This partially-damaged photograph, labeled simply “Early Parade” on the reverse, features a float bearing a smiling “pioneer” and emblems both of Boone’s outdoor drama and its radio station, W.A.T.A.
(Courtesy of Historic Boone archives, housed at Watauga County Public Library)
February 6, 1907
An item entitled “Dodging Taxes” on the front page of this issue of the Watauga Democrat, attributed to the Charlotte News, asserted that, “(n)ot expected to list their property at full value, it has always been a temptation to men to list it far below a just valuation for taxation,” citing the case of “the late Russel Sage,” who had allegedly “out Heroded Herod” by being “in the habit of paying taxes on about $2,000,000 of property, or about 2 ½ percent of what he was really worth.” Then newspaper printed that “(t)here are plenty of people not millionaires who dodge their just taxes, but it is an outrage that the law ought to take hold of to remedy that the mass of people of small means should have to bear the burden of taxation, when enormously rich men beat the devil about the bush.” As a laudable example contrary to this trend, it was noted that “Mr. Geo. W. Vanderbilt was not trying to evade the law by having one residence in New York and another in North Carolina.”
“The Professor,” with a subtitle “from Argonaut,” tells this tale:
“A stately and venerable professor one morning, being unable to attend to his class on account of a cold, wrote on the blackboard: ‘Dr. Dash through indisposition is unable to attend to his classes today.’ The students erased one letter in this note, making it read: ‘Dr. Dash, through indisposition, is unable to attend to his lasses today.’ But it happened a few minutes later that the professor returned for a box he had forgotten. Amid a roar of laughter he detected the change in his notice, and approaching the blackboard, calmly erased one letter in his turn: Now the notice read: ‘Dr. Dash, through indisposition is unable to tend to his asses today.’”
February 8, 1945
“Fire Hose Law Cited by Chief” related that “Fire Chief Joe Crawford states that during the recent fire at the Boone Steam Laundry some motorists in utter disregard of the state law drove automobiles over the hose carrying water to the burning structure, and warns that penalties involving fines of as much as $50 and the cost [of court] are provided for such violations.” According to the report, “Mr. Crawford states that the damage to hose and danger of breaking connections seriously hinders firemen in their work and endangers additional property. The law is going to be rigidly enforced henceforth.”
In news from the war front, “Boone Man, Missing Since November 1, is Safe and Back on Duty” was a featured headline, accompanied by a photograph and a short story. “Staff Sgt. Iza Dell Richardson, son of Mr. and Mrs. Dell Richardson of Boone, who was reported missing in action in a bomber flight over Yugoslavia on Nov. 1, is now officially reported as being safe and back on active duty with his bomber command.” The article reports that the parents at home received the news “from the office of the Adjutant General under date of Feb. 3: ‘Am pleased to inform you that your son… returned to duty on Jan. 19.” Reports the Democrat, “Mr. and Mrs. Richardson had felt for some time that their son had survived the plane crash, due to information received from the wife of the pilot on the bomber, Lieut. Rooser I. Bodycomb.”
February 5, 1979
“Thoroughfare Plan to be Argued” read the headline of an article which reported that “a public hearing will be held Tuesday, Feb. 6 (tomorrow night) to get citizen input into the proposed thoroughfare plan for the Town of Boone.” The plan under consideration was “drawn up by a committee of area citizens and is designed to ease snarled traffic in the vicinity of Boone and accommodate traffic through the year 2000.” A State Department of Transportation engineer assisted with the plan, according to the report, and would take part in the presentation. Said the engineer, “the plan includes little new construction and primarily seeks the widening of already constructed transportation routes.”
“Good to the Last Drop” was the heading of a feature about the “Coffee Days” event in Boone, a charity fundraising event to support the Boone area Heart Fund drive. According to Nick Stakias, chairman of the drive, the Coffee Days were scheduled for “Thursday and Friday, Feb. 8 and 9,” with “proceeds from the benefits [to] be used to help support Heart Association programs that are intended to detect and prevent cardiovascular disease.” Several local restaurants and other businesses were participating in the Coffee days event in 1979, including “the Townhouse Restaurant, Hardees, Rays Kingburgers, Cattleman Steak Emporium, Holly Farms, McDonalds, Le Glacier, Wendys, Burger King, Center for Continuing Education, Kentucky Fried Chicken, Mountain Pancake House, and Pizza Hut.”
This column is prepared from the microfilm archives of the Watauga Democrat, which are available at the Watauga County Public Library in Boone.
A 1923 advertisement for the Watauga Bank showing the facade of the bank’s downtown Boone building, once next door to Farmer’s Hardware store, then later incorporated into the hardware store’s space, and now a part of the Shoppes at Farmer’s Hardware emporium.
(From the microfilm archives of the Watauga Democrat newspaper)