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Making Dallas Even Better

Jack Evans Passes Away

The Dallas Voice reported this morning that Jack Evans has died, after spending the past few months in a rehab facility. He was 86.

If the name doesn’t ring a bell, perhaps you know Evans better as one half of “Jack and George,” the couple (George is George Harris) well known for leading the fight for marriage equality since the 1960s. Last June, when the Supreme Court legalized gay marriage, Jack and George were the first gay couple married in Dallas County. They had been together for 55 years at the time.

I met Jack and George briefly after they appeared in our 40th anniversary issue, and they could not have been more delightful. I’m glad they got to spend at least a year together as husband and husband, fully recognized in the eyes of the law.

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Zac Crain Defends Dallas on Thrillist

When someone from NYC-based Thrillist asked me who should write an essay for them about how Dallas really is a cosmopolitan city, I said, “Man, that’s a really tall order. Striking the right tone, not coming across as defensive, having a sense of humor — there just aren’t too many people here who could pull that off.” Mark Lamster was my first thought. Since moving here from New York, that guy has fallen head over heels in love with Dallas. I was walking through downtown the other day and ran into him. We stopped and had a conversation on a sidewalk within eyesight of the Robert Jeffress Fountain. Lamster went on and on about how much he digs Dallas and how it’s so much better than New York. He was so effusive that I almost felt embarrassed for him.

Anyway, I figured Lamster was too busy to write the essay, so I suggested Zac. He did a fine job.

David Ritz on Merle Haggard

Sometime D Magazine contributor David Ritz wrote a brief remembrance of Merle Haggard that you should read. David says that Billboard gave him 30 minutes to write it. The reason they asked is because David is a noted ghostwriter, and he had been talking with Haggard about doing his life story. David will be in town April 30 for the Dallas Book Festival. Maybe then he’ll tell us more about his time with Haggard and that book that he’ll now not be able to write.

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Law Man Walking: Nature Treks With Bill Holston

Sunday morning dawned clear and cool. I packed my day pack with a thermos of coffee and headed up to Spring Creek Nature Preserve in Garland. Jill and I had afternoon plans, which prevented us from attending church, so that freed time to hike early on Palm Sunday.

The sun was out as I hit the parking lot on Holford. I was happy to have worn a fleece, as the morning air was still cool.

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Short Film Portrays Dallas (And Terrell) as Poetry

A short film was commissioned to kick off the Dallas Festival of Ideas, a co-production of the Dallas Institute of Humanities and Culture and the Dallas Morning News, over the weekend. Titled, “A City is a Poem,” it combines the slam poetry of Dallas’ own Joaquin Zihuatanejo with lyrical imagery of a diverse cross-section of people and various corners of the city. It’s the work of Andrew Holzschuh.

Strictly speaking, however, Holzschuh cheats a bit by shooting far beyond the city limits. The cowboy in the video is seen walking into Homero’s Yellow Rose Cafe, which is way out east, in Terrell.

Then again, I know I’ve never seen a ballerina stretching out in full costume atop a parking garage, and I don’t mind that. So if the clip is lying to us, at least it’s a beautiful, inspiring lie.

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Remembering June Mattingly, Intrepid Dallas Arts Supporter

If you’ve spent more than five or ten minutes in a Dallas gallery, you’re likely to have met June Mattingly. Mattingly was a stalwart supporter of the Dallas arts, the author of a book on Texas contemporary artists, and a former gallery owner who introduced a number of this city’s more notable artists. The Dallas Observer reports today that Mattingly has passed away.

Mattingly’s creative roots in Dallas ran deep – all the way to one of this city’s most iconic sculptures. The original Pegasus that sat on top of the Magnolia Building in downtown Dallas was created by her father H. Harold Wineburgh’s sign company, Texlite. Mattingly was a tireless advocate for her father’s Pegasus, and it was restored and reinstalled outside the downtown Dallas Omni last year. In this interview from 2011, Mattingly speaks about her father and the Pegasus. In 2012, Mattingly sat for an hour long interview to offer her insight into the history of Dallas culture.

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Best of the Best Lists: 2014 Year in Review

It’s the time of year again when we take a look back at what most tickled the fancies of our readers, and in the case of our content the answer is “best” lists. Magazines are often criticized for being list-centric, but you know why so many magazines lean that way? Because people like to look at lists. Even if it’s just because they want to view our selections and tell us we don’t know what the hell we’re talking about, readers continue to come back for more.

These were the most popular listicles on our website in 2014:

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Q&A: April Swartz-Larson, McKinney High’s First Gay Homecoming Queen

Last month, McKinney High School crowned its first lesbian homecoming queen—17-year-old April Swartz-Larson. It all started with a tweet from one of Swartz-Larson’s closest friends, spreading from a less-than-140-character message to reality. Since then, Swartz-Larson has found herself the topic of conversation, not only in her suburban community, but all over the internet. (George Takei recently picked up her story.) Swartz-Larson talks about how much life can change in a month, working toward equality, and applying to colleges.

Staci Parks: Your story is interesting because it seems like within the past year or so there’s been more of a conversation about gay and transgender teens. Do you think stories like that helped?

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Josh Malone, Super Genius, Invents Way To Make 100 Water Balloons in a Minute

Josh Malone is a 41-year-old dude who lives in Plano and has eight kids. So he’s clearly insane. Speaking from experience, a vasectomy is a pretty simple procedure. But Malone is also a super genius. Any parent who has ever made a mess of water balloons will appreciate Malone’s invention, which is called Bunch o Balloons. Check out the video. It’s amazing. He launched a Kickstarter on July 22, with a $10,000 goal. The campaign goes till August 21, but he’s already got $635,000 pledged. Probably didn’t hurt that he was on the Today show this morning.

Josh Malone, you are my hero.

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Prince Fielder Gets Nekkid on Cover of ESPN The Magazine

“The Body Issue” of ESPN The Magazine hits newsstands Friday with six different covers. Rangers first baseman Prince Fielder strikes a pose for one of them. Awesome. That’s what I thought when I saw it. His body is a marvel. It seems odd that he’s using it to play baseball rather than middle linebacker. Also check out this behind-the-scenes video of the photo shoot. (h/t Evan Grant)

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