Christmas program will be all day; thousands will flock to festival

Posted 5/27/18

75 YEARS AGO - 1943

Dec. 18 - Dec. 24

- Shaw Field's non-commissioned officers staged their first NCO Club Christmas Ball, officials of the organization announced today. The Jive Five will furnish the music for the occasion, and dancing will …

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Christmas program will be all day; thousands will flock to festival


75 YEARS AGO - 1943

Dec. 18 - Dec. 24

- Shaw Field's non-commissioned officers staged their first NCO Club Christmas Ball, officials of the organization announced today. The Jive Five will furnish the music for the occasion, and dancing will get underway at 9:30 and continue until midnight. The clubhouse at beautiful Cherryvale on Highway 76 - one mile from the main entrance to the base - has been specially decorated for the ball. Staff Sgt. George Sharpe, manager of the club, stated today that both the interior and the exterior of the building have been decorated, and elaborate plans have been completed.

- With the holiday season rapidly approaching and an odds-on chance for a white Christmas, Shaw Field's military and civilian personnel are looking forward to a week of festivities which may not be as nice as a furlough at the family hearth but promises to be a "reasonable facsimile thereof." Actual celebration of Christmas Day will be high-lighted by the all-day program at the field's new recreation building, the traditional and beautiful chapel services and a general spirit of good-fellowship which will blanket the post.

- This week has been a busy one for the Junior High vested choir. With a membership of 133, it has given three concerts during the week. On Sunday night, it presented a program of Christmas music before a large and appreciative audience at Trinity Methodist Church. On Tuesday, it appeared in concert before the Edmunds High student body and on Friday at a program at a Junior High assembly. In addition, 36 members of the choir are serving as ushers at the presentation of "The Messiah" at Edmunds High. The Rev. A. C. Sumpter, a member of the class of 1910 and minister of Cincinnati, Ohio, addressed the students at Lincoln High School on Tuesday afternoon. He used as his subject "The Spirit of Missions."

- Something new was added to Shaw's highly specialized personnel, and it came in the form of two lady flyers who will take their turn with certain flying jobs at the base. They are Ethel Meyer, of Lake City, Minnesota, and Marjorie Poppell, of Miami, Florida; both wear the wings of Women Army Service Pilots. They are the first to be assigned for duty at Shaw Field. Coming to the base from a ferrying command assignment in Dallas, Texas, the two WASPs have drawn important jobs with the operations and engineering section down on the flight line. They are doing test piloting and plane ferrying work.

- E. C. Stroman, manager of Belk-Stroman Co., was unanimously re-elected president of Sumter Merchants Association at a meeting of the newly elected board of directors. J. Clark Hughes was elected treasurer, and Mrs. Hope Harby was re-elected secretary-manager. Ten new directors were elected by members of the association last week, but one, J. H. Lawson, could not serve because of the pressure of other duties, and Douglas Moses was named in his place.

- Sumter County Superintendent of Education W. O. Cain said today that the most important matter decided by the county superintendents meeting in Columbia pertained to school transportation. As a result of action taken by those attending the legislative committee, the group will appear before the state Legislature to request that all school transportation be taken over by the state. Under the present setup, some of the school buses are owned by the various counties or sublet from private companies for operation of the vehicles coming from the county, supplemented by a state appropriation. The new program will provide for the state's owning and operating all transportation for schools. The committee will ask for legislative action to put this into effect.

- The Fire Department's annual supper was held on Thursday night at the department's headquarters on Harvin Street. About 90 firemen and guests enjoyed the affair. Mayor F. B. Creech acted as toastmaster and introduced various guests. Just as the supper was starting, the firemen were called out to extinguish a fire in a house near the abattoir. They were able to return to the supper in a short while, as the fire was soon put out.

- Fire Chief L. H. Lynam requested that residents of Sumter be particularly careful of fire hazards during the holiday season. "The number of fires usually increase during Christmas because people become careless," he said. "Take the matter of Christmas trees. People used to decorate them with lighted candles; fortunately that dangerous practice has been almost discontinued in favor of electric lights. But electric lights themselves have certain dangers. Before installing lights on your tree, check the wiring to see that it is in good condition, and make sure that lamps fit securely in sockets so that no metal parts are exposed."

- Mr. M. H. Drakeford is the owner of a hen - cross-breed Cornish Game and Barred Rock - that should be held up as an example for all other hens to imitate. This hen regularly lays eggs that are twice as large as the average and with eggs selling at and above 60 cents a dozen, that is something to brag about. The Daily Item force can certify the fact, for we have 10 of these eggs weighing 3 ounces each, and that is larger than the average turkey egg. If all the hens in America delivered eggs of that size the food problem would be on the way to being solved - on the abundance side.

50 YEARS AGO - 1968

Aug. 18 - 24

- Announcement was made today by John Belk, president of Belk-Stroman Co. Inc., of the election of Ernest C. Stroman Jr. to the position of executive first vice president and general manager of the corporation, which operates the Belk-Stroman department store in Sumter. The election was held at a meeting of the board of directors of the corporation in Charlotte. He succeeds his father, Ernest C. Stroman Sr., who died on June 11. James Kenneth Going has been named assistant manager of the store.

- As a result of an extensive planning effort by General Telephone Co. and the U.S. Air Force, telephone service between Shaw Air Force Base and Sumter will be greatly improved when a new system goes into operation. Under the new program, all residents of the area whose home phones are on the 773 and 775 exchanges will be able to dial direct to any extension on Shaw without going through the base switchboard.

- The Sumter Area Technical Education Center is in the process of administering entrance examinations to students interested in enrolling at TEC for the fall quarter. Prospective students may undergo the tests and receive counseling about their educational needs and opportunities at no charge, TEC officials point out. High school graduates who have satisfactory scores on the College Entrance Examination Board test are exempt from the local test.

- Sumter County Library is now providing bookmobile service to Clarendon County residents under the sponsorship of the South Carolina State Library Board. The newly created Clarendon County Library Board, Sumter County Library Board and State Library Board have executed a service contract for the 1968-69 fiscal year providing for bookmobile service in the communities of Turbeville, Alcolu, Manning, Paxville and Summerton.

- The Palmetto Outdoor Historical Drama Association has designated the Aug. 27 performance of "The Liberty Tree" as Sumter County Night. The evening's performance of the South Carolina outdoor drama will be dedicated to the residents of Sumter County. Local officials have been invited to attend the Aug. 27 drama. Special ceremonies honoring Sumter County will be held.

- Billy Baker and Richard McFaddin continued their winning ways at Sumter Speedway on Saturday night in the sportsman and jalopy events, and Mountie Hall found the right formula for winning in the limited modified feature. The winning drivers topped 53 others who were trying for first-place money in the three divisions.

- Alvis J. Bynum, assistant cashier with The National Bank of South Carolina, was recently awarded the graduate certificate from The American Institute of Banking, the educational branch of The American Bankers Association. The graduate certificate is the highest scholarship honor awarded by A.I.B. and requires the satisfactory completion of all pre-standard, standard and graduate courses offered by the institution.

- Seven teams, including last year's national champion Tuscaloosa and Sumter's host P15's, will begin battling for a trip to the Legion World Series in Manchester, New Hampshire, as the American Legion Southeastern Regional Tournament gets underway at Riley Park. Official opening ceremonies for the tournament will be held at 5 p.m., when a flag-raising ceremony is planned. On hand for the ceremonies will be U.S. Sen. Strom Thurmond, state Sen. Henry B. Richardson of Sumter and former New York Yankee star Bobby Richardson.

- R.L. Grigsby Jr., director of Richland Technical Education Center, will be commencement speaker at graduation exercises at Sumter Area TEC. The exercises will be held on the lawn in front of the school's main building. Grigsby will speak on the subject "The Technician: Key to the Future." He will present a key to student body President George Greer as symbolic of the role the technician will play in the economy of the future.

- Construction bids for a new fire department building for Sumter were opened at City Hall. The bids are being studied, and action is expected on them in the next 30 days. Low base bid came from ECB Construction Co. and amounted to $342,660. Previously announced expected cost of the 13,200-square-foot building, to be located in the Civic Center, was $225,000, plus architectural and engineering fees.

- Miss Nancy Ruth Newman of Sumter was awarded the Lander College Alumni Association Award as the most outstanding student at Lander College. The award was presented by E. Don Herd Jr., president of Lander College, at a luncheon held after graduation at Greenwood Moose Lodge.

- TV star Frank Sutton will be the celebrity guest at this year's Southern 500 race at Darlington on Labor Day. Sutton, who plays Sgt. Vince Carter on the "Gomer Pyle, USMC" TV program, will arrive on Saturday, Aug. 31, to appear in the Southern 500 parade through downtown Darlington. He will attend that afternoon's 250 GT race and will be a special guest at the Miss Southern 500 beauty pageant at the raceway that evening.

- Traveling the horse show circuit is a family affair for the Mark E. Clifford and Paul C. Bradham families. During the show season (from April to November), the Cliffords show their horses every weekend, and the Bradhams show about every other weekend. They take picnic lunches or a barbecue grill and make the shows an occasion for a real family outing. Pat Marsh, Mrs. Clifford's brother, often joins them. Showing horses is a complicated business that demands much time and effort, but for these enthusiasts, it's all worth it.

25 YEARS AGO - 1993

May 21 - 27

- The costs of services the city of Sumter and Sumter County provide each other are rising, and officials with both governments said they'll try to find ways to fund those increased costs. Both councils are in the midst of hashing out operating budgets for next fiscal year, which begins July 1. The city and county share several major costs, including operation of the law enforcement center, the city-county planning department, the county jail and the county landfill, and provide fire service to areas outside the city.

- The Santee-Lynches Regional Council of Governments has been awarded a $910,000 federal grant to upgrade housing in Sumter, Lee, Clarendon and Kershaw counties. The grant is the "culmination of about a year and a half's worth of work" by local officials, COG Executive Director James T. Darby said after U.S. Sen. Ernest "Fritz" Hollings announced the grant. How the money is allocated will depend on each county's needs in individual development projects and their consistency with federal guidelines.

- Carl Baker's slump is definitely behind him. Sumter High School's sophomore left fielder drove in four runs, and sophomore right-hander Lee Hatfield survived a shaky start as the Gamecocks claimed the 4A lower state baseball title with a 19-2 win over Irmo. The Gamecocks, 26-4, will take on 27-1 Mauldin for the state title in a best-of-three series.

- Sumter County residents won't have to pay a $15 fee for every vehicle they own next year, and many county-funded agencies could face stinging budget cuts as a result. Those are about the only things that became clear during a 4 1/2-hour Sumter County Council budget workshop that left even some councilmen frustrated with how little they accomplished. "We just shadow-boxed all day long," Councilman Frank Williams Jr. told his colleagues near the end of the meeting, which was marked by lively debate and pointed exchanges but not by progress in finalizing a budget.

- The old lake highway between Summerton and Santee once bustled with gas stations that doubled as bait shops, hot dog stands and ice cream pit stops. Families stuffed into cars packed with floats and fishing gear gassed up their cars on their way to a Lake Marion port of call or south to Florida for the winter. But Interstate 95, completed in South Carolina in the mid-1970s, carved a quicker route north and south. The scenic U.S. 301 thoroughfare - and most of its gas stations - were abandoned. If those stations were abandoned after 1974, the state Department of Health and Environmental Control is looking for the stations' owners and want them to get the aging gas storage tanks out of the ground. They represent only the tip of the iceberg for DHEC as it works to protect groundwater from contamination.

- When it comes to its Chapter 1 program, Sumter School District 2 has found that the best way to accomplish its goals is by "connecting to children through parents." District 2 held its annual Chapter 1 recognition banquet at Pocalla Springs Primary School. More than 200 people attended the banquet - the highlight of a week of recognition of the Chapter 1 program. The week was thematically titled "Connecting to Children Through Parents."

- In a head-to-head Air Force evaluation earlier this year that compared Shaw Air Force Base to 10 other fighter bases, the Sumter base received a middle ranking that was good enough to keep it off a third Defense Department base-closure list. Members of the Shaw-Sumter Base Defense Committee are studying the bulky evaluation report that's now in the hands of the federal Base Realignment and Closure Commission to see how Shaw's weaknesses - a number of which are related more to Sumter County than to Shaw - can be addressed.

- Thousands of people are expected to flock to Sumter this week to take part in what was once known throughout the nation as "the South's most colorful floral festival." The Iris Festival will feature food, folks and big fun for everyone. Opening ceremonies will get started at Swan Lake-Iris Gardens and will feature music by the Furman High School Chorus and a parachutist from the Carolina Sky Divers.

- "9-1-1." "What's your emergency?" Those are the first words people in trouble hear when they call the Sumter City-County Law Enforcement Center. They're spoken by the 15 women who answer Sumter's 911 emergency telephone lines. No longer called dispatchers, those "telecommunicators" are the heartbeat of law enforcement, and their office on the second floor of the law enforcement center of Hampton Avenue is "nerve central." People's lives hinge on the telecommunicators' ability to dispatch an ambulance, fire truck or police car to their homes quickly. But sometimes, that's not so easy, said 16-year veteran Norma Thompson, now a supervisor in the office.

- Four of Sumter County's seven golf courses will play host to tournaments this weekend. Sunset Country Club is the site for this year's South Carolina Senior Women's Golf Championship. Six past champions, including the champions from the past five tournaments, are among the 102 players registered for this year's event. The defending champion is Ann Potts of Columbia.