Bucolic Reality Check

Readers write

December 08, 1991

From: David Hooper

Bel Air

In referring to your Dec. 1 edition, "Woods are speaking and, fortunately, some are listening," the lofty ideals of the Harford Land Trust are indeed laudable.

However, in reading the list of prominent members, I note that not one of those esteemed members derives his living from the land, although several are described as "farmers." They may live on farm acreage but they are not farmers.

The real farmer enjoys a 24-hour-per-day, 365-day-per-year working relationship with the land, through hailstorms and drought and flooding rains and killing frosts, rather than a leisure time reverie about the sanctity of pastoral idylls.

Later in the issue, columnist Mark Guidera waxed poetic about bucolic vistas in Deer Creek canyon. Several observations may be drawn. First, a great deal of the soul-cleansing experience took place in an automotive cocoon, a drive-in wilderness, if you will.

To really experience it, get out of the car and spend some serious time. Touch the tree bark. Try to identify the humble as well as the spectacular flora and fauna. Put foot to earth.

Second, thewriter does not derive his living from the land; he is a writer.

Third, as I read his words I realize that his words were written on paper which comes from -- horrors! -- trees.

Fourth, in running thenumbers of Harford's arboreal denuding, some 36 percent of our totalacreage is still covered by forest. That's not bad for a bedroom county.

And a great deal of forested land has been stripped to grow housing developments in which dwell some of the most vociferous tree-huggers, most of whom were not born in Harford County and who now suffer from LOIS -- Last One In Syndrome. They have met the enemy and he is them.

These articles, coupled with the letter about the FallingBranch Committee, lead me to believe there's a surplus of folks stricken with terminal do-gooderism. What they need to do is quit their cushy jobs, buy a farm, go to work, and get an overdose of reality.

CIVIC 'TROUBLEMAKERS'

From: Kathy Wadkins

Edgewood

I am outraged that three volunteers in our community are being unfairly punishedfor trying to bring about change in the Edgewood Recreation Council.

I am even more outraged that these ladies have never been given due process and are being branded "troublemakers" by some members of the ERC board. I'd like to share some insight as to their dedication to our community.

Cindy Minacapelli is a mother of three children and teaches religious education to children at the local Catholic church. Minacapelli manages a girls softball team in the ERC and is a parent helper at the elementary school. She was a room mother at a preschool and was chairwoman of the Community Association Social Committee, which is responsible for events such as the children's Halloween parade and children's Christmas party.

Cathy Potter, a mother of four children (the youngest born with a disability), had cared for children of our community as a licensed day-care mother for six years and is now a junior in nursing school and works as nursing technician at an area hospital. When she is not going to school, working or caring for her family, she coaches and teaches cheerleading for the ERC. Potter was also very active in assisting with the activities of her daughter's Brownie troop. She even finds time to be a parent helper at the Tot School. Neighborhood kids can always be found at her house.

Vickie Tolson, a mother of two children, can be found most days beinga parent helper for two classes at the elementary school and is veryinvolved with PTA fund-raisers. Tolson is also an assistant coach for the cheerleading program. In the prior community in which she resided, Tolson was active in the recreation council and worked with TMR (Trainable Mentally Retarded) people.

"Troublemakers?" I don't think so -- just a few women concerned about recreation in our community.

If these women are troublemakers, Harford County needs more womenlike them.

POSTPONE GIFT OF PUPPY

From: Joan Taylor

President

Northeastern Maryland

Kennel Club

Street

Many of your readers may be considering giving a family member a puppy for Christmas.

The Northeastern Maryland Kennel Club and the American Kennel Club would to suggest that a lot of thought be given to the gift and, ifthe decision is made to get a puppy, to wait until after Christmas.

A puppy is not a toy.

First, the giver should consider if the family is ready for the responsibility of a puppy. Unlike other holiday gifts, that cute puppy grows into a dog that requires food, shelter, grooming and medical care. This "holiday gift" will be part of the family for 10 years or more.

Christmas is not a good time to get apuppy. The holiday season is hectic. Introducing a puppy into a household during such confusion will be hard on both the family and the dog. Excited children may scare the puppy or neglect it.

Rather than giving a puppy for Christmas, it may be a good idea to give a "puppy voucher." Then, after the holiday festivities are over, the whole family can research the different breeds together to find the one thatsuits. Adult size, disposition and amount of grooming are among the factors that need to be considered.

Then the family can go to a kennel together and pick out that special puppy.

A puppy is a wonderful addition to the family -- if it's a well-thought-out purchase. But its not fair to the family or the dog, if, after the holiday is over, the family decides the dog just doesn't fit in.

Then the dog just becomes another unwanted animal at the Humane Society, or worse, on the streets.

Remember, a dog is for life. Not just for Christmas.

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