Gotta sing, gotta dance? Hoof on over to Slayton House Theatre WEST COLUMBIA

NEIGHBORS

February 17, 1993|By LARRY STURGILL

Here's some great news for undiscovered talent in Columbia. The Slayton House Theatre is searching for performers of all kinds to fill the theater's stage with a variety of entertainment.

Bernice Kish, Slayton House Theatre's activities director, is actively seeking groups or individuals who would like to showcase their talents. Ms. Kish says, "We will definitely be receptive to all kinds of acts and are especially hopeful that young talent will step forward."

She notes that although the theater is booked solid with other activities during the week, there are some Friday and Saturday evenings available.

Ms. Kish recalls that over the years, Slayton House Theatre has been the launching pad for some Columbia musical and acting groups who now perform in other venues. "The Columbia Orchestra and Candlelight Concert Society performances began here," she says. "They simply outgrew our 240-seat facility and moved to the larger concert hall at Howard Community College."

Discovering and showcasing talented people in Columbia was one of the theater's original purposes, and Ms. Kish says it is important not to forget why it exists.

"We are open to almost any idea -- music, plays, variety shows or whatever," she says. "Several years ago, we briefly had a buffet-style dinner theater operating here one night a week."

Individuals, groups or organizations who are interested in performing, coordinating, or producing and directing plays, musical or variety shows, talent shows or any other kind of family- or youth-oriented entertainment at the Slayton House Theatre are invited to call Bernice Kish at 730-3987.

*

Vantage Point resident Arnie Watson told me about his recent encounter with a crazed water vaporizer. He asked me to relay the story with the hope that others won't fall victim as he did.

Two weeks ago, Arnie's brother and his family drove up from Richmond, Va., to visit for a weekend. Their baby daughter had a cold, so Arnie dragged an old vaporizer out of a closet to put in the bedroom while his niece was napping.

The unit hadn't been used for years so he plugged it in, lifted the heating elements out of the container and touched them to see if they were warming up. He admits that this was a very bad decision on his part.

ZAP! Of course, the electric shock caught him completely by surprise. He says the pain was quite intense and that without any religious reverence whatsoever, he began speaking in tongues, hopping wildly around the room clutching his badly burned fingers. His brother's 3-year-old son, who had been quietly observing Arnie fiddle with the vaporizer, ran screaming from the room in terror, obviously convinced that Uncle Arnie had gone quite mad.

A short trip to the doctor eased Arnie's agony, and the bandages were removed from his fingers last week. He claims that he told the truth about what happened to everyone who asked about his bandaged fingers. If not? Well, the truth is out now.

Oh, yes. If anyone is interested in buying a slightly used vaporizer, I know where you can get one real cheap.

On a more serious note, this story serves as a reminder to everyone that most accidents happen in and around the home. Take the time to make your home a safety zone, and make sure everyone in the family knows exactly what to do in case of an emergency.

*

Are you the owner of a healthy heart? I hope the answer is yes. If in doubt, though, several screening programs are available this week at Howard County General Hospital.

A free pulmonary function test is available between 8 a.m. and noon today and tomorrow.

computerized body analysis, measuring body fat, is available from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. Friday. The cost is $10 and you must call to make an appointment.

Cholesterol screening also will be done from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday and from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday. The cost is $7.50.

There will also be a lecture on "Women and Heart Disease" from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Feb. 25. Local cardiologist Rita King will be the guest speaker.

For more information on any of the above, please call the HCGH Health Education Center at 740-7600.

*

The Howard County Central Library has a new offering in its ongoing Storytime Series for children. The new six-week series, called "Family Storytime," is designed for families who have several children between the ages of 2 and 5.

The series begins tomorrow and continues every Thursday through March 25. Storytimes are at 10:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. to 2 p.m. All children must be accompanied by parents. Day care providers are always welcome.

Parents may register in person at the library or by calling children's librarian Jo Puckett at 313-7880.

*

Congratulations to Harper's Choice resident Jeremy Gordon III, a junior majoring in engineering at Virginia Tech. His short story "If Every Tree Grew Tall" won first place in a recent writing contest sponsored by the Virginia Literary Guild.

In addition to the $500 prize, Jeremy's story will be published in the guild's annual collection of best stories.

*

Are you among the many pet owners who are reluctant to put your pet in a kennel while you're off on a weekend ski trip or taking that two-week winter vacation in the Caribbean?

If so, a solution is at hand. Jackie Felker and the crew at Linden Hall in Dorsey's Search have come up with an excellent alternative idea -- pet sitters.

They are drafting up a list of teens and adults who, for a modest fee I'm sure, would be happy to give tender, loving care to your pet while you enjoy a worry-free vacation.

If you would like to put your name on the list of available pet sitters, or have a need for the pet sitting service, please call 730-4005.

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