by Paula Bosse
As we’re currently experiencing an extended period of cold, snowy, icy weather, what better time than now to post this atmospheric watercolor by Jerry Bywaters? Titled “Along the Tracks,” it was painted during a very cold and snowy early January of 1947, in the area around Fair Park (where Bywaters worked as the head of the Dallas Museum of Fine Arts). Railroad tracks ran on either side of Fair Park — the Texas & New Orleans tracks ran along Trunk on the west side, and the Texas & Pacific tracks ran along Pacific on the east side. The DMFA was on the very western edge of Fair Park, and as it was bitterly cold, Bywaters probably wasn’t traipsing any farther than he had to — the west side of Fair Park near the T&NO tracks would certainly have been more convenient for him. But I came across a photo that looks pretty much the same as the scene Bywaters painted, only from the T&P side to the east, so who knows?
The photo above (taken around 1916) shows the intersection of Pacific and Parry, looking west on Pacific. “Along the tracks.”
Jerry Bywaters’ painting “Along the Tracks” is from the Bywaters Special Collections in the Hamon Arts Library at Southern Methodist University; it can be accessed here. As far as I can tell, that street sign doesn’t actually say anything, but if you see something in the scribble, let me know!
The 1916-ish photograph of the Pacific and Parry intersection is from Dallas, The Deciding Years by A. C. Greene (Austin: Encino Press, 1973).
Here is a 1919 map detail showing the area around Fair Park (full map is here):
When Bywaters painted “Along the Tracks” it was REALLY cold. A couple of photos from the Jan. 1, 1947 edition of The Dallas Morning News show a snow-dusted Cotton Bowl and two very cute Oak Cliff teenage girls ice skating on West Jefferson Blvd.
Click pictures for larger images.
Copyright © 2015 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.