The Year Was 1959: Kookie at the Corral, the Possum at Rosa’s

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:

1959 gordon

On June 15 Fort Worth Press columnist Jack Gordon wrote about the new Forest Park miniature train.

Miniature train video from 2014: “All aboard!”

1959 wedgwoodThe 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.

1959 bob willsAt 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.

1959 rosa billboardRosa Dexter had opened her Western Club in 1956.

1959 typewriterMontgomery Ward Department Store sold a Remington portable typewriter for $99.98 ($805 today).

1959 lenco coolerAnd Leonard’s Department Store  sold an evaporative cooler under its Lenco brand for $118.88 ($959 today).

1959 kookieAt 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.

1959 andy gThis 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.

This entry was posted in "Read All About It", Advertising, Life in the Past Lane, The Year Was 1959. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *