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From dinosaurs roaming the Paluxy in Glen Rose to Lance Armstrong joining his first cycling team in Richardson

1 | Dinosaurs Roam the Paluxy

On the Northwest side of the Paluxy River, Glen Rose | 113 million years ago

Life is relatively bucolic out west of Glen Rose these days; most creatures do not spend their time stalking or being stalked. But this was not the case 113 million years ago, when dinosaurs roamed the balmy coastline around what is now the Paluxy River. Bipedal carnivores called acrocanthosaurs preyed on quadrupedal herbivores known as paluxysaurs, leaving behind more than a thousand tracks in the calcium-rich mud. Today, if you find yourself approximately one mile north of FM 205 and Park Road 59, in Dinosaur Valley State Park, there’s no need to watch your back—though you should watch your step. —KATY VINE

2 | John Graves launches his canoe

Texas Highway 16 at the Brazos River | November 1957

John Graves

Wittliff Collections/Texas State University

On the gray day in the fall of 1957 when John Graves pushed off from the banks of the Brazos River and paddled his canoe downstream, both he and the river were at a crossroads. Graves was taking care of his sick father and had yet to definitively make his mark as a writer; the Brazos was in danger of being diverted with a series of lakes and dams from Possum Kingdom to Lake Whitney. So Graves’s trip, which began one mile downstream from the Morris Sheppard Dam at the 1942 masonry arch bridge, was intended as a farewell. But as he pushed away from shore, “into the bubble-hiss of the rapids,” he couldn’t have known that the trip would end up changing the course of his own life and the river’s. The book that came out of it, Goodbye to a River, helped prevent the Brazos River Authority from carrying through with its plan. As a result, today you can glide down the same river and cast your mind back to his thoughts on that overcast day—which were probably “Let’s get to camp and build a fire.” —KV

3 | Mary Martin Opens a Dance Studio

West Oak, Weatherford | 1933

Long before she became a Broadway legend, Mary Martin taught dance in Weatherford in her uncle Luke’s cleaned-out grain storage loft. But hoping to expand her limited curriculum, Martin headed west to study at the Fanchon and Marco School of the Theatre, in Hollywood. When she returned to her hometown in 1933, her parents surprised her with a new dance studio on Oak Street, a block from their home. Elaine Vandagriff, whose father helped with the construction, remembers a cozy studio with a sitting room and three large windows on the east side. Martin led dance classes there until she returned to Hollywood, in 1935, and it remains there to this day, the site where so many local boys and girls had their first dance. —ALISON FINNEY

4 | Gunman kills two at Cullen Davis mansion

4100 Stonegate Boulevard, Fort Worth | August 2, 1976

The gunman was dressed in black and wearing a woman’s wig when he appeared at the 19,000-square-foot mansion belonging to Cullen Davis, the oil tycoon whose net worth was pegged north of $250 million. When the shooting spree ended, Davis’s estranged wife, Priscilla, known for wearing a diamond necklace that said “Rich Bitch,” lay wounded. His twelve-year-old stepdaughter, Andrea, and Priscilla’s live-in lover, Stan Farr, a former TCU basketball player, lay dead. Most shocking of all was that Davis himself became the crime’s main suspect. He was thought to have been the richest person in America ever charged with murder, though he was eventually acquitted in a circus of a trial in Amarillo, only to be subsequently charged with trying to hire a hit man to kill Priscilla and the judge in their divorce case, where he was acquitted a second time. Today Davis lives in Colleyville with a new wife. As for the mansion where it all began, it has since served as a restaurant, a gallery, and even a church; now it is an event center that is rented out to the public, though viewings are by appointment only. —BRIAN D. SWEANY

5 | KAP writes a society column

1627 College Avenue, Fort Worth | September 15, 1917

Like most aspiring authors in their twenties, Katherine Anne Porter was having trouble getting a job. After the Dallas Morning News rebuffed her, the Indian Creek native turned to her Fort Worth friends J. Garfield and Kitty Barry Crawford, founders of the Fort Worth Critic newspaper, who not only gave her a job as a society columnist but allowed her to move in with them. It was in the Crawfords’ home that KAP wrote her first column. The future Pulitzer Prize winner was introduced to readers as a person who “likes things which many people consider frivolous and of no consequence—society and the many small factors which go toward making life pleasant and interesting are among her hobbies.” —KV

6 | Ornette Coleman is kicked out of high school band

1411 I. M. Terrell Circle, Fort Worth | 1947

Ornette Coleman’s landmark album The Shape of Jazz to Come shocked listeners in 1959 with its unfettered improvisation and its lack of chord progressions. And in the years that followed, it lived up to its title, opening the door for the free jazz movement and upending traditional notions about composition, instrumentation, tone, and, well, just about everything. But the shape of jazz to come had been taking shape for a long time. The Fort Worth native attended the then-segregated I. M. Terrell High School, where future jazzmen like King Curtis Ousley, Charles Moffett, and William Lawsha (a.k.a. Prince Lasha) were his classmates. Coleman played sax in the marching band and would often improvise parts and riffs. One day in 1947, during a rendition of John Philip Sousa’s “The Washington Post March,” he and Lawsha were accused of being “jazz hounds” and kicked out of the band. Since Lawsha also went on to become a free jazz pioneer, it’s safe to

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