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 or leave a comment. We could use old pictures of movie houses, drive-in theaters, and other nostalgic pictures related to our youths.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015


Tarzan. Here is the cover of one of the great Tarzan novels. I remember watching Johnny Weissmuller as Tarzan and Jungle Jim at the Gem Theater in Wichita Falls, and loved the films. It wasn’t until I was 23 and stationed in France that a fella I worked with got me interested in the novels of Tarzan by Edgar Rice Burroughs, and I loved them too. But every time I see a Tarzan book I’m reminded of those Saturday Matinees at the Gem Theater in the 40s.

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