Dock of the Bay
Volume VII Number 12
March 25-31, 1999
In Davidsonville, Horsing Around at Roedown
"You all're invited" to the 25th running of the Marlborough Hunt Steeplechases Sunday, March 28 at historic Roedown Farm in Davidsonville, says Christie Clagett, one of the organizers, promising "a fun day in the country. That's our goal."
Even if you don't know a fetlock from a forelock, there will be plenty to enjoy for everyone in the family. To commemorate this milestone and to show appreciation to the enthusiastic crowds in attendance over the years, there will be more races, food and prizes. Annapolis Volvo-Subaru, this year's sponsor, is offering prizes that range from a 1999 Volvo to Oriole's box seats and restaurant gift certificates.
Herrington on the Bay will be awarding first and second prizes in the highly competitive and tasty Tailgate Competition. In case your soufflé falls, there are food concessions. As for the races, you can park yourself on the hilltop and see the whole course or stand along the fenceline, so close to the action the earth will shake beneath you when the horses thunder past.
And what horses! Ten races are on the card, ranging from tiny ponies and kids flying all out on a half-mile flat to the John Murray Begg Memorial, a three-mile timber race. A highlight of the Begg Memorial is a possible match-up of two great champions of the steeplechase, Saluter and Lonesome Glory. Saluter has been an international timber champion for the past three years, and Lonesome Glory has won close to $800,000 in his career. That's a lot of races, since purses on steeplechases are traditionally small. The purse for this race is $2,000, and the rest of the races are more for bragging rights than cash.
The race course spans a natural bowl of pasture, so you can see all of the action. Three types of races -- flat, brush and timber -- are run, with different strategies for each. The flat races range from 1/2 mile, for the youngsters on their ponies, to two miles, and speed is paramount. The jumping races take two kinds of jumps: hurdles, which are three-foot high wooden frames topped with 18- inch tall synthetic brushes that the horses can jump through; and timbers, which are solid, wooden fences that start at three feet high and can go over four feet.
Since the course is a mile-long circle, the horses will go around it two or three times, depending on the race. The longer races may actually seem slow in the beginning as the jockeys vie for position, but the ending is all guts and glory. Strategy, timing and knowing your horse will get you to the winner's circle.
A 10th race has been added this year as a competition between the local hunt clubs that participate in the Governor's Cup series of races. It is a three-mile relay race, on the flat. Each rider in each three-member team will ride one lap, about a mile, then pass the baton on to the next member of the team. The winning team gets $2,500 and bragging rights for the year.
For three centuries, horses have been part of Roedown Farm, where today thoroughbred race horses are boarded, bred and trained. The Marlborough Hunt Steeplechases are a quarter-century tradition on the 218-acre farm.
The hunt clubs and steeplechase societies are tight clans. So you'll fit in, here's a primer on what to say and what to wear:
A couple more treats for horsy and unhorsy alike:
Gates open: 10:00am. First race: noon. Admission $5 w/children under 6 free. Parking $5
From Route 50, take 424 south, right on 214, left on Queen Anne Bridge Rd., left on Wayson Rd. Rain or shine. No pets please; all others welcome to the Marlborough Hunt Steeplechase Races at Davidsonville: 410/798-5040.
-Aloysia C. Hamalainen
At Ag Open House, Mother Nature Stars
photos by Mary Catherine Ball Children huddled around the llamas and alpacas on show at the Maryland Department of Agriculture's open house, which drew a few thousand visitors March 20.
Protected by clear goggles and white lab coats, experimenters huddled around a black table. Arms were everywhere, pouring sodium borate into graduated cylinders of polyvinyl alcohol. The end product: slime.
No, this was not a sinister experiment. It was the 'Slime Factory' at the 1999 Annual Maryland Department of Agriculture Open House. The recipe: Stir one tablespoon borax into one cup water. In a small margarine tub, mix two tablespoons white glue with two tablespoons water. Stir until mixed well, adding tablespoons of borax mixture and a couple drops liquid food coloring. When it balls up, you've got slime.
In entertaining and educating a few thousand visitors from early morning to afternoon of March 20, the Maryland Department of Agriculture tickled the funny bone in everybody. Instead of a staid state department, you'd have thought a comic Mother Nature was doing the planning on this eve of spring.
"We try to format this day as much as we can for everyone to enjoy themselves," said Tony Evans, farm market expert and emcee of the open house. And everywhere laughter-inducing, sense-appealing bounty ruled.
The first eye-catcher: green tractors parked outside the Department of Agriculture building on Truman Parkway. Everybody loves a John Deere.
Two concrete cows welcomed visitors into the circular driveway. Black-and-white spotted cow hats bobbed in the crowd. Every dairy supporter was milking this event, but the moo of the day belonged to the lone cow resting in the petting zoo. He sported a noticeable 'Got Milk?' sign.
Noses became finely tuned, sniffing out festive smells of pleasure. Hot dog, hamburger and barbecue aromas wafted through the air and settled around every growling stomach. Concessionaires lined the sidewalk, making their way to the heart of every hungry visitor.
Around the tent that housed the Homestead Gardens alpacas and llamas, children huddled in masses. Given the chance to get close to real animals, feeding them from the palms of their hands, most kids and many adults were eager children of nature.
Outside, party animals had the chance to become stars in chicken karaoke. With the microphone inside a rubber chicken, each singer held the squawker by its neck. Old McDonald got new meaning as contestants crooned into chicken lips.
Adventuresome eaters got closer still to nature, sampling fried Acheta Domestica, with or without onions, free of charge. In English, that's European gray house crickets. The Italian-style, Mexican-style, lo-cal and bacon-with-onion crickets were popular, but the favorite of the day was the crab-style cricket. Marylanders must be so nostalgic for their summertime treat that even an insect tastes good when it's seasoned like crab.
Taking on still more conspicuous forms, nature introduced itself as Mr. Produce Man made a special appearance, outfitted in melons, bananas, apples, grapes and oranges. Under glass, a honey bee colony reproduced. The busy queen bee lays one-third of her body weight in eggs each day.
Highlighting the brisk day was the 5th Annual Hog Calling Contest. The traditional "suey" call of days gone by gave way to impromptu calls. One junior contestant chose to ham up the event with a resounding "Hey pig, get the heck over here." Threats gave way to cajoles with one young lady who wooed: "Here piggy, I've got some corn for you."
Peeking in one office in the open building, you might have noticed Ralph Waldo Emerson's advice written on a marker board: "Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year." This annual day proved the philosopher's point. Write it on next year's calendar for the third Saturday of March, the beginning of National Agriculture Week.
-Mary Catherine Ball, journalism student at University of Maryland, is a new editorial intern at New Bay Times.
In time, we'll all be able to look through the door and see the scene that Weems describes and more. The Annapolis office of Calvert County's favorite son, Louis Goldstein -- beloved tax collector and Maryland's comptroller for 40 years, before his death July 3, 1998, at age 85 -- is packed away and stored at the Maryland Archeological Laboratory at Jefferson Patterson Park and Museum in Calvert County.
Goldstein's office at the Treasury Building, including the paneling, his desk and chair and four walls of memories - certificates, medals, awards and five honorary doctorates - was photographed and then painstakingly taken apart. Each piece was carefully wrapped, then shipped to Calvert County. In addition to his office memorabilia, Goldstein's collection throughout 59 years of public service, previously stored in the basement of the Treasury Building in Annapolis, is stored at the lab, too.
All these materials await the new building that will house a replica of his office. "Huge amounts of videos, tapes of his radio shows and copies of speeches: they'll make a wonderful interactive exhibit," says Mike Smolek, director of The Jefferson Patterson Park and Museum. "This park is about learning the good history lessons to be learned," Smolek added, striking a theme dear to Louis Goldstein's heart.
The exhibit is the brainchild of another son of Calvert, Bobby Swann, deputy comptroller to Goldstein and now to Comptroller William Donald Schaeffer. Swann and the Goldstein family thought it appropriate to have Goldstein memorialized in the county of his family's roots, where he was born, lived, married and brought up his children; the county he represented and loved.
Sharing the addition to Jefferson Patterson Park with Goldstein will be exhibits of Maryland's history and an introduction to the park itself.
Gov. Parris Glendening has included $196,000 in design money in this year's budget. Next year, $1.8 million will be requested to construct a building to be completed in 2002. The new building, not an elaborate or ornate structure, will be attached to the existing visitor's center and fit in with the park's rural setting,
There are many reasons why Jefferson Patterson Park is a fitting place for Goldstein's office. The state park is the result of a generous donation from Mrs. Jefferson Patterson brokered by Goldstein. "Louis had a strong role in negotiating the original terms of the gift with Mrs. Patterson," explains Smolek. An active supporter of the park, Goldstein headed the Friends of Jefferson Patterson Park and donated a parcel of Patuxent waterfront property to it.
Goldstein's love of history is legendary. "Louis used history to light the path into the future," Smolek remembers. Goldstein met with schoolchildren throughout the years of his public service, taking them through the State House and explaining its history to them.
Adds Swann: "His love of history came from his teacher Cathy Bond Duke. She taught him a love of Maryland and Maryland history. He became part of that history himself."
Goldstein lived Maryland's history and took his place in its telling. He started his career in elective office in 1939 as Calvert's delegate to the Maryland General Assembly. He moved to the State Senate from 1947 to 1958, serving as its president for three years. During this time, he was floor leader for the state sales tax, sponsored legislation to control the discharge of oil into the Bay and sponsored the 1954 Sunshine Law, giving the public access to government meetings. Elected as comptroller in 1958, he served with 11 Maryland governors. At the time of his death, he was running for re-election to his 11th term. No one has served in elected office in Maryland -- possibly any state -- longer than Goldstein.
History didn't end at the office for Louis L. Goldstein. He was surrounded by it at home in Calvert at Oakland Hall, built in the 1850s and restored lovingly by him and his wife, Hazel.
When the Louis room is ready we'll be able to live Maryland history through his eyes and his life. "Louis would be pleased to know that his collection is in Calvert, his own county," says former State Sen. Bernie Fowler. "He was a beacon to me always saying, 'May God bless y'all real good with continued success, good health and happiness.'"
Nor does Goldstein's legacy end there: on March 21, the Maryland National Guard named its Prince Frederick Armory in his memory. "Mr. Goldstein was a great and good friend of the Maryland National Guard, as time and again he was instrumental in the construction and renovation of armories throughout our state," said Maryland's Adjutant General, James. F. Fretterd.
In Anne Arundel, Hope Swells in New Citizen Planners
With the pride and earnestness usually reserved for oath-taking occasions - the seating of public assemblies or naturalization of new citizens - 109 citizen planners embarked this week on a year-long journey into the future. Their task: tailoring Anne Arundel County's 25-year plan to the size and shape of their own communities.
Welcomed with good food, pomp and circumstance, they represented the Deale/Shady Side and South County regions in Southern Anne Arundel County and the BWI/Linthicum, Jessup/Maryland City, Odenton, and Severn regions in the northwest.
"Inspired by the experience of early panels, welcomed by the county executive, I felt ready to roll up my sleeves and learn the process to best serve our communities. I felt I was being part of a great and meaningful new venture," said Shady Side/Deale citizen planner M. L. Faunce, of Churchton. Faunce, who is an NBT contributing editor, has been on the planning side of many such occasions in 29 years as a U.S. Senate staffer.
Her preparation is different but no deeper than that of the business people, watermen, scientists, homemakers, policy analysts and committed citizens joining her in Small Area Planning. Selecting the 109 was difficult, County Executive Janet Owens told the assembly. "With lots of outstanding abilities, competition was keen."
What all had in common was love for a way of life they hoped could be preserved - even improved - into the 21st century.
"I hope we can keep it more like what it was even as things change," said Shady Side/Deale citizen planner and life-long resident Billy Scerbo. "When I tell my kids about places I knew, I hope some of them are still there instead of just fast food."
Newcomer Paul Rensted, South County citizen planner, felt much the same. "I hope we end up with a community I want to keep living in. I came here from Prince George's County because it lost its sense of community."
Added Shady Side/Deale citizen planner Linda Andreasen, in words echoed throughout the evening, "I just hope that what we do matters."
In Calvert, Looking for 4-Legged
When you think of Hall-of-Famers, Babe Ruth or Jackie Robinson may come to mind. Get ready for a new generation to appreciate.
They're friendly, loyal and most have four legs.
They're the "exceptional pets at work in Calvert County" that the Calvert Animal Welfare League, Patuxent Animal Welfare Society and the Humane Society of Calvert County have organized the Pet Hall of Fame to applaud.
The organizations are not looking for average critters, though they are just as adorable. Nominations for 1998 Famers are being accepted for professional, heroic, service or therapy pets.
Professional pets are trained animals actively working in a public service capacity for a minimum of four months. Police dogs fit into this category.
Guide or signal animals are trained to assist people with such disabilities as blindness, deafness or impairment of mobility. These animals, usually dogs, fit into the service category.
Eligible therapy pets have visited to socialize with elderly or disabled people at least 10 times during 1998. In this category, dogs have no leg up on other friendly species.
Last but hardly least, a hero will have rescued a human or animal whose life was threatened.
Animals of any size and shape are welcome to apply. "You could have a hero pig," notes Mary Baldwin of the Calvert Animal Welfare League.
One winner from each category will be awarded a commemorative plaque, recognition and news coverage at the fourth annual Pet Day '99 on May 2 at King's Landing Park.
Like the new Pet Hall of Fame, Pet Day promotes animal appreciation and people-pet bonding. "It's an educational event," explains Baldwin. "There will be sales, crafts and fun."
Pet Day '99 will be especially exciting for all nominees. Pets from around the county will tune in to hear the famous words, 'and the winners are .'
Make your nominations by April 15. For an application: 410/586-1332.
Way Downstream ...
In Virginia, environmental officials last weekend dumped 140 tons of limestone into the St. Mary's River in Augusta County. Why do that? In hopes of counteracting the damage from acid rain, which comes from sulfur dioxide emissions from coal-fired power plants and other sources ...
In Washington, D.C., National Geographic Explorer's Urban Gators is among the documentaries at the 1999 Environmental Film Festival, which continues through Sunday the 28th. Also: the screen adaptation of Rachael Carson's The Sea Around Us, which won an Oscar in 1953 for the best documentary. For schedules, visit the website: www.capaccess.org/ane/eff/ ...
The New Mexico news is that "ecoterrorism" may be a tool of the anti-environmentalists, not the other way around. Last Friday, a pipe bomb was found outside the offices of Forest Guardians, an environmental advocacy group. Police are hoping that a security camera leads them to the culprit ...
In Antarctica, a report suggests that we might not be able to go far enough to get away from chain stores. Eastman Kodak Co. intends to open a Kodak Express shop on the Antarctic Peninsula, the Wall Street Journal reported last week. No permits are required -- but the company must conduct an environmental impact statement before breaking frozen ground .
Our Creature Feature comes to us from the Cupertino Hills of California, where hikers at the Rancho San Antonio Open Space Preserve are advised to carry umbrellas these days. And not because of rain.
It seems that wild turkeys with expansive libidos are appearing out of nowhere to show their affection by chasing, pecking and flying at hikers, the San Jose Mercury reports. Actually, it's their time of year -- turkey mating season -- and the male gobblers are displaying "masculine vigor," as the newspaper put it.
The answer to the advances: flapping umbrellas open and shut, the equivalent of tossing a pail of cold water.
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Volume VII Number 12
March 25-31, 1999
New Bay Times
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