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A Saturday Afternoon at the Leaning Tower of Dallas

Robert Franklin

Posted on March 1, 2020 22:51

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On Leap Day 2020, my family and I went to see "The Leaning Tower of Dallas" and bore witness to a pure moment of humanity.

It’s an understatement to say that our modern times are divisive. People are identified by their political affiliations and compartmentalized accordingly to feed the appetites of American tribalism. The very definitions of “right” and “wrong” are on trial. The sociopolitical identity of the United States is a body riddled with malignant tumors, in dire need of both extraction and long-term treatment.
 
But there are pocketed moments where the clinical depression of the electorate is not worn on sleeves and the animosity of voters is subdued for reasons greater than what divides. There are times where people come together under a common cause, or in some cases, a hysterical oddity in their own backyards.

Photo by Mary Franklin


On Leap Day, I took my family to such a peculiarity on the corner of US-75 and Haskell Avenue in Dallas. There’s a building on that corner that, for weeks, has been subject to demolition efforts, but still, as of this writing, stands, despite controlled explosions and days of futile swatting with a wrecking ball.

It’s been dubbed the “Leaning Tower of Dallas,” a novel curiosity favoring its side, but whose core refuses to rest eternally. In the days since the attempts at destruction began it has trended on Twitter, inspired a petition to declare it a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a Texas state landmark, and even became temporary ad space for Oklahoma’s Choctaw Casino & Resort.

Photo by Mary Franklin


I stared at this building and saw it, as well as the lawn party next door, as something rare within these trying times we find ourselves.

There must have been at least a couple hundred people in the empty field next door. Men, women, and children -- they all found themselves in a microcosmic representation of Dallas’ diverse population. Highland Park socialites. Deep Ellum hipsters. Oak Cliff’s necessitous. Oak Lawn’s Prideful.

Everyone was there… and getting along.

Photo by Mary Franklin


White, Black, Hispanic, gay, straight, et al -- their children played together, while they conversed and shared spirits. People who would, under most circumstances, likely never cross paths with one another shared an afternoon as peers under the observance of the tilted remains of a building that refuses to fall.

That afternoon was a picturesque juxtaposition to the horrors we are all so often subjected, thanks to the endurance of those that seek to divide us. It often seems that the country is swirling in a maelstrom of uncertainty, hate, and paranoia, but there are times, however infrequent they might be, that show anyone with open eyes the opposite of the prevailing narrative. People are still filled with love and can find fellowship with others, be they different races, from different classes, or with differing ideas.
 
I saw one of these moments on Leap Day, under a totem that brought one of the most racially, economically, and ideologically diverse cities in the United States together.

In times like these, the importance of these moments cannot be undersold… or under-appreciated.

Robert Franklin

Posted on March 1, 2020 22:51

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Source: SF Gate

DALLAS (AP) — The designer of the “Leaning Tower of Dallas” has been taking a wry pride in the stubborn resistance the creation...

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