Angelou spurs poetry in Westminster man CENTRAL -- Union Mills * Westminster * Sandymount * Finksburg

Leonard Detweiler is a poet whose works stem from the inspiration of others.

The 75-year-old Westminster resident's latest poem, "The Day of The Woman," was recently shared with the Carroll County Democratic Club during its annual Jefferson-Jackson Day celebration.


Mr. Detweiler was inspired to write after hearing Wake Forest professor Maya Angelou read her poem, "On the Pulse of Morning," at the inauguration of President Bill Clinton.

"I remember watching the inauguration and thinking how it was the day of the president," said Mr. Detweiler.


"But when Maya Angelou spoke, it became the day of the woman. I thought if anything would be remembered from that day, it would be her poem. It was a powerful and wonderful poem."

Moved by her words, Mr. Detweiler, a retired minister and counselor, took but 15 minutes to record his impressions.

"I called the poem 'The Day of The Woman' because it describes what happened when the woman spoke at the inaugural of President Clinton. Basically, the poem is my impression of what went on when she spoke," he said.

When the poem was complete, he shared it with staff members at the Westminster Senior Center, which he attends regularly.

The verse caught the attention of Sharon Baker, client services supervisor with the Bureau of Aging. Ms. Baker was so impressed with his work that she contacted the Democratic Club.

"It was inspiring for me when I read the poem," said Ms. Baker. "I am a member of the Carroll County Democratic Central Committee, and I knew the Jefferson-Jackson dinner was coming up.

"I thought it would be nice for him to read it at this dinner, since PTC the club was celebrating an anniversary and its founding."

On March 19, at the Wakefield Valley Country Club, Mr. Detweiler presented his poem to an audience that included Baltimore Mayor Kurt Schmoke, Sen. Paul Sarbanes, Prince George's County Executive Parris Glendening, Maryland Attorney General Joseph Curran and a number of local political notables.


"It was a wonderful feeling for me to be able to meet these people that I have seen on television over the years. I talked to all of them," said Mr. Detweiler. "Senator Sarbanes was very complimentary, but the best comment I had came from Mrs. Sarbanes, who said the reading was very wonderful.

"For me, being able to read my poem made me feel very satisfied. I was able to read it the way I wanted to. I was glad to present it."


The Lehigh Women's Softball team is looking for a few good women to play in the Frederick Softball League this season.

Practices start next week at Carroll Community College. League play will begin the first week of May, with games scheduled for Wednesday evenings.

Women over 18 interested in joining the team should contact George Hardinger, 876-6507.



P.A.C.E. (People Against the Contamination of the Environment) will meet tonight at 7 at St. Mary's United Church of Christ in Silver Run to discuss the Keystone Landfill in Pennsylvania.

EPA officials will be on hand to answer questions and hear concerns from area residents.

The Keystone Landfill is a designated Superfund site.

During the meeting, the government's project manager for the Keystone Landfill will announce plans to test specific residential wells in the Silver Run area and will discuss placement and installation of signs at the landfill.

Members of the community are urged to attend.


Information: 876-6507.