Artist portrays Md. sites in pen, ink and pencil ELLICOTT CITY/ELKRIDGE

NEIGHBORS

January 25, 1993|By JEAN LESLIE

If you happen to be returning books to the Miller Branch Library, stop for a moment and look at the art exhibit on the right side of the lobby as you enter. You'll see a wonderful collection of pencil and pen-and-ink sketches drawn by Jack Bockmiller. Subjects include historic sites from Elkridge and Ellicott City and others from Maryland locations.

Mr. Bockmiller, a retired employee of Johns Hopkins' Applied Physics Laboratory in Fulton, is a native of Howard County and identifies with the county. He has no formal art training. In 1989, he began drawing historically significant buildings -- homes, churches, and government buildings -- in the county, and then branched out to other Maryland areas. He has sketched about 70 buildings. When he sketches a site, he also spends time in archives researching the house, hoping to eventually incorporate the art and the written history into a book.

Rewards in the form of compliments from family and friends, and exhibits such as this one and a previous exhibit at Catonsville Public Library, have been encouraging. Last month Mr. Bockmiller was invited to the governor's mansion, where he presented Gov. William Donald Schaefer with his pencil drawing of the mansion.

Mr. Bockmiller continues to work at his art two or three hours each day at his home. This year, he says that his goal is to draw a picture representing each Maryland college.

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At First Evangelical Lutheran Church, at Frederick and Chatham Roads in Ellicott City, the Rev. Glen Ludwig shares his pulpit with nine puppets and allows them to help give the sermons.

The puppet ministry, called "Christian Critters Playhouse," began two years ago as a crowd control method for the 50 or 60 children who came to services Christmas Eve. In the beginning, there were four puppeteers -- Tom and Carol Brzezinski, Audrey Forbes and Stella Ludwig -- who worked with six hand puppets and a narrator to present the first production. Mr. Ludwig wrote the script.

Since their debut, the Critters have performed five times a year during worship services. There are now nine puppets and two additional puppeteers, Abby Forbes and Jonathan Setzer.

The Critters are a motley crew that includes a bear, a coyote, a rabbit and a raccoon. They are high-quality, commercially manufactured puppets. The Critters now have their own stage curtain, which congregation daddies hold on a pole during productions.

Mr. Ludwig has written five of the Critters' six scripts, working to develop strong characterizations of each animal. ("The rabbit is a nervous fellow," he says.) The stories use contemporary concepts to help the children understand difficult issues. This fall's production discussed prejudice when a new character, Samantha the Skunk, moved into the puppets' neighborhood. Another story line involves friends hanging out with the wrong crowd.

Although there is no production scheduled now, Mr. Ludwig has promised to let us know when the Critters will produce their next play.

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Congratulations to the two girls who won annual public speaking contests at the Howard County Memorial Post 8097 of the V.F.W. On Jan. 3, Jill Heckendorf, 15, from Perry Hall High School, won the Post Buddy Poppy Queen Contest. She competed in the subsequent district contest, where she placed third.

On Jan. 7, Mary Beth Woodall, 16, from Meade High School, won the Loyalty Day Queen Contest. Mary Beth will compete in the District 6 contest Feb. 7.

Saturday, the post will sponsor a bingo benefit for cerebral palsy. Cash and prizes will be awarded. Luncheon will be served from noon to 1 p.m., and bingo will be played from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Everyone is welcome. For more information, call Bill Heber at 796-5458.

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Centennial High School's Drama Department will audition children ages 8 to 12 for its spring musical, "The Music Man."

The story centers on a super salesman, Harold Hill, who moves to town and sets about creating a children's band.

Each child auditioning should be able to sing, act and do simple movement and marching. To audition, each child should bring a song to perform. A pianist will provide accompaniment. After singing, each child will demonstrate a simple marching and movement routine to be taught at that time.

One boy and one girl will be chosen for the lead roles of Winthrop and Amaryllis. Those parts require solos and many lines of dialogue; ideally, Amaryllis plays the piano.

Auditions will in the high school auditorium from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday. Children should arrive as close to 4 p.m. as possible and plan to stay until dismissed. Those eligible to read for the two lead parts may be asked to return Feb. 1 at 4 p.m. for final readings.

Rehearsals will be after school and evenings Monday through Thursday. The young students' involvement will be confined to two to three hours a week until the final three weeks, when it will increase to six to 10 hours a week. Call Mo Dutterer at Centennial High School, 313-2856, for information.

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At 7:30 tonight, Columbia Hills and Meadowbrook Farms will hold a community meeting for all who want information on the proposed school redistricting.

The meeting will be at Epiphany Lutheran Church.

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