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, February 12, 2017

Red Barry

Red Barry, a 13-chapter serial from Universal from 1938, featuring Larry “Buster” Crabb as detective Red Barry, and Francis Robinson as reporter, Mississippi (I loved her southern accent). Edna Sedgewick plays a Russian dancer, with a pretty good French accent. This serial was almost five hours long, but lots of fun. Many twist, as the good guys weren’t always good. Everyone was after two million dollars in bonds that Russia sent to Wing Fu to buy bombers for the war. Plenty of good fight scenes, as usual and Tom Steele is around for this. The best fight scene was when the Russian café erupts in a free-for-all, and everyone was fighting. While white men were playing a couple Asian bad guys, it was nice to see Philip Ahn around as a real Asian actor. Buster Crabb gets to show off his swimming abilities. The cliffhangers weren’t as good as those from Republic, but none of the studios beat Republic with cliffhangers. Still, another great serial.

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