In East Dallas, HOAs Care If You're an Asshole

East Dallas really is cool, if you get past the B-O-L-G-N-A

LGNA (Lower Greenville Neighborhood Association...I'm not going to keep reminding you) is arguing that DHL should not admit BNA into membership because Avi is very active in BNA and Avi is an A-H. Of course, they are not putting it in those terms, because LGNA is represented here by several very genteel and well-spoken persons, one of whom happens to be another giant hero of mine, Maxine Aaronson.

Maxine is a Yankee carpetbagger who thinks she owns Dallas, so, of course, she fits in too. In the early 1980s she worked with fellow lawyer Michael Jung and future city council member Larry Duncan to rezone the entire city. The three of them used sheer smarts and a whole lot of political savvy to outfox the Dallas Citizens Council and make it possible for neighborhoods to save themselves from bad development.

Later, in the early '90s, Aaronson was instrumental in a political redistricting effort that basically rescued the East Dallas city council district from total dismemberment. So it would be safe to say, I think, that if it were not for Maxine, we might not even have an East Dallas to fight over here tonight.

Oh, and by the way, the principal political organization that she, Jung and Duncan worked through in that early '80s rezoning was DHL (do not tell me you don't remember what that is), so the Dallas Homeowners League is sort of a hero of mine too.

Let me tell you, for me this really sucks. I genuinely like and admire everybody here. It's a moral quagmire. I would leave, but they have locked the door to the Camp Fire Girls Reichstag, and I physically cannot get out.

Luckily for me, Avi and Maxine hate each other, so I will have something negative to write about. Their animosity goes way back too. It has legs, in other words. So I'm OK. And thank you for your concern.

Maxine tells the DHL panel: "I am here to talk to you about the Belmont Neighborhood Association and its alter ego. The Belmont Neighborhood Association is inextricably linked with 'Barking Dogs' and with Mr. Adelman."

Then she hands out a bunch of print-outs from "Barking Dogs" with wonderful pearls of Avi-ism such as, "This is the kind of scheme only Mad Maxine Aaronson could create," and "When you consider that Mad Maxine Aaronson is their attorney, as well as the attorney for LGNA and Hudson Heights, you gotta wonder just how honest they are about anything, as long as they get their way."

In one item, Avi talks about how he infiltrated an LGNA meeting: "A fly on the wall would have enjoyed this load of poop immensely," he says of the meeting.

Here in the peanut gallery at the back of the room, the guy behind me is reading the Avi quotes, shaking his head somberly and whispering, "Terrible, terrible." But then all of a sudden he starts giggling.

Avi. What can you say?

Souza and a lawyer speak for BNA. Their whole pitch is that Avi, while a hero of the people, is not BNA, and BNA is not Avi. BD (come on...I'll give you a hint, the B is for Barking) is not BNA. It would be unfair for DHL to allow LGNA to bar BNA from joining DHL by falsely equating BNA with BD and making BNA out to be an A-H. Even though BD has done a lot of good. As has BNA. And, you know, LGNA for that matter. To say nothing of DHL. In fact, even A-H has done a lot of good. But BNA is not Avi.

OK.

So Avi gets up and gives a speech which I will paraphrase as follows: "I am Avi. DHL, LGNA, BNA and BD are but particles of me. I am the Alpha and Omega of the Eastern Bloc. I am the whole damn alphabet, and don't forget it."

After two and a half hours, the doors are unlocked and we are released from the Reichstag. I'm really sorry to leave you hanging, but it looks as if the DHL will need several weeks to concoct a ruling. Many chickens must die so that their entrails may be read. I will let you know as soon as I know.

It's not just East Dallas. The whole inner city is so great. Where else could you find people with this kind of bones in the ground, fighting this passionately over how to save their city? This isn't New Urbanism. This is Real Urbanism. It's good. Really good.

As for A-H: Takes one to know one. I know him well.

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