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50 Years Ago February, 1969

By Jim Ignasher

At the beginning of the month one local paper noted how warm weather had been dominating the region causing little snow accumulation. They shouldn’t have worried, for the weather is always changing, and the end of February brought plenty of snow and cold weather – just in time for spring.

On February 2, the newly completed Smithfield Boys Club skating rink was dedicated to the memory of Kenneth Furby and Smithfield Police Sergeant Norman Vezina, who both drowned two months earlier in December. The 17,000 square foot rink was located at the foot of Deerfield Dr. on land leased by the town for 50 years. Amenities included a warming hut, an office area, flood lights for nighttime skating, and electric pumps. The project began on May 13, 1966, and took three-and-a-half years to complete, a feat that was accomplished through the many hours of hard work by local contractors and numerous volunteers. The opening of the rink gave the youths of Smithfield a safe place to skate. Unfortunately, just 24 days later, thoughtless vandals destroyed much of the rink.

$500 was donated to the Norman Vezina Fund by the Chubby Square Dance Group of Pawtucket.

SP/4 Raymond C, Smedberg of Greenville was serving with the U.S. Army in Yokosuka, Japan.

Sergeant Harvey E. Frank of Greenville was serving with the 3rd Marine Division in South Vietnam.

Airman 1/c William M. Haddad of Esmond was training at Fort Campbell, Kentucky, with the Air Force Security Police.

Airman Kenneth T. Parent of Greenville completed basic training at Lackland Air Force Base in Texas.

Airman 1/c James P. Coupe of Greenville was serving with the U.S. Air Force in Thailand.

Private Steven M. St. Jean of Georgiaville was stationed at Fort Gordon in Georgia.

Navy Petty Officer 3/c Richard N. Kanea of Greenville was serving aboard the attack-cargo ship U.S.S. Algol. Prior to this assignment, he’d served two years in Vietnam.

Brothers Brian and Terrance McCaffrey of Greenville were both serving with the U.S. Air Force, and both were promoted to Sergeant.

S/Sgt Benjamin F. Crossman, Jr., of Esmond was serving with the Air Force in Arkansas.

George Allan of Greenville entered navy recruit training.

Airman 1/c Mark D. Sullivan of Greenville was serving with the 804th Security Police.

Army Private Carl A. Bruno of Greenville was awarded the American Spirit Honor Award in Graduation ceremonies held for the 3rd Basic Combat training Class at Fort Dix, N.J.

On February 8th, the number one pop song was “Build Me Up Buttercup” by The Foundations.

On February 9, the Boeing 747 “Jumbo Jet” flew for the first time.

How many can recall when parents used to have their baby’s first shoes dipped in bronze? One local company that advertised this service stated in their ad, “Your baby’s own shoes “eternalized” in everlasting metal – pickup and delivery”.

With Valentine’s Day approaching, one local store suggested the gift of perfume. Provocative scents included “Spring Mist”, “Hypnotique”, “Primitive”, “Promesse”, and “Golden Woods”. Only $1.75 per bottle.

The Smithfield Players presented “Critics Choice”, by a three-act comedy play by Ira Levin, at the Smithfield High School. The plot centered on a newspaper drama critic who is put in a difficult position when his wife becomes a stage actress.

The drama critic was played by Gene Leveille, and Nancy St. Pierre played his wife.

On February 18, a “Kiddies Day” was held, sponsored by the Smithfield High School senior class. Cartoons and the movie “The Three Lives of Thomasina” was shown, and refreshments were served.

If one was looking for a good “pre-owned” car, one local dealership was offering a 1965 Ford Galaxie for $1,195. Andy Griffith fans will recall that Sheriff Taylor and Deputy Fife always drove Ford Galaxie police cars while patrolling the mean streets of Mayberry.