’t a problem that needs to be addressed, I don’t know what is. What the critics are responding to, I feel, is the prospect of additional supervision from the state. I believe too that the district should have as much independence as possible. But many districts have proven they can’t handle that independence.

Q: You fought hard for the equalization-in-funding portion of the bill, knowing that your district would suffer. Why did you feel it was important?

A: The state has been sued several times over the issue of revenue distribution. Some school districts simply have been getting more than their fair share. The State Board of Education and state policy allowed that to happen. I simply felt that it was better for the state to resolve the issue itself than to wait for the federal courts. If the courts came into it, Dallas stood to lose some $50 million. Highland Park and Richardson would have lost more. As it is, I get about $1 million- that’s out of a $400 million budget. People have accused me of being for equalization so that I could get more money for Dallas kids. That’s false. I knew going in that we wouldn’t get any more money. But I also knew we were at risk of losing a lot.

Q: When will we actually see teacher competency testing?

A: The new law says that every teacher has to take a competency test by June 1985. If they fail it, they will have another opportunity. If they don’t pass by June 1986, they will be automatically terminated. As to the exact content of the tests, that is something the State Board will have to develop. And different tests will have to be developed for each specialty. If it’s an elementary teacher, it will be one kind of test; if it’s a high school math teacher, it will test competency on high school mathematics. If it’s a superintendent, I don’t know what it will be, but we’ll have to develop something.

Q: Are most of your teachers acceptant of competency tests?

A: There are a few that are negative, but the rank-and-file teacher has no fear and no problem with passing a competency test.

Q: Your newly announced grading policy is another step toward strengthening academic standards. What else have you done in the past four years to raise standards?

A: At the risk of boasting, let me say that a lot of the things that were in the Commission on Excellence report were already in the works in DISD. Almost all of the provisions of House Bill 246 [upgrading curriculum] were begun here, and many of the recommendations of House Bill 72 had already been made in Dallas. We have raised the passing grade to 70. We put in a discipline policy. We put in a strict attendance policy. We ended social promotion. We put in higher graduation requirements. All of these things we felt were needed to improve the quality and output of the seniors who were graduating from our high school system. All the while, we knew that it would take several years to put everything in place and to realize results. What the new reform bill represents is what every major study in the country has suggested needs to be done in public education. House Bill 72 will add more competency standards by putting school districts to the test. Seniors will have to pass a minimum competency test in the basic skills, or they won’t get a diploma. All they’ll get is a graduation certificate. What’s happening, and what’s happened to me right here in Dallas, is that I had one high school graduate some seniors who then went on to the local community colleges. They couldn’t pass even the most basic entrance exam. What that says to me is that the principal and teachers who passed those kids did it just to get them out of school.

Q: How successful do you feel your teacher incentive pay plan has been? Any plans for an individual merit increase system?

A: You’d have to judge it successful, because we had the greatest increase in academic achievement in years. But it was not without its problems. It didn’t improve teacher attendance as we had hoped it would. It did, though, improve student attendance, and it improved student achievement. But this year, we are going to change the concept of the plan to put more emphasis on individual teachers and those goals accomplished beyond what is expected. I’ve asked the Board to approve an additional $2 million for incentives, and I’ve asked my oversight committee to come up with the guidelines.

Q: What is the future of vocational education in Dallas?

A: We’ll always have a need for vocational programs, but the variety we’ve had in the past will be somewhat eliminated. We need vocational training in Dallas-and everywhere else-but what we need first is a good liberal arts education for every student. What we’ve been guilty of is assigning students to our vocational programs as a push-out because they weren’t doing well academically. But because they weren’t academically prepared, they weren’t vocationally prepared. And they weren’t any use to anyone. In addition, 25 percent of our programs were obsolete; for example, cosmetology. We had several cosmetology programs, and five out of 90 students were able to find employment. The same was true of auto mechanics. We pushed kids into auto mechanics, and they couldn’t find jobs. Without the academic background, they couldn’t analyze on computers or read instruments. So, yes, we are eliminating those courses that have no career orientation. Others we will upgrade.

Q: Is there a danger that some of those kids will be lost to the streets?

A: With House Bill 72, you can’t suspend or put a child on the street, except in cases of real crisis-like assault. What the law requires is that every district offer a discipline system that is consistent and that they give their students alternative approaches. When a teacher declares a student incorrigible, he can turn him over to an in-school community guidance clinic, where he will receive his regular academic instruction. If that fails, he can-for the first time-be turned over to the courts.

Q: How successful have we been in the past four years in reducing administrative red tape?

A: Since 1980, we’ve reduced our administrative personnel by some 500 people. If the Board approves our recommendations, we can reduce another 250 next year, which will put us back in line with other school districts. I wish I could say I had that kind of a handle on the paperwork. We are working on it, though.

Q: What areas of the city will be offering the newly mandated pre-kindergarten classes for 4-year-olds?

A: This is a program I have supported for the 15 years of my career in Dallas and Houston, where there are high levels of poverty, and where most of those are minorities. Probably the greatest challenge we have in education is dealing with poverty. People get upset when I say this, but when you have a kid who’s never been off his block, who has a vocabulary of 30 or 40 words, sitting next to a 5-year-old with a more affluent background who might even already know how to read, you can see where this child is at a terrific disadvantage. It takes the school district two to three years just to prepare that child for learning. That’s why you have to have a program for the dis-advantaged beginning at 4, because it’s going to take all you can do to remove the defects he has and get him ready for first grade. If we really want to see those kids excel, and if we really want to give them a fighting chance, we have to do something different, and we have to spend more money. Otherwise, they’ll move right through the system the way they have for the past 25 to 30 years. What we have now is a law that says it’s mandatory for each district to provide a 4-year-old program in schools where there are at least 15 kids who qualify. The qualifications are based on the federal guidelines for the Free Lunch Program-roughly an annual income of $12,000 or under for a family of four. About 60 percent of our population will qualify if they choose to attend,because while it’s mandatory for the district to provide the program, it’s optional for the students.

Q: What are the most dramatic changes our students will see in school year 1984-85?

A: For one, a greater concentration in the school day on academics. No extracurricular activities will be conducted during the school day. A student cannot even take a field trip unless it relates specifically to what he is studying right then. There will be a much greater utilization of the six hours of instructional time. The second major change is the requirement of 70 as a passing grade. Students in middle school and high school, especially, will feel the impact of this. If they don’t get this passing grade in every subject, they will not be able to participate in extracurricular activities. What’s more, they’ll be required to be tutored at least two hours a week in the subjects they did not pass. Third will be the commitment of parents, teachers and students to realizing the changes that are occurring in their lives. It will call for a revision in their home schedules [that means] working after school for a lot of kids. As long as students are achieving what is expected of them, they won’t see any great change. What we are really doing is going back to the way we used to do things. We’re simply recapturing the basics of education as we knew it 20 years ago. The typical student in high school has missed some 20 percent of his instruction time going to sports practice, pep rallies or whatever. The unfortunate thing is, they can’t succeed because they aren’t there. Ninety percent of our students can’t succeed in this environment.

Q: What is the major challenge ahead?

A: Marshaling public opinion. Getting the public behind the education bills. The teachers of Dallas are on a real high. I’ve never seen better morale. They’re ready to get started.

1980

●Muhammad All loses to Larry bel Prize in physics.Holmes.

●Warner Amex wins Dallas cable

●SMU alum James Cronin wins No-franchise.

?”Who Shot J.R.?” episode tops Nielsen records.

?New Dallas Museum of Art breaks ground November 6.

HUNT BATJER



THE BELEAGUERED emergency-room brain surgeon, pictured under siege on our April 1980 cover, has graduated from his residency to become an assistant professor at Southwestern Medical School. The change in status has meant fewer wee-hour beeps and the luxury of cutting skulls by appointment.

KEVIN MCCARTHY



PICTURED IN D on the occasion of having been featured in Sue Goldstein’s Greatest Little Bachelor Book in Texas, McCarthy would like to report that he’s still eligible-only less so, now that he’s switched from radio to sports anchoring for Channel 4. “With long hours, travel and an unpredictable schedule,” he quips, “the makeup under my collar is likely to be my own.”

STILL POWERFUL AFTER ALL THESE YEARS



“THEM THAT’S GOT shall get,” say the old folks, and the line perfectly describes the career of Rep. Jim Wright of Fort Worth, our “Most Powerful Texan in Washington” as of March 1980. Now, more than four years later, the silver-tongued House Majority leader packs even more clout than before. Wright is considered a touch too conservative for some House liberals, but he’s built strong ties with most of his colleagues and can still deliver the large Texas delegation on crucial votes. Speaker of the House Tip O’Neill, who plans to retire at the end of 1986, has appointed Wright as his successor. “No question,” O’Neill told The New York Times, “when I leave here, he’ll be the next Speaker.” Congressional sources confirm that Wright has no serious challenger for the speakership. At this rate, the caterpillar-browed Wright may soon be the most powerful Texan anywhere.

WE WELCOMED THE NBA



IN NOVEMBER 1980, we took the NBA to our hearts with a rookie fan’s guide to life in professional basketball. Both the Mavericks and their fans have come a long way since that long, long, long 15-67 season four years ago. Gone are Ralph Drollinger, Austin Carr and Jerome Whitehead-replaced by Mark Aguirre, Rolando Black-man and Derek Harper. Gone are empty blue and green seats in Reunion Arena, now filled by manic Maverick supporters. Attendance has bounced up by almost 200 percent; last season, the Mavericks had the fifth-highest draw in the league.

The skeptics said it couldn’t happen in a town so pigskin-crazed that it watches Cowboy reruns on TV. But Maverick manager Norm Sonju isn’t surprised. “When I came here in February 1979 to work full time on getting a franchise here,” he says, “I expected it to work. I honestly did. But we’ve also been blessed.”

The Mavericks have been proven winners on and off the court. Financially profitable every year of its young life, the team has now reached an important milestone by qualifying for the play-offs last spring. “But we’re a long way from where we want to be,” says Sonju. Olympic gold medalist Sam Perkins is expected to step in and help the Mavericks immediately, and he’s but one of the many draft picks who have helped propel the team into NBA contention. The one thing that’s keeping the Mavs one step below the league’s top tier? A premier center.

GOOD NEWS ON BAD ARCHITECTURE



ACCORDING TO DALLAS’ resident sage on architecture and design, David Dillon, things have gotten better since the question was last posed in D [“Why Is Dallas Architecture So Bad?” May 1980]. The good news is the public’s consciousness in the realm of design, which, says Dillon, has been raised. “The general public is much more aware of design issues, architecture and planning,” says the critic, who now writes for The Dallas Morning News. “There’s been a quantum leap, and the current fight over cumulative zoning proves it. That never would have happened five years ago. There’s a lot of political savvy in neighborhood groups such as the Oak Lawn Forum and the Near East Side Property Owners, and you see it being exercised in issues of design and preservation. North Dallas homeowners slept through all the battles of the Seventies.”

Dillon is not quite as effusive when it comes to assessing the town’s builders and developers. “There are still few good clients in Dallas. The speculative office market is what it has always been: safe, middle-of-the-road and dull. Five years ago, we tended to see bad buildings built that way partly because they were cheap. Now we’re seeing a lot of bad, expensive buildings.”

Where does Dillon see an improvement? In retail buildings, small office projects and preservation efforts like the Adolphus, the Majestic and the Wilson Block. Dillon’s kudos in the best-new-buildings category go to the Dallas Museum of Art building, by Edward Larrabee Barnes; the LTV Center, designed by SOM/Houston; and developer Vincent Carrozza’s One Dallas Centre designed by I.M. Pei-a building that is doubly distinctive, Dillon says, because it was built on spec.

1981

●Jack Evans is elected mayor.

●Dallas votes to limit City Council members to three two-year terms.

●Record number of teachers (more than 700) quit DISD.

●$25 million Adolphus Hotel renovation completed; The French Room opens inside.

●Billy Bob’s Texas opens in Fort Worth Stockyards.

●Rolling Stones play the Cotton Bowl.

●Flemming Flindt named artistic director of Dallas Ballet.

●SMU’s Beth Henley wins Pulitzer Prize for Crimes of the Heart.

PHIL GRAMM: ETERNAL ANTAGONIST



THE MAN WE called the “eternal antagonist” is still scrapping away. After he masterminded the Reagan budget cuts in 1981 and betrayed his party’s closed-door strategy to the Republican opposition, Phil Gramm was stripped of his seat on the Budget Committee. Undaunted, he switched parties and won re-election as a Republican by a hefty margin. But perhaps because he had less influence as a minority member of the House, Gramm is ready to switch jobs again if he wins his hot battle with Lloyd Doggett for the Senate. Gramm has pulled out all the stops, raising oodles of cash and bashing Doggett as the gay-rights, pro-Ted Kennedy candidate. (An interesting footnote: Gramm flirted briefly with liberalism in 1982, when his rating by the leftish Americans for Democratic Action rose from zero to 10-on a scale of 100. The mood wore off, and in 1984 Gramm was back to his old self, voting to fund covert CIA operations in Nicaragua and to prohibit abortions under any circumstances.)

IF THERE WERE BAD TIMES AT BRANIFF, THERE WERE WORSE TIMES AHEAD



IN FEBRUARY 1981, D presaged Braniff’s impending doom by chronicling the wild-growth era of its colorful ex, Harding Lawrence. Candidly, the authors revealed Lawrence as an intense, ruthless dreamer. Methodically, they ticked off his 10 gravest mistakes and misfortunes. Eerily, they related his exit “like a thief in the night.” In the end, the future of Braniff teetered as precariously as a jumbo jet on one wing.

As everyone knows, a little more than a year later, Braniff crashed. The airline couldn’t weather successor Howard Putnam’s efforts to modify megadreams into “fighting trim.” Braniff’s 10 terminal blows proved fatal.

Then, two years after that, Hyatt Corp.’s Jay Pritzger swooped in where Lawrence and Putnam had left off. The rest will be history: how Braniff fought determinedly to to recapture (at press time) 9.1 percent of D/FW’s market share; how it brought back the plain plane in an effort to appeal to disgruntled business travelers; how it tried to put over a new class in air travel somewhere between luxury and coach.

In some distant anniversary issue, D may well recount another Braniff fall. But for now, the former flying colors are flying high.

PRUDENCE MACKINTOSH



THE WORLD according to Prudence Mackintosh-a world populated by three young boys and their accompanying parade of Evil Knievel stunt cycles, Christmas advent wreaths and bologna sandwiches on whole wheat bread-has always had a peculiar hold on Dallas. With the Park Cities as a home base, Mackintosh weaves tales of mothering that are at once circumspect and universal, hilarious and poignant. Those who loved her amalgamated Thundering Sneakers can look forward to next May’s publication of Retreads, Prudence’s World, Part II.

UPDATE: THE INVISIBLE MEN

“BLACK DALLASITES have always been treated as if they didn’t exist. But can the city continue to ignore one-third of its population?” The question was posed on the cover of our June 1981 issue with its lead story, “The Invisible Man.”

Since that time, the black population of our city has increased by about 10,000 to 276,800-still roughly one-third of the total. Several new black leaders have come to the fore: among them are Judge H. Ron White, City Council member Diane Ragsdale, Commissioner John Wiley Price and Park Board member Billy Allen. Al Lipscomb has stayed in the limelight, although it hasn’t always been a flattering one. Lipscomb was recently tagged by a Council colleague as a “parasite,” an epithet later trumpeted on the front page of the Dallas Times Herald.

Lipscomb and other black leaders are not content with the halting steps of progress blacks in Dallas have made so far. He says of his people, “We’re in the vanguard. Every move we make upward helps the whole human family.” Lipscomb is complimentary of Mayor Starke Taylor. “He’s busting his butt to help, and there’s lots that he’s doing right.” But in many respects, Lipscomb believes “The Invisible Man” could be reprinted today with few changes. The city fathers, he says, are ostriches when it comes to facing the problems of illegal aliens and the unemployed. What’s more, the black electorate remains uninformed. Less than 20 percent of the people in the mostly black District 3 turned out to vote in the election of John Wiley Price. Even so, Lipscomb predicts that “ultimately, Dallas will be a city with the minorities calling the shots.”

The traditionally black communities of Dallas have experienced a gradual metamorphosis. For the first time, a hotel south of Interstate 30 is scheduled for construction across from Methodist Hospital. The most expensive high school ever built-the new Super Magnet-is planned for North Oak Cliff. Bishop College is finally out of the news-a good sign after years of highly publicized inner turmoil. Property values in parts of Oak Cliff have risen dramatically, and countless pockets of new homes and “redos” dot the community’s green hills.

But as long as this quote from “The Invisible Man” is anything less than absurdly untrue, the evolution is far from complete: “The only distinct feeling most whites have about that part of the city is that they wouldn’t want to be there at night.”

SHANNON ROBERTS



GIRL SCOUT cookie supersaleswoman Shannon Roberts doesn’t have time to sell cookies anymore. She’s turned her formidable efforts to “more serious pursuits,” and has foregone the frivolity of soccer and Scouts. Shannon’s avowed goal of earning a diploma that says “Advanced with Honors” seems well within reach. Last year, the eighth grade faculty at Schimelpfenig Middle School in Piano voted her “outstanding student in Spanish, advanced English, career education, history and honors band.”

1981

●Spider Dan scales the InterFirst building; is intercepted at the top by police.

●Oswald’s body is exhumed due to conspiracy theorizing.

JULIA SWEENEY



WHEN WE STALKED then-society columnist Julia Sweeney for a gossipy cover story in May 1981, we had difficulty getting much dirt. Despite the fact that we hired a private eye, tracked her daily doings, went through her trash-even noted when escorts came and left-the upshot was about as juicy as day-old white bread. “Too bad you picked the wrong week,” is Sweeney’s saucy retort.

The article did, however indirectly, have an effect on Sweeney’s life. Partly as a result, she says, she was offered a plum of a position with leading public relations firm Callas, Foster & Sweeney.

LOVE’S LABORS, CONTINUED

IN 1974, when the big jets puddle-jumped over to their new home at D/FW, Dallas’ oldest airport, Love Field, became a new, good-i.e., quiet-neighbor. But not for long.

By 1981, decibel levels soared as high as Southwest Airlines’ 120-plus Love-launched flights a day-four and a half times the number of flights in 1977. The Love Field Citizens Action Committee, formed in 1980 by current president Lori Palmer, created its own din, demanding action from City Hall. And action it got. Although the LFCAC’s primary objective-a curfew that would prohibit all but emergency air traffic between 9 p.m. and 7 a.m. -has not been realized, the fledgling citizens group has prompted major reform.

In December 1981, the City Council adopted the first noise abatement program in Dallas’ history, pledging to strike a balance between growth and noise. Specific measures adopted include sending jets toward the Trinity River bottoms-and away from neighborhoods-during the night hours, reducing power in takeoffs and landings, and requiring steeper ascents and descents. Helicopters have been urged to hover over major ground thoroughfares, and money has been allotted for a new instrument landing system that will allow more frequent use of quieter approaches.

For their part, the airlines are phasing in new and quieter planes, although Palmer says Muse has “been a big disappointment.” The Muse planes leaving Love on a regular basis are not among the quieter in its fleet. Corporate jets, says Palmer, have made the most expedient transition to muffled engines.

“We’ve seen results,” she says. “Noise can be reduced. The situation could turn around very quickly, however, without watchdog-ging by the city.”

DO CLOTHES MAKE THE MAN?

IN JULY 1981, we put that adage to the test by gathering the “sorriest, most pitiful group of dressers ever to grace a haberdasher’s fitting room,” subjecting them to head-to-toe makeovers. Author Amy Cunningham wondered if we had made a difference: “Had we altered these men’s lives by bringing them into fashion consciousness? Had we renewed their feelings of self-worth?” Recently, we talked to three of our “Fabricated Foursome” to find out.

Bill King, owner of Brake-O stores, thought it was “a great idea.” He bets that many men who saw the article got the message that looks do help make the man. Says he, “That hobo-Carl-was by far the best subject. He looked like the Dean of Harvard Law School afterwards.” King may have gotten a chuckle out of participating in our dress-up game, but his wife definitely did not. “My wife wanted to kill that Amy Cunningham,” he says, “especially because she wrote that I normally dress like an ex-con.”

Carl, Father Hill’s favorite hobo at the First Presbyterian Stew Pot, still beams with pride when he sees himself decked out in a three-piece suit. Father Hill keeps the article posted at the church, saying, “It gave Carl a great impression of himself. He’s so proud.”

Among the not-so-proud is County Commissioner Jim Tyson, although he admits, “I did learn something. The makeover still influences the way I dress.” What caused the commissioner to take offense was the writer’s mention of some dark spots in his political past. “She promised not to mention my political past,” says Tyson. “Otherwise, I would never have agreed to it.”

1982

?Galleria opens.

?Ross Perot Jr. flies around the world in a helicopter.

?Technologically advanced Dallas Public Library opens.

?Democrat Mark White elected governor; defeats Bill Clements.

●Kimbell Art Museum celebrates 10th anniversary.

●$18.4 million granted to Dallas Zoo for “Wild Africa” addition.

●Olafthe V, King of Norway, visits Fair Park.

●Dallas North Tollway raises its tariff from 25 to 50 cents.

WILL DEVELOPMENT SPOIL OAK LAWN?

A. Yes.

B. It already has.

C. Not necessarily.

D. All of the above.



THE CORRECT ANSWER is D. You see, it depends on what you think Oak Lawn is (or was) when ripe. Writer George Rod-rigue’s article “Great Expectations” [April 1982] carefully chronicled the history of Dallas’ first exclusive neighborhood, the once elegant stretch of quiet, tree-lined streets north of town (imagine!) where those looking to escape the bustle of our turn-of-the-century CBD could raise their families in pre-suburban suburb style. That Oak Lawn is gone, as is any Oak Lawn that could be called strictly residential. Now the area is a frustrated mixture of high- and low-rise commercial buildings; one zillion condominiums; fewer apartments, duplexes and fourplexes; and still fewer single-family dwellings-fewer every day.

Rodrigue found Oak Lawn’s fractured composition to be the main reason for its troubles. Pockets of different people in different zones represented by different politicians don’t form any political base, and no political base means no control. Oak Lawn has no single neighborhood group because Oak Lawn is not a single neighborhood. As Rodrigue wrote: “Oak Lawn’s much-talked-about ambiance is the pet of many and the responsibility of none.” Two years later that is even truer, although many insist Oak Lawn belongs to the developers. A score of new high-rises are being planned now, and surely they won’t be the last. Even Turtle Creek, Dallas’ most important natural resource, is in danger of permanent steel and glass constriction.

Rodrigue’s article was timely back when bumper stickers read “Save Oak Lawn, Shoot a Developer” and public outcry was forcing the city to step in. Now the City Plan Commission is pledged to regulate Oak Lawn, and there is some hope. At best, Oak Lawn may become an attractive corridor into downtown, a sort of skirt around the CBD composed of the best elements of inner-city living: mixed-use zoning tempered by appropriate setbacks and attractively designed plazas and facades, with single-family residences left intact. Still, since D’s 1982 article, the CBD has jumped Woodall Rodgers Freeway, and the edge of Oak Lawn is but a construction site away.

ON THE EXHUMATION OF TEXAS CHIC

FOR A TIME, a very bleak time, y’all, it seemed as if Texas chic was one foot under. Nobody but a self-respectin’ cowpoke would dare don a pair of Tony Lamas. Texas Red was sufferin’ from pure overkill. The ol’ Lone Star Café-that Manhattan bastion for Texas expatriates-had trouble stirrin’ up a Cotton-Eyed Joe. Now Texas sentiment is so strong, they’re stirrin’ up talk of secession.

Texas chic never dies, it just loses some of its market share. Look at the Republican National Convention, where li’l and big dogies were herded down the Trinity River bottoms for gawking Yankees. Look at the Grand Prix, where J.R. and his buddies held center stage. Look at the way the world took our soul to heart in Tender Mercies and Terms of Endearment.

Let’s shoot straight: What has saved our hide is that scrubby old brush called mes-quite. Barbecuing-Texas-style-is back, even in the far reaches of the Napa Valley and the Long Island Sound. Those little chips have brought back our collective prahde. Now that’s somethin’ to brag on, podnuh.

JIM MATTOX AND CONTROVERSY:

MADE FOR EACH OTHER

POOR JIM MATTOX. They were picking on him when we wrote about him in June 1982, and they’re picking on him now.

But controversy has never bothered our illustrious attorney general. When we checked in on him two years ago, he had not only survived a few ugly political campaigns but had endured the public knowledge that he had been a one-time target of ABSCAM. Author George Rodrigue pretty well summed up the life and times of Jim Mattox when he wrote, “There seems to be a schism in Mattox’s personality, between his brilliant analysis and sometimes clumsy execution; his cool tactical planning and his apparently hot-headed expressions of disdain or contempt for his colleagues.”

Mattox is now the state’s No. 1 attorney, but he’s the same old outspoken-no,offensive-slippery pol. But this time, the hole he’s dug for himself is a little deeper. In September 1983, Mattox was indicted by a state grand jury in Austin on charges of commercial bribery. It seems that Mattox allegedly threatened an attorney with Houston’s powerful Fulbright & Jaworski firm with a warnng that the A .G.’s office would hold up certifying the law firm’s bonds if it continued to try to subpoena Mattox’s sister in connection with a lawsuit against Mobil Oil. Mattox denies the charges and has remained true to form in his tactical belief that the best defense is a noisy offense.

Despite the cloud of indictment, Mattox hung in there as attorney general, and as of this writing, he’s set for trial in February. So stay tuned. You never know what the champion of the common man will do next.

1982

●Braniff declares bankruptcy in May.

●Bond election to build Symphony Hall in the Arts District passes.

●Warner Amex president replaced by Gene Sherman.

THE GAS PIPE



WHEN A 1981 law made the selling of drug paraphernalia illegal, you’d think Jerry Shults would have seen the end of his head shop, the Gas Pipe, on Maple Avenue. You’d think he would have said goodbye to annual gross revenues of $400,000. Au contraire. Shults is doing quite well, thank you, despite periodic raids on his store. The raids, he says, have prompted him into a countersuit or two, and at the moment he’s doing better by the law than his adversaries. Nor has he suffered any financial hardship-this year the Gas Pipe will gross $1.3 million on an expanded line of T-shirts, posters, belt buckles and assorted “tobacco products.”

DEEP ELLUM: IS IT SOHO YET?



WHEN D FIRST considered the possibility of a “Dallas SoHo” in Deep Ellum [December 1982], the warehouse district east of downtown was in the fledgling stages of a transformation and rebirth. One of the tallest stumbling blocks to the realization of an arts neighborhood was zoning. Already, as of last spring, that has changed.

The former freedman’s town bordered roughly by Central Expressway, the MKT railroad, Parry Avenue, Second Avenue and East R.L. Thornton, was re-discovered several years ago by artists who found the low-rise, low-rent warehouses and well-lit factories ideal studio spaces. They began moving in, some even living there-albeit illegally as the I-2 (light industrial) zoning prohibited residences. Next came several tenants and buyers with more money who envisioned the area as a new in-town neighborhood-a harmonious and vital mix of residences, studios, specialty retail shops, restaurants, bars and pedestrian life -such as SoHo, New York’s lively warehouse/living success story south of Houston Street.

Now Deep Ellum claims at least nine art galleries, a comedy club, several fashion boutiques and a couple of good restaurants. As many as 200 artists make the “Near East Side,” as it has been renamed, their collective home. Encouraged by a group of owners and tenants who see Deep Ellum as a diamond in the rough, the Dallas City Council last April changed the area’s zoning to mixed-use residential, with a height restriction of six stories. For now, the skyscrapers will have to grow elsewhere. The dangers that face Deep Ellum are overdevelopment and overplanning. If rents rise too quickly, which they have already started to do, Dallas’ true Arts District will lose its artists. If the big developers or the city takes too active a role, Deep Ellum could lose its eclectic character, as well.

ARTS DISTRICT: IT’S NOT OVER TIL THE FAT LADY SINGS



WHEN WE FIRST attempted to unsnarl the unfolding saga of the Arts District in May 1982, the brouhaha was at its peak. Landowners were butting heads with the city arts planners; and voters had yet to stamp their approval on the August bond drive. Now, two years later, the conflict has virtually died on the vine. What remains is the arduous task of getting the dirt to fly. Translated, that means raising money and putting the plans to work. Here is a progress report.

The Dallas Museum of Art’s new home is a smashing success, and plans are to unveil the recently acquired Reves Collection of paintings and decorative objets in a museum expansion next fall.

The Dallas Symphony is, at press time, 80 percent of the way toward its “cornerstone” capitalization goal of $39.8 million. And hope springs that construction on the new I.M. Pei-designed hall will begin next month.

The Dallas Theater Center’s second home is alive and well in temporary barnlike quarters on Flora Street. The DTC envisions an eventual new theater in the district, but as Arts District coordinator Philip Montgomery ruefully admits, “Like army barrakcs, temporary structures have a way of becoming permanent.”

Montgomery reports that studies are under way for a mixed-use development on the donated Borden land. Says he, “We’re meeting with developers, including land owners in the area, to try to figure out some combination of for-profit and not-for-profit use.” As for a controversial proposed “wish list” of future facilities-including everything from an $85 million theater for ballet and opera to a new home for KERA-Montgomery predicts that many of those projects will never see the light of day. “The purpose of the study,” he says, “was simply to inventory all the local arts groups who had expressed an interest in the District.”

JACK SCHOOP



Back in 1981, chief city planner Jack Schoop wondered out loud (via memo) whether Trammell Crow didn’t carry too much clout in the city’s plans for the new Arts District. It did him in, but not for long. Schoop has resurfaced as the director of planning and development for Santa Clara County, right in the center of California’s Silicon Valley, an area he finds to have many similarities to Dallas. “Both are very bustling places that are rapidly expanding.”

THE

FORMER HEADMASTER OF ST.MARK’S



WHEN ST. MARK’S fired its headmaster of 17 years, Ted Whatley [July 1982], he didn’t take it lying down. Now Whatley and his wife of two years, Melba Davis Greenlee, a former St. Mark’s trustee, have taken up a new life in Portland, Oregon, where she attends law school and he sings the praises of coed education at Catlin Gable School, where he has taken a new post as headmaster. Says he, “A single-sex school in a major urban center is a very limited environment. A coed school is much more intellectually stimulating and emotionally rich.”

1983

?Native Texan Ben Crenshaw wins with the Byron Nelson Classic.

?Restored Majestic Theatre reopens with performance by Dallas Ballet

?Lena Home cancels Dallas performance amid controversy.

?Plaza Theatre opens in former Snider Plaza porno movie house.

?City battles Tango over dancing frogs; Frogs win.

?Dallas Theatre Center appoints Adrian Hall as new director.

?Woodall Rodgers Freeway at the northern edge of downtown is finally completed.

WHEREFORE OUR THIRD COAST?



“WITH TYPICAL LACK of reserve, we declared ourselves the brave new Third Coast,” we wrote in “So You Think You Want a Piece of Hollywood” [September ’83]. “We waited for Bogdanovich and friends to swarm in. When it didn’t happen overnight, we declared the whole hyped-up business a flop.” The business, of course, is the film business-the one Dallas has tried to embrace, most notably through Trammell Crow’s $35-million Dallas Communications Complex. We continued: “The truth is, despite our rapid-fire cries of boom and then gloom, the local film business is working up a healthy head of steam.” Still true, but the disappointment is well-founded.

While Texas (and Dallas in particular) has become a major location for shooting movies and television (last year’s Oscar winner, Terms of Endearment, was filmed in Houston, and Robert Altman’s Streamers and Mike Nichol’s Silkwood were both shot at the DCC), there has been as yet no major film produced primarily with Dallas money. Changing leaders at the DCC (three in less than two and a half years) have left it with an image of instability, although the rental of the facility has been heavy. Some believe the DCC simply anticipated a market still several years down the road, and that when Dallas investors do come around to sinking cash into multimillion-dollar Hollywood gambles, they will do so with all the fervor traditionally reserved for real estate and oil.

Sam Grogg, former president of the USA Film Festival and one of the most visible advocates for a local film community, recently set up FilmDallas Investment Fund I Limited, a venture capital group that will finance locally produced films with low budgets. Grogg believes such an organization never could have gotten off the ground two years ago because Texans knew little about the industry and there was no beacon to attract prospective investors. Now he feels that other venture capital groups will spring up. Producers, he says, are still coming to town “in legion” with deals. And while we’re not seeing Texans backing single films, there have been increasing numbers of studio and multiple-project deals with Texas support. Grogg predicts that by the end of the decade, “Dallas will have a strong and vital feature film industry.”

THE NEW CZAR OF WRR



WHEN MAURICE LOEWENTHAL arrived on the scene of WRR-FM, he promised to turn the highbrow station around. And he’s begun by heading for a new tower and all new equipment at the station that will put the classical music station’s signal “up there with all the big-station boys.” There’ve been other changes, too: new programming, new announcers and several new shows, including the exclusive airing in this area of Wall Street Journal Report and a Sunday night show hosted by critic John Ardoin.

MORE ON THE COST OF TEACHER COMPETENCE

A YEAR AGO, the schism over merit pay for teachers was the issue in what seemed to be a growing rift between teachers and the world. That was before Ross Pferot took his educational show on the road, relegating merit pay to simply a slot on the laundry list of needed reforms. The explosiveness of the issue was diffused by the introduction of other hot topics, such as competency testing and the overthrow of the State Board of Education.

The words “merit pay” never appear in House Bill No. 72, the educational reform package backed by Perot and passed in a special June session of the Texas Legislature. The phrase “career ladder” does. Here’s how it works. A new teacher, or one with less than three years of experience, starts life as a DISD instructor in Level One, with a beginning salary ranging between $19,000 and $31,000. After three years of experience are accrued, nine hours of postgraduate instruction completed, and three out of four yearly evaluations slugged satisfactory, the teacher moves up to the next level and wins another $1,500 in salary. If, while on a higher level, the teacher gets an unsatisfactory review, he or she is automatically dropped back to the lower base. If an existing teacher in Level One fails to up his status in six years, he is automatically terminated. A new teacher has only three years to move up.

In addition to the Career Ladder plan, DISD is in the process of overhauling its incentive pay plan above and beyond the one instituted by the state. Guidelines, which will stress individual teacher achievement, are expected to be drawn up by the end of October.

1983

●Coldest December on record. ●DART proposal passes by 58 percent vote.

●Sheriff Don Byrd crashes into lamppost, is booked on DWI charges and later acquitted.

?City Hall allows food vendors on downtown streets.

THE LESSONS OF SHANNON WYNNE



FOR YEARS, WE kept hearing about the Midas touch of the “high-tech” bar czar, Shannon Wynne. So, in January 1983, we gave him the ink he was due. And why not? Wynne’s forays into the bar and restaurant business started off with a bang in 1980 with the 8.0 bar in the Quadrangle, and followed with several other successes including Nos-tromo, Rio, Rocco, Mexico and Tango. How were we to know that the ceiling would fall in later that year when several Tango investors took control of the club and accused Wynne’s management group, Neemo Corp., of gross mismanagement?

Maybe the tough times shouldn’t have come as any surprise. Even at his zenith, Wynne admitted to a lack of business and managerial knowledge. Wynne was, by his very nature, more interested in designing clubs and creating a unique ambiance than in things like cash flow. The fun was in getting there, he told us. After he got there, he needed to find something else to do. He became easily bored.

Today, Wynne’s old empire is in the process of being dismantled, and although he still owns a 30 percent chunk of the clubs he founded, he is no longer involved in their management. He says he’s out of the nightclub business except for the possibility of taking over the operation of Nostromo again. Meanwhile, the tall, gangly Wynne has yet to face what may turn into drawn-out court battles with angry investors.

But we haven’t yet heard the last of Shannon Wynne. His latest idea came after spending three months in San Francisco earlier this year designing a restaurant concept for singer Boz Scaggs. Wynne returned to Dallas and with partners planned to open a new San Francisco-style grill.

This time, Wynne says, he’ll be a bit more careful about choosing the hired help. “I did learn that you can’t hire restaurant people to run a bar.”

THE HAUNTED HOUSE ON TURTLE CREEK



IS IT HAUNTED or not? According to Dianne Malouf, the house on the headwaters of Turtle Creek is. So much so that she tried to appease the inhabitant ghost by “lighting candles and discreetly flicking salt in every corner,” she says. “It took forever,” she remembers with a laugh, “and that was no easy task.”

New owner Larry Lavine, president of Chili’s, says either Malouf’s voodoo did the trick or there were no demons to exorcise. At any rate, Lavine claims the ghosts are gone. If that’s so, why’s the house up for sale again?

EARL GOLZ



“AS TIME MOVES on, time proves me right,” insists Earl Golz, the investigative reporter fired by The Dallas Morning News for his story on Abilene National Bank. When Golz revealed an investigation into questionable bank loans, Abilene National responded with full-page ads declaring him dead wrong. Since then, one bank officer has been indicted, and more censures are expected. Golz has hired Racehorse Haynes to represent him in two lawsuits (totaling $3 million): one against the News for damages, the other against the bank for libel. The libel case trial date has been set for November 5 in the state court in Abilene. Golz worked briefly for the Duncanville Suburban as editor before becoming assistant editor of Financial Trend on August 1.