Competing gas stations signal Clarksville growth


March 20, 1997|By Sally Buckler | Sally Buckler,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

WHETHER WE call them service, filling or gas stations, these retail establishments have been indispensable since the advent of the internal combustion engine.

A sign of our area's growth is that Clarksville now has two stations. They serve the same customer base -- with a difference.

Clarksville Exxon, owned by Rusty Blabbsky, is a fixture in the area, servicing its loyal customers' cars for many years.

When the State Highway Department recently redesigned Route 32, so that it no longer passes the front of the station, the effect was "all positive," according to station manager Sean Bennett.

Customers now can get in and out of the station with ease. They can gas up -- with assistance -- or at a self-serve pump.

Many use credit cards to pay for their purchases. They can buy packaged food, candy and soft drinks.

Service customers wheel their vehicles into the service bays for oil changes, inspections and repairs.

And folks at the Exxon station look out for their customers, many of whom they know by name.

When a Freestate station, owned by a corporation, opened in Clarksville about four weeks ago, bargain hunters fled Clarksville Exxon's higher gasoline prices -- about $1.27 9/10 a gallon of regular gas -- for the $1.15 9/10 price at Freestate.

The new station offers cash self-serve gas, and a larger convenience store than the Exxon station.

There are no service bays and no full service pumps.

This is a station that tenders, "the best value for the dollar inside and outside the store," according to manager Kathy Johnson, who -- like her competitors -- can greet customers by name.

The former Kathy Wainwright grew up in Clarksville, attending Clarksville Elementary and Middle schools and Atholton High School.

She is the daughter of Harry Wainwright, a member of the Clarksville Lions Club, and refers to him as her "supervisor."

The station is the seventh in the growing chain of Freestate outlets, all of which offer inexpensive gas and bargains in convenience store items.

Though business at the brightly lighted Freestate station is growing, most of Clarksville Exxon's customers continue to patronize the older station.

Bennett says, "There's enough room for two stations in Clarksville. We're going to have two of everything around here soon."

Palm Sunday

Spring starts officially today, and this week many Christian churches celebrate Palm Sunday.

Shepherd of the Glen Lutheran Church members will begin their 10 a.m. Palm Sunday service with a procession on the sidewalk in front of the Glenwood church.

After worship, Caryn Giltrud, Samantha Giltrud, Emily Hunt, and Christian Sudduth will receive confirmation.

Information: 410-442-1204.

St. Andrew's Episcopal Church, on Route 97 in Glenwood, will have three Palm Sunday services at Union Chapel.

At 8 a.m. and 11: 15 a.m., members celebrate the Liturgy of the Palms, Passion Narrative, and Holy Eucharist.

A family service of Holy Eucharist and Passion Narrative will be read by members of the church school at 9: 15 a.m.

Information: 410-489-4035.

Glenelg band rates high

L Glenelg High School has set another county and state record.

Glenelg High School Symphonic Band, under the direction of Barry Enzman, received superior ratings at the Howard County District Band Adjudication March 7.

This is the 20th consecutive year that Glenelg's Symphonic Band has so impressed the judges.

Enzman says, "The kids did a great job. I appreciate the incredible support this community has given our program over the last 20 years. It's just wonderful to see how well these kids perform under pressure, and how much their parents support them. The community continues the tradition of excellence for the band and for Glenelg."

Set your toes tapping at the Glenelg High School Jazz Band's Annual Campus Concert at 8 p.m. Friday in the school auditorium.

This popular event promises a great evening, full of all types of jazz, including performances by a professional musician and the Glenelg students.

You'll hear music from the Blues Brothers and classic big band jazz to Latin music and swing.

Purchase $5 concert tickets from band members in the front office or at the door.

Information: 410-313-5533.

More young musicians

Many of River Hill High School's instrumental music students participated in last month's Howard County Solo and Ensemble Festival.

Twelve individuals and three groups received superior ratings -- the highest possible.

Josh Richmond, David Adler, and Justin Earp on alto saxophone; Sara Brown on flute, Erin Goins and Melynda McBeth on oboe; Brian Tarricone and Jonathan Cox on trumpet; Jerome Fleg and Laura Henry on clarinet; Russell Popkin on trombone; and Tammy Soh on cello impressed the judges with their outstanding performances.

McBeth and Robin Massie received a superior rating for their viola duet.

Steven Chu, Sebastian Cherng, Soh and McBeth won a superior rating for their string quartet's performance.

Cherng, Soh and Laura Zimmerman also earned a superior rating for their string trio's performance.

A way through


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