With morning temperatures in the mountains challenging the low 60 degrees accompanied by low humidity for our hometown you might begin to think about fall football.
To get a general view of the events I looked back in the bound volume for 1972 in Newport Plain Talk. Of course it was a major election year and every edition of the year contained some candidate’s photo and election story.
It’s always interesting to look at the local print advertisements in the era before the Internet and cellphones. Grocers were major advertisers and among them Cas Walker with his Super Dollar Stores in East Tennessee.
Pullman bread sold three loaves for 89 cents. Buy chuck roast for 63 cents a pound and compare that to current prices. Fruit cocktail, always a mainstay, was on sale four cans for $1.
During the summer the local Miss Newport always prepared for state competition. Lifestyles reporter Shirley Elliott interviewed Sherry Nease, the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. George Ray Nease. Miss Newport Sherry Nease was a Parrottsville graduate and at the time attended East Tennessee State University. She has two brothers: Ronnie and Eric. That was among the news on July 17.
Years past I wrote about Rattlin’ Cave and a young man who fell and died at the cave just east of the city limits. The front page July 19, 1972 edition had a photo of a cave rescue. It seems that cave explorers J. L. Banks and Noah Crumbley were in the cave for many hours and their light went out. Imagine how dark that suddenly became.
The Newport Rescue Squad took matters in hand and sent out a team of able rescuers. The young men were trapped about 200 feet down. Roy Metcalf descended by ropes 100 feet to a ledge. From there he lowered a harness and the spelunkers one at a time got lifted out. They were not injured.
My friend and fellow photographer in the 1970s happened to be a young up and coming businessman who first spent many years in law enforcement. When I first met Nickey Maxey he made sports and general assignment photos. Each week there were dozens of youth sports photos of many folks you know. Here are a few folks in photos I glanced at playing baseball: Randy Marshall, Dwayne Sane, Gary Gentry, a first baseman, American Legion pitcher Yogi Shelton, and Little Leaguer Chandler Holt.
One of the prominent stories featured Billy Wilson, age 24, being appointed assistant football coach at Cocke County High School.
Popular then and now in the Plain Talk has been Cook of the Week. Shirley Elliott and Nancy Petrey did many of these articles. On July 26, Nancy featured Mrs. Iliff “Babe” Bryant. She worked in the billing department of Stokely Van Camp. Her recipes included butterscotch pie. The Bryants attended Shady Grove Baptist Church.
As I mentioned, it was election year in the four-year cycle with the general election in early August. I saw several photos of a young Senator Howard Baker visiting Newport to support candidates. Larry Aldridge handled the “hard news” for the Plain Talk, and when I arrived the summer of 1973 took on feature writing and sports.
By the way, Sharon Bryant told me the name of the chicken restaurant at the location now a graded grass-seeded corner in Bryant Town: Tennessee Fried Chicken. I will soon be writing about Homer Jones, who is winding down his career with Newport McDonalds this year.