Yesteryear by Sammy Way: Army soldier honored for heroism; Sumter teacher helps film 'Math Place' video


75 YEARS AGO - 1945

March 9 - March 15

- The fierce battle for Iwo Jima is assuming the pattern of the final phases of American conquests of other Pacific Islands - but it may be several days before correspondents can flash "Iwo Secured." Today's communiqu disclosed small gains which at one point saw the Third Marine Division gaining a cliff top only 300 yards from the northeast coast.

- At the close of business Thursday afternoon, the Red Cross campaign showed contributions had reached a total of $27,018.58, according to a statement issued by E. C. Stroman, director. Mr. Stroman especially requests that the rural committee, the residential committee and the business committee complete their work and file their reports. Other committees, while not complete, are in good shape and are now cleaning up the odds and ends, the director said.

- Sunset Country Club was the scene of the graduation dance of Shaw Field's Aviation Cadet Class 45-C. A committee of cadets had decorated the club rooms attractively with cut flowers, palms and other greenery. A radically designed sign over the improvised band stand read "45-C," with a background of a giant pair of Army wings. On the piano was a large bowl of lavender iris, a gift to the cadets from Pretto Brunson.

- The Edmunds High band gave a concert at the Junior High. The band directed by Professor Girard played "Headway" while the students were marching into the auditorium. At intervals selections were played by three girls, two from the Junior High and one from the Brogdon School. They were Mary Ann Curtis, Margaret Rutledge and Louise Trembley.

- A forestry quiz program for black students was held in the courthouse, and three awards were made to those showing the greatest knowledge on the subject. Booker T. Prince, representing Good Hope School, was given $5, the first award; William T. Peterson of Johnson School was awarded the second award of $3; and Harold Moses of Clark School was awarded the third award of $2. The quiz was in the charge of County Ranger L. G. Cubbage and Roy T. Mims, district ranger, of Camden.

- First Lt. Phares E. (Jack) Chatham of Sumter has been awarded the Bronze Star "for distinguishing himself by meritorious service in connection with military operations against the enemy from Oct. 1, 1944, to Jan. 15, 1945, in Luxembourg, Germany and Belgium. During this period, Lt. Chatham displayed outstanding mechanical skill in supervising and personally performing maintenance on tanks under adverse combat conditions. The initiative, technical ability and complete devotion to duty of Lt. Chatham reflects great credit upon himself and his military service.

- Miss Edith Goldman of Mayesville recently graduated magna cum laude from the University of South Carolina and finished with the highest honor in a class of 84 students. Commencement exercises were held on Feb. 24. She received the degree of Bachelor of Science in commerce. During her four years at the college, Miss Goldman took an active part in extra-curricular activities and has held many responsible offices in various campus organizations. She was recently tapped into Alpha Kappa Gamma, regional honorary leadership sorority, which is composed of less than four percent of the women students at the university.

- To give convalescent patients of the station hospital an insight into what is happening in civilian affairs, eight members of the Boyle Bible Class of Trinity Methodist Church visited the station hospital Thursday evening. The visitors, all prominent Sumter businessmen and community leaders, were invited by Maj. Walter Champion to visit the hospital for the first of a series of visits planned by Lt. Walter Lassen, convalescent training officer.

- A former resident of Sumter and a graduate of the local high school in '35, Capt. Richard E. Scarborough has been promoted to the rank of major at the air base in France, where he is engineering officer at the headquarters of a troop Carrier Wing. It is his duty to see that the C-47 Skytrains of his combat wing are at all times in condition, ready to drop paratroopers and gliders into enemy territory, to move critical supplies quickly to the front or to evacuate the wounded rapidly to hospitals in the rear.

- The Bronze Star has been awarded to Tec-4 James Mitchell Edens Jr., son of Mr. and Mrs. J. M. Edens of Dalzell, who, while serving with the Army's Medical Department, distinguished himself by heroism on Sept. 16, 1944, in France. "During an engagement with the enemy near Deuxville, France, several men were wounded. Because of mortar, small arms and machine gun fire, it was impossible to evacuate the wounded men. Tec-4 Edens and another enlisted man volunteered to drive a vehicle across an open field to evacuate the wounded. As no Red Cross flag was available, having been destroyed by enemy fire, Tec-4 Edens displayed his helmet with the Red Cross marking. Despite this, the men were fired on as they continued to evacuate the wounded."

- The Victory Day program in Sumter has been planned for the city by a committee consisting of W. R. Parker, chairman, W. E. Bynum and I. D. Elmore, appointed by Mayor Edwin B. Boyle. The rules were announced some time ago, but in view of the current trend, the committee feels that a repetition at this time would be appropriate. Sumterites are urged by the committee to observe Victory in Europe Day quietly.

50 YEARS AGO - 1969

Nov. 9 - 15

- Charles L. Cuttino Jr., Sumter attorney, has been appointed special judge of the Civil and Family Court of Sumter County to serve during the period of illness of Judge L.E. Purdy. The appointment was made by Gov. Robert E. McNair upon the recommendation of the Sumter County Bar Association.

- With the exception of a chosen few, the high school football season is over. Fortunately, two of those chosen belong to this area in the form of Bishopville and Edmunds. Edmunds has one regular season game left with Florence as well as at least one playoff game. Bishopville, 9-1, also gained the playoffs and starts its state title hopes at Darlington against Mullins.

- Mitzi Miller, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. William R. Miller, was crowned Little Miss Sumter at Mayewood School. A third-grade student at Millwood Elementary School, she has had special training in modeling, baton and ballet. Crowning her was Little Miss South Carolina, Sherri Floyd.

- Edmunds High School's cross country team placed six of its seven runners in the top 10 in winning the Allendale-Fairfax Invitational Meet. The Gamecocks had a whopping 17-point margin over second place Brookland-Cayce. Tom Page won the event in a time of 11:09 over the 2.1-mile course. Edmunds' Benny Colclough was second.

- Harry Demosthenes bested Jim Munn, 8 and 7, to capture the Sunset Country Club's Men's Championship at the club. Demosthenes grabbed a seven-hole margin after the first 18 holes of the 36-hole finals and coasted the final 18 to victory. It was the first time in four years that anyone other than Lou Degenhardt had won the championship.

- Persons wishing to qualify for a private pilot's license will be given an opportunity to study for the examination in a special 10-week course at Sumter Area Technical Education Center. The class will be held in the TEC extension center across from the rear gate at Shaw Air Force Base. An experienced instructor in this field will provide students with necessary training so they can pass the written examination for the private pilot's license.

- Mayor R.E. Graham and Legion Commander Norwood Spann have called attention to tomorrow's Veterans Day observance and urged citizens to fly the flag in front of their homes and businesses in honor of those who have died for freedom. Sumter Post 15 Commander Spann said, "Those who do honor to the war dead may feel it is even more necessary than usual in view of the demonstrations planned."

- It is a shame that there are not more traditional football games in high school. The fever and excitement that go with traditional games excites even non-fans. Florence and Edmunds High School have been meeting on the gridiron for nearly 40 years. Without a doubt, every single game has resulted in the same keen competition that this year's match will feature. For the first time, Edmunds has a chance to complete the first undefeated regular season in the history of the school.

- A Fashion Show, which included all the latest fashions from a teenage magazine, was the end product of the Beauty Workshop held for teenage girls at Coker's Department Store. The Fashion Show was narrated by the girls in the workshop. Tracy Voorhees was over sportswear, Kelley Miller described dresses, and Susan Aycock did holiday wear. Thirty-five girls participating in the workshop modeled outfits pictured in the magazine.

- The Sumter Daily Item announced today the establishment of a charitable fund whose purpose is to supply fuel to indigent families and individuals during the winter months. Making the announcement was H.D. Osteen, editor and publisher. Known as the Fireside Fund, the drive will be conducted from November through March each year. It will rely on donations from the public, with the money to be administered by a steering committee.

- With the building of the new Robert Hall Store, one of the largest American chain clothing stores, a new manager has been transferred from West Virginia and a new assistant manager from Tennessee. J.M. Green, manager of Robert Hall's new location on U.S. 378, is a native of Norfolk, Virginia. The assistant manager is Larry Crotzer, a native of Columbia, Tennessee.

- South Vietnamese forces have suffered comparatively heavy losses in a week of fighting around the Bu Dop Special Forces camp 85 miles north of Saigon, official sources reported. The sources said 15 allied soldiers have been killed, 75 wounded, three armored personnel carriers and four trucks have been destroyed and half a dozen American helicopters have been shot down.

- Rock Hill struck for two touchdowns in the first four minutes and held on for a 14-0 victory over McLaurin Junior High at the fairgrounds. It was the final game for McLaurin and left the Bantams' mark at 2-5-1 for the season. Rock Hill finished with a 5-2-2 mark, losing its first two games.

25 YEARS AGO - 1994

Aug. 11 - 17

- Major League Baseball players, who went on strike to try to force a labor agreement with management, aren't earning much sympathy from local baseball fans. "I've got to blame the players for this one," said Ken Sexton of Manning. "When you're averaging $15,000 an hour and go on strike, then something's wrong. It seems to me that players are pretty much just a bunch of rich brats. Football and basketball have salary caps, so I don't see why they can't have one in baseball."

- Despite weak performance in reading comprehension, South Carolina students appear to be faring well in contrast to their national peers, state Education Department officials said. But most total scores of students in Sumter, Lee and Clarendon counties dropped from the 1992-93 school year to the 1993-94 school year on the Stanford 8 test, which measures reading, mathematics and language skills.

- Curious little girls and young women learned the virtues of being a Girl Scout - and of just being themselves - in the outposts of Sumter County this summer. "We focused on basic Girl Scout contemporary issues: that girls are great, and tuning into well-being - saying no to drugs and (yes to) health and fitness," said Donnette Strickland, the camp's local coordinator.

- Firefighters were called to Santee Print Works after a fire started in an exhaust pipe. The fire started when a spark apparently ignited lint in the pipe, which extends from a finishing frame machine vent to a roof vent. At one point, flames shot 10-15 feet out of the roof vent. Firefighters had the fire under control in about 20 minutes and then washed the lint out of the pipe. Santee Print Works prints and finishes cotton and synthetic products.

- Hillcrest High School basketball coach James Smith had a vision during a flight to the University of Connecticut. Smith, who was on his way to UConn to be a guest speaker at the annual Jim Calhoun Basketball Camp, had his speech rehearsed and prepared. "I was going to talk a little bit about some of the aspects of basketball - fundamentals, education and whatnot," said Smith, who coached the Wildcats to a 4A state title in 1993. "I thought that was an important subject." "On the plane, I saw a magazine article. Two women got about a million dollars in scholarship money. One of the girls played volleyball and the other basketball. Well, they both had high grade point averages. When I saw that, I decided to change my speech and give a lecture on education and preparing for the future."

- A ballot recount confirmed Artie Baker as the winner of the Republican nomination for the Sumter County Council District 2 seat. Baker defeated incumbent Rudy Singleton by seven votes. The recount came up with the same totals - 331 for Baker, 324 for Singleton - that the Sumter County Registration/Election Commission declared official.

- Math teachers tend to have a bad reputation. Sure, we'd never have reached the moon without mathematics. And sure, almost all of the technology that modern civilization rests on couldn't have been developed without mathematics. But, to many American students, math just isn't exciting. Crosswell Elementary School teacher Cindy Rabon recently appeared in a promotional video for a mathematics system that's trying to change that. Rabon spent a week in New York City participating in the filming of the video for "Math Place," a literature-based system developed by textbook publisher Scholastic Inc.

- Sumter City Council will hear details about an estimated $6 million worth of improvements needed at its Pocotaligo sewage treatment plant. The state Department of Health and Environmental Control has given the city two years to make improvements to the plant, which is off U.S. 521 about three miles from U.S. 15.

- Greg Anderson won the Thunder and Lightning main event at the Gamecock Speedway. Anderson battled Donnie Austin and Frankie Frye in the race sponsored by Shoney's and Captain D's. Finishing behind Anderson were Frye, Austin, Willie Shaw and Paul Bostic.

- The life of the average high school senior is one of confusion. About to be thrust into a new and unfamiliar world, the typical student desperately seeks both direction and answers. Katie O'Neil is not like most; she's known for a long time that she wants to be a gymnast. O'Neil's promising career began at the age of 6, at the Gymnastics Academy of Boston, taking the typical once-a-week class. The Boston staff immediately saw her natural ability and moved her to the next level. By the time she was 8, O'Neil was in the gym up to 30 hours a week.

- Laidlaw Environmental Services of South Carolina Inc. laid off 25 employees from its Sumter County hazardous waste landfill. Karl Chandler, director of landfill operations, said the layoffs were strictly a business decision made due to a decrease in business at the site. "This involved a cross-section of employees, everyone from hourly workers to office personnel."