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.

Saturday, September 7, 2019

Tom Tyler

Remembering some of the B-Western cowboys we saw at the Gem Theater. Here's Tom Tyler's Cyclone Range.

Saturday, August 3, 2019

Rose Theater

Rose Theater. Here is another theater that is slowly disappearing.

Friday, June 21, 2019

The Phantom Detective

Here's the first issue of The Phantom Detective comic book. The Phantom Detective was a costumed crime fighter in the pulp magazines beginning in 1932. When the publisher went into comic books in the 1940s, one of the first featured The Phantom Detective. I have all the pulps featuring this character, and  believe all the comic book appearances, but in b&w, not color (sigh).

Friday, April 19, 2019

Roy Rogers & Trigger

Roy Rogers & Trigger: The singing cowboy of the Saturday Matinees. One of the best of our heroes of my youth in Wichita Falls, Texas in the 1940s

Friday, April 12, 2019

Buck Jones

Buck Jones starring in Durand of The Bad Lands: When hitting the streets on Saturday Matinee days in Wichita Falls, I always started at the Gem Theater across the street from us on Ohio Street, and then made my way around to the Ritz, Tower and Texan. One of those theaters always had something I wanted to see, and I wouldn’t need to go any further. Besides, the State, Strand, and Wichita Theaters were usually too expensive for my pocket change. It was always a treat to find a Buck Jones western like the movie poster advertises here. Of course, if The Durango Kid or Lash LaRue was playing at the Gem Theater, that’s as far as I got on Saturday morning.

Saturday, March 30, 2019

Friday, February 1, 2019

The Shadow Comics

The Shadow Comics from 1947: We moved to Wichita Falls in the summer of 1947 and I discovered the Golden Age comic books fore the first time. I think at the time my favorite comic book was Batman, but Superman was a close second, and Wonder Woman third. Later Captain Marvel and the Marvel Family would replace Batman as my favorites. I also found The Shadow comics during that 1947 period, and at the time was a big fan of The Shadow on radio. I knew nothing about the novels in the pulp magazines then, and wouldn’t until long after I grew up. But I thoroughly enjoyed The Shadow comics.