A wet month continues with a severe thunderstorm dropping nearly 2.25 inches of rain across the region, according to the front page of the May 27, 1971, Orange County Review. According to the Piedmont Research Station on Route 15, that brings May’s total to nearly 6.5 inches of rainfall—nearly 3 inches greater than the 3.61 annual average. The storm last Thursday washed out bridges and created flash floods throughout the county, soaking bottomlands with crops. The most notable damage was at American Silk Mills, where a cinderblock wall collapsed, bringing down a section of the roof with it. In other front-page news, the Orange County Airport is hosting an air show as a fundraiser to help the Orange County Chamber of Commerce pay off the $14,000 debt it incurred in constructing a new T-hangar. The show will feature aerobatics, military aircraft, parachuting and soaring. Admission is $1 for adults and $0.50 for children. Germanna Community College is hosting an open house to help the community become acquainted with the new and dynamic community college experience. Orange County Supervisors have drawn up their own plan for redistricting following the 1970 census. The board thanked the committee it had empaneled to draw new county magisterial districts but shelved the committee’s proposal in favor of its own. The board’s plan splits the Town of Orange into three parts and town officials are none too happy, apparently. The board’s plan would send some town residents to vote in Gordonsville. “With the town vote split three ways, the first move we would have to make is to send all the town trash to the county dump,” town manager Howard Knoell said. The paper reported another (unnamed) town official added, “Orange citizens never have had a representative on the board of supervisors and this plan insures they never will have one. With 13,792 citizens in the county, a perfectly divided county would include 2,760.5 people per magisterial district. The town’s current population of 2,768 citizens falls within the permitted 5% variance. Initial committee members had suggested the town stand alone as its own district. Inside this week’s issue, the Orange County High School boys tennis team takes the Battlefield District Championship with an 8-1 win over Varina last week. The Hornets practiced each morning before classes on their newly constructed courts behind the high school. Leggett and Orange Furniture have advertisements promoting a number of items as part of Memorial Day sales. Leggett is offering “hot pants” and “skipper skirts” for $3.88 (normally $5). “B-Casual” swimsuits are $9.88 (normally $12). Boys’ “Twister” frayed-end jeans shorts are two for $5 (normally $3 to $4 apiece). Men’s double-knit slacks are marked down to $14.88 (from $17). Low-cut “basketball oxfords” are $4.47. An eight-piece Corningware set is discounted at $14.88 ($21.28 if purchased separately). Orange Furniture has an “insulated luau beverage set” comprised of seven piece of unbreakable plastic in a pineapple design for $1.19. It includes six tumblers and a pitcher. Limit two per customer. A giant insulated cooler chest (17” x 13.5” x 12”) that is “ideal for beverages, food, ice, bar-b-q’s, fishing and camping is $1. It’s made of “miracle dylite.” A 12-piece aluminum outdoor lawn group includes a chaise lounge, two chairs, a patio table, four insulated tumblers and four snack trays for just $19.95. This week’s photo shows the progress of the new Orange downtown expressway, following the demolition of the May-Rudasill store and the old Ben Franklin five-and-ten store on Main Street. Pictured at right is the National Bank of Orange and across from it is the Ricketts Building which will disappear within the next two weeks. Orange Realty Company plans to build a smaller structure there at the intersection of Madison Road and Main Street. The Orange County Courthouse, mostly obscured by trees, is at left.
It happened but not recently: May 27, 1971