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Yesteryear by Sammy Way: Schools donate to war fund; Sumter buys former bank HQ

Posted 8/25/19

75 YEARS AGO - 1945

March 16 - March 22

- The eighth-annual South Carolina Fat Stock Show was scheduled at Florence for March 20-21. J. T. Lazar, district extension agent and general chairman, said that a record number of fine fat cattle and …

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Yesteryear by Sammy Way: Schools donate to war fund; Sumter buys former bank HQ


75 YEARS AGO - 1945

March 16 - March 22

- The eighth-annual South Carolina Fat Stock Show was scheduled at Florence for March 20-21. J. T. Lazar, district extension agent and general chairman, said that a record number of fine fat cattle and hogs were assured. The Pee Dee district 4-H livestock judging contest would be held the afternoon before this show starts, the fat stock would be judged on the 20th, and it would be sold at auction on the 21st. There was a separate department and set premiums for the black 4-H and farm department in fat cattle. This is in charge of H. S. Person, local black agricultural agent.

- The pile of used playing cards, requested for disabled veterans of overseas service, is growing steadily in the Item window, you may have noticed. The idea is sponsored by one of our leading citizens. If there are any playing cards at your home not in use, it would be appreciated if they were donated to The Item for this cause. Boys recovering in hospitals from wounds in service will enjoy them.

- Iwo Jima has saved about 30 Superfortresses and their crews from probable destruction, the 21st Bomber Command reported, disclosing the first dividends from the costly island for which perhaps 4,000 United States Marines have paid with their lives. An Air Force spokesman said 30 B-29s returned from three great incendiary raids within the last week on major Japanese industrial cities and landed at Iwo Jima to refuel or for emergency repairs. Without the island, most of them would never have reached their Marianas bases. The lives of approximately 320 men were at stake in the big bombers.

- News was received of the death in action of Pvt. Doyle Gray, who with Pvt. Frank James of Sumter captured 300 Nazis at Le Thoronet, France, last year. Item readers will recall the article describing the amazing feat of the two paratroopers. Pvt. Gray, whose home is in Taft, California, visited Sumter often with Pvt. James when the two were stationed at Camp Mackall, North Carolina. They were with the 517th Paratrooper Infantry and were inseparable friends.

- A postwar inter-regional highway between North Carolina and South Carolina which may be linked with Virginia and Tennessee is in the making today. Highway officials from the two Carolinas met and discussed units of the proposed highway. Here from South Carolina were J. S. Williamson, chief highway commissioner, and C. R. McMillian, chief engineer. They conferred with Acting Highway Chairman Charles Ross of North Carolina.

- The Women's Army Corps recruiting office in the city hall will be closed temporarily, and Cpl. Alicia S. Grant, who has been stationed here since early in December, is being transferred to Winnsboro, South Carolina. The need for women to train as medical technicians to care for wounded soldiers is increasing day to day. Cpl. Grant urges eligible women to write to the Army Recruiting Station in Columbia for information and application blanks. Cpl. Grant said today that she had enjoyed her stay in Sumter and was very grateful to the townspeople for their courtesy and hospitality.

- Checking the cards made out for prospective contributors to the Red Cross War Fund campaign, a report has not been received from a number of regular contributors, notes E. C. Stroman, director of the campaign. Practically all of these citizens intend to continue their support to the Red Cross, and Mr. Stroman requests that they either mail their check or bring their contribution directly to campaign headquarters at the Chamber of Commerce. "Let's keep the Red Cross at His side."

- The annual contest to decide the winner of the American Legion oratorical contest will be held Monday afternoon at 5 o'clock at Edmunds High School auditorium, and it is hoped that a large number of friends of the contestants, members of the legion and of the auxiliary will be present to hear the speakers. This year there are three contestants at Edmunds High, and keen competition is anticipated, as has been the case in past years. Last year more entered, and the orations were well prepared and exceedingly well delivered.

- Lt. John J. Prokopik, Shaw graduate of the Class 42-H, recently visited here, wearing ribbons from the three theaters of operations. He also wears the Distinguished Flying Cross with the Oak Leaf Cluster and the Air Medal with the Oak Leaf Cluster. His most recent theater was the China Burma India, where he was a member of the famous 20th Bomber Support Unit, known as Sylvester's Circus, a highly appropriate cognomen for a tent-living, free and easy, high-performance organization. The entire personnel and supplies of this mobile squadron can be flown to a new base for the performance of new tasks.

- The West Virginia Pulp and Paper Co. sold the larger timber on 19,000 acres of its land in the Ravenel section of Charleston County to two concerns in Sumter. The Williams Furniture Corp. paid $1,391,891 for its share, and Southern Coatings and Chemical Co. paid $489, 353. In addition to yesterday's purchases, the two Sumter companies are negotiating for options to buy timber on an additional 42,000 acres in Charleston, Dorchester and Berkeley counties which may be worth between $4,000,000 and $5,000,000. The timber tracts in both deals involve about 15 percent of West Virginia's holdings in the Carolinas, and the entire transaction may involve more than $6,000,000.

- Sumter city schools, including teachers and pupils, contributed a total of $2,254.47 to the Red Cross War Fund campaign, Superintendent William Henry Shaw announced today. Mr. Shaw said that the schools had been asked to take $500 as their quota in the drive but had voted in favor of a $1,200 quota. This quota was nearly doubled, and the money already has been turned over to headquarters.

50 YEARS AGO - 1969

Nov. 16 - 22

- Edmunds High School's Gamecocks successfully defended their Sandlapper Crosscountry title here, beating a field of seven other schools. Gamecock runner Benny Colclough captured the race over the 2.2-mile course, topping 62 other runners. Two other Edmunds runners placed in the top 10 with Tom Page coming in sixth and Bill Brunson eighth. Other top Gamecock finishes included Larry Fudger in 12th and Mike Woomer 14th.

- Robert J. Mullen has been named vice president of Pioneer Dress Corp. Howard Feltman, president, made an announcement of the appointment. Mullen will be responsible for production and planning of manufacturing in the division. Pioneer Dress Division includes manufacturing operations in Manning, Williston and Pinewood.

- While prospects for an early victory in the United Fund campaign are generally good, campaign leaders are concerned about several question marks as they work toward what they hope will be a celebration luncheon. According to Horace Curtis, Government Division chairman, some departments have 100% participation while others have "too many" cards coming back marked "Not Contributing" or with token gifts of one dollar. Other divisions are coming up short also. Campaign chairman R.B. Dean Jr. is more than pleased with the "terrific" jobs so many workers have turned in and with the generally fine response.

- South Vietnamese forces today claimed 273 North Vietnamese killed in two battles in the Bu Prang-Duc Lap area of the central highlands. U.S. artillery and planes did most of the killing. The heaviest fighting was two miles east of Bu Prang, where 243 enemy were reported killed. Informants said South Vietnamese casualties in the daylong battle were only 11 wounded because each time the government troops met stiff resistance they pulled back and called on American aircraft and artillery.

- Two American astronauts made a bull's-eye landing on the moon today, raising their nation's flag and exploring its black, powdery surface for about four hours. Before returning safely to their lunar ferry Intrepid, they deployed a set of five scientific instruments powered by the first nuclear generator on the moon. It was man's second quest for knowledge on that alien soil.

- Sheriff I. Byrd Parnell, president of the Sumter County Shooting Dog Association, has announced the running of the fall trials for Saturday at the Manchester Club House. Parnell stated that the drawing for brace-mates will take place at the Chamber of Commerce Conference Room on Thursday night.

- The screeching drone of the whistle sounds, cutting the air like a razor, while the chilling grind of metal on metal pierces the human senses. The train is rolling. Clacking slowly along the smooth metal rails, the low-pitched resonant rumble from robust engines makes one feel the ground-shaking, awesome power. Jet fuel for the aircraft here is the main cargo, but the train also moves household goods, furniture, supplies and anything else that could come to Shaw on rails. Shaw's railroad, in existence since 1940, runs to the Seaboard Coast Line tracks in Cane Savannah, a distance of about seven miles, to make the daily pickups. The train and its personnel move more than 20,000 cars per year, ranking Shaw one of the busiest military-operated lines in the Air Force.

- The St. Jude Padres fell short last night to Mather Academy 74-70 at the Sumter High School gym in the cage opener for both teams. Mather opened with the lead but was forced to fight for its life in the closing minutes of the contest, winning with a final score of 49-34.

- The British Wives Club is slated to meet at the Sumter USO today. All members and prospective members are invited to attend. Tomorrow will see the pool tournament continuing as Shaw personnel compete against one another in the game of positioning, "English" and angles. Chicken dinners will be served to all who attend the Saturday night program. Saturday's movie feature is "The Princess and the Pirate."

25 YEARS AGO - 1994

Aug. 16 - 22

- It would be hard to find another teenager who shares Corey Pendergrass' idea of a good time. Since school let out this spring, the 14-year-old has worked eight hours a day, five days a week, at the Sumter branch of the Salvation Army's Boys & Girls Club. Corey has been coming to the club since he was about 8 years old but never before in an official capacity. Corey tutors kids in math, settles disputes and acts as a role model for the kids at the youth center. Another teen making a difference is Loleta "Nikki" Smith, 15, who has also volunteered full-time this summer. Their contributions were recognized along with other peer volunteers by the club.

- Rick Hatcher, Sumter High School's newly named baseball coach, wouldn't mind experiencing a little d j vu next spring. Hatcher was an assistant coach at Georgia Tech in 1993 when head coach Jim Morris elected to leave to accept the Miami job. The following year, new head coach Danny Hall directed the Yellowjackets to a second-place finish in the College World Series. "I know when Coach Morris left, people asked him how he could leave one of the top-ranked programs in the country," Hatcher said. "He said it was a situation (at Miami) that he just couldn't pass up. We went on and finished second in the College World Series. I kind of think that was the same situation with (former Gamecock coach) Mark Roach. I hope we can do the same thing."

- Law enforcement officials from Sumter, Lee, Clarendon and Kershaw counties will be getting a boost from the federal government in the local war on crime. The U.S. Justice Department has begun making payments on a two-year, $1 million grant that will allow police and sheriff's departments in the four counties to hire a total of eight additional officers who will specialize in community-oriented policing tactics.

- The Sumter County Library is extending some services and adding new books with the help of two federal grants totaling $15,263. The library will use the funds to buy a microfilm reader, new materials for patrons whose primary language isn't English and books on multiculturalism, science and technology. The library is always looking for additional funding.

- Shaw Air Force Base will say goodbye to two colonels during ceremonies at the base. Col. Kees W. Rietsema, commander of operations of the 20th Fighter Wing, and Col. James C. Wray, inspector general of the 9th Air Force, are both retiring. Wray has logged more than 4,500 flying hours since he joined the Air Force in 1966. Before coming to Shaw, he also served as commander of an Air Control Wing and as assistant deputy commander of the 1st Tactical Fighter Wing in Langley, Virginia. Rietsema, a 21-year Air Force veteran, will be replaced by Col. Robert M. Hylton. Rietsema came to Shaw in July of 1993 from the Pentagon. He has more than 2,800 hours of flight.

- Terrence Hudson, 12, watches a lot of TV in the summertime. Kathy Craven, 11, prefers to work on her computer. Last week, the two did neither. They were having fun - and learning lessons that could change their lives - at Sumter's DARE (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) camp. "The camp gives (law enforcement officers) an opportunity to interact with young people in a non-threatening and positive setting to help them acquire social skills that will prevent them from becoming a statistic," said Sheriff Tommy Mims.

- O.V. Player Jr. has done something no other county official in South Carolina has. Sumter County's longtime clerk of court was awarded the South Carolina Association of Counties' President's Cup for a second time during the association's 27th-annual conference. No one before has twice been honored with the award. Player first won it in 1988. The annual award goes to the county official who has merited special attention for service to the association, a non-partisan organization for elected and appointed county officials from all of the state's 46 counties.

- It was the beginning of another American Legion baseball Southeast Regional for the Sumter P-15's - and another first-round loss. Sumter, in its fourth-straight regional, lost its opening game for the third-straight year as it fell to Puerto Rico 5-3. The P-15's faced the host team, Gainesville Post 16, in a loser's bracket and won 5-4. Their next game was against Wilmington, North Carolina, which they lost 8-7.

- Imagine a courthouse with just courts in it. That's what Sumter County will have when it buys the former National Bank of South Carolina headquarters building at Canal and Harvin streets and moves most county offices not related to the administration of justice out of the courthouse and across the street. The county's plan is to turn over the courthouse to the offices that handle the tax, property and court functions of the county, turning the courthouse into a "judicial center."

- The disposal of household garbage is the issue that every county across the state will have to deal with next year, and it's going to cost taxpayers a lot of money. And that stinks, according to Sumter County Administrator Bill Noonan. "It's an issue that no one likes to deal with," Noonan said. "It's difficult to convince people that they have to spend money on this." But taxpayers will be spending a lot more money on garbage when new regulations imposed by the federal Environmental Protection Agency go into effect Oct. 9, 1995.