Turning the calendars to 1986 — looking back in Coats

For the Record
Posted 11/6/20

New Year's specials at the IGA grocery store included sirloin steak for $2.48 per pound, ground beef, $1.18 per pound, chicken fryer legs at 68 cents per pound and T-bone steak, $2.78 a pound. How do you like those prices?

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Turning the calendars to 1986 — looking back in Coats


The year was 1986 when over 12 million sunscreens for car windshields were used in vehicles on hot, sunny days. The first test-tube baby was delivered from a surrogate mother in Mount Sinai Hospital in Cleveland. Two Seattle deaths were attributed to cyanide-laced Excedrin capsules.

The cost of a house in Long Island, New York, was $125,000 compared to $60,000 in 1980. The national debt exceeded $2 trillion — having doubled in the last five years. The U.S. trade deficit jumped to an unprecedented $18 million.

Popular words and phrases in 1986 were “Hands Across America,” “junk bonds,” “three pointer” and “toxic cloud.” Some bumper stickers read, “My wife ran off with my pickup truck and I miss it”, and “Go ahead and hit me, I need the money” (Dickson, Paul. “From Elvis to E-Mail.” Massachusetts: Federal Street Press, 1999, pp 283-289).

Who was president in 1986?

The following news items appeared in the January through March 1986 issues of The Daily Record where it advertised that the New Year’s specials at the IGA grocery stores were: Sirloin steak, $2.48 per pound, ground beef, $1.18 per pound, chicken fryer legs at 68 cents per pound and T-bone steak, $2.78 a pound. How do you like those prices?

Mr. and Mrs. John Ennis of Dunn announced the birth of their grandson, Jonathan Stuart Ennis, who was born to Mr. and Mrs. Stuart Ennis of Greenville. Another Ennis made the news when Jimmy Rogers Ennis was the winner for Week Three of The Daily Record Basketball Contest with three misses. Jimmy’s prize was $50.

The Coats Area Chamber of Commerce recognized the Watson Insurance Agency, owned by Marie Watson. Also on hand was Jeneal Denton (Wade), who was agent and general manager of the agency.

Edgar “Bug” Norris Jr., 59, of Route 1, Benson, had died. His survivors were his wife, Lottie Howard Norris; his son, Danny; three daughters, Brenda Eason, Glenda Nordan and Bonnie West Lassiter. Another death announcement was that of Bobby Lynn Brown, 8, son of Mr. and Mrs. Stimey Brown of Benson. His great-granddad was Sanford Stewart.

C.T. Clayton was featured as vice president of Ragsdale Consultants Inc. He headed the firm’s Lillington office. Glenn Miller, of Route 1, Angier, head of the White Patriot Party, was also featured, but for a different reason. He was officially opening his campaign as a Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate with a regional rally at Coats Middle School.

Billy and Peggie D. Pope were celebrating the second anniversary of the opening of their restaurant, Pope’s Barn. They had added a 2,200-square-foot addition to the building that included a 400-square-foot balcony. A gospel group sang for the patrons at the celebration.

Johnnie Barnes and his wife, Hazel Morgan Barnes, had celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary on Dec. 29, 1985. The celebration was held at the home of their son, David Barnes, and wife, Betty Watkins Barnes.

Other family members present were Drs. Richard and Janice Barnes Daniel and Col. Billy and Mrs. Jean Barnes. The grandchildren of the couple were Adam, Joey and Melissa Barnes, all of Coats; Scott and Paige Daniel of Morehead, Kentucky, and Charlene, Richard, Colette, Michael and Robert Barnes of Springfield, Virginia.

The Coats Area Chamber of Commerce banquet had been attended by several folks who were identified as dignitaries: New chamber President Tim Brown, Mayor Tim McKinnie, Commissioner Frances Avery and M.O. Phillips, ex-officio member of the chamber board. They were on hand to honor Carsie Denning Sr. and Mary Lee Denning as the Family of the Year for the Coats Woman’s Club and Florine Penny as the Coats Woman’s Club Woman of the Year. Amy Brown presented the awards as president of the club.

Record cold was in evidence by the ice on fire hydrants in town. Newton Byrd, 74, of Coats had died. He was the son of the late Ben Byrd and Rosa Stevens Byrd. His wife, Hettie Holmes Byrd; two children, Conray and Barbara; three brothers; and six sisters survived him.

Another death was printed in the paper. William “Speed” Poole, 64, of Coats had died. He was the son of the late Robert Almon Poole and Nettie Johnson Poole, and was survived by his wife, Ethel Harmon Poole; daughter, Gayle P. Love; brother, Lentis Poole; sisters, Elsie P. Godwin and Gladys P. Johnson.

Who remembers Esther Ricks? Next week I shall share information about her.

We are so excited to share good news about one of our museum volunteers. Kathy Weeks, who worked so diligently with us on the “Defenders of the Red, White and Blue” publication dropped by the museum to share the good news that her cancer is in remission. We can’t wait to have our friendly docent back at the museum after the pandemic is over.

When I was growing up, Mom and Dad shared (preached) nuggets of wisdom that I can hear them saying to this day. These sayings influenced the person I am and impacted my actions so much that I often wrote similar sayings on the board for my students to explore the meaning as related to their lives.

Two sayings come to mind as I reflect on our visitors to the museum last week. “A good name is to be chosen over great riches” and “there are two kinds of people — givers and takers — and the givers make the bigger difference.”

Rhonda Denning Stephenson and her husband, Randy, were model students for me and they definitely chose the good name route. The couple also selected to follow the path to be givers rather than receivers. Rhonda serves on our museum board and has been so supportive of the museum since 2005. The volunteers thank you, Rhonda and Randy, for your generous gift to the museum.

My parents also shared this saying: “A picture is worth a thousand words,” and it is a very appropriate saying for our museum collections.

Joy Dan Clayton Fleming Spivey visited last week bringing lots of historical pictures and some delicious cupcakes for the volunteers. Thanks to Joy Dan, and we welcome you back to Coats after many years in Greensboro. Thanks also for giving a memorial for Joe Tart.

We have really enjoyed going through the family pictures and old documents of Millie Harmon Wiggins. Benny Harmon, her nephew, allowed us to copy many for the museum. Thank you, Benny.

Some of the pictures will be useful as we publish our second edition of the “Defenders of the Red, White and Blue.”


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