Through the years — Rocking with Elvis
40 years ago today (from the Avenue News of August 18, 1977)
The Essex-Middle River Civic Council pushed the local government for a complete environmental impact study and statement on proposed improvements to the Marlyn Ave.-Eastern Blvd. intersection, Baltimore County launched a program to clean up Middle River by hiring 25 people that were employed using federal money, the community and property owners grew concerned af- ter five fish kills stuck the Back River community since August 4, leaving thousands of dead fish on the water surface and on the shores of homeowners, and Essex residents expressed their vocal skepticism over the federal government’s plans to construct a 12-story high-rise apartment building for elderly and handicapped residents near the Middlesex Shopping Center.
30 years ago today (from the Avenue News of August 20, 1987)
Kenwood High School athletes finally were able to play under the spotlight after the Board of Education approved the construction of lights on the school’s athletic field. Costing $114,000, the project would be funded by three private Baltimore corporations.
Williard G. Bankert, an Essex resident, was set to compete in the 1987’s Ironman Triathalon Championship where he would swim 2.4 miles, bike 112 miles, and run a 26.2-mile reunion, the Avenue profiled Don “Duck” Dasher, a local who set up one of the largest soft crab sloughing operations in the area, and the Baltimore County Police Department offered new boating courses for local groups and businesses.
25 years ago today (from the Avenue News of August 20, 1992)
The Avenue profiled the exploits of Middlesex resident George Miller, who was crowned the grand champion at the WJZ Karaoke Contest. Miller, a warehouseman at a trucking company, wowed the audience with his stirring performance of “All My Rowdy Friends.”
Martin Marietta Aero and Naval Systems secured a $68 million Navy contract to produce, test, and deliver MK 41 Vertical Launching Systems, several Essex residents and members of a Civil War reenactment group were invited to Gettysburg to be a part of filming a TV series about the war, and Essex Community College offered a course all about the Chesapeake Bay including a weekend trip and expedition one of the Bay’s southern islands.
20 years ago today (from the Avenue News of August 21, 1997)
August 18 marked the opening day of rock fishing season for recreational fisherman. Despite speculation that doubted the area’s health due to a number of reported fishkills in nearby counties, the Department of Nature Resources claimed residents were free and safe to fish.
Essex Day was no longer a teenager as it celebrated its 20th year on the 400-500 blocks of Eastern Ave. The street festival celebrated with a record 125 vendors, 80% of which were from local businesses and groups. After the event’s success, organizers looked to the future, hoping to get 200 vendors for next year’s celebration.
The Gateway Committee unveiled a watercolor drawing of their proposed new sign and Gateway Landmark. The sign, handcrafted with redwood and gold trim, was meant to replace the Essex Cube landmark at the intersection of Eastern Blvd. and Old Eastern Ave. The sign would be a three-dimensional arrange- ment featuring a sailboat and sunrise design, carrying the message “Welcome to EssexMiddle River, Gateway to the Chesapeake.”
10 years ago today (from the Avenue News of August 22, 2007)
The community reeled from the tragic loss of community advocate and Avenuewriter Jackie Nickel. She passed away due to complications from cancer on August 17. Nickel had served the community for decades, working in organizations like the Essex-Middle River Civic Council and the Middle River Renaissance Corporation and acting as an activist for the Back River peninsula and the Chesapeake Bay. “Jackie will always be remembered as a strong-willed, vocal advocate for the Essex community,” wrote the Avenue news staff.
Sixty lucky children were treated to a day of fun and activities at the Middle River Salvation Army Boys and Girls Club. Students were led to a room filled with school supplies and were told to fill up their backpacks in preparation for the upcoming school year. At the same time, over 700 new Baltimore County teachers gathered to undergo back-to-school training with a pep talk from BCPS Superintendent Dr. Joe Hairston.
15 years ago today: Residents of the Oak Crest Village Retirement Community rocked n’ rolled as Elvis entered the building to commemorate the 25th anniversary of “The King’s” death. The senior center even served up an Elvis-inspired menu for the event, including “Jail House Rock” fish and “All Shook Up” milk shakes. (From the Avenue News of August 21, 2002)