Turtle pays visit to Old Frederick Rd. couple 50 years ago [History Matters]

100 Years Ago

Hospital hospitality

From the Sykesville column:

"Miss Janet Sprecher, who was operated upon at the Maryland University Hospital three weeks ago, will return to her home this week, much improved in health."

They kept people in the hospital much, much longer back then, even if the ailment wasn't considered serious. In fact, new mothers were kept there for at least a week post-partum. From Brits I've  heard that those long maternity stays in Western nations were shortened after the London Blitz of World War II. At that time at understaffed hospitals, women had to get out of bed sooner than they normally would have to tend to their own babies. What was learned from this change is that the mothers actually recuperated faster.

75 Years Ago

Fishing, but no swimming

Notices in the Times:

"Fishing trips Available For Rod and Gun Club:

Headed by Stanley Cole, a party of the Dr. William B. Gambrill Rod and Gun Club members will try their skill, or luck, on bass and catfish on a trip to the Potomac.

The party leaves Mr. Cole's residence, at Highland about 3 p.m. Saturday, July 16. Those expecting to stay overnight should bring camping equipment."

"Youths Warned To Keep Away From Ilchester Pool

Constable Frank Miller has issued a warning to the public concerning the use of the swimming pool at Ilchester College. Mr. Miller points out that the pool is private property and no trespassing will be tolerated.

Last week a group of boys were observed swimming in the pool. A number of statues were broken and mutilated. Mr. Miller says he has warned the youths guilty of the misdemeanor and will henceforth strictly enforce the law. citizens of Ilchester are asked to cooperate in the matter."   

50 Years Ago

Reptiles in the news

Times ads: 

"Etna Liquors; Normandy Shp. Ctr.-  Open July 4th -  Holiday Weekend Specials: Ice Cold Keg Beer.

Dick Healey Has Steamed Crabs; Steamed on Premises, Healey's Place, Frederick Road, foot of Nine Mile Hill; Open 8 a.m to 2 a.m.

 "Mr. and Mrs. Fred Sisson and daughter Mary Sue of Harding Rd. recently enjoyed a weekend in Ocean City, Md."

 And a news brief: "Unexpected Caller

"Mr. and Mrs. James Riddle, Jr., Old Frederick Road, recently had an unexpected caller in the form of a 5 inch turtle, neatly emblazoned, Darl Collins. The pet terrapin of young master Collins strayed from his Woodstock home last April, and apparently had crept many an arduous mile before turning up at the Riddle home. Boy and turtle will shortly be reunited."

That latter item reminds me of Floyd, an iguana who ran away from his Main Street Ellicott City home several years ago and whose flight brought forth much press. I, too, covered this hot story, looking for leads and interviewing sources all over town for this earth-shattering reptile drama, hoping to call an editor with a "Stop the presses — Floyd is found". Alas, his owners had not emblazoned his name on his body, so it was much longer than a day and a night of the iguana hunt. He wasn't recovered until a few weeks, and many news cycles later.

If memory serves, he was found lounging quietly near Cocoa Lane restaurant appearing nonchalant and unconcerned about the massive reptile hunt on his behalf.  

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