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Don’t miss the next First Friday program

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There was a good crowd on the Courthouse Square for First Friday this weekend. I think it is one of the really nice things about our small town, and try not to ever miss that special evening. 

Local farmers and some craftser display their goods. Carrollton Main Street Program furnishes ice water or (this past week) snow cones, while the Carroll County Fair Board or some other group usually fixes sandwiches.

Lucky individuals get to try their hand(s) at the cash cube.Talented individuals win at cooking or photography contests.  

To top it off, we get to enjoy some good music for free. June featured a Dixieland band from Madison, Ind. This month brought Clay Cable, Jim Monk and friends to the courthouse steps to entertain us. 

If you haven’t been before or if you haven’t stopped by the farmers market on the square on Wednesday afternoons or at Hometown Pizza on Saturday mornings, you are missing a good part of life in Carroll County.

First Friday is also a chance to visit with folks I don’t see as much now that I am the former ‘library lady,’ as one gentleman called me. I was pleased to speak with Mayor Gene McMurry and thank him for the progress he is making with city projects.

I just recently returned from a week out of town and as I drove in, I first noticed the small Tree City Park. It gives us a unique entry to our Main Street and looks lovely with the flowers and a new bench. The RV park is taking shape down at the Point, and it seems the community is moving in a positive direction to take advantage of our naturally beautiful setting.

Several events are planned for the big race weekend coming up and I know that those who venture into our town will be impressed.

Other things I noticed that happened in my absence include the no smoking signs in Welch’s Riverside Restaurant.  Thank you, Junior and Donna. I apologize to the smokers, but the smoke free air sure is an improvement for the rest of us.  I am still somewhat puzzled by the large obelisque on the front lawn of a home on Highland Avenue  But again, it’s part of what makes our town unique.

I mentioned being out of town. This trip was to take my great nephew to Annapolis for five days at the Naval Academy.  He will be a senior this coming year and is considering applying for the academy.  Being accepted at this camp is a kind of first step, though not mandatory.  Annapolis has changed considerably in the nearly 30 years I’ve been away from Maryland.  Restoration has gripped the state capitol and once abandoned store fronts are now trendy boutiques and restaurants. My niece and her daughter went from shop to shop trying on size 5 petites. I told them my idea of a dream vacation would be to take them to a town that had nothing but boutiques with plus-size clothing and make them wait for me.

When I lived in Baltimore my friends and I used to take their boat down to the Annapolis Harbor and tie up for the afternoon. We once took my parents when they came to visit. That can’t happen anymore. The entire harbor area is developed and the town was wall-to wall people. 

While Eric was at camp, the three of us rode the Megabus from Baltimore to New York City for three days.  If you don’t know about the Megabus, Google it. (It also runs from Cincinnati to Chicago.) We rode on a modern bus with Wi-Fi and large comfortable seats for $13 round trip and it can be done for even less. This was a trip for the 14-year-old, so we visited the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, Ground Zero, NBC studios, and Top of the Rock, and all the clothing shops that she wanted to stop in. (Guess what — nothing above a size 7). 

I made reservations for the Oyster Bar at Grand Central Station because I thought she should see a place featured so much on television. As soon as she got back to Columbus, Ind., she saw the AT&T flash mob ad filmed right there.

We also watched as scenes were being filmed for a USA Network show called “White Collar” in Bryant Park, right behind the New York Public Library. This is the same park where Glen Beck claims to have been harassed by young people a few days later.

I apologize for making much of my modest travels to those of you who really do see the world, but I am amazed in one way or another by everywhere I go. 

Observations from this trip: I need to travel with people closer to my own age as subway stairs are killers for me; if the economy is so bad, where are all these tourists coming from; is there anyone left in Russia (Russians are everywhere!); don’t be lulled by the colorful column of candies in the M & M store.  The first thing you know, you’ve bought a pound!