Spring arrived last Wednesday hours before the full moon shrouded early in its rising by thin clouds above our hometown looking forward to several days of sunshine on the downhill side of March.
I thought it would be interesting to see what was going on almost 70 years ago and the decades later during springs past. So I pulled out the 1950 volume of the Plain Talk & Tribune flipping the dry pages to March 20, a Monday.
The big headline in 1950 that spring was: “TVA Details Newport Electric Power Needs.” Newport acquired is system from TVA Jan. 1940. By 1950 the Newport demand was 4,852 kilowatts per month. The board was looking at a $1 million expansion over the decade.
I saw a small front-page news item of interest: “Cosby Sailor on Burned-Out Ship.” Ira Wayne Caughron was one of 40 sailors on the USS Elder when it caught fire. All men were rescued near Honolulu.
Many of you knew the late Maurice Suggs. The PT&T reported in 1950 that he bought the “well established” jewelry store firm Perrymans. It seems that the Suggs grocery store had burned the prior year.
That spring Dan Drew Williams celebrated his second birthday and his photo was in the newspaper, listing his parents as Ardell and the late Rowena “Johnnie” Williams of Eastport.
My favorite photo was the three men holding a giant catfish just pulled out of Douglas Lake. The 35-pound shovelbill was shown off by Forrest Hedrick, Luther Strange, and Squire Jonah Buckner.
Let’s jump forward to the spring of 1955 and to see what was going on according to the PT&T Monday, March 21 edition. At the time the newspaper was published on Mondays and Thursdays.
Reporting deaths was always important news then and now. Alfred Jay Mims had died March 19, 1955 at the home of his sister, Mrs. Fred Greer. He was an avid baseball player. Wish there were more news about him.
Spring brings rain and flooding as we have seen this year. And so it was in 1955 when Long Creek flooded. Resident noted there was no mail delivery for two days, said Mrs. Sanford Southerland, so they drove into town to pickup their newspaper at the Plain Talk. A photo by Preston Moore showed H. Clark looking skyward during the preceding 30-day dry spell.
Agriculture and farm news were big then and you see two photos here from 1955. One a group of farmers you might know. I think that I met them all and especially Allen Thomas of Parrottsville. I only knew Lemmy Wilson in his later years so to see a photo of him in high school was nice.
In the 1961 Monday, March 20, newspaper a giant photo of Minnie Pearl dominated the front page because she was scheduled to appear at the April 30 Cosby Ramp Festival.
Big news was the groundbreaking, near the Cow Palace off Knoxville Highway, of the Play-Mor Lanes bowling business. It still stands today. The photo showed the following businessmen: Charles Scruggs, Charles S. Runnion, Jr., Jim Brown, the contractor Harrison Hale, Jim Runnion, and Bob Price.
While flipping through the March 20 edition I couldn’t help looking into the future to March 23, 1961. There in black and white on the front page is a photo of Dr. Fred M. Valentine, Sr. at the Smoky Mountain Golf Club where he had made a hole-in-on on hole 3. With him in the foursome were Theo Parrott, Hugh Neas, and a dapper Dr. Nathan Ford. And so that was the news as it was many spring times past in Newport.