4 p.m. The air in the room is positively electric. Gathered around two haphazardly joined conference tables are the writers, editors, and artists charged each month with creating a new issue of D.
We are here to share the highlights of the day before-a day impressed more deeply on our collective consciousness than most midsummer days. For me, July 23 began at the bus stop on Thackery and Park Lane and ended with a twilight round of miniature golf in Richardson. For others, it was a daytrip through stark contrasts of grit and glitz, through oppression and opulence.
Executive Editor Chris Tucker begins the meeting recounting a bizarre scene of domestic violence he unexpectedly encountered in a faceless North Dallas bar. Publisher Terry Murphy lifts the leg of his trousers to offer immutable proof of his visit to Patrick’s tattoo parlor. Editorial Assistant Lucie Nelka tells a hilarious tale from the inner sanctum of the Federal Reserve Bank, where an errant S10 bill (his own-we promise) drifted from the pocket of photographer Danny Turner at a most inopportune moment. Another photographer, Mark Mahan, was given the boot-literally-by a tougher-than-jerky waitress at the late-night Lucas B&B. Writer Brad Bailey and photographer Ann Garvey spent several tense moments on the floor of an unmarked police car, waiting for an informant to tip Nick, a narcotics officer, to a “buy.” D Contributing Editor Chris Thomas, riding with two vice officers on the prostitute patrol, was asked to pose as a decoy girlfriend. Her work resulted in two bookings at Lew Sterrett jail.
For all of us, it was an exhilarating day away from the deluge of papers and ringing phones. It was a day that revealed facets of Dallas most of us never see.
Some of the moments we recorded were carefully orchestrated for color and perspective. Other events thrust their way onto our tableau uninvited: Mayor Taylor nearly came to blows with his archrival, Councilman Al Lipscomb. A desperate caller to the Suicide and Crisis Center hot line slipped away from the steady voice at the other end of the line. The president of the United States came to town to help his buddy Bill Clements raise money. A West Dallas man was kicked and stabbed outside of a pool hall as his young son watched. Locals enthralled with the spectacle of the distant union of Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson flooded the phone lines at the library’s general reference center seeking answers to royal trivia: John Wiley Price, a one-man Vocal Minority, arrived unannounced at a pricey car dealership to negotiate for a new Mercedes.
People got divorced. Babies were born. Paupers were buried. Fires were fought. Deals were discussed. Bread was baked. Ladies were lunched. Hookers were busted. Cars were repossessed. Flowers were planted. And it was just one hut summer day in Dallas.
July 23 is a day we will not soon forget.