- Photos, Ephemera & Historical Trivia for Oak Cliff, Texas.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Aunt Stelle's Sno Cone

2007 photo by Terry Houchins
2002 W. Clarendon just east of Hampton

Probably the best place in Oak Cliff to get a Sno Cone. Apparently they're as good now as they were when I was a kid.  The place opened in 1962, and I remember Aunt Stelle's had an ad in our school yearbook about every year. As I was looking for articles about Aunt Stelle's, I found a lot of ads for "Snow Cone Machines", mostly from the 1950s. Apparently none of them could compete with hand-shaved ice and made from scratch syrups because Aunt Stelle's is still here and "snow cone machines" are not.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Gremillion Sales Company

Wholesale Floral and Gift Items   -   3914 West Davis   -   ED-2-0482

Gremillion Sales Company was owned and operated by Edward Gremillion and his wife Jessie Marie. This picturesque-appearing building was located on the south side of Davis, east of Cockrell Hill Road, and about halfway between where the Amvets building and Fernando's Auto Sales now stand. In 1940 Edward worked as a butcher for the A&P on Fort Worth Avenue, and Marie was a secretary for a furniture store. They probably opened this business after World War II and ran it until they retired in 1959.

South Loop Drive-In

photo courtesy of Steve Bonner
Photo courtesy of Steve Bonner
South Loop Drive-In opened March 31, 1950, with two showings of "On the Town" starring Gene Kelly and Frank Sinatra. The theater was located at 3030 Ledbetter, on the south side of the road, just west of Bonnie View and southeast of the Veterans' Hospital.

The drive-in was part of the Adelman theater circuit, which operated movie houses in Houston, Fort Worth, and Tulsa, as well as the Delman Theater (not a drive-in) in Dallas. Cost of construction was $150,000, which included innovations such as indirectly lighted walkways, a patio with lounge chairs, and a playground for children. I don't think they would have got away with that Snow White mural on their theater today!

Both the South Loop Drive-In and the Delman Theater closed about 1968, and no obvious trace remains of this theater in the field that still sits along Loop 12.

A couple of corrections from reader Matt Schaffer (schaffermatt54 @ gmail.com):  The Delman persisted on into the 1980′s. Was a fine venue (and well-maintained/managed) til the end. After it closed as a movie theatre, it was operated for a while as a club.  If I may offer a small correction re: exact location of the South Loop, historicaerials.com has photos that document it precisely – on the south side of E. Ledbetter. Here is the link to the photo – compare the route of Ledbetter in that photo with it presently on google maps (hasn’t changed) when you enter 3142 E. Ledbetter for the address.

Thanks to Matt I was able to find two aerial photos of the drive-in's location, one from 1952 when it was still new, and one from 1972 after it had been razed.

Albin and Albin

albin mc

Dry Cold Melons and Ice Cold Arkansas Cider - perfect for those sizzling summer afternoons (although I can't say I've personally ever tasted Arkansas Cider.) H.C. Albin and A.C. Albin was a fruit stand located at 641 W. Davis, and would have been between Van Buren and Llewellyn Streets.

I found references to Henry C. Albin as the proprietor from 1930-1934.  "A.C." may have referred to his wife Annie. They lived nearby, on West Seventh Street.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Youngblood's Fried Chicken

"After church, going to Youngblood’s for chicken was like saying "Amen" after praying."
                                                                                                         ---- Alternate City

BREAKING NEWS, Youngblood's fans! The legend is coming back to Austin.

youngbloods ad 2-1946
Probably the most-lamented fried chicken place I've found is Youngblood's. I dimly remember seeing a Youngblood's Restaurant at the Old Mill place during the State Fair of Texas about 1968, yet across the internet people swear it was the best chicken ever, and replications of its recipe can still be found.
Julius Harper "Pap" Youngblood was a cotton farmer in Speegleville, just west of Waco, when he bouht 500 baby chicks in 1930, raising them as a sideline to help make ends meet. (Ever hear old recordings of Wolfman Jack hawking baby chicks over Mexican radio?)

By 1942 "Pap" and his sons, Weldon and Ovid, had got the hang not only of raising chickens, but doing it "from the egg to the table", processing and delivering feed for the poultry, and dressing the birds in their own processing plant. They opened their first restaurant in Waco in 1945 to advertise their business, and it was so successful they expanded to Dallas, opening their second restaurant in 1946 near Colorado and Zang.

Youngblood's kept growing, and by 1949 they had so much stuff they needed a fleet of 20 Ford trucks to transport it. That was good business for Ford, too, and the result of this interaction was a full page ad touting Youngblood's ingenuity, as well as the benefits of the trucks they drove.

 By 1961 Youngblood's was the fried chicken king of  Texas, with 60 chicken-raising farms around Waco, a chain of 14 restaurants, and about 500 people in their employ.

In 1967 Youngblood's had more than 30 restaurants in Texas and  at least 6 franchise stores in the state. In 1968 they announced plans to expand with a nationwide franchising operation, but they were too late; the market was already flooded with other fried chicken franchises. That and a series of financial mishaps resulted in overwhelming debt, and all of Youngblood's restaurants abruptly closed in 1969. Some of the restaurants were sold to Mickey Mantle's Country Cooking, Inc. and the poultry processing operation was scaled back to about 12 people. By 1970 none of the Youngbloods had any association with their former operation.

Many people have asked about Youngblood's recipe. Following is the recipe submitted by reader Kay Potts. It should give you a good start. She says this method works best in a deep fryer, rather than pan frying.

You will need a bowl of seasoned flour and a bowl of liquid mixture.
For the flour, use all-purpose flour and season with salt and white pepper to taste
For the liquid use the following:
      1 Cup powdered whey ("baking type" - sweet powdered whey - @health food stores & online)
      3/4 Cup powdered nonfat dry milk
      2 Tbsp salt - you may have to adjust depending how much salt you put in the flour
      2/3 Cup water or enough to make a thin mixture
Dust the chicken pieces in the flour, then dip into the wet mix, then back into the flour.
Shake off excess & deep fry in oil at 350 degrees for 12 minutes.

Kay said the whey is what gives the batter the special flavor. She has also used buttermilk powder in place of the dry milk & whey, with good results.

Following are comments I transposed from the old blog site. I wasn't able to add them as regular comments.

Beverly Kimbrough   bak @ alumni.utexas.net    9/29/2009
My family ate a lot of fried chicken from Youngbloods on Colorado, and it was good!
There was a side entrance for orders to go, and there was usually a line out the door.

Timothy Scott    timothyscott @ sbcglobal.net    10/30/2009
<yes that place turned me into a life time fried chicken person. Their onion rings were great too!

David Parker    llopar @ peoplepc.com    11/22/2009
In the mid 60′s I had three kids and their favorite thing to do was go to Fair Park at the Old Mill for a 21 piece bucket of Youngblood’s fried chicken and it only cost $4.95 and sit outside and and eat it.

Nancy Y. Counts    wcounts @ sbcglobal.net   12/10/2009
I have “50′s menus from here. My dad was Weldon Youngblood.
This restaurant was the best producing one of the 10 or so in Texas.

Sandy Granger    sgranger @ email.com    12/15/2009
I remember (?) there was a Youngblood’s around 7th St. and Davis….I think. I was six when we lived on 7th, so I may be confused.

Julie Yates    Beatlegirl22 @ sbcglobal.net    1/5/2010
My parents got engaged there in 1953. I was born too late to remember Youngbloods. We had moved to Europe by the time they went out of business.

Tim Patten    tjpatten @ gmail.com    1/15/2010
@Nancy Y. Counts
As kids, we loved going to Youngblood’s on Broadway here in San Antonio in the 50′s.I would get drumsticks and pour a little honey over the wonderful crisp coating. I would love to find a recipe to make it for my family.

Grace   2/1/2010
When my husband was going through Nav. Training at James Connelly AFB we use to frequent a Youngbloods in the nearby area. Was it the same Youngbloods of which you speak now. They had the best fried chicken I ever ate.

Wayne H.   2/22/2010
My family ate once at week at Youngbloods in the 50s, so it was a big part of my life. I always used to have the chicken gizzards. I’ve never eaten any fried chicken as tasty. I remember one time when Davy Crocket was big they encouraged kids to wear their coonskin caps when they stopped in. Babes is supposed to to have their recipe but I ate Babes and it wasn’t the Youngblood recipe.

George Keelen    haroldk @ cox.net
          @Nancy Y. Counts
Nancy my name is George Keelen I managed the Waco store in 1953-54 I remember your mother Freida Youngblood. Your dad fired me because ho saw my truck at Willis Naler’s
Restaurant in Dallas I went to Denver Co. and opened a chain of restaurants.called
Denver Drumstick for a man named Austin Myers. I brought up Ed Rogers,John Anderson and Bill Faubion all old Youngblood Managers. I live in Las Vegas Nv now I got out of the Restaurant business 1968 went into Event and Party Rental Business in Denver.
Two of my children run it now I retired in 1994.

Joy McKee    7/27/2010
          @Nancy Y. Counts
Do you happen to have the recipe from way back when? Do you sell, or share it? I would love to cherish it with serving it to my family…

Maripat Powers     8/2/2010
I saw the post from George Keelen…George, do you remember one of the Youngblood’s managers named Vaughn Mayfield? He was my dad. When I was little, he managed the Youngblood’s on Zang Blvd. in Dallas, then left to partner with a man on the Pal Waffle Shop in Irving. From there, we moved to Littleton, CO, where he was the manager of one of the Denver Drumstick restaurants. I have great memories of that restaurant, especially the model train track that circled it high up on the walls…loved to hear the train whistle! We only lived in Littleton a couple of years before the call of home (Austin, TX) pulled us back, but I thought you might remember him.

Rodney Bryant      8/2/2010
Youngblood’s was our regular take-out dinner several nights a week. Have never found a better breading since. Lots of fond memories of Youngblood’s. We also continued to eat at Mickey Mantle’s after YB closed.

Kelly Coleman    8//3/2010
My folks grew up in Oak Cliff. I grew up in Mildland and when we travelled to Dallas to see my grandparents who lived on Greebriar Ln. I would almost hyperventilate with excitement when we got to the Beckley exit off the old turnpike. It meant that we would soon be eating at Youngblood’s by Lake Cliff and have peppermint ice cream for dessert at Polar Bear around the corner!

George Keelen        8/8/2010
Mr Mayfield I remember your dad. I was the first one of the Youngblood Group to go to Denver to open the first DENVER DRUMSTICK Rest. When we opened the second one I brought Ed Rogers to run the #2 Drumstrick. the #3 store Billy Faubion. I left the Drumstick Company and opened my own Restrauant.I sold it in 1968. I have a Event and Party Rental Store in Denver that 2 of my Kids run. I live in Las Vegas NV. sence 1994.

robert keathley    opacrk @ sbcglobal.net    8/31/2010
My Corsicana, Tx – American National Insurance Company – Dad was a big Dallas Eagles baseball fan (knew names, numbers and batting averages of all the players). As a young boy in the late 1940′s, I still remember vividly our family outings up the old two lane Hwy 75 via south Lamar (shoping at the big Sears store on Lamar), turning left onto Cadez and crossing the Cadez Viaduct. We’d come early and eat at Youngbloods (still the best fried chicken in the world) on East Colorado before heading back to Burnett Field. Outside the park, streetcars would stop on Colorado and fans would spill forth. My Mom loved Mrs. Inez on the organ. Really was a big league atmosphere for a 9-10 year old boy. Now at age 71, I still cherish those Youngblood / Dallas Eagle memories.

S Martin    swm.martin @ gmail.com
          @Joy McKee
I’d love to have the recipe too, the best chicken ever

Al Burk    al.burk @ comcast.net
          @Joy McKee
I live in Pasadena, TX and remember a Youngblood’s on Richy Rd in Pasadena in the 60′s. I will never forget the aroma of the fried chicken. I have been searching for a recipt to give my chicken that same taste and smell. Like you, this is for my personnal satification. I’m not in the restaurant business. I did notice a similar taste in some chicken strips from a local place and started going to food websites looking for that great recipt. Please let me know if you were able to find it. I will pay..

J. V.    nightscreamer @ embarqmail.com    11/27/2010
My Mother used to work for Youngblood’s, one year she agreed to work at the State Fair during her off hours for extra money, I got to go with her and was just thrilled at the thought of being at the fair for a whole day, every time I ran out of money, I went back to my mother for more. My mother used to joke it was the only time she worked that it cost her more than she made. LOL

Jeff Weinberger     6/22/2011
          @Nancy Y. Counts
I was born and grew up in dallas and about the best thing that could happen to you as a kid was to go for Youngblood’s Chicken. I have a restaurant in Austin that serves a version of Youngblood Chicken for lunch. Would it be possible for you to send me a copy of the copy of the 50’s menu that you have?

C Peters      11/30/2011
As a kid, we used to go to Youngblood’s about 1960 or 61 and still talk about it today; it was so-o-o-o gooood!!!!

John Via    12/15/2011
I certainly remember Youngbloods from my childhood,and especially when I was a student at Baylor University in the 1950′s. It was clearly better than today’s fast food chicken shacks.

Russ R    6/27/2011
I grew up in north central Dallas in the 50s. I agree that there is no fried chicken like Youngblood’s. We went there about once a week and it was long drive, but not as far as Oak Cliff. Seems like it was in the Oak Lawn area. Does anybody remember that they hid a pickle spear at the bottom of all the chicken and french fries?

Dianne    angel_above0819 @ sbcglobal.net    3/11/2011
This was the only place I remember eating fried chicken in Beaumont, Texas when I was a little girl in the ’50s. It was the best. I wish we had places like that now. I would eat there if they would bring it back.

Kay Potts    kaypotts @ sbcglobal.net    7/20/2012
          @Tim Patten
Ok, people, here it is…. This is the recipe for Leslie’s Fried Chicken, my mom and dad worked for both and they both used the same recipe
Have a bowl with flour, we have seasoned it a bit with white pepper and a bit of salt, to taste….
Dip your chicken peices in the flour and then dip in the following mixture and back into the flour:
1 Cup powdered whey (Baking type- sweet powdered whey)This is not readily available in grocery stores, we found in online at http://www.berryfarms.com
3/4 cup powdered non/fat dry milk
1/4 cup salt (was a little salty- I might reduce this slightly next time)Try using just half of this or less, depending on how much you put in the flour.
2/3 cup water (I had to guess on the amount of water)
This mixture needs to be thin, the combination gives it the batter texture.
Dust chicken in flour, then into wet mix, then back into flour, shake off excess, cook in oil at 350 degrees for 12 minutes.
Evidently the whey is what give it the flavor. We have also used buttermilk powder in place of the dry milk and whey and it comes pretty close! This works best in a deep fryer, rather than pan frying.
The crust is amazing, holds up well a couple of days in the fridge.! :lol:

Matt Hohmann    Hohmannhomes @ msn.com    7/23/2012
Youngblood’s fried chicken- Absolutely – Best Ever made & sold. I was raised on this chicken- grew up in San Antonio,Texas, ate usually there & austin – many times in waco location . Waco was last i believe that closed- up tillabout 1965 I believe they were open. I remember not only the Chicken being fried fresh ,also hot Homeade Rolls coming in a basket covered with a cloth to keep hot amd butter & Honey also on the tables there. Wish I had the exact recipes & cooking methods & heats used to duplicate that Chicken.What a great Foods there!!

Mike youngblood    mikeyoungblood @ richmondfd.com    9/19/2012
Thanks for the recipe. Anyone know where I can find any Youngblood’s Chicken memorabilia?

Jim    jmlrbnsn @ gmail.com   10/2/2012
          @robert keathley
Mr. Keathley,
I too was a Burnet Field when nearly every night and ate many meals at Youngbloods. My brother-in-law was a Texas League Umpire. My sister was J Alvin Gardner’s secy. He was the pres of the Tx League in those days. I used to sit on Inez’s lap when she played.

linda capehart    l_capehart @ att.net    6/13/2013
There was also a Youngblood’s in Garland on Garland Ave and First st.
We went to both this and the Oak Cliff stores. loved the chicken and the onion rings were great.
wish I could find this great recipe.
tasted like it had yeast in the crust

Larry Youngblood    lyoungblood9 @ comcast.net    7/3/2013
I was born in Waco but I appear not to be related by YDNA to the descendant of Pap and Weldon and Ovid. I would really like to get more members of this line to compare…to see if we can find a connection.

Bill Thomas    Daisytex1 @ gmail.com    7/12/2013
Young bloods also had the best onion rings!
Anyone remember Buddy Chicken on Greenville? He owned Mr. Chicken.

Dan Jones    dsjones75554 @ yahoo.com    7/30/2013
          @linda capehart
My grandmother lived a few blocks away on Austin Street. We visited her often in the 50s & 60s. I don’t ever remember a Youngbloods at the corner of First Street & Garland Rd. I was born & raised in Garland & loved fried chicken ! We ate at Youngbloods in Oak Cliff & at Fair Park often!
Are you sure there was one at that location in Garland?

Micky DeLoach    mickydeloach55 @ yahoo.com    10/3/2013
My Grand father and mother use to take my sister and I to Youngbloods, They had a guy with a big metal warming box full of their rolls. biscuits and there was plenty of butter and Honey!! I think I would get a drumstick and filled myself with Big Butter and tons of Honey!! I would never let my kids eat so much honey unless it was at breakfast, they would have been wired till midnight like I was. But just thought about youngbloods a minute ago and had to see if they were still in Business!! Fantastic Memories!! and Great Chicken and Hot Buttered rolls/bisquits and HONEYYYYY!!! Yum!!

richard heinichen    richard @ rainwatercollection.com    10/4/2013
          @Kay Potts
Hello. Just wondering what kind of oil to use.

Steve bowers    bwrsstvn @ yahoo.com    10/13/2013
          @Kay Potts
Ms. Potts,
I grew up in Oak Cliff and ate Youngbloods fried chicken often. As I remember, the crust was a deep reddish brown and like sheets of thick crust on each piece. In your recipe for the same chicken, I don’t see anything that would account for the reddish brown color. Perhaps your recipe does result in a thick, sheet-like crust and I plan to try your recipe shortly.
Thanks for your recipe and any additional information you can offer.
Steve Bowers

Kevin Starnes    jksplantman @ gmail.com    11/3/2013
We ate at a Youngblood’s in Houston very often when I was a kid in the 50′s and early to mid-60′s. I can still remember the outstanding flavor. We moved from there in 1966, so that was the end, and now I understand that they closed a few years after that.

Alternate City    ca2tx98 @ yahoo.com    2/13/2014
          @Nancy Y. Counts

After church going to Youngblood’s for chicken was like saying Amen after praying. All that great chicken finished off with those unbelievably delicious biskits and honey. A whole lot of Yum.
For all her life one of my Mom’s favorite stories was about when John Wayne was there one Sunday having dinner. My younger brother and I went over for his autograph. After he very graciously signed for us my little brother said, “Can I have my pen back, Mr. Wayne?”. I was 10 or so. Brother would have been 7.
Sometimes after the chicken dinner we’d troop down the street to Polar bear for ice cream.

Larry Click    lclick @ msn.com    2/14/2014
I was a newspaper carrier for the Dallas Times Herald in the mid-fifties and our District won a monthly subscription drive contest once. Our prize was a free chicken dinner with all the guys and out route manager, Mr. Clark @ Youngblood’s. Up until that time I wouldn’t eat chicken of any kind, but since it was free & I was hungry I tried it. Still don’t particularly like fried chicken, but that was delicious.

Bob Mahan    bob1948tex @ earthlink.net    2/17/2014
I used to go to the Youngblood’s in San Antonio in the early 60′s to a bi-monthly awards ceremony for paper boys of the San Antonio Light. It was such a treat. That was the best fried chicken I ever had. Besides the delicious rolls, they also served little sweet pickles on the plate.
Is there any place in Houston that has chicken close to that good?

LR BOYINGTON    lrboying @ yahoo.com   3/15/2014

youngbloods 57 ad

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Veterans' Hospital on Lancaster Road

My mom worked as an RN in this hospital for many years. 
Construction of the 5-story red brick building trimmed in white limestone was completed in the summer of 1940.
This part of South Oak Cliff was once the town of Lisbon.

Beverly Kimbrough  bak @ alumni.utexas.net
9-29-2009:  My parents lived on Mentor Street from July, 1936 until July, 1939. It is a an east/west street that dead ends in Lancaster Road, at the VA hospital. They talked of the construction trucks driving by their house.

aggie   aggiebill @ verizon.net
10-10-2011:  In the late 40′s I lived with my parents and siblings in quonset huts rented to veterans due to the housing shortage after the war. It was a large complex located on the southside of the VA property. It was full of familys with young children. We later (circa 1948) moved to a run down old house across the street from the main entrance at Mentor and Lancaster Aves. I started school at Lisbon Elementary in 1949 but after one semester transferred to W.W. Bushman east a few miles from the VA Hospital when my dad bought one of the GI financed houses built in an old cotton field near Sunnyvale and Ann Arbor.

Street Scene 5th Street and Lake Cliff Park

300 e5th st 1938
Postcard dated 1938 looking east on the 300 block of East Fifth Street, across from Lake Cliff Park. Most of the houses on this block were built 1925-1930. Below is the red-roofed house with the stone wall surround as it appears today. Hard to imagine the treeless street of old.

Photo by Steve Bonner

from Annie:  apratt81@ gmail.com
Wow! I live on that street. Seeing this postcard is amazing. I wish I could see more!

from Epi:  KF5EUB.com   epicam1981 @ gmail.com
yup, I live right on the next block down, you can see the neighbors house toward the back…