Introduction

Downtown Wichita Falls, Texas, in the mid 1940’s was a bustling metropolis for a boy of 7 just away from the farm and ranch community where he was born. My father, a cook and cowboy by trade, had just started as one of the first cooks for the Casa Manana restaurant in 1947. He moved us to an apartment on Ohio Street, right across from the Gem Theater, between 7th and 8th Streets. It’s here that we would stay for the next three years. The Gem Theater became a magic palace for a young mind. But it had to share that distinction with the rest of the magic that was Wichita Falls. I attended San Jacinto and Carrigan elementary schools, as well as Reagan Junior High, and belonged to the Boys Club on 6th Street. Please join, and share your stories and pictures through a Guest Blog, of early Wichita Falls - or your home town. Contact me at fadingshadows40@gmail.com or leave a comment. We could use old pictures of movie houses, drive-in theaters, and other nostalgic pictures related to our youths.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

The Lovelace Bookstore

The Lovelace Bookstore

While attending Reagan Junior High in the 1954 – ’56 time frame, my dream was to become an entomologist. I loved biology, especially zoology, and in particular entomology – the study of insects. It was at this time I placed my first purchase on layaway; a three-book set titled THE ANIMAL KINGDOM. Big, thick, brown covers, within which was information I desperately wanted to read. However, it took me several weeks to saved my lunch money and pay them off a little at a time. The store was The Lovelace Bookstore in downtown Wichita Falls. Sixty years later those three books still hold a special place on my bookshelf, even though the information is now available for free online.


Oddly, I had a teacher at Reagan named Mr. Lovelace, and often wondered if he was related to the gentleman I bought the books from, but I never asked. John William Lovelace passed away in Wichita Falls this week. He was the son of Bryan Wood and Zora Willis Lovelace, the owners of The Lovelace Bookstore, and I’m sure I bought the books from John’s father, Bryan. Yes, John Lovelace did teach at Reagan, so maybe he was my teacher. I didn’t become an entomologist, but I never lost my interest in the subject, and to this day I’m fascinated with insects and paleo-biology.

2 comments:

  1. John Williams, author of Stoner (1965) and Augustus, the winner of the 1972 National Book Award, worked at the Lovelace Bookstore before the war.

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  2. Hmm, interesting. John William Lovelace's obituary didn't mention any books published by him. Is the author John Williams the same man as John William Lovelace? Or is it just similar names, and the STONER author worked at the Lovelace Bookstore. John William Lovelace was a Marine in the Korean War, I believe before he started his teaching career.

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