FROM that legendary wit Dorothy Parker, here...


FROM that legendary wit Dorothy Parker, here is sage advice for parents facing a long, hot summer:

"The best way to keep children home is to make the home atmosphere pleasant -- and let the air out of the tires."

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DON'T look now, but downtown Catonsville is becoming yuppiefied.

Recently, a Sam's Bagels opened on the suburb's main drag, Frederick Road. Just blocks from there, a sign on a boarded-up building announces that it will soon house a gourmet liquor and food shop. The venerable John O. Wilson's lumber shop -- with its huge plate glass windows -- has moved its inventory to its Howard County store.

Will yuppie food and drink eventually be served where 2-by-4's used to lay?

All of this change is causing some consternation among long-time residents who are accustomed to their main street looking pretty much the way it did in the street-car era.

While competition from suburban shopping malls has terminated some Catonsville businesses, others have thrived by specializing and giving personal service to their loyal customers.

But now it seems as if there's a boomlet of businesses.

New home construction in the area -- almost identical to nearby Howard County developments -- is part of the reason. Another reason is that it's a lot cheaper to rent storefronts in Catonsville than in Towson.

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