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In 1909 the U.S. flag was adorned with just 46 stars. Arizona, New Mexico, Alaska and Hawaii, had not yet been admitted to the Union. The vast majority of American homes had no bathtubs. Few were equipped with telephones. The average wage was in the neighborhood of 25 cents an hour. Newly elected President William Howard Taft was sworn in as the 27th president on March 4.

That same year, on Sept. 23, Hilda Fyffe made her entrance into the world. She spent her young life in Poolesville, moving to Laurel sometime in the 1920s. She's been here ever since.

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A long-standing member of the Laurel Senior Friendship Club, this centenarian also belongs to the American Legion Post 60's Women's Auxiliary.

When it came time to seek employment, Hilda took a job with the FBI. Having never driven an automobile, she trekked on foot daily to the Laurel train station, and rode the train to and from work. After a few years working for the FBI, she took a job with Army Payroll, where she worked some 40 years.

When General Eisenhower was voted into the White House, there were some questions about the effect it would have on his Army retirement pay. Hilda was dispatched to the executive mansion to resolve any issues the new inhabitant might have. She never encountered the president personally, but did meet with a senior aide. According to information provided by Diane Bicjan, Laurel Senior Friendship Club publicity chairperson, Hilda never forgot the experience. She recently marked her 105th birthday with music, friends and family.

According to proud mom Abby Koren, her 5-year-old daughter, Penelope, is no stranger when it comes to helping others. The youngster has tirelessly worked to raise funds for a variety of charities. On the cusp of her fifth birthday, the thoughtful tyke asked not for gifts, but instead requested that donations be made to St. Jude's Children's Hospital. That effort resulted in more than $1,800. The energetic youngster also participated in a Trike-A-Thon for St. Jude's, and in May put forth an effort to assist Homes for Our Troops.

Members of Laurel Presbyterian Church, 7610 Old Sandy Spring Road, will hold their annual Fall Bazaar, Saturday, Oct. 18, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Handmade crafts, delicious baked goods, books and a White Elephant Table will be the standard of the day. Light refreshments or lunch will be available. Call 301-776-6665 for more information.

There are casual sport fans, and then there are those who live up to the description of fanatic. Eileen and Cliff Collins are counted among the latter. Even the most casual observer could not help but notice the large orange "O" trimmed in black, painted on the side of their home at the corner of Prince George and Sixth streets. There is no question that this family is firmly behind the Baltimore Orioles.

One of the Orioles' biggest fans is my longtime friend, Ronnie Harris, who will celebrate his birthday Oct. 18.

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