Friday, 22 May 2009

For what it's worth....and just for Susan C.

As promised, there will be an upcoming post on the French settlement in Dallas in the late 1800's; however, it seemed like a good time to interject a little trivia, just for fun!

Baylor Medical Center, a leading hospital in the country, was begun in 1904. The prominent rancher C.C. Slaughter and apparently the largest tax payer in Texas, donated $50,000 towards the building of a new Baptist hospital in the State.

Originally known as Texas Baptist Memorial Sanatorium, it was built on one of Slaughter's cattle pastures. At the time, some Directors wanted to honor C.C., but wisdom prevailed....would you want to be treated at...Slaughter Hospital?!?

More recently, while we're on hospitals, Robert (Bob) Dedman, founder of CCA, Country Clubs of America, I think it's called, donated money to build a hospital in far North Dallas. I think wisdom prevailed once again... The facility was not named Dedman Hospital!

Lonesome Dove...remember the mini-series? Well, as legend has it, a dove landed on the shoulder of Baptist preacher, David Meyers, during his 1846 sermon. The church built on that site by the parishioners was named "Lonesome Dove Baptist Church." Larry McMurtry, author of the best-selling novel, noticed the church's sign while he was having lunch in the area and used the name for his new novel.

The idea of Master Card/Visa was created in Dallas. Three neighborhood shopping centers got together and came up with "prestocard" for the convenience of their patrons. I still have my mom's original prestocard. It was made of metal!

In 1934, Bonnie Parker's and Clyde Barrow's bodies were brought to Dallas for internment. Both lay in state in two different Dallas mortuaries for several days. It was estimated that 20,000 people passed through the doors of the facilities to view their bodies. If you don't recall, Bonnie and Clyde were from Dallas, turned to crime and were notorious bank robbers. Faye Dunaway portrayed Bonnie in the film version of their story. On May 23, near Arcadia, Louisiana, the two met their Waterloo. (I am supposed to be writing more about "French" things, so I need to throw in some French references from temps au temps.)

You've already read my Jayne Mansfield story in an earlier, here's a Bonnie & Clyde tale for you. On the day of the Barrow Gang's ambush, my mother-in-law, Margaret, her sister and their mother, were returning from a trip to see family in Alabama. They decided to stop for a Coca Cola at a roadside drug store in Louisiana. While there, Margaret said they heard a lot of commotion outside and upstairs in the drug store where they were enjoying Cokes. Before leaving on their journey back to Texas, they learned that the bodies of Bonnie and Clyde had been brought to the drug store and carried upstairs by local authorities.

The University of Texas and the University of Oklahoma have a big rivalry, to say the least. At least 5 times during the Texas/OU weekend, Clyde Barrow's 500 lb. gravestone has been stolen. I'm sure it was those Sooners who were the culprits!

Lastly, in the late 1970's, Ben Carpenter, a rancher and owner of 6,000 acres near DFW Airport, found out that the land around his ranch was going to be developed. To preserve his land the way he envisioned it, he decided to build his own town. Las Colinas is the result of his vision, a community of business, retail, residential living along with a system of canals! Las Colinas is also home to the world's largest equestrian sculpture. That's the ol' Texas spirit...just build your own town!

The French ARE Coming! Adieu!

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