Jump to content


Photo
- - - - -

Memory of Christmas long ago


  • Please log in to reply
16 replies to this topic

#1 johnfwd

johnfwd

    Skyscraper Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,921 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:southwest
  • Interests:Running, bicycling, bowling, nightclub life, science, technology.

Posted 01 July 2013 - 08:05 AM

I guess the older you get the more nostalgic you get.  In this case, beating the summer heat of July means thinking about Christmas in Fort Worth long ago (or at least in my lifetime).  Just a memory here of a little kid treated by his Mom and Dad to a Christmas fairyland trip on the mini-monorail that hung from the ceiling of a department store downtown (some ole timer help me here, was it in Monnigs, Striplling, or Leonard Brothers?).  I just remember excitedly gazing down on lighted Christmas trees, glittering baubles, snowy scenes, Santa...



#2 hankjr

hankjr

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 82 posts

Posted 01 July 2013 - 09:15 AM

That was definitely Leonard Bros. Earlier than that they had a larger than life Santa and Mrs Claus in an outside corner window. They were animated and drew lots of viewers in the '40's.



#3 fwfrog

fwfrog

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 64 posts

Posted 01 July 2013 - 11:30 AM

I guess the older you get the more nostalgic you get.  In this case, beating the summer heat of July means thinking about Christmas in Fort Worth long ago (or at least in my lifetime).  Just a memory here of a little kid treated by his Mom and Dad to a Christmas fairyland trip on the mini-monorail that hung from the ceiling of a department store downtown (some ole timer help me here, was it in Monnigs, Striplling, or Leonard Brothers?).  I just remember excitedly gazing down on lighted Christmas trees, glittering baubles, snowy scenes, Santa...

johnfwd...

 

I encourage you to visit the Leonard's Museum.  Inside you'll see old photos and neat merchadise from the department store -- including a small display case with Christmas-themed items.  (It's up year round.  And I know there's a large photo of the monorail you mentioned.)

 

The museum is free, and if you're lucky, you'll find one of their wonderful volunteers on site who love talking about days gone by at Leonard's.

 

http://www.fwculture...ards_museum.htm



#4 Owen

Owen

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 189 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Irvine, CA
  • Interests:Architecture, astronomy, cats, classical music, football, Fort Worth, linguistics, religion, Tolkien

Posted 02 July 2013 - 12:05 AM

The monorail was in the basement of Leonards, and for me, at least, Christmas wasn't Christmas without a ride on it.



#5 austlar1

austlar1

    Newcomer

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 19 posts
  • Location:austin TX

Posted 02 July 2013 - 01:41 PM

Wow! I completely forgot about the little monorail at Leonard Bros. during Christmas. I remember other things about circa 1950s Christmas in FW.  Thanksgiving Day night was always the night that my family would pile into the car and drive downtown to look at all the Christmas decorations that had been set up in the department store windows. Keep in mind that there were five or six department stores and a few specialty clothing stores in business down there. It was where everybody shopped.  At that point in time, stores decorated for the holidays on or around Thanksgiving Day. Also, the city put up the Christmas lights on the streets. Downtown became very crowded with shoppers. The Salvation Army Santas were in front of most stores ringing their bells. For a little boy it was a pretty magical time of the year.  The only place to get that old time Christmas vibe is in the shopping districts of a few older American cities like NY, Chicago, or San Francisco that still have a concentration of stores and shoppers in the central core. The malls just don't cut it. Things were never the same after the neighborhood shopping centers began to drain activity from downtown.  Now it seems like they start playing Christmas music and decorating stores right after Halloween.

 

The other big Christmas season treat, which probably survives to this day, was to drive through the different parts of town and look at all the homes lit up for the season. This was probably that point in history when homeowners first started stringing Christmas lights and doing elaborate outdoor decorations. A drive through Rivercrest and Westover Hills was usually kind of jaw dropping, as the local plutocrats pulled out all the stops to outdo each other with lighting and decorations.



#6 Ghost Writer in Disguise

Ghost Writer in Disguise

    Senior Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 285 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Ridglea West

Posted 02 July 2013 - 05:29 PM

In 1966 homeowners along Halifax Rd in Ridgmar lined the street with painted and lighted plywood Christmas trees; Channel 5 did a story on it. A year or two later, the homeowners of Dakar Rd East did the same only using the Peanuts comic strip characters — I think it may have been a Peanuts-themed Twelve Days of Christmas. By 1969 there was the same along Saxony Rd, this time a Texas-styled Twelve Days of Christmas. I don't know when they all stopped, but they did.



#7 gdvanc

gdvanc

    Elite Member

  • Admin
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 740 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Arlington

Posted 10 July 2013 - 09:43 PM

We always did the Peanuts drive and the Texas-themed one (although I thought it was The Night Before Christmas - In Texas, Y'all, or something like that). I've wondered where those were. We also drove in a neighborhood near a small 'lake' where the lights were fantastic. IIRC, there was one house that always just had "Bah, Humbug!" in lights.

 

Sad that my kids never got to experience some of that.



#8 Ghost Writer in Disguise

Ghost Writer in Disguise

    Senior Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 285 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Ridglea West

Posted 11 July 2013 - 08:46 AM

Could be it was The Night Before Christmas on Saxony. It's hard to remember by now.

 

The lake with the lights is Luther Lake in Ridglea Hills along Clayton Rd. It's been a good while since I've been by at Christmas but it would be no surprise if residents still put on light displays. It was never a coordinated effort among neighbors as the displays in Ridgmar were.

 

The "Bah Humbug" house belonged to the Fralias, as I recall.



#9 Mark S

Mark S

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 75 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Wedgwood
  • Interests:Web Development, Linux, History, Antiques

Posted 18 July 2013 - 09:26 PM

Remember these lights that were hung across the downtown streets? As I recall, the rectangular "toppers" alternated between Santas and peppermint sticks. This postcard probably dates from the early/mid-sixties.

 

xmas-fort-worth.jpg



#10 Ghost Writer in Disguise

Ghost Writer in Disguise

    Senior Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 285 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Ridglea West

Posted 23 December 2013 - 08:16 PM

Saturday night I braved the fog to troll around Luther Lake for the first Yuletide season in æons and see if it was anything like it was in bygone days. Nope. I would guess perhaps half the houses had backyard lights; at any rate far fewer than in decades past. That said, the residents along Rowan Dr and Brants La seem to put more effort into their front lawn decorations. There were no "BAH HUMBUG" lights on Rowan, though. One lakeside house there has been torn down; was it the one?

 

I didn't even bother with Ridgmar. The plywood trees and Peanuts Twelve Days of Christmas and Texas Night Before Christmas are long, long gone.



#11 hankjr

hankjr

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 82 posts

Posted 27 December 2013 - 07:06 PM

Thanks Mark for that wonderful picture of Downtown Fort Worth the way it was back in my youth.  Memories.



#12 Ghost Writer in Disguise

Ghost Writer in Disguise

    Senior Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 285 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Ridglea West

Posted 21 December 2014 - 03:29 PM

Today is Yule so I'm bumping this up just because.



#13 John T Roberts

John T Roberts

    Administrator

  • Admin
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 11,801 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:South Fort Worth
  • Interests:Architecture, Photography, Bicycling, Historic Preservation

Posted 21 December 2014 - 07:10 PM

This is one of my favorite Christmas postcards of the city.  It's just a shame that if you took the picture from the same location today, you would be looking at the back side of the Renaissance Worthington Hotel.



#14 Ghost Writer in Disguise

Ghost Writer in Disguise

    Senior Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 285 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Ridglea West

Posted 01 December 2015 - 11:58 AM

Once again, I'm bumping this up because it's the season.



#15 hankjr

hankjr

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 82 posts

Posted 01 December 2015 - 02:09 PM

....that post card of Leonard Bros. at Christmas does bring back lots of wonderful memories from my youth...

                                                                                                                                        Thanks



#16 Ghost Writer in Disguise

Ghost Writer in Disguise

    Senior Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 285 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Ridglea West

Posted 06 December 2017 - 11:54 PM

I forgot to bump this up last year. That must be why Santa left coal in my stocking.



#17 johnfwd

johnfwd

    Skyscraper Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,921 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:southwest
  • Interests:Running, bicycling, bowling, nightclub life, science, technology.

Posted 08 December 2017 - 07:08 AM

I've been looking on this thread for the postcard, but can't find it.  The two links posted above are no longer valid.






1 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 1 guests, 0 anonymous users