Out at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, they were expecting 120,000 fans today and Saturday for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series and the IZOD IndyCar Firestone 550 races. The big excitement about tonight’s truck race—more properly called the WinStar World Casino 400—was the expected appearance in the race of Plano’s James Buescher, who’s the defending truck series champion.
Typical of the fans enjoying the run-up to tonight’s race was the family shown here, who drove up from Granbury in their 1986 Ward school bus. “It’s really a hard-sided tent with an engine,” joked Rebecca Pierce. Pierce and Ronald Ramsdell, who are season ticket-holders at TMS, typically attend with half a dozen of their 10 kids. But this weekend only Dylan Elliott and their dog, Sadie, came with them. Dylan turns 13 on Tuesday, so they brought candles and his favorite cheesecake along to celebrate.
Before that, they’ll chow down on bratwurst and hot dogs. The family paid for two, 20-foot-by-40-foot camping spots near the Speedway for the weekend, at $75 per spot. “I like the trucks,” Ramsdell said of tonight’s race. And, what about that Ward school bus, decked out with a rebel flag and a bumper-sticker reading, “Hillbilly Haven”? “It does all right for our redneck as***,” Ramsdell said, laughing. Jump for a few more shots of fans at Texas Motor Speedway this afternoon.
I promise I’ll stop talking about The Big Read Dallas soon. I just have one more thing to share. The great folks at TZOM Films gave a lot of their time and talent to shoot this teaser video for us from our Read-In at Klyde Warren Park a couple of Saturdays ago. If you weren’t able to make it, that’s okay. The video above shows you everything: the dramatic readings by actors from Undermain Theatre, a flash mob/dance party put on by dancers from Booker T. Washington School for the Performing and Visual Arts, music by DJ Tyrone Smiley, the mural created by the guys at Sour Grapes, another dance party spurred on by the Mavs ManiACCS, and a rap session by our Librarian of the Year Pam Brown. All these people and all of you who joined in make reading look good. Thanks for a great month.
If you want to learn how you can become one of the people to plan and execute something like The Big Read Dallas, go to the jump and learn about D Academy.
First, I won’t apologize for getting a little misty-eyed when George W. choked up at the conclusion of his speech. Especially the wink at the very end that, to me, said, “Hell, yes, I’m gettin’ a little teary up in here. It’s my party.” I’m writing this post from City Tavern, where I just ran into a lunching Jonathan Neerman, who told me, “The Bushes are criers, man.” Fact. Print it.
They also like to wear flashy socks, as evidenced by George H.W.’s sartorial splendor today. When it came time for him to speak, H.W. did not leave his wheelchair and said about 50 words, the thrust of which was: “Thanks for coming, folks.” Then, urged on by an appreciative, applauding crowd and aided by wife Barbara and son W., he stood, briefly, unsteadily, to yet louder applause. I might have teared up then, too. Still not apologizing. He won’t be with us much longer.
But clearly Clinton won the battle of the X-Presidents. I mean, getting up there and firing off Comedy Central-ready jokes about how he was going to ask W. to paint his portrait until he saw W.’s work in the bathtub and then learned that Bush family emails are susceptible to hacking? Bubba killed it.
That’s probably what I’ll remember most about today’s ceremony. Really, only four presidents spoke. But, shoot, call it all five. And still no bullshit. No politics, no pulling for party, no twisting data and ginning up fear to swing votes and raise dollars. Just five guys with a bond that no one else can fully understand, each of them hugging the other, trying to tell an audience in five minutes why the other fellow is a good American. Why can’t presidents behave like this when they’re in office and running for it? There are many reasons. The five in Dallas today know them all.
Plenty of more information here. Tickets go on sale at 1 p.m. I will be involved in some capacity.
I think my apartment building, the Wilson, is one of the best buildings downtown. But when Oklahoma-native Shawn Todd opened the restored 400 N. Ervay, I definitely had a wandering eye. The old courthouse/post office has history (Judge Sarah T. Hughes’ courtroom is there; Roe v. Wade made a stop in the courtroom; and it has connections to Bonnie and Clyde); it has class; and it has great residents (hi, Charles, Noah, and Kevin!).
If you’re interested in taking a look at this beautiful building, now’s your chance. As part of Architecture360, the 30-day celebration of architecture in Dallas, you can win a pair of VIP tickets (valued at $125 each) to Thursday’s Rockitecture event at 400 N. Ervay from 7 to 9:30 p.m. There will be cocktails, food, and a silent auction with items from lovers of design and architecture. For you who win the VIP tickets, you’ll get a tour with Todd and see the sunset from the roof deck. Enter here. I’ll announce the winners by 10 a.m. tomorrow. If you don’t win, there are still general admission tickets available here.
UPDATE: We have picked our winner. If you didn’t receive an email from me, I’m sorry. However, there are still general admission tickets available.
Then, on Wednesday, Exxon recaptured its position as the world’s most valuable publicly traded company, after shares of Apple Inc. dropped below $400. “Whatever that means,” Tillerson said with a laugh during a private reception before his talk. “They’re more volatile than we are. Day traders must love that Apple stock. We try to stay steady, while they go up and down. We’re good for long-term investors like pensions.”
In his formal remarks, Tillerson had his mind on the long-term as well. In contrast to the “old ways” of thinking about oil and gas in terms of rationing scarcity, he said, new technologies mean North America is enjoying and will enjoy an abundance of affordable, environmentally safe energy for decades to come. Thanks to techniques like fracking and horizontal drilling, North America is now the world’s fastest-growing hydrocarbon region, he said, providing jobs for rural areas, boosting U.S. industrial competitiveness, and pumping tens of millions of dollars in revenue into government coffers every day. At the same time, Tillerson stressed, CO2 levels have fallen to their lowest levels in decades, even as the population has grown. (more…)
I’ve been trying to imagine the meeting at Prestonwood Baptist where they came up with this idea. Nope, can’t do it. So I’ll just forward the press release:
PLANO — Join us for a “happy, happy, happy” time as three members of the Robertson family from the A&E hit reality show Duck Dynasty take to the stage for the annual Prestonwood Pregnancy Center fundraising dinner.
“Dinner with the Dynasty,” on Sunday, May 5, at 6:30 p.m., features Kay, matriarch of the family, and Willie, the CEO of Duck Commander, and his wife and business partner, Korie. This is an incredible opportunity to hear personal tales from the Robertsons, support a great organization, and enjoy a delicious meal. (No, duck is not on the menu.) The event will be at the Hotel InterContinental in Addison.
Table sponsorships are available. To become a sponsor or purchase a table, please call 972-386-4015. Individual seats go on sale Monday, April 15, at a cost of $150 each.
Prestonwood Pregnancy Center, a ministry of Prestonwood Baptist Church, celebrates its 22nd anniversary this year. In the past two decades, the center has helped more than 52,000 clients by providing guidance for unplanned pregnancies, pregnancy tests, sonograms, educational classes and post-abortion support groups. Services are provided free of charge.
Prestonwood Pregnancy Center is located at 15757 Coit Road #308, in Dallas, but it also serves clients through a Community Mobile Sonogram, which travels to various locations in Dallas County on weekdays. Another Community Mobile Sonogram will begin serving clients in Collin County in the coming weeks.
Actress Ashley Judd credits a treatment facility near Abilene with helping her overcome depression caused by “unresolved childhood grief” in 2006. Speaking to an annual fundraising luncheon for the Dallas Children’s Advocacy Center, which assists abused children, Judd said she found herself at the Shades of Hope Treatment Center in Buffalo Gap, Texas, to visit her sister Wynonna, who’d checked in for a compulsive overeating disorder, during the facility’s “family week.”
Wynonna teamed with Naomi Judd, Ashley’s and Wynonna’s mother, to form the hit country-music duo The Judds in the 1980s. Ashley’s starred in movies including Double Jeopardy and Ruby in Paradise.
Wynonna “would say,’I think I need to go to cooking school,’ ” Ashley, 44, told 1,100 people at the Sheraton Dallas Hotel today, spurring laughter. “Isn’t that just like an addict?!” The actress said she had been the victim of child abuse–in her case, the abuse included abandonment and neglect—as well as rape. So when it came time for her to leave Shades of Hope, she recalled, “they did an intervention on me.” The facility’s founding owner told her, “No one ever thinks to do an intervention on the lost child.” After having been “so choked on my own pain and ashamed of my own shame …” Ashley said, the Texas treatment center “gave me a safe place to fall apart.”
“What are y’all selling?” someone asked Mary Suhm early this morning. The Dallas city manager was handing out brand-new copies of Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 at Union Station downtown. “Nothing,” Suhm answered. “We’re giving it away.” The skeptic couldn’t really be blamed for asking. Usually when you see someone passing stuff out on or near a DART train at 7 a.m., people assume that you’re going to want something from them. That, or else you’re from the Jehovah’s Witnesses.
This morning, though, they saw people like Suhm and philanthropist Lynn McBee and businesswoman Nancy Keene handing out the Bradbury title for The Big Read Dallas, which Krista explained here. Most of those who got the books accepted them graciously, even if they weren’t quite sure why they were getting them. One guy, though, gave us a hard time about distributing a product made from dead trees. Another, 70ish and in a suit, declined the offer, saying he didn’t “have any place to put it.” Still another DART rider made up for the Debbie Downers, thanking us profusely and even asking for an extra copy of the book for her child.
This morning, DISD superintendent Mike Miles, city manager Mary Suhm, and the wonderful step team from Garza Early College High School all joined us at Union Station to hand out 1,000 books to commuters to officially kick off The Big Read Dallas. It went really well. By 7:40, we were out of books, and we lost only one volunteer on the train.
Since today is our official kick-off, I thought what better way to get Frontburnervians reading than to give them a copy of our special edition book. There is a catch (or five):
1. In order to get the book, you must send me (firstname.lastname@example.org) a picture of your favorite place to read. If you need help finding a spot, the folks at bcWorkshop have you covered.
The story in Saturday’s “County by county” pages in The Dallas Morning News was brief and sort of buried: Caroline Kennedy would be appearing at the Highland Park Library next Friday at 5 to discuss her new book, Poems to Learn by Heart. Tickets would be $175 and would include a signed copy of Kennedy’s book, the article said.
Wow. Caroline Kennedy in Dallas—on the 50th anniversary of her father’s assassination, appearing at a public library no less? Seemed interesting but weird, since Kennedy has never made a public appearance in Dallas and even turned down a request to be interviewed by newsman Charlie Rose in January at the Winspear Opera House.
The mystery was cleared up in Sunday’s paper, when The News wrote under Corrections & Clarifications that it had been wrong about Kennedy’s appearance at the Highland Park Library next Friday. Then it added: “She is scheduled to visit a public library that day in Highland Park, Ill.”
One veteran political consultant said h/she never would have promised 10,000 people for an outdoor weekend event at City Hall without spectacular “programming,” like a fireworks show, to attract a crowd. But for days, Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings, basking in the national spotlight for his anti-domestic violence crusade, had talked up the 10,000 number for his rally denouncing abuse on Saturday. And, even though Saturday morning started out cold and wet, the mayor wound up drawing a decent crowd to Marilla Street—even if it was short of the target in numbers. But, how short was it?
I’ve told you about it before, but just a quick refresher: The Big Read Dallas is a citywide reading initiative. We’re asking the entire city to read Fahrenheit 451 in April and join us at various events throughout the month. We’ve tasked ninth- and tenth-grade DISD students to lead the charge, so we’re giving every single one of them a free special edition copy (that’s more than 21,000 books).
Next week, we’ll be distributing the books to the 29 high schools that have agreed to either host an assembly, a pep rally, or let us join their English classes. We’ve got an app on the way, DART buses with our posters are starting to run, and, soon, you’ll be seeing the wonderful PSAs that were produced by Reel FX. The above PSA is what we’re showing to students. It’s a little long to run on TV, so I thought we’d show it to you here. The man who put these together, Greg Sunmark, just moved here from Chicago. He’s our new best friend. Not only did he produce the PSAs, but he also did the voiceovers, wrote the music, and then performed the music. I think he’s a good addition to our city.
So, take a look at the PSA, then pick up a copy of Fahrenheit 451. We’re all reading it next month. You should join us.
— Dallas Arts District (@DalArtsDistrict) March 6, 2013
Texas Motor Speedway officials announced today that the Texas 500 will be renamed the NRA 500, further engraining every stereotype non-NASCAR fans have about NASCAR fans. It is the second time the National Rifle Association has sponsored a NASCAR race, following September’s American Warriors 300 in Atlanta. The announcement came during the track’s annual media day.
“The NRA has been involved in the sport for several years and a partner of Speedway Motorsports, Inc. for many years in various aspects, and this race entitlement is just another extension of that business relationship,” track president Eddie Gossage said in a statement. “We look forward to another successful partnership with the NRA for our April race week of activities.”
NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre echoed Gossage’s remarks in a video: “The NRA 500 is the latest announcement in the long history of a growing partnership between the NRA, Speedway Motorsports and the NASCAR community. NRA members and NASCAR fans love their country and everything that is good and right about America. We salute our flag … volunteer in our churches and communities … cherish our families … and WE LOVE RACING!”
So much America in just one paragraph. I wonder if this is what Gossage was talking about back in January when he vowed to make the speedway more fan-friendly. Less smoking, more guns!
Race is April 13.