Look back in confusion

Buzz remembers the year that might have been and proves that not only the winners write the history

This clever, noble attempt to keep the DISD board from breeding fails when Venable--a.k.a. The Horse--notes that the rubbers aren't extra large.

On a happier note, the Rotary Club later announces that attendance at subsequent luncheons is up 300 percent.

God phone home
Members of God's Salvation Church gather in Garland to await the coming of the Lord, who they believe will appear on Channel 18 on March 25, a week before he arrives in a UFO to take the faithful home.

On March 24, TCI cable announces a new channel alignment under which Channel 18 will be made pay-per-view, available to subscribers for a nominal, one-time fee of $300,000. God doesn't show. His L.A.-based agent will later claim that "the whole deal fell through when those bloodsuckers at TCI tried to screw us on the video rights."


The Observer opens the month with a cover story profiling the Dallas law firm of Rader, Campbell, Fisher & Pyke, attorneys for Paula Jones. The story describes at length how the feisty firm single-handedly breathed life into Jones' moribund sexual harassment suit against President Clinton.

The day the story hits the streets, an Arkansas federal judge dismisses Jones' suit. Deciding to play it safe, editors at the Observer put on hold plans for a follow-up story, tentatively titled "Monica Lewinsky, the virgin intern."

What a Dick
U.S. House Majority Leader Dick Armey tells Coppell High School students that he believes President Clinton "is a shameless person." Armey should know. Two months later he will lead his party in kowtowing to the religious right by declaring that gay people are sinners.

Chicken slaughter
An embarrassed scoutmaster apologizes to angry parents after members of Lake Highlands Boy Scout Troop 890 are turned loose on a flock of terrorized chickens, whose necks the boys are expected to wring in order to teach the scouts how food is acquired.

"We should have known better," the troop leader says. "There's not a Boy Scout alive who needs to be taught how to choke the chicken."


Sailing away
The day before the vote on a $543.5 million bond package that includes $246 million for the city's portion of the $1.2 billion Trinity Plan of levees, roads, parks, and lakes, Mayor Kirk writes an op-ed piece in the Morning News urging passage:

"I'm not saying the Trinity will be the same as Town Lake in Austin or Central Park in New York or the River Walk in San Antonio...Dallas deserves something unique."

Voters, after being lured with images of sailboats on a downtown lake and people frolicking in a tree-filled riverside park, approve the Trinity Plan by roughly 2,300 votes. As the year wears on, they learn exactly what "unique" means.

The new, improved Trinity will be a bit like Town Lake, except there may not be a lake. Or, if there is, it might be too tiny for sailing. If it's big enough for sailing, you might want to think twice about hopping in, as the water may be too polluted.

It will be a lot like the River Walk, provided you don't mind walking along controlled-access freeways that will buzz alongside the park, which you may have to dart across to get to the park, as building exit ramps might be too expensive.

It will be much like Central Park, except that it probably won't have trees, since you can't plant those in a floodplain. It will, however, have one thing in common with Central Park: muggings. Namely, of the 38,000 people who voted for the project.

Buy a shredder, Mike
Notes written by Republican state District Judge Mike Keasler during the 1980s and recovered from the trash are leaked to the press. In them, Keasler suggests removing blacks from a jury pool and refers to someone as "the national tearduct of Mexico." Keasler, a candidate for the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, apologizes.

In a rare show of unanimity, black and Hispanic legal and civil rights organizations urge him to resign and nominate him for "the state sphincter of Texas."

Keasler is elected to the appeals court.

All aboard
David Schwarz, designer of Fort Worth's Bass Performance Hall and the Ballpark at Arlington, is chosen to design the new arena. A competing architect complains that Schwarz's design looks like a "historical train station."

The train-station comparison proves prescient, as arena developer Hillwood Development spends much of the summer trying unsuccessfully to persuade the city council that the best place to build a future DART rail station and line is on the west side of the arena, where it will serve Hillwood's development and essentially cut off the neighboring West End.


Show them the money
Two months after being given an 8 percent pay raise by the city council, City Manager John Ware announces that he is resigning to run an inner-city investment company financed by Tom Hicks. The Stars owner, who suffers from a deficient sense of irony, says that he was impressed by Ware's skills during negotiations over public financing for the arena deal. Days later, the Morning News reports that the wife of Mayor Ron Kirk earned $500,000 over the past two years on stock options she received while serving for one year on the board of a Hicks-owned company.

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