Editor's note: The author of Yesteryear and Reflections wants to thank readers for their patience during his recent illness and for their well wishes and cards.
75 YEARS AGO - 1945
Feb. 16 - Feb. 22
- Mr. and Mrs. H. L. Holiday of Manning …
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- Mr. and Mrs. H. L. Holiday of Manning have been notified by the war department that their son Pvt. James P. Holliday, 21, died Dec. 11 as a result of wounds received when the enemy bombed his battery position in northern Italy. Pvt. Holliday entered the Army in August 1943. He was assigned to a field artillery unit and trained at Fort Jackson, Fort Bragg and Fort George Meade, Maryland, before going overseas in May 1944. Since that time, he served in North Africa and Italy.
- A total of $2,242.29 was contributed to the polio campaign, F. B. Creech, chairman, said today. Half of that amount will go to the National Foundation, Infantile Paralysis Fund, and half will be retained for Sumter County's use in the fight against the disease.
- The 4-H clubs of Sumter County held their annual "Achievement Day" meeting Saturday at 10 o'clock at the Sumter theater. The program began with a free moving picture furnished by the Clemson College Visual Education Service. Outstanding speaker for the meeting was Miss Caroline Woodruff, state 4-H Girls Club agent. Also appearing on the program were Mrs. Theo D. Plowden, District Home Demonstration agent, and a quartet of girls from the Sherwood Club.
- Millard E. Lowder is serving overseas with the 260th Infantry somewhere in France. He is the son of M. J. Lowder of Sumter. He entered the Army in December 1943 and trained at Camp Shelby, Mississippi. Pfc. Lowder, graduate of Pinewood High School where he was captain of the football team, is married to the former Miss Iris Scott, who is making her home with her parents while he is away.
- Sumter High's Gamecocks will get their supreme test of the season when they go up against Charleston's Bantams in the high school gym. The opening whistle will be blown at 8 o'clock. The Gamecocks have won all of their scholastic games this season with one exception, a one-point loss to Olympia there. However, in an earlier game played at home, the Birds defeated Olympia by a comfortable margin. Charleston is undefeated in scholastic circles and always has a fast and speedy cage team. Sumter's starting team features Stroman, Link Rumph, Bryan and McLeod.
- Shooting with great skill, Sumter High tumbled Charleston's Bantams from the undefeated scholastic ranks by downing the strong visiting club 38-29. The Charlestonians were never able to keep up with the Gamecocks, who had one of their best nights of the season. They missed only two shots during the first quarter.
- The Shaw Field baseball team lost its "right arm" this week with the transfer of Pfc. George Turbeville, a mound mainstay for two seasons. In leaving the Shaw sports scene, Turbeville, from the South Carolina town of the same name, also left behind a record of pitching performances which few servicemen in the nation can boast. Turbeville's main value was his marked ability to cause batters to miss the final strike. But at the same time, he was no slouch at the plate.
- The Sumter Bar Association will hold memorial exercises for four departed members soon, it was learned today. To be commemorated are the late Lt. Col. Frank Clarke, L. D. Jennings, Hugh Haynsworth and Thomas W. Lemmon. Judge G. Duncan Bellinger of Columbia, presiding during criminal court now in session here, has designated Monday, April 9, at 3 in the afternoon as the time for the services which will be held in the courtroom, county courthouse. Mark Reynolds, president of the association, has named George D. Levy general chairman of the exercises.
- Three hundred 4-H clubsters and 35 visitors attended the annual Sumter County 4-H rally and Achievement Day program at the Sumter theater. Highlights of the program were: a talk by Miss Caroline Woodruff, state girls club agent, and songs by a quartet of girls from Sherwood school including Sylvia Keels, Virginia Moore, Junelle McElveen and Etheline Atkinson, accompanied by Margaret Hobbs. There was also presentation of certificates, diplomas and special awards by Miss Elizabeth Trowell, Miss Carolyn McCutcheon and Rowland Alston.
50 YEARS AGO - 1969
Oct. 19 - 25
- Amid increasingly voiced sentiment for a faster U.S. withdrawal from Vietnam, President Nixon reportedly is considering a unilateral cease-fire. The president may propose the cease-fire during his Nov. 3 address to the nation on the Vietnam situation. Indications Nixon may, in fact, have been affected by opposition to the war expressed in last Wednesday's Vietnam Moritorium piled up as the president spent the weekend huddled with his top military and diplomatic advisers at Camp David.
- Edmunds High School and Bishopville High School, the class of the area, continued their unbeaten ways over the weekend and further cemented their holds on top statewide rankings. Despite a demolition job on Dentsville, 34-8, Edmunds dropped to third place in The State newspaper's poll of the top teams in South Carolina. Spartanburg, winner over Gaffney, holds the No. 1 position while Gaffney is rated No. 2. Bishopville lost no ground after walloping Lake City 33-6 at home.
- Although the weather may have turned a little chilly, the action was hot as Cravon Kiker, Slick Gibbons and Benny Compton captured victories at Sumter Speedway. Over 50 cars turned out last week, and promoter Clinnie Hyatt says this week promises to be even better. Kiker, Cecil Johnson and Albert Lee waged a terrific battle for the Late Model Sportsman race, with the three cars touching metal when they went under the checkered flag. Winners in the Late Model Rookie Division were: Slick Gibbons, Larry Hill, Clarence Hair, Bobby Wilson and Ronald Ayers. Following Compton in the Claiming Division were Jerry Buckner, Terry Griffin, Dale Coker and Ray Compton.
- Wilson Hall captured two soccer games to move its record to 5-1 on the season. Friday, Wilson Hall defeated Beaufort Academy 4-3, with Phillip Lawrence scoring the winning goal with 1:20 left in the game. Burke Watson and Lawrence each scored twice for the winners. On Saturday, Oakie Lowder scored two goals in a second overtime period to send Wilson Hall to a 4-2 victory over College Preparatory School of Charleston.
- Mickey Lowder of Summerton captured the second-annual South Carolina Duck Calling contest at Camp Burnt Gin. Sumter's Butch Drakeford was the first runner-up while Ed Lowrence, the defending champion, came in as second runner-up. Lowrence is from Columbia.
- Eight men received awards from Col. Thomas F. Mabrey, commander, 363rd Combat Support Group, during a retreat ceremony in front of wing headquarters. Capt. John W. Ross also was awarded the DFC for duty at Tan Son Nhut AB and Da Nang AB, Republic of South Vietnam, for his achievement as a reconnaissance pilot and a forward air controller. Bronze Star Medal winners were: Lt. Col. Jack Bowland, Maj. Ernest E. Cook, Maj. Philip M. Harvell and Tech. Sgt. Hermann C. Collum. Capts. Stephen F. Johnson, James L. Fisher and Alan W. Herstrum all received the Air Medal for extraordinary achievement in aerial flight.
- Orangeburg's Indians have an excellent defense, according to Edmunds High Coach Steve Satterfield, whose Gamecocks will be shooting for their seventh consecutive victory in the contest Friday night. "Orangeburg is accustomed to playing close games. The Indians have won three games by one point, and it won't worry them if this is a close game," the head coach said. The Gamecocks are 6-0 on the season while host Orangeburg is 5-1-1, losing its first game last week to the Eau Claire Shamrocks, 14-6.
- The South Vietnamese government announced that its forces will take over a major U.S. base in the critical 3rd Corps military zone surrounding Saigon for the first time. The South Vietnamese said the sprawling Black Horse base camp 40 miles east of the capital will be transferred to South Vietnam's 18th Infantry Division, paving the way for more American troop withdrawals beyond the 60,000 already announced.
- New officers were nominated and elected at the board meeting of the Sumter Chamber of Commerce. J.C. McDuffie, owner and president of Home Furniture Company, is the new president of the Chamber. Doran A. Bramlett was elected first vice president; Richard Moses, vice president in charge of organization; David McGinnis, vice president in charge of community betterment; W.T. Fort Jr., vice president in charge of economic development; Julius E. Eldridge, vice president in charge of public affairs; and Robert James, treasurer. I. H. Moses gave a report on the membership and added three new members to the total.
- Sumter Center Project T-Square is under new management, with Edward H. Savage as enter coordinator and William A. Spence as assistant coordinator. The announcement was made today by Morgan B. Moyer, executive director of the Sumter County Economic Opportunity Corp., which has assumed responsibility for operation of the Sumter Center T-Square as a delegate agency under the guidance of James L. Felder, executive director of the State Project T-Square. "Renewed action will be taken to make this program go," said Moyer, who is emphasizing maximum support to low-income persons "with the goal of finding jobs to give the poor a degree of independence that will permit them to break out of the poverty cycle."
25 YEARS AGO - 1994
July 21 - 27
- Thunderstorms that hung over the city of Sumter left many motorists stranded, residents without power and roads flooded but caused no injuries, officials said. Rains from the storm heavily flooded Guignard Drive, Lafayette Drive and Hampton Avenue and left many other streets under water. Police were called out to assist numerous drivers whose cars had stalled in those areas. "I don't believe I've ever seen it this bad right here in Sumter," one officer radioed to dispatch while responding to a call of a stalled vehicle. "We might ought to get the boat out."
- Two months ago, Sherry Sealy paid $195 to send her Alice Drive Middle School seventh-grader to a basketball camp to prepare for the 1994-95 season. Sealy's daughter left for the University of North Carolina camp with nine other girls from Alice Drive. Trouble is, there might not be a basketball team for her to play on. And her camp fee is non-refundable. Other parents in similar situations will be attending Sumter School District 17's board of trustees meeting to voice their concerns. The trustees decided last month to cut all middle school athletics because of budgetary constraints. Sumter County Council this year gave both Sumter school districts the minimum amount of funding required by the state. Both districts asked for more.
- Capt. Buck Rogers hops into the cockpit of the sleek, gray F-16 fighter, puts on his helmet and prepares for takeoff. "Viper 01. Ready for takeoff," he says into the radio. He releases brakes and selects afterburner as his jet quickly accelerates down the runway. Once airborne, he levels off at 500 feet and accelerates to 550 knots. Below him is the view of South Carolina pines, and in front of him the distant horizon. As he approaches the target area, he picks up a radar contact on his scope. "Viper 01 is contact, nose for thirty, angels two four hot." "Roger Viper. Darkstar ID Bandit, Bandit, cleared to fire." A white streak appears from his left wingtip as he presses the pickle button to fire his air-to-air missile. While "Capt. Buck Rogers" is fictional, the F-16 flight simulator at Shaw Air Force Base is not. The rows of computer mainframes and the F-16 cockpit mockup indicate the amount of technology in this 42-by-50-foot room, set to a cool 70 degrees. Shaw has had different types of simulators since the 1960s.
- Tuomey Regional Medical Center officials announced that they have purchased the property owned by the nearby Frasier Tire Service and will demolish the company's garage and use the land for a parking lot. Frasier Tire, located on 66,000 square feet of land on Sumter Street a block from the hospital, will move to the corner of Liberty and Levi streets.
- The Brunson family is proof that green thumbs are hereditary. Doug and Barbara Brunson started Brunson Nursery in Alcolu in 1962. Their son Jon opened Brunson Wholesale Nursery down the road in 1981. Daughter Paula owns Southern Style Nursery in Santee, and her husband manages Low Falls Wholesale Nursery. Another daughter is an avid gardener. "When our family gets together it is like a mini nursery convention," Barbara Brunson said.
- Set back from S.C. 241 in the corner of Lee County is a small white church. Black shutters cover its windows. A simple cross adorns its roof. And a network of jacks, blocks and timbers holds it six inches off its pilings. St. Philips Episcopal Church, built in 1840, is being renovated, and the last living members of the congregation are trying to have it placed on the National Register of Historic Places. For 150 years, the pilings were held together with mud, and the beams were kept snug with wooden pegs and hand-pounded nails. But termites and weather have taken their toll, and the beams that have held the church up across the years must be replaced. Sarah Dawson, who was married in the church in 1941 and now lives in Sumter, has taken care of the little church and its cemetery since the last service was held there in 1963. St. Philips was built as a 'summer church' for people who came to the high ground of Bradford Springs to escape the mosquitoes that infested the coast.
- Some parents, and at least one Sumter School District 17 trustee, are hoping District 17 trustees change their minds and vote not to eliminate competitive middle school athletic programs in the fall. The board decided last month to cut the $75,000 programs at Bates and Alice Drive Middle schools because of budget restraints. But trustees will consider a final budget for the 1994-95 school year in a meeting moved from the district office to Bates Middle to accommodate a crowd of concerned parents who are expected to attend. "It can be amended," said Ione Dwyer. "I feel we need to make cuts somewhere else, because if we don't have (athletics), we're going to lose more students." Sumter School District 17 Board of Trustees voted to fund competitive athletics programs at the district's two middle schools next year, creating an anticlimactic ending to a month-long heated debate.
- Shaw AFB will be going through some major personnel changes in the next few weeks, officials announced. Lt. Gen. Michael A. Nelson, commander of the 9th Air Force, which is headquartered at Shaw, will retire on Aug. 2. He will be replaced by Lt. Gen. John P. Jumper, who is currently stationed in Washington as the senior military assistant to the U.S. secretary of defense. And Brig. Gen. John B. Hall Jr., who commands the Shaw-based 30th Fighter Wing, will leave on Aug. 5 to become the director of the East Asia Pacific Region in the Pentagon. He will be replaced by Brig. Gen. James D. Latham.
- A new formula for distributing road money for the first time will help urban South Carolina counties more than rural ones. But local politicians say that the new formula is not the result of fairness, but of an urban-dominated transportation omission. "It's hurting the whole state in the long run," Sen. John Land, D-Manning, said. "I'm looking at it with a very concerned eye. I want to see where this came from and why it came about at this time."
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