Orton

Those who may be suffering from PQO -- Pop Quiz Overdue -- are invited, after our long absence, to catch up with this question/answer entry.

1. The daughter of one my high school classmates continues on the road to success with her most recent honor. The Austin Business Journal in late 2019 named her as Best CEO of the Year. Who is this high achiever?

2. Two out-of-towners opened a drive-in theater in Baytown in 1951. Who were they, and where was the theater located?

3. Three local theaters closed in 1949 after the Brunson Theater opened. Name those shutdowns.

4. The eyes of Hollywood were upon Houston for an unforgettable St. Patrick’s Day celebration in 1949.  What was the attraction?

5. The Baytown Kiwanis Club  once had a wives’ auxiliary. What did the wives name their club?

6. Who developed the residential Britton-Cravens Addition in Old Baytown?

7. A slogan -- “Done it again!” -- touted successful property sales. Who was the “Done it again!” Realtor?

8. Who was the state sweetheart of Future Teachers of America in 1951?

9. There used to be a movie theater called the Sanja? Where was it located?

10. Ever heard of the THW Club?

Answers are:

1. The Austin Business Journal named Julie Caruthers Parsley the CEO of the year in the non-profit business category. Following in the footsteps of her father James Caruthers, Julie graduated from Robert E. Lee High School. She’s a former member of the Texas Public Utility Commission, a position also held by two other local high school grads, Alan Erwin and Barry Smitherman. Amazing, isn’t it, that all three local grads -- Julie and Alan of REL and Sterling High School’s Barry Smitherman -- served on the state commission.

2. John Myers of Pasadena and M.K. Daniels of La Marque opened the Cedars Drive-in on Highway 146 (Alexander Drive) in 1951. In 1953 they sold out to H.E. Brunson/East Texas Theaters Association. This was the second drive-in theater in the area, the first being the Decker near the community of Coady. I remember watching “All About Eve” with friends at the Cedars after we got busted for hiding in the car trunk. As our designated driver approached the box office, our scheme to avoid pay-per-view was discovered.  

3. While Baytown gained a classy new theater, the Brunson in 1949, it lost three oldies, the Arcadia in Old Baytown, the Palace in Goose Creek and the Alamo in Pelly.

4. Before or since, Houston never had a St. Patrick’s Day celebration as gigantic as the one staged in 1949 for the grand opening  of wildcatter Glenn McCarthy’s Shamrock Hotel. Seemingly half of Hollywood joined in the party that lasted for days after. Edna Ferber captured the festivities in her novel “Giant,” and later, a movie was made with James Dean as Jett Rink, a character quite similar to McCarthy.

5. Wives of Baytown Kiwanians formed their own club and called themselves the Kiwanitas.

6. Bob Van Deventer, manager of Britton-Cravens Lumber Co., planned the residential Britton-Cravens Addition. The first two streets in the addition were Utah and Alabama. (Van Deventer was the father of my former co-worker Bobby Sutphin.)

7. Realtor Eddie Cox enjoyed placing “Done It Again!” ads in The Baytown Sun, usually after selling another home or lot in Brownwood or Lakewood.

8. Jeanette Bernstein won the Texas Future Teachers of America sweetheart title in ’51.

9. The Sanja was a movie theater in Channelview.

10. THW Club members wanted to keep the initials in their name secret. However, one day a reliable source leaked the name: Tired Housewives Club.

 

Wanda Orton is a retired managing editor of The Sun. She can be reached at viewpoints@baytownsun.com, Attention: Wanda Orton.

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