Looking back: Market food prices were pretty manageable in 1966

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Fifty years ago in 1966, there were some good prices on lots of things. A few that caught my eye were grocery sales. Piggly Wiggly had pork chops for 38 cents a pound and three six-pack Coco-Cola for $1.

A&P had round steak for 75 cents a pound and Kwik-Chek had three pounds of ground beef for $1. Those were the days when it took more than one shopping bag to carry. These days $50 worth of groceries can be carried out in two bags. Before you think I am picking on the grocery stores, let me tell you that my husband was in the grocery business all his life. He spent time in Andalusia, Ozark (where he found me), Greenville, Union Springs, Brewton, Atmore, Davisville and East Brewton. Even when we went on vacation, he would stop and tour other grocery stores. I can’t tell you how many hours I spent waiting for him in a hot car. I finally learned not to stay inside until he went out to get in the car.

One other price I saw was an ad for Friendly Ford in which they advertised a new 1966 F-100 Ford pickup for $1,795. That was a bargain.

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The Maid of Cotton contest was held at Escambia County High School and the winner was Margaret Strain from Brewton. The alternate was Earlda Finlay. also from Brewton.

There was a photograph of young men signing up to play football for the new school year at the high school. They were getting the equipment they would need for the coming football season. The coach was C.P. Floyd.

It’s hard to believe but it is that time again. I surely hope the athletes drink lots of water and take care during these hot days. It can be very dangerous out there in the sun.

According to the 1964 Agricultural Census, there were 876 farms in Escambia County. That was 172 less than in 1959. People seemed to be leaving the farms behind. That is a shame. I love to live in a small town, but I grew up out in the country. We did not farm, because my dad worked for the state, but we did have a garden, a couple of pigs and a milk cow. But we also had the old time rolling store. Now if you don’t know what that was; it was a large truck outfitted with all sorts of things we needed and didn’t want to go to town to get. You could, if you had the money, buy lots of items off the rolling store. We never went to town except on Saturdays. What we did buy was put on a “charge account” until my folks got paid.

Peggy Bracken, the county home agent, was still busy trying to teach people things they could do to save money around the household. She organized a meeting where she discussed drapery fabric and how to go about sewing drapes and curtains.

How many people do you know who still does that type of thing? I have never had a “store bought” curtain at my windows. I have always sewn my own, just as I did my clothing. I even made my own wedding dress.

The Red Cross was having a blood drive and said they needed 165 pints to be used locally and for the war in Vietnam. I didn’t see the end results so I don’t know if they got that much or not.

Lastly, I noticed another sale ad in The Atmore Advance. Today the weather is very warm (okay, hot) but Bedsole’s had a sale on winter coats in July of 1966. There were several pics of women sporting winter coats with fur collars and made of wool. Now that was just too much.