Of all the quirks that make us uniquely American, none is as perplexing as our propensity for selective outrage. How easily we assimilate some of our country's great--and countless--human tragedies with barely a whimper. We hardly blink any more when a newborn is discovered in a trash bin, or when our community mental health system's individual failures roam our cities' streets--homeless, helpless, hopeless. Yet we're the same people who held our breaths for hours as rescue workers pulled baby Jessica McClure from the well pipe. We froze in our tracks in national mourning after fiery bits of Challenger and Columbia fell to earth. We wept openly, and clung tighter to our children, after Columbine. Our ability to empathize is fickle; our willingness to mandate change wavers; our enthusiasm for accountability as a society blows in the wind. But September 11, 2001, changed every American's ability to dismiss or forget. Selective outrage became collective fortitude immediately after the terrorist attacks in New York City and Washington, D.C. The Smithsonian's National Museum of American History has collected thousands of objects, images and personal stories for a traveling exhibition unparalleled in historical or emotional significance. September 11: Bearing Witness to History makes its first stop on the tour at the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History, 1501 Montgomery St., opening at 9 a.m. on Thursday, September 11. On view are photographs and video images, artifacts including twisted steel from the World Trade Center, damaged items from the Pentagon, Pennsylvania crash site memorials, survivors' clothing and rescue workers' tools. Tickets are $7 for adults and $5 for children 3-12 and seniors. For daily schedules, call 817-255-9300 or 1-888-255-9300 or visit www.fortworthmuseum.org/sept11.html. --Annabelle Massey Helber
Watch out, you silly heteros, because Dallas will be overrun with fashionably campy folk this weekend. You may have heard the controversy about gay day at The Ballpark in Arlington this Saturday, but perhaps your desire to celebrate sexual diversity turns flaccid when faced with hundreds of phallus-shaped objects (baseball bats, hot dogs and Rafael Palmeiro, oh my!). If so, relax. Saturday also brings the Gay & Lesbian Expo to the Melrose Hotel, 3015 Oak Lawn, starting with a brunch at 11:30 a.m. Fruit will be served, but so will straight people. Oh, we kid. Stick around through 5 p.m. for local business exhibits, art presentations, raffles and fashion shows. Call 214-520-2020. --Sam Machkovech
The Big 1-0-0
Oak Cliff celebrates a century
What do The American Lung Association, Bob Hope and the Wright Brothers' first flight all have in common? It's the fact that this year they all celebrate their centennial, 100 continuous years of doing whatever it is they do (or did). And now one of Dallas' very own, Oak Cliff--named thus because of the oaks on the cliffs--joins the illustrious ranks of the centennial-ed. Since a centennial is an achievement worth celebrating, the long-standing neighborhood wants to properly commemorate the momentous occasion with a gala event. Hosted by the Oak Cliff Chamber of Commerce, the festivities will include dinner, music, a silent auction and a live auction. The event takes place on Saturday at the Dallas Renaissance Hotel, 2222 Stemmons Freeway. Registration begins at 6:30 p.m. Be cordial and dress nicely, kids. Call 214-943-4567. --Mary Monigold
Stompin' Good Time
GrapeFest offers wines for every mouth, plus a few feet
This one deserves a toast. Or maybe a couple. The 17th Annual GrapeFest, a four-day celebration of the best vintages from dozens of Texas, Colorado and New Mexico wineries, is scheduled from September 11 through September 14 in the Main Street Historic District of--where else?--Grapevine. And if the locally produced wines aren't your thing, they'll also be offering tastes of the grape from seven foreign countries. The largest wine festival in the Southwest, it offers everything from tastings to the team GrapeStomp competition. This is a something-for-everyone kind of festival. Live music on six stages, food galore, the GrapeFest tennis classic, carnival rides and midway fun for the kiddies and a live auction that will benefit the Texas Wine & Grape Growers Association. Festival hours are 11 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. on Thursday, 10 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday. For additional information, click on to www.grapevinetexasusa.com. --Carlton Stowers
If you like this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters.
SHOW ME HOW
You have successfully signed up for your selected newsletter(s) - please keep an eye on your mailbox, we're movin' in!
During his two terms as Texas governor, it's hard to recall a Bill Clements speech or press conference that was, you know, intimate. Straightforward, yes, brusque certainly, but intimate is the stuff of "I feel your pain" politicos such as Bill Clinton rather than a hard-boiled oilman turned Republican governor. Yet intimate conversation with the guv is what the Dallas Historical Society is promising us during its "Great Dames, Tall Texans" series, which will be moderated by his biographer, Carolyn Barta. Both will appear at 7 p.m. September 12 in the Hall of State at Fair Park. Tickets for those who feel the need to get closer to Bill (Clements, not Clinton) can be purchased by contacting 214-421-4500, ext. 105. --Mark Donald