Writer Paula Bosse and her social media brainchild, Flashback: Dallas, are 2019 recipients of the Preservation Education Award, which was presented by Preservation Dallas at its 20th Annual Preservation Achievement Awards.
No one is more deserving of this recognition. As a lifelong Dallas resident and history junkie, Bosse brilliantly developed her own eclectic brand for sharing local lore by launching her Flashback: Dallas blog in 2014. Consequently, she is continually raising awareness of regional history.
“Last time I checked the numbers, I had over 10,000 followers across various social media platforms and had surpassed 1 million page views of the blog,” Bosse said. “Those might not be earthshaking numbers in terms of internet-reach, but it’s pretty amazing to me. Who would have thought that many people would be interested in what is, let’s face it, a fairly esoteric topic?”
Presentation is everything. Despite Bosse’s well-researched and cited work, there is nothing esoteric about her writings. Between her conversational writing style, storytelling talent, and often quirky humor, Bosse has the innate ability to make history informative-yet-entertaining to a vast reading audience.
Bosse paints history with a broad brush. In the past five years, she has published about 1,000 online articles covering a wide scope of historical topics – ranging from buildings, businesses, and events to people, houses, and neighborhoods.
“Really, if it’s somehow related to Dallas and it happened before the 1970s, [which is] my arbitrary cut-off time period, it’s something I might write about,” Bosse said.
Initially, friends encouraged her to write an offbeat book about Dallas. She considered using blog posts to compile a book of her work. At the rate Bosse is amassing blog posts, however, she’ll soon have enough written material to fill a pop-up library.
But books and history are at Bosse’s core. Her late father Dick Bosse owned The Aldredge Book Store, a popular antiquarian bookstore – located next to the Stoneleigh Hotel – that specialized in books on Texas history and the West in addition to offering general used books.
After growing up in the book environment, Bosse followed in the family business. Besides owning her own used bookstore for several years, she worked for a couple of large retail bookstore chains as well as for an auction house where she was a rare book cataloger.
“I really wish I’d known when I was a kid that I was going to be spending so much time in the future writing about Dallas history,” Bosse concluded. “I would have taken advantage of my father’s really great collection of books and ephemera on Dallas history, most of which are long out of print and are now very hard to find.”
Other Preservation Dallas Award Winners
In addition to Bosse’s Education Award, other award winners at the prestigious Preservation Dallas event include Nancy McCoy who received the Dorothy Savage Award. Casci Plaster Studio received the Craftsmanship Award. Communities Foundation of Texas received the Stewardship Award for Caruth Homeplace. Braniff Airways Foundation received the Spirit of Preservation Award, and the Opal Lawrence Farmstead project received the Gail Thoma Patterson Award.
Winning projects were Ullman House, Greer House, The Shack, 414 North Windomere Avenue, Hamilton House, Elliott House, Tyler Street Baptist Church, Kessler Steps, Lakewood Theater, Mid Elm Lofts and Stone Tables Pavilion.