Blast from the Past

October 17, 2007

Week of Oct. 14, 1957

Mrs. James Long and son Stevie of this city now know the power of a skunk's defensive weapon, and that when they observe one parked on the porch at the front entrance, they'd better play it safe and go to the back door.

But then, Mrs. Long and Stevie made the mistake of not immediately identifying the animal, because it was a rare albino polecat. Because it was all white with only a black spot on its back and one under each eye, they mistook it for a cat.

"They had to throw away their clothing after they made the discovery too late that it was a skunk," said Mrs. Long's sister.

Magistrate Edwin H. Miller today recommended that the driver's license of a 17-year-old Greencastle (Pa.) motorist be suspended for 30 days after he was convicted of reckless driving at an unreasonable speed. The youth was arrested after a patrolman noted his manner of driving at City Park.


Magistrate Miller imposed a $15 fine in the reckless driving charge, and a $5 fine on the speeding charge.

Weather conditions have been blamed for the closing of the canning season at Greencastle, three weeks earlier than usual.

Manager Robert D. Schenkel said that the drought and the early frost shortened the tomato season, and beet conditions made it inadvisable to can beets this year, so the Greencastle Packing Company closed down in the middle of last week.

About 125 persons were employed at the peak of the season, and only about 10 remain on duty for labeling and shipping.

Week of Oct. 14, 1982

Across Washington County and across the state, bartenders who value their mugs are challenging the public to vote them the ugliest bartender around.

Patrons vote with money; 25 cents counts as one vote. No matter who gets the title here, there's one sure winner - the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, which receives all the money raised.

The ugliest bartender contest has been conducted in hundreds of communities nationwide since it began in 1980. More than $3.5 million has been raised to fight multiple sclerosis (MS), a central nervous system disease that strikes young adults. The cause of MS is still a mystery, and there is no cure.

Locally, 22 bars have an ugly bartender representative, nearly double the number that participated last year. There's even a father-daughter team - Jack Koch at the Broad Axe, and Toni Koch at the Cellar Door - each competing against the other, out to prove ugliness runs in the family.

September was a month of celebration for the Ebenezer A.M.E. Church in Hagerstown as it marked its 144th anniversary.

The church, whose initials stand for African Methodist Episcopal, was founded in 1838 by Thomas E.W. Henry, a former slave who moved to Hagerstown from Leonardtown, Md.

The first building, measuring 24 by 24 feet, was made of logs, and stood at the corner of North Alley and Bethel Street. A new building was erected on the present site across the street in 1840. The building suffered several setbacks, including a major storm in 1841 and the Civil War.

In 1910, the building now in use was constructed at a total cost of $1,200, including the furnishings.

- Compiled by Kelly Moreno

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