50 Years Ago – April, 1971

50 years Ago – April, 1971

By Jim Ignasher

     Army Sergeant Allen Uttley of Greenville came home after completing his tour of duty in Korea.

     Airman Barry S. Black of Esmond completed basic training at Lackland Air Force Base, and was slated for further training as a communications and electronics systems specialist.

     T/Sgt. Kenneth E. Bessette of Esmond received his third Air Force Commendation Medal. He was serving at Travis Air Force Base in California.

    Airman George H. Jaswell completed basic training at Lackland Air Force Base, and was slated for further training as an Aircraft Equipment Maintenance Specialist.

     Navy Petty Officer 2/c James R. Hall of Esmond was serving aboard the U.S.S. Truxtum.

     Navy Perry Officer 3/c Lloyd Courtemanche of Greenville was serving aboard the U.S.S. LaSalle.

     Second Lieutenant Michael D. Grace of the Rhode Island Air National Guard was awarded his pilot wings at Williams Air Force base in Arizona.

     Marine Corporal Michael C. Dodge of Douglas Pike was serving in the 2nd Marine Air Wing at Cherry point, North Carolina.

    Ladies of the Emblem Club held a special meeting which was attended by Rose Centofanli, Mary Hill, Helen Mowry, Beverly Moreau, Mildred Campbell, Mary Shaw, Genevieve Caloura, Mildren Johnson, Fran Kohler, Doris Torti, Lydia bell, Stella Kernacki, Evelyn Newman, Doreen Collins, and Mary Schiffman, the club president.

     The former Scuncio Chevrolet car dealership, once located on Rt. 44 where Stop & Shop is today, was offering a choice of a free football, soccer ball, or basketball, with every major engine tune-up.

     Miss Lee Wilkinson of Limerock Road won first place in the Rhode Island Music teachers Association Annual Piano and Voice Auditions held at Rhode Island College.

     Fifteen members of the Smithfield Police Department completed a five week special training course. Their names were listed in a local newspaper, but only their first initials were given. A. Thibodeault, R. Leveille, K. Brown, J. Lester Tobion, N. Jordan, D. Ciotola, F. Davis, J. Goff, D. Goff, W. Williams, Jr., R. Eberts, F. Peters, W. Morgan, R. Landry, and M. Ciotola.

     On April 14 the Apple Blossom Club installed new officers at a function held at the Club 44 on Putnam Pike. Betty Paily was elected president; Carmel Lancia, vice president; Anne Baglini, corresponding secretary; Judy Lawton, recording secretary; Anne Allen, treasurer.

     If one went to the movies in April of 1971 they might have seen “Bananas”, a comedy directed by and starring Woody Allen who while trying to impress a his ex-girlfriend (played by Louise Laser) travels to South America and gets involved in a revolution in the mythical country of San Marcos.

     Another popular film was “Valdez is Coming”, a western drama starring Burt Lancaster, who attempts to seek compensation for the wrongful death of a wrongly accused man and his wife.

     On April 15, Captain Nelson French and Private Wayne Brown of the Gerogiaville Volunteer Fire Department were guest speakers at the Smithfield Boy Scout Troop 1monthly meeting. The pair lectured on Fire Safety and prevention.

     Advertisements appeared asking voters to approve a new police station at the May 8th town financial meeting. In April of 1971, the police station was still located at the town hall.

     On April 29 the Smithfield Music Association sponsored a Jazz and woodwind concert featuring the group “Rhapsody in Blue”, and the University of Rhode Island Symphonic Wind Ensemble.

     The historic Amy Arnold House located on Putnam Pike in Greenville Center was demolished to make way for modern construction. The home had stood in the area of 600 Putnam Pike next to the Dr. Eddy House which is still standing.

     Top songs for the month of April, ’71, included “Joy to the World” by Three Dog Night, “What’s Going On?” by Marvin Gaye, “Put Your Hand in the Hand” by Ocean, and “never Can Say Goodbye” by the Jackson Five.


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