One of these days, hopefully not anytime soon, our area’s financial good fortune will probably cool down.

Jobs won’t be as plentiful as fire ants, income won’t be increasing exponentially, our investments won’t be growing at 10 percent monthly, and crime will begin to rear its ugly head again.

And when that less-than-euphoric period arrives, what will we have left from the glory days?

Among other things, we’ll be enjoying an improved White Rock Lake and park.

Plenty has been happening at the lake since the Advocate first wrote about its impending demise five years ago this month in our article “Dead in the Water.”

After that article, momentum to take action began building. And when the Morning News followed up our lead and brought the problem to the rest of the City’s attention several months later, an almost religious movement overwhelmed City organizations, other media outlets, real estate developers and neighborhood residents.

Thousands of volunteers have been taking matters into their own hands since that first story, and the resulting improvements at the lake are obvious today

The City-funded dredging restored the lake’s vitality, turning White Rock from a muddy pond into a lake again.

Monthly clean-ups sponsored by For The Love of the Lake are making a big difference in shoreline trash, and neighborhood groups are now sponsoring every section of shoreline to make sure trash is minimized.

The White Rock Lake Foundation — another group comprised primarily of neighborhood volunteers — has re-focused the City’s efforts to ensure future lake improvements proceed according to master plan rather than the whims of the time.

In fact, the City is scheduled later this summer to begin a $3 million first-phase redevelopment, starting with the lake entrance at Garland Road and Lawther Drive.

And yet another neighborhood-based group is making plans for a fall entertainment festival benefiting the lake.

You can read more about these accomplishments and plans in this month’s cover story.

Like I said, I’m not wishing for a return to the mid-’80s, when many of us wondered where the next dollar was going to come from.

But one of these days, when we have a little more time on our hands to enjoy such things, we’ll be able to drive by our neighborhood’s crown jewel, watch the sun casting a brilliant red glow along the water and against the City’s skyline, and pat ourselves on the back that we built a solid foundation for our neighborhood’s future at a time when we could most afford to.

In the spirit of Mother’s Day, I want to pass along this joke told recently by East Dallas resident and D/FW Airport entrepreneur Jethro Pugh:

A man was talking with his friend, bemoaning his mother’s single-minded and protective attitude toward him.

“You know,” the man told his friend, “if I was arrested today for robbing a bank, my mother would tell the police the whole thing was the bank’s fault because they tempted me by keeping their money in the building.”

Here’s hoping our mothers never have to make an argument like that on our behalf.

But perhaps it’s not so bad that mothers have a tendency to see things our way, especially on those days when we can use a little boost.


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