Monday, September 25, 2023 Sep 25, 2023
84° F Dallas, TX


Notes from the publisher
By Terry Murphy |

REGULAR READERS of D will have already noticed a missing face on this page. Editor Lee Cullum has left the magazine to edit a Texas Sesquicentennial book introduced by D’s parent company, Southwest Media Corp. Under Cullum’s editorship, D was a finalist for the first time in the National Magazine Awards competition, won numerous other awards and introduced the “Dal-lasite of the Year” honor. The Sesquicentennial book will have an initial press run of 400,000 copies and will be the largest single endeavor in the history of Texas publishing. I, along with the rest of the staff, wish her much success.

And there’s another change in the masthead this month. Maribeth Jennings has joined D’s founder and friend, Wick Allison, as circulation director of Art and Antiques. During Jennings’ five-year tenure as circulation director, circulation grew by 50 percent (it now exceeds 80,000), and D became the No. 1-selling magazine in Dallas. Succeeding Jennings is Scott Bullock, a graduate of Indiana University and a veteran of the publishing division of Xerox Corp.

WHEN I WAS GROWING up, there were really only two seasons: summer and the rest of the year. None of this four seasons stuff. First, there were the slow, interminable nine months between summers-about 200 look-alike school days, give or take a few for fake and real sickness. And then that glorious summer, which seemed to last about 35 minutes plus the time it took to get just one sparkler to ignite and the National League to win another All-Star game. The death rattle for summer began on the Fourth of July, and suddenly it was Labor Day.

Things do and don’t change that much. As the days grow warmer, I think I’m half-listening for that last school bell of the year to ring. There’s a kid’s eagerness that comes with summer as surely as the heat. We at D, in considering and constructing our summer pleasures cover story, wanted to help satisfy that eagerness-and egg it on a bit, too. But we also decided to face facts. Summer in the Metroplex can be a hot hassle. It’s as much about survival as daydreaming. Fortunately, our community excels at planning, and we have a knack for hedonism. In digging up the best of summer, we found no dearth of options, no shortage of fresh ideas.

Staff writer Tim Allis, who marks his third anniversary with D this month, conceived and wrote the section, assisted by other staff members and three interns. The project involved months of tasting, testing and keeping an ear to the grouna-ana the phone. “We made hundreds of calls,” says Allis, “and there’s no such thing as a quick one. For one thing, very few people are ready to discuss June in April, and nobody wants to think about August. But once we explained what we were up to, there was a lot of enthusiasm.” Allis’ game plan was straightforward: “I wanted to revive some of the simple summer things that people remember from way back, as well as emphasize what’s new, since summer is the season for trying things out.”

The man in the photograph is John C. Bednar, and he’s trying out our guide to the best seats in Arlington stadium, a where-to-sit-for-what rundown for the choosy. Bednar doesn’t seem bothered that we shot this between games, maybe because he’s trying out his own discovery-a baseball hat with double-tubed beverage holders attached to the top. I met Bednar sitting on a bar stool at On the Border and invited him up to our offices, asking him to bring some hats. After he got past the security officers, who stopped him because they thought he was peddling, I learned that he is a Princeton graduate with a doctorate degree in medieval French literature. He’s also a man who likes to keep his hands free while he has a couple of beers. Bednar thinks that The Medicine Hat, as he has named it, will make him rich this summer. It will certainly get him noticed. Summer, apparently, is a time for scheming.

Speaking of schemes, it looks as if former City Councilman Max Goldblatt has finally run out of them. His failed bid for mayor revealed more about the Dallas political scene than we may want to admit. Free-lance writer Skip Hollandsworth spent two months with Max on the campaign trail, and in this issue he takes us behind the scenes with the man who would have been mayor.

And the politics of satire came to light in April, when the Dallas Times Herald fired the fictional Joe Bob Briggs, that macho reflection of the Southern redneck, causing a storm of controversy. But where did Joe Bob go wrong? Was it in mirroring our society when perhaps we didn’t want to look? Or did his satire go too far? Associate editor Richard West tells the story, senior editor Chris Tucker puts it in perspective in “Insights ” and Joe Bob gives us his last word.

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