Tragedy in our own back yard leads to feelings of rage and fear WEST COLUMBIA

NEIGHBORS

August 11, 1993|By LARRY STURGILL

There was a tragedy in our neighborhood last week. A 6-year-old boy, Christopher Flye, died tragically and horribly.

The brutality of his death, allegedly at the hand of an adult entrusted to care for him, shocked everyone. The incident also tossed more fuel upon that slow-burning inner fear that all parents keep buried deep within.

Unfortunately, the death of Christopher is another of a growing and all-too-familiar kind of story we hear on the news or read about in the newspaper almost every day. Sadly, it has become so common that many of us have become immune to these horrors, preferring to block them from our mind, instead of facing the real human tragedy of such incidents.

As in the Pam Basu case, it is only when such savagery rears its ugly head in our own back yard that we take notice, cry out in rage and demand that justice be swiftly served.

We look at our own children, pray for their safety. When I heard of Christopher Flye's death, I felt the rage and the fear because I am a parent, the father to two sons, including a 6-year-old.

That evening, I took my youngest son in my arms and hugged him tightly. And, I cried. Fortunately, he didn't understand why.

*

A program called The Power of Massage has been one of the more popular programs offered by the Health Education Center of Howard County General Hospital.

The two-part program is designed specifically for couples, and focuses on using basic massage techniques to help relieve physical discomforts and emotion stress.

When it was last offered in March, the 12-couple program filled quickly and a number of couples were disappointed because they couldn't get in. According to hospital spokeswoman Sandy Barnette, the current session is already more than half full, so those interested in taking the course should register soon.

The program is scheduled from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Aug. 20 and 27. The cost is $65 a couple.

C7 For more information or to register, call 740-7600.

Another casting call has gone out from the Columbia Community Players. Director Laurence Bory is searching for could-be, wanna-be and already-be actors to fill the cast of Jay Allen's raucous play, "Forty Carats."

Auditions are scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Monday and Tuesday at the Faulkner Ridge Nursery School. The play will be presented at the Slayton House Theatre, in Wilde Lake Village Center, on Oct. 29 and 30, and again on Nov. 5 and 6.

*

Just when you thought you finally had your child convinced to stop snacking and eat three goods meals a day, along comes a report from a local pediatrician that says parents need to reconsider the old three-meals-a-day regimen that has long served as a nutrition standard.

In fact, Dr. Ralph Nelson, an associate professor in nutrition who teaches at the Johns Hopkins University's Columbia center, says parents who rigidly adhere to the antiquated breakfast, lunch and dinner schedule may be setting their children up for future eating problems.

Dr. Nelson says that people, especially young children, have their own mechanism that knows how much food is required and when. Snacking between meals is the way children answer this biological call of their bodies. It's normal, he says, because growing, active children need more calories.

However, Dr. Nelson does say it is the responsibility of parents to control what type of snack foods their children eat. Pretzels, plain popcorn, low-fat cookies, fresh fruit, animal crackers and fresh-cut vegetables are all healthful snack foods.

*

When I was 5 or 6, I saw a pipe and drum band marching in a parade through downtown Catonsville. Ever since, I've held a fascination of sorts for the eerie, somehow haunting, wailing sounds of the music produced by bagpipes.

At 7 tonight at the Harmony Hall Retirement Community on Cedar Lane, the Scottish Highland Pipe and Drum Band will perform a variety of traditional Scottish bagpipe music.

To reserve a seat for tonight's performance, call Linda Spano at 531-6000.

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