We spent 2016 like we spend every year in Preston Hollow: Collecting the stories and photos that paint the picture of what makes this neighborhood great. But our readers only get to see a fraction of what we do, because we are limited by how much we can put in print — which is yet another reason to follow us online at prestonhollow.advocatemag.com to see enriched magazine content and daily community news blog posts. Here, we’ll share the very best that you didn’t get to see in our pages, along with updates about the people and issues we covered. Before you fully start 2017, hit rewind on the wild, wet and often weird year that was 2016.
High over the hollow
According to Federal Aviation Administration reports, more than 300 people in Preston Hollow have their pilot’s license. With the Frontiers of Flight Museum next door, it’s no surprise our neighborhood has its eyes to the sky. We took a tour over the city in a B-25 Mitchell during a flight organized by the Wings of Freedom Tour. While you can see a sweeping view of our neighborhood, you cannot actually fly over it. Thanks to our most famous neighbors, former president George W. Bush, and his continued Secret Service protection, planes are not permitted to pass in our airspace.
Boxing with a boxer
Sometimes, cute is better than interesting, and thus we bring you a boxer holding a boxer. We first met Jesús Chávez in the ring at Maple Avenue Boxing Gym, owned by Preston Hollow neighbor Arnie Verbeek. He’s been a fighter his whole life, both in and out of the ring, who told us about how the sport has changed him. Boxing helped him get out of Mexico to launch a professional career, but his punches once proved fatal when his opponent, Leavander Johnson, died after a fight with Chávez. We saw his softer side as he lovingly carried his new puppy, fittingly a boxer named Rocky, to the ring for his photo shoot.
Throughout the year, we’ve highlighted the refugees living alongside us, many of whom have fled horrific violence in their home lives and came here seeking peace. Vickery Meadow has long been our area hub of refugee services, which got exponentially bigger this year with the addition of a 15,000-square-foot community center. Built by Northwest Bible Church of Preston Hollow, the center includes computer labs and classrooms, as well as a medical clinic operated by Healing Hands Ministry. The goal, Pastor Neil Tomba says, is to “improve the lives of the refugee children and adults who live in Vickery Meadow.”
Shots heard ‘round the world
Life in Dallas stood still on July 7, the day a mass shooter targeted police officers at a Black Lives Matter rally downtown. This did not happen in our neighborhood, but every person in the city was touched by the violence as we prayed for the safety of our men and women in blue. In all, 14 officers were shot during the violent night, and five heartbreakingly lost their lives. In the days and weeks following the massacre, Dallas showed its true colors by coming together, raising hundreds of thousands of dollars for the affected officers and surrounding the force with as much love as we could muster. Here in Preston Hollow, blue ribbons adorned trees and homes across the neighborhood in a sign of solidarity.
Mural for marsh
The area where Marsh Lane crosses I-635 certainly isn’t known for its exquisite beauty. Until recently, it was in disarray with overgrown weeds and plenty of graffiti. Glen Meadows neighbor Brent Herling hates graffiti, especially when it’s in his own ‘hood. After getting permission from dozens of neighbors, he launched an ambitious mural project to fix the eyesore. Fields of bluebonnets and bamboo, steps to nowhere and furry creatures now brighten the once-blighted intersection. When the wet weather caused a wall to topple, Herling waited for the city to repair it before repainting the section. “Of course it was the bamboo,” he laughs, “that’s the hardest to paint.” You may remember Herling’s name from his work to restore the Forest Lane mural. “It started because I wanted it to be a nice neighborhood for my wife,” he says.
When we became the news
While we always strive to tell the story without putting ourselves into it, that became impossible in June when our photographer made news across the world for being in the right place at the wrong time. Photo editor Danny Fulgencio found himself in the thick of the Republican-Democratic divide when he covered President-elect Donald Trump’s campaign visit to Dallas. Fulgencio climbed up onto a bench to get a better vantage point of the raucous crowd. Without warning, he felt a sharp crack to his head as blood trickled into his eyes. A rock, thrown by an unknown person in the crowd, would make him a viral sensation over the next 24 hours. While he was patched up on scene and got right back to shooting, news media feasted on several social media posts that depicted our bloodied photographer. His Facebook exploded with interview requests. At an otherwise uneventful rally, this was the gory drama that most media led their coverage with, inspiring many inaccurate, and often hilarious, headlines. But conservative pundit Pat Dollard’s site took the cake by proclaiming, “Typical Anti-Trump Protester Bashes Gay Journalist In The Head With Rock.” We assume they confused the Preston Hollow Advocate with the gay men’s magazine of similar name, while also assuming the sexuality of Fulgencio, causing still unknown damage to his love life (he’s straight and single, ladies).
Presidential candidate Donald Trump held a rally at Gilley’s on June 16, 2016. Photo by Danny Fuglencio
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