A visit to Dealey Plaza in Dallas, Texas on Christmas Day: A little off my beaten path, but it’s an historic and moving place to visit (For Andy Brooks)

Kennedyoneuse The limousine carrying President John Kennedy, His wife Jacqueline, the Governor of Texas, John Connally, and his wife, Nellie, as it approaches Elm Street from Houston. The limo made a left turn on Elm, and passed underneath the Texas School Book Depository, seen on the left in my larger picture of the spot. Lee Harvey Oswald fired from the second window from the top of the last row of windows at the right end of the building.

Elmstturnuse Kennedy’s limousine has turned left onto Elm Street, and is passing underneath the School Book Depository. The President, at this point, has been hit in the back, and raises his arms to his neck. Jackie takes hold of one of his arms.

Zaprudderuse Wikipedia refers to the Zapruder film of Kennedy’s assassination as “one of the most studied pieces of film in history”. At this point of the film, Kennedy has been struck in the back and raises his arms as Jackie Kennedy turns toward him. My picture at the bottom was taken from the exact same spot that Abraham Zapruder shot his film.

Zapruudertwouse The Zapruder film follows the limo as Kennedy turns toward Jackie, who realizes something is wrong. The next frame shows the head shot wound that shattered Kennedy’s skull. It’s graphic and disturbing so I left it out.

Coupleuse The last of the motorcade passes down Elm Street just after the shots. Notice the couple lying on the grass covering their children.

Grassyknolluse The legendary “grassy knoll” where the steps are going up just after the wounded President passes by. This is where the conspiracy theory centers around. People do seem to be concentrating on this spot including the police officer running toward there. You can see the couple who were protecting their children in this photo too.

confuseduse As Kennedy’s limousine rushes toward Parkland Hospital, people stand around in Dealey Plaza stunned and confused.

Theateruse After shooting Kennedy at 12:30 PM, Oswald took a taxi to East 10th street, where he murdered Police Officer J. D. Tippit. To point out how stupid Oswald was, less than an hour after becoming the most wanted man in America, if not the whole world, Oswald ducked into a movie theater without paying for his ticket causing the manager to become suspicious, and call the police. Oswald was arrested at the Texas Theater on West Jefferson Blvd. Built in 1931, the theater is still open, and now has landmark status. In the top picture, Oswald is being taken from the theater to a waiting police car. Notice the movies playing then and now.

Market Street

Vintagemarketusethis Market Street, near where Drumm, California, and Main Streets merge into it, probably, in 1959. There’s a lot to look at in this terrific color photo from the Vintage San Francisco Facebook page. The Embarcadero Freeway, seen cutting past the Ferry Building, opened in 1959, and was demolished, (thankfully) in 1991 after the Loma Prieta Earthquake of 1989 proved the elevated roadway unsafe. All of the buildings on the left were, eventually, knocked down for the Hyatt Regency Hotel and Justin Herman Plaza, and I don’t think I would have liked to have stayed in a place called Hotel Terminal, anyway! The brown building on the right in both pictures is the Southern Pacific Building, built in 1916. The Ferry Building had the numbers 1915 at the top throughout 2015 to celebrate the centennial of the 1915 Panama-Pacific International Exposition, but I have not been able to find out what the numbers 50 placed on top in December stand for. The weather could have been a little more cooperative on this rainy December 22nd, and I didn’t get as far out onto Market Street as the old picture with all of those cars, streetcars and buses honking at me, but it makes a nice comparison. By the way, if you’re on Facebook and would enjoy about the best source of period pictures of San Francisco, check out the link below for the Vintage San Francisco page.  Addendum: The 50th Super Bowl, of course! Wake up, Tim!


Night and the City

CTownduskuse Chinatown at dusk, Grant Ave. at Pacific:  DupomtStreetuse ‘Du Pon Gai’, that means Dupont Street in Chinese. This old postcard, postmarked in 1911, still refers to Chinatown’s main street as Dupont Street even though the street name was changed to Grant Avenue just after the 1906 Earthquake. I remember going there as a teenager and some of the residents were still calling it Dupont Street. I have a special place in my heart for dinosaurs! Christmasstreetcaruse Market at Powell, facing east and west: Either, the top picture was taken in the 1970’s or the lady driving the streetcar has a mustache! Everything in San Francisco at Christmas is green and red, even the taxis and streetcars! #1009 has a green top and window frame painting, and #1015 has a white top and window frame painting; I notice little things like that! Endwoodsideuse Another Fred Lyon picture; the end of Woodside at Portola beneath Twin Peaks in the 1940’s: I try not to get too silly about these things! A special thanks to Kevin for snapping the picture.

A Then and Now Tour with brother Kevin

ClipperKevinuse Clipper Plane Cove on Treasure Island: Kevin was explaining to a couple passing by about large floating passenger planes that used to fly out from this spot to China! They just shook their heads and walked by. I thought I heard one of them say, “Yeah, we’re going to believe that!” You can still see some of what’s left of the old cantilever East Bay Bridge span behind the new one.  Filbertdropuse The Filbert Street drop at Hyde in the 1940’s; courtesy of Fred Lyon: Boy, we got this one down to a science!  Decorativemeuse One of only three buildings left from the 1939 / 1940 World’s Fair on Treasure Island, The Palace of Fine and Decorative Arts Building: WarpspeedKevinuse Baker and Pine Streets: Kevin couldn’t get to warp speed like the person in the old picture. Finishedbridgeuse The finished product: They did a good job! (San Francisco History Center, San Francisco Library)

The Eagle Cafe

EagleCafeuse Another San Francisco landmark saved by an act of clemency: The old Eagle Café with the Balclutha behind it, a waterfront café and watering hole since 1928, was slated for demolition in order to build the Pier 39 Parking Garage. Instead it was moved across the street to the upper level of Pier 39, and remains in business today.

More East Bay Locations


Looking west from the Hayward hills above East Bay Cal State. The tall building on the right, the Warren Hall, was imploded in August of 2013. Hayward’s movie claim to fame was in the 1973 film ‘Steelyard Blues’, (See the September 26, 2016 post called ‘Some of my favorite pictures’) but there are some interesting historical photos of the city.  Foothillredouse Downtown Foothill Blvd in the late 1950’s or early 1960’s: This the main shopping strip before the Southland Mall was built. Cityhallbloguse The old Hayward City Hall, opened in 1930, was deemed unsafe because it sits on top of the Hayward Fault, and closed in the late 1970’s.  Tykesbloguse Tykes on bikes at the intersection of B Street and Main.  Theaterbloguse Bobbysoxers line up to see heart throb Tony Martin in ‘Casbah’ at the old Hayward Theater in 1948. The theater was demolished and is now a parking lot.  Leandroopenuse Another interesting city southeast of San Francisco is San Leandro.  Cherryposterbloguse The popular Cherry Festival has been an annual event in San Leandro for almost one hundred and seven years.  Paradebloguse A parade on Washington Ave. seen from the San Leandro Plaza in honor of San Leandro Day coming to the Treasure Island Fair August 4th 1939: All of the buildings behind the parade have been demolished, and the spot is now a parking lot and strip mall.  (SLHPDC)Washingtonbloguse A mid 1950’s photo from the San Leandro Historical Photograph and Document Collection: Some people who are very dear to me went to school at Washington Grammar School.   Haybloguse Off to Pleasanton: Abbott and Costello shot scenes for their 1943 film ‘It Ain’t Hay’ at the Alameda County Fair Racetrack in Pleasanton.  saratogabloguse Lou Costello, on a runaway horse, races under the Downtown Pleasanton sign. Since the location of the film is supposed to be New York, the sign was temporarily changed to Saratoga for the famous racetrack there.  UPSIDEDOWNREDOUSE At the film’s end, Lou’s horse jumps the racetrack while he’s riding underneath it, and wins the main race. Hey, it can happen!  Finishbloguse Lou rights himself in time to cross the finish line. Winnersbloguse The Winner’s Circle in the movie and in July of 2015:

The Balclutha

balcluthause The sailing ship the Balclutha, built in 1886, and seen in the top photo in the 1940’s: Now at the Hyde Street Pier, the Balclutha was docked at Pier 43 back then. I don’t know if that fellow was a sailor, longshoreman, or like me, just a drifter. A special thanks to the pretty girl who obliged me and took the picture.