Douglas Newby
Architecturally Significant Homes
Horse & Trolly

Hastings Origin

Dallas will forever know Sheila Hicks from her exhibition, opening at the Nasher this evening. Many now will always associate the Nasher Sculpture Center with Sheila Hicks’ vibrant work that makes one step back and admire, walk around and absorb, dive in closer, increasingly mesmerized by the visual tension of the details. I will always associate the avant garde brilliance of Paris-based, Yale-educated Sheila Hicks with Hastings, Nebraska, her birthplace. Many associate Nebraska with the swaying wheat and cornfields her grandfather pointed out extended as far as the eye could see, the reason America would never go hungry. I associate Hastings with the 2:42 a.m. Denver Zephyr trainstop in the middle of the country that both Sheila Hicks and I took in our youth to visit our respective grandparents. My grandfather owned the bank, her grandfather owned the general store, where I recall my grandfather buying important provisions when I discovered a squirt gun for sale. Hastings also was my introduction to culture, the Pioneer Museum/House of Yesterday and fascinating people. I recall Betty Kostle McBride, my mother’s closest childhood friend and Carleton College roommate, visiting Hastings where her father was the doctor. She glided across the living room of my grandparents’ architect-designed 1952 modern home with long hair, bare feet, and brightly painted red toenails. What I thought elegant as a child, my mother mentioned was a bit unusual. It made sense when years later I discovered the McBrides were managers of Allen Gingsberg’s City Lights bookstore in San Francisco, the epicenter of the Beat and counterculture generation. Tractor tire tubing with the McBrides gave me farm cred with Allen Ginbsberg when he visited SMU. Another Hastings contemporary of our grandfathers was Patricia Shinn’s grandfather, the owner of the Hastings title company. Patricia and James Shinn came to Dallas as Director of International Affairs after their prestigious and elegant postings in the diplomatic corps. The Nasher conveys the rich texture of Hastings and the magic of Sheila Hicks. *Hastings Origin
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