Two generations ago: January 1968

By David Shumway

Happy New Year 1968!

Have to mention again that these columns would not be possible without the archives of the old Beavercreek News, mostly stored at the Beavercreek Historical Society. But I had to get into the WSU archives to find 1968.

January 1968 saw Beavercreek Township growing; there were petitions for a new Beavercreek sewer district, and iconic H. Taylor Plumbing was offering hookups to the new system.

“The Purple Poodle” beauty salon opened on Dayton-Xenia. I assume this was for dogs, and not for hippies with psychedelic poodle cuts (yes, there were poodle cuts in the fifties).

And at the Belmont auto theater this cold January, the snuggling couples could pretend to be watching Robert Mitchum, Kirk Douglas, Richard Widmark, and Sally Field (her first appearance) in “The Way West.” Famous stars, but the movie apparently was not Oscar material.

Farmers & Merchants Bank invites us to open a Christmas Savings Account, if anyone has any money left over after last month. Remember those? I think they were soon to be called “Christmas Clubs.” Lay-away was also popular. Bringing it forward, today our ubiquitous credit cards make both of these unnecessary. Unfortunately.

Groceries again: Lofinos has Starkist tuna for 29¢ a can and eggs for 39¢ a dozen. (Now there’s an item that hasn’t changed much; Kroger has eggs for little more than that today.)

Here’s something that did change greatly: In January 1968 there was a shortage of the “new six-cent postage stamps.” Six cents just to mail a letter! By the way, what’s a “letter?”

Painting a vivid picture of the era, a novel dance at BHS billed as “out of sight” and “a psychedelic blast,” featured a “revolving light, known as a strobe light, which will twist and torture the jerky motions … ”

Wow! The reaction of the parents of the twisted and tortured 450 attendees is not recorded.

By David Shumway

David Shumway is from the Beavercreek Historical Society and a guest columnist.

David Shumway is from the Beavercreek Historical Society and a guest columnist.