Posts Tagged ‘Dallas’


Statue outside entrance to Women's Museum in Dallas -- Photo by Pat Bean

“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.” — Eleanor Roosevelt.

Travels With Maggie

Hank Williams Jr. loves ’em. I’m talking, of course, about Texas women. But while he prefers them in jeans, I prefer them strong like Texas Governor Anne Richards or Congresswoman Barbara Jordan, both of whom so aptly set a path for Texas women to follow before their deaths.

I like to think of myself as sharing a gene or two in common with them, and also with another of my Texas female heroes, the late outspoken Texas political columnist Molly Ivins, who was mistakenly born in California.

I understood her dilemma from the opposite direction. Utah claimed me for much of the latter half my life, And while I loved its spectacular mountain scenery, I continued to know I was a Texas woman – from the tips of my short blonde hair to the nail on my crooked little toe.

If you’re in the neighborhood of Dallas, where my RV is parked in front of my oldest daughter’s home for the next few days, and want to learn more about strong Texas women – and those from other states as well – you should drop by the Women’s Museum, a permanent exhibit located in Fair Park, home to the Texas State Fair.

My daughter and I did just that, spending several hours roaming the museum’s 70,000 square feet of exhibits that bring to life the contributions of women to this nation’s history. Opened in 2000 in affiliation with the Smithsonian, the museum began as a dream of one woman, Cathy Bonner, and a reality through the financial support of tens of thousands of mostly female supporters.

If you visit before April 10, you can even catch a special exhibit put together by famed photographer Annie Leibovitz and  simply entitled “Women.” The recommendation of this Texas woman is that you should go.

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 “I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear.” — Martin Luther King 

A city's reflection -- Photo by Pat Bean


Travels With Maggie

“Did you know Dallas is one of the most hated cities in America,” my daughter, Deborah, asked as we sat around the table in her Dallas suburb home yesterday morning. I didn’t, but I’m not surprised, I replied, then began ticking off the reasons why I wasn’t amazed at the news.

 President John Kennedy was shot in Dallas; its police force is infamous for acts of brutality; J. R. Ewing wasn’t exactly a poster child for the city; people love to hate the Dallas Cowboys football team; and Dallas didn’t integrate nicely after the civil rights act was passed.

 There may be other reasons why the pollsters say Dallas will always be one of the top 10 hated cities. These five merely came off the top of my head because I’m a Dallas native who has visited the city yearly since leaving it as a 16-year-old bride. Sadly, in the 1950s that wasn’t an especially uncommon age for Dallas girls to wed.

Not as glamorous as I remember, but the Majestic Theater is still there.

 I watched over the years as flocks of Whites from middle-class neighborhoods moved to the suburbs to escape integration, while those from poor neighborhoods were forced to stay put. The rich, meanwhile, simply sent their kids to private schools. It made for an unbalanced city population.

 I was living south of Houston when JFK was shot. I cried with the world for this loss, but also grieved because he was assassinated in my hometown. That it happened at a place I had passed many times made the tragedy agonizingly vivid for me.

The Glory Window, one of the largest stained glass pieces in the world adorns the ceiling of Thanksgiving Square's chapel. -- Photo by Pat Bean


 My daughter, Deborah, who was born in Houston, moved to the Dallas Metropolitan area 22 years ago for career reasons. She and I recently took the opportunity to see another side of Dallas. We took the train to downtown, where I showed her some of the places I visited as a child. One of my favorites back then was the Majestic Theater, which is now a performing arts theater owned by the city. I used to take the bus to downtown with my younger brothers on Saturday afternoons to catch an afternoon movie here.

Another placed we visited, Thanksgiving Square, is one that didn’t exist back then. Dedicated in 1976, it’s a city block dedicated as a sanctuary where people of all races and creeds can meet to give thanks. Despite its location in the midst of the city’s bustling skyscrapers, it’s a place that exudes a quiet peacefulness. The square’s glass-stained chapel ceiling, and wall of praise with its Norman Rockwall mosaic depiction of the Golden Rule represents hope for a better future.

 Maybe the pollsters are wrong. Maybe Dallas will one day not be one of the top 10 hated cities.

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