Scarecrows steal the show in Savage

October 11, 1992|By Frank Langfitt | Frank Langfitt,Staff Writer

Kimberly Snyder, 4, knelt, grasped a clump of straw in her tin hand and thrust it deep inside a pair of gray polyester trousers. Nearby, her twin sister, Samantha, padded about an ever-expanding sea of straw, dumping armfuls into a blue-and-gray shirt.

L "Fill those pants. Make them big," said their mother, Tracy.

"He'll look just like Daddy," she said, referring to the trousers' growing waistline.

The comment sailed right past the platinum-haired girls who were concentrating on trying to build the perfect scarecrow.

The Snyder twins came to Savage Mill yesterday with scores of other children for a scarecrow-making workshop. The workshop was part of the mill's fifth annual Fall Colonial Festival, which continues today.

The festival features crafts, music and history. Across from the scarecrow workshop sat a man in Colonial garb operating a loom. On a redbrick stage above, a guitarist and banjoist played bluegrass music. Up the hill sat a Colonial military encampment.

While some of the children enjoyed watching men in waistcoats march around the lawn, point bayonets and fire muskets, the hot ticket yesterday was the scarecrows. For $3 (or $2 if you brought your own pants and shirt) you could build your own straw man, complete with straw hair and facial features made of felt.

Mothers of students from Bollman Bridge Elementary School in Jessup organized the workshop to benefit the school's computer and science center.

The workshop was set up like a scarecrow salad bar. Long folding tables stood end to end, heaped with old thrift store pants, out-of-style shirts and women's nylons for scarecrow heads.

Beyond the tables sat bales of straw. Volunteers offered technical assistance.

After stuffing the shirts and pants with straw, the Snyder twins walked across the pavement to Mary Hutcheson, who helped attach torsos, legs and heads. Mrs. Hutcheson, who teaches at the school, snipped small holes in the shoulders, slid the nylon legs through and then tied them in a bow on top of the straw-filled stocking.

About this time, Kimberly discovered that straw was not only useful in filling up scarecrows, but also fun to throw at Samantha.

"Stop!" hollered Samantha.

Mrs. Snyder ushered the girls toward another table, where she snipped out eyes, a nose and a mouth from pieces of felt. While the twins unraveled a ball of string, she patiently glued the features to the nylon face, smoothing them down with her fingertips.

Now finished, they carried the scarecrow to a curb and lowered him to the pavement where he joined two others.

Together, the listless straw men looked like drunks in a gutter.

Kimberly and Samantha, perhaps to mollify their mother, then plopped down on the scarecrow's lap and tugged affectionately at his clothes. Mrs. Snyder, who lives in Savage, said she planned to put the scarecrow on her porch for Halloween.

Because of the limited clothing selection, many of the scarecrows ended up unbecomingly dressed. A few, however, looked dapper. One scarecrow sported a blue pinstripe shirt and a pair of cotton, khaki pants.

"I've got clothes at home that aren't this good," said Charlie Hutcheson, Mary's husband.

Vickie Traber of Columbia, who collected entrance fees, said some children were particularly creative last year.

Several stuffed straw down the legs of the stockings and created mutant scarecrows -- half man, half bunny.

"They can make it anyway they want," Mrs. Traber said.

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