Across the US, 2016 was nothing short of a roller coaster ride, and here in Preston Hollow was no different.

The neighborhood became entangled in more than one heated national debate. While people protested the Dakota Access Pipeline outside the Preston Hollow home of Energy Transfer Partners CEO Kelcy Warren, St. Mark’s alumni publicly denounced former classmate and “alt-right” leader Richard Spencer’s ideology.

We watched neighbors embrace reality TV stardom and welcomed familiar faces back to W.T. White and Hillcrest high schools. We saw community members come together to preserve a longtime mural and reminisce about the neighborhood’s glory days.

The year, albeit filled with highs and lows, was far from boring. We’ve revisited the most popular online stories in 2016, determined by the number of clicks they’ve received. Let us know what were your favorites and what you want to read more about in 2017.

Happy New Year!

5.) Reliving Forest Lane’s glory days

Jesse Brin, in his 1971 Ford Mach 1, was another Forest Lane cruiser in the 70s. Brin has owned the car since 1973 and still drives it today. Photo by Rasy Ran

Many Preston Hollow neighbors experienced their own “American Graffiti” in the 1960s, ‘70s and ‘80s, as they spent their free time cruising down the street, drag racing and socializing in parking lots.

4.) Making a comeback

As a former English teacher and coach, Hillcrest Principal Chris Bayer is no stranger to Hillcrest. “I love the hive energy that a high school has,” he told the Advocate. “There’s something going on all the time, at almost any hour of the day.”

3.) The great Forest Lane mural debate

The wooden fence used to temporarily replace the mural on Forest Lane. (Photo from e-Bay)

The wooden fence used to temporarily replace the mural on Forest Lane. (Photo from e-Bay)

Painted by the 1976 graduating class of W.T. White, the beloved Forest Lane mural led to controversy in May when property owner Danny Scott dispatched police to stop repairs from happening.

2.) A new start at W.T. White

Angel and Marie Reyes. (Photo by Danny Fulgencio)

Angel and Marie Reyes. (Photo by Danny Fulgencio)

Much like Chris Bayer, Elena Bates is a familiar face at W. T. White. When former Principal Michelle Thompson announced she wasn’t returning in 2017, Elena Bates was chosen to lead the high school. Hired by the district in 2000, Bates was a teacher, varsity swim coach and, later, the assistant principal at W.T. White.

1.) ‘Real Housewives’ mania: Marie Reyes and Heidi Dillon

“The Real Housewives of Dallas” premiered this past year and has been renewed for a second season, despite a decline in ratings. Although they were auxiliary cast members, Preston Hollow neighbors Marie Reyes and Heidi Dillon attracted plenty of attention and certainly made a name for themselves on the show.

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