Around Hancock

September 11, 2008|By ANNE WEATHERHOLT / 301-678-6888

A day to remember, reflect

Today is a day for prayerful remembrance and reflection. 

Seven years ago this morning, some folks around Hancock noticed a jet plane which seemed to be off-course, much too low, almost like it was getting ready to land. 

It circled overhead, banked, then headed off to the northwest. 

Only hours later came the stunning news -- this same jet plane had been headed for Washington, in the wake of another which had slammed into the Pentagon. 

It crashed not long after in a farm field in Pennsylvania, just a few hours drive from Hancock. 

The entire area, along with the nation, was in crisis mode. 

Schools and businesses closed as the terrifying images of New York's Twin Towers burning, then collapsing, were played on all television stations.  It seemed impossible that airplanes had been turned into weapons of terror.  Since Sept. 11, 2001, we have all become more vigilant (I recently had to surrender a jar of jelly before boarding a plane with carry-on luggage. Airport security is strict.) 


We think more about making emergency plans for evacuation, or in our case, for receiving evacuees. 

Hancock has had plenty of practice in helping. I recall two different groups of young people stranded here by broken down busses.  One was a church youth group from Minnesota; the other was a school wrestling team from another county here in Maryland.  We have often housed and fed folks who came in off the Interstates when a severe snowstorm hit.  You read all about our efforts to help during the recent police standoff at the U.S. 522 Bridge.  Our hospitality is legendary.  Let's hope that each time it is tested, we can rise to the occasion.


Panthers at home Friday

Hancock High School Athletic Director Bill Sterner tells me some changes have been necessary in the school's fall varsity football schedule.  As a result, the Panthers will host their second home game of the season Friday night.  The visiting team will be from nearby St. James School, and kickoff time is at 7 p.m. at Coach Paul Imphong Field.


Canal-Apple Days

Hancock's 32nd Annual Canal-Apple Days Festival is almost upon us.  Everybody, come on up to our town this Saturday morning as a Grand Parade kicks off this great weekend.  

The award-winning Hancock Middle-Senior High School Panthers Band, guided by new Band Director Scott Benford, will lead the 11 a.m. procession.  The marchers will proceed west along Main Street from near the Park-n-Dine Restaurant straight to Widmeyer Park.  There, festival goers will find two days of local crafts, music and delicious food. 

The Lions Club and Lionesses always present a great program for our town, bringing folks downtown and then together for an enjoyable weekend.  New this year will be the "Touch a Truck" event for kids.  Heavy trucks, tractors, police equipment and race cars will all be on display for young and old alike to inspect and enjoy. 

The first 70 kids to the scene will each receive a free T-shirt, courtesy of Beth and Jeff Hull, who operate Design Creations in Hagerstown. Look for the ladies of St. Peter and St. Patrick Catholic churches, who will again have their famous apple dumplings for sale. Mosey on by the booths sponsored by area clubs and churches and stop by the food vendors -- Hancock Fire Co., Lions, etc. -- for something good to eat.  Oh, and when the fun resumes on Sunday afternoon, don't forget the annual baby contest, which begins at 1:30 p.m. at one of the playground pavilions. 


Breakfast in the Park

The James W. Bowers Masonic Lodge of Hancock will offer a great start to Saturday's festivities. While the Lions are busy with parade preparations and their great barbecued chicken, the Masons will serve up their version of Breakfast in the Park.

Set out your chair along the parade route downtown, then stroll or drive to the Lions' Pavilion in the park for breakfast, which costs $6 for adults, and $3 for children 6 to 12. Serving hours will be 7 to 10 a.m. All proceeds help the Masonic Lodge with their charitable gifts which benefit the local community.   

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