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Monday, March 18, 2013

Inmate Cartoons from Central Unit 1

I saw Mike Bunting (DHS '66) last week.  He gave me some things he found as he cleaned out his mother's closet.  He is donating several of them to the Sugar Land Museum, including a photograph of management and staff in 1976.  (I think that's the correct date).   

He's also donated 10 cartoons drawn by an inmate named Flaske in 1976.  They are interesting for several reasons.  I'll try to find information on him in the next few days, which I'll post next week with a few more cartoons and more information on the people depicted.  Some of you may recognize the names of Byron Frierson and Tom Drew.  (Mrs. Tom Drew taught many of us in the 4th grade at Sugar Land Elementary.)

Flaske must have been friendly with prison farm management to poke gentle/subtle fun at them.

Visco News, April 1956

Old timers will remember that Nalco's original name was Visco.  My brother recently sent me this copy of the company bulletin published in April 1956.  (I posted a couple of articles from it in the past.)  

The lead article is a good account of the company's early history.  Click on the image below to view the bulletin.


Galveston Hotels & Restaurants in the Houston Guide and Handbook, 1968

Here are the hotels and restaurants listed in the 1968 Houston Guide and Handbook classmate Terry Bates recently lent me.  I remember many of them even though I patronized just a few.  

Manuel's Restaurant was a family favorite.  Their broiled flounder stuffed with crab meat was probably my favorite seafood dish when I was a youngster.

South Main Street in Houston

A classmate, Joan Maresh Hansen (DHS '68), sent me an email message recently that had these images in it.  I'm sure many people younger than I am remember the giant fiberglass Blue Crab that sat on the entrance of Gaido's Restaurant, which was located on South Main near its intersection with the 610 Loop.  (Of course, the Loop didn't exist in those days.)  Soon after the Colt .45s began playing in 1962, Gaido's also added a giant fiberglass shrimp that wore a cowboy hat, a neckerchief, and held a pair of drawn guns toward the street.

Stadium Bowl, located a little further up the street where OST branched off to the southeast, was a favorite haunt during my high school years.  I think we may have bowled there a couple of times, but the big attraction was the large pool hall with plenty of vacant tables.  I don't know if we ever developed into hot-shots, but we always had a good time.

Stadium Bowl was actually on Braesmain a few hundred yards from its intersection with South Main.  Fronting Braesmain between the bowling alley and South Main was a gigantic swimming pool called The Gateway Pool, or The Crystal Pool.   I never knew its name until I found this online articleI remember the Plexiglas bubble, but it was hard on my ear drums, so I didn't dive down there very often.

Of course, Prince's Drive In was a favorite place to stop before heading home.  This is a view of the main entrance on the east side of the building.


Cleaning Out Cleveland Lake in the 1930s

You can see the water tower in the background, so this photo shows a crew cleaning out Cleveland Lake on the east side of the Wood Street bridge.  I don't have an exact date, but the car suggests the photo was taken in the mid to late '30s.

At first I thought they were dredging the Lake, but you can see they are removing Water Hyacinths, or some kind of aquatic plants clogging the Lake.  The conveyor looks like it takes the plants up the bank and over a truck or trailer for disposal.

Water was an important element in expanding the refinery.  Imperial needed water from Oyster Creek to produce steam and serve as a coolant.  Of course, Sugarland Industries needed a stable water supply for its farming and ranching operations. 


Sunday, March 10, 2013

Sugar Land Aerials from 1971

Here are the last in my series of Sugar Land aerial photos.  These were taken in 1971.  I've noted some significant changes from the 1965 photos I posted last week.  I forgot to include a caption in the first picture (b/w) pointing out the buildings appearing in the industrial park between Eldridge Road and Dairy Ashford.  You can see couple have already sprung up.

In the last photo I've annotated the buildings which still stand on the old Imperial Refinery site.


The Dinky (continued)

I got a note from my aunt, Mayme Rachuig Hause (SLHS '48).  She found a picture of a train identical to the Dinky.  She suggested I confirm the picture with my mother or Tuggie Laperouse Krehmeier, who may remember it better than she does. She said Tuggie, her sister Wynnell Laperouse Roberts, and their mother rode the Dinky into Houston often. 

Train similar to 'the Dinky'

The Laperouse sisters waiting for the Dinky at the Sugar Land Depot

My aunt remembers that the Dinky ran between Houston and Victoria, rather than Houston and San Antonio as I had assumed.  A friend also said she'd read that it ran to-and-from Victoria. 

My aunt also added this: "Chuck ... a story on the Dinky. When I was in high school and dating Nelson, he could mail a letter to me (from Rosenberg) in the am, and I would get it at noon or after school. It saved on calling on the phone. My letters to him mailed in the am reached him after school. We quite often would walk to town for lunch. Almost a turn around.   Usually a malt or shake at the drug store."  (The Dinky was pretty quick with local mail, and a phone call to Rosenberg was long-distance in those days.)

Sugar Land Weddings

Here is a picture of my parents on their wedding day, April 14th, 1949.  They were married at my mother's parents' home at the Humble Camp south of Sugar Land.  You can see the similarities to the Blair-Phillips wedding photo I posted last week.  

By the way, Cherryl Hughes Fikes pointed out that Bertha Blair and Nick Phillips were married on January 20th, 1951.  She and her sister attended the wedding.

SLHS Class of '58

Congratulations to the Class of 1958, who are celebrating the 55th anniversary of their graduation from Sugar Land High School.

SLHS Class of '58

SLHS Class of '53

Congratulations to the Class of '53 at Sugar Land High School, as they celebrate their 60th anniversary this year.

SLHS Class of '53

Independence Hall at Washington-on-the-Brazos

It's a little late, since Texas Independence Day was March 2nd, but I thought I'd post this photo my aunt sent me.  It shows the original Independence Hall, where delegates signed the Republic's Declaration of Independence on March 2, 1836.  (I don't have a date for this photo, but it must have been taken late in the 19th century.)


Gator Football, 1952

Many of you may have read that last season a high school football player in Florida broke Kenneth Hall's record for career total rushing yardage.  The old Gator held the record for nearly 60 years, which is quite an accomplishment in itself.  

I intend to cover the 1953 season this fall, but I thought I'd post the following photo from the 1952 season.  It shows teammates, Kenneth Hall and Juan de los Santos.


Thursday, March 7, 2013

Sugar Land Aerials From August 30, 1965

These photos were taken on August 30, 1965.  I've made a few annotations indicating changes from the 1940 and 1953 photos posted last week.

I recall playing in the area around Stink Creek in the late '50s.  There were cattails growing there, the first I'd ever seen.  I thought they were fascinating and picked some, which I gave to my grandmother Kelly to decorate a center piece on her sideboard.  

Of course, she took them because I gave them to her, but she may have been skeptical when I told her where I got them.  I never asked, but they may have glowed in the dark.

I'd forgotten there was covered parking in front of the Dairy Queen.

Foster Community Museum Wins Fort Bend Historical Commission Award

Congratulations to Vickie Tonn and Rene Lamb.  I attended the awards ceremony Tuesday night and thoroughly enjoyed it.

Link to Fort Bend Star article.

The Foster Community Museum (near Fulshear) has a couple of fundraisers scheduled in the coming months.  More about them in future posts.

DHS Class of '68

Yikes!!  This year marks our 45th anniversary as graduates of Dulles High School.  Here are our pictures as they appeared in the '68 Viking yearbook.

DHS Class of '68

DHS Class of '63

Congratulations to the 1963 Class of Dulles High School on their 50th anniversary.  Here are their photos as freshmen in the 1959/60 school year.
DHS Class of '63 as Freshmen in 1960

1960 Graduating Class of M. R. Wood High School

I don't have many photos of M. R. Wood graduating classes.  Here's one of the Class of 1960 that was published in The Fort Bend Mirror.  (I'm sorry it's not a better scan.)


Sugar Land Weddings in the Late 1940s

I want to thank Billie and Buddy Blair for letting me scan the following photo.  It shows Bertha Blair and Nick Phillips on their wedding day in the late 1940s.  (I'm not certain of the exact date.)  From left to right you see Mr. Blair (father of the bride), Beanie Blair Petrosky (sister of the bride and matron of honor), Nick Phillips (groom), Bertha Blair (bride), Rufus Phillips (best man), and the minister at Sugar Land's First Methodist Church.

Buddy told me his father made the candelabras you see in the background.

I don't know how typical they were, but I know several couples in that era married at the home of the bride's parents.  My parents married at my grandparents' home at the Humble Camp, as did my aunt and uncle.

I've read the average wedding today costs nearly $24,000.  Stories about bridezillas are fairly common.  Of course, there were extravagant weddings back then, but they weren't typical of Sugar Land.

Dinky Schedule in 1924

A friend asked me recently about the Brill rail car shown in a recent post.  He wondered if it was the 'Dinky' commuter train that ran between Houston and San Antonio until the early 1950s.  (I'm not exactly when the train service began, but it must have been sometime in the early 20th century.)  The answer is no; the Dinky was not a special car.

The Dinky was a local freight train that ran on the S&P track along Highway-90A and included one or two passenger cars.  I've found an abbreviated schedule in a copy of the Texas Commercial News published on November 8th, 1924.  (My thanks go to Billie and Buddy Blair for letting me scan their copy.)

As you can see, it made 4 regular stops at the Sugar Land depot: 2 eastbound and 2 westbound.  Also note the flag stops.  One was at noontime for a train that made flag stops west of Rosenberg.