Re-creations offer lessons about life in Colonial times ELLICOTT CITY/ELKRIDGE

NEIGHBORS

June 07, 1993|By JEAN LESLIE

At the foot of Main Street in Ellicott City last weekend, my 9-year-old Sammy and I got a history lesson in the least painful way possible: We were transported back to the 18th century via the South River Sutlers, a group that organizes historical re-creations.

The events were part of Founders' Day Weekend festivities.

We learned that the main reason the Colonial ladies wore those charming white "mop caps" was not for style but because most colonials bathed only twice a year and wore caps to keep one's lice to oneself!

Bathing was thought to make people sick. And George Washington was way ahead of his time, because his soldiers had to bathe once a week.

He made them wash their hands, necks and faces, thus constituting a "bath." The water phobia went even further. They didn't drink it, either. They drank ale.

And Sammy learned that were he to celebrate his 10th birthday in the 18th century, he could look forward to a huge celebration, for he would have actually survived his childhood (unlike most children). Now ready to begin adult responsibilities, he could begin an apprenticeship to a coppersmith or blacksmith and begin other adult responsibilities.

After he rose at 4 a.m. to do his farm chores, he would work a 12- to 14-hour day at his apprenticeship.

Congratulations to the B&O Railroad Museum for locating this wonderful group of educators, who with their lighthearted approach taught us the nitty-gritties of Colonial life.

Please, bring them back next year! We'll return for another dose of Colonial reality.

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Oops! I goofed last week when I announced that the installation of officers for the VFW: the right people, but the wrong post.

Bill Heber is post commander of Howard County Memorial Post #8097, where Mildred Weatherley serves as Ladies Auxiliary president. So sorry for my error.

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Congratulations to all members of Centennial High School's Music Department and the Howard County School's Orchestra, who competed in the Fiesta-Val Invitational Music festival in late April. The young musicians performed well, receiving the highest possible "Superior" ratings and awards.

The Howard County School's Orchestra, directed by Kathryn Cammarata, won trophies for first place in their division, Overall Best Orchestra and Most Outstanding String Section.

Centennial High's Symphonic Wind Ensemble, directed by Jack Schwalm, received first place in Division VI and Overall Best Wind Ensemble.

The Concert Choir and Centennial Chorale, both directed by Jeffrey Gemmell, won first place in their division and Overall Best Chamber Choir. Centennial High's Vocal Music Program was named "Grand Champion" of the festival.

Several individuals also won recognition. Mr. Gemmell was chosen from 25 participating music directors to receive the "Award of Distinction."

Mount Hebron High School's Trumpet Soloist Michael Walsh and Centennial's Oboe Soloist Jeff Lindon won Judges' Recognitions for their outstanding work.

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At this time of year, most schools are sponsoring end-of-year music performances. Thunder Hill Elementary, whose population includes an even split of children from Ellicott City and Columbia, was no exception.

On June 2, the band and fourth and fifth grade chorus held their concert, led by Band Director Gary Daily and Chorus Director Herbrette Richardson.

Band music included a wonderful selection of the traditional and contemporary. The program included music with background played by a computer synthesizer; a classical duet with Shankar Sridhara playing alto saxophone and Julia Wang playing piano; and the blues, played New Orleans style, complete with student improvisations.

The chorus performed "Colors," a children's operetta with a theme of working together. The 70-some children were dressed as different-colored crayons, complete with crayon caps; the spectacular backdrop, engineered by art teacher Janet Baird and created by her art classes, mimicked five Crayola crayon boxes.

The music all dealt with colors and coloring books, including "Red Hot Romeo," a duet by Jonathan Swyers and Shankar Sridhara, and "Cowboy/Cowgirl Blues," a duet by Lindsay Smardon and Denise Walden.

G; The ambitious show was beautifully planned by the whole

school and beautifully executed by the children.

Thanks for a happy evening of music!

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Nearly always ahead of the times, Howard County already runs free immunization clinics. The Howard County Health Department is sponsoring a school-based immunization clinic at Centennial High School from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. on June 16.

All immunizations required for school entry will be available free of charge. A parent or legal guardian must accompany students needing immunizations, bringing a record of immunizations with them.

These clinics may especially help middle school youngsters. Two doses of measles vaccine and one dose of mumps vaccine are now required of students entering sixth and seventh grades, in addition to the previously required preschool shots.

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Barbara Seig of Friends of Whipps Cemetery wants to thank everyone who donated yard sale items or bought treasures at the May 22 yard sale. The Friends netted over $1,000 that day toward the continued restoration and improvement of the cemetery.

Unsold items will be passed onto Pastor Jim Purman in Sykesville, who heads Friends of Holy Trinity Cemetery, formerly used by the St. Barnabas Episcopal Church. He'll be holding TC yard sale to raise funds to renovate this cemetery.

To honor those who sponsored legislation to save small cemeteries, the Coalition to Protect Maryland Burial Sites sponsored Patapsco Middle School's celebration of State Legislators' Recognition Day on May 27.

Honorees included: Sens. Tom Yeager and Chris McCabe from Howard County, Larry Haines from Carroll County and John Hafer from Allegany County; Delegates Virginia Thomas from Howard County, Gerry Brewster from Baltimore County, Steve Braun from Charles County, and Martin Madden from Howard/Prince George's County.

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