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Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Galveston Tribune Article from 1925 Promoting Sugar Land

W. T. Eldridge and the Kempner family promoted Sugar Land heavily in the 1920s.  They were building up the community to attract families and a permanent workforce to their new company town.  T. C. Rozelle saved a full-page article that appeared in the Galveston Tribune in March of 1925.  I've clipped just a few items from it and posted them here.

It's hard to make out the handwritten date, but I think it's March 21, 1925.  The Char House doesn't appear in the photo, so this guess seems reasonable.

As I said, they wanted to attract families and a permanent, stable workforce.  The sugar business was seasonal and depended on transient labor for many years.  Kempner and Eldridge wanted to run the refinery year round with multiple shifts, so they needed a permanent workforce.  They thought a model community would attract the kind of people they wanted.

They saw the town's schools as a core element of their ideal community.

This next short clipping explains the sugar mill and the refinery operations.  They closed the mill around 1928, when sugar was no longer grown locally.  All of the refinery's raw sugar was imported.  From 1928 onward, Imperial Sugar was a sugar refiner only. The clipping goes on to list some of the other industries in town.  Eldridge and the Kempners were always interested in other money-making endeavors.


KILT's Weird Beard

Russ Knight (actually Russ Moore) AKA "The Weird Beard," died recently.  Here's a short article with an obituary from The Houston Chronicle.  (Check out his intros for The Beatles when they played at the Coliseum.) 

I remember the Weird Beard well.  He moved from Dallas to KILT in the winter of '64.   He worked at Gordon McLendon's Dallas station before transferring to KILT, so they had a big promotional campaign for a few weeks prior to his arrival.  They had a jingle that said, "The Weird Beard's coming, the Weird Beard's coming ...."

I listened to him a lot.  Here's a clip from one of his shows.  I was surprised that he left KILT in 1966.  I thought he was there a lot longer than that.  He had a fan club at Dulles, as you can tell from this picture in the '67 yearbook.  [My thanks to Tommy Laird (DHS '67) for the scan.]

KILT had another disk jockey named Jim Wood.  He wasn't a shock jock (which didn't exist then), but he liked to 'push the envelope.'  He pulled a prank (and caught a lot of flack) when he told kids to put their radios in their open windows and turn them up as loud as possible.  When they were ready, he then said, "THIS IS THE POLICE.  WE'VE  GOT YOU SURROUNDED.  COME OUT WITH YOUR HANDS UP."  He fooled enough people throughout Houston that there was a mini-firestorm.  After a series of incidents, KILT eventually fired him.  Here's a tape of one of his shows from 1964.

UIL Marching Band Contests from the Past

The wind was blowing in the right direction Saturday morning, so I could hear the UIL marching band contest at Mercer Stadium.  Actually, all I could hear were drums, but it brought back old memories.  I have a few clippings from contests back in the 1960s.  I think most, if not all, of these clippings came from Linda Hagler Mosk (DHS '68) who was member of the Dulles band, as was I.  

Since these contests precede our freshman year, Linda's sister Dian ('65) must have saved them.  In our day, the contest was always at Katy.




Dulles Senior Spotlight, Spring of 1968

Linda Hagler Mosk (DHS '68) sent me this scan.  It shows a Senior Spotlight from the Viking Shield in the spring of 1968.  For those of you who don't know or remember, The Fort Bend Mirror ran the Dulles student newspaper (the Viking Shield) as a regular feature during the school year.  They also ran the Lamar Consolidated student paper.

Judy Sciba ('68) was editor of the Shield that year.


A Photo of the 1st Floor Hallway at Dulles in 1965

Linda Hagler Mosk (DHS '68) let me scan this newspaper photo, which must have come from the Viking Shield in the old Fort Bend Mirror.  It shows the 1st floor hallway at Dulles High School in 1965, I think.  If so, there was just one 1st floor hallway then.  Linda's older sister Dian ('65) and Carol Waldrop ('65) are identified in the picture.  I can identify several others.  Erik is out of view on the right.


Late 1960s FBISD School Board

My thanks go to my first grade teacher, Maxene Gary, for giving me the following picture of the Fort Bend ISD School Board in the late 1960s.  It's a little odd because one school board member is missing, and the missing member would provide a clue for the date. 

The members shown in this picture served several consecutive terms with one seat changing.  In one term, a man named Whatley was on the board.  In another it was Dr. Wheeler, and in another it was C. T. Renfrow.  

Back: Bruce Edwards, Sr., Antonio Arriaga, Bill Little.  Front: Tony Cangelosi, Kenneth Landin, Herbert Shelton.

Sugar Land High School's 1919 Commencement Exercises

I found this program in T. C. Rozelle's archive.  Sugar Land High School's first graduating class in 1919 had one student, Ansel (or Hancel) Addison.  I assume Ansel is a boy.  I also assume they had a rather 'informal' and brief ceremony since he was the only graduate.  

Some of the participants are members of the junior and sophomore classes.  Others must be young adults living in Sugar Land at the time. 

I looked for details about the short play, "Oh, For A Man," but found very little. Its author may be Susan Glaspell, a long-forgotten, New England author.


Thursday, October 11, 2012

Texian Market Days at the George Ranch Historical Park

October 27th is the date for Texian Market Days at the George Ranch Historical Park south of Richmond.  If you're interested in living history festivals, particularly those with local flavor, click here to view the Web site for further information.

Sugar Land High School Graduation, 1932

Last week, I posted a photo of Sugar Land High School's 1932 graduating class.  Afterward I searched through my archives and found a program from their graduation ceremony.  It comes from the Rozelle collection.  

Click on the image to view the 4-page program.


Photos of the Space Shuttle During Its Recent Visit to Houston

My thanks to Louise Nichols Gau (DHS '64) and Marsha Krause Smith (DHS '68) for sending me these photos of the Space Shuttle as it made a farewell visit to Houston on September 19th.

Click on the image to view the photo album.


The Original Triumphs

I want to thank my classmate Linda Hagler Mosk (DHS '68) for allowing me to scan these images from her scrapbook.  I think 1968 was Don Drachtenberg's first year to teach at Dulles High School.  If I remember correctly, his subjects were Civics, Economics, and World History.  

Anyway, Linda had the foresight to get his autograph.  Don was a celebrity teacher because he was also a member of The Triumphs.  Actually, he is still a member because the band is going strong to this day.  Check their Web site (www.originaltriumphs.com) for show dates.

Old Rice Stadium

For many years Rice Institute football (along with the Houston Buffs) was the big sports entertainment in Houston.  Many Sugar Land football fans drove into Houston on Saturdays to watch Rice play all the old SWC schools plus non-conference rivals like LSU.  Anyone of my generation or younger knows the current stadium which was completed just before the 1950 season.  

The old stadium (1912-1949) stood at the intersection of Main and University, just across from Ye Old College Inn, Bill Williams Restaurant, and what was to become the Medical Center.  Here are a couple of photos of the old stadium from Rice University's photo collection.  I'm uncertain of the dates, but I think they were taken in the late '30s, when Rice had a formidable team.

FYI, Rice is celebrating its Centennial this week. 

(Added comment) That's South Main St. running from the top right corner to the middle left of the picture.  As you can see, there's no Medical Center, yet.  In the second photo South Main runs from the middle right to the middle top of the photo.  I believe Hermann Hospital is the large white building at the top right. (I'm wrong; I can tell that's not Hermann Hospital. It's Palmer Episcopal Church.)

Photo from Rice University collection
Photo from Rice University collection


Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Uncle Bert Lynn, Host of Looney Town on KPRC

I don't recall where this pictures came from, but I may have found it on the Facebook page, "Southwest Houston - Do you remember when ... ?"   If you're a Facebook subscriber, you may want to check it out.

Uncle Bert Lynn hosted a kids' show on KPRC TV in the 1950s.  It was called "Looney Town."  I vaguely recall watching it.  One of my classmates has told me she was on the show.

I found this comment on another Web site about Houston history: 

"That sailboat place inbound between Park Place and the South Loop was and still is Lynn's Sailboats. It was opened and owned for a good many years by the late Bert Lynn, who owned Lynn's Music Shop on Telephone at Park Place and was also Uncle Bert Lynn on KPRC TV's Looney Town in the mid '50s. That was an afternoon kid show a lot like the show Kitirik did on channel 13.

As this person indicates, Bert Lynn had the misfortune of competing with Kitirik.  She beat him hands down.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

2012 Fort Bend County Fair Video

Click here to view a 7 minute video of this year's Fort Bend County Fair parade.  I shot it from the McFarlane House across from the old Court House.  The parade started in Richmond at the intersection of Highway-90A and 5th Street.  It proceeded down the highway to Jennetta Street in Rosenberg.

The parade was over 1-1/2 hours long, so you're seeing just a small fraction of it.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Dulles High's Class of '62 Celebrates It's 50th Anniversary

The 1962 graduating class of Dulles High School celebrated its 50th anniversary with a reunion on September 29th.  I don't know where they convened, but it looks like they had a good time.  My thanks go to Mary Delmar Crochet (DHS '62) for sending me these pictures.  I've included a couple from the '62 Viking yearbook for old time's sake.

Mr. & Mrs. Rickey Allen

Mary Louise Court, Virginia Ramirez, Joyce Hodge, &  Sadie Maiorka

C. T. Renfrow & John Henry Martin in front. Richard Norman, Ray Miller, Rusty ?, & Bill Broughton.

Dr. & Mrs. Pat Gibbons - Our old teachers are aging well!

Sugar Land High's Class of '32

I want to thank Robin Roberts for sending me this photo.  It's the earliest SLHS class photo I have.  Her father, Clarence Roberts, graduated in this class.  He is the second from the left on the front row.  I haven't been able to identify any other people, but that may be Tom Greenwald also in the front row.

Here is a list of the class from the official SLHS roster: Lois Enquist, James Feuhs, Jessie Fuller, Tom Greenwald, Annie Mae Hargrove, Ida Belle Abernathy Loper, Geneviere Lisenby McCool, Mac McCullar, Claire Mebane, Charles Middlekauf, Janie Loper Milling, Mary Loper Minze, Clarence Roberts, Josephine Schrieber, Leroy Starr, Pauline Stephenson, and Justine Thompson.  

The roster lists 17 classmates although 16 students appear in the photo.  (Maybe someone missed the picture ceremony, which appears to have occurred in the new gym on Lakeview.)

Houston College Football Team in 1919

I found the following photo in the Houston Area Digital Archives (HADA) of the Houston Public Library.  HADA is a selection of the Library's photos available online.  While searching through Frank Schlueter's photos I found this one of the 1919 Houston College Football team.  Houston College was eventually renamed Texas Southern University.  

This photo was probably taken on the campus of Jack Yates High School, which is located on Sampson Street between TSU and U of H.

(Houston Area Digital Archive/Houston Public Library)

Sisters Nola Hughes & Nora Blair Retire in 1959

I want to thank Cherryl Hughes Fikes for providing these scans.  Cherryl is the granddaughter of Nola Hughes.  I believe Buddy Blair has told me his mother Nora and Cherryl's grandmother Nola were twins.  Since they both retired in 1959, I think my recollection is correct.

As the articles state, Nola was a long-time Sugar Land telephone operator.  Mrs. Blair worked in Sugar Land's grocery stores for many years.  I'm not sure in which local newspaper these articles appeared.

Here is a picture of the sisters at the Industries retirement banquet with other '59 retirees.


Sugar Land Pair Win La Conga Cup in 1940

I posted this picture 2 years ago when I found it in a scrapbook my grandmother Kelly kept.  I spoke with Betty Friend Cordes a few weeks ago on the phone.  I want to talk with her again.  I hope I can get more information on this story.

The article says the dance contest was tied in with the Mickey Rooney - Judy Garland movie, "Strike Up The Band," which was released on September 20, 1940.  Rooney & Garland danced "The La Conga" in the movie, so local kids were given the challenge of performing the new craze in a contest at The Plantation Room on South Main not far from Playland Park.

If I'm correct about the date, Betty was a 17-year old senior at Sugar Land High School.  Arthur 'Skeet' Guenther was a 16-year old junior.