2018-08-09 / Kitty Bits

Kitty Bits

Box will be opened in 2041

Harris Blackmon brought us an interesting find. It’s something he found hidden in the rafters of one of the airport hangars. The roughly-constructed wooden box, composed of scraps of 2x6 and 2x10 boards nailed together must weigh 25 pounds. Handwriting on the side of the box reads, “It is hoped that this box will remain undisturbed until the year 2041 (50 years) – J.T. Bryson” It has not been opened. We wonder what Dr. Bryson hid away in the box in 1991. Does anyone have a guess? It needs to be given to one of the museums or to someone young for safekeeping, because we won’t be around in 2041!


Our front office is fairly empty since we discontinued the sale of the electronics. Over the winter it was full of ferns and plants but since they were taken to our home it’s empty again. So, we have decided to gradually move some of the old print business equipment to the front. The first piece that we moved is an antique perforating machine. It makes those tiny little holes in paper so that you can tear a portion off evenly. We still use it when perforation is required on a print job and it works just as well as it did 100 years ago. The old machine has a casting stamp of 1881 on it. How’s that for a solid piece of machinery? Stop by and see it if you are interested in that kind of thing.


The Old Photo of the Week published in last week’s August 2, 2018, issue has been identified as the first members of the Optimist Club which was formed in 1975. John and Peggy Jones gave us the year that it was taken. With that information we were able to locate the photo in the bound copies here in our offices. It was run in the June 12, 1975 issue, along with a story of the bleachers the club members had constructed at the Little League field. No identification of the members was published with the photo, but Facebook users can see the photo on our page and help identify everyone. David McClearen, who is in the photo, called to say he recognizes all but two of the guys. He identified Charles Rhodes, Charles Hopkins, Randy Lindsey, Ray Brown, Peewee Armour, Tommy Hopkins, Hubert Lindsey, Brooks Paulk, Joe Barnett, and John Jones. According to Hugh Hopkins, Jim Smith is also in the picture.


We’ve also had success in coming up with information on the class reunion photo that ran July 19. It turns out to be the class of 1935, not 1936. The photograph was taken by Glenn Weber at the 40-year reunion held on August 9, 1975, at the W-W Country Club, and was originally published in 1975. For those not interested in the identification we offer our apologies. But for Mrs. Catherine Thurmond and others who have expressed interest, we want to include the names of those in the photo which is reprinted on page 6 of this issue


We have an update on our mention of the new restaurant rumors. Phil Tanner is planning a restaurant as he announced on Facebook. “Well...here it goes. I’ve held off not saying too very much about this until after I had the opportunity to sit down with Mr. James and Mrs. Margaret Jones yesterday. If all goes as planned, Robbie Daniel and I will take over the old Jones Brake and Muffler shop across from the elementary school end of August and plan on opening our restaurant by end of September at the latest.”


Julia Palmer emailed with more information on the tick bite we reported in last week’s column. She wrote, “About a month ago, my son had a near-death experience due to a condition caused by a tick bite. It is Galactose-alpha-1,3-galactose, or commonly called alpha-gal. He, like many people in Wilkes County, spends a lot of time outdoors. He did not recognize the early symptoms and had an episode of having extreme difficulty in breathing due to swelling of his respiratory tract. Anyone can go online and type in: alpha-gal and get much information on this problem. Until just recently, many physicians were not aware of it. The point is that if people are aware of the early signs, they can avoid the life-threatening complications. Depending on a person’s location, he/she could die before receiving emergency care.” We researched this and found that bites from the lone star tick can cause Alpha gal syndrome which may result in an allergy to red meat. We hope this helps raise awareness and we thank Julia for bringing it to our attention.


Borrowing from the August 5, 1993 issue of The News-Reporter and “This week in local history” compiled by Irvin Cheney Jr. we find some interesting bits. The “years ago” have been updated and are in comparison to 2018.


The need for an increase in our armed services is so critical that Congress is considering a bill that would require registration of all men between the ages of 18 and 45. The draft was not implemented until 1940, when President Roosevelt signed the Selective Service and Training Act.

A public letter from Boyce Ficklen Sr. states, “Quite a number of people have asked that I offer for the state House of Representatives…In order to mislead no one I will say that those who have NOT asked me to run exceed by a large majority those who have asked. Unless this trend is reversed, I shall not offer for the office.


The Grand Jury went on record in its Presentments as being opposed to any effort to repeal the prohibition law as it now stands in Georgia.

Alexander Wright will leave this week for Atlanta to join a group which will attend the Century of Progress Exposition in Chicago. This prompted some research and we found that it was what we generally call The Chicago World’s Fair, held from 1933 to 1934 to celebrate the city’s centennial. It was said that visitors to the fair, who were still recovering from the Great Depression, could glimpse a happier not-too-distant future, all driven by innovation in science and technology. We wonder what Washington’s Alexander Wright thought of it.KB


Recruiters for war jobs are busy interviewing prospects here. Girls are needed at the war plant in Macon. Pay is good, starting at $15 per week during training, $106 for the first month of regular employment and $116 and up thereafter. Only people who are not already engaged in war work will be considered. This reminded us that Norma Hopkins worked during WWII on the Oak Ridge project in Tennessee. We need go back to the article that we ran several years ago by Allen Burton that shared some of her memories of that time with us.KB

Mrs. Livingston Moss, who has accepted a position with the Wilkes County Welfare Service, is making her home at the Hotel Washington.

Howard Lance left last week for Parris Island, S.C., where he will receive basic training in the Marines. He has been working on a ranch in Wyoming.


The Wilkes County Board of Education has been notified that its second plan for compliance with HEW integration regulation has been rejected. This was 1968, 14 years after the 1954 U.S. Supreme Court Brown v. Board of Education decision, which declared the concept of separate but equal” schools unconstitutional. KB

Tom Fouche is the new band director for the Washington-Wilkes High School Band. The current Tiger Band, under the direction of Emmie Hines, worked hard out in the summer heat this year at band camp. We look forward to seeing the program they have prepared for us all. KB

And from that same issue we find this…


The weight room at W-WCHS is a busy place as Tiger football players get ready for the annual Lift-a- Thom Saturday.


In something of a surprise move, two Wilkes County tax boards have joined in a call for re-appraisal of all property included in the 1991 county tax digest. The recommendation came in a letter dated July 29 and signed by George R. Smith, chairman of the Board of Tax Assessors, and by Kay Finnell, chairman of the Board of Equalization.


Scaffolding is in place for finishing the restoration of the old Planters Hotel on West Robert Toombs Avenue. The old home was rescued by Vivian and Roger Walker and will be the scene of a tea and tour hosted by the Wills Memorial Hospital Auxiliary.


Another major milestone in the history of Wills Memorial Hospital will be reached Sunday, August 8, with an open house and dedication of the newly expanded and renovated facility between Hospital Drive and Gordon Street. The entire hospital, originally dedicated in August 1961, has been renovated, upgraded, and redecorated to the extent that it is in effect a new hospital and has been deservedly dubbed “The New Wills.”


Amy Laurel Leard and Christopher Marlin Echols, both of Washington, were united in marriage in a lovely double-ring ceremony Sunday, July 18, at four o’clock in the afternoon at Southern Manor on East Robert Toombs Avenue in Washington. Rev. Albert W. Huyck Jr. of Washington officiated. So that means they just celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary. Our belated best wishes to Amy and Chris.


The August Community Calendar listed August 27 at the first day of Wilkes County Schools. This year school started on August 3, more than three weeks earlier than 25 years ago.


Please email kittybits@news-reporter.com or kittybits@wilkespublishing.com with your contributions to the column. Or you can call 706- 678-2636 or stop by the office.

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