Laurie Dodic Steinberg’s Pro/Cons


It’s exciting to know that five U.S. presidents will be here this coming week to celebrate the opening of the George W. Bush Presidential Library. It kind of makes me want to stand on the side of Central Expressway, Hillcrest or wherever the limos will be getting onto campus and wave an American flag. Too bad I’m a procrastinator and won’t get a game plan together until next week when all we are left with is the library itself.

Having a presidential library should be a real boon to the Park Cities in many different ways. I would think that having a presidential library, in and of itself, is prestigious enough. But there are some perks that go along with it.

Hopefully, both University Park and Highland Park will see a boost in revenue from tourist dollars streaming into restaurants and shops.  In doing research for this column, I didn’t actually read any articles but I did glance at some graph in either the Dallas Morning News or NY Times – I can’t remember. The graph showed the average amount of visitors to some of the presidential libraries in our country. Again, I didn’t look it at it too closely but these places get lots of visitors annually (well, that is, if you don’t count the Carter Library in Georgia).

I don’t know about you but for some reason – sightseeing really gets the old appetite going. I remember a few years ago, my husband and I walked into The Portrait Gallery in London.

As soon as I stepped inside, I told him, “I think I’ve been here before.”

He replied, “Me too.”

To which I had a compelling argument, “Wanna go get something to eat instead?”

Like I said, Bubba’s should throw a few more pieces of chicken into the fryer.

We already have wonderful speakers and lecture series come to SMU but this should put us on the international map. Scholars from around the world will be visiting and this should help bring our children and us closer together for understanding the global society in which we now live.

Of course, it’s not going to be all limo rides and eating fried chicken. There are drawbacks to having this library within the confines of our fair towns.

Let’s face it, traffic and parking is going to be a nightmare at times, especially, this coming week. I’m thinking of stocking up on groceries today and pretending there’s a five-day ice storm. And yes, I’ve had practice. Except this time I won’t feel so guilty locking my kids out of the house to go play.  

And I hate to bring it up but it’s something we’ve all thought of particularly, since last week’s bombing at the Boston Marathon. Terrorists and security are on the forefront of many people’s minds this week. It kind of reminds me of our family’s visit to Israel over spring break. We were tourists and thought of our safety every time we went out sightseeing. The people who live there – live with it every single day. I’m not saying that I’m going to be worried every day, paranoid and change any of my daily routines. I’m just saying that I won’t be surprised if every once in a while – I give pause (especially, if it’s a controversial figure coming to give a speech that puts us on the international map).

I hesitate to bring up what I think is one of the biggest drawbacks of the library because it really boils down to politics. I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but SMU and the Park Cities are not well known for straying far from the idea that we anything but conservative. Having the George W. Bush Presidential Library is probably not going to do much to change that image. If the library is truly a research center for the study of global relations – bring it on, baby. If it’s just a center for another conservative think tank then we are doing a disservice to ourselves and to the students of SMU. But that’s because I’m pretty liberal. See why I hesitated?

Anyway, if you see my kids playing outside this week, be a dear and invite them in for dinner. They love Bubba’s.




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