Ferndale had exotic visitors recently when three Buddhist monks fromThailand were the guests of Bob and Sue Latini.

Sue had met the monks, friends of son Bob, when she visited him in Thailand. Pra Maha Somchai and Pra Maha Subin lived at Wat Pha (The Temple of the Reclining Buddha) in Bangkok and taught at the university where monks are educated.

They are in this country serving as missionaries and lay teachers. Pra Maha Somchai and Pra Maha Subin are stationed in California. The third monk, Pra Maha Ming is at Wat Thai in Washington. Wat is the Thai word for temple.

Bob, who now lives in Japan, was visiting with his parents at the time and was reunited with his friends.

Bob first met a Buddhist monk in California some years ago. The monk taught Bob to speak Thai and encouraged him to visit Thailand to learn the culture and perfect his Thai. It was Pra Maha Somchai who met him at the airport and welcomed him to the country.

Bob lived in Thailand for 10 years, teaching in several different schools, including theAmerican University Center and the Thai Military School. During thistime he has maintained a close relationship with the monks who visited Ferndale and several others. For the past three years he has taught English to Japanese students who are going to English-speaking countries.

Sue invited me to meet the monks and to have lunch with them. I was very impressed with how open and friendly they were. They wore the traditional robes of bright orange draped over one shoulder. But, due to the much colder climate here, they had to supplement theirdress with additional garments. During lunch they talked about the way of life in their homeland and the practice of their Buddhist religion. One example is that traditionally Buddhist monks must eat their last meal by noon. They also explained that the prefix Pra Maha means'Great Monk' and is a title they attained after special studies.

After leaving the Latinis, the monks continued along the East coast to visit other Thai temples.


Did you have to work? Were you under the weather? Or, heaven forbid, did you forget Valentine's Day last week? Well, this

Saturday you have another opportunity to take someone you love out for an enjoyable evening.

The Home-School Association of St. Philip Neri School is sponsoring a "Sweetheart Dance"from 8 p.m. to 1 a.m. Saturday. Tickets cost $8 per person and include the music of D.J. Special K, beer, snacks and setups.

St. Philip Neri School is at 6401 Orchard Road in Linthicum. For information or tickets, call 859-1128 or 796-8332.


David Hitchock from theAnne Arundel County Extension Service will give a presention on "Spring Gardening" at the Linthicum Heights Homemakers meeting at the Linthicum Heights United Methodist Church. The meeting starts at 10:30 a.m., followed by a brown bag lunch, with refreshments served. There will be an afternoon craft project.

The meeting is open to the public. For more information, please call Vivian Zold at 859-1724.


Don't forget about the District 32 Democratic Club dinner-meeting this Thursday at the Ferndale Volunteer Fire Hall. Dinner is at 7 p.m., followed by the meeting at 8 p.m. The cost for dinner is $4.

State Sen. Michael Wagner will talk about redistricting and swear in thenewly elected officers.

For additional information, call Earle Bopp at 859-1719.


The Susannah Wesley Circle of United Methodist Women will serve dinner tomorrow at 6:30 p.m. for the February meeting of United Methodist Men. It will take place in Room 111 of the Linthicum Heights United Methodist Church. Dinner is $6.

The speakerfor the evening is Dr. Sridharan Iyengar, professor of physical science and chemistry at Anne Arundel College. His topic will be "A Glimpse of India."

All United Methodist Men and their friends are welcome. For reservations, call John Wagner at 859-0938.


The Ferndale Garden Club's program for the Tuesday, Feb. 25, meeting is "An Old Fashioned Brown Bag Auction." The meeting starts at 8 p.m. at the Ferndale-Linthicum Senior Center, 7205 Baltimore & Annapolis Boulevard.

Members are asked to bring a handmade item -- cost not to exceed$5 -- in a brown sack. A poem describing the item should be attachedto the outside to aid the auctioneer, Lou Wolfe.

Hostesses for the evening will be Jean Ball and Dot Malchester. Guests are welcome. Call Helen Childs at 859-0370.

The Ferndale Garden Club is sponsoring a bus trip to the well-known Philadelphia Flower Show on Friday, March 13. The cost is $25. Some openings are available. Call Cindy Schneider, 768-1651 or Irma Holland, 761-6759, for details.


Did you know that periodically, libraries need to make room for new material and offer older titles for sale at a nominal price? Books, magazines, cassettes, media kits and framed art are available on the "For Sale" cart at the local Linthicum library. This is a great opportunityto take home a library book or other item at a bargain price.

While there take a look at the display case. Daniel Jonathan Latta has his collection of baseball and football cards there for you to enjoy.

The library is at 400 Shipley Road at Hammonds Ferry Road. For information, call 222-6265.


Linthicum Elementary School, 101 School Lane, has set aside two days, Thursday, Feb. 20, and Tuesday, March 24, for kindergarten classes to be observed by any interested parents.

To watch the kindergarten children at work you are asked to please visit on either day between 9 and 10 a.m. for the morning kindergarten. For the afternoon session please visit from 1 to 2 p.m.


The Bereavement Center of Hospice of the Chesapeake (formerly Arundel Hospice) is offering a support group to help those residents of the county who may have lost a loved one and need help to better understand and cope with the many feelings they are experiencing.

Meetings begin on Tuesday, March 3, and run through April 7, from 1:30 to3:30 p.m. at the Severna Park United Methodist Church, 731 Benfield Boulevard, Severna Park.

The group, which is free of charge, has alimited enrollment so reservations must be made by Friday, February 28. Please call 987-2129 between the hours of 9 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. for reservations and more information.


If you are a resident ofWoodlawn Heights in Ferndale and have any questions or concerns about the landscaping along the light rail line, then come to the next meeting of the Woodlawn Heights Community Association.

Beth Robeson,a representative from the Maryland Transit Association, will be present at the 7:30 p.m. meeting Thursday, Feb. 27, at the Ferndale-Linthicum Senior Center. She will discuss the designs for landscaping and shrubbery placement.

The association is considering having the area sprayed for gypsy moths this spring. If residents have any other concerns they can be aired at this meeting.

Yearly dues of $5 per family can be paid at the meeting.

For information, please call the president of the association, Roy Shatt, at 766-8547.


The American Red Cross is having a gala Mardi Gras celebration on Saturday, Feb. 29, at the historic home of Jack and Sharyn Steffey in the heartof Annapolis. This event will feature a gourmet buffet prepared by award-winning master chef Adi Rehm, a premium open bar and piano and flute music from 7 p.m. to midnight. Only 150 tickets are available at$100 per person.

Susan Rosko, 1992-93 chairman of the board of directors of the Southern District and a Linthicum Realty Company president/owner, is on the planning committee. According to her all proceeds from this event will help replenish the Disaster Relief Services Fund.

For information or to purchase tickets, call Susan Rosko at 859-5000 or Leo Guerin at the Red Cross.


Good luck to Ann Wolf, resident of Ferndale. She will be re-opening her business, which closed in August due to smoke and water damage from a fire in a business adjacent to hers. During renovation the stylists have been working at Jeffrey's Salon on Crain Highway and are now looking forward to returning to the new shop.

A grand re-opening ceremony will take place at 11 a.m. Monday, Feb. 24 at the completely renovated and redecorated Etc. Hair Plus Tans, located at 7970 Crain Highway in the Park 97 Shopping Center.

State Sen. Michael Wagner and Del. Victor Sulinwill be on hand for the ribbon-cutting ceremony. The general public is invited to attend and sample refreshments prepared by students from the Culinary Arts Department of the Center of Applied Technology North in Glen Burnie. Ann does some teaching at the CATN in the Cosmetology Department.

For information, call 969-5343.

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