New granite steps a photo waiting to happen [Mostly Main Street]

By the way, I think it's time to name the parking lots in town. Not many people know D from F, right? Maybe Tourism could turn it into a contest and we could all vote on our favorites.

So then when I wanted to tell you how much I like the wonderful new staircase that connects Main Street to the Courthouse I could say it's in the Talbot lot, rather than "Lot E" and you would probably have a better idea where it is.


About that staircase. I was expecting an ordinary, utilitarian set of steps to get from here to there. What the county built instead is just lovely —a winding granite staircase that blends perfectly into its surroundings. My friend Vickie Goeller said she could imagine brides wanting to be photographed there, and Paulette Lutz tells me that they are very user friendly and easy to manage.

Good news. See historic district friends outside the historic district this weekend at two special celebrations. One is the Howard County Fair, ending this Saturday, and celebrating its 70th anniversary. I know that the Historical Society and Tourism will have booths there so you will see some familiar faces. Part of the Historical Society's exhibit is a salute to the Enchanted Forest, which marks its 60th birthday this weekend with a two day party at Clark's Elioak Farm. The last piece of the puzzle of the Park goes in place on Saturday, when the Entrance Castle is unveiled in its new location at the forest entrance on the farm. I'll be there both Saturday and Sunday, signing Enchanted Forest books with Martha Clark. Don't miss the fun!

In town

The Old Town Farmers Market continues every Saturday morning behind Tonge Row and next to the Wine Bin. All of the sudden it's August and we're savoring the wonderful fruit and vegetables that won't be available much longer. Tomatoes on everything, right? And I've been making a salad with tomatoes, peaches, cucumbers and fresh basil that we can't get enough of. It only works with farm fresh vegetables and fruit, so in another month or so it will only be a fond memory until next summer.

Also on the Aug. 15, the Howard County Historical Society is hosting an evening of folk music and stories from Appalachia featuring Michael and Carrie Kline, performing traditional and modern songs with guitar and voice at the Museum, 8328 Court Avenue. Tickets are free to Society members, $12 to the general public. For tickets and information call 410-480-3250.

Update on Miss Oldfield

I love hearing from readers and was especially pleased to hear from Shirley Massey about Wilhelmina Oldfield's 102nd birthday. She wrote: "In response to the question you posed in this week's "Mostly Main Street" column (July 30) as to how Miss Oldfield's birthday was celebrated this year, here's the answer: at her home with two birthday cakes, a cookout and about 30-35 guests throughout the afternoon.

A group of folks who love and respect this wonderful lady who was our Ellicott City Junior High School principal (before the term "middle school" came into use,) and whom she calls "her kids," bring a full meal and spend an afternoon visiting with her every other month and, since her 100th, we also help put together birthday celebrations.

Miss Oldfield chooses the menu for our gatherings and we do our best to make it happen with the cooperation and assistance of Miss Oldfield's wonderful caregiver, Rose Cooper. Incidentally, our core group members are also Howard High graduates or faculty, Class of '56, several of us having met in first grade, continued all through school together and remained friends ever since. However, none of us can compete with Miss Oldfield's amazing collection of former students, teacher colleagues and local Howard Countians, politicians, etc. all of whom she quite clearly and readily recalls.

Whenever we visit, her phone usually rings at least half-a-dozen times with folks calling to catch up with her and she knows everyone, who they married, what they and their kids did, etc. Furthermore, she keeps up with sports, politics and news of the day and when pressed, will share her opinion on the same. However, her favorite entertainment when we visit is when we share our knowledge of local ghost stories with her. She does enjoy a good laugh!