Growing up in Texas in the 1950’s and 1960’s, by Horsedooty

I was born in 1945 in March before World War II was over.  My dad was in the Army and was stationed about 60 miles west of Fort Worth at a training base.  At Camp Walters he was a cook.  On 24/off 24. He could hitch hike home in a couple of hours and did so frequently.  My mother and dad were married right after they graduated high school.  This was a time where I lived that everyone could leave doors  to your house unlocked and the windows up at night.  No one (at least anyone I knew) had any money to speak of after the essentials where paid for by the end of the month.

In my town, air conditioning was a fantasy in the 1950’s and most neighborhoods sat out in the yard every evening in the spring, summer and fall.  This allowed the houses to cool down from the heat of the day.  Kids chased “lighting bugs” and adults drank tea and beer and talked about their day.  The point is we knew who lived next door.  The other point is that they mostly had the same color of skin as we did.  Sorta off white or a pink color.  Where we lived no one had domestic help.   In my town as a kid, I did not see black or brown people unless we went downtown.

One of the stores in downtown Fort Worth was a huge department store called Leonard Brothers Department Store. (This store eventually built a subway for their patrons to ride from their parking lot to their store. FREE.  It was about a mile in length.)  It had a basement and 4 or 5 floors. The common consensus at that time was that if Leonard’s did not have it you probably did not need it.  In the 1950’s, Leonard’s allow beggars to gather on the sidewalk area near the front door.  There were blind men and women selling pencils and a couple of guys with no legs that rode around on little sleds with wheels using their hands to power themselves along.  There was always a couple of evangelists street preaching.  Sometimes there were singers and guitar players who sang and played old Gospel songs.  As a youth, I wanted to go to Leonard’s as much as humanly possible.  For me it was like a circus, I loved seeing those people.  My mom and dad were not always agreeable. It made mom and dad uncomfortable. Some of those people were black or as they said (insert the N word here).  This is where I first hear that word.

The grade schools I attended were all segregated.  We lived at the edge of town in those days.  At recess the boys and girls all separated into groups and played different games.  Even the big college in Fort Worth had no black player at that time.  The university  was Texas Christian University.  As this was a private church affiliated school the tuition was extremely expensive.  I don’t know for sure but I would bet TCU did not have any black students in the 1950’s.  Remember this is well before President Lyndon Johnson signed the Civil Rights Bill.  I have read articles where it was the opinion of the writer was that that was what turned Texas into a Red State.  The older boys in high school used to talk about riding around and beating up black people if they were on the wrong side of the tracks.  I never saw any of that or knew if it was just boys trying impress the other boys or if it were true.

The biggest thing for me about race is we (whites kids) never really thought about it because we never saw it any other way.  Probably the only time I thought about race was a Leonard Brothers.  There were separate toilets and separate drinking fountains.  There were white ones and green ones.  All that period is gone now and we as a nation are better for it being gone.  After electing 43 white presidents were are posed to elect the first black president of the United States of America. (thanks to Mr Democrat for giving me that thought).  It is about time.

Vote Obama/Biden ’08

Adios para ahora, mis amigos

Yo soy un demócrata amarillo del perro.

¡yo soy Horsedooty!



Filed under Uncategorized

104 responses to “Growing up in Texas in the 1950’s and 1960’s, by Horsedooty

  1. Thanks for the post doots. Your post reminds that all though there are still problems for our society on the score of racism we have made improvements, vast improvements, after all the next president is going to be a black man!

  2. chefsheila


    Great post! You not only have a way with photos, but the minds eye of your writing is Colorful. A real peice of Americana.

  3. Obama Widens Lead in Four Key States

    Obama holds double-digit margins over McCain in Minnesota, Michigan and Wisconsin and carries a nine-point advantage over his Republican rival in Colorado, according to polling conducted by Quinnipiac University for and the Wall Street Journal.

  4. dnd

    Great post Doots. My hope is that electing Obama will move us into a post-racial era. That’s not why I’m voting for him, but that’s my hope.

  5. nannymm

    National Polls Show Obama Up At Least Five Points Polls continue to show Barack Obama ahead in the presidential race. The Gallup daily presidential tracking poll of 2,783 registered voters taken October 10-12 shows Obama leading McCain 51%-41%. Gallup also has two likely voter models – one (based on past voting behavior and current intention to vote) shows Obama leading McCain 51%-44%, while the second (based on current intention to vote) shows Obama up 53%-43%.
    The Rasmussen Reports automated daily presidential tracking poll for October 13 shows Obama leading McCain 50%-45%.
    The C-Span/Zogby daily presidential tracking poll of 1,208 likely voters taken October 10-13 shows Obama leading McCain by 49%-43%.
    The Diageo/Hotline daily presidential tracking poll of 823 likely voters taken October 10-12 shows Obama leading McCain 48%-42%.
    The Battleground tracking poll of 800 likely voters taken October 7-9 and October 12 shows Obama leading McCain 51%-43%.

  6. Another thing that occurred to me while reading doots post today was how absurd the notion of separate drinking fountains would be to my niece and nephew.

  7. nannymm

    Terrific post, Doots. Having grown up in NYC in the 50’s and 60’s, I never saw “Whites Only” signs. But I heard the N-word often enough. It’s good that our children and grandchildren have mostly been spared that.

  8. chefsheila

    With any luck, there will be a finally upward movement of some sort after the debate and it will be Obama and then just a cycling up and downand up until the election.

    But it would be so grand if the impossible were possible. The Republican base throwing up their hands in defeat and voting for Obama. 🙂

  9. Nann like you I grew up in NYC (actually the burbs), it really wasn’t till I saw the images of the race riots on TV that I full understand just how serious the matter was.

  10. chefsheila

    Man Doots,

    For a Texan, you’ve got a bit of the “Byran” in your writting and your pix. I am dooly impressed! 🙂

  11. nannymm

    I remember those riots, Brian. It was a terrible time for the City.

  12. chefsheila

    My one experience about race riots was the “Watts” Riots in LA. I was living in San Diego and the results spilled over all the way south to San Diego. Mom kept us in from school for a week and my dad got a gun for under the bed.

    We moved to Washington State the next year.

  13. horsedooty

    thanks for the nice words all.

  14. chefsheila

    I liked that article Brian.

    Except for Obama, the world has been quietly slipping that way too. Too bad our Generation’s minorities of people who are still afraid of Skin Color, can’t just relax and see through to the person.


  15. I missed McCain’s address, did he say anything worth hearing or news worthy?

  16. chefsheila

    At work this morning with the boss in toe. Can’t watch anything until he is gone. 🙂

  17. Doots ,
    Great post. Very descriptive, and you seem to have a great memory

    Very interesting, you know when I visit NYC there are various different “begging” levels….They all tend to make me a tad bit uncomfortable, but one time believe it or not, there was a cat begging……sitting on a blanket on 5th avenue with a cup and a bottle of Fuji water next to her.


  18. nannymm

    He didn’t have anything new or interesting to say, Brian. My friend Bob was outside the event. He said the McCain supporters are like an angry mob.

  19. chefsheila

    Ooo nanny, give us details if you have them. The same ole stuff or are they mad that he stopped them from expressing themselves?

  20. chefsheila

    Here’s a Reuter’s perspective.

    SCENARIOS: How candidates are faring in key states

  21. chefsheila

    A little bit of “Tickle Your Funny Bone”

    “Chocolate News”: Obama’s Not Black (VIDEO)

  22. Obama Slams McCain’s Economic Plan: “A Day Late And 101 Million Middle-Class Families Short”

  23. chefsheila

    That guys is sickening….

  24. Sheila your favorite former clinton cabinet member is going to be on MSNBC in a moment

  25. nannymm

    According to my friend, the McCain supporters were basically engaging in their typical behavior..calling Obama supporters names; saying Obama is a muslim, can’t be trusted to run the country, etc. And there were the usual anti-Obama shirts and signs. My friend said it was really more of an anti-Obama crowd than a pro-McCain group, that McCain was barely mentioned by the people he encountered. He also said that the stuffed monkey with an Obama sign wrapped around the head seems like it may be an emerging theme as he saw several of them. Sounds racist in more ways than one to me….

  26. nannymm

    Oh yeah, I forgot to tell you that he was appalled by the anti-Obama tee shirts little kids were wearing. He is a father and feels that parents shouldn’t use tiny kids as walking billboards. I agree.

  27. chefsheila

    I wish the press would get more footage of those emerging monkeys. That says a lot about the type of people who are attending.

  28. nannymm

    Clearly, those must be “copy cats” that saw that one man yesterday. Hopefully, not too many more will pick up on it. It’s despicable, IMO.

  29. chefsheila

    It is dispickable. But since its not the habit of the Obama Campaign to react on those things. Its about time for the watch dog Media to call these creeps out. Post their faces on the national circuit and embarrass them

  30. Krugman coming up on MSNBC

  31. chefsheila

    Shoot Brian, you mean I missed Reich? My favorite brain crush?

    BTW, your economic hero is up after the commercial in MSNBC

    he’s cool!

  32. chefsheila

    Krugman asked to compare economic plans said, Obama’s was more sensible and McCain’s was more of the same.

  33. dog's eye view

    John Cleese’s take on Sarah Palin.

    “A nice looking parrot.”

    Short video clip; well worth a look.

  34. nannymm

    That was funny, Dog’s Eye, and so true.

  35. chefsheila

    Wow dog……talk about put down. Only John Cleese and it was hilarious.

  36. dnd

    Nobel Prize winners for Obama:

    With yesterday’s announcement maybe someone should notify Krugman there is such list.

  37. dnd

    I sent him an email. I may get around to commenting on his blog, but Krugman is loathe to talk about himself, other than his ideas.

  38. Oh over the past day or so he’s gotten over that, he posted his “bio” yesterday, I think he’s having a good time right now, well deserved!

  39. William Timmons, the Washington lobbyist who John McCain has named to head his presidential transition team, aided an influence effort on behalf of Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein to ease international sanctions against his regime.

    The two lobbyists who Timmons worked closely with over a five year period on the lobbying campaign later either pleaded guilty to or were convicted of federal criminal charges that they had acted as unregistered agents of Saddam Hussein’s government.

  40. dnd

    Once he goes to Stockholm he’s required to talk about himself. He better get use to it.

    In what little I’ve read about the subject he received the prize for, I’m not too impressed, but I haven’t been too impressed with Economics prize winners since Black & Scholes won for their work on option pricing, which in some form or another, everybody uses now.

    But then again I’m not an economist 😉

  41. Frankly my fondness for Paul has more to do with his politics then his works in economics which frankly might as well be Chinese to me.

  42. chefsheila

    WOW!!! Buckly was fired for voicing his opinion…….

    Buckley Bows Out of National Review

  43. chefsheila

    Man, Buckley on Hardball just voiced what all the rest of us have been screaming for 8 years. Wow!

    he also made the best compiment a conservative could have made. Obama has a brilliant mind.

  44. chefsheila

    Bet you well over 50% of those connservatives that wrote NR and drummed him out, didn’t even read NR at all.

  45. dnd

    The interesting thing is Buckley is still a conservative. But he’s not too pleased with the Republicans and feels that Obama will govern to the center.

    The non-informed McCain voters, as David Brooks pointed out, don’t like people like Buckley. Smart, well educated, and dare I say it, “elite.”

  46. I got the impression that it’s the quality of Obama’s intellect and temperament that impresses him.

  47. dnd

    I’d say the Buckley’s intellect and temperament are similar to Obama’s. That was the best segment I’ve seen on Hardball in a long time. Reminded me of why I miss WFB. If I ran MSNBC, I’d give Buckley his own show.

  48. chefsheila

    Before this next segment of Chris comes up, I think Obama is in the “zone”. If McCain brings up Ayers and all those lies, Obama is going to put him away with a wipe of his shoulder.

  49. chefsheila

    I would also surmise that Buckley is a real conservative from the old school. More interested in good governing.

    He recognises Obama’s moderate views. He knows Obama will come across the aisles with common sense for all, rather than just some.

  50. dnd

    I’m serious about Buckley having a show on MSNBC. Maybe following Rachael Maddow. MSNBC Republicans are all partisans. It’d be good to have who is not an ideologue yet represents the conservative side.

  51. chefsheila

    Write MSNBC,. I think thats a great idea!

  52. dnd

    Where do you write MSNBC?

  53. dnd

    Loveland Basin ski area opens tomorrow. They’re always in competition with A-Basin to see who opens first, so tomorrow they’re opening on the same day. Loveland is on the east side of Loveland Pass, A-Basin is on the west side.

  54. chefsheila

    This guy is probably to go to guy. Why don’t you start a campaign. I’ll write. :0)

    Ask all your friends. They may never answer you, but if you don’t try then you don’t know.

    Jeremy Gaines

    Vice President of Communications, MSNBC

    PS Rick Kaplan is the president….I dare you. ;0)

  55. dnd

    Your economic boyfriend is on MSNBC!

  56. chefsheila

    I stopped all of my musings to watch my Brain Crush! 🙂

  57. chefsheila

    I want Obama to win by 15%

  58. nannymm

    The larger the landslide, the better. He’s going to need a real mandate to do what needs to be done. And the larger his win, the longer his coattails. It’s shaping up to be one heck of an election. Get those dancing shoes ready!

    For release: October 14, 2008
    6:30 pm (EDT)

    Heading into the final debate, the Democratic ticket of Barack Obama and Joe Biden has widened its lead over the Republicans, John McCain and Sarah Palin. 53% of likely voters support Obama/Biden while 39% support McCain/Palin. Prior to last week’s Town Hall debate, the Democrats held a 3-point edge among likely voters.

  60. OMG Robert Reich in on our blog roll, how the hell did that happen?

  61. chefsheila

    What……….You want a kiss? THanks? WHAT! LOL

    Thanks Brian. He’s been kind to us. 🙂

  62. I think we need to take a vote, only Nobel Prize winning economists in our blog roll. What do you all think?

  63. The RCP average now has Obama at +8.1, highest either candidate has gone!

  64. After all, we have our standards, we can’t have any Tom, Dick, or former cabinet member on our blog!

  65. chefsheila

    Your right…..Henry Paulson wouldn’t cut it!

  66. dnd

    Milton Friedman doesn’t have a blog. But he’s passed on so I guess it’s understandable that he doesn’t have a blog.

  67. how come you didn’t answer your phone when I called. You shunning me cause I made fun of your boy friend?

  68. chefsheila

    It hasn’t even registered on my phone? Weird.

  69. Karolenna


    Really nice writing and so easy to read. I felt like I was there with you. I was in the south at the age of 13 and saw a lot of the differences between Ohio and the south. Even though I’d heard about it, the shock was still there for me seeing separate rest rooms and drinking fountains. I grew up in a town without any blacks, but my teachings from my father, I would say, made me not think of blacks as any different than me. The differences I see in people are not their skin, but their minds and what can sometimes come out of those minds. My mother’s family was different, though. She grew up in WV where there is still a lot of bigotry.

  70. chefsheila

    GO KO! Speak for us!

  71. He’s cute when he’s angry, I bet the hair on his knuckles stand up!

  72. dnd

    I’ve got to agree with some of the commentors. This is one of the top 10 best written pieces ever to appear on this blog, and I ‘d put it pretty close to the top. You’ve set the bar pretty high. I’d love to see some of your photography to show up here, if you can digitize those 8×10 negatives 😉

  73. Obama is spending 2 million bucks a week running TV ads in the DC metro area! OUTSTANDING!

  74. Left this tidbit over at Craig’s.

    Once again a racist McCain\Palin supporter yelled “kill him” at a Palin Scranton rally.

    And again I accuse the GOP and the McCain\Palin campaign of Conspiracy to Incite their base to murder a sitting Senator and Presidential Candidate.

    You can all go ahead and ignore the facts that are in the public record but rest assured that if they do than America will become the next Iraq.

    Representative Lewis was right when he remarked that there playing with fire and what they release will consume us all if they continue.

    So stick that in your pipe and smoke it.

    God Bless.

  75. chefsheila

    YOu go Anon! lol

    God Bless back Attcha!

  76. Very good post dooty.

    God Bless.

  77. horsedooty

    since we are talking about hate this week, here is the rights resident hater Rush Limbaugh on how blacks are in a 30 year effort to kill whitey.

  78. chefsheila

    Very scary Doots 😦

  79. chefsheila

    Here is an Ohio SCARY…..

    Brunner loses lawsuit to GOP
    Let county boards check new voters’ names, judge says

    600,000 new voters in Ohio are at risk.

  80. nannymm

    Great post over on TM, AnonP.

  81. nannymm

    Good morning, all.

  82. chefsheila

    Morning Nanny! Have a cup of coffee on me

  83. nannymm

    Thanks, Sheila! Want a slice of apple bread to with yours? It’s fresh out of the oven.

  84. Morning peeps, Everyone debate ready?

  85. chefsheila

    Yum! That hits the spot Nan! Thanks

  86. chefsheila

    Brian, I’m so ready to get this last phase over. I got my absentee yesterday. CHECK! on the way out today.

  87. chefsheila

    Nanny, Not only is that the best apple bread I’ve ever had, why your a wizzard at making a no calerie treat! you’ll have to pass on that recipe 🙂

  88. nannymm

    I am so ready for this debate! I think McCain is going to do worse in this format. He can’t stand being in the same room with Obama. How is he going to hide his feelings when they are sitting side by side? His nasty nature will shine through and then we can start shoveling the dirt on his political coffin.

  89. nannymm

    Did you see Craig’s post this morning? He’s conceding McCain’s defeat.

  90. Hi Horsedooty, I’m happy I ran into you on BackChannel. Remember me from Dada’s Dally and eProf? I’ve missed you on blogger, but maybe now I’ll be able to keep in touch occasionally. Hope you are well. This is a great post. Interesting on what turned TX into a red state.

  91. Just saw your story. Grew up in F.W. and sooo emember all of the things you said. We loved riding the escalator at Leonard’s, but Mom was scared and
    rode the elevator. In late50, early 60, an elderly black lady was trying to walk up the stairs with her cane. Mom was really upset.
    After a talk with my parents,she
    got on the elevator with Mom. Dad told us that she was not allowed to ride the escalator or the elevator but Mom could handle it. Thank God for change!

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