Phil Grout's Magic EyeThe recent article in a local...


January 08, 1995

Phil Grout's Magic Eye

The recent article in a local newspaper about the photographer, Phil Grout, was informative and enlightening. While he was the staff photographer for the Hanover Evening Sun, I was always entertained and constantly amazed by his talent. He was blessed with the ability to capture life in a moment that would last forever.

One favorite of mine is displayed in the Carroll County office building, as the article mentioned, and also a copy as it appeared for the first time in the Sun many years ago was cut out by me and saved. It is a photo of a Carroll County dairy farmer, Marlin Hoff, standing in his barn, hands in his pockets, dressed in his best milk parlor tux, with manure-encrusted boots, leaning casually against a barn post. He is grinning contentedly while his favorite Holstein busses him squarely on the cheek. A split second in life that, because of the genius of Phil Grout, was captured and held forever.

Another favorite was the masterpiece that shows the Flannery ++ twins, Kim and Cindy, track stars from North Carroll High School as they finished a race in the county championship. What makes the photo a masterpiece is that the girls, who were identical twins, are shown side by side, each a mirror image of the other, both left feet touching the track exactly in step while their right arms are pumping in unison across their waists. It is a split second in life made more unique by the fact that the girls are captured in lock-step as they cross the finish line in a dead heat, tied for first while setting a new meet record for the 3,200-meter run.

I was not aware of his bouts with depression, and as revealed in the article, his attempts at suicide. To me, this confirms my belief that he has been singled out as one of the truly gifted humans who are given a unique sensitivity that sets them apart.

This, combined with blessed talent, is often a great burden to carry, particularly when involved with the great human despair that Phil has confronted in many parts of the world. I hope, perhaps selfishly, that he has beaten the problem and will soon be able to show, in pictures, life as seen through his lens.

Vince DePalmer


Tower of Battle

I am writing to clarify several points raised in Mary Gail Hare's Jan. 4 article about the Hollenberry Road tower. West Shore Communications has invested time and money because it chose to, and at least 25 percent of that money has gone to pay its attorney to persist in trying to locate that tower on a site where it doesn't belong, i.e. a residential area where lives and property values are jeopardized.

For William Shand to say that the tower won't be visible is ludicrous -- a 200-foot tower on a hill in an area where the tallest trees are 30 to 40 feet? Not only will it be visible in the neighborhood, it will be visible for miles.

Jeff Owens, the real estate manager, refers to the need for this tower to ensure reliable communications, a need which the area residents have never questioned. What has been questioned, and rightly so, is Cell One's willingness to continue to pour money into a fight for this site when surely those same funds would have paid for part, if not most, of the additional height needed for a tower at Springfield, attached to an existing structure, less than one mile away -- a site which would meet the new county requirements, would be welcomed by Springfield because of past problems with EM communications and which would comply with the state resource-sharing policy, not to mention the good public relations which would result for Cell One.

Cellular One, and, in one instance, West Shore, are currently embroiled in similar fights with citizens in Howard County, where they want to locate a tower next to an elementary school, and in Anne Arundel County's Crofton, where the tower would be adjacent to a recreational area. Is it possible, I wonder, that Cell One's primary goal in this case might simply be to keep citizens from prevailing because of the dangerous precedent which a citizen victory would establish, threatening other sites which they plan to acquire in Carroll County and elsewhere? Hmmm.

Kathy Blanco-Losada


Pray for POW/MIAs

Please extend to your readers a sincere wish for a happy holiday season from Carroll County's Vietnam Veterans. We appreciate all of the support that the citizens of Carroll have extended to us in 1994. We wish them nothing but the best in 1995.

We ask for their support in the coming year, and that at this time of the year they remember the POW/MIA's in their prayers. . . .

Rick Will, Sr.


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