Sunday, March 23, 2014

Sentimental Sunday: Fearless Females of Ford House, 1945-6, Part 2

The picture at left is from page 439 of the 1946 Cactus, the yearbook for the University of Texas in Austin.  My mother had an 8x10 print of the same photograph shown here (posted a couple days ago), and on the back she'd identified most of the girls.  Today I'm going to write a little more about just what Ford House was.

The Ford House was a boarding house near the campus in the mid-1940s.  It is where my mother lived her first year at the University of Texas, 1945-46.  According to Mom, Mr. & Mrs. Neil Vincent (Ione Whitman) Ford purchased a house with some smaller houses around it on San Antonio Street between W. 24th and 26th in Austin to use as the boarding house.  Mom said it was behind a theater, which I have determined was the old Varsity Theater at 2402 Guadalupe.  The houses are long gone, but I think I can see the area (on Google Maps) where they used to be.

Mom lived in one of the smaller outbuildings (called an "annex" in the closeup from page 439 above).  She said her "room," shared with another girl, was actually a bunk bed on a screened-in porch.  The girls ate breakfast and dinner at the main residence, and often ate out at a Mexican restaurant on Sunday nights.

Below is a photo of my mother with most of her Annex Number One roommates.  On the top step are "Lulu" (Mary Louise Bell, from San Antonio), House Chairman [Marion] Gene Sollars [Taylor] (1926-1947, from Port Arthur; Mom says she died in childbirth), and Elaine Carlson of Pampa (1925-1979, in July 1946 she married Billy Wyatt Waters, 1924-2004).  On the bottom step are House Mother Ruth[e] Bastion (born 1926; from Port Arthur), "Pepper" (this could be Shirley Farrow or Norma Waldine Hansen of Galveston, born there November 23, 1926), Glenna D. Kimbrel of Corpus Christi (originally from Coffeyville, Kansas), and my mom.

There was another picture of Ford House girls in the 1946 Cactus.  The picture above was on page 333 with the caption, "Ford House Thanksgiving Dinner."  My mother had the picture below (apparently taken just before or after the one put in the yearbook), and, besides herself (back row, third from left, the second in a dark outfit), could identify Gene Sollars (second from left on the side of the table facing my mother's) and Glenna Kimbrel (the girl in the foreground).

© Amanda Pape - 2014 - click here to e-mail me.

No comments:

Post a Comment