Flashback : Dallas

A Miscellany: History, Ads, Pop Culture

Beware the Narrow Oak Cliff Viaduct!

oak_cliff_viaduct_car_accident_1920s

by Paula Bosse

“Sometimes the Oak Cliff Viaduct seems a trifle too narrow. From a snapshot made just after it happened.”

I came across this photograph while flipping through  the book Our City — Dallas, A Community Civics by Justin F. Kimball (1927). I love that viaduct, but … yikes. Look at all those calm and/or petrified passengers. (We were always warned about going across the river…)

Here are a few contemporaneous images of the not-actually-so-narrow viaduct.

 

oak-cliff-viaduct_old_postcard

oak-cliff-viaduct_1924

oak-cliff-viaduct_fast_slow

Dallas-Oak Cliff Viaduct, looking Towards Dallas, TX

Dallas-Oak Cliff Viaduct

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Copyright © 2014 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.

“Meet Me in Dallas” by Jack Gardner (1915)

meet-me-in-dallas_sheet_music_1915“Be sure and meet me…” (click for larger image)

by Paula Bosse

“Tell your friends
You’ll meet them in Dallas,
In the town
Where there is no malice.”

Yes, those immortal lyrics are by Jack Gardner, a musician, bandleader, and an “entertainment manager” at the tony Adolphus Hotel. For some reason, he was chosen as the man to write a persuasive ditty which (it was hoped) would sweep the country and lure the 1916 Democratic National Convention to Dallas. Sadly, the song did not set the world (nor Democratic loins) on fire, and (spoiler!) St. Louis got the convention.

As we see above, the mayor-approved city-jingle was issued with sheet music cover art by Dallas Morning News cartoonist John Knott and a great background photo of downtown, with the Adolphus and Busch Building (now the Kirby Building) featured prominently.

If you’d like to wallow in the vamp-y march that IS “Meet Me in Dallas,” the sheet music has been scanned in its entirety by Baylor University here. You can play it and sing it in the privacy of your own home!

If you would like to read about how the Texas Democratic Party was hoping to snag the national convention with this song, you can read about it in this article by Paula Lupkin that appeared in the Fall 2012 issue of Legacies.

And, lastly, a little check-in with Jack, to see what he was doing years later in 1938. This blurblet from St. Petersburg’s Evening Independent has him in Florida, working as a traveling musician with his dance band, settling into a one-week gig at the Detroit Hotel. Not only has he persuaded the anonymous reporter that his name is “synonymous with good dance music in the Southwest,” but he still seems to be resting on his long-faded “Meet Me in Dallas” not-quite-brush-with-the-big-time laurels.

meet_me_in_dallas_gardner_interview_1938

gardner-jack_adolphus_crop

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Sources & Notes

Top image from the Frances G. Spencer Collection of American Popular Sheet Music at Baylor University, here. (Click picture for larger image.)

Photo of Jack Gardner and His Orchestra is from the wilds of the internet.

I’m sure Mr. Gardner’s ditty was the bee’s knees, but it’s not to be confused with the wonderfully seedy 1969 country song of the same name by the fabulous Jeannie C. Riley (read about that song here).

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Copyright © 2014 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.

Highland Park Shopping Village

hp-village_postcard

by Paula Bosse

Highland Park — the ritzier of the two “Park Cities” — is home to the exclusive Highland Park Shopping Village, which began construction in 1930, and one of the chi-chi-est of chi-chi shopping areas in the country. And it’s beautiful. And I still can’t believe I spent numerous nights there, watching midnight showings of The Rocky Horror Picture Show. It was off-limits to society matrons after the sun went down on weekends!

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Check out the Village’s eye-popping history timeline here. It’s pretty funny to think there used to be a DIME STORE there!

Click picture for larger image.

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Copyright © 2014 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.

Dallas’ Film Row — 1918

dallas_movie-palaces_1918Looking east from Elm and Akard… (click for larger image)

by Paula Bosse

A 1918 photograph of Elm Street taken at the corner of Akard, looking east, showing the old Queen Theater (later the Leo; torn down to build the Dallas Federal Savings and Loan Building), the Jefferson Theater, and the Old Mill Theater.

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Copyright © 2014 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.

 

M-K-T Railroad’s “Katy Flyer Route” — 1902

mkt_rail_1902_mercury

by Paula Bosse

Ah, Texas rail travel in the corset-and-carpet-bag days, from a 1902 issue of Dallas’ Southern Mercury newspaper. Sign me up.

katy-flyer_timetable_1900_a

katy-flyer_timetable_1900_b

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Sources & Notes

Color images from a 1900 MKT timetable, offered a while  back on eBay, here.

An entertaining history of the Missouri-Kansas-Texas Railroad (with lots of wonderful photos) can be found here.

A history of the railroads in Dallas can be found here.

And the Handbook of Texas entry for the M-K-T (known familiarly as the “Katy” railroad) can be found here.

See another post featuring the Katy Flyer — “Leaving Dallas on the Katy Flyer — ca. 1914” — here.

Click pictures to see larger images.

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Copyright © 2014 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.

 

Dallas Skyline by Alfred Eisenstaedt — 1940s

dallas_skyline_eisenstaedt_1943_large(click for very large image)

by Paula Bosse

The Dallas skyline, photographed by Alfred Eisenstaedt in the 1940s for Life magazine (as far as I can tell, it was not published). One of my favorite views of downtown, from the Cedars, back when Pegasus was still visible.

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Copyright © 2014 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.

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