Memories of a Lifetime: 1991-1995

1991 – Visited my sister Jane and her family during the summer of 1991 in Pueblo, Colorado. My son Kenny and brother Tom also were on the trip.  My brother Daniel drove us up Pike’s Peak and will never forget how cold it was at the top. The brakes overheated on the way down, so had to let them cool off a few minutes.

Driving through Raton Pass with an altitude of 7,834 in a four-cylinder Toyota was not easy as we gained altitude. Enjoyed the time with my sister and her family while in Colorado. Jane is an executive with the Pueblo Library and we had the chance to visit the library.

911 emergency number was being tested during the year and the airbag was invented. Gasoline was being sold for $1.12 a gallon.

1992 – This was a sad year as my 22 year marriage to Elaine ended, with her moving back to Texarkana, Arkansas. Had to file bankruptcy after she left, so I could pay bills. It would be the first of six years with no air conditioning. We had one, just never used it, since had to choose between air conditioning and eating and eating won that battle. Ate cheese sandwiches most of the time and can’t remember going out to eat during this time.

With the Town Talk garnishing my wages to pay the bankruptcy and paying child support there was little money left for anything, but the bare necessities of life.

The divorce was finalized and it was sad to spend Christmas without the family for the first time since 1972, the year when Steve was born.

Bill Clinton was elected president in 1992 and Miley Cyrus was born and will be 21 in November of 2013.  The cost of gasoline dropped from $1.12 in 1991 to $1.05 in 1992.

1993 – Flew to Knoxville, Tennessee this year with the financial assistance of my brother, to be present when Tusculum College in Greeneville, Tennessee honored my dad by naming a chemistry laboratory after him. Enjoyed hearing his students and others tell of my dad’s contributions to the Chemistry department at Tusculum. Then they served a dinner in his honor, which capped off a great evening.

My daughter Debbie missed by one word of making the National Spelling Bee in 1993. I was there that night in my alma mater Pineville High School auditorium, as she battled round after round before misspelling the final word.

I don’t handle change well and had a major change at Town Talk, when I was moved from composing room to camera shop, after having worked in composing room since 1966. I have to admit I was lost as I had to learn how to operate a full-page camera, tone photos and strip in negatives using the four-color process. The negatives had to have perfectly matched register marks, or the photos would be out of focus, which could be seen easily by readers if not aligned properly.

The price of gasoline rose to $1.16 a gallon, an increase of 11 cents a gallon compared with 1992 prices. Movie tickets had risen to $4.14 and a loaf of bread cost $1.57.

Harley Davidson motorcycles observed their 90th anniversary in 1993, which means they will observe their 110th anniversary in 2013. Beanie babies were first sold in 1993 and are now collector’s items twenty years later.

1994 – Remember watching O.J. Simpson and the low-speed chase by police as they followed him to his home. He was eventually arrested and charged with the murders of Nicole Simpson and Ron Goldman. This is the year that Tonya Harding had someone hit her ice skating opponent Nancy Kerrigan in the knee, hoping to gain an advantage over her injured opponent.

Can remember Bud Selig saying the dreaded words that there would be no 1994 World Series, due to a lengthy baseball strike. I had the feeling Selig almost enjoyed cancelling the World Series, as he seemed to be letting the players know that he was in charge.

The cost of gasoline dropped to $1.09 a drop of seven cents from the 1993 price.  The first satellite digital television service was launched in 1994 and Netscape was the leading browser that year.

1995 – College Drive Baptist Church lost their pastor Mark Norwood who had accepted another job with a church in North Louisiana, when Warren Steadman became the pastor that fall.

1995 was one of my favorite years since the Atlanta Braves, who I had been following since 1978 defeated the Cleveland Indians in the 1995 World Series. It was the first Braves win in a World Series, since the 1957 Milwaukee Braves defeated the New York Yankees in the 1957 World Series. The win over the Indians was only the second World Series championship for the Braves in the last 55 years.

Gasoline was still selling at $1.09 the same price as the 1994 price. Postage stamps were now selling for 32 cents. I remember back in 1963, when I was selling stamps for a nickel each and a book of 20 stamps cost only a dollar. 32 years later the same 20 stamp book sold for $6.40. Fast forward to 2013 and stamps are approaching 50 cents a stamp and a book would cost $10 for a 20 stamp book.

The biggest tragedy of 1995 was when a truck bomb exploded, while killing 168 people at the Oklahoma City Federal Building. Timothy McVeigh would later be executed for his part in the crime.

750 Chicagoans would die in a heat wave, when temperatures reached 104 degrees for five straight days.

Windows 95 is released by Microsoft and DVD’s are introduced.

O.J. Simpson is found innocent of the Nicole Simpson and Ron Goldman murders and vows to catch the REAL killer. He searched golf courses all over the United States looking for the real killer, but was unsuccessful in locating the killer. He could have saved all that time and energy by looking at the mirror and finding the REAL killer there.

Grocery prices skyrocketed in 1995 as bread was selling for $1.15 a loaf. The days of buying five loaves for a $1 at the bread thrift store were now officially over. Ground coffee could be purchased for $4.07 a pound.

Average income was $35,900 a month except for Town Talk employees. I retired from Town Talk nine years later and never earned more than $28,000 a year, while working for the Town Talk.

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