Presented By

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  1. The Elevation of Tex-Mex
    Mico Rodriguez
  2. The Bounty of the Barnett Shale
    Kelcy Warren
  3. The Entrepreneurial Woman
    Tomima Edmark
  4. The Growth of the Vietnamese Community
    Jennifer Nguyen
  5. The Founding of Uptown
    Phil Cobb
  6. The Changing Face of Politics
    Craig Watkins
  7. The Brain Gain
    Dr. Hao Zhu
  8. The Four Sport Town
    Mike Modano
  9. The Underground Culture
    Katherine Owens
  10. The Catholic Migration
    Father Ivan Asencio
  11. The Organized South Asian Community
    John Hammond
  12. The Next Way to Develop
    Jeff Blackard
  13. The Allure of the Silicon Prairie
    Anousheh Ansari
  14. The lighting of Reunion Tower
    George Schrader
  15. The New Old Tradition
    Jennifer Moreno
  16. The Test Kitchen
    Mariel Street
  17. The Art Magnet
    Kevin Moriarty
  18. The Glamorous Return of Dallas Shopping
    Brian Bolke
  19. The Strengthening of the Gay Community
    Jack Evans and George Harris
  20. The Resurgence of Downtown Dallas
    Art Ortiz
  21. The Megachurch Boom
    Ed Young
  22. The Fundraisers
    Lynn McBee
  23. The Refuge
    Pedro Amaya
  24. The Reason Dallas Took Off
    Ron Barzyk
  25. The Girl Who Stayed Home
    Erykah Badu
  26. The Preservation of Our Historic Buildings
    Virginia McAlester
  27. The Thriving Ethiopian Community
    Birhan Mekonnen
  28. The New Dallas ISD
    Jessica Leija
  29. The Rebirth of the Trinity River
    Peter Payton
  30. The Trains Start Running
    Ladrika Davis Gross
  31. The Architect of an Art Scene
    Stephen Lapthisophon
  32. The Calculator That Changed the World
    Vonnie Howard
  33. The Rise and Fall and Rise of Deep Ellum
    Frank Campagna
  34. The Big Move
    Kendra Norwood
  35. The Expanding Empire in Fort worth
    Scott Hernandez
  36. The Family Recipe
    Chuy Cruz
  37. The Transformation of Oak Cliff
    David Spence
  38. The Now-Legal Immigrant
    Jesus Castillo Carrizales
  39. The City of Philanthropists
    Lyda Hill
  40. The Transplants
    Tara Vornkahl
00 The Reason Dallas Took Off Wednesday, June 18, at 10:39am at DFW Airport's gun range

Ron Barzyk

Sergeant Ron Barzyk has worked at DFW Airport for more than 15,000 days, and he almost didn’t make it past the first one. Eight months before the airport’s January 13, 1974, opening, Barzyk sat in a downtown Dallas office building and waited the entire day for the personnel director to see him. Exhausted after spending hours in the lobby, he headed for the elevator to leave. The doors opened, the director stepped out, and Barzyk began his 41-year tenure at the airport.

“It’s like watching your son being born and watching him grow,” he says of the airport. “So for 41-plus years, we see how we’ve expanded and become better at what we do.”

He joined a public safety department that used a mishmash of revolvers and bought some supplies from an Army-Navy store, chasing down construction-site thieves while contractors erected the terminals. Eventually that squad grew into one of the most well-respected airport public safety forces in the country and has now split into five different specialties.

Barzyk has worked as a bomb tech, a member of the SWAT team, a firefighter, a K9 handler, was sent to school to learn how to repair machine guns and grenade launchers, and now finds himself managing the airport’s gun range. Of the more than 60,000 airport employees, he’s the only one with a two-digit ID number: 48.

Since its opening, DFW Airport has grown from a primarily regional airport with nine airlines to the ninth-busiest passenger airport in the world, with more than 60 million annual travelers. On the day you’re reading this, 1,900 planes will take off from the airport. It generates $31 billion in economic impact to North Texas annually, and it was built 40 years ago for a relatively paltry $700 million. (Current renovations are running $2.3 billion.) It’s no stretch to imagine a North Texas that would have remained mostly prairie without that $700 million investment.

“It means everything to the Dallas-Fort Worth area,” Barzyk says. “It has been the mechanism that made this region grow. Plano just got Toyota. Wonder why Toyota came here.”