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Charlestown Resident Unveils Sculpture Created from Forgotten Sycamore Root Found on Construction Site

July 16, 2012

Carroll Yingling's Charlestown 2012: Rooted and Reaching celebrates past and future 

CATONSVILLE, MD---In January, Carroll Yingling, a resident of Charlestown, watched wistfully as construction workers went about their business as part of the retirement community's modernization project.
"As I observed the debris accumulate and be trucked away, the thought occurred to me.  I needed a reminder of that place behind the Charlestown Square clubhouse," described Mr. Yingling.  "So I kept an eye out for materials that might serve as a souvenir."
One day, he noticed that a giant sycamore root had been unearthed.  "That's it," he said to himself.
Mr. Yingling immediately visited the site, and to the surprise of the project supervisor from Harkins Builders, asked if he could have the root.  Sporting a quizzical look, the Harkins employee accommodated the request, even carrying the root to the sidewalk.
Mr. Yingling took the root to his patio, removed the mud and let it dry during the unusually mild winter.  He then toted it to the sculpture studio of the Catonsville campus of the Community College of Baltimore County.
After flipping, carving and poly-chroming, Mr. Yingling transformed a piece of forgotten wood--what would have been hauled to a landfill or shred by a mulcher-- into an interpretative work of art.
He named it Charlestown 2012: Rooted and Reaching for a simple reason.  "Reflecting a history that began in 1983, Charlestown is rooted in the past with tradition, yet the community continues to reach out and grow in a thriving place," he said.
Red and orange, the colors of the original Charlestown "Sunburst," decorate the bottom of the sculpture; the new blue and green colors of Erickson Living are found nearer the top.  The piece also features sixteen "hands" that represent the bond between generations.
On July 11th, Mr. Yingling unveiled his sculpture on his patio deck among friends, family and employees.
About Charlestown: Charlestown, managed and developed by Erickson Living, is a retirement community that provides worry-free living for America's seniors-the country's fastest growing population segment.  Erickson Living's financial value and predictable monthly service fees provide residents across the country financial peace of mind.  Comprehensive health and wellness services, integrated into our continuum of care, lead to demonstrated resident benefits.  A robust complement of resident programs and facilities promote an engaged, fulfilling lifestyle that is reflected in resident satisfaction levels that exceed the industry average.  For more information, please visit