Marlin Johnson was sworn in yesterday as the new postmaster of the Linthicum Post Office by John Davis, director of field operations.

Davis was assisted by Richard Muller, former postmaster of Linthicum, who read him the citation from the postmaster general empowering Johnson with the duties of the office.

Johnson began his career with the U.S. Postal Service as distribution clerk in Washington in 1967. He moved to Baltimore in 1969 to work as a part-time flex letter carrier and in 1983 was promoted to superintendent of postal operation and was assigned to the Druid Post Office. From there he was assigned to the Catonsville Post Office as delivery superintendent.

Johnson had been assigned to Linthicum in 1986, and for two years served as superintendent of postal operations and upon promotion moved to the Crownsville Post Office.

In September, Johnson returned to Linthicum to assume his present position, replacing Muller, who was transferred to Edgewood.

Linthicum has undergone extensive remodeling, including a wheelchair ramp, a new heating system and three plants donated by Michael Hewes, superintendent of postal operations in Linthicum.

Johnson said he is glad to see these facilities remodeled, as it helps both employees and customers. But, he said, "my biggest concern right now is to improve customer service. With a rate increase customers look negatively on the post office."

Approximately 30 people attended a reception immediately following the ceremony.

After being in Odenton for four weeks, the mail carriers along with their vehicles will return to Linthicum Sunday. By Monday, the post office will be back in full operation, serving between 4,000 and 5,000 customers.

* Would you like to turn the clock back to the 19th century and experience the feeling of a Farmhouse Christmas? You can if you visit the Benson-Hammond House on Saturday and Sunday.

The Ann Arrundell Historical Society extends an invitation to the public to attend the Fifth Annual Candlelight Christmas Open House there, from 3 to 7 p.m. both days. A $1 donation is requested.

The restored farmhouse, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, will be decorated in a manner consistent with the period. Visitors can wander through the rooms, where docents will be on hand to answer questions. In the third-floor museum, see a special exhibit of doll houses and miniature rooms from 18th-century Germany, England and America. Enjoy festive Christmas music by Sally Hammond Scruggs on the keyboard.

On Saturday, Donna Ware, historical site planner for the county, will autograph her new book, "Anne Arundel Legacy." Refreshments will be served in the dining room.

The Benson-Hammond's Browse & Buy Shoppe will be selling greens, holiday potpourri and baked goods for open house in addition to antiques, gifts and collectibles. A special item on sale is a newly released recording of Colonial music. "Over the Hills and Far Away," by David and Ginger Hildebrand, is a collection of music from 18th century Annapolis. It costs $8.95 for the tape and $14.99 on compact disc.

The Benson-Hammond House is near the intersection of Hammonds Ferry Road and Poplar Avenue in Linthicum. The Benson-Hammond House and the Browse & Buy Shoppe will be open to the public during the holidays from Dec.

11 through Dec. 22, Tuesday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. For additional information, call the Benson-Hammond House, 768-9518.

* The Anne Arundel Alarmers Association, located in Ferndale, is having its annual Christmas Tree Sale beginning Thursday and running until Sunday, Dec. 23, from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., seven days a week.

Trees will be sold at two locations: the Ferndale Firehouse parking lot, 4 S. Broadview Blvd., and the Northway Liquors parking lot on Route 3, north of Old Mill Road in Millersville.

A variety of fresh-cut Christmas trees will be sold: balsam firs for $15, Scotch pines for $20, and blue spruce, Douglas fir and Frazier fir for $35.

This tree sale is one of the few fund-raisers of the Alarmers Association.

This organization, formed in 1958, provides support at all fires two alarms or more and on request for accidents, fires and toxic waste spills.

The all-volunteer association supplies food and drinks to emergency personnel, and when needed provides first-aid assistance. All profits from this sale go toward these activities.

* Although Nov. 17 was a cold and windy day, it didn't hold back the North County High School Band. It put in a very good performance in the Thanksgiving Day Parade in Baltimore City. This talented group competed against other bands and was very pleased to win second place.

Band students are now busy practicing for the Christmas Concert scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 19, at the high school.

A $1 donation is requested for admission. There will also be a craft and bake sale that evening.

* Lola Zabetakis is demonstrating how to construct a heart-shaped grapevine wreath and decorate it for Christmas using herbs at the next meeting of the Friendly Thyme Herb Club. The meeting will begin at 10 a.m.

Friday at the Ferndale Linthicum Senior Center, 7205 Baltimore & Annapolis Blvd.

Zabetakis will also present the Christmas basket that she made for the Anne Arundel County Fair for which she received the Best in Show Award.

This basket is decorated and filled with herbs and herbal items.

Following the meeting and program there will be a Christmas cookie exchange and tasting.

Officers were elected at the last meeting and assume their duties in January: Sue Latini, president; Mary Goode, vice president; Doris Creamer, secretary; Renee Bivans, treasurer.

New members and visitors are welcome. For more information, call Latini at 766-1463.

* The Linthicum Library has a bare Christmas tree, just waiting for the "Trim the Tree Party" on Dec. 13 from 6:45 to 7:45. Children ages 3 to 12 will be given the opportunity to show what they can create with paper, glue and glitter. There will also be sing-a-longs and storytelling.

No advance sign-up is necessary. Just come and help the library staff decorate the tree for the holidays.

As you enter the library, stop and look at the display cases. This month, Diane Hartzell has lent the library her collection of books and other memorabilia on "Beauty and the Beast."

The Linthicum Library is at the intersection of Shipley and Hammonds Ferry roads. For more information, call 222-6265.

* The Friendship Church of the Brethren, 217 Mansion Road in North Linthicum, is having a movie night for children on Friday. Doors open at 6:45 p.m. with the movie "The Little Mermaid" beginning at 7:45 p.m.

Admission is 50 cents. Popcorn, hot dogs and sodas will be sold for 25 cents each. The church sponsors this Friday Night at the Movies as a fellowship gesture to the community and to provide good entertainment for children.

On Dec. 16, the Sunday school children will perform a program titled "Little Shepherd" during the 11 a.m. worship service. A Christmas party in Fellowship Hall will follow the service.

For more information, call the church office at 789-2422.

* REMINDERS: Overlook Elementary School has added another feature to its Christmas Craft Show set for Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Fresh 6- and 7-foot Christmas trees will be for sale outside on the parking lot of the school. Trees will be priced at $25 and $35.

Don't forget Santa will be inside along with crafters, tables filled with baked goods, poinsettias and Santa's Secret Workshop for children.

The school is at 401 Hampton Road, off of Nursery Road, in North Linthicum.

The Woman's Club of Linthicum Heights is having its annual "Holly Mart" from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Friday at the Linthicum Heights United Methodist Church, 200 School Lane.

Fresh greens, arrangements, luminarias, baked goods, attic treasures, tasters table and Country Kitchen table will be featured. Area schoolchildren will supply the entertainment.

Lunch will be served at three seatings: 11:15, noon and 12:45. The cost is $4.50. Advance reservations required; call 789-6143.

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