By Nancy Wheeler
Many of you probably remember the 1970s as a time of growth and change in Wichita. Take this quiz to see how much you recall about some local characters and places of that era. Answers appear at the bottom of the page.
1. What Wichita television personality was well known for saying, “Romper, Stomper, Bomper, Boo”?
2. What narrow Bohemian clothing boutique featured creaky floors and jelly beans?
3. A plane carrying Wichita State University football players, coaches and boosters crashed in the Rocky Mountains, killing 31. Who was the president of the university during that difficult period?
4. Who ended each day’s TV show by saying “Join me next time when everything will be
A-okay, and all systems will be go?”
5. What museum opened to showcase the history and culture of Native Americans?
6. What popular sandwich shop featured unusual entrees like the Lumbago Remedy, the Stimulant Supreme, the Consumption Cure, and the European Restorative?
7. The Keeper of the Plains was designed by Blackbear Bosin and installed in 1974 to commemorate what upcoming event?
8. What attraction opened in 1971 and has since become the largest outdoor tourist destination in Kansas?
9. Construction on the Canal Route portion of I-135 was begun in 1971. What creek runs through the median of the highway route?
Answers to 70’s Quiz
1. Miss Fran, hostess of “Romper Room.” In real life she was former Wichita schoolteacher Fran Lee. The show was syndicated across the country, using a local host wherever it ran.
Lee did the show for 13 years before leaving to earn her master’s degree at Wichita State University and working in special education.
2. Cricket Alley was a store that operated in the old Wichita Mall on Harry Street, selling women’s fashions, accessories and gifts.
3. Wichita native Clark Ahlberg, who served as president of WSU for 14 years, during which time the Ulrich Museum, Heskett Center and eight other buildings were added to campus. Ahlberg, who now has his own namesake hall on campus, stayed after retirement to teach political science.
4. Major Astro, played by Tom Leahy, Jr., was the host of a childrens’ show that featured Leahy introducing cartoons while wearing a space suit, on a set designed to look like a space station on another planet. Major Astros’ Space Patrol Kids Club had more than 20,000 members at one point.
5. Mid-America All-Indian Center opened along the Arkansas River in 1976, originally providing social services to Native Americans as well. Today it attracts about 40,000 visitors a year and serves as a cultural center for Native Americans in the region.
6. Dr. Redbird’s Medicinal Inn, which was owned by Richard and Marnie Vliet, who also started the Looking Glass and Larkspur. It was known for its inventive, huge sandwiches.
7. The United States Bicentennial, celebrated in 1976. Since being raised on a promontory as part of a riverfront project in 2006, The Keeper has become perhaps the city’s most iconic symbol.
8. The Sedgwick County Zoo, which houses over 3,000 animals and 400 species and has made several lists of “best zoos” in the United States.
9. Chisholm Creek, named for Jesse Chisholm, an early trader who developed the famed Chisholm Trail.