School in Uniontown, 110 years old, to close NORTHWEST -- Taneytown * Union Bridge * New Windsor * Uniontown

NEIGHBORS

April 29, 1993|By JUDY REILLY

"Doesn't anybody stay in one place anymore?" asks singer Carole King in an oldies tune that makes my kids cringe.

Yes, Ms. King, take heart. Some folks do stick around, for generations -- yet they can't escape the pain of saying goodbye to something beloved.

This weekend is the time when Uniontown-area residents say an official goodbye to Uniontown Elementary School, an 110-year-old institution that will close its doors in June. Several three-generation families will witness the closing festivities Friday at 7 p.m., including Barbara Childs and her daughter and grandson, Linda and Ryan Corbin.

Barbara and her offspring all attended Uniontown, and for the past 24 years Mrs. Childs has been a jack-of-all-trades assistant to the teachers there -- helping students with math or handwriting, and dispensing bandages and sympathy in the first aid station.

From rhythm bands and May Day queens to computer labs and the playground, all three generations cherish the memories of their early school years.

Barbara Childs remembers performing the "Surprise Symphony" as a youngster with the school's Rhythm Band.

The students were given a percussion instrument and had to keep time under the direction of the music teacher.

They played very softly at first.

"Then, when we had the parents lulled to the music, we'd make a big noise and clatter with all the instruments," she says. "It was always so exciting to me."

Barbara's daughter, Linda Corbin, also recalls the "symphony" with fondness, as well as the special occasion days like the Christmas program and the Easter Egg Hunt.

"With the Easter Egg Hunt, the sixth-graders hid the eggs and the lower classes got to hunt for them," she says.

Her son, Ryan, now in third grade, likes the computer lab and the playground.

Without question, all three generations praise the consistently high-quality teaching at the school.

"The teachers always went out of their way to make sure you understood before they moved on to something new," said Ms. Corbin.

Son Ryan agrees that the teachers are his favorite part of the experience.

And Mrs. Childs, who has worked closely with the teachers for her entire career at Uniontown says, "I feel so blessed to be working with such fine people -- they really put the welfare of the children first, without exception."

Mrs. Childs also enjoys working with children whose parents went to school with her children.

"They're still really close to me. I worked with their parents and now I'm working with their children," she says. "Some of my children's friends have moved back to the area just so their kids can attend Uniontown School."

Some of the children even call her "Grandma" -- a term of endearment to her.

Mrs. Childs also remembers when the school was a mainstay of Uniontown life. An annual fund-raising oyster dinner was a favorite fall event, and the special school functions became social events for the village.

"No invitations needed to be sent," she says. "People heard there was an event at the school, and they went."

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The community is invited to commemorative ceremonies at the school from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. tomorrow. If you plan to attend, drive to Francis Scott Key High School, where parking is plentiful, and take the shuttle bus to Uniontown Elemen tary.

Information: 848-4441.

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Uniontown's annual Funfest of games and activities for children, with a bake table and plant sale for the grown-ups, will be held starting at 10 a.m. Saturday at the school, which is located in the heart of Uniontown.

Information: 848-4441.

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If you're in the mood for dancing to retro music, join other like-minded folks at 9 p.m. Saturday at the Taneytown Activities Building. WTTR disc jockey Jack Edwards will spin tunes from the '50s and '60s until 1 a.m. The admission price includes set-ups; bring your own beverage.

The dance is sponsored by the Raiders Softball Team.

For more information, contact Carroll Barnhouse, 756-2536.

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The best panoramic view in northwest Carroll, or maybe any where, can be seen as you drive northwest on Route 407 near Bowersox Road heading into Marston. Promise yourself that at least once this season you'll take this way home.

*

Nearly a year ago, my family and I moved to northwest Carroll to escape the woes of urban living. The move to this rural corner of Maryland has fulfilled its promises.

The air smells sweet, except during fertilizer season, and when the winds from the paper plant in Spring Grove, Pa., blow our way.

There's less congestion -- we still marvel that on a Sunday morning drive to the firemen's breakfasts in New Windsor, we don't pass any other cars. And the scenery is breathtaking, especially as we glimpse the Catoctin Mountains from our upstairs windows.

But best of all, in writing this "Neighbors" column, I've learned what really makes being here special -- the people who live here and keep things in motion.

Many thanks to all of you for sharing the activities, pastimes and memories that have made my weekly writing assignments an absolute pleasure.

Now it's time to let someone else have the fun; other obligations are beginning to rob me of time to write in this space every week.

Michelle Hoffman, of Taneytown, will be taking over next Thursday.

So, I'll see you in the neighborhood.

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