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Early Years

Life During the Early Years

Children growing up in Greenway during the 30's and 40's have fond memories of playing together in the parkways, catching crawfish in the "watery ditch" on the west side of Inwood Road (which was at the time a two-lane road), and visiting the riding stable (located between University Boulevard and the Greenway dump) to feed the horses.

5527 Waneta, a Spanish style "demonstration" house as it was described in the Dallas Morning News ad, May 15, 1927. 5527 Waneta, c. 2001, the house has changed very little from the way it appeared in the newspaper advertisement. The big red oak in front was probably planted on Sarah Duke's farm. Note that it appears on the left side of the drawing.

The 1920's were considered to have been the "Golden Age" of the automobile. For the first time most Americans could afford to own a family car. As the largest consumer of steel, nickel, rubber, and gasoline, the auto industry created a flourishing economy nationwide. Suburbia was fast gaining popularity as home to "The American Dream". Magazine and newspaper advertising emphasized "the importance of living well", an ideal Americans of the '20's eagerly sought to achieve.

Trudy Garrett Kennedy grew up in two Greenway Parks houses and today resides in yet a third. Her family first lived at 5409 Drane across from Stemmons Park. In this snapshot c.1939, Trudy and members of her family are sitting on their balcony with a view of the 5500 block of Drane, the railroad track and Highland Park in the distance.

In those early days the Greenway Riding Club, a private stable for Greenway Parks residents, and the F.N. Drane Real Estate offices were located north of University Blvd. where the Greenway Crest addition now stands. Early residents who boarded their animals included Tom and Nel Leachman, the Lindsley Waters family, Gilbert Peterson, Lloyd Cone, J.W. Lindsley III and Judge Sarah T. Hughes. As an unincorporated subdivision, Greenway Parks contracted with the cities of Highland Park and University Park for fire and police protection and the residents paid tuition for their children to attend Park Cities schools. Garbage collection was a neighborhood responsibility. Luther Brotherton, Jr. picked up trash in his mule-drawn wagon and deposited it in the Greenway Parks dump, located north of the riding club. It was for good reason that homes built before 1940 in Greenway all had garages, often separated from the house by a breezeway, with incinerators built into the garage for the purpose of burning paper trash.

In October of 1929 the stock market crash inspired humorist Will Rogers to quip, "We are the first nation in the history of the world to go to the poor house in an automobile". Greenway Parks' new construction slowed considerably, but not totally. At the end of five years the neighborhood designed for 300 homes had less than 50 completed.

5409 Neola Fonzie Robertson designed
this Mission style home at 5409 Neola in 1929.

A drive into the countryside became the favorite American past-time on weekends or long summer evenings. Greenway Parks' newspaper advertisements encouraged the public to "form the habit, as hundreds of others have, of driving through Greenway Parks in the evenings and then ask yourself the question, "Where is there a more beautiful community where private parks adjoin front lawns and unsightly alleys are not to be found? Consider this seriously." Directions always included the tag line "Greenway Parks - forty-one feet higher than Dallas Country Club" Porter Lindsley took advantage of this popular form of family entertainment by sitting in front of the real estate company's field house in Stemmons Park, writing down license plate numbers as curious, potential home-buyers drove through Greenway Parks. He would later telephone them with his sales pitch.

 
 
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