Spring is the time of the magical rebirth of nature's beauty, o warm days and cool nights, and of fun-filled festivals.
Last weekend's "Wine in the Woods" festival was a resounding success. Thousands of people enjoyed sampling the various wines offered by the dozens of vineyards. The success this year has helped guarantee that there will be another one next year.
The wandering minstrels and smattering of colorful tents among the trees of Symphony Woods brought back memories of the Renaissance Festival that once annually graced nearby woods and fields.
It is an event missed by many. Unfortunately, it simply outgrew the space available and was forced to move to more spacious environs near Bowie.
Hopefully, the "Wine in the Woods" festival will stay just small enough and become an annual event for many years to come.
And, speaking of fun: The 1993 Columbia Fair is just around the corner. This year promises to be bigger and better than ever, with more food vendors, more entertainment and, undoubtedly, more people.
Because of the size of the fair, volunteers are still being recruited to help during the weekend of June 18-20. People are needed to help work in the welcome and information booths, and in numerous other capacities.
Those interested in volunteering their services for this fun-filled weekend, should call Connie Kraft of the Columbia City Fair Office at 715-3102.
John Hansen's resignation as a member of the Columbia Council and the Harper's Choice Village Board was both shocking and uplifting. The loss of such a dedicated individual will be a great one for Columbia, and especially for residents of Harper's Choice.
But in this age of "I" and the "win at any cost" mentality dictating the lives of too many people, it is refreshing to see someone unselfish, and with high moral principles, who is not afraid to stand up and say, "Enough is enough."
If Columbia is to grow and flourish, we need more people who are not afraid to speak up and attempt to right what is wrong in our community.
Congratulations to Elizabeth Lloyd, a resident of Running Brook and a second-grade student at Swansfield Elementary School. She was chosen to carry the Olympic torch at the opening ceremonies at last week's 21st Special Olympics, held at Atholton High School.
Along with sun and summer come sunburns. Any sun worshiper has, sometime, endured the agony of overexposure. These same people, after suffering through a few agonizing days, and the later embarrassment of peeling skin, will head out into the sun again, perhaps more cautiously this time with a bottle of tanning lotion in hand.
Unfortunately, the long-term effects of the sun upon our skins should be a matter of concern. As harmless as long-term exposure to the sun or sunburns may seem at the time, serious damage is done to the skin and the underlying tissue. A few years down the road, the result can be deadly.
If you are in this high risk group, Howard County General Hospital is offering free skin cancer screenings tomorrow from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. in the Outpatient Testing Center.
A team of five dermatologists will screen individuals for possible problems. You can just drop in; no appointment is necessary.
As a follow-up to the skin cancer screening, HCGH is also offering a free lecture called "Skin Cancer: Are You at Risk?"
The lecture, delivered by board certified dermatologist Dr. Kevin Hogan, will be Tuesday from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. in the Health Education Center.
Reservations are required.
For additional information on the skin screening or for reservations for the lecture, please call 740-7600.
And, more congratulations . . . this time to former Columbia resident Audley Freed and his longtime musical partner, Robert Kearns.
Their band, Cry of Love, recently signed a record deal with Columbia Records. A first album, titled "Brother," was released last Tuesday.
Freed, a Slash look-alike guitarist, lived here briefly in the early 1980s, then moved to North Carolina and played with various bands. In 1987, he met Kearns, a talented guitar and bass player, and they began writing music together.
Cry of Love was formed in 1991, and began playing clubs throughout the Southeast. With the release of their album, the musicians have begun a national tour.
For music lovers who believe good lyrics should go with good music, do yourself a favor and buy a copy of "Brother."