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Retirement. Publishers, thank you for the many years of reading pleasure you gave me, but all good things must come to an end. Due to failing eyesight I am forced to retire. I can no longer review your books, and any that you send will be donated to the local library, unread. Do not send any more. I can only read for a couple hours every day, and this does not allow me to finish a book in reasonable time. I will be devoting time to my own books from now on, and reading on a personal level. Books that interest me. I prefer paperbacks and hardbacks, not eBooks. My eyesight has been failing the last few years, and I cannot handle hundreds of review books any more. My books are still available for review. Anyone interested in reviewing any of them, they are found in the Link to Tom’s Books On Amazon. Contact me for pdf copies at

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Views From The Past V #2

Views From The Past: Downtown Wichita Falls V #2
By Julie Coley
ISBN #978-1503078239
110 Pages
Price $15.26
Rating 5-Stars

In this second volume of Views From The Past, Julie Coley has gathered 99 more old photos of early Wichita Falls. Down town scenes, including shots showing the Tower Theater, Strand Theater, and State Theater, as well as the businesses that catered to the city residents from the 1920s through the 1970s. Streets where I walked and played as a kid growing up. There is Ohio Street, Indiana, Scott, Lamar, 7th, 8th, 9th, and many others. Gibson’s department store, the Casa Manana restaurant, and so much more. These pictures compliment the huge volume that precedes it.

Overall, the pictures are clear and detailed, though there were a few faded due to age and wear. As with any project like this, there are so many memories of places lost forever, and half forgotten until viewed once again. Maybe we remember other buildings, other businesses. Cafes, car lots. Theaters. But they are not here, and we hope for yet another volume, and more pictures. I don’t think any building should ever be torn down without first capturing it on film and recording its history. So much is lost to us now, and will never be re-discovered, unless someone finds an old box of memories in a forgotten trunk amongst family snapshots that also capture city scenes in the background. I wish everyone would dig into forgotten boxes stored in a basement or closet. You never know what pictures may bring that forgotten memory to light once more for someone.  

I spent my formative years in Wichita Falls, from 1947 to 1956, and attended San Jacinto and Carrigan elementary schools, as well as Reagan Junior, High. San Jacinto is gone now. Carrigan is a vocational school, and Reagan is an Admin building, though it still stands. We lived in many sections of the city, and I played all over town. Anyone who ever lived in the city will enjoy this book. Highly recommended to current and past residents of Wichita Falls, as well as anyone that enjoys viewing a city’s past.

Tom Johnson
The Gem Theater

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