'Lost Laurel' exhibit found by returning old friends [Old Town Laurel]

Old Town was teaming with excitement as the arrival date for the opening of the "Lost & Found Laurel" exhibit, Feb. 9, was upon us. Memorabilia adorned every nook, cranny and wall of the Laurel Museum, wherever space permitted.

As the overflow crowd streamed in and out of the building all afternoon, the space grew seemingly smaller and smaller. Groups gathered out-of-doors or in the basement gift shop, sharing their own, very personal Laurel stories, and chatting with old friends; many had not seen each other in decades.

As reminiscences were bantered about, it was realized that perhaps the grandest thing in the room, unseen to the naked eye, was the memories we carry in our hearts and minds of our beloved town.

A tray from Tastee Freez made taste buds tingle, everyone wishing for just "one more roast beef sandwich" or "dipped ice cream cone."

School letter jackets and jerseys hung on walls, reminding us not only of "the thrill of victory," but also the "agony of defeat."

The most popular phrases of the day seemed to be "I remember when," or "I used to work there."

Collector and curator of all things pertaining to Lost Laurel, Richard Friend, will be on hand for a talk and book signing Thursday, March 13 at 7 p.m., in the meeting room at the Laurel Municipal Pool at Ninth and Main streets.

There is no charge to attend the lecture. His book, Lost Laurel: Revisiting the Vanishing Retailers of Laurel, Maryland, will be available for purchase at the event. Books are $40 each.

"Every year," said Old Town resident Joanna Diabe, "as part of giving back, we travel to a third world country to do missions work." Recently Diabe and her daughter, Utopia, went to Haiti.

Not long after returning from the island nation, they received word that the school they visited, Camp Perrin, had collapsed. Thirty students were injured.

The St. Mary of the Mills student, who celebrated her birthday Jan. 27, decided to forego the annual celebration. Instead, she asked that a fundraiser be held to help in the effort to make repairs to the damaged house of learning.

Upon receiving a budget from officials, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit was established to accept funds and disperse receipts for tax deductions. If you would like to assist this serious youngster in her efforts, go to gofundme.com/67aegg

After our recent double dose of snow, we are all, no doubt, hoping for an early spring. The crack of the bat against the threaded hide of the baseball will soon be a welcome sound!

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