History & Lore

Is cursive an evolutionary dodo?
       Can you sign your name in cursive?

Fourth-grade student artists tell it four ways

       Kathy Wolfstone-Smith took an artistic gamble last summer.        Wolfstone-Smith, who teaches arts and humanities at Shady Side Elementary, asked the Captain Avery Museum to display her students’ work.         “Kudos to them for being so supportive,” she says. “At the time we set this up, I had no way of knowing how it was going to turn out.”

Annapolis hears two powerful local African American choruses in one weekend

     The civil rights movement raised its courage and renewed its hope on the music of faith that sustained black America through slavery, Jim Crow and oppression. The national Martin Luther King Jr. holiday makes this a weekend to hear that music loud and clear.       Two local African American choruses sing in Annapolis this weekend, both at St. John’s College.  

"If we don’t tell these stories, no one will know what life was really like"

      Important African American history is being lost with each passing year. You can help preserve the past before it disappears forever by sharing a story about the civil rights era and historic sites in Anne Arundel County.       The Lost Towns Project wants to hear your stories about African American history for two grants sponsored by the National Park Service Civil Rights African American Historic Preservation Program and the Maryland Heritage Areas Authority. 

(And dogs)

      All the best stories are about dogs. This is the opinion of my 10-year-old daughter, so her claim carries some weight.       But for me, all the best stories take place at Christmas. Whether I am watching Southern High School’s production of A Christmas Carol or reading the story of Nativity from the Gospel of Luke, I am reminded that miracles happen in the presence of those who believe, and all the best stories contain miracles.

Its fragile globes tell the ­stories of our lives

      Every year we bring them out. The boxes come up from the basement or down from the attic; in from the garage or just out of the hall closet. Among them, there it is, brimming with memories, the Christmas box brought out once a year that tells the stories of our lives in the ornaments collected over the years. 

On December 23, 1783, our first commander in chief resigned in Annapolis

     During the fall of 1783, 51-year-old General George Washington wanted nothing so much as to spend the upcoming Christmas at his Mount Vernon home. The Revolutionary War was all but over. Once the British evacuated New York and the peace treaty was signed in Paris, Washington could head for Annapolis to resign his commission as commander in chief. Only then would he ride home. 

Local teacher gives Santas a lesson

     He errs who thinks Santa enters through the chimney. Santa enters through the heart. –Charles W. Howard, 1937         Loud music, bright flashing lights, sensory stimulation, mounting excitement: The very things that make this time of year magical can become a recipe for distress for some children and their weary parents.

It takes six to 10 years of attention to get it right

     The most common species of conifers used as Christmas trees are white pine, Scots pine, Douglas fir, balsam fir, Frazier fir, concolor fir, Canaan fir, Colorado spruce and white spruce. Norway spruce are not recommended because they shed needles rapidly if allowed to dry out once. In more southern states, Virginia pine, white cedar and red cedar and often used.       Most growers purchase seedlings from nurseries that specialize in growing these species from seed.

Artist John W. ‘Bud’ Taylor inspired an ethic of land preservation

     Mayo resident John W. ‘Bud’ Taylor told us (https://tinyurl.com/BW-Taylor-99) that for him, being outdoors wasn’t exactly a drive. “It’s more a refreshment, like recharging your batteries,” he said. It turns out that it was actually Bud, who passed away at the age of 86 on Oct. 28, who was recharging our collective drive all these years to treasure and protect the Bay landscapes.