Volume 35, Number 2, February 2000


a message from the publisher

Vallies of the Dolls

This is true. Like most little girls, my sister and I could spend hours playing Barbie dolls. This was even in the days before Barbie could bend her knees or elbows or waist, yet we thought those dolls were just the greatest. We acted out all the stereotypical scenarios–at least one doll got married or went to a formal every day (because that’s when you got to wear the best outfits), and we changed their clothes and hair constantly–til my dog got a hold of my doll and made her the first Amputee Barbie, but that’s another story.

Anyway, even at six and seven, I wanted Ken around. It was, after all, much more fun to have him available to take Barbie on picnics or shopping, be a groom or do whatever else I felt like–I mean Barbie felt like–doing. Even at that age, though, I knew Ken had to have some money coming in. You can’t have shoes of every color without it. And someone needed to pay for the Malibu beach house. So when Ken needed a source of income, I came up with the ideal job. I decided he’d name new streets. That’s right. He lived in a fast growing town and everyday the mayor would send him over a map with a new street penciled in. Ken would ponder it for awhile, then say “look’s like a Riverside Road to me,” or “Primrose Lane would suit this highway” and thus the new street would be named. It was not a bad job. He was able to be around all the time, yet earned a good check too.

But things change. Ken met an untimely death when my then-baby brother decapitated him and threw his head down the sewer. After that, Ken just didn’t look the same in his tux and Barbie lost interest. By then too, woman’s lib had kicked in and Barbie was busy juggling careers as a flight attendant and doctor and hmm, go-go dancer (loved that outfit with the fringe, man). True to the era, she had no commitment to any one job or any one guy. Today, woman’s rights have come so far, that Barbie’s maker, Mattel has broken barriers by not only hiring, but recently publicly firing, its first female CEO. And even though things have changed, I still think fondly of Ken every time I look at those lists of fastest growing places in the United States, or best places to do business. He would have liked to live there, I think, with plenty of streets to name, and money to make.


Largest Percentage Increase in Populations 1990-1998

City Percent Increase

Las Vegas, Nevada 55
Laredo, Texas 41
McAllen Area, Texas 36
Boise, Idaho 34
Naples, Florida 31
Austin, Texas 31
Fayetteville, Arkansas 29
Wilmington, North Carolina 27
Provo, Utah 27
Atlanta, Georgia 27

Source: December 17, 1999 USA Today


Best Cities for Business

City Population

1. Austin 1,066,796
2. Las Vegas 1,244,232
3. Salt Lake City 1,234,855
4. Phoenix 2,815,051
5. San Jose 1,618,410
6. Raleigh 1,046,524
7. Portland 1,787,220
8. Atlanta 3,614,835
9. Denver 1,894,898
10. Grand Rapids 1,024,228 

Source: Fortune Magazine, November 23, 1998


Copyright 2000 Key Communications, Inc. All rights reserved. No reproduction of any type without expressed written permission.