Elkridge Furnace Inn launches a farmers market

Dan Wecker, chef and owner of the Elkridge Furnace Inn, has launched a farmers market.
Dan Wecker, chef and owner of the Elkridge Furnace Inn, has launched a farmers market. (Phil Grout/Baltimore Sun Media Group)

Dan Wecker, chef and owner of the Elkridge Furnace Inn, has launched a farmers market on Wednesdays from 1 to 5 p.m. and Saturdays and Sundays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. All items are grown or produced at the inn or are locally sourced.

Featured items include produce, meats, pastries and brewed beverages. Wecker has the market set up following guidelines for safety during the coronavirus pandemic. The market will continue until April 26.


Congratulations on the creative way of making a farmers market healthy and safe. The inn is also available for carryout orders while all dining rooms are closed.

Even during the pandemic, with all the confusion and changes to our daily lives, there is still joy and reason to celebrate, even if it’s not how we are used to doing it.


The Watson-Zour family has had a lot of joy lately.

Tim and Rachel Watson are thrilled about their daughter Sloane Mackenzie born on March 10. Big brother Gavin is also excited to have little sister Sloane as part of the family. Tim is the son of Don and Robin Watson of Old Washington Road and is a Baltimore city firefighter. Sloane is the ninth grandchild for the Watsons.

First-born child of Don and Robin, Stacey, celebrated her 40th birthday on March 18. Happy birthday! And not to be forgotten, grandson Nathan Zour, son of Stacey and John Zour, turned 6 on April 6.

John serves in the Howard County Department of Fire and Rescue Services and continues a robust history of service to Howard countians from the Merson-Zour family.


Thanks to matriarch Robin (Merson) Watson for the update on the family. Keep them coming, folks. I would love to share with everyone what you and your family are doing during this time of isolation and who’s special occasion you are honoring or any other family or neighborhood news. Contact me at susannews@yahoo.com or email me your number and I’ll give you a call.

With everything so different than it was before, my thoughts hastened back to a sweet time in Elkridge history. A day that was anticipated all winter long. It was one of the greatest days of the year for Elkridge girls and boys: Elkridge Youth Organization Opening Day for boy’s baseball and girls’ softball.

The community-based sports program started in 1957 by Stanley “Chick” Nedzel to teach teamwork, commitment and the fun of sports. Chick was Elkridge’s own “Mr. Baseball.”

The baseball fields were off Levering Avenue on the right side of the road before the Thomas Viaduct. That area was not baseball fields until Chick and other dads made them that way. Chick was the baseball commissioner, which for him meant he did all field preparation, grass cutting, filling in holes, dragging the infields and lining several fields six days a week but never on Sundays, which was reserved for church and family.

He also ran the concession stand, where he invented our favorite after-game refreshment, The EYO — a heavenly elixir of Coke, orange soda and Sprite, as well as candy buttons mounted in colorful, perfectly straight rows on paper that withstood children’s teeth ripping them off one by one and all sorts of candy and treats.

EYO Day started with a parade at the corner of Montgomery and Old Washington roads where teams and coaches lined down Old Washington Road to the parking lot of the current laundromat.

The girls’ uniforms were two pieces, a snap down the front dress with accompanying bloomers and the boys wore baseball uniforms of various colors. Everybody carried their baseball glove because they were headed to play the first game of the season after the parade and opening ceremony.

The parade wound down Old Washington Road onto Route One past the local hardware store J.H. Toomey & Son under the railroad bridge and left on Levering Avenue to the fields.

Families and non-playing friends lined the streets cheering. The Elkridge Elkettes, the twirling group led by the ever-amazing Betty Carole Davis, also marched in the parade with the cheering teams.

Chick presided over the Opening Day ceremony including raising the American flag, singing our national anthem, a prayer by the priest at St. Augustine’s for good play, good sportsmanship and a good season and game time started with the youngest teams taking the field.

Chick handed out official scorekeeping books, one to each team, where every pitch, hit and run was carefully recorded by the team statistician, usually a parent or older sibling willing to take on the task. After each inning, the two statisticians would compare scorebooks to ensure they were accurate.

Cindy (Merson) Miller, a life-long Elkridge resident and dear friend, recently told me how her father Sam Merson taught her to record accurate scorekeeping while attending her younger brother’s EYO baseball games. Miller continues this scorekeeping tradition to this day, when she attends Oriole games, as she frequently does during the summer as a season ticket holder and super fan.

For his selfless devotion and superb leadership in building the Elkridge Youth Organization for boys and girls in Elkridge, “Chick” Nedzel was inducted into the Howard County Community Sports Hall of Fame.

Such sweet memories for our troubled times. I hope you got a glimpse into a simpler time when joy came by everyday life on the softball field and the extraordinary EYO.

It is with sadness I report the passing of longtime Elkridge resident Bruce Harman due to complications of the COVID-19 virus. Harman was in his 90s and had underlying health challenges at the time of his passing. He is a member of a large and loving family who miss him dearly.

More details will be available after the restrictions for gathering and maintaining the required social distance from others are lifted.

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