Like many others in Carroll County, the Rev. Duane Combs' garden patch is breathing its last sigh of productivity this fall. The corn and tomatoes are long gone, no watermelons remain on the vines. Only the lettuce waits for harvest.
What makes this garden unique is that it has been an extension of his work as pastor of the Uniontown and Middleburg United Methodist churches since he moved to Carroll County from Arizona two summers ago.
Mr. Combs, who had never gardened in a big way before, said he learned gardening techniques from his church members. While getting acquainted with neighbors and parishioners, an idea struck: Why not garden for the hungry?
Before his first year in Uniontown was complete, Mr. Combs and his flock had planted a 75-by-150-foot garden plot on the parsonage lot and cultivated another site on Uniontown resident Bob Bounds' property. Virtually 100 percent of the crops -- about $5,000 worth of food this summer -- went to the Carroll County Food Center, Taneytown's Carpenter's Table and the Maryland Food Bank.
Mr. Combs is studying for a theology degree at Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington and adds the endeavor to his pastoral, family and gardening responsibilities.
Where does he get the energy?
"God gives you the dream; you make it happen," he says.
No need to cook supper on Oct. 22 and 23. St. Joseph Catholic Church in Taneytown will deliver cold-cut submarine sandwiches to your home in the Taneytown area. Or if you live near the church on Frederick Street, you can pick up your food on the way home from work.
Parishioners will assemble fresh ham, bologna, salami, yellow and white cheese, and -- depending on the courage of your taste buds -- will add onion and hot peppers on a submarine roll. Subs cost $2.
Place your order by Oct. 11 by calling Terry Smith at 756-6758. Proceeds from the sale benefit St. Joseph's social activities.
WJZ-TV newscaster Al Sanders collected autographs from fourth-graders at Elmer Wolfe Elementary School in Union Bridge on a recent classroom visit.
Mr. Sanders talked to aspiring journalists about life as a television broadcaster and helped launch the fourth grade's own school-wide weekly newscast, which begins tomorrow.
Mr. Sanders talked to the students about his own childhood dream of becoming a news announcer. Only then it was radio announcing, an idea that intrigued the kids, especially when they learned that his primary entertainment was listening to the radio when he was their age.
That fact "totally amazed the kids," said June Praet, the school's media specialist and the person responsible for Mr. Sanders' appearance there.
Ms. Praet invited the Baltimore celebrity to talk to her class even before the school year began, and was delighted when Mr. Sanders carved time from his schedule to visit her students.
The kids requested autographs, but Mr. Sanders ran out of time for that treat. So they turned the tables on him and quickly gave him their signatures. After all, someday they could be television personalities, too.
Al Sanders read many of the names on the evening news that night. "Obviously," said Ms. Praet, "it's an experience the fourth-graders will never forget."
Couch potatoes! Put down that remote control and join a Taneytown Rec Council program.
From high-energy, low-impact aerobics to adult volleyball, men's basketball and skiing, there's something for everyone -- and at recession-friendly prices. Volleyball and basketball go for 25 cents a night; aerobics are about $1 per class.
Kids need not sit motionless in front of Nintendo screens, either. Girls and boys basketball, karate and a drum and majorette corps (no experience necessary) offer healthy outlets for adolescent energy.