The sources of information in "Looking Back" include "Williamstown: The First 250 Years 1753-2003," the archives of the Williamstown Historical Museum, and personal recollections of town residents.
* Many of the animal world's preparations for winter, such as burrowing, are invisible to two-legged creatures. Other measures, however, are taken in full view of all and can range from the amusing to the annoying, or sometimes a perplexing combination of both.
* Fifty-years ago, a Williamstown News columnist pointed an editorial finger at "those pesky squirrels." Apparently not content with the pace of sunflower seed collection, the animals "have now gone a step further. A whole row of flowering sunflowers have been devoured by the squirrels at the Williams Inn before the seeds even ripened."
(In 1953, the Williams Inn occupied what is now Dodd House, a Williams College residence hall. The extensive gardens behind the "old" inn were a popular attraction for townspeople and visitors alike.)
* The same edition of the Williamstown News brought word of local showings of Williamstown resident John Jay's latest ski film. His 22nd annual production, "Catch a Skiing Star," was filmed in numerous locations around the world and featured Olympic champion Stein Eriksen skiing in New Zealand and Australia.
* The attention of the thrifty may have been seized by a local bank's advertisement of "investment savings accounts" in September 1953. They paid four-and-a-half percent interest. "Regular" accounts promised a four-percent dividend.
* In October, a North Adams auto dealership's ad was headlined "For Men Only." Evidently, the potential alienation of a sizeable market segment didn't faze the makers of the Toyota Land Cruiser, which they billed as "the world's toughest, all-purpose four-wheel-drive vehicle." Tough vehicles demand tough drivers, however: The 135-horsepower, six-cylinder rig had nine forward speeds and three reverse.
* National Newspaper Week was observed in a full-page Williamstown News ad on Oct. 17, 1953. Making liberal use of capital letters, the ad declared "the American newspaper an essential building block to the Democratic Way of Life."
* Twenty-five years ago, the Grand Union supermarket introduced bar code scanners to Williamstown. Initially, the scanners were used in the recycling of cans and plastic bottles.