Mideast Brought Home To Soldier's 4th-grade Pen Pals

Neighbors/Severna Park

January 31, 1991|By Joni Guhne

Operation Desert Storm is helping to bring out the best in all of us. We see it in the lines of people rolling up their sleeves to donate blood, in the red, white and blue U.S. flag displayed on coat lapels and tractor trailers, and in the tons of letters delivered to service personnel far from home.

When Joan Blum's fourth-graders at Oak Hill Elementary School concluded a recent review of current events and letter-writing skills, the students each wrote a friendly letter toa young private stationed in the Persian Gulf who was not receiving any mail.

As the letters were placed in a large envelope addressed to the Middle East, the children wondered if they would hear from the young soldier.

The recipient of their efforts was a 21-year-old who came from a background very different from that of his pen pals. As the son of itinerant workers, he has lived in 11 different states, moving at least six times during his high school years alone.

But hear from him they did.

The private had been promoted to lance corporal bythe time he finished his eight-page response. Each child's name was mentioned and his or her questions were answered. The children listened intently as Blum read the letter.

There were chuckles at the jokes and "oohs" at descriptions of the climate conditions. Gradually, these 9- and 10-year-olds have found themselves personally involved with war in the Middle East.


In the publications business, it's always exciting when a new periodical hits the streets. Volume 1, No. 1 of Severna Park United Methodist Church's newly revamped newsletter, "Octagon," has arrived with much fanfare.

In the first issue we read of another arrival: the recent exchange visit to Severna Park by residents of Adelaide, Australia. Although they arrived in the middle of one of our January snowstorms, during their stay the 22 visitors from Prince Alfred College managed to see the sights of Washington, D.C., Baltimore's Inner Harbor and Annapolis.

A few went to a Baltimore Blast soccer game and visited the U.S. Naval Academy, a farm on the Eastern Shore and, of course, all the area shopping malls.

The sports-loving Aussies were most excited about seeing the Capitals and the Bullets perform. They also attended a basketball game between Old Mill and Severna Park high schools.

Apparently, the trip was a roaring success, because the guests wanted their Maryland hosts to know "your blood's worth bottling." That's supposed to be an old Australian compliment, but we may have to call up "Crocodile" Dundee for a translation.


It's that time of year again -- time to gather six of your most athletic, fun-loving friends and sign up for the14th Annual American Cancer Society Volleyball Marathon.

Scheduled from 6 p.m. to midnight Friday, Feb. 22, and noon to 9 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 23, the popular fund-raiser will again be in the gym at Anne Arundel Community College.

Chairwoman Tracy Bates says commemorative T-shirts and mugs will be awarded for specific donations.

Teamsmust preregister and turn in donations prior to court time.

For more details, call 721-4304.


The Severna Park branch library is looking for a few good men and women. Volunteers are needed for many of the tasks that keep a library running smoothly: straightening bookshelves, maintaining the pamphlet file, stocking book displays, typing, filing, and performing other office jobs.

Volunteers must be at least 14, and the hours are flexible. The branch is open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, and from 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday.

If you're interested, speak to Faith Diehl at 222-6290.


Who ever said there's nothing to do in February? I need a second calendar to mark all the dates.

The Severna Park Newcomers Club is just the group for you if you are new to the area or looking for

new friends and activities. At the Get Acquainted Coffee and Dessert at 7:30 p.m. Monday, Feb. 4, the numerous club activities will be explained.

New folks are especially welcome. For more information, call 544-8236.


When the lights go down and the curtain goes up, will you be among the first-nighters enjoying thehometown talent at this year's production of Woods Theatre Talent Show.

Always the first to be supportive of the creative arts, Woods Memorial Presbyterian Church showcases its congregation with an informal dinner at 6:30 p.m. followed by the variety show at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 16, at the church.

For show tickets, contact Don Betts at 647-0242.


You know the Severna Park Rotary Club has plans for you at 2 p.m. every Sunday afternoon in February: the club's annual professional Travel Shows, featuring narrated films on the South Pacific, Nepal, Greece, and the Caribbean.

The event, which costs $5, takes place in the Severna Park High School auditorium. Refreshments will also be available. A $500 gift certificate from Severn Travel will be awarded. For more information, call 647-1074.


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.