Flashback : Dallas

A Miscellany: History, Ads, Pop Culture

Category: Modern Ads

“You Can Get That Famous Marathon Gasoline in Oak Cliff” — 1930

marathon_transcontinental-oil_gas-station_smithsonian_1930Somewhere in Oak Cliff, 1930, via Smithsonian Inst.

by Paula Bosse

Rejoice, Oak Cliff residents of 1930: you’re getting five Marathon gas stations! I’m not sure why these stations were only in Oak Cliff and no other part of Dallas, but they were (a sixth station joined this elite group a year or so later).

I have a fascination with old gas stations, but I have to admit I’m not familiar with Marathon Gasoline or Marathon Oil products or the Transcontinental Oil Co. (they  had a refinery in Fort Worth), but for whatever reason, the Marathon stations in Dallas — all emblazoned with an image of the Greek runner Pheidippides — appear to have faded away by about 1942 when I guess the last straggler finally crossed the finish lane, collapsed, and died. Farewell, Pheidippides.

The photo above shows one of those first 5 stations in Dallas. The location is not specified. 

Marathon stations in the O.C. in 1930:

marathon_transcontinental-oil_gas-station_050430_ad_det

  • No. 1: Jefferson & Llewellyn Sts. (539 W. Jefferson)
  • No. 2: Zangs Blvd. & Beckley Ave. (1111 N. Zang)
  • No. 3 Jimtown Rd. & Montreal Ave. (2120 W. Clarendon Dr.) (in 1931, residents petitioned the city to change the name of the street to “Clarendon” because they thought “Jimtown” was too déclassé)
  • No. 4: Zangs Blvd. & Davis St. (137 W. Davis — this was the station that lasted the longest, appearing to have closed by the time the 1942 city directory was published)
  • No. 5: Polk & Davis Sts. (938 W. Davis)
  • (No. 6: 1804 W. Jefferson)

It doesn’t look like any of the old buildings are still standing, but there IS one of the exact same design still standing in Miami, Oklahoma — a group restored it and even added period gas pumps (which someone later stole) — see it below. 

marathon-station_miami-okla_google-street-view_2016Miami, OK, Google Street View July 2016

Not all of the Dallas stations had the same design — a press release describes the stations of possessing “distinctive architecture.” Another of the Oak Cliff locations looked very different (and certainly more distinctive):

marathon_station_oak-cliff_1930
Somewhere in Oak Cliff, 1930

The one above is the same design seen in this local ad:

marathon_transcontinental-oil_gas-station_042730-adApril 1930

marathon_transcontinental-oil_gas-station_050430_adMay 1930

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Sources & Notes

Top photo is from the American Petroleum Institute Photograph and Film Collection, National Museum of American History, Archives Center, Smithsonian Institution — more info can be found here.

I seem to post a lot about gas stations. Here are a few notable posts:

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Copyright © 2023 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.

“It’s Big, It’s Fantastic!” — State Fair of Texas, 1949

sfot_1949_ebay_aWhen dinosaurs roamed Fair Park…

by Paula Bosse

Uh, hmm. Let’s see….

Dinosaur? Check.

Wearing a cowboy hat? Check.

Wearing a bandana? Check.

Wearing spurs? (!) Check.

With buck teeth? Check.

Looming over an art deco building? Check.

It must be time for the fair!

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Sources & Notes

Postcard found on eBay.

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Copyright © 2022 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.

Eula Wolcott’s Baker Hotel Book Shop & Rental Library, 1926-1942

baker-hotel-book-shop_1934Eula Wolcott: bookseller, librarian (Publishers Weekly, 1934)

by Paula Bosse

Today is the birthday of my late father, Dick Bosse, owner of the Aldredge Book Store. I always try to post something bookstore-related on his birthday. This year: Miss Eula Wolcott’s Baker Hotel Book Shop & Rental Library, located inside the Baker Hotel.

Eula Wolcott (1881-1962) was born in Waxahachie and had moved to Dallas by 1910. She appears to have had theatrical ambitions and studied voice and expression (she was billed as an “Experienced Concert Reader and Story Teller”). She opened a little book store and library in the early 1920s — the Booklovers Shop and Library was first on West Jefferson and later on Swiss Avenue. In 1926, she opened a similar shop inside the glamorous Baker Hotel, an enterprise she ran successfully until at least 1942 when another owner took over (she also apparently had a book shop inside the Baker Hotel in Mineral Wells). In 1931 she opened the rather confusingly-named “Baker Hotel Book Shop and Rental Library” in Highland Park — in the new “Spanish Village” (the original name for Highland Park Village). Below is a very enthusiastic profile from Publishers Weekly (click to see a larger image).

baker-hotel-book-shop_publishers-weekly_032434_eula-wolcott_textPublishers Weekly, March 24, 1934

I wish the photo at the top had been better, because I’d love to get a good look at the decor. And Eula. I managed to find a photo of her.

wolcott-eula_ancestryEula Wolcott, via Ancestry.com

Here are a few ads:

booklovers_0420241924

baker-hotel_book-shop_DMN_oct-24-1926Two shops, one owner — 1926

baker-hotel_book-shop_1009271927

baker-hotel-book-shop_19371937

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She was active as a bookseller for many years and was also a familiar voice to radio listeners who tuned in to hear her book reviews on WFAA. 

One interesting piece of trivia about Eula’s hotel bookshop, shared with me by a former bookstore client of mine: the Baker Hotel Book Shop was the very first American bookstore that British author H. G. Wells ever visited. A lecture tour brought him to Dallas in 1940 — like many of the celebs of the day, he stayed at the Baker. I’m sure Eula was very happy to have Mr. Wells, a literary powerhouse, in her shop. Let’s hope he exhibited proper bookstore etiquette and purchased something!

baker-hotel_mural-room_dallas-directory_1942Baker Hotel, circa 1940

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Sources & Notes

Top photo and article from the trade magazine Publishers Weekly, March 24, 1934.

Read more Flashback Dallas articles on the Dallas bookstore scene here.

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Copyright © 2022 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.

3635 Beverly Drive, The Residence of Architect Anton F. Korn — 1926

international-casement_ad_anton-korn_1926-detAnton Korn’s Highland Park home, 1926

by Paula Bosse

The image above appeared in a 1926 ad in The House Beautiful. The ad was for metal casement windows with leaded glass, manufactured by International Casement Co. Such a beautiful house! The only clue as to where this house might have been located is in information in the inset which reads, “Res. Dallas, Texas — Anton F. Korn, Architect.” Korn was a well-known architect in Dallas, and I had seen several mentions of him on Douglas Newby’s Architecturally Significant Homes site — I went there, looked up Anton Korn (1886-1942), and found this page, which shows several of the houses he designed. I scrolled down until I found one that looked like the house in the photo. I think it is the home Korn designed at 3635 Beverly Drive in Highland Park (southwest corner of Beverly and Drexel). The image on Google Maps (here) has trees obscuring the chimney, but it looks like the same house. According to Newby, the house was designed in 1924. And according to the city directory, Korn apparently designed the house for himself, and he lived there for several years. Newby notes that the oak timbers were re-planed from the grand Oriental Hotel (southeast corner of Commerce and Akard).

Here’s the ad that photo came from:

international-casement_ad_anton-korn_1926

I love this house! Let’s hope it continues to stand another (almost) 100 years!

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Sources & Notes

Ad currently for sale on eBay.

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Copyright © 2022 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.

Valentine’s Day Wishes from Dallas Railway — 1949

valentiines-day_dallas-railway_dallas-mag_feb-1949

by Paula Bosse

Dear Mr. and Mrs. Dallas:

You ride with us the long year through,

You smile through rain or shine,

That is why we’re picking you

To be our Valentine!

Love and kisses, Dallas Railway & Terminal Company

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Sources & Notes

Ad is from the February 1949 issue of Dallas magazine.

valentiines-day_dallas-railway_dallas-mag_feb-1949_sm

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Copyright © 2022 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.

Dallas Entertainment Awards — 1961

dallas-entertainment-awards_1961_cover_SMUAnd the winner is…

by Paula Bosse

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.

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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.

cassidy-ted_dallas-entertainment-awards_1961_SMU_bw

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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.

Skip Fletcher? Yes, a member of those Fletchers. When he wasn’t frying up corny dogs he did a little singing, and even released at least one 45.

fletcher-skip_dallas-entertainment-awards_1961_SMU_bw

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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.

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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):

wall-breck_joe-peterson_dallas-entertainment-awards_1961_SMU_bw

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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.

zoppi-tony_dallas-entertainment-awards_1961_SMU_bw

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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.”

corrigan-leo_dallas-entertainment-awards_1961_SMU_bw

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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.”

pappy_pappys_dallas-entertainment-awards_1961_SMU

reichman-joe_dallas-entertainment-awards_1961_SMU

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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). 

ruby-jack_new-carousel_dallas-entertainment-awards_1961_SMU

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.)

villa-fontana_gay-cllub_dallas-entertainment-awards_1961_SMU

And, the 24-hour greasy spoon known to generations of Dallasites, Oak Lawn’s Lucas B & B.

lucas-b-and-b_dallas-entertainment-awards_1961_SMU_bw

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.

lucas-b-and-b_dallas-entertainment-awards_1961_SMU_det

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See the rest of the 44-page program — lots more photos, lots more nominees — in a PDF from the DeGolyer Library at SMU, here.

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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.

dallas-entertainment-awards_1961_cover_SMU_sm

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Copyright © 2022 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.

Bob Lilly, Chap Stick User — 1968

cowboys_bob-lilly_chapstick_1968-ad_2

by Paula Bosse

Must’ve been the Moistutane®.

cowboys_bob-lilly_chapstick_1968-ad_1_ebay

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Sources & Notes

Ads found on eBay.

cowboys_bob-lilly_chapstick_1968-ad_2_det

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Copyright © 2021 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.

Pleasant Grove Business Ads: 1959-1969 (Pt. 2)

spruce-high-school_1965-yrbk_jerrys-food-mart_lake-june-rdJerry’s Food Mart, 6416 Lake June Rd., 1964-ish

by Paula Bosse

This final installment of 1960s ads for Pleasant Grove businesses has even more more ads from the yearbooks of H. Grady Spruce High School and W. W. Samuell High School (a link to the previous posts is at the bottom of this page). (Click ads to see larger images.)

BAXLEY CLEANERS, 8117 Scyene — Murrill L. Baxley owner. This very cute little building still stands!

samuell-high-school_1960-yrbk_baxley-cleaners1960

PLEASANT GROVE CLEANERS, 8011 Lake June Road.

samuell-high-school_1960-yrbk_pleasant-grove-cleaners1960

THOMAS COIN-OPERATED SPEED QUEEN LAUNDRY, 11001 Seagoville Road. (Laundromats once offered the use of hair dryers?)

spruce-high-school_1966-yrbk_thomas-laundromat1966

CAMPUS BARBER SHOP, 9614 Old Seagoville Road. (1966: owner Ike Robertson pictured with Jack Kelley and “Red.” 1968: owner Keith Gibson.)

spruce-high-school_1966-yrbk_campus-barber-shop1966

spruce-high-school_1968-yrbk_campus-barber-shop1968

NATALIE SCHOOL OF DANCE, 231 Pleasant Grove Center — Natalie Skelton owner. 

spruce-high-school_1966-yrbk_natalie-school-of-dance1966

SOUTHEAST YMCA, 2818 Prichard Lane. Still standing but now a church, I believe.

spruce-high-school_1964-yrbk_ymca1964

PLEASANT OAKS BAPTIST CHURCH, 412 North Masters Drive. Still standing in what looks to be a remodeled building. 

spruce-high-school_1967-yrbk_pleasant-oaks-baptist-church1967

MACON-HOLCOMB FUNERAL HOME, 8142 Lake June Road. Still standing (as a different funeral home).

samuell-high-school_1959-yrbk_macon-holcomb-funeral-home1959

DUDLEY M. HUGHES FUNERAL HOME, 2615 S. Buckner Blvd. Still standing (as a different funeral home).

spruce-high-school_1967-yrbk_dudley-m-hughes-funeral-home1967

spruce-high-school_1968-yrbk_dudley-m-hughes-funeral-home1968

GROVE STATE BANK, 1520 S. Buckner Blvd. I’m kind of shocked to see that this once-cool mid-century building is actually still standing — as a Bank of America branch. Its exterior has been smoothed of most of its character, but the original building is still there.

spruce-high-school_1964-yrbk_grove-state-bank1964

TRINITY SAVINGS & LOAN ASSOCIATION, 1838 S. Buckner Blvd. I think this original building is also still standing — now as a Chase Bank branch. 

spruce-high-school_1966-yrbk_trinity-savings-and-loan1966

JERRY’S FOOD MART, 6416 Lake June Road and 10420 Second Ave. in Rylie — Jerry Smith owner.

spruce-high-school_1964-yrbk_jerrys1964

JERRY’S FOOD MART, 1328 Jim Miller Road.

spruce-high-school_1966-yrbk_jerrys-food-mart1966

BEST FOR LESS FOOD MART, 1042 Second Ave. — E.R. Smith owner. “Where Ma saves Pa’s money.”

spruce-high-school_1966-yrbk_best-for-less-food-mart1966

spruce-high-school_1968-yrbk_best-for-less1968

BARNARD’S DRIVE-IN GROCERY, 136 N. Masters — O. L. (Leon) Barnard and Thelma Barnard owners. I love this couple!

spruce-high-school_1968-yrbk_barnards1968

N. D. WHITTLE & SON POULTRY FARM, 2660 Dowdy Ferry Road. I’m happy to see this is an ongoing (and expanded) business!

spruce-high-school_1967-yrbk_whittle-and-son-poultry-farm1967

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Sources & Notes

All ads are from the high school yearbooks of H. Grady Spruce and W. W. Samuell.

Other Pleasant Grove posts from Flashback Dallas can be found here.

spruce-high-school_1965-yrbk_jerrys-food-mart_sm

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Copyright © 2021 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.

Pleasant Grove Business Ads: 1959-1969 (Pt. 1)

spruce-high-school_1967-yrbk_pauls-florist_photo
South Buckner Blvd. doesn’t really look like this anymore…

by Paula Bosse

I love the ads in high school yearbooks, so here are a bunch of Pleasant Grove-area business ads from the pages of the Spruce and Samuell annuals. Click to see larger images. First up, all sorts of automotive-related establishments.

GROVE AUTO SUPPLY, 7930 Lake June Rd.

spruce-high-school_1968-yrbk_grove-auto-supply1968

KARSMITH, 7512 Second Ave. & Elam Rd., and 1952 S. Buckner Blvd. — Charles Smith and Wesley T. Smith, owners. “If you can’t stop, wave.”

spruce-high-school_1967-yrbk_karsmith1967

spruce-high-school_1969-yrbk_karsmith1969

STOVALL’S CYCLE SHOP, 8152 Second Ave.

spruce-high-school_1967-yrbk_stovalls-cycle-shop1967

HOLLEMAN ENCO SERVICE STATION, 300 S. St. Augustine.

spruce-high-school_1965-yrbk_holleman-enco1965

BARRETT MOTORS, 1514 S. Buckner — Big Billy Barrett, owner.

samuell-high-school_1959-yrbk_barrett-motor-co1959

HONDA SALES, 405 S. Buckner — Jack Poe, owner.

spruce-high-school_1968-yrbk_honda1968

TUCKER & SONS SHELL SERVICE STATION, 9606 Second Ave. “S&H Green Stamps… Hot coffee….”

spruce-high-school_1967-yrbk_tucker-and-sons-shell-station1967

spruce-high-school_1968-yrbk_tucker-and-sons-shell-station1968

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Next, various retail shops.

PAUL’S FLORIST & GREENHOUSE, 2017 S. Buckner — later at 8121 Bruton Rd. — Tommy Ochoa and Jean Ochoa, owners. If it’s a business in a little house-like building with metal or cloth awnings, I’m a fan.

samuell-high-school_1959-yrbk_pauls-florist1959

spruce-high-school_1967-yrbk_pauls-florist1967

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SKILLERN’S DRUG STORE, 1437 S. Buckner (Store No. 31).

spruce-high-school_1968-yrbk_skillerns_photo

spruce-high-school_1968-yrbk_skillerns_full1968

TURNER’S MENS & BOYS CLOTHING, 1317 S. Buckner.

spruce-high-school_1964-yrbk_turners1964

McKEE JEWELERS, 259 Pleasant Grove Shopping Center. This couple had yearbook ads every year — and they always looked pretty much the same. Which I’m fine with.

spruce-high-school_1964-yrbk_mckee-jewelers1964

spruce-high-school_1966-yrbk_mckee-jewelers1966

VAN VOAST SPORTING GOODS, 8208 Scyene Rd.

samuell-high-school_1960-yrbk_van-voast1960

RYLIE DRUG, Barker’s Shopping Center.

spruce-high-school_1966-yrbk_rylie-drug1966

BRAGG GUN SHOP, 1344 S. Buckner — D. E. Bragg, owner.

spruce-high-school_1968-yrbk_bragg-gun-shop1968

BUCK’S TV & RECORD SHOP, 1311 S. Buckner and 10910 Garland Rd. (and later 1927 S. Buckner) — Jimmy Huett, owner.

samuell-high-school_1959-yrbk_bucks-tv-and-record-shop1959

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And the always-popular “miscellaneous.”

BUCKNER BOWLING CENTER, 400 S. Buckner.

spruce-high-school_1966-yrbk_buckner-bowling-ctr1966

WEST-CRAFT, 1926 S. St. Augustine.

spruce-high-school_1964-yrbk_west-craft1964

ECONOMY MANUFACTURING CO., 5641 Military Parkway.

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THE SUBURBAN TRIBUNE, 8114 Lake June Rd. I will always love line drawings of the mid-century Dallas skyline.

spruce-high-school_1966-yrbk_suburban-tribune_dallas-skyline1966

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Part 2 coming soon….

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Sources & Notes

All ads are from the yearbooks of H. Grady Spruce High School and W. W. Samuell High School.

Other Flashback Dallas posts heavy on the Pleasant Grove can be found here.

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Copyright © 2021 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.

Pleasant Grove Eat Spots, including El Charo and the Vel-Mar — 1950s & 1960s

vel-mar_samuell-high-school_1959-yrbk_detVel-Mar, 8516 Lake June Rd., 1959

by Paula Bosse

Here are a whole bunch of ads for Pleasant Grove dining establishments, most with photos, thanks to the intrepid advertising staff of the yearbooks of H. Grady Spruce High School and W. W. Samuell High School. (Most ads are larger when clicked.)

You gotta start with Dairy Queen. I’m not sure how many DQs were in the Pleasant Grove area, but here are a couple.

Benson Dairy Queen, 1238 S. Buckner Blvd.

samuell-high-school_1958-yrbk_benson-dairy-queen1958

spruce-high-school_1966-yrbk_dairy-queen1966

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Wicker’s Dairy Queen, 7636 South Loop 12.

spruce-high-school_1967-yrbk_wickers-dairy-queen_full1967

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Gene’s Hitching Post, 223 Pleasant Grove Center. “Good barbecue is no accident.”

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Piedmont Drive-In & Steak House, 6855 Scyene Rd.

samuell-high-school_1959-yrbk_piedmont-drive-in1959

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Underwood’s Bar-B-Q, 7828 Lake June Rd. Odell Chism, manager.

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A & W, 623 S. Buckner.

spruce-high-school_1967-yrbk_a-and-w1967

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Apache Drive-In, 316 South St. Augustine. “Around the Bend to the Apache Den.” (The Spruce High School mascot was the Apache.)

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El Charo, 263 Pleasant Grove Shopping Center. The owner of this Mexican restaurant in the first ad (from 1958) is Mona Parish, whose husband Carl “Jake” Parish had died the previous year. From 1959, the owner was Marion Martinez, whose son, Mariano, went on to great acclaim with his own restaurant where he invented the frozen margarita (based on his father’s margarita recipe). The younger Martinez almost certainly worked at this Pleasant Grove restaurant.

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el-charo_plano-star-courier_nov-1962Plano Star-Courier, Nov. 1, 1962

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I have to admit, I’d never heard of the Vel-Mar drive-in, located at 8516 Lake June Rd., but I understand it was something of a Pleasant Grove fixture during the 1950s, ’60s, ’70s, and into the ’80s. According to a newspaper article which chronicled the history of the Vel-Mar and its then-recent sale by Robert Schweder to James and Sharon Harris (“Drive-In Shrine Alive and Well” by Steve Blow, Dallas Morning News, June 15, 1980), the small chain of root-beer-stand drive-ins was founded by three couples — including a Velma and a Marie (the third, Thelma, wasn’t lucky enough to get her name into the business name). Eventually, the Pleasant Grove location was the last remaining Vel-Mar.

Vel-Mar tidbits:

  • It always closed for the winter, from October to March.
  • Other than its root beer, it was known for its “Dixie Burger” which was a loose-meat sandwich.
  • It was a Pleasant Grove high school hangout, and it had special drinks for students of Spruce and Samuell: a blue and red drink was called “The Sprucette” (also “Spruce Juice”), and a blue drink was called “The Spartini” (for the Samuell Spartans). 

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Sources & Notes

All ads from the yearbooks of H. Grady Spruce High School and W. W. Samuell High School (unless otherwise noted).

More on Pleasant Grove can be found in the Flashback Dallas post “Life in The Grove: Pleasant Grove — 1954-1956,” with material gleaned from Pleasant Grove High School yearbooks.

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Copyright © 2021 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.

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