50 years Ago – March, 1971

50 years Ago – March, 1971

By Jim Ignasher

March, 1971

Lieutenant Edmund B. Lynch, Jr., of Greenville, was awarded the Air Medal for flying 25 helicopter missions over hostile territory in Vietnam during the month of September, 1970. At the time he was awarded the medal, he’d flown more than 80 additional missions!

Several functions were held by various organizations throughout the month of March, 1971.

The Smithfield Democratic Committee sponsored a “Swing into Spring” dance held at the St. Maria Goretti Hall in Pawtucket.

Almac’s supermarket sponsored a dinner/dance held at the Smithfield High School to benefit the Senior Class.

The Smithfield Golden Agers held a meeting at the Esmond Recreation Hall on Esmond St.

The Greenville Senior Sunshiners held a meeting St. Patrick’s Day party which included food and door prizes as well as traditional Irish songs, and a rendition of “Who Put The Overalls in Mrs. Murphy’s Chowder?” by Joseph Lopez.

The group Ecology Action for Smithfield also met to discuss ways to reduce pollution in Smithfield.

On March 7, St. Phillip’s Cub Scout Pack 3 held a blue and gold dinner at the Knights of Columbus Hall in Pascoag.

Those awarded their “bobcat” pins were Tim Carleton, and Scott Barrett.

Those awarded ‘wolf” patches included Keith Lewis, Christopher Wood, William Kulisch, Thomas D’Agostino, James Laferriere, Joseph Mattera, Steve Laesora, and Thomas Pickles.

Christopher Kirkwood was awarded a “bear” patch, and Greg Manion and William Kulisch were awarded silver and gold arrow emblems.

Joseph Raimondo was Cubmaster.

The Greenville Public Library had a St. Patrick’s Day display which included books of Ireland.

An advertisement from New England Telephone posted in a local newspaper stated that anyone wishing to make changes in the upcoming Providence Area Directory regarding their name or business should contact them. Who would have thought that phone books would one day be obsolete?

If one went to the Apple Valley Cinema in March of ’71 they had a choice of three movies. The first was “The Owl And The Pussycat”, a romantic comedy starring Barbara Streisand and George Segal; the movie “Joe”, a dark drama starring Peter Boyle; and “Lovers and Other Strangers”, another romantic comedy with Diane Keaton in her film debut role, and Sylvester Stallone as an “extra”.

On March 10, the “Junior Embassy of Smithfield” held an awards presentation at the Smithfield High school. Awards were granted to Henry Shepard, the school principal, and athletic director Robert Salisbury.

Richard Kernacki, director of the embassy, announced an award for then President Richard M. Nixon, and a phone call was placed to the White house switchboard to pass the message to the President.

On March 14 the Smithfield Boys Club held its annual dinner at the Club 44 restaurant. New officers were elected. Lionel Peloquin was elected president; Leo Bouchard, first vice president; Rita I. Connor, second vice president; Richard Scott, secretary; and John H. Jenkins, treasurer.

Eight boys were given awards: Joseph Prest, Timothy Peloquin, Thomas Connor, Thomas Aitken, Thomas Peloquin, Steven McGinn, John Peloquin, and Michael Scorpio.

Miss Isabel Brown was honored by the Greenville Grange for her fifty years of service to the organization. Joseph Connetti, Grange Master, presented her with a certificate.

A local Pontiac dealership was advertising a brand new Catalina. It’s interesting to note that the “extra features” that came with the car would be taken for granted today. Such as power disc brakes, padded dashboard, padded sun visors, padded arm rests, seat belts with push-button-release, head rests, dome lamp, safety hood latch, outside mirrors, 4-way hazard lights, windshield washer and two-speed wipers. All for $3,343.00. With a 350 v-8 engine!

The Smithfield Fire Department got a demonstration of “The Air Cycle” on Stump Pond. The vehicle was said to be an all-terrain hover craft driven by a powerful fan. The demonstrator hoped the town would purchase one for rescue work, but the craft didn’t perform well on rough and uneven ground.

Kurt Anderson of Smithfield appeared in the Rhode Island Theater Company production of “Dark of the Moon”, a drama set in Appalachia. The play did a six day run at the URI Quinn Theater.

The sit-com “Beverly Hillbillies” aired its final episode on March 23rd after a nine year run, and the “Ed Sullivan Show” aired its final broadcast five nights later after 23 years on television.

 

 

50 Years Ago – April, 1969

50 Years Ago – April, 1969

     USMC Corporal Steven Oliver of Greenville came home after serving 13 months in Vietnam. The occasion of his homecoming was all the more joyous as he met his little brother Antone for the very first time, who was born while Steven was away.    

     Edmond B. Lynch, Jr., of Greenville, was commissioned a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army, and would be serving with the Chemical Corps.

     SP/4 John L. Fournier, and SP/4 Raymond A, Mimande, both of Smithfield, were among 75 recent graduates of the Rhode Island Army National Guard NCO School.

     Airman Michael A. Costa of Esmond completed basic Air Force recruit training school and was assigned to aircraft maintenance.

     Army Specialist Angela K. Panzarella of Esmond was promoted to SP/4 and was serving with the Signal Corps at Ft. Sherridan, Illinois.

     Airman 1/c Richard M. Johnson of Greenville was serving with the U. S. Air Force in Thailand.  

     Four students from St, Aloysius Home on Austin Avenue received awards for their entries in a ceramics art contest. The winners were Joseph Chartier, Sheilagh Feely, Robert Dumas, and Leo Belmore.     

     Kathy Marzilli, and 8th grade student from Greenville, won a gold key and blue ribbon for her artistic rendering of “A Still Life Done in Chalk” which was entered in the 5th Annual Scholastic Art Exhibit. The exhibit included 16 art categories, as well as 13 photography classifications. Kathy’s entry was sent to New York to compete with finalists from other states.  

     One local contractor was offering to install aluminum siding on homes (Up to 1,000 square feet.) for only $449.   

     The Ford Maverick, a “sub-compact” family vehicle was introduced in April of 1969 to compete with the Volkswagen Beetle, the Chevrolet Vega, and the AMC Gremlin. OK, by a show of hands, how many recall driving one of those?    

     On April 17 a fashion show and penny social was held at Anna McCabe School to raise funds for a class field trip. Door prizes and free gifts were offered.

     The St. Philips Rosary Guild also held its annual Spring Bridge Fashion Show featuring clothing from The Family Store in Greenville. The event was chaired by Mrs. Edwin Leszczyk, and co-chaired by Mrs. Richard Snow. Other committee members included: Mrs. John Higgins, Mrs. Joseph Cullen, Mrs. Peter Mancini, Mrs. Edith Scully, Mrs. George Hebert, Mrs. Francis Beaudry, Mrs. John Kaminski, Mrs. William Walker, Mrs. Roland L’Abbee, Mrs. Gerald Cahoone, Mrs. Thomas Iemma, Mrs. John Grenga, Mrs. Edward Thomas, Mrs. John Driscoll, Mrs. Richard Conti, Mrs. Robert Reall, and Mrs. Joseph Hickey.

     On April 19 the St. Peter’s School on Austin Avenue held an auction and cake sale on the grounds of the St. Aloysius Home. The event was administered by Sister Mary Alexis RSM, Mrs. Michael Hession, and Mrs. George Chasse.

     It was also on April 19 that “The Soundmen”, a comedic-musical group performed at the Smithfield High School. The men were advertised as bringing “a unique brand of comedy and rhythm capable of breaking a lease or starting a riot.”  

     The first concept model of what would one day be the Space Shuttle was unveiled by NASA engineers. The model was made of paper and balsa wood.    

     One local drug store was giving away three Polaroid Land Cameras in a free raffle. No purchase was necessary. For those too young to recall, such cameras offered “instant photographs” in only 60 seconds.

     A “swing-a-long” benefit was held at the Smithfield Boys Club. Young volunteer organizers included Thomas J. Connor, Jr., John Pascone, John Peloquin, Thomas Peloquin, Maria Pascone, Sheila Peloquin, Cheryl Pechie, Elinor Peloquin, Maribeth Coleman, Francis Finn, William Connell, Nicholas Simone, and Kevin Bell.

     For those who recall sitting in traffic jams on Rt. 44 in Centerdale, construction was begun for the Centerdale Bypass which was set to be completed in November of 1969 with the hops of relieving traffic problems.    

50 Years Ago – March, 1969

50 Years Ago – March, 1969

    Reverend Joseph P. McNamara, the pastor of St. Philip’s Church, was elevated to Monsignor. “Father Mac”, as he was known, had been a priest for 46 years and had served as an Army Chaplin from 1934 to 1946. He came to St. Philip’s after his discharge from the military.

     Airman 1st Class Richard Johnson of Greenville left for a year’s duty in Thailand at Nakhon Phanom Air Force Base.

     Mario Ciotola of Douglas Pike was serving with the U.S. Air Force.

     PFC Steven M. St. Jean of Stillwater was serving in Vietnam.

     Marine Corporal Hawkins Hibbs of Greenville was awarded the Good Conduct Medal.

     Sergeant Richard L. Egan of Greenville was serving in the Air Force with the 351st Strategic Missile Wing at Whiteman Air Force Base.

     PH2 Joseph F. Green of Esmond was serving with the Naval Reserve Transport Squadron in California.

     The Smithfield contingent of the Junior Naval Cadets of America announced some promotions.

     Dennis Straight, Stephen Valolato, Paul Arella, were promoted to Senior Cadet 2nd class.

     James Darby and Robert Varr to Senior Cadet 3rd class.

     William Schaff, Keith Straus, Robert Walker, and Michael Allan, to Cadet 1st class.  

     Dennis Henlin, Gregory Straight, and Steven Neri to Cadet 2nd class.

     James Bicknell, Richard Cacciola, and Lawrence Preistley to Cadet 3rd class.

     The promotions were presented by Lt. W. H. Manchester.    

     Smithfield High School senior Mary Lou Sullivan was awarded the DAR Citizenship Award. Recipients are selected for their qualities of dependability, leadership, service, and patriotism.  

     Lewis E. Antone of Greenville was selected among Bryant College alumni to be included in the1969 national edition of “Outstanding Young Men of America”. Mr. Antone graduated from Bryant in 1959.

     On March 11 the Dorothy Dame School PTA sponsored a B-party at the school to raise funds for the Smithfield Scholarship Program. The featured prize was a food basket donated by the Esmond Market, which at that time stood across the street from the school.

     The Rhode Island Fruit Growers Association installed new officers at a ceremony held at the Greenville Grange Hall on Austin Avenue. President: George H. Smith. Vice President: Leonard G. Walker. Secretary-Treasurer: Edgar A. Steere. County Agricultural Agent: Howard King.

     Edwin Robinson was awarded the Golden Sheaf Award by the Greenville Grange in recognition of his fifty consecutive years of service to the organization.    

     On March 22, the Sing-a-Long Singers performed at a fund raising concert to benefit the Smithfield Boys Club. Other featured musicians included the Hetu Brothers, “Nicky” Cavas, Armand Regosta, and Smiling Joe Rossi.

   On March 19, a spring fashion show sponsored by the Family Store in Greenville was presented in the Fellowship Hall of the Greenville Baptist Church. Among the models who wore the latest fashions were, Jackie Leccese, Mary Ann Panghorn, and Betty Eldredge. Music at the event was provided by the Smithfield High School Chorus.  

     The Greenville Public Library voted to purchase books on the subject of Oceanography.  

     On March 29, Smithfield Parents Against Drug Abuse sponsored a fundraising buffet and forum at the high school. All proceeds were to go to the Marathon House in Providence.

     The Wionkhiege Valley Farm was offering sleigh rides for as long as the snow lasted.

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