Sunset 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.
1. 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.
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.
3. 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.
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.
Several photos of Angus Wynne, Jr.’s Oak Cliff development, including aerial views, apartments, houses, the Wynnewood Theater, and the shopping village.
6. 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.
7. 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!
8. 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.
9. 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!
10. THE NEIMAN-MARCUS SHOE SALON — 1965
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.
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!
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.
Copyright © 2017 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.