Chewing Gum And Twin Peaks' On Their Way To The Troops

November 29, 1990|By Dianne Williams Hayes | Dianne Williams Hayes,Staff writer

Bent over his desk, 16-year-old Chris Biondi carefully details the exact outlines of the Broadneck High seal.

His artwork will decorate the final page of a scrapbook being mailed -- along with a tape of a student radio broadcast on WNAV-AM Annapolis -- to military troops in the Middle East for Christmas.

He pauses for a second to ponder the loneliness associated with military service.

"It could be me in two years if this continues," Chris said. "I'd like to know that I wasn't being taken for granted."

"I learned to pay more attention to other people, and that our problems aren't as big as other people's," 16-year-old Anne Ammons said about the project.

Chris, Anne and 24 other 11th-graders in Lora Johnston's seventh-period U.S. history class decided they wanted to play a more active part in the Middle East crisis than simply reading about it.

"Initially, they wanted to send a videotape, but (the Army) will not allow pictures of girls," Johnston said. "Then they wanted to send them music but found out that it was illegal to copy it."

But the class persisted. Thanksgiving morning, their greetings were featured on WNAV's morning broadcast, with a pre-recorded message from principal Lawrence Knight. A tape of that broadcast will soon be heading overseas.

Students shared their thoughts, poems and good wishes.

"I always thought if our country got involved in military action, I would disagree with it, but I believe you are there for a good cause," Chris said in his radio message.

Joy Verplanck, 16, wanted soldiers to use their imaginations.

"I have long blond hair and would never make it through customs," she said, "so I'm on the radio instead."

Two minutes of student comments form the beginning and end of the 50-minute broadcast, which includes such inspirational music as Neil Diamond's "America."

But the tape is only part of the large box students will ship off today.

Students solicited local businesses for canned goods and games, and spare Christmas cards for the soldiers to send to their own families.

Jen Murphy and Amy Pauels gingerly wrapped packets of chewing gum and baseball cards, responding with a long "aawwhh" when told a U.S. Customs agent would be likely to unwrap them.

Despite that minor disappointment, students hurried to make sure the more than 100 items were ready to be shipped.

Students sorted through bingo games, Frisbees, laminated gag cards, soaps and powders, mugs, tape cassettes and CDs, baseball trivia games and comic books.

Others worked on a colorful 12-foot banner that read, "Merry Christmas From the Broadneck Bruins."

And in case soldiers aren't familiar with the school, Meredith Estep and Delores Phillips, both 16, included a seven-page scrapbook of sports and news articles from school and local newspapers.

"It'll show who we are and that we care about them," Meredith said.

"We're sending our addresses if they would like to write us."

Whoever reads the three-page letter from Anastasia Miller, 16, may feel they have not missed much -- on television, at least.

"I told them what's been happening here," Anastasia said. "I told them who killed Laura Palmer on 'Twin Peaks.' "

Baltimore Sun Articles
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.