Hello again from historic Peach Blossom Hall in the center of Russellville in the “Independent County of Logan.” A county that I call home and love very much. Oh how I would love to live here until I am at least 100 years old if not longer. Then I could get married to a pretty woman and start life all over again.
Three very big activities, as far as I know of, are set for July in Logan County. First off is the big July 4 Red River Fish & Game Club Celebration down in Adairville. It promises to offer the largest fireworks display in the history of the county. The big celebration will be at the club house on James Lake Road just east of the 4 way stop sign on the town square. Doors open at 5 p.m. The cost is only $5 per car load of folks. Sandwiches and soft drinks will be available at a modest price. There will be door prizes, a raffle or two, maybe a little music and lots of fun! Plan on bringing the entire family. The fireworks will start as soon as it gets dark.
The second big event of July is Logan County Judge/Executive Logan Chick’s birthday. It comes just a few days after the 4th of July Celebration on July 11th. I heard that when Logan was growing up he thought everyone was celebrating his birthday on the 4th. I’m not surprised! Just so anyone thinks Logan might be getting up there in years and might retire from office, don’t hold your breath. I hear that Logan has rented a plane to fly a banner over the county that says, “Logan Chick Just Hit A Nifty 50.”
The third big event of the month will be the Logan County Fair which will be held at the county extension service July 11th – July 25th. The site is located on the by-pass in Russellville, a few blocks from Wal-Mart and across the highway from the local Marathon Service Center. The schedule is as follows: July 11- Horse Show, July 18 – Go Cart Racing. July 19 – Gospel Singing. July 20 – Beef Show/ Karaoke/ Baby/Kids Pageant. July 21 – Sheep/Goat/Hog Shows. Teen Pageant. July 22 – Orr’s Bouncing Fun. July 23 – Orr’s Bouncing Fun, July 24 To be announced. July 25 – Farmers’ Market Festival/ Craft Show/ BBQ Cook Off/ Truck Tug of War.
The fair board will be meeting again in just a few days and more events are to be added. You can also go on line and look up Logan County Fair. You can also check with the county extension service office for an updated schedule. Baby, Kids and Teen Pageant applications can be picked up at the Logan County Chamber of Commerce Office, the Logan County Tourism Office or the county extension office. Admission to the fairgrounds will be free each day. There is a nominal charge for the horse show, go cart racing, pageants, BBQ Cook Off if you eat, Tuck Pull and a few other events but there will also be plenty of free things to see and do. Make plans to come out every evening. The fair will open each afternoon at 4 p.m.
OTHER NEWS – As a boy growing up and when television was young there use to be only three stations available. (ABC, NBC and CBS.) The stations came on at 7 a.m. and went off at midnight. They started and ended their broadcasts with a prayer and the national anthem. All three stations were located in Nashville. TV screens were much smaller, 14” to 17” inches, and not very many people had them. They were, after all, very expensive at the time. Most TVs were made in America like RCA, Philco and Admiral. Their pictures were in black and white and there was no such thing as a remote control.
Whoever had a TV could expect lots of children to come by after school to watch Hoody Doody, Mr. Ed, the Science Doctor and Kocla, Fran and Olie. Saturday mornings your house would be overrun with kids who came to watch the cartoons all morning long.
The teen agers had the 5 O’clock Hop, the Dick Clark Show, Roy Rogers, Gene Autry, Hop A Long Cassidy, All In The Family, Lassie and many more.
On Friday evenings it was a different story. That was the adults time when they took over the TV watching. Kids could watch but the adults called the shots. That’s when the neighbors, friends and relatives, without TVs, began to “just drop by”. Dinah Shore would sing with great pep and gusto. Snooky Lanson and Rosemary Clooney headed up “Your Hit Parade.” (The top 10 songs of the week.) The Ed Sullivan Show was a big variety show. (Elvis Presley and the Beatles were introduced to America on that show.) Red Skelton was a top comedian. Loretta Young came swooping in with her beautiful gowns and sweet heart warming show. Then the big event of the week was always wrestling. That’s the real reason many of the visitors showed up. It was not unusual to have 15 to 25 people crowded in our living room to watch the parade of outlandish wrestlers put on the biggest show of the night.
Of course everyone knew that the wrestling was fake but that was never to be spoken for fear of hurting some ones feelings who thought it was real. “Gorgeous George” with his golden curls and pink shorts and satin robe brought sellout crowds to the arenas and to our living room. The Japanese “Evil Yamamoto” brought thousands of boos from the arena audience as well as those at home. “Gerabaldi The Great”, “The Giant” from 007 movie fame and Dusty Rhodes all had their fans and their enemies. The pomp and ceremony was spectacular. People would talk about the matches all week long till Friday night rolled around again.
In reality the wrestlers were good athletes and fair actors with a lot of theatrics and humor thrown in. They were around for a good while. (15 to 40 years.) The heyday of live TV wrestling was in the 50s, 60s and early 70s. Many made good livings at it and a few made fortunes.
I went to public school with the sons and daughters of several of the stars and saw them as just dads’ of my classmates. Last week Dusty Rhodes died, at an advanced age, from a fall off a ladder. (He was the last of the original TV wrestlers.) I knew him as a friend of teenagers. He never turned me down when I stopped to ask for an ad for my school carnival, newspaper or year book. He had a big heart.
I leave Sunday June 21 for Houston, Texas and the M.D. Anderson Cancer Clinic. I understand it is the best in the world. They are familiar with my extremely rare type of Chronic Myelomonocytic – 2 Leukaemia (CMML). Four men out of one million come down with this. I have heard of the one in a million and here I am one in four in a million! I will be an outpatient for about a week until all test are complete. I hope to return home to Logan County as soon as possible.
Time to go. Good night Brayden Haskins, the Gene Pulleys, Mr. Goat the Plumber, Alberta Sanders, Charlie Davis, Charlie Starks, Virginia Lloyd, Rotary friends and Mrs. Calabash where ever you are