Good neighbors

Ellicott City: A community joins together to make sure victims of Main Street fire can rebound.

Bright Lights

November 24, 1999

ELVIS SHOWED up in Ellicott City last week to give Bill and Carole Sachs the shirt off his back. The young man didn't give his last name, but he became the spirit of Main Street.

He pulled up a few days after a $2 million fire drove the Sachses from their shop, Spring House Designs. He wrapped figurines in his scarf, his hat and then his shirt. He came with his tools and his truck several nights last week. He had skills to lend.

"This is my town," he said -- as if that were explanation enough.

He was one of many who saw what they could do and did it.

A funeral home owner offered storage space in his garage. A family made their basement available. First Evangelical Lutheran Church, at Frederick and Chatham roads, provided space for a fire sale that continues through Saturday.

"We get home at night and the phone is filled with messages," Carole Sachs says. "Angels are coming out of the woodwork," said her daughter, Lisa Thompson. Cards and letters, flowers and bakery goods pour in. Angels, Elvis, the good people of Ellicott City and beyond.

Call them what you will. We think of them as neighbors, anonymous heroes who want it that way -- Bright Lights, indeed. When we say our prayers of Thanksgiving, we should remember them.

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