“D/FW Airport NIght” at the Dallas Press Club:
A low clatter of clinking glasses and clunking plates. Dinner is over, but demand is brisk for the bar tickets that are dipensed like theater admissions from three different colored spools at a back table. A full house tonight in the grand ballroom of what used to be the Petroleum Club back when indirect fluorescent lighting had just been discovered and Early Glenn McCarthy was the height of architectural fashon. Gray-haired men and their wives of many years relaxing for another Fun Night at “the place where newsmakers and newsmen meet.” Laughter and cigars and old friends again.
The hulking emcee, president of News-Texas, Inc. (a chain of suburban papers controlled by the Dallas Morning News), is shoving against the crowd’s murmuring preoccupations like a lineman for the Cowboys, trying to clear the way for the evening’s program. Musn’t let it get too serious. Jokes. More jokes. Airplane jokes. “Have you seen these new billboards?” he booms. “You know, the ones where Southwest Airlines says, ‘Love is Still our Field.’” The man in the blue aloha shirt titters and glances at the woman in the burnt orange dress. “Well, I see a lot of people out there tonight and ‘love’ is not their field any more.” Ho, ho, ho responds the audience in a voice abruptly modulated to bass-baritone; and the woman in the burnt orange dress nervously drus her lavender fingernails on the tablecloth.
A little night music, please. and the evening is begun. “Los Latinos” take