Volume 14, Issue 49 ~ December 7 - December 13, 2006

Letters to the Editor

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DNR’s New Head Needs to Be an Advocate, an Activist, a Diplomat, a Sage

Dear Bay Weekly:

Bill Burton is that rare source of provocative opinion backed by firsthand knowledge and observation. This summer (Maryland’s Top 20th Century Conservationists: Vol. xiv, No. 29: July 20) he wrote an eloquent tribute to “activists in the true sense of the word”, including names many have forgotten or never heard. Who knew Curly Byrd, football coach and university president from Crisfield, champion of the terrapin for mascot, was also the consummate fisheries arbiter? Bill never fails to educate, engage and entertain his loyal readers. He keeps us mindful of crises past, treasures lost and our obligation to protect our remaining natural resources.

As such, it’s difficult to reconcile Nov. 22’s column [To the Victor Go the Spoils: Vol. xiv, No. 47] in which Bill ponders the prospects for our natural resources under a new administration. Bill of all people should be campaigning for a true activist to take over at Department of Natural Resources; one who will navigate politics; allocate with good science and common sense; and innovate for comprehensive natural resource conservation for all. Now more than ever, we need an advocate like Curly Byrd, an activist like Judy Johnson, a sage like Reginald Truitt, a diplomat like J. Millard Tawes.

Out of five million Maryland citizens, please tell me we can find a fresh crop of characters. In the true spirit of Christmas, let’s hope the Three Wise Men, Santa or Martin O’Malley bring us a big surprise at DNR: an activist in the true sense of the word. What’s Bill Burton doing for the next four to eight years?

—Marguerite Whilden:

The Terrapin Institute, Edgewater

How to Help a Ham Travel

Dear Bay Weekly:

In the Vol. xiv, No. 47 [Letters to the Editor], you commented on the dangers of attempting to ship Southern Maryland stuffed ham. I thought I would tell you about my experiences. I have lived in Calvert County for over 20 years, but I am originally from Sandgates in St. Mary’s County and have enjoyed Southern Maryland stuffed ham my entire life.

Many years ago I said to my mother-in-law Grandma, you are not going to be here forever, teach me how to stuff one of these things. She did, and I stuff one or two every year. Each year I stuff one for Thanksgiving and then on Black Friday, I always take 40 or 50 potato rolls with ham to Sneade’s Ace Home Center, where I work. Weeks before Thanksgiving, employees are asking if I am going to bring it again.

Regarding shipping, you are correct, McKay’s has shipped stuffed ham to my former neighbor who now lives in Duluth, Georgia. Two years ago my friend asked me if I could get a corned ham to him so he could stuff one. I purchased a corned ham and froze it for four days in a deep freezer. Then I put the frozen ham in a Styrofoam cooler and sealed it tight with tape. I put this cooler in a cardboard box, insulated it with newspapers and sent it to my friend, two day UPS.

When he received it, he called me to tell me it was still frozen and as hard as the day I shipped it. He stuffed it and delighted his Georgia friends with a dish many of them had never heard of.

—Richard MacWilliams, Owings

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