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Around Hancock

January 08, 2009|By ANNE WEATHERHOLT / 301-678-6888

A town 'on the edge'



Our town sits on many dividing lines between states, between river and mountains, and between weather systems.

A few years ago, some local prognosticators claimed that the new I-68 "cut" through Sideling Hill Mountain had affected our weather adversely, causing a local drought.

No such luck this winter with system upon system barreling through with precipitation soaking into the water table. We are "on the edge" in Hancock in more ways than one, however.

The combination of temperate water and high hills means we share systems with towns to our east, while always subject to getting possibilities of weather from the west.

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Not nearly as cold as Frostburg, we are sometimes accused by "Baltimoreans" of getting more than our share of snow and ice; but not as warm as cities in the larger eastern valleys which enjoy the weather break of mountain ranges.

We are a confused area where ice sits on metal but not on grass, and where winds funnel along the river valley, sweeping in circles up through town.

On the edge means unpredictability is the normal way; on the edge means a risk but possible adventure every day; on the edge breeds heartiness in the souls that thrive on getting out to breathe the air each day. 2009 puts a lot of people on the edge, but I look forward to another year of local news reports about good events and the great quality of small town life.

All you folks from Hancock, please send me your news. My e-mail address is AnneWeath@aol.com.

Square dancing comes this month



Here's an example of what I mean: Square dancing comes to Hancock this month.

One of the most popular forms of dancing in America, the square dance will come to Hancock on Saturday, Jan. 17. That's when the Hancock Arts Council hosts its first square dance in the Hancock Town Hall auditorium at 7 p.m.

Calling for the dance will be done by John Hood, well-known bluegrass and gospel musician and square dance caller for more than 30 years. Musical accompaniment for the dance will be provided by the Newtown Ramblers from Stephens City, Va.

Arts Council President Sinclair Hamilton said Hood will call a combination of Western Squares and Appalachian Circle dances and each dance will be taught before the dance set. Couples dancing will also take place between called sets. As a finale, Hood will call and the Newton Ramblers will perform the Virginia Reel, a favorite double-line dance with plenty of interaction.

Admission to the dance will cost $5 per person, and soft drinks will be sold. According to Hamilton, all proceeds from the event will help the Arts Council to deliver future cultural and community programs in Hancock.

For more information or to reach the Hancock Arts Council, e-mail Sinclair Hamilton at sinclairhamilton@verizon.net or call 301-678-5719.

A town 'on the edge'



Our town sits on many dividing lines between states, between river and mountains, and between weather systems.

A few years ago, some local prognosticators claimed that the new I-68 "cut" through Sideling Hill Mountain had affected our weather adversely, causing a local drought.

No such luck this winter with system upon system barreling through with precipitation soaking into the water table. We are "on the edge" in Hancock in more ways than one, however.

The combination of temperate water and high hills means we share systems with towns to our east, while always subject to getting possibilities of weather from the west.

Not nearly as cold as Frostburg, we are sometimes accused by "Baltimoreans" of getting more than our share of snow and ice; but not as warm as cities in the larger eastern valleys which enjoy the weather break of mountain ranges.

We are a confused area where ice sits on metal but not on grass, and where winds funnel along the river valley, sweeping in circles up through town.

On the edge means unpredictability is the normal way; on the edge means a risk but possible adventure every day; on the edge breeds heartiness in the souls that thrive on getting out to breathe the air each day. 2009 puts a lot of people on the edge, but I look forward to another year of local news reports about good events and the great quality of small town life.

All you folks from Hancock, please send me your news. My e-mail address is AnneWeath@aol.com.

Masonic lodge elects new officers



The James Bowers Masonic Lodge of Hancock installed new officers for 2009 this past Monday evening.

They include: Jesse M. Mills, worshipful master; Richard A. Barlup, senior warden; John J. Pennesi, junior warden; H. Lynn Stahle, senior deacon; Donnie Bishop, junior deacon; Dean L. Smith, senior steward; Kale E. Martin, junior steward; Clarence W. Smith, secretary; William E. Whiteside, treasurer; James E. Shaw, chaplain; and Maynard C. Spade, tyler.

Winter Festival set for Feb. 14



If there isn't snow, we'll make it for the annual Winter Festival to be held in Hancock on Valentine's Day (Feb. 14) this year.

This mid-winter festival has been a great pick-me-up for the local community and brings out the artist in all with highly creative snow sculptures and critters. Put the date on your calendars right now and plan to spend the morning in Widmeyer Park before taking your honey out for dinner.

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