Keep Reading. Subscribe Today.

Stay connected with our community and support nationally-acclaimed local news coverage. Sign up for a subscription today. Cancel anytime.

  • Already a subscriber?

Yesteryear by Sammy Way: Film of Mabry's award showed; Shaw avoids closure list

Archivist and historian
Posted 2/29/20

75 YEARS AGO - 1945

Sept. 21 - Sept. 27

- Lt. James E. O'Brien is the latest to join the recent exodus from the staff of the Shaw Field News. The popular newsman left last week for Mitchel Field to take up new duties as publicity man for the …

This item is available in full to subscribers

Yesteryear by Sammy Way: Film of Mabry's award showed; Shaw avoids closure list


75 YEARS AGO - 1945

Sept. 21 - Sept. 27

- Lt. James E. O'Brien is the latest to join the recent exodus from the staff of the Shaw Field News. The popular newsman left last week for Mitchel Field to take up new duties as publicity man for the FAF football team. Only recently Lt. O'Brien copped in a contest to name the Item. His suggestion - ACES.

- The three lowest grades of beef will be sold without ration points on Oct. 1, food officials announced. These grades, known as canner, cuter and utility, are used principally in canned and processed meats, hamburger, sausage and boiling meat. They make up about 20 percent of the supply.

- James D. Blanding, superintendent of School District One and supervisor of the Sumter County rural elementary schools, resumed his duties Monday after a leave of absence of two-and-a-half years, during which time he served as a first lieutenant in the Army stationed most of the time at Tyndall Field, Panama City, Florida, where he was connected with the department in charge of training.

- Eagle Scout Richard Reese was awarded the Golden Palm at the Boy Scout Court of Honor held in the Sumter County courthouse. The presentation was made by Tim Malone. First-class badges were presented by George Levy. Second-class badges and awards were awarded to those who collected more than 1,000 pounds of paper during the latest paper campaign by John Lee, and merit badges were presented by Perry Moses Jr.

- Sumter and Tech High of Charlotte will battle under the lights at the high school field at 8 o'clock and, although they will be underdogs, the Gamecocks are hoping to show improvement over their first game last Friday. The Charlotteans will bring a hefty outfit here for the battle. With a line averaging well over 175 pounds and a backfield weighing more than 150 pounds to the man, the techmen will be able to try almost anything in the way of football and will probably do so.

- Assistant County Agent Roland Alston warned farmers not to pick cotton too soon after the recent heavy rains. Mr. Alston said that packing picked wet cotton is one way of inviting combustion and losing the cotton by fire. It should definitely be allowed to dry out before picking, he said.

- A special showing of Lt. Col. George Mabry receiving the Congressional Medal of Honor was held at the Sumter Theater. The Hagood hero was shown clearly in a newsreel, especially ordered for showing here. President Truman placed the medal around Mabry's neck, then the officer saluted smartly and returned to his place. Twenty-eight other honor medal winners were pictured also. Friends of the officer and his family saw the newsreel. Mabry was cited for meritorious achievement in Europe, and specifically for leading his company through a mine field. He has won the DSC, Silver Star and Combat Infantryman's Badge. He is the son of Mr. and Mrs. George L. Mabry and the husband of the former Miss Eulena Myers.

- Sumter High School trounced a surprisingly weak Tech High team from Charlotte 27-0 and thus started on a comeback trail the locals hope will take them over Camden next Friday night. Although the visitors didn't live up to expectations, the Gamecocks look like a different ball club than when they took a 19-0 shellacking from Olympia last Friday, the same team that suffered a 10-0 setback at the hands of Columbia High School last evening.

- Mosquitoes are breeding in water standing after the recent rains, and the Sumter County Health Department asked the public to aid in controlling the condition by spraying kerosene or fuel oil on the stagnant water. Dr. Alex Heise, head of the department, said that a film of kerosene or fuel oil would hold down mosquito breeding. He warned, however, that these oils are injurious to valuable shrubbery and grass and should be used with care.

- The magazine campaign which is sponsored by the senior class of Edmunds High School begins Sept. 24 and lasts for two weeks. The senior class depends largely on the commission from the sale of the magazines for the publication of its annual. The seniors last year netted a total of $1,145.90 from their sales. The school receives 50 percent of all Curtis publications and from 30 to 40 percent of all other publications. Last year the highest salesman received a Bulova watch, and the second highest received $10. The equivalent of these prizes are expected this year.

- Hunting of domestic game has been banned in 15 South Carolina counties until flood conditions in waterfront areas abate. Chief Game Warden A. A. Richardson said game had been driven into the open because of the floods. The ban, which probably will last another week, does not apply to droves according to Richardson. Counties closed were Darlington, Florence, Dillon, Marion, Marlboro, Chesterfield, Kershaw, Sumter, Richland, Orangeburg, Clarendon, Berkeley, Georgetown and Horry.

50 YEARS AGO - 1970

May 24 - 30

- Another successful Iris Festival Model Airplane Fly-In was held at the Sumter Municipal Airport with 42 persons from Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina participating and a large crowd on hand to watch the excitement. Winners in the major contests were: Boots Tisdale of Sumter, best finish on a model airplane, and Jack Stafford of Greenville, best scale model plane; Jim Stegall of Monroe, North Carolina, and Bill Helms of Charlotte, winners in the open plylon team competition, and Larry Nash of Pendleton, winner of the "limbo" contest.

- Edwin Boyle, lifelong resident of Sumter, will serve as chairman of The Salvation Army's Building Fund Drive to be conducted June 1 through July 3. The goal set for the drive is $185,000. Boyle serves as president of the W.B. Boyle Co. and in an advisory capacity to Boyle Construction Co., Sumter Builders and Boyle Farm Supply. He served on Sumter City Council from 1926 to 1930 and was mayor of Sumter from 1944 to 1948.

- The Sumter County Housing Authority will officially open the Hampton Manor apartments on West Hampton Avenue. On hand for the opening ceremonies will be Sen. Strom Thurmond, Congressman Tom Gettys, Congressman Albert Watson, Rep. Ramon Schwartz and local dignitaries. H.D. Osteen Sr., chairman of the Housing Authority, will preside at the ceremonies. The Ninth Air Force Band from Shaw Air Force Base will perform.

- The Wilson Hall Athletic Banquet was held with awards and trophies going to the school's outstanding athletes. The award winners were: MVP in track, Burke Watson Jr.; MVP in golf, Tommy Bultman; MVP in baseball, Lukie Keith; MVP boys' basketball, Lynn Talley; MVP soccer, Watson; MVP girls' basketball, Lydia Jennings; MVP softball, Lana Wells; and Head Cheerleader trophy, Peggy Beaty.

- For the third time this season, the top money given away at Sumter speedway was carried back to Clarendon County in the hands of Slick Gibbons and Larry Hill. Gibbons won his fifth modified race of the season, and Hill crossed the finish line in first place for the third time.

- America's "Ambassadors in Blue," the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds, are scheduled for a special appearance in Sumter in the new Optimist Youth Center. The Optimist Club of Sumter is hosting this appearance to give the Sumter area an opportunity to meet the Thunderbirds.

- The Sumter Little Theatre membership drive is in full swing, according to Mr. and Mrs. Richard Matthews, who have undertaken the chairmanship of the annual drive. New members signing up before June 8 are entitled to attend the members' night entertainment, a one-act play, "Riders to the Sea" by John Millington Synge, and the social hour which follows.

- Wednesday afternoon, the skies around Shaw and the surrounding areas will be filled with the red, white and blue of America's "Ambassadors in Blue," the United States Air Force "Thunderbirds." Marking Shaw's participation in South Carolina's Tri-centennial Celebration and Sumter's Iris Festival, the Open House at Shaw will offer a program to entertain the entire family.

- Hartsville whipped Sumter, 3-2, to capture the Iris Festival Invitational Tennis tournament. Hartsville earned a spot in Sunday's finals by turning back Orangeburg 5-0. Sumter won by default over Florence. In the singles, Jack Sterling (H) defeated Bill Ranson 6-4, 6-3; Charlie Hodgin (S) defeated Bill Harper 6-4, 6-0; and Will Harvin (S) defeated Bill Cain 6-0, 6-2.

- With the accent on beauty, the 1970 Iris Festival will see the new Miss Sumter, Cathy Lindsey, and the 1969-70 Miss Sumter, Lynda Beasley, hosting more than 35 state and local title holders, who will grace the festival with their presence. Queens will begin arriving Thursday morning at the Sumter Chamber of Commerce and will be guests at a luncheon. Other hostess queens for the event will be Queen Iris, Elaine Quick and Neptune's Daughter, Peggy Ann Denny.

25 YEARS AGO - 1995

Feb. 23 - 29

- Seven new members will enter the Sumter Sports Hall of Fame at induction ceremonies March 3 at the Shaw AFB Officers Club, bringing the organization's membership to 68 in its 11th year of existence. Former NASCAR champion Cale Yarborough will serve as guest speaker as well as being one of this year's inductees. Entering the Hall of Fame with Yarborough will be Frances Burns Hogan, the late Charles Vernon (Bit) Wilder, Ralph Holmes (Hank) Wilson, the late James Pitts DeLorme, H.C. Pritchard Sr. and George Calhoun Aycock Sr.

- Thomas Sumter Academy's girls basketball team showed why it is the team to beat in the SCISAA Region III-3A tournament. The Lady Generals, who finished the regular season 22-2 and 8-0 in conference play, routed Orangeburg Prep 55-29 in the tournament semifinals at Thomas Sumter's Edens Gymnasium.

- Clarendon County Administrator Bobby Boland will leave his position next week to return to the state Department of Health and Environmental Control, where he worked for eight years as an administrator. Boland, who became Clarendon County administrator in May 1994, said his decision to leave Clarendon was "very, very hard." He said he wasn't looking for a job but was approached by DHEC. He will become the health director of DHEC's Aiken-based Lower Savannah Health District.

- Hudgens Academy defeated Sumter Catholic in the Region II-3A tournament. Hudgens enjoyed a comfortable 20-point lead with just three minutes remaining in the game, and their coach put in some of the younger players. The Padres managed a small but effective run to close the deficit to 10 points with 1:05 left on the clock. The Hudgens coach quickly put his starters back in to clinch the win.

- Byron Kinney knew at halftime exactly what he wanted his Sumter High Gamecocks to do at the start of the second half of their game against Hillcrest. Wildcat head coach James Smith knew the changes SHS would make and warned his team at halftime. It didn't matter. Sumter began the second half using a mixture of presses and traps, quickly turning a two-point deficit into a nine-point lead on the way to a 69-56 win at the Hillcrest gymnasium.

- Frail hands emerge from beneath the blankets to clap quietly. Dry lips mouth the words as a group of third-graders sing the familiar hymn "Old Time Religion." Smiles creep across sad faces, and the words of the Lord lift the spirits of patients confined to a hospital bed. Students from Sumter Christian School visit unfamiliar patients twice a month at Tuomey Regional Medical Center to lift spirits, provide hope and leave a colorful balloon in the sometimes dreary hospital rooms.

- Wilson Hall's girls basketball team did the expected; they reached the finals of the Region II-3A tournament. Allison Jackson scored 19 points and Meg Brogdon added 12 to lead the Barons to a 56-42 victory over Laurence Manning in the tournament semifinals at the Sumter Exhibition Center.

- "Miss Marlina" hangs from her hair during a performance of The Royal Palace Circus at the National Guard Armory in Sumter. "Miss Cristina" and one of her poodles perform a fashion show. The circus, based in Florida, performed four shows at the armory and will be in Camden next. The circus has been held annually in Sumter for the past three years.

- If a businessman's worth is measured by how well he takes advantage of an opportunity, then John Copeland may be worth his weight in gold. And as owner and operator of Sumter's Jewelry Wholesale, Copeland is perhaps one of the most qualified people to determine exactly how much that is. Copeland started his Wesmark Boulevard Jewelry business in 1980 after closing a coin business in a Broad Street building.

- Jerome McCray says he's always liked being a leader. He also says he's dedicated his life to helping people. Both make him perfect for his new role as president of the Clarendon County Branch of the NAACP, he said. "I'm an ambitious young man. I know that," McCray said. "There's an old phrase that Abraham Lincoln used - 'I will study hard and get ready and perhaps my chance will come' - and that's what I've been doing," he said.

- Shaw and the Santee Cooper Public Service Authority have combined efforts and initiated the Give Oil For Energy Recovery program. The program benefits both Shaw people and the environment by providing do-it-yourselfers a place to properly and conveniently dispose of used oil that will later be burned for energy recovery.

- As expected, Shaw Air Force Base has avoided a fourth and perhaps final Pentagon base-closure list. Today's announcement by Pentagon officials makes very remote the regional economic disaster many think the fighter base's closing would bring. The list released today is the military's recommendations to the federal Base Realignment and Closure Commission. But the BRAC commission can add bases to the list until May, meaning there is a chance Sumter officials could still be forced to defend the base in hearings before the commission.

- Members of the 20th Civil Engineer Squadron travel to Bolling Air Force Base in Washington, D.C., to collect the prestigious Curtin Award at the 33rd-Annual Civil Engineer Awards luncheon. Adding to this significant event, other members of the 20th CES will be present with a different agenda - collecting the Air Force Outstanding Civil Engineer Environmental Flight Award for 1994. The award is certainly a team award, with all aspects of the flight contributing. "We've been innovative and proactive in our management philosophy. Our hazardous waste, compliance, pollution prevention, installation restoration program, Environmental Compliance and Assessment Management Program and natural and cultural resources functions have all made significant contributions."

- The brackets in the SCISAA 3A girls' state basketball tournament couldn't have been set up any better for local fans. Wilson Hall is the upper half, Thomas Sumter in the lower half. Two teams with three losses between them on a collision course to the championship game. Florence Christian threw a monkey wrench into all those plans at the Sumter County Exhibition Center. The Lady Eagles rallied from a 10-point halftime deficit to shock TSA 39-36 in one of the four quarterfinal games. In the other games, Wilson Hall beat Laurence Manning 40-23, Ashley Hall topped Robert E. Lee 36-32, and Thomas Heyward beat Dorchester 42-30.