Even in the pool, last week's 100-degree heat was hard to beat WEST COLUMBIA


And the heat goes on.

If you are among those who enjoy hot weather -- I mean really hot weather -- the 100-degree temperatures of this past week should have made you a happy puppy.

In the broiling heat on Saturday afternoon, Mark Hillman, of Dorsey's Search, was jogging along Columbia Road. When asked why he was jogging in the mid-day heat, he replied, "Why not?" When the possibility of heatstroke was mentioned, he dismissed the idea, noting that he was in excellent physical condition and used to the heat. "I like to run in hot weather," he says.

For the majority of people, however, it has been a reclusive week. Most found the combination of heat and humidity to be intolerable and chose to stay indoors in air-conditioned comfort. They ventured outside only for brief moments, and then only when absolutely necessary.

Many children, and more than a few adults, sought relief at the neighborhood pools, most of which were more crowded than usual, but even the water brought scant relief from the heat.

At the Running Brook pool, Wilde Lake resident Juanita Vesperes, a native of San Angelo, Texas, says, "The heat doesn't bother me. Where I grew up it was hotter than this every day, all summer long. The humidity wasn't as bad, though."

For those poor folks forced outdoors by necessity, a patch of shade, a cool drink and the hint of a breeze offered the only solace.

Margaret Bellou, of Harper's Choice, spent Sunday afternoon working in her flower garden. The broad brim of a straw hat shaded her face from the hot rays of the sun. "They need care and watering in weather like this," she says, looking down at a broad, colorful patch of blooming impatiens. "And now is the only time I have to do it."

And, as the heat goes on, there is bad news and good news.

For most of us, the bad news is that this is only mid-July, summer is less than a month old, and the real heat that comes with the "dog days" of August is yet to come.

Of course, for those heat lovers among us, that's the good news.

One sure way to beat the heat is to head for Alaska. That's exactly what Dorsey's Search residents Fred and Wendy Camerik did last week to celebrate their 25th wedding anniversary.

The trip includes a cruise from Vancouver to Anchorage, and a week at a lodge in Denali National Park.

With the children tending to things at home, the Cameriks plan to spend two weeks in Alaska, then stop in San Francisco for a few days to visit friends and relatives before returning home.


In these times of recession and slow economic growth, budget-minded companies are cutting loose employees despite those employees' years of service.

As a result, there are many highly trained, highly qualified unemployed people looking for jobs. Add to this the tens of thousands of college graduates annually entering the job market.

One of the people trying to help both the unemployed, and those entering the job market for the first time, is Harper's Choice resident, Dana Morgan, a job consultant who specializes in federal employment.

Her recent book, "Federal Jobs for College Graduates," provides the information necessary for both experienced workers and recent graduates to secure a federal job.

For those interested in knowing more about how to find jobs in the government workplace, Ms. Morgan will be presenting another workshop this Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., at the Wilde Lake Interfaith Center. Information: 740-5366.


The Howard County Library continues its storytelling features for children with "Heard It Through The Grapevine," an assortment of urban tales, music and legends for children ages 6 and up.

The new program will be presented at the Central Library on Monday, July 19, from 1:30 p.m. to 2:15 p.m. and 3 p.m. to 3:45 p.m.

Registration may be made in person at the library or by calling Children's Librarian Jo Puckett at 313-7880.

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