Thursday, April 11, 2013

An Update to My Love Field Post

Southwest has posted some pictures of the new Love Field:

The New Love Field

(snide remark:  anybody wanna make book on how long those cupholders will last?).

I mentioned the Yellow Concourse.  By 1982, it was completely deserted.  Security then was nothing like it is now, of course.  I had a new Canon AE-1 Program SLR camera (my first) and took lots of pictures.  I was wandering around Love Field one day taking snaps and wandered down the (abandoned) Yellow Concourse.  Nobody stopped me.  I went to one of the gates (they were the old pre-jetway kind, where the departure lounge was tarmac-level, and you walked through the door and out to your plane, then up the stairs.  I went into one of the lounges.  Nobody there.  I saw this plane out the window:  WHOA!  I went to the door and turned the knob—and it opened.  Unlocked.  I went out onto the tarmac and snapped this picture.  Nancy Reagan (then First Lady) was in Dallas making a speech, and her husband came with her.  This is actually one of the Airborn Command Center planes, so there must’ve been something or other going on:

AF 1

Suddenly, I was surrounded by several nice, very strong young men in black suits with earplugs, who invited me to return to the terminal—which I did posthaste.  They didn’t do anything to me, and was I ever glad!

I’ve got some severe scanning to do; in looking for this picture, I looked in an album I’ve not looked at in years.  WOW are the pictures fading!  I’m going to need to scan them, and then I’m going to need to go through the rest of the albums, otherwise they’ll fade away.

Here’s Love Field.  I turned to the right (before the young men got me) and took this one:

Love Field ca 1980

That’s the “Yellow Concourse” to the right (Inside, there were colored glazed brick walls; Yellow, Red, and Green.  Green was American, Red was Braniff, and Yellow was “all other”); the wing to the Braniff Concourse is just showing on your left.  Note the railing on top of the Yellow Concourse; that was the observation deck, where the general public could stroll and watch the jets.

Here’s a monochrome picture (again, if it’s yours and you want me to take it down, I will).  This was the first day the airport was abandoned; everything moved to DFW this day.  Walk under the “To All Planes” sign (which they have restored in the new incarnation! as well as the classic original mid-century modern Dallas Love Field sign, which was torn down in the hideous 80’s for a concrete wonder…) past the security guard on the right and the cocktail lounge on the left.  See where it splits?  You can’t see the colors, but green to the left, red to the right, yellow in the center if you keep going straight.

If you never saw it in this incarnation, but are familiar with it today (well, recently), I’ll tell you where you are:  This was, until November 2012, Security.  The area where the cocktail lounge and shop are to the left was ripped out and was the Southwest Ticket Counter the last time I was in Dallas (before yesterday).  After all the security remodels, they walled off the red and yellow concourses and you went through security here, then left down the green concourse to the American concourse—on the moving sidewalk.

Monochrome 1

To the Braniff Concourse:

To Braniff Concourse

And finally, a color picture:  Green concourse!  By golly you can find anything on teh innerwebs!  This was totally remodeled several times, but it’s the way you go to the American –now Southwest—concourse.

Love Field Slidewalk

Note also how the NEW design for the airport strips off the ugly aluminum they put on in the 80’s (rolls eyes) and restores the original 1958 colors.

Classic 1958: (the picture is actually from the “LLove” disco days, see the sign under the word “Field”?  But, it’s still wearing its orignal classic colors)

Classic Love Field

Hideous 80’s redo:

Hideous 80s redo

2014 grandeur:  It’s gorgeous and it returns the class of the original design

Love Field artist rendering but this is close

I was flying to Houston a lot during those days, and took lots of “Dallas vs. Houston” pictures.  Here’s a familiar view of Hobby:

1982:  (taken by me from the plane.  Note the old “A” concourse on the far right, and the observation deck on top of the round part (that was the swanky restaurant inside).

Hobby ca 1980

2013:  (ripped off from the internet) (note that the “William P. Hobby” neon is exactly the same—except now it works again).  The old main terminal building is now the entry hall for the airport.

Hobby new interior

One more Hobby pic made by me about the same time.  Houstonians, what’s wrong with this picture?  (Ok, I’ll tell you:  Where’s the Parking Deck?  Not built yet, that’s where).

Hobby ca 1980 wheres the deck

And a few more from days gone by:

I do have a date for these:  May 12, 1982.  That is the date Braniff was grounded forever.  I raced out to DFW with my new camera and took my last pictures of “Flying Colors”.  Braniff may have been hideously expensive, and may have fought Southwest (my favorite) tooth and nail, but they were classy and stylish, always.  (Note the American DC-10 on takeoff in the background of the second picture).

The End of Flying Colors 1 - May 12 1982

The End of Flying Colors 2 - May 12 1982

I don’t know what it is about all this that fascinates me, but it does.

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