Memories of a Lifetime: 1996-2000

1996 – The Smith family sold the Town Talk to Central Newspapers for $62 million

The minimum wage was raised to $5.15, which was an improvement over the $1.40 minimum wage of 1966, when I was hired by the Town Talk.

March 13, 1996 – A gunman killed a teacher and 16 five and six-year-old children in Dunblane Scotland, which was eerily similar to the Sandy Hook tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut 16 years later in 2012.

Bomb explodes during 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, Georgia.

Ebay starts their auction website 17 years ago.

Gas cost $1.22 a gallon, which is about $2 a gallon cheaper than the $3.25 gasoline of today. A driver could save about $40 a fill-up in 1996 compared to 2013 prices, for a 20 gallon purchase.

Bread cost $1.15 a loaf.

1997 – Was chosen to be song leader at College Drive Baptist Church in Pineville, Louisiana and would remain in that position, till we moved to Tennessee in 2007.  I want to thank Rev. Charles Harrell and Paul Bonnette for letting me lead the singing during those years. I also want to thank Mrs. Frances Faulk for being the pianist most of those years. She had played for Governor Jimmie Davis for many years.

One of the major stories of 1997 was when Princess Diana was killed in a car accident 16 years ago. Mother Theresa also died in 1997 at the age of 87.

Microsoft became the most valuable company in the world and was valued at $261 billion.

Woolworth closes their last discount stores in 1997.

A gallon of gasoline remained steady holding at the $1.22 price of 1996. A pound of hamburger meat cost $1.38. Average rent climbed to $576 and a movie ticket cost $4.59.

 

1998 – Had a very short marriage in 1998 to a con artist, who left town with my credit cards and checkbook and our marriage license, plus ran my phone bill up to over $1,000 making calls to her boyfriend in Florida. The less said about her the better. Found out she had disappeared when I returned from family reunion in Gatlinburg, Tennessee and found the huge telephone bill waiting for me in the mailbox.

Think this was the summer that was so hot, that temperatures over 100 were common that summer. After not using the air conditioner since May of 1992, I was forced to plug-in the air conditioner, because of the extreme heat.

A gallon of gasoline dropped to $1.15 a drop of seven cents from the 1997 price.

Grocery Prices of 1998:

Loaf of bread – $1.26

Pound of bacon – $2.53

Pound of hamburger meat – $1.40

Dozen eggs – 88 cents

Average rent skyrocketed to $619 a month.

Grandson Matthew ready to travel to All Star game while playing for Ward 10 in Tioga a few years ago.

 

1999 – My first grandson Matthew Geisel was born on February 19, 1999 at Rapides Hospital in Alexandria, Louisiana to my daughter Debbie and son-in-law George. Matthew will be 14 next month and has done well in sports at the middle school in Groves, Texas and has played baseball in the Little League and Babe Ruth League. This will be his 11th season of youth baseball and he hopes to make the Port Neches – Groves high school team in 2014.  He has played football, basketball and track while in middle school. He played quarterback for the Groves Middle School 8th grade team. Matthew had runs of 18 and 50 yards in the game and totaled over 100 yards in the game. He played linebacker on defense and scooped up a fumble, while returning it to the end zone for a touchdown. Groves won the game 8-0 due to his fumble TD return.

Met my future wife Rhonda on the internet in 1999 and we would be married in 2000.

Lance Armstrong won his first Tour de France. We will never know if he could have won without steroids, because steroids were an integral part of his training regimen.

Two boys 17 and 18 kill 15 in the Columbine school shooting in 1999.

Mattel’s Barbie Doll turns 40.

MySpace, Napster and Bluetooth came into existence in 1999 and all are 14 years old now.

Average rent continues to skyrocket to $645 after topping out at $619 in 1998.

The cost of a gallon rises seven cents as it  returns to the $1.22 price of 1996 and 1997.

Grocery Prices of 1999:

Pound of bacon – $2.59

Ground coffee – $3.41 a pound

Loaf of bread – $1.49

Dozen eggs – 89 cents

 

2000 – Married Rhonda on February 18, 2000 in College Drive Baptist Church by Rev. W.E.Efferson. We will have been married for 13 years on our anniversary in February. We would live on Burns Street in Pineville till we moved to Gibbons Street the following year.

Lifespan in United States in 2000 is 77.5 years.

President Bush would win the 2000 Presidential election, due to few hanging chads here and there. Democratic candidate Sen. Albert Gore polled 543,000 more popular votes, but lost the election by five electoral votes.

2000 was the year that dot-com bubble burst, as tech speculators lost thousands of dollars on companies that went bust.

Y2K starts with no serious problems.

Barrel of crude  oil tops $30 a barrel, while a gallon of gas rises to $1.26 a four cent increase, over the 1999 price.

Average rent prices escalated to $675 a year. Average rent had been $619 in 1998 and $645 in 1999, so prices had increased  $56 a month in two years time.

Grocery Prices of 2000:

Pound of bacon – $2.97

Ground coffee – $3.44 a pound.

Loaf of bread – $1.72

Dozen eggs – 89 cents

 

 

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Author: Andrew Godfrey

Retired from newspaper work after 38 years. Had served in the Army in Hawaii and Vietnam in the 60's. Am now retired and living in Sulphur, Louisiana.

2 thoughts on “Memories of a Lifetime: 1996-2000”

  1. Maryanne, Thanks for the compliment about my grandson. He is hoping to play in the major leagues someday. He loves being on the baseball field and two years ago he hit a home run in All Star game in Texas that put his team ahead 1-0 which was the only run they needed, since they won 3-0. It was his first home run in 10 years of playing at the time.

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