Blast from the Past

September 26, 2007

Week of Sept. 23, 1957

Waynesboro school authorities and police believe that a horror movie and a farmer who wore a raincoat were jointly responsible for the rumor that there's a monster near one of the town's schools.

Mrs. Helen Etter, principal of the Fairview Avenue School, said that the monster rumor had spread like wildfire. She thinks that someone going through a nearby pasture on a rainy day while wearing a raincoat may have started some imaginations to work overtime, after many of the children had attended a sensational movie at one of Waynesboro's theaters.

Thirty-nine members of the class of 1960 entered the Washington County Hospital School of Nursing on Monday, Sept. 9. As part of initiation week, the girls were required to paint the fingernails of one hand with red nail polish, wear one earring, wear odd shoes with no sock on one foot and a nylon sock on the other; and they could not put up their hair or wear makeup all week. They also had to carry a baby's rattle at all times, and when meeting a senior, they had to bow to her, shake the rattle and say "Mama". They also had to polish the seniors' shoes.


Anyone who did not carry out these initiations was punished by having to wash down the front steps of Pangborn Hall with a toothbrush.

The housewives of the Robinwood Drive and Cavetown Pike sections are pretty mad, with a water supply they contend isn't fit for animals, much less human beings. They are going to petition the Health Department to get some action.

"The water being supplied from the reservoir by Hagerstown not only makes us sick, but has ruined my lawn, it's so bad," said Mrs. Murray Foster, who lives on Pheasant Trail. "We're asking the Daily Mail to help us get better water."

"Our washes have been ruined by the muddy water, and the odor of the water is terrific. The water department said it was necessary to put some chemicals in the water to keep it pure and safe, and that may have made the grass turn yellow," Mrs. Foster said.

Week of Sept. 23, 1982

Shopping convenience is the key factor to the Valley Mall proposal to open its smaller retail stores on Sunday. Some store employees, however, say the convenience to consumers will end up being a big inconvenience to them. Employees of the smaller retail stores located in the mall have undertaken a letterwriting campaign to elected officials of the county to convince the lawmakers to keep restrictions on Sunday sales on the books.

Under the Maryland Blue Laws, stores in Washington County may remain open on Sunday, as long as not more than six employees serve the customers. The hours, if approved, would be in the afternoon, so as not to conflict with religious services in area churches.

A boy and a girl tossed a ball back and forth in the chilly mist at the gateway to Surrey Elementary School this morning, but they weren't about to enter the building, which was condemned by Hagerstown building inspector Jerry Wolfe on Thursday.

The school was closed because of a deteriorating back wall and rafters, which was causing a shift in the roof position.

Until someone can determine what renovations are needed, where the money will come from, how long renovations will take, or if the building will simply be closed down, the school board is making its first priority keeping the children and teachers of Surrey School together in classes somewhere else. The board hopes to find a facility by Monday.

The 75-year-old Surrey School is Washington County's oldest operating school.

- Compiled by Kelly Moreno

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