When the red granite stone arrived, it did not have the name of a dead person on one side, and Donald Wright breathed a sigh of relief. Not that anyone would see the name, but it would be a little strange -- a sign that says "Welcome to Linthicum" on one side being a rejected tombstone.
But when the Linthicum youth approached Robert A. Silkworth, owner of Upton R. Standiford and Son of Brooklyn Park, asking if the gravestone company would give him a deal on a stone welcome sign, Mr. Wright knew there was a chance it would have engraving on the back. That, he was told, is how he might get the stone for $750, less than half of its retail price.
He was asking local businesses to donate materials and people to donate money and workmanship for his Eagle Scout project, a stone-and-brick marker at the corner of Camp Meade and Maple roads. The Linthicum Woman's Club, which was already working with the Linthicum/Shipley Improvement Association to put up a welcome sign at Maple Road and Baltimore Annapolis Boulevard, made its land available.
So, when Mr. Silkworth approached the Georgia quarry he does business with, he gave them that same pitch: "I approached them with the idea that here we have an Eagle Scout trying to do a worthwhile project: Couldn't we do something to help him get a fresh stone?"
It worked. The stone arrived later and a little larger than the 18-year-old senior at North County High School expected, but it's here and was set in the brick last week. Although Mr. Wright had to obtain an extension to complete his Eagle Scout project -- it should have been done before his 18th birthday on July 2 -- he's just glad it's here and that the project begun in December is coming to a close.
The stone sign set in brick will be dedicated later this month. And Mr. Wright will complete the report that will set in motion his move to Eagle Scout rank in Boy Scout Troop No. 822.
He estimates that about 400 hours of his time went into the handsome sign. "Not a bit of this came out of pocket -- out of my pocket," he said.
The sign, about 6 1/2 feet high, will have an aluminum plaque on one side dedicating it to Dr. Charles Linthicum, who died last year. Mr. Wright says the physician was always prepared to help the Scouts, giving everything from physical examinations to generous amounts of his time. "It's a good gesture on his part," said Bob Linthicum, the late doctor's 23-year-old son.