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 with Sammy Way: Fire department moves to new building; signs of Hugo still exist

By SAMMY WAY
Posted 9/21/19

75 YEARS AGO - 1945

April 13-April 19

- President Harry S. Truman proclaimed that tomorrow should be a day of mourning for Franklin D. Roosevelt throughout the United States. His proclamation, issued at the State Department, formally announced …

This item is available in full to subscribers

Yesteryear with Sammy Way: Fire department moves to new building; signs of Hugo still exist

Posted

75 YEARS AGO - 1945

April 13-April 19

- President Harry S. Truman proclaimed that tomorrow should be a day of mourning for Franklin D. Roosevelt throughout the United States. His proclamation, issued at the State Department, formally announced the late president's death. "But though his voice is silent," the new chief executive said, "his courage is not spent, his faith is not extinguished. The courage of great men outlives them to become the courage of their people and the peoples of the world. It lives beyond them and upholds their purposes and brings their hopes to pass."

- A strong Japanese air fleet, including suicide pilots bent on self-destruction in crashes against choice targets, sank an American destroyer and damaged several other ships off Okinawa in a fierce engagement in which 118 enemy aircraft were destroyed. All evidence suggested that most of the attacking forces were wiped out - by suicide crashes if not by American inceptors and anti-aircraft guns ashore and afloat.

- Capt. William J. (Billy) Brennan of Sumter was the recommendation officer in the test and development section of ordnance material at the world's largest ordnance research and development center before going overseas. He is now serving in France. Capt. Brennan is a graduate of the Citadel in Charleston with a bachelor of science degree and a degree in mechanical science from Georgia School of Technology, Atlanta. He is the son of Mrs. J.J. Brennan of Sumter.

- Miss Eleanor Wallace Robinson, pianist, made a lasting name for herself as an artist when she was presented in her graduating recital recently by the Music Department of Furman University. The program took place in the women's college auditorium, Greenville. Among those attending were Mr. and Mrs. R.F. Robinson, parents of Miss Robinson. Miss Robinson is a pupil of Mrs. Wendell Keeney of the Music Department of Furman.

- During April and June, all Sumter County residents who expect to do any canning must make applications for canning sugar at the closest community application site. Applications will be taken at the courthouse from 2 to 4 o'clock on Wednesdays and Fridays for residents of the city of Sumter and suburbs. Applications will be taken in the county at several locations.

- Sumter Kiwanis Club members were guests of convalescent patients at the weekly smoker at the Station Hospital this week. The Kiwanians met all the convalescent patients who spent the first part of the evening showing their guests the hospital equipment and particularly the facilities available to patients participating in the convalescent training program. A number of Kiwanians were shown through the wards, where they visited bed patients.

- Yankee Stadium, already the largest individually owned baseball park with a seating capacity of 72,000, will be expanded to a postwar capacity of 100,000. Larry MacPhail, president of the Yankees, revealed that engineers were already working on blueprints to install an extra tier of bleachers, increasing the present capacity 40 percent.

- A clean housekeeper is not necessarily a good housekeeper, according to fire Chief E.H. Lynam. "Every spring, women all over the country wash and scrub and dust to make their homes spotless," the chief said, "but many of them don't seem to understand that a clean house can burn as fast as a dirty one." A really good housekeeper, in the chief's opinion, is one who gets rid of fire hazards as well as dust and dirt.

- The coronation of the king and the queen of Edmunds High will be held on Tuesday, May 1, at 8:30 p.m. in the auditorium. In the past, the representatives were selected by votes which were sold for a penny each. This year, however, in order to give more students a chance to participate, the selection will be made on the basis of popularity.

- Olvin R. Jones, coxswain, U.S. Naval Reserve, of Sumter, is a member of the crew of the U.S.S. Baxter, one of four destroyer escorts which in mid-Atlantic recently trailed and destroyed a German submarine, it has been announced by Admiral Jonas Ingram, commander in chief, U.S. Atlantic Fleet. Zigzagging in a long and desperate effort to elude its pursuers, the enemy sub was finally sunk in deep water.

- Members of the Sumter Hi-Y staff and their dates enjoyed a swim party and picnic supper at Poinsett Park. A sing fest followed the picnic supper, and everyone returned to Sumter in a happy frame of mind. Mrs. Ray Fidler and Mrs. Carl W. Link chaperoned the group. Sonny Thorne, chairman of the entertainment committee, handled arrangements.

50 YEARS AGO - 1969

Dec. 14-21

- Edmunds High School pulled away from Southside in the final quarter and coasted to a 79-65 victory. With only a narrow 30-28 halftime lead, the Gamecocks, led by Fred Brogdon, Lathan Roddey and Tip Kilby, bombed the nets in the closing minutes of the game to bring their record to 2-1 on the season.

- The long-awaited move from the old fire department building on Harvin Street to the newly completed building on the corner of Hampton and Magnolia streets became a reality. With the installation of office telephones in the new building, the moving of equipment and personnel became possible, according to City Fire Chief C.V. Wilder.

- Edmunds High's cross-country team captured the state Open Cross-Country Meet for the second year in a row. Nineteen schools and 103 runners competed in the Optimist Club-sponsored event, the largest turnout ever for a cross country meet in South Carolina. Edmunds' 35 points was followed by Brookland-Cayce's 66, Rock Hill-104, York-150 and Columbia High-156.

- University of South Carolina faculty members will meet to discuss whether they agree with the school's ranking of a proposed stadium expansion as No. 1 on a list of proposed campus improvements. John Welsh, faculty secretary, said the meeting was scheduled after he received a letter from 13 faculty members detailing their views of the university's future.

- Eddie Muldrow, star running back for the Bishopville Dragons, has been signed to a full football scholarship at the University of South Carolina. Muldrow, 6-1, 175 pounds, led the Dragons to a 10-2 record and into the state AA playoffs. He rushed for more than 1,100 yards, averaging 6.5 yards a carry. His total offense, which includes pass receptions, was over 2,000 yards. He scored 18 touchdowns.

- Veterans organizations throughout the South will be asked this week to join a movement seeking dismissal of all charges against Lt. William L. Calley Jr., a spokesman for the group says. "I don't think these organizations are aware of our efforts," said James A. Smith. "I don't think they know the reasons we are supporting him." The 26-year-old Calley, currently stationed at Ft. Benning, has been charged by the Army with premeditated murder in the slaying of 109 Vietnamese civilians during action at My Lai village in 1968.

- Spartanburg High was the only school to place two players on the South Carolina Association of Sportswriters all-state high school football team. Named were guard Mark Franke and back Ray Monroe, who also was picked the state's Player of the Year for being the leader in 4-A statistics in South Carolina. Steve Satterfield, coach of unbeaten 4-A champion Sumter, was picked Coach of the Year. C.A. Wilson, Sumter back, was named to the All-State team.

- President Nixon is pulling out another 50,000 troops from South Vietnam but over a longer period than he allowed for previous withdrawals, evidently because of the growing possibility of a major new enemy offensive. Nixon announced his third cutback in a speech and set April 15 as the deadline for removing the 50,000.

- Applications are being accepted for a course to begin at Sumter Area Technical Education Center titled "Introduction to Electronic Data Processing Machines." This will be a 12-week course taught at night. Students will be familiarized with key punch, verifier, sorter, reproducer, interpreter and 402 accounting machine.

- Two pretty young Vietnamese girls, born in Hanoi, raised in Paris and who came to Sumter from Banbury, England, are studying faithfully each day at Sumter Area Technical Education Center, preparing for high school here. Claudette, 17, and Marie Therese, 16, Chenu make a daily trek of almost a mile from their Highland Avenue residence to spend three hours in the Learning Lab of the center poring over algebra, history and English books.

- Jimmy Eaves, all-state quarterback for the undefeated, state 4A champion Edmunds Gamecocks, has signed a grant-in-aid to attend The Citadel. Eaves, along with EHS tackle Glynn Hammock, was named to The State newspaper's all-state team.

- Edmunds' Gamecocks trampled the Hillcrest Wildcats 84-52 with excellent team play that saw five players hit in double figures. Gamecock coach Jimmy Boykin substituted liberally throughout the game in running his team's record to 3-1. Second team members played most of the second half, including the entire fourth quarter.

- A new training program called "Occupational Development" has been instituted at Sumter Area Technical Education Center, and the first-class members have received certificates for successful completion. The 12-week program is designed to indoctrinate the recent high school graduate or other inexperienced persons in the world of work, making him aware of the new demands which will be placed on him.

- An electrical mystery swept Shaw, causing momentary alarm in many parts of the base. A temporary electrical outage left most of Shaw lightless and powerless. Lights in offices in 363rd Tactical Reconnaissance Wing Headquarters blinked and dimmed most of the morning, which seemed like a prelude to the afternoon's blackout. As the RECON RECORD went to press, officials from the Electrical Section of the 363rd Civil Engineering Squadron here stated the electrical trouble was in the "high line," the main power line or an electrical surge.

- Bill Noonan has been the No. 1 assistant to Steve Satterfield for six years now, working quietly but effectively behind the scenes at Edmunds High School. He has distinguished himself most notably in the coaching of line play. He has written several articles for national Coaches' Magazines, Coach and Athlete and Athletic Journal.

- The Sumter County Planning Board has been asked by the County Commission to set up a committee which would look into the request and building of new roads before a decision is made. Before new roads are built in the county, they will be investigated by the planning committee and a report given to the commission. The planning board would also be notified of the action.

- The Development Office of Morris College (in Sumter) announced today that a total of $70,000 has been raised on Phase One of its "Continuous Campaign to Perpetuate Morris College." This is a combination of fundraising and academic and physical facilities expansion effort. The campaign was officially launched on Thanksgiving Day, and the first phase with a goal of $3 million will end on Dec. 31, 1970.

25 YEARS AGO - 1994

Sept. 15-21

- Basketball is not a quiet sport. The pounding of the ball, the swoosh of the hoop, cheers for a score and arguments over the foul line resounded every afternoon on Burgess Court. That is, until neighbors complained of the children's stray and pounding balls, and the playing was brought to a halt. "And kick-ball was boring," said 13-year-old Brandon McCoy about the absence of basketball on his street, the silencing of a sport he hopes will carry him to college. The kids cleaned up an abandoned duplex slab and fixed it up so that they could continue to play.

- Highway Patrol Commander Alton Morris is resigning after just 10 months on the job, saying he has done what he set out to do and wants to leave before he loses his retirement money. Morris took over as commander in November, coming out of retirement to replace Col. Ron Alford. Morris promised at the time to restore public confidence in the patrol, which has been battered in recent years.

- Fortunately for members and guests of the Sumter-Shaw Community Concert Association, the Audubon String Quartet and pianist Leon Bates both have the same booking agency. This enabled officers of the local association to work with Joanne Rile Artists Management of Jenkintown, Pennsylvania, to bring two touring attractions to Sumter in tandem. The result: A season opener at Patriot Hall that devotees of chamber music will long treasure.

- The Thornwell Saints combined a powerful ground game with a big-play aerial attack to defeat Thomas Sumter 33-7. The loss drops TSA's season mark to 0-4, 0-2 in region play.

- Another week. Another team. Even another stadium. Still the same devastating result. The Sumter High Gamecocks picked up where they left off in a 40-6 rout of Summerville last week by putting up 20 points in the first quarter and cruising to a 33-0 victory over Orangeburg-Wilkinson on Friday at Bruin Stadium. The story of the game again was SHS' ironclad defense.

- Greater Sumter Chamber of Commerce members will soon see the fruits of their fundraising efforts - bull-dozers and piled-high bricks. Organizers broke ground to mark the start of construction for the Chamber's new headquarters. Sumter's Hawkins & Kolb Construction Co. Inc. was the lowest bidder for the project. The project should be completed in March or April of next year. Construction of the $800,000 building is being financed by the city and county as well as through corporate and private contributors.

- Many of the wounds left by Hurricane Hugo have healed, but five years later, signs of the storm still abound. Some signs are missing. One mystifying example: Two of Sumter's three movie theaters - Cinema Twin at Wesmark Plaza and Movies 1-2-3 on Broad Street - lost their marquees in the disaster but never bothered to replace them. A much more significant - and probably more talked about - lingering storm aftereffect is tree damage and tree loss. Sumter, Lee and Clarendon County officials describe other things hurt by the storm - including homes and buildings, farms and utilities - as almost completely recovered. But nobody uses that word to describe the trees.

- When the Lee County Memorial Hospital Commission announced that the hospital had to be closed, it assured alarmed residents that a new outpatient clinic, providing many of the same services but at less cost to the county, would take its place. But today, the old hospital sits locked and empty. Lee County residents must travel to Sumter, Columbia or Hartsville in a medical emergency. The doctors who had offered to run the outpatient clinic have withdrawn their proposal, unable, they say, to meet the demands Lee County Council kept heaping on them as terms for leasing the hospital building.

- From draperies to drum brakes, flatbed trailers to furniture, industries in and around Sumter seem to make about everything you could need. That's why local business and civic leaders, along with the rest of the state, will celebrate Industry Appreciation Week on Sept. 19-23. The week is designed to salute the contributions that industry and industrial workers make to the community and to the state.

- Like the phoenix, the mythical bird of antiquity that rose from death in the ashes, South Carolina has risen from the devastation of Hurricane Hugo, its worst natural disaster in a century. In the five years since the killer hurricane smashed ashore with its 135 mph winds, the rubble of splintered wood and shattered dreams has been swept away. Roofs have been made tight and most lives put right.

- Sumter City Council will receive more information Tuesday on a plan to improve the countywide 911 emergency telephone system - a plan council gave a lukewarm reception last month. An improved 911 system would automatically tell emergency dispatchers where a call was coming from by flashing up the calling address on a computer screen. Emergency officials say that determining where a call is coming from is among the hardest parts of a dispatcher's job.

- Steve Bostic claimed a win in the Thunder and Lightning class at Gamecock Speedway Saturday. Buddy Truett placed second, Paul Bostic third, Willie Sharp fourth and Donnie Austin fifth. Austin placed first in the Hobby main event with Scott Dabbs second, Wayne Jennings third, Arthur Winn fourth and Joey Anderson fifth.

- Every time a train whistles Ester Lou Lucius shivers at a fresh memory of screams in a dark Alabama bayou. Mrs. Lucius was aboard Amtrak's coast-to-coast Sunset Limited that derailed one year ago, on Sept. 22, as it hurtled over a remote bridge rammed by a barge moments earlier. Most of the passengers made it out of the harrowing mix of bayou water, flaming diesel fuel, glass shards and upended rail cars.