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Cowtown USA???


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#1 DrkLts

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Posted 08 May 2004 - 06:08 PM

HOWDY YA'LL!

I RECKIN' YOU COWPOKES ARE HAVIN' A MIGHTY FINE DAY. YEEHAW!!!!!

Ok, let me stop talking in "character" and get to my point...
Does everyone really like our city's nickname? I'm looking for some feedback on this. If ya like it, I'm cool with that, but I personally think its way outdated.
Also, it seems, it gives the impression everyone here speaks the way I just did in my welcoming intro. lol
What I mean is, this is Texas, the whole country already has us stereotyped as cowboyland. That means everyone driving pickup trucks, living on ranches, riding our horses, and two-steppin' at every dancefloor. Ok, it comes with the territory by living in TX, but do we need to brand this city as COWTOWN forever?

Ok, so some might say the title might give us a unique personality. Really? If Fort Worth was in California or Florida I might agree but here in TX... pick a city, any city or town and the nickname can apply. Anywhere in the Lone Star State you'll see some proud western heritage, not just limited to FW.

Look at it this way, next time you're strolling thru the mall or eating out in a nice resturant around town and you see someone in a 10gallon cowboy hat, wearing his shiniest boots, and wearing his starched wranglers proudly, ask yourself..."Does this urban cowboy look a tad out of place in this modern city or is he just making a stop before he heads out to BillyBobs? lol" If you agree with that, then "Cowtown" is outdated.

By the way, can we all agree on FuNkYtOwN? :swg:

#2 Dismuke

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Posted 08 May 2004 - 07:08 PM

I think anybody who is a fair observer is going to realize that the nickname has more to do with the city's western heritage than as a statement of what it currently is. There are a lot of people from other parts of the country who find that heritage to be part of the city's charm. In other words, unlike a lot of other generic sprawled out metro areas in the southern half of the country, our city has a heritage that it still embraces and has not forgotten. Why would we want to distance ourselves from it?

Understand that the people who attach unflattering stereotypes against us even after they have seen plenty of evidence to the contrary are going to continue to do so no matter what we do. You can't win with such people - so why even try? Sure, there are those who have bought into such stereotypes out of mere ignorance. But the answer to that is to enlighten them - and we don't have to run away from our heritage in order to do that.

I also wonder if some people who would like to distance themselves from Fort Worth's Cowtown image do so because the stereotypes that people attach to it hit a little bit too close to home. Stereotypes - even those that are unjust - always have at least some basis in reality otherwise the initial attempt at stereotyping wouldn't have been successful. It is, of course, understandable why people might be sensitive to such stereotypes. On the other hand, to the degree that those stereotypes are indeed true, the are a fact and are a part of the city's identity whether one particularly likes it or not. There is, of course, nothing wrong with not liking certain aspects of one's city or its culture and such specific dislikes do not disqualify a person from being a big fan of the city as a whole. On the other hand, I have run into some people whose dislike for certain aspects of our region runs so deep that what they really want is for the region to simply transform itself and be like some other part of the country that better suits their taste. My thought is that such people would probably be happier if they simply lived in whatever place it is they like better.

I don't care where you go, any region of the country is going to have negative stereotypes attached to it. People (and cities) who are secure in their identity and comfortable with who they are do not spend a lot of time worrying about such things.

By the way, can we all agree on FuNkYtOwN?



Well, you won't get my agreement on it. I personally dislike that name as it sounds like a place where a bunch of hippies and/or the mindlessly trendy would hang out in droves. While some people may wish that our city were like that, I have, fortunately, not seen a lot of evidence that such is the case.

Of course, part of that may have to do with how one defines "funky." Here is what I found in one dictionary:

1 : having an offensive odor : FOUL
2 : having an earthy unsophisticated style and feeling; especially : having the style and feeling of older black American music (as blues or gospel) or of funk <a slick, heavy beat that is unmistakably contemporary and irresistibly funky -- Jay Cocks>
3 a : odd or quaint in appearance or feeling b : lacking style or taste c : unconventionally stylish : HIP


Hopefully definition 1 is not applicable. :swg:

I don't think definition 2 is particularly applicable to Fort Worth.

Definition 3a might be a bit applicable - but I think there are more positive ways of expressing it. 3b is certainly not flattering. 3c is what I take to be the meaning intended - and I submit that, in the sewer of today's pop culture, being "hip" is NOT an admirable thing. Besides, whatever it is that happens to be "hip" right now, you can bet your life it will be "un-hip" in a very short period of time. Why invest so much in superficialities and momentary fads when our city already has a rich history and an enduring heritage it can embrace?

Back in the days when hippies were roaming the streets, there was a push for Fort Worth to drop "Cowtown" in favor of "Nowtown." My guess is, a couple decades from now, "Funkytown" will sound as dated and bizarre as does "Nowtown" and that most people will still be calling Fort Worth "Cowtown."
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#3 normanfd

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Posted 09 May 2004 - 11:13 AM

From my vantage point in Far West Texas, I thought y'all might be interested in knowing that there is a subculture of West Texans, generally older generation ranchers and oilmen, who never refer to Fort Worth or San Antonio by their true names. They always refer to the two cities as Cowtown and San Antone, and do so with affection. Fort Worth does not need to market an image or try to brand itself to other Texans. Everyone throughout the state who is not a recent arrival from elsewhere knows that Fort Worth is a distinct city that has little in common with Dallas. Fort Worth is regarded as being a very down to earth, hospitable city where rural Texans feel at home in a familiar environment. Dallas, on the other hand, is seen as pretentious, even snobbish, and too willing to try to copy an image as a trendy East Coast city, and doing a very poor job of it. Out here, Dallas, even more than Houston, is seen as the best place to go shopping for people with large disposable incomes who are willing to spend a few days away from home to do so. Fort Worth is seen as being a better place for familiar entertainment and a better place for sightseeing.

People who don't like the Cowtown nickname can always fall back on the Panther City moniker.

#4 Willy 1

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Posted 09 May 2004 - 11:33 AM

I don't really like "Cowtown" or "Panther City". Neither one seems relavent to the Fort Worth of today and both seem to render a false image in the minds-eye when you hear either of those nicknames. However, they are, regardless of whether or not anyone likes them, a part of the rich history of Fort Worth. I think the Cowtown name is more relavent than Panther City. Especially since "Panther City" is a name that was originally thrown at FW in an insulting manner by Dallas... Cowtown however is a name that has origins tied to the city's history as one of America's largest cattle cities. It's very "Old West" in nature and I kind of like that FW has ties to the old west.... that image conjures up thoughts of shoot outs, bank robbers, train jumpers and everything glorified in Hollywood's old spaghetti westerns. I think Fort Worth could do a great job spinning the Cowtown name into a much more positive thing. The TV Show Dallas did a great job of stereotyping the entire state as this backwards-ass place where people still ride horses everywhere and live on ranches and swindle each other out of rights to oil reserves. If the city were to have an ad campain that sort of had a "Cowtown isn't what you think" feel to it then I think it could actually work. They've made small attempts at it, but I think they need real advertising geniuses to work it out, not just the CVB trying to regurgitate a bunch a stats in a commercial. I actually like the new Oklahoma commercials I've been seeing. They embrace their heritage and build on it....

So, do I like "Cowtown" --- eh, not really. But, do I think we should abandon it? NO - absolutely not. I think it just needs a fresh spin... "Panther City" - kill that one as far as I'm concerned. Not only is it negative in origin, but it is really vague. I'd be willing to bet most people in FW don't even know the city was once called Panther City. As for Funkytown... I really don't care for that either. It's really just sort of a cheesy retaliation to Fort Worthless that was made up by some Saturday night radio DJ who was trying to lure people to some dance club over the radio.

What if we just called FW, "Dallas' better half"... as if the cities are married to each other, and FW is the better half. LOL....

#5 Dismuke

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Posted 09 May 2004 - 12:21 PM

I think the Cowtown name is more relavent than Panther City. Especially since "Panther City" is a name that was originally thrown at FW in an insulting manner by Dallas...

The reason I don't think plugging the Panther City nickname is a good idea is because one has to know a pretty obscure bit of history in order to "get it."

As to the negativity - sure, you have a point there. On the other hand, I think there is a certain aspect of it that speaks well of the city. A Dallas newspaper insults Fort Worth with a deliberate smear. What does Fort Worth do? It adopts the smear as its mascot. You have to admit that it takes a certain amount of self-confidence and lack of concern about how one is viewed in the eyes of fools in order to do something like that.

Imagine if a newspaper columnist in a larger or more "prestigious" city elsewhere in the country wrote something negative about Dallas. The city's civic establishment would be deeply wounded. It would be sort of like the crisis an insecure teenager would go through if someone from the "in" crowd at school referred to him/her as a "dork." You would have prominent citizens and newspaper columnist openly wondering what the city could and should do to enhance its prestige in the eyes of significant others - to make the city more "World Class." Build funny looking bridges over the Trinity - fix up downtown which was allowed to be taken over by street people decades ago - do something, anything. Reinvent the city and its image - not because the citizens of the city want to do so or because doing so will make it a better place to live. No - there's a concern more important than any of that: what other people think of us.

Whether the year is 1875 or 2004, why should Fort Worth care what some newspaper columnist in Dallas thinks? Sometimes the best response to an insult is to throw it back in the person's face - and I kind of like to think that is why the Panther City name stuck.

Fort Worth had another nickname in the 1890s: "Queen City of the Prairie." Today, that sounds very dated and almost bizarre.
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#6 ghughes

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Posted 09 May 2004 - 12:50 PM

What if we just called FW, "Dallas' better half"... as if the cities are married to each other, and FW is the better half. LOL...



And just LOOK at all those children: There's Arlington, and Irving, and Euless, and cute little Pantego over there...

#7 mosteijn

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Posted 09 May 2004 - 05:49 PM

"Cowtown" is what sets us apart from most cities in Texas. I would rather have that heritage than none at all. In my opinion, it makes FW much more attractive than cities like Dallas and Houston. I mean, there's really nothing special about either places except that they're big. And, unfortunately, that's something a lot of people place above such things as culture and history :swg:

#8 hipolyte

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Posted 10 May 2004 - 11:14 AM

The only problem I have with 'Cowtown' is there are other cities in the US that are known or have been known as 'Cowtown'. Any regional city with a large packing house and stockyards operation got hung with that moniker.
Our unique position as one of the first stockyards on the Chisolm Trail, and our proximity to West Texas ranching country, however, gives our city a type of 'old West' authenticity that Chicago will never have. No one would go to Chicago looking for cowboys today. B)
There is only one Panther City. Should we promote that as a tourist attraction? Only as a footnote, probably. When Fort Worth was a real Cowtown, it was called Panther City.
Also, have to agree with dismuke on 'Funkytown'. Monikers are earned, not adopted. Sounds more like Austin to me.

#9 gdvanc

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Posted 10 May 2004 - 05:33 PM

I like all of our nicknames.

None of them should have a material positive or negative impact on tourism, corporate relocations, standard of living, government grants, quality of life, economic growth, traffic congestion, high-end retail, unique bars and restaurants, live music, higher education, or anything else relatively meaningful - unless their existence is the largest part of our marketing strategy.

We should have no more trouble with Cowtown than Boston has with "Beantown", Chicago with "The Windy City" or "Slaughterhouse to the World", or Toronto with "Hogtown".

Even unflattering nicknames are generally terms of endearment. If you don't like our nickname(s), take comfort in knowing that great cities have no trouble rising above them because, well, they are great cities. If Fort Worth is truly great, a bad nickname won't hold her back. If she is not, a great nickname won't propel her to greatness.

At least we don't have Beaver, Oklahoma's unfortunate nickname. ;-)

#10 redhead

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Posted 11 May 2004 - 04:27 PM

Dismuke, do you find it ironic that Fort Worth is regularly compared to the original "Queen City" of Charlotte, NC? I find that most interesting!

As for Cowtown, I think it fits and do not take it negatively. The Stockyards are the biggest tourist draw in the city---sorry Phillip Poole---it's not the Cultural District! In fact the Stokyards folks say they attract five times the number of visitors that the museums do. In the context of the Futurity, the Fat Stock Show, et., it seems reasonable. I think we should embrace it and have Chisolm Trail markers spaced as a Fort Worth walking tour. The trail actually comes up Commerce, goes over the hill and runs along Trinity Bluff until it crosses to the north...the reason was that it was after the confluence of the two forks of the Trinity, thus the cattle only had to cross the river one time. So much for the history lesson.

#11 renamerusk

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Posted 11 May 2004 - 07:17 PM

Having just used the nickname "Cowtown" to tell a new friend where I lived, I guess that I feel the nickname is alright and positive. My friend new instantly where I lived; so I think Cowtown is readily recognizable and widely associated with our city.
I think too, the nickname has served Fort Worth very well in the past and present; and may be a tremendous advantage in luring international tourists and businesses; I speak specifically about one nation in particularly, INDIA. A nation which is transitioning into a huge economic power with 100s of millions of people who are becoming wealthier. Isn't it fortunate that this nation also worshipped and give homage to the "COW". Fort Worth, more than any other Texas or American city could parlay this advantage and should have a field day in linking itself up with dozens of Sister Cities in India.
What goes around comes around. Here, I think that the nickname "Cowtown" will serve us well in the future, as it has done so well in both the past and the present.

#12 Dismuke

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Posted 11 May 2004 - 09:15 PM

I speak specifically about one nation in particularly, INDIA.  A nation which is transitioning into a huge economic power with 100s of millions of people who are becoming wealthier.  Isn't it fortunate that this nation also worshipped and give homage to the "COW".  Fort Worth, more than any other Texas or American city could parlay this advantage and should have a field day in linking itself up with dozens of Sister Cities in India.

Somehow, I don't think they would be so particularly appreciative once they learn what we did to the cows after they were brought to the stockyards! B) At any rate, I am all for it if it brings more Indian restaurants and grocery markets to Fort Worth. Indian food is great stuff.

I agree that Indian sister cities might be a better deal for Fort Worth than cities in a lot of other countries. Also, I don't know if it is the fact that immigrants tend to be pretty high caliber people to begin with, but most Indians I have known have been absolutely wonderful and industrious individuals. If the Indian government keeps on track with free market reforms and opening its economy to the outside world, India has a potentially bright future indeed.
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#13 ghughes

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Posted 11 May 2004 - 09:30 PM

Charlotte? Hmmm... I think Cincinnati is the original Queen City.

#14 gdvanc

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Posted 11 May 2004 - 10:03 PM

Charlotte? Hmmm... I think Cincinnati is the original Queen City.

I've no idea which was first, but I've seen "the Queen City" applied to Charlotte, Cinci, Denver, and Toronto. And then there's Buffalo, "the Queen City of the Great Lakes"; Sonora, CA, "the Queen of the Southern Mines"; and New Orleans, "the Queen of the Mississippi".

I was never quite sure what that appelation was intended to imply.

Incidentally, I've also heard people refer to Dallas as "Cowtown". No idea why. At least with KC and Chicago and Calgary it was once a reasonable description.

Note that most really cool large cities have several well-known and frequently-used nicknames. And note that Dallas pretty much just has the wonderfully creative "Big D".

#15 Dismuke

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Posted 11 May 2004 - 10:32 PM

I've no idea which was first, but I've seen "the Queen City" applied to Charlotte, Cinci, Denver, and Toronto. And then there's Buffalo, "the Queen City of the Great Lakes"; Sonora, CA, "the Queen of the Southern Mines"; and New Orleans, "the Queen of the Mississippi".

Well, if any city deserves to be called "Queen City" it is Mexia.

Now, follow me on this for a minute.....

There is an old story about two Yankees who were traveling across Texas by car. They were already a bit baffled by some of the location names they had seen (Lake Tawakoni, Waxahachie, etc) when suddenly they came across a sign that said "Welcome To Mexia." Surely, they thought, the name can't be pronounced the way it looks. Spotting a roadside restaurant, they decided to stop and ask. Once the got inside the restaurant, they walked up to the lady behind the counter and asked: "Excuse me, Miss. We are tourists from up North and are have a bit of difficulty figuring out how to pronounce the the name of this place. Can you help us?" The waitress looked at them a bit funny and said: "Sure! Day-ree-queen!"

Oh... well..... I'd better go run and hide now!
<duck>
B)
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#16 normanfd

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Posted 12 May 2004 - 08:37 AM

I'll bet that there are quite a few native Texans that don't know how to pronounce Iraan or Marathon correctly.

#17 JOCOguy

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Posted 12 May 2004 - 12:13 PM

Cowtown is it's own city, Dallas and Houston are just Atlanta look-alikes, without the hills and trees.

I am glad we have a unique and true Texan heritage.

JOCO

#18 cjyoung

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Posted 12 May 2004 - 01:53 PM

Personally, I always liked "Speed City," which refers to Fort Worth dominance in Track and Field, my sport of choice. "Funkytown" is a term I use reluctantly, but like it lot more than "Cowtown."

In the 70's and 80's, before drug kingpin Billy Ray Maddox was arrested, Fort Worth was one of the hottest places to party in Texas. I recall seeing Prince and other famous artists face-to-face at private parties hosted by Mr. Maddox at his former club "Billy Rays."

The nicknames "Fort 'Party' Worth" and subsequently "Funkytown" B) were coined because many felt that names like "Cowtown" were only fitting for the stockyards, a place many blacks in Fort Worth never visited.

#19 DrkLts

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Posted 12 May 2004 - 04:48 PM

Howdy Partners! Yippee Ky Yay whut a turnout on the topic I started!!! Alot of pride here in ol' Foat Wuth! LOL (I can't help speaking this way when I think of "Cowtown") :P

Anywho...
What about our heritage in Aviation? FW is rich in that as well as a western history. For instance GD now LockheedMartin started manufacturing military planes around WW2 and Bell Helicopter is based here right? Also with the construction of DFW Airport attracted American Airlines headquarters to FW as well. Even before DFW we had Meacham Airport. Also I think we got the first & maybe the only major industial airport (Alliance) that proved to be VERY succesfull since we lured dozens of companies to that area. What about Carswell now Fort Worth N.A.S? The first base to combine all branches of the military. I know some of you see all them planes in the air when you drive around Ridgmar Mall - what a sight!
Oh check this out...

[QUOTE]The first non-stop flight around the world was made by, again, a team of the US Air Force flyers in 1949. Taking off from Carswell Air Force base in Fort Worth, Texas on 26 February, Captain James Gallagher and a crew of 14 headed east in a B-50 Superfortress, called Lucky Lady II. They were refuelled four times in air by KB-29 tanker planes of the 43rd Air Refuelling Squadron, over the Azores, Saudi Arabia, the Philippines and Hawaii. The circumnavigation was completed on 2 March, having travelled 94 hours and 1 minute, covering 37 743 km (23,452 miles) at an average 398 km/h (249 mph).

Flight History Link

Maybe we can be called "The City on Wings" along with the familiar "Where the West Begins" B)

#20 vjackson

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Posted 12 May 2004 - 05:33 PM

CJ, I remember my parents and relatives talking about Billy Ray's when I was a kid. I grew up in Houston. People would drive all the way from Houston to "Funkytown" just to party there on weekends. Where was it located, and is the building still there???

#21 DrkLts

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Posted 15 May 2004 - 11:29 AM

CJ, cool info...

Where are the Billy Ray's of today when we need them? lol :devil:

#22 DaPanther84

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Posted 15 May 2004 - 02:48 PM

i like panther city i dont really feel cowtown anymore because there are other cities that claim that name like sacramento for example. panther city is different and there is nothing wrong with being named after an animal as sleek and cunning as the panther.

#23 DaPanther84

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Posted 15 May 2004 - 02:52 PM

cjyoung you wouldn't happen to know anyone with the last name woolridge do ya

#24 DaPanther84

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Posted 15 May 2004 - 02:57 PM

cjyoung the reason why i asked because i know billy ray's family

#25 cjyoung

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Posted 15 May 2004 - 03:36 PM

The building is on the southside and I think part of it is still standing, it has been at 15 years since I actually partied there, and at 10 since I last saw the building.

I went to school (Forest Oak/Dunbar) with several people with the last name of Woolridge, but it's been since my Future/Billy Ray's/Speakeasy days since I've seen them.

Peace

:devil:

#26 ILoveAJuggalo1569

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Posted 08 September 2004 - 09:45 PM

[COLOR=blue]HEY EVERYONE DRKLTS IS MY MAN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!![/COLOR ] :P
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