If something doesn’t seem quite right, maybe it isn’t
Note to self: the next time something seems amiss it probably is. Don’t ignore the warning signs.
I was writing a story last Wednesday about the dedication ceremony for The Legacy of Love Monument at the Oak Lawn Triangle, and I stopped to go take a picture of the structure. When I got there I was surprised to find the monument unfinished because I understood the event would be taking place in two more days.
I returned to my office without a picture, telling a colleague that I couldn’t imagine how they were going to get the monument finished on time. “They don’t even have the disco ball on top of the monument yet,” I said.
As it turns out, I was in the process of making one of the dumbest, most embarrassing mistakes I have ever made. Although I had been provided with the correct information on a press release, I had jumped ahead of the organizers of the event by a full week. The event was scheduled for tonight, not last Friday night.
But I remained blissfully ignorant of my ignorance until last Friday morning when the newspaper was distributed with the erroneous front page headline, “Oak Lawn monument to be unveiled tonight.”
What a nightmare.
In addition to being chewed out by the guy who signs my paychecks, I’ve had to admit my stupidity to quite a few people. I had a call from one community leader who thought he had made a mistake and had missed the event. He was relieved to hear it was my mistake, and he would still get to attend the event.
I don’t even want to think about the people who showed up to find nothing happening. I thought about standing in front of the monument, wearing a dunce cap and a sign around my neck that said, “Come back next week.”
Actually, most everyone has been gracious about my mistake. Hopefully, the second week of coverage my mistake demanded will help produce a larger gathering for the celebration.
And it’s going to be a grand celebration, tonight, Oct. 13 at 7 p.m. on the east lawn of the Melrose Hotel. The gathering will move across the street to the monument at 7:30 p.m. for the official dedication and lighting of the public art piece.
It will mark the end of three years of planning, fundraising and construction of the beautification project at the intersection of Oak Lawn Avenue and Cedar Springs Road. I’ve written about a dozen stories about the project since the Oak Lawn Committee first announced its plans to erect the monument, so I’ve watched it grow from an idea to reality.
Since the plans were announced, the leaders of the project have marshaled public and private support and raised $225,000 for the monument’s construction at a time when contributions by the public are down. It was quite a feat.
I only have one question of the project’s leaders. Why did you choose Friday the 13th for the celebration’s date? Just look at what’s already happened!
This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition, October 13, 2006.