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Yesterday in La Crosse

It sounded more like Halloween than springtime at the drive-in theater, 48 years ago

Brad Williams



In April of 1971, La Crosse’s Starlite Drive-In near Highway 33 opened for the season.  The Starlite had a triple-feature of horror movies on the bill, including “The Ghost” and “The Witchmaker.”  

A popular vampire show on daytime TV breathed its last that April, as “Dark Shadows” was cancelled by ABC after five years.  “Dark Shadows” stood out among other soap operas by featuring monsters, ghosts, and a blood-sucker named Barnabas Collins.  It was replaced by an old game show brought back from the dead: “Password,” hosted by Allen Ludden.

After the 1970 elections, Patrick Lucey was the new Governor of Wisconsin, and Minnesota had the youngest governor in the US, 38-year-old Wendell Anderson.  La Crosse followed the youth trend in ’71 by voting Mayor Warren Loveland out of office in favor of 29-year-old W. Peter Gilbertson, yesterday in La Crosse. 

A native of Prairie du Chien, Brad graduated from UW - La Crosse and has worked in radio news for more than 30 years, mostly in the La Crosse area. He regularly covers local courts and city and county government. Brad produces the features "Yesterday in La Crosse" and "What's Buried on Brad's Desk." He also writes the website "Triviazoids," which finds odd connections between events that happen on a certain date, and he writes and performs with the local comedy group Heart of La Crosse. Brad been featured on several national TV programs because of his memory skills.

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