Sunday, November 14, 2010

1969 Stormy Year in Question

I found this article, which was published in 1969 when Richard Rudnicki was the editor and publisher of The Fowlerville Review (a few years later the newspaper would be printed under the auspices of the Press and Argus), recapping the year 1969 in Fowlerville -- some good things and some bad things happened. If you were around in that year, maybe these will bring back some memories . . .

Stormy 69?~~The 1960s have been designated “stormy,” the time when people did not smile. A decade of riots, protests, marches, assassinations, and high crime rate. The storm continued right to the end of 1969, with trouble and unrest rampaging throughout the nation.

But what of a stormy 1969 in Fowlerville? Were smiles, or frowns predominant on faces of area residents? A recap of the past year reveals that good far surpassed the bad.

The year started out quietly with plans for the coming months being formulated by area organizations and groups. Farmer’s Night was held January 9th, with Sylvan H. Wittwer speaking to area farmers and local businessmen. January also saw the choosing of Fowlerville as the site of the Wolverine Futurity. Trouble? – a barn burned.

February opened with the establishing of a Coffee Hour to welcome newcomers to the area. Three area teenagers, Bonnie Miller, Brenda Russell and Karlin Tait were honored as “Outstanding Teenagers of America.” A lunch policy was established for needy children, and the Fowlerville Blood Bank collected 121 pints. Trouble? – none.

In March, Fowlerville voters put the parking meters back on the streets, five Future Farmers from Fowlerville received State Farmer degrees, and the Feast of St. Joseph, held annually by the Spagnuolo family, was well attended. Trouble? – fires topped the news, with 500 acres burning in Unadilla, the total destruction of an office and storage shed at Lott’s Elevator, and the loss of a barn owned by Glendon Hoisington. Unrest? – the bomb scares began.

The 50th anniversary of the American Legion brought April to a start, with 50 year pins presented by the Fowlerville American Legion to Arthur Kuttler, Wm. J.B. Hicks, Orin Don Risdon and Thomas G. Woods. Larry C. Coffey, a 24-year old Fowlerville soldier was awarded the Army Commendation Medal for Heroism. Trouble? – a kidnapping and a barn fire.

The agriculture program at Fowlerville High, facing extinction by a school board proposal, was reinstated when students began an intensive campaign to show school authorities just how much the program meant to them. Mayor Long of Potterville visited Fowlerville during the May Mayor Exchange Day and awards were given out at the annual Rotary Sports Banquet. Trouble? – none.

Fowlerville Elementary children benefited from the Fowlerville PTA Fair in June, when the successful event resulted in the purchasing of playground equipment for the Hibbard and Parkers Corners schools. Gordon Carbary and Wesley Dorin were elected to the school board, and 174 honors were presented at the annual Awards Assembly held at the high school. Charles Liverance, a 21-year old Fowlerville soldier received the bronze star for meritorious service while serving in Vietnam. Trouble? – the millage was defeated.

A new fire truck was delivered to the Fowlerville Volunteer Fire Department in July, the Fowlerville Fair opened its gates for the 83rd time and Raymond Slanker was named to head the Fowlerville Board of Education. Trouble? – the millage was defeated for the second time, a Holstein heifer was viciously shot by two area residents, and the body of an unidentified man was found on Sargent Road.

Robert Losie, former principal of Bloomingdale High School, was accepted as Fowlerville High principal in August, Sidewalk Sale days, and the Dawn Patrol were two well attended functions of the Commercial Club and Fowlerville High students painted the concession stand at the athletic field. Trouble? – a barn burned, vandals destroyed a bench and two jars at the office of Drs. Hauer and Higby, and arson was suspected when the old Grange Hall burned.

The biggest happening in September was the passing of the school millage. Area residents viewed the new cars and the Cohoctah Rupp Riders set a world’s record for mini-bike riding. Trouble? – a barn burned.

A fresh supply of water was given to Fowlerville in October, when a new well was officially put into operation. The District Magistrate’s office was closed down, windows were painted for Halloween, and area youngsters enjoyed the annual Commercial Club Halloween party. Trouble? – two children died because of a faulty furnace.

The second annual servicemen’s edition was published by the Review in November, a Day of Prayer was held for area servicemen, groundbreaking ceremonies were held at the Conway Free Methodist Church, and the go-ahead was given to a 32-acre lumber complex. Trouble? – mail boxes were vandalized, arson suspected in scales fire, bomb scares.

Rounding out the year, December came in with the establishing of the Helping Hands program, students jailed for bomb scares, homes offered to exchange students, and the annual Commercial Club Christmas party. Trouble? – vandals destroyed a real estate sign, bomb scares, peace marches.

Thus the year 1969 rolls slowly to an end. There was more good in Fowlerville than there was bad. People showed that they cares for one another, they smiled.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I enjoyed the reprint of the article and remembered most of the events