Past Tense: October 26, 2017

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70 years ago - 1947

For Halloween 1973, the Parents Club of Idyllwild Elementary School decided to hold the annual carnival outdoors on the school grounds — and it was a happy decision. There was plenty of run-and-play space, plenty of space for game booths and noise didn’t matter. Costumes ran the gamut from eerie to adorable, and the judges would have given everybody a prize if there had been enough. The hit of the day was an ingenious haunted house. When receipts were counted, it was found that 500 youngsters had giggled and screamed their way through it. file photo

Town Crier wound up its first year of publication, written, mimeographed and mailed from the Maxwell home. News was brought right to the front door as the Maxwells did not have a telephone.

65 years ago - 1952

Disaster struck an elderly couple, Mr. and Mrs. James Bowlin, when their Thomas Mountain cabin burned to the ground. But friends and neighbors quickly rallied to donate shelter, furnishings and clothing. Volunteers turned out to rebuild the couple’s home.

60 years ago - 1957

Town Crier real estate ads offered “View Lots, $200,” “Large Wooded Estates, $1,995,” and a “Partly furnished cabin on Strawberry Creek, $4,500.”

55 years ago - 1962

Hill folk were urged to come to the Sabin polio vaccine clinic to get one of those miraculous cubes of sugar.

50 years ago - 1967

Chuck Muir, Hemet High senior, was named football lineman of the week at school.

45 years ago - 1972

The Grey Squirrel, previously a fixture in Fern Valley Corners, moved to a new building in downtown Idyllwild. Inez Johnson, proprietor, posted an apologetic sign: BPWUWNFY. Translation: “Be patient with us; we’re not finished yet.”

40 years ago - 1977

A $30,000 chlorinator was added to the Fern Valley Water District system. Gill Johnson, general manager, said the chlorine would not affect the water’s taste.

35 years ago - 1982

America’s Cleanest Forest was a lot cleaner thanks to Desert Sun School students and faculty. They worked together to pick up more than 100 bags of trash on Saunders Meadow Road.

30 years ago - 1987

More than 250 parents turned out for Parents Day at Elliott-Pope and ISOMATA. The activities included a mini-class schedule, performances of the musical “Cole,” and a music and dance recital.

25 years ago - 1992

A Town Crier three-part series examining the Hemet Unified School District showed HUSD in desperate need of funds to build schools for the 40-percent of students being taught in portable clasrooms.

20 years ago - 1997

The Hemet Unified School District was debating protecting gay students from discrimination and harassment on campus. When  asked their opinion by the Town Crier for the “Town Talk” column, all four interviewees said they supported the idea.

15 years ago - 2002

Almost 400 signatures were collected by The Citizens Committee on Unification in support of the idea of creating one governing body for the three water districts on the Hill.

10 years ago - 2007

Caltrans began a $763,000 street-widening project around the dangerous horseshoe curve in Mountain Center on Highway 243 near Highway 74.

• • •

Erratic Santa Ana winds punished Hill residents and visitors. Several trees were downed, knocking out power and closing many streets in town.

5 years ago - 2012

At the age of 97, Dot Lewis was recognized for her work as a pilot during World War II. Motivated to become a pilot after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, Lewis became one of the few women pilots of her time.

1 year ago - 2016

Idyllwild honored the memory of the five Esperanza firefighters the deadly wildfire took on its 10-year anniversary at the site in Twin Pines.

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