On July 17, 1913, Miss Wilhelmina Oldfield was born in Ellicott City. That year Woodrow Wilson was in the White House, the Ford Motor Company introduced its first moving assembly line and Camels premiered as the first packaged cigarettes.

Miss Oldfield grew up in Ellicott City, attended Howard County schools and graduated from Towson State Normal School in 1932. She went on to have a long and illustrious career in the Howard County School system, serving in many roles for 43 years.


She was a teacher, a truant officer, a principal and an elementary school supervisor. She served at High Ridge Elementary School, Ellicott City Elementary School, Ellicott City Junior High and Savage Elementary School.

In an interview she gave a few years ago, she talked about the trials of teaching sixth and seventh grade boys. These young men weren't passed along to upper grades if they failed but were forced to repeat, often more than once.

She related one story of problems with boys throwing spitballs. Her solution was to sit them down after school and make them make a hundred spitballs. When they ran out of spit she let them go home, problem solved. County executive Ken Ulman declared July 17 Wilhelmina Oldfield Day in Howard County.

Happy 100th birthday, Miss Oldfield, and thank you for sharing your many talents with our county's school children for several generations.

Restaurant Weeks

Restaurant weeks continue in Howard County until Aug. 5. In the historic district, Portalli's has come up with some interesting specials to form a three-course dinner for $30.13. Some offerings that sound good to me include grilled rockfish and basil cheesecake with balsamic raspberries. The emphasis during this event is on locally sourced items.

More movies

The Wine Bin continues its free summer movie series. On Saturday, Aug. 3, is "Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back" and on Aug. 10, "African Queen." The shows start at 9 p.m., but you should get there an hour early to set up your space and buy some popcorn and bottled water. A portion of the proceeds goes to Voices for Children.

Art to check out

Several art exhibits are going on that merit a visit. The results of the Plein Air paint-out in the historic district are still on display at the Howard County Center for the Arts. This display takes a very creative look at the historic district through many talented eyes and hands. Also, Wiley Purkey continues to paint every Saturday at the Perspectives Art Gallery at 8191 Main Street.

Enchanted Forest Reunion

On Aug. 17 and 18, Clark's Elioak Farm will celebrate the 58th anniversary of the opening of the Enchanted Forest. I'll be there, signing copies of our new book about the beloved park with my co-author Martha Clark. Hope to see many of you there too.