50 Years Ago – August, 1972

50 Years Ago – August, 1972


August, 1972

Chief Warrant Officer Louis G. Theroux of Esmond retired from the Rhode Island National Guard after many years of service.

     Navy Petty Officer 3/c David R. Young Sr. of Greenville was serving aboard the aircraft carrier U.S.S. Intrepid.

     Members of Boy Scout Troop 14 of Greenville returned from a week of camping at Yawgoo Valley. Members earned various merit badges, and David Vianni and Steven Landi were accepted into the Order of the Arrow.

     On August 5, the annual Bluegill Derby was held at Slacks Reservoir, sponsored by the Slacks Reservoir Improvement Association. The Bluegill is a relatively small fish that feeds on smaller fish and insects, and in large numbers can upset the balance of the lakes ecosystem. The annual derby was held to control the Bluegill population in the reservoir.

     12-year-old Charles Miller of Greenville caught the largest number of fish weighing in at 23.5 pounds.

     Joanne Paquette, age 5, of Greenville, was crowned “Little Miss Bluegill”.

     On August 10, a large meteor passed within 36 miles of the Earth’s surface creating a spectacular sight over the western United States and Canada for one minute and forty seconds as it skipped off the atmosphere and went off into space. The event became known as “The Great Daylight Fireball”.

     If one went to the Apple Valley Cinema in August of 1972, they would have seen “What’s Up Doc?”, a romantic comedy starring Ryan O’Neal and Barbara Streisand; “Play It Again Sam” starring Woody Allen; “Nicholas and Alexandra”, an historical drama set in early 20th century Russia; and “The Godfather”, a crime drama with an all star cast.

     The William Winsor and Dorothy Dame elementary schools held “crazy hat” contests. Winners included Kerry Kerwin, Kathy Puleo, Robert Boyes, Susan Peloquin, and Lisa Sailiene.

     The Roger Williams Park Museum exhibited a life sized replica of the Apollo 15 Lunar Rover, courtesy of NASA.

     The early 1970s was a time when it seemed everyone was riding a bicycle. It was estimated (in 1972) that there were 73 million cyclists in America, and by 1980 the number would top 100 million. As such, the idea of turning defunct railroad track ways into bike paths became popular. Such and idea was once proposed in Smithfield, but it never came to be.

     10-year-old Kathleen Labree of Georgiaville was first runner up in the Little Miss Rhode Island Pageant held in Coventry.

     Eileen Provonsil, 16, of Greenville, was the first runner up in the Miss Teen Rhode Island Pageant.

     The Smithfield Municipal Ice Rink Committee met to discuss the recent submission of bids for bleachers and a score board.

     After a short delay with materials, work was continuing on Smithfield’s new police station.

     A group of Georgiaville youths held a back yard carnival to raise funds for muscular dystrophy. They were: Linda Turgeon, Mark Turgeon, Steven Bagenski, Phillip Butterworth, Diane Davis, Peter Davis, Nancy Fiske, Ann Marie Davies, Brian LeBeau, and Richard Kanarian.

     There was a time when televisions resembled a piece of furniture. An appliance store located on Putnam Pike was advertising Zenith solid-state “Chromacolor” 25-inch televisions, set in oil finished walnut consoles, for $649.95.

     Construction of the new Apple Valley Apartments, located behind the Apple Valley Mall, was vigorously underway with an anticipated completion date set for October. It was advertised that rental units would start as low as $185 per month – no utilities.

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