Whether bought for style or durability, antiques are tough to beat

NEIGHBORS

November 18, 1994|By LOURDES SULLIVAN

My father was an antiques dealer for a while. Now he claims he's an antique, but we don't believe him. During those years, he would say that the only people who ought to buy antiques were those who had a lot of money and those who had only very little.

Here's his reasoning: The really rich could buy antique stuff that cannot be made anymore, like glass colored with uranium salts. (The finished lamp is safe and beautiful, but making it involved exposing workers to toxic materials.)

And for those of us who have to be careful with our funds, he reasoned, antiques are a good investment by virtue of having survived. The pings and dings of daily life add character to an antique, they do not destroy it.

The gentle readers who detect a whiff of pleading here are right: he was trying to sell antiques after all, but in general his thesis is true.

If you like antique styles, one of the largest concentrations of antique dealers is right here in Savage Mill. And this is a good weekend to stop by and appreciate the offerings, since the Mill is holding its 5th Annual Holiday Open House.

There is a Gingerbread house contest, a concert by the Bollman Bridge Chorus and other activities going on all weekend. Beginning today, the mill will stay open until 8 p.m. on Thursdays and Fridays until Christmas.

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News from Laurel Woods Elementary. I'm always astonished at the range of interests displayed by people I know in only one context. You'd think I'd learn by now.

Michelle Hunter, the first grade instructional assistant at Laurel Woods is going to bring her spinning wheel to class Monday to show the class how clothing was made in colonial times.

She's been interested in fiber arts for years, although she no longer has the time to spin wool as much as she used to.

Ms. Hunter will bring in raw wool, card (or brush) it into fluffy clean fibers, then spin it into yarn. She's going to let the children each take a turn at the wheel. By the end of the day, the class will have a large ball of yarn, but it's remarkable how many balls of yarn you need to make a garment.

Ms. Hunter's current interest is antique and modern samplers. ,, Early samplers were records of different embroidery designs. After they were finished, they were usually stored away until someone needed to look up how to make a particular stitch.

Later 19th century samplers, however,looked more like what we think of as samplers today: a cross-stitch alphabet, a motto or Bible verse at the bottom and a decorative border. Sometimes these were signed by the young girl, along with her age.

These samplers weren't relegated to trunks, but rather framed by fond parents and hung in the parlor. They were a sort of diploma, proving that the girl could read, had a fine moral upbringing and certainly was industrious.

In short, these were proof that she'd been properly educated. It's nice that Ms. Hunter's interest in samplers relates to her profession as educator. The children all benefit from it.

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Wilhide's Flowers, a business partner with Forest Ridge Elementary will participate in a math class. The florists will demonstrate the concept of symmetry by showing how a formal bouquet is structured. They are also bringing supplies so that the students can make an arrangement to take home.

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It's a new season for the Savage Boys and Girls Club Soccer League. The club has recruited an amazing number of volunteer coaches and assistant coaches to run the teams.

Of course, the teams all chose colorful names so I'm looking forward to some of the matchups such as the Cavaliers vs. the Spartans, under the direction of Paul Scanlon, Randy Peddicord and Tom Showe.

How dangerous will the contest between the Blue Devils and the Deacons be? Coaches Jeff Kaupa, Gary Stewart, Marc Zammichieli and Gary Blush will keep it interesting.

There promises to be the entire population of the zoo on the field as the Lions go against the Tigers (coaches Mike Dooley, Michael Breen, Mark Briggs and Kim Myrick), the Bucks vs. the Wolverines (Phil Puccio, Tom Patterson, Jerry Ryan and Paul Reynold) the Terrapins vs. the Gophers (Steve Acciero, Tom Nagle, Pete Johnsen and Scott Regan coaching) and the Wolfpack against the Hawkeyes (ably coached by Ray Curley, Ron Curley, Jerry Rushing and Brooke Greer).

The Hoosiers and the Tarheels will doubtless defend the honor of their states, with techniques devised by Mary Kirk, Dave Stone, Tom Manger and Guy Copperthite.

The season begins Nov. 28.

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While you're shopping for your Thanksgiving supplies this weekend, don't forget the less fortunate. Pick up a few extra nonperishables for Fish of Howard County and other food banks in the area.

Most supermarkets are running sales on various staples, so it's easy to be generous right now without spending a lot of money.

With the weather turning colder, some families find budgeting for both heat and groceries a strain. The 75 cent can of spaghetti you donate can look very good to a child next February.

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