Wednesday, September 27, 2023 Sep 27, 2023
94° F Dallas, TX


By Lucie Nelka |

FOLLOW UP Shortly after D Magazine’s 15th annual Best & Worst issue hit the stands this past January, we got a letter from BARBARA CHURCHMAN, owner of Secretarial/Answering Service, who was downright appalled that we’d name one of her competitors, A Personal Answer, as “Best Answering Service.” Wrote Churchman: “My experience with ex-customers of A Personal Answer would certainly prove your decision to be erroneous.” Funny thing. Nobody here could remember D rating any answering services. Not this year, last year, or ever. Back, back through the mists of time we searched, back to when BOB FOLSOM was mayor and ROGER STAUBACH was in charge of just 100 yards of real estate. And not a single “Best” answering service did we find.

Puzzled, we stopped the time machine at 1980 and dialed up JOHN HAWKINS, owner of A Personal Answer. And sure enough, folks, Churchman was right. In 1979, 12 years and five months ago, D did give a “Best” award to an answering service then called American Personalized. “That’s us,” says Hawkins. “We just changed the name is all. We’re the Cadillac of the business, and we’re even in the same location.”

Not surprisingly, Hawkins, who now touts his D award via a Val-Pak coupon, doesn’t add the date of the endorsement. Oh, well. Maybe we should be flattered. And maybe Hawkins’s company is still the best. . .or one of the best.. .or at least not the worst…