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A Look Back 1975: Plenty of ways to beat the summer heat

  • A group of children, a swimming hole to splash in on a hot humid day and no eight-to-five schedule to keep spell fun in Thetford Center, Vt., on July 7, 1975. (Valley News - Larry McDonald) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

  • A crowd of music lovers came to hear toe-tapping rhythms on July 12, 1975, at the Old Time Fiddlers' Contest sponsored by the Dartmouth College Summer Council in Hanover, N.H. Leading off the eight-contestant contingent is Delmer Leach, of Lyndonville, Vt. Prizes were awarded in the open and senior categories. (Valley News - Larry McDonald) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

  • Haying in the heat of summer in the Upper Valley on July 25, 1975. (Valley News - Larry McDonald) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

  • Vice President Nelson A. Rockefeller, flanked by two security guards, escorts Eleanor Dwinell Borella, widow of his friend and advisor, from Rollins Chapel in Hanover, N.H., where a memorial service is held on July 12, 1975. Former New Hampshire Gov. Lane Dwinell, Borella's brother, follows. (Valley News - Larry McDonald) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

  • Photographed in West Lebanon, N.H., on July 24, 1975, Nancy and Jim Gosselin went through a lot to sponsor a Vietnamese family, but figure it was worth the effort. Pa Phi Tran, second left, and Song Van Ngo, have taken Kleen Laundry by storm and the couple's three children and nephew, center, hit it off immediately with the Gosselins' three children. (Valley News - Larry McDonald) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

  • Diners dig in at the Brownsville Bean Supper in West Windsor, Vt., on July 18, 1975. A community tradition for 40 years, the dinners began as a fundraiser for the local Methodist Church. (Valley News - Larry McDonald) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

  • A threatening thunderstorm held off long enough in the evening on July 24, 1975, for the Whitcomb Rangers to demonstrate the use of the flintlock musket to a crowd of Quechee, Vt., residents who turned out for a bicentennial program sponsored by the Hartford Bicentennial Committee. For many youngsters in the crowd, the demonstration of the muzzle-loading weapon used prior to 1840 was a new experience. (Valley News - Larry McDonald) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

  • Preparations are nearly complete for the opening of the Norwich Fair rummage sale at Tracy Hall in Norwich, Vt., on July 11, 1975. Barbara Hardy tries hats on for size while tagging them for the sale that opens at 7 p.m. (Valley News - Larry McDonald) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

  • Assistant District Four Highway Engineer Thomas B. Tetrault surveys damage on a South Royalton, Vt., bridge on Route 14 on July 16, 1075. Age, the elements and salt have taken their toll and the concrete has eroded from the bridge deck. (Valley News - Larry McDonald) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

  • Scott Luce of the National Bank of Lebanon puts a special twist on a pitch during action in the Lebanon Lions Tournament in Lebanon, N.H., on June 19, 1975. (Valley News - John Kaminski) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

  • An estimated $3,500 in damage but no injuries resulted from a three-car accident on Route 10 in West Lebanon, N.H., on July 9, 1975. Two of the cars were severely disfigured in the mishap. (Valley News - Susan Clark) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

  • Martha Griswold, 97, is presented Lebanon's Boston Post cane on July 29, 1975, by the city's historical society. The ebony stick is traditionally given to the oldest resident in Lebanon, N.H. (Valley News - Larry McDonald) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

  • The Lebanon Information Booth, manned by Jan Ross on July 23, 1975, has been telling tourists were to go this summer in Lebanon, N.H. Centrally located in Colburn Park, the booth has an array of travel brochures, maps and general information on the Granite State for the vacationer. (Valley News - Larry McDonald) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

Valley News Staff Writer
Published: 7/12/2020 8:07:41 PM
Modified: 7/13/2020 9:05:00 PM

WEST LEBANON — If you were a New England baby boomer in 1975, there was a lot to be excited about that summer.

Fred Lynn and Jim Rice, the Gold Dust Twins, roamed the Red Sox outfield in remarkable rookie debuts, with Lynn winning both the Rookie of the Year and Most Valuable Player awards, while Rice was launched on a Hall of Fame career.

Also that summer, Bruce Springsteen’s Born to Run album hit the stores and record players, and the movie version of Peter Benchley’s Jaws made millions of people think twice as they dipped their toes into the Atlantic Ocean along the East Coast.

The summer came after tough times in the spring. National unemployment had reached 9%, top aides to President Richard Nixon, including former Attorney General John Mitchell, were sent to prison in the Watergate scandal, and the North Vietnamese had captured Saigon, ending that war with an American defeat.

Here in the Upper Valley, some tourism watchers were concerned that more motorists were zooming up the interstates to the White Mountains, though Lebanon did its best with an information booth for tourists at Colburn Park where travel brochures — remember those, pre-Internet — were all the rage.

In Hartford, a bicentennial committee preparing for the big national celebration in 1976 was active, with re-enactors portraying Whitcomb’s Rangers showing Quechee residents how to use a flintlock musket.

Tradition continued in West Windsor, as the Brownsville Bean Supper marked its 40th year.

And Vice President Nelson Rockefeller flew into what was then known as the Lebanon Regional Airport to attend a memorial service in Hanover for Victor Borella, an Enfield resident and longtime aide who had been a 1930 classmate at Dartmouth.

And, of course, swimming holes were as popular as ever, with kids splashing in places like the Norwich Pool and in Thetford Center.

No sharks were to be found anywhere.

John P. Gregg can be reached at jgregg@vnews.com.




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