Looking Back: Spelling ‘corduroy,’ pregnant drug bust

A durable cut-pile fabric, usually made of cotton, with vertical ribs or wales.

Or better known as corduroy.

That was one of the first words at the school district’s annual spelling bee in late March 1993. High School Principal Joseph Ellis defined the word to the room of seven teams as they wrote their spelling of the word on index cards and handed them to student assistants who did the tallying that night, The Press reported.

The newspaper noted that the groups who thought corduroy was “elementary” weren’t “getting off that easy.”

Four words later, Dr. Ellis challenged the room with “grisaille,” a style of monochromatic painting in shades of gray. Only the Ridgefield High School team, which eventually won the contest, jumped at the chance to spell this.

The heavy artillery came soon thereafter.

“Jacinth, incandescence, conscience, occasionally, connoisseur, accommodate, chihuahua, and indictment” were in the final round of words, The Press reported.

50 years ago

Members of Jesse Lee Memorial United Methodist Church were preparing for their first service in the church’s new building on Main Street the week of March 28, 1968. The first service in the new church was set for that Sunday, March 31, with a trio of ministers — the Revs. Walter Powell, John Benson, and Keith Glover — conducting a “Service of Entry.”

“The ritual will include the renewal of the covenant of membership, Holy Communion, and the receiving of new members,” The Press reported.

It wasn’t the only new building making headlines that week.

“Finance Board Requests a $6-Million High School,” read the top headline. A proposed 1,800-student high school, originally projected to cost upwards of $11 million, had been put in front of the Board of Finance at its March 25 meeting.

“Budget requests from the town and school system totaling $6,265,956 will be discussed at the annual meeting of the Board of Finance Monday, April 1, at Veterans Park School,” the newspaper announced, with an accompanying story about how the costs were reduced by the school’s building committee.

Churches and schools made a big splash in the final Press issue of March 1968 but it was the cops who undoubtedly drew the most attention from the public that week.

A three-month “intensive investigation” concluded with the arrest of a young Redding man and his pregnant wife March 23 on various narcotics charges, the paper reported.

The couple, in their early 20s, were arrested in a car parked in the Grand Union parking lot. The husband was charged with narcotic drug possession and “carrying a dangerous weapon.” The wife was charged with two counts of possession of a narcotic drug. Detectives found a large quantity of drugs “believed to be marijuana and heroin.

“Also found was a .38-caliber revolver and bullets,” the story read.