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  1. Yes...serious cooling and three very large diesel generators capable of powering the building for a week without refueling. There are diesel tanks buried nearby. There were very large banks of UPS batteries in the basement. Here is an example of best laid plans finding their Achilles heel. The generators were installed to prevent any power outage and were especially designed to work through a hurricane. The water in the cooling towers were also used to cool the diesel generators. When hurricane Alicia struck in August of 1983 the wind caused the water in the cooling towers to blow out and away. Somehow, during the storm, Shell contracted with a company to bring pumper trucks to go down to Brays bayou...suck up water and come back and pump it back into the cooling towers reservoir, but they could not keep up with the volume that was blowing away. So in the middle of the hurricane, around the time the eye came through the generators had to be shut down because they were overheating. This meant there was around 2 hours of battery life on the UPS system. So during that two hour window and in the eye of the hurricane people were called in to help power down devices before the power dropped. Hard power downs were fatal at times for large rapidly spinning drums and disks. This effort was not entirely successful. Many many "head crashes" and disk and drums ruined. (The disk looked like very large CDS in multiple layers). As soon as the AC dropped the temperature in the computer room rose quickly to the mid 90s and the humidity also rose sharply. Now in the photo you can see wind baffles around the cooling towers, but they were not there before Alicia.
  2. In the early 1970s Shell had regional data centers all over the US. They decided to centralize these data centers into one location and this building was that location. This was in the mainframe days of computing and it was considered a state-of-the-art data center for that time. The first two floors of the building were the actual data center with typical raised floors. There was a large tape library on the first floor along with all the mainframes. The tape library was eventually expanded to the warehouse type building next to the parking lot..The seconf floor was a mixture of some offices, mini-mainframes, and a printer area. Shell also bought the Charolais Cattle Association building on the corner and turned that into a training center building. If you've ever seen the film "The Thief Who Came to Dinner" (Ryan O'Neil , Jacqueline Bisset, Jill Clayburgh, Warren Oates) there is a scene that shows that building under construction. The data center equipment was moved a few years back to a leased space in two more modern data centers and the offices (the upper 7 floors) were abandoned. Shell used to have the building regularly power washed and it did not look that bad when it was all cleaned up. It was always well maintained until it was abandoned.
  3. The only area I have heard referred to as five points is where Main-Cavalcade-Studewood-20th streets come together, but I have seen an article from one of the Houston newspapers in the 1870s where the editor was railing against several crime ridden areas of town that he called "The Five Points".
  4. A good write-up on Shepherd's Dam http://users.hal-pc.org/~lfa/BB25.html
  5. Ken Garnett was seriously injured during a traffic stop around 1967 and had some brain damage. After recovering I believe he returned to HPD. I think he died about 10 years after that and may have commited suicide.
  6. Westheimer in that area was called Hathaway back then. My guess is that the house was at 120 Hathaway.
  7. Looking at old Sanborn Fire Insurance maps tells me that whenever that house was built, it was not original to that lot, but was moved onto that lot sometime after the 1920s. The old maps of that property show a one story house on that lot prior to that time. The city directories lead me to believe the original house on that lot may have been the parsonage for the First Unitarian Church. I also checked historicaerials.com. It appears that was an empty lot for many years up to at least 1981 prior to that house being moved onto the lot some time after that.
  8. I've never heard the name Johnny Casey associated with Jubilee Hall. As far as I know Jubilee Hall, The Family Hand, and Liberty Hall all had one common founder, Mike Condray. Mike aslo had various partners in these enterprises, Lynda Herrera, George Banks, and Ryan Trimble.
  9. Pappas Seafood is exactly where that Valian's on Shepherd was located. They used part of the old Valian's building for that restaurant. When the builders of the Pappas Seafood restaurant were removing the facade of the other establishments that had been there after Valian's, they uncovered the old Valian's sign. I wish I had taken a photo.
  10. That area was the County Poor Farm at one time, so maybe the road is left over from that era
  11. Bryan Burrough wrote about "Silver Dollar" Jim West and A.C. Martindale in "The Big Rich." A.C. Martindale was a police Lietenant and West rode with him often apparently. West and Martindale were cruising one night when they spotted a burglar breaking the window of a sporting goods store on Dowling and stealing a shotgun. They got out of the car and yelled "Halt" The thief opened fire with the shotgun and Martindale (and apparently West) shot back. The thief was hit, but so was Martindale in the shoulder and ankle. Ballistics showed the wounds did not come from the burglar. The book implied that it was West that shot Martindale, but Martindale claimed to have shot himself to cover for his friend.
  12. I was going to ask that question...you beat me to it..thanks!
  13. Here is the Houston Press account: Body Undetected For More Than Two Hours in S.P. Rail Station The Southern Pacific's Austin-to-Houston train roared through the night on an apparently routine trip. Aboard it was Gov. Beauford H. Jester--dead. Sometine around 3:30 a.m. today Gov. Jester died in his sleep of coronary occlusion--in layman's language, a blood clot in the heart. At that time the train was going through Washington County. Not until a Negro porter tried to wake up the governor at 7:30 a.m., two hours after the train pulled into Houston's Grand Central Terminal, was the governor's death discovered. Gov. Jester's death, attributed to natural causes by Justice of the Peace Tom Maes and Dr. Howard L. Evans, automatically made Lt. Gov. Allan Shriver chief executive of the state. Burial will be in Corsicana Wednesday. The body was to be flown back to Austin this afternoon aboard a National Guard plane, with some 25 other state planes providing aerial escort. Governor Jester will lie in state in the Senate Chamber for four hours Tuesday. No One Knew He Was Coming The governor made the trip alone. Not even his most intimate friends, including Cotton Man Bob Henderson, his boyhood friend in Corsicana and his Harris County campaign manager, knew he was coming to Houston. A State Highway patrolman had been notified to meet the 56-year-old chief exectutive of Texas at the Houston station. "It was a secret trip--we knew nothing of the governor's plans" said Capt. Glen Rose of the Houston area of the Texas Highway Patrol. From what police gathered, the governor, worn by the recently concluded session of the Legislature, plannd to meet an unidentified Houston friend and the two were to spend a few days resting at Galveston Bay. It was later ascertained that the Governor's Houston friend who knew about his plans to get away for a few days rest was Lumberman Jim Rockwell. Mr. Rockwell had engaged a fishing boat and place for the governor to stay on Galveston Bay. State Highway Patrolman W.B. Hawkins was to meet the governor and either he or Capt. rose was to have driven him to Galveston Bay were, away from telephone, the governor planned to relax,rest and fish. Verdict Was Natural Causes Capt. Rose was called to the depot by Patrolman Hawkins, who was the officer assigned to meet the governor. E.A. Craft, Southern Pacific executive vice-president, rode from Austin on the same Pullman with the Governor, but didn't know Gov. Jester had died until after he reached the station in Houston. Word of the governor's death, broadcast by newspaper extras and the radio, brought a number of the governor's friends to the railroad station. Among them were Mr. Henderson, who notified Mrs. Jester and went to Houston Funeral Home to view the body. Rep. Jimmy Pattison of Fort Bend County, Mayor Holcombe and City Attorney Will Sears. The mayor immediately ordered all public flags at half-staff. "I've known Beauford since we were boys together at Corsicana" said Mr. Henderson. "I never knew he suffered from heart trouble." He was always a hard rugged hard-working individual who didn't spare himself. "The strain of the session killed him" said Rep. Pattison. The governor got on the train alone at Austin at 11:25 and went directly to Lower Berth Five on the Pullman "Berkeley" He donned light blue pajamas and retired immediately after leaving word to be aroused at 7:30 a.m. in Houston. Porter Tried to Wake Him Up At 5:30 a.m. the train arrived at the Grand Central Station on Washington and was switched from track 1 to tract 2. At 7:30 a.m., Pullman Porter Charles Jimerson, 66, of 1202 Ruthven, went to wake up the governor. "It's time to get up" he said softly. He repeated this several times. Then Jimerson shook the governor by the shoulders. "I knew something had happened and called the conductor." related the porter. Pullman Conductor C.D. Pierce and Patrolman Hawkins went to the lower berth, which was directly in the center of the car facing north. "I turned on the light and pulled the curtains apart." said Patrolman Hawkins. "The governor's expression was calm, but it was apparent he had been dead for some time. There was no pulse. I opened his eyelids and remarked, "Gov. Jester is dead." As Patrolman Hawkins notified Captain Rose, Conductor Pierce told the news to D.R. Kirk Jr. 7016 Texarkana, assistant train master, and S.R. Hay, assitant special agent for Southern Pacific. They in turn notified Station Master C.M. Blackburn of 2612 Greenleaf, whose dispatcher put in a call to police. The time of the notification was 7:45 a.m. Justice of the Peace Maes and Dr. Evens made their medical examination at 8:19 at which time Dr. Evens said Gov. Jester had been dead four or five hours. The justice of peace concurred. Railroad officials barred everyone but the doctor and the justice of the peace from the train. The body was taken to the Houston Funeral Home, where Mr. Henderson and Rep. Pattison got in touch with the governor's family in Austin. Mr. Henderson was at home when he heard a radio broadcast, and Mr. Pattison was 15 miles from Houston, driving when he heard the newscast. City Detectives L.C. Watts, Lloyd Barrett,John Irwin, and Frank Murray investigated the death. Mr. Henderson said the governor told him he was tired physically from the strain of the legislative session in two conversations one six weeks ago and the other just two ago. "He Was a Good Governor" "But none of us knew he had any heart trouble." said Mr. Henderson. "We knew he had colon trouble. What a shock this is. You know, Beauford Jester always wanted to be governor. He was a good governor, and a good man. He never wanted to hurt anybody's feelings." Rep. Pattison said in recent weeks, Gov. and Mrs. Jester and he and his wife had started taking square dance lessons. "The governor was a square shooter." said the Fort Bend County representative, who with the aid of the governor suceeded in getting legislation through that will greatly assist the state's eleemosynary institutions. In Austin, Mrs. Jester was described as "too stunned yet to know anything." She is at the governor's mansion and remained in her upstairs room after being notified of her husband's death. With her were two of the three children, Beauford Jr, and Joan. A third, Barbara (Mrs. Howard Burris) was in New York. Had Boat Ride Yesterday The governor took a boat ride on Lake Austin yesterday with his family and staff, the United Press reported. At that time Gov. Jester complained of being tired. Just a week ago, Gov. Jester suffered an attack of food poisoning and was confined to the mansion for most of the day. He worked last Saturday on legislation piled up on his desk as a result of the 51st Legislature's final adjournment. The flag of Texas was lowered to half-mast at the capitol. Governor Jester's funeral procession began today in Houston. His body will go from Houston Funeral Home to Ellington Field, escorted by members of Headquarters Battalion, 41st Artillery of the Texas National Guard. commanded by Brig. Gen. Lewis Thompson of Houston. The arrival at Ellington is set for 4 p.m. The governor's body will be taken aboard his favorite plane, a craft named in honor of his beloved state's flower, The "Blue Bonnet" is a National Guard C-47, flown in from Austin today shortly after the tragic news was released. It is from the 181st Fighter Squadron of San Antonio. The pilot will be Brig. Gen Harry Crutcher of Dallas, commanding officer of the 63rd Fighter wing. Texas Air National Guard, and the co-pilot, Lt. Col John B. (Bill) Nottingham of Houston. A flying escort of 25 F-51 fighter planes will go from Ellington to Austin, their numbers drawn from the 111th Fighter Squadron in Houston, the 181st of San Antonio, the 182nd of Dallas--All Texas Air National Guard squadrons. The body was to be accompanied by Adjutant General K.L. Berry. The body will lie in state from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. tomorrow in the Senate Chamber at the capitol. Brief funeral services will be held at 2 p.m. and the body then will be taken to Corsicana where services will be held on Wednesday.
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