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.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

The Clutching Hand

The Clutching Hand was a 15 Chapter Serial released from Stage & Screen in 1936: Scientist Dr. Paul Gironda discovers the formula for creating synthetic gold. The Clutching Hand, a notorious criminal who has foiled the government agents before, now has Dr. Gironda and wants the secret to the gold himself. Government agent Craig Kennedy enters the case after reporter Walter Jameson reports the missing scientist. The government is also interested in the gold. Unfortunately, this wasn’t one of the better serials of the period. The acting was terrible, as was the dialogue. The old cars were a treat, of course, and The Clutching Hand had a wonderfully evil laugh. The cliffhangers weren’t too bad, but the actors must have came right out of the silent films, and they weren’t ready for talkies in my opinion.

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