view counter

People

Summer after summer, you’d hear of some unlucky swimmer, waterman or shellfish eater. Then it happened to me

     On and in, I’ve swum, fished, crabbed, eeled, sailed, canoed, kayaked and written about the Patuxent River — from both sides — since 1960. When you live with a place for over 60 years, you think you know it.     From the birds that harvest the river … the migratory swans, geese, red-winged blackbirds and songbirds that visit … myriad sea creatures, terrapins, wiggly critters in the muck, ghosts of Patuxent Indians and later lost sailors who all sleep beneath — I love my river.

1939-2014

     Whitey Schmidt said many of his books were about secrets. He traveled to hundreds of crab houses, some off the beaten path (read: far off the beaten path) to write about the well known and the unknown. He talked to locals around the Chesapeake on how they prepared blue crabs and to owners of roadside stands about their favorite ways to prepare an Eastern Shore tomato, cucumber or peach. He introduced us to these people and their recipes through his 11 books about what these waters and lands produce.

Training makes a happier fellow

Optimus Prime was a playful, high-energy puppy when Sergeant Gregory ‘GJ’ Tomas Jr. received orders deploying him to Afghanistan for a second tour with the 82nd Airborne Division out of Fort Bragg, N.C.

Scott Sylte stands firm for his service dog

As the sun dips into the Bay at the Calvert County marina where he lives, 59-year-old Scott Sylte stares into the Chesapeake. He likes an angry sea. With salt-and-pepper beard and a skipper’s cap, he more closely resembles a sea captain than the human rights champion he is.     He doesn’t like the word activist — but it fits him.

Back then we had gardens; now we have Whole Foods

     Biggest problem in today’s society? I think electronics. Children watch too much TV. They have too many toys. They should be going outside, learning how to communicate, exercising.     I grew up in Boston. We would play outside. Football, baseball, hiking. When you’re little, you don’t need video games. I just don’t think you need that. We had cartoons; watched them every once in a while. Not every day; just every once in a while.

Marshall Coffman’s martial ministry

     “You learn through both winning and losing,” says 70-year-old Marshall Coffman, who leads a double life.     As the Reverend Dr. Coffman, he is associate pastor of the Christian Fellowship of Calvert County in Owings. As Sensei Coffman, he is head instructor of Budokan Judo Club at Northeast Community Center. Combining roles, he leads the Judo for Jesus ministry.     This summer, Sensei Coffman earned the lofty rank of fifth-degree black belt.

An American in Annapolis

     I moved here from El Salvador 25 years ago. I came to try to have a better life. Especially for my sons and daughters. If I come here I can make more, I can give whatever my kids ask for.     Of course it was hard culturally. But more than anything, the language was difficult. It was scary. When someone asks you something, you don’t understand. You can’t respond because you don’t know what they’re saying. It took me about two years to adjust to the culture and language.

Creativity comes out to play in Twin Beach Players’ Kids
Playwriting Festival

     For stage-smitten elementary-, middle- and high-schoolers, winning a spot in Twin Beach Players Kids Playwriting Festival means they’ve made it to the All-Star Game. The nine-year-old competition — open to all school-age children in Maryland — gives kids their moment to shine with an added bonus: $100 for top six winning plays.     But it’s love, not money, that sparks these playwrights.

Talent Machine’s young actors are rehearsing for life

     Talent Machine is a gifted crew of kids and volunteers who make magic for audiences of every age. This year, the seven- to 14-year-old troupe is working on Peter Pan; the kids have learned lines, choreography and music to captivate audiences. From this experience, they’ll take away more than memories and new friends.     As actors, they have learned to manage their time, to carry on when things didn’t go according to plan and to work with different people. Most of all, they have gained confidence in themselves.

Bay Weekly’s here!

That’s front desk receptionist Yvonne Anderson’s emailed message to Maryland Department of Agriculture staff every Thursday, as soon as driver Bill Visnansky makes that Harry S Truman Parkway stop on his Annapolis route.     Where do you get your Bay Weekly? Send your favorite pick-up spot and a photo to editor@bayweekly.com.