It was my enormous pleasure to write the recent front-page story in The Dallas Morning News about the re-birth of Pegasus, or Pegasus I, as I like to call it. The team at Matthews Southwest, which built the Omni Dallas Hotel, spent years restoring the original flying red horse -- the one that graced the top of the Magnolia Building from 1934 until New Year's Eve, 1999, when a second Pegasus costing $600,000 went up. The restored Pegasus was lit up in front of the Omni in a special ceremony May 27. Oh, by the way: It cost $200,000 to restore Pegasus I, whose bright red neon is the coolest new thing in downtown Dallas at night.
I remember the original Pegasus dating back to my earliest days in the 1950s, and dozens of readers have told me the same. But Pegasus hardly stands alone when it comes to my town's most famous landmarks. So ... What are Dallas' top 10 landmarks? I have my list, but I'm curious to hear yours. I put the restored Pegasus in the No. 1 position, followed by Pegasus II in slot No. 2. Here's my complete my Top 10:
1) Pegasus 1
2) Pegasus 2
3) The so-called "green building"
It's the tallest skyscraper in downtown Dallas, the one that usually gets shown on Sunday Night Football on NBC.
4) The Coors waterfall billboard
You know, it's the billboard just to your right as you enter Dallas North Tollway from Interstate 35E northbound. I am a 63-year-old Dallas native, and I cannot remember a time when that sign wasn't there. There even used to be a restaurant next to it called Baby Doe's Matchless Mine.
5) Reunion Tower
My boys call it "the golf ball building," because the illuminated object on top looks like a giant illuminated golf ball that can even change colors.
6) Ferris wheel at Fair Park
Who cannot list the Texas Star as a top Dallas landmark? Michael Jenkins, who runs Dallas Summer Musicals, says that as a kid growing up in Oak Cliff, he used to ride the Ferris wheel, just to watch DSM performers rehearsing in the outdoor band shell at Fair Park.
7) Cotton Bowl facade
I will always have a soft spot in my heart for the Cotton Bowl, where I watched not one but two professional football teams starting in 1960, those being the Dallas Cowboys, who stayed in Fair Park until 1971, when they moved to Texas Stadium in Irving, and the Dallas Texans, who left after winning a championship in 1962 to become the Kansas City Chiefs. And, of course, how many Texas-OU games and New Year's Day games have been played in one of America's most historic stadiums? Love the green-neon COTTON BOWL sign at night.
8) Big Tex
Gotta have the big guy on any list like this, don't you?
9) The grassy knoll
I know, it's disgusting to have to list it, but let's face it, where do most out-of-town visitors want to go when they come to Dallas?
10) The "Rock of Truth"
The Dallas Morning News chiseled the noble philosophy of founder George Bannerman Dealey into the entrance of its building. It reads: "Build the news upon the rock of truth and righteousness. Conduct it always upon the lines of fairness and integrity. Acknowledge the right of the people to get from the newspaper both sides of every important question."