Prices shrink going back in time


I have important news!  Madison County Historical Commission’s newly-published cookbook, Recipes & Remembrances, Volume 2 arrived late Friday afternoon!  The treasure is being sold for $10 a book, at the Museum and hopefully soon at some businesses around town.  I promise that my next Musings will contain much more information! 

Recently I turned through some Madisonville Meteors from October and November of 1976.  Forty years ago, Sam Logan was editor, and a single issue cost 15 cents.  Local ads only included 6-digit telephone numbers appeared, as 936- was not yet necessary. 

Eating was cheaper.  Dairy Queen advertised a one-day special of a DQ Dude for 65 cents.  The Dairy D Lite, which stood in the building where Mustang Cleaners is now, offered a 79-cent steak burger Thursdays-Saturdays.  Evans Grocery touted beef brisket at 79 cents a pound and Bluebell gold-rim ice cream half-gallon for $1.59. Brookshire Brothers had round steak for 1.28 a pound and chuck roast for 68 cents a pound.   Carters Grocery ad showed fryers for 39 cents a pound and Decker’s bacon for $1.09 a pound. 

A photo from Western Auto’s grand opening appeared, with new owners Mr. and Mrs. Jim Phillips.  Also shown were Store Manager Jack Smith, Madison County Industrial Foundation President Datus Sharp, Mayor J.T. Closs, and Chamber President Sam Logan. 

In another photo, Madison County Hospital Auxiliary President Sandra Bennett and Auxiliary Treasurer Maedell Reed appeared with Hospital Administrator E.G. Clark, presenting him a check for $3,000.  That was part of the group’s pledge of $10,000 towards the then-current building fund. 

Marian Anderson’s Class of 1965 had held its 10-year reunion.  Waldo Bridges was master of ceremony.  Johnny Shaffer, living in Denver, could not attend but sent a large floral arrangement.  The class recognized former teachers, including Pauline Gooden, Blanche Webber, Theodora Green, and Marjorie Sandles. 

Meteor sports writer Norman Risinger reported that Madisonville High School’s football team had defeated the Waller Bulldogs 18-6 October 1 in a non-district game.  A photo showed Jerry Paul Moffett, (#28) breaking loose for yardage.  He had 114 yards for 22 carries in his second 100-yards-plus game in 2 weeks.  Blockers in the photo included Marvin Stanton (#64), Alan Campbell (#78), and Bobby Anderson (#36).  Another photo showed quarterback Ronnie Gilbert (#10), who raced from his own 28-yard line and when tackled and fell into the end zone, only to have officials rule that he had been down at the 1-yard line.  Bobby Taylor carried the ball once for 63 yards, James Whaley caught an interception, and Bobby Anderson recovered a fumble.  Mustangs defense players not previously mentioned but complimented for working well as a team, including Clyde Culberson #14), Herbert Nealy (#88), and Dwayne Wheaton (#32). 

There was an ad for the 45th annual Texas Prison Rodeo, to be held the five Sundays in October at The Walls in Huntsville.  Stars included Faron Young on October 3, Red Steagall October 10, Freddy Fender October 17, Tanya Tucker October 24, and Tom T. Hall October 31.  The Prison Rodeo began in 1931 and was last held in 1986. 

Madisonville High School’s twirlers also appeared in a photograph.   Lenora Deal was drum major, Cindy Berger was head twirler, and others were Tammy Barrett, Cindy Patrick, Debbie Patrick, Lisa Hensarling, Beth Bounds, Kathy Doyle, and Debra Starns. 

Former County Judge J.C. Wells, 62, had died October 12 after an extended illness.  He had served for 21 years as our county judge and county school superintendent.  The current courthouse was built under his supervision. 

North Zulch Future Homemakers of America had honored their mothers with a mother-daughter tea in the High School Library on October 5. Wynona Donaho, 1975-1976 President, had presided over the installation of new officers, including President Becky Wilson, Vice-President Shirley Drake, Secretary Lynda Henderson, Reporter Rhonda Evans, Treasurer Rinza Nunneley, Parliamentarian Teresa Caver, and Refreshment Chairmen Wendy Odom and Donna Grisham. 

Though Texas had been fighting screwworms by dropping sterile flies since 1962, three screwworm cases had been identified locally as of October 1 1976.   One was in a calf owned by T.R. Rhodes.  Ranchers were urged to cooperate and follow recommendations to prevent any further outbreak. By 1983, screwworms seemed to be eradicated in the United States and Mexico, though due to cases brought in from elsewhere, sterile flies were distributed periodically as late as 1989. (Fall, 2016 – screwworms have cropped up in Florida!)

Earl White was shown being honored as an Honorary Young Farmer by Madison County Young Farmers.  He had served as auctioneer the past summer for the YF Sale raising money to be contributed to the Madison County Hospital.  He was photographed with Jack Smith, who was YF President when the sale had been held.  

An ad offered prime coastal Bermuda hay, fertilized with 400-pounds to the acre with 12-12-12.  For $1.45 a bale, that was what we now call square bales, not the big round bales, which were just becoming popular locally then.  Phone number 348-2403 was listed, and I learned that Johnny Wiseman was the one selling that hay.  God rest his soul, he passed to his heavenly reward last Wednesday, October 19, at the age of 101.   

Automobile ad language differed then.  P.M. Standley Motor Co., Inc., advertised a special price on a new 1976 Dodge Charger SE Daytona 2-door hard-top.   It could be had, with bucket seats, tinted glass, air, and auto speed control, for $5,196 plus tax, title, and license, though it listed for $6,217.  Boney Bass Chevrolet offered a new 1975 Chevrolet LUV Pickup, 4 cylinder, 4-speed, for $3,240 plus T, T, & L. One selling point was pushbutton radio!        

Madison Theater advertised the movie The Outlaw Josey Wales, with Clint Eastwood, for Thursday-Saturday.  For Sunday-Tuesday, Lifeguard was playing.  Thursday nights were always $1 night.   

In the October 21 issue, Madisonville High School Drama Coach Virgil Lee was pictured talking at a Lions Club meeting.  The photo included students Joey Smith and Denise Montgomery, as well as Lions Club President Scotty Herring. 

Marian Anderson Young Homemakers of Texas had recently attended the Area VII YHT meeting in Waco.  The group included advisor Mrs. J.T. Williams and members Helen Jones, Rella Bibbs, and Mary McCoy.

Madisonville High School Homecoming football game was coming up on October 22.  Queen’s candidates would be presented, escorted by their fathers.  Joe Lindsey was to escort two, freshman Miriam Lindsey and junior Mandy Lindsey.  Senior Georgia Brogdon’s escort would be George Brogdon and sophomore Debra Starns, Cecil Starns.  The next week’s issue reported that Debra Starns was crowned homecoming queen. 

The October 28 Meteor contained a photo of Madisonville Junior High cheerleaders.  They included Desia Starns, D’Ann Fite, Melyn Hopkins, Terry Brown, Judi Williams, and Carolyn Hendrix.

With the November 2 general election looming, the issue contained a sample ballot, and it was very different from this year’s ballot.  Only 3 Republicans candidates were listed, including Gerald Ford (with Vice-President Robert Dole) for President, Alan Steelman for U.S. Senator, and Walter Wendlandt for Railroad Commissioner.  Democratic Party candidates included Jimmy Carter (with Walter Mondale) for President/Vice-President, Lloyd Benson for U.S. Senator, Charles Wilson for U.S. Representative, Billy Carter for County Judge, John Oxley for County Attorney, Ed Fannin for Sheriff, Iola McLaren for Tax Assessor-Collector, Van Wehmeyer for County Commissioner, and Calvin Clute for Constable. 

Madisonville High School’s junior varsity football team had won the week before, 28-0 against Fairfield.  The first touchdown came on a 60-yard pass interception by Tony Dean.  The second was the result of a 70-yard dash by Herman Owens, and Jim Hoke scored the extra point attempt.  Alan Key scored he third touchdown, and extra points came on a pass from Hoke to David Mitchell.  Owens scored the final touchdown. 

Madisonville Junior High’s Colts eighth-grade football team had also defeated Fairfield 28-0.  Touchdowns were scored by Jerry Williams, Matthew Williams, and Johnny Moffett, and Brady Taylor had passed 35 yards to Ronnie Mosley for a touchdown.  Defense players listed were Johnny Moffett, Phillip Jordan, Matthew Williams, Jimmy Moffett, John Phillips, Allen Brown, Doug Laake, and Jessie Lotts. 

The seventh grade Colts had also beaten Fairfield, 24-6. Morris Williams, Scott Harrison, and G.C. Johnson scored touchdowns, and Williams also ran 2 extra-point attempts while Lamar Tinsley added 2 points on a point-after attempt.   Tackles were made by David McFarland, Standley Frazier, Tommy Puckett, Larry Plotts, G.C. Johnson, and Lamar Tinsley.

Madisonville Sidewalk Cattlemen’s Association had elected officers for the coming year.  Bill Forrest was elected president, along with vice-president Roger Knight, Jr., treasurer Dick Richardson, and (re-elected) secretary Don Dean.  . 

The November 4 was headlined “Carter Wins 9 of 10 Madison County Boxes”.  He had split the George community box. Carter also carried Texas and the nation to become our country’s 39th president.  All of the other candidates who had run as Democrats on the ballot were also elected. 

FFA Green Hand officers appeared in one photo, including President Clint Wakefield, Vice-President Sonny Allen, Secretary Randy Corley, Sentinel Kevin Knight, Treasurer Alan Key, Reporter Bill Forrest.  Senior FFA officers appeared in another, including President Mike Farris, Vice-President Craig Wakefield, Secretary Debra Starns, Sentinel Lisa Hensarling, Treasurer Loyd Harper, and Reporter Curtis Park. 

Reed’s ad for its big anniversary sale shared the fact that they were the only appliance dealer who had consistently had a factory-trained service technician for the past 32 years.  For the past 21 years, it had been Perry “Jack” Webber, who had been honored with the Frigidaire Certified Technician Award each year for the past 8 years, in recognition of his superior handling of Frigidaire service in this area. 

In the November 11 issue, an article announced an upcoming National Society of Daughters of the American Revolution meeting.  The speaker would be Miss Barbara Buckner, a young Home Economics teacher at our high school.  She did not become Mrs. Barbara Richter until July 2, 1977.   This past May, she retired from MCISD, having taught there 42 years!   

That issue also held the announcement of Will Clinton Cannon’s birth on October 21.  Mr. and Mrs. W.E. Cannon, Jr., were proud parents, and grandparents were Mrs. and Mrs. Truett Wells and Mr. and Mrs. W.E. Cannon, Sr.

Hospital Administrator E.G. Clark appeared in a photo with members of The Good Neighbors Club, which presented $1,000 for the hospital building fund.  The hard-working civic club’s members shown included President Bernice Muniz, Vice-President Bertha Johnson, Secretary Mary Ann Johnson, and Treasurer Wilma Dedrick.  Not shown were members Dorothy Turner, Minnie Allen, Dorothy Leveston, Arletha Turner, Mary Ann Gilbert, Frankie Byrd, Marie Green, Hedy Johnson, Francis Jackson, and Goldie Lotts. 

The November 18 Meteor contained a photo of local Brownie Troup 350, led by Nancy Page.  Members shown were Darlene Boyette, Shelly Wood, Marty Roberts, Shawana Brown, Michelle Page, Jessie McAdams, Stephanie Curtis, Sharan Johnson, Shara Washington, Stephanie Tinsley, and Melynda Starns. 

Doug Downard, then 8, had recently killed his first buck, a 6-pointer.  Dr. and Mrs. N.K. Downard were his proud parents, and he had already been hunting with his father for 5 years. 

Now 40 years have passed.   Most of the above-named businesses are just memories.  Local political leanings have changed.  Clint Cannon and wife Lacy were recently blessed with their own bundle of joy.  It’s been several years since Doug Downard’s son killed his first deer.   Many of the folks named have passed on, some way too young.   Others have moved away, and you will still see many of them around town.  Each has a place in our community’s history.

Madison County Museum, at 201 N. Madison St., Madisonville, TX, is open to the public Wednesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.  Museum curator Jane Day Reynolds would welcome your visit.