Thursday, April 5, 2012


It was 1958 when my husband, daughter, and I moved to Dallas, and  my mother

said,"Lock your doors,  you are moving to the big city of Dallas, where there is

much meanness."

The meanness she referred to was the highly visible and talked about crime in

Dallas that was publicized in newspapers, radio, and TV all over Texas for years.

Gangsters discovered Dallas in the post war eras. There were nighttime

assassinations and assassination attempts around the city, illegal liquor sales,

uncontrollable gambling, and hundreds of prostitutes that lingered  in the city

 over several decades. Some say it really took hold when the Dallas city council

voted in favor of an "open city" that included these vices in their preparation

for the Texas Centennial that was held in Dallas in 1936.

By the end of the 1950's, earnest attempts to stem crime changed the

criminal climate and the big city's image, somewhat. My husband assured

my mother we would be safe.

My husband's colleague in his new job drove us around Dallas and

was quick to point out areas where crime occurred with more frequency.

One location, he pointed to was Candy Barr's residence. She

was an infamous burlesque star and friend to gangsters. She was employed

at Jack Ruby's club and many people flocked to see and  film her for her

gorgeous, natural beauty, especially in its natural state. She had been arrested

numerous times. Our  driver told us it wasn't unusual to have shootings

occur in her neighborhood. Her pictures are still popular on the internet today.

Later, we found out that my husband's colleague who drove us around

Dallas was not without a criminal background, as well. He had several  aliases

and different  wives under each name. However, he soon left the company

after we arrived. The very  famous oil company family who employed my

husband and his colleague did a good job of keeping the criminal

information under wraps.

Through my studies, I have since discovered that one reason Dallas

started cleaning up her act  was because "The Greater Dallas Crime

Commission" was organized earlier, in 1952. It was organized to help bring

some stability to the city and rid it of crime.

Also, when we arrived in Dallas, the famous District Attorney,

Henry Wade had been in office eight years and would continue to hold

office twenty-eight years more. He would eventually try and successfully

convict Jack Ruby in 1964 for assassinating  Lee Harvey Oswald who was

accused of assassinating President Kennedy, in Dallas, in 1963.

But interestingly Wade did not always win his cases. He would eventually

lose his case in "Roe vs. Wade, " which culminated in the Supreme Court's

Abortion Landmark case, in 1973, which made abortion legal. But no one

seemed to blame him because he was strict on law and order. But possibly too

quick on judgment as numerous cases have since been overturned using DNA

tests, that were not available then.

We found an affordable duplex that summer after my husband finished

college at UT Austin. It was in South Dallas, Oak Cliff. We bought the minimal

amount of second-hand furniture and set up house-keeping. We had one

bedroom, so we placed our daughter's baby bed near ours. She was still

in diapers and barely walking. We only had one air conditioner and placed it

in the living room. We opened the bedroom door and placed a fan near our

beds and it kept us relatively cool in the evening. We solved the problem

by sleeping simply,  in fewer clothes.  CONTINUED NEXT POST. SEE


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