A MOTHER'S DAY tradition I remember with nostalgia is the mother-daughter banquet held annually at the church we attended in our small town in Ohio. Each year, my mother, sister and I would put on our nicest dresses (some years they matched) and head for the church with our covered-dish specialty.
Once there, we sat with cousins and friends, listened to the minister's wife talk about the importance of mothers and sang songs. Some of these banquets were better than others, and those were the ones that featured a fashion show. What fun it was to see our friends model the newest arrivals from the local department store.
Tonight, you can experience a home-grown fashion show and the friendliness of a church-sponsored dessert at St. Paul's United Methodist Church in New Windsor.
Desserts are homemade brownies and cookies, baked by the women at the church. Fashions are the newest summer arrivals from Leggett at Cranberry Mall. Leggett's special events coordinator, Nikki Smelser, will narrate the show. Models are church members Jamie Alban, Mary Anna Lee, Jason, Jeremy and Neal Roop, Kristen Walters, Debbie, Becky and Heather Arnold, Dori Thompson, Kim Nichols, Megan Roop, Ted Ridgely, Polly Dayhoff, Marcia Smith, Janet Colburn, and Glenda Warehime. Regina Roop chairs the event this year.
The backdrop for the show is very simple -- patio furniture and backyard flowers, Roop says. Some individuals and businesses have donated door prizes, including fragrance packages from Leggett.
Doris Brown, also a member at St. Paul's, originated the idea for a fashion show six years ago. "These shows are always enjoyable," she said. "Trying on the clothes and watching all the people come to the show is a lot of fun."
Tonight's program begins with dessert at 6: 30. The fashion show starts at 7: 15 p.m. Tickets cost $5; proceeds benefit church programs. Information: 635-2519.
Sculptor's work on exhibit
Congratulations to artist Jo Israelson of Union Bridge. The sculptor has completed "Crossroads," a work that is part of a 12th Anniversary Exhibition featuring the creations of Sculptors Incorporated, a group of about 50 sculptors from the Baltimore area.
The exhibit is at Mill River Gallery, an old mill that is an artists' studio in Ellicott City. Israelson's permanent work there is outside. She took a space that was "nothing special" and transformed it into a labyrinth, an intricate walking path that includes a limestone bench for meditation. Israelson worked 20 straight days on the project, hauling dirt, mulch, slate, plants and tree trunks to complete the living sculpture.
"There's something very magical in taking an abused or unused space -- something that's not very interesting visually or spiritually -- and transforming it into a place that people notice, and where they stop and talk," Israelson says.
Israelson says she hopes that people will use the path to take time to evaluate where they are in life, and where they want to go. In her labyrinth, one takes the same path in and out, a metaphor, she observes, for our lives. The sculpture is a prototype for other labyrinths that Israelson will construct around Baltimore.
The exhibit runs through June 22. An opening reception for the artists will be held from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. May 18. The mill is at 840 Oella Ave., Ellicott City. Information: (410) 461-1577 or 775-1093.
Mother's day trip
My mother is visiting from Ohio for Mother's Day, and we decided to celebrate the holiday last week with a trip to Ellis Island. For those unfamiliar with American history, Ellis Island (a short boat ride from the Statue of Liberty) was the port of entry for millions of immigrants from central and southeastern Europe at the turn of the century.
My grandparents came through Ellis Island, so the trip was a tribute to them.
This is a great day trip for anyone whose distant relatives came over on the crowded steamships (the voyage took about three weeks) to make a better life for themselves; or for those who want to round out their knowledge and appreciation of American history. The greatest number of immigrants came to this country when Ellis Island was open from 1892 to 1954.
The buildings of Ellis Island had gone to ruin until they were rescued by President Lyndon Johnson, who put them under the care of the National Park Service. It took years to restore the Great Hall, which opened to visitors in 1992.
Walking through the Great Hall, and then the warren of rooms that simulate the immigrants' experience as they proceeded through customs, makes a day to remember.
Pub Date: 5/09/96