On Gorman Road there is a curve so sharp you must slow down to drive by. At the point of the curve, on the barbed wire fence that fronts the road, a bouquet of hydrangeas, faded to rusty gold, tops the upper wire.
Below hangs a grape vine wreath whose flowers have dropped off, leaving only bright ribbon. Further down, hidden in the tall weeds by the fence post, stands a bouquet of once-red roses, the blossoms shrunken and blackened.
These flowers poignantly express someone's hope that Pam Basu's death will not be forgotten.
Her death has changed Savage. A girl has lost a mother, a husband has lost his wife, co-workers have lost a friend. Residents of Savage have lost some of the feeling of small town safety. Doors have been locked and windows rolled up. Parents have taken extra time to cuddle their children.
None of these seems to be an adequate response to what we have all lost.
One response made by the community is a trust fund established for Sarina Basu, Pam's daughter. Donations may be made to Sarina Basu Trust Fund, Account #4012392918, Sandy Springs National Bank, 3535 Spencerville Road Burtonsville, MD, *
The Howard County Police Department suggested at a recent community meeting that concerned citizens contact Howard County Crime Prevention officers, who can perform home security surveys.
These surveys bring a crime prevention officer to your home, where the officer will identify security risks, and make suggestions about what to change. He and County Councilwoman Shane Pendergrass emphasized that these surveys are useful and effective. Personal safety seminars are scheduled at Forest Ridge Elementary School on Oct. 14 at 7:30 p.m.
Hammond Elementary School has adopted Whispering Pines Elementary school in Dade County, Fla., which was forced to delay the start of school by two weeks in response to Hurricane Andrew.
Hammond students will try to send each of the students at Whispering Pines a sealed plastic bag filled with schools supplies and a personal note.
Barbara White, the assistant principal, says "We're trying to make this a child-to-child, personal exchange."
The teachers are also sending care packages to their counterparts, including such light-hearted items as peanut butter and jelly for the kindergarten teachers. (Every kindergarten teacher needs this!)
Since Hammond only has 400 families, and Whispering Pines serves over 800 students, the project will require community support. Students' parents have asked employers and co-workers to help out, and many companies have come through with extra packets of school supplies, cash, banners, and free transportation.
Senior citizen volunteers are helping by making bulletin board supplies. If you'd like to help, please call Barb White at 880-5890. The big send-off is Oct. 9, so make sure that your supplies reach Hammond by that date.
Hammond Elementary also has an active Parent Teacher Association.
Barbara Katz, the head of the PTA, was especially enthusiastic about the volunteers, and mentioned Ginn Charles as an example. "She is a mega volunteer!"
Ms. Charles teaches a class in key-boarding and word processing to third- through fifth-grade students.
Ms. Charles also is encouraging students to submit art to the Reflections program, a PTA-sponsored artistic competition accepting poetry, prose, visual arts and lyrics. The PTA will also produce Tiger Tales and More, a literary quarterly that will include one work from every student, and a newsletter for parents including parenting tips and articles, and health tips.
Dana Simpler, another Hammond volunteer, in cooperation with Janet Tlanda, the school counselor, has begun a Human Relations Committee to provide educational programs on parenting and family issues.
Hammond Middle School has a firm tradition of service to the community. Once again it will be adopting a Head Start Program.
Sue Griffith, the fifth-grade team leader pointed out that this is a twist on the usual school-community partnership; this time the school is helping the community. Last year the seventh-grade students collected mittens and clothing, and held a dance where the admission was one book.