Graduate gets a scare as uninvited serpent drops in on college commencement

An article in the June 11, 1964, edition of the Herald Argus and Baltimore Countian reported an unexpected guest at a graduation ceremony.

A three-foot blacksnake nearly broke up the commencement exercises at Catonsville Community College on Sunday, June 7. During one of the speeches, the snake fell from a tree into the lap of Miss Anne Hosmer, creating considerable consternation.

Stephen Simon, assistant professor of biology rescued the reptile (Coluber, a constrictor species with teeth and a tree climber) and sped with it to a laboratory. It was not reported who rescued Miss Hosmer.


On Tuesday, June 23 at 8 P.M. at Westview Hall, the Catonsville Chapter of Barbershoppers will be hosts for a special evening to honor the Spellbinders barbershop quartet. The public is invited.

This quartet, consisting of Bill Heymann, lead; Ronald Horton, bass; Len Garey, baritone; Gene O'Dell, tenor, are representatives from this area to the International Barbershop Convention in San Antonio, Texas, June 25 to 28. Forty-five quartets from the United States and Canada will compete for the international quartet championship.


The Baton Twirlers of Lansdowne and Riverview, sponsored by Dixie Woods, took second place in the parade in Glen Burnie on Saturday, May 30, bringing home a handsome trophy which is on display in a supermarket on Hollins Ferry road. It will be placed in Riverview School for display.


The fifth grade at Relay Elementary School expresses appreciation to Lawrence Bruns for an excellent guided field tour of the rocks of Maryland.

Mr. Bruns gave an enlightening talk on the rocks and minerals of this area. He presented his subject matter in such an interesting manner that the members of the class, as well as the parents who accompanied them, finished the trip with a far better understanding of the types of rocks and how they are formed. Not only did he provide a great deal of information, but he also stimulated imagination and interests along these lines so that many of the children will desire to further their studies in geology.


Nathaniel Copeland, baseball chairman for the Methodist Athletic Association, stated this week that the association's third opening day program was better and larger than ever. More than 1,000 fans saw the program on Saturday, June 6 at Banneker athletic field, after all teams, scouts and queens completed their parade through Catonsville. The Rev. A.A. Thompson, vice-president of the association, threw out the first ball.

The association surprised Dr. and Mrs. John H. Moss with "outstanding" award of the year.

75 Years Ago

An article in the June 9, 1939, edition of The Catonsville Herald and Baltimore Countian advertised an upcoming event.

The annual party of the Ladies' Aid Society of the Catonsville Methodist Church will be held this Friday evening, June 9, in the church social hall. Husbands and friends of members will be entertained with a special program. Amounts of money raised by various groups of the Society during the year will be announced.


An "orange social" will be held by the Fidelis Bible Class of the Halethorpe Methodist Church at the home of Miss Virginia Spittel, Spring avenue, next Monday, June 12.


Little Florence Auer, four-year-old daughter of Mr. and Mrs. F. J. Auer of Hillside avenue, did a solo tap dance and also took part in group numbers at the recital given by pupils of Miss Marie Smith at the Cadoa Hall on Wednesday evening.


The Spring Grove Hospital baseball team easily won from the A.& G. Clothiers last Saturday by the score of 11-5. Biddle, on the mound for the victors, pitched a creditable game and received good support from his teammates. Fitzwater, Wade, Luke and Grewe led the local team in batting, while Townsend and Grewe sparkled with their fielding.

100 Years Ago

An article in the June 13, 1914 edition of The Argus reported the success of a local inventor.

The deplorable loss of life on the Empress of Ireland has impressed every one with the need of more efficient life preservers for vessels. Many of her passengers got clear of the vessel with ordinary life belts on , but as they do not hold the head out of water when persons are exhausted, the wearers were soon drowned and the bodies picked up by the rescue boats.

Lieut. S.P. Edmonds of Catonsville, has spent several years in making improvements in life preservers to overcome just that defect in cork belts. By the use of kapok, a remarkably soft, water resisting silk floss, he has developed and patented a life preserver and swimming float that will never sink with the wearer and hold the head out of water all the time.

These life preservers are used by the Army and Navy aviators over waters in Mexico.


Catonsville, like most towns, is blessed with two kinds of people. The one class is those who are so busy, they never have time to do a little job of work for you, and the other is those who are so lazy that even their liver won't work. The latter are ever ready to paint the town red, but wouldn't under any consideration whitewash their own fence.


A lawn fete was held Friday evening of last week on the lawn surrounding the country place of John J. Watson, Old Frederick road and Elsinor avenue, near here, for the benefit of Catonsville Presbyterian Church.


The new automobile "trouble car" of the Baltimore County Fire Department, which was constructed by Superintendent of Machinery Philip Priester at the county repair shop at Catonsville, has been completed and was tested Thursday over the county roads.

Material from archives courtesy of the Catonsville Historical Society.

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