grew up in a log cabin…” Not really; but, I was raised in a modest house that
my dad had built on Houston’s north
side. It had corrugated tin panels for roofing and when it rained the sound could
either be soothing or frightening. Water supplied to the house was from a well
with a pumping system. There were no “subdivisions” back then. Most of the residents
owned two lots and there was ample room for all of the kids to play outdoors.
Yes, actually played outdoors – no boom boxes, game boys, I-Pads, or other distractions.
Can you picture an episode of “Walton’s Mountain” where the family sat around
the radio listening to “Amos and Andy”. “The Shadow”, “The FBI in Peace and War”,
and other programs of the day? When one of the neighbors got a television set,
we kids would gather to watch some of the Saturday morning programs. Does anyone
remember what a “Test Pattern” looked like? One of my favorite programs later
was the “Tennessee Ernie Ford” show – probably because he had a teenage singer
named Molly Bee that I had an adolescent crush on. Some time ago, I ran across
a signed copy of her photo that I had requested at the time.
places to cool off included Dodson Lake Pool and Lindale Pool. The original Lindale
Pool was of brick and mortar construction that my grandfather, Jesse Robertson,
help to build for public recreational use. A brick mason by trade, he also worked
on the crew that laid brick paving for Heights Boulevard. It was a sad day when
the city covered the thoroughfare with a topping of asphalt. Many older homes
in the River Oaks section of Houston
contained his handiwork of fireplaces and other architectural features.
my 5th year in grade school, construction began to convert Kelley Street into
Loop 137. It seemed to take a decade to get it finished! Years later, motorists
opted to use a newer, faster route on Loop 610. During my senior high school years,
buses were not provided to transport students. The mode of transportation was
the Pioneer Bus Company. In my scrapbook, I still have a Student Pass.
Households could have milk, in glass bottles, delivered to their home. The dairy
drivers also had oleo margarine (white, with a packet of yellow coloring to be
added by the purchaser). The Houston Post was a morning competitor to the Houston
Chronicle. The Houston Press was a weekly newspaper delivered in the afternoons.
Shipley’s Donuts were
sold door-to-door, in addition to being available in their outlet stores.
Early telephone service did not have “Area Codes”. The numbers were alphanumeric.
Some that I recall include: CA = Capital; FA = Fairfax; GL = Glendale; HO = Homestead;
OV = Overland; OX = Oxford; UN = Underwood. Our first telephone was a two party-line;
that was interesting, at times!
Before Astroworld, there was Playland
Park, with its amusement rides and sideshows. Adjacent to the park was a dirt
track for stock car races. Driver A. J. Foyt was among the competitors. Being
a guy, I thoroughly enjoyed the Demolition Derby events.
The “cool cats”
in high school drove ’34 Ford or ’36 Chevy coupes, chopped and channeled, with
dual straight exhausts (no mufflers). spinner hubcaps, and 15 coats of either
Candy Apple Red or Metallic Blue paint, polished to a mirror finish! Needless
to say, I was not one of the cool dudes. My first car was a 1951 Ford 4-door.
The after school routine was to stop at either a Bailey’s or Prince’s Drive-in
for hamburgers. I think that the carhops were glad to see us leave – after they
had gotten their tips for service. Ah, the days! We also had our own version of
“Happy Days”, meeting at the Rexall Drug Store soda fountain for chocolate malts,
cherry phosphates, and other liquid treats of the day. A nerd thing to do was
double date, going to the San
Jacinto Battlegrounds and USS
Texas Battleship memorial for a Saturday outing (been there, done that). The
“formal attire” of the day was ducktail haircuts, sideburns, and collars turned
up for the guys and hoop skirts with petticoats for the girls. The Jensen Drive-in
Theater was generally packed on Friday and Saturday nights – sometimes to actually
watch the movie; mostly, though, to “hang out”. For football games, guys seemed
to compete with one another as to who could get the most elaborate corsage, with
the most streamers, for their dates. Thinking about it now, the girls probably
did not think of that as being the best way to impress them. Some lessons are
hard to learn.
The evolution of baseball in Houston
was the Houston Buffalos, who were renamed the short-lived Colt
45’s, and later became the Houston Astros. The quarterback of the Houston
Oilers was the famed George Blanda – never will forgive him for going to Oakland
as a field goal and extra point kicker!
|"Andrew had a
barber shop on Quitman in the days of 25-cent haircuts. In his younger years,
Andy was a boxer. Later in life, he enjoyed the Friday night wrestling matches
in the Coliseum and served in their security services as a deputy constable with
the Harris County Sheriff's Department. In this capacity, he was often called
upon to intervene in family disturbances in his northeast Houston
neighborhood." - Bruce Martin
maturing to the magic age of eighteen, life changed. Some enrolled in college,
or entered the work force, or joined the military. But, things became different…
Now, there were new memories to be developed.
Shoe Horses, Don't They?
July 24, 2012 Guest column
enjoyed this very much. It reminded me of my early years growing up in what was
called Liberator Village in west Fort Worth. My folks moved from Waco because
dad got a job at what was Consolidated Vultee Aircraft during the war. It has
gone through a number of name changes to become Lockheed now. There was no housing
available at the time we moved and this "Liberator Village" was built by the government
to house people coming to work in the aircraft plant building B-24 Liberator Bombers
and such at that time. We lived in this area until I started 6th grade. Then we
moved into the north side of Fort Worth. Dad worked for what is now Lockheed for
years until one of their layoffs sent him in search of another job. Times were
definitely different back then. - Nancy Howard, August 04, 2012
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