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November 2013

The story of a man who wanted to die with his boots on

A few lines of cocaine, a three-way with rodeo groupies and a belt or two of whiskey is how Ron Woodroof (Matthew McConaughey: Mud) liked to start his mornings. Before long, hard living and hard fighting make a mess of this bull rider.     In hospital after an accident, he learns he’s been infected with HIV, a relatively new disease in 1985. Doctors offer counseling and a death sentence of 30 days. Incensed at the suggestion that he has a disease of gay people, Ron does what he does best: make an ugly scene and go on a bender.

Area soccer youth draw ­inspiration from local star

World Cup-bound soccer star Kyle Beckerman grew up here in Chesapeake Country, in Crofton, where many a young player hopes to run in his footsteps.     The 31-year-old has been making a name for himself in the international soccer world through solid performances in the 2013 International Football Federation — or FIFA — Gold Cup and the 2014 World Cup qualification tournament for this summer’s games.

Fight hunger slurping soup from 10 area restaurants

What does it take to get 13 restaurants, four local businesses, three community organizations and dozens of students working toward a common goal?

Anglers from the boat Bluejay show off the 13.8-pound rockfish that earned them third place in this year’s Fish for a Cure tournament. From left: Brian Wood, Capt. Tilghman, Capt. Mike Cassidy, Greg Lilly, Brendan Kelly, Greg Gunning and Marty Cassidy.     Some 200 anglers aboard 52 boats raised $215,000 for the Geaton and JoAnn DeCesaris Cancer Institute at Anne Arundel Medical Center. Since 2007, Fish for a Cure has donated $600,000 — more than half of its $1 million fundraising pledge.

Migrant waterfowl arriving in force

Species by species, flocks are arriving from their summer nesting and breeding homes in the north. Some fly our way from as far west as Alaska; others come from the Maritime Provinces of eastern Canada.     Month by month since August, we’ve been visited by diving ducks: blue-winged teal, green-winged teal, shovelers, pintails and wood ducks, says Maryland Department of Natural Resources’ Larry Hindman.

A moving Veterans Day tribute to World War II wives

Mid-20th century, the weekly magazine was the premier delivery of news, culture, values, information and all things current. Photo-laden Life Magazine was one of the stalwarts. The Cover of LIFE — written by Louisiana native R. T. Robinson in 1992 — recalls that era.

Not up to Twain’s standard

Good theater, like good fiction, convinces the audience to suspend its disbelief, and Mark Twain’s genius was his ability to convey place and personality with such unblinking realism that we embrace his story no matter how far-fetched. In The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, that meant accepting that Tom (John Patterson), a kid from a good home, could be best friends with the town delinquent, Huck Finn (Erik W.

The interloper visits Spica and Mercury

Mercury is putting on its best pre-dawn show of 2013, more than doubling in brightness this week, from +1 magnitude to –0.5 (each order of magnitude is exponential, so an increase from +1 to 0 is a doubling). Monday marks the innermost planet’s greatest elongation — its farthest point away from the sun as seen from earth and its highest point above the horizon. Mercury rises a little before 6am and climbs nearly 15 degrees above the southeast horizon before the sun rises more than an hour later.

Here’s your recipe for making them into rich compost

Don’t bag those leaves for the county to collect. Use them in making your own compost. It takes about a bushel of leaves to make a gallon of quality compost, which contains more nutrients and fiber than peat moss and is less acetic.

Trap is a great diversion when it’s too cold to fish

Rising early, I looked out the window to check the tree line. Stiff winds had kept us in for days, and I was eager to get back on the water and after the big ocean-run stripers arriving of late. I lit up as I saw that the skyline was not just still but dead-still.     We even had an overcast. What could be more perfect? Then I glanced at the outside temperature. Thirty-eight degrees was a showstopper. There are places to visit in near-freezing weather, but the Chesapeake in a small open boat is not one of them.