Seeing Havre de Grace in a New Light
As a four-year Harford County resident and lifelong Marylander, I must plead ignorance to one of our state's most precious resources -- Havre de Grace. My family and I have always seen the town as an extra long drive for a school softball game at a field sandwiched between railroad tracks and a chemical plant. It was not President Clinton or Earth Day that drew our attention to this picturesque place, but rather, friends who moved to Fallston from out of state.
Immediately they saw the potential in Havre de Grace both as a community and a family tourist attraction. Accompanying them on their most recent excursion to the town, I saw Havre de Grace in a new light -- a place where new business should flourish, yet historic nostalgia should be preserved.
History at Havre de Grace runs as deep as the Susquehanna. The town played a role in the War of 1812, and missed becoming our nation's capital by a mere vote. It is interesting to think of the old Opera House as the place of Lincoln's assassination, or of the Washington Monument standing in place of the Concord Lighthouse.
Havre de Grace has so much to offer, such as the holiday festivities and museums, yet so much more can be done. A drive along Union Street reveals quaint old buildings. Some, such as the Spencer Silver Mansion (now a breathtaking bed and breakfast), have been restored to their Victorian glory, others are in sad repair. Clearly, what Havre de Grace needs is not a racetrack, but a revitalization of the old charm and an influx of businesses that will not distract from reminiscence. Whatever direction Havre de Grace chooses to take, the town should remain true to its name -- a Harbor of Grace.
Little Boys and Toys
The media continues to be full of reports on violence. Our society seems to be coming apart at the seams. I was given a startling reminder yesterday in, of all places, a supermarket. . . .
This incident involved a young boy (about 4 years old) meticulously dressed in a cowboy outfit, complete with hat, holster and toy gun. An innocent scenario? But was it?
While standing in the checkout line, next to his mother, he repeatedly pulled out his toy gun and pointed it at anyone standing nearby, pulled the trigger, snap!, snap!, snap! Mommy said nothing, and as the "social coward" I am, neither did I.
My question: What will happen if this "cowboy" gets his hands on a real gun loaded with real bullets? if he follows his instinctive script, the snap, snap, snap will be replaced by a loud bang, and another victim can be carried off. Now, I am not against cowboy outfits or toy guns, but one of the basic rules of gun safety cautions: Never point a gun, any gun, at anything you do not intend to shoot. Parents should prevent make-believe play that could turn into a future tragedy.
Fred C. Lange
Gum in School
I would like to express my feelings about gum-chewing in public schools. Gum has been known to be found under desks and wedged into carpets. Also bubble-popping has a record for disturbing classes. The awful smell of certain flavors has made teachers nauseous.
Teachers and principals scramble their words when they say that chewing gum rots students' teeth. This is because they chew gum and they sell sugary food to students during lunchtime. Gum would not be wedged into the carpets if students were allowed to chew gum. . . . If schools disallowed gum-chewing, there would be a dramatic change in school vandalizations. . . .