Gentleman. Athlete. Good friend. Good neighbor. Career officer.
Howard County police Lt. Angus Park was all of those. When Lou Gehrig's disease blindsided him in the spring of 1990, he gallantly fought back. The disease causes progressive muscular deterioration, robbing the patient of vitality and leaving him helpless.
Park died in October at age 47, leaving his wife, Carol, and two young sons.
"Angus had a bunch of friends on the force," said Detective John Newman. "When the heat of last summer started, Angus was forced to spend more and more time in bed. Donations made it possible to air-condition his home and to build a ramp for his wheelchair.
"Now we'd like to provide some scholarship help for his sons."
That's where you bowlers come into the picture.
Newman was on the Harford County force in 1986, when four officers were shot on the same night. His mother, Jane, an active bowler in Harford County, raised money for the officers and their families through a bowlathon.
"Boy,did it work," Newman said. "Over $5,000 was raised by the bowlers ofthe county."
So officers are planning a similar event to raise money for the Capt. G. Edward Wessell Memorial Fund and for families ofcounty police officers killed or injured in the line of duty.
Carol Park has declined immediate help for the boys' education, preferring that the fund be available to help others, Newman said. She intends to wait and see if help is needed later for the boys' schooling.
It seems that Angus Park touched the lives of most officers in the department. Park ran the training facility, was director of Education and Training and was in charge of the police academy. Park and Capt. Steve Drummond had been patrol partners and squad sergeants together as well as friends and colleagues for many years. Drummond also knew Carol and the boys, Tommy, 12, and Ian, 9, very well.
"He was the kind of guy who could say exactly what was on his mind and not upset anyone," Drummond said. "He was just an outstanding individual."
That was a comment echoed time and again by county police officers andstaff.
This bowlathon is for one of our own -- an exemplary officer, yes, but first a friend, a neighbor. Come on out and help. Bowl afew games or just contribute a few dollars. See you there.
The bowlathon will be from 1 to 4 p.m. Jan. 10 at Brunswick Normandy Lanes in Ellicott City. The bowling center has 20 lanes reserved for the event and there will be room for eighty bowlers. So far, 40 have signedup.
If you want more details, call Newman at 313-2220.