119 Reasons Why We Love Dallas – No. 97

Stanley Marcus photography courtesy of Corbis

Because We Make Dreams Come True

I moved to Dallas in 1978, the same year the TV show debuted. Prior to that, I was a trailing spouse following my first husband in his career. We were on our fourth move (Midland, Michigan) in three years. His next career step would be to his company’s regional HQ. I suggested we get control of our destiny and start lobbying for a geography of our choice. Being Northerners, we were targeting Chicago.

And then the Texas Superstate issue of Newsweek arrived in the mail. It changed my life. It laid out the landscape, the people, and the culture. What did we know about Dallas previously? Not much, other than JFK and Oswald. We got the nod for the move eventually and I went into full pre-relo deployment. Subscribed to the Dallas Morning News, Dallas Times Herald, D Magazine, and Texas Monthly.

By coincidence, Stanley Marcus was coming to speak at a lecture series in Midland. I handled the press conference—replete with two windmills borrowed from the Holland (Michigan) Tulip Festival, an homage to the his-and-hers gifts in the previous Neiman Marcus Christmas catalog. I volunteered to pick him up at the airport. I had under my arm the Dallas newspapers. He was impressed that I was doing my homework in preparation for his visit. I told him that I was also making a move to Dallas. He invited me to call on him when I arrived, which, of course, I did.

Stanley graciously set up introductory meetings with an amazing roster of Dallas business leaders: Sam Bloom, Liener Temerlin. You get the picture. It’s how I got to Ray Trapp, formerly a Bloom superstar who gave me a shot at the new ad agency he was leading to launch Lamar Muse’s new airline. (The clincher was a last-ditch, blatant name-dropping effort to sell myself into Ray’s new organization. I shared a comment made to me by Mr. Sam about Ray during my information interview at Bloom. When Ray asked me how I knew Sam Bloom, I told him Stanley Marcus. He was baffled, but impressed. I got the job.)

I love Dallas because it’s a place that opens its arms to newcomers and says, “Welcome. Howdy. C’mon in!” If you are willing to roll up your sleeves, get involved, and give of either your time or money, you can move in any circle you choose. Only in Dallas could a fledgling young “nobody” receive such red-carpet treatment by all of the mogul “somebodies.” 

Nancy Keene is a director in the Dallas office of Stanton Chase, an executive search firm with 64 offices in 39 countries. She wrote this when we asked readers at dmagazine.com why they love Dallas.
 

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