Taking a look back over 25 and 50 years

50 years ago

According to an ad in the Sept. 25, 1969, Old Colony Memorial, coming soon to “the new Cinema Marshfield” at the corner of Route 139 and Webster Street was a new film called “Easy Rider.” In a review from Life magazine, Richard Schickel called it “a lyric, tragic song of the road.”

Otto McNab, operator of the Rocky Nook General Store, felt he was getting a runaround when he decided he would like to make doughnuts in the store. He complained to Kingston selectmen Sept. 23 that the previous week, Lawrence Westgate, chairman of the Board of Health, said McNab would need a bakery license. McNab had consulted with other doughnut shops and they only had a common victualler’s license, as did McNab. The addition of doughnut making in the store would involve an expansion of the business so McNab was told to go to the Zoning Board of Appeals for a hearing. Because it was to be a nonconforming use in a residential area, it could not be enlarged without the permission of the appeals board.

Clyde Balboni had became owner of Danforth’s Home Bakery a year ago. The bakery won the Massachusetts Retail Bakers Association grand prize trophy for the best entry in baked goods. The prize winning cake was called a “Zombie Cake” and consisted of a “delicate orange cake studded with almonds, not too sweet or rich, but mouth-watering.”

In the “Nature’s Way” column, author Wayne Hanley explained that a bird no bigger than a robin, known as Leach’s petrel, could be found off the coast of Maine but was seldom spotted. The birds only flew at night. They could dig a tunnel six feet long in the earth for a nest. In a chamber off the tunnel a single egg would be laid. The male and female alternated in incubating the egg for 41 to 42 days A few petrels had been heard that summer calling over the Penikese Islands off the south coast of Massachusetts.

An anonymous editorial began: “President Nixon is finding Vietnam just as hard a nut to crack as did his predecessors. He has made a beginning toward disengagement. But troop reductions of only 8 to 10 percent obviously can carry little weight with the other side.” It ended with the thought, “Therefore we shall continue to creep and fumble our way on as we are doing now…the rhetoric changes a little but that is all. And of course it is the fault of all of us not merely the president’s.”

In the “Babson’s Point of View” column: “Over the past decade or so, the spurt in all forms of leisure time activity has been phenomenal….It is estimated that the annual overall recreation market in the U.S. is currently worth around $100 billion and by 1975 will rise to $250 billion.”


25 years ago

An eye-catching headline on the front page of the Old Colony Memorial dated Sept. 22, 1994, was, “Seven-year-old bugs sinking pond.” The story concerned Jake’s Pond in South Plymouth. Milfoil and blatterwort plants were clogging the floor of the pond and about 70 families living around the area had asked that the pond be sprayed with a herbicide. They said the pond would atrophy and become a swamp if not treated. The Department of Environmental Protection responded that the state agency, Natural Heritage, said the pond could not be sprayed due to the sighting of a dragonfly and damselfly seven years ago. Neighbors appealed to Rep. Peter Forman for help and he was asking that at least a survey be done to see if the insects were still living at the pond. The dragonfly was not common to Massachusetts but was not an endangered species. However, Patricia Huckery, the head of Natural Heritage, said the clearing of vegetation in the pond would be a detriment to the insect’s habitat.

Town DPW workers removed an oil tank from the ground behind the old town barn the previous Friday. It ruptured and the cleanup lasted through the weekend. The ground underneath was stained with a substance which looked like the motor oil previously stored in the tank although the tank had been drained 10 years prior. The 2,000 gallon tank was trucked to an approved disposal site.

A UPS driver from Wareham, 44, was to be arraigned Sept 22 in district court on a charge of cruelty to animals. According to state police, he had deliberately driven his truck over a giant snapping turtle May 27, mortally wounding it. It was estimated at 45 pounds, 32 inches long. A carpenter had been framing a home nearby and witnessed the incident. State Trooper James Massari had been called to the scene by a resident in Ellisville, then the trooper met the carpenter and took his statement about the incident.