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Funkstown man crafts ornament designs

November 12, 2007|By MARLO BARNHART

FUNKSTOWN - To Jeff Cooper, drawing is an avocation and a passion.

This year for Olde Tyme Christmas in Funkstown, Cooper has designed the seventh in a series of commemorative Christmas ornaments.

"This year, the scene will be the two-lane stone bridge over the Antietam Creek," Cooper said. A trolley also will be featured on the cream-colored ornament.

Olde Tyme Christmas will be Friday, Dec. 7.

There will be a Christmas parade at 7 p.m. from Monument of the Soldier west on Baltimore Street to the fire hall. Santa Claus will ride on a firetruck in the parade.

Activities at Funkstown Town Hall are from 6 to 9 p.m., including a performance by E. Russell Hicks Middle School band members.

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There will be a craft show at the fire hall from 6 to 9 p.m. A hot roast beef open-faced sandwich dinner starts at 5 p.m. also at the fire hall, at a cost of $6.

Hayrides from Town Hall will start from 6 to 8:45 p.m. at a cost of $3 for adults, $2 for ages 11 and younger. For more information, call Rose at 301-739-4212.

A native of Baltimore, Cooper and his wife, Jean, have lived in Funkstown for nearly 20 years. They have four children ranging in age from 8 to 19.

"It's great here," Cooper said. "We just love our neighbors."

All his life, Cooper said he has enjoyed drawing, mostly sketches.

"The committee came to me and asked for sketches for a commemorative Christmas ornament back in 2001," Cooper said.

The designs have included Town Hall; the old mill that used to be behind the fire hall; the old school, also gone now; a historic house at 35 W. Baltimore St.; the war memorial; and then last year, Walnut Hill.

"That last one was incorrectly called Edmar Manor, but it is really Walnut Hill," Cooper said.

While unsure of the cost of this year's ornament or the number that were ordered, Cooper said in the past they have sold for $7.50.

"I do this each year because I like to draw," Cooper said. "I once thought about being a commercial artist or an industrial designer."

Except for last year's, all of the ornaments have been signed by Cooper - some openly and others in tricky, out-of-the-way spots.

"You have to look for them," he said.

An employee of Washington County, Cooper was in the U.S. Navy for six years, stationed in Virginia Beach, Va.

For the past five years, Rich Gaver and his wife, Rose, have co-chaired the event.

Things got off a little slowly this year but picked up when volunteers and sponsors came on board, Gaver said.

St. Paul's Lutheran Church will be open from 6 to 9 p.m. and will feature performances by guest organists.The Town Hall will be the hub of many of the Olde Tyme Christmas activities, including sales of a cookbook containing Alice Snodderly's red velvet cake recipe, the wagon rides beginning and ending there, homemade cookies and other treats.The town gives $500, Gaver said. With that, the committee must rent wagons, pay for entertainment, refreshments and decorations, and buy the components to make several thousand luminarias.

Most of the town's many shops will be open throughout the evening to accommodate visitors.

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