I don’t know about you, but with everything going on these days — the slipping economy, the fighting abroad and at home on the presidential battlefield, the endless media carping about how bad things are — I wake up some days with a big headache. And it doesn’t go away, either.
All the news is bad news, and it just wears me down. So while watching from afar as my wife sifted through a few boxes from her mother’s house, I noticed two browned and crispy Dallas Morning News and Dallas Times Herald newspapers from 1968; the papers had just completed their 40-year job of protecting a hitherto forgotten vase.
I don’t know if the tidbits from these papers will make you feel better or worse about today, but it’s always interesting to look back in time …
• You could buy three men’s Kentfield dress shirts for $11.50; they just happen to be “Dacron polyester-cotton marvels that will stay crisp and unwrinkled through the day.” They were available at Titche’s Downtown, NorthPark, Lochwood, Wynnewood and Arlington.
• The fall TV lineup for Channel 4 has the “look of a winner” according to the ad: Mayberry R.F.D., Hawaii Five-O, Lancer, the Doris Day Show, The Good Guys (featuring “Gilligan”), and Blondie.
• Apollo 7 was set to launch in October; according to the newspaper story, “a failure or delay could give the Russians a decided advantage not only for propaganda reasons but militarily and scientifically as well, space industry experts agreed.”
• You could rent a nice two-bedroom apartment just about anywhere in East or North Dallas (meaning south of LBJ back then) for about $20 per week. That included electricity, too.
• If you needed a car, you could buy an Opel, a Datsun, a Dart, a Falcon, an El Camino, a Star Chief, a Galaxie, a Catalina or an Electra. A new car might set you back $1,500 to $3,000; for a used car, payments started at $4.99 a week for a ’63 Rambler with low mileage.
• The Dr Pepper plant on Mockingbird at Greenville/Matilda was hiring people to run canning and bottling equipment. “Our growth in this new field will offer those people not afraid of hard work a chance to get ahead and earn a good future,” the ad promised.
• If you wanted to work at a Kip’s Big Boy, you were looking at $1.65-$1.95 for the day shift, $1.90-$2.20 for evenings, plus tips and “liberal fringe benefits” — probably all of the Big Boys you could eat.
• And if you wanted to “step up to a stewardess career,” American Airlines was hiring, but only if you were “single, 5’2” to 5’9”, weight 100-140, and normal vision without glasses — contact lenses considered.”
• Want to see a movie? The newspapers advertised 25 drive-in theaters — “there’s one in your neighborhood.” And the interstate theaters — the Lakewood, the Inwood, and the Westwood at Coit and Beltline — were selling seats for 50 cents.
• Big news: “Red China is almost certain to be rejected once again for UN membership. And the Soviet Union, already sensitive to criticism of its invasion of Czechoslovkia, hinted it may stage a walkout if UN diplomats persist in bringing up the subject.”
• Meanwhile, “the Middle East question is very serious at this time … a major issue to come before the Assembly is the Israeli-Arab conflict.”
• Finally, Fritz Von Erich and Grizzly Smith were teaming up again at the Sportatorium to try and take the American tag-team wrestling title away from the hated Spoilers.
Click to sign up for the Advocate's weekly news digest and be the first to know what’s happening in Preston Hollow.