No complaints from Catonsville group after trip to wine country of northern California

Welcome home, Dave Carney, as the Old Catonsville resident and owner of the Wine Bin, in Ellicott City, returned from Sonoma, Calif., trip with five other Catonsville wine enthusiasts.

Their trip included work in the fields of the Moshin Vineyard in the Russian River Valley in Sonoma and in the winemaking facility. They crushed grapes in a 1,000-gallon tank with a huge heavy disc, drained the tanks to barrel the wine, shoveled the grape skins out of the tank and finally sterilized the tank.

"It was fun, but exhausting," Dave said.

In addition to Carney, the group included Alan Jones, Allen Cox, John Dignam, Chris Swetz and David Hinman.

After a few days in wine country, the guys drove to San Francisco and stayed at the Handlery Historic Hotel in Union Square.

Visitors to his Ellicott City store can check out the souvenir they brought back, a four- foot high, four- foot wide, creepy-looking, 75-year-old zinfandel grape vine.

Library's top volunteer

Lisa Vicari of the Catonsville Library was voted Volunteer of the Year for Baltimore County Public Library from among the nominees sent from all 17 branches.

The award was presented at the annual BCPL Staff Day event October 10.

"Lisa's dedication is truly inspirational. She has been volunteering in the history room at BCPL Catonsville branch since December 1977," said Catonsville Library Manager Melissa Gotsch.

"She maintains a high standard for customer service and displays patience and aptitude when working with the public. She preserves the past, but has a vision for the future, and she is always willing to work to make that vision happen."

Lisa maintains a cadre of volunteers who are reliable and valuable in the week-to-week running of the Catonsville Room.

She loves to share her love and enthusiasm for Catonsville's history with school groups, Scout troops and even local authors such as Barry Lanman, Marsh Wise and Louis Diggs.

Birthday best

Happy 90th birthday to Leroy Hook Jr., who was still body surfing at Ocean City until a few years ago.

He and his wife of 67 years, Mary, celebrated with their family on Oct. 15 at their home near Academy Heights.

The grandparents of 28 and great-grandparents of 21, they still live in the house in which they raised their eight children; Louanne, James, Stephen, Thomas, John, Joseph, Margie and Patrick.

"He has been a faithful husband, father and a man who has served his community all his life," said his daughter Margie Nicholson, of Bowie.

He has always been the man in the neighborhood who could "fix it", his daughter said.

A member of the parish of St. Bernadine's Catholic Church, he grew up in Southwest Baltimore City and used to take three street cars to Poly High School across town

He started work as a sheet metal apprentice, then joined the Navy amphibian force in New Guinea, where he served inWorld War II.

He married Mary at St. William of York Catholic Church the week after he returned home.

He was a draftsman for AAI Corporation during the week and on the weekends would drive a truck for Beard's Florist and repair TV antennas.

He still makes a mean green tomato relish as well as his own pickles, recipes he learned from his grandparents, who owned a stall at theHollins Market.

Scout merits praise

Alyssa Judson, a Girl Scout for 13 years, worked with younger Girl Scouts and the St. Mark's Vacation Bible School and St. William of York's Summer Stretch students to learn about respecting those who are less fortunate.

"I gave a PowerPoint presentation and led small group discussions," said the Oakcrest neighborhood resident, a senior at Catonsville High School. "Together, we converted new-found dignity into making and collecting blankets and quilts for local shelters."

She collected more than 15 comforters and sleeping bags, and, with help from others in the program, made nearly that many quilts.

A member of Troop 3122 at Catonsville United Methodist Church, she praised the help of her mentors, Sue Yost and Wayne Hipley.

The Catonsville High School senior is in the midst of applying to colleges, with Barnard College, Boston College and the University of Chicago her top choices.

Out and about

Come to the Christian Temple Fall Fun Fest on Sunday, Oct. 23, 2-5 p.m. for food, games, crafts, face painting, a haunted house and booths by community groups.

There will also be a performance by the Nitty Gritty Church Band, featuring vocals and harmonica by Pastor Rick Powell.

There will also be a giant nature mandala created and organized by Kaleidoscope! Arts Camp.

Call 410-747-2041 or go to

Do some Christmas shopping early! "Catonsville Natty Boh" T-shirts are available at Opie's Soft Serve and Snowballs, 1603 Edmondson Ave., for $20 through the end of the store's season Oct. 23 and then at

The Greater Catonsville Chamber of Commerce is adding additional banners to hang from the street lights along Frederick Road. Each banner hangs for six months. The cost to have your name or business on the Welcome to Catonsville or Happy Fourth of July banner is $300 for the first year and $100 to renew. Go to for details. Deadline is Nov. 30.

Sew simple

Dee Keagle, a gifted and talented South Rolling Road resident, is starting a new business, "Tangled Threads," to share her sewing skills and enthusiasm with anyone interested in learning to sew.

Her goal is to help students of all ages learn to create and design with fabric while having fun and meeting new people.

"I think there is a need and desire for individuals to learn how to sew," said Dee, who's lived in Catonsville since 1999 and ran a custom pillow business for 13 years, fabricating for high-end designers.

"I love helping people discover themselves," she said.

For information, go to or email her at

New candy shop

Ken's Old Fashioned Candy Shop is open for business and will host a ribbon-cutting ceremony Oct. 26 at 11a.m. with the first 100 customers getting a sweet treat.

Ken and Mary Chizmadia have renovated the shop at 819 Frederick Road and it looks beautiful.

Tim McFadden, of McFadden Construction, did the wood work, including crown molding.

Dan Gray, of Fine Floors by Dan Gray, installed tile and laminate floors as well as the exterior ceramic step.

Andy Abendschoen, of Catonsville Professional Services, and Michael Abendschoen, of Kenetic Electric, took care of all the electrical needs and installation.

Steve Kelehan, of SKJ Woodcrafter & Design, designed and made the chocolate candy case as well as the build-in wrapping cabinet center and the large build-in shelf unit.

Pat Cary, of Pride Painting, did all the painting interior and exterior.

Janice Hemphill, of Beach Signs, designed and made the exterior sign.

Shelly Wilkins, of Walls Etc, hung the simulated metal ceiling paper in the two candy rooms.

Andy King, of Twin Brook Furniture,, constructed the cabinets in the "Penny Candy" room.

Dona Peters supervised the work.

The store is open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday-Saturday. Call 410-788-1270.

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