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

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…

W.E. Greiner Jr. High School

postcard courtesy Terry Houchins
Postcard image courtesy Terry Houchins

Located at 501 S. Edgefield, the establishment now known as Greiner Middle School began literally on the south edge of a field as a group of plank buildings around 1910. This postcard shows the building conceived in 1915 and built sometime after 1932. Only a small part of the building in this photo remains today.

More about Greiner's history.

COMMENTS transferred from the old blog site:

Jon jgk5557 @ aol.com   12/13/2009
I was there around 70,71,72 when it was a Jr. High. Clifford C. Breeding was the Principal if I remember correctly.

Sandy Granger   sgranger @ email.com   12/15/2009
I was at Greiner Jr. High in 1968. I don’t remember who was Principal at that time. Mr. Breeding was my Principal at L.O. Donald Elementary 1962-1965. I got sick at school one day and he drove me home. I was in awe.

James Oldham  jamesoldham1957 @ yahoo.com    2/22/2010
I went to Greiner 1972-73 and played Tuba for Mr. Hyde. Does anyone know how to reach him? Any former Yellow Jacket band members from 72-74 are welcome to call me at 214-808-4081

Ralph W. Morgan (current director)  raffmorgantcu @ yahoo.com     6/28/2010


I would be glad to send you Michael Hyde’s email info. Please email me at raffmorgantcu@yahoo.com

fyi- Mr. Hyde retired from Greiner in the Spring of 2005 (started there in 1967). I followed Mr. Hyde in 2005 until the present. From 1992 until 2010, the yellow jacket band has had 14 UIL sweepstakes awards (earning superior ratings on stage and in sightreading), 1 uil sight reading trophy, 1 uil concert trophy, and only 2 years of not winning anything (one was the year Mike had cancer, the other was my first year at Greiner).

Best wishes,
Ralph Morgan
Band Director
Greiner Middle School Academy for the Exploratory Arts

Jacklym Castillo
i am a beginner at griener its a really good school and im in the acadmey part of griener

Jim Robinson    jrobitx @ msn.com     3/11/2012
Anyone there between 1953-1955

Chris Harrington  cjharr2009 @ yahoo.com    4/29/2012
I attended Greiner in 62-63-64. Mr. Santillo and Mr. Beasley were Principal and Assistant Principal, respectively. It was a great school. Ms. Brown and Mr. McKinney were the chorus teachers and Ms. Hattie Wilbur was the art teacher. Those three teachers provided the best times for all the students who attended their classes. I met some of the best friends I had in my younger years at that school. I was saddened with I found the school had been demolished. It should have been preserved. The DISD has no soul.

Brad H    Hubs2 @ prodigy.net    10/25/2012
Michael Hyde started at Greiner in 1969, Bill Lively was there before that. I had Bill for for 1 1/2 year and Mike for for 1 year. Bill went to Sunset and then to Bryne Adams, and then to SMU. I played the trumpet at Greiner, Adamson, and Kimball class of 1973.

steve johnston    drclean @ suddenlink.net    4/1/2013
I was in Greiner in 1957 and walked to school everyday and watched the Tornado

Jake   Greiner.jake @ gmail.com  5/14/2013
My last name is Greiner yeaaa!!!!

Cynthia Orta    Cynthia.c.orta @ gmail.com    6/30/2013
@Ralph W. Morgan (current director)
I was at Greiner from 02-04. I played clarinet under Mr. Hyde. I was saddened when I learned of his passing. With his help and Mr. Waites’, I was 2nd chair in the All City Band. He was truly a great director. My love for music was inspired by him.

Dan Flake   dan.flake @ gte.net      7/21/2013
@Cynthia Orta
That is certainly bad news. I was in the band the first year he came (1968) and when I moved back into this area, I remember reading an article that he was still the band director. I kept putting off going out to the school to meet him. When did he pass away?

Debbie K   bubbahoss.1951 @ gmail.com    8/13/2013

I was at Greiner in 65 to 67 then went to WH Adamson…was on pep squad. Then to WH Adamson and was on the Drill Team there graduated in 1970.

jack hays   thehays @ quikus.com    10/9/2013
captain of the first jr high football teams in dallas..undefeated in 1947,played in the cotton bowl, these team members later-1950- led sunset high to its first football state championship

Mary Murillo Brooks    ms_mary @ live.com    3/18/2014
I was at W.E. Griener Middles school from 1970 – 1973. I played volleyball, soccer, and basketball. Mrs Taylor was our coach.

@james old ham
I was in band as well and I remember Mr. Hyde.
I played the alto saxophone.

Lisa    kdljmom @ yahoo.com   4/17/2014
I was at Greiner, 70-73, Jacketeer. I wasnt in Band but i remember Mr. Hyde, he was a good man. I have been looking for David Pearson for about 15 yrs now . he was there the same time i was and played drums. if anyone has any info email me. djljmom@yahoo.com. I love this picture of the school, it doesnt look like this now. sadly. it was a beautiful building. My mom worked in the cafeteria, she made those wonderful yeast rolls, that we all loved so much

Old Garage

photo by Chris Anderson
Photo by Chris Anderson
A great old garage sign somewhere in the Cliff.

See Dallas ephemera & more photos by Chris Anderson

The New Westerner Tourist Courts

new west tourist court

The remnants of The New Westerner Tourist Courts built in 1945 are stilll standing at 2514 South Zangs Blvd. at Elmore Street, about midway between Illinois and Saner Avenue. I used to think I must have been mangling street names by saying "Zangs" instead of "Zang", because I never see it written with the s at the end anymore. This postcard tells me somebody decided to drop the "s" somewhere along the line. Will we ever find it? I think this card is late fifties or early sixties from the phone number, although it may have been some kind of reprint or corrected version of an earlier card. Below is another postcard view which includes the swimming pool area. The building is still in use as a motel, but you can see in the bottom photo the original sign is gone.

new westerner pc

elmore zang

from Sandy Granger. sgranger @ email.com  12/15/2009
I knew the family who owned this back in the 1960′s. Amish was their name. I was locker mates with Ron Amish back in 1965-66 at Margaret B. Henderson Elementary. We were in Miss Westbrook’s class. Great memories.

from Danny Leamon. danleamon @ ymail.com   4/21/2014
I attended MBH from 1963 to 1966 and remember going to this hotel and visiting Ron also. I was in Mrs Rutherford, Mrs Fisher, Mrs La??? class.


Laurel Land Cemetery

laurel land garden
Laurel Land Memorial Park, circa 1952 & the Famous Botanical Rock Garden

Postcard reads: This is an outdoor community music centre, known as the Court of Music. The Little Church, representing your church and mine, was suggested to the planner of the Park by Arnold's song, "Little Old Church in the Valley." Music comes from the Waterfalls and Church. Many visitors come from far and near each month. Thousands gather here each Easter for sunrise services.

I seem to remember the music coming from the little stone church, but I don't recall the rest of the garden, but it's been quite awhile since I visited the place.  At least one of those visits was a nocturnal excursion made on a dare so things looked different.  (sshhh, don't tell  the ghosts I'm still here)

Sandy Granger sent a link to a photo she took in December 2008 and she noted "Much has changed."
The church is there but the rock garden isn't. Also the cemetery is now adjacent to the frontage road of RL Thornton Freeway. So much for resting in peace!

Here's a site with twelve "somewhat famous" people interred at Laurel Land. I have to say the only one I already knew was Stevie Ray Vaughan.

Houston Street Viaduct

I've accumulated several interesting postcard views of the Oak Cliff Viaduct, now generally known as the Houston Street Viaduct.

oakclf An especially nice rendition of the viaduct, probably from the 1920s. I think the tall building with the searchlight is the Magnolia Building prior to the addition of Pegasus. Someone expressed surprise at how popular this scene is, as it appears with great variation on old Dallas postcards. Until this bridge was completed in 1912 there were only a couple of precarious causeways linking Oak Cliff to Dallas. The "permanent" wooden bridge near Cadiz Street was condemned as unsafe even before it was washed away in the great flood of 1908.

viaduct nite 1940b
 Here's one from the 1940s. I guess the city lights are reflecting brightly on the Trinity, although I really think it's someone's flight of fancy. Maybe they were wishing for a town lake. Pegasus is now visible on top of the Magnolia Building.

viaductnite pc
A more crudely rendered vision. This may not be the Houston Street bridge although it has similarities. It's probably from the 1940s, but it's hard to tell from the cars; they appear to be half the size of a Smart Car.  Pegasus on the Magnolia Building is now visible on the left side of the bridge.

viaduct 50s
I really like this view from about 1955. I'm guessing it's a photo rather than an artist's illustration. Notice The Republic National Bank Building's spire is now the tallest thing in the skyline, and advertising has finally crept into the scene via the Seagram's 7 billboard.

photo by Claudia A. De La Garza
Photo by Claudia A. De La Garza
Finally, a shot of a mural in the Bishop Arts District from 2006, and we're back to an artist's vision of the Viaduct.

"Floods Never Again to Divide City". Well, maybe not floods, but the bridge is a constant reminder that Oak Cliff has its own identity.

Bridge to where?

photo by Terry Houchins
Photo by Terry Houchins

In 2009 when I posted this on the old blog site I wondered if this old bridge was still hanging over Clarendon (somewhere west of the zoo).

Here's what Steve Bonner told me then:
This trestle for the interurban track crossing Clarendon was last used in 1948 when the interurban quit running to Waco.  The trestle extends father on the south side of Clarendon and is parallel to Moore St. on the east side of Moore...  It is all still there and is located east of the Dallas Zoo nearly to Corinth St.

Now five years later,  I just learned the city of Dallas was set to demolish the bridge on Saturday May 3, 2014, as it has become a safety hazard. They will leave part of the posts, about 3 feet tall, along with an interpretive marker.

Here's the story: Clarendon Bridge Demolition

If anyone has a photo of this scene, post-demolition, please send it.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Red Bryan's Smokehouse

Red Bryan's Smokehouse
610 W. Jefferson, phone Y 2-2350

The first Bryan smokehouse was started by Elias Bryan in 1910. His son, William Jennings "Red" Bryan brought the family business to Oak Cliff about 1935. Red's son, William Jennings Bryan Jr, or "Sonny", continued the tradition when he opened his own smokehouse in 1958. Red died in 1973, but you can still get Sonny Bryan's barbecue today. Oh, and you may recognize this building; it's now El Ranchito Restaurant.

COMMENTS lifted from the old web site:

Jon   12-14-2009
jgk5557 at aol.com
I can remember eating many a meal there as a kid. Sometimes at lunch when my Dad what stop in the Jones-Blair paint store next door or the evening and we would walk across the street to the big Sears store.

Robert Bullard   9-22-2010
wd3t  at  msn.com
I don’t remember Red’s at that location , never went there , however went to the one he had on Webs Chapel extenison in north Dallas! Fine food And like his brother Sonny!

bill k   9-28-2011
clmbk  at  sbcglobal.net
My folks took me to eat barbecue at Red Bryan’s on west Jefferson starting in the late forties when oak cliff was still wet and red Bryan’s had a beautiful bar with a collection of old west pistols and rifles behind glass on the back bar. Deer and Texas long horns were mounted on the walls and the sweet smell of barbecue hung heavy in the air. At Christmas time the Sears and Robuck, just across the street, had a corner display window full of toys, a must see for kids at the time.

Garth   10-8-2011
garth.5  at  tx.rr.com
I grew up in Ennis & in the mid-fifties my folks would go to Dallas, visit cousins, shop on Jefferson & eat at Red Bryan’s. My two most vivid memories include that of the round lobby settee, covered with cowhide with the hair still in place. All the kids loved to sit there. Secondly, beef dinners were served on a two level serving tray with a dollop of burning gel on the bottom to keep the meat warm on the top. Very impressive back then. I fondly recall the Sears, Smitty’s Gun Shop, & Wynnwood Village Toy Store several miles away. BBQ was the best anywhere.

Betty Wright   7-23-2012
wrightboops  at  yahoo.com
My husband and I ate at Red Byrans old smoke house many times as young kids and then when we started dating it was one of the first places he took me on a date after church ever Sunday night , we loved to have the sandwich and top it off with the wonderful peach tart with the sweet whipping cream on top and if we were lucky in the winter to get s table close to the beautiful fireplace OMG so romantic ! He was nineteen and I was sixteen My Mom thought it was just to far to go as we lived on Fleming off of Ewing St. and attended Gospel LIght House Church and the drive to the Pig Stand was only just three blocks down from the church . We loved all the shops along Jefferson and my date loved to drag down Jefferson and I will say he won most of the drags… he always needed new tires on his ford . Great memories . We will always love OAK CLIFF .

Glen Waggoner
glenwaggoner  at  gmail.com
Lordy be, does that postcard evoke fond memories!
A Sunset High School grad (Class of 1958), I lived in Oak Cliff from 1951, when my father died and my mother and I moved into the then-new Clearview development near Keist Park (2218 McAdams, until 1960, when I got married and went to live in married students’ housing at SMU, from which I graduated in 1962. I left Dallas for good in 1962 to go to graduate school at Columbia University in New York, where I now live.
For my generation of Sunset Bisons, Red Bryan’s was where you took a special date after the Sweethearts Dance. (Or with your parents: too pricy for a kid like me operating on paper route money and the 50 cents an hour I made at the Wyatt’s Grocery Store across the street from Red’s place.) Even today, I can close my eyes and smell the sweet, spicy aroma—and well-chilled air—that greeted you when you walked through the door on a hot summer night.
But while we’re waxing nostalgic let’s not forget Sivils, that wonderful monster of a drive-in way out west at the triangle where Jefferson and West Davis merged to form (if memory serves) Fort Worth Cutoff. (Help me here, people. I’m 71, and I haven’t lived in Big Day for 50 years.) At Sivils on Saturday, four guys to a vehicle would spend the evening cruising round and round and round, stopping only to talk to a carload of girls waiting for us to play suit. Oh, now and then, we’d empty the car except for the driver, and he’d pull up to a station and ask the car hop for “a six-pack of Schlitz, please.” That assignment went to whichever of us could sit taller behind the wheel ((I was 6’2″ and often was the designated to try to make the buy) and/or had the best fake ID. We didn’t fool any of the veteran carhops, but we often got our beer, possibly through our charm but more likely because the car hops knew they could hold out for a sizable tip.
So, let’s salute Red Bryan’s, a true Oak Cliff icon, but let’s also remember another, Sivil’s.
PS: The mention of Sonny Bryan and his place years later will remind certain of us of his sister, Brenda (Sunset Clas of 1957, I think), and herbrand-new white 1955 T-Bird, the first year that other American icon hit the streets.

Dallas Motel

dallas motel

The Dallas Motel was located at 3224 W. Davis, which would put it just about where Davis crosses Westmoreland. This photo is circa 1962.

from Michele   11-20-2011
milliemartgirl  at  aol.com

Its a Payless shoe store now.

Jack In The Box

photo by Della Cirillo
photo by Della Cirillo
Jack-in-the-Box at Polk and Camp Wisdom, circa 1968. Was it the northeast corner? I think this was the second Jack in Oak Cliff; the first one was on the SW corner of Illinois and RL Thornton Freeway.

really old Jack in the Box from who knows where
really old Jack in the Box from who knows where

I still prefer the old menacing clown to the current smiley Jack. What was it with the fifties and sixties and all those threatening logos? Must've been that cold war mentality. Which reminds me - Anybody got a photo of the old Griff's on Lancaster? Please send it to me!

COMMENTS lifted from old blog site:

from John Buford  7-4-2009
robtmccready at  yahoo.com
The northeast corner is correct.

Laurie Duran  8-1-2009
laurielaurieann  at  sbcglobal.net
Having graduated from Carter High in 1971, my sister and I went to this Jack in the box every chance we could,even on Thanksgiving day when we bought 10 tacos for a dollar. This Jack in the box was a local hang out after school for a lot of kids.The guys would drive around the block in their new Roadrunners to show off their cars. There was another one on Davis street thats still there. My husband and I went there on our first date in 1972 after seeing a movie at the drive in. We still live in North Oak Cliff and would not ever consider moving away.

from Jon   12-14-2009
jgk5557  at  aol.com
I remember as as kid leaning out of the back window of the car and talking to Jack’s head (speaker inside) and giving the order at the one in the top picture.

from Sandy Granger   12-15-2009
sgranger  at  email.com
This one, the one on Illinois, and the one on Davis — they all played a big part in my younger days. Jack-in-the-Box was THE BEST. Standard order: BonusJack, two tacos, fries, and a large Dr Pepper. No wonder I eventually had a massive heart attack or three. :)

Robert Bullard   9-22-2010
wd3t  at  msn.com
This is not the Jack in the Box that was on Campwisdom near Polk St. Don’t know where this one was but not there! I Hung out there when it was first built till the early 70′s and this is not the one that was there. Key tale tale sign, was a Conoco gas station next door which latter turned in to a Fas-Gas station! And other land marks not in picture! Also no srubs on the side like this as there was a vacant field there where you could drive into it and there was always alot of cars there when not wet from rain, otherwise we’d park across the street in the Hodges parking lot! Shrubs were around the light standards only none like this!

Lisa   4-9-2012
lfox5472  at  hotmail.com
Are yall certain this is the Polk & Camp Wisdom location(NE Corner)? Grew up there and surroundings don’t look like anything I remember. But that’s how memories are.

Sunset High School

Built in 1925, Sunset was the second high school erected in Oak Cliff. 
Still standing at 2120 W. Jefferson. Go, Bisons!

Wynnewood Prescription Pharmacy

101 Wynnewood Building    -    Phone WH. 6-2103     -     Dallas
Matchbook probably from early 1960s. I'm pretty sure WH stood for Whitehall.

Comment from old blog site:
from Rosie Salinas   6-12-2012
rosa.a.jimenez at gmail.com
I remember this place! Now it’s an empty lot with wild grass. My aunt used to take me with her to her dentist appointments and she even took her wedding photos in a little studio that was on the second floor.

Austin's Bar-B-Q

Austin's in 2000 just before it was demolished. Thanks to Scott Dorn for use of his photo
Austin's in 2000 just before it was demolished. Thanks to Scott Dorn for use of his photo
probably before 1966 - note use of FEDERAL exchange for phone no.
Matchbook, probably before 1966.
"Tender as ol' Austin's Heart" was the familiar saying associated with this Oak Cliff favorite. Owner Austin Cook started the business at 2321 W. Illinois off Hampton Rd. in 1949 with five booths, three tables and five stools.In 1966, after several expansions the restaurant could hold 120 people. Officer J.D. Tippit moonlighted at Austin's in the early sixties, as crowd control on rowdy Friday nights. Austin Cook was active in the Oak Cliff Chamber of Commerce for many years, and he also owned the Big Daddy Grill on Highway 67 near Kiest.

The building was demolished to make way for a new Eckerd's (now CVS) pharmacy.

originally published 6-13-2009

COMMENTS from the old web site.

from Epi - 5-28-2010
epicam1981 at  gmail.com
My wife’s grandfather worked there, everyone just called him “Red”, he was even buried in his Austin’s work shirt.

from Eric Cox   9-23-2012
reddaytonadog  at  yahoo.com
As anyone would tell you, there’s no way things today are like they were yesterday and there is no way tomorrow will be like it is today. It gradually changed and the something like this comes along and then it completes the cycle, there’s no way out. I only ate there once and it was back in 1994 or 1995. It’s sad we had to lose a piece of history in Oak Cliff, but still, progress sometimes dictates things that we don’t like.

from Linda   10-13-2012
lindaling1  at  gmail.com
My husband and I both have memories of the best cheeseburgers we ever ate coming from Austin’s. **sigh**

Ritz Motel

I'm getting a picture of old Davis Street between Westmoreland and Cockrell Hill Road; that it was a stretch of motels and restaurants back in the fifties, as well as housing the Chalk Hill Drive-In across the road from this motel.Wonder how many tourists passed along Highway 80 back in those days.
Today there's a white brick building at 3842 W. Davis that looks like it could have been a motel once upon a time, but if it's the same building it's devolved quite a bit.

from Michele (milliemartgirl at aol dot com) 11-20-2011

This is now called the Texas Motel. It's the same building if you look at google maps. (same location, same shape, etc)
If you do the 3D map on google, you have to use 3842 Fort Worth Ave as the address and you can look around-kind of neat.

Trinity River Bridge

This is a circa 1906 view of the wooden bridge over the Trinity that was located near to the current location of the Houston Street Viaduct. It's the bridge that was famously washed away in the flood of 1908. I read somewhere you can still find remnants of the piers in the river bottom near Cadiz Street, probably big ol' Bois d'Arc stumps.

Texas Theater

Opened on San Jacinto Day, April 21, 1931, as the largest suburban theater in Dallas. Only the Majestic and the Palace Theaters in downtown Dallas exceeded the Texas' capacity of 2000 patrons. It was touted as the first theater in Dallas to be constructed specifically for talking motion pictures, and it also featured a pipe organ played by Dwight Brown. The first week's program included the Fox Movietone News, a Mickey Mouse cartoon, and the Buster Keaton talkie, "Parlor, Bedroom and Bath." Price of admission: 35, 25, or 10 cents depending on which show you attended.

I remember going to the Texas on weekends all during the sixties. I think the first movie I saw here without any parental supervision was "Thunderball". Classic James Bond, which was mostly over my head.

At left is an artist's rendition of what the Texas looked like on opening night. with original sign and marquis. The bright lights and Italian Renaissance facade led some to label West Jefferson a new "Amusement Way."

For more info see History of Texas Theater

Below, how the theater looked like on Nov 23,1963.