Lawrence Standifer Stevens

Lawrence Standifer Stevens

With the renaissance of Lower Greenville, the arrival of trendy craft beer gardens, major development deals and premonitions of soul-less suburban McMansions taking over, it is safe to say that change is in the air in East Dallas.

In the three-minute film, “East Dallas, Summer, 1974,” from the Texas Archive of the Moving Image, Ron Judkins, Pat Korman and former East Dallas resident Blaine Dunlap capture a similar climate of change in ’70s era East Dallas.

The film follows lifelong elderly resident Florence Mayfield around Swiss Avenue, Woodrow Wilson High and the Lakewood Library as she muses about the changes she’s seen in her lifetime. In the film, Mayfield describes the East Dallas of her childhood, saying, “it was just a few little old wooden houses out in the middle of the prairie.”

“They put in a lot of those apartments. A lot of people say the neighborhood has gone downhill. East Dallas just isn’t the same. Well, it has changed, but I think neighborhoods always change sooner or later. New people. New ways.”

The short film ends with archival images of Mayfield and her granddaughter enjoying some of the things in life that don’t change in a trippy, slow-motion ’70s montage that somehow evokes nostalgia and hope all at once.

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