25 Signs you grew up in Dallas in the 90’s

The following is based on questions I get about what it was like to grow up in Dallas.

1.  The Texas Giant – You remember how big of a deal it was when the Texas Giant opened. Like seriously, it was a really really big deal.

texas-giant-use

2.  Cowboys and 49er’s – You had one friend that hated the Cowboys and loved the 49er’s. Despite how awesome the Cowboys were in the 90’s, you had one friend that just had to be different and like the 49er’s.

cowboys-49er-maxfield

Suck it 49er’s…and Keith from 9th grade for liking them

3.  The Toadies Rumor – There was that rumor at your school about the Toadies Song “Possum Kingdom” being about the lead singer sister’s death or something to that effect.

toadies

The Toadies were way more than one song from Guitar Hero

4.  Kenny “the Shark” Gant – You remember Kenny “The Shark” Gant from the Cowboys and his dances before kick offs.

KENNYGANTSHARKIt just goes to show that if you dance before kickoff and you’ll be more remembered than the starters.

5.  Penny Whistle Park – Looking back, a shed that housed a dozen carny-style amusement park-ish rides probably wasn’t that cool. But to the eight year old version of myself, it was an absolutely amazing place to have a birthday party.

penny whistle parkThat’s not a mistake, it’s just that no photo does Penny Whistle Park justice.

6.  The Black Hole at Wet ‘n’ Wild – First of all, it’s Wet’ n’ Wild, not six flags hurricane harbor splash world or whatever it is nowadays. And second, as soon as you went down the black hole at Wet ‘N’ Wild for the first time, you told everyone at school.

wet-n-wild-arlingtonUpon further review, building an entirely black water slide that soaked up the Texas sun, becoming blistering hot, might not have been the best idea.  But I’m not listening.

7.  Tatu and the Dallas Sidekicks – I can’t name a single other player on the Sidekicks, nor a single team that they played. But I know how big of a deal it was to go to a Sidekicks game and see him take his shirt off after a goal.

DSC03023No one is looking at you #15, stop waving.  Everyone is staring at Tatu’s early 90’s aura.

8Scotty’s on Park Lane – You spent days at Scotty’s on Park Lane. Before it was turned into Top Golf, that place was Scotty’s. And you probably spent countless afternoons playing miniature golf there, or in the batting cages.

scottys-golf-park-74231035If you know about Scotty’s then you know how awesome it was.  If not just trust us.

9.  Fair Day: Day off from school + free ticket to the State Fair + corny dogs and ice cream sandwiches + the pirate ship ride = best day ever.

Texas_State_Fair_at_night

F.Y.I.  Whenever you decide to go to the  Fair nowadays, always always check when Fair Day is for schools.  Don’t go on those days.

10.  The West End was cool – There was that arcade in the big building’s basement, like a three floor arcade. Plus the free fudge. Also a Planet Hollywood and some other stuff. Either way, as a kid it was a cool place.

wem-081709-0+(12)Whatever happened to that Giant Cowboy boot wearing Dinosaur?

11.  Mavericks games were free– You went Dallas Mavericks games basically for free.  Winning tickets to a Mavericks game in the 90’s was essentially the same as winning a pizza party for your class in grade school. Except the Three J’s weren’t at your pizza party.

three j'sBy “Crown” they meant, not last place.

12.  1994 World Cup – You remember the 1994 World Cup and that mascot dog thing. You may not have gone to the games, but you remember all the hoopla surrounding the games played at the Cotton Bowl.

world cup 94 mascotHis name was Striker, really I looked it up.

 13.  Your Favorite Texas Rangers were Rusty Greer, Nolan Ryan, “Pudge” and Steve Booooooo-shell, in some order.

41g-xY9LfeLPretty sure this baseball card is in a box at my parent’s house.

14.  The black tar heroin in Plano – You got lectured about drugs after all those kids in Plano died of black tar heroin.  Either at school or from your parents. The kids in Plano freaked out a lot of adults.

cheeseToday’s kids use “cheese” not harder drugs like the 90’s kids.

15.  Crystal Pizza – It was like Chucky Cheese on steroids, and way awesomer. A true birthday party Mecca.

crystalspizzaIt had a “Cartoon Theater”

16.  The Coca Cola Starplex – It’s not the Gexa Energy, Livenation.com Shirmoff Vodka Musical Arts Performance Center, it’s the Coca-Cola Starplex.

mXxqMDg5ArjOEx1AshrT3TAWish I could find a better picture, but this is a ticket stub from a Hootie and the Blowfish show at the Coca-Cola Starplex.  Can’t get much more 90’s then that.

17.  Dazed and Confused or Varsity Blues – These movies had some real similarities to your high school life. Sure, one of them was set in the 70’s and the other in a small town, but other than that, they weren’t that far off.

polls_varsity_blues_3835_124721_answer_1_xlargeI don’t want your life.

18.  Deep Ellum was cool and hardcore, or so you heard– Unless you were a teenager when 1990 rolled around and were old enough to claim you went to the Nirvana Trees’ show; you, like me were probably a little too young to really experience the Deep Ellum that your older cousin talked about. But still if you were lucky enough to see a show at Trees, or even to perform in Deep Ellum during the 90’s it was a badge of honor.

1e-002-ss-07-kpask_lgI knew that place was cool before I even knew what cool meant.

19.  The 972 area code role-out – You remember when they introduced the 972 area code. Before DFW had like twelve area codes, Dallas had one: 214. And when you called your friends you didn’t need ten numbers.

 TangoTattoo

What would people get tattoo’s of if 972 was never introduced?

20.  Hoop-it-up – If you played basketball, you remember hoop-it-up. It was the pinnacle of quasi-non-organized basketball no matter what your age.

m_81Q2hD0g6SroblikhCLIQAnyone else remember the rumor that the Mavericks found Mike Izzuilno playing at Hoop-It-Up.

21.  White Rock Lake was a scary place – Before it was turned around, and became a haven for blue toothed bikers, slow runners and rowing teams; White Rock Lake was a bad place full of trash, dead bodies, and questionable men in cars cruising around.

117-rray-cycling-wrlSide Note:  If you think Oak Cliff is scary or dangerous today, twenty years ago you would have shat yourself.

22.  Town East, Redbird, and Valley View Malls – They were still decent malls, or well, they were still actually malls that were open.

TownEastMall030513Town East now advertises that they have a McDonald’s, never a good sign for a mall when it’s pimping Mickey D’s.

23.  The Dallas Times Herald –  I was too young to really read the paper when the Times Herald was around, but I do remember my father buying copies of its last edition.

1b-ashx1Biggest rule of Dallas media: no matter what’s going on, even if you’re going out of business…The Cowboys are more important.

24.  1310 the Ticket – Your dad listened to 1310 The Ticket while driving you around. I didn’t become a P1 until I was like 25 or 26, but my father like most fathers in Dallas was a day one P1.

Ktck11Do you like your gig?

25.  Mr. Peppermint and his musical son.  Mr. Peppermint was part of your childhood. So as a teenager your mind was blown when you found out that his kid was one of the Butthole Surfer guys.

mr_peppermint-630x329Side note, apparently Jerry Haynes, the guy who played Mr. peppermint, like to curse like a sailor when he was off camera and around adult guest stars just to get a reaction out of them

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90 thoughts on “25 Signs you grew up in Dallas in the 90’s

  1. That giant boot wearing dinosaur now resides in Amarillo Texas at the Big Texas Steak Ranch. Why? Who knows but that’s where it is

  2. Where was Crystal Pizza? I don’t remember that at all!

    And why did the West End tank? Was there a story behind that?

    • Crystal Pizza was/is located in Irving off Hwy 183/Airport Freeway, between MacArthur and O’Connor exits on the South Side of 183.

      • There was another Crystal’s, the first one, over near the Galleria. I think it was on Inwood, perhaps? Not basically across the street from St Rita’s catholic church.

    • Yep, Irving, SE corner of 183 and MacArthur. Closed, but still there.
      If you’re really really old, you remember when that space as an A&P Foodstore.

      • Not Happy bout the Really old part but yea it was Spartan Atlantic & had a Super Slide you would use a burlap bag to side down. Cost like a dollar so didn’t get to do often!!

    • The first Crystal’s was on Inwood Rd in Dallas across from Jesuit. It turned into Tupinamba’s Mexican food for years until they moved earlier this year. I had several parties at that location.

    • I worked at the Inwood Crysral’s Pizza and Spaghetti for the last two years of its existence while at St Rita’s and Jesuit. Was really sad when they told us it was closing. Brings back so many memories.

  3. There were a few locations for Crystal’s Pizza, but the first (& last) location was in Irving off of Airport Fwy & MacArthur. It closed last year.

  4. Honorable mentions:

    – Zonk – if you don’t know who Zonk is, there’s a good chance you hopped on the Texas Ranger bandwagon when they started making the playoffs

    – Leon Lett’s premature touchdown celebration in Super Bowl XXVII against the Bills

    – George Teague tackling T.O. when he celebrated in the “star” on the 50 yard line… and Emmitt’s response soon afterwards

    – The tollway exits were $0.30 and only rich people had toll tags. Everyone else had to throw money in the buckets and wait for the guard rail to let them through.

    – Reunion arena

    – As far as you knew, Frisco was the name of a Mexican border town, The Colony was the name of a cult, and Grapevine was a small village in Napa Valley that everyone talks about but has never seen.

    • I remember all of those non-sports items. There’s so much that is gone, that I could list from that time period. But we went to Grapevine for Penny whistle Park (I thin that was the name) and I had an aunt in the Colony, but will admit the Colony seemed like a foreign country then. Frisco I didn’t even know about until I was college age.

  5. I think there was a Crystals Pizza on Inwood Rd across from Jesuit school. Now a Mexican food restaurant.

  6. Yes there was. The Dallas Crystals Pizza was in the northeast corner of Inwood Rd. and Forest Ln, backed up against the Dallas North Tollway.

  7. the rumor the mr peppermint and his son gibby (lead singer of the butthole surfers was total bullshit. i mean if he hated what his son did why would he have had his sons gold record proudly displayed on his living room wall. my friend allison lived a few doors down from mr.peppermint growin up and she can corroborate this for ya. I also remember when 817 area code went all the way up to seymore texas.1 of the best & last shows I saw at starplex when it was still starplex was new order when they came with stereo mcs and 808 state. new order even came out and did an encore (you can count the number of times had done this in the past on 2 hands). Also the west end biscuit factory bldg was fun as heck, the super massive arcade in the basement and 5 stories of shops with a variety to rival the gallleria and unexpectedly unusual things carried by the shops always meant you could find something there you would find anywhere else.plus having the food shops on the top floor made it about the most unique ‘malls’ anywhere.

    • I worked for Innovation Surf & Skate back then and got to drive 808 State (Pablo, Rachel and one other member) from Starplex in Dallas to Innovation in Arlington for the afterparty, then back to drop them off at Straplex again. When we got on the bus all of the Stereo MCs and New Order were there and it was a night I will never forget.

  8. Forgot all the cool night clubs-Starck, Blue Planet, Iguana, Detour….and real rock stations- Q102, KZEW, Z ROCK and a real alt rock 94.5

  9. Wasn’t Chuck E Cheese’s called Showbiz back then?

    And when you HAD to drive to Plano to see your Mom’s friend there were fields of cows and stuff on the way up 75.

    Also, can Joe Willy’s and Olympic Pizza get a shout out for being THE place to go to after soccer or baseball games? Bonus points if your team was framed on the wall of Joe Willy’s….which, not to brag but….mine was.

  10. The cowboy wearing dinosaur is hanging outside of the Big Texan (72oz Steak House) in Amarillo, Texas and it looks a littler different.

  11. Anyone remember the Fox 33 nerd brothers? They used come put on shows in school to stay away from drugs…. Ahh good times

  12. Moment of silence for Pennywhistle Park and Crystals…
    UH, PAUL IN UH- wha-wha…

    Hell, I can remember when 214 extended all the way up into Sherman. It was weird having to dial 1-214 to call my Maw-Maw.

    • Did you know PWP closed because the guy that owned the place didn’t want his daughter who was running the place to get married to the guy she was marrying? She married him anyway so dad closed the place down.

    • Do you remember when you had to have a “metro” like to call some people in the same area code and it was impossible to know which people so you had to call the number first to see. You would get a message saying that you had to add the area code.

  13. You forgot about climbing through the hole in the fence and braving the weeds, snakes and syringes to go dip your feet in the receiving pool on that big waterfall sign off I35 next to…the old BABY DOE’S….. we did that all summer 1995 and 1996. It is still there but now that Baby Doe’s is gone, the whole parking lot area leading up to it is fenced in,

    THE GOOD WOK on Gaston….now a Laundromat. Waitress Julie was awesome!

    Netwerk, Eden 2000, Detour…same place over the decade in Old Town Shopping Center.

    Club Kaos in European Crossroads Shopping center.

    RetroCadia Sunday nights at ARCADIA THEATER!!!! Best retro night ever!!

    CLUB A, SPY…same plcae over the years.

    Iguana Mirage, Blue Planet, Tijuana Yacht Club…

    BAJA BEACH CLUB in Arlington for RITUAL and Club EGO nights.

    Also the tunnel from Swiss Avenue to Elm Street on Good Latimer…the gateway to Deep Ellum.

    The big booming voice of the door guy at SAMBUCA on elm Street.

    90’s Deep Ellum shops and more: TUNNELWERKS MTS (industrial record store), Last Beat Records, Deep Ellum Sound (record store), MODA Beyond Fashion, Slixx, Another Roadside Attraction (hot dog stand, Dallas’ original food truck), Rancho/Casa Loco, Benavides mexican restaurant….

    I miss those days.

  14. Music venues besides Starplex:
    Arcadia
    Bronco Bowl
    Deep Ellum Live
    Bomb Factory
    plus Reunion Arena and Texas Stadium…

  15. Garland pre-190, when Firewheel was nothing more than a snobby neighborhood with a country club and golf course.

  16. I never remember White Rock Lake being a scary place. I grew up in the 50’s, but even in the 90’s I did not think it was scary. Don’t understand that one….

    • As a teenager in the 60’s, White Rock Lake was our “go to” place. Cruising around, seeing and being seen. Local bands playing in the pavilions on Sunday afternoons and on date nights, all the little hills and slopes surrounding the lake were filled with kids in cars “parking.”

  17. Lizard Lounge/The Church, Pagan Records on Greenville, seeing Blair Witch Project at the Inwood, the giant swordfish in the window at Oshman’s in Richardson, Lollapalooza ’92 at Starplex, the Basement, Trees, driving out to Forney for all the good haunted houses, Olla Podrida, Frisco’s water tower that said “Home of the Fightin’ Coons”, rumors (possibly true?) that Campisis was owned by mafia members, my mom insisting on going to White Water in Garland instead of the much cooler Wet n’ Wild because it was closer, Pearl Jam & Soundgarden at the Bronco Bowl when nobody knew who they were….lots of memories.

  18. The Giant Cowboy Boot Wearing Dinosaur now lives in the parking lot of the Big Texan Steak Ranch in Amarillo.

  19. — Birthday parties at Discovery Zone.

    — Then, as you got older, they were at Texas Skatium in Garland and Celebration Station at the end of “Restaurant Row” in Mesquite. (BTW, Tia’s Mexican Food was the best restaurant there up until they had Kid’s Eat Free Wednesdays.)

    — Rockwall was a small, 3A town and then when the I-30 bridge was complete, it jumped from 3A to 5A in a year.

    — The Surf and Swim wave pool in Garland (Anytime I smell sunscreen now, I think of this place.)

    — In the late 90’s, there was the Year of the Crickets. They were everywhere, made the sides of buildings look black, and the parking lots stink to high heaven.

    • Rockwall was 4A for many years. I grew up there from 1980-1994 – of course I never cared when I was little, but from the time I cared, we were 4A.. Even when I graduated, it was 4A. I left for the military and just moved back this year – and Rockwall is crazy. Rochelle was all by itself in a field…had to shop at Brookshires until the Kroger (first job) went up…then Food Lion for a minute. We went wild when we got our own movie theater. I couldn’t eat Taco Bell unless we went to Garland to see my grandparents. Rockwall High going up was huge!!! I was in the first graduating class…only got to go my senior year.

      190 changed everything. Going to Allen or even Plano took a while…30 to LBJ to 75. Or taking 66 out of Rockwall to Garland.

      I remember the hoopla over the Texas Giant. I remember yelling in the middle of the street after bearing Buffalo for our first super bowl in the 90s. I saw Deep Blue Something in Deep Ellum. Fun memories.

      • Oops, I accidentally typed 3A. I meant 4A. Thanks for the correction, Darrell! I lived in Rockwall from 1st grade through graduating at RHS in ’04. It has definitely grown over the years!

    • Rockwall was 4A for many years. I grew up there from 1980-1994 – of course I never cared when I was little, but from the time I cared, we were 4A.. Even when I graduated, it was 4A. I left for the military and just moved back this year – and Rockwall is crazy. Rochelle was all by itself in a field…had to shop at Brookshires until the Kroger (first job) went up…then Food Lion for a minute. We went wild when we got our own movie theater. I couldn’t eat Taco Bell unless we went to Garland to see my grandparents. Rockwall High going up was huge!!! I was in the first graduating class…only got to go my senior year.

      190 changed everything. Going to Allen or even Plano took a while…30 to LBJ to 75. Or taking 66 out of Rockwall to Garland.

      I remember the hoopla over the Texas Giant. I remember yelling in the middle of the street after bearing Buffalo for our first super bowl in the 90s. I saw Deep Blue Something in Deep Ellum. Fun memories.

    • Lmao!!! When I was a nanny I would take the kids t discovery zone at least twice a week. Get them a wrist band and wouldn’t see them for hours…closest thing I got to an afternoon off.

  20. – The old Dr. Pepper plant
    – La Dolce Vita (closed in 2005)
    – Pizza Garden (moved to Austin in mid-to-late 90s; later became Spaso’s and eventually a pawn shop before closing and finally being torn down)
    – The old shopping center near Skillman & Abrams roughly where Super Target is now (I’m not sure what it was called)
    – JC Penney and Lord & Taylor at Northpark Mall (Northpark was much smaller than too, and shaped like a U)
    – General Cinema’s Northpark 1&2 (close to where Nordstrom is now) and Northpark 3&4 (on the other side of Central, where The Shops on Park Lane are now.
    – UA Plaza
    – Whole Foods at Skillman & Kingsley
    – When Dallas North Tollway was the only toll road in North Texas (and it didn’t go as far north as it does now)
    – When it was so easy to get lost in Plano and inadvertently “drive around in circles” etc.
    – Drug Emporium
    – The Montgomery Ward building in Fort Worth
    – Carswell Air Force Base (when it was still an Air Force base and not a Joint Reserve Base)
    – When Dallas Executive Airport was known as Red Bird Airport
    – Aroma’s Coffee
    – Border’s Books & Music
    – Paris Vendome (from the early 2000s)
    – Gershwin’s
    – The original Chili’s at Greenville & Meadow
    – “The Right Stuff” ride at Six Flags
    – The two annual KLUV Oldies Festivals (Arbor Daze in April and the other one in September; whatever happened to those by the way?)
    – Arlington Stadium
    – The old power plant near the current site of American Airlines Center
    – And many others, I am sure

    And finally, I don’t ever remember a time when White Rock Lake was scary. I rode my bike around White Rock regularly starting in January 1994 and continuing for years (and I haven’t in a while but would like to again). While it has changed considerably over the years, I certainly never remember seeing dead bodies there.

    • Riding around White Rock was great back then. I do remember something about there being a decently large gay population somewhere out there. Since that isn’t scary, I don’t remember it being scary either.

      • The gay pick up spot at least when I was a kid in the late nineties was at norbuck park.

        We used to ride our bike around and were confused by all the guys just parking there alone for awhile then randomly driving off together but in seperate cars. Eventually we figured it out.

  21. Haha! I have a couple of pics of my kids & niece & nephew on rides at Penny Whistle Park but it was the 80’s. Wish I could attach them here.

  22. Thanks for #23. Now I have that song stuck in my head. “748-1414. 748-1414. Call the Dallas Times Herald Classifieds. Get results like you’ve never seen before!”

  23. Pingback: 25 Signs You Grew Up In Dallas During The 90’s « 103.7 KVIL

  24. “Hello, and welcome to MovieFone! Brought to you in part by the Dallas Observer and Kiss F.M. If you know the name of the movie you’d like to see, press ‘1’ now.”

    Good. Times.

  25. When I was a kid, Mom used to drive us from Abilene just to shop at Olla Podrida and Valley View Mall. The new owner of Valley View Center at Dallas Midtown (fka Valley View Mall) misses Olla Podrida SO much, that he has created a funky awesome artist community inside the mall! Over 3 dozen art studios/galleries, unusual delicious eateries, inexpensive fashions from all over the world, thrift stores, massage, salons, gyms, acting/filming/dance lessons, museums, live theatre, and more. Artists are open Tue-Sat 1-6pm. Mall hours are Mon-Sat 10am-9pm & Sun 11am-7pm. And we have this monthly indoor art festival!!! Family friendly. Come on out! ~Carolyn Collins, artist and owner of Carolyn Collins (a fine art gallery that pays it forward) 🙂 http://www.facebook.com/events/882190978538309/?ref=ts&fref=ts&__nodl

  26. The new owner of Valley View Center at Dallas Midtown (fka Valley View Mall) misses Olla Podrida SO much, that he created a funky awesome artist community inside the mall! Over 3 dozen art studios/galleries, unusual delicious eateries, inexpensive fashions from all over the world, thrift stores, massage, salons, gyms, acting/filming/dance lessons, museums, live theatre, and more. Artists are open Tue-Sat 1-6pm. Mall hours are Mon-Sat 10am-9pm & Sun 11am-7pm. And we have this monthly indoor art festival!!! Family friendly. Come on out! ~Carolyn Collins, artist and owner of Carolyn Collins (a fine art gallery that pays it forward) 🙂 http://www.facebook.com/events/882190978538309/?ref=ts&fref=ts&__nodl

  27. Pingback: Entertainment Districts and Dallas’ Restaurant Bubble | DallasCentric

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