Rawlins Gilliland for Dallas Morning News: It’s bigger than P.G.

Rawlins Gilliland writes a column that only he could imploring the media and others to stop referring to everything in southeast Dallas as “Pleasant Grove.” I can see how some people don’t know any better, but it’s a shame that those who do continue to misrepresent the area. Rawlins makes some great points as always in his piece It’s bigger than Pleasant Grove. Here are a few excerpts.

  • It’s understandable how roughly 20 percent of Dallas became known as Pleasant Grove. It’s just no longer acceptable.
  • Living for 25 years in a neighborhood north of Pleasant Grove is not the reason I care about this issue so deeply. It is, however, how I learned that no one else with media access cared about getting the names right – despite the availability of Dallas maps clearly delineating individual neighborhood names and boundaries. But beyond the archaic inaccuracy, calling an enormous portion of the city by the name of the largest of seven or eight component areas, what’s the rub?
  • Imagine if Dallas had annexed Plano, and later Richardson and Garland, and that entire part of Dallas was collectively called Plano. That gives you an idea of how longtime residents of the communities of Parkdale, Piedmont and Pleasant Mound have felt.
  • Not long ago, a woman mentioned that she liked “The Grove,” but “after reading about that man [who killed the SMU coed] … arrested in his Pleasant Grove home” she moved to Buckner Terrace. Which was actually where the accused man, later the convicted murderer, actually lived. Oops.
  • Bottom line: When no one knows or cares where and what Pleasant Grove is, it’s convenient to use this generic geographic dart-toss default in clumsy news coverage. Meanwhile, this collaterally brands the name Pleasant Grove with an ingrained stigma taint.
  • The result? When there are genuine reasons for local boosterism pride, for instance, the glorious new Audubon Center on South Loop 12, coverage avoided crediting southeast Dallas or, God forbid, mentioning its proximity to Pleasant Grove – despite insistent use of that label in other articles.
  • I know. Picky, picky.

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