Richard Hyatt: Let's go back, way back into time

October 24, 2013 

It seems like only yesterday … well, maybe the day before yesterday.

The month was November and the year was 1972. I was fresh off the two-lane state highway from Atlanta, trying vainly to properly pronounce Buena Vista so I could find the road where I had rented an apartment on a previous trip.

I was different and so was Columbus. And what I found 41 years ago was very different from what we find today:

• Doug Wallace was tossing chalk and forecasting the weather on Channel 3.

• Wells Dairy was bottling milk and Kadie the Cow was standing guard at Kinnett's.

• Bibb City was still a city with a mayor and a town cop.

• Columbus Square was the place to shop.

• Spano's served delicious bread pudding.

• WCLS, a 1000-watt AM station, played the best music in town.

• The Astros played baseball at Golden Park.

• Firm Roberts -- the originator of the Scrambled Dog -- was still making his signature item on Cusseta Road.

• Heidelberg College came all the way from Ohio to win the inaugural Stagg Bowl in Phenix City.

• J.R. Allen was mayor of Columbus.

• The Ralston was still a hotel.

• Elvis-impersonators performed just about every night of the week at the Jacopa Club in Phenix City.

• There were two daily newspapers -- the Enquirer in the morning and the Ledger in the afternoon.

• You could drive an automobile across the 14th Street bridge.

• Cotton mills were still important.

• Professional wrestling filled the seats every Wednesday night at the Municipal Auditorium and promoter Fred Ward pulled big TV ratings for his live matches on Saturday afternoon.

• The only McDonald's in town was on Macon Road.

• Bill Heard was a car dealer, not a theater.

• If you wanted to eat a good steak, you went to the Coco Supper Club, and if you wanted a good pizza, you called Joe Nocera at the Villa Nova.

• Disgraced Army Lt. William Calley was under house arrest in an apartment near Fort Benning's Main Gate.

• Television stations went to bed at night.

• Starbucks was brewing coffee in Seattle but not Columbus.

• Our four-year school was known as Columbus College -- not Columbus State University.

• The sports editor of the Columbus Enquirer -- a fellow named Hyatt -- sported a head full of dark hair.

-- Richard Hyatt is an independent correspondent. Reach him at

Ledger-Enquirer is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service