I love looking at old photos. Apparently, so do our readers.
Many of our website page views come from historic photo galleries that display how things looked decades ago in Northwest Florida.
The photos mostly come from our own archive, Arturo’s Studio and Florida Memory.
I look at them and begin to daydream about what it was like to live back then.
No condos, no smartphones, no wisenheimers on Facebook.
Ah, the good ol’ days.
VINTAGE PHOTOS: Fort Walton Square, the early days
I can hear in my head the deep voice of James Earl Jones in the film “Field of Dreams.”
“The memories will be so thick they'll have to brush them away from their faces.”
I started feeling nostalgic recently as I photographed the demolition of the White Sands Bowling Center on Beal Parkway in Fort Walton Beach.
I’m going to miss that place. I wasn’t an avid bowler, but I made memories there. And I didn’t have to spend a lot of money to do it.
VINTAGE PHOTOS of Fort Walton Beach in the 1950s
I wondered if people would look back on my photographs the same way they do Arturo Mennillo’s photos.
He was a professional photographer who lived in the Destin/Fort Walton area from 1945 to 1965 and was the main visual historian of our area during that period.
In today’s edition are some photos that not many people have seen and recently popped up due to the great work by Linda Murchison, a former Daily News employee and current librarian at Northwest Florida State College. She unearthed some of these from Daily News files at the college.
VINTAGE PHOTOS: Fort Walton Beach in the 1960s
A shout out also goes to Tony Mennillo, son of Arturo, who manages all of his dad’s photographs.
Some of these also appear in the Daily News calendar that was inserted into print subscribers’ papers in October. Tom Rice, owner of Magnolia Grill, helped to curate that project and provide historical background for the photos.
Nick Tomecek is the digital editor for the Northwest Florida Daily News. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
PLACES TO FIND LOCAL HISTORIC PHOTOS:
Fort Walton Beach: What We Did
Northwest Florida Librarian