A friend of mine and a long-time customer at the library has been cleaning his study for the last few months. He drops by with a plastic grocery bag every other week stuffed with old newspapers clippings, newsletters, or theatre playbills that he has been saving since the 1960s. There is another reason, however, that he has been saving things: he’s a historian and writer, but I like to fancy that he liked the effect of curled newspaper articles and newsletters sticking out of his bookshelves, snuggled in drawers, or perhaps it was that it gave his cats something to be suspicious of.
And that’s where the Renuzit comes in handy – that and some natural kitty litter – mix ’em together in a plastic tub and you get a nice deodorizer in which to kill the pungent odor of long forgotten news and miscreant felines. Despite the smell and the dust, I am very grateful to him – I mean, where else can one find back issues of The Street Level News?
The SLN covered the areas where locals, faculty and college kids liked to hang out, providing information on bands and bars, poetry, interesting articles that could range from bicycle safety to local history, and included book reviews, an events calendar, advertisements for hip and cheap places to shop or eat and several comic strips: Fry Street Fred, Super Preppie and Thoughtoon to name a few.
The Street Level News was published from 1983-84 in Denton, Texas. It may have run a little longer, but I am unaware of other issues. The first, Vol.1 – No.1 came out in August. In that issue the editor was Jerry Boulware; Trent Eades was the associate editor; advertising rep, Monika Antonelli; cover art, David Romero; and the typesetting and layout was done by Denton County Commercial Typesetters. Some of the names change in later issues, but Jerry Boulware remained the editor throughout.
These yellowed newsletters may not seem much, but they help fill in the details about life in Denton at this time period. They also feature cool hand-illustrated cover art and advertisements that were commonplace at that time. I miss that kind of thing, so I’m grateful for the reprise of murals about town.
The Goose Inn Bicycle Shop, owned by Joe Holland, closed not long after I got here, but the stories that came out of it were famous as bicycle shop stories go. Now all I need to find is an ad from Fourteen Records and write more about that in the future. As you get older, reminiscing is nice.
This article is important, not only because it lists the artists who painted the mural on The Connection (Don Huff and Dennis Shaw), but also who owned the building and a bit of personal history about.
The saying about one man’s junk being another’s treasure is absolutely true for me. I’m just glad I don’t work in a museum that collects dentures – although, to be fair, you could probably get a lot of important information out of them – I’m just glad I work here.
Special Collections Department