Wednesday, December 03, 2003

Before word trickled out this week about President Bush's plans to visit Halethorpe, the most celebrated event in this well-kept corner of southwest Baltimore County was probably the Fair of the Iron Horse back in 1927.

Not to say that Halethorpe residents have minded the lull between that much-revered fair -- which attracted crowds from around the country and railroad exhibits from around the world -- and the presidential entourage that will descend on the Commerce Drive Home Depot on Friday.

Neat and quiet is how people like this small patch of the county, said 72-year-old Joseph P. Kinsey, president of the Halethorpe Improvement Association. Neat and quiet, even as the hum of surrounding interstates and passing trains envelop it, and as the traffic on Washington Boulevard zooms down its spine.

Which leads to the question that even Kinsey and his wife, Halethorpe boosters for decades, cannot answer. Why would the president stop here?

"It's weird!" exclaimed Helen "Stormy" Kinsey, whose nickname comes from being born during a 1933 hurricane. "Why would he come to Halethorpe?"

Oddly enough, nobody actually seems to want him there, either. Ya think that maybe he's just on Home Depot's payroll?

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