Blog is moving to

December 26th, 2011 1 comment

LAST CALL: I am finally almost done moving existing posts to Blogspot and deleting them from this site.

This blog will most likely come to an end by May 31, 2014

New posts will also be appearing on the new website as I have time to research.

W.E. Greiner Junior High School

October 4th, 2009 13 comments

Blog has moved to Blogger – go to

postcard courtesy Terry Houchins

Located at 501 S. Edgefield, the establishment now known as Greiner Middle School began literally on the south edge of a field as a group of plank buildings around 1910. This is the building conceived in 1915 and built sometime after 1932. Only a small part of this building remains today.

More about Greiner’s history.

Youngblood’s Fried Chicken

September 13th, 2009 47 comments

Hello good people! This blog has been moved to the blogger platform. Please go to

to read the updated post about Youngblood’s Fried Chicken.


Probably the most-lamented fried chicken place I’ve found is Youngblood’s. I dimly remember seeing a Youngblood’s Restaurant at the Old Mill place during the State Fair of Texas about 1968, yet across the internet people swear it was the best chicken ever, and replications of its recipe can still be found.

Julius Harper “Pap” Youngblood was a cotton farmer in Speegleville, just west of Waco, when he bouht 500 baby chicks in 1930, raising them as a sideline to help make ends meet. (Ever hear recordings of Wolfman Jack hawking baby chicks over Mexican radio?) By 1942 “Pap” and his sons, Weldon and Ovid, had got the hang not only of raising chickens, but doing it “from the egg to the table”, processing and delivering feed for the poultry, and dressing the birds in their own processing plant. They opened their first restaurant in Waco in 1945 to advertise their business, and it was so successful they expanded to Dallas, opening their second restaurant in Oak Cliff in 1946 near Colorado and Zang. The above ad  announced the opening of that restaurant. By 1961 Youngblood’s was the fried chicken king of  Texas, with 60 chicken-raising farms around Waco, a chain of 14 restaurants, and about 500 people in their employ.

In 1967 Youngblood’s had more than 30 restaurants in Texas and  at least 6 franchise stores in the state. In 1968 they announced plans to expand with a nationwide franchising operation, but they were too late; the market was already flooded with other fried chicken franchises. That and a series of financial mishaps resulted in overwhelming debt, and all of Youngblood’s restaurants abruptly closed in 1969. Some of the restaurants were sold to Mickey Mantle’s Country Cooking, Inc. and the poultry processing operation was scaled back to about 12 people. By 1970 none of the Youngbloods had any association with their former operation.

youngbloods 57 ad

Leslie’s Chicken Shack

September 12th, 2009 17 comments

Leslie's pc

Leslie’s originated in Waco, and that location seems to be famous for being the place where Billy Joe Shaver’s mom was a waitress. The first mention I find of Leslie’s in Dallas is 1939, when the Dallas Morning News mentioned it in a “Where to Go When You Eat” column. This postcard is from a few years later, when there were a whopping 9 locations around Texas. Leslie’s was at 2700 Ft. Worth Avenue, which would have put it almost directly across the street from Roth’s Cafe.

Leslie’s is listed in the Dallas phone book for 1951 but not for 1957. The site is now an empty lot.

leslie thumbnailGo here for a larger view of the building illustration from the postcard.

To see a larger view of this old sign now residing in the back lot of the Green Fiber plant in Waco go here and here.

Update – Jan 15, 2013:   A 1992 news item from The Victoria Advocate says Leslie’s opened April 1, 1934.

Fred’s Barbecue

August 21st, 2009 16 comments


As an occasional change from Austin’s, Fred’s was located just down Illinois a ways, at the east end of Wynnewood Village, 2226 S. Llewellyn. Fred’s existed in 1951, although I don’t know its original location. In the early sixties Fred’s had 7 locations, which included one in Irving and one in Richardson.

Vogue Theater

July 13th, 2009 1 comment
photo by Terry Houchins

photo by Terry Houchins

The Vogue, at 2010 W. Jefferson, opened March 13, 1949, with “Blood on the Moon”. Its predecessor, The Bison, had been demolished by owners Robb & Rowley to make way for a more modern movie house. On opening night the manager received a telegram from actress Linda Darnell, which read in part, “The fact that there is a new theater on the site of the old Bison just shows how time marches on, and brings to me memories of the happy hours I spent there. In case you do not know, I was once a student at Sunset High just across the street. Although I felt that my chances of becoming a successful actress were might slim, I did spend all my spare time and spare nickels at the Bison, seeing every picture I could, and hoping my dreams might some day come true.”

The Vogue is now a church.

Cain’s Hitchin’ Post

July 8th, 2009 No comments

cains 1950 pc

Don’t let the rustic facade fool ya! Cain’s Hitchin’ Post opened in 1947 as a restaurant at 2504 W. Davis, just west of Hampton Road, but in 1951 owner Claude Cain, Jr. added the 2500 square foot “Saga Room” for drinking and dancing. The club featured “colored combos” and dancing until 1 a.m. It was apparently a lively joint until the beer election of December 1956 prohibited the selling of alcohol in such places. After that, Cain’s seems to have rode off into the sunset. No obvious evidence of the building remains today.

Aug 1: Thanks to Steve Bonner for corrections and additions to this blurb. He tells me after Cain’s closed the same building was Nayler’s Country Kitchen for several years. The last business at the location was Amvet’s Bingo.

Bud and Ben Mufflers

July 4th, 2009 2 comments
photo by John Cirillo

photo by John Cirillo

I love these fiberglass “muffler men”. This one’s still standing at the SE corner of Illinois and RLThornton Freeway as part of Brothers Mufflers company. Bud and Ben Mufflers was originally called Bud and Ken Mufflers. I seem to remember their first building was on the west side of the freeway access road as you approached Illinois Ave., but that may be the imperfect memory of a little kid.  That would have been around 1965. We used to wonder what happened to Ken and if the “B” in Ben was just an easy way to replace the “K” in Ken.

Oak Cliff Christian Church

July 1st, 2009 4 comments

occc 1942

About 1945. I think this church was on Beckley Ave., but I haven’t found its address yet. A newer building called Oak Cliff Christian Church is located at 1222 W. Kiest Blvd, west of the Kiest-Polk Shopping Center. Here’s a 2006 write up about some of the church’s trials and tribulations.

Jefferson Blvd 1977

June 7th, 2009 No comments

photo by John Cirillo

photo by John Cirillo

Here’s a shot looking east on Jefferson from Polk. Wish I’d had the foresight to go down there and shoot these old signs.