Flashback : Dallas

A Miscellany: History, Ads, Pop Culture

Category: SMU

1971 Yellow Pages Cover: SMU Gets the Karl Hoefle Treatment

hoefle_yellow-pages_1971_smuUniversity Park gets Hoefle-ized… (click for larger image)

by Paula Bosse

Karl Hoefle’s wonderfully detailed (and painstakingly rendered) Yellow Pages illustrations were pretty much loved by everyone who saw them. As a kid, I loved searching for the hidden jokes — the dinosaurs, the cowboys, the rocket ships. I’ll try to write something in-depth about Karl someday. But, in the meantime, here is one of his covers from 1971, showing the SMU campus, Hillcrest, Snider Plaza, that water tower on Northwest Highway, and, heck, even an observatory. And possibly an elephant (although it might just be an elephant-ish-looking mustang…). (Click the image!)

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Copyright © 2018 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.

Fred Caropresi’s Mid-Century-Modern Illustrations for SMU’s 1951 Yearbook

smu_1951-yrbk_people-places_caropresiLife on the SMU quad, 1951… (click to see larger image)

by Paula Bosse

I’m not sure why I happened across the artwork of Fred Caropresi (1921-1985), but I must have been looking for something in the 1951 SMU yearbook, The Rotunda — Caropresi’s work is all over it! Caropresi (or as he was known to fellow students, “Freddy”) had attended SMU in the 1940s, before and after World War II. His degree was in mechanical engineering, but after the war, he returned to study art as a grad student and eventually opened his own advertising firm in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Below are some examples of his work from the 1951 SMU annual — his drawings are reminiscent of the silkscreen process with their off-kilter, off-register areas of flat vibrant color. This type of 1950s “mid-century modern” commercial art is definitely one of my personal favorites. 

Here they are (click pictures to see larger images).

Peppy Mustangs:

smu_1951-yrbk_athletics_caropresi

The packed “Hi-Park SMU” streetcar (which ran along Hillcrest  — see a photo here):

smu_1951-yrbk_classes_caropresi

Bulletin board — pipes and the Arden Club:

smu_1951-yrbk_activities_caropresi

Post office (this is great — I’d love to see a photo of the real thing:

smu_1951-yrbk_organizations_caropresi

Relaxing with a drink and TV:

smu_1951-yrbk_personalities_caropresi

Cokes al fresco and another college boy smoking a pipe:

smu_1951-yrbk_pictorial_caropresi

The drawings below — also from the 1951 Rotunda — show a completely different style. The first one (“Beauties”) is fantastic. (Click a thumbnail image to open a slideshow.)

Like I said, Caropresi’s work was ALL OVER the 1951 Rotunda!

varsity-fight-song_smu-yrbk_1951

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New York native Frederick V. Caropresi (1921-1985) grew up in the Bronx with his parents (his father, a pharmacist, had immigrated from Italy), his grandmother, and his older brother Gregory. For some reason both Fred and Greg decided to attend SMU in Dallas. Fred originally studied mechanical engineering, receiving his degree in 1944. He returned to Dallas after his service in the navy during World War II, and took post-graduate art courses. He was busy around Dallas as a both a fine artist (his first one-man show was in 1952) and as a very busy commercial artist, working in local theater, industrial design, and advertising. He was an active president of the Dallas Print Society in the early 1950s, at the same time he was designing college yearbooks. He left Dallas in the 1950s and settled in a suburb of Pittsburgh where he established his own advertising agency. I hope he continued his own art, because I’m a fan.

caropresi_fred_smu-1942Fred Caropresi, 1942, SMU yearbook photo

He is represented in the collection of the Dallas Museum of Art with this silkscreen/serigraph, a view of Reims Cathedral from about 1948.

caropresi-frederick_reims-cathedral_DMA_1948
Dallas Museum of Art

Fred Caropresi died in in 1985 in North Hills, Pennsylvania.

caropresi_news-record_north-hills-pennsylvania_040285_OBIT
North Hills (PA) News Record, April 2, 1985

Thank you, Fred.

caropresi-sig_1951

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Sources & Notes

All artwork by Frederick V. Caropresi from the 1951 edition of SMU’s yearbook, The Rotunda, is from the Southern Methodist University Yearbooks collection, DeGolyer Library, Central University Libraries, SMU; all editions are fully downloadable in PDFs, here.

caropresi_1951-rotunda

The silkscreen print “Reims Cathedral” (23/30, signed “F. V. Caropresi”) is from the collection of the Dallas Museum of Art; a Dallas Art Association purchase, it was accessioned in 1948.

All images are larger when clicked.

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Copyright © 2018 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.

 

Event: “Remixing the News” Screening at SMU

remixing_hamon-library-blog-header

by Paula Bosse

UPDATE: The screening was great! For those of you who might have missed this event — or who would like to see the films again — the one-hour program is airing on KERA-Channel 13’s “Frame of Mind” on Thurs. Nov. 16, 2017 at 10:30 p.m., with another airing at 2:00 a.m. on Nov. 20.

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I’m really late announcing this event — WHICH TAKES PLACE TUESDAY, NOV. 14!! — but it sounds like something that people who are interested in Dallas history and/or video art would really enjoy: “Remixing the News,” presented by the G. William Jones Film and Video Collection at the Hamon Arts Library (SMU), in collaboration with KERA television and Dallas VideoFest.

So what is it?

The Jones Collection at SMU includes the WFAA Newsfilm archive which contains what must be thousands of hours of 16mm film footage from the 1960s and ’70s, originally shot to be used as part of Channel 8 News broadcasts (this includes tons of B-roll footage shot to supplement the stories, but not always used in newscasts). As you can imagine, this is an unusual treasure trove of local news, history, and pop culture. I’ve dipped in and showcased some of the offerings in previous posts about the State Fair of Texas, and on Dallas appearances by Jimi Hendrix, Tiny Tim, and Glen Campbell.

Jeremy Spracklen, head curator of the Jones Collection, describes how this interesting local news archive was “reappropriated, recontextualized, and deconstructed” to become something altogether different:

We went in a unique direction in this — we did an experiment where we gave 10 local filmmakers a hard-drive with several hundred hours’ worth of footage on it and had them create their own interpretation of it. So, it is part history and part new video art.

I love this sort of thing. Eleven short films were produced by ten Texas filmmakers (Spracklen himself contributed two). Here are the films which will be shown Tuesday night, November 14:

  • “2,000 Hours in Dallas” by Jeremy Spracklen
  • “The Story of Jane X” by Christian Vasquez
  • “Dallas Circle” by Justin Wilson
  • “Lawmen & Cowpokes” by Gordon K. Smith
  • “History Lessons” by Steve Baker
  • “Beyond 10” by Carmen Menza
  • “Glass” by Madison McMakin
  • “Poofs are New” by Blaine Dunlap
  • “Divided” by Michael Thomas & Dakota Ford
  • “The Night in the Last Branches” by Michael Alexander Morris
  • “Echoes of the Past” by Jeremy Spracklen

The FREE advance screening of this collection (which will air at a later time on KERA’s long-running “Frame of Mind” series) will be held at SMU in the Owen Art Center on Tuesday, Nov. 14 (which might be TODAY!) — it begins at 7:30 p.m. After the screening, Bart Weiss, artistic director of the Video Association of Dallas, will host a Q&A with several of the filmmakers in attendance.

ALSO, Jeremy Spracklen tells me that those who are interested are invited to tour his very chilly subterranean film-archive lair after the event. So much Texas film history lurks beneath the SMU campus!

This event sounds great. Be there!

remixing-the-news_smu_hamon

“Remixing the News”

Presented by the G. William Jones Film and Video Collection, Hamon Arts Library, in collaboration with KERA and VideoFest

Date: Tuesday, November 14, 2017
Time: 7:30 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.

O’Donnell Hall, room 2130, Owen Arts Center (see map below)

FREE to the public

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Resources & Notes

More on this event can be found on the SMU website here and on the Hamon Arts Library blog here; the Facebook event page is here.

The event is free, and parking on the SMU campus after 7:00 p.m. is also free. Parking at SMU scares me, but here is what Jeremy advises: “The closest parking is in the meters in front of the Meadows building (they are not active after 7:00), the ‘U’ lot just south of the building, and, if those are full, the Meadows Museum parking garage is open — it is just down Bishop Blvd. and about a 5-minute walk.”

His map is below, with the parking areas highlighted in red. (Click to see larger image.)

SMUCampusMapNamesBLK

More on the WFAA Newsfilm archive can be found in a Flashback Dallas post “How the News Got Made.”

One of the filmmakers who has contributed a film to this event is Blaine Dunlap — I have posted links to two of his films, both of which I really enjoyed: Sunset High School on Film — 1970″ (which he made while he was a Sunset student) and “‘Sometimes I Run’: Dallas Noir — 1973” (about a philosophizing downtown street cleaner).

More on “Frame of Mind” here.

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Copyright © 2017 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.

 

Looking South from the Hilltop — 1966

skyline_smu-law-school-yrbk_1966Downtown, as seen from the SMU campus… (click for larger image)

by Paula Bosse

Yeah, the photo is pretty dark, and the image quality leaves something to be desired, but I like this unusual view of a dreamlike downtown skyline, as seen from the SMU campus. Hillcrest Avenue — the SMU drag — can be seen in the upper center; the large building on the west side of Hillcrest is the University House Motel (still standing, but expanded and massively renovated as Hotel Lumen). Right next to the motel is the excessively quaint windmill of the Little Red Barn restaurant.

It all seems very calm.

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Photo from the 1966 Southern Methodist University Law School yearbook.

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Copyright © 2016 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.

“How the News Got Made” — SMU’s WFAA Newsfilm Collection Spotlighted at the Dallas VideoFest

wfaa-newsfilm_thumbnails_hamon_cul_smu(G. William Jones Film and Video Collection, SMU)

by Paula Bosse

The Dallas VideoFest is in full swing this weekend, and one of the events on the schedule is How the News Got Made: A Rare Look at SMU’s WFAA Newsfilm and a Conversation with the People who Created It.” This screening and panel discussion will include WFAA news clips and B-roll footage on 16mm film from the 1960s and ’70s, selected from the large WFAA Newsfilm Collection (part of the moving image holdings of the G. William Jones Film and Video Collection, Hamon Arts Library, Southern Methodist University).

A few months ago I saw a screening at SMU of some of these clips — which had been selected by the collection’s curator, Jeremy Spracklen, who has also, I believe, compiled the clips for the VideoFest presentation — and I really enjoyed it. Being able to watch 45- or 50-year-old news clips — of subjects both newsworthy and not-so-newsworthy — is an interesting way to study moments in the history of Dallas. It’s certainly more immediate and “flavorful” than reading old black and white newspaper clippings. I mean … you can listen to people actually talking. (With actual ACCENTS!) And see them move! SMU is in the process of identifying people and places seen in these clips and may soon request crowdsourced assistance from the public. It’s a large undertaking, further complicated by the fact that much of the footage was received by SMU randomly spliced together, some of it raw footage without sound. The hope is to identify subjects and subject matter in order to assist researchers, historians, and documentarians.

At present, almost two decades’ worth of these film reels are slowly being digitized; when the transfers are complete, they are uploaded to SMU’s Central University Libraries site and are free to be viewed by the public. Check what’s up now, here, and watch a few yourself.

There is a great Dallas Observer article by Jamie Laughlin on this collection. You must make sure to scroll down and watch the clip of fresh-faced Channel 8 newsboy Bill O’Reilly (yes, that Bill O’Reilly) interview the only slightly younger-looking future superstar ventriloquist (…two words I’ve never typed one right after the other before…) Jeff Dunham, who, at 14, seems really excited to be talking about his craft on TV.

And, if only a sliver of what I saw of the hilariously bizarre and wonderfully entertaining footage from about 1969 of mini-skirt-and-sideburn-hating Texas Land Commissioner Jerry Sadler — who was reported to have grabbed and choked a political critic in a dispute over Spanish galleon treasure recovered off the Texas coast (…yes, that’s what I said…) —  is shown at the VideoFest, it will be WELL worth your time!

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Sources & Notes

The top image is a collection of thumbnail images of WFAA digital files which have been uploaded to the Central University Libraries’ site, here.

Read about this WFAA Newsfilm Collection in the Hamon Arts Library digital collection here.

For more information on the collection, contact filmarchive@smu.edu.

The Dallas VideoFest program, “How the News Got Made: A Rare Look at SMU’s WFAA Newsfilm and a Conversation with the People who Created It,” takes place this weekend, Saturday, Oct. 22, 2016, 5:15-6:45 PM at the Angelika Film Center. More information on the event and the panel participants is here.

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Copyright © 2016 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.

 

The Digital Collections of SMU’s Central University Libraries: The Gold Standard

umphrey-lee-snack-bar_rotunda_1956My father in the Umphrey Lee snack bar? (click for larger image)

by Paula Bosse

This past week I was invited by SMU’s Cindy Boeke (whose full title is Digital Collections Developer, Norwick Center for Digital Services, Central University Libraries, Southern Methodist University) to tour several of the CUL special collections libraries, which include the DeGolyer Library, the Hamon Arts Library (which includes the Bywaters Special Collections and the G. William Jones Film and Video Collection), the Edwin J. Foscue Map Library, and the SMU Archives. I had a behind-the-scenes look at the journey an item takes on its way to being digitized, beginning with the acquisition of the collection itself, the cataloging of the collection, and the research, annotation, and imaging of each item. Another important part of the process is the often mundane but necessary grant-writing which must be done to obtain funding to do much of the above. These collections at SMU are huge, but a remarkably efficient group of SMU library staff and students tackle the herculean task of getting everything cataloged and up online, accessible to everyone. At the end of February, 2016, over 51,000 items have been published online. And there is a vast, exciting amount still to come!

For me, the online digitized database of SMU’s Central University Libraries is the absolute best for researching historical Dallas images. (I should note that Dallas history is only part of the wide-ranging collection of photographs, manuscripts, films, etc., concerning everything from Western Americana to the Mexican Revolution to trains and railroad history to artists’ sketchbooks, etc.) I’m most interested in Dallas photographs, and SMU really has no equal in what they provide online: large, high-resolution images without watermarks, accessible to anyone with a computer, tablet, or phone. It is an unbelievable treasure trove of historical images, and I’ve been lost in it for hours at a time.

I know this might come dangerously close to appearing to be some sort of paid promotion, but it’s not. We are very lucky here in Dallas to have these SMU collections available to us. I wish ALL institutions with historical holdings would also throw open the doors to their archives’ vaults and share their collections online freely. (I would be remiss if I didn’t mention UNT’s wonderful Portal to Texas History site here, which, along with SMU, does just that.) We are living in a digital age, and to be unable to access some of Dallas’ other deep and varied collections of our own city’s history is incredibly frustrating, as I think it must also be for the institutions themselves — digitization of large collections takes time and money, both of which are often in short supply. SMU’s online presence is what all other libraries and institutions should model themselves after. Thank you, Norwick Center for Digital Services, for truly bringing SMU into the Digital Age.

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On a more personal note, even though I use the online digital catalog of SMU’s collections all the time for this blog, it can also be a great source to use to explore your family’s history if family members have attended SMU. My mother and my father both attended SMU, and thanks to the digitization of EVERY SINGLE ROTUNDA YEARBOOK (!), I was able to find photos of my parents I’d never seen before.

The photo at the top of this post shows the then-new Umphrey Lee Student Center snack bar and appeared in the 1956 Rotunda yearbook. I was browsing through the “Campus Memories” photos from the SMU Archives, and when I saw this photo, I immediately recognized the back of my father’s head! A KA fraternity brother of his doesn’t think it’s my father in  this picture, but my mother, my brother, and I all think that that the student in the white shirt in the foreground with his back to the camera is almost certainly my father, who was a grad student in 1956. If it weren’t for the Campus Memories collection (which is FANTASTIC, by the way), I’d never have seen this photograph. And because the Rotunda database is searchable by names (see below for link), I was able to find a photo of my still-teenaged father in some sort of large, uniformed squadron (“Squadron A”) in 1953 — a zoomed-in detail of the photo is below:

PRB_squadron-A_rotunda-19531953

And I’m not sure I would have seen this photo of my mother taken a few years later, looking incredibly cute and perky as an officer of the honorary Comparative Literature fraternity, Beta Kappa Gamma. (My  mother is on the back row, between the two tall men.)

beta-kappa-gamma_rotunda_19561956 (mustachioed professor Lon Tinkle is in middle row, far right)

Or this photo a few years after that when she was the president of the group. She always laughs when she recalls how one of the rituals that came with the office was pouring tea from the group’s silver tea service.

mew_rotunda_19591959 (with sponsor Dr. Gusta Nance at right)

Again, thank you, SMU!

prb-mew-rotundaDick Bosse, Margaret Werry

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Main search page for SMU’s Central University Libraries is here. Pack a lunch. You might be here a while.

Norwick Center for Digital Services info is here.

Top photo is titled “Students in Umphrey Lee Student Center Snack Bar” — it was taken in 1955 and appeared in the 1956 Rotunda, SMU’s yearbook; it is from the SMU Archives, DeGolyer Library, Central University Libraries, Southern Methodist University, and it is accessible here. (I’ve cropped it a bit at the top and bottom.)

All other photos are from various editions of the Rotunda yearbook, all of which are online.

Every single edition of the Rotunda — from the very first yearbook for the inaugural 1915-1916 class — has been scanned in is entirety and is available online. This incredible resource is here. It takes a little while to figure how to navigate through the yearbooks — instructions are here. It can be very slow to load — but it’s worth the wait.

More from the SMU Archives (including the archived campus newspaper) is here.

Lastly, I would like to thank Cindy Boeke of the Norwick Center for inviting me to visit the Central University Libraries. I’d also like to thank Anne Peterson of the DeGolyer Library, Jolene de Verges, Sam Ratcliffe, and Ellen Buie Niewyk of the Hamon Arts Library, the SMU archivist Joan Gosnell, and all of the other CUL staff members and students I met on my visit to the SMU campus. Keep up the great work!

Click pictures for larger images.

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Copyright © 2016 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.

Early Aerial View of the SMU Campus

smu_early-aerial_ca1920s_degolyerWide open… (click for much larger view)

by Paula Bosse

Does anyone else fear the SMU campus is getting a little crowded these days? Here’s what it looked like back when there was still plenty of room to stretch out.

This photo is in the SMU archives, accompanied by this description:

Pictured is an aerial view of campus from the southeast. At the bottom is Mockingbird Lane; on the right is Airline Road; at the top is Daniel Avenue; and on the left is Hillcrest Avenue. Situated in the middle of fields is a water tower, Dallas Hall, Atkins Hall, Rankin Hall, North Hall, South Hall, the Women’s Gymnasium, Armstrong Field, and the Morrison-Bell Track.

What is the huge hacienda at Hillcrest and Daniel (below)? Is that the Daniel family home?

smu_early-aerial_ca1920s_degolyer_a

And what are the little houses next to the under-construction stadium? Faculty housing? Fraternity houses? Houses not even connected with the university?

smu_early-aerial_ca1920s_degolyer_b

I kinda wish the campus still looked like this.

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Photo titled “Early aerial view of campus,” ca. 1920s, from the DeGolyer Library, Central University Libraries, Southern Methodist University; it is accessible here.

Zoom in on this photo as much as you can and wander around it — it’s pretty cool. Go here, then slide the magnification bar at the top all the way to the right.

Click pictures for larger images.

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Copyright © 2016 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.

Parasols on the SMU Campus — 1917

smu_parasols_1917_degolyerSMU, sparsely populated (click for larger image)

by Paula Bosse

I love this photo showing a man and two women with parasols walking up an unpaved Bishop Blvd. toward Dallas Hall. The women’s dormitory, Atkins Hall, is on the right. …And that’s it.

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Photo titled “Dallas Hall and women’s dormitory in 1917” is from the DeGolyer Library, Central University Libraries, Southern Methodist University; more information is here. (I have straightened the image, and corrected the color somewhat.)

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Copyright © 2016 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.

Views of Dallas by Bruno Lore — 1931

skyline_smu_1931Bruno Lore’s Dallas, in purples and pinks (click for larger image)

by Paula Bosse

Bruno J. Lore (1890-1963) was a Fort Worth artist and illustrator who spent much of his career working for the Southwestern Engraving Company. Known as “the dean of Fort Worth commercial artists,” Lore had a long and successful career, counting among his many clients colleges and universities who commissioned him to create artwork for their yearbooks (and, perhaps as a friendly or persuasive perk, he was often asked to pick the campus beauties who would be featured in those same yearbooks). Even though information about Lore is scant, he seems to have had steady yearbook work, with his illustrations appearing in several Southern and Southwestern college annuals, primarily in the 1920s and ’30s. In Dallas, his artwork appeared in editions of SMU’s Rotunda.

Below are Lore’s vividly colorful views of the SMU campus and the Dallas skyline which appeared in the 1931 Rotunda and provided a lively, modern exuberance to an otherwise fairly standard college yearbook.

rotunda_1931_advertising-header

smu-rotunda_1931-intto

dallas-hall_smu-rotunda-1931

skyline_smu-rotunda-1931

skyline-3_smu-rotunda-1931

skyline-5_smu-rotunda-1931

skyline-2_smu-rotunda-1931

skyline-6_smu-rotunda-1931

skyline-4_smu-rotunda-1931

skyline-8_smu-rotunda-1931

skyline-7_smu-rotunda-1931

saddleburr_smu-rotunda-1931

students_smu-rotunda-1931

smu-1931rotunda_1931_title-page

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Lore was doing yearbook work (along with his other commissions) into at least the ’40s. His later years seem to have been focused on Western art, and he produced several paintings. He seems to be most fondly remembered by collectors as the artist who was responsible for several decades’ worth of Western-themed cover art for souvenir annuals of the Fort Worth Rodeo and the Southwestern Exposition and Fat Stock Show.

lore_FWST_012173Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Jan. 21, 1973

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All artwork is from the 1931 Rotunda, yearbook of Southern Methodist University. The above illustrations are unattributed, but it seems fairly certain that they are by Bruno J. Lore, who is mentioned in the school’s newspaper, The Daily Campus, as providing the artwork for the 1931 Rotunda. This edition of the yearbook also contains eight somewhat more staid views of campus scenes in pencil or ink and wash which are attributed to Lore. Lore’s yearbook work was apparently done remotely, and he often worked from photographs.

Most of the artwork is larger when clicked.

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Copyright © 2015 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.

An Afternoon Outing with SMU Frat Boys & Their Dates — 1917

smu_omega-phi_dallas-hall_1917_degolyerCampus couples, 1917 (click for larger image)

by Paula Bosse

I came across three wonderful World War One-era photos in the SMU archives while I was looking for something else. You know how you can become enthralled by the charm of old photos and sit for long stretches of time staring at every little detail and wondering about the lives of the unidentified people who populate them? That happened to me with these. There is one particular young woman who stands out more than anyone else. Not only is she the best-dressed person in the photos, she also seems calm, collected, and serene. She looks friendly. She was probably very pleasant to have around.

These three photographs show a group of ten young couples and a pair of chaperones spending a beautiful sunny day together, with the highlight of the day being a trip to Highland Park’s Exall Lake. The men are SMU students, identified only as members of the Omega Phi fraternity. The women are identified merely as “dates,” but I’m sure that some of them were also SMU students. The photograph above shows the crowd gathered on campus in front of Dallas Hall. The woman in white looks like she’s on a pedestal, glowing in a spotlight. Below, a closer look at her stylish outfit (as well as a look at the young be-medaled WWI soldier next to her).

smu_omega-phi_dallas-hall_1917_degolyer-det1

And, below, a similar detail, but this one showing the daintily crossed ankles of another pretty girl, seated beside a sour-looking companion.

smu_omega-phi_dallas-hall_1917_degolyer-det2

And here’s the gang on the idyllic banks of Exall Lake. Diane Galloway included this photograph in her book The Park Cities, A Photohistory with this caption:

At one time a bridge crossed Exall Lake near the Cary house, shown in the distance. The photographer was standing on the bridge to capture this picture of well-dressed SMU students going boating on the lake. A trip to Lakeside Drive was one of the few off-campus excursions permitted in 1917.

I love this photo. If I didn’t know what the Turtle Creek area looked like, I’d be hard-pressed to identify this as Dallas!

smu_omega-phi_exall-lake_1917_degolyer

Here’s a close-up of the beatific, smiling woman in white. I like the kid lurking in the background.

smu_omega-phi_exall-lake_1917_degolyer-det1

And the boat.

smu_omega-phi_exall-lake_1917_degolyer-det2

And the sour-looking guy again, looking even more annoyed than before.

smu_omega-phi_exall-lake_1917_degolyer-det3

And here’s the crowd sitting on the steps of the frat house (which was located at Haynie and Hillcrest). The personnel has changed a little bit (they gained a woman and lost a man), but (almost) everyone seems pretty happy.

smu_omega-phi_porch_1917_degolyer

And, below, my very favorite detail from these three photos.

smu_omega-phi_porch_1917_degolyer-det1

After a bit of sleuthing, I found a picture of the house at the time these photos were taken. It was actually a residence which was, I think, being rented out to the small group of Omega Phis. They had a proper fraternity house built several years later.

omega-phi-house_rotunda_1917

The top photo had “1917” written on the back, so I checked SMU’s Rotunda yearbooks from around that time. Here’s a look at the men who were members of Omega Phi in 1918. Several of these faces match the ones in the photos of the afternoon outing.

omega-phi_rotunda-1918

And, below, a photo collage from the Omega Phi page of the 1917 Rotunda. Several of the women look familiar. I see the Woman in White in at least one of these snapshots.

omega-phi_photos_rotunda_1917

And here she is, close up. I hope she was as happy, intelligent, and confident in her real life as she appears to be in these photos.

smu_omega-phi_porch_1917_degolyer-det2

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Sources & Notes

The three photos of the afternoon outing all come from the collection of the DeGolyer Library, Central University Libraries, Southern Methodist University:

  • “Omega Phi Fraternity members and their dates in front of Dallas Hall” is here.
  • “Omega Phi Fraternity member outing to Exall Lake” is here.
  • “Omega Phi Fraternity members and their dates on porch” is here.

The quote from Diane Galloway comes from her FANTASTIC book, The Park Cities, A Photohistory (Dallas: Diane Galloway, 1989), p. 24.

The ersatz Omega Phi fraternity house was located at 115 Haynie Avenue, just west of Atkins (now Hillcrest). (The photo of the exterior of the house is from the 1917 SMU Rotunda yearbook.)

omega-phi_map_19191919 map (detail), Portal to Texas History

I have absolutely no idea how college fraternities work, but it seems that when they formed on the SMU campus in 1915, the Omega Phi group was not actually affiliated with a national fraternity. They “petitioned” to be chartered by national groups, but they finally stopped trying after 11 years of, I guess, being repeatedly turned down — in 1926 they declared themselves to be an “independent society.” But one year later, they were granted a charter by the national Kappa Sigma fraternity. In the Dallas Morning News article announcing the news, this sentence was included: “The local chapter will be known as Delta Pi chapter.” I have no idea what any of that means, but if you’re really into these things, read the DMN article “Kappa Sigmas Grant Charter” (Sept. 26, 1927), here.

As for the identities of the women in the photos, it’s a mystery. I would assume, though, that at least some of them were the women mentioned in this little article about a cozy winter get-together at the Haynie Ave. house:

omega-phi_smu-campus_011917DMN, Jan. 19, 1917

If you’re not familiar with beautiful Exall Lake, you can watch a short, minute-long video of the lake’s history, produced to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Highland Park, here.

For other posts featuring photos I’ve zoomed in on to reveal interesting little vignettes, click here.

UPDATE: I stumbled across another photo of this group, from Diane Galloway’s book The Park Cities, A Photohistory:

smu_group-date_park-cities-photohistory_galloway

Most pictures much larger when clicked.

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Copyright © 2015 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.

 

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