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Welcome, Mr. Ford, to Denton and DHS

Daniel Ford has already been welcomed to Denton High School by his students, teachers and staff — they threw the new principal a reception Thursday afternoon at the school — but we wanted to add our own howdy, along with some tips that might be useful for a Denton newcomer.

For instance: If you are not already proficient in the Chicken Dance or the hokeypokey, we recommend you get a lesson or two. We know of no other town that has even one quasi-official municipal dance, but Denton has two of them, thanks to our own patron saints of the polka, Brave Combo, the Grammy-winning band that performs them just about every time Dentonians gather at a big community event. You may be hesitant to join in at first, but just follow the lead of your boss, the superintendent. He’ll be putting his left foot in and his left foot out right along with everyone else, including the mayor and the City Council. You’ll get the hang of it in no time.

For another instance: You may be driving on Woodrow Lane and suddenly discover that you’re driving on Colorado Boulevard without having made a right or left turn. Don’t panic; you haven’t been teleported to another street. Woodrow Lane simply becomes Colorado Boulevard at some point. There’s no explanation for it; it’s a mystery, like the way a cat looks at you, or the balk rule. Just forge ahead bravely; there is a good chance you will eventually get where you want to go.

Speaking of mysteries, as a new resident, you may find you have business at the Joseph H. Carroll Building, also known as the Carroll Courts Building. Its official address is 401 W. Hickory St., but if you approach it from Hickory Street, you will find no public entrance and no parking places; you will be looking at the back side of the building. The main entrance to the Carroll Courts Building, and its spacious parking area, is at 401 W. Mulberry St., one block to the south.

We don’t know the reason for this, either. We have mentioned the anomaly to our county officials; they have invited us to mind our own business.

One more thing: If you want to get to the downtown Square driving east on Hickory Street, whatever you do, don’t be in the right lane at the intersection of Hickory and Carroll Boulevard. If you try to drive across Carroll in the right lane of Hickory, your car will run into a concrete peninsula, and you’ll be stranded, with your wheels spinning about 3 inches above the pavement. Unlike other Denton mysteries, this one ostensibly has an explanation. We have heard it, but we don’t understand it. If you do, please let us know.

We hope these tips help you out, Mr. Ford, for we are thrilled to have you in Denton and want you to have a wonderful time here. We also want you to know what a fine school you will be leading, and how much we want you to succeed.

All of us love our children equally, but there is often one who gains a special hold on our hearts. For us, Denton High School is that child in our educational family. Founded in 1874, it was Denton’s first high school. It moved three times before finding its present home on Fulton Street.

Through good years and bad, through the birth of two younger and more modern schools, DHS has built and expanded upon a proud tradition. It is the city’s most diverse school, and its academic standards have never faltered. It has occasionally been condescended to and even maligned, but it has never failed in its mission, and we are as proud of it as we are its younger, shinier siblings.

We commend its students to your care, confident that you will come to care as much for them, and for Denton High School, as we do.

Welcome to Denton, Daniel Ford; welcome to DHS.