The 60s Official Site Blog

Dedicated to the memory and history of the 60s from a personal and historical point of view.


Tuesday, March 05, 2013

Looking Back at March 1967

March 1967, 46 years ago, can you imagine that much time has gone by but many events from that time seemed like the other day?  Circleville, Ohio, not a very large town but it was the entire world to me at the age of 18. I was still undecided what I wanted to do after graduating from high school the previous year. College, work or military service remained my choices as do today's young people. 

The evening news with Walter Cronkite was announcing that President Johnson was beginning the lottery draft as we were building up our involvement in Vietnam.  Additionally the Jimmy Hoffa story continues as he was sentenced to an eight year prison sentence as the Beatles song "Penny Lane" hit the #1 position.

I still remained convinced that I will find what I am suppose to do with my life. At that time I was working at Big Bear Supermarkets in Circleville.  I was the full time frozen food/produce guy, responsible for stocking, ordering, rotating stock and assisting customers.  I also doubled as a carry-out service as needed.  A great job with decent pay for 1967.  I was paid $2.25 an hour.  The minimum wage at that time was $1.25 which I was received at J.C. Penney's before I took this job.  I definitely was going to be a store manager one day as I started ruling out college as the war in Vietnam continued to escalate. For those of you who do not anything about Big Bear Stores,  Big Bear was a regional supermarket chain operating in Ohio and West Virginia. The company was founded in Columbus, Ohio in 1934, and was headquartered there until its acquisition by Syracuse, New York-based Penn Traffic in 1989. For nearly 75 years, the chain was a Central Ohio institution. A few years later it went under as a result of poor management and competition.

I worked hard and was paid well but as more and more of acquaintances from my hometown felt the twang of the draft, I was convinced by my manager to try to join the Reserve but it was difficult as everybody else had the same idea and none of the units close to home had any open positions.

On March 25 The Turtles hit #1 with "Happy Together" as  I was getting more and more apprehensive and in September 1967 I enlisted in the United States Army.  I guess I found my destiny.

You can listen to the hits of March 1967 this month only on Soundtrack of the 60s with Neal Stevens to relive those times that was to me just the other day.

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