Sunday, June 10, 1984

1984 Dallas, TX (6/8-10/1984)

Friday, June 8, 1984
Left work on the dot at 14:30 to get gas and cash a check at the bank. I was drenched with sweat from my hot car (92 degrees and humid). Ran home to change and left for the airport at 15:10 for a 15:50 flight! Ran into a traffic jam and started to get frantic! Parked in the north long term lot by 15:30 and ran to check in. The flight was delayed due to an overbooking situation and they were looking for volunteers to give up seats. Not me!
We finally left at 16:20, and I worried about the connection in Newark. But this Ransome Airlines flight was billed as the Delta Connection, so I could hope. We had a good view as we flew over Manhattan. This four-prop plane didn’t even have oxygen masks! We landed at 17:10 and the gate next door was for the 17:35 flight for Dallas. So I had plenty of time (everything is relative!). After we boarded, we were told we couldn’t leave until 18:20 because of air traffic congestion. All the while you could hear banging under the plane, so you wondered the real reason for the delay.
We did leave at 18:20, and arrived in Dallas about 20:30. I went to bank of hotel phones and called the Sheraton Dallas and asked to speak to one of the guests. They put me through to Kent, and he told me his room number. I then called for the courtesy van for Budget Rent-a-Car. A 15-passenger van picked me up. Avis and Hertz have buses! But they all went to the same place in the middle of the parking lot. The Dallas-Fort Worth airport is supposed to be the largest in the U.S. and the 4th largest in the world in traffic. I got a Grand Prix at an economy car price, and headed out. Came to a toll gate, and the guy said there was a ticket attached to my rental contract. Oh!
Drove east on SR 183 into Dallas. Everything was dulled by smog/fog/mist. After following the Great White Way, I saw a skyline. Joined I-35 and got off at Commerce Street E which circled me down and around and gave me a choice of streets to take. I took Main Street through quiet downtown Dallas, with a few cars and fewer people. I caught sight of the Sheraton Dallas and worked my way towards it. I was told there was free parking for the guests, but only saw valet parking. So I parked next door at the Southland Plaza underground garage. From the Southland lobby you can walk directly to the Sheraton lobby. I took the first elevator to avoid passing the reception desk, which only took me to the mezzanine level. But I found the guest elevators and went up to Room 703. Kent was watching the Celtics-LA basketball game, as I arrived at 21:30.

Saturday, June 9, 1984
I had breakfast with Kent, which he put on his bill. I had a continental breakfast (grapefruit juice and two small Danish pastries) for $4.25. Expensive!
Kent went to the desk to see if he could move to a suite now, and he could. So we changed into shorts and moved the luggage to Room 518 that had an adjoining living room with wet bar and a full bath. The air conditioner here under-worked as much as the one overworked in the other room.
Our next errand was to pick up a package. A security woman took us through a back door into the hotel service area with bleak walls, no carpet, etc. We had to wait at a control booth (the guy had a fan) while the keys were tracked down. There were a lot of kids in the hotel for a karate competition, and a lot of trophies were coming through the service entrance. We commandeered a trophy-laden elevator to go to a sub-basement. The lady tried several keys before unlocking a room. Kent signed for his package and we were told to head back on our own. There was a long wait for the elevator, and Kent said something to a guy passing with a garbage bin, but he only nodded. Mexican?  We were looking for the stairs when the security lady came back and had apparently radioed for an elevator. The woman got off at the ground floor, but told us to go to the second floor where it was “safer,” and told us to go left. Kent got a kitchen person to lead us through the kitchens to the mezzanine, and he took us right to the guest elevators. ¡Gracias!
Next we went to find the rental car, and paid $8; no free parking for guests! We drove to the Convention Center beside the new Dallas City Hall. We marched in past all the convention set-up for the AWWA (American Water Works Association) to the exhibitors’ hall, which wasn’t to open until Monday. A guard stood there and said we needed passes. Kent went to get a pass and talked to some people to get a little pass for me, too.
My AWWA pass
We entered stepping over crates and around pieces of machinery, sliding on plastic sheets covering the carpets, to the BIF booth where Kent had to put a second coat of gray paint on the base of the “silo.”
We left and I drove as Kent navigated us to the Kennedy Memorial, going around Reunion Plaza with modern glass buildings and the older Reunion Tower, 50-stories high with a 3-level geodesic dome. We parked and put nickels in the meter (each worth three minutes) to walk over to the very simple Kennedy Memorial (1970, designed by architect Philip Johnson).
Kennedy Memorial
The walls are to shut out the outside world and the top is open to facilitate meditation and communion with God! Nearby were maps showing the buildings in the area. The site of the JFK assassination was not shown. Kent thought he figured out which building was the Texas School Book Depository, and I took a photo zooming up to the southeast 6th floor window from where the shots were allegedly fired. But it turned out to be the wrong building, although it looked very similar.
View down Elm Street to
Dallas Main Center construction
In the same square was Bryan’s Cabin (1841), a very small log cabin, home of the first settler here who wanted to establish a trading post.
Bryan Cabin
The cabin served as the first post office and courthouse in Dallas. There was also the armory-like red stone old courthouse (1890, designed by architect Max A. Orlopp, Jr. in Richardsonian Romanesque style).
Old Courthouse with Reunion Tower to the left
We returned to the car and attempted to head north to the Southern Methodist University. We found ourselves on the Dallas North Tollway and came to a 50-cent tollbooth. We asked the attendant how to get to SMU, and were told to take the Mawkinburg exit and turn right. Kent understood the guy correctly to have said “Mockingbird!” We followed the directions and drove through more exclusive neighborhoods before arriving at SMU. We drove onto campus and ended up right at the Owen Arts Center where we wanted to see the Meadows Museum. Also in the complex was the Bob Hope Theatre (1968), and we saw a plaque for the Bob Hope Fellowship Foundation.
We found the museum and Kent donated $1 to get a guide. The gallery was small but impressive; six centuries of Spanish Art. The oldest was “Acacius and the 10,000 Martyrs” (c. 1493) by Francisco Gallego, which takes place on Mt Ararat. It was done with Flemish influence. There was a painting of San Sebastian (c. 1506), the only example of Fernando Yáñez de la Almedina’s works in the U.S., showing Italian influence (he worked with Leonardo da Vinci) in the detailed hair and plant life. The Spanish characteristics were the sloping shoulders, nipped-in waist, and expressive right arm.
There were several examples of the tradition of portraiture in Spain. Diego Velázquez was one such court painter, with fuzzy contour lines and single stroke shadows that endeared him to Impressionists, as seen in the painting “Sibyl with Tabula Rasa (wax tablet)” (c. 1648). There was a Jusepe de Ribera portrait of a Knight of Santiago, wearing dark rimmed eyeglasses. He used the Caravaggio chiaroscuro effect at times.
The allegorical painting by Claudio Coello of “St Catherine of Alexandria Dominating the Emperor Maxentius, or Christianity Triumphing over Paganism” (1683), was full of symbols, such as a thistle representing Christ’s Passion. A very interesting painting was “Jacob Laying the Peeled Rods Before the Flocks of Laban” (c. 1665) by Bartolomé Esteban Murillo, with an interesting story of the much-deceived Jacob who places these peeled rods in front of mating sheep so that they see spots and have spotted lambs which he is promised from the flock.
There were several Immaculate Conception paintings, all with a floating Mary surrounded by cherubs. We saw many works by Francisco Goya, including the “Madhouse of Saragossa” (1793-1794). Goya contracted a disease that left him deaf, which would explain a whole series of his paintings, especially those seen in the Prado! Symbolism with the dark indoors and the light outdoors. Luis Jiménez y Aranda did a Renoir-like painting, “Lady at the Paris Exposition” (1889), with a detailed foreground and a fuzzy background.
The most outstanding painting in the extensive collection was by Emilio Sánchez-Perrier of a “River Landscape” (1886). Extremely realistic as it was influenced by the invention of the camera. Photographs often have blurred areas and the blurring of the trees may be due to wind with a long exposure. I thought it could be the nature of the trees with softer foliage. There was an example of Pablo Picasso’s synthetic cubism, which had an unusual variety of colors in it. Impressive in the gallery was the collection of Goya intaglios and etchings. A whole roomful! There were also Joan Miró paintings.
Before we left, Kent asked a guard what was the Bob Hope connection to SMU. It was apparently in Dallas where Bob Hope broke into the big time, and he was always well–received here, so he showed his appreciation by donating to local causes.
We drove over to the State Fair Park, and drove through, passing several classical buildings. Kent saw that one had names of Texas literary greats etched around the frieze. We passed the Cotton Bowl in search of the Dallas Museum of Fine Arts. We found it, but it was closed. We decided to go to the Dallas Museum of Natural History, and the guard told us the Fine Arts Museum has moved downtown. The Museum of Natural History had a watercolors exhibit, some good and some funky. The different halls had stuffed animals in natural habitat dioramas. Thus we could identify the wildlife; animals, birds, insects, and plants. The fossil hall was closed for which Kent was just as glad after I dragged him through the bird gallery, that also had lots of Edward Marshall Boehm porcelain birds, like a few seen in the Charleston Museum. In the basement were a few live subjects.
We drove along local roads in search of a store to buy paper towels and a cleanser. No luck. We found ourselves at Old City Park, first grabbing a bite at McDonald’s. I’ve noticed that Dr Pepper is available everywhere!
I used a coupon to get Kent into Old City Park for free; my ticket cost $4. It was Dairy Day, with stands in front of each of the historic buildings offering samples of cheese, butter churning, yoghurt, strawberry flavored milk, ice cream making, exercise sessions, a diet analysis, cow milking, and a band. There seemed to be several weddings taking place, and so the church was closed to the public. Another wedding was in the gazebo. We bought the tickets at the railroad station and had to wear huge dangling tags.
Old City Park ticket
We passed the 1900 popcorn wagon, and turned down a commercial street past a Citizens Bank (closed on Saturday afternoon!). We entered the General Store and got a spiel from a volunteer who was actually from Boston. He got out notebooks in an attempt to answer Kent’s questions, unsuccessfully. Date moved, population at the time, etc. The store had some nice antique items, and one of the original promotional items, a train of coffee canisters. We skipped the gift shop and crossed the brick street to peek in the print shop. Many things hadn’t opened up yet. We passed the fountain to come to the Pilot Grove Church, which was also closed for a wedding. We could see that they were setting up, including a video camera to tape the wedding. Next was the Renner School where upstairs there was a display of Victorian wedding gowns, trousseau items, and some men’s apparel with accessories. We went to the gingerbread Victorian Queen Anne style house with fretwork, gables, a red tin roof, and a privy built in the same “style!” Across the street were the doctor’s office and apothecary in a Queen Anne style cottage. This place had an extensive array of drugs and herbs, including a relatively huge bottle of saffron!
We passed the hotel, the railroad station again, and a silent old-timer’s band to come to the Miller Log House. The Miller family first lived here in 1847. Next door was the log playhouse, and then Millermore, a much larger home finished in 1862. It had a breezy central foyer with a large room on either side, both parlors. On one side behind the parlor was a dining room and then the kitchen (not open to the public). We waited on the back upstairs porch for the tour of the second floor. We were taken to a crafts room where the girl proceeded to point out the wrong order of the process from cotton plant to woven article. She had them winding the cotton thread on the weasel that pops on every ninth turn (“pop goes the weasel”), before spinning it. We also saw two bedrooms. On the back porch were several buckets of ice cream being made. We walked through a wisteria arbor and decided to leave at 14:30.
I drove back along Central Expressway (a regular street!) in hopes of finding a place to buy the paper towels and cleanser. Kent was not as tolerant as Kathy C when I missed a turn that neither one of us knew was coming, especially being new to the area. Or maybe I was going too fast? We found a convenience store and Kent bought his supplies and we returned to the hotel. The lot next door was one where you slip money in a slot of your numbered space at a central “meter.” Kent put in $1 for a half hour. Kent checked at the hotel desk to see if any of his business associates had arrived. I checked in for Room 911 for $45. I had originally had a room reservation for two nights at $59 per night! Kent was paying $76 per night for the suite. I got my bags from Kent’s room, and went to mine which was twice as big with two double beds, a TV with a radio, and a bigger bathroom.
Kent had to be available for his business associates, so I went out on my own and drove to the brand new Dallas Museum of Fine Arts. I only had an hour and managed to walk through the entire place to get a flavor of what was available. Out front was the “Gates of Hell” by Auguste Rodin.
"Gates of Hell" by Rodin
Inside there was another statue by Rodin, plus Alberto Giacometti, whom Kent later identified as Swiss. They had Polynesian tapestries, modern bas reliefs (like the "Corporate War" of writhing bodies), and modern art (the usual paint splashes and colorful geometric shapes, and some unique things in style and medium). I would have liked to explore with Kent, or Jan and Kirby. There were works by Andrew Wyeth, Edouard Manet, Claude Monet, and Vincent Van Gogh. I was interested to see the “Madonna” painting by Mary Cassatt in a style very similar to her contemporary Edgar Degas, who also had a painting here. Also a Whistler, etc., etc., I was impressed. They also had Asian, Egyptian, African, Middle Eastern, Pacific Island, and Ancient Greek and Roman art and artifacts.
First United Methodist Church
near the Dallas  Fine Arts Museum
When I left, I hoped to get to the Neiman Marcus department store, but it was closed. I parked near Dealey Plaza, and found the actual Texas School Book Depository.
Texas School Book Depository
The second window down on the right is
where the shots were fired that killed
President John F Kennedy
Reunion Plaza and Tower
Dealey Plaza view of Dallas skyline
I drove back to the hotel and parked in the lot where I put in $2 for “after 5 pm and Sundays.” Back at the hotel, I called room service to order a birthday breakfast for Kent tomorrow morning. It would also include a blueberry muffin with a candle in it and a rose. I then called Kent who informed me he had to meet his business associates at 7:00 tomorrow and take them to the convention center, then pick up his boss from the airport, and there was a noon meeting. Which meant I wouldn’t see him at all Sunday! I called to cancel the birthday breakfast. I was resigned to not seeing him tomorrow, but was looking forward to dinner out to experience the “hot” Texas night life!
Went down to meet Kent at 19:00, and we waited for a Tom and a Ralph. Kent decided to just eat in the hotel. After we ordered drinks, Kent saw another associate at another table and went to invite him to eat with us. Then Kent disappeared and I was left to talk to the three business associates. They were under the impression that Kent had to convince me to come to Dallas with him. Au contraire!
Ralph went off to talk to someone he knew, and Kent joined them. Eventually the two of them came back. The waiter had given two of us lunch menus. Then he mixed up the steaks, giving Kent the medium, and Ralph the medium well. Tom’s parsley potatoes weren’t cooked through. So the waiter promised him fettuccini and ketchup, and never brought them. The waiter never showed to get a dessert order. BIF paid the bill. We were joined by Bill, and went to have “one drink.” I enjoyed the jazz quartet, while they ended up with three drinks each. They finally decided to turn in at the third band break. They talked to the band members about how dead it is in Dallas; conventions keep it alive! Kent got off at the 5th floor, and I got off at the 9th while the other guys went higher. Kent had fallen asleep. I ended up crying and getting mascara all over. I went out in the hall thinking to go for a walk, but a look in the mirror scared me back into the room.

Sunday, June 10, 1984
Sheraton Dallas Hotel
I checked out of the hotel and put my things in the car, but decided to walk. As soon as I started walking, I could tell the difference from walking with Kent! Now there were whistles from passing trucks, “ollas” from loitering Mexicans, the up-and-down look and inviting smiles of black guys.
It was the usual bright gray outside. I went down Live Oak Street to Pacific Avenue to come to the triangular Thanks-Giving Square (dedicated 1976).
Thanks-Giving Square
It is dedicated to the universal principle of gratitude for life and all its manifestations. It was locked up, but through the gate you could see green grass and shade trees, waterfalls and a reflecting pool, and a stark white circular chapel with a bell tower. The garden provides an oasis of calm in the heart of Dallas to facilitate meditation. I turned on Ervay Street to take a look at the Neiman Marcus department store (1914),
Neiman Marcus Department Store
and continued to City Hall (1976, designed by I M Pei, an immense modern structure.
Dallas City Hall
City Hall flagpoles
I turned in front of it on Marilla Street, passed the Convention Center, and turned up Ackard Street, heading right toward the architecturally significant Adolphus Hotel (1912, designed by designed by Thomas P. Barnett in Beaux Arts style, for the founder of Anheuser-Busch, Adolphus Busch).
Adolphus Hotel
Next to it was the flying Mobil Oil horse atop another building (1922, built for Magnolia Petroleum Company).
Mobil Oil flying horse
The neon-lighted Pegasus was the logo for Magnolia Petroleum and was installed in 1934. Mobil Oil merged with Magnolia in 1959.
I turned left on Jackson to head to Dealey Square, with its arbored walls, statue of civic leader George Dealey, and gardens.
George Dealey in Dealey Plaza
Went over to the Texas School Book Depository to read the plaque. Went over to Bryan Cabin and the Kennedy Memorial, then headed down Commerce Street. Stopped for lunch at Burger King, and had a Dr Pepper! Passed the Adolphus and discovered the ultra-modern building next to it was also the Adolphus Hotel.
Affluence was seen in the many new buildings being built, the renewal of streets and sidewalks, the brick crosswalks, the new street signs, street light systems, etc. I later found out they are sprucing up for the Republican National Convention to be held here. But there were loitering men with varying growths of beard and shabby clothes just sitting here and there. There seemed to be a lot of bums, but perhaps more so because there was no one else!
I went over to Main Street in hopes of getting a photo of a bus, but just got a bus stop, with a blue-painted curb, and signs giving routes and schedules. Returned to the car and it was only noon, so I decided to drive to Fort Worth. I drove past the Market, with huge striped roofs covering vendors of fresh fruits and vegetables.
The Market

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