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Old advertisements and a long journey home

One of my favorite pastimes is looking through old newspapers. While I like the stories that tell of the era in which the newspaper was published, I am particularly drawn to the advertisements the newspapers contain. Often the prices are much lower than today’s prices. They are indicative of a time when a dollar was worth much more than it is today.
Recently, in my quest for something to read, I came across an April 30, 1969 edition of The Tomahawk. The paper was tabloid size (smaller pages than broadsheet or full size.) The paper was owned and published by Derl McCloud and his wife the late Gladys McCloud. My full-time employment at The Tomahawk spanned from 1973 until 2003. I have been writing this column since August of 2003.
Anyway, getting back to The Tomahawk I found, one of the first things to catch my eye was a full-page advertisement for Blackburn’s Supermarket that was located on the corner of North Church Street and East Main Street. The building housed the market and a Firestone dealership.
The prices in the ad were almost unbelievable compared to today’s prices. Bacon was 39 cents per pound. Coffee was $1.39 per two-pound can. Lemons were 39 cents per dozen. Those were the days.

There was also a 2 columns by six-inch ad for Fair’s Jewelers, which was located on Main Street, Mountain City. The Taylor Theatre advertised their shows with a 2-column by four-inch ad. Tickets were 75 cents for adults, children 50 cents. Friday and Saturday, May 2 and 3 “The Stranger Returns,” was showing. The late show on Saturday, May 3, was “Young Americans,” and on Monday and Tuesday, May 5 and 6 “With 6 You get Eggroll,” starring Doris Day, Brian Keith and Pat Carroll. There was a one-column ad for Mountain City Cable TV. The ad touted nine channels and over 20 FM Radio Stations. There was a 3 column by 26-inch ad for Wright Bros. TV and Appliance featuring Mary Carter paint.
I want to take this opportunity to mention the “Long Journey Home Musical Heritage Tour” that has been set for this Saturday, September 26. According to the brochure, 10:00 a.m. is the time Cristy Dunn’s latest mural will be unveiled. The mural on the northern outside wall of Antiques and Collectables depicts “The Birth of a Ballad: The Capture of Tom Dooley.” After that you may visit the library where an exhibit of cultural art and artifacts will be on display. Next will be the driving tour. On the driving tour, you’ll visit the place on Doe Creek where Tom Dooley was captured. You’ll also visit the homeplaces of Clarence (Tom) Ashley, Clint Howard and Fred Price. The final visit will be at the gravesite of Col. James Grayson.
If you didn’t mark your calendar when I announced this Saturday’s events in my column a few weeks ago, do it now and remember to attend the exciting events that will take place Saturday.