Monday, March 29, 2010

1985 Apples for the Students

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Bill Gates saw the "windows" idea on a visit to Xerox, came up with his program and sold it to IBM but retained the right to license it to other manufacturers. But Apple was the pioneer for educational computers and later became dominant for publishing and graphics.  Beth Durden, Stevie Gillis, and Robbie Ware showed off the first computers at THS, three Apple IIe's. The same week the Soperton News became one of the first newspapers to implement ZIP plus 4 in their computer files.

Others that week: Farm Bureau and Sheriff Hooks sponsored a fingerprinting program for all three schools, spring football game, Lions Club fundraiser- fried chicken, Primary kids, confiscated whiskey, Cancer Society Kick-Off, baseball.

William A. Ricks

Sunday, March 28, 2010

1980 Hopping Into Spring

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March 26, 1980

Beta Sigma Phi presented an Easter fashion show. How many of the kids do you recognize? If you know them all, please name them in a blog comment so others will know. Mrs. June is that you?

Others that week: GHP finalist Cathy Morgan, Semester Honor Roll students, 4-H DPA winners, a banquet, TG&Y pictures, and Henry Naples working with Mrs. Lavada Barwick's azaleas.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

1975 400 Feet High

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March 26, 1975

Cable TV came to Soperton, and the first channels were not from satellite. They were Georgia broadcast channels with signal caught by antennae on a 400 ft tower, hauled from Texas and put up this week 35 years ago. Your trusty photographer, although afraid of heights, went to the top on a very cloudy day to capture the view. He made two shots, the film ran out, and he forgot to carry a spare roll.

Others that week: Mrs. Rita Burke with her blooming tulips, Herbert Burns with a couple of captured beavers, a slight accident near Cameron, coloring contest winners, a new tobacco curer being unloaded from rail car, school bus trip.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Don't miss this E-NEWS story

Juanita Youmans used to be the cheapest baby sitter in town when she managed the Pal Theatre in Soperton. Read all about it, and see the Pal's last movie program on TREUTLEN E-NEWS, today, March 25, 2010.
If you'd like to brag on Mrs. Juanita, make comments on the E-NEWS site.

Monday, March 22, 2010

1985 Bustin' Out All Over

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March 20, 1985

Mr. Bruce McLendon was always bustin' out with a smile and laughter everywhere he went, bringing joy to the citizens of Treutlen County. We miss him in springtime and all seasons of the year.

Others that week: Primary kids, spring football, THS at literary meet, scholarship signing.

1980 Go Team!

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March 19, 1980

The THS Cheerleaders donned their jeans, braved the chilly night, and cheered the Vikings on to victory against the Wheeler County Bulldogs in the spring football game.

Others that week: TES - United Givers Fund, an unidentified road and railroad, and a bunch of Braddys with an "alien" big bug.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

1975 New Den of Cubs

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March 19, 1975

Mrs. Barbara Mullis was the Den Leader of the new Cub Scouts Den. Left to right, front: Bobby Ethier, Robbie Lawrence. Middle: Joel Mullis, Hank Cullens, Mike Claxton. Back: Tommy Cullens, George Claxton, Craig Rickerson.

Others that week: Mrs. Lillian Smith's third graders, Chuck and John Ellington with steers, Frank Radford and Bobby Driggers, Cable TV tower segments arrived from San Antonio, bulldozer beginning work on the new Soperton Recreation Center, forestry demonstrations at J.C. Stephens farm.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

State of Mind - Soperton Is

I must have been feeling great in March 1980. I had every reason to feel good. I was in my mid-30s. Major illnesses hadn't come my way. It's hard not to feel good in daffy duck (daffodil) season.  I feel about my hometown pretty much the way I felt back then. Want to read what I wrote?

William A. Ricks

Monday, March 15, 2010

1985 Coach Curtis Was A Winner

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March 13, 1985

Woodbury won the state championship in boys basketball three years in a row (83, 84, 85), defeating Treutlen in 84 and 85. Coach R. W. Curtis accepted the second place trophy at Georgia Tech's Alexander Memorial Coliseum. Although Curtis was at THS only two years, he is remembered as one of the best.

Others that week: Livestock show, officers of Million Pines Garden Club, TPS kids, Nell Meeks.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

1980 Eagle Scouts Sweat and Foskey

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March 12, 1980

A ceremony for Eagle Scouts Danny Sweat and Wendell Foskey was held at First Baptist Church with columnist Bo Whaley as speaker. The two Scouts are pictured with their parents, Mr. and Mrs. Russell and Mr. and Mrs. Billy Foskey.

Others that week: construction of classrooms in the Primary gymnasium, Livestock show, plane down at Zaidee suspected of hauling drugs, Presidential Primary - polls at Soperton and Tarrytown, TOPS girls club formed by UCWC, winners of subscription sales contest.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

1975 Old Friends Are Forever

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March 12, 1975

Wayne Sumner and Rupert Barnhill shook hands at the Courthouse after a very close run-off in which Sumner won by less than 100 votes. Both were liked and even admired by many especially those who had been in school when they were. Both of them are sadly missed.

Others that week: Basketball, Beta Club, medical forum, district science fair, Billy Calhoun, Patsy Poole.

Competition - The Key To Medical Care

Today, as the debate continues, it is generally recognized that the most expensive item in health care is the doctor's signature.

We didn't define it so succinctly 35 years ago, but the problem existed way back then, and I wrote about it in a newspaper column entitled "Unprofessional Professionalism".

The Justice Department was investigating professions, including veterinarians, funeral directors, accountants, lawyers, dentists, pharmacists, and physicians. 

I observed that "professionals" didn't live exactly like the rest of us, and that their "fraternal" backscratching was aimed mainly to oppose competition, including advertising.

Back then I was prone to vote Republican, while nowadays I'm prone to vote Democrat. I've always believed in rewards for hard work and use of talents. But I've also supported a fair chance for everybody. Free education and equal opportunity in jobs and society is good for the whole civilization. 

I favor the "free market" concept, but markets are not free when there is deal making or doing anything to limit competition. Republicans and Democratics, liberals and conservatives fail to serve the people when they restrict individual liberties and free markets.

Back in 1975, using the physician as the prime example, I noted that the doctor "fraternity" had authority to regulate the medical schools, including the number of students in those schools. I wrote that engineers may lose jobs during severe economic conditions due to an oversupply of them, but there never has been an oversupply of doctors, because the doctors themselves regulate the supply. 

In 1975 our congressman was aware of the medical deficiencies in our district and noted that Georgia ranked 46th in life expectancy. The Laurens County Hospital Authority wanted to increase their supply of doctors as a solution to their hospital problems. Treutlen County was in trouble with its hospital, which soon closed.

Coincidentally, after the publication of my column, there was a forum, in Soperton, featuring two of the top medical/dental education leaders in the state. My questioning seemed rude to some of those in attendance, but in private the doctors agreed to my supposition about the limited supply of medical students being admitted to medical colleges.

Free markets are essential in America, whether the market be in government, business, union, religion, or any "members only" group. Free markets mean free competition to everyone. That was my status 35 years ago and it remains my status today.

Self-regulation is best, but, as I wrote in 1975, "If a profession cannot serve the public properly by self-regulation, somebody else must do the regulating for them."

For at least 35 years physicians have not demonstrated self-control or profession-control. The lack of competition has driven up costs. It is true in the medical profession, in the medical corporations, in the medical insurance, in hospitals and every doctor's office in the land.

There is general consensus from Washington in both parties that health care, if defeated, will not be taken up for another 10 to 15 years. Is that what we want? to do nothing while costs keep climbing? I urge everybody to contact his/her Congressman and tell him what YOU need! Speak from your personal needs, now and for your future. Be specific.  Let your Congressman represent YOU!  He needs your personal input. Please!

William A. Ricks

Thursday, March 11, 2010

The Fight May Resume

After fighting the past few years to connect my many illnesses to radiation at the Nevada Test Site and Agent Orange from Vietnam, I had enough and gave up.

Possibly in May the fight may resume due to new illnesses being added to the Vietnam Agent Orange presumptive list.  One of the three is ischemic heart condition.

Here is a link to the full story:

There may be good news to Navy Vietnam Veterans who served on deep water vessels near the Vietnam mainland.  My deceased brother, Morris, served on a destroyer USS Rowan DD-782, which suffered from enemy fire during his tour.

The only Treutlen Countian killed in the Vietnam War was serving in the Navy.

Check this link:

Please advise the veterans you know about these changes!

William A. Ricks

Sunday, March 7, 2010

The Need for Historians To Adapt

I wonder if electrical/electronic gadgets of the past were as hard to accept as those of today. Was the electric light bulb feared? Messing with God's business? Unnatural? Only for the rich?

What about the telephone? Who were the first users of the phone - men or women? 

Radio was free, once the radio set was purchased.  Wonder which came into wide use first - the telephone or the radio? I would think the radio. It brought music, entertainment, news. 

The first time I talked long distance I was in high school, and my parents and I called my college-age brothers who had summer jobs at Hot Shoppes in Washington, D.C. We considered long distance calling as too expensive.

We've been into the information age for several years now. Some people latch on to every next new thing, while others have never touched a computer. Workers learn to use computers because their jobs demand it. 

In 1969 my fellow troops were repairing computers that cost thousands of dollars, weighed hundreds of pounds, were programmed by punched paper tape. A few years later I bought my first hand calculator, originally $200 but marked down to $50 by Sears. The only thing the Army computer did was to calculate artillery range by triangulation. The cheaper handheld did square roots, trig calculations, and much more. Now you can get a good calculator for less than $5.

No computer today should be considered as a long-term investment. Just as many people in the 1950s traded in cars every year or two, computers should be handed down to friends and family every three years.

It's disappointing that more people aren't using computers and internet. Informational technology should be more readily available. Thanks to the extreme competition, computer technology improves as prices go down. Unlike the old companies such as Xerox and IBM, which stifled competition and kept prices high, the new giants are in competition with each other to continually improve products and decrease prices.

I attended my local Historical Society meeting today, associating with friends who are intent to preserve the stories of our community, but I left with some sadness, knowing that much of our history is disappearing, while technology is there to help save it.  Students and young adults are drawn to the technology, but our most historic generation is lagging behind. Their wisdom and experience are needed to connect with today's tools to communicate, inform, share, and digitally preserve history. I hope that gap will be closed and soon.

William A. Ricks

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Reminder for Sunday Afternoon

Be sure to attend the quarterly meeting of the Historical Society at the County Library, Sunday at 2:30 p.m. Visitors are always welcome! 

Treutlen County Clerk of Court Connie Sumner will speak.

If you have any old Soperton telephone books that you are willing to donate, please take them to the meeting, to help fill out the museum collection.

1985 DFCS Retirement

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March 6, 1985

Ernest Collins retired from 16 years of service on the DFCS Board. Director Laurianne Pullen (l) and Chairman Steve Warnock (r).

Others that week: Six Citizens of the Year, Chamber officers, Science Fair, Dr. Encinas, Cindy Bush.

1980 Cheerleading in State Playoffs

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March 5, 1980

The basketball boys beat Lanier but lost to Sardis-Girard in the playoffs, while the Cheeleaders added excitement and spirit.

Others that week: Light snow, Primary kids, steers and hogs promo pix.

1975 Oldsters Basketball

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March 5, 1975

Varsity basketball was finished, so the old-timers, men and women, took the floor to benefit the Treutlen Elementary Football League. It was for fun and profit. (If they were oldsters back then, what are they 35 years later?)

Others that week: Chuck Ellington second in the state EMC electrical contest, STARs Gary Brinson and Mr. Fulford, repairs on city water pump.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Paperless Phone Book of 1960

Here's your paperless phone directory of 1960 - names and numbers only. Plant Telephone and Power Company created a new dial phone system. Originally the numbers were 'Jackson 9' plus the last 4 digits. Long distance callers had to use all seven JA9-1234, but by 1960 the 'JA9' was completely numerical '529'. Every number was a 529 and the next digit was either a 3 or a 4. 
Yellow pages were added with smaller ads than the old phone book, and more out-of-town businesses were advertised. Several phone company 'boiler plate' pages were included with such information as how to use a dial telephone.

Addendum: Mrs. Louise Hughes reminded me that in 1965 the calls were limited to 3 minutes. When time ran out, you had to call again.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Paperless Phone Book of 1955

I didn't invent the internet, but I may have been a part of the first conference call in Soperton. It happened when I was 11 or 12 years old. My brother, Dale, was a participant along with his best friend Tommy Rushin and Gordon Jones.  The last phone book printed by the original Soperton Telephone Company, Inc. was in 1955. Accompanying this blog post you will have on your screen the first paperless copy of the 1955 phone book: 20 pages including 4 pages of names and phone numbers. It's a piece of history. 

You can print out a paper copy. You don't have to soil your hands or wear out the artifact by handling it.  If you're technical, you may be able to convert the text for character recognition. Anyhow, it doesn't cost you a dime.

The book is courtesy of the Treutlen County Historical Society, and if you would like to say thanks, just go to the quarterly meeting at the library Sunday afternoon. Visitors are always welcome. If you can't make it to the meeting, you may become a member by sending dues to Mrs. Juanita Youmans. Pay only $20 per year for individual or a couple.

With that said, back to the conference call. Otis and Nora Belle conveyed their family owned phone company to Plant Telephone Company, which put in a dial phone system and extended more lines into the countryside and Tarrytown. For a few days at our house we still had our old phone, connected to the hand operated switchboard (upstairs Laura McLendon's building), plus the brand new dial phone, connected to the elaborate switching equipment at the new building across the street from the Baptist Church. 

It was a simple matter for Dale and I to use both phones to call Tommy on one, Gordon on the other, put the receivers together and have a four-way conversation.

Enjoy your paperless phone book, and if you're under 50 you may be amazed how thriving Soperton once was.

William A. Ricks

Soperton Phone Book 1955 - Advertising

See article, next post.