Let me point you to this very attractive book by Alec Williams and Leslie Coulture about Denton’s legendary Fry St. entitled The Fry Street Neighborhood 1977-1986: A Photographic Memoir. About the book by Williams and Coulture, who works for the Denton Public Library:
Fry Street earned its greatest notoriety in the early 1970s when it is rumored that Willie Nelson, while on the Johnny Carson show, said that the best dope he ever got was on Fry Street in Denton, Texas. Or maybe it was the police officer, who, while on the Johnny Carson show, said that Denton was the drug capitol of the world. It’s hard to say.
The origin of these accounts started in the late 1960s. Growing and selling illegal drugs had become widespread in Denton County and drug arrests peaked on October 31, 1970, when 132 persons were arrested throughout the county.
Whatever the case, Fry Street had always been a place of lively activity. It borders the University of North Texas, and old storefronts have mirrored the changing times. It was a good place for students to try their hands at a first business, a great place for a group of musicians to start a band, and a fun place to hang out.
If you want a taste of what to expect in the tome, check out Williams’ Flickr page which is chock full of historic images.
Image: Gilbert Olivarez, the owner of Fry Street Classics at the 1985 Fry Street Fair (via Williams’ Flickr)