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About JHC

  • Birthday 05/30/1954

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    Fort Worth, Texas

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  1. You may be referencing the same monorail car I've been trying to research for several years now without any success. I lived in the Westwood subdivision off Stella Link in the late 1950's and early 60's. And I clearly recall seeing an old abandoned monorail car sitting in a field off the west side of South Main back in those days. As a child, I was positively fascinated by this beast . I vaguely remember that it was light blue or turquoise in color and that it was <possibly> repainted orange at some point. And, yes, it had a completely 'different' look - sort of 'Buck Rogers' or 'Disney' as I recall; it looked nothing the the stuff in photos of the other monorail cars associated with Houston in the 1950's. This thing obviously came from somewhere else. I would absolutely love to learn the history behind that old car. That was so long ago that I honestly can't recall if it was located in a field near Fondren Road. I do associate the memory with family trips through Missouri City and Sugar Land, though, which were way the heck out of Houston in those days. I wonder if this is the same monorail you are writing about.
  2. I do remember going to Wee Wild West a couple of times back in the early 1960's. It was located off Westheimer just a little west of what is now the Galleria and, unlike Playland Park, it catered to the younger kids. I lived in <what was then> southwest Houston, and I suspect that the park drew traffic primarily from the west side of town -- for birthdays, etc. I remember my Mom getting all excited and dropping her purse from the little roller coaster there; I still get a chuckle out of that. I don't have the link, but you can watch a wonderful little video shot at the park in the ealy sixties on YouTube. It will no doubt stir some wonderful memories for you, and I hope you enjoy it as much as I did <and still do>.
  3. So sorry to butt in here, but I couldn't help noticing your reference to Ms. Collins at Shearn Elementary School. I'm certain that I do remember her. I attended Shearn from 1959 to 1964 with Ms. Montgomery (Kindergarten), Ms. Scarcella (formerly Ms. Wright) for first grade, Ms. Grimm (Second), Ms. Pemberton (Third) and Ms. Kelly (Fourth). While Ms. Collins was never my teacher, I can mentally picture her to this day for one very compelling reason -- her reaction to the Kennedy Assassination. Interestingly, the school did not announce the President's assassination to us that Friday back in 1963. What is remarkable, however, is that I remember the principal, Ms. Jorgensen, calling my fourth grade teacher, Ms. Kelly out into the hallway in the afternoon. The classroom door was open and I, along with my classmates, could observe what was obviously an intense discussion between Ms. Jorgensen, Ms. Kelly and Ms. Collins -- and that Ms. Collins was crying almost uncontrollably. When Ms. Kelly returned to the classroom, she looked like she'd had the wind knocked out of her. There was all manner of speculation amongst us youngsters as to what could have caused Ms. Collins to cry like that. Of course, sadly, we all learned the reason soon enough. I enjoyed your post, because I've thought of Shearn so many times over the years -- and all of those wonderful teachers (albeit I didn't think they were so very wonderful back then). Again, I'm sorry to intrude here, but if you do know what became of some of the teachers we had at Shearn back then, I'd love to hear about it. Westwood was a wonderful place to be a child back in the late fifties and early sixties; I miss that time and place so very much now. And, thank you for <inadvertently> rekindling a childhood memory.
  4. I've certainly enjoyed the posts here - as well as the photos. A lot of old memories for me here as I grew in the Westwood Park neighborhood off Stella Link back in the late fifties and early sixties. I do remember the supermarket at the south end of the mall; I believe it was a Heinke-Pilot; I could be mistaken about that, though; it might have been and 'A&P.' Most of the time my Mom shopped the Weingartens on Stella Link up near the bayou. But, on occasion, we'd drive over to the supermarket at Meyerland Plaza to buy our groceries. It was kind of a big deal with us kids, because it was simply something different. I remember Playland Toys, and I suspect that 'Santa' purchased more than a few toys there, too. Anyway, I'm almost positive that there was a bank with drive through service in the parking lot on the north side of the mall that we used back then - Meyerland State Bank, if I'm not mistaken. Maybe someone can confirm (or correct me on) that. It's been over forty five years since I've seen Meyerland Plaza. So, again, thank you all for the wonderful posts here.
  5. Wow. This site is fascinating. I spent almost entire day yesterday studying the old aerials of Houston and then comparing them to more recent ones. For an old native Houstonian like me who has been away for well over forty years now, this site opens up some incredible opportunities. I'm very happy that someone started up this topic, because I'm really enjoying the posts here. I lived on O'Meara Street in Westwood from 1958 to 1964 before my family moved to Spring Branch and then on to Central Texas in 1967 (I started Kindergarten at Shearn Elementary in 1959 when the school itself was probably only five years old). I remember seeing "The Longest Day" at the South Main Drive In way back in the early 1960's. I also remember being eaten alive by mosquitoes during such excursions! Thank you so very much for sharing this link!
  6. I really enjoyed seeing the aerial photo of Willowbend. If this is the area I think it is (and I'm fairly certain it is), that would be South Main in the upper part of the photo and Willowbend running from east to west (left to right) in <roughly> the center of the photo. If this is the case, I lived just east of this area in 1960 - in Westwood - and started the first grade in 1960 at Shearn Elementary. I'm thinking that the complex in the lower center of the photo would be Red School (?). My family moved from this area in 1964 to Spring Branch and then on to Central Texas in 1967, so I haven't been back to this part of Houston for almost 45 years now! BTW, my Grandmother lived on Willowisp, south of Willowbend - the small street with the Centipede like appearance in the right center of the image - adjacent to what I'm assuming would be Post Oak Road. I have many, many wonderful memories of the area you live in now - going all the way back to the late 50's and early 60's. This was truly Post War suburbia in those days full of upwardly mobile young families with a lot of kids. And mentally revisiting this area at this time of year is especially fun, because I remember riding with my family through this neighborhood (especially the section north of Willowbend) so long ago now and looking at all the wonderful Christmas lights and decorations! It's funny how something as simple as an aerial photo like this can affect so many memories, too. Anyway, thank you for sharing, and I would love to hear how well the old neighborhood has held up. Jeff Chambers
  7. I enjoyed seeing these photos, especially the one of the old Naval Hospital. I think it had already become a VA hospital when I was a kid in Houston in the late 50's/early 60's. I vaguely recall that it was located to the east of TMC on/along Holcombe. I wonder if any part of this magnificant old structure still exists today? Thanks for sharing!
  8. Thank you very much, and - yes - that is very interesting, because the name 'Montclair' really brings back some memories. And, going back so many years ago now, I may have confused the Bissonnet & Weslayan intersection with Bellaire & Weslayan. If I'm not mistaken, the Montclair Shopping Center was around way back in the mid to late fifties. I'll check with my Mom over Thanksgiving; she might be able to clarify the location for me, too. Thanks again!
  9. This one may be very difficult, because I'm going back roughly fifty years here. Also, I was very young. If my memory serves me correctly, these apartments would have been roughly centered around Riley and Academy Streets - again, north of Bellaire Blvd. and west of Stella Link/Weslayan (just to the north of where Stella Link crosses Bellaire). I would guess that they would have been some of the very earliest apartments built in/around what was then the southwest fringe of Houston. They generally had the appearance of a lot of the military housing I've seen on military installations over the years - a lot of them were single story, duplex style with nice little yards, etc. They most definitely predated all the stuff built in that part of the Houston area from the early sixties forward. I just recall that they were interesting architecturally, and I suspect that they would have been built some time around World War II, if not slightly before or after.
  10. I'm interested in learning more about the rather large complex of apartments that existed to the west of Stella Link/Weslayan (and north of Bellaire Blvd.) in the fifties and sixties in/around Academy. I vaguely recall living in one of these apartments when I was about three years old or so back in the mid to late 1950's, before my Mom and Dad moved down Stella Link to Westwood Park in 1958. I'm pretty certain that they were still around, albeit refurbished, in the mid 1970's. They had a unique (and wonderful) architectural style to them (possibly from the 1940's?). I've been away from Houston for many, many years now, but I recently attempted to locate these apartments using Google Maps (Satellite & Street View). It looks like they're all gone now - replaced by 'MacMansions.' Does anyone know the history of these apartments, and why (and when) they disappeared from the Houston (Bellaire) landscape?
  11. Felix's was certainly around in the early 1960's. My father owned a business on Bissonet, near Kirby. It was not uncommon for us to get take out dinners at the nearby Felix's - my first introduction to Mexican food, I think. I seem to recall that there was more than one Felix location even in those days; this would have been between roughly 1960 and 1965. To the best of my memory, Felix's was family owned. I sincerely hope that they're not closing - or have not already closed - their doors. A wonderful memory from a too long ago childhood and a great old Houston landmark as well.
  12. Thank you, again. Your insights on the area have been wonderful, and I enjoy reading them so very much. BTW, I played ball in the Braes Bayou Little League about forty five years ago!
  13. What a pleasant surprise for me to get these photos! I've got to tell you that - incredibly - after well over forty years now, the place looks much the same. I am so very happy to see those hardwood floors and the pine paneling in the Den still in tact. These are just some of the features that give these homes a lot of charm from both an architectural and a nostalgic standpoint (something worth preserving, I believe). Anyway, the kitchen is recognizeable; however, it is the one room that appears to have undergone significant renovation. Thank you so very much. I've shared these images with both my Sister and Mother in Fort Worth. They were delighted to see them, too. You are very kind. And, I might just try to grab that old house if it ever goes on the market...dependent, of course, on how the area holds up and/or continues to improve. Warmest regards from S. California, Jeff, aka 'JHC'
  14. Wow. Thank you so very much; that gives me a really good picture - albeit bleak - of where the area is today. Ironically, my father installed a lot of the AC systems in those apartments east of Stella Link that went up in the early sixties - roughly across from Shearn. You can correct me if I'm wrong here, but my understanding is that those older apartment complexes constituted what eventually became known as 'Link Valley.' My family relocated to Central Texas in 1967, so I had no idea how bad that area in and around Stella Link eventually became until I started reading reports about the criminal activity there in the LA Times during the early 1990's. I've looked at satellite images of the area, and it looks to me like a lot of those apartments are gone now (?!). Good riddance, perhaps? I also remember my Mom complaining about all of the apartments going up in the area back then; she must have had some sense of things to come. Unbelievable about the present activities around the old U-Tote-Em store! It's not surprising, though, based on what you've told me about the area. Shearn's demise is especially sad, though; it was truly a top notch little school at one time. I wouldn't know whether or not the Davis Food City was the old Weingarten's. I do know that the Weingarten's was located on the west side of Stella Link - just south of Braes Bayou. I also remember that there was a small toy store located on the north side of the associated strip mall, facing Braes Bayou. I wonder if anyone else might remember that? I did learn recently that the Three Brother's Bakery, just north of this location, is still in business. I remember when the family opened that location - again - back in the early sixties. It's good to hear that Braes Heights and Ayrshire have taken off, again. And, thank you - again - for your information on the area. Very interesting stuff here. If anyone does have photos - then and now - of the area, I'd love to see them.
  15. I'm very interested in learning more about the old 'Westwood' subdivision which lies just south of the Loop and west of Stella Link. I grew up in this neighborhood in the late fifties and early sixties and attended Shearn Elementary School from 1959 to 1964. I have so very many fond memories of my childhood there but have not visited or had any contact with the area for well over thirty years. I currently live in Southern California and have heard and read reports that the area had fallen on some pretty tough times in the past three decades. I do not know if my old neighborhood avoided the problems associated with the general area or not. I lived at 4118 Omeara Drive, and I recall that Oboe Drive bisected Omeara right where our house was located. I believe that most of the homes in this neighborhood were built in the fifties. They were small tract houses but had a lot of nice features - a lot of windows, hardwood floors, tile bathrooms and kitchens, nice yards, etc. I also remember that there was a UTOTEM Store near the corner of Omeara and Stella Link and a Weingartens further north near Braes Bayou. Anyway, I'd love to hear from anyone who knows about this area - where it's been, where it is now...and, where it's going. Westwood was truly a wonderful and secure little world back in the fifties and early sixties with a lot of young, upwardly mobile families (still at the height of the Postwar Baby Boom). Jeff C in Apple Valley, California
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