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  • Writer's pictureRobert Sadler

MY How Things Change

Updated: Dec 13, 2019

Writing the Michael Grant series of novels (from the Black Book Investigations of Michael Grant & Assoc.) that uses Dallas (and it surrounds) for its base of operations and makes use of lots of home-town settings, it is important to keep up with the changes. Once frequented and well-known areas in town change demographics, land use, pedestrian/vehicle traffic and clientele.

Case in Point: rjs Photo from December 2019

On the northeastern edge of Highland Park — Traveling easterly on Knox Street from Abbott into Dallas between Travis & Cole we see the lighted storefront trees on the north side of the Knox Street's 3200 block. The wooden barrier wall on the right is where the famous Weir's Furniture Store once stood. A new multi-use high-rise is under construction. The intersection up ahead is Cole Ave.

In the storefront on the immediate left at 3230 is the clothing store “Marine Layer”. At 3228 is pottery barn baby and next door pottery barn kids. Farther up the block (also on the north side) at 3212 Knox Street near Cole Avenue, is a pottery barn for adults, although its signage doesn't say so.

Below is a winter photo in the 1940s looking westerly along Knox Street from Cole Avenue. You can see on the right (mid-photo - north side) the Knox Street Theater that was located at 3212 Knox St.

(unidentifed photographer - appears in []) Copyright © 2016 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.

From 1922 until the early1970s the Knox Street Theatre continued to occupy the 3212 Knox St. space. Below is a picture taken in front of the theater in 1945.


The marquee touts the movie "The Great John L” released 25 May 1945. The windows rolled down in the parked cars would tend to indicate warm weather.

The year before the movie came out if you were ‘reading’ the May 1944 edition of Yank, the Army Weekly you ‘might’ have seen this pin-up photo of Linda Darnell.

Below on "The Great John L” movie ‘showcard’ you’ll note Dallas born, Linda Darnell (1945) received top billing ahead of co-stars Rory Calhoun, Barbara Britton and the actor playing The Great John L, Greg McClure.

Further, from [] —“In 1936. (Linda Darnell age 13), was cast in the Dallas Little Theater southwestern premiere of Murder in the Cathedral. That same year, she was hired as one of the hostesses at the Texas Centennial Exposition." Before leaving school (at 16) for Hollywood, Darnell was a student at Sunset High School.

Still anchored, since 1912, by the iconic Highland Park Pharmacy (above) and its famous soda fountain (corner of Knox & Travis) the old shops and stores on Knox have changed ownership and occupants over the decades especially with the 'completion' of North Central Expressway in the mid 1950s and its Knox/Henderson exits. There have been gas stations, auto repair and millinery shops, a Western Union, Five & Dime's, jewelry stores, pawn shops, a movie house... and, in the 1960s, 70s, and 80 a myriad of great bars, restaurants, boutique shops, furniture and antique stores. More recently the changing times have led to the current group of proprietors and stakeholders whose storefront make-overs and facelifts line Knox Street.

My how times have changed…

So what will Michael Grant be doing at the Pottery Barn in Murder at Betty Sue's Café?

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