After the Fourth of July's Lakefront fireworks have splashed their last wave of color across Howard County's sky, after the oohs and aahs die down, members of the Kiwanis Clubs of Columbia, Ellicott City and Elkridge do not hop back into their cars to brave the traffic.
They stay at Columbia's lakefront to close out the work that began months before. When snow was still on the ground in January, Kiwanis of Columbia began the planning that culminated in the beautiful display this Fourth of July.
Much of the work was fund raising. Fireworks are expensive -- this year's half-hour display cost $17,500.
Parking fees help to defray that cost, but other sources of revenue, such as profits from the dance at the Spear Building, corporate and private donations, and income from lakefront vendors help Kiwanis to cover costs of the pyrotechnics and other associated expenses, such as the bands.
The Columbia Association traditionally has helped with setup and cleanup crews. An additional 100 volunteers help to run the event, which is attended by an estimated 70,000 people.
The relatively small Kiwanis club of about 20 businesspeople meets every Wednesday at noon at the Last Chance Restaurant in Steven's Forest Village, Columbia.
We lovers of the Fourth thank all the Kiwanis clubs in the county and all other volunteers who provided the "big bang" this year.
Howard High Class of 1941 has announced that this year's class reunion will be held on Sept. 20 at the VFW Hall. For the first time, the class of 1940 has been invited to participate in the festivities.
For further information, call Peggy White at 465-6521.
How many people asked you recently if it was hot enough for you? Two young living historians, Tim Learman, of Columbia, and Louis Skendaris, of Rockville, would sincerely say that it was quite hot enough as they portrayed Civil War soldiers at the B&O Museum during an early evening of 100 degree weather.
Wearing wool army caps, long-sleeved shirts, heavy wool army jackets, long underwear under their wool kersey blue pants, heavy leather broughams and gaiters, and carrying British-made Enfield rifles, Tim and Louis gave new meaning to the phrase "sweating bullets."
(Actually, they showed us a bullet instead.)
To give you an idea of the weight of the clothing, the pants were 1/4 of an inch thick, with 26 threads per inch. The long underwear was occasioned by the coarse and scratchy texture of the cloth.
They spoke of their diet as Civil War soldiers: salt pork and hardtack, a mixture of salt, flour, and water.
Having eaten authentic hardtack as part of his historical training, Tim told us that it was truly horrible. He had to break it up with his rifle, and then try to gag it down accompanied by lots of water.
It's no wonder, then, that the camp followers who acted as concessionaires to the soldiers featured cookies as their most popular food item.
Meanwhile, at the Eakle family's Shell station grand opening on Route 40 recently, Miss Maryland 1991, Debbie Rye of Indian Head, gamely took hit after hit in the dunking booth, as did D.A.R.E. police officer Keith Lessner.
With the thermometer hovering over 100, they, not the dunkers, were the lucky ones!
Mothers Against Drunk Drivers distributed literature from their booth. Bonnie Cook, Chari Stoesser and Debbie Derwart were the brave mothers who withstood the heat, fully deserving the $200 donation given to them by the station.
Dorsey's Search Village Manager Ann Darren is planning a "Walk for Parks" this fall to further beautify the wonderful pathway system already started by the county.
The "Walk for Parks," which will take place Oct. 16, will feature a one, five, or ten-mile walk, beginning and ending at Linden Hall in Dorsey's Search.
Epiphany Lutheran Church at 9122 Sybert Drive in Columbia Hills, Ellicott City, is having a spaghetti dinner Friday from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.The menu includes the traditional garlic bread and tossed green salad. Dessert is included.
Tickets may be purchased in advance or are available at the door. The cost of the dinner is $6 for adults and $3 for children under 12. Children under 5 are admitted free.
For additional information, call Pastor David Berg at 730-6626.