Blast from the Past

October 03, 2007

Week of Sept. 30, 1957

Miss Rachel Sheetz recently returned from a year spent in Hagerstown's Sister City of Wesel, Germany. Miss Sheetz brought back enthusiasm for the people she now calls her good friends. "Wesel is a wonderful place," she said.

Miss Sheetz noted that the people of Germany took education very seriously, as she described the curriculum of the Girls Gymnasium where she taught. She disclosed that the people are very culture-minded, and they like more serious things and things of beauty.

A scene of the Court House displayed a flower bed with colorful blossoms planted from seeds sent to Wesel by the Garden Clubs of Hagerstown.

A new Department of the Army policy now allows young men without prior service to select enlistment directly to one of seven units currently stationed in Europe, and return to the U.S. with the same unit when they are rotated in the future.


The Army Recruiting Station in Hagerstown has a few openings for qualified young men for October under this program. Since the program is temporary, it is not known how long it will remain in effect. Inasmuch as quotas will allow, friends may elect to enlist for the same unit and therefore be stationed together.

Week of Sept. 30, 1982

The Big Brothers Association of Washington County hopes to give a theater full of people a good scare later this month when it sponsors its first annual horror film festival.

The nonprofit organization has lined up assorted scary movies to be shown at The Maryland Theatre on Friday, Oct. 22. Big Brothers figures on good attendance from high school students, because the popular Jaycee haunted house will not be opened this year.

Big Brothers hopes to raise about $4,000 - enough money to meets its budgetary needs through the end of the year.

The organization needs men as well as money. Approximately 50 men now provide guidance in a close one-on-one relationship with boys who don't have fathers, but more than 30 boys are currently waiting for Big Brother match-ups.

Starting pay for a Hagerstown Police Department patrol officer is considerably less than that offered by much smaller departments, according to a survey of nine police departments in Maryland, Pennsylvania and West Virginia. However, Hagerstown's patrol officers need to work fewer hours than most of their counterparts to receive a larger paycheck, the survey shows.

The Hagerstown Police Department's $12,925 starting salary was ranked eighth out of nine departments. Its top salary for patrol officers, however, ranked third.

When Marsh Pike resident Dave Beard speaks fondly of Agatha, you can bet your snakeskin belt he's not talking about his little old auntie.

Agatha is a 15-foot, 100-pound Burmese rock python, but Beard cuddles up to her like a kid with a teddy bear. She's not exactly a pet, but she's one of the stars in Beard's "SSSimply SSSensational SSSnakes" show. Billed as "Agatha the Gentle Giant", the python is only one of a dozen or so reptiles in the collection that Beard and his wife Debbie take on the road throughout the year.

The first-ever "West Hagerstown Festival Day" will be held all day Saturday, in a corridor along Washington Avenue from West Side Avenue to Washington Square. Churches, schools, civic organizations, businesses and individuals are pooling their efforts to bring the West Hagerstown community together and to give the western end of town some long-overdue recognition.

The festival will begin with a 7 a.m. church breakfast. Other activities will get under way around 9 a.m. and will continue until dusk.

- Compiled by Kelly Moreno

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