“Norris Reunion” reads the brief caption on this photograph of a family gathering, otherwise not identified. Clothing suggests the decade of the 1920s as an approximate date of origin of this picture. Image courtesy of Historic Boone.
September 4, 1919
“American troops have been withdrawn from Mexico,” began the column “This Week” on the front page of the Watauga Democrat of this date. “The withdrawal is purely military it is said: Four bandits are reported to have been killed by the Americans, and nine others captured by Mexican troops. Jesus Rentina, the bandit leader, is said to have been shot and killed by Lieutenant Cooper, one of the aviators captured by the bandits.”
Closer to the home front, news of North Carolina in the same column relayed, “(t)he labor troubles in this state have grown worse. In Charlotte where the street cars had been tied up for two weeks, the recommendation of the mayor and committee of local business organizations for settlement of the trouble by recognition of the Amalgamated Association of Street and Electric Railway Employs (sic), the practice of the ‘open shop principle(’), the submission of the wage question to arbitration, and immediate resumption of service, was accepted by the workers but declined by the Southern Public Utilities Company, which owns the street car lines.”
An advertisement stated directly, “You can do some things next week, but some you cannot. So don’t wait, act now! Insure your house before it burns. Insure your health before you get sick. Insure your life before you die for then it is everlastingly too late. I sell the best policies at universal rates. GEO. F. BLAIR, Blowing Rock, N.C.”
September 2, 1943
“Christmas Gifts for Soldiers to be Sought Soon” was a headline on this date, bearing a smaller caption reading, “Local Postmaster Gives Out Information Regarding Sending of Gifts to Men in the Armed Forces; Must Begin Shipping for These Men by 15th.” Details in the article reveal that, “Christmas Gifts, (Boone Postmaster) Mr. Brown explains, may be mailed by parcel post to Army men and women oversees only between September 15th and October 15th.” A list of reasons were cited for the need of an early mailing date, including “(t)he vast distances that the parcels must travel to reach our men at war fronts and stations the world over; frequent transfers of thousands of men from one location to another, which means forwarding of the mail and consumes additional time; (and) the necessity of giving preference to reinforcements, arms, munitions, medicine and food in allotment of shipping space, which often means that the shipment of gifts must wait.”
“Opening of Lunch Room at Boone Schools to Be Decided at Early Date” reported that, “(t)he question of whether or not the lunchrooms at the Boone Demonstration School and the Boone High School will be open this year is to be decided by the patrons of the two schools within the next two weeks.” The news item noted that lunchroom employees had been paid in prior years by the WPA (Works Progress Administration), and, “(s)ince that organization has been discontinued the lunchrooms must be operated so that there will be enough income to pay the help.” To assist in covering the costs, the local PTA (Parent-Teacher Association) announced that “(t)hose in the country are asked to donate whatever vegetables or fruit of which they have a surplus, and the mothers in town are asked to come to the cannery on Wednesdays of each week and help can the donated fruits and vegetables.” Concludes the article, a “nourishing hot noonday meal means much to a school child, and we who have it within our power to supply warm lunches to the hundreds of school children in the Boone schools should not fail them. How much are you willing to help?”
September 2, 1965
“Folk Festival Will Be Week-End Feature” announced an item in this week’s newspaper. “For Labor Day weekend, the Appalachian Folk Festival, sponsored by the ‘Horn in the West,’ will be presented in the Daniel Boone Theater at 8:15 p.m., Friday and Saturday.” The special event was slated to feature “outstanding popular music and songs and tales native to the region.” According to the story, “a host of folk specialists will perform under the supervision of Jack Guy and Elaine McNeill.” In addition, a “’Fiddle Specialist,’ Ora Payne, will appear on each of the programs, taking her audience hundreds of years back into early folk music days.”
The local A & P grocery store was featured in a front-page photograph and accompanying story, announcing that “an enlarged floor area of 10,824 feet and newly arranged equipment highlighted the official opening of A & P’s remodeled food store on Monday. Manager R.R. West said the renovation allows increased freezer space and areas for refrigerated cabinets.” The expanded and improved facility for the West King Street store was described by the manager as “a sort of ‘relief’ for store personnel and shoppers as well.”
This column is prepared from the microfilm archives of the Watauga Democrat, which are available at the Watauga County Public Library in Boone.