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Cool, wet weather alters some plans

May 27, 2003|By SCOTT BUTKI and DAVE MCMILLION

scottb@herald-mail.com and charlestown@herald-mail.com

The weather in the Tri-State area on Memorial Day disrupted some people's plans but others just worked around it.

According to the Internet site of weather observer Greg Keefer, the city of Hagerstown had 0.7 inch of rain Monday.

Despite the dismal forecast, Ray White of Keedysville said his family decided to have a picnic at City Park.

What about the rain?

"Oh, it's been raining every day," White said. "Not too many Memorial Days, though, when you have to wear a jacket," he said.

His wife, Cheryl, noted a benefit of the weather: Less sun means you don't have to worry as much about wearing sunscreen, she said.

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Sitting nearby, a group of five adults and six children had a picnic on tables.

The adults figured, "let's get the kids out of the houses," said Dorothy McDermott of Falling Waters, W.Va.

The park also provides a place for the children to get some exercise, said Steve Brown of Spring Mills near Falling Waters.

Ranae Elekes of Falling Waters said she prefers the weekend's weather, cool and sometimes raining, to hot and dry as in past years.

"This is much more comfortable," said Linda Brown, wife of Steve Brown.

Potterfield Pool, along with other area pools, was closed due to rain.

Nearby, at the National Little League field, a father and son looked longingly at the baseball diamond.

"The weather is playing havoc with the schedule," said Jay Sutherland, vice president of the league.

Five games will need to be rescheduled due to the rain, he said.

His son, Jason Sutherland, 14, was scheduled to play in a game Monday night. Instead, for the third time, the PONY League game will have to be rescheduled due to rain, he said.

"I want to play but this is getting old," he said.

He also had planned to go swimming, but that was before the pool was closed, he said.

At Pangborn Park, a group of friends had a picnic by a grill, even though they were getting wet in the rain.

"We decided to brave it," said David Greek, who was cooking hot dogs and hamburgers on the grill.

"It is fun. It gets you out of the house," said Tina Kramer, who was wearing a jacket and hood.

By Monday afternoon, the sun had broken through the clouds and a steady stream of visitors milled around War Memorial Park in Martinsburg, W.Va.

Kids and adults played on the miniature golf course, lined up at the concession stand, enjoyed picnics and played basketball, softball and volleyball.

"It's good for everything but swimming," said Steve Catlett, director of the Martinsburg-Berkeley County Parks and Recreation Board.

When the day started at only 66 degrees, park officials decided to keep the park's pool closed, Catlett said.

Catlett said park officials usually like to wait until the temperatures get into the 70s before opening the pool.

The pool was open Saturday and Sunday with light business, Catlett said.

Although temperatures are expected to be in the 60s this week, they could climb into the 70s by the weekend, hopefully generating some swimming weather, Catlett said.

The closed pool was a bit of a disappointment to some park goers, but they improvised.

James Orndoff said he and his family took advantage of the miniature golf course. Orndoff, of Martinsburg, was enjoying the day with about 30 family members.

He said his family has a Memorial Day picnic at the park every year.

"If the pool was open, we would be down there," Orndoff said as he glided back and forth on a swing with his daughter Emily.

John Gibson said he was just making a short trip to the park. Gibson, of Falling Waters, said his children had to do something after being cooped up during the rain.

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