Rachel Williams


United States of America

Dallas-based freelance writer. Recipient of several accolades, backhanded compliments, and parking tickets.

Reach me at rachel.l.williams at gmail dot com.

D Magazine
Dispatch from the 'Southlake Slave Trial' - D Magazine

Six blazered septuagenarians stood huddled ahead of security at the Tarrant County Federal Courthouse last Friday. "What you looking for, lady?" one asked. I had to take my shoes off anyway, so I summoned him over to a swivel chair and asked where the trial was, as if there was only one.

Dallas Observer
The Last Surviving Mansion Stands on Ross Avenue, But for How Long?

For all its splendor, the three-story Alexander Mansion is easy to miss. It sits too far back from the road to catch with drivers' peripheral vision. Its neighbors are payday loan shops and long-shuttered shells of used car lots, their perimeters still fenced off by barbed wire and the occasional...

Dallas Observer
The Inside Story Behind the Bitter Fight For Dallas' Pacific Plaza Park

The 3.2-acre lot bracketed by Pacific Avenue and St. Paul and Harwood streets has become an eyesore. To say it's poorly maintained is an understatement. The uneven layer of asphalt is littered with freshly broken glass and shards from an earlier generation of destroyed beer bottles. Walking the perimeter on...

Dallas Observer
Confessions of Cowboys in the Texas Gay Rodeo

It's a Sunday afternoon and three overlords of the Texas Gay Rodeo Association, which is exactly what it sounds like, have congregated to drink about "A Texas Tradition," their big annual charity rodeo this weekend in Denton. The site of the meetup is Round-Up, Oak Lawn's landmark gay country and...

Dallas Observer
6 Ideas for the Trinity Floodplain Now That the Toll Road Is Dead

Before City Council killed the Trinity river toll road Aug. 9, the project was like a flailing cockroach on its back: unable to move yet unwilling to die. The council's 13-2 vote marked the end of a 20-year squabble over the long-planned $1.9 billion project that would have built a...

Dallas Observer
Immaculate Janet Jackson Might Have Been Lip-Syncing Last Night, but Who Cares?

At 8:24 p.m., a DJ gently implores the nearly sold-out American Airlines Center crowd to "make some noise." Janet Jackson's still nowhere to be seen, so exactly who or what is on the receiving end of the request is unclear. Still, the ocean of sequined caps complies, Arsenio-style. At 8:33...

Dallas Observer
60 Years Ago This Month, Oak Cliffers Stood Outside to Watch a Deadly F3 Tornado

Below the April 3, 1957, Dallas Times Herald headline "Tornado's One-Sided Bite" sits a photo of the intersection of Willomet Avenue and Jefferson Boulevard. Its caption reads, "Rootless homes and scattered debris mark the path of the tornado which moved slowly but destructively through Oak Cliff and West Dallas." Driving...

Dallas Observer
Willie Nelson's Performances Are Beyond Reproach

You're marinating in the pre-Willie lobby of the Granada Theater. It's buzzing with giddy anticipation. Old men, old women, young men and young women beam as they swap autobiographical Willie stories: how many times they've seen him live, how far they drove to get here. It hits you over the...

Dallas Observer
This Is What Happens at a Dallas Happy Hour for Psychics

"How much do you know?" the teacher asks. We've arrived five minutes late to a Thursday evening meeting of people who think they're psychic. It's held biweekly in a nondescript building in East Dallas. "How much have you studied?" the teacher asks. Mark Twain said, "When in doubt, tell the...

Dallas Observer
We Spent Two Hours at Buc-ee's During Its Holiday Rush, and This Is What We Saw

Love it or hate it - there is no gray area - holiday Buc-ee's is like if regular Buc-ee's was injected with large doses of animal steroids: It's louder, more pulsating and a little confused. It sees exponentially more out-of-staters than usual, who, after driving all day, are neither sure...

Dallas Observer
Dallas Observer Q&A With Bobby Abtahi

Last March, over breakfast, Bobby Abtahi learned Mayor Mike Rawlings appointed him to replace Max Wells as president of the Dallas Park and Recreation Board. The position is more political than it sounds, but "I'm not a politician," Abtahi maintains during a recent interview with the Dallas Observer. "I'm a public...