50 Years Ago – December, 1970

50 years Ago – December, 1970


December, 1970

     Navy Chief Petty Officer Paul E. Piggott of Greenville was serving aboard the submarine U.S.S. Tullibee.

     Chief Warrant Officer Louis G. Therock of Esmond was serving in the Rhode Island National Guard and received an Army Commendation Medal. 

     Army Specialist Allen H. Uttley of Greenville was promoted to SP/5 while serving in Korea.

     Air Force Major Vincent R. Suppicich of Greenville was awarded his third air medal while serving with the Strategic Air Command.     

        A new Boy Scout troop was established in Greenville – Troop 14. The scout master was George H. Vallee. 

     On December 5th St. Philip’s Church held a Christmas Ball at the Kirkbrae County Club.  Music was provided by the Tommy Masso Orchestra. 

     The newly completed community room at the Greenville Manor was used to host the Manor’s first Christmas party.       

December, 1970

     Mrs. T. Frank Fogarty of Georgiaville returned from Hollywood, California, after appearing in a film segment for the television show “This Is Your Life” which would air in January of 1971.  The show was paying homage to actress Ruth Buzzi of “Rowan and Martin’s Laugh-in” fame.  Mrs. Fogarty was a dance teacher, and Miss Buzzi was one of her former students.    

     On December 11th and 12th the Smithfield Players performed the play, “The Tender Trap” at the Smithfield High School.  Joseph Janake played the character Earl Lindquist, William Johnson played Sol Schwartz, and Thomas Tobin played Charles Reader.  The production was directed by Calt Calvo.

     On December 12th a memorial mass was held at St. Michael’s Church for Smithfield police sergeant Norman Vezina who died in the line of duty on December 10, 1968 while attempting to rescue a 5-year-old boy who’d fallen through thin ice.

     On December 14th to the 16th Senator F. Monroe Allen of Greenville attended a conference on ways to cut air pollution held at Colby College in Waterville, Maine.   

December, 1970

     Dr. Thomas A. Manion of Greenville, Vice President of Academic Affairs at Bryant College, represented the college at the annual meeting of the New England Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools held in Boston.

     The Georgiaville Volunteer Fire Department held its annual meeting to elect officers for the upcoming year.  Edward Horan was elected President; Fred Andrews, Jr., Financial Secretary and Treasurer; Donald Brown was elected Deputy Chief, Harold French, Captain, Ronald Patterson, Rescue captain, and Edward Horan, Lieutenant.   

     Edward Kocielniak, Roger Desnoches, and Henry Tremblay, Sr., were elected delegates to various Rhode Island fire leagues.    

     The movie “Love Story”, starring Ali MacGraw and Ryan O’Neal, was released by Paramount Pictures on December 16th

     A local electronics retail store was advertising Sylvania 25 inch color TV’s for the “low, low, price” of $559.95 as part of a pre-Christmas sale promotion.  For those too young to remember, a 25 inch TV screen was considered massive in 1970.     

December, 1970

     A local car dealership was advertising a 1968 Ford Mustang with a “vinyl roof”.  (Remember those vinyl roofs?)  The car was also equipped with power steering and a V-8 engine.  If it had a set of wings it could have flown, and it could have been yours for a mere $1,895.00.         

     The Smithfield Jaycees held a toys-for-tots drive for underprivileged children.

     On December 23rd a Christmas Ball was held at the high school for the juniors and seniors and their dates. 

50 years Ago – November, 1970

50 Years Ago – November, 1970 

By Jim Ignasher


December, 1970

     Air Force Sergeant Mary C. Hess of Greenville was serving as an inventory management specialist at Naha Air Force Base in Okinawa.

     Richard N. Kanea of Greenville was serving his fourth tour of duty aboard a navy gunboat in Vietnam.

     A local Ford dealership was advertising a 1970 Ford Galaxie 500, with a V-8 engine and a “cruse-o-matic” transmission for $2,994.

     On November 6, the rock band Aerosmith, performed for the first time.  The concert took place at the Nipmuc Regional High School in Mendon, Massachusetts.

     On November 7 the Smithfield High School Student Council held a spaghetti supper at the high school as a fund raiser.

     Leo Bouchard of Esmond, president of the Rhode Island Association of Conservation Commissions, led the Rhode Island delegation to a conservation convention held in Bedford, New Hampshire.  The convention was held to exchange ideas about the “growing national crisis of environmental problems”.  

     Smithfield Senator F. Monroe Allen was among those who spoke at the convention.  

     Shrubs and trees donated by the Rhode Island Highway Department were planted at William Winsor School by volunteers from the Apple Blossom Club, and the Smithfield Jaycees.

     Loam for planting was donated by Clint Gustafson of Greenville.

     The Greenville Pharmacy, owned by the Kayatta family for thirty years, was sold to Vincent Volpe.  The pharmacy was located at the intersection of Rt.44 and Austin Ave.

     The establishment opened in 1940 in the former “Woods Store”, and was the first drug store in the area.  Prior to its opening, the closest drug store to Greenville was in Centerdale.

     At the time of its opening, there were few retail stores in Greenville Center.  There was the Greenville Garage across from the bank building, an ice cream parlor, and a First National grocery store, which later became Benny’s, and is today Woods and More.  

     In 1941, Francis Kayatta, Jr., entered the armed forces and served with the 1st Calvary division in the Pacific during WWII. 

     Linda Piscatelli was crowned Home Coming Queen at Smithfield High School during half-time on the football field.

     The Smithfield Elks Club presented Greenville Manor with brand-new Boston rocking chairs.

     November is the time some start to think about Christmas shopping, and one local retail establishment came up with a novel idea to bring in early customers.

     The Family Store, a clothing store once located in Route 44 in Greenville, advertised a “balloon sale”.  Hundreds of balloons were filled with helium and allowed to float to the ceiling.  After making a purchase, a customer would choose one and pull it down and see a number on the top.  The number would indicate the amount the purchase would be discounted.  Numbers ranged from 10% all the way to 100%. 

     1970 was an election year for the Smithfield Town Council.  When the new council was sworn in it consisted of Allan B. Schwartz, John F. Emin, Jr., Peter Coogan, Thomas J. Vanner, and Geoffrey S. Weston.

     If one went to the Apple Valley Cinema in November of 1970 they had a choice of seeing Chitty-Chitty-Bang-Bang, Patton, Catch-22, and Diary of a Mad Housewife.     

     On November 26, the Greenville Grange hall, which stood on Austin Ave. just in from Rt. 44, was rededicated after extensive repairs were completed due to a disastrous fire the year before.  The building had been used as a Grange hall since 1939, and was demolished in the 1980s to make way for further development.    

     Thomas J. Connor, Jr., of Greenville, a 7th grader at St. Philip School, auditioned for the Barrington Players for their production of the Broadway musical Mame.  He won the major role of “Patrick Dennis”, the nephew of Mame Dennis.     

     A Farewell reception was held for Reverend W. Stanley Pratt of the Greenville Baptist Church.  Rev. Pratt had served as pastor for eight years and was leaving to serve as pastor of the First Baptist Church on Block Island.  Four-hundred people were in attendance. 


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