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Flashbacks and marshmallow peeps

Whenever I have a free moment or two, I like to look back through our archives, and a glance back at the April 4, 1963 edition of the Halifax Gazette yielded a few interesting tidbits.

One story announced Vernon Hill farmer Oakley G. Lewis as winner of the Jaycee Distinguished Citizenship Award.

Lewis, as neighbors were quoted as saying, was someone who “went about doing good.”

Another story reported that two light planes had crashed in Halifax County with no injuries, and another detailed a civil defense talk and movie being scheduled that week.

Remember, this was April 1963, and we were barely six months removed from the Cuban Missile Crisis, with every school-age child being taught to duck under their desks and cover their heads during civil defense drills.

“Referendum On Wheat May 21,” announced one headline, while another proclaimed, “Forest Fires Follow Hot, Dry Weather.”

“Plastic Firm Expands, Leaf Factory Builds,” another headline reads, and another reads “Mayor Wall Seeking Second 4-Year Term,” referring to South Boston Mayor Wyatt Wall.

Another front page story from that edition told the reader that seven digit telephone numbers will be used on the Virginia Telephone and Telegraph Company exchange for the first time.

One headline, ironically enough, reads “Slash School Budget, Avoid Tax Increase.”

That story detailed the board of supervisors finance committee slashing $40,000 from the school budget.

According to the story, “The budget sent up Monday by the school board called for an outlay of $2,293,539.

“Lopping off $40,000 will give the schools about $41,000 more than what was contained in the current budget of $2,212,609.”

Funny, no matter how time changes, things remain the same.



And now for something completely different…

Sales of marshmallow peeps are at an all-time high, according to Just Born, the company that produces the sweet treat associated with Easter.

Made from marshmallow, corn syrup, gelatin and carnauba wax, sales of peeps have multiplied in recent years to include other holidays, and they are now made in different colors and shapes other than the standard yellow chicks everyone is familiar with.

Just Born began manufacturing marshmallow peeps in 1953, and now the candy confection is a national icon.

Remember those cellophane-wrapped Easter baskets we all grew up with, and those yellow chicks we found in the plastic grass – yup, that be the marshmallow chickies that would gum up your teeth.

I’m not a huge fan of marshmallow peeps but congratulations on reaching cult status.