Blast from the Past

February 20, 2008

Week of Feb. 17, 1958

· Public schools are closed today, and will be closed tomorrow. There are 670 miles of secondary roads in the county maintained by the County Roads Department, and most of them were still blocked this morning by 4- and 8-foot snow drifts.

At Fairchild Aircraft Plant No. 2, a Capital Baking Co. truck that overturned in the snow on the Middleburg Pike served for a while as an excellent windbreak. The drifting snow, instead of piling up in the single path open at that point, accumulated in back of the truck and enabled road workers to keep that part of the highway into the plant open for traffic.

Maybe you were one of thousands here today who did not get your call through as usual. That was not because the dial system was in any trouble, but because of the tremendous volume of calls.

With all the kids home from school today and housewives generally cooped up because of the snow, this could be something of a record in calls before the day is ended.


· So you think that crowded streets around Hagerstown are jammed up as badly as they're ever going to get?

Just wait. Judging by State Roads Commission figures, traffic around here is due to increase in years to come.

The state estimates that 13,515 vehicles go through Hagerstown on the streets that carry Route 40 traffic every day. The state estimates that by 1965, that figure will increase by nearly half. And by 1975, if everyone isn't flying around in sputniks, the Route 40 traffic through Hagerstown is supposed to climb to 28,345 vehicles every day.

Week of Feb. 17, 1983

· From a letter to the editor:

"I moved to Hagerstown from Washington, D.C., mainly to escape from the rising crime rate in that area. However, after several incidents here, I'm beginning to think the move was a waste of time.

I have a friend who visits now and then. In the past two years, his $150 10-speed bike was stolen, his $800 Yamaha motorcycle was ripped off, and a few nights ago some clown made off with the Hippo Hands on his new motorcycle. (Hippo Hands are gloves that attach to the handlebars and keep the rider's hands warm. They cost about $50.)

I, for one, am learning from all this insanity. From now on, I consider this town a battle zone that calls for precautionary tactics. If I ever see anything out of the ordinary, I'm reporting it. The meek may inherit the earth, but the criminals are gaining fast. It's time we fought back and got involved."

· Several local Boy Scout troops have found a way to raise money, clean up the environment, and save natural resources at the same time. They collect used paper and aluminum products and sell them to recycling centers, with some troops raising as much as $3,000.

Hilary Tatem of Maryland Environmental Service said it takes approximately 5 percent as much energy to recycle aluminum products as it does to make them from scratch. As Ms. Tatem pointed out, and local Scouts have learned, there is something to that old adage "Waste not, want not".

- Compiled by Kelly Moreno

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