Flashback : Dallas

A Miscellany: History, Ads, Pop Culture

Category: Vault

From the Vault: “Meet Me In Dallas, On June the 23rd”

jeannie-c-riley_motorcycleJeannie C.

by Paula Bosse

The greatest, twangiest, seediest song set in Dallas (which you might never have heard) is Jeannie C. Riley’s Grammy-nominated “The Back Side of Dallas.”

One of the lines of the song is “Meet me in Dallas on June the 23rd, his letter read” — and today is June the 23rd. More about this song can be found in the 2017 Flashback Dallas post “Meet Me In Dallas, On June the 23rd.”

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Copyright © 2020 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.

From the Vault: Our Lady of Good Counsel

olgc_1942-yrbk_girls_sign

by Paula Bosse

My aunt Bettye Jo died last week of COVID-19. She was fun and funny, always generous, and always supportive. I loved her, and I’ll miss her.

She attended Our Lady of Good Counsel for a year or two and always spoke about that time with fondness. I wrote about the school in the 2017 post “Our Lady of Good Counsel, Oak Cliff — 1901-1961.”

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Copyright © 2020 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.

 

A Few Photo Additions to Past Posts — #13

skyline_downtown-to-fair-park_1936_GE-colln_museum-of-innovation-and-scienceA blinding celebration of the Texas Centennial…

by Paula Bosse

Time again for a round-up of photos and various images I’ve come across recently and have added to old posts.

First, a photo I was really excited to stumble across — one I’ve never seen (above): a view of the blindingly bright bank of searchlights set up as part of the 1936 Texas Centennial celebration at Fair Park — this photo shows the lights (which were multi-colored and visible for at least 20 miles away) as seen from downtown Dallas. This is a fantastic photo, and one can understand why many visitors to the spectacular no-expense-spared Centennial cited the lights as the most impressive thing on display. I’ve added this photo (and the postcard image below) to a post all about electricity and the Pan-American Exposition (the extravaganza held the year following the Centennial, which used many of the same features): “Albert Einstein ‘Threw the Switch’ in New Jersey to Open the Pan-American Exposition in Dallas — 1937” (a post which features several other images of this amazing fan-shaped array of lights set up behind the Hall of State, as seen from the Esplanade and as seen from White Rock Lake). (Source of top photo, “New skyline at night, at Dallas, Texas,” from the GE Photo Collection, Museum of Innovation and Science — more information on this photo is here; color image found on eBay)

tx-centennial_night-scene_espalanade_hall-of-state_lights_ebay

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This postcard of the Lake Cliff amusement park’s cafe and “circle swing” have been added to “Beautiful Lake Cliff — ca. 1906.” (Source: eBay)

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This photo of the Knepfly Building (Main and Poydras) has been added to the post “Labor Day Parade — 1911,” replacing a less interesting view of this building (in the post, I recount a story of young men jumping from the third floor to escape a fire — one of them survived, even though he landed on his feet!). (Source: DeGolyer Library, SMU)

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This 1908 photograph of a group of students standing outside the Dallas Telegraph College building has been added to the post “Start Your Brilliant Career at Dallas Telegraph College — c. 1900.” (Source: George W. Cook Dallas/Texas Image Collection, DeGolyer Library, SMU)

dallas-telegraph-college_1908_cook-coll_degolyer-lib_SMU

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This circa-1920 photo (sadly, not the greatest resolution) shows road construction to straighten Maple Avenue (which immediately followed construction of the MKT bridge); that and a more recent view of the same spot have been added to the post “The Gill Well.” (Sources: Dallas Public Library, I think, and Google Street View, 2014)

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This 1963 photo of a billboard which instructed motorists which frequency WFAA was at that moment broadcasting on (it varied, depending on the time of day…) has been added to the post “WFAA & WBAP’s Unusual Broadcasting Alliance,” one of my favorite weird bits of trivia in Dallas radio history. (Source: Broadcasting magazine, April 22, 1963)

WFAA-WBAP_broadcasting_042263

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This super-blurry screenshot shows the hopping nightlife which was once a staple of the two blocks immediately south of the Adolphus Hotel on South Akard. Those two blocks were really interesting and a mecca for bars, seedy and otherwise. It’s been added to the post “Gene’s Music Bar, The Lasso Bar, and The Zoo Bar.” (Source: WFAA-Channel 8 coverage of the… um… boisterous activity downtown during the 1969 Texas-OU weekend, as seen at the 6:16 and 9:13 marks in the video here; from the WFAA Newsfilm Collection, G. William Jones Collection, Hamon Arts Library, SMU)

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Another screenshot (watermarked, sadly) is this one, which show the wife of Santa Fe Railroad president Fred G. Gurley christening the new Texas Chief streamliner at Union Station — the train made its inaugural Dallas-to-Chicago run on Dec. 5, 1955. The reason I chose this screenshot (which I’m adding, along with the YouTube video below to the continually popular post “White Rock Station”) is because Mrs. Gurley is christening the engine with a bottle of — no, not champagne… — water from White Rock Lake. (Source: Huntley Film Archives, YouTube)

white-rock-station_christening_youtube

Check out the very short color film this comes from below, with footage of the new station along Jupiter Road near Kingsley, and ceremonies at Union Station (or for those who always write in to correct me, “Union Terminal“) — there might be some shots from ceremonies at Denton. The shot of the train passing in front of the Dallas skyline is pretty cool.

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And, lastly, a 1963 photo of George Senator, a man often referred to as Jack Ruby’s roommate, but it seems he was more a sort of good-natured sponger, who was frequently out of money and frequently out of a job — Ruby helped him out with cash and let him stay at his apartment. I’m adding this photo (which has been cropped and flipped) to the post “Newly Discovered Footage of Jack Ruby — 1960,” in which a man who may be Senator is seen in B-roll film footage shot by Channel 8, showing Ruby standing in a crowd at a musical performance on Elm Street at Ervay. (Source: Photo titled “George Senator at Dallas police station at time of Jack Ruby arrest,” Nov. 24, 1963, Fort Worth Star-Telegram Collection, University of Texas at Arlington Libraries, UTA)

senator-george_FWST-collection_UTA_112463.det_flipped

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Copyright © 2020 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.

 

From the Vault: Dallas’ First Concrete Bridge?

iola-bridge_city-park_ca-1908

by Paula Bosse

City Park’s lovely little “Iola” bridge paved the way (…as it were) for concrete to become the favored material in the construction of the city’s bridges, usurping wood. Built in 1905, “Iola” was the first such concrete structure in Dallas (or possibly the second…) — its legacy lives on in the Oak Cliff/Houston Street viaduct, which, when built, was the longest concrete bridge in the world. Read more about “Iola” (find out where the name came from) in the 2015 Flashback Dallas post “Iola Bridge.”

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Copyright © 2020 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.

A Few Photo Additions to Past Posts — #12

teen-age-downbeat_xmas_1958_fortworthhistorical-IGAll I want for Christmas is a high school pennant…

by Paula Bosse

Time for another installment. I’ve added new photos/info to previously published posts. Click the title to see the original post.

First, above, a cool — and seasonally appropriate! — photo I came across a couple of days ago on the Instagram feed of @fortworthhistorical (check ’em out here), taken on the set of the Fort Worth-produced TV teen dance show “Teen-Age Downbeat,” with a sexy Santa’s helper, host Tom Mularkey holding a “Toys For Tots” sign, a Marine Corps (Reserve?) officer holding a small replica of the Iwo Jima Memorial, and a TV camera emblazoned with the Fort Worth Star-Telegram and WBAP logos. The photo is from 1958. I’ve added it to the 2016 Flashback Dallas post “Teen-Age Downbeat.” (Source: Instagram; original source unknown)

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Speaking of seasonally appropriate, I’m adding a photo of Rudolph Eisenlohr and an ad from 1883 to the 2015 post “The Eisenlohr Family and Dallas’ First Christmas Tree — 1874.” (Source: unknown, and Norton’s Union Intelligencer via the Portal to Texas History)

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This photo of a U. S. Coffee & Tea Co. delivery van has been added to the 2018 post “The United States Coffee & Tea Co. — 1911.” (Source: City of Dallas’ Historic Preservation collection on Flickr, here)

u-s-coffee_city-of-dallas-historic-preservation_flickr

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Ever since I discovered that these things used to loom over Lakewood at Goliad and Abrams, I’ve been preoccupied by these weird giant “standpipes” — so I was thrilled to see them pop up in a City of Dallas film made for the water department. I’ve added this grainy screenshot to the 2016 post “The Twin Standpipes of Lakewood Heights — 1923-1955.” (Source: Department of Waterworks silent film, via TAMI, here)

stand-pipes_lakewood_TAMI_water-dept-film_6.39

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I love reading about Dallas’ entertainment history. I was surprised to learn that country music superstar Sonny James got his big start here, hosting a WFAA TV show called “Saturday Nite Shindig” and later appearing regularly on the Big D Jamboree (his manager was Jamboree/Sportatorium bigwig Ed McLemore). I’ve added these images to the 2016 post “Sonny James: The ‘Shindig Heartbreaker.” (Sources: eBay; Radio Annual and Television Yearbook, 1957; and Radio Annual and Television Yearbook, 1958)

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I’ve added this 1891 ad to the 2014 post “J. M. Howell’s Dallas Nurseries — 1880s.” (Source: 1891 Dallas directory)

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I’ve added this circa-1920 photo of Pacific Avenue before the railroad tracks were removed to the 2016 post “Pacific Avenue: Watch for Trains! — ca. 1917.” (Source: Legacies, Fall 1990)

pacific_ave_ca-1920_legacies_fall-1990

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A photo of the interior of pioneer Dallas gunsmith Charles Ott’s shop has been added to the 2014 post “Chas. Ott: One-Stop Shopping for Bicycles and Dynamite. (Source: George W. Cook Dallas/Texas Image Collection, DeGolyer Library, SMU Libraries, Southern Methodist University)

chas-ott_interior_cook-coll_degolyer_smu

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That’s it for now. Back when more stuff piles up!

teen-age-downbeat_xmas_1958_fortworthhistorical-IG_sm

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Copyright © 2019 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.

 

From the Vault: Teen Life at Highland Park High School — 1966

HPHS_1966_juniors_snowball-fight

by Paula Bosse

High school yearbooks are a great source of cultural history. I really enjoyed browsing through the 1966 Highland Park High School Highlander. I liked it so much I wrote two posts in 2017 featuring fab HPHS photos and ads. Check them out in the posts below:

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HPHS_1966_juniors_snowball-fight_sm

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Copyright © 2019 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.

From the Vault: Operation AstroBowl — 1964

bowling_american-airlines_encylopedia-britannica-yrbk_jan-1964

by Paula Bosse

I’ve been sidelined for the past few months as I’ve dealt with family eldercare issues, but I hope to resume regular posting soon. In the meantime, on the occasion of my being translated into Portuguese (!), I’m linking to the 2016 Flashback Dallas post “Bowling in the Sky — 1964” which details an airborne publicity stunt involving a tricked-out American Airlines freighter and professional bowlers Dick Weber and Sylvia Wene.

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Copyright © 2019 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.

From the Vault: 1907’s Gleaming New Power Plant

power-station_1907

by Paula Bosse

Dallas’ new power station arrived in 1907, one year before the disastrous flood of 1908 — the catastrophic flood would almost certainly have had longer-lasting consequences had this new plant not been filled with brand-new machinery, which enabled the city to rebound remarkably quickly.

And, yes, the designers of the American Airlines Center (which today sits on approximately the same site) took design cues from the old power plant. Read more (and see some cool photos — and a link to the most exhaustive turbine-y article possible, published in 1907) at the Flashback Dallas post from 2015, “A New Power Turbine Station for Big D — 1907.”

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Copyright © 2019 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.

From the Vault: Downtown’s Giant Neon Dr Pepper Sign

hotel-jefferson_neon-dr-pepper_cook_degolyer_SMU_ca1945

by Paula Bosse

Thirsty? Read about the cool, giant neon sign that once sat atop the Jefferson Hotel, in the 2015 Flashback Dallas post “Neon Refreshment: The Giant Dr Pepper Sign.”

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Copyright © 2019 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.

From the Vault: When the Sweat Hit the Fan — 1951

summer_telephone-operators_1951

by Paula Bosse

Imagine working in an un-air-conditioned building when it had been over 100 degrees outside for a couple of weeks straight. You and your coworkers would be mighty peeved. And possibly unconscious. Southwestern Bell’s idea to combat this sweltering problem was to use electric fans and buckets of ice in hopes that their employees didn’t faint on the job. Read how Dallas telephone operators reacted to this “solution” in the Flashback Dallas post “Telephone Operators Sweating at the Switchboard — 1951.”

Keep cool, y’all!

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Copyright © 2019 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.

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