Sunday, June 25, 2006


Originally uploaded by mattbucher.
Here is our new Toyota Yaris. We tried to find a Honda Fit, but there were none to be had for miles around. In fact, one waiting list for them stretched until November. We also had trouble finding the Yaris in stock. This was really the only one we could find, but we really wanted something that could get close to 40 mpg. I felt like writing my congressman and demanding that auto manufacturers not only produce more compact cars, but produce them in large numbers. I mean, technically the Yaris and Fit exist, but buying them is extremely difficult (or downright impossible in some areas) because they are manufactured in such low quantites. Dealers are not eager to take on lots of them either because they have very little markup built into their prices.

Friday, June 23, 2006


I'm supposed to be reading The Stories of Breece D'J Pancake for book club, but I am just not that taken by the stories. I can't get into the collection because it seems affected and a lot of the prose is really overblown and these are supposed to be mood pieces rather than plot heavy so I'm just not digging it.

I am still reading Upton Sinclair's Oil! I'm at "The Killing" now and the plot is really bouncing around. He's a master at slowly building these plot sequences that will affect later plots and his characters in this one are pretty complex.

I've also been recaptivated by the story of Douglas Mawson. Maybe the baddest dude who ever lived. Next in the queue: Running After Antelope by Scott Carrier.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Holy Crap

I just realized that the guy who played Lazlo Holyfeld in Real Genius played Uncle Rico in Napolean Dynamite: Jon Gries.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Honest to God quote in the Tyler Morning Telegraph

"All of our lives since the fourth grade we've been told 'Your senior year when y'all get on varsity, that's y'alls year.'"

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Bennie Bickers

I am trying to compile some facts related to one of Dallas's most colorful figures: Bennie Bickers. Maybe someday this will be a scholarly paper or a piece of amateur history or something, but right now it's just a collection of facts (and theories) the really interest me. Here are a few:

- Bennie Bickers owned the University Club from 1953 to 1962.

- The University Club was about a block away from Jack Ruby's Carousel Club on Commerce St.

- There were 12 nightclubs in a six-block square of downtown Dallas in the early 1960s (The Colony Club, The Theater Lounge, The Egyptian Lounge) and a hundred others around town ( Eddie's Room, Top of the Hill Club, The Silver Spur, The Longhorn Ranch Club, The Vegas Club, The Cipango Club, Chez Maurice). I'm not sure about the location of all these places yet.

- According to his testimony, Bickers had known Jack Ruby for approx 20 years dating back to Ruby's time in Chicago.

- Supposedly a meeting took place at the Top of the Hill Club & Casino in 1948 wherein LBJ met with Meyer Lansky, Benny Binion, Benny Bickers, Jack Ruby, and other club owners/ Mobsters to discuss some campaign fundraising from the clubs. At this time, Lewis McWillie was also working at the Top of the Hill.

- McWillie is the one who took Jack Ruby to the Trescornia jail in Cuba in September of 1959. Was Ruby carrying the mob's bribe/bail money to release Santos Trafficante?

- Bickers was likely a lieutenant under Dallas Mob Boss Ben Whitaker.

- Bickers' son Mickey still lives and works in Dallas.