4/4/73-4/19/73

While I intend to focus on high school stuff as much as possible, in going through the archives of the Summit Herald this week, I couldn’t help but notice a big story in the spring of ’73 that had to do with inflation. During the first week of April there was a national boycott of meat because of the high prices. How high? Remember, the consumer price index was running at about a 10% annualized rate in those days and food prices were up a staggering 26%, according to the Herald. So the feeling was, boycott meat, let supply build up, and then prices would come down. At the same time, President Nixon had instituted his wage-price controls that froze costs in many areas, including wages. [Most experts agreed later this was an unmitigated disaster.]

But locally, we had comments like this one from a Summit shopper. “I will not buy an ounce of meat this week even if I only had one egg left in the refrigerator.” Now take that, Mr. President.

As a result, outfits like Kings and the A&P reported sales of meat were off as much as 80%, but as the Herald editorialized, it was the family butcher who got hurt, while the supermarkets obviously had a diversified product line to help weather the storm.

I saw an ad for Linda’s Firesite Inn (remember that one?…loved the place…in Gillette) that read “Boycott Meat!”

Folks were also complaining then about the cost of a letter, 8 cents.

But, at the Livingston Mall, a 23″ RCA Color TV was on sale for $399. Why you could get a plasma TV for that amount these days….well, practically. Certainly a great flat screen.

In other news:

Dr. Wilton J. Hallock was the first recipient of the Elwood Cornog Memorial Award. Hallock received it for being the oldest living athlete from Summit High School, having graduated in 1917. Hallock participated in bowling, wrestling, baseball and swimming.

Elwood Cornog (our classmate Woody’s grandfather) coached four varsity sports at SHS from 1927-56. I saw Art Cotterell and he said, without knowing what I was working on, that Cornog should have had Tatlock Field named after him.

Did you know, classmates, that Ellen Rickard was a figure skating phenom? Ellen and Valerie Newton were starring in “1973 Funorama on Ice” at South Mountain Arena.

The alternative study program for high school seniors commenced in 1972 and was being discussed again at this time as to its effectiveness. Mrs. Stambolian was chairman of it. I played golf at the muni, myself, though I don’t think that was the point of it all.

The campaign to raise funds for new band uniforms was well underway with “Nickels for Music.” [Geezuz, hardly enough for those godawful rubbers some of us had to wear.] And the senior class was holding a car wash…all of $1.25.

The Varsity baseball team, defending Suburban Conference and Union County champions, finally played its first game after a number of rainouts and beat up on Berkeley Heights, 9-3, behind Jim Gross’ pitching and a grand slam by Colin Leisher.

But Coach Howie Anderson was still trying to figure out how to deal with the graduation of two outstanding hurlers, Roger Hudgins and Mike Reid. I’ve talked to Art C. and Ken Pott about Hudgins from time to time. He was as outstanding as any high school pitcher we can ever remember.

Anyway, by the week of 4/19 the baseball team was 2-1, having split its first two conference games with New Providence and West Orange; a 9-2 loss to NP behind Rich Allocco’s slugging, and a 10-6 win over West Orange. Yes, pitching had become a concern. And guess what? There was zero mention of Willie Wilson, now a junior, the first three contests. [Actually, it had as much to do with lousy reporting as anything else. If it doesn’t improve, I’m complaining to the Herald. Basketball coverage was outstanding then, after all.]

Lastly, there was this headline:

“Porno ‘Raid’ Hits Locally”

Seems that Summit was swept up in a county wide sweep as police enlisted a few of us youth to attempt buys for “lewd and obscene material” at the railroad station’s newsstand and Katz’. [Katz, for those of you who have been out of town for ages, is now Starbucks, but the newsstand moved across the street.]

More…June 7.

BT

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