Priscilla MangnallTHE WAY WE WEREGrand Junction Free Press History Columnist

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March 1, 2012
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PRISCILLA'S COLUMN: The local headlines of yesteryear

TODAY A CENTURY AGOOne hundred years ago today, Capt. Robert Falcon Scott, R.N., was making his last expedition to the South Pole in minus 40 degree F weather. And it was windy and he never made it home. Right here at home, the locals were looking forward to spring. William Shearman, the Grand Valley Celery King, was preparing to set out 1,000 celery plants that he claims will rival any Michigan celery. The Grand Junction Seed Co. at 112 N. Fourth St. advertised they were the headquarters for all Poultry Supplies including chicks and "Mandy Lee," "Buckeye," "Petaluma" and "X-Ray" brand incubators.The Quist Drug Co. (current site of il Bistro Italiano) was offering Sassafras for "That Tired Feeling and Spring Fever." The Auditorium had just installed a new floor and invited everyone down to try it out on Saturday night or you could head down to the Majestic Theater (now the Mesa Theater) and enjoy a little vaudeville. Willis & Estelle, Australian Novelty Entertainers and Boyle & White, a Classy Singing Act, were on the bill, all for 10 cents or 20 cents.The Auditorium at 315 Rood had just posted a placard on their wall that read: NOTICE-All dances that are considered indecent are positively prohibited. Anyone engaging in such will be invited off the floor. The management, Mr. Boyer, meant business. "The Turkey Trot is tabooed, the Bunny Hug is barred and the Chicken Reel is forever relegated from Grand Junction's most popular pavilion."What did people want in the Want Ads?An experienced man to sell sewing machines at 334 Main St.; roomers and boarders at 561 Colorado; a middle-age woman, good cook and housekeeper, at 524 Ouray; steady work on a farm by a young man. People were selling 80 acres of good cheap land on Glade Park if taken at once. Raymond Bairstow at 337 N. Seventh St. was selling his 1911 Indian Motorcycle, 5 hp, with tandem attachment, for cheap; and C.L. Hawkins of 1226 Rood was selling a workhorse. Mrs. White was doing hair work at 140 W. White and the Methodists were inviting the public to a Chicken and "Chittein" Dinner for only 35 cents, good cooking, service beginning at 5:30. I wonder if they meant Chittlins?TODAY IN 1932Twenty years later and 80 years ago today, the Lindberg baby had been kidnapped from his crib in Hopewell, N.J. While his heartbroken mother was appealing to the kidnappers to make sure the baby received proper nutrition, ladies in Grand Junction could go to the Prinster Brothers City Market and buy a pound of "Maid O' Clover" Butter for 23 cents, churned locally by the Mutual Creamery, 237 South Ave.Ward Lake on Grand Mesa received 8 new feet of snow while down in the valley, 18 Boy Scouts and their leader hiked into Echo Canyon where they started work on the foundation and a fireplace for a troop cabin to be built soon. Echo Canyon is near the Monument. I wonder if the cabin is still there?At the movies, "The Reckless Age," was playing at the Mesa Theater (formerly the Majestic) and "Broken Lullaby" was playing at the Avalon.A Prosperity League meeting was held at the Labor Temple on Rood Avenue and open to all who were concerned with the welfare of the local citizenry. Sponsored by the Trades and Labor Assembly and attendance of every laborer, craftsman, farmer, merchant clerk, housewife and professional man is desired.A startling headline greeted the day: "Mrs. Clara Wellington Met Instant Death When Struck by a Car on Fruitvale Road" - chest crushed, leg and ribs broken as she was thrown over the radiator in a car driven by Joe Kramer Jr. Seems Mrs. Wellington was bidding her parents goodbye from across the road and turned to run back home across the paved road about a half-mile west of the Fruitvale School. She left three small children and her husband who surely learned quickly to look both ways. TODAY IN 1972Forty years ago was 1972 and environmentalists and conservationists were questioning the awarding of the 1976 Olympics to Denver, envisioning "hordes of people descending on Colorado making necessary the bulldozing of our mountains and destruction of all our trees." Gov. John Love met opposition led by a brash young lawyer named Dick Lamm. Colorado became to only state to ever turn down the Olympics.Flash Cadillac and the Continental Kids played at Mesa College and three students were reprimanded by college President Ted Albers for getting out of control. Flash whipped them into a frenzy and several students took off items of clothing. The girls weren't punished because they stripped down to their bras but the boys bared all. Macon Tomlinson, student body president; Rick Steele, vice president; and Dana Lantz were finally commended for taking responsibility and promised it would never happen again. At Albertson's at 12th and Orchard, asparagus was 59 cents a pound and sirloin steak just $1.89 a pound. You could also buy a fluffy bed pillow there for just 99 cents. A 2,100 sq. ft. luxury home on 1.5 acres was selling for $39,500 and Reliable Realty had 30 acres of good farmland with a house, just 3.5 miles from town for $31,000.The Orchard Mesa Junior High PTA met and members of Bummer Squad showed a film to parents and their teenagers with a question and answer period to follow. Bet that packed the gymnasium.The County Coroners office had set up a fund to bury the unknown baby that was found two miles south of the Whitewater dump. The baby was in a wooden casket when the neighborhood boys found it in a cave. The coroner said if the funds weren't raised it would be buried it Potters Field. Local author and historian Debbie Brockett wrote a novel in 2004 titled "Our Darling" about the finding.Times change and so do the headlines. Same stuff, different day.-----------------------------SOURCE: Archives from The Daily SentinelGot a memory or picture to share? Call me at 970-260-5226, or email

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