American Idol returns for its 14th season in 2015 with judges Keith Urban, Jennifer Lopez
and Harry Connick, Jr., with Ryan Seacrest who has hosted the show since its inception.
American Idol started its 14th season, by drawing 4 million fewer viewers, than they attracted for the first show of Season 13. That was a decline of 25 percent from the Season 13 premiere. The show reached its peak in Season 6, when they attracted 37.44 million viewers for the premiere that year in 2007.
The premiere this year attracted 26 million fewer viewers, than watched the show in 2007.
Randy Jackson, who was a mentor during Season 13 won’t be seen in Season 14, unless it is in a guest appearance, since he is no longer employed by the show.
There should be no Coca-Cola cups at the judge’s table in Season 14, since Coca-Cola no longer is a sponsor.
The Voice Providing Competition
The Voice on NBC has attracted more viewers recently, than American Idol, but The Voice has had less success in launching careers of their winning contestants.
Season 8 of The Voice premieres on February 23, 2015, so the two shows will be on different nights.
I have watched American Idol since Season 2, so will probably go down with American Idol ship, when it sinks out of sight in the next year or two. I like the chairs turning around gimmick on The Voice, but not a fan of the battle rounds competition. Not to say it isn’t a good show….it is just my loyalty to American Idol supersedes that of The Voice.
Aftermath for American Idol Winners
American Idol has had some winners like Kelly Clarkson and Carrie Underwood, that have sold millions of albums, but then they have their share of singers like Phillip Phillips who made second albums, that didn’t sell nearly as well as their first album, as shown in this Billboard.com review of his sales for his second album:
Previous Album’s First Week:The World From the Wrong Side of the Moon, 169,000
Year-to-Date Sales: 123,000
Why It Looks Bad: The American Idol champ’s debut was buoyed by a hit single, “Home,” something his second has yet to produce. And more than a regular artist, people expect a sophomore slump from an Idol champ — so his low first-week tally wasn’t a good look.
Counterpoint: Like 50’s album, the year-to-date total sales for Behind the Lightaren’t terrible. In fact, with the holidays approaching, sales for Phillips’ second are higher than they’ve been in weeks, suggesting there’s life in the album yet.
Scotty McCreery is now 21, after winning Season 10 four years ago. His album and single sales have done well, with him his first album Clear Day going platinum and his second album Christmas With Scotty McCreery earning a gold album certification.
Caleb Johnson Season 13 Winner
Caleb Johnson, who won Season 13 has seen his singing career get off to a very slow start, as indicated by this entry about his first album at Wikipedia:
The album debuted on Billboard 200 at No. 24 with 11,000 copies sold in its debut week, giving him the distinction of having the lowest first week sales and inaugural chart position of any American Idol winner.Johnson also has the distinction of being the first American Idol winner to have their Idol coronation song, “As Long as You Love Me,” fail to chart on the Billboard Hot 100 charts.
On the other hand Kelly Clarkson has released six albums and all six have gone platinum and have peaked at either #1, #2 or #3 on the album charts. She has recorded four #1 hits.
Carrie Underwood has recorded 12 #1 hits on the country charts.
It doesn’t seem possible that it has been 10 years, since Carrie Underwood won Season 4 of American Idol in 2005. All four of her albums have gone platinum. It is hard to believe, that she hasn’t recorded an album since 2012, so we should see another Carrie Underwood album released, in the not too distant future. Her 12 #1 hits is the most recorded by any of the American Idol winners.
Results Show Shortened To Half Hour
The Fox network will be shortening the Thursday night results show of American Idol, to half an hour in Season 14. It will be a welcome relief, to American Idol fans, who were tiring of all the filler used in the results show in past seasons. Ryan Seacrest won’t have so much time to stretch out the drama, of who will be going home that night.
Ryan Seacrest has promised that Season 14 will have great talent, but American Idol fans will believe that, when they see and hear the shows.
I personally believe this is the best set of judges since the debut of the show. It will be nice to not hear “Yo dog” and “In it to win it” in Season 14, even though we didn’t hear it in Season 13 either. It is a huge improvement over the train wreck of a judging panel, when Nicki Minaj and Mariah Carey took their battle public and overshadowed the contestants, by their constant bickering.
The back stories for the contestants are what make American Idol so great in my book. Like the blind man, who sang a Spanish song for Jennifer Lopez on last week’s show. He may not be the next American Idol, but he will be one of the highlights of Season 14 for me.
So far this season the focus has been more on the talented singers, and less on the singers who have no talent. We know the judges just see a small percent of the singers, since they have others, that weed out the less than prime-time ready singers.
The Voice may have passed American Idol in the ratings, but American Idol will be the show I watch, till it fades out for the last time.
By this time next year we should know if Season 14 has produced another Caleb Johnson or another Carrie Underwood, or a singer somewhere in the middle of the two singers.
I want to wish Merry Christmas to the readers of Nostalgia and Now. 869,796 visits have been made to the page, since it was started in April of 2009.
8,932 visits were made to the page in the partial year of 2009, while 60,455 visits were made in the first full year of 2010.
2014 has been a good year, thanks to our readers who visited the page 247,101 times, so far in 2014.
I have tried to write the posts, without offending anyone. I will print any comments, that are made without the use of cursing or personally attacking anyone. I don’t expect everyone to agree, with what I write, but I request that any that disagree, to disagree in a respectful way.
The last couple of years have not been easy, since finding out I had Stage III duodenal cancer in October of 2012. So have not been posting, as often but want to thank the readers, for their continuing loyalty.
I have almost ran out of nostalgic topics to write about, so appreciate any input by readers of ideas for nostalgic articles.
I have been hearing the same Christmas songs, for most of my life, but never tire of them. I know I will leave out some great Christmas songs, but will list some of my all-time favorite Christmas songs with name and writer/writers of the songs.
White Christmas 1940 – Irving Berlin
This is one of most well-known Christmas songs. 50 million copies of this song have been sold, which makes it the best-selling song of all time.
Irving Berlin wrote White Christmas in 1940, but there is some question, if that is the correct date. Berlin told his secretary, that he had just written the best song ever written. That was saying something, since Berlin had written a lot of very well-known songs over the year. Bing Crosby was the first to sing this song, when he sang it on Christmas Day 1941, on his radio show. It is ironic that the song was first sung just 18 days, after Pearl Harbor had been bombed.
500 versions of the song have been recorded.
Blue Christmas 1948 – Billy Hayes, J.W. Johnson
Doye O’Dell was the first singer to record Blue Christmas, but Ernest Tubb took it to #1 on the Most Played Country Juke Box Records chart, in January of 1950. Elvis Presley recorded it in 1957. I like both the Ernest Tubb and Elvis Presley versions best of the over 65 recorded versions.
O Holy Night 1843 – Placide Cappeau
It is amazing that the songwriter Placide Cappeau was an atheist, and it is surprising, that an atheist could write such power words and music. This is one of my favorite Christmas songs, to hear sung at Christmas. John Sullivan Dwight, who was an Unitarian minister wrote the song for singing in 1855. O Holy Night was the second song, to be heard in radio history. Tenor Enrico Caruso recorded, what is the most famous version of the song in 1916. It isn’t Christmas, if this song is not heard at least once, during the Christmas season.
Please Come Home For Christmas 1960 – Charles Brown, Eugene Redd
I am surprised that Please Come Home For Christmas peaked at #76 on the Hot 100 Billboard chart. Some people refer to the song as “Bells Will Be Ringing”. The Eagles recorded the song in 1978 and it went to #18 on the Billboard chart. I never get tired of hearing this song sung and it starts like this:
Bells will be ringing the sad, sad news
Oh what a Christmas to have the blues
My baby’s gone, I have no friends
To wish me greetings once again
Choirs will be singin’ ‘Silent Night’
Christmas carols by candlelight
Please come home for Christmas
Please come home for Christmas
If not for Christmas by New Year’s night
Friends and relations send salutation
Sure as the stars shine above
But this is Christmas, yes Christmas my dear
It’s the time of year to be with the one you love
I’ll Be Home For Christmas 1943 – Kim Gannon, Walter Kent, Buck Ram
Bing Crosby was the first to record I’ll Be Home For Christmas in 1943. It was recorded during World War II, to honor servicemen overseas, who weren’t able to come home for Christmas. I know firsthand, how this song hits home, since I spent Christmas in Hawaii in 1963, 1964 and 1965. I played the song on my record player in Hawaii, but it wasn’t well received by the other soldiers in the barracks, who said they didn’t want to be reminded, that they would be going home for Christmas. The Crosby version peaked at # 3 on the Billboard chart.
Astronauts Frank Borman and Jim Lovell requested this song be played, while on a Gemini 7 mission, in December of 1965. My personal favorite recording of the song was by Johnny Mathis.
O Little Town of Bethlehem 1868 – Phillips Brooks, Lewis Redner
Phillips Brooks was inspired by visiting Bethlehem in 1865, and three years later in 1868 wrote the words to O Little Town of Bethlehem. His church organist Lewis Redner wrote the tune for the song. I like this song so much, that I have sang it often, over the years for special music at church. The song conjures up images of how it was on the night Christ was born in Bethlehem.
Christmas In My Hometown
There is little information about Christmas In My Hometown, but did find out the writer was Lassaye Van Buren Holmes. My favorite version of the song was the Bobby Vinton version, but Charley Pride also recorded an excellent version of the song. This song reminds me of the times we used to travel, to spend Christmas Eve and Christmas with family, as far as 200 miles away over the years.
Christmas in Dixie 1982 – Jeff Cook, Teddy Gentry, Randy Owen, Mark Herndon
By now in New York City, there’s snow on the ground
And out in California, the sunshine’s falling down
And, maybe down in Memphis, Graceland’s all in lights
And in Atlanta, Georgia, there’s peace on earth tonight
Christmas in Dixie, it’s snowin’ in the pines
Merry Christmas from Dixie, to everyone tonight
It’s windy in Chicago the kids are out of school
There’s magic in Motown the city’s on the move
In Jackson, Mississippi, to Charlotte, Caroline
And all across the nation, it’s the peaceful Christmas time
Christmas in Dixie, it’s snowin’ in the pines
Merry Christmas from Dixie, to everyone tonight
And from Fort Payne, Alabama
God bless y’all, we love ya
Happy New Year, good night
Merry Christmas, Merry Christmas tonight
Christmas in Dixie not only had great words in the song written, by the members of Alabama in 1982, but also made me think of what it was like living in Knoxville, Tennessee, during the Christmases of 2007, 2008 and 2009. This is the kind of song, that will take a listener back in time, to the good old days in the south, when families spent Christmas together.
The Christmas Song 1944 – Bob Wells, Mel Torme
The Christmas Song was first recorded by the Nat King Cole Trio in 1946. This song is special for me, since I was born in 1944 and the song was written that year, by Bob Wells and Mel Torme. It is strange, that Torme wrote the song, but didn’t record it himself till later.
The song has been recorded from artists like Trace Adkins, to Justin Bieber, to Garth Brooks, to James Brown, to Glen Campbell, to Frank Sinatra, to Bob Dylan, to New Kids on the Block, to George Strait. My favorite version is by the great Johnny Mathis, who has been recording for 58 years now and is 79 years old.
Jingle Bell Rock 1958 – Joseph Carleton Beal, James Ross Boothe
Bobby Helms recorded Jingle Bell Rock in 1957 and it was released in 1958. Brenda Lee later recorded it. This is one song you can almost be sure of hearing, at least once during the Christmas season. It has been recorded numerous times, by artists from many different genres of music, from Alvin and the Chipmunks to Dr. Teeth and the Electric Mayhem.
All I Want For Christmas Is My Two Front Teeth 1944 – Donald Yetter Gardner
Donald Yetter Gardner wrote the novelty song All I Want For Christmas Is My Two Front Teeth in 1944. He was a second grade teacher, who asked the kids in his class, what they wanted for Christmas, and noticed most of them were missing at least one tooth. It gave him the idea to write the song and he was surprised it became a national hit.
Spike Jones and his madcap band the City Slickers were the first to record the song. It wasn’t until 1947, when Spike and his band recorded the song.
The song has been recorded by a diverse range of singers from Alvin and the Chipmunks to George Strait. I just can’t imagine George Strait singing this song. The writer Gardner preferred the Nat King Cole version. The song went to #1 twice for Spike Jones and the City Slickers.
I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus – Tommy Connor
Jimmy Boyd was 13 years old when he recorded I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus in 1952. The song went to #1 on the Billboard Singles chart in December of 1952. The song was condemned by the Roman Catholic Church in Boston, until Boyd explained the premise of the song to the Archdiocese and the ban was lifted.
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer 1949 – Johnny Marks
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer was based on the Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer story written for Montgomery Ward. Johnny Marks wrote the song in 1949 and Harry Brannon first sang it on a radio program in November, then . Gene Autry recorded it in December of 1949. The song made history, by becoming the first song to fall completely off the chart, after reaching #1.
Bing Crosby recorded the song in 1950 and the song reached #14 on the Billboard chart. Dolly Parton and the Rugrats were two of many singers or groups to record the song over the years.
Jimmy Boyd would appear a few years later, in the Bachelor Father television series and is shown the above photo, with John Forsythe and Noreen Corcoran, whose character was his love interest in the show.
Adeste Fideles (O Come All Ye Faithful) 1600’s or 1700’s – Writer unknown
Adeste Fideles or O Come All Ye Faithful, as it is known in the United States has an unverified history, so there is no known date of it being written, nor is the identity of the writer known. This article explains, why the origin of this so song is so questionable. One thing that is known is that it is one of the most sung songs in churches and also sung by carolers.
I was born in 1944 in West Lafayette, Indiana and moved to Pineville, Louisiana, before my 2nd birthday in 1946, so my dad could teach chemistry at Louisiana College.
My first memory of Pineville was starting the first grade at Pineville Elementary in 1950 and walking the mile to school. I did ride the bus in the second grade, until the day I didn’t get off, at my stop and wound up in Libuse, Louisiana, which was about a ten-mile walk back home. Needless to say I never rode a bus to school after that incident. The bus driver was Harold Price, who drove a school bus many years.
I remember being in the class of Mrs. Eva Price, if I recall her first name right. One of my best friends in first grade was Robert Cavanaugh, who would later run track for Pineville High School and LSU. Then later Dr. Cavanaugh would become the chancellor of LSU in Alexandria and was responsible for it becoming a four-year college.
One thing I remember about the first grade is the ten-cent lunches. The price has probably gone up to 15 cents some 63 years later.
The second grade through fourth grade years sort of ran together, with no standout memories from those years. I do remember my second grade teacher being Mrs. Frankie Reed, third grade teacher being Mrs. Clarice Ellis and fourth grade teacher was Mrs. Etta O’Neal.
My fifth grade teacher was Mrs.Mabel Powell and my main memory of that year was that I played my first Little League game the last day of school. I played for Bates Insurance Co. team that year and made a shoestring catch in that first game off of a ball hit by Luther Richardson. Think I was more surprised, than anyone else that I caught the ball.
Mrs. Scivique (sp) was my sixth grade teacher if I remember right, but can’t remember her first name. Grady Harper was my seventh grade teacher and I think Robert Cespiva was my eighth grade teacher, but not sure of that.
1957 was a year that stood out, since that was the year Hurricane Audrey hit the Pineville area that June. I can remember Jim Gaines of KALB radio giving the latest reports about the hurricane. One memory is that we had no power for three days and my dad went to Jimmie Hoyt’s to buy some dry ice.
1957 Trip To Maine
My most vivid memory of 1957 didn’t take place in Pineville, since my dad and my older brother took a trip to Maine that summer. The trip was an education in itself, as we stopped at tourist stops like Rock City and can remember the signs saying SEE ROCK CITY on the roofs of barns along the way. We also saw many Burma Shave signs on the trip.
Stopping at Mount Vernon was one of the highlights, while Washington, D.C. was the place that I remember best. We went inside the Capitol building and saw Congress in action, saw the U.S. Mint making bills and visited the National Archive building. We also visited the White House, Lincoln Memorial and the Washington Monument. The Smithsonian Institution was particularly interesting, where we saw the Spirit of St. Louis hanging from the ceiling. The last place I remember seeing was the Library of Congress.
Having been an avid baseball fan it was a thrill to see a major league game in Connie Mack Stadium, which was my first game to ever see. Saw future Hall of Famers like Roberto Clemente and Richie Ashburn in the game that, plus another Hall of Famer Bill Mazeroski hit a home run that landed on tin roof above us in left field bleachers.
We also went to the planetarium in the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia and saw the Liberty Bell.
New York City was a place I will never forget and have not been there in the last 56 years. The main thing I can remember is seeing drunks lying on sidewalk in the Bowery District. That is something a 12 year-old kid always remembers.
We drove on to Beverly, Massachusetts, which was our next destination, since my Dad was there for the American Chemical Society convention there. I remember stopping at a Howard Johnson’s Restaurant with the famous orange roof and was impressed that they had 31 flavors of ice cream.
While in the area we were able to see the House of Seven Gables and Cape Cod.
The convention dealt with such topics as radiocarbon dating of trees and many other topics, that a 12 year-old would never comprehend.
Then we went on to Maine to see my Uncle John for the first time and I think the only time. It would be the only time to see my Maine relatives, since my cousin Jim would die in Vietnam in the 60’s, while piloting a helicopter and was shot down.
We stopped in Millville, New Jersey to pick up my Dad’s mom and while there saw my Grandpa Godfrey for the first and only time, while he was in the hospital. That reminds me of the times pranksters would call his grocery store and ask if he had Prince Albert in cans and then when he said yes, they would say then let him out.
The first and only stop on the way back home was Warsaw, Kentucky and Dad drove almost non-stop from there to Pineville, since school started the same day we got back home.
I don’t remember this but my mom told me I had gotten out of the A&P Grocery store at the age of three and walked down to the Murray Street Bridge. George Huffman a Pineville policeman, according to my mom said when he took me off the bridge that he was going to put me in jail, if it ever happened again. I probably didn’t even know what a jail was at that time, since we wouldn’t even have a television till six years later.
We didn’t have a television till I was about 9 years old and the only reason we got one was because, of my sister’s eye doctor prescribed it for her, so she could use both eyes and we had a polaroid screen on one side to make her use her “lazy” eye.
Being on Cactus Jack with Jack McCall hosting the show on KALB TV was one of my memories from this period and being in the Cub Scouts was another and I can remember riding in the Alexandria Christmas Parade one year.
George Huffman was part of another memory, when we thought our cat may have had rabies, so he tried to shoot at it with a shotgun under the house, but missed and the cat lived happily ever after.
My folks liked to go to Berwick’s Drug Store in downtown Pineville. The dilapidated building was not like Walgreen’s stores of today, but they must have had good prices on prescriptions.
Plane Crashes During Little League Game
One night we were playing a Little League game at Sandy Canyon, when I heard someone say “That plane’s going to crash” and we could see the plane heading downward and it landed near the Memorial Cemetery for veterans about a block from Main Street in downtown Pineville.
Pineville Elementary Burns Down
Pineville Elementary burned down shortly after I finished the eighth grade. This photo shows the firemen battling the blaze:
The story as it appeared in the Alexandria Daily Town Talk the next day:
Will never forget riding the mile from home to the fire that night. News traveled fast back then, even without any media coverage to speak of.
Fast Thinking Commercial Spokesman
Will never forget Larry McHale of KALB TV, who was ordinarily a newsman, but was advertising the virtues of a certain brand of cigarettes. Then in the middle of the commercial he starts coughing and thinking fast said “Just the thinking of those other brands makes me cough”.
Daredevil Over Red River
One memory that stands out is when a motorcyclist ran across the Red River on a some kind of contraption, that enabled him to ride a motorcycle. Anyone there that day is welcome to give their version of what happened that day.
College Drive Baptist Church Founded in 1947
Think we were living on Lawrence Boulevard, when College Drive Baptist Church was founded in 1947. It is now 66 years old and was located close to Louisiana College. I can remember J. Taylor Walworth as the founding pastor, when we joined in 1948. He is one of the few people in my life that never changed and looked the same shortly before his death many years later.
Can remember when Harvey McGraw was the education superintendent and a Sunday, which had 237 people present in Sunday School. It was a different time back then when fewer Louisiana College students had their own car, so they naturally walked to the church, which was closest to the college. As the years went by and more students had their own vehicles attendance started to fall. Students then could drive to the bigger churches in Alexandria and Pineville.
Starting Pineville High School in 1958
It was a huge change going from elementary school to high school and it took time to get used to moving from class to class all day at Pineville High. Went to summer school for three years, but graduated from Pineville High in September of 1962.
State Football Champions in 1960
The highlight of my high school years was when the Pineville High Rebels won the state football championship in 1960. Coach Jimmy Keeth and assistant Coach Vernon Beall led the team to a year, that the coaches and players will never forget. I think Coach Gene Millet was also a coach that year, but not positive. There has not been another championship football team from Pineville High School in the last 53 years making that year even more special.
Said Goodbye to Pineville in October of 1962
I joined the United States Army Reserve in 1962 and went to Fort Polk, Louisiana for basic training. Finished basic shortly before Christmas, then about two weeks later boarded a train at the Missouri Pacific station for Indianapolis,Indiana and headed for the brutal Indian winter, with snow on the ground in Indianapolis, when I arrived in January of 1963.
Returned home again from the Adjutant General School in Indianapolis in April of 1963. It didn’t take long to get tired of going to Army Reserve meetings, so joined the Regular Army for a three year enlistment in May of 1963 and would only come home in October of 1964 and 1965, before being honorably discharged in May of 1966 after a tour of duty in Hawaii and Vietnam.
Town Talk Employment
It was later in 1966, when I would be employed by the Alexandria Daily Town Talk, not having any idea that I would be working there for 36 years with two years working for the Monroe Morning World from 1974-1976 leaving Town Talk for an $8 a week raise, but Monroe paper had me working so much overtime, that I earned $5,000 more than I had earned with Town Talk the year before. Elvis Presley, indirectly helped me get the job in Monroe. We were in Monroe to see Elvis Presley and happened to drive by the newspaper and I wound up mailing in a job application, which was accepted.
More Memories of Pineville in the 50’s and 60’s
I remember we didn’t worry about how hot it was, because we didn’t know what air conditioning was and didn’t have one till the late 60’s. We only had one television station the first few years, before Alpine Cable came to town.
We would go out Highway 28 on our bicycles, since there was not much traffic. Nowadays it would be foolish to try to ride a bike on that same road today.
I can remember the Star Theater on Main Street catching on fire and Chief Crazy Horse and Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde were on the marquee that day.
Think it was still in the 60’s when Louisiana College ended their football program, due to lack of attendance at the games. I can remember the names of some players from back then like Clayton and Harry Bullard, Bill Mount, David Corley, Harry Ingalls, Frank Mobley, Gene Southern, Jim Jossick and Moose Munyan and of course Hamburger Harrison.
I remember George Huffman and Gus Perry from the Pineville Police Department and for some reason those are the only names I can recall.
Will never forget T.C. Brister who owned a sporting goods store letting me pay $6 for a $6.50 Nokona baseball glove, because that was all the money I had with me.
Can remember going to the display window of Jimmy Walker’s Appliance to watch television at night. I can remember visiting neighbors who had a television, which only got a New Orleans station and the picture was mostly snow, but a better picture would appear from time to time.
Trips to A&W Root Beer stand in Alexandria were a special treat. Those frosty mugs filled with root beer always hit the spot.
It is good to know that the same Martin Library we used to go to in the 50’s and 60’s is still operating many years later.
Remember well walking to Jack’s to buy the Sporting News baseball newspaper for a quarter on way home from high school.
Can remember the KALB radio record hops with the Big Bopper appearing a year or two before his death in a plane crash,which also killed Buddy Holly in Iowa.
Who can forget Mr. Pendergrast walking down the street with his top hat? There were rumors that he was rich, but not sure if he was or not. He sure didn’t live like a rich man.
Hope this article revives memories of what it was like growing up in Pineville in the 50’s and 60’s.
For some reason my memory of the 1986-1990 period in my life is drawing a blank for the most part. Anyone with memories of what happened in Pineville-Alexandria during these years are welcome to comment.
1986 – Halley’s comet appeared in 1986 and won’t reappear till the year 2061. It had last appeared before 1986 in 1911. IBM launches the first laptop computer 27 years ago. Smoking was banned on all public transportation, in the United States which had to be tough for smokers on coast to coast airplane flights. The nicotine patch was invented in 1986. A Plymouth Colt could be purchased for $4,999. A gallon of gas only cost 89 cents. Average rent was $385 a month. Top Gun, Platoon and Crocodile Dundee were popular movies in 1986.
1987 – A Private First Class in the Army was earning $9,385.20 a year. When I joined the Army in 1962 a recruit earned $936 a year as a E-1. A gallon of gas was 89 cents, the same price as in 1986. The U.S. stock market crashed on October 19 with a 508 point drop. Fox Broadcasting made its debut 26 years ago. A seven-day Caribbean cruise cost $1195.
1988 – The price of a gallon of gasoline remained relatively stable, rising to only 91 cents, after being 89 cents the previous two years. Movie tickets were $3.50 and average rent was now $420. Yellowstone National Park had 250 separate fires in 1988 that destroyed 793,880 acres of the park, which was a third of the total acreage of the park. A Logitech mouse cost $89.99, while a Amiga 500 with a color monitor cost $849.
1989 – I had surgery in July of 1989 at Rapides Hospital. I would be off work for six weeks. I would then work from 1989-2004 at the Town Talk , while missing a total of one day of work and was in the hospital that day, after being admitted from emergency room, due to emergency room physician thinking I may had a blood clot, but it turned out to be a muscle tear. I think I got my work ethic from my dad who didn’t miss a day of work over a 40 year period.
That same month before the surgery I had gone to grocery store to get snacks to watch the 1989 All Star game. By the time I got back an earthquake had hit the San Francisco area and film was being shown of the players leaving the stadium with their families. Then we saw hours of coverage of the devastation in the area. Hard to believe 24 years have passed since that date.
Other big news in 1989 is that the Yugo cars went bankrupt. The Yugo is 39th on the list of worst cars in history. One feature was the rear window defroster, which kept your hands warm, while you pushed it. The car looked like it had been assembled at gunpoint. The article also has this to say about the Yugo:
The engines went ka-blooey, the electrical system — such as it was — would sizzle, and things would just fall off.
1990 – I think this is the year my son Steve played football for the Pineville High School Rebels. He played end and endured practices from summer till the end of the season, but only played in the last game of the season, for only one play and the worst thing is that his mom had left the stadium, by the time he played in the game and I was at work, so no family member was there to see him in that one play. I still respect his work ethic to stick with it all season, even if he didn’t get to play but in that one play.
Gasoline had skyrocketed to $1.34 by 1990. Today gasoline is in the $3.25 range in our area. A Super Nintendo cost $159. Cabbage Patch Kids were $29.99. A six volt Batman car could be purchased for $199 and had a top speed of 3 MPH. A Smith Corona Daisy Wheel Typewriter could be purchased for $179, while a cellular car phone could be bought for $325.
There are a lot of very funny old-time radio programs, but the best Christmas drama I have heard is “A Daddy For Christmas”. It is one of the most heartwarming Christmas shows ever and as far as I know, it has never been made into a television show.
If someone listens to this show and doesn’t tear up, then something is seriously wrong.
The show which was broadcast on December 15, 1948, on the Family Theater program may be 64 years old, but it will still touch the hearts of those, who celebrate Christmas today.
Bobby Driscoll who plays Stevie in the program had made his movie debut in 1943 at the age of 6 and went on to star in Disney movies. Driscoll acquired a drug habit in high school and died at the early age of 31.
It seems like it was only yesterday that we were shopping at the S.H. Kress store in downtown Alexandria, Louisiana.
The original store was built on Third Street and would later be replaced by a new structure on the same street.
When we were kids, we did most of our Christmas shopping at stores like Kress where you could buy a lot of stuff with very little money.
The Christmas tree would have a lot of presents under it, but most of them would be from stores like Kress, Morgan and Lindsey and Ben Franklin.
One of my fondest memories is that of smelling the popcorn cooking in the popcorn machine in the store.
S.H. Kress stores became a center of controversy, when they refused to let blacks sit at their lunch counters and were sued numerous times for that refusal.
Part of growing up in central Louisiana were trips to the Kress store on Third Street in downtown Alexandria.
The first Kress store was opened in Nanticoke, Pennsylvania in 1887. Kress became a chain of 5-10-25 cent stores in 1896. Genesco purchased Kress in 1964 and 17 years later the company would no longer exist in the United States, and ceased operation in 1981. It missed by six years of surviving for 100 years.
Alexandria would see many other stores like Kress closed when their companies went out of business. Other chain stores that were located in Alexandria or Pineville including, W.T. Grant, Woolworth’s, Woolco, Ben Franklin, Morgan and Lindsey and many more that ended their presence in Alexandria or Pineville.
It has been thirty years now since Kress went out of the retail business. It was the same year that President Reagan took office on January 20 and would be shot in an assassination attempt by John Hinckley on March 30 of that year.
Other events that year include:
May 13 –
Pope John Paul II is shot and almost killed by a Turkish gunman inside Vatican City.
August 1 – MTV is launched.
October 6 – President of Egypt Anwar Sadat is assassinated during a parade.
December 28- Elizabeth Jordan Carr becomes the first test tube baby to be born and grew up to be a newspaper journalist.