Judging by vignettes of '93, it's been a pretty good year

NEIGHBORS

December 30, 1993|By MICHELLE HOFFMAN

Where did the time go?

It seems like just yesterday that we began 1993. Now it's coming swiftly to an end.

Upon reflection, I'd have to say it's been a pretty good year.

I stuck with one of my New Year's resolutions. It was to begin my writing again. I guess there's always next year to begin that diet.

This has been an eventful and fascinating year for me. Since May, I've interviewed local celebrities I previously did not know existed.

Like Kitty Devilbiss-Marble, the director of the Taneytown Senior Citizens' Center, who is a basket weaver in her spare time. Mrs. Marble was patient with my novice questions and made learning fun. In July, she welcomed a new baby, Jacob, to her family.

I learned a little about other cultures while writing about the International Festival held at the New Windsor Service Center. I also visited the SERRV International Gift Shop, which sells handcrafts made in more than 40 countries. Touring the International Gift Shop is like taking a miniature tour around the world.

Remember the wagon train wedding that went through Westminster back in May? Participants Carolyn Stoner and Kathie Warner still enjoy traveling with the wagon trains with their friends; however, Mrs. Warner may have to skip the next journey to care for her new baby, Brady, who was born in October.

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I traveled back in time when I visited the S.S. John W. Brown, and saw Memorial Day through veterans' eyes.

Walter Myers was electrifying when he struck up his phonograph machines. I enjoyed the romp through musical history.

The Wizard of Oz, brought to us by students of Northwest Middle School in Taneytown, was a spring concert of fun.

Tiger Products was an entrepreneurial adventure that produced first-year profits and an excellent return on student-purchased stock. The New Windsor Middle students hand-crafted items, the bulk of which they sold during the May Day activities and at school.

Nationally recognized post card collector Victor Lee Cox showed me the historical significance of postcards.

Caroline and Robert Devilbiss haven't changed much in the Uniontown Post Office and general store they have operated over the past 73 years. They are the third generation of owners. Every piece of mail is hand-processed on scales that sit behind a wooden cage. But they think change may be inevitable in the future to compete with local businesses.

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Meg and Bub Smith have been busy tending to their Percheron show horses. They have been busy, especially during the Christmas season, giving horse-drawn tours with Bub, formally dressed, at the reins of the carriage.

Although it now may be cold outside, the ladies of Linwood Brethren Church are staying warm while they continue to sew their customers' quilts.

The Jaycee's Haunted Barn was a scream to roam when the lights were lighted and the building was empty. But it was another haunted homecoming to more than 10,000 people again this year.

I had a frightfully good time when I interviewed T. R. and Laura Wailes at their haunted house. Cemetery hunting with local ghost hunter Shelley Sykes was pretty creepy, too.

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Along with the enjoyment, the year also brought its share of heartache.

Music was the universal language for eighth-grade music students at Northwest Middle School in Taneytown. The musical staff, dotted with musical instruments, circles the Earth and shoots into space, bringing its notes to the galaxy. The brightly colored mural remains unfinished at the request of the students, who lost one of their own last spring. Christy Lee Glacken is sadly missed.

As is Judy Carl. Many of you will remember Mrs. Carl as the cancer survivor I wrote about last May. Her passing in July was heartbreaking to those who knew her. However, each person I asked remembered her fondly as the woman with a great smile and overpowering strength.

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Of course, all of the festivals, dances, bingo games, swim meets, the demolition derby, church events and Christmas house tours cannot go unnoticed. It's events like these that bring this sparsely inhabited area together, so that neighbors can meet neighbors.

And that brings us to today, Dec. 30. What a year this has been. What memories we have shared.

I'd like to thank all of you for letting me into your homes; those I have interviewed and those of you who have followed my column.

What will next year bring? I hope it will be fun, eventful and fulfilling for all of you. I would like to meet more of you in 1994. Please let me know if you or someone you know is doing something neat.

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