Flashback : Dallas

A Miscellany: History, Ads, Pop Culture

“Dear Folks: Dallas’ New Filtration Plant Is Simply Glorious! Weather Great! Wish You Were Here!”

filtration-plant_c1916_lgA famed Dallas beauty spot, circa 1916 (click for larger image)

by Paula Bosse

Above, a postcard from a lady visiting Dallas in 1916, sent to her “dear friend” back home in Wilmette, Illinois. The card has a short, chirpy “hello, hope everyone’s well, be home in a couple of weeks” type of message on it. But there is no mention of the fact that the picture on the other side shows a water filtration plant. …A water filtration plant. Dallas was a big and impressive city in 1916, and there were a lot of beautiful postcards to choose from, so one wonders why she chose THIS one. I’m not even sure why there would be a picture postcard of a water filtration plant in the first place. Maybe to make municipal workers in other cities jealous. “Dallas has a magnificent state-of-of-the-art sedimentation basin, and you don’t!” But, actually, it’s kind of a cool postcard.

This water filtration plant and pumping station was located along the Trinity (before the river’s course was changed), at what is now Oak Lawn and Harry Hines (now home to the Sammons Center for the Arts, a designated historic landmark which contains part of the old Turtle Creek Pump Station).

The filtration plant was built in 1913. Here are a few photos of its construction (click to see larger images):




A large-capacity water filtration plant is a necessary thing for the city to have, certainly, but it still doesn’t explain why Mrs. [Illegible] was sending a postcard of it to her friend in Illinois.


Postcard of the filtration plant (wow, I’ve typed that a LOT today) from a site that sells postcards. It shows the reverse of the card with the hard-to-read message, here.

Photos of the filtration plant (…there it is again…) from the Oct. 23, 1913 issue of Municipal Journal, here. The entire article should be of interest to people who are interested in … this sort of thing.

Even MORE about this plant, along with diagrams, photos, and an in-depth analysis on its operation, can be found in the July 16, 1914 issue of Engineering News, here.

History page for the Sammons Center is here.

A couple of other early photos of the Turtle Creek Pump Station (from 1894 and 1908) can be seen in a previous post — “City Hospital, a Pump Station, and the County Jail — 1894” — here.

Click pictures for larger images.


Copyright © 2014 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.

The Pink Panther-Mr. Peppermint Connection

mr-peppermint_dmn_1961Mr. P. — 1961

by Paula Bosse

I had no idea that the “Mr. Peppermint” theme was by Henry Mancini! It’s from a 1960 movie called “High Time,” which, I have to say, I’ve never heard of. It starred Bing Crosby, Fabian, and Tuesday Weld (I kind of think Bing may have been in it solely for the paycheck). Check out the movie’s main theme music. Sound familiar?

Hearing this brings back a flood of happy memories — an aural version of Proust’s madeleines.

In a recent Los Angeles Times interview, Paul Reubens (aka Pee-wee Herman) had this to say:

“I never met Captain Kangaroo; I probably would have completely freaked out if I met Captain Kangaroo. In fact, when I meet people who are just beside themselves to meet me, I always think they’re reacting like I would react if I met Captain Kangaroo, I was so crazy about that television show as a child.” (LA Times, Oct. 21, 2014)

I ran into Jerry Haynes (aka Mr. Peppermint) several times around town over the years. The first time I saw him, I was in my 20s, and he was doing some sort of promotion (in character) at a store in, I think, Northpark. I was unaware that he would be there, but when I saw him at the top of the escalator, I was shocked. My childhood TV pal right in front of me! It’s a bit of a blur, but I think I giddily foisted myself on him and told him all the things other Dallas kids raised on his show probably told him. I might even have gushed an involuntary “I love you, Mr. Peppermint!” Yikes. I bet he got that ALL THE TIME. He was very sweet and didn’t treat me like a crazy person.

The last time I saw him, he was just Jerry Haynes, shopping for cheese at the Tom Thumb on Mockingbird and Abrams. I didn’t bother him, but I still got a little happy jolt of recognition when I saw him.

And now I find out that the composer who wrote so much of my favorite movie music wrote the music so tied to my childhood. Thanks, Mr. Mancini! Thanks, Mr. Peppermint! Thanks, Mr. Wiggly Worm!


Sources & Notes

Quote from Paul Reubens’ Los Angeles Times interview, here.

Wikipedia roundup: madeleines, here; “High Time” movie, here; Henry Mancini, here.

(Thank you, Steve S., for bringing this to my attention!)


Copyright © 2014 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.


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