Tuesday, August 14, 2018
Here is the information I could dig up on the initials in the bricks of the library/now offices at original Dobie/now BHI that are currently covered under brown panels. The only reference in the yearbooks is this page from the 1970 yearbook that lists the names connected to the initials. One of the authors is lost to obscurity, as far as I can find.
Each set is designed as a cattle brand and set into the brown bricks with colorful ones.
This past weekend, we removed one of the panels to reveal one set of letters for the 50th Anniversary tour.
James Frank Dobie (1888 – 1964) was an American folklorist, writer, and newspaper columnist best known for many books depicting the richness and traditions of life in rural Texas during the days of the open range. As a public figure, he was known in his lifetime for his outspoken liberal views against Texas state politics, and for his long personal war against what he saw as bragging Texans, religious prejudice, restraints on individual liberty, and the assault of the mechanized world on the human spirit. He was instrumental in the saving of the Texas Longhorn breed of cattle from extinction.
Walter P. Webb (1888 – 1963) was an American historian noted for his groundbreaking work on the American West. As president of the Texas State Historical Association, he launched the project that produced the Handbook of Texas.
Tom Lea, Thomas Calloway III (1907 – 2001) was a noted American muralist, illustrator, artist, war correspondent, novelist, and historian. The bulk of his art and literary works were about Texas, north-central Mexico, and his World War II experience in the South Pacific and Asia. Two of his most popular novels, The Brave Bulls and the The Wonderful Country, are widely considered to be classics of southwestern American literature
John A. Lomax (1867 – 1948) John A. Lomax is the person who put the Archive of American Folk Song on the map with his field recording trips. Under adverse circumstances he, and later his son Alan, were responsible for a singular achievement in preserving roots music.
Fred Gipson (1908 – 1973) was an American author best known for writing the 1956 novel Old Yeller, which became a popular 1957 Walt Disney film. Gipson was born on a farm near Mason in the Texas Hill Country, the son of Beck Gipson and Emma Deishler. After working at a variety of farming and ranching jobs, he enrolled in 1933 at the University of Texas at Austin. There he wrote for the Daily Texan and The Ranger, but he left school before graduating to become a newspaper journalist.
Roy Bedichek (1878 – 1959) was a Texan writer, naturalist and educator. At the urging of his friends, Walter Prescott Webb and J. Frank Dobie, he took a leave of absence in February 1946 to write his first book, Adventures with a Texas Naturalist.
Alice E. Ward: no record found
Porfirio Salinas (1910 – 1973) was an early Texas landscape painter who is recognized for his depictions of the Texas Hill Country in the springtime. He was one of the first Mexican American artists to become nationally recognized for his paintings. He was described by ++ as being United States President Lyndon B. Johnson's favorite painter. Works by Salinas are displayed in the Texas State Capitol, the Texas Governor's Mansion and in a number of museums including the Witte Museum in San Antonio, Texas and the Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum.
Garland Roark (1904 – 1985) was an American author known best for his nautical/adventure fiction. His first novel Wake of the Red Witch, published 1946, was a Literary Guild selection and adapted later by Republic Pictures company as a movie featuring John Wayne. His western fiction was published under the pseudonym George Garland.
Van Chandler (1925 – 1998) became an Aviation Cadet in February 1943 and in 1944 was shipped to England. On 6 June 1944, he was assigned to the 4th Fighter Group, 336th Squadron, and entered combat during the invasion of France. Van had two victories by Christmas and added two more on Christmas Day. His fifth victory came on New Year's Day 1945, making him an "Ace" at the tender age of 19. Flying a Mustang named "Wheezy", he bailed out over Allied lines in Europe, but was uninjured. After WW II, he remained in the Air Force and was sent to Korea in 1951. Later, while engaged in the Vietnam conflict, he was promoted to Colonel and then, flying F-100 Super Sabres, he was named Deputy Commander for Operations of the 31st Tactical Fighter Wing. Chandler retired in 1974. He earned the Legion of Merit, the Distinguished Flying Cross, and the Air Medal with 12 Oak Leaf Clusters.
John Biggers (1924 – 2001) was an African-American muralist who came to prominence after the Harlem Renaissance and toward the end of World War II. Biggers has worked on creating works critical of racial and economic injustice. He served as the founding chairman of the art department at Houston's Texas State University for Negroes (now Texas Southern University).
Judd M. Lewis (1867 – 1945) was a poet and columnist known as "Uncle Judd." In 1893 he moved to Houston, Texas. In 1900 he joined the Houston Post and, except for a short period with the Houston Chronicle, was with the Post for forty-five years; he became a director and vice president of the paper. He wrote poetry and prose humor and was selected by the Texas legislature in February 1932 to be the first poet laureate of Texas.
Nina Vance (1914 – 1980) was the founder and first artistic director of the Alley Theatre. In 1959, The Ford Foundation awarded Vance her first director's grant. The following year, President John F. Kennedy invited her to serve on his advisory committee to the National Cultural Center (now the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts), and Secretary of State Dean Rusk appointed her to the U.S. Commission on International Education and Cultural Affairs, the only woman to so serve. After Vance died in 1980, the Alley was officially renamed "The Nina Vance Alley Theatre" in her honor. Her first book of poetry "White Fire," which was published in 1925, received first prize from the Texas Poetry Society. In 1936 she was appointed Poet Laureate of Texas, a position she held for three years. She was awarded the Golden Scroll Medal of Honor as National Honor Poet in 1938. That same year she was designated American Mother of the Year by the Golden Rule Foundation, and American Woman, a biographical publication, selected her as one of the ten Outstanding American Women. Baylor University awarded her an honorary doctorate degree in 1940.
Grace N. Crowell (1877 – 1969) Her first book of poetry "White Fire," which was published in 1925, received first prize from the Texas Poetry Society. In 1936 she was appointed Poet Laureate of Texas, a position she held for three years. She was awarded the Golden Scroll Medal of Honor as National Honor Poet in 1938. That same year she was designated American Mother of the Year by the Golden Rule Foundation, and American Woman, a biographical publication, selected her as one of the ten Outstanding American Women. Baylor University awarded her an honorary doctorate degree in 1940.
Mildred L. Raiborn (1913 – 1981) became Texas' youngest poet laureate ever in 1953. She was noted for her patriotic and Texas-flavored verse, as well as for sonnets. Raiborn hosted a radio program on KGKL in the 1940s. In the 1950s, while raising her daughter and son, she began writing for the San Angelo Standard-Times as the society editor.
Aline B. Carter (1892 – 1972) was a Texas poet and humanitarian, Poet Laureate of Texas from 1947 through 1949. She also served as a vice-president of the Poetry Society of Texas.
Lexie D. Robertson (1893 – 1954) was a teacher and award-winning Poet Laureate of Texas from 1939 to 1941. She grew up in Canton, Texas, the daughter of teachers, and married a fellow student at North Texas State Normal College (today the University of North Texas), J. F. Robertson, in 1911. The couple settled in Rising Star in 1920. Robertson was the first native-born Texan to hold the position of Poet Laureate of Texas; among the publications which featured her work were Kaleidograph, Southwest Review, Holland's Magazine, Country Gentleman, Good Housekeeping, and Ladies' Home Journal.
Arthur M. Sampley (1903 – 1975) college professor of English at what is now the University of North Texas in Denton, later college administrator and director of the UNT libraries, and poet laureate from Denton Texas.
McKie Trotter (1947 – 1970) became a painter and instructor in Fort Worth after he arrived in 1948 to teach at Texas Wesleyan University. He became chummy with Kelly Fearing and other local artists in a thriving art scene that would later be tagged the Fort Worth Circle, combining abstraction and realism while exploring Texas landscapes in the 1950s and ’60s.
Janet Turner (1914 – 1988) graduated from Stanford University in the middle of the Great Depression, so there were no jobs to be found. She returned home and began studying at the Kansas City Art Institute with Thomas Hart Benton and John DeMartelly. After earning a five-year diploma in painting she took up a teaching post at Claremont where she studied art with Millard Sheets. Her first full-time university appointment was at Stephen F. Austin State College from 1947 to 1956.
Boyce House (1896 – 1961) author, humorist, and radio personality. His knowledge of Texas oil towns led him to Hollywood as technical advisor to the production Boomtown (1940), starring Clark Gable, Spencer Tracy, Claudette Colbert, and Hedy Lamarr. Hollywood provided a major turning point in House's life. He apparently contemplated a longer stay in California, but returned to Texas and began to write humorous columns and books. His weekly column eventually appeared in 130 newspapers, and his weekly radio show brought him celebrity status in Texas and an established national reputation. J. Frank Dobie called him "a poet as well as historian and word-wielder."
William Lester (1910 – 1991). was a painter and art teacher. He was an active member of the Dallas Artists League beginning with its formation in 1932. During the Great Depression era, the members formed a nucleus of artists who led in the development of a Texas Regionalist style. At the time, Dallas was one of the strongest and most dynamic centers of the regional art movement in the country. In 1938 many of the Dallas artists, including Lester, formed the Lone Star Printmakers. Lester joined the faculty of the College of Fine Arts at the University of Texas at Austin in 1942 and taught there until his retirement as professor emeritus in 1972. He served as chairman of the art department from 1952 to 1954.
Frederic Browne (1877 – 1966) was born in Belfast, Ireland, and raised in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He received art training at the Pennsylvania School of Industrial Art, the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts and at Academies Julian, Colarossi and de la Grande Chaumiere in Paris, France. Browne joined the faculty at Rice Institute in 1925 as an instructor in architectural drawing and painting. In 1935, he moved from Rice to the art department at the University of Houston, where he taught until 1948. Browne also served concurrently as an instructor at the Museum School, Museum of Fine Arts Houston from 1927 to 1940.
E.M. Schiwetz (1898 – 1984) was an artist born in Cuero, Texas who became an art director and partner in the Houston advertising firm of Franke, Wilkinson and Schiwetz. Schiwetz continued to sketch and paint on his own, finding inspiration in the Texas coast. Schiwetz's advertising work for oil and chemical companies also helped to establish his reputation as a recorder of the Texas scene. The Humble Way, a magazine established in 1945 for Humble Oil and Refining Company (later Exxon Company, U.S.A.), featured Schiwetz's sketches and watercolors of the areas where the company operated. The popularity of his work prompted the company to publish the first Texas Sketchbook of favorite Schiwetz drawings in 1952
Vassar Miller (1924 – 1998) was a writer and poet born in Houston, Texas, the daughter of real estate investor Jesse G. Miller. She began writing as a child, composing on a typewriter due to the cerebral palsy which affected her speech and movement. She attended the University of Houston, receiving her B.A. and M.A. in English. In 1961 Miller was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize for her collection Wage War on Silence. The lasting power of Ms. Miller’s poetry and its distinctiveness was aptly described by many, including author Larry McMurtry. In 1982 and 1988 Miller was named Poet Laureate of Texas, and in 1997 she was named to the Texas Women's Hall of Fame by the Governor's Commission for Women.
Julia H. Strong (1909 – 2004) was a fifth generation Texan and a twelfth generation descendant of Mayflower passengers. She was a graduate of Rice University and a member and past president of its Owen Wister Literary Society Alumnae. She was also a life member and past president of the West University P.T.A., life member and councilor of the Poetry Society of Texas and a past president of its Houston Chapter and also a member of The San Jacinto Chapter of the Daughters of the Republic of Texas and The Society of Mayflower Descendants. She was also the author of three volumes of verse.
O. Henry (1862 – 1910) William Sydney Porter, known by his pen name O. Henry, was an American short story writer. His stories are known for their surprise endings. Among his most famous stories is "The Gift of the Magi"
William E. Bard (1890 – 1978) was one of Texas most distinguished poets, came to Texas as a child in 1895. He grew up in Galveston County and started married life as a Methodist minister. A few moves and six children later, he retired from the ministry and was employed by the Veterans Administration in Dallas. His poems have appeared in scores of yearbooks, anthologies, and other publications; many winning poetry awards including the Texas Centennial Award and a Presidential Citation from Avalon. He is a charter member of the Texas Institute as wll as past president and life member of the Poetry Society of Texas. Mr. Bard was Poet Laureate of Texas in 1966.
Dobie's First Ten Years at the Original Campus, 1968 - 1978
Friday, May 25, 2018
In May 1978, the Leader ran this aerial of the new mall opening just down the road from the South Belt. Baybrook's arrival put Almeda Mall on notice that they were in for some stiff competition.
July 26, 1978 the Galveston Daily News ran a large spread covering the opening. The following photos are pulled from microfilm (I would guess) and are therefore pretty poor quality, but they are all we have for the moment.
a year later, with Hurricane Allen's approach, the Leader ran a photo of an empty mall parking lot at Baybrook
Historic Images had a couple of photographs from the Chronicle for sale on ebay, including this entrance photo (compared to the microfilm above, actual detail!)
A piece on its first Christmas season:
And from the Macy's opening in 1985: