RENAE WEATHERS HAS brought a touch of the Orient to Linthicum.
Retired from an Air Force career that took her to Japan and back, Weathers has decorated parts of her home in a way that makes you think you're in the Far East. You enter the house and see a living room and dining room that feature more than just suggestions of the culture.
In this home, the Japanese look includes Shoji screens (sliding rice paper screens) that hide modern windows and a low, lacquered table set for a Japanese tea.
Weathers, 38, had lots of time to learn about the culture while serving three tours of duty for the U.S. Air Force in Misawa Air Base, Japan. While there, she bought the furniture and accessories that are displayed in her home.
If Weathers returns to Japan again, it probably will be for a vacation. A ceremony at Fort Meade marked her retirement Aug. 17 as a master sergeant from the 70th Intelligence Wing. Between assignments to Japan, Weathers spent time at Fort Meade. She was born and raised in Ohio, but after getting to know the area she decided to make Linthicum her home.
"I retired because of my daughter - I want to be around for her more," Weathers said.
Her daughter, Ebonnie, a senior at North County High School, hopes to attend medical school.
While in the service, Weathers served in many different positions, earning medals and commendations. She also earned degrees from the Community College of the Air Force and the University of Maryland.
At her retirement ceremony, Weathers was presented with a large glass-covered box filled with many military decorations. "It is my whole career in a box," she said.
Now, she and her husband, Donald Cooper, will have to find a place to hang it - but she said it won't go in either of the two Japanese rooms.
Cheerleaders win gold
The Maryland Rockets competitive cheering squad, based in Ferndale, recently returned from the Amateur Athletic Union Junior Olympics in Virginia Beach with two gold medals and one silver medal.
The Rockets participate in several competitions throughout the year, but the AAU Junior Olympics might be the biggest and most important of them all. More than 17,000 boys and girls 18 years of age and under participated in the two-day event earlier this month.
Rockets' director Lisa Frendlich said the event is conducted like the international Olympics, only for younger competitors. The event has opening ceremonies, complete with a torch and a parade of athletes set off by state and carrying their flags.
"Ninety kids, their coaches and parents carpooled to Virginia for the national competitions," Frendlich said.
The junior prep team (for children in grades 6 and under) and the senior team (grades nine to 12) won gold medals. The junior team (grades 7-9) won a silver medal.
The Rockets practice from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday at the Gymnastics Elite facility on Airport Park Road in Ferndale.
Group plans lunch
The Ferndale Roadrunners, a group of seniors who spend a lot of time traveling together, also spend time in the neighborhood for meetings and other functions. The group is planning a covered-dish lunch at 11:30 a.m. Thursday at the Ferndale-Linthicum Senior Center, 7205 Baltimore & Annapolis Blvd.
Members and associate members are invited.
The group is also having its annual flea market at the center Sept. 8. Spaces are available for rent. The indoor flea market will run from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Food and drinks will be sold.
Information or rentals: 410-761-0484.
As summer starts to wind down, the Scouts and scoutmasters in Boy Scout Troop 447 are marking the accomplishments of the past few months.
An adult leader recently received a special honor, and 17 Scouts qualified for 60 awards.
Richard Bohonek, committee chairman of the troop, received the Award of Merit. He was selected by a committee of the Four Rivers District of the Boy Scouts of America for service to others. This award was in recognition of his service not only to Scouting, but also to his church and for working with youngsters.
The Scouts of Troop 447, which is sponsored by St. Philip Neri Church, earned most of their awards when they attended summer camp at Broad Creek Memorial Reservation in Harford County. Victor Casamento, assistant scoutmaster, was the acting scoutmaster for the weeklong camping trip.