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Mark, Even though I knew that wasn't Playland-Houston, thank you for affirming that I still have a few kilobytes of memory left upstairs. Those "real" pictures of Playland-Houston brought back a lot of memories, and most of the details were as I remembered. Those races were some of the most fun times of my mid-teens to mid-20's youth, so I guess that's why a lot of the details were imbedded. Your pictures of the races with the cars, track and stands were fantastic. I only wish I could have had the foresight to have taken similar pictures when I had the chance. One of my favorites was Billy Wade. Many times, he and Norman Pierce would mix it up out on the track. I remember them getting into a fight with each other after one race.

Thanks again for the great pictures! I look forward to seeing more.

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I found an pic I took of Kiddie Wonderland in 1986, I think it was in the process of being taken down....

Yeah that photo is from 1977! This is the only other Phil I could come up with. Here's some names from the past

Speaking of the Astroworld boundaries, I still remember when we kids as a group would run and get a ride on the train that went around Astroworld. On ocassion we could see (or bust) other older teens

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This one's for you T-Bird

Thanks, Mark! I had the unexpected pleasure of meeting up with Norman when I had my first car, a '51 Chevy, worked on at Jimmie Green Chevrolet, on Shepherd between Westheimer and W. Alabama. There was a problem with my brakes that the mechanic wanted to talk to me about. I went back to the work area and who should be the mechanic who wanted to see me? None other than "Stormin' Norman". What a surprise! This must have been about 1953-54.

Edited by 57Tbird
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Man it really trips me out how many of yall are from southeast, I feel like I'm hearin family members talk when I read yalls posts. I'm 3rd generation southeast myself. My grandparents lived in the magnolia/manchester area and my parents were from right there off broadway by milby, sellers bros., ingrando park, etc. Am I the only one who swam at glenbrook public pool, and jumped off the dreaded "hightower"? When I was up there as a kid I used to look out in the distance and see the skyline and think, "man I wanna live there one day, and now I do so ha, take that "your supposed to stay in the hood" mentality! Does anyone remember a place called "the mark" across the street from milby in the early 80's during the explosion of breakdancing? It was an arcade and a place to battle (breakdance "fight"). Supertrack closed???? Wow that's the end of an era.

I lived in Park Place for 26 years. Went to Houston Christian School, Park Place Elementary, Deady Jr. High, Milby Sr. High and U of H. Boy - Glenbrook pool brings back memories. That high tower was/is HIGH!

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Okay, here's one for you oldtimers. My dad tells me about a Jersey cattle farm and dairy on the location of present day Jersey Village. You went there and saw them milking cows, and then you could eat ice cream made from the cows that they had just milked. If anyone remembers or can tell me more about this, I'll be impressed.

Another favorite pastime of area residents was to spend time at the ice cream parlor operated by Clark Henry, who owned the F & M Jersey Ranch, a Jersey cattle ranch and dairy. Patrons of his shop, which was located with current boundaries of the City of Jersey Village, ate ice cream as they watched the milking of his cows. Trips to the popular dairy parlor were a tradition in the Cypress-Fairbanks community for many years. They had 5-cent ice cream cones and 10-cent malts.

http://www.cfisd.net/aboutour/history.htm#inhabitants

H-town I would guess you may have gone swimming in the creek at the park in Tomball. There was a rope hanging from a tree made so that you could swing out and drop off into the water. What fun! And did you ever eat a hamburger made by Mrs. Lucy at Brownies Cafe on 149? Beat Fudruckers by a mile!

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MEYERSPEEDWAY62COVERFRONT.jpg

MJBurton5-2.jpg

Believe it or not this is the Track Record Holder, M J Burton!!!!!!

MeyerSpeedwayPitCrew21.jpg

Scary bunch of thugs here!!!!

TerryLaBonte.jpg

Anybody recognize this cat????

None other than "Texas Terry" Labonte!!!! Has to be in 1975

EdHamblinGeorgeNash.jpg

Ole Money Bags Himself.....Big Ed Hamblen and George Nash @ the awards banquet in 1968

Edited by Mark F. Barnes
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Did a little searching and found this picture of Hanna Barberra land in Spring.

hannabarberalandhouston.jpg

The interesting thing about Hanna Barberra Land was that all rides were "People Powered"

No rides were electrically driven.

When you left there, your arms and legs were tired!

Edited by Ron4tx
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I grew up right smack-dab in the middle of that picture!

Mark, I came across that photo of old U.S. 75 in Houston Freeways and it inspired me to write a history of the area, which I'm working on right now as I post this. I stop in here occasionally to see if anyone has posted anything to help in my research. Was I happy to see this post!

To the left of the future I-45 you can see the beginnings of Hidden Valley. I grew up just to the right of the future I-45 in northline Terrace, which in the 1959 photo is an open field.

Toward the top of the photo you can see the new Aldine High School, which was built at Airline and West Road in 1956 after the original school (on Aldine Westfield and Aldine Bender) burned down on Thanksgiving Eve 1954.

Towards the bottom middle of the photo along what was then North Shepherd Drive (U.S. 75) there are three gasoline storage tanks, which is Exxon's (then Humble's) North Houston Products Terminal. I am trying to find out when these were built. If anyone knows, by all means, let me know.

I'd love to start a thread about the history of the area in the photo, but so far, it seems the board is mostly made up of people who grew up in Sharpstown or along South Main. As best as I can determine, I'm the only person on here who grew up in this area.

Anyone out there who wants to talk about the Aldine/Airline area?

Edited by Firebird65
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I grew up right smack-dab in the middle of that picture!

Mark, I came across that photo of old U.S. 75 in Houston Freeways and it inspired me to write a history of the area, which I'm working on right now as I post this. I stop in here occasionally to see if anyone has posted anything to help in my research. Was I happy to see this post!

To the left of the future I-45 you can see the beginnings of Hidden Valley. I grew up just to the right of the future I-45 in northline Terrace, which in the 1959 photo is an open field.

Toward the top of the photo you can see the new Aldine High School, which was built at Airline and West Road in 1956 after the original school (on Aldine Westfield and Aldine Bender) burned down on Thanksgiving Eve 1954.

Towards the bottom middle of the photo along what was then North Shepherd Drive (U.S. 75) there are three gasoline storage tanks, which is Exxon's (then Humble's) North Houston Products Terminal. I am trying to find out when these were built. If anyone knows, by all means, let me know.

I'd love to start a thread about the history of the area in the photo, but so far, it seems the board is mostly made up of people who grew up in Sharpstown or along South Main. As best as I can determine, I'm the only person on here who grew up in this area.

Anyone out there who wants to talk about the Aldine/Airline area?

That is an amazing photo - I grew up right in the middle of it as well, in Hidden Valley, and my parents still live there. I assume that's Hidden Valley Drive along the north boundary of that first group of houses built in the neighborhood (dead-ending into US 75 as it heads east), and Sunnywood heading north from there parallel to 75 before crossing what would be SH 249.

When I tell people that are more recent arrivals to that area that it used to be practically out in the country, they find it hard to believe given the massive development that's taken place since then. Unfortunately, flood control improvements haven't kept pace with development, which is why you can count on seeing a shot of the intersection of 249 and 45 under several feet of water on the evening news every time there's significant rainfall in the area.

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Alright! A fellow northsider!

Yes, that is Hidden Valley Drive dead-ending into 75 and Sunnywood is the north/south street paralleling it. That's Hidden Valley Section 1 and construction started in 1958.

There's a story in the Houston Chronicle interviewing former Aldine ISD supertendent W.W. Thorne talking about the area being nothing but a treeless plain when he bought a house there in 1958. The reason he bought there? Basically because there was nothing else around!

I have an ad from 1966 touting homes in Hidden Valley Section 5 for $115 a month. Wow!

I was doing research through old newspapers last night at U.H. and came across ads for McMahon Chevrolet, which opened in January 1971 at Hidden Valley and I-45. You might be interested in knowing that the Texaco station at that same corner and the Shell at West Mount Houston and I-45 (both incorporating Hidden Valley in their names) were built in 1963 along with the freeway. The now-closed Kroger was built in 1966 and remodeled in 1974. The Hidden Valley Shopping Center apparently was built in 1969 and consisted of a Madsen-Dugan Pharmacy, a Piggly Wiggly grocery store, a TG&Y and later a Weiners.

I've got lots more if you're interested, including info on roads stores, etc., and I'd love to hear anything you've got on the area. As I've said, I'm doing a history on the area. Actually it's a history of the Aldine Mustangs football team and I'm incorporating facts about how the area has grown and changed to add some flavor to it.

Perhaps we should start a new thread? That way others might more easily find it and can join in rather than having it buried as off topic in this unrelated one.

Edited by Firebird65
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  • 2 weeks later...
I went somewere near downtown, i can't remember where exactly though. I'm only 21!

The only Globe I knew of was on the corner of Hillcroft and Bellaire Blvd. in Sharpstown, across from the Sharpstown Drive-In Theatre and a Chinese Restaurant. Nothing much more was built up in that area during the 70's.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Back to Playland Park Racing. I am so impressed with your memory, 57Tbird! Your description fits to a T my remembrance of the track and surrounds. As West U. kids our hero was A.J., our neighbor, but I remember well Stormin' Norman and a few others. Not I have a question to tax your memories, all of you who kept up with such things.

Around 1955-56, I met a guy named Phillip______? He raced stock cars at Playland. He was older than I, me being 14-15 at the time. He was very slender, dark hair, nice guy, but was not considered fit company for me by my family. No romantics envolved, just friends, but he taught me how to take high speed curves and turns, pre-power steering. One night, he brought around his highly newly souped up 1955 Chevy and invited me to go for a trial spin. We headed out to South Main, past any signs of civilization and took off, reaching 155mph! It was the scariest, most thrilling thing I'd ever experienced.

I don't think he ever got famous or anything, but I have wracked my brain for years trying to remember his last name. If any of you have a clue or an old roster of stock car drivers, I'd love to hear from you.

Thanks.

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I would love to post a photo of a famous old Houston race car, but since I just joined this forum, I haven't yet quite figured out how to attach a photo. The car was built by Tony Foyt in the late 50's and was run at Playland and Meyer Speedway by Billy Wade. It is a white #2 T-bucket super-modified. Anybody remember this car? I have a photo of it.

In the mean time, I invite those of you on this forum who have an interest in local Texas racing, past and present to join us on TEXAS SPEEDZONE (TXSZ.Com) Forums Section. I have the photo posted at the top of the "Texas Racing History Section" right now. Regards.

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I would love to post a photo of a famous old Houston race car, but since I just joined this forum, I haven't yet quite figured out how to attach a photo. The car was built by Tony Foyt in the late 50's and was run at Playland and Meyer Speedway by Billy Wade. It is a white #2 T-bucket super-modified. Anybody remember this car? I have a photo of it.

In the mean time, I invite those of you on this forum who have an interest in local Texas racing, past and present to join us on TEXAS SPEEDZONE (TXSZ.Com) Forums Section. I have the photo posted at the top of the "Texas Racing History Section" right now. Regards.

''Photobucket''

Edited by Marty
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Surely the statue of limitations has long passed on speeding tickets!

I will reassure you there were no other cars or people around and the road was flitter flat, like all of Big H. Don't forget he was a professional race car driver -- oops, I see what you mean. There were a lot of crashes at the track.

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Back to Playland Park Racing. I am so impressed with your memory, 57Tbird! Your description fits to a T my remembrance of the track and surrounds. As West U. kids our hero was A.J., our neighbor, but I remember well Stormin' Norman and a few others. Not I have a question to tax your memories, all of you who kept up with such things.

Around 1955-56, I met a guy named Phillip______? He raced stock cars at Playland. He was older than I, me being 14-15 at the time. He was very slender, dark hair, nice guy, but was not considered fit company for me by my family. No romantics envolved, just friends, but he taught me how to take high speed curves and turns, pre-power steering. One night, he brought around his highly newly souped up 1955 Chevy and invited me to go for a trial spin. We headed out to South Main, past any signs of civilization and took off, reaching 155mph! It was the scariest, most thrilling thing I'd ever experienced.

I don't think he ever got famous or anything, but I have wracked my brain for years trying to remember his last name. If any of you have a clue or an old roster of stock car drivers, I'd love to hear from you.

Thanks.

West U,

Is there any possibility he was Marvin Fillip? He was simply known as Fillip, a lot of people didn't really know him as anything but Fillip. I have one old photo of Marvin Fillip in his super modified @ Meyerland Speedway. I will post it, and see if it rings any bells.

MarvinFillip.jpg

Edited by Mark F. Barnes
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  • 2 weeks later...
Here is a site that might interest you:

http://www.sixflagshouston.com/maps/

There is a forum there as well, but I like this one better!

Below is the Astroworld Park map from 1980, when my best friend and I used to get the season passes! $10 for the pass if I'm not mistaken. ;-)

sfaw1980.jpg

1980 in my opinion was the best year for Astroworld. The Dolphin show, the Sleigh snow ride, the sports car ride, the River of No Return were all still there plus the addition of Thunder River made 1980 a great family year.

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MEYERSPEEDWAY62COVERFRONT_op_470x600.jpg

MJBurton5-2.jpg

Believe it or not this is the Track Record Holder, M J Burton!!!!!!

MEYERSPEEDWAY62PROGRAM6_op_467x600.jpg

Track stats for 1962

MeyerSpeedwayPitCrew21.jpg

Scary bunch of thugs here!!!!

Great icuture,(l-r) Richard Forster,Leon Luskia,Alan Luskia(driver),EJ Weeks,Marcos Tovar

TerryLaBonte.jpg

Anybody recognize this cat????

None other than "Texas Terry" Labonte!!!! Has to be in 1975

EdHamblinGeorgeNash.jpg

Ole Money Bags Himself.....Big Ed Hamblen and George Nash @ the awards banquet in 1968

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Guest Sebastian De La Ghetto
1980 in my opinion was the best year for Astroworld. The Dolphin show, the Sleigh snow ride, the sports car ride, the River of No Return were all still there plus the addition of Thunder River made 1980 a great family year.

River of no return, was that the safari ride with the big king kong at the end? man i'd forgotten all about that. good times.

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Sea-arama - 1970

Buy dead fish and feed the sea lions from the bridge!

The outreached arm dropping the fish is mine. In front of me, squatting down is my 3 year old daughter. Prophetically she grew up to be the Sea Lion Zookeeper and Trainer at Houston Zoo and a pinneped expert for many years.

Seaworld1970.jpg

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A friend of mine mentioned a kiddie place called Wee Wild West. I went there as a kid (60's) but have no idea where it was. Anybody remember that one?

The Wee Wild West was on Westheimer, about where West Alabama branches off it--just a stone's throw from the Galleria. I attended and/or had a couple of birthday parties there in the early 1960s.

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  • 3 months later...
I would love to post a photo of a famous old Houston race car, but since I just joined this forum, I haven't yet quite figured out how to attach a photo. The car was built by Tony Foyt in the late 50's and was run at Playland and Meyer Speedway by Billy Wade. It is a white #2 T-bucket super-modified. Anybody remember this car? I have a photo of it.

In the mean time, I invite those of you on this forum who have an interest in local Texas racing, past and present to join us on TEXAS SPEEDZONE (TXSZ.Com) Forums Section. I have the photo posted at the top of the "Texas Racing History Section" right now. Regards.

Hey Budman, where was that photo taken? I remember the car and Wade but the track doesn't look familiar.

Thanks,

Jim

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Here is a site that might interest you:

http://www.sixflagshouston.com/maps/

There is a forum there as well, but I like this one better!

Below is the Astroworld Park map from 1980, when my best friend and I used to get the season passes! $10 for the pass if I'm not mistaken. ;-)

sfaw1980.jpg

What a trip. I had that map hanging in my closet. That definitely was one of their best years.

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My parents took us to Hanah Barberra Land around 1984 when I was 6-7 years old. They had a place where you could stand in front of a blue screen and have a VHS made of you with different characters in it. Me, my younger sister, and my dad did one where we were in a haunted mansion with Scooby Doo and Shaggy. One of the park workers would be off camera telling you what motions you had to do at different times and then you got to see the film at the end. My parents still have that tape, it's hilarious.

I also have some of the same memories of Games People play on 1960. It's hard to believe that nothing has been done with that property. GPP closed around 1990-ish, and the place still has many remnants of the old park.

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11222.jpg

Yes, that is definately Playland Park!

The main entrance was to the left of that photo. As you entered, the first ride on the left was the booth for the train which ran along side the roller coaster (behind it in the photo). Just beyond that is where Murworth is now. The round ride in the photo is the Tilt-a-Whirl.

Is there any one that can pin-point the exact DATES of existance of PlayLand Park? My mom spoke of it often and if I think correctly she said it was near where there were these tired old little ponies we used to ride in the early 60's. She could be mistaken but it had to be there or near these ponies? I know when we went to ride these horses/donkeys there were still some rusted small little cars styled like the 1940's (cool) wish I had one now! There were other cool dated toys for kids around us but don't tell me its gone too? ....more tears.....probably some of those hideous condos on top of it now. They look just like tall tin/aluminum out houses like the ones in Freedmans town, YUGLY.

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I scanned through the three pages and I don't think I saw a mention of Busch Gardens on the corner of I10 and the East Loop at the Budweiser brewery.

I Hanna Barbara the same as the now Splashtown or is that a different park.

joe

I remember Busch Gardens! It was created quickly and why they put it in that part of town I will never know? Thas probably why it met an untimely demise. Who in the heck wanted to take their kids to an industrial area?

We would drive by it everytime we picked up my dad at work at nearby Roadway Express terminal. B Gardens looked so cool from far away because the rides looked very exciting, we were just glued to the car windows as we passed! Was very colorful and seemed like it was expanding. I bet it only lasted about 4-5 years at most? Anyone else know? I just recall it there until about 1975???

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I remember Busch Gardens! It was created quickly and why they put it in that part of town I will never know? Thas probably why it met an untimely demise. Who in the heck wanted to take their kids to an industrial area?

I just recall it there until about 1975???

I remember it being only open for a year, if that long. I believe it closed it's doors in 1971 due to lack of customers. I remember seeing the biggest goldfish I had ever seen (~16").

Also you have to join or sign in, but here's a link to a video of the park (5th link down):

http://www.sixflagshouston.com/videos/

Edited by enviromain
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  • 3 weeks later...
Does anyone remember these old amusement places in Houston?

Gooney Golf which was I think, at South Post Oak and W. Belfort.

I remember, just a little up from that intersection on Belfort. I think there was a grocery store at that corner (Beldons?) I had a friend who worked there. Probably played there a handful times. My folks still live near Belfort and Cliffwood.

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  • 5 weeks later...

Anyone interested in a DVD of Playland Park Speedway and Meyerland Speedway, IM or email me with your contact info. It's a bunch of home movie footage shot in the 50's in 8mm. There was no sound, so we overdubbed some oldies music and Charles did some comentary. I think it came out real good, I am going to burn some DVD's , you'll see it isn't professional, but it is pretty cool. If any of you get the Houston/Heights Tribune, I am helping Sharon Lauder put together some articles to run on Playland and Meyerland Speedways. It should come out this spring, when I get some exact dates on the print I will let you know. I am mainly providing photos and names and dates and she is writing the articles, like I said when I get some exact dates of the print I will let you know.

P.S. There is also newer footage from the 60's and 70's, there is some of old Almeda Speedway, some from Moody andClarey, and some breif shots from old Houston Dragway off of Gulf Freeway.

Edited by Mark F. Barnes
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