Crisp air, football well underway, and thoughts of Thanksgiving all channel our hometown thoughts to the way things used to be and today that takes us back to May and June of 1974 from the Newport Plain Talk files.

The photos you see here speak for themselves and I chose a variety looking for animals, old friends like Bill Whitson, great organizations like Cocke County Shrine Club and Newport Rescue Squad. Do you remember Mack Holdway? Did you know W. G. Ottinger with Newport Federal?

There was a full-page adv. “Time to buy a Pontiac.” The dealership operated by Bill Whitson also featured GMC products. The car that caught my eye was a 1973 Pontiac Lemans advertised for $3,195. The folks pictured in the Plan Talk ad were Bill, Cecil Samples, Junior Bryant, and Dick Chesteen.

Just across the pages in the archived 1974 editions I saw a photo of the National Ceramics Center across from Cosby High School being constructed in May 1974 and to open that July. It was located next to the Padgett’s ceramic house, now gone. There is a new storage facility being built there this fall.

On May 20, 1974 the Plain Talk reported the death of W. B. Robinson, a prominent doctor. He died at age 48 and had opened his practice in Newport in 1953. He was one of the directors of the Rescue Squad, Cocke County Memorial Hospital and member of the local Optimist Club. He and Chuck Ottinger are remembered for their support of students and started an annual honors banquet.

There were plenty of food ads, and the local Supper Dollar Store sold Spam in 12-ounce cans for 85 cents. How about rib chops for 94 cent per pound. JFG peanut butter fetched 49 cents per pound jar. White Store was featuring chuck roast for 67 cents per pound.

It was the year and time for the first annual Newport Rescue Squad Day and I picked up a photo you see here when entertainer Mel Street appeared.

With marijuana legal in many states it is interesting to see the effort in the 1970s to uproot the weed. Newport officers Lt. Don Ball and Buddy Don Ramsey got wind of large crops growing in the Del Rio area. Lawmen seized over 213 plans and destroyed them. The story told that had the plants been harvested the crop would have been worth $25,000.

The Rescue Squad also reported some sad news at the death of their German Shepherd search and find dog Vello. Veterinarian Dr. Mike Rucker believed Vello had died of a heart attack. Charles Lane was keeper of Vello. The squad had lost Fero the prior year and both dogs are buried on the Rescue Squad grounds.

Baseball was in full swing and I saw many sports photos some of which I made as sports editor. One particular one showed a young catcher Kenny Eisenhower waiting for a throw home to tag out the runner but the ball was too late.

That’s just a bit of the news and many things we saw then don’t exist today. I do see Dr. Matthew Kickliter, dentist, will be one of those taking up a place in the new offices across from the Plain Talk this year.

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