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Posts posted by 57Tbird

  1. I recently came across some correspondence from an old high school friend who asked me if I remembered the gorilla who lived in a house in the Montrose area. I told him that I vaguely remembered that he was almost like a child to the couple who owned him. The following is a brief summary of our recollection...

    He said he remembered a gorilla that a family raised somewhere near the Montrose-Richmond area of Houston in the 50's-60's time-frame. His name was Hugo. I didn't remember his name, but I remembered the gorilla he was talking about. He said he'd read stories in the Houston Chronicle and the Houston Post about Hugo. Hugo grew into adulthood while living with his human family in their house in a caged-off bedroom. There were times during the day when Hugo had the run of the house. The owner would take the grown-up Hugo for a ride in his car for a treat like we might take our pet dog for an outing. One of the streets where one might have seen Hugo riding in the car was Montrose, or you might have seen him on any of the neighborhood streets in that area. His dad said he saw Hugo several times sitting in the passenger seat with his arm out of the passenger window with his hand resting on the top of the car. His arm was so long it reached a little over half the width of the roof. After a number of years, some neighbors got upset with Hugo living in the neighborhood. It was against the law, as well as dangerous, and the court's decision was to not let them care for Hugo in their home any longer.

    I didn't remember exactly what happened to Hugo, but he thought he got sick and died after they moved him out of his home. He said he thought Leon Hale was the one that wrote the stories he had read about Hugo, but Leon answered his e-mail and said he didn't remember ever writing about a gorilla in Houston.

    He did some research and found an article that was in the Chronicle about Hugo and sent it to me. It is fairly long, so I've converted it to an Adobe file, which I hope you are able to open. Some of the details, as we remembered them, are a little different from the Chronicle story.


  2. T-Bird may be able to shed more light on the date of this photo, I think he may have communicated directly with the Lacy family.

    Per Lacy's grandson, that's a 1957 photo. The #53 A.L. Special had just been built with some '57 Chevy tail fins incorporated into the rear. I agree with Mark that the coaster must have been torn down by the time construction on the Astrodome had begun. Mark, In your earlier post of the dome aerial shot, you're looking to the northeast (the Shamrock, in the upper left of the photo, is about due north of the Astrodome), so Playland would have been out of the picture to the lower left of the photo. Colt Stadium was on the north side of the dome, so the coaster may still have been there for awhile after it was built in the 1960 time-frame and prior to construction start on the dome. Attached a cropped 1968 Houston map (clickable thumbnail) showing the relative locations of the Astrodome and Playland. I guess some of Playland was still there. Murworth runs right where the roller coaster would have been.


  3. It was the first hump that was blown over so it only damaged things in the front part of the park. I married and moved away in 1952 so I know it was well before that year. I believe it was in the early 40's. Maybe the Houston Library can help us. I will try to get some information from them. Sparky

    This is a brief history of the roller coaster that I found with a picture of it for sale on ebay...

    "This rare photo of the ROCKET (aka: Cyclone) roller coaster at PLAYLAND PARK in Houston, Texas was taken in 1943. This roller coaster was built in 1941 and was the last roller coaster designed by famed coaster designer John Miller, who died in Houston shortly after he completed this coaster. The coaster was dismantled in 1967 where it has been nearly forgotten by city historians."

    This must be the hurricane that Sparky remembered...


    HURRICANE (Cat. 1* - July 27th landfall)

    This hurricane moved inland over Bolivar Peninsula near Galveston Bay. Houston had a wind gust to 132 mph, Texas City recorded a gust of 104 mph, and Beaumont recorded 17.76" of rain. Nineteen persons died. Damage totaled $17 million.

    * - Hurrtrak data indicated a Category 1 status; NHC/TPC documents had peak at a Category 2.

  4. TBird now that you point it out that does look like a 1955 Oldsmobile Super 88 Convertible, It's confusing me now, if you also notice, in the background there is no Roller Coaster wasn't it built by 1955? Not positive on that. I know it was there in '58 for sure. Maybe that race is the 1954 Fall race. The ran the Gold Cup Classic in like September or October. I missed that parade car, good catch. Sparky can you shed any light on when the Roller Coaster went up?

    But you are correct, they all (cars) look the same now, however I have my deposit down on the new Camaro, Donny Buckalew was allotted two of them on the first release, he's getting one and I'm getting the other one, I just can't wait. 2010 Camaro can't get here quick enough.

    The video is being shot from the north stands looking south. the roller coaster went behind the north stands, so it wouldn't show in the direction being shot. I know the roller coaster was there in the early 50's, when I first rode it. I'm not sure, but I think it was built back in the early to mid 40's before the track was built.

  5. Am currently researching Texas Medical Center area during the late 1940s and early 1950s for a book. Am very interested in downloading the early photo of S. Main & Fannin, but am unable to accomplish this because the complete file is missing, according to HAIF electronic response to my attempts. Could you please direct me to the complete file or repost the original? Thank you very much.

    I think the original poster, Earlydays, might need to give permission and receive credit should he wish. With his permission, I have added building names that are known by myself, Earlydays, and other HAIF'ers. I have some more names, but have not updated. I have done some work with Photoshop to remove some minor imperfections in the photo from the original. If Earlydays gives his permission for its use, I can furnish you with the large file, modified photo, with or without building names.

  6. Danny L. Williams, currently living in Hereford, Arizona, graduated from Spring Branch High School in 1958, then attended Texas A & M. Shirley A. Williams graduated from Spring Branch in 1963, graduated from Stephen F. Austin in 1968, then taught Home Economics at Spring Branch Jr. High for three years. Danny would like to know of any plans for a 50th reunion of class of 58.

    If there is to be a reunion, the information would usually be posted on your high school alumni site. There doesn't appear to be anything about a reunion for your class mentioned there, but you could use the contact link to ask.

  7. Hate to disagree with ya there bud, but my Dad was pretty specific when he wrote this information on his boxes of slides. Also, here is a link to the covrage of that first game. It started at 2:35. I would have to think that was PM and not Am:


    It was at night. I was there.

    All below is from your link above..

    Woodeshick had tossed five innings and was done for the night.

    The stars came out at night in Houston, even if it was under a roof. Mantle and Fox both rose to the occasion, as they so often did. Each would later be inducted into the Hall of Fame.

    The big scoreboard's 45-second "ecstasy" display for a Houston victory or home run was set off at the end of the eighth inning on opening night for the President's benefit, although the Astros were locked in a tie at the time.

    Game Played on Friday, April 9, 1965 (N) at Astrodome (This was in the box score info. N for night game. D for day game)

  8. There was the true story of the middle age son that disappeared never to be found that murdered his parents. It was near Montrose or rather in Montrose or Heights?

    House is still there and when cops found the parents they had been dismembered and heads in frig. All done very neatly as if expecting a crowd. Now someone here should verify the date, so it may have been in 1961-62 so I'm afraid it missed your time frame. Sorry. I tried to dig thur Chron but no luck, strange though since they had the story resurface after all these decades. Was very shocking for its day, now it just considered normal everyday stuff by todays standards.

    I remember the one I think you're referring to... mid-60's time-frame. It occurred in a house on Driscoll St, just south of the River Oaks Center. His name was Rogers, I think. I thought it had been discussed here before, but I couldn't find it.

  9. I believe this used to be on Richmond, or was it West Alabama?

    Great place to be on Tuesdays and Thursdays for beer bust night! :)

    Whatever happened to this place, anyone know?

    As best I can remember, and I'm not totally, absolutely sure, but I think it was about one block east of Shepherd, between Kipling and Harold... facing onto Kipling.

  10. Please do - I'd love to see if they have one available for my dad's graduating class (Huntsville High School, class of 1948).

    This is the person I communicated with about my class picture. You give her the info you mentioned above and, if they have it, she will give you the negative no. which you can put on the online order form. You can also have the form mailed or fax'd to you.

    Linda Briscoe Myers, Assistant Curator of Photography, briscoe@mail.utexas.edu, 512-471-6281

  11. Some slides my Dad took during the 60's of the Dome during it's glory days:

    1st Exhibition game with the Yankees in April, 1965:


    This was not the first exhibition game with the Yankees. I attended that game on a Friday night, and the Astros won 2-1. The scoreboard clock here reads 3:53.

  12. What I am dying to find out is IF:

    A person can still find out how to go back and either view or BUY an old class photo?

    I spoke to a HISD admin once but he may not have been totally in the know. He said you would be extremely lucky to find the studio or photographer that would come to the schools and take photos of classmates and specific students.

    I started elementary school in the late 60's and if memory serves well it was always optional for you (parents) to buy the photos. Of course now we dont realize how important it was to buy these when you had the chance. I clearly remeber taking group photos and now I cannot find any of me with pals, only when mom would come to school and take pictures of the kiddies did we end up with some. I want the good ones where everyone is together in a row.

    If anyone can help please add info here!!! I will buy you a late of lasagna, I promise! :D

    PS, whats really frustrating, is that this contact told me the studios would just destroy remaining (unbought) photos. Grrrrrrrrrr :angry:

    I looked into finding a copy of my 1953 high school class picture taken by famed panoramic photographer, E. L. Goldbeck, and found this source

    I don't think elementary school class pictures are available from here, but if anyone is looking for an old Texas high school class picture taken from 1946-1975, you might check this out

  13. I don't know about y'all, but out in the neck of the woods we grew up in, we swam naked all the time, we didn't even own swim trunks. If we went to Galveston we wore homemades to keep from going to the pokey. What's the big deal, skinny dipping has been around since the beginning or time. Just don't see the issue. Junior High back then isn't like it is now days. Kids were still kids back then. Nowadays kids grow up too fast or at least they think they do. Some really do. My wife has had some of her fifth graders come up pregnant, never heard of such a thing back in grade school. Shoot if you got to kiss a girl by the 6th grade in the 50's you were Hugh Hefner! Things just aren't like they used to be.

    Right on, Mark! When I was in the 6th grade in the mid-40's, makin' out was holding a girls hand, or really makin' out for a 6th grader was putting your arm around her at the Saturday movies. We got an excuse to kiss when we played "spin the bottle". The times... they have really changed.

  14. I would love to see a group of people get together and watch this.

    My wife and I are on the finishing touches of our 4 month remodel. Maybe we can host a viewing at the house if someone can bring their copy.

    Give me your address (PM), and I'll send you a copy for the purpose you describe.

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