Saturday, January 26, 2013

Ice Skating at Bowie's Foxhill Lake in 1969

Foxhill Lake, January 24, 2013
January 26, 1969 (44 years ago today): The Washington Post published "Take Note: Washington's Winter Fun," an article about sledding, skating and other winter activities in the D.C. area.  The "Skating in Maryland" section included the following:  "A warming house with do-it-yourself wood burners and ample log supply adds a special touch at Foxhill Lake in Foxhill Park, off Route 197 in Bel Air between Route 450 and the John Hanson Highway."

According to a spokesperson at that time, Maryland National Capital Park and Planning posted "No Skating" signs at Foxhill Lake and other area ponds until the ice was at least five inches thick, which allowed for four or five good skating days each winter.

Times have changed.  No longer would the Washington Post refer to the area as "Bel Air," and "No Skating" signs are posted year round at FoxHill Lake.  It's also rare for Foxhill Lake to freeze over for very long (this week being an exception).

This photo was taken two days ago after an overnight snow blanketed the lake.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

15-Year-Old Steals and Crashes Plane at Freeway Airport

Piper Cherokee wreckage at Freeway Airport (Photo by Arnie Miles)
January 12, 1975 (38 years ago today):  A 15-year-old boy suffered a broken collar bone and bruises to his face after he stole an airplane from Freeway Airport and crashed during takeoff.  The boy had wandered away from St. Elizabeth's Hospital in D.C. the day before, where he was enrolled in a special program for deaf children.

Maryland State Police believe that the boy was homesick, and he was attempting to travel to New Jersey to reunite with his family.  He apparently walked more than twenty miles before coming across the airport while walking along Route 50.

Despite taking off into the wind, the boy was able to get the plane thirty feet into the air before it crashed 300 feet from the end of the runway.  He was able to escape the wreckage, and he walked to a nearby farmhouse for help.

The boy was charged with with grand larceny and breaking and entering.  The teenager had no prior record.

The single-engine Piper Cherokee was totaled in the crash.


Homesick Deaf Lad Steals Airplane; Crashes, But Survives
The Bowie Blade, January 16, 1975

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Lifetime Bowie Resident Gabriel "Flick" Nalley Passes Away at 95

Lifetime Bowie resident Gabriel “Flick” Nalley passed away this week. He was 95. My condolences go out to the Nalley and Kuciemba families.

Family members lost a father, an uncle, a grandfather and a great grandfather, and the community lost a window into local history.

Flick Nalley was born in 1917 on the Belair Farm where his father worked. He later became the farm’s Assistant Manager with duties that included overseeing the tobacco and corn crops.

Levitt’s purchase of the property forced Nalley to leave the farm. Nalley moved his house on Belair to a new location on Forest Drive. Levitt suggested that it would be cheaper for Nalley to purchase one of the new Levitt houses, but Nalley wanted more open space because he was “used to living on a 2300 acre farm.” Two stone pillars that once greeted guests at an entrance to the Belair Farm can be seen today on Forest Drive at the end of Nalley’s driveway.

Nalley later worked for Levitt during the development of Belair at Bowie.

Jeff Krulik filmed this interview with Flick Nalley a couple of years ago. I posted this over the summer, but thought it was worth posting again.

Click here to See Flick Nalley’s obituary.