2016-03-24 / The Office Cat

Time to clean up for the Tour

The Office Cat

If you are getting your News- Reporter on Wednesday afternoon or Thursday morning, you can still attend the last two Lenten Luncheons during this Holy Week. Services were held Monday at the First United Methodist Church; Tuesday at New Saints on Baltimore Road; and Wednesday at the Presbyterian Church. The last two will be held at Church of the Mediator on Thursday and at the First Baptist Church on Friday. The services are held at noon and a light lunch follows in the church fellowship halls. … You can find listings of Easter Sunrise Services and regular Easter services on Easter Sunday (which is March 27) listed in the Don’t Forgets and Calendar in this paper. l

It seems that the “weather” is a bit confused. We usually have cold and rainy weather on Good Friday which is this coming Friday; and on Easter Sunday which is Sunday, but we had that kind of weather last week. Maybe that means that we will have nice and warm weather for Easter and all the little girls can show off their Easter finery (dresses) at church Sunday. This day and time, little boys also have new Easter outfits to show off. l

There will be an Easter sunrise service on Easter Sunday morning at 7 a.m. on The Square. Check the Calendar and Don’t Forgets for more listings. … The third annual Easter Eggstravaganza is set for Ashley Park on March 26. Sponsors are the 21st Century Community Learning Center, the Washington-Wilkes Parks and Recreation Department, and the City of Washington. l

There were two Easter music programs in Washington last Sunday afternoon and both of them were better attended than I have seen at the churches in a while. The first one was at First Baptist Church at 3:30 p.m. and was directed by Patricia Burton. The second one was at 5 p.m. at the First United Methodist Church and was directed by Shay Harris. Patricia also played a beautiful prelude on the piano. Many people attended both services. l

Washington-Wilkes is in bloom! I hope you have had a walk, run, or ride around town to see all the beautiful blooming things, especially the trees. Doug Abramson told me about a beautiful beech tree in his yard. I’m not familiar with a beech tree but am going to look it up and see what one looks like. Enjoy the flowering fruit trees, oaks, maples, dogwoods, and lots of other kinds. Dogwoods are beginning to bloom and there are some azaleas blooming, but they will come in profusion later. l

Don’t forget that it’s time to clean yards, sidewalks, and anywhere else that you see. The annual Tour of Homes is April 2, so there is not much time left to get the job done. l Lillie Crowe, director of Mary Willis Library, tells me that one of the trees cut at the library last week (the biggest one) was a Maple tree which had been injured when the new sidewalks were installed and that it was dying, hence the reason for cutting it. The little Gingko had been hit by a car and was also dying. l

If you want to see a beautiful sight, check out the new fire truck ladder truck at night. It is truly beautiful with all the colored lights. Reminds me of Christmas. I don’t know if they have a regular schedule for nighttime, but I think that the volunteer firemen meet for training on Tuesdays. You might check it out. I can see them from my bedroom window and front porch. l

My rainkeepers, including me, recorded only a trace of rain for last week and that was Saturday. l

I went to Athens Thursday of last week and was surprised to see how much work is being done along the highway from here to Lexington. (I had read about it in The News- Reporter but was glad I got to see it.) It’s a sight to see. Trees have been cut in a dozen or so places, piled on the side of the road and many of them had been shredded in one of those shredding machines, or whatever you call it. There was no mess. Everything was neat as could be. … I haven’t seen what’s going on on the highway to Thomson, but I hear it’s interesting,, too. l

I’ve been looking through Janet Standard’s Scrapbooks again and last week I saw a column that appealed to me. It was about newspapers. She tells about the first newspaper in Washington. It was called The Washington Gazette and was located across the street from where The News-Reporter is now located. When David Hillhouse bought it in 1801 he called it The Washington News. At his death in 1804, his widow, Sarah Gilbert Hillhouse, took over and with the help of her little son, set the heavy old hand press type and printed the paper for 16 years. Mrs. Standard says, “She (Mrs. Hillhouse) could never guess that as she worked in the greasy, ink-spattered shop that coming generations would proudly acclaim her as the first woman newspaper editor in the United States.”

Mrs. Standard says that “The state board of tax assessors valued Wilkes land in 1925 as worth $8.20 an acre and the newspaper editor commented that this was ‘dirt cheap and a good time to buy.’” She also says that “people down through the years have always been concerned about politics, taxes, schools, the price of cotton, the condition of the roads, the coming of the mail, marrying, birthing, and dying. And the newspaper chronicled these doings.” She also said that the newspaper reported that “Mrs. Frank Barnett’s butter is making some reputation for itself and selling rapidly.” l

Mrs. Standard concluded her column by saying “Depend on your newspaper for the news.” l

In one more item about newspapers, Mrs. Standard said that the Gazette reported in 1891 quite happily that “Mr. J.W. Chapman went over to Barnett yesterday. Before going he took the oath and the authority to handle Uncle Sam’s precious mail bag. A telegram was received last night showing that he reached Barnett and will be here today. The mail will come with him.” l

That reminded me that Smythe and I left Washington in June 1953 in a 1940 Chevrolet to go to El Paso, Texas, for Smythe to attend a National Guard Officer Candidate School. Nobody made a telephone call that far in 1953 (or so we thought), and so we relied on telegrams and the U.S. Mail for our communication with our families here. Janelle Newsome manned the telegraph office here and gave us priority service. We might have made two phone calls home during those six months.

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