Like I said, I am such a homer when it comes to sport. I became aware of the game of hockey on my birthday in December of 1992 when I met Mike Modano at a grocery store appearance. He was fresh off the plane from Minnesota in town for the press conference that announced the Minnesota North Stars would be moving to Dallas, Texas for the 93-94 season. It was quite the scandal because at that time there were no southern states with a hockey franchise. The hockey purest said there was no way hockey would be successful in Texas. It was to damn hot. They were so wrong.
In 1999, in the 3rd sudden death overtime the Stars won the Stanley Cup Finals. The game ended at 2:00 am and I watched every second of it. I, along with the rest of the metroplex was hooked and a Stars fan for life.
My favorite hockey player is still Brett Hull. Are you a hockey fan?
My second trip to New York, I was 17 years old and pushing the limits of my parents patience with my quest for independence. They humored me by taking me on a college tour even though they had no intentions of allowing me to attend university there. I was roaming the streets and shops of The Village and picked up a copy of the Village Voice. I devoured the quirky and eclectic stories and features. Little did I know, we had our own version in Dallas called the Dallas Observer. Even today, I read it every week either in print or the online version.
Let me share a few of the stories from a recent issues:
Growing up in Dallas our night life consisted of house parties and teen dance clubs. In high school, I was on the street team for a series of clubs, first, Level 5, then DV8 (deviate) and than finally, Metropolis.
We were at the pulse of nightlife for teens in the Dallas Metroplex. We thought we were so grown up.
You enter the famous bank vault doors and the cool air and the sweet stench of sweat and cigarettes hits you first. While your eyes adjust to the dim light, you fell the atmosphere in your bones. The bass thumps as if it’s inside your brain and it brings a smile to your face, yet at this point, you still can’t see a thing. All you know is you feel privileged to be in this space.
As you eyes adjust, you see lights and shadow and ghosts moving to the sound. White linen hang from the rafters, swaying to the music. The linen sections the room to offer some privacy to the patrons canoodling on the starch white couches scattered throughout the main floor. If you lucky, you can catch a glimpse of something inappropriate. Those participating aren’t embarrassed, after all people come here to be seen.
You float along the current created by the energy in the room. It’s as if your instantly connected to the collective with everyone so happy and warm and welcoming.
In the center of the main room, you find your way to the top of the stairs which lead down into the pit. It’s what those in the know call the dance floor. You don’t dare enter unless invited. Permission is granted according to some standard only the elite are privy to. You descend the steps with slight trepidation. These are the moments your momma warned you about. Are you going to make the right decision? You know what goes on down there. You’ve heard the stories. Inhibitions are lowered, but individualism is expressed. That’s proposition is more then you can resist. This is a turning point, a milestone. This moment defines the rest of your life because when you ascend you will be different.
The Starck Club was in the 80’s what Studio 54 was in the 70’s, but in the south. The legend of The Starck Club preceded the time I spent there. When it was open to teens on Sunday nights under the name DV8, we were just a bunch of suburban teens trying to recapture what we could of the mystic of the club, but in the most innocent way. If your not aware of the Starck Club check out the related post below.
I couldn’t complete my tour of Dallas without mentioning the JFK Assassination. 50 years ago on a day much like the day I took the photos, JFK was assassinated while riding through downtown Dallas in a motorcade. Despite all the conspiracies surrounding this episode in US history and while I was not alive when it happened, I image the feeling on that morning was similar to other tragic mornings such as the Challenger explosion, 9/11, and Hurricane Katrina. All these episodes tested the human spirit, but it says more about us as when you look at how we respond to such tragedies.
“Captain, I’ve been researching them for several weeks now and I am a bit confused.” He needed more direction. These findings couldn’t be right. He suspected the assignment was meant to broaden his mind and make him understand something, but even after all his research he was still confused. What lessons was he supposed to learn from the seemingly primitive society?
“Lieutenant, what seems to be your issue?” Captain wasn’t surprised by my confusion.
“Time and time again, in their history, every positive and productive episode would be cut short by a moment of tragedy. Is this meant to test their spirit?”
“Well, how do they respond?”
“They endure.” But, endure didn’t quite explain it, “Not just endure, they are are continually hopeful. How could that be?
“Son,” Captain said. “What’s the alternative?”
Then it hit him. While it may be easier to give up and give in, it takes a stronger spirit to endure. That truly was the human spirit.
Captain smiled seeing the recognition on the young man’s face, “We can learn much from them, don’t you think?”
Lieutenant smiled and nodded. “Yes Sir, we can.”
What times in history best define the human spirit in your eyes?
I have never notice this in any other place I’ve lived, you tell me if it’s common, but each interstate in Dallas has more then one name. So, let me give you some directions.
Ok, take 121 west to 114 south. 114 south will take you to Loop 12. Get on Loop 12 south to 30 east. 30 east will take you to 75 north. 75 north to 635 west. 635 west to Dallas North Tollway north and Dallas North Tollway north to 121.
Or, you can take Sam Rayburn Tollway south to John Carpenter Freeway south to Northwest Highway. Get on Northwest Highway south to Tom Landry Highway east. Tom Landry Highway east will take you to Central Express North. Central Expressway North to Lyndon B. Johnson Freeway West. Lyndon B. Johnson Freeway to Dallas Parkway North and Dallas Parkway to Sam Rayburn Tollway.
Let’s try this again . . .
I prefer to take 121 north to Dallas North Tollway south to Spur 366 east to 75 north to 190 east to 121.
Or, Sam Rayburn Tollway north to Dallas Parkway south to Woodall Rodgers Highway east to North Central Expressway north to George Bush Turnpike to Sam Rayburn Tollway.
Or we can just stay home.
Before you attempt to navigate the roads in Dallas, make sure you know where your going or get a really good GPS system. How are the roads in your part of the world?