Find a back issue

Making Dallas Even Better

Is the Lakewood Theater Under Attack?

UPDATE: And, of course, Fingers of Fury has more details, including confirmation that crews are not demolishing the murals, etc.

On Friday Jim Schutze stopped by the Lakewood Theater, allegedly mid-donuts run, and noticed that work crews were busy inside the historic theater. He ducked in and, before being kicked-out, noticed that interior demolition work was going on. This was after Robert Wilonsky posted about the demolition shots that were clogging his Facebook page, including a disheartening photo of a dumpster filled with the theater’s seats. This morning, my Facebook page has also been inundated with updates about the renovation/demolition work. There are apparently TV news crews now on the scene.

But should we be freaking out about the Lakewood’s presumed demise?

Read More

Ask John Neely Bryan: Does Dallas Value Its Past?

That pontificating whippersnapper Simek got me thinking yesterday about the fetishism of the past to which a surprising number of you folks cling. A mediocre sub-urban fish joint shuts its doors and that boy waxes rhapsodic about — well, by his own admission he’s not precisely sure what. Lordy!

You want Dallas to return to its imagined heyday of 1906? You soft-shelled ninnies wouldn’t last a minute back then. Why the pungent odors wafting from the great, relatively unwashed mass of humanity alone would knock you flat before you could scamper across Main Street. Even if you could manage the feat, enjoy wiping the paste of dust and well-ground equine excrement from your soles when you reach the other side. And the heat! My god, the heat! No artificial refrigeration to ease summer’s onslaught, no sir.

Read More

The History of Dallas Urbanism in the Story of a Seafood Restaurant

Perhaps this is more of a Ghosts of Dallas thing, but I just thought I’d share with you some findings from a rabbit hole I slipped into this morning.

It began with this article about the closing of Vincent’s Seafood in Plano. I’ll be honest, I never heard of the place, which is why when the headline announced that it had been open for 117 years, I was really taken aback. How did a century-old restaurant escape my Dallas history nerd-o-meter? And how is it possible that a restaurant in a bland, concrete strip mall in Plano could be such a historic establishment? I started to dig.

Read More

The One Glaring Omission in the DMN’s Dick Bass Obit

In Leading Off this morning, I pointed folks to Dick Bass’ obituary in the Morning News. A FrontBurnervian with a good memory noticed something odd about the obit. If you read it and are unfamiliar with the marital history of Dallas society, you’d be forgiven for thinking that Dick and his wife, Alice, had four children (one of whom is married to the publisher of the News, Jim Moroney). That’s because nowhere does the obit mention that Dick was married from 1952 to 1974 to Rita. She’s the mother of the children. She married Bill Clements the year after she divorced Dick. Perhaps that’s the reason she doesn’t appear in the obit?

In any case, here’s a fun story about Dick Bass that Jeff Bowden wrote for us in 2000. Definitely worth a read, if only for the opening anecdote, which is amazing.

Poll: Should We Stop Honoring the Confederacy?

A memorial to Confederate soldiers was vandalized over the weekend in Denton, sparking another conversation about whether in 2015 we should continue to honor those who fought in open rebellion against the United States. What do you think?

Read More

When Does Our Confederacy Conversation Target Street Names in Oak Cliff?

I don’t need to say it: in the wake of the Charleston shooting, there has been a lot of talk about the Civil War and what the various ways in which we remember, honor, or commemorate its history say about a legacy of racism in America. Alabama has removed a Confederate flag from a memorial at the state capitol. There are calls to take down a Jefferson Davis statue in Kentucky. Dallas’ Lee Park has come under scrutiny. I could go on.

At this point in the conversation, the momentum seems to point towards a gradual, though thorough washing-out of Confederate memorials throughout the nation. But how far will it go? How sublimated do references or symbols of the Confederacy have to be before they are deemed inappropriate? Statues and flags are one thing, but what about the more subtle reminders.

I found myself wondering this driving down oh-so-topical Davis St. in Oak Cliff.

Read More

Welcome to ‘Five Flags Over Texas. Plus One We Don’t Really Want to Talk About.’

Given the current move to eliminate all things Confederate, isn’t it just a matter of time before the history rewriters set their sights on Six Flags Over Texas? After all, the flag of the Confederate States of America (1861-1865) is one of six referenced by the theme park name. While the CSA flag is not the “battle flag” that’s under fire these days, even statues and other memorials associated with the Confederacy have become prime targets for eradication recently.

“At one time, the park had a themed section called The Confederacy, and the Confederate Battle Flag was used as part of the theming and a civil war re-enactment,” says Six Flags spokeswoman Sharon Parker. “The name of that section of the park was changed to The Old South in the mid-1990s and all Confederate Battle Flags were removed. Six Flags Over Texas continues to fly the Confederate States of America Flag, but does not fly or sell any variation of the Confederate Battle Flag.”

Chances are, that explanation won’t cut it with the rewrite crowd. So get ready for, “Welcome to ‘Five Flags Over Texas. Plus One We Don’t Really Want To Talk About.’ “