Where “Dallas” High School is and the overt racism involved in Dallas High School Names

Why doesn’t Dallas have a high school named Dallas High School, like Plano and Garland,.  And why doesn’t it have many regionally named ones like West Plano, West Mesquite, etc?  – S.G.

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Well, Dallas does have a “Dallas High School,” you just may never have seen and realized that you’re looking at Dallas High School.  And as far as the lack of locationally named high schools, that’s because DISD (Dallas Independent School District) is a large urban school district meaning we have too many high schools to name them all after directions but also kinda because of the overt racism of the school board in the 50’s and 60’s. 

So first let me show you Dallas High School and prove it’s real.

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This is Dallas High School built in 1907 in what’s now downtown Dallas.

Why don’t you know about it?  Because this is how Dallas High School currently looks.

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It’s been vacant for 15 years and has a history of being a doomed property.

Dallas High School, Dallas’s only white high school when it opened 1907, only lasted a short number of years as the main high school. By 1916 it was replaced.  In 1928 it was turned into Dallas’s main technical high school, and in 1942 named Cozier Tech.  It operated as Cozier  until 1975 when that school closed.  It then began operating as the Business and Management magnet school.  Which closed in 1995.  Notice a trend. 

3773162770_14800cc4f6Back when the building was known as Cozier Tech

DISD gave up on operating a school out of the building and sold it in 1998.  The investor who bought the building, a Californian named Robert Yu had grand plans of building an office tower, or apartments, or more likely a parking garage.  However, preservatist got in the way (rightfully so), and saved the building from demolition.  The Californian investor did not take this kindly, he wanted to build his parking garage. I mean the case went to court, he was seriously pissed off.  So much so that he’s prevented anything from developing on the property.  Partly out of spite and partly because he wants a very large sum of money to sell. Either way it still sits there vacant as when it was purchased 15 years ago.

Old%20Dallas%20High%209_26_05%20013Sad lonely Dallas High School

But back to the locational high school and racism question.  See Dallas ran out of directions in 1922 when it named North Dallas High School (note-in 1922 “North” Dallas was considered McKinney Ave and Haskell).  So when naming High Schools, particularly in the 40’s, 50’s and 60’s, Dallas went in three different directions and it was prompted by the racism of the Dallas School Board. 

Race-MixingThe School Board in the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s did not have what you would consider progressive opinions

If it was an all white school, it was named after a conservative national or local person. A minority or black school, it was named after a generic liberal meant to appease the minorities.  But in a neighborhood that was a little mixed, one that DISD couldn’t bus it way out of, and one with a minority population that might clamor for a non-conservative leader or non-white person, the school district went with a geographic feature.  This is why high schools, like Bryan Adams, W.T. White or even Carter are named for local conservative leaders.  Because they were white Christian neighborhoods, at least at the time they were built.

PA83-42-1975-9-6-11Safe white neighborhoods protesting non safe white people in their schools

Schools like Booker T. Washington (the first black high school when segragation was legal) and Franklin Roosevelt (another black high school, nuilt when segragation wasn’t legal but the school board refused to accept it) were named for people that would appease African American community at the time.

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Please be happy with Roosevelt and stop protesting…please

And then schools like Skyline (Hispanic) and Hillcrest (Jewish) had geographic names, because the School board couldn’t risk naming the schools after a person and ending up with Cesar Chavez or Elie Wiesel High School.

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We do have Cesar Chavez “Learning Center” in East Dallas though

And if you’re questioning this or thinking that the school board would never do something this outlandish, consider the fact that the school board faught desegregation so hard, that it was invloved in lawsuits throughout the 1970’s fighting desegregation.  And that the school district was not fully desegregated, until…2003.  Fifty years after Brown v Board of Education.  You can thank the man with the awesome nickname below for finally desegregating the schools.  The law magnet high school is named after him.

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Judge “Barefoot” Sanders

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Keller’s Hamburgers…Explaining it’s wonder and what seems like the illegal activity there

I love Keller’s but seriously, what they’re doing with beer is illegal right?  A.R.

If you know what Keller’s is, then you can skip to the next three paragraphs, but you’ll miss an early 1970’s movie clip about “carhops” filmed partly at Keller’s.   Okay here’s the first part.

Now if you don’t know what Keller’s is, I can’t truly explain it.  That’d be like explaining what Max’s Kansas City is.  I can only tell you about it.  And I say this as someone who grew up down the street from the Keller compound, and went to their annual Fourth of July Picnics.

imagesCA9ZH03DWait for the pics of the burgers…

Keller’s is a drive up hamburger joint from back in the day.  An old fashioned carhop place, think Sonic but with real authentic character.  In fact I’m ashamed I just compared it to Sonic.  The Northwest Highway location (the flagship one and one I’m talking about) has been around since 1963, and it’s literally 99.9% the same as it was back then.  The only thing that has changed are the prices.  But other then that, it’s the same burger shack, parking, and carhops from the heyday of drive ups.  They still make the same good, but simple food. Burgers, cheeseburgers, fries, onion rings, shakes, and the “number 5” a double meat double cheese special sauce burger.  Grilled onions are free, and you can get chili on anything, including the grilled cheese for a quarter.

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Ever so tasty

But most people go for the atmosphere.  On a given Friday or Saturday evening you’ll find a dozen bikers (to the left of actual hamburger stand), and perhaps three dozen owners of classic and custom cars (to the right).

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Bikers on the Left                                               Cars on the Right

The people and the car watching is half the show.  An in the center across from the stand, lie the rest of the collected masses.  A hodgepodge of elegantly dressed Mercedes driving older folks, mini-vans full of pre-teens, groups of just off the job Hispanics, frat boys, plumber’s trucks, and associated 20 somethings.  Also Ludacris, and Tommy Lee…And Jimmy Buffet.

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The usually customers at Keller’s

I highly, highly recommend it if you’ve never been.  And if you haven’t been before, don’t get scared by the thing everyone’s doing that seems illegal.  The standing around drinking beers, ordering beers in the cars, and sitting around in cars having a few cold ones.  Newbies to Keller’s always seem surprised by this, they get freaked out, and sling down like a high schooler when the cops cruise by to check on the scene.

And the question is asked how in the world can Keller’s do this?  This has to be illegal.

Well first of all, you have to understand that Keller’s comes from a different time, when the laws were different.  And though laws have changed since Keller’s started, Keller’s hasn’t.  So there are hundreds of mostly minor building codes, health codes, development codes, and alcohol codes that Keller’s doesn’t have to comply with because it’s been ‘grandfathered in.”  There are major changes that Keller’s does have to comply with, but most minor changes they don’t.  Keller’s, because the ownership, building, business model and other key things haven’t changed, is considered legal non-conforming (the lawyer term for grandfathered).  So Keller’s can do what they do in part because they’re operating under liquor laws decades old that say things like no one shall be granted a liquor license if “the applicant is not of good moral character or his reputation for being a peaceable, law-abiding citizen in the community where he resides is bad.”  Wait my bad, it still says that.

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Sorry Snidely Whiplash, No booze permits for you.

In fact the Alcoholic code for Texas is ass backwards sometimes.  It’s odd, confusing, and based upon prohibition era reasoning.  But at the same time its  reflective of Texas’s strong property, personal and business rights.  Which is why you can’t sell more than two open beers to anyone at the same time, or any beer to anyone without a shirt on, or buy beer anywhere before noon…on Sundays.  But at the same time, you can run a business selling tacos and give away beer to anyone, anytime for free.  Your tacos might cost 25 dollars apiece, but you can still give away the beer for free.  It’s your right to.  Now I have to point out, if you want to run your free beer and taco joint, you have to jump through dozen of hops, have strict prove up requirements, and generally go through so much hassle that it’s not worth your time or money.  Hence the reason why hardly anyone does this longer than a week or so.

ProhibitionRepealPosterYes, please drink.

So for Keller’s and their beer in cars,  we all know you can’t drive drunk, or drive with an open container on a public road, and you can’t provide open alcohol containers to people in a car in an “to-go” manner.  But ask the TABC if you can serve open containers to people in cars on private property, their response is well technically yes.  But in order to do that you have to configure your business in just such a way, doing dozens of things certain exact way, jump through so many legal hops, and doing some many things to satisfy the state and city, that it might not be worth it.  They’re all relatively minor things separately, that have been tacked on throughout the years, but put together they add up.

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Sorry no liquor license for you, new business owner

Unless of course you started way back in the day when liquor laws were different.  Maybe you only had to jump through one or two hops to start your business.  And since your business hasn’t changed, well, you’re still grandfathered in.  And for those reasons we end up this magic tray of goodness.

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Why Dallas has some of the best gentlemen’s clubs in the country

Why Does Dallas have some of the best Gentlemen’s Clubs in the Nation?  D.S.

So recently, when having dinner before a bachelor party, I was part of a conversation with a few guys, some from out of town, and some from Dallas but who have since moved away.  There was a discussion about how nice Dallas’s gentlemen’s clubs are compared to other cities.  A fact confirmed by conversations some of the guys had has with dancers in Vegas, and by other men who can speak with a vast wealth of knowledge on the subject.  Hell even the term Gentlemen’s Club was Invented in Dallas.

If this is news to you, don’t feel bad, this is one of those bits of information that is usually acknowledged, but not often talked about.  Most hotel managers, event planners, convention bookers, valets, and bell hops all know.  Though the question that was brought up to me was why?  Why in the world does Dallas have all these nice palaces built for the worshipping of women.   There are three reasons why, the first two are pretty straight forward, but the last one, the most interesting one is that we have some of the nicest palaces builts for worshipping God.  That’s right our churches.

The first reason is simple; money.  Just as the money allowed Dallas to have high fashion like Niemen’s, the money allows Dallas to have nice gentlemen’s clubs like the old Busty Bee’s, or present day Lodge.

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 Plenty of this

The second simple reason is how Dallas got that money.  People say Dallas is an oil money town, that’s only partly right.  Dallas doesn’t have any actual oil here.  And though we have a number of people who made their millions by striking it rich, the majority of the “oil money” and the majority of those moneyed people got their money from financing the oil digs, insuring the oil derricks, and selling the oil futures.  Those types of industries usually employ white collar professional men and are very relationship based.  Meaning there’s a lot of entertaining clients and colleagues.

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Guys like these

But the last reason for high quality of our strip clubs is actually our churches.  You may be saying, wait really, our churches.  Well first I have to point out that just like our strip clubs, Dallas as some of the nicest churches and largest congregations in the nations(see here, or here or here), though they’re not terribly fervent(more on that later).  But yes, our churches help us to have the best places in the US. And here’s how.

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Thank you!

First, they act to temper our clubs.  Without the church presence, Dallas would look more like Vegas, Reno or perhaps some cowboy version of New Orleans.  Dallas would be fun, but also dirty, seedy, unsafe.  The churches give Dallas a certain amount of respectability.  When paired with our strip clubs, the churches are the ying to the gentlemen’s club yang.  Which is of course why Dallas needs to keep the strip clubs, because without them then we’d fall into some sort of Tulsa or Wichita category.  The strip clubs give us the edge that we need to stay a vibrant entertaining city.  While our churches pull us back from the brink of being a den of sin.  Or as one dancer from Florida, who had recently moved to Dallas for work told award winning humorists Joe Bob Briggs, “…the guys here talk more and grope less. They’re basically looking for a party, not a sexual encounter.”

joebob Joe once said, “I  AM a male chauvinist. Who’s been saying otherwise?  So he obviously knows more about gentlemen’s clubs then you do.  Also he was in a Scorses film

But our churches don’t pull to far, completely removing the all the Bacchian delights.  Our churches may be big, and beautiful, but they’re not fervent.  The best story to understand why they don’t pull back too far comes from the story of the one of the first congregations in Dallas.  It was led by a reverend name Davenport who came to Dallas in the 1850’s.  At the time, Dallas was a growing frontier town full of gambling houses, saloon, dance halls, and brothels.   Davenport, an Episcopalian, came to Dallas to preach about the evils those saloons, brothels, and dance halls.  A young man, full of bravado, he burst into the largest saloon in Dallas and began preaching.  He was promptly shot at…twice.

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What was that you said about us being evil?

He wasn’t wounded, other than his pride, and he returned to his room at the St. Gregory hotel to pack up intending on leaving the following morning.  But something funny happened over night.  Those cowboys at the saloon that had shot at him got to feeling guilty about it because after all, they didn’t want to hurt anyone, they were only trying to have some fun, (much like the men the stripper from Florida talked about).  So the cowboys passed a hat around to take up a collection for the good Reverend and the next morning right as Davenport was preparing to leave, the cowboys showed up with the collection for the sacred Episcopalian.  They insisted that he stay and continue his mission to do good and save their souls.

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Please stay

Davenport stayed and the cowboys were the first members of his congregation.  He would do a lot of good work in the City and continued to preach about the evils of the saloon’s, brothels, and dance halls.  Though he did so with less fervor, because after all his congregation were responsible for much to the drinking, gambling and womanizing.  He understood that those who sin on Friday and Saturday nights, often show up on Sunday morning feeling guilty and ready to give.  Just like those cowboys.

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Saturday Night                                                                         Sunday Morning

So in the end, Dallas has the money to have nice gentlemen’s clubs and the clientele for the clubs. But Dallas also has the churches that temper us just enough to bring us back to a moral middle ground. Or put it this way, the popular phrase in Vegas is “what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas.”  Because you can do a huge amount of very depraved things in a night out in Vegas and the next morning the local TV channels in your hotel room are advertising more and more depraved things to do. In Dallas you can go out for a wild night on the town after consulting the hotel guidebook under the “adult section.”  But when you wake up in the hotel room the next morning and turn on the TV, all the local channels have local church broadcasts.