Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Part 9- Summer 2007

The Banner
Where in the hell is Street Maryland?

For the geographically challenged, Street Maryland is about 10 miles north of Bel Air, about five miles from the Pennsylvania line. A check with Wikipedia tells us:

Street, Maryland, 21154 is a rural unincorporated area in Northern Harford County, Maryland. The latitude of Street is 39.668N. The longitude is -76.379W. It is in the Eastern Standard time zone. Elevation is 525 feet. Street was first settled by Dutch immigrants in the early 1700s. The community was named for Thomas Street, a landowner. One of the central villages in Street is Highland. The village had a station stop on the Maryland and Pennsylvania Railroad which served the farms within the area until it ceased passenger service in 1954 and ceased freight service in 1958. The post office for Street, Maryland is located in the village of Highland. The village was once home to Highland High School which later became Highland Elementary School. Highland Elementary School was shut down when the North Harford Elementary School was opened. The large building has other community purposes now, including the alternative Highlands School, Mason-Dixon Community Service, Highland Senior Center and the Street post office.,_Maryland.,+MD,+United+States+of+America&ie=UTF8&ll=39.67707,-76.381073&spn=0.242044,0.462799&z=11&iwloc=addr&om=1

So now, you know.

Our next contest was scheduled for the first part of August in Bel Air, very close to home. It would be almost 2 ½ months, that seems like a long time off, but it looked to be a very busy time. I do a little backyard catering for friends and family members. I had four weekends already committed in addition to a scheduled graduation party at my house for my youngest son Sam in late June. It would not be a very relaxing time.

The newly collected hardware from the Landover contest became a permanent fixture in the BBQ trailer. Several members of the team help me out with the catering gigs and we were always sure to display the two new trophies when we set up our cooking site. We had a lot of fun telling the story about our first contest to anyone that would listen. We would put out a good spread that might include anything from pit meats to pulled pork and anything in between. The folks really seemed to enjoy our food and listening to our tales of BBQ conquests, or should I say BBQ conquest (singular). Even though we were brand new team, we still had a lot of fun with it.

When you schedule four catering events, a graduation party and a week long family vacation, a 2 ½-month layoff goes by in a hurry. I was working on getting a team banner made. A friend of ours, Roger Parrish is a good artist and had expressed a willingness to help us with the creation of the banner. He said that he would do the preliminary drawing based on what I wanted. Roger and I met for lunch and I went over the different ideas that I had. He made some suggestions and said he would get right on it.

It was not long before Roger called and said he would drop off two sketches that he had done for the team banner. I looked them over and liked them both. (thanks Roger!) After some consultation with the family, I decided on one and dropped it off at the sign shop. I had given the sign folks a few additions to the sketch and of course, they also had had a few ideas, it was a real group effort. I just hoped that it would be ready for Bel Air.

The one thing I wanted on the banner was a reference to my home area of Street Maryland. Since I moved here in 1991, I think I had heard just about every reaction to the name of our zip code imaginable. The most often heard was, “where is Street Maryland?” I had even heard it from other people that lived in Harford County. I will agree that it is an unusual name, coupled with the fact that there is no real town named Street. It is the name of an area, and a large area at that. With no city or town that can be referenced, it almost begs to question, “where IS Street?”

In honor of the relatively unknown name of our post office up here in Northern Harford county, I asked the sign shop to have the running chicken asking the obvious question that a lot of folks might have, “where in the hell is Street Maryland?” The banner is a real hit when we travel to contests. I have seen many folks taking pictures and pointing at the characters displayed. It also serves as a real ice breaker as many people will come forward and say “I know where Street Maryland is” or they might ask the inevitable question, “where IS Street Maryland?” Either way, it is a great conversation starter and a great way to meet people!

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