Glen Burnie graduates get high marks for their dedication to reunions


May 19, 2002|By Rosalie Falter | Rosalie Falter,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

WHEN THESE friends say they go way back, they mean way back - at least 69 years.

They attended Glen Burnie High School together and graduated in 1937. Several of the 150 graduates who live in the area get together regularly to plan reunions for their class. To the best of their knowledge, they are the only class that has held reunions consistently since graduation.

The most recent one was held May 9 at Snyder's Willow Grove restaurant. Twenty-four classmates attended the 65th reunion. Some were accompanied by spouses and family members.

Mary Lord Berwager, thought to be the graduates' only surviving teacher, also attended.

"She was just a couple of years older than we were and right out of college when she came to Glen Burnie High School to teach music," said Elizabeth Terifay (nee Heibler), a member of the planning committee.

Henry Hein, believed to be the only 1937 graduate who was born in Glen Burnie and never lived elsewhere, was the master of ceremonies. Most who attended the reunion live in the Glen Burnie, Pasadena and Linthicum areas. But Ralph Celia came from Florida and received recognition as the classmate who traveled the greatest distance to the event. He is credited with organizing the first reunion after World War II ended.

Doretta (Farinholt) Law and Terifay said they were disappointed that Max Shroeder was prevented from attending the reunion because of emergency surgery. He is a celebrity among his classmates because he landed on Normandy Beach during World War II. He was the chairman of the planning committee before he moved out of state.

"I went over each person at the reunion and thought, `After all these years, no one's personality has changed. Everyone is still the same,'" Law said of her classmates.

Terifay said, "The planning committee schedules large formal reunions every five years, but since we are not as young as we used to be, it was decided that we should meet more often. So every year we meet informally at a local restaurant, and we never know who is going to show up."

On the planning committee are Terifay, Hein, Law, Tom Clark and his wife, Elaine, Claude Giles, Erna (Barling) Gillece, and Bill Meseke and his wife, Becky. Elaine Clark and Becky Meseke were not in the graduating class, but they help their husbands with the planning.

The committee meets at members' homes and especially likes going to the Laws' house and the Mesekes' house because Doretta Law and Becky Meseke, both good cooks, prepare lunch for them.

"No one talks about any aches and pains - we just laugh a lot," Terifay said

For each five-year reunion, attendees receive a handmade favor that the committee has worked on for days. This year's favor incorporated a typical Maryland symbol: Crab shells were painted red, with the letters "GBHS" and the dates "'37-'02" written on the top.

"Everyone was tickled when we told them to turn it over and they saw a copy of their photo from the yearbook on the inside," Terifay said. A gold string attached to the top makes the favor easy to hang. Some said they would hang theirs on their Christmas trees.

Whether making favors or other plans for reunions, the committee seems to like getting together most. Reminiscing about the past and enjoying each other's company is what keeps this group together.

Tobacco-Free kids

Jenna Rittenhouse, a fourth-grader at Ferndale Elementary School, and Marissa Le from Hilltop Elementary School were named winners in a countywide poster contest held during the recent Tobacco-Free Kids Week. Featuring anti-smoking messages, the girls' posters were among 23 winners chosen from hundreds of entries.

Jenna's drawing depicts a horse stamping out a pack of cigarettes with its hoofs, with the caption, "No horsing around, smoking kills."

Health room assistant Felicia Grimm said Jenna's picture was chosen by the pupils as the best from Ferndale school. "She did an excellent drawing," Grimm said.

Hilltop nurse Kimberly Young said Marissa created a before-and-after drawing: happy kids before they started smoking, and then a scene of a graveyard.

The winning posters are displayed on the "Showcase" page of the Department of Health's "Smoking Stinks" Web site, Winners also received certificates and "Smoking Stinks" T-shirts.

Tobacco-Free Kids Week is sponsored by the Anne Arundel County Department of Health's "Learn To Live" cancer-prevention program.

New board of directors

At its general membership meeting May 8, the Linthicum-Shipley Improvement Association elected its 2002-2003 board of directors. Most of the board returned, with a new secretary.

This year's officers are: Mike Daniel, president; Rik Forgo, vice president; Shelley Martin, secretary; and Bill Mueller, treasurer. The directors are Bob Barrows, Dan Bennett, Glen Haller, Tom Holland, Will Hubbard, Janice Shriver, Marge Smith and Karen Storey.

Mayfair on Wednesday

It is time again for the annual Mayfair sponsored by Patapsco Valley AARP Chapter 3850. It will run from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Wednesday at St. Christopher's Episcopal Church, 116 Marydell Road.

Members will offer lunch, baked goods, books, candy, Christmas items, crafts and country store items. Also featured will be jewelry, lemon sticks, plants, raffles for Orioles tickets, dinner at Snyder's Willow Grove and an afghan.

All proceeds will benefit community projects.

Information: Paul Bagley, 410-255-2601.

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