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  1. Yep. I think you got it. If I could have sat on their deck and seen oil tankers, that is definitely the place. I can't thank you enough, @IronTiger. I've tried for years to figure out where and what it was.
  2. @UtterlyUrban Howell died too young. I heard through friends he died in the AIDS epidemic, but I don't know for sure. I never knew his last name or if Howell WAS his last name. Professionally, he just used the one name.
  3. That was River Oaks, too, I think! I remember my grandmother saying "JAckson 4-5655" is a dramatic way.
  4. Does anyone remember the River Oaks exchange? My grandmother was genteelly impoverished. She lived on the wrong side of Kirby (on Ferndale) but in a spot where her phone exchange would still be the River Oaks one. This was deathly important to her.
  5. Here you go, @brucesw. Howell was very down-to-earth. Straighforward. Independent and beautiful. I said Pan, because he seems now like myth and with those gold curls. He also used the one name. I never knew his last name. I also had never been to the Heights before. Howell was a first for me for many things. This is a haircut I "earned," after the year of the buzzcut growing out. The place on the Ship Channel was a dive. Probably a seafood retail place. It was not a restaurant. I only remember cold beer and boiled crabs. But you could sit outside as long as you wanted.
  6. Not sure which one it was @UtterlyUrban, after reading your comment and brucesw 's. But I'm glad to know there were places there. I just remember it was very basic. Rough wood outdoor tables and slatted wood for the deck, with the water visible between the cracks. Lots of beer and sun. Pre-sunscreen days.
  7. Thanks, @brucesw! You've made me feel it was all real. Howell wasn't a long wait once he liked you. At my first appointment, he said he would only do my hair if I agreed to let him buzzcut it all off. (I'm a woman.) It was permed, and he was only interested in natural hair. I trusted him, and those were the happiest haircut years of my life, as it grew back. His house was lovely! Tiny and serene. And yes, I remember the herb garden. It was my first. I've missed Howell so often in the following years. I barely knew him, and yet his presence was the antithesis of all hairdresser experience I've had since. And the Ship Channel! I had wondered if it was a dream. Beer, crabs, and strange oil tankers. True Houston. I only lived in Houston two years, but this site made me feel they may have been my most formative. More so than Boston, New York, Richmond, and San Diego-- where I have lived since.
  8. I would be grateful for any memories of 1970s Houston. Places, buildings, life. I was young then, and Houston was good. We went to Harry's for breakfast when it was a trucker's diner and George cooked. There was an amazing gay club straight out of Tennessee Williams in an antebellum home in Montrose. It looked derelict by day, and by night, the balconies swung with revelers. The top hairdresser in Houston was Lyndon Johnson, who regaled us with stories of being mistaken for the President: "Of course, I'm the one with flaxen hair!" We all went to the Opera and afterwards to an all-night Mexican dive, Las Cazuelas. We danced on tables at sailors' bars in the Ship Channel and in the wee hours, escaped with our lives. You paid your check to Ninfa, who sat at the cash register. A gay bartender who worked at Birraporetti's was murdered brutally with an American flag. The case was never solved. Howell, a Pan-like man with gold curls, would only cut your hair if he liked you, and if your hair had never been treated with chemicals. You waited months for an appointment in his Heights home, in a beauty temple he created. Paul Goldberger wrote his famous piece on Houston architecture, and we thought Pennzoil was the most beautiful building in the world. We spoke of Miss Ima as if she were our aunt. And the Warwick Hotel served french toast that was 6 inches tall and deep-friend. What was the hotdog place downtown where all the lawyers ate? Or the place where we ate boiled crabs and watched tankers inch through the Channel. . .
  9. This thread brings a flood of memories, particularly of dead friends lost to the Aids epidemic who I would have called to say "Remember the Dr John Hill scandal? I just read a post about it and do you remember. . ." I worked at Houston Grand Opera around 1976. My husband worked at the Ballet. I remember Connie Hill from that time. Whoever said nobody talked about the Hill murder got it right. People whispered about it, but nobody ever said anything out loud. They had too much respect for Connie. This is my memory. What I write may not be facts, so please correct me if I'm wrong. At that time Connie was a plain, even mousy woman. But she loved music, and she worked tirelessly in the Houston music world. I remember her visits to the Opera office. Only after she would leave, would people fill me in about who she was. My dealings with her were always professional, and she struck me as a kind, genuine woman. Not the Houston society type of that period. When I read what I could about the murder, including Tommy Thompson's book, I thought-- if John Hill was such a jerk, then why did he marry Connie? That seemed a mystery to me. As if after the misguided avenues of Hill's life, he finally went straight. What I remember is that Connie lived in the murder house with the boy! I mean, how bizarre. (please correct me if I'm wrong.) But my memory is this: she was the kind of woman who acted on principal. We did nothing wrong. We will live that way. This is our home. I never was in the home, but my dear deceased friends were. And that is why I would be on the phone to them this very minute.
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