By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
The Texas Rollergirls were voracious promoters, and through the media as well as the Internet, other urban undergrounds caught on and began to form leagues of their own. Squads that seem more gang than team have sprung up all over the country, and the Dallas Derby Devils are fortunate enough to be on the receiving end of the Rollergirls' mentoring.
Amy Gruss (aka Hell's Kitten), the elder stateswoman of the Devils at 36, recalls her first practice with Triple D. "I was scared as hell," says the corporate trainer for a mortgage company. "I hadn't skated in over 20 years, and I was self-conscious and worried that I'd get the crap beat out of me. But the girls were welcoming. We're really quite close, like sisters."
Ironic, especially because the Tri-D's are the types who spurned sorority life in college. But sorority girls don't usually participate in activities like "Blood and Thunder," a Fight Club-esque free-for-all where the last skater standing is king, or queen. That's not to say this is entirely a blood sport. "We'll play straight when we have teams," Gruss says, "but for now, we're making sure we're tough enough for when the time comes. " --Adam Pitluk
Cash for Candy
Candy Marcum's raising serious dough. She's running for city council in District 14, which stretches from Oak Lawn to East Dallas, and according to the latest campaign finance reports, she has $79,114.06 in donations, some $55,000 more than the next opponent, Angela Hunt. Here's what makes things interesting: It's Hunt, not Marcum, who has the endorsement of Councilwoman Veletta Lill, the current District 14 representative who will step down May 7. But it's Marcum, not Hunt, who has a $250 campaign donation from Lill's campaign treasurer.
"She has a good leadership style," says Alan Levi, the aforementioned treasurer. The check he cut to Marcum hasn't caused any friction, though. "I'm Veletta's treasurer. I'm not a political adviser," he says. "My responsibilities are strictly to pay her bills."
Lill, by way of defending Hunt, says the money one raises won't decide the race. It's the constituents one reaches. "It's a one-on-one experience. [District 14] is very much a grassroots district," she says.
Marcum's lived there for more than 30 years. She's served on the Oak Lawn committee and the board of adjustment. Chaired the human services commission. Serves still on the advisory committee for the city's 30-year comprehensive plan. In short, her source book is thicker than Derek Jeter's black book.
"It has to do with relationships," Marcum says. "And people wanted me to run for city council."
She's an affable woman, funny and--to the degree such a thing is elicited in a 20-minute conversation--genuine. She's also gay. But her sexual orientation isn't her political message.
Her message is simple. "It's the three C's," she says. Lower crime: Everybody, she says, thinks it's a problem. Increase code enforcement: "Your house is your most valuable asset." And increase commerce: "Which really stands for economic development, but I had to come up with a third C." --Paul Kix
Last fall, either September or October (no one quite recalls, because there were drinks involved), graphic designer Patrick Reeves and his pal Danny Balis, who produces The Hardline on KTCK-AM (1310), were sitting at the Barley House lamenting how much this city sorta sucks. Reeves, especially, was in a bashing frame of mind: He left here five years ago for Ohio to work for Abercrombie & Fitch and returned to Dallas to find it the same as he'd left it, only a little worse. The Trinity River was still a drainage ditch; the Dallas Cowboys' flirtation with Fair Park culminated with a move to Arlington; streets were still pockmarked with potholes large enough to trap a Hummer. "Five years later, nothing at all had happened--except traffic on Central's about five times worse," Reeves says now.
So Reeves and Balis decided to do something: They made T-shirts voicing their displeasure on the chest of anyone who goes to www.patrickreeves.com and plops down $15 for a shirt insisting that the city famous for its slogan "The Can Do City" is really a don't-do-shit disaster. Hence, Reeves' design for a red shirt bearing a silhouette of the skyline, beneath which it reads, "Dallas: The 'Can't Do' City." And with no advertising, save for a few mentions on The Ticket, Reeves has already sold some 50 T-shirts, with a handful of orders arriving in his e-mail box every morning.
"It's not like we're crazy activists," Reeves says. "We're having fun. The only thing we were worried about was what if people got a hold of these and think we're bashing the city. But that hasn't happened. People go, 'It's so true; nothing happens.'"
"Can't Do City" is not the only city-specific shirt available. There's also the blue "Arlington Cowboys Football" shirt, with small print thanking Mayor Laura Miller for losing the team; one proclaiming, "My Girlfriend is an Honors Student at Ursuline"; a blue tee featuring a hypodermic needle and the slogan "Heroin...Not Just for Plano Anymore"; and a green shirt proclaiming Addison as being 100 percent pure cheese.
"I am not trying to make enemies, really," Reeves says. "We just want the city to be cool, and certain things are prohibiting that." --Robert Wilonsky