Dinky Hocker and other way-stations.

Nowt new to report.

Some days I go to Newspapers dot com and open the Boston Globe from 50 years ago, and today I thought there might be a blog post in it. So, we’ll see. If you have a subscription to the site, you can follow along; otherwise you’ll just have to trust me.


Page 2: Public TV’s WGBH Channel 2, victim of proposed deep federal budget cuts, plans to add a statement to each new episode of ZOOM, calling on viewers to send in letters of support that will then be forwarded to Washington policymakers. “We hope to bury them,” a spokesman says.

(View from the present: I dunno how much money WGBH ended up getting that year, but ZOOM stayed on the air through 1978.)

Page 3: The state Fire Marshal’s office slams the city of Boston’s Building Department for its “worthless” inspections and oversight of the Hotel Vendome project on Commonwealth Avenue. Nine firefighters died in June 1972 when part of the building collapsed during a fire.

(VFTP: Today, a monument to the firefighters stands on the Commonwealth Avenue Mall, which incidentally happens to be one of my favorite places in the city.)

Page 8: The headline of an op-ed piece asks, “In 1990, what will the teachers and textbooks say of this war?”

(VFTP: Given that I was in classrooms in 1990, you’d think I should remember. I remember the general cultural hairshirt-wearing about the treatment of Vietnam veterans, but not much else.)

Page 9: The “Books for the Young” reviewer bestows high praise on two echt-Seventies juvenile fiction titles: Dinky Hocker Shoots Smack!  (spoiler: no, she doesn’t) and Julie of the Wolves.

Page 10: Music writer Ernie Santosuosso writes about Neil Young’s “raw, bansheed wail.” Neil and his latest band, the Stray Gators, are completing an unusual three-fer — a gig at Boston Garden, followed by two at the more intimate Boston Music Hall. His opening act? “Perky, pretty Linda Ronstadt.” Meanwhile, for $3.50 a carload, the Blue Hills Drive-In in Canton is showing a triple bill of “Suburban Wives,” “Love Doctor” and “Crimson Cult.”

(VFTP: Neil’s best work was yet to come in February 1973. The teenage boy’s pejorative nickname for the Blue Hills Drive-In practically writes itself.)

Page 17: A glorious ragbag. The Port of Boston listings are here — the Norwegian ship Providence is in town, carrying some sugar.

TV and radio listings are here too. What’s on? On the radio, Leonard Bernstein guest-conducts the Boston Symphony, and during intermission you can choose between two hockey games.

On the gogglebox: Soul Train at 11:30 a.m., candlepin bowling at noon, Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids (shame that’s gone down the memory hole) at 12:30 p.m., Broons vs. Penguins at 2, Coronation Street at 7:30 p.m. (there will always be an England.)

February 10, 1973, is a Saturday, but of course there’s no Saturday Night Live yet. The 11:30 p.m. slot is occupied by options including the Olivia de Havilland movie Lady in a Cage; David Susskind; something called Viewpoint on Nutrition; and the smart viewer’s best bet, the Japanese monster movie Rodan.

Page 19: The “Ask the Globe” column answers a question for the ages. A letter writer from Marshfield (it’s south of Boston, on the coast) says they’re working on a fantasy book for children, and they want to have pirates communicate between ships using messenger pigeons. Would that work in real life?

(Mr. or Mrs. Ask the Globe checks with a source at the Museum of Science, who says this idea will only work if the ships are anchored and don’t move. Birds can be taught to home in on a location, but not on a moving target. Now you know.)

Ask the Globe also breaks it to a resident of a housing project that, no, they can’t transfer to a different housing project; and also informs a reader (presumably a young mother or father) that the company they ordered baby portraits from four years earlier has gone bankrupt and, no, they’re not getting the portraits. It’s not all fun and games when you invite random people to come to you with their questions.

Page 23: In between the “Letters to Bobby Orr” column and a hockey-tips column, probably one-third of the page is given over to Bobby Orr-themed content … and you know there were kids who tore apart the paper to go straight there.

Page 26: Providence College basketball star Marvin Barnes pleads innocent to an assault charge; he is accused of attacking a former teammate with a tire iron.

(VFTP: Barnes subsequently got the nickname “Bad News” for multiple behavior issues; at the end of his professional career, he snorted cocaine on the Celtics’ bench during games. This is not “badass” or “dangerous” or “athletes were so much better then” or any of that nostalgic nonsense you sometimes encounter on places like Twitter.)

Page 28: The obits page has a headshot of a seamed-looking older man with dark, hooded eyes (VFTP: no doubt made more so by the qualities of online reproduction.) The face belongs to Max Yasgur, proprietor of the farm where the Woodstock festival was held, who died a day earlier in Florida, aged just 53. In unrelated news, services are scheduled today for a 67-year-old man who was the victim of a two-car hit-and-run while crossing a street in suburban Dedham; two cars hit him, and neither car stopped.

Page 29: Charmingly primitive weather map. Fair and cold in Boston; high in the upper 20s.

(VFTP: It was 60 here in the ‘burbs today.)

Page 30: The classifieds start here and you can’t beat this one: “Esperanto lives in Boston! Meet people who speak the international language. PO Box 283, Prudential Center Station, Boston, 02199.”

(VFTP: Seems to me you could just go out on Boston Common or Copley Square and yell, “Mi ŝatus manĝigi viajn fingropintojn al la guloj,” really loudly and see who answers.)

Page 34: Now we’re into real-estate ads, a dazzle of names spanning southern New Hampshire to the tip of Cape Cod. Sudbury, Wayland, Peabody, Cotuit, Epsom, Bridgewater.

And oh, look — a good-sized ad for Flintlock Acres in Millis, many styles available, from $31,900, VA-FHA and conventional financing available.

(VFTP: Without knowing for certain, I suspect very strongly that I live around the corner from Flintlock Acres, and in fact was just walking there about 40 minutes ago. I think it’s the nearby subdivision whose nice wide streets host almost all my running and walking during the portions of the year when it’s dark before 6 p.m.)

Pages 43-44: Help-wanteds blend into car dealership ads. Machinists, instructors, Saabs, Volkswagens.

Page 48: The paper jars to a stop with one last page of classified ads.

The very last thing in the February 10, 1973, Boston Globe, if you read it from first to last, is an ad: “$10 CASH $10 FOR JUNK CARS! ACE AUTO PARTS, 381 Quincy Avenue, Quincy. Call 479-2126.”

(VFTP: Bonan nokton, miaj afablaj legantoj.)

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