I had a Texas History class in elementary school. The Alamo was undoubtedly the shining star of the curriculum, with local history tucked away as a mere footnote. I assumed that nothing “history-worthy” happened around here because we didn’t learn about it in school. Fast forward 30-something years. My journey with local history started unexpectedly in April 2020, when I stumbled into Hell’s Half Acre.
I braved the Texas heat yesterday afternoon — it felt more like summer than fall — to track down some historical markers. I was driving in a residential neighborhood to get to the next one and passed a house with a teenager sitting on the front porch. He watched me, and I know he continued to do so as I parked a few houses down. I got out of my car, read the historical marker, and took a few photos — definitely feeling his eyes on me at this point.
I recently read Dr. Zack Bobo’s memoir, Ramblings of a Country Doctor, published in 1977. The memoir touched on his youth, medical school, a lengthy career as a doctor, time in Arlington, and traveling. He included observations about living life, the medical profession, and a determination to “keep a-stepping” — advice from a fellow doctor he often passed onto others. Bobo lived a life full of adventure and discovery before passing away in 1987 at age 90. He’s buried at Parkdale Cemetery in Arlington.
The relationship between Arlington and the Bavarian town of Bad Königshofen began as letters between pen pals that turned into a post-World War II assistance program. Despite the distance and contrasts between the Sister Cities, our enduring friendship is a testament to the power of kindness.
Today is North Texas Giving Day! This annual event is a major fundraiser for more than 3,000 nonprofit organizations in North Texas. Since its inception in 2009, donations have increased every year. The organization helped raise $4 million for 345 nonprofits in the first year. That’s impressive, but realize this: in 2020, donations topped $58 million for more than 3,200 nonprofits! In 12 years, North Texas Giving Day has helped raise more than $375 million, as the event brings unrivaled awareness and support. What started as an idea is now a movement.