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Photography

Lost Photographs of Dallas From the ’50s

Sometimes it pays to take that random phone call.
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HIGH ROLLERS: The Dallas Model Race Car Club had a dedicated track at Fair Park. Dad took their portrait at the 1948 spring meet. Connell Miller Sr.
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Lost Photographs of Dallas From the ’50s

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A number of months back, a man called our front desk and asked to talk to an editor. He said he had some photographs we might find interesting. I’ll be honest with you. If our receptionist had buzzed me and asked if I wanted to talk to the guy, I probably would have responded, “Tell him I’m on deadline and that he should send me an email.” But the caller got lucky. That day he got put through to our web editorial director, Matt Goodman.

The caller’s name was Connell Miller Jr. He kept Matt on the horn for a good 30 minutes, regaling him with stories about his father, a businessman who, among other pursuits, briefly owned the city’s first professional football franchise, the Dallas Texans. Connell Sr. was also an enthusiastic amateur photographer who rigged his car with electronic gadgets so that he could monitor police radio traffic and rush to the scene with camera in hand. After Connell Sr. died, his negatives sat in storage until Connell Jr. recently started going through them. He thought there was some pretty good stuff in the collection, so he called to see if we wanted a peek. Matt told him to send along some images.

That’s the story of how Connell Sr.’s pictures wound in D Magazine. Matt called me over one day and said, “Hey, we were going to publish some of this guy’s pictures online, but you might be interested in them for the magazine. They’re really good.” Indeed they were.

The lesson here should be obvious: if you have an idea for D Magazine, please call my assistant, Matt Goodman. He’ll be only too happy to help.

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