4

Porter Chevrolet Sends Christmas Wishes

^
Keep Dallas Observer Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Dallas and help keep the future of Dallas Observer free.

I came across this photo this morning, for sale on eBay. For obvious reasons -- and, yes, that's said to be an actual car sitting in Santa's lap -- it became My Obsession of the Day. Ad insists it was taken in '54 at Porter Chevrolet in Dallas; that's what the handwritten note on the back says, anyhow. But I asked my dad: Where was Porter Chevy? He didn't know. A friend of his says he vaguely recalled its existence, but that "it wasn't around long." I'd ask the old directories at the downtown library, but the J. Erik's closed today. Of course it is.

So, then, to the historians -- M.C. Toyer, to be specific, of the Dallas Historical Society. I asked if he could consult his directories. Moments ago he sent back this reply:

Porter Chevrolet is not listed in the November 1954 Greater Dallas Telephone Directory.

A quick search of The Dallas Morning News Archives lists Porter Chevrolet at 5526 E. Mockingbird (across from Dr Pepper) until March 1954 when the dealership was sold and became Parish Chevrolet at the same address -- Parish Chevrolet is listed in the 1954 Directory.

John Porter then acquired a Pontiac dealership in Fort Worth.

Which may be more information than I'll ever need about the greatest picture of the biggest Santa Dallas has ever known. But I'm eternally grateful nevertheless.

Update Saturday morning: A very good Friend of Unfair Park sent me a stack of articles from 1953 about this particular Santa, whose tragic tale somehow managed to disappear from local lore. SundayMonday morning, read all about it.

Keep the Dallas Observer Free... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Dallas with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.

 

Join the Observer community and help support independent local journalism in Dallas.

 

Join the Observer community and help support independent local journalism in Dallas.