Selected items from June 1979

• On June 4, a Houston, Texas, TV station showed long lines at gasoline stations. The lines in Houston were matched across the nation that summer. A Library of Congress picture taken on the 15th showed lines at all of one station’s pumps trailing down the Baltimore, Maryland, street.

• The average price of a gallon of regular gas that month was 88 cents, up from 65 cents one year prior.

• OPEC raised the price of a barrel of crude oil by 24% on the 28th, which followed a March increase from $13.34 to $15.55.

• Chrysler reported a record second-quarter loss of $207 million as Americans turned to subcompact cars. The sales of fuel-efficient autos were at 16.46% of the domestic market, up from 10.64% the year before.

Local items from June 1979

• On the 1st, the Optimist Club honored four police officers: Jerry Dunn, Richard Maxwell, Loralee Moeckli and Jim Temmen.

• A Village Chevrolet Cadillac ad on the 22nd asked why not a new Cadillac and listed comparable options: Cadillac Coupe Deville, $11,728; Lincoln 2-door coupe, $11,868; Ford Thunderbird Heritage, $11,040; Chrysler New Yorker, $10,024; and Buick Electra Park Avenue Coupe, $9,485.

• A picture in the Daily Star-Journal on the 28th showed Eldon Yung with his electric car. He had recently purchased the car in Columbia. It appeared to be a two-seater. Yung reported that fuel for the vehicle cost 2 cents per mile.

Personal perspective for June 1979

We were still driving the two Volkswagen Beetles that we had driven here from Florida. They were dear friends of ours. Of course, they had names. The white 1967 was “Scamper” and the red 1971 Super Beetle was “Baron.”

They both ran smoothly, thanks in large part to maintenance and repair performed by Red Hall and his son. We valued their skills and their concern for quality.

Yet, as I drove Scamper from the old house to the construction site of our new home, it was clear that the rusted-out floorboard carried more than a reasonable risk, even with the top of a TV tray spanning the hole in it.

It would still take me time to part with that VW. I had driven Scamper out of personal poverty.

Copyright 2019 W. Clifton Adams. Additional writing from Adams can be found at

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