Video volunteer makes memories by taping historic moments


When Bob Johnson chose Mount Airy as the place to spend his golden years, he had no idea that eight years later he would be dedicating countless hours to preserving some of the town's most historic moments for posterity.

Since Mount Airy's kick-off Centennial banquet March 26, Mr. Johnson has been the man behind the videocam at the many 100-year anniversary celebrations. From Delaine Hobbs' champagne toast at the March banquet to the Fall Festival this month, the retired educator has captured miles of memorable moments on videotape.

Mr. Johnson's programs of recent Mount Airy events have been shown on the local origination television channels of Frederick Cablevision and Prestige Cable of Carroll County. He explained that taping an event is only one aspect of creating a finished product.

"A 30-minute program [requires] 45 to 60 hours of editing," he estimated.

Mr. Johnson was bitten by the video bug while he was an automobile mechanics teacher at Gaithersburg High School. His avocation grew from creating instructional tapes for the school's vocational department.

He said his love for videography was sealed when he took a free video production course offered in Carroll County.

The video volunteer now travels all over the East Coast taping footage for an array of programs, most of which have a historical focus, for Prestige's Channel 19. He also has a home business using videography to create gifts from home movies and photographs.

In addition to Mount Airy's Centennial, Mr. Johnson is working on four projects: "The History of Paddle Wheeling," "The History of the Chesapeake Bay," "War Birds at Frederick" and a series on Carroll County businesses.

"It's fascinating. I love [the] video medium. I love history," Mr. Johnson said. "It's an opportunity to express yourself."

Mr. Johnson said the videotape of the March 26 Centennial Banquet is on sale at Mount Airy's Town Hall, Ben Gue Antiques and Dennison's Trackside Hobbies. Each tape costs $10, with proceeds to benefit the Centennial Committee.

He noted that the two-hour tape is a condensed version of the town's gala kick-off banquet, including the seven skits presented by the Centennial Players.

The fabulous Centennial parade on Sept. 24 will be the subject of the next tape in Mount Airy's video series. Mr. Johnson said the parade tape will be available in about a month.

Copies of Mr. Johnson's finished programs about the Centennial are being given to the Mount Airy Branch Library, the town archives and the mayor.


Event coordinators Judy McLellan from Mount Airy and Chris Gallagher from Winfield are rounding up Community No. 64 Brownies, Girl Scouts and Cadettes to participate in tomorrow's Bike Rodeo at Mount Airy Elementary School.

Rodeo bikers are reminded to bring their helmets to the event, which is being held to promote bicycle safety. Registration begins at 9:45 a.m. and competition begins at 10 a.m. on the school athletic fields at 405 N. Main St. in Mount Airy.

Participants must be accompanied by a parent or a scout leader.

Ribbons will be awarded to all participants, and trophies will be presented to first-place winners at the first- through sixth-grade levels and at the Cadette level.

This is a "sprinkle or shine" event that will be postponed in the event of heavy rain. For more information, call Judy McLellan at (301) 829-9057.


Homemade biscuits, sausage and sausage gravy are just a few of the country-style breakfast items that will be featured at the Winfield Community Volunteer Fire Department's annual fall xTC all-you-can-eat event Sunday.

The fund-raiser, which will be served from 7 a.m. to noon, also will feature pancakes, eggs, hominy, pudding, cooked apples and a bounty of breakfast beverages.

The cost of the morning mealwill be $4.50 for adults and $2.50 for children under 12.

Winfield's firehouse is at 1320 W. Old Liberty Road in Winfield, adjacent to South Carroll High School. For information, call Dick Baker at (410) 875-4107.


"Aunt Jerusha's Quilting Party" will be presented by the Warren Community Players on Oct. 29, at Warren United Methodist Church, 807 E. Ridgeville Blvd., Mount Airy.

The dinner theater event will feature a fried chicken, barbecue chicken and baked ham feast served from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., followed by the play at about 7:15 p.m.

"Aunt Jerusha's Quilting Party," by Laura Parsons, offers a timeless and humorous message with a Christian focus about human relationships. The show will feature the talents of a 16-member cast and a performance by the Versatiles, Mount Airy's talented gospel group.

Tickets for the dinner show are $12 at the door or may be purchased in advance at the cost of $10 for adults and $5 for children ages 6 through 12.

For information and tickets, call Madeline Kenny at (301) 829-0105 or Midge Thomas at (301) 829-0727.

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