Flashback : Dallas

A Miscellany: History, Ads, Pop Culture

Category: Year-End Best of 2017

Year-End List! Most Popular Posts of 2017

sunset-pt-2_3_pep-rallySunset High School, you’re #1…

by Paula Bosse

Another year is in the Flashback Dallas rearview mirror. Adios, 2017. I’m still pleasantly surprised that the blog continues to attract new readers and that I have yet to get bored filling up these virtual pages with slices of Dallas history, both big and small, important and trivial. It’s fun for me — I hope it’s fun for you!

So. End-of-year “best of” lists… I don’t know… you either love ’em or loathe ’em. Personally, I like them, but then again, the compilers of these lists usually do. I’ve already listed my personal favorite photos and my own favorite posts of this year, and now it’s time for the most popular (new) posts of 2017 (the top post of the year is actually one from 2014 — it’s at the end of this list). To see the full post, click on the title; to see a larger image, click on the picture.

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sunset-pt-1_21. SUNSET HIGH SCHOOL ON FILM — 1970

You Oak Cliffites are a proud people! Whenever I write something about Oak Cliff, it always gets tons of hits, and this OC post was far and away the most popular new Flashback Dallas post of 2017. It was about a quirky and charming Super-8 film shot in and around Sunset High School by student James Dunlap in 1970 and digitized by the collaborative efforts of the University of North Texas Libraries and the Texas Archive of the Moving Image. Click those links in the post to view the two-part film on the UNT website.

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2. REMEMBER THE ALAMO! — IN PLANO, BEHIND THE TARGET

How have I managed to live all my life in what we grimacingly call “the Metroplex” without ever knowing about the Alamo replica in Plano? Well I know about it now.

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central_north-from-mockingbird_060657_squire-haskins_UTA3. THE WIDE OPEN SPACES NORTHEAST OF CENTRAL AND LOVERS — 1957

Another fantastic aerial photograph by Squire Haskins, from the University of Texas at Arlington Libraries. 60 years ago there was virtually nothing north of Lovers Lane or east of Greenville Avenue. Louanns, the legendary nightspot, was way out in the country, and the little community of Vickery (around Greenville and Park Lane) seemed a lot farther away back then.

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4. THE WHITE ROCK LAKE DISTRICT: “WHERE LIFE IS WORTH LIVING!” — 1926

A 1926 real estate ad featuring a rather idyllic rendering of a beautiful view of the lake from the terrace of an exquisitely landscaped estate. This ad touts the new East Dallas developments of Gastonwood, Country Club Estates, West Lake Park, Forest Hills, Hollywood, Santa Monica, Parks Estates, Munger Place Heights, Pasadena, Camp Estates, Hughes Estates, and Temple Place.

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5. WYNNEWOOD

Several photos of Angus Wynne, Jr.’s Oak Cliff development, including aerial views, apartments, houses, the Wynnewood Theater, and the shopping village.

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oak-cliff_zang-and-beckley_dfw-freeways6. ZANG & BECKLEY

Oak Cliff again! I love this photo. When it opened in 1900, Zang Boulevard was the only direct road between Dallas and Oak Cliff.

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sigels-neon-sign_greenville-ave_0727177. HISTORIC NEON: THE SUPER-COOL SIGEL’S SIGN

The word “iconic” is tediously overused these days, but if this sign isn’t iconic, I don’t know what is. I wrote about the sign, its creator (Marvin Sigel), and its restoration. If you’re near Greenville and Lovers and the sun is going down (or has already gone down), you MUST drive by and watch those neon bubbles dance!

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sears_casa-view_ext_squire-haskins_uta8. SHOPPING AT SEARS IN CASA VIEW

People in Casa View really love their shopping center! It’s always surprising to learn that people have very fond childhood memories of Sears stores — I certainly do. My Sears store was on Ross at Greenville, but reading comments about various other Sears stores always makes me nostalgic.

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jimi_wfaa_hamon_smu-19. JIMI HENDRIX, GLEN CAMPBELL, TINY TIM — IN DALLAS (…SEPARATELY), 1969

These three recently unearthed Channel 8 News film clips in which three of the most popular entertainers of the day were interviewed on camera, is pretty cool. Glen Campbell and Tiny Time are all well and good, but it’s all about Jimi Hendrix! It’s been several months since I first watched that footage of him standing on the tarmac at Love Field giving a happy, laid-back interview, and it’s as exciting watching it now as it was then. Thank you, SMU, for your ongoing digitization of these really great WFAA clips!

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10. THE NEIMAN-MARCUS SHOE SALON — 1965n-m_shoe-salon_1965_nyt-magazine_dec-2016

You know it’s a classy joint when there are no more than 10 pairs of shoes on display. As I say in the post, I never pegged myself as a fan of lime-green upholstery until I saw this photograph.

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And the most popular Flashback Dallas post OF ALL TIME (which means back to 2014)? It is the post that racks up HUGE numbers every Christmas: the giant Santa perched on top of the car dealership (“THE WORLD’S LARGEST SANTA & THE CHRISTMAS TRAGEDY — 1953”). This year I updated it to add WBAP-TV news footage of the immediate aftermath of the tragedy that happened at Giant Santa’s feet. I posted the update less than two weeks ago, and it quickly became the most-viewed post of the entire year. So not only is it the most popular Flashback Dallas post ever, this 3-year-old post was also the most popular post of this year. The thousands upon thousands of people who have read it have had something weird (and fairly horrifying) to talk about over the family holiday table! I know I have!

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Sources & Notes

2017 was another year filled with fun and interesting and odd Dallas-related things. There’s more ahead in 2018! Thank you for reading!

See all three 2017 “Best Of Flashback Dallas” lists here.

See all Flashback Dallas Year-End lists — past and present — here.

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Copyright © 2017 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.

 

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Year-End List! My Favorite Posts of 2017

gill-well_highland-park_dallas-rediscoveredA Gill Well pagoda in Highland Park…

by Paula Bosse

Another year of Dallas-history immersion comes to a close — that can only mean that it’s time for the all-but-inevitable making-of-lists. I enjoyed writing all the Flashback Dallas posts that appeared in 2017, but these are the ones I had the most fun researching and writing. Those who think history is dull don’t dive in far enough! (To see the original full-length posts, click the titles; click the pictures to see larger images.)

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1. THE GILL WELL

Every once in a while, the words “Gill Well” would creep into Dallas history articles I’d read, but whenever I tried to find out more information on this once-very-well-known source of hot “medicinal” mineral water near Reverchon Park, I found almost nothing (even though we were “this close” to having our own Hot Springs-like resort in Oak Lawn). So I decided to write something myself and see if I could find any historic photos. I write most Flashback Dallas posts fairly quickly, but this one took ages to research and write. But it was fun. And now I know the who, what, when, where, why, and how of Dallas’ famed Gill Well and its legendary foul-smelling tonic water (which I’m glad I never had to drink).

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2. “ENEMY ALIENS” AND THE WWII INTERNMENT CAMP AT SEAGOVILLE

I had no idea there was a Japanese internment camp in Dallas County during World War II. This was really fascinating (and depressing) to learn about.

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3. NEWLY DISCOVERED FOOTAGE OF JACK RUBY — 1960

This is fantastic — and weird — and prosaic. Footage of Jack Ruby combing his hair (yes, combing his hair…) on a crowded Elm Street sidewalk during a Christmas parade came to light almost accidentally via an SMU social-media post. It’s all very cool, and I had a lot of fun trying to determine where the footage had been shot and what was going on. (There’s also a spy camera involved….)

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4. 1710 HALL: THE ROSE ROOM / THE EMPIRE ROOM / THE ASCOT ROOM — 1942-1975

I love reading about Dallas’ rich music history, and this “North Dallas” club hosted huge names in jazz, swing, and R&B.

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5. MOSAIC RESTORATION AT DOWNTOWN’S ST. JUDE CHAPEL

I went downtown to watch the progress of Julie Richey’s painstaking restoration of the giant mosaic (made from over 800,000 glass tiles) which has graced the exterior of the little chapel on Main Street since 1968. And I took a lot of photos. It was a great day.

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6. THE MOSQUITO BAR

I had never heard the term “mosquito bar” until I saw a painting of one by John Singer Sargent. Life would have been miserable without this essential household item.

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7. BISHOP COLLEGE — 1969

The 1961 arrival of Bishop College — founded in Marshall, Texas in 1881 — was an important chapter in Dallas’ history. And its 1969 yearbook was filled with some of my favorite photos of the past year!

bishop-college_1969

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8. MIMI PAYNE ALDREDGE McKNIGHT

Mimi was a family friend who was instrumental in my father’s career. She passed away this year, and I wrote about a tiny portion of her very interesting life.

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9. WHEN THE CIRCUS CAME TO TOWN — 1886

W. W. Cole’s Circus … I can’t even. The troupe’s advertising mastermind was never at a loss for adjectives and superlatives.

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10. TINY TIM MOBBED AT THE MELODY SHOP — 1969

Ukulele-strumming Tiny Tim was set upon by a “human wall” of 5,000 teenage fans at NorthPark. Who knew?

tiny-tim_melody-shop_1969

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11. HISTORIC NEON: THE SUPER-COOL SIGEL’S SIGN

Who doesn’t love this sign? I wrote about the sign and its creator, Marvin Sigel (whom I was told enjoyed this post!).

sigels-neon-sign_greenville-ave_072717

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12. TWELVE PROMINENT BLACK BAPTIST CHURCHES — 1967

I will always love looking at pictures of old buildings. And most of these are still standing.

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13. THE PRAETORIAN BUILDING AND ITS 19th-CENTURY NEIGHBORS

Yeah, it’s kind of picture-after-picture of the same couple of blocks over the years. Even though the Praetorian has been erased from the skyline, a couple of those other older-than-you-realize Main Street buildings have managed to hang on by the skin of their teeth.

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14. DOWNTOWN DALLAS, LAST WEEK

I should get out and take photos more often. This was so much fun.

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15. STATE FAIR OF TEXAS MIDWAY — 2017

Photos taken while wandering around Fair Park during this year’s State Fair of Texas.

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Not a bad year (…Flashback Dallas-wise at least). I look forward to learning about all sorts of new things in 2018. Thanks for reading! Onwards!

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Sources & Notes

See all three 2017 “Best Of Flashback Dallas” lists here.

See all Flashback Dallas Year-End lists — past and present — here.

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Copyright © 2017 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.

 

Year-End List! My Favorite Images Posted in 2017

jimi_wfaa_hamon_smu-1Love Field was never cooler… (click for larger image)

by Paula Bosse

Another year is ending — time for lists! This is the first of three year-end “favorites” lists — this one contains favorite photos and artworks posted over the past year. To see the post they originally appeared in, click the title of the post, and to see a larger image of the picture, click the picture. They’re in no particular order, although, the one above is my favorite of 2017.

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The image above is not a photograph but a video screen-capture of newly unearthed WFAA-Channel 8 news footage of Jimi Hendrix and The Experience, on the Love Field tarmac, being interviewed by a charmingly agog Channel 8 reporter. This short interview is one of the coolest things I’ve seen all year. Watch the video — it’s in the post “Jimi Hendrix, Glen Campbell, Tiny Tim — In Dallas (…Separately), 1969.”

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whittle-music_elm-and-murphy_flickr_red-oak-kid

Above, the Whittle Music Co. building, 1108 Elm Street, around 1956. It was built in 1892 and originally housed the A. Harris department store (until 1914). Whittle’s occupied this beautiful building from 1941 until 1965, when it moved to Oak Lawn. The building was bulldozed soon afterwards in order to  begin construction of One Main Place. Read more about all of this at the post The Whittle Music Building — ca. 1956.”

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main-and-stone_praetorian_haskins_UTA_det

This is actually a detail of a larger 1953 photo by Squire Haskins (seen here), showing the intersection of Main and Stone Place, looking northeast. The building on the left is still standing and is one of the oldest buildings downtown. See more at the post “The Praetorian Building and Its 19th-Century Neighbors.”

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baseball_dallas-clippers_cook-coll_degolyer_smu

I love this photo from the George W. Cook Collection at SMU’s DeGolyer Library. More at “The Dallas Clippers: Early Dallas Baseball.”

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mallorys-drug-store_ca-1913_cook-collection_smu

One of my favorite still-standing buildings in Oak Cliff. More about it can be found in the post “West Jefferson and Tyler — 1913.” 

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bearden_dallas-skyline-late-afternoon-from-stemmons-freeway_litho_1959

Fantastic lithograph by Dallas artist Ed Bearden — this view from Stemmons looks a lot different now. More info in the post “‘Dallas Skyline: Late Afternoon From Stemmons Freeway’ by Ed Bearden — 1959.”

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baker-hotel_postcard

This photo was one of the most-shared photos I posted this year — it kind of surprised me, but it’s a great photo of “The Baker Hotel.”

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n-m_shoe-salon_1965_nyt-magazine_dec-2016

I love this. “The Neiman-Marcus Shoe Salon — 1965.”

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bishop-college_1969-yrbk_campus-security

Campus security at “Bishop College — 1969.” Fantastic.

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woodrow_1965-yrbk_birdseye

You’ve got to post the occasional photos of the alma maters. I love this photo of Lakewood-area schools J. L. Long and Woodrow Wilson, mainly, I think, because of the surprising sight of White Rock Lake in the background. See the present-day shot, submitted by a drone-owning reader at “Long and Woodrow From Above — 1965.” 

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jfk-memorial_postcard_portal

Speaking of familiar sights seen from unusual perspectives, I can’t get over how much I’m fascinated by this postcard of the JFK memorial in its earliest days. From the post “Aerial View of the JFK Memorial — 1970.”

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dallas-big-d_william-e-bond_business-week-collection_ca1962

This is without a doubt my favorite Dallas art discovery of the year! “‘Dallas/The Big D’ by William E. Bond — ca. 1962.”

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downtown-dallas_aia-journal-april-1962

Had to make this one small so it wouldn’t overwhelm the page. Click it1 Lots of info on all the buildings seen in this photo is in the post “The ‘Akard Street Canyon’ — ca. 1962.”

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FW-zoo_hamilton-hittson_fawn_062937_UTA

Okay, so this is Fort Worth, but, hey — close enough! Let the cuteness-overload wash over you as you look at adorable animals big and small in the post “Cowtown Extra: Fort Worth Zookeeper Ham Hittson and His Forest Park Friends.”

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wfaa_george-dahl_ed-bearden_postcard

The more I see of Ed Bearden’s work, the more I love it. Here he captures George Dahl’s always-cool mid-century-modern sleekness. “The WFAA Studios, Designed by George Dahl, Rendered by Ed Bearden — 1961.”

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commerce-street_walgreens_adolphus_1957_ebay

This postcard view of the Adolphus block at night is one of my all-time favorite photos of downtown Dallas. It would be nothing without that heart-palpitatingly wonderful Walgreens neon at the corner of Commerce and Akard. More at “Nighttime on Commerce Street — 1957.”

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gill-well-sanitarium_dmn_011307_photo

The image-quality of this newspaper photo leaves a lot to be desired, but this is the photo that most excited me this year. I spent an incredible amount of time researching the Gill Well, and I was really surprised by how few photos I could find. Finding this 1907 photo of the Gill Well Bath House was pretty damn thrilling. Thank you, Clogenson! From the post “The Gill Well.”

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I actually took a few photos myself, and there are a couple I really love — like this one which captures five of Dallas’s most recognizable buildings in one shot. Architecture-a-rama. It is from the post “Downtown Dallas, Last Week,” which also includes the photo below — a view of the Wilson Building you might not have seen before.

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st-jude-chapel_la-virgin_det_052417_bosse

And lastly, two more of my own photos, taken at the St. Jude Chapel, which is filled with mosaics. The one above shows a detail of the Virgin of Guadalupe, and the one below shows a detail of St. Martin de Porres (mice!). More at “Mosaic Restoration at Downtown’s St. Jude Chapel.”

st-jude-chapel_st-martin-de-porres_mice-det_052417_bosse

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Sources & Notes

It’s been a visually-satisfying year!

See all three 2017 “Best Of Flashback Dallas” lists here.

See all Flashback Dallas Year-End lists — past and present — here.

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Copyright © 2017 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved

 

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