Blast from the Past

July 04, 2007

Week of July 1, 1957

Bester-Long was yesterday given the half-million-dollar job of adding 870 feet to the east-west runway on Hagerstown's municipal airport. The project is to be completed within 120 calendar days. There were just two bids; from Bester-Long and from the Wright Contracting Company.

Work will not begin until the Civil Aeronautics Administration gives final authorization. The federal government will be paying half the cost.

The airport expansion also includes the relocation of Old Route 11 away from its present course past the airport, to permit later extension of the east-west runway in an easterly direction. Building of this road will, in effect, make the present runway longer. Because of heavy traffic on the present highway, the first 600 feet of runway cannot be used by airplanes coming in for a landing.

If you go on City Market and even in some food markets, maybe you've observed those big huckleberries that have been making their appearance in the past week or so.


They're known in the trade as blueberries, but in reality they are a cultivated huckleberry. The weather was just about right this year for a bumper crop, and the berries are perfect in flavor, not as tart as the old-fashioned huckleberries.

Blueberries first made their appearance many years ago in several of the local food markets. They usually sold for around 55 to 60 cents a pint, which makes them rather expensive when it usually takes a quart to make a sizable blueberry pie. Because more blueberries are being produced, the price has dropped. Now they can be had for 55 to 60 cents a quart.

Wild huckleberries were only about half the size of blueberries. Now it's rarely that anyone bothers about picking wild huckleberries.

Week of July 1, 1982

Renault has exercised its option to acquire another 10 percent of stock in Mack Trucks Inc., giving the French government-owned auto company a total interest in Mack of 20 percent.

Mack president John B. Curcio hailed Renault's decision as "very meaningful" and said it would "help assure the availability of financing" for Mack Mid-Liner trucks, which are made by Renault and marketed by Mack.

"It really is a compliment to our company that they decided to exercise their option now, when you consider the state of the economy worldwide," he added.

The remaining shares of Mack are still held by Mack's parent company in California, The Signal Companies.

No impact is expected on operations at Mack's Hagerstown plant.

A groundswell of support turned out for an Equal Rights Amendment rally on the steps of the courthouse in Hagerstown at noon today.

The local AFL-CIO, the United Auto Workers, the Washington County Teachers' Association, elected officials, judges, clergy, black organizations and women's organizations voiced their support of ERA despite its failure yesterday to be ratified in the U.S. Constitution in the 10-year time limit.

Today's group was celebrating nonetheless because July 1 marks the 10th anniversary of the ERA in Maryland law.

"To say I am not disappointed would be untrue," said Adair Eves, former president of Washington County's National Organization of Women chapter. "It represents 10 hard years of work. In time justice will prevail. Today we celebrate because of the efforts to ratify ERA, women have become a political force to be reckoned with. We have begun an amazing grassroots movement."

- Compiled by Kelly Moreno

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