I’ve never been fond of rumors. They take me back to my sixth grade days at McCulloch Middle School, as it was known in those days. FYI – I was not the rich girl on the block. My mother was divorced with two kids in college and two in elementary school. But she knew at the time the Park Cities offered a great education, so she worked tooth and nail to keep us in the district, even if it meant moving 14 times by the time I was 14.
I was 11-years-old at that particular time and having a coveted sleep over at a friend’s house. We all began making crank phone calls after pigging out on pizza then getting into our PJs and sleeping bags.
“Is your refrigerator running?” we would giggle as we asked the elderly person on the other end of the line, whose name we had looked up in the telephone book.
“Well, you better run catch it!” Heh, heh, heh!
But then the fun, prank phone calls turned personal.
“Is this Marshall? Nancy Black loves you!” the squealing girls announced to the 12-year-old boy from my class on the other end of the old rotary phone. Click.
Next thing you knew, on Monday morning, I was the most embarrassed girl in the school.
“Nancy Black loves Marshall, did you hear?!?!” everyone in the cafeteria was whispering loudly, so even the teachers knew what was going on.
“She actually called him herself Friday night!” one boy exclaimed from across the crowded lunchroom.
I hadn’t, mind you; though I longed to. And whatever puppy-love-future we had was lost in a flash that sixth grade year. But the experience was a quick lesson in learning about the power of “rumors.”
“The City Council just rezoned the entire east side of White Rock Lake as a commercial district,” one e-mail in my inbox read this past week. False.
“The Dallas Arboretum is going to build a six story, concrete parking garage at Winfrey Point!” declared another. False.
“The Arboretum and the City of Dallas have declared eminent domain on all of the Garland Road businesses across the street for the gardens!” someone else told me. False.
Really? All this rezoning, building and takeover just happened to go down while no one in the area was looking?
I don’t think so, readers. There is no way the Arboretum would set themselves up to ultimately fail by taking down the very lake and surrounding neighborhoods that help make it unique. The Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden loves White Rock Lake and its neighbors. (And they don’t pay me to write that. I know it from experience.)
There is no way the city council would even have the authority to rezone the lake without at least two public meetings. (And Sheffie Kadane would never risk a slam dunk, “you’re outta here” defeat like that in the City Council if he were to support more concrete parking at Winfrey Point; plus he LOVES the lake and realizes he is the luckiest City Council Member in Dallas. Once again, no pay.)
And there is no way, in our very active and involved White Rock Lake/East Dallas community, the citizens wouldn’t let their voices be heard when they need to be. We got enough letters about the parking at Winfrey Point even BEFORE the Arboretum was mentioned to know there is a serious problem. And the way the congestion situation is going to be solved won’t be easy.
Let’s just hope everyone involved doesn’t go the way of Chicken Little, though, and complain about the sky before it’s actually falling.
Editor's Note: On Tuesday, May 8, the leadership of the Dallas Arboretum asked Paul Dyer, Dallas Park and Recreation Department director; Joan Walne, Dallas Park Board president; Councilman Sheffield Kadane, City Council District 9; and Gerry Worrall, District 9 Park Board not to proceed with current plans to mow the previously approved area at Winfrey Point.
During the past couple of weeks, the Arboretum has heard the opinions of its friends and neighbors and recognizes any plans to temporarily park at Winfrey Point have resulted in serious misunderstandings that need to be addressed.
“We are committed to being a good neighbor and steward to the citizens of East Dallas, the Metroplex and all of North Texas,” Mary Brinegar, Chief Executive Officer & President of the Arboretum, said.
“We are looking forward to working with city officials and neighborhood associations in the immediate future to develop a plan that best serves the interest of all parties involved. It is our pledge to endeavor to make such planning transparent. Thank you for your patience while we work to find a solution to the City's and our parking needs.”