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Yesteryear by Sammy Way: Possum Trot Festival returns; Teseniar chosen for seminar

Posted 5/19/19

75 YEARS AGO - 1944

Dec. 9 - Dec. 15

- In order to solve the housing problems of military personnel from Shaw Field who live off the post, it is requested by Col. D. W. Titus, commanding officer, those with homes available list them with the …

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Yesteryear by Sammy Way: Possum Trot Festival returns; Teseniar chosen for seminar


75 YEARS AGO - 1944

Dec. 9 - Dec. 15

- In order to solve the housing problems of military personnel from Shaw Field who live off the post, it is requested by Col. D. W. Titus, commanding officer, those with homes available list them with the personal affairs officer at Shaw Field.

- Applications for emergency crop loans (seed loans) are now being received in Sumter County. The office for Sumter County is located in the Agriculture Building. Farmers who are in need of funds for crop production purposes or for the purchase of feed for livestock and who have been unable to obtain adequate financing from other sources, including a production credit association, should call at the office. Mr. D. E. Turbeville is the field supervisor in charge of this county.

- The football squad was entertained by Mr. and Mrs. Raymond Segars, the parents of one of Sumter's star quarterbacks, Raymond Virgene Segars Jr., on Wednesday night, Nov. 29. A barbeque supper was served to the boys, and from all reports that came in, all claimed that Joe Burgess was in bad shape. He ate only twice as much as the others, whereas he usually tops them by a "mechanical advantage" of four. Singing and "horseplay" filled the evening along with the food.

- For a Sumter boy who left Shaw Field only 15 months ago, Staff Sgt. Victor R. Lundy Jr. is doing OK for himself in this war. For Lundy, former orderly room clerk with a Basic Flying Training squadron, holds the Bronze Star Medal as well as a special blue ribbon signifying the award of a presidential citation to his entire unit.

- The new teenage canteen, which was officially termed "The Hangout" this week, will be opened on Monday, it was announced by Mrs. Douglas McKeown, who has been working with high school students on the project and will serve as senior hostess at the canteen until the first of the year.

- The famous Seabees of the United States Navy, who have established a great name for themselves, have re-opened enlistments for their branch of service, and the Navy now has an immediate need for men who are experienced in skilled trade ratings, it was announced by State Navy Recruiting and Induction Headquarters. The Seabees, which had been closed to enlistments since October 1943, is now open to South Carolina men between 18 and 50 years of age.

- It has recently been announced by Col. D. W. Titus, commanding officer of Shaw Field, that 1st Lt. J. E. O'Brien has been appointed officer in charge of public relations. Lt. O'Brien reported to Shaw this week from Harlingen Army Airfield, Texas, where he was assistant public relations officer for one year. He graduated from Indiana University in 1937 and was editor of his school paper, the Indiana Daily Student.

- Two Shaw Field veterans - Lt. Col. Thomas F. Osborne and Maj. Vergil N. Nestor - are among 15 pilot officers who departed here recently and who now are undergoing B-17 transition training at Hendricks Field, Sebring, Florida. Before his departure, Col. Osborne was deputy for training and operations and on two occasions had served as commanding officer of the base, while Maj. Nestor was director of flying. Both reported at Shaw as first lieutenants and were the first group commanders when training began nearly three years ago.

- The first WAC to return from the China-Burma-India Theater is a former Shaw WAC, Pvt. Jill Miller, who arrived in the United States in the latter part of October of this year and visited Shaw Field recently. Pvt. Miller, who was formerly the Protestant chaplain's assistant at Shaw, left June 1 and has gone halfway around the world in three-and-a-half months. She became ill with dengue fever almost as soon as she arrived in India and was the first WAC to be admitted to an Army hospital in the C-B-I area.

- Technician 5th Grade William H. (Bill) Seale has been awarded the Bronze Star Medal, his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Julian Seale, have been notified. The citation read, "For heroic achievement in connection with military operations against the enemy in the vicinity of St. Laurent-sur-Mer, Normandy, France, June 6-9, 1944. Despite incessant artillery bombardment and small arms fire, Cpl. Seale maintained continuous radio communications throughout a critical period of the invasion. Although wounded, he refused to seek medical attention until ordered to do so." He is with the 18th Infantry, Company C, 1st U.S. Infantry Division.

- After considerable strife and fury and some Alabama campaigning (Who stuffed the ballot box under the watchful eyes of our vigilant staff to the extent of 20 votes?), Lt. Harriet B. Wright emerged as Shaw men's choice for the Florence Nightingale of this war. It's a difference of opinion that makes horse races, and there were plenty of enthusiastic backers in this contest. Lt. Winnie O. Deal, runner-up, was neck and neck with Lt. Wright until late returns from the Cadet Detachment broke the tie.

50 YEARS AGO - 1969

Aug. 10 - 16

- The Air Force's loss is Sumter's gain. Rembert H. Page of Crestline, Ohio, who has more hours to his credit on the B-66 aircraft than any other person in the Air Force, will retire from the service in November after 24 years. Fortunately for the Sumter community, Senior Master Sgt. Page has become so fond of Sumter that he and his family will continue living here, making the city their permanent home.

- Clifton G. Brown of Sumter was sworn in as director of the state branch of the Federal Housing Administration. Mrs. Strom Thurmond, representing her husband, was present, along with members of the Brown family and friends. The new director is a native of Sumter. He graduated from The Citadel and received his LLB degree from the University of South Carolina.

- Miss Linda Beasley, Miss Sumter, was named the new South Carolina Watermelon Queen in the Pageland Festival. Miss Beasley is the daughter of Mrs. Arthur R. Beasley. She competed in swimsuit and formal and was interviewed by the judges. There were 28 girls from across the state that competed.

- Unbelievable. Fantastic. I don't believe it. These were some of the phrases used to describe the action at Sumter Speedway on Saturday night as the rookie drivers stole the show in a spine-tingling finish. Slick Gibbons and Bob Wilson crossed the finish line in a dead heat in the rookie main and had to run a three-lap bonus race to determine the winner. Gibbons grabbed the lead at the start and was never challenged and earned the victory. Carol Kirby was the winner in the 10-lap claim race, and Arnold Hutto chalked up another win in the sportsman feature while Larry Cadell was winner in the demolition derby.

- Shaw has a new Airman of the Month, A1C Frank J. Owczarek of the 4414th Combat Crew Training Squadron. Airman Owczarek is an autopilot technician working on the RF-101 "Voo-Doo" aircraft and is currently preparing for a fall shipment to Udorn, Thailand, where he will work on the RF-4C autopilot system.

- Edmunds High School's Gamecocks, after a week of conditioning practice, will go to their annual football camp for a week. The Gamecocks will leave from the high school and return the next Saturday. During that time, Coach Steve Satterfield hopes to make some adjustments for the upcoming season. "We'll spend a lot of time on our offensive game. We have to get our timing down on a couple of new things we're planning," Satterfield said.

- Despite shooting the highest score ever, the Sumter Gamecock Bowman Archery Club finished a close second to Myrtle Beach in the second of a six-match tournament. In overall points, Sumter has a one-point advantage over the Myrtle Beach club. Each team has won one match.

- Gerald J. Dix, executive vice president of the Sumter Chamber of Commerce, was elected president of the South Carolina Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives at the association's annual meeting. William Broome, executive vice president of the Charleston Trident Chamber, is the retiring president.

- Local 4-H members will attend the second-annual 4-H Horse Show at the state fairgrounds in Columbia. The programs are sponsored by friends of 4-H and conducted by the Clemson Extension Service. The show will include 21 classes in performance and showing at the halter.

- Laura Webster has recently joined the staff at the county agent's office and will be working with the 4-H clubs. Miss Webster graduated in May from Limestone College with a B.S. degree in home economics. She is from Lake City and is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Bill Webster.

- Forty-one South Carolina high school students participating in the University of South Carolina's SURPASS Program ran the world last week. Playing an international diplomacy game called Dangerous Parallel, they had to decide what to do on behalf of their "country" in the face of a dangerous international situation.

- Twenty-four young men and women from Lee County are registered for the fall quarter at the Area Technical Education Center in Sumter, and quite a few more are expected by the time classes begin in September, according to Director W. Cecil Walters. These young men and women are planning to prepare themselves for interesting and rewarding careers in several fields.

- Construction is proceeding at a fast clip on sanctuary and Sunday School facilities on McCrays Mill Road for the First Pentecostal Holiness Church. C.S. Leviner is general contractor for the $125,000 project, which is expected to be completed in late October. The structure will have 11,000 square feet of floor space with modern heating and air conditioning equipment. Twenty-seven Sunday School rooms are included in the plans.

25 YEARS AGO - 1994

May 12 - 18

- Would it be better for South Carolina's military bases, including Sumter's Shaw Air Force Base, to face a round of base closings next year or wait until 1997? That's the dilemma facing members of the state congressional delegation as the move to delay next year's round of closings gathers steam in Congress. South Carolina lost the Myrtle Beach Air Force Base, the Charleston Naval Shipyard and more than 30,000 jobs in the last two rounds, in 1991 and 1993. Officials worry Shaw, the Marine Corps Air Station in Beaufort and the Charleston Air Force Base could be on any new closing list.

- The once-annual Possum Trot Festival will return to downtown Pinewood after a four-year absence. A group of residents decided to revive the festival this year, and they have worked since January to get activities in order, according to David Green, a festival organizer. Pinewood residents lost interest in the festival after Hurricane Hugo hit in 1989, the last year the festival was held. The Possum Trot Festival, which began in 1982, got its name because of an "abundance of possums in our area," said Cindy Graham-Brogdon, a member of the festival's parade committee.

- Communication and planning are the keys to a successful future, Sumter School District 2 trustees decided. And now the district has community input that will help chart its course for the next five years. Parents, teachers and resident volunteers have been working with district administrators for the past half year to develop a five-year strategic planning initiative for District 2. Trustees gave final approval to recommendations made by the group of nearly 300. About 60 of the volunteers attended the meeting and a reception held afterward at the district office.

- Facing elimination from the 4A state playoffs, Sumter High School baseball coach Mark Roach was determined that his team was not going to go quietly. Consequently, the Gamecocks ran the bases with abandon and rode the strong right arm of Lee Hatfield to a 6-3 win over Stratford. Sumter, 21-6, will travel to Hartsville for a third-round game.

- Wilson Hall's doubles team of Jeff Bennett and Davis Dennis claimed the state title at the SCISAA State Open Tennis Tournament at the Country Club of the Carolinas in Florence. The Wilson Hall team of Lauren Davis and Bess Durant placed second in the girls doubles competition.

- Fatigue and a tough 4A field hampered Sumter High's boys track team's hopes of winning a state title Thursday. Sumter, which had several runners competing in two or more events, finished in a third-place tie with Spartanburg in the 4A meet held at the University of South Carolina's Weems Baskin track.

- The 12th-annual YMCA Corporate Cup will be held Saturday at Sumter Memorial Stadium. Officials of the event, which is sponsored by Carolina Coca-Cola Bottling Co., YUASA Exide and Young's Food Stores, are anticipating the largest field in the race's history. Greg White, the Corporate Cup director, said he expects nearly 850 runners for the event. More than 200 teams competed in last year's cup, and so far, there are more than 275 teams signed up for the race. For the second consecutive year, Tuomey Regional Medical Center won the annual Corporate Cup. Tuomey finished with 85 points, YUASA Exide finished second with 21 points followed by Cutler Hammer (17) and The Item (13).

- Jump Rope for Heart: Students at Manchester Middle School took this challenge to heart - fourth-, fifth- and sixth-graders jumped 'til they dropped and raised $3,554.75 for the American Heart Association. A score of public and private schools in Sumter County participated in the recent fundraiser, one of the association's many activities designed to help fund research, physician training and public education about heart disease.

- "Lord, it has been 39 years since the struggle," bellowed the Rev. Malachi Duncan to a full house. "And it worries me that so many of our young folks have not experienced it and are not aware that there are yet some dark days ahead." Duncan, pastor of Summerton's Liberty Hill A.M.E. Church, is worried that the church's youth will forget the struggle that preceded the 1954 Supreme Court case whose roots grow deep in Clarendon County soil. The church - located four miles outside of Summerton - was home to 19 of 30 black parents who petitioned the local all-white school board for integration in what later became a part of a landmark decision for desegregation of the nation's schools.

- Alice Drive Middle School teacher Mark Teseniar has been selected by the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board and the U.S. Secretary of Education to participate in the 1994 Fulbright-Hays Seminars Abroad Program. A social studies teacher, Teseniar was accepted as one of only 16 teachers throughout the nation to participate in the six-week seminar "Israel and Egypt: Two Perspectives of the Middle East."

- Sumter's Pocalla Springs Primary is one of only two public schools in the state to be recognized this year by the federal government as a "drug-free" school. "I'm so excited," Pocalla Springs Principal Henrietta Green said. "Everyone has worked so hard to make our school environment safe." Representatives of the Sumter School District 2 school will attend a recognition ceremony in Washington, D.C., to accept the award.