Pete Fedak was born and raised in a rough and tumble suburb of New Brunswick, N.J., the son of the man who ran a bar for workingman.
Fedak grew up with a tough breed of playmate - "you know, the guys with the dese and dose and the sore troat" - he says, pointing to his Adam's apple. His village was named Bonhamtown, but the folks who lived there all called it Bottomtown.
Fedak wasn't big but he was fast fast enough to win a scholarship to Georgetown University, where he ran hurdles and earned his B.A. After a stint in the Army he came back, coached track, worked in the dorma and managed to earn a law degree.
Today Fedak has it made.
For the last seven years he has been a neighbor to Presidents. he keeps a 65-acre spread hard by Camp David, Md., in the Catoctin Mountain, an hour's drive from the new home he's building in Rockville.
The old farm means a lot to him. Over the years he's had the house completely remodeled and built the first of two planned fish ponds and stocked it with trout. He has dug out the rocks and junk in the unused fields and planted acres of grass, restored the old chestnut barn and begun installing his father's bar in it. Fedak bought an old railroad caboose and had it hauled to the farm and pluncked down across the road from his front door. He plans to restore it.
It is peaceful place in the country where Fedak likes to take his family to watch the deer, foxes and rabbits come and go, where doon he will be taking his son, now 2, fishing in nearby Little Hunting Creek.
"I just want to come up here on the weekends and sit in my house and watch my pond," he says wistfully.
There are days now when the peace and quiet is broken by a lot more than the comings and goings of presidnetial parties. The farm across the road was bought last year by the Washington strake og the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints. The church has big plans.
Federick County planners have approved a church proposal for a site development on the 75 acres. The proposal calls for overnight accommodations for up to 350 people and daytime room for others. Aslo approved are long-range plans for a baseball diamond, tennis court, handball, racquetball, football, soccer and basketball facilities, s seimming pool, bus, cmaper and trailer parking, a lodge, primitive shelters and a parking lot for 170 cars directly across from Fedak's house and adjacent to his pond.
Some of that development probably would be under way by now, nut the plan hit a snag when most of the land failed severage percolation of housing 25 people, passed and a shelter is hald-built on that.
Fedak is praying the church doesn't elect to build an expensive severage trearment plant or pay for a costly tieing to regional sewers, but neither of those seems a logical next step.
Ben Allen, an engineer working on the site plan, said the church hopes to build its own trearment plant.
Meanwhile, church members have been out for the weekend campouts and, according to neighbor Jeanne Romanowski, on three or four occasions this summer more than 100 campers stayed overnight.
It's all a shock to Fedak, whothought at last he'd found his peacful country paradise. And it's one more example of how the march of city life into the wilderness, which was slowed briefly by fuel shotages and rising prices, is resuming.