July 25, 1943, in The Star: With construction finally started on Anniston Memorial Hospital, a long article and a photograph of an architect’s drawing of the hospital campus catches the reader up on the development of the new hospital and what officials expect to put in it. In July 1941 planning work began on what initially was to be a four- or five-story building. Wartime materials restrictions prevented the construction of elevators, though, thus the idea for a one-story structure with nine wings evolved. Also this date: Public schools in Anniston begin their 1943-44 session on Sept. 6. Parents of new first-graders must present a birth certificate confirming that the child is 6 years old on or before Oct. 1. It is also compulsory that all children be vaccinated against smallpox. That task can be handled at the Health Center on Gurnee on any Saturday or at the family physician’s office. In other school news, a contract has been awarded to build a nine-room school at Hobson City to replace the Calhoun County Training School destroyed by fire early last fall. A Birmingham contractor says he can do the work for just under $40,000.
July 25, 1993, in The Star: In an article about black men who choose to become schoolteachers, we learn about Darren Douthitt of Ohatchee, a former high school and college athlete who entered Jacksonville State University to study computer science in 1983. “I did not come out of high school saying, ‘I want to teach,’’’ Douthitt says. “I was just like everyone else. There’s more money in computer science.” Two years later, he changed his major to English, graduating in 1988. With the change in majors came the idea of teaching. He went back to JSU to get his certification in language arts education, completing the requirements in 1992. He now teaches summer school at Anniston High. “Now I realize that you can make as much in education as any other entry-level position,’’ Douthitt says. Also this date: It’s hard to say what’s more unusual about Charles L. Rogers — the music-by-numbers method he uses to teach 10 instruments or his hourly fee, which is zero. As in, free. It’s advertised on a 5-foot-high sign in front of his studio on Alexandria Road. “Free Music Lessons,’’ it says. “I just got tired of collecting a fee,’’ explains Rogers, 69, who used to charge $4 an hour but realized some people could not afford even that. Rogers, a Fort McClellan retiree, says he has been teaching for 40 years.