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Sharpstown History?


Modernceo

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I don't remember the Sharpstown Drive-In and I used to live just a few blocks from there! Have to drive by there sometime soon and see if it jogs my memory.

I don't personally remember this playground at the drive-in, but I found this in Google Images. It may be because Mom & Dad always brought us at night and we were pretty young. I remember my Dad getting fresh with my Mom there, lol.

24qlhzt.jpg

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  • 4 weeks later...
There was a cool place to eat on the end that you ordered using telephones at the table. I don't recall the name.

I loved that restaurant! I think it was called Across the Street.

(And Mrs. Hughes was my 4th grade teacher too) :)

"Mansion" at Gessner and Beechnut? Yes, I wondered what kind of person would have invested in a building at that site at a busy intersection. Gypsy's? most likely.

So funny that you said that! I guess we heard the same rumor. If anyone asks me I always say the King of the Gypsys lives there. My 41 year old brain can't remember where that tidbit came from. I thought it was one of those crazy things my Mom was always coming up with.

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Does anybody remember a grocery store near Fondren and Bissonett called Sacco Bros.? I'm not sure I spelled it correctly. When I was a LITTLE kid I'd go there with my Mom and "Mr. Sam" would always give me a piece of bubblegum.

I remember Saccos! He had big barrells of candy, gum, and peanuts. That was back in the day when my mom would give a "big quarter" as a tip to bring her groceries to the car and load them. It closed about the same time as Homers didn't it? And what about Henry's BBQ?

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Yes, Sharpstown High School had 2 smoking areas. You had to have had a permission slip from your parents in order to smoke there (not that anyone checked). It was there at least during my time there from 79 to 81.

Westbury High School had smoking areas when I was there in 73-75.. In fact, I think they

started it my freshman year if I remember right.. It was always packed.. But many used

other places, like the handball courts, etc.. I still remember my usual breakfast at Westbury..

A cigarette along with the usual Mr. Pibb. Some indulged in those funky herbal cigs with no

filters.. :/

MK

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Yes, Sharpstown High School had 2 smoking areas. You had to have had a permission slip from your parents in order to smoke there (not that anyone checked). It was there at least during my time there from 79 to 81.

It still had both smoking areas when I went there as well, graduated in '83. I don't think smoking permits were ever checked after the first of the year. Mrs. Ott used to check them during the first week. Mr. Jackson didn't care. People even smoked in the bathroom back in the day.

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This forum has brought tears to my eyes. Oh what great memories. We moved to Sharpstown in 1965. I was 4 years old. We lived on Langdon Lane, 3 blocks from K-Mart, in between Mary Bates and Gessner. I went to Pat Neff Elementary, Sharpstown Jr. High, and graduated from Sharpstown High School in 1979. I remember our house being built prior to moving in. There was only 1 other house on our street, which was our next door neighboors. We use to fly bat kites in the fields all around us. I remember going to the houses that were being built and walking all around them when they were nothing but 4x4's and nails everywhere. I remember getting a tetnus shot for stepping on a nail. I remember the hill in front of Pat Neff Elementary School that always seems so big when we hunted Easter Eggs. We too walked to The Purple Cow and got purple ice cream on a cone. Last time I was in Houston, the sliding window that opened up to order your ice cream was still there. We also walked to the 7-elevan to get candy and icee's. I remember the 2 houses on the next block over that burned down. One was the corner of Mary Bates. I remember the car the drove through the window of the one houses on the corner of Mary Bates. Can't remember the street names they were on. Also I remember their was a Dairy Queen that we use to go to on Bellaire. You could drive up to it and order your ice cream! I can picture the Country Club Pool in my mind. We were not members, but I always got to go with my friends as Guest. The high diving board seemed really high to me. I remember getting up early and standing in line at Landsdale Pool to sign up for Swim Lessons. The entrance to the pool seems to have stayed the same. My sister worked at K-Mart, and I worked at Gemco. One year I was the one who you showed your membership card to when you came in the front door. Taco Bell was on the same parking lot. I remember how it flooded so bad in our neighborhood that we took an air boat from K-mart parking lot to our street to get home. I remember going to Sharpstown Mall to watch the fireworks on July 4th and how much traffic we always had to sit in to get back to MaryBates from Bellaire Blvd. I remember the Marie Callendars across the street from the mall on Bellaire. I also worked a couple years as a checker at Handy Andy. I remember it was robbed on a night that I was not working. How about Uncle Sam's. It was in a strip center off of Fondren I think. Anyone remember when we got to paint the fire hydrants red, white and blue in the neighborhood. I think that was in 1976 for the bicenttenial. Or when it snowed and they closed Sharpstown Jr. High because the snow actually stuck. I was able to make my first snowman on our backyard picnic table. I remember the water tower on the corner of Gessner and Bellaire.

I remember waking up in the middle of the night when Hurricane Alicia hit and the electricity was out and seeing our pine trees in the front yard be bent to the roots. We taped up our windows several times when I lived on Langdon in fear that hurricanes were going to hit. Over the years I went back to Sharpstown to visit my parents, who lived in our house for 38 years and moved 2 years ago to New Mexico. It was hard to drive down Bellaire and Gessner. I always thought their neighborhood was well kept, but the surrounding eye sore apartments were so hard to see after all those years. Oh I also remember the Sharpstown Ice Skating Rink..spent many friday nights there skating to the song Philadelphia Freedom! HA!. I think there was also a bowling alley over there, and I remember when they first put it in, it had those automated score keeper machines. They were hugh! I also remember going to a Pizza Hut on Gessner, past Bellaire Blvd. on the right past the strip center by Fiesta. Fondren also had a Jack-in-the-box where you actually ordered through Jack in the box. Well that is all I can think of now. I will always have great memories of growing up in Sharpstown!

Edited by alybeary
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I remember the hill in front of Pat Neff Elementary School that always seems so big when we hunted Easter Eggs...

Well you just recounted MY life! Only I was one year old when we moved to Sharpstown in 1965. Funny you mentioned the hill in front of Neff. I just drove past the school last weekend and wondered to myself why they had to get rid of the hill. Probably from fear of some Jack or Jill tumbling down and filing a lawsuit. Remember how there were always two Golden Eggs when they had the Easter Egg hunt out front? And did you ever encounter a horny toad on the kick ball field?! We are in the process of moving my Dad to a retirement center and I can't help but be pretty sad about not having a home in Sharpstown anymore.

Neff.jpg

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7) I remember the old EATON Car Parts and repair place when it went up near the corner of Gessner and Beechnut. I thought, "wow, what a cool building". I think we all know the building.

I don't think you bored anyone here - we all seem to be Sharpstonians in our hearts! Those are some great memories. I remember when they built that Eaton building and how "mod" it was...well it was kind of like that store in Astroworld, "The Mod Box." But oh it looks awful now! They demolished the old car dealership and lot next to it and I wish they could just keep going and raze that building too.

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Funny you mentioned the hill in front of Neff. I just drove past the school last weekend and wondered to myself why they had to get rid of the hill. Remember how there were always two Golden Eggs when they had the Easter Egg hunt out front? And did you ever encounter a horny toad on the kick ball field?!

Neff.jpg

It has been several years since I have been back to Sharpstown. I don't recall the Golden Eggs, but I am sad to hear that the hill is gone. I do remember the day that "man first walked on the moon" - they wheeled in one of those tv's on a cart and we all sat and watched it in our classroom. I always thought that cement square thing in the middle of the school was strange.

Anyone remember SFDS carnivals? We went to those every year. I can remember playing BINGO.

Oh and I think the K-Mart grocery part was a Lewis and Coker. And Churches Chicken was on the corner of that parking lot. We had fried chicken every week! But my favorite was Long John Silver's. It seems like LJS's was on the same parking lot until they moved it across to the other side of the freeway over there by Channel 2?

my family used to go pick dewberries in a some of those fields off of Hillcroft before they were all developed. The comment about Horny Toads caught my eye because we used to run across horned toads in those fields while we were picking berries (along with lots of snakes).

My dad used to take us to pick Dewberries also. What fun! I had forgotten about that...One thing that you brought memories of was seeing dead "frogs" smashed in the street. I know this sounds terrible, but we use to see them all the time, then many years later when I would go back to my parents home, I always wondered where all the "frogs" went to.

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Only I was one year old when we moved to Sharpstown in 1965.

Neff.jpg

We moved to Sharpstown in 1969. We lived on the corner of Neff St. and Larkwood. The house with the big white barking german shepard. The dog's name was "Marbles," but my mom used to yell out, "stop barking Killer." I guess Killer sounded more intimidating than Marbles.

Of course my brother and I moved out in later years, but my parents stayed there until 1991. I went to went to Sutton Elementary, Jane Long Jr. High and graduated from Sharpstown High with the class of 1983.

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We moved to Sharpstown in 1969. We lived on the corner of Neff St. and Larkwood. The house with the big white barking german shepard. The dog's name was "Marbles," but my mom used to yell out, "stop barking Killer." I guess Killer sounded more intimidating than Marbles.

Of course my brother and I moved out in later years, but my parents stayed there until 1991. I went to went to Sutton Elementary, Jane Long Jr. High and graduated from Sharpstown High with the class of 1983.

Well I know I've driven past your house many times because one of my best friends lived on the corner of Carvel and Larkwood. I bet I know you too! Or at least know who you are - I was in Class of '83 as well. We were going through boxes at my Dad's house tonight - getting ready to move him out - and I found this little black and white cartoon that Mom cut out of the paper one day and stuck on my bedroom door. It said "Class of '83 is Number One." It stayed there for years until they turned my bedroom into an office....about the same time my favorite Dallas Cowboys poster mysteriously disappeared!

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Anyone remember SFDS carnivals? We went to those every year. I can remember playing BINGO....

...My dad used to take us to pick Dewberries also. What fun! I had forgotten about that...One thing that you brought memories of was seeing dead "frogs" smashed in the street. I know this sounds terrible, but we use to see them all the time, then many years later when I would go back to my parents home, I always wondered where all the "frogs" went to.

SFDS still has the "carnivals" - it's called the Bazaar! I too loved to go when I was a kid. It must have been over 30 years ago that I bought a little green plant there (that I named Simon) and took it home to my Mom. It somehow jumped out of the pot and took over the flower bed in the backyard. It really made kind of nice ground cover. Mom called it "Simon's children." It is still there today along the side of the house! I am going to grab some for sure before we sell the place so I can have some of Simon's children at MY house.

I remember all the dewberries in that area too. There was a row of them that grew between Sharpstown General Hospital and Gethsemane Methodist Church. We picked some one day at nursery school and I put them in my front pocket to bring to my Grandfather who was visiting at the time. Too bad I did that BEFORE nap time. I ended up with smashed dewberries in my pocket.

And I remember all the frogs too! And you know what else has disappeared? Turtles. We were always finding turtles and keeping them as pets until they wandered off again. I guess it's just too much development - no place for the turtles and the frogs to hang out anymore.

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Well I know I've driven past your house many times because one of my best friends lived on the corner of Carvel and Larkwood. I bet I know you too! Or at least know who you are - I was in Class of '83 as well. We were going through boxes at my Dad's house tonight - getting ready to move him out - and I found this little black and white cartoon that Mom cut out of the paper one day and stuck on my bedroom door. It said "Class of '83 is Number One." It stayed there for years until they turned my bedroom into an office....about the same time my favorite Dallas Cowboys poster mysteriously disappeared!

Yep, that's the house! It's painted brown now - weird to see. And yes I was a member of MYF at the Gethsemane Methodist church on Bellaire Blvd. We were always at the church for one reason or the other. Cool to run into a SHS fellow classmate here at HAIF. Those were the days!

I heard that the kids there still talk about our graduating class because of all the quarters we handed Mr. Jackson as we shook his hand and walked across the stage! Who would have believed we were still talked about 20 years later? Class of "83 still rocks!

Edited by enviromain
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  • 4 weeks later...

Hi. I just want to say that this thread is great. We moved to Sharpstown in 1966. I went to Sutton, Long and SHS. Do any of you remember that huge Olde English style hotel called the Royal Coach Inn? It was just north of Sharpstown mall on 59. That place was huge. I remember going to a Star Trek convention there and meeting James Doohan "Scotty" there. Also on the east side of 59 where Pappas Bar-B-Q is used to be

Steak And Ale with the inside done in the Olde English style. And yes I worked for the target on 59 as a teenager and as a child I remember the conveyer belt where they would deliver your groceries on the west side of the store. Does any one remember the Purple Cow on the east side of Bayland Park on Hillcroft?

And speaking of Bayland Park I remember that one of the Bad News Bears movies was filmed on the Sharpstown Little League field M-2. Those were good times. As a teenager I also worked at Der Weinersnitczel (sp) on Hillcroft at Bissonett and I remember Doug Johnson ( the weatherman at channel 2)

and his family stopping for hot dogs after church on Sundays.

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Well you just recounted MY life! Only I was one year old when we moved to Sharpstown in 1965. Funny you mentioned the hill in front of Neff. I just drove past the school last weekend and wondered to myself why they had to get rid of the hill. Probably from fear of some Jack or Jill tumbling down and filing a lawsuit. Remember how there were always two Golden Eggs when they had the Easter Egg hunt out front? And did you ever encounter a horny toad on the kick ball field?! We are in the process of moving my Dad to a retirement center and I can't help but be pretty sad about not having a home in Sharpstown anymore.

Neff.jpg

Yeah, I guess that hill has memories for lot's of people. A friend of mine and I got busted by the principal, Mr. Martin, for running around on that hill and throwing our Patrol helmets up in the air! We got suspended from Patrols for two weeks. :lol:

And I remember all the frogs too! And you know what else has disappeared? Turtles. We were always finding turtles and keeping them as pets until they wandered off again. I guess it's just too much development - no place for the turtles and the frogs to hang out anymore.

It didn't help any when the paved the bayou that ran between Osage and Tours in the late 70s... :angry2: Unless I was riding my bike, I used to cut along the bayou on my way to Neff Elementary every day.

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Hi. I just want to say that this thread is great. We moved to Sharpstown in 1966. I went to Sutton, Long and SHS. Do any of you remember that huge Olde English style hotel called the Royal Coach Inn? It was just north of Sharpstown mall on 59. That place was huge. I remember going to a Star Trek convention there and meeting James Doohan "Scotty" there. Also on the east side of 59 where Pappas Bar-B-Q is used to be

Steak And Ale with the inside done in the Olde English style. And yes I worked for the target on 59 as a teenager and as a child I remember the conveyer belt where they would deliver your groceries on the west side of the store. Does any one remember the Purple Cow on the east side of Bayland Park on Hillcroft?

And speaking of Bayland Park I remember that one of the Bad News Bears movies was filmed on the Sharpstown Little League field M-2. Those were good times. As a teenager I also worked at Der Weinersnitczel (sp) on Hillcroft at Bissonett and I remember Doug Johnson ( the weatherman at channel 2)

and his family stopping for hot dogs after church on Sundays.

Murph and I walked or rode our bikes to the Purple Cow. We also swam at Dunfee's Royal Coach. I watch them film the Bad News Bears at Bayland too. Okay, who are you? You were in my band at Jane Long, you're obviously my age, and I went to Sutton, Long, and SHS. What street did you live on??? You have to at least give a hint here.....????

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  • 1 month later...

Love your post Chief! Not sure about your recollection of where Battelsteins was located...I thought it was on the other side of the mall just outside of Foleys - but you appear to have a much better memory than me - so you're probably right. Wasn't the restuarant with the phones at the tables called, "Across the Street"? That's what I remember.

Thanks for the trip back to the good ole days! :)

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  • 2 months later...
Great Post! Was it GiGi's Model Shop or Gene's Model Shop that was in the mall?

In 1964, at age 9, I was strolling through the recently opened Sharpstown Shopping Center, and one of my favorite places there was the model shop near Montgomery Ward. It was named either "Gene's" or "Jean's", not "Gigi's". It not only had plastic models, train sets, etc., but also coins. Last year, I was shocked to stumble across an almost exact replica of this shop in "The Village" (and indoor/outdoor collection of trendy stores and restaurants) near Rice University. It was like walking back in time. The store was the same size as its Sharpstown "twin", and its merchandise was even laid out in the same way! One of the two men running the place told me the owner of The Village store was also the owner of the Sharpstown facility, which he had opened second.

I grew up in the mid-1960s about a block from Pat Neff Elementary School, on Sharpview near Osage. I didn't leave until around 1978. Four years ago, however, I got a job nearby, so I often stroll through Sharpstown on my lunch hour. The main differences between then and now? The homes have aged, of course, and the demographic mix is now much more Hispanic/Black/Asian than White. The apartment complex across from Sharpstown Middle School is a run-down eyesore and has been for many years, but it used to be quite nice. The trees throughout the neighborhood have had 40 years to blossom from saplings into full-grown beauties, causing one to ponder how God's creations improve through time while man's decay. The saddest difference is all the security bars on the doors and windows of the homes, and all the fencing around the schools and Lansdale Park. In the 1960s and 1970s, you could walk virtually anywhere you wanted and never even think much less worry about trespassing, burglaries, muggings, pedophiles, drive-by shootings, major vandalism, etc. People locked their doors at night, yes, but generally they went through their lives feeling safe. Also, because almost everyone in the neighborhood was a stereotypical, lily-White American, we all celebrated the same American holidays; whereas, in the neighborhood where I now reside, holidays are variously and less publicly celebrated by Whites, American Blacks, African Blacks, Indians, Arabs, Asians, and Pakistanis. This heterogeneous mix also seems to work against neighbors getting to know each other, at least as compared to Sharpstown in the mid-1960s.

Back to Sharpstown Mall: Does anyone know how/where I can find the names of the original tenants of Sharpstown Shopping Center? A few years ago, I tried getting a list of the stores and restaurants from a manager at Foley's, who initially promised to help me, but things subsequently fizzled out.

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  • 1 month later...
When my family was vacationing in New Mexico, we went to a town called Magallion (pronouned locally as Muggy-own). My father was talking to your father there. He saw the Jane Long Jr. High School sticker on our station wagon and let us know that his father was Frank Sharp that built Sharpstown. Small world.

Hi, sorry I had been away from the site for awhile. Frank Sharp, was actually my mother's father and had two daughters. No son. If it was Claude Hooton, then it was my Dad and Pop Pop was his father in law.

I don't think he's been in NM recently though-certainly not living there. Interesting.

Good to see that folks still remember and appreciate Sharpstown anyway. :)

Frank

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I, for one, and glad I still live in Sharpstown. I love it here.

Frank, it would be awesome to sit down with you some time and chat about Sharpstown and it's history. My uncle and I are Sharpstown fanatics. We want to do so much for the area (he was responsible for getting the TIRZ and PID implemented here and has tried to do many other things).

Raze the complexes and duplexes and Sharpstown will be great. The neighborhoods are still, in my opinion, the most beautiful in Houston.

I would LOVE to see a comprehensive collection of old Sharpstown photos.

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Hi, sorry I had been away from the site for awhile. Frank Sharp, was actually my mother's father and had two daughters. No son. If it was Claude Hooton, then it was my Dad and Pop Pop was his father in law.

I don't think he's been in NM recently though-certainly not living there. Interesting.

Good to see that folks still remember and appreciate Sharpstown anyway. :)

Frank

1st visit to this thread, and what a shock...

SharpTexan you are my cousin. your father and his sisters are my 1st cousins. haven't seen your father since his mother's funeral in the 80s, but my mom (now 96) reminisces about him, C, and M often. was at the Sharp home for your parents' wedding although I was only 7 or 8 yrs old. my mom said Ted Kennedy fixed me a peanut butter sandwich b/c I was whining about the food options :lol:

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Sharpstown Drive-In Theater was demolished either in the late 70's or early 80's. They built apartments on that tract. There also used to be a chinese restaraunt across from Globe. I ate my first fortune cookie there, but it's long gone too.

Can someone tell me which direction the drive-in screen faced? I'm putting together some history for Briarmeadow, and a lady told me that as a child (late 50s-early 60s) she and other kids could sit on the roof of their house on Fairdale and see the screen at Sharpstown.

Just wondering. Thanks.

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Can someone tell me which direction the drive-in screen faced? I'm putting together some history for Briarmeadow, and a lady told me that as a child (late 50s-early 60s) she and other kids could sit on the roof of their house on Fairdale and see the screen at Sharpstown.

Just wondering. Thanks.

Briarmeadow would have been a ways off but as I remember they would at least be in the right direction to see the screen.

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I like that she told me that story because of the visual it creates. Briarmeadow is about two miles from Hillcroft and Bellaire, but in those days there would be nothing to impede the view. Few trees, no tall buildings, billboards or roadways -- just flatness. I figured the screen faced north, or mostly north, but thanks for the verification.

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Can someone tell me which direction the drive-in screen faced? I'm putting together some history for Briarmeadow, and a lady told me that as a child (late 50s-early 60s) she and other kids could sit on the roof of their house on Fairdale and see the screen at Sharpstown.

It faced north. To be precise, due north. You can see it if you reference the Southwest Freeway chapter in the book Houston Freeways, which you can download at

http://houstonfreeways.com/ebook.aspx

The resolution of the image on the 150ppi file is barely enough to verify that it faces north. I pulled up the original image from my disk files, which is higher resolution, and verified that the screen faced north.

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It faced north. To be precise, due north. You can see it if you reference the Southwest Freeway chapter in the book Houston Freeways, which you can download at

http://houstonfreeways.com/ebook.aspx

The resolution of the image on the 150ppi file is barely enough to verify that it faces north. I pulled up the original image from my disk files, which is higher resolution, and verified that the screen faced north.

Wow -- thanks, MaxConcrete. You went above and beyond the call, and I certainly appreciate it.

I've found your book and Web site to be a tremendous resource, btw. Thanks again.

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  • 1 month later...
It has been several years since I have been back to Sharpstown. I don't recall the Golden Eggs, but I am sad to hear that the hill is gone. I do remember the day that "man first walked on the moon" - they wheeled in one of those tv's on a cart and we all sat and watched it in our classroom. I always thought that cement square thing in the middle of the school was strange.

Anyone remember SFDS carnivals? We went to those every year. I can remember playing BINGO.

Oh and I think the K-Mart grocery part was a Lewis and Coker. And Churches Chicken was on the corner of that parking lot. We had fried chicken every week! But my favorite was Long John Silver's. It seems like LJS's was on the same parking lot until they moved it across to the other side of the freeway over there by Channel 2?

My dad used to take us to pick Dewberries also. What fun! I had forgotten about that...One thing that you brought memories of was seeing dead "frogs" smashed in the street. I know this sounds terrible, but we use to see them all the time, then many years later when I would go back to my parents home, I always wondered where all the "frogs" went to.

Are all of you talking about a hill that was infront of Pat Neff Elementary by the intersection of Carvel and Waldo? I went to Pat Neff from 2000-2002 and I remeber that we used to play in a hill infront of the school. In summer school, we used to go out and fill ballons with water and we would run around the hill throwing water ballons at each other and at the teachers. I havent been to Pat Neff in a while so Im not sure about the hill being removoed.

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Murph and I walked or rode our bikes to the Purple Cow. We also swam at Dunfee's Royal Coach. I watch them film the Bad News Bears at Bayland too. Okay, who are you? You were in my band at Jane Long, you're obviously my age, and I went to Sutton, Long, and SHS. What street did you live on??? You have to at least give a hint here.....????

Where was the "Purple Cow" located? I never heard of it before up untill teachers at Sharpstown Middle School talked about their glory days and how they loved to go to the Purple Cow.

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Greetings....

This thread tested my 50 yo memory and made me remember all the fun times of growing up in Sharpstown. My parents bought a Vista home on Tanager off Jorine in 1966. They still live there also. We were the 6th house on the street. If my memory serves me correctly they paid ~$18,500 for the 4 bedroom, 2 bath, 2 car garage house. When we moved there K-Mart at 59 and Beechnut was just a shell under construction. There nothing west of the K-Mart site until you got past Gessner. In 1966 Gessner did not go south of Beechnut. Beechnut did not go west of the drainage ditch which is about 2 miles west of Gessner. Gessner ran north to Bellaire only.

I went to school at Pat Neff for 1/2 of 4th grade, Mrs. Hughes was my teacher. 5th grade I went to Pat Neff also and Mrs. McNair was my teacher. Neff was housing a number of classes in temporary buildings because of the huge influx of kids into the area. Neff at that time served all students from the railroad tracks (where Westpark tollard is today) south to Bissonett east to 59 and west to that drainage ditch. Bonham Elementary served kids on the east side of 59.

FOr 6th grade I transferred to Ed White Elementary. Ed WHite was named for the Apollo 1 astronaut that was killed in the fire aboard Apollo 1 while it was on the launchpad. 2 other schools with identical architecture were built to honor the other 2 astronauts. These schools were also built in fast growing areas of the city. Mrs. Taylor was my teacher. We had 2-6th grade classes then. Ed White was brand new and still under construction. The unique thing about Ed White was the concept of an open classroom in the east side of the school. It never really was used while I was there because the school was still growing. I also remember this was the first school in Houston that intrgrated the PA system into the school and was used extensively.

In 7th grade I attended the brand new Sharpstown Jr./Sr. High School, now Sharpstown Middle School. The school was opened and was still under construction. The auditorium, lockerrooms, gym, athletic fields were still being built. None of the science labs were finished. None of the language labs were finished. The school was "air conditioned" although it never seemed to work right. When we had gym class we sat on folding chairs in the big area between the gym and auditorium. I think it was in the Spring when we finally had lockerrooms and the gym. One thing I remember about this school was that it was my first experience with integration. The boundaries of the school went north of Westpart and included the Jenetta area. There was a lot of tension in my 7th grade year about rumbles over at Lansdale Park. I don't ever remember these happening but it was just kids being kids. In 9th grade it because Sharpstown Jr. High because the High School opened that year.

As far as shopping and other buildings here is a brief history from someone who has live in the area all of his life.

Sharpstown Shopping Center as it was called was built as a 1 story airconditioned mall. The only anchors at that time were Montgomery Ward and FOleys. And Foley's was the second foleys opened, downtown was the first. The foley's was small 2 story + basement with furniture and appliances in the basement. The interesting thing about foley's was that you could access the basement from the parking lot on 2 sides. Yes they had built the parking lot sunken. They finally did away with this design when the basement kept flooding in our Houston storms. There were then 2 additions to the store. There were 2 minor anchors to the mall, FOod Giant and Battlestein's clothing. Food Giant was located where the JC Penney's used to be. Battlesteins was located where the theatres and food court portion are now. Across the street from the mall, where Circuit City is now, was Allstate's Headquarters (not sure if it was regional or national. They moved out of this building in the late 70's. The old Gaylynn theatres, now abandoned in the back of the mall, originally 1 theatre that had cinerama capability. Very upscale and very nice. Then they added a second theatre. There was a dennys right next to it that we hung out at when I was in HS. When I was growing up we used to ride bicycles from my house to the mall. Yes youngsters we actually did get a lot of exercise riding bikes and hanging out at the mall or going to the Walter Branch Library. One of the coolest moments in my life was when GiGi's model shop displayed one of my model rockets in their window for an extended period of time. I was a celebrity in my own right. For those of you wondering what GiGi's was...it was a hobby shop that had everything from model cars to trains to guided model plane to radio control planes and other stuff that supported all of these activities. In the mid-70's Sharpstown's management felt they needed to add a second floor. The original mall was not structurally built to hold a second floor so they had to do a lot of upgrades. At the same time JC Penney was added as an anchor. If you go on the second floor now you will notice in place where the flooring slants toward the inside cut outs. Poor construction plagued the addition. The downfall of Sharpstown was the oil bust of the late 80's. I have been 1 time since 1995 and refuse to go back. It is far too sad to see what has happened to what was Houston's jewel mall.

Southway Center (Beechnut and GEssner) started out with Handy Dan Hardware (what is now Academy). They had to run Gessner through to 59 to build things on that strip of land. When they built Southway it originally housed a Bowling Lane, big toy store similar to Toys R Us (the baskin robbins in the center was part of that toy store), a Weingartens Grocery (became Safeway and then Apple Tree, then closed to become Marshalls or something else), a Madings Drug Store (became Eckerds), and Southway 6. Southway 6 theatres were HORRIBLE. THe screens were like today's 60" plasma televisions. Teeny tiny. We never understoody people loved them so much. In the parking lot was an Enco then Exxon now Mobil gas station,American Savings then Bank United now Washington Mutual, a PIzza Inn now a taqueria, a Texaco Station at Beechnut/Gessner, a KFC and a Winchell's Donuts. Across the street was the Church but nothing else until Phillip 66 built a station and then CVS. Across Gessner was a Shell station, an auto repair place which is now U-Haul, Grandy's, Stower's Funiture which because Havertys then burned in a late nite huge fire then Best Buy.

Sam White Oldsmobile was built when I was in 10th grade I believe on beechnut. Now it's an empty shell. In the shopping center slightly west where there is a vet clinic was one of the original Purple Cow burger joints where you could buy purple ice cream.

Someone mentioned Globe Shopping City. There were 3 stores I can remember in Houston. The first was at Hillcroft and Bellaire Blvd. (what is now Fiesta). Globe was originally a membership store similar to Super Target. Membership was based on employer or credit union. They had everything you could want from groceries to toys to automotive to furniture. Out front where the pawn shop is now was a gas station tire center. The other 2 locations were Gulfgate where Mervyns was and Memorial City where Super Oshmans was. Globe went under in the early 1970's. Fed Mart took over the Bellaire store for a couple of years and then they went under. The store sat empty for a couple of years if I recall correctly then Fiesta took it over. So the physical structure has been there for about 45 years.

I went to Sharpstown Baptist Church and can remember watching the Target on 59 being built. When it opened it was HUGE. Where the Marshalls was was Target's grocery store. Yes in the late 1960's and early 1970's Target had a Grocery store so SuperTarget is nothing new. They also had tire sales and gas sales. When I bought my first car, a 1971 Gremlin (no one laugh), I remember my first tank of gas at Target I paid 39.9 per gallon. Those were the days. Sometime in the 1980's Target elected to get out of Grocery and leased the store to Weingartens but that didnt last long and it closed. Then Marshalls bought the space out. Same thing happened at the Target which was on Katy Freeway at Echo Lane which is now Marshalls etc. They also had a store like that on 610 at Long Drive which closed in the 1980's and then because Auchans for a short time then the FEMA Katrina center.

Memorial Hospital was built in the mid-1970's when they moved Memorial Baptist from downtown across Smith from the main library.

The shopping center at Fondren and 59 where the funky furniture store is was build for Woolco. The discount version of Woolworths. In that center was a Weingartens and other stores. There was a cool place to eat on the end that you ordered using telephones at the table. I don't recall the name.

ANyone remember watching the radar town at Channel 2 being built? When they moved out to that location 59 ended at Beechnut.

Lets see a couple of other items. Yes The Fiesta at Bellaire and Gessner was originally a Safeway. And yes Strake did have to sell the land because of Sharpstown State Bank failure.

Further west where Chinatown begins the shopping center right next to St Agnes was built to house a Lewis & Coker grocery, Furr's Cafeteria(in the corner), and a Sage Drug store (Walgreens took that over later). I used to work in the Sage Drug store in the camera department. The Sage Drug store was a spin off of Sage Discount Stores which was like Globe in that the big stores (Beechnut/610, now lowes location--Town & COuntry now demolished--45 and College now an HISD charter school) that required membership to shop there and you paid in individual departemtnst. Sage was where Arne of Arne's party etc store on Studewood got his start.

Sorry for the long post. I know I've let oout some stuff.....but I wanted to add my historical recollections. If you've got further questions respond here or e-mail me at fooddoc@earthlink.net

By the way my folks still live in the same house on Tanager and as far as I can tell the area they live in is still safe and sound. ALthough I hate the apartments along beechnut, they need to be demolished or something to get rid of the gang activities.

Ed White Elementary did infact have an intercom(PA) system but in was not the first school to have it. Mirabeau B. Lamar Sr. High School on Westheimer and River Oaks was the first school EVER to have a built-it PA system. The 1936 yearbook clarifies that statement and a former Lamar student. I went to Sharpstown Middle School (2002-2005) and when I first went there, the GYM was closed. We had PE in the temporary buildings next to the science wing on the East side of the school. The Auditorium was also closed. In 7th Grade, both sites were open and we were so happy to be the first to enjoy the brand new remodeled GYM and Auditorium. The locker rooms were horrible. They still had the old lockers but thanks to several fundraising events, we had new lockers put it.

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yesterday on 26 news at 9, isiah carey had a story on sharpstown and what started its demise. many blame mr sharp himself who was convicted in the sharpstown scandal in the early 70's and didn't devote as much time to sharpstown as a whole from that point on.

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yesterday on 26 news at 9, isiah carey had a story on sharpstown and what started its demise. many blame mr sharp himself who was convicted in the sharpstown scandal in the early 70's and didn't devote as much time to sharpstown as a whole from that point on.

Demise? Sharpstown is still a wonderful place full of attractive streets, well built homes, and nice people. I'm always looking for a neat house there so I can move back in an attempt to lessen the seemingly never ending outrageous property tax increases.

The majority of the development of Sharpstown was complete before the 1970s and Sharp had moved on to other projects. A friend who worked to develop the Woodlands said it was basically complete about ten years ago. All they do now is infill according to the plans established long ago.

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Demise? Sharpstown is still a wonderful place full of attractive streets, well built homes, and nice people. I'm always looking for a neat house there so I can move back in an attempt to lessen the seemingly never ending outrageous property tax increases.

The majority of the development of Sharpstown was complete before the 1970s and Sharp had moved on to other projects. A friend who worked to develop the Woodlands said it was basically complete about ten years ago. All they do now is infill according to the plans established long ago.

yeah much was complete but evidently they mentioned that it was no longer sharp's focus so things were allowed to evolve without his influence. i think there are some great homes there

Edited by musicman
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Sharpfan works on Wikipedia articles about Sharpstown and his schools (He currently attends River Oaks's Lamar High School) - He is known as J90nepnjmm on Wikipedia (See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:J90nepnjmm )

In other words, we have a valuable contributor to Wikipedia, and we can all collaborate on Wikipedia articles about Houston :)

Edited by VicMan
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yeah much was complete but evidently they mentioned that it was no longer sharp's focus so things were allowed to evolve without his influence. i think there are some great homes there

There is, in fact, great homes here. I reside in Sharpstown and the neighboorhood here is extremely quiet. A few years ago, my parents were looking for a house in Sharpstown to buy and the bank denied them from buying a home in Sharpstown because it was too expensive for them? Expensive? Shows how much the home values here have increased. The only chaos at Sharpstown are Bellaire @ Hillcroft, Bellaire @ US 59, Bellaire @ Fondren, and Bellaire @ S.Gessner. All the smaller streets and neighborhoods are very quiet compared to the neighboorhoods near downtown Houston.

Does anyone have pictures of Pat Neff Elementary and Sharpstown Jr./Sr or Sharpstown Middle School from back then? I would love to see them!

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This is so fascinating! I've lived in Sharpstown for four years, and I've always been interested in what the neighborhood was like in its heyday. There is no turning back time, but hopefully the people of this area can work towards a new heyday for Sharpstown. My street in particular is lovely, and so are many others despite the appearance of the major thoroughfares and their crappy strip malls and apartments.

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The only chaos at Sharpstown are Bellaire @ Hillcroft, Bellaire @ US 59, Bellaire @ Fondren, and Bellaire @ S.Gessner. All the smaller streets and neighborhoods are very quiet compared to the neighboorhoods near downtown Houston.

The intersection of Bellaire Boulevard and Fondren Road is the location of a "pilot intersection" which is part of a $33,000,000 project to improve the corridors of the two streets. It has been completed for about six months. The roadway and utility improvements seem to function adequately but I question the design elements and especially the maintenance. When the project was first announced, there was considerable enthusiasm because a new image for Sharpstown was being created. The outcome was promised to be just as memorable as the Galleria streetscape program but in a style completely unique and appropriate for Sharpstown.

The outcome is certainly disappointing. One of the early objectives was for the design to evoke the context of Sharpstown and the era Sharpstown was constructed. I see nothing in the installation that links the design to a 1950s/1960s development. The small round raised planters are interesting but hardly establish a theme due to their scale and spacing. Driving through the intersection, the only thing noticeable is the columns that support the signal arms. They are said to be completely custom designs but appear that they were ordered from a catalogue and would look more at home in a new town development.

While the design is mediocre at best, the maintenance, or lack of, casts an impression of some type of instability of not only the belief in the importance of the project but also instability in the belief of the possibility of ever returning Sharpstown to a place with a favorable image. The area looks trashy and completely unmaintained. Having the expensive site elements in such a setting makes me wonder if the Southwest Houston Redevelopment Authority actually has the ability to accomplish a goal. I would rather see nothing but well trimmed turf in a scrupulously clean environment than all these nifty things amid weeds, dead plants, and trash.

This is a repeat of earlier projects in the district. Numerous installations have gone in around the area to seemingly be abandoned in a short period of time. After nine years of existence, the redevelopment authority unfortunately must still be unaware that many of the visual impressions people form of Sharpstown are established by conditions which are easy to influence through simple maintenance. The district should concentrate on one single project until they can manage it so that it becomes a true asset to the community instead of having numerous projects that waste funds and add to the decline of the image of Sharpstown.

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Where was the "Purple Cow" located? I never heard of it before up untill teachers at Sharpstown Middle School talked about their glory days and how they loved to go to the Purple Cow.

The Purple Cow was on the south side of Beechnut in the strip center located between Tanglewilde and Gessner. I think it's now a tire store.

Edited by kin_far
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Purple Cow Number 2

8517 Beechnut

Houston, Texas

771-4466

The Purple Cow is shown as a new listing in the 1969 city directory as are all the neighboring businesses.

On either side were Kathleens Magic Mirror and Kits Krafts. Beechnut Lounge and Bishops Liquor Store were next to Kits.

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The Purple Cow was on the south side of Beechnut in the strip center located between Tanglewilde and Gessner. I think it's now a tire store.

I thought the Purple Cow was on the west side of Hillcroft near Bissonnet. Or am I thinking of something else?

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From the 1966 city directory:

D M Drive Ins Inc.

7618 Hillcroft

Houston, Texas

PR4-9797

Shown to be a new listing

From the 1969 city directory:

Purple Cow Number 1

7618 Hillcroft

Houston, Texas

774-9797

Shown to be a new listing

I liked the Purple Cow, probably just because of the name, but my parents liked the Chuck Wagon at 6817 Bissonnet Avenue better.

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I liked the Purple Cow, probably just because of the name, but my parents liked the Chuck Wagon at 6817 Bissonnet Avenue better.

that Chuck Wagon is the current El Pupusadromo #2. it was remodeled in the mid-60s to add an enclosed eating section around the original conestoga wagon building.

"I'd like 2 Spokes with chili and cheese, 2 Hubs cut the onions, and a Wheel all the way, 4 fries and 4 Tubs o'Coke. All to go."

that was our standard after school order in between the last bell at Bellaire High and the start of football practice.

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Yep. Right down the street from Wienerschnitzel.

Yes, The Purple Cow was on the NW corner of Hillcroft and Bissonnet between the used car lot and the Billiard and Muffler shops. It later became a Blimpies. The building is still there, I believe.

The Wienerschnitzel was on the SE corner of Hillcroft and Bissonnet, actually at Pine street.

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