Letters to the Editor - April 29

April 29, 2012

Pageant director thanks all who helped

To the editor:

As executive of Smithsburg’s 2012 inaugural scholarship pageant, I am thrilled to report this event was a stunning success, thanks to the support and participation of so many members of this generous community.

My sincere thanks go to Andrew, Janice, Diana, Wayne, Kara and Brynn, who believed in and supported this event from its infancy.

A very special “thank you” goes to Leitersburg Volunteer Fire Department for serving as hosts for the pageant (April 7).

Special thanks to our sponsors, including Haugh & Associates; Ramius Entertainment; Food Lion; Smithsburg Market; Four Seasons Florist; The Columbia Bank; Music & Arts; Village Emporium; DRL Properties LLC; and The Greene Turtle.

Many thanks to my family and friends who helped ensure the success of this inaugural event, including Mark and Laura, Malisa and Andy, Kelly and Eric and family, Ethan, my light guy, Leah and Sheryl, Scott, Corey and friend (my security/handholders), Donna Hobson, Miss White Oak and family. I am so grateful for their efforts in making the event enjoyable for all who attended

I’m humbled by the overwhelming support I received for this event and am hopeful that participants, volunteers, contestants and judges enjoyed this event as much as I did. I could not have done it without you all.

Tina M. Stephens, executive director
Miss Smithsburg Scholarship Pageant

Cultural opportunites abound in this area

To the editor:

I was born and grew up in Hagerstown, leaving in the mid-1940s for employment.  After a brief time in Washington, D.C., I spent 34 years in Illinois, then nearly 30 years in upstate New York near Syracuse, and living in Illinois and New York gave me a greater appreciation for Hagerstown. Reading Art Callaham’s recent column reinforces a belief I have had since returning here following retirement five years ago: The rich cultural opportunities offered in this area are phenomenal and, I feel, greatly underappreciated by many residents.

Mr. Callaham’s story about the Hagerstown Municipal Band brings to mind the late 1930s when the YMCA Band was prominent. At a time when we were in a depression, Professor Edwin C. Partridge, a consummate British bandmaster, and the YMCA Band offered a priceless opportunity for children, beginning in sixth grade and continuing through high school. Keep in mind this was prior to instrumental music being offered in the public schools.

For 25 cents a week, children were able to use an instrument belonging to the band, and after a year of weekly practice at the YMCA in the “Beginner’s Band,” with the purchase of a white shirt and trousers, black tie, belt, and shoes, and the loan of a red and gold cape and overseas cap, became members of the regular band. We gave Wednesday evening concerts in the band shell at the City Park during the summer, marched in the Halloween parade and other local parades, gave a mid-winter concert on the stage at The Maryland Theatre and appeared on the bandstand at carnivals in various surrounding towns. Probably the highlight was an appearance at the White House for a concert for President Roosevelt. This golden opportunity introduced good music to many children whose families would never have been able to afford this for them.

Even in those early days, the Washington County Museum of Fine Arts was in existence at the City Park and offered Saturday morning art classes and events for children of the community. Especially by comparison with former places of residence, I never cease to be amazed at the cultural opportunities in this area.

Mary Louise Varner Rosborough

Let’s find a way to keep baseball in Hagerstown

To the editor:

Washington County has built and maintains a whole network of county parks. Hagerstown has likewise built and maintains a whole network of parks within the city. Why can’t we now pull together and find a way to build one multi-use stadium that we could all enjoy and keep professional baseball in Hagerstown?

For many, many, many generations, semi-pro and professional baseball has been a very integral part of this community. Many baseball greats have played ball in Hagerstown. Let’s keep the tradition alive!

Doris J. Doub

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