History and Trivia


Stephen Pool Waltrip High School, a part of Houston Independent School District, opened in l959 at 1900 West 34th Street. The area, which grew up after World War II was previously served by Reagan H. S. Waltrip's boundaries joined Reagan, Scarborough, Williams and Washington high schools.

Students were enrolled in grades ten through twelve, and later, ninth was added. Enrollment reached about twenty-five hundred students, and in l967, Scarborough Jr-Sr. High School opened to relieve Waltrip and F.M. Black Junior High. Feeder junior high schools were Black, a part of Hamilton, and later Clifton. Feeder elementary schools were Oak Forest, Garden Oaks, Stephens, Sinclair, Smith, and later, Durham. At opening, the student population was majority white, and remained predominantly so until the middle 1980's. Enrollment in the mid 1990's was around thirteen hundred fifty students of nearly equal White, Hispanic, and Black populations.

Waltrip's building was characterized by a drive around entry, columns, covered porch, wide tiled halls, three stories of 90 classrooms, equipped laboratories, storage, showcases, high ceilings, terrazzo floors, generous commons areas, pool, auditorium, comfortable lounges, sufficient restrooms, and ample grounds. Additions were air-conditioning, academic wing, library, counseling center, parking lot, patio, fence, technology, Houston Community College, and an HISD district office.

Curriculum offerings of English, history, mathematics, science, physical education, languages, fine arts, practical arts, occupational, gifted and talented, special education, and other homogeneously grouped academic endeavors were continuous and sequential. Newspaper, yearbook, band, choir, drill team, R.O.T.C., and athletics were and remain integral parts of the instructional program. Numerous clubs, leadership organizations, activities, as well as, parent involvement groups provided enrichment.

Principals have been: Gordon Cotton, Ivy Hollister, Perry Pope, Paul Ofield, Jim Prewett, Glenwood Prenzler, Ray Morgan, and currently Steve Siebenaler.



  • The Waltrip Band played for President Kennedy the night before his assassination.
  • The actor Patrick Swayze Graduated from Waltrip in 1971.
  • Texas Senior Senator John Whitmire graduated from Waltrip in 1968.
  • Waltrip is the only high school in Houston to win the city championship in football and basketball in the same school year, 1966 -1967. Only two boys played on both of those two teams Tim Duff and David Yaege.
  • Shelley Duvall was born in Houston, Texas, July 7, 1949.  She is a 1967 Graduate of Waltrip High School.  Duvall's film career began when Robert Altman discovered her in Houston while filming Brewster McCloud in 1970. He gave her a small part in the film. Duvall was given larger roles in later Altman films including McCabe and Mrs. Miller, Thieves Like Us, Nashville, 3 Women, and Popeye.
  • The professional wrestler known as The Undertaker graduated from Waltrip in 1983 as Mark Calaway. He was a member of the basketball team.
  • Congratulations on the opening of Julia W. Kahla Middle School in Cy-Fair ISD  The dedication was Sunday, October 9, 2005.  Mrs. Kahla was Waltrip's speech teacher when the school opened.  She then went on to be a teacher and an administrator in C-Fair I.S.D.  The 1963 graduating class of Waltrip has donated $100.00 to the library at Kahla Middle School in her name.
  • Barbara Olson, a conservative commentator on CNN. Graduated from Waltrip High School 1972. Barbara Olson was killed on September 11, 2001, when the airplane she had just boarded for Los Angeles was hijacked by terrorists and crashed into the Pentagon.


Did you know?

Waltrip is the only high school in Houston to win the city championship in football and basketball in the same school year 1966 -1967. Only two boys played on both of those two teams Tim Duff and David Yaege.


Houston's '60 music

Love Street Light Circus Feel Good Machine
1019 Commerce
Love Street photo courtesy 

 Love Street Light Circus Feel Good Machine opened on June 3rd 1967. The bands included the Red Crayola, the Starvation Army Band and Fever Tree. The audiences sat at tables or in the Zonk-Out, a series of cushions with back rests. Despite being open barely three years it hosted a who's who of Texas psych: the Red Krayola, Erickson's Thirteenth Floor Elevators, Johnny Winter, Bubble Puppy, Shiva's Headband, Fever Tree, Gibbons's pre-ZZ Top band Moving Sidewalks and American Blues, featuring his future bandmates Dusty Hill and Frank Beard. Appropriately enough, it was also the site of ZZ Top's first shows on July 4 and 5, 1969. 

Love Street building in 2000

David Adickes was the original owner/manager/light show projectionist. Sgt. Cliff Carlin came on board to manage it by late '67. Adickes sold the club outright to Carlin later. By '69 (perhaps earlier) International Artists had a stake in it as well. Love Street tried to branch out into Corpus Christi and San Antonio with little success, and closed down in Houston on June 6, 1970.

The 3-story building which housed Love Street on the third floor is still there on Allen's Landing. It's been empty for many years. From the outside it doesn't look like a very big place.

La Maison
La Maison started in the summer of 1964 as "La Maison du Cafe" in a house on the corner of San Jacinto and Wichita. The owner's name was George Massey. It was actually IN an old house, which explains the "chic" French name. It became "La Maison Au Go Go" in the summer of '65 when it moved to the church on the corner of Bagby and McGowen...lower Montrose. By that time a guy who worked as a cameraman on the Larry Kane show, Jerry Clark, was involved. Folk music was dying so it became a rock and roll club. The Six Pents and the Baroque Brothers were the house bands there.

By late '65 they'd outgrown the church and moved to 1420 Richmond (formerly a Weingarten's store). This location is where the 13th Floor Elevators played their legendary early Houston gigs. Then the crowds started falling off, so they moved back to the church location by June of '66. Whether or not the 13th Floor Elevators ever played there is uncertain. Jerry Clark insisted that the 13th Floor Elevators played there New Year's Eve '67 (ie, Dec 31, 1966), but I don't know whether to believe him. His chronology was somewhat screwy. It's doubtful that the club lasted much into '67. There was a Houston Chronicle from April, 1967 article mentioning that the "Red Crayolas" (sic) were playing a fashion show there, but they refer to it as "an old church" and not La Maison. Another newspaper article from around that time specifically refers to it as a club that's closed. I'm told it became a communal type place for Jesus Freaks in the late sixties. It was demolished in the early 70s. 

The Catacombs
Opened December, 1965. The first Catacombs was located at 3003 South Post Oak. They held Houston's first (only?) "Pop Festival" in that place on August 31, 1968. The show included the Mothers, Canned Heat and, of course, the Moving Sidewalks. Was sponsored by KNUZ radio (an AM station that was a rival to KILT). Catacombs also promoted (or was associated with) a number of other concerts at the Music Hall. Of Our Own took over their University/Kirby location in 1970.

A number of great bands played at the Catacombs. Even Jethro Tull played there on their first US tour. Other national acts include the Shadows of Knight, the Outsiders, the Cyrkle, and the Seeds. They also promoted bigger shows at the Music Hall. Cream and Vanilla Fudge is one example on 3/31/68 (understand VF didn't show up). Another was Eric Burdon, Heir Apparent and the Moving Sidewalks (also 1968) and a 4/4/69 concert with Spirit and Nazz (promoted as the first pop festival of the spring). For anyone interested, the bands at the Catacombs' 8/31/68 pop festival included Mothers, Canned Heat, Neal Ford and the Fanatics, Country Joe and the Fish, the Moving Sidewalks and Matchbox. The posters for these events were split fountain "window cards" (14x22) made of cardboard with no images. Kinda bland, but cool in their own way.

pastels at the catacombs

The Pastels perform at the Catacombs 


 Application for The Catacombs. The club had no liquor license.