Reflections: My memorable dates


By Evelyn Long - Contributing Columnist

I’m a “date” person; not those edible or romantic ones but the numbers.

I like to remember birth dates, anniversaries, etc. Dates of national and international significance are also important to me.

In my lifetime I recall Dec. 7, 1941, the attack on Pearl Harbor, June 6, 1944, Normandy Invasion; May 8, VE Day; Aug. 14, VJ Day and the end of World War II; Nov. 22, 1961, the assassination of President Kennedy; Jan. 28, 1986, the explosion of the space shuttle Challenger and, of course, Sept. 11.

Then there is June 13, 1981, just 37 years ago today when those tornado clouds merged at the western edge of Cardington and tore through its midsection, forever changing the skyline and the entire village’s profile.

No longer would the village be described as it was by many as “a scene from the old west,” when viewed looking west from the square. Rebuilding continues as the village takes on a “new look” and I am proud of those who have worked hard to do just that.

As for dates, it was 70 years ago that the entire Morrow County was preparing for its 100th birthday, a Centennial celebration that included a 300 unit parade on July 5, 1948.

I have kept a diary for 70 years and note that I rode on a float in that huge parade which was three miles long and led from the Mount Gilead Victory Shaft to the fairgrounds where it circled the tracks and the judge’s stand. It was a very hot day with threatening storms that did not materialize before the parade was over.

More on the parade and events that weekend in coming weeks.

Planning the Centennial celebration were Homer Fuller, Dick Denton, Howard Clapper, Ted McClarren, Russell Dye, Harry Nelson, Harry Martin, Paul Richeson, Bill Denman, Ralph McGaughy, Bill Reed and Kenneth Shoewalter. Each represented a village in the county.

Leading up to the celebration, Morrow County was given a salute by radio station WRFD. The Union Store, Mount Gilead, offered Centennial super values (10 lbs potatoes, 53 cents; franks, 42 cents a pound, cheese, two lb box for 94 cents and a three pound bag of coffee for $1.23).

The Capitol Theatre featured special showings of “The Farmer’s Daughter,” “Thunder in the Valley” and a midnight show “House of Frankenstein.”

Other news on this date, June, 1938: Five slot machines were seized from the Hotel in Cardington by Sheriff Oscar George. A total of $57.80 in the devices was turned over to the county schools’ fund.

June, 1948: The first night baseball game to be played in Morrow County history took place on the Cardington School diamond on the 5th of June. The Cardington Merchants team led by manager Ernie Stevens, took on the Ashley Independents, who won 15-11.

The outdoor movie sponsored by Cardington Merchants in Retterer Park would be “The Lady Vanishes.” Admission was free.

June, 1968: The brick surface of South Marion Street between Nichols Street and Midland Avenue was replaced with asphalt.

The Wornstaff Inn on the square had air conditioning installed. A wind storm on June 12 topped a large maple tree in front of 403 S. Marion St. that crushed the unoccupied cars of Wayne Westbrook and John McCutchen.

By Evelyn Long

Contributing Columnist

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