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Looking Back
Last Updated: August 10, 2017

50 years ago

Valley Center residents Don and Connie Manley helped with the Mountain Dew Hillbilly Troup and Shack in downtown Valley Center. The event was sponsored by Pepsi-Cola and arranged by the Valley Center Chamber of Commerce. Don Manley, disguised as Zippy Zeke, was involved in the production of a magic show combined with a hillbilly band performance. Connie Manley dressed up as Emmy Lou, and their kids dressed up for the hillbilly jam as well.

William Irwin, son of Mr. and Mrs. William W. Irwin of Lake Placid, N.Y., accepted a position teaching men's physical education at Valley Center Junior High School. A 1962 graduate of Ellsworth High School, he attended Hutchinson Junior College and received a bachelor of science in education from Kansas State Teachers College of Emporia.

45 years ago

Navy Aviation Officer Candidate Dennis W. Prothero, husband of the former Miss Linda J. Bright of Valley Center, began basic flight training at Pensacola, Fla. After completing Officer Candidate School, he was commissioned as an ensign and began intensive ground and in-flight training leading to his designation as a naval aviator.

Airman Lawrence B. Yoakum Jr. completed five weeks of training at the Air Force Security Police Training Center at Lackland Air Force Base, San Antonio. He was stationed at McConnell Air Force Base.

40 years ago

Bernice Fields of rural Sedgwick won $100 in Leeker's IGA "Play the Races" contest. Manager Gary Smith presented her with the winning check.

Valley Center had a new grocery store nestled between the Pizza Hut and the Sonic Drive-in on Meridian. Owner Dick Shoger, his wife Wanda and eight employees opened the Valley Jack & Jill Food Center.

35 years ago

E.C. "Robbie" Robbins Jr. assumed ownership of Robbins Printing Co. in the 200 block of West Main, changing the name of the business to E.C.R. Printing. Homer Robbins and Ben Scriven were full-time press operators and darkroom technicians. Lucy Robbins was in charge of typesetting and artwork. Carol Robbins worked part time.

Eleven-year-old Rick Thompson of Valley Center won a season pass to Silver Dollar City though a contest sponsored by Wendy's. His parents, Kathy and Dave Thompson, and his 10-year-old brother, Chris, stayed at the Branson, Mo., tourist attraction for five days before returning home.

30 years ago

Julie Blanchard, daughter of Larry and Joyce Blanchard and a 1987 Valley Center High School graduate, received scholarships from the Kansas Restaurant Association and the Kansas Restaurant Purveyors Association. She also received the Margaret Justin Class of 1909 scholarship from Kansas State University, where she was a hotel and restaurant management major.

M.B.D. finished the season as Division 1 champions in the men's summer slo-pitch softball league, sponsored by the Valley Center Recreation Commission. M.B.D. defeated Couch Potatoes 8-6 in the championship game.

25 years ago

An early morning fire consumed all of Betty's Kountry Kitchen and ignited the upper floor of the two-story building, destroying history and treasures of the Masonic Lodge that dated as far back as 90 years, according to Tom Rosenberry, the master of the lodge. Several shops and businesses in the lower level of the building received smoke and water damage.

Trisha Gaylord, daughter of Bob and Sandy Gaylord of Valley Center, was crowned National Saddle Club O-mok-see under-12 Princess in Le Center, Minn. Gaylord was judged in horsemanship, barrel racing, pole bending and personality in age-group competition, and was runner-up high point rider in all speed events. She rode for the Bit and Spur Saddle Club in Bentley.

20 years ago

Andrea Hattan, daughter of John and Debbie Hattan of Goddard, won the national grand prize in the Pooh's Best Friend contest in Family Fun magazine. She wrote about which Pooh character her best friend, second-grade classmate Allison Brown, was most like and what made her special.

Valley Center resident Cindy Opat illustrated the book "Over the Backyard Fence," a collection of newspaper columns written by her mother-in-law, Donna Opat, that ran under the same name in The Salina Journal from 1962 to 1965. The book was published by Abbot House.

15 years ago

Airman Erin N. Rowland, daughter of Vickie Rowland of Wichita and Marc Rowland of Edmond, Okla., graduated from basic training at Lackland Air Force Base, San Antonio. A 2000 graduate of Valley Center High School, she was to be stationed at Lackland for six weeks of tech school.

Kate Barnaby, daughter of Richard and Annette Barnaby, and Karah Covey, daughter of Layman and Gayle Covey, both of Valley Center, were among 97 students who received $1,000 scholarships from the Fred C. and Mary R. Koch Foundation.

10 years ago

Allen Adams became the first-ever School Resource Officer at Valley Center High School. Superintendent Scott Springston said an SRO must have a rapport with students, as well as communication skills, to build trust with students and staff.

Jim Detweiler with Landscape Concepts spent much time and effort helping the Valley Center School District repair and maintain Sward Field behind the middle school. The field required soil test samples, 850 pounds of gypsum and some sulfur to help prepare the soil for the new Bermuda sod.

5 years ago

Embarking upon a second career at age 30, Nick Lewis graduated from barber school in Wichita and began cutting hair at Larry's Barbershop in Valley Center. Larry Nordsteadt, who hadn't had a second barber at his shop since 1974, said he hoped Lewis would get a good idea about how to operate a barbershop in a small town by working there.

Members of Valley Center schools' instrumental music programs were busy during the summer, said director Jan Verboom. High school and middle school band students took part in one or more summer music camps.

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