Newspaper Advertising Time Capsule: What a Sales Rep Saved in 1994

I was beginning my junior year studying journalism at SMU when the first issue of Park Cities People  hit front lawns in Highland Park and University Park.

Ad design for La Cucina.

It was a static, black and white world when I first sold classified advertising for the paper in the summer of 1985. There were no fax machines, cell phones, or emails to transmit proofs. Color was at a premium, so a prominent headline, a simple layout, and a great graphic were essential. 

While the ad staff was growing the list of advertisers, our advertisers were building their businesses. Forty years later, many of those original advertisers still turn to People Newspapers to reach existing and new customers in the communities we serve.

“The backbone of our first 10 years was retail and real estate advertising,” said senior account executive Kim Hurmis. She’s worked for People Newspapers for 39 years. “Today, many service businesses such as legal, medical, and senior living look to us to reach the audiences we serve in the Park Cities and Preston Hollow.”

When Animal Kingdom opened on Mockingbird Lane, I signed the store up to advertise and bought my first pet, a pale blue parakeet I named Maximillian de Bird.

When I left to do freelance work in 1994, I boxed up my business cards, calendars, ledger books, and a file folder with my favorite advertisements from that decade. I recently scoured through that time capsule of my work history and the evolution of advertising. 

The Fourth of July Coloring book premiers in 1992.

My classified ads reminded me of the people I worked with over the years: Chuck Green with C-Green Sprinklers, David Biggs with Diamond of Texas, and Dick Lentz with Lentz Landscape Lighting. Slowly but surely, I added retail clients: Kid’s Kloset in Preston Center, Oak Lawn Mail Services, and Susan Brannian.

Downtown Dallas began to redevelop with the building of the Crescent Complex on its northern perimeter. The ad staff began calling on the art galleries and restaurants that leased the second floor – Ron Hall Gallery, Ken Riney Antique Jewelry, Galerie Kornye, and my favorite restaurant, La Cucina.

Mike Renshaw and Harry Walker introduced Dallas and me to English Pine. Helen Puckett opened the Everyday Gourmet on Lovers Lane and gave us a taste of Morning Glory Muffins and gourmet takeaway.

When Animal Kingdom opened on Mockingbird Lane, I signed the store up to advertise and bought my first pet, a pale blue parakeet I named Maximillian de Bird – Max lived happily with me for 13 years.

Ad design for La Cucina.

When I packed my box, I never imagined that almost 25 years later, I would return to People Newspapers. It’s no longer a black and white world. The pages of Park Cities People and Preston Hollow People are alive with colorful advertisements, stories, and of course, people. We reach out daily with compelling stories on our website, through e-newsletters, and on social media.

It’s exciting to work with young designers like Melanie Thornton, Imani Lytle, and Mia Carrera. This digital world is second nature to them, and they make what our advertisers imagine come to life!

Contact Evelyn Wolff at evelyn[email protected] for classified advertising, obituaries, and wedding and engagement announcements.


For nearly 40 years, People Newspapers has worked tirelessly to tell the stories—good, bad, and sublime—of our neighbors in the Park Cities and Preston Hollow. To support our efforts, please contact [email protected] for advertising opportunities. Please also consider sharing this story with your friends and social media followers.

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