Flashback : Dallas

A Miscellany: History, Ads, Pop Culture

Tag: Dallas TX

Love Field Aviation Camp, World War I

WWI_love-field_water-tower_ca-1918_degolyer-library_SMULove Field, with water tower, 1918

by Paula Bosse

On Memorial Day, a few photos of Love Field, which began as an aviation training camp during World War One. Read more on its history in an article by the City of Dallas Office of Historic Preservation, here.

WWI_love-field_marching-drills_ca-1918_degolyer-library_SMUvia DeGolyer Library, SMU

WWI_love-field_pilots_nov-1918_degolyer-library_SMUvia DeGolyer Library, SMU

WWI_love-field-aviation-camp_1918_LOCvia Library of Congress

WWI_love-field_flying-officers_1918_LOCvia Library of Congress


Sources & Notes

Top photo is from the collection “Love Field Air Corps Training Depot and Dallas Aviation School, Texas” at the DeGolyer Library, SMU; more information on this photo can be found here. The second and third photos are from this same collection and are linked directly below the images. (The entire collection can be viewed here.)

More on WWI-era Love Field can be found in the 2014 Flashback Dallas (Valentine’s Day) post “From Deep in the Heart of Texas, I Give You Love Field — 1919.”

If you would like to support my work, please consider following me on Patreon for as little as $5 a month — I post exclusive content there daily.



Copyright © 2023 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.

Cowboys Love Cokesbury’s — 1947


by Paula Bosse

Today is my late father’s birthday. He was, in every respect of the word, a “bookman.” Every year on his birthday I post something bookstore-related.

His specialty was Texana and Western Americana. This Texas-themed Cokesbury’s ad is from September 1947, the same month The Aldredge Book Store opened (the store my father — Dick Bosse — eventually owned, a store which was also known for having “some pretty good books on Texas”).


Sources & Notes

This ad appeared in the Sept. 28, 1947 edition of The Dallas Morning News.

Read other Flashback Dallas posts on bookstores here.


Copyright © 2023 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.

Tabletop Jukeboxes — 1940

sammys_greenville-ave_juke-boxes_hagley-museum_1940Sammy’s, Greenville Ave., 1940

by Paula Bosse

Who isn’t thrilled to find yourself sitting in a booth at a restaurant with your own personal tabletop jukebox? You don’t see them much these days — the only place I can think of that still has them is Campisi’s. They were an absolute thrill to me as a child. I wonder how many of those little machines were broken by overly curious children who went crazy pushing all the buttons and twisting the knobs to flip the pages to see song selections by people they’d never heard of like Patti Page and Artie Shaw?

I just happened upon a collection of these coin-operated machines — called “wallboxes” — here. I had to look to see if Dallas was represented, and, yes, Dallas is represented. Thrice.


At the top, SAMMY’S — 1516 GREENVILLE AVENUE (below Lowest Greenville, one block south of Ross)

There were several locations of Sammy’s restaurants around town, but this was, I think, the first. (I’m pretty sure the building is still there — it just keeps getting renovated and turned into different restaurants/bars.) (UPDATE: Thanks to a comment on my Facebook page, I now realize that, according to Google Street View, the building that once housed Sammy’s bit the dust sometime between 2012 and 2013, when it became a parking lot. See it in 2007 on Google here.) This is the first time I’ve seen a photo of its interior. Below: what it looked like in its heyday.



ROSE OF THE RANCHO (later just The Rancho) — 4401 BRYAN STREET (in Old East Dallas, at Burlew Street)

Named after a popular movie, this cafe (which was busted a few times for selling liquor without a license) was in business near the Mrs. Baird’s plant at Bryan and Carroll, from at least 1936 to 1978, which is a long time for a restaurant. A 1938 newspaper article about a sorority’s Rush Week noted that the Delta Theta Kappas were attending a “stagette” supper there in September 1936.

The photo below, from 1940, shows an interesting interior. Sort of Art Deco-in-a-goldfish-bowl. There’s a lot to like here — I’m feeling hints of “nautical” — except for those booths, which look like the most uncomfortable restaurant seating I’ve ever seen. Browsing the songs on one of those little jukeboxes would at least have offered a bit of respite and distraction from obsessing over how inhospitably uncomfortable that bench you were sitting on was.

rose-of-the-rancho_juke-boxes_hagley-museum_1940Rose of the Rancho, 1940

I came across the photo below when I was cataloging a collection of photos from the mid 1940s at the Dallas Historical Society — I remembered “Rose of the Rancho,” mainly because of its unusual name. Sadly, the photo shows only the sign (but, as a bonus, it does show the Mrs. Baird’s building, which I keep hearing is about to be renovated any day now). (It’s interesting to note, tangentially, that the guy who took this photo — and all in the collection I was working on — was obsessed with jukeboxes and other coin-operated machines. I feel confident that he stopped in at the Rancho for at least a cup of coffee, armed with a fistful of nickels in order to run through a few hits of the Mills Brothers or Andrews Sisters.)

rose-of-the-rancho_4401-bryan_mrs-bairds_DHS_bell-coll_1944Rose of the Rancho, 1944 (Dallas Historical Society)


OAK GROVE CAFE — 2630 N. HASKELL (near Weldon Street)

I couldn’t find much about this place, but it had a lot more of the jukebox units installed in it than the other two places: 32 boxes! Imagine if each table had its own concert going on. …And then multiply that by 32. I think those speakers directionalized (is that a word?) the sound so that it kept pretty much to the immediate area. Otherwise, “spillover” music at varying volumes could have been one of many things that tried the patience of waitresses just trying to get through their shifts. …Or it could have been great: different musical offerings at different tables, all day long. Bing Crosby with eggs and toast at table 4, “Stardust” with corned beef at table 6, and Harry James, hold the onions, at the counter. (UPDATE: I’m obviously not well acquainted with this technology. Thanks to the comment below by Bill Parrish, I realize that all of these tabletop machines played the same thing, and each table could adjust the volume. I think I like my idea of 30 different machines chaotically playing 30 different songs simultaneously, but that would have been pretty obnoxious!)

oak-grove_hagley-museum_juke-boxes_1940Oak Grove Cafe, 1940


Sources & Notes

The three photos stamped with “Buckley Music System” are all from the Hagley Digital Archives, here (scroll to find the specific photos).

The 1944 photo (which I have cropped) showing the Rose of the Rancho sign and the Mrs. Baird’s building is from the James H. Bell Collection, Dallas Historical Society — more information is here.

More on the Buckley Music System can be found here.

See one of these machines in action (with French narration!) in a YouTube video here.

If you’d like to support the work I do, please check out my Patreon subscription page here, where every day I try to post something new which hasn’t been posted here on the blog.



Copyright © 2023 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.

Fair Park at Night — ca. 1912


by Paula Bosse

The postcard above — “Luminous Fountain by Night at Fair Park, Dallas” — is one I’ve never seen. And it’s beautiful!

This ornamental fountain was commissioned by the City of Dallas Park Board in 1912 and debuted at that year’s State Fair.

On July 18, 1912, it was reported that the mayor and members of the Park Board were touring Fair Park to see how progress was coming on the new women’s and children’s “comfort station” (restroom and lounge) — during the inspection they decided a fountain would be nice in front of the main exhibition building. Five days later (!), the Park Board voted on it and appropriated $2,500 for the project (approximately $80,000 in today’s money). That afternoon committee members went out to Fair Park and decided it would go “in the middle walk, half way between [the] Exposition Building and the street” (Dallas Morning News, July 23, 1912). And less than a month after that, a design had been made and published. It was to be 30 feet in diameter at the base and 24 feet high. When the State Fair of Texas opened on Oct. 12, 1912, the fountain was completed. It took less than 3 months. From “You know what? A fountain would look real good here…” to DONE!

fair-park_fountain_DMN_081812_drawingDallas Morning News, Aug. 18, 1912

Here’s a photo of it, sans water, from a book published in 1915:


The weirdest little tidbit about this fountain’s debut at the 1912 State Fair is that there was a display of fish swimming around in it, courtesy of the Government Fish Hatchery at San Marcos.

The fountain was in front of the huge Exposition Building. Here’s a circa-1908 depiction of people milling about at night outside the building (a building which really does need a fountain in front of it!).


Back to that top image — I love it. “Illumination” was really big at the time (see “The Grand Elm Street Illumination — 1911”) — I’m surprised I don’t see more postcards like this — even if they’re just fake day-for-night images. A similar “nighttime in Fair Park” postcard is the one below, showing the entrance (this postcard has a 1909 postmark).


Since I have a postcard of the entrance from this same period showing what it looked like during the day (postmarked 1910)….


That star is pretty cool, especially at night.

I’m pretty sure that fountain bit the dust a long, long time ago. Maybe when everything was being revamped for the 1936 Texas Centennial Exposition. It’s a shame. I don’t think there can ever be too many fountains.


Sources & Notes

Top postcard — “Luminous Fountain by Night at Fair Park, Dallas” (postmarked 1913) — is available now on eBay, here; one is also currently available on Card Cow here. I’m pretty sure this is going to be a strong contender for my favorite image of the year.

Photo of “Fountain, Fair Park” is from the book “Park System, Dallas, Texas, 1915,” here — from the Dallas Municipal Archives via the Portal to Texas History.

The postcards have pretty much all come from eBay over the years.

If you want even more of this sort of thing, perhaps you’d like to support me on Patreon for as little as $5 a month. I’m somehow managing to post daily there with “exclusive” content! I’m not sure how long I can keep this up, but if you’d like to see more Flashbacky stuff, hie thee to Patreon.com!



Copyright © 2023 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.

From the Vault: Life Along Turn-of-the-Century Main Street

swiss-ave-streetcar_main-and-market_cook-degolyer_c1900East on Main from Market…

by Paula Bosse

I am in the midst of a supremely stressful move of a relative. Very, very stressful. So my output here has been punier than I would have liked. When time is at a premium, it’s always handy to be able to dip into the FD archives. Here’s a look at a photo I really like which was featured in the 2017 Flashback Dallas post “The Swiss Avenue Car on Main Street — ca. 1900.” Lots of zoomed-in details.

I hope I make it through this next week. Wish me luck!

If you are so inclined, please consider supporting me on Patreon, where, somehow, I’ve managed to post pretty much every day.


Copyright © 2023 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.

Courthouse in the Mist/Smoke/Murk — 1901

old-red_dallas-courthouse_1901_degolyerThe ethereal Old Red Courthouse…

by Paula Bosse

I love this photo of the Old Red Courthouse from 1901. (I guess in 1901 it would have been the New Red Courthouse….) The dreamy quality is probably due less to a romantic mists of Avalon effect (which, incidentally, I’ve seen from the Glastonbury tor, and it’s beautiful!) and maybe due more to just a lot of soot and smoke. …Or something altogether more prosaic, like a damaged photograph or plate. Here’s the courthouse a little closer:


In the image at the top of the page, you can see some of the words for the “Keating Implement & Machine Co.” painted on the white building, seen just above the “Daniel & Goodwin” building on the right side of the photograph. The photo below shows the view from the courthouse, taken about 1900. In the bottom left corner, you can see the Keating building. The reverse view isn’t soft and mysterious (or even all that interesting), but I like that Old Red gets in a tiny Hitchcock-like cameo in the center foreground.



Sources & Notes

Top photo — titled “[Dallas Courthouse]” — is from the George A. McAfee Photographs collection, DeGolyer Library, SMU Libraries; more information on this photo can be found here.

The view from the courthouse — titled “Looking northeast from Courthouse circa 1900” — is from the Collection of Dallas Morning News negatives and copy photographs, DeGolyer Library, SMU Libraries; more information on this photo can be found here.

Please consider supporting me on Patreon, where I post exclusive content several times a week.



Copyright © 2023 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.

St. Mark’s From the Air

st-marks_preston-royal-to-the-west_squire-haskins_UTAGo west, young man…

by Paula Bosse

The photo above shows an aerial view of the St. Mark’s campus, with a view to the northwest. So. Much. Space. The horizontal road in the top third of the photo is Preston Road. In the top right corner, at 5923 Royal Lane, is the round St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, which was built in 1959. (I have learned only tonight that the architect of that church — and many other buildings around Dallas — was designed by architect William H. Hidell Jr., who studied with George Dahl. Hidell grew up in the same house I grew up in — several decades earlier. Small world.) Across the street from the round church is the Preston Royal fire station, built in 1958, and recently destroyed by a tornado (and which I wrote about here). This photo is undated, but it was obviously taken sometime after 1959. That amount of empty land is surprising. (If you really want to freak out about miles of nothing in North Dallas, check out this unbelievable photo of Preston and Valley View in 1958, pre-LBJ).

And here are two other St. Mark’s-centric photos from the same flight — all taken by Squire Haskins (see links below for very large images on the UTA website). Below, a view to the northeast:


And a view to the southeast:



Sources & Notes

These three aerial photos are by Squire Haskins, from the Squire Haskins Photography Inc. Collection, University of Texas at Arlington Libraries. Read more information about these individual photos: the first one is here (view to the northwest); the second is here (view to the northeast); and the third is here (view to the southeast). Click the pictures on the UTA site to see really, really big images.

Please consider supporting the work I do at Flashback Dallas by funding me on Patreon, where I post exclusive content.



Copyright © 2023 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.

Muhammad Ali Visits Graham’s Barber Shop — ca. 1967

ali-muhammad_grahams-barber-shop_lincoln-high-school-yrbk_1967_photoMuhammad Ali in a Dallas barber chair

by Paula Bosse

I often just browse through the ads of old Dallas high school yearbooks on Ancestry.com. The other day, I saw the photo above and stopped and said to myself, “Is that Muhammad Ali?” I then looked at the text and, yes, that was, in fact, Muhammad Ali. Sitting in a barber chair in Dallas, Texas. What was the story behind that?

In my less-than-extensive research, I found two instances of Ali being in Dallas before 1967 (the year of this Lincoln High School yearbook ad). The first was in November 1960, just one month after the 18-year-old Olympic champion had won his first professional fight. He was tagging along with Archie Moore (who was acting as something of a mentor) when Moore came to Dallas to fight local boxer Willie Morris. (Morris had lost to the then Cassius Clay in the Olympic trials, and, in a somewhat bitter interview with The Dallas Morning News said this about the young upstart: “He’s not near as good as all this talk about him.”)

The photo of Ali in the barber chair isn’t from this 1960 visit, but he was specifically mentioned in a Dallas Times Herald article as being in the crowd of a Nov. 1960 event I wrote about a few years ago. There’s film footage of this, and I’ve scanned the crowds, hoping to find him, with no luck. But if you want to look to see if you can find him, that footage is linked in the Flashback Dallas post “Newly Discovered Footage of Jack Ruby — 1960.”

It’s more likely that the barber shop photo was taken in March 1967 when Ali, a Muslim, came to Dallas to “preach” at Muhammad’s Mosque of Islam, described by Dallas Morning News sportswriter Bob St. John as being housed in “an old, pinkish building which used to belong to an insurance company and heretofore rested in reasonable obscurity on the corner across from Booker T. Washington High School.”

St. John continued about Ali’s March 26, 1967 appearance in Dallas: “On Sunday afternoon, it was no longer obscure. The old building rocked from its foundation as people filled it and lined the sidewalk outside and even poured into the streets, some coming to see Cassius Clay and others Muhammad Ali….”

The article mentions that Ali was living in Houston at the time, so it’s certainly possible he visited Dallas more often, but he was so famous at this time that it seems likely that the mere hint of his charismatic presence in town would have shown up in the papers. As it was, a visit by him to a Dallas barber shop was memorialized in this ad, which someone like me can now write about in a vaguely historical way (on a day which just happens to be Easter Sunday, 56 Easters after Muhammad Ali’s Islamic sermon across from Booker T. Washington High School).



“Muhammad Ali a Customer of Graham’s Barber Shop.” Ali is shown with an unidentified Graham’s customer, Jimmie Malone, Marie Cook, Althea Kimbrough, a customer, barber William Schufford, manager John Coleman, and two other customers.


The photo above also appeared in the ad, showcasing Graham’s community service and his work with the Kennedy Foundation. “Enjoy the free services of Graham Barbers. The barbers from left to right: Verbie Marrow, Lillie Hudson Brim, Willie Schufford, Emanuel Phillips, Supervisor, and customers.”

Johnny Graham was one of the most successful Black businessmen in Dallas at the time and was known for his philanthropic generosity. By the end of 1967, he owned eight barber shops and employed 135 barbers. Six of his shops are listed in the 1967 directory:

grahams-barber-shop_19671967 Dallas directory


Sources & Notes

Photos are from an ad in the 1967 Lincoln High School yearbook.

The Dallas Morning News articles about Muhammad Ali in Dallas — and one about Johnny Graham:

  • “Morris Prefers Bout with Clay” (DMN, Nov. 26, 1960)
  • “Clay Makes Dallas Stop” by Bob St. John (DMN, Mar. 27, 1967)
  • “Johnny Graham Offers Example” by Julia Scott Reed (DMN, Dec. 28, 1967)

Please consider supporting the work I do at Flashback Dallas by funding me on Patreon.



Copyright © 2023 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.

Asking For Your Support…

money-tree_first-national-bank_postcard_frontLo, the “Money Tree” at First National Bank

by Paula Bosse

Hello! I’m writing a different sort of post today, one in which I am asking for your financial support, which should be an empowering career move but which is actually a little intimidating. 

I created Flashback Dallas in February 2014 and have recently embarked on Year Ten (!). I’ve written over 1,300 posts, which amazes me. Along the way, I had hoped someone would “discover” me and offer me a Dallas-history-related job with a salary which I could live on, but that hasn’t panned out so far. I still hold out hope, but “Dallas-history-related jobs” are few and far between. There have been a few fantasies of a Dallas-history-loving person with loads of cash emerging from the ether, wallet in hand, wanting nothing more than to fund the writing of this blog and handing over wads of cash. But that hasn’t happened either. (If you are an employer or a wealthy investor with wads of cash, you know where to find me!)

I’ve plugged away on this blog for more than 9 years, and I’ve loved it all. Loved it. My first passion is writing, and I feel pretty lucky that I’ve been able to combine that with learning about the history of my hometown! It’s been both fun and gratifying. But I’ve made no money doing this. No advertising, no sponsorships, no “partnerships.” The amount of time I’ve put into this blog is pretty staggering — and, again, I’ve loved it, but I’d really like to be able to make some money for my efforts. 

For years, people have suggested I start a Patreon page. And now I have. (Click the logo below to check out my Patreon page.)


Patreon is a “membership platform” which offers a way for people like me to have subscribers who pay a monthly contribution to support an ongoing project, sometimes offering special incentives to followers. The way I have set up my Patreon account is to offer the same content to whomever chooses to support me. Things may change in the future, but for now, if you pledge $5, $10, or $15 a month, you’ll have access to “exclusive” content which will not be crossposted here. These will usually be short posts — photos, ads, clippings, etc. — which might later become a longer post here on the blog, but a lot of it will be things that don’t fit anywhere else or are about subjects I simply don’t have time to write a full blog post about. As I become more comfortable with the site, I may try other types of “content.” I will most certainly be posting WAY more frequently there.

I am also on Patreon as a patron, supporting a person whose work I really enjoy, and I’ve found the platform very easy to use. There are no strings attached. You can change the amount of your pledge — up or down — very easily. And you can also CANCEL at any time. (You won’t hurt my feelings!) Your credit card will be charged monthly on the same day of the month that you initially subscribe. Patreon has been around for 10 years, so, as the kids say, it’s legit.

There will be occasional “public” posts on the site, and you are welcome to pop over there at any time to see what’s there. You can check the page out HERE. (I hope not to spam people incessantly with this, but — fair warning — this Patreon-mentioning will be popping up from time to time.)

I hope to use some of these proceeds to eventually upgrade this blog. It’s a long story, but I am not unaware of the failings of my present website. I need to do a major, scary migration. For several years I’ve been a caregiver dealing with health issues of elderly relatives, and it’s definitely held me back on things I’ve wanted to do with this site and with my writing. 

So — if you’re still reading! — I am asking in a no-pressure way that you consider supporting me monetarily if you are a fan of my work and appreciate the time and effort it takes to create it. If you are unable to or just don’t feel like it, no problem. I am so happy to have all of you reading. It’s been so much fun doing this — and, in the process, getting to know many of you. As I said above, I have no plans to stop Flashback Dallas anytime soon — things here should continue as usual. Thank you so much for reading!




Sources & Notes

Image at the top is a 20-foot bas-relief mural by Alma Shon, the “Money Tree,” which was located on the second floor of the First National Bank building. It was made from 7,819 coins and carved walnut wood. Read the complete description here.

And… in case you missed it, that Patreon page is here.



Copyright © 2023 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.

Southland Center Observation Deck — 1967

southland-life_observation-deck_HPHS_1967-yrbk_photo550 feet above street level…

by Paula Bosse

I never experienced the observation deck atop the Southland Life Insurance Building (or any of the observation decks sprinkled throughout downtown — other than Reunion Tower, I guess), but I see a lot of people mention it in fond childhood memories. Here it is in an ad from the 1967 Highland Park High School yearbook.



Get a bird’s-eye view of your school from the Observation Deck, high on top of Southland Center. It’s a beautiful view, 550 feet above street level. A completely enclosed Observation Lounge assures visitors of all-weather comfort.

Come every day, 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Adults, 25¢ — children (6-12) 10¢. Proceeds go to charity.

Southland Life Insurance Co.
Home Office  •  Southland Center  •  Dallas



The observation deck and “lounge” was opened to the public on the 41st floor of the Southland Life Building on Oct. 31, 1956 (the top floor — the 42nd — had a private heliport). I can’t find when it finally closed, but it was open until at least the 1980s.

A search around the internet turned up an interesting bit of footage of the observation deck in 1962 — from a cameo appearance in the TV show “Route 66” (there were a couple of episodes shot in Dallas — I haven’t seen this entire episode, but the clip below has a few cool locations). The pertinent footage begins at the 4:43 mark and lasts for about 2 minutes (if, like me, any hint of fictional animal danger is a problem, you might want to stop around the 5:00 mark). (A couple of cast connections to our fair city: David Wayne, the actor featured in this episode, would later return to Big D as Digger Barnes in “Dallas,” and Dallas actress K Callan — seen in a scene at Love Field at 4:10 — was both a student and a teacher at Our Lady of Good Counsel in Oak Cliff.) From this clip, it looks like there might have been several of the telescopes around the perimeter of the building. (I’d love to see this in color — to see those shimmering blue glass tiles up close.) (This full episode — one of three filmed in Dallas — can be watched on YouTube, here. You’ll see Love Field, the Marriott Motor Hotel, the Southland observation deck, the SMU campus, the Trade Mart, a Wyatt’s cafeteria and grocery store (6126 Luther Lane, in Preston Center), Sheriff Bill Decker’s actual office, and a drive-in movie theater.)


Is there an observation deck there these days?



Sources & Notes

Top photo/ad is from the 1966 Highland Park High School yearbook. 

Check out these related Southland Center posts:



Copyright © 2023 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.

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