Worth a thousand words

They met at Tyler Street United Methodist Church in the early 1970s, and all three have longtime ties to Oak Cliff.

Gayla Brooks Kokel can date her neighborhood heritage back to 1918, when her father was born in what was then called Eagle Ford. She was born at Methodist Hospital and graduated from Kimball High School. Alan C. Elliott also was born at Methodist Hospital and graduated from Adamson High School. Patricia Summey moved to the neighborhood in 1970 when she began teaching at Trinity Heights School, which is now Harrell Budd Elementary. The three also are members of the Dallas Area Writers Group, and meet together monthly along with other aspiring writers.

Elliott also happens to be the webmaster — or “mayor”, as he quips — of oakcliff.com, an online database of neighborhood history. That’s how the acquisitions editor of Arcadia Publishing found him, when she called him in June 2008 for suggestions on someone who could write a book about Oak Cliff.
“I thought, well, I’ve written a few books,” says Elliott, who has roughly 15 titles to his name.

He enlisted the help of Kokel and Summey, and the three of them set to work. The book would be a pictorial history of Oak Cliff, so they put out a call for photos on Elliott’s website, and contacted other people personally. The effort resulted in more than 600 photos, which the three authors then whittled down to 200.

“Some you have to show, like the one of Texas Theatre,” Elliott says, referring to the book’s cover photo, “but some have never been in print, and most Cliffites have never seen them before. The reason is, we didn’t want to duplicate what’s already out there.”

“People gave us access to things you don’t normally see in this type of book,” Kokel adds, referring to the numerous family photos submitted. “And we tried to get a real story to go with the images. If it’s a building, it’s what happened there — not just what it is and when it was built.”

Among their favorites is a 1922 Adamson High School yearbook photo with the female students participating in synchronized exercises with long shorts on — considered skimpy at the time. “If you look real close, you’ll see some boys on the telephone poles watching them — seeing those girls in their sexy clothes,” Kokel laughs.

Another is a photo of a 4-year-old Paula Craig, a current Stevens Park resident, wearing a miniature Army uniform and getting ready to sing and tap dance as part of a World War II bond fundraiser. The three also love a 1960 photo of the South Oak Cliff High School Girls Rifle Club, with three prim- and proper-looking young women posing with rifles. “Forget conceal and carry,” the caption reads.

“They were packin’ heat,” Kokel laughs.

“The times, they have a-changed,” Summey chimes in.

Of course, because the three authors have plenty of neighborhood history of their own, family photos from each one found their way into the book. A photo of Summey’s late husband, William “Bill” Summey, is on the dedication page. Kokel included a Depression-era photo of her father and mother goofing off in front of the Cliff Towers Hotel. And the collection of images concludes with a 2007 wedding photo of Elliott’s daughter. It’s one of four Oak Cliff weddings included in the book — others are from the ’20s, ’40s and ’60s.

“We were trying to get across the idea of generations in Oak Cliff,” Elliott says.

The book’s photos are arranged chronologically in six chapters. What the authors tried to do is “tell stories, not just list names,” Elliott says. “We wanted to be entertaining.” But when it came down to a selection process, if it was a decision between a good story or a good photo, the authors went with the good photo.

“It’s not an all-encompassing history book — it’s images,” Summey says.

“It’s like a walk down memory lane,” Elliott explains.

“It’s like a yearbook — on steroids,” Kokel echoes.

“Images of America: Oak Cliff” from Arcadia Publishing hits shelves in all major Dallas bookstores on April 27. It sells for $21.99. Elliott plans to post a survey on oakcliff.com, asking visitors to vote for their favorite photo or caption. The authors know, however, that their book of all kinds of Oak Cliff photos and history will only beget more Oak Cliff photos and history.

“It’s going to be the stories that come up after the book comes out, and people will ask, ‘Why didn’t you write about that?’” Summey says.

“That’ll be the follow up on the web,” Elliott says.

The authors will sign copies of “Images of America: Oak Cliff” on Saturday, May 2 at Dicho’s in the Bishop Arts District, 500 N. Bishop, from 11 a.m.-1 p.m., and at the Cedar Hill Barnes and Noble, 305 W. FM 1382, from 2-4 p.m.

By |2013-01-18T13:04:33-05:00May 1st, 2009|All Feature Articles|84 Comments

About the Author:

Keri Mitchell is an Advocate editor and reporter. Email her at kmitchell@advocatemag.com or follow twitter.com/thequotablelife.                                                                                         


  1. Sandra Harris McBride February 4, 2010 at 10:10 PM

    Does anyone remember Dr. Tim Green – he delivered me and the bill from Methodist for my mom and me was $5 for 5 days in 1944. I remember taking the streetcar at Clarendon and Tyler to Jefferson St. or to Dr. Green’s office, and being treated to the best ice cream cone at a drug store near our home on Elmdale Pl. The Oak Cliff library and Elmwood Baptist Church youth group were the only activities approved by my parents. How about the Dixie Wax factory on Tyler? I worked at M.E. Moses in Wynnewood to have spending money. I loved Sunset and actually “fudged” my 3 year-attendance at Sunset and graduation in ’62, as we lived one block east of the boundary at Polk St. I used to have nightmares about the prospect of attending Adamson. My brother was Dennis “Smiley” Harris (class of ’56) and he was #66 on the football team; passed away in 2002. Any former Elmwood Baptists out there? I have never felt at home in a church like I did there. Rev. Nance was pastor then. Now live in Amarillo and love it here but love visiting Oak Cliff.

  2. Anjie (Gayler) February 4, 2010 at 10:10 PM

    Such fun to be reminded of the fun we had in the 50’s and 60’s in Oak Cliff, and to see former classmates from L.V. Stockard and Sunset class of ’62! I remember when I was only six years old being allowed to walk alone to the library on Jefferson, stay long enough to read several books, then walking back home about six block away with my treasury of newly “checked out” books!

    Barbara (Martin), remember in Bisonetts marching all the way down Jefferson to the library… we couldn’t wait to get those boots off! Who can forget Ms.Oma Ford or English teacher Ms. Ferguson?

    So many memories along Jefferson Avenue! When I was 12, I baby-sat my 5 year old nephew and we had such fun going to the Zoo, shopping Jefferson, and going to the library and never felt in danger or scared.

    Lots of fun in our MYF church youth group and activities. Also memories of crusin’ the Oak Cliff area with Ann West and Margie Robinson.

    One time I was driving with Ann in a rainstorm and rounded a corner just as a lady stepped from the curb. As we went by she screamed at the top of her lungs and we thought I ran over her foot! When we found out she was o.k., just upset from the splashing water – we laughed until we cried -with more relief than humor!

    Doesn’t anyone remember Cedar Canyon Club – THE weekend place to be…a fun alcohol free enviornment.

    I’m so glad for the friendships and fun we had in those days! But I’m deeply thankful for the current “season” of life and the treasures God provides every day.

    Anjie (Gayler) Hatfield

  3. Rodney Moore MD February 4, 2010 at 10:10 PM

    I can hardly wait for this book to be issued. I have lived in Oak Cliff for 79 years. I graduated from Sunset in 1947 and my wife,Sharon Blanks in 1962. Both of our fathers were in business here for many years. My father at Moore’s grocery on Mont Clair And Sharon’s Blanks Engraving on Beckley. I practiced OBG at Methodist for 48 years and delivered 6000 babies many of whom went to Adamson or Sunset. Sharon taught 3rd grade for 32 years at Rosemont and several other schools. Please notify us when this book will be available. Rodney Moore MD

  4. Barbara "Martin" Flint February 4, 2010 at 10:10 PM

    WOW! What a wonderful idea; to bring back all the great memories we have of growing up in Oak Clif. Looks like all of you have already mentioned just about all the places that we used to “hit” in our growing up years. We moved to Oak Cliff in 1948. I attended Rosemont, Stevens Park (because we lived West of Hampton), but I finished my 7th grade year at Rosemont, Griener and graduated class of 1962 from Sunset. I recognize a lot of familiar classmates and some from other schools. George Ellerbe? Your nick name isn’t Boo is it? I think Oak Cliff holds a lot of good memories for all of us. Gayla and all keep up the fantastic work, I’ll keep checking your website for more information.

    Barbara (Martin) Flint

  5. Wanda Whidby Besson February 4, 2010 at 10:10 PM

    Amazing how many of us were born at the Methodist Hospital! If I could pick a time in my life to re-live – it would be my years living in Oak Cliff. I lived in the Beckley Heights area – Laureland Road – where there were lots of kids with bikes and the sport in the backyard was tetherball. I moved within one block of Kimball HS in 1964 so I walked to school with my two cousins Nannette and Jan Harris (’65 and ’66). We would sneak out my uncle’s ’65 black TBird and cruise Sivils (when we felt brave) and then waste lots of gas at Kiest Park on Sunday afternoons after church. Boy we thought we were so hot! On Halloween we would all dare each other to walk around Laureland Cemetary (mostly vacant at the time). Remember if you bought your school supplies at Skillerns in Wynnewood you got a free milk shake!! Remember carrying 50 cents to the Texas theatre? – got you admission, drink and candy. Remember the “hottest bands” competitions at Kiest Park on Friday nights? …and we can’t forget “spash day in Galveston”. When we lived on Laureland Rd, we often would sneak under the back fence of the Hi-Vue drivein and watch the Elvis Presley movies. I remmeber lots of good friends from Oak Cliff – Sherry Willis, Chuck Arnold, James McKinley, Marita West, Vickie Findley, Ruth Collins and Linda Norris. You guys still out there?? I’ve lost touch with so many folks -I have lived happily in the VA/DC area since 1973. Thanks Gayla for the book – you’ve touched alot of hearts and stirred lots of great memories for so many of us. A time when all my concerns were: what am I going to wear to school, have I teased my hair, can’t wait to get my license and what’s that boy’s name.

  6. Sharon Daniel February 4, 2010 at 10:10 PM

    I grew up in Cockrell Hill on Barksdale Ct.
    I attended L.O. Donald and then Anson Jones before going
    to Stockard and then on the Sunset, where I grad. in ’62.
    Those were truly the good old days, Sivils Drive Inn, Hampton Road. Oh it was a great time.

  7. Brit Carpenter February 4, 2010 at 10:10 PM

    My brother robert and I enterred JS Hogg Elementary School in 1938 having mov ed from Ferris, Texas. Our Dad, Dr RG Carpenter delivered many of the Adamson, Sunset and others of you. I graduated in 1947, was Adamson’s footbal manager for the City Champs of 1946. Still have the pictures. Dayton “Sonny” Blaine is my Adamson classmate and still good friend as well as Bob Duff, Jean Payne, Rodney Moore, MD, a Sunset graduate as well as cousin Billie Frances Carpenter-Holleman, a former Sunset cheerleader. etc. I could go on and on about Lake Cliff pool, Verde Dickey, the coah, Polar Bear ice cream, Youngblood fried chicken, Midway and Astor Theater, Grove Lumber, Cable’s (spell-?)ice cream on Jefferson and Beckley, Western Auto on Jefferson and Zangs, Blaines Pharmacy on Jefferson and Beckley, hay rides at Kiest, playing in the woods behind the old Methodist, now called Kessler Park, etc, etc. Clarendon was the end of town until Zangs was made a four lane parkway. Could go on and on. Hello to everyone as I now live in North Las Vegas.

  8. Deane Phillips Schwitzer February 4, 2010 at 10:10 PM

    I got to Oak Cliff as soon as I could. Adopted when I was two weeks old. Started out on Lansford. Went to Margaret B. Henderson, Rosemont, Greiner, and graduated Sunset in 1962. Share all the same memories you guys do. Anybody remember Griff burgers on Hampton. Ten for a $1. Love the idea that someone is writing about those times. Oak Cliff is still the most beautiful part of the metroplex.

  9. Gayla Brooks Kokel February 4, 2010 at 10:10 PM

    For those of you wanting to know where to purchase books, try OakCliff.com for a listing of retailers And, thanks to all of you for your posted memories and comments. Writing the book was a labor of love.

  10. Marian Smith Odell February 4, 2010 at 10:10 PM

    I’ll never forget the good ole days in Oak Cliff. I was born in Methodist and three of my four children were born there. I went to Lida Hooe, L.P. Cowart, Greiner and Sunset! I loved my school years and dating years and all the fun. Red Bryan’s, Pig ‘N Whistle, Swimming at Lake Cliff and kidd Springs, dancing at the Red Devil and Roth’s Rose Room, etc.

    We lived on Brandon, Grafton and Sharon, all in the 2400 and 2500 blocks and Texan Courts when my Dad returned from WWII. I bought one of the first houses made by the Smith Const. Co. on O’Bannon.

    Have a daughter who still lives in her Dad’s family home on West Brooklyn Ave.

    When I think of Sunset (I graduated in ’47). I think of football games, meeting under the bison head, the dances in the gym at lunchtime and so many more things, especially the wonderful kids!

    Wonderful memories.

  11. Jerry Pommerening February 4, 2010 at 10:10 PM

    Wow, I wanna book, too. I graduated from Sunset in 1962. I have often told people that we grew up in the greatest time the world has ever known. Oak Cliff was a safe place in those days. When we were in elementary school we got free tickets to ride the street car and to go to the State Fair of Texas. All of us little kids would stay at the fair until it closed and then ride the street cars home and I never heard of any child having aproblem of any kind. I miss the street cars and if they will bring them back I’ll promise to never soap the tracks again.

  12. Faye Bailey Millender February 4, 2010 at 10:10 PM

    I can’t wait to get a copy of this book. I was born in Oak Cliff in an area known as “La Reunion”. My older sisters attended La Reunion elementary school. It was torn down and Stevens Park elementary was built in its place. My older brother and I attended Stevens Park, Greiner and Sunset. We were both born at Methodist Hospital and both my sons were born there. My sisters worked as car hops at the Zesto on Ft. Worth Avenue when they were young teens. I worked at the Ben Franklin Store when I was old enough. I have very many great memories of Oak Cliff. Thanks for making a book to help me relive those memories.

  13. Linda Page Sargeant February 4, 2010 at 10:10 PM

    Thanks for reminding me of all those wonderful places. I had not forgotten them, but would love to see the book. How can I get one in Destin, FL???? I remember Margaret and Jane that attended Sunset. Does Sears still decorate the windows at Christmas? Does anyone know Bryan’s bbq and sause secrets? So many memories.
    Linda Page Sargeant, Sunset Class 62

  14. Linda Graham-Lee February 4, 2010 at 10:10 PM

    Was in Dallas February for my Mother’s funeral and revisited our old home on Jefferson across from Sunset Hi. Was so wonderful being back in Dallas/Oak Cliff. The Graham girls took a tour of our old home and it was a real treat. We also toured downtown Oak Cliff seeing the old Texas Theatre and my Dad, O. B.Graham’s church at Tenth and Crawford (Abundant Life Temple) Enjoyed the above comments from others. You can take the girl/boy out of Oak Cliff but you can’t take Oak Cliff out of the girl/boy.
    Linda Graham Shaw-Lee

  15. Jane Walling Little February 4, 2010 at 10:10 PM

    I remember Ball’s Candy. It was so cheap my father went down there to check Mr. Ball out! What a sweet old man. Remember Young Life which some of us attended because it was an excuse to get the car on a week-night? Seeing “Glen or Glenda” at the late show at Chalk Hill Drive-In. Drive-ins period. Long gone. There was a riding stable where Hampton Road Drive-In was when I was a little girl. Mr. Durrett at Kimball selling everything that wasn’t nailed down to buy football uniforms, etc. All of his malaprops over the loud speaker in the mornings, i.e., “We know who you boys are that stole the organ speakers, so come to the office and expose yourself.” Eating hamburgers at Rockefellers which was at the “Boundary”, aka Fort Worth Ave. Dime stores. Jenny’s. Sneaking the car out at night and being perfectly safe with nary a soul on the road but us. What’s this about Kimball closing? Jane Little

  16. Patricia Cathey Dickeson February 4, 2010 at 10:10 PM

    I’ve seen a lot of names here I remember so well!! So good to know you guys are still around–aahh!! Oak Cliff–this is what the “good life”, Norman Rockwell and America is all about. So sad to see those days vanishing. I think of my late dad and the way he talked about his childhood and now I find myself in much the same shoes as I think back. I hadn’t realized until reading the other comments just how much Oak Cliff meant as roots.

  17. Susan Patton Lund February 4, 2010 at 10:10 PM

    Hello all. A message to txkirtley, my parents owned the grocery store at Jefferson Blvd. and Cockrell Hill Road. Do you remember it? Patton’s Food Store. I have an older sister named Pat Patton that graduated from Kimball in 1961 I believe it was.

    I, too, was born at Methodist Hospital, which previously was called Florence Nightingale(not sure of the correct spelling.) I spent all of my time at the skating rink on Jefferson Blvd. Rebecca Young’s parents owned it. Skated there day and night….what else was there to do? Miniature golf, church on Sunday, Jefferson Drive-in theatre right down the street from my old house. Remember the swings at the drive-in right in front of the movie screen?

    I also went to L.O. Donald, Mark Twain, Kimball, Browne Jr. High and back to Kimball. I graduated in 1966.

    Remember the monkeys in the window at Colbert’s in Wynnewood Shopping Village? Remember the machine that we put our feet in so they could check our shoe size? Then we would get the egg that had a surprise in it !!!

    My graduating classmates have remained so close and this book is a testament as to just how much our childhood friendships and memories mean to all of us.

    Gayla, you are as kind and beautiful as I remember. A couple of weeks ago I saw you at El Fenix downtown. My husband and I were there with Judy Bryant Thompson and her husband Woody, who of course graduated with you. Congratulations on the book. I can’t wait to get it. Please let us know if you do another book signing.

    By-the-way, Cheryl Patsley, I had forgotten about working at the Oak Cliff Tribune making those phone calls. Oh my gosh how I hated doing that.

  18. txkirtley February 4, 2010 at 10:10 PM

    Boy what really makes me feel old is so far I seem to be the oldest one on here from Kimball. This is my second post and I graduated from Kimball in 1960, the first one. My father had a grocery store on the coirner of kiest and Hampton. How many of you guys can remember “jerky George” the barber in Kiestwood Village? I’ve also got a trivia question for you all. What was the name of the steakhouse in that same shopping strip?

    Cheryl Patsley Webb, did you have a brother named Gary? If so I went to school with him. I lived at 3402 Brandon until my last two years at Kimball and we then moved to 205 Whitewood near Kiest and Hampton. Jeff Kimball who was the cinamatographer for “Top Gun” lived right behind me. We also have the honor of having a mega-business owner in the midsts of Kimball and his name is Rex Sanders, the founder of Grandy’s fried chicken along with his partner Ed Johnson, 1960 Sunset grad. Kimball was a great school to attend in those day and the ones to follow but now our old almamater is failing and may be on the hit list for closing!. I will re-iterate, what a grand place to grow up in.

  19. margaret bradley February 4, 2010 at 10:10 PM

    I also grew up in Oak Cliff on Wilton St between Ravina and Hampton. When we moved there in 46 or 47, Wilton did not go all the way through to Hampton Road. I remember going bird hunting with my Daddy at Keist Park. No one said anything about the Sno Cone stand on Clarendon. I had polio in 1951, which was scary time. The only place to be diagnosed was the county hospital Woodlawn. There was no room in the hospital, so my spine was tapped to verify it was polio and sent home. The family was quarentined for two weeks and two days no one could come or go except my Daddy to work. My daddy was Mac McKinney, he was a barber on Davis street at Gay’s Barber Shop across from Schiendler’s Bakery and the hardware on the corner of Edgefield and Davis and the Skillerns and the Magnavox Dealer across from Skillerns. The furniture store on Jefferson was Rick’s. Don’t you remember the orange juice stand across from Kidd Springs, that was the best orange juice. I can taste it now. I went to LP Cowart, Stockard and graduated from Sunset in 1962. I was also born at Methodist as was my son. It was a great place to grow up, catching fire flys and playing hide and seek until way after dark.
    PBS did a special on Oak Cliff, one person featured was the lady at Luby’s who played the organ and also played at the Barnet Baseball Field near the Oak Farms Diary. Are any of you old enough to remember the milk, bread and pastrys being delivered to your door? How could we forget the Lone Star Donut shop on Hampton? Well, this has been a great experience, thanks for writing about our home and the good times had there.
    Margaret McKinney Bradley
    Lewisville, TX

  20. Bill Bishop February 4, 2010 at 10:10 PM

    Red Bryan’s was across from Sears. Sonny was Red’s son…he later had a place on Harry Hines

  21. Faye Mauldin King February 4, 2010 at 10:10 PM

    Thank you all so much for the book. I have such great memories of Oak Cliff and Crockrell Hill Rd. area. As I read above, it was a safe place to grow up in – sweet memories and a safe time in our world. I remember the 5 cent cherry-pepsi drinks at Page Drug store and the movies on Sat. afternoon. Went to Kirk Hall, LV Stockard, and graduated Kimball in ’66. I live in East Texas area – any suggestions on where I might get a copy of your book. Thanks again for the memories!!

  22. Rita Bogan Rhine February 4, 2010 at 10:10 PM

    I loved everybody’s comments and I will be on my way to get the book. Gayla, you look marvelous. Thank you for reminding me of the most memorable times of my life. It seems that those day are so sharp and clear while everything now is a little fuzzy, if you know what I mean. No wonder everyone gets into trouble, there is no Kiest Park. My mother was a 5th grade teacher at L.O.Donald and just hearing that so many viewers went there, as well as myself, it makes me think about her. I miss all of you. Rita (Bogan) Rhine class of 1966 Kimball High School.

  23. Florence Greenspan Marsh February 4, 2010 at 10:10 PM

    I lived on the corner of Rugged and Grayson Dr. My bedroom window faced Kiest Park. I have some old movies of “Open House” on Rugged Dr. about 1952. I am a 1966 Kimball grad married almost 43 years to a 1964 grad. We moved from Oak Cliff in 1972, but went back and forth to my husbands parents house on Misty Glen in the Red Bird area until 2000.
    I remember Montgomery Wards in Wynnewood Village. Westcliff Mall when it was new and Austin’s BBQ. The 4th of July fireworks at Kiest Park. Remember the year they all went up at once? That was the shortest fire works event ever.
    Oak Cliff was such a safe place growing up. I would get up on Saturdays, ride my bike all over. I came home for lunch and then went to play returning in time for dinner. I was safe, something my granddaughters will never know.
    In the summers we would sit on a neighbors lawn on Monte Carlo Dr. eating homemade ice cream and watching home movies on their garage wall.
    Remember the polio vacines at the elementary schools The tornado drills where we stayed in the halls for hours it seemed. The bomb drills when we put our hands behind our necks and got under our school desk? We were sure the Russians were coming.
    It was a time of youth we will always remember.

  24. George Ellerbee February 4, 2010 at 10:10 PM

    Seems like Methodist Hospital was the start for many. I was born there in 1948. My sister in 46 and my brother in 49. I also started out on Brandon st. (3630) Also enjoyed Austins, Weiss Park, Jefferson Theater, Texas Theater, The Vogue Theater, Jefferson, Chalk Hill, Hampton, and Twin Drive in’s. How about the Chalk Hill skating rink / movie / skating rink/ movie? Seems like each year it changed. What about the walk past Carlton Stovall’s house from the new L O Donald to the Old L O Donald? Anyone remember the little store on Clarendon? I used to see Sandy Guthrie as I hung out with Jerry Don! The memories are endless. The summer base ball games with Shelly st vs Dawes…lots of ringers Like Mark Mc Cord. Remember when the Heights Theater showed double features for 25cents? Levines, Page’s Drug Store, 4 cent life savers at the A & P? Still only the tip of the ice berg….how about walking into down town for Texas – OU weekend when the cars parked under the triple underpass? Remember paying 25 cents to go on top of the Southland life building when it was the tallest building west of the Mississippi? How about the Red Devil auto sign on Davis st?

    My guess is if all of the last 60 or 75 years are put into one book it would be pretty thick.

  25. William C. Bishop February 4, 2010 at 10:10 PM

    Please let me know where I can get a copy of the book. I currently live in Michigan and would hope that a “main stream” store will have it in MI. Thanks

  26. Toni Micucci Austin February 4, 2010 at 10:10 PM

    Can’t wait to see the book…there’s so much history in Oak Cliff. I was born in the La Reunion section in 1948, but at the age of 2 moved to 1724 Savoy! Hope there is some information about La Reunion included. Congrats to you all!

  27. Butch Reynolds February 4, 2010 at 10:10 PM

    Graduated Class of 65.great book

  28. Cheryl Patsley Webb February 4, 2010 at 10:10 PM

    WOW! How fun it was to read everyone’s comments and take a quick trip down memory lane. I haven’t thought of some of these places in years, but doing so made me happy! I absolutely loved going down on Jefferson and the Texas Theater on Saturday mornings when I was in elementary school (Clara Oliver..then Mark Twain) and later (TW Browne days) on Friday nights. A few not so fun memories of Jefferson also however…in high school (Kimball) I worked at a furniture store on Jefferson one summer (can’t remember the name of it) filing paperwork in an un air conditioned warehouse out back….hot, hot, hot and also made calls straight from the phone book to solicit people to take the Oak Cliff Tribune newspaper…cold calls at their finest (yuk). I agree 100% that I can’t wait to get the book, however, as Oak Cliff absolutely has a huge place in my heart.
    Cheryl Patsley Webb

  29. Bill Derrick February 4, 2010 at 10:10 PM

    Please le me know how to order the book. I was born in Oak Cliff in 1949, attended J. F. Peeler, Griner, T. W. Brown and Kimball. Best memories centered around fishing and swimming at Lake Cliff and Kidd Springs. Movies on Jefferson at Texas Theather with Yo Yo contests on stage before the show. I would love to see some pictures of Lake Cliff and the swimming pool before it was filled in.

    I saw a comment from Jim Chapamn above and remember him as my best friend but havent’s seen him in 30+ years. Thanks for writing your book and bringing back some great memories.

    Bill Derrick
    Sierra Madre, CA

  30. Carlton Stovall February 4, 2010 at 10:10 PM

    Wow sounds like a book I need to get. Was born in 47 at Methodist hospital as well as my 4 brothers and my 2 sons. Lived at 1205 Burns Ave. right behind L.O.Donald. went to L.V.Stockard and grad. from JFKimball 1966. First 2 years of JFK was in the then (NDCC) National Defense Cadet Corp, was fun. Spent a lot of time at Austin’s Bar-B-Que, and Kips big boy.sure was good. Road the street cars, sure wish they were still there. Oh yes the Chock Hill Drive in Theater.

    My brother and I and his best friend stood in line most all day to by tickets to see the move “Hard Days Night” on a Saturday , a week before the move was to show at the Texas. We made the news paper in a photo standing in line for the tickets. What fun I had during thoughts years. This brings back a lot of memories. Will need to get the book.

  31. Jim Chapman February 4, 2010 at 10:10 PM

    It is great to read all these memories. I to have a long history in Oak Cliff.Born in 1948,ourfamily lived on Dutton St.I attended M.B. Henderson elementry,WE Griner Jnior High.I was in the first class to attend TW Browne. Graduated Kimball in 1966.So many memories of fun times. I find myself still driving through the old neighborhoods. I remember you Gayla, from Kimball..Look forward to buying the book……….


  32. Gwen Taylor February 4, 2010 at 10:10 PM

    I live out of state but attended Kimball and graduated in 1966.
    Can you tell me how I could get a copy of this book?

  33. Cindy Clayton February 4, 2010 at 10:10 PM

    Great job on the book…I couldn’t put it down until I had looked through the entire book!

  34. Roddy Bearden February 4, 2010 at 10:10 PM

    It was Luby’s cafeteria on Jefferson.. Great job with the book idea. I will purchase soon. Senior 66 say hi to Jimmy for me. Roddy

  35. Lon Oakley February 4, 2010 at 10:10 PM

    Gayla and her gang have done a bang up job on this venture. Also very glad she has taken care of former hotshot Leopard baseball pitcher Jimmy Kokel, a teammate of mine and all the Adamson Mullets of 1964 & 65 at Big A. Nice touch!

  36. mickey porter February 4, 2010 at 10:10 PM

    Gayla-go get ‘me girl! Always the organizer and leader!

  37. Spike Brown February 4, 2010 at 10:10 PM

    My grandparents lived on Page Street in Oak Cliff until my grandfather decided they needed to move to Hampton Hills Estates (or so it says on the original deed), in the country. He wanted to be able to raise chickens while he continued his employment with Western Union.

    Our family photo’s with his model-T in the drive show Hampton Road as a 2-lane dirt road that certainly appear to be “in the country”. I have been the fortunate recipient of wonderful family tales of rich lore as well as my own person memories of life in Oak Cliff over the years.

    My daughter currently owns the 1900’s house and has made it uniquiley 21 st century, proving it truly is hard to let go of your Oak Cliff roots.

    Thanks Gayla and your colaborators for this wonderful project that is certain to stir memories with the turn of each page !

  38. j February 4, 2010 at 10:10 PM


  39. Jan Fite Miller February 4, 2010 at 10:10 PM

    Being 5th generation Fite in Southwest Dallas, I am also pleased with what has been accomplished in keeping our Oak Cliff pride and history alive. Thanks and congratulations to the 3 authors.

  40. Jan P Hart February 4, 2010 at 10:10 PM

    Gayla, I am so excited for the three of you and this very special project. Gary and I only spent a few years in the Oak Cliff community and at Kimball HS, but they were wonderful years. You look fabulous, by the way, and WOW, does this bring back some memories. Love you, Jan

  41. Kay Mann Bowser February 4, 2010 at 10:10 PM

    There will always be a big place in my heart for Oak Cliff, and it’s wonderful to learn that I’m not the only one! Gayla, you and I go ‘way back (first Oak Cliff Presbyterian and then Kimball)—so congratulations on this collaboration, old friend! Wish I could attend one of the book signings and see you again. Let me know if you’ll be having any more in the future.

  42. Sandy(Guthrie) Sutton February 4, 2010 at 10:10 PM

    I also grew up in Oak Cliff. We moved to Dutton Dr. in 1952. I went to L.O. Donald then on to L.V. Stockard and Kimball high school. Graduated from Kimball in 1965. (Same year as Gayla). My sister Alice Guthrie graduated in Kimball’s first graduating class. I am really looking forward to reading the book. I will definately buy the book and hope to make it to one of the book signings.
    Good luck.
    Sandy Sutton

  43. Debbie Pearson February 4, 2010 at 10:10 PM

    How exciting for you all and for Oak Cliff! I can’t wait to see the book. Congratulations Gayla and all. Keep up the good work.

  44. Larry Click February 4, 2010 at 10:10 PM

    I grew up in Oak Cliff too. We bought a brand new Vernon & James Smith house on Garapan in 1949, 1st grade at Lisbon school, 2nd & 3rd at Clinton P Russell then opened the brand new Jefferson Davis Elementary, (now Barbara Jordan) in the 4th. Went to L.V. Stockard and graduated from W.H. Adamson in 1961. Anyone remember Ball Nut & Candy Co. on Beckley just a block south of Jefferson? Our most every day after school ritual was to walk down there and get a dimes worth of cashews and maybe a few cherry balls while waiting for the bus back to Wynnewood. Loved movies at the brand new Wynnewood Theatre, ice cream at Bennie Brigham’s dad’s Polar Bear Ice Cream, hamburgers and shakes at Big Boy on Zangs after church on Sunday night and Cherry Cokes st Sivils when we wanted to live dangerously. Bought my first house on Saner just down from Kiest Park and my daughter was born at Methodist Hospital then moved to Richardson in 1969, (sorry to say). Came back south to GOd’s country in 1978 to Cedar Hill and I ain’t leaving again.

  45. Melinda Griffin DeZeeuw February 4, 2010 at 10:10 PM

    HOW FUN! Can’t wait to get the book. I remember much of what is talked about and have great memories form “the Cliff” years. Is there a way to purchase on line?

  46. Marilyn Woicik February 4, 2010 at 10:10 PM

    I too was raised in Oak Cliff, started school at John F Peeler, lived on Brooklyn St. and then on to Cockrell Hill & attended LO Donald, Lv Stockard & JF Kimball.

    I have fond memories as a young girl of going to church on Sunday and Dad getting fried chicken at the Youngblood’s chicken place across from Lake Cliff pk and having picnics on Sunday afternoons.Finishing up with ice cream from Polar Bear. Feeding the ducks and just being in a beautiful place.

    I loved going to the Heights Shopping center and Wynnewood.
    Memories of sitting with our chairs on the sidewalk and watching movies from the drive-in theatre on Jefferson, it was practically in our back yards.

    What a work of the heart you have produced. I can’t wait to get a copy and really will get several for friends who live away from here now.

    I also know & love Gayla!

  47. Charles "Benny" Kirtley February 4, 2010 at 10:10 PM

    I too, like many fellow neighborhood mates enjoyed Oak Cliff and have many fond memories. I attended L.P. Cowart, L.V. Stockard and graduated in the first graduating class at Justin F. Kimball. I also attended my sophmore year at Sunset but when Kimball opened I opted to go there. What a time we had in a brand new school.

    I’m proud to say I’ve maintained friendships since my earliest childhood growing up at 3402 Brandon St., one block away from Weiss Park. I was born April 15, 1942, Methodist hospital as were all my first cousins. My great uncle Don Suddarth founded Oak Cliff Bank & Trust on the opposite corner from the Texas theatre.

    Grand times were had by cruising the Dairy Queen, Sivils, and Kiest Park. We later moved to Whitewood St. just off Kiest & Hampton where my father had a grocery store. The grocery was located on the Southwest corner of Kiest right behind Joe Jones Humble station on the corner. Joe Jones was the recipient of the first Texas lottery after he moved his business to Duncanville, Tx.

    I live in Coleman, Tx. now and own a small eatery there. We also have a hunting ranch that was inherited a few years ago. I also had a small class reunion, I choose to call it a mini-reunion, last January and had about 15 attending. We hope to have more next January. What a great place to grow up in Oak Cliff and I can’t imagine any other place.

  48. Darlene (Gann) Jasper February 4, 2010 at 10:10 PM

    I’m excited about this big event. This is the first I’ve heard about it. Most definitely will buy the book!!!
    Hope to possibly see things on the areas that I visited while growing up such as Kip’s Big Boy restaurant and the infamous Sivils Drive In, Wynnewood Shopping Center, Sonny Brians BBQ across from Sears on Jefferson Blvd. and Austin’s BBQ at the corner of Hampton and Illinois. Do any of you remember the Pig Stand on Jefferson Ave? Would like to see an article on that place.

    Hope to make it to one of the book signings.

  49. Mary Newton Maxwell February 4, 2010 at 10:10 PM

    I graduated with Gayla (a beautiful girl). I am obsessed with Oak Cliff history and have been soliciting (not very successfully) pictures of anything Oak Cliff, esp around the Heights and Jefferson. Also looking for photos from L.O.Donald Elementary from 1953 to 1959 and LV Stockard from 1959-1961. See my site on Facebook.

    I will definitely be at the book signing on Saturday and cannot wait to buy the book. Any chance I could get digital images of the big group of photos you guys collected? If they are prints, I would happily scan them and put them on a DVD for you in exchange for letting me copy them for my personal collection.

    Mary Newton Maxwell, Kimball Class of 65

  50. Kathy Vermillion February 4, 2010 at 10:10 PM

    This article sparks the interest of seeing the book! I loved seeing your pictures, too. Congratulations! This is a proud moment for you.

    When I was growing up in small town Waxahachie, Oak Cliff was the place for us to go shopping in “Dallas”. Mother would take me to Sanger Harris and to Sears and Penney’s on Jefferson. There was even a man driving the elevator at Penney’s. Wow!We thought we were in a famous shopping place, and we were. We always had lunch at a cafeteria on Jefferson, but I cannot remember the name of it—maybe, Picadilly. It was a fun and memorable time for me.

    Good luck on your book signing. I will enjoy seeing the book.


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