1/31/74-2/7/74

[Posted 5/27/08]

The Boy’s Varsity basketball team was really getting its act together after a slow start. The Hilltoppers wallopped Madison, 68-38, with George Gross hitting for 18 and Willie Wilson 14. Then Summit defeated a good West Orange team led by 6-7 Harold Morrison (that boy could play), 69-67. In this contest, Summit trailed 67-66 late when Johnny Foushee hit both ends of a one-and-one to put us up 68-67. Then Foushee intercepted a pass and converted the front end of another one-and-one for the difference. Wilson had 21 points and 15 rebounds, with Gross scoring 16 and Tony Zackery 14.

But Coach Ed Lyons said “The biggest difference (in the turnaround) has been starting Robert Kimbrough at forward. He’s only a sophomore but he’s been giving us the help we’ve needed off the boards.” Summit was now 5-1 in the Suburban Conference, 7-3 overall.

Next up, Springfield, and Summit avenged an earlier loss, the only conference blemish, by winning 74-59. Zackery led the way with 18 and Gross and Wilson had 16 apiece. Summit also crushed Caldwell, 80-46. Gross had a career high 26, Wilson 16 and Kimbrough 10. So we’re up to 7-1 in conference, 9-3 overall.

The swim team was kicking butt, thanks to “super sophs” Mark Herman and Billy Specht, who were double winners each meet it seemed. Other big contributors were Pat Hayes, Tim Herman, Dave Sehnert, Steve Whiteley, John Lyle, Mike Closs, Dave Bernstein, and Jim Coward.

The wrestling team, though, was 1-5. I see that Brad Cabibi was a bright spot at 115. 115? Geezuz, Brad. You were a strong sonuvagun.

Dave Genualdi was the best on the bowling team.

And there was an interview with AD Howie Anderson, who told the Summit Herald, “America is a fat society.” That was Feb. 1974. Howie was ahead of his time. [I also saw how scouts from Boston College were inquiring about Ernie Gwathney.]

The big non-sports story in those days had to do with the energy crunch. The long gas lines were creating a real safety hazard. [Picture like at the corner of Morris and Springfield.] So Common Council came up with a plan…they weren’t going to allow anyone to get gas until 9:30 a.m.! Obviously, this created problems of its own kind, seeing as how those going to work couldn’t tank up beforehand. Gas station owners said they were receiving 25 to 40 percent less in their gasoline allotments.

This period also saw the death of Adolph Root, founder of Roots clothing store, at the age of 82. It’s kind of funny how he ended up opening the store in Summit. He was initially looking for a location in Westfield, took a wrong turn on Route 22, and ended up in Summit. He opened Roots in 1931, with the first location actually being where Brooks ended up, then in the late 1950s he moved across the street. Mr. Root was a Lithuanian who came to the United States in the early 1900s.

Property taxes were going up 5.8% with rising spending at the high school cited as the prime reason. A starting salary for a teacher back in ’74 was $9,300.

At the Strand, nature film “Vanishing Wilderness.”

Next installment, July 10.

BT

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