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Blast from the past

February 18, 2004

Week of Feb. 15, 1954

High school junior Mac Davis, who works for a local men's clothing store, started a fad that took on citywide coverage when his boss suggested that he would sell a large shipment of felt derby hats at below cost just to get rid of them. Mac administered a few blows to the crown, turning the derby into a passable pork-pie - a style popular with college students - and then carefully circulated the rumor that the store had pork-pies in all colors, marked down to 98 cents each.

That was a week ago, and to date more than 300 high school males are sporting the pseudo pork-pies, or "cat-hats," as they have dubbed them.

Those Antietam commemorative half dollars issued in 1937 at the time of the 75th anniversary celebration of the battle around Sharpsburg, are today worth almost their weight in gold. The latest listing is $20 for a single coin. Originally, only 50,000 of the coins were issued and many were returned to the Treasury Department when they went unsold.


Washington County can expect the ultra modern in hospital design in the $3,000,000 state institution to be built on the Bellevue farm.

Week of Feb. 15, 1979

Hagerstown residents will soon be able to tune in to the latest area weather forecast, 24 hours a day, from the National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration.

NOAA plans to install a high frequency FM transmitter this summer at the Public Broadcasting Service tower on Fairview Mountain west of Clear Spring.

Ever wonder who's on the bus? The Morning Herald sent a reporter and photographer out for a day to find out.

A 77-year-old man doesn't look like much of a traveler, but riding the blue-and-white buses is about all the retired railroader does since his wife died last fall. He says he's going nowhere in particular. "I don't go to the same place every day," he said.

Bessie Melia started riding the bus regularly two years ago when her doctor suggested she give up driving. "Next Tuesday," she says, "I'm going to be 86."

Hagerstown Councilman Larry Vaughn has been riding in police cruisers three to four times a week, for five and six hours at a time - and city police say they've had just about enough.

Some officers have threatened to call in sick if they learn in advance that Vaughn will be riding with them.

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