Friday, June 8, 2012

Pegasus City

If you're one to believe a city's nickname, Texas is home to the Rose, Chile, Spinach, Turkey, Wildflower, Watermelon, Mohair, Horned Lizard, Cowboy, Cutting Horse, Goose Hunting, Fruit Cake, Leap Year, Blackeyed Pea, and Execution capitals of the world. None of these distinctions belong to Dallas.

The Big D is neither the "City of Champions" nor "Where Yee-Ha Meets Ole." We do not pretend to be the Polka or the Cheeseburger or the Dinosaur capital of Texas. Wikipedia claims "The Jingle City" and "Triple D" are nicknames of Dallas, though I've never heard them said out loud; which only underscores the fact that we have not managed a sobriquet as colorful as such fellow Texan cities as "The Town Without a Frown" and "The Town Without a Toothache."

This is inexplicable to me. Dallas, if anyone was bothering to market it to eight year old girls, would clearly be known as Pegasus City. This could have started as early as 1934, when the Magnolia Building, already Dallas' tallest skyscraper, crowned its own glory by erecting on its roof a red neon flying horse. It must have been stunning. They say you could see it for miles.

Now, the Magnolia Building is no longer the tallest skyscraper in town, just as the Magnolia Oil Company (the building's namesake) is no longer the Magnolia Oil Company. Nonetheless, the trademark of what is now Mobil Oil is also no longer just a corporate logo. Long since adopted as a civic symbol, the pegasus is used to mark bike paths and public trash cans and signs pointing motorists toward downtown attractions. You can, if you are in the mood, visit Pub Pegasus and Pegasus Bank, just as you might enroll at the Pegasus Charter School or read the Pegasus News.

But, while I am all for a collective pegasus pride, I like to think not everyone's noticed the iconic sign at the top of 108 S. Akard Street. Urban pegasus spotting is a fine hobby indeed, but ever so slightly more than I like discovering each new pegasus in my city, I like to think there are people who earnestly call up the very real businesses of Pegasus Solutions or Pegasus Logistics or Pegasus Advisors and, having no reference at all for the mythological name, imagine, just for a moment, that a pegasus will answer and all their problems will be solved.

1 comment:

E Mena said...

Or, perhaps, that Pegasus Advisors is a business primarily intended to give advice to pegasi... Perhaps lost pegasi roaming the streets (and rooftops) of Dallas?