A continued look back at 1968 — 50 years ago the world was different

Growing up in the village of Attica was like living in a shell. Tiffin was a big city and visiting it didn’t happen but maybe once a month. Attica had all one needed. There was Schild’s Clothing Store and Decker’s Furniture Store. We had a grocery store, a doctor and even a movie theatre.

There were also a couple of bars, but for this youngster the Attica Café meant huge two scoop ice cream cones that cost a quarter! There was no reason to go to the big city of Tiffin unless you wanted to go somewhere farther. In the A-T from 1968 that I was looking at, the departing times for Greyhound buses jumped out at me. In addition the B&O and Chesapeake and Ohio train schedules were also listed.

In January 1968, I was a 17-year-old senior who would soon be forced into adulthood. It was during the summer months that my male classmates and I went to Tiffin to board a bus for a military base in Columbus. There we were given physicals to see if we were fit for service.

In 1968 the Vietnam War was escalating and the draft was in use. Getting the physical out of the way so we could be ready to start training for war if drafted, made sense. It was a time of conflict within this country as well, as Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert Kennedy were assassinated.

Not everything was bad however. The first successful heart transplant by Dr. Christian Bernard took place in South Africa. The 911 emergency phone service began and the first ATM appeared in Philadelphia. The Gateway Arch was dedicated in St. Louis and “60 Minutes” aired for the first time.

The Beatles and Rolling Stones led the musical hit parade and the London Bridge was sold for $1 million. It was reassembled in the U.S. Do you know where it is located?

If you said Lake Havasu City in Arizona you win a prize.

It’s always interesting to see names of people and places in old newspaper articles. I saw ads for Nationwide Insurance agents. In Tiffin you could see Lloyd Fruth or Philip B. Goist. Eugene Arbogast was an agent in New Riegel. I remember Arby more as a softball umpire and a colleague as we both drove school buses for New Riegel Local Schools.

If my family wanted to visit larger stores in 1968 we could shop Arlans, Kresge’s, Newberry’s or Lasalle’s in Tiffin. Restaurants mentioned were the Gibson Restaurant, The Bel Aire and an offer of a Friday perch special at the L&K. I do remember those perch dinners!

Speaking of ice cream cones at the Attica Café … Albert’s, located at Six’s Corners, offered three grades of ice cream — regular, premium and super premium. Seventy-five cents would get you a half gallon of regular, but you would have to cough up $1.60 for the top shelf stuff.

I had never heard of “grades” of ice cream before. I guess the good stuff had more “octane”!

If you will allow me one more ice cream story … an ad for Larry’s Juvenile Shoes was in the 1968 A-T. When my kids were little we went there one time and I chatted with Larry. He told me his two favorite foods were potato chips and ice cream. So he would crush potato chips and put them on his ice cream!

I often thought I should try that, but have yet to do so. I guess there’s still time!

Comics found in the A-T back then included Freckles, Wash Tubbs, Short Ribs, Our Boarding House and Alley Oop. I remember most of those. Again, the primary purpose of looking up information from 50 years ago was to check bowling scores. This is — primarily — a bowling column, after all.

One of the first things I noticed was the large number of leagues. Do you recall the Ball and Chain League or the Crown League? Junior Order had a league as did American Standard and other factories. One league that caught my attention was the U.S. Post Office League. Perhaps you recall that one.

Names that appeared on the pages of the A-T included Jim Adelsperger, who led the Rocket League with 609. Yes, that is the same Rocket League that currently bowls on Wednesday evenings. “Buzz” Hohman’s 663 topped all scorers in the Big 8 League; another league still going strong. Everett Hushour led the American Standard League while Ed Wilson and Ed Lutz topped the Star League.

Stan Smith was included in one of the honor rolls. The proprietor of Gay Lanes had stopped bowling by the time I started, but he was there each week. Like Sheldon Cooper, he had his “spot” at the end of the bar where he could look out over his domain.

Jeanne McDade made the honor roll. She used to stop in on my league night to watch her husband, Rice, bowl. Ray Zeiter, Gene Feasel and Marvin Helkey were some other bowlers mentioned. Doris Eborg, Sandy Hitchcock and Rosie Snyder made the honor rolls as did Ray Gaietto, who was my high school history teacher. Ray was a great guy and a great teacher.

One more name that jumped out at me was Howard Seipp. Shortly after I started writing this column I was put in contact with Mr. Seipp. We chatted at length about the sport he had been involved in for so many years of his life. The conversation was a lot of fun and I remember writing a column about Howard Seipp back in 2005.

Well, that concludes our trip down memory lane. I hope you enjoyed reminiscing about time gone by. More will be forthcoming as the bowling season chugs along!

Al Stephenson is for bowling columnist for The Advertiser-Tribune.com

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