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April 1940: Around the county and around the Square

As the first full week of April 1940 drew to a close, the war in Europe edged closer to a global conflict with the Third Reich's invasion of Norway and Denmark. the big band sound and popular solo performers such as Kate Smith and Bing Crosby filled the airwaves; the 1939 blockbuster "Gone With the Wind" continued its slow journey toward Columbia; and America continued its gradual ascent from the mire of the Great Depression. Meanwhile, back in The Shire...


The front page of the April 10 edition of The News featured a photo of Mr. and Mrs. Robert G. Loy, who recently had celebrated their 62nd wedding anniversary with "a bountiful dinner at their home on Petty's Fork Creek." (Mr. Loy passed near the end of April; Mrs. Loy joined him in eternity on December 31, 1943, her 85th birthday.)

Little Myrtle Fay Sparks escaped serious injuries, suffering only a broken arm and numerous bruises after getting struck near her home by a speeding vehicle. Rev. J.L. Lester's revival services at the Columbia Methodist brought in large crowds, and fourteen young Adair County men, aged 18 to 23, had been selected to participate the Civilian Conservation Corps. Edwin Barnett had just blown back into Columbia from Danville to take over the service department of Walker Motor Company, the successor to Ingram & Barnett Motor Co., in which he had been a partner.

The "Personals" column (Miss Martha Lena Burdette, society editor) reported Mr. J.H. Judd as improving from a recent bout of pneumonia; Lerman's manager Ben Green and family visiting relatives in Baltimore; and Dr. T.P. Stevenson still in convalescent care at St. Joseph's in Louisville following an appendectomy two weeks earlier. He expected to return home "in a few days."

In the Pickett community, Mr. and Mrs. Garnett Pruitt had hosted a Friday night candy breaking for a large group of young folks; Mrs. Lena Burris had been in the area taking the census; and the Foster Finn family had moved to Greensburg to take employment.

At Pleasant Grove, Leslie Montgomery enjoyed a freshly dug water well, and Miss Irene Blair was off visiting kinfolk in Louisville. Out at Garlin, Brethren in Christ minister Rev. Albert H. Engle was announced as the speaker at the Garlin Mission on the third Sunday night, and Miss Nancy Ruth Royse had missed two days of school on account of illness.

In the Glensfork section, "Mrs. Maxine Aaron Richards spent last week in her old neighborhood visiting Mrs. Richards and other neighbors." (Maxine, a sister of Drs. Lewis and Oris Aaron, married Ethridge Celon Richards in mid-January 1940. He passed six weeks later after peritonitis from a ruptured appendix set up.)

Sallie J, Kelley, the ever-loquacious Coburg scribe, welcomed to the community Mr. and Mrs. J.H. Morris, who recently had purchased a house there. The former residents, a Pendleton family, had moved to a place belonging to Mr. and Mrs. Ben Banks. Several members of the Kelleyville Church had gone together and painted the exterior of the building, adding "a great deal to the appearance" thereof.

And too, Ms. Kelley spoke of the impending arrival of "the great show filmed from Margaret Mitchell's famous writings," quipping that "The carts, farm wagons, buckboards, mulebackers, horsebackers, T models, walkers and hitch-hikers" all planned to be in Columbia to see it.

(The movie was slated to show Friday, April 26 through Monday, April 29. Mrs. Kelley never directly stated if she saw the movie, but in her newsletter a few weeks later she spoke of it obliquely, saying "I don't like to pay my money to see blood shed and hear people cry like they were all over the theatre. Too sad for me to enjoy.")

Advertising in The News offered evidence of improving economic conditions. Lerman's touted a "Wednesday Payday," wherein a purchase of fifty cents or more entered a customer into a drawing for ten dollars cash the following Wednesday afternoon. Brown Drug offered a wide variety of toiletries, and Bolin Electric introduced a modern marvel, the Frigidaire "Farm 8" refrigerator -- an eight cubic foot behemoth for the astonishingly low price of $171.75 (a bit over $3,000 today).

Columbia boasted two beauty salons, the Margie Ann Beauty Shoppe, Mrs. Jack (Glenna) Williams, Prop.; and the Marshall Beauty Parlor, Mollie Marshall, Prop. Goff & Smith offered real estate brokerage services, and the Eubank Forge "Since 1790" (H.R. DeHarte, Mgr.) requested "all kinds of machine shop and forge work." (The name "Eubank Forge" first appeared in The News in mid-July 1939 and last appeared in early September 1940.)

Lany Bray & Co. in the east corner had special prices on ruffled (69c to $2.95) and Scranton lace ($1.25 to $2.95) curtain varieties. C.H. Sandusky carried a full line lumber, millwork, roofing, and shingles, and gave free estimates on materials for building projects to boot.

At Kroger (J.D. Harper, Mgr.), two buildings removed from Lany Bray & Co., a ten dollar bill let you take home all the following items:
ten pounds of cookies, sixteen cans of tomato juice, thirty giant bars of P & G soap, nine cans of School Days brand peas, eight boxes of Wheaties, eight pounds of salted peanuts, six pounds of Spotlight coffee plus a pound of chocolate drops, ten pounds of boiling beef, twelve pounds of pure pork sausage, and thirty pounds of spuds -- and two nickels to jingle-jangle in your pocket.
To put the above into perspective, ten dollars in 1940 had the buying power of about $185.00 in 2020.

Paull's Rexall Drug Store's annual one cent sale (buy one item, get a second of same for one cent) was in full swing with a perhaps wider than usual offering of products; and Richardson's had the "Sensational New ABC Model 240 Washer" (imaged below) available for only $9.95 down, balance monthly. Its features included a pressure-selector wringer, touch-release bar, bullet type porcelain tub, and French-type agitator, among others.

This story was posted on 2020-04-08 10:56:54
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ABC Model 240 washer-wringer

2020-04-08 - Columbia, KY - Photo courtesy JIM.
The sensational ABC Model 240 washer-wringer, featuring a pressure-selector wringer, touch-release bar, bullet type porcelain tub, and French-type agitator. "$9.95 down, monthly balance." Available at Richardson's, Columbia, Ky.

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