Havre de Grace: Toss a silver dollar across the Susquehanna in honor of Washington

Happy President's Day, dear readers.

Monday, Feb. 18 is the official observance, but President George Washington's birthday is Feb. 22. Slice that cheery pie from Goll's Bakery, 234 North Washington Street, 410-939-4321 and toss a silver dollar across the Susquehanna River in tribute to the Father of our country, in celebration.


Heritage Day/Family Day will be celebrated in Canada, our northern neighbor, Feb. 18.

Feb. 20, 1792 is the official date when President Washington established the U.S. Postal Service. Three cheers for our great Havre de Grace postal employees!

February is Snack Food Month. Anyone in need may snack at Grace Place Serving Center at St. John's Episcopal Church, 114 North Union Place, 410-939-2107 for its regular Tuesday luncheon from11:15 a.m. to 12:30 p.m, Feb. 19. Volunteers will provide a free, hot meal to those who enter.

Terri Glenn want you to know that the Havre de Grace Senior Activity Center on Lewis Lane, 410-939-5121 will host: jewelry workshop, Feb. 19, 1 p.m., $15 fee; create a bird feeder, Feb. 21, 11 a.m.; Bingo, Feb. 22, 1 p.m., 25 cents per card; Lighthouse cafe, Feb. 25, 9:30 a.m. Center is closed Monday, Feb. 18.

Happy birthday wishes to: Pat Allingham (Feb. 2), Jack Schaffer (Feb. 9), Amy Weitzel, Katelynn McClaskey (Feb. 11),Jim Rudolph, Mira Owens (Feb. 15); Julian Datesman (Feb. 18),Abigail Transparenti (Feb. 21) and Steve Saltzgiver (Feb. 22).

Happy belated anniversary wishes to George and Janine McClaskey (Feb. 2) and George and Cathy Deibel (Feb. 15). Congratulations to all!

Jess Bousa informed me that Good Cause (806 South Union Avenue, Havre de Grace, 410-916-7770, and the second annual "Snowflake" dinner banquet on Feb. 22 at 6 p.m. in St. Patrick's Fellowship Hall on Pennington Avenue. Catered by Olive Tree Restaurant, appetizers and desserts included, the banquet features silent and live auctions, live entertainment and guest speaker Havre de Grace Mayor Wayne Dougherty. Tickets are $35 and may be purchased by phoning Megan Hill, 443-243-3058.

It's not too early to collect those items for the ninth community wide yard sale, April 27 (rain date April 28). To participate and list your location, or to rent a space for $10, contact me at 410-939-6562 or the visitor center, 410-939-2100. We will help advertise the event/yard sale for you!

Did you forget St. Valentine Day, Feb. 14? Oh my, make it up with a Valentine's dinner planned for Feb. 16,, 5:30-7 p.m. at the Havre de Grace American Legion Post 47, 501 St. John Street, 410-939-0234. The menu includes filet mignon, crab cake, potatoes, vegetables and dessert for $20 per person. Reservations must be made in advance – so phone now!

Valentine's Day may have you thinking of chocolate and February is National Chocolate Month. Well-known chocoholics of the past include Casanova, Thomas Jefferson, Marie Antoinette, Voltaire, Goethe, Napoleon and Hitler. Chocolate's most avid consumers are the Swiss at 22 pounds per person annually. Americans eat 10 pounds per person annually after the Austrians, Dutch and Norwegians (10); the Swedes, British, Irish Belgians and Germans (15); the French, and Finnish (11). Women eat 22 times more chocolate than men!

Indulge your chocolate sweet tooth at Bomboy's Home Made Candies, 322 Market Street (410-939-2924); or Lyon's Pharmacy, 328 St. John Street (410-939-4545).

To justify your chocolate fetish, tell others that 70 percent of the world's cocoa (1.36 million tons yearly) comes from Ghana (the largest producer), Nigeria, Ivory Coast and Cameroon, all in West Africa. The cocoa belt in the Americans includes Brazil, Ecuador, Guatemala, Dominican Republic, Nicaragua, Panama, Costa Rica, Trinidad and Venezuela.

Classified by the great Swedish botanist, Linnaeus as Theobroma cocoa or "Food of the Gods," cacao trees grew wild in the oleates of Amazon and Aaronic rivers as far back as 4,000 B.C. Historians assume the Mayans transplanted these evergreens to the Yucatan Peninsula by 600 A.D. The Aztecs believed cacao was a gift from the feathered serpent god of light, Quetzalcoatl. Then, Spanish explorers Christopher Columbus and Hernando Cortez brought the cacao and recipes for using it back to Europe. Europeans concocted the drinks and candies we crave.

May your week be filled with chocolate! Keep me in touch a 410-939-6562 or 226 North Union Avenue. See ya!