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The Prescott Daily Courier | Prescott, Arizona

home : features : features February 05, 2016

4/29/2013 10:02:00 PM
Old newspapers a fascinating portal to the past
Al Capp captured the protest mood that was prevalent in the late í60s in this strip gleaned from the Courierís Feb. 7, 1967, comics page.
Al Capp captured the protest mood that was prevalent in the late í60s in this strip gleaned from the Courierís Feb. 7, 1967, comics page.

Jerry Jackson
Courier columnist

A page from the past - make that PAGES from the past - surfaced last week when fellow Noon Lion Ralph Canady came across a yellowed Prescott Evening Courier that was headed for recycling during one of the club's twice-weekly work days. It was dated Feb. 7, 1967, and prompted a nice batch of memories, as I was a worker dude with the paper at the time before hiking out for Sacramento for 28 years and then returning to Everybody's Hometown in 1996.

The Courier had a different look back then. Full color was still a dream for the publication, which at the time measured 16 inches in width before dieting to its current 11 inches. The editorial staff was small in number but big in quality. For example, a front page story headlined "Harold James In Frontier Days Saddle" had this catchy lead-in by crackerjack reporter John Schroeder: "It required just about five minutes for members of the Yavapai County Fair Association, meeting Monday, to decide unanimously to stage a 1967 Frontier Days Rodeo. It required about half that time to name Harold James of the Deep Well Ranch as rodeo chairman, which was also met with unanimous support of the association membership present." And elsewhere on the page, beneath a headline reading "Pipe Matter Enlivens Board Session," wordsmith Mae Gibson led in with the quippy "Pipe diverted the flow of an otherwise routine meeting of the Yavapai County Board of Supervisors on Monday."

Switching to the sports page were columns produced by Prescott's "Wizard of Odds" Rio Zaro and by fish and game scribe Bill Beers, whose second paragraph began with this statement: "The anti-gun lobby has already started its annual campaign to gradually eliminate weapons from the American scene," as he pointed out introduction in Congress of the "Dodd Bill" that he stated would "restrict the sale of all sporting firearms." And Rio? Well, there was this intriguing item: "Wizard of Odds hit 40 out of 40 major collegiate cage games from Jan. 30 to Feb. 1. That included eight upsets. This is his all-time high in 18 years of predicting athletic contests. Rio's forecasts are carried throughout the midwestern, eastern and southeastern states as well as Prescott and Flagstaff." And, switching from basketball to golf, was this item: "Chuck Lamb scored his first hole-in-one Saturday afternoon while playing with Wayne Howell and Norbe Wedepohl at Antelope Hills golf course. Lamb made his one-shotter on the fourteenth hole, using a nine iron for the 132 yards. This is the first hole-in-one for 1967 at Antelope Hills."

My own contributions included a photo I shot of Tonya Mock as she "admires the five engraved loving cups that will be awarded Prescott's best-dressed women next Tuesday evening at the finale of the Courier-sponsored 'Spring Fashion Show and Best-Dressed Women Pageant." (Tonya, of course, has been a familiar face and voice over the years in both radio and television locally, including the hosting of her own TV show.)

My only other contribution to the referenced edition, other than editing copy and writing a bunch of headlines, had to do with my daily assignment as writer of the local editorial. You can imagine how THAT turned out, based on my penchant for harmless prattle. In fact, I don't think I EVER wrote an editorial containing a modicum of substance, and this is apparent in that Courier editorial of Feb. 7, 1967, titled "Well, That's That!" The verbiage starts out like so: "Take a mongoose ... any mongoose. Multiply it by, say, four. What do you have? Mongooses? Mongeese? The January issue of Sunset Magazine shed some light on this pesky question when it observed that: 'Incidentally, the proper plural form of mongoose is mongooses, not mongeese, as some would have it.'"

In addressing the subject, I "editorialized" that I was reminded of "a whimsical story in a high school English book of years gone by" concerning "a fellow who wanted to start breeding the little rascals. His letter to the mongoose people began thusly: 'Dear Sir: Please send me two mongeese.' This naturally looked slightly ridiculous, so he started again: 'Dear Sir: Please send me two mongooses.' It still didn't ring quite true, so our hero shredded that epistle into little bits and launched anew: 'Dear Sir: Please send me a mongoose. P.S. By the way, send me another one.'"

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Reader Comments

Posted: Tuesday, April 30, 2013
Article comment by: Arizona Native

That sir was a real local paper. It was an evening paper and it had REAL local news and was interesting. I have lived in Prescott all my life and I remeber Rio and Bill and alot of the people from then. It was a great paper! Bill had a way of doing articals that made yoy feel he was right there talking to you. ( he was my nieghbor as well ) Now I see the paper and is nothing like it used to be. Wheres the local news, what about the local people in town what about good stories of that people do for other people. If something does make it into the paper is often weeks old and many errors. Paper are delivered around 5 am on a good day 7:30 on a bad day and very little news or info It was still agood paper when Jim Gardner was there. Check circulation shee what it was then compared to know . Lets go back to what it used to be and youd have more subscribers. Local news, Local people, Police beats and all It was a good paper sir delivered in a tamely manner in the afterroon. As the saying goes If it aint broke dont fix it!

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