Yesterday, I was at our Maryland Republican Party Spring Convention in Hagerstown, representing the Republican voters who elected me to our county Central Committee.
It only took about an hour to get there on I-70, being very early on a Saturday morning. For all of the talk from our Planning Board, my trip only reinforced my perception that the view from 270 and 70 is far more beautiful in Frederick County than here in Montgomery County. Granted, a small part of that is that Frederick is more mountainous. But only a small part.
You know you're reaching a higher elevation when your ears close, like what happens on an airplane. Then it is all silent for a while. The Maryland rest stop is CLOSED! Heck of a job, O'Malley!! The helpful sign tells you there's another rest stop in 41 miles. I guess if you're falling asleep, the Governor recommends you turn up the radio, open the window, and repeatedly slap yourself in the face for the next 41 miles. Have a nice day.
You also know you're in the real America when there are signs for Waffle House and Cracker Barrel on the side of the highway.
I finally arrived at the Clarion Hotel, and what did I find is directly across the street? A Weis Markets store! The grocery store is a different design from the one in Damascus. I will upload a video of the exterior to the Robert Dyer Channel soon.
Our convention took a surprise twist when my Central Committee colleague, Pat Fenati, introduced an amendment to table the controversial "regional chairs" amendment. This resulted in a series of votes which tabled all
of the smaller counties' proposals to weaken the larger ones until after the 2010 elections. Finally, we can actually do the people's business at the remaining two conventions of my term of office.
We also elected Kelly Schulz of Frederick County as our new 3rd Vice Chair, finally ending the all-white-male hold on executive officer positions in our state party.
Anne Arundel County Executive John Leopold spoke as well.
After the convention and lunch, I went to City Park where there is a railroad museum. I took plenty of photos, and one is already up - you can find it by going to www.RobertDyer.net
. There are real train tracks next to the museum, but I only managed to see one Norfolk Southern freight on the overhead tracks. And of course, by the time I ran over with my camera, the two locomotives had already passed out of range. The one great thing at the museum is the preserved 1912 Western Maryland steam locomotive 202, which serviced Hagerstown and now is there on permanent display. That is the first picture I've uploaded.
Around the historic Hager House, there was a French and Indian War encampment set up. (Don't worry, I've got photos of that, too). This was really interesting because I have an ancestor who fought in that war.
There was also a beautiful lake with ducks and swans, and a fountain out in the middle. If only there were more trains going past... I'm not aware of a park like this, with trains running through it, around here in the Washington area.
Most of downtown Hagerstown is a bit rougher than you'd expect.
After having little success catching any real trains on film passing by, it was time to head back to Montgomery County. Stay tuned for videos and photos from my trip.
Speaking of videos, I have just uploaded a new one starring a groundhog. Yes, a real groundhog. Go watch it now on the Robert Dyer Channel at www.RobertDyer.net