Monthly Archives: November 2013

Dentoning….DAYS

Thanksgiving…… It’s a DAY. A DAY which happens once every year. It’s a DAY on which most of us don’t work. It’s a DAY we eat ourselves silly. It’s a DAY we spend with family and friends. It’s a DAY we hopefully reflect on our lives and are thankful for them. A DAY. It’s so easy to celebrate the DAY and then move on.

For me, every DAY for the past almost seven weeks has been a thanksgiving DAY. On October 11 my younger brother Kevin, had a stroke. A brainstem stroke……. the worse kind you can have. It happened as he woke up and thankfully, my dear sister in law Kim was there and he was immediately taken to Regional Hospital and then airlifted to Plano. Initially that DAY, we were not given much hope. The doctors worked miracles though, and my dear brother is alive and in great shape. I am truly thankful for every DAY, but I am especially thankful this year that my brother is here to celebrate Thanksgiving DAY.

That is a personal, dramatic story of reason for me to give thanks, but we all have so much to be thankful for……family, friends, jobs, homes, a free country…..and we live in Denton!

But more importantly……..we LIVE….

Life is good…….no matter what.

I hope each and every one of you has a truly Happy Thanksgiving DAY, and that every DAY gives you reason to be thankful……

Enjoy Denton and enjoy every DAY of life!!

Dentoning….a new attitude

Again……this is just my own personal, correct opinion, but I think every Texan and especially Dentonites have every reason to have an attitude. What is there NOT to have an attitude about?? It’s basically a birthright, or a moved-here right……whichever. We live in a COOL place……….and it’s about to get cooler.

When I first saw the brick fa├žade coming off the front of the old Denton Independent Hamburger Company on the south side of the Square, I wasn’t very happy about it. I saw destruction of old Denton, but as it turns out, that particular part of the Square is not that old….. Then I saw the roof top bar going up and I thought “there goes that part of Downtown”. But what I saw today completely changed my mind and won me over. The new can co-exist with the old, the roof top adds to the Square…it doesn’t take away, and Denton is about to have a place to add to its swagger.

Downtown sign

Lone Star Attitude

Lone Star Attitude Burger Co. opens it’s doors November 11 and it will amaze. As you enter the street level floor, you are greeted by greatness. The mural on your left has sparked a little controversy, but the God I know has a sense of humor. The mural is “The Last Supper” of Texas music (my title). Jesus is still at the center of the table, but he is surrounded by Texas musicians of today and yesterday.

image

The mural was produced by a group of artists and is chock full of minutia and hidden meaning. It’s one of two centerpieces on the lower floor. The other is a giant metal Texas behind the bar…….covered with Texasy musical instruments…….a star emblazoned on an electric guitar sits squarely over Denton on the musical map. The place radiates the music of our great State and that of our fair city. I don’t want to give away all the secrets, but the walls, nooks and crannies of LSA tell a story………and it promises to be an ever-changing story.

Music/Texas

Instruments of Texas

Morrison Milling

Back view

The upstairs of the downstairs overlooks the mural, the map and multitudes who are bound to frequent the place. The leather booths are finished with shotgun shell butts and and what Texan doesn’t like ordinance nearby while eating?

The rooftop far exceeds what I expected. The openness of the area provides views of Denton none of us have ever seen. The Courthouse dominates the north end of the building and will be an incredible backdrop to the live music coming from the stage above the keyboarded staircase. The roll-up doors/walls provide protection from the elements, but won’t detract from the views. I really don’t want to oversell the place…….it will sell itself.

Denton Courthouse

The Courthouse view

And the food……..it’s typical Texas fair with lots of surprises……..good surprises. I think anyone who really misses Denton Independent Hamburger Co. will get over it. Lone Star Attitude is a great replacement and a great addition to our already remarkable Square…. It opens Monday……..check it out.

Disclaimer: the author of this somewhat (deservedly) gushy post received no swag for its publication.

Enjoy Denton!

Dentoning….Invisible Denton

There is the Denton we all see and love……..vibrant, fun, comfortable, familiar, busy and diverse. There is another Denton that few see and many don’t know exists. Homeless Denton co-habitates with our daily lives and is anchored in places that would amaze many.

We all see people we suspect are without daily shelter…..we may even be approached on occasion by someone asking for a handout, but we don’t have the obvious clues of people at busy intersections, signs in hand, asking for money for one need or another as we do in larger cities. The absence of this does not mean there are not people struggling to live beside the roads, under the bridges and in camps in the woods of Denton.

A Denton home...

A Denton home…

Denton has programs to feed and provide essential needs to the less fortunate. Our Daily Bread is probably the most noticeable of these essential centers. Our Daily Bread has food, personal hygiene items, some transportation and even medical care for the homeless. When it comes to shelter though, the pickings are slim. The Salvation Army has very limited space, with separate areas for men and women. But they cannot begin to handle the numbers that live within the City of Denton.

The homeless are homeless due to many different reasons. Some have mental issues, others substance abuse problems, some are homeless due to the economy……….some just chose that life. I think the average Dentonite would be dumbfounded at, for the most part, the invisible population of homeless people in our city.

Some live in alleys, under bridges, in abandoned buildings, but a large number of the homeless live in camps within a mile or two of our Square. These camps consist of visqueen (yes, that is the correct spelling) covered mattresses and sleeping bags, in tents, boxes, or out in the open. Often tucked in thickets which provide additional protection, these “homes” are the only shelter from the elements these people know. Some are bunched together, but most house just one person.

Homeless camp

Homeless camp

The people who live in these “towns” within our town are fiercely protective of their locations. The less people know, the better. A couple of the camps are amazingly large with populations of elderly, runaways, baby-boomers and even children. The police are aware of these camps, but for the most part allow the residents to live as they must. During the daytime, they are mostly abandoned as people go about their lives. As dark settles, small fires are lit, cooking stoves started and bags are occupied.

These areas, of course, do not have the simple things like water, sewers, trash collection etc.. that we take for granted and thus have the looks of a refuge camp which, in fact, they are. Piles of trash, large collections of empty bottles, clothing, bikes and “natural” bathrooms litter the camps. The people get by, but it is a very hard life. The “real” world to these people has very little resemblance to the world we know.

Homelessness

A home

A home

The homeless “problem” is around us and is part of Denton. We may not see it, but it is here and it is close. Society struggles on how to help these people in towns and cities around the world. Here in Denton, we can give to our Daily Bread, the Salvation Army, and support Dr. Filipo Masciarelli, who along with his wife, provides medical care to Denton’s homeless population……..there are other ways to help if they are sought out. The Holiday Season is usually a time we think of giving to and helping others, but there so many who need assistance year-round.

Transportation

Transportation

We are so fortunate to live in Denton, let’s think of ways to help those who live in Invisible Denton……….