No speeding, no calls, no deliveries

Monday, September 9, 2002
35 mph speed limit was not popular

The last week of September 1942, brought heavy rains to the air base construction site but by the 30th, the sun had dried the dirt out to where the cats could work. A separate infirmary building was built on the base with registered nurses--ready in case of any accidental injuries on the job. The nurses worked in shifts the same as the men-two 10-hour shifts to keep the 20-hour days of construction progressing.

New 35 mile an hour speed limit sighs had been erected on roads leading to the air base site 10 miles north of McCook the September 30th McCook Daily Gazette reported. Speeds had to be kept not too far below that speed either though to "facilitate traffic movement" An obvious statement in the article was, "the speed limit is not popular with contractors on the project here. It was a national speed limit.

More common laborers were needed at the McCook air base site but R.O. Rains, of the Employment office said they were doing okay on skilled laborers. "He pointed out that it takes a number of common laborers to 'back up' every skilled laborer on the job." Wages for common labor at the air base were 60 cents per hour with time and a half overtime beyond 40 hours per week. The average workweek, with overtime, was running between 60 to 70 hours a week in September of 1942. Northwestern Bell Telephone Company was asking citizens to refrain from making calls on weekdays from 9 to 12 in the morning, 2 to 5 in the afternoon and 7 to 9 in the evening. Normally they would just add phone lines but with the war effort such materials as copper were impossible to get so it was not possible to beef up the service. Everyone would just have to just help out by making personal calls at non-peak hours.

In the proceedings of the September 28, 1942, McCook City Council meeting I read that nine applications for Emergency Housing Premise Permits were considered and granted. They were: Rev. Paul Lemke, 505 West 1s ; J.H. Garrett, 403 East 2nd; Mrs. F.M. Kimmell, 806 East 1st; Jake Walters, 105 East 4th; Claude A. Addams, 324 West 1st; Mrs. Don Snoke, 210 East 3rd; Mrs. Mary Julow, 502 South A; Mrs. Jennie Burton, 113 West 8th and J.C. Niccolson, 305 West 2nd. These people now had permission to "take in borders" is how I read it.

Ray Search announced on Friday, October 2, 1942, that the Temple Theatre would be opened for three days each week. Fox Manager Search said, "Complete film programs will be offered at the second theater in addition to the regular screen entertainment at the Fox Theater."

Twenty boys from the McCook Junior-Senior high school would be excused from school for two weeks in September to help bring in the sugar beet crop. About 400 acres of beets in the surrounding territory must be harvested at least during October to escape cold weather. "The beets must be saved this year; this is war," Supt Wiltse said. The boys would have separate assignments and a special exam would be arranged for them when they returned to school since they would have missed their six-weeks tests.

In Scottsbluff they were also trying to build a satellite air base and bring in a sugar beet crop on a much larger scale. Their schools were closed entirely and indefinitely to harvest the beets and over 100 upperclassmen had reported to the airbase to work full time.

You could now sell the grease and fat from your breakfast bacon or supper steak in McCook. The place to take small amounts of fats and grease was the McCook Hide and Fur company, 107 West Second Street. They gave you "market price" and you were also aiding the war effort. All the small quantities were put together and taken to McCook Rendering Company where it was put in large containers and shipped out. In the cities the materials would be turned into glycerin to be used in the making of explosives.

There was a little ad in the personals taken out by the Keystone Taxi and Shaw Cab that on account of the government regulations on tires and gasoline, they would not be making deliveries of any kind. They were restricted to strictly passenger service.

Two women charged that they had been asked to pay "exorbitant prices" to park their trailer in McCook parking space. They said the normal charge was $10.00 a month but in McCook they were being charged $4.00 per week.

We don't even charge $1.00 a week for people to bring their fresh vegetables and baked goods to the Main Street Farmer's Market in the 100 Block of West B's free! Bring your extra tomatoes or green beans down and sell them! I said in my last column that it never lasted past 10:00 and they were there till almost noon last week! I shoulda kept my mouth shut. Thanks for your patronage!

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