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All those years ago ... Jan. 17, 1963

By: Compiled by Anne Papineau
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From the Jan. 17, 1963 Auburn Journal
Displaced atoms blamed for poor Placer plum crop

A scientific explanation of what happened to spoil Placer County’s plum crop last summer was given this week by Herb Perry, manager of the Newcastle Fruit Growers Association.
Perry said he believes “the bad crop was caused by the severe electrical storm which occurred in late August during the plum-picking season. Although the rain damage was slight, the damage to the crop was caused by lightning.”
Here is the way he explains it: “Lightning causes a chemical change in the nitrogen and oxygen atoms which creates nitric acid. The nitric acid, diluted with rain, falls to the ground. When this diluted nitric acid falls on the tender skin of some fruit, such as plums, it causes a scorch, or a burn, on the skin of the fruit and the fruit later shrivels up after being packed and shipped. Consequently there is a blighted crop.”
Those plums which were picked before the August lightning storm showed no blight and those that were picked afterwards were damaged, he said. “As a result, the blighted and shriveled up plums spoiled the market for even the good fruit, and a loss was shown by the growers.”
Man attempts suicide by burning
Loque A. Fort
, 35, of Grover City, in San Luis Obispo County, was reported to be in satisfactory condition at the Placer County Hospital after he had tried to take his life by jumping into a bonfire Saturday.
Loque told Sheriff’s Deputies that he deliberately threw himself into the flames of a fire he had built in the railroad yard in Roseville in an attempt to commit suicide.
Trainmen from a passing freight train stopped and put him into a nearby creek to extinguish the flames.
He was burned on the upper portion of his body and was taken to the County Hospital by Lambert Ambulance from Roseville.
This ’n’ That by ginna
For lack of anything better to do the other day, we took to browsing through the archives of old Auburn Journals.
At random, we chose 20 years ago this month when the war was going full tilt and found that this is what was happening on the home front:
Lt. Jack Strasberg, U.S. Army Air Corps, enjoyed a three-day visit with his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Max Strasberg. It was stated that “Jack showed a weight increase which he attributed to the fine food he is receiving in the army.”

The new trial jury list for Placer County had a new look – made up of 80 percent women. In the past, the names of all women were withheld.

Marvin Fleming, who was already listed as a veteran of World War I, for the second time answered the call of duty.

Bud Barieau wrote home of near death in a plane crack up.

Roy Mikkelsen, after completing non-com school following basic training at Camp Walter, has been ordered to Ft. Benning, Ga., for officer training.

Mrs. Mary Kemper entertained at a farewell party for Ruth Wilson who left for WAC training. Guests were the Earl Crabbes, Marvin Flemings, Mrs. Ed Bemis, Mrs. Ray Beves, the C.C. Winters, Dorothy Ogletree and Niel Donohue.

At the movies, Ginger Rogers and Ray Milland graced the State Theatre screen in “The Major and the Minor,” today’s fare on the late, late show.

Chicken was 35 cents a pound, certainly not a bargain by today’s standards.

But Montgomery Ward had a half-page ad about the new ice refrigerators that could be converted to electricity after the war – only $89.95 … and sugar stamp No. 11 became valid after Feb. 1st – good for 3 lbs. of sugar until March 14th.

The barometer dropped to 28 twice during the week of Jan. 21st … and Ray Meyers drove a fire truck to Miller’s Lunch stand in
Bowman but the building still suffered severe damage – not that Ray didn’t do his job efficiently, however.

And although the Journal was smaller 20 years ago (due to wartime regulations and everything) it appears that basically the names are the same and so is the setting. Even the few ads for ladies clothes reveal that dress lengths look the same as today!
But just to round things off, all unused or expired B,C, D, R and T books must be returned to the rationing board from whence they were issued. Nostalgia, anyone?

John E. Teel celebrated his 91st birthday Dec. 31, at the home of his son, Roy Teel. John Teel came to California in 1875. His first home was in Gridley, and he later lived at the Old National Hotel in Nevada City. When he was a young man he drove a wagon and team carrying dynamite and whiskey to the mining camps.
~Compiled by Anne Papineau