Thursday, September 19, 2013

9/19/13 Luck on the 19s

Flying to Houston on row 19 on the 19th of the 9th month (on flight 142 . . . hey, it adds up to 7!) and I found myself with the row entirely empty! Really, this never happens. I even took a picture once the doors were closed because it didn't seem possible. A window seat and no one to crawl over if I needed to get out? Beautiful./

Stephanie picked me up curbside and we were back at her house by 11:30 to drop off luggage and part ways, since she had to go in to work and I had to get over to the South Belt Leader offices to meet Marie and check out what unsorted photographs she might have for me to scan. 

I was so excited that I forgot to eat lunch. The 6:00 a.m. breakfast sandwich at the airport (Schlotzkies -- not bad) was going to have to hold me over to dinner, as it turned out, because what was "some photos" in the description was vastly under described.

Marie didn't just have "some photos."  She had a mother load.

There were 8 good sized assorted boxes, and 6 filing cabinet rows filled with pictures. 

I got started before 1:00 going through them, swiftly, ascertaining ages, pulling anything from the 70s and 80s that looked interesting. I started to despair that I might not make it through them in an afternoon, until I found my second wind, and that several of the filing rows were all 90s and 2000s that I didn't need to look through. You can flip with your thumb and immediately spot the difference, not just in the photo, but in the feel of the photo paper, too. 

 By 4:00 I was ready to start scanning. Marie had come through over the hours to look through the ones I'd pulled and made a pile for me that I could just have, outright. That saved time on the scanning, although I still ended up digitizing 238 photos. I walked away with 160 in my bag, as well as a few, slightly heavier treasures.

In one of the filing cabinets were 5 old, but apparently unopened, Dobie yearbooks. They are in brand new condition, Volumes 2, 3, 4, and 8, from 1970, 71, 72, and 76, as well as 1978. Marie kept 1978 since her son was at Dobie that year, but send me home with the older four. 

(I haven't quite worked out if I'm going to borrow a small suitcase from Stephanie and check it, which I'm leaning towards, since it'll be $20 to get them on the plane with me that way, rather than trusting them to the mail, which would take forever and still cost more than $20.) 

I am just giddy with the excitement of Day 1 of what seems to be shaping into the South Belt Houston History project. Marie said she'd like to do a story on it, so we'll see.

When South Belt, so-named decades before the Beltway became a reality, turned into Beltway 8, they took the street signs down and gave them to Marie. I didn't do a good job of photographing the process, but I did manage to get a picture with Marie and those signs before I left. (Of course, I took them on my phone and now the newly downloaded iTunes won't sync them off to the computer for me.)

Of course, new computer, no Photoshop, so it will be another week before I can really get through my treasures, polish them up, and organize their contents, but what a great first day. I think the Universe killed my computer and kept me away from Photoshop on this trip so I might actually get some sleep.

As I was scanning the pictures, I was flipping carefully through the pages of the yearbooks, hoping to find the Foley's Children's Shoe Department boat picture that started all this madness. No luck. But Friday is Dobie Library Day, and I still haven't seen the original yearbook from 1969 that might hide my holy grail. 

A few gems from the day:

Thompson Intermediate Drum line from a parade, circa 1980

Texas Commerce Bank's "Snow" Machine Party, year unknown. The Beltway now runs where the empty field was for so many years.

Fuqua at Beamer, before the Dairy Queen became C&D


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