MOST people feel they don't see enough of their elected...

salmagundi

March 08, 1995

MOST people feel they don't see enough of their elected officials. They complain that they never really get to see into their private lifes.

The people of Friendsville can't say that. In fact, the people of Friendsville may be seeing a little too much of their elected officials, the mayor in particular.

Spencer R. Schlosnagle, mayor of this small Garrett County town, now has a third conviction for indecent exposure after a plea bargain in which he pleaded guilty to exposing himself to a fellow driver on Interstate 68. A second, similar charge was dismissed.

Although the mayor of Friendsville will be serving jail time once more, the citizens don't seem to mind. Mayor Schlosnagle is in his fifth term as executive of this town of 577 residents.

In an age where most voters have no idea what their politicians stand for, Mayor Schlosnagle sticks out as an elected official who is extremely accessible to his neighbors.

Rather than see their mayor as an embarrassment, perhaps they view him as the epitome of what Friendsville stands for. After all, he is very friendly.

* * *

LEARNING where you come from can carry a hefty price tag.

For the average person going back to one's roots is as simple as picking up the phone and giving Mom and Dad a call -- the phone bills may be high, and no one ever calls often enough, but it's still relatively easy. Technology, though, has changed all that.

Scientists are not content with our immediate past. For them the study of human origins involves expensive digs, dangerous expeditions and studies to analyze life hundreds, thousands, even millions of years ago.

This past week, technology began to look even further into our past. The price of the ticket for this trip down memory lane will skyrocket, literally.

To the folks up at NASA, getting back to our roots means sending a shuttle into space to look for "primordial helium" released during the "big bang" 15 billion years ago, when the earth and the beginnings of life were supposedly created.

The price-tag for this jaunt? $450 million. And to think, people used to complain about the cost of all those phone calls to home.

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