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Everything posted by stu

  1. Check this, Westbury69: I was the guy who called the newspaper and the TV stations, the night before, and told them we'd be marching the next morning. I was in 10th grade. We had made up a bunch of little signs..my hair, like, touched my ears; that was the rule that I had broken. If it touched your ears, or your collar in the back, you were out. Not dozens, over a hundred kids. When we got there the next morning, both the TV and the Newspaper people were there, much to our surprise. People were waving out the classroom windows at us, cheering us on. After a few minutes, a cop was on hand to tell us we couldn't march, because didn't have a permit, so off we went, downtown, to try to get a permit. They were already waiting for us when we got there, and with a smirk, one lady said "We can't give you a permit, son, because you're not an ORGANIZATION. Wink. Smirk. I said "Uh, sure we are.. we're... um..." couldn't think fast enough so I unconsciously pulled out a name i had heard vaguely on the radio or TV somewhere.. "We're..uh, students for.. a Democratic Society.." Well, shizit, that was the SDS, and they had done violent stuff in the colleges and so on (unknown to my foolish self at the time), and now they were going to infiltrate WESTBURY? No permit, sorry, and before I got out of the parking lot, as I was getting back into my car, a couple of grown men in suits flashed badges, and asked if I would take a ride with them. They drove me around the block a time or two, and asked me if I knew this person or that one. Within 5 minutes, they had figured out that I didn't know ANYTHING, or anybody, and that I was no threat to anyone, just a skinny 16 year old who wanted to grow his hair out, and who had pulled the name "SDS" out of his backside.. They took me back to my car, and told me to drive careful on my way back to school. I got suspended for three days over the whole thing, the only time I was ever suspended.. I still remember Fred Pepper, grinning, talking to us in the office as we tried to convince him not to suspend us. "You're just like a cat.." he said, in that powerful Southern accent he had, "..You've made you a stink, and now you want to cover it up.." I did manage to get back in without cutting my hair again. I slicked it back more, and no one noticed. It wasn't long to begin with. The chronicle archives should have it. On the front page of the Chronicle, there was a picture of Mike Tindall with what today would be SHORT hair, and a caption: "Is THIS really too long?" Needless to say, I learned a lot in 10th grade. But thinking back, I'm still convinced I saw the very best time of Westbury[the neighborhood] , from right when it was built. We'd walk from Atwell and Belrose over that big open field (where the post office is now) to Chimney rock and across it, to the empty fields on the other side.. As kids, 1957-61, we OWNED that little area, played in those open fields and climbed trees where the apartments are now, across Chimney Rock from the school, and made tree forts where the high school and shopping center were later to stand. Played in the construction of the original high school as it was being built. What a great time. It is amazing how much the inner streets off Atwell and Mullins and Landsdown remind me of those days, once I get off the main streets and into the neighborhood. The trees are taller, but other than that it is THE SAME, like setting one's watch back 40 years. I'm coming back to Houston this summer to work, and I know I'll be driving in there to reminisce . If only I could hit Westbury Square. But nooooo. Can't help but still love Westbury, though...
  2. Yup, i went to Johnston in the early sixties, for 7th and 8th grade, and boys swam in the nude. Oddly enough, it didn't even seem especially weird at the time, certainly not like it would be nowadays. I swam there the 1st semester of 7th grade. At one point, someone crapped in the pool. I am not making this up. This is too weird for me to make up. Someone looked over, and there was a floater, a big one, looking like a Baby Ruth, floating in the middle, there. We all howled and pointed, and every one got dressed, and no one swam for about a week, while Coach Capers and Coach Macy questioned each of us individually. When it was my turn, I went in the coach's office, and Capers looked me directly in the eye and said "We already know who did it. We just want to see if YOU will tell the truth about it." Truth be told, they never knew\ who it was; I don't think any of us did. Lots of people blamed Dorfburger (name changed), who was the school "victim" at the time. Poor b&stard was always getting pushed down the stairs, or knocked into the wall, or his street clothes thrown in the shower during gym. You saw him crying some where or another every week that first semester. Since he was in that swim class, everyone immediately started pointing at him and ridiculing him, laughing "Dorfburger did it!". I often wonder what happened to him today, 45 years later. Probably today he's a loan officer somewhere, turning down loans of people like those who used to hound him. More power to you, Dorfburger, wherever you are. The coaches were straight ahead guys, from what I could tell. Disciplinary pops, from Capers or Macy, were to be avoided, if at all possible. They could give no more than three, but you did not even want ONE. No thank you , sir. It wasn't going to kill you. They were merely applying the board of education to the seat of knowledge. You could hear the pop through the door of the coach's office, so if we knew someone was getting pops, we'd gather on the other side of the door, and listen for that muffled "WHOOMP!!!" One may not have liked Capers nor Macy, but they got respect, unlike most teachers today. I am glad to have found this thread, so I too can show some people, who flat out did not believe it when I told them about the nude swimming. I was beginning to think I hallucinated the whole thing..
  3. I too would love to see photos of Meyerland back in it's original prime.. The first time I went to Meyerland was very early. I don't know what year it was built; we moved to Westbury in 1957, and it wasn't long after that, perhaps as late as 1960, but I don't think so.. There was an A&P grocery store at the Southern end of the mall , and i was small, in there with my mother. By the meat counter, there were two drinking fountains, one for white and one for colored. We were from New England, and the fountain thing was weird, so I asked my mom what it was about, and she said "No difference, son," and went over and drank from the colored one.. [the 'wrong' one]. I still remember the guy behind the meat counter glaring at her, and her glaring back.. We went to Meyerland Plaza a lot. Years later, maybe in about '62 or '63, we had a photo portrait done at Meyer Brothers, the flagship department store of the center at the time. One of the Meyer Brothers took kindly to us, and invited us in his office, and talked to us about the shopping center history and the Meyer family and so on. The walls of his office were covered with baseball and other stars' photos, all autographed..Much of it was lost on me, young as I was. i'd love to go back and do it again now.. We roamed Meyerland Plaza regularly on our bikes..there was at times a little fair in the corner nearest Beechnut & 610, with a ferris wheel and some other rides. during the early sixties there was a popular record store on the back side of Meyerland, across from the theaters. Single records were a dollar, and albums were $3. A couple of times they had a stage in the parking lot, with live bands, folk music actually, and the Kingston Trio played out there once. Many of us saw HELP and Hard Day's night at those movie theaters, which are still there, I think.. I was back recently to look, after a long time away.. Meyerland has held up well, actually..
  4. Hi, Mk. in 63-64-65, I was 10, 11 and 12, and all over that square, on my bike and on foot, just about every day. At the time, the restaurant with the red door was an Italian restaurant named Mario's. They had really good cheeses as part of the appetizers, and they put a fresh "drip" candle from the candle shop in the Chianti bottle in the window every day, so they had this huge multicolored wax chianti bottle sculpture thing going.. Real good Italian sausage.. good wines, I guess, because many distinctive bottles were around.. Italian accordion music playing from a small speaker outside..the first letter in that picture doesn't look too much like an "M" from that angle, granted, but that was the name of it.. stu
  5. It isn't really Sharpstown, but it will illustrate the point. For reference, and for perspective, in 1957 when my dad bought our brand new 3 bedroom house on the 5500 block of Arboles, south of West Bellfort by Westbury Square, he paid $12,500 for the house. There were no apartments in the area. Thirteen years later, when I moved out into my first apartment, on Glenmont in the Gulfton area, it was a brand new complex, just built, and rent was $104.00 a month. Adults only..no families allowed. It was not a problem in the beginning, as they were being built, I think..No one saw it coming in 1970. when I was in Westbury High School during the late 60's there was not one single black nor non-English speaking student; not one. We had a black math teacher, a nice enough fellow. Not that skin color or national origin is a reliable test of character; of course it isn't, and that isn't my point. It was just a different world in Westbury at that time..Fondren was a shell road with countryside on both sides pretty much from Main to Braeswood..no apartments there whatsoever, just a few units by the square..To be 'walled in' as you say, by apartments full of thugs was inconceivable, back when the houses were built. It is amazing how different Sharpstown and Westbury seem now to those of us who lived there in the late 50's and early 60's. Looking back, t'was the apartments that did it, agreed. LarryDallas said a mouthful when he mentioned that the nature of apartments changed in the early 80's. There was a Federal lawsuit, late 70's actually, after which all apartments that previously only allowed adults, for example, had to allow families. Whole neighborhoods, nationwide, quickly changed to low rent ghettos as a result of that ruling. whoever mentioned the 'greying of Sharpstown' had a big pice of the puzzle too. That post made a lot of sense..
  6. Thanks very much for the current scoop on the owners, and why things are held up. Fascinating. Thanks too for all the excellent pictures. It is good that what is left is being documented. For reference, what is left of the fountain in the pictures is in the original location, and the tile you refer to was put in when the curved building was put in. In the beginning there were a series of outdoor booths there, around that side of the fountain, and when they would have their seasonal sales, the merchants would go out there, around that side of the fountain, sort of like a flea market..the whole space was a vacant field, behind that, out to Chimney Rock, for many years, before the apartments were built.. The news about the Willow Waterhole park going in so close is very exciting. i only hope something goes into that space where the Square once stood that will evoke that spirit somehow. It's not likely, but it would sure establish Westbury's sense of history in a way that no other changes could do.. I only hope it remains Westbury square somehow... if not, the Historical continuity of the area is irreparably damaged.. Thanks again everyone.. stu
  7. in the arial picture, i can see my house, and was probably sitting in it that day, seven years old..wow.. The corner with the cyan blue tiles was the drug store. i peeked through that window when I visited Houston in 05, and oddly enough, it seemed exactly as it had been, with the soda fountain bar still in there, along one wall..that particular room was never occupied again...we used to ride our bikes, (Schwinn stingrays, banana seats..)and get a cherry coke. There was a coin operated laundromat, open all night. Around the other side, facing Bellfort, was an Enco station (Exxon in the old days) and yup, a Utotem..There may have been a conventional laundry on that side..Later the first Jack in the box was put in, right next door, 26 cents for a jumbo Jack and drinks for 10, 15, and 25 cents.. "drive through" was a big new thing.. From 1957-1960, though, those open fields were everywhere, tree forts, houses under construction to play in, (once the workers went home...) [i was there on Arboles 15 years, 1957-1972] Bellfort did not even go through to Fondren road; Fondren was still a dirt road with farmland on either side, with NO apartments, and the apartments next to Westbury High on Gasmer had not been constructed yet. It was a great place to grow up in the sixties..you could WALK to the firework stand at Christmas and at July 4th..It was out on Main. You'd take West Airport at Hillcroft to what I now realize must have been Fondren, but it was not normally paved, nor were there residences. Airport was deserted shell road, once you went past Hillcroft. There were the ruins of an old burned restaurant out there, where you turned south, to go to Main street..It was deserted and creepy, which made it perfect to play in. The ruins of the monorail were on the way to the firework stand, too, so we'd play on that..In those days no one cared if you shot firecrackers and bottle rockets and so on, so we'd have big fun, holing up in Christmas tree forts, between the houses on Arboles and Belrose and McKnight and so on... Never a fire. Water balloon battles too, in the summertime. Many of the houses did not have fences in the very early days, so when I was five, six, seven, you could just walk or run from Arboles all the way across Warm Springs and McKnight to W. Bellfort, going through certain back yards that were still open..later we just climbed the fences.. It is all so vivid in my mind. When I win the lottery, I shall buy Westbury square , including the $%!! Home Depot, and restore it to Glory..those IDIOTS.. (Continues his diary:"Ran out of pop tarts today. Still no word from Publisher's Clearinghouse..") regards stu former westbury resident
  8. the photo in the 1947 article is looking approximately EastNorthEast.. I have cropped and resized the photo part of the article, and it is HERE: the only still existing landmarks we can go by to determine the actual location here are willow bayou and main street. A. you cannot actually see willow waterhole, but rather that place where willow bayou bends north northeast, west of where chimney rock is now. in the pic it appers to bend to the left. That bend is between where Landsdown and Chimney Rock are now. Does this make sense? Is this the same bend? (Actually, now that I think about it, there are two bayous there, starting at about Westbury High. What's up with that? One leg goes up by Johnston alongside Chimney Rock, while the other, bigger one cuts through the neighborhood farther to the East. Was the alongside Chimney Rock one man made? It appears in the 1960 map to go from the water tower on..?)gotta look at older maps.. B. in the 1947 photo, up closer to the horizon, one can see two streets perpendicular to Main; the lower one of the two seems to continue on the other side of main. When you line this up with the bend in Willow bayou, it looks not to be Chimney Rock, because it is on the wrong side of the bend. Yet, in the 1960 photo, there are no streets continuing south from main between Blue Ridge (Hillcroft eventually) and the one that proceeded N/S just east of Chimney Rock. What street was that? Was the faintest horizontal street right beneath the horizon Post Oak, or was it the one which lined up with chimney Rock? I am going back and forth between the 1960 arial photo and the 1947 article photo; i really need to go back and forth between the westbury 1960 photo, the 1947 photo, and Google Earth, and I need mo' RAM to do it right.. ah well, I'll try it.. Incidentally, Mark, I had presumed that the building in the photo I posted in the Westbury Square thread was near the park or Anderson Elementary only because I was guessing at what the purple text might have said on your annotated verson of the 1960 one I have since realized that the purple rectangle is actually drawn at the northwest corner of effingham and landsdown, where Hagar park is now. That little undeveloped square of turf is where anderson and the park are now..(I thought that little purple rectangle was supposed to have been the control tower..) I see now that the buildings were indeed off South Main..I'd love to see a readable copy of your annotations.. here is an expanded crop of that 1960 image, in which you can see willow bayou with the bend, and the Westbury water tower where Westbury High would eventually be. You can see that the only two roads to proceed south of main are Blue Ridge and the one next to Chimney Rock. (for new folks, the 1960 photo is looking South, so it is turned around from a Google Earth shot)) and comparing it with Google Earth, several things are evident: 1. YOu can see the small road which went at one time from the Westbury High water tower straight to south main and beyond, right next to Chimney Rock. south of Main, you can see a left turn from it which leads (on the big map) to where Kylewick is today, with that little circular block which is already on the big 1960 map. Apparently chimney rock replaced that road in Westbury, but the southern component of it is still there on Google earth, running alongside the Fort Bend Toll Road, just east of it. 2. Blue Ridge Road came all the way up to Main street, before Hillcroft was built there. It is evident that it was Blue Ridge road which was on one side of Meyer Speedway. South of Main, If you look closely on google Earth, you can still see a slight oval in the terrain where the Meyer Speedway oval had been, just to the left of what I suppose is Butler Stadium..It is on the left after you cross over Main on Hillcroft, going south. Hillcroft now bends westward at Dublin, but if it went absolutely straight, it would line up with what used to be Blue Ridge Road. Once it did, before Hillcroft. anyhoo, what is your take on this, guys? I cannot quite tell from the 47 photo exactly where the airport really was. The look of the bend in Willow Bayou is throwing me off. Sorry if this post is too long, or has too many pictures.. stu
  9. Hello All I went ahead and posted the Westbury '60 image on one of my servers. it is at http://rootmedia.net/images/westbury60.jpg . thanks for that MK (and Croberts, who had also sent me a copy) A couple of things: MK wrote "The Westbury Centerette at Bellfort/Chimneyrock seems to be there.. Ditto for the U-totem building on Bellfort..No jack in the box yet..." Right you are, MK. I went back a couple of months ago, and that old pharmacy building with the bright blue mosaic tiles in the Westbury Centerette was STILL unoccupied, and still had the old soda fountain counter I remember cherry cokes at on the way home from from 7th grade at Johnston(I peeked in the window 2006, and it's still an old abandoned pharmacy.) I remember them building that Jack in the Box. They made a big deal on the radio about how you could actually get a burger by driving through the place; Jack was the 1st drive through. Jumbo Jacks were 26 cents; drinks were 10, 15, and 25 cents.. "At that point, the double lane W.Bellfort ended at Mullins." Yup; actually, it went four houses beyond Mullins, to where Landsdown would have met it instead. Mullins ran parallel, but did not go through to all the way to Willow Bayou; Landsdown ran from beyond W. Airport ALMOST to Bellfort, but for a couple of rows of houses which stood between. We used to hang out under that bridge at Willow Bayou and Landsdown after school at Anderson sometimes, skipping rocks on the water, fishing for crawdads, and stuff. I went back there this year, and went under that bridge to show the spot to my daughter, and the view is EXACTLY the same, uh, er, except for the gang grafitti, of course. It was almost but not quite like setting my watch back 40 years. "The building that held the old 7-11 at Belrose/Burdine seems to be there. But no Texaco station across the street yet," - Ah, that old 7-11. Cokes were 8 cents when we got there, and 2 cents for the bottle. I remember playing as a kid in the excavation when they were putting in the tanks that would hold the gas at that Texaco. I also climbed up the ladder on the inside of that 'Westbury High' water tower too, once, and peered out from the little round porthole at the top of the stem.. It was a scary climb, but worth it, thinking back.. "What I would really like to see is older pix of the same area from say the 30's and 40's, early 50's.." Apparently the airport was established at some point before 1943. here is an image circa 1949-51 which, as best I can tell, was about at what would be Landsdown and Ludington, across the street where Anderson Elementary is now. (Perhaps it was on the other side of the school, where the park is now.) Sam Houston Airport was bounded by what would eventually be South Main, Chimney Rock, West Bellfort, and Hillcroft. Here's a 1950 image of a fellow approaching the airport, to the northwest, about to cross over main street. there's an annoted version of the 1960 map to show where the runways and 'tower' had been, but it is hard to read because of the small file size.. The tripod site where these pics are from is very interesting, if you haven't seen it yet: http://tinyurl.com/k67ld anyway, thanks for posting. everyone send more if you can. STU DFW USA
  10. I played there twice: Once opening for Cheech and Chong on their first tour, and another time opening for big Mama Thornton. This would be about 1971 or 72.. great room..big nice stage..Cheech and Chong got us totally wrecked in the Green Room, and then stood offstage, pointing and laughing at us like a caricature of themselves..I'll never forget it.. stu
  11. From what I can tell, they must be somewhere else online and simply referred to by URL in this forum. When you mouse over the little icon picturing a tree above your replying space , it says 'insert image'. when you click on it, a little window arises asking for an URL. If you don't have a webspace upon which to put an image first, so you can refer to it in a message, send it to me, Charles, by email, and I shall send you the URL. You can then refer to it in a message. as for the size limit, you may want to keep it down below 700 or 800 pixels wide for easy viewing, but by all means, send me the big one, and I shall resize it for us before putting it online.. I think this is the way to go. if someone else has more or different info, please post it.
  12. MK, i enjoyed your post; some replies to some of your comments are below: Dude, if you have that 1960 air photo of Westbury digitized, I would LOVE a copy. I'm an aficionado of the old neighborhood, big time..I have very few pics.. Yep, since you were born in 56, I am three years older than you. You were going into Johnston Jr. High as I was going into Westbury High. Too, I spent 9th grade at fondren, so I started meeting more Braeburn Valley people at that point, and didn't hang at Westbury quite so much. I started playing gigs in 9th grade, and pretty much roamed Houston at large after that. The band director at Fondren was a lady named Ms. White, and Randy May was the well known drummer there, so much so that they once had a drum contest in his honor, while he was still a student. He went on to invent an internal miking system and some other innovative marching band equipment that has sold very well for Pearl. A student of Joe Raynor, he played his butt off. (probably still does.) Lives in Huntington Beach. So MK: you were a drummer at Johnston? Was a guy named Perkins was still the band director? From what I have heard, he is still alive, and still playing.. I was in band at Johnston with at least 10 drummers, but I can't remember many of them. Mark Keener was one of the better ones..I remember Marty Knoll now too, now that you mentioned him, and there was a guy behind me, on Belrose maybe, named Doug Landry, whose dad also played professionally..they had a blue sparkle Slingerland kit that I still remember watching them take apart and clean one day. You are right. There were a lot of musicians in the Southwest part of town back then. Quite a few kept playing. Houston was a great place to grow up a musician in the 60's and early 70's. Gigs and bands everywhere in those days. I'm still friends with my Sharpstown friend, Tony Taboada, who still gigs down there, and you can usually catch him at Sullivan's on Westheimer on Wednesdays. More about him , including a sound file, at his rhythmweb page, at http://rhythmweb.com/taboada . First saw him play at a Godwin Park teen dance in about 1967. There's an old picture of Love Street up on that page too. His band website is at http://commercialartband.com . I studied with Jack Dudney back then, a big band drummer who played with the Ed Gerlach orchestra, and then after 3 or 4 years, with Hap Fulghum, who lived in Bellaire and played with the Houston Symphony. (his son, Joel Fulghum, apparently is a top drummer down there nowadays. Haven't met him.) At one point Jack and Hap had a drum teaching studio together, right across West Bellfort from Westbury Square. Two more points. As for Dan Mitchell, the owner of Mr. Fantasy, I heard from Pierce he married a girl named DeeDee George from Braeburn Valley, and that he is living happily ever after somewhere in the Houston area. And as for Trudy Hilton, i never saw her after 6th grade, so I don't know whether she was the girl that lived at Westbury Square, but in 6th grade, she was indeed pretty, with wavy blonde hair..I don't remember her too well, other than that. TRUDY? YOU OUT THERE? Write us..[God, I love the Web]Was it you? And old Westbury Square homies: sign in please..more images of the square would be great. Kind Regards eric stuer http://rhythmweb.com
  13. Please forgive the length of this post.. You guys are bringing back incredible memories. I found this forum searching "Westbury Square", hoping for a nostalgic look at the square. We moved in August 1957 onto Arboles Dr., fourth house from Atwell, five minutes walk from the square. I was four. We lived across the street from Candy Thackeray and her parents, Carolyn and Charlie, and the Hineses lived next door to them. On the corner of Atwell and Arboles was an accountant named George Fleet, who lived there with his wife Grace and their two kids Georgie and Cynthia. I remember a girl my age on Atwell named Mary Lippa. Heaven only knows what happened to all these people. The parents would be dead by now, but the kids would still be around somewhere, in their 50's and 60's. We got there when it was brand new; in fact, the whole neighborhood was brand new. Houses under construction were everywhere. The square had just been constructed, but little of what is now standing had been put up yet except the one remaining corridor, which only is about a 5th of the whole thing. I remember the arch [that is standing] when it was being built a couple of years later, because we used to jump off the top of the building into the construction sand piles. As kids, from about 1959 on, we were constantly on and around the square. We RULED that place on our Schwinn Sting Rays in the early 60's ; times were soo different..We roamed the candle shop, Mario's Italian retaurant, Rumpleheimer's, the bookstore across from it, the Gay Dot party shop [back when 'gay' meant 'happy, festive'], Cargo Houston, etc. The merchants would bring everything outside once or twice a year and have a big outdoor sale. The square was packed, full of life. West Bellfort only went a little past Hillcroft and ended in a huge field. It didn't go through to Fondren. I too remember the ruins of the monorail at fondren and main. West Airport went to Hillcroft and turned into a dirt road, but you could get through to Fondren there if you zigzagged a bit. We would walk that way to main street, just past fondren, and get fireworks, and have firework "battles" in Christman tree forts between the houses between Christmas and New years day; no one ever complained.. You could hear the stock cars racing at Meyer Speedway [main street]at night, and you knew it was 11 Pm when the train went through.. First grade for me was at Parker elementary, but by the time I got to second grade, they had built Andy Anderson Elementary, so I went there from 2nd-sixth grades. Anderson had an annual Halloween Carnival that is so vivid in my memory. Every class prepared for it, and we all looked forward to it. When Halloween came around, the whole place would pack out with dressed up kids and parents, and we'd go from classroom to classroom, one with a cakewalk, the next with a 'spookhouse', the next with a make-up table, etc..what a blast..We played in the construction as they built Westbury high, and there were fields all around, where we played, way up in homemade tree houses, shooting our 10 cent 7-11 slingshots at bottles 30 feet below, and collecting dewberries, where the post office is now and across the street from Westbury High. The pool that is now at Ludington and Chimney Rock was then a complex of 5 pools, called the Westbury swim club, and you had to be a member to swim there. At this point, none of the curved building that would house Mr.Fantasy and all the apartments behind there [on the southwest and southeast side of the fountain]had been built yet. That was all just a big open field, out to chimney rock, although the parking lot adjacent to Burdine was there. Cargo Houston was there too, but the rest was not up yet. After a short time there was a series of little booths that the merchants would use during the outdoor sales. On the other side of Rumpleheimer's, the area that one of you mentioned where we'd all ride bikes, little dirt trails, was there right up until the end, just as it had been in the beginning. I think that is where they had planned the lake.. on the other side of it was what is now the dollar store; then it was a supermarket, and an ice cream shop was on the corner of that building too. The bank looks exactly the same. The barber shop is still there (!!!) whoa..Although it faced the other direction, it was all the same to us, part of the square in a way. They had a German polka band a few times in the evenings, by the fountain, back in 61-62 or thereabouts, and this is where I got close to my first drum set player. Watched him all night. Became one, later.. Thanks dude, whoever you were.. People lived in the apartments above the shops, and I remember one time that someone had a heart attack and died, and fell over the edge, landing on the sidewalk below. They closed off that little section for a couple of hours. That happened in the corridor that is still standing. As it got to be the late sixties and into 1970 and 1971, the open field south of the fountain was filled in with apartments, and the curved building aroung the south side of the fountain went up, and things began to change, but still in a good way, an evolution. Cargo Houston got much bigger. Mr. Fantasy , the clothes store, was run by a guy named Dan Mitchell who had been the drummer for the Moving Sidewalks, Billy Gibbons' pre-ZZ Top band, and my friend Monty Pierce used to work there. This was when the pizza parlor had bands, and there was a furniture shop where the arch is still standing, run by George Martin and his dad. They used to live above the shop and build the furniture right there on the spot. I left in fall 1972 to go to college in Denton, my mom died and my dad moved, and I lost touch with the Square for some years. When my oldest daughter was born, about 1989, we went back and everything was still intact, although it was like a ghost town, and I eagerly showed my son (7 at the time) around the old square. I still held out hope for its eventual revival. I went back again not too long ago, though, with my youngest daughter, and saw what the home depot corporate folks had done..scoundrels.. I sat in the parking lot and cried like a baby. All that history..gone..I live in DFW today and there are neighborhoods like that here too.. With all due respect, the person above who suggested that a TARGET would help does not realize the sense of class and vitality that the square engendered in its day. Maybe you just had to be there. No soulless Target could ever hope to do it. It can never be like it was. Not even close. Compared to a Target it was like magic. The only way it could ever be redone would be to raze the Home Depot and redo the whole thing, and we all know that isn't likely..mom and pop shops are all being replaced by walmarts and targets and home depots now anyway.. no going back..earth incorporated..all hail the mighty dollar.. ah well.. I'd love to hear more, and I hope more old homies find this forum and post.. sorry for rambling.. regards eric stuer stu at rhythmweb http://rhythmweb.com
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