A few years ago I posted several Oak Cliff-centric ads found in the 1963 and 1967 Kimball High School yearbooks (see those ads here). I’m back for another installment.
Above, a photo I really love, showing five Kimball girls checking out Elvis records at Priest Music (2447 W. Kiest Blvd). No, they don’t look like high school girls, and, yes, they are. The man at the right is, apparently, the owner, Frank M. Anderson (whom, I think, changed the name of the store to Music Hall the following year?). I posted this ad on my Facebook page last week, and one man wrote, about the owner: “Frank, the owner. His shop was known for its collection of Jazz and Classical albums. We became friends as I got into Jazz thanks to the Great Pete Fountain!” And because, why not, here’s a recent Google Street View of the Kiestwood Village sign which was probably there at that little shopping strip when Frank and the girls were photographed for this ad.
Dairy Mart (2739 S. Hampton):
Moreno’s Patio (245 Wynnewood Village):
Ketchum & Killum (334 W. Kiest) — a sporting goods store with perhaps the best name ever:
If you’re in need of some bandages or Mercurochrome after being a little too curious at Ketchum & Killum, head over to Page’s Pharmacy (3220 Falls Dr.):
For all things “fun,” Playland (3900 W. Illinois):
Sources & Notes
All ads from the 1959, 1960, and 1961 yearbooks of Justin Kimball High School in Oak Cliff.
Check out two charming film clips of Santa visiting kids in Fair Park on Dec. 20, 1969 and Dec. 23, 1970 (the links to the clips are below). He arrives, of course, in a helicopter. These events were sponsored by the Negro Chamber of Commerce.
From this clip’s YouTube description:
A Black Santa Claus lands via helicopter in Fair Park as a large crowd of predominantly African American children rush to meet him; children are seen on Santa’s lap as parents stand by; a box of wrapped apples is seen. (A “Black Santa” was an unusual sight in the 1960s, and the concept was much in the news in the 1969 Christmas season as the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) had issued a demand that department stores in Cincinnati hire African American Santas or face a boycott, and the story was widely covered around the country.) (Silent)
Watch the full 38-second (silent) clip on YouTube here. Below are some screenshots.
Santa made a return visit the next year — again via chopper — on Dec. 23, 1970. An article appeared in The Dallas Morning News revealing Santa’s helper to be Issac Debois who was quoted as saying with a chuckle, “I’m the only black Santa Claus from the South Pole.” Watch the full 38-second (silent) clip here.
Sources & Notes
All images are screenshots from WFAA-Channel 8 news stories — from the WFAA Newsfilm Collection, G. William Jones Collection, Southern Methodist University.
The first clip (from 1969) is contained in the larger video on YouTubehere— the specific short clip ishere.
The second clip (from 1970) is contained in the larger video on YouTubehere— the specific clip ishere.
Read the Dallas Morning News story about the second visit in the DMN archives: “Santa Enjoys Happy Visit, With Gifts” (DMN, Dec. 24, 1970).
Find more Flashback Dallas posts on Christmas here and Hanukkah here,
Back in 2014 — when Flashback Dallas was still in its blogging infancy — I wrote about the Safari Steak House in North Dallas in the post “Back When Preston Royal Was ‘Exotic’ and Had Its Very Own Elephant.” There were a few errors in that post which I corrected today, thanks to a couple of commenters on the original post who pointed out that what I thought showed the Safari restaurant at Preston & Royal showed, instead, the Houston location. Kind of embarrassing!
What better time than this to say that I ABSOLUTELY WELCOME CORRECTIONS!! I’d like this blog to be as unpedantically accurate as possible, so, please, if you see I’ve smugly written something which is blatantly incorrect, please let me know! I’ll be happy you let me know.
I invite you to check out that original post, now updated with a couple of photos of the actual Dallas Safari Steak House, including the one above, taken by the estimable Squire Haskins in 1961.
Sources & Notes
Photo “Safari Steak House, Dallas, Texas” by Squire Haskins, 1961, from the Squire Haskins Photography Inc. Collection, University of Texas at Arlington Libraries, Special Collections — more info on this photo can be found here. (Thank you for the links, Tom Bowen!)
The Safari space is now occupied by Royal China, which I love from the days I worked across the street at Borders.
Claes Oldenburg at the DMCA, April, 1962 (WFAA Collection, SMU)
by Paula Bosse
Claes Oldenburg, the Swedish-born American sculptor, died this week at the age of 93. Among his connections to Texas are two of my favorite Oldenburg pieces: the fabulous “Monument to the Last Horse,” a permanent fixture of Donald Judd’s Chinati Foundation in Marfa, which he created with his wife Coosje van Bruggen, and the much-missed “Stake Hitch,” a site-specific work commissioned by the Dallas Museum of Art (installed in the brand-new DMA in 1984, and, sadly, de-installed in 2002 after a nasty contretemps between Oldenburg and the museum).
Oldenburg’s first visit to Dallas was in April, 1962, at a time when he was known mainly to NYC art-world hipsters — well before he had achieved anything approaching his later international acclaim. He came to Dallas to present “The Store,” a pop art installation which was part of the group show “1961” at the Dallas Museum for Contemporary Arts (the DMCA was merged with/absorbed by what is now the Dallas Museum of Art in 1963). While Oldenburg was in Dallas exhibiting “The Store” (comprised of 45 individual works, the placement of which he re-created from the original December, 1961 show in Manhattan), he also presented “Injun,” the first-ever “happening” held outside New York or Los Angeles and the first such interactive event commissioned by a museum (Oldenburg’s Ray Gun Theater performance-art “happenings” were much talked about and had gained a cult following in New York, and having him in Dallas to present a “happening” was a definite “get” for the DMCA).
“The Store” and “Injun” — and Claes Oldenburg himself — were very un-Dallas. The reception Oldenburg received from Dallas’ followers of edgier contemporary art appears to have been positive, but his work was handily dismissed by Dallas Morning News art critic Rual Askew, who, invoking the “royal we,” wrote this rather laborious sentence:
Claes Oldenburg’s ‘The Store,’ a painted-plaster waste of time in our view, has interest as assembled pattern with carnival colors at a considerable distance perhaps, but displaces space out of all proportion to aesthetic experience. (DMN, April 15, 1962)
As I work with the WFAA Collection (held by the G. William Jones Collection at SMU’s Hamon Arts Library), I was pretty excited when film footage popped up showing Oldenburg and his first wife (and his collaborator), Patty Mucha, at the DMCA. I knew that the DMCA was somewhere in Oak Lawn (it was at 3415 Cedar Springs), but I had never seen an image of it until this footage. The Oldenburgs are seen walking into the DMCA, tinkering with the installation before the show opened, inspecting the store’s “foods” and other “merchandise,” and playfully “playing store” and exchanging imaginary cash at his “cash register.” Sadly, there is no sound for the one-minute-45-second film, but — being an art history major (that always sounds pretentious…) — I really, really love this. A young, happy Claes Oldenburg in a moth-eaten sweater, here in Dallas, in the early years of what would become an artistically important career is pretty cool to see.
I have been meaning to write this post since I first saw the WFAA footage two years ago. I’m sorry that it’s taken the death of the artist to finally get me to do it. RIP, Claes.
UPDATE: Morgan Gieringer, Head of UNT Special Collections, alerted me to a WBAP-Channel 5 news script they have in their collection which describes much the same sort of thing that is going on in the WFAA-Channel 8 film above. In the script, Oldenburg discusses some of the pieces — read the two pages here. (The Ch. 5 report was filmed on March 29, 1962, which could be the same date as the Ch. 8 footage.)
“The Store” at the Dallas Museum for Contemporary Arts, 1962 — in vivid color:
Screenshots from the WFAA footage, showing Oldenburg and his wife, Patty (who worked alongside her husband and was a frequent participant in the “happenings”) preparing “The Store” for its opening at the DMCA.
Sources & Notes
Top image (and all other black-and-white images) are screenshots from the WFAA Newsfilm Collection, G. William Jones Film and Video Collection, Hamon Arts Library, Southern Methodist University; the footage was filmed in early April 1962 (or possibly late March 1962); the clip may be viewed on YouTube, here.
The color photograph of “The Store” and the poster for “Injun” are both from a publication of the Dallas Museum of Art, here.
Other Oldenburg-related sources:
The “1961” exhibition catalogue — this group-show featured heavy-hitting up-and-comers such as Robert Rauschenberg, Roy Lichtenstein, Robert Motherwell, James Rosenquist, Joseph Albers, Morris Louis, Jasper Johns, Jim Dine, and Richard Diebenkorn — can be viewed in a fully scanned Dallas Museum for Contemporary Arts catalogue here, via the Dallas Museum of Art Exhibition Records, Portal to Texas History
Candid photos from the “Injun” performance can be seen here
See several great photos of Oldenburg taken during the installation of “Stake Hitch” in 1984, in a DMA Bulletin here, here, here, and here
Watch a short video about “The Store” when it was restaged at the Museum of Modern Art in 2013, with comments on the pieces by Oldenburg; see what the pieces shown in the 1962 black-and-white film made in Dallas looked like 51 years later, in color, in the MoMA video, here
Three shots of N. Ervay. Above, looking north from Elm (Charade is playing at The Palace, dating this photo to late 1963 or early 1964).
A little closer in on the Mayflower Coffee Shop:
Sources & Notes
All photos from the Dallas Public Library Dallas History and Archives Division.
First photo is “[View of Downtown Dallas looking north on North Ervay Street]” by Squire Haskins — Call Number PA2000-3/1404. Second photo is “[View of Downtown Dallas looking north]” by Squire Haskins — Call Number PA2000-3/1401. Third photo is “[View of Downtown Dallas looking north on Ervay Street]” — Call Number PA2000-3/115.
I was contacted by someone over the weekend about a photo I had posted to my personal Instagram back in 2014. And that reminded me that I’ve been meaning to post these photos for several years now! (Thanks, G.H.)
Back in June, 2014, I saw a Dallas Morning News blog post by Rudy Bush, saying that he had just seen a pretty amazing mural after having gone to get a haircut in the Preston Forest Shopping Center and that he was hoping to find more information about it. He posted a photo, and it was COOL! I’d never seen it, and started looking to see what I could find. Rudy included my info in a later DMN blog post, with a nice link to my brand new Flashback Dallas site.
The 80-square-foot tile mosaic — made up of more than 46,000 ceramic tiles — shows the Dallas skyline of the late 1950s. It was created by Cambridge Tile Co. of Ohio (with a factory in the Trinity Industrial District) and installed by H. J. Palmer Tile Co. of Dallas. The mural was commissioned by George F. Mixon Sr. and George F. Mixon Jr., developers of several North Dallas shopping centers, including the Preston Forest Shopping Center (southeast corner of Preston and Forest). The mural was installed in the shopping center office.
I haven’t been over to see it since 2014, but I assume it’s still there. It’s about halfway between Staples and Whole Foods, next to a barber shop. It’s in the small lobby of office space you might never have even noticed. And it is wonderful. Unfortunately, it’s in a hallway, so there’s no way to take a photo of the whole thing straight on. Even when you’re standing looking at it, it’s like being on the front row of a movie theater — the only way to see the whole thing is to move your head from side to side as you feel yourself straining to lean back to take the whole thing in.
I know it was commissioned especially for this building, but no one ever sees it! It would be great if it were installed somewhere else where more people could enjoy it. I love it. Go and see it! And have fun identifying all the landmark buildings. (UPDATE: I have been informed by several people who have made the pilgrimage to Preston-Forest to see this mural that it is no longer accessible to the general public. What a shame!)
Here are photos I took in June, 2014.
And, of course, my favorite detail — look what you can do with 29 red tiles:
Below, a photo of the Mixons in front of their mural — from a 1960 ad. (See the full ad below.)
Bright’s Drug Store, 6327 Hillcrest, University Park
by Paula Bosse
This week the G. William Jones Film & Video Collection at SMU posted another fantastic clip from their WFAA News archive on their YouTube channel. This one shows an incident I had heard about since I was a child. It shows a peaceful “sit-in” demonstration at the University Pharmacy at the southwest corner of Hillcrest and McFarlin, across from the SMU campus. The sit-in was organized by theology students at SMU’s Perkins School of Theology to protest the owner’s refusal to serve Black customers at his lunch counter. The student demonstration was conducted by a group of silent students — it was a peaceful protest without violence. Until, that is, the owner, pharmacist C. R. Bright, called in a fumigator to set off a cloud of insecticide inside the pharmacy in an extreme attempt to run off the protesters. The students did not leave until Bright closed the drug store. Many of the students then picketed in front of the business as anti-protester demonstrators showed up to heckle and jeer, some waving little Confederate flags handed out by Bright. My mother, who lived nearby at the time and had recently graduated from SMU (but was not a theology student) was there, and she says she can still feel the burn of that pesticide in her throat and says that no one present that day could believe a person would do what Bright did. (And she’s in it! She’s seen sitting at the counter, engulfed by a cloud of insecticide.)
Here is the silent clip from January 9, 1961 (the direct link on YouTube is here):
I took the photo below at an exhibit at the downtown Dallas Public Library in 2017. It shows the students outside the pharmacy as a crowd jeers at them.
via Dallas Public Library
In 1961, there were only 4 or 5 Black students attending SMU. Black students were allowed to attend only the theology and law schools — there were no Black undergraduates until 1962, when Paula Elaine Jones became the first African American full-time undergraduate student at SMU.
In 1961, African Americans were routinely refused service at white-owned establishments in Dallas (as they were in the rest of the Jim Crow South). The sit-in at the University Pharmacy was the result of a Black theology student being refused service at Bright’s lunch counter. There had been a small demonstration at the drug store a couple of nights before the one seen in the film above — it ended when Bright closed early.
The sit-in that grabbed the headlines began around 10:00 on the morning of Monday, Jan. 9, 1961, when 60-75 SMU students, including Black theology students Earl Allen and Darnell Thomas, entered the drug store and sat silently at the counter and in booths. Allen and Darnell were refused service. In protest, the large group of students refused to leave. After about an hour, Bright was quoted by a WBAP news reporter as saying, “This is a good time to kill some cockroaches…” and called an exterminator service. When the exterminators arrived, they turned on fumigating machines inside the business, filling the place with clouds of kerosene-based insecticide which covered the students, the lunch counters, the dishes, the food, and the store’s merchandise. (Bright was a pharmacist, who was no doubt aware of potential physical harm this would cause.)
The students sat there, breathing through handkerchiefs and holding their ground, silent. A University Park policeman, Lt. John Ryan was there, but the police were not actively involved (although Ryan did have a handy gas mask). After half an hour, the students left when Bright closed the store. Bright re-opened an hour or two later (the lunch counter remained closed). Students silently picketed as hecklers jeered.
The SMU student newspaper — The SMU Campus — covered the sit-in. The article contained an unsurprising, unapologetic quote from the 75-year-old C. R. Bright:
Bright steadfastly refuses to integrate his lunch counter. Says the drug store owner, “We are not serving them now and we’ll never serve them.” He continues to explain that it “is against my principle” and “I know it would wreck my business.” (The SMU Campus, Feb. 1, 1961)
Bright retired soon after and sold the business to an up-and-coming young whippersnapper named Harold Simmons, who went on to build a multi-multi-multi-million-dollar empire from that first business investment.
UPDATE, BURY THE LEDE DEPT: Thanks to comments by two readers, I have learned that Christopher R. Bright was the father of former Dallas Cowboys owner H. R. “Bum” Bright. Oh dear.
Sources & Notes
All screenshots are from WFAA news footage from the WFAA News Film Collection, G. William Jones Film & Video Collection, Hamon Arts Library, Southern Methodist University; the clip has been posted to the SMU Jones Film channel on YouTube here.
Read coverage of the sit-in (as well as a critical editorial which called the protest “immoral”) in the Feb. 1, 1961 edition of The SMU Campus, the student newspaper — it can be accessed on the SMU Libraries website here, or it can be read in a PDF I’ve made, here.
Read a lively account of the sit-in in a WBAP-Channel 5 news script here (via the Portal to Texas History).
For those with access to the Dallas Morning News archives, the incident is covered in an article by Jim Lehrer: “Protesting Students Sit In, Walk Picket Line at Store” (DMN, Jan. 10, 1961).
Another great clip showing a historical lunch-counter protest in Dallas (the city’s first, I believe) in April of 1960 is also available on the SMU Jones Film YouTube channel — it can be viewed here. Here is a description of what’s happening in the footage: “Rev. Ashton Jones, a white minister from Los Angeles, and Rev. T. D. R. V. Thompson, Black pastor of the New Jerusalem Institutional Missionary Baptist Church, 2100 Second Avenue, together visit segregated lunch counters in downtown Dallas department stores; the peaceful sit-in protests take place at the counters of the Kress Department Store, the H. L. Green Department Store, and the Tea Room of Sanger Bros. department store. This was the first publicized demonstration against Dallas’ segregated eating establishments, and several members of the media — both white and African American — are covering the historic event (Silent).”
Lastly, in a related Flashback Dallas post, there was a previous University Pharmacy which was located, at separate times, on the northwest and southwest corners of Hillcrest and McFarlin — the owner of the very first University Pharmacy built the Couch Building, which can be seen in the background of the top photo of this post. That earlier post, “University Park’s “Couch Building” Goes Up In Flames (1929-2016),” can be found here. A pertinent 1965 photo from that post which shows Simmons’ University Pharmacy, the Couch Building, and the Toddle House (which was also the site of a 1961 sit-in by SMU students) can be seen here.
Here’s an interesting piece of Dallas entertainment history: a program for the 1961 Dallas Entertainment Awards, held in the Century Room, the swanky nightclub in the Adolphus Hotel. The awards were nicknamed “the Billy award,” or “the Billys.” Dresscode: “semi-formal.” Here are a few highlights.
BEST RADIO PERSONALITY
Nominees are: Nick Ramsey (KVIL), Ted Cassidy (“Profile of an Orchestra,” WFAA), Meg Healy (KIXL), Hugh Lampman (“Music ’til Dawn,” KRLD — the previous year’s winner), Irving Harrigan & Tom Murphy (“Murphy and Harrigan Show,” KLIF), Jim Lowe (WRR), and Chem Terry (KRLD).
So – Ted Cassidy? Yes, that is the same Ted Cassidy who later played “Lurch” on TV in The Addams Family (he also played “Thing”). He worked for WFAA radio for a few years and is a trivia answer in JFK-related quizzes regarding Dallas media coverage of the assassination.
BEST MALE VOCALIST
Nominees are: Mark Carroll, Marty Ross, Earl Humphreys (the previous year’s winner), Skip Fletcher, Charlie Applewhite, Ron Shipman, and Trini Lopez.
R. J. O’DONNELL MEMORIAL AWARD FOR SHOWMAN OF THE YEAR
Nominees are: Tom Hughes, Paul Baker, Raiberto Comini, Lanham Deal, Norma Young, Pearl Chappell, and Lawrence Kelly. (The previous year’s winner was Charles R. Meeker Jr.) A few names there which should be familiar to aficionados of Dallas live theater.
Producers of the event were Breck Wall and Joe Peterson, creators of the naughty “Bottoms Up” revue, which is probably still running somewhere. Some biographical information on the pair (click for larger image):
Master of Ceremonies was Tony Zoppi, who wrote a column about the local nightclub scene for The Dallas Morning News. Whenever I read his old columns, I think that he must have had the BEST job in town — writing about the Dallas nightlife scene when it was at its sophisticated and sometimes seedy Mad Men-era apex.
And — a bit of a change of pace — a little bio of real estate titan Leo Corrigan, who owned the Adolphus, where the show was being held — he was, unsurprisingly, receiving an “Appreciation Award.”
And a couple of drawings of Dallas entertainment notables: Pappy Dolson, owner of Pappy’s Showland and legendary agent of strippers, and Joe Reichman, the leader of the Century Room orchestra who was billed as “the Pagliacci of the piano.”
A few interesting ads include a little “howdy” from Jack Ruby (who was well known to several of the people mentioned above, some of whom testified to the Warren Commission about their relationships with him).
An ad for Villa Fontana, a gay club, formerly known as Le Boeuf Sur Le Toit (The Bull on the Roof), then managed by Bob Strange. Gay clubs were illegal at the time, so you didn’t see a lot of ads for them. (I wrote an article for Central Track about some of the gay clubs in Dallas in the early ’70s — with photos — here.)
And, the 24-hour greasy spoon known to generations of Dallasites, Oak Lawn’s Lucas B & B.
Here’s the photo enlarged. Unless something earth-shattering has happened that I don’t know about, that great sign is still standing on Oak Lawn near Lemmon, long after the restaurant closed.
See the rest of the 44-page program — lots more photos, lots more nominees — in a PDF from the DeGolyer Library at SMU, here.
Sources & Notes
All images are from “Dallas Entertainment Awards — 1961,” from the Diane Wisdom Papers, Archives of Women of the Southwest, DeGolyer Library, SMU Libraries; more information and a link to the fully-scanned program is here.
What better time to share this seasonal article from the Christmas, 1959 edition of The Shamrock:
Next to a helping of black-eyed peas, about the most important thing to Texans on New Year’s Day is a good football bowl game. And to Texans, there is no bowl game more important than the Cotton Bowl contest played each year in Dallas. Many even would rather do without their “black-eyes” than to miss this annual grid classic.
Texans have long been noted for their bragging and their love of football. In the Cotton Bowl game, they believe they have something which warrants a little boasting. Since 1937 when the classic was inaugurated, they have succeeded in showing the nation that they, too, can stage top grid productions.
There’s more to the Cotton Bowl Festival than a football game, however. The host city of Dallas resembles a three-ring circus during the week preceding the big game. The game is played on New Year’s Day except when that holiday falls on Sunday. In that event, it is played on Monday, January 2.
The list of events for Cotton Bowl Week this year contains something of interest for all visitors. The National Finals Rodeo, the first “world series of rodeo,” will be staged in the new State Fair Livestock Coliseum, December 26-30. The popular Broadway production, “My Fair Lady,” will be presented by the national company of the show in the State Fair Music Hall all during the week.
There will be a fashion show for the ladies and the Texas sportwriters will sponsor the annual Texas Sports Hall of Fame luncheon, honoring great athletes and coaches of the past. There will also be college and high school basketball tournaments, a tennis tournament, and a bowling tournament.
The big event prior to the game will come on New Year’s Eve with the annual Cotton Bowl Festival parade through downtown Dallas. Bands will play, colorful floats will be displayed and the Cotton Bowl Queen will make an official appearance, along with the many princesses representing each school in the Southwest Conference.
The Cotton Bowl game was conceived and originally promoted as a private enterprise by J. Curtis Sanford, a Dallas businessman. The first game was played on January 1, 1937, and featured Texas Christian University and Marquette University. TCU, with L. D. Meyer scoring two touchdowns, a field goal and a conversion, defeated Marquette, 16 – 6.
The classic eventually became a Dallas civic enterprise, produced under the auspices of the Cotton Bowl Athletic Association. The CBAA later became an agency of the Southwest Athletic Conference. Thus the Southwest Conference sponsors and controls the event, making it unique among all post-season games. The Conference voted in 1942 to send its championship team to the Cotton Bowl game as hosts. The opposition is chosen from the top teams in the nation.
The Cotton Bowl Stadium has a seating capacity of 75,504 fans. At $5.50 a seat, that represents close to half a million dollars in receipts. Each competing team receives 39 per cent of the gate with seven per cent earmarked to be paid toward retiring the bonded indebtedness on the Cotton Bowl Stadium. The remaining 22 per cent goes to the Cotton Bowl Athletic Association. After paying the expenses for the year, the Association gives the remainder of its income to the Southwest Conference.
Thus each team in the eight-school league realizes a financial assistance from the annual classic.
A helping of black-eyed peas and a serving of Cotton Bowl football are two items most Southwesterners like on their New Year’s Day menu.
Sources & Notes
This article is from the Christmas, 1959 edition of The Shamrock, the quarterly publication of the Shamrock Oil and Gas Corporation; this magazine is part of the Southwest Collection, Special Collections Library, Texas Tech University — the entire issue has been scanned and may be viewed as a PDF here.