Hamilton Herald Masthead


Front Page - Friday, January 30, 2015

Are We There Yet?

Jay Edwards

More from May 17, 1973. I had found a newspaper my mom saved from that day, because it was my 16th birthday ... only 42 years ago.

One of the most obvious differences between that issue and one from today is the number and size of advertisements, how many of those ads were for grocery stores, and how few of those grocery stores are no longer around. Like Safeway, which had two full-page ads side-by-side. They were selling six quarts of Cragmont Cola for a dollar and three pounds of tomatoes for a dollar - and that’s back when tomatoes were good.

Other stores running big ads were Warehouse Foods, Weingarten’s, McLellan’s, Affiliated Food Stores, and IGA, where you could get a half-gallon of ice cream for 59 cents and three cans of Hi-C for a dollar.

Other ads from stores you might remember were Moses, which was selling a 25” Color Console for $398, and Osco Drug, where you could pick up a Minn-Kota trolling motor for $19.99, or a hair dryer for $3.99.

Over at Skaggs Drug Center, you could buy a bottle of 80 Geritol Tablets for $3.69 and a tennis racket for $1.49 (while supplies lasted).

Howard Discount Center (“Where you pay less … for the best”) was offering an 18-ounce bottle of Scope for 77 cents, two pounds of Jimmy Dean Sausage for $1.69, and a Southland Lawnmower with a Briggs and Stratton engine for $37.88.

Pfeifer-Blass had “Fine Imported Evening Bags” marked down to $5 and a Hoover Upright Vacuum for $53.88.

I turned the page, and a one-column story about a burglary caught my eye. A man and a woman had been charged with robbing the Western Auto on Pershing in North Little Rock. The article said that Patrolman T.J. Farley went to the store after an off-duty officer had called it in. Farley asked for assistance and drove behind the store, where he spotted a man slamming the trunk of a car. The man, who Farley said was carrying a gun, took off on foot. Farley fired his gun in the air, yelling for the man to stop, which he didn’t. The officer followed and was soon joined by backup.

The suspect, along with a woman, was arrested.

I remember Officer Farley, who went by Tom and passed away in January of 2012. He married a friend of my parents, a widow who lived at the end of our street. Her name is Peggy and her first husband, Guy Freeling, had died in a small plane crash back in 1969. I was told later my father had been invited to go on that short trip, which I believe was to somewhere down around Stuttgart. But my dad didn’t go. I remember when my parents got the call that the plane had crashed and Mr. Freeling had been killed. I was 12 then, and remember how strange it seemed to know somebody who had died.

Back to the 42-year-old paper, and the sports page. Pfeifer-Blass was running ads here, too. You could get a dozen Jack Nicklaus golf balls for $6.99, and a scuba diving rig for $189.99.

Lee Trevino was closing in on the one million mark for career earnings. Not sure if he played the Nicklaus ball, but I doubt it.

Then there was a story about the upcoming second leg of the Triple Crown, in Baltimore, and how only six horses would start the race at Pimlico. This might have been because of a large chestnut in the race. He was the same horse whose dad, Bold Ruler, had won the Preakness in 1957, the year I was born, which was perhaps a good omen for the younger horse. Not that it mattered. Secretariat didn’t need much luck.

Jay Edwards is editor-in-chief of the Hamilton County Herald and an award-winning columnist. Contact him at jedwards@dailydata.com.