Flashback : Dallas

A Miscellany: History, Ads, Pop Culture

Tag: Dallas TX

Aerial View: Movie Row from the Rear

aerial_south-from-pacific_color

by Paula Bosse

This is a cool aerial shot of downtown, looking toward the south, with a nice look at the back side of the waning Movie Row, with the Pacific Avenue rear entrances of the Majestic and Capri theaters visible.  I’m not sure of the date, but the Melba Theater was renamed the Capri on Dec. 25, 1959 and was ultimately demolished in 1980 or 1981, and the Medical Arts Building (seen in the middle at the far right) was demolished in 1977. I’m guessing the ’70s, if only because of the vast expanse of parking lots.

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Sources & Notes

Another instance of muddled/incomplete notes on my end. This is a screenshot from… something. I don’t remember if the image seen here is a photo or is from moving footage shot over Dallas.

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Copyright © 2021 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.

Art Landry Is At The Palace — 1927

palace-theatre_u-s-coffee_frank-rogers_1927_DPLMarquees, schmarquees… (Dallas Public Library)

by Paula Bosse

Great photo of the Palace Theatre on Elm and Ervay in November or December of 1927 (“My Best Girl” starring Mary Pickford opened at the end of November and ran for a week or two into the middle of December). The movie seems like a bit of an afterthought, though — I mean… ART LANDRY IS IN TOWN, and his giant 78 disc replica promotional sign is crowding out others on the marquee. The touring jazz-band leader (who insisted he did NOT play jazz music — “I became a bandmaster when jazz was jax. In those days noise was the objective. […] The day of jazz is gone….” ) was nestled here in Big D for the holiday season and was apparently well-received. (See another photo of the Palace from about this same time here.)

palace_art-landry_111327Nov. 13, 1927

palace_pickford_my-bes-girl_112727Nov. 27, 1927

You know how when you get a new car you suddenly start seeing that same model everywhere? I’m like that with the U.S. Coffee & Tea Co. — seen right next door to the theater. (See it here, peeping around the Wilson Building in a squattier incarnation.)

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Sources & Notes

Photo titled “[Palace Theatre, Art Landry exclusive Victor Artist]” — by Frank Rogers — is from the Ted C. Steinberg Collection, Dallas History and Archives Division, Dallas Public Library, call number PA2018-03-14 (the library has the date this photo was taken as Dec. 27, 1927, but “My Best Girl” was long-gone by then — it was probably taken on Nov. 27, the day after “My Best Girl” opened).

Quote from Art Landry about not being a jazz-band leader is from an interview with him in The Dallas Morning News (“Jazz Is Thing of the Past Says Palace’s New ‘Jazz Band’ Leader Who Specializes in Modern Music” — DMN, Nov. 12, 1927). I can’t find any other instances of early jazz music referred to as “jax” music. Can anyone point me to another reference?

palace-theatre_u-s-coffee_frank-rogers_1927_DPL_sm

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Copyright © 2021 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.

Snow at White Rock Lake: The Bath House and Winfrey Point

snow_white-rock-lake_bath-house_squire-haskins_UTA_ndA snowy Bath House at WRL… (photo: Squire Haskins/UTA)

by Paula Bosse

I’m racing to post this — like many in the Dallas area (or, really, in the ENTIRE STATE OF TEXAS!), power availability has been spotty. Mine has been out more than it’s been on over the past few days. I have a brief window here to post a couple of wonderful aerial photos showing a snow-dusted White Rock Lake, taken by ace Dallas photographer Squire Haskins. Both are undated.

Above, a shot of the eastern edge of the lake, with the Bath House seen in the center. (Take a look at a larger image at the University of Texas at Arlington website here — click the thumbnail image on that page  to see the larger image — then click one more time to magnify.)

Below, a shot of Winfrey Point, also on the eastern edge of the lake, a little farther south. (See the larger image at the UTA site here.)

snow_white-rock-lake_winfrey-point_squire-haskins_UTA_nd

Here’s a map of WRL showing the locations, via Google:

wrl-map_google

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Funny, I used to love snow. It was always such a thrill on those rare occasions when it snowed. …Back when we all had heat and electricity. Ah, those were the days….

Stay warm, y’all. If you need information on “warming stations,” the City is directing people to call 211.

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Sources & Notes

Both photos are by Squire Haskins, from the Squire Haskins Photography Inc. Collection, University of Texas at Arlington Libraries, Special Collections. More information on these photographs is at the links above.

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Copyright © 2021 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.

Wes Wise, Dallas Texans, WFAA — 1961

wfaa_sports_sponsor-mag_101661_detA future mayor interviewing future Kansas City Chiefs 

by Paula Bosse

The photo above shows future Dallas mayor Wes Wise in 1961 (when he was sports director for WFAA-Channel 8) interviewing players of the Dallas Texans. Wes Wise served as Mayor of Dallas for three terms, from 1971 to 1976. The (second iteration of the) Dallas Texans played in the AFL from 1960 to 1962 until owner Lamar Hunt relocated them to Kansas City where they became the Kansas City Chiefs. (Read about the first, sad, Dallas Texans in the post “The 1952 Dallas Texans: Definitely NOT America’s Team.”)

Below is the full ad. (Click for larger image.)

wfaa_sports_sponsor-mag_101661

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Sources & Notes

Ad from Sponsor, “the weekly magazine Radio/TV advertisers use” (Oct. 16, 1961).

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Copyright © 2021 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.

Misc. Streetcars — ca. 1940s

municipal-bldg_streetcar-draughon_ebayStreetcar passing City Hall

by Paula Bosse

A bunch of photos of Dallas streetcars found currently (or recently) listed on eBay.

Above, Commerce and Harwood, looking toward the Municipal Building. Below, Commerce and Harwood, looking south toward First Presbyterian Church.

streetcar-harwood_draughon_ebay

“Main Street” car and “Highland Park-SMU” car, with Cokesbury Bookstore (at St. Paul) in the background:

streetcar_cokesbury_ebay

“Boundary-Union Station” car, heading west on Commerce, with the Baker Hotel in the background (back when it was still a two-way street). “Smash-Up” — the movie advertised on the side of the streetcar — was released in 1947.

streetcar_boundary-union-station_ebay

“Trinity Heights” car, heading west in the 1500 block of Elm:

streetcar_w-a-green_elm-st_ebay

 “Highland Park-SMU” car:

streetcar_hp_smu_ebay

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Sources and Notes

All photos from eBay seller “bksales” (current Dallas streetcar items available from this seller are here).

municipal-bldg_streetcar-draughon_ebay_sm

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Copyright © 2021 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.

Ursuline Academy — 1921

ursuline_1921-yrbk_1-year-highVelma Rich and her classmates…

by Paula Bosse

I never tire of looking through old high school yearbooks. Here are some photographs from the 1921 edition of The Ursulina, the yearbook of the Ursuline Academy, the all-girls school located in the block bounded by Live Oak, Haskell, Bryan, and St. Joseph in Old East Dallas.

Above, the “I Year High,” which I gather would be the equivalent of the freshman class.  (I am transfixed by the girl in the center of the front row — I think she is Velma Rich — I bet she was a handful.) (Caption for this photo listing the girls can be seen here.)

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Below, the East View of the Academy. The caption reads: “A Famous Battlefield (the study hall) and the Porch of Dreams, where school girls congregate to discuss the latest bulletin board news while enjoying some toothsome dainty.” (All photos larger when clicked.)

ursuline_1921-yrbk_east-view

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The auditorium. “And this is where we treat our friends to music, play and dance.”

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The chapel. “‘Tis just the place to go for help when things are ‘up and down.'”

ursuline_1921-yrbk_chapel

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The dining hall. “You may live without learning/You may live without books/But show me the man/Who can live without cooks.”

ursuline_1921-yrbk_dining-hall

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The hall and stairways. “If these old stairs had power of speech, what girlish secrets they could tell!”

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The music room. “A spot where many young ladies are kept very busy, ‘Untwisting all the chains that tie the hidden soul of harmony.'”

ursuline_1921-yrbk_music-room

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The recreation room. “Just the spot where, nine months out of the year, you can always find ‘Jest and youthful jollity/Quips and cranks and wanton wiles/Nods and becks and wreathed smiles.'”

ursuline_1921-yrbk_recreation-room

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The campus. “What you and me/Were wont to ‘saw and see.'”

ursuline_1921-yrbk_campus_b

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The campus. “This is a gay spot at all times. It is kept alive in summer by games of roller skating, croquet and tennis; in winter, by ‘hikes,’ basket ball, races and, on rare occasions, old fashioned snowballing.”

ursuline_1921-yrbk_campus

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The grotto. “Somehow, all life seems much more sweet/When I take my old brown beads and kneel at Mary’s feet.”

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The pecan grove. “Where nuts grow, and school girls go to while away the time.”

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“II Year High” (sophomore class).

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“III Year High” (junior class).

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The provincialate and novitiate. “Sweet secluded retreat where young Ursuline teachers are trained in the spirit of the Order to continue the work begun by St. Angela de Merici over three hundred years ago.” (Another, slightly more gothic image is here.)

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And because I love her attitude, another look at 15-year-old Velma Rich.

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Sources & Notes

All photos from the 1921 edition of The Ursulina, the yearbook of the Ursuline Academy. Many (if not all) of the photos are by Dallas photographer Frank Rogers.

Other Flashback Dallas posts on Ursuline can be found below:

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Copyright © 2021 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.

Nighttime Skyline — 1965

skyline_st-marks-yrbk_1965_dallas-power-and-lightAll. Lit. Up.

by Paula Bosse

Dallas is always at its most impressive at night, as seen in this view to the northwest, with Memorial Auditorium in the foreground.

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Sources & Notes

This photo, credited to Dallas Power & Light, appeared in the 1965 Marksmen, the yearbook of St. Mark’s School of Texas. It continued on another page, but I couldn’t fit the two parts together without an annoying gap. The second bit is below (click to see a larger image).

skyline_st-marks-yrbk_1965_dallas-power-and-light_b

See another cool photo from the same year in the Flashback Dallas post “Dallas Skyline at Night — ca. 1965.”

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Copyright © 2021 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.

Year-End List: Most Popular Posts of 2020

neiman-marcus_preston-road_dallas-mag_feb-1949Proposed design of Preston Road Neiman-Marcus store…

by Paula Bosse

2020 is finally drawing to a close. And it can’t come fast enough! In this final post of the year, it’s a bit of a struggle to look back and recall good things in this remarkably difficult year, but they’re there. Having this blog has been something of a relief to turn to throughout the past few months — immersing myself in a subject which I love to be immersed in is a great distraction in the time of a global pandemic. So in this final post of the year, I share the most popular posts of 2020, determined by page hits, clicks, likes, shares, etc. Thank you, everyone, for keeping me company in this year of social distance!

Here are the most-read Flashback Dallas posts of 2020, starting with the most popular. To see each full post, click on the title; to see larger images of the thumbnails, click on the picture.

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1.  “NEIMAN’S FIRST SUBURBAN STORE: PRESTON ROAD — 1951-1965” (August)

Flashback Dallas readers love posts about Neiman-Marcus. I mean really love them! This post left all others from 2020 in the dust. I’m glad I got around to writing about this because even though I knew there had been a N-M store near Preston Center, I had no idea where it had actually been located. And now I know. I was also able to revisit this post a few weeks ago when Sotheby’s sold the store’s Alexander Calder mobile for $18.2 million (a lot more than Stanley Marcus paid Calder when he commissioned the piece!).

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2.  “MAGNOLIA GAS STATION NO. 110 — 1920” (March)

This post shows up on all three year-end “best of” lists. I loved it, especially all the zoomed-in close-ups, like the one seen here. Wouldn’t it be great if gas stations still looked like this? At least we still have the building, which stands at the edge of downtown, 100 years old this year.

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3.  “THE SOUTHLAND CENTER: MID-CENTURY COOL — 1959” (April)

So many fabulous John Rogers photos in this post! The Southland Center (the Southland Life Building and the Sheraton Dallas hotel) was planned with DESIGN in mind. There was a remarkable amount of attention paid to the aesthetics of architecture, interior design, and decorative art.

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downtown-dallas_mayflower_med-arts_southland-life_lee-optical_ebay

4.  “LIVE OAK, FROM ELM AND ERVAY” (September)

The featured photo has absolutely everything: the Mayflower Coffee Shop, the Medical Arts Building, the Southland Life Building, the Sheraton Dallas hotel, the Mexico City Cafe, the Dallas Athletic Club, and even an entrance to an underground public restroom (!). How do things like this end up on eBay — posted by a seller in France? I’m glad I happened to see it — next day it was gone. You snooze, you lose!

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5.  “DALLAS — FROM ‘TEXAS, THE BIG STATE’ (1952)” (June)

A look at a 1952 Technicolor promotional film from Santa Fe Railroad which presents a travelogue of sights from a trip around Texas. The Dallas bit is less than 4 minutes long, but it packs a lot in. It’s always cool to see Dallas on film.

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lively-house_poss-oak-cliff_rppc_1909_ebay

6.  “RANDOM PHOTOS OF TURN-OF-THE-CENTURY-ish HOUSES” (July)

A look at eight photographs of Dallas homes, most taken before 1910, some with just an address, some with an owner’s name, and one with no information at all to give a clue of any history of the house. It was a fun research project, offering glimpses of neighborhoods which (mostly) no longer exist. Of the eight houses, only one is still standing — and I bet the Oak Cliff owner has no idea there’s a picture of it from 1910 on the internet.

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7.  “BEL-VICK’S ANCHOR: THE ANGELUS ARCADE AND THE ARCADIA THEATRE — 1920s” (January)

This was such an eye-opening look at the history of Lowest Greenville (the stretch of Greenville Avenue between Belmont and Ross Avenue). Back in the 1920s, developers were trying to get the public to call the Vickery Place-adjacent area “Bel-Vick” (for “Belmont” and “Vickery Place”), but that seems to have faded after the initial burst of development. This is the second post to make all three year-end “best of” lists, and it’s a nice companion to the post “Belmont & Greenville: From Caruth Farmland to Hub of Lower Greenville” (if I do say so myself!).

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8.  “ADS FROM ST. MARK’S YEARBOOKS — 1960s” (November)

I wrote a clump of St. Mark’s posts this year, with photos and ads gleaned from yearbooks, and they were all pretty popular. St. Mark’s families are a boosterish bunch! Yearbook ads are always a great source of nostalgia. This 1965 St. Mark’s-specific Neiman-Marcus ad is a personal favorite.

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azaleas_turtle-creek_spring_swb-phone-book_1968_ebay

9.  “HIGHLAND PARK’S AZALEAS” (April)

Driving around the Park Cities and along Turtle Creek to view the azaleas was an annual event in my family. I’m not sure people do that anymore, but they should — it’s always thrilling to see those sudden splashes of color. The history of azaleas in Dallas is an interesting one, and we should give thanks every spring to Joe Lambert Jr. and the Lambert Landscape Company for encouraging the planting of a crazy amount of azaleas over the decades, and for making Dallas a much, much prettier place. 

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10.  MISCELLANEOUS DALLAS” (August)

A grab-bag of photos, including a shot of the entrance to the club at Wah-Hoo Lake, the Coca-Cola HQ on McKinney, a horse-drawn hearse in Oak Cliff, the construction of LBJ Freeway, and a lively strip of businesses along 2nd Avenue in South Dallas.

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I usually post the top three all-time most popular Flashback Dallas posts, so here they are — it’s been these same three posts for years now, with all three continuing to rack up thousands of hits each year:

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That’s it for 2020. Thank you for spending some of it with me! On to 2021!

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Sources & Notes

See all three 2020 Year-End “best of” lists here.

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

neiman-marcus_preston-road_dallas-mag_feb-1949

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Copyright © 2020 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.

Year-End List: My Favorite Posts of 2020

arcadia-theater_exhibitors-herald-world_060730Lowest Greenville, 1920s

by Paula Bosse

2020 is, without question, one of the worst years most of us have experienced. COVID-19 has turned our lives upside down and, for many of us, has left us mourning the loss of family, friends, and economic stability. 2021 cannot come too soon.

I wrote 62 new Flashback Dallas posts this year, which is surprising — I thought it was a lot less. I guess I wasn’t quite as much of a slug as I felt. Looking back over a previous year’s output is always a little amazing — when did I ever have time to write that much? A lot was covered in 2020, and I enjoyed all of it.

Below are my favorite posts of 2020 — those I particularly enjoyed researching and writing. I learned something with every post. I hope readers enjoyed some of these as much as I did. (Pictures are larger when clicked — read the original posts by clicking the title.)

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1.   “BEL-VICK’S ANCHOR: THE ANGELUS ARCADE AND THE ARCADIA THEATRE — 1920s (January)

This is my favorite post of the past year — and it’s from all the way back in January, which seems like a lifetime ago. When I stumbled across the photo seen above I was pretty excited — especially because this was in the part of Dallas I had grown up in (and was half a block away from where I had once had a bookstore). And what Dallasite isn’t familiar with Greenville Avenue? I had never heard of the “Angelus Arcade” (built in 1923) or even the name of that general Lowest Greenville neighborhood, “Bel-Vick” (for “Belmont” and “Vickery Place”). The arcade was revamped in 1927 to include a new movie theater — the Arcadia —  but before the 1930s, that bit of Greenville had been completely unknown to me. That photo sent me on a lengthy research road, which had me discovering things I had never known about a part of town I was very familiar with. I loved writing this post!

arcadia-theater_exhibitors-herald-world_060928_front

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2.   “MAGNOLIA GAS STATION NO. 110 — 1920” (March)

I can’t even remember how I found this unbelievably fantastic Frank Rogers photograph of the wedge-shaped building most people know as the old KLIF studios on Commerce Street. I could seriously look at this photo all day long. It is so rich in detail that I zoomed in to check out the various elements and backgrounds and architectural doodads, and that one great photo turned into a post filled with five equally great detailed-filled closeups. I’ve always loved this (still-standing!) building, and I had no idea it was so old — it hit the century mark this year. In researching this building, I came away with a greater appreciation for this part of the city where downtown begins to peter out before it blooms into Deep Ellum — or, conversely, where the city begins its quick and steady ascent to the major metropolitan density of the Central Business District. 

magnolia-gas-station_atlantic-terra-cotta-co-coll_UT_frank-rogers

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3.   “GEORGE DAHL’S PROPOSED MASSIVE ‘LONE STAR’ ENTRANCE TO FAIR PARK” (October)

This year COVID derailed the State Fair of Texas for the first time since WWII, and my SFOT posts were almost non-existent this year — this was one of them, and it’s another case of excitedly stumbling across something I was surprised I had never come across before. I don’t know anything about this weirdly futuristic vision of Dallas architect George L. Dahl, the man who led the Art Deco-inspired Texas Centennial design of Fair Park, but this drawing is pretty incredible. Frustratingly, I couldn’t find anything about this giant star-shaped entrance to Fair Park — it might just have been the result of whimsical brainstorming — but imagine if this had been built! I’ve found only one image of this, and the resolution is pretty poor. But I love the idea of this so much that my estimation of Dahl is higher than it was before (and it was already pretty high!). I loved researching this, even though my efforts were largely unsatisfying — except for the discovery that plans for a million-dollar star-shaped building were actually warming up in the Centennial bullpen, similar to a crazy, much-maligned “Texas Building” at the 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair — and hurtling off on this unexpected historical tangent was almost as good as learning about Dahl’s vision of a monumental Lone Star entrance to Fair Park. I loved writing this.

tx-centennial_proposed-lone-star_george-dahl_dma-catalog_1972_portal

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4-6. A trilogy of posts culled from information found in the 1930 “Official Directory: Dallas Negro Churches, Schools and Other Activities; Civic, Business, Fraternal, Social, Etc.”:

Finding this 104-page scanned booklet was probably the most exciting publication I came across all year. It is amazing. Crammed full of the sorts of photos and ephemeral information which too often disappear before finding their way to a safe haven of a historical archive. I highly encourage everyone to peruse this wonderful document of Dallas’ black community in the 1920s and ’30s. My three-part post was divided into schools, churches, and businesses and people. I loved researching these places and people. All thanks to the Tarrant County Black Historical and Genealogical Society who provided this important, fully-scanned resource to UNT’s Portal to Texas History.

darrel-school_dallas-negro-directory_1930_portal

trinity-methodist-episcopal-church_dallas-negro-directory_1930_portal

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7.   “OAK CLIFF’S STAR THEATRE — 1945-1959” (August)

I saw this photo in Troy Sherrod’s book Historic Dallas Theatres and wondered where this little shopping area and movie theater had been. After researching it a bit, I found that the shopping area was once known as Show Hill and was a lively hub of an African-American neighborhood in the Bottom/Bottoms area of Oak Cliff. I came across a wonderful oral history by longtime resident Margaret Benson who recalled growing up in the area in the 1940s and ’50s — it was a perfect accompaniment to the photo and added so much meat to the bone.

star-theatre_troy-sherrod-hist-dallas-theatres_DPL

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8.   “RANDOM PHOTOS OF TURN-OF-THE-CENTURY-ish HOUSES” (July)

I had a bunch of photos of old houses I’d collected over the months and wondered what I could find out about them. I love researching old houses and buildings, and this was a fun project. The house below — one of the eight I was looking into — once stood on Lemmon Avenue, near Welborn. The horse is a nice touch.

lemmon-avenue_house_rppc_ebay

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9.   “TEXLITE, BORICH, PEGASUS” (April)

For a few years I’d meant to write about the 19th-century Borich Sign Co. and its later 20th-century incarnation, Texlite (famous for creating the famed “Flying Red Horse” electric/neon sign atop the Magnolia Petroleum Building). I figured I’d get around to it eventually. And then I came across a couple of great Texlite ads, and it seemed like a good time to write about this important Dallas company.

texlite_feb-1949-ad

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10.  “LABOR DAY WEEKEND, UNION BUS DEPOT — 1952” (September)

There’s nothing all that special about this post, but I love glimpses into everyday life. I looked to see what sorts of generally uneventful things were going on in Dallas the day this photo was taken — the weather, news headlines, the movies playing downtown, etc. For instance, while these people were waiting in the Interurban Building’s Union Bus Depot to head off on a holiday weekend, 30 spontaneous grassfires were erupting around the very hot city. 

labor-day_union-bus-depot_hayes-coll_1952_DPL

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I’m including three bonus posts which have personal meaning to me.

“REV. W. W. STOGNER: THE COURTHOUSE PREACHER” (July)

A little post about the interesting man who married my parents.

stogner_WBAP_03311959_portal

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“DALLAS BOOKSTORES — 1974” (May)

I come from a family of booksellers, and a scanned article on the city’s top bookstores linked to in this post features my father.

dallas-bookstores_dec-1974_cover

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“LONE WOLF GONZAULLAS: TEXAS RANGER, DALLAS RESIDENT” (August)

My late father was deeply interested in Texas history, especially the history of the Texas Rangers. I knew the name “Lone Wolf Gonzaullas” from childhood because my father talked about him a lot — most likely because the legendary lawman lived in Dallas, but I think he had also met him a time or two. I’ve been helping to catalog the old WFAA-TV news film held by SMU, and when I came across a clip from 1970 I was excited because 1) I had never heard Gonzaullas talk, and 2) because I knew my father would have loved to have seen it. So I wrote about Lone Wolf for my father.

gonzaullas_march-1970_WFAA_jones-collection_SMU-a

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Those were my favorite posts of 2020. Tomorrow… the most popular posts of the year.

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Sources & Notes

See all three 2020 Year-End “best of” lists here.

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

arcadia-theater_exhibitors-herald-world_060730-sm

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Copyright © 2020 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.

Year-End List: My Favorite Images Posted in 2020

elm-ervay-live-oak_weather-sign_ca-1948Elm Street neon, ca. 1948

by Paula Bosse

Another year is coming to a close. Time for a list or two (or three…). Today I list my favorite photos, drawings, postcards, and ads posted throughout 2020, listed in the order in which they appeared. Most images are larger when clicked — see the original linked articles for more info and image sources.

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First, the photo above, which contains almost everything I wish I could have seen in downtown Dallas — sadly, I never got to see any of it! This is downtown Dallas at its liveliest and big-city-est. This is Elm Street around 1948, looking east from Ervay. So much flashing neon. And that wonderful Coca-Cola sign which provided weather forecasts. From the January post “Bright Lights, Big City — ca. 1948.”

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Perhaps of all the hundreds of historical photos of Dallas I saw in 2020, I think I was most excited to stumble across the one below, which shows a very early photo of Lowest Greenville’s Arcadia Theatre, built in the 1920s. This photo led me to write one of my most research-dense posts of the year. It pays to be someone who loves lingering over obscure film trade publications of yesteryear — otherwise I would never have found this. I can’t fully describe how much I love this photo. Click it. It’s great. Think of it next time you’re in the Trader Joe’s which currently occupies the corner site. (Incidentally, this photo was the most clicked of any Flashback Dallas image posted in 2020.) From the January post “Bel-Vick’s Anchor: The Angelus Arcade and the Arcadia Theatre — 1920s.”

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I love almost all illustrations of Dallas’ distinctive skyline. Such as this one from the 1930s, pre-Pegasus, featured in the February post “Dynamic Dallas Skyline — 1930s.” 

skyline_drawing_forest-ave-high-school-yrbk_endpapers_1936

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I love this photo from 1918 showing “men marching to mess after evening parade” at Camp Dick, the Air Service training camp which took over Fair Park during World War I. Imagine training for military service in the shadow of a giant roller coaster. From the March post “Marching to Mess — 1918.” 

ww1_fort-dick_fair-park_marching-to-mess_roller-coaster_1918_natl-archives

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What would 2020 be without mention of the ever-present coronavirus pandemic? Several years ago I wrote about Dallas’ experiences with the Spanish Flu in 1918, but seeing that this was the year that was, I wrote another, if only to use this photo showing men based at another major WWI training camp, Love Field, lining up to be “sprayed” as a preventive influenza treatment. From the March post “Influenza Pandemic Arrives in Dallas — 1918.” 

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Another great photo of 1940s Dallas is this one showing Oak Cliff’s main drag. From the March post “West Jefferson Blvd. at Night.” 

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This fantastic Frank Rogers photo thrills me every time I see it. It shows what most of us know as the KLIF studios on Commerce Street, but here it is, brand new, as a Magnolia gas station (ground level) and company offices (above). From the March post “Magnolia Gas Station No. 110 — 1920.” 

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Photos and postcard images showing the powerful light display which was such a huge hit at both the Texas Centennial (1936) and the Pan-American Exposition (1937) are almost hard to believe — but those lights in Fair Park could be seen for miles and miles and miles. The photo below shows what the lights looked like as seen from downtown in 1936 and was featured in one of the periodic posts I do in which I collect photos I’ve come across recently and have decided to add to older posts (this photo was added to a 2016 post which had many photos and postcard images of this super-bright fan-display of lights). From the April post “A Few Photo Additions to Past Posts — #13.”

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I’m not sure where this photo of a young woman waiting for an Interurban was taken, but it’s somewhere along the Interurban line. I choose to think it’s Dallas — or that she’s at least heading to Dallas. From the April post “Interurban Miscellany.”

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Every lover of Mid-Century Modern design will love all of the photos in the April post “The Southland Center: Mid-Century Cool — 1959,” but there are two in particular which I’ve gone back to and stared at for long stretches of time. The first one shows a more-Deco-than-MCM-looking round kiosk, and this photo just takes my breath way — from the dramatic lighting all the way down to the floor (check out the floor!). (And is that the Republic Bank “rocket” seen out the window?) The second one is all bright light and sharp edges and is as aesthetically pleasing in its angular openness as the first one is in its curved moodiness. All the photos by John Rogers in the above linked post are great.

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I’m a sucker for diners, and I love this postcard which shows Ruth Hansen’s establishment at 1814 Main Street, just west of St. Paul, in about 1913. And, again, check out the floor! From the June post “Mother Hansen’s Home Cooking — 1913.”

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I found this architectural rendering in an old Chamber of Commerce publication. It shows the original 1949 design of the Neiman-Marcus store on Preston Road as envisioned by architects Roscoe DeWitt and Arch Swank. By the time the store was finally built, the design had, sadly, changed. “Sadly” because this building would have been amazing. From the August post “Neiman’s First Suburban Store: Preston Road — 1951-1965.”

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This photo appeared in the KERA documentary “South Dallas Pop” — I don’t know the original source of the photo and haven’t seen it anywhere else, so this image is actually a screenshot I captured from the documentary. It shows the 2200 block of 2nd Avenue, looking northwest toward nearby Fair Park from about Metropolitan. This neighborhood looks nothing like this now. I really wish it did. From the August post “Miscellaneous Dallas.”

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This is a family photo sent to me by Ann Hoffman showing a friend of her Great Aunt Nora sipping from a water fountain outside the Old Red Courthouse, sometime in the 1920s. I added it to a 2014 post I wrote about a massively productive artesian well sunk on the courthouse grounds in 1890, but this photo first appeared in the August post “A Few Photo Additions to Past Posts — #14.”

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This photo of the 3-point intersection of Elm, Ervay, and Live Oak is mere steps from the nighttime scene at the top. This daytime scene shows Live Oak with a view to the northeast. When I first began this blog in 2014, I was amazed by how many people mentioned downtown’s (generally unpleasant) underground public restrooms (which I had never heard of) — and this photo shows where an entrance was: near the tower thing seen under the “L” in the Lee Optical sign. From the September post “Live Oak, From Elm and Ervay.”

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I don’t know why the 1940s call to me so strongly, but I regret that I didn’t live in a time when sportswriters looked like this. Sports staff of the Fort Worth Press, ca. 1948: (left to right) Jerre Todd, Blackie Sherrod, Dan Jenkins; (and sitting) Andy Anderson and Edwin “Bud” Shrake. Missing: Gary Cartwright. From the October post “Legendary Sports Writers of the Fort Worth Press — ca. 1948.”

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Remember that photo above of the Magnolia gas station (the KLIF studios)? If the photo below, taken in 1918, had been taken two years later, these high school cadets standing in formation on Commerce Street would have been looking directly at that building. This National Archives photo (like the one of Camp Dick with the roller coaster) is scanned at such a high resolution that you can see all sorts of great little details. Many of the buildings in this photo still stand. From the October post “World War I Cadets, Commerce Street — 1918.” 

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This photo probably means the most to me personally. It shows my aunt Bettye Jo (at the far right) with her friends at a bowling league game, representing Victor’s Lounge. I heard about Victor’s from childhood — it was my aunt’s favorite after-work downtown hangout. She had such fond memories of that place and of that time of her life. My aunt died in May of COVID-19, and my brother and I found this photo when we were clearing out her home last month (we also found the super-cool bowling shirt she’s wearing here). I love this photo. From the November post “Victor’s Lounge — 1913 Commerce.

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This LOOK Magazine photo shows Santa with the Republic Bank “rocket” behind him. Proves Santa was here! I posted this last week in “‘Christmas in Dallas’ — LOOK Magazine, 1957.”

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I’m adding three bonus images, all ads. I used to post so many more ads than I have lately. I think my first love has always been retro/vintage/historical advertising, so it’s always exciting when I can combine old ads with Dallas history or Dallas pop culture, and I really love these three ads. The first is from Neiman-Marcus and is a 1962 tie-in ad with what was once the very popular annual Smith College Book Sale. From the April post “Smith College Book Sale — 1962.”

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This Irby-Thompson Western wear ad is from the October post “‘A Man’s Shop With a Texas Man’s Viewpoint’ — 1945.”

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And, finally, I was pretty excited when I saw this “stealth” Dallas-related Greyhound Bus Lines ad (Dallas isn’t even mentioned) — it appeared in a national magazine in 1936, the year of the Texas Centennial Exposition in Big D. From the December post “Take a Greyhound to the Texas Centennial — 1936.”

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And those are my favorite photos and images which appeared in Flashback Dallas posts in 2020. 

Coming soon are my personal favorite posts and the most popular posts of the year….

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Sources & Notes

See all three 2020 Year-End “best of” lists here.

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

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Copyright © 2020 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.

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