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Yesteryear by Sammy Way: Cadet wives given welcome to Sumter; mental health center's apartments open

Posted 5/12/19

75 YEARS AGO - 1944

Dec. 2 - Dec. 8

- It has been announced by the State Forest Service and the Clemson College Extension Service that tree seedlings in the amount of 1,550,000 will be distributed free to farmers in South Carolina. These …

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Yesteryear by Sammy Way: Cadet wives given welcome to Sumter; mental health center's apartments open


75 YEARS AGO - 1944

Dec. 2 - Dec. 8

- It has been announced by the State Forest Service and the Clemson College Extension Service that tree seedlings in the amount of 1,550,000 will be distributed free to farmers in South Carolina. These seedlings are being purchased by the Southern Kraft Division of the International Paper Co. of Georgetown; the Champion Paper and Fibre Co. at Canton, North Carolina; and the Union Bag and Paper Company, at Savannah, Georgia. They purchased 1,000,000, 400,000 and 150,000, respectively.

- The Sumter Daily Item entertained its carrier boys with a barbeque dinner given at Yank's Barbeque House. The annual affair was attended by 35 carriers and was presided over by R. Mood Dollard, circulation manager of the newspaper. The boys enjoyed a bountiful supper of rice, hash, barbeque, corn dodgers and coffee, after which several informal talks were made and games were played. Mr. Dollard expressed his appreciation for the faithfulness of the boys in delivering the Item in all types of weather and for their loyalty in general to the company.

- Lt. Fred J. Sutton, Shaw Field flight instructor, was killed, according to the public relations office, when his plane collided with another aircraft. An aviation student in the plane parachuted to safety, and the two cadets in the other plane returned safely to the field. Sutton was the son of Mr. and Mrs. George D. Sutton of Truxton, New York.

- Cadet wives of the men of Class 44-B were welcomed to Sumter with a buffet supper held at the Cadet Club in Sumter and sponsored by the members of the NAAFW. Also invited were cadet wives of the Class 44-A. Opening speeches of welcome were made by Mrs. R. C. Williams, Cadet Club hostess, and Mrs. D. W. Titus, wife of Shaw's commanding officer. Mrs. Titus welcomed the women on behalf of the NAAFW and urged that they come to that organization any time they were in need of aid.

- A War Bond rally and band concert will take place in front of the Sixth War Loan headquarters under the sponsorship of the retail merchants division of the campaign, it was announced. The Florence Army Air Base band was to play. It is the first time these musicians have played in Sumter, and music lovers are looking forward to hearing them, after hearing good reports of the band's work. Warrant Officer Howard Carpenter is the conductor.

- With more Purple Hearts than overcoats, 75 Marines greeted their first wintry blast with big grins as they detrained from a California Train to scatter for their homes and 30-day furloughs. All were fresh from the fighting at Peleliu, Palau Islands, last major Marine offensive in the Pacific. Members of the famous First Marine, they had been through the campaigns of Guadalcanal and Cape Gloucester, New Britain, before Peleliu. Among the arrivals was Pfc. Joe F. Dunlap of 411 Fulton St., Sumter.

- M. S. Boykin was elected president of the Sumter County Community and War Chest at a board meeting, it has been announced. J. Clark Hughes was made vice president, Mrs. Sydney White treasurer and Mrs. W. D. Boykin executive secretary. Directors of the community chest are as follows: Mr. Hughes, M. B. Morrow, W. C. Eldridge and S. K. Nash; holdover directors, Edwin Boyle, Mr. Boykin, the Rev. W. H. Stender, Mrs. Sydney White and Mrs. Martin Rosefield.

- Fire Chief E. H. Lynam presented awards to three students of the Junior High School for winning first, second and third places in an essay contest on the subject of fire prevention. Miss Anne Covington, seventh grade, was presented $15 for her essay. Second-place winner was given $10, and Miss Martha Anne Bessinger, eighth grade, and third-place award of $5 went to Miss Peggy Beckworth, eighth grade. The City of Sumter presented the awards. Many compositions were submitted of the subject by students.

- Loring Baker is only 17 years old, but he's enrolled as a freshman at Clemson College in his home state of South Carolina. Perhaps he's younger than the average college freshman, but then Loring has been using his brains to more than usual advantage for some years. He has won a lot of honors in his 4-H Club work, among them winning the state Rural Electrification contest this year - equaling his 1939 award as state health winner. As a winner this year, he was awarded a trip to the National 4-H Club Congress in Chicago with Westinghouse Electric and Manufacturing Co. paying all expenses.

- Lt. Buford Mabry, son of sheriff and Mrs. George Mabry, has been seriously wounded in action in the European theater, his parents have been notified by War Department message. Maj. George Mabry Jr., another son serving on the same front, wrote his parents that he had been able to go to see his brother in the hospital. Maj. Mabry is with the First Army, and Lt. Mabry is thought to be with that unit or one nearby.

- Sgt. Hubert E. King was killed in action in Germany on Nov. 22, his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Eugene King, were notified by the War Department. Sgt. King had been in the service since December 1942 and overseas since October of 1944. He received training at Camp Howe, Texas, and Camp Claiborne, Louisiana.

- Mrs. Blanche G. Stuckey received a message from the War Department that her son Pfc. Othello M. (Mac) Stuckey was killed in action Nov. 16 in Germany. Pfc. Stuckey graduated from Bishopville High School and entered the Army in August 1943. He was sent overseas last July.

50 YEARS AGO - 1969

Aug. 3 - 9

- Bids were accepted at the Housing Authority office for the construction of a section of the Civic Center Mall, bounded by Harvin, Hampton and Calhoun streets and Lafayette Drive. Bids were submitted by Boozer-Wharton Construction Co. for $31,870.40, Boyle construction Co. for $44,248.90 and Plowden Construction Co. for $24,749.96. The Housing Authority will study the bids and submit them to the Atlanta office for final approval. The part of the mall to be completed will run in front of the Sumter County Library and will include benches, shrubs, brick retaining walls, paving, lighting, pool, trees and grassing. Eventually the mall will connect most of the buildings in the complex.

- Ruben L. Gray, Sumter attorney and former director of South Carolina's Program T Square, has been appointed vice president for development at Morris College. In his new position, Gray will be responsible for coordinating efforts to identify and bring together the resources necessary to implement new academic and allied programs at the college.

- Forest City, North Carolina, bunched together six runs in the first two innings and went on to win the District Little League Tournament over Shaw Air Force Base, 8-1. The victory gave Forest City a slot in the Regional Tournament in Huntington, Tennessee. Shaw ended its season with the loss. Although Shaw was close to scoring in every inning, stranding nine men on base, it could never get started after leading briefly in the early stages.

- Rainy skies threatened the opening of the Palmetto Majors Baseball Tournament at Palmetto Park. Four teams were due to vie for the State Championship with defending champion Winnsboro back for a shot at two titles straight. Orangeburg defeated Beaufort in a best two out of three series to become the last entry into the tournament. Sumter and Conway complete the field.

- Two big racing events are on tap this weekend for area fans with another 185-lap program being planned for Hartsville Speedway and the biggest demolition derby ever held in South Carolina being on the racing card at Sumter Speedway. Fans saw the greatest race by far of the season at Hartsville on a track that was lightning fast and smooth as silk. Promoters at Hartsville promised drivers and fans that there would be no dust, and if there was any at the track, it must have been brought in a paper bag from somewhere else.

- Mrs. G. W. Dorothy Fisher has joined the staff of the Sumter County Health Department as health nurse. She received her nurse's training at Roanoke Memorial Hospital in Virginia. She was employed by the Carl Foundation Hospital in Champaign, Illinois, and was previously employed as full-time T-Square nurse.

- C.W.O. Woodrow M. Nesbitt, son of Mrs. W.N. Nesbitt and the late Mr. Nesbitt of Sumter, has received decorations for his service in Vietnam. He was called home in early January just before completing his second tour of duty there. Nesbitt served with the 50th Medical Detachment as "dust-off" pilot for four months, then with the Air Ambulance Platoon of the 101st Airborne Division. For his actions there, Warrant Officer Nesbitt was awarded three Distinguished Flying Crosses, the Bronze Star Medal, Army Commendation Medal, 17 Air Medals and one Air Medal with "V" for valor. Nesbitt has also been recommended for the Silver Star Award.

- The combination of tough pitching and fine hitting shot Sumter's Palmetto Majors All-Star team into the state finals of the tournament taking place at Palmetto Park. It was a rugged day for all four of the teams, which had to complete two rounds of play following Monday night's rainouts. Sumter defeated Orangeburg and Conway to jump into the finals.

- Gen. John P. McConnell, Air Force chief of staff, received an honorary life membership in the Civil Air Patrol in ceremonies at his Pentagon office. Making the presentation were Maj. Gen. Walter B. Putnam, CAP-USAF national commander, and CAP Brig. Gen. F. Ward Reilly, board chairman of Civil Air Patrol. Joining in the ceremonies was Dr. Theodore C. Marrs, deputy for reserve affairs, Headquarters USAF.

- Cadet Raymond S. Rollings Jr., a third classman (sophomore) at the U.S. Military Academy, West Point, New York, is receiving training at Camp Buckner on the academy reservation this summer. He is the son of Lt. Col. (USAF ret.) and Mrs. Raymond S. Rollings. More than 800 cadets, all Third Classmen, are participating in the eight-week course which is designed to acquaint them with all phases of leadership at the platoon level.

- Werber Bryan and Henry Shelor have been elected as members-at-large of the National Boy Scout Council for 1969-70, notified by Chief Scout Executive Alden B. Barber. The two Sumter men are among eight Pee Dee Area business and professional men elected to the council.

25 YEARS AGO - 1994

May 5 - 11

- Sumter Mayor Steve Creech would prefer the next round of military base closures to go ahead as planned, despite talk in Congress and the White House of making the 1995 closure list smaller or putting it off completely until 1997. Shaw Air Force Base is "in good shape" to face the 1995 Base Closure and Realignment Commission, Creech said. "Personally ... I'd rather them go ahead with the '95 BRAC and get it all over with," he said. The Pentagon says that when closing military bases, it costs money to save money. That is one reason why the Clinton administration may delay some closure decisions until 1997.

- Area law enforcement officials are lukewarm on the assault-weapon ban narrowly passed by the House, saying they don't think it will do much to reduce crime. "I don't think it will have much effect on the criminal element" or lower the firepower police face because a black-market trade in the weapons will emerge under the ban, Sumter County Sheriff Tommy Mims said. "Basically, guns are not the problem. It's people who use these guns."

- Ruby is in her new apartment, fidgety with anticipation, ready to settle in. Her brother and sister-in-law, proud of the progress Ruby had to make to get here, helped with the move. After a lifetime of others handling her affairs, she is gaining independence. Ruby was one of the first to move into the Santee-Wateree Community Mental Health Center's new residential living complex on South Washington Street. Sixteen apartments, complete with furniture, were ready for a companion and a personal touch. The clients are taught socialization and life skills to help them integrate into the community.

- Two Clarendon School District 2 trustees were reappointed to new terms while two new board members were chosen to replace trustees who resigned. Clarendon 2 board Chairman Jesse Thompson and Vice Chairman Kevin Johnson were both reappointed to three-year terms by the Clarendon County Board of Education, which appoints all nine members of the Clarendon 2 school board. The board also chose A.C. English and Rev. Charles C. Tyler as new members.

- The Artist Guild Awards Exhibit, a mixed-media show, will be featured at the Sumter Gallery of Art. The exhibit will present works by professional artists Elaine Smith-Lentine and Mary Ann Reames of Sumter, Mike Williams of Columbia and the winning pieces of amateur artists Dot Jordan, Jean Ells and Ruby Garrenton McGowan.

- Hudgens Academy took a 1-0 lead in its best-of-three SCISS-AA 3A state semifinal baseball series with an 11-3 win over Thomas Heyward. Yet Hudgens Head Coach Bill Pate wasn't a happy man. "We didn't play as if we were alert today," Pate said of his team, which improved to 17-2. "We didn't run the bases particularly well, and our arms weren't strong today. We didn't practice the last two days with yesterday being Mother's Day. We were lucky today."

- It's not as if he had nothing else to do, this quiet-spoken, mild-mannered powerhouse named Ross McKenzie. Many civic organizations and charities in Sumter speak enthusiastically of his dedication to this community. At age 78, he's still as active as ever; so much so, I wondered what he did for relaxation. He finds a certain peace in his small garden among his roses and other cherished plants.

- For many retired people, there is something very comforting about traveling with one's home and sleeping in familiar beds each night as they explore the incredible diversity and beauty of the countryside. Two such travelers are Joe and Diane Krasko of Cherryvale, who have made a number of trips in their recreational vehicle since their retirement. Although many R.V. travelers band together and travel in groups, Joe and Diane said they "just get in it and go." They do belong to the Good Sam Club and the Triple A Club, both national RV clubs that can offer good advice on itineraries and campgrounds.

- Sumter High School may be in the losers bracket of the 4A Lower state baseball playoffs, but Gamecock head coach Mark Roach remains upbeat. "I really can't say anything bad," Roach said after Sumter fell to Georgetown 1-0. "We hit the ball hard, pitched well and played good defense. We did everything right, but it just didn't work out for us." Sumter, 20-6 and a game away from elimination, meets Stratford in an elimination game at Sumter High.

- In February, the general manager of Sumter's Vision Cable said she didn't know how a new FCC ruling to cut cable television rates by an average of 7 percent would affect her customers. Almost three months have passed and Scott says she still hasn't a clue what the FCC's decision will mean for her company's 21,500 subscribers in Sumter County.

- County schools, county and non-county agencies and even the Sumter Iris Festival were forced to try and justify their annual dip into the pockets of Sumter County taxpayers. Agency head after agency head - more than 30 in all - came before county council at a meeting to defend their piece of the pie. Council had hoped the agencies would suggest ways to help the county cut a projected $1.4 million deficit in its $21.2 million preliminary budget. But only one agency, the county cultural commission, said clearly that it could get by with less than its minimum funding request. The commission is willing to make a "symbolic" cut said its representative, Dick Booth.

- Sumter's Ernest Finney Jr. is expected to be elected South Carolina's first black chief justice by the General Assembly, but he has mixed feelings about becoming an historic symbol. While he realizes that young blacks need role models, he doesn't want to be remembered as "Ernest Finney, the first black chief justice." "I'd like to be the man who did the best he could with what he had for as long as he could," the Supreme Court associate justice said.