Blast from the past

March 19, 2003

Week of March 16, 1953

Visitors to the Fairground race-track these days must rub their eyes several times before they believe what they see. For the track bed is a mass of growing oats, now about a foot high.

The track comprises several acres but the growing crop is one that will not be harvested, officials say, explaining that the oats will be disced under next month and allowed to form a mulch to supply a "spring" to the track for the coming August race meet.

Here's another sign that spring is really just around the corner. Ira McKee, 228 Hager St., this morning killed three small snakes in the backyard of his home.

Electric milking machines have made old-fashioned milking stools a thing of the past on many local farms. Now several progressive farmers are even doing away with the familiar milk cans.

Week of March 16, 1978

The recent preview of spring was just that, a preview and a downright teaser. Old Man Winter is expected to dump two to four inches of snow on the ground by tonight.

When John Hall took over as Hagerstown's fire chief in 1953, he was the only paid firefighter in the city. Injured while fighting a fire in 1972, Hall has since retired.

Tuesday night, Hall was greeted by a standing ovation and the ringing of the fire bell as more than 300 persons turned out to honor the man who was responsible for many of the modern changes in the fire department in his 20 years as chief.

Hancock's mayor and council voted unanimously Wednesday to sell the town's parking lot on Taney Street to a private owner.

The lot, which borders the C&O Canal, will be developed by its new owner, according to Mayor David Sowers.

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