Monday, December 13, 2010

My Other Home Town

Though I often refer to Columbia as my home town, it didn’t even exist when I was born. Fifty plus years ago HoCo was still very much a rural county where the main HoCo highway was Route 40 West. Back then my family lived just across the HoCo border in Catonsville, or more specifically “Old Catonsville.”

Old Catonsville was this week’s community in the “Where We Live” feature in The Washington Post. In this story by Laura Barnhardt Cech she identifies Old Catonsville as “an enclave with about 350 houses in the center of the unincorporated town.”

We lived on Payson Avenue between Sanford and Newburg and we could walk or ride our bikes everywhere. We walked to school, the Post Office, the library and the pool. The fireworks at Catonsville High School were close enough that we could join neighbors in a back yard to watch them. We could also walk up two blocks to catch the parade which has been held every summer since 1947.

“Weeks before the holiday, residents start putting out their lawn chairs to reserve spots on Frederick Road to watch the parade of marching bands, floats, cars and local celebrities. (Every year, at least one joker puts out a lawn chair on New Year's Day.)”
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