The year was 1959. Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and the Big Bopper died in a plane crash near Clear Lake, Iowa. Fidel Castro became premier of Cuba. Alaska was admitted as the forty-ninth state, messing up the lyrics of “Texas, Our Texas.” Marie Osmond was born. Cecil B. DeMille and Carl “Alfalfa” Switzer died. And readers of Fort Worth newspapers read these ads and articles:
Miniature train video from 2014: “All aboard!”
The Wedgwood area, still farmland on the southwestern edge of town in the early 1950s, boomed in the late 1950s. Wedgwood Investment Company was selling 3-2-2s (with central heating and paved streets). The office was located where Wedgwood Village shopping center is today on Trail Lake Drive at Granbury Road.
At Rosa’s Western Club, located near Sylvania Park on East Belknap Street, you could hear Bob Wills, Ray Price, and George Jones. Other country performers who performed at Rosa’s included T. C. “Son” Lansford (Wills’s first cousin), Hank Thompson, and Jim Reeves. Joe Nick Patosi, in his Willie Nelson, an Epic Life, writes that stars of the Cowtown Hoedown barn dance, held every Saturday night at the Majestic Theater, often performed at Rosa’s afterward.
Rosa Dexter had opened her Western Club in 1956.
Montgomery Ward Department Store sold a Remington portable typewriter for $99.98 ($805 today).
And Leonard’s Department Store sold an evaporative cooler under its Lenco brand for $118.88 ($959 today).
At the Corral Drive-In Theater on Jacksboro Highway you could see Edward Byrnes, who in 1959 was also portraying Gerald Lloyd “Kookie” Kookson III on TV’s 77 Sunset Strip, starring in 1957’s Reform School Girl. Completing the juvenile delinquency double bill was Fay Spain in 1957’s Dragstrip Girl.
This man could give those bad girls a downhome upbraiding. Comedian Andy Griffith could be heard on WBAP radio. The next year Griffith would become sheriff Andy Taylor of Mayberry.