Blast from the Past

June 27, 2007

Week of June 24, 1957

Antono Rocca and Chief Big Heart will be teammates at Hagerstown's Municipal Stadium on Wednesday night, when they clash with Roy Shires and Danny McShain in the feature tag-team match of an all-star outdoor wrestling card, arranged by promoter Kenny Ridenour. Rocca hails from Argentina, and is generally recognized as one of the top grapplers in the world. Big Heart is a full-blooded Indian. The largest crowd of the session is expected at the local ball park.

A rock crashed through the roof and landed in the attic at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Howard Gurath, 1707 The Terrace, yesterday at 5:15 p.m.

Mrs. Gurath saw the rock come sailing through the air. Fortunately, no one was in the attic at the time.

Mr. Gurath reported that a quantity of plaster was knocked from the walls by the shock that resulted when the rock hit the roof. He estimated that the stone weighed between 20 and 25 pounds.


Detonation of a charge of explosives on a nearby project was believed to be the source of the momentum that sent the rock flying through the air.

It usually happens the other way around, but yesterday "play money" turned out to be real money here.

Eleven-year-old Robert Crane of South Street told police a 6-year-old boy asked him if he wanted some play money. Crane said he took the money and when he got home he found he had $9 in real bills.

Patrolman C.B. Bikle drove Crane around the vicinity but the younger boy who had given away the cash could not be found.

Hagerstown police are looking for a turkey thief. William Henry, 400 Freemont St., told officers someone took two turkeys from a coop in back of his home Saturday night. The turkeys are brown in color, and weighed 6 or 7 pounds each, Henry said. He valued them at $10.

Week of June 24, 1982

The Homemakers' Club of Halfway, one of the oldest and largest Extension Homemakers clubs in Washington County, celebrated its 60th birthday this month. The club in Halfway was organized on Jan. 17, 1922, with only 12 members. It has grown so large over the years that it has formed two new clubs - Friendship and Greenberry Hills - and at one time had to close its membership at 150 and maintain a waiting list.

Back in 1923, the Homemakers of Halfway flew in the face of opposition and sponsored a lecture on birth control by noted family planning advocate Margaret Sanger. More than 1,000 Washington Countians paid 25 cents each to hear the two-hour lecture in Professor Stouffer's dancing school ballroom.

Former club president Mrs. Lucian Thomas notes that the Homemakers' programs have changed and expanded over the years, meeting the demands for more education as technology has broadened, but she says the goal of enlightened family life hasn't changed.

Tropical storm Agnes battered the Tri-State area 10 years ago this week, with four straight days of relentless, driving rain that left hundreds of families homeless and caused $7 million in damage in Washington County alone.

Rising water from swollen rivers and creeks destroyed or damaged nearly 1,000 homes in Washington and Frederick counties, and forced the evacuation of about 25 families. Harpers Ferry, W.Va. was hard hit, its historic district transformed into a lake five feet deep.

Many businesses in the Tri-State area also suffered damage, and some never returned.

- Compiled by Kelly Moreno

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