A tribute to the passing of 4 great Carroll countians who made a difference

A tribute to the passing of 4 great Carroll countians who made a difference: Haddad McDonald Schaeffer Law http://tinyurl.com/4GR8CCians

10Mar2019 by Kevin Dayhoff

Seems that my Sunday article in the Carroll County Times is not online. Makes me sad. The good news is that the paper printed the long version. The story may be accessed in the digital edition – find it here: http://tinyurl.com/4GR8CCians

The year 2019 has hardly begun and already the march of time has not been kind for a number of older, distinguished Carroll countians.

Among the folks who have made a difference in the community, whom we have lost in the first two months of the year are: • Richard Haddad, 77, who died Thursday, January 31, 2019. • David McDonald, 68, a former pharmaceutical representative and owner of Westminster Rare Coins who died Saturday, Feb. 9, 2019. Bobbye Schaeffer, 93, of the Schaeffer Lumber Company family in Westminster, died Friday, February 15, 2019 at Lorien Nursing and Rehab Center in Taneytown. • Dr. Alton Law, 85, of Westminster died Tuesday, February 19, 2019 from complications related to a rare neurological disease.

John H. Cunningham was a charter member of the Md. State Fireman’s Assoc.

John H. Cunningham was a charter member of the Md. State Fireman’s Assoc.

At the time of his death, Cunningham “was believed to be McDaniel - Western Maryland College's oldest living alumnae… and the State's only living charter member of the Maryland State Fireman's Association

When John Cunningham died, he was America's Oldest Banker in Years of Continuous Service. He was a lifelong member of the Westminster Fire Engine and Hose co. No. 1.
February 24, 2019 by Westminster Fire Engine and Hose Co. No 1 Chaplain Kevin Dayhoff

It is only fitting and appropriate that from time to time we take a moment to remember some of the many great Carroll Countians that have gone before us.

On December 31, 1965, John Cunningham passed away within a few hours of 99th birthday. Local historian Jay Graybeal wrote of “his rich life, including his interests in bicycling, walking and poker,” in a March 16, 1997 column in the Carroll County Times.

An earlier shorter version of this story appeared in the Carroll County Times on January 13th, 2019. Please find the article here: https://www.carrollcountytimes.com/columnists/features/cc-lt-dayhoff-011319-story.html. This version of a story about Mr. Cunningham is the long version with all the edits restored.

Finding a picture of Mr. Cunningham has been nearly impossible – except, I did finally find a picture of him at the Westminster Fire Engine and Hose Co. No. 1 - although the picture was damaged by the April 6, 1906 H. H. Harbaugh's Palace Livery Stable fire. The livery stable and residence was located next to the Fire House on East Main St in Westminster. The fire, which destroyed the huge building, also burned a portion of the Westminster fire station and the Westminster city offices that were located on the second floor of the station.

To put 1965 and the mid-1960s into some perspective, our country was just beginning a new phase of the Vietnam War; with the introduction of the first combat troops on February 9, 1965. Before we had, “advisors” engaged in the conflict. Later in the year, on November 14, the Battle of the Ia Drang began in the Central Highlands of Vietnam. It was the first major engagement of the war between regular American and North Vietnamese forces. Shortly afterwards, the pentagon told President Lyndon Johnson that the number of troops needed to be increased from 120,000 to 400,000.
At home, the Civil Rights movement was on the forefront of many as around 1965 was the last year that restaurants and such were segregated in Westminster. Malcolm X was assassinated in New York at the Audubon Ballroom on February 21.

Bloody Sunday had occurred on March 7 as 600 civil rights marchers were attacked by state and local police with billy clubs and tear gas. Led by Martin Luther King, Jr. civil rights marchers were finally successful, after three attempts, to walk from Selma to Montgomery in Alabama. On August 6, President Johnson signed into law the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

It was 1964 that Carroll County administrator George Grier went to New York to begin negotiations with Random House to build a book distribution center in Westminster. At that time in the negotiations, adequate supplies of water was a sticking point, among many issues that were subsequently ironed out before the facility opened on July 14, 1967, according to “From Our Front Porch,” a history of Carroll County from 1900-1999, by Jim Lee.

And oh in 1964 ice cream cost 89 cents per half gallon

Graybeal shared with us Cunningham’s obituary, which appeared on January 1, 1966, in an unidentified newspaper. The obituary began: "John H. Cunningham, believed to have been the oldest banker in the United States, died yesterday at his home… His wife, the former Mary Irwin, died in 1949… He was a past master of the Masonic order and was a member of the Westminster Church of Christ.”

Cunningham was born on New Year’s Day in 1867. According to his obit, “On January 1, 1885, while a senior at Western Maryland College, Mr. Cunningham began his banking career as a clerk with the Farmers and Mechanics National Bank, [at 105 E. Main St. in Westminster] following the footsteps of his father William, who was a clerk there.”

He worked in the same office, with the same employer for his entire life – from 1885 until when he passed away in 1965. “Many days he walked the mile to work from his home at 95 West Green Street.”

Graybeal reported; “His long career in banking was recognized by a telegram from President Kennedy in 1963.”

The telegram said: "Congratulations on being named by your friends and associates in Westminster and Carroll County as "America's Oldest Banker in Years of Continuous Service." Your 77 years record as a banker is certainly an impressive one and you deserve all the honors, which have been given you…”

He was well-known for his punctuality and folklore attests that “fellow employees reportedly set their watches by him,” as he would arrive at his desk “every working day promptly at 9 a.m. and would not leave until 3 in the afternoon…” It was also noted “that Mr. Cunningham had not missed a town meeting in Westminster since 1883, the year he became old enough to vote.

Cunningham played poker every Tuesday night between 7 and 11 p.m. sharp, at “Thelma Hoffman's restaurant at 216 E. Main Street [later known as Cockey’s Tavern] in Westminster.” Among his partners were Ben Thomas, Paul Whitmore, Miller Richardson, Ralph Bonsack, Frank Leidy, Theodore Brown and Norman Boyle.”

Cunningham was also well known for his New Year’s Day tradition of an all day poker game, “that began promptly at 11 a.m., broke for dinner at 5 p.m., then resumed until 11 p.m.”
At the time of his death, Cunningham “was believed to be Western Maryland College's oldest living alumnae… and the State's only living charter member of the Maryland State Fireman's Association.”

The January 1, 1966 obituary reported that: “Cunningham's interest in politics was rewarded during the Coolidge Administration with his appointment in 1923 as Surveyor of Customs at Baltimore, a post he held for nine years. In 1911, Mr. Cunningham ran unsuccessfully for State Comptroller.”

“Beside politics and poker, Mr. Cunningham loved walking. On weekends as late as 1964, he hiked along country roads, a white handkerchief tied to his cane, for safety.”

When he was 97 years old, he explained in a November 1964 interview: "I only walk half as far and about half as fast as I used to… It's a strain to walk more than 4 or 5 miles…"

“In his earlier days… [he] was a bicyclist of renown… According to a banker's association bulletin, in 1898 he bicycled 200 miles from Westminster to Atlantic City, N.J…” He waited to give up driving until he was approximately 92 years old.

In full disclosure, I met Cunningham in the early 1960s upon the occasion of one of his visits to City Hall to talk with City of Westminster Mayor Joseph L. Mathias who served on the Westminster Common Council May 1927 to May 1937 and Mayor from May 18, 1942 to December 3, 1963. To the best of my knowledge, I have only written about Cunningham a couple of times. Most notably, a portion of this column was previously published in 2006.

Carroll County is fortunate to have many great community leaders still with us. We should all take time to pause and thank them for their service to our community – whether we agree with them or disagree.

Every one of them is working hard to meet today’s and tomorrow’s challenges. In 2019, may we all work hard to rekindle a renewed sense of civility and have as full and vigorous a life as Mr. John Cunningham – playing poker, bicycling and walking many four or five miles is optional. God Bless and Happy New Year.


Westminster, Maryland, Cunningham, history, MSFA,

Details of the death of KTLA news anchor Chris Burrous released.

Details of the death of KTLA news anchor Chris Burrous released.

Apparently, it is one of those days in which it is not safe to read the news. First, there is the not so family-friendly story coming out of California about the sudden death of KTLA news anchor Chris Burrous.

Burrous, who is married to another journalist, died during a drug-enhanced – crystal meth - hook-up with another partner, who just happened to not be his wife. Oh, the details. You cannot make this stuff up. SMH.

Related: KTLA Anchor Chris Burrous Dies After Being Found Unconscious at Glendale Motel

I just do not get it. To rise to the level of accomplishment as Burrous and throw it away and die over a hook-up makes no sense.

According to the article in Yahoo, found here: https://www.yahoo.com/entertainment/ktla-anchor-chris-burrous-cause-230148391.html, that is not really safe for work, “An investigative report on KTLA anchor Chris Burrous has determined that his cause of death was attributed to methamphetamine toxicity, according to the Los Angeles County Coroner’s Office. Burrous, 43, was found unconscious at a motel in Glendale, Calif on December 27, and later died at the hospital. The death has been ruled as accidental

“The coroner’s report said that in addition to the Class A drug, ‘Other contributing factors include hypertensive and atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease.’”

Wait-wait it gets worse, if that were possible.

“Glendale police were contacted by a man who told them “an individual he was with had passed out and was possibly not breathing.” The man he was with administered CPR before Burrous was taken to the hospital. The medical emergency occurred during a sexual encounter, the report specified. It went on to explain that Burrous had met up through the Grindr app with a male companion, with whom he had met four times previously. During the encounter, Burrous inserted two “rocks” of crystal meth through his rectum before falling unconscious.

“GHB was also found at the scene, although the report indicated it had been consumed by the other man and not Burrous. The other man was not charged with any crime.

“The well-known news anchor had been a regular face on KTLA since 2011, co-anchoring the weekend edition of KTLA Morning News as well as serving as a correspondent for other KTLA telecasts. He was also one of the reporters covering the state’s recent wildfires as well as the mass shooting at Thousand Oaks’ Borderline Bar & Grill. He was also known for his “Burrous Bites” segments on local restaurants.

“Burrous is survived by his wife Mai Do-Burrous, a journalist whom he met while working at KGET, and their 9-year-old daughter.”

The only actor nominated for an Oscar in Spike Lee's film "BlacKkKlansman," is white.

The only actor nominated for an Oscar in Spike Lee's film "BlacKkKlansman," is white.

Feb. 24, 2019

In recent years, watching the Oscars has become tedious. For that matter, when I did media criticism years ago for another publication, I wrote about the Oscars becoming irrelevant mindless drivel. So many pathologically narcissistic Hollywood-types examining their navel with a cracked mirror.

In the latest Oscar death rattle: according to an article I found on Yahoo, “Aubrey Plaza rips on Oscars and Netflix in hilarious Spirit Awards monologue:”  https://www.yahoo.com/entertainment/aubrey-plaza-rips-oscars-netflix-005201592.html which first appeared in USA TODAY, “The host of the Spirit Awards, Aubrey Plaza, used part of her opening monologue to make fun of the Oscars…

“Another part of Plaza's monologue that got plenty of laughs was about Spike Lee's film "BlacKkKlansman," because its only actor nominated is a Caucasian star.

" 'BlacKkKlansman' explores the struggle of a black police officer to find his role in the fight against white supremacy. So congratulations to the sole nominee from that film today, Adam Driver. We are so proud of you. You were the best one. I’m sure they’ll do the white thing."

You cannot make this up. I have not watched the Oscars in years. It is no longer relevant. It killed itself with its pathological narcissistic personality defect.

The article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Aubrey Plaza rips on Oscars and Netflix in hilarious Spirit Awards monologue



Experienced U.K. Rider Dies When Lead Rope Wraps Around Her Neck

How many of us have thoughtlessly draped a lead rope across our shoulders when we get busy and aren't thinking... "Take just a minute to remind yourself to be careful when you're working with horses, even when you're not mounted. Casually looping a rope around your arm can lead to disaster before you even know it. Stay safe, be careful, and have fun…”

According to the story by Paige Cerulli Retrieved February 23, 2019:

“In a tragic accident, a rider was killed when a lead rope became wrapped around her neck and the horse bolted. 

“Kathryn Bull, 39 years old of Nottinghamshire was killed in a tragic accident. Bull, an experienced horseperson, was dragged 450 feet across a field when the rope attached to a horse she was leading became wrapped around her neck…”

Read more here: https://www.wideopenpets.com/rider-dies-when-lead-rope-wraps-around-her-neck/?fbclid=IwAR3ApVFR_bVGeASQvq8t1-o8ktPv6SPbxM3zPeNqze_zD7xYz7yHErcmRwY 

On Dec. 25, 2001, the Christian rock band, P.O.D. released “Youth of the Nation”

On Dec. 25, 2001, the Christian rock band, P.O.D. released “Youth of the Nation”

By Kevin Dayhoff, assembled from multiple sources Dec. 26, 2018

On Dec. 25, 2001, the American Christian metal band, P.O.D. released “Youth of the Nation,” a single from the album “Satellite,” written by Noah Bernardo, Marcos Curiel, Traa Daniels, and Sonny Sandoval. For many historians, the song is accepted as an anthem of the era in its telling of three stories of adolescent tragedy in American culture.

If you check out the official Atlantic Records’ music video carefully, directed by Paul Fedor, Carhenge is used as a backdrop for parts of the chorus; and the book “On the Road” by Jack Kerouac can be seen on the dashboard of the car - https://youtu.be/EDKwCvD56kw. 

According to multiple sources, but best explained by Zachary Fenell, in “Alternative Rock Songs About Suicide,” October 11, 2010, “It begins by describing a teenager unknowingly skating to school only to be shot by a fellow student. Lyrics go on to speculate whether or not the boy who committed the act felt unloved. 

“Following the chorus, a 12-year-old girl called ‘little Suzie’ is depicted as having been abandoned by her father and subsequently ‘finding love in all the wrong places.’ 

“Finally, another teen known as ‘Johnny boy’ fails to fit in with his peers and ultimately commits suicide by firearm, ‘[telling] the world how he felt with the sound of a gat.’”

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