HIGHLAND PARK HOMES: MONEY VS. TASTE
I APPLAUD YOUR ARTICLE [“WHO RUINED Highland Park?” October]. Many builders are tearing down the charming houses that young couples like my husband and I would love to own. I don’t know many home buyers my age (27) who can afford a house in the Bubble these days. My husband is an architect and native “Parkie.” We often amuse ourselves by driving through Highland Park to view the re-do castles and colonial mansions circa 1994.1 have come to realize that money can’t buy good taste and bigger is not always better. I’ll take historical charm any day, even if that means my husband and I might have to share a bathroom.
PRUDENCE, MACKINTOSH HAS SAID WHAT HAS long needed saying. This hideous phenomenon has skipped up Central to beautiful old McKinney-we have a horror-in-progress on Louisiana Street. Too bad. Its called “too much money, too little taste.”
“GARISH” MEANS EXCESSIVELY BRIGHT OR ornate, flashy or gaudy. We bought our new house prior to its completion because we recognized its New England charm and quality construction. We know you can’t judge a book by its cover, and we researched many houses inside and out, so we take exception to your characterization of our home. “Eclectic” is also the name of a store around the corner. It also seems to represent the nature of our entire neighborhood.
“Libel” is any false or malicious statement that damages a reputation. I would think that D Magazine would spend its precious ink trying to inform and educate its readers. Or will you next publish an expose on your favorite ball gowns at the Crystal Charity or your favorite color of Mercedes? It should be clear to Wick Allison that well known Dallas magazines can go the way of well known Dallas airlines. The second time may not be the charm.
JAMES KYLE RICHARDS
CONGRATULATIONS FOR TAKING ON THE most criticism- averse, self-serving community in the Metroplex, if not in the nation. It’s interesting that the “ruination” of Fortress Highland Park is only news when the intensely self-centered instincts within Highland Park turn against its own residents, rather than against the rest of Dallas, as is usually the case. As Highland Park would say of its Dallas neighbors’ travails, “Pity.”
By far, the most compellingly insightful part of your story was George Toomer’s “The Junior LeagueGeorgian Exposed. “While its subjects will doubtless be howling, “Foul!” I’m sure many of them will be quietly using it as a design guide, since it addresses their genteel Machiavellian needs so thoroughly.
If D survives the certain vengeful behind-the-scenes payback delivered by Highland Park’s best, I may even subscribe again.
MICHAEL D. TATUM
YOUR COVER STORY REALLY HIT HOME. AFTER growing up in Highland Park for most of my formative years, when I saw your last month’s cover story was written by Prudence Mackintosh, I thought, “Oh no.” I attended Hockaday from 1972 through 1985 and remember well her landmark cover story [“Why Hockaday Girls Are Different,” June 1978] and all the ruckus it evoked on Welch Road. Though absent from Dallas for 10 years, I. returned last Christmas, native California husband in tow, and embarked on a house-hunting expedition almost immediately. We scoured the Park Cities for something in our price range. 1 cannot tell you how many poor floor plans we saw that resulted from budget additions performed on lovely little cottages. While the stained glass might have been left intact and a neutral shade of Corian installed in the kitchen, we could not overlook it when the only entrance to the master bedroom would be through a bathroom. We settled for a well-cared-for Preston Hollow classic 1951 ranch style on almost half an acre and have no regrets.
We may become more concerned about school districts within a few years, but for now I have certainly developed a new respect for preserving fine older Dallas homes for their timeless value, and resisting the urge for the ultimate BFH (yes, I mean Big Freakin’ House.) Thank you, Prudence-for saying what the quietly tasteful aspiring Highland Parkers really think.
ELIZABETH G. WINSLOW
FOX 4: A “SLANDEROUS ATTACK”?
ONE OF THE AXIOMS OF PUBLIC LIFE IS “ANY publicity is good publicity.” But that was before Brad Bailey buried his hatchet up to the hilt in my back and the backs of my colleagues at KDFW-TV [“Sixteen Hours in Hell,” October]. Bailey could not have accomplished a more reprehensible mass assassination of character with a machine gun or bomb.
One must question who is orchestrating this slanderous attack on a dedicated group of professional journalists. More important, who stands to gain from discrediting the news team at Channel 4? The fine residents of Dallas-Fort Worth, the eighth largest television market in America, are more than capable of answering chat question for themselves, just as they can also make up their own minds about the news coverage offered by all four Metroplex television stations.
Men and women of honor in the journalistic profession often agree to disagree about subject, content, and the tone of coverage. I choose to disagree with Bailey’s assessment of the desire of Dallas-Fort Worth television viewers for more conveniently timed, expanded coverage of the events which directly affect their and their neighbor’s lives.
I cannot respectfully disagree with Brad Bailey because his poorly researched, groundless, and scurrilous attack deserves no respect.
FOR 17 YEARS I HAVE WORKED IN THIS TELEVision market. For 17 years I have been committed to hard work and high standards. For 17 years I have seen nothing but negative stories about our efforts at Channel 4.1 would like to see fair and balanced reporting about Channel 4 News.
For the record, John Criswell and I are not “ashamed” or “nervous about our jobs.” We are happy and confident.
FOR D MAGAZINE TO STATE THAT CHANNEL 4’s ratings have dropped in half’ is a completely inaccurate statement based on a naive understanding of ratings and a research period of 16 hours of television viewing. D Magazines statements appear to have been made solely on the first few days after KDFW’s switch from CBS to FOX. As a result of viewer confusion during this time, our competitors also experienced equal or lesser losses. Since then, we are very encouraged by viewer response to our expanded news coverage, especially our 9 o’clock newscast.
We are shocked and dismayed by the blatant, sexist, and biased remarks made regarding News 4 Texas and female anchors in this market. D Magazine characterizes Julia Somers as just “another bubble-headed bleached blonde on the evening news” and Jane McGarry as “maybe the biggest shrew and harridan ever to make some unfortunate man miserable.” We are extremely proud to have Ms. Somers, whose journalistic credentials are as impressive as her degree in engineering, on our News 4 Texas team. How can an article about television in Dallas fail to include Clarice Tinsley, the longest tenured anchor in the market? D Magazines family analysis implies that in Dallas-Fort Worth, only white males can possibly be authority figures. We believe D Magazine owes the female anchors in Dallas-Fort Worth a big apology.
News 4 Texas operates on one basic and fundamental premise…the truth. Throughout the entire article, the writer pontificates his opinion and his perceptions of Dallas-Fort Worth television. It is strictly a work of fiction. I can only assume that since it was a work of fiction, D Magazine felt no need to contact anyone at Channel 4 for comment.
I am extremely proud of KDFW-TV’s news product and of the professional men and women who work hard to provide, investigate, explore, expand, and expose the truth for our viewers.
President & General Manager, KDFW-TV
EDITOR’S NOTE: We correctly reported that Channel 4 lost large portions of its audience following KDFW’s switch from CBS to FOX. David Whitaker correctly notes that Channel 4 has since regained some of that audience. Beyond that, Whitaker’s letter shows that he has missed important nuances in the story. Our writer did not say he thought Ms. Somen was a “bubble-headed bleached blonde. ” He said that many female viewers think so, which they do. Our writer did not express the belief that jane McGarry is a “shrew and harridan. ” He said that we don’t know what she is really like, a not-so-subtle point in keeping with the story’s thesis: In television, the image is often far more important than whatever reality lurks behind it.
Further, the article did not “fail to include” Clarice Tinsley. She is mentioned several times and is shown in a photograph. Her name appears four times on page 77 alone.
Finally, Whitaker accuses us of failing to do what we never set out to do. The story reflects our belief that the likes of Maury Povich, Jerry Springer, and their ilk “offend against taste, good sense, and civility” and that FOX 4, as the main local purveyor of such drivel, deserves criticism. Hence the story, a commentary based on the writer’s experience of watching Channel 4. We didn’t call FOX 4 officials for the same reason that film critics panning a new Stallone movie don’t call the studio.
A SICK SYSTEM
Reading “I Used to be a Doctor” [Oct-ober] was like the relief of” coming home after a long, harrowing trip. At last! Someone else feels like a victim! I’m not alone. Others are bloodying their hearts and heads against the inane, incompetent bureaucracy of insurance certification and pre-certification boards.
I am a teacher with “back trouble” who spent most of the last school year battling doctors and insurance nay-sayers instead of struggling to teach English to high school sophomores. What frightens me, in addition to the 1984 prognosis of America’s health care system forecast by Dr. Jeffrey Thurston, is that the people on the other end of the interminable phone waiting lines may be the people who failed English in my class. Little Johnnette, whose SAT scores may have kept her out of college, now controls life and death decisions affecting my health!
WHERE ARE THE BANKS OF YESTERYEAR?
RE: “END OF THE YES-AND-NO MEN” BY Wick Allison [October], You know whereof you speak. Since my wife and I returned to Dallas three years ago-after more than three decades away, mostly West Texas-I had read nothing indicating real comprehension of what has happened to this community until your article. Adding to what you said, the loss of leadership to Dallas, and to the entire Southwest, of Boh Thornton’s Mercantile Bank, of Nathan Adams’ First National, of Fred Florence’s Republic have hit Dallas and this entire area hard.
MARSHALL E. SURRATT
RE: ” DO WE HAVE ENOUGH COPS IN NORTH Dallas?” Inside Dallas [October]. I used to think we did until I read your article. Every weekday night at 10 o’clock when I drive down Preston Road from Arapaho to Park Lane on my way home from work, I pass at least five police cars. At the Preston/Royal intersection, there’s always two police officers in separate cars parked so that they can converse without leaving their vehicles.
I am curious to know the reason for the high concentration of officers along Preston Road. Is there a disproportionate amount of crime along Preston, or are the cops just enjoying the scenery?
A LAWYER’S DEFENSE
IN “DEAR POTENTIAL LITIGANT…,” [OCTober] Carol Craver aptly highlights the admittedly controversial aspects of attorney advertising. Undoubtedly, the advertisements she describes are particularly offensive to the well-educated and comparatively affluent readers of your magazine. These people either know a good attorney or know how to find one. The problem is, most of the people who respond to my advertisements are hardworking low and middle income citizens who sometimes have a limited understanding of legal matters. They don’t know an attorney and they don’t know what their rights are. Many of them don’t even understand the legal documents hustled in front of them by insurance adjusters eager to settle their claim for a fraction of its true value.
While I am not so pious as to hold myself out as a savior of the underclass, I do believe my firm provides a quality service to people in need.
DAVID A. COLE
David Cole & Associates
FAIR PARK ON A ROLL
We agree that “Darrell Jordan’s idea of putting a roof on the Cotton Bowl and paying for it with luxury suites” [Inside Dallas, September] is one of the best ideas to come along in a long time. Friends of Fair Park is glad that D Magazine and others are as excited about this proposal as we are.
In a recent meeting, one of Dallas’ leading preservationists referred to the proposal as “the most sensitive solution to the problem” that she had seen.
Fair Park is the home to eight museums. In another recent meeting, representatives of all those institutions expressed support of the proposal.
Fair Park may not be the best place for a casino, However, the Park is definitely on a roll. The new Imax Theater, $8.45 million in city bonds, $2 million in state appropriations, SMU back in the Cotton Bowl, a longer performance season at the Music Hall- these are all signs that the Park is on a winning streak.
The Cotton Bowl Plan may very well be the next touchdown.
President, Friends of Fair Park