Only time can cure automotive amnesia in the mall parking lot GLEN BURNIE


August 04, 1993|By BONITA FORMWALT

I tried to blame it on the construction of a new JC Penney store. I rationalized that every third car on the parking lot was white. I even speculated for a brief moment that scoundrels had absconded with it. But finally I had to accept the truth.

Standing in the middle of the parking lot at Marley Station Mall I had to acknowledge I had no clue where I had parked my car. I was now officially my mother.

My growing consternation wasn't that I had misplaced my transportation. I always keep a list of people who will come and get me when I have assorted auto mishaps. (A well-organized list keeps me from calling the same person twice in a row.)

No, inside that car was a microcosm of my life -- a plethora of odds and ends that simply never made it into the house, the garage or the trash. For example:

* A solar-powered hot dog cooker -- last year's contribution to the science fair. We keep it in the car in case we're ever stranded far from the fast food of Ritchie Highway, with only a pound of franks and the sun to sustain us.

* At least six or seven pairs of shoes, leaving the obvious question: Why do people enter my car with footwear and yet repeatedly leave unshod?

* The sun-bleached carcasses of assorted auto air refreshers that gave their lives in a futile effort to overcome a decade of Happy Meal remnants.

Eventually the car was discovered on the other side of the parking lot. Was I confused? Maybe. But I'm still convinced the security staff moved it out of concern it would attract other rusty, cluttered autos.

Beep, beep, Glen Burnie.


Students discovering local history, authors researching books, grandfathers searching for lost generations. Visitors to the Historical and Genealogical Research Center in Glen Burnie are usually looking for answers that can be found only by exploring the past.

Located in the Kuethe Library, 3 Crain Highway, S.E., the center houses an extensive library on local history and genealogical information. Operated by volunteers, it is open to the public 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Thursday through Saturday. On the third Thursday of the month, hours are 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Mary Meyer is director of the library. An author of more than two dozen books on genealogy, Meyer coordinates the cataloging of materials, oversees purchases and organizes volunteer staff members to make the most of their contributions to the center.

One of those volunteers is Murray Combs, who has been researching his family tree for the past 10 years. Using census information, property deeds and other records, he has reconstructed large parts of his family lineage back 19 generations to the year 1408.

For those who think this research is just names and dates, take note of some of the history surrounding Combs' family members.

For example, 13 generations back, in 1555, Thomas Hubbard was burned at the stake for refusing to recant his Protestantism. In 1620, seven family members arrived on the Mayflower. Going back 11 generations, you find Martha Kitcherell, scalped by Indians in July 1708, who succumbed to infection and died the following October.

L Combs says the search for your "roots" should begin at home.

"Talk to all the people in your family. Take notes, keep track of all the little bits of family lore. Dates and locations are important to help you start to look for someone," Combs says.

Armed with this information, the volunteers can provide assistance in constructing an individual's "ahnentafel," or family tree.

"The problem is that when you're finally interested in looking for this information, it's often too late," Combs says. "By the time I started looking, I was the oldest survivor. There was no one in my family to go to for information."

In addition to the genealogical information, the center offers research information on local history. Students and authors frequently use the facilities for projects. To increase accessibility for researchers, the library is transferring some of its material to computer programs.

As part of the center's efforts to keep a step ahead of history, Meyer is working on a new project.

"We're attempting to get a copy of every book by an Anne Arundel County author -- children's books, romance novels, mysteries, historical books," Meyer says. "We're asking authors to donate a copy of their book to our collection."

For information on the center, call 760-9679.


Last week in a story about Arthur's Over 50 softball team, several members were inadvertently left out of the lineup. The team recently qualified for the National Tournament in Scottsdale, Ariz., thanks to team members Bernie Allowatt, Al Morris, Sam Parsons, Chuck Reed and Jack Scheeler.


Music, Bible lessons, crafts, supervised play and refreshments centered on the theme, "The Greatest Treasure Hunt -- Discovering God's Promises," are all part of vacation Bible school at Glen Lutheran Church. The hunt is scheduled from 9 a.m. to noon, Monday through Aug. 13.

Children ages 3 through sixth-graders are invited. Fees are $3 per child, with a maximum cost of $6 per family. Children in grades one through six are asked to bring a white or pastel-colored T-shirt the first day for a craft project.

A closing program is planned for 7 p.m., Aug. 13. An offering will be taken to benefit the North County Emergency Outreach Network. For information, call June Sebert, 255-1263, or the church office 766-6534.

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