Arlington has had a history of mayors with vision. Once considered to be a bedroom community, Arlington no longer bears that birthmark. Their city planners have worked hard
to attract business and industry as others simply flirted with entrepreneurs and developers. Neighboring cities entertained the same serious ideas and concepts but with far too much skepticism and reluctance. This is why Arlington Texas is now the home of the Dallas Cowboys and Texas Rangers.
Most Arlington citizens and voters know what it takes to become a major player in the arena of progress and competition. Officials in other cities such as Southlake and Grapevine are following their example rendering each with its own distinct identity and quality of life.
April 1845: “The first permanent settlement in Tarrant County was established
this month by a wagon train arriving from Missouri [Missouri Colony. Lonesome
Dove, etc., now Grapevine] as part of the Peter’s Land Company. The settlers
arrived in time to do some planting and had all summer to build their cabins
against the winter.” Julia Kathryn Garrett, Fort Worth: A Frontier Triumph (1972)
Dallas is perceived by outsiders to be more cosmopolitan but at times, it actually struggles with its own identity and doesn’t seem to be content with prosperity. Dallas seems to be a city that continues to re-invent itself on a regular basis. To inject here an over-used phrase of the 60’s: “Fort Worth is more laid back than Dallas”. Fort Worth knows exactly how it wants to develop
strategically and knows what it wants to become culturally. For two cities with less than 30 miles of real estate between them, they couldn’t be more different.
Like all major cities Dallas and Fort Worth each have an elite segment; both have their cultural snobs but Dallas’s high society elites seem to have the most contempt for the other. I had a very successful friend who lived near downtown Dallas for many years but surprisingly he had never heard of North Richland Hills. NRH is a community that borders Fort Worth much like Dallas’ own Richardson and is a city of its own prominence and distinction. How rude!
Cities that were once considered to be rural communities like Keller, Roanoke, Colleyville and
Southlake have become very progressive and have developed into wonderful places to live and work. The boundaries that separate Denton, Dallas and Fort Worth remain intact so far but their borders are becoming more invisible as communities and their school districts, fire and police protection services often overlap. Cities like Arlington and Mansfield were once separated by acres of farmland and prairie are now separated only by a signpost.
With all of the new highways, North Texas is expecting great things to continue. Buckle up.
Natural Disasters Change More Than the Landscape
Hurricanes and Floods
Texas has had its share of natural disasters ranging from hurricanes and tornadoes that strike us with some regularity. Not to mention the floods that destroyed hundreds of homes in between. Natural catastrophes always affect more than just the people they displace. In 1990, I was hired to inspect a home in Arlington Texas for some of the California earthquake victims wishing to relocate. In particular, I remember a nice couple with two teenage children who were extremely affected by the earthquake. They were now inseparable. The father told me that they have to know where each of them is at all times.
Two-thousand six brought folks to Texas who before were living along the Gulf Coast from Louisiana to Florida. When Hurricane Katrina struck in August of 2005, these people had no place to go. There were a lot of generous Texans who took them in and helped them find temporary quarters through donations from private charities and churches. Government assistance came all too slowly. Soon after that, Hurricane Rita hit land on September 24, 2005 and made things worse.
Being in the direct path of storms of that magnitude is unimaginable. Some were completely homeless with heart-wrenching stories. Some folks just needed refuge; others wanted a change of scenery and sunny weather after the hurricanes and floods. Many of them decided to move to Texas and remain here still today. They came to Texas for help and they got it.
When Hurricane Sandy hit the eastern seaboard in the fall of 2012, it caused severe damage especially in New York and New Jersey. Power was out for weeks and thousands of people were homeless. Trucks were loaded with food, clothing and medical supplies donated by Texans and headed north. For weeks to come, many of us donated items to the Mission Arlington in downtown Arlington Texas. They came to Texans for help and they got it.
Natural disasters change more than the landscape; they change where people choose to live.
Written and distributed by
License No. 58