Take a look back at Franklin County’s history through news and photos that appeared in local newspapers 25, 50, and 100 years ago on Nov. 18th.
25 Years Ago
November 18, 1994 – Friday
“Roaring popularity makes Harleys a scarce cycle”
CHAMBERSBURG – Bryan Moats, right, a co-owner of M & S Cycles; showroom Thursday. The bikes have cycles, and chief mechanic Steve Gillman roll one of two 1995 Harley-Davidsons into the M & S showroom Thursday. The bikes have already been sold who were on a waiting list for about eight months.
Brian Moats remembers a time when his customers could walk in and buy a Harley-Davidson motorcycle right off the showroom floor.
Today, a waiting list at M & S Cycle Inc. carries the names of more than 100 customers, all eager to get their legs around the big machines.
“The last four to five years is when things started getting rough,” said Moats, sales manager at the Chambersburg dealership. “The demand is so great that we can’t keep up with it.”
M & S Cycle has already sold its expected shipment of 1995 Harley-Davidson bikes. Customers on its waiting list will have to hope, for 1996 models. Or they can turn to the resale market. That could mean paying more than $ 18,000 for a bike with a suggested list price of $14,000.
“You are having a lot of people in the United States who are buying the bike strictly for resale,” Moats said. “A lot of people are selling them for inflated prices.”
Around the country, it isn’t uncommon to find classified ads offering 1994 or 1995 models for thousands of dollars more than list price. “We see a lot of that,” said Doug Smith of a Phoenix dealership. “And there’s nothing we can do about it.
“Our problem with the scalpers and the ignorance of the general public is that consumers now think Harleys are $25,000 motorcycles,” he said, noting that the list price for the bigger bikes ranges from $10,000 to $16,500.
The shortage stems not from demand by traditional bikers but from white-collar professionals.
“It’s stockbrokers, doctors, lawyers,” Moats said. “It’s a lot of different classes. It’s getting to be a real status symbol.
“Celebrities who own Harleys, such as Jay Leno, have helped make the bikes popular, said Mark Henicle, director of the local chapter of the Harley Owners Group (HOG). Membership in the chapter has doubled to about 300 in the last three years,” Henicle said.
It’s been quite a turnaround for Harley-Davidson, a company that nearly went belly-up in the 1970s.
Determined to maintain quality control, the two Harley-Davidson factories, in Milwaukee and in York, are limiting production to 93,000 bikes for the ’95 model year.”
Could we really crank it up tomorrow and get up to 100,000?” Harley spokesman Don Kemencic told The Arizona Republic. “Yes, but they would not be the same quality that they are now.
” The spokesman noted that during the 1970s, Harley’s reputation for poor reliability contributed to its loss of market share to Hondas, Yamahas and Kawasakis. The company turned that around with new designs and better quality control.
“We’re a company that’s willing to admit we made mistakes, and we learn from our mistakes,” he said.
Kemencic said in a recent Harley-Davidson newsletter that some dealers also have gone in for price-gouging.
But Moats said he sells bikes only at list price. “We want to take care of the local customers and be fair to them,” he said.
And he’s also trying to reduce scalping by selling bikes only to “local people who are enthusiasts.”
50 Years Ago
November 18, 1969 – Tuesday
“Craft ‘Ship Shape’ – Astronauts Set for Moonwalk”
Circling the moon in perfect orbit, Apollo 12’s explorers inspected their landing craft today and declared it “shipshape” for a daring bullseye landing on the craggy surface early Wednesday.
Charles Conrad Jr. and Alan L. Bean slipped through a connecting tunnel into the fragile lander they call Intrepid, leaving Richard F. Gordon Jr. alone in the command ship Yankee Clipper.
After an 80-minute check, Bean reported: “We’ve checked out all the things we’re supposed to and they’re all shipshape. We’re ready to go.”
Conrad and Bean hope to set Intrepid down precisely in a 400-foot-wide circle in the Ocean of Storms on the western side of the moon’s visible face at 1:53 a.m. EST Wednesday. Their goal is the first detailed scientific exploration of the lunar surface.
Conrad and Bean inspected the landing craft six hours after Apollo 12 swept into lunar orbit which prompted outbursts of awe and enthusiasm from all three as they gazed at the wild and wondrous landscape below.
“Wowee” Bean shouted Monday night. “Boy it’s beautiful down there. Look at that crater.”
Through color television, the astronauts shared their magnificent view with earthlings a quarter million-miles away.
The 30-minute telecast followed the course of Apollo 12 as it moved across a narrow band, moving from east to west. Large and small craters, rugged mountains and flat plains were visible as the camera panned across the desolate landscape.
“Even in earth orbit at night or in the daytime, the sky was never as black as it is here,” Conrad reported. “This is the blackest black I ever saw.”
For Conrad and Bean, the view from 70 miles high was a preview for their attempt to land on the eastern shore of the Ocean of Storms.
They are to separate the landing craft Intrepid from the command ship Yankee Clipper at 11:16 p.m. tonight. For more than 6 hours they will keep the world in suspense as they execute maneuvers on the dangerous and difficult descent.
Their goal is a pinpoint landing near an unnamed crater, an area described by Conrad before the flight as “gently rolling, pocked with small craters, but relatively smooth.”
The astronauts have dubbed the landing target “Pete’s Parking Lot” because it is Conrad, the Apollo 12 commander, who must steer Intrepid to the touchdown.
Using new procedure the astronauts hope to overcome the four- mile landing error of Apollo 11 last July and park close to a 600-foot-wide crater which is the home of an unmanned Surveyor spacecraft which soft-landed on the moon 2 1/2 years ago.
The stage was set for man’s second attempt to land on the’ moon at 10:47 p.m. Monday night when Conrad, Gordon and Bean triggered Yankee Clipper’s big engine on the lunar backside and swept into an initial orbit ranging from 72 to 194 miles above the surface.
Four hours later they again fired the engine to settle into a tighter circle ranging between 63 and 76 miles high.
The initial orbit wasn’t confirmed for 18 minutes after the firing, when Apollo 12 reappeared around the edge of the moon.
Conrad’s voice broke the silence. “Yankee Clipper with Intrepid in tow has arrived on time.
“I guess that like everyone else who has just arrived, the three of us are plastered to the windows just looking,” he added.
100 Years Ago
November 18, 1919 – Tuesday
“MAC” MILLER SELLS HIS GROCERY STORE”
WAYNESBORO– Mc.Clain Miller has sold the grocery store, which he had conducted at King and Main streets for the past eight years, to Paul K. Khatzer, an employee of the local V. R. R. offices.
For the past twenty-five years the store ha been noted for fine groceries. Mr. Miller took possession in 1911 when he bought out K. O. Smiley and had built up a trade which in many respects Is an exclusive one. The new buyer is a young man of established integrity. Mr. Miller has not made an announcement as to his future occupation.
**EDITOR’S NOTE: D. Miller of 555 Nelson St. died of a heart attack at his home in 1944. He was born Nov. 3, 1877 in Mercersburg, a son of David F. and Harriet (Brubaker) Miller. For several years he operated a grocery store in Memorial Square and later at Main & King Streets. At the time of his death, he was employed as a clerk at A & P supermarket on N. 2nd St. He was a member of Methodist Church.
Surviving are wife Sara (Shade) Miller, daughter Mrs. Graham W. Olmstead, Northville, N.Y., and a brother Ira K of Waynesboro. Services were Thursday afternoon at Sellers. The Rev. Phillip T Gorman was in charge and burial at Norland Cemetery.