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Mind your manners on your way to college or the post office

Courteous shopping in downtown Westminster, as well as news about the creation of Carroll Community College and the Westminster Post Office, were among topics discussed many years ago in April.

The importance of courtesy in retail marketing in the downtown Westminster shopping district was the focus of a "Courtesy Night" meeting "held Monday evening by members of the Retail Merchants Association, when they entertained about 250 employees in the Westminster Methodist church," according to an April 1, 1949, newspaper article.

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Today, when customer service seems more like an empty advertising slogan, courtesy in retail shopping should go without saying. Better yet, please remember that being the best is not good enough — you have to be nice.

In spring 1949, the Courtesy Night "affair was held in the lecture room of the church with the program chairman John R. Byers in charge," reported the now-defunct Democratic Advocate.

"Greetings were extended by President A. Willis Wampler, Jr. He told the group that the purpose of the meeting was for the employees to become better acquainted and more community-minded relative to retail merchandising.

"Progress in the past 25 years and the use of automobiles has changed trends in retailing, he said. Westminster, the county seat, is centrally located, has large free parking space and well-stocked stores with comparable merchandise and prices, making it a convenient shopping center for a wide area, he declared."

And speaking of learning to adjust with the changing trends, on April 11, 1974, "the proposed Carroll County Community College was a subject for discussion … at a recent meeting of the Carroll County Adult Education Advisory Committee."

The article in the no-longer-printed Community Reporter said, "Consensus was that this committee strongly endorse the Community College concept and the need for this service for adults in Carroll County.

"Of concern was the fact that Carroll County, having the necessary population to support such a college, is the last eligible sub-division to receive the services. Other community colleges now receiving State support are actually receiving partial payment from Carroll County through taxes paid to the State."

As many people know, the college was founded in 1976, and was, at that time, a branch of Catonsville Community College.

Going back a tad farther, according to the Historical Society of Carroll County, in 1899, "Carroll County was selected by the U.S. Post Office Department as the first county to receive full Rural Free Delivery."

It was on April 8, 1899, that the Democratic Advocate reported, "The 'Post Office on Wheels,' as the United States Mail Postal Wagon is commonly called, made its first trip last Monday and is making daily trips over the thirty miles of its route.

"The wagon has excited considerable interest in this city, and there were quite a number of persons present to see the start last Monday … that will probably revolutionize the rural mail service of the whole country."

When he is not enjoying an event at the Carroll Community College, Kevin Dayhoff can be depended upon to be courteous and nice at kevindayhoff@gmail.com.

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