Native Sons & Daughters
That Adair’s spitwad has stuck among the synapses of my brain ever since I read “My; Home Town” (May). I keep waiting for it to fall-off the ceiling, out of my head.
It was a good piece, and it prompted: memories of my own early experiences with Dallas. Growing up in Waco, I thought of Dallas as the big city. Dallas was where my father took my brothers and I on a cold, wet February afternoon in 1957 to watch Mickey Mantle open his new bowling alley. We listened awestruck as the blond bomber himself stood on a flight of stairs and introduced his Yankee buddies, Yogi Berra and Billy Martin, and his friend the actress Dorothy Malone.
This was life in the big city, we figured. We had scrawled autographs to prove it.
Re: Chris Tucker’s “My Home Town.” His brilliant descriptions actually jumped out at me and I was everywhere he described. I have traveled to several United States cities and many countries, but there is no place like my Dallas home.
Just one thing. Anyone who loves Dallas completely must have a lobotomy scar? Rats! I must start wearing a hat.
jenene M. Justice
At the age of 6 and until I turned 16, I took an annual, summer car trip with my parents. My first memory of the big why must have occurred to me near the age of eleven. Having returned from a 50-degree Colorado August to a 105-degree drought-plagued Dallas, I found it hard to like.
When I grew up (assuming I did), ventures from home brought me back more eagerly each time. It has taken me some years to understand this change, but what it seems to boil down to is the people. The beauty of any place outside Texas can’t compare to the beauty of the people who live here.
I want to thank you for a grand ride down memory lane.
Having lived in Dallas until I was 12, I remember much of what [Chris Tucker’s] fine essay details. The heights of the Southland Life building (and those lights!), the Parts O’Call (how tatty it would seem today.. .), Harper’s Book Store, the Hunt mansion (I was so disappointed to find that Virginia’s Mount Vernon didn’t look like it), the Texas Comet. I moved back to Dallas two months ago, and his list brought memories crashing back, as do my weekend bike rides around old haunts in Lakewood. With all due respect to Yogi Berra, it is deja vu all over again. Or agin’.
Re: “The Flying Red Horse” (May) by Betty Cook. There is one way to restore the pride and excitement of Dallas’ landmark and revitalize downtown Dallas.
With cooperation by the city and Na-tionsBank, and with private donations, move Pegasus to the top of the 70-story Na-tionsBank Plaza, the tallest building in the city. Once again it could be seen for miles around and be a beacon to the beauty and vitality of Dallas’ skyline.
Thanks for putting into words what I have felt in my heart since youth. Those who know me know Pegasus is my favorite symbol of Dallas. My trips from West Texas were few. One by Friday night bus after the football game to the State Fair rural youth day in 1950. Next was to receive the State Farmer degree in June of 1952. We stayed at the Baker Hotel and banqueted at the Adolphus. It was very hot. We rode the streetcar and swam in the giant pool at the fair grounds. Oh yes, halves of cantaloupe à la (you know, ice cream in the center) everywhere. I usually ate mine on the ground floor under the Flying Red Horse. I suppose the Red Horse whispered in my ear that week. “Come back, this is where you belong.” But I was mystified by several other Dallas treasures-the news in moving lights on some of the buildings, the giant Mr. Peanut, the street sweepers at night, and the rat-a-tat-tat of jackhammers cranking away at the growth of the city.
Thank you for including me on your list of Dallas authors (“Who’s Who, What’s What,” May). My last book did not do well in sales and perhaps you’ve hit on the reason. I called it The Widest Float in the Parade. Perhaps the local readers were asking for it under the name you had in your list, The Biggest Float in the Parade.
You missed some other authors with books published internationally. I’m thinking of Peter Gentry, Christina Savage and Shana Carrol.
ALEX M.G. BURTON
The omission of Leon A. Harris Jr. from your listing of native sons is conspicuous by its absence. He is a descendant of Dallas’ First families and his accomplishments are outstanding. He has written children’s books, including The Night Before Christmas-in Texas, That Is; The Great Picture Robbery; The Moscow Circus School; Maurice Goes to Sea and many, many others. His non-fiction books include The Fine Art of Political Wit; Only to God: The Extraordinary Life of Godfrey Lowell Cabot; Merchant Princess and Upton Sinclair: American Rebel. The list of articles for magazines such as Town and Country, Connoisseur and European and Travel ami Life are also too numerous to list.
Nancy O. Lemmon
I don’t think I’ve ever been included in quite as illustrious a list as the “natives” in your May D issue.
I think my wife. Dr. Rose Mary Rumbley, should be included in the list of Dallas authors. She has two books to her credit and was born in Dallas and attended North Dallas High School. In 1984 A Century of Class, concerning public education in Dallas, was published, and last year An Unauthorized History of Dallas came out.
JACK E. RUMBLEY
Wrong! wrong! wrong! The best steak in the Southwest (Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse) is not a Dallas icon. It was originally started in our neighboring state of Louisiana.
RICHARD S, POLLAK
Liz Gordon’s article on Sky City, NM (“The Sheltering Sky,” May) was delightful. It brought back memories of a similar trip I took last year, only my descent was less perilous.
Your recently expanded travel articles are entertaining and informative. I look forward to more of the same.
WILLIAM E. BARKER JR.
In reading Jim Schutze’s “My Kid Loves Violence” (May), I share the author’s anxiety. I am the mother of a 2-year-old boy, and I wonder if my attempts to protect him are helpful at all.
While at a friend’s house one day, my friend’s son came out of the playroom holding a toy gun. He pointed it around at everyone, making “bang” noises and saying, “You’re dead.” Everyone (except me) thought this was wonderful. Then he pointed the gun at my son, who looked at it and said, “Mommy, what’s this?”
My friends were shocked. How could my child (bom in Texas) not know a gun? Maybe I am wrong, but I believe there is nothing wrong with a 2-year-old who doesn’t know how to die yet!