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Mason County Memories

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A Day in the Life of Ludington History Column

Dave Petersen

As I was looking over some of the papers and other items I use to help put the weekly column together I noticed that I had the July 29th 1952 Daily News, it was published on a Tuesday that July but it contains some interesting news.

The carferries were not operating for the 26th of the work stoppage. The stoppage included the five ferries in Ludington, 3 in Detroit, four of the Wabash Railway ferries in Detroit, five Ann Arbor ferries in Frankfort, and three Grand Trunk ferries in Muskegon. The strike by the officers over a contract dispute had been many months in the making before they walked out on strike July 4th 1952.

The Mason County department of health reported the second polio case of the year, and polio was also increasing in areas of the state of Michigan. An Article also boldly stated that airplanes of the future would be made of glass and that these planes would hurdle the heat barrier that had kept planes from passing more then twice the speed of sound.

Raymond Plank was reported to have been elected the President of the Chamber of Commerce and Maurice Dore was named chairman of the Community Chest Fund Drive. Adlai Stevenson and Dwight D Eisenhower were getting ready to duke it out in the fall elections, remember Richard Nixon was the Eisenhower running mate.

There was a Sorority Beach Party at First curve, the descendents of Frank Hamilton had recently had a family reunion, it was noted in the record of the family of new births included Leland Peters and that July Birthdays were recognized and Happy Birthday was sung to Alan Peters.

The eighth annual Galahad boys camp was sponsored by the Grace Episcopal Church and Lois Caswell and Lester Pehrson were married. Louis Beckstrom was making plans to attend the national Eagles convention in Philadelphia. Do you remember the Park Dairy Birthday club? Tommy Gallie's birthday is the 29th of July. Those were the days that the Daily News published their list of carriers in case you didn't get your paper. Over on Melendy Street you knew to call Donald Carlson.

Scottville Bank had just concluded remodeling and held an open house that drew 2,500 people, 1000 ice cream certificates were given to the children who attended with parents. Can you imagine getting 2500 people to an open house in 2006? The annual Junior and Senior Pirates Ball was held at the Pentwater Yacht Club, if you came without a pirate costume you found yourself in jail in the middle of the dance floor. Don Lambrix won an award for Best Pirate costume, and Mrs James Gamble was voted queen of the Pirates. I'm hopeful one of our readers will have some photos and stories of this annual event to share with us.

If you were in the mood for a movie you could see About Face with Gordon Macrae and Eddie Bracken at the 4 star theatre in Scottville, or Island of Desire at the Lyric with Linda Darnell and if that wasn't enough head over to the Center Theatre and see Marie Windsor in Outlaw Women.

There was a job opening for a soda fountain girl at the Pentwater soda bar, but not much else for jobs in the paper that day. You could buy a 1946 super deluxe ford for 350.00, a1947 Buick Roadmaster for 795.00, or a 1951 Plymouth for 1,695.00 and you could buy the house at 610 W Loomis Street for a thousand dollars down.

Heggs Department Store was having a sale and the Tigers were on a winning streak, YES I said the Tigers had just clubbed the Yanks 12-2. In a lot of ways there aren't many differences in the news of the day whether it's July 29th 2006 or 1952. Politics, conventions, Court news, births, deaths, marriages.

We don't see advertisements for Infantile Paralysis Polio Policies but we have other diseases that have cropped up in the interim. It is fun though to take a look back at the way we were, before Television became a big thing, when 2500 people would show up at a bank open house. So when you read the paper today don't be dismayed about the news, 54 years ago, disease, war, crime were big topics of the day but we had movies, reunions, and great summer weather (as we do today) to enjoy and have some fun in too.

If you have some stories or photographs to share with our readers please feel free to contact me at 757-3240 or davep@blackcreekpress.com

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