Society shines 1975 ‘Spotlight’ on Brookhaven

Published 8:00 pm Sunday, May 27, 2012

Area residents have a chance to step back to the time of “leisure suits, big hair and colorful outfits” Tuesday thanks to the Lincoln County Historical and Genealogical Society.

     During an open meeting at the Jimmy Furlow Senior Citizen Center, the society will be showing a 1975 WAPT broadcast of “Community Spotlight” that featured Brookhaven and several of its residents. The society meeting begins at 6:30 p.m.

     “It gives a good overview of Brookhaven from the elected officials at the time to civic leaders to school personnel,” said society member Cathy Bridge. “And all of the commercials are from local stores.”

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     Bridge, who works at King’s Daughters Medical Center, was cleaning out the hospital’s old beta tapes in the early 1980s when she found the WAPT recording. She held on to the program, first having it transferred to the VHS tape format and later to a DVD.

     “I thought it might be a good thing to keep in order to look back and see how Brookhaven was in 1975,” Bridge said.

     The program, which was filmed in Jackson at the time and runs just under an hour long, features interviews with several officials and entertainment provided by students who were at Lipsey Middle School, Alexander Junior High and Brookhaven High School, and others.

     “The most important thing about Brookhaven is the people,” said then-Mayor Houston Case, who recently turned 101, during his time on the show.

     Also included are discussions on the chamber of commerce and the Industrial Development Foundation, King’s Daughters Hospital, the Brookhaven School District and the recreation department.

     Mentioning the commercials, Bridge said they include several from businesses that are no longer around. Commercials for Benoits, Nickelodeon, Fancy Lady, as well as a few that are still in business, are among those featured.

     “We hope we have a good group of people who’ll come to the meeting to watch the show, remember and reminiscence,” Bridge said.

      Society President Tammie Brewer encouraged those interested in attending to arrive early as seating at the center is limited. Based on response Tuesday, she said a second showing of the program may be possible.