Officials cut to heart of the matter

NEIGHBORS

February 18, 2002|By Lisa Breslin | Lisa Breslin,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

WHENEVER I meet a happy couple, I absolutely love to hear about how they met or courted. These stories affirm my faith in healthy relationships and bolster my belief that everyone has a soul mate.

With Valentine's Day cards within sight and flowers cheering folks with a few more days of bloom, Westminster Common Council members have graciously offered to share their "How We Met" stories for one more Valentine's Day hurrah.

Damian Halstad: "I chased Leigh until she caught me. We met in law school, but she wouldn't date me until she passed the bar exam. We walked to the Middleton Tavern on Annapolis' harbor and she talked for five hours while I stared at her, amazed at how women can, at will, become luminous."

Tom Ferguson: "Sandy and I were married on October 10, 1964, so we're closing in on 38 years and the story on how we met is pretty funny.

"I have a twin brother, Jerry, who was dating a close friend of Sandy's at the time. I was in the U.S. Air Force stationed at Andrews Air Force Base outside of Washington, D.C. Jerry was also in the Air Force, stationed at nearby Fort Myers, Va.

"Now, my brother had gotten to know Sandy and her parents pretty well through the girl he was dating, and because he had a car, he ran these two girls around when he was home on weekends. I actually think Sandy was a little smitten with Jerry, and when she learned he had a look-alike brother, she and her friend cooked up a scheme for us to meet.

"Now here is the thing: Her father was OK with his little girl being chauffeured around by this Air Force guy because he wasn't chasing after his daughter. You see, [my brother] and I were 19 at the time and Sandy was not yet 16, and there was no way her father was about to let her get involved with an older military guy. But something had to be done, thus a bizarre scheme was cooked up between Sandy, her girlfriend, and my brother.

"They arranged for this blind double date, but her father thought this was just going to be another time when Jerry was to be hauling the girls to and fro. So on the appointed evening, whilst I hid in the back seat of the car, my brother goes to the front door of the house to pick up my date. All was well, because my future father-in-law assumed this was an innocent and benign evening of friendship. Had he known his little girl was heading into the clutches of this older guy, who was in the military no less, he would have had a stroke.

"This fraud was perpetrated for some time until Sandy decided that she had to come clean and was willing to risk that her father wouldn't whip out the old 12-gauge and run me off.

"One last note. I think it was on our second or third date (actually, we were still double-dating because she hadn't quite made up her mind about me yet) that I learned that she was celebrating a birthday and I congratulated her on turning 18. Everyone in the car burst out in hysterics at this display of ignorance.

"To my horror, I had just learned that the girl I had been sneaking out on dates had just turned 16. I had been dating a 15-year-old; I was certain that I was going to jail or worse. Anyhow, that's my story and I'm sticking with it."

Suzanne Albert: Charles Albert was a senior at Westminster High School while Suzanne was a junior. Charles played center on their basketball team and he caught her eye.

One summer, they were swimming at Frock's Farm - a restaurant, reception hall and swimming pool complex on Bond Street in Westminster - and Charles said he would like to call for a dinner date. Charles, a junior at WMC, drove to Baltimore in his '31 Model Ford Roadster to take student nurse Suzanne to dinner.

They fell in love in six months and married three years later on Suzanne's birthday.

Photojournalism exhibition

Carroll County Arts Council will present a 20th-century print and photojournalism exhibition in its gallery tomorrow through March 30 to celebrate Women's History Month.

The exhibition, called Mrs. Miller's Maryland: The Lady from Leslie's, features articles and photographs by Sadie Kneller Miller, one of the few female photojournalists at the turn of the last century.

Miller was the granddaughter of Henry W. Dell, a prominent lumber merchant and one of the first trustees of the Old Methodist Church. In an article about her published in the Baltimore American in 1907, she is described as "a woman with great wit, a sense of humor, [an] attractive and feminine woman, self reliant, with an absence of fear and an indomitable resolution."

"When you see photos of Sadie Miller on horseback, and you learn that film traveled for hours on a steamship in order to let people know what was happening in other parts of the world, you realize how complicated it must have been to communicate news before the days of e-mail and JPEG files," said Sandy Oxx, executive director of the arts council. "We take the news process for granted now that we have live-action shots and instant photos from Afghanistan."

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