Between the heat and the humidity, it’s a race nowadays to see which can make you more miserable in the late afternoon. Gee, one would think it was Houston around here. But such conditions didn’t hold back well-wishers, supporters, neighbors, city leaders and Trinity troopers from attending the Moore Park Gateway dedication on Thursday, June 13.
To counter the conditions, three things were responsible:
- The dedication itself.
- The shade provided by the Gateway’s Pavilion.
- Specially made for the occasion hand fans.
The crowd was so large that not all fit within the open pavilion. Wise was the gent who brought along his own umbrella.
And what about the fear of West Nile-bearing mosquitoes? As one guest said as they put their fan into turbo driver, “It’s too hot for those little critters to be out.”
But it wasn’t too hot for Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings, who was a true minority in suit and tie. Despite not putting one of the fans into use, Big Mike never showed one drop of “sweat.” Talk about Mr. Cool.
Another cool group were those in the environmentally green polo shirts including Trinity Trust Board Chair Mary McDermott Cook, board member Lynn McBee, President/Executive Director Dr. Gail Thomas and Hoblitzelle Foundation President Paul Harris.
As soon as the mayor arrived, the program was underway with fans silently pumping away like Spindletop in 1901. A trio from the Townview Magnet Center sang the national anthem a cappella beautifully.
Mary welcomed all and immediately went off script, “We either do things that are really hot, or really cold,” recalling the Trinity Trust’s dedication of the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge in March 2012 when guests faced chilly winds to party.
Acknowledging both old council members and new ones in the audience, she said, “Thank you all for being here, in case one of us passes out.”
Then she directed the attention of all to Paul, telling the history behind the Gateway project. Seems it was eight years ago that Gail asked the Hoblitzelle Foundation for money to provide the pavilion and amphitheater as a link to the Trinity River.
Paul thanked the mayor and the rest for their support and then added that this grant was “one of the two biggest grants” the Foundation has made.
Just back from South America, Mayor Mike also handed out thanks to the various team members and city council members but admitted that it wouldn’t have happened without the Hoblitzelle Foundation.
(Editor’s note: If the Hoblitzelle Foundation is new to you, then you might want to read about the late Karl Hoblitzelle, who was one of 13 children, never attended college, came to Dallas in 1903 and built an amazing empire over the next 64 years. His wife Esther, who died in 1943, was a popular music comedy star in the 1920’s, who was known for such songs as “Sahara, We’ll Soon Be Dry Like You,” “I Ain’t That Kind Of A Baby” and “As Long As I Have You And You Have Me”. Despite their deaths decades ago, the Hoblitzelles’ legacy has continued to be the source for countless accomplishments in Dallas.)
Following the mayor was City Councilperson Vonciel Jones Hill, who provided a real stem-winder of a talk saying that more needs “to be done, but we need to celebrate the ‘first doors’ when we get one, and this is a major door!”
Like the mayor, she hit upon the theme that the river which “has divided us will unite us! You were meant to be here. Enjoy your time!”
Dallas Park Board President Max Wells admitted that Vonciel was indeed a hard act to follow, but continued the handing out of thanks to the persons responsible. He turned the mic over to City Councilperson Delia Jasso, who said, “I’ve ventured over here many times.”
They looked around for City Councilperson Dwaine Caraway, but he was nowhere to be seen. However, City Councilperson Linda Koop pitched in for some final words before the dignitaries took the crosswalk to the grove for the ribbon-cutting. Despite the heat and the sun in the eyes, the photos went off on cue. Then someone noticed that Dallas City Manager Mary Suhm was MIA from the lineup, so photos were retaken and the ribbon cut with the mayor leading the countdown. He’s good at that and should be. He’s done enough of them and knows that every ribbon-cutting is another success story for the city.
As he headed to another appointment, the Dallas Black Dance Theatre’s children’s troupe performed to “Fever.” Unlike the song title and the afternoon temperature, the young dancers were very cool.