Snaps of bright white lightning and sudden dark skies shaped over the mountains in late afternoons continuing the weather pattern for our hometown that expects to usher in July with temperatures in the 90s and above normal heat for at least the next 90 days.
Where were you and what were you doing in the summer of 1967 in Newport? To find out I pulled out the heavy bound volume of the Newport Plain Talk editions for late June 1967. The grocery ads had plenty of specials. Super Dollar featured half gallons of ice cream for 44 cents.
If you remember I. J. Smith Hardware west of the city near Luke Goddard’s real estate offices, then you followed Smith’s ads in the Plain Talk. Imagine buying a new power lawn mover for $44 or how about a 6 transistor AM radio for $5.88 to listen to WLIK Radio.
Each year for decades the local newspaper featured the June Bride edition and professional photographer Elza Painter made many of the photos in the early 1960s for it. Charlene Hawk was the featured bride then. You see here photo here. The June bride would visit local businesses who sponsored ads that appeared in the special section.
Cocke County High School majorettes appeared in a late June Plain Talk after winning a trophy at the University of Tennessee’s Twirling Camp. They were Teresa Ramsey, Diane McAndrew, Linda Wilson, and Ginni Walker.
By 1967 photo reproduction improved dramatically because the Plan Talk had a new off set Goss printing press. There were plenty of farm scene photos such as Olson Seay with his son in their two acres of tomatoes. Extension Agent Raymond Sutton observed that farmers were seeing “cat faces” appear on their tomatoes because of the weather.
Another sign of the times, the Vietnam War, were the many photos of young servicemen such as Frank. R. Leibrock, whose photo is shown here. Others I saw included MP Ronald C. Cody, son of Mr. and Mrs. Clayton Cody, and Donnie R. Belcher, son of Mr. and Mrs. Floyd Belcher. Donnie completed heavy equipment and diesel school.
June was a time for the Newport Rescue Squad to raise funds. You see a photo here from July 1967. I recall many of the leaders such as James “Tadpole” Briggs. I couldn’t help but think about him after photographing Blake Briggs, son of Jack Briggs, being installed as a gas utility commissioner. I will feature Blake in my early July column.
Every edition had birthday photos so it seemed. Two I noted were Terry Lynn Keller, who turned age 3 on June 25; son of Mr. and Mrs. Clinton Keller, of Duncan Street. Also there was Bobby Joe Howard Jr., age 2 on June 28, son of Mr. and Mrs. Bobby Joe Howard Sr.
Many folks with their children headed to the outdoor theater operated by Harold Smith. I saw an ad for the movie “North to Alaska” with John Wayne. Harold loved the cowboy movies.
The big sports news included completion of the new concrete 3,000-seat high school football stadium in Newport ready for the fall season. In baseball, the Newport All Stars were ready for the tourney at Rutledge on July 17.
The All Stars in 1967 included Gary Gentry, Glenn Ray, Jimmy Ealy, Roger Kelly, Charles Woody, Gary Clevenger, Bret Bradley, Donny Jenkins, Guy Hommel Jr. of the Braves, Kim Smith, Gary Dykes, Larry Sane, Earl Cureton Jr., and Joe Green.
Of course many of the youth and children not playing baseball might have been at Newport City Park Pool and you see a photo here, one of two that appeared July 20. Were you keeping cool in the pool the summer of 1967?