BY MIKE AVITT
I was asked to put on a picture slideshow at the Mount Ayr High School class of 1962 reunion to be held during Ayr Days. I don’t know how to do that so I made prints of some pictures I had from the late 1950s to the mid-1960s. And this week’s photo is one of them.
In the picture I can see Mt. Ayr Locker, Dairy Creme, Irving’s Clothing Store, Ben Franklin, Bob Hudson’s Food Store, and Bev’s Pantry; all familiar places of the early 1960s. Just out of view to the left would have been (Guy) Todd’s Hardware and (Keith and Betty) Cole Firestone.
At the high school, the class of 1962 celebrated an undefeated Raider Football season in the fall of 1961. Raiderette basketball also enjoyed their best season winning the sectional tournament. And the new band director, Merrill Perry began his career at Mt. Ayr Community Schools.
New places to eat in 1962 included the newly remodeled Rogers’ Cafe and Ruth’s Steakhouse. In January 1963, Matt and Carolyn Bevington opened Bev’s Pantry on the north side of the square.
Lucky Lanes bowling alley opened in September 1960 and the skating rink was upgraded in 1961. Stock car races were held weekly and the swimming pool at Judge Lewis Park opened in 1963. Movies were shown all week at the Princess Theatre.
There were about ten filling stations where motorists could fuel up their jalopies and have their studded snow tires repaired. Those service stations also sold soda pop in 10-ounce glass bottles.
If it was your turn to cook, you could shop for vittles at West End Market or Bob Hudson’s IGA. Hy-Vee bought United Food Market in September 1962.
In the early 1960s, barbers included Bob Smith, Bob Evans, Bill Wheeler Dick Simopson, and William Buell. Beauticians included Marilyn Olney, Theanna Simpson, Ina Stuck, Viola Taff, and Kathryn Chartrand.
When wayward youth ran afoul of the law (you know who you are!), they had to deal with Sheriff Elb Strange, his deputy LaVerne Worthington, and the newly formed Ringgold County Sheriff’s Posse. Wayne Petersen was the local State Highway Trooper.
In the field of health care, Russell Boyd was the Ringgold County Hospital Administrator. Clearview Nursing began construction in 1962 and Doctors Mitchell and Fell handled the needs of the community. Dr. Knight and Dr. Lawhead were the dentists.
Our Class of 1975 Reunion got delayed one year because of Covid-19, so we had our 46 year reunion last year. Cindy (French) Matthews organized a trip down Memory Lane which we all enjoyed. I hope the class of 1962 has as much fun as we did.
BY MIKE AVITT