This is just my own personal, correct opinion, but I think the PEOPLE of Denton are what makes it such a cool place to live. I could be wrong, but doubtful. From the students of our two and a half universities to the lifetime residents to our newcomers to our local business people to our Dentonuts to our ever-present visitors to our City government……they all play an integral part in what makes Denton work….
Denton’s history is full of “characters”, statesmen, world-renowned artists, Joe Blows and malfeasants. It’s all good. A walk around the Square at almost anytime will give you a great cross-section of what I’m talking about. One such person is actually buried on the courthouse lawn (maybe). John B. Denton lies a-moldering on the East side of our Square, and as everyone knows, our great city was named after the early resident of the area in which we now reside. Whether or not it’s actually him buried there is up for debate, but if we claim it, it must be true.
I’ll leave stories of early residents to other entries and to other blogs, there are plenty of more recent Dentonites to talk about. On that walk around the Square, Jim Matheson, perpetually seated in front of Jupiter House, is a great resource for both history and current events. I consider Jim the concierge of Denton. He says no, but it is what it is. Jim is a life-long Dentonite, a published author and is chock full of pertinent and not so pertinent information. Jim loves to talk, so don’t hesitate to stroll up and chat him up. You’re bound to get an interesting pearl no matter what subject you choose.One of Denton’s more controversial characters was the late Rex Cauble. Cauble’s story is packed with solid-citizenship, eccentric accesses, lavish parties at his ranch north of Denton, famous friends and finally, prison time. This humble blogger was on the Federal Grand Jury which indicted Mr. Cauble on drug-related charges in the early 1980s, so a future blog will probably take a look at (without divulging ever-secret Grand Jury info) this man who was such an interesting character in Denton history.
Many people who have come and gone have made an impact on our corner of North Texas. Musicians such as Don Henley, Roy Orbison, Norah Jones, Sly Stone, Pat Boone, B.W. Stevenson and Meat Loaf have all either gone to school here or lived here at one time or another. It’s no wonder Denton is known as the other music capital of Texas.
Other not so praise-worthy individuals who lived in or affected Denton include Sam Bass (who watched for posse formations around the Square from Pilot Knob), Charles “Tex” Watson of Charlie Manson fame, serial killer Henry Lee Lucas, and Texas Ranger-killer, Gregory Ott. The good, the bad and the ugly……..and we really don’t have much control of the ner’do wells anyway….. “It takes a village”, partially populated with miscreants, to make a proper village.
Many Denton residents are hangers-on after attendance, and in some cases, graduation from UNT or TWU. This is one part of the music puzzle of Denton music. Sometime in the past, a music stake was pounded into Denton culture and ever since, numerous UNT musicians have stayed after studying at the world-renowned music school. Win-win for us. Denton IS the “other” music capital of Texas, but it IS NOT “Little Austin”. Denton has its own creative personality and is what I’ve said before, …………what Austin wishes it still were.
The business climate of Denton is healthy due in large part to the business people of our town. This may seem obviously apparent, but a good business environment doesn’t just happen, it must be cultivated by our City Government and by city businesses. Denton is quickly becoming know as a business and tech-friendly town.
Another fairly new business which chose to locate here is Pan Ector Industries. Pan Ector is a screenprinting and design shop. They are known for having their hand on the pulse of Denton and for their amazing T-shirts and t-shirt design.
I plan on doing a series of entries on individuals of Denton. If you have someone you’d like me to write about, please feel free to email me. The best thing about the people of Denton is that most of them are Texans which means good stories………