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Yesteryear by Sammy Way: Sumter home has 600 varieties of camellias; residents urged to use landfills

Posted 1/4/20

75 YEARS AGO - 1945

July 27 - Aug. 2

- A high record of rainfall for one day was set when the heaviest downpour of the year was recorded. Almost two inches, 1.83 to be exact, fell in an hour and 15 minutes, according to the weather bureau. On …

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Yesteryear by Sammy Way: Sumter home has 600 varieties of camellias; residents urged to use landfills


75 YEARS AGO - 1945

July 27 - Aug. 2

- A high record of rainfall for one day was set when the heaviest downpour of the year was recorded. Almost two inches, 1.83 to be exact, fell in an hour and 15 minutes, according to the weather bureau. On July 18, 1.70 inches fell, the heaviest rain up to that date. Anything over an inch is considered a record for this section. This year's total rainfall to date, 23.35 inches, still does not match last year's for this time, 29.50 inches, in spite of the heavy rains.

- The Servicemen's Committee, set up for the sole purpose of aiding returned veterans, was enthusiastically organized here early in June, but to date, the 100 Sumter businessmen backing the idea have had little to do. There are very few calls for help from the veterans so far, it was reported. The committee wishes to assist soldiers in getting established in business, on a farm or in purchasing real estate and so on. C.E. Hurst at the Chamber of Commerce is secretary of the committee.

- Columbia and Sumter American Legion Juniors will meet tomorrow night in the third of a three-game series for the lower state championship. Rain caused postponement of the contest, and it was decided this morning to play it Saturday. The two extra days' rest will mean that the local Juniors will have to face Joe Landrum while on the Sumter side of the balance sheet it is expected that Dick Harvin will oppose Columbia in the finale.

- Shaw Field will hold open house Wednesday afternoon for residents of Sumter and surrounding communities and will present a program to appeal to sightseers of all ages, Col. D. W. Titus, commanding officer, announced today. The occasion is the 38th anniversary of the founding of the Aeronautical division of the Office of the Chief Signal Officer, forerunner of the Army Air Forces, and the observance at Shaw will be part of a worldwide program.

- Gamecock Chapter No. 5, Disabled American Veterans will hold a special program tomorrow for the benefit of disabled veterans of all wars, present GIs and relatives of men and women in service. Main speakers will be Congressman John J. Riley; Maj. Charles T. Smith Jr., state adjutant and national service officer of the DAV; and William A. Berrian Jr., first junior vice commander of DAV.

- Herbert Richard (Bunny) Allen, with the 15th Air Force, received a discharge after serving in the country's armed forces. First Lt. Allen, son of Mrs. R. B. Allen of Sumter, was in service for three years and overseas nine months in the European theater. He received the Air Medal with four Oak Leaf Clusters, the Distinguished Flying Cross and seven combat stars. A veteran of 50 combat missions, Lt. Allen flew a P-51 fighter for 250 combat hours.

- Sumter boys, who are members of the YMCA Clean Life Club, are looking forward to spending a week at Burnt Gin camp, but they cannot go without the help of Sumter citizens. Each person can help by getting up scrap paper, cardboard boxes and magazines and having them ready for the paper drive which will be held on Monday. The government needs paper, and the boys want to collect it and sell it, not only to help the government, but also to earn a trip to camp. The Sumter Lions Club and city officials are cooperating to make this drive a success.

- The superhighway which the government proposes to build from the Canadian line to Miami has aroused considerable interest in eastern Carolina cities and towns, and the recent action of the North Carolina Highway Association in approving a route through that state via Wilson, Rocky Mount, Fayetteville, Lumberton and Rowland conflicts with the previously announced plan of the South Carolina State Highway Association to have the super road run through McColl, Bennettsville, Bishopville and Sumter and on to Summerton.

- Thousands of Uncle Sam's naval officers and men on board the Navy's fighting ships, planes and distant advanced bases in all parts of the world join with Americans here at home Monday, July 30, in paying tribute to the WAVEs on their third anniversary, for they are indebted to the WAVEs of the Navy for one of their most important commodities - mail from home.

- Sgt. Homer Smith of Mayesville was recently awarded the Bronze Star Medal for meritorious service in Italy. He served on the Fifth Army front as a chief of section in the 178th Field Artillery Battalion, part of Second Corps Artillery. His father, J. W. Smith, lives on Route 1, Mayesville.

50 YEARS AGO - 1970

March 29 - April 4

- The home and gardens of Mr. and Mrs. Wendell M. Levi will be featured on the Tri-centennial Home Tour along with several homes and churches in the Sumter area. The Levi home is surrounded by more than 600 varieties of camellias in the gardens. This large garden was started about 30 years ago when Levi received a "Pink Perfection" as a memorial to his late mother. Since 1939, the Levi camellias have blossomed into a vast collection of camellias all labeled.

- The Manning Monarch Booster Club held its 15th-annual banquet with Jim Brakefield, head football coach at Wofford College, featured as the guest speaker. Trophies and awards were presented to outstanding girl and boy athletes. John Gambrell carried home the Best All-Around Athlete trophy for boys, and Gay Herlong captured the same award for girls. The Bob Reaves Award for the Most Improved Senior went to M.E. DuBose.

- J.B. (Red) Baker has opened Red Baker Realty, dealing in residential, business and commercial sales and rentals. The firm is located at 116 S. Sumter St. Baker has been in real estate business for three-and-a-half years. He is past owner and operator of the Piggly Wiggly Grocery near Shaw Air Force Base and also operated Seaco at one time.

- A $3 million motel operated by a nationally known franchise within the Santee-Cooper Resort development is planned for 1971. Announcement of the sale of 10 acres within the development was made by Roy A. Krell Sr., president of Santee Cooper Resort, located on Lake Marion at Santee. The 10 acres were sold to the S.C. Motor Inn Corp., which will build the 300-unit motel with dining facilities for 1,000 persons.

- Dr. Thomas Wellington Howell, former commander of the Shaw AFB Hospital, died in Columbus, Ohio, after a long illness. He was 56. He was plant physician of the Mansfield (Ohio) Fisher Body Division of General Motors Corp. at the time of his death. Under his command, the Shaw AFB Hospital was recipient of a Presidential Unit Citation, the first Air Force hospital group to achieve this distinction.

- Dennie MacMillan, 17-year-old member of the Edmunds High golf team, captured medalist honors with a one-under-par 70 to lead the field into the sixth-annual Galloway and Moseley Spring Tournament underway at the Oakwood Hills country club. Eddie Weldon, defending champion who was exempt from qualifying, elected to qualify and turned in a 74, which put him in fifth.

- Robert G. Kolb, son of Mr. and Mrs. Wade S. Kolb, has been named the county STAR winner along with his STAR teacher, Joseph P. Cameron. The six STAR winners from each high school were honored at a luncheon at the Holiday Inn by the Sumter Chamber of Commerce along with their parents and STAR teachers. B.S. Shaw Jr. is chairman of the local STAR program and presided at the luncheon. Following the luncheon, plaques were presented to each student and teacher.

- At the end of a lane in Mayesville sits a stately new Southern home surrounded by neat grounds and mossy oaks. The home, owned by Mr. and Mrs. J. E. Mayes, is being included on the Tri-centennial home tour.

- With a fresh wage offer on the table, government and union negotiators kept talking today in an effort to resolve the simmering postal pay dispute. The government offered a proposed wage settlement to postal union officials early today after six consecutive hours of bargaining.

- Vicki Moss is a pretty Blacksburg teenager with a story to tell. She wants everybody to know about the positive side of today's youth, their attitudes, accomplishments and sense of responsibility. Vicki has an enviable vantage point to speak for the "now" generation. She's a vivacious, involved, accomplished small-town girl who's been in the mainstream of almost everything going on in her town and school.

- Campbell Soup Co. announced the awarding of 12 scholarships to outstanding students among the children of its United States employees. All scholarships are awarded on the basis of academic standing and performance on national and competitive tests, as well as character and evidence of good citizenship.

- Today is Census Day for the United States of America. From Aroostook County, Maine, to Niihau, the westernmost island of Hawaii, and from Point Barrow, Alaska, on the Arctic Ocean to Key West, Florida, it is the day for all Americans to be counted. Charles A. Robinson, manager of the temporary census office in Rock Hill, reports that 337 census takers, after being sworn in this morning, started visiting households throughout the following counties: Cherokee, Chester, Chesterfield, Fairfield, Kershaw, Lancaster, Sumter, Union and York.

- The Edmunds High golfers lost their first opportunity of the season to dethrone state Champion McClenaghan in a three-way match on the wet, long playing Sunset Country Club course. The Yellow Jackets won with a 296 while Edmunds' Gamecocks placed second with a 303. Orangeburg brought up the rear with a score of 329.

- A special course and a special instructor are available to qualifying students in the on-base University of South Carolina program this semester. The course is Governments of Southeast Asia with Dr. N.V. Rajkumar, an Indian diplomat, lecturing.

- County sanitary landfills headed the agenda for the second meeting of the Sumter Beautification Committee. Ed Gussio, city-county planning director, urged all committee members and citizens to use the landfills for deposit of trash instead of littering the county illegally. To encourage persons to use these landfills, County Engineer John Mahon said that directory signs will be placed along the roads to show the way to the fills.

- Miss Alida Kay Hart, daughter of Col. and Mrs. A. P. Hart, has been awarded the silver wings of an American Airlines stewardess and has now been assigned to flight duty out of Chicago. She received her wings as a graduate in the fourth class this year at the American Airlines Stewardess College, Fort Worth, Texas.

25 YEARS AGO - 1994-1995

Dec. 29 - Jan. 4

- Harold Galloway knows what the basketball fans in Lee County want to see. It's too bad it took several years for him to give it to them. Galloway's Bishopville High boys' basketball team reached the semi-finals of the Lee County Holiday Invitational Tournament by defeating Indian Land 83-40. The victory helped the Dragons move into a matchup with cross-county foe Mount Pleasant. In the tournament's seven-year history, Bishopville and Mount Pleasant either faced each other in the first round or were eliminated, failing to put a Lee County team in the finals. But with the Dragons' win over Indian Land and the Rattlers' victory over Dillon, it's assured that a Lee County team will play for the tournament title.

- Disposing of your Christmas tree has never been as easy or environmentally safe. A Christmas tree recycling program, called "Grinding of the Greens," is allowing both city and county residents of Sumter to have their trees ground to mulch. Sponsored by the Sumter County office of the Clemson Extension Service, Carolina Power & Light and the Sumter County chapter of Keep America Clean, the program is designed to reduce the number of trees in area landfills. New legislation requires a reduction in the amount of solid waste in landfills. Traditionally, the holiday season is the busiest time of year for sanitation crews, so the "Grinding of the Greens" program could reduce waste in area landfills at a time when space is at a premium.

- The electoral success of religious conservatives, expanded roles for Catholic women and the debate over feminist images in Christian churches were the top religion stories in 1994. In a poll of members of the Religion Newswriters Association, the top religion story of the year was the role conservative religious groups such as the Christian Coalition played in getting out voters to contribute to the GOP election landslide. Issues such as abortion and school prayer are expected to be on the agenda of the new Congress. Ranking No. 2 was the Catholic Church's attempt to define the role of women in the sanctuary. Pope John Paul II ruled out any further discussion of opening the priesthood to women, but the Vatican gave its approval for female altar girls. The U.S. Catholic bishops said women should be encouraged to move into the top ranks of church theologians and administrators.

- The old Summerton High School - the object of one of South Carolina's most important legal civil rights battles - is being recognized for its place in U.S. history. The school, which was built in 1936 and stands vacant on South Church Street, has been listed in the National Register of Historic Places, the nation's official list of documented historical properties. The building has qualified as one of the nation's most historical sites because of its role as the object of the 1950 lawsuit, Briggs vs. Elliott, which challenged segregation at the then all-white school.

- The Rafting Creek community lost its defender of learning with the death of Dr. Marion Woodard Wright McLester - known by many as Miss Mae. Dr. McLester, 99, died at her S.C. 261 North home after a long illness. She was known for her decades-long effort to improve education in her area, an effort that led to the establishment of Rafting Creek Elementary School. Dr. McLester moved to the Rafting Creek area of northwestern Sumter County in 1921 after graduating from Benedict College. She sometimes taught more than 100 students at a time in a one-room schoolhouse in Rafting Creek before World War II, when communities received no government money to educate black children.

- To boaters, the end of the holidays and the bowls does not lead to the January blahs. It starts the boat show season. The shows are the best places to shop, to compare not only prices from local dealers, but also to see different manufacturers' products a few yards apart on the same floor where you can compare features. The shows usually offer the best prices of the season, too.