Dating

I have a date. Yeah, I finally got around to it. But to be perfectly honest, the woman I’m taking out to dinner is the mother of an old friend, a fellow writer whom I’ve known for many years. That doesn’t mean that I’m not looking forward to it. We’ll be going to one of my favorite restaurants named the Kings Contrivance. That’s also the name of the Columbia village in which the restaurant is located. Here’s the story of how all this came to be:

The restaurant was opened in 1962 by Kingdon Gould, Jr. in an old county home that previously belonged to the Macgill family. Gould named his restaurant “The King’s Contrivance,” which combined his nickname with the word “contrivance.” This name was inspired by the names of old Colonial-era land grants, many of which were referred to as the “contrivances” of their owners. In 1967, Gould sold the restaurant to the Rouse-related developer of Columbia, the Howard Research and Development Corporation. In 1973, Kings Contrivance was selected as the name of the Columbia new village “because of its familiarity and identification with the area of the village.”

I should explain that the city of Columbia, Maryland, consists of ten “villages,” each of which has a community association, that is an independent, incorporated, nonprofit civic association. I live in the village of Hickory Ridge.

So my date and I will, among other things, be reaching back into the history of the lovely town we both live in.

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