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Letters to the editor

July 07, 2004

Run for the money


To the editor:

The Washington County tourism board is missing out on a great opportunity to put the city on the map of worldwide attractions.

Since the Running of the Bulls in Pamplona, Spain has been a tradition since Hemingway's time, why not the Running of the Bulls in Hagerstown, Maryland? (Herald-Mail, June 18)

With ESPN televising the event, a dozen bulls would be turned loose at Four States Auction and, trampling anybody in the way, head down Memorial Boulevard to Municipal Stadium.

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There, all the local politicians and thousands of tourists would be sipping margaritas as brave toreadors would hold mock bullfights - no killing allowed - and the world would look on in amazement.

This event would far outdo the Blues Fest and bring millions into local businesses.

I am sharing this idea with the tourism board and humbly ask for no compensation, except 10 percent of the margarita concession.

J. Osborne
Greencastle, Pa.




Fireworks have often sparked controversy


To the editor:

North Potomac Street and Public Square were fireworks battlefields during the early 1930s. Huyett Bakery on the east side of Potomac, across from Bikle's shoe store, was the supply arsenal during the Depression years.

Early on the Fourth of July, the more adventuresome young boys braved the cherry bombs thrown from cars as they made their way to the square. The drivers and high school youths thought it was great fun to target the youngsters. Perhaps the din and ruckus was good training for my class of '40 friends who lost nine classmates in World War II and Korea.

I still remember, after eight decades, not obeying my parents and sneaking a cherry bomb to the back yard on East North Street. Thrown against the house, a small piece of shrapnel hit my left eyebrow, bringing blood and a scolding.

That yearly "fun" and the booming fireworks at the fairgrounds were a fitting celebration of patriotism following the World War I.

Perhaps the recent surge of patriotism might carry into the Washington County schools when they teach history. After all, the county lost two young seamen during the terrorists attack on the USS Cole.

The knowledge of our nation's history is sorely lacking. When I sold Legion poppies on Memorial Day, I got blank stares and no recognition of the poppies or their meaning from two of every three persons (aside from military families). My estimate was verified by a national survey published in a "Dear Abby" column.

I hope my home county had a great July 4 celebration.

Dick Ritter
Arlington, Va.




Shooting program was appreciated


To the editor:

This is a "thumbs up" to the Izaak Walton League for hosting a women's shooting clinic sponsored by the Outdoor Sports Program on Sunday, June 27, from noon until 7 p.m. There were around 20 women ranging in age from young teens to grandmothers who participated in the event.

Three disciplines of shooting were offered and we could try all three or just the ones that we were interested in learning. My daughter and I tried all three - the shotgun, handgun and the .22-caliber rifle. About 15 men from the club volunteered their day to give instructions on the various guns and helping us shoot. They were extremely kind and patient with us and very knowledgeable about the guns. Safety was top priority at every station.

We learned the proper way to stand and hold the shotgun so as not to be knocked over or have our shoulders kicked out of the socket while shooting skeet. It is worth the sore shoulder today to have been able to follow the clay pigeon across the sky and hit it.

The handguns were a favorite with all of the women. There were about 10 different handguns of varying calibers to choose from. Most of us tried varying guns until we found one that "fit."

I liked the revolvers, probably because I grew up watching John Wayne and Clint Eastwood in Westerns. The rifles were a fun challenge as we tried to better our aim at the targets. There was no frustration as the men were quick with hints that helped us hold the gun steady and hit the target. Most of us kept our target papers and will no doubt proudly post them on our refrigerators along with our children's important papers.

The cost for this event was $10 and all of the ammunition and guns were provided, as well as safety goggles and ear protection. They served us dinner and had coolers of drinks at every station. There was a fun relay after dinner with awards of $10 gift certificates to Dick's Sporting Goods for all participants.

Obviously, the group doesn't do this to raise money for the club, but to promote the safe use and handling of guns. Thank you to the Izaak Walton League for hosting the clinic. Thank you, Steve Palmer, for all the work you did in organizing and setting up this event. Thank you to all the volunteers for your instruction and help and kind words of encouragement.

The Outdoor Sports Program will be holding a women's handgun clinic in the fall that, no doubt, will be as fun and even more informative than this event was. I would encourage any women interested to contact Steve Palmer of the Outdoor Sports Program for information on this event.

Marilyn Pryor
Hagerstown

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