Randy Welborn Studio

Christmas Corner
circa 1950

(This image has less resolution than the print.)

The scene is a wet December evening at Pearl & Fannin in Beaumont, Texas, taking us back to the beginning of the decade that would end an era.

Art deco theaters with lounges, variety stores like Kress's and Neisners selling American made toys such as model trains and metal doll houses as well as Dick Tracy squad cars made in "Occupied Japan".

Thames #1, still in it's original location, offered Ipana toothpaste, Toni Home Permanent, and (remember the radio jingle?) "Halo Everybody Halo..." The suburban shopping centers would soon replace this magical scene. The street photographer would not migrate to the mall. The "streamlined" cars and toasters would be canceled out by Elvis on the "Ed Sullivan Show".

We still played cowboys and Indians and Roy, Gene and Hopalong were our heroes and fiends, but George Pal's realistic approach to "Destination Moon" would have our eyes turned skyward! Sputnik and Apollo were only "One small step" away...

Notes from the artist:

In the new movie "Cars" a Hudson is starred because of it's former glory. In doing my research for this painting I learned that the Hudsons of the early 50s dominated the NASCAR circuits.  When this painting graced the cover of Old Cars Weekly featuring the '51 Hudson Holiday Coupe I received mail from Hudson Club members around the country.  I didn't even know there was a Hudson Club!

The Western Flyer bicycle must have weighed  50 lbs.  A friend owned one and I could hardly hold it up.  All details in the Kress & Co. store window are from magazine ads from 1951. Chinese checkers, Clue, Sorry, a Westinghouse roaster oven (I worked for Westinghouse 42 years.) Those classic toys and games that once sold at 5 cents to 1.00 dollar.

Stores like Kress's and Neisner's are now found on eBay as nostalgic treasures, especially anything with Roy Roger's name on it!

George Pal's "Destination Moon" was a fantastic color film that very accurately predicted the actual adventure that the Apollo moon landing accomplished ... and yes that is a Tucker on the right.


Description by the Artist

Watch this video presentation by the artist describing the painting process, the research, and the hidden trivia in the painting.

The original painting is 36x24" on masonite panel, completed in 1994.

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