MEANWHILE BACK ON THE HOMEFRONT

February 1, 1973.

Meanwhile back on the home front.

There was a shocking story on the front page of the Bay Times about land developers who’d bought 500 acres on Kent Island, at the foot of the Bay Bridge, for over a million dollars!

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At the risk of making comparisons with a skewed perspective, it’s still worth mentioning that as of this first week of February, 2016, there are 24 homes offered for sale on Kent Island with a list price between $1,000,000 and $4,000,000. Thirteen Kent Island properties sold last year with a price tag of over a million bucks, the most expensive being a 14,000+ square foot home on a 20 acre piece that sold in July for $4,725,000.

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Also on the front page was a story about two separate weekend shootings. On Saturday night, a Church Hill bar owner, after arguing with a customer, “allegedly pulled out a .25 caliber automatic, which he apparently kept in the building, and shot him once in the stomach.”

The second shooting took place in Grasonville on Sunday. “Somebody called somebody something,” said a Maryland State Police officer. A fight ensued and one man shot the other man three times in the stomach. He also shot himself in the arm once.

It appears everybody involved in the weekend’s festivities survived.

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On Monday, four young men, three still in high school, were tried in District Court for “engaging in a speed contest” at 8:30 in the morning that past December. Caught during a stakeout, the alleged speedsters gave conflicting testimony to one degree or another, but in the end the presiding judge dismissed the charge against two of the defendants and sentenced the other pair to probation for one year. He also denied those two the privilege of driving to or from school for the rest of the year.

It should be noted that the newspaper reported the cars used in the race (that may or may not have happened) were a Dodge, a Plymouth, a Ford, and a Chevy.

There was, however, no report as to who won.

The insides of the February 1, 1973 Bay Times’ were chock-full of social and school news.

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Miss Alma Lopez won the Grasonville outstanding citizen award.

The first woman to ever do so.

Miss Alma Lopez was a lady from my hometown who I remember just vaguely. Her husband Joe ran a garage in the middle of Grasonville, and if I concentrate hard, I can locate the grease mixed with Lance crackers smell that still permeates the sensory file holding any memories I have of Joe Lopez’s garage. There’s also an African American mechanic in that file, a man I don’t remember ever seeing smile, and one of those old soda machines with the bottle necks sticking out of the cooler in a vertical row.

As you grow older, don’t ever forget what a hard decision grape, orange, or root beer is to an eight year old standing in front of a soda machine.

As for the kids, there were school bands, rifle clubs, and pinewood derbies making news in February, 1973.

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If the reader was looking for something to do, the Avalon Theatre in Easton was showing two second run horror anthologies, but if that wasn’t your cup of blood, Funny Girl with “Barbara Steisand” was coming soon to a screen somewhat near you.

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Fisherman’s Inn was the place where Delta Dawn and Bad, Bad Leroy Brown went to prove Your Mama Don’t Dance to be a boldfaced slander. The Sewell Johnson Trio was the band usually spreading the Rockin’ Pneumonia and the Boogie Woogie Flu at Fisherman’s bar, but local music lovers were looking forward to next weekend when Gene Long & the Blue Jays would be arriving on the Love Train.

Sheesh, after all the bad 1973 musical jokes squeezed into that last paragraph, I kind of feel like I owe you something for sticking around.

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An ice cream from Tastee Freeze, maybe?

Flowers from the Hills?

Smith’s store has Popsicles, full-size Reese’s cups for a nickel, and a nice rack of comic books to choose from.

Your call, but I’d go for the comic books if I were you.

They might be worth something some day.

 

4 thoughts on “MEANWHILE BACK ON THE HOMEFRONT

  1. Brent Great pieces from the Bay times. By the time they were published I was long gone from the “shore” but mymother and two sisters as well as many other relatives remained in Grasonville and Kent Island areas. Keep up the good work!!!

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