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Monday, November 16, 2015

1944 :: Dana Andrews Remembers Rockdale

"Dana Andrews' most vivid and lasting impression of a home is the parsonage in Rockdale, a two-story frame house of the vintage 1910."

The above quotation is from a story, "Portrait of a Minister's Son," in a recent issue of Photoplay Magazine. The writer was speaking of Dana Andrews of the films, who might be better known in Rockdale as "Hoddy" Andrews, who spent his young boyhood in Rockdale when his father, the Rev. C.F. Andrews, was pastor of The First Baptist Church of Rockdale a number of yeras ago. 

The Rockdale parsonage, a two-story frame house, which the Andrews family lived in, is now a modern white bungalow and would probably not be recognized by Andrews should he visit it now.

Dana's father, Rev. C.F. Andrews, died in 1940. He served as Baptist pastor in Rockdale, as well as in San Antonio, Uvalde and Huntsville. Dana's full name is "Carver Dana Andrews," and Rockdale citizens remember his as Carver, or the nickname "Hoddy," given him by his father for the way he said "Howdy" as a youngster.

Young Andrews graduated from Sam Houston State Teachers College, Huntsville, worked as a plumber's apprentice between high school and college age, worked for an oil company in Houston, and was working for a filling station in Van Nuys, Calif., when his first break for the movies came. Among his pictures was 'The Purple Heart,' in which, according to the Photoplay magazine writer, he gave a "magnificent performance."

Andrews told the magazine author that he visited his old home in Rockdale fifteen years ago at which time he visited the old two-story frame house and a favorite childhood hiding place -- underneath the ground floor, between the central beam and the floor, where he found undisturbed after fifteen years things he had cached there: a monkey wrench, a jackknife and a mess of marbles. Rockdale Reporter and Messenger, November 16, 1944 

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