Flashback : Dallas

A Miscellany: History, Ads, Pop Culture

Category: Motor Courts

“The Riviera of the South” — On Harry Hines!

tower-hotel-courts_pool-match_flickr-smThe paradise of Harry Hines awaits…

by Paula Bosse

The Tower Hotel Courts opened in the fall of 1946. Their address makes my had spin: at “The Circle” where highways 77, 183, 114, and Loop 12 intersect. “10108 Harry Hines” would have been easier to fit on the stationery, but mention of all those highways just made everything more exciting. (It also gave some indication to prospective guests of what would be awaiting them, such as constant traffic noise and the ever-present whiff of exhaust in the air. “You can’t say we didn’t warn you, madam.”)

The fancy motel was five speedy minutes away from Love Field, which seems handy, because if you had an hour or seven to kill before your flight, wouldn’t you want to spend it there in the fabulous-looking Bamboo Room? I would! (Even though I’m pretty sure that matchbook cover is a little more glamorous than the actual Bamboo Room.)

If you were going to stay for a day or two and not just a few drinks, there were all sorts of things waiting for you: two pools (one a very large children’s wading pool), a theater, a croquet court AND a shuffleboard court, “circulating ice water,” and … stand back … a 2-station radio in every room. Somewhere in amongst all of this was a 46-unit trailer park (“with individual bathrooms”).

It’s not hard to see why they called the Tower Hotel Courts The Riviera of the South.”



tower-hotel-courts_postcardUltra Modern!

tower-hotel-courts_pool-smOwner’s wife and kids?







First and last images from Flickr; Bamboo Room image also from Flickr.

Several of these pictures are larger when clicked.


Copyright © 2014 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.

Not Every ‘Good Luck Trailer Park’ Story Has a Happy Ending — 1964

chimp_fwst_012864Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Jan. 28, 1964

by Paula Bosse

“Entertainer, Wife, Chimp Found Dead.” THAT is a headline.

Had I not known that the (ironically named) Good Luck Trailer Park on W. Commerce had been a favorite with visiting circus folk, I might have been a little more surprised by the weird circumstances reported in this article. As it was, I was only mildly surprised.

(I kind of think the chimp did it….)


Sources & Notes

Hats off to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram‘s headline writer. The story ran in the Star-Telegram on Jan. 28, 1964.

The victims — Harold Allen Ray and his wife Nadine (and unnamed monkey) — were later determined to have died of accidental carbon monoxide poisoning.

“Buster Raye” (stage name of Harold Ray) had been a comedian and master of ceremonies who seems to have played a lot of burlesque joints/strip clubs as the between-stripper entertainment. He was billed as “The Mighty Mite of Mirth.” In a Feb. 24, 1948 review of his act, The Bryan Eagle wrote:

Buster Raye, diminutive master of ceremonies, stole the show with a clever line of chatter punctuated with juggling, acrobatics, songs, imitations. His jokes were well handled with none of the vulgarity common to many floor shows.

I’m not sure where the monkey fits in.

buster-raye_corpus_042948Corpus Christi Caller-Times, April 29, 1948


Copyright © 2014 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.


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