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Left with rumors: The uncertainty about LaCheryl Wilson’s death


One of the many local celebrities in Dallas’ gayborhood is a homeless woman named LaCheryl Wilson (who also known as “Crazy Mary.”)

“Crazy Mary” is mostly an affectionate nickname, but Wilson does appear to suffer some mental health issues. I remember seeing Wilson screaming at people and cars every few weeks when I lived in Oak Lawn.

The tantrums were sporadic however – I usually saw Wilson calmly smoking cigarettes in bus stops or shuffling along Cedar Springs Road.

Crazy Mary of Dallas' Oak Lawn neighborhood.

Crazy Mary of Dallas’ Oak Lawn neighborhood.

My friends spotted Wilson as far as Carrollton and Fort Worth, but she mostly stayed around Oak Lawn, where she was a longtime fixture. There is even a Facebook group dedicated to keeping the neighborhood updated on Wilson’s whereabouts and swapping stories. This is where news of her death was posted last week. Continue reading “Left with rumors: The uncertainty about LaCheryl Wilson’s death” »

Dallas Life Washington DC

It’s nothing

Lightning above the Trinity River in Dallas

It is July and I am in still in Dallas. I dial my insurance company’s nurse hotline on the way home from work and regret my decision within a few minutes —

“Sir, you need to pull over right now and call 911,” the nurse says.

“What?” I ask. (I can’t believe what I’m hearing.)

“You need to pull over your car and call an ambulance,” she repeats. “Based on the information you have given me,  my professional medical opinion is that you are having a stroke.”

The numbness has been going on for about a month now.

It starts in my neck – immediately under my right jaw. It then spreads to the right side of my face – lower lip, then upper lip. Then to my cheek – and sometimes to the back of my head. Continue reading “It’s nothing” »

Washington DC

The road to D.C.

A drag queen performing at Play nightclub in Nashville.

It is 2 a.m. and I am clutching a heaving labradoodle’s mouth shut on the side of a mountain somewhere in Tennessee.

We are halfway to Washington D.C. and my dog picks the most dangerous part of the trip to get car sick.

Ingrid quickly vomits over the dashboard and gear shift, so I put my hazard lights on and pull over. Semi-trucks zoom by as I use leftover Starbucks napkins to clean the car. Ingrid stares at the dark forest behind me, where some serial killer or black bear is surely lurking.

About 30 minutes later, I pull into an isolated gas station to refuel and buy proper cleaning supplies for the vomit. A young clerk with a neck tattoo is pretending to sweep in front of the gas station convenience store while eying a car parked nearby. A couple is sitting in the front of the car, having a full-blown screaming match with the windows down. It’s about 3 a.m.

The woman apparently breaks up with the man and gets out of the car while screaming uncharitable things about the man’s mother. He then peels out of the gas station lot without her.

She sits on the ground in front of the station and lights a cigarette.

Inside the convenience store, the clerk helps me search for wet wipes. Apparently they don’t sell any.

Our search is interrupted by a pair of new customers who enter the store. The man is a tall blonde with a pockmarked face and very few teeth. His clothes are dirty and his shirt is full of holes. The woman is large and squat with wild curly blonde hair. Her clothes are filthy and she isn’t wearing shoes.

She barks at the clerk about cigarette specials.

I quickly pay and exit.

I finish refueling and I am almost done cleaning up the dog vomit when the cops arrive. The clerk pretends to sweep outside of the store again while watching an officer quiz the newly-single woman who was abandoned in front of the gas station. She’s explaining to the cop that she doesn’t have any drugs as I get in my car and continue driving to D.C.

Packing our stuff to leave Dallas.

Packing our stuff to leave Dallas.

Leaving Dallas

Our trip to Washington D.C. started the previous day in Dallas. We got up early on Saturday morning, crammed our cars, and threw out everything else that wouldnt fit.

Several people from our apartment complex hauled away our discarded belongings almost immediately after we set them by the dumpsters. This made me feel a little less guilty about failing to make donation arrangements. Continue reading “The road to D.C.” »

LLM Washington DC

Jansen goes to Washington

Washington DC Cherry Blossoms by Ashton Bingham

After almost two years in Dallas, I’m getting ready for a new adventure — this time in Washington D.C.!

Michael is transferring to the Thomson Reuters office in D.C., meanwhile I have been accepted into the Taxation LL.M. program at Georgetown University Law Center. (The LL.M. is a 1-year tax law program with post-graduation job applications starting this month.) Continue reading “Jansen goes to Washington” »

Dallas Life Miami Minneapolis-St. Paul

Miami, Minnesota, and Dallas: How I spent my 20’s

A view of Bank of America Tower from the Omni in downtown Dallas.

This week I undertook the humbling task of reviewing all of my blog entries. 

This blog stretches back to my freshman year of college, so there are a lot of great (and not-so-great) memories archived in these pages.

Here’s a look at how I spent the last decade or so, from Miami to Minneapolis, and then down to Texas.

Miami Beach

We start in Miami — there were long days in the library, bad drag shows, and misadventures in Little Havana.

Then there was the move to Minnesota, where I started law school and lived in a frat house during my first semester. Continue reading “Miami, Minnesota, and Dallas: How I spent my 20’s” »