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It's Only Money

By Maxine Shapiro, KERA 90.1 commentator

Dallas, TX – It's Friday so "It's Only Money," a review of the big and not-so-big stories of the week. I'm Maxine Shapiro with KERA Marketplace Middays.

I was thrilled to read in today's Dallas Morning News that Trininty Fest was a huge success. Maybe for the 150-thousand attendees IN the fest. But there were thousands of us who left downtown Dallas confused and disappointed. No doubt about it, the marketing campaign worked. "The largest fireworks ever in Dallas," "these would be the best second only to New York City." I consider myself a pro at handling events like these. Never missed a one in Chicago.

From my view, the biggest winner of yesterday's event was DART. Every train that I saw was packed, and like me, most of us were first-time riders. Forget the fact that though tickets for the ride were purchased for two dollars, there was no official collecting of the tickets. Not sure how that works under normal circumstances. But everybody was excited as we boarded. The train was packed by the second stop. As we traveled along to the following stops, all you saw were frustrated faces of those who could not board these filled-to-capacity cars. An hour later, we arrived, and like thousands of others, our decision was to not fight the crowds inside but find a blade of grass outside and wait for the fireworks.

And wait we did. By 9:45 people all around were getting up and leaving. Maybe these fireworks were only meant to be seen by those inside? Parents were apologizing to their kids as they left, most everyone fearing the battle to get home. At 9:55 pm, a police officer told our crowd it would begin in one minute. I'm thinking to myself, "not good business." People were leaving. By 10:10 pm, the train platform was jammed with those of us who figured we just missed them - couldn't see them. Once on the crammed train, a tall man with a husky voice loudly questioned, "How 'bout them fireworks?" Everybody laughed. The amazing camaraderie that develops from being together was priceless. It was still a major disappointment for all who left, especially once we found out that they started forty-five minutes late. Keeping customers waiting is not a good business. For KERA Marketplace Middays, I'm Maxine Shapiro.

Marketplace Midday Reports air on KERA 90.1 Monday - Friday at 1:04 P.M.