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Say What? Dallas

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We're not that strange here - just visit somewhere else and you'll realize it quick

DALLAS

There are countless reasons for leaving town - some are good and some not so good, especially if you have been asked. While many in North Idaho often return to Southern California, in my case I travel to Texas because that is where similar DNA can be found.

There is something fascinating about every trip, mostly about how those people down there live. Nothing has really changed over the years, just gotten worse, in my opinion. Every trip confirms that the old TV series ‘Dallas” was not written in Chicago.

The current economic crisis, aka recession, seems quite different down there. The Business section of the Dallas Morning News always is good reading. Doesn’t quite compare to the Spokesman-Review even though they both had the same editor (Chris Peck) at one time or another.

One headline, “Area foreclosures jump” covers the story that on the first Tuesday in May there will be 4,400 homes up for auction ( there is a Foreclosure Listing Service). Although the May figure is down compared to April, the jump refers to the fact that the 2007 total is up more than 10 percent over 2006.

It is noteworthy that “jumbo loans” (over $417,000) are harder to come by and the interest rates are going up. This is creating a problem for lawyers, doctors, business owners and corporate execs. In case you are wondering, the monthly payment on a half million dollar loan, at 6 percent, is $2,997.75. Raise the interest rate 1.5 percent and the payment goes up to $3,160.34. It is going to be hard on clients and patients at this rate.

But all is not doom and gloom. The Plano Maserati (an Italian beater) dealer will lease you a 2008 Quattaporte Auto for $1,499. If you prefer the Granturisomol (MSRP $126,850) - same monthly price. The more popular local machine is the Mercedes-Benz SL class, which has an invoice price of $174,096. If you are still not impressed by Texas spending, read on.

The Dallas Cowboys (that’s a joke) are getting a new stadium which will accommodate 80,000 fans, if, and that’s a big IF - depending on what tickets and right-to-buy tickets get sold. The stadium is costing something over a billion dollars. It will have a retractable roof and a center hung video display board. It gets better

Any season ticket holder will pay $340 for one game. That is a single seat. Impressed? Wait a minute. In order to acquire that ticket or any others, you have to first purchase the “right to buy” a ticket. Those prices begin at $16,000 and top out at $150,000, but it will be good for 30 years. See, there is a good and bad side to most everything. Prices for cheaper seats have not been announced. At the old Texas Stadium the ticket price was only $129.

“Seat Options,” as they are called, are not new. About one-third of the 32 NFL teams have them in one form or another. So we hicks will know the seat options are regarded by some as a good investment. It is said a pair of Chicago Bears licenses have been on e-Bay for only $40,000. So much for football.

PS. Parking is $28.

Another way Texas approaches things differently is in weather reporting. In the land of hail (that’s not where you are going if you misbehave), sleet and high winds, the viewer is furnished a time table on when the breeze is going to hit their neighborhood. Sort of letting you know when it’s time to duck and for how long.

And if you are impressed by our local Chief Metrologists telling you what a good job they are doing, wait until they tell you they are going to stay up all night at the studio to bring you the latest. It is, after all, sort of comforting to know that outside your immediate family there is someone who cares. Of course, there is always some reporter giving us his all by standing in driving rain with a severely bent umbrella (bumbershoot for the readers in the MotherCountry).

In Texas, roofing is a big business. No need for those 30-year warranties as the shingles never get a chance to wear out. They didn’t fail on the job, just moved down the street. Hopefully the trusses didn’t go with them.

The crime rate is pretty fair too - April 17 was noteworthy. One idiot whistled at another’s girl friend and paid the supreme price for his indiscretion. Two others apparently lacked basic business skills as a drug deal went bad. Three others were merely wounded. In a two-week period there were 13 homicides.

The general reaction to the situation at the “Yearning for Zion Ranch” was positive. The few males who were guarding their herd of females are ranching elsewhere. Thanks to Aid for Dependent Children, we as taxpayers have funded the whole operation. Makes my comments about sex in Africa seem trifling.

Other than that, it’s the same ol’ same ol’, Pickups still have neither dirt nor dogs. Beamers everywhere. Cops play footies with each other just like they do in Spokane. Demoted, fired, suspended and always re-instated.

Take care now, y’all.

PS They had one good idea... when a driver is caught without insurance (or license), impound the car ON THE SPOT! It does seem stupid not to take the jerk off the road immediately. The best served are the low-income drivers who should not suffer the consequences of the irresponsible.

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Author info

Paul Rechnitzer Paul Rechnitzer Transplanted 30 years ago, Paul is a retiree from the oil business who knows no other place he would rather live and breathe local history.

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