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Posts posted by Croberts

  1. Then next door was the short strip building that

    held the 7-11, and once had a pizza place.

    I remember that. The pizza place was originally a hardware store run by a cranky old guy who was suspicious of any kids that came there to buy things. Then it became Zippy pizza, and then Sir Pizza. My sister and other friends worked there. We used to call in loaded pizza orders right before closing so that when the girls got off, there would be free loaded pizzas.

  2. [iE: Mr. Melanson.. I'll never forget

    that guy.. Was real hairy... :/ With a little more, he could

    have been in the Planet of the Apes movies..

    I had him for mechanical drawing. I remember him for his influence and his strong cajun accent. I later took mechanical drawing in college, and even later took computer assisted cartography, remote sensing, GIS, and now I teach Geographic Information Science at the undergraduate and graduate level, a five course Remote Sensing GISystems, Geovisualization sequence. I was the one that finally chased the drafting boards and pens out of the department, replacing them with computers.

  3. In the 1970s there was a Lobotamy clinic on one of the streets that ran parallel to main, but to the east, such as fannin. Somewhere between herman park and downtown. There was a sign by the street for the clinic, and there was a guy who looked like he had a mental problem, who would walk to the sign and urinate on it, frequently. This happened so frequently, that on occasion I would be driving past telling the story, and we would see him do it again. It appeared that he made a daily visit to the clinic to urinate on it.

  4. While on 18th street traveling west crossing North Durham... you can see a concrete street post that shows NASHUA STREET. i recall looking at an old map and it showed North Durham was Nashua past 17th street.

    i'll try to post a picture soon on the concrete post.

    Durham drive was named for Dr. Charles Edward Durham (Sr.), who i think founded Durham clinic in the heights. He was active until the 1950s, I was told that I was the last child that he delivered (I am named after him) in Heights hospital in 1953. Likely the drive was renamed some time during or after his active period, which it seems ended in the 1950s.

  5. Sorry guys, it DID happen and it was during the day as part of gym. We played dodge ball when it was raining and basketball otherwise. I'd like to hear from the students who went there and know the truth. I can't verify the same happened for the girls.

    Nude swimming for boys was in effect when I went to Albert Sydney Johnston Jr High around 65-66. It was very awkward, I didnt like it. The rumor was that girls did not swim nude, but I dont know the fact. Boys definately did.

  6. Ones of the things I wondered about Houston when I went east to start my college education was why it was so low on the radar of other americans. Then I looked at banking linkages: when these were mapped in the 1970s they showed that dallas dominated the texas oil industry, while houstons connections were national and offshore. Houston was less connected to Dallas and San Antonio than to England, Scotland or Saudi Arabia. So Dallas bidnessmen had big cowboy hats and strong Texas accents: they were speaking to rural texas, while Houstonians often have indistinquishable accents-doing international business, speaking to an international community in english, without an accent. No one has ever come up to me and said- you must be from houston.

    Think of our media: Dan Rather, Jessica Savitch, little or no accents. It made me wonder if the need to speak english to non english speakers in the oil hegemony years shaped our dialect, which is barely distinguishable as southern and western.

    There was also a time in which people in the northeast with thick accents would condemn texas accents, so texas in an international arena would avoid using their accents.

    So I think that Houstonians are invisible because they have come to represent Americans and the english speaking world all over the planet. Africans, Asians, Arabs, Persians, and Europeans have told me that this is true. Unless we wear cowboy hats we are seen as generic english speaking world people, and if we wear cowboy hats they assume we are from dallas.

  7. Now I wonder if this is the same Dobie that the High School in Sagemont area is named after?

    When you say Berkeley I take it you mean University at Berkeley as in Northern Bay Area in California? I just think it a bit peculiar that they would have Texas historical items there? I'm just a bit miffed I guess. :mellow:

    University of California at berkley is a major research library with many floors of books, or stacks, much like UT. If you see the name Dobie in texas, it is a reference to J Frank Dobie, who collected and edited texas folklore for about half a century. He wrote dozens of books, and rejuvenated the texas folklore society for decades, pumping out historical information on texas culture. His interviews included people who were alive in the second half of the nineteenth century. Some african studies scholars at berkely told me that they thought juneteenth would die out were it not for dobies writings, because no one else recorded the celebration of the event back in the 19th century. I do not know that to be true, but it is possible.

    Most college and city libraries have some dobie books, because he was so prolific in the field of folklore and texas history. He recorded the legend of stampede mesa in the 1930s, which was the inspiration for the song "ghost riders in the sky".

  8. This Park for decades was the only Park open to African Americans in Houston. It was bought by free slaves as a meeting place for the cities blacks. The area along Dowling near the Park was at one time the most fashionable Black entertainment district in Houston. The Art Deco Bldg on corner from Park is the Old El Dorado Ballroom where entertainers such as Louis Armstrong, Count Basie, Duke Ellington and Ella Fitzgerald would come to entertain in the 1930's until the late 1950's. The area west of the park heading toward the 288 Freeway was at one time the wealthiest Black neighborhood in Houston. The end of segregation in the 50's and 60's lead to the demolishing of dozens of stately mansions along Bastrop, Dowling and Live Oak St. You can still find a couple of these mansions barely standing. There are several African American Historical groups that have pictures showing the park in it's hey day. Including the huge Juneteenth parades that used to go down Dowling St.

    At some point, J frank Dobie, the Texas folklorist, wrote about the celebration of junetenth at this park, in either the journal of the texfolklore society, or in one of his books. I remember reading several pages about this, in the stacks at berkley in the early 1970s. At the time, it was the only documentation of juneteenth and black studies people at berkley were promoting the holiday, and researching writings about juneteenth. I was told that Dobies work was the only academic work on the holiday at that time.

  9. Anybody remember the Bookstore? The Soda Fountain across from it? The sword fighting around the fountain in the middle of the square??? Gee what a great time to be young, cute and dating...... ^_^

    When I was in high school (68-71) some of us considered the bookstore to be the best place to work, period, primarily due to the general feeling of being on the square.

  10. If the pictures were still visible, you could see that the two houses look nothing alike. The Brown Saddle house is very long, low, and horizontal, with few windows in the facade. I guess it was called a "U-boat" because it kind of looks like a surfaced submarine.

    Wow, that settles that. Thanks for the pictures, I was way off base, the Uboat house is not even the house I remember seeing.

  11. I thought the only structure Ant Farm built in the Angleton area was the House of the Century in Columbia Lakes.

    I think that is the house I was refering to. I did not remember the road, but I was coming from Westbury, so I might have been on 36. From the angle that I saw the house I remembered it looked like a submarine rising to the surface.

  12. Hello everyone, I'm new here, so if this is a well-known house and I just missed it. Has anyone seen the house on Brown Saddle Rd. in Tanglewood that looks like a submarine coming out of the ground? It's a long, thin mod from the 60's or 70's and was probably done by one of the better known architects in town. The owners have or have had in the past a classic Ford Thunderbird. That's all the info I've got.

    I know the house. There was a design group called "Ant Farm" that did an exhibit at the Contemporary Arts museum in the late 60s early 70s, and they also built a similar house that was visible on the way to freeport, on the west side of the roadin angleton, I think. I always wondered if they also built the one in tanglewood. Never saw enough detail to compare the two.

  13. I think it's also a law that the beverage has to be wrapped to take out of the store.

    I once had a TABC license in a past life, this is why I seem to remember this..

    If I remember right, all booze must be in a bag to be taken out of the place it was

    sold at. I think this even applies to buying a six pack at a stop n rob, to be

    technical, but I'm not sure all follow it these days.

    But I'm fairly sure about the single can beers, etc.. They had to be wrapped

    in a bag to be taken out. It was more for that law, than to make it easy for

    the drinkers to hide I think.


    Yes, thats what I remember. It had to be covered up to take it out of the store. There were also laws limiting how you could advertise stores taht sold liquor. In the carolinas, there is a chain called ABC, and ABC became a generic way of saying we sell beer, wine and liquor.

    I did a survey of koozies in Pennsylvania in the late 1980s, and I discovered that over half of them were made in Belton Texas. Here in south Florida, they are uncommon, but the convention is really to drink at outdoor tiki bars, by the pitcher, with small bags of ice in the pitcher. Beer always seems to be served warmer than in Texas. I always tell people if it does not hurt the hand to reach into the ice chest, its not cold enough.

  14. Hi Croberts,

    What was/is the galleria area "edge city"? You mean the area around Hidalgo which used to be the run down houses?

    Edge City is a term coined in a 1980s book by that name by the journalist Joel Garreua (last name misspelled). It refers to high rise mini-downtowns that spring up around major intersections of loops and arterial freeways. He cites the galleria area as generating more wealth than miami. Tysons corner in the dc area is another one. Rod Ericson did work on the evolution of land use around beltway-arterial interchanges- as the interstate system was completed, low intensity land use would be transformed into major commercial complexts, with offices, malls, etc. very rapidly in the late 60s and early 70s. In Joels book he lists numerous examples but the galleria-greenway plaza area is frequently cited. I do not think Transco Tower had been built yet. At that time, the original downtowns were still declining, and edge cities frequently were booming, in terms of commerce and real estate value.

  15. block book for this area just says "a replat of Windsor Plaza Apartments" - does anyone know anything more about them?

    the scan didn't turn out so well, but check out the pointy spikes!

    In 1972, I was the paperboy for the Chronicle for the Royal Windsor apts, and others on sage road. I remember it as a swinging singles complex. Telephone spool tables, ozarka water bottle terrariums, macromee (sic) hangers with ferns or sand candles. On sunday morning the sliding glass doors would be wide open, sometimes people passed out near the doors.

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  16. Well, the bummer part is we still have no original photo of the indians and one indian is still missing. :(

    A bigger bummer is that we will never taste that chicken again- the best I ever had. I do remember the indians looked like the summerville one- they were 3d figures and the one on the right as you faced them was kneeling, and the other was kneeling or sitting.

  17. In the fall of 1971 I was the paperboy for the Chronicle delivering to the apts in this area. Starting with the Windsor apts, I would carry huge bags of papers to every subscriber. I remember going through the windsor, and seeing many hanging furns, telephone cable spools turned into tables, and ozarka water bottle terrariums. Also doors open, people passed out on the floor, etc. I remember the bali hai, a fantastic tiki village, and the marquee being the quietest, staid, upscale units. The floors would squeak as I walked down the corridors at 4 in the morning. If I am right, the landscaping and atmosphere was upscale french-new orleans. I cant remember the rest of the apt complexes in the area, but I delivered to them all. I thought that the galleria area "edge city" would doom them someday

  18. Thanks for all who have contributed so far! I have a few questions; was Alief-Clodine called Alief Rd. at any time or has it always been named Alief-Clodine. I'm wondering because a number of early 90's maps showed Alief-Clodine as either Alief Rd. or showed Alief Rd. as a phantom road that paralled it from Westpark to Highway 6. This road was also sometimes referred to as Alief-Houston Road. Also, when did the segment of Dairy-Ashford that borders Elsik change it's name from Alief-Cemetary Road to it's present moniker?

    Road names vary from location to location along the road. I did some research on historical route geographies in Burnet county, texas, and discovered that a single route might have multiple names. The Burnet-Florence road was called that in burnet, but in Florence, it was the Florence-Burnet road. Since it continued east, it was also called the burnet belton road. etc.

    I used to drive to Alief from Westbury to visit a friend, and I remember driving a long straight road parallel to a railroad track, and at one point you had to cross the track and then it ran parallel again. Sometimes we would race trains to get to that s crossing. This would have been in the late 60s. I cant remember the name of the road, but it was the main road to alief from sw houston at the time.

    I also remember as a kid, in the 50s we would go on long road trips west of houston, and that in the alief-katy prarie area, we would pass the time by counting the cotton gins- there was always one on the horizon. By the time I got old enough to drive myself, they were gone. I remember santa gertrudis cattle, with cattle egrets, and fire ant mounds everywhere.

    In the 1980s, the alief sheet of the 7.5 minute USGS topographic series was considered by geoscientists nationwide to be the map that should the most phenomenal rate of development. The maps are updated by aerial photos, and if a site is being developed but not finished, it is shown in purple. The alief map from the 80s was about 80% purple, and no other topographic map has ever come close to that large of an area being developed simultaneously.

  19. The first cruiser Houston, (CA-30) nicknamed the "Galloping Ghost of the Java Coast" was part of the Malay barrier to Japanese incursions to Dutch East Indies (Indonesia). 10 ships, under admiral Voorman formed the Dutch-British-Australian-American fleet, including HMS Exeter, of Graff Spee Fame. In February of 1942, the Japanese invaded Indonesia with a massive force and several fleets. The Exeter was hit and was limping back to Australia with a destroyer escort. The dutch cruisers were sunk, Admiral Voorman went down. His last command was for the Houston and the Australian cruiser Perth to retire to austrialia. While cruising the Java coast, they encountered an unexpected japanese force of several cruisers, transports and destroyers. Both the Perth and the Houston went down fighting that day. The next day the Exeter was sunk, and the allied navy cease to exist in indonesia. Survivors were sent to se asia, where they built the death rr, featured in the movie Bridge over the river Kwai.

    For 6 months no one in the US knew what had happened to the Houston. When word reached houston, a massive fundraiser was held, 1000 people volunteered in a ceremony, and enough money was raised to build a light cruiser houston and the carrier San Jacinto.

  20. My husband and I were talking about the bar near River Oaks Theater, Marfreles (sp?) last nite, and I was wondering.. how long has Marfreles been around?


    I used to go there in the mid 1970s, when I worked at the Hobbit Hole nearby, and lived around the corner. This would have been 1974-1976. It seemed new, clean, nice couches, classical music, low lights and low key. I wondered if it still existed.

  21. The Blimp Base is still there, some of it at least. Most of the buildings were torn down just recently when a subdivision was created on the site. The roads (like Blimp Base Rd.) are open to the public now. The blimp hanger itself is on private land, but yes, the four towers that supported the roof are still there. This was reportedly the largest wooden roof span in the country. The military sold the property after the war. Oilman John Mecom once owned the hanger. It was damaged during Hurricane Carla (1961) and was torn down. (the towers remain).

    There was a blimp base in miami. It was destroyed in a hurricane except for one tall concrete tower, near the metrozoo, that is now part of the gold coast railroad museum. This concrete tower was the anchor for a door on a blimp hanger. The blimps did convoy duty, and had sonar and radar, depth charges and machine guns. They would fly in front of the convoys, which were mostly from mexico, texas and lousiana, and were oil tankers. At least one blimp was shot down by deck guns from the submarines.

    On the east coast of florida, no known submarines were sunk, but something like 24 ships were sunk, 9 within site of the beaches in Palm Beach County. There are many stories of residents hearing the thud of striking torpedoes, and recognizing the sound, it was so common. The Florida Memory web page has photographs taken by people on the beach of burning tankers.

    The sinking of cuban and mexican tankers off florida caused those countries to declare war. At least one cuban patrol boat sank a sub in cooperation with us naval blimps and planes.

    The folklore sub activity in florida is similar to what I heard in houston. At fondren jr high, in history class in the 1960s, i heard that a sub entered the ship channel and was sunk near the turning basin. Sailors in a raft were found with freshly baked bread from New Orleans and movie ticket stubs. German submariner web discussions suggest that this is all folklore; crews were too oily, unshaven and stinky, baths occured only after tours of duty, to go ashore undetected.

    Both elements are common in sub stories on the atlantic: a loaf of holsum bread and tickets to the theater. There are also stories of uboat captains hanging out in Palm Beach bars and restaraunts. It is said that there is a ledge off the breakers hotel, and subs would sit under the ledge till dark. Cities refused to participate in blackouts because it was bad for tourism, and the lights would silouette ships going through the florida straits. So the sub could surface at night and their only problem was deciding which ships to target.

    Blimps and air bases was the answer- as soon as there were frequent armed patrols, the sub activity stopped, and moved to other areas, such as the gulf. Most of the florida sinkings were in 42-43.

  22. Maybe everyone knows this already and I'm just too Yankee to be on the bandwagon, but according to what I just saw on the Food Network, Houston made Fajitas mainstream (and Dallas did so with nachos, but that's another story). According to the show, fajitas were invented in the 1940's by Texas cowboys, and that Ninfa's in Houston was the first restaurant to serve them to the public. I always knew Ninfa's was a big deal in Houston because people talked about it all the time, but no one ever explained the history to me; I just thought people liked the food.

    Now that I'm enlightened, I am proclaiming Houston The Fajita Capitol Of The World.

    If anyone has a picture of fajitas or can take a snap of one with their cameraphone at lunch today, I'll use it to make a HAIF title graphic like the ones for Christmas and Mother's Day.

    Fajitas were invented in San Antonio. Originally, they were served only on sunday, after mass, family style. You would order by the pound (there was one kind, beef) and sit at long retangular tables, and big bowls of guac, tortillas, pico de gallo, sour cream, etc. Thats why they come unasembled. If any restaraunt popularized them it was margaritas on the mercado.

    Ninfas started marketing them as tacos al carbon, already made, but you only got a few. This was in the 1970s. Friends from san antonio saw me order them, then took me to san antonio local restaruants including margaritas, on sunday. It was a post mass family event.

    San antonio has two distinct foods that I think grew out of the hide and tallow industry. The spanish cattle were bread for their hides (replaced today by plastic) and tallow. This meant that they were not good meat cows. The tough or greay parts of the meet were simply discarded by the hyde and tallow factories. This created an oportunity. Thus chili con carne, marinated spiced, cut into small pieces and cooked for hours originated in san antonio. I believe that fajitas originated the same way. I remember trying to get skirt steak in houston in the 1970s and butchers told me that they dont do trashy cuts.

    My candidate for a distinctive houston food would have to be Antoine/s poor boys. They are not made anywhere else, prior to the antones chain. They were started in the 30s or 40s in Houston, by decendents of Antoines of New Orleans. Later descendents started Antoines blues club in austin, and briefly sold poorboys there.

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