By David Stevens: FNM editor
Now that 50 is the new 30, and 85-year-old ex-presidents are jumping out of airplanes, how can you tell if you’re an old-timer?
You’re an old-timer if you can remember …
… the Green Hornet radio show, which ran from 1936 to 1943. Newspaper publisher Britt Reid was the crime-fighting Green Hornet, whose gun fired knockout gas instead of bullets.
… when a gas explosion rocked the law offices of Rowley, Breen and Bowen at 214 S. Second St. in Tucumcari. No injuries were reported, but chairs were overturned and an adding machine was hurled across the room. It happened March 1, 1954.
… Cab Calloway was the “Hi De Ho” jazz singer from the 1940s. He was known to forget words to songs, so he improvised with nonsensical words to fit the beat.
… Coleman De Laney, a 26-year-old farmer, was shot and killed outside the post office in Grady on Oct. 2, 1933. Officials said De Laney and his killer were armed and faced each other about 15 feet apart. Sheriff A.J. Bell said there had been “some trouble” between the men. One arrest was made but the Tucumcari Daily News did not report whether the suspect was convicted of any crime.
… playing with a Pogo stick as a child. The jumping stick was patented in 1919, though the original wooden version tended to rot and warp, leading to metal and steel frames.
… Actor James Stewart and his flying instructor stopped at the Tucumcari airport because of bad weather on Jan. 25, 1940. They spent two nights in town before the storm cleared, according to Debra Whittington’s book “In the Shadow of the Mountain.” “If I stay in Tucumcari much longer I’ll feel like an old-timer, buy a pair of cowboy boots and a 10-gallon hat … and get me a cow,” Stewart said just before departing.
… the Marx brothers. Groucho, Chico and Harpo Marx made their final TV appearance together on G.E. Theater with host Ronald Reagan in 1959, according to the Web site “Fifties Web.”
… when Tucumcari’s McBride Oldsmobile, at 208 E. Center, in 1954 promised to trade new or used cars for cattle, sheep, hogs or hay.
… Burma-Shave signs. The white on red roadside signs promoted shaving cream from 1925 to 1963. They were posted in poetic groups of four, five or six. One example: “On curves ahead … Remember, sonny … That rabbit’s foot … Didn’t save … The bunny … Burma-Shave.”
… when a water tank exploded in downtown Tucumcari, killing three and flooding streets with more than a million gallons of water. That happened Dec. 13, 1951.
… when Eddie LeBaron played for the Dallas Cowboys. He was the team’s first quarterback in 1960 and represented them in the Pro Bowl in 1962. LeBaron stood 5-feet, 9-inches tall and weighed 168 pounds.
… when the “T” was first painted on Tucumcari Mountain. That was in 1935.