By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
Wilonsky responds: Nowhere in the article does it state that the Texas Rangers ever played in Dallas, nor does it refer to the Rangers as "Dallas' team." The point of the piece was simply that pro baseball existed around these parts long before the Rangers came to the area in 1972.
I am writing in response to the article about the future of the vendors in Dealey Plaza and to plead that they be allowed to remain ["Conspiracy theory," October 30]. Early last year when I was visiting the USA from Australia, I made the point of traveling to Dallas to see Dealey Plaza. To stand on a site where world (not just American) history was changed was a most moving and enlightening experience.
I have been interested in the assassination for many years, during which I have found strengths and weaknesses in both the "lone nut" and "conspiracy" cases, and to walk the Plaza and stand on the Sixth Floor was incredibly evocative. Equally important, however, was to experience the "circus" that is the Plaza.
The vendors, the tours (including that amazing Lincoln limousine), and the crowds all contribute, in my view, to a greater understanding (certainly to a non-American) of why and how the assassination debate continues to manifest itself.
As someone who has read widely on the issue, I learned nothing new about the assassination from the vendors themselves. In fact, many of their claims I found to be clearly and easily discredited, but that is not the point. To walk about and hear them, and the questions they were asked, was fascinating--and Dealey Plaza would be poorer for their absence.
It is no secret that there has long been sentiment among board members that Robert Johnston was out of control and needed to be replaced [Buzz, May 21].
The action of removing Johnston came the only way that it could--legally. This board can only act during a called meeting with the purpose of the meeting known at least 72 hours in advance. When the board voted to replace Johnston, that was the issue before it at the time.
Johnston was well aware that the votes were there to replace him. A test vote on the subject occurred on April 23. He saw the same five votes that later voted not to continue his services. I believe that he refused to see the handwriting (literally) on the wall and risked being embarrassed because he believed that the board would back down. It didn't. Therefore, it was Johnston who set himself up to be allegedly humiliated.
It was suggested that at least one (of the gang of five) should have gone to him first and tell him what we were about to do. But remember last year when [Kathleen] Leos was accused of doing that very thing in regards to [Matthew] Harden? No thanks, collectively been there, done that, you might say.
Besides, anyone who knows anything about this board knows (and Johnston labored under such a presupposition), a vote is not a vote until it is posted on the board on the wall. I was as surprised at the final vote as anyone. Quite often board members will say one thing before a meeting and then vote contrary to their promises.
It became clear that Johnston wasn't leaving that position until he was thrown out. And he was. And this district is a lot better off for it.
Sinatra: up and down
Robert Wilonsky's article "The Voice goes silent" was very well written [Street Beat, May 21]. His descriptions of Frank Sinatra were penetrating and revealed the man, as much as the performer, near the end of his career.
I should have known. Obviously, Robert Wilonsky's memories of Frank Sinatra's last visit to Dallas are not fond ones. Just another chance to slam the guy.
For one thing, I don't care how a man 79 years old ate his dinner or talked or stumbled over his words. Have a little respect. You, too, will grow old someday. That might not be pretty either.
The point is, after more than 50 years of entertaining folks, Frank had nothing to prove in those last concerts, especially to some schmuck journalist. He had earned the right to just be there, on stage, doing whatever he damn well pleased. No ego, no arrogance, no fear of "being forgotten," just giving the folks what they wanted--the chance to share the room with a living legend for a brief moment.