Tuesday, June 25, 2024 Jun 25, 2024
92° F Dallas, TX


The new morning co-anchor at Fox 4, evicted artists at South Side on Lamar, Rhett Miller remembers when, Lisa Loeb gets cooking, Mike Mullen’s day in court, and more.

Morning Glory

We can totally see ourselves waking up next to Megan Henderson, the new co-anchor of KDFW-TV Fox 4’s Good Day morning show. The only problem is, we’d have to wake up pretty early, especially if we crawled out of bed when Henderson does. “I get up at 2:20,” she says and answers the next question before it’s even asked. “It’s all about coffee.” Lucky for the 28-year-old Henderson, whose first day on-air here was August 18, the schedule wasn’t too much of an adjustment. She comes to us after more than three years at Good Day Utah. It didn’t take long for her to get used to her new surroundings in Dallas, either. “Shopping and food could be the death of me,” she says. After spending some time with Henderson, we can report that she’s perky without being obnoxious, so we sure hope she doesn’t die. —Adam McGill

Photo by Stephen Karlisch

Eviction Notice
South Side’s shooing out the riffraff—and some artists to boot. By Christina Rees

In the middle of the night, Scott Barber heard the swish of an envelope sliding under the front door of his studio loft at South Side on Lamar. It was July, and he was up late working on a series of paintings for his upcoming show at the Barry Whistler Gallery. In the envelope he found a notice and a formal letter signed by Rick Brettell, the possible savior of the Dallas art world. It read: “All of us … are grateful for your help” and for “bringing so much to the [South Side] community.” In effect: thanks, and get out.

“I thought I’d have at least two years here,” Barber says. “I gave up a great space in Oak Cliff to move here.”

Three years into its existence, South Side, the massive residential and commercial project that creeps through the historic Sears complex south of downtown, is a work in progress—one with plenty of growing pains.

Jack Matthews, its deep-pocketed developer, envisioned an urban center with a thriving community of creative thinkers, including subsidized artists living and working in South Side’s “Main Street”—a wide interior corridor faced with windows revealing the artists’ studios. Catherine Steele, South Side’s creative director, set about soliciting and installing artists in the spaces, seemingly with no standards and little direction. To be blunt, much of the art on the corridor was dismal.

Enter Dr. Richard Brettell, the aesthete who could. Brettell, a former director of the Dallas Museum of Art and a founder of the McKinney Avenue Contemporary, is now a professor in the arts and humanities department at the skyrocketing University of Texas at Dallas. Steele called on Brettell last year to help shape a program that she was too overwhelmed to handle. She hoped Brettell, with his immaculate taste, far-reaching connections, and university support, could transform South Side into Matthew’s original idea of a center for high-caliber artists.

“We’re rolling on this,” Brettell says. “The goal is to have faculty, residents, and students living and working at South Side.” What Brettell wants is a more strategic international artists-in-residence program, like the ones at the renowned Glassell School of Art in Houston and the ArtPace Foundation in San Antonio. Only Brettell says he has in mind something more flexible and “scrappy and urban.”

With the approval and funding of Matthews, individual donors, and UTD, Brettell is staffing the new program’s advisory committee with local art luminaries: Ted Pillsbury, David Quadrini, Nancy Whitenack, Joan Davidow—the list goes on. But before the launch of the program this fall, with its first noted artists coming in from New York, Mexico, London, and Cuba (with residency stints lasting two months to one year), Brettell and company felt they needed to clean house. “I have nothing to do with the past, just the future,” he says. “As the old leases terminate, the spaces will be turned over to the new artists.”

Not a problem when it comes to booting out the riffraff along the corridor, which will be the new program’s hub. But Barber’s ousting was odd for two reasons: his space was in South Side’s basement. He’d chosen it because he’s a private man and wanted to avoid the main corridor’s zoo windows. The other thing that made it odd was that, of the artists in the original program, Barber is inarguably talented. And, like Brettell, Barber teaches students about art—in his case, at the elite St. Mark’s School of Texas.

Barber had heard rumors of a mass eviction and had requested a meeting with Brettell. “He initially agreed to meet with me.” Barber says. “Instead I just received the letter.”

For a doctor of philosophy, Brettell has a pretty rough bedside manner. But he’s the best man for the job. He’s aggressive, exacting, and discriminating. And Barber knows it. He’s articulate about the benefits of Brettell’s leadership of the international artists-in-residence program, outlining how Dallas is the only major city without one and how South Side could boost the city’s profile.

In fact, Barber doesn’t seem to hold a grudge at all—just anxiety about how to proceed with his life and career. He hopes to negotiate a standard lease with South Side, with a rent that could triple. But in the past year, Barber has battled non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

Rick Brettell isn’t nearly so bad.

Baking cookies with Lisa Loeb and Dweezil Zappa

The other day, Lisa Loeb was in town to visit her parents and do a little cooking with her mom. The beguiling songstress and Hockaday grad brought along her boyfriend, Dweezil Zappa, who is the son of Frank and brother of Moon Unit. She also brought a camera crew.

In January the Food Network will debut Lisa & Dweezil, a cooking show-slash-
travelogue that follows the couple as they crisscross the country, gigging, eating, and preparing food.

The Dallas episode will feature a segment at the Loeb household, where Lisa and Dweezil were baking cookies with Lisa’s mom, Gail. Three cameras rolled tape while Dweezil struggled with a battery-powered flower sifter and cracked jokes about Gail’s admission that she uses tweezers to place the cherry halves atop Mamaw’s spritzer cookies.

Dweezil wore impressive sideburns. Lisa, with porcelain skin and her trademark feline eyeglasses, wore black slacks, a black V-neck blouse, and pink Pumas.

While the kitchen was busy, Lisa’s father and brother sat in the living room, ignoring it all. Lisa’s father read the New York Times. Her brother did a crossword.

Someone asked Lisa’s father if he found it at all odd that Dweezil Zappa was in his kitchen, with his wife, making Mamaw’s spritzer cookies for a television show.

“No,” he said. “My wife is a great cook, and everyone I work with is always asking me for her cookies.” —Tim Rogers

Photo Courtesy of the Food Network

Online Community Helps People Find Couches, Jobs, and Casual Encounters

October brings the half-year mark of the Dallas version of Craigslist (www.dallas.craigslist.org), the coolest little message board in the world.

Haven’t heard of Craigslist? Blame your friends. They should have told you about it by now. The community web site was launched in San Francisco by the eponymous Craig Newmark (pictured)—and it has now spread to about two dozen cities. In the process, the bare-bones service directory has become one of the hippest, most popular, most frequented sites on the Internet—and it’s done so strictly by word of mouth.

Craigslist is like the classified section of a newspaper, except content is updated constantly, and people looking to buy, sell, or trade anything actually use it. A man looks for a used banjo (but only if it’s in excellent condition). A grad student offers a ride to California to anyone willing to share the driving duties. One post’s heading reads “Qualified Clairvoyants Needed.” From another: “We live in a small apartment, and our very friendly, outdoor-oriented dog would love to be in someone’s yard/home when we are working.”

But Craigslist is more than just clairvoyants and dogs. The “personals” section gets the most traffic on the site, probably because the entries are so, well, personal. Men seeking women, women seeking women, people seeking random hookups with other people.

In an entry titled “Downtown Dallas Office for Noontime Fun,” a 38-year-old man writes that he has a private entry to his workplace and interested women should “send me a note and we can start from there.” It’s all there. It’s all free. It’s all on Craigslist. Just remember the friend who told you. —A.M.

Who Wants to Marry a Millionaire?
Mike Mullen was a bachelor looking for a wife on TV before it was cool to be a bachelor looking for a wife on TV.

It’s been awhile since we checked in with Dallas society page regular Mike Mullen.

You might recall Mullen from his multiple appearances on Oprah back in 1998. He was the lonely millionaire Texas oil tycoon with the 13-carat diamond ring, looking for a wife. Wife Number Three, in fact. He eventually found her. But not in the batch of 60,000 women who wrote to him as a result of his “get a wife” campaign that wound up in print and broadcast outlets across the globe. In fact, his bride never even saw him on Oprah. Mullen was introduced to Tiffany Kornegay, a model from Anchorage, Alaska, by Kay and Ward Lay (as in Frito). The two were married in 2000. Mullen’s next-door neighbors, Carol and Steve Aaron, hosted the event in the motor court of their English-style estate, Cedar Hollow. Two horse-drawn carriages delivered the bride. She wore Vera Wang.

Or you might not recall any of that. In either case, Mullen, 53, and Tiffany, 26, are now building a rather impressive house in Preston Hollow, right down the street from Mayor Laura Miller and Steve Wolens’ new house. And directly across the street from Mike and Tiffany’s new place sits the house of none other than Wife Number Two, Debby Mullen. If you think that arrangement might create some friction, then you’re right.

Mike had twin boys with Debby. In May, he filed a petition in the 303rd Family District Court to modify his parent-child relationship with the twins, requesting that he be granted the rights, duties, and privileges of co-managing conservator. Specifically, he wants to manage the bonds for the twins’ education, choose their private school, and modify their holiday visiting schedule. He also requested that his child support payments be lowered until the twins turn 18.

There followed a contentious hearing on the matter in Judge Richard Johnson’s courtroom in July. Word is that Mike called into question Debby’s parental competence, a standard ploy in such cases. The judge imposed an injunction on both parties, also standard. None of the people directly involved would comment on the record, citing a confidentiality agreement. That includes Debby’s attorney, Ron Massingill, and Mike’s attorney, Leslie Martin.

Without such comment, we are left with many questions. Such as this one about Mike’s current house: why, at the time of his wife hunt, was it repeatedly described as a 22-room, 10,000-square-foot mansion on 3 acres? The Dallas Central Appraisal District lists it at 6,701 square feet situated on 2.1 acres. A small matter, to be sure, when compared to matters of child custody. But we’re small people.

We’re small enough to wonder, for instance, why we’ve repeatedly read—as recently as this fall, in the Dallas Morning News—that Mike played for the Miami Dolphins in the mid-’70s. He was, in fact, drafted by the Dolphins in 1973, but they have no record of him ever playing in a game.

So we’ll have to live with our unanswered questions. But Debby likely won’t have to live across the street from Mike. Her house is on the market. Buyer beware. —T.R.


Rhett Miller: By the time this issue hits newsstands, local band Old 97’s will have already celebrated its 10th anniversary with a couple of shows at Sons of Hermann Hall (you just missed it). We caught up with frontman Rhett Miller before a solo gig in Portland to remind him of earlier times.

D Magazine: Remember that time when you were at Naomi’s and you put the microphone in your mouth and you pulled it out and your tooth fell on the ground—that was pretty cool, wasn’t it?

Rhett Miller: It was very cool.


Tim Burroughs

Deborah Hankinson

Mike Culwell

Phyllis Walker

Mary Kate Smither

Mattie Roberts

Tom Doerr

Terry Parker

Elayne Esterline

Ban Bywaters

Juli Harrison

Gerry Hudnall

Leo Corrigan III

Michael Blumenfeld

Katherine Lyle

Linda Roby

John Bickel II

Fay Lidji

Blake Pogue

Michelle Godo

Clark Hunt

Marilyn Augur

Rachael Dedman