Flashback : Dallas

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Category: Bonnie & Clyde

The Ambush of Bonnie and Clyde — 85th Anniversary

la-pistolera-de-texas_DHS-instagram

by Paula Bosse

Today is the 85th anniversary of the 1934 killing of Depression-era outlaws Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow, two of Dallas’ most notorious former residents. I’ve written several Bonnie and Clyde-related posts over the years, including the following:

As other Bonnie and Clyde posts are added, they can all be found here.

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Sources & Notes

Top image is the lurid front cover of a rare 1935 Mexican publication about Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow titled “La Pistolera de Texas” — it is from the collection of the Dallas Historical Society and was featured on their Instagram feed (more info is here).

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Copyright © 2019 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.

No Necking Along Country Roads Until Bonnie & Clyde Are Killed Or Captured — 1934

la-pistolera-de-texas_DHS-instagramNo parking! (image: Dallas Historical Society)

by Paula Bosse

In April, 1934, at the height of Bonnie and Clyde’s murderous crime spree, Dallas County Sheriff Smoot Schmid issued a warning to amorous Dallasites to curtail their necking in cars parked along dark, deserted country roads — at least while the Barrow Gang was at large. He even asked school superintendent Norman Crozier to make a special broadcast to high school students, warning that such behavior could be dangerous, if not life-threatening. A Dallas Morning News article advised people from “parking” “until after Clyde Barrow is killed or captured.”

“It’s a request that all citizens should observe,” Sheriff Schmid said. “There are many officers taking part in the hunt for Barrow. Some of them are young and inexperienced. All of them are very anxious to catch Barrow. If someone should mistake one of them for a hijacker he might get killed, or kill the officer. Either way it would be a terrible thing. I just want to prevent any unnecessary trouble if I can.” (“Sheriff Warns Against Parking,” DMN, April 13, 1934)

A few weeks later, Bonnie and Clyde were ambushed and killed in Louisiana. Once their deadly rampage had ended, Dallasites were, presumably, free to resume their “nocturnal necking.”

bonnie-clyde_no-necking_austin-american_d_041334 Austin American, April 13, 1934 (click for larger image)

necking_shreveport-times_041334_headline

necking_shreveport-times_041334
Shreveport Times, April 13, 1934

bonnie-clyde_no-parking_cuero-record_041834Cuero (TX) Record, April 18, 1934

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Sources & Notes

Top image is the lurid front cover of a rare 1935 Mexican publication about Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow titled “La Pistolera de Texas” — it is from the collection of the Dallas Historical Society and was featured on their Instagram feed (more info is here).

More Flashback Dallas posts on Bonnie & Clyde can be found here.

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Copyright © 2018 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.

 

The Eccentric Medford Compound On the Old Eagle Ford Road: 1945-1950

medford_trinity-cafe_west-dallas_FB_dallas-historyYou need it, he’s got it… (click for larger image)

by Paula Bosse

Above, 409-413 Singleton Blvd. in West Dallas, not long after the name of the street had been changed from Eagle Ford Road. The name-change happened in 1942 because of “unfavorable incidents in the past which had been associated with Eagle Ford Road” (The Dallas Morning News, April 26, 1942) — “Singleton” was Vernon Singleton, a former Oak Cliff County Commissioner. Today, this area is part of the super-hipstery Trinity Groves neighborhood; the block seen in the photo is now mostly occupied by a parking lot and looks like this.

Back then, “Eagle Ford Road” would have conjured up all sorts of unsavory images of bad behavior and illegal activities, and, even now, one tends to think immediately of the area’s most notorious exports: Bonnie and Clyde. Immediately after World War II, the population of West Dallas (an area which would not become part of the City of Dallas until its annexation in December, 1952) was about 12,000, and its residents were generally poor and living in substandard housing with inadequate water and drainage and little in the way of sanitary facilities.

The “complex” above — which consisted of, basically, the Trinity Cafe, a grocery/drug/dry-goods store, and a residence — was perhaps a bit more colorful than most of the businesses that lined Eagle Road/Singleton Blvd. in post-war West Dallas. The property was owned by Richard Elbert Medford (1864-1950), who, as one of the signs says, was also known as “The Rev. R. E. Medford, Preacher” (although I’m not sure if he was an actual ordained minister or just a self-styled preacher). In 1944 or 1945 — after several years of selling mattresses — Medford took over the collection of rickety buildings seen in the photo above, and began to sell a wide-ranging collection of unrelated stuff and painted a lot of signs. He remained in business there until his death in 1950 at the age of 86 (the cause of death was “senile exhaustion” which I gather means “died of old age”).

The signage in the photo is … well … it’s fantastic. It’s verging on Outsider Art. Medford offered everything, including (but not limited to):

  • Real estate
  • Beer
  • Notary Public services (deeds, mortgages, birth certificates…)
  • Keys
  • Appliance repair
  • Lawn mowers
  • Oil
  • Fish bait (minnows, crawfish, worms, and “flys”)

He also offered religious advice (“Repent & Be Babtised By Emmersion For Your Sins You Will Be Saved”).

Mr. Medford’s personal life was not a happy one, and perhaps the unrelenting family dramas caused him to become more and more eccentric as the years went by. Many of his children found themselves caught up in the crime and violence West Dallas had become known for.

  • One teenage son was shot and wounded during an attempted robbery in 1930, two months before one of his daughters married at the age of 13.
  • Another son, who was 11 years old, was killed when he attempted to intervene in a fight between his sister and her husband and was fatally kicked in the abdomen by his brother-in-law.
  • Another son was a habitual criminal who committed an eye-popping range of crimes and was in and out of city, county, state, and federal correctional facilities throughout his life. (This son, Homer, was also married for a short time to the ex-wife of Clyde Barrow’s brother L. C. Barrow, but that marriage hit the skids when she shot Homer, sending him to the hospital with critical —  but not fatal — wounds.)
  • And in 1951, after Rev. Medford’s death, the son who had been shot in 1930 while attempting to break into a store in Irving, shot and killed his wife and young son before killing himself.

So, yeah, Rev. Medford’s life was a rough one, and there were definitely some dark days in hardscrabble West Dallas. I’d like to think his store, plastered with its kooky signs, offered him some respite from the incessant melodramas percolating all around him.

medford_trinity-cafe_west-dallas_1940sSingleton Blvd., late 1940s, not yet part of Dallas

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The location of the Medford house/cafe/store, seen on a 1952 Mapsco (click for larger image).

medford_1952-mapsco1952 Mapsco

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Sources & Notes

I came across the photo years ago on the Dallas History Facebook group. There was no source, but there appears to be a copy of this photograph in the Jim Doster Collection at the Dallas Pubic Library titled “Meford [sic] Trinity Cafe on Singleton Blvd.,” incorrectly dated as 1930 (call number PA97-7/147). I’m sure a higher resolution image of this would offer up quite a few amusing details and discoveries.

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Copyright © 2018 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.

Need Bonnie & Clyde and Smoot Schmid Memorabilia?

bonnie-and-clyde_ring_rr-auction_june-2017Nothing says “I love you”…

by Paula Bosse

Thank you, Robin McLauren, for making me aware of the upcoming “Gangsters, Outlaws, & Lawmen” auction presented by RR Auction (the sale is June 24, 2017, with the lots available to be previewed here and bidding to begin next week). Of particular interest to those of us in Dallas are the lots concerning Bonnie & Clyde and the lots concerning Dallas County Sheriff Smoot Schmid (known for, among other things, his involvement in the Bonnie & Clyde case) — these Dallas-specific lots can be viewed separately, here (there are three pages, see the page numbers at the bottom of the page).

There is everything from photos of B&C’s bullet-ridden car, photos of the two West Dallas outlaws lying on morgue slabs, Bonnie’s blood-stained glasses, Schmid’s gun, and even his Shriners fez. Here are a few of the items I found interesting.

The first one is pictured at the top: a 3-headed serpent “promise ring” Clyde made for Bonnie while in prison (information on the lot can be found here). It’s kind of cool. (Most images on this page are larger when clicked.)

Another lot (here) contains four photos: two show the crowds attending Bonnie Parker’s viewing at the McKamy-Campbell Funeral Home on Forest Avenue, taken by Dallas Times Herald photographer Denny Hayes, and two show the gravesites of Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow.

bonnie-parker_mckamy-funeral-home_rr-auction_june-2017

bonnie-and-clyde_funeral-home_rr-auction_june-2017

bonnie-parker_grave-marker_rr-auction_june-2017

clyde-barrow_grave-marker_rr-auction_june-2017

Another lot (here) has 36 photos concerning Blanche Barrow, wife of Clyde’s brother Buck Barrow. Here she is marcelled and striking a pose.

blanche-barrow_rr-auction_june-2017

By far the best item is the bitter and angry letter of April, 1934 sent by Clyde Barrow to ex-Barrow Gang member Raymond Hamilton who was incarcerated in the Dallas County jail. Clyde dictated the letter to Bonnie, who must have had better penmanship (he signed it). A month later, Bonnie & Clyde were dead. The content of the 4-page letter is fantastic — read it here.

barrow_letter-to-raymond-hamilton-april-1934_rr-auction_june-2017

barrow_letter-to-raymond-hanilton_april-1934_signature_rr-auction_june-2017

There are several items that once belonged to Sheriff Richard A. “Smoot” Schmid, including this 14K gold diamond-studded badge presented to “Smoots” Schmid by his detectives in 1933.

smoot-schmid_badge_front_rr-auction_june-2017

smoot-schmid_badge_back_rr-auction_june-2017

And, his boots, with his “SS” initials on each.

smoot-schmid_boots_rr-auction_june-2017

And just because it’s odd, I have to admit I’m quite taken with this photo tucked into a lot containing several photographs which shows Schmid slapping cuffs on a robot.

smoot-schmid_robot_jail_rr-auction_june-2017

Bidding begins June 15!

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Sources & Notes

The RR Auction website is here.

More Flashback Dallas posts on Bonnie and Clyde are here.

Most photos are larger when clicked.

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Copyright © 2017 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.

 

Mrs. Hartgraves’ Cafe, and Bonnie & Clyde Earning Paychecks on Swiss Avenue

swiss-circle-front_070516The Swiss Circle building, 2016 (click for larger image) / Photo: Paula Bosse

by Paula Bosse

Bonne and Clyde were famous for being from West Dallas, but each actually spent a good amount of time in East Dallas. Working. Earning an honest living. Bonnie worked as a waitress, and Clyde worked in a mirror and glass company. Both worked in establishments on Swiss Avenue, though probably at different times. They hadn’t met yet, but it’s interesting to know they worked at businesses only a few blocks apart: Hartgraves Cafe was at 3308 Swiss, and United Mirror and Glass was at 2614 Swiss. Both buildings are still standing.

The Hartgraves Cafe (the name of which is always misspelled in historical accounts as Hargrave’s Cafe — even by Bonnie and Clyde enthusiasts) was in a curved building at the corner of Swiss and College (it is now at the corner of Swiss and Hall). 50-something-year-old Mrs. Alcie Hartgraves (her first name usually appeared in directories as “Elsie,” sometimes as “Alice”) opened the restaurant a few months after her husband, Ben, had died in 1923. It lasted until late 1930 or early 1931. (All clippings and photos are larger when clicked.)

1928-directory_hartgraves1928 Dallas directory

1929-directorySwiss Avenue between College Avenue and Floride, 1928 directory

According to Bonnie and Clyde histories, Bonnie worked there as a teenaged waitress with an absent husband, from 1928 to early 1929. According to one woman who worked at the Yates Laundry, just across from the cafe’s back door, Bonnie was a very nice person. Here, in a 1972 oral history, Rose Myers — who worked at the Yates Laundry for 25 years — remembers Bonnie from those days at Mrs. Hartgraves’ cafe:

hartgraves-yates_reminiscences
From the book Reminiscences

The laundry is long gone, but here’s what the back side of the building Bonnie worked in looks like today.

swiss-circle_back_070516Photo: Paula Bosse

And here’s a Coca-Cola ghost sign, painted on the end of the building that faces Hall.

swiss-circle_coke-ghost-sign_070516Photo: Paula Bosse

The Bonnie Parker connection is about the only reason people know about this odd little building in Old East Dallas. From looking through Dallas street directories, it appears that this building was built in 1915 or 1916 as a retail strip which, until Mrs. Hartgraves left, usually contained three or four businesses. The question is: why was it shaped like that? Many people think it was a streetcar stop, the cars using the circle as a place to turn around, but old maps showing streetcar routes from this period don’t show cars going down this part of Swiss. Below, a detail from a 1919 map, with Swiss and College streets in red. Streetcar tracks on Swiss turn left at Texas and then right on Live Oak, completely bypassing the circle area. (Another handy map of old streetcar routes laid over a present-day Google map can be found here.)

swiss-circle_1919-map
1919 map detail, via UNT

There’s a great view of the area in the 1921 Sanborn map here (with a different angle here). It may just be that the building was built to take advantage of/conform to the odd jog that Swiss Avenue takes in front of it. Here’s an aerial view from the recent past.

swiss-circle_bing-birdseye
Bing Maps

Our own teensy and unspectacular Royal Crescent! (You know what they say — “Everything’s bigger in Bath….”)

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But what about Clyde? Clyde worked at a mirror and glass company four-tenths of a mile west. Here’s an ad from 1928 (the same year Bonnie was working at Hartgraves).

united-mirror-glass_1928-diectory-ad_texashideout
via Bonnie & Clyde’s Hideout

Charles “Chili” Blatney worked with Clyde at United Glass and Mirror. In the Dallas Morning News article “He Helps Dallas to See Itself” by David Hawkins (DMN, March 17, 1970), Hawkins wrote: “Blatney remembers him as the friend he was: The little guy who always wore a hat and who would jerk it off and beat the floor with it in merriment when a good joke was told. […] ‘I guess I was surprised to see him turn real bad,’ [said Blatney].”

The building still stands, almost unrecognizable.

So, yeah, East Dallas was the stomping grounds of Bonnie and Clyde, back when they were living paycheck-to-paycheck and before they had begun their short-lived life of crime.

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Sources & Notes

Photos of the Swiss Circle building taken by me when I stumbled across it yesterday. I knew what it was when I saw it, but I didn’t really know much about it, other than the Bonnie connection. The building is currently vacant, currently for lease, and currently a weird shade of green. It’s a great space and a cool building. The back side is FANTASTIC!

The surname of the property owner (or property manager) is rather unbelievably … Dunaway.

The passage quoting Rose Myers, who worked at the Yates Laundry, is from the book Reminiscences: A Glimpse of Old East Dallas.

A discussion of this building can be found on the Phorum discussion board, here.

Other Flashback Dallas  posts on Bonnie and Clyde can be found here.

Click everything. See bigger images!

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Copyright © 2016 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.

 

Dallas Police Moonlighting as “Bonnie and Clyde” Movie Extras — 1966

bonnie-and-clyde_movie_dallas-police-extras“Action!” (click for BIG image) Photo: Dallas Police Museum

by Paula Bosse

Need to hire a bunch of movie extras who look comfortable toting rifles? When Hollywood came to Dallas and environs in the fall of 1966 to shoot the movie “Bonnie and Clyde,” they found plenty of law enforcement officers happy to don a pair of overalls and add some local color to their production.

I came across this photo on the Dallas Police Department Museum Facebook page. One of the comments under the photo: “I remember when all the overtime slots were allowed (paid by the film company)…. I recognize Chief Curry and the other officers.” Another person commented that an ex-DPD cop told him that he was in the movie, dressed as a farmer, chasing a car across an open field.

Did you  have an uncle Earl who was on the DPD force in 1966? There’s a chance he might be in the movie. Hell, he might be in this photo!

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More on the Dallas Police Department Museum here.

Read the Preston Hollow Advocate article “A Criminal Record: Dallas Police Department Museum,” here.

Click that photo. It’s big. Real big.

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Copyright © 2016 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.

Bonnie Parker: “Buried In an Ice-Blue Negligee” — 1934

bonnie-parker_mortician-account_cook-colln_degolyer(George W. Cook Collection, DeGolyer Library, SMU)

by Paula Bosse

This amazing (and amazingly gruesome) first-hand account of an unnamed McKamy-Campbell Funeral Home undertaker details the incredible amount of work required to prepare the bullet-ridden body of celebrity outlaw Bonnie Parker for burial. This odd little historical document comes from the absolutely fantastic George W. Cook Dallas/Texas Image Collection housed in SMU’s DeGolyer Library. The four-page handwritten document can be viewed in its entirety on SMU’s Central University Libraries’ website here. Below is the full account, transcribed by SMU, with a few corrections/additions made by me.

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Tear this up please? Tear this up please?

Heres [sic] first hand on Bonnie & Clyde as we had Bonnie. She was about the size of Rose Grace, weighing a 100 pounds. (a thousand pounds of dynamite though) She was very pretty of course her skin was somewhat tan. Her nails were beautiful. Likewise her toe nails. Her toes looked like fingers. The cuticles pushed back, the nails filed to a point, and a deep coral shade polish on them, the most beautiful toes I ever saw, just perfect. Her permanent just a month old we had it waved. Her face, right side was blown off. We fixed this and you could hardly tell it. Just one bullet went through her brain, however and number grazed her head as there were 3 big holes in her scalp, but not through skull. Her left eye terribly black, however I used eye shadow on other eye to match, so that was covered up. Now, her body was just mutilated and torn to pieces from shots. Her right hand nearly blown off (known as her trigger hand) her body besides being full of bullet holes was full of buckshot, pellets all over her

[Page 2] body. We received body ten minutes of nine. Joe and I sewed on her until three that afternoon. At that time they say 25,000 people were lined up outside. It took 2 hours picking dirt, rocks etc. from her hair then to wash it and have waved. A tattoo on right leg two hearts one read Roy, the other Bonnie. Roy you know was her Husband (Roy Thornton now in Pen) All fluid the undertaker in Arcadia La. used leaked out she was torn up so she was a a [sic] mass of blood, caked & dried. Several hours in bathing her. Had to scrape some of it off, and used gold dust to remove most of it. Had skin slip that night account Fluid leaking from it, began to smell the next morning, turning dark, smelling worse. The last day was rotten so to speak The odor was awful. Her Mother thought [sic] sat in room alone with her head over casket. How she stood it Lord knows. The other children couldn’t. Mother fainted 2:30 that night I asked if she wouldn’t like to go home, she went. By then the entire house smelt. We had to keep her so Sister Billy that was in jail in Ft Worth could get out & come to Funeral. She was buried in an all steel metal casket. Paper said $1000.00 wrong about $600 maybe less. Paper said $1000.00 vault Wrong there was no vault Page 2

[Page 3] Buried in an ice Blue Neglegee [sic] (is this spelled right) She was dressed in expensive clothes when killed. About 40,000 people came to view her. Paper said $1,500.00 damages done to Funeral Home. Wrong about the extent of $2.50. They did not tear windows etc as stated. The woman next door though turned Hose on Them to keep her flowers from being walked on. We had 38 officers stationed (3 shifts) all over house and front & back yard keeping crowd in order and all of us as well. 4 operators on the 4 phones. They rang every minute for two days & nights. More people came to see Bonnie then [sic] to see Clyde. Our new Porch Furniture was damaged. We had a Rubber mat about ½ inch in thickness all over Funeral House. Officers

[Page 4] stationed to keep people on it so as not to wear rug out (Big movie Star) my picture was shown in Movies. The paper stretched their stories. She was not to become a Mother as stated. She was diseased slightly though as stated. Now you have it first hand as I worked on her. Joes [sic] & My work was praised very highly in every other line in papers. And if I do say it, It was good. And she looked swell no trace of disfigures showing. The crowd did not steal anything to take home. All paper talk. Example crowd lined up as Far as Fair Park, now judge how it looked. They brought their Lunches. Such Fools.

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Below, two photographs of the McKamy-Campbell Funeral Home, located at 1921 Forest Avenue in South Dallas, besieged by curious spectators.

mckamy-campbell

mckamy-campbell_dallas-municipal-archives

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I’m unsure who the “Rose Grace” was who was mentioned on the first page.

The “gold dust” mentioned in the account as being used to remove caked blood from Bonnie’s body was actually Gold Dust Washing Powder or Gold Dust Scouring Soap, a popular, commercially-available “all-purpose cleaning agents” — Wikipedia article is here.

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Sources & Notes

Top image of the handwritten account on Adolphus Hotel stationery is from the aforementioned George W. Cook Dallas/Texas Image Collection, DeGolyer Library, Central University Libraries, Southern Methodist University, viewable here.

First photo of the McKamy-Campbell Funeral Home is reproduced all over the internet; the second photo is from the files of the Dallas Police Dept., Dallas Municipal Archives, via the University of North Texas’ Portal to Texas History database, here.

Even though the identity of the person who wrote this account is not known, he (…it was probably a man) mentions that he was seen in newsreel footage of the funeral of Bonnie Parker. My wild guess is that he can be seen in this clip from a longer newsreel on the funerals and burials of Bonnie and Clyde at the 2:34 mark. I could never find who his co-worker “Joe” was.

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Is this our man laying flowers on Bonnies casket?

bonnie-burial_newsreel-screengrab

If you really want to see the state of the bodies of Bonnie (and Clyde) — before and after their time with their undertakers — they’re easy to find via your favorite search engine.

More Flashback Dallas posts on Bonnie & Clyde here.

All images larger when clicked.

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Copyright © 2016 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.

 

The Filling Station on Greenville Avenue: From Bonnie & Clyde to Legendary Burger Place

loveless-station_extThe Loveless filling station, Vickery, TX… (click for larger image)

by Paula Bosse

Perhaps you’ve driven past the site of the much-loved former burger place The Filling Station at Greenville Avenue and Park Lane recently and saw that the old building was undergoing renovation. Construction has ended, and a new Schlotzsky’s (the sandwich shop founded in Austin in 1971) has opened at 6862 Greenville Avenue. And it’s pretty cool that they’ve preserved this old 1930s building, a landmark to many Dallasites.

The original filling station and garage was built, according to family members, about 1931 — it was one of the first brick  buildings in the small community of Vickery (which was annexed by Dallas in 1945). The construction even made the columns of the Richardson Echo (Dec. 11, 1931):

loveless-garage_richardson-echo_121131

The business had begun in the early ’20s in another building across the street, but things were definitely looking up for the garage and its owners, William Homer Loveless and his son J. W. Loveless, when the new building went up. L & L Motors lasted 50 or so years until the early 1970s, when the once-sleepy Vickery area had exploded into part of “Upper Greenville,” an entertainment mecca lined with bars, restaurants, discos, and strip joints.

The Filling Station, a theme restaurant and bar decorated with gas station memorabilia, opened in 1975 and lasted a remarkable 29 years, closing in 2004. Filling Station super-fans still have fond memories of both the building and its menu of “theme” foods and drinks with names like “sedanwiches,” the Ethyl burger, the Tail Pipe, and the Ring Job.

Beyond being a nostalgic favorite from the go-go days of Upper Greenville, the real reason this place has always had historic appeal to Dallasites is because it is one of the still-standing Dallas-area locations with a tie to Bonnie and Clyde. According to Loveless family lore, the pair bought gas at the station at least once, sometime back in the ’30s. According to Sonya Muncy, whose father, J. W. Loveless, took over the station after her grandfather passed away:

“That was my daddy’s station and his dad’s before. When he got hurt in an auto accident and couldn’t work anymore, he sold it, and it became the first Filling Station restaurant. I think my mom still has pics of Daddy in front of it when he came out of the Army. Gas was 9 cents a gallon with 3 cents tax, for a total of 11 cents a gallon. He had the coldest Cokes around! Across the street where Park and Ride is was my grandmother’s house. I remember playing at the station as a kid and helping Daddy work on cars. When I got my first car, he made me change the oil and rotate the tires! Lol. It was called L & L Motors with Mobil gas. […] Bonnie & Clyde also got gas there and Daddy said they were always nice to him.”

Kevin Wood remembered when his grandparents happened to be at the station when Bonnie and Clyde stopped in:

“The day Bonnie and Clyde came in to fuel, Clyde shook my Pops’ hand.”

And in a later comment:

“My grandmother and grandfather were in the store the day B & C came in … always said they were very nice.”

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FUN FACT: Jack Ruby apparently ran a short-lived tavern called Hernando’s Hideaway right next door, at 6854 Greenville in the early or mid ’50s (he seems to have owned it and later sold it). It appears the building was torn down at some point. So … Bonnie and Clyde and Jack Ruby, together at last, cheek by jowl.

hernandos-hideaway_jack-ruby_1956-directory
Greenville Ave., 1956 directory

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For as long as I can remember, I’ve checked out this old building every time I drive by it, marveling that it has managed to remain standing all these years, and always afraid it won’t be there the next time I pass it. So thank you, Steve Cole, owner of this Schlotzsky’s, for bringing it back to life and appreciating it as much as a lot of the rest of us do.

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The photos in this post were kindly sent to me by Jeb Loveless, grandson of Homer Loveless, the original owner. Below, perhaps the oldest photo of the building, in the Bonnie and Clyde era.

loveless-station_collection-of-jeb-lovelessphoto: collection of Jeb Loveless

Below, Homer Loveless and his wife Jewel in 1956.

loveless_homer-and-jewel_april-1956

Jewel at work.

loveless-station_jewel-loveless

Homer and Jewel’s son (and co-owner) J. W., at the pumps.

loveless-station_jw-loveless

UPDATE: I couldn’t for the life of me figure out what roads I was looking at here. Thanks to Danny Linn, I now know that the road straight ahead is what shows on 1962 maps as being the tail end/very beginning of Fair Oaks (this little bit still exists between Greenville and Central but is restricted to buses) — the view is looking west toward Central Expressway; the Corvair at the pumps is headed south on Greenville. A detail of this area from a 1962 map is below  — note that Park Lane did not yet exist. (The full 1962 Enco map is here.)

filling-station_vickery_1962-map(click me!)

J. W. with the tow truck.

loveless-station_towtruck_1964

And here is what the old Loveless garage looks like today, as a Schlotzsky’s, decorated with the original neon sign from its days as The Filling Station restaurant as well as with several of the photos reproduced in this post.

filling-station_neon-sign_2016photo: Paula Bosse

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Aside from the Bonnie and Clyde connection, this little building (which has managed to stay standing for over 80 years — a feat in Dallas!) is known by most as the home of still-missed Filling Station restaurant.

filling-station_dth

Below, an interesting 1976 quote from Filling Station co-owner Bob Joplin about the “cutthroat” competition between ’70s-era Upper Greenville bars and restaurants (numbering at the time more than 50), wondering how long his place might stay alive:

“The average life of a new place on Greenville is probably about 18 months. If that. Hell, around the corner here — the Yellow Rose of Texas — how long was it open? Three months? Maybe less? […] We’re going great right now, but we’ve only been open a little more than a year. Check back with me later — we may be here, we may not.” (DMN, Nov. 14, 1976)

The surprising longevity of The Filling Station — 29 years in business! — is why the strangely unceremonious and surprisingly brief announcement of the Filling Station’s demise (which appeared in the pages of The Dallas Morning News on July 2, 2004) is so odd — its closure merited only ten words: “The Filling Station on Upper Greenville Avenue has also closed.” 29 years! That’s an eternity in the Dallas restaurant world.

filling-station_matchbook_ebay
eBay

A few other businesses occupied the building, but none managed to stay open very  long. The building was vacant for several years, and it was definitely looking bedraggled when the Schlotzsky’s people came knocking.

filling-station_google_aug-2015Long-vacant — Google Street View, Aug. 2015

And here it is, after renovation, preparing for its opening day as a Schlotzsky’s — the building now actually looks more like its original design, seen in the photo at the top of this post.

schlotzskys_facebook-pageSchlotzsky’s Facebook page

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Sources & Notes

The photos of the L & L Motors garage and filling station in Vickery — and the Richardson Echo clipping — were sent to my by Jeb Loveless, grandson of Homer and Jewel Loveless and nephew of J. W. Loveless. He has graciously allowed me to use the photographs in this post. Thanks, Jeb! (Several of these photos were given to the owner of the new Schlotzsky’s and can be seen on the walls inside.)

Quotes from family members whose relatives met Bonnie and Clyde when they stopped in at the gas station are from comments on the Dallas History and Retro Dallas Facebook pages (used with permission).

A Lakewood Advocate interview with the owner of this Schlotzsky’s, Steve Cole, is here. He talks about his dedication to saving as much of the structure as possible, keeping the original brick walls and the wood floors.

To take a photographic tour through what remained of the old Filling Station, see the real estate listing on Zillow here (click on the first picture and a slideshow of large photos will open).

Here’s a then-and-now look at the building over the years:

filling-station_then-now

Related articles in The Dallas Morning News:

  • “William Loveless Dies After Illness” (DMN, June 12, 1960), obituary of the original owner, W. H. Loveless
  • “A Filling Station Which Pumps Beer” by Patty Moore (DMN, Aug. 8, 1975), the first review of the new restaurant, The Filling Station

Click photos and clippings for larger images.

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Copyright © 2016 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.

 

Thanks For the Dallas Morning News Shout-Out, Alan Peppard!

bonnie-and-clyde_poster_smThey were, they were, and they did (click for larger image)

by Paula Bosse

In the wild-eyed throes of moving, I missed a very nice mention of Flashback Dallas (and myself!) by Alan Peppard in The Dallas Morning News in response to a “from the vault” post I posted a couple of weeks ago on Facebook and Twitter — “The Shooting of ‘Bonnie & Clyde’ — 1966,” about the location filming in and around Dallas of the Warren Beatty/Faye Dunaway film. Alan’s article — with amusing tidbits about Blanche Barrow — is here. Thank you, Alan!

DMN_masthead

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Teaser poster for the 1967 movie release of “Bonnie and Clyde” found here.

Other Flashback Dallas posts on Bonnie & Clyde can be read here.

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Copyright © 2015 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.

Clyde Barrow In a Sailor Suit

clyde-barrow_sister_1925_utsa_smClyde Barrow & his sister Nell (click for larger image)

by Paula Bosse

Behold, a teenage Clyde Barrow in a sailor suit. Bonnie & Clyde lore has it that Clyde attempted to join the United States Navy but was rejected because of lingering problems from a childhood illness, but on a quick sprint across the internet, I’ve been unable to find any specifics about Clyde’s having tried to enlist in the Navy. But he was certainly pro-navy: not only does he appear to have enjoyed wearing the sailor’s outfit, but he apparently also had a “USN” tattoo.

But what about this outfit? It certainly looks like a navy uniform. Is it an actual navy uniform? Maybe a relative’s? Is it a costume? Is it some sort of facsimile someone whipped up for him so he could slip into it whenever he felt like it? Is he play-acting? Dressing up for a party? And what about that “medal”?

clyde-barrow_sister_1925_utsa-det

The back of this photo reads “Nell Barrow and Clyde / 1925.” Could it have been 1926 instead? On his birthday in 1925, Clyde (who was born on March 24, 1909) would have turned 16 years old. The minimum age for enlistment in the U.S. Navy jumped back and forth between 17 and 18 years old, but by the time his birthday rolled around in March of 1926, the enlistment age was 17. By the end of that year Clyde had been arrested for stealing a car, and even though charges were eventually dropped, this police record may have been enough to prevent him from enlisting even if he hadn’t failed a physical. Whatever the case, if he DID want to join the navy, he had a very limited window in which to do it: from his 17th birthday on March 24, 1926 to his first arrest on December 3, 1926.

Imagine how different things would have been if Clyde Barrow had joined the navy and sailed the Seven Seas instead of hooking up with Bonnie Parker and terrorizing the Southwest?

navy-recruiting-poster

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Photo, titled “Clyde Barrow and sister Nell Barrow, Dallas, Texas,” is from the University of Texas at San Antonio Libraries Special Collections, and is accessible here. Photo loaned to UTSA by Henry J. Williams (other photos from Mr. Williams’ collection are dated 1926, some of which I used in my previous post “Babyface Barrow — 1926” here).

If anyone has more information about Clyde’s uniform in this photo, I’d love to hear from you. Similar uniforms can be seen here.

Just to be ruthlessly detailed, if Clyde Barrow visited the United States Navy recruiting office in Dallas, it was on the second floor at 206 ½ Browder Street, at Commerce, its new headquarters as of June, 1925; station physician was Lieut. Jack Terry. (Wonder if Lieut. Terry was the one who gave Clyde his walking papers? If so, I wonder if he ever knew?)

A list of requirements to join the U.S. Navy — published in The Scranton Republican on Feb. 10, 1927 — can be found here.

For previous Flashback Dallas posts on Bonnie and Clyde, click here.

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Copyright © 2015 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.

 

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