Eva Skrenta moved to Columbia in 1974 drawn to the concept of a new town and an open, integrated community. She became active in the community through her homeowner’s association, politics and work at Columbia Medical Plan. Skrenta’s family emigrated to the United States after World War II. Skrenta talks about her father, Jerzy Kajetanski, a Holocaust survivor and an artist, his move to Columbia and her role in arranging local showings of his art and of his work being at the Holocaust Museum in Washington DC.
Bill Santos grew up in Columbia. He moved to Wilde Lake in 1972 when he was six and the family moved to Owen Brown in 1977. He attended Running Brook Elementary, Jeffers Hill Elementary, Owen Brown Middle and Hammond High. Santos recalls memories of the freedom of exploring the bike paths, swim team and life at the neighborhood pool, BMX track, and experience of working at the Town Center boat dock. Santos moved back to Columbia after the Navy and college and recalls going to Magarita Maggies and to Nottingham’s where you can find old friends. Santos is raising his family in Columbia and talks about his son’s experiences
Helen Ruther is a Columbia pioneer, moving to Columbia in 1967 from New York. Her husband worked at the Social Security Administration, she was a homemaker with young children. Ruther talks about her involvement in the new community, first with the League of Women Voters and as founding member of Howard County Democratic Club and Columbia Film Society. As a pioneer Ruther knew Jim Rouse and shares stories about him.