Yesteryear by Sammy Way: Farmer grows record watermelon crop; Privett voted Teacher of the Year

By SAMMY WAY
Posted 4/14/19

75 YEARS AGO - 1944

Nov. 4 - Nov. 10

- Capt. E. W. Moise Jr. has been reported as having died of wounds received in action in France. He was wounded on Aug. 23 and died two days later on Aug. 25 at a hospital in France, his brother, Lt. Col. …

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Yesteryear by Sammy Way: Farmer grows record watermelon crop; Privett voted Teacher of the Year

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75 YEARS AGO - 1944

Nov. 4 - Nov. 10

- Capt. E. W. Moise Jr. has been reported as having died of wounds received in action in France. He was wounded on Aug. 23 and died two days later on Aug. 25 at a hospital in France, his brother, Lt. Col. Lenoir Moise, who has just returned from overseas, has told the family. Shortly after Aug. 25, the hospital in which Capt. Moise died was destroyed, and all records of the hospital were lost. The War Department was unable to locate the record of the patients or of those who had been recently treated there, and news of the death was not received until Col. Moise brought it yesterday.

- The Charleston Bantams rolled over the Sumter High Gamecocks under the lights at Johnson-Hagood stadium 32-7. The visitors were never able to throw their full power into the game, and a fumbled Charleston punt allowed the Bantams to score first. Larry Riggs, the Charleston running back, crashed into the end zone on their second march to start Charleston's touchdown parade. Riggs engineered another touchdown to put Charleston ahead 12-0.

- Capt. Charles F. Bailey, U.S. Army recruiting officer for South Carolina, will be in Sumter on Monday to inspect the Army Recruiting Unit in the city in the interest of recruiting women to train as medical technicians with the Medical Department in the Women's Army Corps.

- Gates to the Sumter County Fair will swing open today, and indications are that the annual exposition will be up to top standards despite another year of war. The fair is keeping with the regular program for advancing agriculture and livestock raising and will have many outstanding exhibits. One of the most interesting will be a robot bomb. J. Cliff Brown, secretary of the fair association, noted that all exhibit spaces have been filled with attractive displays.

- Mrs. J. P. Broughton was notified by the War Department that her husband, Pfc. J. P. Broughton, who has been missing in France since July 30, is a German prisoner. The War Department stated that they were notified through the International Red Cross. Pfc. Broughton is the son of Mr. and Mrs. P. A. Broughton, of Sumter. Before going overseas, he trained at Camp Wheeler, Georgia, and Fort Meads, Maryland. He entered the Army in April 1943.

- Sumter High's football team was back at work for the game with Fayetteville, North Carolina, at the Sumter County Fair on Friday at 2:30 p.m. The Gamecocks were soundly trounced by Charleston's Bantams in the City by the Sea last Friday night, coming out on the short end of a 32-6 score. Sumter was never able to get started, and an early fumble put the Birds in a hole, where they rested all night. After the fair week game, Orangeburg will come here for a contest, and then the Gamecocks will move to Florence the following week for an important tilt with the Yellow Jackets, who have been steadily improving all season.

- Gates to the Sumter County Fair opened last night, and a first night crowd of several thousand saw the interesting exhibits in the main building, the livestock and poultry show and thronged the brilliant midway. Handsome Hereford cattle were on hand for the show which took place on Wednesday and the sale which is scheduled for Friday. Some 25 or more Guernsey cattle are also on display, and in the poultry and hog departments are the best specimens from county farms.

- "Critical shortage of seamen and officers to man merchant ships sailing into the war zones threatens to delay delivery of supplies to the European and Pacific war theaters, according to a joint statement by Admiral Emory Land, chairman, War Shipping Administration, and Paul McNutt, chairman, War Manpower Commission. As a result, the two agencies have joined in a drive to recruit the necessary personnel of both trained seamen and new men willing to go to sea. Admiral Land noted the shortage of skilled personnel to man merchant ships now supplying the Philippines beachhead and other theaters of war.

- Memorial services for Lt. A. J. Hatfield Jr., 28, who was killed in an airplane crash somewhere in Italy, Sept. 14, 1944, will be held Sunday evening at Grace Baptist Church, Sumter, of which Lt. Hatfield was a member. Lt. Hatfield, a native and former resident of Sumter, received his education in the city schools, after which he accepted a position as a highway patrolman with the South Carolina State Highway Department. He served in this capacity a total of six years. He enlisted in the United States Army Air Corps and began his flight training at Santa Ana, California. He was assigned to a B-24 Liberator as bombardier and was serving in Italy, completing 11 combat missions.

- A total of 3,708 Class "A" gasoline books were renewed during the mass registration on Nov. 1, 2 and 3, it was announced by the local ration board. About 2,225 books were renewed for motorists applying to the ration board, 883 at the Lincoln library and 500 to drivers at Shaw Field. A total of 4,600 books in all were expected to be renewed, a spokesman said.

- The Presbyterians of Harmony Presbytery will conduct a leadership school for officers and teachers of Sunday school, leaders of young people's work and officers of the women's auxiliaries at Sumter, Nov. 15, 16, and 17, according to an announcement by the Rev. C. J. Matthews of Indiantown, chairman of the adult leadership committee of Harmony,which is sponsoring the school.

50 YEARS AGO - 1969

July 6 - 12

- A total of $276,212 has been pledged to the YCMA Expansion Fund drive to date. Last night's final report meeting produced an additional $25,195 to move the campaign to 92 percent of its $300,000 goal. In making the announcement of the campaign's current status, Julian T. Buxton, general co-chairman, said, "There are many Y supporters who have not yet finalized their pledges. We are going to pursue these people during the clean-up period, and I am confident the campaign is going over the top."

- Harry J. Commins Jr. is the new chairman of the Sumter County Board of Health. Serving with Commins is J.P. Brogdon as vice chairman. Commins and Brogdon replace Dr. Perry Davis as chairman and Dr. Harry Davis as vice chairman. Both men are completing their six-year terms as board members this month.

- Attending the first session of Camp Rockbrook at Brevard, North Carolina, were Anne Greene, counselor; Lydia Jennings, counselor's assistant; Nancy McCreight; and Lydia Palmer. Also attending were Barbara Schwartz, counselor; Carolyn Kimbrell, counselor's aid; and Cathy McCreight, counselor's aid.

- The State Sunday School and Baptist Training Union Congress of South Carolina will hold its 63rd Congress at Morris College. Theme for the Congress is "Christian Education and the Challenge of Change." This year's emphasis is on "Old and New Structures of Christian Education." L. W. Long, M.D., of Union, South Carolina, is president of the Congress, and Dr. James D. Rucker of Rock Hill is dean of the Congress faculty.

- Girls between the ages of 18 and 25 are invited to become Junior Volunteers at the local USO Club. They must be high school graduates and single. A personal interview with USO staff members or a qualified senior volunteer is required. Application forms will be filled out, and there will be a follow-up on at least two character references.

- M. M. Levy of Bishopville was honored recently by the South Carolina Firemen's Association. He was given the Citizenship Award for 1969. This is the first time the association has given this award. Levy joined the Fire Department in 1912 at the age of 22. He has been a continuous member of the department since that time.

- Having never planted watermelons before this year, a Clarendon County farmer has produced a record crop of some 60,000 watermelons from his 90-acre patch. Samuel E. DuRant of Gable described his crop as being a very uniform one with most of the watermelons ripening at the same time. "It's the first time I've ever fooled with it, but it sure looks good right now," DuRant said.

- Sumter County's rich, colorful history will be one of the features of The Sumter Daily Item's Diamond Anniversary Edition scheduled for publication on Oct. 15, date of the founding of South Carolina's oldest small-town daily. "An entire 12-page section will be devoted to the history of Sumter County, and judging from the material we already have, there is more than enough copy to fill up the space," says Item executive editor Hubert Osteen Jr.

- Sumter's P-15's, suffering through a miserable season, at least salvaged something here, whipping Manning 7-2 for their eight victory of the season against 10 losses. The victory will give the P-15's something to work on for next year after Coach Bernard Jones' club had the worst record of any team he's ever coached. Also it was the second-worst record in Sumter legion baseball, dating back to 1929. Ricky Barkley was the true star of the game, giving up his first earned run of the season but allowing Manning only four hits while striking out eight. It was his first start of the year.

- The Sumter County Community Action Program Agency of the Office of Economic Opportunity has been named the outstanding one in South Carolina. The Sumter County agency competed with agencies from Charleston, Orangeburg, Greenville and Greenwood counties. Last year the Sumter Community Action Program was one of three nominated, but the outstanding agency was Berkeley, Colleton and Dorchester counties.

- A twin-engine Air South commuter airplane with 14 persons aboard - at least three of them Sumterites - crashed and exploded in a swampy area near Monroe, Georgia. There were no survivors, the Federal Aviation Agency said. The Sumter passengers were identified as Nancy Joanne Griffin, 18, daughter of Lt. Col. and Mrs. Laverne H. Griffin; Col. James M. Winterbottom; and Staff Sgt. John J. Bickel. There were unconfirmed reports that at least two other passengers, both of them military men stationed at Shaw Air Force Base, were also bound for Sumter.

- Maj. Gen. Timothy F. O'Keefe, commander of 9th Air Force at Shaw since 1968, is scheduled to turn over his command to Maj. Gen. Richard H. Ellis, presently serving at Headquarters United States Air Force. Gen. O'Keefe, who has been nominated for promotion to lieutenant general, will assume duties as director for logistics, J-4, of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in Washington.

- There was fun for everyone at Sumter Speedway as the Sumter Jaycees put on a racing program and show that fans will long remember. The fun came at the beginning and the end as Jim Nesbitt and his band kept the crowd laughing with his jokes before the race got started, and the ladies took over at the end and kept it amused with their driving "skills" for the 10-lap powder puff derby.

25 YEARS AGO - 1994

April 7 - 13

- Young vocalists, instrumentalists and pianists from Sumter County will perform at Patriot Hall during the Fine Arts Council's Excellence in the Performing Arts Committee's sixth-annual recital and awards ceremony. In 1988, the Fine Arts Council realized the need to recognize area students who excel in the area of performing arts.

- A fire, apparently caused by a spark that ignited paint fumes, damaged a Sumter furniture company. The fire apparently started in an exhaust fan above a spray paint booth at the Vaughn Basset-Williams Furniture plant on Fulton Street. No one was injured, according to Sumter Fire Chief Eli Parnell.

- Shaw made some gains and takes some losses under the latest installment of the Air Force's post-Cold War force reduction and reorganization. The Air Force Times reported that the Sumter base's 20th Fighter Wing will gain three A-10 aircraft in mid-1995 and grow by 32 military personnel and one civilian. The military personnel include six officers and 26 enlisted, most of whom will be in flight crews and aircraft maintenance, Shaw spokesman Tech. Sgt. Calvin Hill said. The newspaper also reported that the 9th Air Force - a Shaw-headquartered organization that oversees 10 air bases including Shaw, most of which are in the Southeast - will be reorganized and will lose 94 military personnel in the process.

- The outsiders were clearly outclassed in the Market Express Classic. Host Sumter High completed its undefeated run through the tournament with a 13-1 win over Stone Mountain, Georgia, at the SHS field. In their previous contests, the Gamecocks downed Clearfield, Pennsylvania, 8-1 and Rock Hill, a late replacement for Salisbury, North Carolina, 11-1. Top-ranked South Florence, which won the round-robin tournament based on runs scored, played the same three teams in the tournament and won by scores of 16-1, 10-0 and 13-1.

- Clarendon County's 15th Annual Striped Bass Festival opens Friday, and organizers are ready for local residents and tourists to enjoy it. A tennis tournament will kick off the 10-day festival. More than 15,000 people are expected to attend the festival on April 16, known as "Big Saturday," Lee said.

- A new, upscale retirement home in Sumter County is well on the way to filling up. Open only a week, it is already far exceeding supporters' expectations. "We're booked to have 91 percent of the spaces filled shortly," said Glen Sharp, the volunteer president of the nonprofit Covenant Place on Carter Road in western Sumter. The first residents moved in last Monday, and about 45 residents had moved in by the end of the week. The home can accommodate more than 150 residents.

- There is a quiet revolution taking place in South Carolina's high schools, one that's aimed at stopping dropouts and preparing all graduates for work or college. Unlike most radical changes, this has the support of the powers that be, from Gov. Carroll Campbell to school administrators and business leaders. But a vocal group of doubters charge that it will force many students who normally head to college into a job right after high school. The legislation requires all public schools to eliminate general studies and replace them with classes known as tech prep.

- It is said that good things come in threes, and this is certainly the case for Dr. Jim Privett, who has been voted "Teacher of the Year" for the third time by USC Sumter's students. "Dr. Privett was selected as USC Sumter's 1993-94 Teacher of the Year this spring, having previously been chosen for the honor for 1990-91 and 1991-92," USC Sumter Dean C. Leslie Carpenter announced. "He is to be congratulated for this honor accorded him by those who should know best whether or not he deserves it - his students."

- Road racing involves competition not only against fellow racers, but also against clock and self - as in setting a personal-best time. For those in search of a new personal best, the 1994 edition of The Item/NationsBank Run may be a prime opportunity, according to race director Greg White. "They're not hilly at all," White said of the courses that will be used for the 5- and 10-kilometer races. "It is a nice, even terrain. It's a good speed course because it is flat."

- Sumter County Council will consider approving a contract to buy the former headquarters of NBSC Corp. on Canal Street. The county would use the National Bank of South Carolina building for administrative office space. Those offices are now in the overcrowded courthouse. The 20,000-square-foot, three-story, brick NBSC building sits across Canal Street from the courthouse.

- Wendy Michelle Young, a student at Hillcrest High School and a piano student of Sheldon Timmerman, is the winner of an awards and scholarship competition sponsored by the Excellence in the Performing Arts Committee of the Fine Arts Council. She is the recipient of a full scholarship to the Brevard Summer Music Camp in Brevard, North Carolina, where she will further her piano studies.

- Drug dealers have become a vital part of the war on drugs, according to area police. Clarendon County Sheriff Hoyt Collins said his department has seized about $18,000 since January 1993 from suspected drug dealers. He said the seized money is used to buy equipment and finance undercover drug operations. Without this money, Collins said, his department would either have to ask for more taxpayers' funds or cut back on drug operations.